Posts Tagged ‘Super-Hero Satellite’

 

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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!!

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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.

 

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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..

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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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Super-Blog Team Up has returned for its 5th installment bigger and better than ever. Multiple Blogs Unite Under One Banner, With One Topic, To Shatter the Blogosphere To Its Core! This time we have not only grown in size but rather have many more new ways to enjoy the S.B.T.U. through a plethora of multimedia, from our original Blog format, to V-Blog, to the Podcast arena..Super-Blog Team Up is back...this time we discuss Parallel Universes and Alternate Realities..The Super-Hero Satellite will be unleashing the multiple realities of Marvels STAR Comics line from 1984. The Satellite will go to familiar places such as Eternia (He-Mans home world as discussed in SBTU 4!!) to Thundaria, To The Moon Of Endor all the way to the Palace of Royal Roy..Strap in Heroes..its time to go back to a world created to print money and put smiles back on kids faces.Could these world possibly have ever truly ties into the Marvel Universe as we know it? The answer is YES!! So before Marvel relaunches this year..this is a celebration of a part of the old Marvel Universe that is often neglected..

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Welcome Back Heroes,

In 1984 I was just beginning my comic collecting venture and my collection was in its infancy. I had not yet come to terms with a defined favorites list outside of the usual suspects like Spider-Man, Batman and Archie. Every now and then something outside of these titles would rear its head in my collection as was the case with Harvey comics. Occasionally an issue of Ritchie Rich or Sad Sack and The Sarge would grace my book shelf and welcomed they were! Those not familiar with the comic publisher Harvey here is your 10 second catch up. In 1941 New York publisher Alfred Harvey created Harvey Comics, a company that found its legs in the licensing market. They were all about purchasing character rights from Paramount Pictures and Famous studios cartoon favorites such as Casper The Friendly Ghost, Mutt and Jeff and my personal favorite the comedy war book, Sad Sack to name a few. It would be their original characters that would be their eventual drawing card for years to come. Ritchie Rich, Hot Stuff, and Wendy The Witch would be among the company’s flagship books well upon till 1982. While the comics market itself was in flux, change was in the air as kids titles and things such as funny animal books, popularized in the 50s and 60s were out of vogue. The industry was preparing for a big change into books tailored for a more mature audience. The comics buying audience had seemingly moved on from kids books and was about to grew up as a result Harvey comics founder Alfred Harvey retired from publishing in 1982 and closed up shop behind him selling off some of Harvey’s properties. Marvel Comics expressed interest in buying up the rights to the Harvey properties and with talks sitting in limbo they decided to launch an entire brand separate from their own Marvel Universe proper..thus was born from the ashes of Harvey Comics..The Marvel STAR Comics Imprint!

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The STAR Comics Imprint model was not a new one..in fact it was the exact model devised by Harvey Comics in the 1940s. It would begin with the acquisition of licensed properties mainly from the exploding 1980s Cartoon Line Ups and Toyline’s at the time. (Satellite Cheap Plug..Read all about the Cartoon Explosion of the 80s as well as Hot toy properties of the 80s in link provided Super-Hero Satellite: R.I.P. Saturday Morning Cartoons.) The STAR line actually began with a One shot that parodied one of Marvels most popular titles, Marvel Tales. The Book, not yet under the STAR banner was the debut of the flagship character of the entire line..Peter Porker, The Spectacular SPIDER-HAM!!

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Marvel Tails acted as a test launch for the brand and was a trial run for the Spider-Ham character. One more licensed property would be used to launch the brand and one that would ironically not resurface after the launch… was popular 80s Cartoon show The Smurfs! These three apples high blue dwarf like creatures called Smurfs would officially be the first STAR imprint based property acquired by Marvel. (Smurfs never officially wore the STAR banner on its cover but were the first true grab for the imprint. The 1982-83 three issue Limited Series was directly based off of actual cartoon episodes as well as older foreign Smurfs publications. The importance of getting the Smurfs property cannot be understated..this would be the first of many HUGE acquisitions for the potential future of the STAR line.

Smurfs STAR

So it would begin in the July of 1984 (Cover Dated November 1984) STAR Comics would begin with yet another unusual title a 3 Issue Limited Series based on the Family Motion Picture The Muppets Take Manhattan.

STAR Comics Officially Debut!

It would officially debut the STAR Comics Imprint Logo in the Corner Box officially giving STAR Comics a beginning. It would be 5 months later that we would see what STAR Comics would actually look like! In an interesting choice of promotion, the original STAR Comics promos would feature their original characters over the upcoming licensed characters which would be Mammoth in scale! So the world was introduced to the likes of Planet Terry, Wally The Wizard, Top Dog. Spider-Ham also officially joined the fold as an ongoing character!

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Licensing up to this point had been a very profitable venture for Marvel with smash successes of the likes of GI Joe, Transformers, Smurfs and not so much with Starriors. (*Nothing wrong with Starriors gang!) A very unheralded toy and comic book! Starriors fans unite!! LOL..Okay forget that. Moving on..bottom line licensed properties made money so Marvel was willing to build an entire universe around it!!

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The line roared to life with a number of Hot properties five months later but stretched their debut over a two month period. Entry titles included Fraggle Rock, Heathcliff, Planet Terry and Strawberry Shortcake were released in the first month to a good reception. Month two launched The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Royal Roy and Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham

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Month two launched The Ewoks, Get Along Gang, Muppet Babies, Royal Roy and…my personal favorite of all the STAR Original core titles..

