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The themes of "The Marvel Super Heroes"
May 17, 2012 6:04 PM   Subscribe

When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield. Doc Bruce Banner, pelted by gamma rays, turns into The Hulk; ain't he unglamorous? Tony Stark makes you feel; he's a cool exec with a heart of steel. Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, where the booming heavens roar, you'll behold in breathless wonder the god of Thunder, mighty Thor. Stronger than a whale, he can swim anywhere; he can breathe underwater and go flying through the air.

Produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation, headed by Grant Simmons, Ray Patterson and Robert Lawrence, [The Marvel Super Heroes] 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.

This mid-60s were a golden age for Marvel cartoon themes - including The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man - the latter the subject of this excellent post.

For further research: Mike's Classic Cartoon Themes. (previously)
posted by Trurl (61 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gamma rays/unglamorous will always be my favorite rhyme.
posted by painquale at 6:07 PM on May 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


When I saw Thor, and one of the characters said to Thor "Where are you from?" I started singing "Cross the rainbow bridge of Asgaaaaaard..." and my friend had to kick me in the shin. I hadn't even realized I'd done it.

(And yes, painquale - Gamma rays/unglamorous makes me laugh with "Seriously, That's so awesome" every time.)
posted by tzikeh at 6:10 PM on May 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Marvel characters are way cooler than their DC counterparts.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:15 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The followup 'of a bull/lovable' rhyme isn't too shabby either.
posted by painquale at 6:18 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


These didn't air on American TV while I was growing up -- although plenty of stuff from that era did -- and I had never heard of it before a trip to Montreal when I was 19. They were showing marathon sessions of these cartoons at like 3 AM. I've had the Hulk theme stuck in my head for almost ten years now.
posted by griphus at 6:19 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


♪ Doc-tor Ban-ner... ♪
posted by griphus at 6:20 PM on May 17, 2012


♪ Doc-tor Ban-ner... ♪

I've heard it my way for 35 years. It's too late to change now.
posted by Trurl at 6:25 PM on May 17, 2012


headed by Grant Simmons, Ray Patterson and Robert Lawrence

I read that as "by Gene Simmons and Robert Pattinson" and I am not sure I will ever recover from that brief shining moment of glee.
posted by elizardbits at 6:26 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


When Captain America HAWKEYE throws his mighty shield ARROW
posted by jason_steakums at 6:29 PM on May 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


For some reason, I always thought that Spider-Man song was the theme to the live-action series. It was not.
posted by crossoverman at 6:29 PM on May 17, 2012


♪ Doc-tor Ban-ner... ♪

I've heard it my way for 35 years. It's too late to change now.


Wait, I also thought it was 'Doc Bruce Banner'. Is it not? It sounds that way to me. (But unlike Trurl, I hear 'belted by gamma rays', not 'pelted'.)
posted by painquale at 6:32 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's "Doctor Banner."
posted by tzikeh at 6:33 PM on May 17, 2012


I cannot see Stan Lee in any media without immediately thinking of the 80s Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and the Hulk Cartoon, where I could bet my greenest gamma-rays on something.

The 80s Spider-Man theme was pretty rockin. Got a whole CHiPs vibe goin on.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:34 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Hey, here's the audio masters for the Hulk theme."
"Hey, wanna fuck with everyone in the future?"
"Sure."
"Okay, hand me that magnet."

♪ Dofhght Banner hghfed by gamma rays... ♪
posted by griphus at 6:35 PM on May 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's "Doctor Banner."

I'm gonna need some independent evidence to believe this. It sounds just like 'Doc Bruce Banner'!
posted by painquale at 6:40 PM on May 17, 2012


'60s Spider-Man makes me long for IMG tags.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:40 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dogfight Banner is an alternate universe spitfire pilot who gains his power via helpful gamma rayfish
posted by The Whelk at 6:41 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmmm... you know what? I take it back. I think it is "Doc Bruce Banner" after all.
posted by tzikeh at 6:45 PM on May 17, 2012


GOOGLEFIGHT!!!

