"The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" News & Discussion Thread, Part 8 (Spoilers)

Rick Jones

fan-man
Staff member
Moderator
This reminds me of all those scenarios that I think Thomas Perkins (I think) drew in the past. How much would I love to see some art of this?

If these were all the ideas that brewing back then, it makes the loss of Season 3 that much more tragic. I never would have expected to see the Mutants showing up as much. Those plans probably would have been something that helped cement its fate as well. I don't mean to be harsh but even if executed terribly, I'd take this over Assemble Season 1.



Man, this sounds like it would've been so epic :crying: .

Random thoughts:

- Sounds like the twins, Wonder Man, and maybe Scott Lang Ant-Man(?) would've joined the team. Also sounds like Wanda and Pietro become disillusioned with Magneto but don't join the team until the Kulan Gath story. And maybe Hulk would've rejoined at some point? Or he's just there when Thor fights Juggernaut.

- I'm kind of curious how much of WaTXM continuity this show would've been following up from. The Brotherhood sound like just Mutant Terrorists instead of an extension of Magneto on Genosha, so should we just assume none of that mattered for this show? The Phoenix comes after Jean again, too...

- Black Knight! I remembered he appeared in season 1 :)!

- Asgard would end up on Midgard/Earth like in the comics, probably in Broxton Oklahoma.

- The classic Kooky Quartet of Cap, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver :D.

- I wonder if the Defenders vs The Elders of the Universe would build up to the Infinity Stones storyline since we know they have them...

- Wanda gets the Phoenix Force and betrays the team for her father and brother to create House of M?

I'd guess it doesn't have much continuity with WATX. With the way the show ended I can't picture Wanda rolling with Magneto anymore. The knowledge of their parents had seemed pretty secure in that series too, though that is always up for a retcon. I really loved WATX handled the Genoshan royal family with Mags, Wanda, Lorna as the baby princess, and Pietro as the outcast. This feels like it would have been a totally new introduction to Wanda and Pietro.

It's cool that Yost would take an opportunity to highlight Black Knight, one of his favorite Avengers. Just coming in to help during one episode reminds me of how he was used in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. The Defenders episode sounds good. I wish Silver Surfer could get in on the action though.

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Frontier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
This reminds me of all those scenarios that I think Thomas Perkins (I think) drew in the past. How much would I love to see some art of this?

If these were all the ideas that brewing back then, it makes the loss of Season 3 that much more tragic. I never would have expected to see the Mutants showing up as much. Those plans probably would have been something that helped cement its fate as well. I don't mean to be harsh but even if executed terribly, I'd take this over Assemble Season 1.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
I'm not that surprised. Yost and some of the crew for EMH got their start doing X-Men cartoons, so it's obvious they have a lot of love for Marvel's Merry Band of Mutants ;).
 

Frontier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Regarding the Wolverine and The X-Men connection, Yost mentioned this last year;
So they would've kept shifting the post-apocalyptic future for WaTXM each season? Would the third one have been House of M :p?
 

RoryWilliams

Well-Known Member
So Carol would've been Captain Marvel in season 3.

All that sounds intriguing. Wonder if the New Avengers would've returned.
 

brodie999

Well-Known Member
Hey, have you ever wondered what life would be like if the Nova and Sentry episodes were produced as part of Season 2? I think the S3 Nova episode would've been replaced with Ego the Living Planet or Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy or combine them both in one episode.
 

Frontier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
So Carol would've been Captain Marvel in season 3.

All that sounds intriguing. Wonder if the New Avengers would've returned.
I don't know if Carol would've become Captain Marvel (although I think the transition happened in the comics during season 2, so it might have), he's just calling her that because that's her codename now.

I mean, "Wakanda Forever" and "Avengers World" weren't things when the show was being produced so I think the descriptions are somewhat influenced by what came after to a certain extent even if the general ideas are still the same.
 

Rick Jones

fan-man
Staff member
Moderator
I'm not that surprised. Yost and some of the crew for EMH got their start doing X-Men cartoons, so it's obvious they have a lot of love for Marvel's Merry Band of Mutants ;).
After always hearing about how it was going to be the magic season, I just didn't think about them.

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the greenman

Well-Known Member
Honestly, let's just hope for the best in the future for those two guys. They are involved in the MCU, so we might see some ideas come to fruition there.

