Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day Betty And Veronica

An appropriate cover for a cold Valentine's Archie does double duty with Betty and Veronica in this cover from Archie's Girls Betty & Veronica #243 (March, 1976), where young Mr. Andrews takes advantage of the snow for a little Valentine's Day message for Betty Cooper in this cover by Dan DeCarlo!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

JLA JSA Sixth Multiple Crisis

A last look at the collection of JLA/JSA team ups, and it is a big one!

True, it is only two team-ups of the teams, but each of them carry over more than two issues, and involve more than just the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America.

Here's a look at the special meetings....

Targets On Two Worlds

Justice League of America #195 (October, 1981) by Gerry Conway, George Perez and John Beatty starts with Brainwave recruiting villains (Killer Frost, Signalman, Cheetah and Floronic Man) from Earth-1, and Monocle, Psycho-Pirate, Rag Doll and the Mist gotten by the leader of this new Secret Society of Super-Villains....the Ultra-Humanite (one of the Golden Age Superman's very first villains). 

After Brainwave brings the four to his home Earth and the Ultra-Humanite's headquarters, that villain explains his plan....that, if 10 heroes from the JLA and JSA can be sent to limbo, either Earth-1 or Earth-2 will lose all its heroes as the cosmic balance readjusts itself!

Meanwhile, at the JLA Satellite on Earth-1, the JLA (missing only Martian Manhunter for a complete membership) and JSA have an uneventful party, even with Green Arrow there (he had quit recently, but came to see friends...and Black Canary).  Black Canary was the last on the satellite, when a sudden hum....brought her foe, the Mist, who defeats her.  Monocle defeats the Earth-2 Hawkman at home, and Cheetah defeats the Earth-1 Wonder Woman, and the villains all report back to Ultra-Humanite of their success (as the body-switching villains dwells on his real plan....that he knows which heroes will be eliminated...those of Earth-2!).

Lots of JSAers only in this issue, most from the last JLA/JSA team-up, but Superman and Robin came from World's Finest Comics #271, Hourman and Atom came from their solo features in the Whatever Happened To...? back-ups in DC Comics Presents, and Power Girl and Huntress came from Huntress' back-up in Wonder Woman.  Sandman, Spectre, Dr. Mid-Nite, Starman, Wonder Woman of E-2, Wildcat and Star-Spangled Kid did not attend.

Bonus:  the George Perez JLA/JSA pin-up!

Countdown To Crisis

The Ultra-Humanite imprisons the first three heroes and summarizes his plan to start Justice League of America #196 (November, 1981) by Gerry Conway, George Perez and Romeo Tanghal

Then, the plans continue, with Psycho-Pirate taking Hourman on E-2, Signalman taking Batman on E-1, Rag Doll getting the Flash on Earth-2, Floronic Man besting Atom on Earth-1, Brainwave besting Johnny Thunder and his Thunderbolt on E-2, Killer Frost capturing Firestorm on E-1, and the original Superman confronting his now simian bodied Ultra-Humanite, and losing on E-2.

The villains place the 10 heroes in Ultra-Humanite's special cells, and transport it to limbo......

Crisis In Limbo

With Justice League of America #197 (December, 1981)  by Gerry Conway, George Perez, Keith Pollard and Romeo Tanghal (and cover by George Perez and Mike DeCarlo), the heroes end up in limbo....and the Earth-2 villains rejoice as their reality warps, losing their heroes....and the Earth-1 villains realize they were set up (that the Ultra-Humanite knew what would happen).  Ultra-Humanite sends them back to Earth-1, so his villains can now plunder their heroless world. 

Killer Frost, Signalman, Cheetah and Floronic Man find Green Lantern on Earth-1, defeat him, and take the transporter tube to the JLA Satellite, defeating Elongated Man there....and then use the JLA's Transmatter Machine to go to limbo to free all 10 heroes....who then go to Earth-2, and toss the Earth-2 villains all into limbo as well (and, when they return to reality, Earth-2 gets its heroes back).

