Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Team-Up Tuesdays: The End of an Era

At last...the end of the twin tales of silver age teams Crusaders and Captain Atom-Nightshade from Mighty Crusaders #6 and Charlton Bullseye #1. How will our heroes stack up to their foes...the mystery Maestro with his myriad of traps and the Ghost's Sunurian slave girls? Check it out...

The dynamic duo of Comet and Black Hood on the first page of part 2 illustrate the typical banter between the Crusaders during this period of time. You knew they fundamentally got along on some level... they were all good guys... yet they did not seem to have the comradery of other teams during this era. Trying to emulate the magic of a certain four heroes of fantastic abilities? Try harder. Although the devilish face of the Maestro peeking out from amidst the flames? Classic stuff, folks.

Working as a tandem, the men of the stars and of mysteries out maneuver their malignant musician, circumventing his seemingly clever death trap. Forget the flames... it is the Comet's own fashion sense that may be the death of them both. Why he traded out of his classic blue and red costume for this garish arrangement of colors is a mystery even Black Hood can't seem to decipher. At least he has the Tony Stark 'stache going for him allowing his to exude a suave demeanor.
"Whatever cluck writer writes your material... Maestro, has my deepest sympathies". Um, that would be Jerry Siegel. Better be careful, Comet, a certain big "S" boy scout might fly over to your dimension and bench press you for slamming his creator! I mean... that's the co-grandfather of ALL superheroes that you are slamming with that reference (oh wait, it was gramps who wrote that hambone line!). At least the gang is all together for the roundup on swinging steeds, gitty up pardners!
What... mechanical horses? That's been done to death! Me thinks the winner would be Black Hood, from whom this idea was stolen. I mean... it's the same design as the original Nightmare... didn't Hoody take out a patten on his design? And now Maestro's true intentions are revealed! What, exactly, does T.R.I.U.M.P.H. stand for? And how'd Nick Fury get a receding hair line? By not taking his Infinity Formula... that is a Marvel trademark dontcha know?

At least T.RI.U.M.P.H. provides their meta agents cooler gadgets than had S.H.I.E.L.D. Now the Crusader's resident red-white-and-blue boy has his own portable projectile. A round shield made of Adamantium? Forget about it! He's got his shooting stars. TAKE THAT, CAP!  Why'd they skimp on the rest of the gang, aren't they deserving of a few nicknacks themselves? Wonder what killer do they'd give Ms. Brand that would make her a more FLY girl, no what I mean peeps?

Meanwhile over at Earth-Four also known as Charlton, the battle is at a more fevered pitch than at Earth-MLJ. Nightshade FINALLY has something to do in this plot, as she aids the Priestess at sabotaging the Sunurian defenses and allow Shade's boyfriend, Captain Atom to flex his muscles. At which point the Ghost pulls his famed disappearing act. And so ends the alien Amazon race with the faceless fetish. Ta ta gals, she you in comic limbo. Kinda like the rest of Charlton line?

Escaping Sunuria before it (apparently) self destructs, our heroes return to their native planet. And *finally* after several years of partnership, Nightshade's secret power is revealed to her partner. Why did she keep this a secret from Captain Atom? This was never explained, nor who the true "Forgotten One' was that Sunurians idolized. It wasn't the Ghost. But, hey, it wrapped up a dangling plot thread left hanging for several years! Next up, some lesser known team-ups highlighted!

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