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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Super Hero Squad Show: Volume 2

November 6th, 2010

The Super Hero Squad Show: Quest For The Infinity Sword: Volume 2 - Buy from Amazon

Back in 2006, Hasbro released a line of Super-deformation style action figures for many Marvel characters. It proved popular enough with kids (and more than a few adult collectors) that they decided to turn it into a cartoon show. Many, many recent Marvel animated shows have been aimed at a more mature target audience, like the animated movie collection that I reviewed. Will fans of the more mature cartoons appreciate this show, or is it strictly for kids?

The Show

First a quick setup... The entire show essentially takes place in two neighboring towns, Super Hero City and Villainville. In events that take place before the pilot episode, Dr. Doom nearly obtained the all-powerful Infinity Sword, but in a battle with Iron Man, they broke it scattering Infinity Fractals throughout the world, but mostly in Super Hero City. Now two sides battle for the shards, as whoever collects them all will become the most powerful being in the world, but each fractal can also have strange side effects on its possessor, and not always for the good. With that setup, the show is basically a "Freak-of-the-Week" show, with a few freaks making repeat or weekly appearances.

The second volume contains six episodes, starting with...

  • From the Atom... It Rises!
    A new super villain, Scorpio, sneaks into Stark Industries, steals some important information and is able to defeat the Super Hero Squad when they try to catch him. Dr. Doom is impressed, but MODOK is jealous. However, Scorpio has a secret agenda unknown to either side.
  • Night in the Sanctorum!
    After Falcon crashes the Helicarrier, the Super Hero Squad is forced to look for a new headquarters. Unfortunately, Stark Industries is having problems with their automated defenses, while the Punisher is too damn crazy to stay with, so eventually they stay with Dr. Strange, who informs them it wasn't pilot error that caused the crash, but a magical force.
  • This Forest Green!
    The latest plan has Dr. Doom teaming up with Egghead to shrink MODOK, the Abomination, and Egghead so they can sneak aboard the Helicarrier and steal a Fractal. However, they become trapped and the Super Hero Squad shrink down to fight them. ... In the kitchen. This is not exactly the typical place for a super hero fight.
  • O, Captain, My Captain!
    Wolverine rage quits the Super Hero Squad and joins the All-Captains Squad with the likes of Captain America, Captain Britain, and Captain Liechtenstein? How long will it take these guys to annoy him enough that he re-joins the Super Hero Squad?
  • If This Be My Thanos!
    There hasn't been a Fractal found in a while and the Super Hero Squad is getting antsy as a result. So when they get the chance to help the Fantastic Four fight a Skrull invasion, they jump at it. However, it is at this time that Thanos shows up and gets Dr. Doom to break into the Fantastic Four building, which is now conveniently nearly defenseless.
  • Deadly Is The Black Widow's Bite!
    After helping them defeat MODOK, the Abomination, and Screaming Mimi, The Black Widow joins the Super Hero Squad, but it's a double-cross and she's really Mystique in disguise. But when all seems lost...
This show actually reminds me of SpongeBob SquarePants, and not just because both have Tom Kenny providing voices. While the show is nominally for younger kids, I can see a lot of college students getting a lot of entertainment out of it as well, even if that entertainment is ... chemically enhanced. There are some jokes that seemed aimed at adults, or that kids are simply not going to get, including pop culture references that are from the golden age of Marvel comics. On the other hand, there are jokes that are a little too immature, even for ten-year olds. (Mole Man's gastric intestinal issues being one of them.) Meanwhile, the action also ranges from slapstick to some very well done, if strictly PG, battle scenes.

This dichotomy does make for a very schizophrenic experience, as the two halves don't always mesh, but enough works that it is worth checking out.

The Extras

The only real extra is a 2-minute interview with Tom Kenny, while there are text based profiles for the heroes, and a gallery of concept art.

The Verdict

The Super Hero Squad Show: Quest For The Infinity Sword is definitely not as emotionally deep, nor does it have the complex a storyline of some of the more recent Marvel cartoons. Let's face it, it's goofy slapstick action with more jokes than plot. If you are looking for a show like Wolverine and the X-Men, then you will be disappointed. But if you ever wondered what it would be like if Bikini Bottom was taken over by the Marvel universe, then this show is worth checking out. That said, the Volume 2 DVD is light on extras and heavy in the price-per-minute. Call it a rental while you wait for the full season set.

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