Saturday, March 30, 2019

Superman: The Silver Age Crossovers

I first became aware of the fictional crossover/shared reality concept when I was five years old. As my family was about to embark on a drive from Massachusetts to California, my father gave me my first comic book to keep me occupied, and it was an issue of the Marvel Comics adaptation of Scooby’s All-Star Laff-A-Lympics. This is the first time I was able to comprehend what was going on here, on a significant level. All these characters from their own cartoons were appearing together, as part of the same reality, thus placing all their previous cartoons in the same reality.

From that point on, I started becoming more aware. As I started reading more comics, I noticed how all the DC characters lived on one world while the Marvel characters lived on another, and I mostly only bought team and team-up books. Of course, once Superman met Spider-Man, my mind was blown again.

For the purpose of this post, we will focus on the silver age Superman, who was Superboy, and whose adventures were primarily in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s, ending with the Crisis on Infinite Earths.  However, this is not necessarily the Earth-1 Superman.  This is more likely the Earth-1A Superman, who is nearly identical.  This is a TVCU post though, and so we're going to look at this as an alternate TVCU timeline.

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SUPERMAN (KAL-EL/CLARK KENT)--In this timeline, Krypton was a world where its inhabitants were ordinary men on their world, but under a yellow sun, and a planet with lighter gravity such as Earth, they become Supermen. When the world faced destruction, scientist Jor-ElL sent his son to Earth, where he was was found in Smallville, Kansas by Jonathon and Martha Kent. He was named Clark Kent, and raised by the farmers. As an adult, he moved to Metropolis, where he became a reporter for the Daily Planet, while also using his powers to fight crime as Superman. In this timeline, Superman is represented by the New Adventures of Superman animated series, and the Super Friends. He is also for the most part the Superman from silver age/Earth-1 comics, though there are some contradictions in the early 80s between Super Friends and Earth-1 comics, as well as with New Adventures of Superman, and must be disregarded in favor of the on-screen appearances. Superman (Kal-El/Clark Kent) is the same character who is concurrently a member of the Justice League of America. Superman was chosen as an instructor for the Super Friends because of his time as the teen hero, Superboy. The various Super Friends series produced by Hanna-Barbera featured Danny Dark as Superman:1973: Super Friends, 1977: The All-New Super Friends Hour, 1978: Challenge Of The SuperFriends, 1979: The World's Greatest Super Friends, 1980 - 1983: Super Friends, 1984: Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, 1985: The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. Superboy makes two appearances in the show's run. The first one is when the Hall of Justice computer runs a tape showing Lex Luthor's origin. He was voiced by Danny Dark. The other is in a short episode where Phantom Zone criminals go back in time to fight Superboy. He is saved by the arrival of Superman and Green Lantern. He was voiced by Jerry Dexter.

1696--World's Finest Comics # 82--Superman, Batman and Robin travel back in time from 1956 and meet the Three Musketeers, becoming involved in the events of the Man in the Iron Mask.

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May 29, 1929--35 Eorx, 9998 (Kryptonian calendar)--Kal-El, the son of Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, is born in Kryptonopolis, capitol of the planet Krypton. Neither Superman's homeworld nor his parents were named until the first installment of the Superman daily newspaper strip on Jan. 16, 1939, which also revealed Superman's Kryptonian name (originally spelled Kal-L, a spelling later attributed to the Earth-Two Superman). The Earth-One Superman's terrestrial birthday was established in World's Finest #235 (1976).  World of Krypton #2 (Aug. 1979)

November 22, 1931--39 Ogtal, 10,000 (Kryptonian calendar)--As Krypton begins its final death throes, young Kal-El rockets to Earth in a tiny starship.  Golden Age versions of Superman's origin generally indicated that he had left Krypton as an infant while in post-Crisis continuity, he had not technically been born yet at the time of his departure. On Earth-One, Kal-El was two years old when Krypton exploded.  (Action Comics #1, June 1938)

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December 4, 1931--Kal-El lands in Smallville, where he immediately gains super powers under Earth's yellow sun. He is adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent and given the name Clark Kent.  Superman's adoptive parents first appeared in Superman #1 (Summer 1939). Earlier published versions of his origin said only that he was found by "a passing motorist" while the early episodes of the Adventures of Superman radio series indicated that Kal-El arrived on Earth as an adult. In September 1942, a retelling of Superman's origin on the radio series (now airing on the Mutual Broadcasting System rather than in syndication) identified his foster parents as Eben and Sarah Kent. The names Jonathan and Martha were introduced in Adventure Comics #149 (1950) and Superboy v.1 #12 (1951) respectively. Clark Kent's post-Crisis origin was first told in Man of Steel #1 (June 1986). 

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February 7, 1937--SUPERBOY ERA

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February 25, 1941--Superboy meets boy genius Lex Luthor (1st chronological appearance). While working on an antidote for Kryptonite, Luthor creates a primitive "protoplasmic lifeform." When a fire breaks out in the lab, Superboy puts it out with his super-breath. The resulting fumes destroy Luthor's creation and cost him his hair. Luthor swears vengeance on the Boy of Steel. Luthor's first appearance was Action # #23 (Apr. 1940), but Adventure Comics #271 was the first time his origin was told and he was given a first name. In the mainstream post-Crisis universe Superman and Luthor did not meet until they were adults. Their first confrontation is described in Man of Steel #4 (Sept. 1986). Adventure #271 (Apr. 1960)

November 8, 1941--Lar Gand lands on Earth, suffering from amnesia, and meets Superboy, who dubs him Mon-El. He briefly moves into the Kent home, adopting the identity of traveling salesman "Bob Cobb." He regains his memory after suffering from lead poisoning. To save his life, Superboy is forced to send him to the Phantom Zone.  Superboy v.1 #89 (June 1961)

1942--NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN--The Superboy segments from the New Adventures of Superman (aka the Aquaman/Superman Hour of Adventure) take place here. None of the stories really contradict the comics.

