SuperFriends Comic Book Character
Grant Arden
Grant Arden (Issue 14)
Real name: Grant Arden
AKA: The Gnome
Species: Human
Elemental Spirit
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-1A
Affiliations: Elementals
Rogue of: The Overlord
Abilities: Superstrength

Member of the Elementals

Gnome (SuperFriends 15)

The Gnome
Image from SuperFriends, #15 (Dec., 1978).

Gotham City socialite, Grant Arden was a chemical-engineer and founder of Arden Chemicals.

Background Information

Gnome 1

The Gnome
Image from SuperFriends, #15 (Dec., 1978).

Gnome 2

Grant in the Overlord Outfit
Image from SuperFriends, #14 (Oct./Nov., 1978).

In the parallel universe of Earth-1A, one night at a dinner party with Mr. Wayne, Grant, Crystal Marr, Jeannine Gale, Ginger O’Shea, and Sandor Fane and others were talking about Sandor's studies on Paracelsus,[1] and his preoccupation with Alchemy. He told them he had discovered a way of summoning the 'four spirits of the elements.'

After dinner, Bruce took off to protect the city and Sandor kidnapped Grant, Jeannine, Crystal, and Ginger to test his theory of inhabiting with the spirits of the elements. Grant was inhabited by the Gnome, who had control over the Earth and rocks.

Sandor Fane, aka the Overlord, tells the elementals about the SuperFriends and how they were evil. After hearing this, the elementals decide to put an end to the SuperFriends. The Overlord then gave them costume's to hide their hosts identities, and then stationed each one of them at a location for each member of the SuperFriends to face.

Grant was stationed in Metropolis and his target was Superman. Due to his ill-conceived costume, he was having trouble fighting; because it was not compatible with his body. He eventually figured out that he could create the man of steel's one weakness, Kryptonite. Superman became overwhelmed until he managed to knock Grant out. Superman then removed his mask, and was shocked to see who it was.

Soon all the elementals are subdued by the SuperFriends who eventually decide to help them become heroes. Back at the Hall of Justice, Ginger creates a costume for each one of them that reacts with their powers.

The Overlord broadcasts that he would attack selected locations each residing with the four elements. He then went with Superman to stop the meteorites. Upon completion of the mission, the pair returned to the Hall of Justice.[2]

Background Information on the Elemental Gnome

A gnome is a diminutive chthonic (subterranean) spirit, that is two spans high, and very taciturn.[3]

According to the SuperFriends Comic Book, issue #14, the 'Elemental Spirts' have a 300 years life-cycle. Upon death, the Gnomes will turn into dust. In order for them to be set free, and gain true 'spirits', they must inhabit a human-form and must either marry or perform good deeds the rest of their life.

Powers and Abilities

Inhabited by the elemental Gnome, Grant has:



  • The word is Gnome apparently coined by Swiss alchemist Paracelsus.
  • The word is from Renaissance Latin gnomus.
  • Paracelsus uses Gnomi as a synonym of Pygmæi.
  • Paracelsus is perhaps deriving the term from Latin gēnomos (itself representing a Greek γη-νομος, literally "earth-dweller". In this case, the omission of the ē is, as the OED calls it, a blunder. Alternatively, the term may be an original invention of Paracelsus.
  • Paracelsus includes gnomes in his list of elementals, as earth elementals.
  • He describes them as two spans high, and very taciturn.

External Links


  1. See: Paracelsus at Wikipedia
  2. As revealed in Super Friends, Vol. 3 #14 and issue #15 (Nov. -- Dec. 1978).
  3. Lewis, C S (1964). The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge University Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-521-47735-2.
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