How do I suppress my excitement for a few minutes in order to write this article? Here goes … Let me share a little bit of history with you. In January of 1979, Hanna-Barbera and NBC aired (on prime time) a two-part miniseries titled “Legends of the Superheroes.” What was so special about this production? It was live action!
If you had not heard about this production, they brought Adam West and Burt Ward, to reprise their roles as Batman and Robin from their live-action “Batman” TV series. The cast also included other DC Comics superheroes Captain Marvel (Garrett Craig), Green Lantern (Howard Murphy), Hawkman (Bill Nuckols), The Huntress (Barbara Joyce), The Flash (Rod Haase), The Atom (Alfie Wise) and the Black Canary (Danuta Rylko Soderman). There were more heroes, too, some popular and other made-up-for-the-movie characters.
There are other great treats like Ed McMahon (“The Tonight Show,” “Star Search”) hosting the second part, and Gary Owens (“Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”) as narrator.
With this title and its stars, it becomes obvious this was a form of spin-off to the greatly known “Batman and Robin” live action series from the ’60s and Saturday morning classic cartoon series “Super Friends” (1973) and “Challenge of the Superfriends.”
Unfortunately, Superman and Wonder Woman were not there. It is explained Superman was in the height of the motion pictures and Wonder Woman already had her own successful live-action television run with Linda Carter at the time. So, unfortunately, these already involved in franchise characters didn’t make it to the mini-series.
Recently, Warner Brothers announced at the NYCC (New York Comic Con) the unique and rarely-seen miniseries would finally become available on DVD! It was also suggested it would include unseen footage! This is very exciting since the 100-minute presentation will be available on Oct. 19 through theWBshop.com online store’s manufacture-on-demand (MOD) program.
Here is the official description from the studio:
Heroes and villains of DC Comics square off in the two-part, live-action, made-for-TV (with a laugh track!) smackdowns of “Legends of the Superheroes.” The Challenge: Batman and Robin (Adam West and Burt Ward of the live-action “Batman” TV series) lead The Flash, Green Lantern and more JLA members against The Riddler (Frank Gorshin reprising his TV role), Mordru, Weather Wizard and other Doom-dealers. The Legion’s ultimate gambit: trick the heroes into downing a diabolical depowering drink! The Roast: Poking fun beats swapping punches when celebrity host Ed McMahon emcees a rowdy rave-up. Who knew DC Super Heroes and villains packed as much verbal wit as physical grit when not locked in mortal combat? These Legends will leave you laughing.
If you grew up watching either of these series from which this miniseries spins-off from, you will certainly feel gratuitously rewarded. This may be a culmination of sorts like you never expected, but always wanted. I, for my part, am look forward to this DVD, since I never got to see the miniseries and have been waiting for it to be available for a long time.
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