Science Fiction was at its peak in 1978-79 with Superman and Wonder Woman in live-action formats and many others sci-fi productions on both screens. Even Hanna-Barbera tried to give superheroes a live action show with two forgettable specials, which by the way, didn't featured Wonder Woman. These two specials, "Legends Of The Superheroes" and "Challenge Of The Superheroes" were made in a campy style and only featured Batman and Robin [as protrayed by Adam West and Burt Ward] of the three big superheroes, probably because the rights of these characters were in hands of other productions companies which made their live-action versions around that time. Fortunately they passed away almost without being noticed and Hanna-Barbera gave us instead one of their finest series when it comes to the Super Friends saga.
The third Superfriends animated series of Hanna-Barbera is considered among fans as the best and the first one to feature a whole-gallery of DC villains from the pages of the comics. Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman permanently joined by The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Apache Chief, Samurai and Black Vulcan all of which appeared as guests in the previous format. The 11 team-members of the Justice League were confronted each week with the 13 members
of the Legion of Doom which was formed by the greatest hero's arch-rivals: Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Toyman and Bizarro (originally Superman's foes); The Riddler and Scarecrow (Batman's foes); The Cheetah (Wonder Woman's greatest foe) and Giganta (Originally Wonder Woman's foe in the pages of comics, but in this series she was Apache Chief's enemy); Black Manta (Aquaman's rival); Grodd The Gorilla and Captain Cold (The Flash' enemies), Sinestro (Green Lantern's foe) and Solomon Grundy (originally Green Lantern's enemy, he has been a continued nemesis for JLA and JSA in the pages of comics). The superheroes had their base in Superman's Metropolis at the Hall of Justice while the super villains -whose only purpose in life was to destroy them and conquer the world- had their headquarters at the Hall Of Doom, a swamp-based dome which suspiciously looks like Darth Vader's helmet.
With more consistent stories the series featured many traces of the original comics and constant references to elaborated scientific-theories. The hour long series consisted of two half-hour episodes, the 16 newly-produced segments of "Challenge Of The Super Friends" were preceded by another 30-minute episode of Super Friends adventure featuring the core group plus Zan, Jayna and Gleek. Most of these episodes are obviated from most of the episode guides and when it comes to syndication they are shown as part of "The All-New Superfriends Hour." Many of these episodes are lost from the syndicated packages and one of them is worth mentioning, the last of them, "The Rise And Fall of The Super Friends" which features the appearance of Mr. Mxyzptlk, Superman's foe from another dimension. This episode was paired with "History Of Doom," another one worth mentioning, which by the way, was also the last of the originally-produced for "Challenge Of The Superfriends." In this episode the Legion of Doom finally manages to destroy the world but including them along in the process. Fortunately there's some alien observers which help revert the process. This story was heavely objected by the network's executives, specially considering their standards and the previous approach of the animated series. All in all, "Challenge Of The Super Friends" remains as the best of the Hanna-Barbera series teaming-up superheroes.
Featured SUPERFRIENDS: Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Hawkman, Samurai, Apache Chief and Black Vulcan. Also Zan, Jayna and their pet-monkey Gleek but not in the "Challenge Of The Super Friends" segments.
Featured VILLAINS: Lex Luthor, The Cheetah, The Riddler, Captain Cold, Bizarro, Brainiac, Toyman, The Scarecrow, Grodd the Super-Gorilla, Black Manta, Solomon Grundy, Sinestro, Giganta, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Lord Darkon, the Rokan, Sinbad, Nophan-aliens, Count Dracula, Logar, Hol, and Romlok, the anti-matter monster, Tyranna, brain-creatures from Mars, Capricorn Kid, etc.
Number of Episodes: 16 episodes.
Broadcast Network: ABC.
Running Time: 60 minutes (expanded to 90 minutes in mid-season).
Broadcast History: Premiered on Saturday, September 8, 1978 and ran through September 15, 1979.
