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Comic Book / Marvel Adventures

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First launched in 2003, Marvel Adventures is a line of Lighter and Softer comics featuring some of the company's top characters and set outside of the 616 canon that most Marvel Comics characters inhabit. Each issue contains a story that's finished by the end of the last page (though setups for larger arcs sometimes occur), and does so in a lighthearted fashion where everything usually gets back to the way it's supposed to be. Likewise, its setting allows it to completely ignore world-changing events from the main comics, such as Civil War.

April 2010 saw the cancellation of practically all the series. The survivors (Spider-Man and Super Heroes) became renumbered, starting again from #1. 'Marvel Adventures' also got dropped from the titles.

However, the spirit of Marvel Adventures lives on in Marvel Action, a joint series published by Marvel and IDW Publishing.

Marvel Adventures contains examples of:

  • Academy of Evil: The self-defense classes Peter Parker attends so he can learn a few moves and give himself justification to stand up to bullies when he's not Spidey is soon revealed to be one of Taskmaster's facilities to train potential soldiers.
  • Accidental Athlete: In Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #34, Peter Parker is recruited as a shortstop for his high school baseball team after he's seen using his super-powers to deftly catch and return a wayward ball. Team pitcher Flash Thomson is enraged because he suspects Parker's skills are due to illegal drugs, while the Green Goblin wants to eliminate Parker so his son's rival team can win instead.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In this universe, Emma Frost is a much closer friend and confidante to Spider-Man (and Chat) than she is with any of the X-Men.
  • Adaptational Badass: In this continuity, Spider-Man is capable of fighting off Dr. Doom all on his own, whereas his 616 counterpart usually didn't get so lucky and had to resort to talking Doom out of killing him and whoever he was trying to protect.
    • Also, Janet van Dyne as Giant Girl instead of Wasp.
  • Adaptational Curves: Emma Frost is typically a Ms. Fanservice in the mainline Marvel comics, but she's also indicated several times in the past that she has "The best body money can buy". In the Spider-Man book, Emma is aged down to around high school aged (on par with Peter Parker) and is notably more voluptuous than her 616 counterpart. It isn't specified if she dyes her hair in this continuity either, so she may be a natural blonde as well.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Downplayed with Hank Pym. He's not said to be one of the smartest people on the planet in this continuity, but he is still a highly intelligent scientist and discoverer of the Pym Particles.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the 616 continuity, Spider-Man and Wolverine only joined The Avengers in the New Avengers series, decades after the team was founded (although probably only years in-universe). Here, they appear as members of the team from the beginning, and are possibly founding members.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Both Black Cat and Tigra are more covered up than their mainstream counterparts. The former is actually more in line with her original outfit.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Zigzagged with Adaptational Badass when it comes to Emma Frost. Her 616 counterpart is one of the most powerful psychics on the planet, bested only by Physical God figures like Jean Grey and Quentin Quire, whereas Marvel Adventures Emma has a drastically reduced range and level of control (implied to be due to her inexperience with her powers) and her powers no longer work on animals. However, she trades her range for a Compelling Voice, Psychometry, and a powerful degree of Touch Telepathy.
  • Admiring the Abomination: Doctor Strange has one of these moments. ("Such magnificent power. It could destroy us at whim.")
  • Age Lift: Emma Frost is around Spider-Man's age in this version, whereas she's usually older.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: It took seconds for Ultron to go into crush-kill-destroy mode.
    Spider-Man: Well, that's an all new 'everything goes wrong' speed record!
    • Also, the creation of Vision. Huge lightning storm + experimental programs + Storm + combat practice robots = lethal sentient robot.
  • All Your Powers Combined: As in other universes, the Super-Adaptoid has the ability to copy powers and personalities. Quicksilver uses this to defeat it, as having it copy Captain America gives it enough moral fiber to reject its creator and run off to become a hero.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: This comic is much more light-hearted and comedic than 616 Marvel fare, but it's drawn the exact same way as 616 Marvel, which makes the sillier moments stand out that much more.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Wolverine nails Gorg in the gut, which takes the wind out of the enemy leader, and allows for a follow-up headbutt to take Gorg down for the count.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Giant-Girl, of course. Ant-Man and Erik Josten as well, but only for one issue.
