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|Index||12 reviews in total|
I remember watching this cartoon at 8:30 in the morning if I had a day out of school. At the age of 10 I realize that this is the best superfriends cartoon. The cartoon pit their arch enemies against the superfriends which derives from the DC comics. I enjoy watching Lex Luther always trying to make a way to destroy the superfriends. Especially superman,wonder woman,and the green lantern because they all the most powerful ones of them all. Superman serves as the superfriends leader and at the end they prove that evil never prevails. If you noticed The Challenge of the Superfriends and The Scooby Doo Show(1978) has the same danger background music.
I agree with all previous comments that this was the ultimate of all
versions of the Super Friends. I remember watching this particular show
I was 12 years old. The basic plot of each episode involved the Legion of
Doom shown at the beginning of each episode in their headquarters nestled
the murky swamp hatching some diabolical, evil plan to rid themselves of
Super Friends and gain control of the world. Their plans would always be
thwarted by the Super Friends, but, just when it appeared that the Super
Friends would capture the Legion of Doom in the end, the evildoers would
always manage to escape until next week's installment when they would
devise another nefarious scheme.
My only complaint is that I never understood why there were only 11 Super Friends to combat 13 members of the Legion of Doom when there were other Justice League members such as Hawkgirl, Atom, El Dorado and Rima the Jungle Woman, among others, who could have been added to the show. I just think it would have been better to have had an equal number on each team of good and evil.
For a time in 1979, the episodes containing the Legion of Doom were shown with 2 half-hour shows featuring the principal Justice League (Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman & Robin, and featuring the Wonder Twins & Gleek) bringing the total time of the Super Friends show to a full 90 minutes.
For all you fans of this series, two VHS videos have been released in 2003. (Most likely they can be found in DVD format. I just found the videos today at my local Hollywood Video store.) Each video contains 4 full episodes.
The first is called "Challenge of the Super Friends: Attack of the Legion of Doom." It contains the following 4 episodes to which I will add a brief synopsis for each. In "Wanted: Ten Super Friends" the LOD uses mind control over the SF to make them steal gold, antiques and other riches; the SF turn themselves in to the authorities, but it is a trap set by the LOD to eliminate the SF and gain control of the world. In "Invasion of the Fearians" the LOD makes a pact with three-headed aliens from Venus, who plan to colonize the planet Earth and then destroy the SF so that the LOD can gain world dominion. In "The World's Deadliest Game" the LOD lead Wonder Woman, Hawkman and Black Vulcan through a black hole in space and onto a strange, desolate planet where Toyman terrorizes them in several "games" (pinball, dollhouse, etc.) while the other SF race to find them in time before the black hole closes permanently. In "The Time Trap" the LOD lead several of the SF into different time periods in order to steal riches and frame the SF for the crimes so that they will be caught and remain stuck in time and, therefore, cease to be a threat to the LOD in the furture.
The second is called "Challenge of the Super Friends: United They Stand." Following are the 4 featured episodes. In "Trial of the Super Friends" the LOD charges the SF with crimes of fighting injustice and evil; the LOD then finds them guilty and proceeds to punish them. In "Monolith of Evil" Solomon Grundy leads the other members of the LOD to the center of the Earth to the power source that made him evil so that they can gain new and more powerful sources of evil to use in their latest scheme against the SF. In "The Giants of Doom" Sinestro and Captain Cold lead the rest of the LOD around the world to collect vital elements needed to make a formula that will transform them into giants in order to conquer the SF and rule the universe. In "Secret Origins of the Super Friends" the LOD travels back in time to change the course of historical events so that Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern never became Super Friends and it's up to the other SF to go back in time to undo the damage done by the LOD.
These are great! Watching these episodes again was like reliving a part of my youth... it seemed like Saturday morning all over again. I hope they release all of the episodes, because there are others that I remember that were not included on these tapes. If you can, check them out!
As a general comment, I wish the Cartoon Network would feature this show more prominently again. I don't think it is on the schedule anymore, but I am not positive. (If it is, I cannot find it.) This channel seems to make a lot of new shows (and airs each new show at least 5 times per day) and completely ignores old favorites, except for Scooby Doo, which is also a great show (but I am referring only to the orginial shows from 1969 & 1970 and NOT the Scrappy or Scooby Dumb or "guest star" mysteries). The same thing has happened with the Game Show Network. The people in charge of these cable stations are missing the point... viewers want to see the shows that they remember and grew up watching. Fortunately for viewers like me, there is a channel that does understand this basic philosphy... TV Land!