Executive Producers: William Hanna, Joseph Barbera. Producer: Don Jurwich. Directors: Ray Patterson, Carl Urbano.
Creative Producer: Iwao Takamoto.
Characters Design: Alex Toth, Andre LeBlanc.
Story/Story Editor: Jeffrey Scott.
Story Direction: John Bruno, Jan Green, Ron Maidenberg, Hal Mason, Michael O'Connor, Mario Piluso, Dick Sebast, Don Sheppard, Paul Sommer, Bob Taylor, Alex Toth, Warren Tufts, Tom Yakutis.
Recording Director: Don Jurwich. Graphics: Iraj Paran, Tom Wogatzke. Title Design: Bill Perez. Musical Director: Hoyt Curtin. Musical Supervisor: Paul DeKorte. Character Design: Andre LeBlanc. Key Layout: Homer Jonas, Terry Morgan. Layout Supervision: John Ahern.
Layout: Tom Coppola, Susan Crossley, Sukki Dail, Paul Gauwell, C.L. Hartman, Jack Huber, Ray Jacobs, Mike Kawagucki, Mark Kirkland, Brad Landreth, Bill Lignante, Jim Mueller, Dan Noonan, Mike O'Mara, Tony Sgroi, Wallace Sides, Toby, John Tucker, Dean Thompson, Al Wilson.
Animation Supervision: Bill Keil, Jay Barbry. Assistant Animation Supervision: Bob Goe.
Animation: Ed Aardal, Bob Alvarez, Frank Andrina, Cliff Auguston, Ed Barge, Tom Barnes, Bob Bemiller, Lars Calonius, Bob Carr, Roger Chiasson, Jessie Cosio, Doug Carne, Zeon Drvush, Daniel De La Vega, Joan Drake, Norm Drew, Hugh Fraser, Al Grivoto, Miguel Garcia, Mark Glamack, Fernando Gonzalez, Jeff Hall, Terry Harrison, Bob Hathcock, Fred Hellmich, Harry Holt, Bill Hutten, Mario Julio, Jim Heeshen, Rick Leon, Hicks Lokey, Ernesto Lopez Ed Love, Tony Love, larry Miller, Ken Muse, Constantin Mustatea, Ron Myrick, Frank Nakielski, Margaret Nichols, Eduardo Olivares, Margaret Parkes, Bill pratt, Tom Ray, Morey Reden, Veve Risto, Mitch Rochon, Mark Simon, Ken Southworth, Leo Sullivan, Dave Tendlar, Dick Thompson, Bob Trochin, Richard Trueblood, Carlo Vinci, James Walker, John Walker, Ron Westlund, Allen Wilzbach.
Background Supervisor: Al Gmuer.
Backgrounds: Deborah Akers, Fernando Arce, Ron Dias, Dennis Durrell, Martin Forte, Bob Gentle, Ann Guenther, James Hickey, Paro Hozumi, Michael Humphries, Andy Phillipson, Jeff Riche, Craig Robertson, Bob Schaefer, Sear Segal-Alsberg, Gary Selvaggio, Peter Van Elk.
Checking And Scene Planning: Cindy Smith. Xerography: Star Wirth. Ink And Paint Supervision: Billie Kerns. Sound Direction: Richard Olson, Bill Getty.
Camera: George Epperson, Jerry Smith, Tom Epperson, Chuck Flekal, Ron Jackson, Larry Smith, Terry Smith, Brandy Whittington, Jerry Whittington.
Supervising Film Editor: Larry C. Cowan.
Dubbing Supervisor: Pat Foley.
Music Editors: Sam Horta, Joe Sandusky, Robert Talboy.
Effects Editors: Joseph L. Reitano, Kerry Williams. Show Editor: Gil Iverson. Negative Consultant: William E. DeBoer. Production Manager: Jayne Barbera. Post-Production Manager: Joed Eaton.
