The Super Young Team's Japanese predecessors were a group of "Silver
Age" heroes. The team first came together during a war began with the
Ultimon (Ultimate Monster Killers) in battle against a trio of colonizers
called the Scarrba Clan: Scarrba the Protector, a Hydra-like
being with death rays; Kry-Torr the Burrower with centipede-like legs;
and Lorloxx the Layer who laid monster-hatching eggs. Then the master
Ultimon died, he transferred the last of his powers to his apprentice, Dai
Yokohama. Though the last of the Ultimon defeated the Scarrba Clan, an
army of monsters rose from the smoke and ruin. As the new Ultimon prepared
to die in performance of his duty, in defense of Tokyo, the sun rose... and
out of the sun came Japan's defenders to his aid. Never before had they teamed
together, but that day demanded a miracle. They were originally led by ...
Rising Sun (Isuma Yasunari), known in the West more for his membership
in the Global Guardians. He can control
and radiate light waves, and project great heat. He draws from the sun's
magnetic field to defy gravity.
Boss Bosozuko was a hot-headed, nuclear man. He rode a nuclear-powered
motorcycle. He has been succeeded by Boss Bishonen; his final fate is unrevealed.
Cosmo Racer is a robot child from space, lost and unable to find
his home world. He skates on interstellar roller boots at the speed of sound.
He remains active with the team today.
Goraiko (or some earlier predecessor), an atomic synthetic being
that later became a member the Ultramarine Corps. ("Goraiko"
means "holy light.")
Hammersuit Zero-X (Miss Kusanagi), walking proof of Japan's
technological prowess! Gundam meets Gigantor with huge steam-hammer hands
-- spunky young girl scientist schoolgirl has created this giant robot suit
to run around and right wrongs in. She remains active with the team today.
Sato). Sato was a Japanese film star who gained solar powers. His current
status is unknown.
Junior Waveman (Riki Kimura, now Senior Waveman II),
who was saved by the society of Wavemen when his parents' yacht was terrorized
by a sea monster. His parents died and Kimura was raised by Senior Waveman
Otomo (now deceased). The Junior Waveman secretly loved his mentor's
daughter, and they conceived a daughter who became the Super Young Team's
Ultimon-Alpha (Dai Yokohama), is the supreme monster-killer, one
of an entire secret society of the saem. The Ultimon are super-samurai with
advanced technology and weapons. (He is based on real world TV hero, Ultraman)
After their first battle, they established a headquarters, a halo-shaped base
that hovers above the great Mount Fuji.
The only recorded battle of the original team was against the villain Fushikuraje
at Mount Fuji. (Final Crisis #2)
Boss Bishonen, the successor to Boss Bosozuko NOTES: In
the Final Crisis
Sketchbook, Boss Bosozuko is drawn in the manner we later
see his successor, Boss Bishonen.
Nazo Baluda, "dark Star stealth warrior" and recent recruit.
NOTES: In Dance #4,
Nazo says that her first case was against Scarrba Clan, however this was
case, described by Grant Morrison, that brought BSA together for the first time.
Shiny Happy Aquazon (Kim Kimura). Super strong, and good in the
Of Big Science
Action, Grant Morrisson said "Imagine a Japanese
Justice League made up of Ultraman, Astro Boy, Marine Boy, Gigantor, etc.,
fighting Godzilla and Mothra."
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Previewed: Final
Crisis Sketchbook (July 2008); in
action: Final Crisis #2 (August 2008)
» SERIES: Final
Crisis Aftermath: Dance, 6-issue limited series (2009)
The Super Young Team is a second-generation group of young Japanese
heroes. To outside appearances, these teens are obsessed only with fashion
and the Tokyo nightclub scene. Though their detractors may have cause to criticize,
these young adults are intent on proving their worth as heroes.
Most Excellent Superbat, Heino, their super-rich leader. Superbat
has no powers but insists he's "so rich [he] can do anything." He
once had his own TV show, which he left when their club satellite was built.
Big Atomic Lantern Boy is a rather shy boy who wields some sort
of plasma energy device on his chest. His massive crush on his teammate has
gone unreciprocated by...
Shiny Happy Aquazon (Kim Kimura). Super strong, and good in the
Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, who is onlyl ever several inches tall.
She has wings and emits a sonic cry: "sumimasen!" (which means "I'm
sorry" in Japanese).
