Deadshot’s Tophat and Other Beginnings: Ce to Cr

March 13th, 2007 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m going to level with you. This is not going to be an impressive group of characters. Remember how the last article had Captain America and Captain Marvel and shit? The most famous character here is known for having a cameo in X-Men 2 and a damn near non-existant role in the third movie. But we are going to delve into some really weird stories. Oh, yes.

God, I hate you, Wonder Woman.


Eternals #2 (1976)

The Celestials are mentioned a few times in the first issue of Eternals, but we don’t get to actually see one until the next issue. Now, bear with me on this because I don’t know the slightest thing about the Eternals and I’ve never really paid attention to the Celestials. The story here has to do with Ikaris and his archeologist friends fighting some Deviants until Ajak comes in on a spaceship and saves the day. All of the sudden, this guy shows up.

Sorry. Too much trippy exposition for me to follow.


Showcase #6 (1957)

I would barely even know who these guys were if it wasn’t for New Frontier and that one Amalgam story where the Challengers of the Fantastic fought the mighty GALACTIAC. Looking at it from the beginning, these guys have one cool origin story.

Rocky Davis, Professor Haley, Red Ryan and Ace Morgan are four different guys announced to be guests on a radio show dedicated to heroes. As they ride the same plane, they run into turbulence and crash.

The story of the issue involves a wizard Morelian hiring the Challengers to help him open a mystical box he owns. This leads to the team going on a series of wacky adventures, including one bit where they fight a miniature sun that freezes things. They succeed and Morelian opens the box. The inscription on the box says that inside you will find the secret to immortality. Morelian finds a ring inside, puts it on, flies off and laughs about his victory.

His plane then crashes and he dies. Turns out the box itself gives you immortality; not the ring. Oops.


Amazing Spider-Man #1 (1963)

The first Amazing Spider-Man had several plots that really had little to do with each other, such as Spider-Man saving John Jameson and Spider-Man trying to join the Fantastic Four. The Chameleon bit comes at the end.

Chameleon hears about how everyone’s out to get Spider-Man and decides to use that to his advantage. He uses a device to signal Spider-Man and asks to meet him at a specific destination. Chameleon dresses up as Spider-Man, steals some missile defense plans and runs off just as the real Spider-Man shows up to take the blame. Spider-Man then chases Chameleon and successfully catches him. He brings Chameleon to the police, but the villain slips away and dresses as a cop. Spider-Man grabs him, but the desperate villain screams at the others that Spider-Man is really Chameleon in disguise again. Spider-Man escapes and starts moping, while Chameleon is arrested. During that scuffle with Spider-Man, Chameleon’s shirt got torn up, revealing a Spider-Man costume underneath.


Wonder Woman #6 (1943)

The first Cheetah is Priscilla Rich, a rich woman who is pretty envious of Wonder Woman. At a charity benefit, she is humiliated when the crowd boos her off the stage and insists they bring on Wonder Woman. Later on, Wonder Woman tries a Houdini-like stunt where she’s to be bound in chains and put in a glass tank. When nobody’s looking, Priscilla uses Wonder Woman’s lasso as well, which she knows Wonder Woman can’t break. The crowd is afraid that Wonder Woman might be in real danger, but Priscilla assures them that she’ll escape. By working through the chains, Wonder Woman does somehow find a way out of it.

Priscilla then gets even more jealous when Wonder Woman convinces her boyfriend to break off a promised dinner date. That’s when things hit a boiling point.

She steals the charity money and then follows Wonder Woman home. She stands over Wonder Woman with a knife, but decides that death would be too good. She wants to ruin her as well. She plants the money underneath the bed and runs off. As Priscilla, she gets Wonder Woman arrested. Wonder Woman is bailed out and is given a message of where to meet her lawyer.

At the address, Wonder Woman instead finds a warehouse. Inside is Cheetah holding her boyfriend Courtley Darling at gunpoint. Using Darling as a hostage, she pushes him and Wonder Woman into a room full of quicksand. Wonder Woman’s supporting cast catches up on the clues and comes to the warehouse just as Wonder Woman jumps out of the quicksand. Cheetah’s on the roof, trying to set the building on fire and destroy the evidence. Once she sees Wonder Woman’s escaped, the roof breaks apart and she falls to her supposed death.

