Debuting in 1963 The Avengers brought together some of Marvel’s greatest heroes at the time: Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, The Wasp, and Ant-Man came together to avenge those who were wronged. They’ve had minor popularity outside of comics until they finally received a movie in 2012 as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and are now very well known. Unlike their DC counterpart the Justice League, which has a number of different incarnations in cartoons (we’re counting Super Friends) the Avengers haven’t had as many animated appearances, even counting The Super Hero Squad Show, though unlike Super Friends no traces of the Avengers beyond concept could be found. The first were adaptations of comic stories as part of The Marvel Super Heroes and if you think Filmation didn’t do a lot of moving in their animation watch that some time. Avengers: United They Stand was a weak-willed attempt to give them their own show. There was a shared continuity on Disney XD but with Spider-Man and the Avengers having been rebooted and wherever Marvel Rising fits in good luck finding consistency.
Considered the greatest of the Avengers toons is Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, a 2010 animated series building off the success of the Iron Man and Incredible Hulk films to do a modern take on the Avengers. The show only ran for two seasons and fans were not happy when Avengers Assemble took its place. We’ll see if we can figure that out next week since I think Marvel HQ’s YouTube channel has those episodes, but good luck finding anything on a “kids channel” on YouTube as they’ve pretty much made it impossible to search for anything. (How that helps them comply with COPPA is beyond me.) Sadly the first episode of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the two-parter “Breakout”, is not there unless its buried along with the preview shorts. While they’ve started uploading the show to Marvel HQ, the next episode in continuity, and tonight’s showcase, is “Some Assembly Required”, and still features the original core team from the comic while previewing upcoming events. Oddly it starts with the same kind of supervillain prison break as The New Avengers but for different reasons, which would be explored during season one as the Avengers and it’s rotating roster would hunt down the escaped felons. You’ll also see Bruce Banner serving as Hulk’s mentor of sorts, a mutual agreement between Bruce and the Hulk as they try to prove Hulk isn’t a monster, which plays into tonight’s story. While it isn’t the first episode it’s still worth watching so enjoy.