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.PART THREE OF FIVE
The United Three!

RECAP: Once Archie Comics had presented the first appearances and origin stories of Archie as Pureheart, Betty as Super Teen, Reggie as Evilheart, and Jughead as .Captain Hero, it was only a matter of time before they all got together and formed a "JLA" style group of superheroes.

It happened in Life With Archie #50 (June 1966), cover pictured right. As the cover blurb says, "For the first time in any comic book! What evil can prevail against these invincible heroes... THE UNITED THREE!"

In their premiere appearance, the United Three go up against Evilheart, Mad Dr. Doom, "and the rest of the bad guys," as it says on the cover. Pictured below are several panels from this story -- it starts with Riverdale High principle Mr. Weatherbee being very nasty to Archie's teacher, Miss Grundy!
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.Thus ended the first adventure of the United Three! But like all its members, the team's first appearance was NOT an origin story -- that came later. In the case of the Three Who Are United, it came in Betty And Me #5, cover shown right

This is a key issue in the Pureheart Age of Comics, because it featured origin stories for both the United Three and Jughead as Captain Hero! We covered the Captain Hero story in part two of this five-part "Pureheart Origins" series. Now, it's time for the origin of the United Three!

Don't expect too much, reader. "Infinite Crisis" this ain't. In the Pureheart Universe, an origin story is usually as simple as a character walking into the panel and announcing their name. The fun is in that very simplicity of approach! Here's a few panels from the origin of the United Three, written by Frank Doyle and drawn by Dan Decarlo, it's Archie's Super Teens "To The Rescue!"
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"Holy Hero Worship! I say Pureheart The Powerful deserves his own title!"

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PUREHEART THE POWERFUL #1 PUREHEART THE POWERFUL #2 PUREHEART THE POWERFUL #3
.THE TROUBLE WITH THE TITLE

With the Batman TV at the height of its popularity, Pureheart The Powerful got his very own title in September 1966, by Richard Goldwater and Victor Gorelick, with issues #1's cover penciled by Bill Vigoda, brother of TV's "Fish," Abe Vigoda. With issue #4, the book was retitled Captain Pureheart. No other names were changed, and no official reason was given for the change. So why was it made? One clue might be the design of Pureheart's new logo, which was highly similar to Captain Hero's heroic latter-day logo (shown right).

Perhaps superior sales of "Captain Hero" clued Archie Comics in to the fact that superheroic logos and titles that include the rank "Captain" can increase a book's sales by alerting potential fans that there was a SUPER HERO story inside an Archie comic. But whatever the reason, Archie's superhero name was changed, and he will be known forevermore as Captain Pureheart The Powerful!
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CAPTAIN PUREHEART #3 CAPTAIN PUREHEART #5 CAPTAIN PUREHEART #6
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.NAME THAT VILLAIN!

Something about a story in Captain Pureheart #6 (splash page pictured above) has always bothered me. It's that suspicious character lurking outside Lodge mansion. He's the super villain of this story, but his NAME is never given! They actually go eleven pages with ever naming the guy. This alarming lapse in continuity cannot be allowed to continue. Let's give this super-baddie a name right here and now, for the first time ever!

Since the story is titled "The Scent of Forgetfulness," and it's about a gas that induces amnesia, I say we call this super villain... The Scent! How does that smell? And hey -- doesn't the Scent's uniform look awfully familiar? In fact, it's almost exactly like the original uniforms of a certain marvelous group of teenage mutants (pictured right)! It's almost... uncanny, isn't it!

Of course, the Scent wasn't the ONLY bad guy Pureheart and pals fought -- in fact, there were dozens of them! Who were they? What inspired them? Answers next issue, as we examine the Pureheart rogues gallery!
BONUS! "TWO-PAGE" MAP of RIVERDALE!
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CLICK HERE FOR PART FOUR!

PUREHEART'S RIOTOUS ROGUES GALLERY!
SECRET ORIGINS of CAPTAIN
PUREHEART - PART 4!



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