Obscure DC Characters: C

Cableman, Cancero the Electrical Crab Man

Both of these are clone-villains of the Master, from the DIAL H series.

Capricorn

All the forgotten characters from WORLD'S FINEST reminded me of a really obscure baddie from one the earliest issues I can remember reading of the book. And so, without further ado, in an effort to bump up this thread and at the request of absolutely no one, I present to you... Capricorn.

Only appearance: WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #218 (July-Aug. '73)

by Bob Haney, Dick Dillin and Dave Cockrum,
Real name: Dr. Bogardus (first name unrevealed)
Base of operations: Gotham City
Powers: Dying from an unnamed illness, Bogardus" attempts to cure himself gave him the ability to read minds
Current whereabouts: Deceased (and most likely out of continuity)

During a visit to Commissioner Gordon (or Commish, as Batman calls him), The Caped Crusader spots a mysterious note in the trash. Bearing a black goat's head symbol, it says, "Forget me not. Capricorn." At Batman's urging, Gordon explains someone has learned his darkest secret. Once, feeling pity for a young offender, Gordon concealed evidence that would have kept the man in prison longer. Later, feeling guilty, he turned in the evidence, claiming to have just found it. He told no one, but Capricorn knows all about it. Oddly, Capricorn has made no blackmail demands.

Batman later prevents the mayor of Gotham from jumping off the docks. Capricorn has learned his greatest secret, too. Batman is certain Capricorn is no mind reader, but when he gets home, he finds that Bruce Wayne has also been contacted and that Capricorn knows his secret as well.

After learning that several of Gotham's most prominent men are Capricorn's victims, Batman brings Superman in to help.

Certain the culprit is someone with a criminal record who has used "mentalism" as an M.O. before, they decide to pay a visit to retired gangster Rick de Fabio. Batman attempts to break into Fabio's home, only to be saved from an exploding booby trap by Superman. Fabio arrives with a gun, claiming he is only protecting his home from intruders. Certain that Fabio is Capricorn, Batman roughs him up and turns him over to the police.

Fabio is soon free and complains to TV reporters that the heroes wrongly accused him of being someone named "Capricorn." The real Capricorn, Bogardus, sees the report, then goes to Fabio's house and guns him down. He leaves behind a taunting note for the heroes: "There is only one Capricorn, and I am he."

Capricorn slips up in his next letter to Bruce Wayne when he makes it all too clear he had been in a health club the same time as the millionaire playboy. Wayne remembers a middle-aged man who looked like a professor and who ordered goat's milk. As Batman, he and Superman check with the club's owner and soon have Bogardus" name and address. At his home, the find proof he is Capricorn, but the doctor escapes through forgotten lead water mains running beneath Gotham. Dating back to colonial days, they were abandoned long ago when the detrimental effects of lead were discovered.

Unable to find Bogardus, Batman and Superman tell the press that Capricorn apparently died attempting to flee them. They hope Bogardus" ego will force him out into the open.

Capricorn's victims host a party in honor of Superman and Batman to thank them for ending his threat. But while they are toasting, the party is crashed —literally—by a black goat jumping through a skylight. The heroes race to the roof, but find only an animal trainer who was paid by a 'skid-row bum" to drop the goat through the skylight.

While the rest of the people present decide that this is a parting gift from the late Capricorn, Superman and Batman secretly listen to a cassette tape on the goat's collar. "This is Capricorn speaking!" a voice on the tape says. "I"m alive and well and living in Gotham! Batman, really Bruce Wayne, and Superman are liars and failures!"

"God!" Batman exclaims. "He's out there—laughing at us! And someday he"ll expose our failure to the entire world!"

But what the World's Finest team will never know is that Bogardus has died in the lead water mains. The last panel shows his skeletal remains and a caption says: "Yes, to this day the world believes our heroes triumphed once again while they dread Capricorn's return. Only you know the real story!"

Note: Capricorn was possibly inspired by Zodiac, a real-life serial killer who sent taunting messages to authorities, the media and even relatives of his victims. He is suspected of killing dozens of people between 1966 and 1981. His true identity remains a mystery.

Comment

Capricorn: cool story. The connection to the Zodiac killer makes it even creepier. People don't think much of Haney now but some of his stories are mini-classics that don't go on and on for six issues.

The Capsule Master

Vulkor was a Martian who had been exiled from Mars because he had sought to steal a super-weapon and take over the planet. the weapon was thought to have been destroyed in the final battle that resulted in Vulkor's capture, but it wasn't. It ended up on Earth inside various meteors, most of which landed around Star City. Vulkor's giant capsule (and massive robotic arm) and three Martian lackeys ended up battling Green Arrow and the Manhunter From Mars to obtain the meteors with the weapon fragments inside them. Naturally, the two emerald heroes (with help from Green Arrow's partner Speedy) was able to stop the villain's plan, and the Manhunter imprisoned the four Martians within an active volcano (?!).

Appearances:

  • The Brave and the Bold #50

Captain Atom (Charlton Comics)

Real Name: Allen Adam

Charlton Appearances:

  • Space Adventures v1 #33 (Mar 60)
  • Space Adventures v1 #34 (Jun 60)
  • Space Adventures v1 #35 (Aug 60)
  • Space Adventures v1 #36 (Oct 60)
  • Space Adventures v1 #37 (Dec 60)
  • Space Adventures v1 #38 (Feb 61)
  • Space Adventures v1 #39 (Apr 61)
  • Space Adventures v1 #40 (Jun 61)
  • Space Adventures v1 #42 (Oct 61)
  • Strange Suspense Stories v1 #75 (Jun 65) [reprints #33, #36s2, #34]
  • Strange Suspense Stories v1 #76 (Aug 65) [reprints #36s1, #35, #39s1, #37s2]
  • Strange Suspense Stories v1 #77 (Oct 65) [reprints #42s3, #39s3, #40s2, #37s1]
  • Captain Atom #78 (Dec 65)
  • Captain Atom #79 (Feb-Mar 66)
  • Captain Atom #80 (Apr-May 66)
  • Captain Atom #81 (Jul 66)
  • Thunderbolt v2 #53 (Aug 66) [2-page featurette, "Captain Atom's Secret"]
  • Captain Atom #82 (Sep 66)
  • Captain Atom #83 (Nov 66)
  • Captain Atom #84 (Jan 67)
  • Captain Atom #85 (Mar 67)
  • Captain Atom #86 (Jun 67)
  • Captain Atom #87 (Aug 67)
  • Captain Atom #88 (Oct 67)
  • Captain Atom #89 (Dec 67)
  • Ghost Manor v2 #21 (Nov 74) [cameo in a parade]
  • The Charlton Bullseye [fanzine] #1 (1975) [Captain Atom #90]
  • The Charlton Bullseye [fanzine] #2 (1975) [Captain Atom #90]
  • Space Adventures v2 #9 (May 78) [reprints #33, #34, #40s1, text]
  • Space Adventures v2 #10 (Aug 78) [reprints #38s2, #35, #38s1, #38s3]
  • Space Adventures v2 #11 (Oct 78) [reprints #36s1, #37s1, #36s2, #37s2]
  • Space Adventures v2 #12 (Jan 79) [reprints #40s2, #39s3, #39s1, #42s3]
  • Charlton Bullseye [comic] #7 (May 82)

In 1977-1978, Modern Promotions reprinted many Charlton Comics including: Captain Atom #83, Captain Atom #84, Captain Atom #85.

Americomics Appearances:

  • Americomics Special #1 (Aug 83)

DC Appearances (Earth-4 only):

  • Crisis On Infinite Earths #6 (Sep 85)
  • Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 (Oct 85)
  • Crisis On Infinite Earths #9 (Dec 85)
  • Crisis On Infinite Earths #10 [story one] (Jan 86)
  • DC Comics Presents #90 (Feb 86)
  • Crisis On Infinite Earths #12 (Mar 86)

History:

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #33 (March 1960)

Story: "Introducing Captain Atom"

Synopsis: Captain Allen Adam, a brilliant USAF career man, readies an Atlas missile containing an atomic warhead at Cape Canaveral. While making final last-second adjustments within the missile's nose cone, he drops his screwdriver, with only 3 minutes to go. Adam delays too long and the missile is launched. As it leaves the launch pad, the people in the control room realize that Capt. Adam has not returned and is trapped on board. Adam blacks out due to the tremendous g-forces and heat. The atomic warhead is preset to explode in space, and cannot be stopped. At an altitude of 300 miles, the warhead detonates. At the instant of fission, Adam is no longer flesh, bone, and blood. The desiccated molecular skeleton is intact, but has undergone a transformation never before seen by man. As the people on the ground mourn their fallen friend, a disembodied voice calls out to Sgt. Gunner Goslin and General Eining. They are told to evacuate the area and meet him at the launching pad. Three minutes later, Adam materializes, glowing strangely. He tells them to stay back, because he is now as radioactive as pure Uranium-235! They too must leave the area soon, but before they do he explains that he disintegrated up in space, and reintegrated down on the launch pad. He can't explain it, but he knows that he will be able to do this from now on. Adam notes that there is a special light-weight metal, diulustel, developed to shield radiation. He asks the General to get him some so that they can create a flexible suit that he can wear in order to protect the people around him.

Meanwhile, a reporter has become aware of the "death" of Capt. Adam. When the General later reads the newspaper's article, he decides that Adam will now become the nation's most closely guarded secret. The General checks on Adam, who is now wearing the new diulustel suit. Only his head and hands are showing, and they are still glowing. The General asks Adam if he is a danger to others, but Adam assures him that the suit's material converts the escaping rays into another frequency in the light spectrum, rendering him safe to humans. Adam then informs the General that he has developed amazing powers. He asks the General to gather the top brass for a demonstration. Soon after, the Chiefs of Staff, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the President's top military aide arrive. Adam wears normal clothing over his diulustel suit so that he can show that, by releasing a small amount of energy, he can burn the clothing right off his body. He then explains that by converting an infinitesimal amount of his mass to energy, he can fly at speeds over 20,000 miles per hour.

The following day, Adam is ordered to report to the White House. After giving the President a private demonstration, the President hands Adam a new diulustel uniform and tells him his code name will be Captain Atom. Back at Cape Canaveral, an intercontinental ballistic missile is being prepared for test. The plan is for the trajectory to send it harmlessly into the sea. However, two Soviet saboteurs alter the flight path so that it will strike a Soviet industrial complex, giving their leaders an excuse for war. With total war only minutes away, the President is called and told that a Jupiter missile carrying a hydrogen warhead is heading towards the enemy. Captain Atom flies into action, intercepting the missile and detonating it in space.

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #34 (June 1960)

Story: "The 2nd Man In Space"

Synopsis: When the first Russian cosmonaut to reach space loses consciousness, Captain Atom is dispatched to save his life. Upon returning to Earth, the cosmonaut tells his superiors that they were beaten into space by an American. The workers at Cape Canaveral assume that America has secretly reached space in another spacecraft.

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #35 (August 1960)

Story: "The Little Wanderer"

Synopsis: Captain Atom learns that when Gunner Goslin's son, Billy, dreams of traveling in space on the back of a space-bird, it is actually occurring.

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #36 (October 1960)

Story: "The Wreck Of X-44"

Synopsis: A space-faring rocket-plane Capt. Adam is flying explodes due to sabotage. As Captain Atom, he reassembles it in a plan to uncover the perpetrator. When the hero returns to Earth, a frightened solider fires on the glowing stranger. Captain Atom flies off before being revealed. The saboteur is soon identified as Gerald Mudge, an electronics specialist. After he confesses, his spy ring is arrested.

Story: "Captain Atom On Planet X"

Synopsis: Captain Atom stops the Russians from shooting down a new American weapon satellite called Planet X.

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #37 (December 1960)

Story: "The Space Prowlers"

Synopsis: Captain Atom stops an army of alien invaders.

Story: "A Victory For Venus"

Synopsis: The Atlas-Thor-Able XIV space probe heads towards Venus, but three beautiful Venutian women destroy it before it reaches its destination. When he tries investigate, Captain Atom is defeated by them and is returned to Earth. They tell the hero that they were aware of him, and that he will return to them as a friend.

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #38 (February 1961)

Story: "One Second Of War"

Synopsis: Captain Atom is sent to investigate what has happened to uranium missing from a mine in Africa. He tracks it down to a hidden complex led by Dr. Cladius Jaynes, a madman who plans on destroying half the planet so that he can rule the other half. When the missiles are fired, Captain Atom diverts them all into space, except for one that misfires and explodes on the launch pad.

