Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Those Who Forget History...

Yesterday when I woke up, I wondered if The Gentleman Brawler was ever in a superhero group, or whether Grandpa Anarchy had been in one earlier in his career before the founding of the League of Two-Fisted Justice.  I'm a big fan of the Watchmen, and also of the Venture Brothers, and both have elaborate back stories to explain how things got to be the way they are now.  My Grandpa Anarchy universe has bits of back story that I've made up as needed for different stories, but I didn't have it all collected in one place.

For example, I had two stories that establish that the Gentleman Brawler died in Butte Montana in 1920.  In an early story I'd mentioned this without giving a date, but later I wanted to depict the actual event so I'd established exactly when it was.  My first Christmas story establishes how Grandpa Anarchy met the Gentleman Brawler, but there are no dates given.  I'd written up a history of the Grandpa Anarchy comics that states that a man named Evron Lempel started writing Gentleman Brawler pulp adventure stories in the 1920's.  I don't think this is written into any story (it would be in one of the Kid Continuity stories, I'll have to check them) so I changed it to 1918.

I also had mentioned in another story that the Tunguska Event in Siberia in 1908 was caused by a Nikoka Tesla death ray, and that he and the Gentleman Brawler were fighting Grigori Rasputin.  (This is, by the way, not far off from some of the wilder conspiracy theories on the internet.)  I had written into my back story on the origins of OminGen that the original company was Jebediah Incorporated, founded by Jebadiah Judas in 1887 who sold Jebadiah's Miracle Elixer, a cure-all with nasty side effects.  Although I hadn't written it down, even in my back history notes, I knew that Madman Judas was a big nemesis of the Gentleman Brawler.

I spent a good deal of time yesterday constructing a timeline based on notes and comments in maybe  twenty different stories and my background history document.  When I was done, I had established that the world's first "super group" was the New World Heroic Society, formed in 1909 by the Gentleman Brawler and Nikola Tesla, and including Dermota Avalon the sorceress (grandmother or great aunt to Dark Dr. Dark), and Valentin Zholdin the strongman (grandfather to Nina Ballerina).

Based on that I established that Grandpa Anarchy formed his own supergroup in 1932, called  the New Revised New World Heroic Society.  The members were Mr. Anarchy, and several others to be determined later, but possibly including two heroes named Slay Belle and Monkey's Uncle.

Previous to this, Grandpa had teamed with his older brother, a cop, in the 20's.  They called themselves Order & Anarchy, and mostly fought gin runners and organized crime.  Grandpa met Unpossible Man during World War II, when he went by Sgt. Anarchy.  After the war he worked with Unpossible Man for a while, and in the 50's he worked as a duo with Guy Shadow.

However I noticed another discrepancy.  The League of Two-Fisted Justice wasn't formed until after Guy Shadow's death.  I marked this down as 1961.  But my notes said that the Two-Fisted Tales of Grandpa Anarchy comic book was launched in 1955.  It seemed odd that the comic book title would come before the super group, but I wondered, maybe Grandpa formed an early version of the group after the war and it didn't last long?  Thus in 1951 I note that the first incarnation of the League of Two-Fisted Justice was established, with Grandpa Anarchy, Unpossible Man, Guy Shadow, and Popeye Khan.  It disbanded in less than a year.

Anyway -- having worked all of this out, I have a much better understanding of Grandpa's entire career, including a good idea of when he was actually born.  I'm sure all of this will be useful in a few future stories.

1 comment:

  1. And you think my backstory is complicated...