SilverHawks

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For the baseball team, see South Bend Silver Hawks.
SilverHawks
Silverhawks Logo.jpg
SilverHawks logo
Created by Rankin/Bass
Written by Various
Directed by
  • Arthur Rankin Jr.
  • Jules Bass
Voices of
Composer(s) Bernard Hoffer
Country of origin USA
No. of episodes 65 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Arthur Rankin Jr.
  • Jules Bass
  • Lee Dannacher
  • Masaki Ihzuka
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Rankin/Bass Productions
Pacific Animation Corporation
(Japanese Animation Studio)
Distributor
Broadcast
Original channel First-run syndication
Original run September 8, 1986  – December 5, 1986

SilverHawks is an American animated television series developed by Rankin/Bass Productions and distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures in 1986. The animation was provided by Japanese studio Pacific Animation Corporation. In total, 65 episodes were made. It was created as a space-bound equivalent of their previous series, ThunderCats.

As was the case with ThunderCats, there was also a SilverHawks comic book series published by then-Marvel Comics imprint Star Comics.

Currently, Warner Bros. (who purchased Lorimar in 1989) owns the rights to the series.

Overview[edit]

Production and development[edit]

Rankin/Bass followed up their successful ThunderCats series with this series about a team of human heroes in the 29th century who were given metal bodies and hawk wings to stop organized crime in the Galaxy of Limbo. SilverHawks featured many of the same voice actors who had worked on ThunderCats, including Larry Kenney, Peter Newman, Earl Hammond, Doug Preis and Bob McFadden.[1]

Story[edit]

Bionic policeman Commander Stargazer recruited the SilverHawks, heroes who are "partly metal, partly real," to fight the evil Mon*Star, an escaped alien mob boss who transforms into an enormous armor-plated creature with the aid of Limbo’s Moonstar. Joining Mon*Star in his villainy is an intergalactic mob: the snakelike Yes-man, the blade-armed Buzz-Saw, the "bull"-headed Mumbo-Jumbo, weather controller Windhammer, shapeshifter Mo-Lec-U-Lar, robotic card shark Poker-Face, weapons-heavy Hardware, and "the musical madness of" Melodia (uses a "keytar" that fires musical notes).

Quicksilver (formerly Jonathan Quick) leads the SilverHawks, with his metal bird companion TallyHawk at his side. Twins Emily and Will Hart became Steelheart and Steelwill, the SilverHawks’ technician and strongman respectively. Country-singing Col. Bluegrass played a sonic guitar and piloted the team’s ship, the Miraj (pronounced "mirage" on the series, but given that spelling on the Kenner toy). Rounding out the group is a youngster “from the planet of the mimes,” named Copper Kidd (usually called "Kidd" for short), a mathematical genius who spoke in whistles and computerized tones. Their bionic bodies are covered by a full-body close-fitting metal armor that only exposes the face and an arm, the armor is equipped with a retractile protective mask, retractile wings under-arm (except Bluegrass) thruster on elbows, and laser-weapons over the body. At the end of every episode, Copper Kidd was quizzed (along with the home audience) on various space facts by Col. Bluegrass.

Launching from their satellite base, Hawk Haven, the SilverHawks flew into battle five days a week for one season. The series was closely associated with ThunderCats, sharing the same production company, the same style of story lines, and virtually the same voice cast. Mon*Star, the main villain, has a voice similar to that of Mumm-Ra, the main villain of ThunderCats, who is also voiced by Earl Hammond.

Characters[edit]

Heroes[edit]

The SilverHawks in the show's title sequence. Left to right: Copper Kidd, Bluegrass, Quicksilver (with Tallyhawk perched on arm), Steelheart, Steelwill.

