Friday, December 7, 2012

Thundarr the Barbarian

Every Saturday morning I would religiously plant my ass in front of the TV and in a seemingly drug induced haze absorb everything Thundarr and the Superfriends did on the screen. Superfriends was the shit, no doubt about that, but Thundarr! Oh Boy, Thundarr was the fucking SHIT!!! What Thundarr really was, was a total rip off of Conan the Barbarian and Star Wars ingeniously fused together by none other than the man who created Howard the Duck, Steve Gerber!

The stories were surprisingly good. Even all of these years later they hold my full attention, which is almost a sole result of the weirdo realm and vast scope of Gerber's imagination as anyone who's actually read any of the Howard the Duck stories would fully understand. Gerber was no slouch when it came to social satire and his overall quirky characterization encompassed all of his involvements. Everything from Man-Thing to Thundarr and beyond had his unmistakable and totally far out touch. Being a huge and lifelong fan of Conan the Barbarian I was stoked to come across Thundarr and his swampy world of post apocalyptic fantasy. The Star Wars influences were not lost on me either as only a blithering idiot could not make the comparison between Thundarr's Sunsword and the lightsaber so sparingly employed by Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.

The Star Wars influence didn't end there either as Thundarr's ace in the hole was none other than a Chewbacca inspired creation by the name of Ookla, complete with unintelligible grunts and super human strength. I personally don't give a fuck if the show wore its Conan and Star Wars influences on it's sleeves. I was thrilled to death with the end result and that's not to say that Thundarr wasn't drenched in an originality all its own. For as long as I'll live, I'll never forget an episode where the Statue of Liberty, half sunken in some swamp, is magically brought to life by an evil sorcerer complete with a live torch in her hand used as a weapon, flame thrower style! Mind-fucking-blowing goodness!!!

Where Thundarr ultimately succeeds is in it's otherwordly depiction of places such as New York City, San Fran, Boston and L.A. Hell,  even MT Rushmore gets a post apocalyptic facelift! Watching Thundarr, even to this day, makes me cringe when I think of the horrible shit kids are into today and it's really not their fault, it's merely all they have to choose from now. Back then we had Dungeons & Dragons, Voltron,  The Shogun Warriors and of course, Thundarr! What do these poor little imps have nowadays? Dora? A bunch of bad acid trip anime that causes headaches and hallucinations? No thanks. Point me in the direction of the post-apocalyptic wasteland and I'll be on my way.

No comments:

Post a Comment