Cosmic Legends of the Universe!

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Speaking recently of the Super Friends, I was reminded of this little artifact (which I had to go digging for):

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This was drawn when I was in Kindergarten, when the original Super Friends cartoon series was still being rerun on Saturday mornings by ABC. In case you couldn’t tell from my primitive drawing style, that’s Superman stopping a train; Batman capturing the Penguin with his bat-rope (as Robin looks on); and Aquaman swimming up to shore. Absent are the Junior Super Friends, along with Wonder Woman. Now I can imagine why the Juniors (that would be Wendy, Marvin, & Wonder Dog) were missing, as they were silly kids who served mainly as comic relief on the show—and Lord knows, superheroes were SERIOUS BUSINESS to me. (Yes, even then.) But why no Wonder Woman?

It may have been nascent sexism on my part in excluding her. More likely I just wasn’t comfortable drawing a girl. Or perhaps it was that I didn’t own a Wonder Woman Mego doll to serve as a model. (I know I had Megos of all the other characters in the picture.)

In any case, let me take this opportunity to apologize to the Amazon Princess: Wonder Woman, I am sorry. As I said, I have no idea why I left you out of this picture, but it was a grievous omission. Please believe me when I say I always loved you and always will. You are an awesome superhero and worthy of the utmost respect and admiration.

I know from firsthand memory that the Super Friends were a Saturday morning staple from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. I recall the full-hour, Wendy-Marvin-Wonder Dog version being my introduction to the series. What I didn’t know (but recently discovered via Wikipedia) was that there was only one, 16-episode season of this iteration of the show. It was actually cancelled in 1974, but was then brought back in reruns up until new episodes were ordered for the 1977–78 season. These new episodes, of course, discarded Wendy, Marvin & Wonder Dog in favor of the Wonder Twins and their pet space-monkey, Gleek. The cast would continue to expand in successive seasons to include some classic and not-so-classic superheroes.

In honor of the original “four greatest heroes,” those “cosmic legends of the universe,” here is the original Super Friends theme—which to this day still makes my blood run hot and moves me to punch the nearest supervillain right in the mush:

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