Friday, December 27, 2019

Flash Crossover Future Shock

By now, team ups of the Flashes (Barry and Jay) and the JLA and JSA were pretty regular occurrences, but still they could sneak up on a Flash here and there.

This time, Barry had a case of his own, that found a way to work Jay into it.

Kill Me, Flash -- Faster....Faster

Neal Adams did a stunning cover for this issue of Flash #246 (January, 1977) by Cary Bates, Irv Novick and Frank McLaughlin, with what seems a pretty final end for Flash foe, Abra Kadabra in the 64th Century.

Barry Allen tries to enjoy bowling with his wife, Iris, and their friend Stacy Conwell (and her friend Chuck Marston), when the bowling ball grows out of control!  This spurs Barry on to some Flash action....where he beats the large bowling ball. 

Still, he had been dealing with this problem of "impossible happenings" already (as seen in the last issue), and traces it back to its source....a small pyramid in Barry's lab!

This pyramid transports Barry to the 64th Century, where he sees criminal Abra Kadabra being applauded on the street!  Checking with authorities, Flash finds this is a new rehabilitation treatment, but Abra hates it.  So, with the glow of the pyramid, Flash now feels compelled to kill Abra Kadabra, and does....vibrating him to death!  The police arrest the Flash, nullifying his speed and taking him to jail.

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) also concluded his back ups here in Flash (battling transformed Atom foe, the Plant Master), finally moving back to his own magazine (albeit, one he would share with Green Arrow for a time).

The Mad, Mad Earth Of Abra Kadabra

Rich Buckler and Frank Springer provided the cover for Flash #247 (March, 1977), as Cary Bates, Irv Novick and Frank McLaughlin finished this battle of Flash vs. Abra Kadabra (with Jay Garrick joining the battle).

Barry Allen finds himself trapped in an escape proof cell in the 64th Century, framed for the murder of Abra Kadabra....yet, Abra Kadabra had just pulled off his own escape of his own time, ending up back in the Flash's time...but, wrong Flash!

Abra is upset as he finds the people of the city he landed in applauding the Flash....Jay Garrick's Flash in Keystone City!    Abra seems to have forgotten meeting Jay before (Flash #170 with Dr. Fate and Dr. Mid-Nite), and thinks this is a trick of Barry's.  So, Abra engages Jay's Flash as Barry tries to escape his cell.   Barry eventually breaks free and repeats Abra's trick to go try to follow him, as Abra captures Jay.  Barry rescues Jay, and the two take down the rogue future magician.

Sadly, these two tales have yet to be reprinted.

Jay Garrick had last appeared in the 14th JLA/JSA crossover with the Squadron of Justice and Marvel Family, and would appear next in the 1970s All-Star Comics revival with Power Girl, until the next JLA/JSA meeting (which involved the Legion of Super-Heroes and their 30th Century future), and the two JLA/JSA team-ups were covered here!  Barry and Jay still had a couple of their individual team-ups to go before the Crisis On Infinite Earths!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Sugar And Spike Want More Christmas

Sheldon Meyer writes and draws an issue full of Christmas adventures for Sugar Plumm and Cecil "Spike" Wilson in Sugar & Spike #38 (December-January, 1961/1962)...

...wherein the babies who can talk to each don't seem to understand yet that Christmas only comes once a year!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Archie's Christmas Wrapping

A little bit of wrapping confusion with Archie Andrews, as Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica get ready to celebrate Christmas on this cover by Dan & Jim DeCarlo for Archie Giant Series Magazine #489 (December, 1979).

Friday, December 20, 2019

May Spidey Be With You

A long, long time ago, in a comic book far, far away.....

....Spider-Man faced the evil Dr. Doom with the help of Moondragon, in an issue of Spidey Super Stories... a story entitled....


Spidey Super Stories 31

This issue came out cover dated February, 1978....

....with a cover by Keith Pollard and Frank Giacoia...

....a little after some movie gave us all A New Hope.

A story by Kolfax Mingo, Win Mortimer and Mike Esposito, "Star Jaws" gave loyal fans of the Electric Company and Marvel Comics...

....well, the story of Star Wars: A New Hope, just like it was in the theatres (almost)....

....with Spider-Man as Luke Skywalker, Moondragon as Princess Leia, Marvel Boy as Han Solo, Paul the Gorilla from Electric Company as Chewbacca, Sam the Sesame Street Robot as R2-D2 and C-3PO, Dr. Doom as Darth Vader and his Doombots as Stormtroopers, as Dr. Doom used his new space station, Star Jaws, to try to eat the Earth!


