Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Black Hood... or Brown Beard? Boys on Bikes.

Yes yes... the day has finally arrived. It had to... after all this is a Charlton blog. And overlooking one of Earth-Four's finest is unacceptable.

Okay, he actually ISN'T one of its finest. Still, he scored several appearances in the rocking 1970's, so Jonnie Love is going to be getting some... well... love on this blog. Well if not love, certainly a notable mention.

Interestingly, Mr. Love has several features in common with a prime character of the 1970's mini-resurrence of Archie Comic's Mighty/Red Circle line. Specifically a modern version of a modestly famous MLJ hero from the 1940's, the Black Hood. Or rather, his nephew Kip.

While Jonnie Love was a poor lost soul simply trying to find his way home... how he got so far from home that it took him nine plus tales just to get a bit closer... it beyond your humble host. Regardless, he sported a fancy helmet (designed after cracking his head during one of his mis-adventures) and a not so stylish motorcycle. Does that thing have, like, ten horsepower?

A few years later, former police officer Kip Burland debutted as the latest in a long line of Black Hoods. Only instead of donning a snazzy costume like his predecessors, he wore a leather jacket and jeans, with his one distinctive feature being the black hood he wore on cases. Oh, and a sweet ride that traversed land, sea even air (well, the one loaned to him by the Comet did the latter).

While Love's tales were a bit formulaic, with the lovesick hero falling into bad situations all along his journey while attracting every woman in his path, Hood's were simply classic. A disenfranchised officer of the law deciding to strike out on his own as a private investigator/costumed avenger to clean his town of its corruption.

So while Love never stayed in one place long, Hood kept his feet firmly planted in his native burg to cure it of its ailing evil elements. Perhaps if Love had a ride like Hood, he'd have done the same. Or maybe, if Hood had the found love again... and again... and again... like Love, he'd have ventured outside his confort zone more. Who knows?


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