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Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham,,

Spider-Ham

Of Particular Interest to me in the entire line were the original characters so for anyone wondering what original characters that the STAR line created..well look no further..Satellite pull up the STAR file on the video wall for our Heroes to observe!

The original titles had all were “inspired” more than anyone would care to admit, however Marvel really did their homework to capture the genre. Below we discuss the STAR Originals, what they were about, and what their inspiration was.

Spider-Ham

Spider-Ham: The title was a straight up parody of Marvels lead franchise player Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. It was truly well done and the titled lampooned the real Amazing Spider-Man title very well but modified his origin like you would not expect. Peter Porker, you would expect to be a pig bitten by a Spider, but Marvel changed course and actually started Peter Porker as a SPIDER who bit an irradiated swine one, May Parker. (May of course was a parody of Aunt May in the core Spidey titles!) and transformed into a spider power pig himself! This would later be contradicted in Spider-Ham #6 when a flashback shows Peter being raised (As a pig NOT a Spider !!) by his Aunt May! This would never be clarified. The title had the full cast of characters to parody such a J. Jonah Jackal (J. Jonah Jameson), Mary Jane Water Buffalo (Mary Jane Watson), The Cravengers (The Avengers) The Punfisher (Punisher!), and The likes of The Hulk Bunny (The Hulk..duh!). The title was Bi- Monthly and notoriously lasted a mere 17 issues which was surprising to this writer as I always assumed that this would be STAR’s flagship title!It would be another anthropomorphic Funny Animal would fill that slot as longest running STAR title….Heathcliff the cat!  More on that later. Spider-Ham would not disappear though as he would return in a reprinted back-up story in Marvel Tales for several issues. Spider-Ham would go on to appear on an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man as well as a video game, fill in data.

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Planet Terry: The gimmick is that the name of the book is a play on words related to the word “Planetary” This familiar looking character was greatly visually inspired by Harvey Comics characters but was original all at once. Based in deep outer space, Terry as a child, was mistakenly launched from his parents spaceship into the outer reaches of space. His parents fearing the worst assumed that Terry and his space ship were done for and moved on with their lives. They were wrong. Terry and his spaceship, The “Space Warp”, actually survived intact and would begin a star spanning search to find his parents. Joined by a female Robot rescued from a junk heap named Robota and a large Lizard skinned alien Omnus. Terry scans planet after planet to find his parent but discovers that his journey will not be easy. In fact after only 12 issues Planet Terry was discontinued with STAR Comics and the character or the fate of his search was never revisited and remains one of comics lesser known incomplete story arcs. (Side Note: All Original STAR Characters would see print once again in the Marvel X-babies title in a brief updated appearance) Several hints and references to the Marvel Universe in the book indicated this title is happening in or parallel to the Marvel Universe proper of 1984-1985! The design of Planet Terry was directly imagined by former Harvey artist Lennie Herman who used a very familiar look Harvey Comics style look for the character. This was a deliberate as Marvel who had been in talks with Harvey Comics to buy out some of the existing Harvey properties after they closed their doors however as patience wore thin in negotiations, Marvel not willing to wait any longer, decided to create their own “Harveyesque” cast of original characters. This move that would get them in legal hot water out of the gate and almost doomed the STAR lineup from the get go..because of the next “Original” character..the notorious..

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Royal Roy: Lets be straight up..Royal Roy was a DIRECT carbon copy of Harvey’s Ritchie Rich The Poor Little Rich Boy character. Like his inspiration Ritchie, Roy was similarly surrounded by wealth. Ritchie had a girl friend named “Gloria Glad“..while Roy had her clone” Crystal Cleer“. Ritchie had “Mayda Munny” who always attempted too swoon him out of his wealth..Roy had the oddly similar “Lorna Loot!” the writing was on the wall for Royal Roy as Harvey Comics took legal action on Marvels STAR Imprint citing that the Royal Roy series was a copyright infringement on the Ritchie Rich property. As it was..Royal Roy lasted a mere 6 issues before the plug was quickly pulled. The idea of making an in-house version of Harvey’s properties was seemingly a bad idea..and Marvel found out the hard way.

Ritchie vs Roy

From money vaults to Magic, Dragons and Princesses in distress..

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Wally The Wizard: This title lasted 12 issues and harkened back to the days to wizards and magic. It took the Harvey formula once again and tried to adopt some Disney tropes to introduce young wizard Wally! Using all the medieval classic stories from the Sword and The Stone to The Princess and The Frog, Wally The Wizard was one of the weaker entries to the line and never really seemed to catch fire. It told the story of Wizard Marlin (A play on Merlin!!) whose young adventurous apprentice Wally and his friends Conrad and Jay get into plenty of magical hijinks.

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Through battles with dragons, water monsters and his main antagonists Vastar the Vile and the Wicked Wizard ,this child wizard has his hands full!! Wally competes in tournaments, journeys to the top of mountains, and casts all the spells you can imagine. Wally’s one inspiration is Princess Penelope of whom Wally simply came to her rescue at every turn! This title had little to offer in the way of originality and was not on many people’s priority lists. This title is not terrible and for its target audience of 5-12 year old’s there was enough in here to keep pages turning. From The Penthouse, To The Castle all the way to the Dog House..The next Original STAR Title may have been its most original..even though its run was a tragic 14 issues…lets jump into The Secret Life Of..

