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Super Friends
Super Friends.jpg
The opening title screen for the first Super Friends series
Format Fantasy / Animated series
Voices of Danny Dark
Olan Soule
Casey Kasem
Shannon Farnon
Norman Alden
Sherry Alberoni
Frank Welker
Ted Knight
Ted Cassidy
Theme music composer Hoyt S. Curtin
Will Schaefer
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 9 (production)
over 13 years
No. of episodes 109 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Joseph Barbera
William Hanna
Producer(s) Lewis Marshall
Iwao Takamoto
Running time 60 minutes approx.
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run 8 September 1973 – 6 September 1986
Chronology
Related shows Justice League
Justice League Unlimited
External links
Official website


Super Friends is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes, which ran from 1973 to 1986 on ABC as part of its Saturday morning cartoon lineup. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and was based on the Justice League of America and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.

The name of the program, and the JLA members featured with the Super Friends, have been variously represented (such as Super Friends and Challenge of the Super Friends for example) at different points in its broadcast history. There were a total of 109 episodes, along with two back door pilot episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, with Batman and Robin appearing in "The Dynamic Scooby Doo Affair" and "The Caped Crusader Caper."

Contents

Series titles

Over the years, the show existed under several titles:

Writing

Plotlines for the first incarnation of the Super Friends did not involve any of the familiar DC Comics supervillains. Rather, they focused on the often far-fetched schemes of various mad scientists and aliens, who were revealed at some point in the program to be well-intentioned but pursuing their goals through an unlawful or disreputable means. Typically, at the end, all that is needed is a peaceful and reasonable discussion to convince the antagonists to adopt more reasonable methods.

The All-New Super Friends Hour departed somewhat away from the previous series' formula by using villains that used much more violent methods to further their goals and typically could not be reasoned with, requiring the heroes to use force to stop them. Beginning with Challenge of the Super Friends, several of the heroes' arch-villains from the comic books, such as Lex Luthor and The Riddler, began to feature prominently in comic-style stories. Throughout the series, plots often wrapped themselves up neatly in the final minutes of an episode in typical deus ex machina fashion.

Production history

When animation company Hanna-Barbera licensed the animation rights to the DC Comics characters and adapted the Justice League of America comic book for television, it made several changes in the transition, not the least of which was the change of name to Super Friends. Nevertheless, team members sometimes referred to themselves as the Justice League on the show. The violence common in superhero comics was toned down for a younger audience, as well as to fit with the restrictive broadcast standards regarding violence in 1970s children’s television.

1973–1974 series

Super Friends first aired on ABC on September 8, 1973[7], featuring well known DC characters Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. Superman, Batman & Robin and Aquaman had each previously appeared in their own animated series produced by Filmation, and voice talent from these prior programs was brought over to work on the new show. Shortly before the Super Friends series was developed, Superman and Wonder Woman also guest-starred in two episodes of The Brady Kids, while Batman and Robin appeared in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies.

In addition to the superheroes, a trio of sidekicks was introduced, each of whom were new characters not drawn from the comic books: Wendy (voiced by Sherri Alberoni), Marvin White (voiced by Frank Welker), and Wonderdog (also voiced by Frank Welker), none of whom had any special abilities (save the dog's unexplained ability to reason and "talk.") Inspired by the Scooby-Doo gang, the trio—or at least its human members—were depicted as detectives and/or superheroes in training.

Each episode would begin with the heroes responding to an emergency detected by the massive TroubAlert computer that was situated within the Hall of Justice which served as the headquarters of the team. Colonel Wilcox, a U.S. Army official, was a recurring character who would work as a government liaison to the Super Friends during emergencies.

As such conflicts are often ultimately resolved with the antagonists persuaded to adapt more reasonable methods to achieve their aims with the assistance of the heroes. Natural disasters triggered by human (or alien) activity were often shown, and environmental themes featured strongly in the program.

Some other DC Comics superheroes were featured as guest stars during this season including the Flash, Plastic Man, and Green Arrow.

This first run of Super Friends, consisting of sixteen one hour episodes that were rerun several times, concluded on August 24, 1974. At this point, the series was cancelled and did not appear on the fall lineup for 1974.

However, interest in superheroes among ABC's prime time viewers, especially with the success of The Six Million Dollar Man and the live-action Wonder Woman series caused the network to pursue reviving the Super Friends.[7] To begin with, the original sixteen episodes of the series were rebroadcast as a mid-season replacement, running from February 7, 1976 to September 3, 1977.[7] These episodes were edited to half-hour versions. In the meantime, Hanna Barbera began production on a revamped version of the show.

