This week’s Major Spoilers Podcast, aside from incoherence on my part, focuses on several instances of strange visitors from outer space, notably ROM: Spaceknight and some movie about that one red-caped guy from DC Comics who totally ripped off ROM by also crashing to Earth from space.  When you think about it, there are an awful lot of human-looking aliens in the various imaginary universes, and a great many of them are indistinguishable from humans in any meaningful way, going so far in some cases as to be capable of cross-species reproduction.  While we all know why this happens (limited budgets, audience identification, simplicity of design, blah blah blah fishcakes) the best part is the various in-universe explanations of WHY this happens, from the ‘Star Trek: TNG’ common ancestor explanation (notably, one of the series’ weakest episodes) to the Doctor’s rather cheeky response of “I don’t look human, you look Time Lord.”

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) sometimes doesn’t mind this trope in practice, especially when the aliens look like this, asking: Who’s your favorite not-so-alien alien?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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14 Comments

  1. June 19, 2013 at 11:33 am — Reply

    The dog on MIB

  2. SmarkingOut Adam
    June 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm — Reply

    Karolina Dean from Marvel’s Runaways.

  3. June 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm — Reply

    To quote a certain BBC character, “I look human? Time Lords came first! You look Time Lord!”

    • June 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm — Reply

      Sorry. It deserved to be repeated.

  4. Hezzie
    June 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm — Reply

    Since superman and the doctor have already been taken, then i’m gonna say Keanu Reeves, just because he got so close to having us all fooled about his humanity, but is still somewhat in the uncanny valley when it comes to facial expressions.

    Ooooo, or Ford Prefect from the hitchhikers guide. Never seen the movie, but i’m pretty sure he’s indistinguishable from a human in the books.

  5. Ricco
    June 19, 2013 at 7:15 pm — Reply

    Matthew, we all know no human can contain that much pop culture information in his brain! he has no recent picture either, think about it…

    Also most of the cast in Star Wars, there are all aliens seen how there doesn’t seem to be an Earth in that universe.

    • June 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm — Reply

      There is technically an Earth in the Star Wars universe, it is just in another galaxy entirely (Remember the first words are “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”). And we don’t know exactly how long “A long time ago” is, so it could be anywhere from primordial goo Earth to prehistoric Earth to medieval Earth and so on.

    • June 20, 2013 at 7:05 am — Reply

      I’ve made no secret of my half-Kryptonian heritage.

      Of course, the origin of the OTHER half of my heritage is, less notably, Auton.

  6. June 19, 2013 at 11:42 pm — Reply

    I’d have to say me, because I’m still not entirely convinced my biological father isn’t at least part alien. He was born about 9 months after the Roswell New Mexico crash, and it would explain so very, very much. Although I’d technically only be part alien, but that could explain why I’m allergic to human blood (I’m not kidding).

    Half joking aside (How sad is that?), I’m rather partial to certain alien races rather than individuals, like Twi’lek, Klingon, Time Lord and Kryptonian.

    For individuals, my top three favorites are (in no particular order) Aayla Secura (Twi’lek), Kara Zor-El (Kryptonian) and The Doctor (Time Lord).

  7. June 20, 2013 at 12:22 am — Reply

    I dunno. The incomparable Dejah Thoris? Uncle Martin? Aeryn Sun? Kro-Bar and Lattis? Kolak of twylo as long as you don’t look at the back of his head.

    • June 20, 2013 at 1:29 am — Reply

      I keep forgetting Aeryn Sun isn’t human.

  8. Oldcomicfan
    June 20, 2013 at 6:48 am — Reply

    I was going to say Gilligan. No human could be that stupid and survive. Then I watched C-Span…

  9. Rome
    June 20, 2013 at 9:20 am — Reply

    Captain Marvel (original only please… ok, maybe Genis Vel under Peter David’s pen, too, but that’s it!)

    But I think it’s hilarious that the vast majority of Kree are blue, except for the one who becomes Earth’s champion. He is pink. That always cracked me up.

    • June 22, 2013 at 10:38 am — Reply

      Billy Batson was an alien??

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