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

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.

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