Category Archives: Marvel Comics

DC vs. Marvel Kids

Casper and Fox

Casper and Fox

This is the eighth post in this series. DC versus Marvel superhero posts have been done to death on the internet and I wanted to do something different. This series looks at what happens when you pit the non superheroes of these two companies. This series also gives me an excuse to revisit some of the obscure comic book characters of my past. The dominance of the superhero genre in American comic books has meant that characters of other comic book genres have been ignored for decades and this series to some extent is an attempt to rectify this unfortunate state of affairs.

The first post looked at Westerns and Western heroes. https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/dc-vs-marvel-western-heroes/

The second post looked at war comics and war heroes. https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/dc-vs-marvel-war-heroes/

The third post looked at women’s comics and working women. https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/dc-vs-marvel-working-women

The fourth post looked at space operas and spacemen https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/dc-vs-marvel-spacemen/

The fifth post analyzed funny animals.
https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/dc-vs-marvel-funny-animals/

The sixth post looked at the teenagers of teenage humor comic books. https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/dc-vs-marvel-teenagers/

The seventh post looked at horror comics and horror hosts. https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/07/27/dc-vs-marvel-horror-hosts/

I am inventing a comic book genre name for this series. Women’s comics are defined as comic books that appeal to women. I would like to propose there is a genre of comic books that appeals to very young children as opposed to children in general and I would like to name this genre kids comic’s. The ultimate example of this genre would be the children’s Harvey Comics line that included such characters as Baby Huey, Casper, Hot Stuff, Little Audrey, Little Dot, Little Lotta, Spooky, Richie Rich and Wendy the Good Little Witch. Harvey Comics also published comics with superheroes but is best remembered for its kid’s comics. I see similarities between Harvey Comics and Archie Comics.

Faced with hopeless competition with DC and Marvel in the superhero arena, these two comic book companies found success in non superhero genres, an example of niche marketing in the comic book marketplace. Archie Comics has dominated teenage humor for decades, right up until the present and squashed attempts by DC and Marvel to make titles that compete in this genre. Harvey Comics was also able to survive in a similar manner with kids comic books. Interestingly, both Archie Comics and Harvey Comics tried superheroes but eventually gave up these titles probably because of competition from DC and Marvel. Both Archie Comics and Harvey Comics had to learn hard lessons about their core business which turned out to be genres other than the superhero one.

There is tremendous overlap between the funny animal genre, dealt with in the post about funny animals (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/dc-vs-marvel-funny-animals/) and kid’s comics and many comics fit both genres. Still, characters such as Casper are obviously not funny animals. I would propose that funny animals are a subgenre of kid’s comics logically but the funny animal subgenre is so big it must be treated as a genre. In a similar manner, logically superheroes are a subgenre of science fiction but are such a dominant subgenre in terms of the comic book marketplace that superheroes are best dealt with as a separate genre. This post will only deal with kid comics that are not funny animals.

This genre is characterized by a simplified cartoon style, very G rated material, even by comic code approved standards, and very simple plots. The defining characteristic is that the comic book is aimed at a very young readership. I would say the comic books should be able to appeal to preschoolers and they should be able to handle the material without the aid of an adult. Older readers may like the simplicity of the comic books in the same way that even adults can appreciate a children’s book but the reverse is not true. A relatively G-rated comic book like Superman, especially a more recent Superman comic book, will not be appreciated by preschoolers unless their literacy is especially high.

DC kids include the Brat Finks, Stanley and his Monster, as well as, Sugar and Spike. Stanley and his Monster replaced the Fox and Crow in issue #109 but the retitled comic book only lasted until issue #112. Stanley is a six year old with a lisp that mistakes a monster for a dog and lets him secretly live with him. The monster is covered with pink hair, has enormous fangs and is gigantic, maybe nine feet? The parents never catch onto the existence of the monster. In the innocent comic book logic of that era, hiding a nine foot monster in a typical suburban house is considered totally possible. The comic book was printed in the sixties. In the nineties, DC decided to add some back story to the series and include Stanley and his Monster in some DC crossovers. I still prefer the more innocent less sophisticated Stanley and his Monster of the sixties.

Sugar and Spike was created by comic book legend Sheldon Mayer and is one of the best comic books lines ever! Somehow DC forgot to reprint this comic book in their current reprint Showcase series. This is extremely unfortunate and I urge DC to add Sugar and Spike to the Showcase reprint line. Sugar and Spike are two preschoolers that talk to each other in baby talk that adults can’t understand.

Sugar and Spike are constantly trying to figure out adult logic and the adult world and come up with outlandish explanations that nevertheless are totally logical. Mayer was able to capture kid’s logic in a way few cartoonists ever have. The closest any cartoonist has ever come is Calvin and Hobbes but I actually think Mayer does a better job and he is dealing with much younger children that are harder for adults to understand. Sugar is a blonde haired kid. Spike is a red haired kid. Other characters came and went in the strip such as Little Arthur, Uncle Charley and Bernie the Brain and even the secondary characters of this great strip were better than the primary characters of most cartoons. The strip lasted 98 issues, from the seventies into the nineties, and I am sure would have gone on even longer except for his death in 1992.

