Top 5 Superhero Cartoons that Got Cancelled Too Soon

Hello interweb, Nate here.  So we’ve all had that feeling when our favorite cartoon was cancelled for stupid reasons.  Some cartoons are understandable, other cartoons were just so good that it blows my mind why it got such a short run (Invader Zim anyone?).  Now this isn’t a list of cartoons that got a good run that I just would’ve liked to continue (like Teen Titans), this is a list of really good cartoons that only got 1 or 2 seasons and possibly ended on a cliffhanger (which is the worst!).

To see my other Top 10s (or 5s) click here.

 

Rulez

  • Marvel and DC only
  • The series must have a maximum of 2 seasons
    • Bonus if ending is a cliffhanger
  • This list isn’t as accurate as the others so don’t take this as the definitive order of the list.  What I mean by that is that there where several cartoons that I still don’t really know which order they belong in (4 and 3, and 2 and 1).

 

#5 – Green Lantern: The Animated Series

 

This cartoon featured Hal Jordan as he traveled through the galaxy with Kilowag and two original characters: Aya the green lantern robot (whose name came about when Hal believed that’s how you pronounce “AI”), and Razor the Red Lantern.  The season was split into two story arcs: the Red Lantern invasion and the Manhunter invasion.  Both stories played out really well with quite a few intense moments and each character has likability to them that makes you invested in the show.  The end of the show left us at a cliffhanger which I will not get into here because “spoilers” but it did hint that Razor became a Green Lantern, spoilery (yes I realize that’s not a word) stuff is going on with Aya, and Sinestro may become a Yellow Lantern eventually as he appeared in the show as a Green Lantern.  The only thing I didn’t like is the animation.  CGI is ok but I personally prefer 2d animation.  On top of that, all the guys just looks kinda awkward in this as they all have huge chests and thin waists and while superheroes are usually drawn/animated like that, CGI just makes it look unnatural for some reason.

So why did it get cancel?  Because it didn’t sell enough toys.  I kid you not, this show ended because Cartoon Network’s toy line for the show was not doing so well.  That’s just stupid!  Ah well, I’m pretty sure the entire series is on Netflix and if not than it’s probably on YouTube so check it out if you’re a Green Lantern fan.

 

#4 – The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

 

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes may be one of the best cartoons Disney XD ever had to offer.  It features the adventures of the Avengers and adapted several old story from the Jack Kirby days.  The team had an expanding roster that consisted of: Iron Man, Hulk, Ant-man, Wasp, Thor, Captain America, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Spider-man, Wolverine, and probably a few more characters that I missed.  The show also featured guest stars such as the Fantastic Four and Guardians of the Galaxy.  Some of my favorite arcs that they adapted was the Ultron Arc, Ant-man becoming Yellow Jacket, and the Skrull invasion.

So why was this cartoon cancelled?  Because Marvel wanted to take this cartoon that faithfully adapted many classic Avengers stories and had many well written and well developed characters, and replace it with Avengers Assemble which relies on the movies and has watered down caricatures of our beloved heroes.  Thanks Disney! 😡

 

#3 – The Spectacular Spider-man

 

This is a cartoon made for Spider-man fans, by either Spider-man fans or people who actually took their time to research this character well.  This cartoon is probably the best Spider-man cartoon I’ve seen (then again, I haven’t seen the 90’s cartoon so I don’t know how they compare).  It features Spider-man/Peter Parker in high school, features all the supporting cast you remember such as: Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane, Flash Thompson, Liz Allen, Aunt May, J Jonah Jameson, etc.  and features all of his villains in their proper way: Venom (whose actually an alien symbiote and not “concentrated Spider-man aggression” or whatever BS Ultimate Spider-man did), Green Goblin, Rhino, Vulture, Sandman, Electro, Doc Ock, Mysterio, Chameleon, Molten Man, Tombstone, Kraven, and so many villains.  Heck, they where going to bring in Scorpion on in the third season!  Scorpion!  That guys awesome, and what other villains could they have brought on?  Kingpin, Silver Sable, Hobgoblin, Morbius?  If this show would’ve continued it might have been one of the greatest superhero cartoons ever.

So why did this cartoon get cancelled?  Because Disney wanted to make their own Spider-man cartoon so they took the rights to Spider-man’s cartoons and they replaced it with Ultimate Spider-man.  And while Ultimate Spider-man is funny and I do enjoy it when I watch it, the characters are misrepresented and the villains take the concepts of their comic book counterparts, but leaves the characters behind.  The potential of future seasons just makes this cancellation even more annoying and I wish that it would come back to finish.

 

#2 – Young Justice

 

Young Justice is less of a DC adapted cartoon and more of a Cartoon Network fanfic of the DC universe; but a really good DC fanfic.  Despite it being called “Young Justice”, the show honestly has more similarities to the Teen Titans as the focus on the characters is strong but it also has a lot of great action and suspenseful story.  I won’t spoil the ending for the two of you who have yet to see the show, but it did end on a cliffhanger that introduced Darkseid!

So why did such an amazing show get cancelled?  Because the show attracted an older audience than Cartoon Network wanted and thus it was replaced with the horrible cartoon that is Teen Titans Go! which is the extremely watered down version of the original Teen Titans cartoon.