1977–1978 season: The All-New Super Friends Hour

The All-New Super Friends Hour featured four animated shorts per program which followed a basic format each week.

The first segment of every show featured two of the heroes (for the purposes of the team-ups in the first and fourth segments, Batman and Robin were considered 'one hero') teaming up in a separate mini-story. The second segment featured a story with the Wonder Twins. The third segment was considered the "primary" adventure of the week which featured the entire Super Friends roster (including the Wonder Twins) in a longer adventure. The fourth and final segment featured a story with one of the primary lineup along with a "special guest star". The fourth segment typically featured a problem that was solved using the guest star's unique abilities.

In addition, between segments there were additional short spots with members of the Super Friends giving basic safety lessons, providing basic first aid advice, demonstrating magic tricks, creating crafts, and presenting a two-part riddle featuring the week's primary plotline.

This is also the first season to feature villains that appeared in the comic books, Black Manta and Gentleman Ghost. Black Manta's costume was not black, and he was only referred to as "Manta," and both he and Gentleman Ghost only appeared in one episode this season.

1978–1979 season: All-New Super Friends/Challenge of the Super Friends

The next season of the Super Friends essentially featured two programs within an extended format. The Super Friends show now featured a half hour segment that followed the format of the previous season, and a second segment known as Challenge of the Super Friends which was also one half hour in length.

First segment: All-New Super Friends episodes

The first half hour of the program featured the now established group of heroes, Superman, Batman and Robin, Aquaman and Wonder Woman plus the Wonder Twins and Gleek. These sixteen half hour segments have been less commonly reaired in syndication.

Second segment: Challenge of the Super Friends

The next segment of the show, which was also half an hour in length, was called the Challenge of the Super Friends. These stories introduced the Legion of Doom, a team of thirteen recurring foes who are the Super Friends’ worst enemies. They used a swamp-based mechanical flying headquarters, the Hall of Doom (which suspiciously resembled the helmet of Darth Vader), as a suitable contrast with the Super Friends’ gleaming Hall of Justice.

Additional heroes that had previously appeared only as guest stars were added to the roster as well, to make a total of eleven. These included the Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and Thanagarian lawman Hawkman (Katar Hol) from DC Comics, as well as the three Hanna-Barbera creations Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, and Samurai.

Notably, despite the Riddler showing a set of playing cards with (from left to right) Gleek, Zan, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Batman, and Superman that he then burns to ash in his introduction in "Wanted: The Super Friends" the Wonder Twins and Gleek did not appear in Challenge.

Enthusiasts have generally expressed the view that the storylines for the Challenge episodes were the Super Friends era's best portrayal of the DC heroes.[8]

In January 1979, Hanna-Barbera briefly ran a live-action series entitled Legends of the Superheroes which was loosely based on this incarnation of the Super Friends.

1979–1980 season: The World's Greatest Super Friends

In the fall of 1979, the Super Friends returned to their prior format and brought back the original set of five DC superheroes along with Zan, Jayna and Gleek. Back to an hour in length as well, only eight new episodes were created during this run, with the majority of the season consisting of repeats of The All-New Super Friends Hour from 1977-78. Renamed The World's Greatest Super Friends, this series began on September 22, 1979 and ran until September 27, 1980.[9]

1980–1982 seasons: Super Friends

Once again renamed, this time simply reverting to Super Friends in 1980, the series changed formats again, abandoning the production of half hour episodes and producing seven minute shorts. Each episode of Super Friends would feature a rerun from one of the previous six years along with three of these new shorts. These new adventures featured appearances by the core group of the five classic Super Friends along with Zan, Jayna & Gleek. There were also guest appearances from members previously depicted in Challenge of the Super Friends as well as the original Hanna-Barbera created hero El Dorado, who was added to the show to add more cultural diversity to the Super Friends.

This would prove to be one of the more lasting incarnations of the series, with this format being used for the next three years.

1982–1983 season: The Best of the Super Friends (reruns)

For the 1982–1983 television season, ABC ran half-hour long reruns of shows from the previous seven seasons with none of the seven minute shorts rebroadcast. ABC called the rerun package The Best of the Super Friends.

