SNAILMAN

Real Name: Percy Perkins

Identity/Class: Human mutate (U.K. citizen)

Occupation: Superhero, part-time window cleaner

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Brickman (Loose Brayne), Hiram J. Bronx, Captain Wally (Walter Pratt), Combat Colin (Colin Doobrey-Smiff), Joanne Giggly, Julie Giggly, Macho-Man (Milton Zook/Norman Dribble), Semi-Automatic Steve;
   attended a wedding with Perpugillium "Peri" Brown, Steve Cook, Sheila Cranna, CYRIL, the Doctor, Frobisher, Simon Furman, Penny Holme, Loch Ness Monster, Megatron, Optimus Prime, John Ridgway, Ian Rimmer, Will Simpson, Sludge, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Richard Starkings, the TARDIS, John Tomlinson

Enemies: Amazing Dave, Aunt Arctic, D.J. Yampy, Madprof, Mr. Magno, Nick Nobble, Ronnie Ransack, Skydiver, Zippo 

Known Relatives: Maim (aunt)

Aliases: The Slowest Superhero in the World, "Dozy Dial" (Captain Wally's derogatory nickname for him)

Base of Operations: Wallytown (see comments)

First Appearance: The Spider-Man Comic#634/5 (4th May 1985)

Powers/Abilities: Snailman can walk up walls (he says "creep," but that's referencing his lack of speed, rather than his style of movement) and moves slower than a three-legged tortoise. In costume or out, he leaves behind a sticky "snail trail" wherever he walks. He also possesses an infectious yawn, and can send people to sleep simply by oscitating at them. He's allegedly unable to become sick because he is "too slow to catch a cold."

Height: 5'4" (by approximation; see comments) 
Weight
: 180 lbs.
(by approximation; see comments) 
Eyes
: Unrevealed
Hair: Blond (probably - see comments)

History:
(The Spider-Man Comic#634/5) - After being bitten by a snail while in the park, Percy Perkins developed gastropod powers, allowing him to meander up walls and walk more slowly than a three-legged tortoise. Inspired by this, Percy elected to design a costume which included a large, utterly impractical shell, and fight crime as Snailman. Though the general public preferred to call him "Daft."

(The Spider-Man Comic#635/5) - Receiving an urgent call from the police inspector informing him that Nick Nobble and Ronnie Ransack had just robbed the Porkshire Bank, Snailman promised to speed to the scene as fast as he could. As he slowly meandered down the street however, he thought to himself that he hoped the inspector didn't expect him until a week on Tuesday.

(The Spider-Man Comic#636/5) - Snailman stumbled across the two crooks, but they derisively laughed at him, taunting him that he was too slow to catch them. However Snailman unleashed his secret power, an infectious yawn, swiftly rendering them unconscious.

(The Spider-Man Comic#637/5) - Despite his alarm going off at 4a.m. so he could undertake a dawn patrol, it took the ever-glacial Percy until 11a.m. to register this and wake up. After donning his costume he was literally kicked out of the house by Auntie Maim, and began patrolling the streets. A youth inquired of the hero whether he was ever too ill to patrol, and Snailman responded that this was never the case, both since the protection of the public must come first, and because he was too slow to catch a cold anyway.

(The Spider-Man Comic#638/6) - Since it was May 32nd, the day when all villains took a holiday and no crime was committed, Snailman took the opportunity to earn some money doing his spare time job, using his wall walking power to clean windows up the sides of tall buildings.

(The Spider-Man Comic#639/6) - Out patrolling, Snailman was approached by two children who asked him to protect them on their way to school. After making a tediously long-winded acceptance speech, he escorted them at his slow pace, and as a result they reached the school seven hours late, just as the school was closing, much to the annoyance of the teachers, but secretly exactly what the kids had wanted.

(The Spider-Man Comic#640/6) - Finally finishing his breakfast at 3p.m., having taken so long to eat it that the cornflakes had set, Snailman suited up to go out on patrol. As he slowly paced towards the open door, Auntie Maim chivied her nephew, openly wondering how he managed to catch any crooks when he moved so slowly. Snailman responded that his costumed appearance could send criminals quivering to their knees, a statement Auntie Maim agreed with, though she insisted it was because the crooks were rendered helpless with laughter, her assertion proven as Snailman's appearane had both bystanders and crooks rolling around on the ground in fits of giggles.

