November is just a bad time to be a superhero fan this year. There’s already been a lot written about the demise of City of Heroes, which is due to go dark on November 30th. I will definitely miss that game and community, and they have still not offered a satisfactory explanation as to what led to this choice, giving a lot of non-answers and one of the creators behind the game even telling fans to not worry about why it’s happening, or words to that effect, which I find suspicious at best.
Sadly, there’s more bad news on the hero front. With Young Justice mysteriously on hiatus until January (another hero event left wholly unexplained), the best hero cartoon running right now is Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The show has both well know characters like Captain America and Iron Man, and some lesser known lights like Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, and the Vision. They’ve done a lot of great stories, and it’s been fun watching the team evolve and grow. But, this week is the show’s final episode. The reasoning I’ve been hearing is that they plan to “continue” the show sometime next year as a new one called “Avengers: Assembled.” It seems an odd shift to a show that’s doing so well.
I’m hearing rumors that I very much hope are not true that the new show will be a lot more kid oriented, like Ultimate Spider-Man with its odd inner monolog asides, ala the sitcom Scrubs. I think Ultimate Spider-Man is a decent show, but I much prefer the more serious tone of Avengers. It’s the same with the anime influenced Teen Titans contrasted with Young Justice. I liked both, but I really prefer Young Justice (and hope it does come back and enjoys a long run).
I find myself in an odd place as a general hero fan. I think Ultimate Spider-Man, Green Lantern, and the forthcoming “Hulk: Agents of SMASH,” to be a bit too kid-centric for my tastes. On the other side of things, most of the DCNU is so adult oriented that I actually don’t recommend the books to any of my friends looking for something for their kids to read, which saddens me. Isn’t there a middle ground somewhere? Are our only options goofy kid stories or death/sex/violence?
I’m hoping the new Avengers show continues the feel of Avengers: EMH, like Justice League became Justice League Unlimited, although that change was a lot more seamless. December is looking like a cold time for heroes. No more COH, Young Justice MIA, Avengers ending. About the only thing we have going is Arrow, which is enjoyable, if a bit blood thirsty. Maybe I’m just not who the producers of hero-themed things are looking for these days.
Oh well. I’m off to re-watch my DVDs of the Flash tv show, JLU, and even the recent Avengers movie. There are some good heroes out there, they are just getting harder to find. No wonder Dynamite is getting more of my money. If they’d only used THIS story for the recent movie instead of the disaster that was Green Hornet…
Note: There are counter-rumors starting that Avengers: EMH may not be cancelled after all, but no one seems to know for sure at this point. This is one of many things I’d be quite happy to be wrong about.