Hello. I’m Alex Jaffe, better known in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion. I’m here today once more on my greatest 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 comic book mysteries. If you’d like to submit a question of your own, you can stop by my virtual office at any time in the DC Community to state your case, which I’ll address to the best of my ability.
Earth Guide to Alien-Watching, Vol. 1
Thanagarians, Kryptonians, Kherubims, oh my. How many aliens have come, gone, or stayed on Earth?
That's a very tough one, Jeff. This question's been in my backlog for a while in pursuit of completionism, but it's time to start letting go. I've made this list as complete as I possibly could, but first, here is a list of species this list does not include:
- Extradimensional beings, which exist outside of traditional space (eg. Imps, Monitors).
- Races which have only come to Earth in non-comic media, or stories written to be outside of continuity. (Some races integral to the WildStorm continuity have been preserved, due to the continued integration of WildStorm characters into DC's history—and out of respect to you, WildStorm-Jeff, because I have a hunch that WildStorm integration is important to you.)
- Many of the more humanoid races seen in the Legion of Super-Heroes era, as they were explicitly descended from modern humans.
- The “Titan Seed” races from a Donna Troy origin story a couple reboots ago, because who knows how real that was.
- A great number of alien races in the DC Universe—such as, for instance, the race of the Superman villain Mongul—which have never been identified by name. Sorry, but if I don’t know what to call ’em, I can’t call ’em.
Now, this is going to take several installments to completely address, so if any of you out there reading this have any evidence of alien species which have visited Earth that I've skipped over alphabetically, please let me know in the Community so I may amend them to a later edition. Let the xenobiology lesson commence!
Abaddonusians: Red-skinned race of energy absorbers. Sizzle, Legion of Super-Heroes reservist, comes to Earth 1,000 years in the future to apply for membership.
Aellans: Residents of the planet Aello, in the Vega system. Harpis, a heavily mutated Aellan, visited Earth as a member of the Omega Men.
Almeracians: Technologically advanced, often scantily-clad race ruled by the House of the Blood Royale. The most famous Almeracian is Maxima, who once pursued Superman as her ideal mate.
Alstairians: A sentient plant people, the deposed tyrant queen Hyathis once fled her people to start her own corporation on Earth.
Annunake: A reptilian race which visited Earth over 40,000 years ago, in a war with the insectoid Hunter/Gatherers. Some accounts hold them accountable for the sinking of Atlantis.
Appellaxians: A diverse conquering alien race with elemental powers. By early accounts, their arrival on Earth was the impetus for the formation of the Justice League of America.
Arguvian space steed: A winged alien horse ridden by Terra-Man, enemy of Superman.
Astur: A gray-skinned alien species which tried to terra-form the Earth for their own invasion, but were thwarted by Captain Comet.
Aurakles: An ethereal race of sentient energy creatures from the dawn of time. One Aurakles joined the Outsiders using Halo as a human host.
Ayries: Alien organisms which in youth resemble a tiny starfish, and in adulthood assume a gaseous, humanoid shape. One ayrie, "Itty," accompanied Hal Jordan on some of his earlier adventures.
Banyams: A plant-based humanoid race with vegetation growing from their heads, and a single eye. Medphyll, one of the oldest serving members of the Green Lantern Corps, is a Banyam who has visited Earth.
Bellatrixians: A noseless, purple-skinned race known for their female mercenaries, the Bellatrix Bombers. Boodikka, a Bellatrixian Green Lantern, once came to Earth while she was in training with Kilowog.
Betrassians: A red-skinned monarchical race. Their queen, Iolande, is also a Green Lantern, and has visited Earth in that capacity.
The Blight: A techno-organic race in constant decay which conquers the Earth 1,000 years in the future. Eventually defeated and neutralized by the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Blorians: Little is known of this humanoid race, other than that Kryptonite Man, a mutated enemy of Superman, was once one of them.
Bolovaxians: A hardy race with thick gray skin, tiny ears, piglike noses and heavy jaws. Kilowog, the last of the Bolovaxians, has visited Earth many times as a member of the Green Lantern Corps.
Branx: The gargoyle-like Branx people of the planet Kuraq have symbiotic relationships with "Angels of Mercy" who aid in their reincarnation cycle and grant them ghostly abilities. Nimbus, a Branx member of the Omega Men, has visited Earth with his team.
Brztalians: A long-lived, blue-skinned race, the Brztalian sorcerer Kulak was imprisoned on Earth for millennia before he was freed by archaeologists to battle the Spectre and Doctor Fate
Bugs: Native species of New Genesis, cohabitating with the New Gods. Some Bugs include Mantis and Forager, each of whom have visited Earth.
Cepheids: Red-skinned, porcine warrior race most known for Bolphunga, the Unrelenting. Once visited Earth seeking sanctuary.
