Thundercats was an American animated television series developed by Rankin/Bass and distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures in 1983 based on the characters created by Tobin "Ted" Wolf. The animation was provided by Pacific Animation Corporation, the working name for a collective of Japanese studios prominently including Topcraft, a group who would later go on to form Studio Ghibli. Season 1 of the show aired in 1985 (65 episodes), followed by a TV movie entitled Thundercats - HO! in 1986. Seasons 2, 3, and 4 followed a new format of 20 episodes each, starting with a five-part story; these aired from 1987 to 1988, 1988 to 1989, and 1989 to 1990, respectively.
On March 17, 1997, Thundercats was the first series seen on Cartoon Network's new action-animation afternoon block, Toonami. The series would depart and return in various timeslots including Saturday mornings and late night marathons until 2002. A game was even created for Cartoon Network's official web site that allows visitors to play as Lion-O and rescue fellow Thundercats while venturing Mumm-Ra's tomb.
There were also several comic-book series produced: Marvel Comics' version, 1985 to 1988; and two series by Wildstorm, an imprint of DC Comics, beginning in 2003. The Wildstorm-produced comics were created to tie-in with a wide range of merchandising which pre-dated the show. Items of clothing featuring the Thundercats logo have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years.
Thundercats Comic (UK)In 1985, a Thundercats series was published by Marvel Comics through its Star imprint. It ended with issue #24 in 1988. The following year, a new series was published by Marvel UK. The series consisted of 129 issues and was published for three years.
In 2002, DC Comics, owned by Warner Brothers, who acquired the license for the franchise, published a Thundercats sourcebook through its Wildstorm imprint. In 2003, a wave of mini series and one-shots was published.
Thundercats (Reclaiming Thundera). Issues #0-5. Written by Ford Gilmore, illustrated by various artists. Published in 2003.
Thundercats: The Return. Issues #1-5. Written by Ford Gilmore, illustrated by Benes, Pimental and Lea. Published in 2003.
Thundercats: Dogs of War. Issues #1-5 Written by John Layman, illustrated by Booth, Prado and Vey. Published in 2003.
Thundercats: Hammerhand's Revenge. Issues #1-5. Written by Fiona Avery, illustrated by D'Anda. Published in 2003.
Thundercats: Enemy's Pride. Issues #1-5. Written by John Layman, illustrated by Vriens, Heilig and Campus of Udon Studios. Published in 2004.
Thundercats Sourcebook. Text by Ford Gilmore, art by various artists. Published in 2002.
Battle of the Planets/Thundercats. Written by Munier Sharrieff, illustrated by Lee, Ross and Tam. Published in 2003.
Thundercats/Battle of the Planets. Written and illustrated by Kaare Andrews. Published in 2003 as a follow-up to Battle of the Planets/Thundercats.
Thundercats/Superman. Written by Judd Winick, illustrated by Garza. Published in 2004.
Origins: Heroes and Villains. Written and illustrated by various writers and artists. Published in 2004.
Origins: Villains and Heroes. Written and illustrated by various writers and artists. Published in 2004 as a follow-up to Origins: Heroes and Villains.
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