On the planet Exxor, Fonab and Rua gave birth to twin children, Zan and his sister Jayna. Due to a recessive hereditary trait in Exxorian biology, both twins were born with the mutant ability to alter their physical form. Even as infants, Zan demonstrated his power to transform into a liquid state.
While they were still children, a great plague swept across Exxor killing hundreds of innocent civilians including Fonab and Rua. The orphans Zan and Jayna were taken to a special center, but the administrators knew that no surviving Exxorian family would adopt mutant children. Instead, they released the twins into the care of a carnival owner named Dentwil. Dentwil placed the children on display and amused customers with Jayna's ability to transform into Exxorian animals, and Zan's power to turn into waterspouts. By Exxorian law, the twins were the legal property of Dentwil, and could not leave his care until they were twenty years old.
As they grew older, the twins became friends with a sideshow laugh-maker named Illik. Illik grew enamored with Zan and Jayna and elected to raise them as a surrogate father. He also introduced them to his carnival star attraction – the elasti-monk known as Gleek. Although Illik cared for them a great deal, he also recognized that the circus was the only suitable way of life for a mutant. Zan and Jayna wanted more however.
As Zan and Jayna grew into adolescence, they grew disenfranchised over the fact that they received nothing from Dentwil aside from food and shelter. They approached the circus owner and demanded payment for their services, but Dentwil refused – citing that he owed no legal obligation to them, as they were his private property. Finally, the twins had had enough and they used their shape changing powers to force Dentwil into relinquishing his hold over them.
Shortly thereafter, Zan and Jayna stole one of the many starships that the carnival used for their interplanetary circuit. Taking Gleek the elasti-monk along as a companion, they rocketed free of Exxor leaving the carnival behind them forever.
Along their journey, these self-styled "Wonder Twins" discovered that an alien conqueror known as Grax had intended on taking control of the planet Earth by way of twelve carefully hidden bombs. They piloted their ship to Earth where they met a team of heroes known as the Super Friends. Speaking in Interlac, the Wonder Twins warned Superman of Grax's plans. The Super Friends agreed to provide sanctuary to the Wonder Twins inside of their Hall of Justice, while they individually hunted down the twelve hidden explosives.
During their stay, Zan and Jayna befriended super-hero trainees, Wendy Harris and Marvin White. Wendy and Marvin became close friends with Zan and Jayna and helped them to adjust to Earth's languages and customs. Wendy and Marvin had plans to go to college and knew that the Wonder Twins would make for an adequate replacement in the Super Friends roster.
After engaging in several adventures with the Wonder Twins, the Super Friends arranged for Zan and Jayna to live with an old scientist friend of Bruce Wayne's named Professor Carter Nichols. Nichols provided them with a cover identity as foreign exchange students to account for their lack of knowledge of Earth’s customs. Supposedly hailing from Esko, Sweden, Zan took the name John "Johann" Fleming, while Jayna adopted the identity of Joanna "Johanna" Fleming. Furthering their disguises, Zan began wearing a blonde-colored wig to cover his pointed ears, while Jayna merely used her super-powers to alter her physical shape. With their new Earth identities firmly in place, Zan and Jayna began a new life for themselves at Gotham City High School, but they were always available to aid the Super Friends in times of need.
- Hydrokinesis: Zan possesses the ability to alter his biological structure to take on the form of water or ice. (On one occasion, he transformed himself into liquid nitrogen, but has never assumed any other chemical substance before or since then.) While in this form, he can increase or decrease his mass and volume to accommodate the proportionate size of the form he is attempting to emulate. The exact range of this ability is unknown, but Zan has demonstrated that he can increase his size sufficiently enough to transform into an ice giant. He can also condense his liquid volume without affecting his overall mass if he so desires. This allows Jayna, or even Gleek the ability to carry Zan's liquid matter in small containers such as a water pail. Zan can remain in any chosen form for an indefinite period of time without discomfort or undue strain on his person. He can form himself into naturally occurring forms of water, such as rainclouds or icebergs, or sophisticated structures and implausibly into functional machinery, such as an ice missle or ice jet. While assuming his various shapes, Zan always maintains full mental faculties and even possesses the ability to articulate while in liquid or ice formation. While in his liquid state, Zan likes to incorporate his own facial features onto the surface of his water form.
- Aerokinesis: Zan demonstrated an added ability to transform into localized bodies of air - usually taking the form a of a tornado or a hurricane. In the television series, Zan has also been shown to transform into extremely localized weather patterns involving water, such as a blizzard or a typhoon.
Power Limitation: Zan's super-powers are contingent upon physical contact with his sister, Jayna. Direct flesh-to-flesh contact is required to prompt the transformation. Traditionally, this is achieved by one twin knocking their clenched fist against the opposing fist of the other. On one occasion, though, Gleek served as a bridge to allow Zan to have contact with his sister to activate his powers.
- Zan was voiced by Michael Bell.
- The character of Zan was originally developed for the Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera animated series, the Super Friends. Zan was also featured in the Super Friends comic book adaptation. In 1995, DC Comics writer Ivan Velez, Jr. re-introduced the Wonder Twins as special guest stars in the Justice League spin-off title Extreme Justice.
- 29 Appearances of Zan (Super Friends)
- 3 Images featuring Zan (Super Friends)
- 2 Quotations by or about Zan (Super Friends)
- Character Gallery: Zan (Super Friends)