Sunday, September 21, 2014

Matter Manipulators Master Mirth and Merriment

Bat-Mite and Thunderbolt, 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", 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 his native dimension.

However, Mite's twin on Earth-Two the Thunderbolt remained in that universe. Sure, he occasionally journeyed to Earth-One, but mostly remained on his adopted home world. Occasionally, he would duplicate himself using clones from his native dimension. As such, these Thunderbolts counterbalanced Plastic Man and Metamorpho on Earths Two and One respectively. Meanwhile, Bat-Mite's move to Earth-Prime compensated for its hero Ultraa leaving Earth-Prime for Earth-One.

While Bat-Mite's career was a scant dozen or so tales, Thunderbolts was 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 a a solo hero and member of the Outsiders.

Additionally,Thunderbolt's presence in Earth-Two's dimensional plane doubled that of Bat-Mite's. This also made up for the loss of this pliable protector, as Thunderbolt could mimic the abilities of Plastic Man and Metamorpho, and filled in the role of honorary Justice Socialite as had the latter with the Justice League.

As for the rest Thunderbolt's race, they mirror the Water Sprites whom Earth-One's Aquaman and Aqualad met a hand ful of times. Shocko, son of the original Thunderbolt, was joined by several of his peers on a view occasions assisting or annoying Earth-Two's Johnny Thunder.

Both Bat-Mite and Thunderbolt were powerful aliens that aided Batman and Robin, while Metamorpho and Plastic Man were valuable allies the Caped Crusader enlisted on occasion.

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 the Master was a piece of work none as Doctor Clever, arch-enemy of Johnny Quick (aka John Chambers). Utilizing a projector to tap into the speed force unlocked by Quick through formulas, Clever was intent on unleashing an army of super-speed creeps to initiate a crime wave. Thwarted repeatedly by Quick, Clever finally crawled back in the hole he came from, wherever that was.

    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 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.

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    Independent Insect Individuals: Forager and Red Bee

    Forager was one of a species of insects on the inter-dimensional world of New Genesis, mutated to have the form of a humanoid while having superhuman leaping abilities and various athletic skills. Red Bee was Rick Raleigh, who adopted a costumed identity to use his ability to control insects such as bees as well as obtained athletic skills of his own. Eventually, Forager was accepted on Super Town with its prestigious inhabitants, while Raleigh became assistant district attorney of Superior City.

    Eventually, Forager arrived on Earth-One to enlist the aid of Orion in his battle versus foes such as Darkseid and Mantis. Red Bee left his native Earth-Two with fellow members of the All-Star Squadron to battle evil on Earth-X with fellow Freedom Fighters. While Forager had an acidic weapons and shield, Red Bee had his stinger gun and trained bees. 

    Although Forager eventually retired from heroics, Red Bee perished in battle, yet both were remembered for their short-lived yet impactful careers.

    Monday, August 11, 2014

    Timelines of Injustice: Sinister Society's Successful Schemes

    The Injustice Society may have ultimately proved a failure when battling their opposite number, the Justice Society, however two of their members succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in ruling the world. Of a kind.

    Vandal Savage had the longest run of a rogue's reign, when he schemed to have Superman follow him back through the ages the detonate various time bombs that reset history. As a result, Earth-One was transformed into a perpetual kingdom was the Earth-Two Savage as its sole sovereign for centuries. Or at least for several days, though it seemed longer given how the time stream was altered. 

    Vandal was known for pilfering the equipment of his fellow Socialites back when he worked with them in the late 1940's, and thus it would've been his ally Per Degaton's temporal technology that was instrumental in the immortal villain's victory. Although Superman figured this out and reverts history to how it was intended to be.

    And speaking of Degaton, when he was a lowly lab assistant for Time Trust scientist Professor Malachi Zee, he gained access to temporal technology. In 1947, Per stole Zee's time cabinet and journeyed back in time with armies and 20th century weaponry in order to alter the course of the key Battle of Arbela in 331 BC which changed the course of history. As such, Earth-Two did not technologically advance past a medieval state, while Degaton secured his modern armaments in a chromium lined cave. Even into the late 1950's, this resulted in this tyrant having unmatched power which even the Justice Society could not overcome.

