Episode Lengths: 30 minutes
In the fall of 1985, the final version of Hanna-Barbera’s SuperFriends premiered. The show takes a new, more realistic style (and very different).
The SuperFriends are now called the Super Powers Team, with a show The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.
It ran on the ABC Network from September 7, 1985 to November 9, 1985.
It is considered one of the most faithful TV adaptations of DC Comic superheroes, second to The Challenge of the SuperFriends. This series would run for only one season on ABC, signifying the end of the Hanna-Barbera’s 12-year run of the SuperFriends.
Even though the Super Friends once again had a new format, it was really the second season of SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. On the DVD extras, they call it a graduation and could be considered a series by itself because of the changes Hanna-Barbera implemented into this new series.
Gone were the simplistic character designs by Alex Toth we knew so well and in their place were beefed up designs of the heroes and villains designed by DC Comics artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, who also designed the characters for the Super Powers toyline and products.
The tone of this series was notably more serious than Super Friends had been in the past.
Sadly, this series only lasted one season, and was ultimately canceled. The final new episode aired was "The Death of Superman", which originally aired on November 6, 1985. This third cancellation would prove to be the final one and Galactic Guardians marked the end of Hanna-Barbera's 13-year run of the series when it last aired on September 30, 1986.
- In this series, Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Firestorm were the leads along with their newest member, Cyborg (marking his first appearance in an animated series).
- Robin no longer used holyisms like he did in previous seasons.
- Cyborg’s voice is none other than Ernie Hudson whose big claim to fame is from the Ghostbusters movies.
- Their headquarters was the Hall of Justice in Metropolis (which had been redesigned for this series to appear more dome-like and seemingly, larger).
- The Wonder Twins are gone and interestingly, El Dorado (who was not part of the official roster) and Flash only appear in one episode.
- Hanna-Barbera eliminated most of the ethnic characters they created for the Super Friends (except for Samurai).
- Once again the voice of Wonder Woman was recast. Veteran voice actress B.J. Ward replaced Connie Cawlfield.
- Before the Super Powers toyline was canceled, the third wave of figures included Cyborg.
- In 1985, the Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians had no competition from the other networks.
- Both the Joker and the Penguin made their first (and only) Super Friends appearances in two different episodes. While Batman and Robin appeared in Joker's debut episode, they were not present in Penguin's.
- We are also treated to the first and only appearances of the Royal Flush Gang and Felix Faust.
- The Super Powers Team shared continuity with the old Super Friends show, with respect to their battles with Darkseid (or specifically the previous season), who is determined to conquer Earth and make Wonder Woman his bride.
- The only other continuities from the SuperFriends is the background music and most of the voice cast.
This show had a number of marketing tie-ins, such as the Super Powers Collection action figure line. There was also a program used by schools that DC Comics used to promote vehicle safety, and abstaining from drugs, and helping kids with issues such as child abuse and teenage pregnancy.
- The Galactic Guardians series featured the first televised depiction of Batman's origin in the episode "The Fear".
- This series also marked the first ever appearance of Cyborg in an animated television series.
Although this is the final SuperFriends series, it's not the last time we see the SuperFriends universe. In 1988, just two years after this final season of the Super Friends, a new animated Superman series came out on CBS that was created by Ruby-Spears Productions. On the episode called “Superman and Wonder Woman vs. The Sorceress of Time", Wonder Woman guest stars, and B.J. Ward reprises her role as Wonder Woman.
- Superman – voiced by Danny Dark (1973-1985)
- Batman – voiced by Adam West (1984-1985)
- Robin – voiced by Casey Kasem (1973-1985)
- Wonder Woman – voiced by B.J. Ward (1985)
- Firestorm – voiced by Mark L. Taylor (1984-1985)
- Cyborg – voiced by Ernie Hudson (1985)
- Samurai – voiced by Jack Angel (1977-1985)
- Aquaman – voiced by Bill Calloway
- Hawkman – voiced by Jack Angel (1980 -1983)
- Green Lantern – voiced by Michael Rye (1980 -1983)
- The Flash – voiced by Jack Angel (1980 -1983)
- Darkseid - voiced by Frank Welker (1984-1985)
- Lex Luthor - Stan Jones (appeared briefly at the beginning of "The Seeds of Doom")
- The Joker (Ace) – voiced by Frank Welker (1985)
- The Royal Flush Gang
- Felix Faust
- The Penguin – voiced by or Robert Morse (1985)
- Mister Mxyzptlk
- Mr. Kltpzyxm (Mr. Mxyzptlk Bizarro)
- Bizarra (Bizarro Wonder Woman)
- Cyzarro (Cyborg Bizarro)
- Firezarro (Firestorm)
- Joe Chill - voiced by Joe Baker (One Appearance, The Fear)
|Ep #||Episode Name||The Shorts||Air Date|
|1||The Seeds of Doom||September 11, 1985|
|2||The Ghost Ship||The Bizarro Super Powers Team||September 18, 1985|
|3||The Darkseid Deception||September 25, 1985|
|4||The Fear||October 2, 1985|
|5||The Wild Cards||October 9, 1985|
|6||Brainchild||The Case of the Stolen Super Powers||October 16, 1985|
|7||Escape from Space City||October 30, 1985|
|8||The Death of Superman||November 6, 1985|
- Warner Home Video released The Complete Series of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians on DVD on October 23, 2007.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete Series||8||October 23. 2007|
This DVD series is available through Amazon – The The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (DVD-2007).
- Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show at The Big Cartoon DataBase
- Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show entry at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
- Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show entry at TV.com (episode titles)
- Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians entry at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
- Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians entry at TV.com (episode titles)
- ↑ The biggest change was recasting the voice of Wonder Woman with veteran voice actress BJ Ward, who replaces Connie Cawlfield as Wonder Woman. B.J. Ward was a logical choice since she's played everything from Jana of the Jungle, Elektra on the Teen Force, Princess Allura on Voltron, Scarlett on G.I.JOE, and Velma Dinkly in some of the Scooby Doo animated DVD movies. BJ Ward reprises the Wonder Woman voice when she guest appeared in the 1988 animated Superman series by Ruby-Spears.
- Source: Will's Ultimate Super Friends Episode Guide!
- ↑ The Sweatbox Review