Posts Tagged ‘Crisis’

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Welcome back Heroes. Today we are gathered in the Satellite briefing room for information regarding our next mission into days gone by. One of the small joys of being a kid in the 80s for me was getting to spend as much time as I wanted at a comic book spinner rack! I would love walking to the store with my hefty 20 dollar allowance and blowing every cent on a fat bag of comics, which, in my buying prime, were 65-75 cents each!! So I came out with everything I wanted. I hit Pharmacies, Drug Stores,  Grocery Stores and the occasional comic book store / Kiosk in my hunt of comic book treasures! One thing that always heightened that experience were Team – Up Issues! Marvel Team Up and Marvel 2 in 1 saw Spider-Man and The Thing team up with almost every famous Marvel hero at the time.  The thrill of seeing Spider-Man team with Captain Britain, Or The Thing and The Hulk were a fan boys wet dream!!I was a DC guy mainly in the 80s so while Spider Man and The Thing were teaming with Marvels best I was loving DCs versions of Team Ups. Batman and SuperMan were the Worlds Finest. DC marched their two biggest heavy hitters to team up with every major DC character in two classic titles created to explore the team dynamic!! DC Comics Presents featured Superman teamed with everyone but the kitchen sink. Brave and the Bold Teamed Bat-Man with everyone you could name INCLUDING the kitchen sink. DC reached for everyone you could think of from a team up such as A-Listers like Green Lantern to Z-Listers like Ambush Bug. Just when you thought there was no one else for The Man Of Steel To Team-Up with then came…THIS!!

 

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Begin Transmission: Aug.11.2014

That’s right…Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew. First some context is needed here. The era was the 1980s, DC had yet to streamline its massive continuity with its Crisis Event hence there was still room for `Funny Animal characters in its history..such as Captain Carrot and The Zoo Crew. Funny Animal comic books and newspaper strips had pretty much been a staple of the 50s and 60s but only small traces of those days in comics history still lingered in the comics medium of the early 1980s. Saturday Morning cartoons had retained a certain element of the talking funny animals on TV. Scooby Doo was a runaway hit, There were the Muppets, there was Mighty Mouse, and there were Disney’s Mickey and Friends. Harvey Comics still in its final days of publishing continued on the trend of funny animals books. DC not being one to buck a trend followed suit with what would be their final attempt at a Funny Animal book. Even the term “Funny Animal Book” carried a negative connotation even in the free for all early 80s. One of Comicdoms Godfathers, Roy Thomas along with Scott Shaw created The Captain and His Zoo Crew and Unleashed them onto the world in a special 16 page insert preview (Or Prevue as DC coined it!) inside the pages of the very popular Team Book New Teen Titans #16 in Feb. of 1982!

 

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DC was experimenting with new titles at the time and were introducing new characters and concepts in various titles with 16 page previews wedged in the middle of their more high-profile books to provide maximum visibility to new properties! Such classic titles like Dial H For Hero, Arak Son Of Thunder, Night Force, Atari Force, Masters Of The Universe, Mask, Blue Devil, Amethyst, Flash Force 2000?? (Huh?), and Bat-Man and The Outsiders. (Damnit..thats when comics were comics..sigh..) Of course the most unusual title in the mix was Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew!

Carrot PreviewI choose to talk about Captain Carrot because this book was an absolute favorite of mine. I loved parody comics. I frequently bought magazines like MAD Magazine and Cracked and loved that style of humor..just the style Cap and his Gang were projecting! There was a local Hardware store in my hometown called Handy Andy’s that carried comics on its magazine rack and didn’t update them frequently or rotate them so it was quite common for several issues of a title would stay on the shelf en mass. Their lack of rotation landed me Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew #5-#8. I was hooked! I loved DC Comics Team Books so titles Like Legion Of SuperHeroes and of course The Justice League Of America of which Captain Carrot and his crew were inspired by! On to the team and their inspirations..Captain Carrot was “Inspired” by SuperMan, Pig-Iron by Frankenstein,and The Thing, Yankee Poodle was a combination of Captain America and Wonder Woman. Rubber Duck was clearly Plastic Man. Alley Kat Abra was Zatanna, and FastBack was The Flash. The Zoo Crew Were an anthropomorphic JLA!! (Yes for the Zoo Crew aficionados there were another group of JLA Animal Heroes in the Captain Carrot Universe called Justa Lotta Animals…J.L.A…get it? More on them later!)

 

 

As discussed, the concept behind the DC Prevue inserts was to introduce the characters to a captive audience on popular books. No bigger book in that day than New Teen Titans. DC went the extra mile with The Zoo Crew however by pairing them directly with The Man Of Steel. Yes the first appearance of Captain Carrot and his Zoo Crew were in a Team Up Story!! How and why did such an event happen? Well..I am glad you asked..synopsis time!

Metropolis was experiencing an epidemic where citizens were acting like primates for no apparent reason. Superman deduced that it was the planet Pluto of which was emitting energy rays causing said effect on the people of earth. Upon investigating  the incident Superman is transported to an alternate earth know as Earth-C!!  (After Crisis it is determined that Earth -C is not a part of the Multiverse but rather a Alternate Dimension! Great backdoor DC!) Superman encountered a number of Animal inhabitants who as a result of being struck by radiated fragmented meteor! The creation of these beings were all as a result of Superman’s efforts..so in actuality it is Superman himself that is responsible for the genesis of The Cap and his entire altered animal world! After dispatching some low-level Animal criminals Superman teams with Rodney Roger Rabbit..(Copyright Check!!) aka Captain Carrot! Hell don’t let me tell ya all about it..Satellite..bring up Comic Archive..GENERATE. Now Heroes ..Enjoy!

