Tuesday, February 26, 2008

George Rears (Again!) - 1973

sg George Rears The Super Friends. It's funny how it all leads back to them.

Today, as the entire world celebrates the release of the New Frontier DVD release (They are going nuts in Quraq, I hear), I figured it was time for a confession.

I came into comics because of the Super Friends. There. It's out. I remember watching them back in 1973. The most memorable thing about the show to me was the cool instrumental theme song--I remember before we moved overseas I asked my Dad if he could "write the music down" so I could hum it whenever I wanted. My Dad tried his best, but instead of hearing me reciting lyrics, he had to try to write down me singing "Duhhhh-Duh-Duh-Duhhh-Duh-Duh-
. That didn't work out so well.

My Super Friends were the Wendy and Marvin era. If I remember correctly it was only the original five: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Robin. These days, I can't remember any specific image or episode. I just remember I loved it. Watching these episodes made me familiar with the characters, so I guess that explains why I gravitated to DC when I bought comics off of the rack.

Ironically, I didn't make the connection between the Justice League and the Super Friends until years later. I always thought of the Justice League as Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and the Atom...besides, Wonder Woman (at that time) and Robin weren't members of the JLA.

When we lived overseas, I remember wishing the American station would pick up The Super Friends, but they never did. Eventually, we got the Super Friends comic, which I did not enjoy. It was too childlike! Of course I didn't realize I had changed more than the Super Friends had.

Returning to America, I did get to see some of the Super Friends, except now they had shape changing aliens instead of Wendy and Marvin. There were more members--they had the whole Justice League plus Black Vulcan and Apache Chief...and some Samurai dude. That was pretty cool. Still, they never got to fight the villains. No punches thrown. It wasn't allowed on Saturday morning TV. By the time I got to see these cartoons, my window of opportunity was up. I had outgrown the Super Friends.

The cool thing is I'll always have happy mis-remembrances of the 1973 Super Friends. I'll remember incorrectly the galactic battles with super villains, and I'll falsely recall the awesome slugfests that apparently only exist in my mind.

I don't think any of the real early episodes from this era are out on DVD yet, so I think my implanted memories are safe.

So today, go out and celebrate New Frontier Day! We’ve come a long way in the last thirty-five years, and thankfully, so has comic book animation.


Plaidstallions said...

I got upset when I read how Les Daniels disregarded the Superfriends in his Chronicle books series as being something of poor quality.

This really showed Daniel's age as the Superfriends brought superheroes into millions of kids homes for the first time, including mine. Baby boomers don't seem to get it.

I really liked the Wendy and Marvin episodes as a kid, still watch them now.

rob! said...

i also don't get why people say SF permanently reduced Aquaman to a joke to millions of kids.

i think they're reading too much into it--some seven year old doesn't analyze it like that--and besides, i think it placed Aquaman alongside the Big Three in perpetuity to an entire generation of kids(hand raised).

Grears said...

When I started reading comic books, I always thought of the Big four...

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman... Direcly a result of the Super Friends... When I discovered Aquaman didn't have a book, I didn't understand it.

I remember every summer when my parents would go on vacation, If we stopped at a motel with a pool, I'd always play Aquaman. That's my random thought of the day.

I think part of the reason Aquaman is thought of bein a "joke" today is our GenX cynicism. As we grew up, he had the powers that most of us would not like to have as an adult, and therefore, he became a target. LEt's face it to thrive in this world, super stregnth, being really fast, or having a green ring that would make anything would be really helpful. Aquaman's power appealed more to the kid in all of us.


Plaidstallions said...

Gen X comedians made Aquaman a joke, they grew up watching the Superfriends.