The Marvel Super Heroes

The Marvel Super Heroes

Print advertisement for the show
Starring Peg Dixon
Paul Soles
Sandy Becker
John Vernon
Jack Creley
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 65
Running time Half-hour series
Production company(s) Grantray-Lawrence Animation
Marvel Comics Group

Krantz Films (1966 - 1982)

Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Original network first-run syndication
Original release September 1 – December 1, 1966

The Marvel Super Heroes[1] is an American / Canadian animated television series starring five comic-book superheroes from Marvel Comics. The first TV series based on Marvel characters, it debuted in syndication on U.S. television in 1966.

Produced by Grantray-Lawrence Animation, headed by Grant Simmons, Ray Patterson and Robert Lawrence,[2] it 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.

The segments were: "Captain America", "The Incredible Hulk", "Iron Man", "The Mighty Thor", and "The Sub-Mariner".


Sixty-five half-hour episodes of three seven-minute chapters were produced, for a total of 195 segments that ran initially in broadcast syndication from September 1, 1966 to December 1, 1966.[3][4]

The series, produced in color, had extremely limited animation produced by xerography, consisting of photocopied images taken directly from the comics and manipulated to minimize the need for animation production. The cartoons were presented as a series of static comic-strip panel images; generally the only movement involved the lips, when a character spoke, the occasional arm or leg, or a fully animated black silhouette. The series used the original stories largely in their entirety, showcasing Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck art, among others, from the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books.

Stan Lee, Marvel's editor and art director at the time, said in 2004 that he believed publisher Martin Goodman negotiated the deal with Grantray-Lawrence and that Lawrence chose the characters to be used. Lawrence rented Lee and his wife a penthouse apartment at 30 East 60th Street, near Madison Avenue, for Lee's use while he worked on the series. (Lee lived in Hewlett Harbor, New York, on Long Island, at the time.) Lee recalled, "I really don't remember any reaction from the Marvel artists involved. I wish I could claim to have written the [theme song] lyrics, because I think they're brilliant, but alas, I didn't".[5] In the meantime, Grantray-Lawrence subcontracted production of The Mighty Thor segments to Paramount Cartoon Studios (the animation division of Paramount Pictures, formerly known as Famous Studios), headed at that time by Fleischer Studios veteran Shamus Culhane.

Marvel announced the series in the "Marvel Bullpen Bulletins" of the November 1966 issues, stating in that monthly fan page's hyperbolic style that, "It won't be long before our swingin' super-heroes [sic] make their star-studded debut on TV, appearing five nights a week that's right, five count 'em five nights a week, for a half-hour each night. So you've just got time to make sure your set's in good working order check your local paper for time and station and prepare to have a ball!"[6]


This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

For WNAC-TV in Boston, Arthur Pierce portrayed Captain America in live-action segments for the show. Actors portraying other characters, including Dr. Doom, Hulk, and Bucky, also appeared in live-action segments. The segments were scripted by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.[22]

Guest characters

Appearing in guest roles were:


Each episode consisted of three chapters.

Captain America

A Captain America title card

The Incredible Hulk

One depiction of the Hulk in The Marvel Super Heroes

The Invincible Iron Man

One depiction of Iron Man in the series

The Mighty Thor

A Thor title card

Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner

Title card for a Sub-Mariner episode


Source: Marvel Comics house ads in Strange Tales #150 (Nov. 1966) and The Amazing Spider-Man #45 (Feb. 1967), each of which said the list was "incomplete at time of publication".

Alphabetized by city


Home media

Segments of the series appear on at least two VHS home video releases, containing three videocassettes each: Marvel Superheroes: Triple Pack #1 (UPC #024543004127) and Marvel's Mightiest Heroes: Triple Pack #2.[23] Fox Video released a version titled Marvel's Mightiest Super Heroes Gift Set (EAN #0024543004134).

In 2003, Hulk segments giving his origin story appeared as an extra on the Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVD release of the 1996 animated television series The Incredible Hulk.[24]

In September 2004, Buena Vista Home Video announced plans to release the series on June 28, 2005, as a five-DVD set titled The 60's Superheroes.[25] By February 2005, however, the release was off the schedule.[26]

On May 21, 2007, the UK company Maximum Entertainment released four two-disc sets, for Region 2, each set containing 13 episodes of the Captain America, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner and Thor segments respectively, with each episode re-edited into continuous, half-hour segments.[27] On August 25, 2008, the UK company Liberation Entertainment released a two-disc set of the Hulk segments, re-edited into 13 20-minute episodes..


  1. Title per The Marvel Super Heroes. (Animated opening credits) YouTube. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-25. NOTE: The title is rendered inaccurately as "The Marvel Superheroes" at its entry on the Internet Movie Database and at
  2. Robert Lawrence interview, Jack Kirby Collector #41, Fall 2004, pp. 42-47.
  3. "''The Marvel Superheroes'' Episode Guide". Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  4. Thomas, Roy; Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the World of Marvel. Running Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0762428441. In 1966, television production company Grantray-Lawrence produced a series of five half-hour semi-animated shows under the banner title Marvel Superheroes. Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, The Mighty Thor, and Sub-Mariner all made their television debuts.
  5. McGovern, Adam (Fall 2004). "A Minute of Stan's Time" (41). (sidebar, Jack Kirby Collector: 47.
  6. Marvel Bullpen Bulletins: "Sensational Secrets and Incredible Inside Information Guilelessly Guaranteed to Avail You Naught!", in Tales of Suspense #83 (Nov. 1966) and other Marvel comics that month.
  7. Butler, Kevin S. (n.d.). "New York City Kid Show Roundup: Marvel Superheroes [sic]". Archived from the original on September 4, 2001.
  12. Weekend Magazine (May 24, 1969)
  22. Hofius, Jason; George Khoury (2010). Age of TV Heroes: The Live-Action Adventures of Your Favorite Comic Book Characters. TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 1-60549-010-5.
  23. "'Marvel's Mightiest Heroes: Triple Pack #2'". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  24. Powell, James W. (June 17, 2003). "'The Incredible Hulk' (Animated Series)". (review) Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  25. Lambert, David (September 24, 2004). "The Marvel Superheroes - Capt. America! Hulk! Thor! Iron Man! Sub-Mariner!". Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  26. Lambert, David (February 1, 2005). "The Marvel Superheroes - Studio Says 'Superheroes' are Off the Schedule". Retrieved 2011-01-12.
  27. "Jon T" (pseudonym) (July 23, 2007). "'The Marvel Super Heroes': Classic Comics in Suspended Animation". Toon Zone. Retrieved 2011-01-12.


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