Who's Who In The DCU 6.5.03


Ok so it’s three in the morning, and I am just beginning to type my column. See I just got Showtime and HBO, at my roommate’s request, and there was a movie that looked interesting. I got sucked in and here I am typing into the wee hours of the morn. Sorry for any typos. Well let’s jump right in shall we. You guys on the message board are coming up with some very interesting questions. I would put them in the column, but my mom reads it, so I gotta keep it clean.

JohnBritton asks our first question

Where is Plastic Man? Was he in the All-Star Squadron or not? Is the All-Star Squadron still in continuity?

Plastic Man is chilling. He is about to get his own monthly by the immensely talented Kyle Baker. I’m guessing that Plas was in the A.S.S. because most of those stories are still in continuity, just with other heroes in the roles of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. But don’t be so surprised that he is so long lived. During that whole Obsidian Age thing in JLA (the JLA went to the past to look for Aquaman or some hooey) he was shattered. When the JLA got back to the present they looked for the pieces and put him back together again. After spending thousands of years in pieces, Plas decided to take some time off and hang out with his son. (Some additional info on the A.S.S. portion of the question: DC has flip-flopped on Plastic Man’s status as a Golden Ager several times. Up until recently, the official word was that he was not and wasn’t active until after WWII, but during JLA-JSA “Crisis Times Five” thingy a few years back, Wildcat made some comments that seemed to suggest he was around back in the good ol’ days, and would thus have been an A.S.S. member just like all the other Golden Age heroes. So I guess the best answer is that as far as Grant Morrison is concerned, he was in the A.S.S., as far as DC is concerned, who knows. –Ben)

JohnBritton again

What state is Gotham in? How about Metropolis? I’m assuming Gotham has no death penalty, most likely because of Bruce Wayne’s considerable influence. I saw on a map once that they were both in a squished up New Jersey. Is there a definitive answer?

I know that Gotham did have the death penalty, because the Death of the Joker hardcover dealt with the Joker being sentenced to death. In terms of comics there is no definitive answer as to what state Metropolis and Gotham are in. But does it really matter? Is it going to change the way you enjoy the books? No, if anything it will take some mystique out of the characters.

Another from JohnBritton

What age is Atom? Is he still an older guy in a younger body? Recently, he’s become the Reed Richards of the DCU.

Geez ever since that whole R. Kelly fiasco everyone has been pretty hung up on age. Atom is a middle-aged man again. He tries to work out, y’know keep in shape for the ladies. I guess he has to make up for his size. Bwhaa haa! Get it? Because his super power is shrinking? “Size.” Next Question!!! (I refuse to add anything to this answer for fear it would detract from the comic genius that is Mathan—bravo, sir. –Ben)

Oh here’s a question from a guy, JohnBritton, ever hear of him?

If Firestorm ever went bad, how would you take him down?

Me personally? I’d run screaming like Bill O’Reilly from the Source Awards. I’m not the “take down rogue superheroes” type hero. I’m more like that hero that shows up in anniversary landmark issues of team books for like one panel. Y’know those heroes where you go “oh yeah that’s right he was part of the team in that one issue where they needed someone who can shoot rubber bands with laser like precision.” That’s the type of hero I am. But I guess I’d call Batman, he’s pretty good at taking heroes down. Morse, is Batman on the survey? Can I see Batman? (I’d ask Batman-Morse as posted on the message board.)
Yes Batman is the number one answer, now on to the lightning round.

JohnBritton asks

Who has drawn the most definitive Superman for the longest number of years? I’m talking about in the whole culture. Curt Swan comes to mind, but I think products like classroom cutouts and theme park tie-ins and underoos had a Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez drawing on them. Plus, Wayne Boring was a pretty big deal in his day. And of course Siegel and Shuster were pretty influential at a time when Superman was a phenomenon. What’s the answer?

Dude, Curt Swan is like synonymous with Superman. He even penciled the “last” Superman story. No artist will ever have a link with a character like that again. Curt Swan is to Superman as Jim Aparo is to Batman.

Last Guardian (elbowing JohnBritton) asks

Is Crazyquilt still around? Only place I’ve ever seen him was a Who’s Who entry back in the day. Never saw any of his stories. But then I don’t read a great deal of the Batbooks, mostly just the other characters in the Bat family. Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, Birds of Prey.

I should hope not. For those of you unfamiliar with Crazy Quilt here is a short run down. This guy, known only as Quilt, was an artist/crime boss who gave instructions to his men through his paintings. As often happens to crime bosses this guy was shot. Fortunately he didn’t die unfortunately he was blind. Desperate to regain his vision he underwent experimental surgery (is there any other kind of surgery in comics? Don’t they have any established surgeries that have been done numerous times, successfully?) Anyhow the surgery was a success, sort of. He could see, but only in vivid, bright colors. Well that sent him over the edge. He took the name Crazy Quilt and began a career of crime. He got locked up and escaped. He got right back into crime again, this time using a helmet to see. But he was no match for Robin who put him back in prison.

Everything was going well Quilt was doing his bid, then right before he was going to be released the prison doctor told him that his condition had worsened and that he would be blind again. Well Crazy wouldn’t hear that so he stole some new fangled technology (in this case a laser) and kidnapped a doctor to fix his peepers. Everything worked out perfectly, and he regained his vision. But then when he was fighting Batman and Robin (Dick Grayson), our favorite boy wonder reflected a laser in Crazy’s eyes, and poof, blindness again.