1983–1984 season: Cancellation and the "lost episodes"

By this point, Hanna-Barbera had created a syndication package of the earlier Super Friends series, and these were picked up by various stations across the United States and were typically broadcast on weekday afternoons. Not wishing to compete with the syndication programming, ABC dropped the series from the 1983–1984 Saturday morning television line-up, and for the second time in its run, Super Friends was cancelled.

However, during this period of time Hanna-Barbera continued to produce new episodes of the Super Friends. In total, 24 of the so-called "Lost Episodes" were animated but not aired in the United States that season. The series did appear in Australia uninterrupted. Three of these episodes were aired when Super Friends returned to Saturday morning ABC television the following year. The remainder of the episodes finally aired on the USA network in 1995 later as part of the Superman/Batman Adventures show.[10]

1984–1985 season: Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show

Super Friends returned to ABC on Saturday September 8, 1984 with a new thirty minute program that typically featured two 11-minute stories per episode. This incarnation featured Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and the Wonder Twins and Gleek, this time teamed up with Firestorm (Ronald Raymond). In addition to this core group, episodes during this season also featured some cameos by old and new Super Friends. The program lasted one season until August 31, 1985. This series feaured various villains from the comic books such as Brainiac, Lex Luthor, Mirror Master and Mr Mxyzptlk, as well as Darkseid and his henchmen from Apokolips, all made appearances.

This season, and the one to follow, featured the “Super Powers” tag which was part of a marketing tie-in with a toyline of the same name produced by Kenner[11]

1985–1986 season: The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians

In the fall of 1985, the next version of Hanna-Barbera's depiction of the DC Comics heroes began, although it no longer carried the 'Super Friends name. This series returned to a conventional line-up for the team, with a focus on the teen members Cyborg and Firestorm. Once again headquartered at the Hall of Justice in Metropolis, the heroes battled such familiar foes as Lex Luthor and Scarecrow, as well as the recurring villain Darkseid. It also contained the first and only appearances by The Joker and The Penguin.

The tone of the Galactic Guardians incarnation was notably more serious than Super Friends had been in the past. Additionally, the Galactic Guardians series featured the first televised depiction of Batman's origin in the episode “The Fear”.

The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians lasted one season, and was ultimately canceled. The final new episode aired was The Death of Superman. which originally aired on November 6, 1985. This third cancellation would prove to be the final one and Galactic Guardians marked the end of Hanna-Barbera's 13-year run of the series when it last aired on September 30, 1986.

In syndication, this series is listed under the Super Friends name[citation needed].

Characters

The Justice League of America

The core group of five heroes made up the "Super Friends":

Additional Justice League members included:

DC Comics characters who were not Justice League members in comics (at the time), only on the series:

Justice League members created for the series:

One-shot Justice League appearances were made by:

The teen sidekicks and their pets:

In the Super Friends comic and merchandising related to the series:

Legion of Doom

Thirteen villains composed the Legion of Doom during the Challenge of the Super Friends season. They were:

 
  • Doctor Natas—a one-time member briefly mentioned in “Superfriends, Rest in Peace” is the inventor of the Noxium crystal, which had the power to kill any Super Friend. He never actually appeared on screen, not even in a flashback or a photograph.

Other DC Comics villains

Villains appearing independently from the Legion of Doom:

  • From Apokolips:
  • Bizarro's Clones:
    • Wondezarro (Wonder Woman Bizarro)
    • Firezarro (Firestorm Bizarro)
    • Cyzarro (Cyborg Bizarro)
    • Mr. Kltpzyxm (Mr. Mxyzptlk Bizarro)
 

Villains appearing not adapted from the comic books:

  • The Power Pirate
  • Dr. Gulliver
  • Rock and Roll Space Bandits
  • Medula and her Mind Maidens
  • Rokan
  • Darkon
  • Yuna the Terrible
  • Vampirus
  • Dracula
  • The Phantom Zone Villains (Hul, Logar, Rom-Lok)
  • Orville Gump
  • Nartan
  • Zycree
  • The Robber Baron and Sleeves
  • The Dollmaker

In the animated series Justice League Unlimited, Gorilla Grodd reforms his Secret Society this time an even larger group of villains. While not called "The Legion of Doom", their headquarters is a craft similar to the Hall of Doom, located in a swamp.

