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Western Animation: Space Ghost

This Hanna-Barbera series, produced in 1966 for CBS, started that studio's superhero adventure cycle. South Dakota's own Gary Owens performed the voice of the spacefaring crimefighter, whose belt and wristbands conferred various offensive and defensive powers. Space Ghost's most impressive (and consistent) power, however, was invisibility. His wards, Jan and Jace, and their pet monkey, Blip, also could fly, survive in space and become invisible at will, though they lacked the offensive punch of Space Ghost's power bands. Its companion series was Dinoboy In The Lost Valley, which focused on the adventures of a young 20th century boy, his cave man protector Ugg and their pet dinosaur Bronty, as they tried to survive in a mysterious jungle area.

Space Ghost and his companions had all new adventures in the early 1980s on NBC's Animated Anthology Space Stars. In 1994, Cartoon Network gave Space Ghost a 15-minute evening talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast; the creators of that show later helped launch [adult swim]. There was also a 2005 comic book limited series that gave him a very much Darker and Edgier backstory.

Moltar, one of the show's villains, was also the very first host of Toonami. In fact, Toonami can trace its roots back to Space Ghost, since it was a More Popular Spin-off of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, which itself was a spinoff of Space Ghost. This show was even a part of Toonami's very early lineup, via the Cartoon Roulette.


Mini-series (DC Comics)

  • Darker and Edgier
  • Death by Origin Story: Thaddeus's wife and unborn child were killed by corrupt peacekeepers.
  • Dirty Cop: The "Phantom" special ops team Thaddeus joins has odd quirks like killing informants and looting their figurative corpses. Not to mention what they did when Tad was about to inform on them.
  • The Dreaded: During the first few issues, rumors about "the Bugs" destroying colonies are laughed off as soon as they're mentioned; of course, it turns out that Zorak is all too real.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: For all the seriousness of the story at the beginning, Tad is the one and only Space Ghost by the end, complete with devoted sidekicks and the traditional behavior one would expect from an iconic superhero of The Sixties.
  • Hive Mind: Zorak and his kind, the Zorathians. Also a reason why Zorak keeps coming back from the dead; if "Zorak" is killed, another bug then becomes "Zorak". Another nod to Coast to Coast, where SG frequently blasts him to no permanent effect.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tad; a nod to Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
  • The Mentor: The alien living on Ghost Planet who gave Space Ghost his powers.
  • Mythology Gag: To Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. Including SG's true name to be Thaddeus Bach (ā la Thaddeus "Tad" Ghostal); Thaddeus' wife resembled Björk (whom SG interviewed and on whom he married).
  • Origin Story
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Space Ghost originally tried hunting down the members of the squad that killed his family. He eventually becomes more idealistic.
  • Space Police: Thaddeus was an interplanetary peacekeeper who was promoted to their Special Ops division.

ShazzanWestern Animation of the 1960sSpider-Man (1967)
South ParkSuperheroThe Spectacular Spider-Man
Secret SquirrelThe Dark Age of AnimationSpeed Buggy
SnagglepussCreator/Hanna-BarberaSpace Stars
South ParkWestern AnimationSpace Ghost Coast to Coast
The HerculoidsRecap/ToonamiSuperman Theatrical Cartoons
The Robonic StoogesSaturday Morning CartoonSpeed Buggy
The SnorksCreator/Cartoon NetworkSpeed Racer

alternative title(s): Space Ghost
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