Who’s Who In The DCU 2.18.04

Hey y’all! Welcome back to the weekly column to astound, fascinate, and occasionally stymie. Now before you go any further you must go visit Daron, it’s brand new! B, is there anything that you want to plug before we go any further? (I wrote a new column. How often does that happen? Check it out. –B)

Well on that note, let me tell you want I bought last week. I got the DC Direct Kingdom Come Flash, Kid Flash, and Red Robin. Can I just say how the Kingdom Come Flash is my new favorite action figure? He rocks!!!! Red Robin is pretty cool too. Kid Flash is a disappointment, but I need a complete collection of speedsters.

I also picked up some comic books. Death and the Maidens was great as always. Winick is doing a great job on Green Arrow. HERO is veering into preachy territory. Teen Titans would have been really cool, if I hadn’t just done a profile on Raven a few columns ago. I love Clem Robins, but I didn’t dig what he did to emphasize Nightwing’s speech in #90, which was a let down from #89. You want my views on Aquaman? Read my review. Chris did an excellent job on the Hawkman #25 review over here. And to save the best for last Fallen Angel was so good that I will mention it elsewhere in the column. B, what was your take on last week’s books? (Last week? It sucked, dude. The newspaper I run is $11,000 in debt because of past mismanagement by this Tim Stevens character, I lost my job at the bar I work at because there is this…not nice word lady who works at the door who I got in an argument with and then decided not to rat out…so she did so to me, plus I got a speeding ticket, I was sick and Angel got cancelled! Oh…you meant last week’s books…um…the conclusion to Black Reign was suitably awesome…everything else pretty much got washed away in the tide of my week from hell. –B)

Oh yeah I’ve also begun collecting Chronos. (Should I be worried? Is this a mid-life crisis? A mid-life Crisis On Infinite Earths even? Dear god that was lame…-B) Let’s get on with the column, eh?

Hallsy 190, got the lyric at the end of last week’s column so you know the routine.

What was the Sovereign Seven?

Oh the Sovereign Seven were this super hero team, created by Chris Claremont. They were from the planet Meridian. The team consisted of Cascade who could turn in to liquid (like the Wonder Twin), Reflex who was the muscle of the team, Rampart who could create a shield, Network your run of the mill telepath, Finale who was a ninja type hero, Cruiser had tactile telekinesis and Indigo had some sort of concealment power.

They fought Darkseid, teamed up with Superman, and Power Girl even joined their ranks. But in the last issue of the series #36, it was all revealed to be a made up story by two women who had created the team for a comic book. Talk about exercising creative control. So there you have it Hallsy, the Sovereign Seven were even more made up that your average comic book. It was all a hoax. Sorry for wasting three years of your time. But if you want to read a great creator owned DC book check out Fallen Angel, one of the most consistently great reads under the DC banner. Let’s hope that Claremont’s run on JLA has more of a lasting impact than his run on Sovereign Seven. B, are you excited about that JLA storyline? (That’s the one upcoming JLA story arc I will shell out money for. I think Claremont has been on fire since that God Loves, Man Kills II fiasco. But after that, rotating creative teams be damned. –B)

JohnBritton, do you have a question about another DCU team?

I read a Legion run a few years ago that was from the late 80s, probably Levitz, and I thought it was pretty good. I guess they reboot every few years. I hear how great Abnett and Lanning are, but I haven’t read much of their stuff. What’s up in Legion right now? Is there anybody in the group I’d recognize?

Ok, let’s start with the recognizable from the instant you read their name; Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Brainiac 5, Invisible Kid (the Lyle Norg version), Ultra Boy, Star Boy, Element Lad, Karate Kid, Wildfire, Timber Wolf.

Now let’s go to those guys with new names, but familiar faces. Live Wire FKA Lightning Lad (FKA of course standing for “Formerly Known As” –B), Chameleon FKA Chameleon Boy, Triad FKA Duo Damsel, Leviathan FKA Shrinking Violet, Apparition FKA Phantom Girl, Spark FKA Lightning Lass, Umbra FKA Shadow Lass, M’Onel FKA Mon El, and Ferro FKA Ferro Lad.

Phew, now let’s try the remixes of familiar concepts. Sensor may sound identical to Sensor Girl but looks nothing like her. Shikari is widely acknowledged as a modern version of Dawnstar. Kid Quantum is yet another remix.

Some of the new faces in the Legion are; XS a speedster you may know if you read Impulse, Monstress a muscle type character, Kinetix who was a pawn in Ra’s plot to finally fix the Earth, Gear who is like Cyborg times 1,000, and Gates a teleporter.

Dr. Gym’ll is still around as is RJ Brande. Chuck Taine is still in the fold, if only as a pilot for the ship dubbed “The Bouncing Boy.”

The new Legion is going pretty well. I’m enjoying each issue. However the current creative team leaving the book after the current storyline, so it may go downhill. I’m going to stay optimistic. B, what do you think the future holds for the Legion? (DnA took awhile for me to warm up to, but now I’m really bumming over their departure. Until they announce the new regular creative team, I don’t know what to expect. Mark Waid and Barry Kitson have been rumored, which would, of course, be amazing; Gail Simone is also doing a fill-in stint which you know you can count on to be good. My biggest regret though is, Kitson excitement aside, they’re dropping penciller Chris Batista just as he’s broken through from good to awesome. I hope DC has something else for him. –B)

The Fab Five do you have a question about a particular Legionnaire?

I always wondered what happened to Dawnstar.

