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!