(ABC, September 8-December 22, 1973
September 10, 1977-November 9, 1985)
Hanna-Barbera Productions, National Periodical Publications
Danny Dark – Superman/Clark Kent, Android Superman (season 1), Commissioner James Gordon (season 3), various
Olan Soule – Batman/Bruce Wayne (season 1-7), Jonathan Kent (season 1), Professor Martin Stein (season 8), various
Adam West – Batman/Bruce Wayne (season 8-9)
Casey Kasem – Robin/Dick Grayson, Justice League Computer, Jor-El (season 1), various
Shannon Farnon – Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (season 1-7), Martha Kent, Lara Lor-Van (both season 1), Hawkgirl/Sheyera Hall, Rima (both season 2), Timora, Empress Zana, Aphrodite (all season 3), Lois Lane (season 4), various
Connie Cawlfield – Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (season 8)
Norman Alden – Aquaman/Arthur Curry (season 1-2), Plastic Man/”Eel” O’Brien, Guard (both season 1), Green Arrow/Oliver Queen, Black Scientist (both season 2)
William Callaway – Aquaman/Arthur Curry (season 3-7), Bizarro (season 3 & 5-7)
Ted Knight – Flash/Barry Allen, Narrator (both season 1), Black Manta (season 2)
Frank Welker – Marvin White, Wonder Dog (both season 1), Toyman (season 3), Mr. Mxyzptlk (season 3-8), Darkseid (season 8-9), various
Sherry Alberoni – Wendy Harris, museum patron, Polly Lean (all season 1)
Louise Williams (also as Liberty Williams) – Jayna (season 2-7), young Giganta (season 3), various
B.J. Ward – Jayna (season 8), Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (season 9)
Jack Angel – Hawkman/Katar Hall (season 2-3, 5-7 & 9), Samurai/Toshio Eto (season 2-3 & 5-9), Flash/Barry Allen (season 2-3 & 9), various
Michael Rye – Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Apache Chief (season 2-3 & 5-9), henchman, scientist (both season 4), Joe Chill (season 9), various
Regis Cordic – Apache Chief (season 2, 2 episodes)
Buster Jones – Black Vulcan (season 2-3 & 5-8), various
Wally Burr – The Atom/Ray Palmer (season 2 & 5-7)
Michael Bell – Zan, Gleek (both season 2-8), The Riddler/Edward Nygma (season 3 & 5), young Lex Luthor (season 3), various
Kathy Garver – Hawkgirl/Sheyera Hall, Rima (both season 5)
Fernando Escandon – El Dorado (season 5-8)
Mark L. Taylor – Firestorm/Ronnie Raymond (season 8-9)
Ernie Hudson – Cyborg/Victor Stone (season 9)
Ken Sansom – Professor Martin Stein (season 9)
William Woodson – Narrator (season 2-9), various
After successfully reinventing and reintroducing several of their Golden Age characters to modern audiences, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz decided it was also time to bring back their Golden Age team: The Justice Society. Schwartz assigned writer Gardner Fox the task, and influenced by the popularity of Major League Baseball’s American and National Leagues, decided to update the name from “Society” to “League.”
The Justice League of America made their debut in The Brave and the Bold #28 (1960). Fox, along with artist Mike Sekowsky, comprised the team of DC’s regularly published superheroes: the last son of Krypton, Superman (see The History of Superman); Batman, the dark knight detective (see The History of Batman); the Amazon warrior princess, Wonder Woman; the defender of the sea, Aquaman (see Aquaman); the fleet-footed Flash; the shape-shifting Martian Manhunter; and the cosmic policeman Green Lantern (see Green Lantern: The Animated Series). After two more appearances, the League gained their own title. Surprisingly, while both Batman and Superman would become synonymous with the Justice League over the decades, both were rarely featured in early League stories and even less-so on the covers. Over the next four years, Fox would integrate other Golden Age revivals: the emerald archer Green Arrow; the winged lawman Hawkman; and the shrinking Atom.
The Justice League would experience a number of line-up changes, gain and lose different bases of operations, and would come to be shaped by some of DC’s best talent. In 1967, the League made their first jump to television in Filmation’s The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure block, which combined the second season of The New Adventures of Superman with Aquaman. The Aquaman half featured a rotating “guest” segment that starred the individual members of the League, as well as the League itself. However, neither Wonder Woman or Martian Manhunter were featured.
The Justice League would experience a number of line-up changes, gain and lose different bases of operations, and would come to be shaped by some of DC’s best talent. In 1967, the League made their first jump to television in Filmation’s The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure block, which combined the second season of The New Adventures of Superman with Aquaman. The Aquaman half featured a rotating “guest” segment that starred the individual members of the League, as well as the League itself. However, Batman, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter weren’t featured (Filmation would give Batman his own show the following year, and would give Wonder Woman her first non-comic appearance in an episode of The Brady Kids).
In the 1970s, Hanna-Barbera acquired the rights for DC’s characters and introduced their version of Batman and Robin in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies in 1972. Both Olan Soule and Casey Kasem reprised their roles from Filmation’s series. The following year, they rolled out an all-new Justice League cartoon called Super Friends, developed by Norman Maurer. While the League was referred to as both the League and the Super Friends on screen, the choice of “friendlier” title was to reduce militaristic implications in a post-Vietnam War era. It was also meant to emphasize that it wouldn’t be the violent fare that had led to the creation of Action for Children’s Television in 1969, which led to the cancellation of Filmation’s Superman in 1968 (as well as every action-oriented program currently airing), and stricter FCC guidelines that children’s programming should have educational merit. As a result, the threats the League faced were often defeated by being reasoned with. There was also an abundance of pro-social environmental themes. Child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott was retained as a script advisor for the show.
The League’s core members consisted of those who had previously appeared in animation individually or as members of the League, including Batman and Robin, Superman (Danny Dark) and Aquaman (Norman Alden). Breaking up the boy’s club was the inclusion of Wonder Woman (Shannon Farnon), marking the first time she was ever a part of the League outside of the comics. Wonder Woman was created by psychologist William Moulton Marston (as Charles Moulton) after Max Gaines, publisher of National Periodicals and All-American Publications (which would eventually merge to form today’s DC Comics), invited him to create his own superhero after hiring him as an educational consultant. Marston had given a 1940 interview in Family Circle magazine discussing the unfulfilled potential of the comic book medium, and conceived of a hero that could triumph with love instead of violence. At the suggestion of his wife Elizabeth, Marston’s hero was made a woman. Elizabeth also became the basis for Wonder Woman as Marston believed she was the perfect example of the unconventional liberated woman of the era.
Wonder Woman made her debut in All-Star Comics #8 (1941). She was of a tribe called the Amazons that lived on the secluded Paradise Island. She won the right to escort stranded Air Force pilot Steve Trevor back to man’s world, where she remained as a member of the Justice Society of America. Initially, she had strength equal to that of Superman, was able to heal fast, and was given a wide array of mental and psychic abilities tapping into Marston’s interest in parapsychology and mysticism. Her most common tools were her bulletproof bracelets that could deflect any attack, suggested by Marston’s assistant and domestic partner, Olive Byrne, and Lasso of Truth, inspired by Marston’s role in the creation of the polygraph in that it could compel anyone it entwined to speak only the truth. In Sensation Comics #1 (1942), she was given an invisible plane during a period before she was given the power to fly (the invisibility was an allegory to the feminine compliance that allowed them to enter and survive the Depression Era workplace against male hostility).
Created specifically for the show were teenaged Wendy Harris (Sherri Alberoni) and Marvin White (Frank Welker); two superheroes-in-training with no powers. Their costumes were comprised of street clothes with their first initials on their shirts and capes. They also had a dog named Wonder Dog (also Welker) who, like Hanna-Barbera’s most popular character, Scooby-Doo, could reason and talk to a degree. They were intended to give the younger audience characters they could relate to and also served as either constant victims needing to be rescued by the heroes or as comic relief. Occasionally, the team would confer with their government liaison, Col. Wilcox (John Stephenson), during emergencies.