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Top Dog: From somewhat unoriginal ideas to one of STARs most unique properties..we get Top Dog , a uber- intelligent, talking dog who is also a former government intelligence agent and now Super Spy! Living and teaming up with his human confidant Joey Jordan. Joey swears to keep Top Dogs background and abilities a secret! The duo is a proverbial super team, ala Batman and Robin and go on many undercover spy adventures. As the series progresses we learn much more about Top Dog and his past life as government agent extraordinaire “Mr. X”!! Other characters crossed over with Top Dog like the afore-mentioned Royal Roy, and fellow talking anthropomorphic animal, Heathcliff The Cat!

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Top Dog was an interesting case study as it is the one title that seems to legitimately fuse the original Marvel Universe directly to the STAR Universe. A direct crossover with Spider-Man (A costumed knockoff!!) in a story that actually contained the true blue, Peter Parker. Unlike Planet Terry..it not only teased a connection to Marvel Proper but was deliberate about it.  Amongst these adventures were several crossovers with other Star Comic characters such as Heathcliff and Royal Roy. The One story that involved a Spider-Man team-up way the crown Jewel of the series. Although it was actually an actor in a Spider-Man suit, the real Peter Parker does make an appearance. The series ran for fourteen issues after which, the character continued to make appearances in Heathcliff comic books (starting in issue #22) in both crossovers and backup stories. The ambiguity between STAR’s existence in the actual Marvel Universe is still a debate. Most however. discredit these comics as funny “What If” style stories that happened outside of cannon. Thats okay..it still does not take away the joy of STAR Comics. While we would be here for a while if we had to cover all comics produced in this line I will go through my personal top five titles outside of the STAR Originals! Satellite..pull archives..display TOP FIVE..

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5. Ewoks: If one has read one of my all time favorite posts that I have ever written for this humble little blog you would appreciate my love for 1980s cartoons. Few did I enjoy more that tuning into the Droids-Ewok’s Hour. Ewok’s the Star Title continued the joy of the show and delved into new original storylines and the artwork remained consistent enough to make it feel like a good follow-up companion to the TV show. Ewoks would perform better than most STAR titles and lasted a total of 14 issues!

Check out The Super-Hero Satellites  super post on The Ewoks Television Movies!! Super-Hero Satellite: A Caravan Of Ewoks

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4. Droids: The best Star Wars cartoon ever on TV! Droids packed a punch..but that didn’t translate on the printed page! Lasting only a mere 8 issues The Adventures of R2-D2 and C3P0 was one title that I loved grabbing on the shelf..however Star Wars fans did not flock to the shelves in as many numbers as Marvel would have would hoped. It continued original stories based on the Droids cartoon show but the biggest drawing card was the John Romita artwork! The series finished with a three issue continuing story that featured Darth Vader and was actually quite good! If you were a fan of the original Star Wars Marvel Series then do yourself a favor and grab Droids 6-8! You are welcome!

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3.Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos. When a group of kids and martial arts superstar Chuck Norris team up against the ninja terrorist organization known as VULTURE the result is..a Four issue STAR Comic series! That’s right..Four Issues. Matters are made worse when you discover that Marvel legend Steve Ditko was the artist during his dieing days as a Marvel Artist. The Comic Books based on The 1986 Ruby Spears cartoon show Chuck Norris Karate Kommando’s was also a very popular Toyline at the time..so how could it miss right? Ditko was not on his game and seemingly phoning it in with small odd jobs around Marvel who had not been giving this amazing artist any high-profile work. Sadly Karate Kommando’s was one of his last official Marvel works outside of his excellent Speedball series! The artwork was very loose and almost devoid of any intricate details and felt very dated. One can only speculate how much effort Ditko put forth given his Inevitable exit from the company a short time later. What was sad was that the TV series itself was only 5 episodes!! A show and comic that lived on in the hearts of comic book fans..well at least this one fan!

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2. Thundercats: This title despite what anyone says about the STAR line, it was a case study in how you do a licensed property based on a Thundercats Saturday Morning Cartoon and famous Toyline. Original fun stories that matched the joy of this excellent cartoon. Issue one will always register in my memory banks for its bombastic cover. It was one of STAR’s longest running books coming in at a very respectful 24 issue run over 3 years! The title would begin like many STAR books in Bi-Monthly format but after 8 issues it was deemed more popular than imagined and went monthly until its 24th issue! This one had it all..engaging storyline’s true to the source material, great artwork to match, and killer hard to resist covers! I ran to these books as a kid..even though sadly it would be much later before I got to see a full episode of the Cats! Due to my location in Canada Thundercats was not found on local cable in many markets during its original run! What is the deal Canada..seriously? Fortunately the YTV network and much later Teletoon gave us all the vintage ThunderCats we could handle! Great save!

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1. Masters Of The Universe: Okay, so there were many He-Man related titles from many companies but this one nailed it! The cartoon was amazing and no title recreated the magic of the cartoon than this particular series. Original and faithful are the best words to describe this book. The cartoon built to sell toys gelled well with this great title. It was filled to the brim with all the a MOTU fans every wish. It had the most obscure characters featured..it was loaded with the amazing line of castles, vehicles and worlds of Masters Of the Universe. The final two issues of this issue series were the Death and Re-Birth of He-man and absolutely were the best books in this series. He-Man fans out there..if you do not have this series in your collection you should not call yourself a fan!

