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Old 06-09-2012, 11:36 PM   #94
TMNT 1984-2009
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Brooklyn, NY, US of A
Posts: 21,789
Default Re: Avengers cartoon - Part 5

Next up from the land down under is "ULTRON UNLIMITED", which was probably the crowning jewel of the four episodes I saw this week. It is an episode that Chris Yost seemed to write personally, which is often a sign of passion and quality to come. The villain of the piece is obvious in the title and it is very much a sequel to "BEHOLD...THE VISION" and even in a grander sense, "THE ULTRON IMPERATIVE" last season. While it isn't nearly as good as "UI" was - likely because it only had two episodes of build up as opposed to 3 plus - it still provided a very exciting and at times spooky confrontation with one of the Avengers nearest and dearest foes.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
At the end of "BEHOLD...THE VISION" we learned that Ultron was not only reborn, but had sired a "son" to run errands for him - which included stealing supplies to build a better body for himself. While Vision failed to claim Vibranium, he did deliver all the Adamantium from Weapon X that Ultron needed. Peter Jessop reprises his role as Vision and Tom Kane especially returns as Ultron, and as always Kane is KILLER as the menacing mechanoid. This time Ultron's plan is to capture all of the Avengers and replace them with his "visions of the future", which are emotionless robot duplicates who operate on all logic and zero emotion. To this end Ultron has to capture the Avengers one by one and implant an "uplink" device to the base of the Avengers' skulls to keep them under and I presume download enough of their "data" into their robot doubles. Much like "ASSAULT ON 42" and even "GAMMA WORLD", the episode uses cut-away horror techniques to never quite show exactly where the implants go, implying they're somewhere terrible and painful. The only exception to Ultron's scheme is as usual, the Wasp, who he plans to download into his robotic bride, Jocasta. A part of me does find it ironic that Hank Pym often seems to avoid Janet of late, yet his robotic creation can't seem to get enough of her. Ultron himself sports a new design to go with his Adamantium body, which also bares some inspiration from Ultron's design in ANNIHILATION CONQUEST, and is bad-ass.

I was surprised to see this episode show such a nasty looking burn on Wasp's shoulder and the crux of this episode is Vision's ultimate rebellion against Ultron. In "BEHOLD...THE VISION", Vision was both confused and fascinated - if not frustrated - by the human willingness to continue to fight despite logically impossible odds. While Vision seemed far less powerful in this episode - either he was holding back or some of the damage he suffered via Black Panther's tactics couldn't be totally repaired - he once again got a refresher course in human determination from the determinator himself, Captain America. Speaking of Cap, I called immediately that he was impersonating his duplicate, and I was glad Ultron wasn't fooled either. I was surprised Thor or the others didn't immediately fear their doubles were the result of more Skrulls, although Hawkeye at least makes a reference to that. It was especially strange to see an Ultron battle without Pym (or the Hulk), and I did like the nod to the previous season where Ultron determined that Thor was his greatest physical threat, and later on Thor would prove him right. The little scene between Cap and Hawkeye at the start was good, and while Wasp continues to get beat up a lot in this show, I did like how she was the one to cut through Ultron's bull of attempting to be apart from humanity, yet desperate to replicate at least part of the experience via "building himself a girlfriend" or even a son.

I did find Vision's "solution" to helping defeat Ultron a little crude, which is probably why I don't consider this as good as Ultron's first appearance. In this case it was a sequel which wasn't quite as good as the original. That said, it was still a very good episode spotlighting another memorable confrontation with one of the franchise's best villains with some great character designs and acting from the VA booth. Corey Burton gets a lot of well deserved praise as Brainiac in DC Animation, and I feel Tom Kane deserves similar credit for his role as Ultron here, which he did reprise since being originally cast in the role in the DTV "NEXT AVENGERS" years back. Kane's Ultron was arguably the best thing about that flick, and it is great that this series gave him better heroes to battle against. I did find the ending scene with Vision touching, although some fans may be miffed that it didn't include the "even an android can cry" moment from the comics. Personally I think it might have been a little over the top in this particular episode, so I didn't miss it and thought the scene was still effective. Overall, considering Vision's last TV appearance was in the dreadful "AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND" from 1999-2000, this show has done a great deal to redeem him as well. In it Vision's been both a mysterious bad-ass as well as the robot who wants to be a man that Avengers fans know and love. Even if Wasp was still right on to complain about his choice of colors.

Great episode; not the best the show has ever done with Ultron, but still a damn good time and an effective use of the title villain. I got a great kick out of it and this was easily my favorite episode since "SECRET INVASION".

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