Monday, January 11, 2021


Story by Ciro Nieli | Written by Joelle Sellner | Directed by Vinton Heuck

The Plot: Ant-Man and the Wasp arrive at a remote deeo soace observatory manned by Carol Danvers and Doctor Phillip Lawson, who believe they've spotted an extraterrestrial vehicle approaching Earth. The UFO attacks the facility's radar tower and then lands in the forest. Carol leads Wasp ant Ant-Man out to search for it, while Lawson stays behind. Out in the forest, after some brief investigation, the trio is confronted and attacked by a large robot.
Carol returns to the observatory to warn Lawson, but the robot, having deafeated Ant-Man, follows with Wasp in pursuit. As Carol and Wasp battle the robot, a machine explodes, irradiating Carol with energy and revealing that Lawson is no human, but an alien warrior named Mar-Vell. Mar-Vell tries to deactivate the robot with an order, but it ignores him and destroys the facility's power core. Mar-Vell rescues Carol and Wasp, and as Carol recovers at the hospital, Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk arrive. Mar-Vell explains his origin as a member of the alien Kree race, and describs the robot as a Sentry drone.

Having learned from Mar-Vell that the Sentry possesses a last resort, planet-destroying nega-bomb, the Avengers set out to stop it. The group engages the robot and stops it, but the bomb is active. When Mar-Vell's superior, Yon-Rogg, contacts him, the Kree hero tries to convince him to spare Earth, but Yon-Rogg refuses. Mar-Vell tries to fly the bomb into space, but is unable to make it until Thor and Iron Man aid him. The nega-bomb explodes outside Earth's atmosphere and the Avengers regroup at Carol's hospital room, which is now shared with Hank Pym, who was injured in the fight. There, Mar-Vell says goodbye and departs to try and convince his people to spare Earth.

Continuity Notes: Carol Danvers, the future Ms. Marvel (more commonly known today to the world at large as Captain Marvel) makes her first appearance here, presented as a old friend of Wasp. In the episode's final scene, Carol begins levitating above her hospital bed following the explosion at the observatory, foreshadowing her new powers.
Mar-Vell debuts here as well, an advance agent of the Kree spying on Earth. He tells the Avengers that he's come to admire humanity and does not want to see Earth conquered by his people. He's dressed here in his classic Kree uniform, and while I get why he's not in his "Captain Marvel" costume at this point, but it's kind of a bummer. The Kree uniform is fine for an army of soldiers, but I've always preferred the character's super hero costume more. Also, he pronounces his name with a long "E" (basically "Mar-Vale"), which just doesn't sound right to me. I've always said it like it's spelled, same as the MCU did in 2019's CAPTAIN MARVEL. Though it's really a moot point, because for hte rest of the episode, everyone else calls him "Marvel".

Carol chastizes Wasp for constantly hitting on other men as a way to make Ant-Man jealous, suggesting that this behavior will eventually drive him away from her (as opposed to accomplishing her intended effect of bringing him closer).

Mar-Vell explains that the Kree empire is at war with the alien Skrulls. Though no Skrulls appear in this episode, they will play a sizable in role in part of EMH's second season.
Do I Know That Voice? Carol Danvers is the prolific Jennifer Hale. No stranger to Marvel animation, hale voiced Julia Carpenter/Spider-Woman in the second season of the 1990s syndicated IRON MAN cartoon and Felicia Hardy/Black Cat in the contemporaneous SPIDER-MAN series on Fox.

Roger Craig Smith, who would go on to portray Captain America in the AVENGERS ASSEMBLE series that replaced EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES when it was cancelled, voices Mar-Vell here.

My Thoughts: The first act of this episode is an Ant-Man/Wasp solo adventure, and I find myself wishing it had stayed that way all the way through. At this point in the series, especially coming on the tail of several epics that spotlighted the entire team, it would be nice to pull back a bit and focus on just a couple members for a show or three. And I think there was enough of a premise here to use only Ant-Man, Wasp, and Mar-Vell for the whole story. Hulk, Thor, and Iron Man add some muscle to the Sentry battle, but otherwise serve no purpose to the story, and I feel that with a bit of creative rewriting, Giant-Man, Wasp, and Mar-Vell could have handled the robot just as capably.
But regardless of the presence of those unneeded extra Avengers, this is still a good one. It gives some insight into the Jan/Hank relationship, and it's chock-full of universe-building, giving us our first look at the Kree and our earliest hints of the Skrulls and Ms. Marvel -- all concepts that will factor heavily into the series later on. I just happen to think that all of that could've been done with a smaller cast, and the story would've felt more personal or intimate as a result -- while still maintaining its place as a stepping stone toward a much larger epic down the line.

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