Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Separated at Birth? Faux Phantoms

This pair look spookier than they actually are. While both were named Ghost (the one on the left Ghost Rider), neither actually was such a myth. In reality, Carter Slade setup a nice gig as a crime fighting Ghost Rider dressed in a phosphorescent white costume, clad in a full-face mask, cape and the requisite white hat. Much like MLJ's Black Hood, he started a legacy of several men down through the ages wearing the same costume to continue his legacy at Marvel Comics.

Alec Rios was a poor scientists who stumbled upon teleportation technology, which he incorporated into his only uniform as the Ghost, a criminal who stole to supplement a lavish lifestyle. Unfortunately for him, he ran across Captain Atom and Nightshade, who perpetually defeated him. During one clash, he encountered aliens from another dimension and a legacy that he somehow resembled of their "Faceless One". This mystery was never solved over the years.

Each was modeled, apparently, after the Ghost Rider of the 1949 Magazine Enterprises' Tom Holt, who was kept out of obscurity by a classic look.

Separated at Birth? Feral Fighters of Freedom

Every publisher seems to have variations on similar themes. Among these is the feral fighter of freedom, in this instance MLJ's Fox, Marvel's Black Panther, or DC's Wildcat (not shown).

Yet despite their similar appearance and all-around physical apptitudes and courageous demeanor, the men behind the mask were drastically different. Photographer Paul Patton, African national king T'Challa, and heavy weight boxing champion Ted Grant... different backgrounds that led to the same conclusion... instill fear in the forces of evil by adopting an animal presence.

Each were drawn to their world's premier teams, albeit later in their careers after they already established their reputations as primarily loners. Each had a bestial opposite number, Fox's She-Fox, Panther's Man-Ape, Wildcat's Huntress. And despite several appearances under their belt throughout the decades, none were afforded the reputation or legendary status of their contemporaries.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Separated at Birth? Beetles or Scarabs?

In the Separated at Birth category, we cannot fail but to mention this colorful pair of bugs.

Silver Scarab was a clear homage to Blue Beetle, specifically the early 1960's Dan Garrett version. The parallels are quite clear for both characters:






- An Egyptian connection in their past
- Super strong physique
- Defy gravity flying at great speed
- Projecting energy blasts

In addition, there were clear indications to the former and subsequent Blue Beetles resonating in Hector Hall's silver alias:

- Metallic armor protecting the wearer
- Masterful inventors create their equipments.

Separated at Birth? Blonde Bombshells

Hart Druiter of the planet Myar petitioned for and obtained membership into the Legion of Super-Heroes with the intent of infiltrating their ranks. Soon thereafter betraying them and attempting to shift the blame onto a team mate, he was kicked out of the team. Years later he would return with a Legion of Super-Villains to torment his foes before his death.

While ordinarily we stick to Charlton and MLJ/Mighty characters here (with the except of kissing cousins in the publishing industry like Fawcett), in this case the resemblance between these two has to be commented on.

Both the Kid and John Raymond, the Web, were products of the mid-60's (albeit in the Web's case he was a revival of a golden age hero). Beyond the obvious comparison of color schemes and style in their uniforms, their blonde locks, and their charge-into-battle attitudes... there is something more. Nemesis Kid drank a potion allowing him to temporarily adapt to any individual foe, allowing his to meet his opponent. The Web similarly had a superhuman ability to match might with any fiend, even those with abilities far above his own, with only will power backing him up. Both were team players, only for opposite sides of justice.

What would a match of these two have been like, one wonders?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Charlton Meets MLJ Week: Reaching for the Stars!


She's wayyyy out of your class, dude!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Charlton Meets MLJ Week: Can't Escape the Law!

This is a battle we'd LOVE to see between two volatile vigilantes!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Charlton Meets MLJ Week: Dancing Duet

Looks like Acrobat is schooling Mr. J on jamming to an old groove! Mr. J is doing his best Bill Cosby-steps, apparently.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Charlton Meets MLJ Week: A Natural Boyfriend

Watch out, Ronnie. Nature's Mother has quite the temper when anyone messes with her boy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Charlton Meets MLJ Week: Mystery Boyfriend

Okay so like when they kiss, how does that work, exactly?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Charlton Meets MLJ Week: Steeler Sundays

Can someone please tell Jughead that Sarge gets REALLY cranky on an empty stomach?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Charlton Meets MLJ Week: Autograph Hound


Some fan boys just cannot take a hint!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thunder Agents at DC Week: Thunder Agents #1

Thunder Agents done DC Animated style, as presented on the cover of their upcoming first issue. Interesting that none of the character redesigns that have rolled out of their new publisher is reflected on this cover, which is a telling sign that "you don't mess with a classic" adage.

While the jury is still out on whether or not this reboot will match the cult status (if not outright fanfare) of the original series and its various reiterations throughout various publishers in the decades since their first appearance. They merit consideration, for sure.

And back to the animated style, our friend the Question over on Earth-Four is no doubt curious about how these Earth-MLJ Agents will answer the following queries:

Will the original concept be diluted with to much 21st century tampering?

Is the characterization going to be as strong as the original classic series?

Can this team function as distinct from the rest of the DC Universe?

How will they be presented to satisfy their old and new fanbase?

When will their series be canceled... or make it to the big time?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thunder Agents at DC Week: Menthor

The tragic yet triumphant trooper in the Thunder Agents was double agent turned superhero Menthor. Originally evil inclined, his disposition was transformed into a longing for justice.

Still, he was not long for the world he was born into, and soon he met a grizzly end while saving the lives of his teammates.

Can we say Doctor Doom, or Iron Man, or even Man in the Iron Mask? Not exactly the look one would expect for this mental mastermind. Whats more, the business suit look is fine if it is a classy design. But this more pedestrian color scheme and sloppy look just doesn't do him, well, justice. And speaking of which, is his agenda still on the right and wrong side of the law, or something of a departure from that concept? Will he prove an ally or adversary to Thunder?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thunder Agents at DC Week: Noman

Noman was ever quite like, um, well Noman! Elderly scientist living on in a series of androids of his own creation. And with a cool invisibility cloak, yet!



All this while retaining that spark of humanity deficient in fellow man-made-men like the Vision, Red Tornado and Star Trek's Data. How would he be reinvented?


A cape that's worn as a raincoat? Well, that could work, perhaps? Looks a bit more like another 60's icon Uncle Fester of the Adams Family. But we'll give that a pass if his origin and motivations, as well as his humanity, is respected rather than disgarded. Time will tell...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thunder Agents at DC Week: Lightning

Lightning is the requisite speeding superhuman on every team everywhere in the comic cosmos. His plight of aging inexorably with his speed was a curse as much as a blessing. The suit he wore, keyed into his specific physique, was the means to accomplish daring deeds of do-gooding. And just when he was ready to retire, another emergency required he resume his role-player role.

And now, we meet a new Lightning for a new era. This may sound a bit obvious, but it must be said that he reminds one of Marvel's Blur... which is not a bad thing by any means. In the homogenized early 1960's, heroes of color were taboo until a slew of "Black" dudes appeared on the scene (i.e. Panther, Goliath, etc).

Here is hoping that is characterization is spot on and not stereotypical, which there is a good chance of given the creative forces on this project.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thunder Agents at DC Week: Dynamo

The classic Dynamo in action as the lead he-man worker bee of the 1960's Thunder Agents. His super human might was matched by his modest can-do attitude. How would he be presented for a new generation with a different appetite in action hero?

Can't say this is too impressive a redesign, quite frankly. The unshaven look went out with Miami Vice (or Lost's Sawyer, which they may be going for). The bad boy making good vibe doesn't quite jive with the classic character. So sorry but its not that promising.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thunder Agents at DC Week: The New Agents

Revisiting a classic is a tricky proposition which needs rock solid execution in order to work well.

DC Comics is reinventing the Thunder Agents to appeal to appetites of a more action-seeking audience.

And the final result?


Well, there is some resemblance and any venue wherein iconic characters of an under-appreciated genre is always appreciated. We'll dissect the individual members as they are being presented to us in 2010 and see how the reflect (or refract) the images of the originals.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

She-Cat Returns to the Archie-Verse

We return to Archie and Friends #138 for yet another appearance of an under-appreciated heroine. Or maybe even two of them!

In addition to Marvelous Maureen flying on the left side of the panel, and the always tempermental Super Duck on the bottom, we see Delilah aka She-Cat flanked by Captain Sprocket. And not a sign of her on-again off-again boyfriend in his Paul Patton identity and her frenemy in his Fox alias. Perhaps she appreciated a guy who didn't hide behind a mask and was honest with her? Although chances are, they simply were at the wrong place at the same time to transfer from Earth-MLJ to Archie's world.

Undoubtedly, alongside the rest of her time and space lost allies, she returned to her home planet. Perhaps even allying with the recently reintroduced Green Cobra and Pow-Girl!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pow-Girl Returns - Where is the Web?

In Archie and Friends #138, ramifications of a strange meteorite that crashed into the Pep Comics comic book store led to a portal from other dimensions into Archie's own! Notice in the 2nd panel two of the characters observed leaving the store is Pow Girl, aka Rose Raymond, suprisingly without her husband John aka the Web!

This was a character that could have had a great deal of potential had her subsequent appearances in Mighty Comics allowed Rose to develop this costumed persona. Instead, the editors and writers of the series (re: Jerry Siegel) apparently wanted to play up the "hen-pecked hero" angle of the Web.

Here Pow-Girl is accompanied by the one-shot character known as the Green Cobra. Tormented pulp collector Jerry Burton who's belief in the reality of the fictional character known as the Green Cobra tempts him into becoming the character himself! Dispensing justice in a very rigid fashion, his career is cut short by the loss of his wife, leading him to write himself out of the story...literally.

Apparently, the meteorite pulls individuals from another universe wherein they've languished in limbo for decades. Note that no Mighty Crusader is present on this occasion (they had previously traveled to this universe on two other cases). Nothing more is said of this pair though it should be worth noting that the Pow-Girl here is blonde and not a red-head as Rose was always displayed as. Could this be Jerry's wife, who was thought deceased? Or perhaps another woman adopting the Pow-Girl identity? When last we saw the Cobra, his life had ended however this event may've forstalled or erased that even, leaving him with a happy ending as a crime fighter aided by a woman who understands him well.

Meanwhile, Rose Raymond never returned to her one-shot alias, deciding to remain in marital bliss (or torment, for poor John who never heard the end about his career from her).

Alas, the portal didn't free any of Charlton's more obscurity oddities, such as the equally gun-wielding Masked Raider and his pal Talon the Eagle. It would've been interesting to see which won in a dual between the masked men, and between the Cobra and the Eagle.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blue Beetle Redesign from Project Rooftop

Check out this awesome redesign of Ted Cord's Blue Beetle alias:

An excerpt from Ten Cent Ticker.com:

Based on the Steve Ditko’s redesign for the debut of Ted Kord under the mantle of Blue Beetle in 1996, Ian Sta Maria’s work here ties into the roots of the Kord character as a genius-level inventor. With Ted Kord having no superpowers of his own and a thriving technology-bent creative mind, one could easily see Ted Kord taking his costume to the next step with this more armored and functional costume.

Check out the full text here for this possible future of the Charlton's leaping legend.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Fly versus the Blue Beetle Round 2

A Classic Match-Up in the Making (in our dreams!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Fly versus the Blue Beetle Round 1

Well...sort of. Is this Blue Beetle version 4 or 5?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Captain Atom and Iron Maiden: Reimagined

A Great Team-Up with Terrific Character Designs - in our dreams!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fine Artwork in the Archie-verse

Fine art as determined by Monseur Jughead

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ugly Betty Reveals Self to the World!

Bamm-Bamm sez: "Put the helmet back on, Ugly Betty! You just ruined my childhood!"

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Short-Career of Blue-Flash Junior


Superheroing in the "real world" of Archie Comics!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Whatsitsname Wednesdays: The First Captain Atom

 The year was 1950, a period when superheroes were on the wane due to various factors. Comicbook publishers were downsizing or simply phasing out of existence, which left a void for enterprising young companies to fill the void. Among these was Nation-Wide Publishing.

Enter Captain Atom. No not that one, the original Cap whose title was filled with "approved adventure stories - all based on scientific facts and theories". Who exactly approved them we cannot say. The main character Captain Atom sported various gadgets including a uranium amplifier, a spectrascope, an atom submarine, and a walkie-talkie television; as well as vehicles such as an atom powered noiseless ram rocket, and an auto-gyro parachute.

Aided by his trusty companions Professor King and Rusty, he lasted all of seven issues through 1951 before being canceled and fading into obscurity.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mainstream Mondays: Licensed Ladies

Every fictional comic universe has to have the strong female prescence that balances out all the testosterone leaping off the published pages, towing the line between sensitivity and sensibilities necessary to round out her male counterparts.

And so, as DC absorbed Charlton and then MLJ/Red Circle, Nightshade was more than simply Eve Eden, part-time government agent and partner of Captain Atom. Now she was in charge of leading a Suicide Squad of villains to right wrongs and redeem her teammates.

And Fly-Girl was no longer the female part of an age-old comic equation wherein the male dominated the partnership. Kim Brand was one of the web-hosts selected by the revised Web to wear one of his super-suits, which she promptly modified and improved upon. Joining him and a government licencsed team of Mighty Crusaders, her young career was not tied to this assemblage.