Marvel Kids, pre-Star imprint, is a much shorter list and I want to mention Homer the Happy Ghost who was brought to my attention by a reader of this post (see comments).  Homer the Happy Ghost was an obvious imitation of Casper that lasted 22 issues, between March, 1955- November 1958, which for a none superheroe is not bad!  Supporting characters included Melvin the Mixed-Up Ghost, Invisible Irwin, Dugan the Dead End Ghost, and Zelda the Zany Witch.  Homer was reprinted for five issues between from November 1969 to May 1970 and I vaguely remember seeing this version of the title.  Anway, thanks for the info Mark!

Marvel Kids include all the characters of their Star imprint that lasted from 1984-88. The characters of the Star imprint included Air Raiders, ALF, Animax, Bullwinkle and Rocky, Care Bears, Chuck Norris and his Karate Kommandos, Defenders of the Earth, The Flinstone Kids, Foofur, Fraggle Rock, The Get-Along Gang, Heathcliff, Heathcliffs Funhouse, Hugga Bunch, Inhumanoids, Madballs, Masters of the Universe, Masters of the Universe Motion Picture, Misty, Muppet Babies, The Muppets take Manhattan, Peter Porker The Spectacular Spider Ham, Planet Terry, Popples, Royal Roy, Silverhawks, Star Wars Digest, Star Wars Droids, Star Wars Ewoks, Strawberry Shortcake, ThunderCats, Top Dog, and Wally the Wizard. Marvel did publish a couple of Casper comic books in 1997.

Most of the Star comic books are not Marvel properties and will not be looked at given the topic of this post. Spider Ham, Planet Terry, Royal Roy, Top Dog and Wally the Wizard are the only true Marvel properties of the Star comic’s line. Spider Ham was already dealt with in the funny animals post so we are down to Planet Terry, Royal Roy, Top Dog and Wally the Wizard.

Planet Terry, Royal Roy and Top Dog were all written by Lennie Herman. Planet Terry was a space saga. Planet Terry was looking for his parents in space with his sidekicks a robot named Robota and a green-scaled muscular alien named Omnus. I swear that Planet Terry’s facial features are very similar to those of Casper. He flew around in a jet pack and many of his flying poses seem directly lifted from Casper comic books. Top Dog is a talking dog and therefore a funny animal and the subject of another post. Royal Roy is Marvels version of Richie Rich of Harvey Comics. Prince Roy lives in Cashelot (Camelot plus Cash) and only
lasted six issues. Wally the Wizard was an apprentice wizard to Marlin the Wizard, Merlin the Wizards older brother.  Wally the Wizard was created by Bob Bolling who had also created Little Archie.

Sugar and Spike team up with Stanley and his monster for a day at the sandbox and run into these two weird kids in weird costumes. One is dressed like a prince, one is dressed like a spaceman and one is dressed like a wizard. Sugar and Spike know all about Halloween and love that day and know darn well this day isn’t that day. They start laughing at the costumed kids and soon a fight ensues. Stanley’s Monster sits on the Marvel kids until they agree to behave. DC wins this round.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Superpets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

Western Heroes

Women in Refrigerators

Working Women

WereVerse Universe Baby!

DC vs. Marvel Horror Hosts

House of Mystery #1

This is the seventh post in this series. The series pits non superhero genre characters from DC and Marvel against each other. The first post looked at Westerns and Western heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/dc-vs-marvel-western-heroes/), the second post looked at war comics and war heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/dc-vs-marvel-war-heroes/), the third post looked at women’s comics and working women (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/dc-vs-marvel-working-women) and the fourth post looked at space operas and spacemen (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/20/dc-vs-marvel-spacemen/). The fifth post analyzed funny animals (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/dc-vs-marvel-funny-animals/). The sixth post looked at the teenagers of teenage humor comic books (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/dc-vs-marvel-teenagers/). The eighth and next post will look at kid’s comic books.

This post looks at the horror genre. I had problems separating the horror genre from the superhero genre. This would not have been a problem when I was reading comic books in the sixties and seventies when I was younger. However, since at least the eighties, DC and Marvel heroes that belong to the horror genre have been incorporated into their mainstream comic book universes to the point that they are often just another type of superhero.

For example, Blade, who fights vampires, has done so many crossovers with mainstream Marvel characters that he is no longer a hero of the horror genre but a hero with horror roots who inhabits the Marvel superhero universe. The mystery that is essential in horror is lost when the characters of horror are overused in a flashy superhero universe that in many ways is the antithesis of horror. Superheroes wear bright colors and fly off into the sunset versus inhabiting a world beneath the moon, moss and worms. When you juxtapose a creature of horror with a superhero the creature of horror is lessened. The suspension of disbelief is just too much. I can temporarily believe in a world of horror. I can temporarily believe in a world of superheroes. I can only believe in a world with both superheroes and horror with difficulty.
The entire Vertigo line, a DC imprint, can be seen as an excellent attempt to bring the sense of horror back to DC by creating boundaries between creatures of horror and superheroes for the purposes of better story telling. So who represents pure horror in the DC and Marvel universes? I would argue the horror hosts do! Most horror comic books are anthologies with one-shot characters that often die a horrible death at the end and are never seen again. You have the same problem with romance comics. Both genre focus on single shot stories and finding ongoing characters in both genres is hard do. So what sort of character survives in a horror comic book? The host of the stories is who!
A horror host is the host of a horror comic book anthology. The most famous horror host does not belong to either the DC or Marvel line but to EC Comics. The host for the EC comic book Tales of the Crypt was the Crypt Keeper and perhaps the only horror host to make the transition to TV where the same character hosted the very popular and long running TV show of the same name and also two movies and even a Saturday morning cartoon named Secrets of the Cryptkeepers Haunted House. The Crypt Keeper was one of the GhouLunatics and that included fellow EC horror hosts the Vault Keeper and the Old Witch.

