Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Look Not So Much Alikes

One of the books I had for Christmas was Volume Two of Showcase Presents: The Phantom Stranger collecting a whole bunch of stuff from the adventures of DC's mysterious man. The Showcase volumes are great value, reprinting old and hard to find issues in relatively cheap formats, the costs kept down in part by eschewing colour, showing everything in black and white.

One of the issues that was reprinted in Volume Two was Justice League of America #103, where the Stranger meets up with the Justice League at the Rutland Halloween festival. Having read the issue before (and blogged about it ages ago) I really only skimmed through it, eager to get to stories that I didn't know.

As I flipped through it, though, something about a handful of the panels caught my eye. In the story, the League battle Rutlandites under the control of Felix Faust. They come up against people in fancy dress some of whom wear costumes of heroes that were published by DC's marvellous rivals, making it the first (if unofficial) crossover between DC and Marvel.

In the Showcase Presents reprints though, some of the costumes look more than a little tweaked:


Look at that - the A on *ahem* Commando America's helmet as well as the star on his chest has vanished. That's obviously not as a result of the lack of colouring as Supergirl's S symbol is clearly visible.


Similarly the cross hatching on the "bargain basement web-slinger"'s gloves, arms, boots and head is missing.

And the "poor man's version of the Norse thundergod" suffers as well with those distinctive circles disappearing from his tunic.

There seems no real reason from an art point of view why those changes were made; were DC just worried that Marvel might sue them even after all this time?


  1. Unfortunately, they probably were concerned. Since both companies seem to have lost their senses of humor.

  2. That's a sad thought, Dave, but one which I can't disagree with.

  3. The closest thing DC has right now in it's standard titles is OMAC, and that's just a straightforward adventure romp.

    Ambush Bug and Heckler are now a memory at DC (outside of Tiny Titans - which is going bye-bye.)

    Just grabbed New Mutants Annual 3 (1987) from my collection. It has a fun story with The Impossible Man and faboo artwork by Davis/Neary.

  4. Ahh, Ambush Bug and Heckler... I love them both but I think their days are long gone now.

    And Dave - you might want to ease off the coffee before posting a comment three times!

  5. Ok-k-k-k-k-k-k-kay...

    Stupid errors. Thought the posts would go bye-bye...but noooooo.

  6. There you go - all gone.

    Now let's never speak of them again.


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