Obscure DC Characters:

Tailgunner Jo

Created by Peter Gillis and Tomosina Artis

Tailgunner Jo #1-6 (Sep 1988–Jan 1989)

In the early 21st century, a great quake collapsed the Great Lakes into one giant basin, and activated the ring of fire which surrounds the Pacific Ocean. In the space of 15 years, California and Japan were under layers of lava. A newborn land they called Lemuria formed in the Pacific. This disaster hastened the collapse of the governments of the USA and USSR. A brief, dark time under the rule of the Corporate Consortium was followed by the second American and second Russian revolutions. Afterward, the power of the Corporations was restricted to the Utility Cities and to Skyhook. The technology explosion that had begun in the late 20th century resumed. Genetic engineering was severely limited, focusing mostly on microbiological inventions, such as the creation of a bacterium that duplicated the petroleum-producing process. The conflicts in the Middle East region were greatly reduced, but not before the last atomic bomb exploded on Earth destroyed Jerusalem. Over time, the populace became blessed with a reasonably disease-free world. Materials research, super-conductivity, and neurosystem design became the most fruitful areas of technological progress. The Corporations found their last remaining major market to be armaments.

The Tailgunner Jo mini-series takes place in this future world, at some point between the mid-21st and mid-22nd centuries. Lars Gunnar has become bonded with the mind of his daughter Jo. Together they comprise the cyborg called Double Star. The story begins with Lars and Jo on a mission of vengeance, against the corporation called Telemachus.

A few years earlier, the husband and wife team of Lars and Maire Gunnar were working at S'atrap Ltd., a competitor of Telemachus. When their daughter Jo was born with severe birth defects, the couple learned that S'atrap was having them work with powerful teratogens on their project, although the company was well aware of the effects on pregnancy. The Gunnars quit S'atrap and brought their Double Star Project to Telecommunications-Machinery U.S. (Telemachus, for short). Lars and Maire worked hard on their cyborg research for years at Telemachus.

Then, one day, when an important armaments show was approaching, Telemachus grew impatient and demanded the couple produce a demo. The Gunnars insisted they were not ready, and Telemachus appeared to understand. Shortly thereafter, Lars and his daughter Jo were involved in a mysterious car accident. Maire was not informed of the disaster. She was instead directed to perform a new gene-matching technique on two human subjects, unaware that it was her husband and daughter that she was operating on. Maire implanted Jo's brain into a small chamber on Lars' back. Only after the operation is completed does she realize who the subjects were. She is then struck and, we are led to believe, killed. When he recovers, Lars creates a cybernetic fantasy world for Jo, and then transforms her and himself into a Double Star cyborg, complete with an extra set of retractable robot arms and a built-in rocket system.

As the mini-series concludes, Lars and Jo discover that Maire Gunnar is still very much alive. Together they get their revenge against both Telemachus and S'atrap and then, apparently, go on to live happily ever after.

She also cameo in Elseworlds Finest: WORLD'S FUNNEST.

The Tarantula II (Jerry Lewis)

The Adventures Of Jerry Lewis #84 (Sep-Oct 1964)

Jerry Lewis rushes to get the latest newspaper to read his favorite comic-strip, "Flame Farrell". Jerry reads the strip at home then goes to bed. By coincidence, Wendell, the creator of "Flame Farrell", has his studio only a few yards away, right in the building next door. Wendell's boss is telling Wendell that "Flame Farrell" is through, that kids don't read it anymore. He is told to come up with something new over the next month. Again by coincidence, right below Wendell's studio is the the office of Dr. Seymour Klopps, a dentist who has invented a hypno-ray gun which he will use to start a life of crime, as the villainous Dr. Cy Klopps! While testing the device, Klopps inadvertently shoots the ray beam through the ceiling into the mind of Wendell, who has just thought of an idea for his new strip, and then into the brain of the slumbering Jerry. Jerry awakens in a trance, speaking with a bad French accent, believing himself to be... Ze Fearless Tarantula!

It is now near midnight. The hypnotised Jerry wakes the owner of "Ladies and Gents Tailor" with a design for the tailor to follow. Some time later, Jerry leaves wearing his new costume... a tarantula outfit, complete with extra arms. The Tarantula fumbles his way through capturing a bunch of crooks, then returns home just before dawn, hiding his costume. Jerry lies down, only to awaken moments later from his trance, feeling very unrested. He later hears the news of the Tarantula, but believes this new hero can't hold a candle to Flame Farrell.

The next night, Wendell is using his pretty niece Patricia as a model for his new strip. Dr. Klopps again tests his hypno-ray gun. And once again, the beam passes through Wendell and into Jerry's mind, and the Tarantula rises. Dr. Cy Klopps then heads out to commit crimes. The Tarantula arrives on the scene in his terrible Tarantula-Mobile. Dr. Cy Klopps shoots his hypno-ray at the Tarantula, but it has no effect. However, the Tarantula loses control while bouncing on his pogo-stick boots. Dr. Cy Klopps takes that opportunity to create a distraction. Coincidentally, Patricia is passing by. Dr. Cy Klopps uses his gun to make Patricia fall in love with the hero. Dr. Cy Klopps then escapes. The police arrive, and the Tarantula rushes off.

The next day, an exhausted Jerry Lewis goes to the dentist for a tooth-ache... his dentist being, of course, Dr. Seymour Klopps. While under the effects of the gas, Jerry begins speaking in the voice of the Tarantula. Dr. Klopps realizes that Jerry is his arch-nemesis. After the procedure is completed, Jerry awakens and is sent away. Dr. Klopps vows he will eliminate the Tarantula once and for all. Back at Wendell's studio, Patricia tells her uncle that she met his new character, the Tarantula, the previous night. She then spots Jerry approaching his building, and recognizes him as her hero. Wendell and Patricia decide they should keep an eye on him.

That night, the Tarantula goes on patrol. Wendell and Patricia follow, and soon realize he is hallucinating. Dr. Cy Klopps also follows, intent on destroying his foe. Later, Dr. Cy Klopps spots the Tarantula on a high water tower. He shoots the Tarantula with his new anti-ray gun. Suddenly, the Tarantula reverts to the cowardly Jerry Lewis. Wendell and Patricia arrive in time to save him from falling. Jerry passes out, and Dr. Cy Klopps escapes.

The following day, Jerry returns the Tarantula suit to the tailor, never wanting to see the costume again.

The Templar Knight

» SEE: Global Guardians

At the end of TEEN TITANS SPOTLIGHT #11, Doctor Mist and Belphegor visit a cemetary. Belphegor comments that she'd "like to put some flowers on the tomb of Simon Lesur first."

"Simon Lesur?"

"The Templar Knight. You remember?"

"Oh, yes, I do now ..."

Davy Tenzer

An apparent teenager who's actually immortal, David (the name Tenzer was a recent addition from an adoptive father) wields an old-fashioned sling and was hinted to be the source of several legendary stories, like that of David and Goliath. Created by Elliot Maggin and Mike Grell.

Davy Tenzer, modelled after Michelangelo's statue of David, followed his appearance with Green Arrow and Black Canary (ACTION #450-452) with another Elliot S. Maggin-scripted episode in SUPERMAN FAMILY #174. Once again, there were Biblical overtones, with Davy helping Supergirl defeat a reptilian being who might be connected to the serpent of Eden.

Terra Man

On a steamy summer day in 1888 Arizona, the editor of the Cripple Creek Courier had a decision to make. In the end Rufus Matlock decided to kill the story, explaining to his daughter Gail that he didnt want to risk having our newspaper become the laughingstock of the whole world. No, daughter. Even if the people of Cripple Creek wont ever FORGET what they saw ... the rest of the world will NEVER hear about it.

It had all begun one day earlier with Sheriff Coopers capture of bank robber Jess Manning. The outlaw had been escorted to a jail cell but Cooper had reckoned without Mannings offspring. Young Toby had turned ten years old only months earlier on February 25 but he was already a chip off the old block, stealing a gun and slipping it to his Pa during the night. Yore gonna be a first-class outlaw someday, son, his proud father told him as they rode off on horseback. I feel it in muh bones.

Back in Cripple Creek, the news of Mannings escape had been eclipsed by reports of an unidentified flying object and the sight of a flying young reporter named Clark Kent whod just saved Rufus Matlock from being trampled by a horse. Taking refuge in the sky, the 20th Century hero known as Superboy wondered how his plan had gone so wrong. After a series of potentially fatal blunders in his own time period, the Boy of Steel had exiled himself to the past, convinced that his inability to change history would act as a failsafe.

Oblivious to all this, a pair of stagecoach drivers were riding towards town when they stopped to pick up a little boy that they assumed had been lost in the desert. Pulling a pistol from behind his back, Toby Manning demanded, Throw down the strongbox, gents — PRONTO — or Ill plug both of ya fulla LEAD! With the box alongside him, Toby fired his gun into the air and sent the frightened horses sprinting away.

It sure does a man good to see his only kin followin in his fathers footsteps, Jess told him.

It was EASY, Pa. I looked them men square in the eye, like yuh told me.

Now thet yuhve got your FIRST hold-up under yore belt, Toby, it wont be long fore Jess Manning and son is the most famous — an best — outlaw team in the west.

Jess satisfaction proved short-lived as a shadow fell over the outlaws and the gold coins theyd just stolen began rising into the air toward a large metallic disk. Aboard the craft was an blue-fleshed, pointy-eared extraterrestrial being with a green mohawk whose reptilian qualities extended to his eyes and the scales on his skin. Hed been forced to make an emergency landing on Earth to find pymbaxr (common shale to us)that would recharge his proto-engine and took advantage of the visit to indulge his passion for galactic currency samples. In his own way, the Collector was as much an outlaw as the Mannings, breaking the laws of many planets to amass his 'collection'.

