Welcome back to Boomb Tube, Multiversity’s weekly column detailing the current Cape Cartoons scene. This week, The Avengers receive an unexpected guest, The Teen Titans fight “uncle jokes” and Hulk and the Agents of SMASH partake in some synergy with Agents of SHIELD’s Deathlok. Spoilers ahead!
This week’s Avengers Assemble decided to lower the stakes by having Iron Man, Falcon, and Hulk hanging out and containing some rogue Pym Particles. To quote Stark, “We’re just trying to get rid of some highly unstable Pym particles. NO BIG!” Ugh. Anyway, one gets loose and is caught in a really weird slow motion sequence by Ant-Man who has been quietly sitting in the corner, knowing his place. Also, he wears this costume.
Hey Pym! The New 52 called, they want you to calm your shit.
Anyway, Falcon has to leave because of an emergency call from his smartphone, which Hulk then compares to his gigantic gamma-radiation protected Nokia phone. Of course, it doesn’t help much since Hulk’s phone immediately starts vibrating, setting one Pym particle free and leading to the Jade Giant being shrunk down. Then, while Tony’s freaking out over the miniaturized Hulk, Falcon comes back in with his emergency. His mom’s come to visit, and she doesn’t know he’s an Avenger! -sitcom audience noises-
Iron Man kicks Sam out because this is just too ridiculous, he has a tiny green man he needs to find so Sam immediately runs around the apartment trying to hide evidence that he is in fact The Falcon which might be hard considering that the Avengers Assemble has the diversity of a Macklemore concert and Falcon’s costume covers the side of his head and pretty much nothing else that his coverall SHIELD uniform isn’t. At the very least, The Avengers are super stoked about Mrs. Wilson coming over because they’re all 9, especially Hawkeye who, upon Sam’s Mom’s arrival, gorges on her cookies which leads to the best exchange when Hawkeye can’t find any milk and, mouth full of cookies, screams at Thor who suggests drinking water instead (absence of punctuation intended): “YOU CAN’T WASH COOKIES DOWN WITH WATER GOTTA BE MILK MILK OR NOTHING” Seriously, props to Hawkeye’s voice actor who I just realized is Troy Baker. Small world, huh?
Meanwhile, Ant-Man unveils his newest invention in overcompensation: a gigantic gun that doesn’t really shoot stuff so much as it messes around particles, making the phallic design a bit unnecessary. Hang in there, big guy. Using the mid-life crisis gun, Ant-Man shrinks down and finds Hulk fighting Iron Man’s nano-janitors that are normally asked with cleaning Avengers Tower, because a couple bottles of Febreze just isn’t good enough. Tragically, Hulk smashes the lone Pym Particle, separating it into a cloud of smaller Pym Particles that could shrink the entire Earth. Ant-Man explains this after getting The Hulk out and un-shrinking, then turning up the heat so everyone can conveniently watch the particles fly away. That heat b-t-dubs? 2000 Kelvin. That’s 3129 degrees Fahrenheit, AKA more than Hank Pym should survive. I can buy Iron Man’s suit having the means to survive that but I can’t imagine Ant-Man’s new suit having much more than some Just For Men and an apology letter to 90’s Captain America.
The stray Pym Particles throw the world into chaos by shrinking and growing things at random, like the deadly robot janitors and The Hulk who is shrunken small enough to eat a cookie at least ten times his size. It’s truly magical. However that fun is brought to an end when Tony and Hank are shrunk together into the Microverse (Tony: “Better than working with ants, right?” Hank: “Bug off.”) and so Falcon steps up, stops worrying about whether his mom will find out he’s a superhero, and saves the day with Ant-Man’s sticky deus ex machina gun. Finally ready to tell his mother the truth, Sam reveals that he’s The Falcon to which his mom delivers what is actually the single best line to come from this show: “I don’t know what’s worse, that you think I’m dumb or blind. I HAVE A BLOG!” She then goes on to reveal some more bombshells, namely that she gave Fury her permission to let Sam join The Avengers because he’s actually seventeen.Continued below
Let’s pause for a sec. Winter Soldier did pretty good in theaters right? Like there’s a solid damn chance you saw it if you’re reading this article. There’s an even bigger chance if you’re a child who really enjoys comics. Hell, one of the few reasons I take for Avengers Assemble taking over Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is to make it easier for new readers or whatever. But the disparity between the charismatic veteran/social worker and a literal minor is almost as wild as this episode. I’m not even angry or upset. I have a blog!
