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The Cartoon Intro Examination Thread (60s Edition) - Hanna the Barberian

Daikaiju

Rated Ages 6+
(He, Him)
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
It somehow hadn't occurred to me that this thread was eventually going to dip into intros that I actually know and love.

Anyway, that's an unfortunate place to have the text break in that poster, which may even be intentional. ("Freedom is the Right")
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
If it’s any consolation, Optimus and Cap are extremely left-leaning.

Snake Eyes is firmly “Whoever is Anti-Cobra”

And I suspect Sam’s political leanings would disappoint me
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
Sam the Eagle is a character who is very specifically a parody of those shite wing types, at least in terms of their censor squad tendencies.

And we know how some dumbasses can misinterpret parody as sincere representation.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Also, watching old Muppet Show, he's an idiot, constantly touting high culture without knowing what it is ("Shakespeare is, after all, my favorite opera singer.")
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Marvel Super Heroes: Iron Man

Next up is Iron Man.


Iron Man is interesting. Now he’s one of Marvel’s most recognizable heroes. Probably THE most for international audiences. The character had a history of great stories prior but despite the fact that he was an A-Tier hero IN continuity, he was never an A-Tier character with fans until RDJ’s portrayal. And while I through a bit of shade on it last post, that was more what I perceived other people’s takes. First time out it was a big revelation of the actor’s charm. The movie is good but that character elevates it, much in the same way Bill Murray elevated Ghostbusters. Both characters are almost in a world of their own and while they are good guys who do good things, they seem mostly interested in entertaining themselves. Iron Man, despite having super powers, is SOMEWHAT more grounded and actually has an arc. Granted, it’s a view of heroism that’s a little more libertarian (especially in Iron Man 2) but all the same

Stan Lee apparently came up with the idea of intentionally taking a character whom we should hate, a weapons manufacturer, and making him a hero (though I love Stan, it tends to be wise to take his memory of things with a grain of salt). His earliest enemies were the dreaded communists, including some pretty insensitive Asian villains (most notably The Mandarin, which tells you a lot). Before his more overtly snarky portrayal, Kurt Busiek called him “James Bond in a tank” a smooth motherfucker who battles with brute force. Which is something the intro does VERY WELL.


We start with some smooth music as a sporty car races down the road. A female singer croons.

“Tony Stark, makes you feel
He’s a cool exec with a heart of steel.”

We fade to Tony in his office with Pepper. We close up on Tony and his face fades into his Iron Man form.

The music suddenly becomes strident and dynamic, more akin to a classic heroic theme sung by many men.

“As Iron Man, all jets ablaze,
He fights with might and repulsor rays.”

We then see Iron Man punch, accompanied by cartoony sound effects. He then holds out his hand that fires swirly repulsor rays.

Men: “Amazing armor.”
Lady: “As Iron Man.”
Men: “Ablaze with power”
Lady: “He’s Iron Man.”

We then see the hero and his body is covered up with a title. He then crashes through it and flies through the air.


Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Yeah. This is easily the best of the Marvel intros, though a close one is coming up right after. I love that it has two modes that reflect the two sides of the character and then they end up coming together. Both sides are “cool” but they are very different kinds of cool. One is slick an the other is tough. And in the end, it’s a call and response that shows you no matter who you are following, you are in for a swell time. Some heroes are relatable. Iron Man is wish fulfillment. I can see that being a turn off for some (re: Entourage, which I hate) but this is a Hell of a sales pitch.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Now seems a good time to mention that despite what some people expected, Stan Lee did NOT write the theme songs. They were written by Jacques Urbont. His other works include a lot of themes for famous soap operas (Guiding Light, General Hospital, All My Children). “In 1969, Urbont helped produce a Christmas album for each NFL team.” This sounds fascinating.

Also worth noting.

In 2011, Urbont sued Ghostface Killah for copyright violation for his use of The Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man theme song in his 2000 album Supreme Clientele.[6] Urbont lost the lawsuit at the District Court level.[7] That decision was overturned on appeal. [8]
Fan Art

Most of these are RDJ versions but here are some classic styles.





I loves it.



“…ow”

 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I don’t know why Stan keeps referring to the Marvel heroes as “swingers” and can only assume that either the term had different connotations in the 60s, or he assumed that any description that worked for Spider-Man must work down the rest of the line as well.