Original SilverHawks[edit]

  • Commander Stargazer (voiced by Bob McFadden) - A tough and grizzled old cop with bionic capabilities, he captured Mon*Star several years ago and had him imprisoned. Older than the other SilverHawks, he longs to return to Earth for either a vacation or for retirement. He chiefly serves as the SilverHawks "eyes and ears", keeping them apprised of their current situation. His first name is apparently Sinman. Stargazer's weapon-bird is Sly-bird. In the Silverhawks' first adventure, Stargazer is depicted as being the original keeper of Tally Hawk, who from the pilot movie onwards was teamed with Quicksilver. His armor is gold, covering the upper left portion of his head as well as his body, and his left eye has been replaced by a telescopic lens. In addition, he dresses as a typical plainclothes police officer (white shirt, loosened necktie, suspenders, slacks).
  • Quicksilver (voiced by Peter Newman) - Captain Jonathan Quick was the former head of the Interplanetary Force H, and is the field leader of the SilverHawks. He has a cyborg/bird companion called Tally Hawk. Known for his quick reflexes (and even quicker thinking), Quicksilver is an accomplished tactician and athlete. His armor has the lightest silver-shade.
  • Lt. Colonel Bluegrass (voiced by Larry Kenney) - He is second-in-command of the SilverHawks and the chief pilot of the group, as well as a cowboy at heart. He is the only SilverHawk who cannot fly (other than Stargazer), but he is the one that flies the team transport vehicle, "the Mirage". He likes to use his weapon/instrument (portrayed in the toyline as his weapon-bird with the name Sideman) and his lasso, has an interface with the Miraj's advanced dynamic piloting system, which he has affectionately dubbed "Hot Licks". His armor has a blue-silver shade, and he wears a red bandana around his neck along with a cowboy hat.
  • Steelheart & Steelwill (voiced by Maggie Wheeler and Bob McFadden) - Sergeants Emily and Will Hart, twin siblings, became Steelheart and Steelwill, respectively, when they joined the SilverHawks. They are the "gearheads" of the team. They share an empathic bond in that when one sibling feels something, the other feels it as well. Physically, they are the strongest members of the Silverhawks team. They are the only SilverHawks who have had real stainless steel hearts implanted during their transformation. Their weapon-birds are Rayzor (for Steelheart) and Stronghold (for Steelwill). Their armors have the same dark steel tone shade.
  • The Copper Kidd - He is the youngest member of the SilverHawks, and the only one not a Terran (Earthling). A mathematical genius from the Planet of the Mimes, he "speaks" in mathematically calculated tones and whistles. His skin is azurine except the face that is white (similar to a mime). His armor is copper-colored but the wings have a silver-like appearance that is similar to those of the other winged team members. At the end of each episode, he was quizzed in several astronomy lessons by Bluegrass as training to become the reserve Miraj pilot (sure enough, he was called in to fill Bluegrass's shoes, albeit infrequently). A natural acrobat, the Copper Kidd has two razor-edged discs (one mounted on each hip) which he throws like Frisbees. His weapon-bird is Mayday.

New SilverHawks[edit]

  • Hotwing (voiced by Adolph Caesar in earlier episodes, Doug Preis in later episodes) - A gold Silverhawk of African American heritage who was added in mid-season. He is a magician, and skilled illusionist. He receives his powers from a mystical energy force that 'chose' him to bear the powers to fight against injustice. He has to recharge these powers every 14 years, otherwise he will die. One notable time was when Zeek the Beak tricked the mystic force into giving him these powers, which would have resulted in Hotwing's death. Hotwing has a weapon-bird named Gyro.
  • Flashback - A green time-traveling Silverhawk from the far future. When he meets the 'much older' Stargazer, who tells him of the fateful day the SilverHawks died, Flashback travels back in time to save them from an exploding sun. He also traveled back in time to stop Hardware from destroying the SilverHawks (when the mad inventor sabotaged the Miraj during the S-Hawks hyperspace-sleep to Hawk-Haven from Earth, which would have caused the autopilot to fly them straight into the sun). Flashback's weapon-bird is Backlash.
  • Moonstryker - A turquoise Silverhawk. He can propel himself through space by a powerful cyclone generated from propellers that emerge from his waist. He is cocky but an expert marksman, as demonstrated when he shot a pen out of Stargazer's hand when they first met in the episode "Battle Cruiser". His fighting hawk is Tailspin.
  • Condor - An old ally of Commander Stargazer, whom Condor calls "Gaze". Condor left the Silverhawks to become a private detective before the series, but eventually returned. Instead of wings, he has cybernetic bodyparts similar to Stargazer's, and also a jetpack. Condor always talks like Humphrey Bogart. His weapon-bird is Jet Stream.

