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|The Terrific Whatzit|
The Terrific Whatzit (left) and his "conscience" (right). From Funny Stuff #6 (Fall 1945). Art by Martin Naydel.
|First appearance||Funny Stuff #1 (Summer 1944)|
|Created by||Martin Naydel|
|Alter ego||Merton McSnurtle|
|Notable aliases||McSnurtle the Turtle|
An "automatic conscience."
The Terrific Whatzit (real name Merton McSnurtle, also known as McSnurtle the Turtle) is a funny animal superhero who appears in stories published by DC Comics. DC's first funny animal superhero, the Terrific Whatzit first appeared in Funny Stuff #1 (Summer 1944), and was created by Martin Naydel.
Fictional character biography
McSnurtle is a turtle and shopkeeper who lives in the town of Zooville and is famed for both his honesty and his laziness. He is granted superpowers by two powerful, otherworldly entities (the nice Prince Highness and nasty Prince Lowness) who want to see how a completely honest person would handle being granted superpowers.
When in action as the Terrific Whatzit, McSnurtle removes his shell and dons a costume almost identical to that of the Golden Age Flash save that the lightning bolt emblem is replaced by a "TW" in a yellow circle. The name "Terrific Whatzit" stems from the fact that without his shell, it is hard to tell what kind of animal McSnurtle was.
McSnurtle's last Golden Age appearance as the Terrific Whatzit was in Funny Stuff #17 (January 1947), although he continued to appear from time to time as McSnurtle the shopkeeper in other features. His superheroic identity would not appear again until Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #9 in November 1982, in which he is seen helping the Allies during "the Second Weird War." The series reveals in an earlier story that the Terrific Whatzit is the uncle of Zoo Crew team member Fastback.
Powers and abilities
As the Terrific Whatzit, McSnurtle possessed super-speed powers similar to those of the Golden Age Flash. These powers, while primarily based on superspeed, also include some superstrength (enough to bend a tank muzzle) and the ability to fly. McSnurtle also gains a ghost-like "automatic conscience" who won't relent until he goes into action against the threat of the story.
A redesigned version of the Terrific Whatzit appeared in the DC Super-Pets children's book Salamander Smackdown, as a superpowered pet of the present day Flash. Unlike the previous versions, this version of the Terrific Whatzit wears a costume similar to the modern Flash's.
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #4, June 1982
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #9, November 1982
- Funny Stuff #1, Summer 1944