Or: "OMG, Zan and Jayna Were Super-stupid!"

I, as you know, have twins myself. Truly wonderful 5-year-old boys. And for a few months now, they have been super-obsessed with superheroes. It started with Spider-Man, segued into the Fantastic Four, and then hit new heights with the X-Men.

Their dad was smart, limiting this wealth of new data to the Marvel universe. Cue the in-laws, who one day brought my worst nightmare to life by introducing Batman and Superman into the mix. No, I didn't already have my evenings and weekends filled enough with fielding the boys' questions about Spider-Man's array of girlfriends, the Thing's weight and Wolverine's No. 1 enemy. No, now I had to school them on everybody frickin' else.

This DC Comical side trip ultimately brought a pair of Super Friends DVDs into the home. Both bring back memories from my own glued-to-the-tube childhood. Super Friends: Attack of the Legion of Doom features four episodes pitting Batman, Superman, Flash et al against a bevy of baddies "gathered from all corners of the universe" (this despite the fact that Lex Luthor, the Riddler and most of them have Earth-bound origins).

The original Super Friends Hour, on the other hand, is devoid of "name" nemeses and instead found its conflicts in the hands of any number of generic goons. It also employed a made-for-TV "gimmick" - Zan and Jayna, aka the Wonder Twins.


As fondly as I remember the Super Friends, only now, revisiting it through my sons' eyes, is it painfully clear what an albatross the Twins were. So goofy and silly and utterly ineffective were they, I imagine it was all Wonder Woman and Superman could do to not smack the extraterrestrial teens upside their Vulcan-esque heads. Seriously, the sibs were never even invited on a mission, instead relegated to "watching the Hall of Justice" - a housesitting job they seemed to bungle more often than not. They'd "rebel" and try to help, only to screw things up. Or they'd get kidnapped by the Baddie of the Week. Or they'd allow the HoJ to be invaded. It was truly sad.

Perhaps their fate would have been less pathetic if their "Wonder Twin Powers" had any practical applications. Instead, by touching fists, Jayne could assume the "form of" any animal (e.g., bear, goat, eagle), while her bro could take the "shape of" any water-/snow-/ice-based... thing. Man, his power was silly. Literally, the other day he turned himself into an "ice rocking horse." An ice rocking horse! And before that, he was "a frozen knight" who in short measure was melted into a puddle by the villain's heat ray.

So as fond a memory as the Super Friends is, I now cringe every time I see the Blunder Twins - each disturbing in their sexual ambiguity - dilute the quasi-tension of any good-versus-evil face-off.

And Gleek, the space monkey? Don't get me started.