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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #81

This is the eighty-first in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous eighty. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Batman had a brother!

STATUS: True

Reader Carlos Tron asked me the other day about something he heard about Bruce Wayne having an older brother who was in an asylum.

As odd as that sounds, that is exactly what happened in 1974′s World’s Finest #223!!

216_4_223.jpg

Written by Bob Haney, the issue featured the first appearance of Thomas Wayne, Jr.!!!

And thanks to reader John McDonagh, who remembered Thomas’ OTHER appearance, in World’s Finest #227.

Here is the biography of Thomas, handled much more succinct than I could write it, via DCU Guide:

The second son of Thomas and Martha Wayne, and the younger brother of Batman. As an infant, Thomas Jr. had suffered head injuries in a car accident, and had been confined to Willowood Asylum for life. Upon his escape, he was manipulated into becoming the assassin known as the “Boomerang Killer” until Batman learned of his existence and exposed the mastermind behind the killings. Later, Deadman took possession of Thomas’ body to resume his career as an acrobat. Batman tracked down the ghost and demanded that he relinquish his hold on the demented man. When Deadman temporarily left the body, Thomas, Jr. saved his brother’s life by taking a bullet for him. He died a hero.

Trippy, huh?

It is likely that Thomas no longer exists in the current DC continuity, but who knows? Superboy punches are tricky.

Grant Morrison, always one to enjoy the wackiness of older Batman stories, made the Owlman in his JLA: Earth 2 be Thomas Wayne, Jr.

Owlman.gif

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Blue Beetle gained weight as an homage to Nite-Owl from Watchmen.

STATUS: False

As most folks know, the heroes in Watchmen were mostly based upon the characters DC had recently purchased from Charlton, like Captain Atom, The Question, Nightshade and the Blue Beetle.

The character of Nite-Owl was based upon Blue Beetle.

newno2.jpg

Dan Dreiberg was a fairly flabby fellow who was a lot more confident when he was dressed up as Nite-Owl (the second Nite-Owl).

newno1.jpg

Therefore, when the inspiration for Dan, Ted Kord (the second man to be known as Blue Beetle), began to deal with a weight problem of his own during the Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis Justice League, fans thought that it was a sort of homage to an homage.

3804_4_060.jpg

In fact, Ted Kord’s wikipedia page specifically states:

* Ted gained weight during his time in the Justice League. This was a homage to the Watchmen’s Nite-Owl who was based on Blue Beetle.

That sounded wrong to me, but it also sounded quite interesting IF true, so I checked with J.M. DeMatteis, and he was kind enough to debunk it for me:

The Beetle story came about because I started a little character riff in the scripting, with Beetle complaining about eating too many Twinkies, how hard it was to chase the bad guys because he’d put on a few pounds, etc. It’s something I built up over a period of time: just more of the usual idiocy I’d throw into the scripts. I was always layering in character bits and new story elements over Keith’s brilliant and hilarious plots.

When Keith saw the finished issues, he must’ve liked the idea of a tubby Ted, because one day a plot arrived and there was Beetle: massively fat, spilling out of his spandex. (Back in the Justice League days, I often had no idea what the story was going to be until the plot arrived. Keith and I rarely discussed the plotlines. He’d do his bit, I’d do mine, and, somehow, we’d have something coherent in the end. These days, with Hero Squared and Planetary Brigade, we actually discuss the stories: a revolutionary idea!)

And that’s the Shocking True Story of how Blue Beetle became a fatty. No Watchmen connection whatsoever!

Thanks to J.M. DeMatteis, a scholar and a gentleman!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Archie cancelled a series after two issues because of a threat of a DC Comics lawsuit.

STATUS: True

This was on my to-do list, but I wasn’t planning on running it any time soon, but Harry Mendryk moved my time table up a bit when he mentioned it in his excellent guest piece today, so I figured I ought to mention it now!

As mentioned in a previous Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, the makers of the Shield comic told Timely that they would have to change the shape of Captain America’s shield, as it was too similar to the shield of, well, the Shield.

So it’s interesting to note that Archie (then known as MLJ) would end up on the OTHER side of a threatened lawsuit, about twenty years later!

In the late 50s, soon after DC began revamping their Golden Age superheroes, Archie Comics decided to try the same, and enlisted Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for the task.

One of the titles, The Double Life of Private Strong, was an updated version of the character, The Shield.

1439_4_1.jpg

Private Strong was a boy whose father’s experiments resulted in Strong gaining super powers, which he used secretly as The Shield!!!

The only problem was, DC felt that the character was too similar to Superman. This was soon after Fawcett gave up their characters after a long lawsuit with DC over Captain Marvel’s similarity to Superman, and Archie likely did not feel that a lawsuit would be worth it, so they dropped the character after only two issues.

Talk about throwing one’s weight around – getting a series canceled just on the threat of a lawsuit!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Feel free to drop off any urban legends you’d like to see featured!

41 Comments

“The character of Nite-Owl was based upon Nite-Owl.”

Yes, and it was a very direct inspiration, too. :)

So wait, does Batman have an older brother or a younger brother?

–yo
my comments won’t make any sense once the mistakes are corrected

Wow. That cover to “Private Strong”? The way he’s just slinking out of his costume instead of ripping his shirt open heroically, the suggestive way the mask is dangling from his hand, and the big phallic rocket in the background thrusting upwards?

This is one homoerotic cover. Just look at that lustful gaze “Private Strong” is casting towards those spacemen! “Double life” indeed.

Thomas Wayne, Jr. also appeared in World’s Finest#227
per John Wells:

http://obscure.dcuguide.com/Board/BatmanChars2.htm
1974′s WORLD’S FINEST # 223 unmasked the demented Boomerang Killer as an inmate of Willowood Asylum — Thomas Wayne, Jr. As an infant, Bruce’s previously unknown older brother had suffered profound head injuries when he was struck by a car and he’d been confined to the sanitarium for life. Upon his escape, the demented Wayne brother was manipulated into becoming an assassin until Batman learned of his existence and exposed the mastermind behind the killings. The conclusion set up a sequel in issue # 227, wherein Deadman took possession of Tom’s body to resume his career as an acrobat. Determined to give his brother back some degree of dignity, Batman tracked down the ghost and demanded that he relinquish his hold on the body. The subject became moot when Deadman temporarily vacated the body and Tom, Jr. dived in front of gunmen to save his sibling’s life. He died a hero.

my comments won’t make any sense once the mistakes are corrected

The Nite-Owl one was corrected before your comment was even posted! :)

Was Superman’s retarded hunchback brother considered to be in continuity?

I loved JLI, but now that I think about it, I can’t really remember Blue Beetle doing anything but flying the Beetle and cracking jokes. No wonder he put on weight.

The Nite-Owl one was corrected before your comment was even posted!

Just barely – I saw that when the page reloaded after I submitted my comment.

I forget what I was looking up, recently, but some Wikipedia article cited one of the Urban Legends here as a source. I thought that was cool…

Just barely – I saw that when the page reloaded after I submitted my comment.

Just under the wire! :)

And while it’s flattering to be cited on wikipedia, I often think they’d be better off just citing the folks I cite, ya know?

Then again, I guess there are times, like the DeMatteis one, where my cites are original ones…

John Wells, in the Absolute Edition of the Crisis, declared that the Thomas Wayne, Jr. stories took place on Earth-32, the dumping ground for canonically problematic stories.

WORLD’S FINEST COMICS # 223 and 227 were the two
issues dealing with Bruce =
Wayne’s institutionalized brother, Thomas, Jr. This
was unofficially regarde=
d as non-canon. There’s also a sequence where Deadman
possesses Superman’s b=
ody, an experience that was ignored and contradicted
in DC COMICS PRESENTS #=
24.

“EARTH-32″:

An Earth similar to Earth-1 but with numerous variances. Among the deviations, Hal Jordan married Carol Ferris early in his Green Lantern career and characters such as Luthor, Robin, Speedy, and the Flash II had origins that differed from their Earth-1 and Earth-2 counterparts. First revealed as a distinct world in GREEN LANTERN [second series] #32 (Oct., 1964).

Appearances:

ACTION COMICS #279/1 ADVENTURE COMICS #209/3 THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #11 THE AQUATEERS MEET THE SUPER FRIENDS BATMAN #32/2 BATMAN (Power Records) #27, 30 BATMAN: BELT ‘EM FOR SAFETY BATMAN: THE JOKER’S LAST LAUGH BATMAN: THE LAST ANGEL BATMAN: THE PERIL OF THE PENGUIN BLACKHAWK [first series] #203, 242-250 THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD [first series] #90, 99, 131 CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE #1 (FIRESTORM # 6), 2 (THE VIXEN #1) DC CHALLENGE #1-12 DC SUPER-STARS #14/1 THE FLASH [first series] #167/1 THE FLASH VS. DR. POLARIS THE GOLDEN AGE #1-4 GREEN LANTERN #32/1 HAWKMAN [first series] #22-27 JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA VS. AMAZO SUPERBOY #59/2, 158 SUPERGEAR COMICS SUPERGIRL (American Honda) #1-2 SUPER HEROES: PRISONERS OF THE STARS SUPER HEROES: THE SECRET OF THE SINISTER LIGHTHOUSE SUPERMAN [first series] #78/3, 330 SUPERMAN (Power Records) #28, 34 SUPERMAN AT BLOOMINGDALES SUPERMAN: LUTHOR’S IMPOSSIBLE CRIME SUPERMAN SPECIAL [first series] #2 SUPERMAN: TERRA-MAN’S SKYWAY ROBBERY SUPERMAN: THIS ISLAND BRADMAN SUPERMAN VS. METALLO SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE #59 SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #36/2, 109 SUPER POWERS [first series] #1-5; [second series] 1-6; [third series] 1-4 SUPER POWERS COLLECTION #1-23 VIEWMASTER MINI COMICS #1-9 WONDER WOMAN [first series] #167/1, 170/1 WONDER WOMAN (Power Records) #35 WONDER WOMAN AND THE STAR RIDERS VS. PURRSIA WONDER WOMAN: THE ANGLE MENACE WONDER WOMAN: THE CHEETAH’S JEWEL CAPER WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #223, 227

An Earth similar to Earth-1 but with numerous
variances. Among the
deviations, Hal Jordan married Carol Ferris early in
his Green
Lantern career and characters such as Luthor, Robin,
Speedy, and the
Flash II had origins that differed from their Earth-1
and Earth-2
counterparts. First revealed as a distinct world in
GREEN LANTERN
[second series] # 32 (Oct., 1964).

Appearances:
ACTION COMICS # 279/1
ADVENTURE COMICS # 209/3
THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS # 11
THE AQUATEERS MEET THE SUPER FRIENDS
BATMAN # 32/2
BATMAN (Power Records) # 27, 30
BATMAN: BELT ‘EM FOR SAFETY
BATMAN: THE JOKER’S LAST LAUGH
BATMAN: THE LAST ANGEL
BATMAN: THE PERIL OF THE PENGUIN
BLACKHAWK [first series] # 203, 242-250
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD [first series] # 90, 99, 131
CANCELLED COMIC CAVALCADE # 1 (FIRESTORM # 6), 2 (THE
VIXEN # 1)
DC CHALLENGE # 1-12
DC SUPER-STARS # 14/1
THE FLASH [first series] 167/1
THE FLASH VS. DR. POLARIS
THE GOLDEN AGE # 1-4
GREEN LANTERN # 32/1
HAWKMAN [first series] # 22-27
JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA VS. AMAZO
SUPERBOY # 59/2, 158
SUPERGEAR COMICS
SUPERGIRL (American Honda) # 1-2
SUPER HEROES: PRISONERS OF THE STARS
SUPER HEROES: THE SECRET OF THE SINISTER LIGHTHOUSE
SUPERMAN [first series] # 78/3, 330
SUPERMAN (Power Records) # 28, 34
SUPERMAN AT BLOOMINGDALES
SUPERMAN: LUTHOR’S IMPOSSIBLE CRIME
SUPERMAN SPECIAL [first series] # 2
SUPERMAN: TERRA-MAN’S SKYWAY ROBBERY
SUPERMAN: THIS ISLAND BRADMAN
SUPERMAN VS. METALLO
SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND, LOIS LANE # 59
SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN # 36/2, 109
SUPER POWERS [first series] # 1-5; [second series]
1-6; [third
series] 1-4
SUPER POWERS COLLECTION # 1-23
VIEWMASTER MINI COMICS # 1-9
Wonder Woman [first series] # 167/1, 170/1
WONDER WOMAN (Power Records) # 35
WONDER WOMAN AND THE STAR RIDERS VS. PURRSIA
WONDER WOMAN: THE ANGLE MENACE
WONDER WOMAN: THE CHEETAH’S JEWEL CAPER
WORLD’S FINEST COMICS # 223, 227

WORLD’S FINEST COMICS # 223 and 227 were the two
issues dealing with Bruce =
Wayne’s institutionalized brother, Thomas, Jr. This
was unofficially regarde=
d as non-canon. There’s also a sequence where Deadman
possesses Superman’s b=
ody, an experience that was ignored and contradicted
in DC COMICS PRESENTS #=
24.

Wait. Bruce had *two* older brothers?

Furthering the shifting continuity of your column, I have edited the Ted Kord Wikipedia entry.

Any details on why the hell DC thought the Sheild was similar to Superman in any way? I know nothing about him, but from the synopsis you’ve given, it looks like he bears no resemblence to Superman whatsoever.

Flush with a bunch of success with lawsuits, Tyler, DC basically took the approach that any hero with powers like Superman was infringing on their copyright.

Not something that would fly nowadays, but at the time, it was more powerful.

I’ve read both issues of Pvt. Strong. Let’s see. He could fly. He was invulneable. He had super strength. I seem to recall he had x-ray vision, but I could be wrong.

In later appearances he seemed a lot more like Captain America.

Concerning the Superman/Shield lawsuit—I saw a digest reprint of that version’s origin, and, as I recall, it involved the character being rocketed (or something) from a dying civilization, which was an Atlantis–like island (maybe Atlantis itself). Seemed to me at the time to be a complete hybrid of Supes and Captain America. Marvel should have sued, too. Or am I comfusing the Shield with something else in the same digest? It has been about thirteen years since I even had, let alone read, that mag.

A urban legend (not sure if this was covered), Crisis was a result of the aborted JLA/Avengers 83 crossover?

Herkimer Jerkimer

December 15, 2006 at 2:31 pm

And then there’s the other siblings in the DCU who’ve gotten swept under the rug over the years:

* Wonder Woman’s older sister, who was a failed pottery cast by Hyppolyta that was discarded and got brought to life anyway as a lesson to Polly to get the job done right the first time. She has no powers other than being a fat and obnoxious lesbian media personality who had no business playing Betty Rubble on the live-action Flintstones movie a few years back.

* Aquaman’s other bastard child, although this one was with that porpoise that Porm told “Swimmer” to stay away from. The truth is that Porm wasn’t trying to steer Arthur towards his own kind, but instead away from a tramp who slept with anyone with a fin on his back!

* Superman’s caveman son from “100 Years: Lost, Strayed or Stolen?”, who grew up looking like Ringo Starr, has a blonde bimbo for a cavewife, and spends his days leading his tribe and avoiding geting shit on by T-Rexes and Brontosaurii.

* Oliver and Dinah’s kid. No, really! Dinah’s ovaries weren’t destroyed by her non-rape assault! They were stolen by the Cylons and used in their breeding experiments! Yeah! That’s the ticket! And they sent the kid to the Marvel Universe, where he grew up to be Hawkeye!

