This week Luke sits down to explain the first year of Tangent Comics to Charlie from The Young Ones Podcast. There’s a lot of stuff about war and radiation and it is the weirdest AU.
Universes and Comics Covered:
- Earth-9 – The Atom #1, Metal Men #1, Green Lantern #1, The Flash #1, Sea Devils #1, The Joker #1, Nightwing #1, Secret Six #1, and Doom Patrol #1
Check after the jump for the image gallery and notes!
Phase One: 1997
Writer and Layouts – Dan Jurgens, Paul Ryan – Finishes, Colors – Pat Garrahy, Separations – Digital Chameleon, Letters – Dave Lanphear
Way back after World War 2 scientists wanted to study the effects of radiation on humans and there was only one survival – Arthur Harrison Thompson who got sick but didn’t die. He ended up mutating into a sort of grey alien, and got sealed in house in New Mexico.
In 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis happened and he got drafted to stop the missiles but was too late and Florida and most of the Southeast United States were destroyed.
Thompson continued working though to stop the other missiles that were sent out preventing World War 3 and was introduced by the government as The Atom in a costume, he became a big hero, made money, and changed history. The Beatles called themselves the Atomiks.
He became a big hero, and then married and vanished until they found he was living with his family on the moon.
In the 1970s the second Atom showed up, but eventually was killed.
We are introduced to the new Atom, Adam Thompson, the third Adam who wanted to hunt down The Fatal Five, Ice, Shadow Thief, Kid Psycho, Deathstroke and Count Viper who killed his father three years ago. The Atom has the generic flight, strength, and he can mess with density. He captures all of them except for Shadow Thief who mentions his father nearly destroyed the planet and that his legacy is built on lies.
We see the President Sam Schwartz and John Holliday the Chief of Staff have been watching the entire scenario while member of the organization Nightwing have been watching the President.
They want to find out what happened to the original Atom now whom they find when tracking the new Atom, who is out fishing and asks about the mysterious secret. Their location is fed to the Shadow Thief though who fires nukes at him but they escape and confront him at a nuclear base and the new Atom wants to know the truth which Shadow Thief wants him to know.
Back in 1962 the first Atom wanted to break free and deal with the Russians and in his rage killed one of his guards. The handlers found out and Arthur ran away to destroy the missiles to try and make up for it but the Cubans though he was a missile which got the Cubans to fire which resulted in the destruction of Florida and Cuba so after he destroyed all of the missiles.
Shadow Thief was the son of the murdered kid who because his father was so close to the Atom, Shadow Thief is also irradiated and he tells the first Atom to reveal the truth or he’ll never be a real hero even though it would cost him everything.
The new Atom tries to set up a life and he sees his grandfather reveal everything to congress which angers Nightwing.
Story – Ron Marz, Mike McKone – pencils, Mark McKenna with Nick Grey – Inks, Chris Chuckry – colors, Chris Eliopoulos letters
Lori Lemaris meets with the president, Sam Schwartz, in the White House, to ask about the special forces detachment he was in known as the Metal Men, 30 years in, in Czechoslovakia, 1968 which was the final front in the war against communism was still going on.
The Soviets developed Red Tornado, a chemical weapon, and were using it so when the Czech resistance got an unexploded warhead with it, the Metal Men were called in.
They were Carl Walters aka Gravedigger, Rey Quinones aka Lobo, Francis Powell aka Black Lightning, John Holliday aka Hawkman, Marcus Moore the leader of the team, and then the now president, Sam Schwartz.
The team got set up and called in for help, but everything goes to shit until they are saved by a Czech resistance fighter known as Raven. Marcus doesn’t trust her and luckily the Air Force comes in as the prepare to head into the sewers where the refugees were living.
They end up reaching the tomb where they are keeping the warhead and are ready to leave with it but Marcus wants to detonate it on Moscow. Sam is against it, and Marcus wants to use it so they don’t need to worry about losing it. The team is divided on what to do when more Russians swarm in.
Black Lightning is injured, Marcus wants to kill Raven, and things get nasty. In the end Marcus and Sam were the only ones unharmed. Marcus tries to still reprogram the bomb and they come to a standstill until Raven shoots Marcus from behind. They left his body behind and everyone else escaped, and the bomb helped to end the war. We see that John Holliday is now the Chief of Staff, Lobo and Black Lightning ended up paralyzed, Gravedigger vanished, and Sam married Raven who is now the first lady. She comes back from Beijing where China is working on a Super Girl and unknown to them, Marcus is still alive and watching them as the leader of Nightwing.
