Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wicked Winds Wreak Wrath; Weather Wizard and Wind Master

Mark Mardon was an escaped convict who stumbled upon his brother's prize possession, fashioning Clyde's research into a weather wand in order to embark on a crime wave on epic proportions.

Another man decades earlier had used a wind machine to control the elements as well, seeking to become a criminal mastermind in Keystone City utilizing its tremendous power.

Mardon as the Weather Wizard faced off against Earth-One's Flash, as well as Kid Flash, Batman and Robin, Superman... he seemed to hold no humility as to his ambitions despite repeated defeats. Even among his fellow Rogues, the Flash always seemed to gain the upper hand against him.

For the self-titled Wind Master, his prime opposition came in the form of Earth-Two's Flash. Admittedly, he initially found victory versus his costumed opponent, however the super speedster had a rematch that proved that the Flash had more wind in his sails then the Wind Master.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rose and Thorn: How Many Were There?

Rose Forrest of Earth-One and Rose Canton of Earth-Two were counterparts who themselves had twins... evil twins to be precise. 

While Forrest experienced a psychological split when her father, a police officer, was murdered by the criminal gang known as the 100... for Canton it was a childhood affliction that manifested when she became infected by a toxic thorn which imbued her with superpowers.

While the former became a heroine of Metropolis, even garnering the respect and admiration of Superman, the latter was a villain in Keystone City, bringing her into repeated conflict with the Flash.

We've previously considered the history of these two women, and a twice-told-tale of the Thorns, as well as the romance that one had with the golden age Green Lantern, now we consider another dynamic of these femme fatales.

On Earth-Two, Rose and Thorn were actually separate women as Thorn's physical form manifested when Rose was unconscious, and visa versa. She had oscillated from Rose's blonde self into a red-haired and brunette version at different times. Eventually, she was captured and taken by the Flash's friend Wonder Woman to Reformation Island, where over a period of two decades Rose regained mastery over herself, with Thorn purged.

At least, for awhile. Eventually returning to America, she sought out the man who had brought her to that Island, Flash's other ally Green Lantern, whom she fell in love with. Assuming a new alter ego of Alyx Florin, she gained the trust and love of Lantern's alter ego Alan Scott, whom she surmised was his secret identity. However, on their wedding night, her intense feelings for him awoke the Thorn, who nearly killed him. Deciding to "kill" Florin, Canton retreated until one day the Thorn grew dominant in both Rose's body and her own. After a defeat at the hands of Flash, Green Lantern and the Justice Society... Thorn was captured although Rose somehow escaped and retreat to the island where her sister was born. 

There was another women slated to be the Thorn on Earth-One, years earlier. Outfitted by a costume maker by the name of Albert Talbot, who had been working for the 100, he initially wanted the lady to rob from them as his cut from his bosses wasn't big enough. However, he soon became more prominent in their organization, and withdrew his offer to her. 

Years later, captured by Rose's Thorn, Talbot summoned his former ally to visit him in prison to tell her his story. Apparently, Forrest obtained his weaponry and one of the Thorn costumes. Seeking retribution, the woman enlisted her daughter Pythona, a local dancer, to steal from Thorn as the newer and wickeder Thorn,

However, a hit man sought out Pythona while wearing the Thorn costume, thinking she was the 100's arch-enemy. Saved by her opposite number, Pythona parted from her "twin" seemingly abandoning her claim on the Thorn identity. This mysterious woman, with no other name, is the doppleganger to Alyx Florin who had been born on Reformation Island, the civilized version of the villainous Thorn. And as for Canton/Florin, this amalgamation of conflicted women perished saving her family from the Thorn's attack on Alan and their two children, Jade and Obsidian.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Stunning Silver Sirens of the Batman Family

Elegant, dignified, deep. These are words that could be used to express Ms. St. Cloud and Ms. Morrison. Although with the former, it represented who she naturally was. For the latter, it was more of a front.

Silver St. Cloud met Batman and his alter ego shortly after the hero defeated Dr. Phosphorous. It was because she had a knack for observing human behavior that she soon after was able to piece together that the Bruce Wayne who she had been dating was not the same man she was with now. In fact, it was arch-criminal Hugo Strange assuming his adversary's identity after capturing the Dark Knight Detective. 

After a brief and potent relationship, Silver pulled away from Wayne. Later, after witnessing Batman's battle with the Joker, she approached her beau in the bat-suit and confirmed his suspicions that she knew his double identity all along.

And, what is more, she could not bare to be with him while he continued to place his life in perpetual danger. Despite his deep love for her, deeper than perhaps any women in his life, Batman could not retire his mantle to claim his love.

That was on Earth-One, while on the parallel planet of Earth-Two around the same time, that Batman had retired exactly because he lost his true love. In his case, it was because his wife Selina Kyle perished, after resuming her career as the Catwomen due to being blackmailed by her former henchman. From this encounter, one hero hung up his cowl while enough adopted the mantle.

This Dark Knight's heir was the detective's daughter, Helena Wayne who assumed the alter ego of the Huntress. Around the same time, another young women by the name of Lucinda Morrison fell in with a bad crowd. Used as a pawn of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, who used Arkham Asylum as a front for their criminal enterprise. Thanks to the Huntress' fighting spirit, she was able to bring their house of cards down, and freed Lucinda of their drug-induced influence on her life.