Jess Manning had no intention of letting anyone take away his gold and began firing his pistol as Toby cheered, Attaway, Pa! Yuh WINGED him! The Collector was outraged and fired back via a star-like energy unit he wore as a necklace. Horrified, the alien realized hed sent a lethal overdose of solar-power rather than the intended stun force. Involuntarily, the alien and Manning were joined by the death-link ... an extraordinary power which enabled the spaceman to telepathically scan the mind of a fatally stricken person in his last moments of life. In a heartbeat, the space-bandit learned of Jess hopes and dreams for Toby. The dying Jess could do no more than scrawl a small circle in the sand around a bullet.

The Collector was not a killer by nature and, looking at the devastated Toby, silently promised to take his fathers place ... adopt the orphan and make him my apprentice ... teach him the super-skills ... arm him with my ultra-weapons. But — I cannot expect the yoith to accept me, knowing I killed his father. With this hypnotic grid, Ill ERASE that incident from his memory ... substitute a story of my own. Blaming the incident on Sheriff Cooper, the Collector took his protegÈ aboard.

Before his departure, the space-bandit went on a test run in Cripple Creek to determine whether my proto-cannon has been properly charged. The arrival of Superboy saved the town from damage and, for good measure, the Boy of Steel tossed the flying disk back into outer space. Watching as it hurtled away, Superboy decided that the invader had taught me a valuable lesson I could benefit from in my own time. Even though there will always be a minimal chance my super-powers will backfire in a crisis, the risk must be weighed against the maximum benefits to be gained. So ... 20th Century — here comes Superboy back to stay — for good!

Deep in space, the Collector put his hand on Toby Mannings shoulder and proclaimed that when you reach manhood, I predict you will become an even GREATER interstellar outlaw than I. You will be the offspring I never had. The alien quickly set about augmenting his adoptive sons human body for the rigors of space, implanting a miniature oxygenator-thermostat in his right lung that would "enable (him) to breathe and be comfortable in the vacuum of space and on any unearthly planet.

The Collector never forgot his adoptive apprentice was still deeply ingrained with the culture of Earths Old West, dressing him in clothes of the period that eventually grew to include his trademark yellow shirt, green cape and brown pants and hat. When he was old enough, the young man also grew a thick mustache. Early on, the bandit trained him in the use of an energi-lasso, which Toby promptly used to capture a young Arguvian Space-Steed, a winged white horse that was as comfortable in the vacuum of space as Toby. By the time it is a full-grown stallion, the space-bandit said of the newly-christened Nova, the boy will be a man — a man of Earth ... Terra-Man.

Terra-Man eventually put together an impressive arsenal thematically tied to the Old West. His chewing tobacco created sophisticated illusions (SUPERMAN #249) and seemed to have bestowed a degree of telekinesis on him (#259 and ACTION #469). His cigars, when exhaled, gave off smoke that strangled their victim (#249) and, when inhaled, transformed Toby into a smoky wraith (#259). His gun fired bullets that enlarged into missile shells (#249), released atomic energy when they struck their target (#250) or gave off sonic waves (ACTION #468) . Also in his possession was a power-amplification glove (SUPERMAN #250), parasitic tumbleweeds (ACTION #511, 557) and strangulation devices including a capsule of concentrated gravita-goldconcealed in his tooth that smothered its victim in a gold aura (#250) and an enlarging bandana (ACTION #426).

By a paradox of space-travel, time slows down while traveling near the speed of light, a caption explained. Thus, while Toby has aged 20 years in two decades of space-flight — 100 years have gone by on Earth. Occasionally monitoring events on his home planet, Toby had caught a glimpse of Superman and may have recognized the stranger who sent him and the Collector hurtling from Earth. Someday, that insult would have to be dealt with.

There was a greater debt to be paid first, though, one that came due after Toby finally completed his first solo theft on behalf of the Collector. The space-bandit was effusive in his praise and Toby observed that my REAL father had similar words ... long ago, back on Earth ... the day YOU KILLED HIM! Drawing his gun in an instant, Terra-Man fired a lethal atomic bullet into the Collector.

Toby admitted to the dying alien that his memories HAD been erased but his fathers dying message had resonated in his mind. At first I was too young to understand its meaning. Not until I grew older did I realize that my father had scrawled a rough diagram of your ship — with a bullet, the symbol of death — planted into it. He was naming his killer for me. I bided my time ... waited till you taught me everything you knew. All these years, you never suspected you were training your OWN MURDERER!

With the Collectors death, Toby was free to return to my own world ... to carry on as Pa wanted me to. And my first job will be to destroy the leading symbol of law and justice on Earth ... Superman (1972s SUPERMAN #249, by Cary Bates, Dick Dillin and Neal Adams, with supplementary material from 1981s NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY #23, by Bates, Kurt Schaffenberger and Dave Hunt).

True to his word, Terra-Man struck at Earth, fabricating an old-style stagecoach robbery in the streets of Metropolis to call out Superman. A fireworks display spelled out his intention: Earth isnt big enough for the two of us, Superman! By sundown tomorrow you will be dead!

The Man of Steel was having troubles of his own, thanks to a recurring Kryptonian condition that caused his powers to backfire. Refusing to shirk his responsibility, Superman agreed to the challenge, evading each of Terras attacks in circuitous methods to compensate for his malfunctioning abilities. The Man of Steel finally managed to jam his foes gun barrel and knock him out but he didnt have a clue as to the villains origins (SUPERMAN #249, by Bates, Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson).

Terra-Man had anticipated defeat and spent a short period of time in prison as a means of experiencing what his father had in the 19th Century. Appalled by the conditions, Toby concluded that now that Ive seen prison life, I swear never to let anyone put me behind bars again. With that, he whistled for Nova and the steed beat its wings until it sucked the wall out of its masters cell. After fending off an attack by Superman, they took took refuge in the Collectors cloaked spacecraft, in orbit above Earth.

Tapping into the space vessels super- scientific arsenal, Terra-Man fashioned a branding iron that he used to put his stamp on his foes forehead. Its called hyper-aging, Superman. Every time you use a super-power, youll grow older ... at a super-fast rate. During their clash, however, Superman had spotted a weakness of Terra, noting that he had momentarily had trouble breathing. Discovering the oxygen unit that had been implanted long ago, the Man of Steel learned that a Metropolis man named John P. Alstrom, through unusual circumstances,. was exhaling a gas that coincidentally clogged the device. While Superman reversed the hyper-aging effect by refusing to use his powers, John Alstrom happened to come into close proximity with Terra, weakening him long enough for the Man of Steel to capture him (SUPERMAN #250, by Bates, Swan and Anderson).

Bates and editor Julius Schwartz clearly had high hopes for Terra-Man, featuring him in consecutive issues of Superman and even taking the unusual step of featuring his origin in a separate solo story — inked by 1970s fan-favorite Neal Adams, no less. Reaction was mixed, though, with one reader pointing out in issue #254s letter column that the whole concept reminded him of the Golden Ages Shining Knight, also a man out of time with a winged white horse. In response, E. Nelson Bridwell argued, Thats like saying that because Superman is from another planet, hes the same as the octopoid Martians in H.G. Wells WAR OF THE WORLDS, pointing out that Sir Justin was a Knight of the Round Table who was frozen in a glacier for over 1,500 years, while Toby Manning was a Western outlaws son raised on another world.

Still, the villains next two escapades (1972s SUPERMAN #259 and 1973s ACTION #426, both by Bates, Swan and Anderson) came without cover appearances. In the former, Terra-Man escaped prison thanks to a special TM brand on his arm that enabled him to mentally transport the entire facility — minus his bunk — to the desert. Taking advantage of the Man of Steels current liability, a Captain Marvel-esque link with a young boy and his lynx, Terra hoped to finally get the upper hand. Instead, the Man of Steel traced the kidnapped boy to the Collectors invisible spacecraft and used its technology to resolve his problem.

In ACTION #426, Toby abandoned his usual Western parlance to manipulate a group of anti-space fanatics, who viewed Earths expeditions to the Moon as unnatural. With their help, he gathered several moon rocks and and encouraged the Lunatics to destroy them, unwittingly arming a super-bomb that Supermans touch would trigger. Terra-Mans uncharacteristically docile surrender tipped off the Man of Steel that something was amiss and he disposed of the bomb before it could explode.

Terra-Man followed up with an elaborate plot designed to stage his conflict with Superman in a setting that gave him something of a home advantage — a scientifically recreated western town populated by several of the Man of Steels closest friends. He demanded that Superman participate in a series of gun duels for the life of those mesmerized friends, with each of his bullets keyed to the heartbeat of one of them. Incredibly, Terra had actually successfully captured — and briefly brainwashed — Superman at the beginning of the affair, not realizing that Clark Kent was his alter-ego. The Man of Steel secretly used heat-vision to alter the bullets suffiently to slow down (rather than stop) the hearts of his friends. When it was Clark Kents turn to die, Superman awakened the corpses, startling Terra long enough for Clark to covertly defeat him (1974s SUPERMAN #278, by Bates, Swan and Bob Oksner).

The hostage angle remained an attractive one to Terra-Man and he again forced Superman to do his bidding in late 1976 by concealing deadly cosmomite bombs throughout Metropolis. Using technology that Earths filmmakers wouldnt perfect for years, Terra-Man inserted himself into old movies and pre-empted TV broadcasts in an elaborate publicity campaign to convince the country to watch my brand-spankin new TV show ... tomorrow night at nine, right here on WGBS-TV! Despite WGBS best efforts, The Adventures of Terra-Man were indeed broadcast live with special guest-star Superman, who appeared to have disarmed and captured the rogue in the cliffhanger ending (ACTION #468).

Off camera, the Man of Steel let Terra go rather than risk the detonation of the bombs — and the incident was caught on film by an amateur photographer, unaware that Superman was acting under duress. Despite the crushing decline in public confidence, the Last Son of Krypton resumed his role in Terra-Mans TV series — and seemed to pay for it with his life at the end of the second episode (ACTION #469).

The entire scheme had been a ploy designed by Terra-Man to transform Superman into his duplicate. Rising from his grave in the guise of his enemy, the Man of Steel was forced to defend himself from attacks by Green Lantern and the Flash as he attempted to understand the purpose behind his metamorphosis. Within hours, Terra Man had the answers he was seeking — including the secret of the Western bandits super-science.

