I was reminded of these the other day in a completely different context, but seeing how popular the Marvel Super-hero movies have been of late, and considering that cineplexes nationwide are going to be overrun by Cap fans with the release on April 4th of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of Marvel’s earlier attempts to breathe at least a little life into their creations and bring them off the comic book page to the television screen.
The Marvel Super Heroes was an animated series which aired on syndicated television in 1966. It featured five of Marvel’s most popular characters in animated shorts which adapted stories from the comics. Each thirty minute episode would feature three shorts with each character being featured on a different day. It featured what could somewhat generously be called “limited animation”, but was still actually fun and effective for the time, especially since most of them featured actual comic artwork from the likes of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, and others adapted to the animated style.
The official line-up and the daily rotation of characters ran like this:
However, these weren’t the only Marvel characters getting the small-screen treatment. 1967 saw the first animated incarnation of the First Family of Marvel Heroes:
And, of course, the same year, Peter Parker’s alter ego, who many see as Marvel’s flagship character also got his shot at our TV screens, giving us, if nothing else, the theme song that every Spideyphile knows:
Finally, since it’s Cap’s movie that is coming soon, here’s the animated take on Captain America’s origin from the first episode.
Unfortunately, so far only the Spider-Man episodes have received a proper DVD release, and they are also currently available for streaming on Netflix. Many of the other shows are available on YouTube, or they can be found by other means, but personally I’d love to see a full, well-done collection of the entire Marvel Super Heroes series. C’mon, Disney! It’s not like you don’t have the resources.
- Stunning Concept Art For CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (geektyrant.com)