A goofy hero-wannabee and deluded agent of Order from BOOK OF FATE. Only
appeared for two issues, I believe.
One question, though...somebody mentioned the Image, right? Well, wasn't
there a Charlton villain called the Image besides the one that was described
here? He wore an orange bodysuit with a visor and had an "i" insignia
on his chest (which is interesting, because the character appeared years
before the company Image was founded, and they use the exact same styling
of the letter "i"). I don't know of any appearances other than
CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.
A starstruck audience lining the street in front of Metropolis' Glenside
Theater got more than they bargained for when the actress Laurel Amour arrived
for the gala premiere of her latest film in February of 1942. Bursting from
the audience was a gun-toting man in a three-piece suit and a large blue-mirrored
domino mask. He quickly relieved Laurel of her jewelry.
Defiant even as armed policemen surrounded him, the thief boasted that "it
takes more than a threat to worry the Image!" Pulling open his jacket
to reveal a button-covered chestplate, the Image suddenly multiplied. "Eleven
reflections of myself ... and if you dare fire at any one of them, you'll
be shooting at empty air ... but I won't!"
Clark Kent instantly realized that the police were out of their league and
pursued the Image's speeding car as Superman. Employing his chest switchboard
once more, the villain filled the highway with duplicates of his vehicle.
With his mastery of his vision powers still in the future, the Man of Steel
The mystery deepened when Superman learned a detective named Allan Pryor
had recovered the gems for Laurel Amour, who opined that "it cost me
plenty!" The Man of Steel followed the Pryor connection to jewelry clerk
Tom Phelps. After a few threats from Superman, Phelps pointed the hero towards
the Runyan Galleries.
The Image had overheard Phelps' betrayal and proceeded to terrorize his
accomplice. Unable to find the exit amidst a dozen false doors and surrounded
by multiple gun-clenching hands, the disoriented clerk fell out of an open
window to his death.
Determined to go through with the gallery robbery, the Image took Lois Lane
as a hostage. Once more, the Man of Steel was sidetracked, pushing his powers
to the limit to find the real Lois amidst the duplicates plunging from a
cliff. Refining his vision powers, Superman zeroed in on the hundreds of
Images taking flight and finally grabbed the only one who cast a shadow.
The villain identified himself as Angus Calhoun, owner of Phelps' jewelry
store. "By day, I sold priceless gems, then stole them back at night
to double my profits. Of course, my discovery of how to cast bewildering
reflections of myself helped ... and I'd have continued to get away with
my crimes if it hadn't been for YOU!" (SUPERMAN Sunday comic strips
#119-124, reprinted in SUPERMAN: THE SUNDAY CLASSICS 1939-1943)
In 1945, Doll Man clashed with the second Image, "a killer who can't
be seen" (Quality's FEATURE COMICS #92).
When a man emerged from
Eve Eden's bedroom mirror and tried to pull her through the looking glass.
He wore an orange costume and hood (plus yellow belt and visor) and had a
black lower-case "i" on his chest and forehead. The Image was a
foreign operative who imagined that he could use Eve as a bargaining chip
to convince her Senator father to change his vote on a defense bill.
The Image had reckoned without his hostage being a super-heroine. Eve switched
out the lights and took the shadowy form of Nightshade. Taking flight back
through the mirror, the Image tossed an explosive behind him only to have
Nightshade deflect it right back into his mirror portal. (Charlton's CAPTAIN
ATOM #87, by Dave Kaler and Jim Aparo)
The Image resurfaced during the Great Crisis as one of multitudes of villains
recruited to terrorize the worlds of the Freedom Fighters, Marvel Family
and Charlton heroes (1985's CRISIS #9). He appeared
in two panels in the recounting of Nightshade's history
(SECRET ORIGINS #28). The art depicted Nightshade defeating the villain
with a kick on the steps of the Capital as Eve recalled that King "Faraday
began letting me go solo, and I stopped a threat to my father — a creep
calling himself the Image!" Bob Greenberger wrote the story while pencils
were provided by Rob Liefeld, who later helped found that company with the
lower-case "i" as its emblem. What was its name again?