Story: "Backfire"

Synopsis: A dictator named Gustav Borlin and his chief scientist, Dr. Skafic, plan to launch an atomic attack on the United States. After Captain Atom secretly diverts the missiles into space, Borlin's people rebel against their mad leader.

Story: "The Force Beyond"

Synopsis: Captain Atom is in Earth's orbit, trying to stop a meteor attack from triggering World War III by knocking orbiting American and Russian missiles to Earth. He discovers that the meteors are actually being directed by an alien ship. Unfortunately, the hero destroys the enemy before learning who they are.

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #39 (April 1961)

Story: "Test-Pilot's Nightmare"

Synopsis: Captain Atom secretly saves Major Silberling when he becomes oxygen-deprived during the test flight of the X-49 rocket.

Story: "Peace Envoy"

Synopsis: After thousands die in a brief alien attack, Captain Atom locates and confronts the invaders. They plan on establishing a slave colony on Earth, but Captain Atom's display of power forces them to change their minds.

Story: "An Ageless Weapon"

Synopsis: While delivering important defense plans to NATO headquarters in Berlin, Capt. Adam is captured by Communist spies. He uses his special abilities to escape and complete the delivery.

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #40 (June 1961)

Story: "The Crisis"

Synopsis: At a summit meeting, the Russian premier threatens to use atomic weapons in order to get what he wants. Captain Atom destroys the missiles when the premier orders his troops to fire.

Story: "The Boy And The Stars"

Synopsis: Captain Atom brings little Buddy Scott into space to cure him of his gamma ray poisoning.

SPACE ADVENTURES [1st series] #42 (October 1961)

Story: "The Saucer Scare"

Synopsis: Captain Adam takes the X-44 rocket into space in order to lure hostile aliens into the open. As Captain Atom, he destroys the alien fleet.

Story: "The Man In Saturn's Moon"

Synopsis: The Soviets send a trouble-making statesman named Andrei Rotov into orbit around Saturn. The new U.S. President sends Captain Atom to find the missing renegade. Captain Atom returns him to Russia, where he begins to rally others around his cause of freedom.

Story: "The Silver Lady From Venus"

Synopsis: A woman from Venus hypnotizes men at Cape Canaveral into deliberately sabotaging Titan missiles. When Captain Atom locates her, she comments that it is not yet time for him to be brought to Venus. After determining that her hypnotic power has a limited range, he relocates her to the Soviet Union where she can continue to cause her mischief.

CAPTAIN ATOM #78 (December 1965)

Story: "The Gremlins From Planet Blue Part 1"; "Part II Planet Blue"

Synopsis: Captain Atom rescues an unconscious astronaut from a failed orbital space flight. Aliens watch the rescue, commenting that he has interfered with their plans time after time, and must be destroyed. Later, Capt. Adam is assigned to protect Professor Jupe, the leading scientist of NASA's space program, and his daughter Leah. While the Professor sleeps, one of the aliens uses a special device to hypnotize him into betraying NASA. The Professor sneaks away from Capt. Adam and takes his daughter to Silver Beach, where they board a boat. Before he can search for the Professor, Captain Atom must rescue two Gemini astronauts from the aliens' homeworld, the Blue Planet. The hero eventually locates the Professor and Leah on an island, where hypnotized scientists have been building a deadly missile. After looting the Earth, the aliens plan on destroying all life on the planet. Captain Atom stops the missile, breaks the hypnotic spells, and chases the aliens off Earth.

CAPTAIN ATOM #79 (February-March 1966)

Story: "Doctor Spectro "Master Of Moods""

Synopsis: Somewhere in the southwest, Captain Atom captures Rodent, a master criminal, and his gang. Rodent begins to burn a list of the other gangs that he has been working with. Captain Atom puts out the fire, but not before it burns the last name off the list. After delivering the criminals to the authorities, the hero begins searching the area for the final gang. As Capt. Adam, the search brings him to the circus, where he watches the performance of Doctor Spectro, Master of Moods. Spectro claims he can affect moods, and possibly even cure diseases, with his great invention—prisms which convert light into various colors. He demonstrates on the audience. One color makes them happy, another makes them depressed, and a third makes one heckler frightened. In reality, Spectro is an angry and bitter scientist who was shunned by his peers, and who joined the circus to perfect his invention. The gang members that Adam is searching for are in the audience, and decide to use Spectro to help them rob a bank.

Later, as Adam meets with Gunner Goslin outside, the gangsters attempt to force Spectro into helping them. When the performer refuses, they push him into his large, experimental apparatus. The lights from the device interact with his prisms, bathing him in powerful radiation. This phenomenon causes him to absorb the power of light and color. The red light, in particular, alters his personality, making him more hateful. Spectro uses his new increased powers on the gangsters, forcing them away with a green light that makes them sick. When Adam goes to speak with Spectro himself, Gunner overhears the fleeing gangsters talk about bank robbery. They spot Gunner and take him captive. At that same moment, Adam is chased away by the angry Spectro, who again uses his green light to make Adam ill.

Adam discovers that Gunner has been kidnapped and, as Captain Atom, he rescues his friend and captures the remaining criminals at the bank. The hero then hears screaming coming from outside. When he investigates, Captain Atom finds Doctor Spectro terrorizing the crowd. The hero discovers that he too is vulnerable to the Spectro's power, but creates a heat-shield to repel the rays. Spectro blasts Captain Atom with a beam of energy, then makes the crowd turn on him with hatred. The hero flies into the air and hurls an atomic fire ball at the villain, but Spectro simply absorbs the energy and becomes more powerful. As the fight continues, Spectro absorbs more sources of energy. Finally, he makes contact with high-tension power lines. The super-charged villain flies at the hero, but begins to disintegrate because his body can't contain such power. By the time he reaches Captain Atom, Spectro has vanished. However, the hero has an odd feeling than the threat of Spectro hasn't ended.

CAPTAIN ATOM #80 (April-May 1966)

Story: "Death Knell Of The World!"

Synopsis: When it is learned that a planetoid is hurtling towards Earth and will destroy it in 2 days, Captain Atom flies to the edge of the solar system to intercept it. He discovers that it is a hollow, artificial world, ruled by a tyrant named Drako. Drako explains that the planetoid will crash into Earth unless the hero helps him build a machine that can safely slow it down. After Captain Atom builds the device, the hero himself must supply the power. The plan works, but Captain Atom soon learns that Drako has trapped him within the device, and will use his power to conquer Earth. Drako's daughter, Celest, hurls herself into the energy field, disrupting it enough for the hero to escape, but killing her in the process. The distraught Drako surrenders, and is replaced by the benevolent Valdar. Captain Atom sends the planetoid back out into space.

CAPTAIN ATOM #81 (July 1966)

Story: "The Five Faces Of Doctor Spectro"

Synopsis: Dr. Spectro's scattered essence maneuvers into a storm cloud, believing he can reform by absorbing the lightning bolts. When five bolts hit at the same time, he reforms as five smaller versions of himself, each with a different power. They conclude that they will not reach full power until they merge back together. The villains begin to gather together orbiting satellites which they combine to form the world's first space station. They begin to stock their new secret base with items stolen from around the world.

A few days later, Capt. Adam receives word of small men dressed like Doctor Spectro, but in different colors, stealing equipment. Captain Atom tries to stop two of them from stealing rare elements from a safe at the Science Center in Cape May. When he is struck by a red beam (heat) and a blue beam (cold), he is temporarily disoriented. The hero believes they are midget assistants to Doctor Spectro, until he overhears them mention that they are trying to recombine into one being. The three others forage through military bases looking for valuable equipment. While green Spectro and yellow Spectro break into a vault, purple Spectro is confronted by a small crippled girl. The sight of her causes the good side of Spectro to reemerge. He uses his power to heal the girl. Captain Atom arrives and battles the green and yellow versions, but they beat him down and flee. On their way out, they run into purple Spectro and the girl. Purple Spectro tells them to continue on with the equipment while he stops Captain Atom. He is actually protecting the girl from being taken hostage, and hopes to merge with the others so that he can exert control over his evil side. When Captain Atom catches up, purple Spectro uses a beam to make the hero quiet and still. After purple Spectro escapes, Captain Atom recovers and the girl explains how the villain had helped her.

Later, Captain Atom is assigned the task of finding out what happened to some missing satellites, unaware that they are tied to Spectro. On board the space station, the five Spectros are nearly finished with the device that will merge them back together. They are unaware that purple Spectro has made changes that will make his personality dominant. When Captain Atom finally stumbles on the space station, he charges the villains. Purple Spectro tells the others to be careful not to damage their equipment with their destructive beams. After they overwhelm the hero, purple Spectro uses his sickness beam to disable their captive, claiming they can kill him after they have merged. Captain Atom makes an attempt to attack them, but he is knocked out. They then turn on the machine and, just as they are about to merge together, Captain Atom wakes up and throws a ball of energy at the machine. He misses his mark, causing an explosion. Although the space station is destroyed, Captain Atom finds a single, merged, unconscious Doctor Spectro floating in space.

Later, as he hands over the raving villain, who now exhibits multiple personalities, the hero overhears one personality regretting that his good side was prevented from gaining control. A shocked Captain Atom wonders if such a thing could ever happen.

THUNDERBOLT [2nd series] #53 (August 1966)

Story: "Captain Atom's Secret"

Synopsis: Captain Atom explains nuclear power to the reader in a two-page featurette.

CAPTAIN ATOM #82 (September 1966)

Story: "Captain Atom vs The Ghost"

Synopsis: The government is concerned about a new threat, the Ghost, so they summon Captain Atom and a new agent called Nightshade. This is the first chance that they've had to use her since she offered them her services. Meanwhile, the Ghost thinks back to his origins. Girls avoided the good-looking Alec Nois because he had no money. Guys avoided him because he was always busy studying. Years later, Nois invented a teleportation machine. Instead of using it to the benefit of mankind, the bitter man decided to use it for personal gain, by integrating his invention into the hands of a costume. Believing the agents of the Ghost will be at a party held by Alec Nois, now a millionaire, the government sends their team in undercover as Capt. Adam and Eve Eden, a senator's daughter. Soon, Captain Atom and Nightshade confront the Ghost there, but he temporarily sends them into another dimension. They later track the Ghost to the Pentagon, but before he escapes he brags that he will steal the gold from Fort Knox. During a battle between Captain Atom and the Ghost at the gold reserve, the hero damages the teleportation device in the Ghost's glove, causing it to malfunction. The Ghost screams as he disappears.

CAPTAIN ATOM #83 (November 1966)

Story: "Finally Falls The Mighty!"

Synopsis: When costumed thieves, under orders from Prof. Koste, attempt to rob the public exhibit of the newest Air Force technology, Capt. Adam becomes Captain Atom and attacks. A blast from one of the criminal's weapons tears the hero's costume. As the criminals get away, Captain Atom notices that radiation is leaking out of the tear in his uniform, threatening the bystanders. Soon, the newspapers are reporting that Captain Atom is a radioactive menace. With public relations at a low ebb, two top scientists are put at the hero's disposal to prevent a recurrence. Later, when Prof. Koste sabotages a reactor, Captain Atom must enter its core and attempt to shut it down using his own powers. The hero succeeds, but passes out from the effort. When he awakens, he spots Prof. Koste and his men. However, when Captain Atom attempts to use his powers, he discovers they have faded! The criminals overpower the weakened hero and take him aboard their hovercraft. Elsewhere, a man wearing powerful iron arms says he's going to take a little trip to see Koste.

CAPTAIN ATOM #84 (January 1967)

Story: "After The Fall A New Beginning"

Synopsis: Prof. Koste broadcasts his ransom demands to television sets across the country. Koste wants 10 million dollars in gold for the return of the hero. He pulls off Captain Atom's mask for all the world to see, but the hero's white hair prevents anyone from recognizing him as USAF Capt. Adam. Later, in his prison cell, Captain Atom's powers begin to return. He escapes, but encounters Iron Arms, a criminal who wears power-pack generated metallic arms. Iron Arms fells Captain Atom with a mighty blow. Unaware that the hero's powers are returning, Koste places the hero in a cage so he and Iron Arms can talk. Captain Atom escapes from his captors, but not before the gold is delivered. The government tells Captain Atom that they have just perfected "Project Rebirth". The formula is liquid metal. It will be sprayed on his body, absorbed under his skin, and will become invisible. It will make him absolutely radiation proof. Before they begin, Captain Atom transforms into his civilian form and is sprayed with the substance. The first coat is only the protective base. All the rest are special ones to form the colors of his new uniform, a new look designed to give him a better public image. At first it doesn't seem to work, but when the hero triggers his powers, it causes the substance to come to the surface as a metal covering over his skin. The new Captain Atom returns to the criminal's base, defeating Koste, his men, and Iron Arms.