Now seeking a new start, the platinum blonde assumed a new identity as Dr. June Moorman. However, one of her first patients was the Huntress, seeking help to overcome the torment she felt being Catwoman's daughter. And evil tendencies that were pulling her more in the direction of the Cat rather than the Bat motivated her to take action. However, the help she sought thought in Dr. Moorman was the wrong kind, who thought the Huntress was trying to corner her. After a brief confrontation, Lucinda revealed her secret, and the Huntress left to seek out help through some other source. Would the torment end for Lucinda, now that the Batman Family was out of her life? Did it end for Silver?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dark Knight Detectives' Darling Damsels and Debutantes

Batman had several love interests throughout the years, in both his golden age and modern day incarnations, and we've considered some already. There was the Batwomen and the Catwomen. Then there were the unpredictable Talia and Nyola. This doesn't even include larcenous ladies such as Poison Ivy and her counterpart "the Lady in Evening Dress" who gravitated more towards Bat's comrade the Sandman. What of the non-heroic or villainous females in the lives of Bruce Wayne?

We would have to start with the trifecta of the golden and silver age, the three non-costumed lasses that captured both Wayne's hearts. First there was Julie Madison, who was engaged to Wayne although her acting career and his crime fighting career pulled them each in opposite directions. After a couple of confrontations with Clayface, they two drifted apart. On Earth-Two, Julie changed her name to Portia Storme as she became a Hollywood star. On Earth-One, she became Princess Portia as she wed the ruler of Moldacia in Europe.

Then there was Linda Page, a rich debutante and heiress to an oil fortune, although what she truly was invested in was her engagement with Wayne. Again, Batman got in the way, and once she began her career as a nurse she too found greater fulfillment in helping others... which is what ensnared her beau in the bat-suit. What became of her on Earth-One is unknown, although on Earth-Two she eventually married shortly before that Bruce finally found his true love. And, of course, during that period Kathy Kane eventually decided to settle down with another man, marrying and having kids on Earth-Two. Her Earth-One twin never found love, only the tragic end to her life at the hands of the Bronze Tiger. Something that mirrored what became of Earth-Two's Catwoman, torn from her husband and daughter in the prime of her life, while the Earth-One Selina Kyle had an on-again off-again relationship with her Bruce over time.

Then there was the momentary pauses in their lives, in which Wayne-One briefly pursued policewoman Patricia Powell while Wayne-Two chased after musician Linda Lewis. Neither of these developed into anything more. However, there were a couple of platinum haired ladies that added wrinkles to the dynamics of the Batman Family, in different ways... for good and for ill.

There was Silver St. Cloud, a party planner of Gotham City who immediately captured Wayne's attention as no other woman had, save perhaps for Catwoman and Talia. And she came without complications that would develop from leading a double life, as had occurred with the other ladies. However, after she began to date Bruce she met Batman, and right away made the connection between the two. Fearing for Wayne's life when he moonlighted as a superhero, Silver eventually broke off their relationship. Something that is telling, however, is when the Earth-Two Batman's daughter Huntress was visiting the Earth-One Batman, and he reflected on how he yearned to start a family with St. Cloud. Sadly, it was not to be.

And on the Huntress' world, it was while the heroine was tracking down some corrupt psychologists at Arkham Asylum that she encountered Silver's doppleganger in Lucinda Morrison. Licinda was manipulated by drugs into working for the crooks, and once she fled the scene she assumed the new identity as psychiatrist Dr. June Moorman. It was at her place of employment that she was enlisted to have a therapeutic session with the Huntress, whose alter ego of Helena Wayne was being tormented with fear she may follow in her mother's wicked ways. After a confrontation between the two, Morrison was held in custody and went to jail to pay for her criminal deeds. Morrison never met Bruce, but found torment from his heiress after his passing just as St. Cloud a universe away.

In the end, it would be the twin gals known as both Selina Kyle and Catwoman that would be the true measuring stick from which all other women would be measured against in the annuls of the Batmen. Perhaps one day, they will settle down with their Dark Knight Detective.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Suns Set on Supervillains: When twin Atoms met Japanese Allies

Isuma Yasunari was a prominent solar physicist who, through his studies, obtained for himself powers derived from the sun. Carving out a niche for himself as Japan's sole superhero, following the legend of motion picture actor Takeo Soto, who inherited heat powers himself as a baby during volcanic activity in his village. However, where Soto was mainly a champion for good on film, during his brief costumed career in real life Takeo was a pawn. Hence, Isuma as the Rising Sun rekindled confidence in his fellow Japanese that justice would once more prevail. Eventually, Yasunari teamed up with America's Atom as the two helped save Earth-One from a bomb implanted by evil alien Grax. Later, Rising Sun was invited by Doctor Mist into the Global Guardians, and helped defend his land during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Morris Fushido wasn't a college graduate like Hoshi, yet he was still like her among the most prolific minds in the field of energy of their respective worlds, each accessing tremendous power in the course of their adventures. For Morrie, it was due to the atomic globe which he came in contact with devised by the Black Dragon Society. When the nefarious Dragon Society attempted to utilize the raw energy that could make them invincible versus the Allied Powers and the United States. Teaming up with the Atom, the pair were able to secure the globe before any threat ensued. After this adventure, Fushido retired from heroics to be a prominent member of the Japanese community, seeking to overturn strongly entrenched prejudices brought on by World War II.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Awesome Appetites: Super Speedsters of a Different Variety

Appetite is generally not considered a definable power. However, for these two individuals, it was what made them distinct from their peers. And, for today, notable for our consideration.

The 30th century of Earth-One had Tenzil Kem of the planet Bismoll-One, a world where all the natives of that planet had to learn to eat any matter due to microbes which made their food stock inedible. This adaptability translated to his ability to both chew and digest matter at the rate of superhuman speed, while having a high metabolism. This led to his inclusion in the Legion of Super-Heroes, although his membership records wasn't consistent due to several mitigating factors. For instance, on one occasion, he ate to much in order to escape a prison camp which led to his becoming obese. Thankfully, the effects were reversed soon afterwards.

