PAUL BENJAMIN: Writer, Editor, Supermodel

(Not so) Wonder Twins

Today one of my friends (not a comic book person) named her favorite super heroes as: The Wonder Twins.

I never could stand the Wonder Twins. When I watched the Super Friends cartoon, I knew, even at the age of 9ish, that they were not “real” because they weren’t in the comics. Since they were created just for the cartoon, they didn’t “count” the way the other characters did. I realize this reveals deep flaws in my perception of reality.

Also, their powers were stupid. Jayna turning into any animal was fine, but Zan…

Here’s a list of some of the forms taken by Zan, who could turn into any form of water:
Form a super-cooled ice door.
Form of giant ice handcuffs.
Form of water. (which would then jump into a bucket so his pet monkey could carry him on the back of his sister in the shape of an eagle)
Form of an ice boat.
Shape of a giant wave.
Shape of a giant water hand.
Shape of an ice spear.
Form of an ice giant.
Shape of an ice plane.
Seriously. An ice plane. With a jet engine. Made out of ice. I was willing to believe a dude from Krypton could lift a car and fly with no apparent means of propulsion, but the idea that Zan could choose such a complex shape seemed ridiculous. I mean, c’mon.

Ridiculous powers, activate!

Also, and this is what annoyed me most, they were just super hero failures. Whenever they went on separate missions, they did a fist bump to activate their powers so that they’d have one transformation charge ready in case of an emergency. That was pretty smart. However, on every other episode (like, 99% of them), the twins got separated, often by just a jot over the length of their pet monkey, Gleek, who could complete their activation circuit. Even as a little kid, I couldn’t understand why they didn’t just fist bump every morning so that they’d be ready for the inevitable forced separation.
Those of you who grew up with shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League (and Justice League Unlimited) so totally win.

One Response to (Not so) Wonder Twins

  1. Glenbricker says:

    Two things…first off, you are totally right, there was a certain age that got shafted on Cartoons, where adults just gave up. This was after Johnny Quest and before…hm…sometimes before Batman the Animated Series.

    There is great awesomeness in the Wonder Twins however in their Legacy…Their was the cool relaunch of the characters as a government super team in Justice League Unlimited, There were the great shorts made by Adult Swim in which they create a badger moat ( http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hzOfH3cWy0s) and also where Zan laments that he could be taken out by a simple sponge…not even an “Evil Sponge.”

    In Teen Titans Go, an very interesting show, part of the DC Nation, The Teen Titans hire Jayna as a replacement for Beast boy. She is far better than Beast Boy for the team but they of course need to hire on Zan too, who they give the job of “building receptionist” to. All day Zan sits at the desk and his sister runs in for a fist bump, while Beast boy tries to get him to foil his sister’s heroics.

    All Fun stuff, and all would be lost had these Wonder Twins not existed.

Leave a reply