Fire & Water #208 – Super Friends Flashback

Super Friends Flashback! Shag and Rob take a look back at a classic 1977 episode of the ALL-NEW SUPER FRIENDS HOUR, featuring four stories:

  • “Doctor Fright” (Superman and Wonder Woman)
  • “Drag Race” (The Wonder Twins)
  • “Day of the Plant Creatures” (Super Friends)
  • “Fire” (Batman, Robin, and Rima The Jungle Girl)

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23 responses to “Fire & Water #208 – Super Friends Flashback

  1. Rima!

    Great show, fellas. I THINK the SuperFriends was my intro to DC Comics. I can’t remember, but it probably was. Like you older gentlemen, I was enthralled by it all. I don’t look at them as fondly now as you guys, so I’m glad you can still dig ‘em.

    Interestingly enough, I remember this very show and kind of feel as though this was my introduction to Florida. Between this show and all the Southern Discomfort films set in the Everglades, it’s no wonder I hate that place.

    Wendy and Marvin over the Wonder Twins

  2. I watch this cartoon all the time as a kid in the 1980s
    Also I would like to add that for many years I worked in a factory and would get out at 3 o’clock just like in this cartoon but I had to punch in at 5 o’clock in the morning
    I prefer Zan and Jayna over Wendy and Marvin

  3. Definitely remember this episode, especially the plant creatures and what they looked like as well as the part Superman/part plant hybrid when he was effected by the meteor.

    It is funny how some of these segments do stick with you. I can remember the safety one where Wonder Woman tells the kids to not chew on pencils or styrofoam cups. And also Aquaman teaching how to make a tambourine-like instrument from paper plates and raw beans.

    As for the Wendy/Marvin vs Wonder Twins debate, I am squarely on the side of Wendy and Marvin. First off, who didn’t have a crush on Wendy with those piercing blue eyes and those bell-bottomed hip huggers. But more importantly, Marvin was my POV character. He was just a nerdy kid who was inspired by the heroes and actually got to hung out with them. That was me. Not the overly buff, super-powered Zann.

    And as for the twins themselves. Zan’s powers were nuts. He often became a bucket of water> Really? But then he could also become things like an ‘ice jet’, where he could rocket them places. How does that work?? And Shag, I was not the only one who saw those two and wondered if there were … ahem … ‘unnatural caresses’.

    Thanks for a fun episode. Listened on the way into work after the Patriots lost the super bowl. Got a little joy.

  4. Yea what we didn’t see is that the fire was really started by them fighting a wendigo.

    Also there is a cartoon for Supernatural it was made in Japan called “Supernatural: The Animation”
    and that shall never be mentioned again…

  5. This series was on when I was in 8th grade. I had watched the earlier iteration of Super Friends, but now I was a little older, had more Saturday morning responsibilities, and who-the-hell-were-these-purple-aliens? Where’s Wonder Dog? So, I watched it some, but not a lot. Besides, Bugs Bunny was my preferred viewing and took precedence. HOWEVER, I distinctly remember that little tip about gently pulling your upper eyelid over your lower eyelid to flush things out of your eye! But, I contend it was Superman, not Aquaman. Of course, they could have made more than one.
    By the late seventies, the recession was strong. Maybe factories eliminated their second shift. First shift 7-3, second shift 3-11. Also, drag races; Happy Days was concurrently a huge hit show, and Grease the movie was imminent!

  6. This is the version of Super Friends I first remember watching religiously. I still remember all the segments from this episode as well, especially the plant creatures. They were very Creepshow, Rob! It was Creepshow Weekend on the network!

    Rob mentioned 100 page giant, but I was thinking Dollar Comic from this same era. Of course SF actually ran an hour the next year, too. One half hour was The Challenge, and one was the classic 5 SF with the Twins.

    And speaking of the Twins…they win. They have powers. They need to be acclimated to Earth culture. It makes sense they are there. Wendy and Marvin? Okay, Wendy seems very bright. Marvin is the evil Snapper Carr from a parallel universe. I love and respect Frank Welker, but that was his most annoying voice. Ye Gods.

    I will admit Zan’s use of his water powers was pretty lame, but overall, the Twins win. Wendy and Jayna may make the best combo though. And I have nothing against either Wonder Dog or Gleek.

