Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Morningstar DVDs on the way!



Morningstar has announced two special upcoming releases. Two 3-disc box sets featuring episodes from Marvel Super Heroes, 1967 Spider-Man, 1981 Spider-Man and 1978 Fantastic Four.

As always with Morningstar releases, these discs will not be new content but rather re-releases of old VHS copies of the Marvel Comics Video Library from the 80s.

First we have Heroes Unite! which will include three volumes of the Marvel Comics Video Library (When Monsters Meet has already been released separately):

    Thor: Enter Hercules
      Enter Hercules (from 1966 Marvel Super Heroes' Mighty Thor)
      Neptune's Nose Cone (from 1967 Spider-Man)
  • The Red Skull: The Origin of the Red Skull
      Origin of the Red Skull/The Red Skull Lives (from 1966 Marvel Super Heroes' Captain America)
      Arsenic and Aunt May (from 1981 Spider-Man)
  • The Incredible Hulk: When Monsters Meet
      When Monsters Meet (from 1982 Incredible Hulk)
      One-Eyed Idol/Fifth Avenue Phantom (from 1967 Spider-Man)

The second release is Villains Showdown and will include another three volumes of the Marvel Comics Video Library (Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus has already been released separately):

    The Vulture: The Vulture Has Landed
      The Vulture Has Landed (from 1981 Spider-Man)
      The Vulture's Prey/The Dark Terrors (from 1967 Spider-Man)
    Doctor Doom: Meet Doctor Doom
      Meet Doctor Doom (from 1978 Fantastic Four)
      Cannon of Doom (from 1981 Spider-Man)
  • Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus
      The Power of Doctor Octopus/Sub-Zero for Spidey (from 1967 Spider-Man)
      The Terrible Triumph of Doctor Octopus/Magic Malice (from 1967 Spider-Man

Both volumes will be released on November 4th

And don't forget to pick up your copy of Fantastic Four - The Impossible Man today and Spider-Woman vs the Fly on October 14!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Theme Songs



A very important part of any television show is the theme song. It sets the tone of the series with its catchy music, and in superhero shows it often tells the origins and powers of the characters through the lyrics, narration or visuals.

This section of the website will take you through each of Marvel and DC's theme songs, provide background information and give you a chance to hear the theme songs from your favourite shows.

New theme songs will be added all the time so keep checking back!

By Name

Marvel

Amazing Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Avengers: United They Stand
Black Panther
Captain America
Fantastic Four (1967)
Fantastic Four (1978)
Fantastic Four (1994) Season One
Fantastic Four (1994) Season Two
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes
Fred and Barney meet the Thing
Incredible Hulk (1966)
Incredible Hulk (1982)
Incredible Hulk (1996) Season One
Incredible Hulk (1996) Season Two
Incredible Hulk and the Amazing Spider-Man
Invincible Iron Man
Iron Man Season One
Iron Man Season Two
Iron Man: Armored Adventures
Marvel Super Heroes
Mighty Thor
Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner
Pryde of the X-Men
Silver Surfer
Spectacular Spider-Man
Spider-Man (1967)
Spider-Man (1981)
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk
Spider-Man: the Animated Series
Spider-Man: the New Animated Series
Spider-Man: Unlimited
Spider-Woman
Super Hero Squad
Wolverine and the X-Men
X-Men
X-Men: Evolution Season One
X-Men: Evolution Season Four
DC

Adventures of Batman and Robin
Adventures of Batman
Adventures of Superboy
All-New Super Friends Hour
Aquaman
Atom
The Batman Season One
The Batman Season Three
Batman Beyond
Batman: the Animated Series
Batman: the Brave and the Bold
Challenge of the Super Friends
Flash
Green Lantern
Hawkman
Justice League
Justice League of America
Justice League Unlimited
Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam
Krypto the Superdog
Legion of Super Heroes
New Adventures of Batman
New Adventures of Superman
New Batman Adventures
Plastic Man - Baby Plas Super Comedy Show
Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
Super Friends
Super Friends Hour
Super Friends: the Legendary Super Powers Show
Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians
Superman (1941)
Superman (1988)
Superman: the Animated Series
Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure
Teen Titans (1967)
Teen Titans (2003, English)
Teen Titans (2003, Japanese)
World's Greatest Super Friends


