Monday, August 23, 2010
These two cats from the way back are distinct parallels for a number of reasons. Both Black Adam and Blue Beetle were tied to ancient Egypt, the former being its protector in centuries bygone before becoming its dictator, the latter being an archeologist who unearthed its greatest secret and became a guardian of good himself. Each met a tragic end to their ignoble careers, despite what the two old men... Shazam and Pharoah... had expected of them when electing them their candidates of courage. And still they returned...
Teth Adam allowed greed to corrupt him, while Dan Garrett allowed overconfidence to overtake him. Each faced their own mortality and yet were revived in manners only left to comic books through pseudo-science and the like. While Dan proved the inspiration for another to take his name and his place, Adam became the perpetual thorn in the side of his arch-rival Captain Marvel. With but a handful of appearances for each, both men still found ways to leave their mark.
Both possessed vast powers by simply calling out to their mentors, such as flight, superstrength, invulnerability, etc. While Dan continued his career as an archeologist, Adam abandoned his occupation as... royal court lackey? Nevertheless, their greatest acclaim was that the were the forerunners for a new generation of superheroes that would take what they started to greater heights.
A possibility for an Adam counterpart on Earth-MLJ might be the golden age Red Rube, another "color"ful hero with a short lived career gaining powers from a similar method and quickly fading in the back pages of history. Or not.
In 1954, aspiring comic book publisher Charlton purchased the rights to several prominent characters from the expiring Fawcett Comics, such as Ibis, Golden Arrow and Lance O'Casey. In 1980 and 1985, DC Comics purchase Fawcett's Marvel Family then Charlton's Action Heroes, and the two were linked once more, now on parallel Earths, Four and Shazam.Now the MLJ has been added to their stable of characters, we examine the parallels in this series.