Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Challenge of the Super Friends: "The Giants of Doom" (October 21, 1977)

Bizarro devises a plan to transform his fellow members of the Legion of Doom into giants using a strange ray device. Toy Man, Sinestro and Captain Cold grow to gigantic proportion and go on a crime spree, terrifying the world. Captain Cold even freezes the Parthenon.

The Super Friends are then trapped in a giant test tube and sent to their “frozen doom” on Saturn, leaving the Legion of Doom to revel in its new power over Earth.

But the Super Friends discover a way to turn the tables on their nemeses. 

“The Giants of Doom” may be the most nonsensical episode yet of Challenge of the Super Friends (1977).  Logic, science, and reason are nowhere to be found in this particular cartoon half-hour.

For example, Sinestro and Bizarro crack the moon open. They literally crack it in half. This action has no impact on Earth, apparently. No tide changes. Nothing.

Fortunately, Superman uses his heat vision to “weld” the two lunar chunks back together.

If that sequence isn’t strange enough, the astronauts on Moonbase #1 wear Starfleet delta shields, and Batman -- for this episode alone -- must wear an air/breathing mask over his costume mask while in outer space. Yes, he has been in space several times before “The Giants of Doom,” but never required a mask.  Also, Batman has no need for a pressure suit. Just the mask.

Meanwhile, Superman gets what may be one of the most unintentionally funny lines of the entire series. “From the looks of it, I’d say we’re somewhere in the gaseous interior of Saturn.” 

There, in that gaseous interior, the superheroes battle a gas monster. But how would Superman know, just from surveying the terrain that they are in the gaseous interior of Saturn? Has he been there before? Does it look different from the gaseous center of Uranus?

Another element that doesn’t make any sense: Superman traps Sinestro in a yellow force field, but the villain should be able to escape all energy that is yellow, right? (The way Green Lantern was able to penetrate a green energy force field in an earlier episode). Miraculously, the yellow force field traps Sinestro.

Finally, our “That’s what you think” exclamation of the week goes to Green Lantern, who makes the comment to Sinestro.

Next week, a much more intriguing episode: “Secret Origins of the Super Friends.”


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