A man of genius, Noah Kuttler created a high-tech suit and began to commit clever crimes as the Calculator. He matched wits with various super-heroes, using his super-science to analyze and neutralize his opponents’ powers and abilities. When his criminal career failed him, the Calculator began to operate from behind the scenes – acting as an information broker for the world’s worst super-villains.
The Calculator’s kids – Wendy and Marvin – become caretakers
to Titans Tower in TEEN TITANS (third series) #34 .
Unknown to many, Kuttler fathered twin children, Wendy and Marvin Harris, both of whom shared his advanced intellect. Despite Kuttler’s criminal career, the twins grew to be diligent, law-abiding teenagers. Both excellent students, the super-smart siblings quickly matriculated – and graduated M.I.T. on their sixteenth birthday. And although Marvin was older by mere minutes, Wendy proved to be smarter – by a margin of one IQ point.
After graduating, the whiz kids were called to aid Cyborg’s recovery from wounds inflicted during the Infinite Crisis. After proving their worth, Wendy and Marvin became caretakers to Titans Tower.
Wendy and Marvin try to prevent Ravager from quitting in TEEN TITANS #40 .
Not So Wonderful Dog
As caretakers to Titans Tower, both Wendy and Marvin began to feel unappreciated and underutilized. They also wondered if their super-keen intellects might be put to better use somewhere else.
As the twins mulled their future, a mysterious dog swam ashore to Titans Island, with no accompanying tags or identification. Impressed with the canine’s survival instincts, Wendy and Marvin dubbed him Wonder Dog. After receiving some encouraging compliments from Cyborg and Red Devil, Wendy started to rethink her decision to leave Titans Tower. Wendy arrived at Marvin’s room to to discover his throat had been ripped open by Wonder Dog, who had transformed into a demonic hellhound. The beast hunted and attacked Wendy as well, leaving her in a coma.
The mysterious dog was actually the loyal pet of King Lycus, Son or Ares. Every time Lycus killed someone close to Wonder Girl, he would siphon strength from her. The Titans eventually discovered Lycus’ ruse and Wonder Girl banished him by calling upon her new godlike powers.
ABOVE: Cyborg assures the twins of their worth in TEEN TITANS (third series) #63 .
BELOW: Marvin is slain by Wonder Dog in TEEN TITANS (third series) #63 .
Cold and Calculating
When Kuttler learned of Marvin’s death and Wendy’s coma, he swore vengeance on the Teen Titans. Kuttler sought to use the unstable Anti-Life Equation to cure his daughter, but he was prevented from doing so by Oracle. Wendy emerged from the coma on her own, but lost feeling in her legs.
Still seeking revenge on behalf of his children, Kuttler used his Calculator persona and hired the Fearsome Five to assault the Teen Titans. This attack led to the death of Eddie Bloomberg.
The Calculator plots revenge in TEEN TITANS (third series) #72-74 .
Crimfighting By Proxy
Now wheelchair bound, Wendy learned to cope with her handicap by volunteering at Leslie Thompkins clinic in Gotham. There, she was inspired by Barbara Gordon, who later revealed her dual identity as the cyber-hero known as Oracle.
When Oracle was unavailable to aid new Batgirl Stephanie Brown, Wendy stepped up to provide some high-tech help. Bolstered by the success of their mission, Wendy dubbed herself Proxy and pledged to follow in Oracle’s footsteps. Since that time, Proxy and Batgirl developed into something of a dynamic duo in their own right.
Wendy Harris finds a new calling as Proxy in BATGIRL #12 .
Powers & Abilities
Wendy and Marvin possess no super powers, but they have genius-level intellect.
Superfriends #1-6 : The animated series is adopted in comic book form. First comic book appearances of Wendy and Marvin in Superfriends #1. Wendy and Marvin are replaced by the Wonder Twins in Superfriends #7.
Detective #463 : The criminal Calculator makes his debut – and takes on the Atom while attempting to steal an earthquake-inhibiting device. First appearance of The Calculator.
Teen Titans (third series) #34 : One Year Later, it’s “The New Teen Titans!” A new year of exciting adventures begins with the “new” Teen Titans, the bizarre Doom Patrol and the mysterious and secretive Titans East! First in-continuity appearances of Wendy and Marvin.
