|Lady Luck deals the devil's game in Phantom Stranger #6 (2013). Art by Zander Cannon, Gene Ha, and Dan Davis.|
In this story, the Phantom Stranger ventures into Hell in search of his mortal family. He meets a group of card-playing demons—Belial, Suge and Ruskoff, all sons of Trigon. Their dealer is Lady Luck, a slient and mysterious woman whose visage sometimes changes to suggest death.
Lady Luck was one of three characters invented by the Will Eisner shop for his new weekly comic book section of The Spirit. Her alter ego was Brenda Banks, and she first appeared in newspapers on 2 June 1940. After her feature was removed from the weekly Spirit section, she took over the title of Smash Comics in 1949 with issue #86. These were not reprints, but new adventures by her (fourth) newspaper artist, Klaus Nordling.
This is Lady Luck's only appearance in a DC comic.
SEE: Cosmic Teams > Lady Luck
|Jim Lockhart, inventor of the Red Torpedo. From Earth 2 #13 (2013); art by Yildiray Cinar and Bob Hunter.|
Before this, the Red Torpedo had three incarnations at DC Comics. First, as a member of the All-Star Squadron, then as an aide to Aquaman, then reinvented as an android sibling of the Red Tornado.
SEE: Cosmic Teams > Red Torpedo
The Clock!SPOILERS! There were clues about this. In Masks, the book by Dynamite that teams history's earliest super heroes, Brian O'Brien aka the Clock made a cameo early in the series (Masks #3). At the time, I thought it was an odd nod in a series already jam-packed. Why take the time to mention a character that wasn't going to be featured in the story?
Sure enough, he had a larger role to play in this series. In 1938, New York state is taken over by the Justice Party, a front for a totalitarian organization bent on solving society's problems with an iron hand. The party quickly implemented sweeping new powers and created a Black Legion police force. Tony Quinn, who succeeded O'Brien's as District Attorney recalled that Brian had found the law too limiting, which is why he chose to operate outside of it as the Clock. In Masks, Quinn loses his sight and also becomes a masked adventurer, the Black Bat.
When the heroes closed in on the mastermind behind the Justice Party, this master killed his underling, the mayor, with poison gas issued from a wall clock. (#4) The heroes eventually tracked down the master to the Empire State Building, where O'Brien had surrounded himself with clock symbols. He now wore all white (#5) and boasted to them about how easy it was to assume control of government. (#6) He intended to take over the whole country. When the Shadow engaged O'Brien, his face was revealed to Quinn, who recognized him immediately. (#7)
O'Brien's appearance in this series borrows some things from the Clock's Quality Comics adventures. His rather KKK-like white hood is exactly like that of his white-hooded foe, Big Shot, from Crack Comics #1 (1940). In that story, the hooded figure turned out to be the city mayor.
Writer Chris Roberson talks about the Clock's inclusion at CBR. Also according to Roberson, this entire story was inspired by a pulp-era Spider tale by Norvell Page. The Black Legion was inspired by the actual historical Black Legion, a splinter group of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1930s. (The Black Legion was also the name of a group fought by Uncle Sam.)
|Big Shot (aka Mayor Kozer). |
From Crack Comics #1 (1940); art by George Brenner.
|O'Brien's new guise, as leader of the Justice Party. From Masks #6 (2013); art by Dennis Calero.|
SEE: Cosmic Teams > The Clock
Misc.!This great poster was printed twice. Originally it was inserted into the collected History of the DC Universe (1987). According to the DC Vault (2008)—the other place it appears—readers could also send away for a chance to win a limited edition copy. This collage style poster features several Quality characters, each drawn by a different artist. I'm not good enough to pick all of them out and this scan isn't legible for some names:
- Plastic Man by Bill Sienkiewicz
- The Ray by Bret Blevins
- Black Condor by Michael T. Gilbert
- Lady Blackhawk by Brian Bolland
- Blackhawk by Howard Chaykin
- Chop-Chop is Kyle Baker (? most likely)
Cosmic Teams > Quality Collectibles