"Look fellas! Big D's calling!"

They may have talked the counterculture talk, but they worked for the Man-- making them very like a real-life rock band.

From 1966-1967, The Impossibles were the Saturday morning cartoons' answer to the Beatles, playing second fiddle to a giant robot on Hanna-Barbera's Frankenstein, Jr. and the Impossibles. The lads led double lives, however, awaiting the call from their commanding officer, the mysterious, suited Big D, who would appear in the tv screen at the end of a guitar. Once instructed as to the evil that was afoot, they transformed into a superhero team. As the narrator would say, "the Impossibles become the Impossibles!"

The Impossibles were:

Multi-man, able to duplicate himself at will.

Fluid-man, with the ability to became any form of liquid-- with built-in pressure, when required.

Coil-man (affectionately known as "Coily"), with a spring-like body and, unsurprisingly, jumping and stretching ability. (Like Paul McCartney, he plays left-handed).

The sources of both their metahuman powers and their drum-track were never explained. In addition to those powers, they drove a guitar-shaped "Impossi-car," which could fly and become a submarine.

The Impossibles would have two adventures on each episode of the tv show. Villains included the Spinner, the Perilous Paperman, Dr Futoro, Mr Instant, Smogula, and the Satanic Surfer. Perhaps most memorable was the Terrifying Tapper, who could teleport himself through the phone lines to commit robberies.

The short-lived series did not produce much in the way of merchandise. Gold Key ran a short-lived comic, and the Impossibles also appear as Japanese-made action figures, nearly impossible to find. Each box contains the "rock star" and "super-hero" version of the character. Hanna Barbera reused the powers, as well as the names "Multi-man" and "Fluid-man" in their 1979 cartoon, The Super Globetrotters, which depicted the Harlem Globetrotters as superheroes.

Special thanks to:

"The Impossibles." The Big Cartoon Database. http://www.bcdb.com/pages/Hanna-Barbera_Studios/D-F/Frankenstein_Jr__and_The_Impossible s/The_Impossibles/

"The Impossibles." Don Markstein's Toonopedia. http://www.toonopedia.com/impossib.htm

The International Catalogue of Superheroes. http://www.internationalhero.co.uk

Jet-Poop, for knowing the name of The Super Globetrotters.