Author Topic: Obscure DCU Characters - Round III
posted December 21, 2000 05:04 AM

Greetings, dear poster.

You have stumbled of a very special thread, namely "Obscure DC Characters, Round III" which is a follow up to the immensely popular "geek" topics "Obscure DC Characters Questions" (can be found at http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/files/Forum94/HTML/005094.html ) and "Obscure DC Characters, Round II" ( http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/files/Forum94/HTML/003249.html ) where DC experts such as Rich Morrisey, D.R. Black, John Moores, outpost2, and more than anyone else, the one and only Mikishawm (John Wells) have helped us clear out the whats, hows, and whys, of some of the more forgotten (but not necessarily forgettable) inhabitants of the DC Universe.

Lately, on the Round II thread, questions have increased such rapidly (mainly thanks to outpost2) that we felt obliged to start a new one.

If you know something about these characters, feel free to share you knowledge with us. Mikishawm is our number one answerman so far, but I think even he could be a bit overwhelmed (if not stumped) by the sheer number of questions asked. We all gotta help.

If you want to see the ones that HAVE been answered, go to the two earlier threads.

Here are the ones that have not yet been answered:

152. the Inferior Five
157. El Diablo (western)
159. The Council
162. Tailgunner Jo
164. the Queen Bee (Marcia Monroe)
165. Jim Aparo (can't wait to hear the story about this one)
166. Flashback
167. Swordfish and Barracuda
168. Lu-Shu Shan / I-Ching
170. Vartox
171. Blackrock
172. Mister E
173. Terra-Man
174. Whirlwind
176. Nubia
179. Slam Bradley
180. Sgt. Gorilla
181. Adam Strange II (Mystery In Space #94 and #98, Hourman #11)
182. the Arrows of Alaska (Adventure Comics #260)
183. Astra, Girl of the Future (Sensation Comics #99) (Was this one addressed already?)
184. Astralad (New Adventures of Superboy #3-4)
185. Automan (Tales of The Unexpected #91)
186. the Beefeater (Justice League Europe #20)
187. Blackwing (Wonder Woman #???)
188. Burp the Twerp, the Super Son-Of-A-Gun
189. Captain Incredible (Action Comics #354)
190. Colonel Future (Superman #378)
191. the Crimson Avenger II (Albert Elwood) (World's Finest Comics #131)
192. Crusader (Aquaman #56)
193. Dyno-Man of Sorrta (Superman #206)
194. Element Girl (Metamorpho #10)
195. the Eliminator (Action Comics #379)
196. the Flying Dutchman of Time (Fury of Firestorm #??)
197. the Golden Eagle (Justice League Of America #116)
198. the Green Arrows of the World (Adventure Comics #???)
199. the Homeless Avenger (Vigilante #48?)
200. Hoppy the Marvel Bunny (Fawcett Publ. character)
201. the Human Hurricane (Mitch Anderson) (House of Mystery #155)
202. Hyperboy, Hyperdog, and the Hyper-Family of Trombus (Superboy #144)
203. Hyper-Boy / Hyper-Man of Zoron / Oceania (Action Comics #265)
204. the Intergalactic Vigilante Squadron (Adventure Comics #237)
205. Lando, Man of Magic (World's Best Comics #1)
206. the Liquidator (Aquaman #38)
207. Little Miss Redhead (Sensation Comics #72)
208. Marsboy (Adventure Comics #195)
209. Marvel Maid and Marvel Man of Terra (Action Comics #272-273)
210. Mighty Boy and Mighty Dog of Zumoor (Superboy #85)
211. Mighty Man (IIRC, mentioned in a Superman Annual letters page as a potential reprint tale)
212. Miss Arrowette (World's Finest Comics #113)
213. Miss X (Action Comics #??)
214. Nadir, Master of Magic (New Adventure Comics #17)
215. Neolla, the Superwoman of Zorkia (Action Comics #354)
216. Nightwolf (World's Finest Comics #323)
217. Petronius (Lois Lane #3)
218. Power-Boy of the asteroid Juno (Superboy #52)
219. Power Lad (Jimmy Olsen #45)
220. Power-Man, King of Outer-Space (Lois Lane #??)
221. Pulsar (New Adventures of Superboy #31)
222. the Roving Ranger (All-Star Western Comics #58)
223. Sonik (World's Finest Comics #310)
224. the Space Rangers (Mentioned in The History of The DC Universe; was this based on a specific Tales of the Unexpected / Space Ranger story?)
225. Superwoman (Luma Lynai of Staryl) (Action Comics #289)
226. Superwoman (Kristen Wells of 29th century Earth) (DC Comics Presents Annual #2)
227. the Tarantula (Jerry Lewis) (Adventures of Jerry Lewis #84)
228. the Terrific Whatzit (McSnurtle the Turtle) (Funny Stuff #1)
229. the Tiger-Man (Desmond Farr) (Tales of The Unexpected #90)
230. Ultra the Multi-Alien (Mystery In Space #103)
232. the Wyoming Kid (Western Comics #1)
233. Xeen Arrow of Dimension Zero (Adventure Comics #252-253)
234. Yango the Super-Ape (Superboy #172)

Let the fun begin. But first, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you.


posted December 21, 2000 05:09 AM

And we'll start right away with Outpost2's biography of number 191: CRIMSON AVENGER II

(clipped - see Round II)


posted December 21, 2000 05:19 AM

Here is my own biography of 230:



Alter Ego: Ace Arn
Occupation: Spaceship pilot, adventurer
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Bonnie Denton Blake (fiancée)
Group Affiliations: None
Base of Operations: Mobile, mostly Dalesville, USA, sometime in the near future.
Height: 5'10" (as Arn); 6'2" (as Ultra)
Weight: 157 lbs. (as Arn); 163 lbs. (as Ultra)
Hair: Brown (as Arn); Half bald, half white (as Ultra)
Eyes: Blue (as Arn); Black (as Ultra)
Skin: Caucasian white (as Arn); One fourth green, one fourth blue, one fourth orange with feathers, and one fourth consisting of pure energy (as Ultra)


Although it has never been determined exactly when the adventures of the hero known as Ultra, the Multi-Alien take place, it is said to be part of our near future. At that time, Earth has successfully navigated the solar system and developed a business in shuttling tourists between its planets.

During one such routine trip to Jupiter, pilot Captain Ace Arn's ship was caught in the magnetic field of a comet. After successfully evacuating the ship, Arn found himself trapped in the cockpit and unable to avoid crashing into an asteroid. To Arn's surprise, he survived the crash and learned the asteroid was hollow, serving as the secret base for an interstellar criminal organization led by the scientific genius Zobra.

The solar system the asteroid orbited was in fact a synthetic one, consisting of four worlds - Ulla, Laroo, Trago, and Raagin, each populated by a different dominant race. One member from each world were part of Zobra's criminal gang.

Zobra had invented a weapon that would transform whomever it was fired at into a duplicate of the being firing the weapon. Each of Zobra's four alien lieutenants was armed with one such weapon, allowing Zobra to complete his plans to blackmail the four planets. (Even earlier, an invasion force of Laroonians had used Zobra's weapon to try and take over Earth, but had been thwarted by the Earth heroes known as Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. and Young Justice.)

While gloating over his plan, Zobra accidentally unleashed a poisonous gas which killed him. The four surviving gang members each raced to the asteroid to gain control of the blackmail plans, each hoping to rule the group.

Into this mess, Arn's spaceship crashed. He found the blackmail plans and tried to decipher the alien writing. As he emerged from the lab, the four aliens fired at him at precisely the same moment, thereby transforming Arn into a freakish multi-being, a conglomeration of the four races. Using the powers he gained from the transformation, Arn defeated the four, then used their superior intellect to repair his ship, and returned to Earth.

On Earth he began a successful crimefighting career, opposing villains such as Doctor Dynamo and the Pied Piper of Pluto, using as his alias an anagram formed of the names of the alien worlds - "Ultra". While his heroic acts were highly regarded by the public, Ultra was constantly remembered of what he had sacrificed for it: his humanity and the love of his girlfriend Bonnie, who believed that Arn had died in the accident that transformed him into Ultra.

Arn devoted much of his time finding a cure for his transformation. During a battle with Doctor Dynamo, Ultra discovered that a part of the criminal's technology, called the "DeMoleculizer", could restore his true form. However, Arn had to regain his Ultra form to defeat Dynamo, during which time the villain managed to destroy the DeMoleculizer, again trapping Arn in his inhuman form.

This event led Ultra to conduct a series of experiments to duplicate the effects of the DeMoleculizer. After many disappointments, Arn was finally successful, building a "Hyper-Converter" allowing him to revert from Ultra to human at will.

Arn returned to his hometown of Dalesville, and was happily returned with Bonnie, explaining that he was rescued from a remote asteroid by Ultra. However, Bonnie had already begun to suspect that Ultra was really Arn. After this "happy ending", Ultra the Multi-Alien continued to successfully combat evil throughout the solar system.

Ultra was last seen sitting in a Space Taxi, together with fellow adventurers Space Ranger and Space Cabby, which would indicate that the he was active in the 22nd century, the era of the latter two. However, he also stated that he was working for the Space Museum at the time, which confuses things since the Museum was founded in the 25th century.

Ultra has also been seen in visions of the future event known as "Kingdom Come", suggesting that the adventures of Ultra take place circa twenty years from now. Whether this is really Ultra's time period, or if this was a glimpse of a possible future that will not be, or even if he has been displaced in time, remains to be seen. After all, Hypertime is not that a reliable state of reality.


Ultra's body comprises of four alien beings, each with an individual ability which, when combined, makes him a formidable force for justice.

His upper left side has magnetic abilities that allow him to repel or attract objects. His upper right side has incredible strength, equal to that of several humans, and invulnerability. His lower left side is composed of solid energy which can generate bolts of pure energy. The lower right side gives him the ability to fly. To this you can add an increased level of intelligence, combining the brains of the four races.

Ultra can also keep his super-energy channeled from one quadrant of his body to another, or contain an injury or poison to one quarter of his being.

Ultra's Hyper-Converter Belt allows him to change from Arn to Ultra and back again, as often as he wants to, without any known side-effects.

(Ultra, the Multi-Alien was created by Dave Wood and Lee Elias and first appeared in Mystery In Space #103 (November, 1965))


posted December 21, 2000 05:27 AM

As for the Green Arrow-related characters, I really think it's better to point you towards Scott McCullar's Green Arrow Compendium at http://www.fgi.net/~grnarrow/ga2.html. There you can find biographies of:

198. Green Arrows of the World ( http://www.fgi.net/~grnarrow/whoswho/GAOTW_Bio.html )
212. Miss Arrowette ( http://www.fgi.net/~grnarrow/whoswho/MissArrowette_Bio.html ) and
233. Xeen Arrow ( http://www.fgi.net/~grnarrow/whoswho/XeenArrow_Bio.html )


posted December 21, 2000 05:27 AM

The Green Arrows of the World
were created by Jack Kirby.
They first appeared in World's Finest #250 (1958).

Unofficial Who's Who Entry by:
Scott McCullar, special thanks to Mikel Midnight
(from http://www.fgi.net/~grnarrow/whoswho/GAOTW_Bio.html)


Archers: Green Arrow (USA), Speedy(USA), Ace Archer (Japan), Bowman from Britain (UK), Phantom of France (France), Bowman of the Bush (Jungles of Malaya, Africa, India), Emerald Bowman (India), Troubador (Spain), Archer of the Alps (Switzerland), Verde Flecha (Green Arrow of Mexico), and the Archer of Arabia (Saudi Arabia) Group Affiliation: Green Arrows of the World (International Delegation of Masked Archers)
Base of Operations: Worldwide
Current Status: Inactive
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #250 (July, 1958)


Unknown to many in the early years of Green Arrow's adventures, he inspired a group of archers internationally with his daring adventures and search for justice so that they decided to follow by example and become heroes in their own countries all across the world. The influence was strong on this group of archers. Some donned outfits and methods simliar to Green Arrow and Speedy. Green Arrow and Speedy invited these archers to a historical convention in America. The sponsored event was the International Delegaton of Masked Archers, but the general public unofficially called the group of archers, "the Green Arrows of the World" because of the influence that Ollie had over them. These Archers of the World gathered together at their one and only convention to discuss crime fighting techniques and demonstrate their different trick arrows that they had developed in order to help them fight crime. During the convention, a crook named Limehouse Larkin mugged Scotland Yard's Bowman of Britain and stole his outfit. Disguised as the Battling Bowman of Britian, Larkin went into the convention to even a score with Green Arrow. This was the only way he figured he could get close. Once there, he tried to convince Green Arrow to try out the "Big Ben" Arrow. It was actually a ticking time bomb. Seeing a forged wanted poster and deducing that the Bowman of Britain was a fraud, Green Arrow along with the other Archers of the World helped nab Larkin while demonstrating their techniques. Eventually, the real Bowman of Britain surfaced and the convention went on...

THE ARCHERS (other than Green Arrow & Speedy)...

Bowman of the Bush
Base of Operations: Jungles of Africa, Malaya, India
Trick Arrow Specialities: Lava Arrow, Vine Arrow

Phantom of France
Base of Operations: France
Trick Arrow Specialities: Luminescent Arrow

Ace Archer of Japan
Base of Operations: Japan
Trick Arrow Specialities: Jiu-jitsu Arrow

Verde Flecha* (Green Arrow of Mexico)
Base of Operations: Mexico

Archer of Arabia*
Base of Operations: Saudi Arabia

Grüner Pfeil*
Base of Operations: Austria

Base of Operations: Spain

Emerald Bowman*
Base of Operations: India

Bowman of Britain
Base of Operations: Britain
Trick Arrow Specialities: Big Ben Arrow

*Unofficial name given by the fans. The original names of some of these heroes were never given in the issue.


In the original issue of ADVENTURE COMICS #250, the Green Arrows of the World all wore a dull green outfits. It was the DC DIGEST #23 in which the colorist popped on some vibrant and differing colors to each bowman that really set them apart. THOSE color schemes in the reprint issue is what is being portrayed here.


Green Arrows of the World appeared in:
Adventure Comics #250 (1958)
- Reprinted in DC Special #23
- (Green Arrow-DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest)

posted December 21, 2000 05:27 AM

Miss Arrowette
was created by Lee Elias.
Bonnie King-Jone has been revamped
by Tom Peyer and Peter David.
She first appeared in World's Finest #113 (1960).

Unofficial Who's Who Entry by: Scott McCullar
(from http://www.fgi.net/~grnarrow/whoswho/MissArrowette_Bio.html)


Alter Ego: Bonnie King-Jones (formely her maiden name was Bonnie King)
Occupation: Former mentor to the Arrowette. (formerly an adventurer)
Marital Status: Widowed.
Known Relatives: Cissie King- Jones "Suzie" (daughter), Bernell "Bowstring" Jones (husband- deceased), Millie King (mother - unknown)
Group Affiliation: none.
Base of Operations: Western Pennsylvania. (formerly Star City)
Current Status: Under Psychiatric Observation. Retired as the original Miss Arrowette. Currently lost custody of her daughter for child endangerment. Formerly Active as a mentor, guide, and communications back-up to her daughter... the new Arrowette.
Height: 5'5"
Weight: 160 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Platinum blond (formerly strawberry blond)
First Appearance: World's Finest #113 (October, 1960)


When young Bonne King was a young girl, her mother, Millie, got her into training with archery and stood over her every minute. The years of training eventually lead high school student Bonnie King into the Olympics where she won a Bronze Medal. Unfortunately for Bonnie, her mother was really ticked at her. She had her heart set on Bonnie winning Gold... So Bonnie became even more upset with her mother and decided to give up archery which she figured she has wasted her entire life with. She moved out and never spoke to Millie again. Bonnie had nothing else going for her. She was on her own in Star City and found out about Green Arrow and Speedy and how they made archery count for something more important than medals. She was inspired by the Green Arrow and Speedy and went overboard in her usual way. She made herself an outfit and became Miss Arrowette. She went out to give them assistance when she could in a handful of adventures. She participated in her role as Miss Arrowette assisting the Battling Bowmen in a few occassions about the time when Green Arrow had joined the JLA. Her methods were clumsy though and she wasn't cut out to be the hero she needed to be. She also happened to be a crimefighter too vain to wear a mask. Like Green Arrow and Speedy, she carried some of her own "trick arrows" which included unbelievable gadgets such as the Mascara Arrow, the Lotion Arrow, the Powder Puff Arrow. It was also at this time when she met Bernell Jones, a newspaper reporter who had recognized her from the Olympics. He viewed her as a "star". Bonnie nicknamed him "Bowstring" because he was, well, skinny as a bowstring.. briefly become her sidekick. Bonnie wanted "bowstring's" help in the publicity department because he was a writer for a local Star City tabloid newspaper.

After a few adventures, Green Arrow and Speedy did not need her assistance. She retired just before Oliver Queen took a leave of absence with Hal Jordan from the JLA. Her career was very brief lasting less than a year before she could catch her first crook on her own. It seems that the teenager acquired a painful condition of carpal tunnel in her wrists that made it too painful to continue to shoot arrows. She had to quit her temp job as a secretary and convinced "Bowstring" to marry her. Almost a year later, Bonnie gave birth to a daughter named Cissie. When Cissie had turned five, Bowstring Jones ate some bad shellfish and dropped dead. But very soon afterward, Hal Jordan from Evergreen Insurance awarded her settlement money to make up for his death. This seemed to make up for everything and Bonnie would never have to work again. This was the path in which she began training her daughter to take on a bigger role. To become the second Arrowette. For the next several years, she would see that Cissie would engage in lessons of archery, judo, kick-boxing, gymnastics, ballet, drame, voice and beauty-pagent charm... Bonnie had turned into the mother she despised. Her pride hurt, she was quickly forgotten by many people. She decided to raise her daughter to replace her. She lived her life through her daughter and became an overbearing mother. The new Arrowette (the "Miss" has been dropped) is a young girls almost the same age as Bart Allen... otherwise known as Impulse. Bonnie is the mentor/trainer/coach/promoter/public relationist who uses a hidden microphone to talk to the young Arrowette as she fights crime. Bonnie has been accused of child endangerment and forgetting that she is the new Arrowette's mother first. Bonnie depends on the new Arrowette and pushes her to a point of emotional abuse and danger forcing this child to finish first. The "old" Arrowette lives through the new adventures of her daughter. The "old" ex-Miss Arrowette has become an overweight, chain-smoking, two-faced and spiteful woman. Mercury Max turned her over to child wellfare so Bonnie hired the best super-hero lawyer there is, Jean Loring. Bonnie lost and was put under psychiatric observation. Her daughter, was sent to the Elias School, a boarding school for girls in Western Pennsylvania. Her daughter still has a sense of innocence about her that is refreshing. Her daughter has recently joined the teen group Young Justice as one of its youngest members. She has continued to dive into the role as the new Arrowette in her abscence to be even better than her mom, Bonnie. Even with her custody troubles, Bonnie still tries to keep tabs on her daughter's activities.


Miss Arrowette was an above average archer. Now she relies on communication and public relation skills to help her daughter's career as the new Arrowette. Bonnie is now a deceitful double talking communicator.


Miss Arrowette was not the first "female Green Arrow" inspired hero though she is the most memorable. Earlier, there was another female archer who wore a disguise similiar to Green Arrow who went by the name of Queen Arrow. Miss Arrowette's brief career actually lasted longer than this other female archer. Both Queen Arrow and Miss Arrowette were inspired by Green Arrow. Bonnie King also dated Oliver Queen briefly (original JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #7 - Oct. Nov. 1961). Also, please check out The Arrowette History, Conspiracy, and Commentary Report that looks at the possibilities that Arrowette may be the biological illegitimate daughter of Oliver Queen in this ever controversial topic. "The plans I've got for Cissie at this point don't really bring her into the Green Arrow realm (actually, I'm rather pleased, because not one person has gotten 100% correct what's going to be happening with her.) With that said, I've read the fan postulations that her father is Oliver Queen and I gotta say, it seems quite convincing to me." -Peter David


Miss Arrowette/Bonnie King-Jones has appeared in:
Impulse # 28 (August 1997)
Justice League of America [1st series] # 7 (1961)
Secret Origins 80-Page Giant # 1 (1998)
World's Finest #113, 118, 134 (1960-1962)
Young Justice # 7, 17
Young Justice Secret Files & Origins (1998)

posted December 21, 2000 05:27 AM

Xeen Arrow
was created by Jack Kirby.
He first appeared in World's Finest #252 (September, 1958).

Unofficial Who's Who Entry by: Scott McCullar
(from http://www.fgi.net/~grnarrow/whoswho/XeenArrow_Bio.html)


Alter Ego: Unknown
Occupation: Adventurer and Leading Scientist of Dimension Zero
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: Unknown
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Dimension Zero
Current Status: Retired Crime fighter
Height: 84 feet
Weight: Unknown
Eyes: Orange
Hair: Orange
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #252 (September, 1958)


From out of nowhere Mysterious Giant Arrows land in the city which is home to Green Arrow and Speedy. These giant arrows as tall as 25 story buildings begin landing in different parts of the area. It is up to the Ace Archers to determine where they are from and investigate if this is a precursor to an alien invasion. The Battling Bowmen head over to the Observatroy and with the aid of a cosmo radar telescope, they learn that some mysterious giant alien is firing them from space. The two bowmen then go and investigate a giant arrow where they are mysteriously teleported to another dimension... Dimension Zero. Green Arrow and Speedy find themselves in another dimension which is not to unlike Gulliver's Travels in which they find themselves as tall as mice. There, they find a parallel planet in which the giant archer, Xeen Arrow, is an imitation of Earth's Green Arrow. Speedy and Green Arrow assist Xeen Arrow as the Giant Archer as he battles his own dimesional foes. Eventually, as Xeen Arrow returns to his version of the Arrow Cave, he dons his civilian guise as a scientist. There, Green Arrow and Speedy reveal themselves and their predicament. Xeen Arrow lets Earth's Archers know that a comet has caused a dimensional gap in which arrows from the giant's dimension crossed over into Earth's dimension. With only a few seconds left before the comet closes the gap, Xeen Arrow fires one of his giant arrows back through the rift and returns Green Arrow and Speedy back to our Earth. Once home, Oliver Queen and Roy Harper store their giant arrow the size of a B-52 they returned on into the Trophy Room of the Arrowcave. Years later, Green Arrow reveals this story why sitting back all night with Black Canary. She laughs and doesn't believe him. Oliver Queen would state it was his first adventure into outer space. She would laugh and tell him that it was a great tall tale and that he should be a writer. He says it did happen but then gives in an says "Okay...Okay" as if he was pulling her leg and then he moved on to tell another story.


Xeen Arrow is a well respected scientist from his dimension and the equivalent of Green Arrow in his realm. He is an expert archer and uses his own version of trick arrows. These aliens also speek a sort of mental language through telepathy.


This was one of the first two part Green Arrow tales. Also, in DC SPECIAL BLUE RIBBON SPECIAL #23, there is a framing story leading readers to believe that this tale was the imaginative creation of Oliver Queen to tell a "tall tale" to his girlfriend the Black Canary. It was dismissed as a joke. This story then remains as a fictional story in the imagination of Oliver Queen before the Crisis of Infinite Earths but has now been revealed in Mark Waid's THE KINGDOM #2 as being a divergent hypertimeline.


Xeen Arrow appeared in:
Adventure Comics #252, 253 (1957)
- Reprinted with framing story in DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #23 (1982)
- Reprinted in Action Comics #449 ()
- Reprinted in The Greatest 1950's Stories Ever Told ()
The Kingdom #2 (1998)

posted December 21, 2000 05:27 AM

Queen Arrow
was created by George Papp.
She first appeared in Adventure Comics #241 (1957)

Unofficial Who's Who Entry by: Scott McCullar
(from http://www.fgi.net/~grnarrow/whoswho/QueenArrow_Bio.html)


Alter Ego: Diana Dare
Occupation: Socialite/Sleep Walking Adventurer
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Everet Dare (father)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Star City
Current Status: Retired crime fighter
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 125 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Strawberry Blond
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #241 (1957)


Diana Dare is the daughter of Star City millionaire Everet Dare. She is an amateur archer and a horse back rider. Young Diana was also a great admirer of the Green Arrow and his partner Speedy following many of their exploits during their early years. She had set up a special trophy room containing trick arrows that were one time shot from the bows of the two archers. She was one of their greatest fans. One evening, Diana went to bed and then she began to slept walk. During the sleep walk, she donned a special green costume equipped with the Battling Bowmen's trick arrows. She entered the streets as a new crimefighter inspired by Green Arrow and Speedy. Strangely, young Diana Dare did not realize she was sleep walking and had no clue she was the Queen Arrow. She even followed her heroics for the short time in the press. The two Battling Bowmen would cross paths with her and find that she was quite capable of taking on the vermin of the city herself. She helped Green Arrow capture a couple of criminals, revealed her name as "Queen Arrow", and then ran off into the night. As the press was printing their headlines, the Emerald Archer and his partner Speedy looked for clues to figure out who she was. They examined the arrows fired by Queen Arrow and realized that they were arrows they themselves fired long ago. Oliver Queen knew that Diana Dare was a fan and had one of the greatest collection of arrows in the area and so the two archers went to her father's estate where she lived. Once arriving, they found Diana sleep walking as her father was trying to wake her. Upon investigating, Green Arrow came across a rare Javiro Ceremonial Arrow. Everett Dare acknowledged that earlier Green Arrow realized that this arrow was painted with a strange potion that causes loss of will power, sleep walking, and that it made her become the Queen Arrow in the trance. Green Arrow went to the Arrow Car and made an antidote for Diana Dare at the agreement of her father. Later when she awoke, Diana was happy to see who the archers at her home and asked if they knew who she was. Green Arrow replied that it was a secret and that Queen Arrow was retired.


The Queen Arrow was an amateur archer who used the trick arrows of Green Arrow and Speedy. She is also an expert horse back rider and an acrobat.


This is the first female inspired archer after Green Arrow. She predates "Miss Arrowette" by three years.


Queen Arrow has appeared in:
Adventure Comics #241 (1957)

posted December 21, 2000 06:33 AM

How about (#235) Ultraa from the 1970s?
Any info on him? Did he survive the Crisis?

posted December 21, 2000 06:57 AM


That was one of the first DC Comics I read...

All I really remember is that he was the only superpowered being on Earth Prime (our Earth, Julie Schwartz made a cameo in the story). The Justice League was mystriously pulled into our world just as Earth Prime's first super villain appears (some kind of robot thingie that looked like a psychedelic lamp). Ultraa is convinced that his presence on a super power free world will create more and more villains, so he leaves his home and follows the JL to Earth 1. He showed up in a later story with the Royal Flush gang. I might have to look up his origin and how that turned out.

posted December 23, 2000 09:00 AM

some more info on Ultraa:

He was born on a planet that, very much like Krypton, exploded (I think, or imploded or fell into the sun or something). In this case, the entire population of the planet was saved in big arks, in cryogenic sleep. A sentient super computer watched over them. Both the super computer and one baby were ejected and sent to earth (I think the systems were failing). The baby landed in Australia and was raised by Aborigines, the computer crashed in Antarctica and was driven mad by decades of loneliness. When a pilot crashed in Antarctica, he, the computer and parts of the wreckage fused into a malicious entity. Meanwhile, Ultraa's youth is pretty much like Clark Kent's, just that you have to replace "Kansas" with "Australian Outback" and "Ma and Pa Kent" with "Aborigines in thongs". Ultraa is so fast he can run on water, pretty much invulnerable and super strong. His one weakness is ultra sound. The JLA and Ultraa defeat the robot (Maxitron?) by disguising Superman as Ultraa and vice versa, so when they get attacked with red sunlight and ultra sound respectively, they are not affected.

Story by Gerry Conway. Art by George Tuska.

posted December 23, 2000 05:06 PM

Some time ago, I asked Miki about Blackwing over in the Batman Boards, and he posted this bio in response. (It can be found in the famous "Mikishawn, I think I known who you are" in the Batman Boards). So 187 is done.

Once upon a time, there was a world where costumed men and women dressed in colorful costumes took to the streets and fought crime. The heroes flourished in the 1940s but their numbers had dwindled by the 1970s. Their hair had turned gray and one of the greatest of their generation -- The Batman -- had died (1978’s ADVENTURE COMICS # 462). A relative handful of heroes --including the Huntress, daughter of the Dark Knight -- stood poised to replace them.


It’s one thing to read about crime in the newspaper but it’s quite another to experience it first hand. Such was the case with Charles Bullock, a young African American lawyer recently added to the roster of Gotham City’s Cranston, Grayson and Wayne in 1981 (WONDER WOMAN # 281-284, by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton and Steve Mitchell). When a super-villain named Karnage attacked the law offices in search of senior partner Arthur Cranston, Bullock rushed forward to oppose the intruder only to be swatted away like a fly (# 286-287, by Levitz, Staton and Bruce Patterson).

Karnage was soon brought to justice by The Huntress (secretly Helena Wayne, another partner in the firm) and Arthur Cranston tried to assure Charles that he had nothing to be ashamed of. “You’re a lawyer,” he said, “not a bouncer.” The young man was not appeased, however. “I have some heavy thinking to do ... about the way Karnage’s attack is going to CHANGE my life” (WW # 289). Digging through the firm’s library, Charles found “a fairly complete file on The Huntress in the clippings. Good. I wonder if it has everything I NEED ...” (WW # 290, by Levitz, Staton and Mike DeCarlo).

Levitz’s plans for Charles Bullock were never realized and it fell to his successor, Joey Cavalieri, to resolve the subplot in the latter half of 1982. The “Huntress”episode in WW # 297 opened with Charles witnessing a pair of hoods harrassing a local grocer. “What can we do about it ?” the old man asked. “We’re too small to fight them. In the old days, there was The Batman, God rest his soul. He was there to PROTECT people like us. Saw to it slime like that didn’t get into the neighborhood. But now, who STANDS up for people like us ? What can we do ... ?” For Charles Bullock, it was a call to arms.

The following evening, a bat-scalloped shadow fell over the thugs, momentarily stopping them -- and a concealed Huntress -- in their tracks. The source of the shadow was a man in a variation of The Batman’s costume -- light blue replacing the gray, a more stylized bat chest emblem and utility belt, yellow bands around his wrists and calves and a sharply arched yellow-tipped face mask that evoked bat-ears in silhouette. His dark blue cape functioned as a hang-glider. “Stand back!” he commanded. “NONE may threaten the people of this city while Blackwing stands!”

Unhappily, Blackwing was grounded almost immediately when one of the thugs partially shredded his cape/glider. The would-be hero was beaten into unconsciousness and unmasked. Watching from a distance, the Huntress recognized Charles instantly (WW # 297, art by Staton and Sal Trapani).

Blackwing was presented to the mastermind behind the gang, a snake charmer of sorts named the Boa. The Huntress crashed the party and was left to the mercies of a boa constrictor as the villains made their exit. Blackwing, who’d been feigning unconsciousness, used a dagger to slash the serpent and free the Huntress (WW # 298-299, art by Staton and Frank McLaughlin).

“I was a top notch lawyer,” he explained, “but that only gave me a ring-side seat as I watched criminals slide through the revolving door of justice. I felt the need to do something MORE -- something lasting! My hero had always been The Batman. The heart of this town nearly quit beating altogether when he died. But then The Huntress swung into action -- and I knew in my guts that if SHE could do it -- I could, too!” (WW # 298)

“Maybe it was stupid but I became Blackwing to be that symbol for people again ... to restore their pride in Gotham ... and SPUR them to take charge of this city once more. I tried to THINK the way The Batman would. I had the presence of mind to keep my miniature tape recorder in my utility belt running ever since I was kidnapped.”

“Evidence!” The Huntress exclaimed. “Good work, Charley. We’ll nail them YET. You would’ve made The Batman very proud, Charley. You’ve certainly made ME proud.” The daughter of The Batman captured the Boa and his gang that night (WW # 299) but Charles never took to the sky as Blackwing again.