DC—Green Lantern Foe
Much of the groundwork for a fourth Image had been laid in 1984 issues of
GREEN LANTERN by Len Wein. They related the story of Clay Kendall (#172),
a Ferris Aircraft scientist whose psionics experiments had created a psi-chair
(#173) that fueled his desire to become a super-hero (#175). He attempted
to do just that when the Demolition Team attacked Ferris only to have his
chair short-circuit and explode (#179), severing his spinal cord (#180).
A devastated Kendall was encouraged by his girl friend to rebuild the chair
and become a super-hero anyway (#183).
Where all of this was headed had been detailed months earlier in AMAZING
HEROES #39, which revealed that Clay's experiments would ultimately come
to fruition in the form of the Image, a hero Wein described as "everything
that Kendall wishes he was" and whom he hoped would spin off to his
own series. Accompanying the article was Dave Gibbons' portrayal of the Image.
Unfortunately, thanks to Wein's slow pacing, the Image never made it on
stage before Wein left the series with #186. Clay Kendall, for what it's
worth, went out with a bang as a representative of the millions killed in
Coast City's demolition in 1993's SUPERMAN #80.
Instead the fourth Image was introduced in 1997's BOOK OF FATE #5 (by Keith
Giffen, Ron Wagner and Bill Reinhold). Earlier issues had established the
series lead, Jared (Fate) Stevens as being in a tug of war between Lords
of Order and Chaos, each demanding that he swear allegiance to them. The
battle reached a climax on the dream plane, where Fate stumbled across a
young blonde man in a light blue and orange costume.
"Okay," Jared said. "I'll bite. What's with the get-up?"
"Get-up? Oh you mean my crime-fighting uniform."
He was, in Fate's opinion, too pure- hearted to stomach. The blonde quickly
became fed up with Jared's attitude ("You ARE a rude one aren't you
?") and announced that he'd "just be flying on my way."
"Did you just say FLY?"
"I've also got enhanced strength and stamina, the ability to ... "
Stevens cut him off and demanded that he fly him to the Chaos area of the
dream plane. The blonde, whom Fate had figured as an agent of Order, refused
to enter the dark region, noting that "I think it would try to kill
me ... if I tried." Stevens entered without him as the young man said, "I,
um ... didn't catch your name."
"I didn't throw it."
"I call myself the Image."
"Now look what y' done. You've gone and mistaken me for someone who
gives a damn."
After fighting through agents of Chaos, Fate found himself opposed by a
representative of Order and his champion, a mid-controlled Image. Helpless
to resist, the Image attacked only to be cut by Fate's mystic knife and thrown
against the Lord of Order, disrupting his concentration and returning Fate
to Earth. At his side was a teenage boy in an orange shirt, blue shorts and
sneakers who asked, "Um ... uh ... what just happened here?"
Was the persona of the Image all in the young man's mind? If not, was he
killed during Mordru's slaughter of Earth's other agents of Order and Chaos
in JSA #1 and 2 or was he beneath the Dark Lord's notice? Only time will
Written by DC Boards poster <erdmann>
First appearance: (as "Syntho-Rob") METAL MEN [first series] #54 (November-December
1977) Height: Variable, but apparently well in excess of 6 feet when in standard
humanoid form. Hair: White. Eyes: White (sometimes red). Skin: Yellow (or
as the French say, "Bartesque"). Aliases: Syntho-Rob 1. Powers: Flight, strength,
invulnerability, shape-shifting, various abilities allowing it to counter
the Metal Men's powers (including the ability to oxidize iron and to shoot
flames from a hand morphed into the form of a flamethrower). Created by:
Gerry Conway and Joe Staton.
Tina was fed up. Tired of being treated like property by Doc Magnus, the
platinum robot had stormed out and the rest of the Metal Men followed. Doc
realized he had ignored the robots' feelings for too long and agreed they
were right to leave him. He wished them well and moved on to a new project,
Syntho-Rob 1, a plastic android he believed might ultimately prove superior
to his original robots.
His old friend, General Casper, wasn't interested, however. At least not
at first. When first shown the Syntho-Rob (which then looked like a grouchy,
jaundiced Michelin Man), Casper railed against Magnus for letting the Metal
Men leave. The U.S. military had financed Doc's experiments, and he expected
the robots to be at the military's beck and call.
Meanwhile, Green Lantern Hal Jordan was on a mission to stop the Metals'
old foe, the alien robot Z-1, and his army of Missile Men. Learning that
Z-1 still wanted Tina for his queen, GL sought out the Metal Men. Unfortunately,
Z-1 was aware of Jordan's plans and tricked the Metal Men into thinking the
Lantern planned to destroy them. A short battle later, Jordan was unconscious
(having been smothered by Gold) and Iron, Lead, Mercury, and Tina were scrap.
Z-1's Missile Men then attacked, trashing Tin and absconding with Tina's
remains. As Z-1 rebuilt her on the moon, Doc became aware of the Metal Men's
defeat and decided he had no choice but to release Syntho-Rob 1 from its
protective crystalline cube 24 hours ahead of schedule. Only "The Inheritor" of
the Metal Men's place could save Earth from Z-1. When the crystal opened,
the pudgy android was gone, having morphed into a tall, muscular being with
flowing white hair. It wore a black "onesie" with blue highlights. It was
open to expose the android's massive yellow plastic chest. Completing The
Inheritor's wardrobe were red metal wrist bands, belt, and boots.
Magnus told the now-impressed Casper The Inheritor's secret: unlike the
Metal Men, its responsometer was devoid of feelings and humanity. "I learn
from my mistakes, General Casper," Doc said. "I won't put another robot through
the anguish I've caused my first robot band." The Inheritor could not be
hurt, physically or emotionally.
The Inheritor set out for the moon, but in the meantime, Gold, with the
aid of GL's ring, rebuilt his fellow robots. They raced to the moon, freed
Tina, and tricked the Missile Men into blasting away their own creator. As
the metal band returned to Earth, they ran into The Inheritor, who decided
with Z-1 gone, they were the next threat to be eliminated. It might well
have destroyed them if Magnus, horrified by what his new creation was doing,
had not ordered it to stand down.
Next, the Metals were attacked at their new apartment by Casper and his
men. Vowing they would never be anyone's property again, they dropped a roof
on the Army and fled to the United Nations. There, they sought the help of
Diana (Wonder Woman) Prince. She introduced them to attorney Crystal Carpenter,
who arranged for a hearing on having the robots declared "citizens of the
Doc attended the hearing, along with Casper (who apparently was suffering
a bad case of Thunderbolt Ross-itis) and The Inheritor. Casper snarled, "the
Army paid for those machines and no bunch of peaceniks is going to steal
them away." As Gold presented his case to the UN, Casper ordered The Inheritor
to shut up the "traitor". The android went to work destroying the Metal Men
and declared its intent to rule the inferior human race. All seemed lost
until Lead took a flame blast meant for Mercury. While The Inheritor was
still pondering the illogic of Lead's sacrifice, Mercury "poured" his liquid
metal form down the android's throat, shorting it out from the inside. With
the menace over, the Metal Men were granted their "citizens of the world" status.
And then, the Metal Men were gone, victims of sluggish sales. Casper would
pop up again soon in an issue of FIRESTORM, a new series that would not survive
the coming DC Implosion. The METAL MEN title was replaced on the publication
schedule by CLAW THE UNCONQUERED, another book doomed by the Implosion.
The Inheritor has not been seen, or (AFAIK) even mentioned, since METAL
MEN #56, and given the presence of the Pre-Crisis Diana Prince (and the fact
that the robots' citizenship status has been ignored), it is likely its story
is not considered part of continuity. This could be easily changed, however,
as Diana can be removed without affecting the story in the least.
Perhaps, when a new METAL MEN book is launched, a Syntho-Rob 2 will arise
to trouble the robots anew.
The Interplanetary Vigilantes, Inc.
Written by John Censullo
COMICS #237 (June 1957)
"The Robot War Of Smallville"Following an out-of-town
mission, Superboy returns to Smallville and discovers that Lana Lang has
been replaced by a robot duplicate. He checks on her father, Professor
Lang, and learns that he too is a robot. When Superboy questions the Professor
Lang robot about what is going on, the robot replies that it is a secret.
Utterly baffled, Superboy rushes home to confide in his parents, the Kents.
They reveal that they too are robots. The Pa Kent robot states that they
are forbidden to tell Superboy what is going on. Fearing some fantastic
criminal scheme, Superboy heads to the police station to contact the police
chief, but discovers that the entire force has been replaced by robots.
