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Comes A Swordsman
Review By Arsenal, Media by Stu

Episode Episode #5 - Remnants
Original Airdate December 4th, 1999

When remnants of Ultron threaten to blow up part of France, The Avengers travel to the island to investigate.

Directed By: Ron Myrick
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy and Kussa Mahchi
Animation Services By: Sae Rom
Guest Starring: Martin Roach as The Falcon, Ron Rubin as The Vision, Rod Wilson as Ant-Man, Linda Ballantyne as The Wasp, Stavroula Logothettis as Scarlet Witch and Lenore Zann as Tigra.

Review: Remnants review in four words—concept: good; execution—bad.

Here’s the plot: the Avengers have to secure nuclear warheads and find the French soldiers on a South Pacific island before the U.N. blows it up. It’s a race against time to save the soldiers and stop Ultron from using the warheads.

This could have been a cool, James Bond-like story. Ratchet up the tension, throw in some unnecessary explosions and a few risqué innuendoes and this could have been good, campy fun. (To emphasize the Bond comparison, the episode could have focused on Hawkeye as the double-0-esque agent, Wanda as the Bond girl and Vision as the ultimate Bond gadget.)

Instead, the Avengers lost the fun by shoehorning in some of Ultron’s robots. (Their addition is so jarring that I would guess they were originally meant for an entirely separate episode.) This version of Ultron is abysmal. His character design, his voice, his hackneyed dialogue… nothing about his is credible.

I would like to see the series’ bible entry on Ultron. I imagine it reads something like this:

Ultron—big, mechanized doofus. All of his schemes must come from low-budget, 1950’s monster movies. His voice must be pitched to sound like gravel mixing and his dialogue must be derived from clichés spouted by villains from aforementioned monster flicks.

Seriously, Ultron is so unthreatening that I thought the creative staff was kidding.

Also, Avengers (and “Remnants”) often suffers because the creative staff felt the need to include all the cast in almost all the episodes. When you’re splitting 20 minutes between seven heroes everyone gets short-changed.

Many subplots are floated and forgotten or, worse, forced down our throat because there is no time for development or subtlety. Perhaps, if the creative team would have spent more time developing their roster, we wouldn’t spend so much time whining about the absence of Thor, Cap and Iron Man