In this week’s Wonder Woman #32 by James Robinson and Sergio Davila, we witness the addition of new members to the Amazon Princess’ supporting cast. With Diana Prince currently on the trail of her fellow Amazon sister and New God hybrid Grail, we see that the lasso-wileding superhero is not alone in her fight. In fact, she leaps into action against a gruesome hive of Parademons flanked not only by her romantic interest and fearless soldier Steve Trevor, but by three characters who might seem familiar to readers: the Oddfellows, an A.R.G.U.S. wetworks team comprised of one foul-mouthed Scotsman named Charlie, a chameleon-like Moroccan named Sameer and a smuggling Native American who goes by Chief.
If those three new characters sound familiar, it’s because you already saw them in action on the big screen in last June’s record-shattering Wonder Woman film. Although the characters were created for the movie, they proved popular and noteworthy enough to earn an official place in the comic book universe published by DC Comics.
Charlie, Sameer and Chief first made the jump from page to screen in the Steve Trevor Special #1 by Tim Seeley and Christian Duce, a one-shot comic released not long after the film. It focused on Steve Trevor, the man and the soldier, and his heroic efforts outside of his relationship and partnership with Wonder Woman. A one-off story that plunged readers into one particular mission of the Oddfellows as they fought the occult-powered Crimson Men, the book brought familiar cinematic elements to the comic universe, offering casual fans looking to learn more about Chris Pine’s breakout character Steve Trevor something to sink their teeth into.
But while this special issue was largely detached from the main continuity of the DC Universe proper, this week’s Wonder Woman saw the trio of characters firmly established as part of the cast of the book, and integrated into current mainstream continuity. Led by Steve, the Oddfellows helped Diana defeat a horde of Parademons as she followed the trail of Grail as part of the ongoing storyline running through the Wonder Woman series. The three colorful soldiers make quite a splash in their entrance, and instantly readers will recognize that they have quite a few familiar traits from their big screen counterparts — and also some differences.
The Oddfellows hit the ground running with character breakdowns that are mostly the same from the movie: Charlie’s a quilt-wearing marksman who has quite the drinking habit, can burst into song at any time and who is also haunted by wars past; Sameer can speak two dozen languages, is a talented actor and one of the most skilled con men out there; and finally, Chief is a crafty smuggler and hunter who helps those in need however he can.
But perhaps the biggest difference for all three comes in the era that they hail from. Where the movie saw these characters fight during the first World War in 1918, the comic has them firmly established as soldiers in the present of the DC Universe.
In the film, these three were part of Steve’s ragtag team of soldiers, and a new epilogue scene titled “Etta’s Mission” (released as part of the home video release of Wonder Woman), suggested that, even without Steve, the trio would become sanctioned by the U.S. government. In a scene that tied directly into the larger whole of the DC Extended Universe and led directly into the events of next November’s Justice League, we learned that, under Etta Candy’s leadership, Steve’s friends would embark on some very strange and mysterious missions that would involve otherworldly artifacts.
And, as it turns out, that is pretty much the same function the three characters have in the comic books, although with one very noticeable difference: they are agents of A.R.G.U.S., short for Advanced Research Group Uniting Super-Humans, a government-based group tasked with regulating super-powers around the world, a response team that can help where the Justice League can’t. They are both spy and soldiers, and they work in the dark… Mostly.
The Oddfellows are a recognized, top-secret team. The movie had Steve assemble these oddball characters seemingly on his own to help in his efforts during the war. For that reason, they were more a group of freedom fighters, brothers-in-arms who had seen many adventures together. But, since they were self-made and nothing more than friends and allies, they never had a codename to their team. The name “Oddfellows” is something that was introduced in the comics, and it’s a neat way to set these characters apart straight off the bat from the rest of A.R.G.U.S. and other super-teams.
Hopefully, this means that Steve Trevor and his new crew, the Oddfellows, are bound for many more missions in the DC Universe, both as a part of Wonder Woman’s cast, and on their own.
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