Marvel Animation held a panel at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) this weekend led by Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and producer Josh Fine to discuss the state of the Marvel's animated entertainment branch. If you enjoy the animated superheroes of television, this is the panel breakdown you want to read. Among others, Quesada and Fine discussed the future of shows like Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and The Super Hero Squad Show: Season 2.
Although I can't show you the footage shown at the panel, it is worth noting that fans of The Super Hero Squad Show will be more than pleased. An exclusive clip from the television series was full of hilarious bits, including an extended gag poking fun at the conventions like C2E2. The style seems similar to the Adult Swim show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, only geared for young kids as a way to introduce them to the Marvel Universe.
The highlight of the panel was a never-before-seen trailer for the upcoming show Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The teaser was darn cool, presenting a level of intensity mirroring the latest style of superhero films. If the Avengers film is anything like it, anxious movie fans can rest easy. At one point in the teaser, an entire city peninsula resembling Manhattan rose from the water into the sky, a la the kryptonite island in Superman Returns.
Depending on what shows you watch or any you may hope to see, the bits of information Marvel revealed should get you excited about the upcoming slate of animation.
Season 2 of the well-received show is coming along nicely. As Quesada put it, "We are feverishly working on season 2." The show will be introducing new characters, including Bucky, Captain Marvel, Hercules and Zeus. As mentioned before, the scene they showed looks to appeal to the crowd the show has been thriving on: young kids. But everybody in attendance seemed to enjoy the humor, so it could simply appeal to everybody.
The Avengers have quickly become a hot commodity in the superhero entertainment world, as anticipation for the feature film grows with every passing week. The team is making noise in other platforms as well, with a new show releasing at an undetermined date. Quesada claims it will be "bigger than anything we've ever done." The teaser shown at the panel proves he may be right.
Compiling the original Avengers team of Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Ant Man, Wasp and Black Panther, the show is wonderfully animated and seems to have enough of a serious tone to keep modern comic fans happy. Amongst the original characters, some new and old names will have big supporting roles as well.
"The great thing about this series is that we really touch upon areas of the Marvel Universe you expect us to hit and some of the lesser known ones you might not expect us to explore."
Those characters include Loki, Hawkeye, Ultron, Black Widow, Kang the Conqueror and much of Hydra. The shows has a wide scope and looks to implement many of the successful aspects of Marvel's history into a contemporary story that will complement the upcoming films, but not directly influence them.
Quesada coyly answered a question about the film's influences by stating that both the film and cartoon show feed off each other, but the look and sounds of the animation is a derivative of what you see in the movies. This can be seen most evidently in the animated portrayal of Tony Stark, which has a profound resemblance to Robert Downey, Jr.'s performance.
Iron Man: Armored Adventures
Season 2 of the Iron Man animated show is in production and there will be 26 episodes. Quesada and Fine were clear about the potential for a successful show: "It is bigger and better than the 1st season. More armors, more weapons. It's epic. More armor per script than can be imagined."
A new Spider-Man show will be premiering on Disney XD in Fall of 2011, essentially replacing the other spidey-centric television show The Spectacular Spider-Man. Josh Fine went on to explain Sony had the rights to Spectacular Spider-Man, so this announcement has no bearing on the show, but he has not heard anything about it continuing. Joe Quesada said this will be "different than most Spider-Man shows."
Marvel Knights Animation
Keep an eye on the headlines if you've been waiting for news regarding Marvel Knights Animation, as the panel told the audience to prepare for an upcoming announcement regarding a new and exciting show. Iron Man Extremis is a part of the animation branch and will undoubtedly be their most anticipated of the upcoming season.
Wolverine and the X-Men
"Unfortunately we have been unable to work out the financing for the show...we will not be moving forward with season 2 of Wolverine and the X-Men."
For those curious as to whether the recent merging of Disney and Marvel means a possible Pixar and Marvel movie, don't hold your breath. Quesada was quick to point out the two are only in the early stages of their relationship and still need to time to get used to each other. It has only been four months since the two companies made the game-changing deal and while the future is bright for the two, nothing is on the table just yet.
"Marvel Pixar. Perfect, right? And you know it would be spectacular to see. I think it's way too soon."
"The Disney family has been incredibly excited about having us. We've been talking about all the different avenues in which we can have Marvel in their world as well as our world."
An audience member did pry Quesada for a blurb about upcoming films, but the CCO was either tight-lipped or simply had nothing to divulge. He claimed they are focused on making other animated shows with a heavy dose of Marvel films currently in the works for the coming years.
Plenty of interesting information for the television world of Marvel Animation. There is plenty of passion from the creators to instill a level of focus in producing quality television with shows that capture all the markets, even if they have to go one demographic at a time. Nearly every medium for comic book characters is filled with projects at the moment and the ability to work with Disney has only improved the process.
What do you think of the updates from Marvel? Are you disappointed some shows will be off the air or excited for others that will be presented? Share you comments below.