Anticipating a brand new Avengers line-up after this year’s Avengers: Endgame, we’re all preparing to say goodbye to the old gang. Eschewing the obligatory MCU re-watch before the film arrives, I re-watched the first three seasons of the MCU-adjacent Avengers Assemble instead, because, well, I only just recently re-watched the entire MCU before Infinity War!
The series had a lot to live up to in following Disney’s well-regarded Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but it managed to be more than just a cash-in on the success of Joss Whedon’s 2012 film, and Avengers Assemble is indeed still going strong with season five’s Black Panther’s Quest, trying to always adapt and shape its central team around Marvel’s present and future plans for the MCU.
Amongst the cartoon’s customary battles and explosions have been some really silly and fun character-driven moments, and as the MCU has grown alongside it, it’s also made it very easy to mentally transpose the current live-action cast onto their animated counterparts. If nothing else, the series’ irreverent plot lines have definitely helped to tide me over during this period of Avengers withdrawal.
Here are just some of my favourite moments from the first 78 episodes, presented as raw notes…
The Avengers Protocol Part 1
Tony is lonely after the break up of the Avengers, but refuses to admit it. Instead, he just spies on them all the time, waiting for any opportunity to swoop in and save one of them so that they’re grateful enough to want to spend time with him again. Tony would definitely send you a “u up?” DM at 3am and pretend it never happened.
Thor skips a tree-hurling competition because Tony sounds depressed on the phone. Thor would never send a “u up?” DM at 3am.
Hawkeye makes the first of many vague-but-intriguing references to having made a fool of himself in Las Vegas at some point.
Dracula has turned Black Widow into a half vampire and the Avengers have to find a way to turn her back. Yes, the Dracula. This is only the fifth episode of season one!
Hawkeye has eaten all the peanut butter and Hulk is ready to murder someone over it.
Tony is challenged to go a day without using his tech. He is spectacularly bad at it.
Odin visits Thor on Earth and openly hates everyone but the Hulk.
Crime And Circuses
In an episode that has to be seen to be believed, Ringmaster shows up with his villainous crew, The Circus of Crime, which Hawkeye used to be a part of. If you’re not familiar with Ringmaster, he has a hypnotic top hat, and looks like a full-size leprechaun. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
The Final Showdown
The Avengers have to work with MODOK. Everyone is pissed off about it except Tony, a messy bitch who lives for drama.
Thanos tries to pick up Mjolnir and fails. “IF I CAN’T HIT YOU WITH THE HAMMER, THEN I’LL HIT THE HAMMER WITH YOU!” he screams. What follows can only be described as a game of ‘stop hitting yourself!’ but with Thor’s head.
Valhalla Can Wait
Hulk and Thor get into a fist fight on live TV over who is the strongest, embarrassing Tony. Black Widow seems absolutely exhausted by it all. Any parent could relate.
Ghosts Of The Past
Hawkeye wants more say over what the Avengers watch on TV, so he bets Thor that he can fluke-flick a pea up a sleeping Hulk’s nose. He nails it, but Hulk destroys the TV. There’s an ancient parable in here somewhere.
Meanwhile, Cap’s password is revealed to be ‘password’.
The Age Of Tony Stark
After a brush with the Time Stone, Tony is de-ageing. He loses his beard and gets acne, while the other Avengers pretend not to enjoy this on some level. Cap instinctively starts fathering him, because of course he does.
Head To Head
Hawkeye reveals that he was the one who hid Nick Fury’s eye patch, and his smug expression says ‘no regrets’
MODOK switches the Avengers’ bodies. Thor’s brain is in Black Widow’s body and he seems mainly upset by the fact that the leather is chafing him. Where? Best not to think about it too much.
Hulk disgusts everyone by confirming that he has never brushed his teeth.
MODOK calls the Avengers incompetent. MODOK.
The Dark Avengers
Tony catches Cap as he’s falling from the sky. As he holds him close and they fly through the air, he jokes that it’s a trust exercise. I ship the hell out of it.
Hulk and Thor have a thumb war. Even though Hulk wins, he still ends up punching Thor.
The Guardians pay Earth a visit. Widow tells Gamora that she wouldn’t be able to beat her, even on her “best day”. Extremely catty and would very much like to see her prove this.
Hulk is sleeping with a sandwich. He is the big spoon.
Hawkeye compares Tony to Thanos. No one objects.
Crack In The System
Thor uses lightning to cook the hot dogs for the Avengers BBQ, but Hulk eats them all.
