The Impossibles (TV series)

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The Impossibles, l to r: Fluid Man, Coil Man, Multi Man).

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.

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Overview[edit]

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.

The Impossibles[edit]

Posing as a trio of young rock 'n roll musicians, the Impossibles were in reality super-powered crime fighters dedicated to battling evil supervillains of all shapes and sizes. When performing for their adoring fans (usually star-struck, screaming teeny boppers) the lads would play their mod, futuristic-looking guitars atop an equally futuristic bandstand (emblazoned with their "Impossibles" logo on the side, ala Ringo's drumkit) that could convert into a car (the "Impossi-Mobile"), or a jet (the "Impossi-Jet"), a speedboat, or even a submarine. 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 topical and inspired by their times, in this case resembling the rock 'n roll groups of the mid-Sixties.

The Heroes[edit]

Each member of the Impossibles had a specific, and very visual superpower:

Each episode usually began with the villain pulling off his improbable caper while the Impossibles are busy performing at a gig or concert across town, where they are called into action by their chief, "Big D." After a series of funny super powered forays, the Impossibles would best the baddie, and usually return to finish their gig.

The Villains[edit]

The Impossibles faced many bizarre villains, similar to those Batman and Superman had to face:

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:

An ad for the Saturday morning cartoon lineup in comic books of the time referred to "the Bubbler," "Bratfink," and "The Sponge."

The Impossibles episodes were written by the great Warner Brothers story man Michael Maltese, who is known mostly for his work with director Chuck Jones.

Episodes[edit]

  1. The Spinner - The Spinner steals a $1,000,000 tiara.
  2. The Perilous Paper Doll - The Paper Doll Man has stolen a top secret plan and is out to steal the second part.
  3. Beamatron - Beamatron steals a priceless painting from a ship.
  4. The Bubbler - The Bubbler kidnaps the Shah of Shish-Ka-Bob and it's up to the Impossible to rescue the Shah.
  5. 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.
  6. Timeatron - Timeatron uses his powers to bring villains from the past to pillage for him.
  7. Smogula - Smogula freezes the Impossibles and seals them within a cave, so they won't interfere with his plans to conquer Empire City.
  8. The Sinister Speck - The Speck uses a formula to shrink himself in order to photograph some top secret plans.
  9. 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.
  10. Fero, The Fiendish Fiddler - To get the Impossibles out of the way, Fero uses his fiddle to transport them to different planets.
  11. The Diabolical Dauber - The Dauber uses a special brush where anything he paints becomes real.
  12. Televisatron - Televisatron uses his powers to transport the Impossibles to different television shows Coily and Multi at Fluid Man save it!
  13. The Wretched Professor Stretch - Professor Stretch is causing havoc with his elastical abilities.
  14. Aquator - Aquator has stolen a secret formula and shrinks himself to microscopic size.
  15. The Devilish Dragster - The Devilish Dragster has stolen a very valuable item.
  16. The Return Of The Spinner - The Spinner returns and steals a priceless pooch Fluid Man Save Help Dogs!
  17. The Puzzler - The Puzzler steals some top secret documents which he plans to sell to the highest bidder.
  18. Satanic Surfer - The Satanic Surfer takes pictures of a top secret submarine.
  19. The Scurrilous Sculptor - The Sculptor is turning people into statues.
  20. The Scheming Spraysol - Spraysol is out to steal some top secret documents.
  21. The Insidious Inflator - The Inflator creates giant balloon monsters to help him commit crimes.
  22. The Artful Archer - The Artful Archer steals a priceless violin and a million dollars. It's up to the Impossibles to reclaim them.
  23. The Return Of The Perilous Paperman - The Paper Doll Man returns and causes trouble for the Impossibles.
  24. The Dastardly Diamond Dazzler - The Diamond Dazzler has stolen a precious diamond in order to awaken the genie within.
  25. Cronella Critch The Tricky Witch - Cronella Critch has robbed a charity for orphans party.
  26. The Terrible Twister - The Twister is on a crime spree and is stealing precious jewels.
  27. The Terrifying Tapper - The Tapper is a criminal who can transmit himself over the phone lines. He uses this ability to commit crimes.
  28. Professor Stretch Bounces Back - Professor Stretch returns and creates a rubber monster to help him in his crimes.
  29. The Anxious Angler - The Angler has stolen some secret space research and plans to sell them to another country.
  30. The Rascally Ringmaster - The Ringmaster puts on a circus and robs from those who attend.
  31. Billy The Kidder - Billy the Kidder, a cowboy that rides a robotic horse, is planning to rob the U.S. Mint.
  32. 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.
  33. The Infamous Mr. Instant - Mr. Instant uses his insta-gun which can make anything in an instant to help him commit crimes.
  34. The Crafty Clutcher - The Clutcher uses an invention that brings his gloves to life.
  35. The Not So Nice Mr. Ice - Mr. Ice and his assistant Freezer are freezing the city in order to take over it.
  36. The Bizarre Batter - The Batter kidnaps a baseball star and holds him for a ransom of $1,000,000.

Adaptations[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Popular culture[edit]

Fluid Man had a non-speaking cameo appearance in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "SPF." He appeared as one of the many characters who were victims of cybersquatting.

The Impossibles are referenced in the 2013 Hanna Barbera film Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue Falcon. There are characters that cosplay as Fluid Man, Multi-Man, and Coil Man and the three of them appear on images and banners on the convention.

External links[edit]