Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Original Global Guardians

The world needs heroes...and sometimes, the world supplies them.

Such was the idea behind the Global Guardians, heroes from around the world that would work together to solve problems.

Here, we take a quick look at where these heroes came from, and how they eventually came to gather in stories by E. Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon (with Romeo Tanghal on the last two Super Friends issues, and Alex Saviuk on the DC Comics Presents)....

As the Earth was threatened by the villainous Superman foe, Grax, the Justice League of America had to go into action around the world, so they recruited help from where they had to go....

Super Friends #7 (October, 1977)

Superman worked with Seraph (Chiam Lavon) from Israel, Elongated Man worked with Godiva (Dorcas Leigh) in England, Flash teamed up with Impala (M'Bulaze) in South Africa and Hawkman and Hawkgirl met Owlwoman (Wenonah Littlebird) in the United States.

Super Friends #8 (November, 1977)

Atom met Rising Sun (Izumi Yasunari) in Japan, Green Lantern worked with Jack O'Lantern (Daniel Cormac) in Ireland, Red Tornado teamed up with Tuatara (Jeremy Wakefield) in New Zealand, Batman and Robin met Bushmaster (Bernal Rojas) in Venezuela, and Black Canary teamed up with Thunderlord (Liang Xih-k'ai) in Taiwan.

Super Friends #9 (December, 1977)

Green Arrow met Tasmanian Devil (Hugh Dawkins) in Austrailia, Aquaman worked with Little Mermaid (Ulla Paske) in Denmark, Wonder Woman teamed up with the Olympian (Aristides Demetrios) in Greece and all the JLA provided cover for Ice Maiden (Sigrid Nansen) in Norway.

Super Friends #12 (June-July, 1978)

Doctor Mist (Nommo) appeared at the end of another problem in this issue, and the Super Friends helped him deal with it in the next issue.  Doctor Mist would be the man to help form the Global Guardians (although details wouldn't be revealed until later....).

Super Friends #25 (October, 1979)

Green Fury (Beatriz da Costa) helps the Super Friends in Brazil, as well as Nubia, Tasmanian Devil and Seraph in her premiere appearance as they face the menace of the Overlord who turns the Super Friends evil!

Super Friends #45 (June, 1981)

The Wild Huntsman (Albrecht von Mannheim) of Germany first appears, as Doctor Mist calls together the team, with this batch including Godiva, Bushmaster, Little Mermaid, the Olympian and the Rising Sun to deal with villains being captured.

DC Comics Presents #46 (June, 1982)

Here, Doctor Mist recruits Superman, along with Seraph, Green Fury, Rising Sun, the Olympian, Little Mermaid and Jack O'Lantern to fight the mystical menace of Thaumar Dhai and magical enemies of the team (and they finally officially are the Global Guardians).

Various individual members of the Global Guardians appear, defending the Earth in Crisis On Infinite Earths #12 (March, 1986), including Doctor Mist, Godiva, Green Fury, Jack O'Lantern, Little Mermaid, Owlwoman, Rising Sun and Thunderlord, with Red Star (Leonid Kovar , the former Starfire) of Russia mentioned among them (but he was not a member of the Guardians, later going on to join the Titans).

More members and more history of the team would later be revealed in Infinity, Inc., Secret Origins, Justice League International, Justice League Europe and Justice League Quarterly (including their ties to the Batmen of Many Nations), but this seems to be a good place to stop, as this huge team assembles.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Metal Legacies Of Bolland and Garcia-Lopez

Both Brian Bolland and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez were born on this date, and both of them have many years of artistic excellence...

...including both of them doing variant covers for the Metal Men limited series of 2020.

The two artists also both provided covers for the DCU: Legacies mini-series in 2010....with Bolland providing this Demon/Atom cover, and Garcia-Lopez providing the two covers for DC's Silver Age (inked by Dave Gibbons)!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Happy Birthday William Shatner

Celebrating the birthday of William Shatner, with a pair of special comics devoted uniquely to him!

From 1995, TekTrek: The William Shatner Story #1 by Michael Buckley and Alexander Jubran...

...and from 2009, William Shatner Presents #1, with a cover by Alan Brooks, and two stories, one by William Shatner, Scott Davis and Erich Owen featuring Jake Cardigan from Tek War, a second story by Shatner with David McIntee and Joey Mason on a "Quest For Tomorrow", and a third story, by Shatner with C.J. Henderson and Pat Broderick featuring Man O' War!

Some rare Shatner collectibles for you to search for, beyond Shatner's Kirk portrayal! 

