Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

Two parallel universes from two silver age comic book publishers examined ad naseum!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Team-Up Tuesdays: Showdowns in the Stars

Last week, we presented the third installment of two silver age tales. In fact, the last team-ups of the silver age for the Comet's band of Crusaders and the duo of Captain Atom and Nightshade. This week, we find both teams hijacked into the stars...for the Action-Heroes it was to the alien world of Sunuria where their foe the Ghost awaits them, and for the Mighty men and lady of Mighty Comics, quite literally as their own Star-olator collapses leading to a death trap of epic proportions! Or is it?

Yikes, turns out Black Hood was duped as the hooded police detective Kip Burland ends up dunking his own chief of police! Not a good time to slip up if you are a Crusader. Looks like he's at least in good company as the Shield and the Comet, and Fly-Man and Fly-Girl haven't made the best of names with law enforcement authorities, despite their best efforts. Time to lick their collective wounds. And figure out how to turn this ship around. They hope!




Unlike most heroic groups, the Crusaders didn't have a headquarters, per say, but rather built a Star-olator that helped them track down crimes across the globe. How exactly it did this was never explained, and why they never placed the blamed thing inside somewhere... even a a cave was acceptable back in the day....is beyond me. Thankfully it never rained on their parade...and they always had sense to meet during daylight or at least dusk.

Okay please explain this if you would...some "force" is drawing the ever-loving Star-olator into a deep cavern... maybe a cave? (Anywhere close to Happy Harbor?) However, three of the five members CAN FLY and defy gravity! Two of these have superhuman strength and could lift the other two dead weights out of this trap. Yet they all submit to plot convenience... and we submit to suspension of belief. Well.... at least now we now who the master manipulator of bad circumstances is, the Maestro. 



Yeah that is really original, thankfully Jerry Siegel never met an idea he couldn't pillage. And thoroughly stretch beyond on credulity. As for the villain himself, it appears that the Maestro is hitting some sour notes... unleashing a bee against the Fly-Man. Who can control all insects with but a wave of his hand. Yeah... right. And what clever predators with Mister Bad Jangles present to the remaining Crusaders? Come back next week and you'll find out!


The Ghost falls into the classic "taunt the hero when he is at your mercy and give him time to regroup". Such a thing happens to the Ghost who can't resist showing his two foes that he is really Alec Rios, their missing scientist friend. Of course he unmasks to do this...and suddenly the Sunurian's Faceless One has a face! The idiot kept that mask on for years (man he must have stunk under that thing). Atom realizes this in his five minutes there! Rios is now a big fat fraud with his fräuleins. Dummy!


Now we have a mano-y-mano battle between two bitter foes, left powerless thanks to Sunuria technology. To negate the Ghost's teleportation abilities is something... yet to negate Captain Atom's awesome powers if something else. Remember these same alien amazons created the stinker strings and hypno jewels of Punch and Jewelee, another pair of Atom/Shade adversaries. With the guys occupied, Shady gets some time with the girls to compare funky hairdos. Rowwwlll.



And so... equipped with primitive hand weapons... it seems like the Ghost might finally have the upper hand and gain the victory he has long sought against the costumed alias of Captain Adam. Can you just hear the music they played on that episode of Star Trek when Kirk battled the rock creature? Aw but we see that shedding blood isn't something foreign to the Atomic Avenger...although this stirs the ire of his the sinister spectral spook. Could this be the end?


With a whole world (nearly) behind him, Rios seems to have Adam on the ropes...until the good captain whips out his own rope to counter his opponents master fencing moves. There still appears to be no clear winner... although the Priestess definitely could tip the scales if her former opposition to the "Faceless One" is any indication. Stay tuned for more sensational storytelling (at least from Charlton) next week for part five of our Team-Up Tuesdays Silver-age Special! Until then.

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