The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes - Volume Five: Secret Invasion
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Plot Summary:
On September 25, Marvel’s The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Vol. 5 releases 13, 23-minute episodes on DVD with all-new, never before seen bonus footage!

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is a television series inside the Marvel Universe on Disney XD that is inspired by the Marvel Comics Super Hero team of the same name. In each episode, the Avengers defend Earth from unimaginable threats – dangerous Super Villains, time-travelling conquerors, alien invaders and mythical beasts set 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 no hope is left… the Avengers Assemble! Join Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, and many more of your favorite Avengers, as they discover the value of teamwork and friendship in the fight against evil!

DVD Bonus Features:
-A visual comic book exploration combining a smaller version of the episode with moving comic imagery, plus exciting facts! The transitions and movement of the pages containing the EPISODE, COMIC IMAGES, and MARVEL FACTS incorporates MARVEL COMICS style sound design, and uses the Avengers weapons as transitional devices (CAP’s shield, THOR’s hammer, HAWKEYE’s arrows, HULK’s fists, etc.).
--Disc 1 - AVENGERS UNMASKED: The Private War of Doctor Doom
--Disc 2 - AVENGERS UNMASKED: Behold…the Vision!
-Disc 2 - PLUS Never before seen episode: “Powerless”

The Private War of Doctor Doom
Alone Against A.I.M.
Acts of Vengeance
Welcome to the Kree Empire
To Steal an Ant-Man
Michael Korvac
The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill
Who Do You Trust?
Behold…the Vision!
Nightmare in Red
Prisoner of War
Secret Invasion

Street Date: September 25th, 2012
Release Format: Two-Disc DVD
Suggested Retail Price: $26.99 (US only)
Feature Run Time: Approx. run time 299 minutes
Rated: TV-Y7-FV
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen (Enhanced for 16X9 televisions)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Sound
Languages: English and Spanish

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes - Volume Five: Secret Invasion! DVD Release Review
By James Harvey

If you’re reading this, then it is safe to assume you’re a fan of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. More importantly, you’re enough of a fan to want to pick up this thirteen episode DVD collection. The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – Volume Five: Secret Invasion! picks up on the cliffhanger from the first season - available on Volume Four - and ropes viewers into a great thirteen-episode arc. While not as strong as the first season, these first thirteen episodes from season two are just more examples why The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is so widely acclaimed. We get a little cosmic as our mighty heroes find themselves having to deal with invading aliens and refugee off-worlders. It’s an eclectic mix of great stories – though not all are winners, sadly – that fans of these Marvel heroes will definitely enjoy.

Since we know the score with this great series, I’ll be brief on the actual main feature. The actual home video release will get a closer look, but before that ... a quick look at arguably one of Marvel Animation’s best animated series. Ever.

And just why is that? Well, I’ll keep saying it - The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes 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 what they mean to each other. 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). The subplot with Captain America this season is probably one of my favorites because the creators lets the audience in on it, but keeps the characters themselves in the dark, allowing for the tension to build among the oblivious teammates. Characters get a fair shake, but are never overbearing or steal the spotlight – everyone gets their due and we get a wicked climactic episode here, wrapping up the ongoing storyline for this batch of episodes. This show embraces what makes The Avengers such a great Marvel team and just runs with it, and the results are indeed mighty!

The thirteen episodes included in this set are “The Private War of Dr. Doom,” “Alone Against A.I.M.,” “Acts of Vengeance,” “Welcome to the Kree Empire,” “To Steal an Ant-Man,” “Michael Korvac,” “The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill,” “Who Do You Trust?,” “Behold ... The Vision!,” “Prisoner of War,” “Nightmare in Red,” “Infiltration,” “Secret Invasion.”

However, as you may be able to guess from the episode listings above, there is a problem with the episode order. The episodes on this release are featured in production order, and production was hectic during the second season, resulting in episodes getting occasionally worked on out of order. Well, that happened right here, and the biggest culprit is with the episode “Behold ... The Vision!,” which actually takes place after “Secret Invasion.” So, when watching this set, skip over this episode! The rest are all basically fine, but wait until you’ve watched the other twelve before catching that one. As a result of this, the Spider-Man-centric episode “Along Came A Spider ...” is pushed back to the next volume release.

As you can likely guess, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is definitely worth your time (and, in this case, your money). The first two-disc DVD set released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment the series, it’s great to get more Avengers action for our buck. While the thirteen episodes here aren’t as strong as what’s come before, by no means are they remotely bad. They’re still good, just not ... as good. This show remains a great production across the board – nice animation, great writing, and fantastic characters. While some episodes are stronger than others, overall this is another solid thirteen episodes to ingest. Packed full of solid adventure and a love of Marvel lore, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is one of the best cartoons on television.

Digging in to the actual home video DVD release, WDSHE continues to provide great a solid general release for the series. In terms of audio and video, you really can't ask for better here on DVD. The widescreen transfer on all included episodes is pretty spectacular and stunning to look at. Yes, there's some slight compression and noticeable aliasing, but you won't see it unless you're looking for it. The colors are bright and vibrant, the blacks are solid, and everything appears smooth. This is a seriously high-quality transfer, something that seems to becoming a rarity on DVD thanks to Blu-ray. And not only will this show look great on your television, but it'll sound just as great! The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track is crystal clear and, at times, just thunderous. Action scenes pop and work all the channels, with quieter scenes sounding just as crisp. Given how action-intensive these thirteen episodes are, you'll be very thankful for the audio mix.

Extras are slim but a noticeable improvement over the last sets. Outside of the standard collection of trailers, bonus features include some episode trivia and a bonus episode. The bonus episode - “Powerless” – is considered the worst episode of the entire series and I can definitely understand that viewpoint. It’s not as bad as fans make it out to be, but it is stupid and pretty mediocre. consists of a simple trivia track. There could be more, but what we get here is a step-up after the dip in quality for the last releases.

Overall, I’m really pleased with The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – Volume Five: Secret Invasion, namely with the fact that this collection addresses one of my major concerns from the previous releases – the amount of included episodes. The previous single-disc titles were always an issue with me, as I felt fans would overlook them given the small amount of episodes. WDSHE has rectified that here with a solid 13-episode collection, and another possible 13-episode collection on the way. The bonus features are improved from the last two simultaneous releases, though still a step down from the first two releases (hopefully WDSHE will go all out for the final title). The short of it is, this latest home video release for The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes comes Highly Recommended, even with the little snafu with the episode/production order error. At the end of the day, it’s not a big deal. Driven by a strong main feature, these are tales of adventure and heroism that just can’t be beat by any other Marvel series. Add this latest The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to your collection and, guaranteed, a marvelous time will be had!