Other Titles in The STAR Collection:

Air Raiders (1987–1988; #1-2 under Star imprint, continued under Marvel imprint) Airlandia is in grave danger. The Evil Tyrants of Wind have taken over of the planet’s air supply. Cue the heroic  Air Raiders, the only ones brave enough to fight back against the evil tyrants. A war for the freedom of  Airlandia begins in these pages.

 

  • Animax (1986–1987) Warriors in Amimax gear battle to claim power in this lame duck series that lasted only 4 issues. Riding the coattails of Thundercats and He-Man this uninspired mess was thankfully as shortlived as the comics!

Bullwinkle and Rocky (1987–1989; #1-2 under Star imprint) A Moose and a Squirell who foil dastardly villains in globe-trotting adventures. Nuff said!?

Care Bears (1985–1989; #1-14 under Star imprint) I may or may not have enjoyed this show as a kid..CareBears Countdown 4-3-2-1~!!! What ever happened to Professor ColdHeart?

Unofficial STAR Title. Count Duckula was always positioned as a STAR title but never had the imprint on their covers.

  • Defenders of the Earth (1987) 1-4 Written by Stan Lee that pulled together many pulp heroes of newspaper strips and golden age comics! Flash Gordon, teams with The Phantom (Billy Zane!!) Mandrake The Magician and more. Based on the excellent cartoon of its day!

The Flintstone Kids (1987–1989; #1-4 under Star imprint) lasted 11 issues! One of the stronger runs for STAR Flintstones Kids was a HOT property at the time! Documented the Flintstones days as kids in Bedrock!

Foofur (1987–1988; #1-4 under Star imprint) Lasted on 6 issues. Comic book based on the 1980s Hanna Barbara cartoon of the adventures of Foofur, the giant blue dog.

Heathcliff’s Funhouse (1987–1988; #1-5 under Star imprint) Lasted 10 issues. Based on the classic Newspaper strip as well as 80s cartoon property. The Heathcliff character would be one of STARs only properties to have TWO titles! FunHouse lasted 10 issues!

  • Hugga Bunch 1986-87 (#1-6). 80s Toy Property makes its terrible comics debut. Comic featuring the adventures of the Hugga Bunch, who live in Huggaland and want to have fun and show everyone how happy hugs can make them. Yikes!

  • Inhumanoids 1987 (#1-4) A group of scientists, strapped inside high-tech suits of armor, explore the catacombs of the earth and discover that ancient evil creatures called the Inhumanoids lay in wait to rise up and conqueror mankind.

Madballs (1986–1988; #1-8 under Star imprint) When a Mad Scientist creates monster like balls and unleashes them on the earth you get the super fun MadBalls!

The Official Adaptation of the 1987 Masters Of The Universe Movie starring Dolph Lundgren. Yeah this movie was pretty bad..and the adaptation did not do anything to improve that image. All the same..it was He-Man on screen..how bad could it be!??

Meet Misty (1985 Marvel/Star Comics) #1-6 Its Stars Answer to Barbie and a nod to Archie’s Katy Keen. Meet Misty was a 6 issue mini series. Misty was an attempt to win over the teenage girl Barbie buying demographic.

Silverhawks (1987 Marvel/Star Comics) #1-7 Based on the TV series of the first super androids ,who come to the rescue as the galaxy is in trouble. Commander Stargazer calls Earth for help and Earth sends their new team, the SilverHawks, which consists of Quicksilver, the Copper Kid, Bluegrass, Steelheart and Steelwill, to battle the evil forces of Mon-Star. Not as great as it sounds. Great toys though!

 

 

Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (1987; #1-2 under Star imprint Based on the very good animated series in 1987, as well as a very unique toy-line. Visionaries was a short-lived but fondly remembered property!

 

Prior to the final demise of the Star Comics imprint four more series were in development yet were never published..

  • “Commander USA”
  • Christy
  • Little Wizards
  • Young Astronauts

So the STAR Imprint now a distant memory and todays Marvel Universe (2015) on the verge of a world shattering Reboot of their universe, one will wonder if any of these worlds will ever be explored again.  Marvels use of licensed properties has always been a huge part of their business model, the question remains will there ever be room in the Marvel U again for simple fare such as what was offered by STAR! It was a simpler time and the Marvel Universe was a place not tied to a cinematic universe..or an ultimate universe..it was simply fun…and as a kid..thats all we cared about.

Satellite..punch in coordinates..we are headed to the outer reaches of the Blogosphere to meet the rest of the Super-Blog Team Up members..strap in..hold on tight…

FOLLOW THE REST OF THE SUPER-BLOG TEAM AS WE CONTINUE OUR JOURNEY TO PARALLEL UNIVERSES AND ALTERNATE REALITIES..Click the links below..and tell em Hero Sent ya!!

