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DVD Review: The All New Super Friends Hour – Season 1, Vol. 2

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From 1973 to 1986, the animated adventures of DC Comics' Justice League of America aired on the ABC network under the name Super Friends. There were several different titles and formats, with most fans agreeing that Challenge of The Super Friends is the best incarnation of the series. However The All New Super Friends Hour is notable for introduced the Wonder Twins Zan and Jayna with their space monkey Gleek. Twins from the planet Exxor, they activate their powers by bumping fists and saying “Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!” Zan can become any water form including ice, while Jayna can become any animal. A bit silly, but this was 1970s animation and far from what we’re used to seeing today.

The All New Super Friends Hour premiered in 1977 and had four separate segments. The Super Friends primarily consisted of Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, along with new additions The Wonder Twins. The first story would have two heroes teaming up to stop some villain or evil scientist. Next would be a Wonder Twins solo adventure where they would deal with a teen crisis like hitchhiking or vandalism. The third story was the longest segment and had all of the Super Friends teaming up to stop some big menace. Finally the last story would have one of the five Super Friends teaming up with a special guest star whose powers are needed to save the day. Guest stars included included Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Rima the Jungle Girl, The Atom, Green Lantern, Samurai, and The Flash.

Also throughout the show were various bumpers where Super Friends gave out safety tips, decoded riddles, and did magic tricks. The magic tricks were always the best segment of these bumpers.

The show is a bit campy and cheesy, but it’s fun to get a big bowl of sugared cereal and remember when this was the highlight of Saturday mornings. Now that I’m “corrupting” my 2-year-old daughter with Super Friends among other animated series, I get a kick when she brings me the DVD box and says, “Watch Super Friends, Daddy!” I’ve almost got her to identify all the Super Friends and there’s just fun watching her watch the cartoons that I viewed growing up.

There’s only one short featurette, “The Wonder Twins Phenomenon: Zan and Jayna’s Impact on Pop Culture.” This extra isn’t really sure if it wants to be serious or poke fun at the cheesiness of the Twins. Commentators include comic creators Alex Ross and Paul Dini (who’s no stranger to the superhero cartoon) and co-hosts of G4's Attack of the Show whose hosts Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn have portrayed the Wonder Twins in sketches on their show. It’s a fun featurette, but I wish there were other extras included as in past Super Friends releases.

To date we now have the Challenge of The Super Friends, Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show – The Complete Series, Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians and with The All New Super Friends Hour Season 1, Vol. 2. There are still many more Super Friends episodes to be released and I look forward to watching them and enjoying them with my daughter.

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