Flash Jay Garrick (along with Dr. Fate) show up next in Flash #305, the Golden Age Superman is next in DC Comics Presents Annual #1, the Earth-2 Hawkman is next in Wonder Woman #291, and Hourman and Johnny Thunder show up next in the JLA/JSA team-up after the next one, with the Earth-2 villains all showing up next to accidentally help form Infinity, Inc.

Crisis Times Three

The JSA (Dr. Fate, Green Lantern, Starman, Power Girl and Huntress) is coming to the JLA Satellite in Justice League of America #207 (October, 1982) by Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Don Heck and Romeo Tanghal (with cover by George Perez), except they don't quite make it, with Superman, Aquaman, Hawkman, Zatanna and Firestorm meeting the Crime Syndicate of America!

The JSA found themselves in the limbo prison that the CSA was in, while Power Ring, Johnny Quick, Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman fight the JLA, and leave the JLA Satellite.  The JSA break free from their extradimensional prison, but end up on an Earth-Prime destroyed by nuclear war!  The JLA use their Transmatter Machine to go to Earth-2, to find the JSA HQ unused since January of 1942....and Earth-2 now ruled by Per Degaton.  So, they go back in time to the JSA's HQ in January of 1942....and meet...the All-Star Squadron?

Head down to the All-Star Squadron issue for a little back story.....  

The 'Mystery Men' Of October

All-Star Squadron #14 (October, 1982) by Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Adrian Gonzales and Jerry Ordway (cover by Joe Kubert), starts with Per Degaton ordering the members of the World War II hero group, the All-Star Squadron to kill each other....but, this was just another dream of Per Degaton's....which was enough to revive his memories of his previous time travels, and start trouble again. 

This time, he ends up in limbo and finds the Crime Syndicate of America (from Earth-3), frees them, has them take Cuban nuclear missiles from Earth-Prime's 1962 Cuba (during the Cuban crisis), then sends them to replace the JSA during their transmission from Earth-2 in 1982. 

Meanwhile, All-Star Squadron members Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Commander Steel, Robotman and Firebrand fight Nuclear (an Earth-2 Wonder Woman foe) in front of the JSA Brownstone, but he escapes.  The heroes go inside to find...the five JLAers!

The Bomb-Blast Heard 'Round The World

The JLA and All-Star Squadron have a quick fight to start Justice League of America #208 (November, 1982) by Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, Don Heck and Sal Trapani (cover by George Perez).  The teams realize the are both heroes, the JLA catches the All-Stars up, and both teams head to meet FDR at the White House....where Per Degaton had delivered a VCR and TV....where he recorded his plan, that he wants total world control or he will use his atomic bombs (taken from 1962 Cuba) to destroy the world (Hitler and Churchill also got a tape and TV).  Meanwhile, on Earth-Prime, the JSA fight mutated men, and find out that Kennedy and Khrushchev had World War III, because of the implausible story super humans had taken Cuba's hidden nuclear missiles (Earth-Prime had no super heroes in the 1960s).  The JLA and All-Stars watch Degaton launch one missile as proof (with the JSAers showing up right before the blast)...and Degaton feels that at least the Allies will surrender to him to save the world!

Master Of Worlds And Time

The JSAers explain they followed Per Degaton's trail back to January, 1942 in All-Star Squadron #15 (November, 1982) by Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Adrian Gonzales and Jerry Ordway (with Joe Kubert cover).  The heroes head to the White House, and Per Degaton again broadcasts, telling President Roosevelt and the world's leaders, of his orbital stations that will launch the nuclear missiles.  The heroes split into teams, with Superman, Dr. Fate and Robotman facing Ultraman at a satellite, finding three missile sites of Degaton; Aquaman, Starman and Liberty Belle facing Superwoman on a Pacific Island launch pad; Hawkman, Huntress and the All-Stars Johnny Quick face Power Ring in the Midwestern United States...then Degaton boasting the heroes will not find the last site as we head into.....

