C2E2: Marvel Animation Panel

Published 3 years ago by , Updated October 16th, 2011 at 6:24 am,

marvel animation c2e2 C2E2: Marvel Animation Panel

Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel’s television division, came to C2E2 in Chicago today with plenty of news about Marvel’s current and upcoming animation projects. The hour-long panel included information on Marvel’s motion comics division Marvel Knights, Marvel Anime, the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and more.

Loeb also showed a brand-new episode of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and gave C2E2 attendees the chance to watch a full episode of the Wolverine Anime that airs on G4 this summer (and has been playing in Japan since January).

Read on for a wrap-up all the Marvel animation information, as well as a mini-review of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes episode. (SPOILER ALERT: It was awesome.)

ultimate spider man1 C2E2: Marvel Animation Panel

Ultimate Spider-Man

Last year, Marvel put together an all-star creative team to develop an animated series based on Ultimate Spider-Man, the first and most popular series in Marvel’s “Ultimate” universe. Just some of the names involved in the series include Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series), Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey, Joe Kelly and Steven T. Seagle (the team behind Ben 10).

During the panel, Loeb presented a preview of Ultimate Spider-Man and talked a bit about the series. Loeb told us that, not only is Paul Dini producing the show, but he also wrote the pilot episode. Furthermore, Brian Michael Bendis, who created Ultimate Spider-Man, also wrote two episodes of the show. Both announcements were met with enthusiastic praise from the fans in attendance.

As for the actual footage, Loeb was only able to show us an animation test. The short preview depicted Spidey doing his usual web-slinging thing, taking out a bad guy while also receiving orders from SHIELD head Nick Fury. All the while, the voice of J. Jonah Jameson is booming in the background, shouting about Spider-Man being a “menace.” And wouldn’t you know, the voice of J. Jonah was none other than J.K. Simmons. (Maybe that will take some of the sting out of Simmons not appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man.)

There wasn’t a ton to see, but the kid-friendly Ultimate Spider-Man show is definitely something we’ll be keeping on our radar. Ultimate Spider-Man comes to Disney XD in 2012.

The Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes C2E2: Marvel Animation Panel

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes aired its first season on Disney XD last year. The action-packed series, geared toward the pre-teen demographic, is modeled in part around the upcoming Avengers movie and all of its lead-in films (an ingenious way for Marvel to capitalize on the success of its movies).

After talking a bit about how Marvel runs its writers’ rooms, Loeb showed off a full episode of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Loeb said that the episode we were seeing might be the opener for Season 2, but he wasn’t sure. Keep on reading for my mini-review.

The episode starts off with The Avengers facing off against the Serpent Society. Hank Pym (Ant Man/Giant Man) tries to intercede in the fight, but it quickly becomes clear that neither the bad guys or good guys are willing to stand down. Pym’s pacifist ways are put to the test in the first of several awesome fight scenes. A couple of moments elicited serious “oohs” and “aahs” from the fans.

Later, back at Avengers HQ, Pym continues work on his robot Ultron, which he hopes will bring peace to the world. Of course, fans of Marvel Comics know that Ultron is anything but peaceful. Once Ultron’s dark side is revealed, the rest of the episode revolves around Captain America, Black Panther, Hawkeye and the rest of the Avengers fighting the evil robot. During the battle, something major happens to Thor, but I won’t spoil it here.

The final fight with Ultron, which features an awesome appearance by The Hulk, is full of great action. It’s not overly violent, but it’s terrifically animated and very entertaining. Let me put it this way: If I was 11, this would definitely be my favorite show. According to Loeb, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will return to Disney XD in May, after the release of Thor.

Marvel Anime Wolverine C2E2: Marvel Animation Panel

Marvel Anime

Marvel has been in collaboration with legendary Japanese animation studio Madhouse for years on the development of four unique Marvel Anime series (Iron Man, X-Men, Wolverine and Blade). Last week, we shared the first trailer from Marvel’s new X-Men Anime series. Today at C2E2, Jeph Loeb shared a sneak peek at the Iron Man Anime and talked a bit more about the series.

The first season of the Iron Man anime has already aired in Japan, but it won’t air on G4 until later this year. The Iron Man anime footage we saw was about two-minutes long and mostly consisted of Tony Stark fighting a pilot in an Iron Man Dio suit. At the end of the scene, Iron Man is attacked by Scorpio.

Loeb revealed that Scorpio, who has a long history in the comics, ties into the criminal organization Zodiac, which will play a significant role in the first season of the series. Loeb then showed off a full episode of the Wolverine anime. Because it was a full episode and an upcoming American premiere (the series has already begun in Japan), we’re writing up a separate review. Check back to Screen Rant for our review soon.
thor loki blood brothers C2E2: Marvel Animation Panel

Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers

During the animation panel, Jeph Loeb also played two trailers for Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers, the next release from Marvel Knights (Marvel’s motion comics division). Later, during the Cup of Joe panel, with Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, Marvel also brought the audience the full first installment of the motion comic.

Last year at C2E2, I reviewed the Iron Man: Extremis motion comic. While I thought the animation was interesting, I felt it lacked a certain fluidity. It’s amazing to see how much Marvel has improved in just a year. Thor and Loki: Blood Brothers, based on a 2004 miniseries by Robert Rodi and Esad Ribic, is beautiful to behold.