There are a couple other Cheetah stories in the issue, including one where she and Wonder Woman finally fight it out. When Wonder Woman wins, she unmasks Cheetah to find Priscilla Rich. Priscilla breaks down and admits that she’s gone insane. She begs Wonder Woman to keep her prisoner so she can one day control the Cheetah side of her.

There are three other Cheetahs, but only one other is actually important. In Wonder Woman #9 (1987) we begin with this funny little man going through some cultish ritual over the body of Dr. Barbara Minerva. The next day, she has a meeting with Wonder Woman, with a false claim about some kind of magic amazon girdle she’s discovered that is related to Wonder Woman’s lasso. This is really part of Minerva’s attempt to steal Wonder Woman’s lasso for herself. The thing is, when she touches the lasso, she ends up admitting that she’s a liar and that she only tricked Wonder Woman to get close to the lasso. Wonder Woman leaves in a huff and Minerva decides to take a less subtle approach.

That night, she takes part in another ritual. She drinks a strange liquid that transforms her into a half-woman/half-cheetah. She stalks through the streets and tracks down Wonder Woman in a forest. The two fight, but Wonder Woman finds herself losing. Right when it looks like Cheetah has it won, she’s shot in the chest by Wonder Woman’s friend Julia. The wounded Cheetah jumps into a nearby body of water, eluding Wonder Woman in the meantime.


Showcase #39 (1962)

Doc Magnus and the Metal Men investigate the disappearance of Professor Ramsey Norton. They’re attacked by a giant hand, which soon grabs them and pulls them into Ramsey’s underground lab. Ramsey himself is now a giant for some reason. He explains his ultimate folly and his need for the Metal Men’s help.

He has been trying to come up with cures for various diseases, but he keeps hitting dead ends. Rather than find a way to properly dispose of his chemical waste from his failed experiments, he decided to use it constructively. He built a man-shaped jar and poured the various chemicals into it. That way he could epitomize his failures into one guy and up his enthusiasm.

The compound Chemo spewed onto him caused him to become really big, but he’s also dying. His dying words are a warning to the Metal Men that Chemo needs to be stopped. Throughout the rest of the issue, the various Metal Men fail. All that are left are Magnus and Platinum. Chemo burns a hole through the ground and Magnus uses that to his advantage. They go underground and find a series of gas jets. Chemo ends up getting stuck between two gas jets from each side and is held firmly in place. Magnus decides that’s good enough and goes back to his routine of refusing hot robot sex with Platinum.


New Teen Titans Annual #2 (1983)

Robin’s own failure has brought forth the death of an innocent family. Now he’s bent on bringing in the mobster responsible for it. The Teen Titans are worried for their leader, but agree to help him anyway. Said mobster gets a bit too nervous at Robin’s threat and calls up an associate named the Monitor. The Monitor calls upon a series of mercenaries with horribly uncreative names (Spear, Scorcher, Slasher and Bazooka).

The last hired killer gets a real introduction. An old man comes to her during one of her successful jobs and tells news that she’s needed. Nearby is a man dead in his bed, next to an unfinished glass of what appears to be wine. Cheshire pours the liquid out of the glass, allowing it to burn through the floor.

The Titans go through a warehouse to find the files on the mobster. Suddenly, they’re attacked by all the mercs. A fire is started and Starfire flies out and towards a rooftop, hoping to use a water tower to help stop the blaze. She’s knocked out of the air with a kick.

Starfire can’t land a single blast or punch no matter what she tries. Kid Flash runs by and grabs Cheshire, only to be cut across the shoulder by her poisonous nails. She escapes and luckily, Raven is able to save Kid Flash’s life.

That one Spear guy was totally Marv Wolfman wanting to have Mr. T in his comic. He needs a post-Crisis comeback.


Green Lantern #148 (1982)

Eh……………………… pass.


