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Hello Bleederz,welcome to LUCKY Episode 13 of FPB! This week I have decided to talk about not only comics, but another lifetime love of mine. There was a very important pop-culture institution in the 80’s and 90’s that has become extinct like the dinosaur and spinner rims on tires (yeah, it’s safe to say that’s over). I’m talking about the Saturday Morning/ After School cartoons. Ever since I can remember I would watch cartoons with my big brother. Some readers may be too young to remember but there was a time when all the major networks would play about 5 hours of cartoons every Saturday (which I personally would top off with WWF Superstars or American Gladiators at noon) and about 2 hours every weekday at 3 p.m. This was an important part an entire generation’s childhood. In this weekly 15 hours of animated awesomeness we learned that Scottish ducks can swim in gigantic bins of gold coins (not to mention get dangerous once in a while), turtles loved pizza, giant robots could transform and roll out and knowing was half the battle.
Many of these ‘toons from the 80’s and 90’s were based on comic books. X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, The Hulk and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all had excellent runs in the animated series realm. In fact, I still find people constantly that are much more familiar with cartoon continuity for many of these franchises than the comics. This weekend I saw an excellent episode of the Young Justice cartoon series. I thought, “Wow. A book that I never really thought sold that well makes one HELL of a sweet cartoon!” Since the Bleed is my voice to the world, I am going to just throw out some ideas for some comics (some popular, some not-so much) I have always thought would have or could still make some awesome Saturday morning or weekday afternoon cartoons. Here goes!
Bear with me here, folks. This comic always held a special place in my heart. It was Lethal Weapon or Miami Vice with superheroes. It had Luke Cage, who was basically at the time, Mr. T with superpowers. And Iron Fist, who was sort of like Chuck Norris mixed with Bruce Lee. And they were Heroes for Hire…like the A-Team. Today it probably wouldn’t go over well unless it was set in the 80’s in a tongue in cheek manner, and even then it would have a more comedic feel like Venture Bros. or something like that. But back in the 80’s…you put this on TV in a show similar to Mr. T’s Saturday Morning Cartoon, and I’m sure you would have had a hit! If you add the sassy Misty Knight and Colleen Wing (a.k.a. The Daughters of the Dragon) as their supporting cast, and you may even get young female fans! SWEET CHRISTMAS! (you guys have no idea how long I’ve waited to say those two words in a FPB.)
Now, of course I don’t mean the latest series where MK has completely lost his noodles. But if we just take the origin of the character and, well, you know how in the beginning of 80’s cartoons like He-Man there would be an entire explanation to what the show is? (Why they don’t do this anymore I have no idea) Well, Moon Knight’s would go like this:
“I’m Marc Spector, I was an archeologist searching for mysterious Egyptian artifacts and I was betrayed by the evil Bushman and trapped in the tomb of the Moon God, Khonshu. Khonshu appeared to me and transformed me into his champion, MOON KNIGHT! Now, along with my faithful friend, Frenchie, I defend the world from the evil Bushman and his minions! I AM MOON KNIGHT!!!”
I know, I know. He wasn’t an archeologist. He was a mercenary. And he wasn’t trapped in Khonshu’s tomb, he was beaten within an inch of his life and left to rot. But hey, things would need to be slightly altered for the cartoon so it’s more accessible to younger audiences. It happens all the time. Now, I’m fairly sure that “Bushman” and “Frenchie” aren’t politically correct names for cartoon characters, and since his villain set is quite small, the Moon Knight animated series would probably have to have a bunch of characters created just for the show. But hey, it worked GREAT for Harley Quinn and…Morph in X-Men and…H.E.R.B.I.E. (created for one of the Fantastic Four cartoons to replace the Human Torch because the producers feared children would set themselves on fire. FOR REALS!)…umm, well it worked well for Harley Quinn!
At the end of the day, Moon Knight is a great character and a cartoon based on him would have been fun to see.