The DC horror hosts include Abel, Cain, Charity, Destiny, Eve, Mad Mod Witch, Madame Xanadu, and Macbeth’s witches (Mordred, Mildred and Cynthia). Abel was the host of the House of Secrets. Cain was the host of the House of Mystery. They are the Cain and Abel of Biblical fame and an ongoing gag is that Cain kills Abel over and over again whenever there is a crossover between the two brothers. The two houses sit next to each other so a little neighborly interaction is only to be expected. Charity was the host of Forbidden Tales of the Dark Mansion and probably wins the title of most obscure and forgotten DC horror host. Destiny hosted Weird Mystery Tales. Eve hosted Secrets of Sinister House from issues # 6-16. Eve later generally replaced Destiny as the host of Weird Mystery Tales. Abel and Cain are officially cousins of Eve. The Mad Mod Witch was the, on again of again, host of Unexpected from issue #108 onwards and with the alias Fashion Thing was rebooted by Neil Gaiman in the Sandman. Madame Xanadu was the host of Doorway to Mystery. Madame Xanadu returned in the first direct sales only comic book in Madame Xanadu. The series is a one-shot. The witches Mordred, Mildred and Cynthia hosted the Witching Hour. Lucian was the host of the short lived Tales of Ghost Castle.  Neil Gaiman made use of all the DC horror hosts, except Charity, in his Sandman series. Heck, even Lucian, perhaps the most obscure of the horror hosts became a librarian of the Sandman.  All the horror hosts have gone onto new fame and prominence in the Vertigo line that probably exceeds the fame and prominence they had during their original title runs in the sixties and seventies.

In the Sandman title, Destiny and is one of the Endless who in turn are mightier than gods. Destiny has been able to resist the influence of Zeus. Zeus is in turn much mightier than for example Superman. Zeus can create a female version of Superman, Wonder Woman. Destiny is one of the most powerful characters in the DC universe but is also considered the most boring story teller by Abel, Cain and Eve.

Despite a slew of horror tiles by Marvel/Atlas including Beware, Chamber of Chills, Chamber of Darkness. Creatures on the Loose, Crypt of Shadows, Dead of Night, Fear, Giant Size Chillers, Journey into Mystery (2nd series), Tomb of Darkness, Tower of Shadows, Uncanny Tales (2nd series), Vault of Evil, Weird Wonder Tales, Where Creatures Roam and Where Monsters Dwell only one of these titles had a horror host! Digger and Headstone P. Gravely hosted Tower of Shadows that was designed to go head on against DCs House of Mystery and House of Secrets. I do remember Tower of Shadows and I even remember the story of the first issue and I was like 14 years old at the time! I don’t remember the horror hosts at all. Two unknown hosts versus an interconnected family of DC hosts that are major part of the current DC/Vertigo universe? This contest doesn’t seem fair at all and I am going to change the rules! I am going to bring in a Marvels number one comic book host! The Watcher!

The Watcher acted as a host to futuristic stories in Tales of Suspense starting in issue #39 in the sixties. The Watcher acted as second story to the main Iron Man story. The stories were titled Tales of the Watcher. I actually often preferred the Watcher stories to the Iron Man stories and am totally aghast that Marvel has not made an Essential version of Tales of the Watcher. I mean Werewolf by Night and Spiderwoman get an Essential volume but not those great stories by the Watcher? The tradition was carried on in the first volume of the Silver Surfer. Later still the Watcher became the host of What If stories that were 100% superhero stories but the original Tales of the Watcher were mainstream science fiction complete with a Twilight Zone sort of lesson about the universe and/or humanity told by the Watcher at the end.

Despite their genre difference the Watcher and Destiny actually have an awful lot in common. The Watcher is a cosmic entity. Destiny is a cosmic entity. Destiny is a lot more powerful but like the Watcher mostly tells stories, and despite being blind, “observes” and doesn’t really do much. The Watcher is bald and for all we know Destiny might be bald as well. Destiny always wears a cowl and this is probably to hide his baldness. I would see Destiny as being somewhere in the power class of the Living Tribunal over at Marvel. Destiny and the Living Tribunal both wear cowls by the way. The Watcher is at least two hierarchical levels below the Living Tribunal.

The Living Tribunal is even more powerful than Eternity or Death that only represent the totality of one universe. Both Destiny and the Living Tribunal are multiverse type beings that more or less bring balance to the multiverse. There isn’t a different Destiny or Living Tribunal in each universe but one for the whole dang multiverse. A being that performs a balancing multiverse function has to be more powerful than any being limited to one universe no matter how powerful they are in that one universe. Destiny could squash the Watcher but this won’t happen.
Destiny and the Watcher are hyper rational, Mr. Spock is emotional compared to those two, and I do mean the old Mr. Spock, not that new guy French kissing Uhura, and would never engage in aggressive behavior except in self defense and neither would attack the other first since that would be illogical, uncivilized and just bad manners. Destiny and the Watcher both exchange the very best stories from their mutual universes and agree I am not a very good story teller and perhaps should find another hobby. This “DC versus Marvel” story ends in a draw.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Superpets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

Western Heroes

Women in Refrigerators

Working Women

WereVerse Universe Baby!

