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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!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Spider-Verse: 1967 Spider-Man

Spider-Verse is a currently running event in the Spider-Man comics that will involve every* Spider-Man we've ever met, including several Spider-Women and Spider-Girls (not to mention Scarlet Spiders and Spider-Hams and whatnot), and several brand-new versions. The premise is simple: there's a group of people trying to wipe out every Spider character across the multiverse, so all the Spider characters will team up to stop them. This is, of course, a massive event - multimedia even, since it will also feature in the Spider-Man Unlimited video game and the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man - and given the premise, it's only natural that it will add a few entries to this catalog. And it has, as you can see to the right.

*I say "every" because Marvel says "every", but there are a few that won't be showing up, such as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

Today's entry is Spider-Man (1967).

Spider-Man is the first animated Spider-Man series, most famous for its theme song ("Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can..."). It's also known for the poor production values and limited animation that plagued animated series of the time. It ran for three seasons, and while the first was pretty faithful to the comics, the second two did away with Spider-Man villains and had him fight generic monsters to re-use animation from Ralph Bakshi's Rocket Robin Hood series.


The Spider-Man from this world first appears in a cameo in Amazing Spider-Man #9 (October 2014)...

...and the world itself first appears briefly in Amazing Spider-Man #11 (December 2014), which makes note of the simple animation style:


But as you can see in that final panel, the world mainly shows up in Spider-Verse Team-Up #2 (December 2014), where it's visited by the Spider-Man from the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series and Miles Morales from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book.


In addition to mentioning criminal copycat Charles Cameo (whose first appearance was in the episode "Double Identity", 1967), we also see the show's versions of Electro and Vulture:



Spider-Verse: Ultimate Spider-Man

Spider-Verse is a currently running event in the Spider-Man comics that will involve every* Spider-Man we've ever met, including several Spider-Women and Spider-Girls (not to mention Scarlet Spiders and Spider-Hams and whatnot), and several brand-new versions. The premise is simple: there's a group of people trying to wipe out every Spider character across the multiverse, so all the Spider characters will team up to stop them. This is, of course, a massive event - multimedia even, since it will also feature in the Spider-Man Unlimited video game and the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man - and given the premise, it's only natural that it will add a few entries to this catalog. And it has, as you can see to the right.

*I say "every" because Marvel says "every", but there are a few that won't be showing up, such as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

Today's entry is Ultimate Spider-Man.

Ultimate Spider-Man is a 2012 animated series that is a weird mix of the regular, Ultimate, and Cinematic versions of Marvel, with its own twist on top of that. In the show, Spider-Man is a teenage superhero that has garnered the attention of SHIELD, who brings him in and puts him on a team with White Tiger, Nova, Power Man, and Iron Fist to help keep an eye on him and train him to be a proper superhero. They also give him some new gadgets like the Spider-Cycle. The show can be too aimed directly at kids sometimes to be fully enjoyable, but overall it's pretty decent and can have some good stories. (I've also only seen the first season, so it may have gotten better in that time.)



This Spider-Man appears in Spider-Verse Team-Up #2 (December 2014), where he teams up with the actual Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales. And it's funny, because while he shares "Ultimate" status with Miles Morales, he also shares animated status with the other Spider-Man in the story: 1967 Spider-Man! I highly doubt this is a coincidence.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spider-Verse: Newspaper Spider-Man

Last week I mentioned that Spider-Verse #1 (November 2014) featured six stories about alternate Spider-Men, and I showed you one of them. Turns out there was a second one I didn't know about:



Yes, this world is the one that belongs to still ongoing Amazing Spider-Man strip that is credited to Stan Lee and Larry Lieber (I don't know if they actually still make it or not). There are some neat things going on here, with the panels broken up into individual strips and Morlun commenting on how long it takes for anything to happen. It's been suggested that Master Weaver saves this Spider-Man because his story is still ongoing; I'm not sure if that's true, but it's an interesting story either way.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Appearance Spotlight: Star-Lord

Star-Lord has had a few different looks over the years. When he first appeared in Marvel Preview #4 (December 1975), he looked like this:


When he came back as part of "Annihilation", he looked like this:


And until around May of this year, he looked like this:


In the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, which was released August 2014, Star-Lord had a look inspired by his "Annihilation" look, but overall a pretty big departure:


Finally, in June 2014 (but cover dated August 2014), Guardians of the Galaxy #16 showed off Star-Lord's new look, which looks pretty familiar:


Monday, November 17, 2014

Spider-Verse: Hostess Spider-Man

As I've mentioned before, Hostess used to run a series of one-page ads in the 70s and 80s that featured superheroes defeating villainy with the power of Hostess snacks. Here's an example:


In Spider-Verse #1 (November 2014), there are six stories about six different Spider-Men either being killed or joining the group that will fight the killers. (You can read more about "Spider-Verse" here.) One of these stories is about the Spider-Man featured in the Hostess ads, and rather cleverly, it's a one-page story done in the style of Hostess ads.


This Spider-Man unfortunately doesn't make it, but it was nice to see him while it lasted!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

52 Shakeup: The Batmobile

As I was looking for confirmation for yesterday's post, I noticed that Batman #1 (September 2011) has a scene in the Batcave that shows a variety of vehicles. One was a batcycle, a couple were various models of batmobile, but then there was this one:


And that is clearly the batmobile from Batman and Batman Returns:


So while Batman no longer has a parking lot sized number of Batmobiles from throughout his history and across media (as seen here), at least one made it through.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Area Spotlight: Gotham City Train Terminal

In 2005's Batman Begins, Thomas Wayne and a young Bruce go for a ride on Gotham's new train system to Wayne Tower. As Thomas notes, he designed Wayne Tower to be the central hub for Gotham, so all of the train, water, and power lines run through it. This becomes important in the climax, because if a microwave emitter on one of the trains makes its way to Wayne Tower, Gotham's water system will be destroyed.


The New 52's Batman #2 (October 2011) notes that Union Station, aka the central hub for Gotham rail lines, lies beneath Wayne Tower. No word on utilities.


As noted in the article I've previously linked to about Gotham's architecture, this tower first appeared in Anton Furst's concept sketches for Batman (1989), which makes it one of the few canon immigrants to survive the New 52.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Area Spotlight: The Narrows

This is one I've had on my radar for a long time but didn't have enough proof to include...until now.

The Narrows were first introduced in Batman Begins (2005). They were the slums of Gotham, the worst part of an all-around bad city, and they were where most of the action of the movie happened. By the end of the movie, the Narrows was in rough shape, having been overtaken by escaped Arkham inmates, much of their infrastructure destroyed by the microwave emitter, and engulfed in weaponized fear toxin.


As far as I can tell, the Narrows made their comics debut in Batman: The Dark Knight #2 (October 2011) during a montage of Gotham areas being attacked by escaped Arkham inmates. Canon immigrants like locations and costumes are a lot harder to trace than characters, so this may not be the actual first appearance - and if it's not, please let me know what is. But it is at the very least an appearance, which is good enough to show that it is indeed in the comics.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Character Spotlight: Bookworm (!!!)

This is exciting, folks. Bookworm is in the DC Universe. This means that one of my Christmas wishes came true, just like one of my birthday wishes will be coming true in December. It's a great time for this blog. But who exactly is Bookworm anyway?

Bookworm was a minor villain that only appeared in two episodes of Batman, "The Bookworm Turns" and "While Gotham City Burns" (1966). He was created for the show, played by Roddy McDowall, and was basically a Riddler knockoff that focused his crimes on books. He had style, though, and somehow could even make a built-in reading light seem kind of cool.

Because of the vagaries of media rights, DC could not use anything from the show that did not originate in the comics, because anything new was owned by Fox. Some stuff sneaked through, of course, but usually in a not-very-recognizable way. For the sake of completion, I'll include a character named Bookworm who may be an example of this, but is probably just a random character who happens to share the name. Regardless, his real name is Alexander Wyvern, he's said to look like a ferret, and there's a lot of child abuse and fire in his backstory. He appeared in Huntress #7-11 (September 1989 - January 1990).

But he doesn't really matter. Who matters is Mr. Scarlett (first appearance: Gotham Academy #2, November 2014), the Gotham Academy librarian, who is 100% the real Bookworm, complete with reading light. See, not too long ago, the Batman rights got all sorted out. That's why you can finally get the series on dvd, why there is new merchandise all over the place, and why DC is currently publishing a Batman '66 comic book. But it also means that all of those original villains are fair game now, and Gotham Academy - if no one else - has decided to jump on that. I don't know the significance of the name "Mr. Scarlett", if any, but I'm sure there is one.


P.S. I'd also be remiss not to point out that Aunt Harriet is another employee of the school. Although she is a comics-first character, debuting in 1964, she is most well known from the tv show.

Monday, November 3, 2014

52 Shake-Up: Brainiac's Symbol

I first mentioned Brainiac's symbol in the DCAU Super Post, where I said this:

Brainiac’s symbol


Brainiac's head diodes were simplified into three circles in a triangle pattern for Superman: The Animated Series ("Last Son of Krypton, Part 1", 1996).  This was later loosely adapted as a special marking that indicated Brainiac 5 had upgraded to Brainiac 5.1(Legion of Super-Heroes #104, May 1998), and more strictly adapted as Brainiac 5's logo in Legion of Super-Heroes #37 (February 2008).  Later that year, it was used by Brainiac himself in Action Comics #866 (August 2008).


