Retro Marvel TV
Marvel's Not-So-Awful Animation of the 80s

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 27 Aug 2014 16:15
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SOLARMAN (1992)
I'd be remiss not to mention this one, another go-nowhere pilot produced in 1989 but not aired except as a "special presentation" in 1992. Solarman was a new character that Marvel was sure (for some reason) would become the next big thing, but his heavily-promoted comic series sold badly enough to be canceled after two issues and nobody wanted to air the cartoon.

Not exactly surprising. Solarman is pretty bad, another Captain Marvel/Shazam riff grafted onto a sun-powered hero with an almost comedically-pandering setup: The (adult) hero's secret identity is a teenager who wants to be a comic-book artist but is forced to train for sports instead by his overbearing father. He gets a device from a dying alien, Green Lantern-style, that lets him morph into the grownup-sized (and profoundly dorky-looking) superhero Solarman to battle invaders who want to drain the sun's energy.

Solarman would seem like an ignoble end to Marvel's 80s stabs at cartoon supremacy, and it sort-of was. But a positive turn was right around the corner...

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