Let Old Acquaintances Be Forgot...

The last of the team-up, with Justice League of America #209 (December, 1982) by Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas and Don Heck (with cover by George Perez), with the first three teams returning to brief FDR.  Then, Firestorm, Power Girl and Commander Steel are arriving in Geneva, Switzerland, to fight the CSA's Johnny Quick, stopping his missile.  The heroes, successful, go to find Per Degaton and stop him (hidden under the future site of the Pentagon), while Zatanna, Green Lantern and Firebrand travel to Earth-Prime in 1962, stopping the Crime Syndicate from even taking the Cuban missiles, and resetting time....resulting in everyone going back to where this all started, and the 5 JSAers coming over from Earth-2 to meet most of the JLA in their satellite, with Per Degaton going back to washing test tubes in Prof. Zee's time lab again (as he did every time that time reset....).

The JSA would show up next in the first issue of Infinity, Huntress continued her back-ups in Wonder Woman.

Big team-ups here for the last of the volumes that DC put out of the Crisis On Multiple Earths (Volume 6), with changes in the world started on one Earth, and major history changes involving heroes and villains from four worlds show how much bigger the Crisis would become, all from the time the first Flashes met, to the first JLA/JSA team-up, and even Legion's future and the past...and so much more.

Still, there are a few JLA/JSA stories that didn't get collected, and more than a few solo meetings of multiple Flashes, multiple Green Lanterns, multiple Supermen and more....and check back as the tale of the last JLA/JSA team ups will be told!

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Holy Bill Finger, Batman!

Remembering the late Bill Finger on his birthday (February 8, 1914 - January 18, 1974).

Bill Finger was a writer, who provided many of the inspirational ideas to Bob Kane's outline of Batman that helped make Batman a the cowl, cape, gloves, the blue/grey color scheme, and even the Bruce Wayne name!

Unfortunately, his penchant for research did not make Bill Finger a quick writer, nor did Bob Kane have him included on creator credits for Batman (only noting his contributions after Bill Finger had passed).

Still, Bill Finger did write many important Batman stories, introducing Robin, Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin and Two-Face, as well as the Batmobile, Batcave...

...and even naming Gotham City!

Much later, Bill Finger introduced readers to Ace the Bat-Hound, Bat-Mite , the first Bat-Girl, Calendar Man, the second Clayface , even Kite-Man and Zebra Man, and gave Batman his two biggest trophies:  the Tyrannosaurus Rex and giant Lincoln penny (a hallmark of Bill Finger stories was battles on oversized items).

Bill Finger also did other work for DC, writing early issues featuring the Golden Age Green Lantern, Wildcat, and creating Lana Lang in Superboy. Some of his last work on Batman was in World's Finest Comics, working with Superman (there he created Moon Man and Atom-Master, among others).

Even better, Bill Finger wrote the two episodes of the second season of the Batman 1966 TV show featuring the Clock King, giving him his first writer's credit on a Batman story....and the TV show Gotham, got his name listed as co-creator of Batman!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Flash Facts: The Last Crossover

Seems a good enough time to pull out the last Flash crossover that Barry Allen and Jay Garrick would have before the Crisis on Infinite Earths....

....and it sure looks like it was going to spell doom for Jay's wife Joan!

Let's see how this event played out in this meeting of the greatest Flashes of Earth-1 and Earth-2 in Flash #305 (January, 1982), by Cary Bates, Carmine Infantino and Robert Allen Smith (with cover by Carmine Infantino and Mike DeCarlo)!

Don't Take My Wife -- Please!

The tale started on Earth-2, where Joan Garrick was sleeping at home while her Flash, Jay Garrick was patrolling Keystone City....and she was taken by a mysterious force.  Meanwhile, on Earth-1, relatively recently widowed Barry Allen was dreaming about Joan (not like that...but a dream where she was running on a cliff....then falling to her death; leading Barry to feel worried Jay would lose his wife like he lost his).