 

#1 – Wolverine and the X-Men

 

Despite the fact that Wolverine is the main character (to be fair, he’s a lot better here than in most places), this cartoon is everything I want from an X-Men cartoon.  Prejudice against mutants, colorful characters, character interaction, and a great story inspired by Days of Futures Past.  The series only got one season and ended on a cliffhanger that was going to lead into the Age of Apocalypse storyline!

The show got cancelled because of financial problems.  What!?!?  This could have been better than X-Men: Evolution and they just didn’t have the money!

 

So what are some cartoons that you guys feel ended too soon?  Leave a comment below!

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11 comments

  1. I definitely agree, all of these shows had such potential. It’s also even sadder when you look at the replacements. Avengers EMH is much better than Assemble and it’s just sad when you look at Titans Go next to Young Justice. I would probably switch out Wolverine and the X-Men with Avengers United They Stand for me. That show had the potential to be the greatest Marvel cartoon of all time for me and it was up to such a great start when it ended. Things were really getting interesting and I’m confident that they would have adapted a lot of epic 90’s arcs similar to how Avengers EMH was adapting them. It’s too bad that those shows were cancelled so quickly. The only positive is that it adds up in the stat sheet of how many Marvel cartoons they can churn out, but it’s a very small positive when compared to the negative of the shows being gone.

    1. I actually haven’t seen Avengers: UTS so I don’t know how good that show is, but even if I did see it I probably would’ve kept Wolverine and the X-Men on the list simply because I’m such a huge X-Men fan and that show just had amazing potential to be the best X-Men cartoon ever (again though, I haven’t seen much of the 90’s cartoon so I don’t really know my thoughts on it).

      With that said, it blows my mind on the decisions of these companies: “Hey Bob, should we keep this amazing cartoon full of great stories, characters and suspense?”…”Nah, let’s ditch that for a cheaper show that doesn’t even try!”

      1. I do at least recommend checking out the Age of Apocalypse and Days of Future Past inspired arcs in the 90’s show. I think you would definitely enjoy how many arcs they adapted from the classic Uncanny X-Men run. The Claremont days were certainly given a lot of recognition there. Yeah, TV shows have definitely gone down for Marvel and DC. It’s a bit of a dark era at the moment.

      2. Episodes 11 and 12 deal with Days of Future Past and they actually just call themselves that. As for the Age of Apocalypse type action, Beyond Good and Evil, the 5 part event (Basically a movie) is essentially that one. It’s not as much of an adaption as the other one as the alternate universe doesn’t actually get to appear, but is merely glimpsed as we see Cable leave the future and head to the past to avert it all. It was probably the best saga in the whole series as it brought every big character from the series together. Sinister, Apocalypse, Magneto, Mystique, The X-Men, guest stars like Bishop, Immortus, Cable, Psylocke, Angel (He’s actually a guest star in this one) and a whole lot of other characters. They should all be on Youtube I believe, although it’s been a long time since I checked them out. They also adapted both of the Phoenix Saga events, one was a 5 part saga and the Dark Phoenix was 4 parts. The Phalanx two parter is also a good one. So many good episodes, so little time!

      3. Sheesh, maybe I should just get a DVD collection of this thing and binge-watch it. Maybe I’ll get used to the animation as I watch it. I read the comic book version of Days of Future Past (and actually own it digitally) and also read the Dark Phoenix saga a while ago but I actually haven’t read Age of Apocalypse. Probably should pick that up from the library eventually.

      4. I haven’t read Age of Apocalypse either. The X-Men collections are all so huge so I typically just grab one at a time and eventually plan on grabbing them all. DVD collection sounds like a plan, but beware, I bought the whole series off of Ebay and none of the episodes worked so I eventually just taped them all from Disney XD back in the day. That was probably just an isolated incident though so it should still be safe. There are about 70 episodes so you’ll have a lot to check out! I do think that the animation will grow on you. It happens to me when I’m watching a show typically even if I didn’t care for the animation right away. (Symbiotic Titan and Samurai Jack)

      5. Oh the amount of good X-Men stories are huge (Age of Apocolypse, Dark Phoenix, Days of Future’s Past, Messiah Complex, House of M, etc.) but I guess that just means you have a lot of stories to have fun with.

        The thing is I think the animation the MAU was going for was a comic-book style but the thing is when the characters move it looks kinda choppy and unnatural which made it hard for me to watch. Again, if I just sit down and watch it I’ll probably get used to it but that’s the only reason I’ve been avoiding it.

        Also what was wrong with Symbiotic Titan? That show was amazing for the limited time it was on. Samurai Jack though I still haven’t seen and probably won’t.

      6. Oh, I liked Symbiotic Titan, I just didn’t care for the animation at first. I remember seeing commercials of it which turned me off. I didn’t actually get back to it until around last year when I saw it on Toonami. I ended up liking the animation by the end although it’s still not really my cup of tea. That’s another series, which could have used more episodes. The plot was about to turn it up a notch.

        Yeah, I suppose I can see what you mean about X-Men. I guess it’s just more that it’s my style I guess. I loved how the animation looked right from the get go. I really miss that 90’s style right now, especially with flash animation taking over.

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