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SliverHawks
Silverhawks Logo.jpg
SilverHawks logo
Format Animated series, Space Western, Science fiction, Action, Adventure
Created by Rankin/Bass
Written by Arthur Rankin Jr.
Jules Bass
Directed by Arthur Rankin Jr.
Jules Bass
Voices of Bob McFadden
Earl Hammond
Country of origin  United States
No. of episodes 65 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Arthur Rankin Jr.
Jules Bass
Lee Dannacher
Masaki Ihzuka
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Rankin/Bass
Distributor Telepictures
Lorimar-Telepictures
Broadcast
Original channel First-run syndication
Original run September 8, 1986 – December 5, 1986

SilverHawks was an animated television series developed by Rankin/Bass and distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures in 1986. The animation was provided by Pacific Animation Corporation, the working name for a collective of Japanese studios including Topcraft, a group who would later go on to form Studio Ghibli. In total, 65 episodes were made. It was created as a space-bound equivalent of their previous series, ThunderCats.

As was the case with ThunderCats, there was also a SilverHawks comic book series put out by then-Marvel Comics imprint Star Comics.

Currently, Warner Bros. (who purchased Lorimar in 1989) owns the rights to SilverHawks.[1]

Contents

Overview

Production and development

Rankin/Bass followed up their successful Thundercats series with this series about a team of human heroes in the 29th century who were given metal bodies and hawk wings to stop organized crime in the Galaxy of Limbo. SilverHawks featured many of the same voice actors who had worked on Thundercats, including Larry Kenney, Peter Newman, Earl Hammond, Doug Preis and Bob McFadden.[1]

Story

Bionic policeman Commander Stargazer recruited the SilverHawks, heroes who are "partly metal, partly real," to fight the evil Mon*Star, an escaped alien mob boss who transforms into an enormous armor-plated creature with the aid of Limbo’s Moonstar. Joining Mon*Star in his villainy is an intergalactic mob: the snakelike Yessman, the blade-armed Buzz-Saw, the "bull"-headed Mumbo-Jumbo, weather controller Windhammer, shapeshifter Mo-Lec-U-Lar, robotic card shark Pokerface, weapons-heavy Hardware, and "the musical madness of" Melodia (uses a "keytar" that fires musical notes)

Quicksilver (formerly Jonathan Quick) leads the SilverHawks, with his metal bird companion TallyHawk at his side. Twins Emily and Will Hart became Steelheart and Steelwill, the SilverHawks’ technician and strongman respectively. Country-singing Col. Bluegrass played a sonic guitar and piloted the team’s ship, the Miraj (pronounced "mirage" on the series, but given that spelling on the Kenner toy). Rounding out the group is a youngster “from the planet of the mimes,” named Copper Kidd (usually called "Kidd" for short), a mathematical genius who spoke in whistles and computerized tones. Their bionic bodies are covered by a full-body close-fitting silver (or copper for Copper Kidd) armor that only exposes the face and an arm, the armor is equipped with a retractile protective mask, recractile wings under-arm (except Blueglass) thruster on elbows, and laser-weapons over the body. At the end of every episode, Copper Kidd was quizzed (along with the home audience) on various space facts by Col. Bluegrass.

Launching from their satellite base, Hawk Haven, the SilverHawks flew into battle five days a week for one season. The fictitious Galaxy of Limbo in which the series takes place apparently has an overall atmosphere with bearthable air and acceptable living condition of temperature and pressure; characters speak in space and operate "open-air" vehicles, and Windhammer's powers work even when he is not on an actual planet. There is also gravity; characters not "flying" tend to fall downward relative to whatever vehicle, satellite, or other platform with which they lost footing. Apparently, because SilverHawks is a fantastical children's cartoon, it was not held to high standards of realism. Yet, it provided correct space facts at the end of each episode, apparently meant for the same audience.

Characters

Heroes

The SilverHawks in the show's title sequence.

