There’s nothing better than coming back from vacation and finding a pile of interesting mail (or e-mail) waiting. Especially when it includes answers and additional information that make writing a column easy.
My official unofficial researcher, John Wells, checked in with a variety of items about questions from a few weeks back…
- Continuing where your coverage of Tsunami and her appearances in
ALL-STAR SQUADRON #s 33-35 & 42-43
- left off:
Repentant over her evil activities early in 1942 and distressed over the interment of Japanese-Americans by the United States, Tsunami sought the aid of the All-Star Squadron (YOUNG ALL-STARS #2). Although her efforts to abolish the detention centers were unsuccessful, Tsunami won a probationary post with the Squadron in late April of 1942 (YAS #3), which was expanded to full membership by early May (YAS #6). After a run-in with military police on June 12, Tsunami briefly resumed life as a fugitive (YAS #26) but the Squadron vowed to come to her defense (YAS #31).
Miya Shimada eventually married her All-Star teammate Neptune Perkins but the couple has separated in recent years. As a consequence of an affair with an unstable man known as Rhombus, Miya had a daughter, Debbie, whom Perkins raised as his own (AQUAMAN #39). In adulthood, Debbie has continued the family tradition as the heroic Deep Blue (AQUAMAN #23). Miya occasionally returns to her Tsunami alter ego, most recently in WONDER WOMAN #s 174-175.
As far as the ad for the DC Explosion that was mentioned, here’s where all the characters (going left to right) eventually appeared. Some of the info was culled from 1978 issues of THE COMIC READER:
Hawkman appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #s 479 and 480. DETECTIVE #481‘s Hawkman back-up was used in WORLD’S FINEST #256. Len Wein’s never-completed episode for #482 would have featured the Gentleman Ghost and led into a Batman-Hawkman team-up in BATMAN #310. Instead, Hawkman was simply written out of the Batman story.
Enemy Ace, already a recurring character in MEN OF WAR (#s 1-3), appeared in his solo series in #s 8-10, 12-14 and 19-20.
Big Barda’s solo series (by Steve Gerber and Joe Orlando) was to have launched in the unpublished MISTER MIRACLE #26 (with a lead feature by Len Wein and Michael Golden that was entitled “Freedom Is A Four Letter Word.” Only Golden’s cover, seen in CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE #2, was completed.
The Ray back-up strip appeared in BLACK LIGHTNING #11. The episode for issue #12, reprising the hero’s origin, appeared only in CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE #1. The Ray serial had been scheduled to end in #13, dovetailing back into Bob Rozakis‘ never-published SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #18.
The Odd Man back-up story slated for SHADE, THE CHANGING MAN #9 (“The Pharaoh and the Mummies”) was rescheduled for the ultimately unpublished BLACK LIGHTNING #14. After an appearance in CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE #2, an edited version of the story was finally released to the general public in DETECTIVE COMICS #487 (1979).
The Atom appeared in ACTION COMICS #s 487 and 489, alternating with Air Wave, whose series debuted in #488. ACTION #490’s Air Wave back-up appeared in #511 (1980). The script for #491’s Atom story was illustrated and expanded from eight pages to ten for WORLD’S FINEST #260 (1979).
OMAC’s solo series began in KAMANDI #59. The story intended for issue #60 ended up in WARLORD #37 (1980). The next two installments of the story, which presumably had been prepared in 1978 by Jim Starlin, appeared in WARLORD #s 38-39.
“Tales of the Amazons,” dealing with Hippolyta and company’s mythological journey to Paradise Island, appeared in WONDER WOMAN #s 247-249. After the “Amazons” installment slated for WW #250 (“Siege of Thunder”), Steve Ditko was to have taken over the art chores on the series (DIRECT CURRENTS NEWSLETTER #6). Neither episode ever appeared although plot threads from the series were partially dealt with in WONDER WOMAN #s 252 and 253 late in 1978.
The Manhunter From Mars solo series (by Cary Burkett, John Fuller and Bruce Patterson) was to have appeared in the never published AQUAMAN #64. The Martian Manhunter strip was tentatively rescheduled for ADVENTURE COMICS #s 461-463 but never appeared.
Deadman’s solo series launched in ADVENTURE COMICS #459, continuing through #466. The unpublished SHOWCASE #105 was also scheduled to spotlight Deadman. It finally appeared in ADVENTURE #465 (1979), minus two pages and its cover.
Originally slated for July of 1982, Len Wein and Ross Andru’s Pandora Pann was described in THE COMIC READER #197 (December, 1981) as “the assistant of an archaeologist who unwittingly opens Pandora’s Box and spends the rest of her time trying to retrieve the evil she has unleashed by doing so.”
