I want to start this one by saying I don’t necessarily hate this one. But that’s why I named this series “Not-So-Favorite Intros” instead of “Bad Intros” or “Intros I Hate”. Some of them aren’t really bad, just not good enough to be a favorite, but still pass the “indifferent zone”.
Ultraforce started out in syndication for Bohbot’s “Amazing Adventures” programming package (which gave us such shows as Street Sharks and the worst of the Double Dragon adaptations..yes, worse than the movie), and was later picked up by USA for their “Action Extreme Team” (AXT? Really, USA Network? Not AET?) line-up that sadly replaced the Cartoon Express block. The show itself was pretty good. The intro, however, was a knockoff of the X-Men intro I posted yesterday, and didn’t quite reach the same level.
[UPDATE: July 20, 2016: The video I had went down. This new version doesn’t have a clip of the show, so I benefited. It was the only one I could find at the time.]
Ultraforce was part of Malibu Comics’ “Ultraverse” imprint and served as their version of the Justice League or Avengers. The lineup was mostly formed by characters with their own titles plus a few leftovers unique to the title. The Ultraverse was a shared universe of superheroes and had a strong sense of continuity between the titles. Sadly, the 90’s comic collecting bubble went burst, and Malibu was a victim. They were later bought by Marvel (presumably to get their hands on Malibu’s digital coloring technique) who then proceeded to screw everything up and the Ultraverse is now no more. I never really got into it, but I can recognize some great concepts and characters now lost to the void of infinity.
So what about the opening? Well, obviously it was influenced by the X-Men opening. It shows off the characters with their own logos. You get some idea about their powers (Ghoul is a zombie, Hardcase is superstrong, Prime can secrete a superpowered body–eww), and you get the action scenes. There are two things that hurt it, however. One is the obvious rip-off of the X-Men opening. The only way to make it more obvious would be a frame-by-frame repeat, using the Ultraforce characters instead of the X-Men. The other is the theme song. By itself, its really kind of bland. What kicks into “reach for the mute button” territory is the guy yelling “Ul-tra-foooorce!” every now and then.
The hard part is that the show itself, while not quite outstanding (a crime many of the Amazing Adventures shows shared), was still pretty good, at least to me at the time. I wonder what I would think seeing it again today. The animation quality was good, and the voice actors were rather decent. But that intro really didn’t convince you to hang around.