Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sideline Sundays: E-nimals Week - The Other Action Heroes

Our focus for "E"-nimals week are Jaguar and E-Man. Huh? What do THESE two have in common. Surprisingly....oodles... which we'll get to tomorrow. For now, let's see some of the characters who are on the periphery of our heroic pair's adventures. See, are red-clad raiders were never all that sociable with the hero set, at least not at first. Still, the pair had some interactions with the Action Heroes.


From this initial outing alongside fellow members of the Terrific Three, Mister Justice and Steel Sterling, it is quite evident that he doesn't have to much respect for Justice and is very defensive of the Man of Steel. Maybe that's why this triumphant triad didn't last nor worked together again (until decades later, with scores of other heroes against a legion of larcenists). While in his solo tales jag seems amiable enough with fellow scientists and damsels in distress, with fellow "Type A" adventurers he didn't seem to play nice. This is evident when he next joins a super-set.


No that's not Jaguar all nice and close with the Web, that's just the weird way he carries his fly-less friend to an assemblage of the Mighty Crusaders. The Web ended up being Jaguar's brother-in-law, since he married Jag's sister Rose. She wasn't partial to Web risking his life in his colorful alias, but didn't seem to care much about brother Ralph prancing around in his feline fashions. And if his mama thought that John "the Web" Raymond" was a double-daring nut, imagine what she would have thought of her own flesh and blood doing far more dangerous stunts... battling wild beast and deadly aliens! We see where Jag got his feisty nature!

While another team mate (and Web's close confidant Doc Reeves) felt some tension between Jaguar and himself, Darkling sensed the animal avenger had the noblest spirit of any man she had ever met in all her dimensional traveling. He felt more at home with the animal kingdom.


In the above picture we see a melding of various Charlton Action Heroes, perhaps the only appearance he ever had with his fellow action aces. Note the impression he made on Blue Beetle, and the one Captain Atom made on him. Alas, in the publishing universe of Charlton, very rarely did any of its characters "play friendly" with one another, especially with E-Man who arrived several years after his fellow heroes (aside from Yang) had already left for comic book limbo. The did operate simultaneously for a brief period in the early to mid 1970s during the Charlton Bullseye's run.


On one other occasion, Mr. Alec Tronn aka E-Man was shown alongside Captain Atom (off panel) and the Blue Beetle (well his Bug, anyway). Okay, they WERE parade floats... but still that cements some acknowledgment that these characters played in the same fictional sandbox. And for Charlton, this was about as good as it got on most occasions!  Unlike Jaguar, E-Man generally had a friendly nature to all whom he met, yet he still preferred operating (with one or two notable exceptions, considered in a couple days) solo. Maybe that was due to being a disembodied sentient manifestation of energy floating through space for aeons? Could be, guess we'd have to ask him when we see him.

That's all for the outer ring of our duo's universe, so to speak. Tomorrow we get into the nitty gritty on what makes these two tick and why they are so unique. We'd love to see more published about each of them at some point in the future!

No comments: