Who's Who In The DCU 3.27.03

Hey! What is the deal? I want to thank everyone who responded to the first column. If I didn’t answer your question this week it will get answered next week. And I posted a correction to the Firestorm controversy on the message board. Sorry for the confusion. Let’s get it started.

The first question is from Bill Doughty

Here’s a question for you… okay, so if I’m remembering this right, Lex Luthor was dying of Kryptonite radiation poisoning, faked his own death, had his brain placed in an improved clone body and re-entered public life posing as his own (Australian) son, Lex Luthor II. Thanks to that disease that plagued all the DCU clones (Superboy, Guardian, the Newsboy Legion), he got sick and almost died, and single-handedly wrecked Metropolis. And then he was cured by after making that deal with Neron in Underworld Unleashed. Now he’s President of these here United States, and everyone seems to think of him as being the original Lex again. How does that work? Shouldn’t everyone still think he’s still Lex Jr., or did Neron make everyone forget about the whole death/cloned “son” debacle when he restored Lex to health?

Y’know I have often wondered what happened myself. I mean how could an incarcerated, sickly clone rise to the position of Head of State? Very simple: using magic and technology. You know about Lex’s deal with Neron (during Underworld Unleashed Neron went around offering heroes and villains their greatest desire in exchange for their souls. This is how we got Killer Moth became Charaxis and Blockbuster gained intelligence.) After Lex became healthy he then put a clone of himself in police custody. Once the clone stood trial for the crimes in Metropolis, Lex entered the courtroom and “proved” his innocence. Exonerated, Lex stabilized his empire and made his way to the White House.

The next couple of questions are from Les.

1) I’ve started reading JSA with issue 40. One of my favorite titles, but I want to know what turned Obsidian evil? Last time I saw him he was a 3rd-string JLA member.

2) How does Flash make money? I’m serious. His identity is public. He’s always hanging out with the Keystone PD detectives, but he’s not a detective or work for the police department. Does the JLA or Titans pay him (Like the Avengers get paid for being Avengers)? Or is he just rich? Or does he get his money from the profits that come in from the Flash Museum? What’s the deal there?

So you are in the dark about Obsidian eh? Allow me to shed some light on the subject. The plight of Todd “Obsidian” Rice, where to begin? His adoptive father abused this son of former Green Lantern and current Sentinel Alan Scott. Then in the “Hearts of Darkness” miniseries Obsidian revealed some of the darkness within himself. Someone decided that Todd should suffer from depression and mental illness (why the poor treatment of the mentally ill in comics? Why can’t we have a mentally ill hero in mainstream comics? Just think of the fun.) After that Todd gained a mentor in Ian Karkull, a JSA adversary who was responsible for their being fit as a fiddle to this day, who took him to the dark side. Under the tutelage of Karkull, Todd mastered his powers, and battled the JSA. High on power Obsidian killed his mentor and was brought down by his pop, good ol’ trusty Sentinel. (Sorry for all the light and dark puns, I just couldn’t help myself.)

How does the Flash make money? Believe it or not he was a millionaire. Wally West is a lottery winner. Early in the series West hit the lottery, but then lost the money. For a while he had to work. But then he gained some support from the Barry Allen Foundation. A woman who claimed that he didn’t do his “job” as a super hero sued him, and the Foundation wanted to distance them from him. They withdrew their funding. Wally was cleared of wrongdoing. But yes the JLA does pay him. Check out Aquaman #2 from a couple of months back and see what other cool perks JLA members get. Wally was also a member of the Justice League of America, which he also got a check from. Plus his wife was a news reporter, so she must have been raking in some kind of dough. Spend no more nights tossing and turning worrying about the financial affairs of young Mr. West.

Brad Pittenger has our next question.

I guess I’d ask – what is all this stuff about the JLA? There have been a lot of attempts to make “new” Justice League’s over the years (at one point there were like four different monthly varieties). Why is this one working? How do they integrate Superman & Batman into monthly mag while keeping the storylines going in their own weeklies?

First they brought back A list heroes. Not that Guy Gardner, Booster Gold, and Power Girl’s cat are bad heroes, just not JLA caliber. This league began with the magnificent seven Wonder Woman, Flash Green Lantern, Batman, Superman, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter. Of course the roster has changed over the years, but these guys have been the core. People want to read about the world’s greatest heroes, not heroes who can’t hold their own titles.
Next they needed challenges. Who is this team going to fight? Evil Star? Terra Man? Calendar Man? No this team needed real challenges. They fought White Martians (the worst kind) Darkseid, and Batman!? Yes this team faced threats that only the Earth’s greatest heroes could defeat.

Lastly when you have the talents of Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and Howard Porter on a book you are pretty much destined to succeed.

How do these heroes maintain JLA adventures and their own titles? Good editors. Continuity is fluid, but if Superman is electric blue in his books, he is the same way in JLA. The same goes for Green Lantern’s costume change.

Our last question comes from Jason Torres from Sioux Falls, Michigan.

What is Doomsday’s deal?

Old chum, that is a good question. You see Doomsday was created through a science experiment (When will we learn? Science has no practical application, and only goes awry.) Long ago these scientists set up a lab on a far away planet that was practically inhospitable and whose only life form was a group of savage beasts. Well these scientists were doing an experiment in genetics. The scientists tossed the baby out of the lab and the baby was killed. These scientists took a tissue sample, cloned the baby and proceeded to recreate the experiment. They did this every day. Years went by and eventually the “baby” adapted to the conditions and killed the beasts. It hunted them all down and killed every one. The scientists’ experiment had been a success; unfortunately it was short lived as they were killed by their experiment. After killing his creators Doomsday escaped the planet. Well that desolate planet grew up to be Krypton. Doomsday roamed the galaxy wreaking havoc until he was defeated, contained, and buried on what eventually became Earth. So basically Doomsday become a better combatant after each defeat. After he killed Superman, Doomsday came back able to shoot poisonous bone darts. Recently he gained (shudder) intelligence. So, yes Jason, Doomsday will one day rule the DCU.

Oh and the big secret in Green Arrow is that Ollie is/was a deadbeat dad. Until next time, cha cha cha.

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