By Airdate

Marvel

1966 The Marvel Superheroes
      Captain America
      The Incredible Hulk
      The Invincible Iron Man
      The Mighty Thor
      Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner
1967 Fantastic Four
1967 Spider-Man
1978 The New Fantastic Four
1979 Fred & Barney meet the Thing
1979 Spider-Woman
1981 Spider-Man
1981 Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
1982 The Incredible Hulk and the Amazing Spider-Man
1982 The Incredible Hulk
1983 The Amazing Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk
1989 Pryde of the X-Men
1992 X-Men
1994 The Marvel Action Hour
      Iron Man Season One
      Iron Man Season Two
      Fantastic Four Season One
      Fantastic Four Season Two
1994 Spider-Man: the Animated Series
1996 The Incredible Hulk Season One
1996 The Incredible Hulk Season Two
1998 Silver Surfer
1999 Spider-Man: Unlimited
1999 Avengers: United They Stand
2000 X-Men: Evolution Season One
2000 X-Men: Evolution Season Four
2003 Spider-Man: the New Animated Series
2006 Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes
2008 Spectacular Spider-Man
2008 Wolverine and the X-Men
2009 Iron Man: Armored Adventures
2009 Super Hero Squad
2010 Black Panther
2011 Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
DC

1941 Superman
1966 The New Adventures of Superman
1966 The Adventures of Superboy
1967 The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure
      Aquaman
      Atom
      Flash
      Green Lantern
      Hawkman
      Justice League
      Teen Titans
1968 The Batman/Superman Hour
      Adventures of Batman
1973 Super Friends
1977 All-New Super Friends Hour
1977 The New Adventures of Batman
1978 Challenge of the the Super Friends
1979 World's Greatest Super Friends
1979 The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
1980 Plastic Man - Baby Plas Super Comedy Show
1980 The Super Friends Hour
1981 The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam
1984 Super Friends: the Legendary Super Powers Show
1985 The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians
1988 Superman
1992 Batman: the Animated Series
1993 The Adventures of Batman and Robin
1996 Superman: the Animated Series
1997 The New Batman/Superman Adventures
1999 Batman Beyond
2001 Justice League
2003 Teen Titans (English)
2003 Teen Titans (Japanese)
2004 Justice League Unlimited
2004 The Batman Season One
2004 The Batman Season Three
2005 Krypto the Superdog
2006 Legion of Super Heroes
2009 Batman: the Brave and the Bold

Spider-Man Theme Song (67)












The theme song for Spider-Man has become one of the most well known theme songs in history and has become the ultimate description of Spider-Man, his powers and his character. The song, written by Bob Harris with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, sets the tone for the whole series with its fun lyrics and uptempo boogie feel.

A wonderfully animated sequence by Grantray-Lawrence Animation accompanies the tune to add dynamic visuals to the dynamic song. However, the opening scene is not perfect. Look for this mistake: When Spider-Man is looking down to the jewelry store from across the street the sign reads "JEWLERY" but a second later when Spider-Man swings down to the building the sign has changed to the correct spelling of "JEWELRY"!

Spider-Man, Spider-Man,
Does whatever a spider can.
Spins a web, any size.
Catches thieves just like flies.
Look out! Here comes the Spider-Man!

Is he strong? Listen, bud.
He's got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread?
Take a look overhead.
Hey there! There goes the Spider-Man!

In the chill of night,
At the scene of the crime,
Like a streak of light,
He arrives just in time.

Spider-Man, Spider-Man,
Friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man!
Wealth and fame? He's ignored.
Action is his reward!
To him, life is a great big bang-up.
Wherever there's a hang-up,
You'll find the Spider-Man!


Cover versions:








Aerosmith recorded a special rock version for the 2002 Spider-Man movie soundtrack. Note: Eight years earlier, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry recorded and sang the theme song to the 1994 Spider-Man animated series.








Apollo 440 covered the theme song for a Spider-Man video game in 2001.








Candy Band is a kid's punk band made up of four stay-at-home moms. This track appears on their 2005 release LolliPunk.








The Distillers recorded this different take on the song for the 2004 Spider-Man 2 video game.








Fuego Indio or Indian Fire recorded a Spanish version of the song for his 2002 album Spiderman








Michael Bublé covered the theme in his big band style for the 2004 Spider-Man 2 movie soundtrack. This could be the best Spider-Man cover ever made.








Moxy Früvous gave this classic song a nice a capella for their 1993 debut album Bargainville.








