Who’s Who In The DCU 10.1.03

It’s that time of the week again. Time for your weekly visit to the DCU. But before I open the mailbag can I just say how much I am enjoying Avengers/JLA? That book rocks. Although I have to admit that after reading it I totally agree with Superman’s viewpoint. He is right on the money. Of course my Marvel pal Jason Torres sees eye to eye with Captain America. This has lead to some serious Heroclix battles (Which I have won the last two out of three.) But I’ve got to admit, he just got Thanos, and I am shook. But I guess being a real hero is about overcoming fear. That or shooting rays out of your fingertips.

Mike Z was the first to correctly identify the lyric at the end of the last column so he gets the first shot.

How many times has Superman’s origin been revamped? I can think of 5.
possibly 6 (if you’re anal retentive) times since the ’30s.

Well let me count. You have Superman from Action Comics #1. Then I guess you could include Superboy as a revamp since it was a new concept. So then I would say that the Silver Age Earth 1 Superman would be #3. Then along comes Byrne’s Man of Steel. And finally we have Waid’s Birthright (although we have yet to see any continuity as a result of this story so technically it isn’t a revamp.) I count five. Ben, am I missing anyone? (Sounds good to me. The only “revamp” Supes got out of Zero Hour was the addition of Conduit, a short-lived and kinda crappy villain. However, the periodic “tales of Smallville” that have been popping up periodically have changed the previously established canon that Clark didn’t use his powers during high school…not sure if this counts as part of Birthright or its own category. –Ben)

Mark, do you have a question for me?

My question is pretty simple, and I’ll send it to Jim over on the Marvel side too, but what, and everyone at 411comics for that matter, is your single favorite DC and Marvel issue respectively? And why?

Since it’s my column I’m going to cheat.
As for my favorite Marvel issue I think it was X Factor #87 (I don’t know for sure, I’m a away from my collection.) It’s the one where the have to visit a shrink (Doc Sampson.) Peter David and some guy named Joe Quesada were the creators of that issue. Great writing with great art. The issue of Infinity Gauntlet (#5 maybe) where the heroes test their mettle against the mad titan is also pretty good. I hold a soft spot in my heart for a Spiderman comic that I have no idea what number or what title. It’s the one where Spidey and Human Torch fight Hammerhead, and I think Spidey gets a jeep or a motorcycle or something. Anyway that issue was the first Marvel comic I read. Ben, your thoughts? (On the Marvel side, as I’ve said before, it’s X-Force #19, where Cannonball stands up to Professor X and drags his team out of the mansion and out into the world. –Ben)

Now for DC. Justice League of America #200 is a great comic, and the first one I ever read. But my favorite issue of Superman is #9, but that’s for the Lex backup. “The Killing Joke” is my favorite Joker story. Flash #57 is one of my favorite Flash stories. So basically every character has an issue that I really like featuring them. I wish I could narrow it down. I hope I answered your question. You have any favorites Ben? DC is a bit tricker…as bodies of work, I really like Kingdom Come, Crisis, Morisson’s JLA run, the current JSA, Justice League: The Nail, the “Super Seven” Elseworlds I mentioned last week…but head and shoulders above the rest would be New Teen Titans (v1) #8, “A Day in the Lives” in which Marv Wolfman & George Perez do a no-action issue just following the civilian lives of each Titan and getting inside their heads…read this issue and you will love the Titans like family, I promise, just fabulous stuff. –Ben)

Dave Sippel do you have another question that requires opinion as opposed to fact?

Who would you rank as your top 5-10 artists of the modern era?

Favorite artists you say? Well I’ve been a fan of Cully Hamner’s since “Green Lantern: Mosaic.” Tony Harris blew my socks off in “Starman.” Tommy Lee Edwards slayed me with is work in the Milestone Universe, as did Chriscross. Javier Pulido is currently bowling me over in “The Human Target.” Eduardo Risso’s work will be appearing in “Batman” next month. Cliff Chiang made me a fan with “Beware the Creeper.” J.H. Williams does some mighty fine work with Mick Gray. I think Rags Morales is criminally underrated on both Hourman and Hawkman. I often wonder where Daryl Banks is? Those are my ten favorite artists of the moment. But that could all change by the time you read this because I’ll have gone to the comic store and bought a new book that could feature the most amazing art by someone I know absolutely nothing about. (Mathan didn’t ask my opinion, so I’ll give it anyways! Not sure how you define “modern era” but I’ll use the last ten years or so as Mathan seems to have. First off, George Perez is the master in any era, accept this fact and you’ll be better off. Jim Lee is the hottest artist in comics…again…and I can’t dispute that this is as it should be. Salvador Larocca has improved leaps and bounds in the last five years and he’ll take his place as one of the all time greats any day now. Ditto for Phil Jimenez, who also isn’t a half bad writer. Ed McGuinness & Scott Kollins both have unique styles that look awesome, which counts for a lot. I’ll second Mathan’s praise of Rags Morales. Mark Bagley is the hardest working man in comics. I hated Doug Mahnke’s work at first, but it has really grown on me. And rounding out my top ten would be Mike McKone, who is doing the best stuff of his career right now. –Ben

Mike Z, October 31st is less than a month away do you have a spooky question?