Well-spoken Sonic Lightning Flash (Kiego). This speedster unwittingly
steals Aquazon's affections from Big Atomic Lantern Boy.
The Super Young team burst into greater visibility during the third called "Crisis." While
partying in a Tokyo nightclub, they encountered the Super-Sumo (Sonny
Sumo), whom they idolized. After a brief dust-up between Sumo and his nemesis,
Megayakuza, Sonny was approached by Shilo Norman—Mister Miracle.
Norman brought word of a grave threat to the multiverse and he was recruiting
help. Sonny claimed he only fought for money, but acquiesced. Meanwhile, members
of the Super Young Team were attempting to obtain the Super-Sumo's autograph. (Final
The Young Team pursued Norman and Sumo to the airport (still, for the autograph),
where the heroes were inexplicably attacked. The SYT saved their heroes, swooping
in with their Wonder Wagon. Mister Miracle thanked them for the rescue
but claimed the path ahead would be too dangerous for them to follow. (#3)
Norman could not dissuade the team from such a golden opportunity for adventure.
They accompanied him and Sumo to their next stop, Checkmate's castle headquarters
in Switzerland. (#4) Mister Miracle brought crucial
news to the resistance about fighting Darkseid. He revealed that a symbol,
inscribed on their faces could protect them. This symbol was a letter in the
language of the New Gods which meant "freedom from restriction." (#5) After
delivering this news, he prepared the Team for the worst. When Norman learned
that Sonny Sumo was from an alternate Earth, he readied the Young Team to escort
refugees across the Bleed to Earth-51. (#6) They succeeded
in saving many lives before Earth-0 sheared away from the Multiverse. (#7)
The Super Young Team have been harshly criticized by Japan's elder super-statesman, Rising
Sun. Decades before, he was part of a group of Japanese defenders called Big
Science Action. He can often be found railing against their shallow
behavior on national television. The young heroes largely ignore him.
Following the crisis, Super-Sumo declined an offer to join them and the Team
was skillfully guided away from their home country. A man named Mr.
Itami hired a public relations firm to send the Super Young Team on a global
branding tour. Itami's mission was to distract the SYT from something sinister
in Japan. They were installed in their very own orbiting
nightclub, 52 miles above Earth. There in the new satellite, Superbat was approached
by the ghost of Ultimon-Alpha (another member of Big Science Action). Ultimon
called Superbat to a higher service. Their first villain, Razzle, also
made a stink after being rejected by Aquazon. (Final Crisis
Aftermath: Dance #1)
Itami also procured a residence for the group in the city of Las Vulgar. There
they learned that the villain Doc Dread was living nearby, and undertook
a mission to bring him in. Aquazon stayed behind to test a new product endorsement
called Oxy-Gen. She quickly learned that Oxy-Gen was a mind-control agent for
the Brain Drain. The Team saved her and Lolita Canary's cry destroyed
the microscopic entity. (#2)
created these heroes while writing for the series 52. He found them
more useful in Final Crisis, whose story had a global scope. He
"In the '90s, these [Japanese] musicians ... took inspiration
from Western pop records, but mashed up genres, beats, lyrics and imagery
in a way that resulted in music that was both oddly familiar and radically
modern. ... We decided to create a team of super-heroes whose look
was based on recognisable, cut-up and rearranged motifs from western superhero
The Team's "Wonder Wagon" is a concept borrowed from other young
teams' vehicles, including the Super-Cycle used by the Forever
People, and the Whiz Wagon used by Young
The original Sonny Sumo went back in time and died in feudal Japan. He first
appeared in Forever People #4 and last in #7 (1971-72). The current
Super-Sumo is from Earth-51. No details have been given about his travel to
Mark Waid created a different group of Japanese heroes in Kingdom Come.
None of them found their way into Grant Morrison's creations.
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Previewed: Final
Crisis Sketchbook (July 2008); In
action: Final Crisis #2 (August 2008)
» FEATURED APPEARANCES: Final
» SERIES: Final
Crisis Aftermath: Dance, 6-issue limited series (2009)
Isuma Yasunari is one with the sun. He can control and radiate
any light wave right down to a proton, and project great heat. He draws from
the sun's magnetic field to defy gravity.
