As many of us begin to celebrate the descent of one supernatural, super-powered individual to this humble Earth, I thought it might nifty to look at some of the comic book characters who have come to this wee planet of ours from heavens above. And I begin at the beginning with the "Man of Tomorrow", the "Man of Steel", the ultimate superhero, Clark Kent's other side -- the famous Superman. Superman's story is akin to that of Moses really and that makes total sense since he is the brainchild of two Jewish creators -- Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. This son of Krypton is going to be on any list like this and many more besides.
A more infamous alien become hero is Vampirella, the brainchild of Forry Ackerman, James Warren and Tom Sutton. Underneath this luscious Frank Frazetta cover a true darling cavorts on the distant planet of Draculon and by the end of the yarn she's here on Earth and eager for a snack. Watch your back.
The Kaiju-fighting Ultraman is an alien too, When he landed on Earth in a bit of a lopsided state he found it prudent to bond with an Earthling and between the two of them they made for a enormous and enormously successful superhero, one for the glass teat primarily but not just there as some few comics over the decades have shown.
Hawkman and his bestie Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman are aliens part of the time. In the Golden Age he was an ancient Egyptian, but in the sizzling sci-fi days of the DC revival he and his mate hailed from the distant planet of Thanagar. They were cops there and kept up their practice when they settled here on Earth. The backstory of Hawkman is constantly changing and I quit trying to keep up about thirty years ago or more.
Beta Ray Bill has always been a different kind of alien hero, a horse-faced hero of a different color you might say. Walt Simonson made him up to fill in for Thor for a short time, but he's proven so popular he's stayed around all these many years still.
When it came to the Legion of Superheroes I had a bushel of candidates for the list so I just included them all. This future micro-army of heroes protects a broad span of space and come from even farther worlds. My favorite of the bunch and one of the most alien looking is Chameleon Boy. Love those antennae.
Marvel had a bit of a stealth hit on their hands when they picked up the license for the toy ROM . The toy was of little interest to me, but comic book featuring this knight from the far reaches of space here to evil insidious Dire Wraiths caught my fancy and no small part due to the artwork by the likes of Sal Buscema and later Steve Ditko. This Bill Mantlo scripted book was a winner when no one expected even a contender.
Just where New Genesis and Apokolips are is kind of fuzzy, but to get from there to here you need the Boom Tube (most of the time), and when Darkseid started looking for the Anti-Life Equation the warriors of New Genesis such as Orion and Lightray came to Earth to stand between us and the devil himself. Jack Kirby had a plan and it's a shame that DC cut it short.
Space Ghost's name says it all. He's from space or at least operates there. DC Comics gave him an origin which works perfectly fine but it's enough for me to know that this most powerful space hero is out there. He has only come to Earth I think in the more recent DC stories of the "Future Quest" brand.
Adam Strange is a space hero who comes to Earth for a simple reason -- he's from here. Like some kind of interstellar commuter he'd catch the Zeta-Beam to the planet Rann to get some private time with his honey and future wife Alanna and typically face some bizarre menace or other. Then he's headed back here to rest up and look forward to the next adventure.
Captain Mar-Vell was a Kree who didn't agree with his government's plans for the backwater planet called Earth. A reluctant warrior in the time of Vietnam, he tried to do his duty while at the same time saving us all from the predations of Colonel Yon-Rogg, Ronan the Accuser and at various time the Supreme Intelligence too. Finally he got cosmic and became a proper guardian before his untimely death.
The last E-Man story has been written. The death of the great Nick Cuti means that Joe Staton has retired the character. But in his heyday Alec Tronn was a naive creature of pure energy who settled on Earth to defeat the Brain from Sirius, help Mickey Mauser with a mean-and-dirty case now and again and find some good classic romance with his bodacious honey Nova Kane.
Coming to Earth in a most dramatic fashion, as herald for the decidedly deadly Galactus makes the Silver Surfer a high profile alien in this category for sure. When Galactus punished him and made stay here is angst was rich and vibrant and at times overwhelming. But he's feee now I guess to soar the space ways. The Surfer's sufferings as written by Stan Lee and drawn by John Buscema evoked the humble suffering of another wafarer from beyond. More on that later.
Come back tomorrow for "Heroes from the Heavens - The Omega!"