CAPTAIN ATOM #85 (March 1967)

Story: "Strings Of Punch & Jewlee"

Synopsis: Punch and Jewelee, a new criminal team, kidnap two scientists from a golf course. Later that afternoon, they remotely abduct Alec Nois, who is recovering from an injury sustained as the Ghost. Capt. Adam and Eve Eden are swimming in Nois' pool when the abduction occurs, and they soon meet at the Pentagon as Captain Atom and Nightshade. Unfortunately, Captain Atom is to fly to upstate New York and undergo a series of tests, while Nightshade is sent to the Long Island golf course where the scientists disappeared.

Elsewhere, Punch and Jewelee discuss their successes. The flying Punch used strings to stun their victims, while Jewelee used gems which induce a hypnotic state. They think back to when they were just cheap carny crooks who spotted a chest floating in the water while walking on the beach. He put on shoes that enabled him to fly, she donned a mind recorder device which explained how to use the hypno-gems and the sting strings that were also in the chest. With the gems, she charmed a realtor into giving her the abandoned carnival section in Coney Island. She then used hypnotized workers to build the hidden laboratory that they now occupy. Since they had always been puppeteers, they decided to adapt the characters of Punch and Judy to themselves.

The next scientist that the villains plan to kidnap is Lewis Coll, who at that moment is running tests on Captain Atom. The tests have left Captain Atom's power levels very drained. In addition, Coll gives the hero a tranquilizer that will enable the scientist to study the amount of radiation he projects when idle. The villains break in and kidnap the defenseless Coll. Punch is delighted to find the helpless hero, who he turns into his puppet. Captain Atom is able to transmit a signal, which eventually leads Nightshade to the Coney Island lab. She presses a button on her belt and transforms into a shadow. The villains reveal to Captain Atom that they have been recording the minds of all the great scientists into recording molds. They'll sell the information to any interested government. Having his mind will be the crowning touch. Nightshade suddenly materializes and attacks Jewelee, while Captain Atom summons enough power to break free and attack Punch. During the confusion, Alec Nois secretly uses the technology hidden in his hand to teleport some of the smaller devices to his own lab. Captain Atom captures Punch, but Jewelee is able to use her gem to escape.

CAPTAIN ATOM #86 (June 1967)

Story: "Fury Of The Faceless Foe"

Synopsis: The Ghost gathers together a gang who impersonate him, using his teleporters to commit crimes, and frustrating Captain Atom's and Nightshade's attempts to capture them. [From other sources, not verified personally.]

CAPTAIN ATOM #87 (August 1967)

Story: "The Menace Of The Fiery-Icer"

Synopsis: In the Caribbean, Captain Atom encounters the Fiery-Icer, an enemy who wields the powers of both heat and cold. [From other sources, not verified personally.]

CAPTAIN ATOM #88 (October 1967)

Story: "Ravage Of Ronthor"

Synopsis: Captain Atom answers an S.O.S. from an uninhabited world endangered by giant insects. [From other sources, not verified personally.]

CAPTAIN ATOM #89 (December 1967)

Story: "Thirteen"

Synopsis: An adversary named 13 and his talking cat, both of whom appear to wield magic, arrive to stop Captain Atom and the USAF from working on a missile, and to stop the Ghost from stealing it. [From other sources, not verified personally.]

THE CHARLTON BULLSEYE [fanzine] #1 (1975)

Story: "Showdown In Sunuria"

Synopsis: The Ghost has Captain Atom and an injured Nightshade teleported to the Sunurians' dimension for a showdown. [From other sources, not verified personally.]

THE CHARLTON BULLSEYE [fanzine] #2 (1975)

Story: "Two Against Sunuria"

Synopsis: The Sunurians force the Ghost and Captain Atom to undergo a trial by combat, without the use of their super-powers. [From other sources, not verified personally.]

GHOST MANOR [2nd series] #21 (November 1974)

Story: "Death In A Darkroom"

Synopsis: Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, and E-Man participate in a parade.

CHARLTON BULLSEYE [comic] #7 (May 1982)

Story: "The Games Of Ragnath!"

Synopsis: With the knowledge and consent of his superior officer, Captain Atom is kidnapped by the Gamemasters of Ragnath to compete in their gladiator games. The hero escapes from their world and, upon reaching Earth, severs his ties with the U.S. government. Comment: Captain Atom is incorrectly identified as Lt. Col. JOHN Adam (his first name is Allen). He is also incorrectly shown in his original costume.

AMERICOMICS SPECIAL #1 (August 1983)

Story: "Sentinels Of Justice"

Synopsis: Captain Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle, and the Question team-up and battle the Manipulator, Iron Arms, Fiery-Icer, the Madmen, and the Banshee. Only the Manipulator and the Banshee escape capture. The reader learns that a shadowy figure is the true mastermind behind the Manipulator.

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #6 (September 1985)

Story: "3 Earths! 3 Deaths!"

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #7 (October 1985)

Story: "Beyond The Silent Night"

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #9 (December 1985)

Story: "War Zone"

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #10 (January 1986)

Story: "Death At The Dawn Of Time!"

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #12 (March 1986)

Story: "Final Crisis"

Synopses: The heroes of Earth-4 join in the battle against the threat of the Anti-Monitor.

DC COMICS PRESENTS #90 (February 1986)

Story: "Escape From Solitude!"

Synopsis: Captain Atom teams up with Superman and Firestorm (after the remaining Earths merge, but before the full effects of the post-Crisis reality take hold). The heroes rescue astronaut Connie Matthews from a radioactive man called Rayburn

Captain Baboon

A small spaceship that sped into Earth's defensive perimeter was discovered to be piloted by a baboon. The baboon, however, could write, and claimed to be Captain Gordon Walters, and that the Earth was going to be destroyed in three days unless his warning was heeded.

15 years earlier, Walters had been a battlefleet captain in the war against the alien Chall. He was responsible for smashing the Chall's defense line around their home planet. After capturing the Chall ruler Ektinor, Walters found he was tired of combat and resigned his commission, preferring to become an explorer, sowing seeds on many worlds (much like Johnny Appleseed). He found many strange and wonderful things on the planets he visited, and discovered a unique device known as the transoptikon that allowed him to transfer his mind into that of animals.

Several days ago, he landed on a planet in the Asterope system (in the constellation of Taurus). He found little vegetation, and an odd but healthy baboon who ate a strange seed. Eating the seeds himself, Walters was soon listening in on a conversation in the Chall language between Ektinor and a flunky, talking about the finishing touches on something called a hyperometer. Further eavesdropping revealed that the device had the ability to transmit matter from one part of space to another instantaneously, and Ektinor planned to get his revenge on Earth by transmitting a trytanium bomb to the planet.

As Walters listened, he also heard that his spaceship had been discovered and Ektinor ordered that he be shot when he appeared. In order to get back to his ship, Walters transferred his brain into the body of the baboon (named Koko by Ektinor's men) and got past the guards and into the ship, launching it and heading for Earth. As he finished his story to the authorities, Walters wrote that he could save the Earth from the sneak attack, and all he needed was a package of seeds, prepared as miniature sleep-gas bombs.

The space armada of Earth surrounded Ektinor's planet around Asterope, and Walters went in as the baboon, thinking Ektinor's men would believe it to be some random miracle that the creature was able to bring back the ship safely. He crashed it a bit to make it look good, but the guards believed that the baboon had flown and landed the spacecraft. Ektinor and his men gathered around the baboon, while Walters clowned around to make more of them get within range of his sleep gas "seeds". "Koko" was able to knock them all out, and used a seed that was a signal flare to call down the armada.

After Ektinor and his army were imprisoned, "Captain Baboon" went off to restore himself back into his proper body.

Appearances:

  • Mystery In Space #68 ("Captain Baboon's Space War")

Captain Compass

Naval Captain Mark Compass first appeared in STAR SPANGLED COMICS #83, solving mysteries at sea with his keen detective skills. He was last seen in DETECTIVE COMICS #500.

Captain Fear

A Caribbean pirate named Fero, he first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #425 and then intermittently in ADVENTURE for some time after. His ghost appeared in THE SPECTRE [3rd series] #40-41.

Captain Incredible

At first glance, this teen hero seemed to be an extremely poorly dressed four-eyed 98 pound weakling.

Captain Incredible was in fact an extremely powerful robot created by one Dr. Dane Gnorr in the year 2637. The doctor had been a big fan of Superman and sent his super robot into the past to help the Man of Steel out. At first, Captain Incredible did preform his duties extremely well, in fact at one point he saved Superman's life from a Kryptonite trap set by Lex Luthor. However, due to the stress of breaking the time barrier, Incedible malfuntioned soon after his arrival in the present and tried to kill Superman. And with his superior strenth, speed, and an array of unique powers such as Atomic Breath and Paralysis Vision, he almost managed to do just that.

Superman managed to defeat the Captain by tricking him into returning to the future where (or should it be when?) the ill effects of his first trip through the time stream were reversed and he became good once again. Of course, you are probably asking why the second trip didn't warp his mind even more. Sorry if you are, I don't have an answer for you. After some slight re-programming by Dr. Gnorr, Captain Incredible became a super-hero once again, but this time he stayed in the 27th century.

Captain Incredible's first and only appearance to date happened in ACTION COMICS #354, back in September of 1967, although I am hoping that one day he will be found in the Legion's time and reactivated.

Captain Invincible

Created by Cary Bates and Carmine Infantino.

The Captain Invincible sub-plot was just — odd. It seemed a bit undignified for Daryl Frye, one-time police chief of Central City. He decided to fight crime under this costumed identity, much to the amusement of his employee, the late Barry Allen (Flash II), but I don't think he ever got any farther than exercising in his basement. That particular arc (FLASH #314-319) was darker than the norm (dealing with a murderous vigilante called the Eradicator) and I suppose the antics of a less-than-stellar costumed crimefighter were meant to provide some sort of balance. Frye briefly returned to his costume in #347 and 348. Waid & Augustyn's LIFE STORY OF THE FLASH skirted over the subject of Frye altogether ("The less said ... the better.").

Captain Marvel (M.F. Enterprises)

Based on a character created by Carl Burgos

Alter Ego: Capt. Marvel, Prof. Roger Winkle
Occupation: Press service writer, Dartmoor University professor
Known Relatives: None
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Riverview
First Appearance: (M.F. Enterprises) Captain Marvel #1 (Apr 1966), (DC Comics, swipe) Power Of Shazam! #27 (June 1997)
Height: ~ 6 ft. Weight: ~ 230 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Rusty blonde

History: Sometime prior to the mid-1960's, on a world in another solar system, an atomic war threatened to destroy that planet's humanoid civilization. The volcanic tribes of that world were warring with other groups over food and land. They even built a humanoid warrior called the Destroyer to eliminate anything that prevented the volcano people from expanding. A group of scientists gathered together to build something that would balance out the destruction, before the world's inevitable end came. They created a marvel of science, an artificial man, with amazing powers which would be used for the good of mankind. They named him Captain Marvel, the human robot.

Marvel was given rigorous training to master the special abilities that were built into him. By speaking the word "Split!", the sentient robot could separate his body parts and control the flying pieces. Upon speaking the word "Xam!", the sections reconnected. He could even command individual parts by speaking such commands as "Fingers off!", "Hands off!", or "Feet run!". After time, he would only have to think the words in order to execute the commands. Marvel soon learned of the nuclear devastation of his planet, and of his special purpose. The knowledge of his world's people was preserved in his computer mind; he was to use it to help others. The scientists underscored the importance of rejuvenating his source of energy on a daily basis. They explained to Marvel that the medallion on his chest contained a material they call "X". By rubbing his hand over it, he would retain his powers at maximum. On one test run, Marvel was used to chase the Destroyer off-planet, stopping the advance of the volcano people.

