Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thunder Agents Week: Five for Fightin'

No no not the rock band, this is a comic book blog after all! However, subtly imbedded in last Sunday's post were the lyrics to the song "Superman" from the band, alluding to today's post, wherein we consider two paramilitary squads consisting of "five for fightin'" criminals here and abroad. And now let us introduce today's participants:












Wait a minute! Okay, the Fightin' Five have five members. But the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad has only four? Actually they had a fifth member, agent James Andor aka"Egghead". Why didn't he make the cut above? We'll learn about that more later. Note their varying approaches to battling international intrigue while wearing matching brightly colored uniforms and fitting stereotypical niches like all similar adventure teams of this period.















The leader, the bomber, the muscle, the brain, and the looker (guy/gal). The Fightin' Five debuted first in #28 of their Charlton Comics publication (their actual first issue, which they took over from another publication) and lasted until issue #41 when their backup feature Peacemaker took over the book, then they switched to his backup feature for another five issues. The other covert cabal of crimebusters, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad, appeared originally in Tower Comics' issue #1 of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, of which they were a feature then turn into supporting cast for its own superheroes.



They faced armies of gimmick goons during the mid 60s, secret acronyms agencies on both "our" side and the "other".














One team susceptible to mind control, the other using mind control. And each attracted the attention of sinister sultry sisters. And no, the masked brunette is *not* the Baroness. But perhaps her inspiration?




Both provided backup when the chips were down for their comrades. In all kinds of elements, whether under the sea or above the surface. While neither particularly stood out, they each had memorable battles that reflected the hysteria and hype of the cold war and sabotage that was so in vogue during this historical period of time. While both operated in the background, supporting the super power set, they themselves featured every men (and women) challenging evil with raw human courage.


Still, their story is not yet done. Tragedy is upcoming in their chronicled mythos, and significant femme fatales that will shape the course of events yet to come. Upcoming in our next installments. Stay tuned for action.

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