Oh yes, we’re delving into Marvel territory!
My introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe happened in 2015, when I watched The Avengers the night before I went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. I fell in love immediately with a team of superheroes trying to stop the nefarious, scheming, mischievous brother of one of those heroes. The next day, I fell in love with those superheroes and their plight to stop James Spader’s evil robot form (relax, I know it was only his voice!).
Not only did I fall in love with the whole idea of this cinematic universe (I’ve seen every movie that connects the Avengers, with the exception of Hulk’s movie – I will do that, since my boyfriend has it in his collection!), I fell so hard for Thor. Like, in love.
And an Avenger touched my shoulder and back before calling me “love.” Verily!
Anyway, I love The Avengers, and I’ve collected some (yes, only some) Thor stuff (but I also love Captain America and the underappreciated Hawkeye – I’m going to be him for Halloween!). I wanted an Avengers mug, and bought one in Disney Land last December…
It didn’t matter that I’d never watched Avengers Assemble, I just really liked the mug. That’s despite the fact that Hawkeye and Black Widow aren’t on it. I could take or leave Black Widow (not really, she’s cool), but seriously, no Hawkeye?
It’s ok, Hawkeye. You’re appreciated in my world.
I also have a Thor stocking and ornament at my boyfriend’s mom’s house in California, the envy of every eight-year-old that dares to not be an Iron Man, Captain America, or Hulk fan. I’m sure its because he is too pretty and appeals more to females, but I digress. I love the Norse God of Thunder…and the arrow-slinging archer no one else seems to like.
Season one of Avengers Assemble laid out the ground work for the team in the time after the events of the first feature film (I should note that while the timeline stays true to the feature film and the cinematic universe, Falcon is a part of this team, so we know better). In season two, the team has encountered Thanos, and now are on the hunt for the Infinity Stones Red Skull has scattered about the universe, all in an attempt to keep them from falling into the wrong hands of another adversary…Thanos.
One of those stones (and the consequences of it) are the basis of this episode, “The Age of Tony Stark.”
Oh, come on! Don’t leave!
At Stark Tower, in the holding area…
Red Skull is imprisoned and suffering from “Cosmic Brain Fry” (Iron Man/Tony Stark’s words). And despite being in this state, Red Skull takes to drawing on his cell walls.
The drawing, however, is more complicated than just scribble.
We (ok, Hawkeye) see scribbles, but Tony sees the names of the Infinity Stones, and one of them (the Time Stone) is giving off a signal.
To the Avenjet!
The team is headed to the site of where the Time Stone will appear, while discussing the past and why (or why not) reliving it sounds like a great idea.
Hawkeye abhors the idea of having to relive elementary school (something tells me the master archer was a little punk and troublemaker), while Thor believes history is filled with glory, and Captain America (who is what, like 70 years old?) draws strength from the past. Tony Stark takes a different (read: opposing) view of the past – it’s full of mistakes we’re always trying to improve upon – he believes in looking forward, but doesn’t diminsh Cap’s love for the past.
Wow, he’s actually agreeing with Cap!
The Avengers arrive at their location, just in time for the arrival of the Time Stone…which materializes right above Tony’s hand.
Mission accomplished before the opening credits, right? And that sounds like all is well and good, but…
The stone decides to harbor itself in Tony’s arc reactor, directly affecting how his suit functions, while also causing a rather interesting problem…
Dammit cartoon, why freakin’ Hawkeye?! My boyfriend already tells me nobody likes him, why make this more obvious?! Hawkeye asks “what’s next, prom?”
Really, did a young Clint Barton not have a prom date?
Opening title card, then back to the action!
Meanwhile, back at the Claim Site for the Time Stone…
Hawkeye got carried away by a Pterodactyl, which happened because the Time Stone lodged itself into Tony’s reactor arc, and it disables his armor while simultaneously unleashing the threat of flying dinos. Stark freefalls towards the sea (Jarvis is unable to power the suit up), but thankfully, Thor is there to help.
And Black Widow is able to fend off Pteradactyls.
Oh, and Hawkeye is fine. Thanks for not asking. In fact, he’s so ok, he reminds Cap about why he hates the past.
Yes, because these are normal circumstances to be in on any given day.
And no lie, none of this is the worst thing that has happened!
Iron Man (or Tony, rather), on the other hand, is not having such a good day.
Thor is able to rescue Stark successfully AND toss him aside to fight dinosaurs, the team is able to fend off the dinos (Thor and Hulk especially enjoy this).
Remember how I said this isn’t the worst thing that could possibly happen in the wake of the Time Stone lodging in the arc reactor? Well, the Stone causes another time shift that eliminates the flying threats. Still not the worst….but this is.
I’m getting to it, people!
