Thursday, May 24, 2012

Challenge of the Super Friends, Episode 5

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Episode 5: "Trial of the Super Friends"

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This episode of Challenge of the Superfriends opens not in the murky swamp that is the home of the Legion of Doom, but outside a top secret laboratory.

Inside the lab two scientists are working on an experimental material called Liquid Light, which potentially solve the world's energy problems (haven't these guys heard of The Tesseract?). Thankfully, the lab is being protected by several members of the Super Friends:
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Of course, the Legion of Doom isn't far away, as well. A few miles away, Brainiac, The Cheetah, and The Scarecrow are working on a nefarious plot:
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The first part of the Legion of Doom's plan involved a brazen, frontal assault: The Cheetah trying to break her way into the lab! Via security cameras, the Super Friends see this and Wonder Woman heads out to stop her.

Using some holographic duplicates, The Cheetah lures Wonder Woman away from the lab, ending with the Amazing Amazon barely escaping with her life. What she doesn't realize is that The Cheetah's real plan wasn't the Liquid Light, or Wonder Woman herself; no, it was Diana's Magic Lasso!

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As we can see here, The Scarecrow doesn't get too worked up over any of this stuff.

Anyway, parts two and three of the plan are executed, which end with Brainiac nabbing Green Lantern's Power Ring and The Scarecrow getting away with Batman and Robin's utility belts. Our heroes meet up again to discuss what happened, only to be whisked away by the Legion of Doom via a tractor beam, which sucks them up into their flying HQ!

It is here that the Super Friends are put on trial for "crimes against the Legion of Doom", which, if you follow the logic, they actually are guilty of. Luthor goes all out, donning judge's robes:
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Meanwhile, Bizarro and Black Manta abscond with the Liquid Light, since it is now unprotected. But the experimental material proves tricky to handle, since it's able to melt nearly everything it touches!

Eventually, the rest of the Super Friends back at the Hall of Justice notice that their fellow members have been missing for a while:

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Superman, The Flash, and Black Vulcan decide to investigate, leaving the other members to "monitor the Trouble Alert."

The Liquid Light has now eaten its way through its container, and is tearing through the countryside, destroying everything in its path, leaving our heroes stymied over what to do:
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Meanwhile, up inside the Legion of Doom's HQ the kidnapped heroes are convicted of their crimes (if the Bat Glove fits, you must acquit), and face their punishment: battling robot duplicates of themselves, who possess their super-powered accessories! The four heroes are beamed down to face their dopplegangers, leaving Superman and the others to stop the Liquid Light.

Our kidnapped heroes manage to defeat their robot duplicates, taking back their stolen items. The Flash figures out a way to stop the Liquid Light, and then the Super Friends turn their attention towards the Legion of Doom. Bizarro and Black Manta are immobilized, but then are rescued by their fellow bad guys, leaving the Super Friends once again to promise that they'll catch them for good, one day:
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...The End, for now!


From a Super Friends standpoint, this was an okay episode, not particularly better or worse than any of the others. The whole trial angle is only a very minor part of the episode; though it does show that the Legion of Doom have a flair for the theatrical.

From an Aquaman standpoint, though, this is a horrible episode: he gets one line in the Hall of Justice, and that's it. Obviously if you're producing animation on a very limited budget, you use as few characters as possible; nevertheless it seems funny that a horribly destructive force is eating its way across the land, but half a dozen members of the Super Friends choose to stay behind and man the phones.

This episode's Aqua-Content: Low

1 comment:

Earth 2 Chris said...

The thing that stood out to me in this episode was the shadowing in the liquid light scenes. This one of the only times I saw this used on an SF cartoon. For a brief second, the SF look like they could have come from BTAS or another Timm-driven show!

Chris