Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Metamorphic Masterminds Masterfully Match Malevolent Madmen

Previously we had considered the two Martian Manhunters and the two Robotmen of Earths One and Two. J'onn J'onzz and Roh Kar were indeed the preeminent protectors of the fourth planet from the sun who came to their respective Earths to defeat fellow Martians who invaded their neighboring worlds. And Cliff Steel along with Robert Crane were adept adventurers who made the most of living their lives within robotic bodies after their human frames had perished due to tragedy. So why would we say that the careers of J'onn and Robert were parallel when each had his own unique counterpart of the other's world? As we shall see, it is due to mitigating circumstances that cause divergences on each Earth wherein key events caused ripple effects that effected other people, places and things in each reality. Such as our two featured players today.

While Cliff Steele had dozens of adventures alongside the Doom Patrol as one of its members, the same could be said for Robert Crane with his All-Star Squadron allies. And yet, Crane's alter ego Robotman had over one hundred and forty solo cases of his own during a span of some thirteen years before he mysteriously left Earth-Two. Similarly, while J'onn J'onzz had his own thirteen year career on Earth-One as the Martian Manhunter which covered over one hundred and forty solo tales before he too left his adopted home world, although his twin Roh Kar left Earth-Two after a single case alongside Batman and Robin. What gives? Well, for a sizable period of the past decade, Cliff Steel laid it in coma at sea following the end of his Patrol when he and his team were all left for dead by two of their enemies. As for Roh Kar, after defeating fellow Martian known as the Stranger, his mission was completed and he returned to his former career on Mars-Two. However, J'onn could not return to Mars-One as he had already been living in exile for years due to a conflict between his Green Martians and the rival White Martians, a conflict that never took place on Mars-Two. Cliff would eventually be revived, and undoubtedly Roh's career would have continued, but that is not who we are principally considered this day.

Meanwhile, J'onzz as first police detective John Jones and then later as the Martian Manhunter decided to assimilate into humanity and provide it protection with his bountiful supply of superpowers. Similarly, Crane under the assumed identity of crime investigator Paul Dennis and then Robotman likewise decided to use his new abilities to aid his fellow man even though he was no longer physically one of them. The Jones and Dennis aliases were simply a means for these two non-human heroes to feel like they were a part of Earth society rather than being the outcasts that their true appearances revealed. Still, each incurred enduring relationships with others, such as Jones partnership with police woman Diane Meade and Dennis' courtship with socialite Joan Carter. Neither of these couplings lasted as the two inhuman invaders realized that such a bonding would not work on various levels. In fact, for a time the pair's closest allies was J'onn's shape-changing friend Zook and Paul's robotic dog Robbie. Nevertheless, they proved among the most human of heroes in the depths of compassion and courage with which they showed.

Each possessed superstrength, the power of flight and extendable bodies, the ability to mask their appearance and greater perception than the normal man... among other attributes. And both manhunters had keen intellect that allowed them to create a variety of scientific marvels as well. While the Martian Manhunter of Earth-One eventually left to find and lead his fellow Martians in their new world after their own had been devastated, the Robotman of Earth-Two was convinced to journey to Earth-One to restart his career at which point soon after he was left in a coma in a mindshaft for two decades. Eventually, J'onn would return to Earth-One to rejoin his old team, the Justice League of America. And Paul would also return to Earth-Two and with his brain now implanted in his late colleague Chuck Grayson's preserved body aided the Justice Society of America in their time of need.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fearless Phantom Females Face Fiends and Friends

Tinya Wazzo and Rose Psychic, two women from distinctly different eras as can be seen in their sense of hairstyle and style of clothing, were nevertheless counterparts cut from the same cloth. Tinya was from the 4th dimension of Bgztl wherein all the inhabitants had the ability to transform their bodies into energized forms enabling them to traverse dimensions with ease. Rose was born a normal girl until she was raised by individuals who trained her and a young man known as Richard to become heroes as adults. Chief among Rose's power was to also transform into a phantom and traverse space and time as was Tinya's, and like her she used her powers for the side of good.

Tinya as Phantom Girl quickly decided in her mid-teen years to become the superheroine known as Phantom Girl, and journeyed to Earth-One in order to join the Legion of Super-heroes in her native 30th century. As one of the first members, she served with distinction and even became a part of the Legion Espionage Squad which handled covert missions for the Legion. Tinya was able to meet Mon-El in the Phantom Zone prior to that hero joining her on the team after being cured of lead poisoning. Eventually, Wazzo developed feelings for another hero named Ultra Boy aka Jo Nah. This persisted even when she thought he was lost, but was instead in an interdimensional limbo.

As for Rose, she and her childhood friend Doctor Richard Occult persisted in having feelings though never publicly addressing them, and both worked side-by-side on various cases in the 1930s and 1940s. It was during this period that the All-Star Squadron was formed, which the Doctor joined but she did not, preferring to keep a low profile despite having similar powers to ones he himself manifested. What became of her and her colleague in the future was unknown, whereas Tinya as Phantom Woman eventually married Jo Nah and seemingly lived happily ever after.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Stunning Superman Similes Stunning Sirens

While the initial tales of Lar Gand aka Mon-El and Halk Kar were very similar, in that both were fugitives of the parallel planets of Daxan and Thoron, traveled to Krypton One and Two respectively, and ended up meeting the Boy and Man of Steel later who mistakenly believed them to be long lost brothers. That said, Halk Kar who met Superman of Earth-Two was actually the counterpart to Gand's 30th century descendant Eltro Gand who assumed the alter ego of Mon-El in an attempt to save his life. However, it turned out that he only further endangered his ancestor, and so gave his life to revive Mon-El.