A strangely familiar flying disk teleported Terra aboard and he found himself confronted by a gun-wielding alien. Feigning IGNORANCE will do you no good, MURDERER! You pretend not to RECOGNIZE my blue skin or my hooded brow? Could you so easily forget the race of the space-pirate who RAISED you — the mentor who taught you the ultra-technology that powers your weapons — the one you so brutally SHOT DOWN after he passed on all his knowledge — the man who is — MY BROTHER! If ever there a moment for Superman to gasp, Great Scott,this was it!

The Collectors brother didnt want Terra-Man to die quickly, however. Teleporting his captive to freedom, he vowed to hunt you down like a savage beast ... thrill to the chase ... and the kill! As the entire city of Metropolis watched, Superman (yep, Superman) flew onto the scene, engaging the alien in combat and nearly bringing him to justice. At the climactic moment, both Superman and the alien were confronted in the sky by Terra-Man, who announced that Im gonna give you BOTH a six-gun ticket cross the Great Divide!

Watching the villains moment of triumph, a policeman suddenly went berserk, shrieking, Nobodys gonna steal MY reputation — NOBODY! Transforming himself into the REAL Terra-Man, he rocketed into the sky only to be decked by his double. It seems that Superman had revealed his identity crisis to Green Lantern and the Flash, who drafted Superman actor Gregory Reed to stand in for the Man of Steel while they used their powers to create the illusion of his super-powers. Pointing his finger at Terra-Man, the still-altered Superman snarled, And NOW, pardner — youve got THREE seconds to change me back into Superman — or Ill dump you in the same space-prison with that alien! A caption added that it takes only TWO seconds for the jittery Terra-Man, using his ultra-technology to comply (ACTION #470, by Bates, Swan and Tex Blaisdell).

Late in 1979, word reached Terra-Man that famed 19th Century outlaw Butch Cassidy had been discovered alive, supposedly having been in suspended animation since 1909. Anxious to meet a kindred spirit, Toby rushed to Gotham City , where Butch — and his partner, the Penguin — were making the rounds on the talk-show circuit. He arrived just in time to witness Batman dismissing the claims (Ive READ it before ... in a comic strip!) and promptly lassoed the Dark Knight. Terra was a bit disgruntled to learn that Butch WAS a fake but he agreed to work with the Penguin. Through a combination of Terra-Mans atomic bullets and the Penguins evidently-Kryptonite-tinged hypnotic umbrella, they even managed to briefly convince Superman that he was the Sundance Kid. Butchs insistence that he aint Sundance gave Superman the time he needed to shake off the effect and shoot the guns off of Terras holster (WORLDS FINEST #261, by Denny ONeil, Rich Buckler and Dick Giordano).

In 1982, Terra-Man decided to pool his own super-science with that of Lex Luthors. Theyd met previously, once during a mass escape orchestrated by Mister Xavier (1976s SUPERMAN #299) and again when Luthor had faked a reformation 1980s ACTION #511) but this was the first time theyd actually worked together (SUPERMAN SPECTACULAR #1, by Bob Rozakis & Paul Kupperberg, Adrian Gonzales and Vince Colletta).

Terra had learned that Kryptonite could kill Superman and, using a sensor-device on his six-gun, hed found a nugget in deep space. Informing Luthor of his discovery, he suggested they form an alliance to lure their joint enemy into a deathtrap. With first hand knowledge of Lexs duplicitous nature (ACTION #511), Terra announced that HE would hold onto the Kryptonite. The rock had a definite effect on the Man of Steel but not the one that his enemies had intended — he split into two entities, Superman-Red and Superman-Blue.

Luthor was horrified, cursing that I didnt count on your showing up with a hunk of faulty green Kryptonite!

It was Kryptonite AWRIGHT — my six-gun dont make mistakes. But this heah rock was RED ...

RED!?! Yep, ignorant of the permutations of Kryptonite, Terra-Man had turned up Red K, which affected the Man of Steel in a different manner each time he encountered it but WASNT lethal.

Hoping to level the playing field, Luthor tore a rift in the dimensional fabric of space, allowing magic from a parallel world to leak through and enhance his and Terra-Mans own strengths. Fortuitously, the dimensional tear corrected itself almost simultaneously with the pair of Supermen merging into a single being once more. Terra-Man and Luthor were soon returned to custody.

The adventure inspired Terra-Man to add a warp-opening device to Nova and the flying horse teleported his master (rendered unconscious by Superman) to what the steed imagined was a safe port. Instead, Terra and Nova found themselves in a chaotic dimension that proved to be a bridge to a parallel Earth. This world, undoubtedly the one that Luthor had tapped into earlier, was governed by magic and its Terra-Man fired energy from his index finger while astride his flying (but non-winged) horse. The pair of Terra-Men conspired to bring Superman to the alternate Earth, convinced that their mastery of its magic would give them the upper hand. Thanks to his Justice League comrade Zatanna, Superman wasnt quite a novice and soon discovered that he could fight back by using the sort of backwards spells that she and her father had perfected (1982s SUPERMAN #377, by Kupperberg, Swan and Hunt).

Supermans subsequent encounters were relatively minor ones. In 1980s SUPERMAN: TERRA-MANS SKYWAY ROBBERY, a Super Sugar Crisp mini-comic (art by Gonzales and Colletta), Terra finally used GREEN Kryptonite (concealed in a cactus bomb) but had no more success than he did with the Red. 1984s ACTION #557 (by Kupperberg, Swan and Hunt) played up Terras growing frustration with his inability to defeat Superman and revealed that hed created an entire town of automatons (including the Big Red S) so that he could actually pretend to kill him. Terra-Man made his final bow in 1986s DC COMICS PRESENTS #96 (by Dan Miskin & Gary Cohn, Joe Staton and Kurt Schaffenberger), wherein relatively new hero Blue Devil was drafted into defending Metropolis against Terra-Man while the Man of Steel took care of a related threat in outer space. As hed done once before (ACTION #511), Terra surrounded himself with a gang of aliens but the greater numbers werent enough to prevent defeat.

By this point, the Superman series had fallen into disfavor with many fans, who regarded villains like Terra-Man as rather silly characters, unworthy of someone as powerful as the Last Son of Krypton. Paul Kupperberg had attempted to defend the character in SUPERMAN #377, noting that behind all that range-bum lingo, Terra-Mans a product of a super-scientific alien culture and easy to underestimate. Still, the character had become a symbol of the perceived flaws in the series and he was one of the many barnacles that John Byrne planned to remove in his 1986 revamp of the series.

In the imaginary, futuristic, "last pre-Crisis Superman saga" called "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?", it was stated that Terra-Man and the Parasite had killed each other in a duel. But Terra-Man himself was not seen. Seems as if Alan Moore wasn't too fond of the guy, either.

Post-Crisis

In comics, though, no one seems to go away forever and Terra-Man returned (sort of) in 1990s SUPERMAN #46 (by Jerry Ordway, Dan Jurgens and Dennis Janke). This time, Tobias Manning was a present-day environmentalist with the power to enforce his agenda. Beneath his long, gray Western-style coat, he wore padded, technologically-laced gray body armor that gave him great strength and enabled him to produce force blasts and generate tornadoes via a control pad on his left shoulder. At a showcase for a proposed Biosphere, Manning confronted the creator of the project, describing him as someone who wants you to buy your safety from a future that your industries and power plantsre helping to create. Superman fought Manning and his robotic Terra-Men (dressed like Western bandits) but the marauder disappeared into his teleportational cyclone.

Terra-Man's next outing, at the Hells Gate Landfill not far from Metropolis was no less confrontational despite Mannings claim to have a benevolent motive. Hed detected traces of radioactivity and some hazardous waste at the site and demanded that the property be cleared so that he could use his technology to de-toxify the land. Security guards and Lexcorp scientists refused to leave and, as the ground began to shake and swirl, several were sucked under. Thanks to Supermans efforts, nearly all of the men were rescued — all save for a scientist nicknamed Lucky. Tobias Manning was now wanted for murder.

Because of Mannings southern drawl and cowboy look, Lois Lane and Clark Kent had initially overlooked Terra-Mans connection to the East Coast. Research revealed that he built the Lookout Peak chemical plant with four others ... Manning was the sole partner to be indicted for the chemical spills from their factory ten years ago. The town was so contaminated with dioxins that the Environmental Protection Agency had to step in. This other story details the EPA investigation that led to fines and prison time for Manning alone. His partners, however, all died WHILE Toby was in jail.

Gee, said Lois, Is THAT suspicious, or what? Lois immediately began to suspect that Manning might be holed up at Lookout Peak and, without her fiances knowledge, she borrowed a containment suit and entered the town. Superman was close behind and the couple soon learned that Terra-Man was indeed in the area.

Manning argued that hed been partially responsible for poisoning Lookout Peak and I MUST atone for it. His procedure would convert the land into inert materials — dirt is once again just dirt.He rejected Supermans suggestion that the operation be turned over to the government, insisting that theyll study my process for years before implementing. And theyve got a political agenda to serve — and red tape to cut through. And from the vest, pardner, we dont HAVE that long to wait.

Presented with evidence that the procedure was effective, the Man of Steel agreed to a truce. He would help Terra-Man implement an airborne detoxification of Lookout Peak in exchange for Lois safe passage and Mannings surrender. True to his word, Toby didnt resist arrest and requested, Treat me square, Miss Lane — Im not a BAD guy.

For their part, Superman offered to have S.T.A.R. Labs monitor the once-contaminated land. Lois observed that his trial alone should help raise public awareness of the toxic waste problem. Maybe theres still a chance for all of the other places like Lookout Peak. Heck, maybe theres even a chance for Lookout Peak(SUPERMAN #52, by Ordway, Kerry Gammill and Janke).

Alerted by a series of eco-terrorist acts in 1994 (METROPOLIS S.C.U. #1), Manning escaped from prison (#2) and turned himself over to the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit with the offer of information on the mastermind. If the government will place a moratorium on all acts of pollution, all fossil fuel consumption, Ill tell you what you want to know. Mannings behavior only cemented the S.C.U.s belief that Terra-Man was the person responsible and he was sent to a holding cell.

Manning nearly escaped again only to have his commandeered helicopter brought to ground by Superman. Brought in for questioning again, Terra-Man finally divulged what he suspected. I just want yall to know that I could care less about people. Im only telling you this because I dont want him to hurt the animals.

The eco-terrorist was the only true genius Ive ever known. Dr. Noah Brazil. He was my professor in graduate school. I learned everything I know about ecology from him. He loves the Earth and he hates whats happening to it. He loved American Indian culture — hed talk about how they used to live as one with the Earth. He used to draw a symbol. It meant a lot to him. Chamchaga.

He told me legends and the like. About what would happen to the world if we didnt straighten up and fly right. He told me once that he believed science would be the death of the planet. He trusted me, but he said that the other scientists were hopeless. Then one day, he told me about his crazy plan to save the planet.

We had a falling out when I told him Id taken a job with an oil company. He said I was worse than the rest of them. He was right, acourse. I never saw him again.

Brazil had been setting fires and filling the atmosphere with soot. Ya know, carbon. Lightning turns the carbon into fullerenes. Then, when theres enough fullerenes up there, hell send balloons carrying a nerve agent into the air. He was, in effect, creating the legend of Chamchaga, in which the bird wraps a dark sheath around the Earth, smothering everything on it so the Earth can begin again (#3).

Still in custody, Manning accompanied the S.C.U. to Arizona, where they, U.S. Marshals and local authorities joined forces to flush out Doctor Brazil. The S.C.U. managed to prevent his toxic payload from rising into the sky and the nerve gas began to spread through Brazils biosphere. Grabbing a gas mask, Manning rushed into the facility to rescue his beloved mentor but he was too late. Doctor Noah Brazil was dead (#4, by Cindy Goff, Pete Krause and Jose Marzan, Jr.).

Late in 1995, Terra-Man was among those invited to a gathering of the demon Neron, who offered everyone in attendance their most fervent desire. For Manning, the fulfillment of his environmental goals wasnt worth the price of his soul (UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED #1). Today, he continues to serve out his sentence at Burnley Federal Penitentiary in Hazelwood Texas.

Tara Terruna

Summarizing an entry from Michael L. Fleisher's Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes vol. 2

First appearance: Wonder Woman #59 (May-June 1953)

Wonder Woman is hurled across a mysterious time warp into a parallel world by a freak electrical storm. This planet exists simultaneously alongside Earth, but in a different era. Everyone on this world appears to be a double of someone on Earth. Wonder Woman encounters her own double, a woman called Tara Terruna (which means "Wonder Woman" in the native language). Wonder Woman helps her counterpart battle and defeat the evil Duke Dazam. She then returns home through the same time warp that had brought her to this strange twin world.

Thanatos

First appearance: Aquaman #54 (Nov-Dec 1970)
"Crime Wave" by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo

The story of Thanatos begins with uniformed police officer Paul and plainclothes detective John pondering why a number of prominent citizens — doctors, industrialists, attorneys — have suddenly become petty criminals. When captured, the spaced-out men repeatedly babble, "I'm dead! Thanatos killed me!"

Meanwhile, Aquaman, having stayed too long while visiting surface-dwelling friends, is racing to return to the sea. Weakened, he proves little challenge to a gang of thugs that jump him. Then, somewhere in the darkness, voices are heard shouting, "Strap him down!" and "Get the machinery working! Hurry!".

Aquaman suddenly finds himself in the ocean depths, in front of what appears to be a stereotypical "haunted house" from the surface. Believing he is to meet his wife Mera inside, he enters and goes upstairs. Suddenly, a hulking, enraged doppelganger of the Sea King bursts from a mirror and begins pummeling him. Aquaman falls and his assailant, Thanatos, hurries away.

Aquaman awakens in his bed in Atlantis, Mera at his side. Meanwhile, Thanatos is having trouble breathing on dry land. Surmising this has something to do with "the being whose features I stole", Thanatos jumps into the sea and is restored. He travels to Atlantis and again beats Aquaman.

Meanwhile, Paul and John are on to something. Doctors have determined that the men arrested in the crime spree believe they have been murdered by their own "dark sides", embodied by a creature called "Thanatos" — the death instinct. Figuratively killed, John says, "they become 'death-oriented'... or a criminal". There is only one man who could devise a scheme like this, he declares.

"You don't mean...?" Paul asks.

"Yes!" (Oddly, we never do learn the name of the criminal mastermind. We are told, however, that he kidnapped Mera in issue #44).

Elsewhere, Aquaman rides his giant seahorse into Rusdic, an underwater "wild west" town. He is shot by Thanatos and awakens again in Atlantis. But this time, Arthur knows something is wrong. Before he can try to make sense of it, Thanatos crashes into the royal bed chamber and attacks again.

Simultaneously, John, Paul and other police (George and Ringo?) attack a mob boss' hideout. As John batters the bald bad guy into submission, Aquaman gains the upper hand on his foe, defeating Thanatos.

The police free the criminal gang's latest victims from their brainwashing machines. For two men, it is too late; Thanatos has already "killed" them. Aquaman, however, is groggy, but okay.

In a text piece following the story, author Skeates explained the issue was an experiment, an attempt depict the nature of dreams. Thanatos was apparently never intended to be a real character.

Or was he? During the haunted house sequence, the narrative boxes all address Thanatos. They speak of the long years he has waited for someone to release him and, after he defeats Aquaman, they proclaim "You are Thanatos! You are free... And the world is yours!"

Post-Crisis

Whatever Skeates intended, Thanatos was definitely real by the time of the post-Crisis second volume of AQUAMAN. In issue #7 (June 1992, "What Matters Most", by Shaun McLaughlin, Ken Hooper, and Bob Dvorak), the unconscious Sea King is fighting for his life in a Poseidonis hospital. In his mind, he is assailed by illusions of Mera and their dead son, the JLA, and Aqualad. Meanwhile, in another dimension, Thanatos, dressed in Aquaman's blue costume from his first mini-series, controls the illusions as part of a plan to get Aquaman to give in to his dark side.

Musing, "Years ago, I tried to take his place by entering his mind. But his will was too strong. And now he's all but inviting me in". Thanatos is interrupted by the appearance of the real Mera, who believes Thanatos is her husband. (In Aquaman's second mini-series, Mera had gone insane and died — temporarily — fighting her estranged husband. She then fled Earth's dimension).

In the end, Aquaman refuses to give into hate and recovers. Thanatos, with Mera and "A.J." at his side, is left to plot his next move.

Mera, A.J., and Thanatos returned in AQUAMAN [3rd series] #12-14 (Sep-Nov 1995) in a story by Peter David, Martin Egeland and Howard Shum. Arthur (or "Orin" as he is now called) and his new lover, Dolphin, come face-to-face with Mera, who has returned to Earth, but has no memory of ever leaving it. She struggles to remember, when Thanatos compels her to return to him via a portal in a deep sea crevasse. Orin and Dolphin give chase.

In issue #13, Aquaman and Thanatos "the Undead" battle in the ever-changing landscape of an alien dimension, all the while being watched by "The Others". It is revealed that they rule this place "where discorporated beings from previous lives — like Thanatos — are trapped until The Others decide they are worthy of re-entering the corporeal world".

A quick aside: at the time, David was using Bible book names (such as "Exodus", "Acts", "Judges", and "Lamentations") as story titles, but it's interesting to note that the title on the cover of issue #13 is "Arena". "The Arena" is also the title of a short story (adapted as a memorable episode of the original "Star Trek") in which a human fights an alien in a battle to the death. In "Trek", Kirk shows his Gorn nemesis compassion and refuses to kill him. The godlike aliens overseeing the battle reward him by allowing both combatants to go free.

PAD puts a neat spin on his version. When Aquaman spares his defeated enemy, The Others are revealed as demons who consider compassion a weakness. They decide Aquaman must stay in their world until he is "adequately evil". Thanatos is loosed on Earth.

He would have been better off staying home. Arriving in Poseidonis the following issue, Thanatos is angered to find it a deserted ruin. He begins swimming toward the surface just as Major Disaster (amped up by Neron as part of "Underworld Unleashed") causes a jetliner to crash into a nuclear powered submarine. The resulting explosion triggers a sea quake. A massive boulder falls from a ledge and slams into Thanatos, knocking him into a fissure in the seabed. Before he can escape, it crashes shut, crushing the villain.

As far as I know, Thanatos has not been seen since, but considering the nature of the beast, he could be brought back at any time — especially once Aquaman is resurrected.

The-Thing-That-Cannot-Die

The-Thing-That-Cannot-Die was a strange-looking creature, pink with a horse-like snout, buck-teeth, a tuft of white hair on his head, one arm, a long tail and a body that appeared to be a ball of fur. He had been exiled to the other-dimensional Beyond Region by Merlin in the distant past. Describing himself as English and "like a goblin" (1991's THE DEMON #16, by Alan Grant, Val Semeiks and Bob Smith), the Thing admitted to Wonder Woman that he had been "very, very, VERY bad" but had attoned (#17). His curse (as his name made clear) was to be eternally reborn after each time he was murdered.

Joining with Jason Blood, the Thing hoped to find a way out of his prison (#16-20) and was judged by the gatekeeper to be virtuous and entitled to go free. Instead, Blood (as the demon Etrigan) kicked the Thing aside and returned to Earth himself (#20). The Thing finally escaped his prison but wound up in another — Hell (#36). Once again, he joined Etrigan in the hope of escaping and, once again, he was betrayed and left behind (#37-39).

Only by hiding in the hood of Etrigan's cloak did the Thing finally make it to Earth (#43), where an enraged Demon delighted in murdering the being again and again (#44). The Thing lived in Jason Blood's home in Gotham City (#49, 51, 0, 52, 53) until the structure was destroyed, at which point he and a demon posing as Harry Matthews decided to take a trip to the quieter locale of California (#54).

