Who’s Who In The DCU 7.18.03


Ok so I’m writing this at a quarter to four Thursday morning. Why am I up so late you ask? Because I am really excited. I went to the comic book store today to pick up this week’s titles. I’m waiting in line, and reading the covers of what I pick up and I see the cover of “Y the Last Man” #13. My jaw drops. The blurb on the cover reads, “Unless you don’t know hot to read there’s no excuse for not picking up this title” – 411mania.com. Dude, I’m pumped. Granted it wasn’t my quote, but it came from one of my contemporaries, and it means good things for the site. I want to congratulate my fellow Comics section writers on their accomplishments. You do great work, and deserve accolades. Thanks for you readers for coming to the site day after day. So be sure to pick up “Y the Last Man” #13. I want the issue to sell out. Seriously. Keep the questions coming.

Now before I get to your questions let me address last week’s column (déjà vu). Better yet how about you address if for me?

Edward O’Brien you want to go first?

First, as someone only into comics for about a year now, I’m SHOCKED to correct you. Wildcat has nine lives, and he actually explained it himself in a JLA TPB with some JSA guys, I believe it was Justice For ALL. Not a hint, but an actual explanation.

Yo, Kevin Regan you go next.

The story between Oracle and Power Girl was told in Birds of Prey,
somewhere in the late 20’s early 30’s, if memory serves. The short of
it was Oracle had Power Girl protecting some royalty on a boat from
terrorist attacks against the boats. Oracle didn’t take one of the
threats seriously, so didn’t give it to P.G., and of course that threat
blew up the ship, costing many lives.

Whoa, guys no pushing. 411mania’s own Nick Piers, you got the floor.

In Birds of Prey, they actually DID reveal what went on between Power Girl and Oracle.
Right around the same time as the Bruce Wayne: Murderer, they had a self-contained issue of BoP (lemme check the number…42).

Now that I’ve pulled it out, it’s neat because this is one of the few comics (that I know of, off hand) that Glen Farby (of Preacher covers fame) actually did the art for the whole book.

The general basis is Oracle had PG to protect a foreign president of a fictional country. Considering she was not quite as powerful as she used to be, PG didn’t feel she was up for the job.

She ended up not being able to save the president, along with hundreds of others when terrorists blew up the ship they were all on. Karen said herself in the inner monologue “In my younger days, my stronger days, I could’ve knocked out one torpedo and used telekinesis to divert the other. No more…(another panel)…no more.”

It was a pretty sad story.

Anyway, thought I’d pass that along.

Thomas Deja anything you have to say?

Mathan, you REALLY have to do your research better:

1) The ‘Wildcat has nine lives’ aspect of the character, which basically always seemed ridiculous to me, was introduced NOT by Johns and Goyer, but by Grant Morrison in the one JLA/JSA crossover he did, “Crisis Times Five” (the one which also put the ill-designed Triumph on ice and introduced JJ Thunder). In it, Morrison addressed the idea of Wildcat being so old and yet so spry by having Ted explain that, in the 50’s, he gained nine lives while in Tibet (this, by the way, after Ted was blasted to Hades). It was also established that Ted had already gone through three lives already.

MG, where can they find this information, what specific issues?

The Wildcat has nine lives thing was revealed by Grant Morrison in the JLA / JSA team-up he did in JLA issues 28-31.

The Oracle / Power Girl mission that went bad was shown in issue #42 of Birds of Prey.

Kobie Minter what exactly happened in said issue of Birds of Prey?

Well, in an issue of BOP set in the past few years, Power Girl did a mission for Oracle where she was supposed to escort a Middle Eastern Princess or other royal and to a safe house. The Princess was on a boat in the middle of the ocean.

Turns out a secondary nastier looking liner had a bunch of the Princess’ people captive and being shipped over like cattle. A terrorist cell threatened to launch twin torpedoes at the boat and PG went to go and intercept one. But she wasn’t quick enough to get the second, which sent the boat up in flames.

Sadly enough, one of the terrorists was disguised as the Princess’ own guard and put a bullet in her head as well. This was around the time that PG had lost some of her speed, strength and power, so between feeling self conscious about that, she didn’t save anyone she was tasked to.

She’s not necessarily angry at just Oracle, but herself for taking the assignment, and Oracle for making her believe that she could get it done. That was angsty feeling-sorry-for-herself Karen, and not the busty badass in JSA by the way.

And of course how could I mess up without Ben Morse being there to rub my face in it? Isn’t that right Morse?

Reading this week’s WWITDCU, I can see that poor Mathan is floundering without me, thus, as I am home for a couple days getting wisdom teeth pulled, I will correct two falsehoods from this week’s column that apparently slipped by both him and the Dunce Overlord.

