Secret Origins #34: Captain Atom, Rocket Red, and Gnort

Three more Justice League International origins from Secret Origins #34! First, Ryan Daly and FKA Jason review the origin of Captain Atom. Then, Ryan and Doctor G go behind the Iron Curtain to reveal the origin of Rocket Red. And finally, Paul Spataro and Andrew Leyland join Ryan for the origin of Green Lantern Gnort in a tribute to the late Shawn Engel.

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“Premonition” (Theme for Secret Origins Podcast) written and performed by Neil Daly.

Additional music: “The Wake-Up Bomb” by R.E.M.; “Back in the U.S.S.R.” by the Beatles; “The King of Wishful Thinking” by Go West.

Thanks for listening!

Dedicated to Shawn Engel.

34 responses to “Secret Origins #34: Captain Atom, Rocket Red, and Gnort

  1. Back when I was at the Kubert School, one of our assignments was to draw a page from a Captain Atom script, something that I think had been left behind when the Charlton Weekly book got scrapped. It had trucks, cars, and other hard stuff to draw, which is why to do this I have always disliked the character. The art combo of Weiss/Rubinstein on the origin was nice, however.

    Basically I have never liked any of these characters, so even tho I bought SO regularly at the time I may have skipped this issue, finding another way to spend my $1.50 (that’s a medium-sized Slurpee!). So the fact that I could get through this episode at all is a testament to Ryan and the guests. Well done sirs.

    1. I always wondered why Captain Atom caused you so much RAGE. I always thought it was because he didn’t talk to fish. Nice to know it was just because vehicles are hard to draw!

      That wasn’t a dig. I can’t draw trucks or cars, either.

  2. Great show as always. Even though he never stuck around for a long run on anything, I’ve always really liked Weiss’ artwork. He was a one of the Continuity Studios guys back in their heyday of the mid 70s, I believe. He did draw Captain Atom again in that unfortunate Armageddon: Alien Agenda mini-series.

    I remember being completely confused by this Captain Atom story, at first. I knew this was his old origin, based on his pre and post-Crisis Who’s Who entries, but since I didn’t read the ongoing book, I had no idea they used the old story as a “fiction” for the character. It really was a brilliant move. I didn’t know they pulled actual Silver Age content for these faked stories, so good to know!

    Oh, and a minor blip in Captain Atom’s history. He was VERY briefly published by a fledgling Americomics (later AC Comics) after Charlton folded, but before DC picked him and the other Action Heroes up. I think the Captain only appeared in one comic by AC, however.

    The Rocket Red story…yeah. And how odd was it that Irv Novick drew this? I know he drew an Invasion issue of Detective that Siskoid and Bass will soon be discussing, but he’d been pretty much out of the comics scene for several years by this point. Still doing solid work here, but I love how the General’s mask comes off AFTER that huge gun barrel shots out it’s mouth…yet it’s not ripped at all! How does THAT work? Such an odd, ODD ending…

    Great to have Andy and Paul fill in for their pal Shawn. I could take G’Nort in short doses, and I really liked his first appearance, where Superman is congratulating him on his heroism, while Hal is busy having a migraine. Looking at these pages, the Seuss connection hit me before you guys brought it up, but I’d never thought of it before. DeStafeno was an under-utilized talent at DC. I know he went on to work in animation (including Batman: The Brave and the Bold, where he got to work on ‘Mazing Man again), but I wish we’d seen more of him in mainstream comics.

    I have to disagree with Frank on the state of the series and the podcast at this point. Yes, the flavor of the series has changed, but honestly, Thomas was running out of gas. Or running out of decent, headlining characters to feature, anyway. Had he not so slavishly followed publishing dates, we may have gotten Wildcat, Hawkgirl and other important characters instead of the really obscure ones (like The Whip and Miss America, sorry Al) before the GA portion of the series fizzled out. DC of the time was (and still primarily is) based on the foundation of their Silver Age comics, so focusing on those characters and themes made more sense for the audience of the time.

