Real Name: Marsupilami
Identity/Class: Unknown species of animal
Affiliations: Spirou, Fantasio
Enemies: Bring M.Backalive
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: None known
Base of Operations: Unknown
First Appearance: 'Spirou et les Hétitiers' (Spirou and the Heirs, January 1952)
Powers/Abilities: Very clever for an animal, and exceptionally strong for his small size. Amphibious, able to brachiate (swing) through the trees and to run extremely fast. His tail is prehensile, and can be employed as a lasso or spring.
History: Marsupilami is a small animal who appears to be a native of the Palombian forests. He was encountered by Belgian adventurer Spirou during a trip there, and accompanied him back to civilisation. Marsupilami became a companion to Spirou and Fantasio (Spirou's friend), as well as engaging on adventures of his own.
Comments: Created by André Franquin as an addition to the Spirou stories he had taken over the writing for. Marsupilami proved so popular with the readers that by 1955 he got his first solo story, Le Marsupilami descend sur la Ville (Marsupilami goes to Town), although he didn't get his own title until 1987, with "La queue du Marsupilami". Online there is an official website, plus an excellent fan run one (which also covers other Belgian characters). He is now owned by a French publisher.
Thanks to Gérard Courtial for informing me of the existence of this character and providing the image on the right.
Vesa Lehtinen sent me the following comments about this character: " there is an album that is solely about marsupilami as a species - supposedly written by an explorer Bring M. Backalive who constantly tries to capture a specimen - and constantly fails. It mentions, for example, that although the name of the species hints to marsupials, marsupilami are actually egg-layers. They are also proficient in weaving and their favorite food is live piranha - the poor fish have no chance against them even in swarms.
In the original story, Fantasio had to capture a live specimen from Palombia to receive an inheritance (which proved to be no money at all). He and Spirou later tried to return the marsupilami to Palombia but it has stuck to them ever since. There are actually two marsupilami storylines - the one about the one marsupilami that accompanies Spirou and Fantasio and the another that describes the life of a family of marsupilamis - male, female and their three cubs - in a Palombian rain forest."
For a while Disney had the rights to do a cartoon version of the character, where they teamed him with a simian sidekick Maurice. Thanks to Steve Watson for this information.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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