1. The Wildcat 9 lives thang
It wasn’t “implied in JSA” it was stated in JLA. Grant Morrison came up with the concept after Wildcat was shot by the imp in Crisis Times Five. He bounced back and explained to The Huntress that he “picked up 9 lives back in the 40’s.” It has yet to be explained further, but has been touched upon in JSA.

2. The Oracle/Power Girl thang
It was all covered in a Birds of Prey issue last year (not sure which number, but it has PG on the cover…it came out right around the time she joined the JSA). PG relates the tale to a comatose Blue Beetle. Little foggy on the exact details, but Oracle sent PG on some sort of mission that involved hostages dying, something Oracle knew would have to happen in order for PG to complete the rest of the mission (forget what that was), but didn’t tell PG; hence-rift.

Fear not legions of Morse-Followers, in a mere seven weeks I will be back, filling the potholes of ineptitude left by Mathan & Daron.

(Was I suppose to be checking Mathan’s facts? I thought we wanted him to mess up, i.e. giving him enough rope to hang himself. – Daron………The Obviously Confused Overlord)

So the basic point is I messed up. I get it. Where were all of you when I needed information on where to get “Who’s Who in the DCU” # 16 from 1992 (which I still haven’t found by the way)? Oh then I got zero responses, but when I make a couple of small errors suddenly my inbox is over flowing. I apologize. Last week was a very busy week of writing and rewriting some things I had been working on( I even missed “The Wire”, so I admit to not doing thorough research. I let you guys down, and you let me have it. I get the point. Now can we start the column?

JohnBritton wanna start things?

The Justice Society is pretty well tied into WWII. Is there any other DC hero or group tied into a specific historical event or period? The Mad Mod comes to mind, but he could just be influenced by the period, without actually having lived there. I guess the “Justice Experience” counts, which ties the Martian Manhunter to the sixties at least, but that is still retroactive. Something like Joe Blow was fighting in Korea when he found the magic Korean potion and now he’s Seoul-Man!

I’m going to say that Hal Jordan is an era specific hero. See back when Hal Jordan came out test pilots were the pinnacle of cool. They had no fear, they were flying aircrafts that were prototypes and hadn’t been proven to work yet. We hadn’t even been on the moon yet. Test pilots were cool. Of course now test pilots aren’t as cool, thus Hal Jordan isn’t as interesting a character, and definitely not as relevant. Even boring Barry Allen would be a superstar in current society, or do you doubt the popularity of CSI? Being a test pilot in the early sixties and being test pilot in the eighties or early nineties are two completely different things. That is why Darwin Cooke as set “New Frontier” in the past so that Hal is relevant again.

If only someone had a question for me, oh wait JohnBritton has his hand raised

What ideas from Kingdom Come have become part of current continuity? Superman wore a blackened logo for a while, and the brain-kids appeared as bad guys. What else, apart from the “Kingdom” fifth-week event?

Well we all remember when Supes changed the “S” on his chest after “Our Worlds At War” right? That was kind of Kingdom Come-esque. The Starman from Kingdom Come popped up in “Starman.” The Brain Trust appeared in Martian Manhunter’s first annual. Kid Flash turned up in the “The Flash” a few years back. Lets stretch this a bit farther. Alan Scott is Green Lantern again, and Jade got her old powers back. There is a Black kid who controls the magic Thunderbolt, a Black character named Thunder, and Black Lightning does have a daughter. But those three things actually describe two separate characters. So basically Kingdom Come made it’s mark, but the DCU isn’t necessarily moving in that direction.

JohnBritton want to ask a Flash question so Hallsican Psycho can get his Flash fix?

What does Jesse Quick’s company do? I know she’s the CEO, but I don’t know what it is.

Quickstart Enterprises is a media company and TV channel, which has dabbled in the wireless communication frontier. I think the more important question is; when will we see Jesse in some more super hero action?

JohnBritton I know you got something for me

How far away can Superman hear something? The clock ticking in the other room bugs me when I’m trying to sleep. If I could hear a bug sneeze in the next building, I don’t know if I could take it.

He has super hearing. He can hear all over the city. But it’s not that bad. You know how you just tune things out sometimes? Like, do you really notice the way your computer hums? Or how about when someone can watch a TV program, while another person is blasting music. I’m guessing it’s the same principle, only Kal’s better than you or I because he’s super, man. I’d also bet that he could turn the power “off.” Just like his x-ray vision isn’t always on, I doubt that his super hearing is either.

