web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Six Degrees: Multi-Paul to Multiple Man

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, public domain characters (other than public domain comic book characters, they’re free game) 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 – you just can’t use modern appearances by Jack Kirby from one company to connect to Jack Kirby appearances from Marvel Comics, since obviously Kirby can no longer give approval for his appearance). Approval tends to be the key.

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 time was Glob to Globe. Robert E. was one of roughly six or seven people who got the connection in three moves. Here is how Robert connected the two…

Glob (Marvel) was in She-Hulk #17 with Batroc the Leaper
Batroc was in Avengers/JLA #4 with Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders)
Hawkgirl was in JSA #64 with Glob (DC)

Robert’s challenge is…

Multi-Paul to The Multiple Man

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, all the Marvel characters in Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck do not count)!


Asking again here, as I can only presume you didn’t see the comment I posted in last week’s Six Degrees entry? I sent in a four step link between Sarah Jane Smith to Silk Spectre for the challenge two weeks back, but it was beaten by a five step link, so I presume you judged one of my links to be invalid. Can you please let me know which one? I proposed Sarah Jane in Doctor Who Magazine #238’s story, Ground Zero with Ace, Susan or the Doctor, then any of those three in the Comic Relief Comic with Superman, who was in Kingdom Come #2 with Rorscach, who was in every issue of Watchmen with Silk Spectre.

This one’s too easy.

There’s gotta be a straight connection through Peter David.

There is a straight connection, but it’s not through Peter David.

I was just saying it on account of the puns. I’ve only read 1 issue of Invincible. I had nothing to contribute to the conversation, but I wanted to be heard.

Because internets. That’s why.

Loki, I think I can answer your query. My first attempt at using the Comic Relief Comic (to connect Superman to Leonardo the Turtle) was rejected because of the “anthology rule” – i.e. they technically appeared in different stories in the same publication, so I couldn’t use the CRC to connect them. This time I got away with it because Batman and the Sleeze Brothers appear on the same PANEL in the CRC… so they couldn’t be classed as appearing in different stories.

Hope that helps! :-)

Thanks Gareth, and truthfully I suspected that might be Brian’s reasoning, though he hasn’t replied to confirm it. The trouble is, the Comic Relief Comic is a single story, not an anthology. Though multiple artists and writers worked on it, there is a single narrative. It is the night of the Comic Relief Charity fundraising event, and we keep switching between what is happening in the studio to what is happening outside, but the characters in the studio interact with those outside. In the case of the Doctor, he appears in a sequence set in outer space. On the page prior to that sequence we have Lenny Henry in the studio saying “and over to our next special report from our outer space correspondants”, and then on the next page we start the outer space sequence with Dan Dare responding with “Thanks Lenny” – it is deliberately and exactly like a newsreader in a studio linking to a reporter on location. The space sequence ends with Dan saying “lets get back down to Earth” and the next page starts with a text box “Meanwhile, back on Earth”. And then later in the story, the heroes including Superman invade the studio where Lenny and co are present – so since Lenny and Dan Dare talked to one another, and Dan was in the scene with the Doctor, with those explicit links between the scenes, there’s no question, they aren’t in different stories within an anthology, but within a single story.

Oh, and the Turtles to Superman link should have been allowed too, for the same reason – Lenny Henry and Jonathan Ross introduce them with “over to our first very special guests in this evening’s show. They’re mean, they’re lean, they’re fighting machines. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” before switching to Splinter, who is telling his students that it is Red Nose Day, the same event the studio show is covering. The Turtles sequence ends with Splinter talking about watching the rest of the show (so the studio broadcast, which is live, is going on as he speaks), adding “it’s something about Africa next” and then the next page starts with a presenter in Africa, and he in turn ends with “back to Jonathan and Lenny” before the story does, as he say, switch back to the presenters in the studio.

Your Comic Relief Comic link isn’t the problem, Loki, it’s the use of Kingdom Come. “Rorschach” appears there as an unofficial cameo.

How can Rorschach’s appearance in Kingdom Come be an unofficial cameo? DC has the rights the the character!

As in he’s in there briefly but isn’t necessary to the book (a la the Terry Austin Popeye “cameos” that are banned right in the opening of this piece), not that DC doesn’t own Rorschach. He’s not “really” in KC, if you get my drift.

