Living Totem last edited by theAliman64 on 01/26/20 06:00PM View full history

Publication history & Origin

The Living Totem first appeared in The Rawhide Kid #22 in 1961 he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Living Totem's starship crashed on Earth in the American Southwest. He attempted to subjugate the local people but was sealed underground by native medicine men. Years later, the Living Totem was released from his underground prison when some miners blasted a particular silver mine shaft.

A second version of The Living Totem appeared in Doc Samson #1 in 2006. In Benjamin Ong Pang Kean's interview with Paul DiFilippo, the author of the 2006 Doc Samson series, DiFilippo suggests that he intended Whistle Pig to be the same Living Totem as first seen in the Rawhide Kid:

"...And finally, the most oddball member, out of Marvel's dim, distant past: an ex-"villain" known as the Living Totem."
Unfortunately, that Living Totem is quite clear in both his appearances about being a stranded extraterrestrial. One could argue that Whistle Pig was delusional at this point in history, but given the other differences between the two Totems, it is probably easier to accept the existence of two different Living Totems.

Mayor Story Arcs

Rawhide Kid

The Rawhide Kid speculated that native medicine men must have stranded him deep underground to prevent his reign of terror on mankind. In the early 1870s the Living Totem was accidentally freed when Ben Bragg, the foreman of the silver mine above where the Living Totem was trapped, blasted too deep, awakening and freeing the alien. The Totem vowed to resume his attack on humanity, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. He was confronted by the Rawhide Kid, however, who had been working at the mine in order to hide from a posse that had been chasing him across the desert. Several times the Kid thought he was done for, but managed to evade the alien's assaults, until the Totem trapped him, the posse that had been chasing him, and the mine workers all within the mine to starve to death. The Kid was the only one of the men small enough to crawl through a hole in the mine wall and escaped to confront the Totem again, leaving the others to think that he had abandoned them. This time the Totem vowed to crush the Kid, but with one last lunge, the Kid managed to knock the alien over the edge of Bottomless Canyon, to what the Kid believed to be his death, or at least trapped forever.

West Coast Avengers

The Living Totem, however, survived as he by the year 1876 was recruited as the ultimate weapon in a group of western outlaws led by the Iron Mask. When the rest of the Mask's veritable army of villains, which included Dr. Danger, Fat Man, Hurricane, Rattler and the Red Raven, were defeated by the combined might of Phantom Rider, the Two-Gun Kid the Rawhide Kid and the time displaced West Coast Avengers; the Living Totem was summoned to turn the tide of battle in his favor. The Totem proved to be no match for the Avengers, however, as Mockingbird tripped his legs and Iron Man buried him under a cliff.

Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone

At some point the monster hunter known as Ulysses Bloodstone hunted after the Living Totem, but this hunt was of no success.

Gambit

Many years later, the Living Totem is seen in a vault of a rich collector or artifacts, named Borya Cich. Gambit tries to steal another artifact in that vault when he saw the Living Totem, seemingly without life. How the Living Totem got here remains to be seen.

Living Totem (Whistle Pig)

A second version The Living Totem which is not An Alien but rather an Living Totem named Whistle Pig.

Doc Samson 2006 mini-series.

In the mid 1800s, Whistle Pig was a hunter in the Haida tribe of British Columbia. Whistle Pig and his lover, Sweet Grass, had been in love since they were ten, and planned to marry as soon as Whistle Pig could support a family. Unfortunately, the tribe's Shaman, Cold Winter, wanted Sweet Grass for himself. Learning of a magical means that would dispose of his rival that would cast no suspicion on him, Cold Winter diverted Sweet Grass with a false message, and used sorcery to drive Whistle Pig's soul into a nearby totem pole. Whistle Pig's body was left unharmed, but inanimate. The totem pole then became animate and, fueled by Whistle Pig's terror and insanity, slew Cold Winter.

The totem spent several years supposedly wandering senselessly, though this period may have been punctuated by periods of clarity. Though he did not know it, Whistle Pig had been followed by the disembodied spirit of Cold Winter since leaving his native tribe. Searching for a body with which to enact revenge on the Totem, Cold Winter entered a Kachina Doll as Whistle Pig passed near a tribe in the American southwest. Though he now had a body, Cold Winter found it impossible to then keep up with the much larger Totem.

Ultimately Whistle Pig ended up in what is now Joshua Tree National Park in southern California. There he was cast into a pit and buried by several vigilantes. It was also there that the Living Totem later made contact with the spirit of Cam Larson. Larson was the lead in a rock 'n roll band in the late 1960s when he died at the age of 26. In keeping with his last request, his bandmates snuck his coffin into Joshua Tree National Park and cremated him there. Two of his bandmates Wolf and Flora Punnett couldn't stand the thought of Cam's soul leaving this plane of existence, and used a ritual to bind it to the desert. They would make later make regular pilgrimages to visit Cam's ghost.