    Chris

    1. Yeah, AC published Americomics Presents Special #1, with the Sentinels of Justice, with Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, the Question and Nightshade. They also published Americomics Presents #3, with Blue Beetle, where Ted Kord fights Dan Garrett, sort of, with a cover by Pat Broderick. The covers of both were greatly superior to the interior art. The Americomics Presents Special ends with an editorial note that events have overtaken them and the Charlton heroes will next appear at DC. They then reuse the Sentinels of Justice name for a team of their own heroes AC was the king of using name talent on covers and amateurs and rookies on the interiors. Peter Cannon did not appear (nor did Peacemaker), as he was owned by Pete Morisi (as I understand it), though DC was able to use him for Crisis, the short-lived Peter Cannon series, and Kingdom Come.

      1. Yep, AC loved to use amateurs, including myself. I actually drew an issue of FemForce, believe it or not. About 10 years ago now, I think…

        Chris

        1. Really? I used to flip through some of those, back in the early 90s; but never bought any. I did buy some of the AC stuff, like Americomics Presents and Dragonfly, though mostly got their Golden Age reprint stuff. They had a nice affordable package, for that stuff.

          I did a class on comics for a small town library, at the request of a family friend and ended up meeting a local (this was where my father grew up, but not where we were living, at the time) who had done some work on Ex-Mutants, at Malibu. He was far better qualified at teaching drawing cartoons and comic books than I was.

    2. I never could quite put my finger on why I disliked the Alien Agenda mini-series. Perhaps it was Weiss? I was probably just being too mean about him. As Ryan pointed out, that page with the screwdriver and Adam chasing it deeper into the rocket was pretty great.

      I really liked the Sentinels of Justice and wish it had been a regular series (with those characters). I really liked this little disclaimer they added at the end of the issue:

      https://i0.wp.com/farm4.staticflickr.com/3697/10842429364_154e679eda_o.png

  3. Finally, DC tells the stories that…………..somebody…………was waiting for! I picked this up originally, because of the JLI connection; but, it was hardly something people were clamoring for. Despite that, It’s a decent issue. The Captain Atom story is basically another chance for Cary Bates to retell some of the Charlton adventures, in the form of the fictional backstory to the DC Captain Atom. I missed out on Captain Atom, at Charlton (their infamous distribution and age); but, loved the DC series, both for Bates stories and Pat Broderick’s art. We don’t get Broderick; but, Alan Weiss is always welcome. I don’t remember when I first encountered Captain Atom; either a house ad for the Charlton Bullseye or (probably) a Charlton comic that my cousin had (he had at least one Blue Beetle and a Peter Cannon). I do recall first seeing a story with him at AC Comics, their Americomics Special, which featured the Charlton Heroes, as the Sentinels of Justice, before they debuted at DC, in Crisis on Infinite Earths. I just watched the Flash episode, with Clancy Brown as Wade Eiling. Brown is great and needs to make a reappearance, though the grey hair is a bit of a shock. Then again, what little hair I have left is getting pretty grey.

    Comics writers and civilians tend to get “treason” wrong. The charges against Adam wouldn’t have been treason; it would have been murder and conspiracy. The Uniform Code of Military Justice isn’t quite that draconian. As it is, there were rulings against treason as a charge in several cases relating to actions in Vietnam, based on the fact that there was no formal declaration of war, which is a key component of treason. Of course, that was all before 9/11.

    Rocket Red was another in a long line of cardboard Russian super-figures that would have been as forgettable as the rest, if not for Dimitri Pushkin, in JLI. Hokey Smokes he was a fun character! This could have been a lot more; it’s serviceable at best. He deserved a bigger story. Messner-Loeb does a good job, with the space he has been given and shows why he was a highly under-rated writer.

    The only really layered Russian character (at DC, at least), for my money, was the protagonist of the little-seen Skull & Bones mini-series, from Ed Hannigan. The hero is a special operative of the KGB or GRU (military intelligence…..yeah, I know the joke), who is disillusioned by the fighting in Afghanistan (which was a major factor in the calls for change in the Soviet Union, prior to the coup attempt by the Politboro) and returns to destroy the system; but, events force him to defend Mother Russia. Worth seeking out.

    The character and actor that Doctor G is trying to remember is Max Brajlovsky, played by Elya Baskin (also, Helen Mirren was the Russian mission commander, in one of her lesser-known roles). It’s a good comparison, though David Nyki’s Anatoli Knyazev, would make for a good template for writing Dimitri, if he hadn’t been killed off.

    G’Nort was a silly character who was fun at first; but, overstayed his welcome. However, I loved this story, with it’s nods to Dr Seuss and sense of fun. It made the issue for me. Fun was becoming a dirty word, at this point in comics, so this (and JLI) were welcome oases, in encroaching darkness. Stephen DeStefano was perfect for this and I wouldn’t have minded more G’Nort, in this form. Well, maybe a mini-series.

    I do think your discussion about G’Nort, as an ongoing character, brings up the biggest problem that comics have had, since the 70s: they’ve been so focused on the fan/collector market that they abandoned the market they were created to meet-children. There was no longer a place for comics for children. Harvey died off, the Disney comics were found only by fans (lord knows Disney wasn’t promoting them). Marvel tried the Star line; but, without much enthusiasm. DC had a couple of half-hearted attempts. When you look at the book world, you see how comics dropped the ball, in the long term, to make quick cash in the short term. Cultivating an audience of kids (and females of all ages) would have made the industry far more healthy than it is.

    Re: white hair on comics characters-For Captain Atom, it was a carryover from Charlton. For others? I mostly blame X-Men, though Warlord was an early entry in that. Part of it is the color technology of comics, prior to digital coloring. I suspect it is also why you saw so many blond characters. It better showed the linework of the artist, when it came to the locks of hair (well, the good artists). Darker hair tended to end up more of a dark mass, except in the hands of the really sound technical artists.

    Your more recent music choices are redeeming the Kelly Clarkson stuff, Ryan. REM is always welcome, though I don’t think you are going to find a use for “Shiny Happy People,” based on the remaining issues. You could fit “What’s the Frequency Kenneth?” for Ambush Bug, though. I would like to suggest you consider Iron Maiden’s “Aces High” for the Blackhawk episode, though.

    1. Hadn’t thought of “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” for Ambush Bug, though it is one of my favorite R.E.M. songs… maaaaybeeee….

      1. I don’t know Clancy Brown, I’ve checked his IMDb – wow, he’s in demand! But what is he especially beloved for? I packed in scrolling down after about 500 credits/2007.

          1. Whoah whoah whoah.

            What Highlander blasphemy is this? Lambert is perfect in that movie. Perfect.

  4. Ryan, this may have been the best episode of this podcast so far. Not because of the guests, mind you. Because of Captain Atom. The guests were great, except that first guy. He sounded nervous.

    Once again, you’ve pilfered from my iTunes. R.E.M. is my most favorite band of all time. Excellent choice. And I have to wonder now… will the Captain Atom Rebirth book be written by Michael Stipe?

  5. Another good episode Ryan, some great guests and a touching tribute to Shawn Engel.

    I enjoyed Captain Atom in the Justice League International books but never read any of his own series in the 1980s, apart from the odd issue. I remember one issue featuring Blue Beetle and Captain Atom – they had woven Dan Garrett into the cover story of Captain Atom and that made Ted Kord suspicious of him. It was a series I think I would have enjoyed but alas, never got around to collecting. When Atom came back after the Amageddon: Alien Agenda, he rejoined the JLA and had that clash of styles with JLA leader, Wonder Woman, that mirrored what you were talking about in the JLU animated series between Captain Atom and Superman. This of course led to the the issues in Judgement Day and the splitting of the teams which led to Extreme Justice. Looking back on it now, Extreme Justice was probably the better of the JL books at that time – Jones’ JLA book was too weird and Justice League Task Force, after a promising start under Waid, became a bit incomprehensible under Priest (the whole Mystek entry and sudden death confused me at the time). At least Extreme Justice had Blue and Gold, Captain Atom and Firestorm; although that too got a bit out there with the “Monarch is in fact Captain Atom, and Captain Atom was a duplicate).