October 6, 1942--Superboy #131--"The Dog from S.C.P.A."--While Superboy is away on a mission with the Legion of Super-Heroes, Krypto meets a group of super powered dogs known as the Space Canine Patrol Agents. Krypto allows himself to be captured by a gang of dog crooks, in order to find missing S.P.C.A. memebers. Krypto then loses some of his powers due to a piece of Kryptonite gum. Krypto and the other dogs still manage to escape and stop the Canine Caper Gang. Afterwards Krypto returns to Earth hoping for another adventure with the S.P.C.A.


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March 20, 1948--Wonder Woman Comics--This is a little complicated.  This is the silver age version of Wonder Woman, who would have debuted during the same era as Superman and Batman.  But some of her earlier golden age adventures should still be canon.  So we can say perhaps that Wonder Woman's appearances from 1941 to 1958 are likely canon in this timeline.  

May 15, 1950--Superboy Era--Teen Titans #22, New Teen Titans #38--Possibly during this period, Princess Diana reenters "Man's World" as Wonder Woman, and saves an infant Donna Troy from a fire.

September 17, 1950--Clark Kent is hired by Perry White as a reporter for the Metropolis Daily Planet.  In his first comic book appearance in Action #1 (June 1938), Clark Kent was hired by editor George Taylor of the Metropolis Daily Star, a story now attributed to the Earth-2 ("Golden Age") Superman. The definitive pre-Crisis account of Clark Kent's hiring appeared in Superman v.1 #133 (Nov. 1959). The post-Crisis version was told in Man of Steel #2 (July 1986).  (Superman v.1 #133, Nov. 1959), Man of Steel #2 (July 1986)

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January 22, 1951--BATMAN COMICS (INCLUDING DETECTIVE COMICS AND WORLD'S FINEST COMICS) [1939 - 1973]--Based on multiple issues of Scooby-Doo Team-Up, we can assume that Batman's golden and silver age adventures must have happened, at least up until 1973.  Scooby-Doo Team-Up has "pre-Crisis" versions of characters, but does not maintain an Earth-1/Earth-2 concept, instead adopting a post-Crisis world where golden age characters and silver age characters existed in the same reality, with Superman and Batman having not operated in the golden age.  In a way, Scooby-Doo Team-Up is very much like the very short lived "Merged Earth" that existed following the Crisis but ended with the reboots in Man of Steel, Batman Year One, etc. a few months later.

Post-Superboy Era, pre-Barry Allen as Flash Era--World's Finest Comics #271--Perry White calls his reporters in for a meeting after reports of a strange "Batman" in Gotham start to proliferate.

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March 5, 1951--SUPERMAN COMICS (INCLUDING ACTION COMICS AND OTHER SUPERMAN FAMILY TITLES) [1942 - 1980]--The silver age version of Superman is the Superman of this Universe.  However, as demonstrated in Scooby-Doo Team-Up # 9, some villains exist in this timeline who, though existing in the silver age, had their origins and first appearances dating back to the golden age.  The earliest years of Superman comics, 1938 - 1941, probably can't be in this timeline, as they contradict silver age canon, but starting with 1942, the stories really could fit in the silver age, so that's where I'm starting the canon for this timeline.

Club of Heroes (1951 - 1959)
  • The Superman-Batman team began in World’s Finest Comics officially in 1954. Previously, Superman and Batman had teamed up on the Adventures of Superman radio drama and rarely as honorary members of the Justice Society of America. They had began appearing together on the covers of World’s Finest Comics, starting in 1940, but were in separate stories within the issues, until financial strains on the company caused DC to start featuring the two leading heroes in stories together.
  • The Club of Heroes was the name of a team that appeared a couple of times in the 1950s in Batman stories. It was alternately called the Batmen of All Nations. It was retroactively said to be a precursor to the Global Guardians.

anuary 25, 1952--Post-Superboy Era, pre-Barry Allen as Flash Era--World's Finest Comics #94--With Robin, Batman first meets Superman as an adult.

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July 2, 1954--Superman meets Daily Planet cub reporter Jimmy Olsen, who becomes known as Superman's Pal. Superman provides him with a signal watch to alert Superman in the event of trouble.  Jimmy was first introduced in the April 15, 1940 episode of the Adventures of Superman radio series. An unnamed office boy of similar appearance debuted in Action #6 (Nov. 1938), sometimes considered to be Jimmy's first appearance; he was first named in Superman v.1 #13 (Nov. 1941). The definitive pre-Crisis account of Superman's first meeting with Jimmy Olsen, was told in Jimmy Olsen #36 (Apr. 1959). The post-Crisis version of that story and Jimmy's first chronological appearance in post-Crisis continuity was in World of Metropolis #4 (July 1988).In pre-Crisis continuity, although Superman encountered Jimmy Olsen as Superboy, thanks to a post-hypnotic suggestion, he did not remember their earlier meetings when they later met in Metropolis.  (Jimmy Olsen #36, Apr. 1959), (World of Metropolis #4, (July 1988)

July 1957--World's Finest #89--Formation of Club of Heroes (Batman, Gaucho, Legionary, Musketeer, Superman, Knight & Squire).