JohnBritton your go again

Has Plastic Man ever had a costume change? Who’s worn the exact same outfit for the longest? Martian Manhunter seems like a good candidate.

Plasitic Man is a good bet. I’d say the same for most the JSAers. Alan Scott kept his threads for decades, until he got all young again. I can’t think of a noticeable difference between Jay Garrick’s costume when he first appeared and the one he wore in JSA last week (but if there is one I’m sure I will get some emails about it.)

Who could be next? Could it be JohnBritton?

Who are the smartest people in the DCU? I think it’s generally acknowledged that Reed Richards is the smartest in the MCU.

In terms of business, it’s Lex and Bruce, Ra’s is pretty brilliant when it comes to stradegy, but so is Bruce. Science, I go for Ray Palmer, but Bruce is no slouch their either. Technology, it’s got to be Cyborg, Doc Magnus, Lex, and Bruce. So basically Batman is the smartest person in the DCU, but he can be kind of hard to get on the phone, so try him first and cross your fingers. Now Universe wide Virl Dox is pretty smart, but so are Metron and Ganthet. I’m going with Ganthet, not only is he a Guardian of the Universe, but he’s been around for like ever.

Jon (not Britton) wants to ask something.

Anyway, I got a question for you regarding Batman Year Two: Fear The Reaper. There were apparently two mini-series’ involving this storyline… I dunno, I bought the trade. Were the comics a success? What type of person thought this piece of utter censored was good? Has Mike Barr written anything since, in order to redeem himself for it?

More importantly, did it come out before, or after Batman: Dark Victory? The only reason I ask is because the “Fear The Reaper” story is a flat-out contradiction with at least one particular key event in Dark Victory. I don’t want to spoil it for those who might not’ve read it, so let’s just say… oh, page 302 of the Dark Victory trade paperback, and what Batman says on it. It’s a one-page spread.

I mean, seriously… this is one HUGE continuity flaw.

Ouch. I honestly enjoyed Batman Year Two, when it first came out. The story isn’t half bad. The art is beautiful. Yeah Bruce with a gun teaming up with the dude who killed his parents is far-fetched, but no more than him dressing up as a bat. Batman Year Two came out around a decade before Dark Victory. Now I haven’t read any of Loeb’s Batman (save his current run) so I can’t really comment on them. I do know they evolved from a “Legends of the Dark Knight” one shot. I pretty sure that LODK aren’t always in continuity. Therefore those Loeb stories may not have happened in the DCU, as opposed to Year Two, which took place firmly over in Detective Comics. However Loeb is DC’s golden boy of the moment, which gives his stories much more validity.
Now back to Year Two, Barr wrote the Outsiders and they were good right? My personal theory is that “Year Two” was just a story that Barr wanted to tell. I don’t think it was intended to be “Year Two” but rather a tale from Batman’s early adventures. I’m guessing after the success of “Year One” he pitched the idea as “Year Two” and got it published, but that is pure conjecture.

Last Guardian, anything you want to know?

Seems to me there was a new Peacemaker (Charlton character) in some JLA story a time back. At least I think he was new. I think the original was killed, wasn’t he? Anyway, whatever ya got.

One Peacemaker popped up in JLI #65 as part of the Leaguebusters. Peacemaker III is a former doctor named Mitchell Black who got finagled into taking Peacemaker mantel he now wishes he could relinquish.

How about another go from the Last Guardian?

How about a little history on the Ruby of Life? I don’t read Vertigo much at all but seems it may have ended up in the Dreaming. Maybe that’s another gem though.

The Ruby of Life is like four millennia old. It has done a bit of traveling and ended up in Mexico where Richard Sargent (no relation to Dick Sargent “Darren” on Bewitched) found it and gave it to his girl as a gift. They got married and had a son. The first thing that John saw and touched was…The Ruby of Life. He later became Sargon the Sorcerer, and eventually the Ruby corrupted him. I tell ya that Ruby is no joke. Even Tim Hunter turned it down.

JohnBritton want to close us out?

What happened to the All-Star Squadron’s Robotman?

Robert Crane was a genius that was fatally shot. Fortunately his assistant Chuck Grayson put Crane’s brain in a robotic body that just happened to by lying in the lab. After fighting crime for a few years he had his brain transferred to Chuck Grayson’s body, after Grayson had died for course. And that is why I never sign up to be a human guinea pig. Sure you could get injected with a super soldier serum, but then again you could find another brain in your noggin.

Alright I’m tired. I ask you again; where can I find Who’s Who in the DCU (1992) #16? Remember to send questions. Here is another question for you; who was the hero that got you into reading comics?

“And when I speak of you I see envy in other men’s eyes.”