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

Friday, December 2, 2011

Character Spotlight: Aqualad


Aqualad is another of those characters that was created for a tv show but appeared in comics first (which, as I mentioned in the Aya character spotlight, is becoming increasingly common).  He debuted in Brightest Day #4 (June 2010) and first appeared on the tv series Young Justice in the pilot movie (November 2010).  He's a great character that was pretty much forced to be the leader of the team in Young Justice but has really grown into the role (although he might be a mole working for his father, Black Manta).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Super Post Potpourri!

We conclude out Super Post series with a couple of entries that are just too big (and a little complicated) to fit into a previous post.  If it weren't for the Flash, I could've just made this a second Batman Super Post, but oh well.  Such is life.

Mr. Freeze's Name, Real Name, Costume, and Backstory
Mr. Freeze first appeared in comics as "Mr. Zero", a villain who spilled cryogenic chemicals on himself as he was creating an ice gun, causing him to only be able to survive in subzero temperatures.  In the Batman episode "Instant Freeze" (1966), his name was changed to "Mr. Freeze", which was adopted by the comics in Detective Comics #373 (March 1968).

TV would update the character again when the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Heart of Ice" (1992) updated his origin.  His condition was still caused by exposure to cryogenic chemicals, but this time he felt into a vat of them during a fight with his boss, Ferris Boyle, over the misuse of company resources to keep his wife Nora in cryostasis.  This was brought over to the comics in Batman: Mr. Freeze (1997) and was even used in the movie Batman and Robin (1997).

The Riddler

Top Left: How The Riddler originally dressed
Top Middle: How The Riddler dressed on the Batman tv show (Frank Gorshin didn't like wearing the spandex costume) (1966)
Top Right: How The Riddler has dressed since DC's Secret Origin Special #1 (1989).
Bottom Left: How The Riddler appeared in The New Batman Adventures (1997)
Bottom Right: How The Riddler appeared in Tim Drake's mind in Red Robin #19 (March 2011)

The Flash

The top left picture is of Wally West's costume when he first debuted as The Flash (Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, March 1986). The top middle picture shows the costume in the The Flash tv show (1990), which Wally West adopted in the comics (as seen in the top right picture) (The Flash #66, July 1992), even though Barry Allen was the protagonist of the tv show.  The Justice League/Justice League Unlimited Flash wore a modified version of the comics costume (2001), as seen in the bottom left picture, which was then adopted by Wally West in the comics when Barry Allen returned (The Flash: Rebirth #5, January 2010).


Top Left: The Batmobile in Batman (1966)
Top right: The Batmobile in Detective Comics #371 (January 1968), a version of the 1966 one (the 1966 one would influence Batmobile designs for the next decade)
Bottom: The 1966 Batmobile itself showing up in comics

Bottom left: The Batmobile from Batman Forever (1995)
Bottom right: The Batmobile from Batman and Robin (1997)
Top: (far left) the Batman Forever Batmobile; (far right) the Batman and Robin Batmobile; below that one the Animated Series Batmobile, and in front of that one the 60s Batmobile (Batman #615, July 2003)
The Batmobile in the movie Batman:
The Batmobile in Catwoman #36 (December 2004):
The Batmobile in Batman: The Animated Series (1992):
The Batmobile in Detective Comics #784  (2003):

More Batmobile goodness!  In Detective Comics #850 (January 2009), we see the Adam West Batmobile, the Tim Burton Batmobile, both Animated Series Batmobiles (the original and the one from New Batman Adventures), and the Tumbler.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Captain Marvel Not-So-Super Post!

Part 3 of our Not-So-Super Posts: Captain Marvel. (Fun Fact: Nearly all of these come from the Adventures of Captain Marvel serial, which is so old it actually has his name in it!)

John Malcolm
John Malcolm is an archaeologist and the leader of the Malcolm Expedition in The Adventures of Captain Marvel serial (March 1941).  He also made his first comics appearance as John Malcolm in Whiz Comics #22 (October 1941), which was something of a sequel to the serial, although his actual first appearance was as JAMES Malcolm, in Captain Marvel Adventures #2 (Summer 1941), a text adaptation of the serial's first chapter.

"Whitey" Murphy
Whitey Murphy is a friend of Billy Batson's that first appeared in the The Adventures of Captain Marvel serial (March 1941).  Like Perry White, he quickly made the jump to comics in Whiz Comics #22 (October 1941).  I don't know whether or not that officially counts as a DC comic, so I'll also include his first official DC appearance: Shazam! #15 (November-December 1974).

Dr. Stephen Lang
Dr. Lang is a member of the Malcolm Expedition in The Adventures of Captain Marvel serial (March 1941) and appears in an adaptation of the first chapter of said serial in Captain Marvel Adventures #2 (Summer 1941).

Professor Luther Bentley
Prof. Bentley is a member of the Malcolm Expedition in The Adventures of Captain Marvel serial (March 1941) and appears in an adaptation of the first chapter of said serial in Captain Marvel Adventures #2 (Summer 1941).

