Super Friends #1. November 1976.
Cover by Ernie Chan & Vince Colletta; Editor: Joe Orlando
“The Fury of the Super Foes”
Writer: E. Nelson Bridwell, Penciler: Ric Estrada, Inkers: Joe Orlando & Vince Colletta
Colorist: Jerry Serpe
Robin finishes Marvin’s training for the day just as the other Super Friends enter the Hall of Justice. The Troublalert tells them villains are attacking the three locations of Project SR – a robot designed to end war! The Super Friends divide into teams of three – Holy Gardner Fox! – to fight off the villains!
Superman goes to Hudson University (joining Robin, who is a student there) to fight the Toyman and Poison Ivy who are trying to steal the robot’s artificial brain.
Aquaman goes to the underwater lab where scientists are working on the robot’s indestructible steel for its body. His “old foe” the Human Flying Fish attacks the lab.
Batman and Wonder Woman (with Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog in tow) go to Gotham City to prevent the Penguin and the Cheetah from stealing the robot’s solar-powered battery.
In each case, the heroes almost get the better of the bad guys, until the villains youthful sidekicks appear!
Honeysuckle ensnares Robin; Toyboy distracts Superman; Sardine squirts squid ink to blind Aquaman; and Chick and Kitten sidetrack Batman and Wonder Woman to allow the villains to escape!
Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog do manage to catch Chick and Kitten and take them to the Hall of Justice. The Super Foes’ sidekicks are impressed and think they might be on the wrong side. As the tour continues, Chick sends a secret message to the Penguin – they are in the Hall of Justice, just as planned!
Wonder Dog overheard Chick’s betrayal, but how can he tell Marvin & Wendy of Chick’s betrayal?
To Be Continued…
The letter page explains briefly why there has been no Super Friends comic up until now and a brief, and convoluted, origin of Wendy and Marvin and their connection to Batman and Wonder Woman: Wendy is the daughter of the man who taught Bruce Wayne detective skills and Marvin is the son of the original Diana Prince – the nurse who allowed Princess Diana to assume her identity [cough Lamont Cranston/Kent Allard cough}.
There was (and still is) a lot of debate about whether the events of this comic were “out-of-continuity” with the rest of DC or not. I doubt the intended readers of this comic cared.
It was aimed at younger readers; fans of the TV show. Taken that way, it was a fun first effort. The story was direct without being simple and the art clean and clear without being juvenile. Older and more cynical readers will roll their eyes at this issue, but let their eyes roll. They aren’t the target audience. They never were.
And they still aren’t!
About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped. Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!