Super Powers Returns to DC Comics

Super PowersSuper Powers Returns to DC Comics by Jerry Whitworth

 

Announced at San Diego Comic-Con, Tom Scioli (Transformers vs. G.I. Joe) will be writing and drawing a back-up series called “Super Powers” for Cave Carson has a Cybernetic Eye from the Young Animal mature readers imprint at DC Comics. Based on the character designs Jack Kirby produced for the toyline and for two mini-series based on the toyline (Kirby plotted the first mini-series and produced its covers as well as produced the art for the second mini-series), all that’s known yet about the series is it depicts “Tom Scioli going completely fucking nuts on the DC Universe,” according to Gerard Way, curator for Young Animal. The first image of the series depicts Supergirl, Batgirl, El Dorado, Black Vulcan, Ch’p, a mash-up of the Virgin Mary and Mary Marvel, Samurai, Supermobile, Wonder Twins, Gleek, Jemm: Son of Saturn, Batmobile, a mash-up of Superman and OMAC (identified by Scioli as being called KOMAC), Composite Superman, and various others. The image also appears to pay homage to the DC Comics Style Guide cover drawn by José Luis García-López whose Style Guide art was used for character designs for the final animated Super Powers series and the toyline and packaging.

 

Gentle GiantSuper Powers was one of the most well-regarded toylines to emerge in the 1980s beginning distribution in 1984 from Kenner (who largely jump started the collectible action figure market with its Star Wars line) producing three waves before ending in 1986 (as action figures were going out of style in favor of electronic toys). DC Comics would produce three comic book mini-series based on the toyline (the final series drawn by Carmine Infantino) as Hanna-Barbera resurrected the Super Friends animated series for two seasons around the toys (the final season arguably laying the groundwork for the DC Animated Universe with improved art and more mature storylines which included the work of Alan Burnett). Super Powers would have a lasting effect well into today including Lex Luthor’s armor (designed by George Pérez) and the skeletal Brainiac with his skull-shaped vessel (designed by Ed Hannigan) as Four Horsemen Studios based a number of their designs for Mattel’s DC Universe Classics toyline on Super Powers (so far as producing Super Powers original figures in Cyclotron and Golden Pharaoh). The final line to emerge from the DC Universe Classics series celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of Super Powers with slightly modified versions of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman as well as two figures intended to emerge in the original series in Gold Superman and Mister Mxyzptlk, a repainted Green Lantern as the Riddler (which Pacipa produced for its Super Amigos line), and a collect-and-connect of Kalibak in the Super Powers color scheme. Various companies in recent years have been producing Super Powers toys such as Gentle Giant with its Jumbo and Micro lines, Kotobukiya ArtFX+ statues, Figural 3D keyrings, Sofubi vinyl figures, and more.

Author: Jerry Whitworth

A product of the 1980s, I was indoctrinated in the pop culture of the time period with a love for its animation, television series, films, comic books, toys, video games, and music helping mold who I am today

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