Other DC Comic characters

These are other characters that appeared on the series:

References to the Justice League of America name

Beginning with the original Super Friends season, the opening narration describes the team's headquarters as "the great hall of the Justice League." The opening credits of Challenge of the Super Friends names the Super Friends as the Justice League of America. In addition to the appearance of a JLA emblem on a communicator and a reference to a mission to repair the Justice League satellite, the Super Friends are often linked with the JLA. The Justice League satellite under repair is clearly the same design as the Justice League Satellite that appeared in the comics at the time, but was shown to be substantially smaller than its comic book counterpart.

Notable voice actors

The commanding voice of the Narrator was provided by actor Ted Knight during the early hour-long episodes. His signature line was, “Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice!” William Woodson took over once they dropped the original format.

Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog were inspired by the Scooby Doo gang.[citation needed] The voice of both Marvin and Wonder Dog were both performed by Frank Welker, who also did the voice of Fred on the Scooby-Doo series.

Adam West provided the voice for Batman in Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. Casey Kasem provided the voice for Robin, along with many many others in the show.

Reception

In January 2009, IGN listed Super Friends as the 50th best animated television series. [12]

Region 1 DVD Releases

Challenge of the Super Friends — The First Season (DC Comics Classic Collection) (Release Date: July 6, 2004)

Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 347 minutes

This 2 disc set contains all 16 episodes from the season.

Episodes (by aired & production order):
01. 09-Sep-1978 Wanted: The Superfriends
02. 16-Sep-1978 Invasion of The Fearians
03. 23-Sep-1978 The World's Deadliest Game
04. 30-Sep-1978 The Time Trap
05. 07-Oct-1978 Trial of the Superfriends
06. 14-Oct-1978 Monolith of Evil
07. 21-Oct-1978 The Giants of Doom
08. 28-Oct-1978 Secret Origins of the Superfriends
09. 04-Nov-1978 Revenge on Gorilla City
10. 11-Nov-1978 Swamp of the Living Dead
11. 18-Nov-1978 Conquerors of the Future
12. 25-Nov-1978 The Final Challenge
13. 02-Dec-1978 Fairy Tale of Doom
14. 09-Dec-1978 Doomsday
15. 16-Dec-1978 Superfriends, Rest in Peace
16. 23-Dec-1978 History of Doom

Super Friends, Volume Two (DC Comics Classic Collection) (Release Date: May 24, 2005)

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 365 minutes

Disc 1:
1: Rokan: Enemy from Space
2: The Demons of Exxor
3. Battle at the Earth's Core
4: Sinbad and the Space Pirates
5: The Pied Piper from Space
6: Attack of the Vampire
7: The Beasts are Coming
8: Terror from the Phantom Zone
Bonus: The Ballad of Zan and Jayna

Disc 2:
9: The Anti-Matter Monster
10: World Beneath the Ice
11: Invasion of the Brain Creatures
12: The Incredible Space Circus
13: Batman: Dead or Alive
14: Battle of the Gods
15: Journey Through Inner Space
16: The Rise and Fall of the Super Friends
Bonus: Pajama-Rama Super Friends Retrospective

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show — The Complete Series (DC Comics Classic Collection) (Release Date: August 7, 2007)

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 179 minutes

Episodes:
1. The Bride of Darkseid (Part 1)
2. The Bride of Darkseid (Part 2)
3. The Wrath of Brainiac
4. Reflections in Crime
5. No Honor Among Super Thieves
6. Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Magic Lamp
7. Case of the Shrinking Super Friends
8. The Mask of Mystery
9. Darkseid's Golden Trap (Part 1)
10. Darkseid's Golden Trap (Part 2)
11. Island of the Dinosoids
12. Uncle Mxyzptlk (Super Brat)
13. The Case of the Dreadful Dolls
14. The Royal Ruse
15. The Village of Lost Souls
16. The Curator

Challenge of the Super Friends — Attack of the Legion of Doom (Release Date: June 1, 2004)

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 109 minutes

The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (DC Comics Classic Collection) (Release Date: October 23, 2007)

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Hanna-Barbera Studios
Run Time: 170 minutes

Disc 1:
The Seeds of Doom
Ghost ship
The Bizarro Super Powers Team
Darkseid Deception
The Fear

Disc 2:
The Wild Cards
Brainchild
Escape From Space City
The Death of Superman

Challenge of the Super Friends — United They Stand (Release Date: June 1, 2004)

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 88 minutes

The All-New Super Friends Hour: Season One, Vol. 1 (Release Date: January 8, 2008)

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Turner Home Ent
Run Time: 323 minutes

