The Marvel Super Heroes

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The Marvel Super Heroes
Print advertisement for the show
Based onCharacters
by Marvel Comics
Opening theme"The Marvel Super Heroes Has Arrived!"
Ending theme"The Merry Marvel Marching Society"
Country of origin
  • United States
No. of episodes65 (195 segments)
Running time30 min
Production companies
DistributorKrantz Films
Original networkFirst-run syndication
Original releaseSeptember 1 (1966-09-01) –
December 1, 1966 (1966-12-01)

The Marvel Super Heroes[1] is an American animated television series starring five comic book superheroes from Marvel Comics. The first TV series based on Marvel characters, it debuted in syndication on U.S. television in 1966.[2]

Produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation, headed by Grant Simmons, Ray Patterson and Robert Lawrence,[3] it was an umbrella series of five segments, each approximately seven minutes long, broadcast on local television stations that aired the show at different times. The series ran initially as a half-hour program made up of three seven-minute segments of a single superhero, separated by a short description of one of the other four heroes. It has also been broadcast as a mixture of various heroes in a half-hour timeslot, and as individual segments as filler or within a children's TV program.[4]

The segments were "Captain America", "The Incredible Hulk", "Iron Man", "The Mighty Thor" and "The Sub-Mariner".[5]


Sixty-five half-hour episodes of three seven-minute chapters were produced, for a total of 195 segments that ran initially in broadcast syndication from September to December 1966.[6][7]

The series, produced in color, had extremely limited animation produced by xerography, consisting of photocopied images taken directly from the comics and manipulated to minimize the need for animation production. The cartoons were presented as a series of static comic-strip panel images; generally the only movement involved the lips when a character spoke, the eyes, and the occasional arm or leg, or a fully animated black silhouette. The series used the original stories largely in their entirety, showcasing Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck art, among others, from the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books.

Stan Lee, Marvel's editor and art director at the time, said in 2004 that he believed publisher Martin Goodman negotiated the deal with Grantray-Lawrence and that Lawrence chose the characters to be used. Lawrence rented Lee and his wife a penthouse apartment at 30 East 60th Street, near Madison Avenue, for Lee's use while he worked on the series. (Lee lived in Hewlett Harbor, New York, on Long Island, at the time.) Lee recalled, "I really don't remember any reaction from the Marvel artists involved. I wish I could claim to have written the [theme song] lyrics, because I think they're brilliant, but alas, I didn't".[8] The songs were written by Jacques Urbont.[9] In the meantime, Steve Krantz (who was distributing the series), made a deal to subcontract production of The Mighty Thor segments to Paramount Cartoon Studios[10] (the animation division of Paramount Pictures, formerly known as Famous Studios), headed at that time by Fleischer Studios veteran Shamus Culhane.

Marvel announced the series in the "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins" of the November 1966 issues, stating in that monthly fan page's hyperbolic style that, "It won't be long before our swingin' super-heroes [sic] make their star-studded debut on TV, appearing five nights a week — that's right, five — count 'em — five nights a week, for a half-hour each night. So you've just got time to make sure your set's in good working order — check your local paper for time and station — and prepare to have a ball!"[11]


For WNAC-TV in Boston, Arthur Pierce portrayed Captain America in live-action segments for the show. Actors portraying other characters, including Dr. Doom, Hulk, and Bucky, also appeared in live-action segments. The segments were scripted by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.[27]

Guest characters[edit]

Appearing in guest roles were:

  • The X-Men — The original lineup of the Angel, the Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, and Marvel Girl appeared in a Sub-Mariner episode, "Dr. Doom's Day / The Doomed Allegiance / Tug of Death". The story was an adaptation of Fantastic Four #6 (Sept. 1962), but since Grantray-Lawrence Animation did not own rights to the Fantastic Four, the producers substituted the X-Men — although referring to them instead as "Allies for Peace". However, the characters retained their original designs and individual names from the comics.
  • The Avengers — Episode 8 of The Incredible Hulk was an adaptation of Avengers #2 (Nov. 1963), and co-starred Thor, Iron Man (with his early golden armor recolored to match the red-and-gold design featured in the Iron Man episodes), Giant-Man, the Wasp. The lineup beginning in Avengers #4 (March 1964), with Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man, the Wasp and the newly installed Captain America, appears in several Captain America episodes, as does the later line-up from Avengers #16 with Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch.


Each episode consisted of three chapters.