And this Mon-El, the original, had several points of similarity to that of his own doppleganger, Doctor Occult. When first arriving on Earth-One, Lar was given the civilian identity of traveling salesman Bob Cobb, who like Occult as a roving detective named Richard also wore a suit, tie and fadora. Both men wore similar red spandex with blue shorts on top and flowing blue capes. Each could fly, could perceive things from far away, were impervious to most attacks, and could lift objects with strength or telekinesis. In addition, each were phantoms that could telepathically broadcast their thoughts to others, and were brilliant scientists.

And, in fact, both met lovely ladies that could also pierce dimensional barriers as phantoms themselves. Tinya Wazzo of  the 4th dimensional world known as Bgztl traveled to Earth-One to join the 30th century Legion of Super-Heroes, while her counterpart Rose Psychic used the same name in her colorful career also battling evil. While Tinya as Phantom Girl traveled to the Phantom Zone where Mon-El had been trapped for centuries, Rose know the Occult since they were both youngsters trained side-by-side. While Mon-El as Marvel Lad auditioned for and joined the Legion after being cured of lead poisoning he sustained in the 20th century, wherein he became teammates of Tinya, Rose never joined the Doctor when he became a member of the All-Star Squadron in the 1940s.

Although there was not an enduring romance between Lar and Tinya, both of whom had true loves in the forms of Shadow Lass and Ultra Boy, Occult and Rose did have a deep unspoken bond that endured for decades alongside one another. When the Doctor first met the Superman of Earth-Two, while not believing he was his brother, the Kryptonian did acknowledge that they could be twin brothers in appearance at least. And no doubt, these two men of might formed a friendship as fellow All-Stars in the years that came as had Mon-El and Superboy.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Malevolent Mental Masterminds Manhandle Menacing Madmen

One man was born thousands of years ahead of time, the other thousands of years before his time. Each were touched by the potent power found in the emanations of celestial objects in an energized comet and a glowing meteorite fragment. Adam Blake and Kirk Jason were men of books, each an information clerk or relic keeper in his respective profession, and had the intellect to master this profession. Both were sturdy, rugged yet polished brunette boys who earned the respect and admiration of those whom they met. Yet something more lurked beneath the surface, ready to come bubbling out. Oh sure, their own superpowers would set them apart from the majority of humanity, yet it was their courage in the face of danger that set them apart from their fellow man.

Each man had superstrength, vast mental powers, the ability of flight and other attributes making them to peak of physical and mental ideals. Blake decided to adopt the alter ego of Captain Comet complete with a spandex costume that was truly ahead of its time, as this was twenty years before his Superman debuted and perhaps at the very beginning of Superboy's own career. Jason was never one for special outfits himself, he would venture out most times on cases in nothing more than his suit as the Immortal Man, something Blake also wore as a man about town if nothing more. Both individuals had careers as powerful protectors when superheroes were either still in the Captain's future or had retired in the Immortal's recent past.

An attribute that set Comet apart from his counterpart was that he had some invulnerability. And because the Immortal Man didn't, it was only memories transmitted through the meteorite crystal that endure until a new candidate for his crusading crown was located, someone compatible genetically to receive such electrical impulses was needed. Meanwhile, the Captain eventually tired of his native Earth-One and left for a trip through space, returning two decades later to find his home world plagued by a growing crop of costumed criminals. Infiltrating the Secret Society of Super-Villains and then outright attacking them on multiple fronts, aided by Justice Leaguers and other heroes, Blake was successful in defeating this gang. Even when they eventually ventured to Earth-Two, Captain Comet scored a decisive victory aided by the native Justice Society.
Around this same time, Immortal Man returned after several years in seclusion as he was seeking his age old foe Vandal Savage, himself effected by the same radiation from the same meteorite that created his adversary. When Savage was defeated by the Justice Society, he journeyed to Earth-One to plague that world's Superman, which led Jason's alter ego to leave Earth-Two for good while in pursuit. Assembling a team of Forgotten Heroes, Immortal Man was able to defeat Savage and the Forgotten Villains before he himself perished in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. 

It should be noted that another mental mastermind from Earth-Two, Brainwave Junior, assumed the place of the Immortal Man while battling the Secret Society... something which defined Captain Comet's career. This was due to Jason's departure from his native world during the critical juncture when the Society had become active on Earth-Two. Nevertheless, Blake and Jason were truly mirror images in all other aspects and were the unsung true blue first superheroes of their Earths.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Machine Makers Manufacture Mechanical Metallic Men

Will Magnus and Chuck Grayson were tops in their fields of robotics, perhaps second only to Niles Caulder and Robert Crane, and both were instrumental in the construction of metallic men that saved humanity time and again. Caulder and Crane were instrumental in saving the lives of race car driver Cliff Steele and Crane himself, transforming them into the  heroes known as Robotman of their respective worlds.

Eventually, Nile's team of heroes, the Doom Patrol, perished at the hands of one of their adversaries. Or so it seemed. In fact, Cliff's body washed up on a shore and was found by Will, who himself was the creator of the Metal Men that consisted of malleable metal bodies guided by personalities contained within responsometers. Creating a new Robotman of Earth-One, Will unleashed this revived robot upon the new Doom Patrol. Meanwhile, Chuck had time and time again assisted in the process of transferring Robert Crane's brain into different bodies that had been worn out or partially destroyed during Crane's career as the Earth-Two Robotman. Eventually, Grayson was afflicted with a condition leaving him brain dead, and he left his body in the capable hands of his friend so that Robert could again taste humanity in the body of a man.

