Given their status of Marvel’s premiere super-team, you’d think they would have been all over your TV screens… But it’s taken a while for The Avengers to gain a following, and break on through to the animated side. Okay, that’s not exactly true – as you’ll see in a moment – but where Spider-Man and Hulk have been gracing the boob tube for decades, Thor, Captain America, and the rest of the crew have been seen few and far between. Here though (from the slim pickings) are the five best animated Avengers ‘toons of all time:
5. Ultimate Avengers
The adaptation of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s ground-breaking (sometimes literally) Ultimates series eschews the distinctive Hitch look, but otherwise remains relatively faithful to the first series. Good thing, too, as the first Ultimates series is very, very good.
4. The Marvel Super Heroes
A series of five cartoons featuring Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Namor, this show was the first attempt to bring Marvel heroes to the small screen. The 1966 show might seem quaint now, but without The Marvel Super Heroes, we wouldn’t have anything else on this list.
3. Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers
Okay, sure, it’s a solo adventure for the God of Thunder, but this adaptation of Marvel’s LOKI series is probably the best motion comic ever made. Mixing CGI, a great story (Loki wins, and steadily goes nuts because he doesn’t know how to handle being in charge), and some excellent voice acting, T&L:BB deserves its place on the list.
2. Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow
Sometimes you have to change to remind yourself of the basics: this film jumps into the future to show what happens to the Avenger’s kids after they’re beaten by evil robot Ultron, and its easily the best animated movie from Marvel Studios. We’re shocked this wasn’t spun off into an ongoing series, as it was clearly supposed to be a pilot. There’s still time, guys.
Though it may be the most recent, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is also the best animated Avengers we’ve seen… It’s faithful to the comics, it’s fun, and it’s ambitious, mixing big story lines, hundreds of characters from the Marvel Universe, and making it work for both kids and adults. Not just the best Avengers cartoon, but possibly one of the best Marvel animated shows – ever.