...except maybe Tony. The term works for him.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
I don’t know why Stan keeps referring to the Marvel heroes as “swingers” and can only assume that either the term had different connotations in the 60s, or he assumed that any description that worked for Spider-Man must work down the rest of the line as well.

...except maybe Tony. The term works for him.
It's jive slang, akin to calling someone a "cat".
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Marvel Super Heroes: The Incredible Hulk

And now, here’s the Hulk!



I have a lot of affection for most Marvel A-List heroes. Many of them are in some form, outsiders. But none are more outsider-y than the Hulk. He’s also probably the one who changes the most. Oh, within the comics he cycles back around to recurring themes but unlike Spider-Man, he’s not really tethered in a way to a family or a specific lifestyle so even though there are formulas people return to, there’s a freedom to the Hulk and how to approach him. He’s constantly in mental flux, alternating between hero and anti-hero and on rare occasion outright villain. There’s also an inherent sadness to the character, and though there’s a cast of other characters, he’s often more alone than the other heroes. There’s also humour to him, in that he’s often a brute, whether it be a dim-witted or childish one or sometimes a sly, nasty piece of work. There are tons of different approaches you can take with the character and still somehow have him be the same character: a powerhouse full of hurt and unpredictability.

And he has a delightful theme song.


We start with some nerd at a machine.

“Doc Bruce Banner
Belted by gamma rays
Turns into the Hulk
Ain’t he unglamourays”

This song is goofy as fuck and I am HERE FOR IT! It is silly and playful and sort of undercuts the menace and tragedy of the character.

Anyway, we see Banner bombarded by the rays and he turns into the Hulk with his back turned. Then we get a close up of his face when it is being lightly insulted.

“Wrecking the town with the power of a bull.
Ain’t no monster ‘round, who is so loveable”

We see the Hulk’s feet and fists crush tanks and cannons so hard that it crushes the comic paper (or maybe stage canvas) that they appear on. One of them also features a top tier sound effect.



“Skroonk” is some hot stuff. We need to use it more often.

We then see the monster head on.

“The ever-lovin’ Hulk!
Hulk! Hulk!”

Hulk jumps around (that’s kind of how he travels) as the song ends.


Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

Oh, for definite. For some reason Hulk and I think only the Hulk aired a fair bit late night on Teletoon, the Canadian cartoon channel, so we got to see this intro a lot. Its stupid and wonderful and great. Its kind of downhill from here, theme song wise, so sorry for disappoint you. Skroonk.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Not a lot left, really. Oh, the guy who voiced the Hulk was a Canadian satirist of note and the voice of Banner was the same as 60’s Spider-Man.

Fan Art

There’s some good stuff here.



Capture’s the relationship between the two in the early days well.


Oh, this one is even cooler.



The most terrifying Hulk of all.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
This Hulk OP always confused me as a kid (and sometimes still does if it catches me off guard) because, in the shot where he's charging towards us but is looking down, his hair shines bright green right in the center, making it seem like he has a Friar Tuck bald pattern. So for a VERY, very long time as a kid, I thought the Hulk was bald and that's how I'd draw him.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Marvel Super Heroes: The Mighty Thor

Next… THOR!



Thor is one of the characters whose first issue origin is… kinda inessential? In the old days, doctor Donald Blake learns that he’s in fact the god Thor in human form. Donald Blake is eventually jettisoned and occasionally pops up again but it took a while to figure out what Thor was. His first issue has him facing rock men from Saturn but eventually he became much more mythic. Supposedly, Stan Lee was asking “what if a God was a superhero” but I feel like its sort of been done (at the very least, Fawcett’s Captain Marvel had the power of the gods). Still, this really folded old myth into modern hero story-telling, a sort of sci-fi fantasy mix that would be even more closely blended with the New Gods a decade later. Stan also came up with a ridiculous faux Shakespearian dialect that doesn’t make a lot of sense but is kind of great. I kind of miss it, though it is hard to justify. I still haven’t read the Walter Simonson years, which is apparently the series at its best and most mythic and wild (with introductions for Thor as a Frog and Beta Ray Bill) but I’ve certainly read enough to know it is the tale of a hero torn between his duty to his homeland and wanting to protect an adoptive home.


We start with a rainbow in space. But it isn’t just ANY rainbow, it’s the Bifrost Bridge, the rainbow that connects worlds.

