The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Green Lantern
At first glance, GL seems like the only Superfriend who's up to Superman levels of power. He can make anything he wants just by thinking about it, plus he has a snazzy outfit. But then there's his weakness: yellow. A primary color, for God's sake! "Big Bird! You have defeated me once again!" "Lemon-scented dishwashing liquid! Lo! I am foiled!" "Marshmallow peeps! Nooooooo!" Nice try. But it's a very snazzy outfit. C+

Apache Chief
A typical Seventies cultural compromise: "We'll include multicultural heroes in our cartoon series, but we're going to give them lame powers. No, I mean really lame." Thus, we have Apache Chief, ("Oh, and we're going to give them stupid names, too") who can grow big. And once he turned into a bear. That's fine for "Tall Tales of the Pioneers," but one would hope for something a little more riveting from the spandex-and-superpower crowd. His saving grace was that he had a great magic word, which various Internet sources list as "Inec CHOCH," "Enek-CHUK," or "Noam CHOMSKY." C

Hawkman has a good name and a good look, but when the Legion of Doom hits town, you have to admit that he's just basically a guy with wings, and that doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Half the Superfriends can fly already, all of them can do something else besides, and none of them molt. C-

The Flash
I like the Flash. Granted, Superman has the speed thing down too, but it's always nice to have a backup speedster. That's really the problem with expanding the Superfriends; you really start to double up on the superpower niches. Then you get eight different people trying to capture the same bad guy, mitigate the same natural disaster, or convince the same pre-teen not to chew on styrofoam cup edges, and the natural jealousy and resentment that follows leads to tension and the inevitable front-page breakup, with several of the team members trying to re-form under the name "The 'Friends," which in turn leads to a long drawn-out trademark infringement suit, alienating the core fanbase, who turn to marijuana and imported porn comics as a means of dealing with the crushing disappointment of seeing their idols revealed as flawed human beings like anyone else, and meanwhile Gorilla Grodd is dancing on the mayor's head and nobody's doing anything about it. So you see. C+

Black Vulcan
Another from the Great Melting Pot of Lame Powers, Black Vulcan's power was "Whatever we feel like, as long as we make it look electric-like." For instance, to fly he turned his lower body into lightning. I don't see how that would propel you, seeing as your lower body would then be attracted to the ground or any large grounded metal objects, but if we start questioning the physics of the Superfriends we're going to have to start with "Isn't Robin chilly in that get-up?" and that would take up a four-unit elective class by itself. C

Technically, Firestorm didn't show up until the "Superfriends" had become "The Super Powers," but his head's on fire, so that makes up for it. Firestorm could transform substances into other substances, as long as they weren't organic, so again we're dealing with someone who has no power to affect many common household objects like yams and leather checkbook covers. It would have been much more entertaining if his weakness was limited to organic produce, because then we could have had episodes with titles like "Showdown at the Farmer's Market" and "The Legumes of Doom." C+

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