 

1.Amazing Spider-Talk / Chasing Amazing / Superior Spider-Talk

Spider-Man Reign

http://wp.me/p1wQNx-21n

http://wp.me/p1wQNx-21n

http://superiorspidertalk.com/category/podcasts/amazing-spider-talk-podcasts/

 

2. Between The Pages

A Tale Of Two Cities On The Edge Of Forever

http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2015/01/a-tale-of-two-cities-on-the-edge-of-forever.html

 

Bronze Age Babies

Things Are a Little Different Around Here…

 http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.ca/2015/01/super-blog-team-up-things-are-little.html

 

3. Firestorm Fan

Firestorm on Infinite Earths — Countdown Arena

http://firestormfan.com/2015/01/28/sbtu-countdown-arena

 

4. Flodo’s Page

An Earth-1 / Earth-2 Team-Up Featuring Green Lantern

http://flodospage.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/the-ballad-of-two-green-lanterns.html

 

5. In My Not So Humble Opinion

The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong

https://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/super-blog-team-up-5-the-many-worlds-of-tesla-strong/

 

6. The Legion of Super-Bloggers

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes

http://legionofsuperbloggers.blogspot.com/2015/01/star-treklegion-of-super-heroes.html

 

7. Longbox Graveyard

X-Men #141 & 142: Days of Future Past

http://wp.me/p1yye7-2AY

 

8. The Marvel Super Heroes Podcast (i.e. part of Rolled Spine Podcast)

Epic Comics’ Doctor Zero

https://rolledspine.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/the-marvel-super-heroes-podcast-episode-029/

 

9. Mystery Vlog

Marvel & DC’s Secret Crossover: Avengers #85–86 (1st Squadron Supreme)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxVHXYjEgpE

 

10. Superhero Satellite

Marvel Comics’ Star Comics Line: Licensed Reality and Parallel Properties

http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-qZ

 

11. Ultraverse Network

Parallel Worlds: The Ultraverse Before and After Black September

http://ultraversepodcast.com/2015/01/sbtu-black-sept/

 

12.The Unspoken Decade

5 Batmen, 1 Superman, ZERO HOUR

http://theunspokendecade.com/2015/01/28/sbtu-presents-5-batmen-1-superman-zero-hour/

The Ghost in the Machine:Robocop Versus Terminator

http://theunspokendecade.com/2015/01/28/the-ghost-in-the-machine-robocop-versus-terminator-by-emily-scott/

 

SBTU4 Official header

When a Collection Of The Worlds Best Bloggers Come Together To Protect The Blogosphere from The Depths Of Despair and Boredom. One Topic, One Mission, A Million Different Points Of View..Blogging Will NEVER Be The Same…Welcome To SUPER-BLOG TEAM-UP 4…TEAM UP TEAR DOWN.”

 

Begin Transmission

I remember the day I saw Superman and Spiderman teaming for the first time. It was monumental. Every comic fan at some point or another mulls over the thought of Dream Team Ups. What if Spiderman teamed With Superman, What if Batman teamed with Wolverine? Over the years DC and Marvel made a lot of these team ups happen and made them into a reality.  Super-Hero Satellite tackled one of those in the Official Super-Blog Team Up Prequel when Superman teamed with Captain Carrot and The Amazing Zoo Crew! DCs experimental run in the very early 80s saw a lot of team ups you would never dreamed of would happened. One of which I present to you today. Superman teams with 80s Iconic Toy Franchise The Masters Of The Universe! It did happen and boy do we have a lot of ground to cover..this topic could only be contained in the pages of the Super-Blog Team Up 4 ….TEAM UP TEAR DOWN!!

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In 1981 action figures were my life. My toy case was filled with Star Wars, Bionic man, Micronauhts, and very soon a toy called He-man. A very simple sounding name for a hero as it was intended. Mattel, following the success of Star Wars trilogy sought to capture some market share in the figure market with a new line of toys “inspired” by Conan The Barbarian fame..unofficially of course. After battling off a lawsuit with the Conan people Mattel launched one of their most profitable and iconic toy lines in history The Masters Of the Universe collection.

MOTU Figure Promo page

The Masters Of the Universe collection or MOTU for short, was a Mattel’s meal ticket back to the action figure market. He-Man and company exploded! Anyone who remembers this line of toys remembers a group of figures that were muscled up, action pose ready that were unlike anything out there at the time. I remember getting a great selection of these toys I believe for Christmas of 81. Boy did I get the motherload. In my first foray into the He-man toy line I received He-Man, Skeletor, Battle Cat, Panthro, Teela, Stratos, and Beast Man. Throw in Castle GreySkull, and The Battle Ram!!

Hows that for an intro!! So with the success of the toy line the next logical step was He-mans introduction to the small screen!! He-Man and the Masters of the Universe the animated series debuted on airwaves across the nation in 1983. The opening would be one that kids of the 80s would have engrained into their heads..Without further adieu..Satellite Bring up the video wall..He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe intro please!!

Everyone back on deck Heroes! The Masters of The Universe cartoon was a staple in my house. I have seen every episode probably 3-4 times each. I loved that show and its characters!! Click below to re watch this great series..that’s right, all in one click..that’s what we do.

Click HERE for The He-Man Universe Channel..

Outside of my play time in Eternia, the rest of my life was spent as a super comic nerd! If anyone asked me what my favorite comic book publisher was in the 1980s I would proudly say DC with great vigor!! I loved everything about them but what I loved was their Super-Heroes. They were always The Nintendo to The Sega, They were The Coke to The Pepsi, The DC Heavy was The Man Of Steel himself. No one was bigger and more recognizable than Superman. In saying that, DC used Superman at every stop to push other properties. Supes was guaranteed bank and the publisher knew that putting him in a book with anyone would instantly give that property instant cred in the eyes of comic book readers..like old Hero here! Superman teamed with everyone but the kitchen sink. DC even went so far as to team him with Captain Carrot and The Amazing Zoo Crew. The Folks at the Satellite pieced together a great Prequel..Check out the link below the picture below!!

