tek's rating:

Marvel Rising: Initiation, on Disney XD
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streaming sites: Disney+; YouTube

"Marvel Rising" is a franchise that started in April 2018 with a series of comic books, which I haven't read. (I'm sure I'd like them if I did read them, but they're not as important to me as the animated media in the franchise.) In August 2018, the six-episode microseries "Initiation" aired on Disney XD, but since I don't get that channel, I had to watch it online. Which I didn't get around to doing until January 2020. (I forget when I first heard of the franchise, whether it was in 2018 or 2019, but either way, I'm kind of ashamed of how long it took me to get around to watching this. And actually, until I did watch it, I was under the impression that it was a webseries. But it wasn't released online until the day after it aired on TV, apparently.) The microseries preceded a TV movie, Secret Warriors, which aired in September 2018. After the movie, there were several specials in 2019, which I think were just released on YouTube. So I could watch them, but I'd prefer to wait until after seeing the TV movie.

Anyway, "Initiation" introduces us to a superhero called Ghost-Spider, aka Gwen Stacy (Dove Cameron). Some time prior to the microseries, Gwen's best friend, Kevin, was murdered, and the police believe Ghost-Spider is the killer. Ironically, the police are led by Gwen's father, Captain George Stacy (Steven Weber), who has no idea the suspect he's trying to catch is his own daughter. And once he finally realizes his own people aren't up to the task of catching Ghost-Spider, he calls on S.H.I.E.L.D. for help. The agents who come to pursue the suspect are Patriot (a character I don't think I've ever heard of, but he was trained by Captain America) and Daisy "Quake" Johnson (voiced by Chloe Bennet, who plays a different, live-action version of that character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) Meanwhile, there are two best friends, Kamala Khan (Kathreen Khavari) and Doreen Green (Milana Vayntrub), who are also superheroes, Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl. (The latter has a squirrel named Tippy-Toe, voiced with squirrel sounds by Dee Bradley Baker, who is quite helpful.) And they team up to chase down Ghost-Spider, themselves. But when they finally catch her, she tells them the story of the night Kevin was killed, and convinces them of her innocence. But unfortunately, that doesn't mean anyone else will believe she's not guilty.

Well, I don't know what else to say, except that it's a fun little series, and I like all the characters- especially Squirrel Girl.

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