It’s time to dig through the old DVD archive and get knee deep into another brand new STS. This week we get all kid friendly-like with the 2008 animated feature, Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow. With the live action movie looming on the horizon and the great ongoing animated series in full swing, it seemed like the perfect time to check out this Avengers flick.
Title: Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow
Written by: Greg Johnson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost
Director: Jay Oliva, Gary Hartle
Company: Marvel Studios
Distributed by: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
US Release Date: September 2, 2008
Length: 78 min.
MPAA: Rated PG
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is a completely new story with new characters created specifically for this movie. Written by Greg Johnson, Craig Kyle, and scripted by Christopher Yost, who is also the head writer for the new Avengers animated series, this Avengers story takes place a few decades in the future where Ultron has pretty much taken over the earth. When the Avengers realize that their number is up, they send a damaged Iron Man to collect their children and take them somewhere safe. Iron Man does so and ends up having to stay and look after the children when all of their parents are killed.
Some years later, still hidden from Ultron, Iron Man continues to look after and train these children as if they were his own. The children in question consist of James, the son of Captain America and Black Widow; Torunn, daughter of Thor and possibly Sif; Azari, son of the Black Panther and possibly Storm; and Pym, the son of Giant Man and Wasp. Each possesses similar qualities and powers as their parents and have been told stories about the great adventures of their legendary parents. Their sheltered and almost peaceful life is thrown for a loop, however, with the appearance of “the ghost,” known to most as the Vision. As Tony rushes to aid his severely damaged teammate, he inadvertently leads the children into a secret base under their home and to the complete truth of who they really are.
As the kids begin to uncover the truth, they accidentally reveal their existence and location to Ultron. From that point on the Next Avengers have no choice but to try and avenge their parents’ deaths and stop Ultron once and for all. With plenty of surprises along the way, including a fifth kid Avenger they didn’t know existed, in the from of Francis Barton, aka Hawkeye. Barton, who is the son of Hawkeye (obviously) and Mockingbird (probably), was raised by his father, who didn’t die with the other Avengers (but did die eventually). Hawkeye (Clint) had gathered a group of people and taught them to survive in the city while escaping Ulrton’s rule. When Hawkeye was finally killed, Barton took over leadership of this group and ended up being a big help to the other kid Avengers who are naive to the outside world.
This movie is set in a very dark and sad world, but the story is able to maintain an upbeat and fun outlook. Yost does an amazing job writing these kids as kids. He makes the Next Avengers easily relatable to a kid audience, but at the same time keeps the story rich and interesting so adults will also enjoy it. Each of the children has to figure out their own path and discover what being one of the last Avengers means to them. I think Avengers fans will enjoy the mythology of the classic Avengers that sets the foundation for this story, and also the unexpected twists and turns that the grown up Avengers’ lives took. All in all, it’s a great coming of age story that is full of action, fun, and heart.
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