Action Comics 242.png October 30, 1959--Justice League of America #9 (Feb. 1962), Justice League of America #200 (Mar. 1982), Secret Origins v.2 #32 (Nov. 1988), 52 #51 (Apr. 2007)--Aquaman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Superman and Wonder Woman defeat the alien Appellax creatures. NOTES: The JLA's post-Crisis origin was retold in Secret Origins #32, substituting Black Canary for Wonder Woman and omitting Batman but because this is a world where golden and silver age heroes are on the same Earth, but we're using silver age dates, Black Canary couldn't be a founding member of the JLA in this timeline; Superman did not join thereafter in the post crisis version but he did join as a founder in this timeline. In post-Infinite Crisis continuity, the Big Three were added back into this origin in Justice League of America v.2 #0 and 52 #51 (2007). The latter story also confirmed Black Canary as an eighth founder but we have to ignore that for this timeline. The JSA Sourcebook claims Canary's debut preceeded Flash and Green Lantern, which seems unlikely.  Justice League of America stories from 1960 up to at least 1972 should take place in this timeline based in various references throughout the Scooby-Doo Team-Up series.  Note that the filmation JLA series doesn't contradict silver age comics and the Super Friends at least up through the 1970s cartoon and comic was also compatible with silver age comics.    

February 1960--Superman and Batman have been appearing in comics together since the Silver Age, and Wonder Woman joining in isn't rare, either. Generally they team up, though having them fight each other is always a good way to draw in readers.


1966 to 1970--THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN--Superman (Clark Kent) takes on old foes and new. NOTES: THIS ANIMATED SERIES WAS A CONTINUATION OF THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, AND THIS SERIES WAS A PRECURSOR TO THE SUPERFRIENDS. Some episodes contradicted silver age comic book stories.

Winter 1967--The Green Hornet Casefiles--"A Thing of Beauty"--This might fit better on the Adventures of Superman TV timeline, but it could just as easily fit here, especially since Kryptonite was very rare on the TV show and seems to be everywhere in the silver age comics. A thief steals the Black Beauty (the car of the Green Hornet) for his museum. His museum includes Kryptonite (Superman) and Bat-a-rangs (Batman), as well as a plane once flown by Lance Star, and the Lone Ranger's outfit.

1967--Blackhawk # 229--"Junk Heap Heroes"--Superman, Batman and other Justice League members agree with the government that the Blackhawks are too old school and need a makeover for the super-hero age. SPECTRE (enemy of James Bond) and THRUSH (enemy of the Man from UNCLE) are both mentioned.

The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure Poster

September 9, 1967 – 1968--The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure--The animated adventures of several DC Comics superheroes.  Elements of the Adventures of Aquaman were included in Aquaman's appearance in Scooby-Doo Team-Up.  Aquaman was part of the Justice League of America segments (but only in the intros) and those also included Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Atom and Hawkman, who also had their own segments.  There was also a Teen Titans segment that included Aqualad from Adventures of Aquaman and Kid Flash from the Flash segments.  Teen Titans Go is in the Scooby-Doo Team-Up timeline.  According to that show, the Teen Titans had been operating for a while on the west coast, but there was another Teen Titans on the East Coast with Kid Flash, Aqualad, Speedy and Bumblebee.  This Teen Titans is Kid Flash, Aqualad, Speedy and Wonder Girl, with no Robin.  It could be this is the Titans East that competed with Robin's Teen Titans.  Of course, that would place the Teen Titans origin back to the same time as the origin of the silver age team.  There are a few Teen Titans comics that are also canon in this timeline.  We might consider those to be one time events where heroes from east and west teamed up.  

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September 14, 1968 – January 4, 1970--THE ADVENTURES OF BATMAN--The Adventures of Batman is an animated television series produced by Lou Schiemer's Filmation studios. It showcased the 12-minute Batman segments from The Batman/Superman Hour, sometimes broken up by and surrounding another cartoon from Filmation's fast-growing stream of superhero stars. A re-branded 30-minute version premiered on CBS on September 13, 1968 as Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder. This version was repackaged without the Superman and Superboy segments.  Olan Soule was the voice of Batman and is most likely best remembered for his work on that show, and many others in the Filmation stable. Casey Kasem, notable for his voice over and radio work, was the voice of Robin.  Batman and Robin would next appear in a The New Scooby-Doo Movies crossover, various versions of Super Friends (featuring Soule and Kasem reprising their Batman and Robin roles, respectively) and The New Adventures of Batman in 1977.  This version of Batman and Robin are the ones that teamed up with Scooby in the New Scooby Doo Movies (even though it was Hanna Barbera using Filmation's versions, but the Filmation Batman and Hanna Barbera Super Friends Batman were pretty much the same).  This version of Batman shows up again in the alternate universe episode of Batman:  The Brave and the Bold featuring Scooby and this is the version appearing in the first few issues of Scooby-Doo Team-Up.  There are references to how Batman now sounds more like the version from Batman:  The Animated Series, and there are references to how Robin seems different with Batman and even sounds like Shaggy (since they have the same voice actor in this version) and seems different when he is with his friends the Teen Titans (as he is depicted in the Teen Titans Go issues).  Teen Titans Go has also had an episode where Robin told his origin story with Batman appearing more like the Batman:  The Animated Series version, so we can assume it's the same characters even when shown in different perspectives.  

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Release Date: July 1969 - Ongoing at time of writing
Series: Sesame Street
The Story: Sesame Street is a neighborhood in New York City where humans interact with muppets, monsters, and talking animals. Usually, topics of conversation are letters, numbers, and concepts like cooperation.
Notes: This series takes place for the most part in the Live Action Universe. I had put a lot of thought into whether to include puppetry series as animated series that counted as crossover connections, but the consensus of my consulting think tank was that puppets shouldn’t count. (This from the same group that convinced me video games should count.) On Sesame Street, there have been numerous guest animated shorts, that are not technically part of the Sesame Street canon, but rather were self-contained. Many of these in fact were continuations of other series canon, but since they are stand-alone, they were not crossovers and thus don’t get write-ups. Some of these cartoons included the New Adventures of Batman, The New Adventures of Superman, The Archie Show, and Beetle Bailey. There have been numerous others as well.