DC vs. Marvel War Heroes

sgt. fury013

This post will look at DC and Marvel heroes from their line of war comics.  The DC heroes include Blackhawk, Boy Commandos, Captain Storm, Creature Commandos, Enemy Ace, G.I. Robot, Gunner & Sarge, Haunted Tank, Hunter’s Hellcats, Johnny Cloud, the Losers, Mademoiselle Marie, Red, White and Blue and Sgt. Rock of Easy Company.  As I did in the DC vs. Marvel Western Heroes post (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/dc-vs-marvel-western-heroes/), I will pit the top three of the DC line against the top three of the Marvel line.  The top three in terms of fame are Blackhawk, Enemy Ace and Sgt. Rock of Easy Company. 

 

Blackhawk is the name of the leader of a free lance fighter pilot squadron and the name of their group.  They wore an aviator type uniform, they first appeared in Military Comics and their missions were decidedly military in nature.  Slowly but surely they became more like superheroes and started to fight more and more enemies with superpowers.  The New Blackhawk era lasted from issues #228-241 and each member got his own superhero costume.  The transition from military heroes to superheroes was abrupt.  Later on the Blackhawk team returned to their military roots.

 

Enemy Ace is the story of a German flying ace during World War I.  Enemy Ace first appeared in Our Army at War in 1965.  Enemy Ace is, as the title suggests, the enemy but has a sense of chivalry and a sense of the horror of war that is universal.  Enemy Ace is an antihero.  I do see similarities between Enemy Ace and Jonah Hex.  Both are none superhero genre heroes that succeed in large part due to their atypical, for comic books, antihero status which makes them more interesting.  Like Jonah Hex, Enemy Ace was later used by the darker Vertigo imprint. 

 

Sgt. Rock of Easy Company is probably the number one war hero of the DC line.  Sgt. Rock first appeared in G.I. Combat (January, 1959).  Sgt. Rock appeared in Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion in 2008.  This is quite a run for a war hero in comic books.  Sgt. Rock for most of his run had zero superhero elements.  Sgt. Rock generally carries a 45 calibre Thompson submachine gun and a .45 calibre Colt M1911A1 automatic pistol.  Sgt. Rock always carries a number of hand grenades that he can throw with great accuracy. 

 

Later Sgt. Rock appeared in Brave and the Bold #84, #96, #108, #117, and #124 in decidedly superhero type adventures with Batman.  This comic book tendency to reinvent war heroes and make them into superheroes is unfortunate.  Alan Moore, In the Twilight of the Superheroes, (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/non-fiction/twilight-of-the-superheroes-by-alan-moore/) points out that the juxtaposition of Sgt. Rock, for example, with the Legion of Superheroes is a bad idea and I agree.  Let the war heroes be war heroes!  Kanigher, the editor of Sgt. Rock, who created the majority of the Sgt. Rock stories, in a letter column in Sgt. Rock #374 stated that Sgt. Rock did not survive past 1945 effectively making the Brave and Bold Sgt. Rock stories null and void.

 

Marvel has a shorter list of war heroes that include Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos, Captain Savage and his Leathernecks, the characters in the The ‘Nam series, and the Phantom Eagle.  The ‘Nam was an attempt to create a realistic war comic.  The comic book happened in real time.  A monthly issue more or less described what happened in a month in Vietnam.  Nam related lingo was explained at the end of the comic book.  The ‘Nam characters are too real and would not stand against a chance against other comic book war heroes that are slightly superhuman.  The title became a less realistic comic book towards the end of its run with the introduction of Frank Castle who later becomes the Punisher.

 

The Punisher can be considered a war hero of sorts in that he was a soldier in Vietnam as detailed in The Nam.  The Punisher uses actual military weapons as detailed in The Punisher Armory.  The Punisher also does not have super powers.  On the other hand, the Punisher wears a costume and that is one of the defining characteristics of a superhero.  Most of all the Punisher fights superhero type enemies between conflicts with organized crime.  A high point of this sort of battle was the Punisher versus Doctor Doom story in Punisher #28.  Doctor Doom is the premiere super villain of the Marvel universe who can take on entire super hero teams such as the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and the X-Men.  The Punisher should have no chance against Doctor Doom at all yet he manages to blackmail Doctor Doom into leaving him alone.  Only a superhero could do this.  No one would argue that Batman is not a superhero despite his lack of superpowers.  The Punisher can be seen as a very successful combination of superhero and war hero elements with an emphasis on superhero elements.

 

The star war hero of Marvel is Sgt. Fury who goes on to become a secret agent of SHIELD and is better known for this role than his war hero role.  Sgt. Fury first appeared in his own title in May of 1963 and is very similar to DC’s Sgt. Rock and probably Sgt. Rock was a model for Sgt. Fury to some extent.  Jack Kirby, who created DC’s Boy Commandos, mentioned in an interview that the Howling Commandos were adult versions of the Boy Commandos.  Sgt. Fury is far more famous than all the other war heroes of both universes put together.  Sgt. Fury was also much lighter fare than DC’s Sgt. Rock and Enemy Ace.  Sgt. Fury stories generally avoided the horror of war theme of the DC titles. 