Is there some kind of Infinity, Inc. curse?

Infinity Inc curse? I never considered that. But let’s take a closer look shall we.
Skyman/Star Spangled Kid- Killed by Mr. Bones skin.
Hector Hall- Died, but came back. Still has a pretty messed up continuity.
Obidian- Went crazy, tried to kill the JSA (including his pop.) Apparently getting better.
Northwind- Has evolved into a hawk/human hybrid incapable of speech.
Nuklon- Had a Mohawk! Lost his mom, but got her back. Is currently visiting the “dark side of justice.”
Brainwave- Went crazy, stalked his ex, Jade.
Hourman- Got addicted to drugs, got sick, but got better.
Fury- Continuity mess, everyone thinks she’s dead.
Power Girl- Real continuity mess.
Huntress- No longer exists.
Mr. Bones- Head of the DEO.
Jade- Lost her powers, got stalked by a crazy Brainwave, her brother Obsidian went crazy.
Dr. Midnight- Killed by Eclipso
Wildcat II- Killed by Eclipso.

Oh yeah there is definitely a curse. Of the original members Jade is the best off, and she has a loony ex and a loony brother. She’s the best off people! Ben how much money would you have to be paid to join Infinity Inc? (Beats the Suicide Squad…-Ben)

John Babos has a question

Next to DC’s Troia (recently deceased, sorta, during Graduation Day), Power Girl is the most convoluted of DC’s existing characters.
Do you have any other insights on this character and where Geoff Johns may be taking her in light of JSA #50?

See John, as a fellow columnist you are supposed to toss me an easy pitch. Something like “What is Batman’s last name? I know his first name is Bruce.” Something like that. Ok John, I’ll answer this but you owe me big.

To quote Who’s Who in the DC Universe from 1990 “Few heroes have pasts as confusing as Karen Starr.” That is like the understatement of the century.

WACKY SILVER AGE ALERT.

Back on Earth 2’s Krypton (does that really make any sense?) Jor-L’s brother Zor-L took his advice on Krypton’s impending doom. So he decided to build a craft to save his family. Unfortunately he wasn’t a rocket scientist (Zor-L was actually an expert on the sciences of the mind) and he didn’t really have much time, so the craft he made was only big enough to carry his daughter Kara.

The rocket took off, but it didn’t take the same route as Kal-L. Instead it conserved fuel and aided in Kara’s mental development. Not only that but it also slowed her aging down so that while the trip took 60 years, she only aged 20 years. She landed and became Power Girl. But then the Crisis happened.

Y’see in the post Crisis DCU there was no Earth 2 ergo there was no Krypton 2 ergo there was no Jor-L ergo there was no Zor-L ergo there was no Kara. Yet Power girl still existed. How could that be you ask?

HOKEY POST CRISIS EXPLANATION FOR A VICTIM OF PRE CRISIS CONTINUNITY AHEAD.

Apparently around 50,000 years ago Arion (Atlantis mage) hooked up with Lady Chian and has some kids. One of those kids, grew up and had Kara. Magic was coursing through Kara’s veins, after all Arion was Lord High Mage of Atlantis. In an effort to better other Atlanteans, Arion had Kara undergo experiments to increase her strength. But as is usually the aces the 2-year-old Kara became possessed by Garn Daanuth’s spirit, who happens to be Arion’s evil brother.

To save Kara Arion placed her in a crystal chamber in another dimension where time flows slowly. The chamber took care of Kara mentally and physically. She ended up on Earth in the late 20th century. Since Arion was such a whiz at magic, he cast spell over the chamber to find a suitable candidate to explain Kara’s presence. Thus she believed herself to be Kal-el’s cousin. But the truth is she’s really Arion’s granddaughter.

Or is she? IN JSA #50 Arion confessed that he was just kidding, they aren’t related at all. So alas Kara is again without an origin.

As to where she is going, I’m betting she’s going to be looking for her mom. Speculators have said that her mom is actually Amethyst. Since someone asked about her (and Amethyst is my birthstone) I will try to put her in next week’s column.

That tuckered me out. I’m going to call it a column. This week’s question; who has the worst looking costume in the DCU?

“I’d rather not breathe than snitch.”

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