Original SilverHawks

  • Comdr. Stargazer (voiced by Bob McFadden) - A tough and grizzled old cop with bionic capabilities. He captured Mon*Star several years ago, and had him imprisoned. Older than the other SilverHawks, he longs to return to Earth for either a vacation or for retirement. He chiefly serves as the SilverHawks "eyes and ears", keeping them apprised of their current situation. His first name is apparently Burt. Stargazer's weapon-bird is Sly-bird.
  • Quicksilver (voiced by Peter Newman) - Lieutenant Jonathan Quick was the former head of the Interplanetary Force H, and is the field leader of the SilverHawks. He has a cyborg/bird companion called Tally Hawk. Known for his quick reflexes (and even quicker thinking), Quicksilver is an accomplished tactician and athlete. His armor has the lightest silver-shade.
  • Bluegrass (voiced by Larry Kenney) - He is second-in-command (as a Colonel) of the SilverHawks, and the chief pilot of the group, as well as a cowboy at heart. He is the only Silverhawk who cannot fly (other than Comdr. Stargazer), but he is the one that flies the team transport vehicle, the Miraj. He likes to use his weapon/instrument (portrayed in the toyline as his weapon-bird with the name Sideman)and his lazo, has an interface with the Maraj's advanced dynamic piloting system, which he has affectionately dubbed "Hot Licks". His armor has a blue-silver shade
  • Steelheart & Steelwill (voiced by Maggie Wheeler and Bob McFadden) - Sergeants Emily Hart and Will Hart are twin siblings. They are the "gearheads" of the team. They share an empathic bond in that when one sibling feels something, the other feels it as well. They are the only SilverHawks who have had real stainless steel hearts implanted during their transformation. Their weapon-birds are Stronghold (for Will) and Rayzor (for Emily). Their armors have the same dark silver-shade
  • The Copper Kid is the youngest member of the SilverHawks, and the only one not a Terran (Earthling). A mathematical genius from the Planet of the Mimes, he "speaks" in mathematically calculated tones and whistles. His skin is azurine except the face that is white (similar to a mime). His armor is copper-colored but the wings have a silver-like appearance that is similar to those of the other winged team members. At the end of each episode, he was quizzed in several astronomy lessons by Bluegrass as training to become the reserve Miraj pilot (sure enough, he was called in to fill Bluegrass's shoes, albeit infrequently). A natural acrobat, the Copper Kid has two razor-edged discs (one mounted on each hip) which he throws like Frisbees. His weapon-bird is Mayday.

New SilverHawks

  • Hotwing (Adolph Caesar) - A gold Silverhawk of African American heritage who was added in mid-season. He is a magician, and skilled illusionist. He receives his powers from a mystical energy force that 'chose' him to bear the powers to fight against injustice. He has to recharge these powers every 14 years, otherwise he will die. One notable time was when Zeek the Beak tricked the mystic force into giving him these powers, which would have resulted in Hotwing's death. Hotwing has a weapon-bird named Gyro.
  • Flashback - A green time-traveling Silverhawk from the far future. When he meets the 'much older' Stargazer, who tells him of the fateful day the SilverHawks died, Flashback travels back in time to save them from an exploding sun. He also traveled back in time to stop Hardware from destroying the SilverHawks (when the mad inventor sabotaged the Miraj during the S-Hawks hyperspace-sleep to Hawk-Haven from Earth, which would have caused the autopilot to fly them straight into the sun). Flashback's weapon-bird is Backlash.
  • Moonstryker - A turquoise Silverhawk. He can propel himself through space by a powerful cyclone generated from propellers that emerge from his waist. He is cocky but an expert marksman, as demonstrated when he shot a pen out of Stargazer's hand when they first met in the episode "Battle Cruiser". His fighting hawk is Tailspin.
  • Condor - An old ally of Commander Stargazer, whom Condor calls "Gaze". Condor is a lone operative, believed to be either a bounty hunter or federal marshal. Instead of wings, he has cybernetic bodyparts similar to Stargazer's, and also a jetpack. Condor always talks like Humphrey Bogart.

NOTE: It must be noted that only TallyHawk appeared in almost all of the episodes in the series. All the other "weapon-birds" only appeared in a handful of episodes.

Other supporting characters

  • Zeek the Beak - Seymour's pal. He is a green bird-like alien who often accompanies Seymour on cab rides. His catch phrases are "You wanna buy a fish?" and the interjection "Zeek!"
  • Harry - He is a robot that works as a barman in Fence. He appears in many chapters usually serving Limbo drinks.
  • Professor Power - He works in the Artificial Sun. He controls it. He is friendly with the SilverHawks and helps them many times, like in the amber amplifier episode.[2]
  • Sanders - He is governor in Bedlama, a planet similar to the earth.
  • Monotone - It is Automata's computer. It rules the whole planet.[3]
  • Grod the informer - He appears in episode 32 when he informs the mob of a rock that is supposed to be worth a fortune, the Saviour Stone.[4]
  • Lord Cash - He is in charge of Dolar planet, where there is plenty of Limbo money. He is friendly to SilverHawks.[5]
  • Gotbucks - Dolar's new security chief.

