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Super Friends is an American animated television series about a team of superheros, 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 (JLA) and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.

The name of the program (and the JLA members featured on the Super Friends) have been variously represented at different points in its broadcast history, these include: Super Friends (1973-1974, 1980-1983), The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977-1978), Challenge of the Super Friends (1978-1979), The World's Greatest Super Friends (1979-1980), Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984-1985), The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985-1986).

There were a total of 93 episodes and two backdoor-pilot episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies, with Batman and Robin appearing in the episodes "The Dynamic Scooby Doo Affair" and "The Caped Crusader Caper."

Super Friends began airing on Cartoon Network's Toonami on October 5, 1998, replacing Thundercats.[1] Super Friends was in turn replaced by Thundercats on January 25, 1999 and only appeared on Toonami again during the 24-hour Toonami: Full Cycle.[2]

Plot

The greatest of the DC Comics superheroes work together to fight against evil. 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.

Characters

There were multiple appearances by many other JLA members on the show, including some created specifically for the series, such as Apache Chief, but originally the show centered around a core group of five members.

Superman — Displayed all of his usual abilities including; heat vision, super strength, super speed, flight, x-ray vision, etc.

Batman — The Batmobile as seen in the early episodes of Super Friends was based on the Lincoln Futura design as seen on the live-action TV series starring Adam West. The main difference with the Super Friends version was that the lines of the car were modified substantially for use in animation. The most obvious change was to the nose of the car, where the hood received a "V" depression that echoed the lower fascia. This was also the first Batmobile (of any medium) to feature yellow bat emblems on the doors. This particular feature would be quickly adapted by the comics.

Robin — A member of the JLA in the series, but not in the comics.

Aquaman — In this series, Aquaman was shown to display super-strength, hefting a bulldozer blade over his head, for example, and using it to help stop a tidal wave. He also had encyclopedic knowledge of oceanography and oceanology, in addition to his more familiar water-breathing power and aquatic telepathy. However, the series has been blamed for making Aquaman unpopular and even laughable by reinforcing a weak image of the character.

Wonder Woman — In the Super Friends animated series, the Lasso of Truth possessed the ability to follow the telepathic commands of Wonder Woman, physically moving on its own to accomplish tasks. The ability is never displayed in the comics, although it is hinted that without her tiara, Wonder Woman cannot fully utilize the lasso's ability. In Super Friends, Wonder Woman was typically displayed using the lasso as a tool for accomplishing feats of strength, leaving it unclear to what extent Wonder Woman herself possessed great strength or the lasso itself performed the feats. In addition, its truth-compelling power was used to free Wonder Woman when she was under the mind control of space pirates. Superman found himself snared by the lasso, but he manages to tie the controlled Wonder Woman as well. In that situation, Superman forces her to confess whether he is her enemy or friend and the truth of her friendship with him forced from Wonder Woman broke the pirates' power over her. The Invisible Plane is also a regular feature on the Super Friends cartoon show; Wonder Woman gives a ride to Aquaman and other flightless heroes on a regular basis.

Gallery

Episodes

Color Season Episodes Season Premiere Season Finale
1 16 September 8, 1973 December 22, 1973
2 15 September 10, 1977 December 17, 1977
3 16 September 9, 1978 December 23, 1978
4 08 September 22, 1979 November 10, 1979
5 08 September 13, 1980 November 1, 1980
6 06 September 26, 1981 October 31, 1981
7 08 September 10, 1983 October 29, 1983
8 08 September 8, 1984 October 27, 1984
9 08 September 11, 1985 November 6, 1985

Broadcast History

  • United States (ABC) — September 8, 1973 - September 6, 1986
  • United States (Cartoon Network) — June 1996[3] - 2000
  • United States (Boomerang) — April 2000[3] - February 2005[4]; 2006[5] - September 2008[6]

Toonami Broadcast History

  • Toonami (United States) — October 5, 1998[1] - January 21, 1999; April 8-9, 2000[2]

Toonami Marathons

Super Friends only had one marathon appearance during its run on Toonami, Toonami: Full Cycle. However, the series was aired as part of the Toonami preview marathon, Superheroes Weekend.

External Links

References

Toonami Series
Cartoon Network (1997-2008)
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