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Silver Surfer

Unless I'm mistaken, while the other Marvel cartoons that aired during the 1990s fit reasonably well together, I don't think Silver Surfer fit into the same universe. It's been a while, but there were things about it, such as the complete absence of the Fantastic Four when Galactus and Silver Surfer come to Earth, that clearly contradict the events of the rest of the series. Of course, I'm coming in a year after the fact here, so... thoughts? - Caswin 14:30, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

You are correct. Silver Surfer directly contradicts facts from Fantastic Four. But you are also incorrect. The other shows do not fit together so nicely. Spider-Man (Scarlet) appears in X-Men but in Spider-Man he is from an alternate universe. Between X-Men, Spider-Man, and The Avengers: United They Stand there are numerous contradictions with Captain America and Red Skull. Just like with Star Trek, there are bound to be things that do not fit together when so many different people are producing different series set in the same universe.--Captain Sarcastica 16:27, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

There certainly are contradictions in the other shows; they'll crop up in any long-running franchise. However, most of them are relatively minor, and sometimes explainable. Portraying Ego as an equal to Galactus and eager to face him one time and afraid of him another would be a slightly extreme example of this. I realize that the "line" is something of a subjective issue, but I remember Silver Surfer in particular having much larger, more obvious inconsistencies with the Fantastic Four cartoon. Most notably, apart from (off the top of my head) the Four being absent when the Surfer and Galactus arrive on Earth and Nova being given a very different origin, the second season was scheduled to include an appearance from the Fantastic Four in a clearly and unabashedly different "first encounter" between the characters. This is certainly not to say that Silver Surfer isn't as worthy of recognition as any other Marvel program, but it appears to have been meant as an adaptation (or "universe") unto itself. - Caswin 19:57, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
It's true and I can't argue with that. But then there would be no Animated Universe because there is no consistency. Every series, with the exception of Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk, are so vastly different from each other in animation, style, themes, characterizations, and events that they could not fit. Unfortunately there was no Marvel version of Bruce Timm to oversee it all so the line had to be drawn somewhere. From what I've read most people consider the eight series from the 90's to be part of one universe despite the contradictions. We would either group several series that don't fit nicely and try to explain it or group none.--Captain Sarcastica 01:07, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
The key problem is in-story events; the other factors are mostly cosmetic. Silver Surfer is much further removed than the other seven shows are from each other, such that I've seen it commonly listed as an exception in other discussions on the Marvel Animated Universe. Therefore, there would certainly be a precedent for it, although I concede that it's not likely to be counted as such this wiki. - Caswin 01:27, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
There is only one problem, the third episode of Silver Surfer's origin. It is a simple fix, discount many events of that one episode. Cause otherwise it works perfectly. In "The Origin of the Silver Surfer, Part Three" Surfer comes to Earth, doesn't meet the Fantastic Four, then leaves. But this contradicts Fantastic Four where Surfer is stuck on Earth. Well, incorporate the two series anyways. Use Part One, parts of Part II, Fantastic Four, assume he gets off the planet, the end of Part III, and then the rest of Silver Surfer. This kind of thing is going to happen quite a bit with characters such as Captain America, Venom, She-Hulk, etc. Think of it like a puzzle, sometimes it takes some thinking it put it all together.--Captain Sarcastica 03:43, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I wasn't aware that we were discounting entire episodes or "pieces" to make them fit together. From my experience, Silver Surfer still presents the biggest problems in various episodes, but as I've already said, it does not appear that that will stop it from being counted here. - Caswin 17:57, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we can or should regard the MAU the same way we do with the DCAU. For one, the DCAU was produced by the same team, while the MAU was not. That alone confers to the DCAU a sense of cohesiveness and consistency that the MAU will never have. I wasn't even aware that there was a MAU until I found this wiki. Personally, I think that Silver Surfer is not the only source of discord. The entire Spider-Man Unlimited seems to contradict, or ignore, Spider-Man. But if we choose to include these in the same universe, we should at least mention these contradictions appropriately. But I agree with Caswin that it's not our place of discount events to make the continuity consistent. That would have been a job for the producers. I don't see any problem in precluding Silver Surfer from the MAU. We cover every Marvel based animated show, regardless of their continuity, so that wouldn't affect the site. ― Thailog 19:28, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Ok, bad example. But what I'm trying to say is that the problem with Silver Surfer is not that much greater than any other series. I am currently going through the various MAU series. I just finished SS and Fantastic Four is next on my list. Once I go through it I will be able to determine whether it can be integrated or if it is impossible. But for now just write articles as any other MAU article and we can change it later if need be.--Captain Sarcastica 01:56, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Decision

In the strictest sense, Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer absolutely cannot fit together. In the strictest sense no two series can. However, every series from the 90s can fit together if we the editors attempt to fill in the holes.

Silver Surfer represents the fundamental problem with creating an animated universe. As stated above there was no singular vision. Each episode is separate, done by different people, doing different things. Yet at the same time there seemed to be some effort to connect it. Using the same characters, same voice actors to play the same roles, and mentioning events from other series. Having them in one universe seems more like an afterthought than an actual attempt. The only two series that I can (currently) find no problems with each other are Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. There are too many errors to fit the series together yet too many connections to keep them all separate. It's quite contradictory.

