Marvel Animation in 2019

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Frontier

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2019 was a transitive year for Marvel Animation, seeing the end of several long-running shows alongside new entries in younger franchises as well as specials, with several executive transitions occurring for Marvel Animation behind the scenes.

Avengers: Black Panther's Quest:



The second half of Avengers: Black Panther's Quest saw Black Panther (James C. Mathis III) a wanted fugitive and enemy of The Avengers, but still determined to defeat the insidious Shadow Council led by Killmonger (Keston John) and Madame Masque (Wynn Everett) with the help of his sister Shuri (Daisy Lightfoot) and brother Hunter/White Wolf (Scott Porter). In his quest to defeat them T'Challa goes on to work with Klaw (Trevor Devall), Spider-Man (Robbie Daymond) and Captain America (Roger Craig Smith), before turning to the history of his ancestors and kingdom to discover the true objective of the Shadow Council pertaining to his secret ancest Bask (Ashleigh Crystal Hairston). The series concluded with an all-out war between Wakanda and Atlantis as well as T'Challa's efforts to overcome Madame Masque alongside The Avengers and Hydra.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout:



Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout returned from it's massive cliffhanger with a 4-part Black Vortex storyline that saw the Guardians trapped in the Black Vortex, leading to several stories set in different animation styles and genres. After freeing themselves, The Guardians then must contend with the menace of the Darkhawks, evil alien robots bent on replacing everyone in the universe with robotic clones, and in their efforts to defeat them the Guardians discover their source in Asgard with the return of the legendary Asgardian villain The Serpent (Robert Atkin Downes). In their efforts to defeat the Serpent, the Guardians must contend with Loki (Troy Baker), Hela (Kari Wahlgren), and form an alliance of past allies and even their nemesis Thanos (Isaac Singleton Jr.). The season also saw guest stars such as Raven Symone as the MCU Valkyrie, and Henry Winkler as Peter Quill's (Will Friedle) grandfather.
 
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Marvel's Spider-Man:



Marvel's Spider-Man returned from it's massive cliffhanger to adapt the popular Superior Spider-Man storyline, which saw Doctor Octopus (Scott Menville) switching minds with Peter Parker and gaining the body of Spider-Man. In doing so, Otto Octavius soon learns the value of heroism and what it means to be Spider-Man. Later on Spider-Man must contend with The Regent (Imari Williams) and the advent of a powerful new threat in the Goblin Nation alongside fellow Spider-Heroes Miles Morales (Nadji Jeter), Spider-Girl (Melanie Minichino), and the newly re-powered Gwen Stacy Ghost Spider (Laura Bailey). Marvel's Spider-Man will return for a 3rd season of hour-length episodes in Maximum Venom.

Lego Marvel Spider-Man: Vexed by Venom:



Lego Marvel Spider-Man: Vexed by Venom, the latest Marvel animated Lego special, saw the webslinging wonder (Robbie Daymond) battle both The Green Goblin (Josh Keaton) and Venom (Ben Pronsky) for control of the Key Token, a powerful new tool capable of destroying all of New York. To assist him Spider-Man will find aid from new gadgets and the mysterious Ghost Spider (Laura Bailey).

Marvel Super Hero Adventures:


The least Marvel Super Hero Adventures shorts saw Spider-Man team-up with several Marvel Heroes such as Black Panther, Spider-Girl, Iron Man, Rocket and Groot, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Ghost Spider, Miles Morales, and Dr. Strange to battle evil, save the day, and teach some life lessons along the way.
 
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Marvel Rising: Battle of the Bands:


Marvel Rising: Battle of the Bands saw Gwen Stacy (Dove Cameron) attempting to juggle her double life as as a Superhero member of the Secret Warriors with being a drummer in her band. The Secret Warriors must then contest with sonic-screaming Supervillain Screaming Mimi (Tara Strong) as she causes several disasters across New York.

Marvel Rising: Operation Shuri:


Marvel Rising: Operation Shuri saw the titular princess of Wakanda (Daisy Lightfoot) coming to New York to learn from young heroes her age, leading her to interact with Ms. Marvel (Kathreen Khavari), Squirrel Girl (Milana Vayntrub) America Chavez (Cierra Ramirez) and Ghost Spider. The special culminates in a rescue mission for the Secret Warriors alongside Princess Shuri.

Marvel Rising: Playing with Fire:


Marvel Rising: Playing with Fire saw Secret Warrior Inferno (Tyler Posey) dealing with having to reconnect with his family while also losing his powers to budding teen Supervillain Zayla (Navia Robinson) as she attempts to prove herself to her Supervillain parents.


So, what are your feelings towards Marvel Animation in 2019?

What were your highlights/favorites of the year?

What disappointed you?

What do you hope for from Marvel Animation in the future in terms of their products or the quality of their productions?

What are you looking forward to from Marvel Animation going into 2020?
 
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Rick Jones

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2019 started with me still coming down from the high of Spider-Verse. It was beautiful to see it rightfully win its Oscar as well. To reference my sister, if it didn't, we would riot.

I was pretty glad for the five Marvel Rising specials. They might not have been all perfect but I've just generally enjoyed this initiative. We don't know what the future holds but I'll be far from upset if the world of Marvel Rising is one that they choose to revisit in future projects.

Panther's Quest was a bit hit-or-miss for me. At the end of it all, I was disappointed by it not fully living up to the potential that I thought it had but there was still good to be received from it. I do still wish that Marvel had just taken the chance on doing a separate Black Panther project and also concluded Avengers Assemble as an Avengers show. It is still personally funny that they were able to take one of my absolute favorite Avengers and make them into w character that I was just despising. It makes me appreciate EMH Hawkeye that much more.

I still haven't completed this final Guardians season yet but the Black Bortex arc really makes me wish that Marvel was always putting this much effort behind the look of their animation instead of just holding back until special occasions.

The break between Spider-Man's episodes felt so long but this second half of the season remained strong. It also ended on such strong note. They took the show two places I did not 100% expect and did good things with it. I'm really looking forward to see what they do with Maximum Venom..



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Marvel's Spider-Man is definitely my favorite Spider-Man animated series, but I'm not saying it's better than Spectacular. It was just interesting seeing a different setting and cast for Peter this time around at Horizon High, and the show got me reading Anya's short lived comics, Spider-Island, and Superior Spider-Man.

Guardians of the Galaxy. My prior knowledge of them came from Ultimate Spider-Man..., and they were just boring. When I sat down and watched their show I liked it. A first is that an animated series helped me understand the characters before watching a film adaption.

Marvel Rising had some of the best animation from Marvel this decade. The example that comes to mind is the first episode of Initiation when Ghost-Spider is fighting those cops.

Panther's Quest is my favorite season of Avenger's Assemble, but each season had missed opportunities to me. I'm still surprised season one and two couldn't squeeze in an X-Men reference or Wolverine appearance.
 
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