The team notices something seems a little off about Tony…
The ever-observant smartass Hawkeye points out that something is off about Tony’s voice (thinking the Iron Man suit speaker is broken), so Tony clears his throat and tries again. Still not normal.
Back at Avengers Tower…
Jarvis informs Tony that the armor is fully functional, but believes someone else is in the suit, unable to pick up the the unique body signature that the suit was made for. Which means that this is an imposter, or…
No, that’s Tony Stark alright. But…yeah, he’s younger, impatient, and he wants his mask and suit off like yesterday. So Hulk does the honors despite what may happen to the mask.
Worst. Day. Ever.
Turns out the Time Stone caused a time rift that not only brought on flying dinos, it also de-aged Tony. Right now, he’s a cranky 17-year-old in a tin can that he is desperate to take off.
Oh, it only gets better. Or worse. That depends on your definition of this situation.
I’d say worse if you’re a citizen or tourist of New York City, which is now overrun by not only dinosaurs of the winged persuasion, but also the walking, short-armed variety. As I said, Thor and Hulk are all about throat-punching and destroying dinosaurs, but this is just one of the problems of messing with the Time Stone, even inadvertently. And of course, the Avengers, minus Iron Man and Captain America, have to go save the day.
Hulk gets major points for screaming in a T-Rex’s face and scaring it off. That’s just awesome!
When Tony’s mask was removed (forcibly), it was revealed that he had de-aged to a seventeen-year-old. However, by the time he removes his suit, he is now fourteen years old.
Young Tony is not ok with this, especially since he can’t get his suit to work to his specifications. Oh, and zits. But he’s also still a genius.
But the Time Stone is causing other problems – specifically, prehistoric problems. And Tony wants to contribute to the fight, but…he can’t.
His suit says “nope,” and shocks him.
Fourteen-year-old Tony, taking cues from seventeen-year-old and adult Tony, doesn’t want Cap’s help, but Tony’s got another thing coming to him…
His arc reactor ignites the Time Stone, sending yet another time slip through the city.
This latest time slip de-ages him further, leaving him as an eleven-year-old. And while the fourteen-year-old was your typical brat “I don’t want your help” type, eleven-year-old Tony has a different stance…
“I need your help, Cap!”
At this point, I’m beginning to feel bad for him. I don’t dislike Iron Man/Tony Stark by any means, but obviously I’ve chosen my favorites. Stark comes off as cocky, but this experience is obviously bringing him down a peg.
He’s unable to help the team he assembled from the finest superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But loyal-to-the-core Captain America is willing to stay behind with Tony (even though he says he doesn’t need a babysitter) as the rest of the team heads off to save New York from every time slip the Time Stone brings. That not only means dinosaurs, but also “deadly robots from the future.”
Yep, just another day!
Oh, and Black Widow and Hawkeye fist bump before fighting off these robots. That’s awesome!
Unfortunately, Cap and Tony have a different problem.
Remember how Red Skull was locked in holding, scribbling about Infinity Stones?
A cell breach happens when the tower’s systems go offline.
Cap goes off to check on Red Skull…
And he gets knocked out for his troubles.
Meanwhile, Red Skull is on the hunt for Tony and the Time Stone, mumbling “Stark! Time Stone!”. Tony, watching Red Skull on screens, comments that Red Skull is a “freak,” and sounding like a typical child, asks Jarvis to shut off the elevator, “or something.” Since the systems are offline, this is not possible.
“Remind me to invent you better next time.”
Meanwhile, on the street, the Avengers are trying to conquer their robot problem. Back in the tower, a rambling Red Skull is thwrated by skillfully placed marbles. Hey, when all else fails, right?
Tony has Red Skull give him chase before retreating into the training room, using a hologram to lure Red Skull in. Tony can’t understand why Red Skull wants the stone so bad, and activates Captain America’s Training Sequence.
Red Skull escapes, and arrives at a door with “Do Not Enter!” written on a carefully placed note. He opens the door and is further chased by Thor’s pet, Bildgie.
Tony’s enjoying this fun moment, and takes the time to go into his quarters to look inside a shoebox of childhood memories.
He realizes why he hates his past…until he finds his first armor design.
He designed this at eight years old. What did you do at that age?
It never worked…without an arc reactor!
Meanwhile, Red Skull continues to run from Thor’s pet.
Cap comes to and checks on Tony, who is working on the armor design, knowing that it will now work.
If only he could stop the intense pain from the Time Stone.
Meanwhile, on the streets, this next time shift brings on lost Hydra Squadron (“Shoulda stayed lost,” according to Hulk).
Thor refuses to be dino food, despite the Pterodactyl chomping on his leg.
