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July 23, 2014

Super Friends

Saturday Morning: The Super Friends - VIDEOS

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 21st 2008 10:33AM

The Super Powers Team -- The last incarnation of the Super FriendsDespite being one among hundreds of other cartoons that graced the Saturday morning schedule, Super Friends, as well as its various incarnations, has a unique place of honor. Not only was it one of the longest-running animated superhero cartoons, but it also transversed a number of Saturday morning trends. From the teenage-heavy, mystery-solving early 70s, to the more action oriented mid-70's, then the incredibly boring early 80's, and finally the resurrection of superhero cartoons in the mid-80's. Super Friends was there during all of these eras.

There's no doubt as to the reason for this. Animated superheroes were a big thing ever since the mid-60s. With so little in the way of other animated superhero fare on Saturday mornings, especially in the early 70s, the viewers just ate it all up. Plus, it gave life to so many superheroes that we only saw in the six-panel pages of a comic book.

So there wasn't any actual fighting between the heroes and villains. And, some of the plots and dialogue were incredibly hokey. And, they stayed VERY far away from comic book continuity. It didn't matter to to the pajama-clad, cereal-eating crowd who tuned in week after week to watch episodes that they had seen only a few months ago. They were ready for their superheroes.

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Nine biggest Super Friends mysteries - VIDEO

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 20th 2008 1:21PM
Super Amigos Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

Even when I was a little kid, there were some things about the Super Friends (or Superfriends or Superamigos, or whatever they were calling it) that didn't sit right with me. Maybe it was because the confluence of superpowers all in one place just boggled my young mind. Maybe it was the mysterious change from Wendy and Marvin to the Wonder Twins that made me scratch my tiny noggin. Not sure. But those mysteries continue to fascinate me, even into adulthood. It's just that those mysteries are more sophisticated:

1. How did the Super Friends have time to hang out at the Hall of Justice? Every one of the SFs lived in different parts of the country: Batman and Robin were in Gotham City, for instance. So, did B&R commute from Gotham to Metropolis a few times per week? Did they use the Bat Plane or the Batmobile most of the time? Did they claim the mileage on their taxes?

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Subtle Subtitles

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jun 20th 2008 11:20AM
Welcome to Subtle Subtitles. For those of you who are uninitiated to the purpose of this feature, we're asking you to come up with your funniest quote or description for what's going on in the screen grab we choose for the week. Winners are announced in the following Friday's contest.

subtle subtitlesLast contest's winner: Nick

"You're going to give yourself a hernia if you keep at it."

This week, in honor of Super Friends Retro Squad, a scene from 'Reflections in Crime' ...

super friends
(Top photo credit: 20th Century Fox)

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Where Are They Now: The Legion of Doom

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jun 20th 2008 10:01AM
legion of doom
Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

When the Super Friends cartoons involving the Legion of Doom had finished, what did the 13 Doomsters do with their time? Rich had some thoughts on what the Super Friends had going on. Forgetting anything that happened in later comic books and other shows involving the characters, here's what might have happened to the Legion ...

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Where Are They Now: The Super Friends

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 20th 2008 8:22AM

Where did all of these folks go once they left the Hall of Justice?Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

Welcome Back to TVSBTTHB (TV Squad Behind the True Hollywood Biography). For over a decade the team known as the Super Friends traveled the world, and the galaxy, to right the wrongs wrought by such villains as the Legion of Doom and Darkseid. But, by the mid-1980s, their services were no longer needed by the public, who watched many of their adventures on television. It was then that these heroes faded away.

So, what happened to them? Being the show that looks under every rock and inside every dumpster, TVSBTTHB was able to obtain information on all of the Super Friends: major, minor and 'what the hell are they doing on the team?'. Some of their stories are heartbreaking, others heartwarming, and the rest are just "meh." Yet, they are all fascinating and provide an extra layer of complexity to the already complicated lives of these superhumans.

Now, let's turn our attention to Superman, Batman, El Dorado, and the rest of the Super Friends.

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The Super Friends: Reflections in Crime - VIDEOS

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 19th 2008 2:40PM
Superman looking into a mirror

Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

I've got to hand it to the writers of The Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show; for a mere ten minute episode, they really jam-packed 'Reflections in Crime' with a lot to make fun of ... er ... write about.

This 14th episode of The Legendary Super Powers Show is chock-full of funnies; some intentional, some ... not so much. The episode begins with Superman and Samurai playing chess, although it sounds like they are fighting, with such lines as, "Oh good move, that really hurts." We get a chuckle when we see that they are merely playing chess.

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Before or After: The Super Friends and the Wonder Twins

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 19th 2008 10:58AM

Were the Super Freinds better before or after the Wonder TwinsDo not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

In the annals of humankind there have been many debates that have crossed generations without one clear winner on one side or the other. Some of the more famous debates have been: what came first, the chicken or the egg; creationism vs. evolution; Cubs vs. White Sox; and what was the better Pauly Shore movie -- Encino Man or Bio-Dome. Yet, no other debate has shown such passionate division, such anger, such incomprehensible argument than one about a certain 70s Saturday morning cartoon featuring a scantily clad woman with a lasso and a man who lurked the alleyways at night to purposely scare people.

