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

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mad Hatter Mind Control

This one is iffy enough that I almost don't want to include it, but I will.

The Mad Hatter was a very minor Batman villain for a long time. His first appearance, all the way back in 1948, was pretty much just as a generic thief with a gas gun. He appeared two more times - once in the 50s, once in the 60s - with a different appearance and a modus operandi that fit his name: he stole hats, and the hat he wanted most of all was Batman's cowl. 

These two stories were adapted into episodes of Batman (1966). But the adaptation of the second story, "The Thirteenth Hat"/"Batman Stands Pat", adds a device that wasn't in the original: the Super Instant Mesmerizer, a device built into his hat that can hypnotize people.

The Mad Hatter made a couple more appearances in comics here and there, but hats were still his main focus. Then, almost twenty years later, the Mad Hatter appeared in Detective Comics #510 (November 1982), with a twist: apparently the Mad Hatter we had seen since the 50s, the one obsessed with hats, was NOT the one who stole the yacht club trophy in the 40s. But that original Mad Hatter was now back, and this time had an MO of his own: using technology to turn people into mindless zombies.

After that, mind control became a pretty regular part of Mad Hatter's repertoire, as seen in such examples as all of his appearances in Batman: The Animated Series and the Arkham games. And all (seemingly) because of that one change in the 60s!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Character Spotlight: Charlie, Chief, and Sameer

Last Friday, I finally got around to seeing Wonder Woman. The movie was good - I had some issues with it but overall it was very enjoyable - but all of the characters were great (ESPECIALLY Wonder Woman herself, who I hope gets positioned as the center of DC's movie universe).

Three of those great characters were created for the movie. They're a ragtag group of soldiers for hire that Steve Trevor puts together. There's Sameer, the would-be-actor that uses his skills as a spy and master of disguise since his skin color prevents him from getting any good roles; Chief, a Native American smuggler who works for both sides of the war; and Charlie, an Irishman with PTSD.

Though on the surface they feel like a low-rent Howling Commandos, they had a good bit of depth and were believable as a group of people who fell into being mercenaries since they don't fit in anywhere else. So I'm happy to announce that they recently made the transition to comics in Wonder Woman: Steve Trevor #1 (June 2017).

I hope they stick around the DCU in some capacity, and thanks to reader shadzane for this hot tip!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jimmy Olsen, Photographer

Follow the link to CBR's "When We First Met" to discover how it only took Jimmy Olsen (almost) two decades to appear as a photographer in the comics after doing so in Superman: The Movie (1975)!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Group Spotlight: League of Shadows

An odd quirk of many comic book adaptations is that sometimes a character or group will sometimes appear in the adaptation with their name changed for seemingly no reason. Sometimes it's for rights reasons, like when Black Manta was renamed "Devil Ray" in Justice League because Black Manta was set aside for an Aquaman show that never happened. Sometimes it's because of story reasons, such as the latina Gotham detective not being named Montoya in The Dark Knight (because she turned out to be a traitor), and sometimes it's because the adaptation wants to avoid certain words (which is why the Sinister Six was called The Insidious Six in Spider-Man: The Animated Series). It can also be any number of other reasons, but I think it's the last one that's important here today.

Before we get to that, let's talk about the League of Assassins.

The League of Assassins are an organization of killer ninjas that work for Ra's al-Ghul. They first appeared in Detective Comics #405 (September 1970), and have gone on to become a major part of the DC Universe.

But for some reason, the League of Assassins is almost never called that when it shows up in other media. Most famously, in Batman Begins (2005), it's called the League of Shadows. I assume that's because Nolan didn't want Batman to be so blatantly associated with killers. Or maybe "Shadows" just fit the themes of the movie more. Who can say. Regardless, until more recent works like Arrow and Arkham City, if Ra's al-Ghul's gang of ninjas showed up beyond the comics, they were called the League of Shadows, the Society of Shadows, or other names along those lines.

In the comics, the League of Assassins was always the League of Assassins. There was no reason to change it, and they didn't. That is, until Detective Comics #952 (March 2017) (although the storyline, called "League of Shadows", began in the previous issue).

In this story, we learn the League of Shadows not only exists, but it's a sub-group of the League of Assassins created by Ra's al-Ghul that was considered a myth by most until Lady Shiva discovered it. But then Shiva co-opted it (of course) and had it break away from the League of Assassins to accomplish her own goals. The storyline is still ongoing as of this writing, so I don't know what impact or longevity this group will have, but it's interesting to see them introduced!