1969--BATMAN # 217--Dick Grayson (Robin) attends Hudson University, which will appear often on LAW & ORDER. Professor Martin Stein (in via SUPER FRIENDS) also attended. Clark Kent had considered attending Hudson but chose Metropolis University instead. It should be noted that Batman has been referenced once in Criminal Intent and once in SVU, both times as a real person. Additionally, Spider-Man was a temporary suspect on one case in SVU.

1971--James Craddock comes back to life as a ghost. The Martian Manhunter leaves Earth when Mars became desolate to help his people search for a new world. In late 1971, shortly after the Martian Manhunter had left Earth, a group of the Leaguers gathered together and decide to call themselves Super Friends. This is another significant departure from the parallel universe of Earth-One. The name stuck for years, and over time, the name Superfriends was used to describe all members of the Justice League of America. In the first issue of the Super Friends comic book, E. Nelson Bridwell makes it very clear that the Super Friends are sort of a volunteer organization, under the umbrella of the Justice League of America. The founding members of the Justice League's Super Friends organization consisted of Aquaman,Batman,Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Black Vulcan And Samurai. The formation of team and members depicted in the Season 3 episode, History of Doom.

 January 11, 1972--Superman #249--"The Challenge of Terra-Man"--First appearance of Terra-Man.  Reprinted In:  Superman in the Seventies TPB (2000)

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1972--THE BRADY KIDS--"That Was No Worthy Opponent, That Was My Sister"--Superman and Wonder Woman meet the Brady Kids. This is a precursor to Superfriends.

1972--Superman and Wonder Woman return Gentleman Ghost to the grave. The team moves their headquarters from the secret cave to the Hall of Justice, located in Gotham City. The Hall was equipped with an advanced communications network and "Trouble Alert" system (TroubAlert). They maintained a relationship with important government officials such as Colonel Wilcox, who often alerted the Super Friends to various global threats, including alien invasions. In the parallel universe of Earth-One the Justice League's headquarters were an orbiting satellite. This was depicted in Justice League of America, Vol. 1 #78 (February, 1970) found at the DC Database. Early on, the weekly meetings only consisted of Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Batman and Robin.

Spring to Summer 1973--SUPER FRIENDS--Batman (Bruce Wayne) becomes an instructor along with Robin (Dick Grayson), Superman (Kal-El/Clark Kent), Wonder Woman, and Aquaman to train new heroes Marvin and Wendy (and later Zan and Jayna).  They also work as part of the Justice League of America.  The team is nick-named the Super Friends, and later will be code named the Super Powers Team.  The team works for the U.S. Government and the United Nations.  The team was actually founded in 1967 and disbanded in 1985.  It's entire roster over it's long run included:  Aquaman, Batman, Robin, Superman (Kal-El/Clark Kent), Wonder Woman, Atom II, Cyborg, Firestorm, Flash II, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Hawkgirl II, Hawkman II, Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, El Dorado, Rima the Jungle Girl, Samurai, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, Wendy Harris, Marvin White, Wonderdog, Zan, Jayna, Gleek, Captain Marvel, Huntress II, Black Canary II.  I want to make clear that the shows for the most part appear just like you see them.  The primary foes of the Super Friends would be the Legion of Doom:  Bizarro, Black Manta, Brainiac, Captain Cold, Cheetah, Giganta, Gorilla Grodd, Solomon Grundy, Lex Luthor, Doctor Natas, the Riddler I, the Scarecrow, Sinestro, the Toyman II, Mordru, and Dr. Sivana.  During their final years, they mostly fought Darkseid and his minions.  Additional bad guys they faced were:  Bizarra, Joe Chill, the Crime Syndicate of America, Felix Faust, Gentleman Ghost, Joker, Mirror Master, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Penguin, Royal Flush Gang, the Shark, Dracula, Frankenstein, Orville Gump, the Phantom Zone villains, and Zy-Kree.

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1973--Popeye would later meet Superman in 1973.

September 1973--SNEEK PEEK--Superman, Batman, Bugs Bunny, Lassie...yeah, it's a crossover.

Super Friends/Super Powers Team (1973 - 1986)

  • This was a cartoon that ran in various incarnations for 13 seasons.
  • There was also a comic book tie-in that was for a time considered to be part of Earth-1 canon.
  • According to the comic, the Super Friends was created as a youth training program. Marvin and Wendy were the first two candidates, later replaced by Zan and Jayna. Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin and Aquaman were instructors due to their experience as teen heroes. The Super Friends were part of the Justice League of America.

Spring 1975--SUPERMAN VS. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: A DUEL OF TITANS--For TVCU purposes, the silver age Superman (see TVCU: Worlds and Mythology Volume I) and the original Spider-Man team-up against Luthor and Doc Ock.

