Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Crossover Cover: More Blood
This authorized anthology of new Destroyer stories written by fans of the series, co-edited by Warren Murphy's son, has two stories with crossovers. One is Brad Mengel's "The Roads Not Taken." A cop turned soldier in Vietnam named Remo is greeted by a sentry named Michael Long, also a cop in civilian life. Remo’s platoon mates have nicknamed him the Destroyer, just as others in the group have been dubbed the Exterminator, Hannibal, and Sergeant Mercy. Remo considers becoming a soldier of fortune when his tour of duty ends, "like that Rainey fellow people [keep] talking about." Remo can see himself like James Bond, traveling the world to protect America. A visiting soldier tells a group of listeners about how he cleared a fellow soldier of the allegation of a massacre at Hoi Binh. This soldier, named Bolan, also tells them a story he heard from a guy named Spenser in Korea. Michael Long (later known as Michael Knight) is from the TV series Knight Rider. The Exterminator is John Eastland from the movies The Exterminator and Exterminator 2. Hannibal is John "Hannibal" Smith from the TV show The A-Team. Sergeant Mercy was the wartime nickname of Mack Bolan, aka the Executioner, the vigilante created by Don Pendleton. Bolan cleared the name of Niles Barrabas in "Incident at Hoi Binh," included in Executioner #63: The New War Book. Barrabas is the protagonist of another series, The Soldiers of Barrabas by Jack Hild. Jim Rainey is the hero of Peter McCurtin’s Soldier of Fortune series. James Bond needs no explanation. Spenser is Robert B. Parker’s future private investigator. In R.J. Carter's "Fool's Paradise," Remo Williams and Chiun team up with a masked vigilante to end the threat of the sentient computer chip Friend, which has been corrupted by the caped crusader’s archenemy, a psychotic clown. Mark Howard, assistant director of CURE, tells Remo, "Thanks to the run of unique characters that regularly pass through this city, your street clothes and your blurred-out features have the newscasters crediting some faceless vigilante, with the'‘man in the kimono' as his partner and sensei. Richard Salamander, Rick Dragon, something like that.' There is apparently some bad blood between Chiun and this latter individual. The vigilante says that more than one of the defense mechanisms in his cave headquarters were designed to contend with an out-of-control extraterrestrial, should the need ever arise. Although the masked vigilante is not referred to by name, the story makes it abundantly clear that he is the Batman. Per CU continuity, this would be the as-yet unidentified fourth Batman, whose predecessors were Bruce Wayne Sr., Dick Grayson, and Bruce Wayne Jr. His archenemy is the Joker. The faceless vigilante is another DC Comics hero, the Question (although he was originally published by Charlton Comics), while his sensei is martial arts master Richard Dragon. The extraterrestrial against whose losing control Batman is taking precautions is Superman.