The League was given a new base of operations for the show: the Hall of Justice. Designed by background artist Al Gmuer, the Hall was modeled after the art deco Union Terminal in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Terminal is a retired train station that currently operates as a museum. The Hall served as the meeting place for the team, where they would gather around a large round table. It also housed the TroublAlert: the computerized monitoring station that would alert them to any kind of threat or emergency around the world.
Super Friends debuted on ABC on September 8, 1973 and ran for 16 hour-long episodes with Knight serving as its narrator. It was written by Fred Freidberger, Willie Gilbert, Bernie Kahn, Dick Robbins, Ken Rotcop, Henry Sharp, Arthur Weiss and Marshall Williams. Hoyt Curtin and Will Schaefer composed the music while Alex Toth served as the lead character designer and animation supervisor. Unfortunately, the series failed to catch on and wasn’t renewed after its final episode. It did remain on ABC’s schedule until August 24th, 1974 when it was finally removed.
Like most comic book deaths, the show’s cancellation would prove to be temporary. While the animated adventures of Wonder Woman had come to a close, in 1975 she was brought to live-action after two false starts. In 1967, William Dozier, producer of the hit Batman, attempted to bring Wonder Woman to life with a commissioned pilot called Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince? Starring Linda Harrison as Wonder Woman and Ellie Wood Walker as her alter-ego Diana Prince, only five minutes were shot and it was only ever seen much later on the internet. In 1974, ABC commissioned a pilot movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby in a radically different interpretation of the character that bore little resemblance to the source material. It wouldn’t be until 1975 when ABC would get it right with Wonder Woman starring Lynda Carter. The ratings from that show, coupled with that of their ongoing hit The Six Million Dollar Man, inspired ABC to bring Super Friends back, but with a greater emphasis on action (within acceptable tolerance levels for network censors, that is).
Hanna-Barbera retooled the show and renamed it The All-New Super Friends Hour. The characters were made a bit more serious and less campy, although the series was still fairly light in its content. The junior superheroes were removed and replaced in order to give the team better back-up on their adventures. Enter: the Wonder Twins, created by Maurer. Zan (Michael Bell) and Jayna (Louise Williams) were siblings from the planet Exxor (or Exor, depending on the source) who could transform into any form of water and animal, respectively, when they touched fists and called out “Wonder Twin powers, activate!” They, too, had a pet in the form of blue space monkey, Gleek (Bell), who served as the show’s comic relief and often wound up in mischief.
Initially, the Wonder Twins were to be named Dick and Jane, with their sidekick Mighty Monkey, until it was decided to base their names on Tarzan and Jane from the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Dick had the ability to stretch much like Plastic Man, while Jane could transform into virtually anything. Those powers were ultimately scaled back in order to keep the other members of the team from seeming superfluous. Jayna’s hair was inspired by an animation checker at Hanna-Barbera while their pointed ears were based on Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) from Star Trek. Their personalities were taken from Donny and Marie Osmond, who were popular at the time with an ABC show of their own.
Debuting on September 10, 1977, The All-New Super Friends Hour replaced the previous iteration on ABC’s Saturday schedule. Each episode was broken up into four segments: the first featured a team-up between two of the Super Friends (Batman and Robin counted as one); the second would have the Wonder Twins discouraging dangerous activities of youths; the third was the main adventure featuring the entire team dealing with a threat; and the final featured a member of the team teaming-up with a guest star whose unique abilities were needed to resolve a specific situation. In between each segment would be a short spot where the heroes would give basic safety lessons, health tips, advice, teach magic tricks and a riddle in relation to the third segment’s story. It was written by Robbins, Gilbert, Dick Conway, Orville H. Hampton (as Owen Harris), Elana Lesser, Duane Poole, Cliff Ruby and John Strong, with Jeffrey Scott (as Jeff Maurer) serving as story editor. Bill Woodson assumed the role of the series’ narrator for the remainder of the series until season nine. His delivery was as memorable as the show itself, particularly his most frequent lines such as “Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice…” The show ran concurrently with Filmation’s The New Adventures of Batman, which was the first time the same animated character appeared on two shows on two different networks at the same time.
Amongst the featured villains was Aquaman’s arch-nemesis, the armored Black Manta (called simply Manta and rendered in more of a brown color, voiced by Knight) who was also a part of Aquaman’s program. Making his debut was Gentleman Ghost (called Gentleman Jim Craddock, and voiced by Richard Paul), an 1800s highwayman whose phantom was cursed to roamed the Earth until his killer finally passed on. However, since his killer was one of the reincarnations of Hawkman the curse would never be lifted. Craddock was largely portrayed as an invisible body inside a tuxedo and top hat with a monocle.
|Model sheet for Rima.|
The “guest” segments featured the expanded roster of the League, which included mainstays the Flash, Hawkman (both Jack Angel), Hawkgirl (Farnon), Green Lantern (Michael Rye) and the Atom (Wally Burr). New to animation was Rima, the Jungle Girl (also Farnon); the heroine from W.H. Hudson’s 1904 novel Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest. DC had adapted the character into her own self-titled series for seven issues beginning in 1974. Rima had lived in a South American jungle where she met and befriended Abel, a political refugee from Venezuela. Where Rima died in the novel, the comic continued on with her only being slightly injured and took on a Tarzan-like narrative.
Hanna-Barbera, looking to increase the team’s diversity, also created three new heroes: Apache Chief (Regis Cordic in the first appearance, Rye afterwards, Al Fann in one episode, using stereotypical Native American broken English), Samurai (Angel) and Black Vulcan (Buster Jones). Apache Chief was a Native American who could grow to unlimited sizes and strengths by speaking the word “Eh-Neeek-chock” (said to be Apache for “big man”). Samurai largely took the place of the robotic Red Tornado. He gained the ability to manipulate wind when he was hit by a beam from the New Gods of New Genesis, looking to create more heroes for a coming war against the despot Darkseid. Samurai also had other abilities he learned from studying the ancient arts, activating them by speaking a phrase in Japanese, allowing him to travel at great speeds as a super tornado, set himself on fire, or cast an illusion.
Black Vulcan was Hanna-Barbera’s answer to being unable to secure a DC character. While the show was in production, DC Comics was having difficulties with Tony Isabella, the creator of Black Lightning. Isabella was brought in to fix the character “The Black Bomber,” who would have been a white man that hated black people and gained the ironic ability to become a black superhero. Isabella instead pitched his character of Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning; a teacher with the ability to generate and manipulate electricity who donned an afro and spoke in jive as a way to distance his identities further. Black Lightning became DC’s first black superhero with his own title. It ran for 11 issues in 1977, of which Isabella wrote 10 until he left the book when he felt DC failed to live up to various agreements with him. When Hanna-Barbera wanted to include Black Lightning in Super Friends, they were either told they couldn’t by DC due to the dispute with Isabella, or put off by the fee they would have to pay him. So, Hanna-Barbera created their own version with Black Vulcan, who had the same powers and a similar appearance, sans the jive-talking charade. In response, Isabella’s final issue of Black Lightning dealt with a con artist named Barbara Hanna who promoted an impostor Lightning.
|The ever-expanding roster of the Justice League.|
For the next season, the show was revised once again. Initially called Battle of the Superheroes, the show would have introduced Captain Marvel, aka Shazam, to the Super Friends and the League of Evil, a team of villains led by his arch-nemesis Dr. Sivana. Amongst the intended members of the League of Evil would have been fellow Shazam foes King Kull and Mister Atom, Batman villains Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy, and Flash villains Heat Wave and Abra Kadabra (the latter three having gone as far as early concept art by Toth). However, Filmation’s The New Adventures of Batman and their live-action Shazam! prevented the use of most of those characters by Hanna-Barbera.