While investigating the evil that had overtaken Etrigan in recent years, the former Wonder Woman known as Requiem met the Thing in Jason Blood's new Gateway City apartment. The innocuous creature was exposed as a monstrous figure, "a demon of the Ninth Circle! The same ring of Hell from which Merlin plucked Etrigan!" Using a unique sword that the Hell-Enders had provided her with, Requiem finally killed the Thing with a force that wouldn't permit it to return (WONDER WOMAN #130).

The Third Archer

Andre Reynard, the Third Archer, met Green Arrow and Speedy in ADVENTURE COMICS #162.

Tracey Thompson

Tracey Thompson was created by writer/artist/editor Mike Sekowsky as a backup for ADVENTURE COMICS...I believe #401 was the first of her two or so appearances. She was, as he recalls, a teenage motorcyclist who was always running into trouble (in Scooby Doo type of adventures) and usually had to have someone else help her out. The readership was thoroughly underwhelmed, and she failed to survive Sekowsky's very short editorship.

Thorn II

The silver age Thorn began her career about 8 years ago on the current DC timeline. She was really Rose Forrest, the shy daughter of a Metropolis cop Phil Forrest. When she was a young girl she experience a trauma which has never been explained. As a result she developed a split personality. At times, she would become a more agressive woman. Once, while the agressive personality was in charge, she discovered a secret passage in her family brownstone which led to an abandoned costume shop. In it she found a costume and weapons which were created by costumer Albert Talbot in a scheme to outfit a woman as a super-criminal.

Now, it was never explained who that woman was or exactly how long ago the costume was created, but perhaps it was created in the 1940s. Perhaps Albert Talbot had known the golden age super-villain called the Thorn and had created the new costume and weapons for her shortly before she was "cured" [see INFINITY INC issues & a recent GREEN LANTERN issue] The costume sat in the costume shop until found by Rose Forrest.

When Rose's father Phil was killed by the criminal syndicate known as The 100, she retreated into the other personality, donned the costume and became the Thorn. She waged war against The 100, even getting help from Superman. Rose was never aware of her activities as the Thorn and thought she suffered from unexplained blackouts. Afterwards, she retired.

The Thorn returned to crimefighting after the Crisis, when the 100 resurfaced as the 1000. She was wearing a different costume and a knee brace from some untold injury. She teamed up with Booster Gold against Minddancer, Shockwave & other super-villains.

Since then she has returned to active duty on a number of occasions whenever things in Metropolis got out of hand, particularly when Warworld came to Metropolis and right after Superman's death.

She appeared in the SUPERMAN books again.

The Thought Terror

The Thought Terror was working as a seer in the Futurists Club, where he would interpret the future for people with readings that seemed to always come true. One man was told he would start drinking and then be hit by a car. Carter Hall (better known as Hawkman) came upon the staggering man on the street and managed to prevent him from being run over. Taking the man to his home, Carter discovered that he wasn't drunk at all. Meanwhile, the driver of the car that nearly hit the man reported back to the Thought Terror that he had failed, which infuriated the villain. He had been making a fortune reading people's futures (at $100 per question), when he was actually just hypnotizing them into doing what he says will happen, along with a little outside help to spur things along (such as the car).

Carter, intrigued by what has happened with the man, sprang into action as Hawkman. Taking with him a gladiatorial net, Hawkman captured the driver of the car and took him to his headquarters, where the driver spilled all the information about the Thought Terror's operation. He said that he and the other lackeys didn't revolt against the Thought Terror because they were afraid that they would be hypnotized and killed.

Hawkman took to the skies again, this time with a metal shield, after being warned to watch out for the Thought Terror's mesmerized men. As he dashed into the villain's lair, he was assailed by the men, who were hypnotized to not feel pain, so they couldn't be felled by normal means. Hawkman was taken down and imprisoned fairly easily. The next morning, Shiera came to Carter's house and the Thought Terror's man told her where he had gone. When Hawkman noticed her outside, he flashed a message with his reflective shield that warned her about the Thought Terror and told her to bring a blowtorch to cut the bars of his cell. The Thought Terror entered just as he had finished his coded message and took his shield away, saying that Hawkman would die of starvation or madness in that cell.

That night, Shiera brought the blowtorch, and gave it to Hawkman through his cell window. The hero proceeded to burn through the hinges on the door, freeing himself. He then started tying up the mesmerized men one-by-one, and discovered that his shield had been taken to the Thought Terror's private room. After retrieving the shield, he held it in front of him as he advanced on the Thought Terror, who was attempting to hypnotize the hero into thinking he was a harmless idiot. Unfortunately, the Thought Terror saw his own mesmerizing reflection and lost his own reason. The underlings came out of the spells they were under and returned to their own lives, as did the driver and the first man. The Thought Terror was sent to a lunatic asylum.

Appearances:

  • Flash Comics #4 (Reprinted in The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told)

The Three Aces

The Three Aces were Fog Fortune, Gunner Bill and Whistler Will, three soldiers of fortune who debuted in 1939's ACTION COMICS #18. The strip was originally drawn by Bert Christman.

The closest any of the Three Aces came to having an origin story was in #22, Christman's last issue. Therein, Whistler Will was revealed to have been found in the desert as a child by rancher Matt Saunders and his young daughter, Sally. Alerted to the boy's presence by the soft whistling sound he was making, Matt took the child as his own. As he grew up, Will spent much time in the desert, often riding with local indians. "At sixteen, he singlehandedly wiped out a band of rustlers." Will returned home in #22's story to attend his adoptive sister's wedding. (You may recall that I included Will on the Greg Sanders/Shiera Sanders/"Speed" Saunders family tree that I posted on the STARS & S.T.R.I.P.E. board)

Chad Grothkopf picked up the art chores with ACTION #23. During his run, the Aces discovered no less than THREE lost Atlantean colonies, the last on the peak of Mount Shasta in California (in #37-38, 43 and 45). Zatara, it's worth noting, found a few Atlantean sanctuaries himself in ACTION #17-18 and 47.

The arrival of Louis Cazeneuve as artist in early 1942's ACTION #47 coincided with the Aces' post-Pearl Harbor decision to sign up with the U.S. military. They made their final bows during mid-1943 in issue #63's "Leatherneck Luck."

The Three Musketeers

Written by Rich Meyer

The Novels:

French writer Alexandre Dumas, who lived from 1802 to 1870, is best known for such literary adventures as the Three Musketeers and the Count of Monte Cristo.

The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) was published in serialized form in 1844. the tale takes place in France, from 1625 to 1628, during the reign of King Louis XIII. In the year 1625, the young d'Artagnan arrives in Paris at the age of 18, and almost immediately offends three musketeers, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. As they threaten to duel, the four are attacked by the sinister Cardinal Richelieu's guards. the courage of the youth becomes apparent during the battle, and the four become fast friends. In order to thwart the plans of the Cardinal, they embark upon an adventure that takes them across both France and England. During this time, they encounter a beautiful young spy, named simply Milady, who will stop at nothing to disgrace the King's wife, Queen Anne of Austria, and take her revenge upon the four swordsmen.

The first of two sequels written by Dumas is entitled Twenty Years After (Vingt Ans AprËs), published in 1845, which takes place from 1648 to 1649. Two decades have passed since the close of the last story. Louis XIII has died, as has Cardinal Richelieu, and while the crown of France may sit upon the head of Queen Anne as Regent for the young Louis XIV, the real power resides with the Cardinal Mazarin, her secret husband. D'Artagnan is a lieutenant in the musketeers. Athos has retired to his home with his son, Raoul de Bragelonne. Aramis has followed his calling and donned the priest's robes. Porthos, who had married a wealthy woman, was left with her fortune upon her death. When trouble stirs, d'Artagnan brings his friends out of retirement. Oliver Cromwell plots against Charles I of England, while at home the Fronde threatens to tear France apart. Mordaunt, the son of Milady, who seeks to avenge his mother's death at the hands of the musketeers, attempts to thwart their valiant efforts.

The second sequel by Dumas is the Viscount of Bragelonne, or Ten Years Later (Le Vicomte de Bragelonne, ou Dix Ans Plus Tard), published from 1848 to 1850, which takes place from 1660 to 1673. English translations of the last installment in the trilogy, further divide this book into three sections: the Viscount of Bragelonne, Louise de la ValliËre, and the Man in the Iron Mask.

The first section of the final book begins in May 1660. Louis XIV has surpassed the age at which he should begin his rule, but the ailing Cardinal Mazarin refuses to relinquish the reins of power. Meanwhile, Charles II, a king without a country, travels Europe seeking aid from his fellow monarchs. Raoul de Bragelonne, son of Athos, has his eyes on his childhood companion, Louise de la ValliËre, with whom he is hopelessly in love. Porthos, now a baron, is off on a mysterious mission with Aramis, who is now the Bishop of Vannes.

The second section picks up in early Summer 1661. It appears as if the sweet and gentle Louise de la ValliËre has caught the eye of the ruthless King Louis XIV, which is of great concern to Raoul. Behind the scenes, dark intrigues are afoot.

In the concluding section, Aramis bribes his way into the jail cells of the Bastille where a certain prisoner has been entombed for eight long years. the prisoner knows neither his real name nor the crime for which he has been imprisoned. But Aramis knows the secret of the prisoner's identity... that he is the twin brother of Louis XIV and rightful heir to the throne! When the destinies of king and prisoner converge, the four musketeers find themselves caught between conflicting loyalties.

This tale also tells of Porthos's heroic death, and later of the passing of Athos, who dies on hearing of the death of his son, Raoul. D'Artagnan continues in the service of the musketeers until his death in battle in 1673.

