Mini Marvels is a Self-Parody of the Marvel Universe created by Chris Giarrusso, a universe that deliberately pokes fun at the Crapsack World aspect of the latter. Much fun.How much? Well, it comes off as a Fun Personified universe compared to the mainstream M.U.. The kicker is, all the superheroes are Peanuts-esque kids, Secret Identity is not a problem whatsoever, and most surprisingly, The Good Guys Always Win.The only (notable) adults are Stan Lee, Jarvis, Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, Aunt May, Nick Fury and J. Jonah Jameson.In particular, their versions of most Crisis Crossovers always end up as self-parodies, like Civil Wards, which pokes fun at the un-needed Conflict Ball present in the Civil War.There are many other memorable moments, such as when Harry Osborn saves Gwen Stacy, thus making this incarnation of the character one of the few ones still alive (alongside the other twonote ).This series and its setting started as a series of strips by Giarrusso, called "Bullpen Bits", relying more heavily on the Peanuts aspect, but when it evolved into Mini Marvels, the series' source of inspiration was ultimately dropped.Similar to DC series Tiny Titans.
Mini Marvels provides examples of the following tropes:
- Badass Adorable: Everyone.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb: It might just be the most tongue-in-cheek version of the Marvel Universe ever.
- Butt Monkey: Hawkeye
- Bystander Syndrome
- This is referenced/invoked as a Take That! towards the involvement of people outside the Illuminati in World War Hulk.Iron Man: C'mon! You heard him — he's threatened the whole city!
Cyclops: Only if you three don't show up!
Wolverine: For anybody else involved in this, they'd have to be completely insane!
Iron Man: Sentry, can you do us a favor?
- At the end of the Planet Hulk parody, all of the Illuminati are freaking out over the Hulk approaching Earth... except Namor, who's in his best "don't give a crap" pose saying "I live underwater".
- This is referenced/invoked as a Take That! towards the involvement of people outside the Illuminati in World War Hulk.
- Crapsack World: Played with. Yes, the shades of the defining trait of the original Marvel Universe are still there... except nobody makes a big deal out of it.
- Crisis Crossover: The way they sum it up in only two panels◊ provides the current page image for the trope.
- Deadpan Snarker: Spider-Man is just like his mainstream counterpart. Just read this exchange.Hulk: (in his video message): Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Dr. Strange... you have twenty-four hours to face me, or I'll flatten New York City. To clarify, our battle will consist of me physically beating you into submission, so abandon any notion that your facility with haiku will be of any advantage. Last, but not least, I will smash anybody else who tries to get in my way.
Spider-Man: I'm inclined to stay out of his way.
- Eye Scream: Implied.◊
- Follow the Leader: During the Black Suit Spider-Man story, Nova copied Spider-Man's new dark suit and violent attitude almost immediately.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: More like a kind of Parental Bonus, but seriously. This universe includes every Marvel character... including◊ the Red Skull. What.
- Girls Have Cooties: "ROGUE HAS COOTIES!"
- Glad I Thought of It: Summed up in a single panel.◊
- Hand Wave: Parodied. Joe Quesada's (initial) explanation for One More Day ("It's magic! We don't have to explain it") was just begging people to snark the hell out of it, and so Giarrusso did.◊
- Homage Shot: Plenty. As a simple example, just compare the two-page spread◊ at the end of Secret Invasion (which started the Dark Reign) with Giarrusso's take on it.◊
- Insistent Terminology: Somewhat because it's not touched upon, but since he's not a man here (he's still a boy), everyone calls him "Spidey" in lieu of "Spider-Man". And we do mean everyone.
- Jerkass: This verse's Hawkeye has shades of this.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Played straight by Wolverine when he rants about the past he can't remember. Turns out he was using this as an excuse because he didn't do his homework.
- Mythology Gag: All over the place.
- Proper Tights with a Skirt: Quite probably, the fact that every one of the superheroines wear skirts with their uniforms (otherwise identical to their adult counterparts) falls under this.
- Refugee from TV Land: Doctor Doom's Mini Marvels-verse self is the current page image for that trope.
- Secret Identity: As stated above, averted. It's worth mentioning here that the whole deal is made funnier because J.J. Jameson interacts with Peter Parker while the latter is in full Spider-Man uniform. It gets funny when you see, in one story, that he has the usual "threat or menace" view on Spider-Man. Same goes with Aunt May: she warns Peter to look out for "that terrible Spider-Man", apparently ignoring the fact that her nephew is Spider-Man:Spidey: (after a beat) Aunt May, have you been taking your medication?
- Self-Parody: Where to begin... there are parodies of Civil War ("Civil Wards"), World War Hulk, the Symbiote's originnote ... and the list goes on and on...
- Spared by the Adaptation: Gwen Stacy. That Gwen Stacy.
- Spiritual Successor: The Superhero Squad Show. However, Mini Marvels is still an ongoing series.
- Take That!: Many pot-shots at Marvel themselves.
- This universe's Sentry, in particular, gets a nasty one from none other than the Mini Marvels-verse Deadpool:
- And his interaction with Wolverine, with shades of Never Live It Down for the latter:Sentry: Wolverine! You remember me, don't you?
Wolverine: You from Project Weapon X?
Sentry: No, I...
Wolverine: Shut up.
- A seires of strips featured Hawkeye wearing his costume from The Avengers: United They Stand and getting mocked for it.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Surprisingly, a "nasty" trope shows up in an All-Ages comic, but only in one panel. Poor Hawkeye.◊
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: During Power Pack's fight with Sandman:Zero G: Powa Pack, Attack! (saves Spidey from Sandman's grip)
Lightspeed: Take dat! (punches Sandman in the face)
Energizer: Sandman go boom! (shoots energy beams at Sandman)
Mass Master: I'm a cloud! (floats around in the background)