Captain America[edit]

A Captain America title card
  • Episode 1: The Origin of Captain America, Wreckers Among Us, Enter Red Skull
  • Episode 2: The Sentinel and the Spy, The Fantastic Origin of the Red Skull, Lest Tyranny Triumph
  • Episode 3: Midnight in Greymoor Castle, If This Be Treason, When You Lie Down With Dogs
  • Episode 4: Return of Captain America, The Search, To Live Again
  • Episode 5: Zemo and the Masters of Evil, Zemo Strikes, The Fury of Zemo
  • Episode 6: The Revenge of Captain America, The Trap Is Sprung, So Dies A Villain
  • Episode 7: Let The Past Be Gone, The Adaptoid, The Super Adaptoid
  • Episode 8: Coming of the Swordsman, Vengeance Is Ours, Emissary of Destruction
  • Episode 9: Bitter Taste of Defeat, Sorcery Triumph, The Road Back
  • Episode 10: Doorway to Doom, When the Commissar Commands, Duel Or Die
  • Episode 11: The Sleeper Shall Awake, Where Walks the Sleeper, The Final Sleep
  • Episode 12: The Girl from Cap's Past, The Stage Is Set, 30 Minutes to Live
  • Episode 13: The Red Skull Lives, He Who Holds the Cosmic Cube, The Red Skull Supreme

The Incredible Hulk[edit]

One depiction of the Hulk in The Marvel Super Heroes
  • Episode 1: The Origin of the Hulk, Enter the Gorgon, To Be a Man
  • Episode 2: Terror of the Toadmen, Bruce Banner: Wanted For Treason, Hulk Runs Amok
  • Episode 3: A Titan Rides the Train, The Horde of Humanoids, On the Rampage!
  • Episode 4: The Power of Dr. Banner, Where Strides the Behemoth, Back from the Dead
  • Episode 5: Micro Monsters, The Lair of the Leader, To Live Again
  • Episode 6: Brawn Against Brain, Captured At Last, Enter the Chameleon
  • Episode 7: Within this Monster Dwells a Man, Another World, Another Foe, The Wisdom of the Watcher
  • Episode 8: The Space Phantom, Sting of the Wasp, Exit the Hulk
  • Episode 9: Hulk vs. Metal Master, The Master Tests His Metal, Mind Over Metal
  • Episode 10: The Ringmaster, Captive of the Circus, The Grand Finale
  • Episode 11: Enter Tyrannus, Beauty & The Beast, They Dwell in the Depths
  • Episode 12: Terror of the T-Gun, I Against A World, Bruce Banner is the Hulk
  • Episode 13: The Man Called Boomerang, Hulk Intervenes, Less Than Monster, More Than Man

The Invincible Iron Man[edit]

One depiction of Iron Man in the series
  • Episode 1: Double Disaster, Enter Happy Hogan, Of Ice and Men
  • Episode 2: The Death of Tony Stark!, The Hands of the Mandarin, The Origin of The Mandarin
  • Episode 3: Ultimo, Ultimo Lives, Crescendo
  • Episode 4: The Mandarin's Revenge!, The Mandarin's Death Ray, No One Escapes the Mandarin
  • Episode 5: Crimson Dynamo!, The Crimson Dynamo Strikes, Captured
  • Episode 6: Enter Hawkeye, So Spins the Web, Triple Jeopardy
  • Episode 7: If I Die, Let It Be With Honor, Fight On, For A World Is Watching, What Price Victory?
  • Episode 8: The Moleman Strikes, The Dragon of the Flames, Decision Under the Earth
  • Episode 9: The Other Iron Man!, Death Duel, Into The Jaws of the Death
  • Episode 10: The Cliffs of Doom!, The False Captain America, The Unmasking
  • Episode 11: My Life For Yours, The Black Knight's Gambit, The Menace of the Monster
  • Episode 12: The Dream Master, If A Man Be Mad, Duel In Space
  • Episode 13: Beauty and the Armor, Peril in Space, As A City Watches

The Mighty Thor[edit]

A Thor title card
  • Episode 1: Trapped by Loki, The Vengeance of Loki, The Defeat of Loki
  • Episode 2: Chained Evil, Sandu, Master of the Supernatural, Enchanted Hammer
  • Episode 3: Enchantress and Executioner, Giants Walk the Earth, Battle of the Gods
  • Episode 4: At the Mercy of Loki, Trial of the Gods, Return To Earth
  • Episode 5: The Absorbing Man, In My Hands, This Hammer, Vengeance of the Thunder God
  • Episode 6: To Kill A Thunder God, The Day of the Destroyer, Terror of the Tomb
  • Episode 7: The Grey Gargoyle, The Wrath of Odin, Triumph in Stone
  • Episode 8: The Mysterious Mister Hyde, Revenge of Mr. Hyde, Thor's Showdown with Mr. Hyde
  • Episode 9: Every Hand Against Him, The Power of the Thunder God, The Power of Odin
  • Episode 10: The Tomorrow Man, Return of Zarrko, Slave of Tomorrow Man
  • Episode 11: Enter Hercules, When Meet Immortals, Whom the Gods Would Destroy
  • Episode 12: The Power of Pluto, The Verdict of Zeus, Thunder in the Netherworld
  • Episode 13: Molto, the Lava Man, Invasion of the Lava Man, Living Rock

Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner[edit]