Well that sent him over a completely different ledge, so he got some guy to make a new helmet that hook up to the optic part of Crazy’s brain, in some wacky attempt to see again. It worked and he sought his revenge against Robin for blinding him. He kicked the snot out of the Jason Todd Robin (guys don’t be so hard on Crazy, he was blind. Even with my contacts in I have a hard time telling the difference between Dick and Jason.) But then Robin defeated him and sent him back to prison. Apparently Crazy’s helmet emitted light that could “bedazzle and befuddle” and had laser that could burn through “a bank vault door.” Nifty.

Now does this guy really fit with the grim and gritty Brucie we all know and love? How this guy survived the Crisis I’ll never know. (As a chuckle-worthy sidenote, in the preface to Underworld Unleashed the TPB, writer Mark Waid gave some examples of his original over-the-top ideas about revamping villains which included “turning Heatwave into a living pillar of flame” and something about Crazy Quilt ripping off human skin in quilt-like patches or something…which, ironically enough, is pretty darn similar to the actual powers of Geoff Johns-created Flash foe Double Down…but I digress…-Ben)

As JohnBritton lays unconscious on the floor Last Guardian asks

This stuff we’re always getting with Lords of Order and Chaos. Seems like every ten minutes we’re “entering a new age of”(insert era here). What era we in at the moment?

Dude I so feel you. I have no idea what era we are in. I’ve lost count. I think it was around the time that I realized the Lords aren’t really major players in the DCU. Oh sure they talk a lot of game, but the never really pop up in Superman’s books, or Batman’s books. For that matter they don’t even pop up in Green Lantern or the Flash. Those Lords are so phony, and not in the good Michael Jordan way. (They are, however, a major part of the current JSA storyline, “Princes of Darkness,” so check that out for your Chaos/Order fix…you do all want a good Chaos/Order fix, right? –Ben)

Last Guardian is there anything you want to add?

How many of the Global Guardians are still active, passed on, retired or whatever? Seen a couple in JLA but that’s been a while and don’t recall which are already dead.

Other than that Fire and Ice from the Justice League and Tasmanian Devil from JLI used to be members, I don’t know too much about the Global Guardians. But from what I have been able to find on the web is that some of their ilk are dead. This includes Impala, Wild Huntsman, Little Mermaid, Jack O’Lantern, Bushmaster, and Thunderlord. Two members lost their powers Godiva and Tuatara. Only four members of the team are still with the team, Rising Sun, Seraph, Olympian and Owlwoman. They always seemed like such a sorry lot to me. I can’t say I miss the concept.

Last Guradian any final thoughts?

How about a list of imaginary DC-specific cities and where they’re supposed to be statewise. Metropolis, Gotham, and the like. Maybe whatever vigilantes have called them home too.

I don’t have states in every case, but here is a rundown of cities.
Opal City (Starman)
St. Roch (Hawkman) I’m pretty sure this is in Louisana
Metropolis (Superman)
Gotham City (Batman)
Gateway City (Wonder Woman)
Midway City (Hawkman)
Ivy Town (Atom)
Fawcett City (Captain Marvel)
Keystone City (Flash) I forget but I’m thinking Midwest like Missouri.
Central City (Flash)
Star City (Green Arrow)
Coast City (Green Lantern) I’m betting on California
Vanity (Aztek)
Blue Valley (Kid Flash, Star Spangled Kid) Nebraska
Portsmouth City (Dr. Midnight)
Delta City (Heckler, Vext)
Evergreen City (Green Lantern Mosaic) This was in Washington.

There was this really cool thread on the old DC message boards that had like every ficitional city in the DCU. The new board has a vastly inferior thread.

Hallsey you have something to say?

Could you try to explain the Speed Force cuz its pretty fuzzy to me (including the deaths of Barry Allen and Johnny Quick).

JohnBritton (mumbling in a stupor)

Is the original Professor Zoom in the Speed Force?

Ok here is my version of the Speed Force. This place gives speedsters their powers. Now some people like Rival and Savitar have been trapped there. Others like Barry Allen and Johnny Quick go there when they die. I think that it is a matter of perception. Barry and Johnny view it as a reward, there for it is their heaven. Rival and Savitar were tricked into going there so it was like a prison. And just like prison they came out with some new tricks. As to if Zoom is in there, I am going to say yes he is, just because I think that is where speedsters go when they die, good or bad. I imagine that it is like a sort of afterlife, just faster. Eternity must only feel like half infinity of years.

Our final question is from Jason Torres. Jason asks

Mathan, I’m a long time reader, first time, um, question writer and I want to know is there anyway I could read more of your work? Like perhaps your views on music? I am such a huge fan of your work.

Funny you should ask Jason. Just last week I began writing a column on the music part of 411mania. It’s called “More Reasons Why Being Deaf Sucks/Rocks.” There I rant and rave on music. Plus I do regular comic reviews and the occasional music review.

Well folks that is going to do it for me. Here is this weeks question for you; who is the most mistreated character in the DCU? I look forward to your answers. “When you think of me, you think of a problem, who what when and how you gon’ solve ‘im”