It was a simpler time. 

Still, it was a little fun, and did give a little info on who Moondragon and Marvel Boy were, and, hey, Marvel did have the Star Wars Property at the time!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Crisis Out Of Time

One of the main pieces of the Crisis On Infinite Earths, was that heroes from different times and places were able to meet up and work together.

Only a few of the crossovers took advantage of that revolutionary idea by using heroes from history, and here are the two of them, as they teamed up with some fiery super heroines of the 1980s!

The Crisis Comes To 1942

There was a little pre-crossover set up in All-Star Squadron #54 (February, 1986) by Roy Thomas, Danette Thomas, Mike Clark, Alfredo Alcala, Arvell Jones and Vince Colletta, all under a cover by Mike Clark, with the honorary members of the JSA (in 1942, including Flash, Batman, Green Lantern and Hourman) all coming back to put the final touches on Mr. Mind's early Monster Society of Evil, including Oom, who you can see attacking the Perisphere, the headquarters of the All-Star Squadron.

All that so that Firebrand (Danette Reilly, the second Firebrand, a heroine who was related to the original Firebrand who later joined the Freedom Fighters, but she also had flame powers which she had gotten during the formation of the All-Star Squadron) could go on a mission to Cape Canaveral.

Speaking with Nuklon and the 1985 version of the Golden Age Atom, Firebrand got assigned to check out Cape Canaveral, home of the Space Shuttle program at the time (as well as Terri Rothstein, who was Nuklon's mom and Firebrand's goddaughter).

So, Firebrand ended up leading a team composed of heroes from history including Don Caballero (a man from Spain who welded his blade, El Captain), the Roving Ranger (Jeff Graham, a Texas Ranger), the Trigger Twins (Walt and Wayne, two men who pretended to be one sheriff - this batch all premiered in All-Star Western #58 of April-May, 1951); the Silent Knight (Brian Kent, apprentice knight who fought villainy in secret), the Golden Gladiator (Marcus, a former Roman shepherd and slave who became a warrior after winning a bout and getting a golden helmet) and the Viking Prince (Jon, a Scandinavian hero of the 10th Century, these three all premiering in Brave and the Bold #1 of August-September, 1955); the Black Pirate (Jon Valor of 16th Century Europe, who premiered in Action Comics #23 of April 1940, and his son, Justin Valor), Miss Liberty (Bess Lynn who nursed soldiers during the Revolutionary War, and first appeared in Tomahawk #81 of July-August, 1962), and Valda (the iron maiden of Frankland in the 8th Century, who premiered in Arak Son Of Thunder #3 in November, 1981).

This group approached Cape Canaveral in Florida in 1985, to find it besieged by American Indians of old...including Super-Chief (Flying Stag, also known as Saganowhana, leader of the Wolf Clan who gets super powers from a meteor in All-Star Western #117 of February-March 1961 and used them for the next two issues as well, to be later pulled out for massive team-ups, more on which in later columns....).   For now, to the next issue and more guests!

Crisis At Canaveral

All that set up for All-Star Squadron #55 (March, 1986) by Roy Thomas, Danette Thomas, Arvell Jones, Vince Colletta and Tim Burgard (with cover by Arvell Jones and Tony DeZuniga)!

Firebrand and history's heroes battle the displaces native Americans (including a few more comic related ones, including Strong Bow of the Misty Mountains from an America before Columbus had landed who had premiered in All-Star Western #58 of April-May, 1951 - the issue that took over the numbering from the Golden Age JSA home of All-Star Comics) and Arak Red-Hand (shaman of the Quontauka tribe of the 8th Century who premiered in Warlord #48 in August, 1981, and had 50 issues of his own written by Roy Thomas).

All these time tossed characters (including Cyclotron, who was Terri Rothstein's now deceased father) had been gathered to fight the Ultra-Humanite (a foe of the Golden Age Superman... in the body of a giant mutated white ape).

The heroes were eventually successful stopping the Ultra-Humanite, left wondering how the greater Crisis would go (all the while the Golden Age Sandman had his adventure on an alternate Uranus).