Click HERE To Read The SBTU Prequel Capes and Carrots!

As Satellite readers hopefully who have read the Prequel DC tried something radically different in 1982 by giving Comic fans a real bang for their book with the DC Prevue inserts. As stated these inserts were standalone stories meant to introduce readership to new characters and concepts. The idea was to introduce the new hero or team inside the pages of a best-selling title to provide maximum visibility to this new potential break out concept. Superman was usually the anchor. DC did this twice with their latest acquistion..Matells Masters Of The Universe!! In the years prior to the World killing Crossover Crisis On Infinite Earths, DC was pretty liberal with their use of alternate realities, timelines, and worlds. It lead to a seamless insertion of the MOTU characters and worlds to simply become another “World” in the grand scale of the DCU in 1982! Yes Eternia was officially a reality in DC!!

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DC created a very unusual version of Eternia very different from the one seen on the Cartoon show a little later. Still seemingly set in medieval times This Eternia boasted over the top technology and mystifying magic all at once! Magic and Swordplay were the center of its concept. With Curt Swan, of long time Superman fame and legendary Comic Book penciller extraordinaire, took his stab at the Toy franchise and did a Masterful job of it. The characters were directly in line with the toy line visually but what was not carried over from the Comic book to the show was the language. Eternians talked like they were out of a Shakespeare novel. The verbage was very grandious. If you were a fan of the show you would know that He-man and friends did NOT talk like this!! Check out the panel below as He-Man, aka Prince Adam is challenged by a patron at the bar on Eternia who had just made fun of his sidekick Cringer (Battle Kat!) Whats unique about DC’s version of Eternia is that number one..He-Man is a drinker? When did you ever see bars on Eternia in the TV show? He-Man also refers to Teela as “woman” so it is decidedly male dominated planet as well. She-Ra would NOT stand for this!

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Gone as well is the famous Transformation scene thats featured on every show on the Cartoon version of He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe…we all know what I mean. On this page we see that the Sorceress is responsible He-Mans and Battle Kat’s transformation!! Gone is the famous “By The Power Of GraySkull” raise your sword and transform gimmick..

He-Man is simply turned into his more powerful self by the all-powerful Sorceress..

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At this point we meet the “Demonic Skeletor” Enemy of “Thy ” World?  Skeletor is seen with his right hand man Beast Man in front of the Mysterious Castle Grayskull! The Grayskull Playset  is undoubtedly the best play set in history! Okay maybe the Star Wars Death Star is better but this thing rocks people!! Believe! Skeletor and his sidekick discuss his need to unveil the secrets Of Castle GraySkull so he can rule the world with this knowledge! However one thing remains,…. to gain access to the Castle, Skeletor must have a power sword..which he does..but to gain entry you must have TWO!! The action figures themselves came bundled with a sword a piece for He-man and  and a piece for Skeletor. Both had flatbacks and for some reason the two could connect together and allow the holder of the two united swords access to the secrets of Grayskull..

He-Man and Skeletor

Its time to take a break…We will be right back AFTER THESE MESSAGES..

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How cool are the He-man toys? I cannot describe the amount of joy these thing gave me..plus after I was done role playing  in Eternia, He-Man and gang made great additions to my wrestling figure federation I also ran from my bedroom floor. He-Man, more specifically Power Punch He-Man won the title many times! Okay while on the topic lets talk best original MOTU toys..here’s the

Satellites Top 5 Most Underrated MOTU Figures:

5. Ram Man:One of the very few figures that broke the He-Man mold. Ram Man was the Eternia’s version of the Juggernaut and wore a huge metal helmet that he used to smash through things. You push down on his head and his legs, which we based on a spring ,were physically joined together and did no contain any articulation. Press down on his head Ram Man squat to the ground touch him again he launched into action!!

4. Moss Man. The MOTU line used the same basic body mold over and over at will and in some cases the same figure altogether. Beast Man one of the original MOTU super-bad’s was turned green, stripped of his armor, and covered in green “moss’ like fur. A very unusual toy but friggin awesome. My Moss Man was stolen on a camping trip as a child when playing in all things..The woods. I guess his camouflage was just too good. I’ll find you one day Moss man!

3. Two Bad: The Conjoined twin alien heads which shared a torso. This was another figure that maintained a unique mold and was very cool. The toy had great double punching power and two great alien heads! I played the death out of Two Bad and feel he’s a must have in any MOTU collection!

2.Extendar: The Armor covered Knight in the MOTU collection. Extendar was a silver armor covered classic Knight Of The Round Table style of figure. His uniqueness however was in the fact that his head arms, waist, torso, and legs all extended to make Extendar a giant. He was a highly touted figure in the collection as he toiled playing double duty in my imaginary wrestling figure collection!

1. Fakor. Okay okay..its was He-Man painted blue. Literally that’s all Fakor was. He was a  Robot He-Man clone That Skeletor created to infiltrate He-Mans inner circle. No one would notice if He-Man was Blue now would they? Even so, I loved Fakor during his short run in my collection as he was an early victim to the arms and leg figure exchange..He-Man figure collectors know what that means!