The people behind the SuperFriends series finally got the hint and banished The Wonder Twins and that God awful purple monkey back to their planet (Wherever they came from)and came up with the premise for the best of the SuperFriends series. The Justice League vs. The Legion Of Doom go head to head, good vs. evil, light vs. dark. You KNOW that no one EVER dies in the series and you KNOW that good will triumph, but it's just fun watching T.L.O.D. come up with ways to bump off T.J.L. (And come pretty darn close, too!). Strange that the women look a bit too sexy for Saturday morning cartoons (Wonder Woman always looked like she was about to pop out of her top), but considering the current state of Saturday morning cartoons (Or any cartoon for that matter), "Challenge Of The SuperFriends" is tame (No blood, guts or gore). If you have kids and you don't like the current state of animated programs, then this would be a safe bet.
"Challenge of the Superfriends" from 1978 was the best Superfriends
show for the mainstream viewer who is not a big superhero fan, but
nonetheless enjoys entertaining tales about them on occasion. Like the
other two previous shows, the Justice of League of America were
compromised of Batman & Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash,
Aquaman and led by Superman are set up in the Hall of Justice.
Supporting superheroes like Hawkman, and the hilarious "minority
superheroes" like Black Vulcan/Lightining, Samurai and of course the
one everyone loves to laugh at---Apache Chief were there to help out.
For whatever reason, the Mexican superhero El Dorado from the previous
show didn't get the equal opportunity call back from Superman and
Wonder Woman in "Challenge". The minority superheroes were just
background extras, if they did something it was usually to simply
advance the plot by screwing up and in need of rescue from the White
heroes like Superman and Green Lantern. They were hilarious because of
all the well intentions of having non-White members on the JLA back in
1978, it still reveals the deep ingrained bigotry and lack of
sensitivity of the times with those superheroes stupid ethnic names,
being nothing but minor role players on the team, and tendency to just
mess everything up for the rest of the JLA. Aquaman and Hawkman could
be useless at times, but at least they weren't so embarrassing as the
Personally I think the two "Super Power Team" shows from the mid 80s were the most mature and best Superfriends TV series period from the various incarnations from the original 1973 to 1986 run, but with the Justice League constantly battling more comic book heavy villains like Darkseid and Dessad on those later two shows, I can understand why a non-comic fan would be less then enthusiastic about them. "Challenge" is my favorite of the non-Super Power Team incarnations. "Challenge" is the best one for mainstream fans that just want to be entertained by a good yarn. Compared to the earlier shows, "Challenge" was a bit more mature and had the Superfriends acting more like true DC comic book heroes, battling real DC villains in the Legion of Doom. "Challenge" took itself more seriously and finally got rid of annoying kid tag alongs and goofy animals that plagued the previous early-mid 70s incarnations like Wendy, Marvin, & Wonder Dog, and those teenage "wonder twin" idiots from the planet Exor that were Zan, Jana, and that damn monkey Gleek.
Every episode had the evil Legion of Doom, led by the ever scheming Lex Luthor, coming up with diabolical plans to rule the world and get rid of the Superfriends. The Legion all gathered together in their mobile Hall of Doom, shaped to look like Darth Vader's mask. The Legion was made up of a great cast of characters, Solomon Grundy, Sinestro, Bizzaro, Scarecrow, Captain Cold, Grod the Gorrila, Riddler, Brainiac, Black Manta, Toyman, and Cheetah. Then there was the dominatrix like redhead Giganta, a favorite of mine because she was barely covered up in an animal bikini and was running around barefoot with ankle bracelets. Giganta could become a 50 ft giant like Apache Chief, and they both suffered the same problem of wearing a skirt while becoming giants. Giganta had a very small role on the show but well, she turned me on as a little kid.
Of course the Superfriends would always win at the end, and the viewer knows this, but it's still always so fun to watch these episodes and see how close the LD comes to knocking the JLA off. I loved the background music on this show, especially the creepy music they played in the swamps when they showed the Hall of Doom. There was some pretty hilarious humour here too on occasion, like when Lex Luthor called Superman "Stupidman" or "Superfool". Or when Lex beraded one of the lesser LD members for saying something stupid the way Bizzaro often did. And just when the Superfriends think they have captured the LD, they would escape somehow or the Hall of Doom would fly overhead and beam them all back up. There were problems with this show for sure, for some reason whenever the script demanded it Flash and Batman had superhuman strength and could even fly like Superman. Wonder Woman didn't display her own superhuman strength nearly enough. The JLA characters didn't have much of a personality difference either, Robin was always a whiny little girl, but everyone else basically acted the same. For instance what difference was there between Green Lantern and Superman? They both acted the same. The animation was usually Saturday morning flimsy. Kids today will probably laugh at this show for the bad animation, miscues with the animated characters and the actors voicing them, and the sometimes hokey schemes of the Legion of Doom. But overall the stories on "Challenge" are still very entertaining. This is a fantastic and memorable show, I highly recommend "Challenge of the Superfriends", it's a Generation Xer favorite.
After watching all these heroes I had never seen before (Green Lantern,
Flash, the Atom, Hawkman and Hawkgirl), the thought of an ongoing series
which regularly featured them thrilled me. I had to be on my best
or risk being banned from the TV and therefore missing an episode.
I enjoyed the show, but looking back on Cartoon Network reruns saw quite a few flaws in the characterization and details. For example, Green Lantern was able to deflect some of the yellow-colored attacks posed against him, and sometimes he could. At the time, as GL fans know, his ring was always powerless against anything colored yellow. They also committed the same offense as in other series'; for Batman and Robin, it was all about the devices in the utility belts. For Wonder Woman, the jet and Magic Lasso. Lose these things, and they're helpless? Please!
Whatever. Just bring on the whole JLA and I was happy. Still a classic.
Yes, this is easily the best of all the different visions of
Hannah-Barbara's "Super Friends" shows. The first with Wendy, Marvin
and Wonder Dog was quaint but unless you were under the age of 9 just
too friendly. The second version with Zan, Jayna (rrrowr!) and Gleek
the Space Monkey had a darker, more edgier tone with actual
destruction, but would always stumble at the last minute and go for
This one was the essence of why kids love super hero cartoons distilled down into a raw, somewhat darkly toned vision where the VILLAINS are the key. The Super Friends were the squares here, with Lex Luthor and his 12 partners in crime stealing the show episode after episode. My favorites were always Black Manta and Solomon Grundy: They were both somewhat frightening characters with pretty nasty background stories. Solomon Grundy was some guy who died face down in the swamp and was infected by an evil energy field or something like that -- an overgrown swamp weed.
You can get the entire series on an excellent DVD box set that has the magical ability to transport you back to the age of 11, hunched in front of the set on Saturday morning with your bowl of Crunchberries. One almost finds themselves rooting for the forces of darkness in this, realizing the adage about action/adventure superhero tales that you need a good villain. The show also had some pretty morbid story ideas, my favorite being the "Swamp of the Living Dead" episode where the Legion makes a pact with a devilish sort of being who unleashes a horde of zombies to battle the Super Friends.
You also get time travel, inter-dimensional travel, background stories of both the good and bad guys, peril and destruction and doom in every episode. The lack of cuteness in the form of juvenile superhero wannabees is replaced by a sense of urgency to hurry up and save the world & you won't miss it. And the hand-drawn animation style has a kind of warmth and humanity to it that is annoyingly absent from more modern day equivalents. You only get to be 11 once, might as well do it right.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Of all the versions Hanna Barbera ever made of the SuperFriends, this
series is truly the best ever. It met 90% of the needs of the serious
comic book fans. My fondest memories of its original run back in 1978
was the fact that this was originally an hour long series with not one
but two SuperFriends shows. And it's also interesting to note that both
series from 1978 are officially available on DVD. I started the 1st
grade that year and I fondly recall watching this after Scooby's All
Stars that same year. This SuperFriends series was a mid morning series
as opposed to its usual 8:00 time. I remember that famous intro for the
The first half of the hour consisted of 16 new episodes starring the core group of heroes, Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Wonder Twins. For those who liked Zan and Jayna, this was assurance they were not gone entirely that year. These shows are definitely cosmic by nature. I'll never forget the Demons of Exxor, the premiere episode featuring a tyrant named Lord Darkon who looked like white Darth Vader with his own Storm Troopers, who was out to take over the Wonder Twins home planet Exxor. In this season, the SuperFriends battled a Kryptonian beast named Rokkan, Sinbad the Space Pirates, alien spaceships that hypnotized children led by a mysterious being voiced over by Ted Cassidy, an energy creature, brain creatures, and more. The heroes went through mutations, visited other worlds as well as the Earth's Core, and encountered unforgettable opponents like Count Dracula, the escapees from the Phantom Zone, and Mr. Mxyzptlk in the guise of a Hollywood movie director. I think the all time rarest episode was the Incredible Space Cirucs and my favorite one was Batman: Dead or Alive. These 16 episodes have been considered rare for so long, and now they are commercially available for purchase as a 2 DVD set called SuperFriends the Second Season. This series was what I called the warm up act for the series that was the main headliner.
