Top 10 Cartoons Based on Comic Books
Cartoons and comics. They go together like peas and carrots. Every comic book nerd knows that comic characters have been getting animated for decades, and there are dozens of animated series (and even anime series) following their favorite characters. However, there aren’t very many great ones, which is why we’ve put together what could be considered a controversial list of the best cartoons based on comics to date. It was hard narrowing it down to just 10; after all, this is our childhood we’re talking about here. We’re sure there are plenty of other choices out there, so make sure you let us know if we forgot any.
10. The Tick- SPOOOOOON! The original The Tick series was one I tuned in to watch every Saturday morning, and to this day it’s one of my favorite cartoons. It was just animated insanity with classic characters like Dino Dan, Eastern Bloc Robot Cowboy and, of course, good old Arthur. The Tick was a big ball of crazy before it was cool to make insane cartoons, and despite the fact that he was an incompetent boob, he was still one of the noblest heroes ever to share breakfast with us.
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- Turtle power! Everyone in their 20s remembers Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo from their childhood. In fact, their favorite turtle can tell you a lot about them: If Leonardo was your favorite, it meant that you had control issues; Donatello meant that you were the kid being force-fed sand on the playground; Raphael meant that you dreamed of being a cool loner; and Michelangelo meant that you were awesome and would one day write an awesome list just like this.
8. X-Men Evolution- I know everyone is going to be up in arms about this choice, but I felt like the reimagined story of the X-Men was a lot more entertaining than the original 90s version. It’s probably for the same reason that I love the Ultimate Universe, but seeing characters reimagined feels almost like you’re following their story from the beginning. This show felt as if I was getting a chance to know all of my favorite mutants all over again. Plus, it was something I could keep up with; the 90s cartoon left me confused anytime I missed an episode playing outside on a Saturday morning.
7. Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes- Just in time for the big kids to run off and watch one of the highest-grossing films of all time, the little ones got their own cartoon pumped full of attitude. It featured all of the stars from the movie and then some. It was a valiant attempt at introducing kids to the heroes that lead the Marvel Universe, and it probably would have gone somewhere if the comic company had stuck with it. Then again, it seems like Marvel doesn’t have the attention span to let its series really grow and develop. Still, this is one of the best they’ve given us.
6. Teen Titans- In a bizarre blend of fusion animation, Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans brought the best of eastern and western animation together to create what is perhaps the most memorable series on this list. It was an absolutely riveting series that appealed to both the young and the young at heart and brought a classic comic series to a new generation of viewers. The best part was that it wasn’t all teenage melodrama; it was mostly comedy and action with a little bit of “d’aww” tossed in for good measure. I loved Teen Titans enough to be one of the only people to buy the trading card game.
5. Batman Beyond- The thing about DC Comics is that it allows its animation department to be an extension of its comic book universe. Batman Beyond took a look at what came next after Batman, showing us the future of the villains he fought in the comics. It was so successful that it bled over into other series and eventually became a monthly comic of its own. What made it such a great animated series, though, was how dark it came across. More often than not, the villain suffered a fate worse than death. Really shaped my childhood and made me the man I am… Oh God!
Almost Batman, but not quite.
4. The Spectacular Spider-Man- What made this show so great? The fact, that the characters were all designed by Shawn Galloway. Shawn is one of the best character designers working in the industry today (though his sequentials tend to be a little cluttered). The series told the story we’ve all known and loved time and time again, but with a nice fresh coat of paint on it. None of the characters were really even that different, but the look of it was so cool, and I tuned in every week to watch it. It’s a shame that animation studios don’t take risks like this anymore; sometimes they really pay off.
3. Justice League Unlimited- Sure, Marvel has been tearing it up recently with their live-action movies, but DC is killing it with their animation. Maybe it’s just that their characters speak better when they’re presented in a simpler manner. Anyway, no series ever had more characters that Justice League Unlimited, so maybe “simple” isn’t the right word for this. The overall plot of the first season alone was complex and far-reaching, as the heroes battled a shadow organization of the government. Season two just had the Legion of Doom (which was still pretty cool).
*&@% you, bad guys!
2. Young Justice- When I first started reading comics on a monthly basis, Young Justice was the first series I added to my pull list. The show itself wasn’t really a faithful adaptation of the comic, but it was just as good. While big heroes stood in the spotlight, there had to be someone to work in the shadows, and that’s where the heroes of tomorrow cut their teeth. It followed a variety of heroes over the years as they grew up. It was an amazing series with beautiful animation and compelling characters. What the hell, Cartoon Network? Why you gotta do us like that and cancel it?
1. Batman: The Animated Series- If there was ever one thing that could unite comic fans, it was just how well-done Batman: The Animated Series was. It had a beautiful score and brilliant voice actors (who still lend their talents to the characters today), and it set the bar for future animated comic book shows (spoiler: none has lived up to it so far). It was an emotional triumph of animation and every episode punched you right in the feels. The best part is that years later it still holds up, and if you don’t believe me, it’s worth the price to find out. Trust me, this is probably the greatest cartoon ever made.
Remember this from every day after school?
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