And, yet, history may yet see the Bullock name enshrined as a costumed hero. A Gotham youngster named Charlie Bullock, possibly a namesake cousin of Charles, had crossed paths with Wildcat three years earlier on a late winter’s evening in 1979. Charlie proved to be a natural fighter and helped the Justice Society member take down a quartet of muggers.

Wildcat realized that kids like Charlie could achieve great things with a little positive reinforcement. Pulling off his mask, Ted Grant introduced himself to Charlie and decided, in that moment, that he would leave his JSA responsibilities to become a mentor to any of the youth in Gotham that he could help. Announcing his leave of absence, Ted noted that “SOMEONE’s gotta start worrying where the NEXT generation of super-heroes is coming from”(ADVENTURE COMICS # 464, by Levitz and Staton). Will Charlie Bullock return as the Blackwing of the current DC Universe ? Only time -- and future issues of JSA -- will tell.

posted December 23, 2000 07:21 PM

Eduardo, you're truly a saint! Many thanks -- and Happy Holidays to you and everyone on the boards! Once the hubbub of the season is behind me, I'm hoping to check in with short takes on a bunch of these characters. In the meantime, here's a partial rerun from Obscure Heroes, Part One. I included a second half when I submitted it to the stillborn COMIC READER revival this summer. Hope you like it!

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 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, something of a primitive version of Thanagar’s Absorbascon. 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.


April 30, 1940: “At 3 P.M. yesterday, an attack by a fanatical easterner on the President was attempted. G-Men have been called in.”

The assassination attempt on Franklin Roosevelt had, in fact, been the third strike on a world leader in the span of little more than a month. Manhattan socialite Carter Hall was mulling on the events of the day while attending a concert when he suddenly found himself in the midst of the mystery.

A young blonde in the crowded hallway suddenly found herself attacked by a glassy-eyed man from the Middle East wielding a nasty-looking blade. Hall swung into action, decking the would-be assassin and, displaying his knowledge of antiquities, identifying the weapon as a khanjur. Impressed by her rescuer’s scholarship, the woman slipped a card into his pocket:


A hand written invitation added: “Why not call tonight ?”

After piquing Carter’s interest with the card, Ione insisted that he not “get further mixed up in this terrible affair!”Identifying herself as a federal agent, she revealed that she was headed for Araby to invesigate the revival of the 11th Century Sect of Assassins. “Even now they plan a world-wide murder plot to kill those in authority in all countries and set up their own rulers.”

Predictably, the young woman’s protests only encouraged Carter Hall to follow her, flying behind her ship from New York to Cairo. Head in hand, Ione seemed to dread her mission. “I wish I had someone to turn to ...”

On cue, the Hawkman landed on her hotel room balcony and introduced himself as her bodyguard. Ione immediately pulled out a map to Alamut, the so-called “City of Assassins” and asked the Hawk to confirm its location while she arranged for an air raid.

While Hawkman infiltrated Alamut, Ione was kidnapped by the Sect and brought to the city in chains. Raiding the meal hall, the Hawk snatched a scimitar and dived into the wave of assassins fighting, we’re told, “with the power of ten men.” Flinging the F.B.I. agent over his shoulder, Hawkman wrapped up the mission by bringing down the leader of the Sect with his slingshot. “The deadly missile flys (sic) true and Hassan Ibn Sabah sinks to the floor ... dead.”

Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff picked up in FLASH COMICS # 6 where they’d left off in # 5. Observing that “my wings are not working properly,” Hawkman was forced to land with Ione in the middle of the desert. Without the F.B.I. agent’s additional weight, the Hawk briefly took to the sky again to determine their whereabouts. Predictably, Ione was gone when he returned, abducted this time by slavers.

A rescue attempt went awry and, with his wings unreliable, Hawkman was taken prisoner, too. A fellow captive identified himself as Major Brent, the only survivor of an army unit decimated by Sheba, the self-described “Queen of the Desert.”

Finally solving his flight problem (“Ah. The adjustor fan needs a minor correction.”), Hawkman escaped, roused the nearby army battalion and returned in time to rescue Brent and Ione from serving as the main course for lions in Sheba’s arena. With all of the Desert Queen’s forces watching the festivities, her army was caught off when the calvary’s tanks rolled in. The woman who’d vowed “to free Araby from the hated white people” found herself a prisoner of the men she despised.

With FLASH # 7, Carter’s fiancee Shiera Sanders was back in her proper role as the strip’s female lead. Ione Craig never appeared again and, given the fact that she spent most of the two issues in chains and cheesecake shots, one might well assume that she was drummed out of the F.B.I. Or, to play devil’s advocate, rather than speculate on Ione Craig’s lack of qualifications for the job, maybe we should be asking just how gullible Carter Hall really was.

Consider the facts. Carter met an agent of the F.B.I. who ...

... was assigned to seek out a cult but was unfamiliar with their weapon of choice.

... revealed her status as an operative to a stranger and provided him with details on her mission -- while encouraging him not to get involved.

... didn’t question either Hawkman’s subsequent offer of help or his familiarity with the case.

... seemed incapable of defending herself against a succession of attackers.

Carter himself wondered, “If they know Ione Craig is a secret agent, why send her to Araby ? The assassins will only kill her.” Rather than following through on the suspicious chain of events, he allowed his male defense mechanisms to kick in.

In the largely uncharted territory of the mystery-man, Carter and Shiera still had much to learn about keeping a secret. In the Hawkman’s second case, Shiera had gone so far as to reveal his true name to terrorist Alexander the Great -- and arrange a meal with the madman in the hope of negotiating a settlement! Alexander, who had threatened to crush the entire eastern seaboard, was captured by the Hawk and left for the authorities (FLASH COMICS # 2). One can only imagine what he told them.

A month later, Carter himself revealed his secrets to a quintet of kidnapped scientists, including college pal Dick Blendon. The grateful men assured Hawkman that they’d keep the truth to themselves (FLASH COMICS # 3). But did they ?

Another point of curiosity was the unusual malfunction of Hawkman’s wings while flying across the desert with Ione. Up to that point, the only man with the technology to ground the Hawk was Alexander, who’d demonstrated the effects of his mass-enhancing ray in FLASH # 2. Were the wings actually weakened by an out-of-synch fan, as Hawkman believed, or was Ione secretly disabling them with a device derived from Alexander’s weapon so that the hero would discover Sheba’s army ?

It’s a matter of record that, by November of 1940, the F.B.I. had files on Hawkman and several of his contemporaries. Further, the agency regarded them as trustworthy enough to solicit their aid in spearheading an assault against Nazi Germany (DC SPECIAL # 29). On November 26, J. Edgar Hoover himself requested that Hawkman and the newly-minted Justice Society of America track down Fritz Klaver and his ring of saboteurs (ALL-STAR COMICS # 4).

In any event, the Silver Age Hawkman crossed paths with government agents himself in 1965 when he went up against C.A.W. in HAWKMAN # 10. The C.I.A. agent known only as Blondie was everything that Ione Craig was not -- observant, resourceful and more than capable of holding her own in a fight. And she should have been. When the case was over, she unmasked herself as Shayera Thal. Hawkgirl had tried to put one over on her husband but he’d known it was her all along. There’s just no fooling those extraterrestrial police detectives.

posted December 28, 2000 10:14 AM

Whatever happened to the Silver Age Rose and Thorn? (No relation, as far as I know, to the Golden Age victim/villainess who was Jade and Obsidian's mother!)

posted December 28, 2000 10:29 AM

Originally posted by Sk8maven:

Whatever happened to the Silver Age Rose and Thorn? (No relation, as far as I know, to the Golden Age victim/villainess who was Jade and Obsidian's mother!)

The silver age Thorn began her career about 8 years ago on the current DC timeline. She was really Rose Forrest, the shy daughter of a Metropolis cop Phil Forrest. When she was a young girl she experience a trauma which has never been explained. As a result she developed a split personality. At times, she would become a more agressive woman. Once, while the agressive personality was in charge, she discovered a secret passage in her family brownstone which led to an abandoned costume shop. In it she found a costume and weapons which were created by costumer Albert Talbot in a scheme to outfit a woman as a super-criminal.

Now, it was never explained who that woman was or exactly how long ago the costume was created, but perhaps it was created in the 1940s. Perhaps Albert Talbot had known the golden age super-villain called the Thorn and had created the new costume and weapons for her shortly before she was "cured" [see INFINITY INC issues & a recent GREEN LANTERN issue] The costume sat in the costume shop until found by Rose Forrest.

When Rose's father Phil was killed by the criminal syndicate known as The 100, she retreated into the other personality, donned the costume and became the Thorn. She waged war against The 100, even getting help from Superman. Rose was never aware of her activities as the Thorn and thought she suffered from unexplained blackouts. Afterwards, she retired.

The Thorn returned to crimefighting after the Crisis, when the 100 resurfaced as the 1000. She was wearing a different costume and a knee brace from some untold injury. She teamed up with Booster Gold against Minddancer, Shockwave & other super-villains.

Since then she has returned to active duty on a number of occasions whenever things in Metropolis got out of hand, particularly when Warworld came to Metropolis and right after Superman's death.

She has recently appeared in the SUPERMAN books again.

posted December 30, 2000 10:16 AM

Does anyone remember a story in which Dick Grayson and Duela Dent assumed new identities to infiltrate a criminal organisation? Her costume had a playing card pattern... Anyone remember their names and gimmicks?

posted December 30, 2000 01:01 PM

This info I picked it from a Titans site. I don´t remember the url, right now, so I will look for it and post it later, so credit goes were its deserved.

The Card Queen: DETECTIVE COMICS issues # 481-483

Written by Ryan Hardin (RHa3720137@aol.com) !

When BATMAN FAMILY was cancelled due to the DC Implosion of the late 1970s, those new BATMAN FAMILY stories that were scheduled to come out were published in DETECTIVE COMICS from issues # 480-500 as sort of "bonus" stories.

In DETECTIVE COMICS issues # 481-483, Duela Dent appeared in yet another costumed guise, one that has been almost completely overlooked in retrospects of her history and career. These issues all featured a "Robin Story" with Duela Dent along as "The Card Queen". She wore a red and gold costume and a wig of long brown hair. The costume kinda looked like a genie's but with a skirt. In the story, there was a villain who ran an organization called the Pseudo-Supermen who were, of course, out to take over the world. In order to do that, the world's most powerful super-heroes had to be taken down first. Duela was a memme ber of this organization, no less than the master villain's second in command.

Robin learns the true identitity of the Card Queen early on but we readers have to wait until the conclusion of the story ( in issue # 483) to find out who she really is...Duela Dent. And she was employed as a secret government operative by the CBI to infiltrate the group. After she succeeded in that, she somehow contacted Robin for help and left clues for him to figure her identity and join her in her adventure.

posted December 30, 2000 02:15 PM

Thanks Eduardo, that was quick! But does my memory deceive me when I think Robin took on a new ID in that story, too?

posted December 30, 2000 03:31 PM

Robin didn't take a new identity in the story but he DID wear several reader-designed costumes over the course if 'TEC # 481.

Now, a few more entries:

The two-page story entitled “Whirlwind” (by Steve Skeates and Sal Amendola from TEEN TITANS # 30) represented one of a handful of picture and text stories that DC experimented with in the early 1970s that ranged from shorts (as in Challengers of the Unknown and Aquaman episodes in SUPER DC GIANT # S-25 and S-26) to longer pieces featuring Adam Strange (STRANGE ADVENTURES # 226).


Tornado. It was a word that threw fear into the hearts of Midwesterners like Wally West. Even Wally couldn’t have imagined the cyclone that struck the Blue Valley First National Bank in the late summer of 1970. It was more of a whirlwind, really, one that slowly began to dissolve within the bank itself and reveal a human center. The man within had white-flecked black hair and wore a red-black domino mask, a long-sleeved purple turtleneck and orange gloves. While his left hand operated a red chestplate, his right held a gun.

The gunman hadn’t anticipated the arrival of Kid Flash and reactivated his cyclonic field to make a quick escape. The teenage speedster managed to thrust his fist into the whirlwind “but he threw the punch at the wrong angle, and there was no time for a second attempt. He was caught by the swirling air and thrown back into a wall.”

“But the damage had already been done. His poorly aimed punch had hit the machinery instead of the man and the device was now beginning to malfunction. The tornado that carried the man suddenly smashed into a pillar, money spilled all over the bank floor. The the whirling air mass began to weave all over, and finally crashed through the northeast wall, and pieces of glass from the large bank door flew in all directions.”

“The miniature tornado was last seen speeding off across the ocean. Speculation is that the man in its center ultimately drowned at sea. It has never been learned who he was. Nor what type of device he used to create this whirlwind.” Given the fact that Blue Valley was in Nebraska, the cyclonic man must have travelling at an incredible velocity to reach the ocean so swiftly. The incident remains classified in Teen Titans files as unsolved.

The Space Rangers are mentioned in HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE in this paragraph: “A young orphan boy was found in the Command D bunker of Space Planeteer Headquarters by Gen. Horatio Tomorrow. Young Tommy Tomorrow would grow up to be the greatest Planeteer of all. The Planeteers were the prime peacekeeping armed forces of the future. The Space Rangers became the future policemen.” It appears that the text was referring to the Planeteers as “space rangers” but the phrase was capitalized and preceded a picture of Space Ranger, who was a solo operator.

The Marvel Family got together for a reunion in 1946 (MARVEL FAMILY # 2). Captain Marvel was there as was Captain Marvel, Jr., Mary Marvel, the Lieutenant Marvels and Uncle Marvel. Not in attendance were Black Adam (R.I.P.), Freckles Marvel and one other -- Hoppy the Marvel Bunny.

Created by Chad Grothkopf, Hoppy had debuted in Fawcett’s FUNNY ANIMALS # 1 (dated December, 1942). Like many real life kids who followed Captain Marvel’s adventures, Animalville resident Hoppy couldn’t resist trying the “Shazam” magic word for himself after a bully set his sights on his girlfriend Millie. And, sure enough, it worked. Captain Marvel Bunny had a healthy eleven year run and his adventures ceased only when Fawcett acquiesced to DC’s wishes and stopped published Marvel Family stories. In addition to FUNNY ANIMALS # 1-83 (missing only # 49-54), Hoppy also had fifteen issues of his own title (1945-1947)and a single episode in 1948’s MASTER COMICS # 91.

Charlton Comics bought the rights to a number of Fawcett properties and, as noted by Roy Thomas in 1964’s ALTER EGO # 7, they “used a number of old Marvel Bunny strips as secondary features in ATOMIC MOUSE COMICS. Charlton changed his magic word to ‘Alizam,’ his costume to blue (without the lightning-bolt insignia), and his name to Hoppy the MAGIC Bunny, and they were in business. And nobody sued, either.” In this form, Hoppy appeared in FUNNY ANIMALS # 84-88 and ATOMIC MOUSE # 14-15.

Through it all, Hoppy only managed to cross paths with his inspirations on one occasion in the Golden Age. In 1948’s MARVEL FAMILY # 28, as recounted in STERANKO’S HISTORY OF COMICS # 2, Mary Marvel “had gone to the planetoid Vesta to break up a war between the Cat People and the Dog People. Billy Batson was watching the events through a telescope, and deciding his sister needed help, he went to Animalville to ask Hoppy to change into Captain Marvel Bunny and go to her aid. The World’s Mightiest Bunny was glad to oblige. ‘Mary Marvel ? Sure I’ll be glad to help! I’ll yell the magic word -- SHAZAM!’ Marvel Bunny knocked some sense back into the other animal people on Vesta, and returned to Animalville.”

Years later, in his first crack at writing the adventures of Captain Marvel and company, Roy Thomas had Mister Mind and Mister Mxyzptlk join forces. In DC COMICS PRESENTS # 34 (1981; art by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano), the magical imp thrust Superman and Captain Marvel into a dimension of funny animals, “magically trading them for two of the locals.” The locals in question, to no one’s surprise, were Hoppy and Millie. The two bunnies were hauled off by the police of Earth-S for disturbing the peace and Hoppy, taking advantage of the fact that his girl friend had fainted, flew into action.

Learning that King Kull was attacking the Marvels at the United Nations, Marvel Bunny obliquely recalled the events of MARVEL FAMILY # 28, noting that “I can’t BEAR the thought of that nice Mary Marvel in peril.” Thanks to the departure of a disenchanted Mxyzptlk, the magical spell that had enabled Kull to triumph was gone and Captain Marvel Bunny succeeded where Mary and Junior had failed. After shaking hands with Superman, Marvel Bunny flew back to his home dimension with Millie in tow.

“What about Hoppy ?” she asked.

“I’ll, er, come back for him later.”

As editor, Thomas checked in on Hoppy one more time in late 1985’s continuation of the Captain Carrot series, THE OZ-WONDERLAND WARS # 2 (with art by E. Nelson Bridwell, Joey Cavalieri and Carol Lay) . Attempting to locate his foe Captain Carrot, the Nome King Roquat magically summoned an assortment of fictional rabbits to an underground lair -- including Millie and Hoppy. Slipping behind a stalagmite, Hoppy returned in costume, proclaiming that “I have within me ALL the power of Salamander, Hogules, Antlers, Zebreus, Abalone and Monkury!” The initial rivalry between Marvel Bunny and Captain Carrot soon faded in battle and Cap put his hand on Hoppy’s shoulder. “What do you say we MOP UP the last of them TOGETHER ?” Disgusted with the outcome, Roquat moaned that “bringing these BLASTED BUNNIES together is the most HARE-BRAINED IDEA I’ve ever come up with. I wish I’d never thought of it!” In an instant, all the rabbits returned to their places of origin.

With the creation of a new, oh-so- serious DC Universe in the wake of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Hoppy seemed destined to spend eternity in comic book limbo (as in 1990’s ANIMAL MAN # 25). Instead, after being glimpsed in an alternate reality in 1997’s POWER OF SHAZAM! # 27, the Marvel Bunny made a full-fledged return in POS # 29 (by Jerry Ordway, Pete Krause and Dick Giordano).

At a birthday party for himself and his sister Mary, Billy Batson had run afoul of a magician while he trying to figure out how the Great Carlini had pulled a cartoon rabbit out of his hat. As Carlini threatened him, Billy called out “Shazam!” and awoke with his hands around the ears of “a rabbit, dressed like a Captain Marvel.” Cap had unwittingly been transported to a world of cartoon animals and transformed a rabbit into a super-hero simultaneously.

Hoppy, who discovered that the Marvel Family magic prevented his girlfriend Millie from recognizing him, explained that an evil trio of animals “abduct the citizens of Animalville for Sorcero, then take them up to this hole in the sky ... where a hand pulls them through, so that a bunch of monsters -- like YOU -- can terrorize them. And then when it’s over, the citizens --predominantly bunnies, wander around in shock for days after.”

The two Marvels tracked the mystery back to a human magician named Sorcero, who had gained access to an other-dimensional portal that could be accessed through his top hat. The magician’s assistant, Hans Carlini, had forced his mentor through the portal and exiled him to the world of funny animals. "He taps that wand -- my old wand, on the hat as a signal to send a bunny through the interdimensional portal for him to pluck out of the hat,” Sorcero explained. “The tapping causes me extreme pain, you see -- I’ll do ANYTHING to make it stop, so he gets his rabbits.”

Alerted that the sky portal was burning, Cap realized that the lightning from his transformation had ignited the top hat. Sorcero admitted that the destruction of the hat would end Carlini’s reign of terror but that Cap would be stranded if he didn’t leave immediately. Switching identities, Billy slid through the flaming gateway with a boost from the newest Marvel.

Waking up in his bed, Billy was assured by Mary that he’d only had a dream. “Look,” she insisted. “I SAW Carlini jolted backwards, breaking his wand, when the lightning hit the first time ... then you said the word again a second later. Lucky thing too, or he’d have seen the transformation.”

“But what if time passed differently there ? A SECOND for YOU could have lasted HOURS for me. It COULD’VE happened, Mary. It SEEMED real.”

Slapping her brother over the head with a pillow, Mary repeated, “It was a dream, bonehead!”

Somewhere, looking up as a flickering hole in the sky blinked out, a flying rabbit in a red and gold costume made a vow. “Your memory will live on in the good deeds I’ll perform ... as Hoppy the Marvel Bunny!” You can’t keep a good hare down.

posted December 30, 2000 06:47 PM

Vartox and Terra Man, are 2 of my favs in the Superman rogues gallery, the last time I saw Terra Man was SUPERMAN #46, any new sightings?

And what about Vartox?

Plus...what happened to Butcher? He had his own mini-series and turned up in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD mini-series... then what?

posted December 31, 2000 06:21 PM

Settle back in those chairs, pardners. This here's gonna be a long one.
Hope y' enjoy it, Taz!

On a steamy summer day in 1888 Arizona, the editor of the Cripple Creek Courier had a decision to make. In the end Rufus Matlock decided to kill the story, explaining to his daughter Gail that he didn’t want to risk having “our newspaper become the laughingstock of the whole world. No, daughter. Even if the people of Cripple Creek won’t ever FORGET what they saw ... the rest of the world will NEVER hear about it.”

It had all begun one day earlier with Sheriff Cooper’s capture of bank robber Jess Manning. The outlaw had been escorted to a jail cell but Cooper had reckoned without Manning’s offspring. Young Toby had turned ten years old only months earlier on February 25 but he was already a chip off the old block, stealing a gun and slipping it to his Pa during the night. “Yore gonna be a first-class outlaw someday, son,” his proud father told him as they rode off on horseback. “I feel it in muh bones.”

Back in Cripple Creek, the news of Manning’s escape had been eclipsed by reports of an unidentified flying object and the sight of a flying young reporter named Clark Kent who’d just saved Rufus Matlock from being trampled by a horse. Taking refuge in the sky, the 20th Century hero known as Superboy wondered how his plan had gone so wrong. After a series of potentially fatal blunders in his own time period, the Boy of Steel had exiled himself to the past, convinced that his inability to change history would act as a failsafe.

Oblivious to all this, a pair of stagecoach drivers were riding towards town when they stopped to pick up a little boy that they assumed had been lost in the desert. Pulling a pistol from behind his back, Toby Manning demanded, “Throw down the strongbox, gents -- PRONTO -- or I’ll plug both of ya fulla LEAD!” With the box alongside him, Toby fired his gun into the air and “sent the frightened horses sprinting away.”

“It sure does a man good to see his only kin followin’ in his father’s footsteps,” Jess told him.

“It was EASY, Pa. I looked them men square in the eye, like yuh told me.”

“Now thet yuh’ve got your FIRST hold-up under yore belt, Toby, it won’t be long ‘fore Jess Manning and son is the most famous -- an’ best -- outlaw team in the west.”

Jess’ satisfaction proved short-lived as a shadow fell over the outlaws and the gold coins they’d just stolen began rising into the air toward a large metallic disk. Aboard the craft was an blue-fleshed, pointy-eared extraterrestrial being with a green mohawk whose reptilian qualities extended to his eyes and the scales on his skin. He’d been forced to make an emergency landing on Earth to find pymbaxr (“common shale to us”)that would recharge his proto-engine and took advantage of the visit to indulge his passion for galactic currency samples. In his own way, the Collector was as much an outlaw as the Mannings, “breaking the laws of many planets to amass his 'collection'.”

Jess Manning had no intention of letting anyone take away his gold and began firing his pistol as Toby cheered, “Attaway, Pa! Yuh WINGED him!” The Collector was outraged and fired back via a star-like energy unit he wore as a necklace. Horrified, the alien realized he’d sent a lethal “overdose of solar-power” rather than the intended stun force. Involuntarily, the alien and Manning were joined by “the death-link ... an extraordinary power which enabled the spaceman to telepathically scan the mind of a fatally stricken person in his last moments of life.” In a heartbeat, the space-bandit learned of Jess’ hopes and dreams for Toby. The dying Jess could do no more than scrawl a small circle in the sand around a bullet.

The Collector “was not a killer by nature” and, looking at the devastated Toby, silently promised to “take his father’s place ... adopt the orphan and make him my apprentice ... teach him the super-skills ... arm him with my ultra-weapons. But -- I cannot expect the yoith to accept me, knowing I killed his father. With this hypnotic grid, I’ll ERASE that incident from his memory ... substitute a story of my own.” Blaming the incident on Sheriff Cooper, the Collector took his protegé aboard.

Before his departure, the space-bandit went on a test run in Cripple Creek “to determine whether my proto-cannon has been properly charged.” The arrival of Superboy saved the town from damage and, for good measure, the Boy of Steel tossed the flying disk back into outer space. Watching as it hurtled away, Superboy decided that the invader had “taught me a valuable lesson I could benefit from in my own time. Even though there will always be a minimal chance my super-powers will backfire in a crisis, the risk must be weighed against the maximum benefits to be gained. So ... 20th Century -- here comes Superboy back to stay -- for good!”

Deep in space, the Collector put his hand on Toby Manning’s shoulder and proclaimed that “when you reach manhood, I predict you will become an even GREATER interstellar outlaw than I. You will be the offspring I never had.” The alien quickly set about augmenting his adoptive son’s human body for the rigors of space, implanting “a miniature oxygenator-thermostat” in his right lung that would "enable (him) to breathe and be comfortable in the vacuum of space and on any unearthly planet.”

The Collector “never forgot his adoptive apprentice was still deeply ingrained with the culture of Earth’s Old West,” dressing him in clothes of the period that eventually grew to include his trademark yellow shirt, green cape and brown pants and hat. When he was old enough, the young man also grew a thick mustache. Early on, the bandit trained him in the use of an energi-lasso, which Toby promptly used to capture a young Arguvian Space-Steed, a winged white horse that was as comfortable in the vacuum of space as Toby. “By the time it is a full-grown stallion,” the space-bandit said of the newly-christened Nova, “the boy will be a man -- a man of Earth ... Terra-Man.”

Terra-Man eventually put together an impressive arsenal thematically tied to the Old West. His “chewing tobacco” created sophisticated illusions (SUPERMAN # 249) and seemed to have bestowed a degree of telekinesis on him (# 259 and ACTION # 469). His cigars, when exhaled, gave off smoke that strangled their victim (# 249) and, when inhaled, transformed Toby into a smoky wraith (# 259). His gun fired bullets that enlarged into missile shells (# 249), released atomic energy when they struck their target (# 250) or gave off sonic waves (ACTION # 468) . Also in his possession was a power-amplification glove (SUPERMAN # 250), parasitic tumbleweeds (ACTION # 511, 557) and strangulation devices including “a capsule of concentrated gravita-gold”concealed in his tooth that smothered its victim in a gold aura (# 250) and an enlarging bandana (ACTION # 426).

“By a paradox of space-travel, time slows down while traveling near the speed of light,” a caption explained. “Thus, while Toby has aged 20 years in two decades of space-flight -- 100 years have gone by on Earth.” Occasionally monitoring events on his home planet, Toby had caught a glimpse of Superman and may have recognized the stranger who sent him and the Collector hurtling from Earth. Someday, that insult would have to be dealt with.

There was a greater debt to be paid first, though, one that came due after Toby finally completed his first solo theft on behalf of the Collector. The space-bandit was effusive in his praise and Toby observed that “my REAL father had similar words ... long ago, back on Earth ... the day YOU KILLED HIM!” Drawing his gun in an instant, Terra-Man fired a lethal atomic bullet into the Collector.

Toby admitted to the dying alien that his memories HAD been erased but his father’s dying message had resonated in his mind. “At first I was too young to understand its meaning. Not until I grew older did I realize that my father had scrawled a rough diagram of your ship -- with a bullet, the symbol of death -- planted into it. He was naming his killer for me. I bided my time ... waited till you taught me everything you knew. All these years, you never suspected you were training your OWN MURDERER!”

With the Collector’s death, Toby was free to return “to my own world ... to carry on as Pa wanted me to. And my first job will be to destroy the leading symbol of law and justice on Earth ... Superman” (1972’s SUPERMAN # 249, by Cary Bates, Dick Dillin and Neal Adams, with supplementary material from 1981’s NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY # 23, by Bates, Kurt Schaffenberger and Dave Hunt).

True to his word, Terra-Man struck at Earth, fabricating an old-style stagecoach robbery in the streets of Metropolis to call out Superman. A fireworks display spelled out his intention: “Earth isn’t big enough for the two of us, Superman! By sundown tomorrow you will be dead!”

The Man of Steel was having troubles of his own, thanks to a recurring Kryptonian condition that caused his powers to backfire. Refusing to shirk his responsibility, Superman agreed to the challenge, evading each of Terra’s attacks in circuitous methods to compensate for his malfunctioning abilities. The Man of Steel finally managed to jam his foe’s gun barrel and knock him out but he didn’t have a clue as to the villain’s origins (SUPERMAN # 249, by Bates, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson).

Terra-Man had anticipated defeat and spent a short period of time in prison as a means of experiencing what his father had in the 19th Century. Appalled by the conditions, Toby concluded that “now that I’ve seen prison life, I swear never to let anyone put me behind bars again.” With that, he whistled for Nova and the steed beat its wings until it sucked the wall out of its master’s cell. After fending off an attack by Superman, they took took refuge in the Collector’s cloaked spacecraft, in orbit above Earth.

Tapping into the space vessel’s super- scientific arsenal, Terra-Man fashioned a branding iron that he used to put his stamp on his foe’s forehead. “It’s called hyper-aging, Superman. Every time you use a super-power, you’ll grow older ... at a super-fast rate.” During their clash, however, Superman had spotted a weakness of Terra, noting that he had momentarily had trouble breathing. Discovering the oxygen unit that had been implanted long ago, the Man of Steel learned that a Metropolis man named John P. Alstrom, through unusual circumstances,. was exhaling a gas that coincidentally clogged the device. While Superman reversed the hyper-aging effect by refusing to use his powers, John Alstrom happened to come into close proximity with Terra, weakening him long enough for the Man of Steel to capture him (SUPERMAN # 250, by Bates, Swan and Anderson).

Bates and editor Julius Schwartz clearly had high hopes for Terra-Man, featuring him in consecutive issues of Superman and even taking the unusual step of featuring his origin in a separate solo story -- inked by 1970s fan-favorite Neal Adams, no less. Reaction was mixed, though, with one reader pointing out in issue # 254’s letter column that the whole concept reminded him of the Golden Age’s Shining Knight, also a man out of time with a winged white horse. In response, E. Nelson Bridwell argued, “That’s like saying that because Superman is from another planet, he’s the same as the octopoid Martians in H.G. Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS,” pointing out that “Sir Justin was a Knight of the Round Table who was frozen in a glacier for over 1,500 years, while Toby Manning was a Western outlaw’s son raised on another world.”

Still, the villain’s next two escapades (1972’s SUPERMAN # 259 and 1973’s ACTION # 426, both by Bates, Swan and Anderson) came without cover appearances. In the former, Terra-Man escaped prison thanks to a special “TM” brand on his arm that enabled him to mentally transport the entire facility -- minus his bunk -- to the desert. Taking advantage of the Man of Steel’s current liability, a Captain Marvel-esque link with a young boy and his lynx, Terra hoped to finally get the upper hand. Instead, the Man of Steel traced the kidnapped boy to the Collector’s invisible spacecraft and used its technology to resolve his problem.

In ACTION # 426, Toby abandoned his usual Western parlance to manipulate a group of anti-space fanatics, who viewed Earth’s expeditions to the Moon as unnatural. With their help, he gathered several moon rocks and and encouraged the Lunatics to destroy them, unwittingly arming a super-bomb that Superman’s touch would trigger. Terra-Man’s uncharacteristically docile surrender tipped off the Man of Steel that something was amiss and he disposed of the bomb before it could explode.

Terra-Man followed up with an elaborate plot designed to stage his conflict with Superman in a setting that gave him something of a home advantage -- a scientifically recreated western town populated by several of the Man of Steel’s closest friends. He demanded that Superman participate in a series of gun duels for the life of those mesmerized friends, with each of his bullets keyed to the heartbeat of one of them. Incredibly, Terra had actually successfully captured -- and briefly brainwashed -- Superman at the beginning of the affair, not realizing that Clark Kent was his alter-ego. The Man of Steel secretly used heat-vision to alter the bullets suffiently to slow down (rather than stop) the hearts of his friends. When it was Clark Kent’s turn to “die,” Superman awakened the corpses, startling Terra long enough for Clark to covertly defeat him (1974’s SUPERMAN # 278, by Bates, Swan and Bob Oksner).