This dream unnerved Barry enough to send him across the dimensional divide from Earth-1 to Earth-2, where, ending up at the Garrick's home, he found Jay....who was searching for his missing wife!  Having revealed his identity to the world, Jay felt he was the target of a terrorist group, the Ravagers, who were attacking Keystone City.  As Jay went into a drawer to show Barry proof, he triggered a device they had set...blowing up Jay's home!

The two speeders were to fast to fall for the unplanned explosion, with Jay saving the note of theirs, and Barry saving the fuse from the explosive, which he would use to track the villains.  But, who is the mysterious figure watching the pair?

The two speedsters track the terrorists to their mountain hideout, but do not find Joan there.  Instead, the mysterious figure is Doctor Fate, a JSA teammate of Jay Flash (who worked with the duo before)....and he tells the duo that he was responsible for Joan disappearing.

Seems an extradimensional villain was able to access the magic orb in Dr. Fate's Salem tower, and send a bolt of mystic energy to draw Joan into his dimension....that evil being known as the Lord of Limbo (who was the menace faced by Barry at the end of his quest dealing with the death of Iris).

Barry barely escaped limbo before, and was unable to return to free the other inhabitants, but, working with Dr. Fate, the two speedsters worked their way back....found Joan, faced the Lord of Limbo, freed the inhabitants, and still got back home without freeing the Lord of Limbo from his prison!

A special issue dedicated to Gardner Fox, who co-created the original Flash and Dr. Fate, as well as starting the two Flashes on their meetings from multiple Earths, as well as kicking off the Crisis with the earliest of the JLA/JSA meetings (including their first).

Jay Flash and Dr. Fate appeared here after the nineteenth JLA/JSA team-up (against the Secret Society of Super-Villains, coverage coming soon), with Jay appearing next with the JSA in an issue of Wonder Woman, and Dr. Fate starting a run as a back-up feature in the very next issue of the Flash!  An oddly prophetic issue as well, as Barry was worried Joan would die (but didn't), like Iris...who was dead (or was she?).

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Green Arrow Origins

With Arrow ending this week, figured it would be a good time to look back at the origins of the Emerald Archer....

....and over the decades, Green Arrow has had his beginnings told over and over again!

Let's take a look over a few of them, after being thankful that Green Arrow began in More Fun Comics #73 (November, 1941) by Mort Weisinger and George Papp fully formed....

The Birth Of The Battling Bowman

The first telling of Green Arrow's origin happened in More Fun Comics #89 (March, 1943) by artists Cliff Young and Steve Brodie, with millionaire Oliver Queen finding Roy Harper on a lost mesa, and the two using their archery skills to stop crooks from plundering the treasures that were found there.

This adventure ended up being the origin of the Golden Age Green Arrow (and Speedy), who were members of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.

The Green Arrow's First Case

For a telling of Green Arrow's origin, look for Adventure Comics #256 (January, 1959) by France Herron, Jack Kirby and Roz Kirby, wherein millionaire Oliver Queen fell overboard on a ship, ending up on a desert island, and using the local resources to make arrows, hunted for food, then stopped some pirates, and took on his heroic identity of Green Arrow (Speedy getting involved with his own origin told later).  The duo returned to the island as criminals had come across it, and might have found Ollie's diary of his time there and figured out he was Green Arrow.

This introduced the island to the origin of Green Arrow, but that wasn't the end of additions to Green Arrow's origin (but these two origins were reprinted in both the Secret Origins Of The Super DC Heroes of 1976 and in Green Arrow: A Celebration of 75 Years of 2016).

The Origin Of Green Arrow

Green Arrow got his origin revisited in DC Super Stars #17 (November-December, 1977) by Denny O'Neil, Mike Grell and Bruce D. Patterson.  While Oliver had been tracking down a man with proof that his fortune had been stolen, he also remembered his beginnings, very similar to the last telling, but Oliver had grown a beard on the island (and really didn't fashion clothes there as well).  Still stopping pirates (who also had thrown him overboard to begin with), he went on to become Green Arrow, joining the JLA, and losing his fortune.  It also added that he had learned archery from Howard Hill in Hollywood.

