Fathers and sons working together? That question prompted a number of responses. First up, my official unofficial researcher, John Wells…
There was, of course, the Super-Sons series (officially in WORLD’S FINEST #s 215, 216, 221, 222, 224, 228, 230, 231, 233, 238, 242 and 263 after several “Imaginary Tales”) but those always tended to be more about generational conflict than teaming up.
If we’re talking about Silver Age super-heroes, I’d say that Captain Action and Action Boy — a.k.a. Clive and Carl Arno — are the best example. By the latter half of the five issue CAPTAIN ACTION series, the family relationship had gotten even more complicated when Carl’s grandfather — and Clive’s father-in-law — became Doctor Evil.
1967’s PLASTIC MAN # 7 revealed that the Silver Age Plas was the son of the Golden Age version and had the two of them team up.
To cite one Golden Age example: In the 1942’s SENSATION COMICS #5, the Black Pirate returned home from his latest escapade to find his wife lying in bed with their newborn son. Justin Valor was christened on page one of #6 and twelve years passed by the time we turned to page two! In #7, Justin donned a Black Pirate costume and Jon, bowing to the inevitable, had Bonnie make the boy an outfit of his own in #8. Roy Thomas scripted the last adventure of the Black Pirate and Justin in 1982’s DC COMICS PRESENTS #48.
This is all off the top of my head, of course. I’m sure you’ll get other choices.
— John Wells (firstname.lastname@example.org )
The only Silver Age father/son super-team that I recall is Captain Action and Action Boy. But if you want to go back to the Golden Age, there was a series called “Supermind and Son.”
— Bob Buethe (email@example.com)
The first father/son superhero team in actual, non-Imaginary Story, continuity that I can recall were the Knight and Squire, the British duo in the Batman inspired Club of Heroes from various WORLD’S FINEST stories. Actual father and son that is; Toro frequently called the Human Torch “Pappy”, implying that the Torch actually adopted him at some point. Hmm, would Popeye and Poopdeck Pappy count?
— Tom Galloway (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BOBRO’S TRIVIA QUIZ:
1. This Topps series was based on a set of very graphic 1960s trading cards; name it.
2. Hudson is her middle name, Clark is her maiden name; what is her first name?
3. Early issues of ACTION COMICS featured tales of what real-life explorer?
4. What big red dog has had his own comic strip for many years?
5. If a comic stars Kelly Bundy, on what TV show is it based?
6. Named for a first lady, who starred in a series of Frank Miller books?
7. Dell published the adventures of Sniffles and whom?
8. You know who Merc was, don’t you? Tell me his name.
9. Moon Knight’s alternate identity is…?
10. Originally in the SATURDAY EVENING POST, whose creation became a comic book favorite with art by John Stanley?
11. Name the heroine who was adopted by the Bromfields.
12. Timely published what title that ultimately gave the company its current name?
13. Husband and wife murdered in Crime Alley; name them.
BOBRO’S FUN FACTS TO KNOW & TELL:
1. Sylvia Miles had the shortest performance ever nominated for an Oscar with “Midnight Cowboy.” Her entire role lasted only six minutes.
2. Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine are brother and sister.
3 Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood.
EMAIL FROM THE PRO SIDE…
Bob, Bob, Bob…
Oh, and I absolutely guarantee there was a nationwide DC HOTLINE — house ads appeared that summer beginning in SUPERMAN #307 — it made such a mark on me that I remember the exact comic and number without leaving my chair — and during the next few months, I swear I spent DOZENS UPON DOZENS OF HOURS trying to get THROUGH to that damn number — ’cause the circuits were almost always busy! Most memorable moment: Denny O’Neil blowing my mind by pronouncing Ra’s al Ghul’s name as “Rahsh.” To this day, the DC Hotline remains one of my fondest comics-collecting memories…
— Mark Waid
It was a TYPO, Mark. Of course, I know his name was Prof Baley…er, Paley… HALEY!
Len Wein’s The IMAGE also appeared in a double-page teaser in DC SAMPLER #3.
— Dave Gibbons
Hmm, I wonder if LEN remembers that?
MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX: I SEE DEAD PEOPLE…
Bob Buethe is right. Most of the dead characters on my list can’t really be said to have been crucial or to have had, as Chris Faris asked, long term impact. Certainly, none of the members of teams — even Ferro Lad — had any major effect on their respective series, the occasional “Ghost of Ferro Lad”-type story notwithstanding. And the vast majority of dead characters from the 1960s and onward — including the post-Silver Age Iris Allen, whose demise was enough to make me stop buying THE FLASH — eventually returned from the grave. Heck, even George and Gwen Stacy are alive and well in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN.
From my original list, though, I’d have to say that Bucky definitely fits the bill. His demise altered Captain America’s personality from that point forward, adding a sense of melancholy that hadn’t been there in the 1940s. And despite his reincarnation as Prince Ra-Man, Mark Merlin did genuinely die and his series took on the look of a super-hero strip with more powerful foes than Mark had generally faced (characters like Doctor-7 and the Morloo being notable exceptions).