The actual Challenge of the SuperFriends series aired in the second half of the hour. Comic fans love this series because of a more Justice League type of roster and the Wonder Twins do not exist in this show. This series is truly the first time we see some real DC Super villains. The Legion of Doom had an awesome lineup of foes. My favorites were the Riddler and Scarecrow (being a Batman fan), Black Manta and Brainiac due largely to the vocal performances of Ted Cassidy. I like this version of Toyman since his comic book days were short lived and I liked Lex Luthor as the evil leader of the team. In this series, Green Lantern, Flash, and Hawkman (sans Hawkgirl) became regulars along with Black Vulcan, Samuraui, and Apache Chief. They cleverly decided to make Wonder Woman's foe Giganta, the enemy of Apache Chief and gave her the powers of growth. The animators at WB remembered that and made their version of Giganta that way for the Justice League animated series. Wanted: The SuperFriends was a great premiere episode. I also loved the Trial of the SuperFriends, Fairy Tale of Doom and the Time Trap. Heck, I loved the whole show. I only wished the could have included Hawkgirl, the Atom, and Green Arrow. That would have made it even better. This series is commercially available on DVD as the complete first season. The only thing I was sad about was that Norman Alden, who did a great job as Aquaman was replaced by Bill Callaway, who still did a fine job as well as doing a great Bizarro. Alden was still missed though. An interesting note of trivia: Vic Perrin only voiced over Sinestro for the first four episodes and later in 1983 in a lost episode called the Revenge of Doom. Don Messick took over doing both Sinestro as well as the Scarecrow.
In all honestly, Hanna Barbera did their best work with the SuperFriends regarding this particular series. In its original hour long format, Challenge of the SuperFriends provided something for everyone. The only thing I don't remember was that this series extended to 90 minutes that same year. I guess I never noticed because I was so absorbed in it while I was watching it at the time. I highly recommend this series over all the other incarnations. I give it two thumbs up!
It took a few incarnations but eventually Hanna Barbera did what they should have done the first time; they blew off the ultra-goofy Marvin and Wendy and Zann and Jayna child's eye view sidekicks and went strictly with the real DC Comics superheroes and supervillains kids love. While CHALLENGE OF THE SUPER-FRIENDS' toe-to-toe battles still feature the Gardner Foxesque "goodness and teamwork will overcome greed and evil" morality, they also have darker plot lines with surprising violence and they usually end with the bad guys getting away. Some episodes take an adult approach, including "History of Doom," which incorporates an interesting time travel doomed alternate universe premise which Harlan Ellison would love. All in all, this is clearly the most satisfying and sophisticated work done on the longrunning show. If you're a fan of 1970s DC superheroes, you'll definitely want to check out these episodes.
This was excellent and the way the previous shows should have been done. A team of super heroes versus a team of super villains. This show had impressive stories and was very creative. There were some pretty neat fight sequences between all the characters. This was probably the best of Super Friends shows.
Here is a show I used to watch in reruns when I was a kid, looking back
on it, the show still make me that's good that they have so many
superheroes and 13 of the most sinister super villains in the DC
While this is inspired by the DC Comic called The Justice League for this series they were called the Superfriends.
For the Superfriends the team included: Superman, Batman,Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, and Samurai. Now this was a interesting mix for the protagonists and it works to give the fan favorites and lesser known heroes to get a share shot on the show.
Now they are up against 13 of the most dangerous villains of the DC Universe join forces to do battle against the Super Friends.
The Legion Of Doom are the main antagonists of the series and with a team like this it's easy to see why.
The Legion Of Doom members: Lex Luthor, Solomon Grundy, Sinestro, Black Manta, Cheetah, Giganta, The Scarecrow, Toyman, The Riddler, Bizarro, Brainiac, Captain Cold, and Gorilla Grodd.
The show just has that appeal that would make comic book fans see what it was like to watch a comic book series back in the day.
And the show is child friendly but it is good enough for adults to watch as well without parents worrying about it to be too dark.
The series feature some good animation, talented voice work from the cast and the intro was enough to make you interested in the show.
The stories for the show had some original ideas for a 1970s animation show but never the less I enjoy this show as a kid when I watched it on reruns.
So do yourself a favor if you're a fan of comic books watch this show
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