Interestingly, just as Will had several versions of his Metal Men as well as his Metal Women led by a Nameless robot, so to had Chuck through Project M during World War II created the various G.I. Robots and their semi-sentient robo-pets as agents in foreign lands during that conflict. While the original Metal Men in Earth-Two's universe originated from a variation of Jupiter and were evil, the G.I. Robots redeemed robot kind with their acts of valor... as had the Metal Men who stood apart from the sinister schemes of the Metal Women and other wayward creations of Magnus. In fact, each successive version of the same six original Metal Men always stayed true to their responsometers unlike the other creations of Magnus throughout the years, perhaps due to atmospheric conditions which effected their personality programming components as has been speculated in the past. The G.I. Robots seem to have been more grounded in the morality of their maker Chuck Grayson, no doubt from his experience alongside the original metal man in Robotman.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wicked Woebegone Wielders of Weaponry versus the Fastest Men Alive

The Three Dimwits, as they were affectionately known as, were perpetual pests to most who knew them. Except, of course, for Jay Garrick aka the Flash of Earth-Two and his girlfriend Joan Williams, who came to view the trio as friends. Over the years, the bonds of friendship would be cemented even further, despite twice encountering bad versions of Winky Moylan, Noddy Toylan, and Binky Boylan. And this trio had actual counterparts who themselves met Barry Allen aka the Flash of Earth-One on one occasion. More famous were the evil versions of that Winky, Binky and Noddy who would be among those of Flash's Rogues Gallery.

George Digger Harkness had returned from his self-imposed exile in the Australian outback to accept the position as mascot for toy maker W.W. Wiggins' latest venture. As Captain Boomerang, Digger was to promote the product, although he secretly used his own intuitive know how to develop various gadget boomerangs that exploded, released sonic waves and grappling hooks to employ in criminal schemes in Central City. This brought him into conflict with Barry-Flash, leading to a long run enmity between the two. None of his exploits led to success, until in an alternate future he was a member of the reformed criminal government enterprise known as the Suicide Squad, and even then he wasn't respected by his peers nor a true asset to that team during his stint with them. The Winky of Earth-Two had an evil lookalike who aided the Nazis and originated from the planet Karma who used his inherent alien physique and technology to bedevil Jay-Flash on two occasions. Also, Winky's creativity caused trouble on occasion.

Paul Gambi was a tailor with a special niche in Central City, designing the uniforms of several supervillains operating there. At one point, Paul even attempted to aid the Top in defeating the Flash, and found himself jailed for his efforts. His apprentice J.M. Leach tried to take over his business, until Gambi got it back. The Noddy of Earth-Two had an evil lookalike who aided the Nazis and originated from the planet Karma who used his inherent alien physique and technology to bedevil Jay-Flash on two occasions. In addition, Noddy himself was known as an amateur inventor who devised equipment that caused chaos.

Senator Creed Phillips found himself empowered after being exposed to plutonium when he was kidnapped by a pair of thugs, gaining the power to disintegrate matter with but a touch of his hands. Adopting the alter ego of the Eradicator, he became a murderous vigilante that drew him into conflict with Barry-Flash, until finally Phillips used his power on himself after realizing how horrible he had become due to his costumed career. The Blinky of Earth-Two had an evil lookalike who aided the Nazis and originated from the planet Karma who used his inherent alien physique and technology to bedevil Jay-Flash on two occasions. Interestingly, Blinky himself once adopted the identity of Muscleman and, like the Eradicator, had superstrength for a time. A crook took over Blinky's alter ego briefly whose Earth-One counterpart was Supergirl's love interest known as Dynamo, both also having superstrength.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bad Bolt Branding Boys Bother and Bedevil the Brave and the Bold

Nikos Aegeus and Sir Traytor were a couple of punks, to put it mildly. Aegeus was a leader of a Grecian terror cell, Traytor was a knight of Camelot who lost his way. While Nikos was born in the modern day of Earth-One, his mentor Bellerophon was a legend of ancient times who rode a winged steed and in modern times sought a successor in the form of Aegeus who would ride his horse while employing the lightning charged weaponry at his disposal. This brought him to the attention of an Amazing Amazon whom Bellerophon felt posed a threat to his ambitious plans, revealing that Aegeus was no more than a mere pawn in this ancient adversary's evil agenda.

On Earth-Two, Bellerophon fought the Shining Knight in the days of Arthur due to a time warp that brought him to that era, and then returned to Greek after his defeat to eventually perish. However a successor to his own misguided ways took up his perverse path in the form of Traytor, an evil knight who gained immortality of a kind. In modern times, Traytor would face the Shining Knight using his lightning charged sword of his own design, while Aegeus used portable lightning bolt rods and invincible daggers at his disposal versus Wonder Woman. Despite their awesome physique, flying mares and wonderful weaponry, this pair of caped criminals failed to vanquish their heroic foes and would become mere footnotes in history themselves. Aegeus appeared but twice to battle Wonder Woman, as had Trayor who in the days of Arthur and then the 20th century faced the Shining Knight.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Righteous Reds Rend Rogues Relentlessly: Red Robin and Red Bee

The name Robin is forever linked with Batman, no matter which Earth you might consider. The first Robin was Richard Grayson of Earth-Two who, in the early 1940's, became the ward of Bruce Wayne following the death of his acrobat parents at the circus which they all performed in. This same event occurred with the Richard Grayson of Earth-One only decades later, although eventually this Robin outgrew his childhood to become the Teen Titan known as Nightwing. Shortly thereafter, another circus orphan, Jason Todd, also lost his parents when they were murdered by Killer Croc. Once more, Wayne decided to take another young man under his wing to be his next protege after Todd proved himself in his own homemade costume. However, Todd's Robin was a bit more troubled, and eventually found himself in the grip of the femme fatale known as Nocturna. Eventually, Wayne decided to adopt Jason just prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. So one may ask, what of Todd's counterpart on Earth-Two? His story was considerably different, though no less tragic as we shall now see.

Turning our attention to Rick Raleigh, who assumed the alter ego of the Red Bee, we see what may have been in Jason's later life had not circumstances intervened. Rick attained the position of assistant district attorney, and yet became disgruntled at the injustice he found in Superior City leading to his alter egoDevising a stun gun and a means of mentally controlling bees, this righteous redhead eventually joined the All-Star Squadron. During this first meeting, he was encouraged by Uncle Sam to join some fellow All-Stars as they traveled to the parallel planet of Earth-X, where there were at that time no native superheroes. During this adventure, Sam's strike team of Freedom Fighters came into conflict with Baron Blitzkrieg of their Earth, who ensnared Bee's teammates. Courageously tackling the Baron on his own in order to by the others time, Blitzkrieg pummeled Red Bee to the point where the hero died from his injuries, although his death would be avenged by the other Fighters.

