Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to be what it is today, Marvel Comics found success in its animated series. One of those was X-Men: The Animated Series, which is coming back as X-Men ’97 on Disney+, joining the newly announced Spider-Man: Freshman Year. However, as popular as those titles are, there are still plenty of Marvel projects that don’t always come to fruition – including animated ones.
During a recent Twitter thread, Brad Graeber, the CEO of Castlevania creators Powerhouse Animation, revealed he pitched a Marvel series in 2014 titled Marvel Era. The project was to coincide with Marvel’s 75th anniversary. It was pitched as a short-form anthology series that would have shorts covering various eras, each with its own animation style. He unveiled a video that teased what would have been, including a hint at the artwork that would have been used for each character/era.
Graeber wrote approximately 14 “rough” concepts for Marvel Era, including a 40s-centric Captain America D-day story, as well as a Submariner U-boat story and a 60s X-Men story featuring a mutant who “led a cult with his powers.” He also explained there was a “very cinema 70s” Luke Cage and Iron Fist, as well as an 80s Punisher story that leaned into Scarface and Miami Vice.
Unfortunately, though, Marvel Era never moved forward as “studio politics were complicated, and we were green.” For Graeber, it’s something he has come to terms with over time as he’s since gotten to work on the critically-acclaimed Castlevania for Netflix.