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Comic Book Six Degrees: He-Man to James Bond

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, like Ronald Raygun or whatever, 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 Judge Dredd to Marco Polo. Ryan Davies was one of a bunch of folks who got it in two. Ryan got picked at random. Here is how Ryan connected the two characters:

Judge Dredd met Batman in Judgement On Gotham(1991)
Batman met Marco Polo in World’s Finest Comics #42 (1949)

Ryan’s challenge is…

He-Man to James Bond

I don’t believe I ever made a public decision on this particular topic, but I will now. DC’s version of, say, Don Quixote is different than America’s Best Comics’ version of Don Quixote. That said, Ryan did not know that when he made his challenge, so I’ll allow America’s Best Comics to count as DC Comics for this challenge (since DC did own America’s Best Comics, after all). But not for future challenges!

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)!


Isn’t the Batman who appeared in the 1940s comics the Batman of Earth-Two, and hence not the same Batman who appears in Judgement on Gotham? Unlike with the pre-crisis/post-crisis versions of Batman, the Earth-One and Earth-Two Batmen were explicitly stated to be different characters.

This was my original solution, when I suggested this game:

Judge Dredd appeared with Batman in “Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment in Gotham”.
Batman appeared with The Sandman/Morpheus in The Sandman #2.
The Sandman appeared with Marco Polo in The Sandman #39.

There’s also an elegant three-degree solution that uses only comics written by Alan Grant, as Batman appeared in the early 90s Demon series scripted by Grant, as did (at least according to the DC Wiki) Marco Polo.

No, 1940s Batman counts the same as 2012 Batman.

The only thing I wasn’t sure about is stuff like Pre-Crisis Supergirl versus the Supergirl from Superman/Batman when the Pre-Crisis Supergirl specifically died, ya know?

But stuff like 1940s Superman and 2012 Superman, etc. they’re all the same.

How come? The 1940s (Earth-Two) Superman and the current (Earth-One) Superman are certainly treated as different characters within the DC Universe. They’ve appeared together in several stories, like Crisis on Inifinite Earths or Infinite Crisis, so clearly they’re not the same Superman. And this also applies to the 1940s Batman and current Batman.

It all comes down to how the story was intended when it was written. If it was written after the idea of Earth-2 came around, then sure, you can differentiate between the two Supermen and the two Batmen, because there actually were two Supermen and two Batmen running around in the comics (so if a character only met Superman during, say, the Mr. and Mrs. Superman stories, then yeah, you can count that as different from meeting the main Superman). When they were written, though, they were just plain ol’ Batman and Superman and that’s how they’re counted for the game.

Okay, that’s good enough for me.

I have one more question regarding this week’s game: James Bond is a licensed character, right? So that means only authorized appearances of him count, right? So, for example, if some writer uses a character that’s implied to be Bond, but the comic doesn’t have the approval of Ian Fleming’s estate (or whoever owns Bond these days) to use the actual James Bond, that wouldn’t count – it would be similar to the case you mention where Wolverine has an unofficial appearance in Gen13. Am I correct here?

That’s what I asked in the comments last week. Decided to go with the World’s finest for the heck of it, and see what happens.

This week’s challenge is interesting. I’m a huge James Bond fan and I’m struggling to work out a legitimate Bond crossover in comics. There are plenty of uncredited cameos and spoofs, but not many crossovers.

He-Man is too easy because he blatantly met Superman, and as a prime leaguer, that qualifies the JLA / Avengers thing.

I got it in 3. Squashua man you’re giving away to many hints. :)

You know what makes Internet games like this a blast? INCESSANT RULES LAWYERING.

“The only thing I wasn’t sure about is stuff like Pre-Crisis Supergirl versus the Supergirl from Superman/Batman when the Pre-Crisis Supergirl specifically died, ya know? ”

It’s not commonly known, but the Supergirl from Superman/Batman died too. There were two Legion crossovers–one in the New Krypton storyline and one in a Supergirl annual. They established that according to Legion history, the modern Supergirl joined the Legion and had many of the same stories that the pre-Crisis Supergirl did–and also died at the same time the pre-Crisis Supergirl did, at least by the Legion’s timeline. She’s alive in 2010, but that’s because her present day stories are taking place earlier in her timeline; her 2010 stories are contemporary (after time travel) with the 1960’s Legion, when they were the same age as her, and before her death.

The issue of her death was never resolved before the New 52 reboot.


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