In a possible future timeline, Jason Todd himself would've seemingly also perished at the hands of the Joker, only to be brought back through a cosmic anomaly only now with a perverse sense of justice. Now, as the gun wielding Red Hood... and identity he borrowed from the Joker himself... Todd became a brutal vigilante that threatened Gotham City's criminals while also bringing himself into conflict with his former mentor as Batman attempted without success to sway Jason back to the path of righteousness. What ultimately would become of this hardened older Jason Todd as the Red Hood and, later, the Red Robin, would be determine on a future occasion heretofore untold...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Freedom Fighters on Earth-X: The X-Factors

Of all world's in the original Multiverse, only two had no resident superheroes, at least initially... Earth-Prime and Earth-X. The former eventually had two, known as Ultraa and Superboy. And the latter had their own superhumans, although these would only appear following the migration of a legion of champions from another universe, and then with mixed results.

Specifically, two groups appeared during the early years of World War II which followed the Crisis on Infinite Earths, two teams who never appearing before on Earth-Two. The Young All-Stars and their opposite numbers, Axis Amerika, dueled repeatedly with both sides evenly matched. If we are to hypothesize that all characters in the new composite Earth were drawn from the five remaining alternate Earths that eventually merged, it would seem logical that such was the case with these characters. Earth-One never had superheroes in the 1940s, Earth-Four only had Blue Beetle and Judomaster up to that point, and Earth-S had the Marvel Family and the Squadron of Justice.

However, the history of Earth-X was left undocumented save for the exploits of those Quality heroes who arrived from Earth-Two in 1942. In the reconstituted Earth-10 following the Infinite Crisis, a world was formed modeled after Earth-X, with a version of Axis Amerika there known there as JLAxis. This team had variations of Ubermensch and Der Grösshorn Eule, known on Earth-10 as Superman and Leatherwing. Apparently, there was also a variation on the Flash and Green Lantern heretofore unseen as well as a pair of Winged Warriors. Also, a Valkyrie named Brunhilde was among the JLAxis, corresponding to Gudra of Earth-Two who had joined Axis Amerika, who filled the role of a Wonder Woman there.

Of course, we know that the Young All-Stars Dyna-Mite, Sandy, Neptune Perkins, Tsunami and Tigress (later Huntress)... not to mention Gudra... existed on Earth-Two. What, though, of the other individuals composing these amalgamations of avengers? These would be the counterparts to familiar individuals of Earths One and Two such as the Supermen, Batmen, Robins, Wonder Women, Aquamen, Hawkmen and Hawkwomen and Luthors, among others. Superman's twin on Earth-X was Iron Munro (with Lex Luthor's twin Ubermensch mixed in), Batman and Robin's was Der Grösshorn Eule and Fledermaus, Wonder Woman's was Fury, Aquaman's was Sea Wolf, Hawkman and Hawkgirl's was the Raven and Black Widow, their Spectre was Flying Fox. And that is just scratching the surface. Munro's father Hugo Danner founded the Sons of Dawn in an isolated section of South America, a team of young superheroes which would have been the Teen Titans of Earth-X. Undoubtedly, as with other Earths, once the metahuman explosion started it would multiple across the globe with dozens of good and evil superhumans appearing on the scene.

However, the preeminent team of superheroes on Earth-X was the Freedom Fighters. Recruited and led by Uncle Sam, who along with his compatriots arrived from their native Earth-Two to assist the then-hero-less world against the hordes of the Axis Powers. As he brought most of these former All-Stars from Earth-Two during a Crisis event in 1942, something similar happened on Earth-X as happened when the citizens of Earth-B migrated to Earth-One during the Crisis... they merged with their counterparts there! And so, such heroes as Doll Man and Phantom Lady merged with the Darrell Dane and Sandra Knight of Earth-X, which enabled them to renew acquaintances with counterparts of Darrell's girlfriend Martha and Sandra's father Henry, among others. Meanwhile, the original friends and family members they left behind on Earth-Two undoubtedly had significant holes to fill with the departure of their loved ones. Such was an eventuality during such times of war and conflict.

And these former denizens of Earth-Two would soon beceme the inspiration for heroes like Iron Munro, Fury, Black Widow and the Raven, as well as many others through the decades. However, in the end most costumed crusaders, both on the Allied and Axis sides of the equation, would perish or disappear when the android Manhunters arrived on Earth-X from Earth-One in order to subjugate this new universe free of the influence of their foes the Guardians of (Earth-One's) universe. Only seven mystery men remained to tackle this new insidious foe, and alongside the Justice League and Justice Society they would defeat them and liberate a planet from tyranny.

And this first, and last, team of champions on Earth-X would be the equivalent to the Legion of Super-Heroes of Earth-One and, logically as former All-Stars, the All-Star Squadron of Earth-Two. While the Freedom Fighters that remained would seek out a third Earth to continue their adventures, ultimately they returned to Earth-X and protected it until the Crisis on Infinite Earths attacked that world during 1985 which ended in its merging into the post-Crisis Earth that was home to Young All-Stars and Axis Amerika!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Fearsome Fiends on Earth-X: Ace Archers

Usil the Sun-Archer was his world's greatest archer. Originating in Italy during the early days of 1940, this nefarious nemesis of the west was recruited into the Axis Amerika as his country's representative in  a team bent on invading the United States and defeating its superheroes. On Earth-X, Usil would have been matched against the Spider who had himself just migrated from Earth-Two to join the Freedom Fighters. In the post-Crisis merged Earth, Usil would battle the Young All-Stars and their archer, Tigress. Despite his vast array of trick arrows, he would find himself outdone by any of these champions who opposed the tyranny of Europe's dictatorships and their masked minions.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fearsome Fiends on Earth-X: Airborne Avengers

On Earth-Two, the Japanese scientist Prince Daka obsessed with obtaining the secrets to Starman's Gravity Rod which allowed the hero to glide through the air and defy gravity. On Earth-X, the scientist known as Tetsujiro Yoneda actually discovered this technique, or a variation at least, which he employed in his armor as the Empire's costumed crusader known as Kamakazi who would become his nation's preeminent protector of their perverse principles of the time, melding technology with tyrany.

