Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday Fiends: The Brains of E-nimals Week!

Two repetitive foes of Jaguar and E-Man first appeared as alien exiles turned invaders, each were "heady" villains that used superior mental abilities and technology from their worlds to subjugate Earth. Alas for both, they had their hands full with this pair and their allies. Still, the persisted in their dauntless schemes to rule their adopted home.

Brain Emperor's initial (and sole silver age), appearance was Mighty Comics #1. A mental mutant from the planet K-Shazor, his brief reign of terror was squashed by a solar eclipse. His stellar travels led him to a blue world, third from the sun Sol. He once more attempted to cause an entire global population to bend to his will, but soon found that his own device backfired when used by his new adversaries, the Mighty Crusaders. Using their combined willpower, they banish this baddy.


He returned years later, coinciding with the Crusaders who themselves left behind retirement for their spandex superheroics. Realizing the potential threat of his foes rallying behind the legendary original Shield (recently unthawed from his stone like state), he framed the hero for a murder. Simultaneous, he recreated a fellow fiend named Eterno who quickly went from alleged automaton of the Emperor's to an even bigger threat. Realizing this, Brainy traveled to his old foe Comet's spaceship to enlist him in battle against their common foe. Little realizing another was following his dimension journey, who would soon unseat his plans.


Eventually, the combined forces of B.E. and the Crusaders defeat Eterno and his ersatz MLJer bodies. He continues to operate behind the scenes orchestrating a world wide network of crime under his influence, and yet eventually he is tracked down by his Mighty enemies including the Jaguar who captured the weapon used to frame the Shield. Left humiliated with tail between his legs, he assumed a more human disguise  as the Dragon Head and employed a couple of agents,Eraser and Marital Law to attack the Fox while Emperor, under the guise of Brian Head, attempted to woo the heart of Fox's alias Paul Patton's girlfriend Delilah Monaco. And miserably failed both times. But the malcontent broke up the pair as revenge and further tormented them.


Brain Emperor then returned to his overt career as major league supervillian and enlisted the Riot Squad to deal with the Crusaders. Meanwhile, he banished the fair Darkling (the person who was tracking him above) to interdimensional limbo in a mindless state. He would one day return to wage war against the combined assemblage of virtually all his foes, using a legion of lethal larcenists. However, they ended up in an alternate reality that proved havoc to his alien physiology. So he just stole the body of local jock Moose Mason to lead his adversarial army to a futile final battle. His further activities are unknown. But the Jaguar is waiting.

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The OTHER Brain is the one we were introduced to yesterday during E-Man's origin story. He is from Sirius One, sent as an advanced scout (or persona non-grata) of his race to unleash a bomb on Earth, preparing it for an impending invasion. Originally headed for Pluto, a certain sentient package of power from an  ancient supernova impeded his journey, causing his craft to crash land on our fair planet, thus moving up his time table and his locale for heretofore mysterious further schemes vs E-Man.



The two future foes begin the first a long line of battles, the first proves E-Man the victor.  Attempting to use a bomb to start a chain reaction that would make the Earth the perfect tool for the Brain's master plans, he failed to anticipate any obstacles. Despite superior mental acumen and technology. However, instead of caging the cagey cranium, the energized Alec Tronn leaves the ten-ton tumor in a field thinking he is permanently defeated. How wrong he was! The Brain realized he needed to enlist two youths that are the personification of Entropy.

While they wreak sizable destruction and nearly end the life of E-Man's main squeeze Nova, they are vanquished and then each Entropy twin is separated from the other by E-Man's positively charged blast which stymies the Siriusian.



And try again the Brain of Sirius would, several years late in 2006 which was 30 years from his initial debut. This time, he faced the combined might of two energy heroes, E-Man and the newly re-powered Nova Kane. He didn't fare much better, but until he is imprisoned once and for all he persists in his attempts to aggravate the life of the alien avenger.




















Origins of Jaguar and E-Man: E-nimals Week


 Jaguar gains his belt in Adventures of the Jaguar # and learns his origin years later in Mighty Crusaders #7 and the Fly #7!


Next we turn our attention to E-Man's first appearance and his origin from E-Man #1, while further developments on his genesis came later.


