Super Friends Saturday!

By Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl , @wiwcool , karl@whenitwascool.com)

In the great Hall of the Justice League there are assembled the world's four greatest heroes, created from the cosmic legends of the universe.  Superman.  Wonder Woman.  Batman.  Aquaman.  And those three junior Super Friends- Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog. Their mission: To fight injustice, to right that which is wrong, and to serve all mankind.

That is the original opening to the iconic Saturday morning cartoon series The Super Friends, a simplified version of DC Comics Justice League.  Beginning in 1973 and ending in 1976, the Super Friends went through many cast changes over the years.  Originally, it was simply a showcase for Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman (with Robin), and Aquaman, along with a trio a sidekicks in the form of Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog.  There were 109 episodes in all.

Later plot lines featured many of the familiar DC Comics super-villains, including the Legion of Doom, made up of arch-rivals of many the Super Friends, but the first seasons did not.  Early on in the series, the heroes took on mad scientists or aliens or unraveled simple schemes, much in the style of the old golden age comic books.  

As the years progressed, more and more heroes and villains made appearances on the shows and the Super Friends team line-up grew.  Also, a few original characters not present in the comic books were added such as Apache Chief, Samurai, El Dorado, and Black Vulcan.  In 1977, Wendy & Marvin & Wonder Dog were replaced by the new characters of The Wonder Twins - Zan & Jayna with their space monkey Gleek.

Black Vulcan was not a pre-existing DC Comics character but instead was a stand-in for another African American superhero with electricity-based powers, Black Lightning, who could not be used due a dispute between DC and Black Lightning's creator Tony Isabella.

Black Vulcan was not a pre-existing DC Comics character but instead was a stand-in for another African American superhero with electricity-based powers, Black Lightning, who could not be used due a dispute between DC and Black Lightning's creator Tony Isabella.

Other iconic heroes were added to the team later including The Flash, Green Lantern, and hawkman who became regulars on the show.

Other iconic heroes were added to the team later including The Flash, Green Lantern, and hawkman who became regulars on the show.

In Later seasons the super friends' arch RIVALS teamed up as the legion of doom.  the counter part to the hall of justice was essentially a darth vader helmet in a swamp.  clockwise:  Bizarro, Lex Luthor, the Riddler, Sinestro, captain cold, brainiac, black manta, and CHEETAH.  In the last seasons darkseid and his minons would become rivials of the super friends.

In Later seasons the super friends' arch RIVALS teamed up as the legion of doom.  the counter part to the hall of justice was essentially a darth vader helmet in a swamp.  clockwise:  Bizarro, Lex Luthor, the Riddler, Sinestro, captain cold, brainiac, black manta, and CHEETAH.  In the last seasons darkseid and his minons would become rivials of the super friends.


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