Scheduled for a preview in June’s SAGA OF SWAMP THING #5, the series was instead put on indefinite hiatus “due,” according to TCR #202 (May, 1982), “to Len Wein’s inability to find the time to write it.” A piece of promotional art also appeared in #201. Launched instead was ARION, LORD OF ATLANTIS, which had run for several months in WARLORD.
I’d like to hear Len’s answer to this myself.
Well, John, Len himself did send along an e-note about the series:
Even I had forgotten about Pandora Pann. The answer is that Ross Andru penciled most of a terrific-looking 15 page insert to be included in SWAMP THING, before going off into her own book. But for reasons sadly lost to history (meaning, for the life of me, I can no longer remember why), we never went ahead with the series. A shame too, since it would have preceded things like Tomb Raider and Relic Hunter by decades. And there you have another Secret Behind the Comics.
- Although his name is frequently misspelled (including DC’s WHO’s WHO entry), Charley’s last name was actually Vicker (no “S”). He was an actor who played Green Lantern on a TV show. Drained by the celebrity night life, Charles Vicker had his brother Roger (his understudy) fill in for him one night … and his sibling was killed in an attack meant for the real GL.
Wracked with guilt, Charley pleaded with Green Lantern to give him the opportunity to avenge Roger’s death. GL declined but agreed to establish a mental link with the young man so that they could stay in contact during the galaxy-spanning series of attacks on the Green Lantern Corps. Ultimately the link saved Hal Jordan’s life when he teleported Charley into outer space to save him.
Acknowledging the sincerity of Charley’s desire to avenge Roger, Hal gave him the ring of a fallen Green Lantern and deputized him for the duration of the crisis. Charley Vicker’s heroic actions convinced the Guardians of the Universe to assign him to his own space sector — albeit one far from Earth (1967’s GREEN LANTERN #s 55 and 56).
Charley went on to appear in TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #1 (1981) and solo strips in GREEN LANTERN #s 157 & 158 (1982) and GREEN LANTERN CORPS QUARTERLY #3 (1992).
After the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps, Charley joined the Darkstars (1994 & 1995’s DARKSTARS #s 27, 28, 31). While helping them defend the planet Rann, he was murdered by the forces of Grayven (1996’s GREEN LANTERN #75).
Charley’s last appearance to date was a cameo in THE SILVER AGE: GREEN LANTERN #1 (2000).
Add to this some info provided by readers Tom Galloway and John Melbourne: A very complete biography is located at http://www.glcorps.org/charlie_.html.
As usual, my thanks to John for his efforts and research. And thanks to the rest of the readers who provided information on these topics too.
MORE FROM THE EMAILBOX:
Regarding the first Silver Age death of a previously established (unlike Uncle Ben) crucial character, my vote would go to Ferro Lad.
–Bob Buethe [firstname.lastname@example.org]
That’s a vote for Ferro Lad. Do I hear others?
Re: THE CONTINUING SAGA OF PSEUDONYMS AND SECRET IDENTITIES
I was startled, on my first ever visit to your website, to not only find myself a (minor) topic of conversation, but also to learn that I don’t exist!
Rest assured, to the best of my knowledge, I am a living breathing human being, not a mere empty doppelganger invented to throw James Mason and his evil spy ring off the real writer’s scent.
I created or co-created several titles in the 1980s and 1990s, Ex-Mutants being the best known. I also did some writing for Hero Alliance and Justice Machine.
I did not, sadly, write Dr. Strange with Dan Adkins in 1967, as I was only six. I would have loved to have worked with Dan, though. I almost worked with Carmine Infantino once, but that’s a long and pointless story that we won’t bother to tell.
There’s one thing I’d like to know. What the hell was the question???
— David Lawrence (with a Social Security number and four cats who are going to get really hungry if I don’t exist)
Gee, David, I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning!
I think the reason the person asked the question is that Michael Ellis was the name being paged throughout the 5th season Monty Python’s Flying Circus episode about a guy who buys an ant named Marcus and tries to return it to the store because it’s missing a leg. If I recall, “Michael Ellis” was a McGuffin in the story, because he was never seen.
— Howard Margolin [DoctorOHM@aol.com]
“Is there any rat in it?”
REALLY digging the Comicmobile reportage, but aside from your “What was #1” revelation (PLOP?), according to my calculations, your lists are still missing one more title that must have placed between 25th and 30th in ranking–or am I overlooking something?
Actually, it appears I left out WEIRD WESTERN TALES, which ranked 47th, and ranked WEIRD MYSTERY TALES in that spot, though it was actually 26th.
That will do it for this installment. Though my trivia quiz got squeezed out this week, you can find a new question every day at Anything Goes Trivia at http://www.wfcomics.com/trivia.
Need some answers from the Answer Man?
Ask BobRo at It’s BobRo’s Answer Board.
Copyright ? 2000 to 2003 by Bob Rozakis. All Rights Reserved.