(The Spider-Man Comic#641/6) - Spotting two boys correctly identifying his home as Snailman's house as they walked by, Percy Perkins worriedly wondered how they could know he lived there since he always changed out of his costume before coming home. Whacking him on the head with a rolling pin, Auntie Maim pointed out to her dimwitted nephew that there was one thing that would always give him away, the sticky residue of his snail trail.

(The Spider-Man Comic#642/3) - Returning home exhausted after a day of patrolling, Percy's hopes for a restful evening where disrupted by Auntie Maim, who insisted he treat her to a posh French meal at Restaurant Le Posh. However, when the waiter recommended the snails, Percy began shouting at him, accusing him of implying Percy was a cannibal, much to Auntie Maim's embarrassment.

(The Spider-Man Comic#643/5) - On holiday at the beach, Snailman found himself unable to relax as his costume made him a target for the unwanted attention of shell collectors.

(The Spider-Man Comic#644/6) - Snailman encountered Zippo, Master of Speed, watching as the crook raced in and out of multiple banks before Snailman could even move an inch. Carrying several bags of stolen cash, Zippo raced by Snailman, glancing backwards to stick out his tongue and taunted Snailman, proclaiming the hero couldn't stop him...just before he ran into a lamppost, much to Snailman's amusement.

(The Spider-Man Comic#645/3) - Deciding a particularly sunny day that it was too hot to pursue villains, Snailman fell asleep lying atop his shell. Later waking, he changed clothes back into Percy Perkins, but was perturbed when people began pointing at his civilian guise and correctly concluding he was Snailman. Wondering aloud how they could tell, he was informed that the distinctively shaped sunburn around his mouth and chin, the region of his face not covered by his mask, had given him away.

(The Spider-Man Comic#646/6) - Agreeing to watch a woman's dog while she nipped into the supermarket, Snailman stood outside holding its leash until the initially quiescent canine suddenly lunged into action in pursuit of a passing cat. Towed along in its wake, Snailman was pulled through hedges and fences until the dog eventually returned to its place outside the store. Emerging, the woman looked at the visibly battered Snailman and inquired "did you take the little dear for a walk?", though the hero was unsure if she was asking him or the dog.

(The Spider-Man Comic#647/6) - Becoming thirsty as he patrolled under the heat of a blazing sun, Snailman accepted the offer of a drink from a young boy's pop, but then panicked as he realized he was about to face the greatest threat of his career. The boy speculated whether Snailman meant a supervillain or alien invaders, just before Snailman was overcome by a violent hiccup that shifted his costume's shell from his back to over his head.

(The Spider-Man Comic#648/6) - Returning home after a patrol, Snailman's arrival terrified Auntie Maim's guest, Hiram J. Bronx, and was confused when Auntie Maim displayed a rare moment of affection for her nephew as Hiram fled screaming.

(The Spider-Man Comic#649/6) - Changing out of his costume, Percy faced a conundrum when the far-too-small plastic carrier bag he normally transported his giant shell in finally burst as he tried to force the costume into it. Seeing no other option, he decided to do what other heroes did, and hide his costume under his normal clothes, but was then confused how everyone he passed seemed to figure out that he was Snailman, failing to realize his bulging back was a dead giveaway.

(The Spider-Man Comic#650/1) - Fellow hero Captain Wally literally ran into Snailman while both were pursuing Zippo. Recognizing one another by reputation, the pair began arguing, with Captain Wally demanding to know why Snailman was there and Snailman retorting that he had been about to capture Zippo until Captain Wally got in the way. Exchanging insults, Captain Wally then told Snailman to clear off since they were on his page, but Snailman responded that Zippo was his villain, and would be on his page by now anyway. Apparently accepting this argument, Captain Wally proposed they should go after Zippo then, but swiftly realized they would never catch up to the speedster if Snailman continued moving at his interminably slow rate. Straining to his limit, Captain Wally carried Snailman on his shoulders in order to get to the page 30 faster.

