Wendy and Marvin

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Wendy and Marvin
Wendy Marvin and Wonder Dog 2008.jpg
Marvin, Wonder Dog, and Wendy on the cover of Teen Titans vol. 3 #62.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Historical:
Super Friends #1 (1976)
Modern:
Teen Titans vol. 3 #34 (May 2006)
Created by (TV)
E. Nelson Bridwell
(Comics)
Geoff Johns
Tony S. Daniel
In-story information
Full name Wendy Harris
Marvin White
Supporting character of Super Friends
Teen Titans
Oracle
Batgirl
Notable aliases Marvin and Wendy Kuttler

Wendy Harris and Marvin White are fictional characters, two teen-aged sidekicks of the Super Friends. Along with Marvin's pet dog Wonder Dog, they first appeared in the 1973 animated series Super Friends. Because of the success of the Super Friends cartoon, a Super Friends comic book was also created, in which Wendy and Marvin made their first comics appearance.

The duo has been re-introduced in the Teen Titans comic book as the caretakers of Titans Tower.[1]

Fictional character biographies[edit]

Super Friends[edit]

Wendy Harris and Marvin White are two sidekicks who were created in an era in which many cartoons featured main characters with sidekicks who were supposed to serve viewer identification. In the cartoon, the reason for Wendy and Marvin hanging around with the Super Friends was never really explained. In the comics, some additional information was given. Wendy is the niece of Harvey Harris, a detective who once trained Batman when he was still a teenager. It was postulated in an editorial column that she may have been the Earth-One version of Wendi Harris Tyler, wife of the first Hourman.[2] Marvin (who was given the last name of White in the comics) was the son of Diana Prince, the nurse whose name Wonder Woman took when she came to Man's World, and her husband Dan White. Thus, Marvin had a sort of familial connection to the Super Friends. The Super Friends were designed to help teach young crimefighters how to be superheroes. While Wendy never wore any special costume, Marvin was always dressed with a cape and a big letter "M" on his chest.

E. Nelson Bridwell, the writer on Super Friends, shed some light on the characters' origins in Super Friends #1 (Nov. 1976):

"Wendy Harris, I decided, was the young lady's full name. She is a niece, not of the Batman, but of a detective named Harvey Harris. This man gave young Bruce Wayne his first crack at real detecting when Bruce was in his teens. Years later, when Harris dies, he left a sealed letter to be delivered to Bruce, revealing that he had indeed known who he was — for Harris was certainly one of the all-time greats in the field.

"Marvin, I decided, is Marvin White — no relation to Perry White. His father is Daniel White, inventor, and his mother is the former Diana Prince."

Neither Marvin nor Wendy had any special abilities. However, once on the cartoon, Marvin was shown "practicing" flying, though not very well. In fact, on the cartoon, although very nice and very bright, Marvin was shown to be somewhat bumbling, often needing to learn the day's moral, such as looking up "photosynthesis" for himself rather than having Robin tell him. In the comics, however, Marvin and Wendy's cleverness and resourcefulness made them invaluable to the other Super Friends. The one notable resource Marvin provided to the Super Friends was his pet dog, Wonder Dog (or just "Wonder" for short), who was preternaturally intelligent, though bumbling as well.

Wendy and Marvin meet the Wonder Twins in the Super Friends comic book.

After two seasons of the Super Friends cartoon, it was cancelled, though re-runs were shown through 1976. When the show returned as The All-New Super Friends Hour in 1977, Wendy and Marvin had been replaced by two other teenagers, Zan and Jayna, the Wonder Twins, along with their pet, the alien monkey Gleek. Marvin and Wendy would not appear on TV again for another 35 years, and they were likewise replaced by the Wonder Twins in the Super Friends comic after "graduating" from the Super Friends as full-fledged superheroes.[3]

According to the comic book, Marvin went on to study at Ivy University, the fictional university where fellow superhero the Atom worked as a professor. Wendy moved to Paradise Island to attend an Amazon university and continue her training. Wendy and Marvin appeared again in a later issue of the Super Friends comic to aid the Wonder Twins, posing as Zan's and Jayna's human disguises, "John" and "Joanna", to fool a criminal who had deduced the Wonder Twins' and Batman's secret identities.[4]

In Wonder Woman vol. 2 #186, an unnamed character identical to Wendy appears on Paradise Island as a tutor to Lyta (daughter of Circe).