Red Skull, in hot pursuit of little Tony, finds him. If you’ve never seen Tony sweat over anything, you’re going to see it right here, right now.
And when Red Skull finds him, Tony screams at Red Skull to get away from him.
Red Skull tells him to “stop being such a baby.”
Yeah, what a freak! Do you see that Stark is having a bad day?
Red Skull grabs little Tony, as another blast from the Time Stone sends Red Skull and Tony flying. This shift rejuvenates Red Skull, returning him to top form. Tony informs him that the Avengers will be there to kick his red can, to which Red Skull informs Tony that they are preoccupied with the chaos Tony created. And it is at that moment that Cap finds Tony, and gives Red Skull a piece of his mind.
Actually, it’s more like the broad side of his shield.
He says picking on kids is a new low for Red Skull. This gives Tony ample time to suit up in jet skates, as Cap tries to distract Red Skull.
Outnumbered, outgunned, and in that awesome Avengers formation from the movies…
(You know, this one!)
Hawkeye is excited to be able to say what he has always wanted to say…
Only for Thor to do the honors.
Cap and Red Skull continue to battle as Tony completes his armor. And just as it looks like Red Skull may have gotten the upper hand on both of them, Tony’s armor is complete!
He’s now…Iron Kid!
Cap loves this, but Red Skull thinks of it as “pathetic.” But that’s ok, because Tony is able to blast Red Skull out of the Tower…and into the waiting claws of a Pterodactyl.
Cap makes sure Tony is ok, but of course, he’s AWESOME! Unfortunately, that moment is short-lived, as Tony almost buckles over from another inevitable time slip.
He feels like he can’t control it, but Cap tells him to focus. He informs him that he has the power to stop the time slips.
It’s alot for Tony, who is terrified that he will de-age into nothing. And it’s at that moment that he’s truly looking up to Cap for comfort, confessing that he’s scared.
This may be an eight-year-old version of Tony Stark, but his fear certainly reflects that innocent age. All that adult intelligence, accomplishment, and ability, but his instinct is pure fear. And he shows that he’s quite human, and says that he is not as big and strong as Cap. Cap informs Tony that he was brave long before he was Captain America, and that Tony Stark was a hero long before he was Iron Man.
Cap comforts Tony, and this powerful moment is enough to dislodge the Time Stone and reverse everything.
Not pictured: The moment Stark ages back to normal and is hugging Captain America.
I hope someone reading this doesn’t decide to write slash because of that sentence.
Meanwhile, on the street…
Hawkeye is testing his “unexperimented” arrow…at the same time a time slip eliminates all the chaos.
Hawkeye is convinced that it was the best shot ever though.
The team realizes it was Tony, who has contained the Time Stone.
Hawkeye tries to get everyone to believe the unexperimented arrow was his best shot ever, to which Thor reassures him.
Tony and the team discuss the containment of the stone, Falcon admires Tony’s first armor drawings, and Thor runs off after the escaped Bildgie.
It’s nice to see everything back to “normal,” but there is still something left unsaid between Tony and Cap.
Engaged in his training, Cap is visited by an adult Tony Stark, who informs Cap that he thought having a photographic memory meant he would never forget anything, but he did forget how tough being a kid can be.
And what being a hero is.
Tony shows Cap a picture of him as an eight-year-old on Halloween, dressed as Captain America…with a shield he designed himself.
Cap offers to let Tony practice with the real thing, to which Tony offers to make some modern improvements. But he’s only kidding…sorta.
He resumes the training session, and that’s the end of the episode.
Wow, I really liked this episode. I’ve loved the entire series up until this point (which says alot, since I’m not huge on cartoons), and the Infinity Stone arc really makes it interesting. Plus, there’s the dynamic of the Tony Stark/Iron Man-Steve Rogers/Captain America relationship. We pretty much know by now how Stark feels about Captain America, and the expectations Stark’s father had about wanting Tony to be “just like Captain America” when he was clearly a different type of person. I like that for a brief moment, that strain was put aside when it mattered most.
Sure, if you’re an adult watching it, this seems a little awkward, but it took all of this for Tony to realize that a hero is more than the suit he wears and the accomplishments he has made – it is about heart and knowing that you have that little something within you. In the end, it wasn’t about saving the day, it was about knowing one’s inner strength.
At the risk of getting too deep in all of this, I’m going to end it here. I’m actually a few episode ahead of this one, but I really wanted to share it with you. And if you think the Avengers got some time off from having to save the world and not let the Infinity Stones fall into the wrong hands during the next episode…you’re watching the wrong show.
Let’s just say the Stones are prepared to wreak more havoc in the next episode.
Until next time…
I always say I take great screenshots, but this is definitely one of my top ten best. I think Hawkeye needs a hug.