Villains

  • Mon*Star (voiced by Earl Hammond) - The quintillionaire alien mob boss who escaped from his cell, located on Penal Planet 10. He appears as a feline muscular humanoid with dark hair streaked with red over all the body, a voluminous red mane and beard and an eyepatch (with the symbol of a black star) covering his left eye. He uses the power of Limbo's Moonstar to transform into an armor-plated, spiked creature with rocket boosters in his elbows. In this form he temporarily regains his left eye. Mon*Star rides a giant "space-squid" called Sky-Runner, and has a weapon-bird named Sky Shadow. He can shoot a red laser, the Light Star, from his left eye with many destructive or stunning effects. He has some bad blood with Stargazer due to their past conflicts, and extends that animosity to the SilverHawks. Like Thundercats's Mumm-Ra, who transforms by saying “Ancient spirits of evil, transform this decayed form to Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living!” Mon*Star transforms into his alternate form by calling on the Moonstar to "Give me the might, the muscle, the menace, of MON*STAR!".
  • Yes-Man (voiced by Bob McFadden) - Yes-Man is a snake-like creature. Heis basically Mon*Star's all-purpose lackey, thrall, and/or sycophant. As his name suggests, he is notorious for constantly saying "Oh yess, Boss...yess." Yes-Man once used the powers of the Moonstar alongside Mon*Star, but did not change form. The Moonstar primarily gave him increased mental abilities and ambition. This led to a feud between himself and his boss until the powers faded.
  • Hardware (voiced by Bob McFadden) - An extremely intelligent, short but bulky, light purple-skinned creature who carries an over-sized rucksack full of self-engineered weapons and equipment. Hardware has the uniquely honed talent for invention, and can devise devilishly effective machines. Mon*Star considers Hardware his most dangerous minion because of this talent.
  • Melodia most wanted Silverhawks figure but sadly never made (voiced by Maggie Wheeler) - A musical mistress who serves as a nemesis and counterpart to the SilverHawks' Bluegrass. Melodia is usually seen cruising around in the Limbo limo, causing havoc and assorted acts of terror as diversions. Melodia almost always carries a musical synthesizer called a "Sound Smasher" as a weapon. Her usual dressing are an exaggerated costume of a rock-singer: two-shaded green hair, a short black dress, Red Belt with plug up battery pack for "Sound Smasher," long red gloves, tights half dark purple half light pink, and glasses with dark blue lenses and a red music note frame.
  • Windhammer (voiced by Doug Preis) - An environmental terrorist with a huge tuning fork that enables him to manipulate or generate destructive weather patterns. He is a muscular humanoid with azurine skin, long blonde hair and large elf-like ears.
  • Mo-Lec-U-Lar (voiced by Doug Preis) - A shapeshifter whose primary form is a humanoid body composed of many spheres in various copper shades. He is Mon*Star's master of disguise and leading hitman. His weapon-bird is Volt-ure.
  • Mumbo Jumbo (voiced by Peter Newman) - A copper-skinned robotic minotaur who is basically the grunt for the Mob, aided by his ability to "bulk up", growing larger and more muscular and increasing his strength by doing so. He speaks in metallic grunts which his associates seem to understand (though he usually pronounces Mon*Star's name properly) and appears to be on the low scale of the intellectual spectrum. His signature attack is a quadrupedal charge at an opponent. He is a sworn enemy of Steelheart because of Steelheart's strength and skill which takes him down easily. Mumbo's weapon-bird is Airshock.
  • Poker-Face (voiced by Larry Kenney) - A member of Mon*Star who has slot machines for his eyes and carries a cane decorated with playing card suits. He is the owner of the Starship Casino which was run outside of the "Lightyear Limit" and was the extent of the SilverHawks' jurisdiction. He always charges Mon*Star billions for new inventive ideas against the Silver Hawks.
  • Timestopper (voiced by Peter Newman) - A cocky juvenile delinquent nyctophobe with chest device that has the ability to suspend all ambient motion and kinetic energy around him (freeze time, as it were) for a minute. He is often in the services of Mon*Star.
  • Buzz-Saw - A totally cybernetic (and independently sentient) war machine of an light copper-shade skin with razor sharp circular saw cutting blades over its body that can be used as projectile weapons. It speaks with an high-picked metallic voice. His weapon-bird is Shredator.
  • Zero the Memory Thief - A long-nosed shady character who steals memories using a cattle prod-like weapon and records them on cassettes. He occasionally did business with Mon*Star's gang when the opportunity suited him.
  • Smiley - A mummy boxer robot that is brought back to life by the Pokerface. He was once stopped by Commander Stargazer. Smiley is the heavyweight champion of Limbo. Pokerface (and then Mon*Star) use a remote control to say Smiley what he has to do. In the Starship Casino, Smiley defeats easily both Mumbo Jumbo and Buzz-Saw, but later on could not beat the SilverHawks.

Villains that did not belong to the mob

  • Bounty Hunter - He was imprisoned by Comdr. Stargazer for 200 years. He escaped twice from the Penal Planet 10 (once broken out by Mon*Star -episode 22- and the second time by his own -episode45-). He can absorb energy directed at him, and use it to sustain his physical form as well as to grow larger. He can only be defeated by a solar energy bazooka that Commander Stargazer has.

