Cartoons

Cult Cartoon Essentials: Birdman and the Galaxy Trio

Birdman and the Galaxy Trio was an animated science fiction television series created by Alex Toth and produced by Hanna-Barbera. It debuted on NBC on September 9, 1967, and ran on Saturday mornings until September 6, 1969. The program consists of two segments: Birdman, depicting the adventures of a winged superhero powered by the sun, and The Galaxy Trio, centreing around the exploits of three extra-terrestrial superheroes. NBC ran two new segments of Birdman each Saturday, separated by a segment of The Galaxy Trio.

The character of Birdman was revived three decades later in the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim TV series Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, and several characters from Birdman and the Galaxy Trio appeared in this revival.

Birdman (voiced by Keith Andes) was an ordinary human endowed by the sun god Ra (although this origin is only vaguely and briefly hinted at during the series; his real name is given as Ray Randall) with the ability to shoot solar rays from his fists and project “solar shields” to defend himself against attacks. He was recruited by a top-secret government agency, Inter-Nation Security, and now works full-time fighting crime, assisted by his eagle sidekick Avenger. In addition to the abilities he received from Ra, Birdman also possesses the power of flight, thanks to the giant wings which sprout from his back. His sole weakness is that he must periodically recharge his super powers through exposure to the sun’s rays. His trademark is his battle cry of “Biiiiirdman!!” when he goes into battle.

The Galaxy Trioare a group of three extraterrestrial superheroes, Vapor Man, Meteor Man, and Gravity Girl, who patrol space in their cruiser Condor One maintaining order and fighting evildoers in the name of the Galactic Patrol law enforcement agency. The ship was equipped with a “displacer” very similar to the transporter device on Star Trek,[citation needed] which was a contemporary show.

  • Vapor Man (voiced by Don Messick) – He has the ability to transform part or all of his body into gaseous form (a power shared by at least some residents of his home planet of Vaporus), enabling him to fly, escape from physical bonds, and squeeze through very small spaces, as well as producing various forms of “vapor” (such as “freeze vapor”) from his hands.
  • Meteor Man (voiced by Ted Cassidy) – A native of the planet Meteorus. Meteor Man is distinguished by his ability to increase or decrease the size of any part of his body. He gains superhuman strength in any limb that he chooses to enlarge.
  • Gravity Girl (voiced by Virginia Eiler) – She has the ability to bend the laws of gravity to her will, allowing her to fly and lift very heavy objects with her mind. The daughter of the king of the planet Gravitas, she left her luxurious home and life of privilege at an early age to fight crime with the Galactic Patrol and was subsequently assigned to the Galaxy Trio team, with whom she has served ever since.

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