Marvel superheroes have fascinated children and adults around the world since there first appearances in Comics many years ago. Marvel Comics created superheroes that we admire, as do our children and grandchildren. Most of these superheroes are not only illustrated in comics, but they have also become television series and have appeared on the Silver Screen in many different flavours, often pushing the boundaries of cinematography and the imagination of the film maker.
Whilst many appearances inevitably stay etched upon our minds, some are very quickly forgotten and lost in the annals of time. Occasionally some of the older movies and series are re-released and re-run much to the delight of older fans who grew up watching them. Who can forget Bill Bixby as Bruce Banner and his Alter-ego Lou Ferrigno as The Incredible Hulk? Yes, dated, but I’m sure a guilty pleasure for many. What about Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker in the original Amazing Spiderman Series? Most of us grew up watching the superb animated versions of our favourite Superheroes and Supervillains, battling it out across the multiverse for us to replicate in the playgrounds and parks we frequented as kids.
Most of us grew up watching the superb animated versions of our favourite Superheroes and Supervillains, battling it out across the multiverse for us to replicate in the playgrounds and parks we frequented as kids.
IThe Marvel Super Heroes first aired in 1966. Sixty-five half-hour episodes, each of three seven-minute chapters were made. A total of 195 segments ran initially in syndication from September 1, 1966 to December 1, 1966. The characters Namor the Sub- Mariner, The Invincible Iron Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and The Mighty Thor were the staring characters. Although the animation was very limited, using xerography (occasional limb and mouth movement) and great story telling the series is still highly regarded as a testimony of The Silver Age.
The Fantastic 4 animated series (1967) is also noteworthy.
Introducing The Thing, The Human Torch, Mr Fantastic and The invisible Woman to the small screen…
The 1978 Animated Series introduction really is Fantastic… “It was the world’s strangest accident, while testing a new rocket ship. Our heroes were bombarded by mysterious cosmic rays from outer space. Though they crash landed safely. The strange and powerful rays have changed each one of them. Transforming their leader, Reed Richards, into the plastic-skinned, MR. FANTASTIC. Sue Richards, into the now-you-see-her, now-you-don’t, INVISIBLE GIRL. And Ben Grimm, into a mighty, muscled powerhouse called THE THING. Now together with H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot, the newest member of the group. They have become the greatest team of superheroes, the world has ever known. THE NEW FANTASTIC FOUR!” No mention of The Human Torch…
Spider-man 1967 animated series and it’s wonderfully kitsch and easy to remember theme tune burst onto the scene and Spidey had his first run in with Dr. Octopus. There’s plenty of humour evident, and highly enjoyable to watch and pick out the animation faults and gaffs.
Superheroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther and other Avenger Characters have given us a positive message about how we can save our planet and how we can grow in our world. Each one, of course, in their own way gives us a great insight into ourselves. Other superheroes, such as the X-Men, have shown us how difficult it is to grow when we are different, and have shown us that ignorance is a bad thing, and that people are afraid of what is different.
On a very basic level, most superhero comic characters and superhero comics have messages, and often highlight the struggle to do good after deep trauma or disaster and the overwhelming duty to protect the innocent. The multiverse is often not clear cut, or black and white, and many anti-heroes exist in a very mixed up grey area somewhere in between, think John Constantine and the wonderfully complex persona of Deadpool. Not forgetting Wolverine and Blade.
Marvel and DC Comics know that we have a deep seated pathological need to see the resolution of any conflict, be it real or imagined. With a myriad of unbelievably sinister and downright evil characters, all willing to harm our world or our favourite hero, our need is generously satisfied. Enter the Supervillains, some we fear more than others, they equally hold a place in our memories. Again for many, a personal disaster or doomed experiment can drive a genius to do bad, and to exact revenge on the world or universe around them. Others, evil entities, know nothing else but destruction and leave nothing but destruction behind them.