Marvel Studios is really stacking the deck for the release of The Avengers movie. We already know about Marvel’s two-year plan to release stand-alone films for its Avengers roster, before the team unites to take center stage in 2011. However it seems as though the big screen isn’t a big enough venue for Marvel’s Avengers roll-out, because the small screen is being included in the campaign effort too.

Marvel recently announced a slew of  new animated series, including an Avengers cartoon which will debut (you guessed it) in 2011, just in time for The Avengers live-action film to hit theaters.

(Talk about total market saturation.)

Entitled The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the animated series will feature the roster of Captain America, Iron-man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-man and Wasp… the same characters rumored to be filling out the roster of the live-action movie. (Does this count as confirmation that Eva Longoria will  be playing the Wasp in the live-action movie?)

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will consist of 26 half-hour episodes, which will be produced by Film Roman (The Simpsons), and will likely tackle story lines that are arguably “too comic book” for the big screen, while incorporating a rogues gallery of familiar villains. Check out the official synopsis from Marvel Studios:

When the planet is threatened by Super Villains, time traveling conquerors [Kang], alien invaders [Kree/Skrulls], mythical monsters [???] and mad robots bent on the total destruction of humanity [Ultron], when forces of evil are so overwhelming that no single hero has the power to save the world, when there is no hope left…the Avengers assemble!

[Sidebar: anyone remember which “mythical monsters” were part of the Avengers’ rogue gallery?]

However, The Avengers aren’t the only Marvel characters getting the cartoon treatment. As mentioned, the studio has a slew of animated series slated for release between 2009 and the 2010-2011 Marvel-domination campaign. Also coming out under the Marvel cartoon banner will be Marvel Super Hero Squad, The Black Panther (2009), Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man: Armored Adventures (Nicktoons, 2009).

(Awesome, can’t wait for “Marvel Super Hero Squad,” whatever THAT is.)

As it stands, Marvel is none too shy about admitting to their total market (over?) saturation strategy. As Marvel President of Animation, Eric Rollman, tells it:

“The addition of ‘The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ to our quickly expanding animation slate continues our plan to complement each of our tentpole live action features with an animated series,” said Rollman. “This new ensemble series tracks perfectly with our highly anticipated ‘Road to the Avengers’ strategy…”

So many eggs getting placed in one basket. The Avengers movie had better knock it out of the park for Marvel like The Dark Knight did for Warner Bros., or the studio is going to be seeing a lot of red ink – and I’m not talking about their logo.

As for the animated series? Meh. I’ve made the argument before and I’ll make it again: DC has always been a step above Marvel in the cartoon business, and from the looks of that promo poster for The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, it too will fail to compare to a fine example like Justice League Unlimited. But that’s just my opinion.

What’s your take on it?

Source: MTV News