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Josh_Fine

Writer/Producer
Kang targeting Captain America for something he did in the 21st century. I don't feel like we actually saw the main cause.

You both did and didn't. The ultimate cause of the erasure of Kang's timeline was actually Loki. Loki tapped into the Odinforce in season 1 and used it to alter the very fabric of reality, changing just one tiny detail: turning off the power at the four Super-Villain prisons. This one little change had a cascading effect on the time-line, most notably leading to the formation of the Avengers, and with the formation of the Avengers, the discovery of Captain America frozen in ice. Kang correctly surmised that Captain America's anomalous presence in the 21st Century was a major part of the thread that would lead to the unraveling of his timeline. The presence of Cap in the modern world paved the way for the Skrulls to steal his identity in Season 2 and use his trustworthiness to secure their hold on the Earth. The ensuing Kree-Skrull war then lead to the destruction of Earth's sun. Importantly, only by using the knowledge and technology that Kang brought back with him are the Avengers able to avert this fate by collapsing the Kree wormhole.

In the original plans for the end of Season 2, this would have become a bit more clear in the New Avengers episode. Chris's and my original plan was for Operation Galactic Storm to play out pretty much exactly as it did, but then to be followed (rather than preceded) by New Avengers. The idea would have been that we end Galactic Storm with the Avengers stranded on the far side of the galaxy, surrounded by the Kree Armada, with the audience eager to find out what's going to happen to them... and then totally don't deliver on that story at all the next week.

Instead, the moment the Avengers succeed in preventing the destruction of the sun, Kang's timeline would have been restored and Ravonna immediately awakens from stasis. It turns out that she is every bit as formidable and calculating as her significant other, and she swiftly fights her way to him and frees him. Now you have not only Kang--arguably the Avengers most dangerous adversary up to this point--running loose, you have Ravonna as well. And there are no Avengers coming to stop them. You know this because you know they're stranded on the other side of the Galaxy with no possible way that they're going to return to save the day. So the pressure is really on for the New Avengers to step up. After the beginning, most of the episode would have played out pretty identically to how it was in the actual airing, other than the fact that the Avengers wouldn't return at the end for the final victory.

And then in the following episodes, we would have returned to the Avengers on Hala for a finale two-parter, with Live Kree or Die playing out in pretty much the same way, but continuing into the arrival of Galactus on the Kree home world.

He mentioned that was the original plan, but he could always go back on that and start anew. I don't think a lot of these plans would've fit with both shows anyway.

Indeed. While Chris and I were working on Season 1 of AEMH, I was simultaneously working on development of Season 2 of Wolverine and the X-Men with Head Writer Greg Johnson. My intention at the time (early in the Season 1 writing process for AEMH) was for the two shows to enter into continuity with one another to create some kind of shared universe with the possibility of cross-overs down the road. By the time we got to AEMH Season 2, though, WatX had already been cancelled for quite some time. The only thing in AEMH that even slightly hinted at continuity with WatX was a single line from Nick Fury about the Mardies in one of the Ant-Man & Wasp Micro-Episodes. There wasn't room for a mutant episode in Season 2, so it didn't really become an issue until we started tossing around ideas for where the show might go in Season 3--but at that point, we were both leaning towards breaking continuity with WatX and starting with a fresher, less-continuity-laden X-Men team that would have fit the classic tone and feel of AEMH a bit better.

As it turns out, we never got that far though. So, as I've said before, anyone who loves the idea that these shows are in continuity is welcome to continue seeing them that way (they were originally intended to be.) Anyone who enjoys them more as their own stand-alone universes is also justified in seeing them that way (we were almost certainly going to go this route if we continued.) People who have a desperate need to know what is and isn't canon... well, they can just hate me for existing in this horrible grey area of truthiness ;)

So they would've kept shifting the post-apocalyptic future for WaTXM each season? Would the third one have been House of M :p?

This idea definitely got thrown around by Supervising Producer Craig Kyle and Head Writer Greg Johnson as far back as Season 1 story meetings. While Greg and I were wrangling Age of Apocalypse stories during Season 2 development, House of M was still floating there as a possible Season 3. I don't think we'd made a firm decision which way we were going to go by the time we had to stop scripting, though. In point of fact, the stories for WatX Season 2 were brutally difficult to break, and Greg and I had our hands and heads way too full trying to keep time-lines and character arcs straight (time travel stories!) ::shakes fist:: to be looking too far ahead at that point. Though the scripts that Greg finished turned out really great, in my humble estimation. They're out there on the internet somewhere if you haven't read them before and want a double-barrel nostalgia punch to go with Chris's EMH loglines.