Then, one fateful day, the final atomic bombs fell. Marvel was given astro-boots that would enable him to travel through space. He barely got 1,000 miles off the planet before it exploded. Marvel became a space wanderer. After an unknown period of time, Marvel found Earth, circa 1965. He approached the planet, but the heat of re-entry weakened him. A teenager named Billy Baxton spotted the falling stranger and ran away in fear. Marvel sent his hand to stop Billy, causing Billy to faint. Upon waking, Billy was calmed and they became friends. Billy explained all about the Earth and it's people. He helped Marvel get a suit of clothes, and helped establish his civilian identity as Captain Marvel (presumably explaining the "captain" title by claiming "Mr. Marvel" was a retired military man). Soon, Marvel landed a job as a writer for an important press service and purchased a home. Shortly after that, tired and dazed by his long ordeal, Marvel developed temporary amnesia. Luckily, Billy arrived and helped refresh his memory. Marvel would continue to have occasional lapses about his early life, usually requiring someone or something to jog his computer mind.

Captain Marvel initially wore no mask in his alternate role as super-hero, but he soon gained recognition because of his global exploits. Marvel realized he would need a better secret identity, and thus created the alter ego of Prof. Roger Winkle. Winkle got a job as a professor at Dartmoor University, located in the small northeastern town of Riverview. He donned a mask as an added measure to conceal his new identity. Captain Marvel's career lasted a number of years, and during that time he battled many menaces, including the Destroyer, the only other survivor of his doomed homeworld. Marvel's ultimate fate is unknown.

Weapons and Powers: Captain Marvel had the ability to split off some or all of his body parts and mentally control them as they flew through the air. He could fly at great speeds and over large distances using his miraculous astro-boots. He was intelligent and clever due to his computer brain, and his robot form made him quite durable during battle. He had laser beam eyes, and could emit sonic waves, electronic force fields, and electrical shocks. He needed no air to breathe, had a resistance to electricity, could sense radioactivity, and could make analytical tests using his senses of smell and taste. Later, Marvel even learned how to make his street clothes invisible through mental commands, revealing his uniform underneath.

Comments: Although he was a robot, Roger Winkle occasionally dated Linda Knowles. However, he was greatly affected by magnetism, and shied away from doctors, indicating that his robotic form contained a great deal of metallic parts which could be readily detected. It is therefore doubtful that his relationship with Miss Knowles ever progressed beyond the dating stage.

Captain Quasar, Cmdr. Glenn Merritt &  Sgt. Kevin Tempest

Cmdr. Glenn Merritt was originally based on an action figure named Major Matt Mason. Mattel Toys had produced the "Major Matt Mason" line of toys from 1967-1970. Mason was an astronaut stationed on the Moon, and his accessories included the Jet Pack, Space Sled, Space Crawler, and Space Station. In 1968, a second astronaut, Sgt. Storm, was added under the Major's command. This was followed in 1969 by two final astronauts, Jeff Long and Doug Davis. The line also included a trio of aliens: Captain Lazer (1968), Callisto (1969), and Scorpio (1970). Callisto was a little green man from Jupiter, wielding advanced mental powers. Captain Lazer was from the planet Mars, and his height was nearly twice that of a normal Earthman's. Scorpio was an insect-like humanoid hatched on a planet in another galaxy, located in the star cluster Scorpio. He had a computer-like brain, and possessed the ability to read minds. Soon after birth, Scorpio felt a mental summons which he followed all the way to the Earth's moon. The source of the summons was Major Matt Mason, whom Scorpio quickly befriended. After the first Moon landing in July 1969, interest in Mattel's Man of Space waned, and the line was discontinued in the following year.

Mattel had apparently commissioned a Major Matt Mason comic book from DC Comics in 1970. Given that assumption, when the toy line was canceled in that same year, Mattel's need for the comic would have disappeared. With a little reworking, DC likely produced the following tale, starring Cmdr. Glenn Merritt, Sgt. Kevin Tempest, and Captain Quasar.


From Beyond The Unknown #7 (Oct-Nov 1970)—#8 (Dec 70-Jan 71)
"Earth Shall Not Die!" parts one and two
by Denny O'Neil and Murphy Anderson

The year is 1999. Mankind is taking its first tentative steps to the stars. Cape Kennedy contacts the crew of Jupiter-Probe, the first manned craft to the solar system's largest planet. After the crew signs off, the Jupiter-Probe loses its outer-ship electronics systems. Suddenly, something hits the probe. Sensors indicate that the hull has been ripped open. The crewmen don their oxygen masks, but the effort is a futile one. They are boarded and attacked by alien invaders. Every one of the dozen or so astronauts are killed.

Later, back on Earth, astro-physicist Dr. Glenn Merritt appears on Capital Hill before a top-level Washington conference. Dr. Merritt cannot believe that some of the committee members, especially Senator Archibald Beauregard, are suggesting that the Jupiter-Probe disaster might have been an accident. Merritt points out that the ship's hull was ripped wide open and the entire crew shot with laser-beams. The prior week, a space-station was mysteriously destroyed. The previous month, one of the Lunar bases exploded. Merritt believes that someone, or something, is out there waiting. He produces further evidence supporting his theory. His observatory recently began receiving radio signals that were clearly from intelligent beings. They don't know what the words mean, but it is obvious that it was not an Earth language. The committee is not entirely convinced but, over the objections of Senator Beauregard, it is suggested that Dr. Merritt receive sufficient funds to establish a monitoring post on the Moon. Merritt is forced to agree to a half-year time limit. He requests enough equipment to furnish a small bubble base, a crew of six trained astronauts, and, since he'll be using military facilities, an official rank. The committee grants Merritt one astronaut, and will arrange for him to be commissioned as a Space-Fleet Commander. Senator Woodrow tells Merritt that he wishes he could do more; at the very least, he will contact Space-Fleet Headquarters personally to ask for a good man to be assigned to the mission.

Shortly, at Space-Fleet Headquarters, General Watkins receives word and assigns Sergeant Kevin Tempest, an enlisted astronaut, to aid Merritt. Tempest is highly qualified and intelligent, and has an extraordinary aptitude for machinery. Unfortunately, he is also known as a brawling troublemaker. Tempest is a problem that General Watkins is glad to get rid of. He begrudgingly packs and heads to Cape Kennedy, the center of America's space-effort.

Soon, the mission is ready. As Cmdr. Merritt and Sgt. Tempest prepare to board their craft, Senator Beauregard arrives and warns Merritt that if he slips up even once, he'll see Merritt broken. The ship takes off without a hitch. Once free of Earth's gravity, Cmdr. Merritt orders Sgt. Tempest to switch from liquid fuel to atomics. The insubordinate Tempest tells Merritt to do it himself. He then begins to chide Merritt on his volume of The Collected Works of Shakespeare. Merritt knows that he must show Tempest who's boss, and begins berating him. As the Commander expected, a fight ensues. Tempest is unaware that Merritt was on the University Boxing Team, and obtained a black belt on the Karate Team. That, added to Merritt's understanding of zero-gravity, enables him to easily beat his belligerent co-pilot. As he had hoped, Merritt earns Tempest's respect, and the two make their peace.

Suddenly, the ship's alarm sounds. Cmdr. Merritt detects three incoming alien spacecraft. The aliens show their hostility by firing a laser-beam at the ship, barely missing them. Tempest fires the weapon's systems, destroying one of the attackers. The two remaining ships engage them. They are fired on once again, only this time they take a hit in the gun-turret, melting the weapon and stunning Tempest. Defenseless, Merritt waits for the final blow, but at the last moment another alien ship arrives and fires on the attackers. One attacker is destroyed immediately, leaving the two remaining alien craft to battle it out. The ships trade weapon's fire until both become disabled. The rescuer's ship begins to fall to the Lunar surface. Merritt is relieved when he discovers that Tempest is still alive and well, and the two astronauts prepare to land.

Once on the surface, they break out their jet-propelled vacuum-sleds in order to hunt for the fallen alien. They head for a trail of smoke vapor rising from a crater. When they locate their objective, the astronauts are amazed to see a ten foot tall alien standing outside his spaceship, not wearing any kind of protective spacesuit. As they approach, the alien that had just saved their lives inexplicably begins to fire upon them. Tempest's sled takes a hit, but Merritt is able to get the drop on the menace, knocking the creature out. The astronauts lash the alien to their sleds and bring him back to their ship, binding him before he awakens.

When the alien finally regains consciousness, the two Earthmen are shocked to discover that he speaks perfect English. Their captive explains that his race has monitored Earth's broadcasts for many years, and that English is a rather simple language. When Merritt asks the alien his name, the creature responds that it is difficult to translate, but sounds something like "K-Way-Zzr". Merritt recognizes the word as being similar to the transmission he picked up at his observatory. The alien goes on to explain that he is a renegade and outlaw from Trogg, a planet in the Beta-Centauri system. He states that, although Earth is a war-like world, it is a poor second to Trogg in the art of destruction. From their earliest history, they have loved war. Their only glory is battle, their only art the graceful imparting of death. Hundreds of planetary periods before, they developed a space-drive, and took their warriors to nearby planets—- burning, crushing, erasing whole civilizations. At last, they had nothing left to conquer.

Frustrated, their Leader, Ghorto, called a meeting of the Supreme Council. The Leader proclaimed that they must journey to the stars to find a worthy foe. He selected Earth, a world populated by beings nearly as mighty as they. It was at that point that K-Way-Zzr stood up, saying they should put an end to bloodshed, and turn their attention to peace. One Councilman proclaimed that K-Way-Zzr was speaking treason and should be arrested. K-Way-Zzr fled the Council and Trogg, determined to warn the people of Earth. He had been a Captain in the Troggian Space-Navy, so he had no problem commandeering a star-ship. Since the Leader had already prepared the vanguard of his Earth invasion, it was no problem for him to dispatch ships to follow. K-Way-Zzr hid in a space-warp, hoping to elude his pursuers and contact a responsible Earth government. When he saw their ship under siege, he intervened.

When asked why he shot at them, K-Way-Zzr apologizes, explaining that he was stunned and was fighting instinctively. Merritt tells Tempest to warm up the transmitter so they can call Senator Beauregard with proof. Tempest says they should first free their captive, but when he has trouble pronouncing the name "Captain K-Way-Zzr", the alien suggests an easier name —- Captain Quasar. K-Way-Zzr then easily snaps his bonds, freeing himself. As they exchange greetings, Merritt shows K-Way-Zzr his .45 pistol, and looks over the alien's laser-projector gun.

Shortly, just as the astronauts contact Senator Beauregard, two Troggians enter the airlock and fire on the crew, knocking out the transmitter. The invaders point their laser-projectors at the trio, telling them to drop their weapons. The Troggians state that Earthlings will be easily conquered, then inform K-Way-Zzr that, on orders of Leader Ghorto, he is to be executed for the crime of high treason. Before K-Way-Zzr can be killed, Tempest attacks one of the aliens, but is knocked down. Merritt and K-Way-Zzr use the diversion to fight back. During the battle, one of the laser-projectors is fired, striking the ship's wiring, plunging the ship into darkness. K-Way-Zzr gropes around in the dimly lit cabin for a weapon. He finds Merritt's .45 and shoots, wounding his fellow Troggians with the primitive firearm. Merritt switches on the emergency power circuit, and the trio place the aliens in the ship's brig. "Captain Quasar" joins the crew in their common enterprise to protect Earth and stop further attacks by the Troggian invaders.

Captain Stingaree

Batman foe with the looks and M.O. of a pirate. Karl Courtney, one of four Courtney quadruples. (The other three were detectives and for some reason Karl believed them to be the Batman). Stingaree later became a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains. He was seemingly murdered by Mr. Freeze.

Captain Strong

Captain Horatio Strong was a non-costumed sailor who appeared in several Superman stories; he gained temporary super-strength from eating 'sauncha," an alien seaweed. (As is especially clear from the names of his best friend and fiancee, J. Wellington Jones and Olivia Tallow respectively, he was a pastiche/parody of Popeye.) Created by Cary Bates and Curt Swan (with apologies to Elzie C. Segar).

Apps: ACTION #421, 439, 456, 566 and SUPERMAN #361 (plus a cameo in DC CHALLENGE #10). An unnamed dead-ringer for Strong/Popeye can be found in SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL #72. Also makes a brief appearance in this week's GREEN ARROW v.3 #22.

The Card Queen

Written by Ryan Hardin (RHa3720137@aol.com)

The Card Queen: DETECTIVE COMICS issues #481-483

When BATMAN FAMILY was cancelled due to the DC Implosion of the late 1970s, those new BATMAN FAMILY stories that were scheduled to come out were published in DETECTIVE COMICS from issues #480-500 as sort of "bonus" stories.

