I woke up stupidly early this morning, and as I sat on the couch waiting for the kettle to boil ignoring my cats I realized that when I was a kid I would often be up at this time willingly for one reason and one reason only: cartoons. I’ve always felt that superhero cartoons were somewhat looked down upon when I was younger, and while that may not be the case now, that still means there’s a wealth of animate superhero adventures out there that may not have the same cult following as Batman: The Animated Series.
And yes, I’ll use cartoons and animated series interchangeably.
A few things before we start; firstly, these animated series may not be strictly underrated, but rather they may not be fore front on your mind any more. Secondly, I’ve got eclectic taste so these may not be for everybody so be prepared for some potentially foolish claims. Thirdly, these cartoons are all upwards of five or more years old. Lastly, this isn’t a complete, or inclusive, list and it is completely subjective.
X-Men: The Animated Series
Debuting in the early 90’s, this show has one of the greatest opening theme tunes of any cartoon before or since. Perhaps not solely responsible for my love of comics, and despite it being slightly over shadowed by some more modern cartoons, it remains to this day one of my most fondly remembered cartoon versions of an X-Men comic.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Spider-Man, Spider-Man… the theme tune here was my ring tone for years. What’s more impressive is that I had to actually compose it using the Nokia phone’s number pad. That this was also a brilliantly enjoyable TV show that provided numerous hours of enjoyment is a happy after thought.
Okay, so nothing will ever compare the Batman: The Animated Series, but this short lived cartoon was pretty enjoyable. A young Batman finding his way in Gotham City gave this show a very Batman Begins like feel without the gritty realism; it was a fun look into the Caped Crusader’s early years.
Defenders Of The Earth
The first time I was ever exposed to the Phantom was with this cartoon (get your mind out of the gutter), and he’s been one of my favourites ever since. This may not hold up as well now as some of the others from that era, but I’ll always remember it fondly.
There we have it – a mere handful of underrated animated comic book adaptations that I was thinking of over my morning cup of tea. There are undoutedly more cartoons influenced by comics that are worth watching, so there’s a good chance there will be a second (or third) part to this list eventually when I’m not reminiscing over bygone years.
In the mean time, Underrated will return to highlight more comic book related stuff that either gets ignored despite it’s high quality, or maybe isn’t quite as bad as we tend to think it is.
Until next time!