The Marvel Super Heroes
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Genre
Based onCharacters
by Marvel Comics
Developed byStan Lee
Written by
Directed by
Voices of
Narrated byBernard Cowan
Theme music composerJacques Urbont
Opening theme"The Marvel Super Heroes Have Arrived!"
Ending theme"The Merry Marvel Marching Society"
Country of origin
  • United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes65 (195 segments)
Production
Executive producerRobert L. Lawrence
Animators
  • Bob Bentley
  • Dan Bessie
  • Ed Demattia
  • Fred Grable
  • Ralph Somerville
  • Nick Tafuri
  • Bill Ackerman
  • Otto Feuer
  • Chic Otterstrom
  • Russ von Neida
  • Dan Bessie
  • Ellsworth Barthen
  • Doug Crane
  • Irv Dressler
  • Milt Stein
  • Frank Onaitis
  • Bror Lansing
  • Sal Malmone
Editors
  • Hank Gotzenberg
  • George Mahana
  • Walter B. Corso
Running time16–18 min
Production companies
DistributorKrantz Films
Release
Original networkFirst-run syndication
Original releaseSeptember 1 (1966-09-01) –
December 1, 1966 (1966-12-01)
Chronology
Related showsSpider-Man

The Marvel Super Heroes[1] is an American animated television series starring five comic book superheroes from Marvel Comics. The first TV series based on Marvel characters, it debuted in syndication on U.S. television in 1966.[2]

Produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation, headed by Grant Simmons, Ray Patterson, and Robert Lawrence,[3] it was an umbrella series of five segments, each approximately seven minutes long, broadcast on local television stations that aired the show at different times. The series ran initially as a half-hour program made up of three seven-minute segments of a single superhero, separated by a short description of one of the other four heroes. It has also been broadcast as a mixture of various heroes in a half-hour timeslot, and as individual segments as filler or within a children's TV program.[4]

The segments were "Captain America", "The Incredible Hulk", "Iron Man", "The Mighty Thor" and "The Sub-Mariner".[5]

Production

Sixty-five half-hour episodes of three seven-minute chapters were produced, for a total of 195 segments that ran initially in broadcast syndication from September to December 1966.[6][7]

The series, produced in color, had extremely limited animation produced by xerography, consisting of photocopied images taken directly from the comics and manipulated to minimize the need for animation production. The cartoons were presented as a series of static comic-strip panel images; generally the only movement involved the lips when a character spoke, the eyes, and the occasional arm or leg, or a fully animated black silhouette. The series used the original stories largely in their entirety, showcasing Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck art, among others, from the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books.

Stan Lee, Marvel's editor and art director at the time, said in 2004 that he believed publisher Martin Goodman negotiated the deal with Grantray-Lawrence and that Lawrence chose the characters to be used. Lawrence rented Lee and his wife a penthouse apartment at 30 East 60th Street, near Madison Avenue, for Lee's use while he worked on the series. (Lee lived in Hewlett Harbor, New York, on Long Island, at the time.) Lee recalled, "I really don't remember any reaction from the Marvel artists involved. I wish I could claim to have written the [theme song] lyrics, because I think they're brilliant, but alas, I didn't".[8] The songs were written by Jacques Urbont.[9] In the meantime, Steve Krantz (who was distributing the series), made a deal to subcontract production of The Mighty Thor segments to Paramount Cartoon Studios[10] (the animation division of Paramount Pictures, formerly known as Famous Studios), headed at that time by Fleischer Studios veteran Shamus Culhane.

Marvel announced the series in the "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins" of the November 1966 issues, stating in that monthly fan page's hyperbolic style that, "It won't be long before our swingin' super-heroes [sic] make their star-studded debut on TV, appearing five nights a week — that's right, five — count 'em — five nights a week, for a half-hour each night. So you've just got time to make sure your set's in good working order — check your local paper for time and station — and prepare to have a ball!"[11]

Cast

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (November 2014)

Regular (credited) voice providers

Semi-regular and guest (uncredited) voice providers

For WNAC-TV in Boston, Arthur Pierce portrayed Captain America in live-action segments for the show. Actors portraying other characters, including Dr. Doom, Hulk, and Bucky, also appeared in live-action segments. The segments were scripted by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.[19]

Guest characters

Appearing in guest roles were:

Episodes

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Each episode consisted of three chapters.