Recruited into Axis Amerika in order to infiltrate and eliminate the recently arrived superheroes from Earth-Two known as the Freedom Fighters, on an alternate post-Crisis Earth he would occupy a similar role only as a later replacement for the former Japanese agent known as Tsunami. Despite jetting through the air like Starman or Earth-One's Adam Strange, he turned out to be a dud each time when matched with the West's finest!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fearsome Fiends on Earth-X: Caped Crusaders

The Dynamic Duo were their worlds' first fully functional costumed partnership, matching analytical abilities with physical attributes, equal parts brave and bold mixed together.

And yet, Batman and Robin were not the only father-son team to take on those who would violate their personal principles. While not as legendary, the team of Der Grösshorn Eule and Fledermaus, the team espoused the ideology of their corrupt government and attempted to corrupt western society as well alongside Axis Amerika.

Equipped with various devices, skilled in various acrobatic techniques, and possessed of their own brand of mental aptitudes, Horned Owl and his sidekick nevertheless had a short-lived relationship as the psychotic lad lost his life. Well, that was on the merged world, perhaps on Earth-X he continued operating alongside his father for quite some time during the decades of Nazi rulership on that globe.

Studying these pair of pairs one thing becomes evident... what measures a hero isn't their conviction for a cause but their continual sight toward what is right... which neither Der Grösshorn Eule and Fledermaus possessed during their lunatic lives.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fearsome Fiends on Earth-X: Dudes of the Deep

Dudes of the deep, indeed! Earth-Two's premier protector of the deep was Aquaman (so was Earth-One's), once a lad experimented upon his father utilizing ancient Atlantis techniques to not only help him survive the deep but manifest mighty muscles and manipulate mollusks!

On Earth-X, those crafty Nazi scientists developed the means to mutate a mortal man into Sea-Wolf, a hybrid being himself capable of also residing underseas while displaying a wide-range of physical attributes, including an animal side.

And why do we know that Sea-Wolf threatened the oceans of that world? Well, the fact that the balance of power was tipped in German's favor there instead of America's on every other world, it would seem logical that most of the native meta-humans residing there would support the Nazi regime. And the reappearance of Earth-X as Earth-10 during the Infinite Crisis indicates this a reality.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fearsome Fiends on Earth-X: Bald Bedevilers

Leader of Axis Amerika was the mysterious Ubermensch, a Nazi super-soldier created by his German masters to harness the massive abilities first embodied by Hugo Danner then later by Arn "Iron" Munro. And he has more than a passing resemblance to another bald baddie in an adjacent universe.

Lex Luthor, and his counterpart Alexie Luthor, bedeviled their Supermen on Earths One and Two for decades. Although primarily relying on their unrivaled intellect, occasionally they manifested superhuman powers to match their arch-foes' thanks to various devices, such as Alexie's powerstone and Lex's powersuit.

While himself not much in the way of a genius level madman, Ubermensch was a tactical stalwart who kept his Axis Amerika in line and may well have developed further intellect to match his physique as latent exposure to the Danner treatment may have had a cumulative effect on his cranium over time. He had Lex's baldness, and Alexie's European roots. And it is logical he would've lived on Earth-X given that world's skewed sensibilities. His cosmic twin in the Infinite Crisis' Earth-10 was a like superhuman who led his world's Die Gerechitigkeitsliga, although this individual seemed to be a blend of the German Ubermensch in nationality and Arn Munro in appearance.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Feathered Furies Flirt Famously with Fabulous Females

While the parallel planet of Earth-X did not have that many native born mystery men, a few did exist following the arrival of the heroes of Earth-Two which comprised the Freedom Fighters. Among these were the Young All-Stars such as Iron Munro, Fury and Flying Fox as well as the agents of Axis Amerika such as Ubermensch, Der Grosshorn Eule, Sea-Wolf, and Usil. There were also other heroes unaffiliated with any of these teams, including today's dynamic duo.

Dianne Grayton was a young debutante that discovered an innate ability to summon and control spiders to do her bidding, which she used in her alter ego as Spider Widow. Wearing a mask that made her look like an old hag, the Widow nevertheless earned one admirer in the high-flying Raven, a man who somehow devised the means of winged flight. The duo came in conflict with Phantom Lady, newly arrived from Earth-Two, in a two-part case.

This couple was reminiscent of the Winged Warriors of Earths One and Two, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, as both looked like their world's version of Katar and Shayera Hol who themselves were refuges of the war torn world of Thanagar-One. Raven and the Widow continued to operate together through the war years, which on Earth-X would have extended into the modern day, however it was documented that all active superheroes other than the Freedom Fighters perished or were no more. Perhaps this pair retired into marital bliss, despite living under Nazi oppression, to live out their lives together. One would hope...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mideast Mighty Mad Men Meet Marvelous Manhunters

Omar Pairut uncovered the secrets of an ancient "sun stone" which his family had been entrusted with since 334 BCE, when it nearly fell into the hands of Alexander the Great. Using his fortune to ascertain how to use it to bestow powers on himself, Pairut informed the ambassador of Iran of his new alias as Sunburst and asked him to inform the United Nations of his grand plans of conquest. While flying across Earth-One, Sunburst encountered and quickly defeated Aquaman, leaving the hero in a desert. Little did he know that the King of the Seas would survive and track down the villain, using a mirror to reflect energy emitted from Omar back at him, thus destroying the sun stone and leaving the madmen powerless.

