Monday, 22 April 2013
Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.
The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!
SECRET ORIGINS #23 - February 1988
Ahhh, DC's crossover events. Remember them? There were the highs - Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis - and the lows - Bloodlines, Final Crisis - and, if we're honest, quite near the bottom was the eight week event called Millennium.
I won't rehash it here but suffice to say it was linked to the Guardians of the Universe and their attempt to leave the universe in the hands of a bunch of New Guardians, one of whom was the surprising choice of the Floronic Man.
With the DC Universe still settling down after the events of Crisis... the Secret Origins series set out to give a definitive origin for the survivors of the multiversal collapse and what better opportunity, then, to re-tell the origins of the Guardians and the Floronic Man than as part of the Millennium crossover?
The Guardians' tale is a long drawn out affair concerning disease causing microscopic symbionts, racial division, sexual segregation and immortality. Your usual stuff, then. As you may know, the Guardians and the Zamarons split apart for a long time before the blue boys re-discovered their female counterparts, leading to this encounter:
The Zamarons, of course, decided that the best outfits for them would consist of mini-skirts and bustiers, along with leotards that leave their backsides exposed.
It's all quite silly stuff, really, and the chances of any of it - Krona's experiments excepted - still being canon are negligible.
The other story is the origin of the Floronic Man as told by, of all narrators, Killer Croc who is paralysed in Arkham Asylum and enjoys the Floronic Man telling him stories. It's the tale of how Jason Woodrue fought various heroes only to suffer defeat time and again until he divested himself of his humanity, transforming into something non-human:
There's mentions of his battles with the Atom and Green Lantern, his teaming with the Secret Society of Super Villains and, most tellingly, his small part in the tale of Swamp Thing and his eventual mental breakdown. Of course, with Millennium in full swing, the story ends with Croc mentioning that Woodrue's out of the Asylum, but also with his discovery that his paralysis is being overcome:
And he even seems to break the fourth wall and address us readers!
Two different stories, both very much of their time, with Killer Croc coming out of it as the most interesting. And he wasn't even mentioned on the cover!