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Author Topic: Obscure DCU Characters - Round I
Hellstone
Member
posted May 03, 2000 03:04 PM

As some of you may know, I just happen to LOVE the old, forgotten, unused fringe characters of the DCU. But the comics they appeared in aren't always that easy to access...

...so, could anybody provide me with some facts about the following characters/features? Such as basic premise of the comic? Which titles did they appear in? First appearance? If they've been seen in later years? And so on.

There have been similar threads devoted exclusively to Golden or Silver Age characters, but here I mix them from all ages.

I'll start with ten (but if I get these questions answered, I have a million more for you.

1. The Adventurers' Club (I know Nelson Strong from SWAMP THING, but what about the original run?)
2. Blackmask (an 80s Prestige Format mini)
3. The Gorilla Wonders of the Diamond
4. The Maniaks
5. Skull & Bones
6. Squire Shade
7. Starfire (the Sword & Sorcery title)
8. Starhunters
9. Swing with Scooter
10. U.S.S. Stevens

Could someone point Mikishawm or Rich Morrissey or Mikel Midnight to this thread?

/ola



Rich Morrissey
Member
posted May 03, 2000 04:07 PM

Glad to help! In order...


1. The Adventurers' Club (I know Nelson Strong from SWAMP THING, but what about the original run?)

This was basically a framing sequence for non-series stories (like the Space Museum in STRANGE ADVENTURES). Colonel Strong listened to stories of what were supposed to be high adventure, but most of the published ones were more horror than adventure. It was one of many unsuccessful attempts at a regular series in ADVENTURE COMICS in the early '70's, with various writers and artists.


2. Blackmask (an 80s Prestige Format mini)

The only Blackmask I can think of at DC was a Batman villain created by Doug Moench... a cosmetics heir named Roman Sionis whose attempt at plastic surgery was botched, giving him an even uglier face. For that reason, he always wore a black wooden mask. The late Gil Kane created a barbarian hero named Blackmark who he took to several publishers, including Marvel but not (to my knowledge) DC.


3. The Gorilla Wonders of the Diamond

Another single, nonseries story by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino...one of several "Strange Sports Stories" that ran in BRAVE & BOLD from #44 through 49 or thereabouts. Nine gorillas whose minds had been enhanced by a scientist schemed to conquer the world, under cover of forming their own baseball team.


4. The Maniaks

A humor feature starring a group of rock musicians, by E. Nelson Bridwell and Mike Sekowsky. They ran in several issues of SHOWCASE in the '60's, one of which had real-life celebrity Woody Allen attempting to star them in a movie, but didn't get any further.


5. Skull & Bones

Aside from the Yale fraternity, I haven't a clue.


6. Squire Shade

Is this the Golden Age Flash villain who's currently a semi-good guy in STARMAN? He's another immortal character, and may well have been a squire at one point.


7. Starfire (the Sword & Sorcery title)

A typical barbarian title by David Michelinie and Mike Vosburg in the mid-'70's, distinguished only by a female lead character. It was set in the future, and Starfire was the widow of a swordsman who'd taught her everything he knew.


8. Starhunters

Another Michelinie feature, this one set in a spacefaring future with a group of rebels, led by one Donvan Flint, against a tyrannical government. One of many similar ideas that (IIRC) sprang up in the wake of the original "Star Wars" movie.


9. Swing with Scooter

A teen title somewhat in the Archie mold, distinguished mainly by the fact that the hero was a British teen rock star who enrolled in an American small-town high school. Most of the main characters were a pretty direct parallel to the Archie characters (Scooter, Penny, Cookie, Sylvester, and Kenny corresponded almost exactly to Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, and Reggie), and along with Cynthia (Scooter's sister), Malibu (Kenny's trenchcoated chum) and Penny's cross-eyed cat, that was just about the entire cast...


10. U.S.S. Stevens

An excellent series in the war titles of the early '70's, based on writer/artist Sam Glanzman's actual experiences in the Navy during World War II. Since he owned the series, he also did a version of this for Marvel as a graphic novel, A SAILOR'S STORY.


Hope this helps!



Boston Brand
Member
posted May 03, 2000 04:23 PM

2. Blackmask (an 80s Prestige Format mini)

There were three issues in the mini. I actually have them somewhere, but I can't recall ever having read them. The character is a non-powered, street fighter type guy, with an all-black outfit, and a black scarf over his face (like the Golden Age Firebrand). He's not DCU. I recall that it was a creator-owned project.


5. Skull & Bones

Another non-DCU creator owned prestige mini. Art was by Eduardo Barreto I think, but I could be totally wrong. I don't have these books. I recall that there was some kind of a Russian angle to the series, probably espionage-related. The text on the covers was all in mock-Russian.


That's the best I can do on the unknowns.



D. R. Black
Member
posted May 03, 2000 06:59 PM

Blackmask was writen by Brian Augustyn and illustrated by Jim Baikie. Blackmask is a Korean War vet, and that's all I know. I have the three issue series around here somewhere, but haven't found the time to read it. You can get it really cheap.


Starfire was NOT the widow of Dagan (the swordsman). The two were never married, but they were lovers before Dagan was tortured to death by Sookarooth's men.

Here's the skinny; Starfire was raised since birth as a slave of the Mygorg. Her mother was white and her father was "yellow" (it actually says this in STARFIRE #1, but we can safely presume that Starfire's father was Asian-American).

Anyway, young Starfire's mixed heritage and beauty draws the attention of King Sookarooth of the Mygorg. Instead of making her a slve like all the other humans, Sookarooth has Starfire educated and raised with all the amenities of palace life.

Upon turning 18, Starfire learns that this was because Sookarooth intended for her to become his mate. Fleeing Castle Mollachon, Starfire heads for the countryside, but is caught by Sookarooth's men. She is rescued from them by Dagan, a warrior-priest, who then takes her under his wing and teaches her various forms of combat.

Starfire is a skilled swordsman, archer, and tracker, among others.

Anyway, Dagan is soon captured by Sookarooth, tortured, and killed. Starfire avenges her lover's death by storming Castle Mollachon, freeing Sookarooth's human slaves, and she eventually slays Sookarooth himself.

Starfire vows to rid her world of the Mygorg and free her people from slavery.



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 03, 2000 07:16 PM

Stories featuring different branches of the Adventurers' Club have appeared since the Golden Age but the official series only ran in ADVENTURE COMICS. WRATH OF THE SPECTRE # 1 reprinted ADVENTURE # 426's episode. Nelson Strong died after a futile attempt to capture the Swamp Thing (SWAMP THING # 147). He was briefly revived by the Parliament of Stones to serve as their elemental champion (# 149) but his new form was soon dissolved into gas by Swamp Thing (# 150).

"THE ADVENTURERS' CLUB":
Action Comics # 27
Adventure Comics # 426-427, 430 (with Nelson Strong in all)
Detective Comics # 255
House of Mystery # 53, 103, 107, 121, 146
My Greatest Adventure # 29, 61

NELSON STRONG (current):
Swamp Thing # 144-147, 149-150


Blackmask was Dan Cady, whose three-issue 1994 series was a creator-owned project from Brian Augustyn and Jim Baike. In the 1950s, Korean vet Dan Cady took the guise of Blackmask (black leather jacket and pants, plus a bandana-style mask) to free Iroquis Falls, New York from the grip of the Falcon mob. With the destruction of the mob complete, Dan tossed his mask in the garbage and left town to truly start his life over.


The Gorilla Wonders of the Diamond appeared in BRAVE & BOLD # 49 (reprinted in DC SPECIAL # 7).


The Maniaks were Flip, Jangle, Pack Rat and Silver Shannon and they appeared in SHOWCASE # 68, 69 and 71.


Scooter appeared in SWING WITH SCOOTER # 1-35. Reprints can be found in BEST OF DC # 39, 45 and 53. Grant Morrison wrote him into an ANIMAL MAN script (with Scooter as a drug dealer) that (fortunately) never saw print.


Skull and Bones was Andrian Trofimovich. He was part of a covert Russian battalion in Afghanistan that wore skeleton outfits as uniforms. Horrified by the violence, Andrian fled and allied himself with CIA agents. He finally quit the war and returned to Russia, where he dug out his Skull and Bones costume to stop the man who had created his battalion -- and who now planned to unleash a deadly virus. SKULL & BONES ran for three issues in 1992 and was a creator-owned project from Ed Hannigan.


Squire Shade was a lookalike for Hawkman foe, the Gentleman Ghost. He was introduced in the dying days of the DC horror line as the first host that GHOSTS ever had. Squire Shade's FIRST appearance was in a DC digest. He appeared in:

DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest # 17
Ghosts # 104-110, 112
Secrets of Haunted House # 44


In Starfire's final recorded adventure, she learned that the alien Mygorg that ravaged her world had been brought there by a mystic "Eye of Armageddon". The revelation filled the heroine with "hope! We now know of the Eye of Armageddon... and that it can be destroyed...and our world made free!" (STARFIRE # 8). Though they were unaware of it, Starfire and Claw the Unconquered were two of the eternal champions of the Sornaii (STAR HUNTERS # 7). Her appearances include:

STARFIRE III:
Starfire # 1-8
Star Hunters # 7
Who's Who '86 # 22

STARFIRE III (variants):
Starman # 55
Swamp Thing # 164


The Star Hunters included Bruce Sellers, Darcy Vale, Donovan Flint, Jake Hammersmith, Mindy Yano and Theodore McGavin. As they returned to Earth for a final confrontation with the Corporation that had exiled them in space, McGavin was killed and Flint made a crash landing on the planet (STAR HUNTERS # 7). The final resolution of the conflict (written by Gerry Conway) was set to appear in issue # 8 but it was lost in the DC Implosion. The Adam Strange back-ups for SH # 8 and 9 eventually appeared in WORLD'S FINEST # 263 and GREEN LANTERN # 132. The Star Hunters appeared in:

DC Super-Stars # 16
Star Hunters # 1-7
Who's Who '86 # 22


"U.S.S. Stevens" was featured in:

G.I. Combat # 145, 150-153, 157
Our Army At War # 218, 220, 222-223, 225, 227, 231-232, 235, 238, 240-241, 244, 247-248, 256-259, 261-262, 265-267, 275, 281-282, 293, 298
Our Fighting Forces # 125-128, 132, 134, 136, 138-141, 143, 148
Sgt. Rock # 304, 308
Sgt. Rock Special (second series) # 1
Star-Spangled War Stories # 153, 167, 171-172, 174
Weird War Tales # 4

Several reprints appeared in SGT. ROCK SPECIAL # 20 and 21. Episodes were also reprinted in AMERICA AT WAR and SGT. ROCK # 384.



Hellstone
Member
posted May 04, 2000 03:56 AM

Hah. This is paradise. Thank you everybody.
Just another question:

10. Did the U.S.S. Stevens strip have any recurring characters?

Since you all seemed to answer these questions with pleasure, care for another ten?

11. Astro (from HOUSE OF MYSTERY)
12. Gangbusters
13. Lady Cop (from 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL)
14. Mercenaries
15. Split (was in the X-men/Titans trading cards as a Titan?, yet I've never seen him?)
16. SR 12 (?)
17. Sterling Silversmith (?)
18. Teutonic Knight
19. the Third Archer
20. Viking Commando (I know the basic facts, but where did he appear?)

See you for the next round.

/ola



datalore
Member
posted May 04, 2000 08:19 AM

Let's see...


...Sterling Silversmith was a Batman foe who appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS in the 1970s (I remember him being threatened by the Crime Doctor in the 490s...)


I think that 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL was the ONE AND ONLY appearance of the Lady Cop...


And Viking Commando appeared in ALL-OUT WAR (I think there were only two issues of that!)


And Hellstone (and the rest), I remember seeing this earlier, but have to ask:

What were the Forgotten Heroes appearances in ACTION? (I know #552 & 553, but various members had appeared before that...I remember the Cave Carson bit with the Omega Men, but can't get at the rest!)



D. R. Black
Member
posted May 04, 2000 10:10 AM

ALL-OUT WAR lasted for six issues (around 1979-1980) and Viking Commando was in all six of them if memory holds.


Starfire also appears in one panel of SWAMP THING #163. Starfire, Claw, Stalker, and one other sword and sorcery character I dont recognize are all pictured running away from Nightmaster. She's also pictured in her original costume (my fave!) except its mistakenly colored blue (it should be green).



D. R. Black
Member
posted May 04, 2000 12:01 PM

Here's the lowdown on issues #2-4 of STARFIRE. As for issue #1, see my first post.


Starfire #2 - "The Siege of Lortnan Manor"
Written by David Michelinie, Art by Mike Vosburg and Vince Colletta

At Lortnan Manor, young Kyrse Lortnan is about to be killed by a Mygorg warrior for committing the crime of reading books, an activity forbidden to humans. As his father Velg Lortan looks on in horror, Starfire and her band of followers arrive just in time! After a short battle, all the Mygorg in the Manor are killed, but Velg tells Starfire that the dead Mygorg were only the advance guard for a larger patrol of Mygorg soldiers. Oops!

Soon after, the entire patrol of Mygorg soldiers storm the walls of Lortnan Manor. Starfire and her men manage to hold them off, and the Mygorg commander, Kevarj, retreats. He's already plotting his second attack, and this time he'll be using sky-beasts, which are pterodactyl like creatures which shoot heat beams (called "death bolts") from their eyes. Starfire manages to stop the sky beast once (you've got to see it to believe how she does it!), but sensing the Mygorg won't stay routed for long, her and her men flee into the countryside. As she leaves, Starfire is given a map by Kyrse, and the map is said to lead to the legendary Lightning Lords, beings who have powerful weapons that could be used in the battle against the Mygorg.

Also, in this issue we meet the first of Starfire's supporting cast, a balding man named Thrumdahg who wears all blue and swings a nasty axe. Thrumdahg makes some unwanted advances towards Starfire, and she ends up showing him exactly who's boss. Embarrassed in front of the men, Thrumdahg soon grows to resent Starfire, as we'll see in issue #3.


Starfire #3 - "The Arena of the Frost Dragon"
Written by Elliot S! Maggin, Art by Mike Vosburg and Vince Colletta

Still wandering around, Starfire and her followers come across a gladiator pit where a giant, deformed human is fighting a frost dragon (instead of breathing fire, frost dragon's breath ice) with a metal ball and chain. With the crowd of Mygorg engrossed in the battle, Starfire and her men ambush the spectators and free the giant. The giant is mute, so Starfire decides to name him Thump, saying that "He looks like a Thump, don't you think?" Thump quickly proves his loyalty by stopping Thrumdahg's plot to assault and overthrown Starfire as leader of the rebels.

We also meet Anzus, the group's weapon keeper, who is an older man with a white beard who wears a purple outfit and a green hooded cape.

Another Mygorg commander tracks down Starfire with the help of a human slave named Moonwatcher, who is an excellent tracker. Setting up in a nearby Mygorg village, the commander decides to ambush Starfire's camp at dawn. Moonwatcher overhears this, manages to kill the commander, and escapes to tell Starfire. Starfire decides to attack the village before the Mygorg can attack her. Starfire's army of ex-slaves wins, and they free the human slaves held in the village, who them join Starfire's ranks.

Starfire wants to continue their quest to find the Lightning Lords but since nobody knows how to read the map Kyrse gave them (remember, its a crime for humans to read books), she isn't sure what to do. In a stroke of good luck, it is discovered that Thump knows how to read. Pointing them in the right direction, the mute giant leads them onwards.....


Starfire #4 - "Slaves of the Golden Queen"
Written by Elliot S! Maggin, Art by Mike Vosburg and Vince Colletta

While heading through a mountain pass, Starfire and her followers are ambushed by Nitrons, tribal beats who spurt flame from their tails (really!). A brief struggle ensues, and the Nitrons manage to steal all the human's food and supplies. Trekking onwards on empty stomachs, Starfire spots a settlement "with supplies we can doubtless beg, borrow, or steal" in a nearby canyon.

Starfire, Thump, Anzus, Moonwatcher, and Raynor (not much is revealed about him) enter the settlement, and they meet the settlement's Queen Karoleen, a feminist with an attitude who sports a golden helmet which covers half of her face. "All men are slaves in this city" Karoleen tells Starfire, and you just know what's gonna happen next. Starfire decides to "trade" three of her men (Azmodus, Moonwatcher, and Starfire in disguise) for two wagonloads of food. Once inside, Starfire reveals herself and engages Karoleen in battle. As soon as this happens, Karoleen sends a group of her female soldiers to reclaim the food. Raynor, Thump, and Azmodus lead Starfir's followers in defending the food, while Starfire and Moonwatcher deal with Karoleen.

We learn that Karoleen has much in common with Starfire. She too was destined to marry Sookaroth and escaped. However, her escape had a price - a hideously scarred face caused by the Mygorg's flaming arrows. Thus, Karoleen hides the scarred side of her face behind her golden helmet. To make a long story short, Karoleen dies fighting Starfire (she plunges to her death), and Starfire and her merry men escape with the food. They continue along their journey to find the Lightning Lords.


More later....maybe



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 04, 2000 09:16 PM

The star of "U.S.S. Stevens" was Sam Glanzman himself, as the series was autobiographical in nature.


I first saw Astro mentioned by Mike Tiefenbacher in THE COMIC READER # 197 (which includes a color picture of the character, by the way) and it was because of that write-up that I sought out a copy of HOUSE OF MYSTERY # 140. Mike described "The Return of Astro" (illustrated by Howard Sherman) as follows:

"Bruce Mills returns to his ancestral home in the Iron Curtain country of Dolomain to find his parents' village being terrorized by a guy dressed up as the legendary wizard Count Quivius. To battle him, he costumes himself in Quivius' enemy's costume, rigging tricks to make it look as if he really is the equally-legendary Astro -- and ends up discovering that the costume really was Astro's and that it gives him his magical powers. After vanquishing Quivius, Mills thinks 'As for the cloak of Astro --with its fantastic powers -- perhaps I'd better guard it very closely from now on!' Sounds to me like they were doing a pilot story here."


GANGBUSTERS was based on a radio (and later TV) program and featured stories about police officers (et al.) for 67 issues from 1947 to 1958. There were no recurring characters but there were a couple regular features: "A Casebook Mystery" (# 13-19, 22-27, 30-44) and "A Perfect Crime Mystery" (# 1-12). You can find reprints from the series in BATMAN # 216, DC SPECIAL # 10, DC SUPER-STARS # 9 and DETECTIVE COMICS # 405, 415, 417, 419, 420, 422- 424, 444 & 445 and WORLD'S FINEST # 177.


Lady Cop was Liza Warner, a one-shot Bob Kanigher character from 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL # 4 (1975) with art by John Rosenberger and Vince Colletta (underneath a nice Dick Giordano cover). Liza's roommates were murdered by a Richard Speck-like killer while she hid beneath a bed. She told the police that "all I could see of the killer were his western boots -- white -- with black skull and cross-bones dangling from the laces. And laughing about killing women -- like they were nothing but cards! Aces of Spades!"

The incident leads Liza to enroll at the police academy and she stops a grenade-wielding madman at her graduation ceremony. In the second story, Liza helps a young woman diagnosed with VD. In the final panel, she "wonder(s) if I'll ever find the killer in boots ?"


The Mercenaries were Gordon (a one-eyed white American), Philip "Prince" Edwards (a black Englishman) and Horst Brenner (a blonde German). They were deserters from the French Foreign Legion who sought greater excitement and riches around the world. They were introduced by Bob Kanigher and Vicatan in G.I. COMBAT # 242 (1982) as a present-day counterpart to World War Two-Korea-Vietnam fare comprising most of the book. Eventually, the venerable "Haunted Tank" was bumped from the book altogether and the Mercenaries took the lead (# 282; 1986). Unfortunately, the bland adventures of the trio did not take hold and the more interesting mix of characters in the Haunted Tank returned in # 285.

The Mercenaries appeared in G.I. COMBAT # 242, 244, 247, 249, 251, 253, 256, 258, 261-263, 265, 268, 271-274, 278-284 and 286, plus an entry in WHO'S WHO '86 # 15.


The only Split that I'm familiar with was an evil young red-haired man in a red, white and black jacket who used his teleportation powers to transport members of Hazard's Black Ops (see STEEL # 6, 8, 0, 19, 25 and 27).


I have no idea who SR12 or the Teutonic Knight are.


Sterling T. Silversmith appeared in the middle chapter of Len Wein's 1975 "Bat-Murderer" five-parter (DETECTIVE # 446), with exquisite art by Jim Aparo. Silversmith had been obsessed with silver since childhood and, now, as a silver-haired older man, he had amassed a fortune in stolen goods that he smuggled through his antiques business. Dapper in his white suit, bullets bounced off Silversmith thanks to a silver alloy woven into the fabric. When a skeleton belonging to one of the villain's former henchmen was accidentally discovered within a statue, Batman investigated and stumbled upon Silversmith's operation. Fleeing from the scene, the rogue was stopped by a bar of silver thrown into his shoulders by the Dark Knight.

Silversmith returned in 1980 (DETECTIVE # 495, by Michael Fleisher and Don Newton). Having learned that Matthew Thorne, the Crime Doctor, was aware of Batman's true identity, Silversmith demanded the secret, administering poisonous quicksilver when the doctor proved reluctant. The Doc agreed to tell all in exchange for an antodote but Batman's unwitting intervention delayed things too long and Thorne was left a vegetable. Silversmith's WHO'S WHO entry was in # 22 of the original series.


Andre Reynard, the Third Archer, met Green Arrow and Speedy in ADVENTURE COMICS # 162, which I have not read.


The Viking Commando appeared in ALL-OUT WAR # 1-6, plus a left-over episode in UNKNOWN SOLDIER # 266 and 267 and the entry in WHO'S WHO '87 # 25.


Cave Carson returned in ACTION COMICS # 536 and the Forgotten Heroes began to organize in # 545. After # 552 and 553, they returned in DC COMICS PRESENTS # 77 and 78.



Hellstone
Member
posted May 05, 2000 04:48 AM

D.R. & Mikishawm - thanks.

12. So Gangbusters were a licensed comic?

And is there anyone else who can tell me anything about:
15. Split?
16. SR 12?
18. The Teutonic Knight?

If you're not getting tired of me yet, I'll return with ten more soon. (And if anyone else wants to ask questions about odd DCU characters, please continue my list with #21.)

/ola



Hellstone
Member
posted May 08, 2000 03:51 AM

No answers over the weekend? Maybe you HAVE tired of me. Oh, well, I'll continue and we'll see what happens:

Questions that remain:
12. Was "Gangbusters" a licensed comic?

And is there anyone who can give me the skinny of:
15. Split of the Titans?
16. SR 12?
18. The Teutonic Knight?

And, adding ten more to the list - could some please tell me what you know about:

21. The Bombardiers (I know they were the Human Bomb's sidekicks, but what were their names and what happened to them?)
22. The Flying Boots?
23. The Frogmen?
24. King of the Wild?
25. Manhunters Around the World?
26. O-Sensei? (from RICHARD DRAGON)
27. Sierra Smith?
28. Space Voyagers? (the back-up of RIMA THE JUNGLE GIRL - I've read three episodes, but I still can't figure out what it is about)
29. The Suicide Squadron? (Yeah - I know it was the pre-Suicide Squad in the DCU, but where and when did they appear?)
30. Tom Sparks, Boy Inventor?

That's it for this time. See ya soon.

/ola



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 08, 2000 06:43 AM

Yep, GANGBUSTERS was a licensed comic.


The Bombardiers were Curly McGurk, Swordo and the lovely Red Rogers. In POLICE COMICS # 21, they were provided with explosive powers by the Human Bomb and joined in a series of raids on the Japanese army in mid-1943 (# 21-22). With # 23, the Bomb was back in the States and we never did learn what happened to his partners.


Don't know much about them but the Flying Boots were Henny, Steve and Tommy Frank and appeared in STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES # 99, 100, 104 and 105 as part of the "War That Time Forgot" series.


Likewise, I can only provide the name of SHOWCASE # 3's wartime Frogmen. They were Sardine, Shark and Whale.


SHOWCASE # 2's "Kings of the Wild" featured various characters in wildlife adventures. One episode ("Rider of the Winds") was reprinted in DC SPECIAL # 5.


"Manhunters Around The World" was just what the name says, a series about detectives and law officers from anywhere on the globe. There were no recurring characters. This series ran in STAR SPANGLED COMICS # 94-120, WORLD'S FINEST # 59-61 and SHOWCASE # 5. Reprints can be found in DC SPECIAL # 10 (from SHOWCASE # 5) and DETECTIVE # 422, 444 & 445.


I'll get back to you on O-Sensei.


Sierra Smith, assisted by the lovely Nan, was a 1940s detective in the Western U.S. He appeared in DALE EVANS # 1-19, 21-23 and DETECTIVE # 206. James Robinson mentioned his detective prowess in the recent STARMAN # 18.


Space Voyagers (RIMA # 1-5) made about as much sense to me as it did to you. They were Armando, Bartt, Melong and Nolan.


The World War Two Suicide Squad fought on Dinosaur Island in STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES # 110-111 (with PT and Prof), 116-121 (with Morgan, Mace and Dino), 125 (Reed and Mac), 127 and 128.

John Ostrander's post-Crisis revamp had Rick Flag, Sr. as leader of the Squad with Ace High, the Beast, Blowhard, Gyp, Nickels and Shiv as members. (see SECRET ORIGINS # 14 and SUICIDE SQUAD # 26)


Tom Sparks was in WORLD'S FINEST # 49-58. No other details, I'm afraid.



The Ghost Who Walks
Member
posted May 08, 2000 08:05 AM

Hellstone-
I might be wrong but wasn't SWING WITH SCOOTER published here in Sweden under the name BINKY? ....or was Binky another DC Archie rip-off?



Hellstone
Member
posted May 08, 2000 09:48 AM

Yeah, Binky was another comic entirely.

/ola



Xero
Member
posted May 08, 2000 11:11 AM

Any info on the Golden Gladiator?



datalore
Member
posted May 08, 2000 01:35 PM

Golden Gladiator was a Roman Centurion in the time of Christ. He was in early (pre-50, team-up issues) of BRAVE & BOLD...

...and was suppose to have been possessed by Etrigan the Demon (or the Demon who would be born in him and become Etrigan), in Rick Veitch's unpublished SWAMP THING #88.


I think O-Sensei was in charge of the League of Assassins (but I'm probably mixing up characters...)



Hellstone
Member
posted May 08, 2000 04:49 PM

Just to keep things clearer (at least for me)...can we call Binky #31 and Golden Gladiator #32 here? (Yes, I admit, I'm an agent of the Lords of Order.)

As for O-Sensei (#26), datalore...nope. The League of Assassins leader was only called the Sensei, and he's not the one I'm asking about. But thank you anyway.

/ola



Xero
Member
posted May 08, 2000 05:34 PM

Excellent......Hmmm now I've got a challenge for you.

The Yellow Peri
Human Cannonball
Paragon (a villain)



John Moores
Member
posted May 08, 2000 06:34 PM

The only Teutonic Knight I know was a foe of Marvel's wartime Invaders, from the 1970s series of the same name.

I'm gonna leave everything else to Mikishawm and co....I'm more of a Golden Age guy myself.



Hellstone
Member
posted May 08, 2000 06:57 PM

Back to the list of unanswered questions:

15. Split of the Titans?
16. SR 12?
18. The Teutonic Knight - thanks to John for the Marvel character info, but I've heard there was a DC guy with the name as well. I think he had some connection to the Global Guardians, but I'm not sure.
22. Is there anyone who has anything to add regarding The Flying Boots?
23. Anyone knows more about the Frogmen?
26. I'm eagerly awaiting the story of O-Sensei.
28. Anyone who saw more sense in the Space Voyagers than I and Mikishawm did?
29. So, Mikishawm, the Suicide Squadron of Dinosaur Island and the SS who Rick Flag Sr lead are not the same team? When did Flag Sr appear first anyway? Before or after his son?
30. Anyone who has anything to add about Tom Sparks, Boy Inventor?

And a few answers:

31. Binky first appeared in LEAVE IT TO BINKY #1 (March 48), but i think most people remember him as a very 1960s/early 70s character.
32. The Golden Gladiator's real name was Marcus. He first appeared in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #1 (Sep 55)
33. The Yellow Peri was a teenage witch and a pre-Crisis Superboy foe/friend, I believe.
34. Human Cannonball - haven't got a clue.
35. Paragon - I know it was a JLofA villain, but that's about all I know.

/ola



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 08, 2000 09:08 PM

Richard Montgomery Flag (Rick, Sr.) and the more stable Suicide Squad roster were creations of John Ostrander in SECRET ORIGINS # 14, a means of tying the "War That Time Forgot" Squad to the 1959-1960 Squad that featured Richard Rogers Flag (Rick II).


The O-Sensei's story began in Manchuria in 1895 when a Japanese army captain faced a Chinese captive in unarmed combat. A soldier "helped" by gunning down the Chinese man and the horrified captain condemned him for his actions, asserting that he had brought disgrace on himself and the entire army. To attone, the captain agreed to the victim's dyining request: "I will take his place" (DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL # 1).

And so, he began "studying the ancient scriptures, practicing the ancient disciplines, becoming many kinds of a master. Living a life perfect in its austerity, its discipline and, finally, in its harmony." He refused his wife's 1900 plea to return to Japan but agreed to her last request: "Promise your bones will rest with mine" (THE QUESTION ANNUAL # 1).

Decades later, the O-Sensei encountered Benjamin Turner (SUICIDE SQUAD # 38) and Richard Dragon (RICHARD DRAGON, KUNG FU FIGHTER # 1), sensing the innate goodness that lay beneath their surface rage. Over six years, he transformed the men into two of the finest martial artists in the world (# 1) and, having done so, declared that there was nothing more he could teach them (# 2). Before leaving, he gave Richard a jade dragon's necklace (# 3).

Months later, Richard and Lady Shiva sought out O-Sensei for his aid in helping a dying Ben. They discovered that his meditations had been disrupted by Doctor Moon, who sought the master's knowledge for evil purposes (RD # 14).

After "more than a hundred and fifty winters," the O-Sensei finally decided that his life had run its course. With Shiva at his side, he sought out the Batman (DETECTIVE ANNUAL # 1), Green Arrow (GREEN ARROW ANNUAL # 1) and the Question (QUESTION ANNUAL #1), individuals that he believed could help him honor his vow to his wife. For his heirs, feeling that he had brought disgrace on the house, were violently opposed to his presence at the burial grounds.

In the end, it was not the family's actions that stopped the journey but a raging typhoon that washed the O-Sensei from their boat. His body was lost at sea. Arriving at the crypt, Shiva learned that the master's wife was NOT buried there. She discovered later that "the boat carrying the family's goods ran into a storm. The cabinet containing the wife's remains was swept overboard. It rests -- at the bottom of the sea" (QUESTION ANNUAL # 1).

O-SENSEI (Earth-One):
DC Comics Presents # 39
Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter # 1-3, 4 (mention), 6 (mention), 10 (mention), 13 (mention), 14, 17-18 (mention)

O-SENSEI (current):
Detective Comics Annual # 1
Green Arrow Annual # 1
The Question Annual # 1
Suicide Squad # 38


Created by Tom DeFalco, the Human Cannonball was Ryan Chase, a would-be super-hero who grew up in the circus, training for his goal and developing a rocket belt and helmet that enabled him to blast through the air like a, well, human cannonball. Ryan wore a green shirt (with a yellow CB emblem) and tights, black pants, gloves and helmet and violet boots that came up to his thighs (SUPERMAN FAMILY # 188).

Though too cocky for his own good, the Human Cannonball overcame his early blunders to become an effective, charming partner for Lois Lane (SF # 189, 191). He was a central player in the battle to free the DNA Project from the control of the evil Adam (# 192-194).


Paragon was Joel Cochin, a mutant who"possessed the physical and mental abilities of anyone within a certain range -- but whatever they've got, I've got more!" Arrogant in the extreme, Paragon was able to beat the Justice League one on one by using their own powers against them in a more effective fashion. His ultimate goal was the eradication of those who he regarded as his inferiors -- 90% of the world's population. He was defeated when the united JLA disoriented him. Paragon was created by Kurt Busiek and featured in JLA # 224 (1984) with art by Chuck Patton and Dick Giordano.


Bob Rozakis and Kurt Schaffenberger's creation, the Yellow Peri, first crossed paths with Superboy in NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY # 34 and 35 (1982). Teenager Loretta York had discovered a magic book that transformed her into the Yellow Peri. Her own inexperience and a devilish imp named Gazook made Loretta more of a threat than a help and the Boy of Steel finally threw the book into outer space, erasing York's memories of the Yellow Peri in the process.

Years later, the book fell back into Earth's atmosphere and returned to Loretta, now married to a shady character named Alvin Grant. Grant hoped to use the Yellow Peri for a get-rich-quick scheme. When Superman entered the picture, Alvin tried unsuccessfully to pit his wife against the Man of Steel. In the end, Superman agreed to leave the book in Loretta's possession until she proved unworthy of the power (ACTION # 559).

Months later, Clark Kent and Lois Lane encountered the Grants and, once again, Alvin was trying to make a quick buck and the Yellow Peri's magic was backfiring. Unable to destroy the book, Superman encased it in lead, erasing the Grants' memories of the Yellow Peri once more. Loretta tumbled upon the lead-sealed book (ACTION # 567) but whether she ever recovered her memories is unknown.

THE YELLOW PERI:
Action Comics # 559, 567
The New Adventures of Superboy # 34-35
Who's Who '87 # 26

THE YELLOW PERI (variant):
The Kingdom: Planet Krypton # 1



Franklin
Member
posted May 09, 2000 12:02 AM

"Split" was a character that Wolfman originally intended to be a part of the Titans, hence he appears in the special card set for DC VS. MARVEL that was painted by Julie Bell and pitted the Titans against the X-Men. His primary ability was teleportation, and if I remember correctly, he was described as kind of a sassy, prankster sort. To my understanding, he was later given a different name (I don't know what it was), cast onto the wrong side of the tracks, and used in the SUPERBOY & THE RAVERS series.



Hellstone
Member
posted May 09, 2000 06:36 AM

AwRIGHT! Split has been explained. Thank you.

Now I'm only wondering about SR 12 and the Teutonic Knight.

So...let's add ten more to the obscurity list. It's villain time:
36. Assassination Bureau (Firestorm)
37. Bat Knights (the Atom)
38. Darius Tiko (Challengers)
39. the Deep Six (I know who they are but can someone please clear out all the members? - they seem to be more than six. Who is dead and who is alive?)
40. the Duke of Oil (Outsiders)
41. the Luck League (?)
42. the Nuclear Family (Outsiders)
43. Power Elite (Starman)
44. Printer's Devil (Green Arrow)
45. Ramulus the Plantmaster (Sandman)

/ola



John Moores
Member
posted May 09, 2000 09:35 AM

I'll do Ramulus.

Originally called Nightshade, he first appeared in the Simon/Kirby Sandman strip in WORLD'S FINEST #6, Summer 1942. He's a green, weird looking guy who controls electronic plants, and kidnaps a rich couple. Sandman and Sandy rescue them, and one of Nightshade's plants goes haywire, shakes him "literally to death" and flings him away, at which point Sandman and Sandy escape the flaming "Magic Forest", where the Nightshade had his HQ. That was his last appearance in the Golden Age, reprinted in WANTED #9, Aug/Sept 1973.

He appears again 40-odd years later, in ALL-STAR SQUADRON #51, 1985. He was shown to have survived, and was thought by the infamous Mr.Mind how to control real fauna. He's now called Ramulus, to avoid confusion with the Charlton heroine of the same name. He's a member of the Monster Society of Evil, is defeated and not seen again for quite a while.

His final appearance to date was in a dream sequence in JSA #1, 1999.



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 09, 2000 07:20 PM

Time is at a premium for me tonight (and possibly tomorrow) so I'm not going to attempt any bios right now. I'll let someone else take a turn. (Thanks, John, for Nightshade/Ramulus!)

You HAVE piqued my interest with the Titans version of Split. He sure SOUNDS like the STEEL character. Is there a picture of that particular card on the web somewhere ?



LarryF
Member
posted May 09, 2000 10:41 PM

I would like to know if the following Super Friends ever made appearances in comics?

Black Vulcan
(I am assuming he did not, since he was virtually a gloss on Black Lightning).

Apache Chief
Rima
El Dorado
Samurai



casselmm47
Member
posted May 10, 2000 12:57 AM

Rima had her own series in the 70's http://members.xoom.com/casselmm47/dc70/miscdc/rima.htm

I don't recall the others off hand having made an appearance even in the SUPER FRIENDS title...



D. R. Black
Member
posted May 10, 2000 11:44 AM

Here we go with some Outsiders baddies:


Nuclear Family - appeared in OUTSIDERS (1st series) #1, #2 and ADVENTURES OF THE OUTSIDERS #39, #40. Their appearance in AOTO is a reprint of their first appearance.

Dr. Eric Shanner is an old man who is strongly opposed to nuclear energy. In order to convince the world of the damage that one nuclear device's explosion would do, he creates the Nuclear Family, a group of sentient robots whose individual powers mimic the stages of a nuclear explosion. The Family consists of Dad, who emits radiation; Mom, who produces electromagnetic pulses; Biff, who produces a thermal (heat) pulse; Sis, who emits a destructive blast wave, and Brat and Dog, who are both able to turn themselves into radioactive fallout.

The Outsiders prevented then from causing a meltdown at Esperanza Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, and captured the entire Nuclear Family. After examining the robots, Dr. Jace decides that Looker should infiltrate the group, using her powers to disguise herself as Mom. The Nuclear Family is released so they can lead the Outsiders to Shanner, but Looker is eventually discovered before she can tell the Outsiders where Shanner's HQ is.

We then learn that the Nuclear Family are replications of Shanner's family, all of whom (but him) died from radiation poisoning. We're led to believe that Shanner was once upon a time either Dad or Biff. Anyway, the Nuclear Family hunts down the real Mom, whom the Outsiders are still holding captive. After a struggle, the Family grabs Mom, and heads to Esperanza Canyon to finish their mission. The Outsiders follow them, and ultimately, the entire Nuclear Family is destroyed in an explosion. Metamorpho turns into TNT and blows them up while they are trying to start a meltdown. Shanner, however, is still alive.


Duke of Oil - appeared in OUTSIDERS (1st series) #6, #7 and ADVENTURES OF THE OUTSIDERS #44, #45. His appearance in AOTO is a reprint of his appearance in Outsiders. "Nothing Can Stop the Duke of Oil" reads the cover to OUTSIDERS #7. Well, not exactly.

Earl J. Dukeston is an oil baron from Texas and the owner of Dukeston Oil. His company wants to see Station Markovia, an automated ocean research station off the coast of Los Angeles which also serves as the Outsiders HQ. After Brion Markov (Geo Force) and Dr. Jace have given him a tour of the station, Dukeston attacks the two, and it is revealed that he is an agent of an unknown scientific company that wants to steal Dr. Jace's research.

The Duke reveals that 20 years ago, he was caught in an explosion at his oil company. Thinking he would die, he woke up later and found that all that was left of him after the explosion (his brain) was put into a robotic body. Kind of like the Golden Age Robotman, huh? Well, the scientists who did this to Dukeston told him that they were growing another body for him using cloning technology, but it would take about twenty years to do so. In the meantime, the Duke did their bidding. Ultimately, when the Duke confronts the rest of the Outsiders, looker discovers that he is emitting no brain waves, Katana then throws her sword into his robotic head, and we learn that the Duke doesn't have a human brain after all, he's just a machine programmed with Dukeston's memories.

Finding out that he's not even partly human drives the malfunctioning Duke of Oil nuts, and he escapes into the Pacific Ocean below. The Outsiders search for him, but can't find a body. He remains currently at large.

The Duke is superstrong, and can stretch his neck, arms and legs like Elongated Man can. He wears fake skin in order to conceal his robotic appearance, but it is easily burned off or destroyed.


And for some really obscure villains, check out the early issues of BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS.

There's the lame-o Agent Orange (BATO #3), a disgruntled Vietnam vet who wants to drop toxic gas on Gotham. He wears an orange gasmask, orange beret, orange fatigues and shoots toxic gas out of a flame-thrower type weapon. He's apprehended in BATO #3 and thankfully hasn't seen the light of day yet.


In BATO #4, Ned Creegan returns with a new name and a new costume. Creegan was transformed into a sketetal freak in BATMAN #195 way way back, and tried to kill Batman and Robin using the name Bag O'Bones. Creegan returns in BLACK LIGHTNING (1st series) #4-5 as the Cyclotronic Man. This time he wears an all green costume and goes after Black Lightning and Superman.

Third times a charm in BATO #4, when Creegan, now calling himself One Man Meltdown, escapes from prison because a crooked warden won't give him the radiation treatments his suped up body requires. After a misunderstanding or two, the Outsiders help Creegan get the treatments he needs and he goes back to prison, content to serve out his time and become a benefit to society.

Creegan can fire energy bolts, speed up the atoms of anything (including his own body), and is superstrong. The aura around his body can also melt most objects it come sin contact with.


In BATO #6, we meet the Cyronic Man for the first and last time. More on him later.



The Ghost Who Walks
Member
posted May 11, 2000 05:06 AM

In an old Swedish edition of SUPERBOY, I found a story starring a character called Tracy, a teenage girl on a scooter, who ends up in a Scooby Doo type of adventure.

Does any of you know more about this character?