(The Spider-Man Comic#650/5) - Finally reaching page 30, the two heroes found a young boy crying because Zippo had just stolen the lad's entire 650 issue run of Spider-Man. Snailman angrily declared that while stealing anything was bad, taking 650 issues of Spider-Man was unforgivable. The heroes spotted Zippo fleeing with his ill-gotten gains moments later, but Snailman acknowledged that he with his speed he could never catch the crook. Declaring there was always a way, Captain Wally gleefully grabbed Snailman by the shell and threw him spinning like a bowling ball into the surprised Zippo. As the cops escorted the handcuffed criminal into a police van, Captain Wally smugly told the dizzy and disgruntled Snailman that he had caught Zippo after all, thanks to Captain Wally's intervention, and noted that he should return to his own page now. Concurring, Snailman kicked Captain Wally flying, punting him back towards the front of the comic. 

(Spidey Comic#651/4) - Returning from grocery shopping for Auntie Maim, Snailman was chastised because he had taken so long that his purchases had gone stale. Annoyed, Auntie Maim demanded something to read and kicked Snailman as she ordered him to go and buy her Thursday's newspaper. As he slowly departed a nosy neighbor pointed out to Auntie Maim that today was Monday, but Auntie Maim informed her that it wouldn't be by the time Snailman reached the corner shop.

(Spidey Comic#652) - Noticing bystanders holding their noses and wincing as he passed, Snailman concluded it was time to wash his costume. Auntie Maim approved when he told her he was doing so, but as horrible mechanical shrieking filled the house she suddenly realized the dozy dolt had tried to force his huge shell into the tiny washing machine, and angrily chased him round the house.

(Spidey Comic#653) - Percy and Auntie Maim settled down on the sofa to watch their favorite TV show, Coronation Farm, but lost reception when the aerial snapped off the roof outside and fell down, so Auntie Maim instructed Percy to change into Snailman and sent him to stand outside on the chimney holding the aerial. With reception restored, she called out the window to confirm he was in the right position and that she could watch her show, but an aggravated Snailman, forced to remain on the roof, noted that wished he could.

(Vworp Vworp#2) - Snailman and Captain Wally joined individuals from across the Marvel Megaverse in attending the wedding of Sheila Cranna (see comments).

(Transformers and Action Force#245 (fb) - BTS) - Snailman was kidnapped by the Brain, and imprisoned in an isolated village alongside fellow superheroes Brickman, Macho Man and Snail Man, plus the twin Giggly Sisters (not superheroes, but girlfriends of two), guarded by a coterie of villains: Madprof, Amazing Dave, Aunt Arctic, D.J. Yampy, Mr. Magno and Skydiver. 

(Transformers and Action Force#244 - BTS) - Combat Colin and his sidekick, Semi-Automatic Steve, were likewise abducted and woke to find themselves in the village.

(Transformers and Action Force#245) - Investigating, Colin and Steve encountered the other prisoners. Introducing himself, a dejected Captain Wally explained that they were all old comic characters forcibly retired to the village. After the other prisoners likewise introduced themselves, the group was confronted by the villainous warders. With Steve noting that the warders were their vilest villains, Colin realized one villain was absent, the Brain, and correctly concluded he must be behind everything. 

(Transformers and Action Force#246) - Colin tried to convince his fellow prisoners to attempt an escape, but Captain Wally protested that there were too many guards, so escape was impossible. Colin, Steve and the Giggly Sisters ignored this and tried anyway, but were easily stopped by the warders. 

(Transformers and Action Force#247) - However, Colin then pointed out to the villains that they were as much prisoners as heroes. Effectively trapped in the village in order to guard the heroes, they were abandoning their own conquest plans and leaving Brain free to take over the world. Agreeing to a truce, the combined forces of the heroes and villains attacked Brain's headquarters, but were confronted by their foe, now wearing Colin's stolen Combat Trousers and able to access the innumerable weapons contained in its magical pockets. As Brain blasted at Snailman, Brickman yelled a warning, but Snailman couldn't react in time and was hit, prompting Colin to note he had been "too slow" and Captain Wally to derisively respond "as usual."

