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
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:
- Actor Allusion: Professor X wearing a shirt resembling that of Picard's uniform.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Punny Name: Charles Xavier's name turns out to be this when you realise that, even after dropping the Peanuts aspect of the series, he still looks like Charlie Brown. Also counts as both a Stealth Pun and a Visual Pun.
- 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.
- 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)