Recap: Avengers Assemble "Planet Doom"

Source:  Recap: Avengers Assemble "Planet Doom"    Tag:  humans are awesome
Welcome to the first Avengers Assemble Recap of 2015! It's been a while.

When we last left Doctor Doom, the Avengers had left him in Latveria because they couldn't arrest him without sparking an international incident. So let's see what happens when Latveria becomes international. Of course, that would mean that Latveria wouldn't be international, what with there only being one nation, under Doom, indivisible, with liberty and justice for none, but whatever.

"Becoming international" sounded clever in my head.
The episode opens with Thor crossing the Bifrost rainbow bridge portal into Asgard. Because in this show, Doctor Doom and Asgard apparently go together like peanut butter and mayonnaise. Seriously, that's actually a thing, and it's honestly not a bad combination.

Thor: "Asgard, your favorite son has returned!"

Really!? Cool, I was hoping Baldr would show up! I... Oh, you were talking about yourself like the vain oaf Loki always said you were. My mistake.

Your time will come, O Shining Son of Asgard.
He heads to the oddly empty grand hall and flies over the CGI feast. Volstagg the Voluminous of the Warriors Three seems to be the lone warrior still eating because, as he informs Thor, the party's over. Odin show up and is more than a bit miffed at this.

Odin: "Has it occurred to you that Thor's Day is a holiday in your honor?"

Geez, don't get your mithril knickers in a twist, Odin. There's a Thor's Day literally every week. Right after Odin's Day, and right before Freya's day. We just call them "Wednesday," "Thursday," and "Friday."

Note to self: Put "mithril knickers" in next D&D campaign. +5 against knees to the groin.
Thor tries to explain that he was off Avenging, but Odin's had it up to here with his gallivanting about on Earth. Actually, the word he uses is "traipsing," but same thing. Thor tries to give an impassioned "Humans are Awesome" speech in return, but Heimdall (the guy who watches over the multiverse) informs Odin that something's wrong on Earth. Thor, naturally, goes to investigate as Odin offers a warning.

Odin: "One day, humanity will disappoint you with their weakness."

Thor returns to Earth, and discovers that the world is somehow bathed in green light, and Avengers Tower has been replaced with a half-tower/half-castle monstrosity. Said monstrosity zaps him with a laser, and he gets knocked into a statue of the planet's dictator: Victor von Doom.

With a like "Planet Doom," it was either this or a world filled with cacodemons. I'd say they lucked out.
Thor wonders how Doom conquered Manhattan in only a few hours, but soon becomes more worried about the flying robots attacking him. Rushing in for the save, Hawkeye appears! But his outfit is different. Darker. More military. More "Ultimates 3." Falcon swoops in dressed up like the version of the character from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Spider-Man showed up in his Spider-Man: Noir duds. Apparently, they're saving him because they think he's the prophesied "Thunderer." Thor uses said thunder and the accompanying lightning to take out the bots, and they all skedaddle to the team's hideout, as Thor learns that Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Black Widow are un-people. Also, this team's called the Defenders.

Also, two out of these three have beards. Because alternate reality.
On the way, "Hawkeye" introduces Thor to the team. Bullseye (Hawkeye), Slinger (Spidey), and Snap (Falcon). They tell Thor about the legend that says that the Thunderer will use his magic hammer to defeat Doom. I doubt it; Magic Hammer only does 100 MP damage. Try Shadow Flare. Not everyone will get that joke, but I did it for the handful who will. You're welcome.

Back in the episode, their speedboat gets attacked by a Doombot squadron led by Black Widow wearing Madame Masque's metal mask. Also, she calls herself "Black Bride." One guess as to the husband.

Here's a hint: it rhymes with "Victor von Doom." Also, it's Victor von Doom.
Some kind of flying techno-thing steals Thor's hammer with a force field, and Slinger deploys some not-pumpkin gas bombs to cover the team's escape. Bride reports to Doom, and we cut to the team's hideout: the crashed helicarrier. They explain to Thor what the deal is: Dr. Doom took over the world years ago with super tech. Naturally, in finest Mirror Universe tradition, there's a bit of obligatory in-fighting.

"We're not a team, we're a time bomb."
Suddenly, Doom himself breaks in and uses his Iron Man-ish armor to utterly wreck the team.

I love the fact that he has a belt-less buckle.
Thor wakes up sometime later, finding himself and his teammates being taken prisoner by Bride and the Doombots. Also, that's a better band name than "Electric Tantrum." Thor gets taken to Doom's throne room, and sees Doom's favorite decoration: Captain America, still frozen in ice.

