For the 1977 season, Filmation paired up the second season of Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle with reruns of The New Adventures of Batman in a block called The Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour. With the show block being successful, Filmation decided to use the two established shows as a hook to bring audiences in for some new content.
In 1978, they renamed the block Tarzan and the Super 7 (the Super 7 referencing the seven different shows that would be featured with Tarzan) and expanded it to an hour and a half. Along with Tarzan and a truncated version of Batman, Filmation included the additional segments of The Freedom Force, Manta and Moray, Superstretch and Microwoman, Web Woman and Jason of Star Command (the only live-action show in the block). Another segment, Sunlight and Starbright, was planned but abandoned at the network’s behest (technically making it the Super SIX).
|Microwoman and Trouble.|
Superstretch and Microwoman focused on the first pair of married African-American crime fighting partners on Saturday morning. Scientist Chris Cross (Ty Henderson) discovered a formula that would allow him to stretch his body into any shape and gave his wife, Christy (Kim Hamilton), the ability to shrink to microscopic size. Together they fought crime as Superstretch and Microwoman, with the help of their dog, Trouble, whom Christy rode when she shrank. Unlike other superheroes, the pair never wore costumes; although they did wear matching slacks and sweaters that were capable of changing shape with their bodies.
|Promo for the segment.|
The block debuted on September 9, 1978 on CBS, but only five of the included segments aired each week. Superstretch and Microwoman would alternate its place with Web Woman every Saturday beginning on the 16th. Seven episodes ran at 11-minutes each, with four clocking in at 17. Writers for the segment included Buzz Dixon, Len Janson and Chuck Menville, with Janson and Menville serving as story editors. The music was composed by Ray Ellis (as Yvette Blais) and producer Norm Prescott (as Jeff Michael). Imperial Toys would include the characters in their Super 7 puffy sticker collection, and Superstretch disguised as a robot on a watch.
|Battling a deadly double on the screen and in the courts!|
After the block’s debut, DC Comics sued Filmation for copyright infringement, claiming Superstretch and Manta and Moray were blatant rip-offs of their characters Plastic Man and Aquaman, respectively. Filmation had previously produced an Aquaman cartoon in association with DC, and was in talks to produce a Plastic Man series (made instead by Ruby-Spears Productions). The courts found in favor DC in both a 1980 decision and a 1986 appeal. As a result, no new segments were produced for Superstretch and had never seen release to home media. The segment remained on the air in reruns when the block moved to NBC, shedding Tarzan and being renamed Batman and the Super 7, but was never again once the block went off the air. To date, only a few sparse episode recordings are available to see on video hosting sites like YouTube.
“Bad Things Come in Small Packages” (9/16/78) -
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