ByRandy Micah Smith, writer at
I have a deep love for the superpowered, the superhuman and the supernatural. This translates not only to a deep and abiding love for ancien
Randy Micah Smith

I've been thinking about the Super Friends lately. Everybody remembers that show, right? Basically, a Hanna-Barbera TV incarnation of the Justice League, with a couple heroes added in, taken out, replaced, etc.

Now, when we think back to the Super Friends, what do we think of? Aquaman riding on giant seahorses, Wonder Woman riding around in an "invisible" (really, transparent) jet and the Wonder Twins' shapeshifting powers being used for the most absurd combinations, each of which attempting to make the lame, the mundane or the absurd seem cool. This was undoubtedly a result of the times, when weed, coke and heroin were gaining popularity. Honestly, I can think of no other explanation or justification.

Though, in my opinion, that name didn't deserve to be retired from the DC Universe. Okay, so bear with me, before shooting down the idea as crazy or silly or absurd.

Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, The Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Static Shock, Legion of Super-Heroes, Teen Titans and Young Justice have all attempted (and, in my opinion, succeeded) at making DC superheroes very palatable to the youth and young-adult demographic that they played to. They were pretty mature for the age groups to which they appealed (in that they dealt with real issues, like violence, political corruption, murder, etc), but were also very exciting and fun.

On the other hand, it seems that many of today's cartoons are focusing more and more on younger kids (just at the pre-teen threshold and below). So, if anybody has seen the current way cartoons are going, things may seem a tad bleak. Though, this could easily be resolved by a bit of demographic adjustment. Not that the Teen Titans need to be taken down to kid level (as has been done in Teen Titans Go!) or that we have to go back to the days of Aquaman skiing on the backs of dolphins, but what if 'The Super Friends' had a show similar to the aforementioned 'Teen Titans Go!'?

Still, I don't think the team should involve the mainstream DC heroes at all (NONE from the Justice League, Teen Titans, etc), and not even the B-list heroes like the secondary cast from the Justice League, or the Hanna-Barbera heroes (Wonder Twins, Apache Chief, Samurai, Eldorado, Rima the Jungle Girl, etc)--those, I think should be revamped and given new life of their own in the mainstream, because their powers and stories really do have potential. No, instead, I think we should take the very obscure heroes--those who maybe don't already have team affiliations (and could thus be believably be put onto a team together) or that have many team affiliations, but nowhere that they're solidly known as being part of. Ambush Bug would be a great example.

I think that would be cool for the little ones. It would introduce them to the DC universe's style of hero-villain conflict, and also give the DC folks a chance to breathe new life into obscure characters that otherwise would just fade into oblivion. Best of all, those supers not meant to be taken seriously, anyhow, and so their reputations would remain unharmed by the silliness of the show that features them (unlike poor, poor Aquaman...).

Put a group of obscure, unknown misfits together into a goofy and immature, but totally competent team, with exciting stories for young viewers. THAT would make for a really fun team of Super Friends. And leave the more serious teams, to be featured in more serious shows. I mean, come on DC, you have so many heroes and villains to work with (just as many as Marvel, and WAY more than most others), it's really something of a shock that this hasn't already become a thing by now.


What to do with the 'Super Friends' Label?


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