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Comic Book Six Degrees: Judge Dredd to Marco Polo

I name two comic book characters. You then have to connect the two using only shared appearances in comic books (official appearances in comics only – no cameos like Terry Austin sneaking Popeye into the background of a panel and no outside comic book appearances, like cartoons and the like). You have to do so using less than six comics total. Covers and pin-ups do not count – only actual appearances in the same comic book story (so it doesn’t count if they each appeared in separate stories inside the same anthology). Mythological characters and real people (by the way, unless a fake name is used for a real person, you can use the person even if they are not officially named in the comic) are unique to their own comic book appearances (so DC’s Thor is different than Marvel’s Thor, DC’s Ronald Reagan is different from Marvel’s Ronald Reagan, etc.). But a licensed character is the same in all of their various comic book companies (so the Marvel Red Sonja is the same as the Dynamite Red Sonja) and approved appearances by a real person can go across comic book companies, as well (so, for instance, you can use Marv Wolfman from his Teen Titans appearance to connect with Marv Wolfman in his Fantastic Four appearance). Approval tends to be the key (except for public figures, of course).

Every week, whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of turns gets to pick the next week’s match- (in the event of a tie, the winner is chosen randomly). Last week was Prez Rickard to Barack Obama. Tuomas was one of a decent-sized group of people who got the connection done in two turns, using Pre-Crisis Supergirl and Post-Crisis Supergirl as the same character. I tend to believe that they wouldn’t count as the same person, but I did not make that ruling, so I don’t feel right excluding the connection. Tuomas is the one who got picked at random. Here is how Tuomas connected the two characters:

Prez Rickard met Supergirl (Kara) in Supergirl #10 (1974)
Supergirl (Kara) appeared with Barack Obama in Action Comics #901 (2011)

Tuomas’ challenge is…

Judge Dredd to Marco Polo

E-mail me your answers at bcronin@comicbookresources.com. Do NOT post your answers in the comments section!

Whoever connects the two characters in the least amount of comics gets to pick the connection for next time around (I’ll pick a random winner in the event of a tie)!

Remember, only authorized appearances in comic books count (for instance, Wolverine in Gen13 #13 and all Marvel characters in Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck do not count)!


What’s the shortest path if post-Crisis and pre-Crisis Supergirls are not the same character?

Of the current two, I have an idea who are the people connected to Dredd and Polo but am not sure if they have appeared in the same book (good possibility of that), and at least there should be a connecting character who has met both.
And usually I suck at this game.

Yay, figured this in three steps (with some google fu for books I hadn’t read, but which hopefully are fine).

I could do this very easily if Doctor Who was one of the characters. The only problem is that the Doctor met Marco Polo on the actual Doctor Who television series, and not, as far as I know, in any of the comic book tie-ins published over the years.

After I suggested my solution to this, I found out there’s an alternative solution where all the stories share the same writer! Extra points for anyone who comes up with that one.

Can’t remember some rules, so all appearances of a Fictional character count, right?

What about Earth 2 versions of a character, how are they counted?

I can do it in just one step… if my Terra Nova fan fiction counts.

Paul L.: as far as I know an Earth 2 character is not the same as its Earth 1 counterpart. So you can’t, for example, connect someone who appeared with the Golden Age Superman to someone who appeared with the Silver/Bronze Age Superman, unless you add as an extra step a story where the two Supermen met (like Crisis on Infinite Earths).

My feeling is that pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El is to post-Crisis Kara Zor-El as post-Crisis Kara Zor-El is to New 52 Kara Zor-El. Same with Wonder Woman–or, for that matter, post-Crisis Superboy and New 52 Superboy. There are substantial differences in their background and character, and all of them “started over” with the reboot, but Kara no more than Diana or Conner (is he even still called that?). The only difference I can see in her case is that she was gone longer between iterations. Heck, I can’t even see saying the new Superman is the same guy we had last year if we don’t do the same with Kara. (Batman and Green Lantern yes, because they kept going where they left off, but not Superman.)

Well, if you don’t make the rulings, who should? The Kara killed in Crisis was never brought back later, was she? I don’t see how she could count.

Becca: By that logic the pre-Crisis Wonder Woman and the post-Crisis Wonder Woman can’t be considered the same character either, because she certainly also died in the Crisis and was remade from scratch.

What’s the shortest path if post-Crisis and pre-Crisis Supergirls are not the same character?

