THE MARVEL SUPER HEROES: Marvel's Television Universe That Time Forgot

THE MARVEL SUPER HEROES: Marvel's Television Universe That Time Forgot

Before the MCU, there was The Marvel Super Heroes, a series of cartoons that brought the House of Ideas to life. In collaboration with NerdSync and author J. Ballmann, we break down the shows' history.

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By DanielKlissmman - May 11, 2022 04:05 PM EST
Filed Under: Marvel

The Marvel Cinematic Universe made the House of Ideas a household brand. Once a foreign idea to the mainstream collective, the concept of different entertainment endeavors supplementing a unified mythology is something audiences are now very familiar with. But almost 50 years before Marvel became the box-office powerhouse it is, the company crafted a universe at a much smaller scale: on television.

Marvel and small-screen universes aren’t new, of course. The company famously developed an interconnected world in the '90s with Spider-Man: The Animated Series, X-Men: The Animated Series and Fantastic Four. But even before that, there were the 1960s The Marvel Super Heroes cartoons.

A collaboration between Marvel and Grantray-Lawrence Animation, the television franchise (which was distributed by a company called Krantz Films) was comprised of Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, The Invincible Iron Man, The Mighty Thor, and Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner.

The series have largely faded into obscurity (finding an official home-media release of them is a challenge), but there are select copies flying around the web, and some (scarce) traces of their existence in modern Marvel works — the theme song for Iron Man's show played in Tony Stark's casino scene in 2008’s Iron Man, for example. The shows weren't the pinnacle of animation by any means, but they could be considered — arguably, in a very indirect way — building blocks for Marvel's eventual mainstream success.

As such, a comprehensive history of these shows was in order. To accomplish that, we teamed up with Scott Niswander from NerdSync (@ScottNiswander on Twitter and @scottniswander on Instagram) and author J. Ballmann, creator of the book series, "The Marvel Super Heroes on TV!"

The Birth of a Universe


The history behind the creation of The Marvel Super Heroes is a fascinating one. In the 1960s, with characters like Spider-Man, Thor and Iron Man booming in popularity, Marvel was enjoying a great deal of success. To provide an idea of how much the House of Ideas’ splashy crimefighters were elevating its value, the company’s comic sales jumped from 18 million in 1961 to close to 32 million in 1965, according to "Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel," by Bob Batchelor (p. 173).

The company’s success made its I.P. an appealing commodity for television producers. Thus, Robert Lawrence, co-owner of Grantray-Lawrence Animation, approached then Marvel publisher Martin Goodman about striking a deal to produce shows based on Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Spider-Man.

During its early years, the now-defunct Grantray-Lawrence Animation — founded by Robert Lawrence, Grant Simmons and Ray Patterson — produced animated commercials, and was subcontracted for shows like The Jetsons and Top Cat. At the time Lawrence reached out to the Marvel publisher, however, the studio had not had a project as significant as what The Marvel Super Heroes would be.

Goodman reportedly didn’t know the value of his super-powered characters. Lawrence apparently took advantage of that to make the deal more beneficial for his studio by securing continuing merchandising profit from the projects. Lawrence once allegedly stated: "We wrote an unbelievable contract with the Goodmans, because they didn’t know what they had and where to go" — "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story," page 76.  

And so, the ambitious project began to take shape... minus the trusty Wall-Crawler. As Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort explained, after Grantray-Lawrence and Marvel settled on the five superheroes they would adapt, the companies came to the realization that Spider-Man could sustain a show on his own. Thus, the hero was removed from the line-up and replaced by Namor the Sub-Mariner.

As Brevoort further explained, the sudden shift created some challenges for Lawrence and his partners: Namor did not yet have enough (standalone) comic-book stories for them to adapt, which forced them to create brand-new animation for the character.

MARVEL FACT: Grantray-Lawrence did ultimately produce a Peter Parker-centric series — ABC’s Spider-Man, which premiered in 1967. The company only worked on the show for its first season, though. Grantray-Lawrence went bankrupt in 1968, and was forced to hand over production duties of the show to Krantz Films and animator Ralph Bakshi (Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, Rocket Robin Hood). ("Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel," p. 191, by Bob Batchelor.)