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    December 1975 to August 1981--Comic books--The first use of the Super Friends name on a DC Comics publication was in Limited Collectors' Edition #C-41 (December 1975-January 1976) which reprinted stories from Justice League of America #36 and 61 and featured a new framing sequence by writer E. Nelson Bridwell and artist Alex Toth. DC published a comic book version of the Super Friends from November 1976 to August 1981. The comic book series was launched by E. Nelson Bridwell and artist Ric Estrada. Zan and Jayna were given back stories and secret identities as a pair of blond-haired high school kids; they were more competent heroes than their cartoon counterparts.  While the television cartoons were not part of the same fictional universe as the DC comic books, writer E. Nelson Bridwell made the comic book accord with the other DC titles via footnotes. An example of trying to fit Super Friends into the DC Universe:  Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog were the only ones active at the Hall of Justice, because the Justice League are in the 30th Century with the Justice Society (as shown in Justice League of America #147–148). Robin was busy helping the Titans in Teen Titans #50-52. Bridwell also gave them last names and ties to the other characters' histories; Wendy Harris was the niece of detective Harvey Harris (who helped train Batman) and Marvin White was the son of Diana Prince (the woman who helped provide Wonder Woman with a secret identity upon her arrival in America). While the show never explained the departure of Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog, the story was found in Super Friends #6–9.  The argument for the comic being part of the Earth-One continuity also included the fact that certain elements of the series impacted other books in the DC line (such as TNT's appearance in Kandor in an issue of Superman Family that references events exclusively from Super Friends, Sinestro's lack of a power ring in an issue of The Brave and The Bold after the ring was destroyed in a Super Friends issue, and Superman already being familiar with Dr. Mist and the international heroes in DC Comics Presents after meeting them in Super Friends). Because the Super Friends stories were referenced in and the events in them remembered by the characters in the core DC superhero titles - for example, in Justice League of America no. 155 (June 1978) - they have to be considered part of the pre-Crisis Earth 1 ensemble of stories.  In 2008, DC began publishing a new Super Friends comic book starring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash (Wally West) and Green Lantern (John Stewart). Based on the eponymous Imaginext toyline, it is aimed at children, with an art style reminiscent to that of Marvel's Super Hero Squad.

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1977--SUPER FRIENDS # 5--Superman meets Funnyman (another Siegel and Schuster creation).

Just before February 1978--SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI--The cover art for Superman vs Muhammed Ali shows cameos of several real and fictional characters, including the teacher and students from WELCOME BACK KOTTERColumbo, and Lucy!  And Donny & Marie OsmondSonny & Cherthe Jackson 5, etc.  

12.78--Justice League of America #161--THE ORIGIN OF ZATANNA--Zatanna joins and dons new costume, aiding against the Warlock of Ys. NOTE: In the original tale, Superman made mention here that the League originally had a charter limiting its membership to twelve. The JLA: Incarnations series (2001) portrays Zatanna in her original costume; it is unclear if this is a retcon or an error. The Warlock of Ys first appeared in GL #42.

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Release Date: March 1979 (Contemporary Setting)

Horror Crosses: Doctor Strange

Non-Horror Crosses: Superman; Ms. Marvel; Conan the Barbarian

The Story: Kulan Gath possesses a security guard at a museum and draws the attention of Spider-Man. Mary Jane Watson also finds herself possessed, but by the heroic Red Sonja.

Notes: Carol Danvers is mentioned, but not her alter ego Ms. Marvel. Based on the various crosses with Marvel heroes in this blog, we can determine that many of the Marvel heroes must have had counterparts in the Television Crossover Universe. Sword of the She-Devil features Red Sonja, who though from the comics, was a spin off of Conan, a literary character.  Red Sonja is a spin-off character from Conan the Barbarian, and Kulan Gath was a Conan foe. Doctor Strange is also mentioned in this story. Clark Kent also arrives to cover the story. Of course, this is a fun cameo of the type that DC and Marvel liked to do regarding their friendly competition. But from an in-story point of view, a few questions arise. Why didn’t Superman get involved? Why was he in New York? Clark often got sent out of Metropolis on assignment. So that question is easy to answer. He might have been there for another story and stumbled upon this one. Plus Superman has a weakness against magic.

The Planet of Oz Poster

November 1979--THE WORLD'S GREATEST SUPER FRIENDS--"The Planet of Oz"--Mister Mxyzptlk abducts Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman to his version of Oz and manipulates them to find the wizard for his own ends.

Summer 1980--MARVEL TREASURY EDITION # 28--”SPIDER-MAN AND SUPERMAN: THE HEROES AND THE HOLOCAUST!”--After Superman encounters the Hulk, and Spider-Man encounters Wonder Woman, Superman and Spider-Man then team-up against Doctor Doom and the Parasite. This is the silver age Superman and original Spider-Man, as well as the original Wonder Woman and Bruce Banner.

July 1981--Action #521--1st app. of the Vixen. NOTE: Her pre-Crisis origin involved Superman; her post-Crisis origin remains untold.

September 1981--WORLD'S FINEST COMICS # 271--Superman (Kal-L/Clark Kent) and Robin (Dick Grayson) of the Golden Age timeline help Superman (Kal-El/Clark Kent) and Batman (Bruce Wayne) of the Silver Age timeline defeat a revived Atom Man (spelled Atoman in this story). NOTES: THIS STORY IS A SEQUEL TO A STORY FROM THE OLD RADIO SHOW.


Release Date: July 1982
Series: Superman (Silver Age); He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
The Story: Superman is drawn from his world to Eternia, a planet in an alternate universe, where he becomes a pawn in Skeletor's quest to take Castle Greyskull.
Notes: This team-up was a pilot for the Masters of the Universe mini-series, a four issue DC Comics mini-series that included a preview story that was inserted into many DC titles. The preview also featured Superman, but that main mini-series did not have Superman. This DC version came before the animated series, and was based on the initial mythos created for the toyline. However, much of the mythos presented here for He-Man and the Master of the Universe still fits into the later animated series canon. Eternia was said to exist in a separate reality within the DC multiverse. He-Man’s mother may have came from Earth of that alternate reality or Eternia may in fact be the alternate Earth, in which case He-Man’s mother may have been meant to come from DC’s Earth-1. For our purposes, since the Super Friends implies most of the silver age Superman mythology is in their continuity, we can assume that the Superman of this story is the one from this timeline, that He-Man’s mother comes from this timeline, and that Eternia is part of the multiverse that this timeline belongs to.

August 1982--POWERKID # 3 AND 4--"Karate Spears"/"Powerkid meets Superman"--Powerkid encounters Karate Spears for the first time, who nearly kills the hero because he realized his weakness: apple crisp! Powerkid manages to flee and being a fan of comics, knows the theory of the multiverse, and flies into the Forbidden Forest to travel to another universe where he might find a hero to help. He ends up on Earth-1, and with Superman's help, Karate Spears is defeated. Since DC doesn't accept this story as canon, it probably takes place here instead of the actual Earth-1.

