Battle of the Analogues
I have a to read pile of about 35 comic books thanks to DCBS, so it takes quite a while for me to actually read certain books. I have also grown accustomed to letting certain series accumulate on the pile so that I can read multiple issues at once. One of the series I chose to do this with is Lord Havok and the Extremists, which happens to be one of 87 different Countdown titles currently being produced by DC. Now I have not been nearly as down on Countdown as some others have been. In fact, in my observations, the tie-ins are often better than Countdown itself. Just as Sean and Jim put it on Raging Bullets, you get the basics in Countdown, and if you are interested, you check out the tie-ins for more information. That does not always work, but hey, you can’t win ’em all. So I read issues 1 and 2 of Lord Havok at the same time, and it seemed quite familiar. I was looking at a dystopian version of The Marvel Universe, Registration Act and all. With characters such as Americommando and Tin-Man, they certainly were not trying to hide their true intentions.
This was far from the first time such a tactic was performed by either Marvel or DC. The “Meta-Militia” as they are called here, originally appeared as “The Champions of Angor” in Justice League of America #87, back in 1971. This was right around the same time Marvel introduced “The Squadrom Supreme” in Avengers #85. Hell, this was done as a way for the two companies to have an unoficial crossover, as both were on the stands at almost the exact same time (See Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed for more info on that)! As the years went on, each set of characters evolved, and we got what could be classified as What If? or Elseworlds versions of the opposite side’s heroes. What If Marvel’s Supervillains Destroyed The World? Superman: King of The World. All you have to do is change Angor to Earth, Extremists to The Masters of Evil, Champions of Angor to Avengers, Angor to Earth, Hyperion to Superman, and Squadron Supreme to JLA, and that is exactly what you get.
Flash forward to today, and each other’s opposite team continues to mimic the other company in new ways. The Squadron Supreme are still around, but so is the newer, hipper Supreme Power. Here, we have a world where Superman (okay, Hyperion) was not found by loving parents and raised to be a good boy. Instead, the government find him and raise him in The Truman Show. Of course, once he realizes his life is a lie, all hell breaks loose and he decides to make things better his way, or the highway. Oh, and Wonder Woman (fine, Princess Zarda) is naked a lot. And Flash (once The Whizzer, now Buzz which sounds less wrong) and Batman (Nighthawk) are black. And Green Lantern (Dr. Spectrum who I’m pretty sure is not a doctor) works for the military. Yeah, you get the picture.
The Champions of Angor are pretty much gone in the regular DCU, but The Meta-Militia are better, faster, stronger, and live on Earth-8. Iron Man (Tin-Man) is president, with Captain America (Americommando) as his VP, in a world where those who do not follow the Registration Act get killed in most horrific fashion. Of course, the villains of this world are none too pleased, and get together to screw up their hard worked plans, and it all goes horribly, horribly wrong. Oh, and the A in USA stands for Angor.
New times, same old song. It shows that Marvel and DC have drifted so very far apart over the years as well, as what was once a playful way of crossing over without crossing over is now “Let’s show how messed up the other company is!” Still, is would be quite interesting to see Supreme Power cross over with The Meta-Militia/The Extremists. Would they fight, or band together to try and control both of their worlds? Do Americommando and Hyperion have a lot more in common than you would think? The guy writing this right now thinks so. I would appreciate seeing Earth-8 get further explored past a miniseries, as Frank Tieri has my interest. Hopefully sales will warrant that. So yeah, let’s see a crossover of a different ilk for once. Sounds good to me.
How about you?