|The Legion of Doom: Black Manta, Giganta, Toyman, Riddler, Bizarro, Scarecrow, Lex Luthor, Captain Cold, Cheetah, Solomon Grundy, Gorilla Gordd, Brainiac and Sinestro.|
Instead, Hanna-Barbera decided to upgrade Flash, Hawkman and Green Lantern into full-time members of the team, along with their original creations from the previous season. The League of Evil became the Legion of Doom and was filled with an assortment of the various heroes’ well-known villains. The Legion was formed and led by evil super genius Lex Luthor (Stan Jones), Superman’s arch-nemesis. Other Superman foes included his twisted duplicate, Bizarro (William Callaway); the Coluan super genius, Brainiac (Ted Cassidy); and the twisted toymaker, Toyman (who more resembled villain Jack Nimball, voiced by Welker). From Flash’s rogues, they recruited Captain Cold (Dick Ryal), who used guns that fired ice beams, and the super-intelligent and telepathic Gorilla Grodd (Stanley Ralph Ross), who was from a secret race of human-like gorillas that lived in the hidden Gorilla City. From Wonder Woman’s foes, there was Giganta (Ruth Forman), who could increase her size and mass, and Cheetah (Marlene Aragon), socialite Priscilla Rich with an inferiority complex and split personality that led her in her quest to kill Wonder Woman. Green Lantern’s former mentor and partner Sinestro (Vic Perrin) joined the league with his yellow power ring of fear, as did the Golden Age Green Lantern’s foe of Solomon Grundy (Jimmy Weldon, using a southern accent with broken English), who was essentially a zombie that was brought back to life by a monolith of immense power. This Grundy was the most intelligent depiction of the character. Rounding out the Legion was Aquaman’s (now Callaway) foe, Black Manta (named and better resembling his comic counterpart and now also voiced by Cassidy), and the only two Batman villains not held up by rights: The Riddler (Bell), who enjoyed taunting enemies with riddle-like clues, and the fear-inducing Scarecrow (Don Messick).
|Luke, I am your base of operations.|
Contrasting the Super Friends, the Legion of Doom operated out of a dark, black base in the middle of a swamp called the Hall of Doom. During the second season, the first Star Wars film had hit theaters and become a major success. The entire studio took the day off to see the movie, and producer William Hanna sent out a memo the next day assuring the design departments that he and the network would be okay with their “borrowing” elements from the film to incorporate into their shows. As a result, Toth’s design for the villains’ Hall largely resembled Darth Vader’s helmet. Their Hall could also take off as a fully weaponized flying saucer to allow the Legion some mobility.
Challenge of the Superfriends debuted on September 9, 1978 with an opening introduction by Stan Jones explaining who the Legion of Doom was (although incorrectly identifying them as all hailing from remote parts of the galaxy as only two were actually aliens). The intro was laid out by staffer Darrell McNeil, who had provided animation clean-up for most of All-New. The series was broken up into two segments: the first featured the Super Friends battling the Legion of Doom without the Wonder Twins, while the second featured the Wonder Twins and various arrangements of the Super Friends battling original (mostly alien) threats. The Wonder Twins were less effectual this go around, often ending up in need of saving by the rest of the team. Scott served as the primary writer and story editor for the season, with story direction by John Bruno, Jan Green, Ron Maidenberg, Hal Mason, Michael O’Connor, Mario Piluso, Dick Sebast, Don Sheppard, Paul Sommer, Robert Taylor, Warren Tufts and Toth.. Character designs for this season were handled by Andre LeBlanc.
|Mr. Mxyzptlk plays genie for a mindless sap.|
Because of the inclusion of the Legion and Curtin’s opening theme, as well as liberal reruns on Cartoon Network, Challenge was one of the best regarded and remembered incarnations of the show for fans. This season also marked the first appearance of Lois Lane in the Super Friends franchise and the first of two times Wonder Woman would use her lasso to compel someone to tell the truth. Mr. Mxyzptlk (Welker), the all-powerful imp from the 5th dimension who enjoyed popping up to torment Superman until he was made to speak his name backwards, also made an appearance in an episode. When aired in syndication, the segments were often broken up and aired under both the Challenge and All-New intros.
The next season saw a reduction in both roster and episodes. The World’s Greatest Superfriends featured a return to their All-New roster and had only eight episodes. While Lex Luthor and Mr. Mxyzptlk appeared in an episode apiece, the majority of the stories were focused around folklore, fairy tales and classic literature including The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, Aladdin from The Arabian Nights, the legend of King Arthur and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Hanna-Barbera also created their own version of the Crime Syndicate, an evil version of the Justice League from an alternate universe, called the Super Enemies. They largely resembled the Super Friends, except with minor changes to distinguish them such as different colored costumes, mustaches, eye patches, red eyes, etc. The season began on September 22nd, 1979 and was the first incarnation of the Super Friends to be only a half-hour in length. Scott was once again the sole writer, with story direction by Rick Hoberg, Emilie Kong, Larry Latham and Will Meugniot. Paul DeKorte joined Curtin on scoring duties.
Season 5 saw the return of the regular Superfriends title, this time rendered as one word, and the original characters created for All-New. Joining them this time was another original character named El Dorado (Fernando Escandon, occasionally substituting Spanish words for English as he spoke), a Mexican hero who had a variety of ill-defined powers; the most frequently used one was the ability to teleport. The Wonder Twins were further maligned; starting out in their own adventures but needing to call on another teammate for help in what should have been a simple mission. Other featured heroes included Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Rima (both Kathy Garver), and the Atom.
|El Dorado vs. the Dollmaker.|
Debuting on September 13, 1980, Superfriends returned to the hour-long format; however the first half hour was a rerun from the previous incarnations of the show while the second was comprised of three all-new 7-minute segments. It was the only incarnation of the Super Friends to run for more than one season, spanning an 8-episode first season (5th overall) and 6-episode second (6th overall). The reduced episode number was caused by a writer’s strike. The second season saw the return of the Legion of Doom both as a team and as individual members, although Ross took over the role of Brainiac following Cassidy’s death. Wonder Woman’s mother, Queen Hippolyta, also made her second appearance on the show although she was changed from a brunette to a blonde. In an unusual move, three Phantom Zone villains that appeared in Challenge made a re-appearance; the first original foes to do so during the show’s run. Once again, Scott was the sole writer with story direction by Richard Chidlaw, Jim Fletcher, David Russell, Lew Saw and Roy Wilson.
|The Phantom Zone villains.|
For the 1982-83 season, ABC ran reruns of the show under the title The Best of the Super Friends. By 1983, Hanna-Barbera created a syndication package that was picked up by various stations for weekday afternoon broadcasts. Not wanting to compete with syndicated programming, ABC once again cancelled Super Friends. Hanna-Barbera, however, had continued to produce 8 more episodes of Superfriends. Known as the “Lost Episodes”, they were originally only seen in Australia where the series continued uninterrupted. One episode did see airtime in the United States when ABC reversed their decision a second time and brought Super Friends back to their schedule. The remainder of this third season (7th overall) did eventually air in 1995 as part of The Superman/Batman Adventures; an hour-long programming block on USA Network that aired edited episodes of the various Super Friends incarnations, The New Adventures of Superman, Aquaman and The Adventures of Batman.
