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Manly Moments from the 90s

Five Moments of Animated Manliness

Credit: Wikipedia

Whether it’s Sony, Fox, or Disney, Marvel is lining a lot of pockets this year with enough money to develop and make a real-life Heli-carrier.

To date, Venom has made over $380 million world wide. Since I’m poor and won’t be able to see it for a while, I can’t offer a review or commentary. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk Marvel.

If you’re a kid of the 80s and 90s, you’re probably familiar with Fox Kids and their Saturday Morning line up. Bursting to the brim with animated goodness, it played host to anything from a terrified purple cat to a crimson costumed femme fatale with an affinity for collecting national treasures.

Despite the many legal challenges Marvel was experiencing during this time period, someone was able to take control of the animation division and give our young eyes joy-gasms in the form of X-Men and Spider-Man. UPN snatched up a couple of properties too, chief among that Fantastic Four and Incredible Hulk.

Before the billion dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe redefined how the world perceived Marvel properties, we were spoiled with some pretty good animated fare.  

Understandably, if one were to animate comic book characters, muscles and manliness would take precedence. Submitted for you approval, here are five of the manliest moments from Marvel’s Animated Shows of the 90s.

Bruce Banner vs Hulk

As awesome as the premise of this moment sounds, it just didn’t stick in the old brain pan like the others. This is more than likely because it was on UPN and Fox Kids had Saturday mornings on lock. But this makes the cut simply because the one guy who knows better than anyone what the Hulk is capable of dons an armored suit to throw hands with the Strongest There Is. Pretty darn manly if you ask me; even if the fight ends in them mutually passing out from rage.

Did You Just Punch out Juggernaut?

Back in the day, Old Jugghead was ridiculously strong (and not a mutant) so the only way he was allowed to lose was if he got confused (removal of his helmet and some mind games from a telepath were the preferred one-two punch) and left or he just wandered off aimlessly because reasons. However, like any good heel, he maximized his screen time; knocking over buildings; pimp slapping Wolverine; and almost always getting the better of Colossus. So imagine everyone’s shock when this glistening extraterrestrial called the Gladiator shows up and sends Juggernaut on an unscheduled trans-Atlantic flight with a single punch. Rogue’s comment summed it up best: no one ever did something like that to the Juggernaut.

Ahhh, Streamers

As mentioned previously, I have yet to see Bane Hardy as Venom and we will ignore that 70s Symbiote, and say that I enjoy most interpretations of Venom. Yet, I will always have a soft spot for 90s animated Venom.

He’s everything my second favorite hero is but stronger, faster, and with the fashion sense of Johnny Cash.

Let’s set the mood for this selection. Spidey’s webbing, like most animated super powers, varies in durability throughout the series but has always been at least as strong as say a heavy gauge steel chain

Few people could break it with pure muscle. Rhino is the only one that comes to mind and even he had to strain a bit. But not Venom. Venom dismisses several rope thick strands of webbing as “streamers” takes a breath, and snaps them with a flex of his pecs. Then to add insult to emotional injury (he was saving physical injury for later) he ties Spidey up with one strand of symbiote webbing and Spidey cannot move. It was like being trapped in a King Pin bear hug. I’m a huge Spidey fan and I still remember this act of manliness fondly.

This One’s for You Morph

Before “Wolverine Publicity” became a derisive way for adults to refer to incredibly popular, spotlight stealing characters they loved as kids, he was the standard for “oh my God, what mad genius stuffed one hundred pounds of awesome into this five pound bag?” At the height of Fox’s Saturday Morning line up, even the kids at the lunch table who weren’t allowed to watch anything but Authur and Sesame Street knew about the “angry little guy with knives coming out of his fists.”

Of course he makes this list. But do I include one of his many throw downs with Sabretooth? Not this time. I thought I’d go another direction. Nothing screams manly to me like a heartbroken bad mutha, well you know the rest. No one was more heartbroken in the 90s Marvel Animated Canon than Wolverine when he believed his best buddy Morph had fallen in battle.

I can still hear that tortured howl of pain when he decapitates a Sentinel. That’s a man manly enough to allow himself to feel.

Intro to Iron Man

Iron Man doesn’t even let you get past the title screen before it assaults all your senses with manliness. Check out those pecs. Listen to the crash of metal pounding out impurities. Feel the desperation in each hammer blow. Taste the electricity of what’s to come. Smell the manliness. What choice did I have but to include this?

Wendell Mitchell
Wendell Mitchell

A father of 3, Wendell is a cyber hobo with a love for storytelling and food. His interests include grappling, pro wrestling, anime, MMA, superheroes, comedy, at least one song in every musical genre except EDM, and cooking.   

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