    Poor Captain Atom got treated poorly in the intervening years – being the sacrificial lamb in the first Superman/Batman arc, lost in the Wildstorm universe in Captain Atom:Armageddon (which is quite a good series), held captured under the ruins of Bludhaven in the aftermath of Infinite Crisis and then becoming Monarch during Countdown. It was only Justice League: Generation Lost that I think Captain Atom got back some of his original glory. With the New 52 version, I give DC credit for doing a story that was fairly deep and introspective, but such stories, in the main, do not sell and he was back in the scrap heap once again. For ma, Captain Atom’s highlights are still JLI/JLE and Generation Lost.

    I loved the Rocket Red, Dmitri Pushkin. His friendship with Animal Man in JLE was handled well, and his love for his family was evident throughout the run. I felt he could have been developed a bit more but who would want to read about a Russian superhero. So apart from a few short stories in the JL Quarterly, that’s all we got of Dmitri until his death in the OMAC Project. His death was handled well, and it was a sad end to a likeable third tier character.

    Think Kilowog needed to have done a good bit more work on the Rocket Red armour though, because apart from Dmitri, the Brigade tended to be taken apart a lot! The Extremists decimated them and then Sonar took over the entire Brigade in JLE 45-50. It got worse after the fall of communist Russia, with Rocket Reds being used by the Russian Mafia in Chase while the armour was sold to Vandal Savage in the DC 1 Million series, that led to Montevideo being blown up. The introduction of Gavril in JL: Generation Lost at least brought back Dmitri’s “hip lingo” once again although his time was again cut short. If you were to bring back Rocket Red now, I would have the armour go to his now teenaged children who would share the armour, and bring back Rocket Red to either the Justice League or a new version of the Global Guardians.

    G’nort is G’nort. He is a good comedic foil, nothing more, nothing less! My favourite story of G’nort was in JLA 51 “My dinner with G’nort” when G’nort, Kilowog and J’onn go out on a night in New York and run into Black Hand. Beautiful artwork by Adam Hughes and just funny dialogue. One story I would not recommend about G’nort is Guy Gardener: Collateral Damage. Talk about totally missing the point about the character. Howard Chakyin had G’nort act like a stand-offish boor and had him as the Guardian’s mediator in the Rann-Thangar War! I think one of the promos for “Just One of the Guys” had Shawn saying he would review all of Guy’s adventures – except for Collateral Damage! Wise words! Much better is his appearances in Larfleeze, which is a very funny book but sadly did not last long.

    Roll on the next episode! And Shagg, all this JLI love makes me think you need to increase the output of the Bwa-ha-ha podcast! Just sayin’! :)

    Roll

  6. My “secret origins” with most of the Charlton Action Heroes is the same as the one I related about Nightshade, so I’m glad I got to talk about it with her first. House ad in an issue of Thunderbolt (if Count Drunkula ever does build-outs on this podcast beyond the ’80s series, I’ve got Peter Cannon’s aborted SO story, which was finally printed by Dynamite Entertainment,) Americomics Special #1, and “Beyond the Silent Night.” The first time I ever had a neighborhood comic shop, which was next to the drive-thru liquor store, lasted only a few months before we moved to another state and I returned to convenience store dependency. The shop had a smallish rack for dinged copies of recent comics that they sold for probably a quarter or two, and that’s where I bought JLI #8 and Captain Atom #8-9. Very different renditions of Nathaniel Adam, but of a consistent high quality. I loved the “man out of time” premise of a wrongly accused Vietnam soldier quantum leaping from The Great Society to the age of Gordon Gekko with his children now barely younger than himself.