In DETECTIVE COMICS issues #481-483, Duela Dent appeared in yet another costumed guise, one that has been almost completely overlooked in retrospects of her history and career. These issues all featured a "Robin Story" with Duela Dent along as "The Card Queen". She wore a red and gold costume and a wig of long brown hair. The costume kinda looked like a genie's but with a skirt. In the story, there was a villain who ran an organization called the Pseudo-Supermen who were, of course, out to take over the world. In order to do that, the world's most powerful super-heroes had to be taken down first. Duela was a memme ber of this organization, no less than the master villain's second in command.

Robin learns the true identitity of the Card Queen early on but we readers have to wait until the conclusion of the story ( in issue #483) to find out who she really is...Duela Dent. And she was employed as a secret government operative by the CBI to infiltrate the group. After she succeeded in that, she somehow contacted Robin for help and left clues for him to figure her identity and join her in her adventure.

note: Robin didn't take a new identity in the story but he DID wear several reader-designed costumes over the course if 'TEC #481.

Comments

I made some corrections to the Card Queen info and sent it to the Moderator who changed it. Robin and Duela went up against a villain organization called the Maze, who recruited college students to their cause. The Maze apporached Duela because they "knew" her to be the daughter of Two-Face and believed that she was a criminal too. How they got this info is beyond me. The Maze went to Hudson University and that is how they recruited Duela to the team, not knowing she was the Titan known as Harlequin. Duela infiltrated the Maze and left behind clues for Robin. The Maze wanted her to pretend to be a heroine to attract Robin's attention. A costumed figure called the Raven, who was also part of the Maze turned out to be Lori Elton's new boyfirend. Lori and Dick were boyfriend and girlfriend but had broken up. When the Raven was revealed to be a criminal and Dick beat him in a fist fight (boxing) Lori went back to Dick. All the corrections to the Card Queen can be found on the 'Titans Lair' site and on the 'Duela Dent Harlequin' site.

Cerberus

Written by Ghituslinger

'Credit where credit is due' department: The majority of this text is taken from the Superman: The Man Of Steel Sourcebook published by Mayfair Games, 1992, written by Roger Stern. All I've done is add the quotes, issue numbers, and expanded on the original text in spots.

Dragon Lady (attached to Cerberus): "I had meant that Superman would discover our location through his... conversations with Metallo. I had hoped that he would... join us. But not that he'd do it so quickly."

Macho Man: "He'll never be one of us! He ain't got what it takes!"

Physicist: "If he won't join us..."

Homicidal Manic: "Can't, doctor. He can't! He lacks that certain flair for evil, doesn't he? That must be obvious, even to you!"

Physicist: "Then he must be destroyed! Give Cerberus to me!"

Dragon Lady: "Don't you mean... give you to Cerberus?" (Superman: Man Of Steel #13)

"You know who you are. You know what we want. Capitulate to our demands or worse will follow... Cerberus!" (Superman: Man Of Steel #1)

History

Cerberus, named for the dog with three heads who guards Hell, is one of the most formidable of Superman's villains. The Man of Steel encountered this enigmatic villain when his organization (also called Cerberus) was hired by the Latin American island country of Tattamalia to terrorize Lexcorp and force the corporation to pull its holdings from the country. (The country's main export was agricultural, which Lexcorp had near total control of. Also thrown into the mix were a group of revolutionaries trying to overthrow the Tattalmalian government.)

Superman first learned of Cerberus by his terrorist attacks on several Lexcorp facilities that usually left cryptic messages burning in the sky. After disposing of an explosive device placed in an industrial park outside Metropolis, he faced a cyborg sent by Cerberus whom he managed to subdue. As he took his prisoner into custody, however, the cyborg was vaporized by the Eradicator, which had returned in humanoid form. (But that's a story for another time.) (Superman: Man Of Steel #1)

Cerberus then sent two more henchmen to terrorize Lexcorp: Rorc, a cyborg who's left arm had been replaced by a giant claw and Sergeant Belcher, an ex-army sergeant who spewed acid. After they destroyed all traces of the previous agent's operation, these two launched a remote controlled helicopter to napalm the Newstime Building and launched a series of missiles into downtown Metropolis. Superman managed to track these two to a warehouse and discovered during their confrontation that they went unconscious when interrogated. (Superman: Man Of Steel #2)

Not long after, the Tattamalian government resumed negotiations with Lexcorp, reneging on its contract with Cerberus. The revolutionaries, afraid of reprisals from Cerberus, stepped up their efforts to overthrow the government by sabotaging the negotiations in Metropolis, but were thwarted by Superman. All of this was observed by the god Phobos, who wanted the Man of Steel removed from interering in the 'War of the Gods'. Phobos awoke the dormant Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, tricking him into seeking out Superman.

Meanwhile, Cerberus went to collect his payment from the Tattamalian government. When the country was unable to pay, Cerberus had it napalmed from above via a squadron of helicopters. With the help of Quetzcoatl, Superman arrived in time to save most of the tiny country. (Superman: Man Of Steel #3)

After the Man of Steel foiled his plans, Cerberus sent two more henchmen, Jolt (a cyborg with an energy draining whip) and Blockhouse (a powerhouse who lived up to his name) to kidnap Lois Lane, reasoning that if she were taken, Superman would be sure to follow. In spite of the agents' firepower, Superman managed to save his wife. (Superman: Man Of Steel #7-8)

Seeing the writing on the wall, Cerberus took more drastic actions. He procured the cyborg Metallo and, altering him to certain specifications, sent him to lure Superman into his trap. (Adventures of Superman 491) But thanks to the assistance of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit, Metallo was interrogated, leading Superman to the location of Cerberus' mountain headquarters much quicker than expected and the mercenary was not (fully) prepared. (Action Comics #678)

After braving the headquarters' defenses, Superman met Cerberus face to face and was repulsed by the villain's appearance and its collection of living heads, which Cerberus endangered with no hint or remorse. After a lengthy fight, in which the Man of Steel was distracted by Cerberus' head switching as well as his abuse of the heads, the base was destroyed, leaving the origin and fate of Cerberus a mystery. (Superman: Man Of Steel #13)

Cerberus also appeared in JOKER: LAST LAUGH #4, where he was shot (although not necessarily killed) by Army troops.

Cerberus' powers and abilities:

Cerberus is a calculating and ruthless being of immense power whose personality changes with each human head he wears. With the Dragon Lady head, he is calculating and devious. She is the planner and schemer. The Physicist is the non-aggressive intellectual. The Macho Man is aggressive and unintelligent. He fights with strength rather than tactics. The Homicidal Maniac is just plain crazy and will fight with anything he can get his hands on (including Cerberus' other heads!). These, of course, are not the only heads Cerberus owns; he has many more. Cerberus takes great pride in creating elaborate plots and does not take their being foiled lightly.

Without his armor, Cerberus' own face is on his chest and it appears to be demonic in nature. Cerberus himself hinted that he was of supernatural origin. Cerberus him/itself always speaks through whichever human head it is wearing, never through its own mouth. All of Cerberus' heads also seem to be in telepathic contact with each other.

In addition to super strength and invulnerability, the Cerberus creature could spew a green gas capable of weakening Superman. Whether this was kryptonite or magical in nature is, like everything else about Cerberus, unknown. With the accumulated knowledge of its human heads, Cerberus has created numerous weapons, including battle armor, cyborg enhancements, and its own mountain headquarters.

Appearances:

  • Superman: The Man Of Steel #1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 13
  • Adventures Of Superman #491
  • Action Comics #678
  • JOKER: LAST LAUGH #4

The Chain Gang War

A group of highly organized vigilantes who felt that they wanted to lock up criminals instead of killing them, and set out to do so. They had their own series for 12 issues. Their members were Ernie Dorrs, Yale Strang, and Curtis Zecker. They eventually gave up their homemade prison when the series ended.

The Chain Master

Another of the Master's clone-slaves from the Dial H series.

The Challenger Corps

See also: Challengers

Not sure about these, other than that they were a team of civilians who were big fans of the Challengers of the Unknown and tried to help them with a couple of cases. The only one I've seen named was Anthony Dragio; the team first appeared in CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN [1st series] #45.

The Changeling I

In 1947, no one had ever heard of a metagene, the theorized element that would trigger super-powers if the body was subjected to sufficient trauma. That surely must have been the case with Erik Razar, an inmate who was electrocuted while trying to shut down the prison power supply in an escape attempt. Instead, Razar found that he now possessed the ability to become any animal that he chose, whether it be an ape, tortoise, rhino, bird, elephant or shark.

The Changeling found himself opposed by the Flash and, in a desperate battle beneath the sea, the drowning Scarlet Speedster smashed his foe's shark-head against a rock before he could take the form of an octopus. Justifying his actions with the explanation that "it was him or me," the Flash recovered the Changeling's body so that scientists could determine what truly caused Razar's metamorphosis (FLASH COMICS #84, art by E.E. Hibbard).


II

Whether Erik Razar was truly killed is unknown. His name and his powers, though would live on in years to come. In 1965, Tomar-Re, the Green Lantern of Xudar, found himself in opposition with a second Changeling, an energy-being that was the sole survivor of the world of Krastl. As a survival mechanism, the Changeling was forced to assume the guise of other beings and objects at regular intervals. After a Xudarian archeologist was left comatose when the Changeling took his form, Tomar-Re pursued the parasite to Earth.

There, Earth's GL, Hal Jordan, ascertained the being's weaknesses, notably the fact that it could only transform itself into an object that already existed. As the Changeling prepared to mimic a stuffed toy, Hal obliterated the object and the nuclear menace was trapped in its insubstantial true form, not unlike a mushroom cloud (GREEN LANTERN (second series) #38, by Gardner Fox, Gil Kane and Sid Greene).


III

The 1971 death of Superman's friend, Jan Nagy, was followed by a second shock when the scientist's will made the Man of Steel the guardian of his son, Gregor. The young man reacted angrily to the news, screaming that he hated Superman. Following Gregor to his room, Superman was stunned to see him transform into a gorilla. "YOU did this to me, my guardian! YOU placed the mark of the beast on my brow ... and for that you will pay!"

As the effect wore off, Gregor revealed that his condition had been caused as a result of Metamorphon, a synthetic element created by his father. Superman rushed to prevent catastrophe when the atomic furnace containing the element ruptured. Advised that "only hydrogen can slow down and halt that runaway reaction," the Man of Steel threw the kiln into the Nagy swimming pool where, despite Superman's efforts, a nearby Gregor was affected.

He soon learned that the slightest suggestion would cause him to involuntarily take new shapes and forms. A wish to vanish turned him into an invisible man while a desire to fly from a bully transformed him into a bat. Regarding himself as a freak, Gregor became a recluse and broke up with his girlfriend, Denise.

Determined to channel Gregor's powers for good, Superman convinced the teenager to let him train him in the use of his powers. Codenamed the Changeling, Gregor soon put his talent to good use, unearthing a stolen fortune for the F.B.I. and driving away a band of poachers in Africa.

The Man of Steel's efforts seemed to have no effect and the bitter Gregor even discovered Superman's Clark Kent alias just to taunt his guardian. While tampering with switches in the Fortress of Solitude, the Changeling accidentally triggered a self-destruct mechanism in a space station and Superman was forced to make an emergency rescue.

While Superman was absent, a life-or-death call was received at the Fortress and the contrite teen wished that he had the hero's powers. On cue, the Changeling gained the power of his guardian and, wearing a Superman costume, he raced to the bottom of the sea to recover a submarine and its crew. The transformation wore off in mid-rescue and only the arrival of the genuine Man of Steel prevented total disaster.

For Gregor, though, it was too late. His body crushed by the ocean pressure, he had only enough time to gasp out his gratitude for Superman's efforts on his behalf. "At least I die — not as a beast — but as a man. A WHOLE man."

"Gregor ... son ..."

"You called me ... son. Thanks! I'd have been proud to have a father like you."

Dying, the Changeling made his final transformation, turning to dust in the arms of his surrogate father (ACTION COMICS #400, by Leo Dorfman, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson).


IV

Elsewhere in the globe, there lurked a fourth Changeling, a European assassin and metamorph who ended his career as a free agent to join the international terrorist cell known as the Cartel. The assassin's costume consisted of a camouflage-style design against a gaudy orange background while his identity was concealed by a blank face-plate. The loud outfit belied the Changeling's unique abilities, which he used in March of 1980 to take the form and voice of a French crimelord and kidnap the man's daughter. Trailing the assassin and his partners to an undersea base, Wonder Woman ruptured the stronghold and the entire band of criminals was taken into custody (WONDER WOMAN #268, by Gerry Conway, Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta).