NOTE: Only TallyHawk appeared in almost all of the episodes in the series. All the other "weapon-birds" only appeared in a handful of episodes. Per the episode "The Fighting Hawks", the Hawks for the Steel Twins were accidentally switched in the toy versions.

Other supporting characters[edit]

  • Zeek the Beak - Seymour's pal. Zeek the Beak is a green bird-like alien who often accompanies Seymour on cab rides. His catch phrases are "You wanna buy a fish?" and the interjection "Zeek!"
  • Harry - He is a robot that works as a bartender in Fence. He appears in many episodes usually serving Limbo drinks.
  • Professor Power - He works in the Artificial Sun. He controls it. He is friendly with the SilverHawks and helps them many times, like in the amber amplifier episode.[2]
  • Sanders - He is the governor in Bedlama, a planet similar to the Earth.
  • Monotone - It is Automata's computer. It rules the whole planet.[3]
  • Grod the Informer - An informant. He appears in episode 32 when he informs the mob of a rock that is supposed to be worth a fortune, the Saviour Stone.[4]
  • Lord Cash - He is in charge of Dolar planet where there is plenty of Limbo money. He is friendly to SilverHawks.[5]
  • Gotbucks - Dolar's new security chief.

Villains[edit]

  • Mon*Star (voiced by Earl Hammond) - The quintillionaire alien mob boss who escaped from his cell, located on Penal Planet 10. He appears as a feline muscular humanoid with dark hair streaked with red over all the body, a voluminous red mane and beard and an eyepatch (with the symbol of a black star) covering his left eye. Utilizing beams from Limbo's Moonstar, Mon*Star's body becomes encased on spiked armor-plating as he recites "Moonstar of Limbo, give me the might, the muscle, the menace, of MON*STAR!". In this state, he temporarily regains his left eye with it able to fire the crimson Light Star beam which has various effects, destructive and stunning. Mon*Star rides a giant "space-squid" called Sky-Runner and has a weapon-bird named Sky Shadow. He has some bad blood with Stargazer due to their past conflicts and extends that animosity to the SilverHawks.
  • Yes-Man (voiced by Bob McFadden) - Yes-Man is a half-man half-snake creature. He is basically Mon*Star's all-purpose lackey, thrall, and/or sycophant. As his name suggests, he is notorious for constantly saying "Oh yess, Boss...yess." Yes-Man once used the powers of the Moonstar alongside Mon*Star, but did not change form. The Moonstar primarily gave him increased mental abilities and ambition. This led to a feud between himself and his boss until the powers faded.
  • Hardware (voiced by Bob McFadden) - An extremely intelligent, short but bulky, light purple-skinned creature who carries an over-sized rucksack full of self-engineered weapons and equipment. Hardware has the uniquely honed talent for invention, and can devise devilishly effective machines. Mon*Star considers Hardware his most dangerous minion because of this talent. Hardware's weapon-bird is Prowler.
  • Melodia (voiced by Maggie Wheeler) - A musical mistress who serves as a nemesis and counterpart to the SilverHawks' Bluegrass. Melodia is usually seen cruising around in the Limbo limo, causing havoc and assorted acts of terror as diversions. Melodia almost always carries a musical synthesizer called a "Sound Smasher" as a weapon. Her usual dressing are an exaggerated costume of a rock-singer: two-shaded green hair; a short black dress; red belt with plug up battery pack for "Sound Smasher"; long red gloves; half dark purple, half light pink tights and; dark blue glasses with a red 'music note' frame (in contrast to Bluegrass' blue 'music note' frame). In "Switch", while both Melodia and Bluegrass were under effect of a gas that temporarily turns good people into bad people and vice-versa, Bluegrass was the one with a red music note frame and Melodia had a blue one. It's not specifically stated if that was another direct effect of the gas or if the weapons/instruments could be regulated into different colors.
  • Windhammer (voiced by Doug Preis) - An eco-terrorist with a huge "blasted" tuning fork that enables him to manipulate or generate destructive weather patterns either on a planet or in space. He is a muscular humanoid with azurine skin, long blonde hair and large elf-like ears.
  • Mo-Lec-U-Lar (voiced by Doug Preis) - A molecule-themed shapeshifter whose primary form is a humanoid body composed of many spheres in various copper shades. He is Mon*Star's master of disguise and leading hitman. Besides shapeshifting, he one time became invisible in order to infiltrate the Silverhawks' base. His weapon-bird is Volt-ure.
  • Mumbo Jumbo (voiced by Peter Newman) - A copper-skinned robotic minotaur who is basically the grunt for the mob, aided by his ability to "bulk up", growing larger and more muscular, increasing his strength by doing so. He speaks in metallic grunts which his associates seem to understand (though he usually pronounces Mon*Star's name properly) and appears to be on the low scale of the intellectual spectrum. His signature attack is a quadrupedal charge at an opponent. He is a sworn enemy of Steelheart because of Steelheart's strength and skill which takes him down easily. Mumbo's weapon-bird is Airshock.
  • Poker-Face (voiced by Larry Kenney) - A robotic member of Mon*Star's mob who has slot machines for his eyes and carries a cane decorated with playing card suits. He is the owner of the Starship Casino which was run outside of the "Lightyear Limit" and was the extent of the SilverHawks' jurisdiction. He always charges Mon*Star billions for new inventive ideas against the Silver Hawks.
  • Timestopper (voiced by Larry Kenney) - A cocky juvenile delinquent nyctophobe with a chest device that has the ability to suspend all ambient motion and kinetic energy around him (freeze time, as it were) for a minute. He is often in the services of Mon*Star but has no qualms about getting in his way if he isn't paid for the job. His nyctophobia is most likely from the fact his chest device is light-powered.
  • Buzz-Saw - A totally cybernetic (and independently sentient) war machine of a light copper-shade with razor sharp circular saw cutting blades over its body that can be used as projectile weapons. It speaks with a high-pitched metallic voice. His weapon-bird is Shredator.
  • Zero the Memory Thief - A long-nosed shady character who steals memories using a cattle prod-like weapon and records them on cassettes. He occasionally did business with Mon*Star's gang when the opportunity suited him. While he can steal memories, they don't teach him how to use the memorized data the way his victims know.
  • Smiley - A mummified boxer robot that is brought back to life by Poker-Face. He was once stopped by Commander Stargazer. Smiley is the heavyweight champion of Limbo. Pokerface (and then Mon*Star) use a remote control to tell Smiley what he has to do. In the Starship Casino, Smiley defeats easily both Mumbo Jumbo and Buzz-Saw, but later on could not beat the SilverHawks.

