Monday, July 29, 2013

It all started with the Big Bang! Part 9 (Issue #12)

Skipping more issues BECAUSE I CAN. Also, I kind of wanted to get to this, the start of a Savage Dragon crossover, right away. I'm no massive fan of Dragon, I've read little of his comic, but I watched the cartoon as a kid, I enjoy what I've read of it, and I think I understand Dragon's character more or less.

Similar to the Knights of Justice origin issue, this one comes with a pre-packaged gimmick, and as such it's a really goddamn amazing comic. Basically, Dragon warps back and forth between various eras, and his encounters in those eras are based on the comics that were around at the time. Each story has its own art style, too.

The story gets underway with a secret meeting of the Society of Evil Minds, the equivalent of the Monster Society of Evil. Its members include Hy Q. Binana, Cortex, the Wicked Worm (who survived his bisection in BB #1 and is now, uh, two worms), and two new guys: Baron Brain and Dr. Nirvana, Mighty Man's archenemy. The art here is really emphasizing the Sivana angle for not just Binana and Nirvana, but also Cortex

So this is taking place on Earth A, with Binana still able to travel between the worlds at his leisure. Although I guess this takes place before the Criss-Cross Crisis storyline. Of course, I have to wonder why he would bother at all if their plan couldn't affect Thunder Girl. Anyway, the Wicked Worms ask if this is about some stock market scam, and while cursing himself for missing that obvious idea, Binana says he's after more than money -- he wants to take the strongest, nastiest creatures from the future and use them to crush their heroic foils. And for starters, Officer Dragon looks like just the type. Looks like, of course.

To that end, Knight Watchman baddie Grandfather Clock has devised, uh, something like a time machine, sort of. See, this is why they need a big monster for the mission; the only thing Grandfather Clock could find that could produce the energy to break the time barrier was a uranium bomb, albeit one that can explode again and again. With the remote control, the Society of Evil Minds can send him to any time they like. 

As it turns out, Dragon is fighting Mighty Man because MM is possessed by the Wicked Worm (who is actually thousands of worms at  this point), and the Wicked Worm deliberately lured Dragon to a certain location to get him to jump on the time bomb.

Yeesh, is Dragon hairy. You know he's not a reptile? Erik Larsen told me on twitter so you know it's true. anyway, 1963 Mighty Man shows up to blow the SoEM's good time, and Dragon drops a bomb on them when they order him to do their dirty work: Mighty Man is a good friend of his, he's a police officer, and they're all under arrest. These guys are so racist, just because he's green he's the bad guy. He also explains why he was fighting Mighty Man in the future, because of course that came up.

In a panic, Binana splits for Earth B, while Grandfather Clock hits the remote to send Dragon back to his own time. The remote is broken in the explosion, meaning his time jumps are random from here on. Oh, man, this is the best Quantum Leap/Savage Dragon crossover since that fanfic I wrote.

Dragon arrives, seemingly, just a few years later, where the time bomb explosion chips away part of the "Coolidge Dam", a possible disaster that is naturally responded to by the Round Table of America.

Some items of note: Hummingbird, Mr. Martian, and Mike Merlin all put in their first appearances in this story. Hummingbird is sort of Hawkman and kind of the Atom; Mike Merlin is Snapper Carr with a bit of Zatanna (and after a magic sex change, full Zatanna as Ms. Merlin); and Mr. Martian is, duh, the Martian Manhunter. Anyway, the RTA fixes the dam up like new, and I discover that I hate Mike Merlin. Seriously, Snapper Carr is awesome, this guy is insufferable, even with amazing magic powers.

Dragon is saved by the Atomic Sub, and attacks Mr. Martian as soon as he comes to. The RTA has Mr. Martian's back, but Dragon mentions a Martian invasion in 1996, which I guess is a reference to the movie Mars Attacks! and the comics Image published that tied into it. It turns out htis is '65, so shortly before the Atomic Sub's death, by the way. Dragon tells his story, and the Knight Watchman picks up on Grandfather Clock's involvement immediately, but the bomb goes off seconds later.

Dragon lands in a Golden Age Dr. Weird story, where his explosion causes a house fire. Weird saves the people trapped inside, and goes to fight Dragon, but ends up hearing the guy out.

Dragon explains his predicament, and Weird can mystically tell he's being for real. Luckily, time travel is something he's familiar with; he was a scientist from the future who came back to the past and was killed, and whose spirit can't move on because he hasn't been born yet and thus shouldn't exist. Weird tries to set the time bomb to send Dragon to talk to his mentor, but when it blows, he ends up a little too far in the future.

Dragon pops in just as tryouts start, but Pantheon founders Jupiter Boy, Gravity Girl, and Clone Boy think he's one of the hopefuls and don't realize he needs help. Clone Boy's initially kind of interested in the explosive powers of this "Bomb Boy", but they don't allow people without inborn powers, and he's way too old anyway. 

Next it's 1962, at Midway City's football stadium, where the Midway Monsters are playing the Empire City Titans for the championship. Among the spectators: Reid and Jerry Randall, the Knight Watchman and Kid Galahad. A game winning field goal is shot out of the air by Grandfather Clock, who runs off with the championship trophy and prize money.

The Knight Watchman and Kid Galahad foil him, blah blah, and Dragon bursts into the picture. He yells at Grandfather Clock, who has no idea who he is or what he's talking about since this is before the Society of Evil Minds meeting. The 'misunderstanding' worsens until it's boom-boom time once more.

Yeah, it's the future. Er, the old future, at least; sometime in the 80s. An Ultiman robot brings Dragon to meet an aged, retired, powerless Chris Kelly. The robots do all the work these days, dispatched by Chris from his Command Center to deal with crises. Oh, and he's married and has a kid, and his wife is totally not Lori Lake. Is that why he moved out of the Secret Citadel, because his family couldn't live in a volcano? I just hope he still has his trophies. Anyway, Dragon asks if he can help him out, but Chris says he already has; Dragon made a jump to the 70s and there was some business with Venus that ended with the RTA getting him back to his own time. And, you know, kaboom, he's gone.

Now he's in a Brave and the Bold story. Or, uh, "Free and the Brave"; obviously the 70s, but not quite when the RTA has figured out how to help him. And this story is obviously to be continued in a later issue, as we're running out of pages pretty quick. You know, I once had a conversation on deviantArt with artist Shawn van Briesen about his work on this story, and in particular the Aparo aping.

The Knight Watchman and Dr. Weird are going to break into Grandfather Clock's place to find a remote for the time bomb. When they get there they find nothing... except for two Grandfather Clocks! He's since perfected the time bomb travel thing, you see, and even has the remotes. Both are immobilized by shock and considering how old and fat they are, probably also having heart attacks.

Weird uses one of the remotes to send the traveling Clock back whenever he came from, and tries to do the same to Dragon, who realizes this can't be the end because he hasn't met Venus yet. Throughout this whole story, Dragon's been a real cut-up, commenting sardonically about everything that happens as if he's resigned to the fate of Sam Beckett-but-not-really. This one ends with a classic: "THE END? Only time will tell!"

No comments:

Post a Comment