Three Outlaws from Fence

  • The Spacial Bandit - He is most of the time in Fence (Harry's planet) playing cards with his two friends (Rhino and Cyclops). He appears in many episodes and is also friendly to Melodia and Poker-Face who usually betray him.
  • Rhino - A rhinocerous like mutant. He is most of the time in Fence (Harry's planet) playing cards with his two friends. He appears in many episodes and is also friendly to Melodia and Poker-Face who usually betray him.
  • Cyclops - A balloon body creature that is was very weak because whenever he was shot he started to fly around and to lose his air like a balloon. Most of the time in Fence (Harry's planet) playing cards with his two friends. He appears in many episodes and is also friendly to Melodia and Poker-Face who usually betray him.

DVD releases

On October 14, 2008 Warner Bros. released Season One Volume One. There is no date for Volume Two at this time.

List of episodes

  1. The Origin Story 09/08/1986
  2. Journey To Limbo 09/09/1986
  3. The Planet Eater 09/10/1986
  4. Save The Sun 09/11/1986
  5. Stop Timestopper 09/12/1986
  6. Darkbird 09/15/1986
  7. The Backroom 09/16/1986
  8. The Threat of Dritt 09/17/1986
  9. Sky-Shadow (09/18/1986)
  10. Magnetic Attraction 09/19/1986
  11. Gold Shield 09/22/1986
  12. Zero The Memory Thief 09/23/1986
  13. The Milk Run 09/24/1986
  14. The Hardware Trap, Part 1 09/25/1986
  15. The Hardware Trap, Part 2 09/26/1986
  16. Race Against Time 09/29/1986
  17. Operation Big Freeze 09/30/1986
  18. The Ghost Ship 10/01/1986
  19. The Great Galaxy Race 10/02/1986
  20. Fantascreen 10/03/1986
  21. Hotwing Hits Limbo 10/06/1986
  22. The Bounty Hunter 10/07/1986
  23. Zeek's Fumble 10/08/1986
  24. The Fighting Hawks 10/09/1986
  25. The Rengade Hero 10/10/1986
  26. One on One 10/13/1986
  27. No More Mr. Nice Guy 10/14/1986
  28. Music of the Spheres 10/15/1986
  29. Limbo Gold Rush 10/16/1986
  30. Countdown to Zero 10/17/1986
  31. The Amber Amplifier 10/20/1986
  32. The Saviour Stone 10/21/1986
  33. Smiley 10/22/1986
  34. Gotbucks 10/23/1986
  35. Melodia's Siren Song 10/24/1986
  36. Tally-Hawk Returns 10/27/1986
  37. Undercover 10/28/1986
  38. Eye of Infinity 10/29/1986
  39. A Piece of the Action 10/30/1986
  40. Flashback 10/31/1986
  41. Super Birds 11/03/1986
  42. The Blue Door 11/04/1986
  43. The Star of Bedlama 11/05/1986
  44. The Illusionist 11/06/1986
  45. The Bounty Hunter Returns 11/07/1986
  46. The Chase 11/10/1986
  47. Switch 11/11/1986
  48. Junkyard Dog 11/12/1986
  49. Window in Time 11/13/1986
  50. Gangwar, Part 1 11/14/1986
  51. Gangwar, Part 2 11/17/1986
  52. Sneak Attack, Part 1 11/18/1986
  53. Sneak Attack, Part 2 11/19/1986
  54. Moon*Star 11/20/1986
  55. The Diamond Stick-Pin 11/21/1986
  56. Burnout 11/24/1986
  57. Battle Cruiser 11/25/1986
  58. Small World 11/26/1986
  59. Match-Up 11/27/1986
  60. Stargazer's Refit 11/28/1986
  61. The Invisible Destroyer 12/01/1986
  62. The Harder They Fall 12/02/1986
  63. Uncle Rattler 12/03/1986
  64. Zeek's Power 12/04/1986
  65. Airshow 12/05/1986

Action figures and merchandise

The SilverHawks action figure collection based on the animated series was produced by Kenner and first released in 1987. LJN, the makers of the ThunderCats figures, originally were to produce the SilverHawks figures but decided to pass on the project at the last minute. Each figure was packaged with a companion bird and, similar to the popular Super Powers Collection, had an action feature of some type. The second series of figures is harder to find than the first with Ultrasonic Quicksilver being the most difficult. The MonStar with Laser Lance, Copper Kid with Laser Discs, and the Copper Racer vehicle were not produced but were shown in the 1988 Kenner toy catalog. The series 1 Hawk Haven Fortress was never produced either, due to the high production costs it would incur. Figures for many characters, including Melodia and Poker-Face, were never made.

Several other pieces of SilverHawks merchandise was released in the 1980s including a board game, puzzles, and a plastic pencil pouch with the main characters on one side with a very sturdy metal zipper. A set of pajamas were also produced which included wing flaps under the arms to more resemble the characters while wearing them.

External links

References








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