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Success of “Avengers” Movie May Have Ended Their Cartoon

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The Avengers ten-disc set

Marvel TV News is reporting that Disney XD’s Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon will not return for a third season. Following the blockbuster business of “The Avengers” on the big screen, Marvel/Disney want to capitalize on the team featured in that movie. Marvel has announced Avengers Assemble, a new show slated for 2013. It released promotional art featuring the movie team plus Falcon. Rumors have Falcon, Captain America’s longtime sidekick, appearing in the sequel to Cap’s movie.

A number of AEMH fans believe this is a case of Disney attempting to fix something that isn’t broken. They’ve posted an online petition to save the show at Change.org. That thread contains comparisons to the excellent Batman:The Animated Series, a high mark for superhero toons. These viewers say they’re losing cartoons that have appeal for comic fans both young and old, and getting Disney-ized versions that appeal only to kids in their place.

Many are still smarting from the loss of The Spectacular Spider-Man. The Sony produced show drew critical acclaim, comic reviewer and historian Alan Kistler calling it one of the best superhero adaptations he’s ever seen. After Disney acquired the Marvel TV rights, it went in a different direction and introduced Ultimate Spider-Man.

It’s a faster-paced effort that is clearly aimed at younger viewers. In a dramatic departure from just about every Spider-Man series ever, it places Spidey in charge of a young team of crimefighters with government support. Its influences from Marvel’s movie universe are clear also. Agent Coulson from the Marvel movies goes undercover as the principal of the high school Peter Parker attends.

When Disney bought Marvel, luminaries including Spider-Man creator Stan Lee talked about the stories writers could tell without having to worry about who was paying the bills. There’s little doubt Disney’s promotional magic is helping Marvel movies at the box office. On the TV level though, Disney seems to be ending some great efforts as soon as they’ve gotten started.

Read [Marvel TV News]

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