Who’s Who In The DCU: 8.29.03


Welcome back to the Who’s Who in the DCU. Guess what? Mike Z has an astounding knowledge of music. He has once again correctly given me where the lyric that closed last week’s column. Mark my words Mike I will stump you. I have hundreds of cds, which I brag about in my music column every week. It is only a matter of time.

Now I’m sure some of you are wondering “Mathan, why do you close your column with a lyric?” Funny you should ask. It started as my just finding a lyric that expressed my mood. It progressed to me just picking lines that struck a cord with me. But just this week I realized that I stole this idea.

Years ago, back when Impulse had his own book and DC had letter’s pages DC Editor L.A. Williams would close each letters page with a lyric. I always found it interesting to see what songs were bouncing around in his head. One day I emailed him about his lyric, and he actually emailed me back! We had a cool little correspondence going. I had hoped to pitch him some ideas, but then he got done dirty by DC and that was the end of that. So in actuality, my closing lyric is a tip of the hat to one of the good guys. So L.A. if you should read this, holla back! Now on with your questions.

Of course Mike Z goes first:

How about a brief history of Ragman?

Back in the 16th century a whole bunch of Rabbis cast a spell on a suit of rags to make a Jewish protector. A human host is needed to make the suit work, but when it’s working watch out. The suit absorbs the souls of evildoers. Not only that but it hunts them down. Once the souls have redeemed themselves they are released. The current wearer of the suit is Gothamite Rory Regan. He has hooked up the Batman on some occasions, and even hangs out with the Sentinels of Magic. Personally I prefer the Kubert’s 70’s version. Did you ever see the 70’s version of the Daron the Dark Overlord? He has the huge bell-bottoms, butterfly collar, and the platforms. He was stylin’.

It’s true, I was the most stylin’ 2 year old around. What can I say, my mother knew how to dress me, though you forgot to mention the diamond studded cane, and felt top hat…oh wait weren’t those the accessories I borrowed from you, Mathan, for take your pimp to work day? – Daron………The Pimpin’ Fly Overlord

JohnBritton wants to know:

Did they ever catch the Spirit King after he killed Mr. Terrific a million years ago?

Does anyone really get away with murder in the DCU? Ok the Joker does, but the Spirit King was brought to justice. It happened in The Spectre #54. I hope that you can rest easier knowing that Mr. Terrific’s death has been avenged. Daron, shouldn’t you watch your back? Don’t you have some people calling for your head?

Well someone called me yesterday offering to give me…. Wait what was the question again? – Daron………The X-Rated Overlord

JohnBritton asks:

Also, where are the original Outsiders? I know about Batman, Metamorpho, and Black Lightning, but how about Katana, Halo, Geo-Force and (the fairly embarrassing) Looker? And wasn’t there some sort of cloud-girl that they hung out with sometimes?

The Outsiders were a team of heroes that were originally banded together by Batman when the Justice League of America abandoned him. They broke up years later only to reunite only to disband. So where are the members of the first series now? Looker and Windfall (the cloud girl) were last seen in the most recent Outsiders #24. Halo and Katana were last spotted in Wonder Woman #175. Geo Force, their fearless leader was last scene in Our World’s at War #1.
Now there is some speculation that some of the silhouettes that appear in Superman/Batman #1 belong to some former Outsiders. Some people think that Black Lightning and Katana are standing to Major Force’s right. I agree with them.

JohnBritton would like to know:

Who has the most interesting supporting cast for their secret identity right now? How about all-time?

I liked the Flash’s cast with Messner Loebs. It consisted of Wally’s mom, Mason Trollbridge, Tina and Jerry Mcgee, Chunk, and Linda. I also liked Wally’s speedster cast when Waid was writing. Nightwing (under Dixon) had a pretty strong cast. All of the other tenants in Dick’s apartment and various elements of Bludhaven’s underworld made for some interesting stories. Green Lantern looks like Raab’s trying to build up Kyle’s supporting cast. Supergirl and Aquaman (when Peter David was in the helm) had great supporting casts. So I imagine that Fallen Angel’s cast will be right up there one day. But for my all time favorite? Of course you think I am going to say Starman. Well you’re half right. Starman had a great cast (and great everything else for that matter.) But Superman, when Byrne was doing the character had a pretty cool supporting cast too. Actually the cast was pretty strong until right before Metropolis was destroyed. Supporting casts are had to classify. At times they are great. But usually when the writer leaves the cast diminishes and fades into obscurity. Just like that Daron the Dark Overlord guy.

Don’t worry Mathan, if I ever leave for greener pastures, I’ll make sure Ben leaves a spot open for you. I’m sure you won’t fade into obscurity and if you do…oh well! – Daron………The Egotistical Overlord

Dan Harmon do you have a question that has been plaguing you?

My question is this: in JLI annual #3, Blue Beetle is pissed at Captain Atom for “betraying” the JL. In JLE #4, Max makes reference to the Captain spying on the team. I never bought any of the Captain Atom series, so what the hell did he do? Thanks.