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The result of this initial team up was almost a two year run for a “Funny Animal” book and in March 1982 Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew #1 hit the stands! It was an instant hit with my circle of fans! The very end of the prevue DC introduced the Zoo Crew as all over the world Animals were being infected with super powers as a result of this mysterious Meteorite fragments! The Superman team -Up continued into the very first issue of Cap and The Zoo Crew! Superman and the team discover the sinister mastermind behind all these strange occurrences…JLA heavy..STARRO!! Starro for those who have no idea what I am talking about was a giant galactically intelligent Star Fish hell bent on de-evolutionizing  the human race! Of course the first villain of the zoo crew would be DCs Galactic Star Fish! Very appropriate! The team fought valiantly to defeat Starro but it wasnt until the team came together as a fighting unit!

 

After dispatching the giant fish Superman and the Zoo Crew thanked each other and the Man of Steel returned to his own dimension and the Zoo Crew became the official protectors of Earth – C! DC had the most unusual Super Team in the world with the Zoo Crew and I was hooked. I regret not getting every issue in the series but my unreliable comic shops did not carry every title so Carrot was one that didnt get great representation on the shelves! The issues I did have left a mark on me and I can proudly remember buying each issue! This could easily be the next great DC Cartoon series!! You listening DC…Zoo Crew in 2015..Get On it!!

 

 

 

 

In summary DCès attempt to use the Man Of Steel as a pole vault technique to launch a new series in the 80s was a recipe for success. Carrot lasted 20 issues and even returned for another mini series (The 3 issue Oz – Wonderland War!) shortly after cancellation.The Mini series alas was not my favorite Captain Carrot Story and I cannot in good faith recommend it to Satellite Readers. The Story centers on a villain called The Nome King who enslaves the world of OZ. It is up to the Zoo Crew to assist the storied land. Not satisfied with his conquest of OZ The Nome King then attempts to overthrow Wonderland..what ensues is an all out classic fairy tale cross over that should be a good read but does not work well in the context of a Captain Carrot comic. On a POSITIVE, THE ARTWORK INSIDE THIS 3 ISSUE DOUBLE SIZED MINI SERIES IS EXCELLENT!!

 

This was a special time. DC had a less serious approach to its continuity and embraced its silly past, and Superman or Batman could literally team with anyone! These days however such continuity has been all but erased however we know Captain Carrot still exists even in the NEW 52 as he was brought back in the ill-fated Threshold series as the space rabbit Captain K’Rot! It’s not my Cap but at least the leader of the Zoo Crew is still alive and well in some fashion.

 

 

 

So before we depart to other ends of the galaxy in search of retro 80s transmissions I just want to talk Zoo Crew one more time!! Who was your favorite? I was strictly an original Zoo Crew fan. Sorry Little Cheese and American Eagle but this guy keeps it old school! Sporting The Yellow and Red with a Carrot Emblazoned on the front of his suit Captain Carrot was the undisputed leader of the Zoo Crew!

 

Of Course The Captain may have been my favorite but I could not but hold a special place for the two-fisted ever loving Pig Iron! Cap was a comic book artist something I always wanted to be, but Pig Iron simply put bad guys on their asses!! Pig Iron was the reason I bought Zoo crew in the beginning! Look at a cover gallery of the best Zoo Crew issues and Pig Iron is always front and center! Frankenstein meets the Thing and BAM..Its Pig Iron!

No team is complete with out the magician character! Always wondered what a NEW 52 Zoo Crew Dark would be like? Hey DC its worth a shot! Alley-Kat-Abra would be a shoe in for that group! Doctor Strange meets his cat, meets Zatanna. Alley -Kat is a foundation member! As many of you know I am not a huge fan of the mystic arts in comics so Alley Kat was never on the top of my list for favorite Zoo Crew members but a lot of her inter-dimensional magic was heavily lifted from the great Steve Ditko run on Doctor Strange..and thats pretty damn cool.

I was always a Plastic Man fan, Rubber Duck filled the gap. Part Elongated man, Part Plastic man RubberDuck maintained the humor of Plastic man while bearing the sensibilities of old Ralph! Rubber Duck is the only member of the team who is a celebrity! His list of Funny Animal movies is great! His character is actually based on 70s and 80s celebrity Burt Reynolds. They even gave RubberDuck a celebrity buddy named after Reynolds real life best friend Dom Deluise! Thats attention to detail!

 

Fastback has probably my favorite look of all the Zoo crew even though he is underutilized in the comic. The more I think of it, if Flash inadvertently caused Flashpoint to create the goddamn horrible DC New 52 maybe Fastback is our only hope to reverse that mess! He is also the only Turtle who is just as cool or maybe far cooler than a certain group of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

 

 

Then there’s Yankee Poodle, based on 80s gossip writer  Rona Barrett , dimension’s Cs Rova Barkitt! After the incident with the meteor Barkitt gain the powers of magnetism and joined RubberDuck as he joined the Zoo Crew. Wonder Woman meets Captain America and you have Yankee Poodle. This character was more than filler but was also an antagonist for the other female character in the group Alley-Kat Abra!!

