Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cool Superhero Cartoons

From Filmations Teen Titans shorts, Speedy and Wonder Girl

Here's an interesting fact.

Long before classic heroes, Wonder Woman and Green Arrow ever made their first filmed appearances, their teenage sidekicks, Speedy and Wonder Girl were actively kicking butt every Saturday as part of the rotating cast of character on CBS's televisions Superman / Aquaman Hour.

With the huge success of televisions Batman, DC was anxious to get as many of their characters on the air as possible. So along with the exciting adventures of Superman, and his whole cast, along with Aquaman, Aqualad and Tusky the Walrus, the show also had shorts with numerous DC stars. The Atom, Flash, Hawkman and Green Lantern all got their adventures plus a few team-ups as the Justice League.

On top of that they also had several adventures with the Teen Titans.

With Robin not available because of licensing, sometime Titan and long time Green Arrow sidekick was picked as a substitute, and regular member Wonder Girl was part of the team, even though Wonder Woman was apparently not around because the producers of Batman were shopping a pilot around about the Avenging Amazon.

I know, how could something this wonderfully cheesy not get picked up for a full series, or even a pilot.

So there you were with the Titans, made up of Speedy, Wonder Girl, Aqualad and an badly miscolored Kid Flash having adventures years before their mentors ever made it to the television screen.

Of course when Wonder Woman did make her television premiere, it was in a most surprising place....

Yes, local librarian Diana Prince and her secret identity of Wonder Woman came to the aid of none other than the Brady Kids.

Of course a few years later when Green Arrow finally made an appearance on the Super Friends, they sort of got him confused with the Atom.

Filmations quality really varied from some very well done material to absolute dreck, but I think they hit a real high point late in the studios history when they made a straight forward adaptation of Captain Marvel featuring almost the entire Shazam cast.

First rate animation for the era, plus great tongue in cheek scripts taken from the original material made for a really fun cartoon.

I know it's getting off topic here but there is one other Filmation cartoon I wanted to mention even though it isn't really superhero based, but I was a huge fan of the late 1960's series, Fantastic Voyage, based on the Asimov film of the same name.

It was a nice looking series with a James Bond twist and well worth a look.

That's it for now.

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