See when Captain Atom joined the Justice League initially it was to spy on the team for the government. He would report on their goings on and whatnots. And can you blame the Government? They used to be called the Justice League of AMERICA and then they change their name to Justice League International? Something fishy was clearly going on. They even had a commie on the team. You remember Rocket Red don’t you? But Captain Atom eventually stopped his spying ways and became trustable again. He even led the Justice League Europe. But then he became Monarch. Oh no, wait. That was what was supposed to happen.

Grinner asks:

When did Cyborg become robotic again? In the Graduation Day mini he has obviously mechanical parts and they’re silver again, like they used to be. But in the Titans series that led up to Graduation Day, Victor Stone was placed into a body cloned from his original body. He still remained a cyborg because Victor’s mind was loaded into the Omegahedron, which then entered the clone body. So Victor still had
mechanical powers from the Omegahedron, (all of the protrusions were gold, not silver) but his body was flesh and blood.

Ok this actually happened in Flash #186. When the Thinker took over Central City, Vic fought him. But the Thinker took over his body. When the Thinker jumped over to the Flash in #187 Vic realized that things had changed. In Flash #189 Vic explained that his form was rendered inert, he lost his morphing form, and is stuck in this ol’ trusty cyborg body again. Daron, which Cyborg is your favorite?

Did you ever see the movie Cherry 2000? It takes place in the future and cyborgs are apparently being programmed for…what? It’s a real movie, no really! – Daron………The Late Night HBO Watchin’ Overlord

Daniel J Foery, resident funny man asks:

Besides Supergirl, Aquaman and Young Justice, what other series has
Peter David wrote for DC? Are there any that have a humorous tone Similar to Captain Marvel (before Relaunch)?

Peter David has a unique brand of humor that he injects into his books. Since I read a total of one issue of his run on Captain Marvel I can’t really compare his work there to his work on Supergirl, Young Justice, and Aquaman. Both Supergirl and Young Justice were, at times ripe with humor. And his Aquaman was often hilarious. The bad news is that these books are no longer being published. But the good news is that you should be able to find these back issues at very reasonable prices. They should be right alongside “Legends of the Dark Overlord” and “Dark Overlord Quarterly.” He wrote the “Atlantis Chronicles” and had some stories in Action Comics Weekly. He is currently writing “Fallen Angel.”

Big news on “Dark Overlord Quarterly” by the way. Marvel picked up the rights to start producing it again and is going to put it out on a weekly basis. – Daron………The Ever So Slightly Sarcastic Overlord & apparently The Slightly Fond Of Alliteration Overlord as well.

Aaron Cameron from the music portion of the site asks:

Wonder Girl, Darkstar, Donna Troy and her hubby got divorced? Irreconcilable differences? And, did I read that Donna (and her muddled past) is no more?

Yep Donna and her husband went splitsville. She started hooking up the Kyle “Green Lantern” Rayner. Then Terry and their son Robert were killed in a car accident. Kyle and Donna broke up. Donna and Roy “Arsenal” Harper had a brief fling. But now Donna Troy is sleeping with the fishes. So no more messy continuity for her. You miss her don’t you Daron?

Hell yeah! She slept with everyone else it was almost my turn! – Daron………The Morbid Overlord

Aaron, you got another?

I was readin’ about a period of time on the Aquaman title that hardcore fans “refused to acknowledge”. I guess there was a creative change and the stories went into the crapper or something. Again…real or imagined?

Hm, I don’t recall this at all. I know that some Aquaman fans weren’t too happy with the longhaired, bearded, one-handed Aquaman that Peter David wrote in the early ‘90s. But some fans of David’s Aquaman didn’t take kindly to when Erik Larsen took over the reigns of the book with #50. Right now I’m about to pretend that the current Aquaman series isn’t happening. It is a dismal read. If only there were some way to get a refund. Daron, I know you want to voice in on the current Aquaman series.

Oh man, don’t even get me started on that waste of paper. That fish stinks so bad I’m afraid the stench will continue to permeate the title even when comic’s great Jerry Ordway comes on for a couple issues before turning it over to Will H-E-R-O Pfeifer. And to think Mike Carey’s Firestorm got canned, yet this skunk got to swim… – Daron………The Allergic To Sea Food Overlord

Anything else for me Aaron?

John Stewart…Dead or Alive?

Actually he’s not that into Bon Jovi. He’s more of a Streisand type dude. He’s alive, why wouldn’t he be? Oh, that’s right because DC disrespects Black heroes (Cyborg, Amazing Man II, Black Lightning, John Stewart.) Well not only is he alive, but he’s thriving. He is the “go to” Green Lantern in the JLA. He’s also the face of Green Lantern on TV via the Justice League cartoon. And he’s newly single (Black women need not apply.) He’s doing his thing right now.

