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Below: The TV Guide ad Robby colorized to make the mash-up cover above.
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Legends of the Super-Heroes 3 of 3: The Challenge

"Legends of the Super Heroes" was a two-part television special that aired on NBC on January 18, 1979 and January 25, 1979. This issue, we're reviewing the "action" half of the show, called The Challenge. Opening titles...

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As the show begins, Lex Luthor is addressing the Super Friends...
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Oops. I mean... MORDRU is addressing the Super Friends. I mean the super villains. The line-up is similiar to the scene above, except minus all the Superman villains. The Superman universe was off limits at the time, because the first Chris Reeve Superman movie was smashing box office records. Warners wasn't about to waste the Man of Steel on television!

So, Mordru is substituting for Luthor. The villains have gathered to hatch a diabolical plot to destroy the world, but they're an unruly lot, and they refuse to quiet down. so Mordru emits a few bolts of magical power, showing off some "state of the art" special effects! Wow, they can do anything now.
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The Riddler (Frank Gorshin reprising his Batman TV show role), takes roll call in the form of riddles. Horrrible, unfuny, exposition-laden riddles. Giganta and Weather Wizard are not amused.
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The sequence is long and painful, as Riddler introduces each bad guy with a stupid "riddle," and they demonstrate their powers. Eventually, Dr. Sivana activates a bomb that will blow up the entire world in one hour unless the heroes can stop it. The villains plan to leave the heroes clues, created, of course, by the Riddler.

Riddler: "If Shakespeare had had my mind, there's no telling how far he would have gone!"
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The heroes swing into action! Batman and Robin race off in the Batmobile, and the Black Canary does a wheelie on her bike! But uh-oh. Sinestro has sabatoged the Batmobile!
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Why does Batman's cowl look so weird? Because the original TV show cowl could not be found, so wardrobe made a new one, using a loose a piece of fabric to cover Batman's neck. Anyway, Batman and Robin take the malfunctioning car to a service station...
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...where they encounter Solomon Grundy, magically "disguised" as a gas station attendent. Excellent disguise! Grundy has a brief slapstick fist fight with the Dynamic Duo.
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Next up is Green Lantern. Sadly, in this whole two-night duperhero event, GL hardly ever uses his power ring.
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GL gets a clue that leads him to Sinestro, disguised as a gypsy fortune teller. GL, totally oblivious that his life-long arch enemy is three foot away from his stupid face, asks the "gypsy" how to stop the bad guys, and he responds by asking GL for a handwriting sample to analyze. Naturally GL complies, and Sinestro tells him his handwriting tells him he' an introvert.Uh-huh.

Then Sinestro asks to read GL's palm, telling him he must take off his ring and glove first. Now the Emerald Crusader gets suspicious. Finally. Looking at the gypsy's hand, GL says, "You're wearing a very unusual ring. This can only mean one thing!"

Sinestro: "We're engaged?"

"No!" GL replies, "You're Sinestro!"

At this point, the dim-witted Green Lantern finally recognizes Sinestro. He recites his oath for some reason, knocks Sinestro out with a single green bolt of power, then teleports himself outta there.
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Meanwhile, the Dynamic Duo, looking for a temporary replacement for the Batmobile, visit a used car lot managed by a disguised Weather Wizard. Robin seems to grasp the urgency of the situation, but Batman is completely oblivious.
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Let the world blow up! It's more important to take time to give young Robin a lesson in used car buying. Ha ha. It's funny, you see. Anyway, the disguised WW is a pretty smooth salesman, and he talks Batman in to buying a motorcycle with a side car.
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Meanwhile,back at the gas station, Hawkman meets Solomon Grundy!
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The swamp monster manages to overpower the Thanagarian, actually quit easily, and chains him to a car lift, then begins raising him up, to crush him against the ceiling. Which would be impossible, but never mind.
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Batman and Robin's stunt doubles to the rescue!
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Now it's time for Black Canary to vist Solomon Grundy's very busy service station. It seems deserted, so she cries out "HELLOOO!" and blasts the entire black with her sonic canary cry. In a comical way. Supposedly.
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Grundy hears, and come running. Naturally, she fails to recognize him. She keeps asking if anyone unusual has been there lately. Grundy says no, but when he takes off his hat, Mordru's spell is broken and Canary sees who it is she's talking to. After a mercifully brief tussle, Grundy overpowers Canary and chains her next to Hawkman.
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Next we cut to Captain Marvel, who follows Burma-shave inspired road-sign clues to the Riddler, who is disguised as a psychiatrist. The World's Mightiest Mortal introduces himself as Captain Marvel, and Dr. Riddler asks, "Did your parents give you that name, or did you pick it when you got that outfit?"

Cap, apparently in a talkative modd, reveals that his real name is Billy Batson, then tells the story of his origin, how he met old Shazam, etc., etc. Why do this? I mean, other than as a lame form of exposition.

Cap: "You have to unlock a secret that's in my subconscious!"
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Cap escapes, and walks (?) to the nearby gas station, where he frees Canary and Hawkman from Grundy's trap. He tells them the bomb is on "Hidden Island," and Canary screams the information to the rest of the Super TV Friends.
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Huntress hears Canary's cry, and runs off for the island.
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To stop the heroes from going to the island, the villains send Dr. Sivana (in disguise) to give them drugged lemonade.
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Dumb GL drinks some of the drugged lemonade. Gasp! It's YELLOW! His powers are gone.
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In the big action finale, the now-powerless heroes rush to the island on jet skis. Below, Batman and Robin's stunt doubles.
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Rare behind-the-scenes photo: Filming the lake scenes.
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The villains toast their own genius, but Solomon Grundy accidently gives them Sivana's de-powering formula! This removes all their powers, including, for some reason, the abilities of mechanical devices such as Weather Wizard's wand.

Batman and Robin, along with their fellow Super Friends, burst into the villains HQ, and beat up the bad guys in a slow-moving, stilted fight scene that makes the BAM POW fights on the old Batman TV show look realistic.

The action ends with a return appearance of the aging Scarlet Cyclone, who announces, a bit late, that he's finally arrived to save the world. He tries to fly, and can't. "Oh heck," he says. Then the show ends, with a very large thud.
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THE END!

The "LEGENDS OF THE SUPER HEROES" television specials was lost for decades, seen only on bootleg video tapes for sale at comic conventions, then later on YouTube. But like everything else, the show was eventually released on DVD...

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Robby reviews Superman v. Batman!
NOTE: This issue will not be posted until March 26th
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MEANWHILE, COMING TOMORROW...
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