Who's Who In The DCU 5.2.03

Oy vey. That’s all I got to say. That’s it. Oh wait a minute. Send me some questions. My email account is dangerously low. Or post them if you like. Plus tell your friends. I am sure that they have some questions about the DCU. Assuming you have friends, Oooooooo, burn. (That should elicit some response.) On with the show.

Our first question comes from email for Les.

Who are the active Green Lanterns currently?

OK first we have Kyle Rayner, the star of Green Lantern. Some people like him and some hate him. But one thing is for sure; he is Green Lantern. Next we have John Stewart (personally my favorite of the active Lanterns.) To my knowledge he makes most is his appearances in “JLA”.
There are also various former Green Lanterns who are still active in the DCU. Foremost among them is Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, who is now known as Sentinel and can be seen in “JSA”. Alan’s daughter, emerald hued Jade (who happens to be Kyle’s wiz), also held the title of Green Lantern for a minute. Now she has her “pulse” powers back, and can be seen in the upcoming “Outsiders” series. Hal Jordan the man who introduced me to comics, went crazy, destroyed the Green Lantern Corp, but redeemed himself by re-igniting the Sun, is also still active as the star of the recently cancelled “Spectre” series. Guy Gardener, another former Lantern, was killed but came back to life and was last seen hanging with Superman. A minor Green Lantern named Raker is still slumming on Apokolips. Those are the most notable former Green Lanterns and what they are doing now.

Les also asks the next question.

What’s the deal with ole’ Deathstroke? I know his origin, but what are his powers exactly?

Slade Wilson is a highly decorated military dude. He underwent an experiment that endowed him with super quick reflexes, an extremely fast healing factor, and near super strength. Of course he used these abilities to become a mercenary, Deathstroke, the Terminator. Being a really good merc means pissing people off and getting some rivals. One such rival wanted some info so he kidnapped Slade’s son, Joseph, and held a knife to his neck. Being the stand up guy that Slade is, he refused to divulge any information. Then Slade attacked, killing the rival, but not before the dude slashed Joseph’s throat severing the vocal cords.
Well Slade’s wife Adeline put her foot down. She could accept that her husband was a murderer for hire. She could even live with the fact that her children would always be in danger because of his actions. Bun now not only would she never hear her son’s awkward prepubescent voice again, Joseph would be forced to wear turtlenecks! Even in the summer! Well that was just too much. But she took her marriage vow of “till death do us part” seriously, so she shot Slade in the head.
Fortunately his reflexes saved his life. Unfortunately HE WAS STILL SHOT IN THE HEAD, and he lost his right eye. But what he lost in depth perception he made up for in moxie, and superhuman abilities. This dastardly villain even planted a mole in the Teen Titans so that he could learn their weaknesses.
He is currently hassling Nightwing.
As for his powers I refer to the good old “Who’s Who” to give you “Slade’s strength and speed has been quadrupled. His reflexes are virtually instantaneous.” Did you read that? Quadrupled! Not doubled. Not even tripled. Quadrupled! Can you even wrap your mind around that? That is like, I don’t know, four times as fast as he was before. Of course if Slade were a couch potato, quadrupled would put him right about average.
JohnBritton posted the next question on the Who’s Who in the DCU message board.

Why do comic creators think so highly of the Fourth World? I’ve never been able to get into them on their own. Are they really all that good?

Dude, I too could not really get into the Fourth World. I think the real key to the allure of these characters is that they are pure Kirby. Jack “The King” Kirby created these characters. He wrote and drew them. They are his legacy in the DCU. Since Kirby is a legend of the industry they are like lasting achievements. Realistically, no other creator has made a lasing mark on the Fourth World. Unlike Kirby’s Marvel work, they are relatively untouched. Plus compared to Superman or Batman who have been continually running for like 60+ years, the New Gods have barely scratched the surface in regard to stories told.

MKick, from the Who’s Who in the DCU message board posted the following question.

Azrael… I know he took Batman’s spot of a bit… but that’s all I know… what’s his history?