The hostage angle remained an attractive one to Terra-Man and he again forced Superman to do his bidding in late 1976 by concealing deadly cosmomite bombs throughout Metropolis. Using technology that Earth’s filmmakers wouldn’t perfect for years, Terra-Man inserted himself into old movies and pre-empted TV broadcasts in an elaborate publicity campaign to convince the country “to watch my brand-spankin’ new TV show ... tomorrow night at nine, right here on WGBS-TV!” Despite WGBS’ best efforts, “The Adventures of Terra-Man” were indeed broadcast live with special guest-star Superman, who appeared to have disarmed and captured the rogue in the cliffhanger ending (ACTION # 468).

Off camera, the Man of Steel let Terra go rather than risk the detonation of the bombs -- and the incident was caught on film by an amateur photographer, unaware that Superman was acting under duress. Despite the crushing decline in public confidence, the Last Son of Krypton resumed his role in Terra-Man’s TV series -- and seemed to pay for it with his life at the end of the second episode (ACTION # 469).

The entire scheme had been a ploy designed by Terra-Man to transform Superman into his duplicate. Rising from his grave in the guise of his enemy, the Man of Steel was forced to defend himself from attacks by Green Lantern and the Flash as he attempted to understand the purpose behind his metamorphosis. Within hours, “Terra Man” had the answers he was seeking -- including the secret of the Western bandit’s super-science.

A strangely familiar flying disk teleported “Terra” aboard and he found himself confronted by a gun-wielding alien. “Feigning IGNORANCE will do you no good, MURDERER! You pretend not to RECOGNIZE my blue skin or my hooded brow ? Could you so easily forget the race of the space-pirate who RAISED you -- the mentor who taught you the ultra-technology that powers your weapons -- the one you so brutally SHOT DOWN after he passed on all his knowledge -- the man who is -- MY BROTHER!” If ever there a moment for Superman to gasp, “Great Scott,”this was it!

The Collector’s brother didn’t want Terra-Man to die quickly, however. Teleporting his captive to freedom, he vowed to “hunt you down like a savage beast ... thrill to the chase ... and the kill!” As the entire city of Metropolis watched, Superman (yep, Superman) flew onto the scene, engaging the alien in combat and nearly bringing him to justice. At the climactic moment, both Superman and the alien were confronted in the sky by Terra-Man, who announced that “I’m gonna give you BOTH a six-gun ticket ‘cross the Great Divide!”

Watching the villain’s moment of triumph, a policeman suddenly went berserk, shrieking, “Nobody’s gonna steal MY reputation -- NOBODY!” Transforming himself into the REAL Terra-Man, he rocketed into the sky only to be decked by his double. It seems that Superman had revealed his identity crisis to Green Lantern and the Flash, who drafted Superman actor Gregory Reed to stand in for the Man of Steel while they used their powers to create the illusion of his super-powers. Pointing his finger at Terra-Man, the still-altered Superman snarled, “And NOW, ‘pardner’ --you’ve got THREE seconds to change me back into Superman -- or I’ll dump you in the same space-prison with that alien!” A caption added that “it takes only TWO seconds for the jittery Terra-Man, using his ultra-technology to comply” (ACTION # 470, by Bates, Swan and Tex Blaisdell).

Late in 1979, word reached Terra-Man that famed 19th Century outlaw Butch Cassidy had been discovered alive, supposedly having been in suspended animation since 1909. Anxious to meet a kindred spirit, Toby rushed to Gotham City , where Butch -- and his partner, the Penguin -- were making the rounds on the talk-show circuit. He arrived just in time to witness Batman dismissing the claims (“I’ve READ it before ... in a comic strip!”) and promptly lassoed the Dark Knight. Terra was a bit disgruntled to learn that Butch WAS a fake but he agreed to work with the Penguin. Through a combination of Terra-Man’s atomic bullets and the Penguin’s evidently-Kryptonite-tinged hypnotic umbrella, they even managed to briefly convince Superman that he was the Sundance Kid. “Butch’s” insistence that “he ain’t Sundance” gave Superman the time he needed to shake off the effect and shoot the guns off of Terra’s holster (WORLD’S FINEST # 261, by Denny O’Neil, Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano).

In 1982, Terra-Man decided to pool his own super-science with that of Lex Luthor’s. They’d met previously, once during a mass escape orchestrated by Mister Xavier (1976’s SUPERMAN # 299) and again when Luthor had faked a reformation 1980’s ACTION # 511) but this was the first time they’d actually worked together (SUPERMAN SPECTACULAR # 1, by Bob Rozakis & Paul Kupperberg, Adrian Gonzales and Vince Colletta).

Terra had learned that Kryptonite could kill Superman and, using a sensor-device on his six-gun, he’d found a nugget in deep space. Informing Luthor of his discovery, he suggested they form an alliance to lure their joint enemy into a deathtrap. With first hand knowledge of Lex’s duplicitous nature (ACTION # 511), Terra announced that HE would hold onto the Kryptonite. The rock had a definite effect on the Man of Steel but not the one that his enemies had intended -- he split into two entities, Superman-Red and Superman-Blue.

Luthor was horrified, cursing that “I didn’t count on your showing up with a hunk of faulty green Kryptonite!”

“It was Kryptonite AWRIGHT -- my six-gun don’t make mistakes. But this heah rock was RED ...”

“RED!?!” Yep, ignorant of the permutations of Kryptonite, Terra-Man had turned up Red K, which affected the Man of Steel in a different manner each time he encountered it but WASN’T lethal.

Hoping to level the playing field, Luthor tore a rift in the dimensional fabric of space, allowing magic from a parallel world to leak through and enhance his and Terra-Man’s own strengths. Fortuitously, the dimensional tear corrected itself almost simultaneously with the pair of Supermen merging into a single being once more. Terra-Man and Luthor were soon returned to custody.

The adventure inspired Terra-Man to add “a warp-opening device” to Nova and the flying horse teleported his master (rendered unconscious by Superman) to what the steed imagined was a safe port. Instead, Terra and Nova found themselves in a chaotic dimension that proved to be a bridge to a parallel Earth. This world, undoubtedly the one that Luthor had tapped into earlier, was governed by magic and its Terra-Man fired energy from his index finger while astride his flying (but non-winged) horse. The pair of Terra-Men conspired to bring Superman to the alternate Earth, convinced that their mastery of its magic would give them the upper hand. Thanks to his Justice League comrade Zatanna, Superman wasn’t quite a novice and soon discovered that he could fight back by using the sort of backwards spells that she and her father had perfected (1982’s SUPERMAN # 377, by Kupperberg, Swan and Hunt).

Superman’s subsequent encounters were relatively minor ones. In 1980’s SUPERMAN: TERRA-MAN’S SKYWAY ROBBERY, a Super Sugar Crisp mini-comic (art by Gonzales and Colletta), Terra finally used GREEN Kryptonite (concealed in a cactus bomb) but had no more success than he did with the Red. 1984’s ACTION # 557 (by Kupperberg, Swan and Hunt) played up Terra’s growing frustration with his inability to defeat Superman and revealed that he’d created an entire town of automatons (including the Big Red S) so that he could actually pretend to kill him. Terra-Man made his final bow in 1986’s DC COMICS PRESENTS # 96 (by Dan Miskin & Gary Cohn, Joe Staton and Kurt Schaffenberger), wherein relatively new hero Blue Devil was drafted into defending Metropolis against Terra-Man while the Man of Steel took care of a related threat in outer space. As he’d done once before (ACTION # 511), Terra surrounded himself with a gang of aliens but the greater numbers weren’t enough to prevent defeat.

By this point, the Superman series had fallen into disfavor with many fans, who regarded villains like Terra-Man as rather silly characters, unworthy of someone as powerful as the Last Son of Krypton. Paul Kupperberg had attempted to defend the character in SUPERMAN # 377, noting that “behind all that range-bum lingo, Terra-Man’s a product of a super-scientific alien culture” and easy to underestimate. Still, the character had become a symbol of the perceived flaws in the series and he was one of the many “barnacles” that John Byrne planned to remove in his 1986 revamp of the series.

In comics, though, no one seems to go away forever and Terra-Man returned (sort of) in 1990’s SUPERMAN # 46 (by Jerry Ordway, Dan Jurgens and Dennis Janke). This time, Tobias Manning was a present-day environmentalist with the power to enforce his agenda. Beneath his long, gray Western-style coat, he wore padded, technologically-laced gray body armor that gave him great strength and enabled him to produce force blasts and generate tornadoes via a control pad on his left shoulder. At a showcase for a proposed Biosphere, Manning confronted the creator of the project, describing him as someone who “wants you to buy your safety from a future that your industries and power plants’re helping to create.” Superman fought Manning and his robotic Terra-Men (dressed like Western bandits) but the marauder disappeared into his teleportational cyclone.

Terra-Man’s next outing, at “the Hell’s Gate Landfill not far from Metropolis” was no less confrontational despite Manning’s claim to have a benevolent motive. He’d “detected traces of radioactivity and some hazardous waste” at the site and demanded that the property be cleared so that he could use his technology to de-toxify the land. Security guards and Lexcorp scientists refused to leave and, as the ground began to shake and swirl, several were sucked under. Thanks to Superman’s efforts, nearly all of the men were rescued -- all save for a scientist nicknamed “Lucky.” Tobias Manning was now wanted for murder.

Because of Manning’s southern drawl and “cowboy look,” Lois Lane and Clark Kent had initially overlooked Terra-Man’s connection to the East Coast. Research revealed that he “built the Lookout Peak chemical plant with four others ... Manning was the sole partner to be indicted for the chemical spills from their factory ten years ago. The town was so contaminated with dioxins that the Environmental Protection Agency had to step in. This other story details the EPA investigation that led to fines and prison time for Manning alone. His partners, however, all died WHILE Toby was in jail.”

“Gee,” said Lois, “Is THAT suspicious, or what ?” Lois immediately began to suspect that Manning might be holed up at Lookout Peak and, without her fiance’s knowledge, she borrowed a containment suit and entered the town. Superman was close behind and the couple soon learned that Terra-Man was indeed in the area.

Manning argued that he’d been partially responsible for poisoning Lookout Peak and “I MUST atone for it.” His procedure would convert the land into “inert materials -- dirt is once again just dirt.”He rejected Superman’s suggestion that the operation be turned over to the government, insisting that “they’ll study my process for years before implementing. And they’ve got a political agenda to serve -- and red tape to cut through. And from the vest, pardner, we don’t HAVE that long to wait.”

Presented with evidence that the procedure was effective, the Man of Steel agreed to a truce. He would help Terra-Man implement an airborne detoxification of Lookout Peak in exchange for Lois’ safe passage and Manning’s surrender. True to his word, Toby didn’t resist arrest and requested, “Treat me square, Miss Lane -- I’m not a BAD guy.”

For their part, Superman offered to have S.T.A.R. Labs monitor the once-contaminated land. Lois observed that “his trial alone should help raise public awareness of the toxic waste problem. Maybe there’s still a chance for all of the other places like Lookout Peak. Heck, maybe there’s even a chance for Lookout Peak”(SUPERMAN # 52, by Ordway, Kerry Gammill and Janke).

Alerted by a series of eco-terrorist acts in 1994 (METROPOLIS S.C.U. # 1), Manning escaped from prison (# 2) and turned himself over to the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit with the offer of information on the mastermind. “If the government will place a moratorium on all acts of pollution, all fossil fuel consumption, I’ll tell you what you want to know.” Manning’s behavior only cemented the S.C.U.’s belief that Terra-Man was the person responsible and he was sent to a holding cell.

Manning nearly escaped again only to have his commandeered helicopter brought to ground by Superman. Brought in for questioning again, Terra-Man finally divulged what he suspected. “I just want y’all to know that I could care less about people. I’m only telling you this because I don’t want him to hurt the animals.”

The eco-terrorist was “the only true genius I’ve ever known. Dr. Noah Brazil. He was my professor in graduate school. I learned everything I know about ecology from him. He loves the Earth and he hates what’s happening to it. He loved American Indian culture -- he’d talk about how they used to live as one with the Earth. He used to draw a symbol. It meant a lot to him. Chamchaga.”

“He told me legends and the like. About what would happen to the world if we didn’t straighten up and fly right. He told me once that he believed science would be the death of the planet. He trusted me, but he said that the other scientists were hopeless. Then one day, he told me about his crazy plan to save the planet.”

“We had a falling out when I told him I’d taken a job with an oil company. He said I was worse than the rest of them. He was right, a’course. I never saw him again.”

Brazil had been setting fires and “filling the atmosphere with soot. Ya know, carbon. Lightning turns the carbon into fullerenes. Then, when there’s enough fullerenes up there, he’ll send balloons carrying a nerve agent into the air.” He was, in effect, creating the legend of Chamchaga, in which “the bird wraps a dark sheath around the Earth, smothering everything on it so the Earth can begin again” (# 3).

Still in custody, Manning accompanied the S.C.U. to Arizona, where they, U.S. Marshals and local authorities joined forces to flush out Doctor Brazil. The S.C.U. managed to prevent his toxic payload from rising into the sky and the nerve gas began to spread through Brazil’s biosphere. Grabbing a gas mask, Manning rushed into the facility to rescue his beloved mentor but he was too late. Doctor Noah Brazil was dead (# 4, by Cindy Goff, Pete Krause and Jose Marzan, Jr.).

Late in 1995, Terra-Man was among those invited to a gathering of the demon Neron, who offered everyone in attendance their most fervent desire. For Manning, the fulfillment of his environmental goals wasn’t worth the price of his soul (UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED # 1). Today, he continues to serve out his sentence at Burnley Federal Penitentiary in Hazelwood Texas.

Happy New Millennium, y'all!

New Member
posted January 02, 2001 12:25 PM

Finally completed and uploaded the "Obscure DCU Characters Archive", intended as a permanent backup of Rounds I, II, and III of this thread. There should be no further danger of losing the wealth of information accumulated thus far. If anyone has a better location where this material can be stored, please make suggestions.

The link is: www.infiniteearths.org/dcu/msgboards

posted January 02, 2001 12:35 PM

Oh, I finally realized why I thought Robin took on a new secret ID in that story with Duela... There was a villain (possibly called Raven) with a bird motif. I guess this was his only appearance?

posted January 02, 2001 02:20 PM

Excellent job, Outpost2. I would like to make a little recommendation, include the 'DC Hell' topic that Hellstone created some time ago. It is a good complement to the topics.

posted January 02, 2001 02:20 PM

I remember "the Raven" as being part of M.A.Z.E. (a Hydra/A.I.M. type organization for DC...sort of like C.A.W. or the 100. I wonder if any of these organizations are still around...)

...and he was a classmate of Dick Grayson's (but that's the best I've got to offer on this...and I don't even remember the Duela Dent appearance!)

And since we are covering DETECTIVE COMICS... what of the Sino-Supermen? (And what hero inspired the Japanese government to think the U.S. did take their experiments?)

posted January 02, 2001 03:45 PM

Sorry to post again, but it is necesary. Outpost, I first congratulate you just by looking superficially at your work. Now, after reading it, I must say Double congratulationss. You took the work of looking into the links that were posted and extract the pertinent info of them, for example the Green Arrows of the world and others. You have done an excellent job.

posted January 02, 2001 09:48 PM

You know I think you could include the one site off the Batman boards as well. It seems like they would all go together anyway. But just so you know I thank-you for your time in posting this site and letting us know about its location.

posted January 03, 2001 06:15 AM

Here's the scoop on Miss X (also posted on the JSA and WW boards), plus a few more details about who the first 20th Century costumed heroine of the DCU really was.

At the beginning of mid-1940's ACTION COMICS # 26's story, Tex Thomson and Bob Daley revealed that their stereotypical black partner, Gargantua T. Potts, had joined the French army as a cook. He was replaced on the crimefighting front (in # 26-27 and 29-30) by Miss X, a mystery woman whose disguise consisted solely of black glasses. The latter three stories also featured District Attorney Maloney and his daughter Janice (or "Peggy", as she was called in # 29 and 30).

Although there were no heavy-handed hints that Peggy was Miss X, the reader was clearly intended to assume they were one and the same. Tex seemed to make the connection himself in # 29 when he and Bob accompanied Peggy on a train trip to Washington, D.C. and encountered Miss X once they reached the city. In the final panel, Tex confided in Bob that "I think I know who she is."

Only a few month's later, while sailing to Europe on a secret mission, Tex was declared dead after a bomb sank his vessel (ACTION # 33). The tragedy seems to have had a profound effect on Miss X, who apparently operated as much out of an attraction to Thomson as she did a desire to fight injustice. Unknown to anyone but Bob Daley, Tex had survived, dying his blonde hair black and taking the identity of Mister America to track down the saboteurs. Choosing not to immediately reveal his survival to the public, Tex holed up at Bob's apartment (# 33).

By # 43, Tex's survival seemed to have become public knowledge and D.A. Maloney made his final appearance in the series save for a restrospective of the series in 1988’s SECRET ORIGINS # 29). Margaret Janice “Peggy” Maloney was nowhere to be seen, however. Miss X was gone for good.

Exempting Rose Psychic, Wonder Woman was originally the TENTH costumed heroine in the DC Universe (if one uses the month that she showed up on Earth-Two).

The wild card in the mix is Phantom Lady. Roy Thomas established in ALL-STAR SQUADRON # 41 that her decision to become a costumed heroine in the spring of 1941 inspired her cousin Ted to become Starman. Problem is, James Robinson’s STARMAN SECRET FILES # 1 has Sandra Knight talking about becoming a super-heroine in 1939 -- a period when even the Crimson Avenger and Sandman were barely getting off the ground. The story also places Flash and Green Lantern as active in 1939 (and various SECRET FILES timelines have backdated their debuts from 1939 and 1940 to 1938 and 1939, respectively). The timeline in the issue says that Starman debuted on Nov. 20, 1939 but didn’t go national with the Doctor Doog case until 1941. If all of this is accurate, then Phantom Lady evidently debuted in the latter half of 1939 rather than June of 1941.

Here’s how things lined up originally (with the retroactively pre-1942 Liberty Belle also included). For the debut dates, I subtracted two months from the cover dates.


May: Margaret Janice “Peggy” Maloney becomes Miss X (ACTION COMICS # 26).

September: Abigail Mathilda Hunkel becomes the Red Tornado although the general public is unaware the costumed figure is a woman.


January: USA, the Spirit of Old Glory debuts (FEATURE COMICS # 42).

February: Susan Kent takes the persona of Bulletgirl (MASTER COMICS # 13).

April: Shiera Sanders becomes Hawkgirl for the first time (ALL-STAR COMICS # 5).

June: Sandra Knight becomes Phantom Lady (POLICE COMICS # 1), Carol Vance Martin becomes Wildfire (SMASH COMICS # 25) and Joan Dale becomes Miss America (MILITARY COMICS # 1; reaffirmed in SECRET ORIGINS # 26).

September: Miss America begins wearing a red, white and blue costume (MILITARY # 1).

October: Wonder Woman comes to America -- on Earth-Two anyway (ALL-STAR COMICS # 8 and SENSATION # 1).

Fall: Libby Lawrence becomes Liberty Belle (ALL-STAR SQUADRON # 61).

posted January 03, 2001 10:34 AM

Originally posted by Mikishawm:

June: Sandra Knight becomes Phantom Lady (POLICE COMICS # 1), Carol Vance Martin becomes Wildfire (SMASH COMICS # 25) and Joan Dale becomes Miss America (MILITARY COMICS # 1; reaffirmed in SECRET ORIGINS # 26).

I give Phantom Lady's pre-retcon origin as April '41, due to the headline on the newspaper she uses as a weapon ( a good resource for placing WWII heroes is The World War II Almanac, which gives a day-by-day account of what happened from 1933-1945. Roy was pretty good in placement of his backround data. ) There's no reason not to give her an April '39 date either...

September: Miss America begins wearing a red, white and blue costume (MILITARY # 1).

Joan Dale didnt start wearing the uniform until MILITARY # 3, I think.

October: Wonder Woman comes to America -- on Earth-Two anyway (ALL-STAR COMICS # 8 and SENSATION # 1).

I've always used the dates found in the first issue of SENSATION # 1... The date found on the newspaper in the Little Boy Blue strip is July 1, 1941, while the letter in the front of the comic is dated April '41 ( i think, its been a while since i looked at it... ), so that gives us a bracket in which to place the stories in that issue. I seem to remember that the SENSATION Wonder Woman story took place 3 weeks after the ALL STAR Wonder Woman story, so some place between March and June of '41 for the pre-Crisis WW, with June '42 for the post-ZH Golden Age WW.

posted January 03, 2001 11:58 AM

But does anyone have a picture of Miss X?

Now that we've found her....let's make sure she doesn't get lost again!

(All thanks to Mikishawm for his infinite knowledge, JSA Jim for sharing his fascination with the Red Tornado, John Ostrander for the Crimson Avenger story which recently got me thinking of this, Roy Thomas for getting me to love Golden Age comics, Hellstone, for this forum for thinking of stuff like this...and anyone else I might have missed that has the fascination of comics!)

posted January 03, 2001 12:51 PM

And to Beppo, MichaelBise and Von-El (just remembered I forgot to put you three in the last post...mea culpa)

...back to your regularly scheduled obscure DC Characters...

Inthe Shadow of Manhattan
New Member
posted January 03, 2001 02:29 PM

I have a couple answers here. No. 194- Element Girl.

In SANDMAN #19, entitled "The Sad Death of Element Girl" she was consigned to living alone, being a freak and an outcast. She ended the story by dying.

No. 212- Miss Arrowette

I believe that she has been affirmed as being the current Arrowette's mom in an issue of IMPULSE (the new Arrowette's first appearance). Miss Arrowette wanted her daughter to be the successful crimefighter/media darling that she never could and so pushed her into taking on the mantle of Arrowette and joining Young Justice.

posted January 03, 2001 09:25 PM

Zilch, thanks for pinning down the time frames for Phantom Lady and Wonder Woman and for catching my Miss America typo. She began wearing her red, white and blue costume in MILITARY # 4 (which I double-checked last night).

And I second everything that Datalore said!

New Member
posted January 03, 2001 10:27 PM

Eduardo & Taz --

Thanks. Good suggestions. I've downloaded the Hell and Batman threads and will archive them ASAP.

New Member
posted January 05, 2001 01:07 PM

227. the Tarantula (Jerry Lewis) (Adventures of Jerry Lewis #84)

Are the adventures of Jerry Lewis really considered canon at this point? I thought that he and Don Knotts perished at the hands of the Anti-Monitor's shadow demons and were subsequently revealed to be constructs of the Manhunters who never actually existed except in a "pocket universe" where everything was just like Earth-4 except, in this pocket universe, these guys were, like, really funny.

posted January 06, 2001 02:10 PM

Just a short bio today ...

The legendary Texas Rangers were well-represented in DC’s Western titles, from "Epics of the Texas Rangers” in ALL-AMERICAN WESTERN # 109, 110, 112-116, 118, 119, 121 and 125 (1949-1952) to Sam and Rick Wilson in the 1971 revival of ALL-STAR WESTERN (# 2-5). Overlapping a bit with “Epics” were the adventures of Captain Jeff Graham, the Roving Ranger, whose seven-issue run appeared in ALL STAR WESTERN # 58-61 and 63-65 (1951-1952) with art by Alex Toth, Jerry Grandinetti (# 64) and Irwin Hasen (# 65). Set in the late 1860s, the blonde Civil War veteran rode a horse named Fury throughout the state of Texas, reporting to a commanding officer named Major Hawks (seen in # 59, 60, 63 and 64). Among the villains that the Roving Ranger brought to justice were El Dorado, a costumed bandit who was revealed to have served under Graham during the war (# 59), the Robber Rangers and the Commander (# 60) and the Rio Kid and Laughin’ Joe Sully (# 61).

With such a brief career, the Roving Ranger could easily have been forgotten in the passage of time. One child could not forget him, though, or ANY of the Old West heroes who had supplanted his beloved Justice Society of America in early 1951. Roy Thomas had been crushed when he opened his subscription copy of ALL-STAR COMICS # 58 to discover that it been completely revamped into ALL-STAR WESTERN. Nearly thirty-five years later, during the time-distorting events of the Crisis On Infinite Earths, Thomas revisited the heroes of ASW # 58, dropping the Trigger Twins, Don Caballero, Strong Bow and, yes, the Roving Ranger into a 1985 battle against the Ultra-Humanite (ALL-STAR SQUADRON # 54-55). The cameo proved to be Jeff Graham’s final bow though it was enough to entitle him to a brief entry in 1986’s WHO’S WHO # 19 (with art by Mike DeCarlo and Karl Kesel).

posted January 07, 2001 03:22 PM

In another thread, Eduardo asked me to do bios on President Luthor's new Cabinet members and I SWORE I'd restrict myself to five paragraphs apiece. Unfortunately, I started with Rock and couldn't help myself. Hope you enjoy it!

Franklin John Rock was no stranger to death even before he joined the army. His father, Sgt. John Michael Rock, had been killed by a sniper’s bullet in France during World War One while his stepfather, John Anderson, perished during a mine cave-in. Even a surrogate father that Frank had come to admire while working at a Pittsburgh steel mill had met an untimely death.

Sgt. Rock's complex family tree comes by way of creator Robert Kanigher, who added new (and often conflicting) branches throughout the character’s original 29 year run (1959’s OUR ARMY AT WAR # 81 to 1988’s SGT. ROCK # 422). Rock's father was variously described as having died in a mine cave-in (OAAW # 231), in World War I (# 275 and 419) or in a Pittsburgh steel mill (# 347). Robin Snyder (in a letter mistakenly attributed in # 353 to Mike Tiefenbacher)suggested that one of the deaths occurred to Rock's stepfather and his existence was confirmed in # 400. As things currently stand, it was father John Rock who died in combat and stepfather John Anderson who perished in a cave-in. The third death, as theorized above, probably occurred to a father figure that Frank Rock worked with at the steel mill.

Of Rock's other siblings, Ann was confined to a mental institution (# 400), Eddie died in a motorcycle accident (# 231), Josh was killed in a plunge off the Golden Gate Bridge while training to be a paratrooper (# 158), Larry was left a vegetable after his WWII injuries and was cared for by his sister Amy (# 421). Bill was in the Marines (# 141) and hopefully escaped the family curse. ("Saving Sgt. Rock", anyone ?) Issue # 347 had Rock mistakenly recall Josh's death as having occurred to Bill. (Rock's WHO'S WHO entry mentioned a fifth brother, Mickey (also deceased), and failed to note Amy, Ann, Bill and Josh.)

Further flashbacks would establish Rock as a graduate of Pennsylvania’s Hillside High School, where he was a far better athlete than scholar. After John Anderson’s death, Frank tried to support the family as a prizefighter but soon took a more secure position at a Pittsburgh steel mill.

Rock’s days at the steel mill had been established in the introductory OAAW # 81 but his origin wasn’t detailed in depth until 1963’s SHOWCASE # 45. This account had him gaining his Sergeant’s stripes after the 1944 D-Day invasion. The backstory would later be revised to establish that Frank had enlisted on December 8, 1941. Frank left behind a girlfriend named Mary Walsh, who sent him a “Dear John” letter in OAAW # 175. Rock’s only serious love interest during the war was French Resistance fighter Mademoiselle Marie, who crossed paths with Frank in (among others) OAAW # 115, 140, 294, BRAVE & BOLD # 52, DC SUPER-STARS # 15, SGT. ROCK ANNUAL # 2 and SGT. ROCK # 412 and 421.

Rock routinely turned down offers to be promoted further, gaining the nickname of “the General of Sergeants” in OAAW # 256. That issue, incidentally, launched a serial in which Frank saw action in the Pacific apart from Easy Company and ended up lost at sea and stranded on a desolate island (# 257-260). Upon his return to the European Theater and the death of his replacement, Sgt. Decker, Rock took his proper place in Easy Company once more (# 262).

In 1965, a member of the Rock family briefly staked out a claim on the Japanese end of World War Two, with Frank’s brother Lieutenant Larry Rock fighting on Bataan with the Marines. Kanigher and Irv Novick’s “Fighting Devil Dog” survived a mere four issues in OUR FIGHTING FORCES (# 95-98) before being bumped for the contemporary adventures of Captain Phil Hunter in Vietnam. After follow-up appearances in 1966’s CAPT. STORM # 13 and 1977’s UNKNOWN SOLDIER # 205-207 (a solo trilogy written by Steve Skeates), Larry was killed in 1982’s SGT. ROCK ANNUAL # 2. Kanigher later changed his mind and had Frank’s sibling return as an invalid in SGT. ROCK # 421, the penultimate issue.

Although readers often joked that Sgt. Rock and Easy seemed to possess a super-human capacity for survival, Kanigher’s only overt concession to the booming popularity of super-heroes and super-villains was a Nazi officer with an iron hand. The Iron Major (Franz von ?)debuted in OAAW # 158 (1965), returning in # 165, 251-253, BRAVE & BOLD # 162, SGT. ROCK # 342, 345, 359 and SGT. ROCK ANNUAL # 2 & 4. After a final bow two issues before the end of the series (SR # 420), the Iron Major returned as a ghost in the present-day WAR OF THE GODS # 4 and HAWK AND DOVE ANNUAL # 1.

Kanigher had established Frank’s post-war survival in OAAW # 168, wherein he had Rock visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Bob Haney picked up on that fact in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD. In issue # 84, he’d had Rock and Easy cross paths with Bruce (Batman) Wayne during the war (in an episode obviously set on Earth-Two) and followed up with a present-day sequel in B&B # 96. In that one, Bruce arrived at the United States Embassy in South America and was introduced to “our Military Attache and Chief of Embassy Security ... Sergeant Rock, U.S. Army.” Two subsequent present-day episodes found Rock tracking a Satanic figure that he believed was Adolf Hitler (B&B # 108) and an Easy Company “ghost” that he’d been ordered to execute at the Battle of the Bulge (B&B # 117). In the bizarre B&B # 124, Bob Haney and Jim Aparo actually guest-starred as Rock and Batman trailed a terrorist organization called the 1000.

In World War Two flashbacks, Rock crossed paths with Earth-Two’s Batman once more (B&B # 162) as well as Wonder Woman (WORLD’S FINEST # 248-249) and a time-displaced Superman (DC COMICS PRESENTS # 10). BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS # 2 and WORLD’S FINEST # 300 placed Easy Company in the European nation of Markovia, also seen in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS # 3-5. Rock was also tossed into cross-time affairs such as 1978’s SHOWCASE # 100 and 1992’s ARMAGEDDON: INFERNO # 2 and 4.

All of the super-hero crossovers were more than Kanigher could take. In the letter columns of 1978’s SGT. ROCK # 316 and 323 and 1980’s SR # 347 and 348, he announced that his hero had not lived past 1945, blunting most of Haney’s BRAVE & BOLD episodes if nothing else. “It is inevitable and wholly in character that neither Rock nor Easy survived the closing days of the war,” he proclaimed.

Apprised of the fact that Bob Haney had written the first two Sgt. Rock stories in OAAW # 81 and 82 (with art by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito and Mort Drucker, respectively), Kanigher retroactively declared the first episode that he’d written (OAAW # 83’s Joe Kubert-illustrated “The Rock and The Wall”) as Rock’s true debut. A number of fans have argued passionately on Kanigher’s behalf, accurately citing numerous Rock prototypes that appeared in the four years leading up to issue # 83 and noting that the character in # 81 is called “Sgt. Rocky.” In the end, though, popular opinion seems to have fallen in favor of the Kanigher-edited “Rock of Easy” as being the inaugural episode and it was OAAW # 81 that was recently selected by DC as a Millennium Edition.

