As some if you may know, I’ve been very ill for the last three weeks. From head cold to stomach flu and back to head cold, it seems that health is a far and distant thing. As such, my wife was kind enough to treat me to a special gift in the form of the Super Friends Lost Episodes DVD. Probably a little too much info for a lead in, but I do want to add that this was the perfect antidote for my sickness.
Super Friends is by far the most popular animated version of any comic book superheroes ever. Running from 1973 until 1986, it is also one of the longest running cartoons as well. Featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the series also saw its share of guest stars and introduced many children glued to their TV sets to the wild world of DC Comics superheroes. The ‘Lost Episodes’ of Super Friends were produced for transmission in 1983 but never seen on American TV. Finally released on DVD, fans can at last have some closure. I have seen almost all of the Super Friends cartoons from my childhood and while my memory is hazy it is proving more or less accurate as I review the cartoons as an adult.
I was certainly not prepared for the sheer insanity that is the Lost Episodes as I popped the first disc in my player and my jaw dropped.
Check this out…
As you can see, Batman and Superman are attempting to stop a runaway meteor when they get sucked into a spacewarp taking them to another dimension. In this alternate reality, the Super Friends are actually animals. When the pair of heroes infringe on the alternate Earth, they are stopped cold by Super Frog, Octoman and Hippo Hulk.
A kind of Octopus-themed version of Batman, Octoman captures the Batplane in the snare of a kind of Octopus Plane. Superman tries to intervene and gets tangled into a fight that us far more than he was prepared for. Super Frog is an obvious alternate version of Superman only he has various super powers such as the ability to create a force field. Superman attempts to save face by saying that ‘somehow’ he cannot break free of his opponent’s hold, but Super Frog is quick to point out that NO ONE is stronger than him.
Hippo Hulk cleans up from there.
The pair of heroes are taken back to the super animals’ lair and shot with a ray that transforms them into animal versions of themselves. In Batman’s case, this means he is transformed into a Bat creature but Superman becomes an eagle for some unclear reason. Watching them converse calmly about the situation is just insane.
Thanks to some convoluted solution involving a remote control device linked to the Batplane, the heroes escape and are somehow able to travel back to their own reality, leaving behind the strange super animals once and for all. They seem hardly shaken by the experience but given the downright bizarre lifestyle they have, I guess it should come as no surprise. While the writing was inspired and inventive, I was especially impressed by the character designs of these new creations of Super Frog, Octoman and Hippo Hulk.
Also… who was Hippo Hulk a version of?