The Comic Book Appearances:

  • More Fun Comics #11 (Jul 1936) "Three Musketeers - Episode 1" through More Fun Comics #36 (Oct 1938) "Three Musketeers - Episode 26"
  • Leading Comics #8 (Autumn 1943) Chapter 2: "The Queen's Necklace"
    Synopsis: the Dummy captures the Seven Soldiers of Victory and, with a stolen time machine, sends them into the past. the golden age Green Arrow and Speedy meet the Three Musketeers in 17th century France. Eventually, the heroes return to their own time period and defeat the Dummy.
  • Batman #32 (Dec 45-Jan 46) "All For One, One For All"
    Synopsis: the golden age Batman and Robin are dispatched by Prof. Carter Nichols to early 17th century France. They meet the Three Musketeers and d'Artagnan and join them in safeguarding Anne of Austria and those loyal to her against the wily Cardinal Richelieu.
  • World's Finest Comics #82 (May-Jun 1956) "The Three Super Musketeers"
    Synopsis: the silver age Superman, Batman, and Robin are dispatched by Prof. Carter Nichols to France in 1696 in order to solve the mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask. They encounter the Three Musketeers, who have become badly wounded. the heroes pose as the Musketeers and, with d'Artagnan, help bring about the downfall of the King's evil chancellor, Bourdet, who had abducted the benevolent Count Ferney and imprisoned him in an iron mask. Bourdet is sentenced to be imprisoned himself in the mask, shut away for the rest of his life in the Bastille. Note: the year given here is clearly in error.
  • DC Special #22 (Jun-Jul 1976) "A Monster Met on the Road to Calais"
    Synopsis: the year is 1625. the heroes encounter Genevieve du Bois, a woman that wears an amulet that transforms her into a monster.
  • DC Special #23 (Aug-Sep 1976) "The Secret of the Spanish Blade"
    Synopsis: the year is 1630. the heroes battle Duc de Corbeau a.k.a. the Raven, who plots to assassinate King Louis XIII. Cardinal Richelieu is aware of the plot.
  • DC Special #24 (Oct-Nov 1976) "The King and the Red-Skinned Savage!"
    Synopsis: the year is presumably still 1630. Cardinal Richelieu secretly has King Louis XIII abducted, and orders the heroes to be hanged for failing to protect him. They escape and locate the missing King.
  • DC Special #25 (Dec 76-Jan 77) "Die by the Sword!"
    Synopsis: the year is presumably still 1630. It appears that Duc de Corbeau is beheaded for his plot to assassinate the king. When Corbeau returns disguised as the Mask, the heroes discover that he had his innocent twin brother killed in his place. Corbeau is then beheaded himself in a freak accident.

Thriller

Fifty years in the future, an accident integrated the bodies of Angeline Marietta Salvotini Thriller and her husband, Edward. According to WHO'S WHO '87 #23, she "gained the power to become part of any inanimate object and control it. She can cause her face to appear on an object, or in the sky. The only living beings she can become part of are her twin brother Tony and the artificially created Beaker Parish. Angeline can take mental control of Tony's body and transform it into a duplicate of her original body. " She "can also see glimpses of possible future events."

Angeline was assisted by the Seven Seconds, who were Crackerjack, Data (Fred Martin), Dan Grove, Beaker Parish, Proxy (Robert Furrillo), Salvo (Tony Salvotini) and White Satin (Janet Valentine).

THRILLER was created by Robert Loren Fleming and Trevor Von Eedon, who produced the first seven issues before the series was abruptly handed over to Bill DuBay and Alex Nino. They remained on the book until it ended with #12.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. stood for The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves. They were a combination international military-police/counterintelligence force. They fought the Red Chinese in some issues, so I guess they only included Western-leaning countries, hence the term "Higher United Nations", as opposed to the typical United Nations which lets Sudan and Iran sit on the human rights council.

The T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents appeard in a series of books put out by magazine publisher, Tower, in the mid-1960s that grabbed the fans' attention because of the strong art, the clever writing, and the unique nature of the characters' abilities and the context in which they operated. The comics were abruptly cancelled, but many still fondly remember them.

The story begins with a raid on the laboratory of brilliant scientist Emil Jennings by an evil organization led by a mysterious Warlord. Jennings is killed and his lab destroyed, but three inventions survive and they form the core of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, the super-powered enforcers of this organization.

the first three members were the following:

1. DYNAMO

Real name: Leonard Brown

He was given one of Jenning's inventions, a belt of power. When activated, it changed his molecular structure, making him the strength and toughness of steel. But if he kept the belt on for more than 30 minutes, it would drain his strength and he would weaken.

Dynamo was the most prominent of the agents. He was a down-to-earth guy who had trouble with women and did not have a razor wit like so many other heroes. But he was tough and courageous, even when his belt was off.

2. NOMAN

Real name: Anthony Dunn

The most unique of the agents. Dunn was a brilliant, elderly, infirm scientist who worked with Jennings. He figured out a way to transplant his mind from his withered body to a blue-skinned android body. Moreover, he could switch minds from one android body to another. If one body was destroyed, he just shifted to another. He could sacrifice his "bodies" with impunity and instead of physically travelling from one place to another, he could just switch his mind to a convenient body in that area.

Aside from his android bodies, Dunn was given the cloak of invisibility, developed by Jennings. This allowed him to become invisible for 10 minutes.

Eventually, they developed human-looking bodies for NoMan as well. His stories were imaginative, making good use of his mind-switching abilities.

3. MENTHOR

Real name: John Janus

After passing a battery of physical and intellectual tests, Janus is chosen as the recipient of the third invention of Prof. Jennings: a helmet that bestows mental powers on its wearer. The trick was, Janus was a double-agent, working secretly for the Warlord. However, when he put on the helmet and activated its powers, he suddenly found himself turned into a good guy. He would be ready to betray T.H.U.N.D.E.R. but upon activating the helmet, he would become a loyal agent and help the organization against the Warlord instead.

He had telepathy, a form of telekinesis, and the ability to absorb the mental energies of others. Eventually, Menthor reformed for real, only to be killed during a mission. This was one of the first permanent deaths of a superhero ever.

In the 1980s, during a short-lived revival of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, a new, female Menthor was introduced.

There was also a team of non-powered commandoes called "the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad", led by Medal of Honor winner Guy Gilbert. When some bad guys used a gas on T.H.U.N.D.E.R. that slowed them down, Gilbert donned a special suit that sped up his body a hundredfold, thus becoming the fourth T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent.

4. LIGHTNING

Real name: Guy Gilbert

Gilbert's powers had a tragic cost. Everytime he used them, he would age faster. But he was too noble to give the suit up, since he knew some other member of his squad would probably don it to take his place.

Compared to the Flash and Impulse, Lightning was not that fast, making him more realistic a speedster. No outrunning ray beams. In one story, he had his butt handed to him by an evil speedster who was so fast, Gilbert could barely see him.

5. RAVEN

Real name: Craig Lawson

He was brought into T.H.U.N.D.E.R. to use a special flight suit with underarm winglets. In the short-lived 1980s revival, Raven got ray-blasters on the back of his gloves that he could use as "laser talons", sort of live Wolverine's claws.

Aside from the agents and the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Squad, the organization also had a small army of troops/policemen with space-age aircraft and equipment, much like S.H.I.E.L.D..

Tiger-Man (aka Burma Tiger Man)

Real Name: Desmond Farr
Height: (as Farr) 6 ft. 4 in.
Weight: (as Farr) 230 lbs.
Height: (as Tiger-Man) 6 ft. 10 in.
Weight: (as Tiger-Man) 600 lbs.

Dean and Desmond Farr come from very old money. Their family had built a fortune in real estate and stocks. The brothers are twins, with a rather bizarre relationship. Since either of them could remember, whenever Dean felt pain, Desmond would also. Doctors were at a loss to explain the phenomenon. The brothers grow to adulthood, with Desmond always feeling a little nervous about the effects their strange bond have upon him. Desmond becomes quite shaken when he discovers that his brother is planning a trip to India, to investigate the Valley of Tiger-Men. Desmond fears that if something should happen to Dean, he would suffer too. Dean suggests that the separation might do them both some good, and leaves promising to be extremely careful.

It isnít long afterward that Desmond begins to feel an indescribable haziness clouding his mind. He concludes that his brother is in trouble and that he must help him before itís too late. Three days later, Desmond arrives in the wilds of Bombay. He speaks to the local chief, the man who had related the tribal legend of the tiger-men to Dean. The legend states that, when man first lived on Earth, the tribe that settled in this region was threatened by great, hostile beasts. Something had to be done to make the village safe, so the people of the tribe set to work with strange herbs, until they finally discovered a mystic potion which could transform a man into a tiger-man. After the tiger-men chased the beasts back into the valley with the other creatures, they were given an antidote to return them to normal. The chief had told Dean that the great cavern where the potion was made still exists in the area they call ìthe Valley of the Tiger-Menî. That was many days ago, and since that time no one has set eyes on him.

As Desmond asks the tribal chief for a guide to the valley, a tiger-man attacks the village. The tiger-man turns and threatens the chief. When one of the natives shoots the creature, Desmond feels the impact of the bullet too. He realizes that the tiger-man must Dean, and stops the shooter as his brother flees. Desmond explains all about their special bond, and convinces the chief to lead him to the cave so they can capture his brother. They eventually locate the large cavern, finding the mystic tiger potions and antidote on the ground. Desmond asks why his brother lost his human intelligence, when the chiefís ancestors didnít. The chief reads the ancient scrolls and concludes that Dean misinterpreted the primitive instructions. The potion must be taken slowly, over a period of ten minutes, or the mind will not retain human thought. Desmond realizes that there is no chance of them convincing his mindless brother to take the antidote, so he comes up with the idea of becoming a tiger-man himself so he can track down his twin.

The tribal chief administers the potion slowly to Desmond, who successfully transforms into another tiger-man. Desmond picks up the scent of his brother and follows him into mountain country, where he spots Dean being battered by a rogue elephant. Feeling the pain himself, Desmond leaps onto the elephantís back, freeing his twin. As Desmond steers the beast into a mud bog, Dean takes off for the village. Fearing that the natives will shoot his brother, Desmond races after him. He finds Dean battering down an animal pen, and confronts him. When Desmond punches Dean in the stomach, he too feels the pain. He realizes that the only thing to do is to go for a knockout. With one mighty blow, both brothers are knocked unconscious. The chief takes that opportunity to administer the antidote to the twins. After they both awaken, Dean complains of a splitting headache. Desmond is elated, for he feels no pain. Their strange bond has been broken by this experience. Desmond is finally free to lead a normal life.