 

END TRANSMISSION..

 

 

 

WARNING HEROES…we are encountering a distress signal from the rest of The SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP gang…we need to immediately change course…For ETERNIA..Home of THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE...

 

SUPER-HERO SATELLITE and The All New..All Powerful SBTU returns for the next big Crossover Event on September 24 2014. Join the team for Team-Up Tear Down where, like the transmission post above we all jump into to explore the best, most unusual and peculiar Team Ups in Comics History,..This is one you Do NOT want to miss..

 

If you liked this post then by all means let us here at the Satellite know by leaving a comment. Maybe even follow me on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and join the Conversations at #SuperHeroSatellite and #SuperBlogTeamUp or #SBTU

 

Please Visit our Super Blog Team Up Hub Page for all previous editions of the Mighty Marching SBTU!! Click here!!  SUPER-BLOG TEAM UP HUB PAGE.

 

 

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Welcome all to the 2nd volume of Super Blog Team Up. It is the Satellites privilege and honor to welcome several new blogs to our ever-growing roster! The Super Blog Team unite several times a year to bring the Blogosphere  the biggest unified exploration of any one particular topic related to our favorite genre…Comics! For those new to the Satellite..welcome and for those faithful readers who often frequent our orbiting time traveling hulk of technology strap in!  As we say here at the Satellite..Welcome aboard Heroes..today the Satellite takes us back to 1985…with a topic that sends shivers down the spins of comic continuity and universes and as well as us the fans..RETCONS! Be warned..what you think you know..maybe greatly altered in a moments notice. Without further adieu..

Transmission Restored: Feb 19 2014

*STOP Faithful Satellite Subscribers* Before reading this transmission it is imperative that you review this document to prepare yourself for the consequences of what we are about to encounter.

Click below first.

Charlton Action Heroes: A Count-Down To Retcon

If you have already absorbed this information then proceed this caution.

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Monitoring Systems online. Initiating System Restore. Restoring data bases. Possible damage sustained during Retcon.

Begin Transmission: Feb 19 2014

Welcome back Satellite Subscribers, forgive the temporary system interruption a Retcon will do that to a Satellite. Forget what you know, even things that look similar are not as they were. If you were a fan of comics in the Golden and Silver Age then you were in on the joke that was continuity. As decades came and went so did story telling sensibilities. A lot can happen in 50 years worth of storytelling. With my ever-growing stack of comic books the 1980s were as readers of The Satellite know , were my favorite era for just about everything. in the 1980s. DC was about to embark on a reboot as such. I loved all comics DC was primarily my favorite company and it was a big surprise to me when they injected their universe with heroes from The Charlton Publishing company.

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Near the back of my book shelf were my well-worn issues of Charlton Comics. In my home town it was rare to find any Charlton material but on that rare occasion when I would venture into the dusty depths of some out port Convenience stores Charlton treasures were uncovered and I snapped them up every time. In their tattered gritty, cheap newsprint format Charlton Comics were different from the norm published by the big two of DC and Marvel. Some of their books like their Horror titles were decidedly more adult in theme. They had licences like The Bionic man and Hanna Barbera that were unusual for a small publisher to gain these rights. The ads in the books were even more mature!  I loved reading the stories of Blue Beetle, E-Man, Captain Atom Hercules, and Judo Master! Suddenly the Charlton Heroes that  I had read sporadically for years were being reborn alongside my DC favorites like Batman, and Green Lantern! In 1985..DC and Charlton universes collided and the result..was the ultimate Retcon in comic book history!

Evolution Of A Company…

How did Batman not age over the course of 50 years? Why did Robin take 30 plus years to graduate from  school ? How did the lone survivor of Krypton, Superman, suddenly have a cousin Super Girl, as well as Krypto The Superdog, hell even DC even had Super Powered Horses and a Monkeys?

How did Flash meet The Original Flash Jay Garrick in the classic 1960s story “The Flash Of Two Worlds”? Why did Green Lanterns origin change several times without explanation over the years? How did heroes that existed in another Super Hero universe (and Publisher!) suddenly appear within the DC Universe? Even DC and their writing team had written themselves into a proverbial corner.

A Flash Of Two Worlds were a reason stories like these began to present a problem!

Thus was born the Multiverse. A series of parallel Earths that crossed over from time to time and explained away all the weirdness and continuity errors. If something didn’t make sense storyline wise it could now be explained away as having happened on a parallel world! With every backdoor though comes overkill. Earths 1 and 2 became Earths 3, and 4. We had Earth X, Earth S and so it goes. What started as a way to explain away continuity issues and to maintain the integrity of the Golden age, spiraled into a confusing mess even DC themselves could not get out of. After 50 years of publishing no one had ever taken the time to make sense out of 50 years of stories. There were stories of value in every era however how did it all make sense in the bigger picture? Easy answer..it simply didn’t. What was important..what was not? What was considered cannon and what were considered “What If” stories? There was no definitive answer. That is until writer Marv Wolfman of DC  took on the task of making sense of 50 years of DC Comics continuity.

