OK, a gap opened up in the Sourcewall, see, and out dropped disks of the old 60's Marvel Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner cartoon.  It's been close to forty-five since I've seen them last, and I never even knew they was Thor and Sub-Mariner ones when I was a kid. So, anyway, let's see what I see.

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How did they get Mole Man and Dr. Doom and the Mad Thinker with his Awesome Android when they didn't have rights to the FF? Roger Corman said he made the Jeweler because he didn't have the rights to Mole Man. Did he slip through the licensing cracks and Marvel could use him in a movie? Is "Double Disaster" the one that has someone mention for no apparent reason that Iron Man has gone back to wearing him old armor? Would have made more sense to briefly note the story takes place a long time ago. Like Avengers#2 starts with the Hulk remembering how he left the Avengers meaning it took place in the past (yet they still couldn't resist recoloring gold Iron Man red and yellow for that episode.) The show definitely has problems with characters' names. Didn't Happy get injured by Titanium Man? Does "My Life For Yours" call him the Freak? "The Dream Master" is clearly yet another episode that decided adapting one story wasn't enough. Those aren't the "cheesy" aliens Edam and Gouda, are they?

I've heard arguments the Mandarin had to be changed in Iron Man 3 because saying he found magic rings in a spaceship flown by talking dragons would have sounded idiotic and would have had movie fans laughing at Marvel. They seriously couldn't come up with any origin for the real character that left out magic dragon rings?

The Baron said:

"The Death of Tony Stark!" - Oh, it's the g.d. Mandarin, again, this time with a killer satellite. He tells IM his origin: "I found some magic rings in a spaceship." OK, pal, whatever. Meanwhile, Peppy and Happer think that Iron Man killed Stark.

John Dunbar hasn't gotten to it yet in his Iron Man thread, but the Mandarin DID find his rings in a spaceship in Tales of Suspense #62(FEB65). In the comics story they were supposed to contain incredible energies, not magic.

"My Life for Yours" - Happy is in a car accident and is kidnapped by the Black Knight. Happy is rescued, but is turned into a monster by an untested device which Stark left lying around and which someone thought it was a good idea to use, the way you would. Also, Stark is subpoenaed by Senator Busybody. Oh, and Happy is cured in the end.

This sounds like a Jimmy Olsen story.

Clarke's Third Law: Any science sufficiently advanced will be indistinguishable from magic.

Two more:

"The Crimson Dynamo!" - In which the Crimson Dynamois sent to attack Stark, but defects, causing the Reds to send the Black Widow and Borok after him. CD sacrifices himself to save Stark!  Wow, the actress playing the Widow really overdoes the accent!

"Enter Hawkeye" - In which envy of Iron Man causes Clint Barton to become Hawkeye, who is then duped by the Black Widow.

That's the last of Iron Man. Next up: The Sub-Mariner!

Ideally the Black Widow should have been June Foray. Another episode that put two comics together.

Very odd the movies decided to have Hawkeye married and not interested in the Widow. (And his wife isn't even Mockingbird.)

I think that the "married with kids" Hawkeye came from The Ultimates continuity, but I lost interest in them by the time they really did anything with that particular concept.

Ron M. said:

Very odd the movies decided to have Hawkeye married and not interested in the Widow. (And his wife isn't even Mockingbird.)

Marvel Studios is using Barbara (Mockingbird) Morse in the SHIELD TV show. If she and Hawkeye have any history together it hasn't been mentioned.

Next, on to the Sub-Mariner, a.k.a. Prince Namor, the Annoying Son!

Here's his theme.  It's easily the worst of the five.  Here's my rating, from best theme to worst:

  1. Captain America
  2. The Incredible Hulk
  3. The Invincible Iron Man
  4. The Mighty Thor
  5. The Sub-Mariner

We start with "Peril in the Surface World", in which an amnesiac Namor goes to New York, where he meets his grandma, who tells him his origin, then bakes him some Tollhouse Cookies, and slips him five bucks.  (Well, it's what my grandma would've done!) Then she helps him get back to Atlantis.

An interesting start, at least.

I have no idea where this origin story (or the artwork for it) comes from. It's not from the comics. Of all these Grantray-Lawrence cartoons, I'd estimate the Sub-Mariner one has the most stories not based on comic book stories/art. The "quest" storyline is a fairly straight adaptation of the first comic book arc from Tales to Astonish, although both are bland and uninteresting. The sub-Mariner comic book stories got better as they went along, but the cartoons didn't really. I watched these first in my recent re-watching, but only because I was re-reading the comics they were based on at the time. Otherwise I'd save them for last, as you did.

The origin episode has a comic book art look, so think it must have had a source. It looks too modern to be based on a Golden Age story, so my guess is it's based on a written-off instalment done for Tales of Suspense or a try-out story.

I feel I should be able to name the original artist. My best guess is John Buscema before his art absorbed the Kirby style. (Note the policeman who says "But we can't afford to take a chance" around 5.36, the one who says "Something tells me we've been duped" around 7.05, and the woman's hand on Namor's arm at 15.00.) When Namor is in the aquarium saying "Only moments more my friends and I shall be able to" around 10.15 he and the policeman have a Ditko look.

The old woman's Atlantean look is illogical if she's supposed to be Namor's paternal grandmother. My guess is in the source story she was Fen herself, which would explain why Lee didn't use it: he decided against revealing her to be alive and living in New York.(1)

My first thought was that the source story may have been the first go at the first instalment of the series, and Lee didn't like it and reassigned the feature to Gene Colan. But at the time of the cartoon there was a recent amnesia story in #83/#84 and it may be connected to that. (What was the most recent comic book story otherwise used by the cartoons?)

It could be the story was intended for #84 and Lee decided to instead connect the amnesia storyline to the Secret Empire one. Or that it was intended for #85 as the amnesia story was originally going to run longer. Or that in the source story something gave Namor a headache and drew him to the woman, and the cartoon added the amnesia element under the influence of #84.

I don't see the Buscema look (if that's what it is) in the flashback. The account of Namor's origin could be an addition drawn from an older source, but I don't see Bill Everett's style in it so I don't know what that might have been. Like the older stories it doesn't call the undersea city Atlantis. On the other hand the way Fen is drawn reminds me of Don Heck.

I feel the henchman with the lazy eye reminds me of something, maybe an actor, but I can't place it.

(1) She doesn't have that look at all at 15.24 but the 14.50 shot, where she does, looks from the comics. She says "Return to Atlantis my son" at 15.30.

"What was the most recent comic book story otherwise used by the cartoons?"

The next time I watch my way through these cartoons I'm going to compile a list of source comics, so the time after that I'll be able to watch them in comic book order.

I'm sorry I wrote the above, as it's probably nonsense. 

Wikipedia tells me the cartoon series started Sep. 1 1966. I don't at what point the Sub-Mariner episodes were used. The Sub-Mariner's series started in Tales to Astonish #70 and the Sep. 1966 (on sale) issue was #86. So it hadn't been running very long and there weren't that many Silver Age stories to adapt.

Episode two was based on TTA #70-#72; episode three TTA #73 (presumably)-#76; episode seven TTA #77-#80, episode twelve Fantastic Four Annual #1 and Fantastic Four #5. When the cartoons followed the comics they often followed them very closely, so I'm surprised to find much of the material was apparently original.

In four story his opponent is Attuma, and in five he goes up against Attuma and a space robot, but I don't recognise the stories. In six he fights Byrrah and Warlord Krang. I don't recognise any more of the stories or villains.

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