Posts Tagged ‘DC Comics’

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“We have a new character in the works for Strange Adventures, just a five-page filler named Dr. Strange. Steve Ditko is gonna draw him. It has sort of a Black Magic theme. The first story is nothing great, but perhaps we can make something of him! Twas Steve’s idea..!”         Stan Lee- Comics Reader Interview 1963

“When like minded bloggers come together to write on a singular topic on a singular day the blogosphere bends at their mercy….they are called Super-Blog Team Up. Their mission is to provide a “Magical”blogging experience to our readers and share the words from the edges of the blogging universe under one banner. Welcome to the mighty SBTU…for our older fans…welcome back!!”

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From the moment I saw David Copperfield make the statue of liberty disappear I knew I loved Magic. I was always the “How did they do that?” Kid. The secrets however most times were better as secrets as sometimes the belief in the trick is what makes it fun. When it came to “Magic” in comics most of what I had read came from DC in the very early 80s. Whether it was the Golden helmet of DC’s own wizard of the Supernatural Dr. Fate or the Top Hat and Fishnets of Zatanna. If I really wanted more  I also had the likes of The Phantom Stranger and Deadman.The DC is where I lived as a kid!
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While I was an ardent DC fan none of those characters ever struck a real emotional chord with me. There are stories of the infamous Marvel bullpen and all the creative inspirations that resulted from the recreational activities of Stan Lee and company. During the 60s and 70s Marvel were banging out plenty of new concepts and titles. Lee met with Spider-Man power artist Steve Ditko and proposed a new concept that played into his strengths as an artist…one that Stan Lee would actually NOT take credit for!
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Steve Ditko’s tale of a self-centered , materialistic Surgeon who is involved in a career ending car accident and reflects on a life takes to the Mountains of India to find himself. What he finds is the Ancient One who opens his eyes to the world the Mystic Arts making him into the eternal Earths defender from the evils of Black Magic!! Hence is born Dr. Strange! Strange was a classic product of the Marvel Method of making their Heroes “real” like normal people who happen to be living super heroic lives…The Doctor was no exception.

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What made Strange different was that could exist in other world dimensions. Ditko was a master of developing unique settings for his characters. His creator set Steven Strange in a bizarre geometric weirdo worlds beyond description. Ditko took simple circles, triangles and squares, mix them with moons, smoke and floating eyeballs and you have the multiple mystic dimensions in the mind of Steve Ditko and it was like nothing ever seen on the printed page before.

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Personally the character has always been a struggle for me. I loved the youthful energy in books like Spider-Man or the swagger of Millionaire Bruce Wayne and his many gadgets as Batman. Strange was always ..well..Strange to me. The middle-aged, moustached man in pajamas who was able to harness magic. He was not the Super Heroic looking enough for my 9-year-old mind. I always wondered what it would be like I drew a new Dr. Strange and what he would look like? I would do away with the pajamas and sash and by god he would be cool. Well others felt the same way I did. The Doctors title was in serious jeopardy of cancellation and the new creative team headed by master horror artist Gene Colon decided the good Doctor needed an update!

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In Doctor Strange #177 Doc’s classic costume was replaced with a flashy skin-tight unitard some slick new boots and gloves! The most glaring change was that he was also masked!!?? Roy Thomas the famous Marvel scribe penned a reason for the change where Strange’s nemesis  Asmodeushad literally taken the place of Steven Strange’s identity on Earth, while trapping  the real Doctor in another dimension.  The only escape, the Doctor needed to transform himself to free himself from his dimensional trap!

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Colon did his best to make this work and actually did a fine job of switching the character out of his geometric Ditkonian dimensions to a more realistic looking alternate universe.though as with every major costume change it would eventually revert to his original garb in issue #183. I realized after reading these issues many years later that some characters are not cut from the typical mold and intended to stay that way!! So as much as I hated the baggy panted middle-aged magician look it is one of those iconic looks that simply defies age. So if you have never picked up a comic book in your life..or just a fan of the supernatural genre pick up some classic  Strange books in the quarter bin and check out the big screen debut on Nov.4 2016!

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SBTU Continuess Below…be sure to check em all out!!

LongBox Graveyard: Doctor Strange vs. Dracula

Between The Pages: The Wondrous Worlds of Doctor Strange

DC In The 80sMagic edition: examining The Immortal Doctor Fate v1 (1985)

The Unspoken Decade:Nighttime Sunburn: Rise Of The Midnight Sons

Crapbox Son Of Chuthulu: The Makings of a Sorcerer Supreme: Optimism and Sacrifice

Chris Is On Infinite Earths Blog:Batman Visits the Sanctum Sanctorum

Coffee and Comics Blog:Review: Doctor Strange #84

The Daily Rios: Amalgam Dr Fate / Dr Strange

The Retroist: The OTHER Dr. Strange Film

The Super-Hero Satellite: You are here already!!

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Trading comics as a kid was an art form. In a sense it was the earliest form of childhood poker, you had to know when to hold em and know when to fold em. In my own mind I felt I was a pretty good shark in this game.I was one of a few of my friends that had a coveted Overstreet Price Guide which allowed me a savants wisdom when giving the true value of my comics and of that of the individuals of which I was about to trade with.My trading selection was my usual fare of 80s DC titles but in the opposite corner my cousin who I was trading with had an unusual treasure on his side of the bed which doubled as our trading stand. It was an issue of The Fly a title I had never heard of! The publisher was Archie of all things but how could this be, this was a Superhero Title!! I glanced over the cover trying not to look directly at the book or even look interested in it but it was screaming to me..I had to have this book! So as the trades went on the regular fare was exchanging hands I swapped some Batman for some Firestorm, and Blue Devil but I still wanted that Fly issue. Not wanting to show my hand I asked him was there any other title in my pile he was interested in and fortunately there was. So I went for the kill…his selection was valued at meager 5 bucks in the Overstreet bible so I told him I would trade it for a Green Lantern Book …and throw in that Fly book just to even out the dollar amount!

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I tossed his requested book to his side of the bed and collected The Green Lantern issue and reached to get the issue of The Fly only to be shut down..His hand stopped cold over the top of the issue blocking my collecting hand from making it officially mine. My cousin told me a story of his recent vacation in Maine to which he picked up this “Rare” book and that book was not going up for trade! I internally panicked…then it dawned on me I could use the Overstreet Guide to show that the trade was a good value. As I thumbed through the pages I found the Fly #1 and it was worth $1 …Cover Price!! Practically worthless in 1984! Surely he would bend knowing that this book was a lump of coal in his collection but to me it secretly was a diamond! He didnt budge…he was on to me. This book was from the U.S.A.!! This wasnt available in small town Clarenville Newfoundland..this was from the United States Of America which carried a great deal of cache back in the day! I came out on the losing end of the trade that day as I gave up one of my coveted Blue Devil issues and god knows what else to claim this issue of the Fly..I know I had been duped but in the end I came away with what I wanted so it was short term pain.

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The glorious Steranko cover art and beautiful interiors this issue of The Fly was a revelation! My god there existed life outside of Marvel and DC!! Now I felt relatively in sync with the comics industry and bought many publishers like Charlton, Harvey, and Archie I thought I knew it all there was to know. How did I miss the existence of  The Red Circle imprint Aka The Archie Adventure Series I began sifting through the ads inside and my Overstreet Price Guide to find out what titles existed and there were a ton of them. I eventually discovered that these characters were around since the Golden Age!! This was prior to the era of the internet kids..it was not as simple as a google search!!

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The characters were pure Golden Age! Names like The Shield, The Fly, The Comet, The Black Hood, The Jaguar, and The Web were fascinating to me! Not only was this my first introduction to them but they seemed like an elusive mystery to me and the fact that their recent (80s!!) adventures could not be purchased on the comic spinner racks in my home town only heightened my interest! In fact the characters were so steeped in comics lore that their first appearances dated back as far as 1940!

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In the pages of Pep Comics #1 exploded a very familiar looking character The Shield!! This United States patriotic character was one of the first of his kind and pre-dated our generations super patriot Captain America! Created by Irv Novick (Artist) and Harry Shorten (Writer) The Shield was born of the times and World War 2 fascination. Amazingly this would also be the first appearance of another one of the soon to be Mighty Crusaders The Comet in a single issue!!

Around the same time in Oct 1940 also debuted The Black Hood in Top Notch Comics #9. The Black Hood was an interesting character. The character would be played by a number of individuals who would take up the notion of vigilante justice after each previous Hood would either die.. or pass on the mantel of the hood to the next individual. The Hood itself would be “cursed” as nearly all its wearers would die passing it like a proverbial torch to another bearer. The “hood ” itself went from a stereotypical heroic cowl style of mask to a full on executioners hood. The Hood was the one character in the Crusaders who would “Cross The Line” into killing his opponents in the name of justice. Interestingly when the Red Circle brand resurfaced in the early 80s the Black Hood would be the character that would regress the most costume wise while other Crusaders sported updated flashy modern costumes. The Black Hood would debut on a Motorcycle in biker leathers and a tight leather “Mugger” mask.

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Later that year in 1940 creators Joe Simon and Jack “King” Kirby famously created a character strikingly similar to The Shield, the one and only Captain America. Fortunately  this was not the era of expensive lawsuits so Cap would go on to mega fame unscathed by class action lawsuits! Clearly they had an eye on what MLJ was doing as they went on to create a Crusader themselves.. The Fly!! He 1st appeared in the late 50s making his full debut in Adventures Of The Fly #1 in 1959.

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The Fly had a very appealing design that in no coincidence looked very much like Blue Beetle in design. The individual that would wear the Fly suit was  Capital Cities crack lawyer Tommy Troy. Tommy  was able to fly, communicate with insects via his telepathic abilities, use size manipulation among others. By night Tommy became the Fly, fighting the criminal underbelly of Capital City!  He also frequently had his own female counterpart like many in the day.. Fly-Girl! He was also a hero similar to the Blue Beetle (Charlton’s Steve Ditko version of Beetle… Ted Kord) in that he has sizable Eye bubbles and they share a gun which many heroes did not during the 70’s and 80’s especially. The Archie run of the Fly is one of the best MLJ hero books they pubished as Ditko took the reigns in the titles last half (Issues 5-8) of publication for Archie and made The Fly a damaged defamed  Hero on the run! Great stuff kids you need to track down the 9 issue run which was a lot of fun under Archie’s Red Circle imprint!!