This origin is about to be reprinted in a facsimile edition of this issue, with origins of the Huntress and Legion of Super-Heroes as well!

Sometimes A Fool Notion

DC had a Crisis, and its heroes were all living on one Earth, so Ollie got an enhanced origin in Secret Origins #38 (March, 1989) by Mike Grell (who revived Green Arrow as more of an urban hunter with his Longbow Hunters mini-series and Green Arrow regular title) and for the origin, artists Hannibal King, Dick Giordano and Arne Starr.  It was a drunk Oliver Queen who fell off his own yacht who ended up on the island, but this Oliver Queen had fancied himself Robin Hood as a child, with movie stunt archer Howard Hill as a friend, and the "pirates" he stopped on the island were simple weed farmers. 

Going to a costume party soon after his return, Oliver was mulling over the idea of Robin Hood when his party was crashed by criminals, who he stopped in costume (even using an unintentional trick arrow with a golf ball on the end) to stop them.  The main thief, Lester Norton, as being taken away, was upset about being stopped by that "green arrow guy", and the Star City papers stuck that name on Ollie's heroic identity.

Speedy's adjusted origin filled the second half of this book, and this tale has yet to be reprinted.  This Green Arrow origin showed Oliver as not much of a businessman, but more of a romantic, wanting to be a hero.

From The Beginning

This origin started similarly to the DC Super Stars one, with Green Arrow having a showdown with someone in the rain.  Green Arrow Annual #7 (1995) by Chuck Dixon, Rick Burchett, Chris Renaud, Eduardo Barreto and Gerry Fernandez introduced a pathetic playboy Oliver Queen, who had inherited his money from his parents, who fought with the crew of his yacht, and got no help when he fell overboard. to end up on an island. 

Recalling his childhood when his dad gave him a bow and arrow for Christmas (which young Ollie went outside with and accidentally killed a bunny), Ollie fashioned a bow and arrow to hunt for food, and came upon a wrecked ship on the island, and a survivor of that ship.  The pair fashioned a small raft on the island, but Ollie left his helper behind when he found out he was Nicholas Kotero (noted serial killer of women). 

Ollie ended up on another island, and found some weed farmers, and ended up back home, taking on the Green Arrow identity (and mismanaging his inherited fortune while playing hero).  It was Kotero he was confronting in the rain, as the killer also escaped the island, looking for revenge.

This origin showed Oliver being on more than one island, and that more could have happened to him in isolation.  This tale has yet to be reprinted.

The Mantle

While there were many stories in Green Arrow Secret Files & Origins #1 (December, 2002), the one by Scott McCullar, Rick Burchett and Dan Davis, where Oliver told his son, Connor, of his parents, Robert and Moira Queen.  Robert founded Queen Enterprises, had the Star City Bay Bridge build, owned the Star City Rockets (a baseball team who played at Papp Stadium).  All this, and that the Queens were descended from Sir Robert Queen the Earle of Dornee....which is what gave Robert the idea to give his son a bow and arrow one Christmas. 

Still, Ollie had no use for it after killing a rabbit, but, after a trip to Africa with his parents, guided by stunt archer Howard Hill and big game trapper Congo Bill, Robert explained to his son that he gave him the bow and arrow to help toughen the lad up...and he need to, as the party was set on by lions, killing Robert and Moira, and Ollie only survived because of his archery skills.  Congo Bill sent him home to live with an uncle, who sent Ollie to boarding school...then, Ollie was misspending his money on yachts after....until one day....

This issue also has other stories, and features on Green Arrow, Black Canary, Arsenal and more, as well as Green Arrow's trick arrows and even a chili recipe; but the issue has not been reprinted.