Along with the return of Super Friends reruns, ABC commissioned a new season which underwent some revisions. In 1984, DC had awarded Kenner the license to produce action figures based on their various characters. Kenner debuted “The Super Powers Collection,” so named because of the special mechanical actions each figure possessed when their arms or legs were squeezed. To promote the line, DC and Kenner slapped the “Super Powers” label on almost anything they produced during the line’s existence. That included the Super Friends, which was called Superfriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show for its 8th season when it debuted on September 8, 1984. Each episode featured two 10-minute segments. It was written by Glenn Leopold, John Bradford, Alan Burnett, Jeff Segal, John Bates, John Bonaccorsi, Douglas Booth, Rich Fogel, Cynthia Friedlob, Kimmer Ringwald, John Semper and Marc Scott Zicree, with Segal serving as story editor.
|They say clothes make the man.|
Aquaman was dropped from the team roster, appearing in only the show’s introduction along with the Flash. Both Lex Luthor and Brainiac would be redesigned to appear closer to their comic counterparts; Luthor gaining his green and purple power armor and Brainiac his silver robotic body with the dome showing off his computerized brain. Connie Cawlfield took over the role of Wonder Woman from Farnon, and Wonder Woman’s costume was redesigned to feature the “WW” logo rather than the eagle. B.J. Ward assumed the role of Jayna in what would be the final episodes to feature the Wonder Twins. Probably the biggest change came when Adam West succeeded Soule in the role of Batman; his first time voicing the character since 1977’s The New Adventures of Batman.
|Firestorm and Professor Stein.|
Supplanting the Wonder Twins as the relatable youth character was Firestorm (Mark L. Taylor). Created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom, Firestorm debuted in Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #1 (1978) which had high school student Ronnie Raymond and Nobel Prize-winning scientist Professor Martin Stein (Soule) caught in a nuclear accident that fused them together into the single entity of Firestorm. However, Ronnie was in full control of Firestorm’s body while Stein was only a voice inside of Ronnie’s head, offering advice. Firestorm could rearrange and transmute the structure of inorganic matter into other objects of equal mass. He could also fly, become intangible, absorb radiation, possessed super strength and fire energy blasts from his hands. Unfortunately, Firestorm was cancelled after only five issues due to a massive company-wide cutback by DC, which led Conway to add him to the Justice League roster and 8-page back-up stories in The Flash. In 1982, Firestorm got a new series, The Fury of Firestorm (later just Firestorm) which ran until 1990.
|Darkseid and Kalibak prepare to use the Star Gate.|
Darkseid (Welker) was the primary foe of the season. Created by legendary comic artist Jack Kirby, Darkseid was the mad despot of the planet Apokolips who wanted nothing more than to expand his empire by conquering his life-long foes, the New Gods, and the planet Earth. An additional motivation unique to the series was his desire to force Wonder Woman into becoming his bride. Kalibak (also Welker) was Darkseid’s son, who was boastful, dull-witted and often-times ineffectual in aiding Darkseid’s schemes. DeSaad (René Auberjonois) was one of Darkseid’s followers and served as his master torturer. They traveled via teleportation by Star Gates (Boom Tubes in the comics). Flash villain Mirror Master (James Avery) made his debut, using his mirrors to send the heroes into a mirror dimension called the 6th dimension. Initially, the Toyman was to make an appearance, but rights issues forced him to be replaced by the original villain Dollmaker (not to be confused with DC characters with the same name, voiced by Welker), who used voodoo dolls that allow him to control the people they resembled.
Super Friends was renewed for a final season, its 9th overall, and received the heaviest revisions yet. The team was renamed the Super Powers Team, making the show The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. The models were completely redone based on Jose Luis Garcia Lopez’s 1982 DC Comics style guide (the character model reference for DC’s artists), making the heroes closer resemble their comic book counterparts at the time. The Hall of Justice was depicted as being significantly bigger than it previously appeared and more closely resembled The Pentagon with only the familiar archway entrance really being carried over from the previous design. The stories were more dramatic, with only the episodes “The Bizarro Super Powers Team” and “The Case of the Stolen Powers” really exhibiting any trace of the original Super Friends camp. Each episode was also a full half-hour save two, allowing for a greater focus on character moments and story, and eliminated the constant narration from the previous 8 seasons. This season was written by Burnett, Fogel, Leopold, Donald F. Glut, John Loy, Mark Young and Antoni Zalewski, with Burnett serving as story editor.
|The new and improved Justice League.|
Aquaman was restored to the team, along with Green Lantern and Hawkman. The Flash, while appearing prominently on the show’s title card, was only featured in the last episode. Of the show’s original heroes, only Samurai remained; although El Dorado did have a cameo appearance in the final episode. Ward took over as Wonder Woman while Ken Sansom joined the cast as the new voice of Professor Stein. Probably the most notable part of the season was that it was the first to depict Batman’s origin outside of the comics in “The Fear”, as well as featured a lengthy appearance of Batman and Robin’s alter-egos (it was rare to see any of the heroes outside of costume, save a couple appearances by Superman’s alter-ego Clark Kent). “The Fear” was meant to be the pilot for a potential Batman series starring West, but it was adapted for Galactic Guardians instead. Its writer, Burnett, would go on to become a writer and producer for Batman: the Animated Series and the original DC Animated Universe.
Joining Firestorm and Robin as a junior member of the team was Cyborg (Ernie Hudson). Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Victor Stone was visiting his parents at S.T.A.R. Labs when an experiment with an inter-dimensional portal went awry and unleashed a creature that mutilated him. His father, Silas, saved his life with experimental prosthetics he designed that turned him into Cyborg. As such, he gained super strength, speed, stamina and flight, as well as an internal computer system that can interface with other computers and various tools and gadgets built into his body. Cyborg first appeared in DC Comics Presents #26 (1980) and went on to join the Teen Titans; a team whose various incarnations he was most associated with for much of his comics career. This series marked his first time as a member of the Justice League which wouldn’t happen in the comics until Justice League of America vol. 2 #41 (2010). Cyborg previously appeared in a 1983 anti-drug commercial produced by Hanna-Barbera alongside the other Titans: Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Beast Boy, Raven and Starfire, with new hero The Protector who was a stand-in for Robin due to rights issues.
|The Super Friends review their foes.|
Again, Darkseid and his minions were the primary villains, this time joined by his legion of Parademons (sometimes called para-drones to avoid the ire of parent groups over the word “demon”, vocal effects by Welker). Along with the mainstays of Lex Luthor, Scarecrow (Andre Stojka), Brainiac and Mr. Mxyzptlk, this season saw the first and only appearances of Batman foes the Joker (Welker) and the Penguin (Robert Morse). Joker, disguised as Ace, formed The Royal Flush Gang, a card-themed criminal group, while working for Darkseid. Penguin was an opportunist who latched on to dark warlock Felix Faust’s (Peter Cullen) attempt to magically steal the powers of the heroes, gaining them himself.
|The new Hall of Justice.|
Galactic Guardians debuted on September 7, 1985 and ran a single season. By 1986, the “Super Powers Collection” had folded, although not before it had yielded a Hall of Justice playset, a Batmobile based on the show’s design, and a Samurai figure. The line’s end meant the need for promotional material had passed. As a result, Super Friends was cancelled for the third and final time. However, being the longest-running DC animated series, the effects of the show were felt in future comic and productions for years to come; especially as kids who grew up with the series came to be a part of DC and integrated their love for it into their work.
|The Super Friends comic.|
In 1976, DC began publishing a comic based on the series called The Super Friends. The series ran for 47 issues and featured characters not seen on the program. Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog were featured in the first nine issues before being replaced by the Wonder Twins for the remainder of the run; their exit explained in the comic unlike on the show. It was also where the characters received their last names. The Wonder Twins were given backstories and secret identities as blonde high school kids while also being depicted as more competent and effective as heroes on their own. The series was never intended to be canon, but that didn’t stop writer E. Nelson Birdwell from connecting it to events going on in the main line of books via footnotes. Occasionally, events from the comic would find their way into the main line: such as Sinestro lacking his ring in The Brave and the Bold when it was destroyed in The Super Friends, or an issue of Superman Family that referenced events from the book directly. The team The Global Guardians also spun out of the Super Friends comic into mainstream DC continuity. The first 28 issues were collected in four volumes.
|The Hall of Justice playset.|
Along with the Super Powers Collection, in 1976 Mego released a Hall of Justice playset for their line of dolls. It mostly featured the TroublAert computer where you could dial-up a disaster and instantly “transport” a Mego hero to it. In 2015, Figures Toy Company began producing ReMego action figures based on the show, along with two carrying cases depicting either the Legion of Doom or the Super Friends. Mattel’s DC Universe Classics series 18 featured figures of Toyman, Black Vulcan, Samurai and El Dorado, and all the figures in the series contained parts to build a large Apache Chief figure. The Wonder Twins and Gleek were convention exclusives made available at San Diego Comic Con 2009. Also in 2009, the DC Universe Justice League Unlimited Fan Collection released a three-figure Super Friends pack of Black Vulcan, Apache Chief and Samurai in the Bruce Timm style. However, the characters never appeared in the Justice League cartoon; rather, new characters were created with similar abilities as part of the Ultimen. In 2017, the DC Multiverse action figure line introduced Super Friends versions of Batman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Superman.
In January of 1979, Hanna-Barbera and NBC partnered together to produce a live-action version of Challenge of the Super Friends for two hour-long specials. Called Legends of the Super Heroes, the specials featured the return of Adam West and Burt Ward to the Batman and Robin costumes for the first time since the conclusion of Batman. Joining them was Flash (Rod Haase), Green Lantern (Howard Murphy), Hawkman (Bill Nuckols) and newcomers Captain Marvel (free of the Filmation rights, played by Garrett Craig), Huntress (Barbara Joyce) and Black Canary (Danuta Rylko Soderman), amongst several original creations. The Legion of Doom was comprised of Ridder (Frank Gorshin), Weather Wizard (Jeff Altman), Sinestro (Charlie Callas), Mordru (Gabriel Dell), Dr. Sivana (Howard Morris), Giganta (Aleshia Brevard) and Solomon Grundy (Mickey Morton). Superman and Wonder Woman and their related characters were unavailable due to his movie series and her aforementioned television series. The specials were done in a variety show format and both were narrated by Gary Owens.
|The Wonder Twins in Extreme Justice.|
Elements from the show gradually began being integrated into the regular DC comics. Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog made their canonical debut in Teen Titans vol. 3 #34 (2006). Wendy and Marvin were fraternal twins and the caretakers of Titans Tower, and Wonder Dog was a demon in disguise that killed Marvin and crippled Wendy, leading her to fall under the mentorship of Barbara Gordon; who herself was the wheelchair-bound Oracle at the time (she got better with the New 52 reboot). The Wonder Twins made their mainstream debut in Extreme Justice #9 (1995) as aliens who couldn’t speak English and were escaped slaves. They used their powers in less cutesy ways, as you can imagine from a comic with that title. The Hall of Justice appeared as a stand-in for the United Nations building while the Hall of Doom was used as a Gulag in the 1996 mini-series Kingdom Come, painted by Alex Ross, a fan of the show. Ross also worked on the 2005 mini-series Justice, which featured the Legion of Doom with the same roster. The Hall of Justice made its mainstream appearance with Justice League of America vol. 2 #7 (2007). The Hall of Doom made its comic debut in Justice League of America Wedding Special #1 (2007).
In 2000, the original graphic novel Superman and Batman World’s Funnest had Mr. Mxyzptlk and his counterpart, Bat-Mite, traveling across dimensions; including one where the Super Friends lived. The entire Super Friends concept was satirized in the mini-series Formerly Known as the Justice League in 2003 and the 2005 follow-up in JLA Classified #4-9; where the featured ex-Justice League members were known as the “Super Buddies” and even posed in front of the original Super Friends title card in an in-story ad.
Justice League and Justice League Unlimited featured several references to the show: the name was joking lobbed out by Flash (Michael Rosenbaum) as the name for the team when they formed; the Wonder Twins had statues that were destroyed during a battle; the Legion of Doom were the villains for the final season and operated out of the Hall of Doom, while the League’s Metro Tower resembled the Hall of Justice; and the Ultimen were adaptations of the original Super Friends heroes with the exception of El Dorado. The Hall of Justice also appeared on The Batman, Batman: the Brave and the Bold (along with a pastiche of the Hall’s theme), Teen Titans and Young Justice. Young Justice also saw Wendy and Marvin as classmates of main characters Superboy (Nolan North) and Miss Martian (Danica McKellar), and featured updates of Apache Chief (Tye Longshadow, voiced by Gregg Rainwater), Samurai (Asami “Sam” Koizumi, voiced by Janice Kawaye) and El Dorado (Eduardo “Ed” Dorado, Jr., voiced by Freddy Rodriguez). The Injustice League also operated out of their own Hall of Doom.
The Wonder Twins made their live-action debut in the 9th season of Smallville played by David Gallagher and Allison Scagliotti. The DC Nation Shorts series Super Best Friends Forever took its name from the series, while Black Vulcan’s costume appeared in the background of an episode of Black Lightning. The Farm League contained numerous homages to the series as well. The video games Injustice: Gods Among Us and Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham had the Hall of Justice as a playable level. DC Super Friends is the name of a Fisher-Price produced toy line for younger kids, which had their own comic book, webisodes, and a direct-to-video movie Joker’s Playhouse, that uses the Challenge theme song with the World’s Greatest intro, along with other cues from the Super Friends franchise. On the live-action Supergirl series, one of the characters is the son of Toyman (Henry Czerny) and was given a doll that used the design from Challenge. It was also suggested that Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and her small group of trusted friends call themselves “The Super Friends.” The crossover of all The CW’s DC-based shows, Crisis on Infinite Earths, ended with the heroes banding together to form the Justice League in The Hall of Justice, and made further allusions to Super Friends with the theme playing over the revelation of a cage with the word “Gleek” on it.
Along with the homages and inspirations, the overall series had been the target of many parodies; particularly directed towards Aquaman’s ability to communicate with sea life. Wizard Magazine #77 ran a comic strip where the modern Justice League met the Super Friends and had a clash of cultures. Cartoon Network and its Adult Swim block aired shorts using footage from the show (particularly Challenge) to put the characters in ridiculous situations. Cartoon Network also used footage to make a five-episode web series called The New Adventures of the Wonder Twins that was a dark humor parody of their ineptitude with their powers. Wendy and Marvin made an appearance in an episode. Zan also appeared on an episode of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law as a witness in a case. Other programs that spoofed the Super Friends in a variety of ways included The State, Dexter’s Laboratory, South Park, That 70’s Show, Family Guy, The Fairly Odd Parents, and MAD, as well as the website Heavy.com and the musical Holy Musical B@man! One of Cartoon Network’s more serious efforts came in the form of their Groovie, “That Time Is Now”.
|One of the first DVD releases.|
Warner Home Video tested the waters with two collected editions: in 2004 they released Challenge of the Super Friends: Attack of the Legion of Doom and Challenge of the Super Friends: United They Stand in 2005, each containing several episodes from the Challenge series. Beginning the following year, the entire series came to DVD across several individual volumes; however, the seasons were released out of order. Challenge of the Super Friends: Season 1 and Super Friends, Vol. 2: Season 1 were released in 2006, with Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show – the Complete Series and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians – the Complete Series in 2007. The All-New Super Friends Hour: Season 1, vol. 1 and Season 1, vol. 2 were released in 2008 and 2009, along with Super Friends: The Lost Episodes. Super Friends Season 1, Vol. 1 and Season 1, Vol. 2 were both released in 2010. 2013 saw the release of World’s Greatest Super Friends and Super Friends, Super Friends: A Dangerous Fate – Season 5, and Season 6: Legacy of Super Powers.
“The Power Pirate” (9/8/73) – A series of power mishaps leads the Super Friends to discover an energy-sapping alien disguised as a human.
“The Baffles Puzzle” (9/15/73) - The Secret Department of Investigations alerts the Super Friends to Professor Baffles intent to steal French lithographs from a museum.
“Professor Goodfellow’s G.E.E.C.” (9/22/73) – A well-intentioned super computer malfunctions and plunges the world into chaos.
“The Weather Maker” (9/29/73) – In order to warm his homeland, a scientist plunges the rest of the world into a deep freeze.
“Dr. Pelagian’s War” (10/6/73) – An ecologist who can communicate with animals threatens three industrialists with natural disasters if they don’t stop polluting the planet.
“The Shamon ‘U’” (10/13/73) – Dr. Simeon Shamon’s space mining technique creates a mist that causes plants and animals to change and grow.
“Too Hot to Handle” (10/20/73) – The Super Friends have to find out why Earth is suddenly moving closer to the sun.
“The Androids” (10/27/73) – A mad scientist makes an android Superman to keep the Super Friends from stopping his vendetta against the space program.
“The Balloon People” (11/3/73) – Greedy man Noah Tall kidnaps the family of Balloon People who came to Earth to escape their home planet’s pollution problem.
“The Fantastic FRERPs” (11/10/73) – King Plasto steals plastic in order to make an island paradise out of FREFPs (Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Resin Plastic).
“The Ultra Beam” (11/17/73) – Hank and Ben create a laser that will destroy what they believe is the root of all evil: gold.
“The Menace of the White Dwarf” (11/24/73) – Wanting revenge against Superman, mad scientist Raven steals the Washington Monument and the kids as ransom for some kryptonite.
“The Mysterious Moles” (12/1/73) – Minimus and Maximus Mole use special water to animate underground plants and rocks to steal air conditioners for them.
“Gulliver’s Gigantic Goof” (12/8/73) – Dr. Gulliver believes he can end world hunger by shrinking everyone down to two inches.
“The Planet-Splitter” (12/15/73) – Dr. LeBon and his assistant steal diamonds and replace them with replicas as part of a plot to split the planet in half.
“The Watermen” (12/22/73) – Aliens Holo and Zara steal the ocean’s silicon to repair their spacecraft, causing unintended ecological damage in the process.
“The Brain Machine / Joy Ride / Invasion of the Earthors / The Whirlpool” (9/10/77) – Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin encounter a misguided genius. / The Wonder Twins teach teens against joyriding in airplanes. / The Super Friends face off against underground mining monsters. / Aquaman and Black Vulcan deal with a whirlpool.
“The Secret Four / Tiger on the Loose / The Mysterious Time Creatures / The Antidote” (9/17/77) – Superman, Batman and Robin face off against the Secret Four. / The Wonder Twins capture an escaped tiger and try to figure out how it got loose. / The Super Friends face Dictor and his mysterious time creatures. / Wonder Woman and Apache Chief have to get anti-venom from a giant cobra.
“Invasion of the Hydronoids / Hitchhike / City in a Bottle / Space Emergency” (9/24/77) – Aquaman, Batman and Robin try to stop a Hydronoid invasion. / The Wonder Twins warn against hitchhiking. / Mongor steals an Earth city and takes it to a frozen planet. / Wonder Woman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl deal with a space emergency.
“Doctor Fright / Drag Race / Day of the Plant Creatures / Fire” (10/1/77) – Superman and Wonder Woman face off with Dr. Fright. / The Wonder Twins teach teens the dangers of drag racing. / The Super Friends fight against plant creatures. / Batman, Robin and Rima have to deal with a forest fire and find two escaped convicts.
“The Monster of Dr. Droid / Vandals / Super Friends vs. Super Friends / Energy Mass” (10/8/77) – Superman and Wonder Woman encounter Dr. Droid’s monster. / The Wonder Twins try to change the ways of school vandals. / Tyrannic takes the Super Friends to his undersea world and pits them against each other. / Batman, Robin and Atom have to save a speeding train.
“The Enforcer / Shark / Planet of the Neanderthals / Flood of Diamonds” (10/15/77) – Wonder Woman and Aquaman head to an underground city to rescue its people from a tyrant. / The Wonder Twins save two boys from a shark. / Barko reverts Earth to prehistoric times and takes control of the Neanderthal populace. / Aquaman and Green Lantern save African miners from a flooding mine.
“The Invisible Menace / Initiation / Coming of the Arthropods / River of Doom” (10/22/77) – Superman and Aquaman investigate an undersea threat. / The Wonder Twins stop a dangerous initiation stunt. / The Super Friends defend Earth from invading alien insects. / Wonder Woman and Rima search the jungle for missing scientists.
“Attack of the Giant Squid / Game of Chicken / The Water Beast / Volcano” (10/29/77) – Superman and Aquaman deal with a giant squid. / The Wonder Twins teach kids against playing chicken. / The Super Friends face Manta and his water creature. / Superman and Samurai have to save paranoid aliens from a raging volcano.
“The Collector / Handicap / The Mind Maidens / Alaska Peril” (11/5/77) – Superman and Wonder Woman have to stop the Collector who can turn anything into photographs he can walk away with. / The Wonder Twins save a boy from an overturned van. / The Super Friends have to stop Medula from eradicating all men. / Batman, Robin and Apache Chief have to save an expedition from a snow creature.
“The Fifty Foot Woman / Cheating / Exploration Earth / Attack of the Killer Bees” (11/12/77) – Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman try to stop a scientist who turns herself into a giant. / The Wonder Twins save a cheating cross-country runner. / The Super Friends must stop a space probe from absconding with objects and people from Earth. / Aquaman and Samurai save an African village from a killer bee attack.
“Forbidden Power / Pressure Point / The Lion Men / Day of the Rats” (11/19/77) – Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman protect Earth from space mutants. / The Wonder Twins stop the reckless stunts of motorcycle jumpers. / Lionmen come to Earth for minerals and their abstraction shatters the planet. / Batman, Robin and Black Vulcan have to save Gotham from a rat infestation.
“The Man Beasts of Xtra / Prejudice / The Tiny World of Terror / Tibetan Raiders” (11/26/77) – Superman, Batman and Robin protect society from a scientist and her animal hybrids. / The Wonder Twins teach against prejudice. / The Super Friends have to save the world from an inventor’s shrink ray. / Superman and Flash have to save passengers of a downed aircraft from raiders.
“Frozen Peril / Dangerous Prank / The Mummy of Nazca / Cable Car Rescue” (12/3/77) – Superman and Aquaman stop Sculpin from selling off the world’s oceans. / The Wonder Twins have to save a girl from a dangerous prank. / Professor Korloff brings a mummy to life to steal a cosmic power source. / Wonder Woman and Atom save a cable car caught in high winds.
“The Marsh Monster / The Runaways / Will the World Collide? / Time Rescue” (12/10/77) – Superman, Batman and Robin save an inventor’s plans from a marsh monster. / The Wonder Twins offer guidance to misguided teenagers / Professor Fearo threatens to smash planets together. / Superman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl journey to the future to rescue a scientist.
“The Protector / Stowaways / The Ghost / Rampage” (12/17/77) – Batman, Robin and Aquaman stop Captain Shark and his immobilizing ray. / The Wonder Twins save a pair of stowaways. / The Ghost returns and threatens the world unless Superman and Wonder Woman surrender to him. / Superman and Green Lantern have to save villagers from a giant white elephant.
“Wanted: the Super Friends / Rokan: Enemy from Space” (9/9/78) – Lex Luthor forms the Legion of Doom and uses a dream-machine to have the Super Friends commit crimes. / Rokan, a Kryptonian creature, comes to Earth and causes havoc.
“Invasion of the Fearians / The Demons of Exxor” (9/16/78) – The Legion of Doom attempts to alter the ecology of Earth in order to gain the help of the Venus-dwelling Fearians. / The Wonder Twins help Exxor free themselves from the conqueror Darkon.
“The World’s Deadliest Game / Battle at the Earth’s Core” (9/23/78) – Brainiac cloaks the Earth and Toyman and Riddler send Black Vulcan, Wonder Woman and Hawkman into a black hole planet. / The Super Friends have to save the Wonder Twins from an underground world.