I just want to know, when will we get Denny Crane comics?


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Strange Tales Of Dan Adkins

Remembering artist Dan Adkins (March 15, 1937 - May 3, 2013) on his birthday with something a little strange..

...the covers he drew for Strange Tales featuring Doctor Strange (which was every other cover as the Doc alternated covers with his co-star, Nick Fury)!

Strange Tales #160 and #162 (September and November, 1967)

Strange Tales #164 and #166 (January and March, 1968)

Strange Tales #168 and Doctor Strange #169 (May and June, 1968)

Strange Tales would split, with Doctor Strange continuing the numbering of Strange Tales, with Nick Fury, Agent Of SHIELD getting a number one!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Twilight Zone Time

Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour tonight, as Daylight Saving Time begins again, putting us in a battle with time, just like this classic painted cover of Twilight Zone #70 (May, 1976).

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Happy Birthday Zatara

According to the old DC calendar, today is the birthday of the magician, Zatara.  

Giovanni "John" Zatara first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June, 1938) by Fred Guardineer (an issue which also premiered a certain caped Kryptonian),  but Zatara only appeared on two covers as the main feature, #12 and #14.

Zatara was a stage magician, but he also practiced real magic, which he could manifest by speaking backward, causing whatever he said to happen.  Zatara would work with his East Indian bodyguard, Tong, to fight evil wizards and druids, thieves such as the Tigress, and even invaders from Saturn and the moon.

His original stories ran from Action Comics #1 to #141, World's Best Comics #1, World's Finest Comics #2 to #51 , and in New York World's Fair Comics #1 and #2, though only Action Comics #1 and the 2 New York World's Fair Comics have ever been reprinted, and contrary to the Action Comics #52 cover, didn't team up with companions until after the Golden Age.

Writer Gardner Fox, who wrote some of Zatara's earliest tales, revived him in the 1960s, as he went missing due to the manipulations of sorceress Allura, sending his daughter, Zatanna, to quest for him.  Later writers writing of past have included him in the histories of Phantom Stranger, the Spectre, Madame Xanadu, a pre-Batman Bruce Wayne, Superboy and even as a member of the All-Star Squadron, cementing a place in history of this early DC magician!


Friday, March 4, 2022

Batman Around The Globe

Batman was an incredible force in fighting crime in Gotham...but what about the rest of the world?

Well, inspired by the Batman, various other people across the globe took to wearing costumes and fighting crime in their own countries as well.

Here are their stories.

The Batmen Of Many Nations

It all started in Detective Comics #215 (January, 1955) by Edmond Hamilton, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris, when international heroes came to Gotham to meet their hero, Batman (including the Knight and Squire of England who first appeared in Batman #62, as well as the introductions of the Musketeer from France, the Legionary from Italy, the Gaucho from Argentina and the Ranger from Australia).  

These heroes would then help Batman against Knots Cardine, a gang leader, who had escaped from Batman.  During the course of the case, it appears Batman was killed, and Robin and the Batmen go to catch the killer, where they find Batman and Knots, who had taken the place of the Legionary, thus having Batman come up with the plan to fake his death to isolate the hood.

The Club Of Heroes

The international heroes gathered again in World's Finest Comics #89 (July-August, 1957), by Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang and Stan Kaye, under a Curt Swan/Stan Kaye cover, where the heroes would get a headquarters thanks to philanthropist John Mayhew...if they could select a chairman, which they choose to do by whomever is the most successful this week.  

All the Batmen (except the Ranger, who sat this issue out) are in contention for this, as is Superman, but Superman seems to fail, needing rescue by Lightning-Man, who accomplishes the feats Superman couldn't.  Lightning-Man does succeed in winning the chairmanship, but doesn' Batman exposes Lightning-Man as Superman, given a split personality by an orbiting Kryptonite meteor!  Since Superman technically won, he keeps the chairman seat.

Remember, these heroes all met years before the Justice League of America fought Starro!

Now, Green Arrow had his own version of these heroes in "The Green Arrows Of The World" in Adventure Comics #250 (July, 1958) by Bill Finger and Jack Kirby, but they didn't appear again in the 20th century, and Roy Thomas and Todd McFarlane revived the Batmen Of Many Nations as the inspiration for the Global Guardians in Infinity, Inc. #34 (January, 1987), adding the Wingman to their ranks, having them work for Doctor Mist.

Grant Morrison revived them in Batman #667 (August, 2007), and had them return under a Batman, Incorporated title, adding many more members to the group, as well as fleshing out the characters that were already there!