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The following is a brief overview of the various villains be featured in the long running Super Friends animated television series.
Legion of Doom
In each episode they appeared in, the Legion of Doom would enact various plots against the Super Friends, only to be met with defeat by the end of the story. Often, however, they would escape capture through a last-minute escape plan.
Bizarro was initially voiced by Bill Calloway and appears first in the Challenge of the Super Friends (1978); then by Danny Dark in the 1980 Shorts, 1981 Shorts, 1983 Shorts, and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985).
Bizarro World makes its first television appearance in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, in the episode "The Bizarro Super Powers Team". It is seemingly populated by countless Bizarros, led by the original Bizarro.
Ted Cassidy voices Brainiac in Challenge of the SuperFriends, and Stanley Ralph Ross in a 1983 Super Friends Short, and a few episodes of the Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984) and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985).
Captain Cold first appears on the Challenge of the Super Friends, and is one of two Flash villains (along with Gorilla Grodd) that appear as members of Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom. Dick Ryal and Michael Bell provide the voice of Captain Cold in different episodes.
Giganta appears in Super Friends voiced by Ruth Forman. She appears as a powerful member of the Legion of Doom. In the TV series, she has the ability to grow to giant size (with accompanying superhuman strength) simply by willing it (at the time, she did not yet possess this ability in the comics). She typically dresses in a leopard skin two-piece loincloth (presumably treating them so that they grow with her when she uses her powers to achieve her gigantic stature), wears large, bangle-like bracelets and anklets, and she is always barefoot (like her original appearances). Her muscular body is a side effect of her powers.
In the episode "History of Doom," it was revealed that Giganta was a normal woman who was horseriding when she witnessed Apache Chief using magic powder. The latter used it to grow larger so he could fight off a grizzly bear. Giganta stole the dust and used it on herself, gaining the ability to transform into a powerful, giantess. The dust not only gave the two size changing powers, but influences personality as well. Because Apache Chief was brave when using it he became one hundred times more brave. Because Giganta had evil thoughts, it made her more evil.
Giganta later appeared in the Super Friends 1983 short episodes "Two Gleeks Are Deadlier Than One " and "Revenge of Doom" again voiced by Ruth Forman. In "Two Gleeks Are Deadlier Than One," she and Gorilla Grodd capture Gleek and make an evil clone of him. In "Revenge of Doom," she was present when the Legion of Doom got back together but had no dialogue
Gorilla Grodd first appeared on the Challenge of the Super Friends, and is one of two Flash villains (along with Captain Cold) that appear as members of Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom. In one episode, Grodd hatches a plot to take control of Gorilla City and use its citizens to conquer the world. He later appeared in the Super Friends 1983 short episodes "Revenge of Doom", and "Two Gleeks Are Deadlier Than One". It should be noted that this version of Grodd, though highly intelligent, never displays telepathic abilities. He was voiced by Stanley Ralph Ross.
Solomon Grundy first appears in the Challenge of the Super Friends as a member of Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom, voiced by Jimmy Weldon. In this cartoon series, Grundy speaks broken English with a southern accent. This version of the character was later used in a promotional spot for Cartoon Network, with Solomon Grundy declaring that "Solomon Grundy want pants too!" in response to Brainiac's request for pants.
This incarnation of Grundy is arguably one of the more "intelligent" versions of the character, as he is able to carry on a conversation and devise plans of his own.
Lex Luthor was a recurring villain in Hanna Barbera’s Super Friends franchise that ran from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. He was voiced by Stan Jones. Of all the comic book villains to appear in the show, Lex Luthor appears in the most episodes, more than any other villain.
- He makes his Super Friends debut in Challenge of the Super Friends. Luthor, was head of the Legion of Doom, a coalition of villains who plotted the downfall of SuperFriends. Luthor appeared a little slimmer than in his previous animated appearance and occasionally sported his pre-Crisis purple jumpsuit. In the episode History of Doom depicts a portion of Lex Luthor's origin from Adventure Comics #271.
- In the series The World's Greatest Super Friends season the second episode 'Lex Luthor Strikes Back' features Luthor escaping from jail and challenging the Super Friends.
- He also appears in the series Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show season, in the opening and the episodes No Honor Among Thieves (in which he acquires his power suit from the comics) The Case of the Shrinking Superfriends and The Mask of Mystery.
- In the series The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians season, appears in some episodes as The Seeds of Doom.
The episode "Superfriends: Rest In Peace" makes a reference to a former unseen member of the Legion, the only time such a reference has been made. This was Doctor Natas (Satan spelled backwards), the inventor of the Noxium crystal that had the power to destroy all of the Super Friends. The Super Friends knew of this crystal and tricked the Legion into thinking that it had killed all of them (using android doubles of the Super Friends). They anticipated that the Legion would throw away the crystal when they no longer needed it. The crystal was retrieved by the Super Friends and launched into deep space. Natas' fate is unknown, and the Legion apparently was unable to recreate the crystal.
