Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Look Back at 2009

2009 has come and gone, but what a great year it was for fans of superhero animation! New shows, great movies, and lots of DVDs! Let's take a look back at the past year.

  • January 11: Spectacular Spider-Man Season Two airs in Canada on Teletoon. To the dismay of all Americans, it won't air on Disney XD until March. The second season proves to be just as good as the first, with new villains, new allies, and higher stakes!

    Looking ahead: It is unclear if there will be a third season. No one has confirmed nor denied the possibility, but since Sony has relinquished the Spider-Man TV rights, it may be more likely that a new Spidey series is on the horizon.

  • January 23: The new year finally brings Wolverine and the X-Men to America after being aired in international markets for months. But that didn't stop the show from being a huge success for Nicktoons!

    The first 26-episode season will run over the course of twelve months with a complex storyline, solid animation and stellar voice acting that will leave fans eager for more!

    Looking ahead: A second season is currently in production and will hopefully begin airing in 2010.

  • January 27: Marvel Animation and Lionsgate Films releases their sixth animated feature, Hulk vs, which is actually two films in one, Hulk vs. Wolverine and Hulk vs. Thor. The film stars Fred Tatasciore as the Hulk, a role that he has played in all of the Hulk's Marvel Animated Features appearances.

    Many praise this film as being the best of the Marvel Animated Features to date, favouring the Hulk vs. Wolverine segment due to its use of PG-13 rating and animation by Japan's Madhouse.

    Looking ahead: Hulk takes centre stage in the next Marvel Animation Feature, Planet Hulk which will hit retail outlets on February 2nd. The eighth film, Thor: Tales of Asgard is finished, but Lionsgate is planning on holding off the release to coincide with the Thor movie in 2011.

  • January 27: The Super Friends Hour, Volume Two is the first of two Super Friends DVD releases this year. The second, Super Friends: The Lost Episodes, hits stores in August and is a hit with Super Friends fans who have not seen these rare episodes!

    Looking ahead: The first volume of the first season of Super Friends is coming on January 5! This is the season that featured teens Wendy and Marvin, and their pet Wonder Dog.

  • March 3: Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation release Wonder Woman on DVD and Blu-ray and is a big hit! The story is adapted from the classic George Perez storyline Gods and Monsters and stars Keri Russel as the titular character and Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor.

    Fans have been waiting for a Wonder Woman movie for years, and while this one isn't the live action Joss Wheadon movie that many were eagerly awaiting, this animated version proved to be a good alternative.

    Looking ahead: Look for the Wonder Woman soundtrack to be available on CD and iTunes in early 2010.

  • April 2: The 2-disc Fleischer Superman DVD set is the first of two important Superman DVD releases this year. These fully remastered cartoons from the 40s look better than any of the discount DVDs you can find in the dollar bins.

    The second Superman DVD release is the little known Ruby-Spears series from 1988 which only lasted one season and was never seen again. The cartoon is the first to adapt John Byrne's version of the Man of Steel. The DVD set is released in November.

    Looking ahead: There are only a small handful of Superman cartoons that have not yet been released on DVD. WHV continues to release Super Friends, but fans would really like to see an announcement about the second and third seasons of The New Adventures of Superman as well as a complete series release of Legion of Super Heroes. Maybe 2010 will bring many surprises!

  • April 12: Iron Man: Armored Adventures makes its Canadian debut on Teletoon. The show will come to Nicktoons two weeks later.

    Many were very apprehensive about a show about a teenage Tony Stark and the style of computer animation, but the show proves to be well written and unique, cutting out a special place in Iron Man history.

    Looking ahead: Iron Man: Armored Adventures has been renewed for a second season which is expected to start airing in 2010.

  • April 28: Fans of the 90s X-Men cartoon rejoice as two volumes of episodes are released on DVD! No thrills or bonuses, but fans don't care because at least they have the episodes! Volume three and four are released in September, collecting some of the best storylines, including The Dark Phoenix Saga and Beyond Good and Evil.