My Greatest Adventure #80 (1963)

The Chief brings Negative Man, Elasti-Girl and Robot Man to his lair and suggests they become a team. They aren’t really into the idea, but they are impressed when they see the kind of stuff he has all over his home, such as his Nerve Center room. They see a news flash about a bomb on TV. The Chief gives Negative Man a device that can track it down. Negative Man takes his bizarre negative form and brings the bomb back to headquarters in under a minute. Chief suggests that the bomb will go off if he tries to disarm it conventionally. Elasti-Girl shrinks and takes care of it from within the bomb itself. Robot Man holds the bomb so that if it goes off, he will be able to muffle the explosion and save some of the others.

The disarming is a success and the cynical three are now onboard to stay a team. The team goes through another mission in the same issue, which gets them some media attention. The Chief rather enjoys how the media has labeled them the Doom Patrol.

The story also features the origins of the Doom Patrol members, but I’ll go over them another time.


Wonder Woman #37 (1949)

Wonder Woman’s boyfriend Steve Trevor takes a rocket to the moon with a scientist and some other dudes. Wonder Woman tries to keep tabs on the rocket’s progress, but it seems to vanish from radar. Thankfully, a week or so later, the rocket lands back on Earth. Wonder Woman finds that the only thing inside the rocket is a talking owl with the voice of the scientist who created the rocket. As it turns out, on the way to the moon, the rocket was intercepted by the sorceress Circe, who brought the men to her planetoid.

From drinking the water on the planetoid, all the men were transformed into animals. Wonder Woman and the talking owl return to the moon via the invisible jet. Wonder Woman chases down Circe, but some living trees shower Wonder Woman with their dew, causing her to transform into a doe. Wonder Doe runs off before Circe can catch her. Wonder Doe figures out where the antidote is and climbs up a nearby mountain to get it. To go with how silly the rest of this story is, the antidote is not only sitting on the top of a mountain, but it’s contained in a wine glass. She drinks some of it and reverts to her normal self.

To keep Circe distracted, Wonder Woman finds a real doe and makes Circe think it’s her. Circe binds it with the golden lasso, thinking she’s won. Wonder Woman cures the men, beats down Circe and promises to take her to Paradise Island for reformation.

No more 1940 Wonder Woman stories, please.


Detective Comics #40 (1940)

The original Clayface isn’t exactly what you’d expect. Bruce Wayne’s fiancé for the moment, Julie, has a major role in a horror movie about a killer called The Terror. It’s actually a remake of an older film, which starred character actor Basil Karlo. On the set of the movie, Bruce meets a series of people with a vendetta against the movie. A director who gets fired, an actor that gets dumped by his actress girlfriend and a mobster who wants protection money. Bruce can just tell that something’s going to happen.

True to his theory, the next day they’re filming one character’s death scene. We meet today’s villain.

Dude, come on. Not only is Polaris part of a different company, but she isn’t even going to exist for another couple decades! Man!

So anyway, the villain turns off the lights and stabs the Lorna Dane who isn’t THE Lorna Dane to death. Batman and Robin investigate by looking at all the suspects. The mob guys aren’t involved. They go to the dumped actor, but find him dying. His last words are, “Clayface…” thereby identifying the killer with a name. Batman thinks it might be the director, since he’s the only major suspect left.

Robin sneaks around a castle setting, looking for clues, when Clayface attacks him. Though Robin disarms him, Clayface still beats him unconscious and tosses him off a bridge. Batman rescues Robin, but the bad guy gets away.

The next day, Clayface makes an attempt to murder Bruce’s fiancé Julie. This time, Batman has him scouted. He and Robin thwart his attempted murder, tie him up and Batman even allows Robin a couple revenge punches. Someone recognizes the clay mask Clayface wears. It was the same mask a character wore in the horror movie entitled “Clayface”, as played by Basil Karlo. Batman chips off the mask and reveals that Basil is the killer after all. Like, zoinks!

A more well-known version of Clayface appeared in Detective Comics #298 (1961). Like in the animated series, this guy is Matt Hagan. Rather than get a real job, he skin dives in hopes of discovering treasure. He finds a secret grotto filled with some magic rainbow bubbles. Upon coming into contact with them, he gains the ability to transform into any shape he wishes. Like any jerk with powers, he decides to steal some money.

Clayface steals thousands of dollars in charity money, transforms into a bird and escapes before Batman and Robin can do anything. The Dynamic Duo and Clayface cross paths again when Clayface tries to steal art from a museum. Clayface has an easy enough time dealing with the heroes until realizing his powers are wearing off. He outwits Batman to make an escape, proving to Batman that Clayface is at the very least losing his powers.

Hagan returns to the grotto and immerses himself with the rainbow goop. Now he knows that 48 hours is his time limit. He gets himself a gang and changes his appearance from job to job. They were pretty damn creative with Hagan in this issue. He’d turn into a buzz saw, give himself a frog’s head, turn into a dragon man* and at one point makes himself into a hybrid of a dinosaur, a lion and a unicorn.

After another fight with Batman and Robin, Clayface’s identity and home are revealed. Unfortunately for him, his powers wear off and he can’t escape. He refuses to explain his origins to Batman, as he will one day escape prison and become Clayface once again.

There would be a couple more versions of Clayface, such as one who had to live in a body-mold to hold him together and later there was a female Clayface. The four Clayfaces eventually formed a faction called the Mud Pack and the latter two members had their own clay child. Thanks to the Dini Batman series, Hagan is the most popular incarnation of the mantle.

*Or maybe he was just a dragon. But he was still Clayface!


Strange Tales #126 (1964)

Dormammu sends a messenger to the Ancient One to warn him that he’s planning on marching into the human world. Dr. Strange takes his cue and enters Dormammu’s realm to stop him. After vanquishing a foe, we see that Strange is being followed.

Clea doesn’t think Strange has any chance whatsoever against Dormammu, but her confidence rises each time Strange defeats an enemy. She tries to whisper to him that he should leave, but he ignores it. Finally, she outright goes to Strange and tells him to his face that he’s going to lose and still he doesn’t care. Strange continues to stay straight-faced, insisting that if Dormammu is as powerful as Clea fears, then he must not shirk. He has to stop this guy from coming to Earth.

Once Strange leaves, Clea questions why she even tried to warn him in the first place.


Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (1982)

The two are joined at the hip as it is, so I might as well just lump them together.

Spider-Man’s swinging around when he comes across a guy on a rooftop, having an episode. The man is a pharmacist, admitting that he’s done some awful things for the mob, but wants Spider-Man to take him in to the DA. Spider-Man nods along until his Spider Sense goes off.

Spider-Man rushes Cloak, only to be enveloped into his cape’s portal to darkness. While he’s busy, Dagger tosses a handful of light daggers into Marshall’s chest. Spider-Man escapes Cloak’s dimension and sees that Cloak and Dagger have just murdered this poor guy. He goes after them again, but Dagger tosses some more of her light daggers at him. Spider-Man tries to escape, but they’re locked onto his movement. Cloak reabsorbs Spider-Man into his cape, allows the daggers to stab him and then lets Spider-Man go. The duo escapes, with Spider-Man unable to stand.

Using some detective skills as Peter Parker, he figures out where Cloak and Dagger are. At Ellis Island, Cloak and Dagger have been gathering mobsters and shoving them into a room. Once upon a time, these mobsters would abduct young runaways and have Marshall experiment on them. They’d be tossed into that same room for observation. A lot of the kids died. Enough died that Marshall and the others figured it would be best to just abandon the project and leave. Cloak and Dagger, on the other hand, got away with new abilities.

Spider-Man breaks through a window, admitting that if they told him this, he could have helped them. But murder isn’t the answer. Cloak and Dagger disagree, turning it into a three-way fight of Spider-Man vs. Cloak and Dagger vs. mobsters. Cloak wraps the mobsters into his dark dimension. They panic until noticing a light in the distance. They rush towards the light, but at the last moment, they find that it’s the moonlight outside the window. They crash through the window and fall to their deaths. Cloak and Dagger show no remorse and teleport away, allowing Spider-Man to live.


