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LIVING TOTEM

Real Name: Whistle Pig

Identity/Class: Mystically enhanced wooden composite being (Native American, Haida) (mid-1800s to current (see comments))

Occupation: Adventurer;
    formerly resident of village (name unrevealed)

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Doc Samson, Jack Holyoak, Sadie Johnson, Officer Nighthorse, Flora Punnett, Tina Punnett, Wolf Punnett, Sweet Grass

Enemies: Cold Winter, Cam Larson's spirit, Nightmare, Robot X, Leonard Samson (Earth-617), Dr. Arick Schnellageister, Weed

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile across North America

First Appearance: Doc Samson II#1 (March, 2006)

Powers/Abilities: The Living Totem was a mystically powered wooden totem pole comprising about seven components, some capable of flight, that could separate and reassemble at will, although this seemed to weaken him. He was powerfully strong, tireless and supernaturally resilient, but as he was made of painted wood, he was still susceptible to saws and fire. He had knowledge of various mystical practices of other Native American tribes gleaned from several years wandering. The Living Totem stood about 14' tall.

History:

(Doc Samson II#1 (fb)) (ca. 1850s) - Whistle Pig and Sweet Grass had long been in love, but the tribe's shaman, Cold Winter, desired Sweet Grass for himself and set a trap for his rival, binding Whistle Pig's soul to an enchanted totem pole, his body falling inert next to it. Enraged, Whistle Pig's soul took control of the totem and killed Cold Winter. 

(Doc Samson II#1 (fb)/4/2 (fb)) - The Living Totem wandered the countryside for several years, at times insanely brutish due to a fractured psyche spread across the various parts of the totem. He encountered several Native American tribes, including the Pueblo Zinis, until he was entombed by vigilantes at what became the Joshua Tree National Monument. Over a century later, the captive, disgruntled spirit of Cam Larson came across the buried Living Totem, teaching him English, and convinced Wolf and Flora Punnett to free him, but instead Larson had the Living Totem capture the two until they would release his spirit. 

(Doc Samson II#1) - Larson's spirit was confronted by Doc Samson, Tina Punnett, Jack Holyoak and Officer Nighthorse but he commanded the Living Totem to attack them. The Living Totem fought them, ripping Doc Samson's skin, and holding them captive. The Punnetts soon released Larson's spirit, but the Living Totem feared losing his only friend. However, Doc Samson convinced the Living Totem to let Larson go as well and accept potential treatments and possibility of finding new friends.

(Doc Samson (fb) - BTS) - The Living Totem was taken to Doc Samson's New York headquarters, where Samson also helped heal Whistle Pig's fractured psyche.

(Doc Samson II#2) - The Living Totem tried to help stop Robot X's rampage. He later joined Samson, Holyoak and Punnett when they went to investigate a missing colleague of Samson's at the New Orgonon commune in Maine, headed by Dr.  Schnellageister. There, the Living Totem immediately sensed the malevolent and carnivorous plant Weed, but was banished from the estate by Schnellageister. Instead, he investigated further and rescued Holyoak and Punnett when Doc Samson was brainwashed and became violent. The Living Totem alone was not powerful enough to battle Weed, but he later helped kill the creature by overloading it with Orgone energy.

(Doc Samson II#4/1) - The Living Totem traveled with Doc Samson, Holyoak and Punnett to Las Vegas for a work reunion. They soon chose to separate with the Living Totem accompanying Holyoak to a nearby casino where the two become engrossed in slot machines devised by the villainous Leonard Samson of Earth-617. The machine transubstantiated them so that they became bound to its inner display.

(Doc Samson II#5/1) - Punnett rescued them by reversing the transmission sequence and Holyoak used magic to track down the extradimensional Leonard Samson, who had psychically captured Doc Samson. The three burst into the hotel room and overcame Nightmare's beasts so that Punnett could revive Doc Samson.

(Doc Samson II#4/2) - Cold Winter, his spirit now inhabiting a small mystical Kachina doll, had himself sent to the Living Totem's new address in New York. Hidden from view, Cold Winter pierced and burnt the Living Totem as part of a spell that would expel Whistle Pig and allow himself to inhabit the enchanted totem. Jack Holyoak arrived before Cold Winter could succeed and burnt the doll, saving the briefly paralyzed Living Totem.

