Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blue Beetle Baddies Weeks: Maddening Monsters

In what is developing as a definite trend, we once more revisit our two old friends Blue Beetle 64 (which we'll call him for now) and Steel Sterling (the original Man of Steel...take that Kal-El) as they battle another set of Friday Fiends. And an uglier pair you will not find...

Praying Manis was a scientist named Hunter Mann. As you can tell, he is a bit green with envy over his friend who always seems Blue. Experimenting on insects and rodents to make a variable army of  monster minions.

Monster Master used his scientific acumen to create a robot brain which itself created a wide-variety of bad beasties. His obsession over Steel Sterling bordered on unbalanced, as was his taunts at his robot brain.


Beetle initially took on Mantis outside of Mann's laboratory home, and incredulously had not (or at least didn't verbally admit to) connected his GREEN skinned foe and GREEN skinned fellow acolyte of academia (remember though...this was the age when a green skinned guy could turn into a scrawny guy with ripped up the same ripped up purple genes then sneak onto an army base and no one was the wiser! Ah the silver age!).


Mon-Master grew tired of standing on the sidelines and transformed himself in the ultimate monster. Like Mantis he gained antennae and a green continence. Thankfully the robot brain's most endearing quality was its self-preservation otherwise Steel would've been molten slag.Then Sterling continued an odd pattern that separates him from his colorfully clad comrades...after defeating an adversary he steals the villain's device. First he claimed Magnetic Menace's vehicle, redubbing it the Sterling Scooter, and now the robot brain would accompany him back to his...fortress of soltitude? Or secret citadel (another homage Steel's writer Jerry Siegel made to his more famous creation, Kal-L). We'll revisit this.


Mantis' first scheme was thwarted by Beetle though he would return with a far grander plot, to freeze the world and usher in a new age where is spawn were the dominant creatures on Earth. Only he fell in love, and left himself open to a counter attack from his arch-foe...and from gravity.


Meanwhile Mon-Master returned when he was revived by Doctor Evil (this is before he was GROOVY BABY YEAH!) from the future, who had enlisted him as a henchman. Only it turns out that Steel and Black Hood have far more chemistry than this pair of larcenist loons. And the boys zooms off.


We never find out where Mantis landed, although an appearance by Mon-Master decades later showed that at least he landed on his feet. And so ends another bout with our boastful baddies. There is still one more diabolic duo yet to tangle with the boys. Who? Next week will tell that tale.

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