I’m still not sure that motion comics are the next wave of comic book story-telling, but Blood Brothers was a very impressive example of how much better the style has gotten. To me, it looked like each character was much less stiff than in previous motion comics I’ve seen. In battle, Thor and Loki actually moved like they were in an animated show, rather than a couple of cardboard cut-outs.

Ruwan Jayatilleke, who produces the Marvel Knights releases, should be extremely proud of his work. If Marvel keeps producing high-quality motion comics like this, the company will undoubtedly gain an impressive new revenue stream, particularly on digital devices such as the iPhone or iPad.

Check out Screen Rant’s homepage for more coverage from C2E2.

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TAGS: spider-man, the avengers, the avengers earths mightiest heroes, the wolverine, thor

17 Comments

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  1. Who Dini?

    • Paul Dini was a producer on Batman: The Animated Series, as well as a number of other popular animated superhero shows. It’s amazing that Marvel was able to snag him, along with Eric Radomski, from DC/Warner Bros. That’s a huge coup for Marvel.

  2. Hey there, Ruwan @ Marvel–producer on Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers. Appreciate the shout-out and thank you for giving the Marvel knights Animation a shot especially when you weren’t entirely enticed by Iron man Extremis which I also worked on. I think both projects are great and enjoyed working on the, I do thinkin we stepped up a number of things in Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers to not only support the story, but really push this type of animation forward.

    Best,

    R

    • WOW, someone from Marvel actually reads Screenrant! Just wanted to say you people at Marvel are doing a great job and am looking forward to the new shows being worked on.

      I also want to say I think the New Avengers animated series is excellent work and am enjoying the interaction of the heroes quite a bit. I don’t know if I can say it’s better than Justice League Unlimited but it’s pretty close :)

      I can only hope the series continues to be renewed because I am tired of investing my time in a show and start to really like it, only to have it pulled after only 1 season (the last Fantastic Four show is a prime example)

      • mongoose,

        Lot’s of people in the industry read Screen Rant, bud. :)

        Vic

        • I wasn’t implying they didn’t Vic! It’s just with so many similar sites out there you never really know who exactly is reading which one unless they post and announce it like Ruwan did.

          I actually wish more industry people would stop lurking and start posting. Would be nice to know we all here aren’t just “ranting” to each other and the people that count (that being the decision makers the articles are written about) are getting the message.

          • mongoose,

            That might have come across wrong – I wasn’t trying to “school” you – some of our own writers didn’t realize at one point how widely read we are in the industry.

            Vic

    • Hi Ruwan,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment on our article. I enjoyed checking out Marvel’s animation panel this year, and your team’s work on Thor & Loki was definitely a highlight.

      Last year at C2E2, you told the audience during the Extremis screening/panel that you were looking to play around with 3D architecture a bit more to give the illusion of depth. It seemed like that happened with Thor & Loki.

      Thanks again for the comment. I look forward to seeing more from Marvel Knights.

      -Rob

      • Hey, Rob,

        No problem–this animation wouldn’t work without the dedication of the creative team and the support/coverage of folks like yourself. Thor & Loki is definitely moving Marvel Knight Animation in the right direction and while no piece of content is perfect…I am looking forward to people enjoying it…and then stepping it up on the next project.

        Cbeers!

        R

        p.s.–that Wolverine anime was awesome, I thought. That was the first time I saw it.

  3. I love Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! It has so many references to the comics that only Marvel fans would catch. I always right Justice League Unlimited was the best superhero show, but for a person who’s more acquainted with the Marvel Universe than DC’s it’s more satisfying to watch this show and get all the little references. So thank you Marvel and keep up the great work!

  4. And btw I’m super exited for the Ultimate Spider-Man show! I love Spectacular Spidey and I hope that this show will be even better and have the same feeling of the comics that it’s based off of.

  5. I’m not sure I want to invest myself into another spidey cartoon since Marvel left me High and dry with Spectacular Spiderman and Wolverine and the x-men

    • Hi Yeti,

      A lot of folks at C2E2 liked Spectacular Spiderman, but that cartoon was developed by Sony, so Marvel had little to do with it. Ultimate Spider-Man will be produced by Marvel with Sony as a partner.

      -Rob

      • Thanks for clearing that up Rob now i can go back to focusing all my anger at phony Sony, I must say that the new Avengers cartoon is awesome and after I read this article I went online and watched some of the episodes of the Wolverine anime and it looks very promising but of course they’re gonna put kid gloves on it when they americanize it so that will suck

  6. I’m definitely loving the Avengers cartoon. The only small problem I have is the animation; I wish Marvel would go back to something similar to the X-Men cartoon of the 90s. We who have been loyal to the cartoon knew that Ultron was coming after the fight with Kang the Conqueror. I also know, from the comics, that Thor would be eventually trapped by Loki in the realm of Hel and eventually rescued by loyal Asgardians. I just wonder if they (Marvel) are leading up to this story.

    • If they do the Avengers Asgardian tales, its going to be kinda sucky if the new mutants or the xmen arent in it that was a great cross over.

  7. Blood Brothers looks very promising.