Aaand we’re back! Expect a lot of reviews over the next couple days as I work on getting caught up.

If their sameface doesn’t turn out to be somehow relevant, I will be extremely disappointed.

Episode 8:

In a lengthy flashback, Dr. Akatsuki and Tony Stark argue about the specifics DISK creation, utilizing a lot of made-up pseudoscientific language. For Scientific Reasons, they are forced to split the DISKs into five classes (Tech, Energy, Fight, Power, and Animal). It’s also revealed that the reason Tony threw the giant party at the beginning of the series was to show Akira and Hikaru how great and important their dad’s work was. Still doesn’t explain why he held it at a prison full of supervillains.

Since they have nobody able to smash Hulk’s Power-class disk, Iron Man braves the tornado, despite the slim chance of survival. On the boat, Loki’s minions wait around for him to show up and Ed continues to do nothing except whine about his uselessness.

It felt like half of the dialogue in this episode was Ed whining…

Tony’s force field breaks down, and it seems like he won’t make it. Akira is determined to call him back, until his mind is suddenly changed by Tony using Akira’s name for the first time (instead of the nickname “Samurai Boy”). They shout each other’s names a lot, which somehow gives Tony the power to get to the boat.

Ed finally does something and D-Smashes Hulk. The villain Diablo tries to reassert his mind control over Hulk, but it fails. Hulk effortlessly destroys the tornado, and Cap and Thor join the others on the boat, where all five Avengers do what they do best – assemble!

…while the other half was excessive name-shouting.

This episode was a bit of a mixed bag. We got a long flashback plus an info dump from Tony, leading to a rather slow first half. The “five classes of DISK” seems like an arbitrary system created to justify having different colored DISKs to sell, and so that each Avenger would have their own color. I still fail to see the difference between “Fight” and “Power” at all. Ed’s whining was also utterly intolerable. He might well have surpassed Chris as my least favorite character, now that Chris seems to have gotten a bit better at this whole “teamwork” thing.

The second half of the episode, once Iron Man entered the tornado, was pure shounen cheese. Characters shouting each other’s names repeatedly? Check. Characters overcoming mind control / facing impossible odds through the power of belief and friendship? Check. The “team as greater than the sum of its members” philosophy? Check. However, that relentless optimism and can-do attitude is something I’m very familiar with from Marvel, and I don’t mind seeing in Disk Wars. It’s over the top and cheesy, but it’s entertaining and a treat to watch. And what Marvel fan doesn’t cheer when they hear Cap’s familiar shout of “Avengers Assemble”?

However, the enjoyable second half of this episode was not enough to make up for the lackluster first half. Out of 5 Dios, Episode 8 gets:

dio    dio    1/2

FINALLY

 

Dramatic pose time!

Episode 9:

The Avengers face off against Loki’s minions and their summoned villains, each side confident that they can win in the 5 minutes before the heroes must return to their DISKs. There’s some nice action sequences as the Avengers fight as a team for the first time since Episode 1. Less awesomely, there’s some unnecessary flashbacks to the Hulk vs. Cap fight a mere two episodes earlier.

Hikaru shows up to warn Thor that Loki has arrived…only for “Hikaru” to reveal himself as Loki in disguise, trying to catch the heroes off guard. Loki orders Abomination to sink the boat as the villains teleport away. The heroes escape on Tony’s jet, but are unable to save Spider-Man, who is still trapped belowdecks.

I swear everything Steve says is innuendo

New York is abuzz over the loss of Spider-Man. Loki/Senator Robert uses this opportunity to insist that solo superheroes are no longer effective, and that superheroes should be placed under government management. Spider-Man returns alive and well, having been rescued by Hulk smashing through the floor of the ship. It seems to have been a victory…but one with a cost. Loki/Robert was able to use the public outcry to pass the Superhero Registration Act, a law which places superheroes and their actions under government control. Loki intends to use the Act to force the Avengers to come forward and Register. However, the heroes and kids manage to escape to Japan, where they seek the aid of a mysterious figure called the Silver Samurai.

This is actually a pretty good look on Hikaru

For the first half of this episode, I was ready to call it “nice, but nothing special”. The flashbacks were annoying, but the fight scenes were nice, and it was great to see the Avengers working together as a team. I knew that they wouldn’t dare kill off Spider-Man, so the “did he survive?” bit fell a little flat, but it was nice to see how the ordinary people were reacting to the situation. (I think I even saw an animated Stan Lee cameo as a taxi driver!)

However, the last 7-8 minutes of this episode came out of nowhere, and quite possibly turned the series completely on its head. The Superhero Registration Act is one of the best-known plot elements of the Marvel Universe, as well as one of the darkest. Its appearance in the comics led to the Civil War, which many fans speculate may be the finale event of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s also something I did not in the slightest expect to see in something as lighthearted and kid-oriented as Disk Wars.

Seriously, this is the LAST thing I was expecting

I hope that the Act is not a one-time plot point that is never brought up again after this episode. I know it probably won’t get as much depth as in stories like Civil War, because this is still a kids’ show, but I’m interested to see how it affects the Avengers and their search for the remaining DISKs. It’s an ambitious move on Disk Wars’ part, but I look forward to seeing where the show goes with it.

 

Out of 5:

dio  dio  dio  dio

 

Fourth Wall-ignoring Spidey is best Spidey

 

is that benedict cumberbatch

 

Introducing Silver Samurai

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