The Wobbly was created by writer John Ney Rieber and penciller Gary Amaro in the one-shot Vertigo Rave, in September 1994.
Major Story Arcs
The Wobbly is a creature created by Tim Hunter when he was a young boy. He made his imaginary friends into real beings.
As a child, Tim created the Wobbly out of a bird skull with thumbtacks for eyes, balanced with a cloth on a stick. He fed the Wobbly little bits and pieces of trash and random objects he would find—things that had no use.
The Wobbly is one of the few creatures Tim creature that he does not like, but the Wobbly does not mind; he is one of the only creations that actively works against Tim.
As Tim grows into a teen, he mostly forgets about these creatures and they live in the abandoned lot where he used to play.
The Wobbly becomes of the most powerful beings in the lot, and collects and destroys many of the other beings and objects. It now has a mission—collecting objects that are useless and outgrown.
When Tim randomly comes back to the lot, he finds the Wobbly, who threatens to destroy Tanger, one of the Narls Tim used to play with. Tim convinces the Wobbly to let him go because the new way to deal with trash in the United Kingdom is to recycle.
When Tim comes back sometime later, he sees that the Wobbly has been building the random objects it finds into large structures in the lot. He summons it, and asks it to take away the car that his dad crashed years ago, killing his mother. It still sits, broken, in his front yard. In order for the Wobbly to get it, Tim has to release it from the yard. It says it will take it if Tim has truly grown past it.
The Wobbly now grows hugely larger and goes to his house. Tim has a conversation with his father in which their relationship grows, enabling the Wobbly to indeed carry the car away.
Girl in the Box
Later, Tim gets into a personal space where he doesn’t know who he and or what he needs to do. He passes out in an alley. The Wobbly drives the broken car up (this is now where he stores his stuff) and prepares to collect Tim, saying he has thrown himself away. However, Kenny the gnome convinces him that Tim is not lost, he just needs directions.
Death after Death
Much later, the Wobbly has learned to change itself into a black owl. He has collected a fairy Changeling, who takes the shape of Tim Hunter and lives with Tim’s family, who think he is the real Tim. The Changeling talks to the Wobbly as if it is Yo-yo, Tim’s familiar.
When Awn the Blink, another of Tim’s creations, runs into the Changeling and realizes it’s not the real Tim, the Wobbly reshapes Awn into a new self, who works for them.
The Wobbly and the Changeling visit Tim’s mother’s grave; the Changeling just wants to be loved, but the Wobbly is manipulating him.
When Tim’s dad, Bill, marries Holly Ransome, the Changeling is at the ceremony pretending to be Tim. The real Tim has just given up his magic, and shows up at the ceremony.
The Wobbly (in owl guise) can tell the power has been discarded. The power finds it way to the Changeling, and the Wobbly takes its real from behind him. The Wobbly says Tim has thrown away his life and his power, and the Wobbly has given it to the Changeling.
The Wobbly asks the Changeling to discard Bill, and then the Wobbly will make him into something new that loves the Changeling.
The real Tim shows up, and says that it is the Wobbly that is useless—the Wobbly has done a terrible job faking Tim’s gonzo life for this Changeling. The Changeling, angry at the Wobbly, destroys it. Tim then uses a deadly magical peanut to destroy the Changeling.
Later, when Tim is sucked into Leah’s magical box, and has to learn about his true self over many years, the Wobbly is one of a few beings, such as Barbatos and the Manticore, whose images Tim imagines have come to torment him.
A Helpful Wobbly
In one of the pocket universes that Tim created as a child—the one that Thomas Currie came from—the Wobbly dresses in a robe and acts as a counselor to that world’s Tim. This Wobbly is killed by Tim’s Other.
Later, after the Other causes an accident that fatally wounds Holly and injures Bill and Holly’s son Cyril, the Other summons some of the beings from worlds he destroyed to help him sift through the wreckage, including the Wobbly; this version is called Captain Wobbly. He can be recognized by having a white set of feathers around the base of his neck, unlike the normal Wobbly. They find Holly, Bill, and Cyril, and discuss whether they are useless. They listen to Holly’s story before she dies, and the Wobbly wants to collect it, but the Other makes it give the story to Cyril.
Captain Wobbly continues to work for the Other as the Other searches for the real Tim. He creates a blimp and ferries the Other around on it. When the Other is injured in a fight with Thomas Currie, he asks the Wobbly to heal him and then gather Currie; Captain Wobbly agrees that Currie is useless, but can’t collect the dead. However, Captain Wobbly destroys Currie’s building as they leave.
Later, as the Other seeks to cement his power in this reality, he meets with the Lords of the Compact. Captain Wobbly meets them at the door of his mansion; now there is an army of him. He acts as the Other’s butler or aide-de-camp.
Later, as the Other starts unravelling, Tim, using a glamour stone to look like Molly, tries to sneak in to his estate. Captain Wobbly catches “her,” feeling that this will make him useful again. He, the other Wobblys, and the other creations watch on as Tim gives the Other the bottle of Tim’s magic. Captain Wobbly opens the bottle for the Other. Then he and the others watch as the Other drinks it, is overwhelmed, and then Tim and Barbatos defeat the Other.
When Barbatos comes back to the mansion later, a Wobbly (not Captain Wobbly) is among the creations who watch as Tim defeats Barbatos. The alternate universe version of Tim’s father says that all the creations on this world are forced to wear shapes that do not match their spirits; presumably this is the case for the Wobbly as well, although it looks like the Wobbly that lived in the real world, unlike the other alternate creations.
Powers and Abilities
The Wobbly can change size up to many stories tall. It can lift heavy weights. It can take other forms, such as an owl.
If something has been discarded, the Wobbly can reshape it and “make it new.” This might mean various things, but it can include changing something’s mind so it agrees with the Wobbly’s plans.
It can make various objects out of trash, such as Captain Wobbly's blimp.
Captain Wobbly was also seemingly able to heal others to some extent, as he did to the Other, and had destructive powers, capable of destroying a building by a gesture. He could also replicate himself.