Anyway, HAPPY #AvengersEMH10 everybody! Thanks for showing so much love to this show still, even after so long. It means a lot. In honor of the anniversary, I'd be happy to answer some of your questions about the show here! To the best of my ability! Probably!
 

colomb

Active Member
Anyway, HAPPY #AvengersEMH10 everybody! Thanks for showing so much love to this show still, even after so long. It means a lot. In honor of the anniversary, I'd be happy to answer some of your questions about the show here! To the best of my ability! Probably!
Thank you for taking time out of your day for this. A number of people have mentioned that these shows had potential to reach the level of the DCAU is they continued. I've always wondered what other shows you guys would have chose to spinoff from these if allowed to?

Not sure if you ever contemplated this but, I was also wondering specifically about Spider-man. What are some of the things you would include in your own Spider-man spinoff and how would it differ from Spectacular Spider-man since the EMH version was somewhat inspired by that incarnation?
 

Frontier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
You both did and didn't. The ultimate cause of the erasure of Kang's timeline was actually Loki. Loki tapped into the Odinforce in season 1 and used it to alter the very fabric of reality, changing just one tiny detail: turning off the power at the four Super-Villain prisons. This one little change had a cascading effect on the time-line, most notably leading to the formation of the Avengers, and with the formation of the Avengers, the discovery of Captain America frozen in ice. Kang correctly surmised that Captain America's anomalous presence in the 21st Century was a major part of the thread that would lead to the unraveling of his timeline. The presence of Cap in the modern world paved the way for the Skrulls to steal his identity in Season 2 and use his trustworthiness to secure their hold on the Earth. The ensuing Kree-Skrull war then lead to the destruction of Earth's sun. Importantly, only by using the knowledge and technology that Kang brought back with him are the Avengers able to avert this fate by collapsing the Kree wormhole.

In the original plans for the end of Season 2, this would have become a bit more clear in the New Avengers episode. Chris's and my original plan was for Operation Galactic Storm to play out pretty much exactly as it did, but then to be followed (rather than preceded) by New Avengers. The idea would have been that we end Galactic Storm with the Avengers stranded on the far side of the galaxy, surrounded by the Kree Armada, with the audience eager to find out what's going to happen to them... and then totally don't deliver on that story at all the next week.

Instead, the moment the Avengers succeed in preventing the destruction of the sun, Kang's timeline would have been restored and Ravonna immediately awakens from stasis. It turns out that she is every bit as formidable and calculating as her significant other, and she swiftly fights her way to him and frees him. Now you have not only Kang--arguably the Avengers most dangerous adversary up to this point--running loose, you have Ravonna as well. And there are no Avengers coming to stop them. You know this because you know they're stranded on the other side of the Galaxy with no possible way that they're going to return to save the day. So the pressure is really on for the New Avengers to step up. After the beginning, most of the episode would have played out pretty identically to how it was in the actual airing, other than the fact that the Avengers wouldn't return at the end for the final victory.

And then in the following episodes, we would have returned to the Avengers on Hala for a finale two-parter, with Live Kree or Die playing out in pretty much the same way, but continuing into the arrival of Galactus on the Kree home world.



Indeed. While Chris and I were working on Season 1 of AEMH, I was simultaneously working on development of Season 2 of Wolverine and the X-Men with Head Writer Greg Johnson. My intention at the time (early in the Season 1 writing process for AEMH) was for the two shows to enter into continuity with one another to create some kind of shared universe with the possibility of cross-overs down the road. By the time we got to AEMH Season 2, though, WatX had already been cancelled for quite some time. The only thing in AEMH that even slightly hinted at continuity with WatX was a single line from Nick Fury about the Mardies in one of the Ant-Man & Wasp Micro-Episodes. There wasn't room for a mutant episode in Season 2, so it didn't really become an issue until we started tossing around ideas for where the show might go in Season 3--but at that point, we were both leaning towards breaking continuity with WatX and starting with a fresher, less-continuity-laden X-Men team that would have fit the classic tone and feel of AEMH a bit better.

