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The last incarnation of “The Super Friends” and surprisingly one of the best.

DVD Review: The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians

Written by Hombre Divertido

Debuting in September of 1985, Galactic Guardians was the last incarnation of The Super Friends and surprisingly one of the best.

The Super Friends had premiered twelve years earlier, and had been through some changes that resulted in some sad efforts, but Galactic Guardians was an attempt to allow the show to grow up with the viewers that had invested their time over the past twelve years, and for the most part it succeeds. It clearly laid the groundwork for some of the more cutting-edge shows featuring DC superheroes that would follow.

Sadly the show lasted for only one season. All 10 episodes are available on this new DVD release, and as in any series, there are some gems here, with a few clunkers. What may have hurt this show is that the first episode that aired “The Seeds of Doom” was pretty rough. Though it contains the origin of Cyborg, and origin stories are always a huge hit with fans, the episode is not as visually appealing as the rest, the sound quality is poor, and the storytelling is awkward.

Investing in all ten episodes is well worth the time, as there are some wonderfully crafted episodes here such as “The Wild Cards,” which has the nostalgic feel of an original Super Friends story to it, or episodes with more depth such as “The Fear” that deals with the origin of Batman, and “The Death of Superman” that deals with…well, you probably figured it out. It is episodes like this that may have been too violent for the Saturday morning crowd. Though appealing to the viewers that had grown up with The Super Friends, said viewers had probably moved on from Saturday morning cartoons. Had this show aired in an era where it could have appeared on The Cartoon Network in the evening hours, it quite possibly would have lasted longer. Though not up to the level of the current Justice League animated series from a storytelling perspective, it does posses superior qualities.

Where this series and many other such efforts did fail was in giving the viewers what they wanted: More superheroes. In these ten episodes we get plenty of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the two new team members Firestorm and Cyborg, but little of anyone else. This is supposed to be a team, and though The Flash is featured prominently on the cover, he has one line in the ten episodes. Also neglected or virtually overlooked are Aquaman, The Green Lantern, and Hawkman. The series also is far too limited in its selection of villains, as Darkseid is featured too often. Taking the team into space for many of the episode should have opened up more storylines than it did.

The series does boast an amazing vocal talent pool including Adam West, Casey Kasem, Ernie Hudson, Rene Auberjonois, Danny Dark, B.J. Ward, and many more.

The only bonus in the set is a short featurette containing interviews with the writers and artists that worked on the show. Though informative, it seems thrown together and a bit self-serving. The show is good, and this piece could have and should have gone deeper.

Recommendation: This is good stuff, and just hearing The Super Friends music, which remains in this series, will give you a hankering for a bowl of cereal. For a fan of DC Superheroes, this is a great addition to any collection. For someone not as familiar, this would be a great place to start developing an appreciation.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS

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