SDCC '13: Marvel TV Wants AVENGERS Sensibility in Cartoons

Guardians of the Galaxy on Ultimate Spider-Man
Credit: Marvel TV

At Comic-Con International: San Diego 2013, Marvel's Head of Television Jeph Loeb showed what felt like a small film festival of exclusive sneak peeks at what's coming down the pipeline at Disney XD. It was the first panel Saturday morning and so to wake everyone up, Loeb rallied the crowd to a pep rally charge to answer the challenge set down by Marvel Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada who claims that New York Comic-Con fans are better. With everyone working out their lungs, everyone was primed for some cartoons.

"As I have promised you in the past," Loeb said. "We are here to show you the newest, most exclusive, the stuff no one else gets to see because I like showing San Diego the things we've been working on."

But before he hit play, Loeb opened up the panel by telling a story about how a fan came up to him to sign some issues of Red Hulk Loeb wrote, and then shared a story how he reconnected with his young nephew by reading them together, and finding a common bond with others face-to-face as opposed to through one's phone or tablet. Stories like this can be shared, ironically enough on social media through and the official Facebook page for the new "Share Your Universe" campaign.

Marvel Mash-Up was up first, which was a minute-long clip from an actual Iron Man cartoon from the 1990's re-mixed with new voices to make for a funny, and somewhat elaborate joke on the crowd. For a minute there, some people in attendance might have likenedd the Mash Ups to as another in a line of shorts that have been running on Disney XD's Marvel Universe block.

"Nah, we didn't actually make that one," said Loeb. "But it is an actual Iron Man cartoon."

Then came Loeb's first reveal, "I am happy to announce, that Ultimate Spider-Man has been renewed for a third season!" Shown with the announcement was an image of Spider-Man joining the cast or at least teaming up with Avengers Assemble.

Loeb then showed a TV spot for Sunday's episode of Ultimate Spider-Man where Spider-Man meets the Guardians of the Galaxy (who previously appeared in animation on Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes), which included some quick action sequences with the Chitauri. The campaign to get Guardians of the Galaxy to become a household names continues. The crowd got a treat when longtime voice of Hulk, Fred Tatasciore stood up as an audience member, giving a clue for what would be shown next.

Loeb prefaced the next announcement with explaining how Joss Whedon showed how Hulk could be a hero in The Avengers. So Tatasciore will play Hulk again in the upcoming series called, Hulk and The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. which includes the voice talent of Clancy Brown as Red Hulk, Eliza Dushku as She-Hulk, Benjamin Diskin as Skarr the Barbarian Hulk, and Seth Green who plays Seth Jones who turns into A-Bomb. Loeb brought a full episode where the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. go to the Savage Land to fight Sauron. This is not the pilot episode but is instead an episode that is later down the line. The new series will premiere on August 11, 2013 on Disney XD.

The form of the episode is playful because spliced into the adventure are clips that play out as a partial reality show where each Hulk talks to the camera in tell-all type confessions of what it's like working with the other Hulks. It has a Fantastic Four family vibe to it as each Hulk has their own personality and method of getting the job done, and A-Bomb provides comic relief and seems to be the only Hulk who is just having fun while the others are getting down to business. They bicker and get in each other's way a lot like a dysfunctional family, but it's not all brawn and bulk. There is some strategy and thinking too. Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series) is a writer on the show as is Henry Gilmore (Clone Wars). Cort Lane is also producing.

Finally a new episode of Avengers Assemble was shown to demonstrate that like Agents of S.M.A.S.H., they wanted to keep the tone of The Avengers blueprint consistent throughout these cartoons. That means the comedy, the big action, and caring about the characters. The team battled 'Hyperion' and the way the story unfolded it was hard not to draw comparisons with this villain (originally created to be a Superman analogue in the Marvel Universe) to the recent Man of Steel Zack Snyder film and the controversy of a Superman that had little remorse for the citizens of Earth. The Man of Action team including Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey and Steven T. Seagle stood up in the crowd as co-writers of the episode.

It appeared as if Loeb was originally going to get a panel to speak about the episodes shown but time ran long and the panel ended with Avengers Assemble.

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