Animated Marvel Comics

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Koohii, Dec 27, 2009.

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  1. Koohii Force Ghost

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    May 30, 2003
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    The history of Animated versions of Marvel Comics characters has been rather dismal. From the ancient original series where the writers didn't really know the difference between Spider-man and Superman and the background artists were obviously on serious drugs, through the 80's Spider-man and his amazing friends, to the MTV cartoon that was worse than watching someone else play a video game, to recent developments, it's been a roller-coaster ride.

    And there have been many other animated characters/series, though I think only The Fantastic Four have had as many itterations.

    And the only cross-polination of series I know of was in the early 90s, when Spider-man went to visit the X-Men. (OK, the same voice is used for the Iron Man anime movie and the Ultimate Avengers movies).

    I was thinking the other night--wouldn't it be interesting to have Bruce Timm and his team put together a cartoon series? Maybe they'd be able to do right what has been a very hit&miss proposition? Maybe provide a coherent vision?
  2. hansen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2003
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    Sounds like you haven't seen Spectacular Spider-Man.

    Fantastic show and easily my favorite representation of the Spider-Man story. Too bad it's probably dead.
  3. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    The 90's shows were solid- X-Men and Spider-Man. The voice of Wolverine from that was like the definitive voice of Wolverine for like a decade, used in a lot of the video games too.

    X-Men Evolution wasn't too bad- it started off really slow, but by the last season it was actually pretty good. Sad that it ended so early though.

    The current DVD movies have been ok, but not outstanding. The recent Fantastic Four series wasn't too shabby.
  4. Koohii Force Ghost

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    May 30, 2003
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    Yes, the 90s Spider-man and X-men were very good. But the art direction is very much "we're making a stable background and moving the characters in front of it/make it look like a comic book with movement". While that was still exceedingly good at the time, it looks very dated now. Compare that with the Bruce Timm cartoons--even Batman, which was on about the same time.

    the Fantastic 4 series that followed the first movie was horrible.

    The lionsgate anime movies for Iron Man and Doctor Strange were outstanding. I'd put the anime Iron Man on the same level as the Robert Downey Jr. live action movie.

    Then there was the "Hulk Vs" dvd, with 2 movies, both of which were bad (though Hulk vs Thor was really, really bad).

  5. Jedimarine Force Ghost

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    Feb 13, 2001
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    I liked "Hulk" from the 90s too...though it did lead to "She-Hulk"...which is unforgivable.

    X-men in the 90s was good, but kind of lost it's compass and focus...they didn't have a long term plot path, which caused the show to evaporate.

    Spiderman was good, but similarly suffered once they got through the core character stories.

    But fear not...with Disney now in overlordship...I have no doubt the new animated adventures will be along shortly.

    Spidey saves Mickey!
  6. Dawud786 Force Ghost

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    Dec 28, 2006
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    90s Spidey and X-Men wasn't the only animated meeting of those two teams.

    Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends had an episode where Spidey, Iceman and Firestar go to the X-Mansion which is where the Wolverine with an Aussie accent thing began and Wolvie made a fruit kebab on one of his claws. It was terrible. And I think that was actually the late 70s, not 80s.
  7. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    There was an 80's or early 90's X-Men animated movie too that i only ever saw on VHS. It had the aussie Wolverine and focused on Kitty Pryde.


    The best thing about the 90's X-Men and Spider-Man series though was how up-to-date it was, story wise. They had a great synergy with the comics. While they adapted classic stories like Dark Phoenix Saga, they also did then-recent stories like Phalanx Covenant within a year or so of the comics themselves.

    That is something unique that hasn't really been done as well with any other animated comics series. Especially with all the reboots of Marvel franchises. They're all too preoccupied with retelling the Goblins or the Rhino for the billionth time.

    It was something rare in that if you had just started reading X-Men comics at the time, you could sit down and watch the cartoon series and feel like it was a crash course in the 300+ comic issues you skipped, while being relevant to what you were presently reading.

    Sadly, they never did Age of Apocalypse. :[face_sigh]:
  8. Jedimarine Force Ghost

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    Feb 13, 2001
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    Going a little outside the topic...what 2nd said is one of the reasons I liked the Batman Animated Series so much.

    The best writing for such a comic to cartoon project ever. They were on the ball, both with the comics and with being original.

