A Hanna-Barbera series
Legends of the Superheroes


January 18, 25, 1979
Original Channel
Original Run
January 1979

Mike Marmer
Peter Gallay
Bill Carruthers
Chris Darley
Bill Carruthers
Executive Producer(s)
Joseph Barbera
Joel Stein
Production Company

Legends of the Superheroes is an umbrella title for two 60-minute live-action television specials produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions that aired on NBC on January 18 and 25, 1979. The series was loosely based on SuperFriends cartoon show, then airing on Saturday mornings on ABC. It also served as a reunion of sorts for the 1960s' Batman TV series, as it brings back together three of its stars reprising their respective roles. The specials were produced like standard variety shows of the time: on videotape and with a laugh track.[1]

Both specials preempted Project UFO, which aired on NBC from February 19, 1978 – July 19, 1979.


The Challenge

Legends Of The Super Heroes - Generique

Legends Of The Super Heroes - Generique

The Challenge

In the first episode, which aired on January 18, 1979, the superheroes must race against time to stop the diabolical supervillains’ plot to destroy the world. It opens in the cavernous lair of the superheroes arch-enemies. Meanwhile a few members of the Justice League of America gather together at the Hall of Heroes to celebrate elderly retired superhero Scarlet Cyclone's birthday. The party is interrupted by the Legion of Doom, who announce the spreading of deadly bombs in several places, and the heroes must follow clues to find them. It's all, actually, a trap to make the heroes drink Dr. Sivana's de-powering potion, which succeeds, but the heroes disarm the bombs and recover their powers. It is only after the whole battle is done that Scarlet Cyclone arrives to give his aid.

The Roast

In the second episode, which aired on January 25th, the superheroes pay tribute to Batman and Robin in the form of a roast which even the villains attend. It is hosted by Ed McMahon. What's special about this roast is that it's a bunch of people in the hot seat, not just one guy. All of the heroes from the previous episode get their turn to be ripped on.


It starred Adam West and Burt Ward, reprising their roles as Batman and Robin from the live-action Batman TV series. It also had a large ensemble cast of other DC Comics superheroes that included Garrett Craig as Captain Marvel, Howard Murphy as the Green Lantern, Bill Nuckols as Hawkman, Barbara Joyce as the Huntress, Rod Haase as the Flash, Alfie Wise as the Atom and Danuta (Danuta Rylko Soderman) as the Black Canary.

Notable guest stars

Notable guest stars in the two specials included Frank Gorshin reprising his role as the Riddler from Batman, Howard Morris as Dr. Sivana, Gabriel Dell as Mordru, Charlie Callas as Sinestro, Jeff Altman as the Weather Wizard, Ruth Buzzi as Aunt Minerva, Mickey Morton as Solomon Grundy, June Gable as Rhoda Rooter, Pat Carroll as Hawkman's Mother, A'leshia Brevard as Giganta, William Schallert playing the Scarlet Cyclone (more commonly referred to as "Retired Man") and Brad Sanders as "Ghetto Man". Ed McMahon played himself, hosting the celebrity super-hero roast.


  • Gary Owens as the Narrator (voice)
1 Ed Ed McMahon Host
Marsha Warfield 2 Woman in phone booth uncredited

Played by:Marsha Warfield
Rhoda Rooter Rhoda Rooter Reporter

Played by:June Gable
Mothers 2 Esther Hall Hawkman's mother

Played by: Pat Carroll


5 Mordru the sorcerer Mordru the sorcerer Played by: Gabriel Dell

Mordru is an obscure but recurring villain from DC’s far-future Legion of Super-Heroes comic book.
WeatherWizard 1 The Weather Wizard Played by: Jeff Altman
4 Sinestro (Charlie Callas) Sinestro Played by: Charlie Callas
6 Rid The Riddler Played by: Frank Gorshin
7 Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana (Howard Morris) Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana Played by: Howard Morris
8 Sol Solomon Grundy Played by: Mickey Morton
9 Gig Giganta Played by: A'leisha Brevard
10 Aunt Minerva Aunt Minerva Played by: Ruth Buzzi
11 retired man Retired Man / Scarlet Cyclone Played by: William Schallert
12 ghetto man Ghetto Man Played by: Brad Sanders
13 shazam (Garrett Craig) Captain Marvel Played by: Garrett Craig
14 Batman Batman Played by: Adam West
15 Robin Robin Played by Burt Ward
16 Green Lantern (Howard Murphy) Green Lantern Played by: Howard Murphy
17 Black Canary The Black Canary Played by: Danuta Wesley
18 Hawkman Hawkman Played by: Bill Nuckols
19 Flash The Flash Played by: Rod Haase
20 Huntress The Huntress Played by: Barbara Joyce
Atom (The Roast) The Atom Played by: Alfie Wise


  • The producers were not able to use Wonder Woman or Superman for these television specials because both of those characters were already being used elsewhere. Superman was at the beginning of his theatrical film franchise a month earlier and Wonder Woman was still having her own television series on CBS.
  • This series reveals that Captain Marvel (and apparently all Fawcett characters) co-exist with the other heroes all on one earth. In the majority of comics, the DC characters were part of Earth-One and the Fawcett characters were part of Earth-S. However, there were Earths that had a close analog called Captain Thunder which includes Earth-Forty where he coexisted with Batman and Wonder Woman. In the aftermath of Crisis on Infinite Earths Captain Marvel co-existed with DC characters on at least two Earths: New Earth and Earth-85.

Legends of the Superheroes DVD release cover from Warner Archive.

DVD release

Warner Home Video's Warner Archive Collection released the specials on DVD on October 19, 2010.[2]

External links


  1. A History of Batman on TV IGN. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  2. "Legends of the Super Heroes (1979) DVD - Warner Bros. Archive: - The Official Online Store of Warner Bros. Studios". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
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