In the 20th century of Earth-Two was Theodore "Tubby" Watts, an assistant photo-journalist for Sees-All-Tells-All News, alongside his boss Johnny Chambers. Chambers was secretly the masked man known as Johnny Quick, who obtained a super-speed formula that allowed him to move as fast as the Flash, whom he joined alongside as a member of the All-Star Squadron. On a few occasions, Tubby tagged along with the All-Stars, and especially during several of Quick's solo missions. On at least one occasion, Tubby used the formula 3x2(9yz)4a to grant himself superhuman speed, although his large physique didn't handle it quite well, and so he retired from superheroics. 

Back to Kem, whose career as Matter-Eater Lad had hit several roadblocks, not least of which was his eating the "Miracle Machine" in order to save the universe from its destructive power. He got better, although he eventually returned to his native world to become a politician. Meanwhile, Tubby stayed surprisingly young... perhaps a side effect of the speed formula... and remained by Johnny's side reporting on news across America decades later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Criminals Create Clock Chaos Continuously

While most of David Clinton's costumed career as Chronos was spent utilizing cheesy clock-themed weaponry versus his arch-enemy the Atom and, later, his foe's teammates of the Justice League... his hidden passion was to master the flow of time to his will. Although he used various criminal endeavors, by solo and alongside the Injustice Gang and Crime Champions, to obtain the finances in order to build his ultimate time machine... such was years from fruition. After a series of defeats, David seemed to submerge himself into his research away from friend and foe alike.  

To that end, under the tutelage of the mysterious "Doctor Fox" (or rather, journals left behind by this temporal apparition), Clinton was enticed by the enigmatic Power Broker into defeating the World's Finest heroes in order to unlock the secrets of Fox's research. Apparently, this powerful being held the key that his new lackey had been searching for throughout the years.

In order to gain this key, Chronos sent time bombs into the past to lure Superman away, while enticing Batman to change his own personal history and save his parents. His goal, and that of his master, was to have both caped crusaders alter history so that they no longer existed, thereby removing the threat they displayed to evil. Still, the dynamic duo shrugged off such efforts on Clinton's part, forcing him to retreat from them into the time stream, seemingly never to return. Or did he?

On Earth-Two, David's counterpart Kale was not as intelligent yet still managed to assist to time traveling tyrants in Per Degaton and the Ultra-Humanite. As a result, three versions of Kale exist in the time stream of that world, which corresponds to Chronos, Fox and the Power Broker. All three appear to be the same man, with Fox a version of Chronos in the past having gained knowledge while the Broker remained in the future to secure power through his present day version. None of these ultimately obtained what they all wanted, complete mastery of time and space.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Chronological Clones Create Continuum & Can Cause Chaos

In three separate eras, the 20th century, the 30th century and the 38th century... a trio of time travelers sought out adventures that led them each towards meetings with the Justice League.

  • For Rip Hunter of the 20th century, it was when he joined the Forgotten Heroes to aid Earth-One's Superman, before aiding the Man of Steel and his fellow Leaguers during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. 
  • For Brainiac Five of the 30th Century, it was when he met a younger version of the same hero in Superboy, who joined the lad's Legion of Super-Heroes. 
  • And for the Lord of Time from the 38th century, it was when this temporal tyrant attempted to conquer the League's era repeatedly.
  • The Lord had a daughter, named Olanda, cloned from his own body as well as her six brothers who were vanished by the Leaguer Steel.

On the parallel plane of Earth-Two, one chronological criminal used four versions of himself as well as his handful of personal temporal troopers to terrorized his native time and other ages.

  • The first version of Per Degaton had journeyed to the time of Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C. in order to change history in the 20th century. This brought him to the attention of the Justice Society, who after a decade of rule defeated Degaton
  • The next version of Per Degaton had a short-lived career before the Society and the All-Star Squadron combined to defeat him in 1941, erasing this version.
  • The third version of Per Degaton succeeded in changing his native decade by journeying to a parallel Earth and future time. After four decades of rule, the Society, All-Stars and League combined forced to dethrone him.
  • Finally, the core version of Per Degaton lost his opportunity to steal Professor Zee's time machine, as his other clones had done, and instead became a member of the Injustice Society... still beaten by the Justice Society on three occasions.

A member of the Brainiac Five's Legion, Triplicate Girl, had the ability to create clones of herself. These young heroes had in times past traveled through the centuries to Superboy's era for various adventures, and thus were no strangers to the machinations of the time stream.

These three girls correlated with the three time traveling clones of Degaton, much like Little Miss Redhead's three allies the Blue Boys including Little Boy Blue and his pals Tubby and Toughy. This young team of teen titans were members of the Squadron who continued to perplex Degaton time and again. These three distinct lads correlated with the three distinct dudes of Hunter, Five and the Lord... in the cosmic balance of the cosmos, that is, with the fourth Per being a variation on Olanda.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Twice-Told-Tales: Metal Menaces Meet Men and Maiden of Might

The heroic members of the Justice League and Justice Society faced many and varied threats over the years, and among the most dangerous were robot rogues that wielded sufficient abilities to match and exceed their enemies.

For instance, Amazo... the android built by Professor Ivo off the template of athlete Helmet Schultz deceased brain waves... utilized his power absorbing abilities to defeat the Justice League and prolong his master's life. Amazo succeeded, although the cost to Ivo for immortality was inhumanity. Then there was military scientist Helmet Streicher who sought to see the future and harness futuristic technology to provide him a cybernetic armor. He triumphed although as the Red Panzer found continual defeat versus members of the Justice Society.

