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!).

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