April 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #159: Mas Y Menos

Twin brothers made the jump from an animated series to the comics page...mostly.

Every so often, a character will be introduced in a medium other than the comic book and then make the jump to the comics, becoming a prominent and memorable such character in its own right.  Jimmy Impossible and I have discussed this a couple times during our DCAU rewatch, but not every character that makes the transition seems to stick.

That would be what more or less happened with the twin brothers Mas y Menos.

So, who are Mas y Menos?  What is the history behind these sorts of characters?

Well, as stated, it isn’t that uncommon for characters to be created in one medium before moving on to the comic books that superheroes often originate in.  Jimmy Olson and the idea behind kryptonite actually came from a Superman radio drama.  Alfred Pennyworth and the Batcave first appeared in a a Batman movie serial.  Phil Coulson has moved from the MCU to the TV and then to the printed page, and Nick Fury has been re-imagined to look more like Samuel L. Jackson.  It happens, and sometimes the character hits it really big.

Case in point…

But not every attempt seems to stick so well.  That’s where Mas y Menos come in.

Mas y Menos were a pair of twin brothers, aged something like 12, that appeared in the animated Teen Titans series.  When Teen Titan Cyborg moved to the East Coast, he joined up with another branch of Titans, most of them recognizable to longtime comics fans, and then most of that bunch also having appeared in previous episodes of the series.  The one (well, two) exceptions were Mas y Menos.

Mas y Menos, whose names translate to “plus and minus” in Spanish, were two brothers from Guatemala.  They had superhuman speed, but only when they came into physical contact with each other, though connections through something like a rope would also work.  Oh, and they only spoke Spanish.

Here, it was a cartoon, best to show you, and this time, there’s subtitles that the original series didn’t provide.

Yes, they both had the same voice actor in the form of Freddy Rodriguez, also known for his work on Six Feet Under and Ugly Betty.

Teen Titans wasn’t the most serious of superhero shows, often playing for laughs when it wasn’t going for some sort of exaggerated anime-comedy thing.  The brothers would zip around and babble in (mostly) untranslated Spanish.  For the final season, when the Titans were battling the Brotherhood of Evil, the Brotherhood was capturing as many teenage heroes as it could, and Beast Boy ended up more or less alone with only one of the twins among the handful of heroes left to help him.

So, what happened?  Well, Mas y Menos have appeared in the pages of various DC Comics, mostly Titans-related stuff…and mostly just in the background for group shots.  Their best moment probably came after the Infinite Crisis, where there was a missing year and a double-page spread showed a number of different teenage heroes who had joined and then later quit the Titans during that year.  Mas y Menos, looking a little older, were among them.

I’m guessing these two aren’t 12 years old…

So, why haven’t they appeared again?  Is it because the whole “they only speak Spanish” wouldn’t translate as well to the written page?  I can’t say for certain, but I’d be surprised if they haven’t been on Teen Titans Go!

I’d check, but I’m not really the target audience for that show.