Green Arrow: Year One

Green Arrow: Year One is a six issue mini-series from 2007 by Andy Diggle and Mark Simpson, this time fighting with drug dealers as part of crime syndicate (introducing readers to China White, a female assassin).  Oliver was marooned on an island thanks to his bodyguard, Hackett, came to enjoy the solitude after figuring how to make a bow and arrow to get food, and found "China White"...

...who had enslaved the island's population to produce her drugs, and was working with Hackett.  Ollie fought for the people (including Taiana, a native of the island who helped nurse Ollie back to health when he was injured fighting Hackett). 

Ollie took down the operation with Howard Hill's bow (which the criminals had won in an auction), but didn't take credit for it when the authorities arrived, having a new appreciation for the people of the island.....and that he would take on a new identity, to become someone else, something else....the Green Arrow!

These six issues have been collected a few times since their original publication.

Hopefully, though a little repetitive, this should give you a little insight into the Green Arrow and how he came to be, how a spoiled rich boy became a man and a hero given the right time and circumstances....but that grew from one man, who could say that "my name is Oliver Queen....".

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Green Lanterns And Green Arrow

Even though Green Arrow did have his own alternate Earth doppleganger, the two Oliver Queens never met outside the pages of the Justice League of America.

Green Arrow did get involved with a little Earth-1/Earth-2 crossover....this in the pages of the Green Lantern title, with Green Lantern Hal Jordan of Earth-1 working with Green Lantern Alan Scott of Earth-2, under two covers by Mike Grell!

Here's how that tale went....

Dark Things Cannot Stand The Light

It all started in Green Lantern #111 (December, 1978) by Denny O'Neil, Alex Saviuk and Vince Colletta, with Green Arrow taking Green Lantern out for eats in Star City...and coming across muggers working on an old gypsy fortune teller.  Green Arrow took out his criminal, but as Green Lantern went for his, his ring froze, but the man turned into a green statue.  It was magic in response to Madame Eva's curse....but magic usually didn't flow this freely.  After prompting by Ollie to review his origin, Hal and Ollie headed to Oa, home of the Guardians of the Universe, to find out what might be happening. 

There, a Guardian explained how, when they were charged with keeping order to the universe, they gathered up all the magic, and contained it in the heart of a star  (The charging was self-imposed, as an Oan had let evil loose in multiverse, and the Guardians wanted to combat it).  Yet, there was a thief from outside the galaxy who stole the Star Heart....and loosed random magic again.  So, to combat this new threat, Hal decided to call on Alan Scott, the mystical Green Lantern from Earth-2.  After the pair charged their rings at the main Power Battery, the three heroes went after the villain in the empty space between galaxies.  Asking him to stop, the thief hurled power bolts taking out the two least until the next issue....

Starheart Connection

Dennis O'Neil, Alex Saviuk and Vince Colletta picked up the story in Green Lantern #112 (January, 1979), with the heroes in hot pursuit of the Star Heart thief.  The Green Lanterns compare notes on the blasts that took them out (magic for Hal, electricity for Alan), and Green Arrow asks Alan of his origin as the trio continue out of Hal's jurisdiction, with Ollie wondering where the meteor that formed the original Lantern came from, and what was the voice. 

Finally, the trio came upon a split planet in the void, half city, half forest, with a building/castle on the dividing line.  As they approached, a pair of beams drained the ring slingers power, and took the Green Lanterns inside, as Green Arrow crashed to the ground.  There, he faced future soldiers and ancient trolls....until he was captured as well.  Inside the duo dwelling, Green Arrow met Jack-lord Zalaz, who had snatched the Starheart for his queen, M'la, who was dying and neither science nor magic would cure her. 

