Tuesday, August 31, 2010
While DC Comics pioneered the concept of a superhero team of diverse heroes from various comic books assembling together to tackle a mutual threat, the same could be said for Fawcett Comic's treatment of villains. As Captain Marvel developed quite an extensive gallery of rogues, it was only a matter of time before a certain wicked worm recruited most of them to try defeating their common foe.
However, after several issues throughout a historic comic serial, Cap himself defeated the whole lot of them. They would resurface again decades later, most preserved in their youthful 1940's forms through various means. Yet despite new schemes and modern technology, this assemblage of evil were still unable to wrest control of Earth -S away from the forces of good!
In the next-door neighbor universe of Earth-Four, the supervillains there didn't always play that nice together. In fact, on only one occasion did a significant number of them join together to lock horns with the Sentinels of Justice (although they were lesser lights Banshee, Fiery-Icer, Iron-Arms and the Madmen led by newby the Manipulator).
However, the Mighty Crusaders' enemies on Earth-MLJ dug getting together from time to time as the Riot Squad. Initially only four members, they expanded to Monster Society proportions in latter years when they faced not one but two worlds of heroes (the others being the Archie gang, who were closet heroes and Crusader cheerleaders at this point).
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.