Shout! Factory // 2009 // 138 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dan Mancini (Retired) // May 29th, 2011
The Super Hero Squad began in 2006 as a line of small, chunky Marvel superheroes action figures for young children. The success of the line led to comic book crossovers as well as The Super Hero Squad Show, and animated series that premiered on the Cartoon Network in 2009. Though ostensibly a comedy series for young children, the show's first season is about Dr. Doom's quest to gather the Infinity Fractals, pieces of a sword that, when reunited, will give him the power to conquer the Super Hero Squad and take over the Earth.
The Super Heroes Squad Show: Volume 4 is a single-disc release containing the final six episodes of the first season:
* "Hexed, Vexed, and Perplexed!"
When Magneto and his kids, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, arrive in Super Hero City to steal the Infinity Fractals, Falcon, Hulk, and Iron Man must stop them.
* "The Ice Melt Cometh!"
Iron Man, Wolverine, and Thor must defeat Dr. Doom and his minions as they plan to build a device that will allow them to hurl Super Hero City into space.
* "Wrath of the Red Skull!"
As a birthday present for Captain America, Dr. Doom releases the Red Skull from his cryo-sleep. Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos join the fun.
* "Mother of Doom!"
Dr. Doom travels to an alternate dimension to rescue his mother, and then regrets it due to her endless nagging and guilt trips.
* "Last Exit before Doomsday!"
Silver Surfer meets Galactus' new herald, Stardust. Evil scheming by Dr. Doom ensues.
* "The Al Dente Earth!"
When Galactus arrives to destroy the Earth, the Super Hero Squad teams with Dr. Doom to reassemble the Infinity Fractals. Despite the danger of such power in Doom's hands, it's the only way to defeat the devourer of worlds.
The Super Hero Squad Show may be a hoot for little kids (and perhaps even hardcore Marvel fans of the adult variety), but it didn't do a thing for me. The humor is excruciatingly silly. Gags include the Scarlet Witch whining to her dad, Magneto, like she's a preschooler strapped into a child safety seat in the back of a minivan, the Hulk engaging in a pie fight, Dr. Doom's iron-masked mother, and the Red Skull lamenting that he used to be pink as a child. None of it is the least bit funny (though I readily admit the show probably contains some Marvel Universe inside baseball that might tickle the funny bones of devoted readers of the comics but flew right over my head).
Despite the season-long story arc about the Infinity Sword, the show has little interest in plot or character. Each episode plays out like a relentless assembly line of Bazooka Joe-style quips aimed squarely at youngsters. I haven't seen the first three volumes of the series, but based on the episodes in Volume 4, I'd guess that the Infinity Sword plotline has enough story content for a three- or four-episode arc. The rest of the show is comprised of zingers like Iron Man calling Dr. Doom "tin face" before realizing the irony of his insult, or the Hulk transforming into a variety of silly characters. The primary purpose of the Infinity Sword storyline is to give Dr. Doom something to do. He is, after all, the star of the show.
The disc's 1.78:1 anamorphically-enhanced transfer delivers vivid colors, but is occasionally marred by combing artifacts and macroblocking. Audio comes in clean Dolby 5.1 and stereo options.
The only supplement to the episodes is a two-minute interview with Charlie Adler, the voice actor who performs Dr. Doom.
Guilty as charged.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 138 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site