Zan and Jayna

Created for television by Norm Maurer
 

NAME + ALIASES:
Zan and Jayna

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice League International

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Current: Extreme Justice #9 (October 1995)
Historical: Super Friends #7 (Sept. 1977)
On television: All-New Super Friends Hour (1977)

+ History

Editor Ruben Diaz championed the return of TV's Zan and Jayna. From Extreme Justice #9 (1995). Art by Al Rio.
Zan (top) forms an ice claw, while Jayna (bottom) becomes a griffin. From Extreme Justice #9 (1995). Art by Al Rio

 

Zan and Jayna are twins from the planet Exor. Like several other pairs of twins, they were descended from a line of peaceful rulers—essentially that planet's royalty. Each of these ruling class individuals channels power from one of their "ten elements." Jayna, for example, can channel animal forms; Zan transmutes his body into watery forms. These powers allowed them and their ancestors to protect the people of Exor for generations.

But upon Exor's first contact with another alien race, it was enslaved. The invaders offered new technology, but asked for slaves in return. Soon Exor's people found that even the new technology was sapping energies from those who remained on the planet. (Extreme Justice #15)

Zan and Jayna escaped, stole one of the slave drivers' ships, and headed for Earth.Their stolen ship possessed a powerful piece of technology known as the Flesh-Driver, which channeled energy from living beings to run. Their master Ovon Kelt, the Slavelord followed and immediately reclaimed them, but the ship was left on Earth. (#9) When the twins were teleported back to Exor, their ship remained and Blue Beetle used the Flesh-Driver as part of Booster Gold's new uniform. (#14)

Zan and Jayna returned to Earth for the second time, chained by the Slavelord. Captain Atom's Justice League freed them and managed to translate their language. The twins decided to challenge the Slavelord in order to show their people the right path once again. Their "royal" comrades arrived to challenge Zan and Jayna. Among them, Jayna's betrothed, Zilax (whose sister is Jod).

The tide of battle turned as Zan and Jayna managed to rally another to their cause. The male named Zilm acquiesced, not wanting to see any more Exorians killed like his sister, Jila was killed during their first visit to Earth. Zanga and Janx followed and all the twin pairs fell into accord. (#15)

From Young Justice

In order to keep the Flesh-Driver away from their people, they decided to leave it in Booster Gold's hands, where the technology would do no harm. In addition, Zan and Jayna elected to remain on Earth, believing that their regency on Exor should come to an end. (#16)

 

They remained with the group until its end, and make only occasional appearances on Earth. They once aided a teen super-group assembled by Young Justice. (Young Justice #49-51)

Notes

Zan and Jayna first appeared on TV as the "Wonder Twins" (with their space-monkey, Gleek) in the All-New Super Friends Hour (1977). Their appearances in the Super Friends comic book are not in current continuity. Read on...

 

Pre-Crisis History

Zan and Jayna were twins born on Exor, the homeworld of Superman's old enemy, Grax. Their ancestors were of two races — ordinary humans and the shape-shifters. As time went on, both races intermarried and had children. The shape-shifting genes were not the dominant ones. The few shape-shifters born on Exor usually could change into one kind of form.

The twins had a unique limitation. They had to touch before their powers could activate. She could become any animal, and he could become any form of water. When their parents died in a worldwide plague, the twins were sold to an intergalactic circus. Because they were shifters, this was determined to be their only destiny.

They met Gleek, the elasti-monk, who was the pet of Illik, the laugh-maker (their version of a clown). Frustrated that the other performers were paid for their services, the twins decided to take a rocketship in exchange for the wages that they should have earned. Gleek went with them.

While hiding from the authorities, the twins stumbled onto Grax, who was recording his plan to destroy the Earth with many bombs. The twins rushed to Earth to warn the people, and the Justice League and the future Global Guardians made fast work of the bombs. Meanwhile, Wendy, Marvin, and Wonder Dog defeated Grax after he attacked them in the JLA satellite.

The twins decided to take Wendy and Marvin's places since they were moving onto college. (Super Friends #7)

+ Powers

Zan and Jayna have powers only when they can make physical contact. Zan is a water elemental who can transform his body into water, liquid and ice forms. Jayna can become virtually any beast she can imagine. They must again be in contact in order to reverse the transformations.

Their powers are granted to them and their fellow "royals" by what they call the Ten Elements of the Universe. As Zan and Jayna control water and animals, respectively, others channel fire, love, vapors, plants, sound, metal, shadows and other elemental powers.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

  • Extreme Justice #9, 16-18
  • Young Justice #49-51

» SERIES:

none