If there is to an animated universe there must be a certain amount of assumptions. We must go beyond what was intended by the producers to do what the producers wanted to but failed to accurately accomplish. For example, we must assume that Spider-Man wore the Scarlet costume for his appearance on X-Men and assume Captain America got out of the vortex for his appearance on The Avengers: United They Stand. We occasionally must play with the timeline to get things to fit, such as "To Battle the Living Planet" and "When Calls Galactus" taking place long after "Nightmare in Green", despite airing first, so that it fits with "Fantastic Fortitude". If we don't, we would have to create separate pages for each character in each series they appear in. That would mean at least three pages on Wolverine even though it is the same design and same voice actor, but appearing on three separate and contradictory series.

Which brings me back to the subject of Silver Surfer. I have decided to keep it in. Can it fit? Not in the strictest sense. It was never meant to fit, only be its own series. But it can if we change some things as the events are essentially the same in both series. Galactus and Silver Surfer come to Earth and the Surfer rebels. Galactus takes Frankie Raye from Earth and transforms her into Nova. Same events, different specifics. I believe that "The Origin of the Silver Surfer, Part Three" can be expanded to include all of the Surfer's appearances on Fantastic Four. Not intended by the producers but it can fit the events from both series. Not only can they fit but they should as each series goes to help explain events in the other. "The Origin of the Silver Surfer, Part Two" explains his actions in "The Silver Surfer and the Coming of Galactus, Part Two". While "When Calls Galactus" goes to help explain an unexplainable event in "The Origin of the Silver Surfer, Part Three". Although different, the two series do go a long ways to compliment each other.

If we do not include Silver Surfer we would have to make every series a separate universe for the exact same reason. So when writing pages that would have to deal with these contradictions we would just have to put in a note in the Background section stating the problem. As of now the Marvel Animated Universe will continue to be the eight series of the 1990's.

--Captain Sarcastica 05:27, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Question. When did Silver Surfer have voice actors reprise their roles and mention events from the other shows? I honestly don't remember any scenes like that. - Caswin 14:57, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
When I said that I was talking about the MAU in general. The latter three series are more independent than the others. As far as I know no actor reprised their role in those series (they would use the same actors but playing other characters) and the only storyline I can think of that was referenced was Spider-Man's The Alien Costume. I know there are connections and smaller references, but it's not like having Robert Hays play Iron Man on three different series or Fantastic Four showing Juggernaut come out of the ocean following the events of the Phoenix Saga.--Captain Sarcastica 07:14, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
In that case, what did you mean by there being some effort to connect Silver Surfer to the other series? - Caswin 15:27, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I know there are some connections though I can't think of any off the top of my head. It'll be easier to find them once there are detailed episode guides.--Captain Sarcastica 17:55, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
So, any luck? Just to reiterate, I can't remember any efforts to tie in Silver Surfer to the other Marvel cartoons of the period -- only major discrepancies that seem to establish them as taking place in separate universes in the absence of other evidence. - Caswin 17:25, December 26, 2011 (UTC)
Here are my views on the whole situation and this project as a whole:
In the strictest sense, the Marvel Animated Universe does not exist. Officially, X-Men and Spider-Man share a universe. Fantastic Four, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk also make up a universe. In that sense, you could say that there are two MAU's. Meanwhile, The Avengers: United They Stand, Silver Surfer and Spider-Man Unlimited each have universes designated to themselves. Again, this just the official basis. Despite this, I believe that developing this wiki to infer that these eight series share a universe was perfectly fine and a fun thing to do (I'm not referring to myself by the way), despite it not being loyal to the official Marvel designations. However, I personally would have not included Spider-Man Unlimited since I hate the series and it doesn't seem to 'fit', despite the references to Spider-Man.
Also, here are some pointers:
  • Even though an event in one show may refer or lead up to an event in another (like Juggernaut's appearances on X-Men and Fantastic Four for example), it does not immediately make both shows share the same universe, as the parallel universe rule in Marvel means that two universes can be almost identical, and the same characters exist and events take place in both, hence the use of the word "parallel".
  • Scarlet Spider's appearance in X-Men is also in a parallel universe (specifically the Age of Apocalypse universe if I remember correctly), therefore the show does not contradict Spider-Man in that sense. However, the Scarlet Spider also makes a brief cameo appearance in a Fantastic Four episode, which does create a minor contradiction, hence explaining why Marvel might have designated the show away from Spider-Man.
Notdoppler 18:41, February 16, 2012 (UTC)

Notice

Recently, the Marvel "reality designators" changed their listing so that X-Men and Spider-Man take place in the same universe, and Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Hulk share a universe. [1] This has been reflected on the Marvel Database and therefore I have slightly altered some of the wording on this page and changed the External links section accordingly. Notdoppler 18:06, February 16, 2012 (UTC)

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