(Transformers and Action Force#248 - BTS) - With Snailman already down for the count, the rest of the heroes and villains confronted the Brain, who took down some of his foes using a saucepan shooter (literally a gun firing saucepans) and smelly sock bazooka. Luckily Colin was able to remotely control his trousers, turning them against the Brain, allowing Colin to get close enough to punch the villain unconscious. Free, the heroes all departed for their respective homes.

Comments: Created by Lew Stringer.

   It's impossible to be sure what color hair Snailman has, since his strip was in black and white and his only color images have his hair hidden under his mask. It's clearly a light color though, since there's no shading used, so he's likely blond. He's visibly quite short, but there's not too many people whose height we know who stand next to him, which is necessary to accurately calculate his actual height. Luckily, he does stand next to Captain Wally a number of times, and is consistently about Wally's chin height. I calculated Captain Wally to be around 6'1" for his profile, and normal human proportions have the body around eight heads high, allowing me to estimate Snailman to be approximately 5'4", which seems about right for the character. He's portly, so above average weight for that height.

   The only evidence towards location in Snailman's strip is that the "Porkshire Bank" is robbed in Spider-Man Comic#535, but since this is a play on the real world Yorkshire Bank, branches of which can be found well outside of the Yorkshire, that doesn't confirm a location. Snailman seems to live in the same town as Captain Wally, since there's no suggestion that either is away from their usual haunts when they run into one another in Spider-Man Comic#550. Captain Wally's home town wasn't explicitly named either, but in Spider-Man Comic#639 the Whatsit from Planet X lands in the nearby Wallytown Woods, which suggests that his home is Wallytown. It may be that Wallytown is in the county of Porkshire.

   Is Snailman an Earth-616 character? For my money, he is. He teamed up with fellow hero Captain Wally, who had run into the Hulk, and Macho-Man, who encountered literally dozens of Marvel characters, including Dr. Doom, the Red Skull, Captain Britain and the Black Knight. Of course, it might be argued that merely proves they are in one of the Marvel Multiverse or the larger Marvel Megaverse's many realities, but Lew Stringer himself notes that as far as he is concerned, their tales are "canon." I doubt Lew would have thought of this in terms of Earth-616 (since that terminology was not yet in common parlance), but that sure sounds like he means "mainstream Marvel reality." Yes, they are humor characters, but they aren't any more ridiculous than other such characters who are undeniably616 residents.

   Snailman was one of a number of humor strips Lew produced for Marvel UK. When this came to an end, Marvel UK editorial gave Lew back the copyright of one of those strips, Combat Colin, who appeared in Action Force (the UK title for GI Joe) and Transformers, but per Lew's blog Marvel still owns Captain Wally. Which means they can use him if they want, and since he's apparently 616 and every British hero got inducted into MI13 when the Skrulls invaded Earth, presumably Snailman is now a member of that group. I'm probably the only person in the world hoping to one day see him snuck into the background of a crowd scene of MI13 operatives, mixing with the likes of Motormouth and Digitek.

   Captain Wally and Snailman both debuted at a time when the long-running British Spider-Man title (launched in 1973) was being revamped in an attempt to boost flagging sales, and they joined a truly eclectic and frankly bizarre line-up: reprints of Spider-Man from the Denver Post free giveaway comics and then Spidey Super-Stories (Electric Company) stories; Star Comics' Wally the Wizard, which were retitled Willy the Wizard because allegedly they were worried UK readers might find the name Wally risible (apparently missing the irony that (a) they were including a strip called Captain Wally, and (b) Willy has its own double entendres); Fraggle Rock; and later first the Dukes of Hazzard and then Further Adventures of Indiana Jones. Weirdly, given they were humor strips, Captain Wally and Snailman proved to be more mature fair and more closely linked to the Marvel Universe than most of the other tales within the comic.