But if Rorschach’s appearance is Kingdom Come #2 is the problem, then the appearance of Captain Atom, the Blue Beetle and E-Man in Ghost Manor #21 wouldn’t be allowed for link purposes, and that has been okayed. Those are cameos in the exact same way as Rorschach in Kingdom Come #2. In the background, completely unacknowledged and not necessary to the book, but official in the sense the characters were owned by the company publishing / the people involved in producing the story. Alf in Infinity Gauntlet would likewise be disallowed – he’s a one panel appearance on a TV set, unnamed and unacknowledged. Cameos where a character the company doesn’t have the rights but an artist snuck them into the background are disallowed for linking purposes, but cameos where the character usage is authorised, either explicitly by a creator or simply because the company in question had the rights to them at the time, have always been allowed, and have been used to make the link on multiple occasions.

Back when I queried my original Comic Relief Comic link being disallowed, Brian had said that the Grand Comics Database had listed the appearances of Superman and Leonardo as separate stories, and based his ruling on that.

The GCD listing can be found here: http://www.comics.org/issue/762803/

…and it lists over THIRTY separate stories! So despite its wealth of characters from loads of genres and publishers, the CRC isn’t as all-conquering a “secret weapon” as I’d thought, unfortunately! And since I may be the only contestant who’s never laid eyes on a copy of “War of the Independents”, I figured I probably needed one… :-)

The GCD is wrong in this instance. At the end of the day, it is dependent on the accuracy of contributors, and so no more reliable than a Wiki site. It seems Brian is going from that entry, but hasn’t read the actual comic. The evidence I’ve laid out shows that these supposedly separate stories are (a) all taking place at the same time, (b) all centred around the same event, and, most tellingly, (c) has characters in what GCD lists as separate stories interacting with one another. When the pages switch from one location to a different one, there’s almost always either a character saying something to cover the location change (“over to our special correspondants in outer space”) or a text box (“meanwhile, back on Earth”). It is a single story. For what it is worth, the GCD also lists Heroes for Hope Starring the X-Men http://www.comics.org/issue/40777/ as a bunch of separate stories, but anyone who has read that knows it is a single story, just with multiple artists and writers lending their talents to different pages.

[…] Comic Book Six Degrees: Multi-Paul to Multiple Man […]

Brian, any chance you could respond on the discussion? Travis and Gareth have provided what they think might have been considered the invalid links, but at the end of the day they can only speculate.

Loki, I see another possible problem with your route.
DC has multiple Earths, reboots, Elseworlds and series based on licensed versions.
These often feature versions of the same character but they can be very different.
The new Legion characters currently in Superboy are very different to previous versions.
The New 52 Raven is very different to the pre-flashpoint Raven and the Teen Titans Go! Raven.
Even when characters are similar they have different histories and can meet each other (how many times did the Pre-Crisis Earth 1 Superman meet the original Earth 2 Superman).
Consequently, these different versions are often considered different characters and may be excluded as a result.
Kingdom Come 2 clearly featured the Kingdom Come/Earth 22 Superman.
If the Comic Relief Comic did not specifically identify which Superman it featured then it would default to the main Superman of the time – the Post-Crisis/one Earth Superman (introduced in John Byrne’s Man of Steel and rebooted in Flashpoint).
If Brian considered them separate characters you would need another step (like Adventures of Superman 649) to link them.

Of Course, Brian may not have access to a copy of the Comic Relief Comic and may be disallowing the Doctor/Superman connection there in case it is not valid.
(He has a limited time to make these decisions and may choose to err on the side of disallowing)

I can see your point, although my understanding from previous entries is that different reality versions of characters are generally treated as one and the same – otherwise, for example, Ash from Army of Darkness could not link to Optimus Prime via Spider-Man, because Ash met the noticably different zombie Spider-Man of Earth-2149, while Optimus met the Spider-Man of Earth-91274 – and while that last guy is indistinguishable from 616 Spidey, he’s clearly not the same guy as the zombie. Plus there have been umpteen links where people have used Superman as a link, despite one chain being pre-Crisis Superman and the next chain post-Crisis, etc. And Batman has twice been used as a link when one version is mainstream DC and the other is First Wave Batman.

I can understand that Brian might not have access to the Comic Relief Comic, and, though I did say in my e-mail to him that Comics.org was wrong to list it as separate stories, and I have listed here some of the evidence why comics.org is wrong, I can understand if that’s the link he disallowed. I’m not expecting Brian to retroactively change who won that week, but I still believe it is incorrect to treat CRC as an anthology, and would like to correct that for future Six Degrees. What I find disappointing is Brian’s lack of response.

Leave a Comment



Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives