Black Vulcan

There’s a lot to be said about this short-lived hero. His first appearance was on the Super Friends cartoon in the 70′s as they expanded their lineup to create diversity. Black Vulcan is among those Black Superheroes that has the word Black in his name for no reason other than the color of his skin. When he showed up in the Super Friends many comic book fans cried foul as he was obviously a take off on Black Lightning who actually did exist in the DC Comics Universe. Apparently there were challenges with the creator of Black Lightning (money issues), so Black Vulcan was invented.

Other than the color of his skin or the sound of his voice there was little “Black” or even interesting about him. He was never more than the Black token hero who never even raised the bar to the level of stereotype. Basically he was able to produce lightning and fly. His powers, while always lightning based, seemed to change episode to episode defying all logic and common sense as his lightning bolts would turn into whatever he needed, and even allow him to travel through time. His contribution to the Super Friends was minimal yet as a child I watched week to week waiting in vain for him to do something amazing. He never did. The only thing I can say positively about him is that he as a Black Superhero that appeared on TV while I was growing up. One thing that did irk me about the character at the time was that he would sometimes wear pants and sometimes not for no apparent reason.

Multiple action figures were made of the character but he never achieved a fan base and he never crossed over into the comics. Black Vulcan continued his career on the Super Friends cartoon until they revamped the show yet again and replaced him with another Black Superhero, Cyborg. The character disappeared into obscurity until 2004 and 2005 when he showed up years later as a parody of himself in the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law show.

You can be the judge as to how seriously you should take the character. Here’s a taste of Black Vulcan in action on the Superfriends followed by the previously mentioned parody.

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