Other Villains[edit]

  • Bounty Hunter - A muscular monster with a face resembling a Bulldog, with high, pointed ears. He has a sparkling laser on his head and a red star on his belt. He was imprisoned by Stargazer for 200 years but escaped twice from the Penal Planet 10 (broken out once by Mon*Star in episode 22, and the second time on his own, in episode 45). He can absorb energy directed at him, and use it to sustain his physical form as well as grow larger and more powerful. He can only be defeated by the solar energy bazooka that Commander Stargazer has. He is extremely dangerous and powerful, as he has easily defeated all the original Silverhawks twice. He was stopped by Commander Satargazer and by the new golden Silverhawk, Hotwing.

Three Outlaws from Fence[edit]

They appear in many episodes and are friendly to Melodia and Poker-Face, though the three are usually betrayed by the Mon*Star's monions.

  • The Space Bandit - He is most of the time on Fence (Harry's planet) playing cards with his two friends, Rhino and Cyclops.
  • Rhino - A rhinoceros-like mutant who spends most of this time on Fence playing cards with the Space Bandit and Cyclops.
  • Cyclops - A balloon body creature that is very weak because whenever he was shot, he started to fly around and to lose his air like a balloon; also spends most his time on Fence playing cards with the Space Bandit and Rhino.

DVD releases[edit]

On October 14, 2008 Warner Home Video released Silverhawks: Volume 1 on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time.[6] The 4-disc set contains the first 32 episodes of the series.

On October 4, 2011, Warner Bros. released Silverhawks: Volume 2 on DVD in region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and Amazon.com.[7] The 4-disc set contains the remaining 33 episodes of the series.

