|Promotional poster for the game.
Ace was adapted into cartoon form by Ruby-Spears Productions for the second season of their video game-based umbrella
Supercade on CBS. Ruby-Spears already had an
association with Bluth as they also produced a Dragon’s
Lair cartoon that
aired at the same time on rival network ABC. Some
liberties were taken with the source material. Ace (Jim Piper) and Kimberly
(Nancy Cartwright) were members of Space Command working under Space Marshall
Vaughn (Peter Renaday). They continually fought against the evil alien
commander Borf (Arthur Burghardt) and his plans to try and conquer the Earth.
Unfortunately, being hit by the Infanto Ray caused Ace to constantly revert
into Dexter (Sparky Marcus) at inopportune times. Ace and Kimberly attempted to
keep Ace’s “wimping out” a secret by claiming Dexter as Kimberly’s little
brother until the effects wore off. Borf’s primary minions included the
cat-like Groots, amongst a variety of humanoid agents.
|Promotional flier for the Space Ace cartoon.
Space Ace debuted
as part of Supercade on September 8, 1984, with William Woodson providing the opening narration for the segments. Plots
generally centered around Borf’s latest plans to conquer Earth and destroy
Space Command, and typically involved the Infanto Ray modified for some
specific purpose. As with the Dragon’s Lair series, the
character designs were made to closely resemble their game counterparts, but
lacked Bluth’s distinctive styling and the fluidity found in the game. Also,
Kimberly was less of a damsel in distress and more on equal footing with Ace
during their adventures; more so whenever his transformation hit.
|Ace and Kimberly in the show.
Although Space Ace ran its course with the cancellation of
the Supercade, it would soon make a return in rerun form
after Turner Entertainment purchased the Hanna-Barbera library, which by then also included the Ruby-Spears library
as both studios were under the same ownership. Space Ace was
shown on Cartoon
Network late nights in the 1990s and as
filler between shows on its sister station, Boomerang.
|Borf overseeing repairs to the Infanto Ray.
Originally posted in 2017. Updated in 2020.