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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Character Spotlight: Gustav Fiers (aka The Gentleman)

Gustav Fiers is a rare case of a canon foreigner appearing in another adaptation before appearing in comics.

He first appeared in a novel called Spider-Man: The Gathering of the Sinister Six (1999) as the brother of Karl Fiers, an established character who was responsible for the death of Spider-Man's parents, Richard and Mary Parker. As the Gentleman, he became a man behind the scenes in the criminal underworld and was responsible for the creation of the Sinister Six, a team-up of some of Spider-Man's greatest foes. He went on to appear in Spider-Man: Revenge of the Sinister Six and Spider-Man: Secret of the Sinister Six, where he was killed off.

He later appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), where he was only credited as "The Man in the Shadows". He also appeared in the sequel, called Gustav Fiers this time, where he talks with Harry Osborn about forming the Sinister Six.


Fiers received a cameo in Civil War II: Kingpin #4 (October 2016), where he was one of several villains who supported Janus as the new Kingpin.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Costume Spotlight: Mr. Freeze's Goggles

I'm a little behind this week because of work, but better late than never.

Mr. Freeze is no stranger to this blog. From his name to his origin to his costume, plus more, nearly everything about him has come from non-comics sources at one time or another.

One thing that's never appeared in comics is his goggles. In Batman: The Animated Series (1992), Mr. Freeze had very distinctive red goggles that strongly contrasted with the cool colors of the rest of his outfit.


Even in Batman: Mr. Freeze (1997), which introduced a lot of changes based on the animated series, it didn't include the goggles. 


Unfortunately, one of those changes was walked back in the New 52. Freeze's origin was basically the same, only now Nora Fries was Nora Fields and Freeze only THOUGHT he was married to her. Surprisingly, he was given his iconic red goggles in the same issue (Red Hood and the Outlaws #9, May 2012).


It's funny...it's like DC can't help themselves. Even when they distance themselves a bit from one instance of canon immigration, they introduce another one!



(Note: while finding pictures for this piece, I discovered the red goggles had shown up before, in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #190-191 [April/May 2005]. In fact, an entire Animated Series-accurate outfit appeared. Many stories in this series are of uncertain continuity so I don't know if this counts, but I've included them below for thoroughness.)





Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Appearance Spotlight: Cyborg

Cyborg has had many different looks over the years. When he first debuted, he looked like this:


By the New 52 (November 2011), he had a much bulkier, less humanoid look with red highlights. I don't like this style as much because, as a cyborg, I think his human parts should be about equal to his mechanical parts.


In the movie Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox (2013), Cyborg has the below look for the beginning of the movie. I like it a lot because it makes him look athletic - which he is - and shows that's he's mostly human with some modification. Unfortunately, he has an appearance similar to the one above for most of the movie.


Luckily, DC Rebirth happened and fixed a lot of the New 52's issues. In Convergence: Crime Syndicate #2 (May 2015), there's a Cyborg backup story where he loses both his arms. Then something happens - I'm not entirely sure what, even though I've read the pages - and he not only regrows his arms, but gets a whole new design more in line with the picture above. Silver and black with blue highlights, exposed upper arms, those blue baubles...it's not a 1-to-1 transfer (and these things usually aren't), but it's close enough to be noticeable. This backup story was to set up the ongoing series he got as part of Rebirth.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Costume Spotlight: Zizz

This is an interesting one, because Zizz is an original character. She's a Thanagarian who was
 part of a new Suicide Squad along with other mythologically-named villains like Behemoth and Leviathan.

She was first mentioned in Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Boomerang #1 (August 2016), and then appeared for real in Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Killer Croc #4 (November 2016). And when she did, she looked like this:


A good look, but a strange one, because it doesn't really belong to Zizz. It originated with the Justice Lords version of Hawkgirl, as seen in the Justice League episode "A Better World" (2003).


The Justice Lords were a version of the Justice League from an alternate reality where they became totalitarian. Funnily enough, Lord Hawkgirl already exists in the DCU, on Earth-50.

Surprisingly - to me, at least - this isn't the first time someone has used the animated design of an existing character to make a new character. It also happened when Young Justice's Sportsmaster became Mad Dog.

Thanks again to austinpopdan for the accidental heads up! For the others that came from this miniseries he recommended, visit El Dorado and Sin Tzu.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Character Spotlight: Sin Tzu

This is one I never expected to see, and I have to give another shout-out to austinpopdan for (inadvertently) pointing me in the direction of it!

Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu was a video game that was released for all consoles in 2003. Set in the DC Animated Universe, the game introduced - who else? - Sin Tzu, a yellow peril villain that basically followed the plot of every event villain: he comes to Gotham to challenge Batman and recruits a bunch of Batman villains to soften him up first.


Sin Tzu was a big deal at the time. To my knowledge, an original character had never been created for a video game adaptation before, so DC got Jim Lee to design him and hyped him up to be the next Harley Quinn. That...didn't happen.

In fact, he didn't appear in comics at all (a pretty major step if you want a character to be the next Harley Quinn) until almost fifteen years later in Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Killer Croc #3 (October 2016).


I don't know why this second-rate Ra's al-Ghul, himself a second-rate Fu Manchu, exists. But he does, and he finally achieved his goal of becoming a canon immigrant. Join us next week for the final immigrant from Suicide Squad Most Wanted!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Character Spotlight: El Dorado

I have been waiting to add this dude for so long, and thanks to user austinpopdan, I finally can!

El Dorado is one of the lesser known Super Friends, which may be part of the reason he's taken so long to make it into the comics. He first appeared in the Super Friends segment, "The Alien Mummy" (1981), and became a full-time member the next season.


Although he's appeared here and there in various adaptations, most notably in Young Justice: Invasion, he never appeared in DC Comics proper until last year in Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Amanda Waller #5 (December 2016).


El Dorado is positioned as the leader of ¡Justicia!, a Mexico-based superteam. I was also surprised to see the other members of the team, since they've previousl appeared in only one issue, way back in 2000.

And these weren't the only surprises. In researching this series, I discovered two other canon immigrants in other issues, so stay tuned for those over the next two weeks!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Character Spotlight: Raza (plus bonus content related to Iron Man's origin)

I've been waiting for the chance to post this one for a long time. I've known about it since 2012, but I could never find any proof online, and I could never find the issue in person to verify it myself. Luckily, a friend of mine finally convinced me to get Marvel Unlimited and it was right there. Took me like two seconds to find.

In Iron Man (2008), Tony Stark is captured in Afghanistan by a terrorist cell called the Ten Rings. The leader of the cell is a man named Raza. Many people were disappointed that the Ten Rings wasn't led by the Mandarin, but Raza is conspicuously shown fiddling with a large ring on multiple occasions, and the Mandarin has been known to lend his rings to underlings on certain occasions.


Two years later, Invincible Iron Man Annual 2010 goes through the Mandarin's history, which includes a retelling of Iron Man's origin. This is the first time the Mandarin has been tied to this story in the comics, and more importantly, Raza shows up as his right hand man, looking just like he does in the movie.


On the next page, we see his name is indeed Raza:


As a bonus, here's how Tony's escape is depicted:


Although the movie's Mark I armor is very similar to the Mark I armor in the comics (way closer than I expected it to look), it has a much more segmented, jury-rigged appearance as is depicted here. The armor in Iron Man's first appearance also didn't have flamethrowers. For comparison, here's the original Mark I armor from the comics and the relevant scene from the movie.


Tales of Suspense #39 (1963)


Iron Man (2008)