Uncovering Marvel’s lost ’80s cartoon pitches
Marvel has long had aspirations for Hollywood. Decades before The Avengers was a mega-blockbuster, years before George Lucas produced the ill-fated Howard the Duck movie, Stan Lee and his superiors knew the heroes at the House of Ideas could sell more than just comic books.
In the early ’80s, Marvel’s developed pitches for animated shows based on a number of its titles, and a number of new creations. And it’s no wonder, given Marvel’s past with the Fantastic Four show and the success DC Comics had with cartoons on the small screen. But the properties they prepped were, well, something else.
Courtesy of the excellent comic scrapbook site The Dork Review, we’re seeing some the long-faded Comics Features magazine (Issue 33, in this case), showing off art from pitches Marvel had prepared for various television networks. There are some stalwarts there, including a swank Iron Man, a Six Million Dollar Man-esque Ant-Man, and a Daredevil show that pairs the blind attorney with a dog named Lightning, but that’s just the beginning. In addition, you have a buxom barbarian called The Monstress (with art looking like Doug Wildey), two spinoff renditions of the Hulk titled Teen Hulk and Hulk-Hound, and then best (or worst) of all, a story about a transforming VW bug named Muffy.
Somebody get Jeph Loeb on the line, I think we have something here.