Episode 124: The 500th Universe Kind of Spectacular!


This week Luke and Devin add their 500th Universe to Trials of the Multiverse after covering What If Uncle Ben Lived and JSA The Golden Age! It has everything! Uncle Ben insults Flash Thompson, J Jonah Jameson gets stood up to! Space Spores! Tex Thompson Returns From War! A Superhero Snorts Cocaine and Worships Satan! New Mexican People In Flannel Shirts and Jeans!

Universes and Comics Covered:

  • Earth-8408 – What If Vol 1 #46
  • Earth-? – JSA: The Golden Age #1-4

Check out the gallery and show notes after the jump!

Luke’s Notes

What If Spider-man’s Uncle Ben Had Lived? – What If Vol 1 #46

Writer – Peter Gillis, Pencils – Ron Frenz, Inks – Sam de la Rosa. Colors – Bob Sharen, Letters – John Morelli

Earth-8408

In this universe Uncle Ben is fast asleep so Aunt May wakes up and gets shot and so Ben has to cradle his dead wife in his arms. Peter finds out and Spider-man catches the burglar. Once day a while later Flash, Harry and some other people who know Peter from school show up and Flash calls Peter a pipsqueak and he gets roasted and says that Flash has nothing beyond being a football star so Flash vows revenge and in like 20 years, joins the army, and loses his legs.

Ben realizes that Peter is taking it rough. Later on he sees Spider-man in the newspaper, and Peter hears him and gets angry – and Ben suggests getting work with the bugle and even suggests Jameson might be angry for the lack of responsibility.

Later Ben somehow finds out Peter is Spider-man and confronts him via a surprise and they talk about how they felt powerless and that Peter should keep being Spider-man to protect those who need protecting.

Peter goes on to be a better Spider-man than ever but Jameson still hates him and this ripens Uncle Ben’s beans. He bursts into Jameson’s office and demands to know why and Spider-man comes in as well. Ben tells Spider-man to settle down and he does and Spider-man reveals he is Peter Parker, entrusting Jameson to the secret, before they leave. Jameson has a whole page of figuring out what to do and he decides to keep trashing Spider-man and use his newspaper connection to Spider-man to scoop the stories.

He gets called out on it by the news and challenges Spider-man to address his charges and obviously Spider-man accepts meaning big sales for the paper. Mrs. Brant asks for an advance on her salary and Jameson refuses and so Peter gives money to help her since he’s also making a lot – or at least enough to dress better. Jameson wants Spider-man to look into what she’s doing with the money and Jameson threatens to reveal who Spider-man if he doesn’t comply. Peter gets home and tells Ben what happened and Ben agrees because he looked into it and thinks she might be in danger but ultimately he does. He sees her getting into a car with Doc Ock so Bennett Brant.

Normally in comics he got into debt to Blackie Glaxton trying to gamble to get money for his mother’s medical bills. He gets double crossed and is fatally shot in Amazing Spider-man #11 until he returned in that Rick Remender Venom series where Venom is Flash Thompson.

So Spider-man bursts in on the meeting, knocks out Blackie, and confronts Doc Ock who escapes. Betty is grateful but Spider-man is angry that he had to risk his life for her. He vanishes for a little while and takes to living in the streets until Jameson seeks him out via Patch – (Wolverine! nahhh) threatening to reveal his secret identity. Spider-man goes off to meet with Jameson but Patch decides to sell the information to Green Goblin. Jameson threatens Peter to go back to being Spider-man.

Norman Osborn, secretly the Green Goblin, knows Jameson has the info and tries to get it out of him. And meanwhile, National Hero, John Jameson has returned from Space and was exposed to Space Spores. Green Goblin bursts in and kidnaps Jonah and warns Spider-man to meet him or else. Peter is like “eff that” and Jameson begins growing because of the Space Spores! Using his enhanced Space Man Powers, he’s able to track Goblin down, meanwhile Peter realizes he has to be a hero.

Goblin meanwhile has Jameson hooked up to a machine to get the secret info but John bursts in and knocks the Goblin out but his mind is deteriorating due to SPACE SPORES and he goes to attack his dad but Spider-man stops him and sends him into the machine, electrocuting the Space Spores out of him. Jameson is remorseful about what happened and Peter is understanding though especially since he has his Uncle Ben around.

As far as I am aware he didn’t show up in Spider-Verse.

 

JSA The Golden Age – requested by Andrew Young

Writer – James Robinson – Art – Paul Martin Smith, Colors – Richard Ory, Letters – John Costanza

I actually bought an issue of this years ago before knowing it was a 4 parter. The story is also pretty bad so I’ll break it down . 1993-1994

In the 1940s there was the World War and superheroes like in the Justice Society of America and the All Star Squadron. Then Hiroshima and Nagasaki are bombed and the war ends and people return home – namely Tex Thompson, Mr. America, the Americommando who is suspicious because he looks like Timothy Dalton in The Rocketeer which came out in 1991. He gets a congressional medal of honor and is a big hero and he was the only hero across in Europe because of the Spear of Destiny (read Big Rock Candy Mountain) slash Otto Fretnz, Parsifal, who could negate powers. Thompson killed him towards the end of the war.

 

Manhunter – Paul Kirk – hunted down

Johnny Quick – Johnny Chambers – movie editor, working on film about the missing heroes, separated from his wife Liberty Bell

The Flash – Jay Garrick – got married

Hawkman – Carter Hall – thinks he is a reincarnated pharaoh

Mr Terrific – Terry Sloan – runs an airline

Green Lantern – Alan Scott – running the GBC newspaper, Red Scare is starting, doesn’t want to use the ring because of the power

Liberty Bell – Libby Lawrence – re-married to Jonathan Law a writer

Jonathan Law – The Tarantula – took up being a hero for research, now is stuck on his next book

Robotman – Robert Crane – human brain in a robot body, will kill dudes

 

Tex Thompson puts out a call for new heroes after he becomes a senator.

 

The Atom – Al Pratt – tiny powerhouse, atomically powered, can’t be used for testing.

Fatman – Bob Daley – old sidekick to Americommando, told to leave his friend alone

Hourman – Rex Tyler – developed Miraclo Pill – supposed to give power for an hour but it’s getting weaker

Robotman offered a job by Tex

Starman – Ted Knight – manic depressive scientist

Manhunter is hiding with hobos, has dreams of scientists doing something to a bald eagle, escapes when armed men come after him

Dan the Dynamite – Daniel Dunbar – lost of mentor TNT, was kicked out of university, Tex Thompson offers him a job

 

Tex Thompson keeps talking about the dangers of the Russian threat, presents his new team

Libby and Jonathan’s relationship is straining

Ted Knight shares his cosmic energy research with Johnny Chambers

 

Alan Scott had Charlie Bowles, a friend commit suicide because he was under investigation for being a communist

Sportsmaster – Lawrence Crock – just wants to get some money, Alan Scott goes to stop him, costs him money, gets shot but survived and likes it

Johnny Thunder ¬†and Thunderbolt – go to talk to the Atom who doesn’t want him to join

Daniel Dunbar goes in for his experiments and comes out as Dynaman who won’t use a mask and really hates communists and loves America

Miss America – Joan Dale- works for Tex Thompson

Captain Triumph – Lance Gallant – haunted by his dead brother Michael – they can touch and gain superpowers, now he is rich and is ignoring his brother

Hourman – realizes he is an addict to his pill, also he is affected by fear

Tigress – Paula Brooks – Tex Thompson allows her to full amnesty as she joins the team, Lance falls in love with her, she thinks they could hook up

Fatman saved Manhunter and offers him a safe place, they get attacked, Manhunter kills them

Tex and Daniel talk about plans to rule the world and Daniel is snorting cocaine.

 

More time passes till 1952 where Tex plans to run for President

Starman has his star rod working and wants to die

Manhunter still has bad dreams

Johnny Quick has his divorce finalized

Green Lantern has more people quitting to avoid the House Un-American Activities Committee

Liberty Bell is now a news reporter – Tex Thompson is trying to slander other heroes for not joining in the war like he did but there’s proof against it

Tarantula still can’t write

Captain Triumph married Tigress, his ghost brother wants to have sex and fight crime

Miss America married Tex and is suspicious of his diary

Dynaman is doing satanic rituals and cocaine

Robotman is sent to kill James Forrestal who denounced Tex Thompson’s claim – the real James Forrestal died in 1949 though –

Hourman – still an addict

Tarantula wants his wife to quit moves to assault his wife and she kicks his ass and misses her ex

Manhunter is still having dreams but Fatman brought him to Hawkman to help him remember his past – he was friends with Tex, he also went overseas, killed the Nazi heroes, had one last mission and saw something awful.

Miss America stole the diary, brought it to Captain Triumph and Tigress,

It turns out that Tex Thompson is actually the Ultra-Humanite in Tex’s body. And this secret that the two parties know is why Manhunter is the Manhunt-ed

Hawkman calls Johnny Quick

Green Lantern is called to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

 

The gang of people who know the truth try to figure out what to do since Dynaman can easily kill any of them. They convince Hourman to share the Miracle Formula and there’s also an event to pledge loyalty in a really fascist way.

A new superhero shows up wanting to pledge but he’s sent away for the time being. Miss America goes up to start giving a speech and she instead reveals Tex is the Ultra Humanite and so Robot Man kills her before she can reveal the secret of Dynaman – which Hourman reveals – Adolf Hitler is in Dynaman’s body! And Hitler revealed immediately starts ranting about the Blacks and Jews being inferior – and it’s like James Robinson – there’s no named black people in this book – you could have race swapped some people.

Meanwhile Green Lantern is under investigation as the fight breaks out. Tigress attacks Robotman, Johnny Thunder who joined Tex’s team sends him to attack Hourman but the Thunderbolt kills himself. The Atom who was attacking Hourman explains he could be transformed because he would kill Hitler’s brain. Hitler says he’s be a great Nazi and the heroes all pile on Hitler.

Thompson tries to run but he is confronted by a fully restored Manhunter.

Captain Triumph without his powers attacks Robotman.

Hitler has been beating up the heroes – Hawkman charges and gets beaten but then the new kid shows up and Johnny Quick joins in but both are knocked down. Sportsmaster who reformed dies saving a child and Green Lantern decides to Green Lantern up.

Robotman reveals he always knew the truth and he and Captain Triumph are electrocuted to death.

Liberty Bell finds Johnny Quick and the reconcile.

Green Lantern faces down Hitler and Johnny realizes he has to do something.

Manhunter and Tex are still fighting, a guard tries to break them up so Fatman tackles the guard and is shot by Tex. Manhunter pushes Tex, still actually the Ultra-Humanite out the window killing him.

Johnny Quick meanwhile grabbed Starman with his new rod but gets easily knocked out by Hitler. The kid shows back up and looks defiant, a picture of him is taken, and Liberty Lass takes the broken rod and impales Hitler with it and he is crushed under a bus he was going to kill them with.

5 years pass, the government confiscates the journal and hides it.

Starman gets better and gets married.

Manhunter vanishes in Kenya.

Green Lantern moves onto television and launches a scholarship in honor of Charlie Bowles.

Hourman is still Hourmanning.

Al Prat settles down.

Johnny Thunder is still a jerk.

Tigress returned to being a villain since her husband died.

Liberty Lass and Johnny Quick remarry but she sticks up for herself more.

Joe McCarthy starts targeting communists instead of Tex.

The new Justice Society disbands.

The Kid was Captain Comet and becomes a major hero and other heroes show up too, marking the star of the Silver Age. Canonically Captain Comet was the first human character born with powers alongside Toro and Namor the Sub-Mariner.

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