Teen Titans (third series) #62 : Wendy and Marvin are considering leaving Titans Tower when they meet a mysterious dog who had swam ashore to Titans Island. They dub him Wonder Dog. After Wendy reconsiders their decision to leave, she finds Marvin has been slain by Wonder Dog, who has transformed into a demonic canine creature. After attacking Wendy, the dog returns to its master – King Lycus, Son of Ares. First appearance of King Lycus. Death of Marvin.
Teen Titans (third series) #63 : Wonder Girl visits Wendy in the hospital, who is in critical condition after Wonder Dog’s attack. Wonder Girl tells Wendy how beautiful Marvin’s funeral was.
Teen Titans #66 : The Calculator visits Wendy in the hospital, revealing himself as her father. He swears revenge on the Teen Titans.
Oracle: The Cure #1-4 : When the evil Calculator seeks the remnants of the Anti-Life Equation to save the life of his daughter, Oracle is caught in a deadly game of online war.
Teen Titans #72-74 : The Calculator seeks revenge against the Teen Titans on behalf of his children, Wendy and Marvin. The genius criminal kidnaps Kid Eternity and hires the Fearsome Five to assault the Titans – a battle which results in the death of Eddie Bloomberg. First appearance of Rumble. Nano and Rumble join the Fearsome Five. Death of Kid Devil (Eddie Bloomberg).
Batgirl #3 : Wheelchair-bound Wendy Harris learns to cope with her handicap by volunteering at Leslie Thompkins clinic in Gotham.
Batgirl #9-12 : Oracle faces off against the Calculator, while Batgirl is forced to team up with the Calculator’s daughter in an attempt to save the citizens of Gotham City from a crippling techno-plague. First Wendy Harris as Proxy.
Batgirl #18-19 : Batgirl and Proxy are outfitted with their own high-tech lair.
Batgirl #21 : Wendy leaves to do some soul searching in Nanda Parabat.
Teen Titans #92 : The Teen Titans take down the Calculator’s latest scheme involving robot duplicates. Death of Kid Eternity confirmed.
Wendy & Marvin by Bill Walko.
Wendy & Marvin: Animated Origins
[courtesy of TOON Magazine vol. 1 number 6, 1994]
Junior Superfriends Wendy & Marvin made their debut in 1973 in the first season of Superfriends.
Superheroes had disappeared from the network airwaves due to their perceived violent content in the late 1960’s. Noting their high ratings during the time they aired, however, the networks still had some interest in the genre… provided they could be done non-violently.
To further solidify the possibility of their return, two networks experimented with the genre in 1972: CBS aired two hour-length episodes of the number-one rated New Scooby-Doo Movies with Batman and Robin as guest-stars; ABC aired two episodes of Filmation’s Brady Kids series with Superman and Wonder Woman. All four scored high ratings for their respective networks.
ABC saw the potential in commissioning nonviolent, moralistic adventures utilizing Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman, (the aquatic hero having already been established as a television star in his own Filmation-produced series.) Underlining the show’s moralistic approach, the group’s comic book name, The Justice League of America, was downplayed in favor of the more friendly group name Super Friends.
Wendy & Marvin on The Superfriends.
Added to the team to aid audience identification with the series’ leads were the Junior Super Friends: Wendy, Marvin, and a Scooby-Doo surrogate, Wonder Dog. With Hanna-Barbera stylistic master Alex Toth, the designer of the vast majority of Hanna-Barbera’s other superheroes in the 1960’s, supervising a team of Australian animators the series premiered on ABC in the fall of 1973 and was one of the few Saturday morning series to receive regular primetime promotion.
Battling well-meaning, but misguided, environmental critics, the series ran for two seasons before cancellation in the fall of 1975. It was brought back by ABC as a mid-season replacement in January, 1976. When a half-hour version of the original hour length stories scored surprisingly high ratings, the show was revived first as a half-hour, then as The All New Super Friends’ Hour.
Junior Superfriends Wendy and Marvin were later replaced in the latter 70’s with Zan and Jayna, two shape shifting twins from the planet Exxor.
Wendy & Marvin by Chris Samnee.
The Super Secret Origins of Wendy and Marvin
Originally printed in Superfriends #1 , E. Nelson Bridwell explains the comic book origins of Wendy and Marvin.
