Sunday, April 22, 2018
The New Adventures Of Superman 1967-1968!
After the successful debut of the The New Adventures of Superman in 1966 which brought back to the small screen the Man of Steel and gave birth to Filmation, more was required. And so we got two more seasons. But as was the practice back then, shows were often not just renewed from season to season, but refreshed and reformatted to add luster to cartoons which at times might well have been re-runs.
In the case of Superman, when he came back in 1967 he brought with him the underwater hero Aquaman to make a full hour of superhero adventures. So we had a show which not only had one hero but if you count Superboy and Aqualad and Mera, five superheroes. You might throw Krypto into that mix too. I'll take a closer look at Aquaman later. The Superman cartoons in '67 were much like those in the previous year. The had the Man of Steel battling monsters and even a few of his villains, though except for Lex Luthor they were rarely recognizable from the comics.
In 1968 the Superman series was brought back again, but this time paired with Batman and Robin. The Dynamic Duo had just lost their famous prime-time live-action gig and were extremely high profile additions. One change they brought with them were longer cartoons with a "cliffhanger" of sorts. This format was used in the Superman cartoons as well as the Batman ones. And frankly it's not an improvement, the storytelling seemed weaker and truth told the animation which had been ideal in the first season looks even more limited in this third and final season. But still it's all quite entertaining. More on Batman and Robin later too.
So after three seasons Filmation, now established, had created a wonderful collection of Superman cartoons, cartoons that effectively for the most part captured the essence of the 60's era Silver Age comics. They hold up extremely well even today, and I recommend them to any comics fan with no hesitation.