By Christina Diem Pham
A feud amongst our heroes and Dracula broke out in last Sunday’s bloodthirsty episode of “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD!
Black Widow wasn’t herself in “Blood Feud,” while her teammates found themselves out of their element in spooky Transylvania. Hulk got even more Hulked out, and Red Skull made an offer Drac could not refuse. As usual, we sat down with Supervising Producer Cort Lane to get an even bigger taste on what was in store.
Take a gander and get the scoop on Widow, Dracula, Hulk and more! And remember to tune in to another adventure with “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” and more inside Marvel Universe on Disney XD every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET!
|Black Widow goes full-vampire in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Marvel.com: Dracula hasn't featured in Marvel Animation at all until now. What was the timing behind bringing him on to the show now?
Cort Lane: When we were putting together the Cabal, we had to have villains that were beyond threatening, and Dracula fit the criteria. The world knows Dracula, and since Marvel has reinvigorated his character in comics, we decided to take that publishing version and make him a great villain for the Avengers here. On top of that, villains in the Cabal control evil armies of their own, which makes them an even bigger threat for the Avengers, and Dracula controls an army of vampires.
Marvel.com: Out of the Avengers, Widow is the first one to be taken over by Dracula. Why her?
Cort Lane: She is the most separate from the Avengers. She leads a fairly separate life from them and we could see her on a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. that goes awry, and she’s taken over. What we learn is that that mission is related to the Cabal and Red Skull, so that ties up everything very nicely to lead Dracula into the Cabal.
|Dracula makes his debut in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Marvel.com: And in the episode, Dracula plays on the Avengers' supposed weakness--compassion. Do you agree with his critique?
Cort Lane: What Dracula thinks is their weakness is truly their strength. Their dedication to each other as a team is what keeps them together during an overwhelming threat. That will help them survive the threat of the Cabal throughout the season.
Marvel.com: Also during “Blood Feud,” we see how important Hulk is as an Avenger. Throughout previous episodes, he’s always “Hulk smashing,” but now he jumps into a more prominent role in this episode. How does having him on the team keep our heroes well balanced?
|The team unites in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Cort Lane: It’s interesting because while the episode revolves around Cap and Iron Man’s relationship, it’s a great Hulk episode. We get to see all these facets of Hulk, one of which is that he and Thor have this fun and friendly rivalry, and they really seem to get along and understand one another. Then you get to see the relationship with Hawkeye, which is very funny--the whole bit about peanut butter runs through the entire episode, and it shows how Hulk is funny and relatable. The thing that’s especially interesting is how truly dangerous he is because a vampire Hulk is something the Avengers can’t hope to defeat. His powers are so intense that when Dracula gets Hulked out, that’s a threat beyond imagining.
Marvel.com: And going further into Cap and Iron Man’s relationship, how does this duo work well together to keep the team balanced?
Cort Lane: We don’t resolve that in this episode because their different approaches to leadership will be part of several stories throughout the series. What I liked here is how Iron Man has faith in science--and he’s right, science will save the day--but he can only hope to save Black Widow and defeat Dracula if he also has faith in Captain America. That’s something Cap will hope to teach him throughout the show.
|Iron Man and Hulk team-up in "Marvel's Avengers Assemble"|
Marvel.com: All right, so back to you. Any favorite moments? Scenes?
Cort Lane: This episode may be my favorite. It’s really suspenseful. The story unravels in surprising ways throughout. Our writers, Kevin Burke and Doc Wyatt, along with Man of Action have done an exceptional job here--their scripts are always fantastic.
Beyond that, the peanut butter scene with Hulk saying, “Some dead man took all the peanut butter,” while Thor replies with, “What care I for the butter of peanuts?”--then we cut to Hawkeye eating all the peanut butter. Those kinds of moments are my favorite, and again, those are the moments that [feature] real heroes, who are completely different people, having to live and work together.
The episode tracks in a very fun way, and our director, Jeff Allen, did a fantastic job. Transylvania is stunning. It’s such an iconic destination, and our animation team did an amazing job of bringing it together.
Marvel.com: At the very end of this episode, Red Skull offers Dracula a seat on the Cabal. Why does Skull want him, and what would Dracula bring to the table?
Cort Lane: After the pilot, Red Skull understands one thing--he can’t defeat the Avengers because they’re so strong as a team. Unless he puts together a united team of villains, it won’t happen. The villains not only bring armies of evil minions, but they’re extraordinarily powerful. In a way, they’re all kings, and Dracula truly is a king. The surprise in this episode is that Dracula would even consider such an alliance, but after what he’s been through, you get the feeling that he really doesn’t have a choice. He knows he needs to join.