Airing Saturday mornings on CBS, The Mighty Heroes was a Terrytoons animated series for which only one season of 20 episodes was produced, running October 29, 1966 through September 2, 1967. Combining the superhero genre with slapstick comedy, the Mighty Heroes were a lampoon of the typical super team, whose plans went wrong more often than they did right. In the end of every episode, of course, they would emerge victorious, but usually only accidentally.
The creator of The Mighty Heroes was well-known animator Ralph Bakshi, famous for Mighty Mouse and, later, the full-length animated films American Pop, Cool World, Fritz the Cat, The Lord of the Rings, and Wizards.
Dell Comics picked up the series for a four-issue run in 1967. In 1987, Spotlight Comics put out one issue of Mighty Heroes. Most recently, in 1997, Marvel Comics released a special one-shot Mighty Heroes issue with story by X-Men writer Scott Lobdell, and art by Rurik Tyler and Larry Mahlstedt. The comic showed the origin of the Mighty Heroes, which had never been revealed on the television series.
The Voice Talent
- Strong Man, who was, of course, super-strong, and super-dumb. He had a southern accent, and a catch phrase of "I'll help ya, li'l buddy."
- Diaper Man, a baby who could speak and fly, and who wielded his bottle as a weapon, swinging it by the nipple. He had a gravelley voice, sounding more like a chain-smoking 50-year-old than a newborn, and threw tantrums when things weren't going well.
- Rope Man, whose body was made of rope, and who could tie things up with hiimself, or make himself small enough to fit through cracks.
- Tornado Man, who could transform into a tornado.
- Cuckoo Man, who didn't really seem to have much in the way of superpowers, and who seemed more than a little insane, but he was certainly good at getting the rest of them into trouble, and getting them all captured by their supervillain archenemies; on more than one occasion Tornado Man and Rope Man together managed to tie up the whole team in knots thanks to Cuckoo Man's bumbling.
Some of the Mighty Heroes' nemeses included:
- The Enlarger
- The Frog
- The Ghost Monster
- The Junker
- The Monsterizer
- The Raven
- The Scarecrow
- The Shocker
- The Shrinker
Boy, does this one take me back. I have very fond memories of watching this cartoon on Saturday mornings with my dad, both of us lying in the living room in our underwear, eating our cornflakes. Watching Saturday morning cartoons was a male ritual in my family, shared time alone with my dad without my mom and little sister.
In compiling this entry, I consulted the cool people over at Yesterdayland (www.yesterdayland.com) and Toonpedia (www.toonopedia.com/), and my own very fond memories of this cartoon from the year before I started first grade.