A few years later, Dean and Desmond go off on an adventure together. When Dean is killed in an accident, a transformation occurs that transfers Deanís tiger-self over to Desmond. Desmondís powers are increased two-fold. As Tiger-Man, Desmond is incredibly strong, quick, and agile. His five senses are quite remarkable. He soon learns that he carries a portion of his brotherís essence with him in the form of an extra sense around danger. Tiger-Manís claws can cut through steel. His fur adapts to the surrounding climate. In very cold weather, his fur turns white, while his stripes remain black. Desmond comes to realize that it is risky for him to remain in his tiger-man form for long periods. He later joins up with his old friend and fellow adventurer, Buck Wargo, who heads a group of Monster Hunters.

One day, a powerless Guy Gardner reads a newspaper describing the latest plans of Buck Wargo and his crew. They are off to Nabba Jungle in search of the fabled Waters of the Warriors. The Waters are rumored to bestow great power upon the worthy. Guy, longing to regain his position as a hero, tracks down the adventurers and convinces Buck to allow him to join them on their quest. When they finally reach their goal, Guy learns that the prophecies of the Warrior Women of Nabba have foretold his coming. He drinks the magic potion, gaining amazing new powers. Later, Buck Wargo, Desmond Farr, and the rest of the Monster Hunters surprise Guy with a generous gift... his very own bar, called ìWarriorsî. The bar is intended for meta-humans, and the Monster Hunters plan on spending a great deal of their free time relaxing with their new friend.

Tiger-Man appearances:

  • Tales Of The Unexpected #90 (Aug-Sep 1965)
  • Guy Gardner: Warrior #22 (July 1994), 23 (Aug 1994), 25 (Nov 1994), 26 (Dec 1994), 29 (March 1995), 31 (June 1995), 32 (July 1995), 36? (Nov 1995), 38 (Jan 1996), 39? (Feb 1996), 40 (March 1996), 41 (Apr 1996), 44 (July 1996)
  • Guy Gardner: Warrior Annual #1 (1995)
  • Guy Gardner Annual #2 (1996)

Timeless Ones

Created by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Mike Sekowsky, the Timeless Ones were benevolent blue-skinned immortals who freed Earth from the rule of Abnegazar, Rath and Ghast "close to a billion years ago" and imprisoned the Three Demons in unique prisons (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #10). The Timeless Ones existed in the 30th Century as wraiths on the planet Gendyx, where they had become "too far removed from humanity to understand — or care" about the plight of mortals (SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #233).

The T.N.T. Trio

By 1960, most of the DC war books had continuing features — OUR ARMY AT WAR: Sgt. Rock, OUR FIGHTING FORCES: Gunner & Sarge, STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES: Mlle. Marie. And G.I. COMBAT? It introduced the T.N.T. Trio in issue #83. Written by Bob Kanigher and illustrated by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito, soldiers Big Al, Little Al and Charlie Cigar held the lead for three issues before the series returned to episodic war stories in #86. Searching for a feature with more of a hook, Kanigher teamed with Russ Heath to create "The Haunted Tank" in #87 and the rest was history. The T.N.T. trio returned for one final adventure in #86 (with art by Jack Abel), a four-pager following the second "Tank" installment.

Tim Trench

Private detective that worked with the pre-Crisis Wonder Woman and first appeared in WONDER WOMAN v.1 #180 (Jan 69).

Steve Trevor had to die. It wasn't quite as simple as all that but the man that some had derided as "a male Lois Lane," whose singular life's goal seemed to be Wonder Woman's hand in marriage, was clearly one of the elements that needed to be excised from the floundering WONDER WOMAN comic book in 1968.

To shore up the title's sales, Mike Sekowsky, along with scripter Denny O'Neil and editor Jack Miller, took a radical approach. After setting the stage with a makeover of Diana Prince in WW #178, the team stripped the Amazon Princess of her powers in #179, took Steve out of the picture (leaving him comatose after an encounter with agents of the terrorist known as Doctor Cyber) and introduced an elderly blind Chinese man named I Ching, who offered to train Diana in the martial arts. But what of that man shadowing Diana on page 23?

WONDER WOMAN #180 answered that question decisively when the newly empowered Diana confronted him, knocked a gun from his hand and threw him to the ground.

"You're gonna hate yourself when you find out what a nice guy I am!"

"'Nice guys' don't go around shooting at people!"

"Ya dumb chick — I wasn't gunnin' for you! I was tryin' to save you — from Cyber's sweeties!"

On cue, a futuristic vehicle crashed the party with a burst of machine-gun fire. Enter Lulu ... though the man ruefully noted "that blasted go-cart's armor-plated — not a chance of doing unto them like they tried to do unto us . At least I scared 'em off."

"Name's Tim Trench. I'm a private eye outta St. Louis. An' your Diana Prince ... and Granpaw there is Ching — right?"

"Yes ... how did you know?"

"A stoolie told me you're lookin' for this Doctor Cyber. Well, so am I."

"Why?!"

"One of Cyber's gunsels nailed my partner, Archy Miles. In my business, you don't let anybody get away with killin' a pal ... cause they might make it a habit!"

You couldn't say Tim Trench wasn't pragmatic. Or sarcastic. Or chauvinistic. He was, in many respects, as far removed from Steve Trevor as you could get. At this late date, it's hard to say what each of the parties working on WONDER WOMAN brought to the table. But Trench, with his Dickensian name (think "trenchcoat"), smart mouth and St. Louis address, is clearly O'Neil's baby, an acerbic private eye verging on a parody of the pulp detectives that he'd loved as a boy.

Despite showing zero interest in Diana, Tim became the romantic lead in the series almost by default. By the end of #180, Steve was dead, cut down in a hail of bullets by the forces of Doctor Cyber. Tim fared somewhat better though he ended up in the hands of Cyber and her army of women.

Ching and Diana, meanwhile, had launched a rescue mission and, in the course of their assault, Tim had managed to free himself, picking up a machine to replace the confiscated Lulu. "Rest easy, chums ... just like in John Wayne flicks — here comes the marines!"

Collectively the trio escaped, with Tim cutting off the air supply in the subterranean bunker, Diana creating an exit with a grenade and Ching providing the getaway submarine. Recalling the name of a small country named Bjorland that Cyber had mentioned, Tim made an announcement:

"Go collect grampa an' get packed! We're gonna take ourselves a European vacation!"

"Shouldn't we plan ..."

"I got a plan! Get Cyber before she gets us!"

Against all reason, Diana found herself "becoming fond of Tim — very fond! He's crusty ... but he's also strong, decisive ... a man! At times he makes me forget Steve ... almost! I wonder if being human means being fickle!"

The feelings were, by all accounts, not mutual, with Tim regarding his partners as little more than a means to an end:

"Maybe I should leave Di and Ching at home," he thought at one point, "but they might be useful ... and I can always ditch 'em if necessary."

It all came together in the center of a Bjorland ski village, where Diana and company fought their way through a small army to find Cylvia Cyber attempting to escape in a helicopter. Caught in Trench's gunsights, Cyber offered an alternative:

"Diana Prince and Ching are my enemies. You, however, are not!"

"Be careful ... she's up to something," warned Diana.

"I certainly am. I am up to showing Mr. Trench a tiny fraction of my weekly profit ... the gems I brought here to be deposited in a Swiss bank. Look at it, Mr. Trench," Cyber murmured, the jewels sifting through her fingers into the box, "look — and know that this could be yours." As proof of his loyalty, the bad doctor had a simple request: the deaths of Prince and Ching. Tim raised his gun and, smiling, opened fire.

When issue #182 opened, all parties were still standing. "I missed on purpose,"Tim explained. "Next time I won't! Consider that a warnin' ... I'm leavin'! An' Cyber's jewel box is leavin' with me! One thing I never could resist is temptation! An' that much bread is temptation in spades!

"Ya may not believe this, Di and Ching ... but I wish ya the best of luck. As for you, Cyber ... remember — as I relieve you of the burden of your ill-gotten gains — Crime Does Not Pay!"

"As you will find out, Mr. Trench — when we meet again!"

"So long, crowd!" Tim called from the rising copter. "See ya in the funny papers!"

Flash forward to 1976. As editor of DETECTIVE COMICS, Julius Schwartz had a desire to return a genuine private eye to the title, something he'd done previously with Frank Robbins' Jason Bard in 1972 and 1973. This time, Schwartz approached the man he often came to when faced with a new project: Denny O'Neil. The result, illustrated by Pablo Marcos and Al Milgrom, appeared in issue #460:

"Trench is my name and call me what you will ... shamus, gumshoe, even private eye! Like they say, names'll never hurt me!"

In six pages, O'Neil reestablished Tim (much younger than his earlier incarnation), setting him up in a St. Louis office situated above a movie revival house overseen by Box-Office Sadie. He also had a police contact in the form of Lieutenant Komb. The humor of the earlier appearances was gone and, without it, the story did not exactly set the world aflame.

Issue #461's second installment, in which Tim grudgingly accepted a job to protect a mobster en route to the airport, was a bit of an improvement though still a minor effort. In the end, the hood is killed and Trench pins the blame on one of his underlings. In light of his exit in WW #182, there was more than a touch of irony in Tim's response:

"On top of everything else, you're a traitor, and — I can't stand traitors!"

Bob Rozakis, responding to the feedback on the series in #464, wrote that "Tim Trench was an experiment. Unfortunately, much of the reader reaction was unfavorable so it is unlikely we'll see Mr. Trench again."

Nonetheless, Tim still managed to receive a full-page entry in 1986's WHO'S WHO #24, with art by Sandy Plunkett and P. Craig Russell. The write-up suggested that the two incarnations of Tim Trench were the same person, leading one to speculate that Tim must have cashed in Cyber's diamonds on plastic surgery. It would probably be as simple to consider the later Tim as the earlier version's Earth-Two counterpart.

