Monday, July 20, 2009

Attack of the Cartoon Heroes series! The Conclusion

Well, we've looked at some great cartoons over the years, but to close things out I wanted to give a few honorable mentions to some series that weren't as popular as the others we've talked about. These were all over the place as far as time goes, but they were heroes.

The Fantastic Four (1980's)

During the Spider-Man craze of the 80's, the Fantastic Four briefly made an appearance in their first animated series. Unfortunately, due to some licensing problems, Marvel actually lost the right to use the Human Torch in the series (he was optioned by another studio for a solo cartoon that never got made)! Instead of bringing in a new hero, the powers that be brought in an incredibly annoying robot named Herbie to take his place. Technically, this made the series "The Fantastic 3 1/2", but nobody noticed.

Fortunately, the Torch made it back when the series was brought back in the 90's on Fox, and just a few years ago when it reappeared in a new form on MTV. But, for your viewing pleasure, here's Herbie!

Iron Man (1996)

When Fox brought back the Fantastic Four, they also brought in Iron Man. While he'd done a couple of guest shots in some Spider-Man cartoons, this was his first turn to actually helm a series. To be honest, the stories weren't half bad. It didn't last long and is only available on DVD in various single episodes on other show's discs, but you can still find shots of it here and there. His theme song definitely wasn't as catchy as the X-Men's.

The Silver Surfer (1990's)

To prove they weren't turning away any hero for a series possibility, Fox brought the Silver Surfer to his own series for a short while. This series used a strange fusion of computer animation and cell animation, which made it unique among other hero shows of the time. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn't.

The Surfer was surprisingly able to hold his own for a bit since he was able to go from planet to planet to find new adventures. Of course, his greatest battles were those he fought against the coolest bad guy of all time: Galactus!

The Teen Titans (2000's)

Before we close it all out, I'd like to mention the Teen Titans. For some weird reason, they decided to go all anime with this series. To me, that really limited its audience. This is obviously meant for kids which is a shame, since some of the stories they covered (Terra's betrayal, Trigon's appearance) were very adult stories in the comics and could have made for some awesome moments rather than the way they were handled.

And that's it! Oh, I know I missed several shows out there like Superman, Brave & The Bold, Spider-Woman, and the Hulk, but maybe I'll grab them in a follow-up someday. Did I miss any that you liked as a kid?


Jeremiah said...

I agree that going all anime with Teen Titans limited its audience. I'm a huge cartoon fan and I love the DC Universe but I hate anime. To this day, I still have not been able to watch a complete episode of this series because of the animation style.

Nick said...

I agree with you and Jeremiah. I'm sick of them trying to change the style of a hero in a lame effort to seem hip. The new Iron Man cartoon (in which they turned Tony Stark into a teenager, for crying out loud) is a perfect example.

Great blog by the way. I voted for your site. I also write about geeky stuff on my own blog called City of Kik. Hope you get a chance to check it out at

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james said...

Great cartoon coverage over the last few posts.

Here's a new site you might like. It tries to make sense of the 1970s Super Friends:

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