Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

April 17th, 2014, 7:19 pm #131

Super Friends (Batman/Robin & Aquaman)- "Invasion of the Hydronoids"
I reviewed this is in pain-staking detail about 12 years ago. Truly terrible "review". It's about some aliens who want to take over Earth, with a MESSAGE about polluting the ocean.

Aquaman uses his little jet-ski scooter thingie and the Bats use their "inflatable Bat-Decoys". That's the only thing in my original "review" that's still funny: Batman and Robin carrying around inflatable dummies of themselves.

Super Friends (Wonder Woman & Atom)- "Cable Car Rescue"
The title pretty much tells you the entire episode.

First time I ever saw the Atom. I thought his name was "Adam" and that he was a miniature Flash. He makes little "zing" sounds when the flies around, so I wasn't really sure what his power was. I don't think Atom ever worked out too well in the Super Friends cartoons. It seemed like he'd be a good fit, but it was usually tough to work him in.

Super Friends (Batman/Robin & Black Vulcan)- "Night of the Rats"
Rats get mutated and invade a movie theater! I think this was somewhat similar to a 70's JLA comic that guest starred Black Lightning. Also somewhat similar to an early 80's Super Friends short, "Attack of the Cats"; reviewed about 2 pages back.

This may have been Black Vulcan's first appearance, as he has long pants and turns into a lightning bolt. As a kid, I thought his name was Black FALCON. Didn't realize the whole "Vulcan" thing until... uh, maybe the late 90's. He was definitely my favorite "super guest star" and probably my favorite Super Friend, as a kid. When I got into the actual comics, around age 8, I was bummed that he was nowhere to be found.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

June 27th, 2014, 5:33 pm #132

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends- "Spidey Meets the Girl From Tomorrow"
I had only seen this maybe twice: when it originally aired and once on UPN, circa 1999. So I had no clear recollection of what actually happened. I think it was one of the final episodes produced for this series. Two teenagers from The Future (a brother and sister who look kinda' like Jor-El and Lara) end up stranded in 1983.

Doctor Octopus wants to steal their "Space and Time Ship". Spidey sees the girl and both of them, instantly, "fall in love". It's the little boy's dream that you'll, someday, turn a corner to run into a stranger and the two of you will Live Happily Ever After as Soul-mates, all because of eye contact. Anyways, the girl and her brother soon get sick with a common virus. Spidey tries to go to the future with her, but is told that all of the 20th century germs he's carrying will kill everyone. So they break it off.

A lot of the storyboards seem to be recycled from the Doc Ock episode of the 1981 "Spider-Man" series. You can spin this and say that the two episodes are connected. The girl, Ariel, is rather ordinary. So it's kinda' comforting that Spidey didn't run into some Exotic Sex-Pot Broad.

"Romance" in cartoons is always odd. Iceman and Firestar's interactions with Spidey are equally odd, as they realize their buddy could be leaving, forever (umm... Aunt May?). The interactions between all 3 were one of the highlights of "Amazing Friends", as they usually seemed to play up the "Friends" aspect.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

November 6th, 2014, 1:11 am #133

Super Friends (Superman & Aquaman) - "The Invisible Menace" (1977)
Invisible undersea pirates kidnap a scientist and his "ocean floor mining device". The bad guys just have an invisibility switch-- don't argue. At first, the invisibility wrinkle messes with Aquaman and Superman, but eventually they figure things out... probably by looking at the white outlines around everybody.

Always cracks me up in these shorts how somebody will call the Hall of Justice, asking for help. The main cast is usually seen, but then only two (or three if Robin's involved) actually go on the mission. "Super Friends! We need help, now!" "Great...we'll send umm, two of us. The rest of us are in the middle of something".

Whatever, it's "Super Friends". Your mind will explode if you try to explain it all.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

November 26th, 2014, 3:33 am #134

Sub-Mariner - "Dr. Doom's Day" (1966)
Loosely adapted from some early Fantastic Four comics and split into two parts. The first part is a Silver Age fan's wet dream as a buttload of villains attack the "World Peace Building". You've got Dr. Doom, Attuma, Mole Man, the Mandarin and even HYDRA all attacking.

Inside the Building, you've got the "Defenders of Peace", led by Professor X. Yup, this is the animated debut of the X-men; Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast and Angel. Although the only ones who do anything are Marvel Girl and Angel.

Add in some more cameos from the Avengers ("Cap's ___ Quartet"), Iron Man and Thor... and your comic nerd indulgence is off the charts.

The story then slips into a Sub-Mariner/Doom team-up, where Doom uses his new device "The Grabber" to pull the World Peace (Baxter) Building into space. Sub-Mariner uses his rarely used (unless the plot required it) electric eel powers to stop Doom's plan and get the building back to Earth.

Licensing led to the X-men standing in for the Fantastic Four. Marvel had shopped out the rights for the FF to Hanna-Barbera, who were developing the original FF cartoon at the time.

Yes, you have the low production value and all-around cheese. But this is probably the one "Marvel Super Heroes" 1960's episode you should track down, just for the large cast. I dunno', but is this the the first big animated super hero crossover/guest star-gasm?
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

January 14th, 2015, 8:18 pm #135

Super Friends (Aquaman, Wonder Woman & Rima)- "Return of Atlantis" (1980)
Atlantis pops up, full of nothing but vicious women led by "Oceena". They attack Washington DC, so Wonder Woman calls in the cavalry: Queen Hippolita and the Amazons from Paradise Island. It's a big ol' catfight, as the Amazons arrive in their "invisible sky chariots".

Rima does nothing but throw a net and a lasso. In her early appearances, she had control over animals and was sort of like the land version of Aquaman.

Aquaman gets captured, early on. The Atlanteans mention that "men" sunk their city, so you have to surmise that this is not Aquaman's Atlantis. Depends on whether or not you want his 60's Filmation show to be "in continuity".

Just an excuse to have a full-on Amazon vs. Atlanteans fight. Wonder Woman's short episodes usually focused on some sort of silly rescue, so this is one of her better ones, as it's non-stop action.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

January 15th, 2015, 6:24 pm #136

Superman- "Return of Warlock" (c. 1967)
Featuring the magical "tv-only" villain, Warlock. He looks like a Tim Burton movie character and uses a magic wand. Magic characters were usually needed to mess with with Superman.

Very silly plot, though. Warlock first animates a museum dinosaur to mess with Jimmy Olsen. When it comes to fighting Superman, he may as well have been just "some villain with a gun". Warlock's big idea is to get Superman to back up and fall into a ditch. Terrible, but it's only 5 minutes long.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

January 20th, 2015, 7:05 pm #137

Batman: The Animated Series- "Double Talk"
From the fourth and final season of the famed 90's season. Features the Ventriloquist, one of my favorite Bat-villains. Arnold Wesker (Ventriloquist) is on the way to recovery and reform, but his old henchmen set up a plan to lure him back into his "Scarface" persona. A plan involving a dwarf dressed-up as Scarface, no less.

There seems to be some padding-out of the episode with a overly long fist-fight between Batman and Scarface's thugs, plus a long sequence while Batman chases the dwarf. The ending is well done, though. Wesker does the right thing and turns on his henchmen. Scarface then falls into an air conditioning fan and is turned into sawdust. Wesker returns to his halfway house and seems to be happy. All Bat-villains have their mental issues, but Ventriloquist's are usually handled very well.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

January 23rd, 2015, 3:41 pm #138

Batman: The Animated Series- "Scratch my Back"
Fourth season, again. A team-up between Nightwing and Catwoman, as they play each other to stop a "South American" smuggling ring. Batman and Batgirl play back-up roles for the most part. They tease a lot of romantic heat with Catwoman/Nightwing, then tension between Nightwing and the Bat-Family. But it all proves false as they had planned to catch Catwoman, all along. So you have to "No-Prize" it to fill in the plot hole as to when, exactly, Nightwing decided to play it straight.

