Black Vulcan
Super Friends, Harvey Birdman, and DC Comics character
Black Vulcan as he appeared in Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends animated series in the 1970s and '80s.
First appearance"The Whirlpool" (The All-New Super Friends Hour; 1977)
Last appearanceHarvey Birdman: Attorney General (2018)
Created byAlex Toth
Voiced byBuster Jones
Phil LaMarr
In-universe information
SpeciesMetahuman
GenderMale
TitleSupervolt
Mr. President (Harvey Birdman)
OccupationSuperhero
President of the United States (Harvey Birdman)
AffiliationSuper Friends
Justice League
Multi-Culture Pals
Significant otherNorlisa (ex-girlfriend; Harvey Birdman)
44th/46th President of the United States
In office
January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017 (1st term)
October 12, 2018 – January 20, 2021 (2nd term)
Partnerships
Abilities
Catchphrases"Great Lightning!"
"In my pants." (Harvey Birdman)

Black Vulcan is an African-American superhero on the animated series Super Friends and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law by Hanna-Barbera, voiced in the former by Buster Jones and the latter by Phil LaMarr.

Fictional character biography

Super Friends

Black Vulcan debuted on the Super Friends show (The All-New Super Friends Hour) in September 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". The costume, model sheets, and early storyboards for Black Vulcan were designed by cartoonist Alex Toth, responsible for the look of most Hanna-Barbera superheroes.

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 à la previous Hanna-Barbera superheroes Space Ghost and Birdman.

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

DC Comics

Comic book artist and Super Friends fan Alex Ross intended to create a modernized version of Black Vulcan for his rejected Captain Marvel series. The title would have had the character reimagined as Vulcan, an African-American child who could become an adult superhero after accidentally gaining some of the wizard Shazam's powers.[2]

Black Vulcan made a cameo appearance in the DC One Million 80-Page Giant special as a member of an alternate universe Justice League, one of several that accidentally ended up in the Justice Legion Alpha's headquarters.[citation needed]

Harvey Birdman

Attorney at Law

Black Vulcan appears in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, voiced by Phil LaMarr.[citation needed] This version describes his powers as "pure electricity... in my pants", which becomes a running gag throughout the series, and originally went by the codename "Supervolt" before calling himself Black Vulcan at Aquaman's suggestion. In his most notable appearance in the episode "Very Personal Injury", Black Vulcan and Apache Chief, among other superheroes, form the "Multicultural Pals".[citation needed]

Attorney General

Black Vulcan returns in Harvey Birdman: Attorney General, again voiced by LaMarr. Depicted as the 46th President of the United States preceding Phil Ken Sebben, who, on awaking amnesiac to find that he is now the 46.5th President, without having any memory of being elected, goes on to appoint his former employee and ghostwriter Harvey Birdman to the rank of Attorney Corporal to help him be removed from office, and instate Black Vulcan again in his place.

Powers and abilities

Black Vulcan's powers include the ability to project bolts of electricity from his hands. By charging his lower body with energy, he can fly at superhuman speeds. On a few occasions, he has exhibited capabilities not shown before, such as converting his physical form into pure energy and traveling through lightspeed (in an unsuccessful attempt to escape a black hole).[3] He was able to open a rift in spacetime[4] via energy fluctuation. Black Vulcan is capable of spot welding microelectronics.[5]

In other media

Television

Film

Merchandise

References

  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". WizardUniverse.com. Archived from the original on 11 January 2008.
  2. ^ Smith, Zach (January 6, 2011). "An Oral History of CAPTAIN MARVEL: The Modern Years". Newsarama.
  3. ^ "The World's Deadliest Game". Challenge of the Super Friends. Season 1, Episode 3. September 23, 1978.
  4. ^ "Secret Origins of the Superfriends". Challenge of the Superfriends. Season 1, Episode 8. 28 October 1978.[dead YouTube link]
  5. ^ "Dive to Disaster". Super Friends. Season 5, Episode 2. 20 September 1980.[dead YouTube link]
  6. ^ "First Look: Supergirl, Wonder Girl and Batgirl From DC Nation Shorts". 21 February 2012. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  7. ^ "The LEGO Batman Movie Easter Eggs & References". Screen Rant. 11 February 2017.
  8. ^ DC Universe Classics 18: Black Vulcan review, OAFE.net