Friday, January 29, 2016

Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 Strangest Elseworlds Stories



Welcome back to another edition of Top 5 Fridays! If you know me, then you might know my love for Elseworlds stories. I love the continuity, but its always awesome to see some strange take on the worlds we love. In my travels across these worlds, I have found an assortment of strange and interesting stories, so that's what we'll be talking about today. Obviously the amount of Elseworlds is staggering so it's impossible to read them all, so I apologize if you don't see your own favorites. Enough talk! Lets get right into the trip into the strange...





5: Justice League: The Nail

Out of all the Elseworlds on this list, this one is probably the most normal looking, yet strange nonetheless. In this story, written by Alan Davis, a nail gets stuck in the Kent's Truck tire, preventing them to go on their drive that would find them baby Kal-el, and by extension, not create superman. There's still Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Justice League, but no superman... Which is apparently a bad thing. Without Superman giving the world an image of a superhero we can trust, Luthor and Perry White have joined forces for an Anti-Superhero campaign, leaving the Justice League unwanted as a villain plots against them. The reason why this world is so strange is due to the fact of what unfolded due to just a single nail. Not to go too deep into spoilers, but heroes betray other heroes, the villain is not who you may think, BATMAN KILLS! And no he's not Thomas Wayne or possessed, he kills a villain with his bare hands! All of this...because of a single nail. 



4: Batman: Holy Terror

In this story, written by Alan Brennert, Bruce Wayne is a priest....Yeah, strange to say still. He is a priest in a world where America is controlled by a theocratic (Religion based) government. When he finds out the government might have been the cause of the death of his parents, he dons the bat costume his father worn for a passion play and seeks the truth of what the government hides. This story is very odd due to the setting and how the characters are treated within. Despite the time period being the 90's, many practices and beliefs make this feel more like the 1800's. Any science based or magic characters, such as Barry Allen and Zatanna, are kept hidden from the world above while other characters have been used as experiments. It makes me wonder what our normal world would have looked like if our government was like that now. It's a strange tale if you can find it, that's for certain.
Fun Fact: This story was the first to bear the Elseworlds logo, making it the official first Elseworld.


3: The Superman Monster

Now we're getting to the REALLY weird ones. In this Elseworld, written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, we get a retelling of Frankenstein, except replaced with Superman characters. "But Jody," your probably saying, "how does the story of a man creating a monster match with the mythos of superman?" The answer: it actually fits well. The story revolves around Victor Luthor, who wishes to test his theory that he can create life. One night, he sees an alien craft crash in the woods, containing the skeletal remains of a baby. After an explanation from a Jor El hologram, Luthor uses the life matrix inside the ship as a lightning rod to bring his creature (who obviously looks like Bizarro) to life! The strangeness here is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand it's a tale of a Bizarro that grows into Superman, and this time the creature IS the hero and the creator is the villain. There is another story in this world which is a retelling of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde with Batman characters, but I haven't been able to find a copy, but this will satisfies me too. 


2: Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham 

This is the Elseworld that inspired me to make this list. The story, written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, finds Bruce Wayne returning to Gotham after years traveling and training to be the Batman. Before Returning to Gotham, he followed the trail of Professor Cobblepot's expedition to the arctic to save them...and he stumbles upon a man half frozen to death trying to free a tentacled creature in the ice. This sparks a chain of events that will bring elder gods to Gotham and destroy it...do I really need to explain how this story is strange? It's based off of  the works by H.P. Lovecraft, creator of the Cthulhu Mythos! If anyone has read his stories, they know what they are in for. Without spoiling too much, we find Cobblepot stark naked in the Arctic, hanging with Penguins, after giving up his humanity after seeing the tentacled beast! How is that for strange?! If your a fan of Cthulhu or Batman, the collected edition was just released a few weeks ago.


