the avengers

12 Things to be Excited About in 2012

By Matt Peters

This year is scheduled to be one of the biggest of note in the world of comics, video games, and all-around geekiness. We here at Pads & Panels would like to give you twelve reasons that 2012 will be awesome. Let’s hope our Mayan overlords don’t return from outer space until we get to experience most of it. Take a look below for some of the highlights:



the avengers

Title: Captain America: The First Avenger

Directed by: Joe Johnston

Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Samuel L. Jackson

Studio: Marvel, Paramount

Rating: ★★★½☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Captain America: The First Avenger marks the final superhero movie to hit theaters before next year’s Marvel mega-film-event The Avengers. And like most superhero flicks as of late, it starts with the beginning, telling the origin of a scrawny man named Steve Rogers who through the wonders of science becomes Captain America, a beacon for patriotism during the war with the Nazis. But for all of its stylistic successes, its plot could use some work, and it is hard to shake the feeling that it’s in part an incredibly long trailer for another movie. (more…)

the avengers

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Warriors Vols. 1 & 2 DVD

By Bill Jones

Marvel and Walt Disney Studios couldn’t have timed the release of an Avengers animated television show much better than they did with The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Season 1 aired last year, and hits DVD just in time for the release of Thor in theaters. With Captain America coming this summer and The Avengers’ big-screen debut planned for 2012, the animated version offers viewers a nice primer into the world of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

The first two volumes of the show comprises 13 episodes over two, individually released discs, each in shiny slipcase covers. The first volume features seven episodes, using the first five to introduce the characters one at a time – Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America and Ant-Man – followed by the two-part “Breakout” story. The second volume introduces a few more characters over six episodes, and features battles with Klaw, Baron Zemo, The Enchantress and some Gamma-Mutated Monsters, ending with the two part “Gamma World” story.

Both volumes offer a sneak peak at Season 2 of the series, which has yet to air on Disney XD. The first volume also contains the bonus feature, “New Looks, New Heroes,” with the show’s creators taking a look at the evolving characters and storylines of Season 2. The second volume offers a companion featurette in “New Stories, New Threats,” with a look from the same creative team at what makes the Marvel heroes and villains unique.

Frankly, I’m not a huge fan of the volume releases, as opposed to full seasons. I’d rather have one box with several discs than smaller installments. But for what it’s worth, I like the direction of the show thus far. The individual character introductions work well, and the whole thing has the vibe of the X-Men animated cartoon we all grew up loving. The first two discs are a nice introduction to the series, and a great look into the background of The Avengers for noobs looking to get caught up before summer’s other big comic-movie event hits.

For more info,

Pads & Panels received copies of the DVDs courtesy of the studio for review purposes.

the avengers

Title: Thor

Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

Written by: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins

Studio: Marvel, Paramount

Rating: ★★★★☆

Written By: Thomas Braaksma

Marvel’s Thor has never quite seen the popularity or had such a creative force behind him since the Golden Age of comics with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at the helm. Though it is safe to say after this year’s theatrical release of Thor, the Norse god might work his way into the hearts of a large number of new and rejuvenated fans. Thor starts off a summer blockbuster season with a bang, and leaves a pretty hard act to follow. (more…)

the avengers

Chris Hemsworth Thor Q&A (C2E2)

Story and Photo by Thomas Braaksma

On Saturday, March 19, C2E2 brought out some of its biggest stars in the IGN Theater at McCormick Place. Among those stars was the up-and-coming Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, star of the soon-to-be-released live-action Thor movie. Marvel Studios held a Q&A with Hemsworth to go over Thor, as well as some of his past and upcoming projects. (more…)