A Long Night's Journey Into Day

A much simpler adventure happened in Fury Of Firestorm #42 (December, 1985) by Gerry Conway, Rafael Kayanan, Ian Akin and Brian Garvey (with a cover by Rafael Kayanan and Dick Giordano, featuring the stars of the issue, Firehawk/Lorraine Reilly and Wonder Girl/Donna Troy, as Firestorm was busy during the Crisis).

A little later in the Crisis On Infinite Earths (if time has any meaning), New York found itself split into multiple time zones, in which were lost Terry Long (Wonder Girl's husband) and former Senator Walter Reilly (Firehawk's dad).

Lorraine Reilly was a young woman who was helping her father, when she was taken by the 2000 Committee, and subjected to tests that turned her into an approximation of Firestorm (without an attached other person) in Fury of Firestorm #17 (October, 1983).

Still new to the hero game, and giving herself a new costume in Crisis On Infinite Earths #9 (December, 1985), she and Wonder Girl went off to check on their relatives in Manhattan, to find it a time tossed city.

Wonder Girl got injured fighting an octopus and being hit by a cannonball (it really wasn't Donna's day), so Lorraine had taken her to the locals to get aid, finding themselves in the Revolutionary War, and getting help from Tomahawk (frontiersman who worked with General Washington...

....Tom Hawk had his adventures from Star-Spangled Comics #69 of June, 1947 to Star-Spangled Comics #130 of July, 1952, and some issues of World's Finest Comics, as well as 130 issues of Tomahawk from 1950 to 1970, before the title became his sons for 10 issues, but he was there as his older self).

The ladies helped Tomahawk and his assistant, Dan Hunter, fight the British forces, but had no luck finding the men they were looking for.

These three 1980s tales (and more) were reprinted in the Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Volume 1 of 2018, and serve as a nice introduction of past heroes (some of whom had been seen before in JLA/JSA crossovers as well, tales which had occurred in the past, but will be covered in the future!).

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Crisis Recruits

The Crisis On Infinite Earths started in Crisis On Infinite Earths #1 (April, 1985 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez), with the Monitor transforming his assistant, Lyla, into the Harbinger, and sending her off to recruit various heroes (and villains)  to help save the Multiverse.

While that first issue showed some of the recruitment meetings, others were handled in the individual titles of characters.

Here is where Harbinger reached out past the Crisis title.....


In "Crisis Point" for All-Star Squadron #50 (October, 1985) by Roy Thomas, Mike Clark, Vince Colletta, Arvell Jones and Tony DeZuniga (with cover by Jerry Ordway), Harbinger echoed her retrieval of the second Firebrand (Danette Reilly) from a War Bonds rally on Earth-2, April 1, 1942....

...but so much more happened as well.

The current JSA was "Shanghaied Into Space" in an adventure based on their appearance in All-Star Comics #13 (October-November, 1942 - but, instead of going to the eight other planets of their own solar system, they were sent through hyper-space to other dimensional versions of Sol's planets, that were inhabited).

The rest of the Quality heroes (including Plastic Man and Phantom Lady) followed Uncle Sam to Earth-X (an unfortunate world where, at the time, the Nazis were winning World War II).

Commander Steel, behind enemy lines, defeated his enemy, but was thrown into another Earth (Earth-1) that had no super heroes during World War II, and there he remained (having a grandson, who would be Steel in the JLA).

Johnny Chambers and Libby Lawrence (Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle) got married, and headed to their honeymoon, except for the red skies, which had Green Lantern (Alan Scott) come for their help, and then ended them up on Earth-S for a time.

The All-Star Squadron as a whole was a part of the Crisis from All-Star Squadron #50 to #60, and these issues were reprinted in the Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Volume 1 of 2018.


In "Helix Goes To Hollywood" from Infinity, Inc. #18 (September, 1985) by Roy and Danette Thomas, Todd McFarlane and Pablo Marcos, the members of Infinity, Inc. were facing their foes, the super villain team Helix, when Harbinger arrived to take Obsidian (Todd Rice) away.

The rest of the team soldiered on, getting involved in the Crisis up to Infinity, Inc. #25, as well as their first annual and being part of the last JLA/JSA team up in Justice League of America #244 (with these issues all being reprinted in the Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Volume 2 of 2019.


Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein were trying to settle into their new life at college in Pittsburgh in "Storm Warning" from Fury Of Firestorm #41 (November, 1985) by Gerry Conway, Rafael Kayanan and Ian Akin (cover by Rafael Kayanan and Dick Giordano).

