Charlton VS Mighty MLJ

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Team-Up Tuesdays: Actions-Heroes of DC

This advanced solicit from 1983 1986 indicated a new wave of characters debutting to help revitalize DC Comics, which suprisingly turned out to be recycled Action-Heroes of old. Oh sure, they seemed like the originals... on the surface. Well, with one notable exception.

Captain Atom in his mostly silver exterior lost his humanity and made him more a sentient weapon than what he was meant to be, his world's premier protector. Which makes sense, as he and his cronies were assimilated into the DC collective of characters, his new owners felt he had to stand out. As a result, he may have become more marketable but less marvelous. And he wasn't alone.

Nightshade, Peacemaker, Judomaster... all background players with no relevant tales told. Sarge Steel was useful as a "King Faraday" type of government intermediary with the meta-human commmunity. The two true stars in this crop were Blue Beetle and the Question, although each lost something to gain something more.

For Beetle, he was made into the class clown with a sizeable intellect, and this helped to enhance his persona. And the Question... lost his objectivist stylings and molded himself in a more eastern philosophical bent that would've more appropriately been grafted upon Judomaster... of the missing-from-this-ad Peter Cannon aka Thunderbolt.

In the end, decades after their purchase into a major comics publisher, which of these characters has a continuing title spotlighting this adventures? A sizable fanbase? Enduring legacies?

Perhaps leaving them to languish with the now defunct publisher in Derby, Connecticut may have enhanced their value in the eyes of the reading public-at-large?


bchat said...

You state that the "advanced solicit" is from 1983, but the Copyright notice at the bottom of the image is 1986. Captain Atom didn't get his "silver exterior" until his series from 1987.

earth-two said...

Duly noted thank you.

Rip Jagger said...

I agree with you to a point. Leaving the Action Heroes in limbo might well have had the effect that Atlas-Seaboard heroes enjoyed, of developing a yearning to see them again. But we're quickly seeing that new interpretations never have the gloss of the originals, nor can they.

DC did some dumb things with the Action Heroes, but I can't say I prefer oblivion. I personally just mostly ignore what I don't like in the DC versions. With Captain Atom admittedly that's a lot.

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