He soon realizes that all of Smallville is now composed of robots.
soon spots a building fire, but before he can act a Superboy robot arrives
and puts out the flames. Superboy confronts his robot doppelganger, who
reveals that all the residents of Smallville have been replaced, except
for Clark Kent, who he knows to be Superboy. When Superboy presses the
robot to reveal the mastermind behind this plot, it attacks him, stating
that Superboy must leave the town immediately. The robot has been ordered
to drive Superboy out if ever he appeared. Superboy retaliates, so the
robot Superboy calls upon the other robots to help him drive Superboy out
of town. Superboy soon finds himself facing an army of robots. He resists
battling their combined might for fear of damaging the town, instead he
begins to systematically disable them one-by-one.
As he destroys the Ma
Kent robot, she pleads with Superboy to leave Smallville for his own
sake, that he doesn't understand why they are fighting him. After Superboy
knocks off the robot's head, he comes up with what he believes is a likely
theory... some enemy from outer space must be planning to invade Earth!
He postulates that the true residents of Smallville have been imprisoned
in an underground cave as hostages. Having only destroyed half of the robots
so far, Superboy forms a giant magnet and collects and disables the rest,
saving the destruction of the Superboy robot for last.
the immediate threat eliminated, Superboy heads to the Kent's General
Store, hoping his father has left some kind of clue. As he scans the shelves
with his x-ray vision, Superboy comes to a sudden realization. He finally
understands why there were no people in town, only robots. Superboy quickly
concludes that the Ma Kent robot's words were true, that he was indeed
in danger. As he speeds away from Smallville, he spots an incoming super-bomb.
The bomb strikes Smallville, annihilating the town. Luckily, Superboy had
noticed that the bomb contained kryptonite, which would most certainly
have destroyed him. In order to protect himself from the scattered bits
of the deadly mineral, Superboy bores deep under the town, digging innumerable
tunnels until the entire town collapses into the ground. Superboy is certain
that Smallville was the intended target of the super-bomb, and had realized
just in time that someone had built a duplicate town to fool the bombers
into striking the wrong area. The real Smallville is still intact, hidden
safely under a patch of fog miles away from the blast site.
into space to search for both those responsible for the dummy town and
those responsible for the super-bomb. He spots a flying saucer, but is
unsure whether they are friend or foe. The crew of the saucer announce
that they are his friends, and invite Superboy aboard the ship to meet... the Interplanetary Vigilantes.
Once aboard, Superboy hears an astounding story.
For ages, the Interplanetary
Vigilantes have policed space, aiding worlds. With Superboy on
the job, they never had to worry about Earth before. But recently, a menace
arose that only they alone could handle. An outlaw world had singled
out Earth for invasion. It had taken the outlaws two lifetimes to perfect
their super-bomb, loaded with kryptonite meteors that they had found
in space. They only had enough material to build a single bomb, but
it would be enough to destroy Superboy. The outlaw's telescopic tv studies
of Earth proved that Superboy lived in Smallville, which became the
target of their super-bomb. Once Superboy was annihilated, they could invade
Earth with ease.
Learning of the enemy's plans, the
Interplanetary Vigilantes had to work fast. They believed that if they
told Superboy of the danger, he would flee, but his home town would still
be destroyed. They knew that nobody would be able to stop the super-bomb
once it was launched. Speeding to Earth the night before, they utilized
their super-science apparatus to fool the enemy with an old trick. First,
they covered Smallville itself under a thick chemical fog, lasting 24 hours,
hiding the town from the enemy's telescopic sights. Then, miles away, they
turned to their molecular mist duplicator machine. The machine generated
a mist which solidified, under electrophotic controls, into an exact replica
of Smallville, down to the last details. The enemy world would detect
no flaw through its super-telescope. Finally, the human-like robots
perfected the illusion. At dawn, the enemy would aim the super-bomb at
the false Smallville. The robot Superboy was instructed to drive the
real Superboy out of town if he showed up by accident.
By the time Superboy
had arrived in Smallville, the bomb was already on its way, thus it didn't
matter when he later smashed the robots. The plan had already succeeded
in saving Smallville, but Superboy was still in danger. The Vigilantes
question Superboy as to what made him leave in time to save himself.
