Who’s Who In The DCU 8.1.03

Hey welcome back. Y’know how TV shows have clip episodes where the cast remembers “that one time …?” Well this is kind of like that. This is an all profile edition. Some of the people that I have been asked to profile have already been profiled in previous colums (all of which can be accessed at the end of the column, just click on the thing that say Who’s Who in the DCU Archives.)

Before I begin can I just say that I got back from the comic book store today way excited. I’ve only read one book; Flash #200. It was great. I loved it. Everyone should pick it up. I also looked at Batman #617. I have no problem with that being Hush. I haven’t read the issue yet, but I couldn’t help peeking. I can’t wait to read the book. Since I’m plugging, if you happen to be in Tucson visit Around the Bend, a cool women’s clothing shop that just opened. If you happen to be in Baltimore on August 5th you should definitely attend Club One (recently voted “Best in Baltimore.” It will be an amazing expierence that you won’t soon forget. Enough plugging on with the column.

I’m fellow-411 columnist, Manolis Vamvounis, I’m really enjoying your column, and I had a request for you:

Can you give me a brief history on each of the character featured in “Formerly Known as the Justice League”?

Keep up the good work!

I know who you are! You are the dude who got his quote on perhaps one of the greatest titles out right now; Y the Last Man. That’s right kids pick up Y the Last Man #13 and check out Manolis’ handiwork. Now back to your question.
Geez, all of ‘em? Well here goes.

Nathaniel “Captain Atom” Adam was involved in a top-secret government experiment in the 60’s involving UFO metal, atomic bombs, and his desire to clear his name. As a result he was catapulted to the 80’s and found that the metal had bonded to his skin, and he could tap into the Quantum field. He joined the JLI as a spy, and eventually stopped spying and lead the JLE. His shell makes him invulnerable, he can fly shoot energy blasts and he has super strength. He can even absorb nuclear energy.

Ralph “Elongated Man” Dibny gained his superpowers by stalking contortionists. He saw one at a carnival and wanted to learn their secrets. He found out that they drank the same soda pop (hey it was the 60’s.) Well he distilled the active ingredient in the pop down, and drank it. Pow! He was super stretchy. He gained fame and fortune. He met Sue, got married, and joined the JLE. He settled down in Opal, and briefly appeared in the last incarnation of the Doom Patrol.

Max Lord is a mover and a shaker, and a successful businessman. One day he stumbled across an intelligent computer that manipulated him into the formation of the JLI. Eventually the computer was destroyed and Max even gained the ability to make people think what he wanted them to think. But he lost it. However his still has his business savvy and is very persuasive.

Beatriz “Fire” DaCosta was a showgirl turned government agent in Brazil (man it really is the greatest country in the world) who was involved in an explosion involving Pyroplasm. At first she could only breath a green flame, but after that whole Invasion gene bomb she could transform into a being of green flame. She was really good friends with Ice.

(Booster Gold is from a previous column)
Michael Jon Carter was from the 25th century. He was like a super star college football quarterback. Unfortunately, his mom was sick and needed some kind of expensive operation. So in order to get the money for her operation, he began gambling even on games that he played in. No big deal, right. Well he kept on gambling even after his mother returned to her healthy self. Eventually he was found out and banned from college sports. Since the pros wouldn’t touch him, he ended up working as a janitor in the Space Museum, which had lots of exhibits of discoveries both scientific and technological.

Realizing that he had no future in the present, he decided to make a name for himself in the past, the 20th century. Fortunately the Space Museum had a working time machine. So he grabbed a bunch of stuff from other displays including, a super thin exoskeleton, a couple of power gauntlets, a Legion flight ring, some cool goggles, and a security robot named Skeets, hopped in his time machine and went back to the 20th century.
Once he arrived he saved the President (Reagan) from an assignation attempt.

Ted ”Blue Beetle” Kord had an evil uncle who built androids to take over the world. Ted and his college professor Dan “The Original Blue Beetle” Garrett went to the island where the androids were to stop them. In a cave Dan was mortally wounded, and made Ted promise to carry on the Blue Beetle name. Ted promised, the cave collapsed. Ted came back and underwent rigorous training and viola Blue Beetle. He joined the JLI (where he meet Booster Gold leading to their island casino fiasco) , was part of JLA, and even hooked up with the Birds of Prey (which is were his heart condition comes from.

L’Ron was the right hand robot of Manga Khan. Khan was forever on the quest for a good deal. L’Ron was traded to the JLA. L’Ron is the ultimate servant, quite adept at taking orders. Hence his position in FKAJL #1.

Mary Marvel is Billy Baston’s adopted sister. She shares in the Power of Shazam. She was never in the Justice League.

There you have it. Hopefully it did some good.

Dave Asks

Please help! I am unable to follow the continuity of Dr. Fate.
Apparently there have been several over the decades. Is Dr. Fate all
about whoever wears the helmet? I remember reading in JSA that Dr.
Fate’s origin ties in to Hawkman somehow, and that the current Dr. Fate
is Carter Hall’s son, Hector. I also know that Dr. Fate was a woman at
one time. What gives? Will the real Dr. Fate please stand up!