Writer – James Robinson, JH Williams – pencils, Nick Gray – inks, Lee Loughridge – colors and separations, Dave Lanphear – letters
Green Lantern is a horror comic style host who is able to bring the dead back for one final mission thanks to the magic lantern.
First she brings back Captain Comet who gained his powers from a meteor and became a big superhero. He died trying to stop a missile with the Red Tornado in it and flies into the mansion of Senator Edward Mason who is an art collector who he steals away from the party. Mason had planted a bomb at the army base because he was a spy for the Russians who got to come back as a hero and turned. He’s tried to do good since but Comet still wants revenge so he leaves Mason and tells him to go home and when Mason get home, all of his art was destroyed.
The next story is about King Faraday who was the exiled king of Moldavia who used to solve crimes as if they were puzzles. He shows up at the House of Mystery publishing office to find Roy Raymond, his old editor, to give his final mystery. He died because he was too fat to eject from one of Captain Boomerang’s fighter jet seat.
He now came to report how Ralph Digby died and ultimately reveals that it was Roy Raymond who killed the man who sought to steal his life’s work but he wont report it since that’s not his job and the two share a drink.
The last is the story of Arthur Curry, one of Captain Boomerang’s pilots who is meeting with a newspaper reporter. He gives her the rundown of Captain Boomerang and how he joined the team when he saved the audience of a show from the Darkstars. He did lead to the death of King Farraday but they are now his family since his mother died in the war and he never knew his father. She gives him photos of his mother with Captain Boomerang and says he is the son of Boomerang and then vanishes because she was his mother the whole time.
Writer – Todd Dezago, Pencils – Gary Frank, Inks – Cam Smith, Letters – Chris Eliopoulos, Colors – Patricia Mulvihill, Separations – Jamison
Lia Nelson is the Flash who has light powers. Her parents were astronauts, Celeste Nelson the chief engineer, and Captain Terrance Kelly. Celeste got pregnant and something ended up giving her powers, she grew up a public figure and tries to help people.
Her father is now a dick dastardly type villain trying to capture her for Nightwing, complete with his gang of henchmen and it always seems to backfire.
The main Nightwing agency though, led by Marcus Moore and Black Lightning secretly want to capture her since she has continually escaped the clutches of her father. Now they have created Dark Star, who has the power to Absorb life energy.
The Flash meanwhile has to choose a dress for tonight but her father ends up interfering with an attempt to try and capture her which fails.
When it fails, Kelly goes to set up his own plan unaware that his superiors at Nightwing are also planning to try and capture her at the Holovision premier. That plan fails so he has to prepare another one.
Darkstar is meanwhile given the orders to not activate until he is told, while Kelly and his team have the robot Metallo who is a remote operated robot. Kelly’s remote ends up controlling Black Lightning’s chair so Black Lightning activates DarkStar early when he says “now” on accident and DarkStar ends up absorbing his own containment device and himself and Kelly gets angry at Metallo not working, kicks it, and it falls on him.
Black Lightning activates his contingency which is a light hologram of Flash – a Reverse Flash and she rips the dress that Flash bought, so Flash summons a bunch of dupes. Reverse Flash flies back to Black Lightning after the fight but it’s really the Flash who blinds Black lightning and after the long day she runs away from the Paparazzi while her dad gets drugged with the chemicals that were supposed to stop his daughter.
Writer – Kurt Busiek, Pencils – Vince Giarrano, Inks – Tom Palmer, Letters – Clem Robins, Colors – Jason Wright
In was used to be Macon, Georgia, there is now Shaligo where the sea devils – descendants of the fish mutated by the nuclear strikes live, led by the Tribal Elders and the leader of the Elders, Ocean Master. There was another murder of a sea devil the Elders want action.
Redfin, the son of Ocean Master is a teen who wants to do his own stuff and heads to the surface in New Atlantis. He heads into the bar the Black Pirate which some humans don’t like, but the bartender likes being paid in gold.
Redfin meets his friends and his human girlfriend JJ. Moray, who likes Redfin, opens the door which makes the other bar patrons angry and attack so they take them down violently and the bartender calls the police so they escape into the water leaving JJ behind who gets past the police.
When the teens get back they notice a giant enemy crab attacking the city heading towards the land city.
Redfin bursts into the governor’s office, the governor being JJ’s father and is able to get him to make a deal. He asks for the weapons to fight it and that they publicly acknowledge the debt. He gets a gravity bomb to them but plans to never reveals they worked on this together – except the Joker recorded everything.
Meanwhile the teens prepare to exact their plan but the giant enemy crab causes a building to fall towards Ocean Master and Redfin. Ocean Master rises and they exact the plan with Thrasher, a shark sea devil with an attitude problem sacrificing himself after telling off Ocean Master. The plan works and the giant enemy crab is entombed and the city celebrates and Ocean Master leaves, revealing that he is Redfin and his father dies, knowing his son can be a great leader.
Writer – Karl Kesel, Pencils – Matt Haley, Tom Simmons – inks, Chris Eliopoulos – letters, Moose Baumann – colors, Jamison Separations
In New Atlanta, John Keel, a cop, wants to get an Impulse soda, part of a recurring bit where the machines never work. The Joker shows up, plays with him and criticizes the police before running off with his hat. Keel and his partner Moonrider chase after them and she pops their tires – outside of a base where she had captured the criminal Doll Man and his gangsters and then Keel finds that it was all broadcast by the Joker who heads home to her base.
We cut to Worlds Finest e-magazine, where “Flip” Johnson is looking for Lori Lemaris whose camera was just returned by the cops. Keel asks what she knows about the Joker and she says nobody is sure, gives some theories and they leave.
Joker reappears and steals Keel’s gun, switching it out with a fake which makes the police angry and Keel a person of interest as the only person who has been targeted twice. The police Sergeant Francine Rock and Captain Orion track her highest number of sightings to Higher Atlantis University.
There, a young student Mary Marvel is stopped by Harley Quinn who means to bully her, while Brother Power gives a speech on the need for Anarchy. The Joker appears and is told that they want her to lead – just as Keel shows up. She messed with Brother Power and runs off leaving everyone confused and then knocks out Keel who wakes up in a fantasy during the Cuban Missile Crisis with Joker appearing everywhere as he tries to save people but fails.
He’s woken up by Madame Xanadu of the VR-cade and he demands to know where the Joker is and she says the room was booked anonymously.
Keel heads to the Cuban Missile Crisis Memorial using the clues and he thinks he got called because his father sent the missiles and he thinks she lost people to the missiles even though they built over the monument. That’s when Big Barda, Dollman’s partner shows up and Joker runs off as Big Barda chases Keel. He finds Joker who ended up planning to lure Big Barda to a booby trapped Impulse soda machine and she leaves Keel with a soda and loads of question and as he opens the pop, confetti shoots out.
John Ostrander – writer, Jan Duursema – art, Gloria Vasquez – colors, Heroic Age – separations – Dave Lanphear – letters
We start off with Nikki Faure, a young woman being chased by FIRESTORM soldiers until Gravedigger from Nightwing shows up and tells them to stop. They refuse, so he says Shazam and Nikki turns into Wildcat who kills them all and Gravedigger changes her back.
Vincent Lord aka Hex, a man in a trenchcoat with a magic robot familiar gets approached by Nightwing agents and while they resist his attack magic he hypnotizes them to think they’re dead.
Elsewhere Arlette St George aka the Black Orchid who is sort of Nico Robin from One Piece but she needs tantric energy gets surrounded and is called in by Gravedigger.
They all meet up in DC, people who were saved from Nightwing by Gravedigger.
Meanwhile at the Nightwing HQ which is a secret pentagram star under the pentagon, Marcus Moore gets called in to talk to the Creeper who vapes souls for energy gets updated that Gravedigger’s group of Rogues plans to inform the President that Nightwing exists but Rogues is unaware that there is an informant.
The Rogues sneak in with Black Orchid turning into the president’s wife, while The Creeper also tunnels in. Black Orchid gives the president a dream about the origin of Nightwing, how Kennedy set it up but was killed before anyone else was aware and that Marcus Moore who was in the Metal Men along with the president control the organization. They are part of an even older group of magic users founded by Vandal Savage called the Order of Saint Dumas which split during the American revolution into Nightwing for America and Meridian for Europe. The Creeper owns Moore’s soul which is how he controls Nightwing and uses it to help his group of evil wizards known at The Dark Circle.
She then tries to have dream sex with the president but the Creeper stabs her so the rest of Nightwing rushes in and stops the Creeper and captures him but it turns out that this was Gravediggers plan since now Marcus can vape his soul back and Gravedigger’s Rogues don’t know that they work for the actual Nightwing.
Writer – Chuck Dixon, Pencils – Tom Grummett, Colors – James Sinclair, Letters – Ken Lopez
We start off with a mysterious underwater explosion that kills a bunch of sea devils so FIRESTORM decides to send in their agent Gunter Ganz, and this discussion is captured on film.
Meanwhile in California, The Atom, The Flash, Hawk and Canary are doing a signing for charity and Flash’s mother wants her to team up, but the news report comes in so Atom and Flash head out for it.
In Guatemala, The Manhunter and her robot dog are out for revenge and are told to find Dr. Aquadus and The Manhunter uses her dog to kill the informant.
In San Diego, the Spectre, Taylor Pike, sneaks into a military base only to be caught by Gunter Ganz, the Plastic Man who offers him a job.
And in New Atlantis, The Joker stops the Riddler who is a guy who will riddle people with bullets by tripping him down stairs and when she gets back to her base she sees the news about the Sea Devils and decides to help.
She steals a boat and runs into some of Dr Aquadus’ men but Manhunter shows up to help take them out. Meanwhile Plastic Man and Spectre walk towards the base and Plastic Man explains he is remotely controlled.
At Aquadus’s base Warlord, Damage, and the Eclipsos prepare for their bosses’ plan and Aquadus is in a giant tank of water. As the infiltration starts we find out Aquados developed the Red Tornado weapon meaning he’s very evil.
Atom and Flash arrive and we see that Aquadus has turned the ocean and himself into a water elemental – he is Aquaman and he captures them.
Everyone starts fighting in the base, we find Plastic Man got merged with plastic when Aquadus got merged with the water and Aquadus is using the Eclipsos to power him up. The team frees Flash and Atom, they disrupt the Eclipsos and Aquaman loses his power and dissipates and Atom suggests they form a team and they call it the Secret Six.
Dan Jurges – writer, Sean Chen – Pencils, Kevin Conrad and Ray Kryssing – inks, Jason Wright – colors, Digital Chameleon – separations, Dave Lanphear – letters
We start off in 2030 where the world is breaking apart and Lourdes Dey aka Firehawk, and her boyfriend split up as the goes to Deylight Labs where her mom is and we meet the rest of her team. Her mom, Dr. Diedre Dey, the robot Star Sapphire and Rampage, an advanced android.. As they prepare to go back in time, the third Atom shows up to stop them. When they leave he tries to warn them about Nightwing but they don’t hear it and he tries to stop them but he’s too late and he wants to kill them but he can’t and behind them the earth explodes.
The ship the Kittyhawk lands in 1997 and they decide to try and make a press conference but pretend to be able to see the future and not time travelers since that could be dangerous. Most of the people are uninterested in what she has to say but she lays out the three events.
The Soviet flight to Mars will explode.
The US Government Official from the NSA will be killed by the Soviets.
3. A storm will hit New York that will destabilize Earth’s core.
The press conference goes nowhere, Deidre gets the nickname Doomsday and so they decide to stop the events. They go to stop the Rocket but soviet soldiers with rockets accidentally blow up the ship.
Nightwing meanwhile is angry that this new team knows so much about them.
We get a moment where Lourdes is interested in the Atom now that he’s younger but her mom gets angry. Jake Wiley from the National Security Bureau shows up on orders from the president and they find out he’s the one the soviets are supposed to kill. Rampage sees that he has an explosive and Jake was supposed to use it to kill them but he blows up himself instead. Nightwing then tries to steal their ship and Star Sapphire tries to blast them and ends up opening a hole in spacetime and the team realizes they doomed the Earth. The Atom shows up and they want to close the rift but now they figured out what is going on and they rush to the current Deylight Labs where they are working on time travel in the lab and this storm. Doomsday and Firehawk run to the lab, and stabilize the machine and while the other half closed the rift and the Atom should be able to warn them in the future but it turns out that in the blast he forgot everything meaning they are doomed to repeat everything.