Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Saturday, February 19, 2011

DC Dopplegangers: Restless Reporters

Steve Ditko was the superstar artist seeking creative freedom throughout his career. Rarely achieving his ideal setting to unleash his unorthodox take on art and storytelling, at least twice he struck a similar cord. The result were two potential legends.

The Question debuted in 1967 as a backup feature of Derby Connecticut's Charlton Comics' Blue Beetle, for five issues. A sixth issue of the hero's adventures were compiled in Mysterious Suspense in 1968.

The Creeper debuted in 1968, after his former employer's superhero action line essentially folded (the Phantom not withstanding) in an issue Showcase before six issues of his self-titled series. And besides having short-lived runs before being revived years later, each had other similarities:

  • Jack Ryder and Vic Sage were temperamental television personalities who espoused the ideals of their creator of objectivism, although Jack much less so.
  • Each had a blonde coworker at their television stations that struck just as many nerves and heartstrings of our heroes.
  • In their costumed identity, intelligent scientists bestowed them with devices that transformed them from well known television personalities into notorious heroes.
  • Law enforcement authorities had an edgy relationship with this pair, with their most consistent allies being blue garbed millionaires Batman and Blue Beetle.
While never achieving the limelight of A-list heroes from the main publishers, each gained an appreciative fanbase which allowed them time and again to return, most of the time beside their fellow crusaders.

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