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Historical: Super
Friends #8 (Nov 1977). Post-Crisis: Infinity,
» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
on Infinite Earths #12
DC Comics Presents #46
Infinity Inc. #32
the DC Universe #2
Infinity Inc. #34-37
JLA: Year One #12
League America #55, Annual #3
League Europe #2, 3, 29, 30, 49, 50, Annual #1
Justice League Quarterly #5,
6, 7, 8, 17
Secret Origins v.2
Super Friends #8, 45, 46
Who's Who #9
Who '91 #7
name: Toshio Eto
First appearance, television:The
All-New Super Friends Hour, episode 8/4 "Volcano" (29 October
1977). Fatured TV appearances: Episodes
of the All-New Super Friends Hour (1977), Challenge
of the Superfriends (1978), The Super Friends Hour (1980), The
Super Friends (1981), Superfriends: The Legendary Super
Powers Show (1984), The Super Powers Team: Galactic
First appearance, comics:Super
#1-4 (1986); DC One Million 80-Page Giant (Aug 1999).
Origin told:Super Powers v.3
#2 (Oct 1986)
History: After overthrowing Darkseid, Orion
and Mr. Miracle attempted to maintain the peace on Apokolips. Concerned that
they may need help, the heroes enlisted the scientist Kronar to develop a means
of creating more heroes. He invented "Omega Energy," a force loosely
related to the Omega Effect. When applied to a human with the proper genetic
structure, it produced radical changes in their bodies, resulting in the release
of latent energy.
For the first trial of his "Project
Kronar choses two Earth subjects. One of the subjects was Japanese history
professor, Toshio Eto, who is struck by the energy in Hokkaido, Japan.
The next day, the transformed Eto appeared in Metropolis as Samurai,
along with the other hero, the Golden Pharaoh. Both were temporarily
driven mad by the shock, but were subdued by the Super Powers Team. Samurai
joined the heroes against the threat of Darkseid. (Super Powers v.3 #2)
POWERS: Samurai's primary power is to channel the
winds by saying "kaze no yō ni hayaku" ("swift as the
wind"). He can turn to flames
by saying "higa moen" ("great flame").
And he becomes invisible with "tōmei ningen" ("transparent man"). He
also possesses martial arts skills.
a Samurai action figure as part of the Super
Powers, series 3 (1986).
made a cameo appearances in DC One Million 80-Page Giant (1999) and the
Infinite Crisis collected edition.
First appearance: Justice League
of America 80-Page Giant #1 (November 2009)
In current DC Universe, there was a samurai warrior named Toshio who
lived in feudal Japan in 1223. He originally pledged his loyalty to a commander
who was in fact Steppenwolf, the god of Apokolips. When imperial and rival
samurai clans moved against Steppenwolf near Koto, his indentured advisor, Amerat advised
him to put Toshio in charge of their men. When Toshio refused to kill innocent
civilians, Steppenwolf killed him. His death spurred Amerat to break her bonds
and go to Toshio. She bestowed onto him the powers of the wind, the flame,
the earth and the "essence of the world." When he arose, he encountered
Superman and Dr. Light, who'd been thrown back in time. After a misunderstanding,
they allied and Superman recognized Steppenwolf. Toshio drove him off. (JLofA
80-Page Giant) NOTE: "Amerat" might refer
to the Japanese goddess Ameratsu, who was a sun goddess that illuminated
There have been no fewer than seven distinct characters in DC's publishing
history to bear the name "Sunburst." No more than five of them
remain in current Earth-0 continuity. The one who is considered to be
a co-founder of Big Science Action is Takeo Sato.
Created by E. Nelson Bridwell, Win Mortimer and Murphy Anderson
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Action
Comics #379 (August 1969)
The first character DC published by the name of Sunburst actually appears
last, chronologically. Once, in the 30th Century the Legion of Super-Heroes
fought a Sunburst. He wore a red suit with black vest and boots, and
robbed the Metropolis Mint. The costume was lined with super-scientific devices
that enabled Sunburst to
"surround him(self) with an electro-magnetic force-field," generate
bursts of blinding light and fire the requisite bursts of solar radiation.
The villain was finally apprehended when he was blinded by Shadow Lass.
Unknown to the Legion, Shadow Lass was being impersonated by Uli Algor,
who was working in tandem with Sunburst to convince the team that she was for
real, as a prelude to stealing the secrets of the LSH. Shady's boyfriend, Mon-El,
discovered the switch and brought the mimic to justice.
