Obscure DC Characters:

 

HISTORY

On the otherdimensional world of Angor (a planet so much like Earth that youd think it was a leftover from the old Multiverse) there were hordes of super-heroes and villains, just like on Earth. And just like on Earth, the heroes were devastatingly superior, none more so than the planets premiere super-team, the Assemblers (a.k.a. the Justifyers). Wandjina, Blue Jay, Silver Sorceress, Captain Speed, Bowman, Tin Man, and the others never had much to worry about, their greatest enemy being boredom. Usually beating the villains with ease, they grew increasingly cocky about it for every victory. However, the birth of the Extremists made them regret that. (JLE #16, JLQ #3)

The Extremists were originally five common criminals intent on stealing a nuclear device. During their reconnaissance mission, the device accidentally detonated with the men standing on Ground Zero. As so many times before on Angor, the result was not death, but mutation, their minds were damaged and their bodies endowed with powers on an extremely destructive level. One mans body grew so huge and disproportionate that only a specially designed techno-armor could contain it. He became the dreaded Lord Havoc. Another gained the ability to control magnetism completely, christening himself Doctor Diehard. A third, growing hideous tentacles from his head, called himself Gorgon, and a fourth became the man/animal hybrid with enhanced senses known as Tracer. The last member of the group did not mutate. Instead, he was thrust into another dimension. When he returned to Angor, he was known as the Dreamslayer, a being of enormous psychic power with a possibly demonic origin. (JLQ #3)

These five beings became a greater threat than Angor had ever seen before. Apparently stopping at nothing, the Extremists recruited the rest of the worlds super-villains and created an army of super-powered criminals. The heroes of the world stood powerless as the villains took control of the planets nuclear arsenals, taking the entire world of Angor hostage and demanding that the worlds leaders gave up their power in favor of the dictatorship of the Extremists. (JLE #16)

Around this time, four members of the Assemblers - the thunder-god Wandjina, the enchantress known as Silver Sorceress, the speedster Jack B. Quick, and the shrinking Blue Jay - traveled to Earths dimension for reasons that are still not quite clear. At the time, it was said that they sought the destructors of their home planet. Later, they maintained that they had only wanted the assistance of Earths heroes to defeat the Extremists. In either case, the encounter didnt turn out too well. As so often happens, there was a misunderstanding and the heroes fought each other. After a strange battle involving the Justice League of America, Zatanna, a brainwashed Batman who tried to appoint himself king of the universe, an evil robot, and villains from the planet Cam-Nam-Lao, the four Assemblers returned to their own world. (JLofA vol. 1 #87, JLE #16)

Upon their return, they were met with a horrible sight. Too late to help anyone, they realized that the planets leaders had refused to give in to the Extremists, who then had made truth of their threats. Angor was completely ravaged by nuclear weapons. The cities lay in ruins. Most of the inhabitants were dead, including all their friends and seemingly the villains as well. As a last effort, the heroes attempted to be of some assistance to the few survivors, who were nonetheless mortally injured by radiation and continued to die one by one. Among the casualties was Jack B. Quick/Captain Speed, who got cancer after exposing himself to the nuclear areas. (JL #2, JLE #16)

When there was no one left to help, the three remaining Assemblers - Wandjina, Silver Sorceress, and Blue Jay - committed themselves to a new goal: They would prevent a disaster of this magnitude from ever happening, ever again, anywhere in the universe. From now on, the powerful trio traveled worlds and dimensions, visiting several planets and destroying their arsenals of mass-destructive weapons, no matter whether the planets inhabitants liked it or not. (JL #2-3)

Finally, they arrived on Earth, and attempted to dismantle the worlds nuclear stockpiles. Duped by Colonel Rumaan Harjavti, dictator of Bialya, into attacking a Russian nuclear installation, the Assemblers were opposed by the Rocket Red Brigade and the newly re-formed Justice League. The fight came to an abrupt end as one of the Russian reactors experienced a nuclear meltdown. The Assemblers, the League, the Brigade, and a large portion of the Earth would have faced certain death, had it not been for the intervention of Wandjina. Vowing that he would never permit a nuclear disaster to destroy a world - any world - again, the thunder-god went into the reactor and prevented the meltdown with his powers, in the process imbuing his body with lethal doses of radiation. Although he had saved their nation, the Russians took the mortally wounded Wandjina and his two comrades into their custody. (JL #3)