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They were then joined by The Web in 1942 created by John Cassone for MLJ. This college criminology professor turned superhero turned his investigative skills into a crime fighting career. Using his College smarts he was able to profile and defeat criminals for the sheer enjoyment of one upping the criminal element. The Web was a character  whose creators gave the unusual spin of being one of the first comic characters who essentially was a domesticated superhero that was for all intents and purposes was  “Whipped”. The key trait to this and following versions would be his married life impacting the way he performed as a hero. Upon discovering that her husband was running around stopping crime in spandex John finally succumbs to the marital pressures and retires leaving a life of crime fighting to deal with the battles of home life!

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The next incarnation of The Web is the one I am most familiar with as the original webs son John Raymond Jr. returned to comics in Fly-Man #36 under most famously Superman’s Co-Creator Jerry Siegel. Humourously the concept of the steroetypical “Nagging Wife” would return but went a step further. As John took on the criminal underbelly as the Web his wife would unbeknownst to him would don a super suit as Pow-Girl and join him on his exploits without revealing her identity to him!! Fortunately this version of the Web would drop all the silver age silliness and this Web would re-debut in the 80s under Archie’s Red Circle banner and would become my favorite of all the Mighty Crusaders!

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The Shield, The Web, The Fly, Fly Girl , The Comet, The Jaguar, and The Black Hood and many others during various incarnations of the group would all Unite under one collective Super Powered group known as The Mighty Crusaders! Archie seemed to have nailed the Superhero concept or at least had great clay to work from with the MLJ Characters!  I loved every issue I uncovered. It didnt matter the condition wether they were torn, stained, or even coverless I just wanted my Red Circle comics!!

Mighty Crusaders Cover Gallery?? Okay..we got you covered!! Computer…load Archie Adventure Series Red Circle Mighty Crusaders!!

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Its no secret that I was a fan of action figures as is well  documented on this blog..when my old nemesis Remco would adapt the Crusaders into Action figure form. Check out my previous article on DC’s Warlord figures also notoriously by Remco. The company did not have a history of making “Quality” toys instead they relied on working from established concepts popular at the time and doing something “Similar”. Yes if He-man was popular Remco created the line of “Conan” or “Warlord” figures which were not coincidentally clones of the He-Man toyline. LJN Struck gold with their WWF license to create Professional Wrestling figures and Remco went with AWA Mat Mania figures. This time Mego was red hot with this Worlds Greatest Heroes SuperHero figure line and low and behold… Remco grabbed the semi obscure Mighty Crusaders action figures!

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Remco created eight figures in total and had an equal roster of good guys and bad guys..4 on each side to be exact! the line up were as below!

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  • The Comet. Prior to Marvels X-Man, Cyclops there was the Comet..that visor is something multiple characters would come to rip off!!

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  • The Fox. A cool design and character. The Fox was always one of the coolest heroes from the Archie Adventure line and was their answer to Black Panther / Batman..but not as interesting as either.

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  • The Shield. Its Captain Ameri…no wait..its the Shield. Even though this character may have influenced multiple American based heroes later in comics history he is still the single greatest design of the Crusaders!

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  • The Web. Always loved the Web!! Loved the color scheme and Web cape! I gurantee you , One year soon on Halloween you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be the Web..

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  • The Brain Emperor. The bad guys were very uninspired as is the case with the poorly designed Brain Emperor. Alan Moore himself would not have been able to save this Mort and his goons!

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  • The Buzzard. Every universe has their “Bird” villain..they also managed to snatch all the cool bird names. With The Falcon and The Vulture we get the sinister Buzzard!! Doesnt work at all does it??

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  • The Eraser. Despite the very cool double bandolier, the only thing the Eraser “erased” were several plates of cheeseburgers..That said.. he is the happiest villain I have ever seen!

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  • The Sting. By god Remco loved their skull faced villains!! In the era of Masters Of The Universe and the patriarch of the Skull Face.. Skeletor…is the reason why we allow jabronies like Sting to exist. That said..as a kid, Skull faces ruled and chances are this would have been my first bad-guy if I had a choice If I know “kid me” well enough!

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The comic ads got me so excited to get my hands on these great looking toys. Remco to their defense always got some of the best artists to design their comic book ads as well as their packaging! With Remco’s Sgt. Rock for example Remco scored the legendary Joe Kubert to draft their in comic ads as well as figure packaging!!

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They would score again with the great Steve Ditko taking the reigns with the Crusaders!! Ditko drew the wonderful ads that baited me originally and scored the packaging on the toys as well!! The problem however was the product that was delivered. The figures themselves had a certain charm but upon further inspection they were woefully impractical. There was something very weird about their hip structure. Their legs appeared shorter, almost baby like on some figures giving them a very odd look visually. As well, Remco..stealing a page out of Marvels Secret Wars toys, each toy came with a shield? I am still wondering what the fascination with the shield as a accessory was in the day?? That said with all their quirks and 80s weirdness The Crusaders were a win for this Hero!!

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The Heroes themselves were pretty well designed. I would kill for a Web figure! The Shield looked great with vibrant colors and I even gave his shield a pass.I had no idea who the Fox was but the figure was excellent. The Comet however was a comedy of errors. Not only did he come with a Shield but he also came with a bandolier and gun!!? This Comet was packin heat folks!! These toys were amazingly rare in my hometown. The odd figure would appear in a toy box or two in my travels to friends houses but no one I knew had the “set” or even a significant amount enough to say the collected them.

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The amount of Mighty Crusaders merchandise on the market though small by today’s standards, was surprising for a franchise many people today outside of retro fanatics (Like myself and many of the folks reading this post!) whom may never had heard of the property. One of the coolest items was the rare Mighty Crusaders Board Game! It sported a very heroic box art! The fun didnt stop there as the Crusaders were splashed all over the typical fare of the era such as water guns, disc saucer guns, walkie talkies, things that today would be considered dollar store toys! *Merchandise photos are all compliments of our friends at one of my all time favorite Retro sites  Plaid Stallions visit them and enjoy their absolute wealth of nostalgic riches!!

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I was however disappointed to find that there was no Mighty Crusaders Doctor Kit which was a trope in the dollar toy industry that every franchise took advantage of. Missed opportunity? However not to be disappointed we did get  very cool Crusader stunt cycles and parachute figures!

With a property that seemed so viable with several comics series, and plenty of merchandise to go with it how is it that the majority of the  World do not remember the MLJ characters? How is it that these characters are not household names? Well as fond of memories as I have for these characters , comics and merchandise the fact is that the line did not get over with the masses. The direct market format for Archie’s Adventure line went against the mass media publication market like they did with their digests and floppys sold at anywhere magazines were sold to a more niche distribution which hurt the line. Would we be telling a different story had the Archie Adventure Line been as readily available as Archie’s Digest series on every Supermarket Shelf? I feel they would have. The same goes for the toyline. Remco was a decent toymaker that sadly did not have the deep international penetration of Kenner or Mattel as a result many never even knew The Crusaders ever existed on a toy shelf. So both the comics and the toys suffered from limits on distribution but still manged to deliver a competitive product certainly comparable with the toyfare of the time.

The Archie Adventure Series came out of the gate roaring. Many forget that Archie Comics lured some of the industries most acclaimed artists in the business including Jack “King” Kirby, Steve Ditko , Jim Steranko just to name a few to work on these books!Would it be enough with the comics industry on the verge of the big comics boom of the 1990s?? Archie brought multiple titles to comics shelves and the world opened their doors once again to the classic MLJ hero universe!!

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My personal favorite of the lot was The All New Adventures Of The Mighty Crusaders that lasted 13 issues. See The Cover Gallery above kids for this one! This title came second place for the longest run of issues in the line and was probably the most action packed of all the titles as it featured all Crusaders and even some new ones in a full on team book.

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Blue Ribbon Comics 1-14 This one was a rehash of the old MLJ series from 1939 of the same name which was essentially a anthology series which told new stories from alternating characters in the universe. This edition from the Archie Adventure series was the longest lasting title in the line! It alternated stories of the Mighty Crusaders individual exploits. Mostly it featured The Fly and The Black Hood. The Art was probably the best of all series in the line and featured purposely an alternating roster of creative talent including Kirby, Ditko, Buckler, to name a few!

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The Fly 1-9 My favorite of the solo books! The Fly featured beautiful Steranko Covers as featured above as well as interior art from one of comics masters Steve Ditko for the last issues of the series. The adventures of the fly were very standard comics fare with one and done villain of the week stories that were wrapped up in a neat bow by the end of twenty something pages just how I loved it as a kid!

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Lancelot Strong: The Shield. This book had an identity crisis. It began as Lancelot Strong the Shield for issues 1-2 , Then changed into The Shield Steel Sterling for issue 3 before switching altogether into just simply Steel Sterling for its final 4 issues of its existence beginning with issue 5. It also had the dubious distinction of sharing two brands as well. It began under the imprint Red Circle before switching out to just the Archie Adventure Series on the 5th issue that also marked the final title change.Steel Sterling was a basic solo Adventure series which served a a bridge between the old MLJ universe and the new Archiverse.

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Steel Sterling (Previously Lancelot Strong for issues 1-3) Switches to Steel Sterling with issues 4-7.This title was the ugly step-child of the group in that it was the one title that seemed to change every issue and lacked direction and consistency. As individual issues this title was okay ..as a collected work Steel Sterling was a tough road to hoe!

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The Original Shield was another short lived title that ran 4 issues that served as the origin story of the Original Shield. This title mirrored closest early era Captain America as The Shield battled Nazi’s all the while being a super patriot.Ironically he did NOT have a shield when it counted!! The title was much better than the newer incarnation of the Shield as well had so great Dick Ayres artwork. Worth a look!

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As it would come to pass.. The Archie Adventure line was a failure and all things Mighty Crusaders disappeared from comic spinner racks, and toy shelves. By 1985 the MLJ Heroes were resigned to long boxes in the quarter bins of the 80s basement dwelling comics shops and the bottoms of toy-boxes…and that was the final breathe for this classic group of heroes…UNTIL..

