As I waded through the various 80's cartoons I wanted to ultimately own on DVD, I came to the series, Super Friends. Having missed out on this one as a kid, and only seeing them in my adult years, I was a little confused by how this whole series worked. One minute there were all-new teenagers and their dog, the next the Wonder Twins. Firestorm and Cyborg were there for some episodes, and then gone in the next. In short, it was a big mess in my mind.
Digging into the numerous sets out there, I ultimately decided to take the plunge and just buy them all. While I mainly wanted to focus on the 80's portion of the show, I still do enjoy cartoons of all eras, and this one didn't seem like a bad one to own in its entirety. However, this brought with it a new level of challenge. A Challenge of the Super Friends if you will.
My initial search dug up around fifteen different DVD sets, each of varying sizes (in terms of discs), and titles. However, none of them stated the order in which they went. Searching Wikipedia didn't help this matter either, as while I found episode lists and series by season, these weren't equating entirely to the DVD's.
Well, today I'm going to answer the question nobody is asking. "Do I need to buy every DVD with the name Super Friends on it, and even if not, which ones do I need to encompass the entire series?" Additionally, part two of the question I'm answering is, "What order do the DVD's I do need go in?"
To answer these questions, I'm going to list out the DVD's you'll need to encompass the entire series of the Super Friends cartoon. In doing so, I'm going to list them in the order of the DVD, explaining what content you'll find within it. Any DVD not on this list is optional, as it contains specific episodes that you'll find encased within all of these.
Out of all the releases available, this was the only one for me that was a no brainer, and made immediate sense to me. Season one had sixteen episodes, and between these two sets, you'll find all of them. Each set contains two DVD's, and each DVD contains four episodes in sequential order.
Season one is noteworthy, if you can call it that, for being the only series of episodes to feature the human friends, and pseudo Super Friends, Marvin, Wendy and their dog aptly named Wonder Dog. It was originally aired between September of 1973 through December of that same year.
It took four years before the series would return, and when it did, the title for season two was changed to The All-New Super Friends Hour. It aired from September 1977 to December 1977, and deviated from the initial run by doing away with single episode adventures, instead opting to incorporate three shorter segments into each hour.
With this all new iteration came the introduction of Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, and their monkey, Gleek. Additionally, it featured Apache Chief, Samuri and Black Vulcan.
The crazy titles get started here, and it only gets worse as we move down the line.
Challenge Of The Super Friends: The First Season is a very misleading
title. First and foremost, this is season three, overall, of the show
itself. Secondly, while this set contains sixteen episodes, it only
collects the half of each episode from said show.
Each episode of season three, which ran from September to December 1978, was broken down into two parts. The first half of the episode featured the typical flare of Super Friends in an all-new adventure. However, the second half, and far more popular segment focused only on the core Super Friends in their icon showdown against the Legion of Doom. The Wonder Twins were not included in this story line at all.
With this in mind, let's go back to the two DVD sets featured in this section. The first, Super Friends: Challenge Of The Super Friends features all sixteen of the second segments from season three, showcasing the Super Friends against the Legion of Doom. However, to obtain the first segment from each episode, you would need to obtain Super Friends Volume Two, where you'll find the remaining sixteen halves.
Based on the title of this set, one would be hard pressed to correlate it to being the complete fourth season of the show, which aired from September to November of 1979. However, this set does indeed contain all eight episodes.
However, it is worth noting that the season didn't consist of only eight episodes. It was padded with re-run segments, mostly from the All-New show. Though with that said, you won't find any repeat episodes on the DVD.
Again, the titles are confusing because they seem so irrelevant. Despite this, what these two DVD sets contain are seasons five and six.
It's interesting that at the bottom of the DVD, under the title, the cover likes to boast that it's twenty-four episodes (in the case of A Dangerous Fate) and eighteen (for Legacy Of The Super Powers), when in reality, season five was eight episodes cut into three segments (twenty-four), and season six was six episodes, also cut into three segments (eighteen). So to state that it's that many episodes is actually a lie.
But let's cut to the chase. A Dangerous Fate features all the episodes from season five, and Legacy Of Super Powers, features all the episodes from season six. These seasons initially aired from September to November 1980, and September to October 1981, respectively.
Okay, so here you have to ask yourself a question. Are you a completist? Or do you just want to watch the episodes that aired on television during the shows initial run? If you're the latter, you technically don't need this set. If you want the complete experience, then you absolutely do.
During 1982 - 1983 a Best of Super Friends series was being aired in syndication. While Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. were at work developing several episodes for season seven, they ultimately wouldn't get aired because the companies didn't want to compete with themselves and their highly popular re-runs. It's because of this that though these episodes were completed, they never got released in their entirety until this DVD set.
The eighth season of the show is one that many avid toy collectors will be familiar with for the famous Kenner toy line tie-in. It ran from September to October 1984, and is notable for featuring characters such as Firestorm, Brainiac, Lex Luthor, Mirror Master, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Darkseid, and his henchmen from Apokolips.
Once again, the DVD set boasts that it features sixteen episodes. However, the reality of the series is that each episode featured two segments, for a total of only eight. Regardless, the set contains season eight in its entirety.
Personally speaking, this was where I was going to start my Super Friends journey before deciding to just get the whole kit and caboodle.
The journey of the Super Friends ends with season nine, which aired from September to October 1985. While these final episodes focused primarily on Firestorm and Cyborg, several key villains also make appearances, such as, Joker, Penguin, the Royal Flush Gang, and Felix Faust. One particular episode is also noteworthy for including the origin of Batman.
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians DVD set puts a bow on the series, and wraps it up neatly for fans to end with. Compiled with the other sets, there are hundreds of Super Friends hours to enjoy. Well...Sometimes.
See, there is one major problem with Warner Bros. release of this series. Something that seems to be an issue with many of the compilation DVD's they have created for classic cartoon series. That problem is that many of the discs don't work.
While I'd love to tell you to rush out and grab these to enjoy this classic series, the truth of the matter is that several of the discs that I have personally purchased are missing episodes, and are defective in one way or another, impacting playback. This is not an issue limited strictly to me. Many reviews, on sites such as Amazon, state the woes of many buyer complaining about these same issues.
It's poor quality at its best, so bottom line, buyer beware.
Post a Comment