Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Target Earth

Season: 1
Episode Number: 2
Season Episode Number: 2
Production Number: Unknown
Airdate: Unknown

Writer: George Kashdan
Director: Hal Sutherland

Voices: Ted Knight (Narrator), Bud Collyer (Superman), Gilbert Mack (Hawkman), Gerald Mohr (Green Lantern), Ray Owens (Flash), Pat Harrington Jr. (Atom), Unknown (Rom-Nex, Val-Kar).

Plot: As alien criminal war-lord Rom-Nex leads an armada of alien spacecraft toward Earth, rebel alien Val-Kar speeds ahead to warn the Justice League of the impending attack. Rom-Nex plans to pull the Earth out of its orbit and into the sun!

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Just like the previous episode, Between Two Armies, the Justice League must defend the Earth from alien invaders. While this is definitely a story that would be found in the pages of the early Silver Age of comic books, it is a story found too often in these Filmation cartoons. Where is Lex Luthor? Where is Brainiac? Where is Sinestro? Why must we be met with alien invader after alien invader?

In those few instances where aliens do not attack, the various heroes in the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure do battle with mad scientists, evil robots and the occasional c-list super-villain. This is standard Filmation fare as well as tried-and-true science-fiction cliché, and the show really wouldn't be the same without it.

Much of the animation in this episode is recycled from the previous episode, such as the rock-strewn terrain of the isolated mountainous wasteland, the strange remote-controlled missile, and most of the Justice League's footage. Filmation, especially in the early days, always recycled their animation whenever they could. It started out as a way to cut costs because they had a bare bones budget, but it soon became part of Filmation's identity, and even though it seems cheap Filmation fans wouldn't have it any other way.

Probably the most spectacular feat in this episode, and possibly the entire series, is Superman pushing the Earth back into its orbit after the aliens pulled it out and sent it hurdling toward the sun!

Never have I seen Superman display that amount of raw strength. He is far more powerful than any other incarnation of the Man of Steel and could easily take out any villain that got in his way. Or is this just one example of the liberties Filmation takes when writing their stories? Yeah, I thought so.

DVD Releases:
  • DC Super Heroes: The Filmation Adventures

  • Back to Episode Guide

    1 comment:

    Bob said...

    See Superman #220 for a comic book example of Superman pushing the Earth out of its orbit. Reviewed here.