Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Reign of the Superman

Before Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the Superman we know today, they had to work on their ideas. One step of Superman's evolution was the short story (created by Jerry and Joe) "The Reign of the Superman". However, the titular character is a villain that has nothing to do with popular version of the character.
Professor Ernest Smalley, a chemist / mad scientist, found Bill Dunn at breadline and offered him food and clothes exchange for being part of some experiments. A potion Bill got from Samelly gave him telepathic powers. Intoxicated by his power, Bill killed Smalley and decided to take over the world. He discovered his powers are temporary and cannot recreate it without the scientist. As such, he lost his powers and had to return to the breadline.
Later References
Because of its influence on the evolution of Superman, it has been referenced several times. Following the "Death of Superman", there was a storyline called "The Reign of the Superman". In issue 35 of the series 52, there was a story called "Rain of the Supermen". The Tangent Comics has a story "Tangent: Superman's Reign", which featured a version of Superman with psychic powers (as well as physical powers).

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mystery Incorporated

They have no talking dog.
I did a post on the Silver Age homage 1963. So, I decided to talk about the Fantastic Four homage, Mystery Incorporated, from that comic.
Our future-heroes were four astronauts that landed on an asteroid. When they stepped on colored tiles under several alien statues, they gained super powers. When they returned to Earth, they became superheroes and somehow gained a Baxter Building-like base called the Mystery Mile. They have encounter alternate reality versions of themselves. Their enemies include an unnamed villain from another timeline and alternate reality Russians that had the powers of the Mystery Inc. members.
  • Biff Baker / Planet- He has the ability to transform into a being with a green, planet-like head. In this form, he has super strength, invulnerability and three fingers. He is Tommy's older brother. He is based on the Thing.  
  • Jeannie Morrow / Neon Queen- She has the ability to turn herself into a gaseous form. She is based on the Invisible Woman. 
  • Tommy Baker / Kid Dynamo- He has the ability to generate energy and transform into a form of pure energy. He was a weakness to water in said form. He is Biff's younger brother. He is based on the Human Torch.
  • Craig Crandall / Crystal Man- He is a scientist. He has the ability to generate crystal and reshape the crystals he creates. He is based on Mr. Fantastic.  
1963 issue 1

Friday, May 24, 2013

Scarlet Scarab

Abdul Faoul
In World War 2, Abdul Faoul was an archaeologist that unearthed a ruby-colored scarab created by the Elementals. When he touched it, he came the superhero Scarlet Scarab. He helped Namor and the Human Torch fight the fanatic Sons of the Scarab. He battled the Nazis and Britains. In the 1950s, the scarab disappeared. As such, he looked for it until he died.
Mehemet Faoul
Son of Abdul, Mehemet inherited the Scarlet Scarab costume. He looked for the scarab and found it. He became the new Scarlet Scarab and became the new superhero of Egypt.
Both version gained superpowers when they touched their ruby scarab. The heroes have flight, super strength, invulnerability and energy blasts. Mehemet managed to fight Thor to a standstill.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dkrtzy RRR

This is what a living math equation look like?
The Guardians of the Universe have recruited a squirrel, mushroom person, a moronic dog man and whatever Penelops is for the Green Lanterns. However, Dkrtzy RRR is one the oddest members.
Dkrtzy RRR is a "bio-sentient" math equation. He was discovered by the mathematician Timph Rye. Timph found him while trying to see it would be possible for willpower to be "derived formulaically". He became the Green Lantern of Space Sector 188 under unknown circumstances. Mr. RRR's tendency of mind wiping people have been controversial among the Guardians of the Universe (although not enough to put him on supension or fire him). According to Green Lantern Tomar-Re, only the Guardians can be aware of Dkrtzy's presence.
He has a Green Lantern ring and lantern thus giving him the powers derived from the them. He can enter people mind and erase their mind. The latter is his preferred method of attack.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Red Mask

