After the runaway success of ThunderCats (your definition of success may vary), Rankin/Bass altered their cocaine fulled formula to create SilverHawks. The premise was nothing new, even for 1986. A special force fights organized crime in the 29th century. Except they fly around, in space, with their own musician, and one of their teammates is a mime who can only whistle and beep. And there’s a space squid.
The space-faring team was made of five members: field leader Quicksilver, twins Steelheart & Steelwill, Lt. Colonel Bluegrass, and the Copper Kidd. Apparently, becoming a member of the corp is akin to willingly becoming Robocop. They are transformed into cyborgs, encased in steel with only their faces and one forearm/hand exposed. When called into action, a retractable mask and wings deploy. Except for Bluegrass, the space cowboy. He just flies the ship, playing his space guitar, which shoots blue music notes. All members aside from Kidd are human. Kidd hails from a planet of mimes, only able to speak in beeps and whistles.
A couple oddities there, but still, nothing too far out of the ordinary. As for the antagonists, though, they’re a different breed. First, there’s alien mob boss Mon*Star (not a typo), who’s some kind of cat and is able to transform like Mumm-Ra with a Moonstar. I don’t get it either. When he transforms, he travels on some giant space squid, because why not. His cronies are snake man Yes-Man, minotaur Mumbo Jumbo, shapeshifter Mo-Lec-U-Lar, and the evil musician Melodia with her vile keytar. Obviously she was meant to combat Bluegrass’ country guitar goodness.
I won’t lie, watching the opening credits now, there’s something cool about the aesthetic design of the characters. Watching them swipe their hands over their face to deploy their masks before flying off into space is awesome. Even as a kid, seeing one of their arms exposed seemed odd to me. As an adult it drives me nuts. A few years ago, when I rediscovered the show on YouTube, I chuckled watching the intro. When the space squid appeared I lost my mind, laughing hysterically. I may or may not have been sober.
Thankfully, SilverHawks is a property that no one has seen fit to bring back in any fashion (though Mon*Star cameoed on an episode of the 2011 ThunderCats) . This only worked in the ’80s because it was the ’80s. I use the term “worked” loosely. While there is something appealing to its aesthetics, the show was creatively bankrupt. The character names and dynamics were so simplistic, it was insulting. Since I didn’t have the wherewithal in my youth to take offense, I didn’t. I did tune in every day and hoped Santa would get me that bitchin’ spaceship. It broke into different sections, yo! Spoilers: He totally hooked me up.
If you forgot SilverHawks existed, I’m sorry I reminded you. Watch the intro, then don’t go any further, and hope no one gets any bright ideas to bring this one back. Warner Bros. owns the rights, so let’s all hope they don’t do a He-Man/DC/SilverHawks crossover comic book. Now, just wait until I get to TigerSharks.
Did you watch SilverHawks? Were you as mesmerized as I was? Let me know below!
I want to punch Copper Kidd in the face.