Monday, November 13, 2017

Man-Thing and The Spectre in: "The Desperation of Doctor Thirteen!"



I always wondered why Dr. Thirteen was such a skeptic in his back up comic stories.  I mean, he lived in the DC Universe, where super heroes and villains were quite common,  The Justice League alone included an Atlantean, an Amazon and three aliens!  I think my mind would have been a little more open to the unknown.

Man-Thing First met The Spectre in STF #1081...

15 comments:

Simreeve said...

It was actually explained at one point, I think canonically, that in his case the occult potential he'd inherited (from ancestors, some of whose own dealings with the supernatural had led to trouble from the law... or from lynch mobs) actually manifested as some kind of subconscious "scepticism field" that weakened other supernatural stuff around him and thus made his disbelief in its genuineness a bit more comprehensible...

Dr. OTR said...

I just read the original version of this story a few weeks ago! Incidentally the hashtag #Dr13 was trending a few months ago on twitter. Nothing to do with DC's occult-skeptic, but with the announcement of Jodie Whitaker as the thirteenth actor to star in Doctor Who.

Anonymous said...

It could be that, because of the prevalence of so many genuinely supernatural characters, a lot of petty criminals tried to scare their victims by _posing_ as supernatural characters.

In short, he was a one-man Scooby Squad.

FreeLiveFree said...

I actually began The Essential Man-Thing vol. 1 yesterday. Have you ever done a crossover between him and Swamp Thing.

Ross said...

Yup, one of the earlist STF's.

Reno said...

Yeah, I have the same problem when Batman is sometimes portrayed as an atheist. He's fought demons and worked with an honest-to-goodness angel in the JLA, you'd think those would be enough to make him believe in this stuff. It's the same with Mr. Terrific (Michael Holt).

Anonymous said...

@Ross: the Batman probably regards supernatural beings as no more than just extra-dimensional aliens who come from parallel universes with different laws of nature and physics.

Glenn Host said...

I think Dr 13 and Scooby Doo would be a good match. Surprise DC has not done that in the Scooby Doo Team-Up book.

Anonymous said...

Always love it when you have Jim Aparo artwork on here!!

Andres Sigalat said...

I think the thing with Dr. Thirteen is that he wasn't created to exist in a universe full of supernatural beings, probably in his own stories every supernatural phenomena was genuinelly fake. After all DC did not take this universe thing as seriously as Marvel before Crisis. Characters were created to live in their own worlds but dragged into crossovers when it was convenient. I remember, in the first issues of Warlord, Skartaris was supposed to be in the hollow earth and accessed through holes in the poles. But in any other DC comic the earth is not hollow. When the characters were brought to the wider DC universe retcons like "scepticism fields" were added to explain the discrepancies, even as they did not made a lot of sense.

Andres Sigalat said...

As for Batman, Mister Terrific (or Mr. fantastic for that matter) atheism, it's obvious in DC or Marvel you can't be atheist in the sense of not believing in the existence of gods as in the real world, but the same could be said about monotheists. Christianity, Islam and Judaism rest over the foundation of only one God existing and in a world with Thor, Hercules or Darkseid you can no longer believe this. Angels and demons are often not presented as more powerful as pagan gods or cosmic entities, but no one questions why in a world like this Nightcrawler (a character nornally presented as deeply religious) decides to believe the Christian God to be the true and only one. If you have fought alongside and against pagan gods and see them as simply powerful extradimensional beings, it`s not so difficult to see angels and demons as the same. An atheist in DC or Marvel would be someone who considers none of those beings whorthy of worship and disbelieves the claims of world creation many of them make. A monotheist would be the same except for one chosen being.

Cary Comic said...

@Andres: the recent Marvel Films about Thor have reinforced an idea that was first introduced by the writer of the mid-Nineties story arc about the missing Asgardians and the local Manhattan manifestation of the "World Tree." Namely; that the Asgardians aren't really "gods" in any supernatural sense. Rather, they're just alien superhumanoids who emulate the wardrobe and mannerisms of the medieval peoples that worshipped and deified them.

Cary Comic said...

P.S.---I am, of course, referring to the research that was done by Warren Curzon (ill-fated member of Team Code Blue from Scotland Yard) in THOR v.1/#493.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: I remember that story. Poor Curzon! The Enchantress really did a terminal number on him.

Cary Comic said...

@Anonymous: I, Carycomic, have never been anonymous.

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