Back in college, I spent a Thanksgiving at my friend Russ’ house. Russ was going through a bit of a “Superfriends” phase, and yours truly got dragged along for a marathon viewing of about 238 Superfriends episodes. Now, let me tell you that even one of these episodes is well enough to put a decaying crater in the middle of your brain, crumbling whatever sense and logic you happened to store there. A nonstop string of these? That left me with a full-on Swiss cheese brain.
Me am survived.
So like the kid who decides to have another sour gumball because he’s already got the cavity to go with it, I have returned to the land of my super-forefathers for another go at the craziest bunch of heroes and villains that ever graced the small screen.
If you’re not familiar with Superfiends, then get thee to a friend with indestructible nostalgia right away, and be prepared for a saga like no other! This infamous cartoon – the spawn of DC comics, horrible animation and quite likely LSD – was produced by Hanna-Barbera in the ’70s, and continued to be broadcast to impressionable young minds well into the late ’80s.
It told the tale of a modified version of the Justice League of America (now called the “Superfriends”, since “Bestfriends” was already taken), where DC comics heroes were yanked away from their day jobs and forced into a single room where egos and arm-wrestling contests could run amok. Legends like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman knew that separate, only one of them was invincible, but together, they could hide behind the invincible Kryptonian. They also bolstered their ranks with the prerequisite comedy characters (Marvin, Wendy, Gleek and the Wonder Twins), sidekicks (Aqualad, Robin) and never-before-seen token characters (Black Vulcan, Samurai, and Apache Chief).
To see this show is to be bombarded with a monumental level of stupidity. Really. These episodes are jumbled nonsense where no hero’s power is ever faithfully adhered to, physics are told to take a day off, punches are forbidden due to the network censors, and the script bounces all over the place. Superfriends will often throw multiple moronic things at the audience all at once to see how much you can take before your head implodes with a sharp POP.
Perhaps the most famous season of Superfriends was during 1978, when Challenge of the Superfriends descended to Earth. It was this season that introduced the “Legion of Doom,” a collection of supervillains that kept trying to conquer the Earth with bizarre plots and outlandish technology. The Legion of Doom would do anything to get out of their base, considering that it’s located in a swamp and their roommates include a decaying zombie, an unwashed gorilla and damp straw.
Here we go through the full Challenge of the Superfriends season, episode by episode nipping at your conscience until we turn you to our devious purposes… FOREVER!