I speak about the Hanna-Barbera series Super Friends and the on-going debate about if the show was better before or after the Wonder Twins appeared.

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Secondary Super Friends characters had superior powers

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 18th 2008 1:13PM
FirestormWe are all so familiar with the main Super Friends, not to mention their powers. Superman, with his x-ray vision, super strength, and all that flying and stuff. Batman, pretty much powerless, but with a darned cool toolbelt and a car second only to Kitt. Wonder Woman, complete with magic lasso of truth and invisible jet.

These Super Friends ran the show over at the Hall of Justice, while the secondary heroes played second fiddle. But why? Honestly, I think some of the secondary heroes had the superior powers and they probably would have kicked the pants off of some of the main Super Friends. So why did they remain secondary characters? Let's take a closer look at their powers ....

Samurai
Besides being able to turn into a tornado and set himself on fire, Samurai can become invisible. Yes, that's cool and all, but if your enemy cannot see you, how can they defeat you? I'm pretty sure the Legion of Doom would be mighty confused by this, as would most of the super heroes.

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Super Friends: The five silliest plots by the Legion of Doom

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 17th 2008 2:20PM
The Legion of DoomDo not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

Remember when you were watching Pinky and the Brain and the Brain would think of these abstract, convoluted plots for taking over the world? Or when Scott Evil was pointing out to his father how easy it would be to shoot Austin Powers in the head rather than subject him to some sort of silly trap from which he could escape. I'm convinced they were parodying the Legion of Doom's methodology from the Challenge of the Super Friends which ran from 1978 to 1979 on ABC. Their simple goal was stated in the opening credits: the conquest of the Universe, with a subordinate goal of the destruction of the Super Friends. They failed every time, and I think that's partially due to poor planning.

With that in mind, here are the top five silliest plans from the Legion of Doom to accomplish their goals:

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Is it Super Friends, or Superfriends? (Or even SuperFriends) - VIDEOS

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 17th 2008 10:06AM

Is it Superfriends or Super Friends. The world needs to know.Do not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

Here is one of those questions that doesn't come up too much in normal conversation. Yet, it's one of those things that, once you think about it, does make you go 'hmmm'. It's about the Super Friends. Well, actually, the Superfriends. Or, is it the SuperFriends?

I've seen it written so many ways over the last 35 years(!) that it is a bit confusing. And, while it probably isn't the most earth-shattering question, it is something to take into consideration when you are writing a post about the Saturday morning show. Especially when there are fans of the show reading the post who are ready and willing to point out the mis-spelling in fine detail.

So, for the purposes of accuracy, I present the following evidence to you, the TV Squad readers, to help me determine the proper spelling.

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The best Super Friends inspired videos - VIDEO

by Paul Goebel, posted Jun 16th 2008 3:03PM

The SuperfriendsDo not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

Ever since they appeared on Saturday morning, The Super Friends have been a veritable gold mine for wacky videos. The following is a short list of some of my favorite short videos starring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the gang.

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Reasons I let my kid watch The Super Friends - VIDEO

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 16th 2008 2:05PM
The superfriendsBeing a proud child of the '70s, I have the fondest memories of The Super Friends cartoon. Those memories have morphed into something altogether different as I revisit the episodes, approximately thirty years later, with my three-year-old son. What used to be a fun Saturday morning romp has been elevated to a new level of appreciation. Yep, it's still all rompy fun, but I feel so good about my son watching The Super Friends for several reasons.

The Super Friends is an innocent cartoon.

In today's world of inappropriate television, it is refreshing to see a show that could be very violent be instead very innocent. There are no guns (aside from "rays" that shoot light or beams and usually transform someone into say, a dinosaur or a miniature version of themselves. Yeah, that's realistic.). There is no fighting or physical contact, unless you count wrestling with Wonder Woman and her magic lasso. Assumptions about a show with "bad guys" could keep one from watching it with their kiddos, but don't knock it 'til you try it. I'd show Owen a marathon of The Super Friends before I'd let him watch any of the violent Looney Tunes of my youth. Yeah, I turned out OK, and I know birds really don't drop anvils on coyotes and rifles really don't make people "all purple" as Owen puts it, but he's only three, for crying out loud.

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Retro Squad returns, new and improved

by Keith McDuffee, posted Jun 6th 2008 10:01AM
retro squad logoThe "big" shows are over, and now the typically low-key summer TV schedule begins. Oh sure, there are some real gems in there that are still airing or will start soon, but overall the excitement is nothing like the September-through-May period. Maybe people are ... gasp ... going outside to enjoy the sun?

It's been two years since we first delved into the world of Retro Squad, so we're back now with what we believe is a better format. Rather than pick a few shows and only review one season from each throughout the summer, we're doing theme/show weeks. These weeks will not only have standout episode reviews from any past season, but we'll have themed lists, Vs., interviews and videos. There are only so many weeks in the summer, so we can't cover all of your favorites, but I think there's something for just about everyone here. Check out the schedule below, after the jump.

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