Space Ghost was Hanna Barbera’s premier superhero, created by Alex Toth in the mid-1960s. Until recently, Space Ghost never really had an origin story; all he did was patrol space, ridding it of evil-doers with his two assistants (Jan and Jace) and monkey sidekick (Blip).
Space Ghost’s Powers
All of Space Ghost’s power lay in the “power bands” he wore on his wrists, which granted him access to a wide variety of rays he could fire from his fists. There’s the battery ram ray, stun ray, heat ray, freeze ray, destructo ray, spank ray, etc. Often times he’d pull a new type of ray out of his ass to save the day, then never use it again.
Space Ghost and the rest of his posse could also turn invisible by utilizing “inviso power,” and they could also fly in space without protection. For longer trips, Space Ghost chose to travel in style in his spaceship, the Phantom Cruiser. Jan and Jace also had their own spaceship, the wimpy space coupe, that frequently got wrecked.
As for the stories themselves, well…they were pretty formulaic: Jan and Jace would get in trouble; Space Ghost would arrive to rescue them but would run into trouble himself and lose his power bands. Then, just as things got really bad, Blip (in inviso power) would recover the power bands, and Space Ghost would kick bad guy ass.
Each 7 minute long episode was initially aired with another Hanna Barbera cartoon, Dino Boy in the Lost Valley, and their combined episodes (1 Space Ghost, 1 Dino Boy, and another Space Ghost) would occupy a half hour timeslot.
Space Ghost ran for 42 episodes in the 60s but would gain another season in the 80s, before being revived and retooled in the 90s for the comedic Space Ghost Coast to Coast…but that’s a story for another time.
This first episode sees Jace in the space coupe cruisin’ by Jupiter, which oddly looks like a rocky planet. Did they not know it was made up of gas in the 60s? A lava monster pops out of a crater and flings a piece of lava at Jace’s ship causing him to crash. Jan summons help in the form of Space Ghost.
Jan, Blip, and Space Ghost head to Jupiter in the Phantom Cruiser. Their inviso power proves ineffectual against the creature. “That thing must have an uncanny sense of our presence,” says Space Ghost.
The Phantom Cruiser sets down, and Space Ghost flies out and just keeps firing his rays at the creature until it goes back into its crater. Then Jan and Jace use the Phantom Cruiser’s cold ray to seal the crater shut, trapping the monster inside.
The episode ends with Jan and Jace talking about homework, Space Ghost laughing, and Blip sleeping.
Watchable but pretty boring, mainly because the episode’s antagonist is a non-speaking lava monster. The fight scene was pretty dull, too, and are we to really expect that ice cover to contain the monster for good?