It all started with a couple of hippies, trying to get dry in a clothing store…and what a long, strange trip it has been!
Still, Brother Power was launched into space in his second issue
(November-December 1968) by the governor of California (not mentioned,
but definitely Ronald Reagan)….and, that third issue, though supposedly
completed by Joe Simon, never saw the light of day (by Joe’s design, sadly, as he refused to discuss the character in later days).
This story revealed that Brother Power was a failed attempt at an
Earth Elemental, and the story featured Batman, Firestorm (himself
revealed to be a Fire Elemental…that was the trend of the 1980s/1990s),
and Abby Arcane (Swamp Thing’s girlfriend), who, along with sixties
reject Chester and his girlfriend, Liz Tremayne, tried to help Brother
Power adjust to a time not his own (a possible throwback to Joe Simon’s
Captain America…himself a reminder of World War II, asked to wake up in
the “modern day”).
Still, the mannequin survived and continued to fight on…even briefly
appearing in the meeting of all the Vertigo characters of the time, like
Swamp Thing, John Constantine, the Doom Patrol, Black Orchid, Animal
Man and Shade the Changing Man, in Totems (February 2000) by Tom Peyer, Duncan Fegredo and Richard Case.
(And, in his next comic appearance, in the animated Brave & the Bold #15 (May, 2010, by Sholly Fisch and Robert Pope),
he was treated a little better…though this appearance was tied more to
the animated TV series than the comic continuity, and he didn’t appear
on the cover).
Still, with the New 52, you never know when you could see the “Thing That Lives And Fights For It’s Soul!”.