Charlton VS Mighty MLJ

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mighty Crusaders in a Parallel Universe

Sure DC Comics tried their hand at Archie's Mighty Crusaders brand twice, in the modestly successful !mpact line of the 1990's and more recently the Red Circle series of in-continuity publications more recently.

What most are unaware of is the first appearance of the Crusaders... not those ones exactly... rather the foils for the Freedom Fighters.

Consisting of pastiche versions of Marvel's Invaders, from Americommando (Captain America), Rusty (Bucky), Baracuda (Namor the Sub-Mariner), Fireball (Human Torch) and Sparky (Toro), these were actually four fan boys empowered by supervillain Silver Ghost seeking revenge on his old foes.
  • Immediately, there is a tip-of-the-hat to the Shield in A-Commando's uniform, head gear, even his own shield.
  • Baracuda channels a bit of Jaguar's girlfriend Kree-Nal in the underwater motif and alien skin pigmentation.
  • Fireball and his MLJ counterpart would definitely have a volatile relationship, energized by equal parts ability and angst.
  • Rusty and Shield's long lost sidekick Dusty could swap tales of goofy names and such.
  • Sparky would encounter a grown-up Inferno whose bad breath matches his own.
  • This would lead the rest of Archie's Crusaders to face DC's Crusaders, i.e. Phantom Lady vs Darkling, Human Bomb vs Comet, Uncle Sam vs Captain Flag, Dollman and girlfriend Martha vs Fly and Fly Girl, Firebrand vs Firefly, Black Condor vs Black Hood, Happy "Ray" Terrill vs Lancelot "Shield" Strong. COOL!
Still, these latecomers of the underwear-clad set were quickly dealt decisive blows by the Quality Comics gang, so the similarly obscure MLJ crew wouldn't have a problem with these also-rans.

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