While the Panzer initially faced Batman, Flash and Green Lantern... it was Wonder Woman who was his most persistent opponent. Similarly, after a series of battles with the League... their most powerful member Superman became Amazo's primary foe. Each metallic menace faced off against the Man of Steel and Amazing Amazon on a couple of occasions, the last of which found decisive defeats from which they never truly recovered.

Interestingly, the Wonder Woman of the Justice League twice journeyed to Earth-Two to aid her counterpart. Although the two twins initially fought, they soon reconciled and tackled Red Panzer together... then on the Earth-One Princess' return trip aided her Justice Society doppleganger versus the Angle Man. A parallel event happened on her own world when she and her Justice League allies battled the automaton Super-Duper, created by criminal Joe Parry, on one brief occasion before it was recreated by T.O. Morrow once more. Super-Duper possessed several attributes of five Leaguers, with the head of Wonder Woman herself! This character was a minor footnote in history.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Power Power Players and Scarlet Suited Superheroes: Changelings and Cyclones

On Earth-Two, the Red Tornado had steady partners in the Cyclone Kids, a pair of children inspired by her example to defend their  poor neighborhood. The trio had several adventures in the 1940's before they all retired to seclusion of secret identities. What of their twins?

On Earth-One, the Black Orchid mysteriously appeared in the mid 1970s, always changing her appearance in order to infiltrate crime syndicates. Eventually, she encountered Gotham City's Super Friends, including their teen apprentices Zan and Jayne aka the Wonder Twins, themselves shape changers. Zan could transform into any aquatic element, Jayna into any form of wildlife.

The Kids were really Huey "Dinky" Jibbet and his neighbor, Amelia "Sisty" Hunkel. Amelia was the daughter of the original Red Tornado, Abigail "Ma" Hunkel, and although they had no super powers they were extremely creative in their strategy and fearless in their approach to crime.

The Twins were from the planet Exxor, and were recruited into a traveling space circus when no one on their world would adopt them due to their mutation. When they arrived on Earth-One, and aided the Super Friends versus crime genius Grax, the heroes decided to train the pair while Professor Carter Nichols adopted them under the aliases of Johan and Joanna Fleming.

Eventually, the Super Friends disbanded after the training regime of the Wonder Twins as well as that of Marvin White and Wendy Harris had concluded. Presumably, the duo returned to their native Exxor to become that planet's protectors. In an alternate future timeline, Dinky and Sisty resumed their costumed careers as members of "Old Justice",to oversee the new generation of heroes.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Twin Teen Teams Triumph: Junior Justice

Two powerful cosmic entities, Antithesis and Conscience, were the cause that effected the birth of twin teen teams.

On Earth-One it was the other-dimensional entity known as Antithesis who had become trapped within the Justice League's computer, and used his mental influence to control five Leaguers. Thankfully, they each had a kid sidekick that stopped their turn towards evil and tracked the source of their peculiar behavior. Leading to the Teen Titans forming.

On Earth-Two it was the other-dimensional entity known as Conscience that came to the aid of the Justice Society in finding the source of intolerance and prejudice that had led to one lad being bullied by another kid, with the boy becoming the first member of the new group of kids... the Junior Justice Society.

Eventually, Antithesis would return, utilizing as an agent Bromwell Stikk under the alias of Mister Twister. Stikk as the Twister tangled with the Teen Titans, and was promptly defeated, although he would return as the sinister Gargoyle empowered by his alien benefactor with strange unearthly abilities.

Conscience also would return once more, this time motivating young Dick Amber through a series of transformations in various eras under the tutelage of the Justice Society into becoming something more. Then, she just as quickly and mysteriously disappeared.

Meanwhile, the seeds were planted for the Teen Titans and Junior Justice Society, and they would be instrumental in several cases yet to come. For instance, the Titans face off against the evil Mad Mod... while the Junior JSA cornered the sinister Wizard after his Injustice Society had been defeated by teh senior heroes. Both teen teams handle various thugs such as the Mad Mod's gang and the Crimson Claw gang.

There would be other cases that the Teen Titans became involved in during their early history, before reforming as the New Teen Titans. As for the Junior Society, they mostly operated in the background aiding readers of All-Star Comics who were following along with the exploits of the original JSA, and would later be replaced by the second generation of Socialites in the form of Infinity Inc..

While Earth-One's Titans were comprised of Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, Speedy and later members Mal, Lilith, Hawk and Dove, Bumblebee and Joker's Daughter... Earth-Two's Junior JSA had many normal members, as the actual counterparts to the Titans were busy with other teams (Robin and Johnny Quick with the All-Star Squadron, Speedy with Law's Legionnaires, Wonder Girl with the Holiday Girls, etc.). However, one such member Don Brent infiltrated the Crimson Claws, which his brother Chick was involved with, and inspired his teammates in the JJSA into action versus the crooked Claw. Don was the counterpart to the Titan's Jericho, as Joseph Wilson used his ability to control various individuals as Jericho much as Don's example had done. Likewise, the pair of junior crime fighters recruited by the Justice League known as Marvin White and  Wendy Harris were recruited as apprentices of the Super Friends... trained by the Titan, Robin. Their twins on Earth-Two were the baby of the real Diana Prince and her husband and Wendy Harris Tyler, who married Rex "Hourman" Tyler. Although in the 1940's, they were among the JJSA.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Second Fastest Men of Two Earths: Or Maybe Quicker?