“Cross the rainbow bridge of Asgard.”

We pull back to see Asgard, floating in space.

“Where the booming heaven’s roar.”

We pan down to some clouds, which emit lightning with a “ker-ackk!”

“You’ll behold in breathless wonder.
The God of Thunder
Mighty Thor.”

We ban over to a silhouette which we begin to see when lightning flashes. He then rears up and reveals himself to be Thor, holding his hammer aloft.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

This is the least of the intros so far. It’s a bunch of set up but it doesn’t really capture the glory of the comics and doesn’t sell me on Thor the character. But it’s a Thor cartoon, so I’d watch it.

What Did You Find on Wikipedia?

Oh, I meant to mention this for the Hulk entry but the Hulk cartoon had the first TV appearances of the Avengers AND the X-Men, because the Hulk takes on all comers.

As for Thor?

Well, the actor, Chris Wiggins, was credited as “Narrator” for Sailor Moon and… did it even have one of those?

Fan Art

Try to get some that isn’t just the movie versions…



What is this scored to? My take is Queen’s “The Prophet Song”


Like the cartoon-y look.



This is a great one.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Thor is maybe the only Marvel comic that can threaten Fantastic Four in my heart, and 60s Thor is really fun (when it isn’t being weirdly, uncharacteristically, incandescently racist) but I can’t lie; that’s a weaksauce opening.

And I can’t help but imagine that it’s adapting the Thor comics with Vince Colleta inking and… that wouldn’t do it any favours
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The Marvel Super Heroes: The Sub-Mariner

Next… Namor the Sub-Mariner!



Marvel Comics was built on characters who stretched the superhero genre in different directions. The Fantastic Four is a family and celebrity, a bridge between the popularity of sci-fi and monster comics and traditional superheroes (including originally not giving them costumes). Spider-Man was given more humbling personal strife than Batman or Superman. The Hulk was antagonist to the world he often saved. But the Hulk actually is closer to what the superhero was for a brief period in Marvel pre-history. Before Marvel was Marvel, it was Timely and Timely was a bit similar in that the heroes were not people we could trust. Captain America came along and changed that but before then the big sellers were the Human Torch, a burning android who couldn’t turn off at first and the Sub-Mariner, who was an anti-hero who waged warn against humanity but also fought crime sometimes.

When the Marvel universe was formed, the remnants of Timely, which also had something of a shared universe, were folded in and some old names were reused in new characters and a few were brought back. One was a certain aquatic jerk as likely to fight us as he was evil, Namor the Sub-Mariner.


We begin with an ACTUAL animated shot of a big wave.

“Stronger than a whale
He can swim anywhere
He can breathe underwater and go flying in the air”

We then see the title character splash through the water and loop up.

“The noble Sub-Mariner
Prince of the deep”

The Sub-Mariner dives in the air and splashes back into water.

“He’s aware of deadly demons.”

We see him swim past a very nasty looking octopus monster.

“For the favour of Atlantis
Is the prince of the deep.”

I almost certain I misheard some of that.

Anyway, We see Namor swimming around Atlantis and then standing triumphantly in one of Atlantis’ great halls.

Did It Make Me Want To Watch It?

The Thor one is bad but I think that one is the one I like least. Thor’s is boring but this one doesn’t sell me on one of the Marvel heroes I think is more potentially interesting than actually interesting.

What Did You Find on elsewhere?

OK, I did mishear some lyrics. “So, Beware you Deadly Demons”. I was actually closer in that one than I though.

Also “For the favour” was Lord Namor, which makes more sense. More confusingly is rhyming “Prince of the Deep” with “Prince of the Deep.”

Fan Art

A lot but it all looks kind of the same… a lot of dark blues. Also, a lot of good ones.





This game him a kind of alien look I like.

 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
If you'd asked me, I'd have said that I never watched that show, but fuck me if that intro song didn't bring some appropriately deep memories to the surface.
 

MetManMas

Me and My Bestie
(He, him)
While they weren't completely lacking in animation, the 60s Marvel Super Heroes cartoon block implemented extremely limited animation. They're basically motion comics with facial movements and the occasional limb or silhouette being animated.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
Have a Walter Lantz-esque intro for the cartoons from Stan Lee... from before he put on the tea shades and grew a moustache and became Stan "The Man".

 
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