Three. Mostly people using Prez’s Sandman appearance and then Spider-Man or Superman to get to Obama (Spidey in the famous inauguration issue and Superman in the aforementioned Action Comics #901).

The Jeph Loeb Supergirl isn’t as simple as being the “post-Crisis” Supergirl, per se. Lorendiac has an article that shows just how ludicrously complex the various Supergirls are.

If anything, Loeb’s is a version of the Pre-Crisis Supergirl. She’s the first feature character since the Crisis who was an Argo City resident named Kara Zor-El.

You are correct, buttler; they shouldn’t be considered the same character. DC certainly did not, especially when you consider some of the lengths they went to to have a Wonder Woman (but not Diana) during World War II post -Crisis, when pre-Crisis she was for all intents and purposes the same character (the old excuse was that Earth-2 was just 20, 30 years behind Earth-1 in history).

Travis Pelkie

May 16, 2012 at 12:49 am


Damn, Prez Rickard appeared in places other than Prez and Sandman? I must have that issue!


How would do Prez–Sandman–Spider-man–Obama? Where did Sandman and Spider-man appear together?

How would do Prez–Sandman–Spider-man–Obama? Where did Sandman and Spider-man appear together?

A whole bunch of times, starting in the Amazing Spider-Man #4!

In all seriousness, I’d guess that would actually be Prez – Sandman – Batman – Spider-Man – Obama, or something like that. Basically an extra step to a better-known Obama appearance.

Travis Pelkie

May 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm

It’d probably also involve Sleepwalker, which we all know is Sandman done right. Duh.

It was one issue of Supergirl from like 1974, Travis; she was wearing hot pants, peter pan slippers and a blue blouse with the S up on her shoulder almost at the time

I do in fact have that issue of Supergirl (which I probably picked up in the quarter bin when I was a kid), and I thought it was pretty awesome .

Travis Pelkie

May 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Becca, Supergirl sure had some awful outfits, huh? But that must be some wacky comics, Prez and Supergirl.

Actually, I was hoping when I read the new Action 9 that the Superman of Earth 23 was more obviously Obama, so then I could tie Obama to Luthor there, then Luthor to Death in that Action issue, then Death to Prez in that Sandman issue.

Although it is mentioned in Action 9 that president Superman is the best since Rickard in the ’70s, or something like that.

(side note to Becca, I don’t know if you’ve been commenting here a while or if I’m just noticing your name more lately, but you am a smart commenter on stuff. Just wanted to say!)

Aw, shucks, thanks Travis — I found the CSBG blog earlier this year and like a lot of it — I mean I don’t get my name mentioned in Random Thoughts yet, but I’m working on it!

I actually remember that Supergirl issue a bit — but since I don’t consider that character to have survived past Crisis, I figured it was a dead end — all puns intended. Prez was pretty whitewashed — a villain was trying to kill the President, and since his book was either still running or had just been cancelled, they used him — but it was nothing like the totally insane, goofy stuff in his series.

How would do Prez–Sandman–Spider-man–Obama? Where did Sandman and Spider-man appear together?

Not Sandman the character, Sandman the comic. Death appeared in an issue with Prez and Death appeared in an issue of JLA/Avengers that also featured Spider-Man.

Travis Pelkie

May 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Becca, Chad is mean, so don’t hold your breath waiting for him to use a comment ;) (I love Chad, I do!)

Death was in JLA/Avengers? Man, I need to get that out from the liberry again. Did Neil sign off on that, or was it a squint and you miss it appearance?

If it were relevant, would the appearance by Neil Gaiman’s Death in that issue of ‘Hulk’ count? Or is it too implicit?

That’s an interesting specific case, Sean. On the face of it it doesn’t seem that different from Clark and Lois in Simonson’s Thor or “Buried Alien” in Quasar, which were unauthorized and wouldn’t count–but Peter David actually asked Gaiman and Levitz for permission to use Death, which makes this particular case seem a lot more “authorized.” (Brian wrote about that a while ago: http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2011/07/22/comic-book-legends-revealed-324/) But at the same time it wasn’t really licensed use or anything–didn’t show her face, couldn’t show her ankh. I guess I could see that one either way, but my guess is probably not. It’s Brian’s call, though, of course. I’m just thinking out loud.

Travis Pelkie

May 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm

My guess would be that anyone you’d want to link in that Hulk issue would be link-able in some other book, like the JLA/Avengers that Death apparently is in. But since it was an “okayed” appearance, I’d say it’s probably useable.

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