Who’s Who In The DCU 2.4.04

Is it Wednesday already? Gee time sure has flown. Well I won the office Super Bowl pool. That’s right I correctly predicted that Janet Jackson’s nipple would be revealed during halftime. Now that I’ve gotten my obligatory nipple reference out of the way, B what was your favorite Super Bowl memory? (How about that my beloved hometown New England Patriots won, you ninny? Now, I’d like to note that I worked the Pats-Bills game, the last one of the season, as a beer vendor at Gillette Stadium. Rumor has it that Patriots owner Bob Kraft is such a generous man that he buys Super Bowl rings for not only all the players on the team, but all his employees as well. I can only assume that includes yours truly. I will be waiting by my mailbox, Bobby. Congrats, Pats. –B)

Interesting. Allow me to take the following moment to alert you loyal readers to a little site over here. Pretty soon it will feature the continuing adventures of Daron, the Dark Overlord. That’s right, that one guy who has his own column, fills in for B when his off globetrotting, and makes various other appearances at 411Comics, is spinning off onto his own site. Believe me when I say, it’s going to be hilarious. (So B, now that I’ve hawked his site do you think Daron will give me back my DC Heroclix?) (Sure, M. The guy spends all day thinking he’s a fictional super-villain in a Darth Vader helmet. That just screams trustworthy. –B)

Now would also be a good time you us to hype the Top Ten Lists. B, they were your baby you should explain further. (We at 411 loved 2003. So much did we love 2003 that we plan on extending our celebration of it for at least another couple weeks. You should be able to find the latest top ten list, Best Issue, shortly after this column goes up. –B)

Let’s enter the fray, shall we?

Charles Hargrove correctly placed the lyric at the end of last week’s column so he gets to go first.

I remember a character from the Superman books. Carl Draper. He was a classmate of Clark Kent’s in Smallville and was jealous of him and caused all sorts of random trouble for Superboy. Then later he became some sort of master jailer and made trouble for Superman. Does he still exist in DC land?

Ah Carl Draper the Master Jailer. Well, they have both appeared in the current DCU, but are they one and the same? See Carl Draper was just your average wealthy security expert, with no real link in Clark Kent. One day his daughter challenged him to trap Superman. Well being the pop that he was, he adopted the costumed identity of Deathtrap and he tried to trap Superman. Mister Miracle got involved too. Needless to say, they escaped the trap. But Carl was crafty enough to avoid capture and the disclosure of his double identity. Score one for the bad guys. Carl’s story starts in Adventures of Superman #517.

Now Master Jailer first appeared in Superman #186, during the time when Manchester Black was trying to destroy Superman. Master Jailer was part of the plot to attack Super’s friends and loved ones. He made Metropolis into on giant penitentiary. Of course Superman “won” but the Master Jailer is still an enigma. Is he Carl Draper or someone entirely new? And if he is Draper how did he get his powers to their new levels? Maybe answers will be forthcoming, but I doubt it? (Master Jailer also existed in a less powerful incarnation both pre and post-Crisis before “Ending Battle.” It’s entirely possible that the pre-Crisis Master Jailer was named Carl Draper and was featured in Superboy; it bears research, M. –B)

I know someone has a Bat question, you over there, Hallsy.

What happened to Harvey Bullock? Whenever his name comes up in Gotham Central, everyone gets all sad and quiet. Was he fired or killed or what?

Harvey Bullock is another mystery. See back when James Gordon was Commissioner, Gordon got shot. The shooter, one Jordan Rich, was about to get off scot-free. Now, Harv being the loyal guy he was couldn’t have that happening. But Harv was also a cop, sworn to uphold the law. So what’s a guy to do? Well he got the mob to handle the “dirty” work for him. When his involvement in the “disappearance” of Jordan Rich came to light, by investigating Internal Affairs officers, Bullock resigned from GCPD. He was replaced by a Maggie Sawyer from Metropolis. He turned in his badge in Detective Comics #762.

JohnBritton, do you have a question that is going to cause me to ponder?

Which hero is the biggest underachiever? Who could do so much more, but for some reason, doesn’t? Who is the biggest overachiever? Who takes negligible abilities and turns them into broad-scale goodness?