Aaron I know you have more on your mind.

What was up with the Legion of Super Heroes re-launch after Zero Hour? One minute, Earth had blown up…the next we’re like years and years earlier. Poor sales? Poor writing? Greenpeace protests?

There are reasons a plenty as to why the Legion was relaunched. One of the most most important was that DC wanted to make everything accessible to new readers. Given that the Legion had what, thirty years worth of continunity, which didn’t really make it easy to for new readers to pick up the title. The characters used lost of code names and civilian names which some readers found confusing. A lot of people were turned off by the darker tone of the last Legion series. They felt that it betrayed the optimism of the characters.

Another reason for the relaunch was that the thirty-year continuity was kind of confusing, since the Legion couldn’t use Superboy as their inspiration anymore. Since Superboy and Supergirl played such crucial roles in the Legion’s history. Without those two characters in the DCU the Legion’s history was so spotty it almost necessitated the relaunch. At some point the powers that be decided that the Legion was akin to the Titanic, and decided to start over. But I will go on record as saying the “Five Year Gap” Legion was one of my favorites. Daron, isn’t your favorite Legion the Legion of Super Pets?

Yeah those little guys are so cute. That crossover they did with the X-Babies was by far the best inter-company crossover to date, forget JLA/Avengers. – Daron………The Animal Friendly Overlord

John Ross, you seem confused:

Your first question this week says Lyta Hall is alive, yet recent issues of JSA have Hector confirming and coming to terms with, once and for all, that she is, indeed dead. Not saying your wrong, just asking rather where and how she died, as it seems to be a matter of confusion!

Mike Z, you too look perplexed:

Strangely enough, I’d just read the Furies TPB about a month ago. What had brought me to ask the question was the current run of JSA, where Hector has been searching for Lyta. Everyone has been attempting to convince Hector that she’s dead, but he wouldn’t believe it until his final fight with Mordru in JSA #51.

Here is my take on the whole Lyta Hall controversy. We can all accept that there is little if any intersection between the DCU and the Vertigo universe. Sure Constantine appeared in “Dr Fate” #1, but he didn’t do anything. The same goes for the Shade in “Beware the Creeper.” Animal Man, Robotman, and Zantanna have carte blanche to travel between the two realities, but that is basically it.

Lyta Hall was a big mistake in the DCU. Her existence in the DCU is just a glaring example of on oversight from the Crisis. However in the Vertigo universe she is a great character, and the mother to an even greater one. So in that universe she has a purpose and a life. Vertigo is where DCU characters go to start over with a clean slate. She now has a life unbridled by continuity gaffes. She is “dead” to the DCU, but she isn’t dead. Plus I’m betting that Daniel’s mark of protection keeps DCU writers from messing with her. I wish I had a mark of protection to keep Daron off my back.

…Yeah, that’ll be the day. Now carry me to my car Word Monkey! – Daron………The (appropriately enough) Dark Overlord

Les wants to know:

Would you rather have a power ring that only works on the color Beige? Or would you rather have a power ring that only works when you’re completely naked? You can’t make clothes for yourself with the power ring, but you can have the glowing green body covering shield that the GL’s have when they’re in space or flying or in combat.

Les I have no problem being naked. Ask my downstairs neighbors about my Halloween costume from a few years a back I wore a sock, and not on my foot (I still have the pictures.) Ask my family about our reunions in the summer. Somehow my pants keep falling off. I think the question you should be asking is even with out that proviso, if I had the most powerful weapon in the universe would I be wearing anything at all? Daron I know you want to weigh in on this one.

You know, I really want to comment here, I really do, but I’m not sure which scares me more, Les and his question or Mathan and his answer. Either way, this last question has made me realize how lucky I am to work with you people in a setting where I never have to PHYSICALLY interact with you. – Daron………The Mildly Disgusted Overlord

I know I promised you the showdown between that daxamite dude and Superman’s cousin, but it’s late. Plus I have to leave you wanting more.

One more thing; the new Fall Season at the Comics section is upon us. I must say that I don’t know if “Who’s Who in the DCU” will be back. Ratings weren’t what the site expected. Sure this is a critically acclaimed column but Sports Night was a critically acclaimed show and that didn’t prevent it from getting the axe. Will I be back next week? Is this the season finale or the series finale? I don’t know? But I should know by Wednesday, so you should check the site then. You should also check out the site on Sunday to see some of the season premieres. There are some grand things in store for 411 Comics. Make sure you’re here to see it all.

“Cuz if I’m the man that you love the most, you can say I do at least.”

Well folks, whether Who’s Who in the DCU makes it back next season or not I won’t be here giving Mathan, or who ever’s writing it grief. I’ve got a bunch of new (and old) projects coming up for the new season. It’s been a blast all, and good luck, Mathan, with whatever it is your going to be doing here at the site… – Daron………The, well I’m sure you get the point by now, Overlord (sorry couldn’t resist ;)