Black Vulcan
Black vulcan.jpg
Black Vulcan as he appeared in Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends TV series in the 1970s and '80s.
Publication information
Created byHanna-Barbera
In-story information
Team affiliationsSuper Friends
PartnershipsApache Chief
El Dorado
AbilitiesElectricity generation and manipulation, flight, time travel

Black Vulcan is an African-American superhero on the animated series Super Friends created by Hanna-Barbera, voiced by Buster Jones.

Fictional character biography

Black Vulcan debuted on the Super Friends show (The All New Super Friends Hour) in September of 1977. Unlike most of the Super Friends, Black Vulcan was not a pre-existing DC Comics character. This is particularly notable since DC Comics' roster did include an African American superhero with electricity-based powers, Black Lightning, who could not be used on the show due to disputes between DC and Black Lightning's creator Tony Isabella.[1] In retaliation, Isabella wrote the story "The Other Black Lightning", which was published in Black Lightning #10, in which a criminal named Barbara Hanna (a pun on Hanna-Barbera) and her circus hire a Black Lightning imposter named Jocko. At the end, Black Lightning and Jocko make up and the former believes the latter could strike out on his own, that is, if he stops imitating him, of course. Isabella has said "I don't think anyone noticed what I was doing there".

Black Vulcan appeared in The All-New Super Friends Hour cartoon series (episode "The Whirlpool"). His catchphrase was "Great Lightning!" and in the earlier episodes, he shouted his name a la previous Hanna-Barbera superheroes Space Ghost and Birdman.

His powers include the ability to emit electricity from his hands. He can also fly by charging his lower body with energy. On a few occasions, he has exhibited powers he had not shown before, such as the ability to assume a form of pure energy and travel at the speed of light (in an unsuccessful attempt to escape a black hole).[2] He was able to travel back in time[3] by fluctuating his body's energy to open a rift in space-time. Black Vulcan is able to spot-weld microelectronics.[4]

In the final incarnation of the series, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, he was replaced with Cyborg, another Black superhero who was already well established in DC Comics.

In other media




Black Vulcan has been released in a Justice League Unlimited three-pack, accompanied by his Super Friends teammates Apache Chief and Samurai. A 6" Black Vulcan action figure was released in Mattel's DC Universe Classics Wave 18, which was primarily dedicated to Super Friends characters.[8] Black Vulcan was also newly released in 2016 as an 8-inch Mego-like action figure by Figures Toy Company. Additionally, Black Vulcan has been released in Lego format, appearing in Series 2 of the Lego Batman Minifigure line.



  1. ^ Morse, Ben (3 March 2007). "LIGHTNING ROD: How Black Lightning hurdled racism, knockoffs and wars between creators to become the new powerhouse of Justice League of America". Archived from the original on 11 January 2008.
  2. ^ "The World's Deadliest Game". Challenge of the Super Friends. Season 1, Episode 3. September 23, 1978.
  3. ^ "Secret Origins of the Superfriends". Challenge of the Superfriends. Season 1, Episode 8. 28 October 1978.[dead YouTube link]
  4. ^ "Dive to Disaster". Super Friends. Season 1, Episode 2. 20 September 1980.[dead YouTube link]
  5. ^ a b "Ultimatum", Justice League Season 1, Episode 9, 4 December 2004.
  6. ^ "Panic In The Sky", Justice League Season 2, Episode 11, 9 July 2005.
  7. ^ "The LEGO Batman Movie Easter Eggs & References". Screen Rant. 11 February 2017.
  8. ^ DC Universe Classics 18: Black Vulcan review,
  9. ^ Smith, Zach (January 6, 2011). "An Oral History of CAPTAIN MARVEL: The Modern Years". Newsarama.