JDW
Member
posted May 12, 2000 12:08 AM

I asked this in another thread, and didn't get an answer, so here goes.

There was a group of normal people who were given powers by the Guardians. They were supposed to represent, or faciliate, mankind's evolution to the next level. Their story was one of DC's global events. I vaguely recall one people going bad, one being killed. Anyway, does anyone know this group, and what happened to them?



Shaggy Faust
Member
posted May 12, 2000 12:32 AM

In response to Larry F's query as to which Super Friends' characters appeared in any DC comics:

As far as I know, neither Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, El Dorado, nor Samurai ever appeared in a DC comic.

Why?

Well, while the main characters comprising The Super Friends were obviously licensed by Hanna-Barbera from DC, the aforementioned characters were created by HB for the cartoon, i.e. these are characters owned by Hanna-Barbera. If were to include them in a comic book, they, in turn, would have to license these characters from HB. You dig where I'm goin' with this? Basically, these weren't/aren't DC characters proper....

As for Rima - well, DC did license a character called "Rima the Jungle Girl" for a brief period in the early seventies, but I don't think she had anything to do with the Superfriends. Perhaps you're thinking of the Super Friends villainess Giganta, who, like Black Vulcan, et al., was a creation of Hanna-Barbera studios. And no - she never made a pulp appearance of which I am aware....

Wait a minute!!!! I may be wrong, 'cause didn't Samurai appear in a SUPER POWERS mini-series?

Hell, shows you what I know....



superboymddjr
Member
posted May 12, 2000 01:12 AM

Hmm, anyone heard of a team called Bat Squad?

Say, exactly how many Aqua-Girls were there before Tula? I heard that there were a couple of girls before Tula, is that true?



Hellstone
Member
posted May 12, 2000 05:42 AM

Adding to the list.

46. Black Vulcan
47. Apache Chief
48. Rima
49. El Dorado
50. Samurai

--guess they've been answered by now

51. Agent Orange
52. One Man Meltdown

--thank you for the info, D.R. Especially the latter would be fun to see revived. And I'm waiting for the story about the Cyronic Man.

53. Tracy on her scooter

--can anyone help Ghost Who Walks with this one? I've never heard of her.

54. New Guardians

--JDW, I guess these are the heroes you meant. They were introduced in the MILLENNIUM crossover (1987 or 88?) and had their own series for a year or so. Really crappy if I remember it right. They later appeared in GREEN LANTERN and were killed by Entropy. Then they were alive again and settled down on Oa. It's not known what happened to them after the planet was destroyed following Zero Hour. The only members that are known to still be alive are Tom "Pieface" Kalmaku and Jason "the Floronic Man" Woodrue (the latter was last seen in STARMAN).

55. Bat Squad

--Not sure who these are. Except that the current allies of Batman (Robin, Nightwing, Huntress, Azrael, Gordon, are sometimes referred to as the "Bat Squad).

56. Aquagirl I

--Lisa Morel. America heroine-wannabee who appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #266.

57. Aquagirl II

--Selena, a Poseidonian heroine-wannabee in WORLD'S FINEST (1st series) #133.

58. Aquagirl III

--Tula, Poseidonian heroine, well-known partner of Aqualad and a sometimes-member of the Teen Titans. Died in the Crisis. (Killed by Chemo and Shark Norton.) First appeared in AQUAMAN (1st series) #33 (Jun 67).

/ola



casselmm47
Member
posted May 12, 2000 07:22 AM

The Bat Squad teamed up with Batman in an issue of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (#92), I think they were just a group of detectives (no 'big names' in the bunch).



Rich Morrissey
Member
posted May 12, 2000 08:16 AM

The character The Ghost Who Walks refers to is probably Tracey Thompson, created by writer/artist/editor Mike Sekowsky as a backup for ADVENTURE COMICS...I believe #401 was the first of her two or so appearances. She was, as he recalls, a teenage motorcyclist who was always running into trouble and usually had to have someone else help her out. The readership was thoroughly underwhelmed, and she failed to survive Sekowsky's very short editorship.


The Deep Six were among the many evil gods of Apokolips created by writer/artist/editor Jack Kirby for his legendary NEW GODS series. First mentioned in NEW GODS #2, they played an active role in issues #4 through 6, in the last of which they were apparently killed off. But they've appeared more recently in other DC titles; I don't recall how their survival was explained (perhaps Darkseid teleported them all out at the last minute).



Hellstone
Member
posted May 12, 2000 08:46 AM

Thing is, having checked various sources, I have encountered the following names of Deep Six members: Gole, Jaffar, Kurin, Pyron, Slig, Trok, and Shaligo the Flying Finback. Have the Deep Six become the Deep Seven?

/ola



D. R. Black
Member
posted May 12, 2000 11:30 AM

Here we go with the Cryonic Man (I mis-spelled his name last time, sorry)

The Cryonic Man - appeared in BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #6 and #7 - In 1947, Professor Niles Raymond (wonder if he's any relation to Ronnie (Firestorm) Raymond?) built four cryonic sleep chambers because he feared a world wide nuclear holocaust. Niles, his wife Bella, his assistant Philip, and Philip's wife Melissa entered the chambers and slept for years. In order to monitor the state of the world and maintain their equipment, Philip was selected to awaken every so often.

During one of the times he was awake, Philip discovered that his wife Melissa was slowly dying of a progressive degenerative disease (exactly what disease is never stated). Only complex organ transplants could save Melissa's life should she ever leave the cryonic chamber. Philip reasoned that the needed transplant technology would be developed in the near future, so in order to keep Melissa in the chamber he lied to Niles and Bella - telling them that there had been a horrible nuclear war which devastated the world. In the meantime, Philip began illegally gathering organs and transplanting them into Melissa's body. Sometimes, Philip even used Niles' and Bella's bodies as "spare parts" as his own body withered with age.

Waking up in 1983 (when BATO #6 was written), Philip makes himself a costume comprised of blue tights, metallic gloves, a blue hard hat type thing, and a metallic mask which covers all of his face except his eyes. He also develops a backpack type machine which allows him to shoot liquid nitrogen out of hoses attached to the wrists of his costume. Dubbing himself the Cryonic Man, Philip goes about stealing organs from local hospitals in Gotham. This eventually brings him into conflict with Batman and the Outsiders.

While stealing a kidney from Gotham General Hospital, the Outsiders confront Philip, and chase him into one of Gotham's underground car tunnels. The Cryonic Man gets the best of the Outsiders this time, and escapes with the kidney and Katana as his hostage. Philip plans on using Katana as the source for all the other body parts Melissa needs. With the help of Soultaker (Katana's sword), the Outsiders track Philip to an underground bunker in an abandoned house just outside of Gotham. The usual heroics transpire, but there's a real cool James Bond-esque scene where a bound and almost sedated Katana frees herself and destroys one of the Cryonics Man's robots using only a tiny surgeon scalpel.

Eventually, the Outsiders discover the other three cryonic chambers and the people inside. Black Lightning is able to use his powers to "communicate" with them using the cryonic chamber's electric field. When Bella, Niles, and Melisa discover the truth, they become enraged and overload the chambers' electric field. This unleashes a backlash of electric energy which strikes Philip, either killing him or just knocking him out (we're never told, we just see smoke rising from the Cryonic Man's fallen body). The overload however, does cause the deaths of Bella, Niles, and Melisa.

Says Batman: "Their souls died long ago....when they decided to run from the world instead of facing it!"



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 12, 2000 11:45 PM

Hi, all! This is what I came up with:


The Assassination Bureau was a well kept secret until they were hired by the 2000 Committee to kill Firestorm. The organization had been formed by Breathtaker, a mysterious figure hidden beneath a robe and cloak. The Nuclear Man easily defeated the Bureau's first operative, the wind-controlling Stratos, but Firestorm was far more susceptible to the illusions of the Mindboggler. While attacking what he perceived as threats, Firestorm was actually posing a threat to civilians. Mindboggler was unable to bring her actions to a conclusion thanks to the arrival of fleet of police officers, more than the spellbinder felt she could control (FURY OF FIRESTORM # 29-30).

Meanwhile, another Bureau member had disobeyed orders and tried to take down Firestorm on his own. The arrogant Incognito was a being capable of transforming into a double of anyone but whose natural form was a black silhouette. Failing in his objective, Incognito was subdued by Firestorm and revealed the location of the Bureau's lair (FOF # 30).

The Nuclear Man succeeded in knocking Mindboggler unconscious and quickly defeated Breathtaker, despite the latter's own seeming hallucinogenic powers. Exposed, the mastermind was a small man -- barely four feet -- with skin so pale and tight that he resembled a skeleton. His more imposing form was the result of a sophisticated exoskeleton. Resentful of Breathtaker's treatment of her, Mindboggler agreed to help Firestorm take down the 2000 Committee (FOF # 31).

Mindboggler received a lenient sentence for her actions but was lured back into crime by Multiplex, who convinced her to join his anti-Firestorm league (FOF # 45-47; BLUE DEVIL # 23). In custody once more, she was released into the Suicide Squad but was shot in the back and killed by the Jihad's Rustam (SUICIDE SQUAD # 1-2).

Through unknown circumstances, the Jihad used Mindboggler's brain patterns to form a deadly electronic intelligence called the Ifrit that was programmed to destroy the Suicide Squad. The Squad took possession of the Ifrit (SS # 17-19) and, after extensive efforts, to reprogram her (# 26), succeeded in restoring her core personality thanks to an Israeli artificial intelligence known as the Dybbuk. The Dybbuk (now calling himself Lenny) and Mindboggler (Leah Wasserman) announced their plans to wed (# 63).

Oracle, a witness to the declaration, offered to host a bridal shower. "Is there any software you guys need ?"


In the distant past, a race of tiny people known as the Elvarans fled the savage cavemen of the outer world for sanctuary within caverns within the Earth. The Elvarans periodically sent armor-clad warriors into the outer world atop bats to keep abreast of the Earth's evolution. With a racial hatred of "tall men," an Elvaran tribe in Ivy Town's Giants Cavern went berserk when it saw gangster Eddie Gordon in the cave. Firing his gun, Gordon unwittingly gained temporary control of the little people, thanks to the noise's effect on their motor responses. Gordon decided to use the Bat-Knights as a means of looting the city -- and destroying his enemy, the Atom. The Atom managed to capture a lone Bat-Knight and convince him of his good intentions. Together, they freed the Bat-Knights from Gordon's control and the Tiny Titan was given the unique honor of being able to visit the people of Elvara "by giving the pre-arranged signal" (ATOM # 22).

Gordon briefly regained control of the Bat-Knights in THE ATOM # 30. Ray Palmer encountered the little people for a third time when he and Jean Loring visited Giants Cavern, also the location where he first became the Atom, during a honeymoon trip.

Marauding Bat-Knights claimed that the Elvarans now had more militant leadership and that they sought the secret of the Atom's size-control belt to conquer the outside world. Ray made a narrow escape and resealed the "doorway" out of the cavern (ACTION COMICS # 487).


In 1958, the Challengers of the Unknown traced a series of thefts by men dressed as ancient Greeks or Egyptians to a mysterious island, home to the Wizard of Time, one Darius Tiko. "Former assistant to Dr. Hobart Reinmetz, the renowned nuclear physicist," Tiko claimed to have brought his research to full flower with the creation of a Time Cube. Ace suggested he may have stolen Reinmetz's ideas instead.

Tiko fled the inquiries via the Cube and the Challs followed in a smaller earlier model. After trailing the Wizard through a succession of eras, the quartet finally tracked him down in the year 3000 A.D. There, both Tiko and the Challs were taken into custody by law enforcement of the era and ordered to return home. A self-destruct mechanism installed by the future cops destroyed the Time Cube and the Wizard's island upon their return to 1958 (CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN (first series) # 4, reprinted in SUPER DC GIANT # S-25).

En route to the past, Tiko had briefly escaped into 1994, where, armed with futuristic technology, he terrorized Metropolis for a few hours before the Challs and a certain Man of Steel recaptured him and completed their journey home (ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN # 508).


First seen briefly in 1971's NEW GODS # 2, the Deep Six first left their mark when they killed the ocean-loving New God known as Seagrin (# 4). In # 4 and 5, Orion battled and ultimately killed Slig, whose touch could alternately mutate or disintegrate a victim. Issue # 6 introduced Jaffar (also in possession of a death-touch and also slain by Orion), Gole, Pyron, the axe-wielding Trok and the winged Shaligo. The remainder of the Deep Six was destroyed in a fiery conflagration.

A resurrected Jaffar and Slig returned in NEW GODS # 13 (1977) and, once more, Slig died at Orion's hands. In the Deep Six entry in WHO'S WHO '85 # 6, Pyron was misidentified as Kurin.

Aside from a one-panel cameo in NEW GODS (1989 series) # 17, the group didn't return until 1995's AQUAMAN # 6-8, wherein Peter David finally explained the aquatic marauders' durability. At one point, Trok ejected something from his chest that Slig describeed as "spawns of ourselves. It's how we perpetuate. Our forebears were slaughtered by the mad dog Orion ... but not before we were spawned into a chamber similar to this. We are the first Deep Six to grow in this world. Hence we're very attuned to it."

The sextet has subsequently appeared along with the other Apokolips baddies in UNLIMITED ACCESS # 2-4 (1998). Just recently, they showed up in SUPERMEN OF AMERICA # 2, where Shaligo failed to appear but the heretofore non-existent Kurin DID! Yikes!


The Legion of Super-Heroes first encountered the Luck Lords on the planet Thaun, exposing them as aliens who used scientific trickery to terrorize the world into a superstitious frenzy (ADVENTURE COMICS # 343). The true Luck Lords were from Ventura, immortal mystics garbed in green robes with a single large eyeball representing their head (LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (1984 series) # 44-45). As explained in WHO'S WHO IN THE LEGION # 4, they "gather the power of chaotic chance against the constant scientific power" for their own purposes.

In current continuity, the power level of the Luck Lords is unknown but they are much more commonly known and accessible to the public, based on brief appearances in LSH (current series) # 100, 102 and LEGIONNAIRES # 70.


Nationalistic scientist Harold Melrose launched his Power Elite project with the intention of creating a group of "real red-blooded American heroes." The Stellaron-5 satellite would focus a concentrated beam of solar radiation on a sextet of individuals and, hopefully, transform them into metahumans. Instead, a chance interception with "space junk" destroyed the satellite and redirected the bulk of its energy towards Colorado, where a man named Will Payton took the full force of the beam -- and was transformed into Starman (STARMAN (first series) # 1).

Though deprived of the full-effects of the solar energy, the six men and women still gained unique powers and abilities. The Power Elite included Dennis Blake (emits concussion blasts), Frank Donovan (fires plasma flame from his hands), Stanley Hale (levitates himself and objects around him), Olivia Hardy (super-strength), Samantha Morgan (capable of altering her mass and appearance to anything from a little girl to a hulking giant) and David Winters (emits radiation bolts from his eyes). Melrose soon determined that the new hero known as Starman must have received the powers that were meant for his team and plans were put into motion to capture him (# 2-3).

Ambushed by the Power Elite, Starman was indeed taken captive (# 4) but an alien invasion disrupted the plot. A Durlan spy within Melrose's inner circle discovered that their captive was nothing less than "a living star" and smuggled Starman to the armada. The scheme collapsed when the Durlan was captured by Melrose's security forces and Starman escaped his alien jailers (# 5).

David Winters convinced Melrose to drug the Durlan and unleash him in Salt Lake City, thus providing the team with a flamboyant foe to defeat in their first public appearance. Aware that some of the team might object (notably Frank, Stan and Olivia), the Elite was officially told that the Durlan had escaped.

Viewing news coverage of the Durlan's recapture, Starman headed for Utah, intent on a rematch with the Elite, but once again, fate intervened. In the midst of the battle, a Dominion Gene Bomb was detonated and the Power Elite was rendered comatose (# 6; INVASION! # 3). Melrose spirited the sextet back to his base, the Hutchings Institute (# 7), but eventually realized that, while the group could be revived with concentrated solar energy, he couldn't generate with his own equipment. He needed Starman.

A suspicious Starman was contacted and convinced that the Melrose and Elite that he fought had been either Durlans or dupes. The energy that Payton funnelled into the sextet revived the team but Winters refused to leave the energizer, determined to absorb all the power he could get. Instead, his body exploded as Starman escaped from the power-siphon (# 11).

A full-scale battle ensued that took another life when Dennis Blake's concussion blasts brought down the ceiling on him. Frank Donovan finally realized the full extent of Melrose's evil and turned him over to the authorities before returning to the collapsing Hutchings Institute. Reduced to a crater, the site yielded only one body, that of Dennis Blake. The whereabouts of Frank, Stan, Olivia and Samantha remain unknown (# 12). Melrose eventually allied himself with an even more paranoid fringe group (# 19-20), who gunned him down when his vendetta against Starman wrecked their plans (# 29).


When Star City's newspaper, the Daily Star, was threatened with a buyout by media giant Morris Burdick, a demonic entity known as the Printer's Devil appeared on the premises. Dressed in a red and black costume with a blue cape, he came complete with a ram's head mask and large red eyes -- and a trident that fired flame darts. Green Arrow ultimately unmasked him as Tommy Doyle, a sports writer at the paper. Doyle hoped that Burdick would think twice about buying a media outlet under siege -- and he was right. Burdick abandoned his plans to buy the Star ... and Tommy went to jail(DETECTIVE # 539-540).

A few months later, Doyle (out on bail) came face to face with the Printer's Devil. His successor had forced Tommy to provide him with a spare costume and weapon, which he used to initiate an attack at the Star City World's Fair. The new Devil "lost a printing contract here when the Fair passed my 'hot type' machines by for faster 'cold type' ones" and he joined others "ruined" by the Fair (Pinball Wizard and Bad Penny) in seeking revenge. The inexperienced Printer's Devil was quickly wrapped in one of GA's bola arrows and left hanging (DETECTIVE # 543-544) while the rest of the troupe was brought to justice (# 545).


The members of the Bat-Squad were three British citizens who joined forces to help Batman in BRAVE & BOLD # 92. They were Major Dabney, Margo Cantrell and Mick Murdock.


Rima wasn't created by DC but she wasn't technically licensed either. She was a public domain character from William Henry Hudson's 1904 novel, "Green Mansions." And, yes, Rima did appear in some epidodes of the SUPER FRIENDS cartoon (even though she was actually based in the early 20th Century).


Samurai showed up in DC's third SUPER POWERS mini-series, four issues that appeared in 1986. History professor Toshio Eto was transformed into Samurai (and archaeologist Ashley Halberstam into the Golden Pharaoh) thanks to a super-hero project initiated on New Genesis designed to create an opposition force to prevent Darkseid's return to Apokolips.



Shock Headed Peter
Member
posted May 14, 2000 01:27 PM

I require information on one crappy villain.

SNAFU.

Please.



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 14, 2000 07:18 PM

Created by Bob Rozakis, Snafu's name was based on a paraphrase of the wartime expression "Situation Normal, All Fouled Up." He was one Bartholomew Higgins, a man garbed in a garish costume and an assortment of lights and noise-making mechanisms, all designed to disorient his victims. He picked crowded areas like shopping centers and stadiums as his ideal targets. Man-Bat defeated him in one of his first cases in New York City by drowning out the sound effects with his bat-cry and closing his eyes to the lights, using his sonar to follow him (BATMAN FAMILY # 11, 1977).

On a return engagement, Snafu tried to counter Man-Bat's sonar with technological enhancements but Kirk Langstrom's acute hearing came through and Higgins was defeated again (BATMAN FAMILY # 18-19, 1978).

Rozakis brought back Snafu for a final outing in HERO HOTLINE # 3 (1989), complete with a redesigned look by Stephen DeStefano and computer enhanced color effects. This time, the villain was defeated when Voice-Over threw Snafu's sound effects back at him.


I'll leave Thriller for someone else. Don't have all the issues.



Tenzel Kim
Member
posted May 15, 2000 07:40 AM

Hi there.

Just wanted you all to know that I haven't forgotten you. I've just been without my PC for almost 3 weeks now and I'm not sure when I'm gonna get it back as there are still some problems with my DVD drive.

Anyway, I'll be looking forward to joining this thread and joining the fun as soon as I get back online (this is written at work)

See ya.



Hellstone
Member
posted May 15, 2000 09:40 AM

Hi Tenz. You know you're always welcome here.

This list grows and shrinks all the time. A few unanswered questions:

16. SR 12: I still don't know who this is - only heard his/her/its "names" somewhere. I think it is an alien from the Silver Age. A Green Lantern, maybe?
17. Teutonic Knight?
41. The Luck League: thanks for the Luck Lords info, Mikishawm, but those were not the ones I meant. The Luck League was another Silver Age villain group. JLA baddies, maybe? I'm not sure.
59. Snafu: sounds like a great villain. I'm all for his return.
60. Thriller: I know she was a Robert Loren Fleming / Trevor von Eeden character in a monthly from the early 80s, but not much more. Can anyone fill us in here?