Animating the Franchise


Superhero adaptations tend to stray from their source material. It’s often a necessary compromise when bringing comic books to life, given their decades’ worth of stories and resultant complex mythologies. The Marvel Super Heroes cartoons, on the other hand, could be considered some of the most faithful comic adaptations out there, by design.

The people behind the series opted to base the shows on pre-existing comic-book art by artists like Jack Kirby ("Captain America") and Don Heck ("Tales of Suspense"). Producer Robert Lawrence explained the reasoning behind this during an interview with journalist Ron McGrath (via "The Marvel Super Heroes On TV! – Book One: Iron Man," p. 185).

According to him, the production team wanted to keep the storytelling flow of Marvel's comics by directly adapting what was on the page: "One of the secrets of Marvel’s success is its ability to draw action right into its panels. Marvel’s art is like no other penciling in comics, because its artists and production people understand the principle of arrested motion. Iron Man doesn’t just stand there. He tenses, or relaxes, or jumps, or recoils. The characters don't actually move, and yet, their actions seem to flow, catching the reader up in a current of activity. Since we wanted to retain this flow for our film, we decided to let the artists carry the ball — and the viewer — just as they do their own readers."

Given the animation's simplistic style, one would not be faulted for assuming that the TV series were relatively easy to produce. That, however, was not the case. Speaking to Adam McGovern and Arlen Schumer (via "Book One: Iron Man," p. 185), Lawrence went into detail about the arduous process of animating the shows:

"We decided to see if we could animate a book. […] And we proceeded to run some tests to see how this would work. And the tests were fantastic. […] And I had this great team in Hollywood that [Grantray-Lawrence co-founder] Ray Patterson put together, and we started to animate from there to do the series. […] Originally, my concept was to use the original art and try to utilize that as the basis for the production, but it proved to be too costly and too complicated. We learned that Disney had acquired a machine where you can copy cels, […] so, we got one. […] And it made all the difference in the world. It was a real lifesaver. […] [This] was an arduous task, turning out all this material. It just went on and on and on. Just to keep up with it was insane."

The shows took art from various comics. For example, depictions of Tony Stark in The Invincible Iron Man were not only taken from "Tales of Suspense" (Iron Man’s title at the time), but also from the hero's appearances in "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Avengers" comics ("Book One: Iron Man," p. 17).

Production Woes for The Mighty Thor


The shows were largely produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation... but one: The Mighty Thor. Animating five different series became a significant undertaking, and so, Grantray-Lawrence delegated animation duties of the God of Thunder's show to another company late in the process: Paramount Cartoon Studios, originally known as Famous Studios ("Book Two: Thor," p. 180).

The company was the animation division of Paramount Pictures, which would, ironically enough, eventually distribute 2011's Thor for Marvel Studios (though The Mighty Thor might not have been the only outsourced show). Paramount Cartoon Studios Producer Shamus Culhane was in charge of overseeing production on The Mighty Thor. As he recounted in his book, "Talking Animals and Other People" (via "Book Two: Thor," p.180):

"['The Marvel Super Heroes' distributor] Steve Krantz came to Famous Studio with a proposal. Krantz, an entrepreneur in children's programs in television, wanted us to produce thirty-nine five-minute cartoons as part of a half-hour super hero show that he was putting together. He had gotten an option on several of the standard comic-book characters like Captain America, the Hulk, the Might Thor, etcetera. Krantz had signed up the four available studios in Hollywood, and needed a fifth to produce 'The Mighty Thor.'"

Culhane appeared to confirm that Grantray-Lawrence (partially, at least) outsourced its other superhero shows to four other animation studios. However, the work was likely not as significant as what Grantray-Lawrence and Krantz Films needed Famous Studios to do for The Mighty Thor.

The show's comic-book-faithful approach didn't sit right with Culhane, as he explained (via "Book Two: Thor," p. 180): "From an artistic viewpoint, the series was garbage. Krantz was using Xeroxed illustrations from the comic books, only animating the eyes and mouths of the characters. […] My ambition was for Famous to produce television entertainment with sophisticated whimsy, like Jay Ward's 'Bullwinkle' shows. However, even if Krantz' whole approach was diametrically opposed to our own plans, it was an opportunity for our staff to learn the basic production techniques used in making a series for television."

Despite his dislike of it, Grantray-Lawrence's animation strategy proved to be beneficial for Culhane in terms of simplicity. Famous Studios hired around 12 art-school graduates to work on the show, given the (apparent) easiness of animating Thor’s standalone adventure. Culhane further stated (via "Book Two: Thor," p. 181):

"It was very easy work; the comic-book illustrations were Xeroxed directly onto cels and painted like normal animation drawings, so the animators had nothing complicated to do except for the special effects. The rest of the animation — the eye movements and mouth action — were so simple that even a novice animator could have finished a whole picture in three weeks."


Culhane became too confident, though. Due to the relatively simplistic animation style, he didn't check the episode scenes that had been produced nor did a pencil test (which allows animators to check for their animations' timing before coloring them), since he saw them as unnecessary investments. As he explained, the produced chapters didn't seem to be an issue, especially because they had been done on time and without going over-budget.  

Such oversight proved detrimental to the shows. During the two episodes' first screening, an unpleasant surprise hit Culhane: "A few seconds after the first picture started, I was jolted into shock. The mouth moves were a mess; often, they were completely out of sync. […] All the eyes blinked and blinked. Thor looked like a junkie in great need of a fix. Practically nothing was usable, except for the basic Xeroxed cels of the characters. Even the special effects were terrible! The second picture was only different in that the mouths — in addition to being out of sync — slid all over the face. Needless to say, there was no usable animation in this one, either. I moved from complacence to panic in ten [minutes]. I broke out in a sweat as I realized that these horrible scenes were already distributed through the next five pictures, and ['The Mighty Thor' director Chuck Harriton] was already planning to use them in a sixth."

Culhane then rushed to find the show's stock shots to redo them, which meant setting back two whole episodes. The mistake cost Culhane and Famous $10,000 in 1966 value (roughly equivalent to $88,000 in 2022), a price they were unable to recoup ("Book Two: Thor," p. 182).

Ultimately, the hurdles were overcome under the direction of director Chuck Harriton, and the Thor show was delivered to the satisfaction of Krantz Films. As Culhane explained, Steve Krantz went as far as to tell him that Famous had done the best job on the shows out of all the other studios they had subcontracted. Krantz even offered the company the opportunity to produce what would become ABC’s Spider-Man.

The deal didn't go through, though. Per "Book Two: Thor" (p. 182), Paramount was unhappy with the small returns from The Mighty Thor. Thus, the company passed on the project, and Spider-Man went on to be animated by Grantray-Lawrence and (eventually) by Krantz Films.

Stan Lee's Influence on the Universe

Among Stan Lee's many interesting traits was the fact that he wasn't content with solely being a comic-book creator/publisher. He had a vision for the heroes he helped create beyond the printed page, and thus, had a hands-on role in catapulting them into mainstream media.

Sometime after development began on The Marvel Super Heroes, Lee became a prominent figure on the project. According to Sean Howe's "Marvel Comics: The Untold Story" (p. 97), Robert Lawrence provided Lee with a luxurious office space, where he oversaw the shows' scripts, editing them and giving them his approval once they were ready ("Book One: Iron Man," p. 35):

"The ‘Marvel Super Heroes’ cartoon was getting ready to air on dozens of television stations across the country, five nights a week, and so, the show’s producer, Robert Lawrence, put Lee up in a midtown penthouse apartment, where after hours, he scribbled extensive notes in blue [pencil]." – Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, page 97.

Lee was quite serious about the portrayal of Marvel characters in The Marvel Super Heroes. So much so, that he put together biographical paragraphs for each one of the shows' main characters. Below is the one he wrote for Thor:

"In a mystic, extra-dimensional realm exists a city of gleaming golden spires and mighty towers. This is Asgard, where dwell living incarnations of the Norse dieties [sic]. These godlike folk can travel to Earth via the mystic Rainbow Bridge which spans the dimensions, and thus, they were the inspirations for the ancient Norse legends. Since ancient times, few of these beings have ventured into our mortal sphere… but one, the mightiest of all, son of Odin, Prince of the Golden Realm, has chosen to live among mankind, as a man! In his mortal guise, he is Dr. Donald Blake, lame physician, but when he strikes his wooden walking stick upon the ground, it becomes the magic hammer Mjolnir, and he becomes the mighty Thor, who commands the wind, rain and lighting [sic], most regal and noble of the gods!" – "Book Two: Thor," page 9.

