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Your Favorite TV Superheroes


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Of course Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Hulk made it big on television, as did The Six-Million-Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.  But for every hit there have been myriad other live-action crimefighters that just didn't catch on.  They may have had a cool concept but had poor execution or a lousy time slot.  Some of them were summer replacements that were ultimately replaced by more forgettable programs.  Here are a few of my favorites.  What are some of yours?

The Magician (1973) -- Before he portrayed the Hulk's troubled alter ego, Bill Bixby played an unflappable conjuror who used stagecraft and illusions to baffle criminals.  He didn't have any real magic powers but he did drive a cool sports car.

M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994) -- A paraplegic physician developed an exoskeleton to enable himself to walk again and discovered that it made him unusually strong and bulletproof.  And he had an underwater base and triphibian vehicle.  Bruce Wayne should be so lucky.

Street Hawk (1985) -- A washed out motorcycle cop agreed to secretly test a a high tech hog, complete with an armored bodysuit that allowed only him to ride it.  Stylish if relatively low-powered.

Automan (1983) -- A computer genius programmed a handsome virtual hero who could create almost any weapon or vehicle out of pixels.  How Eighties is that?

The Man From Atlantis (1977) -- Pre-"Dallas" Patrick Duffy presented a sweetly naive water-breathing champion who left dolphins in his wake.  Plus you got former Batman '66 villain Victor Buono as one of his enemies.

Beauty and the Beast (2012) -- Typical CW garbage but with an interesting premise:  The Beast was a survivor of a shady super soldier program, a sort of gene-spliced werewolf hunted by his sinister Deep State creators.

Edited by seneschal
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Being a hormonal and impressionable teenaged boy at the time, Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman was my favorite.

 

I liked Bixby's The Magician a lot, too.  Played to the brains-over-brawn trope (always popular with the geeky kids).

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Yeah, I grew up watching Wonder Woman, Six Million Dollar man, The Incredible Hulk and Man from Atlantis.

I did like Forever Knight, featuring Nick Knight, a vampire cop who worked the night shift.

Also, more modern day, Misfits was really good, I especially laughed hard at one character who had gained the ability to remove superpowers by having sex with the owners, he was referred to in one scenario as The Raper

He was thrown at a rampaging super villain who was flying, all you could see was him clinging onto the super villain's back, then his lycra bottoms fell off and you heard yelling followed by them both falling to the ground, something completely surprising/unexpected/shocking/hilarious.

I have liked most of the recent super hero TV shows.

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"Also, more modern day, Misfits was really good, I especially laughed hard at one character who had gained the ability to remove superpowers by having sex with the owners, he was referred to in one scenario as The Raper."

 

Um, can you do that on television?  😱

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1 minute ago, seneschal said:

"Also, more modern day, Misfits was really good, I especially laughed hard at one character who had gained the ability to remove superpowers by having sex with the owners, he was referred to in one scenario as The Raper."

 

Um, can you do that on television?  😱

Look at the spoiler. Oh, yes they can and did!

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Captain Nice and Mr. Terrific (1967) -- Aired on different networks back-to-back on the same night, both quiet nerds who gained temporary Superman-ish powers by taking unrelated miracle drugs.  Played for laughs in the era of Adam West Batman with nary a nod to Hourman.  No fair!  The drug-taking apparently became controversial even though The Shield, Captain America, Hourman, the original Blue Beetle, Elongated Man, Roger Ramjet and Underdog had all done it.  Just saying.

Edited by seneschal
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As a kid I was Star Wars or nothing. So although I recognise the names of those series I never actually watched them.

I did enjoy Monkey though (largely because Dad outright forbad me from watching it, so I watched it at my mate's house instead)

Marrying a lady with a borderline obsession with comic books (and three boys who have followed in those footsteps) has led me to be a bit more cosmopolitan. Or maybe the quality of newer TV series has just improved massively.

I'll add a vote for Misfts, although I stopped watching at the Time Travel Let's Kill Hitler episode not by any conscious choice but just sort of watched other things.