Captain America even shows up in Sgt. Fury #13!  The cover of this issue is at the begining of this post.  Captain America is created by the U.S. government and is described as a super soldier but is more super than soldier and does not even use military armament but instead throws an archaic shield.  Later Nuke emerges from the same super soldier program and does use military hardware and is a Vietnam vet.  Wolverine also comes from the same program providing some continuity to the Marvel universe but these super soldiers are clearly super heroes and not war heroes.

 

Fury is not some outlier of the Marvel universe but a character that is central to the Marvel universe.  Marvel recently had an event labeled Civil War and Fury as the ex-head of SHIELD plays a pivotal role in this event that involved just about every title in the Marvel universe in 2008.  Sgt. Fury logically fights his DC doppelganger Sgt. Rock.  The other Marvel war heroes are obscure characters but will be drafted in this contest due to a lack of options.

 

The Phantom Eagle is a World War I ace that fights for the allies and logically is an opponent of the Enemy Ace.  The Phantom Eagle had more super hero elements than the Enemy Ace including a mask that concealed his secret identity.  The Phantom Eagle had worked in a flying circus prior to fighting in World War I and was a expert stunt flyer.  The Phantom Eagle is also a very obscure character in the Marvel universe and someone who can describe this character really knows their Marvel universe history.

 

There is no equivalent to the Blackhawks in the Marvel universe.  There is a perfect equivalent to Marvel’s Captain Savage and his Leathernecks in the form of DC’s Captain Storm.  Captain Storm was a PT Boat Captain.  Captain Storm lost his leg in combat and had the leg replaced with a wooden leg but stayed in active duty which would not happen in the actual military.  Captain Storm actually had his own title in his very first adventure rather than having his adventures in one of the war anthologies before getting his own title later as was the custom at DC.  Captain Storm appeared as late as 2003 in the Losers Special.  The Losers were a collection of DC’s war heroes including Johnny Cloud and Gunner & Sarge. 

Marvel’s Captain Savage originally was introduced in Sgt. Fury’s Howling Commandos and the main mission of the Leathernecks was to ferry Sgt. Fury and his commandos around but eventually Captain Savage got his own title.  Pitting a fighter squadron against an infantry squad hardly seems fair but pitting two Captains that are both involved in amphibious operations does make sense.

 

The first battle is between the two Sergeants.  Sgt. Rock has a penchant for hand grenades that he throws with unerring accuracy.  Sgt. Rock believes Sgt. Fury is a Nazi imposter and throws a grenade at Sgt. Rock and blows him to pieces.  Sgt. Fury has a tendency to lose his shirt and run directly at heavily fortified positions with his submachine gun blazing rather than taking advantage of other weaponry such as grenades.  Sgt. Fury seems to think he is invulnerable like a superhero!  Sgt. Fury does not seem to know what cover is unlike Sgt. Rock.

 

In World War I, the Phantom Eagle and the Enemy Ace face off and the Phantom Eagle does all sorts of stunts that do not impress the Enemy Ace. The Phantom Eagle is shot down by the Enemy Ace while doing a loop.  The Enemy Ace wonders why this fool of a pilot was wearing a mask and concludes the aviator was probably deranged due to the horrors of war.

 

Captain Storm and Captain Savage get into a bar fight as to whether the Navy or the Marines are better and Captain Savage punches Captain Storm.  Captain Storm goes down because the wooden leg buckles.  Captain Savage sees his opponent on the ground and notices the wooden leg.  Captain Savage feels absolutely terrible.  Captain Savage pulls up Captain Storm rather than finishing him off and apologizes to Captain Storm. Captain Savage buys Captain Storm a drink and the fight is a draw.

 

DC has two war titles that are very interesting from a genre point of view.  The Haunted Tank is a tank that is haunted by Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart.  The ghost is a good ghost and helps the leader of the tank crew out with omniscient but cryptic advice.  I think this is the only comic book title that combines the supernatural and war genres.  The Vertigo line resurrected the Haunted Tank years later. 

 

The Creature Commandos appeared in Weird War Tales #93.  Weird War Tales generally combined the war comic genre with another genre.  The sister publication Weird Western Tales combined the Western genre with other genres.  The idea was to have creatures that generally appear in horror and put them in war situations as commandos. 

The original team consisted of J.A.K.E. and J.A.K.E. 2 that were the first and second GI Robot.  Warren Griffith suffered from clinical lycanthropy i.e. he was a werewolf.  Dr. Myrra Rhodes was effectively a gorgon.  Lt. Matthew Shrieve is the team leader and totally human.  Pvt. Elliot “Lucky” Taylor stepped on a land mine and put back together and looked like Frankenstein.  Sgt. Vincent Velcro was the vampire of the team. 

 

The modern team included Alten, a mummy like creature.  The Bogman was an amphibian that resembled the Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Gunner was a cyborg.  Hunter is 75 and formerly of Hunter’s Hellcats.  Medusa is Myrra Rhodes who has mutated even more. Pvt. Elliot “Lucky” Taylor returns and now called Patchwork. Sgt. Vincent Velcro has become even more vampire like. Warren Griffith, the werewolf, has become more feral and out of control in the modern team.  This cross mixing of non-superhero genres is a hallmark of DC that Marvel never explored to the same extent. 

The next post in this series is DC vs. Marvel War Heroes at:

https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/dc-vs-marvel-working-women/

 

 

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Superpets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

Western Heroes

Women in Refrigerators

Working Women

WereVerse Universe Baby!