Lee is even believed to have developed a guide for Thor's language (given his Shakespearean manner of speaking), as author J. Ballmann retrieved a page from Robert Lawrence's archives — found alongside the heroes' biographies — that showed a list of the God of Thunder’s phrases from his comics.


Excerpt from "Book Two: Thor" (p. 10)

Furthermore, as the shows scripts were written, Lee would at times rewrite their dialogue and provide notes on them (the blue ink belongs to him):


Excerpts from "Book One: Iron Man," p. 92)

At one point, artist-writer Don Christensen jotted down corrections for a script based on suggestions by Lee ("Book One: Iron Man," p. 63).

Excitement regarding The Marvel Super Heroes appeared to be running high for the comic-book creator. He even recorded an announcement video to promote the series, in which he stated:

"Comic books have been a big business for the past 25 years, and they're bigger than ever today. And we feel we found the proper vehicle for transferring them to the television screens in such a way as to maintain — in fact, to intensify — the appeal they now possess; an appeal which has made the Marvel Comics Group the most-talked-about publishing success of the decade."

Via NerdSync's "This old Thor & Loki cartoon is pure bonkers!" (0:35-second mark)

The Episodes

Each one of the five series was comprised of 13 episodes, totaling 65 episodes across all shows. Every 20-minute episode was broken down into 5-to-7-minute chapters, or "shows." As Tom Brevoort explained, this was done in order to provide television networks with broadcast flexibility, meaning that they could air the shows in whatever way was more convenient for them.

For example, stations could have theoretically aired segments from two different shows continuously (e.g., the first segment of a Captain America episode followed up by the first segment of a The Invincible Iron Man one).

As for the plot, each season usually offered storylines that developed over the course of multiple episodes (such as Happy Hogan's introduction and growing relationship with Tony Stark, and Captain America going from fighting in World War II to present day).

The continuity proved to be flawed, however, given that some important plot points introduced in one episode could at times be ignored by the next. For example, in Episode 6 of The Mighty Thor, the God of Thunder fights the Destroyer, during which his hammer, Mjolnir, is destroyed. By Episode 7, however, Mjolnir is restored with no explanation to be found within the storytelling confines of the show.

NERDSYNC NOTE: Hey, you wonderful nerds! Scott from NerdSync Here. In the comics, Thor managed to fix his hammer a couple issues after this fight with the Destroyer in "Journey Into Mystery" #120. Thor uses magic stones to teleport to the only forge in all the nine realms where he can get his hammer fixed: Pittsburgh — which used to be the center of the American steel industry. None of this is shown in the cartoon, however. By the next episode, Thor's hammer is fixed and no one comments about it. But that's why I'm here, I guess.

Another example comes in Episode 5 of Captain America, "Zemo and the Masters of Evil." By the end of the episode, Zemo is defeated when Thor creates a tornado that sends him flying away. Then, by Episode 6, "The Revenge of Captain America," Zemo is inexplicably headquartered in the Amazon rainforest.

Glaring continuity mistakes could also, at times, appear in the same story.


Capture from Episode #6 of The Invincible Iron Man, Segment "Enter Happy Hogan, — "Book One," page 90

In Episode #6 of The Invincible Iron Man, for example, the Billionaire Philanthropist is shown wearing his red-and-gold armor (re-colored golden). He is later inexplicably drawn in his golden Mark I armor, which he donned in "Tales of Suspense" #40, and preceded the aforementioned red-and-gold suit.


The shows enjoyed relatively healthy promotion. Prior to their release, Marvel, Grantray-Lawrence and Krantz Films put together a promotional pamphlet for television stations, promising success to those that would broadcast the series. 


The Marvel Super Heroes premiered on September 1st, 1966. The number of produced episodes justified a relatively lengthy time on air for the series, but television stations went through them quickly. The cartoons ended up broadcasting all of their episodes by December 1st, 1966, merely three months after their premiere. The series were then broadcasted in re-runs ("Book One: Iron Man," p. 5).

Memorable Theme Songs

The shows' animation quality may not have been ideal, but what The Marvel Super Heroes lacked in dynamism, they made up for in music. The series had some of the catchiest theme songs on the airwaves at the time, penned by songwriter and former voice actor Jaques Urbont.

