When I was three, the first cartoon I ever watched was Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Ever since, I have had a soft spot for Marvel cartoons. So naturally I was pumped to attend the Marvel Animation Presents panel at SDCC and hear about their slate of upcoming programs and debuts. The panel started off teasing the newest animated series coming to the Marvel animation block on Disney XD (more about that later) before the panelists — including Stephen Wacker (VP, current series Marvel Animation Studios), Cort Lane (VP, animation development and partnerships), and Eric Radomski (SVP, production and creative director, animation) — took the stage to run down all the exciting stuff.
Season 2 will be wrapping up in a few weeks, closing out storylines featuring Thanos, Ultron, and the Squadron Supreme. But don’t worry, season three has already been confirmed for 2016. They played a sizzle reel of what to expect, and while we weren’t allowed to take any photos or video during it, I can TELL you all about it.
That’s correct. The Avengers have assembled more that enough — to the point that they don’t have to be constantly reminded. Season 3 will be called Avengers: Ultron Revolution. Using deductive reasoning, the major villain for this season is of course…
ULTRON. He was introduced in season 2 after inhabiting the body of Arsenal, Tony Stark‘s personal robot “friend.” This season is set to Ultron evolve even more — meaning it’s time the Avengers upped their game as well. And what better way to evolve in the Marvel Universe than a good old fashioned team-up, right? Here are some of the heroes that will be assisting the Avengers next year.
Not only will the Avengers being teaming up with those great heroes, but after two seasons, they will finally acquire a new teammate. Taking a book from Age of Ultron, that new member is:
The concept art from panel has made it clear that Marvel Animation is doing its best to emulate the style of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Vision looks exactly like his movie counterpart, and Captain America even had his costume updated to match Chris Evans‘ big-screen style.
Even though Ultron is the focal point of the season, he won’t be the only villain with which the Avengers contend: Kang the Conquerer and Baron Zemo‘s Masters of Evil will also make appearances. Rounding out the announcements for season 3 was a story arc that you might have heard about in both the comics AND the MCU: Civil War.
The current season of Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors will close out with a story arc called Contest of Champions. The Collector and the Grand Master have decided to play a game and pit Earth’s heroes and villains against each other, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. A clip was shown featuring Iron Man, Hulk, and Spidey teaming against Molten Man, Kraven the Hunter, and Wendigo. The show had not been picked up for a fourth season at the time the story was written, so the conclusion played out just like a series finale.
The good news? They panel announced that show has officially been picked up for a fourth season and — just like Avengers — will have a new title:
So we guess Marvel does NOT want any villain reveals to be a surprise…at all. In this incarnation, the Sinister Six will consist of Beetle, Doctor Octopus, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, The Lizard, and Rhino. Spider-Man won’t have to deal with them alone, however, as the Web-Warriors will be lending a hand. This team will consist of:
IRON SPIDER (AMADEUS CHO)
AGENT VENOM (FLASH THOMPSON)
We will also see a few well-known characters making their animated debut, like Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge‘s Fitz and Simmons at some point during season four. Scott Porter (Jason Street forever!) will also be voicing a character: the mysterious Scarlet Spider. Arnim Zola will also appear, voiced by relative unknown Mark Hamill. And Spider-Verse fans need not worry:our wall-crawler’s dimension-hopping will continue next year.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Replacing Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. in the Marvel Animated line-up will be everyone’s favorite team of cosmic misfits: the Guardians. That’s right: Star-Lord (Will Friedle), Gamora (Vanessa Marshall), Drax (David Sobolov), Rocket (Trevor Devall), and Groot (Kevin Michael Richardson) take to the cartoon skies in a series of brand new adventures. Once again matching the look of the MCU, the Guardians take on the look of their live-action counterparts, shedding previous incarnations we’ve seen in both Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble. The one hour season premiere will be on September 26 2015, with a special preview of the first episode happening on September 5th. Before that, however, Disney XD will show 10, 2-minute long shorts to get everyone up to speed. As a special surprise, they premiered the first episode during the panel, a little bit of business titled “Road to Knowhere.” Without spoiling too much, I can reveal that the episode revolved around a rescue mission to save Yondu.
So, Marvelites, what do you think? Are you setting the DVRs already (Or planning to, as I don’t think DVRs are programmed to go as far as 2016)? Are you excited for MORE Guardians? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.
Image Credit: The Disney Wiki; Live For Films; GENZOMAN/DeviantArt; ProfessorAdagio/DeviantArt; Pryce14/DeviantArt; Nezart/DeviantArt; JPRart/DeviantArt; Superior Spider-Talk; mdavidct/DeviantArt; firepunk626/DeviantArt