Saturday, February 18, 2006
BHM 18: Impala
Impala first appeared in the famous Superfriends #7 (Oct. 1977) which introduced the Global Guardians. Each of the "domestic" Superfriends was paired for an adventure with an "international" counterpart who, although technically less powerful, had a different cut to their abilities that saved the day.
Impala was a speedster. Being a black speedster, he had exposed thighs. Though not as fast as the Flash (of course), he had a superjumping ability (like his eponymous animal). In his secret identity, Impala was a South African Zulu named "Mbulaze". Did he not have an isibongo or isithakazelo to use as a last name? Who can say?
He lost his powers in Justice League Quarterly 17. Everything that happens in a Justice League Quarterly is automatically bad; I'm glad they don't make them anymore. Then he died. Guess it was too much to ask that the entire continent of Africa might have one black superhero (not counting you know who).
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Jesus, the only black superhero from Africa I can think of is B'wana Beast. Or Freedom Beast. Or whatever he's called now. Is that "you know who?"
I'm probably overlooking somebody. At least, I hope so.
I believe he's been replaced by Kid Impala. I'm not making this up. Man I wish DC would do a Global Guardians book, even if it only ran for 12 issues. It seems almost everything else gas been given a kick at the can. And I want Chris Sprouse to draw it!
Uh, isn't Doctor Mist also from Africa?
"Or Freedom Beast. Or whatever he's called now. Is that "you know who?"""
" I believe he's been replaced by Kid Impala. I'm not making this up."
Not even in DC; you'll have to prove that one to me!
"Uh, isn't Doctor Mist also from Africa?"
I wasn't counting him because he's also dead now.
Yeah, Kid Impala debuted in the first JLA Classified arc. I think that's where, at least.
Wasn't Dr. Mist immortal?
Until he was killed.
Killed at The House*, no less!
*which does not exist.
Global Guardians? I wonder if it's better to have them (at least somebody from outside the USA) or not to have them (dumb ethnic sterotypes). They were in JLE, drawn by Bart Sears. I have the scans. Real bad porn.
What about "Ethnic sterotype Week" next month? Be sure to include the parallel group from Marvels Contest of Champions.
Good old Blitzkrieg and The Arabian Knight, Sabra and wee irish Shamrock...
Gee, when I read "you know who", I immediately thought of...
The Black Panther.
It's funny, though, I was never really interested in DC until I started reading the Absorbascon, Dial B For Blog, etc. Thanks a lot...
I agree with Axel M. Gruner, the downside of having a Global Guardians book is that they were bad ethnic stereotypes. However, keep in mind that a good chunk of the team have either been killed off or made rendered inactive. So, DC could come up with an international team from the ground up. Keep the Global Guardians name, keep some of the better Guardians (maybe Tasmanian Devil and Icemaiden)and then add some other pre-existing characters (Vixen? Janissary?), maybe a couple new ones. And go from there.
No, sounds good.
If DC's smart, they could even ask people from selected countries to send in entries, thereby minimizing possible awkwardness. No 'black' Africans, no 'beefeater' Brits, no 'blitzkrieg' Germans etc.
Um.. already done?
In the JLA Classified story that introduced Kid Impala, Morrison teamed the remaining Global Guardians up with his Ultra-Marines (the butchest team ever named after a color), and a few other "international heroes."
Of course, there's still room for a new Global Guardians, because Morrison then packed away the team to an infant universe/time traveling Huntsman/our world (I love Grant Morrison).
Naaah, if they're away, they're away.
Let's invent some new guys and have them invade some other universe that's up for grabs.
It's good that the Global Guardians haven't been seen in the DCU for a while. Can you imagine what would/will happen to these guys if they showed up in 'Infinite Crisis'?
I think the problem is no writer knows that to do with them. They could be pretty cool if they weren't having their minds taken over and sent against the Justice League every time they show up.
A story arc in Justice League Quarterly depowered/killed some of the stupider Guardians, leaving this team:
Rising Sun (Japan)
Tasmanian Devil (Australia)
Dr. Mist, Jack-o-Lantern I, Thunderlord, Bushmaster, and Impala are all dead.
Little Mermaid was supposed to be dead but inexplicably turned up alive again.
Godiva lost her powers.
Wild Huntsman was lost in an interdimensional portal.
Tuatara is in a coma.
Belphegor, Fleur-de-lis, Red Star, and B'wana Beast are former members.
A writer with some knowledge of other cultures and international events could make good use of the group.
Not everything in a Justice League Quarterly is automatically bad! I remember the first four being not so bad.
Thanks so much for the post, very helpful info.
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