Part of the charm of DC COMICS were that they were crazy.
Superhero comics started around World War II, really died out at the end of the Forties, and hit a resurgence in the late Fifties/ mid Sixties.
Through these times DC kept on publishing Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, but the resurgence took all of their
movie IP characters and redid them. Flash, Green Lantern, The Atom… all these guys were different in everything but name to the characters published in the Forties.
At some point, the writers a) figured out the people reading comics in the Fifties/ Sixties had read the Forties stuff too; B) got bored; C) both and came up with a scheme to have stories about the Fifties Flash and the Forties Flash- they both existed in parallel worlds. World War II Flash lived on Earth-2 and The Flash from the current stuff lived on Earth-1… because he didn’t fight in World War I? Fans liked this idea and the scheme was used more and more often, annually in fact. Writers expanded more Earths as time went on: Earth-3 was the planet of naughty super villains, Earth-S was where Captain Marvel lived (not Earth-CM), etc. Parties ensued.
Writer Marv Wolfman then created Earth-D (for Diversity or Doomed. Take your pick), where superheroes were a bit more diverse (and doomed take your pick): Superman was African, perhaps African American, Green Arrow was a Native American Indian, Aquaman was very.. fish-like? Flash was Japanese, and The Atom was … maybe Latino?
Batman still white.
The heroes of Earth-D had one appearance. The Flash from Earth (Not during World War) 1 was fighting a bad guy who was eating all of the different Earths. He jumps to Earth-D for the first time, meets Japan Type Flash and together they team up with the Earth-D Justice Alliance of America to
fill an issue fight the hungry bad guys.
The bad guys win and Earth-D is eaten. Flash of Earth-1 goes on to find other heroes to
get eaten save the day.
I was asked to make The Flash and The Atom of Earth-D.
In contrast to our Japanese hero, The Atom is more of a background character.
As he is a miniature dude (as atoms are, in science, small things with jet packs and laser pistols) it was hard to get a lot of references for his super suit.
Finally, I figured out his helmet had a voice amplifier, so that people wouldn’t step on him. In fact, he is my first “in scale” little dude.
Yes, his jet pack is a Christmas light bulb. I made resin casts of Christmas lights for other jet packs and the increased weight really throws off the balance.
These guys were a lot of fun to make. Highly unlikely to ever show up on a TV show.
Catch up with our Christmas Count-down:
Day 12 is here.
Day 11 is here.
Day 10 is here.
Day 9 is here.