Durlan (comics)

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Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
Place of originDurla
Notable membersChameleon Boy
R.J. Brande
Chameleon Girl
Olivia Marsdin
Inherent abilitiesShapeshifting

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The Durlans are a fictional extraterrestrial species, a race of shapeshifting beings from the planet Durla, as depicted in DC Comics.

Fictional history[edit]

Durlans are mainly featured in the 30th century time of the Legion of Super-Heroes, but are occasionally found in the present day, as in the Invasion! mini-series in which they take part in the invasion of earth.

Because their shapeshifting ability allows them to mimic other races, most of the galaxy fears and mistrusts the Durlans. It has been shown that their mimicking powers can be destroyed by disease (as in the case of R.J. Brande), and extreme doses of radiation (which happened to Chameleon Boy while on Takron Galtos, but he later had them restored by immersing himself in the energies of an ancient Durlan shrine). Two appearances tend to dominate—skinny orange humanoids with antennae and purple-cloaked masses of green tentacles. They typically return to one of these two forms when caught.

Once an advanced technological society, they destroyed their civilization in a war that lasted six minutes (the "six minute war"). Since this time, Durla has been a wasteland, and its people live in a near-barbaric state, using their shapeshifting ability to survive. A few notable Durlans have escaped the planet and gone on to greater things, including R.J. Brande and Chameleon Boy. Long ago in the past, they visited earth and pretended to be the Greek gods.

They have appeared post Zero Hour and "Threeboot", and the same prejudice against them exhibited in the old continuity is still present, though details of the planet's past have not been revealed or confirmed. One recent Durlan known as Von Daggle has made an appearance in Green Lantern Corps, as the leader of the Corpse, a secret unit founded by a rogue Guardian of the Universe to (in Daggle's words) "do the heavy lifting" (e.g. the dirty work).

In the post-52 universe, introduced in 2006, Durlan genetics and technology have been seen as the source of some of the powers of the Chinese team the Great Ten. A Durlan shape-shifter terrorist named Anderson Gaines, appears in Superman/Batman issues 68-69.

One of the members of Vril Dox's R.E.B.E.L.S. is Ciji, a Durlan shape-shifter who looks like a human child.

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, the Durlans are introduced as a new menace to the Green Lantern Corps starting with issue #21.

In other media[edit]

The Durlans make an appearance in Supergirl as represented by Olivia Marsdin (Lynda Carter),[1] the President of the United States. The species was also mentioned by Mon-El when he attempted to convince Kara Danvers to run away with him after a bounty was placed on her head.


  1. Moore, Rose (March 28, 2017). "Supergirl: Lynda Carter's President Marsdin Is A Durlan". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 29, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Len Wein; Marv Wolfman; Bob Greenberger. "The Durlan". The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe.

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