Thursday, January 3, 2013

Golden Age Connection #1 - The Terrific Whatzit

One of the fun things about Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew are all the cameo appearances of old Golden Age Funny Animal characters within the pages of the series. Comics back then quite frequently had animal characters appearing as super-heroes, and DC Comics was no different. I think it's about time we take a look at some of those characters (at least the ones who appeared alongside Captain Carrot and the Crew).

So, for my first (in hopefully many) Golden Age Connection entries, I thought I'd start with one of the more popular Golden Age characters to appear in CCaHAZC!

The Terrific Whatzit!!!

Merton McSnurtle, aka the Terrific Whatzit, first appeared in DC Comics' Funny Stuff #1 waaaay back in the summer of 1944. He has the distinct honor of being DC's first funny animal super-hero character, and was created by Martin Naydel. According to what I could find on the Internet, Martin Naydel also worked on such DC Golden Age titles as All-Flash Quarterly (1941), All-Star Comics (1940), Adventure Comics (1938), Flash Comics (1940), Superboy (1949) and Comic Cavalcade (1942). He apparently contributed to 1975's Super-Team Family as well, although I'm not sure about that last one.

Funny Stuff #1, Summer 1944

Merton McSnurtle was a lowly shopkeeper who lived in the town of Zooville. He was well known for his honesty AND his laziness (sounds like a turtle to me). One day he was visited by two powerful entities known as Prince Highness (the nice guy) and Prince Lowness (the dirty bastard). The two Princes were curious to see how somebody so completely honest would handle being granted super powers, so they picked Merton and...wait for it...granted him super powers!!! (Bet you didn't see that one coming!)

The Terrific Whatzit's powers...well, they were pretty much the same as Golden Age Flash's powers. They mostly center around super-speed, although in his Captain Carrot appearance, he seems to possess some super-strength as well, as he is is shown being able to bend the muzzle of a tank's canon. That always comes in handy.

He also has what is referred to as his "automatic conscience" which harasses the poor guy until he does the right thing. I have that super power, too. It sucks!!

Apparently he flies as well. Not sure what's up with that.

Look! It's the Terrific Whatzit!! Um...yippee??

His costume, as you can see from the pictures, is also pretty much the same as Golden Age Flash's, although Flash's lightening bolt emblem (on the chest) is replaced on Whatzit's costume with a "TW" inside a yellow circle. I will leave it up to my intrepid fans to figure out what the "TW" actually stands for. You'll NEVER figure it out!

The Terrific Whatzit fought his way valiantly through 17 issues of Funny Stuff until his final appearance (as the Terrific Whatzit) in Funny Stuff #17, which hit news stands in January 1947. He would continue to appear in his civilian identity occasionally over the years in other features. But that was it for him as a super-speedy crimefighting turtle.

He's baaaack!!

Enter Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #9 (November 1982). In this story, Fastback gets thrown back in time by the Time-Keeper. On his trip to the past, Fastback encounters the Terrific Whatzit fighting during "the Second Weird War" on the side of the Allies.

It had been revealed earlier in the series (CCaHAZC #4, June 1982) that the Terrific Whatzit is Fastback's uncle. So that was kind of a hint to readers, I think, that he was going to appear in the series.

As far as I know, the character doesn't appear again. Of course, I could be wrong. I am quite frequently.


  1. Cool! And there's your second post in your Golden Age Connections series....The Three Mousketeers, right there on the cover with the TW! ;-)

  2. Replies
    1. You might want to read the DC Super-Pets books. One has a reworked verion of TW.

      DC Super-Pets Salamander Smack Down



      or read the book I have on photobucket

  3. I will see if I can track those down, Anonymous. :)