Real Name: Eric Wimp (Nutty comic version) / Eric Twinge (cartoon version)
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Affiliations: Crow (sidekick); Chief O'Reilly
Enemies: Appleman, King Zorg of the Nerks, Dr.Gloom, the Weatherman, General Blight, the Nerks, the Heavy Mob (Eddie the Gent, Morris the Muscle, Rembrandt, Fingers), Auntie, Bubblegum Bert, Captain Cream, Skunk Woman, the Mole, the Snowman; Desperate Dan (rival rather than enemy)
Known Relatives: Samantha (cousin)
Base of Operations: 29, Acacia Road
First Appearance: Nutty #1 (D.C.Thomson, 16 February 1980); Beeb #1 (Polystyle Publications, 29th January 1985); Dandy #2287 (D.C Thomson, 21st September 1985)
Powers/Abilities: Superstrong (he has the strength of "twenty big men"), able to fly (well, more like swim through the air), invulnerable. Your standard "Superman" package.
History: "This is 29, Acacia Road. And this is Eric, the schoolboy who leads an exciting double life. For when Eric eats a banana, an amazing transformation occurs. Eric is Bananaman. Ever alert for the call to action."
Eric is your average, run-of-the-mill, pathetically weak schoolboy. But when he eats a banana, he transforms into the superhero Bananaman - and loses what little I.Q. he had. Young lads transforming into world saving heroes is nothing new, but most of these heroes have some brains. Luckily his enemies were even dumber than he was (which was more unlikely than having a hero who is powered by bananas). Bananaman relies on his sidekick Crow (who is, indeed, a crow) to provide him with sensible advice as to what to do in a crisis.
Comments: Bananaman worked with Police Chief O'Reilly, and had a bit of a crush on pretty TV reporter Fiona.
Sheldon Goodman informs me "He comes from the Moon, which according to Nutty issue number one, is really 'the biggest banana in the sky'." How this ties in with being a wimpy schoolboy, I'm not sure. Thanks to Sheldon for that information and for names of some more enemies.
As well as proving to be a popular part of Nutty, and later the Dandy, Bananaman also starred in his own cartoon from 1983. The scripts, and most of the voices were provided by the comedians, the Goodies - Tim Brooke-Taylor as the narrator, Graeme Garden was Bananaman, Bill Oddie as Eric and Crow. Jill Shilling provided the voices for all the female characters except Auntie. The first episode aired on 3rd October 1983, and the show ran for three seasons to a total of forty episodes, all five minutes long, the final one airing on 15th April 1986. I've been informed that during 1985 Bananaman also appeared in Beeb, "The BBC Junior Television Magazine," a short-lived weekly children's magazine created to compete with ITV's Look-In Magazine (which had been going for well over a decade at this point). Beeb ran for 20 issues between January 29th 1985 and June 11th 1985. The Beeb's Bananaman strips were eventually reprinted in the Dandy. Bananaman has also appeared in the Funday Times, a supplement to the Sunday Times newspaper.
There were rumours of plans for a live-action Bananaman movie, written by screenwriter Robin Midian, but ultimately nothing materialised. However, there was a brief run of a Bananaman play at the Southwark Playhouse theatre in London in late 2017.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
Back to Television Heroes
Back to General UK Heroes.
All images and characters depicted are copyright their respective holders, and are used above for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.