Thursday, April 4, 2024

Crossover Cover: Centipede '63


The vigilante known as the Black Centipede and Captain Marla Bartowski, the daughter of his old friend Stan Bartowski, attempt to thwart the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Centipede’s foe Adrian Countenance is executed at Winnemac State Prison in Zenith. The town of Zenith, located in the fictional state of Winnemac, is from the works of Sinclair Lewis. The Centipede reaches out to ex-cop turned private eye Ace Harlem for info. Ace appeared in a story by John Terrell in the one-shot All-Negro Comics in July 1947. The Centipede and his allies Raoul and Marie Unknown discuss the Martian War of 1897. The Martians came to Earth in cylinders. Of course, this is a reference to H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. The Centipede receives a call from his ex-wife Anonymoushka, the precognitive daughter of Professor Moriarty. In the Black Centipede’s universe, Moriarty is really Sherrinford Holmes, Sherlock’s brother. He was bitten by Count Dracula, and as a result came back as a vampire after his death at Reichenbach Falls. He then killed Dracula and took his mantle as Lord of the Vampires. This is obviously incompatible with CU continuity and makes the Black Centipede books an AU. Marla contacts her friend, FBI agent Jill Trent. Jill Trent, Science Sleuth was the protagonist of a feature in Nedor Publishing’s titles Fighting Yank and Wonder Comics from 1943-1948. The Centipede calls his friend Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. He also says about a foe, “He was a criminal at heart, and as somebody once said, criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot.” “Somebody” is Batman. 

This crossover is one of over a thousand covered in my book Crossover Expanded: A Secret Chronology of the World Volume 3, coming this summer from Meteor House! All three volumes are AUTHORIZED companions to Win Scott Eckert's Crossovers: A Secret Chronology of the World Volumes 1 and 2!

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