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WELCOME BACK HEROES!! Back to our story..Beast Man and Skeletor converse on how they are going to break into Castle Grayskull. Outside the Grayskull, Skeletor talks about the need of having both halves of the Power Sword to open the castle. Beast Man notices Skeletor only has one half, but he tries to use it to open Grayskull anyways. The result? The opening to a great inter-dimensional worm hole in clouds form that opens on Earth!! The impact of Skeletor,s assault was so great, its effects were felt on Earth.!! As with Superman..he has a history of falling into such portals …and today would be no different..

DCP 47 skeletorattacks greyskull

Superman is transported to Eternia in short order. He was investigating the giant cloud/portal and as always he is sucked in like a tractor beam and lands with a Thud directly in front of Castle GraySkull. Thelingering foes Skeletor and Beast Man look on like they have just seen Santa Clause!. The unusual part of this is not only how passive the Eternian’s are with Superman’s grand entrance but how non-chalant Superman is by being transported to yet another dimension. Apparently no big deal for the Man Of Steel.

Supermanetrnia

Skeletor knows that this is not cool and quickly figures out that this guy in Blue spandex falling from the sky is his enemy!! Not giving any time for Superman to recover or gain his bearings Skeletor goes on the attack on this Other Worlder. Both spend a moment to mock each other as Skeletor calls Superman a `Strangely Garbed Foe while Superman sees Skeletor as a Skull faced clown with the Over Grown pocket Knife. Ahhh The 80s!!

Superman vs skeltor

The fight is on as Skeletor tries to slice Superman in half but to know avail as Supes batters the Eternian with a barrage of body shots. Beast Man joins the fray and is dispatched easily in ultra 80s fashion as Superman simply takes him on a loop de loop  and dumps him handily on the ground. Skeletor resorts to the magic of his half of the power sword and forces Superman to be blown off in the distance. Waiting on hill observing the disruption is He-Man himself on his gentle steed Battle Kat!

Superman vs skeletor sand.

He-Man rushes to Supermans aid recognizing him from ancient Eternian lore. This goes to show that the DC Universe was always a part of DCs elaborate Multiverse of the 80s Pre Crisis. With Introductions out of the way, He-man and Superman are soon joined by Man at Arms riding the Wind Raider!

Superman teans up

Okay, its pointless product knowledge time. The Wind Raider was one of the first and best MOTU Vehicles and makes a very early appearance here.MOTU toys were always emblazoned with deluxe painted artwork as seen on the Wind Raider box art!! Note the original Wind Raider was mean for a single figure. So in this case the Comic book had it right!!

                                                                      Original Wind Raider plus He-Man!!

A great footnote here The Wind Raider like the Toy is a single passenger Vehicle however in the original He-Man and the Masters Of the Universe Television Show The Winder raider is a much larger capacity vehicle.

 Pause for ONE TO GROW ON.. Take It AWAY MR T!!

Now Back To The Show..

The Triple Threat of He-Man, Superman, and Teela’s father Duncan, aka Man At Arms (Where is Duncan..has he abandoned his friends??) go after Skeletor. He-man swings for the fences with his battle-axe but not before Skeletor uses the magic of his half  power sword to cast a hypnotic spell on Superman. Skeletor turns Supes on his own team instantly and the battle of the century begins..He-man vs Superman..one on one for the inter-dimensional title. Superman attacks first stopping He-Man assault on Skeletor but The Most Powerful Man In the Universe easily turns the tide employing The Giant Swing into a power bomb!!

Superman hyptonized

Superman no selling He-Mans attack goes toe to toe with He-Man in a slugfest. Looks like DC will not look bad in comparison to Matell and He-Man is driven to the ground with a solid Superman upper cut ending the `Battle Of The Century only seconds into the fight. Winner is Superman..and DC. With He-Man out..and Man At Arms nowhere to be seen,,Skeletor commands the Man Of Steel to open the doors to Castle GreySkull and reveal its secrets to him at once! With fists raised Superman roars towards the gates of GraySkull..

Supermanvs He-man

Superman still fighting his hypnosis, cannot stop Skeletor’s spell, but comes up with a plan on the fly. If only the Man Of Steel can distract Skeletor long enough to utilize his heat vision to create a Molten barricade around Skeletor and block the spell of Skeletor. That’s right Superman melts rocks to form a rock cocoon around the evil one. Superman is able to stop his spell just in time as not to impact The Castle!  Skeletor bursts free of his confinement in Molten rock and swears he will cast yet another spell on Superman. This time Superman is ready for Skeletor’s magic and He-man (who has already forgiven and understood why Superman attacked him,) returns to watch the fray. Superman apparently has a plan to lift Skeletor out of harms way. Exactly where was Superman taking him?

Superman stops Skeletor

With Skeletor having been to this dance once to often, he pulls the old disappearing act. Superman still taken aback from the events of what just happened has no time to chat with his new friends as he notices a Time Space warp in space with his Super Vision and has to hustle so he can get back home to earth and bids a quick fare the well to his Medieval friends. Final page

In summary:  You could not have done this Team-Up any quicker. The whole story while really cool, is mega rushed. Superman literally falls from the sky, has a light tussle with Skeletor,and even He-Man , gets hypnotized , stops Skeletor and rushes back to Earth in a wormhole. The whole time,  He-Man and friends act like it’s any other day. Love the vintage Curt Swan art. Mr. Swan is one of my all time definitive Superman artists, so I was pumped to see him do the cross over. Swan has a real grasp on He-Man and friends. His inspiration is directly from the Matell Toy line as is seen with the depictions of Man At Arms, Skeletor and Beast Man. Hilariously the depiction of Eternia as an old world Shakespearean society is pretty far off in what we see later in the Animated Series and subsequent spinoffs, and Movies. The Eternian dialect is pretty entertaining as seen in these pages. I am glad they made the change to everyday linguistics in the animated show. The declaration and focus on the 2 halves of the Power Swords is also a storyline not often referenced in the Animated Series. He-man himself does not perform the transformation or do the whole “I have The Power” bit. That’s key…say what you want. Having the Sorceress simply transform Prince Adam and Cringer is just not cutting it People!!  Overall, the excitement this book created at the time was all the hype I needed as a bright-eyed 8-year-old comic book fanatic! The kid in me still gives this story a thumbs up..the adult in hindsight gives it a “Where the hell is the story??”  As well I leave you all with one final question..exactly what was the point of putting Man At Arms in the story with The Wind raider when he did not even show up in the battle?? Hmmmm…

Hope you have enjoyed this stay on Eternia, setting Coordinates for our next mission. Heroes strap in..Super-Blog Team Up continues…plenty more to read as Team Up Tear Down continues all over the Blogosphere..please read and follow all the blogs below..you will not be disappointed! Super-Blog Team Up…Unite!!

SBTU Contunies

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1.Super-Hero Satellite: Super Man and The Masters Of the Universe http://wp.me/p2N3Qb-nT

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2.LongBox GraveYard: Thing / Thing http://wp.me/p1yye7-2vP 

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3.Superior Spider-talk:
Spider-Man and the Coming of Razorback!? http://www.superiorspidertalk.com/spider-man-and-the-coming-of-razorback  

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4. The Daily Rios: New Teen Titans/DNAgents http://thedailyrios.com/ 

MIddlespacesSBTU

5. The Middle Spaces:  Super Hegemonic Team-up! Spider-Man, Daredevil & ‘The Death of Jean DeWolfe
: http://themiddlespaces.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/super-hegemonic-team-up/  

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6. Chasing Amazing: Spider-man/Spider-man 2099 Across the Spider-Verse: A Once in a Timeline Team-Up http://wp.me/p1wQNx-1N5

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7. Vic Sage/Retroist: Doctor Doom/Doctor Strange http://www.retroist.com/ *COMING SOON*

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8. Fantastiverse: Superman/Spider-man http://fantastiverse.com/ *COMING SOON*

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9. Mystery V-Log The Avengers #1 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL6G3GZ0yhXkR1vl6BCPegw *COMING SOON*

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10. In My Not So Humble Opinion: Conan /Solomon Kane
http://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/super-blog-team-up-4-conan-the-barbarian-and-solomon-kane/

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11. The Unspoken Decade: Punisher/Archie: Two Wrongs Making a Right:  Punisher Meets Archie!!

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12. Flodos Page: Green Lantern and the Little Green Man  http://flodospage.blogspot.ca/  *COMING SOON*

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13. Between The Pages:  World’s Finest Couple: Lois Lane and Bruce Wayne  http://betweenthepagesblog.typepad.com/between-the-pages-blog/2014/09/worlds-finest-couple-lois-lane-and-bruce-wayne.html *UPDATED* 

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14. BronzeAge Babies: When Friends Like These ARE Your Enemies (FF/Doom, Batman/Joker, Warlock/Thanos, and Cap/Red Skull), http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.ca/

If you liked these /SBTU covers and artwork, you will LOVE the great Mashups of The SuperTeam Family. The site that takes Comic Book cover team ups to the next level!! The Teen Titans & DNAgents cover was inspired by one post of that sites great work! So I give full credit to the fie folks at STF for the inspiration! Click here to visit THE SUPER TEAM FAMILY Website!

 

SUPER BLOG TEAM UP RETURNS JANUARY 2015

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SATELLITE Extra: Remember that 1987 Masters Of The Universe Movie starring Dolph Lundgren? No? Then check out the trailer!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJrs1ZWFKag

 

Ahhh…hell its Super Blog Team Up..Heres the entire movie..Tell Em Hero sent ya!

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Click Here To Watch The 1987 Masters Of the Universe Movie!

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

Transmission Restored: Feb 19 2014

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

Click below first.

Charlton Action Heroes: A Count-Down To Retcon

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

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

Begin Transmission: Feb 19 2014

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

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

Evolution Of A Company…

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

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

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

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

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

Crisis Casualities..

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

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

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

EARTH X :

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

EARTH S:

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

EARTH ONE: DC PROPER.

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

EARTH TWO:

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

EARTH THREE:

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

EARTH FOUR:

Earth Four was essentially the Charlton Action Hero Universe!

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

Crisis On Infinite Earths: The Ultimate Retcon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Satellite Extra:

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

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

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

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

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

What Charlton Hero inspired YOUR favorite Watchmen Character?

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

BB II Whos Who 87 V.I

End Transmission…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Superman through the ages..

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

A World Without Superman??

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

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

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

Where would the world be without Lois and Clark?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End Transmission…

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

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

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

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

#6 Fantastiverse: Hank Pym “Coming Soon”

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

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

Okay..I am leaving for the last time!

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

I mean it this time..I am gone!