I’ve always had an affinity for wacky superheroes. Something about doing good while being a geek just cracks me up. Take the Wonder Twins, Zan and Jana, and their pet monkey Gleek, for example – part of the loveable teenage “Super Friends” from the Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera archive of the late 1970s. Zan could take the form of anything related to water; Jana could take the form of any animal. Their weekly routine of touching fists, ring to ring, in order to access their powers has no doubt influenced our modern replacement of the handshake with the fist-to–ist “pound” acknowledgment. Just think “What up dog?” versus “Wonder Twin powers activate — form of a Doberman Pincer! Shape of a waterfall!” and you’ll know that I’m onto something here. I liked Zan because he was often something frozen and unimaginable. I waited years for a jewel thief to be foiled by: “Form of an ice glacier! Halt villain or I will overtake you during the course of the next millennia and scour your bones with a geologic force so strong that a beautiful valley will be carved where you stand! Your ancestors won’t know what hit them!”
As I got older, I couldn’t chalk my interest in superheroes off to youth. Even in college The Tick always cracked me up – you can’t help chuckling at a show with a tick for a hero, a moth sidekick, and a villain that is also a chair. Maybe that’s why I donned the banana suit in the late 90s to draw attention to The FruitGuys. Wearing it makes me feel like a superhero. At The Bay Guardian’s 2006 “Best of the Bay” awards party I had funky dance moves that I’m sure only came from the power of being The Banana. That said, I’m in the process of passing my superpowers on to a friend of mine. Beth Lisick, the Bay Area writer, comic, and observer extraordinaire, has been a regular banana lady for us. Now she will add her own superhero powers to the power of The Banana and tell you all about it in her blog posts. She will write about all her adventures, from turning sad clowns into happy ones, rescuing puppies, leading banana-yoga, and more.
Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt firstname.lastname@example.org