* Barry Allen’s retarded grandson, who somehow grew up to become the fourth Flash. Oh, wait…we’re seeing that one for real :-(

* Constantine and Zatanna’s bastard kid, who grew up to be David Blaine, who can’t kill himself because neither Satan nor God want someone that worthless stuck in their realms for all eternity!

* The child of Brother Power and Cindy, who was raised in Washington State and grew up to be Kurt Cobain. Hey, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it – the child of a hippie chick and a dummy, possessing the worst traits of both!

Actually, Wonder Woman DID have a sister, Nubia. She didn’t appear very much — I think three or four issues when she was introduced (circa Wonder Woman #204) and then in an issue of Super Friends. I don’t think she even appeared in Crisis, though I may be wrong.

And Superman’s hunchbacked brother, Kor-El, was a hoax by a super-villain (World’s Finest 247-248).

“SUPERMAN AT BLOOMINGDALES”

???

Man, I so wanna read that!

Jeff Albertson-

Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman had two sisters, Nubia and, of course, adopted sister Donna Troy. Nubia appeared in Wonder Woman Vol. 1 #s 204-206, then she appeared in Supergirl Vol. 1 # 9, and then in Super Friends! #25. She was not in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Nubia as “Nu’Bia” has appeared a few times Post-Crisis, but no longer as Wonder Woman’s sister. Though she didn’t appear much, Mego still produced an action figure/doll of Nubia for the Wonder Woman TV Show figure line (which she never appeared on, no matter what the packaging says).

I did want to ask about something I read on Wikipedia, which I know can have false or mistaken information on it. In the Wonder Woman entry it says that mid-way through the 1980s there was going to be a revamp done by Steve Gerber, but it ended up not getting published and they ended the series. Is the information about Steve Gerber’s revamp true, and if so, what would it have been like?

Interesting that John Wells put those WFC stories on Earth-32. I would have thought they were on Earth-B, the place where the Batman-Wildcat stories and Super-Sons (before their being explained away) stories were thought to take place by fandom. (B for Boltinoff.)

Brian, you might find some info on the Steve Gerber Wonder Woman relaunch in the first or second Amazing Heroes preview specials (the ones part of the regular series) to get you started.

UPERMAN AT BLOOMINGDALES was a newspaper ad in the March 17, 1988 edition = of the New York Times and took up three full pages. Joe Orlando & Dick …

John Wells sent me this e-mail detailling where he got all those comics fro=
m.

Yep, the SUPER POWERS COLLECTION is the series of mini-comics. I don’t own =
these myself (or some of the others, like the VIEWMASTER MINI-COMICS) but Mi=
ke Tiefenbacher has ‘em and gave me the info. Yeah, it would be fun to see s=
ome of those comics reprinted (though I’d imagine some are pretty awful).

THE AQUATEERS MEET THE SUPER FRIENDS was a twenty-page giveaway comic with =
an eight-page Giordano framing sequence around a Fradon Aquaman reprint. Thi=
s may have been a promotion for Florida’s Seaworld but I can’t find my descr=
iption.

BATMAN: THE LAST ANGEL was the Eric von Lustbader graphic novel. Although i=
t was officially an Elseworlds, I thought it read like a fractured version o=
f Earth-One … and thus a perfect fit for Earth-32!

BATMAN: THE PERIL OF THE PENGUIN, SUPER HEROES: PRISONERS OF THE STARS, SUP=
ERMAN: LUTHOR’S IMPOSSIBLE CRIME and WONDER WOMAN: THE CHEETAH’S JEWEL CAPER=
were mini-comics premiums from Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles in 1979. I have all t=
hese and the 1980 quartet from Super Sugar Crisps:

BATMAN: THE JOKER’S LAST LAUGH, SUPER HEROES: THE SECRET OF THE SINISTER LI=
GHTHOUSE, SUPERMAN: TERRA-MAN’S SKYWAY ROBBERY and WONDER WOMAN: THE ANGLE M=
ENACE. There was also a 1994 quartet from Cinnamon Honey Buns: THE FLASH VS.=
DR. POLARIS, JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA VS. AMAZO, SUPERMAN VS. METALLO and WON=
DER WOMAN AND THE STAR RIDERS VS. PURRSIA. I have all of these but the Flash=
comic.