While Barry Allen and Jay Garrick have gained the notoriety as the Fastest Men of their respective worlds, there has never been an actual race wherein this pair competed head-to-head... or rather... foot-to-foot, with this pair. 

For Wally West, nephew of Barry's wife Iris, his speed came from another freak bolt of lightning shattering a cabinet of chemicals like has happened with Allen earlier. Adopting an alias in honor of Barry's Flash alter ego, as Kid Flash Wally eventually joined the Teen Titans before learning that his abilities were slowly killing his maturing body. Also, the origin of his abilities was suspicious given that Barry gained his from his future energized body from the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

For Johnny Quick, it was through the speed formula 3x2(9yz)4a which gave him temporary bursts of superhuman abilities. Although this was only one of several alphanumeric formulas that gave residents of his universe superpowers, photojournalist Johnny Chambers harnessed this gift into a long career both solo and alongside the All-Star Squadron. His body never deteriorated from the speed force as had Wally since it had been fully developed, and since this energy wasn't a permanent facet of his physique as with West.

Would the adult Kid Flash, after having been given a boost of immunization from Uncle Barry's lightning form, been as fast as his mentor... or even faster? Would Johnny Quick, had his super speeding momentum not lent itself towards causing him to fly at a slower pace, enabled him to perhaps beat Jay in a footrace? Perhaps we will never know.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Twice-Told-Tales: The Hawkmen and Mermen Meet Monster Menaces

Hawkman-One and Hawkman-Two faced plenty of monsters in their time, but none quite like these loathsome lackeys. This Twice-Told-Tale truly has remarkably similarly plot elements and story beats showing the common features on both worlds. And the uncommon, as well.

For the silver age Winged Warrior, it was when he as Hawkgirl were drawn into a conflict with Atlanean exile Tyros.  Naturally seeking to gain control of his former home city, Tyros is drawn into conflict with Aquaman and Aqualad. Meanwhile, he gains the means of controlling Hawkman's wife and transforming her into a harpy type being to attack her mate.

This evil exile gained the power to transform into creatures while controlling both swimming and flying beasts. The golden age Feathered Fury found himself alongside old ally Neptune Perkins, drawn through unorthodox means to the planet Venus (or a facsimile thereof) by its inhabitants. Turns out, the Venusians are unable to protect themselves from two dominant creatures that terrorize their world, a Roc and a Kraken. Much like the mythological beasts they are patterned after, it takes superhuman beings to defeat and destroy these aggressive antagonists.

On Earth-One, Tyros nearly seizes complete victory in his quest for dominance of the undersea kingdom, however Aquaman grabs the gem and Hawkman the horn that were the means for the tyrant's powers. Transforming Hawkgirl back to normal and with Aqualad's help, the pair of Justice Leaguers beat Tyros who is then exiled once more.

On Earth-Two, Hawkman and his world's Aqualad... Perkins... succeed in killing both the Rok and the Kraken. Once the Venusians find peace once more, they send the pair of All-Stars back to their homeworld victorious. On this occasion, the original Hawkgirl is otherwise preoccupied while the golden age Aquaman missed out on the tale given his being on the opposite side of the globe from Neptune... whom he apparently never had occasion to meet.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Menacing Masterminds Manipulate Men of Might

Roy Reynolds was an intellectual adversary of Earth-One's Batman, as such he became known as the Getaway Genius plotting perfect crimes with the means of extracting his henchmen from the clutches of the Dynamic Duo and police.

The Puzzler was an unidentified criminal who was highly competitive. Instead of getting out of jams, he wanted to place his foes into precarious situations, leading to a repeated enmity with Earth-Two's Superman and Lois Lane.

While the Genius found his own lackey's were his undoing, as they captured Batman, for the Puzzler it was his unbridled overconfidence.

Although minor footnotes in the criminal annals now, these two masterminds were at the top of their game, until they clashed with the World's Finest heroes too many times.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Merlyn and Merlin: Menaces of the Avenging Archers

The golden age and silver age had characters that mirrored one another, from their appearance to their disposition to their personal adversaries. Such was the case for Merlyn the Magician and Professor Merlin, each of whom having faced their world's Green Arrow and his allies.

Now Merlyn of Earth-One was not a magician, he was an ace archer who made trick shots that seemed as if by magic, when in fact they were simply skill. Armed with equipment from the League of Assassins and sent on a mission by its leader the Sensei to destroy the Justice League of America, Merlyn had a particular grudge match against the Green Arrow who usurped his World's Greatest Archer reputation. At the end of that conflict, the Arrow proved he was better.

As for Professor Merlin of Earth-Two, he wasn't so much an athlete with a bow and arrow as he was a master strategist. Using equipment he stole along the way, he crossed paths with Green Arrow and Speedy, and was finally defeated by the pair. He had a return engagement when Merlin joined the Hand's Five Fingers to battle the Arrow and his teammates known as Law's Legionnaires.

Once more, Merlin was vanquished, which also happened when Meryln later reappeared in Metropolis to face Black Lightning. After that second defeat, Merlyn followed the career path of his counterpart Merlin, and vanished from sight!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Replikon and Egon: Eggs Eagerly Engage Enemies

Replikon ask Xum was an adaptable alien with a gaseous form and the ability to shape change. Transforming into a blended form inspired by Batman, Flash and Wonder Woman, Xum sought out the means to transform Earth-One into a world in which his eggs could hatch by terraforming it into his long extinct native world.

Egon was an alien himself hatched from an egg when it landed on Earth-Two and raised by the vengeful Noel Racthford, who sent it once it grew into a giant to frame Noel's rival, Carter Hall... aka the Hawkman. Egon gained a humongous body and powerful eyes unleashing intense bolts of energy towards any matter he gazes upon.

