Saturday, January 7, 2012

Discuss: Super Friends


Dougie said...

I was just thinking of the SF last night; I was watching a clip of Blondie's "Presence Dear" and of course they're mentioned in the lyrics.
JLA Super-Spec 110 is one of my most cherished reads and the cover was the first time I'd ever seen the expression "Super Friends". It must have been about three years before I found out what it meant.

To the best of my knowledge, the cartoon shows were never shown in the UK but I liked the comic book, especially the International Heroes. Dr. Mist, Seraph, Jack O'Lantern, the Little Mermaid and Owlwoman were probably my favourites; they really seemed like lost characters from the minds of Fox and Broome.
I also enjoyed the guest appearances of the fire-breathing Green Fury and a team-up with Supergirl.

J.A. Morris said...

The Super Friends on the whole were okay, not great. I guess it helped introduce comic books to kids of my generation. But the show also played a role in teaching me that Marvel characters were more interesting.

The only episodes I own are from the Challenge of the Super Friends series. Those are the best, still fun, and the voice actors are pretty good for the characters. But they're still pretty silly.

Redartz said...

I never acually saw the show; when the show was airing I was almost exclusively a Marvelite. I watched Spiderman and his Amazing Friends, but found it a bit weak (nobody threw any punches). FCC and parental pressures during the 70's and 80's restricted the content of Saturday morning shows pretty heavily; disappointing for one able to recall the 60's Spiderman, Fantastic Four and Superman cartoons.

Rip Jagger said...

Enjoyed the cartoon, especially after they ditched the morality plays and started featuring some nifty super-villains.

The comic was a hit with me from its debut. Ramona Fradon's artwork was outstanding and gave this version of the League a real lively aspect.

Solid craftsmanship on this, and as it turns out is the case with most of these cartoon adaptations we see in my opinion.

Rip Off

david_b said...

Agreeing with Redartz, it was grand back in the day to actually have Batman and Robin back on the airwaves, since all the reruns of the earlier shows were no longer shown, and it helped with Mego sales.

The show itself was way too disappointing, and helped DC slip into more the bland genre of comic story-telling. Obviously, I understand the Aparo and Adams work on Bats, Aquaman, GL/GA were striving for relevance with more hard-core readers, but having this on TV worked against DC in regards to broad-scale market perception.

Sure it was a fun venue for Saturday morning viewing, but it resonated with the general population that DC Comics lacked depth.

Edo Bosnar said...

The cartoon was frankly pretty lousy, although often unintentionally funny, but I still have fond memories of watching it as a kid. And even though I was/am more of a Marvel boy, I have to say Super Friends, as well as Plastic Man and Filmation's Batman cartoon, were still better than the Marvel cartoons of the late '70s/early '80s: Fantastic Four with Herbie the Robot (ugh!), Spider-man and his Amazing Friends, and Spider-woman.
The comic, however, was quite good, particularly the issues featuring Ramona Fradon as artist. As mentioned by Rip, those were really solidly-crafted books, not just artistically, but also story-wise - they were just really fun comics to read.

dbutler16 said...

The Superfriends had a HUGE impact on me as a child. They were my introduction to superheroes and the larger world of comics. When I finally saw a JLA comic at the local store, I already knew who all of the characters were, thanks to the Superfriends. Watching them again as an older person, they don't hold up very well. (Their target audience is clearly younger children.) Actually, the first two seasons-one with Marvin & Wendy, then the first run with the Wonder Twins, don't hold up well, OK, they’re fairly awful, but the Challenge of the Superfriends, which dumps the teen sidekicks and introduces the Legion of Doom, was very good, and the 1908-82 series was pretty good, too.

Anonymous said...

Love the cartoons, especially "Challenge of the Super Friends."

Love the comics even more, have all the issues. I only wish they'd been able to add Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, and Samurai to the comics team!

Enjoyed the Global Guardians in the comics. Impala, Olympian, Seraph, Bushmaster, and Jack O'Lantern were pretty neat.

Garett said...

The Legion of Doom shows were great!

Doug said...

You have to love the little reference here and there that Alex Ross slipped into the Kingdom Come and Justice mini-series. Marvin drinking in the bar in Waid's/Ross's apocalyptic series was priceless!


Fred W. Hill said...

By the time the Super Friends took their place amongst the Saturday morning cartoons, I'd long since become a committed Marvel maniac and had no interest in DC, but I still watched the cartoon with my brothers. Overall, it struck me as a bit silly and only confirmed my low opinion of DC's output, although I know in retrospect comics should be judged on their own merits rather than on how the characters are portrayed in other media. Anyhow, as I couldn't remember what years the show ran, I googled it and found out on the Wiki sight that it ran from 1973 (the year I turned 11) to 1986. I'd had no idea it was on for so many years. I only remembering watching the first few years, until maybe 1976. or whenever I lost interest in the weekend morning kids fare altogether. Hence, my memories are of the "morality plays" Rip mentioned. The more fun episodes featured guest shots by other DC heroes, but interesting villains were rare in those early years.
I also remember thinking "Super Friends" struck me as a ridiculously corny name for a team. Yeah, 11 year olds with younger brothers can be a bit snobby in their tasts, lol.

MattComix said...

Never understood why they didn't just call them the Justice League even as a kid. The show is sort of a blessing and a curse. On the positive you have to keep in mind that at this point you didn't have superhero cartoons and movies coming out every year. Seeing these character in any kind of other media was a truly "holy shit!" moment for young and old alike.

On the negative though the show re-enforced a lot of bad ideas about these characters most notably Aquaman as just "talks to fish guy" and Superman as "do anything who the hell needs a team" guy. However, I will say that in the modern era it is *Batman* who has become "do anything guy" but people give him a free pass on it because he doesn't have powers.

Inkstained Wretch said...

I loved, absolutely loved, the series as a kid. Many a Saturday morning was spent thrilling to those adventures. It was a major gateway drug to my later full-blown comics addiction.

A few years back I bought some of the "Challenge of the Super Friends" episodes on DVD and discovered that as a kid I was a lot less discriminating than a thought. Man, are the procuction values weak and the plots simplistic.

It was still a hoot to hear American Top 40's Casey Kasem do Robin's voice though ...

Inkstained Wretch said...

One other thing about the series: It intergrated the Justice League WAAAY before the regular series did.

In the 70 the TV series had Apache Chief, Samuri and Black Vulcan as regular members. The first member of a minority group to join the Justice League was Vixen ... in 1984. That's rather embarassing.

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