Changralynians: A wide-bodied, gray-skinned, heavy-browed race from the planet Changralyn, in the Vega System. Broot, a Changralynian, has visited Earth as a member of the Omega Men.
Citadelians: A dark, lumpy race of brutish clones all replicated from a half Branx, half Okaaran being known as "The Complex-Complex," and masters of the Citadel of the Vega System. The Citadelians would participate in a multi-racial invasion of Earth led by the Dominators.
Circadians: Orange-skinned, cricket-like race of humanoid aliens. One Circadian serves as director of the Time Institute on Earth during the time of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Coluans: A green-skinned humanoid race widely recognized as one of the most intelligent int he known universe, highly advanced in both technology and bio-engineering. Brainiac, bottler of Kandor, is the most infamous Coluan.
Competalians: A humanoid race which comes to Earth on their mission to eradicate "the Anathema," a genetically engineered alien metagene.
Controllers: An openly despotic offshoot of the Maltusians who sought to enforce order in the universe through direct subjugation. See also "Guardians."
Czarnians: White-skinned, infinitely regenerative, incredibly powerful race all but wiped out by the last of their kind: the Main Man and ultimate bastich, Lobo. (Oh, and his daughter, Crush, is still around too.)
D'hran: Ancient race of grey-skinned, red-eyed beings with the power to move organisms up and down their evolutionary chain. Colonized Earth millennia before the Daemonites or Kherubim.
Daemonites: Ancient alien race which, in WildStorm comics, inspired the myth of demons, and have waged a shadow war here against their Kherubim enemies throughout world history.
Dalwythians: A hedonistic race which destroys every planet it visits as collateral damage to its wild partying. Jimmy Olsen serves as Earth's ambassador when they come to Metropolis.
Daxamites: A race similar to Kryptonians by their empowerment via a yellow sun, but with a vulnerability to lead. Mon-El of Daxam, member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, resided for a time on Earth.
Dhorians: Pink-skinned, bug-eyed, pointed-nosed beings who traffic in artificial planets and gravity tech. The most infamous Dhorian, Kanjar Ro, once visited Earth while disguised as Despero.
Diasporans: A nomadic, demon-like race which travels the universe spreading "the gift of loss." Their mission to Earth was thwarted by Supergirl and the Red Lantern Corps.
Dokris: Hairless, green-skinned aliens with the power to travel through time and negate radiation. Their conquest of Earth was foiled by Barry Allen and Wally West.
Dominators: Yellow-skinned, pointy-teethed conquerors with a strict caste system, and instigators of the "Invasion!" event of the late ’80s. Frequent foes of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Doopas: Blue-skinned, nearly invulnerable race with black eyes and small noses. One Doopa, Bogdan Karta, visits Earth 1,000 years in the future to audition for the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Durlans: Among the most versatile shapeshifters in the universe, and participants in the Dominators' Invasion. Chameleon Boy, of the Legion of Super-Heroes, is the most well-known Durlan of the future.
Dust Devils: Sentient, sodium-based dust clouds which can absorb life from whatever they touch. Jakarta, a Dust Devil foe of Adam Strange, has on occasion followed him back to Earth.
Euphorians: A glamorous, elfin race from the planet Euphorix in the Vega system. Primus, as a member of the Omega Men, has visited Earth.
Exxorians: Humanoid beings from Exxor with limited shapeshifting abilities. Exxor was the original home of the Wonder Twins, interns to the Justice League.
Farfarmniflatches: A shapeshifting race capable of changing form and size. One Farfarmniflatch, Monstergirl, was a member of Earth’s “Young Heroes.”
Fire People: Human-shaped beings of living fire who reside on a comet that passes by Earth every million years, at which point they plunder the world's surface of enough radium to trigger an extinction-level event. Thwarted in their most recent visit by the JSA.
Flame Dragons: A space-faring race of dragons native to the planet Krypton. At least one survived the planet's destruction, following Superman's rocket to Earth.
Fresishians: A highly intelligent, yellow-skinned, earless, camel-like race. One Fresishian, Gorgoth, attacks Earth as a member of the Dark Circle 1,000 years in the future.
G’newtians: Doglike race from Sector 68. G’nort, one of the Green Lantern Corps’ oddest misfits, often tagged along on Earth with the Justice League International.
Garonians: A human-resembling people from the planet Garon in the Vega system. Their leaders, the "Headmen," are noticeable for their bald and bulbous heads. Although a particularly intelligent race, the Headmen enforce obedience through a device called the Cerebro-Ray. One Garonian, Onu Murtu, sought sanctuary on Earth from Hal Jordan while she worked on a way to reverse the Cerebro-Ray's effects.
Gil'Dishpan: One of the oldest sentient species in the universe, the Gil'Dishpan resemble brains in floating globes covered in wormlike protuberances. The Gil'Dishpan participated in the Dominators' invasion of Earth, leading the charge on Earth's oceans.
Gobdorians: A humanoid race with large, bald heads and advanced technology who entertain themselves by watching transmissions of the Flash from Earth. One vindictive Gobdorian, Dro Dorno, traveled to Earth to defeat the favorite hero of the Gobdorians himself.
Gordanians: A race of lizard-like slavers from the Citadel of the Vega system, and former captors of Starfire. The New Teen Titans' first mission together was against a Gordanian attack on the United Nations building.
Graxosians: Gold-skinned, elf-like people from the Graxos star system. Arisia Rrab, a Graxosian Green Lantern, resided on Earth for a time.
Green Men: A telekinetic race of alien parasites which came close to destroying the Earth, before they were all exterminated by the Spectre.
Grendans: A race of sentient machines capable of thought and emotion, including the Green Lantern Corps member Stel. Like many Green Lanterns, Stel fought against the forces of Parallax in the Sinestro Corps War.
Guardians: See "Maltusians."
H'lvenites: An almost cartoonishly cute species of intelligent rodents. Ch'p and B'dg, H'lvenite members of the Green Lantern Corps, have spent some time on Earth.
H'San Natall: A red-eyed, sharp-toothed, purple-skinned race of conquerors avoided even by Darkseid. The H'San Natall capture women from worlds they seek to conquer, impregnate them with sleeper agents, and use those children to dismantle the defenses of their target world. Thousands of civilizations have fallen to them in this way, but Earth was spared this fate thanks to Ray Palmer's Teen Titans.
Hatorians: The human-appearing Hatorians were a culture which valued the art of thievery above all else. In-fighting between them led to their planet's destruction. One survivor, Badra, became a crimelord on Earth before she was caught and reformed by Wonder Woman.
Havanians: A winged race known for their beauty. Their former princess, Bleez, has visited Earth as a member of the Red Lantern Corps.
Hexapuses: Also called "Land-Masters," these six-armed, octopus-headed beings from the aquatic world of Vortuma were accidentally brought to Earth by Hal Jordan's cousin Larry (alias "Air Wave").
Hunter/Gatherers: Warlike insectoid race which came to Earth over 40,000 years ago. See: Annunake.
Hykraians: A frog-faced, amphibious people with long tails from an aquatic world. They breathe methane and are known for their powerful psychic abilities. Though generally a peaceful race which rarely travels from Hykraius, one Hykraian, Tellus, travels to Legion Academy on Earth 1,000 years in the future to join the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Imskians: A humanoid race which gained the hereditary power to shrink when they colonized Imsk a million years ago. One Imskian, Salu Digby, visits Earth 1,000 years from now as the Legionnaire Shrinking Violet.
Jaquaans: A very short, purple-skinned race which could easily be mistaken for Maltusians if not for the spikey protuberances which sparsely decorate their heads. Dr. Gym’ll, a Jaquaan, resides in a satellite above Earth as a medic to the Legion of Super-Heroes 1,000 years in the future.
Jaydians: A purple-skinned race with a culture aesthetically similar to a sci-fi reimagining of Feudal Japan. Laira Otomo, a Jaydian Green Lantern, fought alongside her Corps on Earth in the Sinestro Corps War.
Jovians: The native race of the planet Jupiter. Jovians encased in metal suits once attempted an invasion of Earth, but were repelled by the JSA.
Julnarians: A hairless, humanoid race with the ability to teleport by ingesting Europium. The Julnarian traveler Kulan Dar was mind-controlled during his visit to Earth into battling the Atom.
Kaladarians: A duck-like race which once raided nuclear supplies from Earth for an interstellar war. Intercepted by Hal Jordan and Plastic Man.
Kalanorians: Red-skinned, fin-headed species, at least some of whom have three eyes, super strength, and formidable psychic powers. The most fearsome Kalanorian, Despero, is a frequent foe of the Justice League and has come to Earth before in that capacity.
Kangas: An alien race of kangaroos from the planet Nebulosta, used as mounts by the Nebulostan Sky Riders. When the surviving Sky Riders were adopted into the Amazon race, their Kangas were soon adapted as mounts for the entire Amazon people.
Karnans: A cat-like humanoid race from the planet Karna in the Vega System. Tigorr, a tiger-resembling Karnan, has visited Earth as a member of the Omega Men.
Katarthans: A yellow-skinned alien race, some of whom were miniaturized by a radiation leak and stranded in the Amazon jungle on Earth. Ray Palmer lived and loved among the Katarthans for a time, until the CIA firebombed them all.
Khalex: Powerful, green-skinned aliens with white antennae and the strength of Superman. Weakened only by Galgolex, a rare mineral which effects the Khalex as Kryptonite does to Kryptonians.