I didn't think this would happen but I'm actually running out of characters that I'm wondering about. However, I was able to squeeze out ten more. Anyone up for the challenge?

61. the Arcana (JLI baddies)
62. the Argent (the government team led by Control of the O.S.S. Members? Were they created by John Ostrander or did they exist before the Suicide Squad?)
63. Armstrong of the Army (golden age)
64. Bob Colby & Jim Boone (banes of the Faceless Hunter)
65. the Dead Detective (?)
66. the Endless One (timestream guardian from JLofA)
67. Fireman Farell & the Firefighters (Showcase)
68. Silver Fog (the Harlan Ellson villain from "Dial H for Hero")
69. Sky Dogs (?)
70. Wayne Clifford (All-Out War)

/ola



krisstacks
Member
posted May 15, 2000 10:47 AM

Since no one else has asked..As a wee lad I was one of a dozen or so people who read the JEMM, SON OF SATURN maxi series. Or almost. For some reason I stopped at issue 8. Can anyone give me the basic jist of the series and how it ended? If not I understand but thanks in advance anyway.



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 19, 2000 10:07 PM

Created by Todd Klein and illustrated by Mike Chen and Joe Del Beato, "Arcana" centered around the Perrys, an eccentric family of mystics in a New Jersey suburb (NEW TALENT SHOWCASE # 12). They included the elderly Oren and Thalia, middle-aged Whelan the Magnificent (with the traditional tuxedo and razor-thin mustache), young Anastasia (or Nasti) and the family dog, Barkis, a sheep dog-esque creature that fired red force bolts from his eyes. In the first story, young Tom Hawthorne, visiting his grandparents for the summer, entered the Perry property on a dare and was given a tour by Nasti. It was hinted that Tom's grandfather (his namesake) had dealings with the Perrys in his youth and, indeed, he was quite interested in his grandson's visit when young Tom returned home.

Peering through the window, Thalia wondered, "Is he the one, Oren ? The one to release us from our long exile ?"

"Only time will tell, sister ... but I certainly hope so."


The creation of Gerard Jones, the Arcana were mysterious power-brokers who loved to manipulate the major players of the world. Card terminology was abundant but no connection with the Royal Flush Gang was ever established.

JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA # 94 found Maxwell Lord hospitalized, diagnosed with a swiftly- growing malignancy attached to his cerebrum. "With proper treatment," a doctor tells him, "we should be able to keep you alive, perhaps until the malignancy can be stopped. But...you won't have a mind anymore." Elsewhere, listening via a wiretap, a man places a phone call: "Queen. This is Nine. We may need to find a new Three."

Soon after, a cloaked figure (later revealed as the Kilg%re) materializes in Max's hospital room, offering "a way for your consciousness, for your will, to survive." As Fire reaches the hospital, she learns that Max has just died (JLA # 95) and Leaguers past and present turn out for the funeral.

Elsewhere, Max is revealed to have been a member of the Arcana (# 96), having joined soon after the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL # 11-12 (see JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA ANNUAL # 9). The Arcana moves quickly to induce Blue Devil to join the JLA, thus becoming their new set of eyes in the League (# 97-98).

Kilg%re finds an appropriate vessel for Max's mind in # 98, revealed (to the reader but not the League) in issue # 100 to be the body of Lord Havok. As Havok, Lord moves todestroy the Arcana. Arriving in human fo rm at their headquarters, Lord/Havok announces that "Maxwell Lord always does things his own way. Just like I'm taking over the Arcana...my own way" (JLA # 111). Alerted by Havok that the League is headed their way, the Arcana begs him to save them. Havok responds by having his agent (the brother of the man killed at the U.N. back in JUSTICE LEAGUE # 1) blow up the group and its headquarters. "I think we'll have no more opposition from the Arcana," says Havok. "It will be ours to use. The aces are no longer high. There's a joker in the deck...and the Joker's wild"(# 113).

Arriving on the scene, the League finds no sign of life but Flash spots "the source of the signal! And it's marked ... Lord Enterprises ?!"

The Arcana appeared in JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA # 94-97, 101, 104-105, 110 (mention), 111, 113 and ANNUAL # 9.


Argent, the successor to the O.S.S., was created in 1951 and partially made up of members of that organization, including Falcon, Fleur, "Iron" Munro, Phantom Lady I, and a woman resembling Dina, the deceased wife of O.S.S.'s leader, Control. Argent was the civilian branch of Task Force X I, intended to deal with metahuman threats once handled by the recently-disbanded Justice Society. The original Suicide Squad covered international situations (SECRET ORIGINS # 14).

After confronting and arranging the murder of a government official indirectly responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy, Control ordered all records of Argent destroyed and pulled the organization deeply undercover. Following Control's death, his granddaughter began operating in his name, fearing that news of his demise would damage the group's already dwindling membership. With only six members left, the group retired after a confrontation with the third incarnation of the Suicide Squad (SUICIDE SQUAD ANNUAL # 1).

Argent appeared in DAMAGE # 11, MANHUNTER (1988 series) # 6, SECRET ORIGINS # 14 and SUICIDE SQUAD ANNUAL # 1.


Affiliated with United States Intelligence, Armstrong of the Army spent the final months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor capturing saboteurs and tracking down new scientific discoveries that could be adapted for military purposes. He was in STAR SPANGLED COMICS # 1-6, the first five episodes of which were illustrated by Ed Moore, blessed with a simple, clean art style influenced by Roy Crane.


Highway patrolmen Bob Colby and Jim Boone helped the alien manhunter Klee Pan thwart the Faceless Creature From Saturn on three occasions between 1960 and 1963 (STRANGE ADVENTURES # 124, 142 and 153) and were rewarded with telepathic powers that they chose to conceal for future strategic value.


The creation of John Ostrander and William Messner-Loebs, Croak McCraw, the Dead Detective, was a corpse with a bullet in the center of his forehead and eyes wide open, still seated at a desk in his office. He delivered an internal monologue in his head even as all manner of bizarre events took place around him. By the end of the third installment, the Earth had been destroyed and McCraw was floating amidst the debris. In the finale, McCraw was escorted into Heaven and slapped into a seat next to Santa Claus. This weirdness can be found in 1988 and 1989's WASTELAND # 8, 12, 17 and 18.


Fred Farrell, Jr. was the son of a famed Center City firefighter. Fred, Sr. had died (apparently of smoke inhalation) when his son was a boy and the youngster vowed to honor his father in his chosen profession. Joining the Center City Fire Department in 1956, young Fred was quickly regarded as a heroic figure in the mold of his father (SHOWCASE # 1, by Arnold Drake and John Prentice). Fireman Farrell showed up again briefly in 1978 on two occasions (SHOWCASE # 100 and BATMAN # 305) and returned for another cameo in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS # 7. In current DCU history, Fred is part of the Metropolis Fire Department (ACTION # 693 and BATMAN & SUPERMAN: WORLD'S FINEST # 4).


In the first issue of Gerry Conway's ongoing run of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (# 151, in 1978), Amos Fortune captured Wonder Woman and used her magic-based powers with his "Wheel of Misfortune" to influence the lives of the seven luckiest people on Earth, all born on the seventh day of the seventh month in different years (presumably ending in seven). The end result was the creation of seven super-beings, all of whom gained their power at the expense of individual Justice Leaguers, and were immediately forced into villainy at Fortune's command. The Justice League seemed destined for defeat until Wonder Woman's hypnotic powers coerced Fortune into freeing her, tipping the balance of luck back to the good.

The Luck League included the Acrobat (powers stolen from Batman), Cyclone (Red Tornado), the Crier (Black Canary), the Racer a.k.a. Lord Arthur Arthurson (the Flash), the Shrinking Man (the Atom), Strongman (Superman) and Water King (Aquaman).


Created by 46-year-old Harlan Ellison of Sherman Oaks, CA, the Silver Fog was one of the earliest villains to appear in Marv Wolfman and Carmine Infantino's 1980 "Dial 'H' For Hero" revival. Basically, Sam Toth was a scientist who tested a particle accelerator on himself and transformed himself into ... a silver fog. With great effort, he could regain solid form but he was quickly beginning to fade away. Toth turned to crime to find a cure, a development that brought him into contact with Chris King (as Captain Electron), whose energy powers unwittingly cured the grateful Toth (ADVENTURE COMICS # 479).

Toth's assistant, Edward Arling, later used the same technology to become the second Silver Fog but quickly became disgusted with life as a super-villain when he found himself in competition with the Gentleman Ghost and I.Q. and opposed by the Teen Titans (NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) # 40).

Arling's son, Nelson, adapted the concept for himself, creating a being of living fog that was manipulated by a control box. The third Silver Fog was defeated by Impulse (IMPULSE # 51).


L.B. Kellogg and Tom Mandrake's Sky Dogs were led by Captain Geoffrey Hawke, Mullah Ka Kwaja and Ndemba, pirates who travelled aboard a flying ship called the Moonjammer and preyed on brigands who looted the innocent. The secret of the craft's flight came from the magician Mullah Ka Kwaja. Princess Zelaleddin launched the Sky Dogs on a quest for the Seven Jewels of Power, which were also sought by the infamous Captain Kidd. Waiting in the wings for one of the pirates to collect all seven gems was the evil sorcerer Melin (NEW TALENT SHOWCASE # 1 and 2).


Fifty years in the future, an accident integrated the bodies of Angeline Marietta Salvotini Thriller and her husband, Edward. According to WHO'S WHO '87 # 23, she "gained the power to become part of any inanimate object and control it. She can cause her face to appear on an object, or in the sky. The only living beings she can become part of are her twin brother Tony and the artificially created Beaker Parish. Angeline can take mental control of Tony's body and transform it into a duplicate of her original body. " She "can also see glimpses of possible future events."

Angeline was assisted by the Seven Seconds, who were Crackerjack, Data (Fred Martin), Dan Grove, Beaker Parish, Proxy (Robert Furrillo), Salvo (Tony Salvotini) and White Satin (Janet Valentine).

THRILLER was created by Robert Loren Fleming and Trevor Von Eedon, who produced the first seven issues before the series was abruptly handed over to Bill DuBay and Alex Nino. They remained on the book until it ended with # 12.


Created by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Mike Sekowsky, the Timeless Ones were benevolent blue-skinned immortals who freed Earth from the rule of Abnegazar, Rath and Ghast "close to a billion years ago" and imprisoned the Three Demons in unique prisons (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 10). The Timeless Ones existed in the 30th Century as wraiths on the planet Gendyx, where they had become "too far removed from humanity to understand -- or care" about the plight of mortals (SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES # 233).


Cary Burkett and Jerry Grandenetti's Wayne Clifford (of "Dateline: Frontline") was an American war correspondent whose adventures took place in a variety of venues over the course of 1940-1942 (MEN OF WAR # 4-6, 9-11, 21-23 and UNKNOWN SOLDIER # 243-245 and 254-256). In his final appearance, Clifford was forced to endure the horror of the Bataan Death March, escaping with his life thanks to a handful of soldiers.



Hellstone
Member
posted May 23, 2000 12:33 PM

Thank you, Mikishawmn. You keep spoiling me, and I keep demanding.

Seriously, It's getting harder to think of characters I want to know more about. However, I'll try to make it an even 100 (that is, if anyone still wants to do this).

Here are the next ten:

71. Bob the Galactic Bum? (I know it's some sort of Lobo spinoff, but what's the story?)
72. Doctor Seven?
73. Fargo Kid?
74. Gadgeteer?
75. The Green Glob? (I know roughly what this was, but some more info would be great)
76. The Knights of the Galaxy? (these ones I know, but I wonder whether there were more recurring members than Artho, Ora, and Lyle?)
77. The Planeteers? (see above - just want to know a little about Tommy Tomorrow's team members)
78. Legion of the Weird?
79. Lightning Master?
80. Master Electrician?

Just twenty more. Then I'll be satisfied.

/ola



John Moores
Member
posted May 23, 2000 01:29 PM

I'm back in for a round!:

Gadgeteer was a [Commander] Steel foe from the 70s, but I'm going to do....


The Lightning Master!

Dressed in a green robe and hood, LM first appeared in SUPERMAN #14, Jan/Feb. 1942. He was a typical mad scientist (and bald, to boot!) who had an extortion plot going (He wanted $300,000(!)). As these things must go, he captures Lois but is confronted by Superman, who electrocutes him!!

LM has no powers, but a lightning machine and a lightning bolt gun. No real name is given.

In ALL-STAR SQUADRON ANNUAL #2, 1983; LM is revealed to be alive, Supes having only shocked him into unconsciousness, (though he was clearly meant to have been killed in the original story) and is one of Ian Karkull's goons, out to kill a future U.S. President. This time, Supes and Johnny Thunder thwart him.

Lightning Master hasn't been seen again, I think, but is mentioned around ALL-STAR SQUADRON #52 as being in jail. Hope this helps.


P.S.:

Talking of obscure characters, I'm suprised no-one's mentioned those loser villainesses from Poison Ivy's first appearance, y'know the Silken Spider and co.!



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 25, 2000 08:12 PM

I don't have time to cover everyone yet but I thought I'd check in with a couple:


The Fargo Kid was Tim Turner, who operated in the 1940s and rode a horse named King. He was in FEATURE COMICS # 47-63 (1941-1942).

Based on the Knights of the Galaxy stories that I've read, Artho, Ora and Lyle were the only members named. The group was in MYSTERY IN SPACE # 1-8, the last three episodes of which were reprinted in PULP FICTION LIBRARY: MYSTERY IN SPACE, DC SUPER-STARS # 2 and JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 85, respectively.

The Knights were mentioned in TWILIGHT # 1, no longer a part of DC continuity, and popped up in that great issue of STARMAN (# 55) that appeared last year.


The Green Glob was an invisible cloud of energy that singled out individuals for strange experiences. Sometimes the people were granted temporary powers, other times thrust into other times or dimensions. The Glob appeared in TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED # 83-98, 100, 102 and 103 (1964-1967). George Roussos drew every episode but the last, which was by Bernard Baily.

Phil Foglio's 1991 ANGEL AND THE APE mini-series provided the Glob's origin: It was created by the Guardians of the Universe and "capable of warping the very nature of reality ... in order to teach a lesson." The Glob fell into the hands of Gorilla Grodd (# 3) but, with the aid of Sam Simeon, the entity was freed, proclaiming repeatedly that "I have transcended my programming!" (# 4)


In the admitted handful of Tommy Tomorrow stories that I've read, Brent Wood was the only regular among the Planeteers. The SHOWCASE series (# 41, 42, 44, 46, 47) set in Tommy's early days with the force paired him up with the blue-skinned Venusian Lon Vurian, whose father was Commander of Venus' Planeteers.


The Master Electrician wreaked havoc with machinery within Midway City, enabling him and his gang to loot the metropolis' bank. As further protection, he used artificial lightning to render them invisible. Though hampered by Mavis Trent in the guise of Hawkgirl, Hawkman managed to defeat the villains (MYSTERY IN SPACE # 88, due to be reprinted soon in HAWKMAN ARCHIVES).


More to come!



Tenzel Kim
Member
posted May 26, 2000 05:15 PM

Ola:

Seeing that you're getting lots of great obscure DC info, does that mean I'll be seeing lots of new profiles for the Guide soon?

If only I could enlist the help of Rich Morrissey, Mikishawm, and D. R. Black as well we could have a killer site in no time.

Mikishawm:

Do you have a database with complete listings of every appearance of all DC characters or what? If this is the case I'd very much like to hear if you'd be interested in sharing that info so that we could build the best DC resource site ever seen.

The site I have at the moment could benefit greatly from your info for the biographies as well as the continuity/appearance lists for instance. So far the site takes up about 80 MBs of space and includes 120 character profiles, almost 2000 indexed DC books among other things but it could be so much better.

Please take a look and let me know if you'd be interested in helping out in some way.

Tenz.

The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe http://members.xoom.com/Tenzel/index.htm



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 27, 2000 09:16 PM

Tenz:

I'll have to decline the invitation but I'm flattered by the offer. Your site IS really impressive. I'd like to put together a web site of mine some day soon but I'm so overcommitted now that I don't know when I'll have the time. As you surmised, I do have a database on all the DC characters, one that runs thousands of single-spaced pages.

Hellstone:

On with the show ...


Bob the Galactic Bum was, for lack of a better description, W.C. Fields (or, for you Superman fans, J. Wilbur Wolfingham) in space. With a bulbous red nose, battered top hat and ample belly, Bob moved from port to port, putting his own uniquely loquacious spin on every successive hardship that he and his comrade Buck Fifty encountered. Buck, who possessed a nose of Muppet-like dimensions had a vocabulary that consisted of the phrase "What ?"

In the course of 1995's four-part BOB THE GALACTIC BUM series (by Alan Grant & John Wagner and Carlos Ezquera), Bob and Buck became the only survivors of a Khund raid on a space cruiser -- save for Chazza, the so-called "idiot prince" of the planet Gazza. While Lobo (prominently featured on each cover) and Stealth searched for Chazza on behalf of the R.E.B.E.L.S., Bob made his way to the world of Gnulp, insulting and mocking Chazza's claims of royalty for the entire trip. Only at the conclusion of # 2 did the bum realize his mistake.

Helping Chazza from the pig sty where he'd left him, Bob explained that it had all been a test. "Had I helped you -- had I lifted ONE FINGER of assistance -- as was my deep desire, I can assure you -- you would have been INSTANTLY DISQUALIFIED and barred for life!" Proclaiming Chazza a "Knight of Space," Bob presented the prince with a "beautifully inscribed medal" bearing the phrase "Eat my shorts."

"What does it mean ?"

"It's CODE, sire! All will be revealed in one year's time on the anniversary of this initiation."

Bob cemented his relationship with Chazza when he met the prince's guru and challenged "this charlatan to a philosophical debate." As the staredown commenced, Bob explained that "we're conducting this battle on a higher plane. Mind against mind. I'm grappling with him now. One of my theories has just overwhelmed several of his suppositions. Stand by for further news." Predicting that the guru was "verging on total collapse," Bob distracted Chazza and knocked his opponent out cold.

Unfortunately, Bob did too good of a job. Chazza regained the throne but promptly abdicated, moved by Bob's "sacrifice" at giving up the freedom of space for life in a kingdom. "We'll roam the cosmos together, the three of us,"predicted Chazza. "Tumbleweeds adrift on the winds of space."

"I should've trusted my first instinct!" Bob moaned. "He's a king, all right -- King Piker!"


Introduced opposite the debut of Eclipso in 1963's HOUSE OF SECRETS # 61 (by Jack Miller, Mort Meskin and George Roussos), Doctor-7 was a self-styled "King of the Supernatural" who imagined occult investigator Mark Merlin to be his only competition. Visually, he bears more than a passing resemblance to the later Phantom Stranger foe Tannarak. Both wore tuxedos, sported goatees and had black hair that went up in tufts on each side of their forehead.

Initially, much of Doctor-7's reputation was founded on trickery (# 65) but he did possess genuine occult knowledge and drew a being known as the Morloo to Earth. From changing granite to gold to altering the make-up of human beings, the Morloo was an almost unstoppable threat that Merlin and Elsa Magusson narrowly succeeded in expelling from Earth on three occasions (# 67, 68, 72).

E. Nelson Bridwell plotted a supposed descendant, Lucifer Seven, into SECRETS OF THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES # 1 but no connection was stated in the text. The official origin (in WHO'S WHO IN THE LEGION # 4) described him as "an artificial being created by a rogue scientist ... the seventh in a series and the first successful model."

According to 1999's DCU VILLAINS SECRET FILES # 1, "Dr. 7, whose talent lies with communicating with ghosts, is rumored to have been corrupted by the great beyond."


Voted "Mister Anti-Social" by his graduating class, Roger Romane thought he'd found his niche in the Research and Development division of the Army Engineer Corps in the late 1930s. Instead, his"concept of multi-purpose tools for use by combat engineers" was met with derision and he was ejected from the military after insulting the General who dismissed his work.

Romane decided to devote his energies to stealing from the world he hated and, to that end, designed a costume lined with hidden pockets and filled with a plethora of miniaturized weapons, everything from flamethrowers to sonic disruptors to a compact hovercraft. Among the Gadgeteer's first victims in the fall of 1939 were New York Star publisher Edward Runyon and his date Kathy Kulhammer, a Congressman's daughter (STEEL, THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN # 3), who used their influence to convince the mystery-man known as Steel to track down the marauder on their behalf.

An off-hand reference to the "E-Corps" alerted Steel (secretly a military man named Hank Heywood) to the Gadgeteer's possible origin and a check of the Corps' files revealed Romane's name. Steel tracked down the villain at his last known address but the suicidal Gadgeteer attempted to kill them both with a grenade, vowing he'd "NEVER be taken alive!" Steel took the force of the explosion but Romane had disappeared by the time he regained consciousness (STEEL # 4).