Omar, the Arab Sunburst
Created by Gerry Conway and Dick Dillin
» FIRST APPEARANCE: DC
Special Series #1 (September 1977)
The first 20th century character to bear the name "Sunburst" was
a wealthy Iranian oil baron named Omar. He had discovered the origin
of a jeweled globe that had been in his family for centuries. "The eternal
secret of total energy" was implanted in the sphere "by a man whose
name has been lost to antiquity." It was given to Omar's ancestor for
safe-keeping as the forces of Alexander the Great conquered Persia in 334 B.C.
After eight years of searching, Omar learned that the globe possessed "power
enough to convert the sun's solar energy into a field of forcetransforming
a man into a human sunburst, and giving (him) strength enough to recreate the
Persian Empire." In a burst of energy, Omar adopted an armored uniform,
his exposed flesh turned blood red and his hair became a mane of fire.
En route to the United Nations to deliver an ultimatum, the flying Sunburst had
a chance encounter with a distraught Aquaman, only hours after the murder of
his son. The Sea King was swiftly defeated by the villain, who left him for
dead in the desert. Unable to use his aquatic powers, Aquaman found a small
basin of water that he rationed as he walked through the desert night. Spotting
a plane on the horizon, he used a metal can to make a glare and catch the pilot's
attention. "There's a certain irony here: sunlight was used to trap this
man, and now, appropriately, sunlight is used to free him."
Arriving in Bakushi, Iran, Aquaman found Sunburst making new threats at an
embassy. Dodging the villain's heat-vision, the Sea King declared that "my
desert experience taught me a man has OTHER powers than those based in his
and THOSE powers his wit and cunning are the greatest
powers of all!" Pulling out a mirror, Aquaman reflected Sunburst's powers
back at him, burning out the solar tyrant's might.
Nothing in this tale excludes Omar from current Earth-0 or Aquaman continuity.
Takeo Sato, the first Japanese
Created by Paul Kupperberg, Alex Saviuk and Kurt Schaffenberger
» FIRST APPEARANCE: New
Adventures of Superboy #47 (October 1983)
"It started the day of my birth or so I am told. You see, I
was born in a tiny village, within sight of an active volcano. On the day
of my birth, the volcano was belching fumes prior to an eruption. Fumes,
I imagine, that I inhaled with my first breath."
Takeo Sato grew up normally, and as an adult pursued acting. He won
the role of a costumed super-hero called Sunburst. In a low-budget production
he leared to "fly" on wires. One day on set, the wires holding him snapped;
but as he screamed in terror he soon found himself in flight! The studio
decided to keep Sato's powers a secret, preferring to release his super-stunts
as state-of-the-art special effects. (New Adv. of Superboy
Sato's natural powers eventually came to the attention of criminals, who
abducted Takeo's parents and blackmailed him into going on a public crime spree
The string of robberies soon drew the attention of Superboy, who found Sunburst
to be an adroit opponent. Sato had quickly mastered his power over super-heat,
flight, speed and agility.
After a series of skirmishes with the Boy of Steel, Sunburst seized on a moment
of concealment to reveal the extortion plot and enlist Superboy in a plan to
capture the kidnappers. After his parents were rescued, Superboy offered
to help Takeo learn how to use his powers. Sunburst chose instead to undergo
super-hypnosis in order to block his powers, and go into dormancy. The
plan was a success and the short career of Sunburst was brought to a close. (#45-47)
Not long after, Earth and the universe itself found
itself imperilled by the threat of the Anti-Monitor. Heroes from all over the
globe were mobilized. Somehow Takeo regained the knowledge of his powers and
he gallantly joined Japan's defense efforts. Sunburst was killed in the
skies over Tokyo, struck down by a Shadow-Demon. (Crisis #12)
Sunburst's death during the great Crisis was a blow to Japan, doubly so when
it was revealed that he had also been film star Takeo Sato. After the first
Crisis, Sunburst's origin changed and now involves Japan's native hero, Rising
Sun (taking the place of the now non-existent Superboy). (Who's
Who #22) The
general sequence of events remains the same.
had a cameo in flashback, and was said to be a well-regarded national hero,
in a solo Dr. Light solo story. (Showcase
Walton, the American Sunburst + Team Titan Sunburst
Created by by Marv Wolfman, Eduardo Barreto and Romeo Tanghal
» FIRST APPEARANCE: In-continuity:
New Teen Titans v.2 #36 (October 1987). The
Team Titan: Team Titans #11 (August 1993)
Timothy Walton had designed golden body armor, complete with glider
wings, that was powered by solar energy. Its defensive capabilities included
bursts of force and solar energy channelled through his hands. Unfortunately
for the would-be criminal mastermind, he attracted the attention of the Teen
Titans almost immediately and was ultimately blasted from the sky by Starfire's
own solar energy bolts.