For a while in the New 52, it looked like the Brainiac symbol was done for, because Brainiac showed up like this:

But in the teaser for DC's new event "Convergence", it shows up in full force, right on his chest. Now, whether this is the same Brainiac or an alternate one remains to be seen; nevertheless, there is a Brainiac that still uses the symbol:



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Character Spotlight: Shriek

Shriek was originally a part of my Batman Beyond Super-Post, in which I said this:

Shriek

Shriek first appeared in the Batman Beyond episode of the same name (1999); his first comics appearance was a mention in Batman Beyond [miniseries] #4 (November 2010).


But he has actually appeared since then, so he gets an entry all his own. 

His first actual appearance is Batman Beyond #21 (April 2013) and #22 (May 2013), in which he's an obstacle that prevents Batman from helping Max fight the Undercloud's Rebel One.


He later appears in Batman Beyond 2.0 #2-7 (August-November 2013) as part of Rewire's team, along with Spellbinder and Inque.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Costume Spotlight: Royal Flush Gang

The Royal Flush Gang is a really interesting concept. As the name implies, they're a gang of criminals with a playing card motif, but beyond that they can be pretty much anything. They're relationship to each other, how big the gang is, their costumes, and even which suit they represent are all up in the air. They first appeared in Justice League of America #43 (1966), and since then, they've been standard and realistic...


...bright and dark...


...and even a little weird.


But when the group appeared on Arrow in the first season ("Legacies", November 2012), they were taken in a direction they've never been before: low-rent.


And it is this depiction they chose to emulate for the New 52's version of the Royal Flush Gang, first appearing as a cameo in Forever Evil #1 (September 2013) and then appearing in full in Forever Evil: Rogues' Rebellion #4 (January 2014):


At least they get to keep the cool card hoverboards.

Monday, October 27, 2014

52 Shake-Up: Protector and Mas y Menos

The below picture is from the recently released The Multiversity: The Just #1 (October 2014). Multiversity is Grant Morrison's tour through the multiverse, and The Just presents Earth-16, a world that's part Kingdom Come, part Young Justice (the series), and 100% 90s DC. It's a world where our generation of superheroes did their job so well, the only left for the new generation - made up mainly of teen heroes and forgotten 90s characters - is to fight each other and party. They're celebutantes more than superheroes.

This picture is of one of those parties, and you can see some of the members in attendance are Protector (star belt in the middle) and Mas y Menos (far left and far right). Protector appeared as an ersatz Robin in some Teen Titans PSA comics before becoming an official member for one issue, while Mas y Menos are speedster brothers that first appeared in the Teen Titans cartoon before showing up as Teen Titans members during the One Year Gap...also, I think, for one issue. Whether or not these characters exist on Earth-0 is left to be seen, and they probably don't, but they definitely exist on Earth-16, and that still counts.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Costume Spotlight: Mad Dog

Mad Dog is a bounty hunter that appeared in Suicide Squad #3 (November 2011). That's pretty much all we know about him so far. He looks like this:


Someone pointed out that he looked liked the Young Justice version of Sportsmaster (first appearance: "Drop Zone", January 2011). "Kinda, I guess," I said. "I mean, I suppose the mask is pretty similar." But then I looked up Sportsmaster, and...


...it's hard to argue with facts. They're not 100% the same, but they are at least 90.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Putting the "Goth" in Gotham

Everyone knows what Gotham looks like: gargoyles, overhangs, and grey grey grey. Just look at the 90s Batman movies, or Batman: The Animated Series, or any of the Arkham games. But Gotham didn't always look like that - Batman '66 is a perfect example of that. So when did the change happen? Surprisingly, not until 1992. I could recount the story for you, but Comics Alliance did a great article on it a few months back, so I'll just link to it.

http://comicsalliance.com/batman-89-anton-furst-gotham-city-destroyer-grant-breyfogle-aparo-design/

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Team Spotlight: Mighty Avengers

Normally I don't include things like this, but I keep feeling like I should in this case, so I'm just getting it out of the way.

The Mighty Avengers, the team, is original to comics. Most of the characters on the team are original to comics. But this team - at least at the start - is so blatantly patterned on Ultimate Spider-Man (2012) that I feel I have to say something. Here is the team in Ultimate Spider-Man - Spider-Man, Power Man (Luke Cage), Iron Fist, White Tiger, and Nova:


And here is the original Mighty Avengers line-up in Mighty Avengers #1 (September 2013) - Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Power Man, White Tiger, and Spectrum:

Clearly, it's not exact. This Spider-Man is Doctor Octopus, for one thing, and there's no Iron Fist or Nova. On the other hand, the teen Power Man looks similar to the animated version and has powers similar to Iron Fist, and Spectrum has similar powers and a similar logo to Nova. So even though it's not 100% the same, it's still a 1-to-1 match and I think that's probably worth noting.