Super Friends (1973 TV series)

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Super Friends is a 1973 animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera and National Periodical Publications. It is based on the Justice League comic books, and is the first incarnation of the Super Friends series.

Contents

Main characters

Super Friends first aired on ABC on September 8, 1973, featuring the well known DC characters Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. Superman, Batman and Aquaman had each previously appeared in their own animated series produced by Filmation, and voice talent from these prior programs was brought over to work on the new show. Shortly before the Super Friends series was developed, Superman and Wonder Woman also guest-starred in two episodes of The Brady Kids, while Batman and Robin appeared in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies.

In addition to the superheroes, a trio of sidekicks was introduced, each of whom were new characters not drawn from the comic books: Wendy (voiced by Sherri Alberoni), Marvin White (voiced by Frank Welker), and Wonderdog, none of whom had any special abilities (save the dog’s unexplained ability to reason and “talk”).*Marvin and Wonderdog did exhibit a levitation ability in one episode; however, it was only for comedic effect, and never shown or mentioned again.* Inspired by the Scooby-Doo gang, the trio--or at least its human members--were depicted as detectives and/or superheroes in training.

Format and episode formula

Each episode would begin with the heroes responding to an emergency detected by the massive TroubAlert computer that was situated within the Hall of Justice which served as the headquarters of the team. Colonel Wilcox, a U.S. Army official, was a recurring character who would work as a government liaison to the Super Friends during emergencies.

As such 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.

Guest stars

Some guest stars from the broader Justice League were featured during this season including the Flash, Plastic Man, and Green Arrow.

Cancellation

This first run of Super Friends, consisting of sixteen one hour episodes that were rerun several times, concluded on August 24, 1974. At this point, the series was cancelled and did not appear on the fall lineup for 1974.

List of episodes

SF-1. The Power Pirate (prod. #71-1, 9/8/1973)
SF-2. Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C. (#71-3, 9/15/1973)
SF-3. The Baffles Puzzle (#71-2, 9/22/1973)
SF-4. The Weather Maker (#71-4, 9/29/1973)
SF-5. The Shamon U (#71-6, 10/6/1973)
SF-6. Dr. Pelagrin's War (#71-5, 10/13/1973)
SF-7. The Balloon People (#71-9, 10/20/1973)
SF-8. Too Hot to Handle (#71-7, 10/27/1973)
SF-9. The Androids (#71-8, 11/3/1973)
SF-10. The Ultra Beam (#71-11, 11/10/1973)
SF-11. The Fantastic FRERPs (#71-10, 11/17/1973)
SF-12. The Mysterious Moles (#71-13, 11/24/1973)
SF-13. The Menace of the White Dwarf (#71-12, 12/1/1973)
SF-14. Gulliver's Gigantic Goof (#71-14, 12/8/1973)
SF-15. The Planet-Splitter (#71-15, 12/15/1973)
SF-16. The Watermen (#71-16, 12/22/1973)
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