Marvel is not cancelling The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for Avengers Assemble, the company’s head of Television said today. Instead the upcoming series, which was briefly previewed at Comic-Con this morning, is “the next level,” said Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb. The Marvel TV chief announced that after 52 episodes the animated The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is “transitioning out into the new Avengers.” Loeb told fans that the series, rumored to be on the chopping block, was intended almost from the beginning to run for a 52-episode order and that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will “have an epic conclusion.” Loeb told Deadline that the series, which is aired on Disney XD, will end sometime later this year. With that said, the real emphasis on today’s “Marvel Television Presents” panel was on new properties. To that end, Loeb showed the fans a rough trailer of the upcoming animated Avengers Assemble. Coming next year Avengers Assemble is much darker that Earth’s Mightiest and, as Loeb said repeatedly, derives from the Joss Whedon-directed blockbuster with the same characters, same tech and similar tone. “We’re going to give you the best Avengers we can and that’s a promise from Marvel Television.”
Avengers Assemble wasn’t the only addition to the 11 AM Sunday morning Marvel Universe block on Disney XD The panel also previewed Marvel Mash-Up. Starring the Fantastic Four, Marvel Mash-Up played to the company’s legacy by intentionally looking like old school animation from the 1970s with snappy irreverent dialogue. Next up was Hulk and The Agents of S.M.A.S.H., which Loeb said grew out of Mark Ruffalo’s “break-out role” as the Hulk in The Avengers movie. The idea is to have a team of heroic Hulks. The preview, which Loeb warned the fans was “just a test,” set up a new slew of characters, like A-Bomb and Red Hulk, for Marvel to spin-off. Hulk and The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. is, the Marvel TV chief said, the next level of the studio’s reinvigoration. Loeb also announced a series of the more mature Marvel Knights DVD series including more of the Astonishing X-Men series by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, Wolverine Origins and Wolverine vs. Hulk. The cheering room was treated to a preview of a brand new episode of Ultimate Spider-Man. Loeb gently mocked some of the other Comic-Con previews this week by telling the crowd that the episode, starring the fan favorite Spider-Ham character, “won’t be airing this weekend, it won’t air for several weeks.”
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