SGT. ROCK ended in mid-1988 with issue # 422 (the ironically-titled “Rehearsal For Death” with Joe, Andy and Adam Kubert collaborating on the art and color) but was revived almost immediately as a reprint series for a 21-issue issue run from 1988-1991. A pair of brand-new SGT. ROCK SPECIALs were published in 1992 and 1994. Chuck Dixon followed up the latter’s “Battle of the Bulge” theme with a second Rock story set in that period as part of Christmas 1997’s DCU HOLIDAY BASH II. Six months after SGT. ROCK # 422, Rick Veitch had penned an unusual Sgt. Rock episode for SWAMP THING # 82, set on May 1, 1945. It seemed that Frank had survived the war in Europe though whether he and Easy were shipped to the Pacific remains undocumented.

The modern successors to Easy Company had first appeared in BRAVE & BOLD # 108 and 117 (the latter also checking in on some of the surviving WW2 vets) and returned during DC’s 1988 “Invasion!” sequence with a role in FIRESTORM # 80 and STARMAN (first series) # 5. The legendary sergeant’s fate would not even be hinted at in the modern DC Universe -- until General Rock reappeared in 2001’s SUPERMAN # 166.

The closest that Kanigher ever came to a last Easy story was in 1987’s “Sons of Easy,” an Andy Kubert-illustrated two-parter in SGT. ROCK # 417-418. In a prophetic dream, Frank found himself and Easy surviving both World War Two and the Korean War only to have their offspring perish in a veritable bloodbath in 1968-era Vietnam. Profoundly shaken, Frank confessed to Horace “Bulldozer” Canfield that the nightmare was“so bad -- I can still taste it.”

“What could be worse than this war ?”

“Maybe it’s not learnin’ a lesson from this killin’, Bulldozer, I don’t know. I don’t remember. Maybe it’s just as well. Maybe there are some dreams we’re lucky not to remember. This is our war. The one we’re stuck with. The one we’ve gotta fight to a finish. Let’s go -- Easy!”

posted January 07, 2001 07:49 PM

For outpost

Love the page you created to house these threads = is there any way to add the "Mikishawm i think i know who you are" thread from the Batman board, which contains A LOT of character info to this page, that would be great!

New Member
posted January 07, 2001 10:12 PM

Xanadude, I've already downloaded the Batman thread. Just need to find the time to strip out the unnecessary text. You'd be surprised how much unviewable text exists that can be eliminated, reducing the file size significantly.

Also, although they're not currently in Hellstone's list, I've been working on entries for the Flash, Starman, and Superman Dynasties. I'll post them here shortly.

posted January 08, 2001 12:48 PM

Ah. Screw my list. I think we've gone past that one now. Just don't let this thread die.


New Member
posted January 08, 2001 10:51 PM

227. The Tarantula (Jerry Lewis)

The Adventures Of Jerry Lewis #84 (Sep-Oct 1964)

Jerry Lewis rushes to get the latest newspaper to read his favorite comic-strip, "Flame Farrell". Jerry reads the strip at home then goes to bed. By coincidence, Wendell, the creator of "Flame Farrell", has his studio only a few yards away, right in the building next door. Wendell's boss is telling Wendell that "Flame Farrell" is through, that kids don't read it anymore. He is told to come up with something new over the next month. Again by coincidence, right below Wendell's studio is the the office of Dr. Seymour Klopps, a dentist who has invented a hypno-ray gun which he will use to start a life of crime, as the villainous Dr. Cy Klopps! While testing the device, Klopps inadvertently shoots the ray beam through the ceiling into the mind of Wendell, who has just thought of an idea for his new strip, and then into the brain of the slumbering Jerry. Jerry awakens in a trance, speaking with a bad French accent, believing himself to be... Ze Fearless Tarantula!

It is now near midnight. The hypnotised Jerry wakes the owner of "Ladies and Gents Tailor" with a design for the tailor to follow. Some time later, Jerry leaves wearing his new costume... a tarantula outfit, complete with extra arms. The Tarantula fumbles his way through capturing a bunch of crooks, then returns home just before dawn, hiding his costume. Jerry lies down, only to awaken moments later from his trance, feeling very unrested. He later hears the news of the Tarantula, but believes this new hero can't hold a candle to Flame Farrell.

The next night, Wendell is using his pretty niece Patricia as a model for his new strip. Dr. Klopps again tests his hypno-ray gun. And once again, the beam passes through Wendell and into Jerry's mind, and the Tarantula rises. Dr. Cy Klopps then heads out to commit crimes. The Tarantula arrives on the scene in his terrible Tarantula-Mobile. Dr. Cy Klopps shoots his hypno-ray at the Tarantula, but it has no effect. However, the Tarantula loses control while bouncing on his pogo-stick boots. Dr. Cy Klopps takes that opportunity to create a distraction. Coincidentally, Patricia is passing by. Dr. Cy Klopps uses his gun to make Patricia fall in love with the hero. Dr. Cy Klopps then escapes. The police arrive, and the Tarantula rushes off.

The next day, an exhausted Jerry Lewis goes to the dentist for a tooth-ache... his dentist being, of course, Dr. Seymour Klopps. While under the effects of the gas, Jerry begins speaking in the voice of the Tarantula. Dr. Klopps realizes that Jerry is his arch-nemesis. After the procedure is completed, Jerry awakens and is sent away. Dr. Klopps vows he will eliminate the Tarantula once and for all. Back at Wendell's studio, Patricia tells her uncle that she met his new character, the Tarantula, the previous night. She then spots Jerry approaching his building, and recognizes him as her hero. Wendell and Patricia decide they should keep an eye on him.

That night, the Tarantula goes on patrol. Wendell and Patricia follow, and soon realize he is hallucinating. Dr. Cy Klopps also follows, intent on destroying his foe. Later, Dr. Cy Klopps spots the Tarantula on a high water tower. He shoots the Tarantula with his new anti-ray gun. Suddenly, the Tarantula reverts to the cowardly Jerry Lewis. Wendell and Patricia arrive in time to save him from falling. Jerry passes out, and Dr. Cy Klopps escapes.

The following day, Jerry returns the Tarantula suit to the tailor, never wanting to see the costume again.

New Member
posted January 10, 2001 10:20 PM

The Flash Dynasty:

Jason "Jay" Peter Garrick. Husband of Joan Williams. No children. Member of the Justice Society. First app. in Flash Comics #1. Active 1939 to the present.

Bartholomew "Barry" Henry Allen. Twin brother of Malcolm Thawne, a.k.a. the villain called Cobalt Blue. Husband of Iris Russell-West. Father of Don and Dawn Allen (the Tornado Twins). Mentor to Wally West (Kid Flash), his wife's nephew. Member of the Justice League. First app. in Showcase #4. At one point, Iris is believed to have been murdered by the Reverse-Flash however, at the end of his career, Barry is transported to 2957AD and is reunited with his wife. The couple spend a few weeks together, then Barry sacrifices his life to save the Universe. Barry is killed approximately four years ago by the Anti-Monitor in Crisis On Infinite Earths #8. See entry under '30th century' for more.

Kid Flash/ Flash
Wallace "Wally" Rudolph West. Adopted nephew of Iris Russell-West-Allen. Husband of Linda Park. Destined to be the father of Iris West (Kid Flash/ Flash) with Angela Margolin. As Kid Flash, the sidekick to Barry Allen (Flash). Member of the Teen Titans/ Titans and the Justice League. First app. as Kid Flash in Flash v1 #110, first app. as Flash in Crisis On Infinite Earths #12.

Impulse of 30th century (b.2993 AD), later of the late 20th and early 21st century [pre-Zero Hour]
Bartholomew "Bart" Allen. Son of Don Allen (Tornado Twin) and Carmen Johnson. Grandson of Barry Allen (Flash) and Iris Russell-West-Allen. First app. in Flash v2 #91. Born in 2993 AD. Brought into the late 20th century from 2995 AD. Currently active in the early 21st century. See entry under '30th century' for more.
Impulse of 30th century (b.2980 AD), later of the late 20th and early 21st century [post-Zero Hour]
Bartholomew "Bart" Allen. Son of Don Allen (Tornado Twin) and Meloni Thawne-Allen. Grandson of Barry Allen (Flash) and Iris Russell-West-Allen. Cousin of Jenni Ognats (XS). Member of the Titans and Young Justice. First app. in Flash v2 #91. Born in 2980 AD. Brought into the late 20th century from 2982 AD. Currently active in the early 21st century. See entry under '30th century' for more.
Note: The Allen line will likely continue from Bart Allen's descendants.

Kid Flash/ Flash of early 21st century
Iris West. Daughter of Wally West (Flash) and Angela Margolin. Member of the early 21st century Titans. First app. in Kingdom Come #1. Contacted by Jay Garrick (Flash) during 'Chain Lightning' in Flash v2 #146.

Flash of late 22nd? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Real identity unrevealed. Cameo in Flash v2 #145 (page 3, 12 o'clock), first full app. in Flash v2 #148 (page 8). Contacted by Sela Allen (Flash) during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of early 23rd century (years leading up to 2231 AD)
Real identity unrevealed. Father of Sela Allen (Flash). First app. in Flash v2 #146 (page 11). Contacted by Max Mercury during 'Chain Lightning'. Killed by Cobalt Blue in Flash v2 #146.

Flash of mid 23rd century (2231 AD and beyond)
Sela Allen. Daughter of previous Flash. First app. in Flash v2 #146 (page 15). Fought alongside Max Mercury during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of late 23rd? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Real identity unrevealed. Cameo in Flash v2 #145 (page 3, 11 o'clock), first full app. in Flash v2 #148 (page 7). Contacted by Jace Allen during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of early 24th? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Real identity unrevealed. Cameo in Flash v2 #145 (page 3, 3 o'clock), first full app. in Flash v2 #147 (page 18). Contacted by Jace Allen (Flash) during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of late 24th? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Thondor Allen. Fifth generation Jupiter colonist. Cameo in Flash Secret Files #1 (page 26), cameo in Flash v2 #145 (page 3, 6 o'clock), first full app. in Flash v2 #146 (page 18). Contacted separately by Impulse and the Flash of 2591 AD during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of mid 25th century
Chardaq Allen. Father of Simogyn Allen (Flash?). First app. in Flash v2 #147 (page 2). Lost his speed powers in battle against Savitrix some years prior to the early 2460s. Possessed briefly by the Cobalt Blue crystal in the early 2460s, defeated by the combined efforts of Wally West (Flash) and Professor Zoom during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of late 25th century
Simogyn Allen. Son of Chardaq Allen (Flash). First app. in Flash v2 #147 (page 2). Although not shown with powers in the early 2460s, it is implied he will one day succeed his father as the Flash.

Flash of late 26th century (circa 2591 AD)
Real identity unrevealed. Cameo in Flash v2 #145 (page 3, 1 o'clock), first full app. in Flash v2 #147 (page 18). Contacted by Jesse Quick during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of mid 27th century (from 2645 AD to ?), later briefly in the late 20th century, later briefly in the mid 30th century (2945 AD), later of the 853rd century (85,265 to 85,271 AD and beyond)
Jonathan "John" Robert Fox. First app. in Flash v2 Special #1. Born in the 27th century. Previously active in the mid 27th century, and briefly in the late 20th century and 2945 AD. Currently active in the 853rd century. See entry under '853rd century' for more.

Agent Flashling of late 27th? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Real identity unrevealed. Cameo in Flash Secret Files #1 (page 26), first full app. in Flash v2 #148 (page 7). Contacted by the Flash of the early 29th? century during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of mid 28th century (years leading up to 2754 AD)
Blaine Allen of Petrus. Father of Jace Allen (Flash). First app. in Speed Force #1. Death caused by Cobalt Blue in Speed Force #1.

Flash of mid 28th century (2754 to 2764 AD and beyond)
Jace Allen. Son of Blaine Allen (Flash). First app. in Speed Force #1. Contacted by Jesse Quick during 'Chain Lightning' in Flash v2 #145.

Flash of early 29th? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Real identity unrevealed. First app. in Flash v2 #148 (page 6). Contacted by John Fox (Flash) during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of mid 29th? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Real identity unrevealed. Cameo in Flash v2 #145 (page 3, 7 o'clock), first full app. in Flash v2 #148 (page 6). Contacted by John Fox (Flash) during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of late 29th century (circa 2899 AD)
Real identity unrevealed. Cameo in Flash v2 #145 (page 3, 4 o'clock), first full app. in Flash v2 #147 (page 18). Contacted by John Fox (Flash) during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of early 30th? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Real identity unrevealed. Possible cameo in Flash Secret Files #1 (page 26), first full app. in Flash v2 #148 (page 12, bottom). Contacted by Iris West (Kid Flash) during 'Chain Lightning'.

Flash of mid 30th? century (century assumed, based on analysis)
Real identity unrevealed. First app. in Flash v2 #148 (page 12, top). Contacted by Iris West (Kid Flash) during 'Chain Lightning'.

Iris Russell-West (b.2945? AD, 2956? to 2995 AD), also mid 20th to early 21st century [pre-Zero Hour]
Iris Russell was born in 2945? AD, but was sent into the past and adopted by the Wests of the 20th century. Wife, and later widow, of Barry Allen (Flash). Mother of Don and Dawn Allen (the Tornado Twins). Grandmother of Bart Allen (Impulse). Adopted aunt of Wally West (Kid Flash/ Flash).
Iris Russell-West (b.2945 AD, 2956? to 2982 AD), also mid 20th to early 21st century [post-Zero Hour]
Iris Russell was born in 2945 AD, but was sent into the past and adopted by the Wests of the 20th century. John Fox (Flash) was present in 2945 AD just prior to her transportation. Wife, and later widow, of Barry Allen (Flash). Mother of Don and Dawn Allen (the Tornado Twins). Grandmother of Bart Allen (Impulse) and Jenni Ognats (XS). Adopted aunt of Wally West (Kid Flash/ Flash).
Note: The date for Iris Russell's transportation to the 20th century is given as 2927 AD in the Flash Secret Files #1 timeline, however this contradicts the date of 2945 AD given in the John Fox story in Flash 80-Page Giant #1, and is thus considered in error.

Barry Allen (2957 AD), previously mid to late 20th century
At the end of his career, Barry Allen (Flash) is transported from the late 20th century to 2957AD and is reunited with his wife, Iris Russell-West-Allen, who he believed had been murdered. The couple spend a few weeks together, then Barry sacrifices his life to save the Universe from the Anti-Monitor. While in this time period, Barry meets Jenni Ognats (XS) in Legionnaires Annual #3 and Wally West (Flash) in Flash v2 #148-149. See entry under 'late 20th century' for more.

the Tornado Twins of 30th century (2979 AD, 2995 AD) [pre-Zero Hour]
Donald Wallace Allen and Dawn Jae Allen. Twin children of Barry Allen (Flash) and Iris Russell-West-Allen. Don Allen is husband of Carmen Johnson, and father of Bartholomew "Bart" Allen (Impulse). Dawn Allen is unmarried. First app. in Adventure Comics #373. Killed by the Dominators in Legion Of Super-Heroes v4 #17.
the Tornado Twins of 30th century (2979 to 2980 AD) [post-Zero Hour]
Donald Wallace Allen and Dawn Jae Allen. Twin children of Barry Allen (Flash) and Iris Russell-West-Allen. Don Allen is husband of Meloni Thawne, and father of Bartholomew "Bart" Allen (Impulse). Dawn Allen is wife of Jeven Ognats of Aarok, and mother of Jenni Ognats (XS). First mentioned in Impulse #1, first full app. in Legion Of Super-Heroes v4 Annual #6. The Twins first meet Wally West (Flash) in Flash v2 #114. They are contacted separately by Iris West (Kid Flash) and Wally West (Flash) during 'Chain Lightning' in Flash v2 #148. Killed by the Dominators, under orders from Earth President Thawne, in Legion Of Super-Heroes v4 Annual #6.

Impulse of 30th century (b.2993 AD), later of the late 20th and early 21st century [pre-Zero Hour]
Bartholomew "Bart" Allen. Son of Don Allen (Tornado Twin) and Carmen Johnson. Grandson of Barry Allen (Flash) and Iris Russell-West-Allen. First app. in Flash v2 #91. Born in 2993 AD. Brought into the late 20th century from 2995 AD by his grandmother, Iris Allen. Currently active in the early 21st century. See entry under 'early 21st century' for more.
Impulse of 30th century (b.2980 AD), later of the late 20th and early 21st century [post-Zero Hour]
Bartholomew "Bart" Allen. Son of Don Allen (Tornado Twin) and Meloni Thawne-Allen. Grandson of Barry Allen (Flash) and Iris Russell-West-Allen. Cousin of Jenni Ognats (XS). First app. in Flash v2 #91. Born in 2980 AD. Brought into the late 20th century from 2982 AD by his grandmother, Iris Allen. Currently active in the early 21st century. See entry under 'early 21st century' for more.

XS of 30th century (2994 to 2995 AD and beyond) [post-Zero Hour only]
Jenni Ognats of Aarok. Daughter of Dawn Allen (Tornado Twin) and Jeven Ognats. Granddaughter of Barry Allen (Flash) and Iris Russell-West-Allen. Cousin of Bart Allen (Impulse). Member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. First app. in Legionnaires #0. Contacted separately by Impulse and Iris West (Kid Flash) during 'Chain Lightning' in Flash v2 #148.

Flash of the "Dead Earth" era
Bryan Mallory. First app. in Flash v2 Annual #9. Lives on a world that worships the Flash legend. Aided by that era's J'onn J'onzz.

Flash of 98th century
Kryad. First app. in Flash v1 #309. Kryad travels back to the late 20th century, then with Barry Allen/ Flash's help, becomes the Flash of his own era and sacrifices his life to save Earth from an alien beast.

Flash of mid 27th century (from 2645 AD to ?), later briefly in the late 20th century, later briefly in the mid 30th century (2945 AD), later of the 853rd century (85,265 to 85,271 AD and beyond)
Jonathan "John" Robert Fox. Member of Justice Legion A. First app. in Flash v2 Special #1. Born in the 27th century. Previously active in the mid 27th century, and briefly in the late 20th century and 2945 AD. Currently active in the 853rd century. Contacted by Wally West (Flash) in the 853rd century during 'Chain Lightning' in Flash v2 #146. See entry under 'mid 27th century' for more.

New Member
posted January 10, 2001 10:21 PM

The Starman Dynasty:

Theodore "Ted" Henry Knight. Husband, and later widower, of Adele Doris (last name unrevealed). Father of David Knight (Starman) and Jack Knight (Starman). Grandfather of Kyle Knight. Cousin of Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady). Member of the Justice Society. First app. Adventure Comics #61. Active 1941 to 2000 AD. Died battling the Mist in Starman v2 #72.

Starman of 1942
Doris Lee. Girlfriend of Ted Knight (Starman). Active for one adventure in late 1942, as shown in All Star Comics #15, and as retold in Starman v2 #69.

Starman of January-November 1951 [post-Crisis only]
Dr. Charles McNider a.k.a. Dr. Mid-Nite. Replaced Ted Knight, who had suffered a mental breakdown, as Starman from January 1951 to early December 1951. Trained the time-traveling David Knight as his replacement. First mentioned in Starman v2 #2, cameo in Starman Secret Files #1, first full app. in Starman 80-Page Giant #1.

Starman of December 1951 [post-Crisis only]
David Knight of the late 20th century. Snatched from the moment just prior to his death and transported through time to early December 1951, so that he might spend a month as Starman before he died. Replaced Charles McNider as Starman from December 1951 to January 2nd 1952, believed by the general public to be the same Starman that was active since January 1951. First mentioned in Starman v2 #2, cameo in Starman Secret Files #1, first full app. in Starman v2 #76. See entry under 'late 20th century' for more.

Starman of 1957 [pre-Crisis only]
Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman). When a criminal named Professor Milo induced in Batman an artificial phobia against all things related to bats, Batman secretly donned the identity of Starman to defeat him, as shown in Detective Comics #247.

the Star-Man of 1960 [pre-Crisis only]
Real identity unrevealed. Ruthless criminal determined to gain great power through use of a fabulous Tibetan belt. Defeated by Batman, Robin, and Batwoman, as shown in Detective Comics #286.

Starman of the mid 1970s.
Mikaal Tomas of Talok III, alias Michael Thomas. Active in the mid 1970s. First app. in 1st Issue Special #12.

Prince Gavyn of Kranaltine a.k.a. Throneworld. First app. in Adventure Comics #467. Believed killed approximately four years ago in a wave of anti-matter, later revealed that his soul merged with the body of William Payton when Payton became the next Starman.

William Payton. Actually the reincarnation of Prince Gavyn (Starman). First app. in Starman v1 #1. Believed killed in battle with Eclipso, later revealed to have survived. Currently active on Throneworld, exists as an amalgamation of Gavyn and Payton, with the Gavyn persona being the dominant one.

David Knight. Son of Ted Knight (Starman) and Adele Doris (last name unrevealed). Older brother of Jack Knight (Starman). First app. Starman v1 #26. David was Starman for just under a week when he was killed by Kyle, the son of the Mist, in Starman v2 #0. As explained in Starman v2 #77, David was snatched from the moment just prior to his death and transported through time to early December 1951, so that he might spend a month as Starman before he died. Returned from January 2nd 1952 to the moment of his death. See entry under 'December 1951' for more.

Jack Knight. Son of Ted Knight (Starman) and Adele Doris (last name unrevealed). Younger brother of David Knight (Starman). Father of Kyle Knight with Nash, the daughter of the Mist. Father of an unborn daughter with Jayne Payton a.k.a. Sadie Falk. Member of the Justice Society. Cameo in Zero Hour #1, first full app. Starman v2 #0. Retired as Starman in Starman v2 #80, passed on his cosmic rod to Courtney Whitmore a.k.a. the second Star-Spangled Kid.

Starman of early 21st century [post-Zero Hour only]
Thom Kallor of 30th century Xanthu, alias Danny Blaine. Thom Kallor, formerly Star Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes, time traveled at around age 30 from the early 31st century to the early 21st century, taking up the mantle of Starman. First pre-Zero Hour app. as Star Boy in Adventure Comics #282, first post-Zero Hour app. as Star Boy in Legionnaires #0, first app. as Starman in Kingdom Come #2. Also mentioned in Starman v2 #50 and #1,000,000.

Starman of mid 21st? century (century assumed, must be between 21st and 30th century)
Patricia Dugan. Possibly the daughter of Pat Dugan a.k.a. Stripesy a.k.a. S.T.R.I.P.E.. First mentioned in Starman v2 #50.

Starman of mid 21st century
Unnamed great-grandson of Ted Knight (Starman). When this Knight took up the mantle of Starman, he became a villain. First mentioned in Starman v2 #1,000,000.

Starman of early 22nd century
Unnamed descendant of Ted Knight (Starman). Stated to have existed a few generations after the great-grandson of Ted Knight. When this Knight took up the mantle of Starman, he too became a villain. First mentioned in Starman v2 #1,000,000.

Starman of 22nd? century (century assumed, must be between 22nd and 822nd century)
Tommy Tomorrow II. The descendant of Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers, who was active in the late 21st century. First mentioned in Starman v2 #1,000,000.

Starman of ? century (century unknown, must be between 21st and 822nd century)
Lis Roo. This notable hero carried on the tradition of Starman. First mentioned in Starman v2 #1,000,000.

Starman of ? century (century unknown, must be between 505th and 700th century)
Unnamed member of the Pancosmic Justice Jihad. First depicted in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Starwoman of 801st century
Unnamed descendant of Ted Knight (Starman). Died exiling Solaris from the galaxy for a thousand years. First mentioned in DC One Million #3.

Starman of 852nd? century (century assumed)
Unnamed father of Cale Knight (Starman), great-grandfather of Farris Knight (Starman). Discovered the quarvat (cosmic rod) on a remote asteroid. Became the first Starman in over 3000 years. First mentioned in Starman v2 #1,000,000.

Starman of 853rd? century (century assumed)
Cale Knight. Grandfather of Farris Knight (Starman). First mentioned in Starman v2 #1,000,000.

Starman of 853rd? century (century assumed)
Unnamed daughter of Cale Knight (Starman), mother of Farris Knight (Starman). First mentioned in Starman v2 #1,000,000.

Starman of 853rd century (years leading up to 85,271 AD)
Farris Knight. Grandson of Cale Knight (Starman). Member of Justice Legion A. First app. in JLA v3 #23. Hero turned villain, who formed an alliance with the evil Solaris in 85,271 AD. Redeemed himself in DC One Million #3 by sacrificing his life during the birth of Solaris in the late 20th century, driving the entity out of the galaxy before it could destroy Earth.

New Member
posted January 10, 2001 10:23 PM

The Superman Dynasty:

Superman of late 20th century [pre-Crisis]
Kal-El of Krypton (Earth-One Universe), alias Clark Kent. Debuted in the mid 20th century as Superboy. Cousin of Kara Zor-El, alias Linda Lee Danvers (Supergirl). As Superboy, member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. As Superman, member of the Justice League. The Earth-One Superman first app. in Superman v1 #146.
Superman a.k.a. Superman Prime from late 20th century to 853rd century [post-Crisis]
Kal-El of Krypton, alias Clark Kent. Debuted in the late 20th century. Husband of Lois Lane. Member of the Justice League. Superman Prime, as he became known, was still alive in the 853rd century. The post-Crisis Superman first app. in Booster Gold #6. His origin was first presented in Man Of Steel #1.

Superman II of early 21st century [pre-Crisis]
Jorel Kent. Son of Clark Kent (Superman) and, presumably, Lois Lane. Father of Kalel Kent (Superman III). Debuted at the dawn of the 21st century. Superman II appeared in Superman v1 #354,355,364. Memorial statue in Superman v1 #181.
Superman Secundus of mid? to late 21st century [post-Crisis]
Real identity unrevealed. Took over responsibilities of being Superman completely when Superman Prime left Earth in the late 21st century. Superman Prime was not seen on Earth again for another 68 millennia. Superman Secundus first mentioned in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Superman III of early 21st century (2020 to 2021 AD and beyond) [pre-Crisis]
Kalel Kent, alias Jon Hudson, alias Lewis Parker, plus other unrevealed identities. Son of Jorel Kent (Superman II). Grandson of Clark Kent (Superman) and, presumably, Lois Lane. Later invented a cure for cancer. Appeared in Superman v1 #354,355,357,361,364,368,372. Memorial statue in Superman v1 #181. Cure for cancer mentioned in Superman v2 #136.
Superman III of late 21st? century (century assumed) [post-Crisis]
Real identity unrevealed. Never seen nor mentioned.

Superman IV of 22nd? century (century assumed)
Dave Kent. Identity exposed. Mentioned in Action Comics #338. Memorial statue in Superman v1 #181.

Superman V of 22nd? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Arch-foe is Vyldan. Mentioned in Action Comics #338. Memorial statue in Superman v1 #181.

Superman VI of 23rd? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Occasionally teamed with Batman VI. Mentioned in World's Finest Comics v1 #166. Memorial statue in Superman v1 #181.

Superman VII of 23rd? century (century assumed)
Kanton K-73. Identity exposed by infant son. Mentioned in Action Comics #338.

Superman VIII of 24th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Inventor of world's first dependable artificial eye. Invention of artificial eye mentioned in Superman v2 #136.

Superman IX of late 25th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Never seen nor mentioned. (See Note.)
Note: The Superman and Justice League of the late 25th century fight Solaris. Prior to this, there had not been a Superman on Earth for over a century. It is not possible to determine for sure whether Superman IX is this particular Superman. Mentioned in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000 and Chronos #8.

Superman X of 26th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Never seen nor mentioned.

Superman XI of 26th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Never seen nor mentioned.

Superman XII of 27th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Genes altered in the Pollution War, which included the use of atomic weapons. He and all descendants now vulnerable to contaminated sea water. Atomic war fallout mentioned in Superman v1 #181. Pollution War mentioned in Superman v2 #137.

Superman XIII of 27th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Never seen nor mentioned.

Superman XIV of 28th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Never seen nor mentioned.

Superman XV of 28th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Occasionally teamed with Batman XV. Mentioned in World's Finest Comics v1 #166.

Superman XVI of 29th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Never seen nor mentioned. (See Note.)
Note: The Superman and Justice League of the early 29th century and the time-traveling Legion of Super-Heroes fight Solaris. It is not possible to determine for sure whether Superman XVI is this particular Superman. Mentioned in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Superman XVII of 29th? century (century assumed)
Real identity unrevealed. Never seen nor mentioned.

Superman XVIII of early 30th century [pre-Crisis]
Real identity unrevealed. Responsible for mutation of Muto. Occasionally teamed with Batman XIX. Mentioned in Action Comics #338.
Superman XVIII of mid 30th century [post-Crisis]
Real identity unrevealed. Responsible for mutation of Muto. Died bringing arch-foe Luthor to justice. Mentioned in Superman v2 #136-138.

Superman XIX of mid 30th century (circa 2965 to 2967 AD) [pre-Crisis]
Klar Ken T5477. Arch-foe is Muto. Occasionally teamed with Batman XX. Appeared in Superman v1 #181, Action Comics #338-339, and World's Finest Comics v1 #166. Note: Incorrectly called Superman of 2465 to 2466 AD when reprinted in Superman v1 #244, 247, and 248.
Superman XIX of late 30th century (circa 2999 AD) [post-Crisis]
Klar Ken 5477. Arch-foe is Muto. Founder of the Justice Alliance. Appeared in Superman v2 #136-138.

Superman XXX of mid 35th century (circa 3446 AD)
Real identity unrevealed. Appeared in Superboy v1 #120.

Superman of 38th century
Real identity unrevealed. Mentioned in Adventures Of Superman #1,000,000, which claimed that Solaris was rehabilitated by the Superman of the 38th century. (See Note.)
Note: It is likely that the writer should have instead referred to the Superman of the 505th century, who had died reprogramming Solaris.

Superman of 67th century
Real identity unrevealed. New powers were added to the Dynasty with the marriage of the 67th century Superman to Queen Gzntplzk of the Fifth Dimension. Mentioned in DC One Million #1 and Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Superman of 250th century
Real identity unrevealed. Mentioned in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Superman of 322nd century
Alliance of the descendants of Lex Luthor and the Superman Dynasty in the 322nd century. Mentioned in Action Comics #1,000,000.

Superman of 364th century
Real identity unrevealed. Mentioned in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Superman of 505th century
Real identity unrevealed. Superman reprograms Solaris at the cost of his life. Mentioned in DC One Million #1, Green Lantern v3 #1,000,000, JLA #1,000,000, and Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.
Note: See also note for Superman of 38th century.

Superman of ? century (century unknown, must be between 505th and 700th century)
Unnamed member of the Justice League of the Atom. First depicted in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Superman of ? century (century unknown, must be between 505th and 700th century)
Unnamed member of the Pancosmic Justice Jihad. First depicted in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Superman Prime in 70,001 AD
Superman Prime returns to Earth, takes up residence in the Sun until 85,271 AD.

Superman of 853rd century Earth (years leading up to 85,271 AD and beyond)
Real identity unrevealed. Member of Justice Legion A. Cameo in JLA #15, first full app. in JLA #23.

Superman of 853rd century Zrfff (years leading up to 85,271 AD and beyond)
LZYXM LTPKZ of the 5th Dimensional world of Zrfff. First app. in DC One Million #4.

Superman of 854th? century
Real identity unrevealed. Future son of the Superman of 853rd century Earth. First app. in DC One Million 80-Page Giant #1,000,000.

