Friday, September 30, 2011

The Brave and the Bold #152 letter column poll (July, 1979)

In case you couldn't read the scan above, readers were asked to write in their favorite characters to appear with Batman in his official team-up comic. The top candidate was The Usurper, beating out the Elongated Man by just three votes. Clearly, a young Doug Zawisza "helped" folks from the local graveyard offer their preference. Anyway, the Red Tomato appeared in the very next issue, while the Martian Manhunter, with no stated count, would not appear for the rest of the series run. To add salt to the wound, the only other characters mentioned as top choices to not receive spotlight appearances were the new Doom Patrol, Batgirl, The Human Target, and Captain Comet. Given the company, I'm guessing J'onn was at the Ralph Nader/Ron Paul end of the chad. Meanwhile, at least a quarter of the other selections appeared twice! The closest we ever got to a TB&TB Dark Knight/Alien Atlas pairing was a Jim Aparo cover to a DC digest.

Anyway, here's a transcript for the scan-impaired. "PL" is editor Paul Levitz, by the way...

Our big BRAVE & BOLD Readers' Poll is finally over, and the response was frightening! Some readers sent in lists of forty suggestions, bringing back heroes we had to look up in our worn guides to the forgotten Golden Age of comics. But surprisingly, a clear concensus also came out of the correspondence. Three characters got the largest pile of votes: Black Lightning, our much-promised and yet to be delivered Bat-partner, with 30 votes; The Elongated Man, who has never appeared in THE BRAVE & THE BOLD but did team up with Batman years ago in DETECTIVE COMICS, with 35 votes; and our winner, The Red Tornado, with 38 votes!

The Red Tornado will appear in these pages very shortly— probably in #153—in a special tale that we've already commissioned from Cary Burkett, who will be pinch-hitting once more to give Bob a chance to get ahead of schedule.

Other strong characters in the poll were (in no particular order): Metamorpho (who returns soon in a tale that takes Batman traveling), the Legion of Super-Heroes, the new Doom Patrol, The Atom, Firestorm, the Huntress, The Spectre, Man-Bat, Batgirl (who got her team-up shot in BATMAN magazine a few months back), Supergirl, Zatanna, Green Lantern, The Teen Titans, The Human Target, Captain Comet, the Manhunter From Mars, and The Flash.

Some of these super-stars have appeared since we started the poll, so it's our working assumption that your desire to see them has at least been temporarily taken care of. But the others are now all under serious consideration for future issues of THE BRAVE & THE BOLD, and we wouldn't be surprised if the next year or so saw most of them making appearances... with the probable exception of the Legion of Super-Heroes, which would probably drive both Bob and Jim bananas!

In closing the contest, we'd like to thank all our readers who participated in the poll for making it the most successful in our memory. You've spoken out about who you want to see in B&B, and we're going to make every effort to give you everything you want—and everything you deserve —PL.



mathematicscore said...

On the subject of Martian Manhunter's fame-only-by-proxy,

The Superman idea steals what I think could be most interesting about MM, if anyone paid it more than minimal lip service; Aliens working towards subtle social engineering.

Also, The Wondy is pretty alright, aside from the statue bit.

LissBirds said...

Why just take all those Superman redesign ideas and apply them to Matian Manhunter and then I'd be happy.

No lasso, though? How's Frank going to react to that...

LissBirds said...

Oh. And speaking of the Brave and the Bold reminds me of the JMS Adam Strange issue of B&tB that was supposed to come out in August of 2010 and never did, and who knows if Adam Strange even survived the reboot.

I want my classic-uniformed Adam Strange.


Diabolu Frank said...

M.C., I think when Comics Alliance said "awesome redesigns" they meant "carcinogenic." I hated them with such depth and immediacy it surprised me. They are to design what far right bloggers were to the Miles Morales Spider-Man. This person takes minutia and uses it to define entire characters in the most diminishing manner possible. Far beyond the usual aesthetic offense, these things actually anger me. Even if judged purely on visuals, I find the redesigns pedestrian.

That said, Martian Manhunter's self-assigned mission in the original origin was clearly social engineering, which was probably Gerard Jones' inspiration for the Master Gardener. Ostrander did a very poor job in playing with it, but J'Onn J'Onzz applying his Martian sensibilities to human development is a potentially frightening and fascinating angle.

Liss, nothing tells me more rapidly that a creator is clueless in approaching Wonder Woman than having her lay down her lasso and pick up a sword. She isn't a Grecian warrior armed with a phallic symbol. She's an evangelical bondage cowgirl. Gotta have a lasso...

Omega Agent1 said...

The social maneuvering of characters for the personal and conscripted agendas of the powers have always been present. And the nefarious characterizations or omissions of our favorite heroes are the blood sacrifices. This is the reasons no matter what the poll might say or the fan might want. You get what they give you. And 95% of the masses don't know what's happening.The dog has gotten wagged.

Omega Agent1 said...

Who is the Martian Manhunter and why did he get placed in Storm Watch? Come over and talk in plain site thebronzetiger.