  • Big Eater: The Hulk and the Thing. Spider-man tried with a load of hot dogs, but he's not quite in their league
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: So many. A fan favorite is Doc Samson's "Needs a wife" assessment of Spider-Man when the Avengers go in for therapy.
    • Some believe that it was these little instances that led to the imprint enduring so much Executive Meddling.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Amazingly enough, Hercules manages to be an even bigger example than his 616 counterpart.
  • Canon Character All Along: The Silencer, a villainess in the Spider-Man series, turned out to be a teenaged Emma Frost.
  • Canon Immigrant: Sophia "Chat" Sanduval made her 616 debut during the 2011 Spider-Girl series starring Anya Corazón.
  • Car Fu: Ka-Zar accidentally takes out Stegron by landing the Quinjet on top of him. It's Jet Fu technically, but the same principle applies.
  • The Casanova: Both Tony and Storm. While Tony has his civilian ladies and Black Widow, Storm's hooked up (in the past) with T'Challa and Hawkeye, and currently with Thor, as well as getting a Les Yay scene with Giant-Girl.
  • Chess with Death: Except it's chess with Galactus. More on trope entry.
  • The Chew Toy: Unlike most cases where Wolverine is everywhere, fandom didn't really mind him being a major member of the team, mostly because the writers loved playing him up for gags like Spidey's "Kick Me" sign, the aforementioned pummeling by Odin, the slingshot trick (Spidey again), etc.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Iron Man being subjected to the Cute, but Cacophonic pit of space kitties as penalty for losing a round of Kree karaoke. Apparently, they're loud enough to even outdo the suit's sound filters, as he ends up mostly deaf for several pages.
  • Cute Bruiser: Though her first comic scene in "Lover's Leaper" had Thundra lash at Luke Cage with her chain, another scene a while "earlier in the story" ask him and Hawkeye, "Which one of you two is Luke Cage?", looking happy to date Luke in the beginning.
  • Cute Machines: When Doc Ock gets separated from his artificially intelligent tentacle harness, the device is left wandering around, sort of at loose ends. Spidey adopts it as a pet. When Doc returns for it, it suffers a brief crisis of loyalty; after all, Spidey has been so nice to it.
  • Dating Service Disaster: After Hawkeye accidentally uploads ALL the personal data of the male Avengers, not just his, to a dating site owned by Batroc the Leaper, the villain gets the others to go on dates with several ladies. It catches up to Batroc and the other Avengers when the ladies get stood up to Batroc's multi-booking the guys for many dates at the same time. Once Luke tells the ladies what really happened they aren't pleased about it at all...and Hilarity Ensues after the ladies yell at Batroc "Get Him!" and a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown is hinted at by Cap and the others.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Spider-Man especially, but everyone has at least one moment of getting to be this. Even Captain America.
  • Demoted to Extra: Spider-Man rarely actually contributes to the plot as an Avenger.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Iron Man uses his stealth armor to sneak into Latveria to rescue his employees that Dr. Doom was holding hostage. Not long after sneaking into Castle Doom, Tony is caught as Doom points out that he's trying to use an experimental invisibility suit to infiltrate the lair of the nemesis of Sue Storm. In other words, the one place on earth that's guaranteed to have measures to detect such things.
  • Drives Like Crazy: KaZar is a terrible driver, as Spidey will rant about when provoked. Did come in handy, though, when he managed to land a Quinjet on Stegron and his forces completely by accident.
  • Driving Test: Spidey's Spider-sense gives him an advantage... sort of.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Captain America vs. Loki. "Did you just humiliate a deity in front of three million potential worshipers?"
  • Evil Laugh: For a hero, Storm's surprisingly good at it. Though she was playing a witch who could control the weather, it could be her needing to make it convincing (which was part of Wolverine's plan, "just like we said!").
    • Also used by Tigra when demonstrating her nonexistent cat-controlling powers.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: To an Eldritch Abomination, "Bob" is creatively exotic.
  • Fun Personified: The whole line, but fans especially loved Batroc's appearance. He's just enjoying fighting the Avengers guys so much that you have to grin along.