Kherubim: Ancient alien race which, in WildStorm comics, inspired the myth of angels, and have waged a shadow war here against their Daemonite enemies throughout world history.
Khunds: A musclebound, pink-skinned militant race driven by conquest. The Khunds served as the front lines to the Dominators' invasion, conquering Australia before Earth's heroes could push them back.
Klarmarians: Also called "Faceless Hunters," the Klarmarians are noticeable for their orange skin, pointed ears, lack of any other facial features, and the ability to alter their size from subatomic to titanic. Some Klarmarians have come to invade Earth on multiple occasions. Their homeland, Klaramar, is in fact located on a single atom on the planet Saturn.
Korugarans: The red-skinned Korugarans are best known as the people of Sinestro, sworn enemy of the Green Lantern Corps. Sinestro has come to Earth many times to battle his greatest foe, Hal Jordan.
Kroloteans: A diminutive race known for genetic experimentation. Called "Gremlins" on Earth, the Kroloteans' experiments bestowed metahuman powers to Hector Hammond, Black Hand, and the Green Lantern villain Shark. (Not to be confused with King Shark.)
Kryptonians: Come on, I don't have to explain Kryptonians to you.
Kryptonian Canines: You know, like Krypto.
Kwai: A nomadic race of insect-like humanoid people with dragonfly wings and thick, segmented black carapaces. One Kwai, Shikari Lonestar, comes to Earth to join the Legion of Super-Heroes 1,000 years in the future.
We’ll continue this feature in a future installment of ASK…THE QUESTION. For now, however, let’s knock out a few quick ones.
Gotta Nuke Somethin’
Has anyone seen or heard from Nukeface since the end of “The Nukeface Papers” in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing #35 & #36? I worry about that guy all the time.
No one has seen this physical embodiment of the terror of radioactive pollutants since he nonchalantly killed Swamp Thing and sloughed off into the sunset to terrorize America’s future. Now, this was before 1986, so we could say that Nukeface simply didn’t survive the Crisis on Infinite Earths. But every time you read the news of a chemical accident, or corporate or military overreach destroying our environment and taking lives with it, I wouldn’t blame you if you looked around to see if he’s still out there. Some Swamp Thing writer is bound to bring him back around eventually…the planet’s not getting any healthier.
How did Wonder Woman get her name?
Originally, creator William Moulton Marston wanted to call his heroine “Suprema, the Wonder Woman”—in much the same way that her male counterpart was addressed as “Superman, Champion of the Oppressed.” By shuffling around some letters and dropping the “n”, Marston envisioned his Amazon Princess as women’s answer to Superman while keeping her apart from him. Ultimately, however, it was Marston’s editor, Sheldon Mayer, who made the decision to drop the “Suprema” and call her by her alliterative title alone.
Is the Question a metahuman? Who is the Question’s archenemy? Does he enjoy teaming up with Batman or Huntress?
I’ll take these one at a time:
a) Not typically. For most versions of the character, Vic Sage is just a guy with a mask made from fake skin who knows some karate. The 2005 Question miniseries by Rick Veitch suggests an urban shamanistic ability he has to talk to the soul of a city, but this may just be poetic language. Then there’s the “Trinity of Sin” Question, implied to be some sort of immortal being during the New 52, but that was never really explored. My personal theory is that it was meant to be a mystery without an answer.
b) The Question doesn’t really have an archenemy, save perhaps the concept of untruth. Most Question stories evade your typical costumed hero-on-villain interaction, instead preferring to tackle more urbane crises such as political and law enforcement corruption. In 1967’s Blue Beetle #2, the second appearance of the Question, he did fight a villain named the Banshee, but he hasn’t been seen since. There have been a couple confrontations between the Question and the Riddler across media, but it’s apparent they don’t think much of each other. If anyone stands as the Question’s nemesis, it’s a man he has never actually met: Vandal Savage, the figure at the top of every conspiracy he’s ever chased.
c) Batman and the Question don’t hang out very often. And when they do, it seems to put Vic Sage on edge—the result of an inferiority complex compared to his more storied colleague explored further in The Question Annual #1. So I wouldn’t say he enjoys it. As for Huntress, it’s a different story whether you follow comics, such as Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood, or cartoons, such as Justice League Unlimited. One’s a tragedy, and the other’s a romance. Strangely, the Question’s most comfortable crimefighting partner over the years has been Green Arrow. Perhaps understandable when you consider both are flawed men trying to work towards a better self-image under the pen of Denny O’Neil.
Normally, this is where I’d say this wraps up the case load for this month, but the alien catalog is still ongoing. I’ll see you next time with more extraterrestrial sightings and further answers besides. So long as you remember 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 solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.