DC Universe[edit]

In 2006, a new version of the Wendy and Marvin characters debuted in the DC Universe. The pair work as "caretakers" of Titans Tower one year after the events of the Infinite Crisis crossover.[1] The pair (now fraternal twins, surname Harris) seem to be technical geniuses; Wendy mentions in their initial appearance that she and Marvin graduated from MIT on their sixteenth birthday, and in Teen Titans #40, Ravager refers to them as "tenth-level geniuses" (compare to DC characters Brainiac and Brainiac 5, both purported to be twelfth-level intellects). It was established that Marvin is the older twin, by approximately five minutes. This Marvin continues the tradition of his previous incarnations by wearing a shirt with a stylized "M" on the front, but without the attached cape of his animated counterpart. It is revealed that Cyborg was damaged and inactive since his return from space, but Wendy and Marvin repaired him and gave him new capabilities.

Wendy and Marvin meet a stray dog that Miss Martian names Wonder Dog. In reality, Wonder Dog is some sort of demonic monster in the service of a new villain called King Lycus, who appeared at the end of the issue after the beast has killed Marvin and severely mauled Wendy.[5] While comatose, Wendy is visited in this state by her father, Noah Kuttler (aka The Calculator), who swears revenge on the Titans for allowing this to happen to his children.[6]

Marvin's soul is later summoned by Kid Eternity, the Titans' newest recruit, to provide him with information on what being part of the Titans means. Marvin warns Eternity against association with the team, citing the many deaths they have suffered.[7] Later, Eternity is captured by the Calculator and forced to summon Marvin repeatedly.[8]

In Oracle: The Cure #3, Wendy recovers from her coma while being visited by her father who was trying to use alien technology to help her. However, she is unable to feel or move her legs. The similarly disabled heroine Oracle promises to help her while aiding in the Calculator's arrest. In the new Batgirl series, it is revealed that Oracle (along with Leslie Thompkins) has been helping Wendy adjust to her new life with paraplegia. After taking Wendy under her wing, Barbara eventually reveals to Wendy her alter-ego. Wendy's first mission as an associate of the Oracle is to help Stephanie Brown, the new Batgirl, defeat her father and save Barbara from him. Afterward, she takes on the codename of "Proxy", acting as a junior version of Oracle.[9]

Other versions[edit]

An animated-style image of Marvin appears next to Lobo on the facade of the Planet Krypton restaurant in the alternate worlds story Kingdom Come #1, directly contrasting Marvin's more innocent era with Lobo's darker and bloodier one. In Kingdom Come #2, an older and out-of-shape Marvin, clad in a leather jacket and other Lobo-like accoutrements, is drinking an "HB" brand of beer in a bar when Superman enters to recruit heroes for his new cause. Although one of the few people in the bar who actually knows Superman, Marvin rejects him by saying "Whatever you're sellin'..." before getting punched in the face by Atom Smasher.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • While neither Wendy nor Marvin appeared in Justice League Unlimited, Wonder Dog made a cameo appearance in the episode "Ultimatum" as the "beast that threw itself against the bars", according to series writer/producer Dwayne McDuffie.[citation needed]
  • Wendy, Marvin and Wonder Dog appear in the episode "Be Kind, Rewind" of the Adult Swim series The New Adventures of the Wonder Twins. In that episode, they are seen in a video store that the Wonder Twins are hanging out in. Wendy and Wonder Dog's appearance is quite brief, but Marvin has a fairly significant role in the episode. Apparently he put on a little weight since the Super Friends series, and grew a beard. Marvin tells the Wonder Twins that he has no hard feelings about them getting him fired from the Super Friends, because now he and his band are signed to a major label.

Film[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Teen Titans (vol. 3) #34 (May 2006)
  2. ^ Super Friends #1 (November 1976)
  3. ^ Super Friends #6 (August 1977)
  4. ^ http://darkmark6.tripod.com/superfriends.html
  5. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #62 (October 2008)
  6. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #66 (February 2009)
  7. ^ Teen Titans Annual (vol. 3) #1 (April 2006)
  8. ^ Teen Titans (vol. 3) #74 (October 2009)
  9. ^ Oracle: The Cure #3 (July 2009)