    That is, until Green Lantern journeyed back in time with his teammates and tipped the Battle of Arbela back in favor of the true victors according to history. This led to time being reset, with Per's reign of tyranny ending. Although, the memory of his fleeting victory would remain and prompt him to pursue this path once more.

    On his second attempt, Degaton stole atomic weapons from Earth-Prime,enlisting the aid of Earth-Three's Crime Syndicate in order to control Earth-Two. Apparently, this was the decisive step needed so that into the 1980's, Degaton's new history proved him master of his native world. In this reality, superheroes still existed however the Crime Syndicate members Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Johnny Quick and Power Ring remained as his enforcers allowing them to subjugate this world. 

    The combined efforts of the Justice Society, Justice League and All-Star Squadron were needed to thwart Degaton's determination for dominance. In the process, they changed back the altered timeline on Earth-Prime that had resulted from the Syndicate's theft of weaponry, when that world was reduced to a devastated landscape. With not atom bombs nor his Syndicate at his disposal, Degaton once more retreated to his native 1947 leaving all save him forgetting about this encounter. His desire would remain.

    On Earth-One, Professor Ronson accidentally unleashed via his chronal transponder an energy wave that altered that planet's future causing its superheroes to be eliminated with only their alter egos remaining. Thankfully, the World's Finest Team from the future of Earths One and Two restored reality to its natural course.

    Interestingly, the first chronological reset of history on Earth-One was actually the creation of a deviant planet and universe spawned by Earth-Two's Thunderbolt at the behest of the criminal Johnny Thunder who wanted the Justice League eliminated. Replacing them with his Lawless League, themselves counterparts to the Crime Syndicate that were displaced in the alternate timeline on Earth-Two, this quintet of crooks had fleeting careers before they were dispatched by the visiting Justice Society. Although this world exists somewhere within the Multiverse, as does the altered timelines we've considered, they've been folded back into non-existence from whence they came as far as we're concerned.

    Nevertheless, an interesting aside is one final artificially created timeline/universe in the form of Earth-Zero, which was made manifest when Mister Mxyztplk and the entity known as Aethyr destroyed the short-lived planet Aethyr in Earth-One's reality yet projected it and its Bizarro inhabitants into a pocket universe much like Earth-A or these timelines. With their own evil replicas of Justice League and Justice Society members, these worlds would only be liberated from such oppression (although the Bizarro's enjoyed it, given their warped nature living in reverse) when the champions of main-stream realities intervened.

    So while history cannot be changed in the universes of the Multiverse, it can be branched off into timelines or universes distinct and different from each individual universe. Although due to the nature of time and the fluidity of their states of being, such existence is transient to say the least!

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    Force Field Fighters: The Tale of Twin Time Tyrants

    When Querl Dox of Colu first enlisted in Earth-One's Time Institute, his genius level intellect quickly acquired for him the respect of his peers. Among their many pursuits was developing the Time Bubble that would pierce the time stream and allow them to journey from the 30th century to other eras. Eventually, he became motivated to join the Legion of Super-Heroes as Brainiac Five, coming equipped with his patented force field belt and other gadgets which made as much an impression as fellow recruit Supergirl. His career with this team was mixed, as he was key in several of their victories although he made a misguided attempt to create sentient artificial intelligence which became the evil Computo and later went temporarily mad, almost destroying the universe. He regained his sanity and served the Legion with distinction from them on. Like his counterpart Degaton, Dox was tied to an evil "Brain" in the original Brainiac, as well as coming into conflict with a Legion of All-Stars from time to time. 

    When Per Degaton, the original version, joined the Time Trust, he was instrumental behind the scenes in its success... and failure. When the Justice Society of America used technology to journey to the 25th century to obtain bomb defense technology, it was Per as a lab assistant that sabotaged it. Some years later, when his supervisor Professor Malachi, several versions of Degaton would attempt to usurp control over the world only to be defeated by the Society and later the All-Star Squadron. While chronal-clones of Degaton had moderate success on at least two occasions of obtaining a rule of decades, the prime version eventually aged and as an old man reunited with fellow Injustice Socialite Brain Wave. In a newly conditioned body, Per's mental acumen allowed him to develop his own force field generator while in conflict with Power Girl and the Society. Eventually, in a rematch with them, he perished in battle.

