The Lost Episodes
does a series like Super Friends end up with "lost
episodes"? It turns out that somewhere between adding characters
like Zan and Jayna and refreshing the series to tie in with
the Kenner Super Powers
action figures, a whole season was produced that ABC
didn't bother showing.
episodes made it into syndication, but they're a curious
bridge to DC superheroes getting a little more serious on
television. For the most part, they're not serious stories,
a hodge-podge of eight minute installments with little more
linking them than they're licensed DC characters. And then
near the end, continuity actually appears.
demise of the Legion of Doom in Challenge of the Super-Friends,
Lex Luthor and a few of his fiends disguise themselves as
a construction company to salvage their old headquarters.
For just one episode, it almost matters what order you watch
This looks to
be before producer/writer Alan Burnett joined the staff
and started nudging the show in a direction that would,
indirectly, pave the way for Paul Dini and Bruce Timm to
rock the world with Batman: The Animated Series.
As such, they're not always the most logically written,
but they're fun for younger kids.
Batman team up after Mr. Mxyzptlk kidnaps them into the
5th Dimension, where he sentences Superman to be a farmer.
It's as hard to fathom as it is to pronounce the imp's name.
But the World's Finest team gets the better of him, and
the episode could have fit anywhere in the evolution of
the Super-Friends, since no other characters from any of
the series appear.
In the wake
of this summer's Wonder Twins and Gleek action figure debacle,
I found it particularly poignant to see an episode featuring
Gleek's evil android duplicate. Created by Gorilla Grodd,
the little blue monkoid destroys the Super Friends, or at
least, that's what they want him to think. Then he goes
on to buy cases and cases of himself separate from the Wonder
Twin figures. At least, that's the sequel episode in my
The DVD set
comes with a downloadable and printable comic book, an interesting
extra. Downloading as a .pdf file in color, the comic features
the cover from the first issue of Super-Friends, with Wendy
and Marvin on the cover. The main story involves Doctor
Mist of the Global Guardians, and features Zan and Jayna
tracking down a mutated super-mole. Yes, this story was
once published by DC. And in a back-up slot, an Alex Toth-illustrated
story of Wendy and Marvin exploring the JLA satellite that
first appeared in the Super-Friends oversized DC Special.
that Warner does more packaging like that - there's a lot
of potential in the upcoming Batman: Brave and the Bold
collection having the first issue of the DC Kids' series
on hand. That's just one possibility; maybe there are more
lost episodes, or maybe it's time to just start repackaging
these cartoons with reminders that they all started with
those things called comic books.