Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Team-Up Tuesdays: Crusaders at Red Circle

Around the same timeframe that Americomics Special came out from that publisher, debuting the Sentinels of Justice for their one-time official team-up, Red Circle dug up their heroic properties for another go-around. Only this time, they were serious about it.

Highlighting the same characters, more-or-less, that graced the pages of the original series in the mid-60's, the Mighty Crusaders were now a force to be reckoned with... complete with their own recurring adversaries in the form of Eterno and their arch-foe the Brain Emperor.

The Mighty Crusaders towed the line between edgy and kid-friendly in their approach to crime. And they came equipped with the franchise player (Fly), energy-weilder (Lancelot Strong), flying powerhouse (Jaguar), urban avenger (Web), female member (Fly-Girl) and living legend (the Shield). All filled in their niches nicely.

And the difference between them and the Sentinels was they were their world's greatest heroes. Now Captain Atom definitely would qualify as one of his, but Nightshade, Blue Beetle and the Question? Not so much. With Atom wearing the multiple hats of franchise player/flying powerhouse/living legend, the rest pretty much over compensated on the urban avenger front (with token female thrown in for good measure). Not like Charlton had many others to fill those shoes... the original Blue Beetle had not returned yet (but would soon after), Son of Vulcan was no longer relevant, and Judomaster was stuck in World War II with no way out (until the Crisis time-shifted him to the present).

Next week we'll dissect two more attempts at revitalizing the Sentinels for a more jaded 1990's readership, and whether they elevated the game of second-string superheroes as had their Mighty counterpart at Archie.

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