Some time later, Wandjina tragically returned. Deformed by the radiation that had imbued his body and brainwashed by the Queen Bee (II), new leader of Bialya, he was forced to do her evil deeds as the Thunderer. During a clash between the Justice League (now International) and the Queen Bees minions in Bialya, the circumstances forced Captain Atom to kill Wandjina. (JLI #16-17)

Meanwhile, Blue Jay and Silver Sorceress were still in the Russians custody, both struck with despair and unsure what to do next. While Blue Jay could see no point in ever returning to their dead home world, the Silver Sorceress was not as certain, and after months of hesitation, she used her magic to set Blue Jay free and teleport herself to Angor once again. (JLE #11-12)

On the dead, post-Apocalypse world of Angor, the Silver Sorceress encountered the greatest horror she could have imagined - the Extremists, still alive and bored after having tortured the planets last survivor to death. They quickly defeated the Sorceress and were delighted to have a new play thing to occupy themselves with. While probing her brain telepathically, Dreamslayer learned about the extra-dimensional world called Earth that she had visited. (JLE #15) Thrilled about learning of the existence of a new dimension to abuse, the Extremists left the Sorceress in the custody of an ally of theirs called Carny. Then Dreamslayer used the Sorceress magic coordinates to transport the entire team to Earth, specifically Moscow, the place Silver Sorceress had fled from. (JLE #16)

Meanwhile, Blue Jay had sought asylum in the Russian JLI embassy. Its liaison, Boris Razumihin, was intent on turning him back to the Russian authorities without notifying the League. Thanks to Razumihins assistants, the Rubikskova sisters, the European branch of the Justice League was contacted and Metamorpho intervened and saved Blue Jay. (JLE #13-15) At that point, however, the Extremists arrived in Moscow, thrilled with delight to arrive on a world full of human victims, heroes, and nuclear weapons. They severely wounded Metamorpho, killed most of the soldiers in the Russian Rocket Red Brigade, and tortured one of the Rubikskova sisters to death. When Justice League Europe came to the rescue, the battle was an even one until Dreamslayer, easily the most powerful of them all, used his powers to shut the heroes minds off. (JLE #16-17)

After the defeat of the little resistance they had met, the Extremists decided to make a re-run of their old strategy. Doctor Diehard used his incredible magnetic power (seemingly much vaster than the ones of Earths magnetic villains such as Doctor Polaris) to steal every single nuclear device of Earth and put them in orbit around it. Taking the entire planet hostage, the Extremists bargained with the United Nations and demanded the leaders of every nation of Earth abdicate in favor of the their own dictatorship. Choosing between this and complete destruction, the nations of Earth temporarily accepted the Extremists as their new leaders, and forbade the Earths armies and superheroes to oppose them until the time was right. Superman, Batman, the JLA... all of them had their hands tied. (JLE #17)

The JLE, however, had experienced their enemies firsthand and had also learned the fate of Angor from Blue Jay. Realizing that it was just a matter of time before the Extremists would destroy Earth as they had Angor, they decided to attack the villains - against the orders of every nation of Earth (and loving every minute of it, as Metamorpho put it). This time, they engaged themselves more furiously into the battle, but once again, Dreamslayers powers proved too much for them as he teleported the entire JLE to the barren world of Angor. (JLE #17)

On Angor, their adventure took a bizarre turn. Arriving at an amusement park called Wackyland, they were greeted by the Extremists ally called Carny who violently forced them to take rides in the parks attractions... forever and ever and ever. When the JLE broke free, they were attacked by Carnys hundreds of employees. The Leaguers were puzzled by the presence of so many survivors on a dead world until they realized that they were all robots. Since their opponents were not really alive, the heroes could unleash their powers and destroy them all without remorse. However, in Carnys clutches they found two real survivors. One was the Silver Sorceress, who, although battered and weak, was still alive. The other one emerged from a cryonic chamber, and the Silver Sorceress immediately recognized him. Stunned, she cried out... Uncle Mitch??!! (JLE #18)

Uncle Mitch was in fact Mitch Wacky, a famous engineer, inventor, cartoonist, and creator of Angors biggest amusement park - Wackyland. After getting infected by the flu - a lethal disease on Angor - he had put himself into the survival chamber years before his world has been destroyed. When the Silver Sorceress told him the fate of Angor, he reacted with shock, since he had been totally ignorant of the tragedy. But the Leaguers were in for still another shock when they learned that the Extremists that now menaced Earth were not the real Extremists - those had perished in the nuclear blasts along with the rest of the Angorians!

