Who's Who In The DCU 5.23.03


Hello is anyone out there? I guess you guys are debating whether X2 is better than Matrix Reloaded, because I didn’t get too many questions this week. I know that you have questions. The DCU can be a scary place, but I am here for you. Ask away.

Brad Pittenger has the honor of asking our first question of the week, via email.

Hey, I was wondering what the deal was behind the “Death of Clark Kent” storyline that played out shortly after Superman came back to life. It seems like that kind of thing would be somewhat hard to reverse . . .

Ok, here is the deal. Clark didn’t really die, but he almost ceased to exist. See Kenny Braverman, one of Clark’s friends from Smallville, finds out that Clark and Superman are one and the same. This dude, who has kryptonite radiating powers and calls himself Conduit, is pretty bitter and decides to attack Superman where it hurts, through Clark’s loved ones. So he attacks, destroys the Kent home, and goes after other parts of Clark’s life. Of course he is eventually defeated. All the while Superman considers giving up his Clark Kent identity. Of course he realizes in the end that Superman is the identity and Clark Kent is who he really is. Don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy? Happy days for all.

Les sent me an email asking

How in the BLUE HELL did Metamorpho return? I last saw him in the pages of Justice League of America (Current series) 52 or 53, and he had been revived in a freaky zombie form by his son who was possessed by “ID”, but once the “ID” power left Rex’s son, Rex (Metamorpho) disappeared again, most likely back to being dead. Now Rex is coming back in “Outsiders”. Now, granted, I love Metamorpho a great deal, but I’ve been racking my brain on how he came back from the dead! Please help me…

Metamorpho returned in the JLA/JSA Secret Files. Personally I found this story odd and glaring because A) Metamorpho isn’t a member of either team, and 2) The story didn’t have anything to do with either team. Anyway apparently an apparition of Metamorpho had been haunting Simon Stagg, Rex’s father in law. Well then some burglars, wearing masks of JLA members, break into the mansion and force Stagg to open his vault. Inside the vault is the Orb of Ra, which gave Rex his powers. Rex’s dissipated form comes in contact with the Orb, and poof, he is solid again. Rex defeats the burglars and is reunited with his family. The End.
I have so many problems with this. First, in the last panel we see the mansion is pretty well equipped with video cameras, yet the burglars just waltzed in. And shouldn’t Stagg have had other security since his caveman bodyguard Java was dead? The story is so poorly put together it’s like the editor said “Here’s your shot kid. You have five pages to bring Metamorpho back to life.” It looks that thrown together.

Last Guardian posted the following question.

What is Gypsy’s real name? She’s a JLA alumnus and I know it’s been printed once or twice, but damned if I can remember it. I never had much access to the JLA stories of her day so maybe this is big public knowledge from then. In any case, parents and other known relatives as well as any basic history would be nice. She seems to be one of those characters that they dispense info about with an eyedropper.

Gypsy is one of those forgotten leaguers. And honestly, who wouldn’t want to forget the Justice League Detroit? This team was composed of, like, Q list heroes. Gypsy, her real name is Cindy Reynolds, had the power to blend into her surroundings, which is like a lamer version of invisibility. Well that team was demolished, leaving her the only survivor of that rag tag bunch of youngsters. She took some time off. But then Despero came a callin’ and she was back in action. She even helped make the big bad Despero a cuddly little alien fetus. Then she joined the Conglomerate, and eventually the Justice League Task Force. Now she has the ability to take someone else’s appearance. Which isn’t quite as lame as blendability, which according to my spellchecker isn’t a word. What a foulthy piece of technology.

Here is one from John via email.

Aztek the Ultimate Man, I know he quit the group after finding out his power suit was courtesy of Luthor, but what happened to the character? Was he just erased from existence? Was the evil force he was destined to battle just a hoax?

Aztek. I love the Aztecs. They are my favorite culture. I plan on getting something Azteca tattooed somewhere, sometime. Now the comic book hero Aztek was a guy with a destiny to fulfill. A secret society wanted him to be the perfect human specimen. He was supposed to combat a great evil. He was a regular hero with his own book, but then that book got canceled. So he joined the Justice League. But it turned out that Lex Luthor provided some financial backing of the secret society and wanted to use Aztek to bring down the League. So Aztek quit. But then he came back, just in time to sacrifice himself to save the world from Mageddon, which was apparently the great evil he was supposed to vanquish. So now he’s dead. But Grant Morrison created him. So I am sure that somewhere in the twisted mind of Morrison is a way for Aztek to live again.