    Friday, August 8, 2014

    Fawcett Fridays:Married Men and Maidens in Mid-Air

    The romance of Superman and Lois Lane is, indeed, an epic one. As is the tragic attraction that draws Batman and Catwoman towards the other. And even when their girlfriend knows from the beginning is real identity, as happened with Jay "Flash" Garrick with his lady Joan and Ralph "Elongated Man" Dibny with his lass Sue, there is an even more appealing coupling. That would be the crimefighting dating duo. And we have three prime examples today.

    Katar Hol, Carter Hall and Jim Barr first discovered the miraculous anti-gravitational properties of  heir anti-gravity metal belt, nth metal belt and gravity regulator helmet respectively. Katar and Jim were police men and used these devices to track down evil culprits that alluded traditional law enforcement authorities. Carter and Jim were a pair of scientists with a thirst for balance in the natural order around them. And Katar and Carter were two who thrived on communing with avian creation whose air they shared.

    But there was something more these three men shared... the desire for companionship. And so, when Jim's girlfriend Susan Kent... also the daughter of his boss Sergeant Kent... desired to join him in his heroic crusade... he bequeathed her a duplicate helmet and similar costume. And thus, Bulletman and Bulletgirl were born, having several adventures throughout the 1940's before Doctor Sivana's Suspendium caught them and their fellow costumed crusaders of Earth-S in suspended animation until the 1970's. At that time, they joined the Squadron of Justice, although they were earlier members of the Crime Crusaders Club.

    Carter and his fiancee Shiera Saunders repeatedly found themselves in adventures that called for his alter ego of Hawkman, and eventually temptation caused Hall to create another pair of wings and nth metal belt for his future bride. And thus, Hawkwoman was born, although she soon reverted to the identity of Hawkgirl. Although she never joined his team, the Justice Society of America, which she occasionally expressed interest in... she became an integral part of Earth-Two's All-Star Squadron. Together, these two Hawks also operated through the 1940's side-by-side on several cases. Eventually, she retired and never donned her costume again, and she took on a new role as mother to their son Hector.

    Then there was Shayera Thal, who was a police woman on the planet Thanagar and also Katar's ally, both of whom tracked down a criminal to Earth-One. On this world, they adopted the names Hawkman and Hawkgirl, although she eventually changed hers to Hawkwoman. Around this time, she also finally gained the attention of her now husband's teammates on the Justice League of America, of which she soon joined. Although the pair had scores of adventures themselves, at times there were rifts between the two as political intrigue from their home world at times threatened their own lives. Nevertheless, the ultimately remained paired side-by side, as had the other two couples who were their counterparts.

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    Ancient Allies of the Green Gladiators: The Guardians and the Other Guys

    Indeed, the Guardians of the Universe were the ultimate line of defense for the original positive matter universe. Having originated on the planet Malthus, these immortal beings migrated to planet Oa in the center of their reality to oversee and protect it. Their counterparts on Earth-Two did not, as the Buddak were intent on harnessing their red version of the Guardian's emerald energy for evil.

    However, there were some who took the place of the elite Malthusians who volunteers to serve infinity on Oa, in the form of a Chinese Embassy on Earth-Two that had operated throughout the centuries. Green Lantern had initially encountered them when he was given the power battery under undocumented circumstances. In 1945, one of their number contacted the hero's alter ego Alan Scott through the lantern to warn him of Solomon Grundy's return. 

    Then in 1946, Green Lantern and his pal Doiby were brought back to the medieval past of Camelot to protect it from a viable threat, and ended up meeting the protectors of the Green Flame's power battery who sent the pair back to their own era. Although not as regular in their contact with their apprentice as were the Guardians with Hal, Alan definitely appreciated them.