Obviously, these kids are being trained for careers in law enforcement by the Super Friends. The Hall of Justice is their training academy. But since it would hardly have been built for only two young people, it stands to reason that the super-doers plan to train others some time in the future. Wendy and Marvin are a kind of pilot program.
But why these two kids particularly? That is a good question, and I have done quite a bit of thinking on the subject.
The first scripts sent to us made Wendy Bruce Wayne’s niece — and, absurdly, had her openly referring to the Caped Crime-fighter as “Uncle Bruce,” while he introduced her to people who were not supposed to know The Batman’s identity as “my niece.”
At the time, Bruce was believed to have been an only child, though later it was revealed that he had a brother. However, due to brain damage, this sibling had been institutionalized since infancy and so could not be Wendy’s father. He is now dead.
As far as the TV scripts go, Wendy has no last name (nor does Marvin). The kids are not related, but are only referred to as friends. I therefore set out to figure out their full names and origins.
Wendy & Marvin, in SUPERFRIENDS #9 .
Wendy Harris, I decided, was the young lady’s full name. She is a niece, not of the Batman, but of a detective named Harvey Harris. This man gave young Bruce Wayne his first crack at real detecting when Bruce was in his teens. As you probably know, Bruce’s parents were killed by a criminal when he was a small boy. He swore to devote his life to tracking down their killer and other hoodlums. Eventually, he was to avenge their deaths. By the time he reached his teen years, he was itching to get a crack at some genuine detective work. He made a fancy costume, similar to that which he later created for Robin, so Harris would not know his identity. Years later, when Harris dies, he left a sealed letter to be delivered to Bruce, revealing that he had indeed known who he was — for Harris was certainly one of the all-time greats in the field.
Readers of DC mags may recall another Wendy Harris on the parallel world of Earth-Two, where the Justice Society members live. She is not married to Rex Tyler (The Hourman). Since many people on Earth-Two are older than their Earth-One doubles (Superman, Batman etc.), perhaps this is the Earth-Two version of our Wendy.
Marvin, I decided, is Marvin White–no relation to Perry White. His father is Daniel White, inventor, and his mother is the former Diana Prince.
Hold it, you say–isn’t Diana Prince Wonder Woman?
Well, not quite.
When Wonder Woman first cam e to America, she had no secret identity. Then she met a young nurse who was her exact double. This was the real Diana Prince–a remarkable coincidence, since Wonder Woman is Princess Diana of Paradise Island. Miss Prince was sad because her fiancee, Dan, was going to South America, but hadn’t enough money for her to go along. The Amazing Amazon had recently made some money doing her “bullets-and-bracelets” bit on stage, so she bought the other Diana’s credentials. Since she was herself a trained nurse, with even more skill than her double, no harm was done by this imposture. Ever since then, Diana White has known Wonder Woman’s secret, though she has told no one.
There can be no doubt Marvin was brought up to consider Wonder Woman the world’s number one heroine. He even named his dog Wonder, in her honor. And thus, she would have a special interest in Marvin because of his mother. Just as the Batman would feel he was paying back Harvey Harris by helping his niece.
Super Friends #1 (Nov. 1976)
by E. Nelson Bridwell
A Wendy & Marvin commission by Eddy Barrows, from the collection of Jeff Streeter.
Geoff Johns on Wendy & Marvin
From the original script of Teen Titans (third series) #34 , by Geoff Johns: “Back to Cyborg’s point-of-view. There are two kids very, very close to Cyborg so that we only see their torsos. They are working on Cyborg. On the left we see MARVIN’S chest on the right WENDY’S. They are arguing about the next step to get Cyborg back on-line (and really, as always, who’s smarter). We want to update Marvin and Wendy (no, really) but let’s keep their color scheme the same. “
“MARVIN (NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE meets BRAINIAC 5) should be wearing the white t-shirt with the”M” logo as seen in SUPERFRIENDS and his brown pants, sneakers. Then update the rest of him to look more now. NO CAPE. WENDY (has 10000 friends on MYSPACE, cute as a button, smarter than MARVIN and lets him know it). Instead of white pants she wears white shorts (keep the big black belt), sneakers and white shocks. She still has the shirt and sweater vest over it or something that has the same pattern/colors as above. In the background, WONDER DOG (NO CAPE and realistic, a boxer) is sniffing around Marvin & Wendy’s toolbox on the floor.”
Sources for this entry: titanstower.com
Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since.