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Comic Book Six Degrees: ‘Mazing Man to Amazing Joy Buzzards

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 among the people who sent in challenges for next week). Last time was Jonny Double to Johnny Dynamite. Daryl M. was one of three people to get it in four moves, all using a classic Six Degrees connective issue. Here is how Daryl 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. Oh, and it would be nice if you demonstrate that it IS possible to connect your two suggested choices. Thanks!

Jonny Double was in Crisis on Infinite Earths #11 with Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle was in Ghost Manor #21 with E-Man (that’s the classic connective issue I mentioned earlier – I believe Rob Means was the first one to come up with it)
E-Man was in The P.I.’s: Michael Mauser and Ms. Tree #1 with Ms. Tree
Ms. Tree was with Johnny Dynamite in Ms. Tree #36

Daryl’s challenge is…

‘Mazing Man to Amazing Joy Buzzards

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)!

NOTE: A reader asked me if a character appears in a comic but as a voice only, does that count? What do you all think? Vote in the comments – I’ll accept whatever the majority says.


So what’s the significance of Ghost Manor 21 that makes it so distictinve?

It’s a direct link between E-Man (accessing multiple independent characters), Blue Beetle and Captain Atom (accessing much of the DC multiverse). And it was an extremely unlikely title for such a crossover to happen, a blink and you miss them cameo, which meant it was incredibly obscure until it was spotted by Rob (or whoever it was that first used it).

Just that it’s the only known crossover of Charlton-era E-Man with other Charlton characters, and even then it’s in a kind of roundabout way.


My parents would be so proud.

Travis Pelkie

July 22, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Man, this is a good challenge. I dig both of these series (‘Mazing Man may just be in my personal top 10 ever, if I were to puzzle it out), but I’m stumped as to where to begin.

Since no one has stated an opinion on the voice only appearances for the last few weeks, I’ll throw in some extra information on why I asked Brian about it. A previous contest had to be abandoned because nobody could find a way to link an authorised appearance of James Bond to characters in other comics. If voice only appearances count, then that could change.

Travis Pelkie

July 23, 2014 at 6:32 am

I think I said in general I don’t think voice only should count, because either it’s something that’s linkable otherwise (because we later find out who the voice was, if it was mysterious, f’r instance, like I think some early Monitor appearances were), or …um…I forget. But I voted too for an exception to Loki’s link so that he can use whatever cool link he was thinking of and floor us all with its awesomeness. Yeah.

Okay. The old challenge was He-Man to James Bond, and was dropped because Bond had, as far as anyone could tell, no authorised crossovers. But the uses of real world individuals as links, even if unauthorised by the person so long as both appearances were in comics by the same company, made me wonder if any Bond comics had him run into real world figures. And then I remembered the end of one of the Bond movies, one that had been adapted into a comic. A quick check confirmed the scene was intact, but that unlike the movie, in the comic the real world character was only heard, not shown…

So we have:
1 He-Man was in “DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe” #1-3 with Superman
2 who was in DC and Marvel Present Spider-Man and Superman with Spider-Man,
3 who was in Web of Spider-Man #20 with Margaret Thatcher (Marvel comics version),
4 who was in For Your Eyes Only #2 with James Bond.

In the movie For Your Eyes Only, in what was part two of the comic adaptation (second issue if you go with the two part miniseries, second part if you go with the one part Marvel Super Special printing) Margaret Thatcher calls Bond to congratulate him at the end of the mission. An approved Bond appearance, and, since this was a Marvel adaptation, it counts for linking purposes as the same Margaret Thatcher who appeared in other Marvel comics such as Excalibur #32 or Uncanny X-Men #150…or, crucially for our He-Man to Bond route, Web of Spider-Man #20.

Gotta think that “Brenda and Eddie” in ‘Mazing Man has got to be an intentional Billy Joel reference. Anyone with a better knowledge of the series that knows if it goes deeper than that?

I know that pinups don’t count, but how about covers? That’s the only way I can see this working.

I did eventually work another way to get an authorised James Bond appearance into the wider world of crossovers, although it assumes that two characters with the same name used by the same writer are intended to be the same character even if it is not explicitly stated.

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