Friday, December 11, 2009

The Legion of Doom. Off-Topic Rant

My son was watching "The Challenge of the Superfriends" yesterday and, once again, I shook my head in disbelief at the Legion of Doom.

Oh sure, the Superfriends comes under a lot of fire as a sad, watered-down version of the Justice League of America but personally, I think it (within the strict requirements of 1970's children's programming regulations) does a fair job of capturing the spirit of Silver-Age JLA comics. The "Cahllenge of the Superfirneds" season, in particular tends to do stories in a three-act format that reminds me very much of early Fox/Sekowski stories.

But that's not why I'm writing today.

The Legion of Doom is a great idea, executed poorly. "Thirteen of the most sinister villains of all time!" - That's some hook. So who do we have? Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro.. wow, we're off to a great start. Black Manta, Captain Cold, The Riddler, The Cheetah...well, they're all good, solid villains. Scarecrow, Toy Man ( a weird version dressed as a jester?) Giganta?? Really? BIZARRO and SOLOMON GRUNDY???- A backwards, omnipotent moron and a zombie?!?!

Okay, so the line-up is a little uneven. I mean, sure, every team has it's strengths and weeknesses and there need to be leaders and soldiers but Bizarro? Don't get me wrong, I love Bizarro, but he's NOT a team player. And why the Scarecrow (who never uses his fear gas, ever!) and the Riddler? Where's the Joker?? Or at LEAST the Penguin?

In their first caper, the L of D let Captain Cold do the planning. CC has been in touch with alien conquerors from Venus who want the Legion to change the Earth's climate to that of Venus, so they can invade. In exchange the Legion will rule the Earth. Okay, you guys know you live here too, right?

In the next one, Bizarro (yep, Bizarro) comes up with a plan involving made-up elements like "robalt"... and everyone goes right along. Clearly Luthor needs to be a little more involved in the planning stages!

In at least two episodes, the L of D have access to a TIME MACHINE. And when they make a mistake, they DON'T GO BACK AND TRY AGAIN!!!

Perhaps before they call the Superfriends "Superfools" once more, they should look at who has to live in a swamp.


  1. "Superfools"... someone should do a running count of how many times that term gets used by the LOD. Probably more than there are f bombs in The Big Lebowski.

    I always wanted to climb on Giganta when I was little. I still kind of do.

  2. Maybe it was that frustration that would later prompt Grundy to repeatedly complain that he hated the swamp (Legends of the Superheroes: The Roast, Feb. '79). Part of the reason Joker, Penguin, et al weren't used was that they weren't available at the time (Filmation was doing a Batman series for CBS that had bowed a year and a half earlier and had the rights, which is why Pengy & Joker didn't turn up for another 6 years).

  3. Hobbyfan- Filmation also had the Riddler- or at least they had him in the opening credits to their 1977 Batman series. Come to think of it, I have yet to see the Riddler appear in the '77 Batmans...