The Red Mask has only appeared in one comic: Animal Man issue 7.
In 1945, he (we are never given his real name) gained his superpower from touching a meteorite. He discovered his powers when he accidentally killed his dog, Roy. His wife left him because of his power. Because superheroes don't tend to kill people (this was before the Dark Age), he became a super villain and took inspiration from "The Masquerade of the Red Death" for his name. He teamed with the villain Veil, who could phase through matter via entering an alternate dimension, and battled Captain Triumph. RD won several red robots from Doctor Fang (a minor Batman villain) in a poker game. Due to a side-effect of his powers, the Veil became hopelessly insane and was locked up in the basement of the Arkham Asylum. The Red Mask retired. In the 1989, the Red Mask discovered he was dying from an illness affecting his lungs. As such, he decided to get out his costume and have his robots attack Miami. However, his robots were easily defeated by Animal Man and the local police. After telling Animal Man his life story, the Red Mask tried to fulfill his life dream of flying and fell to his death.
Powers and Abilities
The Red Mask had the ability to kill anyone he touched. He claimed clothes don't protect people from his power. However since everything prior to 1989 is told in flashback, we only see him use his power once. Because of the latter, we don't know the limits of his powers.
He also has an army of red-colored robots. There are two types of these robots: the normal ones and the flying ones that explode. However since a simple hand gun is enough to damage them, the robots pose very little of a threat.
Vertigo Animal Man tradepaperback Volume 1

Monday, May 20, 2013

NFL Superpro

There have been a lot of products that have superheroes to advertise them to the point TvTropes (a website that analyze recurring tropes in fiction) has a page devoted it ("Product As Superhero" in case you were wondering). Here is one of the most infamous example.
Phil Grayfield was a sport reporter that was unable to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a football player. He interviewed a football superfan / scientist that created a indestructible football suit. Thieves broke in and burned his NFL stuff except the suit. Phil gained invulnerability, super speed and strength from a mix of chemicals he knocked onto himself and the fire. Using the suit, he became a football-themed crime fighter and called himself "Superpro".
His allies were the Happy Campers. They were average Joes turned into superheroes by a scientist named Carragone. Their members include the super fast jogger Streak / Frank Moody, the overweight African-American immune to physical harm Girth / Tabby Walsh, the penny-firing Almighty Dollar / Pennington Pennypacker and the probability-predicting Korean member Calculator / Kwong Dee. Superpro's villains were the ninja Quick Kick, the steroid-abusing giant Bennings, the time-slicing Instant Replay and the crime boss Marco Sanzionare.
NFL Superpro has called one of the worst Marvel Comics of recent years if not "the worst comic book ever created" (Chicago Sports Review said that). The main complaints were the plots and characters. For example, why didn't the thieves steal and then sell the NFL stuff? Fabian Nicieza claimed he wrote the comic in exchange for NFL tickets

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weeping Gorilla Comix

Weeping Gorilla Comix is a fictional comic in the comic Promethea. WGC is an in-joke about how having the color purple, weeping characters or a gorilla will supposedly increase comic book sales.
The Weeping Gorilla Comix series consists of one-panel comics. The comics are about a depressed and mopey gorilla (only referred to as the "Weeping Gorilla"). The gorilla is always accompanied by thought balloons that have self-pitying or depressing thoughts in them (such as "She gets the kids and the house. I get the car.", "Why do good things happen to bad people?" and etc.). The only other character is the rarely appearing Chuckin' Duck. Chuckin' Duck is a happy-go-lucky and optimistic duck whose word balloons tends to be more positive (such as "Heh heh! I got out of Internet trading just in time!").
The comic is popular in the American Best Comics (the publisher of Promethea) universe. The Weeping Gorilla appears as a minor villain in the realms of ideas by making anyone near it sad like him. In Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset, Weeping Gorilla and Chuckin' Duck are recurring motif. The comic appears in Strong's Terrific Tales # 5.
Promethea volume 1 trade paperback