World’s Finest Comics #351 (1966)

Whenever there’s a costume party in a comic book universe, you’re just asking for trouble.


The police hit the Arrow Signal and elsewhere, Oliver Queen gets into costume. You know, if this was Gotham City, at least Bruce Wayne would have been at the party to prevent shit like this. Doesn’t really matter, as Clock King makes no attempt to escape until after Green Arrow and Speedy shoot themselves over in a catapult.

Clock King does eventually escape and then commits a series of time-related robberies. A later robbery involves him breaking into an antiques store set next door to a clock store. In that clock store, he has set every clock’s alarm to go off at the same time. That way it’ll drown out the sound of the alarm when he sneaks into the antiques place. What a plan, huh?

Green Arrow and Speedy catch him in the act and chase him down until reaching his lair, decked out in clock stuff. Green Arrow and Speedy are dropped into a giant hour glass. As the sand sifts down to the bottom, Arrow discovers that there are giant spikes waiting for them on the floor. The two simply grapple their way out of there with a suction cup arrow and a rope and catch the Clock King easily.


Detective Comics #351 (1966)

Remember Aunt Harriet? The annoying woman added to the Batman TV show because they didn’t want people to think Adam West and Burt Ward were gay? As it turns out, she used to be in the comic as well. In this issue, she uncovers the elevator to the Batcave and briefly wanders around until hearing the Batmobile’s return. Bruce and Dick realize Harriet’s discovery and try to trick her into thinking she imagined it all.

As for the Cluemaster, he believes that criminals lose against Batman because they fear him too much. If he was to have an advantage on Batman, he’d be far easier to take down. Cluemaster doesn’t even try to commit a crime before taking on Batman. He tracks him down and takes the fight to him immediately.

He gets away and commits several crimes, giving a Riddler-like calling card each time. The advantage he talks about comes from finding out Batman’s secret identity. Over the course of the issue, there are several times where he would have succeeded if it wasn’t for Batman and Robin negating his efforts as they try to mess with Aunt Harriet. Eventually, they figure out where Cluemaster’s hanging out and take him down.


Giant Size X-Men #1 (1975)

It’s the story widely known to be the new beginning of the X-Men. Most of the original team has been kidnapped by the sentient island Krakoa. Xavier searches the world for new members of the team, which includes Colossus.

We start with his sister Illyana playing in a field in Siberia, unaware that a runaway tractor is coming for her. Peter Rasputin drops what he’s doing and runs into action.

He demolishes the tractor, feeling bad for its owners. Xavier contacts him and tells him about how he can help him deal with his mutant powers. Peter asks his parents for advice, to which his father says he should follow his heart. Peter’s heart says to stay, but his conscience says otherwise.

That’s about it for Colossus in this story. He is there for the rescue, but he doesn’t do all too much.

Back when Colossus died in the late-90’s, the final page of the issue shows him dead on the floor with others surrounding him in mourning. There are text boxes featuring the dialogue from the above-mentioned scene between Colossus and his parents from this, his first appearance. An effective way to twist the knife, if you ask me.


Incredible Hulk #212 (1977)

Hulk’s friend Jim Wilson is in New York City, looking to help out his big buddy. He’s also being hunted down by several thugs. One of them tries to kill Jim, only to be beaten down for his troubles. The thug panics and tries to get out of town for messing up. He doesn’t get far before his boss, the Constrictor, nabs him and threatens to kill him. The scared goon tells his boss that he placed a tracker on Jim. Constrictor tosses the guy aside and goes off.

Later, Jim plays detective on the phone, trying to figure out where Banner is hiding out. Once he tracks down Bruce, the shit hits the fan.

Jim tries to run, but gets caught easily enough. Constrictor sticks him in his car and drives off around the time Bruce arrives on the scene. Bruce yells at Constrictor and gets his attention. Constrictor doesn’t know who this guy is, but decides he’ll just ram him over. At the last second, he freaks out and jumps out the car, right before it smashes into the Hulk. Hulk frees Jim and goes after Constrictor.

