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I'm a huge superhero fan but in recent years have come to be able to poke
gentle fun at my interests. The entire Marvel superheroes line is great
that because of the unintentional humour involved. 1960s Marvel, while
groundbreaking has always had its goofy side, and these cartoons only
heighten these elements. First of all, they take comic book artwork
was often solid enough on its own) and animate it minimally in extremely
silly looking ways (often repeating the same effects over and over during
episode). They they add in often funny sunny sound effects. These are
heightened by the fact that onomatopoeia sometimes appears on the screen,
and it more often than not fails to match the sounds you're hearing.
since story material is swiped from different comics, you get stuff like
Iron Man or Doctor Doom's armour changing appearance back and forth at
random. Great unintentionally humourous fun for any superhero fan who
not take him/herself too serious.
One final mention: some collections of Marvel material, including but not limited to material from this series, have an advertisement for Marvel collections with the most bored sounding announcer you'll ever hear talking about how you'll be thrilled by these exciting adventures and so on. This monotone delivery of supposedly thrilling material is worth seeking out in its own right.
I remember watching this show in 1966-67 when it aired on WOR-TV; we
saw this on cable TV in Upstate New York. I enjoyed it when my father
would watch this show with me. Yes, the animation was limited, and I
saw that was the case even as a kid.
To me, that added to its appeal, especially because I hoped as a child to be a cartoonist myself. This was one enjoyable series, and I may want to get this on DVD myself!!
I enjoyed all of the cartoons. I would say that Captain America was my favourite; he reminded me of Batman. I also liked Thor very much, too. But regardless, I enjoyed watching this cartoon, and was unhappy when it stopped airing.
PS: I cannot believe John Vernon had this credit. Very interesting! I just read his obituary tonight on the CBC's Web site.
In 1969,when I was a wee lad o' five,a hometown TV station, channel
on the air.Their schedule consisted of a lot of recently cancelled network
fare and a truly great line up of kid-oriented
and of course, the Marvel superheroes.It was my first exposure to great
characters like the Mighty Thor,the Incredible Hulk (who scared me just a
little),Iron Man,Captain America, and the Sub-Mariner.
Okay, so maybe the animation was sub-par, even when compared to other cartoons made at the time.The animators, working on a tight budgets and schedules,took their storylines directly from the comics, actually clipping panels from the comic books themselves to use in the animation.I didn't care. I was five. What did I know? After all the characters were colorful and neat,especially the villains and the stories were quickly-paced and action packed.
It's 35 years later...Life is a little more complicated,Channel 19 was eventually swallowed up by the Fox corporation,and these old cartoons still posess a strange appeal.I recently purchased the entire series on DVD and have enjoyed seeing them again in all their cheesy glory.
Interestingly enough, I found out years later than Iron Man (and a few other characters) were voiced by John (Dean Wormer in "Animal House") Vernon. Chris Wiggins (from the syndicated "Friday the 13th" TV series) voiced Thor.
I have seen a few of Iron Man, Hulk, Fantastic 4, Spiderman & Namor
they are good shows they made 85 episodes of this show so that's
something going for it I like the Episodes that I saw they actually did
put it very much like the comics almost word for word I liked spending
my time watching the episodes I have no interest in the episodes of Cap
America or Thor I haven't seen all the episodes but I have seen enough
to pass an opinion this is a good show and I'm not just saying that
just because I am a comic Book fan nor that Hulk is one of my
favourites I like this show
Who cares about the animation. These are the BEST of any comic book
I ran home from school many days to catch these on TV in the 70s and 80s. They were released on VHS back in the late 90s but you can usually find them on DVD at any Comic book convention.
My question is: does ANYONE know where they got the music from? Not the theme songs but the soundtracks that would play during the episodes... that music ROCKED! I would like to know who composed the soundtrack music and where I can possibly buy it at. Most of my leads have turned up empty but maybe someone who reads this has some info.
YES!!! It will be on DVD, but we'll have to wait until next year because its release will coincide with the summer 2005 release of the Fantastic Four movie ... For those of you unfamiliar with the Marvel Superheroes series, it was a 1966 item that came from Grantray-Lawrence Animation. It featured Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor, Iron Man, and The Sub-Mariner (better known these days as "Namor"). Each character had their own sub-series within the main show, and there were 13 episodes per character. That's 65 half-hour episodes in all, most of which have never been released to home video before (both Hulk and Iron Man had a handful of episodes released to VHS tape).
I remember watching this exciting series back in the fall of 1978 on
WPIX-TV, CH.11 (which is now the WB 11) . I distinctly remember
watching the fall promo all summer long in New York City. I believe the
station brought it back because of the "Incredible Hulk" live-action
series, starring the late Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, that was to
appear on CBS that same fall. I believe the Marvel Series always
started out with a Hulk episode. Although the animation was limited,
the cartoons were based on actual Marvel stories from the 1960's. The
voice-overs, the narrations and the background music brought an
adventurous and serious element to the animated series, which makes up
for the animation.
I keep seeing in many people's comments that there was 13 episodes for each of the 5 Marvel heroes (Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and the Sub-mariner). I believe that is in error. There were 13 story lines per character with 3 episodes comprising a storyline. Therefore, there was a total of 39 episodes per character giving a grand total of 195 episodes.