So many parallels between these two heroes. Both utilize an ancient strip of energy to harness their animal-like abilities. Both have spunky sisters, for E-Man it is Vamfire and for Jaguar it is Rose Raymond. Both have inscriptions of the core principles that make their powers work written on their costumes. Each flies using the powers of jets. There are two immortal in their myths (for E-Man it is himself and Vamfire, for Jaguar it is Cat-Girl and Varigon). They each can change their appearance to a beast, and both prefer a cat form. And each has a gallery of gals in their lives.

We've also just met perhaps E-man's deadliest foe, the Brain. Tomorrow we learn more about the diabolic schemes of two alien brains who continually caused our power-packed-pair problems! See you then.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Team-Up Tuesdays: E-nimal Week - Gal Pals

Continuing our "E"-nimal Week festivities, we introduce the gal pals of the powered protectors, Jaguar and E-Man, which also share remarkable characteristics to the lads. First, the brunette girls next door who aided the boys on some cases in a strickly plutonic nature. Or was it?

Rosie and the Ross. Ms. Ross, first name Jill, was the long suffering assistant to her enigmatic boss and also confirmed her suspicions that Mr. Hardy also moonlighted in his scarlet under-roos. There was little doubt that she was the good girl in Jags life, and the one he *should* end up with. Did he? Nah. And Rosie, however, only stuck around for a short while... then was gone.



The main squeeze for the guys was two firebrands. Cat-Girl lost her powers due to radiation while Nova gained powers by radiation! However, Nova's new lease on life (caused by an inner Earth sun going nova itself) caused her to lose her humanity. She later lost them.... only to regain them later (with a different comic book publisher).





Both orange clad gal pals had a preference turning into cats, each had near limitless powers they lost in the end. Apparently, Cat-Girl thought quite a bit more of herself than had Nova. Even after she was stripped of her immortality and various vague powers, she did grabbed what prestige she could as wealthy socialite Lydia Fellin.
















Two malevolent lasses from outer space caused the dudes some difficulties, Kree-Nal an alien siren that changed men to beasts and Vamfire, an energy being created by the same nova E-Man came from! Both dropped their harsher edges. Vamfire found love, a mutated human named Eco-Man, while Kree-Nal swam alone.























Eventually, the "E"-nimals' girls joined forces to show them that the fairer sex packs a punch. While E-Man eventually succumbed to his overwhelming feelings for Nova (plus, Vamfire was kinda his "sister" so it would be gross if they paired up, and Rosie just never had the E-chemistry going for her), Jaguar and his alias Ralph Hardy stayed the Lady's Man that never settled down with any of the gals. Both chick magnets!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Jaguar and the E-Man: E-nimals Week!

 
This weeks festivities commenced yesterday with aconsideration of some tangenal allies of our heroic duo. Today, we ponder the very core of E-nimal Week: Jaguar and E-Man!



Jaguar spent the first few decades of his life as mere Ralph Hardy, a world renowned zoologist whose hobby, coincidentally, was traveling the world. On an archeological dig in Peru, found himself face-to-face with a nasty big snake. Thankfully, he also was face-to-face with some ancient Inca drawing showing the ancient people facing this beast armed with a belt. This special belt, which he likewise conveniently discovered in time to save the day, has an inscription on its buckle "He who loves the animal kingdom may wear this belt and be transformed into a human jaguar" (sheesh that is one honking big belt buckle!).

This ancient clothing accessory, the nucleon energy belt, came equipped with standard issue superhero spandex. It was later revealed by the creator of the belt, Varigon (more on his later) that the first human on Earth to wear this garment was an Incan lady. She wore the same unisex costume and battled the same slithering serpent. The belt itself gave Ralphy several useful abilities that both helped him fit with his fellow heroes and helped to stand him apart. Of course there was super strength and a rhino thick hide.

He was also granted mastery of all animal life, with the ability to telepathically control them (unless plot deem that they pose as a menace, as was often the case).

 His dual persona gradually effected far more than his mustache (which disappeared when he transformed from Tony St...er Ralph Hardy into Jaguar). He slowly gained a bestial nature, which he always suppressed as his parents acknowledged that he always felt more at ease with animals than men. Such as on this occasion when he was attempting to restore his powers through a dream.

The belt itself emitted a constant spray of "nucleon" jet fuel which propelled Jaguar at high speeds through the air with but a thought. These two jet packs attached to the belt were never used as more than an instrument to achieve thrust and altitude. And to keep his trousers up.




