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The Super Hero Squad Show (A Review)

We continue All Request Review month here at Toonopolis, The Blog.  Today’s Saturday Morning Cartoon Review was actually requested by my six year old son! Today I am going to review one of his favorite shows and a show that may tick off a lot of comic book geeks who hate unrelated adaptations of comic book work.  Today we’re going to talk about The Super Hero Squad Show.

Some comic aficionados might get turned off by the character designs, but I was so excited to see Marvel break out this nod to a form of Japanese animation called super-deformed or chibi.  I think it works very well for a show that is designed for the 10 and under crowd.  I know my son certainly loves seeing his favorite comic characters in this form.  In fact, his bedroom is covered with Fathead stickers of Super Hero Squad versions of these comic book legends.

I could probably spend an entire post discussing the voice cast that they pulled in for this show.  They have tapped a cornucopia of talent to voice the caricatured versions of these Marvel super heroes.  Tom Kenney (SpongBob SquarePants, The Ice King of Adventure Time) alone handles an amazing workload: Iron Man, Captain America, MODOK, and Juggernaut among them.  Many of the other main voice actors are well-known in video games and Anime and take on numerous voice roles as well: Steve Blum (as Wolverine/Abomination/etc., known for work in Cowboy Bepob and much more), Charles Adler (as Dr. Doom/Sabretooth/etc, known for TONS of work spanning the last 3 decades), and more.

Let’s not forget the ladies here, also! There are not a lot of female characters represented on the show, but nearly all of them are voiced by either Grey DeLisle (Ms. Marvel/Enchantress) or Tara Strong (Scarlet Witch, H.E.R.B.I.E).  With so much talent on board, they can bring in numerous new characters and have a new voice with existing voice actors.  Lastly, let’s not forget some great guest spots by George Takei (Galactus), Mark Hamill (Cthon/Red Skull), and Jane Lynch (Nebula).  Oh, yeah, and Stan Lee plays the Mayor of Superhero City (who has appeared in a ton of episodes).

Just take a look at some of the guest spots they've pulled! AWESOME!

The general premise of the show is that there is a group led by Iron Man that works with SHIELD.  It’s basically an Avengers lineup (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Wolverine, Falcon, and Silver Surfer) with a few modifications.  They answer to Ms. Marvel (the only primary female in the first season).  The first season centers around Infinity Fractals, which Dr. Doom is trying to collect.  The Squaddies (a horrible portmanteau of Squad and Buddies, I guess) beat him to the crystals.  The second season introduced a swap of Silver Surfer in the group for Scarlet Witch, as the Surfer become overtaken by the power of the magic in the assembled Infinity Sword and Infinity Gauntlet.  The Dark Surfer, as he becomes, and Thanos become the primary villains in the second season.

I will never unsee a chibi Galactus. And I'm strangely okay with that.

Along the way, much funny is had.  While there is a general plot to move the story along, the entire purpose of this show is to poke fun at the comic industry with caricatures of well known superheroes.  It is extremely slapsticky and silly, which is why I said that pure comic fans would probably dislike it.  The fact that Stan Lee is so heavily involved makes me enjoy the self-deprecating nature of the show.  One of my favorite episodes is “Enter: Dormammu.” With the inclusion of a whacko-crazy Dr. Strange (infected by the power of an Infinity fractal) and his magic opening the portal for Dormammu, it is fantastic.  Favorite line, Falcon to Dormammu: “Seriously, dude, your head… is on fire!” Complete with marshmallows on skewers.

Another great line that proves this show is written by geeks happens in the second season.  Iron Man has Scarlet Witch use her hexing powers to make their ship travel to the most improbable location she could think of for the location of the Infinity Sword.  Where does she pick?  The End of the Universe.  What is her line when she gets there?  “This is it?  I thought there’d at least be a restaurant here or something.”  If you don’t get this reference, you need to hand in your geek card and go read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Is this the best show on TV?  Absolutely not.  Will it annoy a lot of comic nerds?  I think so.  Do I recommend watching it as an adult?  Probably not.  However, if you are a comic fan and have an opportunity to watch it with a six year old like I do, it is a boatload of fun playing, “catch the reference” and just enjoying a silly, slapsticky show with no other purpose but to make you and your kid giggle while you watch it.  4/5 Giant Cartoon Mallets for The Super Hero Squad Show.  HERO UP!