New Member
posted January 10, 2001 10:27 PM

Recently answered:

173. Terra-Man
174. Whirlwind
182. the Arrows of Alaska
187. Blackwing
191. the Crimson Avenger II
198. the Green Arrows of the World
200. Hoppy the Marvel Bunny
212. Miss Arrowette
213. Miss X
222. the Roving Ranger
224. the Space Rangers
227. the Tarantula (Jerry Lewis)
230. Ultra the Multi-Alien
233. Xeen Arrow of Dimension Zero
235. Ultraa
236. Silver Age Rose & Thorn
237. the Card Queen
238. Sgt. Rock family tree
239. Flash Dynasty
240. Starman Dynasty
241. Superman Dynasty

Not yet answered:

152. the Inferior Five
157. El Diablo (western)
159. The Council
162. Tailgunner Jo
164. the Queen Bee (Marcia Monroe)
165. Jim Aparo
166. Flashback
167. Swordfish and Barracuda
168. Lu-Shu Shan / I-Ching
170. Vartox
171. Blackrock
172. Mister E
176. Nubia
179. Slam Bradley
180. Sgt. Gorilla
181. Adam Strange II
183. Astra, Girl of the Future
184. Astralad
185. Automan
186. the Beefeater
188. Burp the Twerp, the Super Son-Of-A-Gun
189. Captain Incredible
190. Colonel Future
192. Crusader
193. Dyno-Man of Sorrta
194. Element Girl
195. the Eliminator
196. the Flying Dutchman of Time
197. the Golden Eagle
199. the Homeless Avenger
201. the Human Hurricane
202. Hyperboy, Hyperdog, and the Hyper-Family of Trombus
203. Hyper-Boy / Hyper-Man of Zoron / Oceania
204. the Intergalactic Vigilante Squadron
205. Lando, Man of Magic
206. the Liquidator
207. Little Miss Redhead
208. Marsboy
209. Marvel Maid and Marvel Man of Terra
210. Mighty Boy and Mighty Dog of Zumoor
211. Mighty Man
214. Nadir, Master of Magic
215. Neolla, the Superwoman of Zorkia
216. Nightwolf
217. Petronius
218. Power-Boy of the asteroid Juno
219. Power Lad
220. Power-Man, King of Outer-Space
221. Pulsar
223. Sonik
225. Superwoman (Luma Lynai)
226. Superwoman (Kristen Wells)
228. the Terrific Whatzit
229. the Tiger-Man
232. the Wyoming Kid
234. Yango the Super-Ape

Dr. Van Thorp
posted January 11, 2001 02:44 AM

179. Slam Bradley:

This will be a less detailed biography than some of those above.

Bradly was a golden age creation of Jerry Seagle and Joe Shuster. He appeared in comics before Superman. I believe that he was a regular in DETECTIVE COMICS.

Bradley's face resembled that of Superman (as did Seagle and Shuster creation Doctor Occult). He wore the same suits that every early comics plain-clothes hero wore. His partner was Shorty Smith, a very short, blond-haired man who idolized Slam Bradly.

I think that Slam Bradley's last appearance was in DETECTIVE COMICS #500, in which he teamed up with Batman, Sherlock Holmes, and Elongated Man.

Their were a few appearances of Slam Bradley Jr. in post-Crisis SUPERMAN comics. The young Bradly inherited his father's resemblence to Superman, and was once mistaken for Clark Kent.

posted January 11, 2001 04:21 AM

Thank you for the Slam Bradley info, and no offense, but I was really looking for some more detailed history of him, his son (or grandson?) in the SUPERMAN comics, and the relative called Biff Bradley in the GUNS OF THE DRAGON miniseries.

Thank you, Outpost2, for the Flash, Starman, and Superman dynasties.

And I'm impressed by you starting the list again. I'd given up on trying to create some order in these questions and answers.

By the way - thank you, Outpost2. It was in fact your History of the DCU file that ignited my interest in these really obscure DC characters about five years ago.


posted January 11, 2001 05:32 AM

Don't wanna be a nit-picker, but... The line "currently active in the late 20th century" kills me for 2 reasons:
1. We are currently in the early 21st century.
2. The present is the only time one can be currently active in.

posted January 11, 2001 08:53 AM

Jim Aparo -

- comic book artist in the DCU AND real world at the same time. He was involved in a case with Batman and Sgt. Rock (B&B #124?) wherein terrorists were forcing Jim to draw a comic where Batman and Rock died...he foiled their plans by working things out so that Batman and Rock caught the terrorists, thus saving him. (A story that ALWAYS makes me smile...worth searching out!)

New Member
posted January 11, 2001 09:07 AM

Originally posted by the4thpip:

1. We are currently in the early 21st century.

True. We are now 11 days into the 21st century. Point taken.

2. The present is the only time one can be currently active in.

Not true when you're talking about time travelers. For instance, the Legion is currently active in the early 31st century. "Currently" refers to the readers perspective, not the Legion's.

New Member
posted January 11, 2001 09:16 AM

Originally posted by Hellstone:

I'd given up on trying to create some order in these questions and answers.

Yeah, I thought you could use a hand.

By the way - thank you, Outpost2. It was in fact your History of the DCU file that ignited my interest in these really obscure DC characters about five years ago.

You know, I was wondering why both you and I had heard of "the Teutonic Knight". I think that was a typo on my part in the DCU History text. Mystery solved.

posted January 11, 2001 02:21 PM

AH! That piece of mis-info was from YOU? Mystery solved, indeed! Glad you straightened that one out.


posted January 11, 2001 02:22 PM

Did you mean the Templar Knight, as some posters thought?


posted January 11, 2001 05:20 PM

As always an enjoyable thread.... but one problem.... why didn't you include the Flash and Superman from the LEGENDS OF THE DCU SPECIAL CRISIS EDITION in your dynasties?

New Member
posted January 12, 2001 12:25 AM

Originally posted by Hellstone:

Did you mean the Templar Knight, as some posters thought?

Looking at the notes I have, I have to conclude that the answer is 'yes'.

Originally posted by taz_19632000:

As always an enjoyable thread.... but one problem.... why didn't you include the Flash and Superman from the LEGENDS OF THE DCU SPECIAL CRISIS EDITION in your dynasties?

I assume you mean the Flash and Superman of Earth-D. Didn't include them for the same reason I didn't include Ultraman of Earth-3 or Superboy of Earth-Prime. The intent was to put together a dynasty of the current DCU only, referencing the pre-Crisis/pre-Zero Hour counterparts only when I thought the data was relevant. I can see how the format was confusing though. Maybe when I add that post to the archive, I'll retroactively clarify the items mentioned by you and the4thpip.

A few comments of my own:

First, don't know what happened to the space between the Superman IX and Superman X entries, it was there in my original text file. Weird. Second, for completeness, the Superman of Earth-One's entry should have mentioned that his cousin was Supergirl.

The Batman archive (topic: "Mikishawm: I think I know who you are!") should be done and uploaded this weekend. Unfortunately, many of the referenced links are now dead, so I couldn't do much in the area of including that supplemental info.

I'm going to take a stab at the Inferior Five entry this weekend. If anyone has already started on that one, let me know and I'll defer.

May this thread never die!!!

posted January 12, 2001 12:16 PM

A minor addition to the Terra-Man biography:

In the imaginary, futuristic, "last pre-Crisis Superman saga" called "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", it was stated that Terra-Man and the Parasite had killed each other in a duel. But Terra-Man himself was not seen. Seems as if Alan Moore wasn't too fond of the guy, either.


posted January 14, 2001 08:09 PM

A BIG tip of the hat to everyone for the contributions! This is great! Meanwhile, here are the rest of the Luthor Cabinet bios that Eduardo asked about. Ironically, as of this writing, I still haven't read SUPERMAN # 166 or any of the Krypton arc. Here goes ...

The announcement of Catherine Jane Grant’s arrival as host of WGBS’ “Hollywood Tonight” (ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN # 447) was all but lost in the news that day. And frankly, Cat Grant preferred it that way. As a long-time entertainment reporter, she knew that no account of her present activities seemed complete without a reprise of her past in Los Angeles -- her stormy two-year relationship with Monarch Studios president Joseph R. Morgan, the arguments over Joe’s involvement with drugs that ended their marriage and Cat’s series of affairs that cost her custody of their son, Adam (# 429). She’d taken her nationally-syndicated“Cat Calls” Hollywood gossip column to the Daily Planet in Metropolis specifically to put some distance between herself and her tainted life on the West Coast, dismissing any inquiries into her past by joking that “I’m saving it all for my book” (# 424).

As Grant was signing her contract with WGBS, the news media was still buzzing over the scandal that had knocked Herbert Forrest out of the Presidential race (though the fact that the Senator had been backed by Lex Luthor remained a closely-guarded secret). Ironically, Grant seems to have made her decision to take the job at a political rally for Forrest. She’d been teasing Clark Kent about taking notes on the Senator’s speech, assuring him that a puff piece based on the press kit would be much easier to write. The veteran Daily Planet reporter stuck to his guns and, for good measure, chastised her about her drinking, something he seemed to be doing all too frequently (SUPERMAN (second series) # 24).

Clark had been good to her, she had to admit, probably better than she deserved. They’d met only months earlier, on her first day at the Daily Planet. There’d been an immediate attraction between the two(ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN # 424) and they’d begun dating (ADVENTURES # 428-429). Determined to put the skids to any competition, a scantily-clad Grant even met Lois Lane at Clark’s apartment on one occasion, suggestively remarking that “Clarkie’s in the shower” and closing the door in her rival’s face (SUPERMAN # 11). Her agressive romantic overtures towards Clark soon forced him to aknowledge that“Cat’s NOT my type. Maybe she’s trying TOO hard, but her whole approach leaves me COLD”(ACTION # 598).

Still, when Cat revealed that she’d lost custody of her son five years earlier and hadn’t seen him since, Clark (by way of his “friend” Superman) had taken it upon himself to plead her case to Joe Morgan. The encounter had not gone well, with an enemy of the Man of Steel’s attacking during the conference and injuring both Joe and Adam. Nevertheless, Morgan agreed to give his ex-wife visitation rights (ADVENTURES # 429) as she prepared for a renewed custody fight, digging into Daily Planet archives for evidence about her ex-husband’s involvement with drugs (# 431). After a custody hearing (mentioned in # 435), each parent was entitled to six months with Adam out of the year (# 445).

Catherine Grant had been created by Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway for their portion of the 1986 revamp of the Man of Steel in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN # 424. In some respects, Cat seemed to be a realization of plans that Wolfman had intended to enact in his 1983-1984 run on ACTION COMICS. During that period, Clark had been dating Lana Lang and Marv intended to reveal that she’d married, had a child and divorced during a period spent in Europe. Instead, the development was handed off to Mindy Newell, who revealed in one of the last pre-Crisis stories (1986’s LOIS LANE # 2) that Lana had indeed had a child, a boy who was kidnapped and slain by terrorists. The tragedy would have eerie parallels with Catherine Grant’s own life.

Even as Clark’s interest in her was beginning to fade, Cat was oblivious to the fact that young Jimmy Olsen, who’d been tagging along on some of their dates to entertain Adam, was becoming infatuated with her (ADVENTURES # 438-439). Once Adam pointed out Jimmy’s interest to his mother (# 441), she found herself energetically flirting with him (SUPERMAN # 19-20). Eventually, Daily Planet editor Perry White bawled her out for her treatment of Jimmy and condemned her escalating drinking problem. “I will not stand for ANYONE coming to MY city room stinking of booze!” In tears, Cat headed directly to a tavern, weeping to the bartender that Jimmy had been “great with my son Adam ... but I’m no good at it -- I don’t know HOW. He’s used to nice things -- and I want him to love me as MUCH as his daddy ... it’s just so difficult ...” (ADVENTURES # 445).

Cat concluded that she could use the job offer at WGBS to uncover Galaxy Broadcasting exec Morgan Edge’s link to Intergang. Grant quickly became Edge’s lover (ADVENTURES # 447, 452, 454) and she used her close access to gather evidence that she anonymously mailed to Clark Kent (# 450). Clark’s articles created a firestorm in the Intergang empire and the mob responded with an execution attempt that initially left friends and neighbors convinced that the reporter had been killed (# 451). Cat, fearing for both her and Adam’s lives, confided in Lois Lane (# 455).

In Clark’s absence, Lois agreed to continue the Intergang expose but Cat asked her and Perry to let her involvement remain a secret. “I only did this to prove to you both that I could actually BE a good reporter. And most of all, to justify Clark’s continual belief in me and my abilities” (# 456).

The desperate Edge soon learned that his lover had betrayed him and made an unsuccessful attempt on her life (# 456). Superman, returning from a long exile in outer space, took Edge into custody, though the disgraced GBS head collapsed of a heart attack on the scene (ACTION # 643).

A second attempt on the lives of Kent, Lane and Grant (ADVENTURES # 457) led Joe Morgan to warn the hospitalized Morgan Edge of dire consequences should either his ex-wife or son be threatened by Intergang again (SUPERMAN # 36). Aware of the forces that comprised Intergang, Joe also arranged for unemployed schoolteacher and occasional crimefighter Jose (Gangbuster) Delgado to serve as Cat and Adam’s bodyguard (SUPERMAN # 42; ADVENTURES # 466). As her ex-husband had feared, Cat was indeed destined to be the target on a series of abduction attempts (SUPERMAN # 44; ADVENTURES # 467) and Gangbuster’s efforts prevented her from having her incriminating memories erased by Doctor Moon (ACTION # 654).

Grant’s life seemed to be on an upswing after that. GBS had fired Cat upon Morgan Edge’s arrest (SUPERMAN # 36) but Edge’s father, Vincent, rehired her within weeks (shortly after Clark Kent turned down a similar offer in SUPERMAN # 46). One of Cat’s first on-air reports included a chance encounter with Lex Luthor (ACTION # 658) and she soon followed up with a pair of highly-rated interviews with Superman (WONDER WOMAN # 49 and JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA # 69), took a statement from Aquaman on the Atlantis-Oumland war (SUPERMAN # 63) and, in collaboration with Clark, presented an in-depth look at the death of Lex Luthor (ACTION # 668) and a look at the downfall of Intergang (SUPERMAN # 60). A positive report on the arrival of Luthor’s alleged son (ACTION # 676) prompted “Luthor, Jr.” to grant Cat an exclusive interview -- despite the fact that he owned WGBS’ principal rival, WLEX. “Isn’t it obvious ?” she laughed. “It’s ME he’s interested in” (# 677).

The men who were at the heart of Cat’s life were Adam, for whom she’d given up alcohol (ACTION # 694), and Jose Delgado, who had formed a romantic bond with her (ADVENTURES # 483). Cat had convinced Jose to abandon his Gangbuster persona after a particularly brutal encounter with Metallo (ADVENTURES # 491) but he returned to the role for several ill-fated outings in the wake of Superman’s reported death. The savage beatings that Gangbuster had inflicted on the perpetrators made him the subject on a manhunt (LEGACY OF SUPERMAN # 1) and he was forced to leave Metropolis and Cat for the life of a fugitive (ADVENTURES # 500).

Adding to her stress were Vincent Edge’s persistent sexual advances (beginning in ADVENTURES # 480) and the publication of his son’s tell-all book that revealed all the sordid details of his affair with Cat (SUPERMAN # 83).

The problems in Catherine Grant’s life seemed inconsequential after she and Adam attended an innocent Halloween party. The youngster was abducted by the Toyman, who’d been kidnapping the children of people that he judged as bad parents. Defiantly fleeing from his captor, Adam stopped long enough to free the other children and paid with his life. With Jimmy and Perry at her side, a devastated Cat identified his body (SUPERMAN # 84).

Lois did her best to console Cat, who admitted that she’d gone into a bar in the morning but resisted buying a drink. “I quit drinking for Adam, you know. ... He ... he was my world,” she sobbed. “I miss him so much. I just want to be numb. I just want to end the pain once and for all ...” (ADVENTURES # 507).

Once the Toyman was taken into custody, Cat gained access to his jail cell -- and pulled out a gun. She demanded that he beg for his life and the terrified killer complied. Cat pulled the trigger anyway, releasing a flag that read “Bang!” She admitted that “I wanted to use the real thing ... and I intended to. Until I walked into that toy store.” Standing behind her, Superman told Cat that “you could get in lots of trouble for this, you know. IF the authorities were alerted, that is. ... You’ve been through a great deal, Catherine. I won’t pile on” (SUPERMAN # 85).

At Adam’s funeral, the Man of Steel offered his condolences once more and Cat had only one request of the recently resurrected Superman. “I just need to know if Adam’s okay. I just need to know what it’s like ... to be dead.”

“I think ... I think it’s DIFFERENT for each person,” he answered. “But Adam’s all right. He’s at peace” (ADVENTURES # 508).

In the wake of Adam’s death, Cat threw herself into work. She arranged for Lois Lane to investigate a death that would ultimately lead back to Lex Luthor (ACTION # 695) and made exclusive reports on the billionaire’s deteriorating health (SUPERMAN # 87) and ultimate downfall (ACTION # 700). Appalled by Vincent Edge’s continued advances even during her time of grief (ACTION # 694; ADVENTURES # 508), she made a series of inquiries that culminated at the close of one of her “Hollywood Tonight” broadcasts (ADVENTURES # 510).

“As I speak, sexual harassment charges -- based on affidavits by myself and eight other women -- are being made against Vincent Edge, owner and president of the WGBS corporation. I’d like to add -- women no longer have to endure the twisted games of powerful men acting like childish monsters. We won’t live in THAT world anymore. For GBS, this is Cat Grant.”

Accompanied by Superman, Cat confronted another of the demons in her life when she spoke with Winslow (Toyman) Schott in his jail cell, determined to understand why a relatively benign criminal had become a killer of children (SUPERMAN # 98). The conversation yielded no answers. “I wanted to believe that Adam died for some ultimate reason,” she told the Man of Steel. “My only son died because one man lost his grip on reality. Hardly a comforting thought.”

“If there’s anything I can do ...”

“You’ve done so much already that I’ll never be able to adequately thank you. I have good friends like Clark, Lois and Jimmy who will always stand by me. But I live in a private hell that no one can know. At least I know that Winslow Schott lives in one as well.”

Meanwhile, Vincent Edge had been “sentenced to counseling.” Discussing the situation with Lois, Cat observed that he “bounces me between hard and soft news ... makes sure no one takes me too seriously”(ADVENTURES # 526). After reports ranging from a live broadcast at the grand opening of Warrior’s (GUY GARDNER # 29; BLOOD PACK # 2) to another exclusive on the escape of serial killer Ramsey Murdoch, Edge stepped forward to announce that “I’m making you executive producer of the entire GBS news division -- effective immediately! Surprised, Catherine ? Well, after showing me the error of my sexual -harassing ways, I think you’re getting EXACTLY what you deserve” (ADVENTURES # 526).

Grant was stunned but eagerly rose to the challenge, counting a second interview with Aquaman as one of her early successes. Behind her back, as Edge had anticipated, GBS staffers were already whispering that she’d only won the job “by cozying up to the boss” (MAN OF STEEL # 48). Seeking out Perry White for advice, she was commanded to “wake up and smell the coffee, Grant! You’re a DAMN fine reporter. That’s why I hired you all those years ago to work at the Planet in the FIRST PLACE! ... You know journalism, Cat -- what you DON’T know is management. FIRST RULE -- surround yourself with people who get the job done. The VERY BEST! You’re the competition, Cat -- but I can’t watch Vinnie win THIS one. I’ll help you get you’re sea legs.” Cat was genuinely touched and vowed to “hire the best” even as Perry murmured “better give Clark and Lois raises” (ADVENTURES # 527).

The first of Cat’s acquisitions was the then-unemployed Jimmy Olsen (ACTION # 714). Long ago, Cat had made her apologies to Jimmy for her early flirtation (ADVENTURES # 457) but she was understandly concerned that some of her staff would view Olsen’s quick rise to an on-camera position as favoritism (MAN OF STEEL # 49). To Grant’s relief, Jimmy’s first-rate reporting on Superman and Green Lantern’s battle with Psi-Phon and Dreadnaught silenced most detractors (SUPERMAN # 105). Vincent Edge could only glower as a technician told Cat that “you’ve made good calls ... TOUGH calls .. and we’re WITH you, Ms. Grant. Any trouble you get won’t come from us” (ADVENTURES # 529).

True to form, Vincent Edge began to exert his authority, demanding that the news division play up Lois Lane and Clark Kent’s broken engagement and kill a prison drug smuggling story that might hurt Morgan Edge’s chances for parole. Cat and Jimmy approached the GBS board of directors and Edge walked into his office the following morning to find his “kitten” with her feet propped on his desk. “The name’s CAT, and it’s not your chair, Vincent. It’s MY chair, now. And this letter from the chairman of the board of WGBS is your termination notice -- and MY promotion”(SUPERMAN # 111).

Amidst all of her professional success, Cat had a brief reunion with Jose Delgado, who’d slipped into the audience during her speaking engagement before students in Fawcett City. When the auditorium erupted in flame, Cat focused her efforts on making sure that every child escaped even as Mary Marvel and Gangbuster did the same. Pulling away from her embrace, Jose told Cat that “I’m so, SO sorry about Adam. He DESERVED a life. If I -- if I’d BEEN THERE.” Running away, he insisted that “I’m a loser. You can DO better, kid.” Unable to stop him, Cat vowed that “someday he’ll let me be there for him, too” (SHOWCASE ‘96 # 7).

Back at WGBS, Cat’s eagerness to prove herself led to an ill-advised suggestion that Jimmy Olsen confront Clark’s old girlfriend Lori Lemaris over her possession of possibly-stolen treasures, unaware that she was a mermaid who had acquired them from sunken vessels. “You know we don’t MAKE the news,” Cat told Jimmy. “And it’s not like Clark is going to be personally implicated” (MAN OF STEEL # 61). Lori had no difficulty in clearing herself and WGBS was forced to make profuse apologies in the hope that wouldn’t take legal action (ADVENTURES # 543).

The never-ending quest for higher ratings found the Board of Directors putting pressure on Cat to boost Jimmy’s sagging numbers or replace him (MAN OF STEEL # 67). Jimmy found himself caught up in the fever as well when he agreed to participate in a rebroadcast on his interview with Professor Emil Hamilton, a conversation that underscored several weaknesses in the newly-electrified Superman (# 70).

When the Board’s Adam Zeller (a crony of Luthor) overheard that Jimmy Olsen had uncovered the Man of Steel’s true identity, he insisted that the revelation be broadcast in a live special (MAN OF STEEL # 71). “This isn’t about news,” he told the gravely concerned Cat Grant. “It’s about ratings.” In the end, Jimmy’s conscience won out and, rather that announce his (as it turns out) erroneous suspect of Colin Thornton, he proclaimed that “Superman’s secret identity is ... in reality ... NOBODY! He DOESN’T have a secret identity -- just like people thought ALL ALONG!” He was fired the moment the broadcast was over, Cat’s opposition notwithstanding (ADVENTURES # 550).

The abduction of Lex Luthor’s infant daughter Lena brought back bitter memories for Cat, who felt compelled to visit Stryker’s Island and confirm that Winslow Schott was still in custody. The Toyman was, if anything, more sadistic, telling Grant (via a toy doll), “You were a bad mommy. I’m glad I killed your son.” Consoled by Lois Lane, Cat told her that she hoped Lena was found unharmed. “What might happen ... not even Luthor deserves that” (SUPERMAN FOREVER # 1).

Lois and Clark hosted a Halloween party for several of their friends soon after, realizing only once the guests had arrived that they’d unthinkingly scheduled it on the anniversary of Adam’s death. Cat assured the couple that it “helps take my mind off my troubles. ... I dream about Adam every night, every single night! The Devil himself couldn’t name a price I wouldn’t pay to have my baby back” (SUPERMAN: THE DOOMSDAY WARS # 1).

Following the reported death of Lena Luthor (ACTION # 763), Cat found herself sympathizing with the man that many called a villain. Indeed, as Luthor’s run for the Presidency got into full swing, Grant was unmistakably in his camp, doing an on-air report as he announced Pete Ross as his running mate (SUPERMAN # 162) and producing a whitewashed Luthor-dictated look at his life on the eve of his election (LEX 2000 # 1).

But is Catherine Grant truly a pawn of Lex Luthor ? The woman who disgraced both Morgan and Vincent Edge and who faced down the Toyman may have an agenda of her own.

In Samuel Lane’s book, Lex Luthor can do no wrong. His wife Elinore had been injured in a chemical accident at the company where she worked as a secretary. The industrialist, upon learning of her plight and the fact that the business was “a very minor subsidiary of Lexcorp,” took it upon himself to devise a cure, a serum that Mrs. Lane would need to consume on a monthly basis. If Sam had known the truth, that Luthor had, in fact, caused the accident and “could have created a single-use serum instead,” he surely would have killed him. But he didn’t know and Lex Luthor now had a bargaining chip that he could call in whenever he wished. From Lois Lane or, perhaps, her father.

1959’s LOIS LANE # 13 had opened with the appropriately titled “Introducing Lois Lane’s Parents,” a characteristically lightweight romp in which Lois and Superman paid a visit to her midwestern hometown of Pittsdale and nearly ended up getting married. The story (illustrated by Kurt Schaffenberger) portrayed Sam and Ella Lane as an easy-going farm couple, counterparts to Clark Kent’s own foster parents in Smallville. The Lanes made a number of appearances throughout the 1960s( LOIS LANE # 13, 26-27, 32, 59, 71, 75, 82, 90 and JIMMY OLSEN # 76, 100) but had been long absent by the time Marv Wolfman revived them in 1981’s SUPERMAN FAMILY # 206 and 1983’s ACTION COMICS # 546 (along with the Cary Bates-scripted SUPERMAN # 385-386).

The Sam Lane of the post-Crisis DC Universe would be ANYTHING but easygoing. 1986’s MAN OF STEEL # 4 (by John Byrne and Dick Giordano) set the stage, pointing out Lois’ proficiency with firearms during a terrorist situation while Superman noted that, as “an army brat, she was almost bound to have picked up some tricks.” Marv Wolfman took it from there in the Jerry Ordway-illustrated ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN # 424, setting up the circumstances of Elinore Lane’s accident and the obviously strained relationship between Lois and her father, whom she referred to only as “Sam.”

The Lane family’s background played out gradually over the next decade, courtesy of writers John Byrne (ACTION # 597; WORLD OF METROPOLIS # 2), Roger Stern (ACTION # 655, 669), Louise Simonson (SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL # 4, 74), Dan Jurgens (SUPERMAN # 68) and Stuart Immonen (ACTION # 739). Sam’s military service had overlapped with the Vietnam War, where he’d befriended Australians Hugh Hillsmith and Fred Fishkin while “stationed in Ar Rab’al Khali, no man’s land in Saudi Arabia.”

In Vietnam, Sam was wounded in his right leg and spent several days in the jungle alongside fellow soldier Slade Wilson. “Over that time a deep bond was formed as two young men talked about their lives -- and their futures. Jobs, wives, children. In that jungle every dream that offered hope seemed possible. Wounded and bleeding, they needed each other to survive. In that survival, a life-long connection was cemented. Though they would eventually lose track of each other, Slade Wilson and Sam Lane became friends for life.”

In time, Sam married Elinore but showed undisguised disappointment when their first-born was a girl. “All right, young lady,” he informed Lois shortly after the birth of a second daughter, Lucy. “Let’s get something CLEARLY understood. All my LIFE, I’ve wanted a BOY, a SON to carry on my name. Your MOTHER has let me down TWICE ... but I’m going to MAKE DO.” To that end, he began putting Lois through a rigorous series of drills, determined that she would be able to function “without a man’s help.” Lucy, by contrast, had not been viewed by Sam in the same light that Lois had been and the younger child was doted on by her father.

The Lanes eventually took up permanent residence at 500 Concord Avenue in Metropolis. Captain Lane had “served two tours at Fort Bridwell ... liked the area and decided to settle here.” His adversarial relationship with Lois came to a head in Metropolis, as well. Informed by her father that “as long as you’re under my roof, you will do things my way,” Lois barked, “Fine! I couldn’t ask for a better reason to MOVE OUT!”

After Elinore Lane’s accident, father and daughter agreed to a ceasefire and, accompanied by Clark Kent, Lois even spent a relatively peaceful meal with her parents and sister, joking as she left, “Sam, it’s almost been civilized” (ADVENTURES # 433).

In time, the serum that had saved Mrs. Lane’s life began to lose its potency and Elinore suffered a relapse (ADVENTURES # 472). Lois had been furious and wrote a story full of unsubstantiated allegations over Luthor’s role in the original accident. Insisting that she had a “personal vendetta,” Perry White refused to publish it. Even without Luthor’s miracle cure, Elinore’s condition had stabilized and she began the road to recovery.

Taking note of Clark Kent’s steadfast presence throughout the crisis, Sam had to admit to Lois that he approved. “Didn’t have much of an opinion of that guy either way before, but the way he’s conducted himself through this ... well, he’s passed muster with Sam Lane.” Mildly astonished, Lois left the hospital in the company of Clark and told him that she had an answer to his marriage proposal: “Yes. I WANT to share my life with you” (SUPERMAN # 50).

Lois’ mother was released from the hospital in a matter of days (SUPERMAN # 57) but it would soon be Sam’s turn to receive medical attention. Twenty years earlier, he’d encouraged a soldier named Joseph Angst to participate in a secret weapons project that had mutated him into a monstrous, deformed creature. Escaping years of captivity at S.T.A.R. Labs, the man now called Angstrom attacked Sam at his home, determined to have his revenge. Superman successfully recaptured Angstrom, who was cured within hours thanks to an accidental encounter with the Parasite. In the interest of national security, the government released a fictionalized account of Angst’s transformation and cure, effectively blunting a potential political scandal (SUPERMAN: MAN OF STEEL # 4).

Tragedy struck again when airline stewardess Lucy was caught in a firefight between the terrorist Deathstroke and security forces. Belatedly learning of the victim’s identity, Deathstroke (alias Slade Wilson) was horrified and attempted to make apologies to Sam. Throwing a punch at the gunman, Sam bellowed “Sorry doesn’t cut it with me! Slime like you -- you’re gonna answer to the law! Far as I’m concerned -- you’re NOTHING!” Walking away in the custody of Superman, Deathstroke explained that he couldn’t unmask after a reaction like that. “I want him to remember the Slade Wilson that WAS -- rather than the man he’s come to BE” (SUPERMAN # 68).

Sam’s relationship with his future son-in-law had started off cordially enough even if his discourse on politics and society at the Lanes’ first meeting with the Kents had been embarrassing (ACTION # 669). When Lois broke off her engagement with Clark, he was furious (MAN OF STEEL # 55), angry enough that he barely noticed Lucy’s introduction of her new boyfriend, Ron Troupe (SUPERMAN # 115). The harsh words that he eventually exchanged with Clark (ADVENTURES # 538) seemed to taint their relationship from then on.

Eventually, Clark and Lois did reunite but the wedding remained a sore subject for Sam. Lois insisted on walking down the aisle on her fiance’s arm and Sam snarled that “if you don’t need me, maybe I won’t attend!” Elinore refused to go along with him, insisting that “it’s THEIR wedding ... If he wants to be a fool and boycott his firstborn’s wedding, that’s HIS problem.” In true dramatic fashion, Sam arrived at the church just as Lois and Clark were taking their vows (SUPERMAN: THE WEDDING ALBUM # 1).

Sam’s disgust with his first son-in-law (“My little girl could’ve had ANYONE -- even Lex Luthor!”: ADVENTURES # 541) soon took a back seat to disgust at his soon-to-be second son-in-law, Ron Troupe. Lucy was pregnant and, for once, Sam and Elinore were united in their anger (SUPERMAN: MAN OF TOMORROW # 12).

In a remarkable turnabout, Sam and Clark became allies when Lois was abducted a vengeful madman named Rajiv Naga. With the help of old army buddies, Sam organized a raid on Naga’s Australian stronghold and rescued his daughter with some discreet super-powered assistance from his super-powered son-in-law. “I underestimated that boy Kent,” Sam confided in Lois. He’s stronger than he looks. Tougher, too. Just don’t tell him I SAID so” (ACTION # 739; MAN OF STEEL # 74).

And, as one might expect, Sam’s “intense dislike” for Clark was back in full bloom by the time Lucy and Ron were married. After Lucy compained about his attitude, Sam apologized as he never would have to Lois. As his frowning first-born looked on, he hugged Lucy and said, “I’m sorry, honey. You’re right. You know I’d NEVER want to spoil anything for YOU. You’re my PRECIOUS baby girl -- and you always WILL be” (ADVENTURES # 584). Within weeks, Captain Lane finally had the boy he’d always wanted. In ADVENTURES # 587, Lucy gave birth to Samuel Troupe.