With so many stories interwoven into the fabric of DCs continuity making the decision on what should stay and what should go was not an easy chore. In 1985 Marv Wolfman alongside penciller George Perez , Jerry Ordway and (editor /inker)Dick Giordano embarked on a 12 issue Maxi series known as Crisis on Infinite Earths. Crisis was intended to eliminate the concept of the “Multi-verse” and streamline DC continuity once and for all. It is best known for the demise two key characters in the DC Universe Barry Allen (Flash) and Super Girl. For our purposes it is not the deaths that is the thrust of our discussion it is rather the inclusion a group of heroes RETCONNED into DC continuity by way of Crisis. That group of characters..The Charlton Action Hero Universe! How did an entire universe simply get absorbed into DC? With great difficulty filled with twists and turns that one might not have expected.

Crisis Casualities..

DC stalwart Paul Levitz of Legion Of Super-Heros fame was on of those responsible for bringing the Charlton Universe as a “gift” of sorts to his colleague and  now Managing Editor Dick Giordano. Giordano a former member of The Charlton Action Hero creative team who carries a special place in his heart for the characters in the Charlton Universe. The Universe consisted of several Ditkionian era heroes such as Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) , Captain Atom, The Question, and Night Shade. It was easy to see why the company would have interest in acquiring theses properties. Others like Peace Maker, Sarge Steel, The Judo Master and Peter Cannon Thunderbolt would be added later as well.

Charlton Heroes Come to DC sharing the cover with DC icon Superman!

It was decided that the introduction of Charlton’s Action Heroes into the DC Universe of the 1980s would occur through The Crisis event. All Earths of The Multiverse would be merged into one Earth..including the Charton Universe. In short all alternate Earths such as Earths 1,2,4, Earth X, Earth S, just to name a few are suddenly slowly merging cosmically and in doing so, some worlds such as Earth 3 are systematically destroyed as a result of the event. The Charlton Universe for our readers purposes was known as Earth 4. Before I confuse our reading audience with the already impossible to understand Crisis / Earths debacle I present to you a Crisis for Dummies if you will.

EARTH X :

Earth X is a world created to explain the existence of War Time characters as it is set in a world where World war 2 did not end. Characters included the likes of The Freedom Fighters, The Black Hawks, and even Plastic Man!

EARTH S:

Earth S was a world created to include the purchased characters from several defunct companies most notably Fawcett publications. Most notable of the character set were Captain Marvel (Shazam) and the Marvel Family, as well as the Squadron Of Justice!

EARTH ONE: DC PROPER.

Earth One was simply OUR Earth. It included Silver and Bronze age versions of the DC Universe that existed up to Pre- Crisis events.

EARTH TWO:

Earth-Two was the reality designation assigned to the planet Earth, and the Universe it includes, that existed prior to the Crisis. Earth-Two itself was inhabited by various characters who resembled those of its primary Earth One. This Earth served the purposes of maintaining the existence of DC`s Golden Age characters namely The Justice Society !

EARTH THREE:

Earth-Three was introduced in a 1964 issue of Justice League of America. Earth-Three’s history is seen as a mirror image to that of the Earth One. Earth-Three was home most famously to an analogue Villains to the Justice League, the Crime Syndicate of America. Earth Three is the one world not merged in the Crisis series as it is destroyed very early in the event!

EARTH FOUR:

Earth Four was essentially the Charlton Action Hero Universe!

Crisis tells the story of two God like beings, the  Monitor and the evil Anti-Monitor, both created by the Multiverse experiment. The Monitor was teased in many DC comic book series for two years prior to the launch of Crisis.  The Monitor was teased to be a villain but  he is revealed to be working on a seemingly futile  plan to stop the inevitable destruction of the Multiverse  hands of the Anti-Monitor. The Crisis event throws the DC Super in a desperate war  to stop the Anti-Monitor’s plan rule the entire Multiverse.

Crisis On Infinite Earths: The Ultimate Retcon!

The Monitor is murdered by Harbinger, his own assistant, while under the possession of the Anti Monitor . All 5 Earths (1, 2 4, S, and X) are merged into one LIMBO universe, however Harbinger, coming out from under the spell of the Anti Monitor unifies the heroes of all worlds (Including the Charlton Action Heroes) to bring down the Anti Monitor.

Harbinger recruits The Blue Beetle from the Charlton Action Hero Universe (Earth 4)

However, it would be the Spectre`s  battle with the Anti-Monitor,that creates an energy overload that shatters space and time.The result …the ULTIMATE RETCON.. A single universe is created and all the superheroes return to a present-day reality where the various elements of the five Earths were fused into one single Earth, with no one except the people present at the dawn of time remembering the original reality.

The DC Universe Post Crisis looked a lot different than it did prior to the event and included many new faces into its (At that point 50 year History)

DC had much bigger plans for the Charlton universe. Not only would they have a role in the events of Crisis but DC took a gamble that these Heroes could draw an audience by themselves in solo titles! Personally this was an exciting time as a fan as new title popped up everywhere with DC throwing new concepts at the wall attempting to feed off of the buzz of Crisis.

DC had big plans for The Charlton Action Hero cast..starting with the Beetle himself!

Blue Beetle flew out of his flying Beetle on the cover of his official DC solo series in 1986! I remember pulling this and Captain Atom #1 off the spinner rack with my 20 dollar a week allowance and drooling over these new heroes!

Captain Atom was one of the most successful acquisitions and went on to not only star in his own solo series but as with Beetle joined the DC franchise the Justice League!

To this day Blue Beetle #1 serves as the way you showcase a hero on his debut issue! Beetle not only brought along some of his rogues gallery like The Madmen. His title also served as a launching pad for the return of Charltons The Question who returned in issue 5 of the series.

The Question returned in grand fashion in the pages of The Blue Beetle #5 in 1986.

Nightshade another Charlton alum returns in the pages of Captain Atom #14. The gang was slowly creeping into the DC Universe!

The Question would also get his own solo series in a direct format and a much more adult style. Possibly influenced by Watchmen alternate! (See Below!)

Of course each series would have varying degrees of success, DC also embedded these characters permanently into the DC universe. Beetle joined The Justice League, Atom lead the Justice League Europe, Nightshade was a member of the Suicide squad! Everywhere you looked DC took full advantage of these properties and did not let them go to waste. As a fan Justice League was my all time favorite team book and heroes like Beetle and Atom were easy favorites!

The Bwah Ha Ha Era of The League was my personal favorite Team Book of all time!

Blue Beetle came into his own and gained full acceptance as DCs fun-loving tag team partner of Booster Gold and perennial team member of the Justice League. Captain Atom went on to greater heights and actually captained a branch of the Justice League dubbed The JLE, Or Justice League Europe. Both titles were big sellers for DC and prominently featured the Charlton flagship characters.

The Captain takes the reigns on his own Justice League..The JLE!

 The Charlton Action Heroes arrived in the DC Universe mostly intact with a few differences in origin and slight appearance modifications. Beetle retained his classic look while Captain Atom was dramatically streamlined into a chrome skinned embodiment of nuclear power, a much-needed upgrade from his dated Charlton look.  His origin however was modified to fit the times. Nightshade arrived in her original guise but would be altered for the 80s in her Suicide Squad attire. The Question survived both in look and origin. Later additions to the Charlton gang would be Peace Maker, Judo Master, Peter Cannon Thunderbolt and Sarge Steel all of whom were given ill-fated solo runs and didn’t catch an audience like the Ditko characters. All in all the Charlton Action Heroes were now officially DC Super-Heroes and now firmly entrenched in DC hallowed halls. I was a fan and these were great times as a reader! DC had been relaunched and had been injected with a dose of new characters to move forward with!

However the introduction of The Charlton Heroes into DC almost took a much different path….

Satellite Extra:

Can you believe that at one point and time The Archie MLJ Universe were being considered to be the main characters for TheWatchmen?

Prior to the decision to Retcon the Charlton heroes into the DC universe via Crisis, fate could have taken a much stranger turn. After the Charlton acquisition by DC comics Managing Editor and former Charlton creator Dick Giordano was approached with an informal proposal by writer Alan Moore. Originally the proposal involved the use of Archie Comics MLJ group of Heroes. Moore want to use the death Mighty Crusader, The Shield as the thrust for the story that would eventually become the most famous graphic novel of all… Watchmen. After this idea fizzled it was Moore’s proposal that the newly acquired Charlton Action heroes be used as the central characters in the storyline. The original concept was a story called “Who killed the Peacemaker?” The story would be a deconstructionist piece that set the Charlton Heroes in a desperate race against the clock to investigate a murder and to stop a nuclear apocalypse. Giordano who had an investment in the characters from his time at Charlton Publishing deterred Moore from using the characters and instead swayed him to use archetypes based around the Charlton Heroes for the story instead. Moore convinced that as long as the characters felt familiar he would be able to project the same sense of investment a reader would have in the actual characters…and boy was he right. Thus was born Nite Owl, Doctor Manhattan, Silk Specter, Rorshach, The Comedian and Ozymandias…THE WATCHMEN.

These characters would never have existed without the Charlton Action Heroes who were the influence for each of The Watchmen.

Had Moore had his way our Heroes would never have existed in the same fashion that they had been introduced into the DC Continuity in the 80s! As cool as it may be to have my Charlton heroes as Watchmen I much preferred the manner in which I came to enjoy each of these heroes in the DCU!!

For those who are wondering its more than clear who inspired each hero in the Watchmen universe. For those who could use a little more clarity here’s your Watchmen/Charlton cheat sheet!

What Charlton Hero inspired YOUR favorite Watchmen Character?

Well that’s it Heroes!! After all this Retcon talk, I am retiring to the Satellites hibernation chamber for a long nap as we set course to return back to present day! One more extra before we go..I mentioned prior to our conclusion here that The Charlton Heroes introduction required a light modification to their Charlton origins..so I have included complete DC Who’s Who Bios of the core Characters so we have a complete go to source for your Charlton/DC Retcon needs!! Enjoy!

BB II Whos Who 87 V.I

End Transmission…

If You have enjoyed this blog contact me on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite Thanks for reading!

Okay its time to check out the continuation of this cant miss series! Retcon Continues NOW: Super Blog Team activate!

1.Silver Age Sensations: The Red, White, and Blue Silver Age Avenger!

2. Flodo’s Page: Green Lantern: Secret Origins – Revision or Retcon?

3. LongBox Graveyard: Retcon: Roy Thomas And Earth-2

           4. *NEW* Between The Pages: Good Cowboys Always Shoot First

                    5. *NEW* Bronze Age Babies: “Was The Vision Really Carrying a Torch”

*NEW*6. Superior Spider-Talk: Peter Parker – Child of Radioactivity or Mysticism?

