Updated on December 10, 2021
This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Reptil, a Marvel superhero character with the power to turn into various types of dinosaurs.
Reptil was created for the 2009 animated series “The Superhero Squad Show.” He also has appeared in the Marvel Universe, which gave him an expanded backstory.
Reptil’s first comics appearance was “Avengers: The Initiative Featuring Reptil” #1 in May 2009. He was created by Christos N. Gage and Steve Uy.
Reptil’s real name is Humberto Lopez. Per his comics backstory, Humberto loved superheroes as a kid. He also was taught much about dinosaurs from his parents, who were both paleontologists. Accompanying them on a dig one day, the Lopezes found what looked like a fossilized amulet of some sort, which Humberto was allowed to keep.
On a later expedition, Humberto’s parents both disappeared, and were declared dead, with Humberto sent to live with his grandfather. One day, Humberto was nearly trapped in a rockslide, which he ran from trying to escape, at which time the amulet he was carrying activated his powers.
Humberto soon signed up with a national superhero registry under the codename “Reptil” (during the events of “Avengers: The Initiative“), which resulted in a few adventures/some training. After this, Reptil wound up enrolled in the Avengers Academy, an Avengers-run training school for young superheroes.
There, Reptil had more adventures; he also developed a leadership position among his peers, dealt with the loss of his parents, and learned more about controlling his powers. Said adventures included some time-travel related hijinks, such as Reptil inhabiting his future self’s body. This was followed up by a second incident where his future self inhabited his teenage self’s body. At some point, the fossil also became embedded in Reptil’s chest.
Reptil’s powers consist of being able to turn parts of his body into any type of dinosaur. Further training resulted in Humberto being able to turn his entire body into a dinosaur, as well as other prehistoric creatures.
Outside of comics, Reptil’s main media appearance, and reason for his creation, was for “The Super Hero Squad Show.” There, Humberto had similar powers, and joined the Squad as its “rookie” member.
In the series, he’s trained by Wolverine in the use of his powers. Logan expressed occasional reluctance at being a mentor, but ultimately enjoyed tutoring Humberto anyway.
One change from the comics was that Reptil’s amulet was revealed to be a fossilized piece of the Infinity Sword. Reptil gave up his amulet at the end of the first season, but discovered he still retained his powers.
Antony Del Rio voiced Reptil.