The Super Hero Squad Show
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this action-packed, tongue-in-cheek cartoon skewers the traditional image of superhero teams saving the world. The heroes in this show (all drawn from the vast Marvel Comics universe) constantly bicker over who gets to take on the villain, get caught up in petty disputes, and are just as likely to be slimed by a monster’s enormous booger as they are to be pounded by its thrashing tail (the fact that they even look more like action figures than human crimefighters makes sense, considering that the series is based on a line of toys). It’s a different take on heroism to be sure -- but it may well appeal to kids, since the characters often act like big kids themselves ... with all the potty humor that goes along with that.
What's the story?
Guess who lives in Super Hero City? Yup, it's a whole town full of super-powered crime fighters, all drawn from the Marvel Comics universe. And you know who lives in nearby Villainville -- all the bad guys plotting to take over the world, especially the fearsome Dr. Doom (voiced by Charles Adler). But the formidable villains need an edge if they hope to take on the noble residents of Super Hero City; they need to find the fragments of the famed Infinity Sword, which can bestow nearly-limitless power. In THE SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW, the good-guy team must find the sword pieces first if they want to stop Doom’s nefarious scheme.
Is it any good?
This animated parody sounds like the classic Super Friends cartoons of Saturday mornings past, but it plays more like the Three (Super-powered) Stooges. The characters squabble like kids and can't seem to get enough jokes about farts, boogers, and other bodily functions. They even look a bit silly -- much more like the line of action figures upon which the series is based than the traditional trim, muscled heroes viewers are more used to seeing.
Given that the show is set in two whole towns full of comic book characters, dozens of popular Marvel creations appear, and several less-well known heroes also get name-checked. The biggest names merit most of the screen time, notably Iron Man (Tom Kenny), the Hulk (Travis Willingham), Silver Surfer (Mikey Kelly), and a few of the X-Men and Fantastic Four. All of this Marvel-mania will be fun for hardcore comic fans, but it veers awfully close to the line between entertainment and blatant cross promotion. Still, older comic fans may be entertained by the send-up of the traditional format, and while younger kids may not understand the parody elements, they’ll definitely giggle at the fart jokes.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about superheroes. The heroes on this show are significantly less noble than the standard-issue crimefighter. Do you think young kids will understand that this show is supposed to be a parody?
The show is based on a line of toys that was based on comic books. Do you think that a show this intertwined with other products crosses the line from entertainment to commercial/promotion?