Distributors: ABC-TV / LBS Communications Inc. / Warner Bros. Television.
A Hanna-Barbera Production produced at Eric Porter Studios.
Based upon the characters appearing in Justice League of America magazine published by National Periodical Publications, Inc.
© 1978 Hanna-Barbera Productions / DC Comics.
DANNY DARK [Superman]. OLAN SOULE [Batman]. CASEY KASEM [Robin]. SHANNON FARNON [Wonder Woman]. BILL CALLAWAY [Aquaman]. JACK ANGEL [Samurai / Flash / Hawkman]. BUSTER JONES [Black Vulcan]. MIKE RYE [Apache Chief / Green Lantern]. MICHAEL BELL [Bizarro / The Riddler]. MARLENE ARAGON [The Cheetah]. TED CASSIDY [Black Manta / Brainiac]. RUTH FORMAN [Giganta]. STANLEY JONES [Lex Luthor]. DON MESICK [The Scarecrow]. VIC PERRIN [Sinestro]. STANLEY RALPH ROSS [Grodd]. DICK RYALL [Captain Cold]. JIMMY WELDON [Solomon Grundy]. FRANK WELKER [The Toyman]. WILLIAM WOODSON [Series Narrator]. BOB LLOYD [Titles and Teaser Narrator].
LEWIS BAILEY, MELANIE CHARTOFF, HENRY CORDEN, AL FANN, BOB HASTINGS, BOB HOLT, RENNY ROKER, LOUISE WILLIAMS [Additional voices].
EPISODE 1: [THE DEMONS OF EXXOR]: The Wonder Twins are summoned back to their home planet when an evil tyrant named Lord Darkon is taking over the galaxy of Nova 12 with Exxor as the last planet. When the Twins are captured, the Super Friends journey to Exxor to free them and the Exxorians and put a stop to Darkon's plans once and for all. / [WANTED: THE SUPER FRIENDS]: The Legion of Doom tricks the Super Friends into believing they have become criminals, and then locks them up and sends them hurtling toward the sun.
EPISODE 2: [ROKAN]: Rokan, a giant winged creature with incredible super powers lands on Earth and its very presence causes weather disasters of all kinds. Superman ultimately realizes that Rokan is a primitve bird from Krypton, explaining its invulnerability. The Super Friends' work is even more complicated when Rokan lays dozens of eggs which hatch into baby Rokans. Superman gives consent for the Super Friends to use Kryptonite to rid the Earth of the Rokans despite that it might kill him. / [INVASION OF THE FEARIANS]: Aliens from the planet Venus seek the Legion of Doom's help to conquer the Earth. The Legion agrees, if the aliens will wipe out the Super Friends.
EPISODE 3: [BATTLE AT THE EARTH'S CORE]: When the Wonder Twins and Captain Marcelle, disappear at sea, the Super Friends search for them and get pulled into a giant whirlpool which takes them to the center of the Earth. WHen they split up to search for the Twins, our heroes encounter everything from Dinosaurs, Rock Monsters, and Carnivorous Plants to Tar Creatures that merge to form a giant Tar Monster. / [THE WORLD'S DEADLIEST GAME]: The Toyman tricks the Super Friends into entering a black hole and landing on a planet of giant toys which he controls.
EPISODE 4: [SINBAD AND THE SPACE PIRATES]: The evil Captain Sinbad and his band of Space Pirates arrive on Earth to pillage treasures with their flying pirate ships and hypnotic canons. Wonder Woman is captured and place under Sinbad's mind control and only Superman has a chance of freeing her. / [THE TIME TRAP]: The Legion of Doom decides to rob the Earth of its greatest riches bygoing back in time before they were discovered - and lay traps for the Super Friends along the way.
