SilverHawks – Volume One (Warner DVD/Animation)
B- Sound: B- Extras: C+ Episodes: C+
huge success of Thundercats is 1985
Rankin/Bass wanted to follow a similar path by entertaining children with a new
breed of humanoid superheroes. SilverHawks is a series that follows
the lives of a group of crime fighters in the 29th century that were
given metal bodies and hawk wings to protect the Galaxy of Limbo. The team was originally recruited by bionic
policeman Commander Stargazer in order to fight the evil and armor-plated
creature Mon-Star who is a mob boss bent on ruling the entire galaxy. With his team of snake-like and blade-armed
super villains, Mon-Star may just get his wish if the Silver Hawks don’t do
leader of the Silver Hawks is Quick Silver and his trusty metal-bird Tally
Hawk. Also on the team are twins
Steelheart and Steelwill, the team’s technician and muscle power respectively. Finishing off the band of superheroes is Blue
Grass with his sonic guitar and Copper Kidd the mathematical genius from the
“planet of mimes.” The team is based out
of their secret hideaway at Hawk Haven in the Limbo Galaxy and fought against
the evil Mon-Star for 65 galaxy blasting episodes.
series feels somewhat like Thundercats,
but lacks the degree of depth, continuity, and heart that Thundercats always had embodied.
SilverHawks: Volume One features
the first 32 episodes of the short lived series and crazy enough features many
of the same voice actors as Thundercats;
giving the viewer (if a Thundercats fan)
that odd auditory sense that something is amiss. Voice actors like Earl Hammond, Larry Kenney,
Peter Newman, and Bob McFadden all lend their voice talents to the series and
in some way their enthusiasm may be one of the series only saving graces. The plots are weak. There seems to be no realistic rules as far
as battles or even gravity goes; and thin the end the series has a difficult
time balancing the concepts of superheroes and fantasy on an engaging level.
technical features on this 4-Disc, 32 episode set are very similar to those
found on other WB animated releases from the same era, never quite perfect, but
nice nonetheless. The picture is
presented in a standard 1.33 X 1 full screen that demonstrates a degree of
debris on screen as well as weak colors throughout; but overall the image is
surprisingly fluid and crisp for a time when the masters of these fan favorites
were not taken care of in the slightest.
The sound is a simple Dolby Digital Mono that gets the job done, but is
far from impressive as it projects solely from the front with minimal
distortion. The extras are very nice
giving fans a mix of everything.
extras feature a 10 minute documentary style look back at the series with the
series’ creative forces including that of SilverHawks
supervising producer Lee Dannacher. The
short, but interesting featurette is nice and very informative; in the future
it should be longer though. There is
also an extra taking a look at the new DC Universe’s Wonder Woman animated
feature that is arriving on DVD and Blu-ray.
The look at the new Wonder Woman cartoon is more than enough to wet any
comic fans appetite; let’s just hope it is better than Justice League: New Frontier.
extras also promise a “Gallery of Characters and Action Figures” which would
have propelled the set to the next galaxy in this reviewer’s mind; but sadly no
such feature is to be found. Perhaps on
end, the series was aimed at a very young demographic and the liberties that
the series took with physics and everything else can be overlooked by
recognizing the intended audience.
Warner Bros. did an excellent job with this set from the boxes’ art work
to the special features, everything is well done. A definite must for any 1980’s cartoon
- Michael P. Dougherty II