Wonder Twins: The Lesser Known Heroes Of Saturday Morning Cartoons

By | August 11, 2021

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Source: (Nostalgia Central).

The popularity of Wonder Woman and The Six-Billion Dollar Man helped to bring about the advent of The All-New Super Friends Hour in September 1977 on ABC. Earlier, from 1973-1974, ABC had aired the original Super Friends, featuring Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. The network decided to revamp the show, adding the Wonder Twins and their pet monkey, Gleek. This trio replaced characters from the earlier show, Wendy Harris, Marvin White, and their dog, Wonder Dog. Unlike their replacements, Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog all lacked superhero powers, although Wonder Dog was quite buff, wore a cape, and could talk. After the Wonder Twins had their television premiere, they were introduced to the world of comic books, appearing in issue #7 of the Super Friends comic book. In the comic book, more of their background was introduced, and it was changed a bit. The Twins were orphans after a plague devastated their planet and the two were held against their will. They eventually fought back and escaped.

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Source: (Film Junk).

Yes, They Were In A Circus

The twins were created by Norman Maurer and were originally named Dick and Jane, and their pet monkey was Mighty Monkey. For the show, they became Zan, Jayna, and Gleek. Zan and Jayna, whose names were derived from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ characters, Tarzan and Jane, and other components of their characters were derived elsewhere: their personalities were based on Donny and Marie Osmond, their pointed ears were inspired by Spock, and Jayna’s hairdo was based on the hairstyle of an animation checker at Hanna-Barbera. According to their backstory, they haled from the planet Exxor, which was also spelled Exor, where they were anomalies because of their superpowers. They worked in a circus in their early days, which helps to explain some of their behavior, as well as where they picked up Gleek.