Suicide Legion (Screenshot: YouTube)

Hanna-Barbera’s DC Comics-based Super Friends franchise went through a number of incarnations in the 1970s and the 1980s, with various cast and format changes each time, but perhaps none is better remembered than 1978’s Challenge Of The Super Friends. The defining characteristic of this one-season wonder was that it gave Superman, Batman, and all their Justice League cronies some worthwhile opponents for a change: The Legion Of Doom, a team of colorful villains headed by Lex Luthor and featuring such DC baddies as Black Manta and Gorilla Grodd. Challenge only last 16 episodes, with two stories apiece, but that was enough to make a strong impression on generations of comic nerds. Now, some footage from that long-gone series has been edited into a mock trailer by Darth Blender called Suicide Legion. The audio, as one might guess, comes directly from the trailer for Suicide Squad, right down to the somber remake of The Bee Gees’ “I Started A Joke” by ConfidentialMX and Becky Hanson. The editing here draws heavily on a November 1978 episode called “Swamp Of The Living Dead” in which Luthor outsources some of his duties to a swamp hag.

The plot has not been changed: Some supervillains are gathered together for an incredibly dangerous black-ops mission. Only this time, instead of Deadshot and Harley Quinn, it’s Captain Cold and Giganta. Despite having a diverse lineup of villains, including such long-time Batman foes as The Riddler and Scarecrow, one thing Challenge Of The Super Friends lacked was The Joker. That character appeared in other Hanna-Barbera series but not this one. Since no Suicide Squad parody or mashup would be be complete without a prominent appearance by “the clown prince of crime,” the folks at Darth Blender had to borrow some footage from the semi-obscure 1968 series The Adventures Of Batman. It’s Filmation, not Hanna-Barbera, and it’s a good 10 years older, but the quality of animation is about the same, so the Joker footage fits in just fine.

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