The battle to defend Earth from the dark New God Darkseid and other forces of evil continues in this most intelligent version of this series. Now the team is further strengthened with the addition of Cyborg, a former athlete named Victor Stone who after a horrific accident, had to be almost completely rebuilt with advanced prototype prosthetics which give him the strength of a bulldozer and can outfitted with a variety of weapons, but at the price of truly being half-man and half-metal. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Now this is how you make an animated series based on superheroes. "Super Powers Team: The Galactic Gaurdians" aired in 1985-'86 and it was the last SuperFriends show based on the Justice League of America from the 1973-1986 run. In my opinion, this was also head and shoulders the best. The animation is greatly improved from any earlier SuperFriends show. The characters act like mature adults, and a few of them even have some distinct personalities that separate them from the rest of the JLA. There were also no stupid teenage tag along like Wendy & Marvin or Zan & Jayna on this show. And thankfully, no stupid animals like Wonder Dog or Gleek. A new character Cyborg is introduced, he is an African American teenager, but he is not a silly background extra that screws up and gets captured repeatedly so Superman and Green Lantern could come save the day the way the previous non-White heroes (Black Vulcan/Lightning, Samurai, and Apache Chief) did on the other shows. Cyborg is a great character that is not a cardboard cut out of Superman. Firestorm is back from the "Super Powers" series from the previous year, and he too is in top form. Wonder Woman acts, well like a woman and we see her life more fleshed out. Superman even behaves more adult like and does not have the ridiculous God-like powers he had in the 70s. The Batman in this show is more in line with the comic book character.
Here Batman behaves like a very mature grown man, a man that is tormented over his compulsion to go out and fight crime. He is also a detective in this show like he should be, and not a blundering buffoon that pulls out all kinds of stupid gadgets from that little utility belt. 'The Fear' is a stand out episode that illustrates the difference in Batman in this show from the previous SuperFriends. It is ironic that this Batman is the most serious, since he is voiced by Adam West who played the idiot Batman in the 1960s TV series. Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Samurai don't get a whole lot of time devoted to them, but at least they don't do anything embarrassing.
The JLA team primarily butts heads with the villainous Darkseid and his cronies Dessad and Kavlik, but the Joker and Scarecrow turn up in two episodes as well. I always get the feeling that the two "Super Powers Team" series from the mid 80s doesn't have the incredibly loyal Gen Xer following that 1978's "Challenge of the SuperFriends" enjoys because Darkseid and Dessad were too comic book heavy for mainstream viewers. The plots could be a bit comic book heavy as well. That and I think children were just burned out on SuperFriends by 1985, the whole thing had been around for 12 years at that point. "Challenge" was a great and memorable show no doubt, and DC comic book villains like Lex Luthor and Black Manta were there, but the Legion of Doom tended to formulate rather childish plans to knock off the SuperFriends and rule the planet. Nevertheless a kid today will probably look at this show and still laugh at it while finding a ton of problems with it (because there are problems). "The Super Powers Team" is not nearly as rounded out as the current Justice League animated series. But I remember being blown away by how far the whole SuperFriends deal had come since the stupid early years of the 70s when Wonder Dog or the annoying space monkey Gleek would hang around the Hall of Justice with those kids. A long way indeed. Watch this show, "SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Team", and "Challenge of the SuperFriends". They are the 3 best ones, with "The All-New SuperFriends Hour" and "The Worlds Greatest SuperFriends" being not all that bad and entertaining at times. The worst one remains the original "SuperFriends" from 1973-1977.
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