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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Character Spotlight: Wyrm

Last summer I spent 30 days addressing all the canon immigrants in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles world. You wouldn't think an independent comic that doesn't think too highly of most of its adaptations would have many immigrants, but it does - especially since the current IDW run is trying to distill every previous run into something new that all works together. And from what I've seen, they've been doing a pretty good job of it.

Of course, as the series is still running, it can still introduce new canon immigrants, and that brings me to Wyrm!

Wyrm is a mutant that originated as a group of worms that came across a broken canister of mutagen (the same canister as the Turtles? Who can say) and developed a hive mind and the ability to form into a body. You can't quite tell from the picture, but Wyrm is an updated version of this character from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #10 (May 1990):

This Wyrm is a mutant leech who wants to drain the Turtles of their mutated blood. But it's not so strange that he looks different, because he also looked very different when he became an action figure in 1991:

Of course, the action figure's backstory is different too, as he started out as a garbage man who was mutated into a leech, or worm, or something. He doesn't really look like either one.

Anyway, the yellow one later revealed he could break into individual worms as well, so the IDW Wyrm is following from that. The hive mind is new, though.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Character Spotlight: Curaré (Prime Earth)

Batman Beyond is no stranger to this blog, as long time readers well know. And Batman Beyond has well been a source of headaches for this blog. But last July, I sorted out the brand's sordid history in DC comics and figured out there are three separate versions: the pre-New 52 future of New Earth, Earth-12 (and Earth-50), and the post-New 52 future of Prime Earth.

Curaré has had a character spotlight before, so I almost don't want to give her another one. But I don't know how else to proceed, and I lay the confusion at DC's feet.

You can get the rundown of her New Earth and Earth-12 selves at the link above, but the important thing to know is that she's an assassin who first appeared in the Batman Beyond episode, "A Touch of Curaré" (1999).

She hadn't appeared in the future of Prime Earth when I made my posts last July, but she finally showed up in Batman Beyond #6 (March 2017):

Her past comic appearances revealed that her Earth-12 version is the brother of Kai-Ro, aka Green Lantern Beyond. Only time will tell if that holds true for this version.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Character Spotlight: Dana Tan (Prime Earth, especially)

Batman Beyond is no stranger to this blog, as long time readers well know. And Batman Beyond has well been a source of headaches for this blog. But last July, I sorted out the brand's sordid history in DC comics and figured out there are three separate versions: the pre-New 52 future of New Earth, Earth-12 (and Earth-50), and the post-New 52 future of Prime Earth.

As a main character on Batman Beyond, Dana Tan is present in each of these...although that's only a recent development. Before I get to that recent development, I'll walk you through the versions that have already been documented on this blog.

The first one appeared all the way back in my Batman Beyond Super-Post, where I said this:

 Dana Tan

Dana Tan first appeared in the Batman Beyond episode "Rebirth" (1999) as Terry McGinnis's girlfriend.  Her first appearance in comics is Batman Beyond [miniseries] #3 (October 2010).

 She was from the future of New Earth. This next one is from Earth-12:

Dana Tan, Terry's girlfriend, first appeared in "Rebirth" (1999), and also first appears in Batman Beyond 2.0 #1 (August 2013).

And finally, there's the one from the future of Prime Earth. We hadn't met her yet when I made my posts last July, but she finally shows up in Batman Beyond Rebirth (September 2016). This version, who lives in a future ravaged by Brother Eye (among other things), broke up with Terry a while ago and was under the impression he had died. Now she not only knows that he's alive, but that he's Batman. And she's not happy about it.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Character Spotlight: Baby Groot

He is Groot.

Groot has been killed and regrown before, but in the past, it always happened as a proportionally smaller version of himself. (I believe this is from Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (May 2008), but I could be wrong. Definitely that run, anyway.)

In Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), and especially Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 (2017), the new Groot, aka "Baby Groot", has child-like proportions and is considered a new character.

This is also the case in the new series, I Am Groot, out this month.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Aqualad Redux

The new Aqualad, Jackson Hyde, is one of the first Character Spotlights I did on this blog. You can view the original post here.

He got the short end of the stick because he debuted, both in comics and on tv (Young Justice, in case you didn't know), right before The New 52 happened, and then he disappeared. He didn't appear again until DC Universe Rebirth #1 (May 2016), and not as Aqualad.

To be honest, I haven't really known how to handle Rebirth, which is why it's taken me so long to post him. New 52 was easy; it was a new universe, so everything that showed up was new. But Rebirth is kind of a continuation of the previous universe and kind of a continuation of New 52 (of course, New 52 was also kind of a continuation of the previous universe, but that's a different topic), so I didn't know whether I should post him again or leave him alone because he's already represented on the site.

Thankfully, DC did me a solid. See, Jackson recently became Aqualad for real. And unlike his previous, dreadlocked self, Rebirth Aqualad has hair to match his animated counterpart. So even if I can't count this as a character spotlight, it still works as an appearance spotlight.

Of course, his costume and tattoos LESS like the animated version than it used to be, but I can't win them all.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Appearance Spotlight: Iceman's Jagged Form

Once again I have to think CBR for the assist, and you can read a more detailed background of this entry at their recent post on the subject.

But basically it goes like this: Scott Lobdell thought Iceman should be able to have greater control over his appearance, but the X-Men editors thought that Toy Biz - who owned Marvel at the time - wouldn't go for the idea since they had recently released an Iceman figure and would want the figure to match the comics.

However, Lobdell came up with a storyline that would allow him to play with the appearance temporarily. In Uncanny X-Men #314 (May 1994), the White Queen takes over Iceman's body and shows him he's not using his powers to the fullest extent.

Toy Biz saw this design and was basically like, "Whoa! Do you know how many action figures we could sell with that design?" So in 1995, they released an Iceman figure with a more jagged look and the ability to "grow" different parts of his body.

Iceman was changed in the comics to follow suit, of course, but it didn't happen all at once. In X-Men #50 (January 1996), he still had a smooth look overall, but he also had SOME shape control. His ice form had hair now, and he could turn his arms into spikes:

One month later, in Uncanny X-Men #331 (February 1996), he got the jagged look from the comics.

It didn't stick, but few things do in comics.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Character Spotlight: Farmer Brown

I've mentioned Farmer Brown on this blog before, in the Batman: The Animated Series super post, but the information was not complete until now, so he gets his own page!

Farmer Brown was a one-time villain in The New Batman Adventures. He first appeared in the episode "Critters" (September 1998), and despite his name and appearance, he's a genetic engineer who created mutant farm animals to terrorize Gotham.

Although he hasn't yet had a proper first appearance in comics, his name and likeness HAVE appeared. In Batman: Streets of Gotham #4 (September 2009), his name and likeness appear.

The issue is about a guy named The Broker who acts as a real estate person for supervillains. When Zsasz tells him he's in the market for an abattoir, the Broker sells him Farmer Brown's old pork factory.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Costume Spotlight: Darren Cross as Yellowjacket

A couple things you need to know upfront:

1. In the comics, Yellowjacket was a heroic persona of Hank Pym, but Hank Pym was going through some stuff at the time so he was kind of a dick.

2. Darren Cross died in his second appearance (the second part of a two-part story), but was later brought back to life and had been a recurring part of Ant-Man's recent series. Although he gained Hulk-esque powers in his first story, he's mostly just a businessman.

In the movie Ant-Man (2015), Yellowjacket is a suit Cross designs to sell to governments as a tactical espionage tool that uses Pym particles. He ends up wearing it himself to fight Ant-Man. As you can see, it looks pretty different to the suit from the comics...

...unless you're talking about the suit he finds in Astonishing Ant-Man #12 (September 2016), in which case it's remarkably similar (but not exact by any means).

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Character Spotlight: Agent Dolls

Wynonna Earp is a weird western series of miniseries about Wyatt Earp's great-great-granddaughter, who belongs to a special division of the US Marshalls that deals with paranormal crime. The series has been around at different times since 1996, but in 2016, it was adapted into a show on SyFy.

The show plays with the premise a bit. Whereas the comic travels all over the west and deals with a variety of strangeness, the tv is set in the town of Purgatory, which Wynonna has to protect from the Revenants, the ghosts of the 77 people Wyatt Earp killed with his magic gun, the Peacemaker. The show also gives a partner to Wynonna named Xavier Dolls, and somehow includes Doc Holliday as a character.

2016 also saw the release of a new comic miniseries, and you can easily see they were willing to make changes to better match the show.

One of those changes was the inclusion of Agent Dolls. He first appears in Wynonna Earp #1 (February 2016), only in the comic, Dolls is Earp's superior officer.

Note: Although Wynonna Earp did not premier on SyFy until July 2016, while the 2016 comic series debuted in February, SyFy bought the rights to the series in July 2015 and the show went into production in September 2015 with an automatic 13-episode order.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Character Spotlight: Gail Richards

This is a minor one, but it's still neat.

In The Ultimates #1 (January 2002), we see that Captain America, aka Steve Rogers, is engaged to a girl named Gail.

In The Ultimates #3 (March 2002), paying close attention reveals that Gail's last name is Richards

So what does this all mean? In the serial Captain America (1944), Gail Richards is the secretary and love interest of Captain America, aka District Attorney Grant Gardner.