Lastly, I read that all of the 195 episodes of the Marvel Superheroes will be coming out on DVD this summer to coincide the release of the new Fantastic Four movie slated for July 2005. The release date for the series will be June 28th, 2005.
Man, I so recall watching this cartoon that I can still recite the words for all the heroes' songs (with the exception of Thor, for some reason it eludes me...). My friends were laughing then, BUT WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?? (wait, I think they're still laughing at me...) I loved it how they'd waste so much time recycling bits over and over, using still frame with the exception of the mouths for dialogue, and after the commercial break they'd discuss the origin and powers of other heroes and recap what had happened the previous several minutes. I swear in the entire half-hour they would have probably shown around 5 minutes of actual new material. AND I LOVED IT!! Where can I get a copy of that now? "you belong, you belong, you belong to the merry marvel marching society..."
If you love the 60's Marvel comics and have a sense of humor, you must see these!!! If you want high quality production values, look elsewhere. They look like someone cut the figures out of the comics and moved those around the page (almost literally). I mean the animation is really bad (it makes "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" look like Disney). The voices are pretty silly, too (the most depressing part about watching these as a child is that I still picture these voices for the characters :). Unlike most other Marvel cartoons they actually attempted drama, and I think the voices actually fit the silly over-dramatized classic Stan Lee stories. Watching the now hard to find and out of print video releases, these are still really fun. Most of the episodes follow the original stories better than any medium outside comic books has ever done (or probably ever will do). They had individual features and theme music for Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, and Sub-Mariner. Occasionally guesting on the Captain America shows they also had some classic stories with The Avengers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We can well remember the anticipation in our household as the premiere
installment of "THE MARVEL SUPER HEROES" hit the airwaves. It was
Autumn 1966, Fall Season in TV parlance. In this case, there was no
Network involved, for this was a Syndicated Show. In our case, being in
Chicago, we received the show over WGN, Channel 9. It was and is the
Station owned by The Chicago Tribune.(Its call letters, WGN are taken
from a slogan used on the Paper's Masthead, "World's Greatest
They slotted the show on I believe, Monday or Tuesday night, I'm almost positive about that. It was on in primetime. And it sure helped to be a Comics Reader, just as it was for the BATMAN Series, which had debuted in January of 1966. For this series hit the ground running and did not slow down.
This is an animated series from Ralph Bakshi/Steve Krantz & Company, who would have the "SPIDER-MAN" Series on ABC's Saturday Morning Schedule. It was lively, with peppy music and Original Theme Songs for each and every animated feature on the show. The Marvel Superheroes featured were: "THE INCREDIBLE HULK". "IRON MAN", "THE MIGHTY THOR", "CAPTAIN America" and "THE SUB-MARINER." Cartoon episodes were done in parts of 2 or 3 and featured Character Art Work and Backgrounds taken right from the Comics Stories, which gave the stories a really beautiful look. However, the series receives my vote for "The Crusader Rabbit Animation Award", as the action is limited, very much so. But, we quickly forgave them for that.
After all, what would we rather have this Marvel Show as it was, or improved animation, with a series like the UPA "DICK TRACY SHOW" of 5 or so years earlier? No Contest Here, Schultz! The lack of movement was neatly offset by the fine voice actors and the direction and editing. Also, appropriate incidental music was used in background, which underscored and amplified the action on the screen. And there was plenty of that action, believe me!
Much like the various Marvel Comics Mags, the dialog sounded or read like a sort of Shakespearian Play. It was all very dramatic, even melodramatic! But other than their opening theme and closing song,* the cartoons of these Marvel Superheroes certainly lacked the Marvel Sense of Humor that had become so famous in the earlier, formulating years. This was not the case in the later release that year of the afore mentioned Bakshi/Krantz "SPIDER-MAN"(1967) nor Hanna-Barbera's "FANTASTIC 4" (1967 also).
But when all is considered, in balance, at the end of the day, more or less,(INSERT YOUR OWN Cliché HERE), the series was highly successful. After all, it did introduce the Marvel Characters to a much larger segment of society. And because of them, we are enjoying those "Block-Buster" Summer Super-Spectacular Effects Extravaganzas, right to this very day! And just one more thing we must address. And that would be the matter of adapting characters, stories and origins to whatever strikes their fancy at the moment.** "THE MARVEL SUPERHEROES" keeps their stories just about 100 Per Cent.
And that's not bad!
NOTE: * The 2 songs, the opener, "The Marvel Super Heroes Have Arrived!", was deliberately slow and belabored, yet still done for fun. THe Signature Song, "The Merry Marvel Marching Society", was all out, peddle to the metal, full throttle-start to finish and a tongue in the cheek delight! And it was true to that Stan Lee/Jack Kirby tradition.
NOTE: **As some prime examples of unnecessary adaptations or as one might say in the vernacular, "Monkeying Around" with story lines. As for some Comics to Screen changes we offer: 1) BATMAN(1989)with making the Joker the murderer of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Wayne, when we all know it was a small time stick-up man, Joe Chill. BATMAN RETURNS(1992)giving their overly gruesome version of The Penguin the name of Oswald Cobblepot. In the only time that Pengy was given a name, his first appearance, he was referred to as, "Mr. Boniface".
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