Sunday, April 3, 2011

Animated World of DC Comics: Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985)

In the mid-80's, Kenner Toys (now part of Hasbro) had obtained a license to produce action figures based on DC Comics characters. The Super Powers line led to some changes with Hanna-Barbera's long running Super Friends franchise at ABC.

The first changes came in 1984, with the addition of Firestorm to the team, and the phasing out of the Wonder Twins, who were written out after 3 appearances. Darkseid, the master villain of Jack Kirby's acclaimed Fourth World line of comics in the 70's at DC, made his television debut, but the stone faced ruler of Apokolips wasn't just his usual malevolent self. Suddenly, Darkseid found himself in love-----with Wonder Woman. This obsession drove the majority of the stories for Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, but as that series gave way to Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians the next year, it was de-emphasized, as Darkseid ceded some of the villain spotlight to other masters of mayhem, including the Joker, returning to H-B after 2 appearances on The New Scooby-Doo Movies 13 years earlier.

Darkseid also figures in the story sampled here, "The Death of Superman", which predated a similar story published by DC 8 years later. Cyborg of the Teen Titans has joined the SPT (voiced by Ernie Hudson from the "Ghostbusters" movies).

Here's a sample clip:

The animation is not as clean and crisp as in past seasons, and there would be better stories than this one, including the first adaptation of the origin of the Batman to be presented on television. Small wonder ABC decided to end the franchise after this season.

Rating: B--.

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