 

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    • Natasha Larry on October 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    • Reply

    My kid loves watching this show and it makes me crazy.

    1. That’s cause you’re a comic geek. But you gotta look at it the way one of my Twitter followers put it, “This show is introducing my kid to comics and I’m teaching him from there.” Use it as a springboard! 🙂

    • Natasha on October 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm
    • Reply

    That is one way to look at it. Of course, I started reading comics to my kid when she was two…heh, She’s kind of a prodigy… and yes I am proud.

    =)

    1. I agree. Well done! My 6yo can name nearly all of the 450+ Pokémon and can identify each of the theme songs for each of the robots from Megaman II and III. Raising geeklings is a wonderful thing! 🙂

    • JulieTorrentino on October 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm
    • Reply

    Jeremy is a completely brain dead retarded fanboy who apparently has never watched the old Justice Friends cartoons from Dexter’s Laboratory to know how to make a Marvel parody work! I can’t for the day Jeremy’s kid turns AGAINST the Stupid Hero Squad Disgraces once he is exposed to the REAL “Super Hero Squad Show” known as the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

    “Raising geeklings is a wonderful thing!”

    Watching you someday getting gunned down by jerk azzes because you got drunk and stupidly picked a fight with them will indeed be a wonderful thing!

    PS – Toonzone says that this show has been cancelled like one would expect from such a horrible Justice Friends ripoff!

    Respond to me here if you want to continue our discussion of why I deserve a vicious plague or what not, assuming you have balls that is!

    1. Well, that seemed to be a little unnecessarily inflammatory. I do recall Justice Friends. That was a humorous parody.

      Super Hero Squad is not a parody, though, because it is an officially sanctioned show. It’s more of a self-referential humor show and it entertains my 6yo. As he gets older, I’m sure he will move on to other stuff. Right now I still say it’s a good show for the youngins.

      Thanks for being my first troll, though. I must be getting popular if a troll has found its way to my blog! 😉

    2. I’m not sure why you’ve associated Jeremy wanting to raise a child that understands geek-culture with Jeremy getting drunk and beaten up by jerks, because the two things really don’t have anything to do with one another. o.O

      Also from what I can see, the show “ended” and wasn’t “cancelled”. There’s a big difference in the wording. I’m having problems finding a source that says it’s cancelled. Even Wikipedia says “ended” and they are usually pretty accurate with regard to whether a show was cancelled.

  1. i lilek the super hero squad show bring it back

  2. i love the teen titans bring it back

    • Cami on July 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm
    • Reply

    We’re getting ready for my son’s 2nd birthday party which is all about Marvel characters (that’s how I found this blog- looking for pics for his invite). He ADORES this show. Before he was born, we decorated his nursery with the Fathead decals (aren’t they awesome!?) and Mighty Muggs, and he knew all of them by name before he knew the names of some of our family members, lol. My husband and I actually enjoy this show a lot, and think it’s a great for young kids since there aren’t a lot of Marvel options for the preschool set. Because of The Super Hero Squad, he now loves all things Marvel, which is fantastic. My husband is comic-geek heaven being able to share that with his kid already! (Thanks for posting that pic of the cameo stars and their characters, btw. I didn’t even realize who those voices were!) Wish they would do another season- we’d watch it for sure.

    • Kyp on January 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm
    • Reply

    I’m really glad that they came out with this show it is very silly and my 4 yo loves it. We watched the first season of Avengers: earths mightiest heroes which was great but, they recently released the 2nd season on Netflix and we were super excited but, it scared him so, we stick with SHS. I wish I knew of some other super hero shows that are similar to this hat he can watch! It’s unny and I don’t have to worry about it being really scary.
    I enjoy watching it myself. We have finished both seasons twice already and I was searching to find out about season 3 when I came across your blog. My husband and I really enjoy that our son loves super heroes and the original tmnt and we had let him watch some x-men but those started to get scary. So we will save those for when he is older.

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