Who's Crisis Part 4: Back in Black

After issue 2's front half, well, issue 2's back half. It's only natural. As with last week, we're looking at issues of Who's Who to see whether or not their entries actually do show up in Crisis on Infinite Earths, which was at least nominally one of the Directory's functions. Now that the Bats are out of the way, where are we..?
Beautiful Dreamer: I couldn't remember if the Forever People appeared in Crisis. The New Gods in general were pretty absent. And it's true, aside from being pictured in the History of the DC Universe (a spin-off I decided not to count), they don't. Beautiful Dreamer does not appear between New Gods #19 in the late 1970s and the first issue of Mister Miracle's 1987 series.
Ben Boxer: While Kamandi does appear in Crisis, not everyone in his world does. Ben is another Kirby creation left out in the cold. His previous appearance would have been Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2 in 1978 (the last Kamandi story), and his next the Elseworlds Superman At Earth's End in 1995 (a follow-up to a Kamandi reboot mini-series).
Big Barda: Does ANYONE created by Kirby catch a break? Not Barda (sigh). She'd been part of A Crisis five years earlier - JLA #183-185's Crisis On Apokolips - but not the main event. She's in History too, but won't properly appear until 1987's Mister Miracle Special.
Big Bear: Same as Beautiful Dreamer. Man, we gotta get out of Kirbyville here... (I guess Legends HAD to use the Fourth World considering its omission from Crisis.)
Big Sir: Was appearing in the Flash book during Crisis, but because of the scarlet speedster's role in Crisis, the book didn't tie in. Big Sir does appear in Crisis #5, however, as part of the heroes and villains (he'd gotten smarter and reformed) assembled on the Monitor's satellite. By the time we see him again, he'll have lost all character development and be dumb again (that's JLI #23).
Bizarro: Though he can be played straight, Bizarro seems to be held in the same contempt as Bat-Mite as a "silly" idea. Too bad. Ambush Bug #3 gave him some quality time, but that's it.
Bizarro World: The same sentiment ruled the day. Man, I would have so loved to see Perez through in the Bizarro Justice League letting their cube planet get destroyed, or try to convene at the Anti-Monitor's satellite...
Black Bison: The Firestorm villain who'd last appeared in Fury of Annual #2 the year before, show up in the final issue of Crisis, working with other magic-users to cast a spell that expels the Shadow-Demons from Earth. He even gets a line!
Blackbriar Thorn: The ancient druid, who had only had one appearance to date - DC Comics Presents #66 - also appeared as part of the magic circle. I think today's writers had a lot of affection for this Wein/Kubert creation because he became a recurring villain in the 2000's JSA comics.
Black Canary I and II: The Golden Age Black Canary does not appear. She DID appear in America vs. the Justice Society and Red Tornado that year, but it seems a missed opportunity not to reunite mother and daughter one last time. The modern Black Canary of course DID appear a number of times between Crisis #5 and #10, as well as JLA Annual #3 and Green Lantern #194, which carried the Crisis banner. She's in the Monitor's satellite, obviously, and is on hand when it is destroyed (leading into the events of the Annual). I guess her biggest moment is on Earth-S, stopping the Marvel Family from hurting anyone under the Psycho-Pirate's spell. (Man... they didn't even use the classic costume, which meant it wouldn't even have been confusing to use both.)
Black Condor: Because Earth-X is a key player in Crisis, the Freedom Fighters had to appear. Black Condor is among their number starting from issue 5 (and in All-Star Squadron #50). They're seen to enter the anti-matter devouring their world, but make it out okay. Condor is later seen under the Psycho-Pirate's spell, clocking the Earth-2 Hawkman.
Blackfire: Currently appearing in New Teen Titans (v2) made sure Starfire's sister was included in at least the tie-ins, if not in the main series. But it's slim. Basically she makes her return on the last page of the Titans' last Crisis crossover issue.
Black Hand: Having last appeared in Green Lantern #147 four years before Crisis was no guarantee he'd get his cameo in the big event. In fact he completely missed it, returning to that book six months after its last Crisis banner. I guess they made it up to him by making him central to Blackest Night decades later (which also involved the Anti-Monitor, natch).
Blackhawk, the Blackhawks, and Blackhawk Island/Planes: Seen heading for the action, leaving Earth-X in their planes in All-Star Squadron #50 (alas, no shot of the island, but let's say the page is covered), the whole team later winds up on the Monitor's satellite in Crisis #5. We never see them in action though.

This particular batch is a little sad. Glaring omissions, and not just Kirby stuff. Of these 17 new entries, 8 weren't in Crisis, practically half. After two issues, that looks like: 39/61 made use of. The distance between the two numbers is growing. Does that put an end to the study?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

I don't think the original Black Canary was ever in the All-Star Squadron; the Squadron disbanded right after the war and Canary didn't appear until 1947, so she was never a member as far as I know.

You're right about Kirby characters being swept aside, though they all came back eventually (except Kamandi). It's weird Bizarro was ignored, possibly because the concept was too goofy, then Byrne ended up using him a few months later in Man of Steel. (Of course, that wasn't the same Bizarro, but pretty close.)

Mike W.

Siskoid said...

You're right of course. When I think of the Golden Age, I tend to think all the big names came out during the war years!

 

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