Most commonly identified as "Jack Urbont," the composer worked on That '70s Show and created the original theme for the long-running soap opera General Hospital. Each show had its own theme song, but The Marvel Super Heroes brand as a whole also had its own opening — "The Marvel Super Heroes Have Arrived" — and closing — "The Merry Marvel Marching Society" — themes. Television stations, however, opted to remove both.

The former was deemed unnecessary given that each show already had an opening sequence. Thus, stations decided to give the 55-seconds it took up to advertisers. ("Book One: Iron Man," p. 7). The reason for removing "The Merry Marvel Marching Society" from broadcasts is largely unknown.


"The Marvel Super Heroes Have Arrived!" lyrics, from "Book One: Iron Man," p. 8.

The story behind the creation of these songs may be as interesting as the process that led to the birth of the Marvel Super Heroes franchise. Talking to The Film Music Society, Urbont recalled that, early on in his career, a friend got him a meeting with Stan Lee, who was looking for a composer for the shows.

The thing is, Urbont was not at all familiar with Marvel superheroes, so he had to convince Lee to give him the job. As he recalled telling the comic-book author: "Mr. Lee, I know what you’re thinking, and if I were in your shoes, I'd be thinking the same thing. But just get me some source material — one or two comics books — and three days later, I will have songs that are so terrific, you will wish you’d written them yourself."

Urbont was given comic books for the heroes that would comprise the franchise. He read them and returned "a few days later" with the first versions of the songs. The composer's dedication paid off, because he was hired to take the helm of the shows' music. He was paid $3,000 for his work, but financed the initial recording sessions himself. Soon after their creation, all songs were copyrighted by Urbont on September 28, 1966, as confirmed in the United States Copyright Office (the copyright was then renewed in 1995, via the Property, intangible blog).

NERDSYNC NOTE: Urbont's "The Merry Marvel Marching Society" song would also be used as the theme song of Marvel's official fan club, also called The Merry Marvel Marching Society. If you're wondering about why the two have the same name, Urbont reportedly drew inspiration from the club's name to write his song. The song was sent to members of the fanclub on a now extremely rare and hard-to-find vinyl record.

Urbont's Marvel works were later the subject of two litigations, decades apart from each other. The first one came in the '90s, when the composer sued the House of Ideas over unauthorized use of his music. Details on the case are scarce, but Urbont and Marvel came to a settlement in 1995 (via Property, intangible). Part of it stipulated that Marvel was free to use the music only when it was packaged with The Marvel Super Heroes shows, and could not make use of it on its own, given that it belonged to Urbont.

The second (and arguably most challenging) lawsuit came in 2011, and involved Iron Man, Ghostface Killah and Sony's music division. Ghostface Killah (real name Dennis Coles) sampled Urbont's Iron Man theme song for his 2000 album, Supreme Clientele. — in the songs "Intro" and "Iron's Theme (Conclusion)" (both of which used the entire theme).

A little over a decade after the release of Supreme Clientele, Urbont sued the rapper and Sony Music Entertainment, alleging the album infringed his copyright.

The case appears to have lasted five years, which saw different twists and turns in favor of Urbont and, ultimately, of Ghostface Killah & Sony (who successfully argued that the "Iron Man" theme song was “work for hire”). Following Ghostface Killah's apparent win, the case was revived in 2016. The final fate of the lawsuit remains largely unknown, but it appears that Urbont is the song's sole owner ("The Marvel Super Heroes on TV!" book series lists the songs as being copyright of the songwriter).

The Voice Cast


The Marvel Super Heroes featured an extensive cast that included film, television and radio personalities. Two of the most noteworthy performers involved with the franchise were John Vernon (Dirty Harry) and Canadian personality Max Ferguson, of The Max Ferguson Show fame.

(Note: The article previously stated that Paul Soles voiced Bruce Banner, based on his IMDb profile. However, per author J. Ballmann, the character was actually voiced by Max Ferguson, who also voiced The Hulk). 

As it tends to happen in the animation world, some of the shows' voice actors got to portray different characters within the franchise. One notable case of double casting was the aforementioned John Vernon, who played both Iron Man and Namor in their respective series.