V

And elsewhere, Garfield Logan was fighting his last battle with his former guardian and current super-villain, Nicholas Galtry. Weary of Galtry's taunting him with his Beast Boy codename, Logan told the reeling bad guy that "you've SPOILED that name for me. Now I gotta CHANGE it" (1982's TALES OF THE NEW TEEN TITANS #3, by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and Gene Day). Reuniting with Wonder Girl and Robin in August of 1980, Logan insisted they "call me Changeling. 'Beast Boy' was for the birds, er ... no offense, Robin!" (NEW TEEN TITANS (first series) #1, by Wolfman, Perez and Romeo Tanghal)

Cinnamon

In 1898, a young lady with red hair was blazing a trail across the west, hunting the men who killed her father...

...and she was called Cinnamon.

Along with her pistols, she used a sheriff's badge like a shuriken...

She appeared in two issues of WEIRD WESTERN TALES as a backup (and a third was lost to the DC Implosion), and it looked like her hunt would be uncompleted.

But things took a strange turn, and she ended up meeting Scalphunter, Bat Lash (both heroes from the 1860s), and Jonah Hex (from the 1870s) in a pair of issues of JLofA (though they WERE facing the Lord of Time... but it was never suggested that she or they were moved in time...)

She then appeared in Crisis (but only in group shots, where she may have been taken out of any time...), and then as a member of Nighthawk's "Rough Bunch" (a loose affiliation of western heroes, basically organized to fight Extant in GUY GARDNER: WARRIOR), and had an even slighter recent cameo in WONDER WOMAN as an advertisement on a billboard.

That is, until her recent appearance hooking up with Nighthawk in HAWKMAN.

Appearances:

  • Weird Western Tales #48, 49
  • Justice League Of America #198, 199
  • Crisis #5, 7
  • Guy Gardner: Warrior #24
  • Wonder Woman [2nd series] #175 (as an image on a billboard)
  • Hawkman [4th series] #7

Comments

The date of her original debut was said to be 1898. Since then, this has been moved some years earlier to make her fit better among other heroes of the time.

A number of the early Jonah Hex stories in WEIRD WESTERN TALES, for instance, also had dates some of which were actually later than the dates given in the beginning of the JONAH HEX series (at least I'm pretty sure that's the case; been some time since I last read those issues). And considering JONAH HEX followed up on some of the things shown in WWT, that must mean that the dates given in the early stories were wrong.

So, if we can move back those appearances, I see no problem doing the same with Cinnamon, as there was no important reason for it to take place in 1898 as far as I recall. That way, her later appearances wouldn't cause much of a problem.

Of Cinnamon's WEIRD WESTERN TALES... the only mention of dates were indeed in the captions (which also try to place her in a time after Jonah and such...)

BUT, Nighthawk mentions hearing of her from Jonah, and Jonah met Cinnamon in JLofA #199 (in 1878, BTW...). So, no REAL problem moving her earlier...

The Class of 2064

"Class of 2064" was one of the better strips in 1984's NEW TALENT SHOWCASE. The creation of Todd Klein, each arc focused on, as the name says, kids in the space-faring graduating class of 2064.

The first episode (#1-3, art by Scott Hampton) introduced Chryse Bantry, Pern Muller and Tycho Kushiro as kids from the Lagrange Colony on Mars. They become involved with Free Earth terrorists, who fought on behalf of the nuclear war-ravaged humans who still lived on Earth. Issue #7-8(art by Terry Shoemaker and Karl Kesel) spotlighted Miranda Venezia, who joined her father on Lagrange-based space tours around Mars.

Wayne Clifford ("Dateline: Frontline")

Cary Burkett and Jerry Grandenetti's Wayne Clifford (of "Dateline: Frontline") was an American war correspondent whose adventures took place in a variety of venues over the course of 1940-1942 (MEN OF WAR #4-6, 9-11, 21-23 and UNKNOWN SOLDIER #243-245 and 254-256). In his final appearance, Clifford was forced to endure the horror of the Bataan Death March, escaping with his life thanks to a handful of soldiers.

The Clipper

The Clipper was the creation of William Messner-Loebs, a Shadow parody appearing in 1988's FLASH #20 and 23. He was a demented, gun-wielding vigilante of the early 1930s who eventually, according to #23, disappeared without a trace. Mason Trollbridge was his kid sidekick and tried to take the identity as his own in #23.

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"

"Evil is evil! The Clipper guesses! Heheheheheheh."

Unlike the better known mystery-man of the 1930s, the Clipper's chief concern was that said hearts stopped beating. "Mason," he told his kid sidekick, "The IMPORTANT thing's not if their guilty, the important thing's if their DEAD! So I need someone to hold them down while I shoot them again and again and again and again and ..." Well, you get the idea.

The story of the Clipper comes exclusively from the memory of Mason Trollbridge, a man who claimed to be the kid sidekick of the early 1930s vigilante. "I was his assistant," Mason explained. "I carried the disguise and the extra guns." They'd first met in 1931 when the Clipper saved the boy from bullies. "It impressed me that despite his rigid standards and important work, he'd been willing to stop and help a slum kid. It still does. As it turned out, he was drunk that night. But the principle still holds."

Like the Shadow, the Clipper had multiple identities (which Mason helped him keep track of) and wore a long-brimmed hat and trenchcoat, though his were brown rather than black. One account indicated that his entire face was covered by a porous blank mask (1988's FLASH #20) while another depicted him with a bandana-style mask and a thin mustache (FLASH #23). "Those whom he did not imprison or kill would find the tops of their ears clipped off, so they could never pass for honest men."

Not content with merely gunning down thieves and murders, the Clipper made it his business to pass judgment on anyone who committed a moral lapse. The father, mother and son that the Clipper saved from a burglar were forced to atone for their own crimes of bribery, adultery ... and breaking "Jimmy Allen's toy truck last week."

When things got too hot for him, the Clipper gave his costume and weapons to Mason and left for parts unknown. Decades later, Mason was living in a low-rent apartment in Keystone City, where he met Wally West, no stranger to life as a sidekick himself (FLASH #20, by William Messner-Loebs and Greg LaRocque). When Mason decided to take the persona of the Clipper as his own, Wally followed close behind (FLASH #23, by Loebs and Gordon Purcell).

It quickly became evident that Mason was just too nice to be a hard-boiled crimebuster. He negotiated a deal between a suicidal, cash-strapped thief and his victim and stopped a hold-up "because both the thugs and the victims were laughing so hard." When Wally and Mason became embroiled in a battle with Abra Kadabra, the would-be Clipper rammed his flaming car into the villain. "I though it'd be more fun," he observed, "killin' somebody that evil."

Mason mothballed the Clipper outfit but remained a staunch friend of Wally over the next few years, serving as a surrogate for the young man's own estranged father. Wally, as it turned out, filled a similar void for Mason, who hadn't seen his son, Donnie, in years. That changed in 1992 when the young man returned as a ruthless vigilante with an invisibility vest known as the Last Resort. As the name implied, he was often "the only venue for the desperate and forlorn." Father and son finally had a long overdue chat, the details of which remain private (FLASH #59-60).

One month later, the widowed Mason proposed to Leonora McDonald and spontaneously turned the marriage ceremony of Wally's mother to Ernesto Varni into a double ceremony (FLASH #61). With a family of his own once more, Mason soon faded out of Wally's life.

Codename: Assassin

Created by Gerry Conway, Steven Skeates, Carmine Infantino, and the Redondo Studios

Profile written by Ola Hellstone

"I've a feeling this is a fight we're all going to enjoy!"
—The Assassin, 1st Issue Special #11 (February, 1976)

PERSONAL DATA:
Alter Ego: Jonathan Drew
Occupation: Vigilante, Assassin
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: Unnamed parents (deceased),
Marie (sister, deceased)
Group Affiliations: None
Base of Operations: New York City, NY
Hair: Blond
Eyes: Blue
Skin: Caucasian white
First Appearance: 1st Issue Special #11 (February 1976)

HISTORY:
When Jonathan Drew was ten years old, his parents died under as yet unrevealed circumstances. Standing by their gravestone, his older sister Marie said to him, "now that mom and dad are gone, I'll take care of you, and you'll take care of me." She promised never to leave him and that he didn't have to be afraid. He believed her.

Eleven years later, in 1976, Jonathan found himself completing his first year of Graduate School at Antioke University. After flunking his psychiatry course, he agreed to participate in an E.S.P. research experiment designed by a Doctor Andrew Stone. By doing that, he would pass his exam.

But something in the experiment went horribly wrong. While Jonathan was still attached to Stone's "E.S.P. machinery", Stone's colleague, Doctor Anderson, accidentally stumbled on a power cable, which resulted in the testing device blowing up, and a surge of power flowing through Jonathan Drew's body.

Waking up in a hospital, Jonathan was thirsty and was going to ask for a glass of water. However, the water came to him before nobody had had the chance of giving it to him. Watching the decanter floating in the air, Jonthan let out a scream of shock as he realized that he had gained telekinetic powers.

More shocks were on their way. Leaving the hospital, Marie started telling Jonathan a secret she had kept for years, but before she had even finished the first sentence, she was gunned down by machine-gun fire from a passing car. In shock and rage, Jonathan insinctively let out a burst of his new-found power, crushing the car with it.

He later found out that Marie had been working for a crimeboss named Victor Grummun, only to earn money so that Jonathan could go to college. For some reason, she became a security risk, and was killed. After learning this, Jonathan went underground for some time, training and developing his powers for the task that had to be done. When he appeared again, it was as the costumed vigilante with the codename: Assassin.

Going after Grummun's employees Rossi, Morganthau, and Carmody, killing some and delivering others to the authorities, the Assassin made a name of himself, angering Victor Grummun himself. Grummun vowed to kill the Assassin before the Assassin would kill him.

The Assassin evidently had some associates since establashing himself. He has mentioned a man named Ben who possibly was another casualty in the war against crime. While the district attorney Roberts and police commissioner Runyon seemed to be thankful for the Assassin's contribution to their daily work, Jonathan's own friend Doctor Stone considered him a very ill man.

Judging from their comments, it also seems that the Assassin's real identity was public knowledge, at least among the authorities.

When last seen, the Assassin had just entered Grummun's yacht, and was engaged in a fight against two hired metahuman thugs called Snake and Powerhouse. It is not known how this conflict ended.

Further exploits of the Jonathan Drew are unrecorded, although Ted Knight, the original Starman, has stated that he encountered the Assassin in Opal City in the late 1970s, and that his career was very brief.

Obsessed and uncompromising, the Assassin would seemingly do whatever it takes to put Grummun and his likes to justice. The swift ending of his vigilante careermay imply that he succeeded...or that he failed.

POWERS AND ABILITIES:
The Assassin had a variety of mental powers. His telepathic abilities allowed him to read the thought of other humans, as well as noticing their presence before seeing or hearing them come. His telekinetics allowed him to move objects at least as heavy as himself, and to walk in the air. Occasionally, he could also emit devastating blasts of mental energy, enough to blow up a car, or to burn out a man's psyche. However, this ability seemed exclusively restricted to acts of pure reflex. The Assassin's mental powers were not inexhaustible, and he had to let them re-load once in a while.

Apart from using his mental powers, the Assassin was also an excellent hand-to-hand combatant. He carried a gun with which he could shoot tranquilizer darts, and he sometimes used other equipment such as a pocket blowtorch, which he carried in his utility belt.

APPEARANCE LIST:
1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #11 (February, 1976)
STARMAN (2nd series) #76 (April 2001) (mentioned only)

Kit Colby

Katherine "Kit" Colby was the "girl sheriff" of Moonbow and relatively unique among Western strips in that her adventures took place in the present. Specifically those adventures occurred from 1949 to 1952 in JIMMY WAKELY #1-13, 16-18. Art was by Carmine Infantino & Frank Giacoia in the first episode with subsequent issues pencilled by Giacoia (#2-5), Gil Kane (#6-10) and Irwin Hasen (#11-13, 16-18). Bob Lander inked all of Kane's episodes and all but the last two of Hasen's.