Betty Wallace

Betty Wallace is a member of the Malcolm Expedition in The Adventures of Captain Marvel serial (March 1941) and appears in an adaptation of the first chapter of said serial in Captain Marvel Adventures #2 (Summer 1941).

Isis (Andrea Thomas) first appeared in the 1975 Filmation tv series, The Secrets of Isis, which was the second half of The Shazam!/Isis Hour.  Through some unknown means, DC Comics gained the rights to her, and in 52 #3 (May 2006), the character Adrianna Tomaz first appeared, who then became Isis in 52 #12 (July 2006).  She has since married Black Adam and become part of the "Black Marvel Family", along with Black Adam and her brother Osiris.  In 2010, both Adrianna Tomaz and Isis appeared in the Smallville episode "Isis", though as separate characters.

The Scorpion Machine
This machine first appeared in The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941) as an ancient device that could turn sunlight into gold.  It later appeared in The Power of Shazam! #24 (March 1997).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wonder Woman Not-So-Super Post!

Part 2 of our Not-So-Super Posts: Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl's costumes
Top Left: Cathy Lee Crosby as Wonder Woman in the Wonder Woman pilot (1974)
Top Right: Cathy Lee Crosby's Wonder Woman in DC One Million 80-Page Giant #1 (1999)
Bottom Left: Debra Winger as Wonder Girl in the Wonder Woman tv series (1976)
Bottom Right: Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl on Earth-462, in Infinite Crisis #6 (May 2006)

Wonder Woman's spinning costume change
In the Wonder Woman tv show (1975-1979), Wonder Woman changed into her costume by spinning really fast.  Prior to that in the comics, she changed into her costume in a variety of ways,but since the show it has become the standard costume change. The earliest instance seems to be Wonder Woman #228 (January 1977). More information can be found here and here.

Wonder Girl's Alter Ego
In the Wonder Woman tv show (1976), Wonder Girl appeared as Diana's younger sister, Drusilla.  In Wonder Girl #1 (November 2007), Wonder Girl uses Drusilla as an alias.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Batman Not-So-Super Post!

We begin rounding up our Super Post series with three Not-So-Super Posts, because they're featuring basically whatever didn't fit anywhere else.  So today, we feature Batman:

Professor Gorilla
Professor Gorilla first appeared as a villain in the 1966 Batman manga (バットマン Battoman).  He was later brought to comics by Grant Morrison in Batman, Incorporated #2 (February 2011) as a villain of the Batman of Japan.

Left: How Alfred originally looked (1943).
Middle: How Alfred looked in the Batman serial (1943). 
Right: How Alfred has looked since Detective Comics #83 (January 1944). 

Fun Fact: It was explained away by having Alfred go to a health spa.

Lord Death Man's name and location
Lord Death Man first appeared as a villain in the 1966 Batman manga (バットマン Battoman); he was based on the character Death Man, who first appeared in Batman #180 (May 1966).  Lord Death Man was later brought to comics by Grant Morrison in Batman, Incorporated #1 (January 2011) as a villain of the Batman of Japan, and established that he and Death Man are the same person.

The Batcave
Originally, the closest thing Batman had to a Batcave was an old barn he used for a hangar.  In Batman #12 (August-September 1942), some underground hangars were mentioned, but the Batcave itself first appeared in Detective Comics #83 (January 1944).  However, the actual first appearance of the Batcave was in the 1943 Batman serial; it was a money saving measure since the production company already had a cave set.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Superman Super Post! (Part 2: Appearances and Stuff)

Today we continue our look at all the parts of the Superman franchise that originated outside of comics with a study of appearances and other things:

Lex Luthor's baldness
Left: Luthor's original appearance (from Superman #4 (April 1940))
Middle: Luthor's first appearance in the Superman daily strip ("Pawns of the Master", October 1940), due to an artist error
Right: How Luthor has looked ever since (starting with Superman #10 in May 1941)

Metropolis first appeared in the Superman newspaper strip in May 1939 ("The Most Deadly Weapon").  Before then, Superman just protected a nameless city.  The name transitioned to comics later that year in Action Comics #19 (September 1939).

The Daily Planet
Clark Kent originally worked for the Daily Star, but this was changed to the Daily Planet in the Superman newspaper strip ("Underworld Politics", November 1939); the change was made in the comics is Action Comics #23 (February 1940).  The building design first appeared in the Superman animated short "The Arctic Giant" (February 1942) and first appeared in the comics in Superman #19 (November 1942).  However, at first it was just a simple globe that adorned the building; it wouldn't gain a ring until Superman #25 (November 1943).

Krypton's name
Krypton first appeared as a nameless "distant planet" in Action Comics #1 (1938), but was given a name in the first Superman daily strip, "Superman Comes to Earth" (January 1939). It later appeared in the retelling of Superman's origin in Superman #1 (April 1939).

Jor-El's and Lara's names
 Jor-El was just an unnamed scientist until the Superman comic strip ("Superman Comes to Earth", January 1939), where he was referred to as "Jor-L".  The spelling changed to "Jor-el" in the 1942 George Lowther novel The Adventures of Superman, which was introduced to comics as "Jor-El" in More Fun Comics #101 (November 1944).

