The Avengers: Earth' Mightiest Heroes - The Complete First Season
Studio: Entertainment One Canada

Release Date:
April 17th, 2012

Plot Summary:
When the planet is threatened by super-villains, time traveling conquerors, mythical monsters or mad robots bent on the total destruction of humanity, when the forces of evil are so overwhelming that no single hero has the power to save the world, when there is no hope left… the Avengers assemble!

Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, Wasp and The Incredible Hulk. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must band together to protect the world from a break-out of Super-Villains the likes of which no one has never seen. Only the Avengers can stand against this threat, and the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.

Bonus Content:
Approximately 12 minutes of Interviews with the following cast and crew:
-Brian Bloom - Voice Actor - Captain America
-Eric Loomis - Voice Actor - Iron Man
-Rick Wasserman - Voice Actor - Thor
-Fred Tatasciore - Voice Actor - Hulk
-Joshua Fine - Supervising Producer
-Christopher Yost - Story Editor

The Avengers: Earth' Mightiest Heroes - The Complete First Season Blu-ray Release Review
By James Harvey

Since this will essentially be the third time this site has reviewed the first season of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for a home video release, thoughts on the actual program will be somewhat abbreviated. Action-packed, superbly-written, and all around enthralling, this is the Marvel animated series that fans have been waiting ages for. Not to sit around on its laurels, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes show also tosses in some great unexpected twists, including a ridiculous amount of incredible cliffhangers that made the week-long wait almost intolerable. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about that here.

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is straight-forward heroics with dynamic, developed characters. The action and stories feel "classic" but not out of date. The show feels like a comic book come to life. Given some of the dubious treatment of the characters in the comics, the Avengers here feel as they should - heroes to the core. They're called "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" for a reason, and we see it here. We get all the big guns - like Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor - plus a few high-class B-listers - like Hawkeye, Giant-Man, Wasp and Black Panther. Together, they make up an line-up of heroes, some of Marvel’s best sharing the spotlight. While Marvel has their fair share of big-time teams, I can't think of any team more iconic than these guys. Yes, they have the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, but they don’t feel like the true super-heroes that you find with the Avengers.

This show works because the creative team behind the show get it. They know who the Avengers are supposed to be. They’re not interchangeable faces with battle armor, but real characters fighting to keep the world safe. They get what these characters represent on a higher level and in overall status for the Marvel Universe. The creators also respect what has come before, making sure plot threads pay off in the long-run by keeping ongoing subplots alive from episode to episode, deftly balancing them with the ‘adventure of the week’ (another pit the show manages to duck). Characters get a fair shake, but are never overbearing or steal the spotlight – everyone gets their due. And, believe me, some of those pay off in spades in the final arc as we see each Avenger live up to their role in their group. Everyone gets their shining moments, and never once does it feel tacked on, and always feels cool. How awesome is it to see Hulk wield a huge axe in battle? Or Hawkeye face off against a horde of enemies with just his bow? Or Giant-Man towering high above his teammates in order to save them? There are so many good moments here.

Whether you're a die-hard fan of the comic material, or new to the scene, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is definitely worth your time (and, in this case, your money). This show just continually improves episode after episode, the creative team learning as they go, and the end result is some truly genius and inventive stuff. The casting is great, the writing is great, the animation is slid, and it all comes together in fine form. Die-hard Marvel Comics reader or casual fan, do not miss this series!

Moving on to the actual two-disc Blu-ray release, available only in Canada though still playable on all Region 1 and Multi-Region players, Entertainment One Canada brings us The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes – The Complete First Season in standard Blu-ray packaging snug in a cardboard slipcase. Episode and bonus details are printed on the inside of the cover slip, viewable through the Blu-ray case when you open it up. Both discs are secured a disc to a side.

Looking inside, the widescreen transfer is pretty nice though somewhat inconsistent. I found the first half or so of the season looked fine, though not really...high-def. The picture looked fine, clean and crisp, but was lacking that extra ‘oomph’ that usually comes with a Blu-ray release. However, the latter half of the season seems to pick up in this regard, with episodes looking very clear and punched up in terms of color and overall crispness. It looks good, and is a noticeable upgrade from DVD, but some episodes lack that shine that high-definition usually provides. There's also a bit of color banding and aliasing, but nothing really distracting. Moving on to the audio, the English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is crystal clear and just enjoyably loud. The French 2.0 audio track also gets a good showing. It’s a solid presentation that I’m sure many fans will find themselves pleased with. While I’m sure there is room for improvement, what we get here is nothing to scoff at.

Extras are pretty slim here, sadly. The bonus features add up to six additional featurettes that were previously released. Each run only a couple of minutes and...that's it. The featurettes include brief conversations with Brian Bloom (Captain America), Eric Loomis (Iron Man), Rick Wasserman (Thor), Fred Tatasciore (Hulk), Supervising Producer Josh Fine and Story Editor Christopher Yost. Purely light, fluff pieces but still each containing an interesting bit or two of information. They add up to roughly 12 minutes, so they’re worth a watch.

Since it is hard the tell if Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will ever release The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on Blu-ray, it’s actually kind-of unlikely, this release by Entertainment One Canada probably the best hi-def outlet fans will get for the duration. And by no means is this a bad thing. It is a good release, falling just a few pegs short of greatness. Light extras don’t help either, but they are nice, despite being inconsequential. The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes embraces what makes The Avengers such a great Marvel team and just runs with it...and it works beautifully! It provides enough nods to the well-versed fans while not alienating those new to the franchise, and manages to balance it all quite nicely. And hey – that season finale cliffhanger? Wow! Toss in good presentation, slim but enjoyable extras, and you have a great two-disc The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes – The Complete First Season Blu-ray set that fans really should pick up. Run out and snatch this up! With the second season currently underway and the live-action Marvel’s The Avengers feature film mere weeks away, it’s a great time to enjoy the adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!