Still in mint condition.
Doom and Thor trade blows, and Doom handily wins with his Gamma-enhanced-arc reactor-powered repulsor blasts. Having delivered the smackdown, he goes on to list the merits of his dystopia. There's no hunger, disease, or war. But no freedom. And no Avengers. Bride enters the room with a holographic message from Doom's head scientist, Tony Stark. (Dun-dun-dunnnnn!) Apparently, he's having issues with getting Thor's hammer under his control. To help with this, Thor is brought to the lab.

Thor: "Stark!"
Tony: "Viking guy!"

Tony says that the reason Thor can't get to his hammer is because it's locked in a static space-time bubble that exists outside of separate reality. Some sort of time (and relative dimension) in space, if you will. Though I'm not sure what you'd call such a thing. Anyway, apparently Thor can willingly renounce his connection to his hammer, which would release it for Doom's use.

Thor: "I would sooner die than give up my connection to Mjolnir."
Tony: "Well, that might work."

Evil Tony Stark scares me.

"How 'bout we slice you up and poke around in your organs a bit, too? I love a morning vivisection!"
Thor notices the lack of a glowy-thing in Tony's chest, and we soon see why. In an admittedly well-done animated recreation of the jeep scene from the first Iron Man film, it's revealed that before Tony could get shrapnel embedded in his heart, Doctor Doom was there to save him.

[@pprvpotts cancel my 3:00 kthnx]
He never had to learn about the evils of weapon-making, so he started making them for an evil guy.

The other member of Doom's evil science team reveals himself to be holy$#!%!

B... B... Bruce Banner. In his first appearance on the show.

10 outta 10. Just for that. 11 outta 10.
We even get to see an animated loose recreation of the Gamma accident from Ang Lee's Hulk, but with Doom there to save Banner, complete with comic paneling to reference that movie's editing. Now he wears a radiation suit 24/7 to contain the beast within.

Seriously, I haven't seen Bruce Banner in a current cartoon in years. This is awesome!
That's when Thor figures it out. Dr. Doom traveled back in time to undo the origins of every Avenger, save Thor whose origin was not Earth-based. Still, makes you wonder why Earth changed, but not the rest of the universe?

Eh, I'm not sure that entirely explains everything.
So it seems that Tony and Bruce are evil, not by brainwashing, but by choice. And that's a bitter pill for Thor to swallow. But he will still fight until his last breath to keep Doom from the hammer. Because with it, Asgard is his for the taking. Doom orders Thor and the Defenders executed, and we cut to Doom making a speech to Planet von Doom. No, really, that's how he addresses the planet. With the "von" in there. It's funny if you know that "von" and similar surname prefixes mean "from," as in Victor from Doom. Or, more famously, Leonardo from Vinci. so it's a bit weird to name the whole planet "from Doom." I hereby consider my college Linguistics class to be worthwhile!

Thor begins to consider the possibility that what Odin said about humans sucking was true, but makes an impassioned speech on their behalf.... But nothing happens. The executioner takes aim at Thor... But reveals himself to be the Punisher and shoots the Doombots instead.

Don't question it; it's awesome
Black Bride joins in against her husband, Stark frees Mjolnir, which crashes into Captain America's ice block before rushing straight to Thor. Bullseye, Slinger, and Snap start fighting Doombots, Doom attacks Thor, Thor gets defeated... Wait, what?

Yeah, he dies.

Thor dies.

This is not a joke. Doctor Doom just killed Thor.

Of course, Black Bride brings him back to life with a shock from her wrist gauntlets, and Mjolnir rushes into his hand, thus sort of lessening the sacrifice, but whatever. It's a shockingly brutal moment, considering what this show usually gives us in terms of "surprise" resurrections.

Seriously, Marvel, you would never kill off Iron Man in the first episode and you know it.
He summons the storms, armors up, and the fight begins keeps going! The Defenders all unite against Doom, who flies away to his time machine to try again. Good thing Banner knows where the off switch is. Before Doom can turn on the self-destruct, Cap deus ex machinas Doom in the face with his shield, ending the fight.

After the science guys talk, they decide to send Thor through the time stream to set right what once went wrong, hoping that the each leap would be the leap home.

He arrives at the Latverian embassy and destroys Doom's time machine before Doom goes back to change history, which is impossible, because as soon as Dr. Doom went back in time, he altered history so that he never had to go back in time....

Aaaaaand, I just lost you.

Look, it's the same paradox that people complain about regarding Back to the Future Part 2. Trust me on this.

Doom throws a fit, Thor rejoins his pals, and he discovers that there really is no place like home, Auntie Em. Except Earth isn't his home, but whatever, let's review!