Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Dream of Flying

"A Dream of Flying" from Black Condor #1 (DC, 1992) by Brian Augustyn and Rags Morales

Today, Palmiotti and Gray are reinventing the Quality heroes we collectively know as the Freedom Fighters (for the second time in the last decade), but the early 90s did much the same, I suppose based on the success of the original Ray mini-series and subsequent series. Re-invented or really, as was popular at the time, given a legacy character to follow in their footsteps. The Human Bomb had Damage, and there was even a new Firebrand about for an exceedingly short time. Another of these was a Black Condor who had a tenuous relationship with the original character from the Golden Age. Ryan Kendall had powers thanks to genetic manipulation conducted by his grandfather, and he struggled to find his place as a hero rather than a freak through the 12 issues of his series, with the help of his spirit guide, the ghost of the original Condor. Weird stuff.

Though this Black Condor had a short-lived stint as a Justice Leaguer, and moved to Opal City, arguably one of the coolest spots in the DCU, his character was rather abused by the post-2000 regime. He was summarily killed off in Infinite Crisis like so many other "unwanteds". His corpse was stolen by a villain in an issue of Nightwing, a villain who "wore" his arms and wings. And he was of course raised from the dead as a zombie Black Lantern. (Which makes me wonder if Johns didn't write Infinite Crisis with Blackest Night in mind, but of course, that would be ridiculous.) There would of course be yet another Black Condor, the Mayan-descended John Trujillo, and he's likely to become someone else AGAIN in the New52 (though like Doll Man and Phantom Lady, he might carry his original name, i.e. Richard Grey Jr.


  1. Very nice. I do remember Black Condor from Starman, when he was hanging out in Opal City, and I liked him.

    Do they really need to kill off all of the extraneous characters? It seems so...wasteful.

  2. Especially when no replacement is immediately forthcoming. The new Freedom Fighters were still a few years out weren't they? I could be wrong.

  3. Did Opal City have ANY heroes left in the old DCU Opal City? Jack Knight left, Black Condor was killed, Ralph and Sue Dibney were killed. Doesn't much matter now, but after 52, I would have liked some sort of Opal City Without Heroes tale.

  4. The New52 shows the Shade living there still, if I remember correctly, and he's sort of become an anti-hero of sorts. Otherwise, I'm really not sure.

  5. I think that Bobo is still hanging around, fighting the good fight as well.

  6. True, Bobo. I am remiss to not mention characters created by Robinson. Also, that detective guy that Dibny met, Hannibal King, I think it was. Still not an eclectic crowd. And, HEY, Phantom Lady was in that last big arc, as well. She died, too.

    I'd like to see Bobo go up against Terry Sloane in Earth 2.