    It was compelling that my true introduction to Captain Atom was at a time of his greatest vulnerability, living through the grace and pragmatism of Plastique while being hunted in the jungle. It helped overcome any concerns about his being overpowered, and also he had richer and more comparable villains than similar heroes like Firestorm and Silver Surfer. Adam was relatively naive as he struggled with the Watergate-style conspiracies he had become embroiled in, and Cary Bates did a wonderful job of balancing this cosmic hero’s adventures with thrilling espionage involving fascinating supporting players like Wade Eiling and Dr. Megala. It didn’t hurt that the book was drawn by Pat Broderick at the very peak of his powers, with fine details and wrought emotions. Captain Atom was an exceptional book in its first year, the sort of title that bridged mainstream super-heroics and the new frontiers being explored by revered pioneers like Moore & Miller.

    I kept up with the title through to the twelfth issue introduction of his nemesis, Major Force, in a brutal act of misogynistic violence that recalled the scarring image of Jean DeWolff’s death a year or so earlier. I stopped reading only because I lacked further access to the book on the newsstand, but curiously enough, when I did buy them as back issues I discovered the “first season” culminating in an annual was the best part of the run anyway, as the second year meandered and stalled before sputtering out completely a few months into the third year. Bates & Broderick both departed, and lesser hands couldn’t seem to figure out where to go once the central conceit of the book was resolved. They depowered him then teased his being a quantum “elemental” without seeming to understand what either word meant, then the abortive heel turn leading to fighting Hawk-turned-Dr. Doom across time, and then the worst ever JLA series, Extreme Justice. One bad after another until he was finally retired for a time in The L.A.W. after creators without interest or aptitude had Captain Atom married him off to Plastique and shunted him aside in order to play with the other Charlton heroes (while also turning the only Asian of the lot into a coded Yellow Peril.)

    I believe the next major appearance of Captain Atom was in the “Public Enemies” story arc that launched Superman/Batman and was later adapted into an animated feature, which ended in his apparent death. It was later revealed that he was only blasted into the Wildstorm Universe, which he toured extensively but pointlessly (I think they might have done a WS relaunch that nobody read out of it, then the Grant Morrison thing, then the line was folded into DC) across a not very good maxi-series. At some point around Countdown he finally turned into Monarch as predicted by Armageddon, but was given some sort of redemption arc in a co-feature by Greg Rucka, before getting turned into Zippy the Manhattan Head in the New 52.

    A few years ago, I read the Charlton Archive Edition with most of the original Joe Gill/Steve Ditko strips, and that has ultimately proven to be my favorite interpretation of the character. As much affection as I have for the Bates/Broderick series, the truth is their take was a dupe and a bit of a cypher surrounded by more interesting and motivated characters. In a lot of ways, the ’80s Nathaniel Adam was a stripped down Steve Rogers with a more basic, slightly leftist but mostly apolitical ideology. I think that’s why the character stopped working outside a team setting, because he only has two narratives: victim of a corrupt government and Monarch. The Silver Age Allen Adam was a highly educated knowing proponent of the military-industrial complex, with a lot of Dr. Manhattan’s mind, muscle and connections, but with a more paternal George Reeves Superman approach to crushing communism and fending off alien invasions. That Captain Atom had a propagandistic certitude that played perfectly into the “cover story” aspect of the Bates series, but this positive approach to right wing ideology also stands in stark contrast to Stan Lee’s Marvel and DC’s endless chasing of the same soft-peddled liberalism since the 1960s. Allen Adam is the more unique character in comics with the stronger story engine, though ideally you marry his persona to Nathaniel Adams’ supporting cast and much of his circumstance. Make Allen Adam the kind, sympathetic face of authoritarianism in the DC Universe, rather than the hawkish straw man he became in the ’90s, and let’s see him butt heads with the more more individualistic super friends.

