Creating the next generation of True Believers,
it's The Superhero Squad Show. But then, you already
knew that, because you've bought the cute little action
figures, the videogame and probably the comic book. What
you don't have yet is …
The first official DVD collection!
Okay. I'm pretending that I could resist
this show. Back when it was announced, I gave it the full
force of my skepticism, reasoning that these super-deformed
versions of Marvel heroes would make no sense and clearly
looking at it from the standpoint of an adult.
Luckily for Marvel, I have a six-year-old
son, whose review of every episode and this DVD is … "awesome!"
That's not enough for reasoned critical analysis, perhaps,
but a case can be made that this show is exactly what the
Marvel Universe needed. Forget the Heroic Age; thanks to
The Superhero Squad Show, some fans got out of the
darkness of the comic books months ago.
Set in "Superhero City," the show definitely
feeds into how kids were already playing with these characters
in their minds. Every hero has a loose affiliation with
the Squad, vaguely led by Iron Man but including Wolverine
and Hulk in every adventure. Sometimes the Fantastic Four
pops by, but they're not as important as the Silver Surfer
- who is every bit a cartoon surfer in personality.
The characterizations might not be the
most original of ideas. Taking a bit from Not Brand Ecch
decades ago and a Defenders mini-series a couple
of years back, they do make these heroes 100% kid-friendly.
Yet the hardcore older fan will find a lot of jokes nodding
to their knowledge of the superheroes' regular appearances.
While the more simplistic personalities
make the show lean toward moralistic messages about sharing
and playing nice, they also expose that that's pretty much
what superheroes are really about anyway. What is Doctor
Doom if not a spoiled child saying, "mine, mine, mine"?
In this case, Doom leads "The Quest for
the Infinity Sword," each episode seeking a piece or "fractal"
of a weapon that will give him great power. He just doesn't
understand that whole great responsibility thing. Of course
not, he's Doctor Doom. And we all think MODOK is silly anyway,
even if he is designed for killing. Give him a ridiculous
voice and a shifting definition for the "K" in his name
- though mostly it's kicking butt. He's balanced out on
the side of the heroes by Thor's preening and Iron Man's
utter conviction of his own coolness.
Even the dread Dormammu gets the treatment.
Apparently I've been saying his name wrong for all of my
life. Thanks, Superhero Squad!
Shout! Factory makes this a nice kid-friendly
package as well. There's an interview with Stan Lee, just
in case kids make the connection between characters and
co-creators. (Note that wording, because that is how Stan
puts it.) And if nothing else, Stan also does a surprisingly
funny job as the Mayor of Superhero City, so kids might
enjoy that. There's a music video of the theme song, and
perhaps the most important extra of all - an ad for the
next Superhero Squad videogame.
Yes, that got an extra "awesome" out of
collection doesn't gather the whole season, only the first
eight episodes. As a completist adult, I'd rather have it
all in one season package, but this way does make it easier
for the show's intended audience of kids to get their hands
on it -- quite simply, it's more affordable in chunks like
you're still not sold on this show (though you should be)
remember that - it's for the kids. On that, The Superhero
Squad Show absolutely saves the day.