1:  DC German Expressionist Cinema Trilogy


I'm guessing a majority of you readers just went 'huh? What's that?' These three stories, written by husband wife team Jean-Marc and Randy Lofficer, are based on three movies from The German Expressionism Movement before the First World War. The first one is called Superman's Metropolis which revolves around Clark Kent-son falling for a woman named Lois from Metropolis' undercity and his journey in trying to unite the under and over all the while learning the truth of his past. It's a good adaptation of the Metropolis movie, while still mixing the Superman Mythos in well...then things get more strange as we expand this world. The second story is Batman Nosferatu, which follows Bruss Wayne as he uncovers a dark plot in the shadows of the great Metropolis. Soon he is killed, but brought back as The Nosferatu by sentient machines to fight those shadows. While this is not an adaptation of Nosferatu, it does hold some patterns of it as well as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The final story is Wonder Woman: Blue Amazon, which follows a mind wiped Diana as she learns about her past and the truth about the great city. I won't reveal what this truth is, but let's just say it is a little insane. Despite the oddities this series of this Elseworld put out, art included, I still found enjoyment. Its strange and enjoyable and that's why it's at the top of my list.

That's it for this week's Top 5 Friday! What Elseworld do you find strange but cool? Leave a comment and I'll see you next time!
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15 comments:

  1. Great list! I think "The Nail" was in reference to that old poem (and I think it's included in the story): "For want of a nail, the horse was lost/For want of a horse, the knight was lost/For want of a knight, the kingdom was lost." I do love the oft-reprinted classics Red Son and Kingdom Come, but one of my favorites is Darkest Knight, where Batman gets the Green Lantern ring and Sinestro basically turns into the Joker. It's drawn pretty badly but the concept and story ar cool.

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  2. DC should seriously consider an ongoing Elseworlds series. Sure, there would still be a lot of Batman and Superman stories, but that series could open up the floor to any hero, whether they currently have a series or not. More than just a DC What If? (which most frequently saw Marvel envision changes from old stories, much as all those Secret Wars spin-offs did, as opposed to Convergence, which was kind of like a massive Elseworlds event), this would help the company continue to explore not just the newly established Multiverse, but more...elseworlds! Yeah, well...

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    1. One thing that never made sense to me was that, while promoting the New 52 in 2011, Dan Didio explained that they would no longer be producing Elseworlds stories. I was like, why? It's not like Elseworlds ever had a specific publishing schedule or was such a failure that it needed to be abandoned--Red Son and Kingdom Come have always been in print, so far as I know. I mean, if you don't have any worthwhile Elseworlds stories, then fine, don't publish any. But if you do get a cool pitch, what's the harm in making it? You might turn up another Red Rain or something.

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    2. Well, we did get Earth-One stuff and Dark Knight III

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    3. Didio doesn't know what he's talking about, Dark Knight 3, Earth One Teen titans and Earth One Wonder Woman are else worlds stories. Not to mention Injustice: Gods among us, and Justice League: Gods & Monster.

      I think elseworld Stories are an original staple in DC Comics. I wish DC continue making them especially every time they deside the need some super big event to boost sales. Instead of have some Small closed events and an Elseworld Story instead.

      My Favorite Elsworlds are
      1. Kingdom Come
      2. Superman Red Son
      3. Dark knight returns
      And an honorable mention to
      All-Star Superman.

      Great List Jody, there's 3 here I never heard of. I'll have to give them a try.

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    4. With trade collections of Batman, Superman, and Justice League Elseworlds stories coming out this year, plus the Doom That Came To Gotham coming out a few weeks ago, I'd say DC is embracing the idea again. Which, incidentally, is just fine with me.

      And for what it's worth, when I talk about Elseworlds I mean the specific imprint that began in 1989 with Gotham By Gaslight. Technically speaking DKR is not an Elseworlds tale.

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    5. technically now it is since it no longert has a place in the multiverse :P

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  3. Those are some really eclectic choices you've got there. Then again, I've heard fantastic things about JLA: The Nail. Personally, some of my favorite elseworlds are:Planetary/Batman, Planetary/JLA and Justice Riders. Alongside, of course, the more classic ones like DKR etc.

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  4. I really like the Red Rain trilogy, and the Blue the Grey and the Bat. i thought that a civil war batman story would have really made this list.

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    1. i saw it on the digital store, but haven't read it. might check it out!

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  5. What does Elseworld mean, everything not on Earth 2? Crazy list by the way, those are new to me.

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    1. Elseworlds are stories that dont make it into the multiverse. Before the new multiverse, the justice riders were an elseworld

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    2. Ah that makes sense, there really isn't much new Elseworld stuff.

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    3. Yeah, the newest thing considered elseworld is JL: Gods and Monsters, and it doesn't have the elseworld print

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    4. So JL:GM is not part of the multiverse?? Same with Injustice right? Until they give those stories one of the unknown multiverses!

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