Included on this set are the following episodes:

Disc 1

1) Brain Machine/ Joyride/ Invasion of the Earth/ The Whirlpool
2) Invasion of the Hydronoids/ Hitchhike/ City in a Bottle/ Space Emergency
3) The Marsh Monster/ Runaways/ Will the World Collide?/ Time Rescue
4) Doctor Fright/ Drag Race/ Day of the Planet Creatures/ Fire

Disc 2

5) The Monster of Dr. Droid/ Vandals/ Superfriends Vs Superfriends/ Energy Mass
6) The Secret Four/ Tiger on the Loose/ The Mysterious Time Creatures/ The Antidote
7) The Enforcer/ Shark/ Planet of the Neandertals/ Flood of Diamonds

The All-New Super Friends Hour: Season One, Vol. 2 (Release Date: January 27, 2009)

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Turner Home Ent
Run Time: 366 minutes

Included on this set are the following episodes:

Disc 1

1) The Invisible Menace/ Initiation/ Coming of the Arthropods/ River of Doom
2) Attack of the Giant Squid/ Game of Chicken/ The Water Beast/ Volcano
3) The Collector/ Handicap/ The Mind Maidens/ Alaska Peril
4) The Fifty Foot Woman/ Cheating/ Exploration Earth/ Attack of the Killer Bees

Disc 2

5) Forbidden Power/ Pressure Point/ The Lion Men/ The Day of the Rats
6) The Man Beasts of Xra/ Prejudice/ The Tiny World of Terror/ Tibetan Raiders
7) Frozen Peril/ Dangerous Prank/ The Mummy of Nazca/ Cable Car Rescue
8) The Protector/ Stowaways/ The Ghost/ Rampage

Super Friends: The Lost Episodes (Release Date: August 11, 2009)

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 2
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 168 minutes

Included on this set are the following episodes:

Disc 1

1) Mxyzptlk's Revenge/ Roller Coaster/ Once Upon a Poltergeist
2) Warpland/ Two Gleeks Are Deadlier Than One/ Bulgor the Behemoth
3) The Krypton Syndrome/ Invasion of the Space Dolls/ The Terror on the Titanic
4) The Revenge of Doom/ A Pint of Life/ The Day of the Dinosaurs

Disc 2

5) The Return of the Phantoms/ Bully for You/ Superclones
6) The Prisoners of Sleep/ An Unexpected Treasure/ The Malusian Blob
7) The Attack of the Cats/ One Small Step for Superman/ The Video Victims
8) The Playground of Doom/ The Space Racers/ The Recruiter

Spin-offs

The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show

Plastic Man first appeared in the first season of Super Friends, in one episode. Later, Ruby-Spears Productions released a series starring the character in his own solo adventures. The Plastic Man episode "Superstein" is actually directly linked to the World's Greatest Super Friends episode "The Super Friends Meet Frankenstein." Dr. Frankenstein's sidekick; Gorg, (who was obviously inspired by Igor) appears in both episodes, with the same voice actor and a similar character design.

Batman

A Batman animated series was also considered in the mid-'80s, presumably with Adam West reprising his role as the voice of Batman. "The Fear" was written as a pilot episode for the series, but it was instead adapted in to an episode of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.

The New Teen Titans

In 1983, a cartoon based upon The New Teen Titans comics began development. It was created as a companion for the Super Friends, to be set in the same continuity. Robin wasn't going to be featured in the cartoon though, at least not as a regular, since in the Super Friends universe, he was a member of the Justice League. Like Super Friends, the show was to be developed by Hanna-Barbera for ABC, but since shows like The Smurfs (airing on NBC) were so popular at the time, this show was never picked up by the network. The show would have featured Wonder Girl as the leader, along with Cyborg, Kid Flash, Changeling, Raven and Starfire. Although the show failed to get picked up, a television commercial with an anti-drug theme did feature the Titans, as they would have appeared in the animated series, along with a new superhero named "The Protector" who would have been the replacement character for Robin. A Teen Titans animated TV program was eventually produced.

Superman (1988 TV series)

In 1988, just two years after the final season of Super Friends, a new series created by Ruby-Spears Productions that featured a solo Superman aired on CBS. In the episode called "Superman and Wonder Woman vs. The Sorceress of Time," Wonder Woman guest stars, and B.J. Ward reprises her role as Wonder Woman.