For E-Man, he didn't inherit an ancient energy source.. He WAS the ancient energy source, spawned from a supernova as a sentient life form.

After acquainting himself with material life forms he discovered on Sirius IV, he eventually came to Earth and formed a replica of a human body. At which point he adopted the alias of Alec Tronn, named by a very important woman in his life (more on her later).

Among his abilities was the aforementioned shape changing, which allowed him to adopt a variety of forms. He had a pre-disposition towards animals, for some reason. And rockets, which he used to jet his body through the sky. He also projected energy blast from his hands with varying results against his variousf foes.

When he restructured him molecular arrangement to mimic various forms of life, he quickly picked up their attributes and abilities as if instinctively. He was the personification of Einstein's theory of relatively "E=MC2" literally Energy equals Mass times Conversion Squared. In fact, on several occasions Einstein himself appeared in his adventures as a narrator!



Alec had a courageous and kidding nature that allowed him to most of the time keep a cool ahead and appraise situations using an even keel disposition. Even those times when someone tried to keel haul him! One thing more about both E-Man and Jaguar... they were ladies men! Which we'll learn more of tomorrow. Such as Nova Kane in the picture above side-by-side her E-man.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sideline Sundays: E-nimals Week - The Other Action Heroes

Our focus for "E"-nimals week are Jaguar and E-Man. Huh? What do THESE two have in common. Surprisingly....oodles... which we'll get to tomorrow. For now, let's see some of the characters who are on the periphery of our heroic pair's adventures. See, are red-clad raiders were never all that sociable with the hero set, at least not at first. Still, the pair had some interactions with the Action Heroes.


From this initial outing alongside fellow members of the Terrific Three, Mister Justice and Steel Sterling, it is quite evident that he doesn't have to much respect for Justice and is very defensive of the Man of Steel. Maybe that's why this triumphant triad didn't last nor worked together again (until decades later, with scores of other heroes against a legion of larcenists). While in his solo tales jag seems amiable enough with fellow scientists and damsels in distress, with fellow "Type A" adventurers he didn't seem to play nice. This is evident when he next joins a super-set.


No that's not Jaguar all nice and close with the Web, that's just the weird way he carries his fly-less friend to an assemblage of the Mighty Crusaders. The Web ended up being Jaguar's brother-in-law, since he married Jag's sister Rose. She wasn't partial to Web risking his life in his colorful alias, but didn't seem to care much about brother Ralph prancing around in his feline fashions. And if his mama thought that John "the Web" Raymond" was a double-daring nut, imagine what she would have thought of her own flesh and blood doing far more dangerous stunts... battling wild beast and deadly aliens! We see where Jag got his feisty nature!

While another team mate (and Web's close confidant Doc Reeves) felt some tension between Jaguar and himself, Darkling sensed the animal avenger had the noblest spirit of any man she had ever met in all her dimensional traveling. He felt more at home with the animal kingdom.


In the above picture we see a melding of various Charlton Action Heroes, perhaps the only appearance he ever had with his fellow action aces. Note the impression he made on Blue Beetle, and the one Captain Atom made on him. Alas, in the publishing universe of Charlton, very rarely did any of its characters "play friendly" with one another, especially with E-Man who arrived several years after his fellow heroes (aside from Yang) had already left for comic book limbo. The did operate simultaneously for a brief period in the early to mid 1970s during the Charlton Bullseye's run.


On one other occasion, Mr. Alec Tronn aka E-Man was shown alongside Captain Atom (off panel) and the Blue Beetle (well his Bug, anyway). Okay, they WERE parade floats... but still that cements some acknowledgment that these characters played in the same fictional sandbox. And for Charlton, this was about as good as it got on most occasions!  Unlike Jaguar, E-Man generally had a friendly nature to all whom he met, yet he still preferred operating (with one or two notable exceptions, considered in a couple days) solo. Maybe that was due to being a disembodied sentient manifestation of energy floating through space for aeons? Could be, guess we'd have to ask him when we see him.

That's all for the outer ring of our duo's universe, so to speak. Tomorrow we get into the nitty gritty on what makes these two tick and why they are so unique. We'd love to see more published about each of them at some point in the future!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

E-xciting Week Upcoming, E-verybody!