John also asks

Didn’t the JLA have an angel on the team, Zauriel I think his name was? Where did they go with that? Haven’t seen him lately.

I am going to answer in horrible Hemmingway style.
Zauriel is an angel. He helped the Justice League defeat a bad angel. The League let him join. Then the League fought Mageddon. Zauriel died. His spirit convinced the angels to help the humans. Because of his deed Zauriel came back to earth. Zauriel is the go to spiritual guy in the DCU. Ask Supergirl and Hal Jordan. But not because both titles rest with the angels.

Acid Jackrabbit posted the next question.

What is the Huntress up to these days?

The Huntress popped up recently in Batman 609, because Jeph Loeb needs to write, and Jim Lee needs to draw every member of the Batman cast, regardless of continuity. Batman and Catwoman are a couple; forget what happens in Catwoman’s book. Harley Quinn and Joker are still together; forget what happens in Harley’s book.
She will also be joining up the Birds of Prey in their book in a couple of months. That should be cool, Ed Benes, formerly of Supergirl, will be drawing.
Oh yeah she was also in the JLA for a minute.
(She also appeared in Gothan Knights following her Batman appearance in which Bats saved her from Checkmate –Ben)

Acid Jackrabbit also asks

In Justice League the show, they have Hawkgirl instead of Aquaman. Who the hell is Hawkgirl?

Well I don’t actually watch the Justice League regularly. I know, I know. “What kind of self respecting DC fan are you?” you ask. Well I’m the kind who likes to set his VCR, and the Cartoon Network keeps bouncing the show all over the line up. Relax; I will pick up the DVDs when they come out.
I can tell you about the comic book version of Hawkgirl. Her name is Kendra Saunders. She watched her mom get brutalized, and killed one of the guys who did it, as a kid. Kendra was so messed up in the head that she tried to kill herself. It almost worked, and her body was inhabited by the soul of the original Hawkgirl. Then her parents were killed, and she went to live with her Grandfather, Speed Saunders. He realized what she was to become and prepared her for her role as Hawkgirl. She joined the JSA and as a result of her “new” soul she is inextricably linked to Hawkman.
(The cartoon version is essentially just the Silver Age Thanagarian version of Hawkgirl, Shayera Thal, minus her Hawkman and/or any details on her past, origin, etc. Who is the Silver Age Hawkgirl? Ask Mathan for next week, sucka…-Ben)

Paddington Bear asked the following question. He sent it to my email. He is pretty technologically adept for a stuffed animal.

I recently picked up the Green Lantern (my all time favorite hero)TPB “The Power of Ion”. In the earliest parts of the book, Kyle was taking on Grayven who as Kyle put it was “jokerized”. My question is simply what’s the deal with Jokerized villians, is the Joker truly such a force in the DCU that even cosmic baddies are beginning to emulate him? And if that’s the case when did all this start happening?

Ok what happened was that I guess that Gravven was in the Slab. See Joker was incarcerated and thought he had a tumor. So he decided to go out with a bang. I guess he somehow pulled a switcheroo with the Slab’s inhibitor gas making it Joker gas. So where the gas was supposed to incapacitate all of the criminals it really made them all Joker like. All smiles, white skin, green hair.
Now this was a fifth week event for the DCU. It was supposed to cross over into every book. I remember how Parallax got Jokerized in Spectre, but I have no idea how Solomon Grundy was in the Slab to get Jokerized. But when it comes to fifth week events continuity has never mattered.

Hallsey posted our final question.

Could you list all the annuals that have the JLAPE story. I’ve got 4 or 5 of them, and I want to get the rest.

The parts of the story took place in
Legends of the DCU #19
JLA Annual #3
Batman Annual #23
Aquaman Annual #5
Wonder Woman Annual #8
Flash Annual #12
Superman Annual #11
Green Lantern #8
Martian Manhunter Annual #2

That does it again for another column. Keep asking questions. “I’m on my feet, I’m on the floor, I’m good to go.”