Alien Anatomy – The character has the form and/or characteristics of an alien. Alien Anatomy is also known as Alien Form, Alien Mimicry, Extraterrestrial Form, Extraterrestrial Mimicry, and Extraterrestrial Physiology.
Literary Critique of Alien Anatomy
Aliens often have superpowers. Superman is an alien with vast superpowers due to his alien Kryptonian heritage. However, there are so many aliens in fiction that I prefer to focus on trans-alien examples. A trans-alien is not simply an alien but a human that has somehow acquired an alien form and/or characteristics.
Ben 10 (Cartoon Network) can mimic the powers of several aliens but one by one (Ben 10 #1). Ben 1o is aimed at a younger audience and the focus is on spectacular physical transformation while totally ignoring what alien cognitions would be like.
Kevin Levin, a major character in Ben 10, becomes an amalgam alien in Kevin’s Mutations/Ben 10: Omniverse.
Xenocytes can bond with hosts and create DNAliens (Ben 10).
Rus Livingston has merged with an alien parasite (The Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe #2, Image). The effect on cognition via alien merging is explored with this character.
In Transmetropolitan (Vertigo) by Warren Ellis, humans inject alien DNA into their systems to become aliens (Transmetropolitan #2)! Warren Ellis is one of the top comic book writers and part of the British Invasion like my favorite comic book writer Alan Moore. The reason humans introduce alien DNA into their systems, a process known as the Transient Movement, in Transmetropolitan is for kicks and just like drugs there is a price to pay.
Greyshirt (America’s Best Comics) meets a Lovecraftian alien-human merger in Greyshirt-Indigo Sunset #6.
Ultra the Multi-Alien (DC) is the first amalgam alien! Ultra the Multi-Alien is kind of aliens meet Frankenstein. Ultra is composed of body parts of four different aliens (Mystery in Space V1 #103)! Again no attempt to explore the effect of alien body parts on cognition.
In Tharg’s Future Shocks – “The Mirror” – 2000 AD #666, a human finds out that adopting alien form leads to alien senses.
Alien mimicry was all over the place during the DC Silver Age! Zero attempt to explore alien cognition. Frankly, I think the DC editors were more interested in creating cool covers that would sell comic books than telling any sort of story with depth. Aliens are generally green and have antennae in this time period.
In Action Comics V1 #239 the alien is assumed to be green but no antennae.
The classic green alien with antennae in Adventure Comics V1 #270.
Green but no antennae in Aquaman V1 #16. Cognition has changed in that Aquaman’s taste in women has changed.
In Batman V1 #140, aliens are green have antennae and the antennae project energy.
In Blackhawk V1 #177, green and antennae.
Detective Comics V1 #251 is note worthy because the aliens are green but of course they have antennae.
Jimmy is from Jupiter and green but no antennae in Jimmy Olsen V1 #32.
The Deadly Divided Man is prescient in that this idea of the human and alien identity at war will become more popular after the Silver Age in Tales of the Unexpected V1 #76.
Superman is green has antennae and new powers in World’s Finest V1 #105.
What if a Klingon became a human? This is precisely what happens with Voq / Ash Tyler. The idea of the human and alien identity being at war is explored with this character in Star Trek.
I explore this topic in great deal in Bicultural Identity in Star Trek Characters.