    My Dad’s shift at the factory he worked at ended at 3, but there were three shifts. But, maybe this factory just had one shift?

    Nice to see the more Irredeemable version of Shag return…I suppose. He’s been far too PC lately. Makes me nervous.

    Very fun show guys. Maybe we should take turns on the network covering SF episodes on Saturday Morning Fever. You know that show we have dedicated to cartoons like this? It’s a shame we don’t put out more episodes. That theme song is the best one on the entire network!

    Chris

  7. While I was never much into the Super Friends cartoons this did make me think to see if my son would like it. Which he did and wants to see more. So basically it will be your guys fault for him being hooked on it.

  8. I didn’t really start reading comics until I was in middle school. Therefore, the Super Friends (along with the 70s Wonder Woman and 60s Batman series) were my window into the DC universe. I have the first two seasons on DVD (just got Season 3, i.e., Challenge of the Super Friends, over the weekend) and watched them repeatedly with my daughter, when she was a bit younger. The decoder clue segments were a big hit with her, and she would work hard to solve the clues before the answer was revealed.

    When it comes to Wendy and Marvin vs Zan and Jayna, I vote for ditching the doofus boys and making Wendy and Jayna the new teen team.

  9. Great episode! I loved the Super Friends as a kid growing up in the 70s. I waited all week for Saturday morning cartoons. Once the show became reruns I asked “how can I get more of this?” One day I spotted the spinner rack and I was hooked. BTW, consider that Aquaman made it on the show before Flash and GL.
    And the Wonder Twins are definitely better than Wendy and Marvin, but not much. However, we can all agree Snapper Carr sucks.

  10. One of the great things about Superfriends is that it’s accessible to children without parents having to worry about death or dismemberment. My girlfriend’s kids (ages 5 and 7) are crazy about superheroes, but a lot of the media available now isn’t really for them. One day, I brought over a Superfriends DVD and they loved it. Mom loved it too because it was full of superhero action and solving problems without punching people.

    If you haven’t seen it already, check out Will Rodgers’ The Ultimate Super Friends Companion. Both volumes are a good, exhaustive look at the TV series and even delve into the comic series.

    As for Wendy/Marvin vs. The Wonder Twins, I like them both. However, Wonder Dog wins out over all of them.

  11. Zan and Jayna all the way, baby.

    Great episode, guys. I bought this season on dvd a few years back and boy did it bring back memories. I, like Rob, also learned how to approach a dog from the Super Friends—which is a good thing considering my dogs are both insane.

    Love you guys! Thanks for keeping the joy alive!

  12. Wonderful show, sirs.

    For a brilliant, highly detailed Super Friends index in book form, I highly recommend “The Ultimate Super Friends Companion” books by Will Rodgers. One volume covers the 1970s seasons and the other the 1980s.

  13. While CotSF is the best, this season of SF is very special to me because of the guest stars. I enjoyed those stories so much, giving a hint of the broader DC Universe in the days before I started collecting the comics. Lots of joy to be had.

    Ah, those safety/craft segments were a delight. They must have rotated them in several shows, because I remember them better than the main stories. Gotta love when the networks were required to have some “education” programming, like the immortal Schoolhouse Rock.

    So I’ll ask here. Did the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure have team-up shorts? I only saw the show once or twice, but I clearly remember a Flash/Atom team-up. And my YouTube skills are failing me.

    I never understood why Zan didn’t use his zero-gravity power. You know, when they’d activate their powers, and Zan’s upper body would stay perfectly still while his legs did grasshopper jumps? I mean, it’s gotta be a superpower, cuz that just ain’t natural. But hey, I’ll take one of those Teen Trouble Alert wrist radios!

    Back when Cartoon Network was starting their Adult Swim programming, they had shorts redoing the Wonder Twins stories with hilariously tragic results, including “Drag Race”. I found those just *fine* on YouTube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qE_bI5WWr0

  14. Great episode! I’d love more of these. I love the Superfriends in all of it’s incarnations. For me it’s definitely Wendy and Marvin. The Wonder Twins always annoyed me.

  15. As far as not using Scarecrow , I know that the entire first season of Superfriends, with Wendy and Marvin, used misguided people with good intentions as the protagonists. I think this season may have broken with that but if this was still early on in the season maybe they hadn’t gone to using villainous villains yet.

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