Episode 6 Summary:
Predictably, Chris refuses Spider-Man’s offer to wield a DISK and become a hero. We get some vague generic backstory on Chris (his father is a lawyer, he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life so he gets into fights and stuff) before the remaining Minions O’ Loki break into Chris, Ed and Jessica’s houses simultaneously. The latter two, along with Spider-Man and the remaining two DISKs, are captured, but Iron Man rescues Chris and Captain America’s DISK in the nick of time.
Captain America is eager to join the fight, but Chris still refuses. They then discover that Hulk is on a rampage downtown, and has somehow managed to set a bunch of stuff on fire. Cut to Loki’s minions who are using a villain named Diablo to augment Hulk’s rage through some kind of magic/alchemy/thing. Cut back to Ed and Jessica, who are failing horribly at escaping confinement.
Iron Man and Thor try to face down Hulk, but are both badly defeated. Cue Chris, who has a heart-to-heart with Mini!Cap. Cap convinces Chris that even if Chris doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, Cap will be there for him and support him. Chris agrees to fight with him and D-Smashes Cap. The episode ends before the Hulk/Cap fight begins.
This episode was a huge letdown after the triumph of episode 5. I was getting very tired of Chris’s “I don’t want to be a hero but I’ll show up to help at the last minute” shtick. I’m hoping partnership with Cap will make Chris less generically distant/angsty. Their scene together at the end was admittedly kind of adorable…and oddly flirty. What can I say, this show continues to know its audience.
Another thing that annoyed me about this episode was the portrayal of Hulk. Hulk’s rampage being a key factor in bringing the Avengers together as a team is a Marvel standard, both in the original comics and recent film. While I liked its inclusion, the use of “alchemy” to enrage Hulk was confusing and eliminated a lot of Hulk’s character for me. Portraying Hulk as in control and less rage-filled, as he has been in prior episodes, is understandable for a children’s show (though disappointing, as it means we get absolutely zero Bruce Banner) but having his rampage require what is basically mind control seemed a bit cheap.
Other parts of this episode were disappointing as well. The SHIELD subplot seems to have been dropped for now, meaning we miss out on Hawkeye, Loki and other interesting characters. Jessica has more than a line or two for the first time in the entire show, but is portrayed as vapid, party-obsessed and spoiled. The villains showcased this episode, Abomination and Diablo, get barely any screen time and don’t really add anything to the story. And Loki’s remaining two minions are distressingly bland – one of them only says “Hmph” repeatedly.
The show still looks great, though the D-Smash sequences seemed to be used as space filler for the first time (we got three of them in this episode rather than the usual one). Overall, it was a pretty poor episode.
Out of 5 Dios:
Episode 7 Summary:
Cap and Hulk engage in a rather boring and repetitive fight, with shield throwing and smashing galore. Eventually, Cap resorts to grabbing Hulk around the neck and hoping that he will pass out from lack of air before Cap’s timer runs out and he is forced to return to his DISK.
Meanwhile, Ed and Jessica successfully escape, freeing Spider-Man and Wasp’s DISK in the process. Jessica releases Wasp and the two fight together with Spider-Man until they are overwhelmed by four villains at once. Luckily, during the fight, Diablo is forced to break his concentration and Hulk breaks free from his mind control. Akira secures Hulk in a DISK before Loki’s minions can get to him.
Jessica, Ed and Wasp escape through the vents and send out a distress signal, which is unfortunately intercepted by Senator Robert/Loki, who predictably refuses to mobilize SHIELD. King Cobra attacks the kids in their hiding place, and Ed escapes while Jessica and Wasp attempt to fight the villain off. Luckily, Akira and co. also pick up the distress signal and go to rescue their comrades, only to be stopped as one of the villains creates a tornado around the ship, which none of the heroes can pass through. Akira tries to D-Smash Hulk, but fails as the group realizes that nobody among them has the correct biocode installed to summon Hulk.
Viewers are left with multiple cliffhangers at once – Spider-Man being defeated by the villain team-up, Jessica being attacked by King Cobra, the Stark Industries plane unable to pass through the tornado, and Ed, predictably, crying about how useless he is.
I’m glad the “Hulk’s rampage” two-parter is over, because both of these episodes were pretty big let downs. The Hulk and Cap fight was, as I’ve said, highly repetitive, with each combatant relying on a single move. Wasp finally getting some screen time and fighting four villains at once alongside Spider-Man was one of the episode’s high points, but the combat was cut disappointingly short to focus on Ed and Jessica’s escape.
Pacing was yet again an issue here, with fairly random cuts between Ed/Jessica on the ship and the others subduing Hulk. Fights were cut short in favor of Ed’s seemingly endless whining and Akira’s inability to understand how biocodes work. At least we did get to see what Robert/Loki is up to, which was fun as always.
This episode was also strange tone-wise; previous episodes have taken themselves pretty seriously, while this one attempted to be meta and poke fun at Marvel/superhero stories in general. Spider-Man accuses Tim of being a bad villain because he “doesn’t reveal his entire plan to his captive while gloating”. Cap and Wasp both make fun of the heroes and villains’ tendencies to shout the name of their attacks, with Cap even shouting the wrong name so that Hulk will mistake his Shield Boomerang for a simple Shield Throw. These moments seemed really random and out-of-place in a show that is usually endearingly earnest, and I hope we don’t see more of that in the future. That kind of snark seems more suited to the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe than the idealistic, traditionally heroic characters of Disk Wars.
In short, this was a two-parter consisting of two pretty low quality episodes. However next episode is promisingly titled “Avengers Assemble” and seems to feature the whole team together for the first time, so I’m cautiously excited.
Out of 5 Dios: