the unusual supects

October Marvel Previews

By Ryan Stevens

    Oh, comic books. You’re such a rich and engrossing medium, full of diverse and interesting characters, some much more interesting, and some much more diverse than others. Here in The Unusual Suspects, we’re going to discuss a few who primarily fall in the latter category. In this section, we will traverse treacherous terrain searching for the oddest, most mind-tickling characters to ever grace the printed page, in celebration to all the comic freaks for comic geeks* out there. From cynical, cigar-chomping mallards to ring-wielding raccoons to sentient shop mannequins, we’ll leave no four-color stone unturned in our search for The Unusual Suspects. Lets get started, shall we?


    Let’s be honest. The first thing that comes to mind when seeing 3-D Man is “Who designed that gawd-awful costume?” I honestly wish I had an answer, because it really is a dreadful outfit. The blame should likely go to Roy Thomas, who created this eyesore in the 1970’s. Actually, maybe the 1970’s themselves are to blame. Regardless, 3D-Man is extremely weird, not just because of his outfit.

    Chuck Chandler was a test pilot for NASA when he and his test rocket were kidnapped by the shape shifting alien Skrulls. He escaped from their captivity, but damaged the skrulls’ ship and it exploded as he fled. Chuck crashed his rocket in the Mojave Desert, where his brother Hal tried came to his rescue. As Hal tried to help his brother, Chuck disappeared, and Hal discovered Chuck’s image imprinted on his glasses. When Hal put on Chuck’s glasses and focused, Chuck would appear in the costume of 3D-Man, and his strength, speed, and durability were all tripled, along with the ability to see Skrulls no mater what form they assumed. 3D-Man went on to battle crime and foil several Skrull plots.

    Now, if you’re like me, right now you’re probably thinking “Whaaaaaat?” And I don’t blame you. 3D-Man is a prime example of 1970’s weirdness in comic books. There has never been a better time for odd creations to spawn than the 70’s. However, the above headache was neatly resolved when, with the help of the Avengers,  Chuck was returned to normal and he and Hal retired from the superhero business, passing the mantle, title, and (ugh) costume of 3D-Man to Delroy Garrett, formerly the hero called Triathlon.

Infant Terrible

    This space-born oddity could only have come from the minds of Stan “The  Flam” Lee and Jack “ ‘ed Up” Kirby. A fairly obscure character, Infant Terrible first appeared in Fantastic Four # 24 in March, 1964. An alien infant with nigh-omnipotent powers who got lost and wandered to New York City, Infant Terrible wreaked “havoc” throughout the city by creating giant toy soldiers, ice cream, and milk bottles along with other infantile pleasures.  He was taken advantage of by a gangster called Big Joe to help him rob a bank, but Infant Terrible caused to much of a commotion and was ill-received by the earthlings, causing him to become angry and try to squash the earth with the sun. The Fantastic Four saved the earth by successfully locating the alien’s parents and summoning them to earth to retrieve their wayward son.

    Infant Terrible recently reappeared in the 2006 miniseries Annihilation, in the forces of the evil Annihilus, going by the name of The Delinquent, which is just such an improvement. The Delinquent, like many others in Annihilus’s forces, was being mind-controlled to assist the villain, and regained his free will when Annihilus died at the series’ climax. However, he still had the mind of a child during all this.

    While it’s hardly a surprise that Infant Terrible/The Delinquent (take your pick, it’s not like one name’s better than the other) isn’t particularly popular, you need to remember he was created during the Silver Age which spawned such weirdo’s as MODOK and Mole Man. Infant Terrible wasn’t all that surprising in those days.  FUN FACT: Infant Terrible’s name is derived from the French term “Enfant Terrible”, which (if  the one year of French I took in High School holds up) is pronounced “on-font ta-ree-bluh” and means “terrible child” or “terrible baby” depending on the translation. He was named so for obvious reasons.


    To finish this month’s segment, I’d like to examine a particularly strange character: Bat-mite, a pint-sized version of the dark night, whose very existence is headache-inducing in its complexity. You see, Bat-mite first appeared in Detective Comics #267, published in 1959. He was to be Batman’s answer to Superman’s villain Mr.Mxyzptlk, only instead of hassling Batman like Mr. Mxyzptlk did, Bat-Mite admired the Dark Knight and tried to help him in his crime-fighting. Both ‘Mite and Mxyzptlk seemed to come from different universes, allowing them to have nigh limitless control over reality to do as they please.

    That seems fairly simple, right? Well, in 1985, Crisis on Infinite Earths was published. Crisis, as it was called, altered the continuity of the entire DC universe, and Bat-mite was more or less excommunicated from the Bat-books. He had several out-of-continuity appearances in various miniseries and one-shots, including one called World’s Funnest where he and Mr.Mxyzptlk destroyed everything in existence, but Bat-Mite remained unused in the main DC Universe. This changed in Superman/Batman #25 where the Joker, having gained 5th Dimensional Powers that remained after the Emperor Joker storyline, had his power extracted by Bizzarro, but at the same time Bat-Mite emerged from the clown prince‘s mouth, having been a sort of spawn vegetating inside the Joker. Let me reiterate: Bat-mite was growing inside Joker’s stomach. The Joker was pregnant with Bat-mite. I’ll just let that sink in for awhile  before continuing.

    Recently, in Batman #672, Bat-Mite confronted Batman after the latter had been shot in the chest and suffered a heart attack. Here, ‘Mite claimed to be from “Space B at the Fivefold Expansion of Zrfff”. However, Batman was losing his grip on reality during this encounter, so this entity may not truly exist at all. It really is hard to tell when you’re dealing with something as confusing as Bat-mite.

I’m Ryan Stevens, and these…are The Unusual Suspects!

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Vol 1

October DC Previews

Moon Knight #20

September Marvel Previews

Ultimate Spiderman #122

September DC Previews

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #1


August Marvel Previews

The Mighty Avengers Vol. 1 HC

The Ultron Imperative


August DC Previews

Ms Marvel #25

July Marvel Previews

New Dynamix #1

July DC Previews

The Last Defenders #1

June Marvel Previews

Cemetery Blues: The Haunting of Hernesburg



June DC Previews


May Marvel Previews


May DC Previews


Urban Monsters #1

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