The Mr. T Experience serves us a fun version of the Spider-Man theme from their Love American Style 7" single in 1991. It can also be found on CD on the 1997 rerelease of Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood.








The Ramones - From the 1995 compilation album Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits. The track can also be found on a few of the Ramones' actual albums: It was included as a bonus track on the vinyl version of ¡Adios Amigos! and two different live versions can be found on Greatest Hits Live and We're Outta Here.








Richard Cheese and his lounge band take popular rock songs and "loungafy" them. This is off their album of TV theme songs, Dick at Nite.








The String Cheese Incident often performs this instrumental cover at their live shows.








Tenacious D, in his typical Jack Black style, takes this song and makes it completely ridiculous and adds a bunch of swear words. Not a great cover, but the crowd in the recording seems to think it's hilarious.








Tim Tamashiro is a Canadian jazz singer and CBC Radio 2 personality. This version has more of a rockabilly style and can be found on the Swing-a-Billy Chartbusters compilation cover album.








Ugress, a popular Norwegian electronica group, recorded this version in 2002 for their debut album, Resound.








And of course, who could forget the best scene in The Simpsons Movie - Spider-Pig!

Other covers include The Hyannis Sound, Brian May, The Flaming Lips, The Ultimate Generation, and many more. I'll post more covers here as I get them.

Back to Spider-Man Series Information

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Get the First Episode of Armored Adventures at Wal-Mart!



In this day and age, many retail chains are packaging their new DVD releases with extra goodies to make you want to buy it from them. Leading the pack is Best Buy who usually has some pretty good extra stuff.

But if any of you are thinking of picking up the Iron Man DVD which comes out on Tuesday, you may want to consider Wal-Mart. Why? Because packaged with the DVD as a bonus disc will be the entire first episode of Iron Man: Armored Adventures which is set to debut on Nicktoons in 2009. Colour me all over that!

BTW: Best Buy is packaging the David Hasselhoff Nick Fury TV movie with Iron Man.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spotlight on the Atom from the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure (67)



"Through the magic alchemy of nature's most awesome sources of energy, Ray Palmer, atomic physicist, becomes the Atom: A power-packed mighty mite whose brilliant mind and great strength serve law and order against crime and injustice! Tiny titan, scourge of evildoers! The Atom!"

The Show: The Atom made his first animated appearance in three seven-minute episodes that aired as part of the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure in 1967. He also guest starred in the Justice League of America segments of the same show.

Each episode followed the Atom as he fights crime, usually mad scientists, and saves the world using his super shrinking powers. However, this is about as complicated as his character gets. This is pure Saturday morning cartoon writing of the 60s so don't expect to really get into the mind of the Atom.

Absent from the show is anything from the comic books, including his at-the-time-girlfriend, Jean Loring, his hometown, Ivy Town, and any mention of the mass of white dwarf star matter that gives him his power.

The Origin: The Atom's origin is not told in this series. The narrator simply states that he gets his powers from nature, which is not really true as science plays a pretty big role.


In the comics, Ray Palmer creates a lens using matter from a white dwarf star that is capable of shrinking anything to any size he desires. However, whatever is shrunk becomes unstable and explodes. It isn't until Palmer finds himself in a dire situation that he uses the lens on himself and discovers that he can shrink himself without harm.

The Powers: The Atom is able to shink to any size he wishes as well as restore himself to his original size. While small the Atom can jump as high as a normal sized person and has super strength relative to that of an ant.

Palmer is also an expert physicist which also comes in helpful in many ways.

The Costume: The design of the Atom's costume is fairly true to his comic book costume of the time with a few changes made for ease of animation. His entire torso is blue rather than the split blue and red, his ears are inside his cowl rather than exposed, and the atom symbol on his forehead is removed.

The Voice: Pat Harrington. Jr. provided the voice for the Atom and added a special touch to the character by using a high pitch while voicing the Atom while using his regular voice for Palmer.

Harrington is best known for his role as Inspector Clouseau from DePatie-Freleng's animated series, The Inspector and his role as Dwayne F. Schneider from the sitcom One Day at a Time.

The Episodes:

Back to Spotlight

The House of Doom




Season: 1
Episode Number: 3
Season Episode Number: 3
Production Number: Unknown
Airdate: Unknown

Writer: George Kashdan
Director: Hal Sutherland

Voices: Pat Harrington, Jr. (Atom), Ted Knight (Narrator).

Plot: While tracking a series of strange atmospheric disturbances, Professor Palmer and company are captured by robots who are under the control of Dr. Rokar! It is revealed that Dr. Rokar plans to destory every missile-launching site on Earth, preparing the way for an alien invasion!

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The House of Doom is the third and final chapter of the Atom's own TV series that aired as a part of the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure in 1967. This is probably my least favourite of the three mainly because nothing really happens and just as the episode gets good it ends!

The story consists of the Atom dismantling robots, dismantling a computer, dismantling the crooks of their weapons, and stowing away in a robot, a car and a pocket. I understand that this is what the Atom does best, but let's change it up a bit to keep it interesting.

And that is exactly what happens at the end of the episode: The Atom finds out that Dr. Rokar is being controlled by an alien bent on destroying the planet! But what happens? The Atom dismisses this claim and gets the police to take away his prisoners and the episode ends.

This could have been a great story but the seven minute time frame didn't allow for the story to be expanded any more. The creators of the show could have made this the first episode and had it continued in the next, but that isn't how they made shows back then.

As fun as these episodes were, I don't think I'd like to see a whole series based on the Atom unless they really change his personality. Even in the comics he is an underused character do to his blandness. Although, his wife, Jean Loring, is much more interesting if you've read the Identity Crisis storyline.

DVD Releases:
  • DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures


  • Back to Episode Guide

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    The Plant Master




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 2
    Season Episode Number: 2
    Production Number: Unknown
    Airdate: Unknown

    Writer: George Kashdan
    Director: Hal Sutherland

    Voices: Pat Harrington, Jr. (Atom), Ted Knight (Narrator), (Plant Master).

    Plot: While on his way to a remote island to help set up a research facility, Ray Palmer finds himself aboard a sabotaged airplane! The sabotage is a result of the Plant Master, who doesn't want a research facility built on a island he's using for crime!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The Plant Master marks the first and only animated appearance of the Plant Master, a villain that first appeared in the pages of Atom #1 in 1962. His character in this episode is quite true to the comics (except there is no mention of him coming from another dimension), he is an evil scientist who knows how to control plant life. (In the comics, he later turns himself into a plant creature and changes his super-villain name to Floronic Man.)

    You've got to love these simple villains. No tortured past, no convoluted plots to destroy the world, the Plant Master is just a mad scientist. This is a very common theme in Filmation science-fiction cartoons of the 60s and 70s.

    The Atom seems to have quite a bit of strength in this episode. He can jump what would be the equivalent of 50 feet in the air and propel himself into the stomach of his adversary with a force that knocks them over! Not bad for the Tiny Titan!

    DVD Releases:
  • DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures


  • Back to Episode Guide

    Invasion of the Beetle-Men




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 1
    Season Episode Number: 1
    Production Number: Unknown
    Airdate: Unknown

    Writer: George Kashdan
    Director: Hal Sutherland

    Voices: Pat Harrington, Jr. (Atom), Ted Knight (Narrator)

    Plot: Strange Beetle-Men from outer space ride a tiny meteor to Earth and set out to destroy all of the Earth's atomic pile in order to make the planet ripe for invasion. It's up to the Atom to save the planet from these buggy aliens!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): At the time of this airing, the Atom was a relatively new character having debuted in Showcase 31 in 1961. The Silver Age of comics had just begun and the Atom was one of the more popular heroes, a perfect addition to the line up of heroes in the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure.

    This episode is the first of three seven-minute episodes staring the Tiny Titan and it does a great job introducing this hero to the world. His character, costume and powers are all faithful to the comic books, and the inclusion of the alien Beetle-Men is a classic sci-fi touch that Filmation often includes in their stories.

    Like most Filmation shows, the main bulk of the story is told through narration, but the narration is somewhat necessary to convey the information due to the studios limited animation techniques. But the animation holds up, giving us a very entertaining story in a perfect amount of time.

    DVD Releases:
  • DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures


  • Back to Episode Guide

    Wednesday, September 24, 2008

    Alex Toth Plastic Man Model Sheet



    I was finishing up adding all the episode guides to this site and while doing some research for the Plastic Man guides I found this cool Plastic Man model sheet designed by Alex Toth for the Super Friends episode Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C.