As you might guess, the serial was quite different from the comics of the time. But interestingly, the serial itself exists within Marvel Comics continuity, presumably because Captain America's identity was classified at the time it was made. Whether intentional or not, the existence of the serial in the comics may provide a good example of why Gail Richards or Grant Gardner have never appeared in the comics personally (excluding Ultimate Marvel, that is).

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Characters' Names: Venom's Spawn

This is a surprising one for me, so I'm glad to be able to share it.

When I was a kid, I remember seeing a line of Venom toys called "Planet of the Symbiotes". The internet tells me this line came out in 1996, which sounds about right. Symbiotes were all the rage in the mid-90s. I can't say why - even as a kid, I didn't see the appeal - but they were, so these toys didn't surprise me. A year later, they came out with a sequel series called "Along Came A Spider". Each of these lines were named after Venom miniseries that involve these characters, but don't have much in common with them beyond that.

I didn't recognize most of these characters at the time, but that wasn't anything new. I often learned of characters through toys. But here's the thing, which I didn't learn until today: some of these characters didn't have names until they released the toys!

The story behind this group of Symbiotes is that they were created from Venom by an organization called The Life Foundation. They first appeared in Venom: Lethal Protector #4 (March 1993).

In their appearances before the action figures came out, the Symbiotes didn't have names. They referred to each other by their host name. But no one would buy a Symbiote named Donna, so Toy Biz came up with more appropriate names. It's a little tricky to explain who has a toy-original name and who doesn't, so we'll go through them one by one.

Moving left to right on the group photo above, we'll start with Scream. The yellow Symbiote was first  designated Scream in Civil War Battle Damage Report #1 (March 2007).

Next up is Lasher, the green Symbiote. It was first called that in Carnage USA #2 (January 2012), although it's an interesting case in that the lettering makes it seem like "Lasher" may be the name of the dog that hosts this Symbiote, rather than the Symbiote itself. It's unclear.

In the middle, we have Riot. The grey Symbiote is first called "Riot" in Carnage USA #2 (January 2012).

After that, we have the orange Symbiote, Phage. Phage is a VERY interesting case. If you go back and look at the toys, you'll see one named Phage. But it's not a Symbiote! It's actually an alien called a xenophage, which is a predator of Symbiotes. Here's a picture of one:

Regardless, they had another Symbiote they needed a name for, and Phage is what they chose, no doubt because it was used in this toyline. Phage's name first appeared in Carnage USA #2 (January 2012).

You might notice the final (pink) Symbiote, Agony, is not in the toyline either. And no toy is named Agony. So I don't know where her name came from. Regardless, these Symbiotes (minus Scream) are part of a task force called the Mercury Team. Each soldier is assigned one of the Symbiotes and keeps them contained until they're needed, then bond with them just long enough to finish the task at hand.

Pretty neat, right? The immigrants that catch me off-guard are always my favorite.

For completion's sake, you might also notice there's a toy we didn't mention: Hybrid. Hybrid's name is from the comics, but it's not its own Symbiote. It's a combination of Lasher, Riot, and Phage, who first appeared in Venom: Along Came A Spider #1 (November 1995).

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Logo Spotlight: Wonder Woman's Flying W

I couldn't come up with a special idea for my 200th post, so instead I'll spotlight something I would never have guessed was a canon immigrant without stumbling upon it: Wonder Woman's flying W!

From her first appearance in All-Star Comics #8 (1941), Wonder Woman had a golden eagle on her chest, like so:

It became simplified during the Silver Age, but was still clearly an eagle:

In the 80s, however, she suddenly had two W's connected in such a way that they have wings.

I always thought this was just a modernized redesign, perhaps coinciding with Crisis in Infinite Earths and the following relaunch of Wonder Woman, but not so. It actually appeared several years earlier.

In 1981, to honor Wonder Woman's 40th anniversary, DC president Jenette Kahn created the Wonder Woman Foundation. The foundation was a nonprofit designed to grant money to women over 40, and their logo was the flying W. Wonder Woman's costume was then changed in the comics to promote the organization.

How do I know it wasn't the other way around? Because that's the story in the comics too! Only in the comics, the Foundation actually created Wonder Woman's new costume as a gift to her. Check it out:

Pretty neat! This panel comes from a story in DC Comics Presents #41 (November 1981), which was an introduction to Wonder Woman's new creative team.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Character Spotlight: The Pigeon (Person)

Canon immigrants can come from a whole host of sources, which you've seen if you've spent any amount of time on this blog. They can even come from ads, and Hostess ads are especially popular in this regard. In the past, this has been something that Marvel alone did, but DC recently got into the game in Nightwing #11 (December 2016) with the introduction of the Pigeon.

CBR did a great write-up on her, and I encourage you to read it.