Marvel on TV: The 60's
With both S.H.I.E.L.D. and some new animated programming in the form of Hulk: Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Avengers Assemble on the horizon; I decided to look back at Marvel on TV. This article covers the general origins of Marvel on TV which started in the 60's with three hilariously animated cartoons
With some great Marvel content coming in the near future; I thought there couldn't be a better way to celebrate Marvel on TV then to explore its past. While Spider-Man is not the first Marvel Cartoon to debut, it's certainly the most recognisable of the three. Without further ado, the history of Marvel on TV! Who knows, Gusto may have seen a few of these while he was in High School.
The Marvel Super Heroes (1966)
While nothing spectacular, The Marvel Super Heroes show was a test by Marvel no doubt to see if people would tune in to their heroes.
While the animation doesn't hold up, the show did offer a great glimpse into some of Marvels most famous heroes. As you can see from the intro, everyone from Cap and Hulk, to Namor were all spotlighted. In fact, unlike many other shows dedicated to one character or another The Marvel Super Heroes aired a different segment each night focusing on one character. Mondays were Cap, The Hulk was on Tuesday, Iron Man on Wednsday, Thor on Thursday (Thorsday? Anyone?), and Namor on Friday.
Only in the 60's could someone be described as 'exotically neurotic'.
While the show is by most regards forgetable; some parts still live on and no doubt many of us have no doubt seen Cap's origins that was shown during Caps segment
The cartoon in retrospect laid a lot of the groundwork down for Marvel Heroes. Many of these segments were the simple origin stories for these characters but to put yourself in the 60's this would've been mindblowing to see Banner lose control for the first time, or Cap take on Red Skull in their first encounter.
Fantastic Four (1967-1968)
The Fantastic Four were the first to be turned into a regular series. With this cartoon, Marvel went with Hanna-Barbera. Who at that point had found success with The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, and The Jetsons. The show had a successful run, but sadly it was the beginning of what's come to be a bit of a curse for the franchise as the Fantastic Four have yet to find themselves in a series as popular as their Marvel brethren.
The show ends with the Fantastic Four deciding that they weren't cut out to be movie stars; which sadly seems to echo an eerily realistic truth.
Of the three shows that debuted in the 60's Spider-Man is by far the most memorable and influential. While its first season focused on characters from the Marvel Universe, the second and third seasons of the show had its budget cut replacing many of Spider-Man's greatest foes with generic monsters and aliens. Due to this, the show despite many of its strengths in the first season has been on the receiving end of many Spider-Man related GIFS. Poor Spider-Man couldn't beat his greatest enemy: mediocrity.
To be fair, who hasn't in their time heard this and rushed to the TV anyways...
That concludes the 60's era of Marvel on TV. In my honest opinion, Marvel did make more then a few missteps but then again who doesn't when you're adapting characters like Marvel heroes? They did an admirable effort despite everything they had to work with; and gave many of us the first sights and sounds of Marvel outside of the comics.
What do you guys think of Marvel's TV efforts in the 60's? You know where to rant. In the meantime, continue on to the other decades.
Marvel on TV: The 70's
Marvel on TV: The 80's
Marvel on TV: The 90's
Marvel on TV: The 00's
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