Above: Excellent cover by Alex Wright. Below: Sarge's Sentinels
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
File this away in the "what if" folder for our Crusaders and Sentinels. Comprising the "other" publishers during the successful silver age of comics, both the Archie-heroes and Action-Heroes attempted to find a niche for themselves. Without sustained success.
For the Crusaders, the quickly devolved into a derivative more mimicing Marvel's Avengers, and to some extent DC's golden age All-Stars of the Justice Society. Despite having several characters that were the first in respective manners during comic's golden age and some potential promise in their newer crop of characters, Radio/Archie leaned heavily upon what worked for others instead of what would separate them as special.
For the Action-Heroes during their pre-Sentinels days, they were truly original and their tales were at times unique. Yet the dramatic departure of their plot elements and narrative style became a bit to impalatable for the young readers they were trying to entice. As a result, they folded almost as quickly as they had first appeared.
When both were reinvented in the 1980's, the Crusaders and the new Sentinels of Justice once more fell into form as "Justice League" and "Avengers" wannabes, even moreso than they had been decades earlier. Only when both were acquired by DC Comics were they given the opportunity to fully depart from the "team" template of the "Big 2" publishers, leading to substantial runs for their individual members. Ironic!