by Oren the Otter
©2003 Oren the Otter -- all rights reserved
When one is as heavily into the subject of transformation as I and my colleagues at TSAT, one expects to experience a number of events that permanently change one's life for good or for ill. One might even develop the habit of referring to oneself as 'one'. Nasty habit. Yeah... But nothing changes one's life so completely as becoming a responsible businessman! Dun dun duuuuunnnn... Yes, that's right. This formerly carefree otter has taken the plunge. I am now 50% owner of a bona fide book shop. Don't worry, I have no plans to shamelessly plug it here; I'm sure the readers already know about OtterBooks, and that they can find it at www.otterbooks.biz, and that we have all kinds of books and comics and toys and snacks and video rentals and... Well, anyway, I'm not going to do that. To continue: As I was going through some old comic books to price them, I noticed that a great many superheroes have to deal with transformation in their daily lives. For example:
Prime: spokesman for Ultraverse comics from Malibu. Here's a thirteen-year-old boy whose body produces a green goop which solidifies around him into the body of a huge man with the combined might of Superman, Captain Marvel, the Hulk, and a few guys who haven't been invented yet. While living his strange double life, Prime / Kevin tries to keep everybody from finding out who he really is. Prime, let me offer you a few pieces of advice. First, quit referring to yourself in the third person. When you say "you've made Prime angry!" or "Prime will save you!" it's pretty much a dead giveaway that there's somebody else doing the talking. Also, you might want to think about packing an extra set of clothes. When Prime flies to a rooftop and disappears, then seconds later, Kevin Green runs naked down the fire escape, people might get a little suspicious.
Access: A character jointly created by Marvel and DC. Access, aka Axel Asher, is able to teleport anywhere and anywhen within either universe, and can also merge bits of the two universes into amalgams. He's also the guardian of the amalgam universe, modeled after a merging of the other two. First thing I have to say to Access is, "Dude, beware of copyright laws!" You may have unrestricted access (no pun intended) to three universes, but lawyers can turn on you with little or no provocation. That aside, a more pragmatic warning: While the Boy Wonder and Angel might not mind getting merged into one person, the resulting fusion -- Redwing -- might have some objections to becoming two people again. The thought of not existing does sometimes bother people, as I'm sure you know. It also might be a good idea to avoid certain combinations. I mean it might give you some military advantage to merge Wonder Woman with the Thing, but think of sagging comic sales afterward!
Meggan: Shapeshifting empath and member of Marvel's Excalibur. First of all, Meggan, I have to recommend a more heroic name. After all, it sounds funny to hear the team introduced as Nightcrawler, Captain Britain, Shadowcat, Phoenix and Meggan. Secondly, being able to instantly assume the form that another person desires most does have a great many advantages, but you might want to think about wearing a jacket, lest you freak out certain male readers. (Ooh, I know I'm gonna get hate-mail for that!)
Lastly, Otterman: From Intense Comics, a writer named Oren (why does that sound familiar?) who is able to turn completely or partway into an otter. (Do I know this guy from somewhere else?) Oren has the job of protecting the world from evil pirate rats, and has a hang-up about superheroes. Otterman, you are a superhero! Get over it! Also, take a hint from Superman: Those phone booths are there for a reason. If you stand naked on the shore of a lake and chant your transformation mantra, the swimmers and campers are going to get a little bit spooked.
Wait a minute... an otter named Oren...
Er... that's all the time we have for today! Tune in again next issue when we discuss the evolution of the avocado using elemental stones! Same bat-column, same bat-URL!