Making the Grade: Super Friends Villains

su_luthorLex Luthor
The leader of the Legion of Doom, despite the fact that his only superpower is the ability to justify spending millions of dollars on robots that can steal thousands of dollars from bank vaults. Still, anyone who can keep a group consisting of a zombie, a maladjusted alien, a talking gorilla, a backwards-speaking golem and several prime candidates for electroshock therapy from tearing each other apart deserves a little respect for his managerial skills. B+

su_bizarroBizarro
This guy wasn’t so much evil as he was misguided by his “it am fun to do things backwards” outlook on life, which makes him about as sinister as half the guys I went to high school with. Not much in the creative thinking department, but even a brain-damaged goofball is bad news if he’s designed to mimic Superman’s powers. At least he had brains enough to know who to copy; I mean, what would Bizarro Hawkman do if the Legion of Doom hit town? Jog? B-

su_blackmantaBlack Manta
See, that’s what I like about the Super Friends; no matter how lame the villains get, everyone has a fair chance to be the episode’s main piñata. I mean, really now. Prior to joining the Legion of Doom, what was this Chiclet’s purpose in life, other than giving Aquaman’s electric eels and octupi something to chase for sport? Feh. C-

su_brainiacBrainiac
Depending on when you first logged on to the show, Brainiac came in one of two flavours: the green-skinned alien with the electrodes in his head or the Terminator-with-a-fishbowl-cranium robot version. Personally, I preferred the cabbagehead model, complete with purple polo T-shirt, white undies, and knee-high socks. There’s just something about a conquering alien attired like a half-dressed frat-house party animal that eases my concerns about extraterrestrial enslavement. C

su_captaincoldCaptain Cold
“Hi there, I’m Captain Cold. See this gun? I can shoot ice with it. And maybe even a little sleet and periods of patchy fog if I’m feeling particularly randy. Cower in fear, you parka-less cretins.” Whatever. D

 

su_cheetahCheetah
From the spots and the code name, I first thought this villainess was a super-speedster of some kind. But nope — a little research shows she’s just a chick in a cat suit with that “purrrrfect” Eartha Kitt voice. Personally, I can’t see her posing much of a threat to a church bake sale, much less the Super Friends, but I’m sure there’s some interesting episode out there explaining exactly how the boys decided to let her join the Legion of Doom. Oh, right, like you weren’t thinking that, too. Perv. C-

su_gigantaGiganta
A 50-foot barefoot woman clad only in an off-the-shoulder leopard-skin mini-skirt — who says animation is just a big ol’ boys’ club? This was one of the villains I missed the first time around, and so when I first found out about her I wasn’t really clear on who she was, where she came from, or why she thought hanging out with talking gorillas and zombies with anger-management issues was a wise career move. One thing I could figure out, though, was that her super-power had something to do with growing into a giant. Life makes much more sense when cartoon writers are given only 30 seconds to name their creations, don’t you think? C

su_groddGrodd
He’s a talking gorilla. Oh sure, he’s a super-intelligent talking gorilla from a secret hidden village of talking gorillas, but he’s still, alas, just a talking gorilla. He’s also one of the Flash’s foes, which makes absolutely no sense at all. Super-fast hero, super-smart ape, just shut up and eat your Coco Puffs. Nice try, gang. Coming up next: an unusually acrobatic spider monkey out to conquer the world. D

su_grundySolomon Grundy
Solomon Grundy shared with Bizarro an aversion to both skin pigmentation and pronouns, but as far as I can tell the resemblance stopped there. Grundy had some personal issues to work through — what with him being a rampaging, undead zombie and all — but all in all you have to admire his cut-through-the-crap approach to life. If something ticks off Grundy, then something gets whomped by Grundy. Would that we all could be so easily gratified in our own endeavours. B+

 

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