The ’90s was surely a good time for cartoons based on comics. Every character in all the series was getting their own animated show. Outlier comics that no one had expected to get their shows got shows, and they were slated into blocks of programming as more titles. CBR tracked down 15 cartoons that you may not have known were based on comics and even if you did, you forgot about them.
15. SILVER SURFER
The Silver Surfer series was an innovative series and combined cel and computer animation for its characters. “The Galactus Trilogy” inspired the events of the first few episodes but the Fantastic Four are nowhere. In this series, Thanos restored the memories of “Norrin Radd” to Silver Surfer, and he protects Earth from Galactus’s hunger. A cool version of Captain Planet, the Silver Surfer, tackled ranges of political and social issues.
14. SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED
While Batman: The Animated Series enjoys love, less is given to Spiderman into Saturday morning cartoons. It was planned to cover the first 26 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, and the deal was there between Sony and Marvel. They could not use Spider-Man’s traditional suit.
The series takes place on Counter-Earth on the other side of the sun, with Spidey trying to keep Venom and Carnage from infiltrating the planet. A comic was then published by Marvel based on the series.
13. THE MASK: THE ANIMATED SERIES
After the success of Jim Carrey’s 1994 film, The Mask hit small screens in glorious animation form.
Although occurring after the movie, taking over for Cameron Diaz’s Tiny Carlyle as the major female lead was reporter Peggy Brandt, and the villains who passed away in the movie are gone. The series lasted three seasons.
12. WILD C.A.T.S
A Thundercats rip-off, the animated series focused on the war between two alien races, the Kherubim, and the Daemonites.
Helspont remained the villain and Jacob Marlowe, aka the Kherubim Lord Emp, was the founder of Wild C.A.T.S. but was human. Like many series based on comics at the time, it lasted one season.
Not all “Ultras” were evil these Ultras became a team of superheroes that kept the world safe from other Ultras. Their enemies were Rune, Lord Pumpkin, and Sludge, among other supervillain threats.
The series was based on characters from Malibu Comics’ Ultraverse and lasted one season, with 13 episodes airing in ‘95.
10. SAVAGE DRAGON
The ’ 80s gave us Beauty and the Beast on Linda Hamilton getting police help from Ron Perlman. Will Smith will do it on Netflix’s Bright. Dragon had amnesia on the animated series.
This had a decent cast of well-crafted characters, snappy dialogue, and plots. The animation did not suck, either.
9. BUCKY O’HARE AND THE TOAD WARS
In a parallel universe, a war raged between the United Animals Federation and Toad Empire, which was led by KOMPLEX.
Based on a comic from the ’70s, the cartoon was faithful in its representation of Bucky O’Hare, a green hare who had fought for the UAF and called the starship “The Righteous Indignation.” The exception was Willy DuWitt, a human from San Francisco who enters the universe via a portal in the ship.
8. SWAMP THING
The mysterious foe in a Scooby Doo cartoon got its own show. Anton Arcane is a mad scientist and a magician who is obsessed with gaining immortality. The show did not last more than one season and had only a few episodes.
7. XENOZOIC TALES (CADILLACS AND DINOSAURS)
This was based on a late ’80s comic called Xenozoic Tales, which Marvel took publishing in the ’90s.
Set in a post-apocalyptic Earth where mankind had to build underground cities to escape pollution and natural disasters, they emerge 600 years later to find dinosaurs once again rule.
6. TODD MCFARLANE’S SPAWN
Spawn cartoon was darker and grittier than others based on comic books. This was because it was on HBO and could get away with anything. Most of the time, Spawn chilled in dark alleys, spouting soliloquies to himself and murdering anyone who would interrupt him.
The series did a good job of capturing the depression of a man tricked into walking the Earth as a decaying corpse.
5. THE TICK
The Tick crashes a superhero convention at National Super Institute so he can be assigned the “protectorship” of The City. It is a series of satirical ripping off of famous superheroes.; Die Fledermaus who is an egomaniacal Batman parody, a mentally handicapped Aquaman named Sewer Urchin and American Maid, a superheroine that parodies Wonder Woman.
4. THE MAXX
The Maxx was a dark cartoon, dealing with two planes of existence. In the real world, Maxx is homeless who lives in a box and could give Spawn’s monologue a run for the money. He watches over social worker friend Julie who occasionally bails him out of jail. The show diverged with its main storyline, but the themes remained the same.
3. THE ADVENTURES OF SAM & MAX: FREELANCE POLICE
The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police is based on a comic book. It followed Sam and Max as they solved cases given to them by a mysterious Commissioner.
Despite winning Gemini Award for “Best Animated Series” in 1998, the series was canceled in the same year.
This was not a kind-hearted show or anything like what you expect from a family of ducks. This is an adult show, and it was animated to look like the Rugrats. Everyone hated Eric, and he hated everyone from his sister in law who is a fitness buff, to his mother-in-law.
1. BATMAN BEYOND
Batman is instructed and mentored by Bruce Wayne, voiced by the great Kevin Conroy. He passes on the cowl to Terry McGinnis when he can no longer fight in his Bat-suit.
The series was known for the art style, tackling of themes and deep emotions on a scale that no animated version of Batman had, and it was appealing to children.