The Superhero Squad Show: Hero Up, Squaddies!

The Superhero Squad Show: Hero Up, Squaddies!
While Muppets from Space isn't anybody's favourite Muppet movie, it did do one interesting thing: it posited a world in which all of the Muppets lived together in one big house. Greatly simplifying the franchise's mythology, Muppets from Space eschewed the notion that puppets and humans could intermingle freely, instead ghettoizing our felt-and-fabric heroes to a single, isolated residence. In Marvel Animation's television show The Superhero Squad Show ― which I would argue is to Marvel's live-action films as Muppets from Space is to The Muppet Movie ― Iron Man, Wolverine, the Silver Surfer, Thor, the Hulk and Falcon all live in a metropolis called "Superhero City." These Marvel All-Stars have teamed up for a crime fighting collective called "the Superhero Squad" (not the Avengers; they have their own cartoon) and are assisted by a revolving group of guest heroes like Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Captain America and Storm, who all evidently live nearby. Questions inevitably arise, such as: was Superhero City designed specifically as a massive housing project for costumed crime fighters, sort of a city-sized version of the Muppets' house? If so, wouldn't the sudden dearth of superheroes in other parts of the world cause crime rates to skyrocket? No, actually, as chance would have it, another city called "VillainVille" (population: Doctor Doom, Mole Man, Fin Fang Foom, etc.) happens to have been built next door and, rather than focusing their attention on a more vulnerable part of the world, these neighbouring super-villains instead repeatedly choose to target the most superhero-heavy city in the world. Come to think of it, perhaps this is a case of shrewd city planning: in these two cities, the heroes and villains have become locked in an endless good vs. evil struggle. As Superhero City and VillainVille remain in a state of perpetual, isolated war, the rest of the world, free at last from super-heroism and super-villainy, can inch closer to world peace. The Superhero Squad Show may be a terrible, terrible cartoon ― incoherent, unfunny, repetitive and numbingly action-packed ― but as a utopian vision, it reaches Muppet Treasure Island-level poignancy. DVD extras include a music video and a short, mildly amusing interview with Stan Lee, whose work as the voice of "Mayor of Superhero City" can be added alongside his many other great performances. (Vivendi)