Harbinger, bring along Psycho-Pirate, came to retrieve Firestorm (and Psycho-Pirate's emotion manipulation powers caused a little bit of a problem first, as he induced fright in Martin Stein, the "thinking" half of Firestorm).

This issue and the next of Fury of Firestorm were this titles Crisis crossovers, and were reprinted in the Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Volume 1 of 2018.


Cyborg (Victor Stone) was Harbinger's recruit from New Teen Titans #13 (October, 1985) by Marv Wolfman, Eduardo Barreto and Romeo Tanghal, in "Crisis".

This issue showed that some time had passed between Harbinger taking Cyborg to the Monitor's satellite and the effects of Crisis hitting Earth... shown when the Titans, Outsiders and Superman dealt with some Crisis problems (mirroring issue #3 of the main Crisis series), as well as the Titans involvement in Crisis #4-#9, and Wonder Girl getting help from Firehawk in Fury of Firestorm #42, while Nightwing, Starfire and Jericho go back to Starfire's homeworld of Tamaran (which unfolds over the next few issues of New Teen Titans, also involving the Omega Men).

New Teen Titans #13 and #14 are reprinted in the Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Volume 2 of 2019.

Green Lantern

The last individual recruited was Green Lantern in Green Lantern #194 (November, 1985) by Steve Englehart, Joe Staton and Bruce D. Patterson in "5".  Green Lanterns Katma Tui and John Stewart were coming back from a space mission, when they see the red skies on Earth, and check in with Green Arrow and Black Canary in Star City to find out what is going on.

That is when Harbinger shows up to recruit John, but first a battle happens between Green Arrow, Black Canary and Katma against Harbinger.

Explaining her need, she takes John along (as soon as he "fixes" his costume).  Meanwhile, former Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner are taking steps to get their hands on a Power Ring, with the Guardians of the Universe providing an unexpected answer.

John Stewart goes through the same scenes he did in Crisis #1 and #2, fighting Shadow Demons and learning about the threat the worlds face.  This story, and the rest of the Green Lantern Crisis issues are reprinted in the Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Volume 1 of 2018.

The other original recruits of the Monitor were King Solovar of Gorilla City, Dawnstar of the 30th Century Legion of Super-Heroes, Blue Beetle of Hub City, Psycho-Pirate (JSA foe), Arion (lord of ancient Atlantis), Psimon (of the Fearsome Five), Geo-Force (of the Outsiders), the Golden Age Superman, Green Lantern foe Dr. Polaris, and Firestorm foe Killer Frost (the second version of his original foe).

This group faced a breach of Monitor's satellite by the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons, and then were dispatched through time and space to protect the Monitor's towering tuning forks in an attempt to stave off the Crisis.....

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Crisis For Supergirl And Flash

Just worth noting how much Supergirl and the Flash were involved in DC's original Crisis On Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1985....

...all in the epic battle of the Monitor (with the heroes of the Earths, including Harbinger and Pariah) and the Anti-Monitor (and his Shadow Demons)....

....all as we wait for the resolution of the Crisis On Infinite Earths on the CW!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Crisis On Infinite Earths

"Worlds Will Live.  

Worlds Will Die.

And The DC Universe Will Never Be The Same."

That was the advertisement leading up to DC's 50th Anniversary celebration 12 issue mini-series, which started with Crisis On Infinite Earths #1 (April, 1985), in the story begun by Marv Wolfman, George Perez,  and Dick Giordano (with plot assists by Len Wein and Robert Greenberger).

Following years of build up with the introduction of the Monitor and Lyla (who became the Harbinger in this issue) in New Teen Titans, readers saw the destruction of the Crime Syndicate of America's Earth-3 with Pariah watching; only the child, Alexander Luthor Jr., the son of Alexander Luthor and Lois Lane Luthor, surviving.

This dealt with DC's Multiverse, introduced when Flash Barry Allen first met Flash Jay Garrick back in the day, leading to annual team-ups of the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s!

Quite the adventure, and it was for the existence of everything which you've been reading about here (and more!).

Hopefully, these links and articles will help expand your mind and give you some of the information you need to help you navigate the Crisis On Infinite Earths, from DC's two Supermen, Anthro, the Wild West, the World War II Losers and All-Star Squadron, the Outsiders, Infinity Inc., the Legion of Super-Heroes and more!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Watching The Monitor: Superman And Friends

Superman was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound....and so much more!

