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Masters of Evil

Season One, Episode 14

Director(s) Sebastian Montes
Writer(s) Christopher Yost
Summary The Whirlwind has spouted on the streets of Manhattan, overturing cars and creating chaos as he rampages through the city; not even donut-devouring taxicab drivers are safe!  Fortunately, the Wasp in in close pursuit of Whirlwind.  She chases him to a construction yard, where he stops... a trap?  A trap!  The illusion fades, revealing the well-named Enchantress!  The Enchantress is joined by Crimson Dynamo, Wonder Man, the Abomination, and the Executioner.  Wasp is zapped from behind by Baron Zemo, and captured.

Elsewhere, on the rooftop garden of the Wakanda Embassy, Hawkeye is kvetching to T'Challa about the other Avengers, while T'Challa calmly grinds the sacred heart-shaped herbs for topical use.

Stark, in his armor's interface suit,  is busy working with his armor at the Mansion, when the Crimson Dynamo attacks, having used the Wasp's Avengers ID to gain access to the mansion. Iron Man is captured.

In the lounge upstairs, the Abomination and the Enchantress ambush the Hulk while he's watching television. They force the Hulk through a dimensional portal to the home of the Frost Giants.

Captain America is busy in the gym, running a combat course, avoiding traps and the like. The lights go out and Captain America is attacked by Wonder Man and the Executioner. Cap's last sight before becoming unconscious is Zemo gloating.  Zemo sends out the call for the rest of the Avengers to assemble with Wasp's ID

Thor is on a walk with Jane Foster in Central Park; Odin is out of the Odin-Sleep, but Thor still feels the mortals on Earth need him more than Asgard does.  Wasp's call comes in, and he's off to the mansion, where he is attacked by the Masters of Evil.  The Enchantress nullifies his hammer with her magics, and before long Thor is defeated.

Across on the rooftops, Hawkeye and the Black Panther arrive in time to see the Masters of Evil depart with Thor.  Hawkeye wants to call in SHIELD in full Hulkbuster gear, but the Black Panther argues that such a battle would destroy half the city, and get the captive Avengers killed.  Meanwhile, Wonder Man begins to show signs of a conscience.

Zemo begins to interrogate Captain America, and we learn that revenge on Captain America is is main goal.  The Enchantress speaks with Thor; the Masters of Evil are her toys, but what she really wants is to be in Thor's heart - that's all she has ever wanted.  The Abomination questions why Zemo is leading them, and Zemo replies its because he's better than the rest.  Zemo also learns that Ant Man is not the last Avenger, as Hawkeye's arrows barrage the Masters of Evil!

On the main floor, its the Crimson Dynamo, the Executioner, and Wonder Man against the Black Panther.  In the Assembly Hall its Hawkeye against Zemo, the Enchantress, and the Abomination.  Before too long, Hawkeye and the Black Panther are on the ground before Zemo.  Zemo asks, rhetorically, that did the Black Panther and Hawkeye really think they could defeat the Masters of Evil?  Hawkeye and the Black Panther answer that they were a distraction, allowing Ant-Man access to his lab.

Enter the Ant-Man with lab tools, who calls for the Masters of Evil to surrender, before someone gets hurt....  Wonder Man charges, and a blast from Ant-Man's weapon dissipates Wonder Man's ionic energies into nothingness.  Ant-Man shrinks and evades as the Crimson Dynamo fires fist-cannons at him, growing to Giant-Man to punt the Abomination. The Black Panther uses his vibranium darts to suppress the Crimson Dynamo's fire.  A blast arrrow from Hawkeye sends the Enchantress to slumberland; without her maintaining her enchantments, the rest of the Avengers are free to join the fray.

Thor recovers his hammer, and Stark orders his Mark VII armor to him.  Thor uses his hammer to recover the Hulk, who has an ice club in hand and seems awfully angry.  Cap retrieves his shield from Zemo, Wonder Man reforms and its "game on"!  During the battle, Wondfer Man explains to Giant-Man that he has no choice but to fight, to continue to exist.  Hawkeye proves that in an emergency he'll gladly administer arrows manually.  Zemo calls for an Asgardian evac, and the Masters of Evil are gone.

After the battle, Stark wants to know what the battle was about.  Thor postulates it was all about revenge, but Captain America disagreed; Zemo seemed to think that if he defeated the Avengers, he'd won more than vengeance, that someone had promised Zemo the world if he succeeded.

Back in Arnim Zola's lab, the Masters of Evil are tossing around recriminations.  The Enchantress tells them it doesn't really matter - that its all a game.  She leaves the room and mystically reports that all of the "pieces" are in place to a shadowy figure, but there are not enough shadows in the world to hide the identity of Loki!
Commentary  Another very exciting episode, with Easter-Egg elements from several classic Avengers stories.  I'm also happy that I have four of the six of my favorite era of Avengers at the forefront, missing only the Scarlet Witch and Quiicksilver to make the team from the Vol. 1 16-40-ish era complete!

I am very much enjoying the pacing of the battles, fast and furious, with each encounter taking seconds and not tens of seconds, as is the common practice in other shows.  I suppose its ludicrous to call it "more realistic" with magic, advanced tech, and the like, but it requires (at least from me) less suspension of disbelief than, say, some other fights in other series or OAVs.

I was really annoyed that Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor didn't really get much of a part to lay down the might of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.  While I understand that the other characters need their screen-time too, and Hawkeye, Ant-Man, the Black Panther, and Wasp more than some others, its still disconcerting, particularly with Iron Man; his mansion defenses are a joke.  JARVIS needs an upgrade, especially with Ultron on the way!

Other Notes:

* Taxicab driver's paper headlines include "Secret School for Mutants?" and "Replaced By Aliens - A Baxter Building Resident Speaks!".  The Excelsior is SUCH a rag!

* The scene where Jan is slowly surrounded by the Masters of Evil reminded me of the scene in "Some Assembly Required" where the Avengers did the same thing to the Mandrill.

* At this point, we discover that Iron Man only has three suits of armor.  Expect THAT to change!

* Loved watching T'Challa punk Hawkeye about the herbs.

* Nothing is more infuriating that watching Zemo walking around carrying Cap's shield!

* Hawkeye, while being bear-hugged by the Abomination.  "Please... I'm begging you... brush your teeth!"

Notes Youtube:
Part One
Part Two