The Legion of the Weird was composed of five beings devoted to carrying on the dark aspects of the millennia, including Count Karnak (a vampire), Hordred ("in whose veins flows the blood of the ancient Druids"), Kaftu ("master of the black arts of ancient Egypt"), Madoga ("last of the great medicine men") and Mistress Vera Wycker ("with the powers handed down to me through three centuries of witchcraft."). For her initiation into the Legion, Mistress Wycker was charged with killing Ace Morgan of the Challengers of the Unknown. She failed and, despite the efforts of the other Legionnaires to complete the task before her, the Challs tracked the team to its lair, used an ancient spell to dissolve the witch and forced the remainder of the team to flee (1968's COTU # 62, by Arnold Drake and Bob Brown).

Hours later, the Legionnaires made a pact with the demonic Om, "lord of the netherworlds" to resurrect Mistress Wycker. Now determined to destroy the Challengers, the team needed more power. To that end, Kaftu resurrected the Egyptian mummy Tukamenon, who was compelled to obey the Egyptian shaman unless he was forced to cause "the shedding of mortal blood." Hoping to override the mummy's refusal to kill, Kaftu used the ruby Eye of Osiris to put Tutkamenon fully in his power. In the ensuing battle, Red Ryan's brother, Tino Mannary, was blinded by the Eye of Osiris and Red agreed to surgery that would give one of his eye's to his sibling. While in recovery, Tino was abducted by the Legion as a stunned Red realized that "I can SEE them. With this eye, Ace! I can see everything my kid brother can see with the other one!"

The cliffhanger of # 63 would go unresolved for six months, the result of Arnold Drake's abrupt firing by DC. When the story finally resumed in COTU # 66, it was concluded by Mike Friedrich and Jack Sparling.

The Legion's mission of vengeance was now exposed as an edict from the unseen Om, whose voice bellowed that "the Challengers are a major threat to my supreme scheme!" The balance of power was upset when the Challs convinced the mummy that he'd killed them, snapping him out of the spell he was under. Tutkamenon rebelled, raging against the Legionnaires and finally collapsing, his artificial life exhausted. The rest of the Legion begged Om to rescue them and the demonic being complied, warning the Challs that "you have thwarted my plan this time! But I shall return -- and Om does not fail TWICE!"



Tenzel Kim
Member
posted May 27, 2000 10:01 PM

Originally posted by Mikishawm:


Tenz:
I'll have to decline the invitation but I'm flattered by the offer. Your site IS really impressive. I'd like to put together a web site of mine some day soon but I'm so overcommitted now that I don't know when I'll have the time. As you surmised, I do have a database on all the DC characters, one that runs thousands of single-spaced pages.


That's ok. I just had to ask

Anyway, is it ok for me or Ola to use the stuff you post here on the boards for future profiles and such?

And about that database. Would it be possible for me to get my hands on that so that I could use it to sort out the continuity of the different characters featured in the Guide or should I just ask about each of the characters one by one?

Seeing that making such a database must have taken a lot of time I'd understand if you weren't interested in letting me have it. If it is this part you already declined to I'm sorry I asked again, but in case it was just that you didn't have the time or interest in participating in the actual work I would hate myself for not asking.

Anyway, if we are allowed to use any of your information you would of course be credited for your work.



Hellstone
Member
posted May 28, 2000 10:03 AM

Thank you once again, friends.

I started making my own DC character database (or rather, a list that will become a database) about four years ago, but it seems that this is only small potatoes compared to Mikishawm's.

Naturally, I will use the info I get here in my database for personal use, but I also want to say that I agree completely with Tenz. If you guys (Mikishawm in particular) don't want me to use this information in texts (profiles, articles, et cetera) accessable to the public eye, I won't. At least not without asking.

Time to start the next-to-last round, then:

81. Banshee (yeah...not the X-Man)
82. El Dorado (I've seen him mentioned many times on these boards, but never understood who he is)
83. Firestar
84. Mad Maestro (JSA and/or JLA baddie)
85. Mad Mod Witch
86. Masked Ranger
87. Professor Menace
88. The Thing That Cannot Die (that strange creature from THE DEMON)
89. The Three Aces (WW II heroes?)
90. Ubu (I know he's Ra's al Ghul's servant...but there have been multiple ones, haven't there?)

/ola



D. R. Black
Member
posted May 28, 2000 11:46 AM

Hellstone,

I've recently run across something that may or may not be your

16. SR 12 ?

thingee.


Anyway, in DC SUPER-STARS #9 (Nov. 1976) there is a reprint story called "The Secret Story of Ray Gun 64!" by John Broome and Frank Giacoia. The story is a Space Museum-esque type thing where the history of a gun called the S-64. I know this may be a stretch, but since one chracter calls it an "S-64 ray gun", I could see how this could be abbreviated as SR 64. (I know you wanted SR 12, but this is the best I could do!)

Here's the low down on the SR-64; Towards the end of the 23rd century humans are able to spread thru the galaxy and conquer savage worlds. They owe it all (or at least that's what the chracters keep repeating) to the S-64, a ray gun that disintegrates anything it hits - including a Neptunian groud octopus and a Callistan dragon bat, as seen in the story.

The S-64's inventor was one Mark Saunders (wonder if he's a descender of Greg, Saunders, Speed Saunders, etc?). In 2219, Mark and his girlfriend Helen leave for Venus in hopes of testing his disintegrator prototype. Well, SR-1 fails, and so do all the rest, each numbered sequentially. Five years later, S-64 finally works and the galaxy is a better place now that people can disintegrate each other.

The numbering sequence of Mark's failed disintegrator prototypes does imply that at one time there was a SR-12. But of course, it didn't work correctly.

I don't know anything about where the story opriginally appeared, execept that there is a 1951 copyright date on the splash page. I'd guess, however, that it was an early tale from STRANGE ADVENTURES or MYSTERY IN SPACE.



John Moores
Member
posted May 28, 2000 01:49 PM

SR-12 was a purple haired female alien created by Joe Kubert especially for the DC Super-Heroes Encyclopedia (c.1977). Others in this vein were Jonna Crisp, an astronaut-type; El Dragón, a Mexican with a great outfit & Ted and Teri Trapper, black detectives....
as far as I know, they never appeared in any actual comics, but seem an attempt to redress the lack of minority heroes in DC Comics to any little kids reading the encyclopaedia.



Hellstone
Member
posted May 28, 2000 01:55 PM

I can't believe it. I got the answer!!! Of course, it must have been you who mentioned SR 12 on these boards the first time, John. I wrote down the name because I thought the character sounded interesting, then forgot where I saw it. Thank you.

And thank you for SR-64, D.R.. More than five times as good as 12, I guess.

Now, if just someone can tell me who the hell the Teutonic Knight was...

/ola



Hellstone
Member
posted May 28, 2000 02:05 PM

And, by the way, for #82 on my list, I meant El Dragón, not El Dorado (another character who was sorted out earlier in this thread). I remember El Dragón being mentioned in the very same post where I first heard about SR-12, but confused the names. Not that it matters now that all of these characters have been explained.

/ola



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 28, 2000 03:21 PM

Tenzel & Hellstone:

Yep, I'm going to hold back on the complete database for the time being. But both of you are welcome to use the info on your sites. It's a given that the info is going to be used by other people when I post it in a public forum like this. With you guys, at least, I know it'll be used by people who CARE about DC's history and I appreciate the courtesy of your asking for permission.

And, Hellstone, at the risk of depressing you further, I just checked my Master List of DC's heroes (single-spaced, two column pages with their names and first appearances). It's currently at 207 pages.


The mystery of SR-12 -- solved at last! I'll finally be able to sleep at nights. Thanks, John!


"The Secret Story of Ray Gun 64" is from MYSTERY IN SPACE # 5 (1951). There's another interesting background detail in that story. On page two, we see a monument recognizing "Giles Graham, who built the first ship to travel to Rann -- 2201 A.D."


As it happens, I just did a piece on all the DC horror hosts for COMIC BOOK MARKETPLACE # 80 so I have a ready-made bio on the Mad Mod Witch. (Obviously, I don't want to run everything here so the other hosts are off limits for the time being. Enjoy the preview, though.)

Tiny skulls dangled from her ears and a necklace of bones surrounded her scrawny neck. A patch covered her right eye, drawing attention away from the wart at the end of her prominent nose. "Now don't let my appearance throw you," she cautioned. "I'm not one of those square witches you've seen before. I might be mad -- but I'm also mod. See ..." she said, exposing a bony leg, "fishnet stockings."

One month after Cain made his bow in Joe Orlando's HOUSE OF MYSTERY # 175 (1968), it was editor Murray Boltinoff's turn to introduce a host with "Tales of the Mad Mod Witch" in THE UNEXPECTED # 108, a back-up to the title's Johnny Peril strip. Dave Wood scripted the episodes, which a succession of artists (beginning with Jack Sparling)pencilled.

As the horror hosts began to proliferate, Boltinoff began to regard them as stale and dropped all such characters from his books. Neil Gaiman revived the character in THE SANDMAN as the Fashion Thing, a witch who evolved with the times.

THE MAD MOD WITCH (Earth-One):
DC Special # 4
The Unexpected # 108-112, 114-116, 140
The Witching Hour # 13, 80

THE MAD MOD WITCH (a.k.a. THE FASHION THING; current):
The Dreaming # 23
The Dreaming Special # 1
Sandman (second series) # 2, 22, 27 (behind the scenes), 42, 71


Until we meet again ...

Mikishawm a.k.a. John Wells



Hellstone
Member
posted May 28, 2000 03:42 PM

Thanks, M.

Okay, I have yet only 140 pages of DC characters AND alter egos AND teams AND races AND places AND stuff altogether. (single-spaced, 10pt NewRomanTimes). And about 1/5 of the character information I have is not complete. Never challenge the master...

So the Fashion Thing is really the Mad Mod Witch? I had no idea.

/ola



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 28, 2000 06:57 PM

Re: The Teutonic Knight.

At the end of TEEN TITANS SPOTLIGHT # 11, Doctor Mist and Belphegor visit a cemetary. Belphegor comments that she'd "like to put some flowers on the tomb of Simon Lesur first."

"Simon Lesur ?"

"The Templar Knight. You remember ?"

"Oh, yes, I do now ..."

Could this be who you're looking for ?


Also, I haven't found any DC characters named Firestar. Did you intend to refer to someone else ?


The Masked Ranger, alas, appeared in MORE FUN # 36-41, issues which are not available on microfiche. He SOUNDS like a Lone Ranger knock-off but I have no way of confirming that.



Tenzel Kim
Member
posted May 28, 2000 07:22 PM

Originally posted by Hellstone:


Okay, I have yet only 140 pages of DC characters AND alter egos AND teams AND races AND places AND stuff altogether. (single-spaced, 10pt NewRomanTimes). And about 1/5 of the character information I have is not complete. Never challenge the master...

Hmmm, I wish I had my info written down that way so that I could compare my info to yours. I only know I have about 2000 books indexed and lots of various other info hanging around on my pc in hundreds of different documents. Maybe I ought to get some order to it

Mikishawm: Thank you for letting us use the info. Now I just have to convince Ola to write up some of the profiles so that we can get some new profiles online now that the rest of the page has been updated



John Moores
Member
posted May 28, 2000 10:13 PM

Sorry, but I'm sure the only Teutonic Knight in comics is Marvels character, who according to my price guide fought the Invaders in #29-30 of their comic. I know I've said that before.....



HOTROD
Member
posted May 29, 2000 12:30 AM

I, too, remember SR-12 from a DC Comics Dictionary that was in our school library in about 1980...and SHE was an alien, but I remember her in a purple outfit with short, black hair plastered down on her head, with two twirly bits of hair around the ears. Very mod!!! But I never saw her make an appearance in comix. I was shocked when I read some else remembered her!!!



Hellstone
Member
posted May 29, 2000 03:00 AM

As you may have understood by now, my sources aren't always 100% reliable. When I first started my list-to-become-a-database, I wrote down characters I encountered very sporadically, initially without recording their appearances (that has changed now), and in some cases I may have got the names wrong. This "Templar Knight" Mikishawm is referring to could be the one I thought was named Teutonic Knight, but I'm not sure. Regarding Firestar, I can just say that this is a name on my list (after Fire, Fireball, Firebird, Firebrand I-III, Firebug, Firefist, Firefly, Firehair, Firehawk, Fire Jade, Firelad, and Fireman Farrell, but before Firestorm, the First Citadelian, the First of the Fallen, Fisherman, and the Fishman of Nyarl-Amen). But I have no idea whatsoever who he/she might be.

/ola



John Moores
Member
posted May 29, 2000 08:18 AM

Hey, you also need The Fire Ghosts (from ALL STAR COMICS #3), and the Fire People (from a later issue of ALL STAR -- somewhere in the #40s?)....

Also, there were two Fireflies who fought Batman and a Golden Age Fisherman....check out D.Stepp's site for slightly more details....!



Hellstone
Member
posted May 30, 2000 05:58 AM

Okay, I have not got all my answers from last round yet, but, impatient as I am, here is...THE FINAL ROUND. (for me and for this time, at least)

Still unanswered are:

81. Banshee
83. Firestar
84. Mad Maestro
87. Professor Menace
88. The Thing That Cannot Die
89. The Three Aces
90. Ubu (all of 'em)

and, my last ten:

91. Baffler (?)
92. Cannon & Saber (Vigilante baddies)
93. C.A.W. (Hawkman baddies)
94. Jason's Quest (Showcase)
95. Nimrod the Hunter (?)
96. O.G.R.E. (Aqua-baddies)
97. Proletariat (Firestorm commie hero?)
98. Scarth (?)
99. Shadowstryke (?)
100. T.N.T. Trio (goldenagers?)

Thank you and good night.

/ola



LinaStrick
Member
posted May 30, 2000 03:58 PM

I can't believe that Rich Morrissey, the Encyclopedia of All Comics Knowledge himself, forgot to mention that Silver Shannon of the Maniaks popped up in Super-Friends (oh, that sneaky Nelson Bridwell!) at least once, becoming one of the Elementals, an odd group for comics in that it contained three females and only one male. I believe that it was established that Silver was a friend (nudge nudge) of Bruce Wayne.

Darn it! I can't find a lot of my Super-Friends issues to look it up -- the cats must have gotten into them and I probably threw those shredded issues away. (Also can't find the Nubia or Supergirl S-F appearances. Maybe they've just been misfiled??? Please?)



T5
Member
posted May 30, 2000 04:26 PM

The TNT duo (was there a trio?) appeared in YOUNG ALL-STARS # 1 --
I don´t know their first app. though.

Here's an obscure character for you:
Gudra the Valkyrie: She did appear in the YOUNG ALL-STARS but she had earlier appearances in WONDER WOMAN in the 40´s.



D. R. Black
Member
posted May 30, 2000 04:56 PM

Not much time right now, but here's a quickie on Nimrod the Hunter.

First appearing in SHADOW OF THE BAT #7-9 (the Misfits story line) Dean Hunter is an escaped con from Texas. Framed for murder by a villian named Chancer (there's another obscurity), Hunter busts out of jail, steals a military camoflague suit that gives him chameleon like invisibilty powers, and heads to Gotham to find Chancer.

Anyway, being a convicted killer, Hunter runs into trouble with Batman. But when Bruce Wayne, Comm. Gordon, and Mayor Krol are kidnapped by Calendar Man, Killer Moth, Cat Man, and Chancer, Robin forms an uneasy alliance with Hunter. In the end they win out, and with Chancer safely behind bars, Hunter gives himself up to Batman. Since Chancer had yet to "un-frame" Hunter by testifying in court, Hunter was still an escaped convict. The super suit went back to the military.

About Chancer; He's a guy wearing a white and red costume with two dice on the front. He's unbelieveably lucky, getting all the good breaks and chances and thus, his name. His real name is unkown, having never been caught before.

Chancer is eventually caught after falling off a roof in the final battle, but he lived because an awning broke his fall. As Batman said "Luck is relative" - breaking a few bones is better than dying. Oh yeah, Chancer also wields a metallic club (like a car jack) that he throws at his opponents. He often times misses, but the club riccochets off walls, falg poles, etc so that it eventually hits its target. Just another example of Chancer's luck holding out, I suppose.



Mikishawm
Member
posted May 30, 2000 07:07 PM

I have just enough time tonight to tell Lina that Silver Shannon WASN'T in SUPER FRIENDS. The Elementals were Grant (the Gnome) Arden, Jeannine (the Sylph) Gale, Crystal (the Undine) Marr and Ginger (the Salamander) O'Shea. When they were first introduced, though, they were chatting about Bruce Wayne's recent break-up with Silver ST. CLOUD.

Nubia was in SF # 25 and Supergirl was in SF # 37.



Franklin
Member
posted June 04, 2000 08:30 PM

The Original Atomic Knight?

I'm asking because Dan Mishkin introduced "The New Atomic Knight" in the pre-crisis WONDER WOMAN series (boy, did that boost sales! ), but I'd never (and haven't since) heard of the original.



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 06, 2000 03:42 PM

Sorry for the long delay! I'll try to tackle the rest of Hellstone's list one at at time.


"INFIDEL! My lord Al Ghul leaves the chamber FIRST!"

As first impressions go, Ubu made a doozy, shoving The Batman to one side when the Dark Knight showed signs of exiting the Batcave ahead of his new would-be partner Ra's Al Ghul. Ra's explained that the hulking, bald man was "trained to my COMPLETE service ... and a trifle OVERZEALOUS."

It was Ubu who unwittingly tipped off Batman to the fact that the abduction of Robin and Talia was, for the most part, a set-up. Nearly killed by a leopard in a darkened room, the Dark Knight had one question in retrospect -- why didn't Ubu allow the Master to enter THAT doorway first ? The answer, of course, was that it was all a test that Ra's had orchestrated to test the detective's abilities as both his successor and prospective son-in-law. For his part, Ubu played the alleged kidnapper, briefly confronting the Dark Knight with a ram's head mask (1971's BATMAN # 232, by O'Neil, Adams and Giordano).

Ubu returned briefly in # 243, now playing bodyguard to Talia in Switzerland. Knocked unconscious by Batman, the underling was forgotten as Ra's (newly-resurrected by the Lazarus Pit) and Talia fled in # 244.

The Pit had not been shut down properly and, within hours, an explosion rocked the Swiss Alps. The semi-conscious Ubu was caught at ground zero. The accident left Ubu with severe burns and an unwavering green glow that made it clear that the man had been permanently altered. Ra's' servant was taken into the care of two Swiss doctors, Varnov and Kolb, who hoped to ascertain the secret of immortality from the giant's body. Muttering about revenge against millionaire Bruce Wayne, Ubu fled and the doctors followed, gambling that he would seek out Wayne in Gotham City. Ubu ended up in Wayne Manor, the now-abandoned sight where he had seen Bruce unmasked as Batman. Ubu had killed Kolb and left Alfred for dead before Batman arrived on the scene and learned of Varnov's true motives. Ubu lunged at Batman and, caught in a stranglehold, the desperate Dark Knight kicked the giant in the stomach, knocking him backwards, where "he impaled himself on that splintered railing." (!973's DETECTIVE # 438, by Archie Goodwin and Jim Aparo).

Life went on for Ra's and, by 1978, he had replaced Ubu with a lookalike named Lurk (DC SPECIAL SERIES # 15, by O'Neil, Michael Golden and Giordano). "I've fought your kind back on that mountain in the Himalayas," Batman said between punches, "and it won't be any different here. You're immensely powerful -- but Ra's does your thinking -- and battles are won by brains as much as by brawn."

In DETECTIVE # 490, Lurk deviated from Ra's instructed attack on the Sensei's men to take a shot at Batman and ended up failing in his primary mission. "You really fouled this one, friend. Ra's is going to be VERY unhappy. If I were you," the Dark Knight suggested, "I'd find a place to hide -- preferably on another planet."

The opening chapter of Marv Wolfman's "Lazarus Affair" multi-parter (in late 1980's BATMAN # 332) added another wrinkle to the origins of Ra's' underlings when Batman was confronted by several bald, hulking "mutates," ordinary men who been altered in a laboratory to become "unstoppable dreadnoughts." It was no great surprise to learn that the master of the mutates was Ra's Al Ghul himself (# 334-335).

Mike W. Barr and Trevor Von Eeden introduced the next of Ra's' bodyguards in 1982's BATMAN ANNUAL # 8. Though he possessed the same temperment as his predecessors, Grind actually had hair -- a black crewcut. He returned in Barr's SON OF THE DEMON (1987) and BRIDE OF THE DEMON (1990). Left for dead by the mad Doctor Carmody, Grind was presumably killed in the subsequent explosion of Ra's' mountain fortress.