Superman kept a constant watch on the citizens of Metropolis, after moving there from Smallville, but he was also a hero to the world, working with anyone he could to make life better for everyone....yet, he was also being monitored by the Monitor!

Meet John Doe

First up is Action Comics #560 (October, 1984) by Paul Kupperberg, Alex Saviuk and Dave Hunt (under a Keith Giffen cover).

After an absolutely ordinary prisoner escapes prison, and Superman stops at his Fortress of Solitude, Superman ends up fighting John Doe (that ordinary villain...

...who happened to get some super powered devices from the Monitor).

This John Doe deals with a Superman who is a little forgetful (due to accidental exposure to something in the Fortress....).

This tale has yet to be reprinted.

Living Clay...Killing Clay...

Next up, Superman works with Wonder Woman in DC Comics Presents #76 (December, 1984) by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn and Eduardo Barreto (who also provided the cover of the pair of JLA members being menaced by Dr. Christina Cade).

The Monitor and Lyla seem to be interested in the team of Superman and Wonder Woman.

This allowed a review Wonder Woman's origins as being made of Dr. Cade had been a shipwreck rescue on Paradise Island when Wonder Woman was young - ironic as the Crisis would later prove - but as Christina ran afoul of the gods, left Paradise Island to continue her work with trying to create living clay....with some success.

Wonder Woman and Superman had many team ups....but this tale has yet to be reprinted.

How Do You Hide A Superman?

Another issue with a weakened and forgetful Superman is Superman #402 (December, 1984) by Cary Bates, Curt Swan and Robert Oksner, and cover by Eduardo Barreto.

New Daily Planet staffer Justin Moore has to deal with what looks like a broken and amnesiac Superman, as the Monitor provides information to a pair of 40th Century caretakers (Jj'r and R'ku)....and what does escaped mental patient from the 40th Century Jylla have to do with this?

This story has yet to be reprinted.

The Greatest Thief In The Universe

Up next is the tale by Paul Kupperberg, Curt Swan and Robert Oksner (under an Eduardo Barreto cover) for Superman #403 (January, 1985).

The Thief-Master of Ramox (who is stealing items from around Metropolis) trades information about his home planet to the Monitor in exchange for information about Earth and Metropolis.

This issue has yet to be reprinted.

A New Life For Superman

Paul Kupperberg, Alex Saviuk and Mike DeCarlo present the story of a battered and tattered Superman in action in Action Comics #564 (February, 1985) under an Eduardo Barreto cover, with more of Superman's basic life under attack.

This time around, Superman foe, Master Jailer (Carl Draper) works with the Monitor to get a device that the Jailer uses to give Superman another identity (that of dock worker Mike Benson), after the Master Jailer steals Superman's super suit!  Don't worry, though, Superman does go back to being Clark Kent (as that's important, you know!).

This tale has yet to be reprinted.

Gotham Bridge Is Falling Down

Joey Cavalieri, Stan Woch and Alfredo Alcala provide the tale from World's Finest Comics #314 (April, 1985) under a cover by Alfredo Alcala and Klaus Janson.

This time around, Superman has to defeat the Executrix (an assassin who had previously faced Green Arrow, now working on her own).

Superman stops her from claiming her victim (and saves him from a much more aggressive Batman), while the Monitor notes the similarities and differences of Superman and Batman, and how they do try to save people, even at the potential cost of their own lives.

This tale has yet to be reprinted.

The Triad

The last issue with the Monitor and Lyla is DC Comics Presents #78 (February, 1985) by Marv Wolfman, Curt Swan and Dave Hunt, with a cover by Eduardo Barreto.

This is the second half of a story of a team up of Superman...

...and the Forgotten Heroes (Rip Hunter, Dolphin, Cave Carson, Rick FlaggCongorilla, Animal Man and Immortal Man) against their foes, the Forgotten Villains (Ultivac, Atom-Master, Mr. Posiedon, Kraklow, Enchantress, the Faceless Hunter from Saturn and Yggardis), showcasing Superman's leadership skills.  At the completion of their battle, Monitor prepares his assistant, Lyla, for the coming of the Crisis On Infinite Earths

This tale has been reprinted in the Crisis On Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Volume 1 (of November, 2018).

This concludes the pre-Crisis appearances of the Monitor and the Crisis arrives for the Titans, JLA, JSA, Legion of Super-Heroes, Swamp Thing, Batman and Superman....and all the infinite Earths!