|The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians|
|Also known as||Super Friends VIII|
|Creative director||Iwao Takamoto|
|Narrated by||William Woodson|
|Theme music composer||Hoyt Curtin|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8 (4 segments) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes (11 minutes per segment)|
|Original release||September 7 –|
October 26, 1985
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes that ran in 1985. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and is based on the Justice League and associated comic book characters published by DC Comics.
In the fall of 1985, the final version of Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends premiered. The Justice League of America (now called the Super Powers Team, to tie-in with the Super Powers Collection toyline then being produced by Kenner) were once again headquartered at the Hall of Justice (which had been redesigned for this series to appear more pentagon-like and seemingly larger) in Metropolis, and battled familiar foes such as Darkseid, Lex Luthor and Scarecrow.
Amidst those changes, another change in the series was the absence of a narrator in every episode. In the original series from 1973, Ted Knight was the program's narrator. William Woodson became the narrator beginning with 1977's All-New Super Friends Hour. Woodson would remain the voice of the series through the final episode of 1984's SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show. Adam West, star of the 1960s live-action Batman series, replaced Olan Soule as the voice actor for Batman. Starting with this incarnation, there was no narration for the majority of the episodes. There is a very brief voice-over by Woodson at the start of the episode, "The Bizarro Super Powers Team", telling the audience about Bizarro World, but isn't heard afterward. Furthermore, the majority of the original recurring characters of the series were eliminated outside of Samurai and El Dorado while the DC Comics teenage superheroes, Firestorm and Cyborg, wholly replaced the Wonder Twins for the purposes of target audience identification figures. The animation was also improved; most notably Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman looked more like their DC Comics versions, since the style guide illustrated by José Luis García-López in 1982 was heavily used for this series.
The story lines in many of the 1985 episodes were also a bit more dramatic compared to previous installments. The only episodes that featured the old Super Friends style and charm were "The Bizarro Super Powers Team" and "The Case of the Stolen Powers". Except where noted as a short, each episode was 30 minutes long. The show lasted only one season on ABC, marking the end of Hanna-Barbera's 12-year run of the Super Friends.
In the episode titled "The Fear", Batman's origin is told for the first time outside of the actual comics. In a flashback, it shows Thomas and Martha Wayne being confronted by an unidentified mugger, just after watching a Robin Hood movie with their small son Bruce. When Thomas ends up trying to fight the mugger, Bruce quotes "No Dad, he's got a..." and lightning is shown in the sky as his parents are shot. The episode was written by Alan Burnett, later a story editor on Batman: The Animated Series. This was also a lengthy appearance of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson outside their respective Batman and Robin personas.
This series also marked the first ever appearance of Cyborg in an animated television series. Cyborg's origin was told via a medical journal read by Dr. Martin Stein saying Cyborg was a promising decathlon athlete until an accident destroyed most of his body and his father replaced part of his body with machine parts. Also, he is not a Titan. He becomes fast friends with teammate Firestorm. He is an affiliate of the Justice League of America under Superman. In the introductory episode to Cyborg, "The Seeds of Doom", Cyborg's abilities save Earth from Darkseid's seeds, but as Superman warns, makes Darkseid a dangerous enemy to Cyborg, so Cyborg joins the League.
The Flash appeared only in "The Death of Superman" episode #7, and never used his powers. El Dorado, even if he was not part of the official roster, also made a cameo in "The Death of Superman", and never used his powers or even spoke any lines. Also in that episode, the Fortress of Solitude more closely resembles the pre-Crisis comic-book version, including a giant yellow key whose use required the combined efforts of Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Cyborg. This was the first time Wonder Woman's red boots were animated with white stripes since the cancellation of Lynda Carter's live action television series on CBS six years earlier.
Boom tubes were used here, but referred to as "Star Gates", and they are used by the natives of Apokolips, though without the sonic boom caused by boom tubes; these were carried over from the previous season. New Genesis was never shown or mentioned.
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.
|Title||Original air date|
|86||1||"The Seeds of Doom"||September 7, 1985|
After single-handedly capturing Superman's perennial nemesis Lex Luthor, the bionic Cyborg is invited to join the Justice League of America but surprisingly turns down the offer. Anxious to have someone his own age as a fellow Team member, the nuclear-powered Firestorm seeks out Cyborg to learn the reason for his reticence. But it will take the intervention of Darkseid and his Parademons, to say nothing of some horrific-looking sea pods, to make Cyborg change his mind.
Cameos: Sarah SimmsNote: From this point onwards, the show was retooled with a darker tone, a significantly different art style, and many previous notable characters with reduced roles.