Zolar recruited several Arabians into his scheme to blackmail Metropolis, utilizing destructive globes and weather altering technology. Having kidnapped Laura Vogel, sister of an archeologist who stumbled upon Zolar's scheme, the villain replaced her with an agent of his who tried to lure Earth-Two's Superman into a trap. However, once she grabbed Zolar's globe gun and used it against the Man of Steel, it bounced off him and extinguished her and her scientifically sinister master instead. That was the end of Zolar, whose brief bid for world domination was thwarted as had been his counterpart's grandiose plan.

Another Sunburst on Earth-One would be movie actor Takeo Sato, who as an infant breathed fumes from volcano which mutated his genes, causing him to possess the ability to harness heat naturally unlike Omar. On a movie set, when his harness failed him in mid-air on the set of a film shooting, he first manifested his power of flight and heat emission. The movie studio then hired Sato to be the star of a series of movies as Sunburst, stating publicly that his powers were simply special effects. When Japanese criminals discovered the reality of Takeo's situation, they blackmailed him into becoming their unwilling yet complicit partner in a crime wave that drew the attention of Superboy. Sunburst battled the Boy of Steel, then secretly recruited him to help him locate his kidnapped parents, which he did. Sunburst's counterpart was one of the series of Immortal Man that originated in Asia and had his own flight and energy manipulation powers during a similar brief and undocumented career. Both men would perish during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, heroes to the end unlike the nefarious Pairut and Zolar.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Automan or Ironman... Don't call these guys Bozos...

Robot #32196 was the creation of Professor Miller Sterling, a bodyguard who graduated from the Robot Tech and had a series of adventures before meeting his "life mate" in the 21st century. Bozo was the creation of Dr.Van Thorp who sought to use him as a weapon of evil, until the heroic Hugh Hazzard intervened and liberated the metallic man from its offensive originator, thus having a series of adventures as part of the "Iron Man". Both possess superhuman strength and other attributes built into their framework. Although most of Automan's tales for his over 130 years of existence on Earth-One were left unchronicled, such was not the case with the Iron Man who had dozens of case in the early 1940s on Earth-Two. 

Eventually Automan would be protecting the great-great-granddaughter of his creator, and then met private detective Star Hawkins who was Hugh Hazzard's counterpart. As a result, he also met Star's robotic secretary Ida (aka robot # F2324).  Together, the two humans formed Sterling Academy of Robotic Detection while their own robots formed a life bond as Automan and Ida found familiar functionality with one another.

Bozo meanwhile didn't apparently last into the future era when a woman named Maria led a revolt on the business interests ruling her world, among whom the evil Rotwang created a robot replica of her that was Ida's doppleganger, who ultimately was destroyed. Still, another version of her known as Mekanique would return the 20th century, so perhaps this version met Bozo?


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jungle Justice: Animal Ability Avengers Attack Amoral Aggressors

When stunt man Buddy Blake became irradiated with emissions from an unidentified flying object, he suddenly acquired the ability to absorb ambient attributes of animals around him. If a winged creature was nearby, he could fly. If a bestial behemoth was close at hand he gained its superhuman strength. While this transpired on Earth-One, a parallel even happened on Earth-Two when the heir to the title of Immortal Man himself gained superhuman strength, flight and other powers due to a meteor fragment from outer space. With Blake becoming Animal Man and his counterpart becoming Jungle Man, this pair defended two different continents from threats to nature, usually derived from that of selfish mankind. After five cases each, these two heroes retired only to reappear sparingly later.

Both men found true love in the form of Ellen Frazier for Blake and Helen Phelps for his cosmic twin. And each were tied to the Immortal Man, who himself journeyed from Earth-Two to Earth-One in order to recruit Animal Man into his team the Forgotten Heroes. This group only had a couple of adventures prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. And while Buddy and Ellen wed and had children, Jungle Man's true love Helen would be separated from him after his passing.

Perhaps the most tenacious adversary that the Immortal Man/Jungle Man faced was the plunderer known only as Karat who steals a mysterious helmet allowing him to create fantastic mutated animals in Africa. Karat's counterpart on Earth-One was Michael Maxwell, who while in Africa had himself been given a helmet by an intelligent red ape known as Djuba which allowed him to combine and control two animals into various variations of beasts. Taking the alter ego of B'wana Beast, Maxwell twice combated the evil Hamil Ali whose Earth-Two counterpart was Mister Ghool. Ghool was a recurring foe of Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, never having occasion to meet Jungle Man during that hero's brief career.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Devious Doctors Determined to Defeat Determined Dudes

Doctor Arthur Light bore fruit in his exhaustive research in the area inspired by his name. Discovering ways in which he could harness the power of lightwaves using advanced weaponry, Arthur decided to start a criminal career in order to capitalize on his technology. Seeing his most prominent obstacle in the form of the Justice League of America, Doctor Light exiled some of its members to other dimensions, only he underestimated his adversaries who escaped and captured him. Then, Doctor Light attacked to individual members of the Lesgue such as Atom, Flash, Greem Lantern and so on... each time falling in his objectives to defeat them. Finally, he decided to take on his other enemies, the Teen Titans, this time by recruiting other super villains to form the Fearsome Five. Shortly thereafter, this team led by Psimon expelled Light from their gang,seeing him for the failure that he always was, leading to the Doctor's retirement from costumed villainy.