    As far as the costume debate, my affection for the all-silver look allows me to accept it without criticism, but show it to a child and they’ll see Silver Surfer. I now prefer the original costume (either the blue scales from the debut or the yellow-orange from the cover & the earliest run,) although I think the Alex Ross design is pretty good (even though I perceive it as a pentagram instead of atomic strips.) Basically, anything but the second Ditko design, which is somehow simultaneously gaudy & generic, plus clunky. Captain Atom was still in his “Bronze Age” Ditko redesign when he was being drawn by Paul Chadwick for the scrapped Comics Cavalcade/Blockbuster Weekly project, which explains his look in History of the DC Universe.

    As for the actual Secret Origins story, I agree with everyone that it belabored its point at the expense of the real backstory. Truth to tell, I skipped most of the phony anecdotes, recognizing the source material I was familiar with and not needing a heavy-handed hokum reworking. As we’ve seen here previously, creators don’t seem to want to tell the same story twice in a 5-10 year span, so we end up with issues like this where telling the secret origin is seen as a problem to overcome or an issue to subvert while they focus on some novel aside or character development. The Secret Origin of Martin Stein becoming a Professor and His Failed First Marriage comes to mind, although that at least was a legitimate narrative, not three-quarters length of pure fabrication within the context of the story. Considering the drubbing Alan Weiss got on the podcast, I have to point out that his art was the highlight of the story. I enjoyed seeing Captain Atom drawn in that Neal Adamsy ’70s style after he missed most of that decade of publishing. Weiss was one of those slow, detailed artists in the Bronze Age that couldn’t draw a monthly, but was a real bright spot when he’d fill in for some aging journeyman grinding out a given Marvel title. Jim Shooter also tapped him to help launch Defiant Comics, which was where I first encountered Weiss.

    After all this weighing of pros and cons, I have to finish by saying the original Ditko & Gill story is the most perfect and concise version of Captain Atom’s origin, and among the finest in the history of the medium. While the politics and science are simplistic to the point of being retrograde, the storytelling was ahead of its time. Ditko was an absolute master of tension, and you feel the flop sweat during the pre-launch through detonation sequences as Allen suffers and faces his impending doom. Imagine the impact of Gill knowing when to shut up and allowing for dreadfully silent panels to emphasis the tragedies unfolding, at a time when even one such panel would generate angry letters from “ripped off” fans who assumed a mistake had been made. It was a bravura, game-changing tale.

  7. DC in the 90’s would have been much, much better if they’d just let Captain Atom become Monarch at the end of Armageddon 2001. Biggest mistake DC made that decade. The effect of that stupid move rippled through the DC universe for nearly 20 years with writers like Geoff Johns repeatedly trying to repair the damage by gluing tiny pieces of continuity into a rough approximation of the shape it should have been.

    1. Oh dear god, I’m literally upset about something that happened in a comic 25 years ago. I have become all that I hate.

    2. Speaking as somebody going back and re-examining that crossover 25 years later, you are so freaking right. And I’ll agree, trying to patch it all up has been a bigger mess than “fixing” Hawkman’s post-Crisis continuity.

  8. Like many, my first encounter with the Charlton heroes was in Crisis. Captain Atom looked pretty wild with those silver arms and blue shirt. And the twinkle effect in his flight stream reminded me of Mar-Vell, as his photon blasts often had them.

    Before his solo title, Atom starred in DCCP #90, teaming hi up with Firestorm, something which made sense to me then, both guys being atomic/nuclear. So there is a non-Crisis blue shirt story.

    I read the first couple of years of the solo book, drawn mostly because I loved Broderick’s art then but staying because the political intrigue was cool. I liked the addition of Major Force as well.

