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Category: Comics

The Greatest Super-Hero Cartoons

Martin

The comic book is the natural medium for the super-hero. This is an indisputable fact – it’s the medium that birthed them, that’s most featured them and has evolved around them. But it’s not the only medium that the super-hero thrives in. There’s another that’s had a long and fevered history with the super-hero, brought it to new audiences and brought out new sides of it. No, it’s not the cinema (where the super-hero has only really worked successfully en masse in the past decade or so). It’s radio.

Just kidding, it’s cartoons.

Yes, what other than animation can replicate the bright characters, crazy locations, mad props and insane action of a super-hero comic? Some pretty wicked shadow puppets maybe, but let’s stick with cartoons for now. To celebrate this joyous affair of moving pictures and lycra-clad super-men, here’s a non-definitive run down of some of the best super-hero cartoons ever made.

The Curious Case Of Captain Marvel – The Weird World Of Comics

Martin

If you’ve been reading this columns regularly, you’ll probably have spotted that I’m generally having them link into each other, like a strand of multicoloured handkerchiefs impossibly streaming from a magician’s sleeve. As such, I was going to write about someone who’s died a lot, picking up on the last instalment’s topic, but instead I’m going to follow up a quick aside I made and talk about Captain Marvel.

The Impermanence Of Death – The Weird World Of Comics

Martin

Over the last few instalments of this column we’ve looked at a few superhero identities that have been used by more than one character (Robin and Captain America, for the new or forgetful). Legacy characters like this are popular in comics because they’re a way of keeping names, and trademarks, alive and relevant (and to learn the importance of that, just ask DC about Captain Marvel). Individual characters aren’t always as timeless as the superhero identity or idea in general, so it pays now and then to get rid of them and replace them with a more relevant version. One of the best ways to sell this change has been to kill off the original as it immediately gives the new character an empty stage on which work and feel important.

DC Takes The Fire Out Of Hellblazer

Hattie Evans

Making his debut in #37 of Swamp Thing in the late eighties, Alan Moore’s supporting character of Constantine hit our pages as a… a bit of prick. A sorcerer, a deviant and a swindler, Constantine was the devil on the good-natured swamp thing’s shoulder. The wayward scab that itches to be picked, and then gets very, VERY infected. And once given a life of his own, he didn’t change much in nearly thirty years. Swamp Thing’s publication without the Comic Code Authority’s stamp of all ages approval, and the newly rated ‘suggested for mature readers’ umbrella,  gave birth to DC’s darker stylized publication house Vertigo, and more importantly, formed a new direction for DC, with Hellblazer as the main attraction.