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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 12 July 2019 at 7:46pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

 Eric Sofer wrote:
So let's give YOU a crack at it. Give me a team that has a theme to it.


During the brief Challengers of the Unknown revival in the mid-late 70s, they seemed to be hanging out with some of the more unusual characters in the DCU (Swamp Thing, Deadman, Rip Hunter).

The Challengers themselves don't do much for me - I liked the Kirby issues and Mark Waid's use of them in Brave and the Bold, but that's all that comes to mind - but I love the name. So repurposing the name with DC's various "explorer" and maybe some "mysterious" characters (Cave Carson, Rip Hunter, Deadman, Enchantress (pre-corruption), one or more of the Star Rovers, etc.) could be fun.

On the Marvel side, Jonathan Hickman's New Avengers and even elements of Jason Aaron's current Avengers seem more appropriate for a Defenders revival. Complex characters with complex motivations doing complex things that Man Isn't Meant To Know. (I'd like the Avengers to go back to being "super cops" who work out of the Mansion rather than using a Celestial at the top of the world.)
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 12 July 2019 at 8:29pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I would LOVE to see JB try his hand at the Challengers of the Unknown for a while!  And not for/with the usual Fantastic Four comparisons; he gave the Next Men some jackets/outfits that would be a good look for the Challs and the storyline feel of Blood of the Demon and Doom Patrol would be a good fit.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 12 July 2019 at 11:49pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Revisiting the Superman Family has restored a bit of my ol' childhood fascination for that world. At the same time, I was reading a Marvel Team-Up story and assigning roles in that to members of the Superman clan. I thought it would be fun to form a team of Superman Family robots with one of my longtime favorites, SR-6, the Superboy robot who resisted his master's plan to destroy his robots when pollution in the air began to cause problems with their circuitry, as their leader. 

SR-6 resented Superboy, now Superman, for his action, but did not retaliate. He simply continued to protect the city of Smallville, invisibly, so as not to force a confrontation with the man he knew wanted him dead. For years, the citizens of Smallville were blessed with a "guardian angel" saving them in the nick of time, the way Superboy used to before he left town. A return to Smallville brought the matter to Superman's attention and despite the SR-6 doing nothing to justify his belief that his robots were dangerous, Superman tricked it into thinking it had killed an innocent man, and thus it destroyed itself as Superman had done to its brothers so long ago. 

I'd like to think the SR-6 saved itself again at the last second and is still out there, keeping its head down from its murderous master. :-) 

Another favorite from childhood is Genia, Mistress of Malice, DC's very own Jocasta before there was a Jocasta. In an issue of Worlds Finest, Brainiac created a mate for himself and used her to infiltrate the United Nations as a female diplomat he'd kidnapped. Genia began to display feelings for her creator which revulsed him, ala' the dynamic between Platinum of the Metal Men and Doc Magnus. In a final confrontation against Superman and Batman, both drew weapons on her and fired. Batman had a Phantom Zone projector while Superman had a shrinking ray. Superman fired a split-second before Batman (as shown on the cover of the issue, by the way) and Genia wound up in Kandor, serving Van-Zee and his family as their maid. She was never referred to again that I know of. 

Jor-El sent a teaching robot ahead of his son's rocket to instruct the boy in all that he would need to know and this robot made a small number of appearances over the years, in one case challenging Supergirl as an energy-being and in another, hypnotizing a young woman into becoming exactly the kind of person the college-age Superman would fall in love with. Presumably, that story is the one where Superman loses his virginity. It's DC Super-Stars #12 and it's more than a little weird, especially on the issue of consent. Jor-El's robot is not a nice guy by any means, but his intent is supposedly pure. He is here to instruct, not coddle. 

I thought that perhaps Amazo could serve on the team as well, if he could be properly reprogrammed or motivated. There is also a Bizarro Amazo that could be used instead, but that might be a bridge too far in a regular comic, especially since Amazo wants to live, so all he wants to do is remain inert. 

There were one or two more out there that I wanted to track down and possibly include (Jor-El supposedly built a super-robot to help him solve the problem of Krypton's imminent destruction, but it was in Kandor when the city was shrunken. I've not read the original tale and only seen the robot referenced in the original World of Krypton mini-series. If it's still in Kandor, it might make a good addition to the team.) 

In any case, I wanted to call the team "K-Metal" and conjure up fanfic stories for them. I actually have a number of these fan-fictional psuedo-teams already loosely based upon various existing DC super-teams like Shadowpact and the Outsiders. Usually they feature a mix of existing, forgotten characters and variant heroes I've come up with to fill in the gaps.

For instance, the team "KandorGarten" is a take on the Titans with the Ak-Var Flamebird putting together a group that includes Billy Anders and his psychic lynx; Jezabelle, the forgotten New Genesis goddess; Metallus, a Cyborg-riff utilizing Metallo-level tech; and a couple of others who escape me at the moment. I can't recall who I had filling in for Wally and Raven. Gary, the Witch Boy, and a previously unmentioned daughter of Satanis and Syrene, perhaps? I think Donna's stand-in was going to be an Earth-One variation on the very first Golden Age Supergirl who was simply a physically gifted princess from a foreign land. I wouldn't be surprised if she already exists in one of E. Nelson Bridwell's Super Friends issues. He did one that featured various members of royalty from around the planet. She may have been one of them. If not her, the Yellow Peri is right there, not being utilized. :-)

The idea, of course, is that the characters all had to be drawn from existing Superman lore. Since the New Gods debuted in Jimmy Olsen and continued in those titles for some time, I figured Jezabelle, She of the Fiery Eyes, makes it in just under the wire. And she makes a great fill-in for Starfire. So... win-win. 