Who is the biggest underachiever? Well in my opinion I would say Firestorm. That guy can transmute thing! How cool is that? Think of what you would do with those powers? B, what would you do with those powers? (Make pancakes, lots of gold pancakes. –B)

Well I would make a lot of pancakes, gold pancakes. (No way! –B) Yet this guy can’t even make monthly appearances. On top of that he can’t make himself a decent looking costume. What a schmuck!

Of course his upcoming new book could change all that. But until then, what a schmuck!

Now for an underachiever with his own monthly, that would have to got to Kyle Rayner. That guy has the most powerful doodad in the universe and doesn’t do anything cool with it. Now when he was Ion he did some pretty cool things, but as GL, he’s a slacker. B, what would you do if you had the GL ring? (Waffles…green waffles…but alas, I’m color blind, so they might end up red, and nobody likes a red waffle. –B)

Well I would make pancakes, emerald pancakes. And for the record, I didn’t count too many constructs in last week’s issue of GL. B, anything to add on GL, or any other slackers in the DCU? (Gotta go with the current Dr. Fate. Fate has always been one of the big heavy hitters of the DCU, the guy all the other heroes turn to when their collective backs are against the wall…well, before they call The Spectre. Hector Hall has spent the last five plus years unable to even start to master the considerable power at his fingertips. Every time he takes a step forward, he takes three back. Kent Nelson had the willpower to have Nabu yapping in his ear and still kick major mystical booty; Hector just whines and gets taken over by somebody else every other month. A more complex character? Perhaps. An underachiever? Most definitely. –B)

No on the other end of the spectrum are the over achievers. Now we all know who’s number one on the list, his initial are B.W. That’s all I’m saying.

But let’s go on to someone else. Barbara Gordon is a serious overachiever. She’s a former hero, who is paralyzed from the waist down, yet she remains pivotal in the DCU. Her knowledge of computers is unparalleled. She is the information backbone of the DCU. The JLA uses her, the Bat fam use her. She is performing way beyond her limitations.

A couple other also rans; the Chairmen of the JSA. Mr. Terrific is pretty much a tech wiz, genius and great athlete, but some the DCU’s greatest heroes turn to him for leadership. Hawkman on the other hand uses his extensive knowledge and the Nth metal to do some extraordinary things. He’s just a normal guy, but he went toe to toe with Superman, without the use of a certain glowing green rock to even the odds, as seen in Superman/Batman.

B, any other overachievers? (Those were excellent examples, M. Batman, Nightwing & Robin are the most obvious answers, but they still belong front and center on the list. Both Green Arrows are pretty impressive given that they could hang with the JLA with just a bow and some trick arrows. –B)

TheFabFive poses the following question

Who is Comet and where did he/she come from? Is this the post-Crisis version of Supergirl’s horse? Or was his name Streaky?

Well Comet is a remix of a Silver Age concept. It’s a pretty common occurrence in the post Crisis DCU particularly for characters who had their slate wiped clean, like Kal El.
For instance Supergirl and Superboy are concepts from the pre Crisis that got adapted for the post Crisis DCU. They are familiar but different. The same goes for Red Kryptonite, and a variety of Supes foes.

Superman’s cast got reimagined. As did Supergirls. Dick Malverne was different in the Silver Age. And Comet was like a “wink” to the readers who knew their history. But alas Streaky, the Super Cat, hasn’t made a significant post Crisis appearance.

Asif, do you have a related question?

In Superman/Batman #2, Batman mentioned that Superman had a dog with a cape that guards his fortress. What’s up with that??? Are there any other super animals that I should know about???

Krypto is the only Super Pet you need to worry about. Although Power Girl does have a cat. Krypto is a dog from a pseudo Krypton created by Brainiac. He’s a dog that has a cape and flies. What’s so odd about that? Yes he has heat vision and super strength, but isn’t that to be expected? Don’t all dogs have that? Isn’t that what makes Pit Bulls so scary?

JohnBritton, you’re back. But I haven’t recuperated from your last query.