Azrael? Are you sure that you want to know about this character? Here goes. Azrael is the “avenging angel” of a secret organization (like the Masons, which my Grandfather was a member of, so watch your step around me.) He hooked up with Batman and gained Batman’s trust so much so that when Bruce Wayne got his back broken, he picked Jean Paul (Azrael) to inherit the mantle of the bat over Dick “Nightwing” Grayson. However it appeared that the decision wasn’t a wise one when Azbats, as some people called him, started killing criminals. See when Jean Paul was Azrael, his “conditioning” took over. He was like a machine, programmed to mete out justice. Plus his version of the Batman costume was packing lethal weapons. Eventually he was defeated, and went back to being Azrael. He even gained Batman’s trust. He has his own book, which from what I hear is dismal to read. It recently ended with Jean Paul’s apparent death. But the body was never found.

Jim emailed me the next query.

I stopped reading during the ‘Prodigal’ storyline (right after the defeat of Jean-Paul when Bruce took a vacation.) and it seemed like Dick was not going to let Bruce take back the Batman so easily. I was wondering how that story finished

Well after Bruce reclaimed the Batman mantle from Azrael, he decided to take a break from crime fighting (boy I bet his parents were rolling in their graves.) So he let Dick “Nightwing” Grayson be Batman while he was gone. Nighwing was also the original Robin. So now Robin became Batman. Plus he had his own Robin, Tim Drake. So yadda, yadda, yadda, As Batman Grayson has to face a situation involving Two Face that is very similar to one that he faced as Robin, and failed. Grayson conquers his fear, faces his insecurity, and saves the day. He is now worthy of being Batman, so he goes back to being Nightwing.

The next question is also from Jim via email. You know email. That thing you send me, when you have a question. So do it already.

My question is where is Tim Drake in these books? Is he alive? Is he still Robin? Is there still a Batman & Robin, or has he struck on his own?

Yeah old Timmy is still around. He doesn’t hang with Batman as tight as he used to. He has his own title, with his own drama. After Batman got his back broken their relationship has been kind of strained. In fact when Bruce Wayne was framed for murder, young Timmy wasn’t quite sure he was innocent. How about that vote of confidence from your sidekick? No wonder the relationship is kind of frosty. Robin does his thing mostly solo, with the Spoiler, or with Young Justi, I mean Teen Titans.

JohnBritton also posted the following question.

What issue/issues did Superman kill in? I’m referring to the Phantom Zone guys. I’ve heard the story, but I don’t know where to get it.

It happened in Superman #22. It had a cover with a greenish tint. Superman was on the cover wearing an executioner’s hood. It was way cool. I had it once. In fact I may still have it. I haven’t been back to my personal library in forever (I miss you mom.)

Coren asks the final, most important question of the week. It came from the message board, where your questions can be answered too. But only if you ask.

Is there a site where you get all this, is it all your own knowledge, or what?

It’s both, kind of. See I have a wealth of comic books. Unfortuanely the vast majority of them are in Arizona. In Baltimore I have the last ten months of the myriad of titles that I collect. But most importantly I have virtually every issue of “Who’s Who in the DCU.” Being the struggling writer that I am I though that these issues would he handy in writing. These nifty books give me the low down of most major character in the DCU. Plus I have quite a few “Secret Files and Origins” So when you ask me about Flash, Starman, Green Lantern or Booster Gold, I can spout off on their origins and powers because I read/read (comedy) the titles. If you ask me about Deathstroke or Azrael, I can easily them up in my various reference guides.
However if you ask me about a specific storyline from Wonder Woman, I am going to the net for that. I have never read Wonder Woman. I probably never will. In order to answer that question I will scour the net until I can confidently answer the question. That is the reason why some questions (the more detailed or story specific) take longer to get answered. But they will.

And that brings me to the close of another column. I know you are asking “what, no question from Jason Torres? How will you slip your best friend’s name in your column this week.” The truth of the matter is, I don’t know. Well I’m out. “If I was down and out, would you still have love for me?” Clearly the answer is “no.”

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