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  1. #1
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    Default Avengers: United They Stand

    So with the Avengers haven gotten a lot of spotlight both in and out of comics, I thought I'd talk a little about the first attempt to bring the team into the general public's view the animated series Avengers: United They Stand.

    I remember watching the first ep of this show and being intrigued by it but looking back it hasn't aged well. I daresay it's aged far worse than the Fox Spider-Man and X-Men series. The animation looks cheap and stilted, the voice acting ranges from bored to over the top, the story lines lack flair and interest and the Super Sentai inspired transformation sequences are so blatant in their purpose for merchandising, it makes Transformers and Power Ranger look subtle. But the area that this show really fails in is the team. I wasn't bothered by the fact that the "Big Three" wasn't present in this. Pretty much every adaptation of super hero teams from the Big Two had changed the roster. And I always admire trying to get B/C-list characters into the mainstream.

    The problem is that instead of trying to show what made the Avengers unique, the writers pretty much took the traits and dynamic shown in the X-Men cartoon and slapped them unto the Avengers:

    • Ant-Man is the straight-laced, stoic leader ala Scott Summers

      His girlfriend, the Wasp, serves the same role as the useless red-headed girl like Jean Grey (yeah, the writers copied even the bad parts of X-Men)

      Scarlet Witch invokes mystical forces in battles like Storm and is just as hammy

      Tigra is the boisterous, Southern gal who loves to fight just like Rogue

      Falcon serves the role as the audience surrogate like Jubilee did in the X-Men series

      Hawkeye is the loud, temperamental rebel like Wolverine

      Wonder Man gets captured in the opening episodes just like Morph


    The show ran for 13 episodes before being cancelled. Plans for a second season included Hawkeye returning to the carnival he grew up in and the origin of Scarlet Witch's powers. There were also plans for a crossover with the X-Men animated series.

    The theme song is a blast to listen to though.


  2. #2
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    No Captain America.... No Iron Man... No Thor... (though they were in the opening credits) I could never consider that team 'the Avengers'. All Three are needed for a GREAT Avengers team... however, they COULD have gotten by with only one or two...

    NONE though?? Yeah, I really hated what little I saw of that. 7 characters who I considered C-list at best... and they didn't even get the costumes right.

  3. #3
    BCB 4sake Baned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    So with the Avengers haven gotten a lot of spotlight both in and out of comics, I thought I'd talk a little about the first attempt to bring the team into the general public's view the animated series Avengers: United They Stand.

    I remember watching the first ep of this show and being intrigued by it but looking back it hasn't aged well. I daresay it's aged far worse than the Fox Spider-Man and X-Men series. The animation looks cheap and stilted, the voice acting ranges from bored to over the top, the story lines lack flair and interest and the Super Sentai inspired transformation sequences are so blatant in their purpose for merchandising, it makes Transformers and Power Ranger look subtle. But the area that this show really fails in is the team. I wasn't bothered by the fact that the "Big Three" wasn't present in this. Pretty much every adaptation of super hero teams from the Big Two had changed the roster. And I always admire trying to get B/C-list characters into the mainstream.

    The problem is that instead of trying to show what made the Avengers unique, the writers pretty much took the traits and dynamic shown in the X-Men cartoon and slapped them unto the Avengers:

    • Ant-Man is the straight-laced, stoic leader ala Scott Summers

      His girlfriend, the Wasp, serves the same role as the useless red-headed girl like Jean Grey (yeah, the writers copied even the bad parts of X-Men)

      Scarlet Witch invokes mystical forces in battles like Storm and is just as hammy

      Tigra is the boisterous, Southern gal who loves to fight just like Rogue

      Falcon serves the role as the audience surrogate like Jubilee did in the X-Men series

      Hawkeye is the loud, temperamental rebel like Wolverine

      Wonder Man gets captured in the opening episodes just like Morph


    The show ran for 13 episodes before being cancelled. Plans for a second season included Hawkeye returning to the carnival he grew up in and the origin of Scarlet Witch's powers. There were also plans for a crossover with the X-Men animated series.

    The theme song is a blast to listen to though.

    Good points and never really looked at it that way bef

  4. #4
    Mighty Member Byakko's Avatar
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    I didn't watch the show, but out of curiosity I picked up the comic miniseries they made based on the show, and honestly, it was fun. Like, old-school superhero fun. It's worth checking out. The only problem is the very '90s' re-designs, what with superficial armor on everyone.

  5. #5
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    Avengers Assemble is going down the same path.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc chaos View Post
    Avengers Assemble is going down the same path.
    In what way? The team is still pretty iconic and the costumes are mostly accurate. There's a little good humored tongue in cheek going on... but I don't see any resemblance to that train wreck. :P

  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member t hedge coke's Avatar
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    United They Stand had a fantastic comic tie-in. Solid Avengers book.
    Patsy Walker on TV! Patsy Walker in new comics! Patsy Walker in your brain! And Jessica Jones is the new Nancy! (Oh, and read the Comics Cube.)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byakko View Post
    I didn't watch the show, but out of curiosity I picked up the comic miniseries they made based on the show, and honestly, it was fun. Like, old-school superhero fun. It's worth checking out. The only problem is the very '90s' re-designs, what with superficial armor on everyone.
    Any idea where I can find it today?