Ubu made a surprising reappearance in 1998's BATMAN: BANE OF THE DEMON # 1-4 (by Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Tom Palmer), his face now hidden behind a hockey-like mask. Wearing a variation of BATMAN # 232's ram's head mask, he appeared to perish once again in # 4, this time at the hands of Bane, who took the giant's place at Ra's and Talia's side.

Mistaking Bane (his face hidden by the ram's helmet) for Ubu, Batman explained to Tim Drake that "there seem to have been MANY Ubus. I'm sure I've never encountered this one before" (DETECTIVE # 700). More recently, Ubu had appeared (with the hockey mask) in BATMAN: THE CHALICE and (without) in JLA # 43.

The Ubu of the animated universe can be seen in THE BATMAN AND ROBIN ADVENTURES # 10 and 25 while other variations have appeared in BATMAN: DARK KNIGHT OF THE ROUND TABLE # 2, JLA: THE NAIL # 2 and SUPERMAN & BATMAN: GENERATIONS # 3.



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 07, 2000 03:10 PM

During World War Two, the Soviet Union was desperate to provide symbolic heroes of the state to counter the Master Race being touted by Nazi Germany. To that end, they created enhanced superhumans like Stalnoivolk. Another volunteer for the program was Boris Mikhail Dhomov, a fourteen-year-old soldier who gained a body-builder's physique and became "a super-worker, able to leap vast rivers or topple huge buildings." Garbed in a dark blue costume with red and white highlights (including the requisite hammer and sickle), Dhomov became Proletariat. With his aging arrested by his transformation, he was "still useful as (the Soviet's) 'advisor' to the North Vietnamese." Later still, he helped train a new generation of Russian metahumans, including the trio known as Red Trinity.
"But it became difficult to explain to him the need of Comrade Gorbachev's reforms. He was -- restrained" but fled to the United States, intent on "trying to start a diplomatic incident."

Travelling to Keystone City, where Red Trinity had set up shop as Kapitalist Kouriers, Proletariat attached a bomb of Khundian origin (discovered after INVASION!) to the city's power generator. While the Kouriers and Dhomov's brother, Andrei (now a Russian ambassador) distracted Proletariat, the Flash and Lady Flash (a short-lived persona of Christina Alexandrova) rushed the explosive to the river, where it detonated safely. Having held off his adversaries, Proletariat escaped and is, presumably, still at large. (1991's FLASH # 51, by William Messner-Loebs, Greg La Rocque and Roy Richardson)



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 08, 2000 03:11 PM

Today's villain:

Scarth was a musclebound guy in a techno-tanktop with a spiked blond crewcut and an Aryan sense of superiority. "NOTHING can hurt me if I see it COMING," he boasted. "It's a reflex. It's a gift." Armed with an assortment of weapons, he was the chief enforcer for Necrodyne Industries, a sinister corporation run by the wizened Mr. Dunwich. Initially, Scarth's primary focus was the recapture of the immortal man named Incarnate (in Steven Grant and Vince Giarrano's MANHUNTER (1994 series) # 3, 5) but Chase "Manhunter" Lawlor quickly became a secondary target. The first bout went to Lawlor when he knocked Scarth off a skyscraper. Climbing out of a deep crater, the bloodied Scarth vowed that the next time would be different (# 4).

In issue # 8, Scarth succeeded in capturing Manhunter by blasting him from behind. Lawlor escaped in short order, pulling his mask over Scarth's face so that he couldn't react to his blows. The final conflict devastated Necrodyne, with Dunwich himself slain by Incarnate. Lawlor used one of Scarth's own weapons (a flash gun) to blind the villain and then proceeded to beat him to a pulp. As he was carried off, Scarth was informed by the obsequious Mister Jaffey that "by the time you wake up again, I'll be RUNNING Necrodyne. And YOU we'll REBUILD, better than ever. I have a whole BUNCH of improvements in mind" (# 9).



Hellstone
Member
posted June 09, 2000 04:24 AM

Scarth sounds like a really crappy villain.

As always, I'm grateful and impressed, Mikishawm.

/ola



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 09, 2000 03:37 PM

I see we're in agreement on Scarth.


Today's entry (which I really should have prepared for June 6) is on the T.N.T. Trio.

By 1960, most of the DC war books had continuing features -- OUR ARMY AT WAR: Sgt. Rock, OUR FIGHTING FORCES: Gunner & Sarge, STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES: Mlle. Marie. And G.I. COMBAT ? It introduced the T.N.T. Trio in issue # 83. Written by Bob Kanigher and illustrated by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito, soldiers Big Al, Little Al and Charlie Cigar held the lead for three issues before the series returned to episodic war stories in # 86. Searching for a feature with more of a hook, Kanigher teamed with Russ Heath to create "The Haunted Tank" in # 87 and the rest was history. The T.N.T. trio returned for one final adventure in # 86 (with art by Jack Abel), a four-pager following the second "Tank" installment.



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 10, 2000 04:15 PM

Today's Villain ...

The-Thing-That-Cannot-Die was a strange-looking creature, pink with a horse-like snout, buck-teeth, a tuft of white hair on his head, one arm, a long tail and a body that appeared to be a ball of fur. He had been exiled to the other-dimensional Beyond Region by Merlin in the distant past. Describing himself as English and "like a goblin" (1991's THE DEMON # 16, by Alan Grant, Val Semeiks and Bob Smith), the Thing admitted to Wonder Woman that he had been "very, very, VERY bad" but had attoned (# 17). His curse (as his name made clear) was to be eternally reborn after each time he was murdered.

Joining with Jason Blood, the Thing hoped to find a way out of his prison (# 16-20) and was judged by the gatekeeper to be virtuous and entitled to go free. Instead, Blood (as the demon Etrigan) kicked the Thing aside and returned to Earth himself (# 20). The Thing finally escaped his prison but wound up in another -- Hell (# 36). Once again, he joined Etrigan in the hope of escaping and, once again, he was betrayed and left behind (# 37-39).

Only by hiding in the hood of Etrigan's cloak did the Thing finally make it to Earth (# 43), where an enraged Demon delighted in murdering the being again and again (# 44). The Thing lived in Jason Blood's home in Gotham City (# 49, 51, 0, 52, 53) until the structure was destroyed, at which point he and a demon posing as Harry Matthews decided to take a trip to the quieter locale of California (# 54).

While investigating the evil that had overtaken Etrigan in recent years, the former Wonder Woman known as Requiem met the Thing in Jason Blood's new Gateway City apartment. The innocuous creature was exposed as a monstrous figure, "a demon of the Ninth Circle! The same ring of Hell from which Merlin plucked Etrigan!" Using a unique sword that the Hell-Enders had provided her with, Requiem finally killed the Thing with a force that wouldn't permit it to return (WONDER WOMAN # 130).



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 11, 2000 06:33 PM

Late in 1959, a robotics specialist unveiled his latest creation, a replica of Wonder Woman that he claimed was superior to the genuine article. The Amazon Princess accepted the man's challenge, agreeing to retire if the robot won a contest between the two of them. Unfortunately for Diana, the competition was stacked in the artificial being's favor: the victory would go to the one who went the longest without sleep. Humiliated, Diana agreed to return to Paradise Island, unaware that the Robot Master was known as Professor Menace, who had arranged the scheme on behalf of the underworld. Not content to leave Wonder Woman in retirement, Professor Menace commanded his robot to attack Diana as shewas flying home. The Amazon made quick work of the being, short-circuiting it with an electric eel, and brought the Robot Master to justice (WONDER WOMAN (first series) # 111, by Bob Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito).

Professor Menace was one of several criminal masterminds who took part in a prison break in 1961. Recognizing that they'd be the subject of a manhunt by the Justice League, the villains decided to take precautions. The Robot Master would be a key player. He constructed exact replicas of each criminal and it was those robots -- wired with explosives -- that were sent into battle with the JLA. Stumbling onto the fact that their foes were artificial beings, Green Arrow suspected the worst and fired arrows into their bodies, causing the explosion meant for himself and his teammates. In a remarkable one-mate feat, GA trailed the true rogues to their lair and captured all six men (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 5).



Hellstone
Member
posted June 12, 2000 08:37 AM

Returning to an earlier topic... It just struck me that the supporting cast of SWING WITH SCOOTER seems to be synonymous with the friends of Binky (which is probably why Ghost Who Walks thought they were one and the same). So what's the story here? Where did they appear first?

/ola



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 12, 2000 12:45 PM

LEAVE IT TO BINKY debuted in 1948 so most of its supporting cast predates SWING WITH SCOOTER by about 18 years.


Today's bio:

Marschall Saber and Henry Cannon had a passion for murder ... and each other. Clad in a green uniform, the red-haired Saber was an expert marksman, an assassin for a New York City mobster named Leibowitz. Cannon hid his Moe Howard haircut in a dark blue body suit, offset by a yellow robe, gloves and boots and was a blade master in the service of the Rinaldi Mob.

Early in 1984, the men decided a career move was in order and each murdered the other's boss. They did so on the orders of a woman within the District Attorney's office who vowed to consolidate Manhattan's gangs under her control. Saber had thrown down his rifle almost without a fight when he encountered the Vigilante while Cannon simply surrendered to the police. They did so knowing that D.A. Marcia King would "put in an application for both assassins with the Government Witness Relocation Program" and set them free.

Appalled that the duo was literally getting away with murder, the Vigilante raided their apartment and quickly found himself outmatched. Brought down by successive knife and bullet wounds, the Vigilante might well have been shot to death by Saber had it not been for the intervention of another concerned citizen -- the Electrocutioner. Arriving on the scene, the police found three unconscious gunmen -- the Vigilante and the electrocuted but still breathing Cannon and Saber (VIGILANTE # 5, by Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard and Romeo Tanghal.).

In a rather ludicrous scene, the couple escaped the hospital after Cannon threw a lightweight plastic knife at Captain Arthur Hall. Instead of falling to the ground as it would have in the real world, the knife slashed Hall's throat (# 7). The assassins took their services to the West Coast. Itt was at their Malibu beach house that they accepted a contract to kill the Vigilante (# 35).

By now, the mantle of the Vigilante had passed from Adrian Chase to Alan Welles to Dave Winston. Despite his unfamiliarity with the duo, Winston held his own and managed to get a shot off at Saber, wounding him seriously enough for Cannon to abandon the battle and flee. In the course of the conflict, the men had revealed their client's Long Island address and, with Saber recovered, they raced to the scene to salvage their reputation. In the end, Vigilante manuevered them into striking each other: Saber took a blade to the shoulder and Cannon was felled by a bullet in the abdomen (1986's VIGILANTE ANNUAL # 2, by Paul Kupperberg, Ross Andru and Tony DeZuniga, with edits by Wolfman).

Cannon and Saber were slated to return in 1989's MANHUNTER # 10, which would have introduced a gay supporting cast member named Vince Nuncioin into the series. As described by co-writer John Ostrander in AMAZING HEROES # 145, "Mark Shaw was cellmates with him in prison. In prison, as on the streets, if you need something, he'll arrange it." According to AH # 157, the episode had "already scared a couple of artists off" and, with MANHUNTER's cancellation in early 1990, the story's completion became a moot point.

Cannon and Saber's WHO'S WHO entry was in issue # 26 of the original series in 1987.



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 13, 2000 07:06 PM

A secret war was being waged against the Earth and the only two people who could stop it were from a planet hundreds of light years away. The Criminal Alliance of the World -- C.A.W. -- was scouring the globe in search of the scientific secrets of the ancients -- and their treasures.

In 1965, the organization had discovered an Egyptian statue in the form of a dog that was designed by the priests of Sebek to be far more. It was also capable of short range teleportation, something which C.A.W. used "to loot the underground tomb of Ramses." The villains abducted laborers to held steal the riches, erected an invisible force field that was deadly to the touch and preyed on native superstitions by wearing the heads of animals.

C.A.W. was unaware that there was a twin to the Dog of Sebek, one capable of long range teleportation that activated each time the short range unit was used. In a fateful development, the second dog was on display in the Midway City Museum and unwittingly transported curator Shiera Hall to C.A.W.'s Egyptian site. Trailing Shiera via the radiation given off in the exchange, her husband, the Thanagarian police officer Hawkman, trailed her to Valley of the Crocodile, fought off a band of Crocodile-Men and rescued Shiera.

Her appearance had alerted C.A.W. to the existence of the other teleporter and the couple made a desperate flight out of the stronghold hoping to beat the agents to Midway City. In the process, the local Dog of Sebek was broken and its American duplicate suffered an identical injury(HAWKMAN (first series) # 7, by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson). Now deemed worthless by C.A.W., the fragments of the Dogs of Sebek proved to be a breakthrough when Hawkman and Hawkgirl delivered them to Thanagar. Within a few years, the planet's scientists had solved the secret of teleportation and the technology was eventually shared with the Justice League of America (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 78).

By August of that year, the Central Intelligence Bureau had taken an active role in thwarting the growing threat of C.A.W. With the Atom already on a case for the CIA (THE ATOM # 21), they sought an alliance with the Tiny Titan's close friends, Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

The Hawks learned that C.A.W. was keeping other foreign agents under surveillance, waiting for them to steal government secrets and then hijacking that data for themselves. After running a gauntlet of super-weapons (including a multi-outlet dart gun and a unit that fired "guided propellers" as "sharp as razor blades"), the heroes brought the local C.A.W. agents into custody and their method of smuggling the stolen secrets was exposed (HAWKMAN # 10).

Within months, C.A.W. had set their sights on the ultimate lost secret -- a legendary "computer" that contained all knowledge on Earth. The data was contained in a bronze "talking head" and it was activated by a small lamp. The two pieces had been stolen centuries ago from the scientific enclave known as the Nine Unknowns. In 1966, their successors had learned that the head and the lamp had finally been located and were going to be stolen again -- by C.A.W. A representative of the enclave was dispatched to Midway City to solicit the aid of the Hawks' Absorbascon in tracking the artifacts. Unfortunately, C.A.W. feared the heroes' interference and arranged for an attack of their own that would keep them in Midway City.

By now, the C.A.W. agents had put secrecy behind them, proudly displaying their affiliation in matching red and black costumes with a golden, razor-edged C.A.W. emblem on their chest that doubled as a weapon. This time, Their high-tech armada included a gun with anti-gravity discharges, a "bubble gun" whose output ate through anything it touched, a "particlizer" that flooded its victim with enough radiation to create an explosion and a "protonic amplifier."

No threat was enough to defeat Hawkman and Hawkgirl and they finally succeeded in uniting the talking head and the lamp before the Nine Unknowns. The scientists detected a radioactive aura surrounding the couple, however, and suspecting that C.A.W. would use it to locate their base, caused the energy to dissipate. In fact, the radiation had been the closest C.A.W. had come to a death-ray, one that "takes time to permeate the human body." At the activation of an electronic signal, the aura would kill its victim. The unwitting Hawks had cheated death! (HAWKMAN # 14)

Furious at their latest failure, an international triad of C.A.W. leaders vowed that "someday -- somehow -- somewhere -- CAW will find a way to smash Hawkman and Hawkgirl!" There is no truth to the rumor that C.A.W. was behind Hawkman's post-INVASION! DC continuity.



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 14, 2000 03:57 PM

"A week ago I saw my family ripped to pieces in front of me. Only I survived. Now, whenever I use my powers, I can't forget they were brought by the death of my parents, my brothers and my sister. It makes me crazy sometimes."

The summer of 1993 saw a wave of terror pass over the United States as a group of alien parasites spread out on a campaign of death. A certain percentage of their victims survived the encounters, which activated their bodies' metagenes and unleashed strange new powers within them. For the young man speaking above, survival came at a terrible price.

The darkness in Shadowstryke's soul was mirrored in the power he received. He could now project jagged rays of shadow energy from his hands. Garbed in dark purple and gray, Shadowstryke hid his face behind a mask whose sunken eyes and nose and sewn-shut mouth suggested a skull. Seeking revenge against the parasites, he joined with other so-called "New Bloods" Krag and Slingshot and formed an alliance with Justice League America (JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA ANNUAL # 7, by William Messner-Loebs and Greg LaRocque).

Eventually, nearly all of the New Bloods came together to crush the parasites' monstrous offspring. As Shadowstryke fired his shadow-bolts at the creature, the bursts united with the energy-blasts of Mongrel to create a truly formidable combination that sent the monster reeling (BLOODBATH # 2). Shadowstryke has not been seen since that bloody summer.



Franklin
Member
posted June 14, 2000 06:31 PM

The original Atomic Knight? Anyone?



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 15, 2000 03:38 PM

Mr. Grayle is added to the list.


Today's obscure character comes by way of Charlton Comics:

The Banshee was born in the American Midwest, the tragic result of circus performer the Flying Dundo's achievement of his greatest dream. Dundo had long been attempting to design an aerodynamic costume that would enable him to truly take flight. In 1967, he perfected a cape which, when connected to his wrists and ankles, enabled him to soar above the Earth. Dundo's stunned pupil, Max Bine, recognized that the chartreuse cape had far more potential than mere circus performances and murdered his mentor that night.

Adding a full face mask to hide his appearance, the villain (dressed entirely in green save for yellow eye pieces) launched an amazing string of robberies across the nation. "I make a swift, shocking entrance, strike fast before anyone can react ... and be gone while everyone is still in a state of shock." After an astonished victim gasped that "he swooped in and out like a ... a banshee," Bine took the name for himself.

The Banshee finally met his match in Crown City when he was struck down by TV newsman Vic Sage during a robbery. Taking flight without the jewel he'd intended to steal, Bine refused to give up and, using more caution, kept Sage's alter-ego, the Question, at arm's length for the next week. As a thunderstorm rolled in, the two opponents met on the ledge of a skyscraper and the Question grabbed onto the villain, adding more weight than his cape could support. Landing on an opportune rooftop, the Banshee pulled out a pistol -- only to have the strong winds catch his cape. Observing the out of control bandit fading into the distance, the Question noted that "the Banshee's being blown out to sea. He got just what he deserved."

The Banshee resurfaced years later in AMERICOMICS SPECIAL # 1 (1983) and, soon after, found himself alongside dozens of other villains during the Great Crisis in July of 1985. Surrounded by the likes of the Cheetah and Monsier Mallah, the Banshee stood out in a new, solid white version of his costume (CRISIS # 9). Banshee was later part of a strikeforce sent to Oa to prevent Krona from creating the multiverse (CRISIS # 10). In the new reality that arose in the aftermath, the Banshee's place is still unknown.


The Banshee of Irish mythology appeared in the Jack O'Lantern episode in SUPER FRIENDS # 44 while Doctor Mid-Nite fought a second Banshee in ALL-AMERICAN COMICS # 65.



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 16, 2000 08:26 PM

The Three Aces were Fog Fortune, Gunner Bill and Whistler Will, three soldiers of fortune who debuted in 1939's ACTION COMICS # 18. The strip was originally drawn by Bert Christman.

The closest any of the Three Aces came to having an origin story was in # 22, Christman's last issue. Therein, Whistler Will was revealed to have been found in the desert as a child by rancher Matt Saunders and his young daughter, Sally. Alerted to the boy's presence by the soft whistling sound he was making, Matt took the child as his own. As he grew up, Will spent much time in the desert, often riding with local indians. "At sixteen, he singlehandedly wiped out a band of rustlers." Will returned home in # 22's story to attend his adoptive sister's wedding. (You may recall that I included Will on the Greg Sanders/Shiera Sanders/"Speed" Saunders family tree that I posted on the STARS & S.T.R.I.P.E. board)

Chad Grothkopf picked up the art chores with ACTION # 23. During his run, the Aces discovered no less than THREE lost Atlantean colonies, the last on the peak of Mount Shasta in California (in # 37-38, 43 and 45). Zatara, it's worth noting, found a few Atlantean sanctuaries himself in ACTION # 17-18 and 47.

The arrival of Louis Cazeneuve as artist in early 1942's ACTION # 47 coincided with the Aces' post-Pearl Harbor decision to sign up with the U.S. military. They made their final bows during mid-1943 in issue # 63's "Leatherneck Luck."



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 17, 2000 03:22 PM

In 1941, Harry Fowler had a promising career as a film writer with four successful productions to his credit. World War Two changed everything for Fowler and, upon his discharge from the army, he pursued a new career in public service. By 1956, he was a well-regarded police detective on a West Coast police force but the past had a way of returning to haunt him.

An early morning phone call launched Lieutenant Fowler on one of the most bizarre cases of his career. An overnight jewelery store robbery had seemingly been committed by a disheveled man called the Mad Maestro, virtually replicating a scene from Fowler's first film, also called "The Mad Maestro."

Convinced that one of his former Hollywood colleagues might have a clue, Fowler summoned producer Ben Gatewood, director Leif Conrad, public relations man Danny Tell and the star of the movies, Otto Sands. Only three men arrived, with Conrad reporting that Otto Sands had been incommunicado since escaping from an insane asylum two years earlier. The revelation immediately made Sands the prime suspect.

