Who's Who In The DCU 5.10.03

Greetings one and all, and welcome to my latest column. I just want to thank everyone for his or her questions, and kind words of encouragement. The basic theme of this column is Justice League. Most of the questions this week were about the late 80’s team or specific members. Let’s jump into it.

Our first question is from Daniel J Foery via email making the first of many appearances.

Was Keith Geffen’s Justice League popular with comic readers? I
recently read his run, and thought it was a riot, but I could understand if people didn’t like it.

Yeah it was popular. It had two spin offs (Justice League Europe and Justice League Quarterly), made Lobo cool, and was the launching pad for some of today’s hottest artists (Adam Hughes, Mike McKone, Kevin McGuire, and Bart Sears all had memorable runs on Justice League titles.) This book was so popular it is making a comeback of sorts this summer in the miniseries “Formerly Known as Justice League.” You don’t see a “L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89” or “West Coast Avengers” reunion anywhere on the horizon do you?
This title shaped the way that a generation of readers looked at Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. These two characters are basically defined by how they were portrayed in the book, not their solo titles. It took Chuck Dixon like ten years to make Blue Beetle a respectable hero again.
Now I too can see why some disliked the book. But it was a nice alternative to the dark and gritty comics (Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, The Watchmen) that were coming out around the same time. Plus it was actually fun to read, and well written with clearly defined characters.

Hallsey posted the following question.

Mathan, I was reading Action Comics #595 yesterday and I saw a JLA ad with pictures of some of the JLA members. There were two that I didn’t recognize; one was dressed in all yellow, with a yellow helmet and cape; the other was a girl with blonde hair and black headband. I know that’s not much to go on, but can you tell me who they are?

Based on your description I am guessing that the people in question are Dr. Fate (the golden helmet dude) and Black Canary (the woman with the headband.) Mind you this is based strictly on my memory since I don’t have the ad in front of me.

Daniel J Foery, again.

1. Why does the Golden Age Flash wear a draining bowl on his head?

2. How come it doesn’t fall off when he’s running?

I am guessing that the helmet is homage to Mercury or Hermes (depending on if you are Greek or Roman.) How it stays on his head is a result of he protective aura. Haven’t you ever wondered why the Flash doesn’t suffer any of the negative effects of super speed, like friction, debris, or bugs? It is because of his handy dandy aura. This also keeps Jay Garrick’s “spaghetti strainer” on his head.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Daniel J Foery asks
Where is Animal Man? Is he dead?

Buddy Baker is alive and well. He exists somewhere at the nexus of the Vertigo and DC universes. Because of his experiences at Vertigo (he was written by twisted genius Grant Morrison for a time, and even discovered he was a character in a comic book) I’d imagine that it would be pretty difficult to place him firmly back in the DCU. But he does pop up from time to time. The last appearance of his that I read was in Aquaman, and he was just a guest star. He will be making an appearance in Hawkman in upcoming months.

So a rabbi, a priest, and Daniel J Foery walk into a bar. Daniel asks

Is Ted Kord still the Blue Beetle? Last time I heard, he had a
heart condition and could not be a Super-hero any longer.

Ah Blue Beetle. Mr. Ted Kord suffers from what John Babos coined “elastic continuity.” You see once a character is no longer appearing in a regular monthly title, their continuity becomes extremely malleable. So whereas in “Birds of Prey” Kord was a serious crime fighter with a serious heart condition, in “Formerly Known As Justice League” expect to see him returned to his buffoonish ways of the “Justice League International.” I didn’t even read the “L.A.W.” miniseries, so I can only imagine how he was portrayed there.

Daniel, Daniel J Foery, king of the wild frontier, asks

Was Guy Gardner always a jerk, from the moment he appeared in Green
Lantern.

Was Guy always a jerk? No he wasn’t. In fact in the beginning he was a boring character. So bland even, that putting him in a coma made him more lifelike and interesting. So bland that Hal Jordan snagged his girlfriend while Guy was in said coma.
Post coma Guy was portrayed as brain damaged. Eventually he made his way over to conservative. In the “Green Lantern Corp” series he was a gung ho Reaganite (which makes sense, I mean would someone who wasn’t brain damaged support Ronald Reagan?) When he was in “Justice League” he was shown first to be an obnoxious moron, and then after getting knocked out by Batman he was a kind-hearted simpleton. Of course he had another knock on his head that returned him to normal obnoxious ways.
In his own book he was given depth and character, and was shown to be just a highly opinionated hero. Then he died. But now he’s back. Who knows what further developments Guy Gardener’s personality will undergo? Personally I think he is a closet homosexual, who is overcompensating with his macho persona. Y’know like Liberace.

Les sent me the following question by email.

What is your take on a Green Lantern vs. Silver Surfer fight? I personally believe the Surfer would mop the floor with Rayner, but I don’t know who’d win If the Surfer took on Jon Stewart or Hal Jordan. What’s your take?

Tough question. I will answer it honestly. Against any ring bearer, I have to give it to Silver Surfer. The ring maybe the most powerful weapon in the universe, but the Surfer has cosmic power. If it were Kyle it would be a quick fight. John would put up a fight, but eventually lose. Hal would make a fight worth paying money for, but in the end the Surfer would be left standing.
Now if the Silver Surfer were to fight Ion, Parallax or John Stewart the Guardian, I am going with any of the DC three. Surfer would last the longest against John (only because John the Guardian storyline didn’t tap into his potential.) Both Ion and Parallax would thoroughly trounce the Silver Surfer. No question.

That does it for me. I hope to have a more in depth column next week, but I have been real busy. Sorry. I may have a column on the music portion of the site, so check that out too. Oh yeah, Mom Happy Mother’s Day. I am what I am because of you. “It’s times like these you learn to live again.”

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