I always thought it was Bruce and belted.
posted by The Deej at 6:46 PM on May 17, 2012


How strong was surfer culture in the 60s and 70s that we had aquaman and namor? Just amazing.
posted by boo_radley at 6:49 PM on May 17, 2012


And one who was silver.
posted by The Whelk at 6:55 PM on May 17, 2012


Also Namor dates from the 30s
posted by The Whelk at 6:57 PM on May 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


And one who was silver.

Dude Silver Samurai didn't debut until 1974. Geez
posted by griphus at 7:07 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a word for stuff you find so offensively corny that it makes you cringe, that it makes a real shiver go down your spine, that it makes you sorry you ever heard it and you hope no one else ever hears it because they might develop a hatred of Marvel - or comics - or even of humankind, intense enough to burn the whole world away??? These loathsome themes are proof of the devil. Or maybe of Dread Cthulhu, since he feeds on sanity.
posted by rahnefan at 7:08 PM on May 17, 2012


Howard the Duck?
.... no one gives a fuck.
posted by benzenedream at 7:12 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Trurl affirms both "Doc Bruce" and "pelted".

I knew I married her for a reason.
posted by Trurl at 7:12 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


How strong was surfer culture in the 60s and 70s that we had aquaman and namor? Just amazing.
posted by boo_radley



I guess Marine Boy doesn't count.
posted by 445supermag at 7:13 PM on May 17, 2012


Double, kinda.
posted by the_bone at 7:15 PM on May 17, 2012


Double, kinda.

That post occurred in the Multiverse, so it doesn't count.
posted by Trurl at 7:19 PM on May 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's from the planet with the man eating owls.
posted by The Whelk at 7:22 PM on May 17, 2012


I've followed exactly zero links in this post, but AWESOME POST!
posted by eriko at 7:34 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Howard the Duck?
.... no one gives a fuck.


Waugh! 1970s Howard The Duck would have made the greatest cartoon ever! With villains like Spanker and Doctor Bong there's just no way it could go wrong.
posted by Kevin Street at 7:40 PM on May 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Doc BRUCE Banner. If it sounds like anything else now, it's because George Lucas changed it.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 7:49 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a word for stuff you find so offensively corny that it makes you cringe, that it makes a real shiver go down your spine, that it makes you sorry you ever heard it and you hope no one else ever hears it

In Icelandic, the word for this particular feeling is "kjánahröll"; literally "fool shivers". Usually used in the context of being embarrassed for someone. Might also apply to Marvel superhero themes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:54 PM on May 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


The Whelk: "Also Namor dates from the 30s"

But he's like, 80. Who in her right mind would do that?
posted by boo_radley at 8:16 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Salt water is a great preservative.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:23 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Thrills and Chills of Jack Kirby's Next Issue Teasers in 'Captain America'
posted by Artw at 8:27 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Marvel characters are way cooler than their DC counterparts.

Yeah, but Batman and Robin inspired an entire album by Sun Ra and The Blues Project!
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:48 PM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are about 12 sounds in the FF theme that are in every Hanna-Barbara adventure/super hero cartoon from that era.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:58 PM on May 17, 2012


Doo-wop of Infinite Earths!
posted by vrakatar at 9:09 PM on May 17, 2012


Edgar Wright is currently in pre-production on "Ant-Man", so Marvel are finally getting around to the one founding Avenger who was left out of the Avengers movie.
posted by w0mbat at 9:15 PM on May 17, 2012


Edgar Wright is currently in pre-production on "Ant-Man", so Marvel are finally getting around to the one founding Avenger who was left out of the Avengers movie.

I think you mean two founding Avengers not in the movie.
posted by Rangeboy at 9:22 PM on May 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I thought I heard Ralph Bakshi was involved with these. I think I remember him talking about it on the Wizards DVD commentary track.

Also, in the Hulk one, I'm pretty sure that second line goes:

Doc Bruce Banner
Belted by gamma rays
Turns into the Hulk
"Ain't he unglamoray"

Which, don't ask me what it means, but that's what I heard as a kid (puzzled the heck out of me) and I still hear it that way now on yer yew tewb.
posted by Trochanter at 10:45 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


As long as we're on the subject of Marvel animation, I'd like to take this opportunity to post this, my favorite joke from Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Go Iceman!
posted by The Tensor at 10:51 PM on May 17, 2012


There are about 12 sounds in the FF theme that are in every Hanna-Barbara adventure/super hero cartoon from that era.

Yeah, I love how Susan Storm and Space Ghost both make the same sound when they turn invisible.

And wow. I'd forgotten how much I adored Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends as a kid, but judging from the warm glow I'm getting from hearing some of those sound effects and cheesy incidental music ("do do do de do, da da da do da, di di di da dee"), it must've been a whole lot.
posted by straight at 11:17 PM on May 17, 2012


My cousin and I would watch these on WPIX in NYC when we were kids. To this day, nearly 30 years later we make family functions weird by challenging each other to a sing off of these songs. Let me tell ya, that Sub-Mariner one is tougher than you think.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:50 PM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


God, I love these songs so much.
I wish I had more to contribute other than the haze of cel-coloured memories, but these:
Did Stan Lee write the lyrics to the Spider-Man theme?

That Time Captain America Fought Christopher Lee (the whole of Captain America 2: Death Too Soon).

And, to finish: The Ramones. Because every threat can be improved by The Ramones.
posted by Mezentian at 12:53 AM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


...I think I'm KingEdRa. Or he's my clone.

Except my cousins were in California, but I watched them on WPIX...
posted by mephron at 1:05 AM on May 18, 2012


Totally "Doc Bruce Banner".

And over the years an inside joke among friends has forever shifted Captain America's theme song in my head to:

When Mr. Potato Head throws his mighty peel, all those who chose to oppose his peel must yield!
posted by ursus_comiter at 2:24 AM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also Namor dates from the 30s

And Aquaman from the forties.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:15 AM on May 18, 2012


And Aquaman didn't get a name (Arthur Curry) until the '60s.

Now that's what I call teasing a mystery.
(Or a complete lack of character).
posted by Mezentian at 3:20 AM on May 18, 2012


"Gamma rays/unglamorous will always be my favorite rhyme."

I've never heard these themes, and it it didn't occur to me that was even supposed to be a rhyme when I read the original post.

I never thought I's hear anything that beat the legendary "listen bud / radioactive blood" pairing in Spidey's cartoon theme, but this wins hands-down.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:08 AM on May 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


The poetic translation of the Ramayana that I started last night (thanks to this thread) scans uncomfortably close to some of these theme songs.
posted by jquinby at 5:07 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought I heard Ralph Bakshi was involved with these.

Fairly certain that was only Spider-Man.
posted by yerfatma at 5:09 AM on May 18, 2012


I am sad to say these cartoons were my first introduction to all of these comic characters. My parents forbade any comics but Archie so I was pretty naive about the whole thing. And I still can't forget any of the theme songs, of course.
posted by tommasz at 5:33 AM on May 18, 2012


And Aquaman from the forties.

You kids get out of my octopus's garden.
posted by Aquaman at 7:18 AM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


...I think I'm KingEdRa. Or he's my clone.

Never speak of this again, for both our sakes. The Clone Saga was teh suck and drove people into a murderous rage.

For the record, I'm the original, he's The Scarlet KingEdRa.
posted by KingEdRa at 7:53 AM on May 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


For some reason, I always thought that Spider-Man song was the theme to the live-action series. It was not.

"Dad? What's the difference between '60s music and '70s music?"
posted by straight at 9:43 AM on May 18, 2012


Softness in his eyes; Iron in his thighs
posted by Trochanter at 9:49 AM on May 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Quite a departure from the loneliness of the Bixbian Banner end theme, which I will now listen to all day.
posted by obloquy at 11:26 AM on May 18, 2012


I'm pretty sure this is the wrong place to note that there is already a porn parody of The Avengers.
posted by chavenet at 3:31 PM on May 18, 2012


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