The early 1990s was an iconic time for great cartoons. Not only did we have an entire slate of Nick toons, we also had plenty of superhero animated series' to choose from in addition to traditional comic book shows.
Although some of our favorites may have only lasted a season or two, we still get overly excited when we catch a re-run on TV or see the entire series added to Netflix.
Sometimes a re-watch might make us realize the reason a cartoon didn't make it past a few episodes, but most of the time watching these gems again feels just as magical as the first time.
They are classics whether they still hold up or not.
Let's take a walk back to the '90s and reminisce about superhero cartoons you need to watch (again)...
Half shark, half man, fighting evil that's the plan!
The Bolton brothers began as humans and lived rather normal lives. That is until their father, Dr. Robert Bolton and his partner Dr. Luther Paradigm created a DNA mashing machine called the "gene-slammer" which turned aquatic creatures into hybrids.
Dr. Paradigm had other ideas when he tried to use the device for shellfish reasons and instead turned the Bolton brothers into cool shark kids. In turn, the Street Sharks transformed Dr. Paradigm into a toothy Pirahna who spent the rest of the series creating crazy sea creatures to destroy Fission City.
Ripster, Jab, Streex, and Big Slammu were known for their super trendy early '90s hobbies like rollerblading, skateboarding, playing the drums, football, snowboarding, boxing, even being pool sharks. The pun just never ended with this superhero team.
Oh, and they did actually have superpowers. Ripster could chomp through steel, Jab used his hammerhead to bash things, Streex wqas an expert rollerblader, and Big Slammu was a siesmic slammer.
Yes, Street Sharks was completely ridiculous and only lasted three seasons (with the word shark in each episode title) but my god weren't they jawesome?prevnext
When there's trouble you call DW!
Disney's original Darkwing Duck, which ran from 91-92 was thought to be a spinoff of Duck Tales until the creator confirmed they were in two different universes. Launchpad McQuack, the trusty sidekick in both shows must have figured out how to hop between them.
Our hero was just an average duck by day, but a serious crime-quaker by night.
Drake Mallard (a parody of pulp hero, The Shadow) was a quiet duck living in the suburbs raising his family until his alter-ego Darkwing started craving the fame and fortune that comes along with being a hero.
He often struggled to balance his obession with crime fighting with trying to be a good father to his adopted daugher Goselyn and a good citizen of St. Canard (a direct parody or Gotham City).
In fact, the entire series was a satirical take on comic book heroes of the Golden Age like The Shadow, Batman, Doc Savage, The Sandman, Green Hornet and even Zorro.
Each episode gave us a bit of fun fan service by spoofing the entire superhero genre.prevnext
He's our hero, he'll take polution down to zero!
Captain Planet and The Planeteers taught us that saving the environment was the cool thing to do.
The Planeteers were a group of kids from around the world who each had a special ring to keep the earth safe from eco-villains. The bad guys were constantly poaching, littering, cutting down trees, and commiting the ultimate crime of pollution.
When the kids couldn't defeat the eco-villains on their own, they summoned Captain Planet to help.
Which was odd because his only weakness was the very thing he was battling - pollution. He took on Smog Hog, Lutten Plunder, Hoggish Greedly, Sly Sludge and many other big bads with punny names.
Captain Planet was education meets entertainment, we all learned to take care of the environment...sort of.prevnext
X-Men, the critically-acclaimed cartoon, was probably the best incarnation of the comic book characters. Yes, even over the X-Men movies, with the exception of X-2.
The animated series ran for five seasons starting in 1992 and gave us character iterations taken straight from the pages, based on artist Jim Lee's drawings.
The X-Men often dealt with some pretty serious social issues, which may have been a bit mature for children, but was otherwise groundbreaking in the superhero cartoon genre. In turn, X-Men helped launch other mainstream comic book catroons.
The outcast mutant team addressed bigotry, the American government, the Holocaust, divorce, AIDS, and even mocked the real-world media quite a few times.
If for some reason you haven't seen this series, it still holds up for adults and is true to the source material.
Oh, and Magneto is an actual villain.prevnext
Batman: The Animated Series
We've finally reached the Holy Grail.
To this day, no other "cartoon" can surpass the greatness that was Batman: The Animated Series.
It introduced new characters, which were later added to canon in the comics, and defined Bruce Wayne as an intelligent business owner rather than a wealthy playboy.
The original Robin, Dick Grayson, was also redefined as a more serious character as opposed to being a silly boyish sidekick.
And to top it all off, Batman: The Animate Series was created as neo-noir, taking stylistic inspiration from Tim Burton's Batman in 1989. Gotham City was dark, the villains were pure evil, and I've personally watched each season about 13 times.0comments
Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker) became the most iconic voices behind their characters. To this day, the pair is still the first pick when it comes to the DC Animated Universe. Conroy and Hamill defined their characters and other voice-actors don't quite measure up.
Let's get one thing straight - the DC Animated Universe, including cartoons and feature length movies, has and will always be unrivaled.prev