 

DC vs. Marvel Western Heroes

marvel-westerns

This is the first in a series of posts that compare DC versus Marvel non-superheroes.  The second post compared war heroes (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/dc-vs-marvel-war-heroes/).  The third post compared working women (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/dc-vs-marvel-working-women/) What if DC cowboys and Native American heroes took on the Marvel cowboys and Native American heroes?  First, who are they?  The following is a list of major DC Western heroes: Arak, Ballon Buster, Bat Lash, Big Anvil, Black Bison, Brass Buttons, Captain Fear, Cinnamon, Dan Hunter, Don Caballero, El Castigo, El Diablo, El Papagayo, Firehair, Frenchie, Hawk, Son of Tomahawk, Healer Randolph, Johnny Cloud, Jonah Hex, Kaintuck Jones, Long Rifle, Lord Shilling, Madame 44, Miss Liberty, Nighthawk, Pow-wow Smith, Roving Ranger, Scalphunter, Serifan, Silver Deer, Stovepipe, Strong Bow, Super-Chief, Terra-Man, Tomahawk, Trigger Twins, Vigilante, Whip, Wildcat, Wyoming Kid. 

 

The Marvel list is a lot shorter and includes American Eagle, Annie Oakley, Apache Kid, Arizona Kid, Ghost Rider, Gunhawk, Kid Colt, Matt Slade, Phantom Rider (Modern West), Outlaw Kid, Rawhide Kid, Red Warrior, Red Wolf, Ringo Kid, Shooting Star, Tex Morgan, Tex Taylor, Texas Kid, Texas Twister, Two-Gun Kid, Western Kid, and Wyatt Earp.  When the two lists are put side by side we notice a couple of interesting differences between these two universes.

 

DC has some superhero type cowboys and Native Americans.  Super-Chief is basically a superman type Native American.  Terra-Man fights Superman.  Some Marvel Western heroes that are more superheroes than Western heroes and include American Eagle, Texas Twister, Red Wolf and Shooting Star.  The “Western superheroes” would absolutely destory the more traditional Western heroes with their superpowers so they are going to be kept off the contest roll call.

 

Marvel also has a couple of real life Western heroes in their universe unlike DC, mainly Annie Oakley and Wyatt Earp.  What both companies share is a list of very obscure characters.  Marvel Westerns are described as having a big three that include the Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid and Kid Colt.  The three kids were united in the title Mighty Marvel Western that ran from 1968-76 and perhaps this was an attempt at some sort of genre synergy.

 

So a logical contest would be the big three of Marvel versus the big three of DC.  Number one on the DC list has to be Jonah Hex due to critical acclaim, popularity and longevity. 

Jonah Hex

Jonah Hex first appeared in the seventies, not the fifties and sixties like most comic book Westerns, and has managed to survive to the present.  This is largely because Jonah Hex is an anti-hero and has had more interesting plot lines and superior artists and writers than other comic book heroes.  I have written about Jonah Hex in another post (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/the-lone-ranger-vs-other-fictional-gun-slingers/).

 

Number two in the DC pantheon would be Tomahawk due to longevity.  I was born in 1957 and first started reading comic books in 1964 as detailed in my Comic Book Autobiography (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/about/comic-book-autobiography/).  I remember Tomahawk fondly.  As a kid I always saw Tomahawk as a Davey Crockett/Daniel Boone copy because he wore a coon skin hat.  The series was set interestingly in the revolutionary war rather than the Wild West but when I was young I noticed the coon skin hat more than historical details.  I actually owned an imitation Davey Crokett coon skin cap so of course I would read a series with someone with such a hat on the cover!  Daniel Boone, the Disney TV series, was also very popular when I became aware of Tomahawk.  I was surprised to find out while researching this post that the Tomahawk series lasted from 1950 to 1972 for a total of 140 issues!  This may be some sort of record for a Western comic book.  This means Tomahawk came before the Disney movies and TV series, to my surprise.  Tomahawk even appeared the 2008 series The War that Time Forgot

Bat Lash

 

Number three on the DC list is Bat Lash due to critical acclaim but not longevity.  Bat Lash won the Alley Awards in 1968 and 1969 for best Best Western Titles. Bat Lash only lasted eight issues.  I also picked Bat Lash because he actually appeared on an episode of Justice League Unlimited alongside Johan Hex in “The Once and Future Thing”.  This means Bat Lash has not totally joined the ranks of Westerns in comic book limbo.   Bat Lash was inspired in part by spaghetti Westerns of the time and I love spaghetti Westerns and this is my list!  Last but not least I have some vague memories of the issues I read as a kid and the same cannot be said of other Western fare I read when I was young.  Bat Lash is the weak link of my DC selection and I welcome comments.

 

The DC heroes face off against the kids of Marvel but Jonah Hex is missing.  The Marvel kids outnumber Bat Lash and Tomahawk, brought to the Wild West via a cave that allows time traveling or whatever, and manage to send them running for cover and they are pinned down.  Suddenly a stick of dynamite is tossed from a second story window and lands right in the middle of the Marvel kids and blows them into little pieces.  Jonah Hex is no fool.  He does not fight great gunfighters like the Marvel kids head on.  Bat Lash and Tomahawk are sickened by this dishonorable victory and ride away vowing to never associate with Jonah Hex again!  Jonah Hex could care less.

