Monday, October 15, 2007

Five for Friday: Anthropomorphs!

Don't you love animal characters in comics? No, I'm not talking about the Beppo the Supermonkey, or Krypto the superdog (or any of Superman's other super-pets for that matter), or that annoying Ms Lion, Aunt May's dog from the Spider-man and his amazing friends cartoon.

I'm talking about anthropomorphs of the comics world: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Howard the Duck, and Usagi Yojimbo and all the different animal characters that could stand, walk and talk like humans.

Wizard Universe's Five for Friday presents their top five anthropomorphs!

In celebration of the return of Captain Carrot in Captain Carrot and the Final Ark #1 this week, we call out our five favorite fuzzy anthropomorphs in comics

By Brian Warmoth

Posted October 12, 2007 2:00 PM

This week, in what may go down as one of the unlikeliest Countdown tie-ins of the year, Captain Carrot and his Zoo Crew romped back onto comic book shelves, claiming their new post-52 home on Earth-26. The former inhabitants of Earth-C represent just a smattering of the cutest and fuzziest badasses to appear in comic books, and they are in good company.

In chiseling down the list of our five favorite anthropomorphs, it should be noted that a few big names like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Tigra were left off the list—the former because they’re mutants and a team, making it too difficult to just pick one; and the latter because technically she’s an augmented human, meaning she’s a person with animal characteristics rather than vice versa. Plus, with all due respect to the crowd who enjoys cuddling with friends in furry suits, we just didn’t want to venture into that territory.

It should also be noted that if we had a sixth slot, which we do not have at Five for Friday, it would go to Hip Flask from Elephantmen.

So, without further adieu, these are our five favorites among the fightingest anthropomorphs in comics.

5. Captain Carrot
The original Roger Rabbit (Roger Rodney Rabbit, to be precise) rocked the pre-Crisis world of Earth-C and scripted the comic book Just’a Lotta Animals, which constituted Earth-C-Minus. This week, he and his Zoo Crew returned and rolled into the Sandy Eggo Comic-Con in Captain Carrot and the Final Ark #1. Powered by cosmic carrots, this bunny o’ steel could probably go toe to toe with anyone else we’ve mentioned, given a proper supply of root vegetables.

4. Mister Tawky Tawny
A tiger of pure class who wears tweed like no other magically animated feline you’ll ever meet, Mister Tawky Tawny recently put his classy manners to good use as an usher at Black Adam and Isis’s wedding. He’s the kind of anthropomorph you don’t have to worry about wanting to squeeze the stuffing out of, because he’s made of fluffy, plushy goodness anyway.

3. John Blacksad
Sometimes cute animals have to handle some deadly serious situations. Blacksad currently only has two of his three volumes of noir adventure translated into English (from the original French), but he’s one of our top all-time picks for gritty P.I.s. He also just can’t hang on to a good dame, which tugs at our heartstrings and makes us realize the true sacrifices a lead noir character has to make when it comes to stable relationships for the sake of a good story.

2. Rocket Raccoon
The only nominee on this list to be directly inspired by a Beatles song, Marvel’s Rocket Raccoon recently resurfaced following an extended absence and joined up with Star-Lord and Groot in defiance of the rising Phalanx threat. Packing way more firepower than anyone else here, he’s also got a smarmy mouth on him. Rocket lives out a perpetual existence of trying to look badass while remaining forever adorable beneath his edgy attitude.

1. Usagi Yojimbo
Comics’ most famous samurai bunny has been slicing up baddies and clanging swords with evil for more than 20 years. Part ongoing Akira Kurosawa film and all furry animals with weapons, Stan Sakai’s hero has ousted ninja bats and renegade critter swordsmen of all shapes and sizes, all while following a strict code of ethics and always treating the damsels with dignity and respect.

Yay for Usaga Yojimbo being number one. Boo for Howard the Duck and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles not making the list. Any of the anthropomorphs from Tellos, such as the tiger, Koj, would not have been out of place either. Unfortunately, this is only a Five for Friday feature, and not a TEN for Friday.

And how could Wizard miss out on the characters from Hepcats? It's a world FULL of anthropomorphic characters. And Wizard rated the series highly too...surely it deserved a mention at the very least?

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