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Brian Hague
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 1:53pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

One of my most fondly remembered comic stories from way back when was a Justice League tale in which the team is confronted by a collection of DC's historical characters such as Jonah Hex, Enemy Ace, and nurse Betty Lynne, a.k.a. Miss America. It cross-promoted their titles (those who had them) and served as a history lesson of sorts for the characters with whom the readers might not have been familiar. Years later, the JLA did a western crossover which closely mirrored an Avengers story from some years before. In the Eighties, the WCA would spend a long time trapped in Marvel's Western era. Superman went to 1776 and on another occasion met Sgt. Rock, serving as a member of Easy Co. Iron Man and Dr. Doom were trapped in Arthur's England.

As a reader, I really enjoyed these trips into the past absent all of the alternate timeline fooferah and "Sound of Thunder" butterflies crunching underfoot. Don't get me wrong, I like a good alternate timeline and Tyme Sefari kicker as much if not more than the next man, but with these stories, it was more the novelty of seeing characters interact who realistically* wouldn't have the opportunity to; The chance to get to know a character I might not have investigated otherwise. Spider-Man and Red Sonja? What a great idea! "What If Conan Walked the Earth Today?" Bring it on! I liked Two-Gun Kid's sojourn into our time as well. 

Another variation on stories of this type is the "hero is sent travelling through time" set-up recently done with Batman in Morrison's "R.I.P." saga. "Hawkman" has done a lot with various incarnations set in different times. Veitch's "Swamp Thing" went time-tripping as well**.  And then there are those stories featuring characters who are long-lived or effectively immortal, such as Thor and the Demon, who often have stories set in the past because, well, they were there.

More recently, Marvel and DC have adopted the concept of simply setting their heroes in past eras ala' "Elseworlds" or 1602, without any transportation element to the story. (Yes, I know 1602 is a bit labored on this point.) The heroes simply live there and always have. 

I also like it when characters from other eras simply age forward into our's, as was done with the Justice Society and Dominic Fortune in an issue of Marvel Team-Up. The 3-D Man from Marvel's 1950's made a memorable appearance in Hulk #251.

How about you? Do you have any favorite Cross-Time Capers or appearances by characters outside their regular temporal contexts you'd like to list or talk about? I would expect JB's Revolutionary War-era Superman annual will get a lot of love here, as will Generations. 

Also, which historical character do you feel might do well transported to another era, present-day or otherwise? DC tried it with "Hex," set in an apocalyptic future. Would they have done better had they instead published "Ace?***" Or "Hawk, Son of Tomahawk?"

This thread could also be a place to simply expound upon a feature set in another time period that you really enjoyed. I may go off on the "Creature Commandoes" here pretty soon... :-)

* Always a relative term at best in comics
** I really like the issue with Tomahawk from this story cycle. With art by Tom Yeates, I recommend it if you're prowling through a back issue bin at some point.
*** No, not the dog.


Edited by Brian Hague on 10 February 2018 at 1:56pm
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 2:54pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I enjoyed the New Mutants' Truth or Dare series which saw the original New Mutants interact with those in the team published at the time (if this this is the sort of thing you mean).

Of course, Bendis ripped this off and used it with the X-Men - he always seems to go that much further and ruin what might have otherwise been a neat one-off,  
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 3:06pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I had not heard of that New Mutants tale, Matthew, and looking into it online, you're right. That does sound a bit like Bendis' set-up for the X-Men. 

I believe the extended stay in the present was the point of what Bendis was doing, though, using that time spent in the "now" to warp the character dynamics and attitudes of the younger, original members into widely differing ones from those we knew, "knowing now what they did not know then," while providing the current team with an ongoing reminder of how far they'd missed the mark from Xavier's intentions. It was a mixed bag, to be sure.


Edited by Brian Hague on 10 February 2018 at 3:07pm
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 6:45pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

These are some of my favorite types of stories.

One that I remember fondly was Thing fighting with the Liberty Legion in 1942. Love those war time hero's and villain's .

Then there are the stories where our hero is transported to the future like when Spider-Man fought alongside Killraven.

Fun stuff!
Good topic Brian.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 7:00pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Betty Lynn's Revolutionary War heroine alter ego was 'Miss Liberty'.
She later turned up in an ALL-STAR SQUADRON crossover with CRISIS, in which she joined Firebrand, Arak, and a few other historical characters, in a story set at Cape Canaveral in 1985.