Another interesting contest would be between two supernatural Western heroes.  DC has El Diablo.  There is more than one reincarnation of Diablo but the Wild West version is host to a minor demon. El Diablo showed up alongside Bat Lash and Jonah Hex in the afore mentioned  Justice League Unlimited episode “The Once and Future Thing”. El Diablo could actually be the third most significant DC Western hero rather than Bat Lash.  The host of the demon is in a coma and the body only moves around when the demon roams the West seeking vengance. 

Phantom Rider

Marvel’s supernatural Western hero is the Ghost Rider, not the one with the bike, but the one with a horse.  The horsey Ghost Rider was retroactively renamed the Phantom Rider by Marvel but sorry the name on the comic book cover is the correct name no matter what Marvel decides later on.  The Ghost Rider wore a phosphorescent costume and was not a ghost at all.  Even minor demons can defeat fake ghosts so that match goes to El Diablo.  Now try to keep this straight, the story plot device of El Diablo is very similar to the Ghost Rider that rides a bike.  The modern Ghost Rider is also possesed by a demon.  The bike Ghost Rider is about a thousand times more famous and relevant than the horsy one but the horsey one does make an appearance of sorts in the Ghost Rider movie as the caretaker (Sam Elliot) who was a Western version of the Ghost Rider.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

 Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Superpets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

Western Heroes

Women in Refrigerators

Working Women

WereVerse Universe Baby!

 

The Lone Ranger vs. other Fictional Gun Slingers

Lone Ranger vs. Jessy Wales – Josey Wales(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Outlaw_Josey_Wales) carries like fifty hand guns!  The Lone Ranger keeps shooting guns out of the hands of Josey but he just keeps pulling out more guns until he riddles the Lone Ranger. 

Lone Ranger vs. Marshall Matt Dillon – Matt Dillon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshal_Matt_Dillon) gives the Lone Ranger a big smile.  The Lone Ranger smiles back.  Onlookers are blinded by the brilliance of their smiles and if sun glasses had been invented they would surely put them on.  They end up having beer at the saloon and swap law man stories and Miss Kitty wonders what the Lone Ranger looks like under his mask.

Lone Ranger vs. Zorro – The Lone Ranger used to be a Texas Ranger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lone_Ranger).  The Texas Rangers were in the past used to keep the Mexicans down and were called los Diablos Tejanos (Texas Devils) by the Mexicans.  This is no longer the case, well I hope it is no longer the case, but this is a side of Texas history that must be acknowledged.  The Lone Ranger has no patience with uppity Latinos.  Zorro pulls out his sword and the Lone Ranger says sarcastically, “Heh, isn’t that just like a wetback. Brings a sword to a gun fight!” and shoots Zorro dead.  No, no, no!  Ten points if you can figure out what movie I parodied the line from.  Answer at the bottom of this post.

 

The Lone Ranger is not an actual ex- Texas Ranger of that time but a sanitized version of the Wild, Wild West.  The Lone Ranger senses that despite Zorro’s swarthy looks, the fact that he is wearing black, and bad guys always wear black, is wanted by the Mexican authorities and wearing a mask, is in fact a good guy.  Tonto later becomes upset when Zorro explains that Tonto means stupid in Spanish and leaves the Lone Ranger.  Zorro replaces Tonto as a partner of the Lone Ranger and the show emphasizes Anglo/Hispanic unity and the evil word wetback is never ever used.  Disney makes like a zillion dollars from this idea and this humble blogger doesn’t even get a free 3-Day Disney pass.

 

Lone Ranger vs. Jonah Hex – Jonah Hex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonah_Hex) kills the Lone Ranger no problem.  Jonah Hex is the ultimate Western survivor and he doesn’t take prisioners!  I write about Jonah Hex in another post as  well (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/dc-vs-marvel-western-heroes/)

 

WereVerse Universe Baby!

 

Dungeons & Dragons vs. Marvel Comics

Dungeons and Dragrons vs. Marvel

I like Marvel characters more than D&D characters.  I grew up on Marvel and was only introduced to D&D because all my buddies were playing this weird minis D&D game that I got addicted to. I do like the D&D miniatures system much more than the HeroClix system. 

 

I have thought of porting some of the Marvel characters into the D&D system but am way too lazy and I haven’t been able to come up with good conceptual system to make this happen but this got me to thinking about how these two universes compare.  As much as possible I tried to create battle scenarios between characters that are similar in a manner similar to the DC vs. Marvel Mini-series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_vs._DC)  For example Aquaman vs. Namor the submariner.

 

D&D vs. Marvel 1: Avengers Assemble

There is no preparation.

Both opponents have been suddenly teleported to a gladiatorial amphitheater surrounded by a force field.

Colossal Red Dragon vs. Hulk

Tordek vs. Captain America  

Storm Archer vs. Hawkeye

Blackguard on Nightmare vs. Black Knight

D&D vs. Marvel 2: The Big Boys

There is no preparation.

Both opponents have been suddenly teleported to a gladiatorial amphitheater surrounded by a force field.

RPG stats for the D&D side since no minis for the characters listed

Nerul vs. Galactus

Night Walker vs. Marvel Thor

Hextor vs. Marvel Odin

Tiamat vs. Marvel Hercules

Kord vs. Marvel Zeus

 

 

D&D vs. Marvel 3: Battle of the Elements

There is no preparation.

Both opponents have been suddenly teleported to a gladiatorial amphitheater surrounded by a force field.