The string of robberies continued with the felon assuming the guise of Mister Wink (from "The Indigo Vase"), the Black Knight and the Phantom. Fowler was mulling the strange ticking that he'd heard during his encounter with the Black Knight when he received stunning news from New York -- Otto Sands had died in 1954! Instantly, it all came together. Leif Conrad had lied about Sands and the ticking sound belonged to a stopwatch, enabling the obsessive director to time his duplicated scenes perfectly.

For his final act, Conrad planned to reenact the suicidal plunge into the ocean from the conclusion of "Phantom of the City." Rushing to the city bridge, Fowler shouted "Retake!" and manipulated the mad Conrad into coming down until they could "shoot the scene all over again." As the madman was taken into custody, Fowler theorized that Conrad had hoped to use the stunts to revive his failed career but lost his final grip on his sanity in the process (SHOWCASE # 5, by Jack Miller and Mort Meskin).


But, somehow, I don't think this is who Hellstone was referring to. Briefly, here's a look at some other musical menaces:


Monsieur Maestro may well predate all of the others but virtually nothing is known of his criminal career. Today, he resides in an extended care facility (1999's ACTION COMICS # 756).


In a rural community early in the 20th Century, nine boys had aspirations of becoming successful in the music fields. By the 1920s, all of them had made it, all that is but Hector Bauer. In desperation, he asked his friends to perform one of his compositions. The end result was a disaster. Hector simply had no talent. A head injury left Bauer convinced that his symphony had been deliberately bungled by the eight men and he resolved to get revenge. In 1943, he was finally prepared to fulfill his vow, making plans to destroy each man's livelihood, destroying the violinist's prize instrument, for instance, or slicing off the pianist's fingers. A chance encounter with Hawkman exposed the scheme to the Justice Society, who thwarted the plot and brought Bauer to justice (ALL-STAR COMICS # 19).


Bandleader Swing Sisson matched wits with the first Maestro in 1948 (FEATURE COMICS # 124).


Like Hector Bauer, concert pianist Payne Cardine was motivated by scathing reviews of his performances. Adopting a costume festooned with musical notes and assembling a gang, the second Maestro promised to "make my musical performances more famous than those of any other virtuoso!" He dutifully left cryptic musical clues to his next crimes for Batman and Robin, confident that they wouldn't be able to figure them out. Indeed, the Dark Knight was stumped but he soon solved the problem by taking another costumed partner, the Sparrow, who possessed an unrivaled expertise on the subject. The Sparrow was secretly music professor Ambrose Weems, whom Batman had disguised to protect him from the Maestro's vengeance (1962's BATMAN # 149).


Only a few months later, Batman faced another Maestro alongside the Justice League -- without leaving the team's Secret Sanctuary. This villain, whose music controlled the motor responses of his victims and made them virtual puppets, was the fictional creation of aspiring cartoonist Jerry Thomas (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 16).


The third Maestro had far loftier ambitions than mere robberies. Using his tyrano- baton, he stripped Superman of his memories and, using Lois Lane's family as hostages, forced the Daily Planet reporter to coerce the Man of Steel into a life of evil. The dapper Maestro, complete with a suit and tails and a mop of white hair (plus Sivana-esque glasses, nose and overbite), also possessed an emotion-manipulating keyboard that rivalled the Psycho-Pirate. Using the device to fill the villain with remorse, Lois learned that he'd intended to force Superman to lay the groundwork for missile bases in the Latin American country of Santoro that would eventually lead to a nuclear war with the United States (LOIS LANE # 75).


During the same time frame, millionaire Oliver Queen was approached by musician Anton Allegro, who begged Queen for funding to help promote the sophisticated synthesizer that he'd built. Allegro's paranoia that his manager, ex-wife and mentor were conspiring against him combine with Queen's need to change to Green Arrow to prevent a crime prompted Ollie to give the musician the brush off. Upon his departure from the office building, Allegro had the misfortune of being within close range of one of GA's sonic arrows -- and was permanently deafened. Wracked with guilt, Queen paid for all of Allegro's medical treatment but the musician had vowed to seek more lethal reparations.

Discovering a centuries-old book of forbidden spells, Allegro enhanced his synthesizer so that the sound of its keyboard now generated demons. In 1978, as the Amazing Allegro, he began a series of attacks on his perceived enemies, beginning with Queen. Green Arrow alerted the Justice League and, thanks to Zatanna's magic and Black Canary's sonic cry, the demonic onslaught was crushed and Allegro disoriented sufficiently to be captured (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA # 163-164).


Escaping from a New York asylum, Allegro fled to the Russian homeland, offering his synthesizer as an inducement to allow him into the country. In short order, Allegro was confined to a cell in the Soviet science community of Star City. His synthesizer was given to Pasha Gorki, who used its demonic power to help his brother Anton, a Russian general, stage a two-pronged revolt against both the Kremlin and the United States. The fourth Maestro's attack left Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash imprisoned but the arrival of the so-called "new" Justice League permitted them to escape. It was Anton Allegro who truly ended the crisis, smashing his prized synthesizer with the butt of a gun and being shot through the heart by Anton Gorki in retaliation (1985's JLA # 237-238).



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 18, 2000 08:57 PM

In 1969, thanks to his successful revamp of WONDER WOMAN, Mike Sekowsky was a hot commodity at DC and he was given a free hand to develop new features for SHOWCASE. Thus was born "Jason's Quest", described as "the unusual story of a boy ... his bike ... his search."

SHOWCASE # 88 set up the situation: Late in 1969, Jason Davis' father was mortally wounded in a shooting. Summoned to his deathbed, the blonde young man listened to a stunning series of revelations. His real name was Jason Grant, Jr. and his natural father had been murdered when he was an infant. The killer was a mobster named Tuborg, who sought the elder Grant's latest invention. As Tuborg's killers combed the house for witnesses, Grant's servant, Davis, rushed to the nursery, commanding the housekeeper to take Jason's twin sister into hiding while he did the same with young Jason. Over the next nineteen years, Davis moved himself and Jason constantly, always trying to stay one step ahead of Tuborg.

In preparation for the day Jason would take over the fight, Davis drilled commando training into the boy's head. With his final breath, he gasped, "Your sister ... somehow your father secreted on her person evidence that will end Tuborg and his evil empire. In the fireplace at home ... the box your father gave me -- it has your papers ... money ... and -- and ... I'm ... I'm ... sor --"

Unknown to Jason, Tuborg had planted a bug in the hospital room and heard every word. Finding Jason's sister was now their number one priority. What followed was a race between Jason and Tuborg to get to her first. In London, Jason found a picture of his sister but failed to recognize her in a chance encounter. She was wearing a black wig and calling herself GeeGee.

After evading Tuborg's assassins for days, armed with nothing but his wits and his motorcycle, Jason crossed paths with GeeGee again in # 90. This time he recognized her. Unfortunately, Tuborg's men were everwhere and Jason was forced to flee -- dragging his sister along. Constantly on his guard, Jason never had a moment to explain to GeeGee just why he was so desperate to talk to her. They were finally forced to split up but Jason asked her to meet him at a prearranged location the next day.

Watching him ride away to safety, she commented that "if he expects me to meet him tomorrow -- he's off his chump! If I EVER see that crazy man again -- I'll take off in the OPPOSITE direction as FAST as I can go! Goodbye -- and good riddance!"

And that's as far as "Jason's Quest" ever got. In the mid-1980s, long before he was a bankable name, Kurt Busiek cited the series as a dream project in a COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE interview. Wonder if he's still interested.


It looks like I'm going to be tied up and away from the boards for the next week. If I don't show up for the next several days, don't panic.

Thanks, everybody!



Hellstone
Member
posted June 19, 2000 04:16 AM

What - me panic?

/ola



Tenzel Kim
Member
posted June 19, 2000 10:36 AM

Ola: If you're not gonna panic, then how about coming up with some more character questions. In your original post you said you had you had millions more and this is just way to interesting a history lesson to let the thread die. And if you get bored waiting for Mikishawm to return you could always write some of the info already appearing in this thread into regular who's who profiles



a2-ton
New Member
posted June 19, 2000 12:04 PM

This seems to be the board to ask. I've been trying to find out who the cowboy on page 53 of LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS SPECIAL is/was. He is wearing a blue cowboy hat and standing next to John Stewart and behind Dream Girl and Brainiac 5?

Also, does anybody know if The Clipper was a real costumed mystreyman or just a figment of Flash's supporting character Mason trowbridge over in Flash? Thank you.



D. R. Black
Member
posted June 19, 2000 03:54 PM

I think the cowboy is supposed to be Rick Wilson, the character who appeared in the "Outlaw" feature in the early issues of ALL-STAR WESTERN (when it was revived with #1 in the 1970's).

The color of Rick's hat and clothes seemed to change with every issue (in one his hat is balck, in another its green), but the giveaway is the bandana/shawl he wears around his neck.

Check it the LDCU story, and he's wearing a purple bandana on his neck. In ALL-STAR WESTERN, it was more of a shawl (like a mini cape, almost) and was colored dark red, but that's close enough for me.



Xanadude
Member
posted June 19, 2000 04:51 PM

Just a small point of clarification - El Dragón, from the Super DC Dictionary, was not, strictly speaking, a DC character and I don't think he was created by Joe Kubert. He was a created, apparently, by the marketing guys at Warner as an educational hero, and used in the Dictionary. (Check out the copyright info in the front of the Dictionary.) To my knowledge, he hasnt appeared anywhere else.

Oh yeah - he had a KICK-ASS costume and electrical powers.



Hellstone
Member
posted June 20, 2000 03:39 AM

Mikishawm, having checked a few JLA and JSA sites on the web, I've now encountered information saying that both JSA foe Hector Bauer and JLA baddie Pasha Gorki called themselves MAD Maestro. You're saying that was not the case?

/ola



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 25, 2000 03:46 PM

Ah, questions, questions ...


No, neither was referred to as "Mad Maestro" in the stories themselves. Hawkman referred to Bauer as "the mad maestro" in AMERICA VS. THE JSA # 3, though, and the JLA INDEX # 7 identifies Gorki as "The Mad Maestro" even though, in the story itself, his brother referred to him exclusively as Maestro.


The cowboy in the Crisis issue of LEGENDS was a miscolored Johnny Thunder. Paul Ryan only drew characters who'd appeared in the original mob scene in CRISIS # 5 and you'll note that Johnny Thunder was wearing the same outfit (albeit with a red shirt).


The Clipper was the creation of William Messner-Loebs, a Shadow parody appearing in 1988's FLASH # 20 and 23. He was a demented, gun-wielding vigilante of the early 1930s who eventually, according to # 23, disappeared without a trace. Mason Trollbridge was his kid sidekick and tried to take the identity as his own in # 23.


And now, on with our show:

Former construction worker Titus Samuel Czonka was the Lenny to Arthur Brown's George, a bald giant of a man with more brawn than brains. "His problem's simple," said Brown. "He likes to BREAK things" (1993's ROBIN # 1, by Chuck Dixon, Tom Grummett and Scott Hanna).

Czonk entered into a partnership alongside Brown (a.k.a. the Cluemaster) and the Electrocutioner to escape Blackgate (ROBIN # 2). Czonk was convinced that he needed a costume to work with the other two villains but the Cluemaster had no time for suggestions. Left to his own devices, the muscleman put together an outfit that included a flight cap and goggles, orange pants and a yellow shirt with a violet question mark in the center:

"Stand back in amazement for the coming of -- The Baffler, master of mysteries."

Wiping away his tears of laughter, the Cluemaster explained that leaving hints to upcoming crimes "had a nasty habit of getting me caught." The sheepish Baffler opted not to mention the letter he'd sent to the "gothem city Police dept. Detectifes - important! Contains clues." The clue in question was written on the back of Hide-A-Wee Motor Lodge stationary (ROBIN # 3). So much for the secret hideout.

At Cluemaster's suggestion, Czonk took a more dignified persona -- the Headbanger -- that reflected his penchant for, well, banging his hard head against his opponents' own craniums. The yellow shirt had given way to a green one with a skull emblazoned on it (ROBIN # 4). The trio's plot to loot an armored car eventually went awry, with Cluemaster and Headbanger falling before Robin while the Electrocutioner was kayoed by the Spoiler (ROBIN # 5).

Czonk and Cluemaster made an escape attempt but were trounced by Batman (1994's DETECTIVE # 680) and ended up in Blackgate as cellmates (ROBIN # 14, 16). The duo's subsequent attempt at leading a mass prison breakout (1996's BATMAN: BLACKGATE # 1)resulted in their being tried separately at their next hearing. Using a bathroom break as a cover, he snapped his handcuffs and escaped custody. "And the funny part is I really HAD to go." (ROBIN # 44).

Resuming the guise of the Baffler, Czonk lured Robin and the Spoiler to a building targetted by the city for detonation and took them hostage. He reasoned that their demise would prove to the Cluemaster that "the Baffler's a world class operator!"

"And soon I'll be bad guy number one! They laughed at me for the LAST time! Vaya con devo, you little do-gooders. The Baffler is -- "

CLONG!

-- knocked out cold by a low-hanging steel pipe.

Robin and the Spoiler eventually broke their bonds and, along with a groggy Baffler, ran for their life to escape the crumbling building. "Maybe this vigilante thing is COOLER than the villain gig," Czonk observed. "We could be like a team, huh ?" Two fists to the jaw later, the Baffler had his answer (1997's ROBIN # 43-44).

Czonk and the Cluemaster escaped Blackgate during the Gotham earthquake, making it as far as a mall before the Baffler was beaten to a pulp by the Huntress (1998's BATMAN: SPOILER/HUNTRESS: BLUNT TRAUMA # 1). The Baffler escaped custody only to be recaptured by Lock-Up and incarcerated in his No Man's Land prison. Unable to shave his head, Czonk's hair had begun to grow back by the time Nightwing arrived to lead him and his fellow captives to freedom (1999's NIGHTWING # 36-37).

Only Chuck Dixon knows where he might appear next.


Next: O.G.R.E. and the Atomic Knight!



Mikishawm
Member
posted June 26, 2000 06:23 AM

In 1966, the Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement threatened to collapse before it could even get off the ground. It seems there was a henchmen deficit. The proliferation of organizations like S.P.E.C.T.R.E., T.H.R.U.S.H., C.A.W., C.Y.C.L.O.P.S. and V.U.L.T.U.R.E. had nearly exhausted the supply of working class hoods that start-up world-beaters like O.G.R.E. needed to prosper. What O.G.R.E. lacked in manpower, it more than made up for in nerve. By early 1966, the group had acquired enough notoriety to induce the U.S. government to recruit Atlantis' sovereigns, Aquaman and Mera, to investigate the villains' interest in an island resort in the Caribbean. Stalking the aquatic duo was another romantic couple, a rough-hewn muscleman known as Typhoon and an attractive brunette called the Huntress who wielded a spear gun.

Capturing the Huntress, Aquaman and Mera learned that she and her lover were pawns of O.G.R.E., forced to their bidding because of the threat of an explosive "liquidation cell" implanted in their bodies. Believing he finally had the upper hand on O.G.R.E.'s Supreme One (clad in a black hood and robe), Aquaman invaded his crab-like saucer and dismantled the liquidation switch -- but was taken captive.

Aquaman learned that O.G.R.E. had been contracted by a foreign government to retrieve a forgotten cache of nuclear missiles beneath the island, an arsenal that they'd use to blackmail the United States. The Supreme One had reckoned without Mera, who drafted the Huntress, Typhoon and divers from the U.S. Navy to take on the Supreme One and his partners. The case was closed when the Huntress led Aquaman to the Supreme One's headquarters within the island's resort. The removal of the black hood revealed the hotel manager, who'd been kidnapping guests and forcing them to act on his behalf under penalty of death (AQUAMAN # 26, by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy).

Rumors abound that the reformation of O.G.R.E.'s initial pair of agents didn't take. One report identified them as the Huntress and Sportsmaster who fought Batgirl and Robin in BATMAN FAMILY # 7. Another suggests that the latter-day Huntress was Artemis Crock, daughter of the 1940s villainess and a future foe of Infinity, Inc. (INFINITY, INC. # 34-36) and the JSA (JSA # 9-10). None of this has been confirmed.

In November, Aquaman was contacted again by his government liason, the Tall Man, who had been alerted to a new threat by O.G.R.E. to encase the United Nations building in a force field. Liquid would counteract the effect and Aquaman followed through by insulating the U.N. in a cocoon of water. In fact, the Tall Man had been impersonated by an O.G.R.E. leader named Krako and water -- far from being a failsafe -- was a crucial ingredient in the CREATION of the force field. Once again, O.G.R.E. had overcome its lack of resources.

The imprisonment of the U.N. representatives by the leader of Atlantis made Aquaman an international fugitive, pursued not only by law enforement agencies but O.G.R.E. themselves, whose warriors were clad in brown shirts, white pants and red, ant-like helmets that matched their boots and gloves. In the end, Aquaman managed to get inside the U.N. dome and assist the real Tall Man in defeating the kidnappers while Mera used her hard water power to make the watery force field brittle and easily shattered (AQUAMAN # 31, by Haney and Cardy).

Feeling the pinch of its dwindling revenue, most of the remaining O.G.R.E. cells threw in their lot with agents of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., T.H.R.U.S.H. and C.Y.C.L.O.P.S. as part of the European-based Empire of Evil. The amalgamation's assaults on the Blackhawks proved no more successful than O.G.R.E.'s own encounters with Aquaman and Mera had been (BLACKHAWK # 229 and 231, by Haney, Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera).

By 1970, the sun was setting on the era of the abbreviated criminal group but O.G.R.E. still had one last scheme up its sleeve. A pair of agents approached California tycoon Eliot Harlanson and related a fanciful tale in which they claimed that the impending rise of Atlantis would cause California to sink into the ocean. The dire fate could be prevented if Harlanson would bankroll an atomic bomb to destroy the undersea continent. To ensure that Aquaman was in Atlantis at the time of the explosion, O.G.R.E. hired another dupe to attack the city -- Black Manta.

Government agents caught up with the O.G.R.E. duo in Florida but they were too late to stop the bomb. As it turned out, that angle had already been taken care of -- the a-bomb bounced harmlessly into the soil outside of Atlantis. The government had planted a lovely blonde agent named Honey James alongside Harlanson and she arranged for the bomb to be a dud.

"Oh, by the way," one G-man told Aquaman and Aqualad, "From now on you won't be having any more trouble with O.G.R.E. We've finally located O.G.R.E.'s secret headquarters. We'll be moving in and mopping up shortly. They'll be having so much trouble with us, they simply won't have TIME to bother you!" (AQUAMAN # 53, by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo).


Gardner Grayle had a dream. Actually, it was more of a nightmare ... but we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Grayle was a well-regarded army sergeant and a former member of Platoon 13, who, along with their knight icon, was immortalized in a tattoo on his shoulder. Regarded as an everyman, he seemed to be the ideal subject for a S.T.A.R. Labs virtual reality experiment on the survivability of a nuclear war. Grayle took the assignment at the request of his superiors but made no secret of his own opinions to the project's Doctor Bryndon:

"Nuclear and atomic weapons give war a bad name. What happened to honor and fairness ? Soldier vs. soldier ? It's getting too easy to kill. We watch our enemies die on a computer screen. There's no integrity or bravery in that."

His opinions notwithstanding, Gardner Grayle found technology thrust upon him when a crisis initiated by the Injustice League threatened the planet Rann and, inevitably, Earth. He was recruited by Deadman, who urged him to borrow a silver and gold protoype S.T.A.R. warsuit. Taking flight, Grayle still had his doubts but vowed that "if it's valor the world needs, there's still one Shining Knight to deliver it!"

The new Shining Knight became part of a modern-day Seven Soldiers of Victory and field-tested his armor against Doctor Light. The villain made quick work of his shield but, joining with Metamorpho, Grayle found that his energy sword and freeze ray were more than enough to defeat the Injustice Leaguer (2000's SILVER AGE: SHOWCASE # 1, by Geoff Johns & Dick Giordano). A second clash with the team of rogues effectively brought Gardner's costumed career to a halt when Chronos aged the prototype armor into dust (SILVER AGE 80-PAGE GIANT # 1). "I might have done a lot of good as the Shining Knight -- but Chronos cost me my shot forever. I'll never be a champion. I'll just be a footnote in the history books."

Pecking him on the cheek, the Metal Men's Tina suggested that "maybe there'll be some great disaster someday and you'll be needed again."

A few years later, Superman found himself allied with Grayle again, albeit in a v.r. dream that he's unwittingly tapped into while seeking the source of several computer-originated nuclear mishaps. In the fantasy, Gardner was the leader of a post-World War Three band known as the Atomic Knights: Bryndon and siblings Douglas & Marene Herald and Wayne & Hollis Hobard (recounted by John Broome and Murphy Anderson in 1960-1964's STRANGE ADVENTURES # 117, 120, 123, 126, 129, 132, 135, 138, 141, 144, 147, 150, 153, 156, 160, plus Cary Bates & Walt Simonson's fractured account in 1977's HERCULES UNBOUND # 10-11) .

When he began to question several illogical aspects of the Knights' world, the Man of Steel was forcibly ejected from the fantasy. Recognizing Grayle's girlfriend as S.T.A.R. psychologist Marene Herald, Superman sought her out and learned of the nuclear v.r. experiment, one that had been erased from the minds of Herald, Bryndon and the others involved.

With her memories restored, Herald quickly located the chamber where the real Gardner Grayle was still in suspended animation. She theorized that, with his physical senses dormant, Gardner's mental faculties expanded "and he may have used his newfound abilities to take over the simulation scenario, altering it drastically. Because the utter devastation of a nuclear holocaust that the simulation posited was too ghastly for the mind of the average person to cope with ..., Gardner reprogrammed the simulation to create a fantasy world of great adventure ... a place where he would emerge as a hero who is in charge of events rather than the faceless victim of them."

Realizing that Grayle was unconsciouslessly trying to bring his post-nuclear world into reality, Superman made a desperate attempt to stop a launch of the world's armada of nuclear missiles. With the Man of Steel held at bay by robotic defenders, Marene assisted in the only way she could, tossing the most potent dose of reality into Grayle's fantasy that she could think of: "Douglas Herald isn't my brother ... he's my HUSBAND!"

The distraction was enough to enable Superman to stop the launch and awaken Grayle. Horrified at what almost happened, Gardner opined that "the whole project was misguided from the start ... the task before mankind isn't to survive an atomic war. It's to work in this world we're living in to make certain such a war can never begin!" (1983's DC COMICS PRESENTS # 57, by Dan Mishkin & Gary Cohn, Alex Saviuk and Frank McLaughlin)

The time in sensory deprivation left Gardner Grayle permanently changed. His mind had expanded and S.T.A.R. hired him on the spot, anticipating a plethora of scientific breakthroughs. Like Cassandra in ancient Greece, he also had precognitive flashes that enabled him to glimpse coming catastrophes ... predictions that no one would believe. Goaded by the spirit of Cassandra herself, Gardner used his newfound scientific expertise to recreate the Shining Knight armor (1984's WONDER WOMAN # 322-323, by Mishkin and Don Heck) and return as the Atomic Knight (WW # 325).

"The battle suit's solar power cells were designed to operate even under the reduced light conditions of nuclear winter" and enabled the Knight to imprison his foes in a stasis field as well as firing bursts of heat or cold. Hoping to prevent the vision of nuclear holocaust that he'd foreseen days earlier, the Atomic Knight joined with Wonder Woman to defeat the alien Ytirflirks. Unable to stop the beings' "doomsday device" from being activated, Grayle pushed his suit's capabilities to the limit to carry the bomb into the stratosphere. In the wake of the Phlogiston Bomb's explosion, the Atomic Knight was nowhere to be seen -- but his sacrifice had saved the world (1985's WW # 325-326).

The unsung savior did survive, though whether it was due to his armor's defenses or the intervention of the Monitor is unknown. In any event, the Atomic Knight joined the Forgotten Heroes for the final conflict of the event known as the Great Crisis (1985's CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS # 11-12, by Wolfman, Perez and Ordway).

Grayle put super-heroics on the backburner for several months, focusing all of his attention on his day job. It paid off with a director's position, complete with a private jet and a hefty raise in salary. The visions of death and destruction had not faded away, however, and Gardner sought out renowned scientist Helga Jace in the hope of finding a cure. Instead, the Atomic Knight was provided with another reason to go into action, fighting alongside the Outsiders in a futile attempt to prevent the destruction of their Los Angeles base at the hands of Major Disaster (1987's OUTSIDERS # 25, by Mike W. Barr, Jim Aparo and Bill Wray).

With a new crisis brewing in Geo-Force's home country of Markovia, the Atomic Knight offered to accompany them (# 26) and was alongside the team when Jace betrayed them to the Manhunters. Gardner Grayle was central to Jace's subsequent scheme, which thrust all of the Outsiders into the reality of the Atomic Knights. It was Gardner's own unspoken feelings for the young Outsider known as Windfall that finally enabled the heroes to snap out of their mental prison.

Although their age difference made Gardner reluctant to commit to a relationship with Windfall, he had no regrets about the closure that his brief return to the fantasy world had given him. "It was only a dream, Wendy ... but like many dreams, it held a valuable lesson. The world is basically a good one, and worth fighting for ... and as long as people continue to struggle against oppression, the spirit of the Atomic Knights shall not be lost!" (# 27, by Barr and Erik Larsen).

The Atomic Knight remained at the Outsiders' side for the duration of the Manhunter conflict but an accumulation of tragedies involving Metamorpho, Halo and Looker led the team to disband (# 28). Over the next several months, Gardner stayed in touch with his new friends, becoming particularly close to Brion (Geo-Force) Markov, who was still mourning the death of his sibling Gregor. Indeed, Brion would come to regard himself and Gardner as "closer than brothers" (1994's OUTSIDERS # 4).

The reunion of the Atomic Knight and the Outsiders was anything but cordial, however. Learning that the team had been branded as outlaws (1993's OUTSIDERS # 1, by Barr, Paul Pelletier and Robert Campanella), Gardner was skeptical and completed an upgrade on his armor (now largely gold) to determine the truth (# 2-3). Predictably, a fight ensued (# 4) but the new Atomic Knight held his own against Geo-Force (# 5). Trailing the team to Abyssia (# 10), Gardner finally discovered proof that the team had been framed by the vampiric Roderick (# 11).

On the eve of Brion's wedding to Denise Howard, the Outsiders were summoned to the planet Nekrome to help defeat the threat of Eclipso. Seeking back-up, Denise asked the Atomic Knight to join the team. Gardner was particularly happy to see Wendy (Windfall) Jones, whom he greeted with a passionate kiss. There were no longer any reservations in his feelings (# 23). With the Eclipso infestation extinguished, the team returned to Earth, where a smiling Gardner and Wendy witnessed the marriage of Brion and Denise (1995's OUTSIDERS # 24).



outpost2
New Member
posted July 04, 2000 02:31 PM

Been enjoying this thread tremendously and thought I would try to add something to the mix. The previous discussions of the original characters that appeared in 'The Super Dictionary' from 1978 prompted me to search out and order the book on bibliofind.com. Although it turned out that the book was missing two pages (pp.103-104), I compiled what I could on the characters and generated web pages for each. The characters in question are: Conjura, El Dragón, Jody (although I forgot to scan his pic!), Jonna Crisp, SR-12, Ted & Teri Trapper, and Wilson Forbes.

The link to these pages is http://www.infiniteearths.org/dcu/whoswho

Oh, and if anyone else owns the dictionary, let me know if there is any other useful data on the two missing pages. Thanks.



outpost2
New Member
posted July 04, 2000 02:31 PM

Conjura

Alter Ego: Unrevealed
Occupation: Sorceress
Known Relatives: None
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed
First Appearance: The Super Dictionary #nn (1978)
Height: ~ 5 ft. 6 in. Weight: ~ 130 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: Conjura has been performing true magic since she was a child. As a front for her activities, she holds regular magic shows. She practices at night, studying various magic books and speaking her incantations in reverse. Her time tunnel enables her to travel to other times.

Weapons and Powers: Conjura wields magic by speaking her incantations backwards. She can travel to other times through her time tunnel. Her necklace shines to warn her of danger.

Comments: Conjura was born in October. To relax, she plays the fife. Conjura appeared in The Super Dictionary, published in 1978 by Warner Educational Services, Inc. and Holt, Rinehart and Winston on Canada, Ltd. (ISBN 0-03-043756-3). The character of Conjura is copyright (c) 1978 by DC Comics, Inc..



outpost2
New Member
posted July 04, 2000 02:31 PM

El Dragón

Alter Ego: Miguel Rodriguez
Occupation: Adventurer
Known Relatives: None
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Unrevealed
First Appearance: The Super Dictionary #nn (1978)
Height: ~ 6 ft. 1 in. Weight: ~ 190 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: El Dragón is as brave as his namesake. He uses his mental control over all things electrical to wage a never-ending battle against crime.

Weapons and Powers: El Dragón has mental control over things that use electricity.

Comments: El Dragón was born in May. He is single, and owns a pet parrot. El Dragón appeared in The Super Dictionary, published in 1978 by Warner Educational Services, Inc. and Holt, Rinehart and Winston on Canada, Ltd. (ISBN 0-03-043756-3). The character of El Dragón is copyright (c) 1978 by Warner Educational Services, Inc..



outpost2
New Member
posted July 04, 2000 02:31 PM

Jody

Alter Ego: Jody, last name unrevealed
Occupation: Frontiersman
Known Relatives: None
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: The Colonial United States
First Appearance: The Super Dictionary #nn (1978)
Height: ~ 6 ft. 0 in. Weight: ~ 185 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: Jody was born in the United States during Colonial times. He fought in the Revolutionary War to help win the U.S. it's independence. Along with his good friend, Tomahawk, he has explored many parts of the country.

Weapons and Powers: Jody is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant.

Comments: Jody appeared in The Super Dictionary, published in 1978 by Warner Educational Services, Inc. and Holt, Rinehart and Winston on Canada, Ltd. (ISBN 0-03-043756-3). The character of Jody is copyright (c) 1978 by DC Comics, Inc..



outpost2
New Member
posted July 04, 2000 02:31 PM

Jonna Crisp

Alter Ego: None
Occupation: Space adventurer
Known Relatives: None
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Milky Way Galaxy
First Appearance: The Super Dictionary #nn (1978)
Height: ~ 5 ft. 8 in. Weight: ~ 120 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde

History: Jonna Crisp is a spaceship pilot. Although she was born on Earth, she spends a lot of time traveling through interstellar space to many other worlds. Although she occasionally has passengers, she usually travels alone. On many occasions, Jonna has kept the spaceways safe for others. She has been alive for a long time, and knows many extraterrestrial peoples. Jonna has trained many pilots during her career.

Weapons and Powers: Jonna Crisp is a superior spaceship pilot. She sometimes protects herself with a handheld weapon.

Comments: The exact time period of Jonna Crisp's adventures is not revealed. It is assumed here that she is active in the 22nd century, around the time of many other DC Comics space adventurers. In her spare time, she enjoys ice skating. Jonna Crisp appeared in The Super Dictionary, published in 1978 by Warner Educational Services, Inc. and Holt, Rinehart and Winston on Canada, Ltd. (ISBN 0-03-043756-3). The character of Jonna Crisp is copyright (c) 1978 by DC Comics, Inc..



outpost2
New Member
posted July 04, 2000 02:31 PM

SR-12

Alter Ego: None
Occupation: Space adventurer
Known Relatives: Unnamed mother, father, and two sisters.
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Milky Way Galaxy
First Appearance: The Super Dictionary #nn (1978)
Height: ~ 5 ft. 1 in. Weight: ~ 95 lbs.
Eyes: Purple
Hair: Purple

History: SR-12 is from another world in a far away solar system. Her planet is a peaceful, pleasant world. The people of her homeworld are, on average, smaller than Earth people. SR-12 has purple hair and eyes. She travels in her spaceship to many worlds, and has visited Earth often. She speaks her native language and English. Although she is playful, SR-12 does not feel at home amongst Earth folk, however she does have a few friends on Earth. She often visits her family back home, a mother and father and two sisters.

Weapons and Powers: SR-12 is a skilled pilot and knows a good deal about the sciences.

Comments: SR-12 appeared in The Super Dictionary, published in 1978 by Warner Educational Services, Inc. and Holt, Rinehart and Winston on Canada, Ltd. (ISBN 0-03-043756-3). The character of SR-12 is copyright (c) 1978 by DC Comics, Inc..



outpost2
New Member
posted July 04, 2000 02:31 PM

Ted and Teri Trapper

Alter Ego: Ted Trapper (full first name unrevealed)
Occupation: Detective
Known Relatives: Married to Teri Trapper. Two unnamed two brothers. Two unnamed grandmothers.
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Metropolis
First Appearance: The Super Dictionary #nn (1978)
Height: ~ 6 ft. 1 in. Weight: ~ 195 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

Alter Ego: Teri Trapper (maiden name unrevealed)
Occupation: Detective
Known Relatives: Married to Ted Trapper. Unnamed father and brother.
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Metropolis
First Appearance: The Super Dictionary #nn (1978)
Height: ~ 5 ft. 10 in. Weight: ~ 135 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: Ted Trapper, and his wife Teri, are detectives. They live in the United States, but their adventures take them all around the world.

Weapons and Powers: Ted and Teri Trapper exhibit excellent detective skills.

Comments: Ted Trapper and Wilson Forbes were in the same class at school. Ted has a pet cat. Teri plays the piano and rides a motorcycle. Ted and Teri Trapper appeared in The Super Dictionary, published in 1978 by Warner Educational Services, Inc. and Holt, Rinehart and Winston on Canada, Ltd. (ISBN 0-03-043756-3). The characters of Ted and Teri Trapper are copyright (c) 1978 by DC Comics, Inc..



outpost2
New Member
posted July 04, 2000 02:31 PM

Wilson Forbes

Alter Ego: None
Occupation: Reporter
Known Relatives: None
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Metropolis
First Appearance: The Super Dictionary #nn (1978)
Height: ~ 5 ft. 11 in. Weight: ~ 170 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: Wilson Forbes is a newspaper reporter. He works with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. He is an investigative reporter and thus he occasionally works like a detective to find the truth behind a story.

Weapons and Powers: Wilson Forbes exhibits excellent detective skills.

Comments: Wilson Forbes and Ted Trapper were in the same class at school. To relax, Wilson plays the harp. Wilson Forbes appeared in The Super Dictionary, published in 1978 by Warner Educational Services, Inc. and Holt, Rinehart and Winston on Canada, Ltd. (ISBN 0-03-043756-3). The character of Wilson Forbes is copyright (c) 1978 by DC Comics, Inc..



huntsman
Member
posted July 05, 2000 12:01 AM

I thought that the cowboy was one of the Forever People. You know... Moonrider, Big Bear, Beautiful Dreamer, etc.



Rich Morrissey
Member
posted July 05, 2000 11:32 AM

The only Forever Person who dressed as a cowboy was Serifan, and I'm pretty sure that's not who the character was supposed to be.

I personally like the idea that the Atomic Knights were real in some reality, and that the Gardner Grayle seen in DC COMICS PRESENTS somehow "tuned in" on his counterpart's life in his own dreams. (He wouldn't be the first Earth-1 dweller named Gardner to have dreams in another universe...) As someone recently noted on an Internet list, Dan Mishkin may have been writing out of sheer political correctness...at the time few right-thinking people thought humanity could survive a nuclear war (as it had in the original John Broome series) at all. I'd personally have preferred to leave the series in an alternate reality and not brought the character back in the mainstream at all...though I didn't mind his recent "Silver Age" appearance by Mark Waid, which deliberately left it vague as to his future would be that of Broome or Mishkin ...or even, given the recent resurgence of alternate futures, both!



Hellstone
Member
posted July 05, 2000 05:47 PM

Outpost2 - thank you for the great link and bios. I'd really like some of those characters to return (or rather to be "be introduced") to the DCU. At least Jonna Crisp, the Trappers, El Dragón, and SR-12 look really interesting. And they already have backstories. And hobbies!

So...now that virtually all of the 100 questions (and even more) have been answered in the most satisfying way imaginable, I have a question. Should we finish and let go of this thread (as I've said I would) or continue with it (as Tenzel Kim wants) until it dies?

I COULD dig in my character lists and probably find at least 50 other obscure characters that some of you guys could probably tell amazing stories about.

Naturally, I think that would be fun, but I'd like to know: is there any interest in this from anyone but me (and Tenz) or are you stuffed for now? Should we take another round immediately or wait with posting further questions until this thread is gone and forgotten?

Tell me what you think.


On a further note:
THANKS for all your help. This is especially directed to Mikishawm (the King of DC Knowledge), but I'm equally grateful to Rich (of course, he's the King, too), John, D.R., Tenz, and the rest of you guys. You've given this burnt-out-at-work comic book nerd some enjoyment in life at a daily basis.


Here's the list of the 100+ characters we've discussed:

1. The Adventurers' Club
2. Blackmask
3. The Gorilla Wonders of the Diamond
4. The Maniaks
5. Skull & Bones
6. Squire Shade
7. Starfire (of Mygorg)
8. Starhunters
9. Swing with Scooter
10. U.S.S. Stevens
11. Astro
12. Gangbusters
13. Lady Cop
14. Mercenaries
15. Split
16. SR-12
17. Sterling Silversmith
18. Teutonic Knight (I probably meant the Templar Knight)
19. Third Archer
20. Viking Commando
21. the Bombardiers
22. Flying Boots
23. Frogmen
24. Kings of the Wild
25. Manhunters Around the World
26. O-Sensei
27. Sierra Smith
28. Space Voyagers
29. Suicide Squadron
30. Tom Sparks, Boy Inventor
31. Binky
32. Golden Gladiator
33. Yellow Peri
34. Human Cannonball
35. Paragon
* Anima
36. Assassination Bureau
37. Bat Knights
38. Darius Tiko, the Wizard of Time
39. the Deep Six
40. the Duke of Oil
41. the Luck League
* the Luck Lords
42. Nuclear Family
43. Power Elite
44. Printer's Devil I-II
45. Ramulus the Plantmaster
46. Black Vulcan
47. Apache Chief
48. Rima the Jungle Girl
49. El Dorado
50. Samurai
51. Agent Orange
52. One Man Meltdown / Bag O´Bones / Cyclotronic Man
53. Tracey Thompson
54. New Guardians
55. Bat Squad
56. Aquagirl I
57. Aquagirl II
58. Aquagirl III
59. Snafu
60. Thriller
61. Arcana I-II
62. Argent
63. Armstrong of the Army
64. Bob Colby & Jim Boone
65. Croak McCraw , the Dead Detective
66. The Endless One
67. Fireman Farrell & the Firefighters
68. Silver Fog I-III
69. Sky Dogs
70. Wayne Clifford
* Jemm, Son of Saturn
71. Bob the Galactic Bum (not discussed)
72. Doctor Seven
73. Fargo Kid
74. Gadgeteer
75. Green Glob
76. Knights of the Galaxy
77. Planeteers
78. Legion of the Weird
79. Lightning Master
80. Master Electrician
* Silken Spider (not discussed)
81. Banshee(s)
82. El Dragón
83. Firestar (still unanswered)
84. Mad Maestro(s) + Maestro(s)
85. Mad Mod Witch / the Fashion Thing
86. Masked Ranger
87. Professor Menace
88. The Thing That Cannot Die
89. The Three Aces
90. Ubu
* S-64
* Jonna Crisp
* Ted and Teri Trapper
* Fire Ghosts (not discussed)
* Fire People (not discussed)
91. Baffler / Headbanger
92. Cannon & Saber
93. C.A.W.
94. Jason's Quest
95. Nimrod the Hunter
96. O.G.R.E.
97. Proletariat
98. Scarth
99. Shadowstryke
100. T.N.T. Trio
* Gudra the Valkyrie (not discussed much)
* the Elementals
* Atomic Knight(s)
* Conjura
* Jody
* Wilson Forbes

/ola



D. R. Black
Member
posted July 08, 2000 06:18 PM

Hellstone,
I'm Glad I could help you out.

Just curious though...What are you doing with all the information you've gathered? Writing a book? Updating/adding on to Tenz's Whos Who website?



lastmango
New Member
posted July 09, 2000 06:29 PM

Please don't stop. This has been one of the most entertaining boards I've ever read.

Hellstone, dear friend, would you care to share to entire list of DC characters, obscure or not, with the rest of us. I've thought of attempting such a list, but the project just seems too large and daunting.

Thanks for the happiness, everyone.



Hellstone
Member
posted July 10, 2000 10:51 AM

D.R. - I have no definite plans for the info. Right now it's just for my own enjoyment. But doubtlessly some of it will be part of future articles and profiles.

Lastmango - maybe I will make my list public some day. But not yet. It's a work in progress and I have a lot that I want to complete first.

/ola



Hellstone
Member
posted July 12, 2000 08:55 AM

Okay, I've made up my mind.

I've been looking through my DC character lists, and found quite a few enigmas and questions that I think could be interesting to have answered. Hopefully not only to me, but to other posters too.

And there still seems to be an interest in these topics around the boards. I was afraid I'd exhausted some of you DC experts, but at least Mikishawm is still going strong telling great villain stories at the Batman board.

So, let's continue.

Join me soon at the new thread: "Obscure DCU Characters, Round II"

/ola




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