They're the Latest, They're the Greatest, Ultimate-est
The Marvel Super Heroes have arrived!
An Animated Anthology
series from the 1960's featuring several Marvel Comics
superheroes, and one of the first to do so. It is remembered today mostly for its extremely limited animation (using xerography with the art from the original comics) and zany theme songs, but it also was the debut in animation for several major Marvel characters, particularly those from these series:
The stories were all from the early comics, and so featured the origins of the heroes and most of their main enemies. The segments were short (about 7 minutes each) and were sold as a package, to be aired however the TV station wanted.
Contrary to popular belief, the So Bad, It's Good
songs were not written by Stan Lee
. They remain earworms
to this day. (lyrics here 
For all that it is made fun of today, the series made the "Marvel style" of superheroes (which during The Silver Age of Comic Books
was relatively more serious than its rival DC Comics
') more popular; even more so than the other then-current Marvel animated adaptations (Spider-Man (1967)
and The Fantastic Four (1967)
) which were toned down for television. As these stories were taken directly from the comics, you could tell the difference.
Not to be confused with the fighting game made by Capcom.
This cartoon provides examples of:
- The Abridged Series: Some Marvel Mash Up segments feature Gag Dubs of this show.
- Acting For At Least 10: All the females have the same voice actress. (She'd go on to voice Betty Brant in Spider-Man (1967), to boot.)
- Adaptation Dye-Job:
- The episode adapting Hulk's origin story portrays him as green instead of gray, to match later comics.
- Iron Man's Mark II armor gets colored red and gold in one of Hulk's episodes, when originally it was entirely gold-colored. While this makes it look a little closer to Iron Man's other suits, it also creates an inconsistency with the episode adapting the first appearances of Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan, which shows the armor in its accurate color.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Pepper Potts has no freckles or bun in the episode adapting the first comic in which she appeared.
- Angst: Every hero had some: The Hulk for being hunted, Captain America for outliving his loved ones, Thor for being forbidden to love a mortal, and Iron Man for always being near death. (Prince Namor the Submariner also complained a lot but he really had few reasons to.)
- Bragging Theme Tune
- Clip Art Animation: The series basically took the artwork from the comics, and added moving mouths and limbs, spoken dialogue and sound effects. Still, considering the artwork was from people such as Jack Kirby, it was still impressive to see.
- Ending Theme: "You belong, you belong, you belong, you belong to the Merry Marvel Marching Society..." Heard only in prints that retain a full end credit reel.
- Expository Theme Tune: The Hulk's theme contains two or three lines about the accident that gave Banner his powers.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence: Not that much, but when compared to many other western superhero cartoons (such as He-Man) definitely.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The studio apparently could not secure the rights to any Fantastic Four characters, other than Doctor Doom. Because of this, a Sub-Mariner vignette featuring Doom replaced Reed and his companions with the first five X-Men, albeit with their team's name changed to, "The Allies For Peace."
- Narrating the Obvious: Like most Silver Age comics, most of the exposition gets delivered through narration and dialogue, and the characters have a tendency to narrate their own actions.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The Grey Gargoyle doesn't sound French.
- Origins Episodes: Among the main heroes, played straight only for Captain America and Hulk. Namor's origin story, instead of getting adapted directly, became told in flashback. Iron Man and Thor each started their series with episodes that did not retell their origins at all.
- Spiritual Successor: Motion Comics.
- Vocal Dissonance: Especially if viewers come in expecting voice-acting reminiscent of modern Marvel cartoons and movies.