   Vworp Vworp is an intermittent fan magazine for the comic strips of Marvel's Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly/Magazine - specifically the Doctor's long running strip rather than the character/show in general, or the other comics the character has appeared in. In the second issue they featured artwork done as a wedding gift to one of the magazine's editors that featured several characters from titles she had worked on, alongside artists and writers she had worked with. Despite the unusual context of the appearance, I chose to count this as a valid appearance for Snailman. Feel free to disagree. Though the image was publicly published only in 2011, it was drawn in 1986, placing the appearance after Snailman's run in Spider-Man Comic/Spidey Comic but before his cameo in Combat Colin's strip. Perhaps the presence of the Doctor, a known reality-hopper, explains the presence of so many characters from differing realities at the nuptials.

   From left to right at the wedding, we have: art director Steve Cook (handing out his business card), the Dinobot Sludge, Snailman, Captain Wally, the Decepticon leader Megatron, Spider-Man, editor Sheila Cranna, her groom/husband-to-be (sorry, don't know his name), the TARDIS, Autobot leader Optimus Prime, the Doctor's companion Peri Brown, the sixth Doctor, artist John Ridgway (behind the Doctor's arm), the Doctor's shapeshifting companion Frobisher, artist Will Simpson (riding on Optimus' shoulder), Nessie (a nod to Sheila being Scottish, and located above and behind Will Simpson), writer and artist Ian Rimmer (wearing the blue suit), Star Wars editor droid CYRIL, DWM assistant editor Penny Holme, writer and artist Richard Starkings (green suit), writer and editor John Tomlinson (in the buggy), and writer Simon Furman (pink suit).

   It is entirely possible that Lew Stringer has slipped Captain Wally into other crowd scenes in comics he has drawn and that I've overlooked. If you know of any missing appearances, please do let me know.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Snailman has no known connections to:




Auntie Maim

(The Spider-Man Comic#637/5) - After Snailman got up late in the morning, Auntie Maim literally kicked him out of the house, telling him to "get a move on, slowcoach!"

(The Spider-Man Comic#640/6) - Auntie Maim again chivied her nephew out on "morning" patrol after he finished his breakfast by 3p.m., openly wondering how he managed to catch any crooks when he moved so slowly. Snailman responded that his costumed appearance could send criminals quivering to their knees, a statement Auntie Maim agreed with, though she insisted it was because the crooks were rendered helpless with laughter.

(The Spider-Man Comic#641/6) - When Percy Perkins wondered how two boys passing the house seemed to know Snailman lived within, Auntie Maim whacked him on the head with a rolling pin, and pointed out to her dimwitted nephew that there he always left behind a sticky snail trail leading right to their door.

(The Spider-Man Comic#642/3) - When Percy returned home after a day of patrolling, Auntie Maim demanded he treat her to a posh French meal at Restaurant Le Posh. However, she became extremely embarrassed when Percy launched into a tirade at the waiter after being recommended snails from the menu.

(The Spider-Man Comic#648/6) - Visited by Hiram J. Bronx, Auntie Maim became bored by his constant boasting that America had the biggest and best of everything, so she asked him about snails. As she hoped, he took the bait and pronounced that America had snails as big as his oversized feet. Seconds later Snailman walked in the door. Screaming in terror, Hiram fled, and Auntie Maim displayed a rare moment of affection, kissing the confused hero's forehead and praising his good timing.

(Spidey Comic#651/4) - Auntie Maim chastised Snailman for taking so long to shop for groceries that his purchases had gone stale. Annoyed, Auntie Maim demanded something to read and kicked Snailman as she ordered him to go and buy her Thursday's newspaper. As he slowly departed a nosy neighbor pointed out to Auntie Maim that today was Monday, but Auntie Maim informed her that it wouldn't be by the time Snailman reached the corner shop.

(Spidey Comic#652/4) - When Percy informed her that he was going to wash his smelly costume, Auntie Maim initially approved until horrible mechanical shrieking filled the house. Realizing the dozy dolt had tried to force his huge shell into the tiny washing machine and broken it, she angrily chased him round the house.