New Year’s Eve 2000 offered another surprise for the Lane household. Arriving for a small party at 500 Concord, Lois and Clark were stunned by Sam’s announcement: “President-elect Luthor wants to appoint me Secretary of Defense.” The Kents couldn’t help themselves. They burst out laughing on the spot (ACTION # 774). Time will tell just how funny the development really is.

posted January 14, 2001 08:30 PM

In his eighteenth year, Jefferson Michael Pierce participated in the Olympics and believed that life could never get any better than this. At twenty-two, he came away from the Decathalon with a gold medal. Surely, this must have been his fifteen minutes of fame. And then came his twenty-seventh year. And his twenty-ninth. And at thirty-five ... well, as a child, he’d vowed to escape his Suicide Slum roots but, in his wildest dreams, Jeff Pierce had never imagined he part of the Presidential Cabinet. Of course, he’d never imagined he’d be Black Lightning, either ...

Black Lightning, as related by Tony Isabella in THE COMICS BUYER’S GUIDE # 921 (1991) and 1093 (1994), had originated in another writer’s proposal, a character who, in Isabella’s words, was “a white bigot in his secret identity.” In 1976, Paul Levitz approached Tony about salvaging the character but Isabella found the two completed scripts to be so horrendously misguided that he suggested an entirely new hero. Isabella and penciller Trevor Von Eedon’s BLACK LIGHTNING became one of DC’s major launches in the first months of 1977 and the first two issues (plus # 6) set up most of the back story.

Born and raised in Metropolis’ Suicide Slum, Jeff had lost his father when he was only three, the result of a shooting by an unknown gunman at the grocery store where he worked. “Mom did the best she could to raise me by herself,” he recalled, “but it was pretty rough until Peter (Gambi) opened up his (tailor) shop underneath our apartment. Within a year, Peter was more like a member of the family than a neighbor ... and it was good to see Mom smile again. Peter made her an equal partner in his shop. The two of them saw me through high school -- two Olympics -- and a teaching degree from Kent State.”

Jeff ended up teaching at a high school in New Carthage but returned to Metropolis for his mother’s funeral. In his time away, Jeff had married and divorced a young woman named Lynn Stewart. As related in SECRET ORIGINS # 26 (1988), “Lynn left because she thought I couldn’t get angry enough -- at least not at all the terrible things in the world. She said all I ever REALLY cared about was getting out of this crummy neighborhood and never looking back. Maybe she was right. Then.”

“But when I came back for the funeral, I looked around and saw that NOTHING had changed here. Not a damned thing. It GOT to me for some reason. Don’t ask me to explain it, because I CAN’T. Maybe I can make a DIFFERENCE this time. SOMEBODY has to try.”

And, indeed, back at his old alma mater of Garfield High School, Jeff quickly made an impression when he kicked a drug pusher off the premises and followed suit by humilating three members of the criminal organization known as the 100. In retaliation, the gunmen killed Earl Clifford, one of Pierce’s students, and left his corpse in the GHS gymnasium.

A distraught Jeff related the tragedy to Peter Gambi, who urged him to fight back in a persona that wouldn’t invite counter-attacks on his students. Presenting him with a predominantly blue costume, Peter confessed that “I guess I had this in mind from the minute I received your letter saying you were coming home. Put it on, Jefferson. These streets -- the kids -- they need a symbol -- and you’re it!”

“Justice, like lightning should ever appear to some men hope; And to other men fear.” It was “a poem written long ago based on words by Thomas Randolph. A poem that expressed the dual nature of justice. A poem whose meaning had been lost ... until then. Gambi had remembered the poem. His skills brought it to life anew.”

Equipped with a force-field belt that enabled him to generate lighting bolts, Black Lightning had been born. Jefferson Pierce played to the era’s stereotypical perception of blacks by affecting a jive-talking speech pattern as Black Lightning and wearing a mask/wig combination that gave him a big afro, simple devices that deflected suspicion from a well-educated school-teacher.

Over the course of his first eight issues, Black Lightning carved out a niche in Metropolis, ultimately gaining the trust of such high-profile figures as Superman, Inspector William Henderson and reporter Jimmy Olsen. Along the way, he defeated several super-powered underlings of the100, from Merlyn (# 2) to the Cyclotronic Man (# 4-5) to Syonide (# 6-7), as well as the gang’s gargantuan albino leader, Tobias Whale (# 1-8).

There would be retaliation for Black Lightning’s actions but not against Jeff Pierce’s students. Rather, it was Peter Gambi who paid the price, leaping in front of a gun-blast meant for Black Lightning. Stripped of his force-field belt, the hero seemed destined for a similar fate but, in his fury, Black Lightning generated its effects from within his own body. In some unknown manner, he’d internalized the electrical power. The confrontation with the 100 had also exposed Peter’s darkest secret. The support and love that he’d showered on Jeff and Mrs. Pierce had been a kind of penance. He had been the man who’d killed Jeff’s father (# 7).

A letter from Peter was delivered to the grieving young man at Gambi’s funeral, posthumously promising an explanation for his actions. “You know, I’ve been staying awake nights trying to figure out WHO Peter was before he came into my life,” Jeff said. “I came up blank. I don’t know what crimes were in his past -- or even how the belt he designed gave me super-powers. But he gave his life to give me a dream -- and dreams are hard to find these days.” Tearing the unopened letter to shreds, the young man let the scraps fall over the broken Earth. “Rest in peace, Peter” (# 8).

Isabella was an advocate of the shared universe of DC comics and peppered BLACK LIGHTNING with characters and locales that originated elsewhere. Gambi, for instance, was the brother of 1960s criminal tailor Paul Gambi, who had debuted in THE FLASH # 141 and was named after fan Paul Gambaccini. Suicide Slum had originated in Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s 1940s “Newsboy Legion” series while New Carthage was the locale for Dick Grayson’s Hudson University. Inspector Henderson had been a staple of the Superman radio and television shows of the 1940s and 1950s while Officer Jim Corrigan (no relation to the Spectre) had appeared in a few early 1970s Jimmy Olsen episodes.

Tony’s final issue of the series proved to be # 10, which ended with an ominous hint that Jeff’s ex-wife was to become the target of a cult. Lynn Stewart had been hired as a teacher at Garfield High in # 3 and figured out that Jeff was Black Lightning in # 9: “Do you HONESTLY think a mask and a wig can fool a woman who’s seen you in your birthday suit ?” The subplot proved to have been a hastily-written substitution for the gag feature originally intended to close the issue and Isabella later admitted that he had no idea where that story thread would have gone.

DC’s line-wide purge of its weaker titles in the summer of 1978 claimed BLACK LIGHTNING as one of its victims. It ended in June with # 11, Denny O’Neil’s debut as scripter. Within six months, Black Lightning returned for his most-widely circulated appearance to date -- a guest-spot in the nationally-distributed WORLD’S GREATEST SUPER-HEROES comic strip, by Marty Pasko, George Tuska and Vince Colletta. Over the course of the adventure (running from November 1978 through January 1979), Lightning joined forces with The Batman to investigate a series of student abductions (including Dick Grayson) and met Superman and Black Canary before the case had closed.

In comic books, O’Neil continued the series in early 1979’s WORLD’S FINEST # 256, where Green Arrow met Metropolis’ newest hero and acknowledged him as a kindred spirit. The story continued over the next two issues with a rematch against Tobias Whale. O’Neil’s take on Black Lightning continued with stories in # 259 and 260 that had originally been intended for BLACK LIGHTNING # 13 and 12, respectively, and closed with # 261.

September of 1979 saw three separate Black Lightning appearances, including his regular WORLD’S FINEST spot in # 260 and aguest appearance in JLA # 173, the first of a two-parter wherein he was nominated for League membership and rejected the honor. Most significant in retrospect was his O’Neil-scripted team-up with Superman in DC COMICS PRESENTS # 16. The catalyst of the story was a girl named Trina Shelton who was shot and killed by a stray bullet during an altercation between Lightning and muggers. The balance of the episode dealt with the heroes battling Trina’s boyfriend, a magnetic refugee from outer space whom Lightning defeated by pushing his electrical field to the limit.

The first half of 1980 saw Lightning’s series revived for a Marty Pasko-scripted two-parter in DETECTIVE # 490-491 that recast Jeff Pierce as a high school coach and stripped him of his powers in an accident. Jeff had resumed his teaching position in J.M. DeMatteis’ subsequent pair of scripts (# 494, 495) but the loss of Black Lightning’s powers had stuck. Between issues, the depowered Lightning also crossed paths with Batman in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD # 163 (by Paul Kupperberg and Dick Giordano) and left the Dark Knight admitting that “I AM impressed.”

It fell to Mike W. Barr to revive Jeff Pierce some three years later, picking up on the Batman connection and the DC COMICS PRESENTS story as part of 1983’s BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS # 1 and 2. Hoping to rescue his friend Lucius Fox from war-torn Markovia, the Dark Knight recruited Jeff to infiltrate the country, posing as Fox’s brother. Inevitably, he was forced to become Black Lightning and ended up being captured alongside Batman. Ignoring the short-lived DETECTIVE run, Barr had Lightning reveal that he’d lost his powers after Trina Shelton’s death. Convinced that the loss was psychological, the Dark Knight began to verbally prod at him and brought Jeff’s electrical powers back to life once more.

The next four years saw a new confidence envelop Black Lightning, as he forged new friends with the Outsiders, found a teaching post at Gotham City’s Edison High (BATO # 4, 6), gained a bit of closure in Trina Shelton’s death after a confrontation with her parents (BATO # 9-10), revisited the Olympics (BATO # 14-15) and even had an amicable reunion with Lynn Stewart, (OUTSIDERS (first series) # 4, 9-14), now the president of a public relations firm.

By the end of 1987, though, the Outsiders were disbanded (OUTSIDERS # 28) and Jeff was settling into a teaching job in yet another city (SECRET ORIGINS # 26). The end of 1988 saw Black Lightning’s powers go berserk upon the detonation of the Dominator’s Gene-bomb (INVASION! # 3) and Jeff could no longer deny that “the power was PART of me -- there was no doubting it any longer. It had been given to me for a REASON.” Reflecting on his newfound goals in 1995’s BLACK LIGHNING # 5, he explained that he’d moved to the so-called Brick City, a neighborhood in his father’s hometown. “I knew I couldn’t save the world -- but I COULD save one neighborhood -- and maybe even the FUTURE.”

1992’s WHO WHO # 16 hinted that a new Black Lightning series was in the offing with an entry that included a never-seen-again costume illustrated by Mark Bright. The book wouldn’t come to fruition until Tony Isabella made a triumphant return to his creation in 1995, now paired with artist Eddy Newell. The official new costume included a red and black jacket and lighting coursing between the hero’s eyes, eliminating the need for a mask.

Isabella and Newell’s reality-based series hoped to emphasize genuine political and social concerns even as metahuman threats such as Painkiller (BLACK LIGHTNING # 2-4) presented themselves. The ongoing menace of a gang known as the Royal Family figured into a school shooting at the end of # 4 that left Jeff critically wounded and one of his best friends, teacher Walter Kasko, dead. The introspective “Blowed Away” in issue # 5 dealt with Jeff’s physical and emotional recovery, as he tried to come to grips with his career as Black Lightning and the deaths of so many along the way.

In addition to Kasko, the new series had also introduced a number of other new players to the cast, notably student Lamar Henderson, an informant nicknamed Beagle, police contact Tommy Colavito and new love interest Gail Harris.

An editorial flap resulted in Isabella and Newell leaving the book after issue # 8 and the series, now in the hands of writer David DeVries, soon collapsed. The final serial (# 11-13) found Batman renewing his ties with Lightning to help clear him of charges that he was a serial killer. Once the furor had died down, Isabella and Newell returned to Lightning for a striking black and white episode in Christmas 1997’s DCU HOLIDAY BASH II.

In the three years since then, Black Lightning has made no more than a handful of appearances, working with the Outsiders in Markovia during a Hellish eruption of demons (DAY OF JUDGMENT # 4) and serving with the Justice League Reserves in the midst of other disasters (JLA # 27, 41). His efforts during the Mageddon crisis, in particular, were critical as he taxed his abilities like never before, attempting “to tap the electrical field of the planet” (# 41).

“You’ve accomplished so many things, helped so many people -- and you weigh yourself down with the times you DIDN’T succeed, the ones you COULDN’T help. Stop denying what you ARE, Jeff. You’re a good man and then some. You’re a super-hero just as REAL as they come -- in a world that’s damn hard on HEROES. You haven’t made compromises, you’ve made CHOICES ... and they’ve been the RIGHT choices for you. This city -- and all the OTHER cities like it -- it’s where your HEART is. Superman and those others -- God bless ‘em -- they can save the world every WEEK. You can make it a BETTER world. Don’t you KNOW how special you are ?”

The words that Lynn spoke to Jeff as he recovered from his bullet wounds in BLACK LIGHTNING # 5 echo back as he makes one of the biggest choices of his life. Will serving on President Luthor’s Cabinet give Jeff the resources to make a better world ? Or, as in Markovia, is he serving as one of The Batman’s agents ? In the distance, you can hear the sound of thunder.

Armed with a newly-awarded political science degree, the widowed mother of five marched into the headquarters of dark horse Congressional candidate Marvin Collins, singing his praises while candidly admitting that he had little hope of getting elected. She suggested a partnership, combining her common sense approach with his idealism. “I am Amanda Waller,” she declared, “and as of this second I am your new campaign director!”

Her sister, Mary White, observed that “Amanda decided at an early age that unless you could MAKE her do something, she didn’t have to do it. And she didn’t have to listen, neither. I learned a lesson our folks NEVER did. You don’t fight Amanda; you just give her a taste of her OWN medicine. She don’t like that much.”

At the age of eighteen, Amanda Blake married 20-year-old Joseph Waller and they settled into Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing project. “We wanted a family and the Lord surely blessed us with one. Joe, Jr. and Damita were first, then came the twins, Martin and Jessie, and then my baby, Coretta. Times were hard but they didn’t make US hard. We got by.”

In the span of six months, however, tragedy struck the Waller household three times. Joe, Jr. was gunned down by gang members and Damita was raped and murdered by a sadistic pusher called the Candyman. Furious that his daughter’s killer couldn’t be arrested without a witness, Joe, Sr. snapped, tracked down the Candyman and shot him. The dying pusher fired back and Amanda Waller became a widow. “No more,” she vowed over their tombstones. “I ain’t letting these damn streets have NO MORE of my family. By God in Heaven, I swear I’ll get them out or kill myself trying.”

Mary White recalled that “she wound up having to swallow a lot of that pride. Had to go on the welfare to keep her babies alive. That burned her deep, I’m telling you.” Amanda refused her sister’s offer of assistance, snapping that the taste of government aid “rots in my mouth! I’m gonna get me POWER over my own life! And HEAVEN HELP the one who tries to TAKE that power from me!”

The hardship “didn’t kill me,” Amanda noted, “though sometimes I thought it would. First, I got the last of my babies through college. Then I got MYSELF through college. Then I looked around for something to DO.”That something was her advocacy of Marvin Collins’ platform. Through Amanda’s efforts, he won the election and became an influential voice in Washington.

As his aide, Amanda soon found herself aspiring to a head up a grander project. After stumbling across data on a former government strikeforce known as the Suicide Squad, she approached the President about reviving the Squad under her command.

“I’m a practical woman. I see a problem, I wanted it solved. There are things, here and abroad, that need doing, but for one reason or another, the government CANNOT do them. That’s fine. I understand that. But those things still need DOING.

“What’s NEEDED is a covert group of agents -- utterly ruthless, totally expendable. Prisons are FULL of those kind of people and it COSTS to keep them there. ESPECIALLY the super-villains. So why not let them CONTRIBUTE to their country ? Make them a deal: do what needs doing, succeed and survive, and keep your trap SHUT, and we’ll commute your sentences to TIME SERVED.”

A field test against the Apokolips- originated threat of Brimstone had been a success and Waller managed to get Presidential approval. He cautioned that “the group’s existence will DEPEND on the goodwill of whoever’s in this office, Mrs. Waller. Remember that.”

Created by John Ostrander, Amanda Waller was destined to become one of DC’s most memorable creations of the 1980s, a tough, single-minded control freak who would do anything to correct a perceived injustice. She’d been introduced during the Brimstone affair in 1986’s LEGENDS # 1 and 3-5 (with art by John Byrne and Karl Kesel) and her origin (quoted above along with excerpts from SUICIDE SQUAD # 31) was laid out in SECRET ORIGINS # 14 (art by Luke McDonnell and Dave Hunt) before the launch of the ongoing SUICIDE SQUAD title.

The Squad had its share of personal setbacks as members drafted for the team were killed but Amanda’s own powerbase was progressively expanding. Her installation as commander of Earth’s Intelligence forces during the Alien Armada’s assault on Earth should have represented the zenith of her career (INVASION! # 2) but it had been tainted by a disastrous political scandal that exposed the Squad’s existence to the public. Among the consequences was Squad member Deadshot’s unexpected assassination of Senator Joseph Cray, who’d attempted to blackmail Waller and the Squad into helping him get re-elected (SUICIDE SQUAD # 22). After a Congressional hearing, Amanda was publicly stripped of her duties but privately retained full control of her strikeforce (SS # 24-25)

Amanda’s prestige took another hit when Kobra manipulated the Squad and other metahuman U.S. agencies into fighting against one another, an operation that became known as “the Janus Directive” (CHECKMATE! # 15-18; SUICIDE SQUAD # 27-30; MANHUNTER # 14; FIRESTORM # 86). Kobra was ultimately taken down but the President was furious, vowing to reorganize all of the agencies. “The only reason Kobra got as far as he did was he played on you people like violins!”

Amanda would now be required to report to Sarge Steel and was informed that “your remaining the head of the Squad permanently will depend on how much of a team player you show yourself to be.”

“Why am I being singled out here ?!” she demanded to know. “If it wasn’t for ME, Kobra would’ve WON! I’M the one who smoked him out!”

“And you never told me,” the President countered. “You’ve played the lone wolf TOO OFTEN, Mrs. Waller, and you enjoy it TOO MUCH. That may have worked under the former administration but it won’t work under MINE. End of discussion.” (SUICIDE SQUAD # 30).

Mary White, who now served as head of medical facilities at the Squad’s Belle Reve headquarters, was deeply concerned for her sibling’s emotional health. Speaking to Father Richard Craemer, she confessed that “I’m SCARED for my baby sister, Rev -- scared that the anger in her is congealing into HATE. That hate will KILL her, you mark my words!”

Confronting Amanda, Craemer told her that “people here call you ‘The Wall’ and you let them because you LIKE it -- you like the image. But it’s false. You have emotions like every other human being but you sublimate them -- and that affects your judgment.

“You systematically surround yourself with people who will act as a natural check and balance to you -- LaGrieve did it, Nightshade did it, Flag did it, and so does your sister. You count on them to keep you honest -- to rein in your nastier side. By the time the Janus Directive came around, most of them were gone. You were emotionally on your own -- and you made some bad calls. And you know it.

“So -- what will you do now ? Surround yourself again with people who’ll put the brakes on you ... or learn to put the brakes on yourself ?”

Amanda allowed that she’d “think on it some” (SS # 31).

Whatever Amanda may have thought, she couldn’t have anticipated that Flo Crowly, her cousin’s daughter, would perish on a Squad mission (SS # 36). In a deep state of depression (# 37), Amanda was unprepared when word was leaked to the press that she was still running the Squad. After orchestrating a final, bloody raid on the leaders of the mystical Loa, she ordered the remained Squad members to flee and surrendered to police custody. Mystified by her docile behavior, Sarge Steel observed that “it’s almost like she WANTS to go to jail” (# 39).

One year later, Sarge Steel approached Amanda with the news that a political situation had arisen that required the Suicide Squad’s services. She agreed with the stipulation that she be released from prison immediately. “No strings. Presidential pardon. I get access to prisoners with the same deal as before. Batman helps me on this case. Oh -- and you give me a million dollars.” Smoldering a bit, Steel said yes (SS # 40).

The Squad continued for several months, culminating in a mission in the island nation of Diabloverde against a rogue imitation of the team. Amanda announced that she was “shutting the Squad down,” insisting that it was inherently flawed and that she’d been “too stubborn -- too proud -- to see it. ... All that’s ahead would be more people, OUR people, getting killed. It’s time to stop” (SS # 66).

Amanda was not, of course, the retiring type. She spearheaded efforts against Eclipso in the nation of Parador (ECLIPSO # 3, 5, 9, 11-16, 18), reorganized the Squad to lead an assault on the Silicon Dragons (SUPERBOY # 13, 15) and recruited Doctor Polaris for defense efforts in the Sun-Eater crisis (THE FINAL NIGHT # 1). Amanda eventually brought the Squad under the umbrella of the Department of Extranormal Operations (HAWK & DOVE (fourth series) # 4-5; CHASE # 2). Within months, she agreed to take the position of Southeast Regional Director with the D.E.O. while still retaining control of the Suicide Squad (SECRET FILES & ORIGINS GUIDE TO THE DC UNIVERSE 2000 # 1). And now, she’s part of President Luthor’s Cabinet.

Lex Luthor was evil. Amanda Waller knew it. But she’d known many evil men, from movers and shakers in Washington to former members of the Suicide Squad. Indeed, she recalled a secret cabal of high-ranking officials who’d conspired to control the metahuman community -- and the President’s fervent denial that he was involved (SS # 62). As she and Sarge Steel had left the Oval Office that day, Amanda reflected on Adam Cray, the latest death from within her ranks.

“Every day, I go back and I remember the names and faces of those who’ve died since I started the Squad. Every day I number the dead. I know how they died, and why. OTHERS may die. I may die. We all know that going in. But I never take it lightly. Never will. NEVER. I wish I could say that everyone we’ve WORKED for felt the SAME.”

New Member
posted January 14, 2001 10:52 PM


#62 (May-June 1966)
"The Coming Of The Costumed Incompetents"

A mad scientist is on the loose in Megalopolis. The police had disbanded their mad scientist division 20 years earlier, after the Freedom Brigade ended the career of Dr. Evil. The police contact the Freedom Brigade, even though they have been retired for nearly two decades. In Cosmopolis, 97-pound weakling Myron Victor prepares to leave for a new job as a cartoonist in Megalopolis. Myron sees that his parents have donned their old costumes as the Patriot and Lady Liberty. Myron tells them that they're too old to go back into action. The Patriot agrees, but tells Myron that he can now continue the family tradition by being a new hero in Megalopolis. The Patriot shows Myron pictures of his ancestors, who have fought crime for the last 150 years. Myron points out that they all had partners, like his parents had the Freedom Brigade. The Patriot reminisces about how they captured Hitler's top agent, the Masked Swastika. He then shows Myron a portrait of the Freedom Brigade, consisting of the Patriot, Lady Liberty, Captain Swift, the Bowman, Princess Power, Mr. Might, and the Mermaid. The Patriot tells his son that the other Brigade members have children living in Megalopolis that will aid him. The next day, in Megalopolis, Myron stops by "Heroic Costume Shop", which caters to super-heroes. Myron suggests a jester's outfit to the shopkeeper, because he is certain he will make a fool out of himself as a costumed hero. Shortly after, Myron meets the other heroes at the old building where their parents used to gather. He introduces himself as Merryman, son of the Patriot and Lady Liberty. Captain Swift's son is called the Blimp. Mr. Might and the Mermaid's son is called Awkwardman. The Bowman's son is called the White Feather. Princess Power's daughter is called the Dumb Bunny. Myron quickly realizes they are all incompetent. The heroes try to decide on a name for their new team. Awkwardman suggests the Jester's League of America. The Blimp suggests the Fantastic Farce. The White Feather suggests the Doomed Patrol. Merryman hits on the name ... the Inferior Five! The Inferior Five then battle and defeat Dr. Gregory Gruesome and his henchman, Hermes.

Notes: Story by E. Nelson Bridwell, art by Joe Orlando and Mike Esposito. Origin and first appearance of the Inferior Five. First appearance of the Freedom Brigade. At the time of the Crisis On Infinite Earths, it will be revealed that the adventures of the Inferior Five take place on Earth-12, a world very similar to Earth-One, just a little sillier. The Earth-12 Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, and Luthor are mentioned.

#63 (July-Aug 1966)
"Conquer Man-Mountain - - Because He's There!"

Dr. Gruesome attempts a prison escape, but is injured and immediately re-captured by the guards. Elsewhere, a new criminal organization, consisting of villains who had fought the Freedom Brigade 20 years earlier, plan their revenge on the team. They are the Masked Swastika (enemy of the Patriot), the Sparrow (enemy of the Bowman), the Speed Demon (enemy of Captain Swift), and the Silver Sorceress (enemy of Princess Power). The Silver Sorceress gives her comrades a portion of her youth elixir, which returns them to a youthful vigor. The villains want revenge, but realize the Freedom Brigade is long retired, so they decide to attack their children, the Inferior Five, instead. The police contact Merryman (Myron Victor, cartoonist) on the Lukewarm Line to summon the Inferior Five. He contacts the Blimp (Herman Cramer, owner of Herman's Diner), Awkwardman (Leander Brent, beachcomber and sometime writer), the White Feather (William King, glamour photographer), and the Dumb Bunny (Athena Tremor, model). While battling the villains, the Masked Swastika's Phi Beta Kappa Bomb detonates and transforms boxer "Brute" Brainard into Man-Mountain, who aids the criminals. After a crime spree, the heroes eventually defeat their foes. The Masked Swastika is unmasked and is revealed to resemble Napoleon Bonaparte!

Notes: The Earth-12 Justice League, Doom Patrol, Teen Titans, and Superman are mentioned.

#65 (Nov-Dec 1966)
"Agony At The Academy or "A Scrap'll Floor The Teacher!"

Dean Egghead's new Academy for Super-Heroes is having trouble retaining instructors, so he tries to hire heroes to teach his atavistic students (i.e., evolutionary throwbacks). The Justice League, Doom Patrol, Metamorpho, Metal Men, and Super-Hip all refuse the offer. The Inferior Five accept. They meet his students, later called Egg's Men. They are Harry McElhinney (the Ape), Irish Autumns (Basilisk), Melvin Murgatroyd XIV (Icarus), Billy Gander (Winter Wonderlad), and Penelope Pink (Levitation Lass). The Inferior Five and the Egg's Men battle F.A.N., the Fraternity of Atavistic No-goodniks. F.A.N. consists of Dr. Dinosaur, Frog Man, Angel Fish, Mr. Amoeba, and Pterano Don Juan. The heroes ultimately defeat the villains, but not before Awkwardman develops a crush on Angel Fish. The Inferior Five realize they can't continue at the Academy, but they do find replacement teachers ... the retired members of the Freedom Brigade!

Notes: The Earth-12 Justice League, Doom Patrol, Metamorpho, Metal Men, and Super-Hip are mentioned.

#1 (Mar-Apr 1967)
"Five Characters In Search Of A Plot!"

Myron Victor is working on his cartoon strip, Wonderfella, when he is visited by his paternal grandfather, Reed Victor. Myron receives a call from C.O.U.S.I.N. F.R.E.D. (Competent Organization Utilizing Scientific Investigation for National Fiend, Ruffian and Evildoer Defense), asking for help. Reed Victor speaks of his time as Yellowjacket in the 1920s. He fondly remembers Yellowjacket and Plato driving in their Gold Bug car circa 1925. Myron first contacts Athena Tremor and William King. He then contacts Herman Cramer, who is attempting to please his ritzy girl, Mabel. He finally calls Leander Brent, who is writing an article on Mr. Might, whom the editor is unaware is Leander's father. Leander writes that Mr. Might was born Barb-Ell of the planet Neon, son of Dumb-Ell. After the citizens of Neon ignored his warnings of their planet's pending destruction, Dumb-Ell sent his son Barb-Ell in a rocket to Earth. Of course, Neon never exploded ... Dumb-Ell was a complete crackpot. The Inferior Five, along with Yellowjacket and Plato, arrive at C.O.U.S.I.N. F.R.E.D.'s secret hideout, where they meet the chief Mr. Ivanhoe, and top agents Caesar Single and Kwitcha Belliakin. They battle the crime organization H.U.R.R.I.C.A.N.E. (Heinous, Unscrupulous Rats and Rogues Initiating Criminal Anarchy and Nefarious Evil). H.U.R.R.I.C.A.N.E.'s main agents are Powerhouse, the Missing Fink, Mr. Mental, the Yellow Streak, Blackbird, "Tabby" Katz, "Nitro" Gleason, and "Crabgrass" Wilde.

#2 (May-June 1967)
"The House-Hunting Heroes!"

George M. Coldham, composer of hero fight songs, attempts to write the Inferior Five a song. Merryman decides the heroes need to find a new headquarters. They build the Infericar, then head off to see about renting at the Batson Building. At that moment, at the Batson Building, scientist Rod Rickard, his wife Sophie, her brother Jerry Drizzle, and their friend Bjorn Andersen get caught in a blast from one of Rod's experiments. They become Mr. Manplastic, the Vanishing Queen, the Matchstick Kid, and Whatchamaycallit ... the Kookie Quartet. At that same moment, scientist Hector Prynne transforms himself and his girlfriend Janice into the criminals called King Size and the Terrible Tsetse Fly. The Kookie Quartet compete with the Inferior Five to prove they are the better team. King Size and Tsetse Fly are eventually defeated. Plastic Man arrives and ties Mr. Manplastic in knots, angry that he has been ripping off Plas' M.O.. A few days later, the Inferior Five purchase their new headquarters.

Notes: The Earth-12 Plastic Man (son of the original hero of the same name) appears. The Earth-12 Justice League, Doom Patrol, Challengers of the Unknown, Teen Titans, Sea Devils, Legion of Super-Heroes, Metal Men, Blackhawks, and the Atom are mentioned.

#3 (July-Aug 1967)
"Darwin Of The Apes!"

The CIA contact the Inferior Five to help locate Dr. Livingroom, who vanished in the Congo in 1960. The famed Darwin of the Apes will be their guide. They use their new Inferiplane to fly to his home. They are surprised to find that Darwin is a refined gentlemen, now called John Claypool, Lord Gravestone. His wife Jayne helped with his return to civilized ways. When questioned about their youthful appearance, Darwin explains that he was given eternal youth by a witch-doctor, then he later picked up immortality pills for his wife and friends. Darwin and the Inferior Five finally locate and rescue Dr. Livingroom from Oompah, a lost colony of Atlantis.

Notes: The Earth-12 Batman and Robin are mentioned.

#4 (Sep-Oct 1967)

Odin sends his Valkyrie to Earth to rustle up some heroes. The Inferior Five are brought to Asgard, where they meet the gods. Thor then returns with the team to Earth to become a hero. He creates the secret identity of Don R. Blitz. Thor and the Inferior Five then battle Loki and his minions.

#5 (Nov-Dec 1967)
"I Was A Guillotine-Age Hero!"

The Inferior Five investigate an odd clock built by Wolfgang von Tieck, an old Swiss clockmaker. They discover that somehow it has become a time-travel device. They land in France during the French Revolution, during the Reign of Terror. Merryman recognizes Sir Chauncey Berkeley, and confronts him that he is also the hero called the Crimson Chrysanthemum. They agree to join him in the rescue of Charles Darnit, rightful Marquis St. Evréman. After the adventure concludes, the Inferior Five return to the present. Merryman reveals that his mother's maiden name is Berkeley, and that Sir Chauncey Berkeley was his ancestor.

#6 (Jan-Feb 1968)
"How To Make A Bomb!"

This issue basically shows a 'humorous' behind-the-scenes look at how DC produces the Inferior Five comic book.

Notes: The Earth-12 Justice League, Doom Patrol, Metal Men, Blackhawks, Superman, Superboy, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Flash, Aquaman, Atom, J'onn J'onzz, Elongated Man, Deadman, Sgt. Rock, Luthor, Stanley and his monster, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, and the Fox and Crow are mentioned.

#7 (Mar-Apr 1968)
"Drainy Day!"

The Inferior Five chase a criminal into the sewers of Megalopolis. They run into Thor, Prince Nabob the Sub-Moron, Iron Pants, the Cobweb Kid, Stanley and his monster, the Fox and Crow, the villain called the Blast, and the detective Allergy Queen. The Inferior Five battle and defeat Dr. Diabolical.

#8 (May-June 1968)
"A Little Junk ... Can Go A Long Way!"

The Inferior Five battle Dr. Gruesome. Dr. Gruesome uses an ever-growing junk pile as his primary weapon.

#9 (July-Aug 1968)
"Mummy's The Word!"

The Inferior Five are referred to as the Fearless Five. The Fearless Five are asked to guard the museum's new Egyptian treasures. Aliens from Asteroid 36 try to steal the jewels, which they need to charge their mind power ray-devices. They fail and are forced to return home empty-handed.

#10 (Sep-Oct 1968)
"A Monster Rally!"

Merryman is angry that people are starting (!) to call them the Inferior Five (instead of the Fearless Five). When an alien invasion attacks Earth, a call goes out to all of Earth's heroes. Superman is in space on a mission, but others try to lend a hand. The Fearless Five, the Kookie Quartet, the Sub-Moron, and the Cobweb Kid all fight against the alien forces, but fail. Superman returns and easily evicts the aliens from our sector of space.

Notes: The Earth-12 Superman appears.

#11 (Aug-Sep 1972)
Reprints Showcase #62.

#12 (Oct-Nov 1972)
Reprints Showcase #63.

#100 (May 1978)
"There Shall Come A Gathering"

Earth is dragged out of it's orbit and is being transported through space at faster-than-light speed, causing weird temporal side-effects. The heroes of Earth meet to figure out a way to stop the menace. The Justice League head off into space, while the Teen Titans, Metal Men, and others tend to Earth. A number of time-displaced heroes, including the Inferior Five, congregate at the office of Angel O'Day and Sam Simeon. The heroes finally defeat the alien menace, and the Earth is returned safely to it's proper orbit around the Sun.

#22 (June 1982)
Reprints Showcase #62.

#11 (January 1986)
Contains a biography page for the Inferior Five.

#3 (March 1986)
"The Oz-Wonderland War Chapter VI Oz Well That Ends Well"

The Inferior Five arrive on Earth-C, the home of Captain Carrot. Merryman proclaims that they are lost and are looking for a way back to their world, Earth-12.

Notes: The home of the Inferior Five is referred to as Earth-12 for the first (and only) time. The reason they can't locate Earth-12 is because it has been destroyed in the Crisis On Infinite Earths.

#12 (March 1986)
"Final Crisis"

The Inferior Five appear in a crowd scene, while Earth's greatest heroes engage in their final battle with the Anti-Monitor.

#24 (June 1990)
The 'Inferior Five' comic book appears on the cover of this issue.

#25 (July 1990)
"Monkey Puzzles"

Animal Man enters the realm of comic book limbo. He is greeted by Merryman, who guides him through the bizarre land. Animal Man meets the Inferior Five and many other forgotten heroes, then continues on his quest.

ANGEL AND THE APE [second series]
#1 (March 1991)
"Shaking The Family Tree"

Sixteen years ago in Africa, Prof. O'Day and his daughter Angel discovered and adopted Sam, an intelligent gorilla. In the present, Athena Tremor, Angel's half-sister, comes to Angel for help. Sam Simeon is concerned and decides he will call Myron Victor later. Athena wants to ask her sister if it's okay that she ask Sam to be her boyfriend, even though she's aware that he's a gorilla. She never had a boyfriend because of her strength, but she's sure Sam could handle her. Later, Athena arrives at the office of O'Day and Simeon in order to talk to Sam, only to find them under attack. Athena knocks the attackers unconscious. Much to everyone's surprise, the attackers revert into gorillas.

Notes: The girls' father is in Zaire during this story, both their mothers are deceased. The Inferior Five are shown in a photograph.

ANGEL AND THE APE [second series]
#2 (April 1991)
"The Apes Of Wrath!"

Angel believes they may need help against the gorilla menace. She tells Athena to call the Justice League and to send them to Sam's apartment. Athena calls JLI and Guy Gardner answers. He insults Athena and she hangs up. Athena arrives at Sam's apartment wearing her Dumb Bunny outfit, telling Angel that she called the Inferior Five instead. Dumb Bunny and Sam then talk about why Angel is so rough on her. Years ago, Prof. O'Day married Princess Power, believing he could handle living with a woman with super-powers, but he discovered that he couldn't and left her after his daughter, Athena, was born. Prof. O'Day supported his daughter, but needed a more normal relationship. He married another woman, but she died soon after giving birth to his second daughter, Angel. Princess Power returned and took the two of them in. The couple soon re-married. Angel always resented Athena's strength growing up, and pushed herself hard because of it. Athena then changes the subject and tells Sam that she's found someone she'd like as a boyfriend. When Sam concludes that it's Myron Victor, Athena runs away crying. After talking to Angel, Sam realizes that it is him that Athena likes. Sam tells Angel that he thinks of both of them as sisters. Sam, Angel, and Dumb Bunny are then confronted by Gorilla Grodd, Sam's grandfather.

Notes: Princess Power is never refered to by name in this series. Also, she is shown in flashback wearing a different costume than that worn by her Earth-12 counterpart.

ANGEL AND THE APE [second series]
#3 (May 1991)
"Family Feud"

The Inferior Five arrive and help battle Grodd. Grodd grabs Sam and retreats. Angel tells Dumb Bunny that Sam knows that she likes him. Merryman overhears and is saddened by the news. Later, during a rescue attempt, Angel and Dumb Bunny learn that Sam likes Angel. An angry Dumb Bunny lashes out, wanting to wring Angel's neck, but Merryman stands in her way. Grodd uses the power of the Green Glob to turn the heroes into unintelligent apes.

Notes: Sam Simeon is shown as having grown up with Prof. O'Day, Princess Power, Angel O'Day, and Athena Tremor.

ANGEL AND THE APE [second series]
#4 (June 1991)
"Monkey See, Monkey Doom"

The Inferior Five are transformed back from apes into humans. Grodd then breaks Dumb Bunny's neck, apparently killing her. Sam agrees to join Grodd if he uses the Green Glob to revive her. While imprisoned, Angel learns from White Feather that Merryman was in love with Dumb Bunny. Dumb Bunny is still alive however, albeit paralyzed from the neck down, and hears every word. The heroes escape, and Sam uses the Green Glob to defeat Grodd. Sam then uses the Green Glob to cure Dumb Bunny. Angel realizes that Athena's parents had the same problem that Athena and Myron have. Athena says she remembers her mother talking to her once about sex, and she mentioned that no one could force an Amazon ... that she must be 'conquered'. She never understood what that meant, but Angel believes she knows. She tells Athena to hug Myron. Amazingly, he is unhurt. Athena's mother was from a lost subterranean Amazon tribe that Prof. O'Day had discovered. Though super-strong, the women bred with normal males, but not until they were 'conquered', i.e. not until they fell in love. When an Amazon falls in love, it causes an actual chemical change in the brain which short-circuits their super-strength. This never happened to Athena before because she was never truly in love before ... until Myron Victor.

#nn, hardcover edition (1998)
#nn, softcover edition (2000)
Reprints Crisis On Infinite Earths #12.

#nn (2000)
"Last Imp Standing!"

This 'Elseworlds tale' depicts Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite destroying reality after reality, including one that contains a version of the Inferior Five. The realities are all restored at the story's end.

posted January 20, 2001 08:10 PM


Xanadude, I'll see what I can do about getting to Vartox next week. In the meantime, you can look at this as a prologue:

As he watched the spacecraft hurtle into the atmosphere, the scientist pulled his wife a little closer to him and a rush of optimism washed over him. Their world was coming to an end but, for their only son, a new world awaited. Through him, Atlantis would live on.

The rocket had been aimed at “the asteroid Juno, where our telescopes detected civilization” identical to the human race and was equipped with a suspended animation chamber to protect the infant during the long journey. The unit proved to be an unexpected blessing when it arrived in a remote section of Juno and was soon buried in the world’s dense jungle. An incredible 10,000 years passed before an archeologist named Vorne found the vessel and triggered its escape hatch. The fresh air instantly revived the baby boy and the explorer looked on him as the child he and his wife had prayed for.

Ma and Pa Vorne soon realized that young Zarl was an unusual child, one given to balancing heavy furniture in the palm of his hand when he was still in the crawling stage. The gravitational difference between Earth and Juno (presumably in tandem with other unknown factors) had clearly had an effect on the toddler. At the encouragement of his parents, Zarl took the persona of Power-Boy, protecting his home of Midville and defending Juno against its greatest threat, the insidious Creeping Jungle. The ecological nightmare virtually choked half the planet, transforming everything in its path. “Even the stones sprout jungle vegetation.” After a variety of options (“fire, acid, bombs”) failed, Zarl successfully “used atomic rays to check its advance.”

The people of Juno wore an Arabic style of clothing with loose-fitting shirts and pants, vests and turbans partially covered by hoods and short capes. Power-Boy differed from the majority by wearing a more skin-tight green tunic (with a red triangle icon on his chest containing the English letter “P”) and red tights along with green boots and the obligatory turban (yellow --with a jewel) and hood/cape (red). As Zarl, he wore the tradional Juno garb and disguised himself further with eyeglasses. Thanks to an accelerated educational program, Zarl was already part of Juno’s workforce as an inventor.

Some fifteen years into Zarl’s revival (as time is measured on Earth), the planetoid was chanced upon by Superboy as he returned “from a brief mission in outer space.” Almost immediately, he witnessed the world’s resident hero destroy an incoming meteor and, after a crash course in Juno’s language and history at a library, the Boy of Steel decided to pay a visit to the hero he’d now identified as Power-Boy.

Deducing that his counterpart would also have a secret identity, Superboy isolated him with his x-ray vision and strolled up to Zarl Vorne, addressing him as Power-Boy. Once the Boy of Steel demonstrated his good intentions, he and Power-Boy became fast friends, comparing their parallel origins and going into action together.

The joy of having a super-companion was soon diminished when Power-Boy inexplicably fell ill. Superboy graciously offered to fill in for him but Juno’s protector felt compelled to accompany him when the Creeping Jungle made a resurgence. Leaving Power-Boy at the edge of the vined threat, the Boy of Steel conceived a radical cure for the planet’s ills. Fashioning an enormous saw blade, he literally cut the planet in half and sent the infested portion hurtling into Juno’s sun. Before the surviving portion of Juno could be devastated by the loss of half its mass, Superboy “sliced another uninhabited planet in half. I’m now joining a new half to Juno. I’ll seal the edges together with super pressure later.”

Unknown to Superboy, his companion had been snared by the Creeping Jungle and was plunging towards a fiery doom, as well. Miraculously, Power-Boy’s vitality returned to him as the Creeping Jungle reached the rim of the sun. Witnessing the narrow escape with his telescopic vision, the Boy of Steel finally deduced the cause of his friend’s strange weakness and made a quick departure. A skywritten message explained everything:

“Juno’s magnetic field reacted to my body from Krypton, producing invisible rays which weakened you. Thus, I was responsible for your weakness. Farewell forever.”

The events of 1956’s SUPERBOY # 52 (by Otto Binder, Curt Swan and Creig Flessel) were echoed months later when Superboy visited the world of Zumoor (1960’s SUPERBOY # 85, by Binder and George Papp). A seemingly innocuous capsule of artifacts from that world’s “Boy Radio Club” had landed on Earth and Superboy, fearing that “Zumoor may really be a warlike planet scheming to get spy information,” decided to pay a cautionary visit in the guise of a native.

As he’d done on Juno, Superboy studied the planet’s culture at a Zumoor library, assisted by a blonde, bespectacled teenager named Zarl Kazzan. Here, Clark learned that “a small planet with Zumoor’s low gravity would be unable to keep its air from evaporating into space. But fortunately, pressure rays from our golden moon FORCE the atmosphere down.” Fashion on Zumoor was subject to volatile changes, with the world’s current Victorian mode of dress preceded by designs evocative of Juno’s Arabic designs and ancient Greece’s togas.

An impending monorail crash caught Superboy’s attention but, before he could react, a blonde flying teenager had arrived at the scene, accompanied by an orange dog he called Rovo. Mighty Boy wore a yellow shirt (with a red and black chest symbol) and boots with a lavender cape, tights and wrist bands. He proved himself to be Superboy’s equal, demonstrating the powers of flight, strength and heat vision as he resolved the crisis.

As he’d done with Zarl Vorne, Superboy toyed with Zarl Kazzan by referring to him as Mighty Boy. The Boy of Steel was stunned to learn that Mighty Boy, like Power-Boy had originated on Earth! In roughly the same time period that Krypton had exploded, a rocket scientist named Charles Keith had “moved to a tiny tropical island to prevent any spying on his scientific research.” When an unexpected tidal wave destroyed their motorboat and threatened to engulf the island, Mr. and Mrs. Keith desperately put their son Tom into their experimental rocket and fired towards the United States coast.

Tom’s puppy had leaped into the craft, throwing the aiming mechanism out of kilter and sending the rocket soaring into outer space. Arriving on tiny Zumoor, Tom was found and adopted by Chad and Vela Kazzan. The combination of the world’s lower gravity and “the golden energy rays of Zumoor’s moon” transformed the rechristened Zarl Kazzan into a super-being.

Assured that “there really is a Boy Radio Club on this world” and that Zarl was a member, Superboy shook hands with his new friend and prepared to make his departure when a new crisis struck. As a woman fell from a building, Mighty Boy discovered that he’d been overcome by paralysis and the Boy of Steel was forced to act in his stead. Convinced that the temporary disorder was a sign of problems to come, Superboy decided to extend his visit.

Superboy found a number of similarities with his own life, including a trophy room/workshop equipped with robotic duplicates and Zarl’s snoopy red-haired girl friend Charise Kaan. Just as the Boy of Steel had observed an “LL” motif among his friends and enemies, Mighty Boy had accumulated a number of “CK”s, including his birth and adoptive fathers, his girl friend and now Clark Kent.

Zumoor had a number of exotic details that were unique to the planet, though. A “living jewel” from the desert displayed previously unheard-of properties when it temporarily evolved Zarl into a Future Boy. A race of fire people and ice creatures also coexisted with the human inhabitants of Zumoor. And war had been eliminated in Mighty Boy’s lifetime, with all of the planet’s weapons buried deep in the ocean.

Just when Superboy began to think that he’d overreacted, Mighty Boy and Zarl Kazzan spontaneously split into separate -- and powerless -- entities. Rovo underwent his own transformation, momentarily becoming a giant dog. The Boy of Steel had finally accumulated enough evidence to diagnose the problem -- it was him! Each time he touched Zarl, beginning with the handshake, he unwittingly triggered a different effect in his friend’s body. “Don’t you see, Mighty Boy ? I’M your HUMAN RED KRYPTONITE!”

“My theory is that your moon’s golden rays react peculiarly on my Kryptonian skin. This ‘charges’ me with an invisible force that has the same effect on you as ‘Red Kryptonite’ radiations have on me. Instead of a trophy or a mineral, I’M the thing that’s dangerous to you. Once I leave, your troubles will be over. And I can never come back, Mighty Boy.” Once more, Superboy was forced to grieve the separation of a super-companion.

As time went on, of course, Superboy formed enduring friendships with the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes and, as an adult, with the Justice League of America. The phenomenon that he’d experienced with his boyhood friends was destined to recur again, this time with a potential lover.

In the spring of 1962, Supergirl’s thoughts had turned to love and she was determined to find a mate for her cousin Superman (ACTION COMICS # 289, by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney). Informed by Kal-El that “if I ever DID marry, it would be to someone super and lovable like ... YOU!” Inspired, the Girl of Steel used the Fortress of Solitude’s computer. “Screening all possibility-factors,” she explained. “It indicates a Superwoman duplicate of ME exists on the planet Staryl. I beg you to go there, Superman. You owe it to yourself to discover if she’s the mate for you.”

The Man of Steel travelled to the world in orbit around a blue sun and, defying the odds, he fell in love with Luma Lynai, the planetary heroine of Staryl. As predicted, she had the blonde hair and features of an adult Supergirl and wore a one-piece white costume broken up by a black belt. Her gloves, boots and cape were green and her chest shield featured an “S”-like symbol.

The whirlwind romance ended with a marriage proposal from Superman and an invitation to accompany him to his own world. As they entered Earth’s solar system, Luma was wracked with pain and felt her strength fade away. Bitter experience left no doubt in the Man of Steel’s mind as to the cause of the problem. Noting that Luma Lynai derived her powers from Staryl’s blue sun, Superman explained that Earth’s yellow sun had an alternately toxic effect on her. “You can never ... live on Earth,”he choked. “I’ll stay HERE!”

Fighting back tears, Luma refused to permit it. “No! Earth needs you. Go! -- forget me!” Even as he complied she silently sobbed that “I’ll always love you.”

Kal-El’s lost friends are lovers weren’t quite forgotten. Luma Lynai was glimpsed one more time in SUPERMAN # 157 (five months after her debut) and was remembered as an image in LOIS LANE # 97 and the more recent THE KINGDOM: PLANET KRYPTON one-shot. Her debut, which included an early appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes, has been reprinted three times as of this writing. The Power-Boy and Mighty Boy episodes were each reprinted once, in SUPERBOY ANNUAL # 1 (1964) and SUPERMAN ANNUAL # 6 (1962) respectively.

And, as many of you may have noticed, the Power-Boy and Mighty Boy stories are AWFULLY similar, just one example of Mort Weisinger’s penchant for recycling old plots for new stories. Weisinger acknowledged the similarities in a thought balloon at the end of the 1964 Power-Boy reprint. Superboy thinks, “This is the second time I’ve lost a super-pal from Earth,” while a footnote identifies Mighty Boy, last seen in the 1962 reprint.

Power-Boy has since made an unidentified cameo in the crowd scene at the opening of SUPERBOY & THE RAVERS # 5. And one can’t help but be struck by the contrast of his origin with the post-Crisis history of another DC character. Like Zarl Vorne, she was an Atlantean refugee placed in suspended animation for millennia and revived with super-powers (SECRET ORIGINS # 11). Her name is Power Girl.

posted January 22, 2001 10:55 AM

Once again, superior work from Mikishawm. Where does the man find the time?!?

Recently answered:

152. the Inferior Five
165. Jim Aparo
210. Mighty Boy and Mighty Dog of Zumoor
218. Power-Boy of the asteroid Juno
225. Superwoman (Luma Lynai)
242. Cat Grant
243. Samuel Lane
244. Jefferson Pierce/ Black Lightning
245. Amanda Waller

Not yet answered:

157. El Diablo (western)
159. The Council
162. Tailgunner Jo
164. the Queen Bee (Marcia Monroe)
166. Flashback
167. Swordfish and Barracuda
168. Lu-Shu Shan / I-Ching
170. Vartox
171. Blackrock
172. Mister E
176. Nubia
179. Slam Bradley
180. Sgt. Gorilla
181. Adam Strange II
183. Astra, Girl of the Future
184. Astralad
185. Automan
186. the Beefeater
188. Burp the Twerp, the Super Son-Of-A-Gun
189. Captain Incredible
190. Colonel Future
192. Crusader
193. Dyno-Man of Sorrta
194. Element Girl
195. the Eliminator
196. the Flying Dutchman of Time
197. the Golden Eagle
199. the Homeless Avenger
201. the Human Hurricane
202. Hyperboy, Hyperdog, and the Hyper-Family of Trombus
203. Hyper-Boy / Hyper-Man of Zoron / Oceania
204. the Intergalactic Vigilante Squadron
205. Lando, Man of Magic
206. the Liquidator
207. Little Miss Redhead
208. Marsboy
209. Marvel Maid and Marvel Man of Terra
211. Mighty Man
214. Nadir, Master of Magic
215. Neolla, the Superwoman of Zorkia
216. Nightwolf
217. Petronius
219. Power Lad
220. Power-Man, King of Outer-Space
221. Pulsar
223. Sonik
226. Superwoman (Kristen Wells)
228. the Terrific Whatzit
229. the Tiger-Man
232. the Wyoming Kid
234. Yango the Super-Ape
235. Ultraa (post-Crisis adventures not yet covered)

posted January 24, 2001 02:50 PM

How about adding the following characters to your list:

Silver Sorcerous
Blue Jay
Azrael I
The Tornado Twins
Wendy, Marvin & Wonder Dog
& Godiva

posted January 26, 2001 10:40 AM

Hey, can we ask about obscure CONCEPTS here?

I was looking for the title and writer of DC SUPER-STARS # 10 (art by Dick Dillin, December issue, 1976, I think)

...where the heroes and villains play baseball?

Green Arrow
Black Canary
Wonder Woman
Plastic Man
Kid Flash
Huntress (Golden Age)
...and Uncle Sam as an Umpire.

Felix Faust
Dr. Polaris
Tattooed Man
Matter Master?
???(Just can't remember)
and Amazo as the other Umpire.

Can anyone help? (And I've also sent what I know to Scott McCullar's awesome Green Arrow Compendium AND to Canarynoir, who both share responsibility for making me think of this...)

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

posted January 26, 2001 11:46 AM

Originally posted by Eduardo:

This info I picked it from a Titans site. I don´t remember the url, right now, so I will look for it and post it later, so credit goes were its deserved.

Eduardo, I'm Ryan Hardin who wrote that excerpt on Duela's Card Queen guise at 'Titans Lair' three years ago. I'm the one who also added the Young All-Stars & some Golden Age info to the JLA/JSA/LSH Site-Map that's run by Myke's Media Maelstrom with the JLA/JSA/LSH chronology. Anyway, I made some corrections to the Card Queen info and sent it to the Moderator who changed it. Robin and Duela went up against a villain organization called the Maze, who recruited college students to their cause. The Maze apporached Duela because they "knew" her to be the daughter of Two-Face and believed that she was a criminal too. How they got this info is beyond me. The Maze went to Hudson University and that is how they recruited Duela to the team, not knowing she was the Titan known as Harlequin. Duela infiltrated the Maze and left behind clues for Robin. The Maze wanted her to pretend to be a heroine to attract Robin's attention. A costumed figure called the Raven, who was also part of the Maze turned out to be Lori Elton's new boyfirend. Lori and Dick were boyfriend and girlfriend but had broken up. When the Raven was revealed to be a criminal and Dick beat him in a fist fight (boxing) Lori went back to Dick. All the corrections to the Card Queen can be found on the 'Titans Lair' site and on the 'Duela Dent Harlequin' site.

posted January 26, 2001 11:57 AM

Thanks for that great piece on Duela, Von-El. Sorry for not clearing up that loose end before, but I have been rather busy with others things and I forget about it. And special thanks for the corrections and new info. It was some time ago that I visited the site and get the info archived in my computer.That page prove invaluable to understand the Harlequin character. So, finally, thanks.

posted January 26, 2001 12:27 PM

datalore... I posted the answer first here...
but I'll do a little cut and paste for the obscure thread... if I get time later (or if Mikishawm beats me to it) I'll transcribe the whole play by play.... I just put in the Black Canary highlights for now...

"The Great Super-Star Game" was the title, (December 1976... might be better classified as 'Bronze' DC) written by Bob "the Babe" Rozakis, "Duke" Dillon did the art, inked by Frank "Catfish" McLaughlin. The Weather Wizard was also on the villains team. BC played right field. She doubled to left in the second inning, homered in the fourth (the only run of the inning), fouled out in th fifth and seventh, She doubled to left in the ninth, subsequently Superman and Wonder Woman were walked, filling the bases. BC was thrown out at home base after a force when Kid Flash grounded to short (Tattoed Man).

ab - 5
r - 2
h - 3
rbi - 1

Black Canary had the only home run of all the heroes!

posted January 26, 2001 12:40 PM

But, to get things started, let's get the lineups of the "Great Super-Star Game"...

Superman - Pitcher
Batman - Catcher
(no snickering from the peanut gallery.... )
Wonder Woman - Second base
Robin - Left field
Kid Flash - Shortstop
Plastic Man - First base (literally )
Green Arrow - Third base
Black Canary - Right field
the Huntress - Centerfield
Uncle Sam - Plate Umpire

Lex Luthor - Centerfield
the Joker - Catcher
Chronos - Right Field
Weather Wizard - Left field
Dr. Polaris - Third base
Matter Master - Second Base
Felix Faust - First base
Tattooed man - Shortstop
Sportsmaster - Pitcher
Amazo - Field Umpire

posted January 27, 2001 04:54 PM

What was the reason for the game? Was it a bet between the villainous Huntress and Sportsmaster? Strange, that they were Earth-2 characters and this story made no attempt to explain how or why they came to Earth-1.

Just for the heck of it......

In current continuity, Wonder Woman couldn't have been there, but maybe we can substitute Martian Manhunter or Batgirl for her? Also, would businessman Lex Luthor be there? Maybe his part could be played by Thaddeus Killgrave. Also, according to SPECTRE, Uncle Sam had been missing since the end of World War II. Maybe Red Tornado was the umpire instead of him?

posted January 28, 2001 06:18 PM

And now for the story some might call "From Valeron With Love" ...

Valeron was a relatively advanced world situated in the “Sombrero Hat” Galaxy, with technology that one might anticipate on Earth in another few centuries. But it was not Earth, despite the presence of a dominant humanoid race. A glance into the sky revealed two orbs, a pair of suns and a pair of lunar satellites, possibly known as the Dadra Moons. The atmosphere was composed of 60 % oxygen (versus 20 % on Earth). Open flames were discouraged on Valeron.

Valeron also had a planetary champion in the form of Vartox, a hirsute man who wore a brown vest, black and yellow bikini briefs and long boots ... and nothing else. Although his origins are unknown, Vartox seems to gained his enhanced abilities as a young adult.

His so-called hyper-powers were “psychic in nature” and mostly directed through his hands. Aside from the powers of super-strength, flight, super-sight, intangibility, teleportation and telekinesis, he was capable of generating blasts of heat and cold and could place his adversaries in suspended animation. His “hyper-charge” amounted to a virtual death-bolt. He could also manipulate his hyper-energy into forming nets, ropes, force bubbles or other basic objects. With hyper-hypnosis, he could manipulate crowds into seeing whatever he wished. At one point, he even “defied all the laws of physics and turned a three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional one.” His ultimate exploitation of his abilities temporarily “converted (his) molecular structure into pure hyper-energy,” generating a staggering burst of destructive force.

His celebrity soon attracted the attention of a beautiful blonde named Syreena and the young Vartox was thrown for a loop. “She was like no other woman I had ever encountered,” Vartox recalled. “For the first time in my life, I knew what it was to love with a passion ... and be passionately loved back in return. As our romance flourished, she gave me a dazzling pendant to wear close to my heart -- as she put it, a glowing testament to our everlasting love.”

The same time frame saw Valeron wracked by “wanton, cold-blooded attacks directed against public utilities and services owned and operated by the planetary government. Many lives were lost -- snuffed out by an anonymous extortionist cold-blooded enough to commit multiple murder to insure his payment demands were met.” Inevitably, Vartox captured the super-powered terrorist and was horrified to learn that it was Syreena, who’d used the pendant “to siphon surpluses of hyper-energy from (his) body to hers.”

Syreena insisted that, whatever her motives had originally been, she’d truly fallen in love with Vartox and begged him to release her. Crushing the pendant, he delivered her to Valeron’s Punishment Bureau and she was given the maximum sentence. Typically, a lawbreaker was sentenced, accelerated in age by the world’s futuristic technology and released instantly. Syreena would be given a life sentence, however, and would be forced to live the rest of her days in confinement (SUPERMAN # 374).

In the years to come, Vartox continued to be haunted by the betrayal of the great love of his life and threw himself into the role of hero, not just on Valeron but throughout his galaxy. Now approaching middle-age and with sideburns and a receding hairline, Vartox finally found a new love, a reddish-blonde named Elyra. Within weeks of his marriage, the hero of Valeron would find his new bride dead in their bedchamber. The death of their planetary champion’s lover sent all of Valeron into a state of mourning and its medical authorities vowed to determine the cause of death.

Vartox recalled that “for years she suffered from mysterious pains and ailments”and the autopsiscan confirmed that there was a connection. The hero was stunned to learn that Elyra had been “biologically linked” to a woman from Earth. When her “bionic twin” died, Elyra had perished, as well. Using a time-scanscope of his own invention, Vartox discovered that his wife’s twin had been ruthlessly gunned down by an armed robber on Earth named Frank Sykes. Even more ghastly was that, thanks to a legal loophole, Sykes would not even be punished for the crime.

Vartox vowed to bring Sykes to Valeron for punishment but concluded that a direct approach was not an option. “By hyper-powers, (he) mentally projected what would most likely happen if (he) carried out such a battle-plan -- a clash between Superman and (himself) ... ending in the death of the woman he loves.” Instead, Vartox met Sykes in the guise of a fellow criminal, manipulated him into stealing a jewel and convinced him to return to Valeron for more riches. Despite the hero of Valeron’s best precautions, Superman spotted Sykes snatching the gem and attempted to intervene. Still hoping to avoid a potentially distrastrous confrontation with the Man of Steel, Vartox funnelled some of his power into Sykes, who sent Superman spinning away like “a human corkscrew.”

Superman raced after the duo, now travelling 7 & 1/2 light years back to Valeron via a teleport-beam, and literally outraced the ray to destroy “a fragment of a white dwarf star” in its path. On his home planet, Vartox placed the killer under arrest and explained that “not a law was broken, Sykes. I carefully worked out my plan so you’d come of your own free will. And thanks to your greed, you did.” He confirmed to Superman that “I planted the gem (in the jewelry store) myself. I could not let Sykes steal one of the store-jewels -- that would be breaking a law.”

Though the Man of Steel was sympathetic, he was concerned about the confinement of an Earthman on another world for the sixty years that Valeron’s law dictated. The hyper-man was accomodating, noting that “he has already served his time. As you can see, Sykes’ age has been accelerated by 60 years. Now that our laws have dealt with him, I can accept my wife’s death in peace.” Heading home with the 90-year-old Sykes, Superman noted that “the scales of justice have balanced out. Frank Sykes got away with murder on one world ... only to pay the penalty for it on another” (1974’s SUPERMAN # 281, by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Bob Oksner).

Vartox had his origins in a 1974 film called “Zardoz,” a critically-blasted science fiction adventure that featured Sean Connery as the lead character (named Zed)in a costume disturbingly close to the one worn by Vartox. Connery had made a few other appearances in DC comics of the past (in the James Bond/”Dr.No.” issue of SHOWCASE # 43 in 1963 and in a Gil Kane-designed character in the futuristic “Jan Vern” strip from 1965’s MYSTERY IN SPACE # 100 and 102) but it would be Cary Bates’ nod to one of the actor’s most unusual film roles that was destined to leave him immortalized in the Superman mythology.

Vartox wasn’t getting any younger and, after enduring a particularly rough hit by a criminal’s “z-charge” gun, the hero had to acknowledge that “the specter of age is finally taking its toll on my hyper-powers.” For the sake of his world, he felt compelled to find a solution. Via his transcope, he sought ideas from watching Superman on Earth and believed he had found one in the form of Karb-Brak, an alien being who’d fled to Earth after developing an allergy to the super-powers that all of his own planet’s people possessed. Superman had found a partial cure for Karb-Brak that enabled him to live on Earth in the guise of a human (as documented in 1976’s ACTION COMICS # 460-463).

Vartox realized that “the energy toxins which caused Karb-Brak’s dread super-hero allergy contained the vital elements (that he) needed to revitalize himself.” The hyper-man travelled to Earth, secretly reactivated his allergy and, while Karb-Brak fought Superman in “his fever-rage,” Vartox“absorb(ed) those vital elements.” Intoxicated by the energies in his system and suffering “enormous guilt for endangering Karb-Brak’s life,” Vartox convinced himself that it was Superman who had been losing his powers, not himself.