Fire Elemental vs. Human Torch

Ice Elemental vs. Ice Man

Earth Elemental vs. Sandman

Water Elemental vs. Hydro-Man

Iron Golem vs. Iron Man

 

D&D vs. Marvel 4: Battle of the Mages

There is no preparation.

Both opponents have been suddenly teleported to a gladiatorial amphitheater surrounded by a force field.

Elminster of Shadowdale vs. Doctor Strange

Mordenkainen the Mage vs. Doctor Strange

 

D&D vs. Marvel 5: Creatures of the Night

There is no preparation.

Both opponents have been suddenly teleported to a gladiatorial amphitheater surrounded by a force field.

Count Strahd Von Zarovich vs. Blade

Count Strahd Von Zarovich vs. Marvel Dracula

Average D&D Werewolf vs. Average Marvel Werewolf. 

Average D&D Zombie vs. Average Marvel Zombie 

Average D&D Vampire vs. Average Marvel Vampire  

 

D&D vs. Marvel 6: Others

There is no preparation.

Both opponents have been suddenly teleported to a gladiatorial amphitheater surrounded by a force field.

Storm Rage Shambler vs. Man Thing

Wolverine vs. Troll.  Both can regenerate and are brawlers with sharp claws

Ghostly Consort vs. Invisible Girl

 

All the D&D characters mentioned are minis and their picture and stats can be easily found at:

http://www.vesivus.com/minis/All.htm

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

 

 

Superheroic Abilities in d20 Terms

            This paper was found on the internet minus authorship, that I will be more than happy to give credit to, if I am contacted, and  is a brief primer in how d20 (D&D 3rd Edition) statistics can be used to describe wildly inhuman abilities, such as would be seen in comic-book type superheroes or, presumably, deity-level entities.

            Fortunately, the D&D Player’s Handbook provides an excellent starting place on p. 142 with Table 9-1, “Carrying Capacity”, which shows a geometrically increasing maximum load as the Strength ability increases (the text notes that maximum load is the same as maximum dead-lift, the amount a character can lift over his or her head). Each +10 Strength connotes a x4 increase in maximum load; so, each +5 Strength indicates a x2 increase in max. load; and for a perfectly smooth interpolation, each +1 Strength means a x1.1487 increase in max. load. Note that this progression breaks down at the lowest level; if it were perfectly consistent, the max. loads at the bottom end would be something like Str 0 = 25 lb./ Str 1 = 30 lb./ Str 2 = 35 lb./ Str 3 = 40 lb./ Str 4 = 45 lb. (as opposed to Str x10 lb. as it officially stands). Further note that the actual carrying capacity is also proportional to a creature’s size, according to the text; for example, a Colossal creature can lift x16 the weight that a man-sized creature with the exact same Strength ability score could.

 

Conversion from Marvel Super Heroes to D&D

            The abbreviated table for d20 Strength below includes the Marvel Super Heroes game rank indicated for each approximate block of Strength scores. (Keep in mind that very large creatures listed with a certain lift capacity will in reality have a lower actual Strength score, as noted above.) Using this as a basis allows us to convert any of the Marvel Super Heroes abilities into approximate D&D-style statistics. It seems sensible to convert MSH abilities in the following way: Fighting = Base Attack Bonus (according to “modifier” on the table below); Strength = Strength; Agility = Dexterity; Endurance = Constitution; Reason = Intelligence; Intuition = Wisdom; and Psyche = Charisma. The notable systemic changes in this regard would be that in MSH, Agility is the basis for ranged attacks (in D&D, BAB modified by Dex), and Intuition provides the modifier to initiative rolls (in D&D, it’s Dex, not Wis).

(Note also that the chart below has had some smoothing performed on it, since the official MSH strength categories are quite irregular. By the book, the categories would convert to the following Strength values: Feeble:5, Poor:10, Typical:15, Good:20, Excellent:25, Remarkable:32, Incredible:48, Amazing:60, Monstrous:63, Unearthly:65.)

            Superheroic characters, of course, will also have a variety of Special Abilities as listed in the D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide p. 71-83. Of particular note will be things like rays, regeneration, resistance to energy, cold and fire, incorporeality, invisibility, and so forth. Damage reduction (“body armor” in the MSH system) should be analyzed with an eye toward being able to protect against a blow with a Strength modifier of the same rank (as shown below). Most MSH-style magicians will be Sorcerers in the D&D system.

 

 

 

D&D Tremendous Strength (Abbreviated)

 

  As per D&D 3rd Edition PH p. 142 (Table 9-12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Lift/

Marvel Super Heroes

 

Strength

Modifier

Max. Load

Equivalent Rank

 

10

0

100 lb.

 

 

15

+2

200 lb.

Typical

 

20

+5

400 lb.

Good

 

25

+7

800 lb.

 

 

30

+10

1,600 lb.

Excellent

 

35

+12

1½ tons

Remarkable

 

40

+15

3 tons

 

 

45

+17

6 tons

Incredible

 

50

+20

12 tons

Amazing

 

55

+22

25 tons

 

 

60

+25

50 tons

Monstrous

 

65

+27

100 tons

Unearthly

 

70

+30

200 tons

 

 

75

+32

400 tons

Shift X

 

80

+35

800 tons

Shift Y

 

85

+37

1,600 tons

 

 

90

+40

3,200 tons

Shift Z

 

95

+42

6,400 tons

Class 1000

 

100

+45

12,800 tons

 

WereVerse Universe Baby!