The Avengers strike out in a whole new set of adventures with “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” premiering Sunday, July 7 at 11:00 a.m. ET inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD, and to commemorate the action-packed new series we’re chatting with the creators and stars! Check back with Marvel.com frequently in between now and July 7 for all the latest on “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”!
By Marc Strom
Though they don’t have Thor’s mighty hammer or the Hulk’s raw strength, Hawkeye and Black Widow have proven themselves as two of the strongest Avengers time after time throughout the years. Now, with “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” they get another chance to prove what makes them two of Earth’s greatest defenders.
|Hawkeye takes aim in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Brought to animated life by Troy Baker and Laura Bailey, Hawkeye and Widow return to TV with the series premiere of “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD, after which fans will get a chance to see even more of the duo week after week as they begin to grow new relationships with their fellow teammates.
“I think the relationship between Hawkeye and Black Widow is more the banter back and forth and the competitiveness,” remarks Baker.
“In our show, it’s already been established that they have that relationship,” adds Bailey. “And this show is so focused on growing new relationships as well as fostering the older ones. There is a great episode with Hawkeye and Black Widow when they go on a mission together. So you get to see that fun, snarky banter back and forth, but also their interactions grow with the other Avengers.
“[For instance], as the series starts, Widow has a hesitation with Hulk. There is a great episode where their relationship grows and she becomes familiar with him and really dedicates herself to the Avengers, [while] until that point [she] was really on the cusp with S.H.I.E.L.D.”
|Black Widow comes and goes as she pleases in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Baker also enjoys the dynamics between the various heroes and what they each bring to the series.
“I love Hawkeye and Hulk’s relationship, because it’s this kind of big brother-little brother [thing], similar to the Hulk/Thor relationship,” the actor illustrates. “They have each others’ backs, but they are also looking for any opportunity to stab it in a playful way. But I really love the tenuous relationship between Captain America and Iron Man in our show. Iron Man is put in the leadership position, but Cap is really hesitant because he doesn’t know if he trusts him.”
Black Widow distinguishes herself as the woman on the team, but Bailey doesn’t let that define her character.
“She is a strong person and she is able to hold herself with these other heroes, but femininity is not really a part of it,” she explains. “It’s just, ‘I am a strong fighter.’”
“I think that makes you relatable to both guy and girl,” Baker chimes in. “Because whether a kid or adult is watching this, male or female, [they] just want to watch Black Widow be awesome.
“I think [it] is really a testament to how she is portraying Black Widow, she is not over-victimizing [her] or sexualizing her. She is gorgeous, she is beautiful, but that is not what it is.”
|Hawkeye's ready for action in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Bailey also commends the writers for not allowing Black Widow to fall into the pitfalls that female protagonists in animation can sometimes fall into.
“In a lot of cartoons, the token female character may come in and she will be the big sister or mother character where she will just tell everybody, ‘don’t do this, yes do that.’ And widow doesn’t really do that, she comes in and asks, “what do you think? This is what I think.” And then she will move ahead.”
Both Baker and Bailey also play two of the heroes on the team with the least obvious or traditional powers. While they may not have the ability to call down lightning or shoot Repulsor blasts, they still hold their own against some of the biggest threats in the Marvel Universe—as well as providing an interesting contrast to their larger-than-life teammates.
“We’re just really, really good,” quips Baker. “I think it gives us really good opportunities for comedy, because this show does have a lot of levity to it. So when you have a lot of people that have natural personalities that bring that to the table, it opens up other people to not have to fill those roles and actually play off of that use that as a strength.”
Catch the series premiere of “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” Sunday, July 7 at 11:00 a.m. ET inside Marve Universe on Disney XD, and stay tuned to Marvel.com for the latest on the all-new animated series!