Nearly a decade later, Mark Millar and Phil Hester provided what might be the capper to Trench's illustrious career in SWAMP THING #162 (1995):

Basically, an evil druid had taken the Houma, Louisiana police department captive and the hostages phoned Hero Hotline for help:

"You know, the department I told you about that can put us in touch with any super-hero who carries a beeper ... Who are they sending? Uh, they said they were sending someone with more than ten years' experience dealing with stuff like this ... some guy named Tim Trench. He's supposed to be one of the best in the business. Uh-huh ... Yeah, I never heard of him either."

Midway through the story, we were told that Tim had been stuck in traffic. When he finally drove into town (in a car with a bumper sticker reading "Support Your Local Super-Hero"), Trench was informed that the threat was over. He was dressed like the Spirit (with a different color scheme) — brown hat and gloves, green jacket, domino mask. Oh, yes, and a shirt with a big red "T" on it!

The following exchange comes verbatim from page 21. I've taken the liberty of replacing each representation of the trademark Vertigo profanity with the word "orangutan."

Trench: Orangutan traffic! My agent's gonna fry my orangutan for this, just you wait and see! There goes another two hundred and fifty bucks tax free cash! Orangutan! Hey,listen, while I'm here, I might as well give you my card, right? Just in case you ever need any help of the super-hero variety.

Bystander: Tim Trench? Orangutan, what kind of name is that?

Trench: What's so funny about Tim Trench, you orangutan? What are you called that's so great?

Bystander: I've just got a normal name. It might not be anything special but at least I don't sound like an orangutan.

Ahem.

The Trilligs

Those marine monsters who were the McGuffin in the clash between the evil Captain Kalamari and the Superman/Batman/Phantom Stranger team in WORLD'S FINEST #249!

The Twice-Cursed Man

The Twice-Cursed Man was Mister E's arch villian in his SECRETS OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE run. He was a man who was bitten by a vampire AND a werewolf so he was TWICE cursed... get it?

Two-Gun Lil (Quality Comics)

Two-Gun Lil appeared in CRACK WESTERN #63-84. She was Lillian Peters and frequently joined forces with her Uncle Mike Peters (no relation to the editorial/MOTHER GOOSE & GRIM cartoonist). Art on the strip was by Pete Morisi, perhaps best known by his signature, "PAM," on Charlton's Thunderbolt series in the 1960s.

Tyrano Rex

Written by Richard Meyer

Tyrano Rex was an actual Tyrannosaurus Rex that was briefly mutated (or evolved) into a man-like reptile (retaining a tyrannosaur head) by a unique comet that had strange powers of time. The comet had been discovered (somehow) by the costumed criminal known as Chronos in 1977, and as he tried to pull it to that time period, the comet passed through many other eras, including the year 2056, where Tommy Tomorrow's space cruiser was pulled along in the comet's wake. The comet ended up in 100,000,000 B.C., as did Tommy, his partner Brent Wood, and Dr. Schmidt. The three had been part of a mission to Vega IV that was attempting to arrest an outbreak of space-fever before it became an epidemic.

Back in 1977, the hole created by the comet in the timestream was still open and dinosaurs were pouring through it in many major cities over the world. The Justice League was dealing with the situations, and Captain Comet was helping out by manning the JLA satellite while everyone was busy. He saw a report of a brontosaurus appearing in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and saw Chronos (whom he had never seen before) apparently dealing with the problem. Soon after, he also saw Chronos finding the time hole and Captain Comet went down to Earth to help him close it, not knowing that the villain was responsible for all the time troubles to begin with. As he attempted to close the hole in time, Chronos attacked him, but Comet was able to deal with him fairly quickly and return his mental powers to the task of closing the hole.

In the distant past, Tommy searched for the comet, believing it was their only way to get home. He found it on an altar created by Tyrano Rex, who had been mutated by the presence of the comet (and somehow acquired clothing as well). The creature considered it his god and guarded the comet and the time hole it created on this end of the timestream. After eluding the dinosaurs that Tyrano Rex sent after them, Tommy returned to his cruiser and they scooped up the comet with a mechanical arm and fled back to the future through the time hole, not realizing that Tyrano Rex had come aboard the ship with the meteor. Tommy and Brent were both needed at the controls, as the time hole was shrinking the farther they moved through it, and Dr. Schmidt was left to deal with the creature himself. He was gravely injured, as were several other members of Tommy's crew, before the cruiser finally passed through the other end of the time hole, into 1977. The cruiser landed near Captain Comet and Tommy and Brent quickly exited the ship, followed closely behind by Tyrano Rex.

Chronos, who had awoken from his beating by Captain Comet, saw that the reptile had "his" comet, and fired a pair of his clock-hand missiles into it, causing it to explode. This caused Tyrano Rex to revert to his normal form, and the two heroes managed to subdue the Tyrannosaur. Comet tossed it through the time hole just as it finished closing. Tommy also stopped Chronos from escaping. Later, Superman assisted Tommy and his crew to get back to their own time.

Appearances:

  • DC Special #27

Tyros, the Outcast of Atlantis

Atlantis came under attack by a giant narwhal, which was trying to destroy the city's protective dome. The defenders called Aquaman and Aqualad. As they got nearer to the attacking mammal, the porpoise mounts on which they had been riding bucked them both off. Aquaman discovered that he could not control the narwhal, and had to use a giant kelp leaf like a bull-fighter's cape to handle the charging beast until he was able to gain telepathic control of the mammal. The narwhal had been under the mental control of a giant winged amphibian-like creature who took to the air.

A short time later, a wounded giant condor named Lokir dropped in on Carter and Shiera Hall in Midway City. Lokir told the pair, who were really Hawkman and Hawkgirl (and had the knowledge of the bird's "language"), that he had been at his ancestral post to guard the Pipe of Quixtol when he was attacked by the giant winged creature, which overwhelmed him and took the Pipe (which allowed any who possessed it to control avian creatures). Hawkman and Hawkgirl took to the air not long after.

Meanwhile, Aquaman and Aqualad went to see the Old Man of the Oceans to get a clue as to the strange happenings in the seas. The Old Man told them that the problems were probably being caused by Tyros, the Outcast of Atlantis. He had been a would-be dictator of Atlantis and had been exiled forever, though he swore vengeance on the city. Tyros was believed to be long dead. After leaving the Old Man, the two heroes were suddenly caught in an underwater maelstrom created by a multitude of birds flying in a circle above the surface of the water. The whirling waters not only spun Aquaman and his young charge, but also endangered the city dome of Atlantis, where a horde of whales and sharks were battering the hardened glass.

Hawkman and Hawkgirl happened upon the scene and attempted to rescue the Aquatic Duo, but were repulsed by the many birds, none of which responded to their whistled commands. The giant creature, which was Tyros himself, attacked them for interfering, and captured Hawkgirl. Hawkman pursued Tyros while Aquaman and Aqualad got themselves out of the whirlpool and headed for Atlantis, where they were able to disperse the whales before the dome was further damaged. While Aquaman discussed the situation with the leaders of the city, a giant manta ray arrived with a message declaring that "Tyros rules in Atlantis, or Atlantis dies". Aquaman and Aqualad headed out to try and contact Hawkman.

Tyros had taken Hawkgirl back to the cave where he had discovered a mysterious gem, who's radiations have transformed him into the giant winged creature. The Winged Wonder had followed his wife and the beast to the general area and was searching for her when suddenly Hawkgirl attacked ... now in the form of a giant harpy-like bird of prey! Hawkman was knocked out, much to the delight of Tyros, who watched him fall. Far below, Aquaman and Aqualad came upon Hawkman and used a giant manta to cushion the hero's fall.

After Hawkman recovered, the trio hatched a plan to get the Pipe of Quixtol back and hopefully save Hawkgirl while stopping the tyrant. Aquaman and Aqualad headed off, and happened upon a sunken ammunition ship that had come loose from the bottom muck and was drifting beneath the waves. Aquaman tried to release the anchor to secure it, but instead caused the ship to blow up. Tyros gleefully watched Aqualad floating in the water, and rejoiced that Aquaman was certainly dead as well. He collected the Sea King's golden belt and presented it to the Atlanteans as proof their protector was dead, and he was installed as ruler of Atlantis.

While Tyros had the enslaved Atlanteans build him a new palace (with Hawkgirl patrolling the skies with the birds to prevent escapes), Hawkman brooded in Midway City, until he hatched on an idea with an egg he saw in a display at the museum. Aqualad was trying to get his guardian to safety so he could tend to his injuries. Knowing that the poison of a stinger fish has curative powers in small amounts, he administered some to Aquaman. Unfortunately, they were near the gem that had transformed Tyros, and the stinger fish transformed into a giant monster. Just as the jaws were about to chomp the young boy, the monster turned away and started rolling around playfully. Aquaman had revived and had control of the creature. Aquaman took the gem and headed back for Atlantis.

Hawkman met up with the two heroes and they worked out how they would attack Tyros. Aquaman snuck into the city and had the entire population evacuated while Tyros slept. He also broke holes into the dome and had giant mollusks pump all the water out of the dome. Meanwhile, in the skies above, Hawkgirl was attacked by a strange bird that could not be controlled by the Pipe, which the creature snatched from her. In her concern over the other birds and the Pipe, she didn't see Hawkman come up behind her and he incapacitated her. The bird was, in fact, a Thanagarian mytrus, a creature that the Pipe would not be effective against.

Tyros awoke to find a dry Atlantis, no slaves, and that he was no longer in control of Hawkgirl or the birds of the skies. Suddenly, Hawkman and the birds attacked the tyrant, breaching the dry city through plastic casing that Hawkman had appropriated from an underwater construction site. Even with the element of surprise, it looked like Tyros would still be victorious until Aquaman threw the gem into the mouth of a giant clam, which crushed it. Immediately Tyros reverted to his Atlantean form and the Winged Wonder knocked him unconscious. Hawkgirl also changed back to normal, and the Atlanteans once again exiled Tyros forever from the city.

Appearances:

  • The Brave And The Bold #51

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