Late 1985--Jon Sable, Freelance # 34 - 35 -- "The Compound" -- Sable is reading the Daily Planet.


May 1986--CAPTAIN MARVEL AND MARVEL FAMILY COMICS [1940 - 1951]--Based on Scooby-Doo Team-Up # 16, we can assume that the adventures of the Marvel Family happened, but it's more likely based on the context of Scooby-Doo Team-Up that the Marvel Family debuted in the silver age rather than the golden age, and existed on the same Earth as Superman and Batman.  Hence, I've placed this on the timeline at the era in which Captain Marvel was rebooted following Crisis on Infinite Earths.  But even though I'm placing the Marvel Family here on the timeline, it's still the golden age adventures that are canon for this timeline.  They just happened a lot more recently than they did on Earth-S.  

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Cartoon Network produced some bumpers lampooning the Super Friends:
  • One dealt with the idiosyncratic nature of the Legion of Doom and Brainiac's odd manner of dress (Brainiac: "Look, I just want some pants...a decent pair of pants!" Solomon Grundy: "Solomon Grundy want pants, too!").
  • The second dealt with the Wonder Twins' uselessness in battle (Zan: "I could get beaten by a sponge! It doesn't even have to be an evil sponge!")
  • The third, co-starring The Powerpuff Girls, dealt with Aquaman's useless powers (Aquaman: "My ability to talk to fish is of no use to us, Wonder Woman!") and the level of violence compared with recent cartoons. Wonder Woman and Aquaman look away while the Powerpuff Girls beat up the Legion of Doom, setting the Scarecrow on fire. Notable was Bubbles' double-entendre reply to Wonder Woman's compliment on how they were developing as superheroes: "One day we'll be as developed as you are". Lex Luthor (a villain with a salacious mind) began laughing; his underlings understood the joke and laughed as well. When a piece of the Hall of Doom's ceiling fell on Luthor's head, everyone laughed. When the Powerpuff Girls came crashing in, Luthor mispronounced their collective name as "The POWDERpuff Girls", annoying the Powerpuff Girls and causing them to angrily correct him: "It's POWERpuff!" "No D!!"J
  • In the fourth, co-starring Ben 10, Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Batman are drinking coffee and discussing about the 'new kid' Ben Tennyson. Wonder Woman tells Batman he's envious of Ben, and she wonder "Maybe because he has super powers?" Batman just torments, however Superman agrees Wonder Woman's point, then explains that Aquaman can talk to fish, and that he can fly; "But you're just a loaded guy with a rubber mask, an expensive car and a funny belt." Just then, Ben walks into the break room and gets his lunch. Batman greets him not quite friendly at first, however after Ben asks Batman for his autograph, Batman feels pleased. He then asked the other superhero if they want half of his sandwich and Aquaman takes it. Ben then tells Superman that he has Superman pajamas, which makes his day. Ben then leaves the break room, all heroes are happy to Ben's nice side for them. And Aquaman chimes in, saying it was cool that he gave him half of his tuna sandwich. Suddenly their mood turns very awkward.

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2000--WORLD'S FUNNEST--Superman and Batman: World's Funnest is an American single issue prestige format comic book published in 2000 by DC Comics. It was written by Evan Dorkin and illustrated by many artists. It is an Elseworlds tale and as such is not considered part of the main DC canon/continuity. Despite the title, Batman and Superman play only a small role in the story which stars instead Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite as the main protagonists. The book pokes fun at many comic book conventions and DC heroes from the golden through to modern ages. Its setting is a multiverse similar to the pre-crisis DCU but also includes references to other Elseworlds tales (Kingdom Come and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns), the modern DCU, the DCAU and even pays a visit to Crisis on Infinite Earths.  In this series, it's revealed that there is only one Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite in the multiverse, and so every version we see of them is the same versions.  This has also been demonstrated in post-Crisis and New 52 Superman comics.  

2004--A UNIFORM USED TO MEAN SOMETHING.../HINDSIGHT IS 20/20...--This one fits. In 2004, this Superman is animated in the art style of legendary silver age Superman artist Curt Swan. These are commercials in which Superman hangs out with Jerry Seinfeld.


Release Date:  November 10, 2004
Animated Series Crosses:  Pac-Man; Bugs Bunny; Snagglepuss; Flintstones; Road Runner; Aladdin
Other Crosses:  Superman (Silver Age)
The Story:  Xandir comes out of the closet.  Meanwhile, Spanky exploits Ling-Ling.

Notes:  Ms. Pac-Man is at Xandir’s coming out party, posing as Pac-Man.  Elmer Fudd and Snagglepuss are also at the party, revealed to be gay.  The Drawn Together house has a Bedrock style record player with a tiny talking pterodactyl as a needle.  Xander takes an ACME gay test kit. Xandir meets a gay genie who is the same type of genie as that from Disney’s Aladdin, and who seems to have the personalities of every character Robin Williams has ever played.  Bizarro Captain Hero is also at the party. Captain Hero references that he is from Bizarro World, which is the world that was created by Superman for Bizarro Superman and other Bizarros to live on. We have already established that Superman’s silver age canon fits well in a Cartoon Universe.  


