Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Daytime Heroes: Silverhawks (1986)

Buoyed by the success of Thundercats a year earlier, Rankin-Bass and Lorimar-Telepictures (now part of Warner Bros.) served up another weekday entry in 1986, Silverhawks. Set in the far future, this series chronicles the adventures of a team of cyborg warriors fighting the forces of Mon-Star, a galactic tyrant. The idea of humans grafted into robotic suits wasn't new, though. Marvel Comics used this to explain Rom: Spaceknight's origins a few years earlier, after acquiring a license for the character from Parker Brothers (now part of Hasbro). Coincidentally, Marvel would also obtain a license for a comic book version of Silverhawks, but, like the TV show, it lasted just one year.

Which begs to ask why the show failed in the first place. In my home district, one channel had all the key syndicated series (i.e. Silverhawks, Thundercats) airing together either in the morning or afternoon. In other cities, Silverhawks was likely being slotted opposite something like Ghostbusters, which bowed the same year. Sure, the 'Hawks had a kid-centric team member in Copper Kidd, who was being used to teach moral lessons at the end of each episode, tutored by Col. Bluegrass. By then, I think, kids were starting to be turned off by the constant end-of-show lessons that permeated most daytime cartoons, but not all.

Here's the open that everyone remembers:



As a result of buying Lorimar-Telepictures and having the rights to a large chunk of the Rankin-Bass library, WB owns the rights. Seeing as how Thundercats was revived last year, I'd not be surprised if they decided to bring back Silverhawks down the road......

Rating: A.

6 comments:

magicdog said...

Well they did... sort of.

In an interview during last year's Comic Con, one of the producers of the new Thundercats series stated that the Thundercats and Silverhawks lived in the same universe and hinted they'd would likely be the next property to resurrect. Maybe we'll see it on CN in another year or two.

hobbyfan said...

Let's hope they do, and remain true to the concept. Maybe this time, they'll show us the origin of the 'Hawks.

geedawesome said...

I can somewhat appreciate cartoons like this now but at the time, having grown up on a diet of Looney Tunes and late 60's/early 70's Hanna Barbera (not to mention transplanted anime like Battle of the Planets and Speed Racer), I had a furor of hate for late 80's toons like this, thinking them just unoriginal and boring. That's what kids were into at the time and the animation companies just shoveled it to them.

hobbyfan said...

You have to remember a lot of shows in the 80's were produced with the idea to sell toys, and, yes, I believe they did produce action figures of the Silverhawks, or at least that was the plan. It was the trend du jour at the time.

geedawesome said...

Yup, that's what it was like in the 80's. In the 60's when Hot Wheels had a cartoon, it was taken off the air because it was a "30 minute commercial". It was classic old Hanna Barbera.

hobbyfan said...

Geedawesome: No, Hot Wheels was not a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. It was produced by an independent studio, but employed voice talent associated with H-B (i.e. Casey Kasem), which might have gotten you confused.

Getting back to the topic at hand, the FCC's rules had changed by the early 80's, allowing the proliferation of toy-based toons like He-Man, GI Joe, et al onto the air. Hot Wheels would later return, but not in the same format of the 1969 series.