There’ve been a lot of Marvel cartoons over the decades, and there will continue to be more as its characters spin off into bigger properties. However, we don’t always hear about the Marvel cartoons that don’t happen, of which there’s probably many. But Brad Graeber, CEO of Castlevania creators Powerhouse Animation, has decided to pull back the curtain on a Marvel show the studio previously tried to make.
To coincide with Marvel’s then-75th anniversary back in 2014, Graeber pitched “Marvel Era,” a shortform anthology series that would’ve had a different short inspired by various Marvel eras. In a Twitter thread, Graeber explained how each episode or short would’ve come with its own animation style to go along with the specific decade—Captain America’s would’ve been in the style of Fleischer cartoons from the 40s, Power Man and Iron Fist would draw on 70s cinema, you get the idea. The most interesting of these is probably the 60s X-Men, made in part by Castevania director Sam Deats.
With the work the studio was doing at the time for various animated Disney projects, Graeber was asked by Disney executives to pitch some concepts, and Era was one that everyone in the studio quickly rallied behind. Keep in mind, this was all at a time when Powerhouse wasn’t the...well, powerhouse that is today thanks to projects like Castlevania or Seis Manos. Passionate as the studio was, Graeber openly admits that the studio didn’t have the money or time needed to fully spec out the project, though what he’s got in the thread itself is incredibly impressive. He even decided to set the animation to the 90s X-Men theme, which is a pretty fun coincidence.
The other thing that did Marvel Era in was, unsurprisingly, Marvel itself. At the time, the MCU was still just a small collection of movies and Disney’s acquisition of the publisher had everything splintered off. As Graeber explains it himself, “studio politics were complicated, and we were green.”
Sure, Powerhouse eventually got their hands on Castlevania and the rest is history, but don’t you kind of wish we got this too?
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