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Marvel Super Hero Squad Show Returns
October 18, 2010

The Super Hero Squad Show starts its new season on Cartoon Network on Saturday, October 23.

Super Hero Squad promo image

I haven’t paid much attention, because I was put off by the lack of female heroes. I know they want to promote their popular, best-known, often movie heroes — Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Wolverine — but I expect more of team cartoons. Especially those promoted as being “family friendly” — there’s nothing friendly about an all-male gang. So I was excited to see a couple of women promoted as upcoming guest voices:

… the hottest superstar talent to voice the roles of the dynamic heroes and wicked villains in the second season of The Super Hero Squad Show. This list of who’s-who includes Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch (Glee) as Nebula; Emmy award winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) as Nightmare; Adam West (1960s TV series Batman) as Nighthawk; Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) as She-Hulk; and Emmy award nominated Ty Burrell (Modern Family) as Captain Marvel.

Of course, now I have the problem of not knowing who Nebula or Nightmare ARE. That’s the thing about DC’s cartoons — I’m usually familiar with the second-stringers or supporting cast. Marvel’s? Not so much. (That’s the reason also I started visualizing Burrell in red with a lightning bolt.)

This second season is promoted as featuring Thanos attempting to collect the six Infinity Stones for his gauntlet to gain “absolute power over the universe”, unless the Squad stops him! I bet they do. Even though the promotional picture shows otherwise.

11 Responses  
Kevin Lighton writes:  

Nebula is a space-based villain who claims to be the daughter of Thanos. (I think Thanos confirmed this during Infinity Gauntlet, but I’m not sure.)

Nightmare is the ruler of a dream dimension and a Dr. Strange enemy.

 
Johanna writes:  

Thanks! I’m sure you’re right about Nebula and Thanos being related, given the show promo.

 
ShadZ writes:  

Nebula claims to be the granddaughter (not daughter) of Thanos.

 
Shannon Smith writes:  

The show is actually more girl friendly than it looks. My daughter loves it. Ms. Marvel plays a big role in the episodes I’ve seen and she is usually handled as the only character with any kind of intelligence or sense of responsibility. She’s almost like a mother figure to all the male characters. All the male characters are basically toddlers. The show is pretty much about toddlers dressed up as super heroes. Oh, and with, ya know, powers. It’s cute and occasionally funny.

 
Johanna writes:  

That’s interesting. Sounds like they’re maintaining traditional gender stereotyping, where guys can have fun but the girl is required to be responsible.

 
Jim Perreault writes:  

Nebula appeared during Roger Stern’s classic run on Avengers. Her claim to be Thanos’ daughter was undisputed until Infinity Gauntlet, where Thanos punishes her for that claim.

She actually is one of my favorite Avengers’ villains, and think it is great that the show is using her. I may have to get cable.

Nightmare, BTW, was killed in the first issue of Chaos War.

And in case you missed it, Nighthawk is the Squadron Supreme’s version of Batman, hence the Adam West voice. He did a similar role in a (fantastic) episode of Kim Possible where he played “the Fearless Ferret” in a spoof of Batman Beyond.

Jim

 
Anthony writes:  

Perhaps out of concern over the lack of females in the cartoon, the Super Hero Squad spinoff comic recently featured appearances of She-Hulk, the Wasp, and Tigra as a friendly-rival team. The next issue’s description pretty much states the three will become full Squad members in the comic. (Though I didn’t see a description for a January issue—wondering if the comic’s been canceled… I’m hoping not!)

 
Johanna writes:  

I noticed that, and I’m glad to see the comic is going beyond the show.

Thanks for pointing out that casting link, Jim. It makes up for you spoiling a bit of Chaos War for me :)

So what are Nebula’s powers/abilities?

 
Jim Perreault writes:  

Sorry about the spoilage. I was a little concerned about spoiling Infinity Gauntlet, since they are adapting it in the show, but the Chaos War spoiler did not cross my mind.

I don’t recall Nebula having any powers per say ; just a brilliant tactician and leader. Being an alien, she may have greater than human strength and endurance (because presumably she is a Titan Eternal of some sort) but I don’t remember any stories emphasizing that.

Jim

 
Johanna writes:  

Oh, I was just teasing, after recently saying I wasn’t reading it. As for a non-powered Nebula who can hold her own with cosmic beings… the more I hear, the more I’m interested.

 
Skye writes:  

I’ve been extremely disappointed in the Superhero Squad on the gender front, actually. My son is three and conned his grandma into read him the New Avengers and Transformers trade I picked up used as a joke. He LOVED it.

So then we got three of the Superhero Squad storybooks meant for kids and so far, the only woman we’ve seen is Mystique – in one of the 2 storybooks, the other has no women. Then she’s profiled in the villain sourcebook – but left out of all group shots of villains in the whole book. When the villains are looking at a chart of all the superheroes on the wall of their HQ, there is not ONE woman’s face.

I watched one episode of the show online and Ms. Marvel shows up to be the screechy harridan who yells at the boys for crashing the helicarrier. The Enchantress was the main villain and she was falling out of her costume, unlike Ms. Marvel and Mystique who have been reasonably dressed. The trailer and music video for the show that I have watched online show Storm, Sue Richards, and Ms. Marvel in passing, but none of them apparently rate being part of the team.

I hate to keep putting money into a line that has even *worse* representation of women than the stuff I buy for myself.

 

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