“The Time Trap / Sinbad and the Space Pirates” (9/30/78) – Gorilla Grodd invents a time machine that the Legion uses to trap the heroes in the time periods they rob. / Wonder Woman is captured by invading space pirates and brainwashed into helping them against the Super Friends.
“Trial of the Super Friends / The Pied Piper from Space” (10/7/78) – The Legion captures Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern and puts them on trial. / The Super Friends have to rescue children and the Wonder Twins from a fleet of aliens.
“Monolith of Evil / Attack of the Vampire” (10/14/78) – Riddler tricks the Super Friends into retrieving the monolith that created Solomon Grundy. / The Super Friends band together to stop the return of Dracula.
“The Giants of Doom / The Beasts Are Coming” (10/21/78) – Bizarro creates a giant ray to allow members of the Legion to become giants and take over the continents. / A crashed satellite releases radiation that mutates the local wildlife into giant creatures.
“Secret Origins of the Super Friends / Terror from the Phantom Zone” (10/28/78) – Luthor uses the origin of the Super Friends to go back in time to prevent their existence. / Three Kryptonian villains escape the Phantom Zone and use red kryptonite to age Superman.
“Revenge on Gorilla City / The Anti-Matter Monster” (11/4/78) – Grodd uses Brainiac’s brain-wave amplifier to increase his powers and take over Gorilla City. / Superman and Wonder Woman go undercover to find the origin of an energy draining monster.
“Swamp of the Living Dead / World Beneath the Ice” (11/11/78) – The Legion trades the Super Friends to a swamp demon for power, but attempt to capture the demon for even more. / Conqueror Torhana seeks vengeance on the surface world by freezing it.
“Conquerors of the Future / Invasion of the Brain Creatures” (11/18/78) – The Legion pretends to reform only to travel to 3984 and conquer the Earth. / Brain creatures take over most of the Super Friends and cause them to attack the Earth.
“The Final Challenge / The Incredible Space Circus” (11/25/78) – Members of both teams are sent to another universe to participate in a series of life or death contests. / A crooked circus owner uses a device to turn protected animals into beasts to boost attendance.
“Fairy Tale of Doom / Batman: Dead or Alive” (12/2/78) – Toyman creates a device that projects anyone into the pages of a storybook. / An intergalactic outlaw comes to Earth to seek revenge on Batman by imprisoning the Super Friends in a series of timed traps.
“Doomsday / Battle of the Gods” (12/9/78) – Cheetah, Sinestro and Black Manta want revenge on the Legion for abandoning them. / A jealous Hera gets Zeus to put the Super Friends into a contest with mythological demons to see if they’re worthy of the praise Aphrodite gives them.
“Super Friends: Rest in Peace / Journey Through Inner Space” (12/16/78) – The Legion finds Noxium, a crystal that can mimic the Super Friends’ weaknesses. / Superman and Wonder Woman shrink down and journey into Aquaman to reverse his de-evolution from a radioactive substance.
“History of Doom / The Rise and Fall of the Super Friends” (12/23/78) – Three aliens arrive on a barren Earth and learn how the Legion finally won. / Mr. Mxyzptlk uses mind control to force the Super Friends to star in his movie.
“Rub Three Times for Disaster” (9/22/79) – Kareem Azaar steals a magic lamp and uses its evil genie to take over the planet Zaghdad.
“Lex Luthor Strikes Back” (9/29/79) – Luthor disguises himself as Lois Lane and allies himself with evil fire demons from the sun to capture the Super Friends.
“Space Knights of Camelon” (10/6/79) – Superman is hit by a nuclear meteor core and crashes onto a medieval planet with amnesia where he is conscripted to help overthrow the king.
“The Lord of Middle Earth” (10/13/79) – The Wonder Twins go on a camping trip and discover that the kingdom of Middle Earth has been conquered by a black magic sorcerer.
“Universe of Evil” (10/20/79) – Superman accidentally exchanges places with his evil duplicate while trying to stop Mt. Vesuvius from erupting.
“Terror at 20,000 Fathoms” (10/27/79) – Captain Nimoy plans to sink the continents in order to rule his own undersea kingdom and uses an android Batman for help.
“The Super Friends Meet Frankenstein” (11/3/79) – Robin has to stop a new Frankenstein monster created with the powers of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
“The Planet of Oz” (11/10/79) – Mr. Mxyzptlk transports the Hall of Justice to the land of Oz and informs the heroes they have to find the Wizard to get home.
“Bigfoot / The Ice Demon / The Make Up Monster” (9/13/80) – Apache Chief, Batman and Robin face a tribe of Bigfoot creatures. / The Wonder Twins and two kids get trapped on a ski slope where Clark Kent and Lois Lane investigate a story. / A make-up artist redoes a mask with an untested hormone solution that turns him into a monster when he puts it on.
“Journey into Blackness / The Cycle Gang / Dive to Disaster” (9/20/80) – Superman, Batman and Samurai end up trapped in a black hole they attempted to close. / Wonder Woman helps the Wonder Twins deal with a motorcycle gang. / Black Vulcan and Aquaman try to save a submarine but are delayed by mutated sea creatures.
“Yuna the Terrible / Rock and Roll Space Bandits / Elevator to Nowhere” (9/27/80) – Archaeologists accidentally free Yuna who bests the Super Friends and hypnotizes Apache Chief. / Wonder Woman has to save the others and the world from the mesmerizing music of musical space bandits. / Wonder Woman and the Atom are trapped in a time machine and sent back in time.
“One Small Step for Mars / Haunted House / The Incredible Crude Oil Monster” (10/4/80) – Green Lantern and Superman deal with Martians who came to Earth on a probe. / Batman and Robin have to save the Wonder Twins and some kids from a haunted mansion. / Aquaman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl deal with a monster that rose from gallons of spilled crude.
“Voodoo Vampire / Invasion of the Gleeks / Mxyzptlk Strikes Again” (10/11/80) – An African vampire seeks to enslave the Super Friends. / Exxorian monkeys arrive to conquer Earth and seek to enlist Gleek’s help. / Mr. Mxyzptlk uses a magic typewriter to trap the Super Friends in any story he types.
“The Man in the Moon / Circus of Horrors / Around the World in 80 Riddles” (10/18/80) – Superman must save Earth from a giant space beast. / Circus animals entrance the audience and the Wonder Twins and turn the Super Friends into animals. / Riddler spritzes the Super Friends with stupid spray and leaves them riddle clues to the antidote.
“Termites from Venus / Eruption / Return of Atlantis” (10/25/80) – Superman, Batman, Robin and Samurai deal with alien termites that threaten to consume the Earth. / The Wonder Twins, Batman and Robin rescue a town from an erupting volcano. / Ancient Atlantis rises from the sea and seeks to conquer the world.
“The Killer Machines / Garden of Doom / Revenge of Bizarro” (11/1/90) – Romac, the world’s most advanced computer, attempts to destroy the Super Friends. / The Wonder Twins are accidentally shrunk and lost in a garden of mutated plants. / Bizarro turns the Super Friends into bizarros and gives Superman extra arms with red kryptonite.
“The Outlaws of Orion / Three Wishes / Scorpio” (9/26/81) – The Super Friends have to save Batman and Robin from Orion bounty hunters. / The Wonder Twins find a magic lamp with an evil genie that grants them troublesome wishes. / A mutated scorpion steals the formula of his creation to make a bug army to overthrow humanity.
“Mxyzptlk’s Flick / The Sink Hole / The Alien Mummy” (10/3/81) – Mr. Mxyzptlk uses a magic camera to pull the Super Friends into a movie and make them do what he wants. / Wonder Woman investigates the appearance of sink holes and is captured by a giant mechanical cobra. / El Dorado encounters an alien mummy in Mexico.
“The Evil from Krypton / The Creature from the Dump / The Aircraft Terror” (10/10/81) – Zy-Kree escapes from the Phantom Zone and depowers Superman by turning the sun red. / The Wonder Twins have to change Batman back after he becomes a junk creature. / A meteor turns an aircraft into a winged creature that can create more from other aircrafts.