As it turns out, we never got that far though. So, as I've said before, anyone who loves the idea that these shows are in continuity is welcome to continue seeing them that way (they were originally intended to be.) Anyone who enjoys them more as their own stand-alone universes is also justified in seeing them that way (we were almost certainly going to go this route if we continued.) People who have a desperate need to know what is and isn't canon... well, they can just hate me for existing in this horrible grey area of truthiness ;)



This idea definitely got thrown around by Supervising Producer Craig Kyle and Head Writer Greg Johnson as far back as Season 1 story meetings. While Greg and I were wrangling Age of Apocalypse stories during Season 2 development, House of M was still floating there as a possible Season 3. I don't think we'd made a firm decision which way we were going to go by the time we had to stop scripting, though. In point of fact, the stories for WatX Season 2 were brutally difficult to break, and Greg and I had our hands and heads way too full trying to keep time-lines and character arcs straight (time travel stories!) ::shakes fist:: to be looking too far ahead at that point. Though the scripts that Greg finished turned out really great, in my humble estimation. They're out there on the internet somewhere if you haven't read them before and want a double-barrel nostalgia punch to go with Chris's EMH loglines.

Anyway, HAPPY #AvengersEMH10 everybody! Thanks for showing so much love to this show still, even after so long. It means a lot. In honor of the anniversary, I'd be happy to answer some of your questions about the show here! To the best of my ability! Probably!
Mr. Fine, it is so great to hear from you again on this forum, and to see you talking about EMH (and WaTXM) again on the anniversary. Thank you so much for giving us more creative insight into the production and concept stage, and for delivering one of the best Superhero cartoons ever :).
 

TheVileOne

Peace Loving Shinobi
Reporter
You both did and didn't. The ultimate cause of the erasure of Kang's timeline was actually Loki. Loki tapped into the Odinforce in season 1 and used it to alter the very fabric of reality, changing just one tiny detail: turning off the power at the four Super-Villain prisons. This one little change had a cascading effect on the time-line, most notably leading to the formation of the Avengers, and with the formation of the Avengers, the discovery of Captain America frozen in ice. Kang correctly surmised that Captain America's anomalous presence in the 21st Century was a major part of the thread that would lead to the unraveling of his timeline. The presence of Cap in the modern world paved the way for the Skrulls to steal his identity in Season 2 and use his trustworthiness to secure their hold on the Earth. The ensuing Kree-Skrull war then lead to the destruction of Earth's sun. Importantly, only by using the knowledge and technology that Kang brought back with him are the Avengers able to avert this fate by collapsing the Kree wormhole.

In the original plans for the end of Season 2, this would have become a bit more clear in the New Avengers episode. Chris's and my original plan was for Operation Galactic Storm to play out pretty much exactly as it did, but then to be followed (rather than preceded) by New Avengers. The idea would have been that we end Galactic Storm with the Avengers stranded on the far side of the galaxy, surrounded by the Kree Armada, with the audience eager to find out what's going to happen to them... and then totally don't deliver on that story at all the next week.

Instead, the moment the Avengers succeed in preventing the destruction of the sun, Kang's timeline would have been restored and Ravonna immediately awakens from stasis. It turns out that she is every bit as formidable and calculating as her significant other, and she swiftly fights her way to him and frees him. Now you have not only Kang--arguably the Avengers most dangerous adversary up to this point--running loose, you have Ravonna as well. And there are no Avengers coming to stop them. You know this because you know they're stranded on the other side of the Galaxy with no possible way that they're going to return to save the day. So the pressure is really on for the New Avengers to step up. After the beginning, most of the episode would have played out pretty identically to how it was in the actual airing, other than the fact that the Avengers wouldn't return at the end for the final victory.

And then in the following episodes, we would have returned to the Avengers on Hala for a finale two-parter, with Live Kree or Die playing out in pretty much the same way, but continuing into the arrival of Galactus on the Kree home world.