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

    Girls of Steel and Temporal Tyrants

    Supergirl and Brainiac Five joined the Legion of Super-Heroes at the same time. Power Girl joined the Justice Society of America when Per Degaton's temporal clone battled them. Sparks flew, with Earth-One's Girl of Steel suspicious as Five was the alleged descendant of her cousin's old enemy... Earth-Two's Maid of Might just plain didn't care for the arrogant genius spliced from a moment of his predecessors' timelines. Who could blame them? At times, Querl Dox... as this Brainiac was actually named... had a tormented psyche that plagued his teammates with dreams of grandeur. At one point, he threatened his universe and caused the temporary insanity of teammate Matter-Eater Lad. But he redeemed himself of this unfortunate attributes, and was a stalwart member of the 30th century Legion, even coming up with various devices such as their flight rings. Although he did accidentally create one of their greatest nemesis, Computo. Still, it ultimately became subservient, so all turned out well. And maybe that's why Kara of Krypton-One was so enamored by this troubled yet tenacious teen of the future.

    No such qualities were found in Degation, any Degaton for that matter. The first tried to conquer ancient  history and set up a modern day rule at least ten years into his future before the Justice Society overturned his plans. The second Degaton tried to use the crisis of Pearl Harbor and World War II to his advantage, although then the All-Star Squadron was formed to defeat him. The third Degaton had a rematch with the All-Stars, the Society as well as Earth-One's Justice League..even ruling forty years later... until the heroes defeated him once more causing that timeline to cease to exist. The forth Degaton was left without the means to time travel, and after a stint among the Injustice Society versus his old foes, he ended up an old man. When Brain Wave revived him, the pair faced a Justice Society now having a Kara of Krypton-Two. And even though Degaton like Brainiac could come up with a nifty force field and other gadgets, his intellect was no match for the enthusiasm that was the Supermen's lady cousins.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Team-Up Tuesdays: Finest Fawcett Friends Forever

    Earth-S was very unique in the midst of the Multiverse. For one thing, there was no Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman or derivatives thereof. Indeed there were analogues to each of these, and other superheroes and heroines, both in the golden age starting in the 1940's like Earth-Two and the silver age 1970's such as on Earth-One. Nevertheless, there was also a lack of scientific principals, as this particular universe's particular laws of physics almost lent themselves as much to the whimsical as the wonderful. But that wasn't all that made it stand apart from the rest.

    On this world, the greatest superhero team that ever existed wasn't the Justice League or the Justice Society, no Justice Alliance nor Freedom Brigade. Not even a Crime Syndicate... well okay there was the Monster Society of Evil but, as it was, they were evil if not persistent. However, on Earth-S, their premier team was a family! Yes, the Marvel Family, consisting of Captain Marvel along with his sister, his best friend, three namesakes, a lovable old fraud and the elder guardian who empowered them all.

    That's not to say this world didn't have their share of costumed crusaders. Indeed, Bulletman and Bulletgirl were as prolific as protectors as were Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Mister Scarlet and Pinky were as gifted a dynamic duo as were Batman and Robin. Spy Smasher was evenly matched with Sandman, as was Minute Man with the Star-Spangled Kid. That's just the tip of the iceburg.

    And indeed, these various heroes teamed up informally throughout the years at social events, and they were all stuck together in Suspendium thanks to the machinations of Doctor Sivana after the Captain's long time friends showed up to support a ceremony in his and his Family's honor. Eventually, they would team up, well most of them, to form Shazam's Squadron of Justice. Still, this was a one-and-done scenario, as most of the members then proceeded to retire or at least semi-retire. Except for the Marvels.

    Still, this world was well protected, so much so that none of the various incarnations of the Monster Society were able to vanquish good from that planet. And so it would remain, until the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Or, in at least one timeline, into the uncharted future.

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    Grand Groups Gathering Good Guys and Gals: All-Star Legions

    When we dissect the individual members of Earth-One's Legion of Super-Heroes from the 30th century, and Earth-Two's All-Star Squadron from the 20th century, we see some impressive parallels yet distinct difference. Some of the latter had other members, such as the Justice Society of America and Law's Legionnaires, in their midst yet didn't have some of the original Freedom Fighters and independent mystery men of the golden age. And while the former allied itself with the Justice League of America on occasion, only Superman in his younger years was a member of their organization. Consider member-by-member from the Legion's perspective:

