Amphibian (comics)

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Marvel Comics Alternate Universes
Marvel stories take place primarily in a mainstream continuity called the Marvel Universe. Some stories are set in various parallel, or alternate, realities, called the Marvel Multiverse.

The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Worlds 2005 designates the mainstream continuity as "Earth-616", and assigns another Earth-numbers to each specific alternate reality.


In this article the following characters, or teams, and realities are referred to:

Character/Team Universe
Kingsley Rice Earth-712
Kingsley Rice Earth-31916
Amphibian
Amphibiansqsup001.jpg
Amphibian as featured in Squadron Supreme (vol. 2) #1 (May 2006). Art by Gary Frank and Jonathan Sibal.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (Rice (male))
Avengers (vol. 1) #148 (Jun 1976)
(Rice (female))
Supreme Power #2 (Nov 2003)
Created by (Rice (male))
Steve Engelhart
(Rice (female))
J. Michael Straczynski
Gary Frank
In-story information
Alter ego - Kingsley Rice (male)
- Kingsley Rice (female)
Team affiliations (Both)
Squadron Supreme[1]
Abilities (Both)
Telepathy,
Ability to breathe underwater,
Superhuman strength,
Sharp claws,
Metamorphic abilities

Amphibian is the name of two different fictional characters that have appeared in publications from Marvel Comics.

The first debuted as a member of the team of superheroes called the Squadron Supreme in Avengers (vol. 1) #148 (June 1976). The other first appeared in Supreme Power #2 (Nov 2003), later joining a team of super heroes also called the Squadron Supreme. Both characters are not from the main reality where stories are set in the Marvel Universe, but are from two separate alternate universes.(See Sidebar)

Publication and character history[edit]

Squadron Supreme[edit]

Publication history[edit]

Amphibian first appeared in Avengers (vol. 1) #148 (June 1976), and was created by Steve Engelhart and George Pérez.

The character subsequently appears in Avengers (vol. 1) #149 (July 1976), Defenders (vol. 1) #112-114 (October–December 1982), Squadron Supreme (vol. 1) #1-6 (September 1985-February 1986), #9 (May 1986), #12 (August 1986), Avengers West Coast Annual #4 (1989), Web of Spider-Man Annual #5 (1989), Squadron Supreme: New World Order #1 (September 1998), and Exiles #78 (May 2006).

Amphibian appeared as part of the "Squadron Supreme" entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #12.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Amphibian debuted in the second appearance of the Squadron Supreme during Steve Engelhart's "The Serpent Crown" arc in Avengers (vol. 1).[2] In this story arc, he along with the rest of the Squadron are employed by the Roxxon Corporation to contain the Avengers. The two teams eventually work together to thwart Roxxon and the Serpent Crown, which had been working in both realities through Roxxon's CEO on the Avenger's Earth and the President of the United States on the Squadron's. The story leaves Amphibian and his teammates setting out to repair the damage the Crown has done to their world.

The story presented Amphibian as already being a long-standing member of the Squadron and did not provide an origin for the character. This was filled out by comments and flashbacks in later issues, instead of a full origin story. Over time, it is revealed that he is a mutant, whose name may be Kingsley Rice.[3]

In 1985, Mark Gruenwald wrote a limited series for Marvel which focused on the Squadron's efforts in their home reality. Early in the story, Amphibian questions the team's actions and goals. As the rest of the team supports the "Utopia Project", with the Squadron taking the role of a world government, he resigns rather than be part of the autocratic plan.

This Amphibian's abilities are adaptive; the greater the ocean depth he inhabits, the more fish-like his physiology becomes. He is super-strong and can lift approximately ten tons when on land.[3]

Supreme Power[edit]

In 2003 Marvel published a series written by J. Michael Straczynski entitled Supreme Power under its MAX imprint. For this series he created characters based on the Squadron Supreme works of both Roy Thomas and Gruenwald, including Amphibian.

Amphibian was introduced into Straczynski's story in Supreme Power #2 (Nov 2003). In that issue she is left to die in the ocean after her mother commits suicide and her father goes insane, both as a result of their strange-looking daughter's birth. Due to her amphibious nature, she is able to survive and grows up as a feral child, not encountering humans until she is an adult.[4] The point in the story where this encounter occurred was one of two pivotal events for Amphibian. In this encounter, she comes across a female diver who panics when confronted with her inhuman appearance. The diver's air hose breaks, causing her to suffocate in front of Amphibian. She surfaces with the dead body, returning it to a nearby boat where the diver's husband is waiting. He also panics, assuming she had killed his wife, and attacks her with a spear gun. She retaliates, killing him.[5]

The second pivotal event for the character happened after the confrontation between Hyperion and Doctor Spectrum. At this point, Amphibian discovers Doctor Spectrum on the ocean floor, regenerating in a cocoon generated by his power crystal. When he awakens, they discover that she has some form of telepathic ability, and are able to converse. Spectrum finds himself attracted to her, and promises to return after reporting to his superiors. When he does, he takes her to a remote vacation home that once belonged to one of his targets. He's integrated the house with a giant open-air salt-water aquarium, and Amphibian is quite pleased with her new accommodations. Spectrum then voices his attraction to her and christens her "Kingsley Rice".[6]

In keeping with the premise of her being a feral child, Straczynski has played up two character elements. First, that she does not speak in the stories, but instead relies on a telepathic ability. This follows from her growing up in an environment that prevented vocalization, and not having had anyone to teach her speech. Second, aside from public appearances with the Squadron, the character is seen in the nude. This also follows from her environment, clothes not being a natural or needed thing. The latter was also a visual element that was supported by the series being published under the MAX imprint. Since the imprint was designed for stories containing material for mature readers, Gary Frank had a freer hand in showing this aspect of the character.

In addition to a telepathic ability, the character has been shown to possess superhuman strength and retractable organs similar to that of a predatory fish (gills, spines, fins, sharp claws) that she extends when expressing intense emotion. She is able to perceive luminous auras around certain individuals, including Power Princess and Doctor Spectrum, which apparently allude to their nature.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Each character is a member of the Squadron of their own reality: the Squadron Supreme of Earth-712 and the Squadron Supreme of Earth-31916.
  2. ^ "The Serpent Crown" The Avengers 141-144 (Nov. 1975 through Feb. 1976) & #147-149 ((May through July, 1976)), Marvel Comics
  3. ^ a b The Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe v2, 12 ((Nov, 1986)), Marvel Comics
  4. ^ Supreme Power 2-6 ((Nov 2003 through Mar 2004)), Marvel Comics
  5. ^ Supreme Power 7 ((Apr 2004)), Marvel Comics
  6. ^ Supreme Power 13 ((Nov 2004)), Marvel Comics
  7. ^ Supreme Power #15-16

External links[edit]