His counterpart on Earth-Two was just as determine and devious. As he was rejected by the scientific community for his own unorthodox theories (possible by observing the Crisis anti-matter waves seven years prior in 1942), he adopted the alias of Doctor Light. Seeking vengeance on those who spurned him, this Doctor Light used blinding luminescent light as well as an ability to grow mutant plant life to aid him in his schemes. Thrice he battle and was defeated by his arch-enemy, Doctor Mid-Nite of the Justice Society of America. Two of these encounters mimicked those of Doctor Arthur Light who had battled the Justice League time and again. Additionally, another felon known as the Light on Earth-Two had similar tales versus Starman to those of Arthur Light versus the Justice League the first time, them against the Atom of his world... even though the Light's counterpart of Earth-One was the Time Lord.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Superior and Sinister Saturnians Seeks Solitude or Sovereignty

King Jaxx was the supreme sovereign of the Red Saturnians of Saturn-One, and found that the underclass White Saturnians had formed a coup against his regime necessitating his wife Jarlia hiding their son Prince Jemm. This lad had snuck away from his home world and headed for Earth-One to live in exile in the city of Harlem. However, the White Saturnian known as Synn had tracked the lad down and sought the energy crystal embedded in his head as an energy resource. This jewel gave Jemm energy powers in addition to his superstength and flight.

Then there was Prince Porra of a Saturn-Two whose misguided father King Ool and his brother Prince Gorla sought to rule Earth-Two, which brought them into conflict with Zatara. The top-hat troubleshooter recruited Porra and finally convinced Ool and Gorla the folly of trying to conquer the human home world. Remarkably, Porra's people look like the green Martians of Mars-One and Mars-Two, and in fact on the former world those inhabitants had created the race of red skinned clones to help them colonize Saturn. Apparently, their counterparts simply migrated a portion of their population to Saturn-Two.

Whole Jemm had a few adventures while on Earth-One before returning to his world, Porra never bothered to appear on Earth-Two as Zatara's awesome array of powers overwhelmed he and his kin. Also, they didn't have superpowers as had their doppelgängers on Saturn-One, instead relying on all sorts of strange unearthly equipment in their egotistical endeavors. Jemm encountered Zatara's fellow Action Ace Superman who was as kind yet firm as his colleague towards the Saturnians.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Simple Simons Times Two: Versus the Bat, the Robin and the Hawk

Each Simon Atwell was a troubled yet tremendously talented man on twin Earths. Same gaudy fashion sense, same appearance of a clueless fella from the country, yet with a knack to find the means to his maniacal methods. On Earth-One, he crossed paths with Batman and Robin, and after a series on confrontations was defeated by the Dynamic Duo. On Earth-Two, his counterpart fought the Hawkman and two separate occasions, neither one in which he proved successful. Nevertheless, both Simons did prove that they were nearly more than a match for their costumed opponents. However, almost doesn't cut it when villainy faces masked manhunters.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fearless Fin-Heads Face Frightening Foes

Mophir was the self-appointed protector of the South Pacific island of Diablo, possessing a black diamond from space with vast powers. Seeing a threat in solar physicist Bruce Gordon who was visiting, he scraped the diamond upon Gordon's skin which infected him with the same madness that The protector Mophir had succumbed to untold years prior. Perishing as he charged off a ravine, Mophir was no longer a threat, yet when he died Eclipso was born within Gordon. This resulted in a new creation made in the image of the evil villain of Diablo, seemingly implanted by the black diamond into the genetic structure of Gordon that was unleashed through a catalyst, insuring the madness that was Diablo would manifest itself for years to come. And this madness would spawn an offspring from Eclipso that itself would terrorize the world briefly. This combined evil entity would be the doppleganger on Earth-One for one of Earth-Two's most courageous and lesser known costumed crusaders. More on him in a moment, first let us consider the history of the Duke of Darkness himself.

The madness seemed to perpetuate through Bruce whenever an eclipse occurred, with Gordon developing as split personality whenever an eclipse occurred. A bright light would cause Eclipso to retreat for a time, though usually not before he destroyed such things as Bruce's Solar City. At times, Gordon was able to cause Eclispo to be good, or to create a Positive Eclispo to combat the Negative version that the villain created. Eventually, Bruce used an ultra-violet light to separate himself from Eclipso, at least during eclipses, in order to combat him. On one occasion, Eclipso created a pawn in the form of Helio who harnessed the sun to aid him in his schemes. Both were defeated, with Helio being destroyed, by the heroic Prince Ra-Man. Eventually, Eclipso came to the attention of Green Lantern when Bruce was hired by Lantern's employer Ferris Aircraft to develop a solar powered jet. On the second of two battled with both Hal Jordan and John Stewart in their Lantern personas, Eclipso was permanently destroyed. Earth-One was saved from this fiend forevermore.

Wing How was like Mophir in that he was fiercely protective of his people on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, in his case in China. And he would come to meet the counterpart of Gordon and Eclipso in the form of Lee Walter Travis, aka the Crimson Avenger. However, unlike Eclipso and Mophir, the Avenger and Wing were on the side of good, yet each would themselves possess incredible sources of power. For the Crimson, it came in the form of a chunk of Nebula matter he had obtained which sent him to ancient Mexico and turned him for a time into a power mad despot do the people. And for Wing, this came in the form of the Nebula Rod which he and his teammates of the Law's Legionnaires developed to combat the alien Nebula Man that had invaded Earth-Two, causing his colleagues such as the Avenger to be sent back in time. Giving his life to save his world showed how noble Wing was, unlike his counterpart Mophir which that fiend's later "manifestations" of his madness in the form of the Eclipso clone and Helio who may have visually been similar to Wing but wasn't even half the man that the young hero had become.

So while the black diamond's icy black and destructive light blasts were the equal to the potent power of the Nebula Rock and Rod, it was the courageous and good demeanor of Wing which trumped his devious dopplegangers a universe away.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Masters of Disguise: Tuxedo Troubleshooters

Both Christopher Chance and King Standish, wealthy men of leisure on the surface, were actually masters of disguise. Seeking to protect their fellow man, Christopher to avenge the death of his father who fell prey to loan sharks and King for unspecified reasons, these two were consummate actors fooling any evildoers that sought out their innocent prey. While there was apparently a previous Human Target, Fred Venerable, who also, subbed for others targeted by crooks on both Earths, it was only thanks to the Batmen that they stayed alive themselves.

