Posted in TV Stuff

And there came a day, unlike any other

In 2012, Marvel released the Avengers movie, rounding off their initial movie slate and cementing the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was unprecedented and had several effects, one of the ones that was less positive was their animated output. Avengers Assemble was the Disney made animated series that seemed to carry on from the movie, there was another for Spider-Man, one for the Hulk and eventually one for the Guardians of the Galaxy and I didn’t like them. Well in defence of the Guardians show, I never actually watched it, so that might be excellent. The one that put me off the most was the Avengers Assemble, it’s bland animation, slavish devotion to the movie and absence of both characterisation and genuine fun got me to switch off. I was quite sanguine about it really, I realised that I wasn’t the target audience and just moved on, perfectly happy with it existing, since I didn’t need to watch it. But you see, I have a son. SuperSam watched an episode during a Saturday morning cartoon watch and he enjoyed the episode of the 3rd or 4th season, which had the sub-title Secret Wars and I, for the first time in years had to sit through a two part episode.

It had not improved, despite introducing the Vision and Kamala ‘Ms Marvel’ Khan. I asked to not watch any more, declaring to my son that there was a better version of the Avengers than this drivel. He did not believe me, fortunately a few years ago I got a copy of the series in question in Chester. This series was Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, I promised that if he gave it a try and didn’t like it, then I would sit through more Avengers Assemble.

Avengers: EMH was released in 2010 and ran for 2 seasons, being cancelled to make way for Avenger Assemble. It had a modest 52 episode run, telling a larger story, broken down into single episodes, mini-arcs and two parters and over a period of 4 weeks, we watched every single episode.

The Cast:

Iron Man/ Tony Stark –  Eric Loomis

Captain America/Steve Rogers–  Brian Bloom

Wasp/Janet Van Dyne  –  Collen O’Shaunessy

Thor  –  Rick Wasserman

The Hulk  –  Fred Tatasciore

Dr Henry Pym/Ant Man/Giant Man/Yellowjacket – Wally Wingert

T’Challa, the Black Panther – James Mathis III

Hawkeye/Clint Barton – Chris Cox

The Premise:

In a world, where there are super-heroes and villains there is a breakout at S.H.I.E.L.D’s super-prisons which frees dozens of super-villains. This disaster brings together fledgling heroes Ant Man, the Wasp, Iron Man, Thor and the fugitive Hulk to try to save the day. One of the villains, known as Graviton nearly destroys the city, before this group stops him. With other villains on the loose, this group join together to avenge the wrongs these villains do.

The Show:

Whilst a modern show, this was a love letter to the history of the Avengers and used both classic characters (including Captain America, Vision, Carol Danvers’ Ms Marvel and Hawkeye) as well as adapting several classic Avengers stories, from Secret Invasion, to the Korvac Saga and even the Kree/Skrull War. There was all the villains you could have wanted, like Doctor Doom, Ultron, Kang, the Masters of Evil and Loki as well as other non-Avengers villains, including such ‘greats’ as the Absorbing Man, the Leader, the Wrecking Crew and the U-Foes. Even non-Avengers stories were present, the best one being ‘The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill’.

This was full of guest stars and easter eggs, including Warriors Three, Abigal Brand: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. and the X-Plain the X-Men fan in me was thrilled to see Super-Doctor-Astronaut Peter Corbeau. Power Man and Iron Fist, the Fantastic Four, even Wolverine popped up from time to time. This was show about the Marvel Universe, that whilst recogniseable as characters from the MCU, very much felt like it’s own thing, the closest analagous show would be Justice League Unlimited. The stakes rose with each story, the next to last being 8 of the Avengers vs the entire Kree Empire, but the show ended on a high with every Avenger and guest star facing off against GALACTUS.

This wasn’t a perfect show and there were more than a couple of clunkers, but this was lovingly made, well voice-acted and never outstayed it’s welcome. It ended too soon perhaps, but what we did get was a satisfying limited series that entertained me again for the second time and enthralling my 8 year old son (SuperSam) who more than once tried to risk being late for school to watch one in the mornings. We weren’t late for school, but got through this show in less than a month. When we were done, I asked if it was better than Avengers  Assemble, which he couldn’t agree with more.

This show is fun, faithful to the comics (but you don’t need much knowledge of them) and the boxset of all 52 episodes isn’t too hard to find, nor too expensive and if you have ever enjoyed Marvel’s animated products, certainly worth your while checking out.

Notes from SuperSam: I liked the show because of cool stuff like the Purple Man making Iron Man rule the world and them teleporting GALACTUS in the last episode, which I watched this morning.

This re-watch project has been a fun and interesting success and needs a sequel. Next time, Wolverine and the X-Men.

Ttfn Internet People, see you next time

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous, The MIGHTY Rosie

Taking Care of Yourself

Hello again internet people

Back in May, I slipped back into the horror that was/is my depression. I handled it better this time, eschewing the medical side and going straight to talking therapy and the odd day off here and there. Now, on the understanding that I may need back up in a “not ruling out legal action against my workplace” way, I decided to get in touch with my local surgery and get what had happened on record. What I didn’t take into account was that this was a new doctors and the first time I visited any doctor since I hit my 40’s. Out came the need for blood tests and my blood pressure was taken. It was high.

Well no shit, I went in there about my depression and anxiety, which had been exacerbated by stress, it would be more medically worrying if I didn’t have high blood pressure. My new doctor, doing her due diligence referred me to a cardio clinic to get a 24 hours blood pressure monitor. So after a stressful trip to a different surgery and a couple of terrible days in work, my blood pressure averaged at higher than it should have been. So, after another visit to the doctor, aided by the MIGHTY Rosie now I am on blood pressure meds. I have a complicated relationship with doctors, they have helped and not helped in equal measure and I am not used to going for blood tests, or even an ECG, both things I had to do last week. So apart from high blood pressure, I have high cholesterol as well (doubtless due to a decade or two of neglect) and this whole things has made me really anxious. But here’s the thing, I needed to do this, I needed to take these steps and look after myself a little bit better, value myself just a little more and make this the start of me taking better care of myself.

Eating better is one step, then dropping my caffeine intake and a few other things like that, more cardio in my exercising and above all, less stress.  I think that will be the hardest thing, it’s been pointed out that I am a stress-head and negative in my thinking even on my better days, which have not been the last two weeks. Above all I want to give my thanks to the MIGHTY Rosie, without whom, I would not have got through this last couple of weeks as well, she remains the brightest star in my sky, so I always know how to find home.

It’s been a reminder that your mental and physical health are connected and both need to tended to, this I suppose is my statement that I am going to do that and that starts with my walking away from my desk and going to see my dog.


Ttfn internet people.