10 characters from the golden age who would hate their modern take
Legacy is a staple in the DC superhero community. And with dozens of Green Lanterns, Flashes, and Batmen, it’s no surprise that some of the old guard may not blend in well with their more modern counterparts. The history of the DC Universe is littered with battles for the hoods, and sometimes the winner may not always be who the original would have chosen.
Whether it’s becoming evil or just being different, these characters can and have come into conflict in so many ways. However, there is no drama without conflict and no story without drama, which these characters can certainly attest to.
ten Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel)
Most comic book fans are familiar with the modern version of Red Tornado. Created by Gardner Fox and Dick Dillin, Red Tornado is an android body mixed with the essence of Rann’s champion Tornado. What some fans may be less familiar with is Red Tornado’s namesake and original memory imprint, Ma Hunkel. Created by Sheldon Mayer, good ol ‘Ma was a cook for the Justice Society of America and was one of the first female superheroes. Despite her good nature, Ma Hunkel cannot stand an empty stomach and would sadly find her android successor a disappointment in this department.
9 Sandman (Wesley Dodds)
Gardner Fox and Bert Christman created the original Sandman in New York World’s Fair Comics # 1 in 1939. Decades later, Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith, and Mike Drigenberg radically reinvented the character as Drea – an eternal member of the Endless.
It is said that Wesley Dodds got the idea for his costume from visions of Dream, which haunted him in his sleep. If there’s a reason not to get along with someone, it’s because they haunt your dreams at night. Dream ended up doing something really cool for Wesley, but only after inadvertently haunting him for several years.
8 Atom (Al Pratt)
Al Pratt is a simple man. When he first appeared on the stage in All-American Comics # 19 by 1940 (thanks to the creative talents of Bill O’Connor and Ben Flinton) he did not need any gadgets or gadgets. Calling himself the Atom for his small size, Al Pratt fought crime primarily using his natural strength and combat prowess.
Flashforward to modern times and we see both Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi reinventing the coat with shrink machines. However, Al doesn’t have time for this nonsense and prefers to handle things the only real way he can. There is no time for nerds and pencil pushers when crime needs to be tackled.
7 Robin (Dick Grayson)
Remained under Robin’s mantle throughout his life on Earth-Two, the original Golden Age Dick Grayson – created by Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson – would never understand why his modern counterpart would throw away that legacy.
On Earth-Two, Dick became a full member of the Justice Society of America. While, on Earth-One and post-Crisis New Earth, he largely remained in his post as the leader of the Teen and later the Young Adult Titans. However, if there’s one thing the two Dicks share, it’s a complicated sense of fashion.
6 Man Hunter (Paul Kirk)
The title of Manhunter is convoluted. Originally used by the deadly anti-hero Paul Kirk (created by Jack Kirby), the mantle has been passed down to clones, robots and, more recently, Kate Spencer. Founded in 2004 by Marc Andreyko and Jesus Saiz, Kate is the granddaughter of Iron Munro and Phantom Lady, who uses collectible materials to deliver non-lethal justice to the underworld. With little regard for the lives of his victims, the Paul Kirk Manhunter would never approve of Kate’s seemingly ineffective approach to tackling crime. Despite this, Kate has been a considerably more effective crime fighter than her namesake ever. She continues to work both in costume and without costume for the betterment of the world.
5 Red Riding Hood (The Joker)
Created by Bill Finger, Lew Sayre Schwartz, and Win Mortimer in 1951, the Red Hood was the Joker’s alter-ego before he fell into the chemical tank that gave him his clown appearance. Reinvented for Alan Moore, Brian Bolland and John Higgins’ The murderous joke, the overall origin and concept of the character have remained the same. The main change was the way the Clown Prince of Crime was tricked into wearing the hood (rather than his idea). Flashforward to the version of Jason Todd we all know and love, it’s clear why the original might not fit well with the kid he beat with a crowbar and blew up. While some Jokers liked the idea of Jason wearing his old costume, it’s because of a sick joke rather than real respect.
4 Blue Scarab (Dan Garret)
Dan Garret was created by Charles Nicholas Wotjkoski in Mystery Men Comics # 1 in 1939. He was a patroller who took to the streets to fight crime in a bulletproof suit. It wasn’t until much later that the concept of the alien beetle called Khaji Da was introduced and – much later still – the new Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes.
While Silver Age Dan Garrett (notice the extra T) was billed as an archaeologist, the original version of the Golden Age never got to enjoy such sci-fi escapades. He’s become the host of outrageous pulp magazines about sexy women and brutal murders, which means the original Dan could never be a part of Jaime’s canon legacy.
3 Toyman (Winslow Schott)
Don Cameron and Ed Dobrotka first created Toyman in the 1943s Action comic # 64 as Superman’s antagonist, which he continues to be to this day. However, while the original Winslow Percival Schott remains a villain, young Hiro Okamura has been an ally of Man of Steel and the superhero community more often than not. With his base camp in Japan, Hiro rarely comes into conflict with Winslow. However, his constant help to groups like the Justice League and Teen Titans aligns him against Schlott’s villainous acts.
2 Hourman (Rex Tyler)
The most recent incarnation of Hourman created by Grant Morrison and Howard Porter is actually an 853rd century android built, in part, by the original Rex Tyler Hourman. When it was created by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily in Adventure Comics # 48, Rex was one of a plethora of superheroes who focused on rushing around and hitting heads with his bare fists. Granted an hour of power by the miracle drug Miraclo, Rex – with his scientific knowledge – has become a staple of the JSA. His robotic replacement would be too surreal for Rex to deal with, especially since he has his memory and brain patterns.
1 Superman (Kal-L)
Unlike some of the other characters who relied on speculation and guesswork, there is hard evidence as to why the original Golden Age version of Superman Kal-L would clash with its modern day counterpart. , Kal-El.
In 2005, Geoff Johns and Phil Jiminez set out to create a sequel to the original. Crisis on Infinite Earths. Title Infinite crisis, this epic tale saw the return of the original 1940s Superman to the modern world after being disillusioned by his successors. Deeming the modern Superman as a failure to give hope to the world, he unwittingly acts as a pawn of Alexander Luthor – Lex’s son of Earth-Three – as he recreates the multiverse in his own image. As the two Clarks end up teaming up to defeat a greater threat, it’s clear the original model couldn’t comprehend the new gray world he left behind.
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