For a while, Constrictor has the Hulk’s number. He is able to blind him, side-step him and repeatedly trick him. He shows how his tentacles are unbreakable by wrapping them around the Hulk’s neck and electrocuting him. What Constrictor fails to realize is that not only is he connected to the Hulk, but the Hulk is now connected to him. Hulk grabs the tentacles and tosses Constrictor around until he lets go. Constrictor grabs Jim and threatens to kill the young man. Hulk pounds on the ground, creating a shockwave that knocks Jim away from the villain.

Constrictor goes for one last lash of his tentacles. Hulk ducks them and causes the indestructible whips to wrap around the nearby lamppost. Constrictor becomes a conductor and the lamp’s power zaps him unconscious. Hulk and Jim leave him KO’d and walk off together.


Showcase #73 (1968)

Jack Ryder is a talkshow host who has more nerve than sense. He verbally destroys a guest in a debate, knowing full well that the guest is a close, personal friend of his sponsor. Ryder refuses to apologize and gets fired. A man working for the government likes Ryder’s style and hires him. Some Russian mob goons have kidnapped Professor Yatz. As it turns out, these same mobsters are throwing a party. Ryder’s mission is to sneak into the party, find Yatz and get him out of there. Is he a bad enough dude to rescue the Professor?

Ryder sees that it’s a costume party, so he makes a quick trip to the nearest costume shop and sees what they got. He ends up buying a box of random crap for ten bucks and fashions a costume out of it. He sneaks into the mansion where the party is being held and is quick to get into trouble. He’s stabbed in the stomach, but still fights through enough goons to find sanctuary. Unfortunately, his hiding spot is the same place where they’re keeping Professor Yatz prisoner. Yatz tends to Ryder’s wound and inserts his beloved invention within the cut so the mobsters can never get it. Ryder is now stronger, more agile and able to heal quickly. As long as these powers are on, he’s stuck wearing his silly costume.

A goon pops in and shoots the professor accidentally. Creeper punches out the henchman and makes a run for it. While escaping, he runs into more trouble. Figuring that his appearance is already throwing these guys off-guard, he starts laughing maniacally. As it turns out, it’s really effective and totally messes with their heads. He makes his getaway with the authorities after him, thinking he’s a criminal.

Creeper eventually finds out the villains’ hideout and goes for the rematch. He goes after each thug and shows off his newfound powers and insane sense of humor.


One-by-one, the Creeper takes down these hoods until beating their boss. The police arrive to find all these wanted criminals, but aren’t fast enough to catch the Creeper. Creeper transforms back into Jack Ryder and gives the police directions on where the Creeper ran off.

Ryder figures out how to work the device the late Professor Yatz installed into his body. He decides he’ll continue on as the Creeper, even if the mob now has a gigantic price on his head.


Justice League of America #29 (1964)

Earth 1 has the Justice League. Earth 2 has the Justice Society. Welcome to Earth 3, the world where actor Abraham Lincoln assassinated President Booth, among other mis-matched historical events. The world that gives us the Crime Syndicate of America.

The team uses their powers to commit crimes. For too long they’ve succeeded with minimal opposition. They feel they’re getting rusty and want to exercise their powers. Ultraman gains new powers every time he is bathed with kryptonite radiation. His latest power allows him to peer into alternate universes. He spies upon Earth 1 and tells his buddies about it. The group decides to sneak into Earth 1 and pick a fight with their counterparts.

The fights are all won by the Justice League. Flash incapacitates Ultraman, Batman out-fights Johnny Quick, Superman inhales the air around Power Ring, Wonder Woman lassos Superwoman and Green Lantern punches out Owl-Man with a green boxing glove. At the last second, each Crime Syndicate guy yells, “Volthoom!” That happens to be the signal for Power Ring’s magic ring. It teleports everyone to Earth 3, where the fight begins anew.

