Super Friends (1973 TV series)

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This article is about the first Super Friends series. For other uses, see Super Friends (disambiguation).
Super Friends
SF 1973 title card.png
On-screen title card.
Network: ABC
Production company: Hanna-Barbera
DC Comics
Distributor: Taft Broadcasting
Original release: September 8December 22, 1973
Starring: Olan Soule
Casey Kasem
Shannon Farnon
Danny Dark
Norman Alden
Frank Welker
Sherry Alboni
Ted Knight
Executive producer(s): William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Producer(s): Iwao Takamoto
Music composed by: Hoyt Curtin
Writer(s): Fred Freiberger
Willie Gilbert
Bernie Kahn
Dick Robbins
Ken Rotcop
Henry Sharp
Art Weis
Marshall Williams
Director(s): Charles A. Nichols
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Super Friends is an American animated superhero TV series produced by Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics, then known as the unimaginative National Periodical Publications, for ABC's Saturday morning line-up. It ran in 1973, airing 16 episodes.

The series is based on the then Justice League of America comic books, although due to parent organizations, it had been retooled into a non-violent kid-friendly version, where Batman, his sidekick, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman dealt with threats on an educational level. The Super Friends never used their powers to cause any physical harm, and the series was almost completely uninterested in the mythology of the comics it was based on.

The series was also called Super Friends since Justice League of America would be deemed culturally offensive to foreign countries. For some reason, it couldn't be called Justice League, perhaps because that would also be seen as too much of a loaded title. Despite this, the team is still referred to as both the Justice League and JLA within the series. Go figure.

Also to appeal to the kid audience, the Super Friends were joined by a junior/teenage version, which included a wannabe superhero, his Scooby-Doo-like dog, and his rationale girl friend. No in-universe reason was given for them being there other than a real-world studio decision.

Although this incarnation was short-lived, the series had a second chance by the end of the 1970s, when the public was more in favor of superheroes due to the live-action theatrical adaptation of Superman: The Movie, and weekly TV series of Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk. So, in 1977, Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics produced The All-New Super Friends Hour, followed by almost yearly retools (much like comics in real life), that lasted until 1985. And, yes, by 1985, the humor was wholly reduced, and the drama, the physical altercations (to an extent), and most importantly, the comics mythology grew into something more comparable, with writers who understood the characters, which would in part, lead to much more faithful adaptations in the 1990s, with Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.

The series was homaged in Genndy Tartakovsky's The Justice Friends, a back-up segment in Dexter's Laboratory.

Production

Development

Music

The score was composed by Hoyt Curtin.

Episodes

Episode Number Air date
"The Power Pirate" 1x01 September 8, 1973
"The Baffles Puzzle" 1x02 September 15, 1973
"Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C." 1x03 September 22, 1973
"The Weather Maker" 1x04 September 29, 1973
"Dr. Pelagian's War" 1x05 October 6, 1973
"The Shamon 'U" 1x06 October 13, 1973
"Too Hot Too Handle" 1x07 October 20, 1973
"The Androids" 1x08 October 27, 1973
"The Balloon People" 1x09 November 3, 1973
"The Fantastic Frerps" 1x10 November 10, 1973
"The Ultra Beam" 1x11 November 17, 1973
"The Menace of the White Dwarf" 1x12 November 24, 1973
"The Mysterious Moles" 1x13 December 1, 1973
"Gullivar's Gigantic Goof" 1x14 December 8, 1973
"The Planet Spitter" 1x15 December 15, 1973
"The Watermen" 1x16 December 22, 1973

Cast

In popular culture

  • In the film The Incredibles 2, Evelyn mentions the "superhero friends" about not being there to save her parents, who her father preferred over calling the law.
  • In the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Justice calls Jay "old friend," as she's lost romantic interest in him, but Jay who hasn't, says he's a "super friend who wants to get back inside the Hall of Justice, yeah."

Arrowverse

  • The Hall of Justice has appeared several times in series set in what has been coined the Arrowverse, which air on The CW. It was introduced as an abandoned S.T.A.R. Labs facility in The Flash episode "Invasion!" It was referred to as the Hall of Justice in the script for the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Invasion!"[1]
    • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Five," the Flash has a table made for a small group of the superheroes he was aided by during the Crisis. When they were chatting, they heard monkey noises, which were from the escaped Gleek (who was introduced in The All-New Super Friends Hour), who's escaped his cage. This was followed by the Super Friends theme song.
    • In the Supergirl episode "Back from the Future - Part One," Winn referred to it on-screen as the Hall of Justice for the first time.
  • While not having an official name, the superheroes have both referred to each other and been referred to as the Super Friends.
    • In the Supergirl episode "In Plain Sight," Supergirl told Lena she had become an official Super Friend.
    • In the Batwoman episode "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Two," Lex Luthor refers to the superheroes as "Super Friends."
    • In the Supergirl episode "Back from the Future - Part One," both the Martian Manhunter and Winn referred to their group as "Super Friends."
    • In the Supergirl episode "It's a Super Life," Mr. Mxyzptlk referred to Alex and J'onn as Kara's "Super Friends."
    • In the Supergirl episode "Alex in Wonderland," while Alex pretends to be Supergirl, a billboard says that Supergirl is the "#1 Super Friend," and Bonnie calls Supergirl/Alex's friends the "Super Friends."

Smallville

  • "Prey:" John Jones (Martian Manhunter) refers to the superheroes led by Green Arrow as the "Super Friends."
  • "Absolute Power (Part 1):" Oliver refers to his group as the super friends, while Chloe says they need some standardized trouble alert.
  • "Warrior:" Zatanna told Clark "us Super Friends have to watch out for each other."

Teen Titans Go!

Main article: Teen Titans Go!
  • The Hall of Justice has appeared several times.
  • "Two Parter: Part 1:" There's transition music before the Teen Titans enter the building.
  • "Two Parter: Part 2:" Cyborg gives a Narrator-style intro when the team dresses up in the Justice League's clothes. There is also a "shooting stars" scene transition.
  • "TV Knight 5:" Batman and James Gordon watch the Teen Titans as Super Friends-like characters fight Richard Nixon who ends up being Fidel Castro in disguise, turning it into an episode of Scooby-Doo.

The Venture Bros.

Main article: The Venture Bros.
  • "Handsome Random:" Dr. Monarch allows Captain Sunshine to have his powers at night with artificial sun rays, explained by a Super Friends-style narrator.
  • "Rapacity in Blue:" The Monarch and Henchman 21 get a Super Friends-style intro when they dress up as the Blue Morpho and Kano.

References

  1. ^ Guggenheim, Marc (December 2, 2016). "Name in script". Twitter. Retrieved December 3, 2021.