SUPERMAN AT BLOOMINGDALES was a newspaper ad in the March 17, 1988 edition =
of the New York Times and took up three full pages. Joe Orlando & Dick Giord=
ano did the art.

SUPERMAN: THIS ISLAND BRADMAN was, believe it or not, a new eight-page stor=
y commissioned by Godfrey Bradman as a birthday present for his son, Daniel,=
in 1988. The story (by David Levin, Curt Swan and Angelo Torres) featured t=
he entire Bradman family. The comic also reprinted Byrne’s SUPERMAN # 2.

WONDER WOMAN (Power Records) # 35 was like the other comics-and-records of =
the era with a 20-page story and accompanying 45 record. It was “The Secret =
of the Magic Tiara” and not canonical. WONDER WOMAN [first series] # 167/1 f=
eatured the whereabouts of the original Diana Prince, still unmarried, unlik=
e her Earth-Two and Earth-One counterparts. The WW of the not-quite-Earth-Tw=
o world (a.k.a. Earth-40) had fought Dr. Psycho in WW # 160 and 165. The sto=
ry in WW # 170 featured Psycho in battle with Earth-One’s WW … or so it seem=
ed until Roy Thomas revealed that they hadn’t met until WW # 288-290. Conseq=
uently, WW # 170/1 had to be moved to Earth-32.

WORLD’S FINEST COMICS # 223 and 227 were the two issues dealing with Bruce =
Wayne’s institutionalized brother, Thomas, Jr. This was unofficially regarde=
d as non-canon. There’s also a sequence where Deadman possesses Superman’s b=
ody, an experience that was ignored and contradicted in DC COMICS PRESENTS #=
24.

Ah, the wonders of Earth-32!
Take it easy,
John

———————————
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Yep, the SUPER POWERS COLLECTION is the series of mini-comics. I don’t own =
these myself (or some of the others, like the VIEWMASTER MINI-COMICS) but Mi=
ke Tiefenbacher has ‘em and gave me the info. Yeah, it would be fun to see s=
ome of those comics reprinted (though I’d imagine some are pretty awful).

THE AQUATEERS MEET THE SUPER FRIENDS was a twenty-page giveaway comic with =
an eight-page Giordano framing sequence around a Fradon Aquaman reprint. Thi=
s may have been a promotion for Florida’s Seaworld but I can’t find my descr=
iption.

BATMAN: THE LAST ANGEL was the Eric von Lustbader graphic novel. Although i=
t was officially an Elseworlds, I thought it read like a fractured version o=
f Earth-One … and thus a perfect fit for Earth-32!

BATMAN: THE PERIL OF THE PENGUIN, SUPER HEROES: PRISONERS OF THE STARS, SUP=
ERMAN: LUTHOR’S IMPOSSIBLE CRIME and WONDER WOMAN: THE CHEETAH’S JEWEL CAPER=
were mini-comics premiums from Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles in 1979. I have a=
ll these and the 1980 quartet from Super Sugar Crisps:

BATMAN: THE JOKER’S LAST LAUGH, SUPER HEROES: THE SECRET OF THE SINISTER LI=
GHTHOUSE, SUPERMAN: TERRA-MAN’S SKYWAY ROBBERY and WONDER WOMAN: THE ANGLE M=
ENACE. There was also a 1994 quartet from Cinnamon Honey Buns: THE FLASH VS.=
DR. POLARIS, JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA VS. AMAZO, SUPERMAN VS. METALLO and WON=
DER WOMAN AND THE STAR RIDERS VS. PURRSIA. I have all of these but the Flash=
comic.