“The Lava Men / Bazarowurld / The Warlord’s Amulet” (10/17/81) – The Lava Men want out of the ground and onto the surface world. / Superman and Black Vulcan are lured into traps on Bizarro-World. / Samurai, Batman and Robin head to Japan to stop a time-traveling ancient Warlord from sacking a village.
“The Iron Cyclops / Palette’s Perils / Colossus” (10/24/81) – An Iron Cyclops uses a ray to try and steal Earth’s gravity. / Wonder Woman and El Dorado face John Palette, an art thief whose paintings can become real monsters. / Apache Chief uses a shrink ray on the gigantic cosmic barbarian Colossus to bring him down to a more manageable size.
“The Stowaways from Space / The Scaraghosta Sea / The Witch’s Arcade” (10/31/81) – The Wonder Twins find aliens stowed away on an unmanned space station. / Aquaman, Batman and Robin have to save a group of scientists from the ghost of Keelhaul Kelly. / A witch shrinks the customers of an arcade, including the Wonder Twins.
Season 7 (airdates from original Australian broadcast):
“Mxyzptlk’s Revenge / Roller Coaster / Once Upon a Poltergeist” (9/10/83) – Superman and Batman are abducted to the 5th dimension for Mxyzptlk’s amusement. / The Wonder Twins and the Atom rescue three kids from a condemned roller coaster. / Batman, Robin and Apache Chief deal with the ghost of an Indian who believes Wayne Building sits on an old burial ground.
“Warpland / Two Gleeks are Deadlier Than One / Bulgor the Behemoth” (9/17/83) – Superman and Batman are warped to a strange planet where their leader turns them into animal prisoners. / The Wonder Twins are put in charge of security for a Super Friends meeting and the Legion of Doom replaces Gleek with a robot duplicate. / A lightning bolt turns a writer into his creation.
“The Krypton Syndrome / Invasion of the Space Dolls / Terror in the Titanic” (9/24/83) – Superman is caught in a time warp that sends him back to Krypton. / Alien dolls try to conquer Earth by disguising themselves as children’s toys. / Investigating mutated algae on the Titanic wreckage, Aquaman and Black Vulcan accidentally brings the wreck to life.
“Revenge of Doom / A Pint of Life / Day of the Dinosaurs” (10/1/83) – The Legion of Doom reforms and restores the Hall of Doom. / The Wonder Twins and Aquaman try to find a scientist whose son needs a blood transfusion. / Wonder Woman and Samurai are swallowed up with the Hall of Justice into the Earth and become involved in a conflict between two dinosaur races.
“Return of the Phantoms / Bully for You / Superclones” (10/8/83) – The three Phantom Zone criminals are freed again and go back in time to keep Superboy from becoming Superman. / A bullied boy finds Batman’s lost utility belt and accidentally sets off a catastrophic device. / Brainiac clones Aquaman and El Dorado and sends them on his evil tasks.
“Prisoners of Sleep / An Unexpected Treasure / The Malusian Blob” (10/15/83) – Superman and Batman unwittingly release an alien prisoner named Sleep that traps them in a dream world. / The Wonder Twins, Hawkman and Hawkgirl try to rescue teens who found and fly an ancient warship. / Batman, Robin and Black Vulcan must save astronauts from an alien blob they unknowingly loaded with their cargo.
“Attack of the Cats / One Small Step for Superman / Video Victims” (10/22/83) – Batman, Robin and El Dorado investigate two scientists having been changed into cat creatures. / The Super Friends work to convince a boy that he’s not really paralyzed. / Bizarro traps the Super Friends in an arcade game.
“Playground of Doom / Space Racers / The Recruiter” (10/29/83) – Giant alien children arrive on Earth and cause massive destruction. / Hot-rodding space punks kidnap Jayna and put the safety of other ships in peril. / Superman and Wonder Woman are abducted by aliens to participate in their sports game.
“The Bride of Darkseid Part I / The Bride of Darkseid Part II” (9/8/84) – Firestorm joins the Super Friends and accidentally allows Darkseid to capture Wonder Woman, whom he wants as his bride. / Darkseid removes Wonder Woman’s will and has her lure the team into a trap that only Firestorm can save them from.
“The Wrath of Brainiac / Reflections in Crime” (9/15/84) – Brainiac uses a robotic duplicate of Wonder Woman to lure in Darkseid and trick him into helping his plan for revenge against the Super Friends. / Mirror Master systematically traps the Super Friends within the dimension behind the mirrors.
“No Honor Among Thieves / Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Magic Lamp” (9/22/84) – Luthor teams with Darkseid in order to use his omega beams to steal the Super Friends’ powers. / Mr. Mxyzptlk plays genie for a thief who stole an ancient lamp and the pair go on a crime spree.
“The Case of the Shrinking Super Friends / The Mask of Mystery” (9/29/84) – Luthor uses a shrink ray on the Hall of Justice, shrinking the younger team members along with it. / Luthor kidnaps the Super Friends’ bumbling uber fan to use in a plot against them.
“Darkseid’s Golden Trap Part I / Darkseid’s Golden Trap Part II” (10/6/84) – Darkseid, Black Vulcan, Wonder Woman and Firestorm attend an intergalactic auction for gold kryptonite which can steal Superman’s powers. / Darkseid lures Superman into a trap so that he can lob the gold kryptonite he won at him.
“Island of the Dinosoids / Uncle Mxyzptlk” (10/13/84) – Batman and Prof. Stein go missing and the investigation leads to a device that transforms people into half-human/half-dinosaurs. / Superman is de-aged when accidentally exposed to red kryptonite.
“The Case of the Dreadful Dolls / The Royal Ruse” (10/20/84) – Dollmaker uses his voodoo magic on dolls of the Super Friends to make them do his bidding. / Darkseid tricks an alien princess into luring the Super Friends into a trap in exchange for sparing her planet, which he has no intentions of doing.
“The Village of Lost Souls / The Curator” (10/27/84) – Brainiac enslaves a small village to mine for him and eventually the Wonder Twins fall under his control. / Remlar comes to Earth looking for buildings and people to add to his intergalactic museum.
“The Seeds of Doom” (9/7/85) – Firestorm attempts to convince Cyborg to join the team when Darkseid and his Parademons attack.
“The Ghost Ship / The Bizarro Super Powers Team” (9/14/85) – Superman, Cyborg and Firestorm hide from Darkseid on a ship which is inhabited by a refugee alien princess. / Bizarro creates Bizarro versions of Wonder Woman, Firestorm and Cyborg that Mr. Mxyzptlk plans to use against Earth.
“The Darkseid Deception” (9/21/85) – Darkseid disguises himself as Steve Trevor in order to gain control of a satellite and mutate everyone on Earth.
“The Fear” (9/28/85) – Gotham City is attacked by Scarecrow’s fear transmitters which cause Batman to relive the death of his parents.
“The Wild Cards” (10/5/85) – The Joker works for Darkseid as he adopts the identity of Ace and forms the Royal Flush Gang.
“The Brainchild / The Case of the Stolen Powers” (10/12/85) – Brainiac kidnaps Cyborg and infuses him with a gigantic killer robot. / Felix Faust attempts to steal all of Superman’s powers, but the Penguin appropriates them for himself.
“Escape from Space City” (10/19/85) – Darkseid takes over a gigantic orbiting Earth colony.
“The Death of Superman” (10/26/85) – Superman is seemingly killed by Kryptonite poisoning, and Darkseid captures Firestorm to learn how it happened.
Originally posted in 2016. Updated in 2020.
Originally posted in 2016. Updated in 2020.
I love Superfriends! My hubby and I are both geeks and grew up watching this show. This is a great find for less than $15. I will buy more volumes because I love the episodes with the wonder twins, too. It was factory packaged, arrived quickly and plays very well. Love it!
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