    • Lightning Lad and Magno the Magnetic Man were each super-charged superheroes, and both perished early in their careers although the Lad was revived thanks to alien ally Proty's sacrifice.
    • Saturn Girl was sometimes a conflicted member but ultimately a leader among the team, although her twin Eviless aka Saturnette used similar mental manipulation versus All-Star Wonder Woman.
    • Cosmic Boy and Black Condor glided through the air, in only a bathing suit, equipped with massive energies at their disposal to overpower their adversaries by repelling them and attracting allies.
    • Triplicate Girl had two allies in Duo Damsel splitting off from herself and a boyfriend in Bouncing Boy, while Little Boy Blue had his two Blue Boy and girlfriend Little Miss Redhead to assist them.
    • Blockade Boy and Stripesy were tough adaptable heroes also known as the Weirdo Legionnaire and Law's Legionnaire, assisting more established superheroes using their combination of brawn and intuitiveness.
    • Star Boy and Star-Spangled Kid harnesses incredible gravitational abilities among other powers, while clad in stellar super-suits showing themselves to be future heirs-apparent to other Boys in Blue.
    • Dream Girl and Madam Fatale were while haired heroines, well the latter wasn't what "she" appeared, yet they both inspired confidence in getting the job done with their foresight and intuition.
    • Shrinking Violet and Doll Man not only shrank to tiny sizes but proved invaluable as capable of defying gravity while delivering a pint-sized punch against problematic pests.
    • Colossal Boy and Nuklon were the sons of prominent women who bridged the gap between Earth and space, as did these two lad with the ability to grow to massive heights with great strength.
    • Mon-El aka Lar Gand and Doctor Richard Occult seemed to be distant relatives of Superman, and each wore similar costumes while skirting the realms between physical and phantom realities.
    • Shadow Lass and Phantom Girl were able to darken the surroundings of friend and foe alike, while effortless navigating through such a blackened bedlam with effortless ease on every occasion.
    • Ultra Boy and Baron Blitzkrieg possessed Superman-level abilities yet could only manifest one power at a time, such as flight or superstrength or heat vision, yet one was a friend the other a foe.
    • Phantom Girl and Rose Psychic were capable to phase into the physical and phantom realities as well hence their acquaintance with Mon-El and the Doctor, both just as capable as the guys.
    • Lightning Lass and Penny Dreadful had electrical powers that matched Lightning Lad and Magno, and the flaming red-hair to match, both allied to animal allies and teams of youthful heroes.
    • Timber Wolf and Minute-Man Martin were the hairs to scientists who discovered the means to artificially create superhuman strength, stamina and speed yet with terrible side-effects to contend with.
    • Brainiac Five and Per Degaton exercised their mental might and thirst for power which brought them in contention with the these massive teams as they bent time and space to their wills.
    • Chameleon Boy and Destroying Demon were both horned heroes able to infiltrate other organizations with their power of disguise coupled with their daring escapades in the face of danger.
    • Sun Boy and the Ray each irradiated solar-energies that made them among the mightiest of their teams, blasting heat and light that both dazzled and dazed those who may oppose them.
    • Element Lad and Neon the Unknown were sole survivors generating elemental abilities with ease while carrying on an air of mystery and tragedy which followed them wherever they went.
    • Karate Kid and Mister Terrific were masters of a multitude of physical skills making them an equal of any who may face them, be they friend or foe, matched with great mental discipline.
    • Princess Projectra and Miss America were royalty personified, able to create whatever they imagined for all to see and experience, showing the depth of their personalities and powers.
    • Wildfire and Human Bomb possessed explosive touch and raw untapped energy that yielded tremendous potential for devastation unless contained in their specialized suits.
    • Dawnstar and Windwalker proved their pinnacle peak of Native American superheroes, mastering wind currents be they solar and earth based, showing tremendous tenacity.
    • Invisible Kid and Invisible Hood, Ferro Boy and Captain Triumph, Chemical King and Quicksilver, Blok and Atlas all had parallels as well while tangentially tied to these teams.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Team-Up Tuesdays: Tremendous Trios Triumph!