SUPERMAN AT BLOOMINGDALES was a newspaper ad in the March 17, 1988 edition =
of the New York Times and took up three full pages. Joe Orlando & Dick G=
iordano did the art.

SUPERMAN: THIS ISLAND BRADMAN was, believe it or not, a new eight-page stor=
y commissioned by Godfrey Bradman as a birthday present for his son, Daniel,=
in 1988. The story (by David Levin, Curt Swan and Angelo Torres) featured t=
he entire Bradman family. The comic also reprinted Byrne’s SUPERMAN # 2.

WONDER WOMAN (Power Records) # 35 was like the other comics-and-records of =
the era with a 20-page story and accompanying 45 record. It was “The Secret =
of the Magic Tiara” and not canonical. WONDER WOMAN [first series] # 167/1 f=
eatured the whereabouts of the original Diana Prince, still unmarried, unlik=
e her Earth-Two and Earth-One counterparts. The WW of the not-quite-Earth-Tw=
o world (a.k.a. Earth-40) had fought Dr. Psycho in WW # 160 and 165. The sto=
ry in WW # 170 featured Psycho in battle with Earth-One’s WW … or so it seem=
ed until Roy Thomas revealed that they hadn’t met until WW # 288-290. Conseq=
uently, WW # 170/1 had to be moved to Earth-32.

WORLD’S FINEST COMICS # 223 and 227 were the two issues dealing with Bruce =
Wayne’s institutionalized brother, Thomas, Jr. This was unofficially regarde=
d as non-canon. There’s also a sequence where Deadman possesses Superman’s b=
ody, an experience that was ignored and contradicted in DC COMICS PRESENTS #=
24.

Ah, the wonders of Earth-32!

Take it easy,

John

Herkimer Jerkimer, a Vertigo one-shot by Ed Brubaker from 1995 comes very close to your Brother Power idea. A Gen-X guy somewhat similar to the media image of Kurt Cobain thinks he’s the son of Prez. It’s called “Smells Like Teen President.”

Thomas Wayne also fought crime in a batlike costume in World’s Finest #255. Good ol’ Bob Haney. I loved his “instant retconned” stories he wrote in the 60′s and 70′s…

To Bob D, about the origin of Crisis on Infinite Earths – False. Marv Wolfman has discussed at length the genesis of this story. It was his creation from the beginning as original tale.

Mark Gruenwald (and maybe his dad) came up with the idea of Earth-B several decades ago, wherein all the non-canonical DC stories occurred, such as the Thomas Wayne Jr. story (the “B” not only stood for the B in Boltinoff, but also the B in Bob Haney, as these two gentlemen were largely responsible for coming up with plotlines that a) proved to be popular with the kids and b) maddeningly inconsistent with the fans. Murray and Bob also came up with the Super-Sons saga, possibly the goofiest of all plotlines in the 1970s (and there is plenty of competition for that honor).

I dunno why John Wells went to the trouble of trying to rename Earth-B as “Earth-32″ … unless of course there’s some money in it ;)

I wonder if a couple of the other “What were they drinking?” DC superhero stories belong on Earth-32 (or Earth-B, or wherever):

* Superman subconsciously constantly super-hypnotized everyone through his glasses so they wouldn’t make the connection between him and Clark Kent.

* The 70s Legionnaires were really much older than teens, but 30th century youth serums (or something like that) kept them artificially young.

Private Strong or Tom Strong?

“Private Strong was a boy whose father’s experiments resulted in Strong gaining super powers, which he used secretly as The Shield!!!” “I saw a digest reprint of that version’s origin, and, as I recall, it involved the character being rocketed (or something) from a dying civilization, which was an Atlantis–like island (maybe Atlantis itself). ”

“Tom Strong, the title character, is a “science hero”. He was raised in a high-gravity chamber and given an intensive education by his somewhat eccentric mad scientist father, on the fictional West Indian island of Attabar Teru.”

Hmmm

(OK so everyone else in the world already knew this and it’s just me that hadn’t noticed . . .)