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Allen the Alien

Allen is one of popular Invincible characters.
The Unopans (orange humanoids that have one eyes) barely escaped Viltrumites (a race of super powerful eugenic aliens obsessed with conquering the universe) destroying them. They started a program to create a super-Unopans. Allen was the only success. After failing to fight off a single Viltrumite, he took the guise of a "Champion Evaluation Officer" and looked for beings powerful enough to fight Viltrumites. Having mistaken Earth for the planet Urath, he battled the heroes Omni-Man and his son Invincible (the main character) until the latter explained his mistake. When Allen went to his superiors at the capital of the Coalition of Planets (an anti-Viltrumite alliance), he discovered that there was an Viltrumite on Earth. When he returned to Earth, Invincible explained Omni-Man was the Viltrumite and he left his post. He return to his superiors to tell them about this since no known Viltrumite had ever left his post or had an offspring with another species let alone both. After telling his superiors the news, several Viltrumites attacked him and asked about Omni-Man. They attempted to beat him to death when he refused. He survived due to being placed in a stasis-pod, which allowed him to heal up. After months, he woke up and accidentally destroyed the pod. Thaedus, the top dog of the Coalition, revealed he was a Viltrumite rebel, Allen is strong enough to fight a Viltrumite and there was a mole. As such, Allen was ordered to report to him directly. Allen visited Invincible, who told Allen about Omni-Man's capture, his half-brother (the half-Viltrumite Oliver) and Omni-Man's "science fiction" novels hid some secret to stop the Viltrumites. On the way back, Allen allowed himself to be captured by a Viltrumite so he could free Omni-Man. When balking to Omni-Man via his telepathic powers, he befriends Omni-Man and gets him up-to-date. He also mentioned an upcoming Viltrumite-Coalition war. Allen convinced Omni-Man to help the Coalition. They (and another prisoner Battle Beast) escaped and Nolan (Omni-Man) revealed less than 50 pure blood Viltrumite exist (their eugenic practices killed 99.9% of the population). They headed to the Coalition. Allen allowed Nolan to live in his apartment. Nolan freed his former enemy Space Racer (who was mentioned his books), who has a gun that can shoot through anything. Nolan, Space Racer and Allen did various missions. The war started. Allen and Nolan convinced Invincible, Allen and Tech Jacket to help them. Omni-Man and his sons got separated. Allen and Tech Jacket went to the Coalition. There the Viltrumites attacked and the mole was found. Omni-Man and his sons came to help the Coalition. The attacking Viltrumites and Thaedus were killed by the Coalition thus winning the war. Allen became the leader of the Coalition. He had Invincible search Earth for any remaining Viltrumite and was doing similar things for all the other Viltrumites-conquered plants. Allen discovered the "Scourge Virus" can kill every single Viltrumite, but finds a note telling him not to use oi. Viltrumites were on Earth, but Nolan and Allen were split on how do deal with them: Nolan believed they could change like he did, but Allen thought they should be killed by the virus. Allen revealed to Nolan that he knows the virus might kill humanity. Allen planned to do this anyway and attacked Nolan for trying to stop him.
Allen's main powers are super strength, reflexes, speed, healing and durability; near-light speed flight; immunity to decompression; and telepathy. He discovered he is immortal and that "killing" him makes him stronger (although this has minimal affects of his appearance).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dirk Anger

Dirk Anger is one of the main villains of the award-winning comedy comic Nextwave.
Publication History
Originally, Nick Fury was going to be used. However, the creators discovered they couldn't use the character. So, they created Dirk Anger as an over-the-top and thinly veiled parody of him.
He may or may not be the son of radical feminist Andrea Dworkin. At one point, Dirk Anger had a wife. However, she got mad at him and left him and took everything (including his house and money). He became the director of the Highest Anti Terrorist Effort (H.A.T.E.), which was funded by the terrorist cell S.I.L.E.N.T. renamed "the Beyond Corporation©" (the copyright sign is part of the name). H.A.T.E. gave Dirk age-slowing drugs and control of H.A.T.E.'s base the Aeromarine (several submarines combined together, which have rocket engines). As such, he was assigned to kill the rogue heroes in the Nextwave team. After years of failed suicide, he managed to hang himself, but a "Zombie Switch", that was installed in his brain by the Beyond Corporation©, helped him survive and give him a hunger for humans brains. He finally manages to kill himself by ramming his ship into the Nextwave's ship, which was rammed into the Beyond Corporation©'s flying city. His last words being "My Name's Dirk Anger and I say ☠☠☠☠ all of you."
Dirk Anger suffers from a number of mental problems including sadism, depression, addiction, misogyny and an obsession with a flowery dress to name a few. As such, he is sadistic and cruel to the point of not caring his employers are murderous terrorists. He constantly tries to kill himself usually by playing Russian Roulette with a gun bigger than a semi-truck. However at least once, he decided abandon his suicide attempt in order to watch the Nextwave members die when they were in situations of certain doom.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The High