    The Lieutenant Marvels were an early edition to the Captain Marvel mythos, in fact they predated the more famous addition of Captain Marvel Junior by only a few months. Three young men also named Billy Batson, one from the Brooklyn, one from the west and one from the south, met their more famous contemporary Billy Batson the radio host. During a confrontation with Doctor Sivana, the quartet of Billy's learned that they all possessed the powers of the original Marvel, only the three had to call upon such powers in unison. Not to easy to get three distant Billies together given their geographic distances and all.

    We previously considered the Sensation Sentinels (of Justice) early this past year. Three young musicians are bequeathed devices by a dying Russian scientist with the intent of protecting humanity. As Helio, Mentalia and Brute. Instead of a Tall, Fat, and Hill version, we have the dashing leader, the beautiful blonde and the muscular guy. All standard stereotypical fair for comics of those times.

    While the Sentinels had strength, flight and mind-over-matter abilities dolled out between the three, the Lieutenants had strength, flight, etc granted to each one. Neither team was very enduring, having but a handful of adventures. While the Sentinels were originally known by their folk music handle of the Protesters, the Lieutenants went by the handle of the Squadron of Justice. Turns out, other teams of heroes would borrow those names later.

    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Marvel Mondays: Protegees of Power

    Freddy Freeman was a normal lad until he and his grandpa faced a power mad Nazi during a fishing trip. As a result of this confrontation, he ended up losing his beloved relative and was now physically limp for life and near dead!
    Johnny Mann was a world traveler stumbling on a war torn area, and became an innocent victim during a confrontation with a power mad warrior whom Mann crossed. This led to Johnny losing a leg and faith in humanity!

    And then, each were noticed by prominent powerful legends who made sure that each "Man" was given  a physical form commensurate to their heroic spirits, becoming men of another kind. Gaining super-strength, flight, invulnerability and a host of abilities, this pair protected their respective worlds as Freddy's Captain Marvel Junior of Earth-S and Son of Vulcan of Earth-Four. Each were named after their heroes who were the ones that bestowed powers upon the lads after saving their lives. Freddy became an owner of a newspaper stand while Johnny remained in his position as reporter for the Worldwide News Syndicate. 

    In 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.

    Friday, July 25, 2014

    Fawcett Fridays: Red-and-Blue Heroes True

    Pair up these paragons of power and you have a truly dynamic duo. Jack Weston was a career soldier enlisted to be a one-man-army in his Minute-Man clad splashed in blue, red and white. With no origin nor explanation for being at peak physical condition and seemingly doing the impossible. He simply accomplishes various feats with one-part daring-do, one-part foolhardy bravado unmatched even by some more famous non-powered golden agers. Minute-Man was the standard bearer for the costumed crusader supreme and eventually teamed up with fellow heroes to honor the Marvel Family... and find himself frozen in time for decades then decide to retire and become a restaurant owner to wile away his days until boredom brought him back as an unmasked man once more.

    There was a definite explanation for Peter Cannon's Thunderbolt identity, raised in remote Tibet a student to ancient disciplines leading him to a "can do it...must do it...will do it" mentality which allowed him to achieve feats unimagined by others, save perhaps for Mr. Weston over on Earth-S. Reluctantly protecting his own Earth-Four, Peter rarely mixed with his fellow superheroes until a Crisis graced the skies of his world.

    Neither hero garnered the long-term reputation nor mainstream appeal of their contemporaries, yet each earned the respect of friends and foes alike during their brief yet memorable careers. And proved that wearing loud clothes does not diminish your street rep.

    In 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    Marvel Mondays: The Captains of Energy

    No two figures are as prominent on Earth-Four and Earth-Shazam as the Captains, Atom and Marvel. Each our dynamos of power, the pinnacle of human perfection, the guardians of the greater good. And also partial to the similar color scheme in their speedos.

    Captain Marvel is really Billy Batson, a young lad transformed by lighting which he calls upon from ancient Shazam to grant him vast powers unmatched by his peers. Captain Atom is Captain Nathaniel Adams, a soldier who during a mishap in a launched rocket finds him body atomized and transformed into a human nuclear furnace. Each fly, have superhuman strength and durability, and can call upon tremendous energy to transform themselves from mere men to mighty mortals!

    Both men are the recognized leaders of their worlds premier heroic teams, the Squadron of Justice and Sentinels of Justice! Alongside their skirt-clad gal pals, goggle-clad aviators and fellow red-and-yellow spandex studs, they champion the cause of justice. While Atom changed to a red, white and blue suit latter in his career, Marvel remained in his familiar duds.

    In 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.

    Friday, July 18, 2014

    Fawcett Fridays: Goggled Gadgeteers

    Another obvious parallel between Earth-S and Earth-Four wherein the Fawcett and Charlton characters resided were this pair of goggle-clad gadget-making geniuses. Not intent to rest on their considerable financial success, Alan Armstrong as a Virginian sportsman/weapons-maker and Ted Kord as a robotics scientist, they decided to do more. As Spy Smasher and Blue Beetle, respectively, they attempted to assert some order in a chaotic world. And wearing a brilliant flue and gorgeous green they stood out from the pack.

    Each knew that they needed an edge, beyond their inherent athletic ability and acrobatic agility. So these two built amazing air/sea crafts unmatched by their peers in the superhero set. Spy Smasher's Gyro-Sub was part-airplane, part-auto gyro, part-submarine/speedboat. While Blue Beetle's Bug was either an air or sea vehicle, it had remarkable auto-pilot programming designed by Kord.

    One other point of similarity was that both genius good guys were chased by the law. In the Smasher's case, it was due to brainwashing inflicted upon him by arch-foe the Mask turning him into a foreign spy, until Captain Marvel finally shook the influence off his future ally. For the Beetle, it was due to his association in his civilian identity with Dan Garrett aka the original Blue Beetle, who disappeared and was presumed murders by Kord (he was but not by Ted, rather by his uncle Jarvis Kord). After vindicating themselves, they resumed their careers.

    In 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    World's Wickedest Wednesdays: Bad Bugs

    Mister Mind had a long and storied golden age career as the mysterious progenitor for the insidious Monster Society of Evil, most of the while being an ominous voice behind the scenes. Until confronted by his most frequent foe, Captain Marvel. Revealed to be nothing more than an alien worm, possessed of tremendous mental abilities and genius level ingenuity, Mind was electrocuted for his various crimes against humanity. Or was he?

    Praying Mantis wasn't always that green, or that preying. He was Hunter Mann, a foul scientist plagued with green skin from his excessive use of chlorophyll, obsessed with turning his creations against his fellow man. Turning into a human insect himself, his first foray against the silver age Blue Beetle didn't go quite well. But was he truly finished or simply biding his time until another more opportune occasion?

    In fact, Mantis returned once more but fell to his death when the Beetle slayed the rogue's flying insecti-steed. No more Mantis!
    Mr. Worm returned in the modern day, revived from his state of hibernation which his species was prone to when exposed to adverse conditions. Alas for him, his latter day ventures into world domination were equally unsuccessful, even on the one occasion when he devised an artificial body of the Invincible Man to house his evil mind. Whether bugs or baddies, this pair lacked the winning touch to complement their massive intellect and huge egos.

    In 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Team-Up Tuesdays: Tremendous Trios Triumph!

    The Lieutenant Marvels were an early edition to the Captain Marvel mythos, in fact they predated the more famous addition of Captain Marvel Junior by only a few months. Three young men also named Billy Batson, one from the Brooklyn, one from the west and one from the south, met their more famous contemporary Billy Batson the radio host. During a confrontation with Doctor Sivana, the quartet of Billy's learned that they all possessed the powers of the original Marvel, only the three had to call upon such powers in unison. Not to easy to get three distant Billies together given their geographic distances and all.

    We previously considered the Sensation Sentinels (of Justice) early this past year. Three young musicians are bequeathed devices by a dying Russian scientist with the intent of protecting humanity. As Helio, Mentalia and Brute. Instead of a Tall, Fat, and Hill version, we have the dashing leader, the beautiful blonde and the muscular guy. All standard stereotypical fair for comics of those times.

    While the Sentinels had strength, flight and mind-over-matter abilities dolled out between the three, the Lieutenants had strength, flight, etc granted to each one. Neither team was very enduring, having but a handful of adventures. While the Sentinels were originally known by their folk music handle of the Protesters, the Lieutenants went by the handle of the Squadron of Justice. Turns out, other teams of heroes would borrow those names later

    Monday, July 14, 2014

    Marvel Mondays: Energetic Egyptians

    These two cats from the way back are distinct parallels for a number of reasons. Both Black Adam and Blue Beetle were tied to ancient Egypt, the former being its protector in centuries bygone before becoming its dictator, the latter being an archaeologist who unearthed its greatest secret and became a guardian of good himself. Each met a tragic end to their ignoble careers, despite what the two old men... Shazam and Pharoah... had expected of them when electing them their candidates of courage. And still they returned...

    Teth Adam allowed greed to corrupt him, while Dan Garrett allowed overconfidence to overtake him. Each faced their own mortality and yet were revived in manners only left to comic books through pseudo-science and the like. While Dan proved the inspiration for another to take his name and his place, Adam became the perpetual thorn in the side of his arch-rival Captain Marvel. With but a handful of appearances for each, both men still found ways to leave their mark.

    Both possessed vast powers by simply calling out to their mentors, such as flight, superstrength, invulnerability, etc. While Dan continued his career as an archeologist, Adam abandoned his occupation as... royal court lackey? Nevertheless, their greatest acclaim was that the were the forerunners for a new generation of superheroes that would take what they started to greater heights.

    In 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    Fawcett Fridays: Scarlet-and-Gold Saviors

    As the world was heading once more into a war that would grip the globe, a plethora of powerless protectors championed the cause of the everyman. Foremost among them were Mister Scarlet, a costumed hero who in his day-to-day life was district attorney Brian Butler. Tired of the rampant crime going unchecked in his burg, he donned a red and yellow costume, using his natural acrobatic prowess to combat the criminal element. After succeeding in his righteous cause, he found that there were no more criminals for him to prosecute. Left unemployed as the public at large felt Butler was lazy, he persisted in his double identity while adopting a ward named Pinky and supported financially by secretary Miss Wade.

    Rip Jagger was a mere sergeant on a southern Pacific island when he encountered a band of Asian freedom fighters fighting against their Japanese occupiers. Once Rip completed his training and adopted the alias of Judomaster, he rejoined the armed forces and proved a valuable double agent while gaining a young lad named Tiger against the Axis.

    Similarities? Definite love of red and yellow... not very common among the superhero set. Physically adept heroes equipped with various small weaponry. Mentors to junior partners. And during the latter 1940's, each was pulled from their own time and awoke in a modern age decades later without having aged a day, standing alongside their fellow mystery men.

    In 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2014

    World's Wickedest Wednesdays: Devious Docs

    Dual demented docs do doggedly devilish deeds! Say that five times fast! Or better yet, have the bad Doctors... Sivana and Spectro... of adjacent Earths S and 4 say that via their cloned proxies. Each of the good Captains... Marvel and Atom... faced off against these evil geniuses more than once. And on one occasion, against several duplicates of themselves. Thankfully, their heroic opposite numbers still proved superior!

    Doctor Thaddeus Bogus Sivana was once an aspiring physicist who invented various revolutionary devices for the benefit of mankind. And yet, secular authorities scoffed at him, and as a result Sivana swore revenge against his fellow man. From that point forward, upon meeting the World's Mightiest Mortal, Sivana was Captain Marvel's most persistent and deadly foe. In fact, on on occasion he trapped the hero and his allies in suspendium. Alas, the mad mental menace and his family was also captured and held in stasis along with the heroic Marvels in suspended animation for decades. Even after his revival, Sivana never won except once when his inventions were actually acclaimed to the point where he received a Nobel Peace Prize when Marvel used them to aid mankind... much to Sivana's chagrine!

    Doctor Spectro also wanted to use his colored light technology for the medical benefits of mankind. However, once he was attacked by a gang of opportunistic hoods and his beam was reflected back on himself, Spectro turned evil and gained vast powers which he used against Captain Atom on more than one occasion... including when a miniature malicious mob of his clones attached the Atomic Avenger intent on reassembling Spectro into one man once more. Yet a good persona existed in the group of Docs, who attempted to exert control over the reconstituted Spectro later.

    n 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.

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