Yeah Dr. Fate and Hawkman’s origins intertwine a bit. Nabu was a sorcerer when the Thanagarian craft landed in Egypt those may years ago. Yes currently Hector, whose father is Carter Hall, is Dr. Fate. But let me start a tad earlier. Kent Nelson was a kid in 1940 and Nabu (in human form) transformed him into a man, and gave him all sorts of power. When Kent put on the Helmut of Nabu (where Nabu went to) he became Dr. Fate. Kent met Inza Kramer and was smitten. Ideally Fate should be composed of two people (i.e. Kent and Inza) merged to tap into Fate’s absolute potential, but Nabu didn’t allow that to happen for fear of losing control of Dr. Fate. Eventually Nabu became the dominant personality of Dr Fate.

Well Inza went loony, and Nelson’s body couldn’t handle the stress of Fate, so they both went caput. But before Kent died Nabu aged boy Eric Strauss into an adult and he became Dr. Fate. However Eric merged with his stepmom Linda becoming a “complete Dr. Fate and Nabu had no control over it. Well when Kent died Nabu took over Kent’s body and sent Kent and Inza’s souls into Fate’s amulet.

Well then Eric and Linda died. So Nabu put Kent and Inza’s souls in bodies identically to their original ones and they became Dr. Fate. But then Kent couldn’t become part of the merger so Inza went at it alone. Zero Hour happened and Fate’s powers were transferred to Jared Stevens. Then he was killed. Now Hector’s spirit inhabited Hawk and Dove’s baby to become the current Dr. Fate.

Ray Moore also has a question

First off i have to say that i enjoy each edition of Who’s Who In The DCU that you produce, I have been out of collecting comics for a few years now and I have just started again. And the thing that has been bugging me for a while is the origin of Doomsday. Did they ever explain his background at all or anything? And if so, what was the deal with him?

(Doomsday is from a previous column)
Old chum, that is a good question. You see Doomsday was created through a science experiment (When will we learn? Science has no practical application, and only goes awry.) Long ago these scientists set up a lab on a far away planet that was practically inhospitable and whose only life form was a group of savage beasts. Well these scientists were doing an experiment in genetics. The scientists tossed the baby out of the lab and the baby was killed. These scientists took a tissue sample, cloned the baby and proceeded to recreate the experiment. They did this every day. Years went by and eventually the “baby” adapted to the conditions and killed the beasts. It hunted them all down and killed every one. The scientists’ experiment had been a success; unfortunately it was short lived as they were killed by their experiment. After killing his creators Doomsday escaped the planet. Well that desolate planet grew up to be Krypton. Doomsday roamed the galaxy wreaking havoc until he was defeated, contained, and buried on what eventually became Earth. So basically Doomsday become a better combatant after each defeat. After he killed Superman, Doomsday came back able to shoot poisonous bone darts. Recently he gained (shudder) intelligence.

Scott Kelly asks

Can you bring me up to speed on Supergirl? I stopped reading that title and now I’ve heard that there is more than one of her running around, and that there are angel/protomatter/kryptonian roots to sort out. What’s the scoop?

(Supergirl is from a previous column)
Let me begin with the Matrix/Supergirl. Matrix is from the pocket universe (long time readers will remember I described in my very first column way back three weeks ago.) Matrix is an artificial life form created by that universe’s Lex Luthor to help save that Earth from General Zod and his cronies. She could fly, change her appearance, and had telekinesis. She came to Earth looking for Superman. She found him and he went to her universe and saved the day. Unfortunately Matrix was hurt badly and semi reverted to her protoplasmic state. Clark had her stay with his parents in Smallville to give her time to heal. During that time she had an identity crisis and became a dark version of Superman. Again Clark set her straight. After she was all fixed up she fell in love with Lex Luthor II (actually just Lex Luthor in a cloned body). But who wouldn’t have fallen head over heels for that dreamboat, tall long flowing red locks. But I digress. Their love didn’t last. Then one day while in Leesburg Supergirl stopped to save a stranger by the name of Linda Danvers. Unfortunately Linda was beyond saving. However Linda’s almost lifeless body and Supergirl’s almost alive body merged. The result is a Supergirl who was alive and had Linda’s memories and appearance. She could only alter her appearance between Linda and Supergirl. There are three things that happen as a result of this merger. First Linda can be redeemed (we find out that she was quite a hellion). Secondly Matrix can actually experience life, with all its ups and downs. Lastly a new Earth born angel has been created. What is an Earth born angel you ask? An Earth born angel is created when one being selflessly sacrifices themselves for the salvation of another. Plus the new and improved Supergirl got additional powers like flame wing, fire vision, and the ability to teleport.

Here is the scoop on the Kryptonian Supergirl.
Y’see in the old Pre-Crisis DCU Kal-el wasn’t the sole survivor of Krypton. When Krypton blew up one domed city survived the explosion. That city was Argo City. The dome was built my Kal-el’s uncle. Of course the ground turned into kryptonite, anti kryptonite. But those kryptonians were survivors so they laid lead sheeting to protect them from the anti kryptonite. Everything was good and dandy. Kara Zor-el was even able to see her cousin Superman’s exploits on Earth via a super telescope. But then some meteors crash into Argo City. Fortunately the dome was self-sealing. Unfortunately they damaged the lead shielding. Slowly dying from anti kryptonite poisoning they managed to send Kara Zor-el to Earth to be with her cousin. And that is the honest truth. The sad, wacky, honest truth.

