Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow Home Video Release
Studio: Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Marvel Animation
Release Date: September 2nd, 2008
DVD and Blu-ray Bonus Features:
•“Legacy: The Making of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow” featurette
•A First Look at Hulk Vs. Wolverine
•A First Look at Hulk Vs. Thor
•“Kid Power: Next Gen Marvel”
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow Blu-ray Home Video Review
By James Harvey
Lionsgate Home Entertainment has released Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow on both Blu-ray and DVD. The packaging for the Blu-ray is the standard blue clamshell with an insert and inside cover artwork (a practice from Lionsgate Home Entertainment that I really like).
The audio and video for this release is probably the best transfer the Marvel Animated Features have seen. On past movies, I've noticed compression and image ghosting, resulting in sometimes block images or movements that would ghost across the screen. Here, I saw none of that. Everything looked absolutely perfect. The animation was crisp and clear, without a hint of any defects to be found. The audio, as you could expect, is also great! Considering the 7.1 audio mix, it's loud and clear. And, yes, it does get loud! Marvel Animated Features have never looked so crisp here, a definite step-up over the previous Doctor Strange and The Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection releases.
As for the extras, well, we get a bit more than usual, but not much. We have two features, totally about 21 minutes overall, two previews, and an overload of trailers. The amount of pre-credit trailers on this release is probably the most I've ever seen for any release to date. Lionsgate Home Entertainment seems to notoriously stack a plethora of trailers on their DVD releases, and they do the same here for their Blu-rays. They had previews for the four previous Marvel Animated Features releases on top of trailers for other releases as well. When we get to the menu, we're treated to the standard Blu-ray pop-up menu, making the main menu screen the only real menu screen. The layout is simple and navigation is a breeze.
The extras, well, are your standard EPK-type features, called "Legacy: The Making of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow" and “Kid Power: Next Gen Marvel.” They're short, seem sorta fluffy, contain a mix of production art mixed with footage from the film, and that's it. They're somewhat informative, though, personally, I could have used more information on the development for the film and why they opted to do this "PG" film. However, I do appreciate that they also focus on the comic book roots here for a bit, and actually spend a good amount of time on why introducing new younger characters is helping with bringing in new readers. However, I do have one nitpick, and, well, I don't really think that one comic they talk about, New X-Men, is really suitable for younger readers. Still, it's the standard EPK featurettes that are worth a quick breeze through.
The main draw in the extra features, and the ones I checked out first, are the two extended Hulk Versus previews, Hulk Versus Wolverine and Hulk Versus Thor. Both of these movies look absolutely amazing and just over-the-top brutal. But, they look just great! The previews do have some spoilers, particularly for the Hulk Versus Wolverine preview, but these two upcoming movies look just amazing and absolutely no-holds-barred. Hulk Versus is going to be an absolutely that looks to actually push the "PG-13" rating (at least for the Hulk Versus Wolverine segment). Hulk Versus Thor looks equally epic and fun. For those who want a rock 'em, sock 'em over-the-top violent Marvel cartoon that you won't see on Saturday morning, well, here you go!
The Blu-ray release for Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is pretty standard. It's essentially a hi-def version of the regular DVD release. The extras are essentially the same, with no exclusive bonus material between the two of them, which is a bit of a shame. A pop-up trivia track would have been perfect for this release, especially considering how steeped in Marvel history this movie is. It;s a good release, with solid audio and video and adequate bonus features, but I'm hoping for more. Still, the disc comes Recommended for fans, comic readers or no.