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Mary Jay's Avatar
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    People seem to dismiss the most this cartoon primarily because of the team itself rather than other things. I personally didn't have a problem with the team because it resembled closely the West Coast Avengers team, and I'm a fan of WCA. I would have traded SW for Mockingbird, but that's just personal preference.

    But I have to admit the cartoon suffers from many flaws. The armour-thingies are probably the worst for me, clearly aimed at selling merchandise, along with that animated "transformation" that took up a chunk of story-time for absolutely no good reason. The voice acting started out real bad in the first few episodes, but got better in general after that. SW's catch phrase before executing a spell quickly got on my nerves, and was completely unnecessary. The comics derived from the show were very good though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Jay View Post
    People seem to dismiss the most this cartoon primarily because of the team itself rather than other things. I personally didn't have a problem with the team because it resembled closely the West Coast Avengers team, and I'm a fan of WCA. I would have traded SW for Mockingbird, but that's just personal preference.

    But I have to admit the cartoon suffers from many flaws. The armour-thingies are probably the worst for me, clearly aimed at selling merchandise, along with that animated "transformation" that took up a chunk of story-time for absolutely no good reason. The voice acting started out real bad in the first few episodes, but got better in general after that. SW's catch phrase before executing a spell quickly got on my nerves, and was completely unnecessary. The comics derived from the show were very good though.
    I thought the team roster was fine myself. It's how they were portrayed that rubbed me the wrong way.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Mary Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    No Captain America.... No Iron Man... No Thor... (though they were in the opening credits) I could never consider that team 'the Avengers'. All Three are needed for a GREAT Avengers team... however, they COULD have gotten by with only one or two...

    NONE though?? Yeah, I really hated what little I saw of that. 7 characters who I considered C-list at best... and they didn't even get the costumes right.
    It's funny because when I said in another thread that my ideal Avengers team would probably consist of the EMH roster from season one plus Vision, people figuratively flung crap at me for "not being open-minded"

    Having said that, I can understand your point of view. But for me, all the characters on UTS were real and genuine Avengers so the team was fine by me.

    The costumes were another matter altogether, with those armors and everything. Hawkeye's costume was a wardrobe disaster, with or without an armor on. Scarlet Witch had way too much purple on. A Jan with long hair looked a bit weird but the costume wasn't too bad, although the armor one with the extra arms looked too strange for my taste. I did like Tigra's looks, showing more modesty for a show aimed primarily at children Simon's costume was close to the comics one, Falcon's wasn't too bad either, and I liked the reversed colors on Ant-Man/Giant-Man's suit (although having read Secret Avengers, it sort of reminds me of Black Ant now...) And Vision, well... still looked like Vision

    But the armors... didn't like a single one. Didn't like the concept of them, especially since it added strictly nothing to their capabilities as Avengers. On the plus side, we got a real in-the-flesh Jarvis in there. Wait... did I dream that, or was Jarvis in a few episodes?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Jay View Post
    People seem to dismiss the most this cartoon primarily because of the team itself rather than other things. I personally didn't have a problem with the team because it resembled closely the West Coast Avengers team, and I'm a fan of WCA. I would have traded SW for Mockingbird, but that's just personal preference.

    But I have to admit the cartoon suffers from many flaws. The armour-thingies are probably the worst for me, clearly aimed at selling merchandise, along with that animated "transformation" that took up a chunk of story-time for absolutely no good reason. The voice acting started out real bad in the first few episodes, but got better in general after that. SW's catch phrase before executing a spell quickly got on my nerves, and was completely unnecessary. The comics derived from the show were very good though.
    I think the main issue with a lot of people is they wanted a "definitive" Avengers right out of the gate and it's hard for them to see a series as "definitive" without the Big Three. Personally, I didn't mind because the less popular characters are the ones I generally read Avengers for. They're characters I usually can't see anywhere else. I didn't mind the armor at first because I'm a big superhero tokusatsu fan. However, it got to be too much when they started having the transformation scene multiple times in an episode or when they'd give them "jungle armor" for no real reason (why wouldn't their regular armor work just as well in the jungle?). I liked some of the things they were doing. They were starting to make Jan's past more interesting in the very final episodes by making her the daughter of a weapons manufacturer who had a connection to Taurus from the Zodiac Cartel (though, maybe this is too much like Iron Man for some folks' tastes). However, looking back the main issue with the show is that the storytelling was just a bit clunky. There were some good bits but the delivery of them was just not up to par.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Byakko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Any idea where I can find it today?
    If it's not on Marvel Unlimited (my sub's done, and their search function is terrible), then you'd have to find 'unofficially'. It was written by Ty Templeton and wasn't a complete series, it stopped after seven books.

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Jay View Post
    along with that animated "transformation" that took up a chunk of story-time for absolutely no good reason.
    Animation budget, mostly. They took the practice from the Japanese shows that were popular at the time (as they did with the whole stupid merchandise-driven battle armor), where they would reuse transformation or power up sequences in every episode to save money.

    Quote Originally Posted by t hedge coke View Post
    United They Stand had a fantastic comic tie-in. Solid Avengers book.
    Templeton even came up with a decent explanation for the silly battle armor.
    Last edited by Holt; 10-02-2015 at 09:58 AM.

  15. #15
    Were You There? Michael P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Jay View Post
    People seem to dismiss the most this cartoon primarily because of the team itself rather than other things.
    The team was fine. It was the writing, voice acting, and animation that was awful.

    And that damned armor. No, Saban. Just no.
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