    He did play a big role in Kingdom Come in that extreme gold version of his costume. His death leveled Kansas leading to Supes return.

    I was hoping the New 52 boom would be good. That was mostly because I like Freddy Williams art. But that just didn’t work.

    Lastly, it was indeed me who said the Pax Americana Multiversity issue was great. In fact, I said it was the best comic I had read in a long time, nearly perfect,; just a fantastic trippy story which was complemented by the art wondrously. It isn’t this Captain Atom? But it is phenomenal. Cue Frank’s rebuttal. I think he hated it.

  9. Hokey smokes, what a great episode!

    I’m amazed nobody chose to focus on Gnort’s question that keeps popping up during the story, especially considering that it sounds like he plans to use the ringy-ding’s powers to start some Animal House style shenanigans.

    As for Captain Atom, did we forget that his gold costume showed back up when he jumped to the Wildstorm universe pre-Infinite Crisis? Did we forget he went there at all? Yeah, we probably did. I didn’t actually read those issues, but if we have collectively forgotten them then there is probably a reason.

    The Armageddon 2001 crossover issue for Justice League Europe has a really cute and fun story (to a point) about Rocket Red being transported to Camelot and becoming one of Arthur’s greatest knights. Too bad Etrigan gets summoned to murder him.

  10. I stopped reading the Englehart/Staton run of Green Lantern Corps before the Rocket Red story, so I know them near entirely from Justice League International. They serve a function in their comic book universe that I understand. Rocket Red #4 occasionally offers a decent joke or a character moment that I can appreciate. He has a family and a beard and dentures, as I recall. This Secret Origins story was okay.

    I have read more G’nort stories than I care to reflect upon, and this was one more that I have read that I had not read before and probably will not ever read again without provocation. G’nort was essential to Justice League Antarctica and “Aliens Night Out,” two of the funniest and best later run JLI stories. I read “A Guy and His G’Nort,” but I do not remember anything about it, because it wasn’t very funny, and there’s no other point in having G’nort in a story. G’nort is not very much at all like Ambush Bug, but Deadpool is very much like Ambush Bug, and Harley Quinn is very much like Deadpool, and only three of the four are Bugs Bunny riffs. J.M. DeMatteis is by far G’nort’s biggest fan, and I believe I have unbidden audio recorded of him discussing G’nort that I will release someday. I can’t believe no one mentioned that he is Ed Norton from The Honeymooners in dog form, just as Barney Rubble is Ed Norton in caveman form, and that’s also how we know the “g” in G’nort is silent, because Norton.

  11. Another great show, and your ‘casting’ tribute to Shawn was appreciated – nice job, lads (yay, another Brit!).

    I’ve never found the Rocket Reds interesting, I just get bored by heroes in suits who aren’t written by Michelinie and Layton, and Russian superheroes who aren’t Darkstar. The beardie gadgie from JL, sorry, forgot his name, was fun, but I’d rather have any Global Guardian other than the horrible Jack O’Lantern in there.

    G’Nort didn’t deserve a feature, move on.

    That Captain Atom story was clever, and the main action in the series actually won me over, even though I’m not a fan of EYTYKWW stories – Bates, Weisman and Broderick had a great series there.

  12. I thought Anj would mention it – G’nort is currently in the excellent JL3001.

    Rocket Red is a terrible name, backwards sounding – no wonder it kept behind mis-given in the show as Red Rocket. Mind, given how gotten the Brigade members die, they may as well be called the Rocket Redshirts.

    1. The problem with the Rocket Red Brigade was that they were solely created to make political points, rather than to be fully realized characters. Dimitri was as close as we got to a 3-dimensional member, and even he was more running gag, than a character, for much of his time in JLI/E. I always like the idea of international heroes and agents; but, they rarely rise above national stereotypes. The few that really resonate are the ones who weren’t created to be a national symbol, just a good character. The X-Men probably did a better job of this than most comics.

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