    Looking ahead: The fifth and final volume is coming out in March. Sales have been pretty good for these DVDs, so hopefully Buena Vista will be releasing some more of the 90s Marvel cartoons in 2010!

  • July 28: Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation releases Green Lantern: First Flight to DVD and Blu-ray. This is the first time that Green Lantern gets top billing in animation and it doesn't disappoint!

    The story, starring Christopher Meloni as Hal Jordan, tells the tale of Jordan's early years in the Lantern Corps as well as Sinestro's fall from grace. The film is well received and earns an Annie Award nomination.

  • July 28: Spectacular Spider-Man Season One is released on DVD, collecting all 13 episodes from the shows premiere season.

  • August 31: In a sudden and surprising move, the Walt Disney Company buys Marvel Comics. What does this mean for superhero animation? Only time will tell.

  • September 13/14: One of the most unique shows of the year, The Super Hero Squad Show is released in the US and Canada on Cartoon Network and Teletoon respectively. Based on the popular toyline, this show features miniature versions of every Marvel character ranging from the most popular (Wolverine, Iron Man) to the most obscure (Egghead, Melter).

    The target audience is definitely younger than most superhero shows, which has turned off many, but there is no denying that it has become a hit show for Cartoon Network.

    Looking ahead: The remainder of the first season will air early in 2010 and a second season is looking very likely!

  • September 15: The Complete Wolverine and the X-Men, Season One is released in Canada only. It may be a little while before the US gets their box set, but it should happen in 2010.

  • September 29: Warner Premiere and Warner Bros. Animation release their third feature length film this year! Superman/Batman: Public Enemies is based off the Jeff Loeb/Ed McGuinness storyarc of the same name and is an action packed hit!

    This film is a reunion of three veteran DCU voice actors: Tim Daily as Superman, Kevin Conroy as Batman, and Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor.

    Looking ahead: The next in the line of DC Universe Original Animation Movies is Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths which will be available in February.

  • October 20: There have been a number of rare superhero shows released on DVD this year, and the Plastic Man Complete Series DVD box set is no exception! The classic Ruby-Spears series is often forgotten, but this DVD should help spread the word about the show.

    Looking ahead: Although it is called a complete collection, this DVD is far from complete. The original Plastic Man Comedy-Adventure Hour also aired segments featuring Plastic Man's family and his son Baby Plas. Fans of the show are hoping that there will be a separate release for these shorts, but there has been no official word yet.

  • Oct 27: One of the many highlights of the first season of Batman: The Brave and the Bold has got to be the musical Mayhem of the Music Meister episode starring Neil Patrick Harris. The show was a hit at the San Diego Comic Con in the summer, creating major buzz for when the episode would actually air in the fall.

    Warner Bros. releases a companion soundtrack featuring the excellent musical numbers from the episode.

    Looking ahead: Neil Patrick Harris has hinted that their could be a possible sequel episode in the show's second season, but there has been no official announcement yet.

  • November 10/24: Justice League: the Complete Series and Superman: the Complete Series arrive in time for Christmas shopping! Although most fans have already bought this show in multiple DVD volumes, it is a real treat for those who missed the boat the first time around.

  • November 20: Batman: The Brave and the Bold enters its second season. The first was a big hit and the producers of the show have promised even more guest stars, bigger episodes, and the return of fan favourites! The season will continue to air throughout 2010.

    Firestorm, the Metal Men, the Marvel Family, Starro, Doom Patrol, the Spectre, Aqualad,and many Flashes are all going to show up this season! You won't want to miss it!

  • 2009 has been a great year for superhero animation, but 2010 looks to be just as good! Along with what I wrote above, Black Panther will air this year, and we should get some more information about Marvel Anime and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! See you all in the new year!


    eli said...

    Iron Man has been renewed?

    Hero Supreme said...

    really well done!