And we’re back. This is your inquisitive columnist Alex Jaffe, better known in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion. My personal mission: to take on any question you have about the DC Universe—no matter how strange, granular, or obscure—and satisfy your curiosity. As a faithful steward of the truth, I offer my time in this monthly column to address these inquiries. If you’d like to submit one of your own, you can stop by my office at any time in the DC Community to make your inquiries, each of which I will in time address to the best of my ability. Let’s get some answers!
Encyclopedia Extraterrestria, Vol. 4: PR
Thanagarians, Kryptonians, Kherubims, oh my. How many aliens have come, gone, or stayed on Earth?
Our continued extraterrestrial catalog continues apace here, in my exhaustive attempt to address this particular inquiry. You may consult previous installments of this column for Earth-visiting aliens under AO, as well as the long list of caveats and exceptions regarding the kinds of alien races which will not be appearing here. If you still think I missed one, please don’t hesitate to write. We’ll include any noted species which have evaded my gaze in an appendix at the end.
Palindrordnilap: A short, red-skinned race of opportunists who rush in to try and fill the power vacuum after Hal Jordan exterminated the Guardians in Emerald Twilight. Their first recruit is Guy Gardner, who redubs them the “Gardners of the Universe.”
Parademons: Darkseid’s flying race of shock troops and enforcers who spread his terror throughout the universe. Level of sentience unclear.
Parasites: The dragon-like “Parasites” of the ’90s “Bloodlines” crossover came to Earth from a pocket universe to feed on human spinal fluid. A small minority of those the Parasites attached to would live and have their metagenes activated.
Plutonians: Like Neptunians, the residents of the dwarf planet (get over it) Pluto aren’t depicted with much consistency. But in early Wonder Woman comics, it’s revealed that they’ve been abducting humans since the Roman Empire for use as living batteries and decoration.
Proteans: Intelligent, globular beings with shapeshifting abilities from Antares II. Kept as pets for a time by the Legion of Super-Heroes, one Protean, Kid Quantum, would join the team as a full member once their intelligence was better understood.
Psions: One of the cruelest races in the known universe, the Psions were created from simple lizard creatures by the Maltusians as part of their own research on the complexities of life in the universe. The Psions, now of the Vega star system, have inherited their creators’ pinchant for cold experimentation, at times traveling as far as Earth to gather subjects.
Punkusians: A race of humanoid crocodile men from the planet Punkus. Herkimer, aka “Crocodile Man,” is Mister Mind’s second-in-command in the Monster Society of Evil.
Quantum Mechanics: An incredibly large, planet-dwarfing race of beings of immeasurable power born immediately after the Big Bang. These beings once abducted the entire planet as part of an attempt to breach the veil separating the mortal realm and Heaven.
Ramoxians: A metallic-skinned race that resembles Tin from the Metal Men if he went evil. Having genetically eradicated tendencies towards criminal action on their planet, one Ramoxian known as “Slaar” was exiled for his genetic predisposition towards crime. Aided by the Monitor in order to test Superman for the coming Crisis, this “Thief-Master” arrived on Earth to plunder its resources.
Rannians: Human in appearance and ability in every way, the main difference between humans and the people of Rann would be their retro-futuristic architecture and technology. Alanna, the Rannian wife of Adam Strange, has been shown living on Earth with her husband.
Ravagers: White-skinned humanoids with batlike features, inspired to flout the authority of God through acts of planetary destruction after discovering the human story of the Bible. Typically Hal Jordan’s problem.
The Reach: A humanoid, insectoid hybrid people who conquer planets and expand their conquest through a combination of military and diplomatic means. Known best for their use of intelligent “Scarab” bioweapons which graft themselves to a host to make them into an unwitting advanced scout—such as in the case of the Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes.
Resource Raiders: Green-skinned aliens with red eyes on prehensile stalks, camel-like heads, and big furry mandibles. Often foiled by the Legion of Super-Heroes one thousand years in the future in their attempts to plunder Earth.
Rhorhmorids: These orange-skinned aliens look a bit like elven Tamaraneans. A culture of warriors who also prized youth and beauty, one Rhormorid known as “Mystress” came to Earth in order to steal the supernatural beauty of our world’s female metahumans.
Rykornians: Also called the “plant people,” the vegetable-based organisms of the Rykorn planetoid fell to Earth after getting caught in its gravitational field. An impromptu invasion on their part was resisted by Wonder Woman and the Holliday Girls.
Do you answer questions unrelated to comics? If so, when was the first Alan Scott toy made?
I take any and all kinds of questions, as long as I can even tangentially argue that they’re related to DC. That’s what I’m here for!
By the time DC really started focusing on merchandise beyond the staples of Batman and Superman, Alan Scott had already been all but phased out of comics in favor of his Silver Age counterpart. In fact, the first Green Lantern figure was released as part of the first wave of the Super Powers collection in 1984, bearing the visage of Hal Jordan. Alan Scott would not be featured as a toy until the 2000 Justice Society of America collection from the DC Direct line, alongside Starman (Ted Knight), the Flash (Jay Garrick), and an era-appropriate Wonder Woman.
Have any of the characters created for Batman ’66 been seen outside of Batman ’66 continuity?
Because the Batman ’60s TV show was produced before DC was owned by Warner Bros in the 1970s, further licensing of the series’ unique intellectual property has not always been a simple legal matter. However, certain original characters have made their way into later DC projects since they first appeared on your Bat-Channel.
Take Commissioner Gordon’s right-hand man, the gormless Chief Clancy O’Hara. Played in the series by Stafford Repp, O’Hara made his comics debut in All-Star Comics #67 (1977). A flashback in World’s Finest #159 established him as Gotham’s police chief early in Batman’s career, and he became the first victim of the Hangman Killer in Batman: Dark Victory #1.
As for those iconic villains…
King Tut (Victor Buono) has made a number of appearances since his Batman ’66 debut in the comics, most significantly in Batman Confidential #26-28—marketed heavily at the time as the TV favorite villain’s comic debut.
One of the show’s most notorious original foes, Egghead (Vincent Price), makes an appearance in Harley Quinn #38 (2018), when Penguin sends the most pathetic of Gotham’s criminals in pursuit of Harley.
Bookworm (Roddy McDowall) is featured in Gotham Academy as Mr. Scarlet, Professor of English Literature. (Louie the Lilac and Egghead appear as professors in Gotham Academy as well.)
The villainous pianist Chandell (Liberace) makes a brief cameo in Harley Quinn: Villain of the Year, performing at the super-villain award ceremony.
Additionally, the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold often employs background Batman ’66 villains as crowd fillers in Arkham scenes—including Shame, the Archer, the Black Widow, the Siren, Zelda the Great, and some of the others I mentioned above.
Ma Parker (Shelley Winters) is a curious case, as the maternal gangster bears striking similarities to Ma Gunn in “Second Chances,” the Post-Crisis Jason Todd origin story, Gretel, a villain from the Gotham TV series, and Ma Murder, as she appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. But in this instance, all of these villas may in fact be drawing from the same real world inspiration of Ma Barker, an actual criminal who was active during the early 20th century.
Living Beyond Your Memes
This is two questions in one (technically three, since I wanted to confirm if it’s true). Recently, I learned that Batman has claimed Gotham City to be Off-Limits to the Green Lantern Corps; They’re only allowed to operate in Gotham with Batman’s permission. Apparently, this is only known to the GLs of Earth, as well as the Guardians.
If this is true, I wanted to know two things:
- When did Batman claim Gotham Off-Limits to the Green Lanterns?
- When did the Guardians find out about Batman’s GL policy?
I’ve seen this claim made before on unsourced comic memes, but I don’t believe it’s actually true. Batman and Hal have had their differences in the past, but there have been plenty of stories where the Green Lanterns were welcome in Gotham. For instance:
If I had to make a guess, I would say that the originator of this rumor is The Brave and the Bold #155 (1979), an early Batman/Green Lantern team-up. In this Pre-Crisis story by Bob Haney and Jim Aparo, Batman and Hal Jordan come into conflict over their mutual pursuit of the alien Tri Vul of Calphonus. Tri Vul is wanted by the Guardians for tampering with Earth, and by Batman for specifically tampering with Gotham City, but the two settle the conflict jurisdiction by working the case together. No specific ban on Green Lantern operation in Gotham City is ever stated in this story, but the incision of this particular zoning dispute has grown in the retelling.
Basically, don’t trust any comic memes you see without a source, especially if they’re about how badass Batman is. The internet tends towards exaggeration, and frankly, Batman doesn’t need any help being awesome.
And that’s all the time we have this month! Join me in thirty (give or take) when we’ll turn our eyes back to the skies for whatever mysteries of the DC Universe await us. Perhaps among them will be one of your own. But to make that happen, you’re going to have to find the courage within to ASK…THE QUESTION.
Got something that’s keeping you up nights? If you have a question about the DC Universe that you’d love to get answered, you can head on over to the DC Community and ask it here.
Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly “Ask the Question” column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DCComics.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.