By Christina Diem Pham
By the hammer of Thor, our heroes found themselves in a slithery situation after the Midgard Serpent made its violent debut during yesterday’s “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD!
In this episode, Thor came face-to-face with Doctor Doom, the Midgard Serpent and his very own fate while Iron Man’s belief in technology stirred up constant debate with his Asgardian comrade. Once again, we chatted with Cort Lane, the series’ Supervising Producer and Marvel Animation’s VP of Development & Production!
Now read on to learn the details behind Thor’s destiny, the Midgard Serpent, Red Skull's Cabal and more! And don’t forget to check out the action in “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” and more inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET!
|Iron Man and Thor join forces in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Marvel.com: In this episode, we meet the Midgard Serpent. What was the thought process behind bringing it on the show at this point, as opposed to later on?
Cort Lane: This episode works very well with the progression of our Cabal storyline. It seems like a standalone episode, which is one of the great things about this series because every episode feels like a standalone episode, but it moves the story forward.
Doctor Doom rejects the Cabal and in the end, he’s trapped in a magical realm and the Avengers are going to regret trapping him there. We won’t see that for many episodes, but having the Midgard Serpent is cool because we want this show to be the biggest super hero show ever, and our escalating threats--we started with Ulik, then Doctor Doom and then we get the Midgard Serpent, who can swallow the whole Earth. Doctor Doom then controls the Midgard Serpent, so the escalating threats make it such an epic action story.
Marvel.com: And since there’s a storyline with the Midgard Serpent and Thor in the comics, Fear Itself, were there any parallels the creators wanted to keep between the comics and this episode?
|Doctor Doom made his first appearance in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble" Sunday|
Cort Lane: Not necessarily. We liked the idea of using the Midgard Serpent, who’s such a powerful threat in the comics, but the real story we wanted to tell was the one between Iron Man and Thor--the Midgard Serpent being apart of Thor’s destiny allowed us to tell that story.
In this series, all of our Avengers stories are ultimately about their relationships with one another, and this one focuses on the conflicting natures of Iron Man [and Thor]. Thor believes in magic and destiny, but Iron Man believes in science, analytical thought and individualism. They have this debate throughout the episode, so it’s really what the core story is about, and the Serpent provided a perfect vehicle for them to have that debate. Iron Man believes there is no such thing as destiny, you make your own fate, which he is able to prove to the world.
Marvel.com: You segued perfectly into my next question about these two. Since Iron Man believes in technology and individualism, while Thor goes for magic and destiny, how does the dynamic between this duo make them stronger? How does it make them weaker?
|The Midgard Serpent attacks Manhattan in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Cort Lane: Thor’s belief in myth and destiny gives him a sense of responsibility as Prince of Asgard. He believes he’s the only one who can defeat the Midgard Serpent by fighting to the death. He possesses strength of character Iron Man can ultimately learn from. On the other hand, Iron Man demonstrates to Thor that there’s more to a hero if he controls his own fate, and there are ways to think one’s self out of situations.
Marvel.com: As for you, any favorite moments in this episode?
Cort Lane: A couple. Doctor Doom is portrayed by Maurice LaMarche, who’s a voiceover legend, so it's like having animation royalty every time we’re in the booth. What Maurice does so well, and he’s done this in humorous cartoons over the years, is his arrogance--it’s so massive and intense. My favorite moment in the episode is when Doom has the Avengers on the ropes and he’s monologuing. He’s going off about how he’s going to rule the universe and the Midgard Serpent steps on him. Iron Man, who’s trapped against the side of the building, simply responds with a “Yikes,” a typical and funny Iron Man response.
My other favorite moment is playing Falcon off the Hulk because he’s so wide-eyed and real world, while Hulk is such an overpowering and intimidating presence. Falcon momentarily considers mouth-to-mouth to revive Hulk, and then the way he ends up dealing with it differently--throwing Hulk in the water--[shows how] that interplay between them is always fun.
Marvel.com: All right, now in three words, and without giving anything away, what can fans look forward to in the next episode?
Cort Lane: Hulked out Dracula!