Interrogating the decapitated head of the robot Carny (who reacted humbly and peacefully in the presence of Uncle Mitch), they learned what had happened: The automatons that Mitch had left in charge of Wackyland had survived the nuclear disaster and, unsure what to do now when no more visitors came to their park, had started playing games themselves. Wackyland already exhibited robot replicas of all of Angors heroes and villains, and mimicking the conflicts of the real world, those androids fought each other until only five remained - the Extremists. Mitch Wacky was an extraordinary robot constructor, too extraordinary for his own good since the Extremist androids were every bit as dangerous and powerful as the originals. It was these androids who had tortured Angors last survivor to death, captured the Silver Sorceress, fled to Earth, and who now held the fate of Earth in their iron grip.

Realizing that Uncle Mitchs presence might work to their advantage, Captain Atom asked the Sorceress to use her magic to take them all to Earth. They pumped Mitchs body full of antibiotics and anaesthetics, and then went to battle the Extremists one final time. The Captains plan came just in time. The bored Extremists were now considering firing some of the nuclear missiles, when the JLE arrived. After a short and intense fight, Mitch appeared on the battlefield. And just as Carny had done, the Extremist robots reacted with humility and joy, kneeling before him so he could finally shut them off. But they were in for yet another surprise. Dreamslayer was not deactivated - instead, he furiously eliminated Mitch with a psychic blast. He was no robot, but the real thing.

Dreamslayer had survived the nuclear disaster of Angor, and became furious when he found that everything he lived for - opponents to fight and victims to torment - was gone. He comforted himself with the company of the Extremist robots, reminiscent of his former friends, and together they exterminated the few survivors of their world. When he discovered Earth, he was more than happy to find a new world to plague. But now that the JLE had destroyed everything, his twisted mind found no other options left but to kill them all for his own amusement. Vengeful, he fired a psychic blast at them, powerful enough to obliterate them all... Then came the last surprise of this adventure - JLE member Crimson Fox absorbed the blast and threw it back on Dreamslayer. The Fox turned out to be the Silver Sorceress, disguised just to take Dreamslayer by surprise. (JLE #19)

The threat was ended for this time. Dreamslayers body was burned to ashes, Mitch Wackys flu was cured by Doctor Kimiyo Hoshi (a.k.a. Dr. Light), and the Extremist robots were disarmed and eventually exhibited at the Madame Clouseaus Wax Museum in Paris. (JLE #19) Shortly after this, Blue Jay and Silver Sorceress accepted membership in the JLE. (JLE #20)

Jay and the Sorceress made a short but distinctive career with the League. They assisted against a group of reanimated gargoyles (JLA SHOWCASE 80-PAGE GIANT #1), followed the team when they relocated to London (JLE #21), encountered the criminal organization known as Metawise, Inc. (JLE #23), and battled the threats of Puanteurs giant worms (JLE #24-25), and Starro the Conqueror (JLE #26-28). Blue Jay also participated in the Leagues fight against the powerful Mister Nebula (JLQ #2), and was constantly hunted by Power Girls cat. (JLQ #3-4)

On a JLI conference, Mitch Wacky met the Leagues technician, the former Green Lantern named Kilowog. Realizing that they had much in common, they used their collective knowledge to construct a time machine which they used for a travel through time and space to Angor in its days of prime. The goal? To prevent the creation of the Extremists from happening. However, their JLI colleagues learned about their trip and were concerned about the potential damage to the time/space continuum. A team of Justice Leaguers, including the Silver Sorceress, used the device to follow them.

