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- The triceratops on “Blend into the Pack” are from Insula Primalis.
- The birds attacking the Naturalist on “Cornered Beast” are servants of the Matriarch. The card keys on being outnumbered by non-hero targets, a common occurrence against that villain.
- The tentacles attacking Doc Tusser on “Environmental Allies” hail from the ruins of Atlantis
- "Hyperactive Senses" shows the Naturalist seeing through Glamour's illusions.
- "Indomitable Force" shows the Naturalist protecting Idealist from Deadline's Atomic End-Glaive.
Nothing Here Yet
To Other Works
- The Naturalist’s shapeshifting powers are evocative of Beast Boy and, to a lesser extent, Animal Man, two DC Comics staples. The fact that his animal forms are tinted green furthers the comparisons with Beast Boy.
- The Naturalist’s views on nature preservation, as well as his distaste for environmental destruction, are common character tropes for superheroes that emerged during the 70’s.
- The Naturalist’s symbol is a West African adinkra symbol called "sesa wo suban", which literally means "transform your life". It represents the journey toward perfection.
Questions Answered on The Letters Page
- From Letters Page Episode 23 - The Naturalist
- What's the extent of his powers/how many animals can he turn into? It's very nebulous, he's got a magical attunement (as mentioned in previous episodes like Nightmist and Matriarch), but not really in a "spell casting" sense. He's powered by "earth magic" via his connection to Akash'Bhuta). We see him turn into the three canonical animals in his deck, plus the Vulture form during OblivAeon. He does get a few more, to be mentioned later. There is an alternate-timeline version of him shown in La Capitan's VotM deck that shows him as a small bird (like a parrot), showing that different universes' Naturalists wind up with different forms since they're tied to specific circumstances that impart important life lessons to him.
- The alt-art version of Hunted Naturalist's incap art shows him as a hyena, can he turn into other animals besides the 3 in his deck, if not what's going on here? When he went to save Akash'Bhuta from Professor Pollution, she did not initially respond to him and he went off by himself and tried to create another form. He managed to turn into a hyena, but couldn't change back. He returns to her and she agrees to help him and changes him back, but this is the "Eureka!" moment that convinces her of the need to change. The hyena form's lesson is "don't reach for things not meant for you" (the vulture form's lesson is something like "don't have expectations about what you need").
- Based on his bio, he seems to be on the periphery of the major events of the Multiverse, mostly being tied up in his own struggles and transformation, is that an accurate read on his situation? Are there major events where he's more central (and if so which)? This has mostly been answered, but the guys really wanted to drive home this question's initial statement - he's a side-character, but there's still a lot for him to do over in the sidelines. He's still involved in some major fights, but as mentioned this results in kind of a disjointed feel for him as written.
- Is he only able to transform into animals or can he change into objects or other people? Just animals (and specifically, just those animals). He's not shape-shifting in the same way Guise does where he's just moving his body parts around into a different shape, he's magically becoming these other animals (although with the weirdness involved in his "Hunted" era he can do strange combinations of attributes between them). In the same way that Legacy is "a guy, but with other weird powers", when he's a crocodile he's "a crocodile, but with other weird powers".
- Where was he during Progeny's assault? Already mentioned, he's off with Akash'Thriya, getting her up to speed as a "hero".
- In his bio, it's mentioned that he's pretty mad at Argent Adept by the time he's through his initial "training" phase, does he retain any of that animosity later after his journey back to humanity? He's certainly furious at Akash'Bhuta and AA during the initial crocodile form event (that form being one of fury to begin with), but it's worth noting that his journey isn't really one "back to humanity" rather than one forward into something new. He and AA get along well now.
- His original costume, with its clean lines and classic "superhero spandex" look, kind of seems odd for him given his naturalistic power set, why did he choose this as his look? He doesn't seem to care about his identity being secret, so why the mask? He's definitely trying to protect his identity - see all of the assassination attempts. People who know him as Michael Conteh, former head of this big oil company and people who know of the shape-changing hero known as the Naturalist do not know that they're the same person, although they both have enemies. He chose the outfit because he likes green and it's a useful color for camouflage (and is very different from anything he wore in his civilian life).
- What's the deal with his "star" logo? It's a West African (specifically the Akan people in what is now Ghana) Adinkra symbol meaning "change" or "transformation", implying a personal change (rather than the literal shape-shifting he does).
- Why did the Argent Adept not invite him to join the Prime Wardens? He did, Naturalist didn't want to be on a team because he had his own stuff to do on earth specifically and the Prime Wardens are off-planet periodically.
- Why did he not seek out the Argent Adept when his powers started to lose control? He was kind of busy with the whole "being hunted" thing, but it's also not particularly easy to track AA down as it's much more likely that AA will find you - which is what happened when they found Naturalist on Dok'Thorath.
- What caused his powers to go wild? La Capitan's meddling and the severed ley lines mentioned previously.
- What was offered to Ambuscade as a reward for capturing him? Money ("over a million dollars" "less than a billion").
- Does he ever regain control or at least left in peace? What a good segue into...
- He and Lifeline work together to repair the ley lines to help stabilize the world. This more or less happens during the OblivAeon event, so strictly speaking isn't the "future" yet, but it's necessary to set up the other stuff where the Naturalist's story is kind of bound together with Akash'Thriya's fate.