Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Team-Up Tuesdays: Celluloid Heroes

Over in a parallel universe adjacent to MLJ, a group of teenagers decide to dress as their fictional heroes for the opening night of "The Shield". What Archie (aka the Shield), Betty (aka the Comet), Veronica (aka the Jaguar), Jughead (aka the Web) and Reggie (aka the Brain Emperor) didn't realize is that their heroes were REAL. Oh wait...this was 2002...two years after Archie and gang had met them in His Weird Mysteries #3 and 14. Guess they forgot... but then again continuity has never been what one would call a strong staple in the World of Riverdale, now is it?


What is interesting about these selections is how dead-on they were to their heroic counterparts. Reggie is definitely the "big bad" within his teen clique. Betty is the "looker" (wearing goggles, get it?) while Ronnie was always the catty one. Jug never let no girl keep him from his higher calling, just like the Web, only Mr. Jone's calling wasn't capturing criminals but consuming calories. By the way, wouldn't Big Ethel have made a wonderful "Pow Girl" aka Rose? That would be old school Ethel, natch.

As for Archie being the Shield, well there's history where the two of our resident red-heads are concerned. Consider his first cover on Pep #43:



A rather disturbing cover the next issue, maybe some building resentment on the Shield's part now that this punk was gaining more fans than he:


Despite this, our boy Arch never waivers in his adulation for his hero, even envisioning himself as the colorful crusader in action!


Charlton never had quite the same phenomenon where a humor character took top billing from heroes. Oh wait, there was ONE red-head:

Course you probably can't make out his hair color in this black-and-white rendering of Charlton Portfolio, but he's the guy right at the top in the middle of the page. Sad to say, E-Man never made it quite as big as the once and future Pureheart the Powerful... known the world over as Archie Andrews (more on Pureheart in future posts, never fear).

2 comments:

Paul Castiglia said...

Thanks for posting that page from the "Celluloid Heroes" give-away comic - I wrote that story and it was one of my most fun assignments ever! :)

earth-two said...

Thank you for your feedback Paul. To be honest, I've only seen a few pages of that comic but it looked like it was terrific fun!