SuperFriends Comic Book Character
Carter Nichols
Prof Carter Nichols (SuperFriends 26)
Real name: Carter Nichols
AKA: Professor Nichols
Species: Human
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-Two
Base: Nichols Laboratories, Gotham
Weaponry: Time Ray (time-travel device)

Professor Carter Nichols was the mentor of the Wonder Twins, who lived with him in their civil identities of John and Joanna Flemming. He was fluent in Interlac, so it was easy for him to communicate with Zan and Jayna while they were still trying to master the English language.

Background Information

Carter Nichols is a childhood friend of Thomas Wayne. He grew up to be a respected scientist living in Gotham City who developed a means of displacing physical bodies into the time stream by way of hypnosis -- aka 'time travel hypnosis' (while this process is unclear, we do know that somehow, one's 'consciousness' is sent through time, but their physical bodies remain).[1] His procedure earned him the attention of Gotham's resident crime fighters, Batman and Robin, who often relied upon the Professor's genius in order to solve crimes involving time travel.[2] Besides Batman and Robin, Professor Nichols used his technique to send various people back in time including himself[3] and the Kryptonian hero, Superman.

After years of experimentation, Nichols made a scientific breakthrough when he actually developed a Time Machine, which he called the Time Ray.[4] No longer requiring the power of hypnosis to accomplish his goals, he could now transmit bodies of matter backwards and forward through time with his new invention.

Professor Nichols eventually started his own company called Nichols Laboratories, which was located in a big building in the middle of Gotham City.[5] Shortly after, Nichols developed a machine that allowed people to recreate their past lives, altering some elements in order to see the difference from their current reality. However, after experimenting with Bruce Wayne, Nichols learned that destiny always finds a way to set the things back on the right track.[6]

(According to the SuperFriends Comic Book, issue #17) Professor Carter gave up his experiments on time-travel to work on a DNA Project.[7]

Earth-1A Continuity

Professor Nichols turns up a few years later to help out the SuperFriends, as they transition from one pair of youths in the Jr. SuperFriends program to another pair: Zan and Jayna. He is being asked by Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman and Robin to help their endeavors and provide a place for the twins to live. As Batman is discussing with the Professor the teens ‘new’ secret identity. The Professor’s idea is that they “are from a small European country. That way, the difficulty in speaking English will seem natural.”[8]

After his colleagues are mysteriously laid-off from the DNA Project he was assigned, his interest was renewed in his time-machine at his private lab. On one occasion, the Wonder Twins were visiting the lab, the time-machine exploded causing his charges to disappear. Upon review of his lab's camera, he found a still shot of a robed figure that the SuperFriends identified as the Time Trapper. The evil villain sent Zan and Jayna across time and space into deathtraps. Jayna is sent to Krypton's doomsday and Zan is sent to the future on Neryla IV where its Sun is about to go Nova. The SuperFriends save the displaced teens, but still need to locate the Time Trapper.[9]

As the SuperFriends discuss how to find the elusive Time Trapper, they decide to call upon the aid of fellow-hero and time-seer, Tuatara. The time-seer uses his 'third-eye' to see that the Time Trapper left 1978 and headed into three different locations into the past. He is unable to determine where he stayed. Professor Nichols aids the SuperFriends this time using his old technique of 'time travel hypnosis'. Eventually, the Controllers come to 1978 Earth to take their annoying tinkerer into custody.[10]

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Powers and Abilities


Professor Carter Nichols
Image from SuperFriends, #10 (Feb. / March 1976)

Professor Nichols' Time Machine

The professor's time machine, as tried out by Batman and Robin. Image from Professor Nichols' last Earth-One appearance in World's Finest, #138 (December, 1963).

Super Powers






Professor Nichols did not appear in any episode of the Superfriends TV Show.

First Golden Age / Earth-Two Appearance:

  • Batman, #24 (August/September 1944)

First Silver Age / Earth-One Appearance:

  • World's Finest Comics, #79 (November/December 1955)

Earth-1A Appearances:



  • Professor Nichols was created to lend a smattering of sci-fi "color" to both Batman stories and World's Finest Comics, during a period where more conventional superhero tales were out of favor and most remaining books of the genre drifted into science fiction and related genres.[13]
  • In the universe known as Earth-Two, Carter Nichols lived in Gotham City. An exact counterpart to Professor Nichols existed on Earth-One, and shared the exact same personality and background. No clear separation is to be made between the Earth-One and Earth-Two versions of this character, except the possible time discrepancies.
  • Professor Nichols appearances nearly always involved some form of time travel, based around his particular specialty referred to as "time travel hypnosis", a process that simulated time travel. After years of using this method, he finally develops a "Time-Ray Machine" which he used to both displace and track objects through time.
  • In the mid-1970s the character was introduced in the Super Friends continuity as a mentor for the Wonder Twins, who lived with him in their civil identities of John and Joanna Flemming.[14]

External links


  1. As revealed in Batman, #24 (August/September 1944). We are given a simple explanation of 'time travel hypnosis' in SuperFriends, #18 (March, 1979).
  2. As revealed in Batman, #32/4 (December 1945/January 1946); #36/4 (August/September 1946); Detective Comics, #116 (October 1946); Batman, #38 (December 1946/January 1947); #44/3 (December 1947/January 1948); #46/3 (April/May 1948); Detective Comics, #135 (May 1948); #136 (June 1948); Batman, #49/3 (October/November 1948); #52/2 (April-May 1949); World's Finest Comics, #42 (September/October 1949); Batman, #58/2 (April/May 1950); #59/3 (June/July 1950); Detective Comics, #167 (January 1951); Batman, #79/2 (October/November 1953); Detective Comics, #205 (March 1954); Batman, #89 (February 1955); #93/3 (August 1955).
  3. As revealed in Detective Comics, #135 (May 1948).
  4. As revealed in Batman, #43 (October, 1947).
  5. As revealed in World's Finest Comics, #79 (November/December 1955). This also marks the Professors first Earth-One appearance.
  6. As revealed in Batman #127/2 (October 1959).
  7. As revealed in SuperFriends, #17 (February, 1979).
  8. As revealed in SuperFriends, #10 (February/March 1978).
  9. As revealed in SuperFriends, #17 (February, 1979).
  10. As revealed in SuperFriends, #18 (March, 1979).
  11. Go to the DC Database for more on Batman, #24 (August/September 1944).
  12. Go to the DC Database for more on World's Finest, #138 (December, 1963).
  13. As seen in Batman, #24' (August/September 1944)
  14. Professor Nichols was introduced into the Super Friends continuity at a time when his tenure in the mainstream comic books seemingly ended. His last appearance at that time had been nine years earlier, in Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane, #89 (January 1969). He would be introduced back into Earth-One continuity a few years later in Brave and the Bold, #171 (February 1981).
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