Jan 8 2014--SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 2--Ace the Bat-Hound

  • Ivan informs on the podcast that this version of Ace does indeed act similar to the manner that was first introduced in the Krypto the Super-Dog animated series and later on the DC Nation shorts. The Krypto series does not work for this timeline because in that series Krypto arrives on Earth after Superman is an adult and lives with a boy in the suburbs of Metropolis. Super Friends incorporates the previous Filmation versions of Superman and Superboy, including adventures of Superboy and Krypto. So we must abide by the original silver age origin of Krypto. The DC Nation Shorts featuring the Super-Pets works though.
  • This also brings in Mystery Analysts of Gotham City


Mar 4 2015--SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 9--Superman

  • This is classic Pre-Crisis Superman.  Krypto is not from the cartoon but the silver age version.  References to Elastic Lad, signal watch, that pool at the fortress that gives powers, the Fortress itself, the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club etc.
  • No Z in Brazier reference to Margot Kidder’s Lois from the Christopher Reeve movies.
  • Perry White references  the classic George Reees episode where a crook pretends to be ghost of Caeser to drive Perry crazy.
  • Reference to the previous Super Friends issue.
  • Lois’ costume looked a bit like the one seen in Lois and Clark
  • Lots of classic villains, Professor Potter, Space Canine Patrol Agency

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Mar 22 2017--SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP # 24--Martian Manhunter
  • Martian Manhunter is stated to be a member of the Justice League. If SDTU is based mostly on a mid to late 70s era, then yes, J'onn would have been a member, but he would have left Earth at this time. Perhaps he didn't leave Earth in this timeline as he did on Earth-1.
  • Persons in Plaid apparently the Men in Black of this timeline.
  • Other aliens named as being captured are: Kanjar Ro, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), and Zook. Superman is said to be on a mission in space currently.
  • Blue Beetle (this version) first appeared post-Infinite Crisis. In the mid 70s, Ted Kord was Blue Beetle. Another post-New 52 addition to an otherwise Pre-Crisis type timeline.
  • The remaining aliens not yet captured are Ultra the Multi-Alien, J'emm Son of Saturn, Starfire, and Starman (the blue guy from the 1970s).
  • All the Starmen exist in this timeline, implying the events of the Starman Jack Knight series happened in this timeline.
  • Starfire references the other two DC characters named Starfire. This was also a joke in an issue of Starman where three different people told the story of being rescued by Starfire, and each version was a different character named Starfire.
  • Ultra was originally from the future of Earth-1. Either he time travelled or in this timeline he was a contemporary character.
  • Starfire is taller than she was when appearing with Teen Titans Go, which Daphne points out. This is similar to how Robin appeared differently in different settings. This Starfire still doesn't resemble her main DCU counterpart, but more closely resembles the DC Girls animated series version.

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2973--Jan 5--Three youths, Rokk Krinn, Garth Ranzz, and Imra Ardeen, save R.J. Brande from assassination by men working for his "cousin" Doyle.  (Superboy v.1 #147, May/June 1968)

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2973--Mar 3--Triplicate Girl (Luornu Durgo) and Phantom Girl (Tinya Wazzo) join the Legion.  NOTES: This story was only shown in flashback. Legion membership order does not coincide with actual first appearances, as established in the roll call of All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55 (1978). Superboy#147 (5-6.68) established that Triplicate Girl was the fourth member to join the Legion. See Membership for more information.  (Superboy v.1 #147, May/June 1968)

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2973--Sep 5--Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, and Triplicate Girl travel to the 20th century to give Supergirl a second chance to try for Legion membership. Bouncing Boy (Chuck Taine), Shrinking Violet (Salu Digby), and Sun Boy also apply, but are rejected. Supergirl and Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox) are admitted. Supergirl unearths Excalibur, legendary sword of King Arthur. NOTES:6th Legion app. in print. Supergirl's place in the membership order does not coincide with her first LSH appearance. Phantom Girl and Triplicate Girl are shown to have already joined the Legion. In this story, Brainiac 5 describes the final fate of the original Brainiac (who is described as his great-great-great-great-grandfather): being shrunk out of existence after trying to turn his shrinking ray on the Earth. This did indeed happen to Brainiac in Superman#338 (Aug. 1979), but the villain subsequently returned several times, beginning in Action Comics #514 (Dec. 1980).  (Action #276, May 1961)

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2974--Jan--Jo Nah is swallowed by an "ultra-energy beast," giving him super powers. After helping Phantom Girl against Sugyn he decides to leave Rimbor and his girlfriend An Ryd to join the Legion. NOTES:Sugyn's first appearance was in Adventure #350 (Nov. 1966), and An Ryd first appeared in Superboy & the LSH #239 (May 1978). Ultra Boy's decision to leave Rimbor and join the Legion was not shown in the original story; it was first depicted in flashback in Legion v.4 Annual # #1 (1990).  (Superboy v.1 #98, July 1962), (Legion v.4 Annual #1, 1990)

2978--Apr 20--The Legion and the Fatal Five try and fail to stop the Sun-Eater. Tharok builds an absorbatron bomb, which Superboy volunteers to carry to the creature's core. Ferro Lad slugs Superboy and carries the bomb himself, destroying the Sun-Eater at the cost of his own life. A memorial for Ferro Lad is erected on Shanghalla.  Adventure #353 (Feb. 1967)

40th century

3977--SupermanHawkman and Hawkgirl time travel to this year to rescue a time warped scientist and bring him back to the present.  As seen in the Super Friends Season 2 episode Time Rescue.



I've chosen not to include comic book crossovers that don't involve characters from other mediums. You can find out more about those stories in Worlds and Mythology and in my DC Multiverse blog post found here.

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Earth-One--Pre-Crisis--DC's Silver Age heroes, including the original Justice League of America: Police scientist Barry Allen as the Flash; test pilot Hal Jordan as Green Lantern; Thanagarian Katar Hol as Hawkman; scientist Ray Palmer as the Atom; and Clark Kent (Kal-El), who as a teenager became Superboy before his career as Superman. The default Earth for most of DC's comics during the time the original Multiverse construct was in use, Earth-One was by far the most populated and widely explored, and it retained dominance over the other four worlds which merged with it during the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline. The DC Universe's "official" continuity post-Crisis took place on a merged Earth-One, as the Crisis revealed that this universe had been the core reality until the rogue Guardian Krona fractured reality at the dawn of creation, creating both the Multiverse and the Antimatter Universe. First described as a distinct Earth in Flash (vol. 1) #123 (September 1961), first named in Justice League of America (vol. 1) #21 (August 1963). First appeared in More Fun Comics #101 (January 1945).