(Spidey Comic#653/5) - Auntie Maim and Percy settled down to watch their favorite TV show, Coronation Farm, but lost reception when the aerial snapped off the roof outside and fell down, so Auntie Maim instructed Percy to change into Snailman and sent him to stand outside on the chimney holding the aerial so she could watch her show.

--The Spider-Man Comic#637/5  (The Spider-Man Comic#640/6, 641/6, 642/3, 648/6, Spidey Comic#651/4, 652/4


Nick Nobble and Ronnie Ransack

(The Spider-Man Comic#635/5) - Nick Nobble and Ronnie Ransack robbed the Porkshire Bank and fled on foot with their loot.

(The Spider-Man Comic#636/5) - Nick and Ronnie spotted Snailman approaching, but were unperturbed, sure they could escape before the slow moving hero could reach them. They taunted the hero to his face that he was too slow, but stopped laughing when he unleashed his secret power, an infectious yawn, that rendered them almost instantly unconscious.

Comments: The story doesn't clarify which crook is which. They aren't explicitly identified as Nobble and Ransack in the second issue they appear in, presumably because the story could still be easily followed by readers who hadn't read the previous week's installment, and so it wasn't necessary to use up the strip's limited space explaining this was effectively the second part of the story.

  Though one of the duo's appearance is noticeably different and Nobble and Ransack's surnames suggest they are not related, they nevertheless somewhat resemble Captain Wally's bankrobbing duo, the Bankbuster Brothers, who apparently buy their clothes at the same shops as this pair. There's also a crook frolicking on the beach in Snailman's strip in Spider-Man Comic#638 who looks not dissimilar to the shorter of the Nobble/Ransack pairing, but on balance I don't think he's intended to be the same character. There's another crook wearing the same top in Spider-Man Comic#640, but his face is hidden; given we've established that the outfit is used by at least a few criminal pairings, I'm again ASSuming it isn't Nobble or Ransack.

--The Spider-Man Comic#635/5  (The Spider-Man Comic#636/5


Hiram J. Bronx

An American visiting Auntie Maim, Hiram J. Bronx obnoxiously boasted that America had the biggest and best of everything, claiming they had dogs the size of British horses, and horses the size of British buses. Tiring of his grandstanding, Auntie Maim had an idea and asked him about snails. Taking the bait, Hiram pronounced that America had snails as big as his oversized feet, mere seconds before Snailman walked in the door. Screaming in terror at what he mistook to be a giant snail, Hiram fled, much to Auntie Maim's satisfaction.

--Spider-Man Comic#648/6


images: (without ads)

Spidey Comic#653, p31, pan2 (main image)
Spider-Man Comic#634/5, p30, pan2 (headshot)
Spider-Man Comic#634/5, p30, pan3 (wall walking)
Spider-Man Comic#635/5, p30, pan5 (using infectious yawn)
Spider-Man Comic#641/6, p30, pan4 (snail trail)
Spider-Man Comic#647/6, p30, pan5-6 (hiccup and shell misplacement)
Spider-Man Comic#649/6, p30, pan4 (costume "hidden" under street clothes)
Spidey Comic#652/4, p22, pan4 (washing costume)
Transformers and Action Force#245, p1, pan4 (with fellow prisoners Captain Wally, Macho Man and Brickman)

Vworp Vworp#2, p87, pan1 (
attending wedding) etc.
Spider-Man Comic#641/6, p30, pan3 (Auntie Maim)
Spider-Man Comic#635/5, p30, pan1 (Nick Nobble and Ronnie Ransack)
Spider-Man Comic#648/6, p30, pan4 (Hiram J. Bronx)


Appearances:
The Spider-Man Comic#634-650 (4th May 1985-24th August 1985) - Lew Stringer (writer, artist), Sheila Cranna (editor)
Spidey Comic#651-653 (31st August 1985-14th September 1985) -
Lew Stringer (writer, artist), Jenny O'Connor (editor)
The Transformers and Action Force#245-247 (25th November 1989-9th December 1989) - Lew Stringer (writer, artist), editors not identified


First Posted: 08/06/2020
Last updated:
08/06/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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