Kit rode a horse named Whitey (referred to as Flash in #1) and her supporting cast included her father, Judge Colby (in JW #1, 3 and 8) and Deputy Jess Sayers (#7-13, 18). She fought the Tumbleweed Kid in JW #7 ("The Stranger From Sunburst Bend").

The Composite Superman I

Written by eclipso13

First Appearance: World's Finest Comics #142

Real Name: Joe Meach

Powers: Has the powers of every member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Appearance: His right side is Batman, and his left side is Superman. He has dark hair, and green skin.

Recap: World's Finest Comics #142, reprinted in World's Finest Comics #223.

History:

Superman and Batman both receive mysterious messages from someone who knows their secrets. The message instructs them to meet the writer at Black Mountain the next day. There, they meet the Composite Superman.

The Composite Superman tells Superman and Batman that if they don't let him become their third partner, then he'll expose their identities to the world. They agree, and are left wondering who this new "hero" is.

Composite Superman then sets up a series of accidents, and uses his powers to save the day, and to upstage Superman and Batman.

We then learn the origin of this character. Joe Meach, a "failure", wanted to be the most famous high-diver in the world, and he attempted to dive off of a high building into a pool of water. Superman catches him, and informs Meach that the pool was leaking. Superman gets Meach a job at the Superman Museum as a caretaker. Meach holds a deep resentment of Superman and Batman, and feels that they got all the breaks.

One night, Meach is struck by lightning while at work. The same bolt of lightning also struck statuettes of the Legion of Super-Heroes, who made the statues using a duplicator machine. Meach immediately realizes that he has gained super-powers.

Superman, Batman, and Robin are discussing the motives of CS. They decide to meet in the Batcave. CS was listening in on them, using invisibility powers. He flies to the Batcave before them, and uses Chameleon Boy's powers to disguise himself as a statue of the Joker.

Batman and Superman arrive, and come up with a plan to find out if CS is sincere, or if he is trying to destroy them. Their plan involves firing kryptonite missiles at robot duplicates of Superman and the Batplane. CS does not help.

He then breaks into the Batcave, and reveals that he knew about the test. For defying him, CS orders Superman, Batman, and Robin to give up their super-hero identities. They reluctantly do so, but plan on fighting CS in their civilian identities.

Superman tracks CS with his super-vision, and finds out that CS is flying around the world, gathering large amounts of precious metals.

Superman and Batman decide to put their costumes back on, and travel to the mountains where CS is staying. They find a composite castle, made of various metals. They do battle with CS, and CS uses Element Lad's powers to make common objects into kryptonite. CS wins the battle, but also notices that his powers are fading.

He flies back to the Superman museum to recreate the original accident, but his powers are too faded. His memories also fade, and he returns to being Joe Meach.

Jim Corrigan of Earth-One

See also: The Spectre

Black police officer Corrigan (JIMMY OLSEN #149, 150, 152) was rumored to have been a candidate for an Earth-One Spectre when Joe Orlando rediscovered the series in the early 1970s. Instead, Orlando went with the traditional Jim Corrigan and Jimmy Olsen's pal popped up in a couple Leo Dorfman stories (JO #163; SUPERMAN FAMILY #167) before going into limbo. Tony Isabella revived him in BLACK LIGHTNING #4 and 7-9, finally officially establishing his first name as Jim. After a final appearance in WORLD'S FINEST #260, the Metropolis cop was never seen again. (He'd be a good candidate for the SCU if you ask me.)

It's not at all sure there really IS a Jim Corrigan of Earth-1 who merged with The Spectre (who was the ghost of his Earth-2 counterpart) or if The Spectre simply assumed that identity while on Earth-1. They never seemed to exist separately, as Corrigan and the Spectre did on Earth-2. Possibly the Earth-1 Jim Corrigan was a black Metropolis policeman (although only his last name was ever given) who appeared in several Jimmy Olsen stories circa 1972. This Corrigan was created by John Albano and Jose Delbo.

The Cossack

See also: Heroes of Russia

The Cossack was sent by the Soviet Union to retrieve Lt. Valentina Vostok after she defected to the United States. He was monitored in his mission by KGB agent Igor Brunovich.

Vostok, now Negative Woman of the New Doom Patrol, was caught unawares by the huge man, who was armed with a glowing energy sword and a flying horse. Negative Woman was short-circuited by his sword, and the Cossack also made fairly short work of the rest of the team in his quick attack and kidnapping of Negative Woman.

The New Doom Patrol caught up with the Cossack, and Negative Woman got away from him. A power blast from Tempest revealed that they were fighting a sophisticated robot and not a human being or metahuman, so unfettered by that fact, the team destroyed the Cossack in short order.

Brunovich was knocked out and captured by Lt. Matt Cable, who had been on hand to take Vostok into protective custody (but did not, because of the circumstances).

Appearances:

  • Showcase #96 (Dec 77-Jan 78)

The Council

Here's some info on the Council (assuming we're talking about the same group). They are from the classic MANHUNTER back-up feature from DETECTIVE COMICS by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson.

Following the creation of the atomic bomb in World War II, a group of future-gazing scientists banded together to "protect humanity from itself." This sinister agenda became their driving motivation, even to the point of extending their own lifespans via suspended animation.

Seeking to build an army, the Council found a perfect human specimen in Paul Kirk, the former Golden Age hero known as Manhunter. Kirk had been killed by a wild elephant while on a hunting trip in Africa but the Council's sophisticated technology revived him and augmented his genetic structure with a "healing factor." During the process of Kirk's resurrection, the Council had also cloned him and assigned the task of training these new warriors to Asano Nitobe, last surviving master of ninjutsu.

Manhunter's first mission in the Council's service was to assassinate the head of Interpol. Refusing to take a life in cold blood, Manhunter tried to warn his prey. But when the lights came up, he discovered that the Council was testing his loyalty and had replaced the Interpol agent with one of their own people earlier. Realizing the Council's madness, Paul Kirk escaped them and became a fugitive, travelling from country to country pursued by assassins with his own face.

Eventually, Kirk gathered allies in his war against the Council. Among them were Interpol agent Christine St. Clair, his teacher Asano Nitobe (who finally escaped the group's brainwashing), an African weapons dealer who was the son of one of Kirk's hunting companions, and finally the dread Batman himself. Batman had been drawn into the case by the murder of a friend. Evidence pointed to the mysterious Council and though the Dark Knight disagreed with Kirk's methods, he joined his crusade.

Eventually, the small band of heroes infiltrated the Council's hidden fortress. There, Batman faced a masked martial artist who he believed had murdered his friend. But during the course of the battle, the Caped Crusader realized the truth- that the masked man WAS his friend. He had been taken in by the Council's brainwashing and, in a way, the man Batman had known was truly dead.

Meanwhile, the Manhunter had reached the inner sanctum of the fortress and faced the Council themselves. Linked in their hibernation chambers by telepathy, the old men tried to have the rebellious Paul Kirk destroyed. In the end, Kirk sabotaged the fortress's technology and perished beside the Council in the resulting explosion.

Though consisting of only seven issues, the MANHUNTER series was critically acclaimed and fans were clamoring for more. Goodwin and Simonson reunited for a final chapter to be added for a collected edition. Sadly, Archie Goodwin passed on before the script could be completed but the story was included in the collection as a 'silent" comic. A man resembling Manhunter was rampaging across Gotham City, attrracting the attention of Batman. St. Clair and Nitobe appear, kill the imposter, and cross the last of the Manhunter clones off their list. The Council's agents were at last defeated.

Or so it seemed. In the JSA SECRET FILES #1, Black Canary and Hippolyta are seen battling a group of assassins who "all have the same face". "And it's a face familiar to me", the Amazon Queen remarks....

Courageous Man & Minute Lad

Profile by Rich Meyer

Courageous Man and Minute Lad were the main characters of a popular television action series, much akin to the Batman TV show of the sixties. Courageous Man was known for his courage, and his unique Bola-Gun.

Bill Anderson was the star of the show, playing the main hero. He also believed someone was trying to kill him before he could honor his contract to finish that particular season and leave the show (which he wanted to do before the show was syndicated and he was veritably typecast). After numerous accidents and close calls, he turned to an old friend for help, Christopher Chance, who was also known as the Human Target.

Chance impersonated the actor and yet another accident occurred (almost being killed by "Pastafazool's Pasta-Maker of Death", and he began scoping out the crew for possible suspects. His co-star, Doug Duncan, was a bratty actor who considered Anderson a has-been. He also was a chain-smoker who flaunted union rules on the set. Producer Frazier White was on the set as well, worrying about the accidents and what would happen to his insurance rates.

Chance was beginning to enjoy his role in the limelight after his first week, but another accident (this time with a "mock microwave" and a malfunctioning Bola-Gun), and decided to get down to task and find out who was behind the events. Barney, the chief electrician on the set, saw through Chance's disguise (saying Anderson wasn't that good of an actor) and told Chance to meet him in his office at midnight. Chance (as Anderson) kept the meeting, but found Barney dead, clutching a burnt match.

The next morning, Chance gathered the cast and crew on the set and revealed that he wasn't Anderson, saying that he was hired to find a killer. The police were already on their way over, and Chance told them that Barney had been killed the night before. He had been hired to stage all of the accidents, but had become nervous once he realized that "Courageous Man" was not who he seemed. Chance said that before he died, he managed to tell him who the killer was. Chance then proceeded to pull out a cigarette and ask for a light. Both Duncan and White offered lights, Duncan using a lighter and Barney a match, which pointed to him as the killer. White tried to escape, but Chance knocked him down with the inane Bola-Gun, which actually worked for once. Chance had also checked into White's finances, and he would've been bankrupted if the show hadn't gone into syndication. He planned to get revenge on Anderson for leaving, and cash in on an insurance policy on the actor.

Perry Klein, the show's director, offered Chance a role once Anderson's contract was up, but Chance refused, saying he does his best work capeless.

Appearances:

  • Action Comics Weekly #641

The Criminal Alliance of the World— C.A.W.

A secret war was being waged against the Earth and the only two people who could stop it were from a planet hundreds of light years away. The Criminal Alliance of the World — C.A.W. — was scouring the globe in search of the scientific secrets of the ancients — and their treasures.

In 1965, the organization had discovered an Egyptian statue in the form of a dog that was designed by the priests of Sebek to be far more. It was also capable of short range teleportation, something which C.A.W. used to loot the underground tomb of Ramses. The villains abducted laborers to steal the riches, erected an invisible force field that was deadly to the touch and preyed on native superstitions by wearing the heads of animals.

C.A.W. was unaware that there was a twin to the Dog of Sebek, one capable of long range teleportation that activated each time the short range unit was used. In a fateful development, the second dog was on display in the Midway City Museum and unwittingly transported curator Shiera Hall to C.A.W.s Egyptian site. Trailing Shiera via the radiation given off in the exchange, her husband, the Thanagarian police officer Hawkman, trailed her to Valley of the Crocodile, fought off a band of Crocodile-Men and rescued Shiera.

Her appearance had alerted C.A.W. to the existence of the other teleporter and the couple made a desperate flight out of the stronghold hoping to beat the agents to Midway City. In the process, the local Dog of Sebek was broken and its American duplicate suffered an identical injury (HAWKMAN (first series) #7, by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson). Now deemed worthless by C.A.W., the fragments of the Dogs of Sebek proved to be a breakthrough when Hawkman and Hawkgirl delivered them to Thanagar. Within a few years, the planets scientists had solved the secret of teleportation and the technology was eventually shared with the Justice League of America (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #78).

By August of that year, the Central Intelligence Bureau had taken an active role in thwarting the growing threat of C.A.W. With the Atom already on a case for the CIA (THE ATOM #21), they sought an alliance with the Tiny Titans close friends, Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

The Hawks learned that C.A.W. was keeping other foreign agents under surveillance, waiting for them to steal government secrets and then hijacking that data for themselves. After running a gauntlet of super-weapons (including a multi-outlet dart gun and a unit that fired guided propellers as sharp as razor blades), the heroes brought the local C.A.W. agents into custody and their method of smuggling the stolen secrets was exposed (HAWKMAN #10).

Within months, C.A.W. had set their sights on the ultimate lost secret — a legendary computer that contained all knowledge on Earth, something of a primitive version of Thanagars Absorbascon. The data was contained in a bronze talking head and it was activated by a small lamp. The two pieces had been stolen centuries ago from the scientific enclave known as the Nine Unknowns. In 1966, their successors had learned that the head and the lamp had finally been located and were going to be stolen again — by C.A.W. A representative of the enclave was dispatched to Midway City to solicit the aid of the Hawks Absorbascon in tracking the artifacts. Unfortunately, C.A.W. feared the heroes interference and arranged for an attack of their own that would keep them in Midway City.

