Charlton VS Mighty MLJ

Monday, August 9, 2010

Marvel Mondays: Protegees of Power

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.

Freddy Freeman was a normal lad until he and his grandpa faced a power mad Nazi during a fishing trip. As a result of this confrontation, he ended up losing his beloved relative and was now physically limp for life and near dead!

Johnny Mann was a world traveler stumbling on a war torn area, and became an innocent victim during a confrontation with a power mad warrior whom Mann crossed. This led to Johnny losing a leg and faith in humanity!

And then, each were noticed by prominent powerful legends who made sure that each "Man" was given  a physical form commensurate to their heroic spirits, becoming men of another kind. Gaining super-strength, flight, invulnerability and a host of abilities, this pair protected their respective worlds as Freddy's Captain Marvel Junior of Earth-S and Son of Vulcan of Earth-Four. Each were named after their heroes who were the ones that bestowed powers upon the lads after saving their lives. Freddy became an owner of a newspaper stand while Johnny remained in his position as reporter for the Worldwide News Syndicate. And each repeatedly faced a genius arch-foe, whom we'll consider in a couple of days during our next installment.

A parallel character on Earth-MLJ might be the the silver-age Shield, son of the original, himself inspired and empowered by his mentor and hero. Or perhaps Lancelot Strong, himself a latter-day heir to the Shield title with the standard flight/strength/durability powers of Junior, plus the ability to absorb massive amounts of energy like Freddy does with the lightning that transmits his immense powers!

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