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Friday, June 20, 2014

Challenge of the Super Friends, Episode 9

Episode 9: "Revenge on Gorilla City"

We were talking about how last week's episode of the show, "Secret Origins of the Super Friends", felt ripped from the comics. Hanna-Barbera does it again this week when the Super Friends venture to...Gorilla City!
This episode opens in Africa, where Legion of Doom member Gorilla Grodd is lurking outside Gorilla City, his former home. Grodd uses a doohickey to cut a hole in the city's glass dome, where pumps a fear toxin (gee, wonder where he got that?) into the city, causing the apes who reside there to panic in terror. The leader of Gorilla City, Solovar, catches Grodd and has him teleported out of the normally-peaceful city once again.

Grodd is zapped back to right outside the Legion of Doom's HQ (gee, Solovar, you couldn't have made it any easier for him, could you?), where the other members mock Grodd's latest failure. But when Brainiac announces his work on a Brain Wave Amplifier, Grodd realizes it's the perfect tool to take over Gorilla City! The Legion's HQ flies to Africa, where they make a frontal assault:
Grodd then plugs Brainiac's weapon into the city's main communication center, and aims it at his fellow gorillas. Solovar teleports himself to the Hall of Justice, where the Super Friends are watching this really cool Superman show:
The Super Friends (well, some of them) and Solovar head to Africa. The Legion of Doom order the gorillas to attack, which distract our heroes long enough for Black Manta to zap them into paralysis with yet another fancy weapon. Luthor then hits Batman, Robin, The Flash, and Apache Chief with a Power Nutralizer, which removes their super powers! (Sure, Batman and Robin don't have super powers, so their utility belts are rendered useless)

The Legion of Doom then release the heroes into the wild, only to hunt them down, Most Dangerous Game-style. Meanwhile, the gorillas attack a nearby town, the first step to world domination, Things seem to be going pretty bad!

The Super Friends are captured, and about to be dumped into a nearby river. Solovar interferes, rescuing them. They send a message out to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Black Vulcan ("Green Lantern and the others can take care of Galaxy 13!" WW mentions). The Man of Steel goes after Black Manta and Toyman, only to be scared off by a Kryptonite toy airplane.

Solovar and the other get the drop on the Legion, who are just lounging around Gorilla City. They turn off the mind control device, returning the apes to normal. The Legion of Doom is defeated once again, and are about to be put on trial in Gorilla City. But of course Luthor has a plan--their HQ swings by, shoots a beam at them, and they disappear, leaving the Super Friends stymied:
Sure, the Legion of Doom may still be out there, but so will be...the Super Friends!

This was one of my least favorite episodes of Challenge to this point, mainly because even as a kid I found Gorilla City just this side of Too Silly to really get into (I guess I was an exception to Julius Schwartz's maxim that gorilla cover sold comics). Add to the fact that Aquaman does not appear at all in the show, and you've got a recipe for boredom.

That said, my favorite moment--and it's a hilarious one--from the series is in this episode. It goes by in a, er, flash: after conquering Gorilla City, the Legion of Doom is just sitting around, doing nothing. A quick pan reveals that Bizarro, the Riddler, and Captain Cold are playing cards, while Scarecrow just takes a nap:
I really would have loved to have seen Bizarro slam his cards down and go: "No pairs, no Straight, no high cards. Bizarro win!"

This episode's Aqua-Content: Non-Existent



Anthony said...

Wonder what Aquaman was doing in this "Galaxy 13"...

Earth 2 Chris said...

I always liked Grodd on Super Friends (more than the comic version, really), almost entirely due to his great, slurpy, growly voice. I didn't find out until recently that Grodd was played by Stanley Ralph Ross, who wrote many of the best 60s Batman tv episodes, AND wrote the pilot film for Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman series!


tuskythewalrus said...

The funny thing about some of the challenge episodes, is that Black Manta has a higher presence in some shows. Its weird how wrters found stuff for him to do but couldnt even fit in an Aquaman cameo.

Anthony said...

Sounds like the current DC Comics' attitude toward Captain Marvel---er, "Shazam"---and Black Adam. ("Kewl, we have an Evil Superman-like guy! Never mind we already had Ultraman, Bizarro, Cyborg Superman, etc. etc.! Who cares about Capt. Marvel and his goody-goody, Marvel-trademark-infringing butt...ah, we'll just reboot him to be kewler.") :-p

TheFlash said...

I love Gorilla City.

Russell said...

I never really liked this episode, either. If the Legion of Doom (hiss) was created to take on the Super Friends, why take on Gorilla City? It smacked of a personal vendetta. If Grodd got to attack Gorilla City, why didn't Black Manta get to lead a charge against Atlantis? Instead of Solovar we would have gotten Mera and Aqualad and Vulko....? The mind boggles...