By now, the C.A.W. agents had put secrecy behind them, proudly displaying their affiliation in matching red and black costumes with a golden, razor-edged C.A.W. emblem on their chest that doubled as a weapon. This time, their high-tech armada included a gun with anti-gravity discharges, a bubble gun whose output ate through anything it touched, a particlizer that flooded its victim with enough radiation to create an explosion and a protonic amplifier.

No threat was enough to defeat Hawkman and Hawkgirl and they finally succeeded in uniting the talking head and the lamp before the Nine Unknowns. The scientists detected a radioactive aura surrounding the couple, however, and suspecting that C.A.W. would use it to locate their base, caused the energy to dissipate. In fact, the radiation had been the closest C.A.W. had come to a death-ray, one that takes time to permeate the human body. At the activation of an electronic signal, the aura would kill its victim. The unwitting Hawks had cheated death! (HAWKMAN #14)

Furious at their latest failure, an international triad of C.A.W. leaders vowed that someday — somehow — somewhere — CAW will find a way to smash Hawkman and Hawkgirl! There is no truth to the rumor that C.A.W. was behind Hawkmans post-Invasion! DC continuity.

The Crimson Avenger II

Alter Ego: Albert Elwood
Occupation: Inventor
Known Relatives: None
Team Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Gotham City & Metropolis
First Appearance: World's Finest Comics [1st series] #131 (Feb 1963)
Height: ~ 5 ft. 10 in. Weight: ~ 170 lbs.
Eyes: Black
Hair: Brown

History: When a new criminal organization, the Octopus Gang, starts a crime wave across the nation, crackpot inventor Albert Elwood decides to use his skills to help stop the crooks. Elwood creates a number of fantastic weapons and dons the costumed identity of the Crimson Avenger, continuing the legacy of a previous lawman of the same name.

When the Octopus Gang attempts to steal gold dust from a stage coach re-enactment in Gotham City, Batman and Robin are ready and waiting. As the dynamic duo race towards the hirelings, the Crimson Avenger suddenly appears firing a fire-gun, the flames from the gun encircling the crooks. He then uses another device which sends out bubbles of force with which to enclose the bandits. The criminals duck, and the bubbles smash into Batman and Robin, enabling the criminals to escape. The Crimson Avenger introduces himself, apologizing for his "small error", then departs.

Later, the Octopus Gang tries to rob a Metropolis Bank. As Superman decends upon the crooks getaway car, the Crimson Avenger drives up and sends out a robot ram's head to smash the vehicle. The ram's head runs amuck, distracting Superman and allowing the gang to once again escape. Using his x-ray vision, Superman learns the Crimson Avenger's secret identity. Before Superman can lecture him, the new hero drives off.

After returning to his workshop, Elwood reads the newspaper and learns that his exploits are being mocked. He becomes enraged by their ungratefulness and vows to show everyone.

That night in Metropolis, Superman, Batman, and Robin meet to discuss stradegy in handling the Octopus crisis. Superman's hearing picks up an alarm from the Ancient Arts Museum. The trio corner the crooks in the museum. As they are about to capture them, the Crimson Avenger appears. As he shoots his new weapon, a balloon effect ray, he begins to sneeze wildly. The sneezing throws off his aim, causing the ray to hit Superman and Batman. The two heroes become bloated and float helplessly up in the air. The Crimson Avenger apologizes to Robin, stating that he is allergic to the nearby roses. Realizing that the roses are artificial, Robin accuses the Avenger of faking the sneeze. The Crimson Avenger punches Robin and escapes.

Later, after the balloon effect wears off, Superman, Batman, and Robin look for clues in the Elwood's workshop. Batman deduces that Elwood has been captured by the Octopus Gang and replaced by one of its members. The heroes begin to trail the gang by following traces of a broken ink bottle. Meanwhile, in the crooks' hideout, the Octopus orders the false Crimson Avenger to check on Elwood. Moments later, the heroes burst in. The Octopus orders his men to attack, while he runs towards a large wall switch. The Octopus orders the heroes to stop, warning them that the switch will detonate a bomb hidden under Metropolis' streets. Just then, a man dressed in the garb of the Crimson Avenger emerges from the back room weilding a kryptonite ray rifle. He tells the Octopus to have the others tie up Batman and Robin, while he keeps Superman at bay with the kryptonite. When the Octopus removes his hand from the switch, the Crimson Avenger blasts him instead! After the criminals are rounded up, the Crimson Avenger reveals himself to be Elwood! Elwood explains that the phoney Avenger was distracted when the heroes burst in, enabling him to use the knockout gas in his gimmick ring to gain the upper hand. Elwood states that he is hanging up his costume and returning to his inventing career, leaving the crimefighting to them

Weapons and Powers: The Crimson Avenger's arsenal included: a fire-gun which generated an expanding circle of fire; a bubble-gimmick which enabled him to ensnare criminals in a bubble of force; a robot ram's head used to smash cars; a balloon ray which caused a temporary bloating and floating effect; a kryptonite ray rifle; and a gimmick ring containing knockout gas.

Comments: The second Crimson Avenger appeared only once. He states that he took the name of a former lawman, suggesting that this tale took place on Earth-Two.

The Crimson Meteor

Created by Danny Fingeroth and Bob McLeod

PERSONAL DATA:

Alter Ego: Willie Schuman
Occupation: Cartoonist
Known Relatives: Cloris Danes Schuman (wife, deceased)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Metropolis, formerly Seattle
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White, formerly brown
Skin: White

First appearance: Superman 80-Page Giant #1 (Feb 1999)

HISTORY:

In the 1940s, Willie Schuman worked for the Seattle News as a staff artist, mostly drawing political cartoons and courtroom sketches, winning a few awards on the road. Then he ghosted a bunch of strips for other cartoonists and later did one under a pen name for years. He also earned some money painting portraits of one of the minor super-heroes of the 1940s, the Crimson Meteor.

In his old age, Willie moved to Metropolis and sold his new strip "Captain Tomorrow" to a syndicate, finally getting to sign his own name to a strip.

When Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman first read the "Captain Tomorrow" strip in the Daily Planet, he was shocked to see the similarities between the main character and himself. the super-hero Captain Tomorrow was secretly the mellow Bill Trent, newspaper artist for the Daily Criterion in Cosmopolis. He even had a sweetheart named Clorid Dane, and fought several villains reminiscent of Superman's foes. Too close to be a coincidence.

Furthermore, some people, particularly children, started to confuse Superman with the fictional Captain Tomorrow. Disturbed, Clark Kent visited Schuman in an attempt to get an interview with the artist, but was met with utter suspicion. When Clark asked about from where Schuman got his inspiration or whether he had any agenda beyond entertainment, Schuman snapped:

"For all I know, you're the one with a hidden agenda. Maybe you want to steal my ideas and do a strip of your own, or sell movie rights to something I've created. Wouldn't be the first time it happened to me." Then Schuman asked Clark to leave.

It was not until Clark revisited Schuman as Superman, that he learned the truth. Delighted to meet one of his idols, Schuman told Superman his life story. In the 1940s, Willie was subjected to the radiation of a strange meteor and gained super-powers. As the heroic Crimson Meteor of Seattle he did not get as much publicity as the "Eastern guys" got, but his feats were admirable and his powers made him a Superman of that era. His powers, though, started to fade pretty soon after he got them, and in his old age, they were long gone.

Upon the death of his wife Cloris, Schuman moved to Metropolis and created the "Captain Tomorrow" strip, based on his life as a hero, his former secret identity and powers, mixed with some sci-fi elements and, he admitted, "some of the modern exploits of Superman himself. Hope you don't mind."

Although still amazed by the similarities between their lives, Superman was calmed by Schuman's story and did not mind. He then granted Schuman a favor. It had been decades since Schuman had last flown, but grabbing Superman's hand as he took off for the skies, Schuman experienced that feeling one more time. Helping Schuman "fly like an eagle" once again made Superman feel like a great hero. Maybe even as great as Captain Tomorrow.

POWERS:

In his prime, the Crimson Meteor could juggle pianos, fly like an eagle, and laugh if some goon hit him with a lead pipe. He could see things a mile away and hear a baby cry in the next country.

APPEARANCES:

  • Superman 80-Page Giant #1 (Feb 1999) "Too Close To Home"

Croak McCraw, the Dead Detective

The creation of John Ostrander and William Messner-Loebs, Croak McCraw, the Dead Detective, was a corpse with a bullet in the center of his forehead and eyes wide open, still seated at a desk in his office. He delivered an internal monologue in his head even as all manner of bizarre events took place around him. By the end of the third installment, the Earth had been destroyed and McCraw was floating amidst the debris. In the finale, McCraw was escorted into Heaven and slapped into a seat next to Santa Claus. This weirdness can be found in 1988 and 1989's WASTELAND #8, 12, 17 and 18.

The Crusader

The Crusader only appeared in AQUAMAN [1st series] #56. As far as I know, he has made no other cameos in any other titles.

The Cryonic Man

The Cryonic Man—appeared in BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #6 and #7—In 1947, Professor Niles Raymond (wonder if he's any relation to Ronnie (Firestorm) Raymond?) built four cryonic sleep chambers because he feared a world wide nuclear holocaust. Niles, his wife Bella, his assistant Philip, and Philip's wife Melissa entered the chambers and slept for years. In order to monitor the state of the world and maintain their equipment, Philip was selected to awaken every so often.

During one of the times he was awake, Philip discovered that his wife Melissa was slowly dying of a progressive degenerative disease (exactly what disease is never stated). Only complex organ transplants could save Melissa's life should she ever leave the cryonic chamber. Philip reasoned that the needed transplant technology would be developed in the near future, so in order to keep Melissa in the chamber he lied to Niles and Bella—telling them that there had been a horrible nuclear war which devastated the world. In the meantime, Philip began illegally gathering organs and transplanting them into Melissa's body. Sometimes, Philip even used Niles' and Bella's bodies as 'spare parts" as his own body withered with age.

Waking up in 1983 (when BATO #6 was written), Philip makes himself a costume comprised of blue tights, metallic gloves, a blue hard hat type thing, and a metallic mask which covers all of his face except his eyes. He also develops a backpack type machine which allows him to shoot liquid nitrogen out of hoses attached to the wrists of his costume. Dubbing himself the Cryonic Man, Philip goes about stealing organs from local hospitals in Gotham. This eventually brings him into conflict with Batman and the Outsiders.

While stealing a kidney from Gotham General Hospital, the Outsiders confront Philip, and chase him into one of Gotham's underground car tunnels. The Cryonic Man gets the best of the Outsiders this time, and escapes with the kidney and Katana as his hostage. Philip plans on using Katana as the source for all the other body parts Melissa needs. With the help of Soultaker (Katana's sword), the Outsiders track Philip to an underground bunker in an abandoned house just outside of Gotham. The usual heroics transpire, but there's a real cool James Bond-esque scene where a bound and almost sedated Katana frees herself and destroys one of the Cryonics Man's robots using only a tiny surgeon scalpel.

Eventually, the Outsiders discover the other three cryonic chambers and the people inside. Black Lightning is able to use his powers to "communicate" with them using the cryonic chamber's electric field. When Bella, Niles, and Melisa discover the truth, they become enraged and overload the chambers' electric field. This unleashes a backlash of electric energy which strikes Philip, either killing him or just knocking him out (we're never told, we just see smoke rising from the Cryonic Man's fallen body). The overload however, does cause the deaths of Bella, Niles, and Melisa.

Says Batman: "Their souls died long ago....when they decided to run from the world instead of facing it!"

Cyclotron II

Secret identity: An android.
First appeared: SUPER POWERS ACTION FIGURES, SERIES 3 (1986).
Television appearances: None.
Comic book appearances: SUPER POWERS [third series] #1 (Sep 1986)—#4 (Dec 1986).
Action figures: SUPER POWERS ACTION FIGURES, SERIES 3 (1986).
Origin revealed: SUPER POWERS [third series] #2 (Oct 1986).
The origin of Cyclotron: Cyclotron is an android created by Superman to store and maintain data. He aids the Super Powers Team in their fight against evil.
Powers: Cyclotron is programmed with tremendous amounts of information, including all known data on Earth's super-heroes and super-villains.

Original text copyright DC Comics unless otherwise noted. Used without permission.