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In 1991…The Archie Adventure Series Heroes were all re-imagined under comics super power DC Comics to form their brand new imprint IMPACT!

But THAT friends..is a story for another day…TO BE CONTINUED…

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Greetings Super-Blog Team Up fans..the band is back with another tale to weave into the fabric of the blogosphere. This round we tackle “Versus”. If you are reading this years from now some context is needed. In this year of 2016 Super Hero films are still big bucks at the box office and both Marvel and DC are hanging their hats on two films where their main “Good Guy”characters square off one on one. Dc’s Batman V Superman debuted to mixed reviews but a very large draw and is still making big money as we speak. On may 6th Marvel takes their shot in the war with Captain America: Civil War which trumpets the big battle between Marvels head honcho Captain America and Iron Man! Both films promise a full-scale battle of Hero vs Hero.

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Fortunately comic book history is filled to the brim with tale after tale of Earths mightiest heroes battling each other, even villains vs villains, not to mention Super Team vs Super Team! So many examples of epic battles with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Some battles have loved ones in danger and others where heroes secret identities hang in the balance. It brings us great pleasure here at The Superhero Satellite to bring you none of that! In fact this may be the shortest battle of Hero vs Hero in the history of comics. Without further adieu I present to you the moment when the Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, The Bat, Batman took on the galaxies greatest protector, The GREEN LANTERN!! Okay…its Guy Gardner but he is a Lantern darn it! Anyways..on with the show..strap in and let’s get going to 1986..

Begin Transmission : May 4th 2016

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DC had finished their massive crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths as detailed gloriously in past Super-Blog Team Ups and was looking to clean up many loose ends that resulted in its conclusion! Believe us there were a ton of them! The company decided after successful reboots of their core characters that they would pull all loose ends together into a bright red bow and make sense of all the individual titles by reforming their Super Team….The Justice League Of America! John Ostrander and Len Wein were the scribes in charge of reuniting DC’s heavy hitters under one banner. The story would be called Legends and it would take place over the course of 6 issues and multiple crossovers . It would be a jump on point for new readers and launched several new titles such as Flash, Suicide Squad and the brand new Justice League. In the story Darkseid wages a bet with Phantom Stranger that he will turn the world against earths Superheroes and uses a human political pawn as his catalyst. The end result sees DC’s finest come together to seemingly reform the Justice League and thwart Darkseid’s somewhat silly plot. Legends #6 boasts an all-star line up for the Justice League boasting Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Shazam, Black Canary, Guy Gardner, Dr. Fate , Changeling, Martian Manhunter and Blue Beetle! The band was back together and DC fans were excited for this league to continue on and protect this new DC Universe, Post Crisis. All was right with the world again…or was it?

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Sadly this League would dissolve quicker than it came together. Superman declined the invite, Wonder Woman walked away quietly, Changeling went back to his gig with the Titans and Flash sped away disinterested in being bound to a team. It seemed the rug had been pulled out from fans who had suffered through some bad times in Justice League history with the ill-fated Justice League Detroit (which actually kicks some major ass and is a very fun read!) and With many JLA heavy hitters seemingly out of the mix for the next round of this new league, The new groups prospects of commercial success seemed significantly less. How can we have a JLA without the Trinity? (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) Well Writer/ Artist Keith Giffen along with J.M. Dematteis and Kevin Maguire would roll out the LEAST likely band of misfits the Justice League banner had ever seen.

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So was born the Justice League International or the Bwah Ha Ha League as it is fondly recalled by the comics faithful. Giffen and DeMatteis would bring a very lighthearted comedic tone to proceedings.

The famous Justice League #1 from May 1987 sported one of the most copied covers in comics history with a family picture sort of cover sporting this new team with some very suspect looking participants. While the team boasted classic JLA heavyweights such as Batman, Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary it also assembled a far more unique crew than the JLA had ever seen. Many of which were imports from DC’s recent acquisitions from Charlton Comics, Fawcett, and the Kirby verse. The Blue Beetle, Mister Miracle, Oberon , Shazam and a brand new Version of Dr. Light rounded out this roster. One member however stole the cover with the now famous “Wanna make somethin of it??” Guy Gardner, a relatively lesser known member of the illustrious and complicated Green Lantern Corp filled out the roster. It was apparent that Gardner was bringing the “Attitude” to its ranks. One look at Batman’s face knows this team is already in trouble.

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For those not familiar with the Justice Leagues newest Green Lantern would quickly grow to love the renegade Lantern. He originally debut in Green Lantern Vol. 2 Issue 59 and from the get go we know that this Green Lantern didn’t play by the rules. In this issue The Guardians give Green Lantern Hal Jordan a lesson in humility by showing him what would have been if Guy Gardner had been selected by Abin Sur to wear the famous Green Power Ring rather than him. We can all be thankful it turned out the way it did. During his travels Gardner would be passed over many times to lead the Lanterns in favor of Hal Jordan and John Stewart but always held to his guns that HE was the one destined to lead the team…alas at the time this did not come to pass however it would be a core reason why he was tormented by being subservient to another leader.

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Guy went headlong into battles with DCs greatest rogues gallery would find himself in a bad situation in DC’s fabled Phantom Zone where he would be beaten into oblivion and permanently injured. A victim of brain damage, Guy as a result was a moody , self indulged prick who commanded the leadership of the JLI. Gardner however was not taken seriously by his new team mates. This certainly wasnt the Green Lantern Corp. anymore!! Joining a new group would be a little “problematic” for Guy as we will see..

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We all know the story of the Batman. Avenging his parents death, Bruce Wayne goes on a mission to rid the world of evil doers. Along the way he gains multiple sidekicks with Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Superman and many others. For all intents and purposes..Bruce Wayne was never good with relationships and no matter if it was with a partner, a love interest, or a Super Team, Batman’s relationships always turned out badly. Batman would be part of The Batman Family, The Justice League Of America and even The Outsiders…all of which were dysfunctional relationships to say the least.

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Batman as well was never one for playing second fiddle to anyone and usually assumed the leadership role as would be the case with the latest incarnation of the Justice league International. After the downfall of Justice League Detroit former Leader, Martian Manhunter was reluctant to put the lives of another team in his hands as he felt squarely responsible for their demise. Batman took the reins while the group was in their bonding period. However…unlike anyone he ever teamed with, Guy Gardner was NOT a team player and it was up to Batman to put him in line. It was the battle of wills..The mysterious Batman VERSUS an ultra powerful ring wielder who has the power of the universe at his hands…only one would prevail in a Game of Thrones.

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From the opening page of Justice League #1 Vol. 2 1988, Gardner was already front and center and plotting to do a grand take over of the leadership position of the mighty newly reformed Justice League. Tensions would fly at their first ever meeting as a group..and Gardner and Batman would get their first taste of each other..it was NOT love at first sight!

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In fact Gardner’s overtures towards the leadership position would not only be rejected but it would lead to an all out breakdown of the team only in their first organized group meeting. Batman could see right away that despite his reluctance to once again lead a super team…this boat needed a captain..and FAST!

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With Gardner upstaged in front of the team, it would not only intensify the fire between Bats and Guy. It was just the start in a series of confrontations..as Batman attempted to instill a sense of protocol to proceedings Guy would be there to challenge his every word..

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Guys temper would make for some tense moments in the team’s business. Gardner had no respect for Manhunter’s word despite Jonzz being a longstanding leader of the original Justice League Of America. Guy also would have none of The Big Red Chesse’s (Shazam) words either, but when it came to Batman, Gardner would dare not step any further.

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Batman would literally become Guys babysitter. At every outburst or irrational thought, Bats was there to shut Guys outbursts down and amazingly there was zero retaliation..

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Despite Guys reluctance to fight Batman, he would antagonize The Dark Knight at every opportunity. Both parties were now in the advanced stage of their passionate dislike for each other. Gardner took every shot he could whether on the battle field or in front of their peers. Serious group debriefings were fertile ground for Guys barbs….as Batman continued to make mental note of his detractors poor attempts to get under his skin.

 

Guy disrespects Bats 3

 

Batman continued to hold the Lantern at bay, but when the League had their back against the wall, Gardner challenged Batman’s leadership for the last time. The defiance, the outbursts, the smart remarks and the tantrums would come to a head. Gardner would build up the courage to put the money where his mouth was as once and for all, Guy Gardner challenged Batman for the coveted Leadership position of DC’s high-profile flagship super group.

Guy confronts Batman

All the pent-up frustration..all the years of being held back by his peers in the Green Lantern Corps and now again in the Justice League. Gardner even removed his power ring and with no more fear in his heart, Guy Gardner BIT!!

I Bite Guy Punches

Guy Gardner handed his ring to Blue Beetle and rushed furiously towards Batman and FINALLY these two rivals would square off one on one, head to head in a battle to end all battles this war was finally settled…

The Punch

With ONE Punch…

Guy Recovers

What? Were you expecting something different? A bigger battle? A drawn out brawl over the course of six issues? Nope not here…sometimes less is more. Masterpieces are not created in one stroke of the brush…this rivalry was the exception. Batman would go on to leave the League a short time afterwards but Guy would still not achieve the top spot. Batman would go on to lead again and even Guy many years later, would finally get his respect as a Leader in the Green Lantern Corps...but that my friends is another story for another day. If you are hungry for a fight the battles continue with our group of Fellow Super Bloggers…read more below!!