Lara first appeared as "Lora" in the Superman comic strip ("Superman Comes to Earth", January 1939). She was first called "Lara" in the Superman radio show ("The Baby from Krypton", February 1940), which was also the name used in Lowther's The Adventures of Superman, and she was brought into comics with that name in More Fun Comics #101 (November 1944).

Kal-El's name
"Kal-L" first appeared as Superman's birth name in the Superman comic strip ("Superman Comes to Earth", January 1939).  The name made its way into comics as "Kal-El" in Superman #113 (May 1957) as the birth name of the Superman of Earth-One.  "Kal-L" would appear as the birthname of the Superman of Earth-Two in Action Comics #484 (June 1978).

George Taylor's name
 Although George Taylor first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938), he did not receive a name until the Superman newspaper strip gave him one ("The Most Deadly Weapon", May 1939).  The name first appeared in comics in Superman #2 (Fall 1939).

The Phantom Zone
 Left: The Phantom Zone in Superman: The Movie (1975)
Right: The effect of the Phantom Zone Arrow in Teen Titans #32 (March 2006).

Fortress of Solitude
Top Left: The Fortress of Solitude's original appearance
Top Right: How it appeared in Superman: The Movie (1978)
Bottom: The Fortress of Solitude in comics, beginning in Superman #653 (August 2006).

Superman's Flight

When Superman first appeared, he was super-strong, bulletproof, had super-hearing, and could jump an eighth of a mile. In the Superman animated shorts by Fleischer studios, he was given the ability to fly because it looked less goofy than having Superman jump everywhere.  Technically, he flew from the very first short ("Superman", September 1941), but in the first couple of shorts (the second one, especially), he travels in arcs that make it look like he's jumping, and you can see just how silly it appears.  Regardless, flight made the jump to comics in Action Comics #65 (September 1943).

"Look, up in the sky!  It's a bird!  It's a plane!  It's Superman!"
This phrase first appeared in the introduction to the Superman radio show (1940).  When it first appeared, however, the word "look" came after "up in the sky" (the order was changed after only two weeks).

"A strange visitor from a distant planet"
This phrase first appeared in the introduction to the first episode of the Superman radio show ("The Baby From Krypton", 1940).

Sidenote: This phrase is popular enough that it got an actual character named after it, "Strange Visitor" (first appearance: October 1999), who wore Superman's electric suit after he got rid of it.

"This looks like a job...for Superman."
This first appeared in the Superman radio show (1940).

"Up, up, and away!"
First appeared in the Superman radio show (1940).

"Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound"
This phrase first appeared in the revised introduction to the Superman radio show (1940).

Superman's changing in a phone booth
The first time Superman used a telephone booth to change into his costume was in the Superman animated shorts, specifically "The Mechanical Monsters" (1941).  This isn't something that was specifically adapted to comics, so much as became a standard part of the Superman mythos, but the earliest I can find its being referenced in comics is Action Comics #345 (January 1967).  More can be read at Superman Homepage.

"A mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper"
This phrase was first used in 1941, though I can't tell if the Superman radio show or animated shorts used it first.

"A never-ending battle for truth and justice" 

 This phrase was first used in 1941, though I can't tell if the Superman radio show or animated shorts used it first.

"Truth, Justice, and the American Way"
This phrase was first used in Autumn 1942 on the Superman radio show, although it wouldn't be codified as such until the Adventures of Superman tv show in the 50s.

Superman's costume reveal
 Superman first ripped open his shirt to reveal the 'S' on his chest in the Superman short "Electric Earthquake" in 1942.  The act first appeared on a comics cover in Action Comics #171 (August 1952).


Kryptonite first appeared in the The Adventures of Superman radio show ("The Meteor from Krypton", June 1943) as a way to give Superman actor Bud Collyer some time off.  Although a similar substance first appeared in the unpublished 1940 story "The K-Metal From Krypton" by Jerry Siegel, Kryptonite proper was introduced in Superman #61 (December 1949).

Smallville's location
In Superman: The Movie (1978), Smallville was said to be located in Kansas.  In the comics at the time, Smallville's location was as variable as any other DC Comics city, but it was generally located on the eastern seaboard near Metropolis.  For instance, in New Adventures of Superboy #22 (October 1981), Smallville was said to be located in Maryland, and in Legion of Super-Heroes #313 (July 1984), it was thought to be located in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey.  It wasn't until Superman #82 (October 1993) that it was first placed in Kansas in the comics.

The Superman Shield as El Family Crest
For the longest time, the "S" simply stood for "Superman" and was created by the Kents (usually designed by Jonathan and/or Clark (see Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #9 (September 1997), among others)).  But in Superman: The Movie (1978), the shield was worn by Jor-El as well, and assumed to be the El family crest.  This made the transition to comics in Superman: Birthright (2004), where it was not only the El family crest, but a Krypton-wide symbol of hope.  Although Birthright has been replaced by Superman: Secret Origin (2008), the family crest aspect has remained.