Superboy reveals that he had detected one small flaw in their clever
replica. When he used his x-ray vision in the General Store, he discovered
that all the cans and packages were empty. He concluded that the whole
town was phony, just like the dummy towns the Nazis had built in World
War II to fool Allied bombers. Then, remembering the warning of the Ma
Kent robot, he realized a bomb must be coming. The Vigilantes are relieved
that Superboy's wits
saved him in time. They inform the young hero that they must
now go and arrest the outlaws, so Superboy says his farewells and heads
back to Earth.
Superboy returns to the real Smallville
and relates the entire tale to his astonished parents. When Pa Kent questions
how the Vigilantes knew of Superboy's secret identity, Superboy realizes
he had forgotten to ask them, but he is certain the secret is safe with
them. He figures the Interplanetary Vigilantes will never have to return
and help Earth, at least not while he is around.
Interplanetary Insurance, Inc.
"The clients of Interplanetary Insurance, Inc. ranged all the way from
the microscopic plant life of Mercury to the magnetic monsters of Pluto.
No matter how bizarre the interplanetary life-form might be, I.I.I. was eager
to insure it. The only trouble as far as agent Bert Brandon was concerned
was that the supply of prospective clients had become exhausted, and he was
faced with the loss of his job unless he found someone — or something —
to insure." — Sid Gerson, 1953's MYSTERY IN SPACE #16 (with art by
Carmine Infantino & Sy Barry).
In the pilot episode, brown-haired, spectacled Bert Brandon sold a policy
to the queen of an immortal alien race called the Lullies "to the pretty
premium tune of $1000 in credits a year ... We'll never have to pay off!" Almost
immediately, the beings found a loophole. Although they didn't die, the Lullies
DID shed bodies and take new forms. Pointing to his shell, the Lully asked "Can
you prove I am the same person you sold the policy to? Of course not! ...
Since the body I once inhabited is dead, you must pay me $50,000!"
Panic-stricken that he'd bankrupt the I.I.I., Bert helped the Lullies defeat
their native enemies, the Kroques, by destroying them with a heat ray. In
gratitude, the queen "decided that your company does not have to pay
off on our life insurance polices." Meanwhile, the seemingly-dead Kroque
also owed a debt to Brandon. Thanks to the concentrated sunlight that he'd
subjected them to, they were also able to evolve into Firefly People.
"So, dear boss, I.I.I. is sitting pretty with a million Lully life
insurance policies, which we'll never have to pay off! And as soon as I get
that raise I so richly deserve, I'll go over to the dark side and sign up
my grateful friends, the Firefly People. They're immortal, too!"
Bert Brandon continued in that vein for ten issues (with Infantino assuming
full art chores in #21) before wrapping up in 1955's MIS #25. Space Cabby
(previously seen in tryouts in #21 and 24) took its place in MIS #26. Julius
Schwartz reprinted the pilot for I.I.I. in 1969's STRANGE ADVENTURES #218
but the tepid reaction quashed any hope of further episodes.
"...The sun turned black like sackcloth made
of goat hair, (and) the whole Moon turned blood red..." Revelations 6:12
In 1588, Lord Andrew Bennett fought for
England in Queen Elizabeth's war with Spain. Bennett hated war, and when
it was over he would go back to his prefered pursuit; art, music, and the
love of a woman, Mary Steward one of the Queen's handmaidens. Mary was said
to have premonitions and when she told Bennett that it would be dangerous
to go out for his nightly horseback ride, the unbelieving Lord disregarded
her warning and went anyway.
A few hours later he was dead. Attacked
by a stranger on the road who bared his teeth and drew blood from Bennett's
jugular. Somehow, with his dying breath, Bennett was able to stake the monster
with a random tree branch and kill it; then he crawled under a tree and died.
This was 1593.
Three days later Mary, looking for her
love, knocked on his chamber door. She found him drinking deer blood from
a golden chalice and hiding in the dark like a grub. When Mary's initial
shock subsided, she wanted to join her love in his curse, to be with him
forever. Bennett was afraid, afraid of being alone and afraid of his situation,
so despite his extreme misgivings...he did it.