Here’s a fun one: “Did Marvel try to use Princess Di in a comic after she died?”

That one’s not much of an urban legend yo go re. It made a really big splash (for a comic related story anyway) in the news when Marvel announce the “Di Another Day” storyline for X-Statix.

Thomas Wayne also fought crime in a batlike costume in World’s Finest #255. Good ol’ Bob Haney. I loved his “instant retconned” stories he wrote in the 60’s and 70’s…

———–That was in Detective Comics#225, not by Bob Haney.

Superman subconsciously constantly super-hypnotized everyone through his glasses so they wouldn’t make the connection between him and Clark Kent.
—————–It is on the list I posted.

First revealed as a distinct world in GREEN LANTERN [second series] #32 (Oct., 1964).
——-Named after GL#32.

That one’s not much of an urban legend yo go re. It made a really big splash (for a comic related story anyway) in the news when Marvel announce the “Di Another Day” storyline for X-Statix.

True, but wouldn’t it be fun to run it just for the righteous indignation it would bring? :)

Erik: “Thomas Wayne also fought crime in a batlike costume in World’s Finest #255….” [Post #23]

John McDonagh: “That was in Detective Comics#225, not by Bob Haney….” [sic][Post #30]

The GCD shows that in WF #255′s Supes/Bats feature, written by Haney, a story entitled “Thou Shalt Have No Other Batman Before Me” and a cover, by Jim Aparo, showing a man in a costume similar to but significantly different from that worn by the regular hero, pushing him aside and saying, “Only the original Batman can save [Superman]!” If the cover is merely symbolic rather than a literal recreation of a scene within the story, then it might well be the late Dr. Wayne behind that mask. Never liked Haney making up all kinds of garbage as he went along with no consideration to what had already been done, myself.

Looking over this board, something occurred to me. I mentioned remembering having had digest reprint books of ARCHIE superhero material, including the Pvt. Strong origin, which, I also said, reeked of being a Supes/Cap hybrid. But if the original was cancelled because DC threatened to sue over alleged Super–plagiarism, why would ARCHIE give any consideration whatsoever to REPRINTING the thing? One theory just popped to mind: There was completely new management who didn’t know what had happened, and DC didn’t notice the digests when they came out, as only two issues were published (although this was just a couple of years before they put out their own line in that format, and SOMETHING had to have given them the idea).

Elaine, you are just to funny. Don’t ever loose your sense of humor.
wallmart

Well, as always i’m too late, but about the Anun’s Commentary, I’m gay and I actually felt strangely attracted by that cover of Private Strong! That and the “Double Life” Title….hahaha, It’s really homoerotic!

“It is on the list I posted.”

No offense John but my eyes glazed over before I was halfway through that list you posted. All Caps and a number of repeats…. Not something that will keep people’s attention.

I don’t think the Private Strong cover looks gay. But (1) I’m not gay (but I am British) and (2) he hasn’t put on his cute little Robin mask yet. Either probably makes the difference. There’s the phrase “dog whistle” which I hope doesn’t have a particular negative meaning in this context.

Maybe it was Robin’s little mask that clinched it for Dr Wertham, whom I believe changed his mind later.

It bugs me to no end when people say “Wikipedia is wrong about this or that” without attempting editing it. Except pages about themselves because that’s usually harder on Wikipedia, unfortunately, and you should ask an admin.

I think it’s funny not awful.

@Ted White, I’ve got WF #255. That other Bat-Man had nothing to do with Batman or Bruce Wayne. Gitchka the Bat-God was “the creation of an ancient Indian cult,” and the other Bat-Man costume was part of the magic rites of Indian shamans to fight the Bat-God. A bit silly overall, but with excellent art by JL Garcia Lopez, it seemed believable and enjoyable. Haney even had a scene with Clark changing into Superman in a phone booth!

All the best Batman stories are by Bob Haney. Precisely because he disregarded mind-numbing fanboy continuity lust. Crisis ruined DC permanently.

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