It doesn’t matter where or when you are in the DC Comics Multiverse — if you’re hungry, KFC has you covered. In Tony Bedard and Tom Derenick’s “KFC: The Colonel Corps,” Earth-1’s Colonel Sanders — that is, the one readers will recognize from decades of KFC advertisements — travels around the multiverse to recollect the missing pieces of his secret recipe. And, as the fast food icon discovers over the course of the issue, each universe has its own version of the Colonel, from the gender-bent Earth-11, to an apocalyptic wasteland, to the world of “Teen Titans Go!”
“KFC: The Colonel Corps” — available for free on comiXology — pits Earth-1’s Colonel Sanders against an old foe: Colonel Sunder, our fast food hero’s evil doppelganger from Earth-3. Colonel Sanders first encountered him in “The Colonel of Two Worlds” special, and — in “The Colonel Corps” — Sunder is back to his evil ways: he wants to steal Sanders’ recipe and take the easy way out in conquering the restaurant business, instead of putting hard work into becoming number one. In order to overcome Sunder, Sanders teams up with his doppelgangers from across the multiverse to put an end to Sunder’s plans once and for all.
It’s every bit as ridiculous as it sounds, and twice as fun.
But just who are these doppelgangers? We’re willing to bet you might recognize the worlds they’re from, at the very least. And if you’ve always wanted to see Colonel Sanders wrestle a gorilla, you’ve found your comic.
10. Colonel Arla Sanders (Earth-11)
Colonel Arla Sanders of Earth-11 is the first doppelganger Colonel Sanders encounters; in fact, she actually finds him and explains the dire situation — Sunder’s plot not only netted him the recipe, it’s caused the other Colonels to forget all but one ingredient. Thanks to Arla and the Flash of her world, Colonel Sanders travels around the multiverse on a Cosmic Treadmill, recruiting the Colonels of other worlds to help in the fight against Sunder — and to piece together the list of 11 herbs and spices necessary to make their recipe.
But what, exactly, sets Earth-11 apart? Well, the genders of all of Earth-1’s heroes are inverted on Earth-11, which means it boasts heroes like Superwoman instead of Superman, Batwoman in place of Batman, and so on and so forth. That means, of course, that Arla’s version of the Flash is also a woman — “the fastest gal alive!” Grant Morrison and Ivan Reis introduced this world into DC Comics canon in 2014’s “The Multiversity,” but it took “The Colonel Corps” to expand upon it.
9. Koln-El (Earth-22)
Colonel Sanders and the gang also head to Earth-22, home to the events of “Kingdom Come.” Koln-El runs KFC in this world, and his name isn’t the only thing that’s different about him. As it turns out, he’s Kryptonian, and he has the strength to take down an intelligent gorilla. (It’s likely that not very many Colonel Sanders can boast that!) It appears as though the Flash is also a fan of his, as he and Koln-El are having a chat as the inter-dimensional Colonel Sanders team bursts in.
8. Kolonel (Earth-51)
Okay, so this one’s a little uncomfortable. Kolonel is from Earth-51, where the world has been left as an apocalyptic wasteland after a “Great Disaster.” Few humans survive in this place, but there exists a race of intelligent humanoid animals, including Kolonel, the rooster who runs his world’s version of KFC. Yeah, you read that right — Kolonel is a chicken who joins Colonel Sanders’ crusade to get his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe back. Um, awkward?
7. Teen Colonel (“Teen Titans Go!” Universe)
Teen Titans Go! — to KFC, apparently. Teen Colonel is the fresh-faced Colonel Sanders from the “Teen Titans Go!” universe. Once the secret recipe is erased from Teen Colonel’s memories, Flash and Kid Flash are none too impressed with Teen Colonel’s cooking. He signs up for Colonel Sanders’ campaign once Colonel Sanders promises he will restore what has been lost.
6. Colonel Lad (31st Century)
Technically, Colonel Lad isn’t from another dimension; he’s just from the far-flung future of the 31st Century. He’s Colonel Sanders’ great-great-great-great grandson a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, at least according to Bart Allen, aka Kid Flash/Impulse. Since the future of fried chicken hangs in the balance, the Colonel Corps recruit him for their mission.
5. Bizzaro Colonel Sanders (Earth-29)
Me am Colonel Sanders? Earth-29 takes a turn for the bizarre, even where KFC is concerned. This version of Colonel Sanders takes after Superman’s own Bizarro, right down to the cracked gray skin, bulging muscles and backwards pattern of speech. He also employs some laser vision down the line, which begs the question: if Koln-El is Kryptonian, does that make Bizzaro Colonel Sanders his inverse? At any rate, Bizarro Colonel Sanders’ restaurant doesn’t look too comfortable.
4. All-Star Colonel
Though it’s never stated outright, All-Star Colonel is likely from the world of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s “All-Star Superman.” The series — which ran from 2005 to 2008 — found Superman dealing with the fact that he’s dying. Hopefully, this isn’t the case for All-Star Colonel, but if it is, it doesn’t seem to slow him down; he has no problem signing up for the Colonel Corps.
3. Comrade Colonel
Like All-Star Colonel, Comrade Colonel’s point of origin is never stated outright, but it’s pretty clear where he’s from: the world of Mark Millar and Dave Johnson’s “Superman: Red Son.” (The hat gives it away.) “Red Son” posits what would have happened if Superman’s ship had crash landed on a Ukrainian collective farm instead of in Kansas; instead of the “S” shield, this Superman bears the sickle and hammer on his chest. Comparatively, Comrade Colonel gets a thicker jacket, but we figure that’s probably just as well, since he doesn’t take center stage this issue.
2. Cowboy Sanders
Cowboy Sanders is a bit enigmatic, just like tales of the Old West. He only gets one line in the issue, but his outfit says it all. From his ten-gallon hat to his leg holster to his boots and lasso, everything about him screams… well, cowboy. What more do you need, really?
1. Colonel Grodd
Technically, Colonel Grodd isn’t a member of the Colonel Corps. After all, he aligned himself with Colonel Sunder and erased the memories of all the Colonel Sanders doppelgangers listed above, but he absolutely merits a mention. After all, it’s not every day you see a gorilla dressed up as Colonel Sanders. Like Earth-1’s Gorilla Grodd, Colonel Grodd has telepathic powers, but that’s not enough to break the iron will of the Colonel Corps. Better luck next time, Sunders!
“KFC: Colonel Corps” is available for free on comiXology.
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