All characters and prose ©1994 by Robert Rodi .
Bang Comics Timeline
[Note: Bang Comics was founded in the thirties. Decades later, their characters are known for their iconic resonance. Nevertheless, by the mid-80's the line underwent a series of retcons. Some characters were changed drastically and had their origins revised, others had their personalities changed slowly over time to something quite unrecognisable. I have chosen not to parse these changes into a 'Bang Comics multiverse," preferring to let the publications speak for themselves.] 1938 ======================== Benevolent science creates an enlightened superhuman: unassuming radio personality Garrett Trench becomes Acme-Man, the atomic knight who performs miraculous feats of daring. Beautiful news reader Nora Nash waxes eloquent on the air about Acme-Man's exploits, but never has the time of day for Garrett. 1939 ======================== Moonman, the veiled vigilante who stalks the darkened city streets in search of evil, has first public case. Among his early villains are Doctor Zombie and Ursula Undead. [Exciting Comics #27] 1940 ======================== The Red Wraith has first public case. 1941 ======================== The Queen of the planet Iri sends her daughter to Earth because, in viewing it over her "cosmic view-screen", she'd seen the terrible massing of "angry, destructive men" (Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo) that threaten "the good women and children of Earth". She travels to Earth in a rocket ship (that looks like a firecracker with Cadillac tail fins) and lands in the Nevada desert, where she is found, unconscious, by FBI agent Aaron Marks. Marks pulls the beautiful alien from her rocket ship, which then explodes. The explosion awakens the princess, and Agents Marks, captivated by her "otherworldly beauty," proposes marriage to her at once: "You're a vision from heaven - literally! You're like no other woman I've ever seen! Marry me!" She, having an important agenda on Earth, declines him: "I am sorry, but I have a mission on your bright blue planet that precludes me from beginning any romance here." [Princess Paragon #1, writer/artist: Roger Oaklyn] Thus Princess Paragon, the beautiful expatriate from a utopian planet who came to Earth to teach enlightened values, has cases over the ensuing decaded battling first Nazis and Japanese, then spacemen and monsters, and finally terrorists and supervillains. During her heydey she reforms quite a few war criminals: one enemy, Contessa Von Hemlock, becomes her best friend. Captain Fathom, valorous king of the undersea world, has first public case. Lance Stone becomes the Blue Bowman in Mega City, accompanied by his sidekick Jiffy the Archer and his girlfriend, Joanna Tremayne. Over the years his foes include Lady Lava, Deadeye the Dart King, and Emperor Nero. 1944 ======================= Roger Oakley writes and draws his last issue of Princess Paragon, #38. 1955 ======================== Moonwoman has first public case. Late 1950's ======================== Joanna Tremayne becomes the Silver Songbird, and fights crime alongside the Blue Bowman. 1956 ======================== Speed Demon, who causes sonic booms when he runs at top velocity, has first public case. Circa 1959 ======================== Garrett Trench's cousins become Acme-Lad and Acme-Lass. 1960 ======================== The Freedom Front have first public case as a team; eventually its lineup reaches fourteen members. 1961 ======================== The Bug King has first public case. The Blue Bowman joins the Freedom Front. [Freedom Front #12] 1966 ======================== Moonwoman acts as Moonman's replacement for one case of the Freedom Front. [Freedom Front #63] A skinny loser gets fired from his job and rejected by his girlfriend, and then his car gets towed. Just as he's stranding there cursing the world, he gets hit by a mysterious ray from outer space and is suddenly surrounded by an entropy field. He discovers that everywhere he goes, anything within half a block from him falls apart, because of his entropy aura. So he becomes a supervillain and calls himself Willy Nilly. When Princess Paragon attacks him, she realises that she's growing old at an accelerated rate: her hair turns white and starts to fall out, and her skin wrinkles. Aaron Marks yells at her to get away from Willy before she completely decomposes, so she takes a one-mile leap and lands outside the vicinity of his entropy aura, and by the time she lands her youth is restored. [Princess Paragon #164] 1970's ======================= Moonman television series begins, presenting