EPISODE 5: [PIED PIPER FROM SPACE]: The Super Friends are alerted when alien ships fly over the Earth and use their hypnotic music to hypnotize children all over the world. The children board the ships and are taken to the planet Nophan to work as slaves under the rule of an unseen mastermind who knows good and well of the Super Friends, their powers, and weaknesses. Oddly enough, even though they are teenagers, Zan and Jayna also succumb to the hypnotic trance. / [TRIAL OF THE SUPERFRIENDS]: The Legion of Doom capture the Super Friends. Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman, and robin are stripped of their power ring, magic lasso, and utility belts. They are forced to battle robot copies of themselves who have the weapons they had taken away. They each trick their robot copy and defeat them.
EPISODE 6: [ATTACK OF THE VAMPIRE]: Count Dracula rises from his coffin and proceeds to turn the world into vampires. While most of the Super Friends are occupied battling Dracula's innocent victims, Superman is turned into a vampire by Dracula himself. When they unsuccessfully try to restore Superman to normal the Wonder Twins are also turned into vampires, leaving the rest of the Super Friends to find the antidote. / [THE MONOLITH OF EVIL]: The Legion of Doom discover an evil power source at the center of the Earth and set out to find it.
EPISODE 7: [THE BEASTS ARE COMING]: When an experimental sattelite launched into space crashes back to Earth and lands in Death Valley, its radiation causes animals to grow into giants. While most of the Super Friends battle the giant beasts, Wonder Woman tracks down the satellite, but the radiation causes her to mutate into a giant mindless raging creature. The Wonder Twins, (who didn't learn anything from the previous episode) ty to stop her and are transformed into monsters as well. Their only hope of returning to normal is for Superman to use his X Ray vision to tuen the Satellite into a reverse antidote. / [THE GIANTS OF DOOM]: Bizarro grants the Legion the power to become 100-foot giants.
EPISODE 8: [TERROR FROM THE PHANTOM ZONE]: Logar, Hol, and Romlok are three of the most dangerous criminals from Krypton banished to the Phantom Zone. But a comet frees them and the 3 Super Villains journey to Earth to destroy Superman by exposing him to Red Kryptonite which causes him to age rapidly into an old man who watches helplessly as the other. Super Friends are banished into the Phantom Zone. Superman's only hope is to find Blue Kryptonite to reverse the transformation. / [SECRET ORIGINS OF THE SUPERFRIENDS]: The Legion of Doom plans to reduce the power of the Super Friends when Lex Luthor learns the secret origins of the three post powerful members, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. The Legion uses their time conveyor to travel back in time to alter the 3 heroes' early lives so that they never become Super Heroes. The villains return to the present and capture the remaining Super Friends and use them for sport. Luckily, Batman, Robin, Flash, and Black Vulcan escape, learn what the Legion has done, and travel back in time to correct the past so that Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern can exist.
EPISODE 9: [THE ANTI MATTER MONSTER]: A renegade scientist uses a special computer tape to turn the experimental anti matter into an energy creature that sucks and drains power all over thw world. The Super Friends ultimately discover any contact with the creature will drain their powers.
/ [REVENGE ON GORILLA CITY]: Grodd enlists the Legion's help to conquer Gorilla City, the hidden city on Africa from which he came.
EPISODE 10: [WORLD BEANEATH THE ICE]: The Super Friends have to contend with Tyranna and his ice fleet who decide to freeze the Earth and make it into a new ice age. Our heroes are all frozen, but luckily, Aquaman's friends from Atlantis come to their rescue, allowing the Super Friends to get free and stop the upcoming ice age. / [SWAMP OF THE LIVING DEAD]: The Legion makes a pact with the devil to gain power and wipe out the Super Friends, but they are double crossed when the evil being also helps the Super Friends.