Replikon first battled Green Arrow and Black Canary, then their ally Green Lantern who defeated him and vanquished him to the astroid belt between Jupiter-One and Mars-One. Meanwhile, Egon who had originated from Neptune-Two was defeated and died at the hands of Hawkman after the hero's fiancee Hawkgirl became involved in Noel's scheme. 

Eventually, Replikon's two eggs hatched when two other Green Lanterns helped transform his astroid into a habitable home form for all three. If there were any Neptunians besides Egon and his long lost parents, they have yet to surface in any chronicled tales henceforth.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Matter Manipulators Master Mirth and Merriment

Bat-Mite and T-Bolt, Metamorpho and Plastic Man. These were two sets of counterparts on Earths One and Two capable of manipulating matter, often their very bodies, into various shapes and form in their haphazard crusaders for justice. 

That said, when Plastic Man migrated from his native Earth-Two ultimately to Earth-One, this meant two of "him" residing there, and in fact he later faced his counterpart Metamorpho once in battle. How would the cosmos reconcile this inequity? Simple. Bat-Mite around the same time period left Earth-One for Earth-Prime in an attempt the gain more notoriety using the production staff at DC Comics. After this caper, he disappeared never returning to Earth-One's dimension.

However, Mite's twin on Earth-Two was one of two Thunderbolts who operated in that dimensional plane of existence. However this Thunderbolt wasn't the original one of that world who aided the Justice Society, but rather the version from the post-Crisis Earth, pulled back to 1945 by Adolph Hitler into his psuedo-Asgard. Co-existing during the same period as the one originally controlled by Johnny Thunder, this more contemporary Thunderbolt had powers on par with Bat-Mite and the same whimsical nature. Although far more effective.

Meanwhile, the addition of Plastic Man to Earth-One was balanced by the addition of one of the Sinesto clones that made up Earth-Two's Evil Green Lanterns. A few other displaced All-Star allies from Plas' home world likewise followed him to their new home through various means over the decades. Meanwhile, Bat-Mite's move to Earth-Prime compensated for that Earth's hero Ultraa, leaving Earth-Prime for Earth-One's Australian outback.

While Bat-Mite's own career was a scant dozen or so tales, Thunderbolt had scores of adventure. Similarly, while Plastic Man only had a couple dozen cases on his world before leaving, Metamorpho had a long and unique career both as a solo hero and with the Outsiders.

Additionally, the loss of the Flash of Earth-One made up for the presence of Plastic Man on that same world from Earth-Two, given that both men were displaced from their native universes due to the Crisis...

Both Bat-Mite and Thunderbolt were powerful aliens that aided Batman and Robin as well as other heroes native to the Earths, while Metamorpho and Plastic Man were valuable allies the Caped Crusader enlisted on occasion. And each pair showed how the cosmos compensates for the potent power of its protectors.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dial "Q" for Quick: Spelling + Math Equals Adventure!

Of the many heroic tales in Adventure Comics, these twin tales bring to the fore how an every man can gain superhuman abilities.

Robby Reed came upon an alien dial which, when he learned to transcribe it, allowed him to "Dial 'H' for Hero", or so the saying goes. Similarly, Johnny Chambers acquired from his guardian Professor Gill the means to access a formula making him a costumed crusader. Various alphabetic and alphanumeric combinations allowed these men to become something more. Among these were the following, which were but the tip of the iceberg, unleashing awesome abilities:

  • H.E.R.O. and 3X2(9YZ)4A  unleashed superhuman power for good. 
  • O.R.E.H. and Z25Y(2AB)6 returned an individual to normal again, 
  • V.I.L.L.I.A.N. and 3X2(9YZ)4AX turned one into an evil superhuman.
  • H.O.R.R.O.R. and 4G-7E(3X3W)6X gave one a monstrous physique.
  • H.E.R.O.I.N.E. and ZYM04N13/1 always granted temporary powers.
  • Several more undocumented combinations yielded similar effects.

  • After a series of adventures, Reed gained amnesia wherein he became evil, only to regain his senses while battling Plastic Man. Shortly thereafter, in order to save Earth-One from destruction Robby had to dial S.P.L.I.T. in order to become two individuals, the Wizard who flew off to defeat the villain behind the death trap, and the Master who ingeniously deactivated the global bomb. It was then realized by both individuals that the Wizard possessed all of Reed's inherent good, and the Master all his inherent evil. While the Wizard developed two more power dials like that which powered Robby, the Master slayed his good-nature clone. But the seeds were then planted.

    On Earth-Two, the doppleganger to Robby Reed aka Kent Nelson had just one costumed identity, that of Doctor Fate. Instead of a power dial, he had an amulet, and like Robby his twin Kent also manifested a wide array of superhuman powers. Just like Reed's blue and yellow alter ego Giant Boy, Nelson's blue and yellow Fate likewise had superstrength and flight. While Nelson's Doctor was among the most powerful entities on his world, so too was Reed's Wizard. And while Robby became a Master geneticist, Kent became a true Doctor.

    Although, perhaps, we know where he originated. In another strip of Johnny Quick, series creator Mort Meskin Jr. manifested himself upon that reality, and was instrumental at orchestrating events in that world. Hence, he was the original template from which the Doctor came to be.

    Much like over on Earth-One, where young artist Nick Stevens used his creative mind unconsciously to channel the new heroes from which Christopher King and Victoria Grant adopted using the power dials, so to was Scribby Jibbet able to channel the creative genius of writer Sheldon Mayer from Earth-Prime to Earth-Two. King and Grant's twins on Scribby's world were the non-powered but ever-adaptable King and Witch who quarreled amid various aliases.

