Show Reviews (2)
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There were many incarnations of the Superfriends, but smack in the middle was "The World's Greatest Superfriends," which I think was the greatest of them all.
Although there were only eight episodes in this series of the Superfriends, I think it had the best writing. Although Challenge of the Superfriends was cool, I grew tired of seeing our heroes fight the same criminals over and over again. All the plots pretty much followed the same template of the Legion of Doom causing trouble, catching the Superfriends off guard, and eventually falling to the Superfriends in the end. But The World's Greatest Superfriends had fresh stories and ideas, different villains each time, and was even a little darker.
By far, my favorite episode is "Universe of Evil." This is a bone-chilling episode that shows how super powers can be manipulated in the hands of the bad guys. The Super Enemies in the evil universe were downright ruthless, although deliciously entertaining. When I saw this for the first time as an eight year old, I was fascinated buy this darker side of the Superfriends. I couldn't get Batman's red batsuit out of my mind. The best part about the episode is nobody really wins. The two Supermans go back to their respective universes, but nothing changed. The writers left this wide open for a sequel episode. In fact, when my wife watched it with me recently, she thought the ending was only half-way through the episode. It's a true shame we didn't see if Superman was true to his word to go back to "clean up" the evil universe, but makes a golden opportunity for some fan fiction.
Another of my favorite episodes is "The Superfriends Meet Frankenstein." Again, we see a darker episode with the frightening creature created from the powers of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. I had nightmares about that guy! Being a fan of Robin, it was great to finally see the Boy Wonder step out of the shadows and save the day as Super Robin!
Each episode was unique and had its own flavor, and as a great nod to continuity, Stanley Jones reprised the role of Lex Luthor from Challenge of the Superfriends. I really believe The World's Greatest Superfriends brought the greatness of the writers and producers to the pinnacle of the franchise in these eight episodes. Hopefully, they will be released on DVD, because they really are the World's Greatest!
World's Greatest SuperSeries !!! :D
This was the fourth or fiftth incarnation of the Super Friends (or SuperFriends ?). I never got to watch any of the others - except for some shorts from the 1980-1983 era on Youtube (these are pretty entertaining TBH) - and I got the DVD of this season (this long-awaited DVD finally came out in 2013 for the record) from a friend.
So this series only had 8 episodes, but they are full half-hour episodes and not a bunch of shorts put together like other incarnations of the show. The show sees our heroes (Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Wonder Twins and space-monkey Gleek) fight evil - as expected - but here, there's a twist: most of the episodes refer to famous works of literature or fiction like Aladdin, Frankenstein, the Arthurian Legends, Lord Of The Ring or The Wizard Of Oz. An episode also shows an equivalent of the comics' Earth-Three, the Earth where the Justice League are criminals under the name of "Crime Syndicate".
Verdict: this is some good stuff, campy at points, but really entertaining and quite well written. I definitely loved seeing what they did with those stories and how they integrated the superheroes. Wonder if it made any kid out there want to check out the original works.moreless