Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr While many people remember the DC Animated Universe, some may not realize that Marvel had an animated universe of its own. The Marvel Animated Universe consisted of the following shows X-MEN, IRON MAN, FANTASTIC FOUR, SPIDER-MAN (1994), THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1996), SILVER SURFER, SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED, and THE AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND. Unlike their DC Counterpart, these shows were not created by one person or one group solely. Different companies created each show with a different goal in mind. Since different companies created the shows, not everything fits together so smoothly. For example, SILVER SURFER never addresses the character’s time on FANTASTIC FOUR and what made him change his mind about being Galactus’s herald. Another example is Venom’s history throughout SPIDER-MAN and SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED. In SPIDER-MAN, Venom does not immediately attach to Spider-Man once he gets on John Jameson’s ship. Spider-Man falls into the river below and is then attached to it. In SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED, the symbiote attaches to Spider-Man immediately. It is seen that S.H.I.E.L.D. takes Venom away in SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED. SPIDER-MAN only showed Eddie Brock being separated from the symbiote and then put in a regular jail cell. He only gets out through the help of Baron Mordo who also is responsible for the creation of Carnage. READ: Want to learn more about SPIDER-MAN THE ANIMATED SERIES? Despite the differences between shows, there are still many similarities that could possibly bind the universe together such as THE INCREDIBLE HULK crossing over with IRON MAN, Juggernaut appearing on FANTASTIC FOUR after appearing on X-MEN’s previous episode before, and Robert Hays reprising his role as Iron Man in SPIDER-MAN. Marvel Productions These shows were not Marvel’s first attempt at making a connected universe through animation. That honor belongs to Marvel Productions LTD., a television and motion picture studio division of Marvel Comics. They created a universe with SPIDER-MAN (1981), SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS, and THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1982). The two Spider-Man shows did not connect well with THE INCREDIBLE HULK, but connected well with each other. The only major connection was when Doctor Octopus, voiced by the same actor from SPIDER-MAN (1981), fought the Hulk. The two Spider-Man shows used similar animation and actually used clips from the first Spider-Man series and put it in SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS. The Ultimates Another attempt was made through animated movies ULTIMATE AVENGERS, ULTIMATE AVENGERS II, and NEXT AVENGERS: HEROES OF TOMORROW. ULTIMATE AVENGERS was an adaptation of Mark Millar’s The Ultimates. The Ultimates was an alternate version of the Avengers set in a more modern setting. The other two movies continue the story set in the first one. The movies had developed and interesting characters. The stories were engaging and the animation was amazing. These movies honored the source material and truly made these characters three-dimensional. Christopher Yost Writer Christopher Yost created his own animated universe through multiple series as well. His was arguably one of the best-animated universes that Marvel had created. It comprised of WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN, HULK VS WOLVERINE, HULK vs THOR, THOR: TALES OF ASGARD, and THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES. READ: Want to know more about the future of SPIDER-MAN films? These shows were loved by critics and fans alike. They told great stories with interesting characters and good character development. While HULK VS WOLVERINE, HULK VS THOR, and THOR: TALES OF ASGARD were movies, they still had connections to the tv shows. For instance, footage from HULK VS. WOLVERINE was shown in a WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN episode where Wolverine had to confront the Hulk again on behalf of S.H.E.I.L.D. AVENGERS: EARTH MIGHTIEST HEROES AVENGERS: EARTH MIGHTIEST HEROES was the greatest Avengers cartoon ever made. The only other Avengers show before this was AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND. AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND focused more on the West Coast Avengers and their adventures. While it did take inspiration from the comics, they focused on more obscure heroes that no one cared about. Also, they gave everyone futuristic armor that made them look weirder than normal. THE AVENGERS: EARTH MIGHTIEST HEROES showed the original team including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk. The show gave audiences looks at different alien races and great storylines taken from the comics. They brought on obscure heroes and villains and made them look amazing. The New Marvel Animated Universe Marvel Animation created their own universe with ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, HULK AND THE AGENTS OF S.M.A.S.H., and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. These shows are spin out of each other. They are made to look similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe counterparts. Instead of good story and good character development, they use a lot of slapstick, cheap jokes, and try too hard to be similar to the movies. Thanos became the villain for AVENGERS ASSEMBLE after being teased at the end of THE AVENGERS. That would have been fine, but they did not take the time to develop him or give him a reason for wanting to kill the Avengers. Thanos was slapped around by the Avengers once the Infinity Gauntlet was taken away from him. READ: SO MUCH SPIDEY, We Love Spidey Here At CV And Here Is Why! At the end of the second season, Ultron came out of nowhere with no introduction and immediately challenged the Avengers. This was at the time that AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON was coming out so they had to put Ultron in. Ultron had not be seen prior to that moment but The Avengers seemed to already know who Ultron was. This new Marvel Animated Universe does not put in the time to develop their characters. Instead, they try to appeal to kids that are fans of the movies and use that to get those kids to watch the shows. These shows appeal to little kids, but they don’t have any deep or complex stories that can appeal to older demographics as well. All these shows try to go for a comedic tone and it will only hurt them in the long run. Solution This summer, a new animated SPIDER-MAN series will air and a new season of AVENGERS ASSEMBLE has already premiered. Many fans are asking for THE AVENGERS: EARTH MIGHTIEST HEROES or THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN to come back. Though, there is a good chance that the new shows are going to be similar to ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN or AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. If Marvel really wants to change their animation, then they need to honor the source material. They should stop trying to make every cartoon comedic. If they can let the writers actually decide the direction the storyline will go instead of the movies, then these shows will be loved better than they already are.