    Friday, September 5, 2014

    The Other Jimmy and his Legion: Legacies of the Olsens of Old

    Jimmy Olsen was a trailblazing news reporter who began his career as an apprentice and photographer. Both at the Daily Planet and Daily Star on parallel planets, the red-headed lads labeled "Mister Action" lived to that billing, and became best friends to the Supermen of their respective worlds.

    However, there were other Jimmys who also had thriving careers as crusaders against crime. On Earth-Two in the 1940's, this boy was named Jimmy Martin who led his Minute-Men of America into various adventures alongside their hero, Hourman. Each was given versions of their idol's Miraclo pill, giving them momentary bursts of power. In one sense, this made them like the clones of Hourman's counterpart Multiplex. However, they also resembled another group of individuals on Earth-One.

    On that world, several lads assembled to become the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club, and assisted him on various cases. Simultaneous to this, the evil Lex Luthor and the malevolent Cadums Project created clones of Olsen, although their life span was apparently short-lived. One such clone met Jimmy, himself a guard at Cadmus. While these clones and the Fans had no costumed careers like the original Jimmy, Olsen himself had several including that as Elastic-Lad. On Earth-Two, it was Jimmy Martin not Jimmy Olsen who had his own brief foray into superheroics as the Minute-Man!

    And, in fact, even after having met a couple of his clones that were dopplegangers to Jimmy Martin, he met the counterpart of Jimmy's Minute-Man in the hooded menace known as Alter Ego. This being was a clone of Olsen made from cosmic energy mixed with an unhealthy portion of Jimmy's own ego, and as such had superhuman strength like Martin yet unlike that lad sought to humiliate his mentor Superman. Ego's career was even shorter than Minute-Man's, however.

    And they were not alone in these tales, for Jimmy of Earth-One was allied with the Newsboy Legion of his world. Their parents, the original Newsboy Legion of Earth-Two never interacted with the other Olsen, although perhaps they were honorary members of the Minute-Men. In addition, one of the Earth-One Legion's member known as Flipper Dipper had an equally goofy counterpart in Earth-Two's Sweep Second, a lad named Thorndyke who later aided Hourman separate from his peers. Both teams of lads would have run ins with various evil scientists, and overturn their schemes.

    Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Winged Warriors and Wonder Women: Famed Flights of Fancy

    Winged warriors and wonder women... such is true for today's consideration. Charlie Parker was an orphan in Midway City, who dreamed of one day becoming like his hero Hawkman, and suddenly he gained a similar costume and wings. Turns out, after teaming up with the Justice League, he discovered that unconsciously he had been granted these by that costume crusader's arch-enemy, Matter Master who yearned for a rematch. Turns out the Thanagarian heroes were off world, although both Hawks returned to Earth-One. 

    After battling the villain alongside the League, Charlie lost his wings, although Hawkman showed his appreciation by giving him another pair of wings and an anti-gravity belt. Around this time, as the Golden Eagle, Parker met the Teen Titan telepath known as Lilith Clay who assembled a "Titans West" to combat the evil Captain Calamity. Then, both he and his flame haired ally retired, although Lilith eventually fell in love with another winged man in the alien known only as Azrael.

    On Earth-Two, another maiden with mental powers named Dianne Greyton decided to use her ability to control arachnids to become the Spider Widow, and soon thereafter encountered Tony Gray aka the Raven. Gray had himself come upon a set of wings and knitted a classy costume in order to join the ranks of superheroes. And around this time, both encountered the established superheroine known as Phantom Lady, which caused a conflict as the Lady and the Widow both had eyes for Raven. After a series of confrontations and team ups against crooks, the trio parted and Phantom Lady journeyed to Earth-X. Left behind, the Widow and Raven decided to retired, presumably to focus on their relationship full time.

    *We can deduce that, while Phantom Lady moved to Earth-X in the spring of 1942 and yet her meeting with Spider Widow and the Raven was published in 1943, that this still occurred of Earth-Two for the following reasons. Simultaneous to these tales in Police Comics was the Lady's pal Plastic Man, who had just began his career as an FBI agent, and his first couple cases as such are during this time period. And yet, as All-Star Squadron #1 states, Plastic Man is already an established FBI agent and their liason as of December 7, 1941. Also, fellow All-Star Liberty Belle debuted in comics in the winter of 1942, yet is shown also as an established heroine in the same issue. Hence, all mid-1940's tales have been back dated at least a year and half, meaning Spider Widow and Raven are of Earth-Two not Earth-X, and hence remained on their native world.

    Saturday, August 16, 2014

    Warped Weird Wonders of Wrongdoing: Crazy Clone Cronies

    Htrae was a reformed planet formed as a warped version of Earth-One, where Bizarro and his race of artificial men lived for a few years. Initially just the original, when he first created an imperfect Lois Lane and then other imperfect inorganic beings, changed his name to Bizarro Number One being their progenitor. As Superman's complete opposite, this creature and his fellows caused more chaos than the norm. While initially, Number One and his fellows seemed hostile to the Man of Steel and humans in general, even going to war with them at one point, the invention of Blue Kryptonite seemed to keep the Bizarros at a respectful distance. Nevertheless, there were periods when humans and Bizarros interacted.

    Funny Face did much the same while remaining on Earth-Two, breathing a form of sentience into replicas of cartoon strip characters, culminating in his final creation of Flying Tiger. Like Bizarro, the Tiger was a non-living mirror image of his world's Superman, although in this case replicating the hero's crooked alter ego during a period when that hero was trying to locate Metropolis' underworld's crime kingpin.

