Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Are You A Super Friend?

[New Packaging: boxed sets really rock]
Written by GL

One of the coolest shows ever on local Brunei television was not Rampai Pagi, nor was it that show about how those old fellas make gasing - it was the Super Friends series. Super Friends was my first bit of exposure to the DC Universe of heroes, and it remains the probable cause for my slight (only slight) preference for DC heroes over Marvel Universe heroes.

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show ran from 1984 to 1985, initially on the ABC network. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and is based on the very cool Justice League, as well as other DC Comics characters. The series is most recognized as the Super Friends series that first introduced Firestorm (the split personality nuclear man) along with Darkseid (the gravel faced dictator from Apokalips). Honorable mention should be made of Adam West who actually voice the role of the caped crusader role for the duration of this show.

[Firestorm: the Kenner issue]

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show was the first Super Friends series following the 1979 series, The World's Greatest Super Friends. It was a newer, updated cartoon template, formatted to show two stories per half hour; each separate story was ten minutes long.

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show managed to spawn a toy line tie-in produced by Kenner. The general story followed the major heroes of Earth teaming up to fight the very annoying Darkseid and his villains. The show also featured actual super-villains from the comics as regular adversaries.

Of the Justice League and comic characters, you can expect to see:
Wonder Woman
The Flash
Green Lantern
Black Vulcan
Apache Chief
El Dorado
The Wonder Twins

Superfriends: The Legendary Supers Powers Show - The Complete Series is a 2-disc set featuring all episodes from the 1984-1985 season in Full-Frame (1.33:1) video; plus the following episodes and special features:

1. The Bride of Darkseid (Part I)
2. The Bride of Darkseid (Part II)
3. The Case of the Dreadful Dolls
4. The Case of the Shrinking Super Friends
5. The Curator
6. Darkseid's Golden Trap (Part I)
7. Darkseid's Golden Trap (Part II)
8. The Island of the Dinasoids
9. The Mask of Mystery
10. Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Magic Lamp
11. No Honor Among Super-Thieves
12. Reflections in Crime
13. The Royal Ruse
14. Super Brat
15. The Wrath of Brainiac
16. The Village of Lost Souls

For a full synopsis of each of these episodes (but don't spoil it for yourself; use this page to search if this boxed set contains the episode you're looking for), head to:

Superman Homepage: Hanna Barbera's Super Friends

'Evolution: New Heroes, Viler Villains, and Ethnic Additions'
Featurette on the impact of the Super Friends era of cultural diversity in animation;

'The Super Powers Collection'
Featurette covers the correlation between the Super Friends and the toy industry

Commentary: On 5 key episodes by experts.

This is probably one of the top boxed sets on my 'most-wanted' list, mostly due to the fact that I grew up watching this series; they were all recorded for me by my loving Mum on VHS tapes, which are most likely eroded to heck by now. But, boy, would it be nice to own this. Here's a little more info you might need just to be sure of your desire to purchase:

Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
Language: English
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007

If your desire can be matched to your wallet size, then head over to Amazon.com and get it. And while you're there (and if you're die-hard over the matter) check out all the other Super Friends DVDs available to you.

Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show is going for US$19.99 or B$31. Get me a copy and be entitled to eternal friendship from GL (and maybe a GL sized hug; maybe).