Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Apex City



Firstly, I'm still really ticked my plans for this week were botched. With April Fool's Day starting us out, things would have been that much more perfect.

Secondly, after my lengthy post regarding the Martian Manhunter's various bases of operations, it pains me to admit so soon that I already missed one: J'Onn J'Onzz's underwater headquarters, used by the Justice League in their failed CBS pilot from the 90's.

Lastly, in light of the first two, I wanted to break up the Hembeck strips for a day to at least partially acknowledge the holiday, and address the question of which city Detective John Jones patrolled during the Silver Age. I consulted my records from the old "Rock of the JLA" site, where I found my re-edited collection of message board posts made by a fellow under the handle "Commander Steel." Back before I had any of MM's Silver Age comics of my own, "Steel" laid down the gospel, and in those notes he repeatedly referred to the city as "Middletown." Note the "w." However, my notes also suggest at the time he had "over thirty" Detective Comics appearances, well short of the sampling from the recent "Showcase" collection of strips. As Scipio of The Absorbascon has read that whole edition (and I still haven't,) I'm plenty willing to get behind his assertion that the town is not only called "Apex City," but that it happens to be in Florida.

Now, there is evidence to suggest that Detective Jones did not pound a beat in the Sunshine State. I just read a story in which a radiator is clearly visible in Jones' apartment, and he felt the need to wrap a dog in one of his sweaters to protect against the cold outdoors. However, all those 50's tales were written by either Jack Miller or Dave Wood, and these guys couldn't even keep J'onn J'onzz's name straight, much less his powers, location, or even elements of a given plot. When you can't stay on track for six straight pages, inconsistencies have to be forgiven to locate a semblance of a norm. Scipio combed over many dozens of stories, and you can follow his logic in the article "Where In The World Is Martian Manhunter?" A comical piece follows, concerning "Meteorology In Apex City". Finally, Scipio took all of the information at his disposal to craft the Heroclix map shown on this page, with greater detail here. All of this may be a fiction, but considering the thought and effort, I think we'd all do well to give it as serious a consideration as ludicrous Silver Age DC storytelling will allow.

2 comments:

Scipio said...

"many dozens of stories"

79, to be exact. You have no idea what that'll do to you.

Frank Lee Delano said...

Oh, I in fact do know what that sort of thing will do to a man, which is exactly why I'm reading my own Showcase as slowly as possible. Hell, I've got a catalog of Gardner Fox story synopsis that, by the end, had me loudly demanding Snapper Carr be sodomized and Fox himself declared mentally incompetent. Now, I try to run a clean family establishment here, and Jack Miller is like black tar heroin to Fox's "jazz cigarettes." I'm aware of my bodily tolerance for Silver Age DC, and fear sending myself into toxic shock if I ventured too far too fast.