As everyone knows, the redshirts in Star Trek bite the dust. In the DCU, who are the redshirts? What are the jobs that increase your life insurance payments the most? Obviously, doing a favor for a hero in your first appearance pretty much guarantees you’ll be in deep trouble, if not deep underground, by the end of the arc. But what grunt jobs put you in the most individual mortal danger? How about whose gang is the worst to join if you want to live? What are the safest jobs like that?

The worst job in the DCU? Well I’m saying that any cop assigned to a city’s SCU squad is pretty bad. I mean you get called in when the super villains create some havoc. That can’t be great. S.T.A.R. Labs hasn’t had a major disaster in awhile, so that just means that they are due for a big one, soon.

But the worst job, would be a guard at any of the prisons. Lockhaven, Iron Heights, but most notably the Slab. Villains are always escaping or their cronies are breaking them out. High casualty levels there. Outsiders #5 dealt with the Slab.

Oh, being an orderly at Arkham would be pretty dangerous too. Just read Arkham Asylum to see what happens when the inmates take over. Pretty scary stuff. B, what is the worst job in the DCU, besides writing Green Lantern or Aquaman? (Easy: getting drafted for the Suicide Squad. C’mon, it’s called the freakin’ SUICIDE SQUAD! –B)

Now for the gangs. Let’s start with the best. I’m going to say the Riddler. Let’s face it; the Riddler is a weak villain. If you mess up, you might get hurt, but I think I could take the Riddler. The Riddler isn’t going to kill you. You might get pinched, but you life is pretty safe. Of course, you aren’t going to make a lot of loot in that gang either. But you will make a decent living.

Now if you want to have that big score then you are going to put yourself into some danger. The Joker seems to have endless funds for crime, but you run the risk of having one of his practical jokes on you. I’m not really a cold climate guy (I was born in Tucson AZ) so I’m going to avoid Mr. Freeze’s gang. I also have pretty bad allergies so that rules out Poison Ivy. Black Mask had a tight gang, but I also remember when they had to wear masks. That sucked. Did I mention that Black Mask was very sadistic?

Now I’m going to say that the Ventriloquist’s gang would be the worst for me. Firstly ventriloquist dummies creep me out. Secondly I doubt that I could be taking orders from a puppet. And I know that I would mess up and address the Ventriloquist and not Scarface and end up getting pummeled by a puppet. No good can come of that.

Shivkala, do you have a question that needs some answering?

What TPB (from DC) would you recommend for getting a 10 year old interested in comics?

Hm, that is a toughie. But I would have to go for the first Impulse Trade. Impulse was a great kids book, especially when Ramos was on the art. The book was fun and fresh. I think that a ten year old would enjoy it. Boy or girl. B, I know you are an Impulse fan, do you agree that this is a good book for kid? (I never read Impulse, those big feet creeped me out. I’d like to recommend a Young Justice TPB, but I think there’s too many jokes that would go over kids’ heads. I’d recommend tracking down copies of Superboy’s Legion, by Alan Davis. Not sure if it’s in TPB yet or not. It’s got all the fun and child fantasy of a club of super-powered kids without years of Legion continuity baggage. It’s even got some good morals. It’s like a wicked cool fable with pretty art. –B)

Asif, do you have a question that has been on everyone’s mind?

How do you pronounce your name? Does it rhyme with “Nathan”, or does it sound like “Mutton”? Just curious.

My name, you say? It neither. I had a friend who explained it like this; “it’s like ‘Gavin’ only with a ‘M’ instead of the ‘G’, and a ‘TH’ instead of the ‘V.’ Mathan.” I was amazed at how simply he put it. Here I was trying to convey how to say my name, and he summed it up very easily. So there you have it. B, you wanna give the readers a lesson on how to say your name? (It’s like the code, man. Dot-dash-dot, bay-bee. –B)

Alas we come to the end of another column. But don’t fear, we will be back. The future holds a challenge from John Babos, a summation of Justice League storylines, (including favorite JSA/JLA team ups) the Legion (including Dawnstar), and Captain Marvel and Superman battle for supremacy in the column. Oh yeah, it’s going to be a blast. Thank you for reading, and more importantly thank you for your questions.

Your question of the week; How would you beat Batman?

“You’re at your best when the going gets rough, you’ve been put to the test but it’s never enough.”

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