With a slate of films planned that lead up to a massive superhero team-up, it's no surprise that Marvel is putting its full effort behind the "Avengers" agenda. Today the publisher announced that a new cartoon series featuring animated versions of many of the characters with live-action films in the works will debut in 2011.
"The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" will feature the film-friendly lineup of Captain America, Iron Man, Ant Man, Hulk, Thor and Wasp, and will consist of 26 half-hour episodes produced by Film Roman ("Simpsons"). The "Avengers" animated series is the latest in a heap o' cartoon projects scheduled to debut over the next few years from Marvel Animation, including "Marvel Super Hero Squad" and "The Black Panther" (debuting at some point next year), as well as "Wolverine and the X-Men" and "Iron Man: Armored Adventures" (debuting on Nicktoons in 2009).
In the official press release announcing the series, Marvel's President of Animation, Eric Rollman, acknowledged the live-action tie-in component of the animated series.
"The addition of 'The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes' to our quickly expanding animation slate continues our plan to complement each of our tentpole live action features with an animated series," said Rollman. "This new ensemble series tracks perfectly with our highly anticipated ‘Road to the Avengers’ strategy which includes some of Marvel’s biggest and most beloved characters, and which kicks off with two Avengers-themed feature films in summer 2011.”
It's also worth noting that, if the lineup of the cartoon series does indeed mirror the intended lineup of the live-action film, this would confirm the presence of Wasp on the team -- the only character without her own live-action feature. Previously, photos of Eva Longoria leaving Marvel HQ with a stack of "Avengers" comics kick-started a rumor that she might be up for the role of Wasp or one of the other female members of the Avengers.
The PR for the "Avengers" cartoon provides the following synopsis of the series: "When the planet is threatened by Super Villains, time traveling conquerors, alien invaders, mythical monsters and mad robots bent on the total destruction of humanity, when forces of evil are so overwhelming that no single hero has the power to save the world, when there is no hope left…the Avengers assemble!"
Check out the promotional art for the series below:
So what do you think about "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes"? And how about that lineup? Are there any characters who should have been included but weren't? Let us know in the comments!