EPISODE 11: [INVASION OF THE BRAIN CREATURES]: When the Super Friends discover the Earth being battered by lightening, they ultimately discover brain creatures on the Planet Mars are the cause. The take over Batman's mind and eventually Superman's mind, forcing the two heroes to help try to destroy their own planet, and leaving the remaining Super Friends to get free and stop the evil brain creatures. / [CONQUERORS OF THE FUTURE]: Frustrated by their inability to conquer present day Earth, the Legion of Doom travel 1000 years into the future. The super Friends who can time travel (Flash, Superman, and Green Lantern) follow them into the future, but go further into the future and read a history book to find out when the Legion when attack. They go back in time to where the Legion is and defeat them.
EPISODE 12: [THE INCREDIBLE SPACE CIRCUS]: Wonder Woman tries to stop a pair of animal poachers who are traveling the galaxy snatching weird animals for their space circus. Wonder Woman is turned into a rhino beast. When the space circus arrives on Earth the Wonder Twins are captured for sideshow attractions and Aquaman is captured and also transformed into a sea creature who will do battle with the Wonder Woman rhino beast. Only the remaining Super Friends have a chance of resto-
ring them to normal. / [THE FINAL CHALLENGE]: A powerful being spirits away several Super Friends and Legion of Doom members to another planet. He then puts the heroes and villains into one-on-one battles against each other and tells them the side with the most victories wins. The Super Friends are double-crossed and outnumbered, but the other Super Friends arrive and immobilize the Legion using force fields.
EPISODE 13: [BATMAN: DEAD OR ALIVE]: When the planet Texicanna is being overrun by a galactic outlaw, the Capricorn Kid, Batman and Robin reply and do battle with the crook and his android cowboys. When he is defeated, the Kid vows revenge against Batman who has his android cowboys capture the Wonder Twins and then sets traps for the other Super Friends and forces Batman to a showdown. / [FAIRY TALES OF DOOM]: Brainiac devises a way to send the Super Friends into fairy tales, where they will be destroyed. Wonder Woman goes into Alice in Wonderland.
EPISODE 14: [BATTLE OF THE GODS]: The Super Friends wind up on the Planet Cultus where the mythical goddesses Aphrodite and Hera argue over the worthiness and courage of the Super Friends. Zeus decided to settle their dispute by putting the heroes through four deadly tasks to prove their abilities. / [DOOMSDAY]: Sinestro, Cheetah, and Black Manta vow revenge against the Legion, when the Legion lets them be captured during an attempted hijack of a nuclear carrier. They escape detention in the Hall of Justice by going through the Qward dimension, and end up taking over a military installation where a new weapon allows one to channel energy through the mind.
EPISODE 15: [JOURNEY THROUGH INNES SPACE]: When a military jet carrying a deadly radioactive isotope crashes into the ocean, Aquaman comes to the rescue, but when he retrieves the isotope. The deadly radiation leaks through the cannister and Aquaman is transformed into the primitive sea creature from which he evolved. The Super Friends capture him and with the help of a Japanese shrink ray, Superman and Wonder Woman in the Supermobile are shrunk to microscopic size to give the beast another dose of the isotope in the hopes of returning Aquaman to normal. / [SUPERFRIENDS: REST IN PEACE]: Using the noxium crystal, which is capable of destroying all of the Super Friends, the Legion wipes them out one by one. The Cheetah kills Wonder Woman when she tries to stop them from destroying Paradise Island.
EPISODE 16: [THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SUPER FRIENDS]: Mr. Mxyzptlk, an imp from another dimension who loves to pester Superman and company decided to make a movie with the Super Friends in the leads and even a fight scene between them as vikings. The only way to rid themselves of the imp is to trick him into saying his name backwards. / [HISTORY OF DOOM]: Three aliens observers discover that the Legion finally managed to conquer Earth, destroying it in the process. They then reverse the damage.
All pictures are © 1978 by Hanna-Barbera Productions / National Periodicals Publications and are used here with informative purposes and do no intend to infringe any copyrights. All rights reserved. All characters are © 1978 by DC Comics. All rights reserved. Any graphics, pictures, articles or any other material contained within this site may be copied for personal use only and may not be used or distributed within any other web page without expressly written permission.