After Cam made mental contact with the Totem, he spent a decade teaching him English and two more conversing with him. Cam became his best friend, and the still-mad Whistle Pig became totally obedient to him. During their last visit, Cam tricked Wolf and Flora by telling them the pile of rubble covering the Totem was actually a hidden entrance to the nexus of all realities. When they had cleared enough rubble to free the Totem, it took them captive.

Meanwhile Tina Punnett Wolf and Flora's daughter became concerned with her parents' disappearance, and enlisted her godfather and friend of the family Doc Samson to find them. The two along with help from Dr. Strange's new Protege Jack Holyoak and local law-enforcement's officer Nighthorse encountered Cam's soul in the desert. After revealing that he had the Punnett's captive and that he wanted to finally move on from this plane, he had Whistle Pig attack the group. Tina, Jack, and Nighthorse were quickly captured, and Samson was knocked out after a brief struggle. When All members of the group were conscious and reunited, Samson convinced the Punnetts to release Cam's spirit.

Whistle Pig, terrified at the thought of losing his only friend, tried to absorb Cam's soul into his totem pole body. In the course of the ensuing fight, Samson determined that Whistle Pig's consciouness was distributed through the many segments of his body, and that if he could separate them, he might be able to treat each of them one-at-a-time. He could then reunify the segments into a single, sane being. Sure enough, Samson managed to separate the segments, and Cam's spirit is able to break free.

When next we see Whistle Pig in Samson's home -- where he had apparently been helping out with household chores he is reunified and mentally stable. After holding his own in a brief skirmish with a re-activated Robot X in Samson's trophy room, he accompanied Doc Samson to New Orgonon. Samson's group again with Tina Punnett and Jack Holyoak had travelled to Arick Shnellageister's New Orgonon compound to investigate the strange behavior of Samson's one-time colleague, Sam Larouquette. Schnellageister reluctantly welcomed Samson, Tina, and Jack, but immediately ordered Whistle Pig off the premises when he was mysteriously drawn to a barn on the grounds. It was later discovered that the barn housed Weed, an orgone-fuelled, telepathic, predatory plant which had taken control of the compound's members, and Doc Samson. Tina, Jack, and Whistle Pig were able to out-manuever Weed's followers and disable him with herbicide. Whistle Pig then destroyed him with the orgone-ray "cloud-buster" that Schnellagesister had used to create him.

In a bizarre turn of events, Whistle Pig recently learned that his old rival, Cold Winter was still alive; or rather, his spirit had been similarly imprisoned in an inanimate object, a Kachina doll. Cold Winter's spirit was bound to this plane by the magical forces concentrated about the recently-create Living Totem. Cold Winter's spirit followed his rival, and eventually inhabited the doll in order to have a physical body with which to enact his revenge. Whistle Pig walked on, however, unaware of his enemy's resurrection and quickly leaving Cold Winter in the dust. When Whistle Pig became a reasonably well-known adventurer in Samson's group, the sorcerer arranged to have himself shipped to the Samson household. There he arranged a series of events which would allow him to take possession of the Living Totem's body. Luckily for Whistle Pig, Jack Holyoak interrupted the ceremony, and accidentally incinerated the Kachina while trying to contain him.

Whistle Pig has most likely participated in other, less well-recorded adventures with the team, and is perceived as its most popular member.

In a bizarre turn of events, Whistle Pig recently learned that his old rival, Cold Winter was still alive; or rather, his spirit had been similarly imprisoned in an inanimate object, a Kachina doll. Cold Winter's spirit was bound to this plane by the magical forces concentrated about the recently-create Living Totem. Cold Winter's spirit followed his rival, and eventually inhabited the doll in order to have a physical body with which to enact his revenge. Whistle Pig walked on, however, unaware of his enemy's resurrection and quickly leaving Cold Winter in the dust. When Whistle Pig became a reasonably well-known adventurer in Samson's group, the sorcerer arranged to have himself shipped to the Samson household. There he arranged a series of events which would allow him to take possession of the Living Totem's body. Luckily for Whistle Pig, Jack Holyoak interrupted the ceremony, and accidentally incinerated the Kachina while trying to contain him.

Whistle Pig has most likely participated in other, less well-recorded adventures with the team, and is perceived as its most popular member.

After Civil War

After Civil War, He was considered as a potential recruit for the Initiative program.

Powers & Abilities:

The Living Totem possesses superhuman size, strength, and durability. Presumably these are typical attributes of a member of the Totem's race. He is very Strong and he is even bulletproof.

The Second Living Totem Whistle Pig his body can be separated into several pieces, each one containing a portion of his spirt and intellect. While he becomes less powerful and less coherent as the pieces are separated in fact becoming sub-sentient if all pieces are separated these pieces can be reassembled without doing any harm to Whistle Pig. While separated, his pieces remain animate and capable of individual action. Whistle Pig's strength and senses are magically enhanced, but to unknown levels. The Totem's wings give him the ability to fly.

In Other Media

Video games

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2

The living Totem is a Playable Character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2. In the game Rawhide Kid and Red Wolf later confronted Living Totem, believing that he was about to start another attack. In reality, Living Totem was earning money as an entertainer to get back to his home planet.

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