- The Impossibles (TV series)
The Impossibles was a series of animated cartoons produced by Hanna-Barbera in 1966 and aired on American television by CBS. The series of shorts (6 minutes) appeared as part of Frankenstein, Jr. and The Impossibles.
The Impossibles were a trio of rock and roll musicians. When contacted by "Big D" (voiced by Paul Frees) about criminal activities in Empire City, they became superheroes. Like the Monkees, the group’s appearance (in their musician form) was based on 1960s pop star stereotypes, which included somewhat long hair, brightly colored (and matching) outfits, high-heeled boots, screaming female fans and, unlike the Monkees, no percussion or bass instruments. Nothing is known about their personal lives, although Fluid Man once mentioned having an Aunt Tilly. They seemed to have secret identities though even a little child would have no trouble connecting the singing Impossibles to the hero Impossibles on appearance alone. They also seemed to change to their "secret identities" in front of the crowds they were playing to when given a mission.
In their guise as musicians, The Impossibles played their futuristic-looking guitars atop an equally futuristic bandstand that could convert into a car which, in turn, could transform into either a van, a submarine or boat which did not need a driver. Their standard catch cry, when called into action, was "Rally ho!" Their humorous dialogue was typically peppered with puns. As with many Hanna-Barbera characters, The Impossibles were very loosely styled after an existing famous trio, in this case The Three Stooges. Each member of The Impossibles had specific superhuman powers:
- Coil Man (voiced by Hal Smith) - Seemingly the group's leader, short, blond Coily could transform his human limbs into impossibly stretchable or coiled springs, allowing him to bounce to avoid attacks, deliver long-ranged punches and drill through walls. Coil Man usually drove the Impossijet, and his guitar contained a small TV receiver through which "Big D" could contact the group and deliver orders (Big D used Multi Man's guitar in "The Fiendish Dr Futuro," "Beamatron," and "The Diabolical Dauber"). He could be held in place by a magnet, implying that he was at least partially made of metal. Coil Man's costume was purple and pink and included a crested helmet.
- Fluid Man (voiced by Paul Frees) - Dark-haired Fluid Man, aka Fluey, could morph parts of his body into a liquid form, a talent perfect for sneaking up on an enemy though a water faucet. He could also vaporise himself into a cloud or storm, but he could also be soaked up and trapped by a sponge ("Televisatron" and "Return of the Spinner"), or frozen solid inside a block of ice ("Not So Nice Mr. Ice"). Fluid Man's costume resembled a green wetsuit and swimfins.
- Multi Man (voiced by Don Messick) - Multi could create infinite duplicates of himself which were often destroyed, leaving only the original behind. His duplicates rarely, if ever, functioned independently, and were often used as camouflage, a bluff, for extra strength or transportation (he could fly by continuously creating replicas above himself). When duplicating himself, he could push tons of rocks out of the way or crack the solid concrete he and the others were entombed in. The character had shaggy, orange hair and he occasionally held a shield for what seems decorative reasons, though he has used it at least twice. In one instance, Multi repelled bullets with his bare hand ("Fero, the Fiendish Fiddler"), however it may be the shield was supposed to have been used but was accidentally left undrawn. Multi Man's angular, red and black costume included a short, red cape. A physical trait that he shared with many of his contemporaries in cartoons and comics was a mop of hair that entirely covered his eyes. Favourite saying: "You got them all except the original."
- The Perilous Paper Doll Man (voiced by Don Messick) - A supervillain who had the ability to change into any form of paper.
- Beamatron, The Laser Beam Man - A supervillain who shot laser beams from his fingers, lasers had short battery lives.
- The Bubbler - A supervillain who attacked with almost unbreakable bubbles.
- The Burrower - A supervillain who burrowed under banks and pilfered the money inside.
- Fero, the Fiendish Fiddler - A supervillain who, despite his attire making him look like a caricature of Nero, could send people and objects to anywhere he wished with a hi-tech violin.
- Televisitron - A supervillain who used a remote control to send his foes into various channels of the television to do them in.
- The Puzzler - A supervillain who had the ability to change shape due to being a living puzzle. Notably, he is the only villain given an origin, as he mentions having fallen into a jigsaw-making machine which gave him his abilities.
- Spinner - A supervillain with tornado-based powers.
- Professor Stretch - A supervillain with elasticity.
- Smogula - A supervillain that floats in a rain cloud and wields a weather ray-gun.
All villains were defeated in a timely manner and justice was always served. Some villains were made to serve a useful purpose and even went straight upon their capture:
- The Artful Archer - A supervillain who was dressed like Robin Hood; decided to take up being a musician.
- Cronella Critch - A witch who was robbing a charity-for-orphans party. She was turned into a cat due to a spell reversal by Multi-Man.
- Dr. Futuro - A villain from the 40th century, who travelled to the 1960s in order to steal a gold brick to finance his crimes. He accidentally ran into an age-reversing machine, and was turned into a baby.
- The Insidious Inflator - A supervillain who attacked places with giant balloons that he brought to life by using a special ray-gun. He had served time and is seen selling balloons to children.