    I love the disclaimer in the bottom corner: "Disregard prior model sheets which were erroneously based on the wrong comic book art."

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Hindsight, Part Three




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 3
    Season Episode Number: 3
    Production Number: 103
    Airdate: September 20, 2008

    Writer: Greg Johnson, Craig Kyle
    Director: Nick Filippi

    Voices: Steve Blum (Wolverine), Liam O'Brien (Angel), Kari Wahlgren (Emma Frost), Fred Tatasciore (Beast), Danielle Judovits (Shadowcat), Yuri Lowenthal (Iceman), Roger Craig Smith (Forge), Nolan North (Cyclops), Tom Kane (Magneto), Jim Ward (Professor X).

    Plot:Former super-villain Emma Frost comes to the X-Mansion and locates the missing Charles Xavier: He is in Genosha. Wolverine and the X-Men head to Genosha and find Xavier in the care of Magneto, Master of Magnetism!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): All I can say is that I am so glad Emma Frost is in this show! She has proven to be one of the more interesting characters ever since she joined the good side in the comic books in the mid-90s. I loved the Generation X comic book series and loved seeing her fit into that society that grew to hate her.

    Her place in Wolverine and the X-Men will be the same as we see in this episode. Logan really doesn't trust her but needs her help. I'm surprised that some of these characters like Angel and Cyclops don't already know who Emma is. But Wolverine does, and he knows all about her past group of students, the Hellions.

    It will also be interesting to see Cyclops fall for her (which I'm assuming will happen since it is quite important in the comic books right now) and how Jean will react when she eventually returns.

    Again, I have to wonder what kids who are new to the X-Men are going to think of this show. The writers are just throwing mutants at us and are often not explaining their powers. This episode introduces Forge but we don't get an explanation of his powers at all, unless this is intentional and will be explained in a later episode. I still feel like this show is made more for the old fans than trying to make new fans.

    Xavier's vision is very similar to the Days of Future Past storyline that is so popular in the comic book world. It is a great idea to base a series around this story arc because a plot about saving the future can last as many seasons as the network will allow before they accomplish their goal. It also has great potential to explore alternate versions of these character which is something I always like seeing!

    Hindsight, Part Three wraps up the three-part pilot for the series. Now they have a mission and a team and are ready to take on another 23 episodes!

    DVD Releases:
  • Wolverine and the X-Men, The Complete First Season (Canada Exclusive)
  • Wolverine and the X-Men: Heroes Return Trilogy

  • Back to Episode Guide

    Monday, September 22, 2008

    One Spider-Woman Episode is Coming to DVD




    The next release in Morningstar Entertainment's line of DVD re-releases of the old Marvel Video Library is Spider-Woman vs. the Fly which will hit Canadian retailers on October 14!

    The DVD will include one episode of the 1979 Spider-Woman series, The Spider-Woman and the Fly, along with a bonus episode from the 1967 Spider-Man series, The Spider and the Fly/The Slippery Doctor Von Schlick.

    And don't forget that Fantastic Four - The Impossible Man comes out next week!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Zeta Project DVD in 2009!




    Warner Home Video held their annual Home Theater Forum chat on Monday. And while the chat covered every television to DVD question under the sun, there were a few tidbits about superhero animation that are of great importance.

    The Batman Beyond spin-off series The Zeta Project will be released in 2009! This is great news for fans who have been asking for the show's two seasons on DVD for years! However, the chat doesn't reveal how these DVDs will be released. Will they be season sets or a single disc release containing four or five episodes? Time will tell. And after time tells me, I'll tell you!

    The Zeta Project was a short lived animated series from 2001-2002. There was even a Batman Beyond/Zeta Project crossover, the first episode of which has been released on Batman Beyond - Season Three. Now fans can see how the story ends!

    The voice of Zeta is none other than the upcoming voice of Batman for Brave and the Bold, Diedrich Bader.

    Other news from the chat: WHV plans to release all of the DC Comics animation library. This includes the rest of the Super Friends seasons, the Ruby/Spears Superman and the rest of the Filmation seasons.

    WHV also hinted at a complete series collection for Superman: the Animated Series, a Batman: Mask of the Phantasm special edition and Batman: the Animated Series on Blu-ray.

    And here is some other news that is not Marvel or DC related but that I am super excited about: Powerpuff Girls - the Complete Series and remastered classic MGM theatrical shorts collections! I think I just pooed a little in my pants.