With the new atmosphere, the Crime Syndicate wins all their rematches with ease. They decide that they want to fight the Justice League on a neutral world where they’ll have equal ground. That happens to be Earth 2. Before they can do that, though, they need to take care of the Justice Society. They don’t want those guys helping the Justice League. With the League as prisoners, the Syndicate ventures forth. Only briefly can the League warn their Earth 2 buddies about the danger they’re about to face.


Detective Comics #20 (1938)

Crimson Avenger is a bit different from the other masked heroes of the day. Guys like Batman would try to arrest criminals for the crimes they’ve committed. Crimson Avenger has another way to bring justice.

The story deals with a lawyer Myron Block. He’s a crooked lawyer and is definitely in with the mob. He never fails to get his guilty clients off with his tactics. Reporter Lee Travis has seen enough. It’s time for the Crimson Avenger to make things right.

The Crimson Avenger breaks into Block’s home one night and asks for his help. He’s going to murder the DA and he wants witnesses. He also wants to make it look like a suicide, so he needs a suicide note. He’ll pay Block $50,000 for his part, but he needs a gun and poison as supplied by Block. This plan doesn’t make even a lick of sense, but Block goes with it.

Rather than pay Block, the Crimson Avenger knocks him out with his gas gun. He goes to the DA and fakes a murder attempt, making sure to escape when the cops arrive and leave his weapons behind. The cops find the fingerprints of Myron Block on the weapons and decide that Block was trying to frame the Crimson Avenger while killing off the DA. The cops bring him in and the Crimson Avenger is victorious… by… uh… having a guy arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.


Tales of Suspense #46 (1963)

There are nine Crimson Dynamos in Marvel 616 history, so I’m only going to focus on the original. Professor Anton Vanko meets with his leader and shows him his newest breakthrough, which will lead to the death of that capitalist pig Iron Man.

With the Crimson Dynamo armor, Vanko has control over electricity. He can control machines and even cause them to implode. This includes Iron Man himself. Under orders, Dynamo goes around messing with Stark Industries. His public demonstrations and plants are sabotaged over and over again to the point that the government is losing faith in their product.

Crimson Dynamo is getting restless, as he wants to take on Iron Man. He figures he’ll be at Stark’s headquarters. His attack on its grounds gets Stark’s attention and he dons the old-school gold Iron Man armor. First he surprises Dynamo by showing him how he’s enhanced his own armor to be immune to Dynamo’s electric-controlling powers. He knocks down some nearby trees to trap Dynamo in place (turns out Vanko never gave the armor any flight abilities). Iron Man leaves for a minute, comes back, grabs Crimson Dynamo, flies off and threatens to dunk him in the nearest body of water. Because of the Crimson Dynamo armor, the reaction to water would shock both of them to death. Vanko surrenders.

Iron Man takes him to a pier and mentions that he is currently eavesdropping on Dynamo’s boss. He lets Dynamo in on the conversation, where his boss is giving orders to have the Crimson Dynamo killed upon return, as he’s too much of a threat. Vanko freaks out and denounces his country. As the authorities arrive, Iron Man announces that he’s hiring Vanko as a top researcher for Stark Industries. This infuriates the Russians.

Oh, and you know that conversation Iron Man had Crimson Dynamo listen to? That wasn’t real. That was just a recording of Tony disguising his voice. Granted, Dynamo’s leader did have the same game plan, but that’s still a real dick move from Tony, isn’t it?

In several weeks: A merc with a mouth, a merc with one eye and a freelance peacekeeping agent, yes?

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5 comments to “Deadshot’s Tophat and Other Beginnings: Ce to Cr”

  1. I like how Owl Man gets his own uniquely exciting little text box for his name to appear in, almost as if to make up for the fact that he’s a guy in a cape with an owl-faced cowl.

  2. The world needs more Russian “heroes” to beat up on Iron Man…

  3. “Green Lantern punches out Batman with a green boxing glove”

    Though you probably meant Owl-Man, luckily this is still in character.

  4. Oh I almost forgot, no Thriftie in the Creeper’s origin? 🙁

  5. Rad, if you do a fully illustrated retelling of the origin of Thriftie I swear that I will dedicate an entire post to show it off.

    Also, write about Scrooge McDuck. Or else.