List of episodes[edit]

  1. The Origin Story 09/08/1986
  2. Journey To Limbo 09/09/1986
  3. The Planet Eater 09/10/1986
  4. Save The Sun 09/11/1986
  5. Stop Timestopper 09/12/1986
  6. Darkbird 09/15/1986
  7. The Backroom 09/16/1986
  8. The Threat of Dritt 09/17/1986
  9. Sky-Shadow (09/18/1986)
  10. Magnetic Attraction 09/19/1986
  11. Gold Shield 09/22/1986
  12. Zero The Memory Thief 09/23/1986
  13. The Milk Run 09/24/1986
  14. The Hardware Trap, Part 1 09/25/1986
  15. The Hardware Trap, Part 2 09/26/1986
  16. Race Against Time 09/29/1986
  17. Operation Big Freeze 09/30/1986
  18. The Ghost Ship 10/01/1986
  19. The Great Galaxy Race 10/02/1986
  20. Fantascreen 10/03/1986
  21. Hotwing Hits Limbo 10/06/1986
  22. The Bounty Hunter 10/07/1986
  23. Zeek's Fumble 10/08/1986
  24. The Fighting Hawks 10/09/1986
  25. The Rengade Hero 10/10/1986
  26. One on One 10/13/1986
  27. No More Mr. Nice Guy 10/14/1986
  28. Music of the Spheres 10/15/1986
  29. Limbo Gold Rush 10/16/1986
  30. Countdown to Zero 10/17/1986
  31. The Amber Amplifier 10/20/1986
  32. The Saviour Stone 10/21/1986
  33. Smiley 10/22/1986
  34. Gotbucks 10/23/1986
  35. Melodia's Siren Song 10/24/1986
  36. Tally-Hawk Returns 10/27/1986
  37. Undercover 10/28/1986
  38. Eye of Infinity 10/29/1986
  39. A Piece of the Action 10/30/1986
  40. Flashback 10/31/1986
  41. Super Birds 11/03/1986
  42. The Blue Door 11/04/1986
  43. The Star of Bedlama 11/05/1986
  44. The Illusionist 11/06/1986
  45. The Bounty Hunter Returns 11/07/1986
  46. The Chase 11/10/1986
  47. Switch 11/11/1986
  48. Junkyard Dog 11/12/1986
  49. Window in Time 11/13/1986
  50. Gangwar, Part 1 11/14/1986
  51. Gangwar, Part 2 11/17/1986
  52. Sneak Attack, Part 1 11/18/1986
  53. Sneak Attack, Part 2 11/19/1986
  54. Moon*Star 11/20/1986
  55. The Diamond Stick-Pin 11/21/1986
  56. Burnout 11/24/1986
  57. Battle Cruiser 11/25/1986
  58. Small World 11/26/1986
  59. Match-Up 11/27/1986
  60. Stargazer's Refit 11/28/1986
  61. The Invisible Destroyer 12/01/1986
  62. The Harder They Fall 12/02/1986
  63. Uncle Rattler 12/03/1986
  64. Zeek's Power 12/04/1986
  65. Airshow 12/05/1986

Spin-offs[edit]

Action figures[edit]

The SilverHawks action figure collection based on the animated series was produced by Kenner and first released in 1987. LJN, the makers of the ThunderCats figures, originally were to produce the SilverHawks figures but decided to pass on the project at the last minute. Each figure was packaged with a companion bird and, similar to the popular Super Powers Collection, had an action feature of some type. The second series of figures is harder to find than the first with Ultrasonic Quicksilver being the most difficult. The MonStar with Laser Lance, Copper Kid with Laser Discs, and the Copper Racer vehicle were not produced but were shown in the 1988 Kenner toy catalog. The series 1 Hawk Haven Fortress was never produced either, due to the high production costs it would incur. Figures for many characters, including Melodia and Poker-Face, were never made.

Comics[edit]

The Marvel Comics imprint Star Comics (which also published ThunderCats) released a seven-issue series.[8] Writers included Steve Perry who also wrote for the animated series.[9][10]

Merchandise[edit]

Several other pieces of SilverHawks merchandise were released in the 1980s including a board game, puzzles, and a plastic pencil pouch with the main characters on one side with a metal zipper. A set of pajamas were also produced which included wing flaps under the arms to more resemble the characters while wearing them.

ThunderCats (2011)[edit]

In the 2011 ThunderCats remake, Mon*Star briefly appears in a cameo in the episode “Legacy”. He was seen on a monitor in the bridge of Mumm-Ra's ship.[11]

References[edit]

External links[edit]