Classification: Humanoid extraterrestrial race

Location/Base of Operations: Mobile through space; formerly Canopus Minor

Known Members: Canopian President, Professor Sfeen, Urbaam, World Council (Councilman Makka, others)

Affiliations: None

Enemies: None

First Appearance: Journey into Mystery I#53/1 (July, 1959)

Powers/Abilities: They did not possess any known special adaptations or superhuman powers but appeared to possess some individuals with higher-than-normal intellect able to create super scientific devices such as shrink rays.

Level of Technology: The Canopian technology was comparable to Earth during the 1960's and was in the beginning phases of spaceflight.

Type: Humanoid
Hair: Males are bald, variable for females
Eyes: Two
Fingers: Five with opposable thumb
Toes: Five
Skin Color: Yellow with oval spots
Average Height: 5'9"

(Journey into Mystery I#53/1 (fb) - BTS) - For a billion years the planet Canopus, located in a distant galaxy, thrived and its humanoid population transformed the world into a peaceful utopia.

(Journey into Mystery I#53/1) - Canopus was governed by a President and a World Council. Although highly advanced, Canopian scientists and engineers only just began their exploration of space and designed their planet's first working rocket.

(Journey into Mystery I#53/1) - The planet Canopus was doomed to be destroyed by a huge meteor (a hurtling planet) impact in six weeks and the population began to panic. An emergency session convened with the Canopian President and World Council to discuss their planet's imminent destruction and possible options to avoid this catastrophe. With no answers to avoid destruction, they opted to choose 12 Canopians to pilot their only rocket to escape and recolonize a new world. Councilman Makka questioned the President about who they should choose, and they debated for days unable to decide if they should pick the healthiest, smartest or the youngest Canopians. Professor Sfeen, a scientist that developed a shrinking ray, was granted audience with the President and World Council and convinced them to use his new technology to save their race but did not disclose that he would shrink them to prevent further fear and distrust among the general population. Later the entire population near the rocket site and was shrunk down to the size of insects and settled aboard the rocket with the 12 chosen to pilot the ship and protect them. With no time left to lose, the rocket blasted off and managed to escape before the destruction of their planet wrought by the fast-approaching planetary impact.

Comments: Created by Joe Sinnott.

It was not revealed who the chosen 12 Canopians were to pilot the ship, but I bet they probably were the best in their fields of study. Likely scientists, a few military experts for tactical and defensive responses, a doctor, an ambassador for first contacts, an architect, and mechanical engineers. The list is far from complete and may vary depending on who the World Council thought were most important. It is also probable that half were male and the other half were female so they could produce offspring when a suitable planet was discovered.

Sending an entire planet's shrunken population into space aboard a rocket would have taken a long time, much longer than what was shown in the story. It was more likely they only chose to shrink the population of a few cities because of the short period of time they had before their planet's imminent destruction. It was also possible the planet was not that large and may have had a small population to begin with. Maybe they had an aggressive eugenics program and had laws regulating procreation and childbirth to avoid planet wide food shortages, overpopulation, and limited resources.

I am assuming that the shrinking effects were long lasting but could also be reversed using Professor Sfeen's technology. Did they shrink alongside their people a variety of technological advances, literature and food and medical supplies? None of these were mentioned in the story but were likely to be of importance.

The planet Canopus Minor was a planet likely to have been in orbit of the white dwarf star Canopus before the planet's destruction. The Star Canopus is the 2nd brightest star in the night sky when viewed from Earth. The star also produces intense x-rays so the likelihood of life originating on planets in orbit seem unlikely without some type of natural protection. The Canopians may have had such special adaptations and their biochemistry could be based on dense materials resistant to radiation such as barium or lead. As noted in the previous paragraph regarding eugenics, this could be reason for the population of Canopus Minor being small as radiation could have produced large numbers of sterile individuals unable to bear or produce children.

Did they ever make it to a new planet to colonize? Was there a nearby world within their own planetary system they knew about that could potentially be colonized? Are they still out there searching for a new world?

Reed Richards later used the same trick in Fantastic Four I#7 (October, 1962). Using the shrinking gas (Pym Particles) on the planet Xanth (aka Planet X)'s Xantha because Kurrgo forced the Fantastic Four to help them.
--Angelo Mammone

Profile by AvatarWarlord.

The Osirusians have no known connections to:

Professor Sfeen

He was one of the Canopian's top scientists, who developed shrinking technology. He convinced the Canopian President and World Council to use this on his world's population and give them refuge aboard their only rocket ship, protected by 12 chosen to pilot it to a new world to colonize. He along with his wife Urbaam, the President and the World Council were among the last to be shrunk.

--Journey into Mystery I#53/1


She was the wife of the scientist Professor Sfeen and nurtured him and supported his scientific research.

--Journey into Mystery I#53/1

Canopian President

He was the elected leader of the planet Canopus and debated with his World Council over how to save his people from imminent destruction from an oncoming planetary collision with another hurtling planetoid. He and the World Council opted to choose 12 members of society to flee the planet onboard their only rocket ship. He later agreed to allow Sfeen, one of the planet's scientists to use his shrinking technology on the Canopian population and have them all board the planet's only rocket.

--Journey into Mystery I#53/1


Makka was one of the members of the Canopian World Council and questioned the president about who the 12 representatives chosen to escape their planet's destruction aboard the planet's only rocket were going to be.

--Journey into Mystery I#53/1

Canopian World Council

This was the planet's group of political advisors that served alongside the elected President to oversee and debate important laws. They, along with the President, opted to send 12 chosen representatives to escape their planet's destruction aboard the only Canopian rocket but were unable to decide on who to pick. After days of debate, they agreed to allow Professor Sfeen, one of their planet's scientists to use his shrinking technology on the entire Canopian population and have them all board the planet's only rocket.

--Journey into Mystery I#53/1

images: (without ads)
Journey into Mystery I#53/1, p2, pan5 (main image)
Journey into Mystery I#53/1, p3, pan5 (planet)
Journey into Mystery I#53/1, p2, pan7 (rocket)
Journey into Mystery I#53/1, p3, pan3 (Sfeen)
Journey into Mystery I#53/1, p3, pan3 (Urbaam)
Journey into Mystery I#53/1, p2, pan6 (President)
Journey into Mystery I#53/1, p3, pan1 (Makka)
Journey into Mystery I#53/1, p4, pan6 (World Council)

Journey into Mystery I#53/1 (July, 1959) - Joe Sinnott (artist), Stan Lee (editor)

First Posted: 07/31/2021
Last updated: 08/08/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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