By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The LEGO Marvel universe did more than explode when TT Games announced development of the game LEGO Marvel Superheroes for multiple platforms. Mini-figures began appearing since 2002 with Spiderman and ever since then, interest has been a slow burn. The video game, which released Oct 22 is only testament to the fact that Marvel’s superheroes are a hot commodity. And no sooner than Stan Lee can say, “Make Mine Marvel!” the enviable had to happen: expansion into other media. Toys and an animated series are available for fans of this comic book universe to consume.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload (LMSH:MO) is a web series that can be found on Disney and Marvel Entertainment’s Youtube channel, and it’s surprisingly good. The simple reason is that it does not tickle the funny bone too much. The 3-4 minute length is perfectly suited for viewers looking for light-hearted entertainment. That’s how these LEGO videos should be constructed. Movie length LEGO films are hard to pull off. To maintain the humour needs a good wit than silly foreplay, and that’s one reason why LEGO Batman: The Movie failed.
When most of DC’s animated universe was filled with seriousness throughout its initial run, that becomes a hard stigma to stave off. When compared to Disney XD’s Marvel Animated block of cartoons, the producers and writers realize a bit of humour can go very far, and that transfers itself very well when a new product gets made.
But for viewers keeping up with the latest set of Marvel toons, what is found these days is not just the humour. Familiar voices can be heard. Amongst this list of talent in LMSH:MO include Drake Bell from the Ultimate Spider-Man series, J.K. Simmons reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson, and Stan Lee playing … well, Stan Lee the food vendor. To have this kind of continuity throughout this product line is very good. Even a nod to the Iron Man film universe is made since Pepper is seen donning a metal suit in the first episode.
The plot in Maximum Overload reveals that Loki is up to more than his usual shenanigans. He wants to put the super-duper into Earth’s mightiest villains, and instead of using the mystic force known as Chi, he’s using Norn Frost to put them in overdrive mode. The similarity with Legends of Chima cannot go unnoticed; by using mystic orbs of energy, Loki not only grants these villains great power but also can control them. He still has plans to conquer both Midgard and Asgard. He wants to stand … ahem, sit upon the Throne of Odin in his bid to rule the Nine Realms. Amusingly, the Chitauri are his servants and they provide most of the better humour in this show.
But the star clown is with Spider-Man. He is the glue to the entire series which includes brief appearances of The Avengers, namely Captain America, Hulk and Wolverine. Curiously, had Thor been aware of the situation sooner, the plot may have ended too fast. He’s ultimately the character who has to deal with Loki at the end. Despite the fact that this set of cartoons feels more like Marvel Spider-Man and Everyone Else than his Amazing Friends, the show is fun to watch and more episodes are coming.
To see what new hijinks this team will get into is welcomed, or fans can go to playing the video-game. The plot for TT Games’ product is quite good despite the fact that there is only minor changes to the mechanics of the game play. Maybe one day, this computer game company will offer a repositionable camera and a change in what players can in LEGO game-play.
The videos can be seen here, on Disney Video.