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Avengers – The Casket of Ancient Winters

During the lengthy hiatus that Avengers took, I had forgotten how much I love this show.  After airing 19 marvelous episodes, it took a break, but has returned to assemble the final few storylines before the grand season finale.  This first of the new episodes is the Casket of Ancient Winters. One of the tricky parts of writing a superhero team is that the audience has to accept all of the different origin stories, and various kinds of superpowers.  In the Avengers, there is magic, aliens, time-travel, and super-science.  The producers require that the audience suspend their disbelief for such, but this episode directly addresses the fact that the show has magic thunder gods standing right next to techno cyborg men in robot suits. 

This issue is addressed through Thor and Iron Man finding themselves at odds over whether or not technology and magic cause more harm than good, while Black Panther is used to show the balance between them.  This episode is similar to the “Old VS New” theme that was used between Iron Man and Captain America during the Kang the Conqueror story line. During the Kang story, Iron Man learned to appreciate the contributions of outdated technology, but this time around, the lesson we learn is that both sides are correct, and all they have to do is find a way to work together. 

The “Let’s find a way to work together” storyline is a bit of a cliché, but it’s still enjoyable to see it play out over the course of the episode, particularly because the dialog is so funny.  Iron Man calls the Casket of Ancient Winters a “Magic box from imagination land” in one scene, and there’s also a lot of fun had with Wasp and Hawkeye nonchalantly lounging by the Avengers pool while Thor Panther and Iron Man are battling a supervillain.


This episode also features the most direct cameo appearance of the Fantastic Four yet. They have been popping up from time to time over the last few episodes and this time around Johnny and Ben show up to help fight bad guys, which means that three out of the four have been onscreen at some point in the show (Although I suppose The Invisible Woman could have been around too, when ya think about it). There are still no signs of other premiere Marvel franchises, like Spiderman, or the X-Men (Baring the tiny Logan cameo in WWII).  I’m fine with the implication that there might some day be a team-up with the Avengers and the FF, but I’m also happy to know that the show isn’t heading towards an Avengers/ FF/ Spidey/ X event any time soon. 

The show is getting more mature as the season progresses, showing a bit more violence, and giving viewers a look at the Wasp’s dazzling cleavage.  It remains a child-friendly show, but it does have a villain crumbling to dust when defeated. 

Avengers has returned from its break with a vengeance (Sorry for the pun).  The Casket of Ancient Winters has all of the action, wit and shameless Marvel fan-service that I’ve come to expect and enjoy when watching the adventures of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.  Read out review of the next episode Hail Hydra.



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