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Legends of the Superheroes - The Challenge

episode 1

USA 1979
produced by
Bill Carruthers, Joseph Barbera (executive) for Hanna-Barbera/NBC
directed by Bill Carruthers, Chris Darley
starring Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin, Jeff Altman, Charlie Callas, Howard Morris, Mickey Morton, Gabriel Dell, Garrett Craig, Howard Murphy, Danuta, Bill Nuckols, Rod Haase, Barbara Joyce (II), A'leisha Brevard, William Schallert
screenplay by Mike Marmer, Peter Gallay, based on comicbook characters created by Bob Kane, C.C. Beck, Gil Kane, Bob Layton, Paul Levitz, Joe Staton, published by DC Comics, music by Fred Werner

TV-show
Legends of the Superheroes, Justice League, Batman, Batman (Adam West), Robin, Riddler, Captain Marvel, Green Lantern, Black Canary, Hawkman, Flash, Huntress

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Supervillain Mordru (Gabriel Dell) has summoned earth's other supervillains - the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), the Weather Wizard (Jeff Altman), Sinestro (Charlie Callas), Doctor Sivana (Howard Morris), Solomon Grundy (Mickey Morton) and Giganta (A'leisha Brevard) - to destroy the world. Why would they want to do that? - Anybody's guess, I guess they are just that evil that they have to try it ...

Anyways, since they are supervillains, they have to give earth's superheroes - Batman (Adam West), Robin (Burt Ward), Captain Marvel (Garrett Craig), Green Lantern (Howard Murphy), Black Canary (Danuta), Hawkman (Bill Nuckols), Flash (Rod Haase) and the Huntress (Barbara Joyce) - not only an ultimatum of 50 minutes (the length of this show) but also enough clues to find their way to the doomsday machine. However, the supervillains try to stop our superheroes every step along the way, like Sinestro sabotaging the Batmobile and the Weather Wizard trying to sell Batman and Robin a useless used car, like the Riddler trying to psychoanalyze Captain Marvel out of the picture, or like Solomon Grundy trying to beat everyone up at a gas station. Doctor Sivana ultimately proves the most successful of the bunch when he puts up a lemonade stand and makes all the superheroes drink his superpower-sucking lemonade. But when the supervillains accidently drink the lemonade as well, the odds are evened again - and of course in the end the good guys save the day.

 

For some reason, and probably propelled by the success of the first Superman movie, cartoon studio Hanna-Barbera saw it fit to produce a (low budget) live action two-part TV superhero special of its own featuring an all-star cast of DC-superheroes led by Adam West's Batman and Burt Ward's Robin from the then 11 year old TV-series.The result is of course a campfest, and it's deplored by most serious mainstream comicbook fans nowadays ... but you know, it's not that bad. Of course it's simplistic and slightly silly, but it wasn't to be taken seriously to begin with (at least not if the laughtrack accompanying it is any indication), there are some amusing scenes (along with some bad slapstick) in there, and at least most of the villains as well as West and Ward show a definite talent for comedy. Basically, it's very much in spirit of the Batman-TV series of the 1960's, definitely not quite as ingenious though, but still passable. And that most probably is what most serious superhero afficionados hate about this show ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD