Saturday, April 21, 2012
Laurie Juspeczyk was a legacy heroine, following the footsteps of her mother, the original Silk Spectre. While adopting her alter ego and senses of style, she deviated in her own sensibilities which led her into a romance with Doctor Manhattan, against her mother's wishes. How would that relationship develop given the Doctor's metamorphic nature, as he had become more than human, will no doubt be dissected in Before Watchmen.
In a similar vein, a new Fly-Girl debuts in the city of Red Circle, and like the original Kimberly Brand, she takes to the sky adept in her awesome abilities. Would love come to influence this young maiden as well, and if so, who would capture her heart? Since there seems to be no Fly-Man on the horizon, would it be the jock Steel Sterling Jr, who could match her muscle? The brainy Web, who could match her interest in all things insect? The hothead Fireball, who could match her interest in a "bad boy"? The noble Comet, who could do the exact opposite to that of Fireball... and keep up with her in mid-air? Interesting developments are on the horizon...
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Who watches the Watchmen, Before Watchmen were in vogue? We will find out as DC Comics launches this cast of Charlton-homage characters back into the spotlight. And amongst the headliners will be Nite-Owl, aka affluent inventor Daniel Dreiberg, who utlizied his love for birds and gadgets to supplement his true love of superheroics. Adopting the alter ego of his hero, the original Nite-Owl, Dreiberg had a modest career alongside his fellow costumed Crimebusters.
Another legacy hero is that of Evette, a young women taken under the wing of the original Jaguar in his zoologist Ralph Hardy identity, who ultimately steps out of the shadows and into the light as his heir-apparent. Considering that Jaguar had his own Rescue Squad which included three lovely ladies who each adored Hardy's alter ego, specifically one known as Cat-Girl, it seems natural that another would gravitate towards the swashbuckling hero and join the New Crusaders.
What we learn of Evette after her heroic debut, and of Daniel Before Watchmen, will be interesting tales told in the months ahead...
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
A meeting of the minds between these two mentalists would be magnificent! The new Web is cut from a similar mode to that of his father, who was himself the second man with that alter ego, although unlike his pop John Raymond this lad isn't a henpecked husband. And hence, he would be able to obtain the full potential first unleashed by granddad the criminologist turned crimefighter of the 1940's.
However, there is seemingly no comparison to Ozymandias, who was himself a one-and-only child prodigy who distanced himself from his own successful parents. When Adrian Veidt grew to maturity and assumed the identity of his alter ego, he realized that having the peak physical and mental condition amongst his fellow humans was insufficient to the task at hand... of saving the world. Before Watchmen, he was an erstwhile member of the shortlived Crimebusters, until he realized he must strike it on his own to acheive his amoral ends. Will the young Web fall into the same trap that had befallen Ozymandias, or will he lean heavily upon his comrades on the New Crusaders?
Sunday, April 15, 2012
The tragic tale of Doctor Manhattan is the stuff of legends. Jonathan Osterman was a scientist in love, and that love left him with more... and less... than he had bargained for. Trapped in an intrinsic field experiment test chamber while he tried to retrieve a watch for his girlfriend Janey, which vaporizes then reconstitutes him into something much more than human. He would be the Paragon of Power amongst he colleagues in the Crimebusters superhero group.
And now, stepping into the void left behind by another scientist known as John Dickerson is his adopted son, who is describe as a "nobler" spirit than that of his mentor... yet possessing the same awe-inspiring array of abilities. How will this young man blend in with his more down-to-Earth comrades of the New Crusaders will be determined in the weeks and months to come. As will how the good Doctor on a parallel planet to the Comet carved out his own unique niche through the decades.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
So we have the sequel and the prequel. The warm-up and the wind-down. Well maybe not quite that, but definitely two bookends to twin fantastic franchises forgotten by fickle fandom. While we have considered the quite possible downside of Archie's new reimagination of their Crusader concept and DC's of the Charlton characters, there is another upside to also consider, in all fairness.
Consider that the Charlton homage that turned into a literary classic, the Watchmen, is being reconsidered from the groundup... or rather, from the missing pieces left to fit the grand puzzle together that was the 12-issue maxi-series from the 80's. Although this may not go well, it is more promising than DC's take on the originals from Charlton, given that only Captain Atom seems viable at this point and only in a radically redundant role. After all, another "nuclear man" or Man of Tomorrow-wannabe is all Atom seems capable of being portrayed as at the House that Superman built.
As for the "New" Crusaders, they may be able to capture something that failed to ignite with their progentiors, filling in a niche with the youth market that the silver age crop never could. Seriously, if the actual "Archie" crop of creators lent a hand like they seem to be now, they would find a way to manuever their myriads of mystery men into the minds of meandering middle-schoolers. Consider, Archie has been able to carve a serious niche for themselves based on a sixty-year love triangle, what could they do with such a diverse crop of cool cats as the Crusaders?
This bares further investigation, which rest assured we shall do, in the months to come...
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Charlton had an inordinate number of "street-level" superheroes, i.e. non-powered costumed crusaders. The only ones that had demonstrative superhuman attributes during the silver age "Action-Heroes" era was Captain Atom and Nightshade. Nevertheless, these individuals harkened back to the 1940's Justice Society of America, which also had several "normal" members amongst their ranks. How would these twin teams compare in a head-to-head matchup? Let's see:
- Sandman vs Peacemaker - Two helmeted heroes with non-lethal guns designed to immobilize their foes. Armed with tremendous wealth, inventive minds and true tenacity. Howeve, Peacemaker had more technology on his side. Advantage: Peacemaker.
- Doctor Mid-Nite vs Blue Beetle - Each man wore special goggles, devised special guns (Doc's cryotuber and Blue's bb-gun), distorted vision (Doc's blackout bombs and Blue's flare gun), and had "fauna" for sidekicks (Doc's Hooty the Owl and Blue's Bug). Both athletic and inventive, the Bug vehicle tips the balance devisely here. Advantage: Blue Beetle.
- Starman vs Captain Atom - Energy-weilding avengers, harnessing cosmic radiation unabling them to manipulate fundamental forces. In a matchup, both would fare well in battle, however Starman depends on his Cosmic Rod to empower him while the Captain possessed his superpowers due to his accidental origin. Advantage: Captain Atom.
- The Atom vs the Question - Fierce fist-fighters, charging into battle unreservedly showing the depth of their courage and conviction. Question can talk a mean blue-streak on philosophy and so forth, however when atomically powered the Atom's superstrength and "atomic punch" makes him hard to beat in this head-to-head. Advantage: The Atom.
- Mister Terrific vs Peter Cannon...Thunderbolt - The Man of 1000 Talents versus another man of 1000 Talents. Physical, psychological, tactical, intellectual... these gamely clad crusaders would have the most epic of confrontations. Advantage: Toss Up.
- Wildcat vs Judomaster - The heavy weight champion of the world and the judo master of the world. Fists and feets a-flying. Random rage against methodic might. If this thing went more than a couple rounds, and it would... Advantage: Wildcat.
- Black Canary vs Nightshade (neither shown) - The fine fighting femmes are skilled in multiple disciplines in the martial arts. Each came equipped with various gadgets as well. However, Nightshade is able to phase into shadows. Advantage: Black Canary.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Kimberly Brand is one fly girl who, also, happens to be The Fly-Girl. Whether wearing blonde hair or as a brunette, she definitely dressed to impress in her sleek green and yellow superheroine suit. While her classic leotards definitely echoes standard silver age costumes of her peers, the latter Brand wore a different brand with bold tints of her primary color and very strange googles with a garish skull-cap. We prefer the original to the new, although the new had some potential from the neck down.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
My oh my how Ms. Eve Eden has been reinvented since her initial debut. From the rather odd mini-skirt style that anchored her firmly in the 1960's, she has been transformed into a 20th century Shadow Lass (of the Legion of Super-Heroes), although with the exact opposite skin color. And a little Huntress/Catwoman thing going on with her mask. Not much of an improvement, although at least the "goggle mask" went away. Whew!
Friday, April 6, 2012
From the Shield's initial appearence in the 1940s, a similar style debuted with the 1960s rendition of the character, although the colors were inverted and Lancelot Strong had a more traditional superhero stylized suit. When the original Shield's son appeared and, years later, his father Joe Higgins, we once more saw the more unorthodox gloves and boots. And no "outer underwear". Now that a new Shield is heralding a new era of Crusaders, the golden age Shield now seems to be wearing a uniform that is a collision of both styles, in a bulky and unweildy uniform! Yuck.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
How Captain Atom has changed through the years. From being a superpowered soldier in clad classic silver age costumes, he would be reinvented in a modern era with a nice silvery "containment" suit that expanded the initial silver sleeves to his entire body. The new appearence definitely an upgrade over the original, all sentiments aside.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
This would be an epic matchup. Consider the following duels between the Crusaders and Invaders:
- The heat-generating android Human Torch versus circus fire-breather Inferno (not show). The latter took on Steel just as Torch does in the picture. Advantage: Human Torch.
- Two elemental men in Blue Diamond (not shown) versus Steel Sterling. Superstrong and invulnerable, each was a paragon of potent power. Advantage: Steel Sterling.
- High-flying Miss America versus the bird-handler Captain Flag, considering the lady had strength as well she'd take out Flag's pet eagle Yank. Advantage: Miss America.
- The Vision aka Aarkus versus Mister Justice: Although Aarkus could control temperature, illusions and teleport... Justice could do that and more. Advantage: Mister Justice.
- The Whizzer versus Bob Phantom (not shown): A superspeedster versus a master teleporter. Whizzer was quite fast, but Bob was as fast as thought! Advantage: Bob Phantom.
- Sub-Mariner versus the Wizard (not shown): His world's first mutant, the Mariner would meet his match with the mastermind turned man of might. Advantage: the Wizard.
- Union Jack (not shown) versus Black Jack: Two mighty fine fighters, nevertheless the Battling Brit has the edge with his superhuman lighting powers. Advantage: Union Jack.
- Bucky versus Dusty: The supreme sidekicks of the super-soldiers. In the golden age: As the Boy Detective, Dusty takes this. As a retcon secret agent, Bucky. Advantage: Toss Up.
- The Destroyer (not shown) versus the Web: Both the pinnacles of human perfection, matching physical attributes with tactical minds and great courage. Advantage: Toss Up.
- The Patriot (not show) versus the Hangman: Non-powered but superbly talented second-tier mystery men, the former an optimist and the latter a pessimist. Advantage: Patriot.
- Captain America versus the Shield: Here would be the epic battle of ages. Two twin titans. As his superstrong self, Advantage: the Shield. If he is non-powered, Advantage: Captain America.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
As Archie Comics reinvigorates their superhero franchise with yet another rendition of the Mighty Crusaders, the Charlton cast of characters languish in the storehouses of DC Comics as acquired properties awaiting assimiliation into their main Multiverse of metahumans. However, which situation provides the best oppportunity for Charton vs Mighty MLJ to once more claim the captive attention of comicdom? As a web-only endearvor such as the Crusaders will be granted, with focus on just them yet without the marketing push of mainstream comics, or the ability to be ready-for-print in a big time publisher that the Charlton cast of characters has access to, albeit as background players?
With the advent of a "Steel Sterling Jr" over on Earth-MLJ, can there not be a Sarge Steel the Second lurking around the Multiverse as well? Given the number of potential marriage mates the Sarge encountered throughout the years, it would seem logical that eventually he would feel the need to settle down. In the potential Earth-Four i.e. Earth-Charlton upon which the original Sarge resided, time would tick down at about the same rate as on MLJ, and he would be well into his sixties at the point. Perhaps one day in another web-only venture, should the Crusaders succeed, DC might attempt the same for its acquired "Action-Heroes" from the town of Derby, we may find out...