We devote next week to a pair of ladies men... that literally fight for them with their wiles and willpower!

Energetic lads that jet set across the globe always seeking  high adventure!

 





Wearing those always in-style and fashionably bright tights to match their jet packs, natch!






 

What, has a cat got your tongue? "What on Earth is he talking about?"

Don't worry, we have in store for you the purr-fect week of pure wild animal goodness in store for you.  And we ain't Lion! No sir!




We discover two fascinating super-charged characters and their legion of ladies, as well as their diabolic foes from Charlton and Mighty!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fiends: Wicked Weapon Wielders


The Hun was a sociopath raised in Germany and quickly ascending the hierarchy of the Nazi party after obtaining a costume and shield. These items granted him superhuman strength and durability But there was one man, the Shield, who with his sidekick Dusty, proved a challenge.

Doctor Kong was a sociopath scientists from an unidentified country (presumably China) who employed various means to attain power using weapons. During his first clash with the sword and shield clad Son of Vulcan, Kong employed a superstrong Giant Gladiator. Despite superior mighty and an  unrestrained hostility, SoV made short work of the creature while Kong disappeared in disgust. This would be the beginning of an enmity between the two that (during the short run of Son's book) would be a predominant theme through the series.


Even during a period when he was left powerless but another Nazi agent, the Shield was able to maneuver the situation in such away as to defeat the Hun. Using superior tactics and a greater measure of courage, the costumed Joe Higgins proved more than enough to combat the Hun even when the latter used other means at his disposal besides his mysterious artifacts of power given to him by Alexander the Great from centuries ago, after the former dictator observed Hun's tendencies towards evil from his adolescence onward.


During their next meeting, Kong adopts a new alias as the seemingly legendary "Chingchang" coming equip from fully equipped with a special sword that rendered the Grecian guardian defeated on this encounter.  Assisting to evil schemer was several femme fatale hench women that seemed to serve Kong almost in fear. What strange power he had over them we may never know. It only lasted for this tale... may it was his fashion sense or the way he swung his suave sword?
It was quite apropos that two symbols of their respective lands clad in shields would repeatedly clash. Note that this was during the period of time when a particular wing helmeted Captain was gaining some significant fame over at a marvelous competitor of MLJ comics. Kinda of a homage, aye?


Working alongside a red bearded dude named Mars (hmmm I've heard of that guy somewhere), the two attempted to eliminate Vulcan's Son. Mixing technological gimmicks with his allies unique perspective and powers, the two attempted to finally remove the chief obstacle towards their plans. Both seemed to share a common vanity, with an inability to tolerate anyone equal to themselves (how they considered each other would seem to indicate they would've turned on each other in a moment's notice).


The Hun would return decades later to revive his rivalry with his opposite number. While the Shield was preserved young thanks to being transformed into a stone like substance for several years. For the Hun, it was simply a matter of obtaining his special shield from an army base, using special gear provided to him by the organization Delta Three, led by three mysterious masterminds (on this point, Hun's masters were presumably some high placed individuals in the high society).
Both bad guys left the field of battle, licking their wounds vowing to return another day. And this would be the last direct confrontation between the two, as Kong would return to his behind the scenes plans for world domination to battle his armored adversary. Oh, and he ditched the historical duds and went back to being a contemporary methodically manipulating madmen. Meanwhile, his pal Mars left to himself plot anew the down fall of his brother's prized agent and star pupil on the Earthly scene.

Now facing off against a once more powered up Shield, the Hun stood no chance even with Alexander's own shield. Delta Three knew they had to eliminate their captured agent, lest he squeal on their secret operations. They proved unable to do so when both men of the shield worked side-by-side to take care of Delta's troops. Then the Hun was recaptured and presumably taken into custody. Never seen again (since his arch foe lost his comic... he no doubt would've returned to locate his shield left in a garbage truck).

Kong's final scheme was to use artificially induced natural disasters to destroy the set of a movie based on Helen of Troy. Aside from drenching the hairdo and spirits of the prima donna star herself, Kong was unable to do anything more than find himself apprehended by his arch foe, Son of Vulcan, himself playing a modern day Achilles. This was the final blow which left Kong permanently in defeated dejection forevermore.



Our two foreign fiends showed that despite having objects of tremendous power, their resolve could never match their fearless two shield clad foes.