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December 19, 2014

Secondary Super Friends characters had superior powers

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 18th 2008 1:13PM
FirestormWe are all so familiar with the main Super Friends, not to mention their powers. Superman, with his x-ray vision, super strength, and all that flying and stuff. Batman, pretty much powerless, but with a darned cool toolbelt and a car second only to Kitt. Wonder Woman, complete with magic lasso of truth and invisible jet.

These Super Friends ran the show over at the Hall of Justice, while the secondary heroes played second fiddle. But why? Honestly, I think some of the secondary heroes had the superior powers and they probably would have kicked the pants off of some of the main Super Friends. So why did they remain secondary characters? Let's take a closer look at their powers ....

Samurai
Besides being able to turn into a tornado and set himself on fire, Samurai can become invisible. Yes, that's cool and all, but if your enemy cannot see you, how can they defeat you? I'm pretty sure the Legion of Doom would be mighty confused by this, as would most of the super heroes.



Apache Chief

He grows big. Really big. In fact, there are no known limits to his hugeness. Thanks to a little magic dust, he can increase in size whenever he says "Inyuk-chuk." So, if you can grow limitlessly, how can anything defeat you? If you can grow big enough to squash your enemy like a bug, aren't you top dog? Just a question....

Firestorm
Actually the combination of one man's body and another man's mind, Firestorm can transform anything non-organic into whatever he wants it to be. One of my favorite Firestorm moments (probably because it cracks up my son so much) is when he changes some thieves' getaway vehicle into a bathtub, thwarting their escape. So if Firestorm could change weapons and vehicles into something inert, then he's seemingly more powerful than many of the Super Friends who would be threatened by those things.

Zan and Jayna, the Wonder Twins
I purport that if these two were ever allowed to really fight crime, they'd have some unlimited potential. Sure, they were young and goofy and pretty much comic relief with their monkey pet, Gleek. Zan, who can change into anything water, could wipe out the world with a giant flood. Maybe a little less cool is Jayna's ability to turn into any animal, because animals are vulnerable. Their biggest weakness is that they need each other to use their powers, but as long as they are together, Zan could kick some serious bad guy butt.

Black Vulcan
Now here's an interesting fact about Black Vulcan: he's the only Super Friends character who was not a comic book character, because the show's creators and Black Vulcan's creator just couldn't get along. What's really notable, though, is that the dude could shoot lightning from his hands, travel at the speed of light, and go back in time. Beats the heck out of a Baterang, if you ask me ...

El Dorado
Reading minds, teleportation, creating illusions, and that respectable shooting-lasers-from-eyes thing (shared with none other than Superman) -- how could anyone conquer this guy? When threatened, he could teleport. If he didn't have time for that, he'd simply boggle your mind with a confusing illusion or two. Heck, he could have created the illusion that he was in charge of the Hall of Justice.

What say you, readers? Have these secondary Super Friends been relegated to second fiddle unfairly?

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Ras Thavas

Firestorm was my favorite comic book character. I don't think DC really thought his powers through, because almost as soon as they started printing books they started to nerf his powers.

Superman wouldn't stand a chance against Firestorm.

June 19 2008 at 8:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phish

the most powerful superhero of all time is superman, that is a given. however, he has the biggest weakness of all, kryptonite.
everyone knows about it, and its relatively easy to come by.
all one has to do to really finish him off, is to lace his burger with finely ground kryptonite and he is as dead as a doornail.

June 18 2008 at 11:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jon B. Knutson

OK, point of order... of the characters you mentioned, ONLY Firestorm originated in the comics. The remainder were created by Hanna-Barbera for the show. Black Vulcan was created because, although Hanna-Barbera wanted to use Black Lightning, because of the creator's rights involved, extra money would have had to be paid to Black Lightning creator Tony Isabella. I'm not sure if it was DC or Hanna-Barbera or who decided that wasn't desirable.

Interestingly, the season that Firestorm was introduced in, "Galactic Guardians: The Super Powers Team", the Super Friends were battling Darkseid and company, who were created by Jack Kirby for DC Comics in the 1970s... and Jack ended up making more money off of the characters redesigning them for the cartoon and the accompanying toy line than he made creating the comics in the first place!

Jon B. Knutson
http://waffyjon.blogspot.com - Jon's Random Acts of Geekery

June 18 2008 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BillS

Batman is more than essential. Who do you think pays for all that stuff? The Hall of Justice, the fancy computer... mild-mannered reporter, amazonian princess, protecting some lame fake-ass underwater kingdom, whatever other secret identity gigs they had, those don't pay the bills.

Also the nerdy thing to point out is that Batman is the world's greatest detective, which can be pretty valuable to a team like that, and while Superman has the heart of a man in the body of a god, Batman has the heart of a god in the body of an ordinary man. My main point here is that Batman is awesome and no one can convince me otherwise. Although the Superfriends' version of Batman is considerably less awesome.

June 18 2008 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rick

There was a reason they were B-list. I remember one episode when the Wonder Twins went to help a small town after a nearby volcano erupted. The brightest thing Zan could think of was to turn himself into ice stilts to walk across the lava to save some people trapped on top of their car. Not exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer.

June 18 2008 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric H

Batman is essential, he is the only one that can run the computer.

June 18 2008 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vincent J. Murphy

Gleek has a terrific set of superpowers, too: a prehensile tail of infinite length, and the ability to summon a bucket no matter where he is.

I always liked it when Jayna would turn into an ass-kicking gorilla or dinosaur, and Zan would turn into frickin' water. Without Gleek, Zan would never get to go anywhere.

June 18 2008 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
photoshop tutorials

I lol'd.
So true. Especially about batman, that guy was pretty much worthless.
Wonder woman is hot though so I say she gets to stay.

June 18 2008 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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