    And, for a brief period, it seemed that Flying Tiger was the perfect foil for Superman, unlike his imperfect Bizarro twin a universe away. Replicating all of Superman's powers plus the ability to grow large, turn immaterial and teleport away... his powers came close to equaling Earth-One's Composite Superman in some regard, who had the combined abilities of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Still, his susceptibility to Green Kryptonite proved the Tiger's downfall, leading to his exile back into the two-dimensional existence from which he came.

    Funny Face's folks included villains Viper, Torgo, Machine-Gun Mike, Goola and the Black Raider. Also among the ranks of these pseudo citizens was Happy Daze, Prince Peril, Detective Craig, Streak Dugan and the Solitary Rider... as well as for a time Kitty aka Lois' Flying Tiger sidekick. While all of these entities have only brief periods of existence in the three-dimensional world, they continue on as they had for an untold period in the fictional realm of the Daily Star's comic strips with several supporting characters to interact with in each of their imaginary realms. This would mimic Bizarro and his people's tales in Adventure Comics' "Bizarro World", although whether these actually existed in the "real world" of their native universe is unknown.

    What is known is that eventually, they became the basis of the parallel world of Earth-Zero, modeled after Htrae after Mister Mxyzptlk destroyed that world only a few years after its creation just prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Proof of its existence came to light when Alex Luthor of Earth-Three recreated the multiverse including its individual Earths, which also materialized this Zero world in its own vibratory frame of existence.

    Chief among those on Htrae was Bizarro's close "friends" of Lois, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White and Krypto as well as his "colleagues" in the Bizarro League of Batzarro, Hero the flash, Yellow Lantern and imitations of Aquaman, Hawkman and Wonder Woman. Then there were the "law-breakers" of Lex Luthor, Joker, Kltpzyxm and Aamzo. Not to mention the legion of other Bizarro Supermen and Lois Lanes populating the planet.

    Apparently, the technology Funny Face developed on Earth-Two had been used previously by the Soldiers of the Secret City, although after their encounter with the Flash and his associate Doctor Maria Flura, word got out to this potentially dangerous people and their ability to multiple forces. Spurred on by this, Professor Lexon encourage Flura to join him in developing a replica of the Secret City image duplicator, which he then used to fake his own death. In so doing, he created image clones of Flash's girlfriend Joan Williams, Maria, himself and several of the Secret City soldiers. Previously, Flash himself encountered three of his own clones, as had an aged journalist who first found the city. These image people were clones of Bizarro's civilian associates, while the heroes and villains and nameless Bizarro replicas mirrored Funny Face's news strip heroes and villains and Lexon's nameless soldiers.

    Similar technology on Earth-Two around the same time was used by Nels Farrow to create several fictional assassins that battled the Flash's Justice Society companions. And another Flash foe in Alphonse Peckabit created his own fictional felons in Strongman, Peg Leg and Hot Stuff which actually continued to exist undefinitely as had Bizarro Superman and Lois Lane Number One and their son Junior... yet unlike the brief Bizarro versions of Superboy, Supergirl and Beautiful Superman Bizarro (yes there was one).

    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    Sinestro's Tale of a Car and Its Driver

    Sinestro is well known as the arch-enemy of Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Earth-One. His tenacity and creativity are legendary, as he has employed various means in order to defeat his foes, be they the Lantern Corps or its masters, the Guardians of the Universe. At one point, he actually crossed the dimensional divide regularly with the goal of facilitating power from an evil anti-matter universe. Herein we meet Magot.

    Competing in a contest for Most Evil Citizen of the anti-matter planet of Qward, Sinestro is assisted by his campaign manager, Magot. This is that universe's version of Earth-Two's Doiby Dickles, and while the two schemes draw in Jordan once more, ultimately Sinestro is beaten and captured inside an amber cube kept in Hal's storage garage. However, therein also housed Doiby's taxi known as Goitrude.

    A short time before this, Dickles and his future wife Princess Ramia were alluding capture at the hands of Prince Peril, and after enlisted the aid of the Green Lanterns of both Earths... Doiby left his taxi cab on Earth-One. Something about this vehicle seemed to allow Sinestro to project his mind into it, take control, and ultimately recreate his physical body in order to start his Sinestro Corps. Despite superior numbers in his clones, about to take control of Earth-Two and, by extension, that universe... he and they were defeated.

    Returning to the mysterious Goitrude... what made it so unique that it could contain a sentient conscience? Well, twenty years prior in 1947, this taxi DID have a rudimentary intelligence. On two occasions, it was exhibited as having thought for itself, and multiple times assisted Doiby and Earth-Two's Green Lantern, Alan Scott on cases. Its long life was sadly cut short when Sinestro ultimately destroyed its entire housing.

    Still, how do we explain a car that can think and can act? Apparently, there was a connection to the emerald energy contained in Scott's power ring and power battery. Tying this battery with the car's battery, the Green Flame of Life (originally part of the Starheart) was able to act as a partner to its emerald agent in his battle against evil. When the taxi was transferred from Earths Two to One, "Goitrude's" mind entered Alan's power ring, which communicated him once while facing the evil Chang. She was the counterpart to M'la, whose husband Zalaz stole the Starheart which she merged into in Earth-One's universe.

    And since this Green Flame was the counterpart of Swamp Thing from Earth-One, which housed a conscience inside vegetation, it stands to reason Goitrude and the Thing correlated with one another. And given that Swamp and Sinestro had as many tales told of them as had Goitrude with its Flame of Life, this also shows the influence they had on the lives of the Green Guardians of the Globe.

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