Wednesday, May 16, 2012
As previously mentioned, in a previous composite reality that has since been wiped clean by another cosmic crisis in the DC Comics universe, the merging of several parallel planets led to the incorporation of the Mighty Crusaders of Earth-MLJ and the Action-Heroes of Earth-Four, twin teams originating in Archie and Charlton Comics. As such, although the concepts were still there at their core, they were radically revised to incorporate modern sensibilities and to water down their impact on their world.
The reason for the former was that, for instance, having a guy known as the Web simply being a criminologist wasn't enough... he had to be a blending of Tony Stark/Peter Parker, and similarly with Captain Atom... he needed to ditch the conventional costumes of his silver age incarnations for a shiny skin and sassy style. And the reason for the latter is that this world already had their premier superhero team, the Justice League, and their original team of mystery men, the Justice Society. These guys couldn't outshine DC's finest of the past and present, so they both were made into essentially G-Men working as federal agents when the need arose, which was seldom it seemed. For the original Shield and Captain Atom, that worked since they were government agents as it was and in their own worlds they had plenty to do, setting the tone for their fellow fabulous folk to follow. Sadly but logically, neither the Crusaders nor the Sentinels of Justice could get much traction in this scenario.
Thankfully, with a new DCU now in existence this sad state has been wiped clean, at least for the Crusaders who return to their native world to pickup where they left off welcoming in a new generation of heroes... who look to them as their "Justice League" or "Society". If only the good Captain and his costumed crew could say the same, since they remain on a world not their own and one that will never treat them as they should be treated. However, glimmers of Earth-Four where the Sentinels of Justice operated can still be found through the Multiverse!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
The Avengers weren't the first... as in a superhero team movie. The X-Men franchise and the Watchmen movie had glimmers of this concept perculating throughout their various tales. However, the Avengers cemented how divergent heroes can unite for a common cause with nothing bonding them save for equal parts tenacity and talent. Not a mutant-tie nor a mystery-tie... but the true tie that binds... heroism in the face on indominable odds. While we can dream that Charlton's Action-Heroes and Archie's Mighty Crusaders may someday grace the silver screen with their presence, nothing can match what transpired when Marvel Comics' Sensational Sextet saved their world!
As for a battle between this triad of terrific teams:
- Black Widow takes fellow female agent Nightshade, while Fly Girl would aptly avoid her web.
- Thor would overwhelm Son of Vulcan and Jaguar, despite their might, given his experience.
- Iron Man would more than match the equally tech-savy Peacemaker and Comet... combined!
- Hulk's gamma-irradiated strength would overwhelm Captain Atom and Lancelet Strong.
- Hawkeye would have the jump on the keen-eyed Blue Beetle and Fly, if only for the moment.
- Captain America would have difficulty with Shield but not so much with Judomaster.
- Oh, and Nick Fury would laugh in the face of Peter Cannon and the Web... "ant... boot"!
Friday, May 4, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Above: Excellent cover by Alex Wright. Below: Sarge's Sentinels
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!