Sending Green Arrow to the prison he had for the Green Lanterns (a cell of yellow petrified wood), the two Green Lanterns combine their power (made possible by Alan charging at the Oan Power Battery), and, by using their power together, are able to confront Zalaz....who, at first was draining the Starheart to fight, then used it to transfer his life to M'la, reviving her (the most beautiful woman in the universe).  M'la, an adept sorceress, healed Green Arrow, then tasked herself to return the Starheart to its home, as Alan learned that the Starheart was the source of the meteor that eventually became his Green Lantern, and the heroes were returned home.

An issue that explained much, linking the two Green Lanterns as never before, as well as giving more history of the DC Universe, not unlike when the Green Lanterns first met solo, and learned of the origins of the Guardians of the Universe and the hand at the Dawn of Time! 

But, this was to be the last solo meeting of the Green Lanterns before the Crisis (with Alan appearing here after the end of the 1970s All-Star Comics series, and a few solo back ups in the back of the regular Green Lantern magazine before this issue, and a small spot in fighting histories heroes in a JLA/JSA team up, before more adventures in Adventure Comics, and losses of JSA teammates there and in the next JLA/JSA team up....with both those team ups chronicled here).  All awaiting a larger Crisis On Infinite Earths.....

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Batman And The Outsiders Meet The New Teen Titans

Along time ago, before the internet and digital downloads, one would look into the window of a comic shop and see posters of upcoming events.... such as this wonderful poster by George Perez and Jim Aparo, promising the excitement of a meeting of the New Teen Titans and Batman and the Outsiders!

This happened in an issue of each of their follows!

Light's Out, Everyone

Starting the crossover fun was New Teen Titans #37 (December, 1983) by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and Romeo Tanghal....with this half of a connected cover by George Perez (one of the earliest examples of this trick).

The issue starts out with Gizmo, one of the members of the Fearsome Five, helping to start a prison break for the other members of the team...matter manipulating Shimmer; her brother, super strong Mammoth; devious Dr. Light (former JLA and Teen Titan foe) and psionic Psimon.  These villains have a plan to increase their power, and plan to use scientist Dr. Helga Jace to help (as she had helped Shimmer and Mammoth in their past, being an expert on metahumans).

Meanwhile, in the Titans Tower; Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Changeling, Cyborg, Starfire and Raven were finishing a meeting and dealing with newest member, Terra (matter manipulator), when Terra got a mysterious signal (of much distress to her, as she immediately goes off because of it....foiling her secret plans to get more information on the Titans, as Terra is a secret agent for Deathstroke the Terminator).

Her alarm went off signalling the kidnapping of Dr. Helga Jace, and Terra arrives at the doctor's home, only to find Metamorpho, Black Lightning, Halo and Katana there....and Terra attacks!  The group fight her as the Titans start to arrive (usually team up trope), but then Kid Flash and Wonder Girl recognize Metamorpho and Black Lightning (and vice versa), so the fighting stops.

Just in time, as Geo-Force arrives....and greets Terra as his sister, Tara Markov!  Seems Tara had gotten her Earth powers a year before, and Geo-Force was looking for her,  but hadn't found her.

The teams unite and realize they must look for the villains, the Fearsome Five, who took Jace (and both teams contact their leaders... ...Robin/Dick Grayson of the Titans and Batman/Bruce Wayne of the Outsiders.. ..who are meeting at Wayne Manor to discuss recent problems the two are having, with Jason Todd in the background, and Alfred Pennyworth letting them know their teams need them).

The entirety of both teams unite at Titans Tower, where they search for clues to find the Fearsome Five (getting notice that they are experimenting on homeless people....turning them into mud men).  The teams (with Batman taking over as leader, much to Robin's dismay), go to a Gotham island where the Fearsome Five are, but....the villains and their mutated men of the Mud Pack attack, and the villains flee....and blow up the island....sinking the heroes.....

Psimon Says

Batman And The Outsiders #5 (December, 1983) came out soon after, by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo (with Marv Wolfman as a co-plotter and cover by George Perez and Jim Aparo, giving the second half of a connected cover...letting you know these two issues connected in story, a piece occasionally forgotten in modern connected covers).