And going beyond the parameters of my list, I’d also add George Stacy, whose demise in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #90 (November, 1970) had some long term repercussions for Spidey. In essence, Spider-Man was implicated in the death of Captain Stacy and, on a personal level, it seemed to mean that Peter Parker could never be completely honest with Gwen, who now believed that the web-slinger had killed her father. More significantly, the murder accusation changed Spider-Man’s relationship with the police. He’d always been viewed with suspicion but now Spidey was explicitly wanted for questioning by law enforcement officers. That situation wasn’t resolved until #186 (November, 1978).
Larry Lance’s death in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #74 (October, 1969) may well have been the greatest catalyst, though. If DC had added, say, Zatanna to the JLA as Wonder Woman’s replacement in 1969, Black Canary would likely have … spent the next few years relegated to the odd appearance in JLA/JSA team-ups. … played the token female in the mid-1970s revival of ALL-STAR COMICS. … watched her previously-unseen offspring join Infinity, Inc. … gone into limbo in LAST DAYS OF THE JUSTICE SOCIETY SPECIAL #1. … and died in ZERO HOUR, a fondly remembered but (at best) second-tier character. But that didn’t happen.
Instead, Black Canary left the Justice Society for a change of scene with the Justice League and joined the upper echelon of DC’s costumed heroines virtually overnight. She became part of one of the 1970s’ most-electrifying couples when she hooked up with Green Arrow, playing a part in the celebrated GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW along the way. And with the JSA now lacking a unique female member, they introduced Power Girl in the mid-1970s ALL-STAR COMICS revival. The 1980s backdated the Canary’s age by revealing that she was actually the original’s daughter. The 1990s gave us BIRDS OF PREY. There have been action figures, posters, an Archive Edition … an Archive Edition, for Pete’s sake — one that preceded the Supergirl collection! All this because Larry Lance dived in front of a cosmic sphere to save his wife.
— John Wells
Not to mention her role in the revamped JLA history that has her replacing Wonder Woman in all those old stories.
AND EVEN MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX…
As for the question regarding the Atom and the bottle city of Kandor, John Wells had this to say:
It happened during the mid-1970s, when the Atom and Green Arrow were alternating back-ups to the Superman lead feature. The Elliot S! Maggin-scripted ACTION COMICS #455 (January, 1976) brought all three heroes together and had the Atom, who’d gained his own size-changing powers as a fluke, visit Kandor in an information exchange. Thanks to a Kryptonian helmet device, all of the relevant information in Ray Palmer’s brain was downloaded into the Kandorian computers.
“Since you, Dr. Palmer, are Earth’s greatest authority on size control,” a Kandorian scientist began.
“…you thought maybe we could pool our knowledge,” concluded Ray. “Hey, I should have thought of that years ago!”
Nothing ever came of the development, of course, but it was nice to see that someone thought of it.
And Bob Buethe added:
The story was entitled “Junkman, the Recycled Super-Star” by Elliot S! Maggin, Curt Swan, and Tex Blaisdell.
While Tom Galloway had this to say:
A Pre-Crisis connection between the Atom and Kandor occurs in CRISIS itself, where Ray Palmer was stuck at 6 inch size (this being during his SWORD OF THE ATOM period) and used Superman’s microwave tunnel shrinking device to get small enough to explore the altered Red Tornado from the inside.
But it wouldn’t have made any sense for Ray to work on enlarging Kandor; remember, anything shrunk or grown using Ray’s methods explodes a few minutes after the size change, unless changed back to the original size. Except for Ray himself, which he was surprised to learn in his first adventure.
On the question of trademarks and copyrights of Buck Rogers, Tom Galloway writes:
Well, I’ve got my books organized, so looking at the book it has a copyright by the National Newspaper Syndicate.
And I also got this response…
When I was freelancing at TSR in the late 80s, the company was paying the Buck Rogers license fees to TSR’s owner, Lorraine Williams, and her brother Flint Dille III. Apparently they own the rights, by right of their grandfather having been head of the comics syndicate at the time the strip was created. He was the guy who ordered the strip’s actual creators to change the name of the title character from “Tony” to “Buck” and thus claimed credit for “creating” Buck Rogers”.
When Lorraine and Flint got the rights I have no idea, but, like I said, they were the ones who cashed the checks.
— David Edward Martin (DavidEMartin@cs.com)
That will do it for this week’s installment. Join me next week for more questions and answers (and probably another installment of the John Wells / Bob Buethe / Tom Galloway show).
In like a lion, out like a lamb. The abbreviation for the current month appears in all the answers.
1. MARS ATTACKS
2. Martha (Kent)
3. Marco Polo
5. MARRIED…WITH CHILDREN
6. Martha Washington
7. Mary Jane
8. Mark Hazzard
9. Marc Spector
10. Marge’s (Marjorie Henderson Buell) Little Lulu
11. Mary Marvel
12. MARVEL COMICS
13. Thomas and Martha Wayne
March on over to my Anything Goes Trivia at www.wfcomics.com/trivia for a new question every day!
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Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.