The story might have ended there had the entire conflict not been observed
by the Wildebeest. The villain stole Walton's armor, used it to kill a business
rival and created a situation in which it appeared that Starfire had accidentally
slain the man herself. Thanks to Nightwing's detective skills, the plot was
exposed. (New Teen Titans v.2 #36-37, 1987) Sunburst's
armor, however, was never recovered and presumably was adapted into the Wildebeest's
catalog of weapons.
Later, Marv Wolfman used another version of Sunburst as one of the "Team
Titans." In current DC continuity, the Team Titans are considered chronal
anomalies created by the Time Trapper. They were freedom fighters who had "come
from" the early 21st Century to combat the threat of Lord Chaos. They
were sent back in time. One (III) such agent was code-named SunburstIV,
whose "whole team was killed in the time-transfer." On top of that,
Sunburst had arrived three years earlier than intended. He waited until a time
when other Team Titans appeared to reveal himself. This solar Titan could encase
himself in a fiery force bubble and, like most of predecessors, was capable
of generating solar blasts through his hands. Sunburst was attacked by a Chaos-drone
from the future and, despite an alliance with other factions of the Team Titans,
he was ultimately killed when the robotic manhunter fired a blast into his
chest. (Team Titans #11-12, 1993)
The second Japanese Sunburst
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Doom
Patrol v.2 #26 (Sept. 1989)
Meanwhile, in Japan, Sato's legend was being continued by a media savvy Sunburst II,
whose every action was televised on "The Adventures of the New Sunburst," described
as "the country's most popular television show." Clad in a similar
costume, this Sunburst could channel solar energy through his hands but the
full extent of his powers is unknown. He was attacked by a strange psychotic
woman called Quiz, who was recruited by Mr. Nobody for his Brotherhood fo Dada. (Doom
Patrol v.2 #26, 1989)
The new Sunburst
was not named. In the Final Crisis Sketchbook, Grant Morrison introduced
Japan's Big Science Action. In text, he says that "Sunfire" was a
member. Clearly, he meant "Sunburst"; Sunfire is an X-Man.
There are no further details.
» FIRST APPEARANCE: Superboy v.2
#18 (July 1991)
The legend of Takeo Sato was also revisited by Paul Kupperberg when
he wrote for the next Superboy series—which was set within the
continuity of the "Superboy" TV
series (1988–92). In this version, Takeo
was a film student at Shuster University who produced and starred in the amateur
production Sunburst Over Tokyo. Takeo
had discovered a talisman in Japan that granted him solar powers but members
of the Yakuza tracked him to the U.S. hoping to use the amulet for themselves.
Superboy defeated one of the solar-powered thugs and returned the talisman
to Takeo, suggesting that the young man use the power altruistically.
Instead, the aspiring filmmaker smashed the jewel, declaring that "I
picked my destiny years ago, when I decided to become a Spielberg instead of
As the Boy of Steel began to argue that someone else could have used the talisman
for good, Takeo pointed out that it could just as easily fall into evil hands.
This Takeo Sato really never acquired super-powers or appeared as Sunburst
Mark Waid and Alex Ross created several Japanese characters that were portrayed
as villainous. No team name was ever given for them, but in Kingdom Come #2,
the new Justice League was shown fighting:
Kabuki Kommando, the
Fourth World's Japanese champion. (Alex Ross said that he intended the
name and character as a tribute to the work of Jack Kirby, "if Kirby
had ever got into a Japanese period")
Samurai, champion of Japan, from the Batmen of many nations
S.H.O.G.U.N., a giant robot
Tokyo Rose, a Japanese martial arts assassin.
Tusk, described as an elephant-shaped man-o-war ... a Japanese giant
robot armor design crossed with an elephant.
The Mark Waid/Alex Ross annotations that were printed in the limited edition
"Revelations supplement" point out that Kabuki Kommando and Jade Fox were designed
by Aldrin Aw.
The Ace Archer of Japan was one of the Green
Arrows of the World. He used a "jiu-jitsu arrow." The Ace first appeared
in Adventure Comics #250 (July 1958). This
group itself was created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in World's
Finest #250 (1958). SEE: Obscure:
Green Arrows of the World.