A forever in-work compendium of Marvel and DC canon immigrants. What's a canon immigrant? Go here to find out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Character Spotlight: Maligna (and the Malignoids)

The current run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics by IDW is trying to more or less be the definitive TMNT story by synthesizing all the Ninja Turtles media that came before it. As such, that means it has had a ton of canon immigrants and will continue to have many more.

This week: Maligna (and the Malignoids)!

Maligna is an alien insectoid who's the queen of the Malignoids, a race of insects implied to all be her children. They first appear in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #12 (July 1990) when Krang wants to borrow ten of her soldiers in exchange for showing her the planet Earth. Maligna and the Malignoids made several more appearances in that series, and were even going to be recurring protagonists in the Mighty Mutanimals cartoon, but it never got made.

She didn't appear again until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #73 (August 2017) when it was mentioned she was filling the void left by Krang (ecause he was on trial).

She hasn't appeared again, but this series plays the long game. She'll pop up again when you least expect it.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Magneto’s Telepathy-Blocking Helmet

CBR, formerly Comic Book Resources, has a feature called “Follow the Path” that’s essentially the same as this blog. Sometimes they post things I was not aware of, and unfortunately they go into so much detail that anything I wrote about the subject would basically be plagiarism. In cases like that, I just post the link and be done with it. But since it’s not a “real” post, I’m doing it on Saturday instead of the usual Wednesday. 

In the following link, you can learn all about how the idea that Magneto’s helmet is to block Xavier’s telepathy was a product of the 2000 X-Men film. I don’t know if I completely buy it; I don’t recall being surprised by that fact when I first heard it, which makes me think I’d heard it before. Unfortunately, I can’t find any evidence online.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Appearance Spotlight: Miss Gsptlsnz

Pretty much everyone knows Mr. Mxyzptlk, the 5th-dimensional imp who's a perennial thorn in Superman's side. He's appeared in most Superman adaptations, including Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Smallville, and Supergirl. But did you know he has a wife?

Miss Gstlsnz first appeared in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #52 (February 1964), and although Mxy called her his girlfriend at the time, she developed a crush on Jimmy. As you can see, she was depicted as being very impish, just like Mxy himself.

She made a few more appearances after that, but most people know her from seeing the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Mxyzpixelated" (September 1997). As you can see below, she was drawn much differently on that show.

Gspy appeared in the comics again in JLA #31 (May 1999), in a story that used as many 5th-dimensional imps as it could - and even made a few pre-existing characters imps when they weren't previously known to be so. If you'll notice, she's drawn here to pretty much be a modern take on her original appearance. I only include this to indicate that, although the change is coming, it didn't happen right away.

In Countdown #31 (July 2007), we see Gsptlsnz again, and this time she has a look that's clearly influenced by the animated version, although taken in a more realistic and mature direction.

But then in Action Comics #975 (March 2017) - more specifically, the backup story, which is written by Paul Dini - we get a version that's also clearly based on the animated version, but plays up the bombshell look and doesn't adhere to the color scheme (although to be fair, the animated version didn't always either).

Most recently, in Action Comics #1000 (April 2018), we get a version of Gspy that sort of splits the difference between her previous two appearances.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

TMNT: Dimension X #3. Just...All of It.

The current run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics by IDW is trying to more or less be the definitive TMNT story by synthesizing all the Ninja Turtles media that came before it. As such, that means it has had a ton of canon immigrants and will continue to have many more.

This week: Dimension X #3. Just...all of it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Dimension X (2017) is exactly what it sounds like - a miniseries about the Turtles traveling through Dimension X. In issue 3 (August 2017), they come across a wrestling planet run by two aliens named Stump and Sling...

...get roped into a wrestling competition where Leonardo dresses like a samurai and they fight an alien named Cryin' Houn'...

...Michelangelo wrestles a creature named Antrax the Executioner...

...and Michelangelo uses the word "cowabunga!"

This whole story is a reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #7 (December 1989), where Cudley the Cowlick takes the Turtles to a Dimension X wrestling planet run by Stump and Sling...

...get roped into a wrestling competition where Leonardo dresses like a samurai...

...and their match is against an alien named Cryin' Houn' (who, admittedly, is much different in this version).

As for Antrax, he is a denizen of Dimension X that appeared in the toyline in 1991 as Krang's executioner. He has also appeared in the 80s cartoon and other adaptations, but he's different in each of them.

