Each Elemental has a 300 year life-cycle. 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.
Gotham socialite, Sandor Fane had shown a manuscript to four individuals he had secretly chosen to be the hosts of the elements. He believed that he would be able to use this manuscript; which had been written by the legendary alchemist Paracelsus, to summon the four primal elementals and bind them to his victims, making them the unwilling hosts. He also gave them each costumes, that apparently do not fit their powers very well. He tells them that the SuperFriends were their enemies needed to be destroyed. Eager to end their mortality and become 'spirits' they comply.
The elemental spirits now shared the bodies of four humans:
- Grant Arden
- A chemical engineer and founder of Arden Chemicals.
- Inhabited by the Gnome (Earth Elemental).
- Jeannine Gale
- A famous vocalist.
- Inhabited by the Sylph (Air Elemental).
- Crystal Marr
- A best-selling author.
- Inhabited by the Undine (Water Elemental).
- Ginger O’Shea
- An established fashion designer and the owner of the Chez O'Shea Fashion Boutique.
- Inhabited by the Salamander (Fire Elemental).
The Elementals first appear inside four giant translucent jewels located in four different cities: a ruby appeared near the Gotham City Police Department central station, an emerald appeared atop Metropolis Galaxy Building, a diamond appeared outside New York City near the United Nations Building, and a sapphire appeared on a beach near the Aquaman's under sea home.
They are soon subdued by Aquaman, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin, the Wonder Twins and Gleek. The spirits and their human hosts soon come to an understanding, and become four new heroes pledged to assist the League in their fight against Sandor Fane (whom the League previously knew only as the world conquering Overlord.)
It is not long before Ginger O'Shea designs new costumes for them using special new materials created by Grant Arden, which work better with their powers (two of the costumes are made out of "air" and "water").
- The Elementals only appearance so far is in the pages of the SuperFriends Comic Book.
- The Elementals are exclusive to the continuity of the Earth-1A.
- An elemental is a mythological being first appearing in the alchemical works of Paracelsus.
- The basic concept of an elemental refers to the ancient idea of elements as fundamental building blocks of nature.
- In the system prevailing in the Classical world, there were four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. This paradigm was highly influential in Medieval natural philosophy, and Paracelsus evidently intended to draw a range of mythological beings into this paradigm by identifying them as belonging to one of these four elemental types.
- Jeannine Gale first appears in issue issue #5 (June 1, 1977).
- Ginger O'Shea first appears in issue issue #6 (August 1, 1977).
- As a Team: