Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Superwomen of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

While the greatest superhero on any world is Superman, the woman... or rather women... behind him goes by the name of Lois Lane. And, on rare occasions, as Superwoman!

We've already earlier considered a couple notable Superwomen in Kirsten Wells and Susan Semple, who were Girls of Tomorrow that aided their respective worlds' Supermen on occasion. And of course, there are the preeminent superwomen in the Supermen's Kryptonian cousins of Kara Zor-El and Kara Zor-L aka Supergirl and Power Girl.

Then there was the nasty Amazon of Earth-Three known as Superwoman, Wonder Woman's counterpart, who was the sole female member of the Crime Syndicate and found herself exiled in interdimensional limbo with her cronies for years after facing the Justice League and Society on two occasions.  She perished along with her world during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, while trying to save it.

Of course, the most famous Superwomen that went by that name in their costumed identities were the Lois Lanes of Earths One and Two, although they're careers were extremely short. For Lois-One, this was when her boyfriend made a device that transferred his Kryptonian powers for a limited period of time to her. For Lois-Two, this occurred when her husband's Kryptonian abilities transferred to her temporarily due to an exotic extraterrestrial plant he had bought her.

In the 30th century, the apparent descendants of both Supermen and Lanes followed in their ancestors' footsteps. Laurel Kent was a student of the Legion of Super-Heroes' Academy due to her young age and that the sole superhuman power was invulnerability. Her counterpart Lois 4XR, who seemed to have all the powers of her parents at the peak of their prowess, however with none of the good judgement or discipline. As such, a grown Superman had to rescue Lois 4XR several times before he returned to the 20th century. Laurel met the teenage Superboy while he was meeting up with his Legion allies. The Boy of Steel initially fell for her before learning her identity, and then returning to his native time knowing that this girl would resemble the woman he would one day marry.

However, later stories seem to indicate that Laurel, and perhaps Lois 4XR, were in actuality android agents of the Manhunters, sent to infiltrate superhuman societies in the 30th century.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Blonde Bombshells Bravely Battle Badness

Lena Thorul and Liandly Tyic were girls who encountered the wonders of space which literally opened their minds to new realities

Lena was the younger sister of future master criminal Lex Luthor of Earth-One, whose "space-brain" device accidentally bequeathed telepathic and telekinetic abilities upon her. When her brother turned criminal, her parents changed their family name to Thorul, and soon after died in a car crash. In her late teens, Lena's powers manifested and she soon became best friends with fellow orphan Linda Lee aka Supergirl. In fact, Lena impersonated the Girl of Steel more than once, and was even used as a pawn by a third lass who looked like Lena and Linda, Lesla-Lar of Kandor. Eventually, Lena joined the FBI and married fellow agent Jeff Colby. She would later be a widow and single mom, eventually learning of her brother's alias.

Liandly accidentally activate her father's teleportation device which sent her from her native planet Rolez to Earth-Two. There she met that world's Clark Kent and his wife Lois, who briefly assumed guardianship of her, and conceived of a normal name for her in the form of Linda Lee... the same name that Earth-One's Supergirl and Lena's best friend used. On her new world, she gained telepathic and telekinetic abilities which she used alongside Superman to defeat the criminal Colonel Future. As such, the hero gave her the nickname of Super-Girl. Shortly thereafter, her powers returned her to Rolez.. And that world found a parallel with the adopted world of Earth-One's Lex in Lexor!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Supergirls throughout the Ages and Earths

Several supergirls appeared on Earths One and Two to aid the men:
  • Kara Zor-El and Kara Zor-L as Supergirl and Power Girl, cousins of the Supermen and standard bearers for the name.
  • Lesla-Lar of Kandor and Kara-Lar of Symbioship, mental maidens fighting each Kara in her own mind.for control.
  • Lois Lane and her counterpart, each donned the role of the first Superwomen, their greatest power was stealing Superman's heart.
  • Luma Lynai and Tharka, each powerless on Earth, tried to capture the attention of the Supermen during visits to their worlds.
  • Lena Thorul and Liandly Tyic were the other Super-Girls, lookalikes for the Girls of Steel with telepathic and telekinetic powers.
  • Lea Lindy the Marvel Maid of planet Terra and Jannie of planet Karma were lookalikes with superhuman physiques visiting Earth once.
  • Louise-L and Kara the Valkyrie came from 500,000 AD Earth-One and the Asgardian dimension of Earth-Two, subbing for the supergirls.
Of course, another Superwoman... a renegade Amazon of Earth-Three... was her world's Wonder Woman. And several more allies of the Men of Steel would also be classified as stellar supergirls.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Winged Warriors in Gotham City: Both Good and Bad

While most notable for having the Caped Crusaders known as Batman and Robin gliding above the streets of Gotham City, this metropolis had its fair share of other individuals who made short but notable impressions on this town.

In June of 1951, the first of these individuals whom we'll considered today debuted. An unnamed man from a Scandinavian country known publicly as the caped crusader Wingman appeared. Inspired by the successful career of Earth-Two's Batman, Wingman joined him on a month's worth of cases in Gotham in order to train under the more experience mystery man. Since Robin would be laid up in a cast for six weeks while recovering from an injury, this provided the Dark Knight with capable help.

Wingman took advantage of this opportunity to acquire the needed edge to become an experienced superhero under the tutelage of Batman.  This caused a rivalry between Wingman and Robin, until the Boy Wonder finally discovered that Wingman would be returning to his native home in northern Europe to engage in a solo career.

On Earth-One, his counterpart was a soldier and demolitions expert named Joe Rigger, who experienced repeated tragedy when members of his family perished during accidents at three separate buildings. His sanity lost, Rigger adopted the alter ego of Firebug and used his extensive athletic abilities and training to become a misguided vigilante. Able to emit flames from his gloves thanks to napalm tanks he incorporated into his costume, Firebug came into conflict with Batman. During their final recorded clash, Rigger seemingly perished atop the Gotham State Building, although he actually survived and would return another day to torment Gothamites while incurring the wrath of the city's Dark Knight protector.

Another pair of caped crusaders in Gotham were the Wrath and Brickbat, each embodying qualities of their worlds' Batmen. The Wrath was orphaned at a young age when his parents, a pair of burglars, were mistakenly shot by a young policeman who was to become Commissioner James Gordon while they were sneaking out a window. Traveling the world, training himself as a master assassin, Wrath eventually returned to the city of his birth to seek vengeance against Gordon. However, he found opposition when facing James' friend Earth-One's Batman, who was also the Wrath's opposite number. After a few confrontations, the villain perished after attempting to avoid his own explosive capsule's detonation and falling to his death.

Brickbat was like Wrath an underworld take on the Dark Knight, even adopting his cowl although wearing a lime green business suit over his spandex. Utilizing bricks that when they hit objects releases deadly gas, Brickbat was seemingly unstoppable until he faced over with the former district attorney turned criminal turned costumed crusader, 711, who quickly vanquished this copycat crook before Earth-Two's Batman had a chance to even meet him as his counterpart had his foe.

Our final set of fearsome foes glided through the air seemingly effortless, while plundering the fair metropolis below. First, there was Charles Brown of Earth-One, an inventor who was obsessed with kites since young, and designed several to use in his crusader of crime as the Kite-Man. However, he too had to face Batman and Robin, then later Hawkman and Hawkgirl as well as Zatanna. On none of these occasions did he prove victorious even when employing a gang. Another gang of Kite-Men on Earth-Two tormented America in behalf of the Imperial Japanese in the early days of World War II, until the Black Condor upset their schemes and those of their leader Karlo Klug.

Many others would swing from the skyscrappers of both Gothams throughout the decades. However, these winged and webbed wonders were among the most lively... next to the Dynamic Duo themselves, of course.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Batmen of Other Times and Other Places

Batman inspired several imitators over the years and centuries after their debut. Such as Bron Wayn the Batman of 30th century Earth-One, and Brane Taylor the Batman of 30th century Earth-Two who with their future Gotham Cities safe as had their ancestors a thousand years previous. And they had legacies that went back even early, with Batman the sixth and the fifteenth paving the way for Bron as had the original Brane and Ricky in decades before Taylor arrived on the scene.

Then there was the costumed crusader of the planet Zur-En-Arrh. Known by his civilian identity of Tiano, his one adventure with the Dark Knight revealed that inhabitants of Earth-One have Kryptonian-level powers on his world. As for Tiano and his cosmic twin, the third future Batman of Earth-Two, not much was revealed about him save that he preserved alive his predecessors. Both Batmen had advanced technology that enabled them to get a notch up on the criminal element, although it was left to the heroic dispositions of the original Dark Knights to set the standard by which they and still other undocumented Gotham Gladiators would follow.

Tiano and his doppleganger appeared but once, yet manifested the self-same conviction as had Bruce Wayne from the 20th century.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Quigley's Quirky Quandry: The Hangman and the Archer

Thomas Quigley was a piece of work, on both worlds where he existed. Using various ancient techniques to assassinate his adversaries, both Quigleys nearly got away with their criminal conduct. Until the faced the World's Finest Heroes, and their red-haired allies.

The Earth-One Quigley was a master of various robes and nooses which he used to execute various members of Gotham City's Hangman's Club as the Hangman. While it was at first thought this was so he could have access to the treasuries of the Club, in actuality he was trying to cover for his own secret identity as his prime prey was his wife whose wealth he would stand to inherit after her death. Thankfully, the Batman and his Justice League colleague Elongated Man finally roped him in.

The Earth-Two Quigley was the son of a wealthy member of society, who had a falling out with his father leading to him being disinherited. Thirsting for money which he now lacked, as the Archer Quigley preyed upon rich individuals in Metropolis. This brought him to the attention of Superman, who after a few encounters thanks to the help of young cub reporter Jimmy Olsen was able to corner Quigley. Years later, the Archer would return with specialized arrows that seemingly removed powers from Superman. Thanks to the hero's wife Lois and, once more, Jimmy the Avenging Archer was again defeated, never to return.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Aztec Adversary and Mayan Malcontent versus the Winged Wonders

These two Native American villains plagued the Hawkmen and Hawkwomen in their respective universes, each harnessing powers over nature to devastating effect.

On Earth-One, it was Chac the immortal Mayan who gained his long life and fantastic weaponry due to an alien ship that crashed. On Earth-Two, it was Nyola, the Aztek ruler who used mysterious methods to control weather through similar means to her cosmic twin. Both had a monopoly on power.

And then, each encountered the Winged Wonders, and on two occasions they were defeated... once by themselves and once with fellow fiends. Then they disappeared.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Twice-Told-Tales: Sinister Sovereign of the Stars

This Twice-Told-Tale may seem a bit recycled, as we previously considered Vandal Savage's final battle versus the Justice Society of America as paralleling his battle with Earth-One's Superman. Both had Savage confront the Supermen of two worlds, however since that second tale was erased from Earth-One's history when Superman went back in time and changed events back to the way events originally occurred... a new tale took its place.

On Earth-One, a long lost survivor of Krypton-One appeared and sought out vengeance against those humans from his home world which he blamed for its destruction. The first whom he encountered was Superman, who found that this powerful caveman of ancient Krypton had been imbued with radiation as their planet of birth exploded, becoming a Kryptonite Man. However, a race of beings known as the Seeders were tracking Kryptonite Man throughout the cosmos, themselves seeking revenge for that caveman's using one of their vessels to siphon off energies in order to stay alive. And in nearly killing, and severely disfiguring, the head priest of the Seeders.

Eventually, the battle of the two Kryptonians drew in Supergirl's attention, and the two were able to keep both the caveman and Seeders from destroying their adopted world due to their personal grudge match. Eventually, Kryptonite Man used his superhuman powers to wipe out the Seeders' fleet and himself as well.

Meanwhile, on Earth-Two, Savage sought to regain his own immortality through an infusion of Kryptonian energies. Concocting an elaborate plot whereby Savage lured the Justice Society along with the Shining Knight back to the age of Camelot, assuming the alias of the sovereign known as King Arthur,  After subterfuge, Vandal was able to achieve what he felt was the means to restore his long last vitality which had not failed him for untold eons before this encounter.

Vandal drew Superman and Power Girl to an artificial world, Colu-Two. There, under the influence of a Kryptonite sun of his own creation, while channeling the cosmic energies of Star-Spangled Kid's cosmic converter belt and Power Girl's own super powers, Savage battled with Superman in order to steal the Man of Steel's power. This, he theorized, would restore his immortality... however he was instead defeated.

However, a couple of mystery men pulled Vandal through a worm hole in space and kept him from being captured. This would be result in his journeying to Earth-One, in order to change history as mentioned above. It should be noted that Vandar Adg, the caveman of Earth-Two who would eventually become Vandal Savage, had created a temporal clone by journeying back in time from the 20th century to days of King Arthur, and then to Colu-Two. This superpowered Savage empowered by Superman's cousin under the Kryptonite sun was the counterpart to General Immortus of Earth-One. *

On another occasion, Savage's counter part Ra's Al Ghul had been revived from apparent death during his last encounter with his arch-enemy, the Batman. Once more the Lazurus Pit was the catalyst through which Ra's was given another chance. Would he once more squander it, or use it to redeem a life time of vain pursuits? Sadly, he was not a student of history... despite having lived a considerable portion of it... and was thus doomed to repeat it.

Inspired by the Pit's chemical concoction to harness the power of the sun, he assumed the alias of the Messiah of the Crimson Sun (rather than a Kryptonite Sun). Seeking to utilize his solar weaponry to decimate Gotham City, Ra's once more drew the attention of Batman. With a loyal legion of followers basking in the radiance of his domineering attitude, he reminded one of Savage's King Arthur persona, complete with flowing cape and gaudy raiment. Interestingly, Vandal renewed his enmity with the Shining Knight, whom as Genghis Khan he encountered centuries earlier during an encounter orchestrated by time travel fiend Doctor Doome, and once more when the Knight was exiled back to Khan's time on another occasion. It may well be said that, while Ra's had his Dark Knight in the Batman to plague him perpetually, so too had Vandal with his Shining Knight, both of whom also saw one another in the days of Camelot in their younger days during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Back to the malevolent machinations of Al Ghul and Savage in their faux-identities as inspired leaders of men. As had so often happened time and time again during their recurring encounters with masked men of the 20th century, Al Ghul came out the loser while his vessel hurtled into the sun. Just like Savage had been centuries before, a universe away.

Would Ra's survive his doomed voyage to Sol... and would Vandal finally find the means to restore his immortality? Cut off from his artificial source of life extension that allowed them to operate for untold centuries, it is doubtful. 

* While Savage had many aliases such as Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar, who were individuals on Earth-One, his cosmic twin General Immortus was a single immortal throughout the centuries who presumably didn't adopt multiple identities.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Determined Dynamite Dynamic Duo: Doctor Double X and Deathbolt

Doctor Simon Eckes was the scientist who through his own devices gained the ability to manipulate ambient electricity... in the form of an energy discharging duplicate that was separate and distinct in significant ways yet shared a conscience with his creator. When Eckes fed his body with sufficient electrical energy, Double X would emerge with superstrength and energy emissions which he'd used to aid the criminal maneuvers of his "brother" on Earth-One. 

Jake Simmons was a villain whose life was saved by the intervention of the Ultra-Humanite. Powered by an ultra-dynamo, as Deathbolt he was given the ability to generate tremendous amount of electricity for his body, and continued to aid Ultra in his search for a new body to replace his original which passed away.

Doctor X and Double X came into conflict with Batman and Robin, then later Superman and the Flash alongside the Dark Knight... on the latter occasion teaming up with fellow felon Rainbow Raider. Deathbolt was an enemy of the All-Star Squadron which included Superman, Batman, Robin and the Flash whom he had all faced at one point or another.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rose and Thorn: How Many Were There?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cosmic Chaos Curtail Chemistry: The Other Women in the Atoms' Lives

While Jean Loring and Mary James ended up winning the hearts of the Atoms otherwise known as Ray Palmer of Earth-One and Al Pratt of Earth-Two, there was a time when they each had to content with two other brunettes, during cosmic crisis that effected both worlds.

Palmer was a research scientist in Ivy Town, and when his lab assistant Enrichetta Negrini invented a hyper-space prober that emitted ionic magnetic beams through the ether, this pulled Earth-Two to their native world. With the aid of his Justice League allies and the Justice Society, the twin teams were able to save both of their realities from colliding.

A couple of years later, two dishes set up in Ivy Town and Calvin City began to have strange aging effects due to cosmic radiation being emitted from each device upon the inhabitants of both worlds, which Palmer and Pratt were able to rectify. During this encounter, Al was setup on a blind date with Marion Thayer.

However, just as Marion wouldn't ultimately capture the heart of Al, neither would Earth-One's Negrini who remained an associate of Ray. Both men married the original loves, even though they had momentary distractions with these new women in their lives.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Seven Soldiers of Two Earths: Identical and Fraternal Cosmic Twins

The Seven Soldiers of Victory... Law's Legionnaires... one team with two names. And each of its eight, yes, eight members had a counterpart. Perhaps he had the same name as his cosmic twin... or a different identity all together. Still, Earth-One's version of these heroes never worked side-by-side... that would be the Outsiders who are a different team... yet they all were team players of one kind or another.

  • Etrigan aka Jason Blood and Shining Knight aka Justin Arthur... two knights out of time from ancient Camelot with indestructible yellow hides and sharp weaponry.
  • Green Arrow and Speedy aka Oliver Queen and his ward Roy Harper... on each world they joined teams... on Earth-One the Justice League and Teen Titans, on Earth-Two, the Legion.
  • Dove and Hawk, aka Don and Hank Hall, and their cosmic twins Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, Sylvester Pemberton and Pat Dugan, patriotic clad Titans or Legionnaires together.
  • Flamebird and Nightwing, the Kryptonian Kandorians known as Ak-Var and Van-Zee, and their dopplegangers Crimson Avenger and Wing, aka Lee Travis and Wing... dynamic duos.
  • Vigilante, alias Greg Saunders, modern-day incarnations of wild west heroes, both stepping out of sync with time... the Earth-Two version a Legionnaire, his twin a pal of the Justice League.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Future's Finest: Fantastically Fabulous Fellas

Most fans of the sub-class of heroes from the future may be aware of one of the first published, that being Gary Concord, aka the Ultra-Man of the 22nd century. Actually, there were a few Concords operating under that name, which mirrored the appearance an alternate future wherein Ben Boxer and his allies existed.

Concord has been acknowledged as having existed on  a "parallel Earth where history was drastically different"... although his tales ran concurrent with those of heroes originating on Earth-Two. Similarly,  In fact, there has been conjecture that his tales did not occur in that universe, given key events in his origin tale. Let's see why this is not true, that he is from the world where the Justice Society called home.

In 1915, Concord was born in war-torn France. When he was left an orphan due to the conflict, Gary resolved to use his considerable intellect to defeat the root cause of war for good. Decades later, a select group of mutants names Ben, Steve and Renzi operated in the alternate future timeline of Earth-One known as Earth-AD. These "Nuclear People" each possessed cyclo-hearts allowing their bodies to adapt to averse levels of radiation. As freedom fighters battling the oppressive Tiger Empire, all three but especially Boxer became friends with the last boy on Earth, Kamandi.

To that end, Concord was enlisted as a prime military strategist in the United States after having migrated there as a youth. However, his methods were somewhat unorthodox, to say the least. Early in the conflict involving World War II Concord was enlisted into Elwood Napier's Brain Trust, together creating a space ship and android alien in order the threaten the world. This impending invasion was a hoax with the intent of uniting the world against a common threat. However, the Trust's trust was jeopardized when one of its members in Anton Hastor usurped controls of the vessel, the android and the very minds of his scientific comrades. He was eventually defeated by members of the Justice Society and All-Star Squadron, freeing Concord and the others. However, embittered with this experience, Gary retreated into an underground bunker for years in order to perfect the means to eliminate war.

Concord's goal for peace seemed have a chance at success thanks to his invention of a curious substance. This chemical concoction, a foam of seeming soap suds, could immobilize humans. Around this time, an archaeologist accidentally awoke four kings from an ancient kingdom in Africa. Together, the foursome had awesome mental abilities, and soon lured the Justice Society to their lair and paralyzed the heroes for an entire year. Then, the quartet of dictators each formed their own private armies in four sections of Earth-Two in order to conquer it. This was in 1950, the same year when Gary's life changed forever.

In Washington, D.C. where Concord had setup his underground bunker, he received signals of imminent war on the horizon. These were fomented by thought projections of Mister Crown, one of the four kings. This produced mass hysteria that caused the televised warning on Gary's television. Additionally, Crown was aware of the threat Concord poised for him, and had his forces the Swordsmen seal Gary within his bunker. This caused the foam to be unleashed, immobilizing Concord and transforming him into a gigantic Ultra-Man who would awake 225 years later!

Thus, accounts that have made mention that Gary Concord's origin was tied to a "second world war" in 1950 are erroneous, as his origin tale states that the "heel of oppression" tied to war was already occurring prior to Mister Crown's appearance. From Concord's perspective, from Crown's mind control and his coordinated attack against the scientist, it seemed like another world war was looming. However, shortly after Gary fell into his two century long suspended animation, the Justice Society themselves returned and defeated the malevolent monarchs.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Stunning Silver Sirens of the Batman Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dark Knight Detectives' Darling Damsels and Debutantes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Super Staff of Holliday College: Tales of Tribulation and Triumph

Noah Cuttler was indeed a master mathematician and employed it to design a sophisticated chest key pad and helmet projector which in unison could solidify dust particles into various shapes. As the Calculator, he gained immunity from each hero after an initial defeat. To this end, Calculator faced several members of the Justice League of America in battle.

