Super Hero Squad Rumorbuster

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Squad, the Cartoon

Alright folks, this is a long post, but hopefully the edutainment value makes it worth your reading.

We’re still experiencing a bit of a post-SDCC boost in unique visitors but I’ve heard a couple people are disappointed at what we were NOT shown at San Diego. Namely? The Super Hero Squad cartoon.

Shows like Iron Man Man Armored Adventures, Black Panther and Wolverine and the X-Men were all given some good publicity at SDCC, while fellow Spring 2009 launches for Hulk Gamma Squad and Super Hero Squad didn’t get equal treatment.

Marvel’s other recent animation endeavor, Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes, which was just recently released in a “season 1” set, is likely dead giving Chris Yost’s interview at Toonzone and the fact that the last new episode was aired in October 2007, with many episodes never being aired on Cartoon Network.

So far everything makes sense, because Wolverine and the X-Men was scheduled to air in the BBC soon (although our own quick scan of BBC's channel listings indicate that it won't be making it's earlier announced August 2, 2008 timeline, Black Panther is already into the casting stage and the Iron Man trailer has already been shown, featuring Teen Tony.

But with 2 other series launching in the US around the same time, you’d expect comparable coverage… trailers, something. Steve Hulett, business rep of The Animation Guild reported on a recent visit to Film Roman getting the following information

"One of the Marvel shows (a direct-to-video feature, I think) as canceled. There's another Marvel project that, if my info is correct, is still on the calendar.

I was tipped off by a couple of artists about this when I went through the place Monday."

Film Roman is producing the upcoming Super Hero Squad series (or so the press release copy/pasted EVERYWHERE said way back in May - 133 hits with Google) and is known for work on everything from the Simpsons and King of the Hill to X-Men Evolution and the animated Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm series.

Browsing through the comments to Hulett’s post speculation included both Hulk and Super Hero Squad (neither of which are direct-to-video releases, but Hulett did say "I think", and there was nothing solid, just some anonymous rumors.

Then livingfruitvirus from Toonzone’s forums reported that his producer from Starz Media (owners of Film Roman) said the project was scrapped. For more information on “livingfruitvirus” check out his work at The C Word and 101 Megahertz and apparently he’ll be doing storyboards for the upcoming Goode Family series.

Now, that doesn’t mean that the project is totally dead. Nor does it mean you won’t see an animated Hulk, as he’s going to be visiting Wolverine and the X-Men.

What it DOES mean, is that Sure Hero Squad is NOT the canceled Film Roman project from the rumor going around the animation circles, and that Hulk: Gamma Squad has apparently been shelved.
(bolded so that this post's bottom line doesn't get lost amongst all these pesky facts and reports.)

While Hulk may visit the X-Men, there’s still some question as to whether the Spidey will visit the Squad. We’ve been following the press releases and noting his absence since May. While some speculation is that the CW’s deal for airing season 1 of Spectacular Spider-Man (season 2 is currently homeless...) may prevent him from being in the cartoon, but a far likelier problem may be SONY (producer of the Spectacular Spider-Man and one of the producers of the upcoming possible musical) and their long history of being insanely protective and greedy with Spider-Man rights ever since Marvel and SONY formed Spider-Man L.P. to share the rights, rights that include shared publishing rights and resulted in oh, about 30 million dollars of profit for Marvel in Q1 2008. Would SONY want to allow a character in a series they produce and have shared publishing rights with starring in a series promoting a toy line that benefits Marvel’s other major licensing agreement (the one with Hasbro) and produced by a different company? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll keep our eyes out for further proof one way or the other regarding Spider-Man in the Super Hero Squad cartoon.

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