Sunday, August 26, 2012

Heroes Who Will Not Be Intimidated

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"Heroes Who Will Not Be Intimidated" from Armageddon: Inferno #4 (DC, 1992) by John Ostrander and Walt Simonson

Armageddon 2001 was DC's 1991 Annual event, and a clever idea it was too. Through a precog character from the future called Waverider, writers and artists got a chance to imagine the series they were working on 10 years into the future, though of course, the sliding time scale of comics would never get us to the point. A 39 year old Superman? No way, reboot the universe before that happens! The Annuals were of variable quality of course, but mostly fun. Where Armageddon 2001 fell apart is in its final solution. Waverider was looking for the hero who would turn bad and become Monarch, see, and fans apparently guessed that it would be Captain Atom - or maybe they got cold feet because this was too popular a character - so they changed it at the last minute and absurdly, revealed he was really Hawk of Hawk&Dove. So they had to change the color of his eyes in the last issue to make it fit, so what, right? And regardless, it seems like plans had been made, and Captain Atom was sent to the dinosaur age along with Monarch anyway. All a case of not playing fair with the readers.

Still, I suppose the event was popular enough to warrant slapping the Armageddon brand on later mini-series, at least if they kind of explored the event's aftermath. Armageddon: The Alien Agenda was first, featuring Captain Atom and Monarch chasing each other through history. Later came Armageddon: Inferno, starring Waverider and a mini-Crisis that has lots of characters from across DC history teaming up against a temporal threat, and an excuse to bring the JSA back into service. What's nice about Inferno for this blog, is that various time-tossed teams are drawn by different artists, and so, an excuse to show some Walt Simonson artwork. It's probably the only time Lobo teamed up with Enemy Ace. Other contributors included Tom Mandrake, Art Adams, Luke McDonnell and Michael Netzer. But if there can only be one, let it be Simonson.

3 comments:

  1. I haven't read FEAR ITSELF, but I've heard bad things about the post-FI books. Granted, every Event has on-going minis, from FI to Final Crisis, but I like that brief period when DC would follow up some Event with a mini-series that actually meant something. I thought Alien Agenda was OK, certainly better than half of the annuals, but I love I loved Inferno. The covers alone were fantastic, and I agree on the team-ups.

    Re: those, I doubt if current writers would be clever enough to put Lobo with Enemy Ace. In the nu52, editorial mandate would like put Justice League Dark with Legion Lost or something similar.

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  2. The problem with the new52 is that the universe is technically too young to have enough characters to create unusual combos like that.

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