Nu-Who must count as a superhero of the cerebral variety.

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Miho Gu from " My Girlfriend is a nine tailed Fox "  OK not your standard Superhero but She stronger and faster then a Human and Shin Mih AhMy Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox | tida's blog fox"

Edited by TRose
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 IM addicted to Korean Dramas and many have a Fantasy /Science Fiction angle

 There Strong Girl Bong Soong.  More traditional super hero.Super Strong Woman as long as she uses her powers for Good. Powers come from a magic book given to her ancestor . I could provide more examples if other are interested.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Nine tails,eh?  Gives new meaning to "Honey, I need to brush my hair."

Dating a fox is like dating a mermaid or elf maiden.  Never works out for the human guy.

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt2255085/?ref_=fn_al_tt_0

I've seen the first couple episodes of "Strong Girl" (2017).  What I watched was pretty funny, about a shy career girl who becomes a reluctant superhero after inheriting supernatural powers she doesn't want.  She apologizes to the gangsters as she accidentally beats them to a pulp.  😀

Edited by seneschal
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Posted (edited)

The Invisible Man (1975) -- Once again a British scientist turned himself permanently invisible but this time retained his sanity, perhaps because of the loving support of his hot wife.  He concealed his condition with a high-tech mask and lifelike gloves and stripped naked to oppose bad guys.

Gemini Man (1976) -- A secret agent could turn Invisible (clothes and all) for 15 minutes with the aid of a special watch.  Any longer and he'd disappear for good.

I found Invisible Man charming, and the special effects were good for '70s television.  Apparently they were too expensive for the show's lukewarm ratings. and the network replaced it with a similarly themed series with a lighter tone and cheaper effects.  Gemini Man, however, bombed even harder than its predecessor.

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On the nose with so many of these old shows (thank you for reminding me of divide between The Invisible Man and Gemini Man), but why dwell on nostalgia?

Marvel's Daredevil - The Netflix show, not the earlier movie.  This succeeded in capturing both the "street-level" hero realistically (the fight scene at the end of S1E2 is brutally gruelling) and yet combining the fantastic believably.  Characters are sincere and sympathetic.  Costumes are accurate enough to still be practical.  And it was exciting.

!I!

Edited by Ian Absentia
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12 hours ago, seneschal said:

Nine tails,eh?  Gives new meaning to "Honey, I need to brush my hair."

Dating a fox is like dating a mermaid or elf maiden.  Never works out for the human guy.

 Dating a Mermaid?

 You mean like "Legend of the Blue Sea"?  Jun Ji Hyun plays the Mermaid who falls in love with a human. People might know her cause she played Saya in Blood : The Last Vampire . 

 Saya, being a half Vampire( Or Demon take your pick) who works for the CIA might also be considered a kind of Superhero.

 

.  😀

 

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Beauty and the Beast is a good pick. Was there ever an RPG based on that setting? I know there was something, 'Underworld', that was a take on the setting.

How about Supernatural, since the Winchester Brothers are usually sporting a variety of occult powers and weapons vs. various powered villains. I've got a love/hate thing with the show but it's still more my speed than guys in capes (unless it's The Boys).

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On 8/14/2020 at 2:02 PM, Simlasa said:

Beauty and the Beast is a good pick. Was there ever an RPG based on that setting? I know there was something, 'Underworld', that was a take on the setting.

How about Supernatural, since the Winchester Brothers are usually sporting a variety of occult powers and weapons vs. various powered villains. I've got a love/hate thing with the show but it's still more my speed than guys in capes (unless it's The Boys).

Ahhhhhhh, but which Beauty and which Beast?  Do you want 17th century drama, all-singing/all-dancing anime, urban '80s romance, or CW super soldiers?  (The Winchester Bro.s scenario sounds like a friend's Heroes Unlimited game where the PCs were a SWAT team trying to get the drop on a group of super villains.)

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