7. Super-Hero Satellite: Hey you are here already!! RETCON: Crisis On Continuity Earths

#8 Fantastiverse: Age of the Retcon: Bucky 4.0 – The Winter Soldier

#9*NEW*Superior Spider Talk: #9 Chasing Amazing: Brand New Day and the Retcon of Harry Osborn Coming Soon

“The Day They Walked Away..” A 6 part Limited Series Presented by The Super-Blog Team Up

Welcome back Satellite Subscribers and welcome aboard to our new visitors. This is a very special post today as I have invited a few friends to join me from across the internet to help weave a tale in many parts.  In the title you may have noticed the term Super-Blog Team Up. Over the past few years I have had the honor of speaking with a few folks who run their own blogs all of which I visit quite frequently. The Super-Blog Team are yours truly, Charlton Hero, representing the Super-Hero Satellite , and other blockbuster blogs like LongBox Graveyard, Chasing Amazing, Silver Age Sensations, Flodo’s Page, and The Fantastiverse. So before we begin, this post is part 4 in a 6 blog post series so I encourage you to check out the first 3 posts in this series (All links at the end of this post!)..If you already have done so, then enjoy this next installment!

Superman: The Man Of Steel. Pop Cultures definition of the term Super-Hero.

Hey Satellite Subscribers welcome to a very special edition of The Super-Hero Satellite. This technological masterpiece known as The Super-Hero Satellite, tracks all Super Powered Heroes from all parts of the galaxy. Heroes protect us, stop the occasional inter-dimensional threat, thwart an approaching alien invasion, save a kid from a burning fire or simply stop that pick pocket on the corner street. They are a role model, they are our icons, they are what we strive to be in our daily lives. Their duty is a weight so heavy only those blessed with that something extra can bear..They are Super Heroes.

Superman through the ages..

What happens when our Heroes simply can no longer bear that responsibility. What happens when the Super Powered that walk among us finally cannot sacrifice any more…This is the story of Kal- El, The Son Of Krypton. Sent from a doomed planet to fulfill his destiny as earths number one Super Hero. The son of Jor-El went on to become the face of Americana. The face of Earths real Mightiest Heroes..The Justice League. This is the story of the price of being a Super Hero , about the day he walked away..when he returned..when he made the Ultimate sacrifice..and the day he became one of us….This is Superman. He may have been the most human out of us all..

A World Without Superman??

From the early days of the character, Superman was the ultimate Super Hero. He had the Cadillac of super powers. He was virtually invincible, he could run as fast as the Flash, He was stronger than any Green Skinned Hulk, He had X-Ray vision, he had Heat vision, super breath, and by god he could fly! Superman’s powers of course varied as the times changed and throughout his many incarnations. Superman from his inception in the pages of Action Comics number one, to his numerous incarnations on the small screen, and to the screens of Hollywood and beyond, the one thing all incarnations have in common are his need for acceptance or to just be “normal”. Common through all genres of the character is the love story we all know between Clark Kent and Lois Lane. It’s an essential story thread that almost all Superman writers have used as a nucleus to The Superman character. It is also the contributing factor to Clark’s constant search for humanity and was the only thing that ever made Superman quit being a hero.

The Most Iconic Comic Book Cover Of Our Time. Action Comics #1

From his debut Superman’s interest in Lois Lane has always be central to his character and is a basis for his social life as his alter ego Clark Kent. Superman constantly put his own life aside to save the lives of those on earth..but mostly the apple of his eye..Lois. From the start Kal-El was smitten with Ms. Lane.

Where would the world be without Lois and Clark?

The comics medium played with Clark’s yearning to be normal on several occasions and most times it was all due to his relationship with Lois. Tiring of the Super-life and wanting to settle down Superman called it quits many times!! One of the most memorable covers dealing with the subject was Superman Vol. 1 Issue 298 . Superman unknowingly under the influence of his neighbor Mr. Xaiver is mentally torn between being Superman or staying as his alter ego Clark Kent. Even though this story which ran three issues was a throw away with little consequence, the theme of Kal-El battling with this very decision is a common theme in all forms of Superman media.

“Who Took The Super Out Of Superman” Mr. Xavier, Clark Kent’s mysterious neighbor, is an alien named Xavier who changes Superman into only being able to use his powers when in costume. Superman believes that his body is trying to tell him to choose either Superman or Clark, and reject his other persona.

Sometimes, especially in the Golden or Silver age, Superman simply quit being either himself or his Alter Ego…many of these stories were short-lived and their impact on continuity was very minimal if anything back in the day. The struggle to be the Super-Hero or just a normal mortal was always one Clark struggled with!

Clark always some how was pulled into a particular direction by Lois. His choices usually hinged on whether Lois was around or the trouble she found herself in on a particular day. To be honest Superman spent most of the Golden Age and The Silver Age rescuing Lois no matter if it was in the pages of the comics he was featured in such as Action Comics or his own Superman title. Heck his chivalry was always in the spotlight on the small screen as well. Fleischer studios Superman cartoon  had Clark always there at her call!

“Clark Kent, Get Out Of My Life!”Superman decides to live without Clark Kent, and battles Solarman, a sun-powered villain, while Xaiver (Clark’s scheming neighbor) robs Clark Kent’s apartment.

While early DC writers tinkered with the idea of Superman or Clark Kent calling it quits they never ever really pulled the trigger..that is until the 1980s where Superman went through a renaissance of sorts. The 1980s began with the a clear template of what the Man of Steel would look like for the majority of the 80s. Christopher Reeve and his 70s movie titled simply “Superman” was a runaway hit at the box office prompting the 1980 sequel Superman 2!  This movie dealt with the idea of what would happen if Superman gave up being Superman and became a normal human assuming his alter ego of Clark Kent permanently!

