Super ’70s Toons

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Look, Up In The Sky — It’s A List Of Some Of The Most Memorable (And Probably A Few Forgotten) Superhero Cartoons From The 1970s.
By Jeff Pfeiffer, ReMIND Magazine

Underdog (1964-73)
“There’s no need to fear — Underdog is here!” Though the adventures of mild-mannered Shoeshine Boy — who turned into canine superhero Underdog whenever his city and his girlfriend, Sweet Polly Purebred, were threatened by the villainous likes of Simon Bar Sinister or Riff Raff — debuted in the mid ’60s, new episodes aired into the next decade.

Super Friends (1973-74; 1977-85)
The DC Comics heroes of the Justice League of America appeared in several versions of ABC’s Super Friends (and later, Super Powers) Saturday morning cartoon franchise throughout the ’70s and early ’80s, with core favorites like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman remaining regular fixtures in all of them. Other DC characters like the Flash, Hawkman and Green Lantern would rotate in and out of episodes or seasons. For our money, the most enjoyable Super Friends installment came in the 1978 series Challenge of the Super Friends, which pitted the Justice League against the diabolical Legion of Doom.

The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show (1979-81)
One of the earliest comic book superheroes, debuting in 1941, Plastic Man and his stretchy superpowers extended to him being the star of this fun (and funny) Saturday morning cartoon that also featured the hero in some live-action segments.

Hong Kong Phooey (1974)
The ’70s sure liked its canine cartoon superheroes! Along with Underdog and Dynomutt, there was also this guy — mild-mannered janitor Penrod “Penry” Pooch. In times of crisis he would turn into the titular hero, using a martial arts handbook to practice his skills to comedically bad effect, yet still managing to come out on top despite his incompetence.

Dynomutt, Dog Wonder (1976-77)
Yet another superhero dog, Dynomutt was the bumbling but brave robotic sidekick of the hero Blue Falcon. This Dog Wonder was voiced by cartoon voice artist legend Frank Welker (the voice of Fred in the original Scooby-Doo, and of Scoob himself since 2002).

The New Adventures of Batman (1977)
Adam West and Burt Ward provided their voices to reprise their famous roles as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Robin/Dick Grayson from the ’60s Batman series in this short-lived (only 16 episodes) DC Comics/Filmation production.

Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels (1977-80)
One of Hanna-Barbera’s many series from the era about mystery-solving teens, this show featured three girls who delved into cases with the aid of “the world’s first superhero” — the thawed-out, prehistoric cave-dweller Captain Caveman (a.k.a. “Cavey”), voiced by the inimitable Mel Blanc.

The New Fantastic Four (1978)
Poor Fantastic Four. Nobody can quite seem to get these beloved Marvel Comics heroes right, either in feature films or in animated series like this short-lived (only 13 episodes) one. New Fantastic Four was probably doomed to fail from the start given that producers could not get the rights to use popular FF team member Human Torch, so they had to replace him with a much less memorable robot named H.E.R.B.I.E.