Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

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Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by tony ingram on Wed May 05, 2010 4:02 pm

I was thinking about this subject because I was recently discussing the Squadron Supreme with someone. For those not in the know, the Squadron Supreme were an outgrowth of the Squadron Sinister, a team of bad guys created by Roy Thomas in Marvel's 'Avengers' book back in 1969, who bore a startling but obviously totally coincidental resemblance to the members of DC's 'Justice League of America'. There was Hyperion, a caped superhuman who was the last survivor of a doomed planet (so, absolutely nothing like Superman, then!), Nighthawk, a slightly scary character who was actually a bored millionaire playboy (not entirely dissimilar to Batman), the Whizzer, who could run as fast as...well, as the Flash, I guess...and Dr Spectrum, who wore a jewel on his hand which could create solid objects out of light-a bit like Green Lantern, in fact! These four were villains, of course, but it wasn't long before we learned that they were merely villainous analogues of four heroes from a parallel Earth, the earth of the Squadron Supreme-and other members of that group also seemed strangely familiar. The Golden Archer and his girlfriend Lady Lark, for instance, who weren't a million miles away from Green Arrow and Black Canary, or Amphibian, a character quite close to Aquaman (even down to his secret identity; Aquaman's real name, when not being King of Atlantis, is Arthur Curry-Amphibian's was the rather improbable Kingsley Rice). Odd, that.



Now, whether you choose to call the Squadron(s) an homage to the JLA or a spoof of them, they're quite a fun idea, but they're far from an isolated case. Consider the Crusaders, if you will! Again, a short history lesson for the uninitiated: in 1975, Marvel decided to publish a book gathering together their greatest Golden Age heroes, Captain America & Bucky, the Human Torch & Toro and the Sub Mariner, in stories set in their original World War II setting, an idea Roy Thomas (there's that name again) had first hit upon in an issue of 'Avengers' in 1969 (the same storyline in which he'd created the Squadron Sinister, coincidentally enough). In 1976, rivals DC also launched a new team book, this one set in the present day but also featuring characters originally introduced in World War II by the now defunct Quality Comics group: Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, Black Condor, the Ray, Doll Man and the Human Bomb, collectively known as the Freedom Fighters! The FFers had originally debuted as a team in an issue of 'Justice League of America' in 1973.

In March 1977, 'Invaders' #14 (written by, yep, Roy Thomas) saw the Invaders pitted against the Crusaders, a team of supposed superheroes who turned out in the next issue to be the unwitting dupes of a Nazi agent! The six 'heroes', though, bore a not entirely coincidental resemblance to DC's Freedom Fighters, Uncle Sam's place being taken by the domino masked Spirit of '76 while Phantom Lady, Black Condor, the Ray, Human Bomb and Doll Man were represented by, respectively, Ghost Girl, Captain Wings, Tommy Lightning (whose name actually owed much to another Golden Age DC superstar, Johnny Thunder), Thunderfist and the diminutive Dyna-Mite! By yet another staggering coincidence though, in the very same month 'Freedom Fighters' #7 saw that team come up against a team of supposed superheroes also called the Crusaders, who turned out in the next issue to be the unwitting dupes of the villainous Silver Ghost-and astoundingly, the Americommando & Rusty, Fireball & Sparky and the Barracuda were startlingly similar to the Invaders!! The DC Comics Crusaders were created by Bob Rozakis and Dick Ayers, but it's notable that the of the four comic book fans transformed into the Crusaders by the Silver Ghost (he himself was the fifth, Americommando), Marvin, Lennie, Arch and Roy are all modeled on Marvel comics creators-including Roy Thomas! Funny, that...and a great example of inter company cooperation! Very Happy

The Freedom Fighters/Invaders 'non crossover' has to be my favourite example of the type, though there are undoubtedly many more.



above: DC's Crusaders. Below: the Marvel group


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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by alanultron5 on Wed May 12, 2010 11:58 am

Hyperion's world was actually a Uranium atom! He blamed mankind when they used Uranium in `A` bombs! DC got their own back a few years later by doing their own `Marvel` heroes parody!

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by tony ingram on Wed May 12, 2010 12:32 pm

alanultron5 wrote:Hyperion's world was actually a Uranium atom! He blamed mankind when they used Uranium in `A` bombs! DC got their own back a few years later by doing their own `Marvel` heroes parody!
Yes, I always thought Hyperion's back story was rather clever. Poor old Zhib Ran had a point, methinks. Very Happy

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by Mbast1 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:11 pm

tony ingram wrote:though there are undoubtedly many more.

Marvel's Imperial Guard, for one. There's a DC equivalent to the X-Men in the Legion (whom the IG resemble...) the name of which escapes me. Legion of Super-Assassins? I think the group from which Blok came. I love this kind of thing, it's a lot of fun. I'll try to think of more.

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by tony ingram on Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:15 pm

The League of Super Assassins? I remember them, but I never noticed a resemblance to the X-Men. Well, except for Neutrax, the telepath in the chair. I do remember two very familiar reporters called Lois and Clark appearing in a couple of issues of Thor in the early eighties, though. And as I recall, this 'Clark' guy also kept showing up in The Tick.. .

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:09 am

tony ingram wrote:The League of Super Assassins? I remember them, but I never noticed a resemblance to the X-Men.

Neither did I, but I read it years ago, and wikipedia mentions it at the bottom. Not sure who was who.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Super-Assassins

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by tony ingram on Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:04 am

Sounds like a bit of a stretch to me. The X-Men at that time would have been Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Colossus, Phoenix and Banshee. I can't see a single likely candidate...

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:39 am

tony ingram wrote: I can't see a single likely candidate...

Yeah, I'm not sure, either. Just something out of an old interview.

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by tony ingram on Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:39 am

Anyone else remember the unofficial Spider-Man/Howard the Duck/Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck crossover?

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by randy77tx on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:54 pm

I like some of the cameos. I remember a JLA issue ... I think (I'll have to look it up tomorrow) but seems like there were Marvel characters on a parade float. One of the guests at a Halloween party in an issue of SuperFriends was dressed as the Hulk.

Not really a comic book crossover, but the U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek appeared in a 70s Legion of Superheroes comic.

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by tony ingram on Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:59 pm

Would that have been the Rutland Halloween Parade? That parade and its organizer, Tom Fagan, turned up regularly in both DC and Marvel books in the 70's because Fagan was a friend of several creators, notably Roy Thomas and his wife. There were always people dressed as characters from the rival company in whichever book featured it, and Fagan himself was usually depicted as either Batman or Nighthawk.

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by rpd123 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:59 am

Well for ripoffs there's DC basing Lobo off of Wolverine and Marvel basing Deadpool off of Deathstroke.

For tributes there's the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Splinter sees a boy push an old man out of the way of a truck and the boy is hit in the eyes with the canister of radioactive material that mutated Splinter and the Turtles. The boy was supposed to be Matt Murdock. And the Turtles main foe is The Foot Clan which is a parody/tribute to Daredevils enemy, The Hand.

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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by tony ingram on Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:17 am

The Turtles were later parodied themselves, by Eclipse's Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters. And one of the Hamsters later had a two issue limited series ("Clint, the Hamster Triumphant") which parodied Frank Millers Dark Knight.


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Re: Unofficial Crossovers, Tributes and...well...Rip offs!

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:50 pm

randy77tx wrote:Not really a comic book crossover, but the U.S.S. Enterprise from Star Trek appeared in a 70s Legion of Superheroes comic.

IIRC, Spiderman showed up in the Lightning Lad/Saturn Girl marriage special. There're a ton of those cameos, and they're all kinda fun.

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