Superman 2. Long thought of as the BEST of all four original Superman Movies!

In Superman 2 the basic plot is that Lois Lane learns Clark’s secret that his is indeed the Man Of Steel. Superman surrenders and is so strong in his feelings for Lois decides to give up the cape and become just Clark! Kent agrees to marry Lois which is a consistent theme in all eras of Superman lineage, but this marriage has big one problem. Superman agrees to sacrifice his powers to marry Lois, but is  unaware that three Kryptonian criminals he mistakenly  released are now about to conquering Earth.

Clark is determined to finally show Lois he is serious about his love for her and decides that he will give up his powers completely so he can live a normal life at her side for the rest of their lives. A noble gesture as seen in the movie!

Clark sees the error of his decision and decides that he will not allow his adopted home be overtaken by his fellow Kryptonian’s. A powerless Clark has a wake up call in a diner when he attempts to defend the honor of his love Lois only to come to the grim realization that he sacrificed his power and gets his ass handed to him..this scene serves as his sign that the world needs Superman! Guess what..Superman returns and General Zod and his cronies are sent back to the phantom zone with a one way ticket from The Man Of Steel!

The events in the movie are a message to everyone including Kal-El that the world NEED’s Superman and he needs them as well. Everything wraps up neatly with the criminals vanquished and Lois retaining any recollection of Clark’s identity is erased from her conscious. In a funny loose end at the end of the movie Clark decides to pay a visit to the man who handed him a beating as a human in the diner and well..lets just say it does not pay to be a bully!

The comics themselves used a number of themes after that from the movie but perhaps the best example of this comes at the very end of DC’s Silver age. DC had the need to somehow organize the history of its Superheroes and give the DC universe a defined sense of origin. The 50s, 60s, and 70s, produced many continuity bending throw away stories that confused many readers and writers trying to tie years of history together in a sensible fashion. The characters did not age, and thus were burdened with years of continuity baggage to where it was impossible to present the audience with a clean universe where everything made chronological sense. From these seeds grew Crisis On Infinity Earth. It revamped the entire history of the DC Universe and gave all heroes a fresh start..at least for several years.

Crisis tied up all Silver Age Loose ends and it was a vehicle for DC to in essence end Superman as we knew him..this lead neatly into the final issue of the series..

Alan Moore penned an epic FINAL Superman tale called “What Ever Happened to The Man Of Tomorrow” which many hold in high regard for its impact. The end of the Silver Age Superman was a final tribute to the Man of Steel in which he gives up and actually disappears forever ..literally.  It begins 10 years after the last silver age issue of Superman where the last days of Superman are recapped from the words of a now remarried Lois Lane Elliot. Lois recaps the events leading to Superman’s last days on earth as he simply walked away forever after what he felt was the last straw for him as a hero. She tells the tale of Superman’s long guarded secret has finally been exposed to the public, and the earth shattering consequences of that revelation. Those close to Superman are killed by Super Villains extracting revenge upon the Man of Steel forcing Superman to do the one thing he always stood against..killing..

“What Ever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow” Superman has broken his own code to never kill, Superman, in penance, voluntarily enters a chamber containing a sample of Gold Kryptonite (which would permanently drain him of his powers), and disappears into the Arctic wasteland. When the other heroes enter the remains of the Fortress, they find only Perry White, his wife, and Lois still alive. Superman’s body is never found, and it is assumed by all parties that he wandered into the Arctic wasteland, powerless, to die.

Superman walks away as not to endanger his loved ones..and for Lois..

The end of the Silver Age brought the dawning of a new era. DC revamped many of its titles and Superman was one of the first on that list. The Mini Series penciled by John Byrne, simply called the Man Of Steel, hit the reset button on the character we all know as Superman.

In the The Man Of Steel #1, the planet Krypton is shown as a cold and emotionally devoid planet, an concept Byrne borrowed from the 1978 film Superman. Kal-El was not an infant sent from Krypton to Earth, rather, his fetus was placed in a “birthing matrix” equipped with a rocket engine and Jor-El’s experimental warp drive, with Kal-El gestating during the trip to Earth. Once the rocket landed, Kal-El was fully “born” on Earth. A huge contrast to the Adopted Alien Son on Earth theme that was the basis to the original character.

I picked up The Man  Of Steel trade on a summer vacation in Toronto Ontario Canada after searching aimlessly for a comic book store. I ended up setting for a book store in a mall in Renfrew Ontario and I saw it on the shelf. Despite it being well outside of my price range I did walk away with that book! I still own it and appreciate it to this day. I loved John Byrne’s Superman, in fact, outside of Curt Swans version of the Silver Age Superman, Byrne’s is the best! Byrne created a Superman that did not pretend to be anything but what he was. In Byrne,s version, Clark Kent was not the school nerd and social outcast as Clark was portrayed as on film and in early comic books, instead he used his power to be the head of the Football team and was actually popular in school! Byrne attempted to ground Superman in reality. Gone where the Superboy years, Superman family, Super Pets and Giant keys to the fortress of solitude. A lot of what made Superman great was washed away for a more realistic version of The Man Of Steel. Clark,s parents were no longer dead but rather important cast members, a nice touch! Hell Ma Kent even sewed Superman his first suit!