In a one-on-one battle, the Man of Steel soon realized he was no match for the addled hyper-man. His only option was a psychological tactic. Disguised as Elyra, Lois Lane called on Superman to abandon the fight and return home to her. Tears streaming down his cheeks, Vartox insisted that “she is NOT your wife -- she is MINE!”The plan had worked and a contrite Vartox told Superman to “consider yourself fortunate, old friend, to know the love of Lois Lane. NEVER take her for granted.” In the company of Karb-Brak, whom he’d inadvertantly cured as he recharged his powers, Vartox headed homeward (1977’s ACTION COMICS # 475-476, by Bates, Kurt Schaffenberger and Frank Chiaramonte & Vince Colletta).

For all the tragedy that his life had seen to date, Vartox could scarcely have imagined what lie ahead. Returning to Valeron from a routine patrol of the galaxy, he was soaking in the sights and sounds of his beloved world when his “hyper-senses detect(ed) a violent vibratory flux spreading rapidly across the planet.” In a matter of moments, the world had detonated like a bomb!

With nowhere else to turn, the inconsolable hyper-man travelled to Earth, where he choked out the details of the tragedy to Superman. “Though the Man of Steel still endures the scars of immeasurable grief from losing his own home world when he was a mere infant, he cannot begin to comprehend the weight of the pain and agony that must now weigh upon his comrade’s mighty shoulders.” Deep in the grasp of survivor’s guilt, Vartox found himself suffering visions of his people blaming him for their deaths.

Regaining his composure, the hero displayed several radioactive fragments of Valeron and asked Superman if he might use the equipment of his Fortress of Solitude to analyze the rocks for clues to his world’s destruction. The Man of Steel was agreeable to the proposal but insisted that his friend set up roots in Metropolis and mingle with other human beings rather than pull away from society in his grief.

WGBS sportscaster and eternal jerk Steve Lombard got a first-hand taste of the legendary Vartox style when Galaxy Broadcasting security officer Vernon O’Valeron responded to one of his perioidic pranks on Clark Kent by shoving his face in the garbage disposal. Clark Kent’s co-anchor (and childhood girl friend) Lana Lang took an immediate liking to the masculine security officer and Vartox responded in kind. He’d originally taken the guise of O’Valeron only to satisfy Superman but, thanks to Lana, it was “rapidly growing more and more appealing.”

Vartox’s love-life abruptly took a backseat when his investigation of the radioactive rocks yielded a heart-sickening conclusion. He’d unwittingly “picked up an undetectable space-element” while he’d been on galactic patrol, “an element with a violent reaction to oxygen.” Thanks to Valeron’s oxygen-rich atmosphere, the world exploded within minutes of Vartox’s return. Earth now seemed destined for the same end, a fate that many on Earth suddenly seemed to share. The hyper-man belatedly realized that, given the psychic base of his powers, he was subconsciously “broadcasting my dread of Earth’s impending doom at a telepathic level so intense, Earth people are being overwhelmed by my fears.”

From within the Fortress, Superman insisted that his friend’s fears were unfounded, noting that his microscopic assessment of the oxygen atoms around him displayed no disintegration. Vartox would not be deterred, even reenacting Jor-El’s futile warnings to Krypton’s Science Council about his own world’s impending doom. Momentarily shaken, the Man of Steel burst out of the Fortress and was stunned to realize that he could now see the atoms of oxygen being destroyed.

Thinking quickly, Superman realized that the radioactive fragments of Valeron had somehow negated the oxygen effect within the Fortress. At super-speed, the heroes gathered every chunk of Valeron that they could locate, “proceeding to pulverize the world-saving fragments into streams of microscopic particles to be spread throughout the atmosphere until the crisis passes -- and Earth’s oxygen is stable again.”

That night, Vartox kissed Lana Lang goodbye. She’d been stunned by the fact that she’d fallen for another super-hero, sighing, “You know, it’s funny -- deep down, I guess I always suspected you were too good to be true, ‘Mr. Vernon O’Valeron.’”

Deep down, one also suspects that Vartox may have wanted him to deny himself happiness in penance for his unwitting destruction of Valeron. Officially, though, he felt that his powers would be wasted on a world like Earth that was full of super-heroes and vowed to find another planet, “a struggling civilization in desperate need of a champion. Such is my destiny, Lana -- but it cannot diminish the love I will always feel for you. Perhaps, if all goes well ... and if you are willing to wait ... I could even come back some day.”

Choking back tears, Lana sniffled, “that might just be the best offer I’ve had in a lifetime” (1979’s ACTION # 498-499, by Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte & Colletta).

A year and a half later, Vartox returned to Lana just long enough to let her know that he’d finally found the world he’d been seeking -- a planet of orange-skinned humanoid beings known as Tynola. Indeed, Tynola seemed to be struck by catastrophes on such a regular basis that he’d begun to wonder how its people had ever survived without him. The answer, which he’d concealed from Lana, was a disturbing one. The hyper-man chanced upon a secret Tynolan ritual of chants and invocations that they were using to create “each and every ‘menace’ (he’d) ‘saved’ them from since (he) arrived.” Under the pretense of saying goodbye to his friends, Vartox had made a quick journey to Earth and, fearing that the aliens were monitoring him, covertly asked Superman to follow him back.

The Tynolans watched with interest as their newfound champion fought and defeated a genuine “menace” called Superman. Ostensibly a prisoner of the Tynolans, the Man of Steel was now free to eavesdrop with his super-vision and hearing. He quickly learned that a godlike entity known as Moxumbra was looming just beyond the planet. The gaseous being was composed of green and yellow clouds prone to almost non-stop electrical discharges and resembled nothing so much as a huge, gaping serpentine mouth.

In exchange for periodic sacrifices of super-beings, Moxumbra, from the aliens’ viewpoint at least, bestowed its “divine radiation” on them and gave them the “Power of the Chant.” The Tynolans had been secretly bathing Vartox in “mosmic additives” to make him palatable to their god. Superman, they were disappointed to learn, had powers “of an entirely different nature from Vartox’s hyper-powers” and was judged incompatible for Moxumbra.

The Man of Steel would, however, make good bait to lure Vartox into the jaws of the god and, claiming to be executing the notorious villain, they fired Superman’s body into space on a direct course with Moxumbra. As anticipated, Vartox attempted to rescue Superman and was caught fast by the creature before the Man of Steel could warn him otherwise. Vartox began to dissolve and, realizing that he couldn’t be pulled free, Superman begged him to use his hyper-energy to transfer the mosmic energy to his body. Moxumbra discovered that the new sacrifice was inedible and bolted from the planetary system “with the most colossal ‘stomach-ache’ in the universe.”

Superman was understandly thunderstruck when he learned that Vartox intended to remain on Tynola. The hyper-man was adamant, though, observing that “with Moxumbra gone, the Tynolans have LOST the chanting powers which warped their moral judgment. Ironically, NOW they truly DO need a super-champion to guide them, to help them back on the path of self-reliance”(1980’s SUPERMAN # 356-357, by Bates, Swan and Chiaramonte).

The post-Moxumbra era on Tynola was considerably less perilous, though, and Vartox now felt comfortable in taking extended vacations to Earth to visit Lana. Although she was frustrated by the pattern that was emerging (“A few precious days of bliss, and then we’ll say our goodbyes”), Lana was genuinely touched by his insistence that she not abandon her life and friends on his behalf. “In spite of all your awesome powers,” she told him, “You’ve always treated me as nothing less than an equal. You don’t know what a RARE quality that is in the men I meet. The ones who aren’t trying to dominate me feel threatened by my successful career as a TV journalist.”

Admittedly, as Vartox confided in his Kryptonian friend, it would have been difficult for Lana to join him on Tynola, anyway. Its “atmosphere would soon prove fatal to her or anyone else with an Earth-based physiology.” That suddenly became a moot point when a ghostly being bestowed a protective aura on Lana and erased her memory of the encounter. Vartox and Superman were astonished when they found her apartment filled with a poisonous gas, something that the hyper-man recognized instantly as the Tynolan atmosphere. Having discovered that the blue glow around her body had somehow immunized her, Lana realized that there were no longer any barriers to prevent her from joining the man she loved on his adoptive world.

Superman and Jimmy Olsen were more troubled by the entire situation. “Doesn’t that weird protective aura and the alien atmosphere test seem more than a little suspicious to you ?” Jimmy wondered aloud. Vartox had rationalized it away, noting that “I’ve long been aware of an ethereal hyper-body which dwells within my physical essence. On occasion, this ‘phantom self’ has been dispatched into action without my knowledge -- directed by my own own subconscious wishes.” It was, he felt, “the only theory conceivable.”

In fact, a far more sinister entity was behind the blue aura, a person who was secretly whipping Vartox into jealous attacks on Superman as his wedding day approached. In a murderous rage, the hyper-man burst into Lana’s going-away party -- determined to kill the man he was convinced was trying to steal his fiancee. Firing a lethal hyper-charge at the Man of Steel’s chest, Vartox watched helplessly as it ricocheted toward Lana and, reacting with the aura, transformed her into a stone statue.

In a state of shock, Vartox surrendered to authorities. Head in hand, he told Superman from his cell that “I have ceased functioning as a rational super-being. Let us be candid, Superman -- there were warning signs of mental instability.” Citing the mental blackouts in which he supposedly endowed Lana with her aura and went into his rages, Vartox insisted that “what happened today is no one’s fault but my own -- and whatever penalty your Earth-justice decrees for me will not be severe enough.”

Privately, Superman felt otherwise. “Vartox is somewhat older than I am ... and his hyper-powers and vast experience have made him a force for good in the universe ever since I was a super-tot. I don’t buy a champion of his caliber suddenly losing his mind over the woman he loves -- not unless an outside force was at work.” Microscopically examining photographs that Jimmy Olsen had taken at the reception, the Man of Steel spotted a secondary beam directed at Lana at the moment of her transformation.

Elsewhere, Vartox was being haunted by a ghostly image that he finally identified as Syreena when he noticed that the remains of her crushed pendant (which he still carried after all those years) had begun to glow. Using those fragments, he escaped from prison and trailed Syreena back to her base. She’d anticipated his arrival and activated a long-dormant failsafe that unleashed poison in his lungs. The deathtrap was dealt with immediately by Superman, who told his friend that he’d uncovered evidence implicating Syreena in Lana’s death.

Grasping at any possibility, Vartox asked his former lover if she could resuscitate Lana. “Y-yes,” she responded. “There IS one way. I can SAVE her for you, Var ... so you and she can have the happiness you and I were never meant to share.” Working over Lana’s stone form, she realized, “Perhaps I DO still LOVE you, Var ... far more than I ever knew ... until NOW! Just PROMISE me you will never FORGET me.”

Vartox began to understand what she was getting at when Lana returned to life. The restoration had only been possible by Syreena “transferring the petrification field from Lana’s atoms to her own.” The spell had also erased Lana’s aura, a small price to pay for her restoration. The hyper-man spent another several days on Earth before returning to Tynola with Syreena’s immobile form. “Only a cruel twist of fate could make my wish come true this way,” he cursed as he left the planet’s atmosphere. “I was hoping to go back to Tynola holding in my arms -- the woman I loved” (1982’s SUPERMAN # 373-375, by Bates, Swan and Dave Hunt & Dan Adkins).

Superman was understandly concerned when Vartox returned to Earth a year later, once again suffering blackouts and partial amnesia. He couldn’t remember Tynola’s location -- or even its name -- and headed to the only location in his mind: Earth. With a bit of hesitation, the Man of Steel gave his friend another bit of potentially bad news. As Clark Kent, he’d begun dating Lana Lang.

“It seems, Superman old friend,” he grinned, “that I’ve checked out of my life for longer than might have been prudent.”

“Don’t talk like that, Vartox ... and especially don’t give that to ME. I KNOW what kind of problems you can have when you make a career in OUR line of work.”

“No, no, my friend. I am all right, just a little disappointed ... in MYSELF for letting the best things in my life sift through my fingers. I should have married Lana when I had the chance. Besides that ... your alter-ego Clark Kent is a good man in his own right.”

“I’m glad you’re a friend, Vartox -- and I’m glad you’re taking this news well. You have no IDEA how much I’ve agonized over this.”

“You knew the woman long before I did, Superman, and ... and ... and now -- I will KILL you!”

The Man of Steel hadn’t seen the hyper-powered slap coming and was helpless as Vartox incinerated him with a blast of hyper-energy. Blinking, Vartox realized that the entire conflict had been in his mind. As Superman left him alone in the Fortress, the hyper-man silently wondered what he had done to deserve such never-ending torment.

Both he and the Man of Steel would have been far more concerned if they’d checked into the welfare of Tynola. The FORMER planet Tynola. An otherworldly dybbuk, “an entity capable of occupying someone’s body,” had been on a systematic quest for power that led it to inhabit and drain the powers of one alien super-champion after another. Srakka, as the parasite was called, was captured only once while in one of his alien hosts and he vowed to have that champion’s body as his next conquest -- Vartox. Aware that it could only enter a super-being’s body if its prospective host “was suffering the pain and anger of a great loss,” Srakka decided that a logical course of action would be the destruction of Tynola!

The plot was all too successful. In a state of fury at losing a second world, Vartox seemed to slay the super-champion, realizing only afterwards that “never before have I deliberately killed a conscious being. I cannot live with that!” Srakka found that his new body “was in not only rage, but self-doubt. Because he thought that he, not I, had killed my previous host, he went wandering confused for a time ... until eventually he himself led me to the home of my NEXT prey.”

Having successfully expelled Vartox’s spirit from his body, Srakka abducted Lana Lang in the hope of gaining access to Superman’s Kryptonian form. When “Vartox” killed Lana, Superman reacted exactly as he’d hoped and went into a frenzy. The parasite emerged from Vartox’s body with the intent of taking over the Kryptonian but found himself blocked. The rage had been faked! Holding the now-tangible dybbuk in his hand, Superman flew it deep into space for “a deep freeze on Pluto.”

Srakka had reckoned without the psychic aspect of Vartox’s abilities, which allowed him to take possession of a willing body and use his hyper-powers through them. That body, ironically, was yet another would-be lover of Lana Lang, an obsessed fan named Wally Gurkheim who’d stalked the TV personality in the past. In Wally’s guise, Vartox had alerted Superman to the plot and rescued Lana from seeming death. Speaking from Wally’s body, Vartox assured Lana that“were it not for his essential goodness and generosity, I would not have been able to inhabit his body to save you and Superman’s sense of loss at your death would not have been faked for the parasite.”

Returning to Earth, Superman found Vartox and Wally back in control of their respective bodies and Lana assured him that young Mister Gurkheim would “have a job at WGBS before the day’s out.”

Thrusting his hand towards the hyper-man, Superman asked, “Friends again ?”

Grabbing the hand, Vartox responded, “Friends FOREVER!” (1983’s SUPERMAN # 389-392, by Bates, Swan and Hunt)

No one is quite certain what happened to Vartox after that. One account claims that the former champion of Valeron made a final trip to Earth, arriving in the wake of the murder of Lana Lang and the disappearance (1986’s ACTION # 583). It might also be argued that the hyper-man eventually remarried and started a family, one that extended several centuries into the future when a clean-shaven lookalike named Damos worked with Jan Vern as an agent of Interplanetary Investigations (1965’s MYSTERY IN SPACE # 100 & 102).

Yet another story suggests that Vartox didn’t meet Superman until 1999, shortly after the murder of Valeron’s green-skinned previous planetary champion, Ontor, at the hands of an otherworldly serial killer known as the Anti-Hero (TEAM SUPERMAN # 1, by Mark Millar, georges Jeanty and Doug Hazelwood).

This incarnation of Vartox, who wore a less-revealing brown body suit with a yellow stripe on the torso, was forced along with other alien heroes to do the bidding of Brainiac or their respective homeworlds would be destroyed. Having developed a deep respect for Superman in the short time that they’d known each other, Vartox used his “invisible hyper-shield” to protect the Man of Steel from a lethal blast from Brainiac. On Earth, Vartox and fellow heroes Paz and Vestion drew a line in the sand and sent the villain into space as they pursued him. “Remain here and take care of your home and your loved ones, Superman,” the hyper-man shouted as they teleported away, “for the day may come when you might LOSE them”(1999’s SUPERMAN # 148 & 150, by Dan Jurgens, Steve Epting and Joe Rubinstein).

Vartox, in any incarnation, knew the subject of loss all too well.

posted January 29, 2001 08:36 AM

Cass, thanks for your response in both spots...

...and some MORE info for those looking for it:

Okay, I looked it up this weekend, and have the following stats for "The Great Super Star Game" (and I cheated, since it was reprinted in DC SPECIAL BLUE RIBBON DIGEST #13 -with a Neal Adams style cover by Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano...but it lacks the play by play contained in the DC SUPER-STARS issue...)

Huntress was tired of losing to the heroes, and wanted to "go good", and while fighting with her husband, the Sportsmaster....he game up with the idea of this game. So, the two of them planned on "recruiting players" for each side (though why folks with a teleportation device would resort to crime...ah, the Silver Age & near Silver Age, what fun!)

Batman, Black Canary and Green Arrow faced the Joker and Matter Master at Bowling championship...

Superman (playing tennis with himself, even doubles!!) was fighting Luthor who had revived Amazo (and Kilgrave would make a nearly perfect replacement)...

Wonder Woman (with Plastic Man as her lasso...the scene still makes me smile...AND post-Crisis, I figure it is Wonder GIRL, she also replaced Wonder Woman in Super Team Family 14 by the Secret Origins story on Floronic Man...it maintains the "lasso" gimmick) was guarding a Soccer match when Weather Wizard and Chronus attacked...

Kid Flash and Robin were attempting to stop Dr. Polaris and Tattooed Man (both unexplicably in their original costumes) from LITERALLY running away with some prize horses from a very important race, when Felix Faust showed up to teleport the horses away, and Uncle Sam showed up to help the youngsters...(I think Uncle Sam might still fit...he "just" appeared in Hawk & Dove towards the end of their series...and Wonder Girl, for "some unexplained reason" could vouch for him...)

...and they were all teleported to a baseball stadium with a "captive audience"...and forced to play!

The line-up:

Wonder Woman - 2B
Robin - LF
Kid Flash - SS
Batman - Catcher
Green Arrow - 3B
Huntress - CF
Plastic Man - 1B
Black Canary - RF
Superman - P
...with Uncle Sam as the Plate Umpire

Dr. Polaris - 3B
Tattooed Man - SS
Felix Faust - 1B
Luthor - CF
Weather Wizard - LF
Joker - Catcher
Chronos - RF
Matter Master - 2B
Sportsmaster - P
...with Amazo as Field Umpire.

Of course, the villians cheat and use their powers, and it doesn't avail them any good. (Maybe more later...but Green Arrow uses an arrow and Plastic Man gets the final out...)

And the Huntress and Sportsmaster teleported everyone back...and the heroes won there, too. (but I don't think she went good....)

Written by Bob Rozakis
Pencilled by Dick Dillin
Inked by Frank McLaughlin
Edited by Julius Schwartz

18 pages of pure fun!

Mikel Midnight
posted February 01, 2001 10:32 PM

A pair of Inferior 5 questions:

When we first see Merryman, and his parents are talking to him about their family's heroic tradition, do they mention anyone by name and/or era (other than the Crimson Crysanthemum and Yellowjacket)?

Also, it seems to me that the ANGEL AND THE APE series really isn't compatible with what was originally explained about Dumb Bunny's heritage (her mom and Steve Tremor). Is that actually the case?

posted February 02, 2001 12:58 PM

IIRC, as Myron Victor was lectured by his father about his heroic lineage, there were paintings of their predecessors hanging on the wall in the background. Definitely no mention of names in that issue though. Yellowjacket and the Crimson C. made actual appearances later on.

In the ANGEL AND THE APE mini, Dumb Bunny's mother was never called "Princess Power" by name. And her costume was totally different from the pre-Crisis version. Also, there was no mention of Steve Tremor or the Freedom Brigade.

I would love it if some writer would show us glimpses of the Brigade as having existed in the DCU, not solely in the context of the Inferior Five, but as a serious force to be reckoned with. The Inferior Five series had established that the Brigade members retired about 20 years before the formation of the Inferior Five. (The only tie to WWII was a Nazi criminal that the Patriot had fought, but there's no reason that he couldn't have actually fought the villain years after the war ended.) They could easily be placed anywhere in the gap between the JSA's retirement in 1951 and the emergence of the JLA "10 years ago", perhaps as contemporaries of the Justice Experience, as suggested in another thread. Princess Power is now known to have come from a race of subterranean Amazons. Mr. Might could have been a metahuman who, after Superman revealed his Kryptonian origins, attempted in his retirement to retroactively "imply" he had similar origins (thus the "planet Neon" origin repeated by Awkwardman). The Mermaid could be related somehow to Little Mermaid of the Global Guardians. And on and on and on.

Princess Koriand'r
posted February 02, 2001 01:26 PM

Well, this is what I found for The Golden Eagle.

Charley Parker, alias Golden Eagle, was a Midway City orphan teen who hero-worshipped Hawkman to the point of dressing like him. When the villainous Matter Master commanded his "mentachem" wand to find Hawkman (not knowing Hawkman was in space), the wand decided to manufacture a reasonable facsimile and transformed the suitably clad Parker into a pseudo-Hawkman by turning his makeshift costume into one capable of flight. Embarking on a crimefighting career as the Golden Eagle, Parker was rescued from the Matter Master by the JLA. Parker improbably resurfaced several times thereafter as Hawkman's purported protegé and as a founding member of the short-lived Teen Titans expansion team, Titans West (the first of many super-hero expansion teams).

Golden Eagle was one of many characters retroactively deleted from DC continuity by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but that decision was later reversed and he reappeared with an impressive new costume (a George Perez original) and a new background as a would-be hero-for-hire and ne'er-do-well surfer dude who had helped found the short-lived Titans West. He became an occasional New Titans reservist, and participated in the brief Titans West reunion while sponging off Mal and Bumblebee in California. Golden Eagle's retconned rebirth was brief, though, as he was murdered by an agent of the Wildebeest Society during their ongoing campaign to capture the past and present members of the Titans.

Powers and Weapons: Golden Eagle's superhuman powers were all properties of his winged, armored costume, which gave him enhanced durability and allowed him to fly to great heights at high speeds. His gauntlets' talons were formidable slashing weapons, and his helmet lenses gave him telescopic vision of incredible acuity. The origin of Golden Eagle's costume is unknown, since he never displayed the sort of scientific expertise that would have been necessary to construct it. Without the suit, he was merely an athletic young man with moderate skill at unarmed combat.

Is this what you're looking for?

posted February 02, 2001 04:44 PM

Here's some info on the Council (assuming we're talking about the same group). They are from the classic MANHUNTER back-up feature from DETECTIVE COMICS by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson.

Following the creation of the atomic bomb in World War II, a group of future-gazing scientists banded together to "protect humanity from itself." This sinister agenda became their driving motivation, even to the point of extending their own lifespans via suspended animation.

Seeking to build an army, the Council found a perfect human specimen in Paul Kirk, the former Golden Age hero known as Manhunter. Kirk had been killed by a wild elephant while on a hunting trip in Africa but the Council's sophisticated technology revived him and augmented his genetic structure with a "healing factor." During the process of Kirk's resurrection, the Council had also cloned him and assigned the task of training these new warriors to Asano Nitobe, last surviving master of ninjutsu.

Manhunter's first mission in the Council's service was to assassinate the head of Interpol. Refusing to take a life in cold blood, Manhunter tried to warn his prey. But when the lights came up, he discovered that the Council was testing his loyalty and had replaced the Interpol agent with one of their own people earlier. Realizing the Council's madness, Paul Kirk escaped them and became a fugitive, travelling from country to country pursued by assassins with his own face.

Eventually, Kirk gathered allies in his war against the Council. Among them were Interpol agent Christine St. Clair, his teacher Asano Nitobe (who finally escaped the group's brainwashing), an African weapons dealer who was the son of one of Kirk's hunting companions, and finally the dread Batman himself. Batman had been drwn into the case by the murder of a friend. Evidence pointed to the mysterious Council and though the Dark Knight disagreed with Kirk's methods, he joined his crusade.

Eventually, the small band of heroes infiltrated the Council's hidden fortress. There, Batman faced a masked martial artist who he believed had murdered his friend. But during the course of the battle, the Caped Crusader realized the truth- that the masked man WAS his friend. He had been taken in by the Council's brainwashing and, in a way, the man Batman had known was truly dead.

Meanwhile, the Manhunter had reached the inner sanctum of the fortress and faced the Council themselves. Linked in their hibernation chambers by telepathy, the old men tried to have the rebellious Paul Kirk destroyed. In the end, Kirk sabotaged the fortress's technology and perished beside the Council in the resulting explosion.

Though consisting of only seven issues, the MANHUNTER series was critically acclaimed and fans were clamoring for more. Goodwin and Simonson reunited for a final chapter to be added for a collected edition. Sadly, Archie Goodwin passed on before the script could be completed but the story was included in the collection as a "silent" comic. A man resembling Manhunter was rampaging across Gotham City, attrracting the attention of Batman. St. Clair amd Nitobe appear, kill the imposter, and cross the last of the Manhunter clones off their list. The Council's agents were at last defeated.

Or so it seemed. In the JSA SECRET FILES #1, Black Canary and Hippolyta are seen battling a group of assassins who "all have the same face". "And it's a face familiar to me", the Amazon Queen remarks....

posted February 04, 2001 04:16 PM

Here's my own attempt to rework Golden Eagle's history into current continuity, while retaining as much of the original material as possible:

Charley Parker was a Midway City orphan teen who hero-worshipped the golden age Hawkman to the point of dressing like him. When the villainous Matter Master commanded his "mentachem" wand to find Hawkman (not knowing Hawkman was in space on a mission with the Justice Society), the wand decided to manufacture a reasonable facsimile and transformed the suitably clad Parker into a pseudo-Hawkman by turning his makeshift costume (which looked exactly like Hawkman's) into one capable of flight. Embarking on a crimefighting career as the Golden Eagle, Parker was rescued from the Matter Master by the JLA.

Parker resurfaced some time later, in an entirely different uniform with different wings. Who designed the uniform and wings has never been revealed. Golden Eagle rescued a group of campers from a forest fire and was surprised when they refused to give him a reward. He then embarked on a career as a hero-for-hire, not doing very well, by the way.

Soon he became a founding member of the short-lived Teen Titans expansion team, Titans West (the first of many super-hero expansion teams) along with Lilith, Hawk, Dove, Beast Boy and Flamebird.

Titans West did not last very long. Golden Eagle became an occasional New Titans reservist, was seen at Donna Troy's wedding and participated in a brief Titans West reunion while sponging off Mal and Bumblebee in California.

Golden Eagle was murdered by one of the Wildebeest Society during their ongoing campaign to capture the past and present members of the Titans.

Exactly where Charley's Golden Eagle armor came from has not been revealed. There are many possibilities, though:

Perhaps Hawkman created it for Charley, using his anti-gravity Nth metal? After all, Hawkman's son Silver Scarab created an entire costume made of Nth metal.

Perhaps the Manhunters gave Charley his costume, hoping to use him against Earth's heroes later. However, after observing him, they decided he would not be a very reliable agent, and abandoned the idea of using him.

Maybe, unbeknownst to the other Titans, Charley was also recruited by Mr. Jupiter who financed the construction of Charlie's costume.

Maybe a Thanagarian scout-ship crashed near Midway City, its pilot incinerated in the crash. Charley happens upon the sight and finds a Thanagarian prototype Hawk-police suit that was stolen from Thanagar.

Maybe Charley volunteered for a S.T.A.R. Labs experiment and stole the wings?

Can anyone think of any other scenarios?

Anyway, I'd love to see Azrael, the winged alien, return as the new Golden Eagle. Then after reuniting with Lilith, we learn that Azrael is really caveboy Gnaark, who had been transformed from Neanderthal to Angelic-being in a convoluted time-travel story.

Tenzel Kim
posted February 04, 2001 07:03 PM

Here's what I have on Golden Eagle at the "Hawkworld... Still Goin' Strong" website. Whether or not this was a profile I wrote myself based on the two prior who's who profiles on Golden Eagle or somebody else wrote it I honestly don't remember. Anyway, here goes:

As a teenager, the orphaned Charles Edmund Parker idolized Hawkman. Charley claims that he accidentally gained the same powers as Hawkman from the Mentachem Rod, prime weapon of the Matter Master, Hawkman's arch-enemy. Apparentally, Matter Master was unaware that Hawkman was off-planet at the time, and the wand attempted to grant the villain his wish for revenge by supplying him with a new "Hawkman."

In return for his help in the JLA case that resulted, Hawkman supposedly gave Charley a set of wings and a helmet. Apparentally, Charley had some modifications made later on [Note: This part of his origin has not been varified post-Crisis] [JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #116].

Charley made his heroic debut in the skies of Northern California, where he recued a family of campers from a forest fire. He recieved much praise, but his attitude was akin to "no applause, just throw cash." Charley handed out Golden Eagle business cards, a move which further deflated his image in the eyes of the townspeople.

Golden Eagle's involvement with the Teen Titans started when Mr. Esper attacked California. This soon caused Charley to join Titans West, where he served with some distinction till its dissolution. [TEEN TITANS vol. 1 #50-52]

With the exception of his superheroing with Titans West, Charley seemed unable to hold a steady job. Unable to make money from superheroing, he launched himself into a series of challenging jobs, such as pumping gas, or sweeping up. None of these jobs lasted very long.

When Titans West disbanded, Charley gave up his career as Golden Eagle. He worked for a Chicken Little's Fried Chicken franchise in Malibu and was seen at the wedding of Donna (Wonder Girl) Troy and Terry Long. [TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #50-52]

A few years later he came out of retirement to assist S.T.A.R. Labs San Francisco, with Titans West once again. At the end of the adventure, an attempt to reform the group by Bette (Flamebird) Kane proved unsuccessful. Charley was "tapped out". His weekend stay with Mal and Karen (Bumblebee) Duncan had already turned into a into a two month visit. [HAWK & DOVE ANNUAL #1]

Less than a year later Golden Eagle and Aqualad met each other along the coast of Long Island where they were supposed to meet the Terminator, who called them both there. After talking for a moment, they were both attacked by Wildebeest, who electrocuted Aqualad while choking Golden Eagle with a wire around his neck. Aqualad fell into the water below them, while Golden Eagle crashed into the ground. The Wildebeest then strangled Golden Eagle, killing him, after Golden Eagle manages tear a part of the Wildebeests mask off [NEW TITANS #72].

Charley may have had some flaws, being the unemployed surfer dude/beach bum that he was, but he died a true hero, trying to protect the badly wounded Aqualad.

posted February 05, 2001 08:18 PM

Er...Hello here....hmmm...did anyone mention a female skater from the Flash (Barry Allen) named Kolossal Kate yet? I am so curious about her...but I don't know what issue of the Flash. Can anyone help me on that? Thanks!

posted February 06, 2001 04:40 PM

I remember Kolossal Kate. But I can't tell you much about her...except that she was in fact an alien monster.


posted February 07, 2001 09:11 AM

Say, does anyone remember Hacker's Files? Am I the only one who remembers that title? Whatever happened to him?

posted February 07, 2001 09:15 AM

I remember buying the title, and that Oracle was in a few issues...

...but could say nothing else...

Remember Chain Gang War? Wild Dog?

posted February 10, 2001 12:49 PM

This is a simulcast with the BATMAN board:

(clipped - see 'Batman Family Characters' thread)

Next up, I’m afraid I’ve got a bit of bad news. After agonizing about it for the past week, I’ve decided to take a leave of absence from the bios here and at the “Mikishawm, I Think ...” thread for a few months. Basically, it’s just a matter of time. My pile of comics-related projects outside the Board (both for others and myself) has been snowballing and I finally had to admit that something had to give. Otherwise, I don’t expect my routine to change that much. I’ll still be checking in on the Boards and posting responses. I just wanted to break away from my self-imposed weekly deadlines for a little while.

On the positive side, this thread is thriving thanks to all the historians who've been posting here so there's no danger of it dying anytime soon.

In the meantime, thanks for the enthusiastic response you’ve given me here and on other threads. I couldn’t ask for a better audience!

To be continued in Obscure DC Characters, Round IV.