Rumor has it Marvel is ending all of its current animated TV shows. Marvel Animation currently have three shows airing on Disney XD. The flagship series, Avengers Assemble, launched in 2013 as the successor to Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Two years later, it was followed by a new Guardians of the Galaxy series, and most recently by the latest Spider-Man relaunch.
All three shows are heavily inspired by the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and are designed to capitalize on the success of the movies. Surprisingly, though, there are now rumors that all three shows are going to be cancelled soon.
According to The Tomb of the Cartoon Monkey Skeleton blog, all three shows are going on hiatus. The site adds that the series' crews are being laid off, with outstanding work to be completed over the next few months. It may seem like an inauspicious source at first glance, but this particular blogger has strong industry connections. They worked in the animated industry for over 40 years before retiring; over the years, they've proven to be very reliable. What's more, the blogger notes that they have spoken to actual crew members about the future of the shows, which adds an extra degree of credibility to the report.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this rumor is the timing of it all. Just over a month ago, Marvel Animation announced work on a new animated movie, Marvel Rising. It will feature a whole new team, with a voice cast that includes Dove Cameron, Chloe Bennet, and Milana Vayntrub. Bennet will be providing the voice for Quake, who she's played in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the past five seasons. Vayntrub will be voicing Squirrel Girl, and will also be starring as Squirrel Girl in the developing New Warriors live-action TV show. Appropriately enough, Cameron will once again be voicing the part of Spider-Gwen, newly christened "Ghost Spider" in-universe.
It's possible Marvel Animation is changing strategy, intending to refocus on animated films going forward. Marvel has no doubt noted the success of rival DC Animation and its popular series of animated direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray movies. It's true that there have been some missteps (The Killing Joke, for example, featured a much-criticized Batgirl sub-plot), but on the whole fans have been more content with DC's animated offerings than with Marvel's of late. A pivot like this would make sense.
Right now, this is only a rumor - albeit one from a well-connected, believable source. We'll keep you up-to-date as we learn more about Marvel Animation's plans.
Spider-Man returns to Disney XD on January 21. Guardians of the Galaxy season 2 is expected to return on Disney XD on February 27.