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CSBG Archive

When We First Met – Alien Races

Every week we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!’” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ‘em out!

Today we take a look at three notable alien races. The Dominators, the Rigellians and the Baddoon.

The Dominators first appeared in Adventure Comics #261…

Their peculiar fashion of using the size of the disc on their forehead to denote importance debuted in the same issue…

I do not know when they first appeared yellow.

Anyone?
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Next, we have the Colonizers of Rigel (or the Rigellians, if you prefer).

We first meet a Rigellian in Thor #129…

but we don’t KNOW she’s a Rigellian until she reveals herself in #131…

The Rigellians are best known for the mechanical beings they create called the Recorders (first shown in #132)…

The Recorders have likely been seen more than the Rigellians themselves!

Just as a bonus, Thor #132 also has the first appearance of Ego, the Living Planet!


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Finally, we have the famed enemies of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Before they terrorized Earth and battled the Guardians in the future, the Badoon faced off against Silver Surfer in the second issue of his first ongoing series…

Surfer ultimately drives them off for a century or so and when they return, it is the Guardians’ duty to stop them.
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Feel free to send in ideas for other debuts that you’re curious about! Send your ideas to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

16 Comments

1.The Dominators: Somehow, a name like the “Dominators” tends to create a negative impression…

2.Colonizers of Rigel: Kirby goes Cosmic.

3. Badoon: I’ve always wondered why they got the honor, so to speak, of conquering the Earth in the Guardians of the Galaxy book and not some better known alien species like the Skrull or the Kree. Maybe it was because of their obscurity?Perhaps MARVEL was reluctant to use the Kree or the Skrull because that would mean depicting their fate 1,000 years hence, while the little known Badoon were fair game?

Wow, I’ve certainly read those Tana Nile & Badoon stories, but I had no idea the Dominators went back that far. It’s funny, I’m right now working on a piece for my blog where one of things I talk about is how relatively obscure and little-used the Badoon are, as conquering alien races go. Synchronicity! I will say, though, that the folks at Marvel probably didn’t know the Badoon wouldn’t catch on like hotcakes way back when the original Guardians of the Galaxy appeared. It’s just that, well, there wasn’t all that much to them.

I tend to think the Badoon were used because of how generic they were. They’re just little green men, with no shapeshifting gimmick like the Skrulls or racial issues like the Kree, so they don’t detract from the heroes much. Steve Gerber eventually introduced the idea that the Badoon species evinces radical sexual dimorphism, but that was not only much later, but also functioned as a device to write them out of the Guardians’ storyline so he could do other things with them.

They should probably consider switching the Dominators back to blue with white circles in the New 52, if they haven’t appeared already. Their yellow with red circles look always reminded me of yellow peril stereotypes, which I don’t think is what they were going for (hopefully).

I find it quite hard to believe they weren’t going for the Yellow Peril look.

Typo: The Dominators first appeared in Adventure Comics #361.

Dominators: apparently when they first appeared, they had access to better dental care too.. Never saw the blue versions, but they make the Yellow Peril versions look comparatively silly, if somewhat less generic. Hard to imagine an advanced society functioning with fangs, no lips, and claw fingernails! Whatever they eat, it must be something which doesn’t require chewing and comes off in small chunks.

Rigellians: First time I ever saw them, Iron Man had to fight a GIANT MUTANT MANTIS!!! And it was good.

Baddoon: How can they be peaceful when they got BAD in their name?!? Another fine example of an advanced civilization that somehow has yet to invent shirts. Romita sure does give them nice alien posture and gestures, though, something I’m sure later artists probably ignored.

AUTOCRONS: Largely forgotten robotic alien race from Kirby’s “Machine Man” series, have they ever shown up again? They got an “Alien Races” note in the 1st edition of the Marvel Handbook, but the editors wrongly described them as some kind of silicon life form or something, with the accompanying shot of one wearing shorts! No mention was made of their robotic nature (the guy’s face pops off to reveal a giant gun! How is that not a robot?) and I’ve always wondered if that was an editorial edict, just a goof, or did they appear elsewhere revealed as non-robotic life forms? Too bad, they would have been a great threat for the Avengers or someone. Did they ever appear again?

Ganky: Apparently an Autocron showed up as one of the villains in Busiek’s Maximum Security miniseries, as well as in an issue of his Avengers run. I think that’s about it, though.

Since you asked…

The Dominators were yellow with red disks in their next appearance during Paul Levitz’s Earthwar storyline in SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION #243 from September, 1978. They wouldn’t appear again until 1987, where they made an appearance in the Baxter Legion series #32 and the third annual. Then Keith Giffen used them in INVASION!, and as the main force behind his Five Years Later story, and they’ve been regular characters ever since.

Y’know, before I found out the alien invaders in “The Avengers” movie were the Chitauri/Skrulls, I thought they might have been the Baddoon. Not sure why, but given their general build, looks, lack of shape-shfting abilities and those flying mechanical snakes they had, I thought they might have been a modified version of the Baddoon. Kinda wish they had gone that route. It would’ve been cooler than using the Skrulls.

Maybe the Dominator color-change was an attempt to differentiate the full-on evil modern Dominators with the mild-mannered (or at least fairly innocuous) Dominators that we first saw. Then again, I didn’t read those original comics. Are the shadowy figures waiting to knife Star Boy to death Dominators as well?

AverageJoeEveryman

May 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Holy god that first shot of Ego will give me nightmares!

The Silent One

June 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Ganky, it was John Buscema who did the Silver Surfer segment, not John Romita. And thats how John Buscema draws the characters, the dramatic postures.

Yes, of course it was John Buscema — I stand corrected!

“Are the shadowy figures waiting to knife Star Boy to death Dominators as well?”

IIRC they were actually brainwashed members of the Legionnaire’s families.

Not genetically engineered family members. A former Dominator leader had taken descendants of Earth assassins and used Dominator genengineering to turn them into super-assassins.

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