Small Time Heroes
Tony is repeatedly handed his own ass after making bad calls. He is also reminded for the 5000th time that he didn’t make the first Iron Man suit by himself, and it is all just delicious.
Hawkeye goes incognito to call Nick Fury about MODOK’s capture by putting on a shrill lady’s voice. Nick Fury is not happy.
Hulk physically tackles Hyperion to avert an explosion-y disaster while simultaneously screaming “I HATE HUGGING!” Hard relate.
An alien comes to Earth after hearing tales of the Avengers’ victories. He’s heard of everyone …except Hawkeye.
Adapting To Change
The Avengers end up fighting the Super Adaptoid after A.I.M’s Scientist Supreme attacks them. The Super Adaptoid is made of T-1000-like liquid metal, so just imagine the Avengers fighting a green T-1000 with an elderly man’s thick Scottish accent.
Tony admonishes a group of rampaging villains for “interrupting Cap’s movie night”. The film turns out to be a documentary about Tony that he forced Cap to watch.
Into The Dark Dimension
The Avengers are fighting about who gets to dish out the Halloween candy to the kids at the front door. Hulk ends up eating it all.
In this episode, Doctor Strange needs help with an onslaught of bad guys from the Dark Dimension, and asks the Avengers nicely. Still, Tony takes to opportunity to be all “WELL WELL WELL” because he can’t stop being a prick for five seconds.
Tony and Stephen use their powers together and literally have to cross the streams to do so. I don’t want to say it’s absurdly erotic, but it is. Extremely.
Thor goes trick-or-treating and has a blast after learning that people are more likely to give you sweets if you stop yelling at them.
Hulk is drained of his gamma radiation and can’t transform. Back to being Bruce, he struggles to find ways to be useful, so he ends up spending his time playing video games with Thor instead.
Tony is high-key overjoyed to have someone to do science with again, but Bruce paints the Hulkbuster armour green and refuses to stay at home. Unsurprisingly, Tony chooses to be sour about it.
Inhumans Among Us
The Inhumans and the Avengers join up to deal with some Terrigen Mist nonsense. Someone calls Lockjaw “Rover” and it doesn’t go down well.
The Inhuman Condition
Hulk disapproves of Black Widow not listening to heavy metal music while she trains.
Lockjaw is poorly and Hulk is clearly devastated. Most of the Avengers are clearly dog people. Captain Marvel, as the most powerful, is therefore naturally a cat person. Cats are better, case closed.
The Kids Are Alright
A rich British man tries to tip Captain America 10% after being rescued. Cap does not accept the tip.
Tony is warned not to enter a time portal to the future, so of course he immediately does it. Kang The Conquerer travels back with him and is calmly a total shit to everyone. Honestly? They deserve it.
Into The Future
The Avengers are in the 30th century to cancel Kang, and deliver a firm “this ain’t it, chief” in response to his public smugness. Kang argues that it is in fact it, chief, but still gets cancelled, albeit by a T-Rex (don’t ask).
Hulk needlessly tells Thor that he’s bald in the future.
Hulk asks Black Widow out on a kinda date. He expresses regret at not going to Bruce’s high school reunion as the Hulk and making everyone pay for laughing at him when he was a nerdy teen. I would enjoy seeing this too.
A Friend In Need
Tony refuses to take time out to explain emotions, friendship and science to Vision, once again earning his World’s Shittiest Dad coffee mug.
A new team of super villains crashes to Earth. They immediately give themselves ridiculous villain names. The lady villain is very proud of being able to turn into gas. I wouldn’t be. That’s a very specific power that is only useful in very specific situations. Also, gas.
Civil War Part 1
Black Bolt is on the loose and disgusted by the human race. Same tbh. Still, arguably the answer isn’t dropping a Terrigen bomb on Las Vegas.
Despite the utter carnage that ensues, Hawkeye assures everyone that he’s had worse weekends in Vegas. We will never find out what he means.
Civil War Part 2
The National Security Council tries to put together a new Avengers team, which includes Ant-Man and Captain Marvel. Baron Strucker makes fun of them, which has gotta smart because he’s rubbish.
Civil War Part 3
Cap seems mildly concerned by his inability to lie to anyone. He’s wearing a backless surgical gown, though, which takes some of the emotional weight out of his epiphany.
The Avengers end up in prison. Black Widow saves the day by releasing them, but deliberately frees Tony last. He doesn’t even act surprised or hurt, as everyone is always so openly sick of him.
There’s plenty more where all that came from. Plenty. Give it a try sometime, why not?
Avengers Assemble seasons 1-4 are currently streaming on the Disney Life app on Amazon Prime Video here in the UK.