SBTUContinues below

 1. Between The Pages : “Star Wars Versus…” http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2016/05/star-wars-versus.html

2. Crapbox Son Of Cthulhu: Jack Of Hearts vs ROM!! http://crapboxofcthulhu.blogspot.com/2016/05/super-blog-team-up-versus-edition.html

3. Chris Is On Infinite Earths Guy Gardner vs Blue Beetle! http://chrisisoninfiniteearths.blogspot.com/2016/05/justice-league-america-52-1991.html

4. LongBox Graveyard: Fire and Water: Human Torch vs Submariner https://longboxgraveyard.com/2016/05/04/fire-and-water-the-human-torch-vs-sub-mariner/

5. Coffee and Comics Blog: Spiderman Versus Ghost Rider http://coffeecomicsreading.blogspot.ca/2016/05/marvel-team-up-91-1980.html?m=1

6. In My Not So Humble Opinion: Captain America vs Wolverine https://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/captain-america-vs-wolverine/

7. Bronze Age Babies: Civil War – Silver Age Style! Tales of Suspense 58
http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2016/05/super-blog-team-up-civil-war-silver-age.html

8.Superhero Satellite: Super-Blog Team Up 8: Batman vs Green Lantern (Guy Gardner) – http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-M8

9. The Unspoken Decade: War Machine vs Cable
https://theunspokendecade.com/2016/05/04/sbtu-presents-vs-war-machine-vs-cable/

10. The Retroist: The Joker vs Sherlock Holmes http://www.retroist.com/2016/05/04/super-blog-team-8-joker-sherlock-holmes/

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Welcome Back Heroes..

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery..and here is a great example. Action figures were always a passion of mine and I still maintain 90 percent of my collection to this day. I have fond memories of pretty well every toy I ever owned. It fascinates me when I see toy lines from my collection era that I may have missed out on or simply never had the opportunity to buy. As is the case with our topic today. Comic book ads always spoke volumes to me..I wanted everything that were ever featured in the confines of my 24 page treasures. I knew many things featured in my comics such as Twinkies and Slurpee’s were sold only in the USA at that time and I had made peace with that. During my infrequent trips across the border from my home in Canada into the U.S. I would always make a point of hunting down things I could not get at home. I was always pretty successful..however from time to time there was always that one nugget that escaped my grasp…as was the case with Remco Toys.

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Charlton Hero: “Computer punch in coordinates for The Lost World Of Skartaris..we have a date with a group of great Warriors that need our help!”

SHS Computer

Satellite Navigation Computer: ” Locking Coordinates Now Captain..this world of Skartaris is NOT recommended as the world is marked as uncivilized. Do not say you have not been warned human..”

 

 

Satellite Warp GIFWelcome To Skartaris….

Warlord toys

 

Begin Transmission: Oct 26 2015

Founded in the 1940s, Remco Industries, Inc. was a toy company  best known at the time for toys of the late 1950s and 1960s, like the Johnny Reb Cannon, Mighty Matilda Atomic Aircraft Carrier. “Every Boy Wants a Remco Toy…And So Do Girls!” screamed the Remco mission statement! Their time on top of the toy world was short-lived and by the early 1980s Remco was fighting to find their niche in the lucrative Action Figure Boom of the 1980s. Franchises like Masters Of The Universe, Super Powers, Star Wars, GI Joe, and WWF Wrestlers were big hits on the Toys shelves.

Remco entered the lucrative toy market with a thud in 1980 with their line of Universal Monsters Figures. Using a license they picked up in their formative years, Remco tried to strike with recognizable Movie Monster toys. The toys were decent, poorly articulated but a collector’s item now in the 2000’s and yes I had some and in their prime these were pretty darn cool!

Universals Monster Collection

 

  • In 1981 Remco made a stab at hot TV property The Dukes of Hazard.  Yeeeeee Haaa! I loved me some Dukes and these figures of the Good Ole Boys were awesome. These figures used the better style articulation of the soon to be classic GI Joe figure model consisting of joints and a swivel body held together with a rubber band! The Dukes were cool! I was lucky enough to have the General Lee, Bo, Luke, and Boss Hog!! (When it was politically okay to say that!)

My General Lee Collection 1

In 1982 Sgt. Rock figures for DC comics were released from Remco. I was a long time DC comics fan and loved Sgt. Rock comics but I did not have the good fortune to even see any of these figures. I had only seen them in ads in my favorite DC Comic books and I wanted them!! Sadly not one of these ever made it in my collection. I would have loved to have a Sarge figure run a campaign against Cobra with my Joe’s back in the early 80s!

 

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REMCO Warlord Toy ad 3

 

  • Then came the Warlord collection in 1982. Even though I maintained several Warlord Comics in my collection I was never a fan of the character or the title.  I WAS however a fan of the art work, and the damn cool look of the character. Like the Sarge..his collection of action figures did not grace the shelves of my local Woolco, Chain Store or even Dalfens Mall. My home town obviously did not partner well with Remco. The above ad always caught my attention and it was only with the advent of the interwebs was this toy hunter able to finally see what these real figures looked like outside of the carefully drawn versions from the comic print ad.

 

Several of the characters from The Warlord comics became action figures in Remco’s action figure line called “Lost World of The Warlord” . The line included figures like The Warlord himself (Travis Morgan) along with other DC Alum like Arak, Hercules (DC’s Version not to be confused with Marvels Avenger), Deimos, Machiste, and Mikola Rostov.

REMCO Warlord Collection

For those of us who have no idea who or what the hell this Warlord character is..here is your ten second catch up..Warlord first appeared in a series by DC Comics called 1st Issue Special Issue (#8 To be exact!) in November of 1975. 1st Issue Special was unique as it gave the comic buying world a chance to see new characters in their own solo comic without the risk of making a  solo series. Basically it was their audition to the grand stage..or the spinner rack for that matter. Warlord graduated to his own book the following year as Warlord #1 debuted and went on to a very nice 133 issue run ending in 1988!

 

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Warlord was born in a 1970s worlds previously envisioned by the likes of Edgar Rice Buroughs (Tarzan)  and Robert E Howard (Conan The Barbarian), and the visionary work of the legendary Frank Frazzetta. All three creators influenced the birth of the Warlord character as they wrote and illustrated a genre of savage lands and worlds filled with sword and sorcery as the world knew it in the 1970s. Warlord was not your typical barbarian..this character had something special about him..

1st Issue Special Warlord

The Warlord was a character named Travis Morgan who was a Vietnam veteran airplane pilot who inadvertently steers his plane through the Earths crust to a brand new Lost World thus beginning the saga of the Warlord. It bears mentioning long time Green Arrow artist Mike Grell was the writer/artist who created the Warlord character taking the artistic reigns through issue #52 (1982) and ending his writing duties with issue #71 (1983) giving him his definitive look. Usually clad in some form of white grab and his winged war helmet Warlord didn’t play games…this war vet wasnt afraid of this Lost World as he packed a special weapon..not a typical sword..but a .44 Automag Pistol!

 

Warlord REMCO

As Warlord navigates this new Savage land he is joined by the ever scantily clad Tara, Machiste, Shakira (Not the singer!) Mariah a handy scientist and years later his daughter Jennifer Morgan.

 

Warlord and Friends via Cosplayers!

                                                Warlord and Friends via Cosplayers!

 

Battling enemies such as the demonic sorcerer Deimos and a host of other basic Sword and Sorcery archetypes was Warlords mission. Surprisingly only one of the above cast of main characters received the action figure treatment…but we did get …

 

Hercules REMCO Figure

Hercules?? The Hercules figure is based on the Hercules Unbound Comics title by DC in 1975 created by Gerry Conway.  Like many things produced in that time he exists in a Post Apocalyptic world like many in the Jack Kirby era. This version of Hercules somewhat tied into the existing Kirby title Kamandi. Unlike Marvels version of the classic Hercules with the beard and brown short hair DC went with a more unique version of the character with long black hair and a notably absent beard! I always wondered where this character came from and was not familiar with the Hercules Unbound title. Looking back the title was short-lived lasting only 12 issues but an interesting fact is that it contained early works of Walt Simonson and one of my personal DC favorites Jose Luis Garcia Lopez!

Hercules 1Hercules Unbound

Apparently this character was not popular with the DC upper brass after failing to garner an audience. This version of Hercules was erased from DC History when it was discovered his existence was merely a dream.However the mess that is the DC Multiverse actually later changed that concept again bringing the character back…only to be annihilated in Crisis On Infinite Earths..Poor DC Hercules!! As with everything DC, Hercules would AGAIN be brought back again in another form during the insanely boring War Of The Gods crossover by John Byrne and even the classic armor from the Unbound series made its return. Confused? Me too.  Eitherway..Remco did release the above very cool Remco Action Figure !

ARAK REMCO

Something about Arak God Of Thunder always caught my eye!! Arak began as a not so subtle nod to Conan the Barbarian. The spin on this character was that he was a Native American hero unlike stereotypical versions seen during the time (I am talking to YOU Apache Chief!!) He was intelligent, did not speak in broken english and was a true badass! Araks first appeared in the pages of Warlord #48 as a special insert comic, as was the rage by DC during this time! Remember kids Teen Titans, Night Force and Captain Carrot all came out of these free inserts so these were awesome!! Arak debuted in his own Roy Thomas written title Arak The Son Of Thunder in Sept. 1981 and went on to a classic 50 issue run with DC!

ARAK 1

The figure showcased above his debut comic shows off their blatant attempt to create a Conan knock off. This look did not last long in the comics and Arak undertook a massive visual change adopting a more traditional Native American stereotypical fringed garb and hair style. Not sure what brought this on but something tells me his likeness was uncomfortably too close to Marvels Conan that other factors may have pressured this change. I’ll have to ask Roy Thomas on that one!!

Arak 16

Many fans may ask..”Hero, who in the blue hell is Arak..and why should I care”  Well here is your ten second catch history lesson! Stay with me on this or just skip to the next paragraph. Arak was the Son of He-No The Thunder God. He took over his fathers mantel after his father was killed in a battle with a Serpent God. He realized that a young Arak was in mortal danger and saved him from harm, a move that ended up eventually killing Arak’s father. He-No had arranged for Arak to be sent out into the waters in a canoe away from the deadly reaches of his enemies. He is later discovered and adopted by Vikings who raise him to adulthood and teaching him all the Viking Battle techniques! Arak now in adulthood, goes on many “Conan” like adventures early in the run of the title but the a creative shift brought about many more science fiction elements like adventures involving demons, serpents, Gods and even Time Travel. One curious thing about both Hercules and Arak was that both characters did NOT appear in the pages of Warlord. So their inclusion in the Warlord action figure line was curious or tells us how little character depth there was in the Warlord franchise that was actually marketable.

