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Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow DVD Review

On DVD and Blu-ray 9/2/08
On DVD and Blu-ray 9/2/08

A Fun Adventure That Isn't Watered Down For Kids

I got to see this movie in San Diego at Comic-Con.  I've already posted my thoughts and what Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost had to say when I sat down to talk with them.  You can read that here

Here is the official synopsis:

Whenever the forces of evil threatened mankind, Earth's mightiest heroes the Avengers were there to stop them — until they made the ultimate sacrifice in their final fight with the indestructible robot, Ultron.  But all was not lost for Tony Stark (Iron Man) kept the children of the Avengers safe and raised them to become the teenage heroes of tomorrow. Now James (Son of Captain America and Black Widow), Torunn (Daughter of Thor), Azari (Son of the Black Panther), and Pym (Son of Wasp and Giant Man) must finish the fight their parents started. Soon the arrow-slinging son of Hawkeye will join their ranks but it will take more than five teens to destroy the machine that defeated their parents. If these young heroes have any hope of winning they must find the missing Hulk and come together as… the Next Avengers!

The funny thing is, I've seen a lot of people bash this before they've even seen it.  Here's what I wrote after I first saw the movie back in July:

Thoughts after SDCC World Premiere

As I sort of alluded to in the beginning, I wasn't really too keen on this.  I did have some faith since Kyle and Yost's other movies have been done so well.  In the beginning it felt a little like "Avengers Lite."  The visuals, colors and character designs were all nice.  The home of the kids felt alive.  I liked the little touch like Cap's son being named James (after Bucky, obviously).  They did talk to each other like kids.  They feel they know everything when they most likely don't.

Is this strictly for kids?  Not really.  Some of the actions scenes surprised me.  They weren't near what I saw on Hulk Versus Wolverine the night before but the battle between Iron Man and Ultron was pretty brutal.  Ultron is portrayed as pretty menacing.  Just the glow of his mouth could give some children nightmares.

I have to say that I liked it.  It wasn't what I expected it to be.  It was more.  It was nice talking to the guys before seeing it.  What they said really makes sense.  You can see that this is a different movie but that's not a bad thing.

I liked it but what about the other Comic-conners?  There were very loud cheers and laughs.  More than I would've expected.  The screening was towards the end of the evening.  So it wasn't simply a room full of "kids" watching.  The brief Question and Answer at the end had several people stating that they would like more of these characters.   Craig has said that he could easily see this as the beginning of a series of movies of ongoing Saturday Morning cartoon.  What it comes down to (again) is viewer support.  The studio exec's need to know that it'd be financially meaningful.

One thing I wondered was if their story did continue, what would happen next?  The ending is set up so that they do still have loose ends to tie up.  As mentioned, the world was in a bad place.  I wasn't the only one with this thought.  Chris said that the other villains of the world are still out there.  They could've been in hiding all these years.  There's a "milion places to go" with the characters.


When I received the DVD last week, I decided to watch it again just to make sure I wasn't caught up in the excitement at Comic-Con.  There's also the fact that I didn't mind watching it again.  It is a fun movie.  Yes there are kids in it but that's not a reason to dismiss it.  Think about what happened to their parents.  They were slaughtered by Ultron.  The kids go on an adventure but it gets to a point where it isn't so much fun.  Their lives are in danger.  The movie doesn't contain the same level of threat that you'd see on a Saturday Morning Cartoon.  The kids are written in a realistic way.  They talk to each other the way kids or siblings do.  They bicker and tease.  They also think they're invulnerable like a lot of today's youth seem to think.  They get a rude awakening and evolve because of it.

The character designs were well thought out.  The details in their looks, powers, environments and personalities were all well thought out.  It's simply a really good looking animated movie.  Ultron rocked as he and Iron Man battled each other.  "Old" Hulk was great.  I really did enjoy this movie. It did what it set out to do.  I had fun and was entertained.  I was pulled into this futuristic world and found myself caring about the characters. 

Is this movie for everyone?  Probably not.  I know there will be some people out there that think they might be too "cool" to watch a movie about kid superheroes.   It'd be a shame to simply dismiss it because of that.  It may be about kids but it's not about rainbows and puppy dogs.  It's a movie that's worth seeing.

I give it a 4 out 5.  It's close to a 4.5.  The idea was to give new heroes to the next generation of Marvel fans.  I am still part of the older set.  Obviously I would've liked to see more "familiar" characters but for new characters, they were good.  They had their parents' traits yet still had their own personalities.

Special Features

  • Legacy - The Making of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow  -  A making of feature.  You get to see sketches of the character designs.  It's also cool to hear Craig Kyle, Chris Yost, (Supervising Director/Producer) Gary Hartle and (Exec. Producer) Eric S. Rullman talk about creating this movie.  You can see that they did put some effort into making this.  As Chris Yost says, if you're looking for a "fun good hearted adventure with some heroic kids then this one's for you."
  • Kid Power: Next-Gen Marvel  -  A feature on the current crop of 'kids' in comics such as Yost and Kyle's New X-Men, Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, Power Pack and Mini Marvels.  Chris Yost puts it well when he says writing the kids is like writing Spider-Man at the beginning of his career, as a fifteen year old.  The point is also made that it is important to have comics geared towards kids.  We have to ensure that the comic medium doesn't die out.
  • First Look: Hulk Vs Wolverine  -  A four minute feature on the film.  You also get to see a little of Deadpool in action.  Craig Kyle mentions that they brought him in because he hadn't been done before and his appearance here isn't suitable for Saturday Morning Cartoons.
  • First Look: Hulk Vs Thor  -  Another four minute feature on the grand tale of Hulk invading Asgard.