In the late 70’s there was a push in mainstream television for diversity. This push was in response to the changing market and culture at the time, wherein minority groups were on the rise. This was because African Americans, hispanics and asians were immigrating to the United States in large numbers. Inorder to appeal to this new group of viewers, television and broadcast companies (there was no cable at the time) began to introduce minority characters in their shows. No area of television was exempted from this change. As a result, the TV cartoon known as the “Superfriends hour” (later changed to “Challenge of the Superfriends” then to “Superfriends” and then “Super-powers”) had four minority superheroes.
El Dorado (Hispanic Superhero), Apache Chief (Native American Superhero), Samurai (Asian Superhero) and Black Vulcan (African American superhero).
So from the late 70’s to the 80’s these four superheroes graced our screens and were a part of our favorite DC superhero group “Superfriends.” They continued to appear at various times in all the incarnations of the show.
However, after their run on television, almost four decades later, they are barely recognizable by pop-culture junkies. They are only remembered by those super-fans that tuned in those many decades ago on Saturday morning to watch the show.
But there is good news….these heroes are slowly making a return. El Dorado made an appearance in issue #1 of the Wonder Twins comic book released by DC comics in February 2019. (He is seen on page 9 walking into the Hall of Justice.) Black Vulcan has made a cameo appearance in the DC One Million 80-page Giant Special as part of one of the alternate Justice Leagues that accidentally ended up in the headquarters of Justice Alpha. Samurai is featured in the crossover Brightest Day event, and Apache Chief is hinted at in the TV cartoon Young Justice: Invasion….
Will these lost icons make a TV or comic debut…..only time and fan demands will tell….