Comic Books

Super Friends

DC Comics published a comic book version of the Super Friends in the 1970s and early 1980s. The Super Friends comic was written to a higher standard than the television show[citation needed], and Zan and Jayna were given backstories and secret identities as a pair of blond-haired high school kids; they were more competent heroes in general than their cartoon counterparts.

While the cartoons were not canon with DC Comics, writer E. Nelson Bridwell would make the comic book into canon by footnotes. Though, many fans would address the matter in letter columns by addressing the SF stories on "Earth-1A".[13] An example of trying to fit Super Friends into the DC Universe:

  • Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog are the only ones active at the Hall of Justice because the Justice League are in the 30th Century with the Justice Society as shown in Justice League of America #147–148. Robin is busy helping the Titans in Teen Titans #50-52. Bridwell also gave them last names and ties to the other characters' histories; Wendy Harris was the niece of detective Harvey Harris who helped trained Batman and Marvin White was the son of Diana Prince, the woman who helped provide Wonder Woman with a secret identity upon her arrival in America.

While the show never explained the departure of Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog, the story is found in Super Friends #6-9.

However, the argument for the comic being canon with Earth-One continuity includes the fact that certain elements of the series impacted other books in the DC line, such as TNT's appearance in Kandor in an issue of "Superman Family" that references events exclusively from Super Friends, Sinestro's lack of a power ring in an issue of "The Brave and The Bold" after the ring was destroyed in a Super Friends issue, and Superman already being familiar with Dr. Mist and the international heroes in "DC Comics Presents" after meeting them in Super Friends. Further to that, there is circumstantial evidence, such as the comic's use of the "correct" Toyman, Winslow P. Schott; Jack Nimball, the jester-like Toyman seen in the TV show, having been murdered by Schott in an issue of Superman's own book some months before.

In 2008, DC began publishing a new Super Friends comic book starring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, and Green Lantern (John Stewart). Aimed at children, and replacing Justice League Adventures (the tie-in to Justice League Unlimited)[citation needed], the series takes a light-hearted humorous tone.

Extreme Justice

In the comics, the Wonder Twins were members of the short-lived JLI offshoot, Extreme Justice.

Young Justice

Young Justice was a comic series that followed the adventures of a group comprised of the latest teen super-heroes of the late 90's and early 2000's, including Robin, Superboy, Impulse & Wonder Girl. Towards the end of the run, Young Justice was involved in a mission which required them to invade an island who's population was made up of super-villains. In order to achieve a successful attack, the core team assembled all the, then, known teen heroes, including the Wonder Twins. Like in Extreme Justice, neither of them could speak English and seemed to enjoy eating CD's. Unlike their cartoon counterparts, the Wonder Twins were far more rude and sarcastic towards other people.

Super Buddies

The lighthearted nature of the show was partially spoofed in the 2000s with two DC miniseries, Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League! (although these series were more direct take-offs on the 1980s Blue Beetle/Booster Gold-era Justice League). In these miniseries, the group is known as the “Super Buddies,” and consists of a team of various ex-Justice League members. Writer Keith Giffen has stated that his original proposal was titled 1-800-SUPERFRIENDS.[citation needed]

Teen Titans

In #34 (2006), Wendy and Marvin are now part of DC continuity. They are now fraternal twins (a possible nod to their Super Friends successors, the Wonder Twins), engineering geniuses (apparently having graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at sixteen), and are employed at Titans Tower as maintenance crew and all-around mechanical troubleshooters. They were responsible for restoring Titans member Cyborg to full functions after he sustained damage to his artificial body parts during the events of the Infinite Crisis mini-series and publishing event. Wonder Dog was also introduced into the series, however unlike the cartoon, he was not a lovable sidekick, but was instead a murderous shapeshifting demon dog who was sent to Titans Tower to kill the team. Wonder Dog managed to killed Marvin brutally, and then attacked Wendy, leaving her in a crippled from the waist down. Wendy is now a supporting character of the new Batgirl series, being helped by former Batgirl Barbara Gordon.

Wizard Magazine

An issue parodied the Super Friends, in which the JLA is sent through a dimensional rift and meets some members of the Super Friends. After Martian Manhunter simply uses his Martian vision to melt the villain and his machine, much to Green Lantern’s dismay (“You have to trick him into leaving, or shutting off his machine, NOT direct physical violence!”) the Super Friends decided to send the Justice Leaguers back to their own dimension. The Wonder Twins turned into water and a bug and paddling, Green Lantern shone his ring on them, Flash ran around them a lot, and Aquaman stood around until water could be introduced in a convienent manner. Despite the fact that their plan made no sense scientifically, it worked and restored the Justice League to their proper world.

