Do you remember some of the great cartoons that led the Saturday morning lineup in the 1990s? Some of the best as it turns out were taken from our favorite comic books. Keep in mind this is well before the age of the MCU and DCEU. Looking back you can see there are definitely some origins going on here. We’ve found five of the most memorable shows that became big hits with kids and teens during that golden era for cartoons.
“Ultraforce” was a fantastic show that was based on the Malibu Comics group of heroes including Prime Hardcase, Protoype and Topaz. The DIC production company brought these superheroes to us but unfortunately, the ratings didn’t go as high as expected and it only lasted for one season. After the series ended, a whole line of toys was released and they were a big hit with the public. One of the reasons for the show’s lack of success was that Malibu Comics was not as well known as Marvel at the time and it just couldn’t compete.
2. “Swamp Thing”
“Swamp Thing” is another cartoon that hit the airwaves in the 1990s. It was based off of the popular comic books which produced a lot more editions than the five that were produced for the show. Although the series was cut short, it still continued to be broadcast for years after the series ended in the first season. A series of toys were produced that were big sellers, so it wasn’t a total bust. The series didn’t follow the comics precisely, but it came close by following the story of Dr. Alec Holland’s work with the transformation of the Swamp Thing and the fight that he had with Anton Arcane.
3. “Savage Dragon”
“Savage Dragon” was the animated series that was based upon the popular comic book series. It was actually a great adaptation from the original series that stuck to the original story told in the comics. This cartoon featured the voice of Mark Hamill of “Star Wars” fame. It was the story of a Dragon found in Chicago who had lost his memory. He joined forces with the Police department and because a well loved crime fighter that took on the dreadful Overlord. The show lasted two seasons.
4. “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes”
This comic based cartoon was first released in the 1970s, but didn’t catch on that will. It was resurrected in the 1990s with a brand new theme song that caught everyone’s attention. It told the story of The Great Tomato War and what happens in the world afterwards. Tara, a former tomato girl was transformed into a human to try to save the world from the evil Dr. Gangreen. The show was a co-production effort between Fox and Marvel and lasted for two seasons.
This cartoon had one of the most amazing animation styles and this was a large part of its success. It combined CGI with cel animation and was released in 1998. There was nothing wrong with the ratings and kids as well as some adults were really enjoying the new show. It only lasted for one season and the reason for its abrupt ending was because of a dispute between Saban and Marvel over the direction that the show should take. It was a shame that it had to end over a disagreement because it had the potential for greatness. We saw the Fantastic Four and other heroes coming to his aid as well as villains including Galactus and Thanos.