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Thundarr's long lost brother Wundarr

Thundarr and friends were designed by Alex Toth, not Jack Kirby

So i was reading up on Thundarr the Barbarian (and it was a passing planet, not solar flares, that caused the earth to fall apart - and get taken over by wizards, of course), and Wikipedia notes an odd fact:

The series was the creation of Steve Gerber, creator of Marvel Comics' Howard the Duck. Gerber also created the similarly named 'Wundarr the Aquarian' for Marvel Comics.

Now, Gerber did create Wundarr. He was a Superman parody, sort of a "What if the pod that sent Superman to Earth was never found or opened and he grew to manhood in isolation?". He comes out a super-powered idiot, of course.

Art by Sal Buscema

Later, Gerber left Marvel, and in an issue of Marvel Two-In-One, it was Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio who had Wundarr evolve into the cosmically aware hippie, Aquarian.

Art by George Perez

He's never called "Wundarr the Aquarian". He just changes his name from Wundarr to Aquarian. And i always assumed the name was an "Age of Aquarius" reference; it never would have occurred to me that it was actually a deliberate parody of Gerber's Thundarr the Barbarian cartoon.

If it was, there's something of a time paradox, i think. The Marvel Two-In-One comic has a cover date of Dec 79, which means it was published probably a few months earlier than that in actual time. But Wikipedia tells me Thundarr first ran in October 1980.

So did Gruenwald & Macchio have some advanced knowledge? It's possible. Or was Thundarr's name actually a nod to what Marvel did to his old character? I doubt it. Is someone a witch?

Or is the whole thing just a coincidence?

By fnord12 | July 28, 2011, 9:04 AM | Comics & TeeVee | Comments (2)| Link

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