In comments that I have made here and in Mister Silver Age's forum (may it rise again), I have asserted that the DC Multiverse (Pre-Crisis) had contained several versions of Plastic Man and, by extension, Blackhawk. But then I started thinking down a different path. Was there a way to have it be just ONE Plas and Blackhawk? Linking the various Earths through stories ranging from the 50s to the 80s, I evolved a theory. Now to those fans of the original Golden Age Quality titles, I consider those sacrosanct. This has nothing to do with those "Earth-Q" adventures.

I decided to chronolgically (more or less) than by publishing history as it may be slightly easier that way.

Roy Thomas had decided in All-Star Squadron (AStSq) #1(S'81) to have the Quality heroes exist on Earth-Two. In the preview in Justice League of America #193, we see Rod Reilly, Police Comics' first cover star as Firebrand, seriously wounded at Pearl Harbor in 1941. In AStSq #1, there was the slightly shocking sight of Plastic Man teaming with Hawkman and other DC Golden Agers. In #2, there was Phantom Lady, revealing part of Thomas' strategy to have more super-heroines. This continued in #5 where he transformed Rod Reilly's sister, Danielle into a woman torch, Firebrand II. In #13, Blackhawk is mentioned.

In #31-35 (Ma-Jl'84), Uncle Sam reappeared to tell the Squadron about how he learnt about another world, Earth-X that was losing to the Nazis and how he brought several minor Quality heroes (Miss America, Red Torpedo, Invisible Hood, Magno and Neon the Unknown) plus the slightly major Hourman there to help them. All but Hourman were killed, though at least three of them returned. He gathers another group (The Ray, Black Condor, Phantom Lady, the Human Bomb, Doll Man and the Red Bee) in order to stop visiting E-2 villain, Baron Blitzkreig and discover that Hourman was still alive. They succeed but the Red Bee ("I have a bee and I know how to use it") was killed and the Baron and two aides escape. Therefore Uncle Sam, the Ray and the Black Condor have to stay behind to "balance" things out and explain why their strips ended in the early 40s.

#41 reveals that Sandra (Phantom Lady) Knight was the cousin of Ted (Starman) Knight because if you have the same last name, you have to be related.

#48-49 guest-starred Blackhawk, just to be complete.

Then the Crisis On Infinite Earths happened and all of Roy Thomas' long-range plans were for naught. In order to have some of his plot points pay off, in AStSq #50 (O'85), in 1942, Uncle Sam returns to get reinforcements. His volunteers were Phantom Lady, Human Bomb and Doll Man; the roster of the Freedom Fighters. Also going were Midnight, Quality's Manhunter, the Spider and the Jester. More importantly Plastic Man and the Blackhawks left E-2 for E-X for good! A still-recuperating Rod (Firebrand) Reilly wanted to go.

However in October 1980 in Brave & Bold #167, the obviously Earth-Two Batman teamed up with the Blackhawks (by Crisis writer Marv Wolfman and Dave Cockrum) in an adventure that took place in 1944! This tale now became apocryphal but was it?

Here's where my theory begins. I find it hard to believe that Blackhawk would abandon his war against the Nazis (since he was an independent participant) that killed his family on his Earth just to battle Nazis on another one. So what if he sent a squadron of pilots to Earth-X? We never see exactly who was flying those planes and there were other Blackhawks beyond the main seven. Thus the Dark Knight (he was called that, too!) stayed and fought on E-2.

Then, after the War, Uncle Sam returned to Earth-Two for a final time, as things are going badly on Earth-X. This time, the seven Blackhawks decide to go and they're not alone. Firebrand finally gets to renew his battle with Nazis. Martha Roberts, Doll Man's girl-friend goes and becomes Doll Girl along with the rest of Quality's minor heroes (except for Kid Eternity who apparently goes to Earth-S). Now for the lynchpin of my hypothesis, accompanying them was Plas' sidekick, Woozy Winks, the man protected by Nature!

In JLA #107 (O'73), the revival of the Freedom Fighters, it was stated that Plastic Man and the Blackhawks were killed on Earth-X but what if that was only what the FF thought?

I propose that Plas met and married an E-X woman and that some cataclysmic battle or event occurred that triggered Woozy's link with Nature and opened a portal so he, Plas, his wife, the Blackhawks and Firebrand could escape. It probably killed the other Quality heroes which left the FF with six members and they assumed all were lost. But with this being Woozy, instead of returning to Earth-Two, they arrive on Earth-One! A Pre-JLA Earth-One! Firebrand, distrustful of this new Earth, went into hiding!

Plastic Man, his wife and Woozy Winks gets official status and was sanctioned by the FBI/NBI while the Blackhawks got the same from the United Nations and continued adventuring in Blackhawk #108 (Ja'57).

Both would help DC's emerging super-heroes in 1959 as was told in JLA #144 but for the most part, they acted alone. Were they ordered to stay away from them, lest the secret of pararell Earths be known?

This was why the UN could order the Blackhawks to disband in Blackhawk #228 (Ja'67), ten years after their arrival and make them go through the abomination of their "super" identities!

Plas and his wife have a son who, as a toddler, drank some of the acid (?????) that gave Plas his powers. This combined with a father from Earth-Two, a mother from Earth-X and being born on Earth-One no doubtingly caused his mental problems as we shall see. Now having an heir to train, Plas publically retired and "allows" himself to age. Thus when Robby Reed turns into Plastic Man in House of Mystery #160 (Jl'66), he was remembered as a hero from the past. But soon after this, Plastic Man II (Son Of Plas) debuted in Plastic Man #1 (D'66). His origin was told in #7 ("Plastic Man's Fantastic Old Man") with the elder Plas and Woozy. The series was cancelled with #10.

The young Plas appeared four times in Brave & Bold with Batman. In #76 (Ma'68), he fought the Molder and was shattered to pieces! In #95 (My'75) where he was such a draw that he was listed as "?" on the cover, he tried to frame B&B vixen Ruby Ryder for his own murder and revealed how much he hated being a "freak"! #123 (D'78), he was homeless and hopelessly depressed, controlled by Ruby, framed Bruce Wayne and battled Metamorpho. In #148 (Ma'79) his last official appearance, he was a streetfront Santa who helped Batman take on cigarette bootleggers! His final fate has been unrevealed!

After the death of his wife and the mental unstability of his son, Plas decided to come out of retirement and "de-ages" himself. Woozy somehow follows suit. They work for the FBI/NBI in the mid-70s Plastic Man #11-20 and Adventure Comics #467-478 (Ja'-D'80). He stayed active until the Crisis but was only shown on Earth-One.

Blackhawk also had a mid-70s revival where there were hints that they were getting a little old for this!

The 80s Blackhawk series took place, thankfully, during WWII so it could have happened on Earth-One, Earth-Two or even the Post-Crisis Earth!

These 80s versions teamed with Superman in DC Comics Presents #39 (N'81) (Plas) and #69 (My'84) (Blackhawk) and definitely took place on E-1.

As you can see, it's not a straight line but it does make some sense (I hope)!

What do you think?

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There must have been two Earth-X's in the Multiverse, since Quality stayed in business until the 1950s. So there had to have been  a world where Uncle Sam, the Ray, the Human Bomb, etc., won WWII.

 

As I said at the beginning, this reflects DC's interpretation of the Quality Heroes not their Golden Age past. Those took place on Earth-Q and are immutable.

There's an interesting untold story there of the heroes of Earth-Quality and Earth-X meeting and trying to figure out what one group did right and the other did wrong.

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