(Doc Samson II#5/2) - The Living Totem heard of the terrifying dreams (actually caused by Nightmare) of Doc Samson's child patient, Sadie Johnson. He offered her a mystical Dakota dream catcher to capture the nightmares, but she ran away even more scared. Chided by Samson, he nevertheless went to her house while she slept and placed dream catchers by her; these allowed him to enter her dreams and fight Nightmare. Sadie laughed as Nightmare was beaten, eliminating his control over her. The Living Totem left alone and sad. Some time later Sadie visited him, overjoyed with her "Totem man" and played with him.

(Civil War: Battle Damage Report) - Tony Stark considered the Living Totem as a potential recruit for the Fifty State Initiative.

Comments: Created by Paul Di Filippo (writer), Fabrizio Fiorentino (pencils) and Jimmy Palmiotti (inks).

Early on, Doc Samson sometimes referred to him as Whistlepig (one word).

The legend of the Living Totem was cited as starting 150 years ago. This can be considered topical given Marvel's sliding timescale, but I've placed it in the context of the limited series as set in "2006" (identified in issue 4), putting his origin around the 1850s.

Thanks to Luc Kersten for noting the Civil War entry.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

CLARIFICATIONS :
The Living Totem has no known connections to:


Cold Winter the shaman

Cold Winter

Cold Winter was the shaman and sorcerer of Whistle Pig's tribe. He desired Whistle Pig's betrothed, Sweet Grass, and set a trap that would mystically bind Whistle Pig's soul to a supernatural  totem pole in order to eliminate his rival. The shaman was killed in turn by the enraged Whistle Pig, who had now become the Living Totem.

Cold Winter in the Kachina doll     With excess magic in the air, the Shaman's spirit became linked to the Living Totem and followed him, eventually caught in a mystical Kachina doll, but in this new form he could no longer keep up with Whistle Pig to seek further revenge. He wound up with the Westchester Collectors' Society and was able to get shipped to the Living Totem's new address. There he began a spell that weakened the Living Totem's body so that Cold Winter could claim it for his own. Jack Holyoak interrupted the final chant and mistakenly incinerated the Kachina doll. However, Cold Winter instead secretly transferred his spirit to a nearby Wolverine clock-doll, but this was sold and shipped to the Westchester Collectors' Society by Holyoak.

 

 

 

--Doc Samson II#1 (Doc Samson II#1(fb), 4/2(fb), 4/2


Sadie Johnson

Sadie Johnson

Sadie Johnson was suffering from Nightmare's machinations and was sent by her parents to Doc Samson. She was terrified by the Living Totem's appearance at Samson's practice when he offered her a mystical dream catcher. The Living Totem took the dream catcher to where the girl slept that night and entered her dreams where he beat up Nightmare, much to Sadie's delight. From then on she slept soundly and happily went to play with the Living Totem.

 

--Doc Samson II#5/2


Sweet Grass

Sweet Grass

Sweet Grass and Whistle Pig had been in love with each since they were 10 years old. Unfortunately the village shaman desired her as well and eliminated Whistle Pig.

 

--Doc Samson II#1


images: (without ads)
Doc Samson II#1, p15, pan1 (main image)
Doc Samson II#1, p12, pan7 (human form)
Doc Samson II#1, p12, pan8 (Cold Winter - human form)
Doc Samson II#4/2, p2, pan3 (Cold Winter - Kachina doll)
Doc Samson II#5/2, p6, pan4 (Sadie Johnson)
Doc Samson II#1, p12, pan5 (Sweet Grass)


Appearances:
Doc Samson II#1 (March, 2006) - Paul Di Filippo (writer), Fabrizio Fiorentino (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Doc Samson II#2 (April, 2006) - Paul Di Filippo (writer), Fabrizio Fiorentino (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Doc Samson II#4/1, 5/1 (June, July, 2006) - Paul Di Filippo (writer), Fabrizio Fiorentino (pencils/inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Doc Samson II#4/2, 5/2 (June, July, 2006) - Zeb Wells (writer), Frank Espinosa (art), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report (2007) - Anthony Flamini (head writer/coordinator), Ronald Byrd (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)


Last updated: 08/11/12

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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