Wizard magazine, as a jest, also ran an April Fool's promotion for a Wonder Twins special by painter Alex Ross. The book, titled "Wonder Twins: Form of Water", was to be one of Alex Ross' oversized books chronicling the Justice League. The plot would see Zan and Jayna using their powers to help the Earth's famine and drought-stricken nations after their monkey Gleek contracted super-rabies after severe dehydration.

Alex Ross

Noted painter Alex Ross is an avowed fan of the show[citation needed] and has worked it into his various projects. In Kingdom Come, the United Nations building resembles the Hall of Justice while the Gulag is obviously designed on the Hall of Doom. Marvin can also be spotted in a brief cameo in that book. Justice is a 12-issue miniseries series in which a new and improved Legion of Doom clashes with the JLA.

Bumpers

Cartoon Network produced three commercials lampooning the Super Friends.

  • One dealt with the idiosyncratic nature of the Legion of Doom and Brainiac’s odd manner of dress (Brainiac: “Look, I just want some pants...a decent pair of pants!” Solomon Grundy: “Solomon Grundy want pants, too!”).
  • The second dealt with the Wonder Twins’ uselessness in battle (Zan: “I could get beaten by a sponge! It doesn’t even have to be an evil sponge!”).
  • The third, co-starring The Powerpuff Girls, dealt with Aquaman’s useless powers (Aquaman: “My ability to talk to fish is of no use to us, Wonder Woman!”) as well as the level of violence compared to today’s cartoons, as Wonder Woman and Aquaman look away while the Powerpuff Girls beat up the Legion of Doom, going so far as to set the Scarecrow on fire. Most notabably was Bubbles' double-entendre reply to Wonder Woman's compliment on how they were developing as superheroes. "One day we'll be as developed as you are." Lex Luthor, as a villain with a dirty mind, began laughing. His underlings understood the joke and laughed as well. When a piece of the Hall of Doom's ceiling fell on Luthor's head, everyone laughed. Also, when the Powerpuff Girls came crashing in, Luthor mispronounced their collective name as "The Powderpuff Girls", annoying the Powerpuff Girls and causing them to angrily correct him: "It's PowERpuff!" "No D!!"
  • A fourth bumper was produced for Adult Swim. This bumper was a clip from the episode “The Time Trap,” and edited some bleeping in to give the appearance of profanity. Many other Hanna Barbera toons had the same thing done.
  • There was a 5th bumper produced that lampooned the manner in which the Super Friends described every action before completing it (e.g., "I need to reach my utility belt so that I may free myself!"). In this commercial, the heroes go to a movie and struggle to find money for popcorn.

Parodies

That 70s Show

Super Friends was spoofed in an episode with a dream sequence where the "Super Pals" made fun of Eric's Superman because Donna's Wonder Woman had given him a ring as a gift. "I got it at the mall!" she exclaims. The episode features Eric Forman as Superman, Donna as Wonder Woman, Kelso as Batman, Fez as Aquaman and Hyde & Jackie as the Wonder Twins. Red is also featured as their nemesis, "Dr. Bald", wearing Lex Luthor's green and purple costume.

Justice League

In "Secret Origins, Part 3", when Superman proposes the idea of a team, Flash responds “What, you mean like a bunch of...super friends?”

In "Injustice for All", during a battle in a museum, a statue of the Wonder Twins can be seen in the background.

Justice League Unlimited

"Ultimatum", a first season episode of the Cartoon Network television series, featured the Ultimen, a group of superheroes that are a pastiche of heroes unique to the Super Friends. The members were Long Shadow (based on Apache Chief), Wind Dragon (Samurai), Juice (Black Vulcan), Downpour (Zan of the Wonder Twins), and Shifter (Jayna of the Wonder Twins). The headquarters of the Ultimen, although on top of a skyscraper, resembled the Super Friends’ Hall of Justice. The episode, "Ultimatum", also featured "The Lava Men" monsters from season 7 of Super Friends. Of note also is that the JLU heroes featured in this episode was the line up of the original Super Friends except Robin (due to the concurrent Teen Titans and The Batman cartoon series, DC and Warner Bros. mandated that no Bat-characters other than Batman himself could be used in JLU[citation needed]) The Ultimen also used the wholesome language of the Super Friends and the 1960s Batman series, referring to the Justice League as "old chums" and giving heavy-handed monologues on civic responsibility (which Superman calls "corny").

