Welcome to CBR’s Saturday coverage of Comic-Con International in San Diego. Marvel TV was the first panel of the day from the House of Ideas, Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s head of television, played to a packed crowd eager to hear about the second season of “Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Avengers Assembled,” and other animated series.
Loeb began by working up the crowd and thanking members of the animation crew in the audience. He then showed the short “The Fantastic Four Marvel Mash-up,” a clip from the old cartoon with new (funny) dialogue. The mash-ups run on Disney XD during Marvel’s shows.
The “Phineas and Ferb” panel coming up at 12:30, Loeb teased, would feature “a Marvel-ous” announcement.”
The next Marvel animated series will be “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.,” Loeb said, calling Hulk “the breakout character of ‘Avengers.'” “We thought it would be good to be able to show Hulk as a hero,” he said. Loeb, who launched the Red Hulk and ultimately extended the Hulk family, showed test footage of the upcoming show, which features Hulk, Red Hulk, She-Hulk, and A-Bomb.
The Hulks, including Skaar, fight bug beasts and other monsters, ending with the rallying cry “Time to smash!” The show will debut in 2013.
“Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room,” Loeb said. “I know a lot of you are big fans of ‘Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.'” Alluding to internet rumors-“a lot of things on the internet are not true”-Loeb said “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” was always going to be 52 episodes, an animation industry standard order. “When that show concluded itself, we had an issue on our hands, what to do next.” Loeb compared the transition to what’s seen with a new creative team in comics.
He formally announced the long rumored “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” which continues the previous continuity, and showed a brief animation test. Fin Fang Foom is ravaging New York, and Iron Man and Thor are first on the scene, followed in short order by the Hulk. Captain America and Hawkeye join the fight, completing the team.
In the case of both clips, Loeb cautioned that the footage and voices were not final, and the completed animation would be “even snazzier.”
Next came the Marvel Knights line, which are “more mature than what you might show to kids.” Season Two will feature the rest of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s “Astonishing X-Men.” Other new titles will include “Inhumans,” “Wolverine: Origin,” Jason Aaron’s “Wolverine: Weapon X,” Damen Lindelof’s “Ultimate Wolverine v Hulk,” and Neil Gaiman and John Romita Jr.’s “Eternals.”
Loeb showed a slide promoting “Ultimate Spider-Man” showing Spidey, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Nova, and White Tiger fighting a team of villains including Kraven, Rhino, Lizard and more. He then played the Spider-Ham episode, which will air for several weeks.
The episode begins with Spider-Man on his way to school for picture day, which Spidey quips is important for ‘managing your brand,” before pointing to a billboard of Iron Man. “I saved the world too.” A street vendor gives him a free hot dog, which Spidey eats, ignoring his spider-sense. The vendor, of course, is Loki. It also turns out today is “Asgard’s Day of the Hunt,” so Spider-Ham is forced to flee fierce warriors keen on spearing him as their prize. “If it’s any consolation, you’ll probably taste terrible,” Loki quips.
(So as not to spoil the show, CBR will here cease blogging the episode.)