Thursday, March 28, 2013
I was recently inspired to compare the various credit sequences from JLA shows, which is easier if they're all on one page, like this one right here in front of you...
The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure Justice League of America segment (1967) ran just three installments. Hawkman is clearly no substitute for Batman.
Super Friends (1973–1974) ran for 16 hour long episodes played seemingly endlessly for forty years now. That's right, it's the fortieth anniversary of SuperFriends. This is what half a lifetime ago looked like, as defined by Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog. So remember now, Earth's greatest heroes are Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Aquaman. Put that in your web-shooter and snikt it.
The All-New Super Friends Hour (1977-1978) was an hour short of matching the original run's length. The Wonder Woman TV show's success helped spur the revival, which proved much more popular than the original run. I would not extend overly much credit to the Wonder Twins.
Challenge of the Super Friends (1978) got rid of the pesky kids and reversed the policy of very sporadic appearances by occasional super-villains in favor of the thirteen member Legion of Doom turning up for all of the 16 produced hour-long episodes.
The World's Greatest Super Friends (1979-1980) was a real backslide, replacing the Legion of Doom with cheesy Filmation originated threats and restoring the Wonder Twins & Gleek to prominence while ignoring the minority heroes from previous seasons. There were only 8 half-hour episodes.
Super Friends (1980-1982) returned to the international flavored League for 22 hours over three seasons. Most were just seven minute segments, and were buoyed by reruns laced into the hour.
Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984-1985) only produced eight half-hour episodes, divided into ten minute segments. Firestorm and the minions of Darkseid were the draws.
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985-1986) offered another eight half-hours, and this one time I mean the stories ran the full length of the show. Cyborg was introduced, and this was the only season to forgo narration.
Justice League (2001-2004) is generally considered the best and longest continuously produced JLA cartoon. It was also the first to feature founding Leaguer Martian Manhunter (unless El Dorado was an alias or something.) This does not make up for the horrible CGI animation in the first season opener. 52 episodes were produced across two "seasons" before rebranding.
Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006) ran an additional three "seasons" of 39 total episodes. This was more like a DC Universe series than a League specific one, and was therefore more awesome than ever.