The name of the team might, in the opinion of some viewers, be derived from The Ultimates from Marvel Comics, a similarly government-funded superhero team based on the original "Avengers" lineup.

The Fairly Oddparents

In the episode "Power Pals", Timmy wishes for better super friends. As a result, he gets a team of superheroes—the Power Pals—as "friends." The four characters parody famous characters including Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Aquaman, and come with their own narrator. Various aspects of Super Friends were parodied, such as randomly pressing beeping buttons (that flash in an equally random pattern) on any computer module, invisible vehicles (somehow, the Power Pals are able to recognize a dent in the invisible rocket, and can be seen from the outside as only the rocket is invisible), the perceived uselessness of Aquaman parody Wet Willy’s ability to talk to fish and powerlessness outside of water, and near-instantaneous travel to distant galaxies.

MTV's The State

During a transition between two other skits there is a brief scene with members of the State dressed as the various Super Friends. The Flash runs in an informs them all of an impending disaster. Superman then begins assigning serious tasks to all of the members but finishes by saying "and Aquaman... go talk to some fish". The members of the Super Friends then begin laughing hysterically while a visibly embarrassed Aquaman just stands there.

South Park

The episode "Super Best Friends" is a spoof of this series and depicts religious figures as a team of superheroes. The only member of “The Super Best Friends” who is not a religious figure is “Seaman” (pronounced "semen"), a spoof of Aquaman whose power is to talk to fish.

Additionally, the episode, "Krazy Kripples", features a Legion of Doom featuring Christopher Reeve as the leader. The episode "Spookyfish" also features a Super Friends-style scene transition with images of Barbra Streisand's head superimposed over the trademark lensflares.

Family Guy

In the Family Guy episode "A Hero Sits Next Door", there's a cutaway joke involving Peter playing a game of strip poker with Wonder Woman. Also, the Super-Friends-style scene transitions appear twice in the episode.

In " Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High", Peter flashes back to the time he was a Wonder Twin, with him taking the form of Jayna's tampon.

In " Perfect Castaway", when Lois tells Peter how great the family has been doing ever since she married Brian, she mentions that Meg got on a date with the Super Friends' announcer. Then, a scene shows Meg and the announcer in a car on a hill where the announcer says, "Meanwhile, underneath Meg Griffin's bra".

In "No Meals on Wheels", Peter makes a reference to the Mexican Super Friends, and a non-sequitur shows many Mexican versions of superheroes, including "Mexican Superman" and "Mexican Batman."

In "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One" when Lois runs for mayor, she attempts to gain the "stupid vote" by claiming Adolf Hitler was working with the Legion of Doom to plot the assassination of Jesus. Shortly after this the Legion of Doom's base rises from the lake and Lex Luthor asks the other Legion members how she knew their plans. Solomon Grundy admits he "kinda dropped the ball on that one".

The opening of "Family Goy" parodied the opening sequence of Super Friends with Peter as Superman, Brian and Stewie as Batman and Robin respectively, Lois as Wonder Woman, Chris as Aquaman, and Meg as....Meg.

An ongoing animated series featuring controversial celebrities Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, and the Olsen Twins in the roles of tasteless superheroes, created in 2006 by Heavy.com. Both the setting and the some of the girls’ superpowers are plays on elements from the Super Friends.

In Something, Something, Something Dark Side shortly after Chris/Luke and Cleveland/R2-D2 land on Dagobah, the Legion of Doom fortress rises from out of the swamp with the same narration and music. But Chris/Luke then yells "Not now!" and the fortress quickly retreats underwater.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

The Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode “MC Pee Pants” uses animation backgrounds taken from the Challenge of the Super Friends episode “Monolith of Evil” for the location of Hell.[citation needed] It is reused in MC Pee Pants' other appearances ("Super Sirloin", "The Last One", "Little Brittle")

Justice Friends

One of the backup segments in Dexter's Laboratory was called Justice Friends. The title is derived from the Justice League and Super Friends, and the series makes many references (in a sitcom style) to the superficial plot lines of the Super Friends shows. However, the characters are parodies of Marvel Comics' Avengers team (the Marvel equivalent of the Justice League/Super Friends).

References

External links








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