I think this may have been the first episode dealing with Nightwing in a starring role. Which explains why he gets a lot of screen-time showing off his glider-wings, along with establishing his character.

S'funny, I've had these episodes on DVD for about 10 years, but rarely watched them, if at all. Got the "free trial" of Amazon Prime Instant Video and started watching them. Proves I'm too lazy to to walk the 4 feet to the DVD drawer and plop a disc in my player.

BTW, Amazon Prime's Instant Video is okay, but needs additional content to really pop. Right now, it's a complimentary service when you sign up for "free" shipping. I don't see anybody signing-up just to get Instant Video. Even with the recent success of "TransParent".
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

February 18th, 2015, 11:01 pm #139

Picked up the "Super Friends: Season Six" DVD (aka "Legacy of Super Powers"). It's the new content for the 1981-1982 season, consisting of 18 "shorts". I think Super Friends was usually scheduled to come on ABC at 6am, Saturdays, in my time zone (or earlier). So these were rarely watched by anybody in my neighborhood. Plus, the syndicated weekday afternoon package had hit, so why get up early for the usual re-runs and a few new shorts?

It was only a half-hour, so you never knew if you were going to get a long episode or a buncha' shorts. There are conflicting reports that ABC also spliced up the old 60's Filmmation Superman, Batman and Aquaman shows, throwing them in, as well.

Throughout this season, they begin to name-drop "Justice League" more often. El Dorado debuts in the middle and I think that's why I decided to buy this particular set. In the introduction for every episode (except the first of the season), Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, Samurai and El Dorado are announced along with the core team.

"Outlaws of Orion" (Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern)
Bounty hunter space cowboys from the Orion constellation are on the hunt for the team. For some reason, in the 80's, there were continual efforts to have "space cowboys" in animation; with everything from rocket-sled trains, robotic horses, etc. I never understood the appeal, but I'm guessing it was a favorite gimmick of the goofs who wrote/produced 80's toys and cartoons.

Weird ending, as Green Lantern confiscates the hunters' lasers...then seemingly unloads them into the bad guys. Batman also uses his "Bat-Screwdriver", which pops out of his boot.

"Three Wishes" (Wonder Twins & Superman)
The Twins cork open an EVIL Genie from Superman's artifacts left at the Hall of Justice. The genie messes around, turning them into junior versions of Superman, then transporting them to their home planet of Exxor. Superman shows up, basically beats the crap out of the genie, and that's it.

These two episodes also aired with "Scorpio", which I recapped a few pages back.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

March 3rd, 2015, 12:00 am #140

Super Friends (Batman, Robin & Wonder Twins)- "Mxyzptlk's Flick"
Batman and Robin take the Wonder Twins to a drive-in, in the Batmobile. They're all sucked into "The Giant Caveman" by Mxyzpltlk and it really makes no sense; even for a Mxyzptlik episode. The whole gimmick of saying his name backwards is accomplished when Gleek plays a tape backwards. But... doesn't Mxyzptlk have to actually say it? Otherwise, just bring a tape recorder around everytime he shows up.

Super Friends (Atom, Wonder Woman & Superman)- "Sink Hole"
The cowboy villain Diamond Jack uses his giant robotic cobra to create sink holes at a small town, so he can "turn all the coal into diamonds". Yeah, another high-tech cowboy. One of those funny elements from Super Friends, as a small town sheriff is able to instantly call the Super Friends.

Super Friends (El Dorado, Superman & Wonder Woman)- "Alien Mummy"
First appearance of El Dorado, as Aztec pyramids are the site of one of those "ancient alien" theories. El Dorado grows to about 10 feet tall for an instant, but you could simply No-Prize it as being his "hologram" powers. More craziness, as Superman simply chucks the alien and his ship into outer space, with no dialogue about where it's headed or what the plan is.

Sure, it's Super Friends, but this season is off to a terrible start.
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