Tuesday, July 30, 2013
While recounting the history of the Mighty Crusaders, from their last published appearance until the present day wherein the Brain Emperor had seemingly destroyed most of them, Dusty told his old friend Roy about the insidious Captain Kold. As now no more than a puppet team within a larger governmental organization, the Crusaders lost their autonomy and were reduced to a super-powered police unit dispatched towards such adversaries as Omega 8, themselves the tools sent forth by the mysterious Delta 3 criminal triad. However, something much more devious was in play that threatened the integrity of the Mighty heroes! A mole!
Yes, a mole planted within the Crusaders with the intent of funneling information about the teams activities and then manipulating it from within! As shown, a division quickly formed leading to 9 of the 10 members picking a side. Web, Fly Girl, Fireball and Steel Sterling supported Shield's stance that they keep the status quo, while Fox, Comet, Jaguar joined Black Hood's cause to flush out the mole and root out any influence from outside their team. Notice who was missing? Thomas Troy aka the Fly, himself recently the subject of a criminal proceeding that stripped him of his career, his friends, his reputation.
Although he was vindicated in the end, thanks in part due to the Shield's support, this perhaps caused a rift between himself and his fellow Crusaders. After Fly Girl gave birth to his daughter, Troy left the country and moved to Japan, possible due to his role in Captain Kold's scheme if in fact he was the mole. And so, leaving behind his costumed career for a new start, Troy forsook his alter ego as the Winged Warrior. What role he will play in the future in unknown.
The Fly's counterpart on another world, the Blue Beetle always did work best alone although his friendships with his fellow superheroes such as Captain Atom remained solid for decades to come.
Friday, July 26, 2013
During the resurgence of superheroes in the early 1980s, leading to the reformation of the Mighty Crusaders, wasn't happenstance. The alien Brain Emperor had reemerged from his seclusion set on conquering his adopted world, with the goal of one day using it as his base of power to control the entire universe... including his home world he was exiled from so long ago. However, knowing that the threat remained of metahumans, such as himself, who could forestall his schemes... he initiated a long term plan whereby he recruited a number of fellow felons. Some costumed, some not, yet all troublesome thorns in the sides of those who opposed him.
However, there was an even greater threat to the Crusaders, one of their own who was a mole planted amidst their group to undermine it from within. Who would this threat be? While at this time it hasn't been revealed, visual clues in our next Team-Up Tuesdays may reveal his identity.
Nothing this overt occurred on the parallel Earth where the Sentinels of Justice operated, as Doctor Spectro had largely been erased from the equation through his various battles with arch-foe Captain Atom, and hence never had the opportunity to effect change as had the Emperor.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
When Kelly Brand was sent from the Shield's Crusader Circle headquarters to a floating space station, she met its loyal protector Bob Phantom. Bob was a teleporting hero from World War II who worked alongside the Shield and others, before disappearing for decades as he was recruited into the governmental agency that would become MLJ led by Dustin Simmons. It was hear, in the transdimensional void protecting Earth-MLJ from various extra-terrestrial threats, that Bob also guarded devices which would replicate the abilities of Fly-Girl for her daughter, Kelly, who would assume her mantle as one of the New Crusaders.
The dimensional plane of Earth-Four, home of the Charlton heroes, is much more obscured following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and so the Phantom's doppleganger's fate is undetermined at this time.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
One of the greatest mysteries on Earth-MLJ, home of the Mighty Crusaders, is what became of the Boy Buddies. Who were they? The Dynamic Duo of Dusty the Boy Detective and Roy the original Super-Boy, who themselves were the teenage sidekicks of two of their world's greatest heroes, the Shield and the Wizard respectively. Each was an orphan, who were taken under the protective care of Joe Higgins and Blane Whitney, inventive individuals that devised techniques granting them invulnerability and other powers beyond those of mortal men. And so, Dustin Simmons and Roy Rossman followed their mentors' example both side-by-side with their foster dads and together with one another, becoming life long best buddies.
Still, when a new wave of heroes debuted decades after World War II when these titanic teenaged played the part of mystery men, both Dusty and Roy were missing. For Roy, it was simply due to the Wizard's turn to villainy, or at least one who had usurped his identity when Whitney vanished from the public eye for a time. Meanwhile, the loss of the Shield to the malevolent machinations of the Eraser... transforming the costumed crusader into an immobile statue for several years... caused Dusty to leave behind his colorful costume and assume a different crime crusading role. Although the Shield would one day be revived by his own fleshly son, who for a time assumed his mantle, Dusty remained a missing person until he finally revealed himself as the head of MLJ, the Military Logistics and Jurisdiction Bureau, which monitored meta-human activities and provided the needed support for the Mighty Crusaders in their greatest hour of need. At least, up until that point!
So when, after a decade of peace had been usurped by the reemergence of the Brain Emperor who seemingly eliminated the Crusaders, the heroic team's offspring remained behind. Saved by the Shield who adopted the six young lads and ladies, Dusty and Roy latter reappeared to lend support to the aspiring teen team in the making who would become... the New Crusaders!
While on Earth-Four, Tiger would assume a mentor role similar to that of Dusty, only several years early... which led to the creation of the heroine known as Nightshade! Alas, Tiger's path would eventually lead to a darker place, consumed by jealously over never attaining the citizenship of his foster father Judomaster's home company, and so becoming a supervillain himself for a time!.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Our two favorite parallel planets return to debut the next generation of superhumans! What are in store for these hidden gems of universes? Who are the nefarious villains who instigate a return of their respective worlds' greatest heroes of their time? And how have the current crop of caped crusaders come to be? This we shall dissect in the weeks and months that follow, faithfully fearless readers!