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The Mighty Heroes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Mighty Heroes
GenreAnimation, comedy
Directed by
Voices of
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producerWilliam M. Weiss
Running time30 min
Production companies
Original networkCBS
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 29, 1966 (1966-10-29) –
March 11, 1967 (1967-03-11)

The Mighty Heroes was a Saturday morning animated television series created by Ralph Bakshi for the Terrytoons company. The original show debuted on CBS, on October 29, 1966, and ran for one season with 20 episodes.[1]

The stories took place in Good Haven, a fictitious city that was continually beset by various supervillains. When trouble occurred, the city launched a massive fireworks display to summon a quintet of high-flying superheroes into action—Strong Man, Rope Man, Tornado Man, Cuckoo Man and Diaper Man.[2]


In Act 1 of each episode, the team members were portrayed as accident-prone bunglers. A typical occurrence had them in combat hopelessly tangled together offering each other stock apologies, often while falling en masse until they were captured by the villain. In Act 2, however, having escaped the villain's deathtrap in the cliffhanger, the team always managed to regroup and fight with proper coordination to win the day. Their villains included the Drifter,[3] the Ghost Monster, the Enlarger, the Frog,[4] the Junker,[5] the Monsterizer,[6] the Toy Man, the Shocker, the Shrinker,[7] and the Scarecrow.[8]


The cartoons originally appeared as a segment of the long-running Mighty Mouse Playhouse during the 1966-67 season, which was renamed Mighty Mouse and The Mighty Heroes in recognition of the new segment. Some weeks during the network run, two complete Mighty Heroes segments would open and close the show with a classic Mighty Mouse cartoon in-between. In other weeks, one Mighty Heroes episode would be split in two to open and close the show, with two Mighty Mouse cartoons broadcast in-between.

The character voices were provided by Herschel Bernardi, who provided all voices of Strong Man, Diaper Man, and Tornado Man, and Lionel Wilson, who provided Cuckoo Man and Rope Man. Bernardi was also the original provider of the "Ho Ho Ho" voice of the Jolly Green Giant and of StarKist's Charlie the Tuna's voice in commercials. Wilson was also the voice of the title character in another famous Terrytoons series, Tom Terrific. Only 20 episodes were produced; the series came to an end when Bakshi left Terrytoons in 1967.

Post first-run syndication

Reruns of The Mighty Heroes were eventually syndicated by Viacom (now CBS Television Distribution) in the 1970s as part of the Mighty Mouse package.[9] There have also been two licensed VHS releases.[citation needed] Ten Mighty Heroes theatrical shorts also appeared in movie theaters between 1969 and 1971.[10]

They appeared in animated form as guest stars in the episode "Heroes and Zeroes" of the late 1980s series Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, produced by Bakshi, in which they had all retired and were running the accounting firm of Man, Man, Man, Man and Man. Even Diaper Man had grown up, evidenced by his having a mustache.[1]

They were included in the 1999 Terrytoons pilot Curbside.[11]

Comic books

There are three comic book adaptations of The Mighty Heroes. The first series was published by Dell Comics in 1967 and ran for four issues.[12] The second series was published by Spotlight Comics in 1987 and ran for one issue. The third series was published by Marvel Comics in 1998 and also ran for one issue.


All five of the Mighty Heroes had the power to fly. Individually, they were:

  • Strong Man has super strength. He speaks with a friendly farm-boy type of accent and holds a civilian job as a mechanic. His favorite fighting move is his "jet-propelled blow," by which he will fly into a villain fist-first.
  • Rope Man is a sailor who works at the docks. Erudite with a British accent, he can transform into a seemingly unending length of rope. He can use his hands like lassos, and can even weave himself into a net. The drawbacks to his powers are that he frequently gets tangled up or knotted, more often than not, around his own teammates.
  • Tornado Man is a television weather forecaster who can spin himself into a tornado. He often sucks the villains into his vortex, then shoots them out toward the nearest wall. He speaks in a wheezy voice.
  • Cuckoo Man is a bird shop owner whose powers are the most limited of the group. Unlike the other Mighty Heroes, all four of whom can fly with no effort, Cuckoo Man has to flap his arms almost constantly in order to keep aloft. (The conclusion of every episode always shows him lagging behind the others as they fly off into the distance.) Cuckoo Man changes into his costume by jumping up through the bottom of his store's cuckoo clock and popping out through the little door. While the other Mighty Heroes's flying is accompanied by a "jet" sound effect similar to Mighty Mouse's, Cuckoo Man's is represented by a chugging jalopy-engine sound.
  • Diaper Man is a red-headed, diapered, yet fully articulate baby, as well as the leader of the group, who sounds a lot like Popeye the Sailor Man. His main weapon is his bottle, which, by holding on to the rubber nipple, he can swing around (or shoot like a slingshot) forcefully. The bottle can also shoot high pressure streams of baby formula. In emergencies, Diaper Man (and often Strong Man) will drink some formula from the bottle whenever extra strength is needed.

None of the real names of the Mighty Heroes were ever revealed in any of the animated cartoons. Nor were origin stories told for any of them.


Almost all of the 20 episodes were named after the enemies the Mighty Heroes encountered in each.

Title Air date
1"The Plastic Blaster"October 29, 1966 (1966-10-29)
2"The Frog"November 5, 1966 (1966-11-05)
3"The Junker"November 12, 1966 (1966-11-12)
4"The Shrinker"November 19, 1966 (1966-11-19)
5"The Ghost Monster"November 26, 1966 (1966-11-26)
6"The Stretcher"December 3, 1966 (1966-12-03)
7"The Monsterizer"December 10, 1966 (1966-12-10)
8"The Drifter"December 17, 1966 (1966-12-17)
9"The Shocker"December 24, 1966 (1966-12-24)
10"The Enlarger"December 31, 1966 (1966-12-31)
11"The Toy Man"January 7, 1967 (1967-01-07)
12"The Dusters"January 14, 1967 (1967-01-14)
13"The Big Freeze"January 21, 1967 (1967-01-21)
14"The Timekeeper"January 28, 1967 (1967-01-28)
15"The Scarecrow"February 4, 1967 (1967-02-04)
16"The Time Eraser"February 11, 1967 (1967-02-11)
17"The Return of the Monsterizer"February 18, 1967 (1967-02-18)
18"The Paper Monster"February 25, 1967 (1967-02-25)
19"The Raven"March 4, 1967 (1967-03-04)
20"The Bigger Digger"March 11, 1967 (1967-03-11)

Although some sources[which?] list "The Proton Pulsator" as a 21st episode, this was actually an episode of The Astronut Show.[citation needed]

The series had no opening/closing titles of its own; each episode began with its own title.


  1. ^ a b The Mighty Heroes at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on February 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 393. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ The Mighty Heroes - Episode: The Drifter, YouTube,
  4. ^ Mighty Heroes — The Frog, YouTube,
  5. ^ The Mighty Heroes -- The Junker -- Full episode, YouTube,
  6. ^ The Mighty Heroes - Monsterizer, YouTube,
  7. ^ Mighty Heroes — The Shrinker, YouTube,
  8. ^ Woolery, George W. (1983). Children's Television: The First Thirty-Five Years, 1946-1981, Part 1: Animated Cartoon Series. Scarecrow Press. pp. 183–184. ISBN 0-8108-1557-5. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  9. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 543–544. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  10. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 109-110. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Wells, John (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1965-1969. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 160. ISBN 978-1605490557.

Further reading

Kevin Scott Collier. Ralph Bakshi's The Mighty Heroes Declassified. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. ISBN 1979767041

External links

This page was last edited on 25 August 2021, at 23:32
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