Earth-2A--Pre-Crisis--Earth-2A is the unofficial name of the universe that the Justice Society of America live in. The universe is very similar to the universe known as Earth-Two. In fact, the natives of that earth refer to it as Earth-Two. There was a period between the ending of the Golden Age and the Silver Age where distinct stories were published that were neither part of Earth-One or Earth-Two, the majority of these adventures can be reasoned to have happened on Earth-E. However Earth-E is in many forms a proto-Earth-One and so the initial changes that occurred there are represented here. There is no Superboy in Earth-Two but a Superboy could well have existed on this Earth. First appeared in Superman.

Earth-12 (Pre-Crisis) was populated by parodies from across pop-culture, but many of DC's major characters existed there with the same names as in the DCU (Superman, Batman, etc), leading many to suspect that the SuperFriends cartoon took place in Earth-12 continuity.

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Earth-Crossover--Pre-Crisis--All main-continuity DC Comics and Marvel Comics characters. An Earth where Earth-1 and Marvel Comics Universe characters coexisted. It is notable for having its own Phoenix Force and Darkseid. (Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans Vol 1 #1, 1982). Named in The Official Crisis on Infinite Earths Index and Official Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossover Index. First appeared in Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man (January 1976).

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Family Guy--In the Family Guy episode "A Hero Sits Next Door", there was a cutaway joke involving Peter playing a game of strip poker with Wonder Woman. Super Friends-style scene transitions appear twice in the episode. In "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High", Peter flashed back to the time he was a Wonder Twin, taking the form of Jayna's tampon. In "Perfect Castaway", when Lois told Peter how well the family had been doing ever since she married Brian she mentioned that Meg went on a date with the Super Friends' announcer. Then a scene shows Meg and the announcer in a car on a hill where the announcer says, "Meanwhile, underneath Meg Griffin's bra...". In "PTV" Apache Chief helps Peter install a satellite dish for his unauthorized TV station. In "No Meals on Wheels", Peter made a reference to the Mexican Super Friends; a non sequitur showed Mexican versions of superheroes, including "Mexican Superman" and "Mexican Batman".  In "It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One", when Lois ran for mayor she attempted to gain the "stupid vote" by claiming Adolf Hitler was working with the Legion of Doom to plot the assassination of Jesus. Shortly after this, the Legion of Doom's base rose from the lake and Lex Luthor asked the other Legion members how she knew their plans. Solomon Grundy admitted he "kinda dropped the ball on that one". The opening of "Family Goy" parodied the opening sequence of Super Friends with Peter as Superman, Brian and Stewie as Batman and Robin respectively, Lois as Wonder Woman, Chris as Aquaman and Meg as....Meg. In Something, Something, Something Dark Side, shortly after Chris/Luke and Cleveland/R2-D2 landed on Dagobah, the Legion of Doom fortress rose from the swamp with the same narration and music. Chris/Luke yelled, "Not now!" and the fortress quickly sank.

Holy Musical B@man!--Super Friends was mentioned at the end of the StarKid Productions musical Holy Musical B@man!. At the end of the musical, Batman, Robin, Superman, and the Green Lantern combine to form a "league of justice" they call the Super Friends. This group consists of some of the members of the original Super Friends as well as some new additions.

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Mad--In early episodes of the animated series Mad, a few of the PSAs were remade which it was called "Super Villains". There have currently been two of these, one about health and the other about safety. In one sketch, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are convinced to change the name from the Super Friends to the Justice League after a musical appeal by fellow heroes.

MTV's The State--During a transition between two other skits on MTV's The State, there was a brief scene with members of the State dressed as Super Friends. The Flash ran in, informing them of an impending disaster. Superman then began assigning serious tasks to all of the members, finishing by saying "and Aquaman... go talk to some fish". The Super Friends then began laughing hysterically, while a visibly embarrassed Aquaman just stood there.

Superman (1988 Animated Series)--Including here because there is a crossover and I didn't know where else to put this. This animated adventure may be a divergent timeline. There is a crossover, so it earns a place here. Matt Hickman says: Here's something I noticed in the SuperMan 1988 episode “Cybron Strikes”. Superman fights a cyborg from the future named Cybron obviously. Then in the 1995-1996 animated series Sky Surfer Strike Force, the main bad guy is a cyborg name Cybron. Now granted they look different and the Cybron on the Superman show acts less human and has Different powers from the one on Sky Surfer Strike Force and looks different but Perhaps he upgraded himself like he's actually Cybron 3.0 or something. Plus on the Superman show they never say what year Cybron came from. On Skysurfer we never see his final defeat. Plus both shows are Ruby-Spears Productions.

That '70s Show--Super Friends was spoofed in an episode of That '70s Show with a dream sequence where the "Super Pals" made fun of Eric's Superman because Donna's Wonder Woman had given him a ring as a gift. "I got it at the mall!" she exclaims. The episode featured Eric Forman as Superman, Donna as Wonder Woman, Kelso as Batman, Fez as Aquaman and Hyde and Jackie as the Wonder Twins. Red was also featured as their nemesis "Dr. Bald", wearing Lex Luthor's green-and-purple costume.

TVCU-69--Porn Universe--Also known as Earth-XXX. In this reality, there is a porn adaptation of the classic DC/Marvel crossover, Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man.

Did I miss anything? Of course I did. I only scratched the surface. There are sooooooo many crossovers out there. Why don't you tell me your favorite?

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