She managed to hook up with the current Supergirl through a villian who wanted to rid every universe of Supergirl. Kara landed in the current DCU on accident, but eventually everything was returned to normal.

HallicianPsycho do you have anyone you want to know more about?

Max Mercury — I never did know the story behind that guy.

Ok so Max Mercury (not his real name) was a fort messenger in the 1830’s when he befriended a local Indian tribe. The tribe was massacred, but the dying shaman imbued Max with a connection to what is now called the Speed Force. While he was running he came close to entering the Speed Force, but pulled away at the last second causing him to bounce forward through the time stream. He did quite a few jumps like this, in each time choosing a different name; Lightning, Blue Streak, Whip Whirlwind, Thunderpace, Quicksilver are just a few. He served as Impulse’s mentor until Rival possessed him. I suppose he was last seen in JSA All Stars #1.

JohnBritton, you saved the best for last?

Who are all the Starmen? Actually, who are all the people who have used the cosmic power or whatever? It must be pretty easy to learn, because the Mist’s son swiped the Star Spangled Kid’s old belt and used it pretty well in the first Robinson Starman story arc.

Starman I
Ted Knight discovered a way to harness cosmic energy and channel it through devices he invented such things as the Gravity Rod, the Cosmic Rod and the Cosmic Converter Belt. He had a long career in crimefighting, and had two sons; David and Jack. Ted died a hero.

Starman II
He only appeared in 1951, when Ted suffered his mental collapse. I know all about him, but I’m not going to spoil one of the (many) genuine surprises in this book.

Starman III
Mikaal Tomas’ race attempted to invade earth (he’s from a sister planet of Talok VIII home of Lyrissa and Lydea Mallor of L.E.G.I.O.N. fame.) Mikaal defended the planet, and repelled the invasion. He got caught up in the vices of the seventies (drugs and sex.) During a final battle with Komak, another of his race) Mikaal’s sonic crystal became imbedded in his chest. But he was still in better shape than Komak, who died. Mikaal became a mute and a circus freak, but eventually got better.

Starman IV
Prince Gavyn of Throneworld was to be killed when his sister took the crown (it’s an alien custom on their world. Who are we to judge?) But instead of dying he gained powers and protected his world until his sister died, when he took the crown. But then he died protecting his world during the Crisis.

Starman V
Will Payton was hiking when a cosmic beam struck him. He awoke thirty days later with super powers. He has some adventures and even teamed up with David Knight on one occasion. He was believed to have sacrificed his life battling Eclipso, but he actually survived.

Starman VI
David Knight wanted to be a hero like his father Ted. When Ted was in Limbo David took up the mantel briefly teaming up with Will Payton for an adventure. After Ted’s return and Will’s “death” David again decided to carry on the Starman legacy. David’s career was cut short by Kyle the son of Ted’s archenemy the Mist, in an attempt to live up to his father’s legacy.

Starman VII
Jack Knight originally had no interest in being a hero, but took up the cosmic rod to avenge his brother. At his father’s behest, he kept the rod and became Starman. He had an amazing career, and retired to be a father.

Skyman aka Star Spangled Kid
Sylvester Pemperton used the Cosmic Converter Belt. He was a member of the JSA and Infinity Inc before being killed by Solomon Grundy and Mr. Bones.

Star Spangled Kid II – Star Girl
Courtney Whitmore found the Cosmic Converter Belt in with her step dad’s stuff. His name is Pat Dugan aka Stripsey the original Star Spangled Kid’s adult sidekick. Originally she used it to annoy him but she has become quite a hero in her own right, and Jack Knight gave his Cosmic Rod to her when he retired.

(Not to step on anyone’s toes, but there is one more Starman…that we know about anyway:

Star Boy – Starman #???
Thom Kallor, known to most as Star Boy from the Legion of Superheroes becomes Starman somewhere in the future. This was shown in both the end of the last Starman series and in Kingdom Come. When this takes place and just how many other Starmen there were before him is not known at this time.

-Daron……….The Dark Overlord)

Now in terms of how easy it is to use the cosmic power, yeah it is kind easy. The Cosmic Converter Belt is the easiest as shown by Kyle and Courtney taking to it almost immediately. Now Jack’s rod is another story.

Where as the Cosmic Converter Belt is easy to use, Jack’s rod isn’t. And it is longer than the average rod. Yep long and hard describes Jack’s rod. He’s also very good with it. After years of having it in his hands, he has grown quite adept to making it shoot off. In fact he no longer has to grab it, he can make it come using only his mind. Jack’s rod is an amazing thing.

Oh yeah, it’s time for bed. Send me your questions and comments. Since no one answered last week’s question this week is the same one. “I’m like Aquaman and Brown Hornet.”

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