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Comics live on gadgets. They lure readers with covers that may or may not accurately reflect the interior of the book, but they definitely grab your attention. Why is Batman doing like King Kong? Why is this rabbit smoking a cigarette? Why is Lois Lane a centaur? You do not know! Buy our comic!
As you can see from the examples above, animal transformations are a popular trick, so it’s only fitting that I put them in the spotlight here. I’m not going to talk about characters like Beast Boy who transform on purpose. No, this list is for those unfortunate heroes who have had a tail or an affinity for flies in the course of their heroic duty. How did you deal with it? Let’s take a look …
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Participate in a turf war
Stay with me here: at the end of Thor # 363, Loki turned Thor into a frog for the sake of taking over Asgard. Thor quickly finds himself in the middle of a war between New York’s frogs and rats, which eventually ends by ordering some sewers to eat the rats while standing indifferent. It’s a bloodthirsty frog.
Anyway, Thor then gets his hammer back and can transform into a six foot tall frog in a Thor costume. He races back to Asgard, crashes Loki and by chance is normalized again (Loki certainly didn’t want to help). This is how the adventure of the Thunder Frog ends … at least the first one.
Attack your friends
In Greek mythology, Circe had a soft spot for turning people into animals. That … hobby? … carried over to DC Comics, where she turned Green Arrow’s hapless pal Speedy into a centaur in Justice League of America # 102. Green Arrow, as usual, was busy doing things Speedy wasn’t involved in. So it was up to Flash, Zatanna, and Red Tornado to carry out a rescue.
Speedy, completely under the spell of Circe, attacked his friends with magical arrows, which they also transformed into human-animal hybrids. (The lightning is a giant snail! Ho, ho, irony!) But at some point the League teamed up and stole Circe’s wand, making Speedy normal again. Too bad Batman wasn’t there to heal him with a torch song.
Never speak of it again
Starting in Spectacular Spider-Man # 17, Peter Parker became a lot less of a man and a lot more of a spider. The transformation was triggered by a kiss from a strange insect lady who wanted to mate with him. Don’t worry, it gets worse: as soon as Peter gets the full spider, a random supporting character informs us that the kiss brought Spidey in a familial way on top of everything else.
To make a long and rough story short and still gross, the spider spider falls dead, only his old human self bursts out of the corpse of his spider self and has the ability to shoot webbing from his wrists and mostly talk to insect ants . Surprisingly, Ant-Man didn’t sue him, but that’s probably just because everyone erased that story from their minds the second it ended.
Conspiracy against the Nazis
Since I mentioned it in the intro, let’s unpack why this rabbit was smoking a cigarette. Answer: The rabbit is John Constantine as he plays in the DC Comics: Bombshells series, which is set during World War II.
So what happened Constantine infiltrated the SS when he was blown up by Zatanna. Zatanna – here a Jewish-Romanesque woman who is held captive by the Joker’s daughter – saves Constantine by transforming him into a chain-smoking bunny. The two plan their escape, but instead lose their powers, which Constantine normalizes again. I’m still sad we didn’t see John Constanbun kick a Nazi, but well.
When he originally joined the X-Men, Hank “Beast” McCoy wasn’t a big beast: he was just a little taller and more muscular than average. He also had a big brain. In Amazing Adventures # 11, he used this brain to study genetics and came up with a formula that could induce mutations in normal people.
And then Hank drank the formula himself like a fool. It sprouted gray (then black, then blue) fur everywhere and grew fangs and claws. Although understandably upset at first, Hank’s natural optimism soon took off. He thrived as a longtime member of the Avengers, spreading cheers and polysyllabic words everywhere.
So your family was erased from reality
So you got connected with a scumbag again
So you have been deprecated against your will
So your best friend wants you dead
So your girlfriend is a super villain too
So you are the token minority of your team
So your gods turned against you
So your family isn’t dead after all
So suddenly you are old