web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Six Degrees: Rachel Rising to Rachel Van Helsing

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 Frankie Stein to The Machine. Frank W. was the only person who got the connection in a striking five moves, in one of the most audacious connections I’ve seen in the history of Comic Book Six Degrees. Here is how Frank connected the two…

NOTE: Before I begin, let me again request that when you folks send in your answers to please include your suggestion for next week if your answer is chosen. I know it takes a little time to think of an idea, but just bear in mind that it makes things go a lot smoother (as it allows me not to have to contact you and you write back to me) and you only really have to do it once in a while, since you can just keep on repeating your suggestion the next time if you aren’t chosen this time. Many of you (like Frank) DO do it that way, and I appreciate it, but I’d like it if all of you could do it. Oh, and it would be nice if you demonstrate that it IS possible to connect your two suggested choices. Thanks! Okay, on to how Frank connected the two!

Frankie Stein was a member of the Shiver Givers with Grimly Fiendish (they appeared in multiple issues of Shiver and Shake together)
Fiendish appeared in Albion #6 with Cherie Blair
Cherie Blair appeared in Batman #656 with Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne appeared in Batgirl/Ghost with Ghost
Ghost appeared in Agents of Law #4 with The Machine

Connecting through Tony Blair’s WIFE? Dang! That was certainly a surprising one! But it totally works (Albion and Batman were both DC books).

Frank’s challenge is…

Rachel Beck (from Rachel Rising) to Rachel Van Helsing (from Tomb of Dracula)

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)!


Shivers Givers. More characters that need to make it into the new 52.

Impressive. Yes, the Shiver Givers was the link I had used to get Frankie to Grimly Feendish (not Fiendish, btw) and thus to Albion. I’d used a different route after that, which was one step longer and didn’t go through real world individuals, but I have to say that cutting out a step by using Cherie Blair was inspired.

Grimly joined Shiver and Shake in #22, and first appeared as one of the Shiver Givers in #24, where he made a poor start by stealing Frankie Stein’s rubber (no Americans, in the UK that’s what we call an eraser, not a prophylactic – this was a comic aimed at kids). You can see them being introduced here

As for the other steps I used…hmm, to share or to save for another challenge?

I figured Albion was probably a vital step in this, but could not make the leap from there.

The best I could do was a much longer path based on the fact that Qulaity’s Steel Claw series established that Steel Claw existed in the same universe as Miracleman. However, there was no direct crossover between the two and it took me two steps to get from Steel Claw to Miracleman. From there, I could get to the Machine but it would have been way over six steps.

Loki expressed an interest in the solution came up with involving a cameo appearance under another name, so here it is:

Frankie Stein was in “Oink” #26 with the Steel Claw
The Steel Claw appeared as ‘the Iron Tallon’ in “Marvel Super-Heroes” #388 with Captain Britain
Captain Britain was in “JLA/Avengers” 34 with Batman
Batman was in “Ghost/Batgirl” #1 with Ghost
Ghost was in “Agents of Law” #4 with The Machine

Man, I’d totally overlooked / forgotten that crossover in Oink #26 – all totally acceptable for this game as every character was either owned by IPC at the time or in the public domain. That Oink panel is a great little mini crossover bonanza all in itself, and it would have cut out one of the links I used for Frankie to the Machine, because you wouldn’t have had to go through Albion – the character I linked Grimly to in Albion is also in that Oink panel, alongside both Grimly and Frankie.

I used to read Shiver and Shake when it was first published (when my age was in single digits) but couldn’t remember the Shiver givers

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