Due to an Imskian component in the time machine, Mitch and Kilowog, as well as the pursuing Leaguers, had shrunk to microscopic size when they appeared on Angor, something that gave them trouble making their presence known. After a futile attempt to alert some of the Assemblers of the coming danger, Mitch and Kilowog decided to stop the birth of the Extremists themselves. However, their attempt went awry and only resulted in causing the very accident that created the Extremists in the first place. Mitch was struck with grief and the Silver Sorceress was deeply moved by the sight of her lost world and friends, but they both realized that history was not supposed to be changed. (JLQ #3) Note: Captain Atom sees a "Walking Tour of NY" map!!!! He also says they are on Mott Street (which is in NY City)! Martian Manhunter says "Mitch's world and the Earth are alike in so many ways ... perhaps linked, somehow."

Mitch Wacky became the Leagues official technical advisor, while Blue Jay and Silver Sorceress continued to serve in the European branch of the League. However, during the time of the Starro threat, the Leagues UN liaison Maxwell Lord was fatally shot by Bialyan terrorists and hovered between life and death. (JLA #53).

Lords successor, Rolf Heimlich, re-defined the organization of the JLI. He fired several of the members and deposed Captain Atom as the leader of Justice League Europe. Unexpectedly (not at least to himself), Blue Jay was appointed his successor (JLE #29). As JLE leader, Jay led his team into Bialya on a mission that ended in the death of the Queen Bee, the revelation that she was behind the shooting of Max Lord and that Heimlich was an employee of hers. (JLA #54-55, JLE #30). Captain Atom was reinstated as the leader but, following the Armageddon incident (involving the JLE and the super-villain Monarch), he was lost in the time-stream and presumed dead. (JLE ANNUAL #2, ARMAGEDDON 2001 #2) Blue Jay was asked to reassume the leadership, but did not want it. (JLE #31)

As a result of Max Lords disability and the corruption of his successor Heimlich, the UN decided to revoke their JLI sponsorship. The entire team, including Blue Jay and Silver Sorceress, regrouped on their own and took residence in the original JLA HQ in Happy Harbor, the so-called Secret Sanctuary. (JLA #56)

After the JLI had been operating without the UN for some time, Max Lord unexpectedly woke up from his coma. Soon, it was understood that the mind in control of the body was not that of Max himself... but of Dreamslayer. While most of the League were preoccupied with a fight against Despero and Lobo, Dreamslayer in Lords body set up a base on the island of KooeyKooeyKooey and forced Mitch Wacky to revive the robot Extremists. The robots, however, were disabled since their defeat at the hands of the JLE, and Wacky could only used their collective parts to restore the Lord Havoc robot. Frustrated, Dreamslayer then killed Mitch Wacky in cold blood and sent Havoc to battle the League. Havoc was now considerably weaker than before, and the Blue Beetle, using the jets of his Bug vehicle, eliminated the robot. (JLE #32-33, JLA #57-58)

Realizing Dreamslayers involvement in the resurrection of Lord Havoc, a team of Leaguers went to KooeyKooeyKooey to investigate the matter. Dreamslayer then took the islands inhabitants hostage by inhabiting their bodies and threatening to have them all commit suicide. The Leaguers had no choice but to succumb to Dreamslayers will and were sent to battle their teammates in Happy Harbor. However, Dreamslayer kept the Silver Sorceress with him on the island to extract his revenge. The dying Sorceress played one last card and challenged Dreamslayer in psychic battle. Dreamslayer accepted and defeated the Sorceress, but to his astonishment, he was now trapped in her dying mind, seemingly forever, something that the Sorceress had counted on all along. The Sorceress died with the satisfaction of ending the threat of her hated enemy. Max Lords mind was returned to his body and the Silver Sorceress was put to final rest on the island of KooeyKooeyKooey. (JLE #34-35, JLA #59)

With both the Silver Sorceress and Uncle Mitch dead, Blue Jay was now the sole survivor of Angor. Grieving, he attempted to continue his career with the League to honor the Sorceress memory. However, the League was gradually disbanding during this time, and when the remaining members (Blue Jay, Blue Beetle, Fire, Ice, Oberon, and Max Lord) could not even defeat the mind of Despero in the trashed body of the little robot known as L-Ron, their dreams were shattered and they all went their separate ways. Blue Jay departed for places unknown. (JLA #60, JLE #36)

When Sonar (I) later threatened international peace in Russia, Blue Jay reappeared as part of the Justice League Reserves. The Reserves were defeated by members of the Rocket Red Brigade, and then themselves added to Sonars army of brainwashed heroes. Blue Jay, however, was left behind, unconscious but unseen by his enemies. He was found by the JLA who thus realized what had happened. This was the last time that Blue Jay contributed to the Justice League. (JLE #47-48) Blue Jay has been strangely absent from super-hero gatherings and Justice League reunions, such as the Mageddon War, for reasons unknown. Some rumors say he has taken residence in Canada, but this has not been confirmed.