Indeed. While Chris and I were working on Season 1 of AEMH, I was simultaneously working on development of Season 2 of Wolverine and the X-Men with Head Writer Greg Johnson. My intention at the time (early in the Season 1 writing process for AEMH) was for the two shows to enter into continuity with one another to create some kind of shared universe with the possibility of cross-overs down the road. By the time we got to AEMH Season 2, though, WatX had already been cancelled for quite some time. The only thing in AEMH that even slightly hinted at continuity with WatX was a single line from Nick Fury about the Mardies in one of the Ant-Man & Wasp Micro-Episodes. There wasn't room for a mutant episode in Season 2, so it didn't really become an issue until we started tossing around ideas for where the show might go in Season 3--but at that point, we were both leaning towards breaking continuity with WatX and starting with a fresher, less-continuity-laden X-Men team that would have fit the classic tone and feel of AEMH a bit better.

As it turns out, we never got that far though. So, as I've said before, anyone who loves the idea that these shows are in continuity is welcome to continue seeing them that way (they were originally intended to be.) Anyone who enjoys them more as their own stand-alone universes is also justified in seeing them that way (we were almost certainly going to go this route if we continued.) People who have a desperate need to know what is and isn't canon... well, they can just hate me for existing in this horrible grey area of truthiness ;)



This idea definitely got thrown around by Supervising Producer Craig Kyle and Head Writer Greg Johnson as far back as Season 1 story meetings. While Greg and I were wrangling Age of Apocalypse stories during Season 2 development, House of M was still floating there as a possible Season 3. I don't think we'd made a firm decision which way we were going to go by the time we had to stop scripting, though. In point of fact, the stories for WatX Season 2 were brutally difficult to break, and Greg and I had our hands and heads way too full trying to keep time-lines and character arcs straight (time travel stories!) ::shakes fist:: to be looking too far ahead at that point. Though the scripts that Greg finished turned out really great, in my humble estimation. They're out there on the internet somewhere if you haven't read them before and want a double-barrel nostalgia punch to go with Chris's EMH loglines.

Anyway, HAPPY #AvengersEMH10 everybody! Thanks for showing so much love to this show still, even after so long. It means a lot. In honor of the anniversary, I'd be happy to answer some of your questions about the show here! To the best of my ability! Probably!

Thank you Josh. I think it's time for Earth's Mightiest Heroes to be revived so we can get the proper Season 3 and the conclusion to this story!
 

Josh_Fine

Writer/Producer
I've always wondered what other shows you guys would have chose to spinoff from these if allowed to?

A great question, Colomb, with a slightly complicated answer. If we take a very strict interpretation of what "spin-off" means--that is to say a direct byproduct of the work done for and the stories told in AEMH--then there was only ever one true spin-off that I contemplated, which was an Ant-Man or Ant-Man & Wasp backstory / origin story. Prior to development on AEMH, I didn't have much love for Hank Pym. In fact, I think the world at the time didn't have much love for Hank Pym. His character was forever tarnished and haunted by a single moment that had happened decades earlier in the comics, and his frequent alter ego changes had left him without a particularly coherent or likable identity.

At the beginning of AEMH development, I was determined to turn him into a cool, aspirational, and relatable character. I often said that whatever else happens with the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, if even one kid on one playground somewhere wants to be Ant-Man at recess, then I will feel like we succeeded. Chris and I worked hard to refurbish his personality, and I think Chris's writing really captured the classic appeal of the character from the old Tales to Astonish days. Once I saw Ciro Nieli's designs for the character, along with his concept for the belt-device that would release Kirby Krackle-style Pym Particles into the character's uniform, I started to feel like there might be a very rich animated world there--and a flavor of b-movie, retro-sci-fi stories that you couldn't really tell with any other character.

Ultimately, I put the concept of an Ant-Man solo story on a short list for potential future MLG (Marvel / Lionsgate) movies. Those movies didn't continue past Planet Hulk, though, so I never had a chance to do anything with it.

If we take a broader view of "spin-off" then there were a number of series that might have been perceived as spin-offs if they ever came to fruition, even though their true inception predated any work being done on AEMH. For almost as long as I was at Marvel, I had a running list of series and/or films I would love to make if given the chance. Heroes for Hire was at or near the top of that list pretty much the whole time. Getting to use them in To Steal an Ant-Man felt almost like a cross-over with a series that never was, to me. The idea of doing an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series or film had also long been bouncing around our very small Marvel West offices (our 3 person animation department used to be adjacent to the 6 person live-action film department, and there was a lot of open sharing of creative ideas in the day.) I had my own take on the concept which would have focused on Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Hawkeye; and been more of a spy-thriller. Guardians of the Galaxy was also perennially on this list, as was doing a Cap & Bucky WWII series.

