|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 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes (including commercials)|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||September 7, 1985 –|
September 6, 1986
|Preceded by||SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show|
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians is an American animated television series about a team of superheroes which ran from 1985 to 1986. 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, as 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 such familiar foes 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 us 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, who 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 "The Death of Superman", 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.
Main article: List of Super Friends episodes
|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. The episodes "The Seeds of Doom" and "The Death of Superman" were included on disc 2 of Warner's The Best of Superman, released on June 4, 2013.