Out of all the “guest stars” on The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure - the Flash. the Atom, Hawkman, Justice League of America, and the Teen Titans, only Green Lantern faced one of his adversaries from the comics. Everyone else battled generic bad guys and aliens (mostly aliens). There was an evil speedster named Blue Bolt that the Flash and Kid Flash battled, but he was just an alien made up for that particular cartoon; nor was Blue Bolt in any way related to or resemble the various comic book heroes who’ve had that monicker since the Golden Age.
The comic book villain Green Lantern faced was Evil Star, in the cartoon entitled Evil Is As Evil Does.
Though he shared a name with the Golden Age villain Evil Star, who faced off against the Justice Society of America, this was a completely different version. This Evil Star was an alien from the planet Aoran who was armed with the Star Band, a weapon even more powerful than Green Lantern’s power ring.
This Evil Star made his first appearance in Green Lantern #37 (June 1965). He returned in Green Lantern #44 (April 1966), and that story is pretty faithfully adapted into this six minute cartoon.
Evil Star has the typical villain motivations: he wants revenge against Green Lantern for defeating him, revenge against the Guardians of the Universe for imprisoning him, and then wants to take over the universe.
Hal Jordan is warned by the Guardians that Evil Star has escaped and is en route to Earth. Hal transforms into Green Lantern with his best friend/mechanic/sidekick/token Venusian boy Kairo watching. As I mentioned in a previous post, Kairo was created for the cartoons to take the place of Tom Kalmaku, Hal’s best friend in the comics. There were two reasons for this: having an alien as a sidekick gave Green Lantern more of a science fiction/outer space flavor; it also avoided the terribly racist nickname that Hal called Tom in the comics.
Hal then flies out to face Evil Star, but notices that his power ring runs out of energy almost immediately. This is worrisome because each charge of the power ring is supposed to last 24 hours.
Hal returns to charge his ring again, but it sputters out on him!
It seems Evil Star is using his powers to cut off the flow of energy from the Central Power Battery on Oa.
Kairo, the crack mechanic, knows a trick or two about getting cranky machines to work.
That’s right. folks! He hits it! Yeah, this is the guy you want repairing and maintaining your sophisticated aircraft!
And remember I said this cartoon was pretty faithful: Tom did the exact same thing in the comic story!
Green Lantern, with Kairo riding piggyback, then flies off to Oa in pursuit of Evil Star.
In the meantime, Evil Star has been using his awesome power to petrify the Guardians.
It’s interesting that when the Guardians turn purple they come very close to their blue skinned appearance in the comics.
Luckily Green Lantern arrives to turn them back into old Caucasians again.
Green Lantern and Evil Star then do battle. This being a kid’s cartoon in the 1960s there’s never any doubt as to the outcome.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I admire the Filmation animators for doing their best to make the DC superheroes in the cartoons look like their comic book counterparts. Superman and his supporting cast all look like they were drawn by Curt Swan. Aquaman looks very much like a Nick Cardy drawing. And animators even went so far as to give Evil Star the distinctive nose artist Gil Kane drew him with.
Here is Evil Star from the cartoon:
And here he is from Green Lantern #44:
That’s a heck of a lot better than the cut-and-paste jobs we got from Grantray-Lawrence Animation of the Marvel super heroes the year before (1966).
BW Media Spotlight continues this week's article series with The Many Intros Of >Not< The Superfriends
Of all the DC cartoons Superfriends lasted the longest. It had a few different names but it was the same show and same incarnation. The DCAU was spread out over numerous stand-alone shows so no, it doesn’t count. However, it will be brought up here. Since I just finished going over all the Superfriends intros and done Batman and Superman’s solo cartoons in the past, doing the other team-up series…
“Let’s make this clear, shall we? Anytown’s chief protector is dead: Saw it with my own two eyes. This is my territory now, and all you tourists are welcome to muck around in the nightlife. But go too far and you’ll have to contend with the top dog among even syndicate bosses here: That’s me, The Fraudster! Dig?”
The intro to Filmation’s Green Lantern cartoons which ran as guest spots on The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure back in 1967. Green Lantern appeared in 3 of his own cartoons and in all 3 of the Justice League of America cartoons.
Like the other DC characters Filmation brought to the screen there were some changes from the comics:
1. In the cartoons the Guardians of the Universe are little white men, no longer the blue Oans we’re familiar with. The design for the planet Oa is pretty nifty, though; I’m liking that ringed look.
2. Green Lantern’s mask has become a black domino as opposed to the green half-mask Gil Kane designed. I imagine that change was made for animation purposes, as it was easier to color (these cartoons were made with minimal staff at a breakneck speed, so every short cut possible was utilized).
3. There is absolutely no mention of the Green Lantern Corps. It’s pretty much implied that Hal Jordan is the sole Green Lantern, which gives him a whole lot of territory in space to cover.
4. Tom Kalmaku, Hal Jordan’s mechanic, best friend, and semi-sidekick from the comics, who was usually addressed by the horrendously insensitive nickname “Pieface,” is missing from the cartoons (although there is a Caucasian apprentice test pilot named Tom in one episode; no idea if that was a nod to Tom in the comics). Instead, Green Lantern is given a new sidekick: Kairo (also spelled Cairo or Kyro), the grey Venusian boy. This character is original to the cartoons, and does what many sidekicks do: be annoying and need to get rescued, although occasionally he is helpful. However, as offensive as Tom Kalmaku’s nickname was, I find the pseudo-Asian accent Kairo spoke with just as bad. I guess most people excused the way Kairo spoke because he was from another planet.
One thing I admire about the Filmation animators, even as understaffed and overworked as they were, is they tried as hard as they could to stay faithful to how the DC characters appeared in the comics. With Green Lantern you could see this with the way his eyes would appear in his mask, like Gil Kane would do to convey a strong emotion or reaction (see the intro above for an example).
The Many Intros Of Superfriends Finale: It Came From The Toybox
BW Media Spotlight concluded The Many Intros Of Superfriends Finale: It Came From The Toybox
Superfriends might not have returned to Saturday mornings if it wasn’t for Kenner. DC had done a set of minicomics for the first wave of the MASK toyline for them (back before they were bought by Hasbro) and Kenner had made the Super Powers Collection, a set of action figures based on DC heroes. Each figure had a unique action figure based on the hero or villain’s powers or whatever they thought…