Who’s Who In The DCU 11.5.03

Ok, so it’s Monday night (perhaps Tuesday morning if you want to be technical), and I’m putting the column together. So I go over to the message boards to visit the DCU thread, only to find it missing. Not only that, but the Secret Id Game Thread is missing too. I’m going to blame it on solar flare activity. So even though I don’t know who asked every question, here go some answers.

Ok now I found it. It’s on page #24 of the Comic Board. You guys can sleep easy tonight. (I got it moved back to the first page, thank me later. –Ben) On with the show.

I know that Mike Z (who’s still unstumped) asked the following question.

What can you tell me about Black Mask (the Batman villain)?

Ah, Roman Sionis. When his parents died in a fire he gained control of Janus Cosmetics. Now this guy loved masks more than Dumas, so being newly rich he bought a lot of them. Too bad he wasn’t a better businessman, because he drove Janus to the ground, at which point Wayne Enterprises bought it up.

Of course Roman vowed revenge. So as anyone in his situation would do he carved mask from his pop’s ebony coffin. He christened himself the Obsidian Façade. Oops, I mean the Black Mask. He offed some Wayne employee, which as usually happens, attracted the attention of a certain Dark Knight Detective. Bats cornered him in the Sionis house. Oh yeah and there was a fire that kind of burned the mask onto Roman’s face (a disfigured Bat foe, imagine that.)

Roman did the whole “Arkham” thing, and has now abandoned the mask, because women dig scarred faces (see Brad Pitt.) He’s now one of the most ruthless bosses of Gotham’s underworld, and he’s really big on torture (ask Selina Kyle’s kin.) In case you haven’t guessed, he is a major antagonist of the one and only Catwoman. Ben you had a few run-ins with her too didn’t you? (If by Catwoman you mean Halle Berry…then no…-Ben)

Renato, our friend from Peru, read Tower of Babel and was curious as to why Batman was responsible for Plastic Man being in the JLA.

Well, the League decided to bulk up its membership. So members nominated heroes to be considered for membership to the league. Batman nominated Oracle, Huntress, and Plastic Man. And that is the story of how Plas became a member of the JLA. It’s in the JLA Secret Files #2. How did you end up in the JLA Ben? (Because they needed somebody who did better research than you. Plastic Man’s entrance into the JLA began before the aforementioned Secret Files back during the “Rock of Ages” storyline. Batman recruited Plas to disguise himself as the Joker and infiltrate Lex Luthor’s Injustice Gang and help the JLA defeat them, a job he performed admirably and frustrated the hell out of Circe in the process. The JLA re-organized after the Injustice Gang ordeal and Plas got Bats’ ringing endorsement and had gained the respect of the rest of the team thanks to his good work. Also, I never got into the JLA cuz of that dang Oracle chick. Spent some time in Extreme Justice though…don’t get me started…-Ben)

Steve A do you have a question about potential?

What happened to the JLA villain “Prometheus.” Great opponent for the group (great villain in general, reminiscent of the Taskmaster over in Marvel), and an excellent anti-Batman. I read the story arc where he was introduced, and I would have to assume he has caused more trouble.

Once upon a time there was this kid who witnessed his parents killed, and swore vengeance. Sound familiar? Well you’re wrong. See this kid’s parents were highly successful bank robbers who were killed by cops. They left him a sizable nest egg so he was able to get some good book learnin’. As rich orphans with a taste for vengeance are wont to do, he began studying combat.

This took him to Shamballa where he studied with some monks and got the Cosmic Key that opens the doorway to the Ghost Zone. This guy was so sharp that he built a suit, with a nifty helmet that could download the moves of the world’s greatest fighter into his brain. So he could instantly fight like, oh I don’t know Jackie Chan, or Batman, or even Steve Urkel! So after almost single handedly taking the league down, Catwoman defeated him. Then as a member of the Injustice Gang he couldn’t match wits with Batman, and lost again. But this guy is too interesting a character to stay down for too long. I’m actually writing a treatment for ‘Mazing Man, where he plays a major role. Ben you have any thoughts on Prometheus? (I’m of two minds on him. He was one of the best JLA villains ever in my opinion, and I would absolutely love to see him show up in another title, particularly Batman…would have been a real treat to see him as the mastermind behind “Hush”…at the same time, Grant Morrison was seriously inside that guy’s head and I worry no other writer would ever be able to do him the justice he was done in two amazing appearances. Part of Prometheus’ legendary status comes from how few times he appeared, so maybe it’s best he be remembered that way. –Ben)

Sandmatt are you confused about something?

The cover to crisis shows Superman of the Golden Age / Earth 2 holding Wonder Woman’s body. And in Dark knight strikes back they have a daughter ( I know this tale is a kind of else worlds thing) but what i was wondering is did they ever actually have a relationship? Did Lois know etc…

Nope these two never hooked up. Superman married his long time girlfriend, Lois Lane. Wonder Woman marred Steve Trevor, and had a daughter, Fury.

Damn Frank Miller and his mediocre Dark Knight Returns sequel! The Golden Age Superman and Wonder Woman are gone, and kind of forgotten. At least until Kal L uses his exit from his current dimension.

Nalydpsycho do you have a question about a green guy?

How powerful a telepath is Martian Manhunter?

Well ol’ J’onny is pretty powerful. I mean the guy can telepathically link the JLA so they can communicate with their minds. Now I have no mental powers, so that seems pretty impressive to me.

He also has lots of inherently Martian gifts, like the ability to give a person a reality that is real, only it’s in their mind. It’s called Mayavana. He used that one time gift on Despero in Justice League America #39 (perhaps one of my favorite Despero appearances.) So who know what other mental abilities he has behind that protruding brow of his. Ben, any other mental abilities you want to point out? (I’m smarter than anybody named Mathan I’ve ever met. –Ben)

JohnBritton do you have a personal question for me?