It starts with our heroes sinking in light of the explosion they just faced, with Batman feeling concerned because he was counting on Robin and the Outsiders to take care of Gotham should he die, and Robin thinking they wouldn't be in this predicament had he led instead....thankfully, Terra and Geo-Force work together and save the heroes from a watery grave, saving themselves and Dr. Jace.

Batman takes charge (as he did when working with Titans in Brave and the Bold), suggesting they go to the closer Outsiders headquarters under Wayne Foundation (though the Outsiders are unaware of Batman's true identity, unlike the Titans of Robin's).  Wonder Girl and Halo talk of their lack of knowledge of their parents' identities, and Kid Flash and Black Lightning talk of how they both tried to walk away from being heroes but came back, as Batman again takes dominance of the two teams.

Meanwhile, the villains have a falling out, as Psimon takes over his team, directing the others against Dr. Light, who escapes....leading to his being caught by the heroes.  They find out the villains had a plan of taking over New York City with a mind control device, and with Dr. Jace's help, find a way to immunize the heroes against it.

The Fearsome Five (less one) were using the Empire State Building to center their device and succeed in taking New the heroes arrive to stop them, with Batman trying to divide the teams when Robin speaks up, saying Batman's orders will likely get them killed, and comes up with a division of the teams that takes advantage of his knowledge and experience, which does allow them to defeat the villains, and Batman and Robin finally make peace at the end (as Terra and Geo-Force plan to unite their family again sometime soon....).

All of this lays out a plan for future issues of both series, as Dick Grayson retires as Robin (and Wally West retires as Kid Flash), with Dick soon taking on the identity of Nightwing, as Donna Troy/Wonder Girl finds her real family (with help from Dick); and Black Lightning is confronted by the Masters of Disaster (and the reason he lost his powers for a time), and Halo discovers her true identity (and origins of her powers), with Geo-Force having to deal with fallout from more revelations and problems from his sister, Terra.

Psimon and the Fearsome Five return right before the Crisis On Infinite Earths as well, as the Titans and Outsiders will work together then too.

Read these yourself in New Teen Titans Volume 6 Tradepaperback of 2017 (including Dick and Wally's retirement) or Batman and the Outsiders Volume 1 Hardcover of 2017 (including the teams' origins, more on Markovia and Black Lightning's power problems)....a shameless bit of advertisement for DC, who brought readers these classic tales!

For those interested in comic marketing, and some of the ways done to make comics appealing to readers and give us some things to follow, check out my fellow Super Blog Team Up members blogs', as our assignment was to cover gimmicks that sell comics, focusing on the later years of Chromium...wherein covers were shiny to sell comics!

Participants include:

Super-Hero Satellite: 70s-80s Photo Covers

Comic Reviews By Walt: The 90s Revisited: Shiny Covers

Chris Is On Infinite Earths (Blog): Adventures Of Superman 500 (White Bag and Lenticular Cover)

Chris Is On Infinite Earths (Podcast): Episode 33: Team Titans 1 (1992) Five Variant Covers

Source Material: Spider-Man Torment (1-5 by Todd McFarlane) Daredevil Fall From Grave (319-325) Gimmick Covers and costume changes

The Telltale Mind:  Worlds Collide - the Intercompany Crossover

Between The Pages: Guerrilla Marketing

DC In The 80s: Justin's 5 most memorable DC gimmicks from 1990-1995 including Robin, Spectre and more!

Comics In The Golden Age: Fawcett's Mighty Midgets comics

Unspoken Issues: Darkhawk 25

When It Was Cool: Polybags!

In My Not So Humble Opinion: Pop-Up Cover Force Works 1

Black & White and Bronze Comics Blog: Stan Lee's foray into the magazine format with Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine of 1968

I thank all my regular readers for also checking out all these great members of the Super-Blog Team-Up family, welcome new readers brought to me because of the SBTU, and thanks to everyone for a love of comics as well all team up well!!