Super Friends first aired on ABC on September 8, 1973, featuring the well known DC characters Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. Superman, Batman and Aquaman had each previously appeared in their own animated series produced by Filmation, and voice talent from these prior programs was brought over to work on the new show. Shortly before the Super Friends series was developed, Superman and Wonder Woman also guest-starred in two episodes of The Brady Kids, while Batman and Robin appeared in two episodes of The New Scooby-Doo Movies.
In addition to the superheroes, a trio of sidekicks was introduced, each of whom were new characters not drawn from the comic books: Wendy Harris (voiced by Sherri Alberoni), Marvin White (voiced by Frank Welker), and Wonderdog, none of whom had any special abilities (save Wonderdog’s unexplained ability to reason and “talk”). Inspired by the Scooby-Doo gang, Wendy and Marvin were depicted as detectives and/or superheroes in training.
Each episode would begin with the heroes responding to an emergency detected by the massive TroubAlert computer that was situated within the Hall of Justice which served as the headquarters of the team. Colonel Wilcox, a U.S. Army official, was a recurring character who would work as a government liaison to the Super Friends during emergencies.
As such conflicts are often ultimately resolved with the antagonists persuaded to adapt more reasonable methods to achieve their aims with the assistance of the heroes. Natural disasters triggered by human (or alien) activity were often shown, and environmental themes featured strongly in the program.
Some guest stars from the broader Justice League were featured during this season including the Flash, Plastic Man, and Green Arrow.
This first run of Super Friends, consisting of sixteen one hour episodes that were rerun several times, concluded on August 24, 1974. At this point, the series was cancelled and did not appear on the fall lineup for 1974.