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

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.