My favorite team-up was in JUSTICE LEAGUE 198-199: The Lord of Time gives 4 JLAers amnesia and sends them to Arizona in 1878, where Jonah Hex, Scalphunter, Bat Lash, and Cinnamon helped out.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 10 February 2018 at 9:54pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Right you are, sir, on the name of Betty Lynn's costumed identity. I've long wanted to track down her earliest appearances in the Tomahawk feature. I regret the error.

And that JLA story was a favorite of mine as well. I remember bringing the comic to school with me and jonesing for it in class while it remained in my locker. It's no doubt the reason I finally tracked down the Weird Western Tales issues where Cinnamon debuted.

Your post reminded me that in Brave and the Bold #171, Batman met Scalphunter in a story illustrated by the always-astonishing Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. If you liked that JLA story, you might like the other as well.

And Doug, I'd forgotten how much at home Ben seemed in the 1940's fighting alongside those early Marvel heroes! 


Edited by Brian Hague on 10 February 2018 at 10:00pm
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 11:14am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

That BRAVE AND BOLD story was really good, as is anything drawn by JLGL(believe Gerry Conway wrote it). My introduction to Professor Nichols and the 'Time travel via hypnosis' gimmick. There isn't a lot of interaction between the two characters, but it's one of those stories that works well despite that hiccup.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 1:04pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

What brought the Scalphunter team-up to mind so strongly in connection with that JLA/Western Heroes story was that a student around the same time cut up the B&B story to make a collage in English class. I was apoplectic that someone could do that to such a beautiful comic...

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 2:07pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Cut up... a Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez comic?

Brian, you get me a name and an address. Then don't go near there for a few weeks. Because nothing happened, as far as you know...
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Mark Evanier, during his run on BLACKHAWK, did a good job on a team-up with Superman, in DC COMICS PRESENTS # 69. It's discovered that Perry White won a Pulitzer in the '40s...but has no memory of it. Superman does some tim-traveling(on Clark's lunch break), and, disguised as mild-mannered reporter 'Jonathan Clinton', gets involved with the aforementioned team of ace pilots...and Albert Einstein...in a tale full of Nazi nastiness(and mind-control).
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 3:06pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I remember reading a UK reprint of Brave and Bold # 120 which saw Batman transported into the future, or at least his spirit, where he meets Kamandi. I had no idea who Kamandi is and with the story played from his POV - it is well into the story before there is any explanation as to why Batman is there and after Kamandi - remember finding it quite bonkers, not least cos I spent the whole story thinking that it all seemed a bit Planet of The Apes.
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 3:14pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Supposedly, KAMANDI was what Jack Kirby came up with after DC was unable to get the rights to a POTA adaptation.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 3:32pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Brian, is that DCCP the one where Evanier was able to get a page or two from Kirby and a page or two from Toth and then sort assembled it into the issue we saw? 

Matthew, I liked that issue from Kamandi's POV a lot.

Eric, I am right there with you, man...

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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 5:15pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

'Other Brian';-)...The artwork for the Blackhawk story was by Irv Novick and Dennis Jensen. 
Kirby(with Theakston) and Toth worked on a Challengers of the Unknown team-up in DCCP 84...but that story was written by Bob Rozakis. 
(I could dig up DC CHALLENGE, which I believe had contributions from both artists, as well as Evanier).
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 8:49pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

A BIT??
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Robert Bradley
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 9:18pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I really love that Avengers (#142-143) story where Thor, Hawkeye and Moondragon go back in time, encounter the Western gunslingers (Kid Colt, the Rawhide Kid, the Ringo Kid, the Two-Gun Kid, the Phantom Rider and the Rawhide Kid) and then take on Kang with the Two-Gun Kid's help.

Also, another favorite is the Fantastic Four's first encounter with Rama-Tut way back in FF #19 and the follow-up story in Doctor Strange #53 where Strange went back to the same event.

And finally, Marvel Two-in-One #4-5 where the Thing and Captain America travel to the 31 century to meet the Guardians of the Galaxy in their second appearance.

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 9:20pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Yeah. In "Truth or Death," Illyana is challenged in a game of truth or dare to face her fate and future self and triple dog-dares everyone else to come with her as she takes them from the past to meet their then-present day versions and finds that she herself has died. This lasts three issues.

In Bendis's story, a dis-spirited and dying Hank McCoy wrests the teenage versions of the original X-Men involuntarily out of their place in time and leaves them stranded in the present day to witness the results of the A vs. X crossover and the death of Xavier by a Phoenix-possessed Cyclops. This becomes the set-up for the book going forward.

