Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday Morning 1978- Black Who?

I have always wondered why Hanna-Barbera bothered to make up Black Vulcan? When I first saw him as a little kid, I assumed he was Black Lightning in a different costume. I don't know how long it took me to realize his name was Black Vulcan. BV debuted on "The All New Superfriends Hour" about a year after Black Lightning first appeared in comics. One would assume that, in their quest to diversify the Superfriends, Hanna-Barbera would have simply licensed the new and popular Black Lightning. Many people have conjectured that Black Lightning seemed too topical and angry for Saturday Morning in the 70's. However, Superfriends, already avoided the grittier elements of all the other characters' comics series, so that seems an unlikely reason for abandoning Black Lightning.

According to Wikipedia (The receptacle for the sum total of all human knowledge) DC was unable to license Black Lightning to HB due to a dispute with BL's creator, Tony Isabella.

Whatever the reason, Hanna-Barbera gave us Black Vulcan. The first and longest-lasting of the "ethnic" Superfriends. And though I may have been confused about his name, Black Vulcan will always be a cherished part of my Saturday Morning memories.

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