An ad for the Saturday morning cartoon lineup in comic books of the time referred to "the Bubbler," "Bratfink," and "The Sponge".
- The Spinner - The Spinner steals a $1,000,000 tiara.
- The Perilous Paper Doll - The Paper Doll Man has stolen a top secret plan and is out to steal the second part.
- Beamatron - Beamatron steals a priceless painting from a ship.
- The Bubbler - The Bubbler kidnaps the Shah of Shish-Ka-Bob and it's up to the Impossible to rescue the Shah.
- The Burrower - The Burrower uses his burrowing machine to steal half a million dollars from the bank and dig ten mile down to his lair.
- Timeatron - Timeatron uses his powers to bring villains from the past to pillage for him.
- Smogula - Smogula freezes the Impossibles and seals them within a cave, so they won't interfere with his plans to conquer Empire City.
- The Sinister Speck - The Speck uses a formula to shrink himself in order to photograph some top secret plans.
- Mother Gruesome - Mother Gruesome invents a machine that brings villainous storybook characters out of their stories to help her with her crimes Help Coil Man save way.
- Fero, The Fiendish Fiddler - To get the Impossibles out of the way, Fero uses his fiddle to transport them to different planets.
- The Diabolical Dauber - The Dauber uses a special brush where anything he paints becomes real.
- Televisatron - Televisatron uses his powers to transport the Impossibles to different television shows Coily and Multi at Fluid Man save it!
- The Wretched Professor Stretch - Professor Stretch is causing havoc with his elastical abilities.
- Aquator - Aquator has stolen a secret formula and shrinks himself to microscopic size.
- The Devilish Dragster - The Devilish Dragster has stolen a very valuable item.
- The Return Of The Spinner - The Spinner returns and steals a priceless pooch Fluid Man Save Help Dogs!
- The Puzzler - The Puzzler steals some top secret documents which he plans to sell to the highest bidder.
- Satanic Surfer - The Satanic Surfer takes pictures of a top secret submarine.
- The Scurrilous Sculptor - The Sculptor is turning people into statues.
- The Scheming Spraysol - Spraysol is out to steal some top secret documents.
- The Insidious Inflator - The Inflator creates giant balloon monsters to help him commit crimes.
- The Artful Archer - The Artful Archer steals a priceless violin and a million dollars. It's up to the Impossibles to reclaim them.
- The Return Of The Perilous Paperman - The Paper Doll Man returns and causes trouble for the Impossibles.
- The Dastardly Diamond Dazzler - The Diamond Dazzler has stolen a precious diamond in order to awaken the genie within.
- Cronella Critch The Tricky Witch - Cronella Critch has robbed a charity for orphans party.
- The Terrible Twister - The Twister is on a crime spree and is stealing precious jewels.
- The Terrifying Tapper - The Tapper is a criminal who can transmit himself over the phone lines. He uses this ability to commit crimes.
- Professor Stretch Bounces Back - Professor Stretch returns and creates a rubber monster to help him in his crimes.
- The Anxious Angler - The Angler has stolen some secret space research and plans to sell them to another country.
- The Rascally Ringmaster - The Ringmaster puts on a circus and robs from those who attend.
- Billy The Kidder - Billy the Kidder, a cowboy that rides a robotic horse, is planning to rob the U.S. Mint.
- The Fiendish Doctor Futuro - The Impossibles fight Doctor Futuro who has come from the fortieth century to their time to steal a million dollar gold brick.
- The Infamous Mr. Instant - Mr. Instant uses his insta-gun which can make anything in an instant to help him commit crimes.
- The Crafty Clutcher - The Clutcher uses an invention that brings his gloves to life.
- The Not So Nice Mr. Ice - Mr. Ice and his assistant Freeze are freezing the city in order to take over it.
- The Bizarre Batter - The Batter kidnaps a baseball star and holds him for a ransom of $1,000,000.
A single issue of a "Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles" comic was released by Gold Key as a tie-in to the TV series, and the contents were reprinted in "The Impossibles Annual" by Atlas Publishing & Distributing Co. Ltd, UK in 1968. "The Impossibles" comic story was titled "The Impossibles vs. The Mirror-Man". A new text-based story, specially written for the annual was "The Impossibles Cure a Doctor", with the villainous Herr Doktor Adolf von Tischklautz. Big D is mistakenly called "Big B" in this story.
For the 1979 series The Super Globetrotters, the Impossibles' super powers were re-assigned, entirely intact, to three members of the Globetrotters team. Coil Man was redesigned and renamed Spaghetti Man. Fluid Man was renamed Liquid Man. Multi Man was unchanged.
The Super Globetrotter costumes of Fluid Man/Liquid Man and of Multi Man remained the same as their Impossible counterparts (including the unexplained "F" on Liquid Man's wetsuit), except the color palettes were changed to match the Globetrotters' uniforms. The transformation sequences and many of the signature "moves" from the 1966 series were re-drawn, frame by frame, to feature the superhero incarnations of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team instead of the guitar-toting Impossibles.
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