THE MIGHTY HEROESOriginal Medium: TV cartoons
Produced by: Terrytoons
First Appeared: 1966
Creator: Ralph Bakshi
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be confused with Archie Comics' Mighty Crusaders), in a fondly remembered 1960s Saturday morning animated superhero spoof.
The Mighty Heroes, a Terrytoons production, debuted on CBS, on Oct. 29, 1966. The series was created by Ralph Bakshi, whose later credits include the first animated version of Spider-Man, such features as Wizards, American Pop and Fritz the Cat, and a stint as creative director of Paramount's Famous Studios. The characters' voices were provided by Herschel Bernardi (Charlie Tuna) and Lionel Wilson (Tom Terrific).
The show lasted only one season, with 20 episodes. Afterward, its segments were re-run as part of the syndicated Mighty Mouse half-hour. Between 1969 and '71, about half of the episodes were released as theatrical cartoons. During the 1970s and '80s, they were syndicated separately, and appeared alongside Bugs Bunny and Popeye, in local kid programs all over America.
Their last appearance in animated form was as guest stars in the late 1980s Mighty Mouse show (produced by Bakshi). There, they'd retired from superheroing, and were running the law firm of Man, Man, Man, Man and Man. Even Diaper Man had grown up — tho the only evidence of the fact was that he'd grown a moustache.
In comic books, Dell picked up the series for a four-issue run, all of which came out in 1967. In the late 1980s, a start-up company called Spotlight Comics licensed the Terrytoons characters and, in 1987, managed to put out one issue of Mighty Heroes before fading from view. In 1998, Marvel published a oneshot comic book in which writer Scott Lobdell (X-Men) and artists Rurik Tyler and Larry Mahlstedt recounted the group's hitherto-unrevealed origin.
That the Marvel comic exists is a testament to the strong memories the characters have created in the minds of their viewers, because like all Terrytoons, The Mighty Heroes have been completely absent from the airwaves for a couple of decades.