The High is Wildstorm Comics' equivalent of  Superman.
The High was an extra dimensional being sent to 1910 Earth by a space ship. After being raise by the humans Mr. and Mrs. Cumbleland, he became a superhero and was active in the 1930s. He was a member of the Big Three (Maximum Man and Mister Majestic being the others) and friend of Jenny Sparks. However after three years, he became frustrated, which led him to going into self-exile. Living on top of the Rocky Mountains, he formed the Changers, a team of him and his most-trusted allies.
The Changers decided to change a world with self-government and without desires. However, they were opposed by Henry Bendix (who turned out to be insane) and Stormwatch (whom Jenny was a member of). The High attacked the UN and symbolically destroyed the flags of the various nations. Spark tried to convince the High his plan was a stupid idea.  However, Bendix fired acid bombs (via Hammerstrike Deep Sanction Missile) thus killing all of the Changers except the High. He attacked the Skywatch base, but the force field seemly killed him.
The High later appeared Number of The Beast. He somehow survived and was cloned. His mind and the minds of 666 other heroes were sent into a virtual reality world. Two heroes escape and attacked their captors. However, the High clones caused massive chaos and destruction. Various hero such as Wildcats, Authority and Mr. Majestic fought the clones. The High was freed and killed the clones, but was unable to prevent all the destruction and death caused by the clones.
He has the basic flying brick powers: flight, super strength and invulnerability. He also had super speed, enhanced sight and "plasma vision". He slowly ages and doesn't need food or drink. He can survive in space.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Damien Darkblood the Demon Detective

Damien Darkblood is a minor character that originated from the awesome Invincible series.
Damien is a demon from Hell, who went to Earth and became a private detective. He often investigates cases that somehow have superheroes involved.
In Invinicible, he was investigating who murdered the Guardians of the Globe (a Justice League stand-in). However, when he reports his findings, he is mocked because Omni-Man already confessed to killing the Guardians of the Globe.
In Astounding Wolf-Man, Chlope Hampton hired Darkblood to find Zechariah (a vampire and the former mentor of his father).
Damien is based on Rorschach. He has a similar attitude and appearance (espically in his trench coat suit). He uses "Hurm" as an interjection like Rorschach.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Futureman is a superhero that fell into public domain due to the real-life creators (Eugenio Zoppi and H. G. Oesterheld) being assumed dead.
Era Cronos is a denizen of Americas Unidas (the 25th century combined North / South America superstate) and scientist. He invented the Time-Visor, a television-esque device capable to show the user any point of time, and a time machine. He decided to travel across time and space to fight injustice and crime. He had affected major events in human history (such as the Spartacus Rebellion and helping Vikings find America). However, he remained out of the history books and anonymous until then-present day and was dubbed "Futureman".
Equipment and Abilities
Futureman had a variety of high-tech gadget to help him. He had the before-mentioned time machine and Time-Visor. He had a jet motor allowing to fly. He also had two ray guns: a heat ray gun and a mind-control-beam. He also knows every language known to man.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Iron Man 2020

In the future, Arno Stark is son of Morgan Stark and cousin once removed of Iron Man. Arno inherited Stark Industries from Iron Man. However, he decided to use the Iron Man armor to do corporate espionage and mercenary work. Iron Man 2020, in first appearance, tried (and failed) to destroy Machine Man. He went back in time to the retinal pattern of a younger version of a man that planted a bomb to kill Arno's family and needed the patterns to defuse the bomb. However, he failed and his family, factory and hometown was destroyed. Later, he battled Death's Head, a time-travelling cyborg. He later in appeared in an one-shot, where he destroyed his competitors, (in the process) killed his daughter and met Melodi (who wants him to be more heroic). There is a background character named Howard, who may or may not be an older Tony Stark. A version of Iron Man 2020 was captured by the Time Variance Authority for unknown reasons.
In 2023, Arno Stark gave S.H.I.E.L.D. a new helicruiser and made a less advance version of the technology available to the public. When he launched a air-cruise ship, he angered Commodore Q, an old sky-pirate. Arno had also married Melodi and got a squad of armored combatants under his command.
Powers and Abilities
Arno Stark wears a suit of Iron Man-like armor with shoulders pads and a chest plate. The gauntlets and chest plate have beam weapons. The helmet has cloaking technology that can hide it. The repulsors always fire at maximum power, which kills people. He has rollerskates built in.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Quantum Mechanics

The Quantum Mechanics was a cosmic being born at the Big Bang. They feared death. Because of the latter and their inability to think of what an afterlife would be like, they created thousands of agents to gather information of different views of the afterlife in order to create themselves a perfect heaven. In order to create a "ladder to heaven", they started to kidnap entire planets (including the Earth). When part of Quantum Mechanics threaten to destroy said worlds, the JLA had to battle them and eventually help all of QM enter a higher plane of existence.
They had godlike powers allowing them to do nearly everything they could think of and teleport.