Disney and Marvel wrap things up with The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Vol.4, as the amazing first season of the show concludes with the final seven episodes featured here. It might be easy to forget that, until only recently, Marvel’s own animated offerings have been less-than-memorable adventures that felt more like product that respectful to their series. Most have been regrettable embarrassments at best, almost as if nobody involved cared much about these characters and their potential. But that’s all changed here, as fans young and old, hardcore and newcomers alike can enjoy these action-packed adventures that finally give Marvel’s stable of superheroes the respect they deserve, easily earning its spot next to other great comic book shows such as DC/Warner Bros’ Justice League and the eternal Batman: Animated Series.
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Vol.4 serves as the finale of the first epic season, as the team continues to fight the good fight in these last seven episodes. This time we’re treated to not one, but two exciting story arcs. The first is a two-parter that features the infamous robotic menace, Ultron, who’s was forced to connect to Kang’s future computers in the last volume. Hank Pym (aka Ant-Man) learns it was a mistake after this upsurge of data makes Ultron become self-aware and sets out to rid the planet of mankind. Then there’s the three-part season finale that has Thor’s evil brother Loki trying to take over all of the realms that make up the universe. Believe me when I say that each member of the Avengers is pushed to their very limits as they try to save the entire universe from evil.
As with Volume 3, Disney once again does an amazing job with the video transfer, despite not being in high-definiton, as the picture is as clean and perfect as standard definition can be. The 5.1 sound serves the audio up quite nicely as well, as every punch and piece of dialogue comes in clear. I’d love to see a complete season one Blu-ray set in the future though.
Since this disc is loaded with Avengers action like the previous volume, there’s only one special feature included, which is “The Avengers Unmasked: Hail Hydra!” pop-up trivia track. It gives loads of cool facts on both the Avengers and the super-villains featured in the episode “Hail Hydra”. It’s a pretty neat feature, but it would’ve been nice to have some cast and crew interviews, some info on the next season, etc. on this disc at least.
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Vol.4 wraps up the first season of this amazing series nicely, despite the lack of really cool extras on the disc, though the final seven episodes collected here more than justify its place in your collection. Featuring two explosive story arcs that take things out with a bang, including a welcome return of the evil self-aware robot Ultron, as well as the epic three-part familial struggle that pits Thor against his estranged brothers once again. While I’m still holding out that we’ll see a proper Blu-ray collection soon (you know it’s coming), you really can’t beat the fantastic action on these impressive DVD efforts as it’s one of those series that anyone can easily find themselves caught up in – like Hulk’s vice-like grip.
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Walt Disney Video