His counterpart was Professor Calculus, who devised a sophisticated computer which could analyze strategies in a wide range of applications. When this was stolen by a criminal named Crime-Brain Doone, it was used in schemes that were ultimately upset by Earth-Two's Wonder Woman. Several more of Calculus scholarly colleagues also interacted with the Amazing Amazon.
Another renowned fellow at Holliday College was Professor Astronimo. Although an ally of Wonder Woman, on one occasion is mind was controlled by the evil King Lunar and his "Brain Pirates", until the Amazing Amazon found a way to cure them.

Stacy Macklin was an astronaut acquainted with Earth-One's Wonder Woman and her alter ego, and was infected by the same radiation originating from a comet as had her world's Brice Rogers and his doppleganger on Earth-Two, who became the Moon Man. As Lady Lunar she battled Superman and Batman with her gravitational and illusion abilities, until they found a way to reverse her madness. She did return during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and disappeared on Earth-Four towards the conclusion of this conflict.

Perhaps the most famous of the learned men at Holliday College was Professor Chemico. A brilliant inventor, his crowning achievement was a climate changing device that could emit cold and heat waves. Stolen by the evil politician Prime Minister Blizzard, who used it versus Earth-Two's Wonder Woman, it was presumably returned to its creator. A duplicate of the device was utilized by that world's Minister Blizzard versus the Justice League of America and its Wonder Woman.

Back over on Earth-One, Doctor Phoenix was originally a legendary Abominable Snowman whose mental abilities transformed him into a human in line with his dreams. However, he found this to be a nightmarish existence, and felt it was somehow tied with Superman's appearance on the world scene. Twice he battled the Last Son of Krypton, and was ultimately defeated.

Perhaps the most prominent member of Holliday College was that of Dean Meg Sourpuss, who had the longest tenure at that education institution on Earth-Two of any of her contemporaries. On one occasion, a rogue scientist infected her, turning her evil and against Wonder Woman, although she later recovered and became an ally of the Amazing Amazon. On Earth-One, her counterpart was only known as Starfire, the first woman to take that alter ego. Like Sourpuss, Starfire had a legion of women she supervised only for her own nefarious schemes, and she had ties to a university on her world named Stanhope. To that end, she had several encounters with Supergirl, even de-powering her for a brief period, although she was eventually defeated by the Maiden of Might.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Suns Set on Supervillains: When twin Atoms met Japanese Allies

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

The man known only as the Enlightened One was the premier trainer of meta agents on Earth-Two's Japan during the formative years leading up to World War II. His prized pupil was a young man who would become known as Sumo the Samurai, for whom after teaching him the ways of the warrior. Upon completion of his tutelage, he was given the Enlightened One's "potion of power" which made superhuman in strength and endurance. In behalf of his mentor, Sumo would battle several superheroes of America including the All-Star Squadron, Superman, and Wonder Woman. It would be the latter heroine who saw in Sumo's dying act the culmination of his teacher's training, and he gave his life to save a small child.

Morrie Fushido wasn't a prominent man in his community as was his counterpart Soto nor his fellow Japanese in Daka, yet Fushido was still among the most prolific minds in the field of energy on Earth-Two during World War II. Morrie came in contact during an adventure with an atomic globe which the Black Dragon Society, a potent Japanese organization. Teaming up with the Atom, the pair were able to secure the globe before any threat ensued. After this adventure, Fushido retired from heroics to be a prominent member of the Japanese community, seeking to overturn strongly entrenched prejudices brought on by World War II.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bold Bouncing Boys of Boundless Bravery

Tenzil Kim and Theodore Watts were a pair of obese lads, who gained the ability and consuming large masses of matter and access super-speed force. This led them to encounter the largest teams of champions on their respective worlds, becoming Matter-Eater Lad and Tubby Watts, respectively.

Tenzil Kem was a resident of planet Bismoll-One, who journeyed to Earth-One in the 30th century to join the team team known as the Legion of Super-Heroes. Tenzil, like all individuals from his world, gained the ability to consume any matter due to hostile microbes that poisoned their food supply generations previous. As Matter-Eater Lad, Tenzil served the team with distinction for a number of years until he was enlarged by a stray energy ray that ballooned his physique. Later, Tenzil was recruited back to his homeworld to become a senator. This effectively ended his permanent membership with the Legion, although he would return for special cases.

Tubby was a red headed cameraman assistant for news reporter Johnny Chambers, both employed with Sees-All-Tells-All News. However, they became adventures when Chambers used an ancient mathematical formula to gain superhuman speed and flight, becoming Johnny Quick. On at least one occasion, and very possibly more, Watts recited the same formula and gained comparable abilities allowing him to defy gravity in leaps and bounds, while seemingly being protected from the consequences of such bursts of power.

Tenzil was called upon to digestively destroy the Miracle Machine assembled by a temporarily mad teammamter, Brainiac Five. Doing so led to madness, although he eventually regained his sanity although not his membership as he was still needed on his own planet as a politician.

Tubby was only indirectly associated with the 20th century All-Star Squadron on Earth-Two. Nevertheless, Watts proved a valuable hero in his spirit and conviction for justice, aiding the mystery men like Johnny Quick time and time again throughout the years. Eventually, Watts even met Quick's fellow super speedster in Earth-Two's Flash. Any residual energy he possessed since Tubby's last foray into the speed force has been undocumented at this time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Quartet Quandaries and Deceptive Dictators of Parallel Planets

On the planet of Angor-One, the heroes of that world consisted of reality manipulating Silver Sorceress, winged miniaturized Bluejay, superstrong Wandjina and superspeedster Jack B. Quick. They were their world's greatest heroes.

When a space traveling robot attempted to attack their world, they fought it back and tracked its source to an alien world where the Justice League also were, having similarly traced a second robot that invaded their world to this barren landscape. After a brief misunderstanding in which both teams fought... with Green Lantern versus Wandjina, Flash versus Jack B. Quick, Atom versus Bluejay and Silver Sorceress versus Zatanna... the two teams reconciled and parted ways amiably, confident that the threat was dealt with as no further robots would be sent.

On the planet of Earth-Two, a former Nazi agent turned cult leader named Purple Priestess recruited henchmen and women to advance her schemes. To that end, after an initial confrontation with the Justice Socialite known as Wonder Woman, the agent whose real name was Sinestra fled the scene.

She would return later, attacking the nation of King Yura and subjugating his people by capturing Yura's daughter and stating that the King's false gigantic idol Vultura was doing her bidding. In reality, she used purple gas to make others including the superstrong Wonder Woman do her bidding. This included agents in robes and underwater gear. Although not possessing powers matching her counterpart the Sorceress, the Priestess was nevertheless just as resourceful as were her team... until they were ultimately defeated by the Amazing Amazon.

Another power mad warlord, the descendant of the original Caesar Nero, known as Nero Maximus, was ruling an island nation on Earth-Two when Wonder Woman and the Holliday Girls vanquished him swiftly. His counterpart was the warlord Brother Blood, ruling that same island nation of Zandia when Wonder Girl and the Teen Titans dealt him a series of defeats.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Booster and Bombardier: Bold Bad Boys Bravely Beguile Baddies

Michael Jon Carter was a star athlete of the 25th century, until a gambling scandal cost him his reputation. As a night watchman of the Metropolis Space Museum, he was enamored by 20th century heroes and so stole a time sphere to travel back to that era with a Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring and force field belt, wrist blasters and other weaponry. As Booster Gold, he attempted to make a name for himself and brand his identity as a corporation, before truly learning how to be an actual superhero after meeting Superman.

Congressman Thomas K. Cole was an aspiring politician in America during World War II, and his zeal led to a conflict with Earth-Two's Wonder Woman. When a foe of hers witnessed this animosity between the two, he was determined to make Cole his pawn by endowing him with superhuman powers of fight, energy blasts and a durable physical frame through an amulet Cole wore. As the Bombardier, he would aid the Amazing Amazon against her foes Paula Von Gunther and the Red Panzer as well as their Nazi German force. Then, when he was revealed to be the true threat, Wonder Woman destroyed his amulet reverting him back to normal.

While Booster Gold had a career in a potential future on Earth-One, as evidence by scenes of him with his robotic assistant Skeets in the Space Museum and later fighting alongside that world's Thorn, in that timeline his career was mostly not chronicled. It would become more prominent in a merged Earth after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. As for Bombardier, after his own alien artifact was demolished there is no documented evidence that he returned as a masked man on Earth-two.

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