The Riddler also appeared in Hanna-Barbera's Challenge of the Super Friends as a member of the Legion of Doom. He was voiced by Michael Bell. He made his only solo appearance in a Super Friends 1980 short episode, "Around The World In 80 Riddles."
The Toyman is a recurring villain on the Challenge of the Super Friends television cartoon voiced by Frank Welker. He appears as one of the members of Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom. The Toyman in the Super Friends series bears the likeness of Jack Nimball (as he is named in the comics). This version of the Toyman often dresses like a jester and wears a domino mask.
New Gods of Apokolips
In the mid-1980s, the New Gods of the planet Apokolips; Darkseid, Kalibak, Desaad; were featured in the final two incarnations of the Super Friends animated series, entitled Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. New Genesis (sister planet of Apokolips) and its residents did not appear, and were not mentioned.
Outside of the comic books, Boom tubes have been seen on a number of occasions. They are first seen in the last two season of the Super Friends animated series, Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians on a number of occasions. Here, they are referred to as "Star Gates," and they are used by the natives of Apokolips. New Genesis was never shown or mentioned.
Desaad appeared in two of the 1980s incarnations of the Superfriends cartoon, Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, and was voiced by Rene Auberjonois.
Kalibak appeared in the last two incarnations of the original animated series, Super Friends, as his first televised appearance where he and Darkseid were voiced by Frank Welker. His appearance was not as brutish a later TV incarnations, more like the original Jack Kirby design for the character. He was almost always depicted as boastful, dull-witted and ineffectual against the heroes.
On the final season (1985-86) of the Super Friends, when Darkseid became a recurring villain, the Parademons followed - although the use of the word "demon" on television was often protested by parents' groups. Thus Darkseid's minions were always referred to as "para-drones" on that show. Their vocalizations are provided by Frank Welker.
Other villains from DC Comics
An earlier animated version of Bizarra (aka, Woman Wondezarro) was shown in an episode of the 1985 television series The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians titled "The Bizarro Super Powers Team". In the episode Bizarro decides that his world of Bizarros needs more heroes than just Bizarro Supermen. He takes a duplicator ray to Earth and makes Bizarro duplicates of Wonder Woman, Firestorm, and Cyborg. Planning on taking them back to protect Bizarro World, Mister Mxyzptlk convinces Bizarro to train his new friends on Earth, which causes havoc for the real Super Friends. In the episode Bizarra is called Bizarro Wonder Woman and is voiced by actress B.J. Ward, who also voiced Wonder Woman.
In the The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Fear," a flashback depicts Thomas and Martha Wayne being mugged by someone who might be Joe Chill. This flashback is induced by the Scarecrow. When his father tries to fight him, a young Bruce says "No Dad, he's got a..." and lightning is shown in the sky as his parents are shot. This episode represents the first time that Batman's origin is portrayed on television.
Crime Syndicate of America
- See also: Crime Syndicate of America at Wikipedia
- See also: Crime Syndicate of America at DC Database
The World's Greatest Super Friends episode "Universe of Evil" features Superman encountering evil versions of the rest of the team from an alternate universe, called the "Super Enemies" (he temporarily swapped places with his own evil counterpart, who wrought havoc and almost defeated the rest of the Super Friends until they swapped back just in time) when trying to stop Mount Vesuvius from erupting (which their Superman was causing). This universe's version of the Hall of Justice is called the Hall of Evil, and a demonic-looking face is on the outside of the building. The Super Enemies themselves appear almost identical to the Super Friends, although their version of Aquaman has an eyepatch, Batman's costume is red rather than blue, and Robin has a moustache.
In an episode of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, Felix Faust (voiced by Peter Cullen) was in a prison with the Penguin. Faust was about to cast a spell to escape by transferring Superman's powers into himself, but Penguin seized the opportunity, stole the Superman powers, and broke out easily, leaving Faust behind. Faust later stripped Penguin of Superman's powers, and gained them himself after he had his spirits apprehend Penguin. He also proved vulnerable to Kryptonite when Firestorm changed his headwear into it. Wonder Woman used her lasso to force Felix Faust into relinquishing Superman's powers. The two were again jailed in the same cell, much to the dismay of both.
Gentleman Ghost appears in The All-New Super Friends Hour episode titled "The Ghost", where a man casts a spell to bring Gentleman Ghost to the living so that he can take revenge on Superman and Wonder Woman for imprisoning his spirit. He uses his powers to turn U.N. representatives into ghosts and later turns Superman and Wonder Woman into ghosts. The curse is eventually broken, after which the Super Friends used the mystical Rods of Merlin to send Gentleman Ghost back to his grave, never to return. He is referred to only as "Gentleman Jim Craddock" in the episode, not as "Gentleman Ghost."