a campy take on the character. The Red Wraith encounters the sultana of the planet Goom (who is drawn to resemble Diana Rigg). [The Red Wraith #40, artist: Dick Petzel] 1984 ======================= Herman Cowsill takes over as writer of Princess Paragon, replacing Frank Cesafsky. The Sphinx of Giza is blown up by a supervillain, forcing Princess Paragon to reassemble it. She even finds the Sphinx's nose buried deep in the sand and replaces it. [Princess Paragon #277, writer: Herman Cowsill] 1990 ======================= Miss Anthrope escapes from prison (yet again), mines the Statue of Liberty with plastic explosives, and then threatens to blow it up. [Princess Paragon #343, writer: Herman Cowsill] Banana Republican and his ragtag army again invade the United States, before being pummeled back into his native soil by Princess Paragon. [Princess Paragon #344, writer: Herman Cowsill] Moonman shoots and kills a corrupt cop. [first issue with writer Nigel Cardew] Moonman helps a nun get a secret abortion. [writer: Nigel Cardew] Moonman's partner, Comet, is killed by a child pornographer named Doctor Sleaze, who films the murder for his client. "Your sweet, lily-white ass is stone cold, chicken," the pornographer says, after ripping off his clothes and bludgeoning him, in a room with walls filled with framed pictures of children in provocative poses. [writer: Nigel Cardew] Moonman finally tracks down Doctor Sleaze and beats him to death in revenge. [writer: Nigel Cardew] Jiffy the Archer is shot in the spine, crippling him for life. [The Blue Bowman #? writer: Harlan Peters] Speed Demon uses his powers to make a man's head explode. [writer: Nigel Cardew] Nigel Cardew takes over as writer for The Red Wraith. Captain Fathom defeats Doctor Smash. At the end, the villain disappears in a puff of smoke, declaiming, "Captain Fathom! You'll rue the day you first crossed me! Mine shall be the last laugh, and it shall echo down the corridors of eternity!" Captain Fathom raises his fist and cries out, "I say you nay, villain! For whatsoever you seek to thwart Good with Evil, Captain Fathom shall bar the way, with all the might and mastery of the Seven Seas itself!" Retcon: An innocent man, Garrett Trench, is abused by scientists, who enlist him for an experiment knowing full well that it might kill him, only to have it transform him instead into the herculean Acme-Man. The amoral scientists pay for the blunder with their lives. Beautiful news reader Nora Nash waxes eloquent on the air about Acme-Man's exploits, while also maintaining an interest in the large, athletic Garrett Trench. [writer/artist: Hector Baez] Retcon: Garrett Trench has no cousins. [writer/artist: Hector Baez] Retcon: The Elder Crone of the planet Iri sends her daughter to Earth because, in viewing it over her cosmic telepathic abilities, she'd seen the terrible massing of "angry, destructive men" (Muammar Quaddafi, Deng Xiaoping, and Saddam Hussein) that threaten "the good women and children of Earth". CIA Special Agent Aaron Marks becomes an older mentor for her. Thus Princess Paragon, the beautiful expatriate from a utopian planet who came to Earth to teach enlightened values, has first public case. Her first opponent is the taloned, fire-breathing eleven-feet-high tyrant known as Yves of Destruction. [Princess Paragon V2#1, writer/artist: Brian Parrish] Industrial pollution corrupts an alien planet's computers, turning its vast network of sentient electronic brains into a single, malevolent artificial intelligence that can "possess" any electronic device. The entity, which calls itself Lectronn the Conqueror, first tries to fulfill its longing to be human by performing the one human function for which it was never designed: reproduction. Failing that, is is now bent on the opposite course: self- destruction, which it could achieve only by entering and destroying every electronic device on the planet, since each one was an integral part of Lectronn's communal intelligence. The native race of telepaths sends a representative, Cosmique, to enlist Princess Paragon's assistance, and the two quickly become lovers. [Princess Paragon V2#3, plot: Brian Parrish, script: Perpetrial Cotton] 1991 ======================= After having defeated Lectronn, Princess Paragon and Cosmique stand hand in hand on an alien landscape, stars and comets whirling majestically over their heads. "And what now, my love?" says Cosmique, the galazy reflected in her iridescent eyes. "What next for us, now that the menace to my planet has at long last been quelled?" Princess Paragon lifts her head high and says, "After a nightmare, there must be an awakening. Let us awaken. Let us begin a new day." [Princess Paragon V2#11, writer: Perpetrial Cotton]
