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This Hanna-Barbera series, produced in 1966 for CBS, started that studio's superhero adventure cycle. South Dakota's own Gary Owens performed the voice of the spacefaring crimefighter, whose belt and wristbands conferred various offensive and defensive powers. Space Ghost's most impressive (and consistent) power, however, was Invisibility. His wards, Jan and Jace, and their pet monkey, Blip, also could fly, survive in space and become invisible at will.

Space Ghost and his companions had all new adventures in the early 1980s on NBC's Animated Anthology Space Stars. In 1994, Cartoon Network gave Space Ghost a 15-minute evening talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast; the creators of that show later helped launch Adult Swim. There was also a 2005 comic book limited series that gave him a very much Darker and Edgier backstory.

Tropes used in Space Ghost include:

Mini-series (DC Comics)

  • Darker and Edgier
  • Death By Origin Story: Thaddeus's wife and unborn child were killed by corrupt peacekeepers.
  • Dirty Cop: The "Phantom" special ops team Thaddeus joins has odd quirks like killing informants and looting their figurative corpses. Not to mention what they did when Tad was about to inform on them.
  • The Dreaded: During the first few issues, rumors about "the Bugs" destroying colonies are laughed off as soon as they're mentioned; of course, it turns out that Zorak is all too real.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: For all the seriousness of the story at the beginning, Tad is the one and only Space Ghost by the end, complete with devoted sidekicks and traditional behavior one would expect from an iconic superhero of The Sixties.
  • Hive Mind: Zorak and his kind, the Zorathians. Also a reason why Zorak keeps coming back from the dead; if "Zorak" is killed, another bug then becomes "Zorak". Another nod to Coast to Coast, where SG frequently blasts him to no permanent effect.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tad; a nod to Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
  • The Mentor: The alien living on Ghost Planet who gave Space Ghost his powers.
  • Mythology Gag: To Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. Including SG's true name to be Thaddeus Bach (a la Thaddeus "Tad" Ghostal); Thaddeus' wife resemblance Bjork (whom SG interviewed and has a crush on).
  • Origin Story
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Space Ghost originally tried hunting down the members of the squad that killed his family. He eventually becomes more idealistic.
  • Space Police: Thaddeus was an interplanetary peacekeeper who was promoted to their Special Ops division.