|87a||2a||"The Ghost Ship"||September 14, 1985|
|With Darkseid and his minions in hot pursuit, Superman, Firestorm and Cyborg temporarily take shelter in a huge derelict space vessel. It turns out that the three Galactic Guardians have boarded a ghost ship, controlled by a fugitive princess who uses hologram images to ward off pirates and to protect the people of her planet—who live in miniaturized form in a locket around her neck. Darkseid hopes to exploit the princess, and to take sinister advantage of Superman's weakened state.|
|87b||2b||"The Bizarro Super Powers Team"||September 14, 1985|
|Bizarro #1, the weird yet funny Superman doppelganger from Htrae (Bizarro World), uses his duplicator ray to create Bizarro versions of Wonder Woman, Firestorm and Cyborg. These "opposite clones" are then called upon to protect Bizarro World from its many enemies. However, the prankish Mr. Mxyzptlk plans to harness the powers of the three Bizarro superheroes in order to wreak havoc upon the earth, in an endless series of nasty pranks and practical jokes specially designed to drive everyone as crazy as he is. The real Wonder Woman uses the duplicator ray on Mr. Mxyzptlk to create Mr. Kltpzyxm, causing the Bizarro Super Powers team to go back to Bizarro World and stop him, and making Mr. Mxyzptlk accidentally say his name backwards and go back to the 5th dimension.|
|88||3||"The Darkseid Deception"||September 21, 1985|
|Little does Wonder Woman suspect that the man she assumes to be her mortal boyfriend Steve Trevor is actually the evil Darkseid, who has rearranged his molecular structure in order to impersonate Steve. It's all part of a master plan to steal the deadly TC7 satellite and transform everyone on earth into hideous mutants. The Galactic Guardians set out to rescue the real Steve and thwart Darkseid, a task made difficult when Wonder Woman herself is kidnapped.|
|89||4||"The Fear"||September 28, 1985|
Gotham City is literally held in the grip of terror by The Scarecrow's arsenal of Fear Transmitters. Scouring Gotham in search of Scarecrow, Batman is himself paralyzed with fright when he finds himself in the middle of Crime Alley, where years earlier the parents of Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne had been murdered in cold blood. Taking advantage of the situation, Scarecrow intends to keep Batman trapped in Crime Alley forever by using a captured Robin and Wonder Woman as bait, forcing the Caped Crusader to purge himself of his lifelong fears once and for all.Note: This is the first time that the origin of Batman is told in any other media outside the comics.
|90||5||"The Wild Cards"||October 5, 1985|
There's a new supervillain in town, and his name is The Ace. Gathering together a gang of four hardened delinquents, the Ace decks them out in sinister playing-card costumes, and thus the Royal Flush Gang is born. In their efforts to defeat this scurrilous quintet of no-goods, Robin and Cyborg discover that the Ace is taking his orders directly from their perennial enemy Darkseid, while Batman learns to his astonishment that the Ace is not a "new" nemesis at all, but instead a very old one - The Joker.Note: The Joker makes his first and only appearance in this episode.
|91a||6a||"The Brainchild"||October 12, 1985|
While enjoying a day off with Firestorm, Cyborg is captured by the robot minions of supercomputer Brainiac, who intends to use the bionic dogooder for one of his typically evil "mind-blowing" experiments. To save the life of his fellow Galactic Guardian, Firestorm enlists the aid of Superman and rushes to Cyborg's rescue, but it may already be too late: the two superpowered good guys are confronted by a gigantic killer robot, with Cyborg's brain and intellect trapped inside its power source.Cameos: Green Lantern
|91b||6b||"The Case of the Stolen Powers"||October 12, 1985|
While languishing in prison with the Penguin as his cellmate, evil necromancer Felix Faust conjures up a spell which enables him to steal the special powers of Superman. No sooner has this happened than the Penguin appropriates these powers for himself, and as result the Super Powers Team now works for him. In order to thwart the Penguin and emerge as the real villain of the piece, Faust absorbs all of Superman's powers, but Firestorm creates a kryptonite crown on Faust's head, weakening him and Wonder Woman uses her Magic Lasso to force him to give up Superman's powers and return them to the Man of Steel.Note: First appearance of Felix Faust and The Penguin. Curiously, Batman and Robin were not present to face The Penguin. Aquaman, Hawkman, and Samurai cameo appearances.
|92||7||"The Death of Superman"||October 19, 1985|
The unthinkable has happened: Superman is dead, the victim of Kryptonite poisoning. Injured in the mishap which felled Superman, a weakened Firestorm is captured by Darkseid, who wants the Galactic Guardian to reveal the details of the Man of Steel's demise. Meanwhile, several members of the Super Powers Team gather at the Fortress of Solitude, where they come across evidence indicating that Superman is still alive. Suspecting it to be true, they don't know why he allowed the other Team members to fall into Darkseid's clutches.Note: The Flash and El Dorado appeared in this episode. Cameos by Robin, Aquaman, Flash, Hawkman, Samurai, El Dorado.
|93||8||"Escape from Space City"||October 26, 1985|
The evil Darkseid's latest project involves the capture and takeover of Star City, a gigantic orbiting earth colony. To this end, he replaces the satellite's kidnapped inventor Mr. Moko with a robot lookalike that even fools Moko's daughter, Kiri. Meanwhile, Batman, Firestorm and Samurai must steer clear of Darkseid's minions Kalibak and DeSaad and their robot army, long enough to allow Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman to seek out and destroy the control equipment hidden in Darkseid's headquarters.Absent: Robin
|DVD name||Ep No.||Release date|
|The Complete Series||10||October 23, 2007|
In addition, the episodes "The Death of Superman" and "The Seeds of Doom" were included on Warner's 25 Cartoon Collection: DC Comics, released on August 27, 2013. Those episodes were included on disc 2 of Warner's The Best of Superman, released on June 4 the same year.