Title card for a Sub-Mariner episode
  • Episode 1: Peril in the Surface World, So Spreads the Net, The Unveiling
  • Episode 2: The Start of the Quest!, Escape to Nowhere, A Prince There Was
  • Episode 3: Not All My Power Can Save Me!, When Fails the Quest, The End of the Quest
  • Episode 4: Atlantis Under Attack, The Sands of Terror, The Iron Idol of Infamy
  • Episode 5: The Thing from Space, No Escape for Namor, A Prince Dies Fighting
  • Episode 6: To Conquer a Crown, A Prince No More, He Who Wears the Crown
  • Episode 7: To Walk Amongst Men!, When Rises the Behemoth, To the Death
  • Episode 8: The World Within!, Atlantis Is Doomed, Quest for X-Atom
  • Episode 9: Beware the Siren Song, Spell of Lorelei, Return of the Mud Beast
  • Episode 10: Ship of Doom, Fall of Atlantis, Forces of Vengeance
  • Episode 11: The Planet of Doom, To Test a Prince, To Save a Planet
  • Episode 12: Dr. Doom's Day, The Doomed Allegiance, Tug of Death
  • Episode 13: Let the Stranger Die..!, To Destroy a Tyrant, Save A City

Home media[edit]

Segments of the series appear on at least two VHS home video releases, containing three videocassettes each: Marvel Superheroes: Triple Pack #1 (UPC #024543004127) and Marvel's Mightiest Heroes: Triple Pack #2.[28] Fox Video released a version titled Marvel's Mightiest Super Heroes Gift Set (EAN #0024543004134).

In 2003, Hulk segments giving his origin story appeared as an extra on the Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVD release of the 1996 animated television series The Incredible Hulk.[29]

In the Game Boy Advance version of the Hulk (video game), the storyline closely follows The Marvel Super Heroes Incredible Hulk's 13 episode story arch, allowing the player to follow the events of the classic series.

In September 2004, Buena Vista Home Entertainment announced plans to release The Marvel Superheroes Show on June 28, 2005, as a five-DVD set titled The 60's Superheroes.[30] By February 2005, however, the release was off the schedule.[31]

On May 21, 2007, the UK company Maximum Entertainment released four two-disc sets, for Region 2, each set containing 13 episodes of the Captain America, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner and Thor segments respectively, with each episode re-edited into continuous, half-hour segments.[32] On August 25, 2008, the UK company Liberation Entertainment released a two-disc set of the Hulk segments, re-edited into 13 20-minute episodes.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Title per The Marvel Super Heroes. (Animated opening credits) YouTube. Archived from the original on October 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-25. NOTE: The title is rendered inaccurately as "The Marvel Superheroes" at its entry on IMDb and at
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 379. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ Robert Lawrence interview, Jack Kirby Collector #41, Fall 2004, pp. 42-47.
  4. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part 1: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. pp. 177–179. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  5. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 528–530. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  6. ^ "The Marvel Superheroes Episode Guide". Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  7. ^ Thomas, Roy; Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the World of Marvel. Running Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0762428441. In 1966, television production company Grantray-Lawrence produced a series of five half-hour semi-animated shows under the banner title Marvel Superheroes. Captain America (original comics appearance in 1941), The Incredible Hulk (1962), Iron Man (1963), The Mighty Thor, and Sub-Mariner (1939) all made their television debuts.
  8. ^ McGovern, Adam (Fall 2004). "A Minute of Stan's Time" (41). (sidebar, Jack Kirby Collector: 47. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Jon Burlingame (2015-07-14). "The Marvel Super Heroes Songs: The Inside Story". The Film Music Society. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  10. ^ Culhane, Shamus (1986). Talking Animals and Other People. New York, NY: Da Capo Press. pp. 422–423. ISBN 0306808307.
  11. ^ Marvel Bullpen Bulletins: "Sensational Secrets and Incredible Inside Information Guilelessly Guaranteed to Avail You Naught!", in Tales of Suspense #83 (Nov. 1966) and other Marvel comics that month.
  12. ^ Butler, Kevin S. (n.d.). "New York City Kid Show Roundup: Marvel Superheroes [sic]". Archived from the original on September 4, 2001.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Closing Credits - Marvel Super Heroes (Merry Marvel Marching Society). Mrsilenciobackgammon. October 2, 2011. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2021 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ Weekend Magazine (May 24, 1969)
  15. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  16. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  17. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  18. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  19. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  20. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  24. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  25. ^ The Marvel Super Heroes on TV! Book One: Iron Man (2017) - by J. Ballmann, ISBN 9 781545 345658
  26. ^
  27. ^ Hofius, Jason; George Khoury (2010). Age of TV Heroes: The Live-Action Adventures of Your Favorite Comic Book Characters. TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60549-010-6.
  28. ^ "'Marvel's Mightiest Heroes: Triple Pack #2'". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  29. ^ Powell, James W. (June 17, 2003). "'The Incredible Hulk' (Animated Series)". (review) Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  30. ^ Lambert, David (September 24, 2004). "The Marvel Superheroes - Capt. America! Hulk! Thor! Iron Man! Sub-Mariner!". Archived from the original on February 8, 2006. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  31. ^ Lambert, David (February 1, 2005). "The Marvel Superheroes - Studio Says 'Superheroes' are Off the Schedule". Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  32. ^ "Jon T" (pseudonym) (July 23, 2007). "'The Marvel Super Heroes': Classic Comics in Suspended Animation". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved 2011-01-12.

External links[edit]