The villains of Angor proved a bit more long-lived than the heroes. First to return was Dreamslayer, who was not really dead after all. When the Silver Sorceress had died, Dreamslayer had not perished with her, but was instead freed from his entrapment within her mind and able to flee to the dimension where he was born. (This, sadly, means that the Sorceress sacrifice was made in vain.) From his dimension, he recruited a team of New Extremists on Earth (Brute II, Cloudburst, Death Angel, Gunshot, and Meanstreak) to battle the Justice League. (JLA #78-79) With the assistance of a religious cult, he was able to reappear on Earth, but was opposed and ultimately defeated. (JLA #86-88) The New Extremists were recruited by the Overmaster to be part of his new Cadre, but they didnt fare better against the League. (JLA #89-90, JLE #65-66, JLTF #13-14)

Lord Havoc was the next to have a legacy. When Max Lord eventually merged with the evil techno-entity known as the Kilg%re, he adopted the name Lord Havoc II and took control of the criminal organization known as the Arcana. (JLA #100) However, Lord never did much with his semi-criminal career, and when recently seen, he had returned to normal. (see FORMERLY KNOWN AS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE previews).

The Extremists robots also returned one more time, re-activated by the being known as Twilight to battle Supergirl. Once again defeated, they were shut off and returned to the Madame Clouseaus Wax Museum. (SUPERGIRL [4th series] #15-16)

No subsequent activities of the heroes or villains of Angor have been reported, although Tin Man was briefly glimpsed when Booster Golds theme restaurant Planet Krypton was haunted by ghost images from other Hypertimelines. (THE KINGDOM: PLANET KRYPTON #1)

 

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COMMENTS:

I thought they were known as the champions of Angor in their first appearance. But was it Champions with a capital "C" or champions with a lower case "c"? Then they become known as the Assemblers, then later the Justifiers. Their world is called Angor in their 1st appearance. Was it ever shown? Did it resemble Earth? Was it in another dimension or was it simply another planet?

When they were brought back years later, their homeworld is NEVER referred to as Angor and it clearly resembles Earth in many ways, making one think it was a parallel Earth.

Did they have the same costumes in their very first appearance as they did in their later appearances?

Didn't the Assemblers/Justifiers also have a butler?

In fact, their world was not the only world to break the "no alternate Earths" rule post-Crisis and pre-Zero Hour. In TEEN TITANS SPOTLIGHT #11, the Brotherhood of Evil visited an alternate Earth where counterparts of Tintin (Belgian comic strip boy reporter) and his supporting cast existed. I did a timeline on this at Mikel Midnight's site.

The author of that issue has pointed out that, yes, his editor did mention that this story broke the rule, but they went ahead with it anyway. In personal correspondance, the author (J.M. Lofficier) has stated that perhaps the world from TTS #11 was a sort of Counter-Earth.

Counter-Earth, of course, refers to a world in the same universe that was sort of a twin of Earth with regards to size and atmosphere, and so produced similar lifeforms, and ultimately similar civilizations. Pythagoras and Star Trek has used this idea (I remember an episode with the Coms and the Yangs), as has John Norman in his Tarl Cabot novels about the planet Gor. The High Evolutionary also created a Counter-Earth, and set it secretly on the other side of the sun.

Besides this, the Pocket Universe of Superboy is another rule-breaker. Mark Millar's run on SWAMP THING and BOOKS OF MAGIC ANNUAL #3 come to mind, but as Vertigo books, they stand somewhat outside continuity anyway.

The Batman/Judge Dredd team-ups also seem to violate this rule, but may not be part of DC continuity anyway. (They seem to be part of Judge Dredd continuity, though, as a story using Judge Death referred obliquely to the events of the last Batman team-up.)

Original text copyright DC Comics unless otherwise noted. Used without permission.