People that are aware of this 80’s DC Comics maxi-series written by Mike W. Barr and art by (the spectacular and legendary) Brian Bolland must be saying “what are you, HIGH?! That book is full of violence, sex and partial nudity!!!” Well, PSHAW! Like Moon Knight, things can be altered for younger viewers. In the story, during a futuristic alien apocalypse King Arthur is resurrected and reunites with the reincarnated Knights of the Round Table. What made the comic so deep and one of my favorites growing up was how the characters struggled with who they were in their past lives and who they were born as in this timeframe. For example, womanizing Sir Tristan is reincarnated as a woman…and through the tale becomes a lesbian. For a show aimed at younger fans, this character would most likely be cut out of the cast. But I think with some tweeking, this would make a great 80’s futuristic sci-fi adventure cartoon, in the vein of Rocket Robin Hood (okay, that one’s a little cheesy and old, but I used to get up verrrry early for cartoons and this would usually be the best thing on). The evil Modred and Morgan LeFay would be perfect villains to rival Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, but Morgan would need to most likely put on some more clothes. Oh well.
This cartoon pig version of the wall-crawler has been a running joke in the Marvel Universe since I was a kid. But I remember genuinely enjoying the comics, and am sure I would have watched a cartoon version. I’m not sure why it was never adapted. I guess back in the 80’s when Spidey wasn’t AS popular, Marvel feared kids would become more familiar with THIS version of him? Not only was Spidey “animalized” but the book also featured Mary Jane Waterbuffalo, J. Jonah Jackal, Captain Americat, Deerdevil, Hulk-Bunny, Goose Rider, the Asinine Torch (HILARIOUS!), Nick Furry, Sub-Marsupial, Ducktor Doom, Doctor Octopussycat, Kingpig, Sandmanatee, Bee-Yonder, Hobgobbler, Raven The Hunter, Doc Clamson, Croak and Badger, Squawkeye, Paste Pop Peep, Mad Stinker (a skunk!!), Punfisher ….I could go on forever, but my spellcheck just had a seizure.
Hope! Compassion! Avarice! Fear! Love! Rage! Willpower! GO LANTERNS! …Yes, this cartoon can be just as fun as Captain Planet with a dash of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends! The latest incarnation of this comic in DC’s New 52 features Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern, but I would think the cartoon would be better suited with Hal Jordan in the lead role. The team can be comprised of the more heroic and fitting members of each aspect of the emotional spectrum (Guy Gardner as the Red Lantern, for example). Black Hand and of course, Sinestro would be excellent antagonists, I’d think. Tell me you guys wouldn’t fall over in glee if this show was announced tomorrow!
A buddy of mine introduced me to this wonderfully written Robert Kirkman book, and while at first I was a bit iffy about this hero, I soon discovered that if you keep reading Invincible, I guarantee you can’t help but to fall for this comic book. I’m not saying this cartoon adaptation could have been done in the 80’s. It couldn’t. I’m saying if we were to bring cartoons back, this would be my pick to start the mission. The characters are amazing, the action is epic (the violence would need to be extremely toned down if it was a kid’s cartoon, but it could work these days as a primetime adult cartoon and pretty much change the world as we know it, especially if you throw that “writer of Walking Dead” tag on it), and there’s not a reason we’re not watching and a beautifully animated (Ryan Ottley’s artwork can be SO easily transitioned to animation) Invincible cartoon right now. Invincible can take his rightful place as the coolest modern-made hero of the 21st Century anytime now. Seriously, guys. There’s no excuse here.
Well, there you have it. This was a fun Bleed to put together! I love old cartoons so much and I hope my faithful Bleederz really enjoyed going down memory lane at the same time as helping me re-imagine a pop-culture staple that is all but dead. I think it would be a great thing to give today’s kids a taste of what us old 80’s farts had. I mean, I’m not the guy that goes and complains and says “his day was better than today” but could Shake Weight infomercials ACTUALLY benefit networks more than cartoons?! I don’t get it. Maybe I’m not supposed to.
If ya gonna bleed, BLEED COMICS! Th-th-th-that’s allll folks!!
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