Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Animated World of DC Comics: The Death of Superman (1985)

8 years before DC dared to try it in print, Hanna-Barbera presented the coda, the final episode of Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, in which Superman dies----for about half the show, anyway.

"The Death of Superman" comes across much better than the contrivance conceived at DC in 1993, as this would be the last meeting between the Super Powers Team (formerly the Super Friends) and Darkseid. This was the 8th and final broadcast in the series, as the episodes would continue to cycle through for the rest of the season before ABC cancelled the series, ending the Super Friends franchise after 13 seasons.



This episode would also mark the end of Danny Dark's run as the voice of Superman. When the Man of Steel returned in 1988, Beau Weaver was at the microphone, and that, as we've documented, lasted just one season.

Rating: A-.

6 comments:

magicdog said...

I have this on my iPod along with the other "Galactic Guardians" episodes.

Aside from Mark L. Taylor's hystrionics as a guilty, grieving Firestorm, this ep was well done for the times. I don't think we saw so much love and admiration for Supes until Justice League!

It was also awesome to see the Fortress of Solitude and even using a giant key (I think that was in the comics, yes?) to access it!

It's a shame Danny Dark is no longer with us. It might have been fun if he could have done voice work of some kind in the subsequent Superman animated adventures.

hobbyfan said...

Yes, there was a giant key that opened the Fortress in the comics.

What bothers me more is that ABC didn't order more than 8 episodes for either of the final 2 seasons. Like, were they suddenly going el scrimpo? Or did they not have enough faith in the franchise, such that they intentionally sabotaged it so they could cancel it?

magicdog said...

I can't help but think TPTB thought the SF were passe and decided to end it. They had the option to do a more serious Batman show (based on "The Fear" as a backdoor pilot) but skipped. Maybe they didn't think superheroes in a more mature venue would work. It wouldn't be the first time Network bosses underestimated their audiences.

hobbyfan said...

I think it had a lot to do with the fact that DC was also doing Crisis on Infinite Earths at the time, and the feeling might've been to phase out the SF, confining them to the Super Powers toy line.

Of course, I'm still bummed they never included the Wonder Twins in that set, but that's another story for another time.......

magicdog said...

Maybe, but the 1988 Superman series came along two years after "Crisis" and really didn't change anything that we already knew about the Superman mythos. Even in more recent superhero adaptations, there are references and canon storylines that are still rooted in the pre-Crisis world.

hobbyfan said...

About the only major change to Superman's mythos post-Crisis was changing Lex Luthor into a corrupt businessman, a la the Kingpin. Not much else.

Unfortunately, DC keeps tinkering with history because their newer writers just don't know how to create fresh ideas......