7 Truly Wild Moments from the Marvel Animated Series On Disney+
Strange, but true!
Superheroes lead strange lives. Whether it’s discovering a tribe of mole-people living under New York City or finding out that yet another one of your loved ones is now a supervillain, there’s rarely a normal moment to be found. That said, we combed through some of the Marvel animated series now on Disney+ to bring you truly extraordinary bouts of the bizarre.
Jackson Weele, Inventor of The (Big) Wheel
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
A staple of the 1990’s Saturday morning line-up, Spider-Man: The Animated Series played host to many of Spider-Man's most memorable foes. One less-remembered addition was the unorthodox Jackson Wheele, who quite literally reinvented the wheel. His claim to supervillain fame? He took his crime spree around town in a giant, armored wheel cleverly called “The Big Wheel.”
Leading his gang on a high-speed series of bouncing bank heists around the streets of New York City, Spidey had to stop them from escaping in the world’s most impractical getaway car. While he might not be the next Victor Von Doom, he certainly makes for a… unique addition to the webhead’s sinister set.
When The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants Lived in a Frat House
It can be hard finding the right living arrangement. Whether it’s finding a good apartment for a decent price, or having to decide if your evil lair should be inside an active volcano or at the bottom of the sea-floor. What most can agree on though is that if you’ve wound up living in a dilapidated house on the outskirts of town with guys named “Toad” and “Blob”, your living situation is not ideal.
X-Men: Evolution did an amazing job of presenting the world with a fresh reimagining of the X-Men story, including its antagonists. Coming out in the mid-2000’s, it had plenty of X-Men material to hold its own against. Boasting a memorable art style and brand new costumes for the team, in many ways the series was a breath of fresh air for a new generation of viewers.
And then came the Brotherhood. The last thing anyone was expecting was to discover that rather than some discrete hideout or imposing doom-fortress, the forces of evil were crashing on couches just off-campus. It made for a genuinely fun take on their decades-old rivalry to see The Brotherhood’s living quarters give off an aura less of foreboding villainy and more of exactly what a gang of sloppy teenagers would put together.
When M.O.D.O.K. Disguised Himself as a Baby
Who dares defy the might of M.O.D.O.K.? Working with The Mandarin to destroy the titular armored avenger in the '90s Iron Man Series, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing uses the full computational power of his substantial noggin to concoct a plan to catch ol’ shellhead by surprise.
He realizes all he needs to gain the upper hand is a sneak attack. The problem? M.O.D.O.K. has what you might call a distinct look. He’s pretty hard to miss. In addition to the massive, disproportionate head, the fact that he travels exclusively by mechanized hover-chair makes stealth a difficult option. Thankfully, that giant head contains a giant brain, and came up with the idea to masquerade as a baby in a stroller to try and fool Iron Man.
While it may not have been quite the covert coup M.O.D.O.K. was hoping for, it was without a doubt a psychological victory in the sense that no one can walk away from the sight of M.O.D.O.K. sitting in a baby carriage without having the image forever burned into their (regular-sized) brain.
Silver Surfer Saves the Devourer of Worlds
The Silver Surfer animated show is itself a truly wild ride. Intended as a children’s show, the series follows the cosmic wanderer after rebelling against his planet-eating former boss, Galactus. Kicking off with a hauntingly epic operatic theme song, each episode features brooding introspectives from Silver Surfer's inner monologue.
No episode better embodies the unique tone of the show quite like “Antibody,” written by the legendary science-fiction writer Harlan Ellison, no less! The Surfer contemplates a new sensation he has been experiencing: Illness. Perplexed by his newfound mortality, the Sentinel of the Spaceways is intercepted by the jovially quirky Nova, who describes serving a cosmic entity that devours all life in its path as, “The best job [she] could get without a college degree.”
She explains that Galactus, Devourer of Worlds, is dying, and if he passes so will every being he’s ever interacted with. The Silver Surfer realizes that if he doesn’t help save one of the greatest terrors in the galaxy, not only will he perish, but so too will his beloved wife. To make matters worse? In the midst of the celestial horror’s sick day, an alien race has taken this opportunity to try to destroy the weakened Galactus and take his power for themselves.
Electro, Son of… Red Skull?
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
In this total twist on Electro’s origin story, he’s no longer an average American electrician, but rather the Moscow Chief of Police. Searching for a Doomsday device his father had devised to win the Second World War, a blast from the device turns him into the super-charged supervillain Electro.
While “Dad shot me with a super-laser” is, admittedly, perhaps a more compelling story than the traditional source of his powers (a terrible electric accident that turns him into a human electrical capacitor), it’s definitely a wild deviation for a character whose origin story has remained virtually untouched for decades prior to the show’s debut.
Hulk Fights Wendigos
Hulk and The Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
In the raucously fun Hulk and The Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Hulk leads a team of similarly gamma-powered heavyweights consisting of his best friend A-Bomb, She-Hulk, Red Hulk, and Skaar against those sorely in need of a smashing. The amazingly-titled episode “Wendigo Apocalypse” has Hulk and the team encounter Wolverine — who made his very first comic appearance in THE INCREDIBLE HULK #181 in 1974 — who has mutated into an extra-ferocious, werewolf-like creature called a Wendigo. Thankfully, for everyone’s favorite mutant, his healing factor brings him back to his regularly ferocious self. Then teaming up, Hulk and Wolverine have to take on the dangerous creatures together!
It’s not that simple though: A single scratch or bite from the supernatural monstrosities will turn the victim into a wendigo themselves!
What makes this particular foe such a wild choice? Well, while in the show a wendigo is created by the bite or scratch of another wendigo, much like a werewolf, while the wendigo legend in real life explains that a wendigo is created when a human eats the flesh of another person. Yeah... Not exactly the traditional villain one expects to see in a fun kids show, which explains why they edited the myth a bit. The show is a blast to watch for adults and kids alike, but younger viewers: Don’t go looking up wendigos until you’re a little older, okay?
Spider-Woman’s Entire Pilot Episode
A part of the TV superhero sensation of the 60’s and 70’s, Spider-Woman was commissioned to bring the new and exciting Jessica Drew from the comics onto the screen. However, rather than a close adaptation of the comic character, the show decided to make her powers and origin much more similar to the star of the hugely popular Spider-Man animated show. Giving her a spider-sense that alerted her to any danger occurring around the globe and changing her origin story to an almost 1-to-1 recreation of Peter Parker’s, the show wanted to make a clear connection between Spider-Man and Spider-Woman.
The show kicks off with a sequence where a pyramid sprouts out of the ground just outside an unnamed city in Egypt. Thankfully, Spider-Man just happens to be in Egypt that day! The situation goes from bad to worse though when despite his best efforts, Spider-Man is captured by the mummy inhabiting the pyramid’s inner sanctum with nary a witness around. Luckily there’s one hero who can detect even the most undetectable danger!
Leaping into action, Spider-Woman quickly determines the cause of the trouble: These mummies aren’t mummies. They’re aliens, led by the most evil mummy-alien of all, Khufu. Oh, and all mummies? Also aliens. Jessica discovers that the pyramids are not man-made structures at all, but in fact the spaceships of said space-mummies who simply left them parked on Earth.
Spider-Woman intercepts the space-mummies before they can permanently turn Spider-Man into Spider-Mummy and in the process learns that the goal of the space-mummies is to mummify the entire human race. Using quick thinking and her not-from-the-comics webshooters, she turns the pyramid-shaped ships into cube-shaped ships, thus negating their arcane abilities.
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