Welcome back to Strange Times & Places, where we’re celebrating the opening of the Power Rangers movie this past weekend. To that end, I found the most Power Ranger-y alternate universe story I could (other than the actual alternate universe Power Rangers story currently ongoing in their monthly book) – Marvel Mangaverse: Avengers Assemble! #1!
How’s It Different?
This would be best classed as a Royale With Cheese – there’s no specific point of divergence nor is there a specific mold into which the characters are being fit. It’s just the regular Marvel Universe but slightly more anime-y (Whedonisms for the win).
Amusingly, when the Marvel Universe was made into an actual anime, the design work and storyline was far more similar to that of the 616 than anything else.
What’s The Story?
The Hulk is on a rampage and it’s up to The Avengers to put a stop to it! Unfortunately, since this is the Mangaverse, the Hulk is kaiju sized and The Avengers are, well, not. Luckily, the disembodied head of Tony Stark – their benefactor – built the incredibly powerful Iron Avenger vehicles for just such an eventuality. Now it’s a race between The Avengers and their arch-foes, Apocalypse and the Four Horsemen, to see who can get their hands on these all-powerful fighting machines first.
Best of Differences
- The Iron Avengers and their combined form, Ultimate Iron Man, are really cool.
- The character designs are overall topnotch, which is no shock as the art is provided by Udon Studios.
- Being a child of the mid-90s, any appearance of Captain America’s photonic shield is appreciated.
- Apocalypse having a giant robot shaped like…himself is actually pretty cool. Since this version can merge with any and all technology, one assumes he simply merges with the robot rather than serving as pilot….but I prefer to imagine he’s in a cockpit.
Worst of Differences
There’s really not that much that’s super different about this setting Sure, the designs are anime influenced and a few characters have slightly different powers while one sports a wildly different backstory (The Vision is a boy genius uploaded into a robot of his own making) but all of that information comes from captions. Due to the story’s short, one and done nature, there really isn’t space to make it wildly different from the mainstream ‘verse. If it were redrawn, only a few changes (and ignoring the obvious line-up problems) could comfortably make it into a flashback story set in the 616.
Come back next week for Tokusatsu Gesundheit, where I will probably write about the American Tokusatsu movie currently in theaters.