The Series set the table early for Clark just wanting a normal existence outside of his Superhero..but as with every other attempt to lead a normal life The Cape always won out and Superman always returned to duty no matter how many times he walked away!

Superman’s home world of Krypton was no longer the thriving futuristic civilization of the Silver age it now represented the sterile version seen in the Superman movies! Two themes that remained though were Superman’s fondness of Lois Lane and his conflict with wanting to be normal.

Even Byrne’s Superman actually gave up and went home after his first brush with the pressures of fame..even though he finally found the courage to be the biggest Superhero in the world his confidence was shaken early!

Lois and Clark the TV series was highly rated and changed the way DC wrote these characters or sometime.

The character of Superman in the 80s was bound editorially by DC side projects and after a resurgence in popularity Superman returned with a vengeance to the small screen with Lois and Clark: The Adventures of Superman. The impact of this series cannot be overlooked. The show was very much grounded in the Byrne era mythos and lead Superman to his final fate. DC protected the characters and their onscreen characters and made sure that the stories in the comics did nothing to go too far out of sync with the show.In a funny side note DC had planned to pull the trigger on a modern-day Lois and Clark wedding to boost struggling sales however the TV show Lois and Clark negotiated with DC as to have the comic book wedding and the TV event wedding coincide and DC gave in and agreed. Plans however had already been in motion so there were a number of starts and stops and unplanned storyline fixes to keep the interest in the wedding in the pages of the comic. Superman and Lois had been married many times in the comic books.

The Clark and Lois union was one that had been around for ages but uniting them was the wrong answer. Writers stumbled to find interesting stories now that The Man of Steel was off The Market. It literally killed The Lois and Clark show as viewership plummeted and the show was finally cancelled in its 4th season after being moved to two different nights attempting to capture a new audience. In the comics the same was happening. It seemed fans who clamored for Lois and Clark to get hitched got cold feet and sales figures for the book and for DC in general were lower than anticipated.

In The 90s, DC would launch its final arrow in its sales quiver in the form of a Superman event known as DOOMSDAY. The Death Of Superman would showcase yet another example of a hero stepping away per say. Seeing the carnage caused by a mysterious alien monster known to the world as Doomsday Superman goes on a mission to hunt and stop the beasts reign of destruction all over the U.S. Many heroes fall at the might of Doomsday including the entire Justice league. In a final touching moment Superman ..Clark no longer wants to keep his loved ones in danger (A theme shared by Moores Silver Age Send Off mentioned above) and makes the final sacrifice he could make..he gives his life. As Superman prepares for what is fated to be his last stand he says goodbye to those he loves..including finally Lois.. and as he always did..goes to save the day..Super heroism at its best.

The final stand of The Man Of Steel. Superman says goodbye to the woman he loves before defend the world against a savage monster Doomsday..ultimately giving his life!

The day Superman died in the pages of comic books was one I will never forget as I literally ran to the store where I normally bought comics only to grab the new stand copy. I only managed to get a damaged copy crushed in the back of the rack, so I went to my last resort, a shady card kiosk in our main mall that sold event comics at hideous prices and he had a pre-bagged Superman #75 for $25 bucks on its launch. I coughed up the dough…which was considerable at the time as my job was a grocery clerk at a local grocery store Sobeys, but I  brought it home so I could peruse my news stand copy and watch Superman and Doomsday go toe to toe one last time..

Hero Fall. The last stand of the greatest of them all! The Death of Superman was monumental!

The final panel of Superman #75 always stuck with me and always sort of bothered me. It felt final this time. Superman had gone away before. He had quit several times as well…but this time…MY Superman was gone. Yes he did return eventually but he was different after this event and now with the official New 52 Reboot my Superman may never return. Maybe one day with the help of this Satellite we can look back in time and find our Man Of Steel and bring him back home.

Shutting down historical archives…Heroes return to your posts and strap in tight. We are going to continue our course to the 90s, We have scanned the historical time streams and have located our next transmission..bringing it up on-screen now..prepare for Time Travel sequence countdown..Next stop New York City…The Daily Bugle. We need to find a reporter who will help us complete our series. Lets find Peter Parker…we need to warn him of the clone!

End Transmission…

To read all chapters in the 6 Part Limited Series click on the links below and enjoy!..

#1 Silver Age Sensation’s: The Thing http://silveragesensations.blogspot.ca/

#2 Longbox Graveyard: Captain America http://wp.me/p1yye7-225
#3 Flodo’s Page: Green Lantern http://flodospage.blogspot.ca/
#4 Super-Hero Satellite: Superman (Hey you are already here!) http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-dd
For Part 5 Of The Epic Super-Blog Team Up the next destination in our travels can be found by clicking the link below..onward to Chasing Amazing..Mark…take it away!

#5 Chasing Amazing: Spider-Man http://wp.me/p1wQNx-16N

#6 Fantastiverse: Hank Pym “Coming Soon”

If You have enjoyed this blog contact me on Twitter @Charlton_Hero and join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite Thanks for reading! Big thanks to those who contributed to this epic tale. The Super-Blog Team Uppers, Paul, Mark, Jeff, Flodo, and La Monte who helped bring this vision to life. Thanks guys..till next time the team re-unites!

Super-Hero Satellite Extra: Superman Extra “Quit gallery”

Okay..I am leaving for the last time!

I swear Ill just go away this time…you will never see me again..I am serious!

I mean it this time..I am gone!