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
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) -