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Comic Book Six Degrees: G.I. Robot to Dynamo Joe

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 Mockingbird (August Durant) to Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse). Lots of you used Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 as a connection and I believed it. But then I got out my copy and you know what, Durant just is not in that comic book. The sites that say he is just goofed. Eric Henry was the only person to go to the History of the DC Universe Book Two for his connection, so he got it in two. Here is how Eric connected the two…

Mockingbird (August Durant) was in History of the DC Universe Book Two with Superman
Superman was in JLA/Avengers #3 with Mockingbird (Bobbi Morse)

Going forward, I’d be interested in hearing what you folks think about disqualifying the History of the DC Universe in the future because of the iffy nature of whether it is a comic book story or not. Let me know what you think!

Eric’s challenge is…

G.I. Robot to Dynamo Joe

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)!

30 Comments

It works, but History of the DC Universe seems like it should be one of those borderlne books that shouldn’t count for this. It’s a text narrative that features practically every character in the DC universe. It’s like including the Marvel Handbooks or something.

If it disqualifies Eric, then it’s ok by me ;)

I kid, I kid. I think as Graeme says, it’s a borderline one. It gets into the definition of comics, because I believe that one could classify it as a particularly text heavy comic book, so it probably should be ok. It’s just so easy, though, that it seems cheap to use.

On the other hand, it’s just a fun thing on the site, so why sweat it too much?

As someone who would restrict “New York, I Love You” from all Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon games where Kevin Bacon is one end, I’m all for restricting either certain blatant crossover series (JLA/Avengers, War of the Independents (oh hey, so-and-so got a background panel appearance!) or hub characters (Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, etc.) on either some or all of these. They reduce much of the challenge if alternative connections exist.

… for all instances where “challenge” equals “fun”.

I don’t know if I’d disqualify History of the DCU or any easy-to-use crossovers/hub characters altogether, but it might be cool on occasion to have a challenge where you add such omissions just for that challenge. You know, “Connect Mockingbird to Mockingbird and you CAN’T use JLA/Avengers” or something.

The Crazed Spruce

August 7, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Well, I had it connecting through an issue of SuperFriends, so I’m probably not one to judge, but yeah, since it’s mainly a text-based narrative, I think that HotDCU shouldn’t count. I’m not gonna begrudge Eric Henry his win, though.

I don’t know if I’d disqualify History of the DCU or any easy-to-use crossovers/hub characters altogether, but it might be cool on occasion to have a challenge where you add such omissions just for that challenge. You know, “Connect Mockingbird to Mockingbird and you CAN’T use JLA/Avengers” or something.

It’s not the easy-to-use aspect of it, but rather whether you think it counts as a “comic book story.”

If you include any books related to the original Crisis, then you include the History. If you include cross-company crossovers, then, yes.

Frankly, crossovers are more problematic than the compilation-style book like History. One panel does not a connection make. (or … does it?) Every DC character had drinks in the Monitor’s living room in 1985.

I don’t see how this current contest will work, as Rom the Spaceknight is literally ten times more popular than either G.I. Robot or Dynamo Joe. Hell, I thought me and three other guys were the only ones who remember Dynamo Joe.

But here goes G.I. Robot had drinks in the Monitor’s living room in 1985. Dynamo Joe had not yet been published. But he was floating outside, as he was a giant robot who was on the wagon.

My 2 cents worth:

Obviously I have no problems with using The History of the DC Universe. It is an illustrated text story but comics has a long history of illustrated text stories. Would you disallow the meeting of Hop Harrigan and the JSA in All-Star Comics #8 because it occurs in a text story?

In truth, I only used The History of the DC Universe this time because I was struggling to find a Secret Six crossover with another DC character, once I dismissed Durant’s appearance in Crisis on Infinite Earth #12 as a furphy. This is part of the History’s value, in allowing you to connect an obscure DC character to major one. As much as I love, say, Pow-Wow Smith, he is unlikely to ever be the star in an intercompany crossover, so to link to anyone outside the DCU you have to link him to Superman or Batman or anyone else traditionally used in those crossovers. Because DC to Marvel is an easy link (there are plenty of DC/Marvel crossovers) this became very short.

Would you disallow the meeting of Hop Harrigan and the JSA in All-Star Comics #8 because it occurs in a text story?

That’s the question, right? Should text stories count as comic book stories? I don’t particularly care, either way, I just figured I’d see what the folks think.

It’s not the easy-to-use aspect of it, but rather whether you think it counts as a “comic book story.”