As for "Cowabunga!", that's a word famously used by the Turtles in the 80s cartoon, and the comics' Turtles at the time would never have been caught dead saying it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Action Comics #1000

Action Comics #1000 came out back in April. Not only was it the 1000th issue of Action Comics, but DC also timed the scheduling of the series so that its publication would coincide with the 80th anniversary of Action Comics #1 (I can't prove that's why Action has been shipping semi-monthly for a while now, but that's a pretty big coincidence if it's not).

Because of this, DC released #1000 as an 80-page giant that featured several different stories that celebrated the scope of Superman's history. One of the stories really took that to heart and told a reality-bending tale with shout-outs to several Superman adaptations over the years.

“Never-Ending Battle” by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

The first to be seen was the black Superman shield that first appeared in the Fleischer cartoons from the 40s. Although we've seen this S recently, this is the first time to my knowledge that it's appeared on a full Superman outfit in a canon comic book.

Next up is a black-and-white adventure that clearly represents Superman and the Mole Men (1951), the pilot to the Adventures of Superman tv series, and technically the first Superman theatrical film.

Eventually, Superman gets caught in a fight of multiple versions of himself, one of which is clearly the Superman that appeared in Super Friends (1978). You can tell by the simpler lines, lack of shading, and the distinctive spit curl.

Finally, there's these depictions of The Phantom Zone, the Fortress of Solitude, and Jax-Ur & Mala.

I've had the flat-square Phantom Zone and the crystalline Fortress of Solitude on this blog before, and in the same post, even. This version of Jax-Ur has likewise been seen before. Mala, however, is brand new. She and Jax-Ur first appeared in the Superman: The Animated series episode "Blasts from the Past, Part 1" (September 1997), and although they're both based on Kryptonian characters from the comics, Mala was originally a male.

(Note: “Actionland!” by Paul Dini and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez also included two canon immigrants, but one of them, the Mechanical Monsters, has already been featured on this site in a more concretely canon capacity, and the other, Miss Gsptlsnz's looks, will be featured in two weeks.)

So yeah, this post is kind of two months late, but it's completely fine because it's just celebrating the 80th anniversary of Action Comics #1's cover date. See? Totally works!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Character Spotlight: Shibano-Sama

The current run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics by IDW is trying to more or less be the definitive TMNT story by synthesizing all the Ninja Turtles media that came before it. As such, that means it has had a ton of canon immigrants and will continue to have many more.

This week: Shibano-Sama!

Full disclosure: this entry relies on multiversal shenanigans, so is not technically a "true" canon immigrant. However, numerous previous posts will show that this blog counts these cases, since it's still a confirmation in the original property that these new characters exist in some form. Or to look at it another way, this part of the story wouldn't exist were it not for the adaptation, so it counts.

Anyway, in TMNT/Ghostbusters 2 #2 (November 2017), the teams have split off into pairs and are hopping through the multiverse in order to keep from being found by the villain of the miniseries. In one scene, Winston and Leonardo find themselves in the world of the Fred Wolf animated series from the 80s, and meet a skull-faced ghost who they quickly bust.

This skeletal spectre is the ghost of Shibano-Sama, who appeared in the episode "Blast From the Past" (1989). In the episode, we learn that Shibano was the founder of the Foot Clan, and Shredder awakens his ghost using a combination of a special scroll and Shibano's urn. However, once Splinter proves himself as the true leader of the Foot, Shibano turns on Shredder and then returns to rest.

Side note 1: Despite being a crossover, this miniseries is fully in continuity with both IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and IDW's Ghostbusters. Otherwise I wouldn't have featured it.

Side note 2: Leonardo is depicted here in his 80s cartoon form, which runs counter to how dimensional travel has otherwise been depicted in the Ninja Turtles multiverse (cf. Turtles Forever or "Trans-Dimensional Turtles"). Normally the Turtles retain their design regardless of what world they're in.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Appearance Spotlight: Thanos's Ship

As you might have heard, a movie called Avengers: Infinity War came out recently (April 2018). You've possibly even seen it. And in this movie, Thanos has a ship called Sanctuary. (For full accuracy, the Sanctuary first appeared in the stinger for Thor: Ragnarok [November 2017].)

The Sanctuary is also Thanos's ship in the Marvel comics universe, as seen here from Thanos #1 (2003). It debuted in Warlock #10 (October 1975), although we only saw its inside back then. Regardless, it has a much different shape.

That is, until Thanos Annual 2018 (April 2018), where the Sanctuary suddenly has a whole new appearance, just in time for the new movie - the day before, in fact.

And technically, these ships are both technically the Sanctuary II. The comics' ship replaced the original boxy one, and the movies' ship replaced Thanos's hunk of rock from his first couple of appearances.