The 1990s was the absolute peak when it came to animated television series featuring the superheroes of Marvel and DC. In fact, the only shows to even come close in terms of quality were Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
However, for as much praise as these ‘90s superhero cartoons receive, we sometimes forget just how many characters made cameo appearances, and those are the one we here at Epicstream want to call attention to. Here are 10 superheroes you forgot appeared in ‘90s cartoons:
Several years before Wesley Snipes brought Marvel’s resident vampire hunter to the big screen, Blade made his presence felt on Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Voiced by J. D. Hall, the character made his first appearance in the episode titled “Neogenic Nightmare: Chapter 9: Blade the Vampire Hunter.” Here, we witnessed a revised version of his origin story, while also watching him and Spidey embark on a quest to locate Morbius the living vampire. Blade would go on to appear in two more episodes of the series.Advertisement
Although he’s currently the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man experienced some short-lived success in the ‘90s as the star of his own animated series, which ran for just two seasons. However, the character, voiced by Robert Hays, also appeared on both The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man cartoons, though he was a more prominent figure in the latter series. Nevertheless, fan reception to the Iron Man series proper was poor, which resulted in its cancellation.
Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel heads to the big screen next year, but under her previous moniker, Ms. Marvel, she made a single appearance in X-Men: The Animated Series. In the episode “A Rogue’s Tale,” we learn how Rogue gained the powers of Ms. Marvel (voiced by Roscoe Handford), which ultimately led to her falling into a coma.
Later this year, Deadpool will headline his own adult-oriented cartoon series on FXX, but his first animated adventures took place on X-Men: The Animated Series. However, despite appearing in three episodes, Deadpool never actually spoke. His first appearance was a flashback in the episode “Deadly Reunions.” Then, in “Whatever It Takes,” Morph shape-shifts into the Merc with a Mouth. Finally, in “The Phoenix Saga: Part 2: The Dark Shroud,” Professor X uses his abilities to force a projection of Deadpool into attacking Wolverine.
Presently the focus of Marvel’s flagship Netflix series, Daredevil’s animated appearances in the ‘90s spanned across two shows and three episodes total. In the Fantastic Four episode “And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them,” Bill Smitrovich lent his voice to Matt Murdock as he helped the FF reclaim the Baxter Building from Doctor Doom. His more notable appearances were on Spider-Man: The Animated Series, where he was voiced by Edward Albert in the episodes “Framed” and “The Man Without Fear,” serving as Peter Parker’s lawyer when he’s framed for industrial espionage.
Doctor Strange is notable for having cameos in nearly all of Marvel’s ‘90s animated series (or at least all the popular ones). The character had an unvoiced cameo in the X-Men episode “The Dark Phoenix Saga (Part 3),” as well as the self-titled episode of Spider-Man, where Strange (voiced by John Vernon) helps Spidey rescue Mary Jane from Baron Mordo and Dormammu. Maurice LaMarche voiced the Sorcerer Supreme in The Incredible Hulk episode “Mind Over Anti-Matter,” working with She-Hulk to rid the Green Goliath’s body of an evil spirit.
In the short-lived Fantastic Four animated series, both Robin Sachs and Edward Albert provided the voice of the Silver Surfer, who appeared in several episodes. However, many people forget that in 1998, the Surfer received a solo series that ran for 13 episodes on Fox. Rendered in the style of Jack Kirby’s animation, the series featured cameos from a plethora of Marvel’s cosmic characters, including Thanos, Uatu the Watcher, Ego the Living Planet, Mentor, Drax the Destroyer, Pip the Troll, Nebula, and the Kree and Skrull empires.
The star of one of DC’s most talked-about miniseries, Mister Miracle, has had notable appearances in nearly every animated Justice League show, but his first stint in animation was an unvoiced cameo in Superman: The Animated Series. In the episode “Apokolips…Now! Part II,” Mister Miracle is part of the forces of New Genesis, who band together in an attempt to defeat Darkseid. He’s also seen briefly in the first part of the episode, as he is one of the babies exchanged between High Father and Darkseid (the other is Orion).
John Stewart may be the most prominent Green Lantern in DC’s animated TV universe, but he wasn’t the only one. In the Superman: The Animated Series episode titled “In Brightest Day,” Kyle Rayner (voiced by Michael P. Greco) was an aspiring comic book artist who was chosen by the Green Lantern ring that once belonged to Abin Sur. He was then thrust immediately into a battle against Sinestro, and thanks to Superman’s help, he was able to defeat his new foe.
Long before he became a staple of the JL/JLU series, The Flash made a brief cameo in an episode of Superman: The Animated Series titled “Speed Demons.” Voiced by Charlie Schlatter, the Scarlet Speedster and the Man of Steel face off in a race to raise money for charity, but it turns out it’s really just a ploy by the Weather Wizard to generate power for a weather-changing machine. Naturally, the two heroes defeat the Rogue, and the episode ends with the pair deciding to resume their race and see who really is the Fastest Man Alive.