One thing I’m really enjoying with this little project is that I’ve been digging through all of my Marvel Universe books — new and old — and scouring Marvel’s wiki and wikipedia for information on obscure characters. Some, I’ve never heard of. Others, I’ve long forgotten.
It has been a lot of fun, especially finding characters to fill the more remote and less populated sections of the United States.
Like who could I ever find to stick in Montana, the state with the third lowest population density? A state who’s biggest city barely tops out over 100K (and a whopping metro area of 177K)? Like many of the “less important states,” I had to find some characters to match. — And I’m not saying these are bad characters, it’s just that their significance matches the “threat level” the state would face in the Marvel Universe.
And in case you are just now checking out Relocating the Marvel Universe, check out the previous 13 entries here!
So with out further adieu, here’s the lineup for …
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
NATIVE AMERICAN RESERVATIONS (Red Wolf)
The current Red Wolf hails from Montana, and except for his missions with the Rangers, he figures he’s got plenty to do in the state. He knows Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park like the back of his hand, and runs patrol routes through the two on a regular basis. As such, he’s run across more than his fair share of trouble — from poachers to supervillains trying to dig out a new secret HQ — during these walkabouts. Luckily, he’s a skilled enough tracker and trap-setter that most don’t even realize they’re battling a super-hero. Instead, he strikes with skill, stealth and precision, leaving them to figure out what happened. Being a Native American, Red Wolf also lends his assistance to Montana’s reservations, often consulting with local Medicine Men to determine the needs of each reservation.
Notes: When you take a look at Red Wolf, you have to admit he seems pretty silly. But then you start matching him up with another hero — say Wolverine — and you’ve got a character that’s nearly identical in style and theme. The problem is, Wolverine has got all the good press. With that in mind, I can see the Red Wolf as just as intense, tricky and scrappy as a Wolverine is. Sure, Wolvie’s gonna kick the snot out of him, but in the end, they’re quite similar. And by the way, check out this awesome custom Red Wolf action figure!
What’s this? More villains on the list? Not really. In at least one incarnation of the group, the High Evolutionary set them up as his agents on Earth. Under that presumption, the Ani-Men sets up in Billings, where they right wrongs just like any superteam — except this time, the superhuman team isn’t human at all, they’re humanoid animals. Assembling the “greatest” Ani-Men of all time, this group includes the original team Ape-Man, Bird-Man, Frog-Man and Cat-Man, as well Komodo, Crushtachean and Rabbit-Woman. Together, the team fights for civil and animal rights across the U.S. To them, any sentient being deserves dignity, and they do their best to protect those rights. Of course, this rather “liberal effort” has many conservative Montanans annoyed, and they’d be just as happy without their fruity superteam running around. Still, the Ani-Men have proved their worth time and time again, serving to protect Montana when it needs it most.
Notes: Here’s another idea that I think is just neat. Sure, these guys would be total pests most of the time, but every little bit of good they do brings another person over to their side. I’d imagine an Ani-Men book would be a fairly popular comic, cartoon series and toy line, too!
HELENA (Devil-Slayer, Rosewell Sanitarium)
Originally placed in Massachussets, the infamous Rosewell Sanitarium has been moved to a more secure location in Helena, Montana. Aside from its service as containment facility, the facility’s operators have taken it upon themselves to address mystic threats on Earth. As such, the man known as Devil-Slayer serves as the Sanitarium’s chief investigator of super-natural events, and, since he has super powers, is oftentimes used to hunt down escapees. As an investigator, he works around the country to assess and extinguish mystical threats to the dimension, and often works with other mystic heroes, such as Dr. Strange.
What’s “Relocating the Marvel Universe,” anyway? Well, check out the series hub, which includes a complete list of states, here.