Exactly. I’m not bothered about using JLA/Avengers or Crisis, which are easy-to-use hubs for these things, but History of the Universe isn’t a comic book story. It’s an illustrated text piece.

It does seem like ‘History’ shouldn’t count. Let me put it like this — if there was a story with both Mockingbird and Superman, then *that* story should count, and if there wasn’t such a story, then ‘History’ seems like a cheat. [No offense meant to Eric, I would not say that you cheated.]

Here’s a question: suppose that Rage guest stars in a Spider-Man Annual in the main story. Flash Thompson doesn’t appear in the story, but he has his own back-up story in the Annual. I wouldn’t think that such a hypothetical should count as a connection between Rage and Flash Thompson, because even if the two stories were technically printed between the same covers, I don’t think there’s a real connection there.

At the same time, I understand why rawk is arguing against “JLA/Avengers”, but to my mind, that’s all one story, so I don’t have a problem with it. It doesn’t cross the line, to me.

It’s a fun thing, so well I don’t mind using History. However maybe a rule that using History does add an extra move to the count? So instead of 2 this weeks winner would technically be 3. Sure you can use it, but there is a penalty for doing so type rule.

Also Sean I believe they have a rule that it is the same story and not same comics. So well the Rage and Flash thing wouldn’t count since they aren’t in the same story.

I agree that the Spider-Man Annual example wouldn’t count. But History is one story, with a definite narrative, being narrated by Harbinger.

I haven’t looked at History in a while, but in a (Scott) McCloudian sense, wouldn’t it be a text heavy case of

Ugh, what panel transition is it? I haven’t read Understanding Comics in a while either! But it’s sorta theme to theme, although I know that’s not the term he uses. ARGH!

But as all the artwork is showing different aspects of the DCU, it…counts. I’d say. In a McCloudian sense. And all. And stuff.

Unless I look at it sometime soon and I’m totally misremembering it. Then you’re going down, Eric!!! :)

Here’s what History looks like:

Hell, that’s a children’s picture book!

I think I’ve said before, and this is up to you as judge, Brian, but if someone uses History, or War of the Indies, or JLA/Avengers, it’s acceptable, but if someone does the link in the same moves without using one of those type books, they’d get the win.

Again, though, the question is not comparing History to Crisis or JLA/Avengers, it is simply “Is ‘History of the DC Universe’ a comic book story?” That is the only thing we’re discussing here.

I suppose in my mind I established that, yes, it is a comics story. Then I went on to that other consideration we’ve discussed with these “easy hub” books.

So yes, it’s a comics story, and it is one of those easy hub books, so that’s what led to the rest of my blah blah blah.

Y’know, everyone else avoids these headaches by not reading my comments ;)

One could (and should) ignore books like the Handbook or DC History.
However, the 2-step linkup can STILL work if you use CRISIS on INFINITE EARTHS # 12 (as EVERYONE was in that, and sources state that the Secret Six [including Durant who WAS Mockingbird]) to link up to Superman and THEN use JLA/Avengers to hook up with Mockingbird.

I did so, (although did not realize that Mickingbird was IN Jla/Avengers since I thought she was DEAD at that time – shoulda looked all the way thru the mini – dang).

(So I did it in three steps, using Hawkeye as the middle man)

~P~

Oh… and NOT to try to take away the WIN from anyone, but wouldn’t the Marvel “Mockingbird” in JLA/Avengers be a Skrull?

Pretty sure that Mockingbird was DEAD (from West Coast Avengers # 100 – in 1993) whereas JLA/Avengers is from 10 years later (2003) which was BEFORE she would have come back.

Yers, I know the scenes with her in them are a time/space displacement or some-other… but that Skrull identity presents a problem unless one were to make sure to choose a comic from well before or afterwards.

Just saying.

~P~

Just for the sake of an example, here are a few of the ways that I linked them (ONLY for comparison purposes):

