Monday, July 4, 2011

"Finding Bigfoot": My Favorite Five Bigfoots

I've been obsessed recently with one of Animal Planet's newest shows: "Finding Bigfoot".  The show follows a quartet of Sasquatch searchers across the USA in their ever-elusive search for Bigfoot.  This is how the show goes: Someone has a video or a picture that purports to be a Sasquatch.  They go to the scene of the crime and reenact the Sasquatch sighting to gain more perspective.  They then organize town meetings and recruit more local stories and reenactments.  They then wander the wilderness and attempt to capture clear photographic evidence of Bigfoot.  At least, that's the storyline of the three episodes that I've seen so far.  I'm always left wishing they'd find more conclusive proof, but I can't deny that the chase is pretty exciting.

I was watching the Finding Bigfoot marathon this afternoon and got to thinking about my favorite "Bigfoot" characters from Marvel Comics.  There are a bunch and many of them are connected to Canada and my favorite international super-team, Alpha Flight.  In honor of today's Finding Bigfoot marathon, I thought it might be fun to share by Favorite Five Bigfoots (Bigfeet? -- what is the plural tense for Bigfoot anyway?), starting in descending order:

5. Yetrigar: I don't know why I like this big lug, but Yetrigar has always held a special place in my heart.  He was originally created to fight Godzilla back when Marvel Comics owned the publishing rights for that property.  They eventually lost Godzilla, but retained Yetrigar.  Yetrigar appears to be some prehistoric caveman who transformed into a giant beast following a healthy dose of radiation.  He eventually battled the Avengers and the original Red Ronin.

4. Sasquatch: Sasquatch was a member of Alpha Flight back in the late 90s.  This Sasquatch shouldn't be confused for Alpha Flight founding member, Walter Langkowski (AKA Sasquatch), even though everyone associated with Alpha Flight and the Canadian government thought that the two were one and the same.  They just assumed that Walter ran into some mishap that reverted him into an animalistic mindset.  Little did anyone realize that the Canadian government had actually captured and recruited the real-life Bigfoot onto their premier super-team.  A Purple Woman-wannabe named Murmur kept this Sasquatch under the team's mental control.  I really hated Sasquatch when they introduced him.  Mainly because I hated the idea of turning Sasquatch into an essentially mindless brute.  And then I realized that he was an entirely new character secretly confused for the original Sasquatch, which brought me over to our Bigfoot's fanbase.  Unfortunately, this Sasquatch eventually got himself killed by the terrorist group also known as Zodiac.  To his credit, he died sacrificing himself to save his fellow Alphan, Radius.

3. Yeti: Yeti was part of John Byrne's Marvel: The Lost Generation mini-series many years ago.  It was an interesting concept.  A time-traveler found herself uncontrollably falling backwards in time from the 80s through the late 40s.  The series examined a largely forgotten super-team known as First Line from its final explosive moments to its inception.  One of its later members was a bestial creature known as Yeti.  He was a wild creature, kept under control through the sexual allure of women like Rapuzel and the Skrull agent known as Korya.

2. Yeti: My second to last favorite Bigfoot is also named Yeti.  He was a part of Canada's now-defunct mercenary team, Weapon: PRIME.  He is a Wendigo, people who cannibalize others and as a result fall victim to a mystic curse that transforms them into supernatural beasts.  Yeti somehow got recruited by the Canadian government and managed to fight Cable, X-Force, and Northstar before fading away into obscurity.  I always thought it would be fun to pull Yeti out of comic book limbo and insert him into a new Omega Flight team-up.  That said, there is a new government sanctioned super-team in the works called Alpha Strike that will be premiering in a few months.  One of those team members is a Wendigo.  It's possible that they just have a team member named Wendigo on this team, but I'm kind of keeping my finger's crossed that Yeti managed to get picked for this new team.

1. Wanda Langkowski (AKA Sasquatch): I'd mentioned Alpha Flight's original Sasquatch character, Walter Langkowski.  Even though he's currently fighting alongside his favorite Canadian heroes, he was once killed and resurrected in the body of another (now formerly) deceased team member, Snowbird.  Snowbird was a shape-changer and could transform into any Canadian creature, including Sasquatches.  It seemed like a good fit for Walter's spirit.  Except that Snowbird is female and lacked the ability to transform genders.  Hence, Walter became Wanda for many months.  I loved this character development.  This gender switch caused all sorts of problems for Wanda.  She lost all claim to Walter's fortune, property, and research.  For all intents and purposes, Wanda appeared to be some super-powered trouble-maker attempting to steal Walter's estate.  As usually happens in comic books, the status quo was eventually restored and Wanda became Walter once again.  But it was a fun ride while it lasted.

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