  • Genius Loci: Ego the Living Planet. Who turns up in the Solar System to hit on the Earth.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: The U-Foes found out the hard way that this is an effective tactic when Giant-Girl got dropped on them. As did the Absorbing Man, courtesy of the Hulk.
  • Godwin's Law of Time Travel: A Watcher manages to not get in trouble for acting instead of watching when he returns a dimension-hopping Johnny Storm home. His method of getting out of it is by pointing out that with all the dimension-screwing Johnny was causing, he missed out on getting to watch several interesting timelines (including one where the Aztecs somehow won WWII) unfold.
  • Goshdang It To Heck: It's a Lighter and Softer genre written for all ages, what do you expect?
  • Groin Attack: Cap, of all people, does this to the Wrecker with his shield at one point.
  • Hate Plague: Hate-monger's hate ray.
  • Haunted Headquarters: Before finding out Vision was actually a case of A.I. Is a Crapshoot, the Avengers thought a ghost had infiltrated their base to kill them.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: The villains probably wouldn't end up getting beaten half the time if they weren't constantly interrupting perfectly normal activities, such as godly dating or a friendly game of basketball.
  • Hero Insurance
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Due to an unstable time portal, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Hulk, and Tigra meet Sgt. Nick Fury's Howling Commandos in ancient Egypt.
    Spider-Man: We're the Avengers. From the future! Man, that was cool. I always wanted to say that.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: Inverted; Spider-Man's reflexes and all of his fights with the Green Goblin turn out to make him a natural at baseball.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Deadpool fights Nova by throwing pretzels at him.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: The Avengers fear the taxman more than supervillains.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: The very first issue of Marvel Adventures The Avengers, the warren of a new supermax prison suggests the team stay behind and have some of the prison food. The team politely decline with Giant Girl saying they need to oil Iron Man, leaving the Armored Avenger flummoxed.
  • It Only Works Once: The Avengers attempt to threaten Galactus with the Ultimate Nullifier, but the cosmic being scoffs saying that Fantastic Four caught him off guard when they threatened him with the doomsday device and he wasn't sure if they would go through with using it. He now knows that humans aren't that crazy and are simply bluffing. And then Spider-Man activates it.
  • Jive Turkey: The aforementioned Goom, who learned all his English from watching MTV and Jerry Springer.
    Spider-Man: This is so messed up.
  • Large Ham: Doctor Strange does it intentionally, as inflated confidence and a cheery outlook actually help his powers. Later, he convinces Spidey to give it a go as well as part of a ruse to trick a blind reality-devouring monster, and Spidey's a natural.
    • Also used in the "fight" between Tigra and Rhino, complete with over-the-top self-narration and Calling Your Attacks.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Understandably, after managing to get Ego the Living Planet away from the Earth's orbit, the Avengers choose not to tell anyone else that he was flirting with the Earth and that he left because he essentially considered humanity cooties.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the 616 continuity.
  • Logic Bomb: Reed Richards vs. alien supercomputer. "Can you make a rock so big you can't lift it?" Reed 1, computer 0.
  • Magic Pants: Gleefully lampshaded in Avengers. "I'd rather not, I just got a new suit. ...Yes, it's purple."
  • MST: The historical film of Captain America. "So if it's cool, you said it, and if it's cheesy, the filmmakers added it in."
  • Money for Nothing: In one issue, the Silver Surfer, at the urging of a TV show host, starts using his Power Cosmic to do things like give people gold to help with their financial issues and generating crops in desert countries. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of gold in the economy turns it upside down (a gallon of milk costs ten thousand dollars), city services have been shut down because everyone who was working in them became millionaires and quit, and the influx of crops also creates a population boom of locusts.
  • Must Have Caffeine: When Doctor Strange is gliding around from one dimension to another doing his morning rounds, he has a paper cup of coffee in his hand. It's fun to imagine the Sorcerer Supreme stopping by Starbucks before checking in on Nisilette the Unimaginable.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: While watching a newsreel of Captain America's service in World War II, Cap mentions that a particularly cheesy line was added in by the filmmakers after the fact. When asked what he really said, Cap embarrassedly notes, "I can't say with ladies present."