1) The SECRET SIX (including August (aka; Mockingbird) Durant were in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS # 12 with SUPERMAN.
2) SUPERMAN is on the JLA team instructed by the GRANDMASTER to find the items in JLA/AVENGERS
3) GRANDMASTER summons MOCKINGBIRD to the CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS (she is shown in issue # 1)

or

1) The SECRET SIX (including August (aka; Mockingbird) Durant were in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS with BATMAN.
2) BATMAN is on the team that invades DOCTOR STRANGE’s Sanctum Sanctorum (in DC/MARVEL : ALL ACCESS # 3 & 4 – those are in canon and ACCESS is a joint-owned character between DC/MARVEL, is in Marvel’s wiki and Access later appeared in a Green Lantern issue)
3) DOCTOR STRANGE in on the NEW AVENGERS with MOCKINGBIRD (who is not a skrull)

or (if you REALLY want to avoid any skrully possibilities

1) The SECRET SIX (including August (aka; Mockingbird) Durant were in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS with SUPERMAN.
2) SUPERMAN was in JLA/AVENGERS and fought to win the COSMIC CUBE (which is later shown to be sentient “Kubik”)
3) The COSMIC CUBE was held by MAN-THING (Marvel Two-in-One #’s 42-43)
4) Man-Thing was befriended by Bobbi Morse. (Astonishing Tales 12 & 13) – although, technically she was not Mockingbird yet, only an Agent of SHIELD, at that time, but WELL before any chance of being a Skrull.

LOL

OK. That’s enough stupidity from me.
;-)

~P~

Oh… and NOT to try to take away the WIN from anyone, but wouldn’t the Marvel “Mockingbird” in JLA/Avengers be a Skrull?

Very unlikely. As you mention, she appeared in a part of the story when Avengers and JLA members were showing up willy-nilly on teams together from different periods of time. The likelihood that a Skrull would be plucked from the very short period when it was posing as Mockingbird before her death is pretty slim.

Plus, it didn’t say anything about “non-Skrull” Mockingbird being who we’re connecting. In the issue used, it was Mockingbird, so it counts.

Which actually brings to mind a book that might be useable in future links….hmm…

phantom longbox

August 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

So… Space Phantom, Dire Wraith & Clayface impersonations are cool too?

Good to know.

Well, and this is just me talking, my view is that since it wasn’t until years later, under a different writer, that different Skrull impersonators were revealed, I would say that at the time, they were intended to be Mockingbird (or whoever).

With Space Phantom, Dire Wraiths, Clayface, most of those stories reveal the impersonation, if not within the same issue, at least within the same storyline.

Like (*SPOILERY BIT HERE*) in Batman:Hush, when it’s revealed that it was Clayface posing as a certain character, I’d say it wasn’t that character, so that character couldn’t be used in a link. (Although…didn’t they retcon that so it WAS that character? Oy my head.)

So I believe that the Mockingbird in AWC 100 was later revealed to be a Skrull, but since at the time it was intended to be her, I would count it as an appearance by her.

But I’m not the judge of these things….

phantom longbox

August 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm

No, no… that’s a fair assessment.

Truly, with ret-cons and the like, it could be conceivable that the Spider-Man who we’ve read about for 30 some odd years may have just been a clone… oh…

;-)

As for Space Phantom, doesn’t his power set MAKE him the person he is impersonating while sending them to limbo? Does he possess their powers, or just take their form?

“Pretty sure that Mockingbird was DEAD (from West Coast Avengers # 100 – in 1993) whereas JLA/Avengers is from 10 years later (2003) which was BEFORE she would have come back.”

So you’re telling me that in 1993, Marvel had already planned out the Secret Invasion and had determined which characters would be revealed to be Skrull imposters 10 years later?

I don’t think so. That character was written as Mockingbird and intended to be Mockingbird.

1) The SECRET SIX (including August (aka; Mockingbird) Durant were in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS # 12 with SUPERMAN.

Were they? I know they’re listed in a number of sources as appearing in Crisis #12, but I reread it and couldn’t find them. It’s possible they were in a crowd scene or background somewhere and I missed them. Sanctum Sanctorum, if you found them, could you give a page and panel number? Thanks.

As to whether to allow History of the DC Universe: I think you can interpret the “plotline” featuring Harbinger as a framing device, with each paragraph-accompanied-by-an-illustration as a separate “story.” Under that interpretation, in the sample pages above, you couldn’t say that Flash appeared in the same “story” as, say, Green Lantern or Atom, but Batman does appear in the same “story” as Robin. So History would be disallowed as a “hub” because it’s essentially an anthology title, and the characters do not appear in the same story (the same way you can’t link Secret Six to Superman through Action Comics Weekly, even though they’re on the cover together.).

If Secret Six aren’t in Crisis #12, and if Crisis is disallowed, I could find only one way to link them, through Secret Six member Carlo diRIenzi’s 1976 appearance in Super Friends #5. It’s one extra step — Auguste to Carlo to Superman to Bobbi.

Yeah, they are not in Crisis #12.

And yes, the Super Friends connection was what the challenge suggester had in mind. I thought it was neat that you came up with that connection, Rob!

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