The Joker makes an appearance in the final incarnation of Super Friends, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, in the episode "The Wild Cards", which features a version of the Royal Flush Gang. The leader of the group, Ace, turns out to be a disguised Joker (voiced by Frank Welker).
Mirror Master appeared in an episode of Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show entitled "Reflections in Crime" voiced by Casey Kasem. Interestingly enough the Flash doesn't appear in this episode. In the episode, Mirror Master sets about trapping the Super Friends in this particular episode inside mirrors called the sixth dimension. The Super Friends managed to escape and trap Mirror Master in a House of Mirrors.
Mr. Mxyzptlk appeared in the Super Friends animated series, voiced by Frank Welker. In that series, Mxyzptlk's name is pronounced as Miks-ill-plik (backwards, Kilp-ill-skim) and he takes to tormenting all the members of the team, even when Superman is absent. In one episode Mr. Kltpzyxm, a Bizarro Mxyzptlk is created, who promptly speeds off to turn Bizarro world into a beautiful planet like Earth, much to Bizarro's horror.
The Penguin appeared in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, where he gains Superman's superpowers by accident when Felix Faust tries to get them for himself. Ironically, Batman is not featured in the episode. This version of the Penguin was voiced by Andre Stojka.
Royal Flush Gang
In The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, the Royal Flush Gang seen in the episode "The Wild Cards". They are a quartet of thieves recruited by the mysterious Ace (here not an android). Ace is revealed to not only be in league with Darkseid, but also to be the Joker in disguise, as deduced by Batman upon realizing that the Joker's house of cards was missing his namesake card. By the end of the episode, Ten of Clubs, who feels in over her head, switches sides and the rest of the gang and Joker are captured.
A villain called Shark appears in the All-New Super Friends Hour episode "The Protector." It's uncertain which Shark it is, as his real name is never mentioned in the episode. He most resembles the third Shark.
Villains appearing not adapted from the comic books
Count Dracula appears in an episode entitled "Attack of the Vampire." The episode was originally aired on October 14, 1978. In the episode, Dracula arises and tries to turn the whole world into vampires. The Super Friends battle Dracula, who transforms Superman and the Wonder Twins into vampires. Dracula uses intense beams from his eyes to transform his victims into vampires.
Dr. Victor Frankenstein
A character named Orville Gump appears in the episode "Lex Luthor Strikes Back" in World's Greatest Super Friends, talking with Luthor about his new plans against the team hero, in the same underground lair in the Metropolis subways of the said first Superman movie from 1978. He disguised himself as Jimmy Olsen at the beginning of the episode before revealing his true self.
Phantom Zone villains
In the 1978, in the World's Greatest Super Friends there is an episode entitled "Terror from the Phantom Zone" in which a comet's collision causes the Phantom Zone to release three Kryptonian villains. The villains go on a crime spree and banish the Superfriends to the Phantom Zone but keep Superman on Earth...exposing him to red kryptonite which causes him to age quickly. The villains get great enjoyment showing off "old Superman" to the world...Superman then manages to figure out with help from the Justice League computer that blue kryptonite may reverse the aging process because blue kryptonite is harmful to backwards Bizarro and therefore should be helpful to Superman. Superman finds the blue kryptonite and is aged back to normal and then goes on his quest to rescue the other Super Friends from the Phantom Zone and ultimately send the three villains back into the Phantom Zone.
The Super Friends version of the Phantom Zone is described as, "Far beyond the boundaries of the Milky Way. In the uncharted void of deep space. An incredible 5th dimension of space and time, lies parallel to the universe that we know. This interesting interstellar warp which holds the most sinister and ruthless criminals in the galaxy is the infamous Phantom Zone." The molecular structure of any person exiled in the zone appears white and black. Batman's devices and the Wonder Twins' Exxor Powers are useless within the Phantom Zone.
- ↑ Seanbaby's Super Friends Page - Lex Luthor. Retrieved on 2007-7-20.
- ↑ As seen in the first season of the Filmation series, The New Adventures of Superman (1966–1967): The Men from A.P.E. and A.P.E. Strikes Again.
- ↑ Go to DC Database for more on Action Comics. Vol. 1 #271 published in December 1960.
- ↑ The original warsuit was introduced in Action Comics Vol. 1 # 544 (June, 1983). Go to DC Database for more on Action Comics. Vol. 1 #544.
- ↑ "The Bizarro Super Powers Team". The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. Hanna-Barbera. 1985-11-21. No. 3, season 1.
- ↑ Latest posts of: Brian Krey
|Television Series||Super Friends (1973) • The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977) • Challenge of the Super Friends (1978) • The World’s Greatest Super Friends (1979) • SuperFriends (1980) • SuperFriends (1981) • SuperFriends (1983) • SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984) • The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985)|
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