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

Release Date:
May 7th, 2013

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:
-Avengers Unmasked: Behold… The Vision! (22:15)
-Avengers Unmasked: The Private War of Doctor Doom (22:15)
-Avengers: Mission Reports (6:21)
-Greatest ‘Hits’ (1:51)
-Heroic Humor (2:55)

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

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 original week-long waits almost intolerable. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about that here. What you get is the entire 26-episode second season all in one handy two-disc Blu-ray set. And given that this is a review of the Blu-ray set, we’ll keep our thoughts on the main feature short (since you can find episode-specific reviews elsewhere 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 The action and stories feel "classic" but not out of date.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 most 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). It is worth noting that one revisited subplot involving the Enchantress is dropped with no conclusion, and it's...kinda frustrating. But there's a reason for that.

However, there is a slight shift on quality in the second half of the season that it pretty noticeable upon revisiting. The final thirteen episodes marked a change in the creative team behind The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes ... and it showed. Changes at Marvel Animation resulted in a shuffle behind this series, with the majority of the team who worked on the previous episodes chucked out and replaced with a different group – a collaborative group called Man of Action - for the remaining episodes. And while everything may look the same, the quality in writing took a substantial hit. Most of the episodes are very well done, but the writing at times comes off as hollow, rushed, and sometimes very light. A certain spark that was found in the previous episodes just seems lacking here. But still, the majority of episodes here are really enjoyable and worth a spin.

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 Second Season in standard Blu-ray packaging snug in a cardboard slipcase. Episode details are printed on the inside of the cover slip, viewable through the Blu-ray case when you open it up, with bonus feature details on the back. Both discs are secured a disc to a side.

Looking inside, the widescreen transfer is pretty nice, though not perfect. The big issue is color-banding, and it’s incredibly noticeable and sometimes very distracting. You’ll notice it right away, when the Entertainment One logo pops up, and it doesn’t really go away from there. There’s also some aliasing, but it’s not too all that distracting. But the color banding is. That being said, the picture quality is still pretty high and beyond what you’d get on DVD. 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 included are pretty nice, actually. If you picked up the Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment releases, all of that material is repeated here on the second disc. Bonus content includes “Avengers Unmasked: Behold… The Vision! (22:15),” “Avengers Unmasked: The Private War of Doctor Doom (22:15),” “Avengers: Mission Reports (6:21),” “Greatest ‘Hits’ (1:51),” “Heroic Humor (2:55).” The bonus content is a mix of clip compilations, with new voice over work from some of the main characters, along with trivia text and images. It actually adds up to a nice helping of content, over 50 minutes, when put all together.

Since it is very unlikely Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will ever release The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on Blu-ray, this release by Entertainment One Canada probably the best hi-def outlet fans will get for the duration. It’s a welcome compliment to the first season collection and helps bring the entire series to the high-definition format. It is a good release, falling just a few pegs short of greatness, due mainly to some noticeable video transfer issues. 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! True, some of the episodes aren’t fall below the high quality this show tended to deliver on a regular basis, but the overall quality is excellent. So, basically, run out and snatch up The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes – The Complete Second Season. With Marvel’s greatest super-team currently enjoying the limelight in the media, it’s a great time to enjoy the adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!