Captain America

A Captain America title card
A Captain America title card

The Incredible Hulk

One depiction of the Hulk in The Marvel Super Heroes
One depiction of the Hulk in The Marvel Super Heroes

The Invincible Iron Man

One depiction of Iron Man in the series
One depiction of Iron Man in the series

The Mighty Thor

A Thor title card
A Thor title card

Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner

Title card for a Sub-Mariner episode
Title card for a Sub-Mariner episode

Home media

Segments of the series appear on at least two VHS home video releases, containing three videocassettes each: Marvel Superheroes: Triple Pack #1 (UPC #024543004127) and Marvel's Mightiest Heroes: Triple Pack #2.[20] Fox Video released a version titled Marvel's Mightiest Super Heroes Gift Set (EAN #0024543004134).

In 2003, Hulk segments giving his origin story appeared as an extra on the Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVD release of the 1996 animated television series The Incredible Hulk.[21]

In the Game Boy Advance version of the Hulk (video game), the storyline closely follows The Marvel Super Heroes Incredible Hulk's 13 episode story arch, allowing the player to follow the events of the classic series.

In September 2004, Buena Vista Home Entertainment announced plans to release The Marvel Superheroes Show on June 28, 2005, as a five-DVD set titled The 60's Superheroes.[22] By February 2005, however, the release was off the schedule.[23]

On May 21, 2007, the UK company Maximum Entertainment released four two-disc sets, for Region 2, each set containing 13 episodes of the Captain America, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner and Thor segments respectively, with each episode re-edited into continuous, half-hour segments.[24] On August 25, 2008, the UK company Liberation Entertainment released a two-disc set of the Hulk segments, re-edited into 13 20-minute episodes.[citation needed]

References

  1. ^ Title per The Marvel Super Heroes. (Animated opening credits) YouTube. Archived from the original on January 6, 2014. Retrieved 2013-10-25. NOTE: The title is rendered inaccurately as "The Marvel Superheroes" at its entry on IMDb and at TV.com.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 379. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ Robert Lawrence interview, Jack Kirby Collector #41, Fall 2004, pp. 42-47.
  4. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part 1: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. pp. 177–179. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  5. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 528–530. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  6. ^ "The Marvel Superheroes Episode Guide". TV.com. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  7. ^ Thomas, Roy; Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the World of Marvel. Running Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0762428441. In 1966, television production company Grantray-Lawrence produced a series of five half-hour semi-animated shows under the banner title Marvel Superheroes. Captain America (original comics appearance in 1941), The Incredible Hulk (1962), Iron Man (1963), The Mighty Thor, and Sub-Mariner (1939) all made their television debuts.
  8. ^ McGovern, Adam (Fall 2004). "A Minute of Stan's Time" (41). (sidebar, Jack Kirby Collector: 47. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Jon Burlingame (2015-07-14). "The Marvel Super Heroes Songs: The Inside Story". The Film Music Society. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  10. ^ Culhane, Shamus (1986). Talking Animals and Other People. New York, NY: Da Capo Press. pp. 422–423. ISBN 0306808307.
  11. ^ Marvel Bullpen Bulletins: "Sensational Secrets and Incredible Inside Information Guilelessly Guaranteed to Avail You Naught!", in Tales of Suspense #83 (Nov. 1966) and other Marvel comics that month.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Closing Credits - Marvel Super Heroes (Merry Marvel Marching Society). Mrsilenciobackgammon. October 2, 2011. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2021 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ Weekend Magazine (May 24, 1969)
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  15. ^ a b "Iron Man the First (and Cheapest)".
  16. ^ Butler, Kevin S. (n.d.). "New York City Kid Show Roundup: Marvel Superheroes [sic]". TVParty.com. Archived from the original on September 4, 2001.
  17. ^ "Cast Interviews - Peg Dixon".
  18. ^ a b The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book Two: Thor (2021) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 798724 754941
  19. ^ Hofius, Jason; George Khoury (2010). Age of TV Heroes: The Live-Action Adventures of Your Favorite Comic Book Characters. TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60549-010-6.
  20. ^ "'Marvel's Mightiest Heroes: Triple Pack #2'". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  21. ^ Powell, James W. (June 17, 2003). "'The Incredible Hulk' (Animated Series)". (review) DVDTalk.com. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  22. ^ Lambert, David (September 24, 2004). "The Marvel Superheroes - Capt. America! Hulk! Thor! Iron Man! Sub-Mariner!". TVShowsonDVD.com. Archived from the original on February 8, 2006. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  23. ^ Lambert, David (February 1, 2005). "The Marvel Superheroes - Studio Says 'Superheroes' are Off the Schedule". TVShowsonDVD.com. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  24. ^ "Jon T" (pseudonym) (July 23, 2007). "'The Marvel Super Heroes': Classic Comics in Suspended Animation". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved 2011-01-12.

Audio/video