Episode #25 - The Fall of Asgard
Original Airdate - June 19th, 2011
Lost and separated, the Avengers struggle to survive in the nine realms of Asgard. But with Thor defeated and Iron Man’s armor not functioning… what chance do they have? As realm after realm falls, the Avengers join the resistance, heading for the final confrontation with Loki.

Written by Christopher Yost
Directed by Vinton Heuck
Review by RoyalRubble
Media by Marvel Animation

Following the destruction of the magical Norn Stones at the end of the previous episode, the Avengers wake up each in a different location, one of the nine realms of Asgard. Trying to figure out what happened and how to return home, they encounter other mythical Asgardian characters, while also being hunted down by Loki's forces. Except for Thor and Wasp, everybody else got a chance to shine this episode, fighting frost giants, wolves, trolls and even ghosts was pretty awesome. This episode introduces a lot of new characters, including the Warriors Three, Sif and Valkyrie, though most of them previously had cameos in the beginning of the series, before Thor left Asgard and joined the Avengers. Despite (re)introducing a lot of characters, this episode works great. The way all the characters interact was great, especially the parts featuring Thor and Loki.

As expected, Loki reveals himself to be the mastermind behind pretty much everything that happened on the show so far. From the beginning, his attack on Asgard seen in the episode "Thor the Mighty" was meant to fail; him being exiled to the Isle of Silence was all according to his plan. Once the other Asgardians and especially Thor thought he was out of the way, he returned and set things in motion. While Thor was busy on Midgard (again thanks to Loki, and the Enchantress who had the mission of gathering the Masters of Evil), Loki started conquering Asgard during the Odin Sleep, and soon after the other mystical realms. All, expect for Midgard. Now that Loki has apparently obtained Odin's powers, he is basically unstoppable. I thought it was interesting that we didn't get to see the Enchantress this episode (outside of flashbacks, anyway). Loki mentioned she failed him, but I wonder what exactly her punishment was, or what exactly happened to her. Loki's voice actor (Graham McTavish) was awesome. All the voice acting on this show so far has been great, to say the least. But the villains, as Loki and previously Ultron (and even the Leader) were awesome.

Lots of great moments this episode. Tony without his armor versus Ulik the troll was great. The Hulk still loves the Executioner's axe. It looks like he'll become a good friend of the Warriors Three, especially Volstagg the Voluminous. Black Panther's fight was interesting as well, and I thought it was neat how he discovered a portal between realms and came to help Hawkeye and Faradei the Light Elf defeat the last of the Fenrir Wolves. Ant-Man once again admits he loves Jan (too bad she was unconscious this time). And I liked how we got to see the Casket of Ancient Winters in action again, though I was somewhat disappointed it didn't have a larger role in Loki's plan, after all the trouble they went through to acquire it in the first place (see "The Casket of Ancient Winters"). But my favorite parts are the scenes featuring Captain America in Nifflehein, the Asgardian realm of the dead, where he is haunted by the ghosts of his former teammates from World War II, the Howling Commandos (as seen previously in the episode "Meet Captain America"). Believing he should be dead as well, the ghosts haunt Cap and ask him to join them, and remain there. Cap is just about to quit, when he realizes that, if he really is dead, how come Bucky isn't there as well. He realizes his fight isn't over yet, and rejects the spirits and plans to leave. But before that, he must confront Hela. It will be interesting to see how Cap's voyage to Nifflehein will turn out. Bucky's absence just seems to confirm that the Cosmic Cube did change something (back in the episode "Hail, Hydra!"). We still need more hints, or a climax to this story arc, which I'm sure will come eventually. For now all we can do is keep guessing.

Looks like the season finale is going to be awesome. With the Avengers slowly regrouping and joining forces with other Asgardians to defeat Loki, who is now an even bigger threat than before, as he has obtained Odin's powers and isn't afraid to use them, this is shaping up to be an epic battle of good versus evil. I am definitely looking forward to the next episode.