Episode #42 Assault on 42
Original Airdate - August 5th, 2012
When Whirlwind is captured, he is escorted to his quarters in 42, Hank Pym's confinement facility in the Negative Zone, by Captain America, Wasp and Ms. Marvel. 42 is virtually impossible to break out of, yet when they get there, they find that something is trying to break in.

Written by Michael Ryan
Directed by Steve Gordon
Review by RoyalRubble
Media by Marvel Animation Age

This was another pretty awesome episode. The Avengers visit the Negative Zone Prion 42 again, which means we get to see a lot of the villains they fought in previous episodes (the Leader, Radioactive Man and Absorbing Man - just to name a few!), as well as Captain Mar-Vell, who's been locked up in there following the events from "Welcome to the Kree Empire". Ronan the Accuser should have been there as well but I didn't notice him if he was. I doubt he would have been as willing to help the humans as Mar-Vell was anyway. Plus, this episode also introduces a new villain, Annihilus. Ever since the Negative Zone was first mentioned on the show, I was sure we'd eventually get to see him or Blastaar, or maybe even both in an episode. It's interesting that the more recent Marvel cartoons only feature Annihilus; Blastaar hasn't had a decent animated appearance since the 60s. I've never been a huge fan of either of them, but as this episode proved they can Annihilus can be interesting and threatening enough if used right, and I suppose the same can be said about Blastaar. Sadly we may never know.

I thought the space prison under siege was a nice setting for this episode. There was this creepy atmosphere surrounding it, reminiscent of some science-fiction and horror movies. Giant alien bugs are usually fun in such stories and this was no exception, and it offered hundreds of such creatures swarming in and give the heroes and villains trapped there a hard time. The heroes see themselves forced to free some of their imprisoned villains, and fight together against a greater evil. This episode does share some similarities with "Prisoner of War", where Cap also rallied together and lead a group of heroes and villains to escape their Skrull captors. But seeing heroes and villains fight on the same side is always great to see, so I don't really mind. Plus this time pretty much every main character got a chance to interact with a villain, leading to some great little moments. It's too bad we didn't get to see all the villains in the prison fight, but it would have been impossible to feature everyone in a 30 minutes episode and still have a good story.

I think Ms. Marvel and Captain Mar-Vell should be on friendlier terms after this episode - though I was hoping for more scenes dedicated to them and their relationship, there's still time before the show ends and I expect it to happen during the Kree story-arc (since Mar-Vell wasn't seen at all during the Skrull arc). Thor explaining to Skurge the Executioner what happened to Amora while he was imprisoned there, and then later Skurge saving Thor from the bugs was great. I'm still hoping we'll eventually see the ending to the Surtur saga. Wasp is her usual self, and her interacting with Whirlwind was pretty funny and made a nice distraction from all the fight scenes going on this episode. Also I liked how Cap refused to let Baron Zemo out of his cell even though he offered to help. I wonder if Cap has found out about what happened between the Skrull posing as him and Zemo back in "Acts of Vengeance". But from all the villains seen in this episode, I thought the the Leader was the highlight. He's the one who actually saves the day, by changing the frequency from Annihilus' cosmic control rod - the rod that was used to control all the bugs, and which was driving the Leader insane all throughout the episode. Having a villain save the heroes was pretty surprising (even Abomniation was surprised!) and since Cap mentioned that he'll testify for any villain that helps them in this battle, I wonder if the Leader will actually be released from prison anytime soon - and if he will, what would the Hulk say? Speaking of the Hulk, we haven't seen him in a long time; it's even weirder that none of the other Avengers actually seem concerned about where he is. Hopefully we'll get to see him again soon.

This was probably the episode with the most intense fight scenes (at least so far); I have no idea if any of the villains featured this time were supposed to be dead by the end of the fight, but seeing swarms of giant bugs carrying some of them away, including Annihilus himself, was creepy enough. Obviously none of the heroes could have died on the show and the same goes for some of the more important villains, but guys like Blizzard or Whirlwind could have been killed here and I doubt it would have effected any of the future story-arcs this show will offer. And I guess this was supposed to be the end for Annihilus as well - if he can be killed. Overall though, this was a great episode and a nice portrayal of the Negative Zone, which worked pretty well as an introduction to Annihilus.