But then Mary changed. When she felt
the power coursing through her, the new found abilities that Andrew's blood
had given to her, somthing inside her died. What had once been the sweet,
loving Mary Steward corrupted into the power mad, demented Mary, Queen of
Blood. She told Bennett that they should take over the world, that they should
rule lesser men and be gods amoung them. But Bennett was repelled by this
and called Mary mad, begging her to stop. Insulted that she had given her
life to him only to be rejected, Mary burst through the window and FLEW away,
swearing revenge. (HOM 290)
Bennett vowed to stop her as well and
through out their nearly 400 year battle, Mary formed a group called The
Blood Red Moon who was set on taking over the world. Bennett also formed
a small band of hunters bent on finding Mary and bringing her down.
Around the turn of the century, in Russia,
the Mishkin family let a freezing young woman into their home for food and
shelter. During the night the woman attacked and killed Ivan Mishkin, the
head of the family. Then she went for the mother, Dunya. The woman was Mary,
and three days later when she returned...she came to claim Dunya Mishkin
as her own. Dunya's son tried to stop Mary but nothing could, within seconds
the two women had turned to bats and flown away. That was when Andrew Bennett
appeared and took the boy under his wing. The boy was named Dmitri Mishkin
and would fight the war against the BRM with Bennett for the next 80 years.
While investigating the gathering of
a group called The American Crusade, Mishkin ran across his Mother who was
involved with the group. He was captured and when Bennett found him sometime
later, he had been turned into a vampire. A fight between Mishkin and Dunya
ensued and when it was over, both were dead. Despite their differences, Mishkin
had been Bennett's longest and closest friend. (#315-316)
During the summer of 1969, in a place
called Woodstock, Mary had dispatched her minions to overtake the kids that
had come to the event. It was a perfect opportunity to find new recruits
for the Blood Red Moon. Some of those recruits were the friends of flower
child Deborah Dancer and when they tried to get her to join, Andrew Bennett
intercepted and dispatched the undead the hippies. Enraged, Mary tried to
fight Deborah and Bennett but fled due to the rising sun of the oncoming
day. After that, Deborah joined Bennett and Mishkin for the battle against
Mary's BRM. She would eventually become Bennett's confidant, his girlfriend
and his lover.(HOM 311)
Like Jonah Hex and John Constantine,
Andrew Bennett doesnt keep friends for long. Death follows him like a companian
and effects those who are foolish enough to become entangled in his life.
Numerous men, women, and children have died either by Bennett's hand or for
knowing him. But Bennett has made it a point not to kill innocents, and he
wont kill for food...prefering to survive on bottled blood then take
a life. Vampire lives, however, are a different matter and Bennett's
path is litter with their corpses. Amazingly, Deborah Dancer was able
to survive the series...from a certain point of view.
died, Bennett and Deborah found a serium that was supposed to cure
the vampire of it's limitations (death by sunlight, lust for blood)
but keep it's powers and strengths. The serum worked on Bennett,
for a while, until his atrophied internal organs, unused for 400 years,
began breaking down; it plunged him into a coma-like state. While
in this helpless state, Mary drove the final nail into Bennett's coffin
and slaughtered Deborah in front of him, while he watched helplessly,
unable to stop it. But there was somthing Mary or Bennett didnt know,
Deborah had taken some of the serum as well and 3 days later she
arose as a new kind of vampire, one unhampered by the traditional weaknesses.
A fight with Mary insued and in the end Deborah dragged Mary's pleading
corpse out into the new day's sun and watched as she exploded into
His burden lifted, Mary and her army
where finally destroyed after a 400 year pursuit, Andrew Bennett's
soul slipped off into oblivion and freedom.
Bennett returned a few
years later in JM DeMatteis' DR. FATE (1988-1989) but I dont think of these
as canon so unless you ask nicely, I ain't touchin 'em. The original
ends so poetically, with everyone dying at the end, that bringing
Bennett back seems like too much of a "comic Book" ploy. Any new adventures
that feature him should take place in the 300 years of his life that are
undocumented, from 1598 to 1900; but let him rest the years after his death.
» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
House Of Mystery (approx.
255 pgs) ...
#290 (Chapter 1: I...Vampire) (10pgs)
#291 (Chapter 2: Night of the Living UNdead!) (8pgs)