Who's Who In The DCU 6.20.03

Welcome back. Last week was a pretty crazy one. I want to wish Ben the best of luck on his summer adventures. For those of you who don’t know Ben is undergoing Sexual Reorientation Surgery, so he won’t be here to pester me for a couple of months. Now I want to welcome Daron. I am sure that y’all are familiar with Daron’s work. His column is called Missing the Boat, and is always a good read. Now on with the show.

JohnBritton has our first question

Who’s a better detective, Batman or Martian Manhunter? Explain that one for me.

Batman is the better detective, if for no other reason than because he is human. Sure Martian Manhunter has been in the game for decades, but he’s has all those super abilities. Batman is a mere mortal, which in my book makes him a better detective. Plus we have way more examples of Bruce’s work.

JohnBritton, how about a question about a Bat protégé?

Does anybody think it’s weird that Dick Grayson got married to solve a crime? If I was Barbara Gordon, I’d be a little bummed out about that one. Grayson has always been fully engaged in his private life, so to fake it like that is kind of shady.

Is it honestly any weirder than wearing a costume to battle crime? I mean really. These people dress in ridiculous outfits with bright colors to catch criminals. They aren’t the most normal people. And what line did he really cross? Over at Marvel Punisher solves crimes by killing people. But I do agree with you that Dick has always managed to balance his superhero life and private life, so it is kind of shady. But aren’t you sleeping better knowing that there is one less criminal out in the world.

JohnBritton, any questions about the Flash?

What exactly led to Wally changing Barry’s costume? Wally used to wear Barry’s actual threads, and now his costume is made of the speed force, but where was the switch from the plain lightning belt to the super zig-zags?

Well you see Wally had been living in the shadow of Barry for basically his entire career. He never felt he could live up to the legacy. Finally in #50 Wally felt that he was the hero Barry wanted him to be. He gave the original costume a few tweaks, covering his eyes, changing the belt, and giving it a shiny look. Now it is entirely composed of the Speed Force.

JohnBritton, any other questions, remotely Flash related?

Keystone City recently came out of a time-trap, right? So there are things like 1940s autos driving around, and old baseball cards and such? Did eBay go nuts over it?

Secret Origins #50 told the tale of a Keystone in stasis. I don’t remember exactly how long it was in stasis, but the story itself took place a couple of years ago because a young, non-green Garfield Logan narrated it. It was definitely pre ebay, but I bet the Jack Knight got some good deals when it came back into reality.

JohnBritton go ahead fire away.

What happened to the girl from Quiver? Is she being groomed to be the next Speedy? Are Dinah and Ollie finally going to get it together? I’d really like that.

Mia is still in the book. She was just in last weeks issue, #27. Initially under Kevin Smith it kind of looked like she was being groomed to be a sidekick. But then Brad Metzler came on and Arsenal took on a larger role. Then Scott Beatty stepped in for an issue, and after that was the horrible crossover with Green Lantern. Who knows what current GA writer Judd Winick has planned for Mia. Personally I care more about Connor, Dinah, and Arsenal. But that’s just me.

JohnBritton do you have an art question?

Why do people like Jim Aparo’s art? How about Carmine Infantino? I realize I’m reaching back a ways, but they were both titans of the form who I never quite got.

Dude, Aparo rocked. His Batman looks so majestic, very Dark Knightish. And how Aparo conveys action is superb. He is a master. Infantino is the definitive Barry Allen artist. Infantino and super speed action are like synonymous. These two men made their mark on two of DC best characters. Sure they are from a different era, but they are masters nonetheless.

Surprise JohnBritton has another question.

What ever happened to the folks in Dick Grayson’s building? He had quite a crowd in there, and we haven’t heard much from them lately. Who were they all, anyway?

These poor souls started to fade when Dick joined the police force. Then they all faded into obscurity when Chuck Dixon left the book. For the record his most notable neighbors were; former Bat foe Amygdala, Golden Age hero John “The Tarantula” Law, and Bridget Clancy who was Dick’s love interest for a second. John Law should be popping up now that there is a new Tarantula in Bludhaven.

JohnBritton you have a comment?

I miss the grouchy old Aquaman. Do you?

Yeah I miss Peter David’s Aquaman too. The new title really sucks. I find it hard to justify buying it month after month. Every thirty days I turn the pages and cringe at its awfulness.

Luke McClory emailed me the next question

I just read Crisis on Infinite Earths trying to make sense of the DCU. I think I’ve got it, but I still don’t understand one thing (I know, “one thing?”). If nobody in the DCU remembers the crisis, how do they think Barry Allen died? If they don’t know, aren’t they at all curious?

I think that the heroes remember battling a major cosmic baddie, and that Barry died to save all reality. But they don’t remember what happened before Crisis. I mean these cosmic events happen all the time; can you blame them for being fuzzy on some of the specifics?

Ran Aridorn asks

So if Barry Allen went to the Speed Force when he died, how could he be in the “Quiver” storyline of Green Arrow, where he’s shown in normal Heaven with the rest of the heroes, racing Olliver Queen’s arrows?

I don’t see what the big deal is. Angels traverse the heavenly gates all the time. It’s not like while Barry was chasing arrows in Green Arrow, the same month Wally was visiting him in the Speed Force in The Flash. Maybe Barry makes regular trips between Heaven and the Speed Force. Or perhaps Heaven is the state and Speed Force is just a city within the state.

Or maybe Barry was there because Ollie’s idea of Heaven consisted of Barry. Suppose you are a heathen, but you married a good Christian girl. Now she loves you completely and whole-heartedly. Unfortunately she dies before she can save you. When she gets to Heaven are you there waiting for her? Surely since she did everything right she gets to Heaven, and wouldn’t you, the person she loved most in the world share eternity with her? So do you get a free pass or do you have a doppelganger in Heaven for her? Whateva!

The Bear sent me the following question

Who is Bloodwynd, and what are his powers?

The Bloodwynd in the JLA was really a confused Martian Manhunter, that’s why Blue Beetle was surprised. But Bloodwynd was and actual hero. The source of his power was his Bloodstone (I think that’s what it was called) that was made with the blood of slaves. He was a magical hero, but I haven’t seen him since those JLA issues. If you want to read how some fans would reintroduce him go to the DC Comics Message Boards and check out the “DC’s version of the Crew” thread on the Other Topics board.

Again we come to the close of another column. If you seriously don’t start giving me some questions I will change the title of the column to “Mathan answers JohnBritton’s DCU Questions.” Seriously send me your questions via email or post them on the message board. Here is this weeks question for you: who is the best Green Lantern, and why? “I don’t know why I feel so tongue tied.”

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