Why “Super Friends” Sucks

I was watching “Super Friends” with Island Boy the other day.  Unconsciously, I began a running commentary on how disappointing the show is.  I mean, when I was a kid, that show had such promise — almost all of the world’s super heroes coming together in friendship to defeat evil.  An amalgamation of their super powers.  Come on, what could be better?

It turns out that lots of stuff could be better.  In fact, “Super Friends” is anything but that. It’s a collection of super lameitude.

Before long, I realized that Subway Dude and The Fashionista had joined me in casting aspersions on the cartoon.  It was all very entertaining.

Even for Island Boy.  Except that the show was entertaining in an entirely different manner.  For a little boy, “Super Friends” rocks because good and evil are clearly delineated.  In a world in which much is confusing (particularly if you’re new to American mass-culture), the Friends make sense.

Here are some of our observations:

Are they really such good friends?  I think not.  I can’t see Batman and Superman ever catching a game together.  How about Robin and The Green Lantern shooting pool?  You would certainly never see Aquaman putting the moves on Wonder Woman.

No way.  These guys don’t even use their first names with each other.  Here’s a snippet of convo:

Batman:  Here Superman, use this ultra-radiation laser that I brought in my utility belt.

Superman: Thank you, Batman.  I’m much obliged.

Come on, if they were such good friends, don’t you think they’d bust out “Bruce” and “Clark”?  They might even come up with nicknames, and rank each other out:

Hey Fat Man, those tights are looking a little too tight.

Thanks, Stuperman.  Ya think you could’ve avoided using “tight” twice in the same sentence, Head of Steel?

Some background please.  We all know how each of the Super Friends became super.  But, how did they become friends?  Were they probies together at the academy?  Did Superman save Batman one night after the Caped Crusader had a few too many and rolled the Batmobile?  And you just know that Wonder Woman slept around back in her early days.  But with whom?

The Legion

The Bad Guys.  Yeah, the baddies aren’t exactly rock ‘n roll.  But, I think I’d much rather hang with them then with the Friends.  In fact, much to Island Boy’s consternation, while watching the show, the teenagers and I found ourselves rooting for the wrong side.

Lex Luthor, Solomon Grundy, Cheetah, Black Manta, Toyman, Bizarro, The Riddler, Brainiac, Captain Cold and The Scarecrow.  Together they are the Legion of Doom.

These guys know how to party.  They’ve got nothing else to do but sit around and hatch evil plots.  These plans are much more intricate than the spur-of-the-moment improvisations that the Friends pull out of their butts to foil evil.

And, after all the mischief, these villains always get away in the end.  There’s no question in my mind that they are more clever than the Super Heroes.

But, do they really need the costumes?  How about blending into society a little better between gigs?  Alter egos might help.

Dumb Friends.  These characters really are dolts.  They are so gullible.  Superman in particular.  You can trick him with a handkerchief and a shiny pocket watch.  Next thing you know, he’s wearing a necklace festooned with Krytonite bling.

The Fashionista is particularly enamored of the fact that, most of the time, the bad guys conceal themselves behind rocks a very short distance from the simple traps they lay out for the Heroes.  The villains must piss themselves watching this all unfold.  But, presumably over time, they become bored at how easily their foe fall for the same tired tricks over and over again.

This would be so cool.

For, the Friends get outfoxed every week.  It’s not until the final three minutes that they even begin to come up with a workable plan.

Why not just plan ahead?  The Friends know that sooner or later the evil doers are going to come at them from the hip.  Instead, they don’t even change into their costumes until the shizzit hits the fan.

How ’bout this, guys: one Super Friend is on duty at the Hall of Justice each night keeping watch.  That way, you all can take turns while attempting to keep some semblance of a normal life.

What about coming up with plans beforehand and writing them down?  After all, your mission is kind of important.  That’s what the Army does.  Maybe the Friends can take some crappy training courses in hot, smelly WWII barracks in Virginia in July.  That’s what I had to do.  I mean, even the Boy Scouts are more prepared than these jokers.

What’s with SF’s voices?  Why so emphatic?  Why do they over-enunciate so?  It’s as if they were oldies station DeeJays with sticks up their asses.  In fact, Casey Kasem is the voice of Robin.

Hawkman

The second tier of friends.  There’s a definite hierarchy of Super Friends.  We all know who the top dogs are.  But, then there are the lesser heroes who have been brought in essentially to round out the field.

Hawkman?  Apache Chief?  Black Vulcan?  What schmoes!  Watching them you get the feeling that Superman and Batman let these guys hang out with them just so that these lesser players can do the dirty work — like sweeping up at the Hall or waxing the Batmobile.

Robin must feel really good about himself when he stands next to El Dorado.

Left behind.  And what about those Super Heroes who didn’t get the invite?  Spider Man must be all “whatever.”

Where do they go for vacation?  There’s no place where the Friends can go for a little R & R.  Majorca?  Bimini?  Kauai?  Forget about it.  If evil rears it’s ugly head → it’s back to the old grindstone.

I saw one episode where the bad guys sliced the moon in half.  Batman and Superman had to fix it.  I was wondering: is the moon really within their jurisdiction?  It just seems a bit far to me.

The Hall of Justice.  What a freaking dump!  It looks like an abandoned WPA train station.

Think about it: the illustrators of this show didn’t have to actually build an opulent Hall.  They didn’t even have to put together a set.  All they had to do was draw something cool.  Super Fail!

The Hall of Justice just adds to the overall dinginess of the cartoon.  The producers were too cheap to have the shadows drawn in.  This project is just a half-step above those old Flintstone cartoons where Fred and Barney used to run past the same background scene over and over again.

When I go to court in Rochester, the building is called (without a smidge of irony) “The Hall of Justice.”  Even this 1950s bland, concrete courthouse is way cooler than the Super Friends’ hangout.

— The Major

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6 responses to this post.

  1. i gotta a few DVD full of that stuff. If you really want to much your brain watch 4 episodes of Super Friends in a row.

    Reply

  2. Actually, the Hall of Justice was modeled after the Union Station in Cincinnati: http://boingboing.net/2009/03/25/inspiration-for-supe.html

    Reply

  3. Posted by Andrew Glenn on December 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Sooo bad. At least the comics this show was based on in the 60’s were action-packed and even though they were cheesy, they were still true to the DC characters. Wonder Woman could tell her lasso to move on its own like a snake-charmer? The Invisble Jet had magic lasso projectiles? Aquaman, aside from how laughable the show has made him become, couldnt use his telepathy on a seaweed holding him, he had to summon marine life from elsewhere? And how about GL? Let’s create a “Lantern-Plane”, even though I can already fly. So freaking bad

    Reply

    • Posted by Dan on January 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Fine that’s your own opinion, but the Superfriends cartoon was very entertaining, even though they had limit resurrection, especially with parental approved content.

      Anyway no offense but putting so bad at the beginning is really lame (which I’m guessing you are).

      Reply

  4. Who ever wrote those things about the super friends being sucky , in my opinion you are wrong.The super friends are amazing and for your information Hawkman is my favorite superhero of all time and they did not invited Spiderman over because the Super friends are D.C nation and spiderman is Marvel.Oh yeah and the are no longer called the Superfriends they are now called the Justice league.And the did not join in as friends the join in as great heroes ready th fight evile and the Hall of justice does not look like an abandoned WPA.

    Reply

  5. 2 of the words I spelled up on top of this comment might be wrong

    Reply

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