NERDSYNC NOTE: Vernon would add to his roster of iconic Marvel characters a few decades later. In the 1990s cartoon 'The Incredible Hulk,' he portrayed General Thunderbolt Ross for 14 out of the show's 21 episodes. The man had a versatile voice.

Below is a list of the people that portrayed the shows' five main superheroes:

  • Iron Man/Tony Stark – Namor the Sub-Mariner: John Vernon (Animal House, Dirty Harry).
  • Captain America/Steve Rogers: Sandy Becker (The Sandy Becker Show).
  • Thor/Donald Blake: Jack Creley (Police Academy 3: Back in Training & Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol).
  • Hulk/Bruce Banner: Max Ferguson (The Max Ferguson Show).

Additionally, Bucky Barnes was played by Carl Banas (Tales of the Wizard of Oz), and Black Widow & Pepper Potts were voiced by actress Margaret Griffin.

The Characters

Despite their relatively small scale, the series built an extensive Marvel Universe by introducing a large number of characters from the House of Ideas' library. The shows featured the likes of Hawkeye, Black Widow, Bucky Barnes, Giant-Man, Happy Hogan, Swordsman, Doctor Doom, Baron Zemo, Count Nefaria, The Mandarin, Kraven the Hunter and Chameleon to name a few.

The Marvel Super Heroes franchise also has a historic distinction: It features the first-ever animated portrayal of the X-Men.


The "Allies for Peace," from Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner

The mutants made their debut in the 12th episode of Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner (shows "Doctor Doom’s Day" and “The Doomed Allegiance"), where they faced off against Doctor Doom. The team was comprised of Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman, Angel and Charles Xavier. Curiously, the show renamed the heroes as the “Allies for Peace.”

Adding Some Live-Action Fun Into the Mix

Another interesting fact about The Marvel Super Heroes is that it gave audiences TV's first live-action Captain America. But first, some background.

NERDSYNC NOTE: The second live-action Captain America appearance on the small screen came in the form of the now-iconically goofy 1979 (yes, they came out in the same year) made-for-TV movies 'Captain America' and 'Captain America II: Death Too Soon,' starring Reb Brown as Steve Rogers. These are the movies where Captain America's mask is a bulky motorcycle helmet, his shield is see-through plastic, and he wears spandex from head to toe.

As previously mentioned, the shows' sequencing format provided TV stations with varied broadcasting options. Such freedom allowed Boston's WNAC-TV station to make an intriguing addition to Steve Rogers' series: A live-action Captain America host. (Having hosts for cartoons was a common practice at the time.) 

The super-serum-powered hero was portrayed by Arthur Pierce, a working actor whose film credits include 1966’s A Fine Madness and 1989’s Family Business.


Arthur Pierce as Captain America — Picture taken from

Most of the footage from the shorts is now lost, but a purported fragment from one of them was uploaded to YouTube in the early 2000s. According to the video's description, the video’s description, the footage was, "[shot] off the TV with Super 8mm camera, audio recorded on a reel-to-reel by placing the microphone near the TV's [speaker]."

Even more interesting, the live-action segments were reportedly written by Superman co-creator, Jerry Siegel.

There's something very special about these series. They were not the pinnacle of children's entertainment options, nor did they break ground in the animation world (there were, after all, higher-quality productions available at the time). Nonetheless, they were meant to introduce audiences to characters that were gradually carving out their place in the tapestry of pop culture.

There was clearly a push to make the shows "the next best thing." The goal was not met, but it's fascinating to see where the idea to transport Marvel's characters into mainstream media started, and how that, in a way, became the building blocks for what the House of Ideas is today. After all, the cartoons have been largely forgotten, but they have their place in Marvel’s longstanding legacy.

We thank Scott Niswander from NerdSync for the series of videos that inspired this article, and for his contributions to the article. If you're interested in more in-depth documentary-style videos about superheroes and comic books, subscribe to NerdSync on YouTube. You can also follow Scott on Instagram at @scottniswander and Twitter at @ScottNiswander.

We also thank J. Ballmann for collaborating with us for this article, and for his reference material from "The Marvel Super Heroes On TV!" books. The ongoing series is available for purchase on Amazon.