Then there were some series that made it as far as having some early development work done on them, which I worked on in collaboration with others. These included an Iron Man solo series and an early adventures of Thor series. These were both developed and pitched as stand-alone series, but would they have ultimately shared continuity with AEMH if they had made it to production? Yeah, probably. At least if I was still supervising them (my desire to create a Marvel Animated Universe was strong.)

Lastly, there were the ones that might have come to be in a Season 3. I was basically salivating, waiting for the rights to Daredevil to revert to Marvel so that we could use the character. A series and a guest appearance would have topped my priority list after that happened. Others that might have happened include, Blade, Doctor Strange / The Defenders / The Secret Defenders, and a new take on X-Men (for which I had a lot of ideas.)

Not sure if you ever contemplated this but, I was also wondering specifically about Spider-man. What are some of the things you would include in your own Spider-man spinoff and how would it differ from Spectacular Spider-man since the EMH version was somewhat inspired by that incarnation?

This is a tough one. For all of Season 1 of AEMH, Spider-Man was off-limits to us, as Sony was still in control of the character for use in animation. If memory serves, the deal to allow Marvel to use the character was finalized after Chris and I had already created, pitched, and been approved on our story skeleton plan for Season 2. As soon as the character became available to us, we immediately made room for a couple of guest appearances in the season; but part of that deal happening was an understanding that a new Spidey series would be getting underway at Marvel immediately (what would become Ultimate Spider-Man.) So Chris and I never had any illusions that our use of the character would amount to anything other than a guest appearance, and I never really even spent energy daydreaming what I would do with the character in a full-blown series until many years after the fact.

As far as what I would do nowadays, if given the chance, I am of two schools of thought:
1) Pick a particular favorite story and just do the richest, most satisfying one-off adaptation of it I can, without the need to justify where it falls in a particular continuity. Into the Spider-Verse is an example of this approach being done well. Maximum Carnage is one of my favorite Spidey stories (in part thinks to the good ol' SNES game), and I could see doing a pretty dark, twisted version of it as a movie with a PG-13 Hulk Vs. level of violence. This would result in a one-off film as opposed to a series.

2) To really do Spider-Man justice in an ongoing animated series, I would be inclined to start from the beginning, aim classic, and pull from stories throughout Spider-Man comic-dom (basically the same approach as both AEMH and Spec Spidey.) How would retelling Spider-Man's origin and starting from the beginning be any different than anything else we've seen done with the character a hundred times now? All I can do is lean on an old writer's adage, that even if two creators start with the exact same premise, their final products will inevitably be radically different from one another. No two storytellers are the same, and so no two of their stories will be either. I realize that's an incredibly vague answer, but I think the alternative would be hanging the series upon a particular gimmick or framing it around a single over-blown storyline--both of which, in Spidey's case, would in my mind do him a disservice. Ideally for me, developing a brand new Spider-Man series would happen in conjunction with building a true Marvel Animated Universe from the ground up--so that, in and of itself, would allow it to tell classic adaptations of stories that still went places that Spectacular was barred from going.
 

brodie999

Well-Known Member
A great question, Colomb, with a slightly complicated answer. If we take a very strict interpretation of what "spin-off" means--that is to say a direct byproduct of the work done for and the stories told in AEMH--then there was only ever one true spin-off that I contemplated, which was an Ant-Man or Ant-Man & Wasp backstory / origin story. Prior to development on AEMH, I didn't have much love for Hank Pym. In fact, I think the world at the time didn't have much love for Hank Pym. His character was forever tarnished and haunted by a single moment that had happened decades earlier in the comics, and his frequent alter ego changes had left him without a particularly coherent or likable identity.

At the beginning of AEMH development, I was determined to turn him into a cool, aspirational, and relatable character. I often said that whatever else happens with the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, if even one kid on one playground somewhere wants to be Ant-Man at recess, then I will feel like we succeeded. Chris and I worked hard to refurbish his personality, and I think Chris's writing really captured the classic appeal of the character from the old Tales to Astonish days. Once I saw Ciro Nieli's designs for the character, along with his concept for the belt-device that would release Kirby Krackle-style Pym Particles into the character's uniform, I started to feel like there might be a very rich animated world there--and a flavor of b-movie, retro-sci-fi stories that you couldn't really tell with any other character.