What does Martian Manhunter’s skin feel like? I imagine it feels a little like a soft charcoal eraser.

J’onn’s skin is so smooth. It’s even smoother than John Travolta’s hands, and trust me because I’ve shaken hands with Travolta. Back to J’onn, his skin is super smooth. Don’t ask me how I know. But J’onn if you’re reading this, call me. We’ve got to talk. I said things I shouldn’t have said, I’m sorry. Just give me a chance to apologize.

Nalydpsycho, do you have another question in (snicker) mind?

Who is the most powerful telepath in the DCU?

Well obviously Martian Manhunter make my list for the reasons above.
Hector Hammond is pretty powerful, he’s got one o’ them evolved brains.

Captain Comet once evolved an entire race on the planet that he was stranded on, just so that they could become technologically advanced enough to get him off the planet. That’s a pretty nifty trick.

Despero and Gorilla Grodd both have the whole “devastating mental power” with “extreme physical threat” combo going on. They are both powerful on both levels, and both appeared in the late lamented Supergirl comic.

Brainwave Jr is no joke. He made the citizens of NYC lose their minds. Look for a showcase of his abilities in next year’s JSA/Hawkman crossover.

Universo is contstantly trying to take over the 31st century, mentally that is. And he did hold the entire Legion under his sway during “Dream Crime.”

But he was undone by Saturn Girl, so I guess that makes her pretty powerful.

My vote for most powerful goes to Brainiac. This guy goes toe to toe (or is it lobe to lobe) with Superman! He has a very formidable mind. His mind traveled from Colu to Earth. That is will power. I can’t think of another in the DCU who could touch him, mentally. This just in; Ben has the power to go mental. Ben feel free to add your voice here. (For once I agree with you re: Braniac, though I think you underestimate the potential of Universo. –Ben)

JohnBritton do you have a question about the dead?

How do you feel about all the post-crisis Barry Allen time travel? I worry that it waters down his sacrifice. He needs to be dead dead dead, where no one can talk to him.

To be honest I too think that it cheapens his sacrifice. I was leery of Flash #200 because of Barry. But I tolerated it for two reasons. First, it was Flash #200, an impressive milestone. Second Barry had been in Wally’s situation (with Reverse Flash and Iris) so he could provide solace to Wally. The appearance in #200 wasn’t over done it was subtle and understated.

Now if Barry turns out to be the guy who gave Wally the ring, I’m going to be pissed. I also didn’t like Barry foreshadowing Wally’s future struggles. It seemed to imply that Barry would pop up then too. I hope he doesn’t.

I didn’t care for Barry’s appearance in Deadman’s “Dead Again.” I thought it was foolish. DC, has for the most part allowed Barry to rest in peace. But a Barry who is constantly time traveling would really undermine his death. Your thoughts Ben? (Ditto. Flash #200 was a great appearance, but if they’re going to use Barry in this way, it needs to be sparing. See my Prometheus thoughts from above. –Ben)

Now for another Silver Age hero who died yet occasionally pops up though time travel; Hal Jordan. Actually Parallax.is who I would love to see more of. This guy was bouncing all through time. It would make sense for him to show up occasionally in the current DCU. I mean look at the gaps between when he showed up in Green Lantern and Final Night. Look how cool it was when he showed up during Emerald Knights. It was killer. I loved Hal, but I also thought that Parallax was a great character. Ben, you want more Parallax don’t you? (Only if he changes his name…what a dumb name…but yeah, he’s a good idea as a villain since he gets readers so riled up. –Ben)

Freight Train you want to close the column this week?

Who would be most likely to be able to beat GL (particularly Hal Jordan)? Maybe the Flash?

Anyone can beat Green Lantern. I took a class at the Community College Annex called “How to defeat a Green Lantern.” A retired Weaponer of Qward and a part time Thunderer taught the course. It sucked because it was summer school, but I did learn a lot.

It’s all about breaking his concentration. The ring operates on will power, but you distract him then he loses his concentration. The more people he has to deal with the more vulnerable he becomes. Say he’s battling the Justice League Antarctica, and Michael Jackson accidentally drops his baby out of a nearby window. Well, Kyle being the hero that he is is going to try to save the baby, which means he’s going to be open to attack.

Another way he’s vulnerable is by mental attacks. You attack his mind and it’s lights out GL. Check out how Brainwave Jr dismantled him in GL #152.

I’m guessing that if you messed with his confidence he could be beaten too. Say Kyle just saw Doomsday demolish Superman. Since Kyle hold’s Kal El in such high regard, and knows how tough the last son of Krypton is, Doomsady might intimidate Kyle. Since the ring works on thought, if Kyle doesn’t believe that he can beat Doomsday, he probably won’t be able to.

If they still had that yellow weakness beating GL would be a piece of cake, lemon cake. With yellow frosting and little frosting daffodils on the cake. It would be so easy. Just like I learned in summer school.

Oh yeah as we saw in “Tower of Babel” a blind GL is no good. But I bet Alan Moore would have some words with Mark Waid about this theory. Ben how would you beat Green Lantern? (Lock him in a room with you and Daron with the last fifteen issues of Exiles. –Ben)

Well that concludes another week. I think that next week may be magic based. I’ve got to do Zantanna, Constantine, and Zatara profiles, as well as the Sentinels of Magic. So if you have any DCU magic questions fire away. Who knows maybe Blue Devil will make another appearance? My question for you this week is; Who is the next hero that should be pushing up daisies and why?

“You’re trying to outrun your fear, you’re running to lose,
Heart in your sleeve and your soul in your shoes.
Take a left, a sharp left and another left.
Meet me on the corner, we’ll start again.”

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