Deimos REMCO

Good guys are only as good as their rogues gallery. Deimos was the main foil to Warlord in his core title! He was the Master of Black Magic but Deimos had little depth and was a generic basic villain whose main goal was to rule Warlords land of Skataris. Deimos is actually killed multiple times by Travis Morgan and manages to come back to life with some help from Black Magic several times until he is finally beheaded by The Warlord himself and finally put to rest… Interesting about this figure collection was Remco’s attempt to make these figures very close to the Masters Of The Universe collection. The figures have a generic body with the same crouched stance of the MOTU collection. Check out Deimos cardboard backer it actually says “Plays with Warrior Beasts, Masters Of The Universe, and Blackstar and other 5 1/2 inch action figures!

Machiste REMCO

Remco was not reinventing the wheel with the Warlord collection. This was a very real attempt to cash in on Matells success of He-Man and Company. The character molds were used multiple times after that with other Remco sets. Machiste was another one of Warlord companions..the only one of two of his legit comrades from the Warlord Comic Book Series! I still find it very strange they populated this toy line with only 50% actual Warlord related toys? Either way Machiste met the Warlord as both met were held captive on a Slave ship. Both men fought their way to freedom and from then on Machiste was by The Warlord’s side defending Skartaris from the Evils of Deimos.

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It is unusual that Remco selected this look for the Machiste character as his look very early in his run as a character (He debuted in Warlord #2!) visual changed dramatically. Fans of Warlord know Machiste as “the guy with the Spike-ball hand”. I would have liked to see what the thought process at Remco creative that went into the character selections this line! This would be my guess for this one toy in the collection that still sits in a thousand cases in a Remco warehouse somewhere. I may be wrong. If you were a Machiste fan and had this toy..write a comment at the bottom of this page and I will retract that last statement. Moving on..

Mikola REMCO

 

Then there is Mikola the second “Friend” Remco selected to play with the Warlord action figure line. Mikola Rostov is a handy swordsman who joins Warlord on his battles in the Lost Land but has a very unique ability…hes a Werewolf! His action figure already has him in his transformed state thankfully. The Warlord characters for the most part were not reissued with the exception of the Warlord himself who has at least two more (If not more!!) action figure incarnations and its no surprise. Bottom line the Warlord collection was a thinly veiled version of the Masters Of the Universe collection but it amazes me how little known and collected these were.

 

Warlord Insert Comic REMCO

Remco very creatively partnered with the fine folks at DC to produce a free giveaway insert comic book to bundle with the toys. This was an idea stolen completely from the Masters Of The Universe collection who paired their original collection with very similar comics to give back story to their toys. The Remco books worked a little different as barely any of the characters were seen as main stream and had literally zero marketing push with the exception of two to three well placed comic ads as seen above. Literally this giveaway were many kids first..and last look at the world of The Warlord and friends. The comic however did serve a purpose as it unified all the different character worlds and brought ALL the characters together

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A rare catalog ad for the Lost World collection and Warrior Beasts. Interesting about this ad is that it shows the very rare Playset and war team sets!! Source: PlaidStallions.com

REMCO wasnt done! Another spin off set figures (Free of DC License fees!! Smart move Remco!!) included..  set of Warrior Beast figures to “Play” with the Warlord collection. See if you can pick out a Skeletor and Beast Man knock off in that mix? The others in the set look like someone raided the Dollar store and glued random Dinosaur heads on He-Man bodies. One point here includes the fact that the same molds used for Warlord and The Wrestling Toys were re-purposed again here!

Warrior Beasts

 

Gecko, Snake-man, Craven, Skull Man, Skull Face, Wolf Warrior, and Hydraz. The funny thing about these toys is that a couple of these even made it to the real lost world of the toy shelves in my home town!! Especially the Skull guy. Take notice on the photo above of the Warrior beasts the infamous Skull-Man is on the bottom left..but on the bottom right is Skull Face!! Yes they used the exact SAME FIGURE AND PUT A NEW HEAD on the mold!! The Skull Face figure is a direct no bones rip off of Skeletor complete with hood and all. Remco must have been happy that Mattel didnt consider them active competition.

 

"Hey..This guy look just like SKULL FACE..." Said Nobody.

“Hey..This guy looks just like SKULL FACE…” Said Nobody.

Someone at Mattel I think had a funny bone as a very Remco like toy was released in the Masters line at the end of its tenure..I present Scare Glow…hmmmm…lol.Familiar? Scare Glow would definately “Play With” the Warrior Beasts line!

 

ScareGlow

Next Remco jumped the Shark from DC to their main competition Marvel Comics!! The result was as you would expect..lackluster.. I present Crystar: The Crystal Warrior..

 

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In 1982-83 Remco paired with Marvel to produce Crystar Action Figures. I was a fan of Marvels Crystar: Crystal Warrior Comic Series and I even remember picking up the guy at the far right with the pointy fingers!! I was so happy to find these toys at a discount store on a trip to a town an hour away from my home I didnt care that I didnt get Crystar!! This was an early attempt by Marvel to jump into the figure market through Remco! It was a dud as was the comic book series that is still fondly remembered but lasted a sad 11 issues.

Conan Remco

  • 1984 brought Remco’s Conan Action Figure line.  If you thought that the Warlord toys were almost too similar to the Masters Of The Universe Collection from Mattel the Conan series is possibly WORSE!! As a little bit of background He-Man himself was meant to be a Conan series as it was originally planned..however with licensing issues and deadlines Mattel went on to create a new property with He-Man and Company. Remco however looked at this flopped deal like printing money. Would this be Remco’s victorious first win in the Toy Market!!??

  • As fate would have it…No. Apparently kids were more than happy with Masters Of The Universe and as a result Conan came off looking like a rip off despite the fact that He-Man was actually designed with Conan in mind!! Did you know He-Mans original concept had black hair!!

 

Remco not to be denied continued to try licensed toy properties this time partnering with Archie/Red Circle Comics to produce The Mighty Crusaders figure line!!

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I loved the comic book line by Archie mainly due to the fact that they were so rare to buy in my home town. A comic shop would sometimes yield a Crusaders title or two. Even during a scattered trade I would unearth a copy of the Fly..or The Web..or even The Shield!! These characters were cool and very under appreciated so I am glad to showcase the rare Remco figure collection below!!

Crusaders

In 1985 Remco struck again! With the WWF and MTV partnering, Wrestling had become a very hot property! Wrestlemania had just been born and Hulkamania had exploded all over TV sets! WWF and LJN had created their own Wrestling Superstars line of toys and were very successful. Remco wanted in on the action. They hooked up with prominent competition to the WWF, the American Wrestling Association (AWA) . The line boasted and remains popular to this day as it showcased early figures of the Road Warriors, Ric Flair, Shawn Micheals, The Freebirds, and Rick Martel. These figures are highly sought after by collectors and can generate a great deal of money in good condition.!! As well..the line used the molds for Warlord and Conan again! Remco got good mileage out of their early designs!

 

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Other great Remco toys included!

Everyone remembers the Masters Of The Universe Collection but some of those fans rarely remember the heroes from the Lost world. Warlord and his gang were indeed heavily “Inspired” by He-Man and friends and did not sell anywhere near the toys that Mattel did of the back of the mighty Eternian but its fun to look back at their biggest imitator! Not sure how flattered He-Man was with Warlord though?

 

SBTU Contunies

Heroes, back to the command deck we are about to lock in coordinates for our next stop…to a Galaxy far far Away..*Hint Hint* Dont forget Super-Blog Team Up Returns as well in December of this year with a theme that many readers of the Satellite will love. Take care..we will see you in another time..and place.

Hero Out..

Transmission Ended…

 

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The mighty S.B.T.U. has returned and welcome back heroes to our sixth official event! For those new to Super-Blog Team Up, welcome to a blog experience like no other. For those faithful out there..a hearty WELCOME BACK!! As you all know the S.B.T.U. are a collective of like-minded comic book bloggers/podcaster’s who have come together to save blog readers from the boring abyss of the blogosphere. The team comes together quarterly to each take a turn putting our unique spin on a singular topic!

This time around its everyone’s favorite topic.. TOP TEN LISTS! Don’t worry there will be no bait clicking here.All lists will be contained within one page of each blog..no clicking each number of the list to get to number one!! Well enough formality…you are now on-board the Super-Hero Satellite. We ask that you strap in tight..this Satellite is equipped with the technology for time travel. Todays destination will be the 80s and in the offices of DC Comics! We present the Top Ten 1980s DC Comics that were cancelled before their time.

Begin Transmission: May 6th 2015

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10: Ambush Bug: Poor Irwin Shwab a down on his luck shlem. His friends Arg Yle The sock and Cheeks The Wonder Toy, were companions to Bug who was a man with a mental condition who thought he was a superhero. Irwin had the ability to teleport with a device inside a green insect like skin suit he found. Ambush Bug was an intentionally a comedic character who gathered quite a following in the mid 80s. He popped up in a number of titles and was the DC universes very own nuisance. After a one shot special and two mini series, Ambush Bug drifted into obscurity as fast as he entered the DCU. He would re-appear out of the blue several times more but the honeymoon was over. The comedic aspect of these books would not fit in with the new direction of DC today…however in the 80s..this was comic gold. Ambush Bug was not a case of cancellation but rather a case of what was not meant to be. After the strong reaction to his mini series, the Bug was primed for a solo series debut, however with shifts in creative at DC and changes in the comic book landscape..poor Ambush was simply shelved and not revisited. Ambush Bug remains a soft spot in my heart as it was on a trip as a kid to the “Big City” that I visited a local Comic Book Store and purchased my first Ambush Bug issue (Son Of Ambush Bug #1) along with an issue of the Direct Only Legion Of Super-Heroes #1 Baxter Series!! It was also on this day that I passed on a book that the comic store owner told me was great..Watchmen #1. Who wanted that right? Especially at cover price…Besides it had a stupid cover. Yikes..what was I thinking!! Hindsight my friends..

 

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9. Night Force: In 1982 the comics industry Horror market had, with all intents and purposes, died. Hits like Tomb Of Dracula had expired and interest in the genre had waned. So it came as a surprise when Marv Wolfman of New Teen Titans fame decided he wanted to do a new horror title which would be a hard sell to DC or any company at that time. Wolfman convinced DC and along with Horror master artist Gene Colan, they went to work on this new horror concept, Night Force. It was cool because it avoided going to the cliche well by not going with classic horror movie monsters (Like Dracula) and they created a new group of Horror characters. It centered around a sorcerer Baron Winters, who played the puppet master to a team of Supernatural Demon Hunters. They tracked the Supernatural in what ever place or time it existed. Winters could send his team back in time or where ever the threat may appear. The Night Force cast was not consistent (One of the knocks on the series) and the series rotated members in and out which always kept the book fresh. The high hopes that Wolfman preached did not add up to sales on the newsstand. The cancellation was based on early direct sales numbers which Wolfman contested. The Newsstand sales had come in much later, the book had actually performed pretty well. It was too late as the book was sentenced to its death. I compel you to find these issues in a back issue bin somewhere as these books were ahead of its time. It was brought back (sans Gene Colan ..which was the heart of the book IMO) twice, but the magic was not there. One cant help but think Night Force would make a great AMC or Netflix Series these days…you heard it here first kids!

 

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8. Vigilante: Screw the Punisher.In 1983, after the pending demise of Night Force, Marv Wolfman paired up with one of the  best artists in the industry, George Perez. Together they created a hard-hitting, very adult themed, violent book based loosely on a Golden Age western character of the same name. The Vigilante was an exercise in unevenness. Obviously inspired by Marvels Punisher, The Vigilante began his campaign of revenge following the murder of his family by a gang of Mobsters. Adrian Chase, was a successful District Attorney hell-bent on seeking vengeance for his family. The Vigilante was different in the sense that he didnt “Have it all together” sometimes his violence escalated into killing the innocent. He even gave up his identity for a period of time with two others taking up his mantel. When he made the call to return to the hood..the sad part was it was too late. *Spoilers* The Vigilante spiraled into a dark place and went on a killing spree that included bad guys, police, and whoever go in his way. Upon realizing his mistake he was taken over by overwhelming grief. The Vigilante took his own life which at the time was groundbreaking. This book was overlooked by many which is a shame as some writing credits went to Alan Moore and Paul Kupperberg. This was also one of the early Direct Market only books which many newsstand fans may have totally missed out on. If you like great writing..and you like the Punisher, then read the book that set the bar for violence in the 80s!

 

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7. Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew : I loved Harvey Comics and I loved Funny Animal Comics! DC was not exactly known for their kids books…but boy they went out and delivered one of the best one that was ever published. Like a Heavy Metal band writing an amazing ballad, DC swung for the fences making one of the first Super-Hero Funny Animal teams!! I grabbed every Captain Carrot book I could find with my allowance money of a very rich 20 bucks. (Thats was BIG money in the 80s as a kid people!!) The Zoo Crew was the funny animal version of the JLA..and this kid was hooked. You had Captain Carrot (Superman), FastBack (The Flash), Alley Cat Abra (Zatanna) Yankee Poodle (Captain America meets Wonder-Woman) Rubber Duck (Elongated man/Plastic man) and Of course the Metal Pig…PIG IRON (The Thing meets the Hulk!) Interestingly enough..the Zoo Crew as they were called, often crossed over with regular DC Cannon. Cap met with Superman several times and even battled Starro just like the original JLA!! Of course after a great start and hot sales, Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew became lost in the shuffle. The final nail was driven into the coffin of the era of the funny animal books. Cap of course would return in several cameos throughout the years but I am still looking forward to the day a full on Zoo Crew book is relaunched!! To Read more about the Zoo Crew, the Satellite has covered these crazy super animals in detail..check out this link!!

https://charltonhero.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/super-blog-team-up-4-prequel-capes-and-carrots/

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 6. Manhunter: Anyone remember Marvels Secret Invasion? You know, its the one where The Skulls infiltrated The Marvel Universe and stole a number of heroes identities. No one could be trusted. They could be a Skrull!! Well anyone who collected comics back in the mid 80’s knows of a little DC Comics Crossover event known as Millennium. The Green Lantern’s old nemesis, The Manhunters, infiltrated the DC Universe long before any Skrull! Once again..No one could be trusted! Manhunter’s literally took the place of many people in the DC Universe. Well as successful as Marvels Secret Invasion series was..Millenium was equally unsuccessful. DC seemingly produced a great crossover until it went off the rails at the end as its conclusion. It was notorious for spawning a brand new Super Team..The New Guardians. Sounds great right! Guess what..they absolutely SUCKED. Anyways..On to this Manhunter Solo Series. This Manhunter was yet another public defender named Mark Shaw, who as well was disillusioned with the justice system who sought out a mysterious underground sect of crime fighters called the Manhunter’s. Historically the Manhunter’s were a group of crime fighting Androids who’s mantra was “No One Escapes The Manhunters” . Eventually the Manhunter androids would go too far in Shaw’s mind as they attemoted to take over the Guardians and destroy the DC Universe!  Shaw would escape their ranks and go on to don a Ninja influenced uniform and spent his time kicking ass. I will admit back in the 80s I was a fan of Ninjas..and while this book comes off as total **** today..in its time..in its place..I thought Manhunter’s were the coolest thing ever!!

 

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5. Blue Devil: When you collect comics one of the best thing about the hobby was trading! Cashing in a few of your undesirables for some brand new books that you wanted. One mans garbage is another man treasure…as was the case on this particular trade. While I cant remember what the book I traded, I fondly remember grabbing Blue Devil #2. Blue Devil was brand new to me at the time and just looked damn cool!! He was a muscled up Blue skinned, Big Horned…uhhh well Devil! He wore a big giant collared singlet and toted a super charged pitch fork. Well while it may sound terrible..Blue Devil was charming. The title didn’t take itself seriously and there was a lot of self parody. You better believe the rouges gallery were one for the ages. The Devil combated the likes of Shockwave, Godfrey Goose, Roadmaster, The Green Gargoyle and more. I always though the fact Blue Devil was never a member of  Keith Giffens Bwah Ha Ha version of the Justice League was a missed opportunity. I think DC mishandled his return to the New52 most recently, making him a dark Demon Hunter who killed off Demons with his Trident Of Lucifer!! I  cant help but think this book deserved better! In the right comedic hands this book could return or he would make a great accent to a team!! By The way…he was good enough to be on the Justice League Unlimited TV series so that has to stand for something…right??!!

 

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4. Hex: The Future was never the same when Jonah Hex was teleported from 1875 to the year 2050 with guns a blazin!! I may not be joined by many on this but, this was my all time favorite incarnation of Hex! From the gunslingin wild west to the post nuclear Mad Max inspired dark industrial future, Hex took on a Futuristic Batman, Giant metal Robots, a Chain Saw wielding crazy cyborg and even fought his own girlfriend Stiletta! The book lasted a mere 17 issues due to poor sales and a horrendous creative switch late in the series. Mark Texiera was the titles original artist and visually made the book look and feel cant miss!! However..Keith Giffen (Who has been mentioned several times in this article) at the time had adapted completely an abstract noir art style that literally put the fork in the title. It was THAT bad. While this series gets no love on the web..this reader would insist on the HEX title returning for one more run! Hey,there’s a new Mad Max movie coming out this year…its time for Hex to return back to good ole 2050!! I go into extreme detail on this title and more in one of my favorite Satellite posts “Hex Style”. https://charltonhero.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/hex-style/

 

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3. Booster Gold: On what Earth did a slick talking, Super Jock Celebrity Thief, from the year 25th Century get cancelled? No justice I say! Booster Gold was originally portaryed as a disgraced character from the 25th Century who was caught cashing in on Football Games that he was playing and intentionally throwing for his own personal financial gain. Well one night as he was working his new blue-collar security job (After being fired from his career in disgrace!) in a Space Museum Micheal Jon Carter would steal everything he needed to get his life back! Lifting a slick magnetic Gold Power Suit…one Legion Flight Ring and even a Force Field belt..he was transformed into the Futures #1 Superhero Celebrity..whether they were ready for him or not! With his Robotic companion Skeet’s, and as well his Time Traveling buddies like DC’s father of Time, Rip Hunter, Booster was set for sure success upon his solo debut in 1986 . With Dan Jurgen’s at the helm Booster lasted a mere 25 issues and his last issue came out during the ill fated Millennium crossover. With these characters and creators on the books side, the character had unlimited potential.While Booster was highly positioned in big events several times over the years and even received his own book again, he can never seem to keep readers at the door. This is DC’s most underrated and misused character and Booster deserves better. Booster was given a lease on life after the cancellation when mastermind Keith Giffen (I am still mad at him for ruining Hex!!) used him for his infamous Bwah Ha Ha Justice League book where he became a comedic buddy cop team with…well he happens to be next..Its Blue Beetle!!

 

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2. Blue Beetle: Years ago companies like Charlton Comics were in an industry Turf war to stay relevant in the comics landscape of the 60s and 70s. Charlton had Marvels former number one artist Steve Ditko,fresh off his run on The Amazing Spider-Man. Ditko was famous in Charlton Editorial Offices for churning out book after book ,hoping something would stick..well one that didn’t interestingly enough but would be brought to life years later in the DC Universe was Ditkos Ted Kord..The Blue Beetle! No not that Jamie Reyes crap..Ted Kord damn it! Beetle debuted around the same time that DC was trying a bunch of new titles in 1986 for a minimal 24 issue run. Like the aforementioned Booster Gold, DC would have plans for Booster and Beetle in the new 1980s mega popular Justice League where they became the new dynamic duo of slapstick. Both characters were reborn in a new comedic light but did not receive their own team book at the time when they were white-hot which was a critical mistake. So much has happened to both characters that this book would not make sense to reunite them without the pre 52 history intact. There’s still hope DCs newest crossover Convergence can fix some of the lost magic!

 

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1. Batman and The Outsiders: Batman shouted “I’ve had ENOUGH of your two-bit JUSTICE LEAGUE…from now on these are my NEW PARTNERS!!” as he quit the JLA on the front cover of one of my favorite all time comic books….Batman and The Outsiders #1.

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I was a HUGE Batman fan as a kid. It’s all I wanted to do was role play the dynamic duos adventures with my best friends. Of course Batman was a key member of the Justice League as well and I loved that he was part of a bigger team. It always seemed that the Caped Crusader was held back in the JLA…so when I heard he was quitting and making his own team I couldn’t wait to see who this new team would be! In 1983 in a special insert edition within the pages of The Brave and The Bold the Outsiders debuted! The shape shifting Metamorpho, was joined by the electric cool Black Lightning, Sword wielding Katanna, the dreamy Halo, and earth shattering Geo-Force whom along with Batman himself made up this unconventional team of heroes. I loved them…they were not mainstream but they were my Super Group! After 32 issues Batman left the group and the characters went on their separate ways. The book was never the same… The Outsiders have been brought back to life several times in many failed efforts but Batman and the Original Outsiders never reformed. (Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 2 came close!!) It was one of the lost Gems of the original DC ..one I would love to be reborn in the New52 era. Get on it DC!!

End Transmission…

 

Well..thats all folks...I would love for those who agree or disagree with this list let me know what YOUR picks are below in the comments section. My list is just that..MY LIST..it is by no means meant to be a definitive list created from years of data and opinion. Maybe you like it…maybe you dont..but you have a right to be wrong..lol. Anyways..lets not stop there…as promised the team has loaded the deck with ton more of awesome Top Ten lists..but dont take my word for it…take it away team!!

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There are plenty more Top Ten Lists to go…Please Visit the REST of the Super-Blog Team Ups Family Of Blogs!!

 

1. Longbox Graveyard: Top 10 Super-Dogs – http://wp.me/p1yye7-2IH

2. The Unspoken Decade: Top 10 Avengers Moments – http://theunspokendecade.com/2015/05/04/sbtu-presents-top-10-biggest-avengers-moments-of-the-1990s/

3. In My Not So Humble Opinion: Top 10 Avengers Sketches – https://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/top-ten-avengers-sketches/

4. Legion Of Super-Bloggers: Top 10 Who’s Who Legion Entries – http://legionofsuperbloggers.blogspot.com

5. The SuperHero Satellite: Top 10 DC Comics Titles That Ended Before Their Time- https://charltonhero.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/super-blog-tea…ore-their-time/.

6. Flodo’s Page: Top 10 Green Lantern Ring-Slings …That Don’t Appear In Modern Continuity – http://flodospage.blogspot.ca/2015/05/top-10-green-lantern-ring-slings-that.html?spref=tw

7. Fantastiverse: Top 10 Avengers Greatest Super Battles – http://fantastiverse.com/ Coming Soon!

8. Mystery V-Log: Top 10 Avengers Covers – youtu.be/6cX1THVk3-k NEW!!

9. Idol Head Of Diablou: Top 10 Most Important Martian Manhunter Villains – http://idol-head.blogspot.com/2015/05/podcast-top-10-most-important-martian.html

10. Marvel Superheroes Podcast: The Top 10 Avengers (An Age of Ultron Tie-In)

http://marvelshp.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-top-10-avengers-age-of-ultron-tie-in.html

11. Chasing Amazing: Top 10 Favorite Moments Of The “Chase” – http://www.chasingamazingblog.com/2015/05/06/super-blog-team-up-top-10-moments-of-chasing-amazings-chase/

12. Between The Pages: Top 10 Wackiest DC Comics Covers –

http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2015/05/top-10-wackiest-dc-comics-covers.html

13. Bronze Age Babies: The Top 10 Bronze Age Characters (x2!) – http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2015/05/super-blog-team-up-top-10-bronze-age.html

14. Too Dangerous For A Girl!: Ten Best Super-Heroic Hairstyles –

http://dangermart.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/super-blog-team-up-top-ten-worst-heroic.html

15. Vic Sage Via The Retroist: TBD – Top Ten Comic Character Deaths

http://www.retroist.com/2015/05/06/super-blog-team-up-6-top-tens/

16. I’m The Gun: The 10 Best All-Star Squadron Covers!

http://imthegun.blogspot.ca/2015/05/super-blog-team-up-10-great-all-star.html

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Welcome Back Heroes..a huge thanks to everyone who joined us for the last round of Super-Blog Team Up.  Hopefully if you were new to The Super-Hero Satellite you like what you saw and will once again join our mighty crew to race back into the glorious 1980s for more Retro adventures. Satellite File: In 1981 Mattel Toy Company developed the first glimpse of the Masters Of the Universe Toy-line. Their plan however would blaze trails. It would be the first show based on a toy-line and TV series that would air in unison with each other.

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Begin Transmission: Feb. 20 2015

I may have been one of the biggest Masters Of the Universe in my home town. I had a great collection of figures, vehicles , Play-Sets and animals. I was a big He-Man fan and the He-Man and The Masters of the Universe animated series was a staple in my home. I digested all the MOTU as I could. I devoured the television animated series from Filmation. To this day when I see the scrolling Filmation logo and chime… it means He-Man! I loved the Masters of The Universe comic books from DC and Marvels STAR Imprint. The Marvel Masters Of The Universe title maybe the single best Masters title out there and was 100% faithful to the source material of the cartoon! Plus my figure collection could stand up to anyone else’s in my home town. I thought I knew it all about the original Masters Of The Universe collection. I knew about every character..episode or comic book. If there was a trivia competition I would have bet the farm on myself…To Clarify my knowledge stopped at the original series. After its cancellation in the late 80s I did not keep up my level of fanaticism for the newer updated series in the 90s-2000s.

 

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That said..I knew my stuff…that is until I heard of He-Ro: Son Of He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe?? You may as well wonder what I am talking about. After the cancellation of He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe Series a prequel(She-Ra: The Princess Of Power not forgotten either!!) was in production without He-man in the lead role! Confused? I think its time we fill our data banks with knowledge. He-Ro originated as the proposed lead character of a new series “The Powers Of Grayskull”. At the very end of the Masters Of The Universe toy-line a prototype action figure of a brand new character called He-Ro…who at this point was NOT meant to be He-Mans son..but rather a relative who was not the most powerful man in the universe like He-Man..but rather the most powerful WIZARD in the universe…weird huh?

 

 

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“Powers Of Grayskull” would be a direct prequel to the He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe series that in the mid eighties, had reached its life expectancy. He-Ro was a figure prototype created to showcase the new lead star of the show..the Wizard, He-Ro. Interestingly enough poor He-Ro had two specific origins both totally unrelated. The first of which was as a direct ancestor of He-Man. The Powers of Grayskull show itself would be based in “Preternia” the precursor to what would become Eternia….essentially it was its prehistoric predecessor. It promised to deliver the complete back story to He-Man and the entire Masters Of The Universe lineage. All He-Mans secrets would be revealed. Like He-man himself, He-Ro was the secret identity of the man known as “Gray” would hold his hand to his chest and utter the words “Magic & strength tempered by heart..I stand For Peace “ and would transform into the “Mightest Wizard In The Universe”..He-Ro!

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The line was cancelled before many of these properties went into the development stage. The 1987 Mattel Toy Catalog published pictures of the proposed toys from the “Powers of Grayskull” line, including an action figure of He-Ro. Three of the dinosaur toys from the line actually made it to stores, and the two “giant” action figures saw release as exclusives in Italy, but He-Ro was never released as a toy.

 

Powers Of Grayskull figures

Though much has been speculated concerning the character in the intervening years by fans of the He-Man franchise, He-Ro remains as much a mystery today as he was in 1987, when a perplexed He-Man was forced to ask, “But who is he?” The show died before it was green lit and the concept was seemingly aborted..that is until Lou Shiemer, the original shows producer ,took ownership in creating a brand new sequel a few years later that would be known as HE-RO: Son Of He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe.

 

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This time the rules changed. In fact everything about He-Ros origin was washed away and now He-Ro was now actually He-Mans adopted son rather than a descendant  and did NOT live in the Pre-Eternian age but rather after the events featured in the original Masters Of The Universe television cartoon series. As the story goes He-Ro was raised in the plush jungles of Eternia by an indigenous creature known as a She-Bearcat who found the child shivering in the jungle and took him in as her own and raised him until his teenage years. He-Ro who took on the skills and senses of his jungle family could not only speak english but could communicate to the animals as well. He had heightened senses of speed, and smell and took on the acrobatic skills of his jungle friends and could swing through the jungle like an Eternian Tarzan. His animal mother passed on, as a result orphaning He-Ro to the Jungle once again. Meanwhile Adam , who as we all know as He-Man, is  for-told of the boy who would one day take his place as the holder of the Power Sword of Grayskull. He-Man climbs aboard his friend Battle Cat Kringer and summons his trusty friends Man At Arms and Orko and heads off on a blind quest to find this folklore legend “The Lost Child Of The Jungle”.

 

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The Wild Child is No Myth..

 

 

He-Man, after the events of MOTU TV Series had defeated Skeletor and his army, had married Teela and now reigned over Eternia as King and Queen. History of Pre-Eternia and several other concepts post TV series were seemingly dropped from cannon.What is interesting is that Shiemer had written an actual ending to the original animated series in which He-man with the help of The Sorceress not only defeated Skeletor and his goons but vanquished him off of Eternia in a frozen state never to be seen or heard from again..

 

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The Original Ending To Masters Of The Universe.

 

 

 

That is until Skeletor discovered a way to free himself of the spell of the Sorceress and He-Man. He then gathers his original army and begins a march upon Grayskull but not before hearing the tale of the Boy would be the new Most Powerful Man In The Universe..He-Ro..or at this point, the Lost Boy. Was this a mere legend? Could this possibly be true?…Parties in both good and evil camps could not risk the other finding out. So a parallel search begins with Skeletor and his army of thugs hunting for the same mystery child that He-Man and friends are searching for!! This potentially mythical “Wild Child” was now the crux behind the power struggle for Eternia.

 

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The BOSS is Back..

 

 

Skeletor’s hordes included some familiar faces such as his heavy Beast-Man, Evil-Lyn, the aquatic warrior Mer-Man (Who appeared to have taken on one of the most dramatic look changes) and Trap-Jaw (who literally does not resemble the mold of the original character!) Many more would be involved (not pictured) Such as ToungeLashor, Odar (Like Skunk face??), Missle -Toe, Evermean (a plant-based villain) and a metal toothed character named Saw Tooth.

 

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Skeletor’s army

 

Skeletor is first to actually find the Wild Child and begins poisoning his mind right away.  He tells him that He-Man and his friends being responsible for his mothers demise!!! Skeletor sets up shop on the top on the Mountains Of Fire (No Snake Mountain??) and sets a series of traps and obstacles in He-Mans path. Meanwhile Skeletor and the evil Sorceress Evil-Lyn have all but cast a spell over the Lost Child and are slowly weaning him to their dark intentions. He-Ro swears revenge on He-Man and his friends. He-Man and friends battle all of Skeletor’s hordes and manages to succeed in getting past the traps and enemies standing in the way of the child.

 

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“We Have The Power!!!”

 

 

Finally, an age-old rivalry is reborn as Skeletor and He-Man go to war one more time with the fate of the child hanging in the balance. Now aligned with Skeletor and his army, He-Ro finds out in short order that Skeletor is not what he says he is.  The Evil warrior brutally almost kills He-Ro’s bird friend, Craven while attempting to get to He-Man. The Wild Child lays his life on the line to defend He-Man and his friends and with all their forces combined, Skeletor and his army is driven away!! He-Man and the Eternian warriors return to his kingdom with the child. From there the boy is adopted by Adam and Teela and is named officially Dare. In an interesting note, by the age of 13 He-Ro is now resembling a hero he is able to seek the heroic transformation from Dare to He-Ro with the magical power sword bestowed to Adam years earlier. What is surprising is that only in circumstances of extreme situations He-Man and He-Ro cannot appear together..only one or the other can transform at a time. Only in dire times the dual transformations can occur as they share the power sword and repeating their individual transformation tagline and “We have the power!” .

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He-Ro would have lots of help defending his fathers Kingdom!

 

He-Ro, like He-Man in his prime was surrounded by a great supporting cast. Some familiar faces make up He-Ro’s new contingent of Eternian Defenders. He-Ro’s answer to He-Mans love interest Teela of course would be Kay-La. Like her mother she has an affection for strong men not weaklings like Dare. Joining the supporting cast would be Ram-Man, who was a carry over from the original MOTU cartoon. He is seen in a revised state here with improved armor. As an aside Ram-Man, was always one of my favorite original MOTU action figures!!

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Ram-Man, A crude but great figure from the original Masters Of The Universe line.

 

 

The cast included a couple of newer characters as well that would have been easy money for Mattel at the toy stores..Air bag and Forklift!! (Not so sure on the Air Bag name..but I digress.) With them as well would be a very “Metamorpho” (Editors note: Metamorpho is a classic DC comics Super-Hero) looking Man-E-Faces who like Ram-Man, was also a classic MOTU character re-imagined!! Of course old favorites like ORKO (Not pictured) would return as well!! This would be Eternia`s finest! So back to Dare and Kay-La..

He-ro Supporting cast

 

Dares love interest is very similar to He-Mans and Teelas, who, not coincidentally, was the Daughter of Man At Arms. Well looks like that runs in the family as Dare is paired with Kay-La, Man At Arms Niece to be taught the ways of the warrior. At first Kay-La thinks that this assignment is a pure inconvenience but grows to respect Dare. With a new cast of Heroes we are off to the races…this new version of He-Man was ready to hit the mass market…Toy companies would have had a new batch of MOTU to line the shelves of retailers all over the world..the classic Filmation Logo would have tinkled across the screen for another trip back to Eternia ..but it was not meant to be. The concept would go no further than Lou Shiemers “He-Ro and the Masters Of the Universe Bible”..and the project was permanently shelved when the production company DIC didnt express any further interest in developing the series. fans who want to read the complete details on this project by all means check out http://old.he-man.org/cartoon/exclusivefeatures/exclusive-heroseriesbible-intro.shtml for the complete production proposal!!

Our time on Eternia is almost done Heroes…it is time to head back to the iso-quarters of the Satellite and shut down the archives for a short time..until we return with the next installment of Super-Blog Team Up where we tackle…well..take a look for yourselves!!

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Take care Heroes..see you soon when the SBTU Returns for round 6!!

 

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End Transmission.

 

Satellite topper Supergirl

In 1984 the Superman movie franchise was in full force. Superman 3 was released the previous year (June 1983)  with yet another series about to debut in the Superman franchise..this time it was all about Supergirl. With the brand new 2015 Supergirl television series in production with CBS its worth a trip back to Supergirl’s first and only cinematic debut.

 

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Satellite upload archive..generate Supergirl 1984 Motion Picture and broadcast it on the video screens in the briefing chambers of the Satellite. Our team of Heroes today need to experience the magic of the forgotten Superman Family franchise blacksheep…Supergirl.

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Begin Transmission:

We live in the era of the Superhero movie here in the good old 2000’s. In the 70s and 80s there were various attempts at the Superhero genre on TV and silver screen. One movie series that broke the mold was the 1970s Superman: The Movie and its subsequent sequels. In an attempt to wring every drop from the lemon Warner studios was determined to make a spinoff series…one based on another member of Superman’s heralded comic book family…Supergirl! The DC Comics Supergirl motion picture was released in 1984 and directed by Jeannot Szwarc but still under the umbrella of the Salkinds who created the original 3 highly successful Superman movies! The franchise despite somewhat negative reviews to Superman three was a cash cow at the box office and surly Supergirl was going to be the next sure-fire hit! Right? Well it didn’t really work out that was. Actress Helen Slater played Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl of the doomed planet of Argo City. Slater not only looked the part but was actually very good in her role as Superman’s long-lost cousin. The film also boasted an all-star roster at the time with Faye Dunaway (Mommie Dearest, China Town) playing Supergirl’s nemesis Selena as well as screen and stage actor Peter O’Toole (Lawrence Of Arabia) as Zaltar. Christopher Reeves (Who played Superman in the previous three films in the Salkind series if you didn’t know.) was set to make a cameo in the movie and is even addressed during the course of the film but backed out due to personal commitments.  Even though Reeves was not able to make it the Salkind’s merged the Supergirl universe with the three previous Superman films by borrowing actor Marc McClure to reprise his role he made famous in the original Superman trilogy..Jimmy Olsen!

 

 

The film is notable for its very basic and silly plot that revolves around the story of Kara (Supergirl )who comes to earth in search of a very powerful cosmic tool known as the Omegahedron. This powerful device was her homes central source of power and in order to save her home world of Argo City. Kara must retrieve this device! As fate would have it the weapon is seized by the evil witch known as Selena (Dunaway) who uses the power of the Omegahedron to cast powerful spells on the weak-minded citizens of Earth. Meanwhile on her search for the powerful device Kara adopts the name Linda Lee and tries to cover her true alien nature by living amongst the humans undercover while looking for the all-powerful Omegahedron. She is accepted into an all girls school and even meets another member of the Superman’s family Lois Lanes younger sister..Lucy Lane! The plot thickens..if you will..when Kara falls in love with school groundskeeper Ethan..who is also begin seduced magically by Selena herself…thus begins a cosmic episode of Threes Company as both woman are caught in a love triangle. As Selena puts Kara into the Phantom zone to rid the Earth of Supergirl her plot backfires as Supergirls reverses the fight and is freed (By O’Toole character Zaltar) from her eternal purgatory of the Phantom Zone, regains her powers and stops Selena once and for all. With the Omegahedron, Kara bids goodbye to Ethan the love of her life and returns to Argo apparently just in time as the city comes back to life and order is restored!

 

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Now..you may ask..was this movie any good? Well lets chat about that. In the 80s I did not get the opportunity to see Supergirl in theater. Instead I rented it much later on its original VHS release on my handy-dandy top loading RCA Video Cassette Recorder. One of the local furniture store rented the VCR as well as three walls of VHS tapes. Two walls were VHS..one wall was for Beta releases. Beta was for those who do not know, a videocassette movie that was superior in quality but became one of those new techno gimmicks that didn’t capture an audience in the face of the cheaper more economical VHS/VCR combos! I digress..I had a VHS Player (VCR) and I had Supergirl to screen on my 27 inch color TV of which the brand escapes me.

 

 

 

I remember being underwhelmed at the time. Supergirl was more a love story than an all out action film like Superman 2! I found myself annoyed by Peter O’Toole, Zaltar. O’Toole looks bored and even homeless at times and this character simply sucks. as well as the love interest Ethan. Both characters fail on the screen and even Lawrence Of Arabia himself cannot save his part of the film. Some parts however are pure gold. Slater herself is charming and effective as Supergirl. As Reeves became the likeness of Superman that we all relate to..I firmly believed that Slater was able to do the same thing with Supergirl. Innocent and effective Slater looked believable in not only as the costumed hero but as the likable Linda Lane. As for Faye Dunaway , she was bashed for her acting in the film even receiving an official Raspberry nomination for her work as Selena. Through the lens of a child in the 80s Selena was effective and believable for a campy 80s movie villain. She owned the screen when she was on it but delivered her unfortunately scripted lines in the most effective way possible. Goes to prove you cannot out act a bad script. Dont trust my opinion..check out this great review by Youtuber Oliver Harper.

 

Would I recommend this movie? Of course I would..its part of the original attempts to bring Superheros to the big screen and it was a good shot at making it work. The special effects, particularly the flight scenes, which are crude by today,s standards, held up. As for the rest it is certainly comparable to the Superman franchise special. Supergirl is just bubblegum fun and if you have 5 bucks..go find it in a discount bin at a store that sells Blu-Ray or DVD. With that said…

“Computer are you able to scour the internet for a copy of the film?”

Computer: “Search Complete sir, displaying film now..

While it’s not a VCR…Veho is just as good. Grab some Popcorn and some Soda and enjoy The Supergirl movie..maybe just maybe there’s an old hole in the wall store that rents VHS tapes that may have a copy of this movie to enjoy exactly as I did..if you find one..tell em Hero sent ya..they will know what you mean!

 

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH SUPERGIRL
Watch SUPERGIRL THE MOVIE in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

 

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End Transmission…