In any case, I love coming up with teams like these, sketching them out, writing notes for stories about them... and then doing nothing with them whatsoever, because I am possibly the laziest human being who ever lived. At least coming up with them keeps me off the streets at night. :-)

(It just occurred to me that the Green Lantern Stel of Grenda has to be on the K-Metal team somehow. Yeah, he's been killed. So what? It's hard to come up with a Silver Age GL who hasn't been massacred on-panel for cheap thrills by today's bloodthirsty pack of hacks. Ptui. Gimme half a chance, I'm bringin' Stel back, twice as clunky as before, if not moreso. I promise, it'll be riveting. Riveting... Ha! :-)


Edited by Brian Hague on 13 July 2019 at 12:06am
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 13 July 2019 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

To address some comments...

The Legion of Super Pets conceit was that they thought in complete human sentences so that readers could understand them. Of course, Comet HAD been human(ish) and Krypto was super intelligent... but it was for reader convenience, in the same way that aliens spoke English. Why screw up the readers?

I hated what Giffen did to the Legion, and to the "satire" he put into LSH. If you don't like a property, or want to mock it, stay the f*** away from it in the first place.

Levitz admits that his first run on Legion was a little heavy handed, and not his best. You mentioned Earthwar, Brian H., so let me point out one of the egregious errors. During the final battle with Mordru, Ultra Boy is shown using some type of energy that caused clouds to spring from his hands. And we go "HUH?" Even for range, Flash Vision would have been entirely suitable.

I think Rita Farr's illness had to be in there to make her a "freak". Otherwise, a gorgeous Olympian and actress with the fantastic power set that Elasti-Girl had. probably had trouble justifying being an outcast. Maybe in a Jean Grey mold? 

Bouncing Boy was given one super power in "Superboy's Legion" by Alan Davis that would have made a ton of difference. He was invulnerable when inflated. That makes him valuable. But of course, as Brian noted, it was a kids' club that got escalated really fast. Just how mediocre were the Science Police, we wonder?

TANGENT: The Legion was very strict about recruiting teenagers - they even rejected Kara when a piece of red kryptonite TEMPORARILY aged her to Superwoman. And yet, Elastic Lad, Insect Queen, Mon-El, Pete Ross, Superboy, and Supergirl were centuries old when they were given membership (full time or honorary). So... a 1017 year old Supergirl could join, but a 1027 year old Superwoman couldn't?

Brian, Superfriends took place on Earth-1. Both it and Justice League of America referenced each other, albeit infrequently. In the JLA, Red Tornado reflects that he hasn't spun so fast since he broke the time barrier in Superfriends #9 (or some such.) And I trusted Bridwell to keep things in order.

Ah, Superfriends. It could have gone to mockery hell; but E. Nelson Bridwell (arguably one of DC's best writers) kept it on Earth-1 and relatable.Those were some awfully good stories. (Example: the Scarecrow made Wonder Woman fear metal... except that when she doffed her bracelets, her rage overcame her fear, as had been noted in Amazon lore. Let's see the Scarecrow handle THAT.)

Regarding the Monster League of Evil... let us also recall that Superman once battled the real Dracula and Frankenstein. All KINDS of fun!

Brian, how much did 20th century history affect 30th century activity with the Legion of Super Heroes? They frequently cameo'ed in Action and Superman stories, so maybe a heck of a lot. (Of course, after a very brief period at their beginning, Kal-El returned the favor in every issue of Adventure Comics.)

Dave P. - you're right about the treatment of racially special Legionnaires. They also got two of the very few historically documented Kryptonians on the team. Some days, it was hard to tell what direction the Legion was going...



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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 13 July 2019 at 9:22am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

This is making me want to dig out and reread Super Friends...

 Eric Sofer wrote:
TANGENT: The Legion was very strict about recruiting teenagers - they even rejected Kara when a piece of red kryptonite TEMPORARILY aged her to Superwoman. And yet, Elastic Lad, Insect Queen, Mon-El, Pete Ross, Superboy, and Supergirl were centuries old when they were given membership (full time or honorary). So... a 1017 year old Supergirl could join, but a 1027 year old Superwoman couldn't?


That just gets into the standard "treating a time as if it were a place" thing that happens in comics, Doctor Who, etc. Although I guess that still leaves poor Mon-El.


 QUOTE:
how much did 20th century history affect 30th century activity with the Legion of Super Heroes?


My personal favorite was when they showed up to participate in a "heroines of the past, present and future" parade. Innocent bystanders in a Weisinger comic sure knew how to take things in stride...
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 13 July 2019 at 9:41am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Hey yeah!  There's no way Mon-El could have been considered a teenager!  Has any storyline ever dealt with (shown) what Mon-El went through in the Phantom Zone?  Or why he never seemed like a wise and/or bitter 1,000 year-old man?

And, yes, I agree about Bridwell.  I too liked his SUPER FRIENDS, SHAZAM, and various SUPERMAN family stories.  Sorry to say, it wasn't until I picked up some witty and fun old issues of INFERIOR FIVE that I really realized how sharp and talented he really was.  Called DC's "Continuity Cop," it's really telling how things fell apart in that area after he died in 1987.


Edited by Eric Jansen on 13 July 2019 at 9:42am
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 13 July 2019 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 7 post reply


 QUOTE:
...Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing...


Id be happy to read a quality book featuring that team.
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