Final Verdict: 7.3 – Though the plot is still shallow as what and Hank Pym’s costume is atrocious, at least we got some good one-liners.
Over on Teen Titans Go!, Cyborg and Beast Boy hold a dance competition that ends with them both in tears at each other’s swag. Then Starfire asks to join them, and they agree so long as she agrees not to tell any of the “Uncle Jokes” that Robin constantly tells (“How do you want your steak cooked?” “On a stove!”) She does, becomes hilarious, and then all three of them rap at Robin until he loses his mind, believes himself to be every Titan simultaneously, and smashes up the lawn until Starfire agrees to never strike out on her own again for fear of making her love interest feel even remotely inferior at something.
A year ago I would’ve told you this was madness. Now, I can only tell you it’s Teen Titans Go!
Final Verdict: 6.8 – I don’t feel anything anymore.
Hulk and the Agents of SMASH go to the mall in order to procrastinate from being an actual superhero team. Thankfully, before we get the writers’ keen insights on mall rat culture and Skechers™ stores, Deathlok showed up because he’s pretty popular on Agents of SHIELD. He immediately attacks some teenage girls, calling them monsters to which A-Bomb makes the obvious jokes teenagers being monsters so maybe we didn’t lose all that societal commentary after all. She-Hulk goes after the girl only to find that she’s a Skrull, one who immediately knocks She-Hulk out and replaces her. This lasts for three seconds as She-Hulk smashes through a wall and claims the other one’s an impostor which is all it takes for the agents to punch the would-be She-Hulk in the face, revealing it to actually be the Super-Skrull or as Red Hulk explains all in one breath, “It’s a Super-Skrull! Top dog in a violent race of world-conquering shape shifters.” It’s like Clancy Brown was told the line from across the building and only had ten seconds to make out what he could hear.
Now that they’ve punched out an alien, Deathlok reveals who he is, including his name which provokes A-Bomb to make jokes about band names because he is sincerely the most unlikable person in animation history. Before he can try and pull any memes or something, The Skrulls show up again and punch everyone. Revealing what his deal is, Deathlok reveals that he’s from the future which surprises the Hulks and no one else. I mean, the Marvel Universe is pretty cray but it’s not that implausible that naked zombie robot guy is from the future. Where else is he gonna be from? Arkansas? Because if so, his upcoming solo series is going to be great.
What else is great? The revelation that the mall everyone’s at is actually a spaceship used by the Skrulls in an effort to go all scorched Earth on everyone, a tragedy that Deathlok is currently trying to prevent. So it looks like we got that critique on mall culture after all. You win this round, Agents of SMASH. Unfortunately you don’t win much of the rest of the episode which ends pretty uneventfully (The Hulks and Deathlok stop the Skrulls… yay…) with the sole twist that Deathlok sent the Hulks the flier to the mall so they’d be able to help him. Can you believe it?! I can’t. I can’t believe I almost died to finish this episode.
My building was supposed to have some fire alarm tests so when it went off while I was watching this episode I wasn’t too shocked. Then, after ten minutes of alarms blaring, the noise stopped and eventually my roommate came back and informed me there was an actual fire in the building. A small one, yes, but still; I risked getting hurt so I could find out the big twist that the Agents of SMASH are still susceptible to print fliers. My last act on this Earth could’ve been ironically watching a children’s cartoon and for that this might be the worst episode of Hulk and the Agents of SMASH ever. I mean, it was pretty average but I’m still pretty shellshocked over what my life’s become.
Final Verdict: 0.2 with existential doubt, 5.8 without.