  • Never Say "Die": In Super Heroes volume 2 #4, Deadpool is never referred to by his code name. Someone would always refer to him as "Wade Wilson. Better known as-" before being interrupted mid-sentence.
  • Not Me This Time: One issue had Giant Girl mysteriously controlled and fighting the Avengers. The team automatically assumes the Puppet-Master. Ironically, while he had nothing to do with Giant Girl's predicament, they did stop him from taking over the Fantastic Four.
  • Oh, Crap!: Many, but two are especially priceless: the panel where Spidey realizes Captain Stacy just suckered him into revealing his identity to him in Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, and the reaction of an intergalactic conqueror when he discovers that he and his army are all roughly 1/100th the size of Earthlings in Marvel Adventures: Avengers.
  • Pass the Popcorn: After his first encounter with the Avengers, Loki creates the Wrecker just to see what he'll do with similar powers. He's entertained by the results.
  • Phlebotinum Bomb
  • The Power of Hate: Hate-monger ( aka Karl) believes that this is what allows evil organizations to function and coordinate effectively. That, and fear of torture.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: After Tigra and her fellow Avengers return, in a cabinet in the Tower of London is a statue of Bast, Egyptian cat Tigra's likeness donated by a pre-SHIELD Sgt. Nick Fury and his Howling Commandoes.
  • Running Gag: Spider-Man being confused for Daredevil.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Spider-Man accuses Captain America of having this when, while watching a newsreel presentation, Cap claims that the really cheesy one-liners were dubbed in later (what he really said, he can't repeat with ladies present), but the badass one-liners are totally accurate.
  • Shooting Superman: Baron Zemo attempts to defy Captain America by punching him. However, he only has ordinary person strength and hurts his knuckles.
  • Shout-Out: Mixed in liberally with the Biting-the-Hand Humor.
    Iron Man: Like we'd ever shoot the Hulk into space.
    • The series also has it fair share of non-biting the hand shout outs, including a future version of Black Widow mentioning that Nova "is going to grow up."
    • Non-Marvel references make it in as well.
    (the man in the Zemo costume is unmasked)
  • Spanner in the Works
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Sophia "Chat" Sanduval.
  • Spoof Aesop
    Spider-Man: The lesson is: trust no one.
    Storm: That's not the lesson.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Surprisingly enough, yes. Erik "Atlas" Josten's sole appearance in the Avengers title involved him making it look like Hank Pym had intentionally vanished so that he could get closer to Giant-Girl while Pym was missing.
    • Emma Frost turns out to be one of these for Peter Parker, whose life has been turned upside down by his long-term girlfriend Chat suddenly believing that they've never dated and Gwen Stacy (here Peter's Unlucky Childhood Friend) swearing up and down that they've been together for weeks. Emma has been haphazardly wiping Chat's romantic feelings for Peter and building wild dating scenarios in Gwen's mind to support her gaslighting, all because she fell hard for Peter at first touch, considering his mind and resolve to be "the most beautiful thing she had ever seen". It all comes crashing down when Chat's animal friends keep telling her that she actually is Peter's girlfriend and she quickly deduces that it's Emma's doing.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike
  • Ungrateful Bastards: The Baston-Karians, boy howdy: "Why are you still here? You are finished saving our world, are you not?"
  • Unsound Effect: Everywhere, but especially when it comes to Hulk and Batroc. "GAMMABOOOOM!" and "LeThumpt!" indeed.
  • What Are You in For?
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: In the origin story for Janet Van Dyne's transformation into Giant Girl, she was given a special harness outfitted with Pym Particles and the ability to talk to ants. Janet is very unimpressed until HYDRA comes knocking and she accidentally goes giant, quickly turning this trope into Heart Is an Awesome Power.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: At one point, the Avengers have a showdown with Loki's Masters of Evil, who have gathered at a middle school, which Loki levitates into the air. Cap is paralyzed with horror at the thought of all the kids in the school endangered or killed, only for the Wrecker to lampshade this trope: "There weren't no kids in there! Whaddya think we are, monsters?"
  • You and What Army?: Poor Jamie Madrox. He so badly wants to use this gag on somebody.
  • You Meddling Kids: Spider-Man uses this in an Avengers adventure after unmasking Baron Zemo.