So, yes, Ben Raab's "Truth or Death" is a bit like what Bendis does. It's also a bit like what Claremont did with the New Mutants back when he had the team meet older, evil, corrupted punk rock versions of themselves via Illyana's stepping circles. Claremont sometimes had teams of X-Men and mutants meeting their alternate selves or corrupted copies of themselves at different places in their timelines such as in Magik and the Exiles.

Raab and Bendis were both following established patterns laid down by Claremont in what they wrote. Mutants frequently faced their older or younger selves and the likelihood of unhappy outcomes, if not outright corruption, in Claremont's psycho-dramas. What Bendis did was drag the original Lee and Kirby kids kicking and screaming into the mix.


Edited by Brian Hague on 11 February 2018 at 9:31pm
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 9:26pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Robert, that Doctor Strange issue was a fun example of moving freely along the Marvel timeline and not unduly stepping on anyone's toes in the process, in diametric opposition to Bendis's approach later. Of the two, I definitely prefer the former. 

Edited by Brian Hague on 11 February 2018 at 9:30pm
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 11 February 2018 at 9:54pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

The Rick Veitch time-traveling SWAMP THING story was great fun until Veitch suddenly left it unfinished. (He had a very, very good reason to leave DC -- look it up if you have time.)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 6:24am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Speaking of historical references, watching WONDER WOMAN the other night, I noticed the DC montage in the opening credits featured all the prominent characters -- in their classic forms. NONE of them looked how they currently look in the movies. In fact, audiences familiar only with the movies would have wondered who that blond guy was in the orange shirt and green tights.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 6:25am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Cut up... a Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez comic?

Why not? It's the ARTIST that matters, not the product.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 9:31am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Mr. Byrne - I did kinda mean to make that a joke. I guess I was a little too subtle (imagine that! ME being subtle!) I'd feel the same outrage about someone cutting up one of your books. And the products are all I'll ever have, unless the opportunity miraculously arises to meet you, Mr. Garcia-Lopez, or others of the remaining classics. (Ramona Fradon, Joe Sinnott, Marie Severin... can't think of too many still on this side of the sod.) However, sir, if you're ever in Greater Cleveland, let me know. Dinner's on me.

Robert B. - Remember that along with the Fantastic Four and Dr. Strange, the West Coast Avengers also got involved in that era. And as you noted, I don't recall anyone stepping on anyone else's toes.

So, extra-temporal occurrences. Well, my first is obviously* Superboy and Supergirl in the future with the Legion of Super-Heroes.

I was amused with Green Lantern being pulled into the 57th/58th century as Pol Manning (and his relationship with Iona Vane might be listed as a "lost love", under another topic.)

I liked the Doc Savage crossovers with Spider-Man and with the Thing and the Human Torch.

The Guardians of the Galaxy were always pretty cool to me*, so I liked the crossovers with The Thing and Captain America, the Defenders, and Thor (although that Thor story was a little pushy. Frozen in an ice block in space? Where'd the WATER come from?) 

The follow up to that Thor story where Korvac/Michael came back to confront the Avengers was a multi-part story that actually had my attention... something like eleven or twelve issues, but it didn't crossover, and it wasn't quite so blatant that I felt slapped in the face with a sea bass.

I really liked Brave and the Bold #192, Batman and Superboy. Mike Barr had his own flavor of Batman which didn't bother me too much... but when Batman encounters his old friend as a boy, the character transition was very pleasurable.

Characters in other times... I think that a Deathlok series set in the 20th century might be interesting - or did they do that? I know that there was a Deathlok body in a Marvel Two-in-One story - drawn beautifully by Mr. Byrne, no less - but it wasn't really Deathlok.

And for a really quirky idea... a lot of religions and belief systems have winged beings as deities. It might have been fun to have a tale where Hawkman and Hawkgirl got transported through time to different eras, creating these myths. There were a lot of ways to do it. In a Hawkman story as part of another plan by I.Q. that backfired again. Or as part of a JLA story against the Time Master. Or even in Brave and the Bold, with Batman, against the Time Lord.

*It's obvious if you know me, anyhow. :)
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 5:11pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I have no idea what the comic was but I can recall a panel where Vance Astro meets his younger self and wants to warn him of what is to come, I think. The details are sketchy so I may have not have this quite right.  
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 5:13pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

A BIT??

***

Assuming this was aimed at my POTA comment, JB, let me clarify. This was my ten-year old self who had probably only seen POTA once thought there were similarities when encountering Kamandi in that Batman tale. Of course, I now know there were more than just one or two passing similarities ... 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 12 February 2018 at 7:17pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Matthew, might that Vance Astro confrontation have been in MTIO #69?

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