Ultimately, I put the concept of an Ant-Man solo story on a short list for potential future MLG (Marvel / Lionsgate) movies. Those movies didn't continue past Planet Hulk, though, so I never had a chance to do anything with it.

If we take a broader view of "spin-off" then there were a number of series that might have been perceived as spin-offs if they ever came to fruition, even though their true inception predated any work being done on AEMH. For almost as long as I was at Marvel, I had a running list of series and/or films I would love to make if given the chance. Heroes for Hire was at or near the top of that list pretty much the whole time. Getting to use them in To Steal an Ant-Man felt almost like a cross-over with a series that never was, to me. The idea of doing an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series or film had also long been bouncing around our very small Marvel West offices (our 3 person animation department used to be adjacent to the 6 person live-action film department, and there was a lot of open sharing of creative ideas in the day.) I had my own take on the concept which would have focused on Nick Fury, Black Widow, and Hawkeye; and been more of a spy-thriller. Guardians of the Galaxy was also perennially on this list, as was doing a Cap & Bucky WWII series.

Then there were some series that made it as far as having some early development work done on them, which I worked on in collaboration with others. These included an Iron Man solo series and an early adventures of Thor series. These were both developed and pitched as stand-alone series, but would they have ultimately shared continuity with AEMH if they had made it to production? Yeah, probably. At least if I was still supervising them (my desire to create a Marvel Animated Universe was strong.)

Lastly, there were the ones that might have come to be in a Season 3. I was basically salivating, waiting for the rights to Daredevil to revert to Marvel so that we could use the character. A series and a guest appearance would have topped my priority list after that happened. Others that might have happened include, Blade, Doctor Strange / The Defenders / The Secret Defenders, and a new take on X-Men (for which I had a lot of ideas.)



This is a tough one. For all of Season 1 of AEMH, Spider-Man was off-limits to us, as Sony was still in control of the character for use in animation. If memory serves, the deal to allow Marvel to use the character was finalized after Chris and I had already created, pitched, and been approved on our story skeleton plan for Season 2. As soon as the character became available to us, we immediately made room for a couple of guest appearances in the season; but part of that deal happening was an understanding that a new Spidey series would be getting underway at Marvel immediately (what would become Ultimate Spider-Man.) So Chris and I never had any illusions that our use of the character would amount to anything other than a guest appearance, and I never really even spent energy daydreaming what I would do with the character in a full-blown series until many years after the fact.

As far as what I would do nowadays, if given the chance, I am of two schools of thought:
1) Pick a particular favorite story and just do the richest, most satisfying one-off adaptation of it I can, without the need to justify where it falls in a particular continuity. Into the Spider-Verse is an example of this approach being done well. Maximum Carnage is one of my favorite Spidey stories (in part thinks to the good ol' SNES game), and I could see doing a pretty dark, twisted version of it as a movie with a PG-13 Hulk Vs. level of violence. This would result in a one-off film as opposed to a series.

2) To really do Spider-Man justice in an ongoing animated series, I would be inclined to start from the beginning, aim classic, and pull from stories throughout Spider-Man comic-dom (basically the same approach as both AEMH and Spec Spidey.) How would retelling Spider-Man's origin and starting from the beginning be any different than anything else we've seen done with the character a hundred times now? All I can do is lean on an old writer's adage, that even if two creators start with the exact same premise, their final products will inevitably be radically different from one another. No two storytellers are the same, and so no two of their stories will be either. I realize that's an incredibly vague answer, but I think the alternative would be hanging the series upon a particular gimmick or framing it around a single over-blown storyline--both of which, in Spidey's case, would in my mind do him a disservice. Ideally for me, developing a brand new Spider-Man series would happen in conjunction with building a true Marvel Animated Universe from the ground up--so that, in and of itself, would allow it to tell classic adaptations of stories that still went places that Spectacular was barred from going.
Hi, Joshua. If you had done all of Season 2, what would your original plans for Powerless, Assault on Prison 42, the Sentry episode, Yellowjacket, Emperor Doom and the Red Zone/Winter Soldier/Red Hulk arc have been like? And what would you have named the finale since you already named Live Kree or Die and Operation: Galactic Storm. What was one episode you would've done that we don't know about yet? What would have the ending for New Avengers been?
 
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