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dracula - 5/11/2022, 4:50 PM
The first motion comics

Mcu found a way to use the old spiderman theme

Sucks they never used
RolandD - 5/11/2022, 5:17 PM
@dracula - Looking at the still seen on the video prompted memory of the song before I played it. Love it!
tylerzero - 5/11/2022, 5:09 PM

Lokiwasright - 5/11/2022, 5:14 PM
Magneto loss to F4because he mistaken Ed a wooden gun for a metal gun.
FlixMentallo21 - 5/16/2022, 4:21 PM
@Lokiwasright - That was in the ill-fated 1978 Fantastic Four series.
RolandD - 5/11/2022, 5:15 PM
I have vague memories of watching these shows when I was a little kid, possibly in reruns but it was the 1960s. Some pretty lame stuff but it excited me regardless because superheroes.
knomad - 5/11/2022, 5:16 PM
Wow, does this bring back memories. I actually remember when I was like 3 or so, running around the house after watching Marvel Superheroes on an afternoon, carrying one of Mom's pot lids like Cap's shield. I was a Huge fan then; and when I was 4, I learned to read while reading comic books (thanks Mom!)

And yes, I remember all of the theme songs.. lol

Good times!

RolandD - 5/11/2022, 5:18 PM
Great article! Thanks for posting it.
DanielKlissmman - 5/11/2022, 6:30 PM
@RolandD - I'm really happy you enjoyed it! Thanks for the support :)
Fogs - 5/11/2022, 5:36 PM
We used to call those the "un-animated Marvel cartoons", hahahah
PapaSpank54 - 5/11/2022, 5:40 PM
More content like this on main please! This is awesome!
DanielKlissmman - 5/11/2022, 6:31 PM
@PapaSpank54 - I'm glad you liked it :) Thanks for the kind words.
bkmeijer1 - 5/11/2022, 6:00 PM
This is a great read. Rarely do I click the next button with such enthusiasm.

Can't say I have watched any of the stuff mentioned in the article though. Reading this, it just kinda strikes me as the show that maybe would've had huge success if it came ten years early in the pulp era, or ten years later when animation started to improve
DanielKlissmman - 5/11/2022, 6:31 PM
@bkmeijer1 - Thanks so much for the support! It means a lot. And I'm happy to hear it kept you interested :)
RolandD - 5/11/2022, 6:48 PM
@bkmeijer1 - Walt Disney from 1937 says hello about the state of animation. 😉
bkmeijer1 - 5/12/2022, 3:01 AM
@RolandD - you're right. What I mean more is that animation on tv got hugely popular in the 70s and 80s with the creation of special animation broadcast channels
IcePyke - 5/11/2022, 6:16 PM

I love these cartoons!
MasterMix - 5/11/2022, 6:26 PM
Rating the theme songs:
1. Captain America
2. The Mighty Thor
3. The Incredible Hulk
4. Iron Man
5. Namor the Sub-Mariner
Manmarvel - 5/11/2022, 6:40 PM
@MasterMix - when captain america throws his mighty shield..... was an early banger.
Manmarvel - 5/11/2022, 6:38 PM
I have all of these on dvd lol.
musicsuperhero1 - 5/11/2022, 6:45 PM

I had several episodes of this on VHS when i was a kid. I used to get to go to the video store after getting good grades on the report card, or for birthdays, etc. So every time, i'd get a new episode from this show, X-Men, or Spider-Man/Spider-Man and His Amazing friends. I remember that they unfortunately only put one episode per VHS, so it would be crazy expensive to own the whole collection that way. I never got the whole series, but I still have the old videos. It's fun to see some of them (Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, and the 90's Spidey) made it to Disney+. I'd love to see this one on there as well as the Hannah Barbara Fantastic 4 from the same era as Jonny Quest.
bl0odwerk - 5/11/2022, 7:02 PM
Thor's theme song is more epic than ANYTHING the MCU has done with the character.
kRAVENkIaw - 5/11/2022, 8:16 PM
Probably the best read this site has had in a while. Kudos.
Mugens - 5/11/2022, 8:53 PM
Oh yeah remember these cartoons from back in the day. Managed to obtain less than stellar video copies of all the series which I maintain as part of my animation collection. The theme songs themselves I can still sing word for word. Good memories.
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