Electric Comics Timeline
[Note: Electric Comics was founded in the early sixties. Its heroes represent joyful anarchy: they talk in slang, argue with each other, have money problems and romantic difficulties.] 1961 ======================= Baron Bravissimo, Galaxy Man, Intrepid Girl, Lambent Lady, and Ranger Danger form the Quasar Quintet. The intrepid team spends much time in exploration, including the distant planet Amzaxx. [Quasar Quintet #1] Among Baron Bravissimo's mortal enemies is Mistress Medusa, with her scarlet, snake-like tendrils of hair. 1962 ======================= The Centipede has first public case. A scientist becomes the irradiated purple behemoth known as Sherman Tank. Circa 1963 ======================== Captain Attack has first public case. Major Domo has first public case. 1971 ======================== The Offenders have first public case as a team. 1981 ======================== Brain Parrish takes over as writer of Quasar Quintet, his first assignment at Electric. Among the storylines during this period are the six-issue "Interstellar Odyssey," which begins with the much- misunderstood fivesome being chased off Earth by a massing of the world's great air powers, leaving them wandering through space in their Quint-Jet. "Where do we go now?" Intrepid Girl asks plaintively, leaving Galaxy Man to gnash his teeth and reply, "God help us - I just don't know ... " 1982 ======================== Brain Parrish takes over as writer of Sherman Tank. 1980's ======================== Buster Brainpower, with the power of telekinesis, has first public case. [writer/artist: Brian Parrish] Captain Ashram has first public case. [writer/artist: Brian Parrish] Doctor Dirge has first public case. [writer/artist: Brian Parrish] Doctor Oxygen has first public case. [writer/artist: Brian Parrish] Major Muscle has first public case. [writer/artist: Brian Parrish] Galaxy Girl & the Go-Getters have first public case. [writer/artist: Brian Parrish] 1986 ======================= Brain Parrish takes over as writer/artist of The Centipede with issue #317, which sells more than a million copies. The Centipede's villains from this era include the frightening Glass Warriors. 1990 ======================== The Quasar Quintet and the Offenders team up. This series resolves the long subplot about Intrepid Girl's pregnancy. [Quasar Quintet/Offenders, writer/artist: Brian Parrish]
1940's - 1960's ======================= Chester Champion #1 is published. [writer/artist: Roger Oaklyn] Rootin' Tootin' Rita #1 is published. [writer/artist: Roger Oaklyn] Polka-Dot Patrol #1 is published. [writer/artist: Roger Oaklyn] Betty Bikini #1 is published. [writer/artist: Roger Oaklyn] 1960's ======================= Zap Comix #1 is published. [writer/artist/publisher: Robert Crumb] 1969 ======================= Vampirella has adventures. [Warren Publications] 1970's ======================= Senor Samson has adventures. [artist: Singer, inked by Caldwell] 1980's ======================= The Hate-Mongers is published in Britain, eventually denounced in the House of Lords. [writer: Nigel Cardew] Eightball #1 is published. [writer/artist: Dan Clowes] [Fantagraphics] Love & Rockets #1 is published. [writers/artists: Jamie, Gilbert, Mario Hernandez] [Fantagraphics] 1990's ======================= Damsel Death #1 is published. She Ninja #1 is published. Perpetrial Cotton edits a popular small-press comic, a black-lesbian anthology entitled Wimmins and Chillens First. An issue of For Spacious Skies (an acerbic, cynical, leftist underground comic that specialises ins surrealist takes on American mores and manners) features a story, based on an actual argument Hiram Knapp had had with his wife, in which the two of them spend an entire month in their expensive new platform bed, so in love with its opulence that they are unwilling to rise out of it even for a moment. [writer/artist: Hiram Knapp] 1991 ======================= Isabella, She-Wolf of France #1 is published, featuring the queen, whose husband was the first openly gay King of England, Edward the Second. Isabella meets her fiancee for the first time, and is mortified to discover he has a boyfriend who is prettier than she is; she immediately hatches a plot to get the boyfriend sent off at the head of a Crusade - or, failing that, to have him drowned in the moat. [writer/artist: Brian Parrish] [Rage Comics]
Unknown: The Scarlet Seraph, above whom a halo magically appears whenever he puts on his costume and wings.