    And of course, Star Wars has reaped some of that fruit as well.=D=
  9. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    I'd love to see a Marvel Universe series start with Avengers: Dissaembled. Go into the meta-arc of House of M/Secret War/Civil War/The Initiative/Secret Invasion/Dark Reign/etc as a reference point.

    There comes a point where the reboots of these shows don't reflect the comics series themselves- the X-Men post HOM/Messiah Complex/War/etc are very different from the New York-based classic teams. The New Avengers/Mighty Avengers/Dark Avengers/Avengers: The Initiative are al very different from the classic Avengers lineup. Etc.

    Batman: TAS isn't anything like most Batman comic plotlines now. Though JLU could have plausibly fit in, had The Batman not been screwing things up. But something like Batman RIP/Battle of the Cowl/etc couldn't have worked in TAS.

    Either the shows adapt or the comics do. Like how they've pulled back War Machine from the extremes so he'll resemble what people will see in theaters next summer.
  10. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 28, 2001
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    Well, first off, the 90's Spider-Man series was the first useage in a television animated series of combining 2D and 3D animation. X-Men didn't do that as they were made by Saban Entertainment, while Marvel and an animation team handled Spidey. Second, both shows weren't budgeted like the DCAU, thus footage would be recycled from time to time. This was true of Spider-Man. Bruce Timm and company didn't have to recycle footage too often and with a better use of the time and money, were able to do a better job.

    Yeah, but the DCAU rarely adapted actual comics and usually they were done-in-one stories, which were changed to fit not only the continuity, but the format. That's why Superman barely resembled the comics as they combined the best elements into a single whole. Likewise with JL and JLU, they had their own thing. Batman was similar in tone to the 70's and early 80's stories, while the later episodes did their own slant on the 90's version.
  11. Yodaminch Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
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    A yes. Pryde of the X-Men. The failed tv pilot. I recall finding that in my local video rental place. Was interesting but I'm much happier with TAS's cast.

    I grew up with X-Men on Saturday mornings and afternoons after school. My parents loved watching it. My dad for the action and my mom for the moral lessons. They also loved Batman. While I liked the 90's Spider-Man, I found X-Men to be more entertaining overall. And that was likely to do with the large cast they had. And to me, Cal Dodd is Wolverine just like Kevin Conroy is Batman.

    By far though, the worst 90's Marvel show was Avengers. The main cast was just boring and resembled too much of the existing shows in personality. Wanda's stupid "Winds of Destiny Change" was comparable to Storm's "I call upon the power of the storm!" Hawkeye was a less impressive Wolverine and Ant Man was an even less likeable Cyclops knock off with Wasp as his Jean Grey. Tigra was Rogue. No seriously, I'm 90% certain the 90's animated Rogue actress also did Tigra :p That was one show I wasn't sad to see canceled. Had it starred Captain America (who was AWESOME in the 90's Spider-Man and X-Men episodes), Iron Man (whose own show was ending or had ended anyway), Hulk (same as Iron Man) and Thor, the show would have been far more interesting.

    I have attempted to watch the Superhero Squad on Cartoon Network but to me it is exactly what is wrong with cartoons in this decade. Batman, X-Men and Spider-Man managed to appeal both to children and to adult audiences. This is something that has been sorely missing in cartoons lately.

    Thankfully, Wolverine and the X-Men and the Spectacular Spider-man fill this void. The episodes are approachable for younger viewers, but smart enough to keep adults interested as well. I can't say the same for Iron Man. I keep trying to watch it but the changes and the animation really put me off.
  12. Spider-Fan Force Ghost

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    Jul 15, 2008
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    From my understanding from the creative team at Spider-Man TAS, Timm and Co also had less creative restrictions placed on them by the network.
  13. Jedi_Johnson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2002
    star 5
    The Spidey team wasn't allowed to show conventional guns which is the reason why all the badguys and police officers had lasers. Also, they were limited in the amount of violence they could show. If you rewatch the show you'll see Spidey rarely lands punches on anyone.
  14. Dawud786 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2006
    star 4
    I'd be 100% happy with Pryde of the X-Men if they re-recorded Wolverine's dialogue with Cal Dodd. The animation, IMO, is beautiful. By the same guys that did Transformers and GI Joe. It looks better than the 90s series. It also spawned an awesome arcade beat 'em up!

    Interestingly, Neil Ross the voice of Aussie Wolverine(perhaps he shoulda been the Tazmanian Devil instead) has done a good amount of Star Wars voice work for LucasArts.

    Star Wars: Rogue Squadron - Narrator, Moff Seerdon
    # Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds - Han Solo
    # Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
    # Star Wars: Rogue Squadron - Han Solo, General Rieekan, Kohl Seerdon, Narrator
    # Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi - Han Solo, Jodo Kast
    # Star Wars: Rebellion - Han Solo, Stormtrooper, Imperial Command Center Communications Officer
    # Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - Admiral Nammo, Concourse PA Announcer, Imperial Officer, Rebel Pilot
    # Star Wars: Force Commander - Han Solo,[TR-SD Driver, Ruulian Computer Worker
    # Star Wars: Starfighter - Trade Federation Officer, Rescue 3, Wingman
    # Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter - Wingmate 2
    # Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Additional Voices
  15. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    One other thing X-Men 90's had in it's favor: what is essentially the defintive X-Men theme music- though partly due to the film franchise's falure to introduce any kind of memorable music so far as a theme goes. The cartoon theme certain could have improved the films at least a little bit.
  16. Dawud786 Force Ghost

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    Dec 28, 2006
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    Yep. Theme music is crucial.

    Nothing has been as good as X-Men 90s, Batman TAS(except of course the Tim Burton movies but duh), TMNT, Transformers G1, GI JOE, etc. Even Thundercats, which is terrible and painful to watch, is better because the song is so good.
  17. Jedi_Johnson Force Ghost

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    Apr 6, 2002
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    Is it bad that I find the theme music for Spectacular Spider-Man enjoyable?
  18. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 17, 2000
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    Don't forget The Real Ghostbusters!:D
  19. Koohii Force Ghost

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    May 30, 2003
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    Michael Kamen picked up bits of the cartoon theme for the first movie. Unfortunately, I can only think of one other piece of his music that is truly memmorable than Logan&Rogue, which is the romance theme from Highlander, which is very simmilar (same way Mutara Nebula and the climax of Aliens2 by James Horner are extremely simmilar).
  20. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    There were some similarities but it never really became a theme- it was just unmemorable backgound music. I think only that brief moment with Logan and Rogue atop the statue had any decent theme which, again, had some similarities, but was way too soft to work as a main theme.
  21. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Unlock n bump as apparently the above has changed ;)
  22. Spider-Fan Force Ghost

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    It still breaks my heart that Spectacular Spider-Man won't be renewed. I look forward to seeing what can be done with the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man series, but I can't imagine it doing a better job than Spec Spidey. It also seems largely redundant since they were basically the same content/time-period.
  23. Yodaminch Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 6
    So anyone been watching Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes? :D

    THIS is the Avengers show we should have had in the 90s. While the animation takes a little getting used to, the cast is stellar: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk (a talking, intelligent Hulk over the brute we've had in recent years), Ant Man/Giant Man(Who is far far more likeable then the 90s counterpart) and Wasp (who is the comic relief). Most recently, Hawkeye and Black Panther have also joined the team.

    The show has done a great job tying itself into the Marvel Universe as a whole. SHIELD and Nick Fury feature heavily. Black Widow and Hydra, AIM, the Master of Evil are there as well. Cameos galore from Captain Marvel, the birth of Ms. Marvel, Doc. Sampson, Mockingbird and a flashback with a Canadian Soldier named Howlett.;)

    Each character has received an episode or episodes to better flesh them out. There is no real star of the team compared to Wolverine in prior X-Men shows. This is a good thing.

    I really hope this show continues for a few years. It's quite great. Each character has had a great defining moment. Some of my favorites involve Thor in battle. You really get that Thor is no mere mortal.

    Hulk has also had some great lines. The Gamma World arc was his best.
  24. Koohii Force Ghost

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    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Well, when it hits DVD or Netflix, I'll give it a shot.

    Sorry to hear that Spectacular Spidey was ended. Was looking forward to some other heroes making cameos and guest appearances.

    THe Next Avengers movie was pretty good--surprizingly, given that almost all the characters were brand new (unless I missed the comics).
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