On occasion, Christopher as the Human Target worked alongside other crimefighters such as Earth-One's Batman and the Sea Devils, while the King was a member of the All-Star Squadron which included his world's Batman, mostly they kept to themselves. While King had a love interest/adversary in the Witch, herself a mistress of disguise, the Target never had a steady flame of his own. Though doubtless both could attract the opposite sex easily with their charm and good looks, still it was their mission that they were married to, and had lengthy careers gaining fame and acclaim. And saving plenty of lives too!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Alabaster Avengers Aggravate Adversaries Always: Blanx and Martler

Commander Blanx and dictator Martler, on the surface, seem to have nothing in common aside from their Martian origins and thirst for power. However, both alien adversaries of mankind faced off against the Men of Steel in their respective universe, leading legions of their people to the third planet for the sun intent on conquest. 

Blanx was the leader of the Desert Dwelling White Martians, who were the perpetual foes of the Green Martians, at the time led by J'onn Jon'zz the Martian Manhunter. Both vying to capture the potent power source known only as the Blue Flame which heated Mars-One, it was Blanx who defeated J'onn and banished him for thirteen years from their society. Shortly thereafter through a fluke of science, J'onn ended up on Earth-One and adopted the alter ego John Jones, police detective. Yet secretly, Jon'zz carried out on a career as a costumed crimefighter from behind the scenes. It was Blanx who tracked down his hated foe and with his White Martian force tried to capture Earth.

And decades earlier on Earth-Two, Martler was an ego-maniacal warlord who led his fellow Blue Martians (whom he referred to as Solaziz) that had led secluded lives from the more common Green Martians on their world. Seizing upon a scheme whereby they would utilize their superior weaponry versus the more backward humans of their neighboring world. Apparently, the Blue Martians had obsessed with viewing televised signals from Earth-Two which broadcast the exploits of Hitler's Nazi regime in Germany only a few years prior, and so these war mongers sought to replicate and perfect that madman's dream of total domination of humanity. Welles with nothing but his prop sword in hand made short work of the Solaziz, and enabled the actor to contact Superman.

Both dictators commanded legions... the White Martians possessed Kryptonian level powers on par with Superman while the Blue Martians appeared  far more frail and weak then the citizens of Earth. Years later, after having conquered Mars-One, Blanx used his knowledge to fanatically unleash the unmitigated might of the Blue Flame. On Earth-Two, the Blue Flame was controlled by Doctor Mephisto and ultimately conquered by Superman's ally, the Spectre. Eventually, Blanx was apparently the last survivor of his race and perished while in battle with Jon'zz. As for Martler, after Superman made quick work of the dictator's space fleet trapping them in orbit around the Moon. Then the pair of humans exiled Martler on a solitary planetoid so as to no longer influence his race which seemed to retreat once he was out of the picture.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Terrific and Terrifying Twins of Twin Terra-firmas

We have considered in this blog various cosmic twins of parallel universes, usually between Earths One and Two. Often, these individuals mirror one another in key aspects while deviating significantly in other areas that make for interesting studies in the humanities. However, today we reflect on those oddities that found twins or parallels within their own world.... sometimes they were brothers other times cousins... yet they traveled on parallel paths that made them the exception exceptional enigmas. For instance, there is the previous consideration of the twins behind Ferro Lad and Captain Triumph. Another example is Boston and Cleveland Brand who were also identical twins. Then there was Roger Romaine of the east coast of the of United States and his same-named cousin of the west coast. Of course, there was also Albert and Alvin Desmond, distant cousins who had a mental connection also living on different coasts, while Gustave Gilroy was a fraud imitating a Masked Manhunter. These cosmic twins are different than those previously considered, as we shall see.

Boston was the ace acrobat known as the Deadman, and a protector of the innocent as well. When he died, Cleveland took up his brother's career at the Hill Bros Circus. Jim Corrigan was the ace detective who became known as the Spectre, and he too gained superpowers. Eventually, a criminal known as Gustav Gilroy imitated Jim's alter ego, until the real Spectre exposed his secret. On occasion, both Deadman and Spectre teamed up, usually on occasions when the Spectre crossed over from his native Earth-Two to Deadman's Earth-One when he aided that world's Corrigan. While there were two Corrigans, there was only one Spectre who had himself assumed the alias of Jim Corrigan for a couple decades which corresponded to the period of time Boston Brand was alive prior to his assuming his acrobotic alter ego.

Then there was Albert Desmond whose criminal tendencies motivated his scientific acumen towards a career as the costumed criminal known as Mister Element, whose crime spree was abbreviated due to the appearance of Earth-One's Flash. So in response, he adopted a new alias as Doctor Alchemy, possessing the transmuting Philosopher's Stone... and still met with failure. Eventually, Desmond joined the Crime Champions where he encountered his foe and another Flash as well as their twin teams. After a series of failed attempted at fame, Albert retired from crime to reform and marry his girlfriend Rita. Soon thereafter, Albert's cousin Alvin assumed the alias Doctor Alchemy which led to a duel between the two, with Alvin eventually joining the second incarnation of the Crime Champions then fading away. Albert's counterpart on Earth-Two, Mister Alpha, didn't have a twin himself, instead Alvin's counterpart was a red haired man like himself named Slicer who had attempted to obtain the Philosopher's Stone of his world from the evil Lorelei, rather unsuccessfully as it turned out (Lorelei and her allies Rumpelstiltskin and Gallifron were the dopplegangers in an Earth-Two adjacent dimension to the trio of terror Saturna, Simon Magus, and Troll King of an Earth-One adjacent dimension... each foes of the Justice Society and League respectively).

These unique cases show that cosmic twins aren't simply a feature of parallel planets, but even two similar sets on the same Earth at times!

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