Dawnstar was a member of the Pre Zero Hour Legion. She was an Amerind from Starhaven. She was born with wings and an innate ability to track stuff. Using those abilities she became a very successful bounty hunter. This brought her in contact with R.J. Brande. He encouraged her to join the Legion Academy.

While at the Academy she became attracted to Wildfire (a ball of energy in a containment suit!) They had an on again off again relationship. She served with the Legion for many years. When the Legion series of the 90’s began, readers were introduced to a character called Bounty, who had amazing tracking abilities. She kind of resembled Dawnstar, but she didn’t have wings, and her personality was different.

Later readers found out that Bounty was indeed Dawnstar. Apparently during the “Five Year Gap” Dawnstar was possessed by an entity, Bounty. It forced her to cut off her wings. Then it created a career as a vicious bounty hunter. Unfortunately Dawnstar was aware of every action that Bounty made. It was a pretty painful existence.

But never to worry, because as a result of Zero Hour those stories are no longer in canon. However they are an amazing read. And I urge you to pick up that 90’s series of the Legion. As I said earlier Shikari is pretty much a Dawnstar for the new Legion, complete with flirtatious relationship toward Wildfire. (Eh, I’d argue that not only does Shikari not measure up to Dawnstar, DnA’s Wildfire is one of their few misfires. Not enough attitude on either character. –B) B, who was your favorite Legionnaire? (Pre-Zero Hour, I thought Timber Wolf was great in the Levitz/Giffen heyday. Post Zero-Hour, I like Ultra Boy and Star Boy a lot, but Live Wire takes the prize. Phantom Girl/Apparition would be my favorite if you factor in both sides of the equation. –B)

Mike Z, I sense you too are curious about a Legion story.

What happened during Legion Lost?

Lot’s of stuff happened in Legion Lost. So much stuff it’s a wonder why DC hasn’t released a trade of the book yet. (A-frikkin-men. –B) Here is a quick rundown of what happened. At the end of the last Legion series there was a tear in a stargate, one of those usual universe-threatening things that only the Legion can handle. The Legion attempts to seal the tear. It does but the in process; almost half the team is sucked into the hole and spit out into another galaxy.

Lots of shenanigans happen. The team almost loses their mind numerous times. Saturn Girl and Ultra Boy almost share a moment. Element Lad goes crazy after saving his teammates, well ok billions of years after saving his teammates. Element Lad kills Monstress. Lightning Lad sacrifices himself to save his teammates from Element Lad. Wildfire becomes Wildfire. The team meets the Kwai.

One of the comic shops I visit has back issues of Legion Lost, so I’m probably going to be picking them up pretty soon. B, did you ever read Legion Lost? (Joke’s on me, I started reading with the regular series and have been waiting for the trade ever since. –B)

JohnBritton, you’re up!

What Legion member would fit the best in the JLA?

Oh, this one is easy. Star Boy, so that he could come back to the 21st century and become Danny Blaine the next Starman. I mean how long have we been waiting for this next chapter in the Starman legacy? C’mon it should happen. B, don’t tell me you think it should be Brainiac 5 because of your kinky green skin fetish? (To be honest, I’d like to see any Legion member in the JLA; I’ve always though the teenager from the future amongst the gods of the past motif would be awesome and whenever people do those fantasy JLA lineups I always throw in at least one Legionnaire. If I could only pick one…hmm…Cosmic Boy is tempting since he’d be such a golden boy…Saturn Girl would be neat because it would be another telepath…but in the end, I’ll say Ultra Boy, because he’s got a good combo of attitude, enough power for the JLA to keep him around, and reason to want to get home in Apparition. –B)

Shiv’kala do you have a potentially Legion related question?

How about a Superboy primer. The last Superboy issue I read was the Sins of Youth crossover, where Tana Moon was killed and Superboy was aged. Then at the end of the story he was deaged and lost his powers, but how did his power come back? What about Director Cannon? The Guardian was always suspicious of Mick, but I always thought that was a red herring. Was Mick really on the side of angels? What happened to Cadmus? Are they still around?

Great, research. Well B, I do believe that you said you could handle Karl and Tom’s initial run on the book right? (That I did…but since this question seems more concerned with stuff that happened later on, how about I jot something down for next week and you take care of this one, ok? Oh why am I asking you, I’m the boss…-B)

Ok well after Superboy fought his clone, Match and had a genetic meltdown. He was saved by Roxy who donated some of her DNA to save the Kid. As a result of this procedure Supes is forever 16.

With #50 Kesel returned and gave Kirby fans a nice homage to Kamandi. After that story Superboy became an agent for Cadmus. Also in the 50’s Superboy got his Kryptonian name by actually going to Krypton, for those of you wondering how Kon El came to be. Then Kon journeyed into Hypertime in issues #60-64. He met different versions of himself, which is always fun to see.

He did lose his powers after he got is youth back. Serling Roquette helped out with that. Mick wasn’t too bad a guy. Cadmus disappeared. It was tired of Amanda Waller interfering with their work. Two of 411Comic’s faves Jimmy Palmiotti and Dan Didio actually wrote the last six issues of Superboy.

I’m guessing that Cadmus is still out there somewhere. Supes is currently in both the Legion and in Teen Titans, where his genetic make up is under scrutiny. It appears that the Kid is half Superman and half Lex Luthor. B, what do you feel about Superboy, really? (Love him, in any incarnation. I will throw in that the “Mick” you guys were referring to is reformed Flash villain Heatwave. He’s still on the side of angels, but popped in in The Flash #190 last year, helping out fellow reformed Rogue and Flash’s buddy The Pied Piper, who had been falsely accused of murdering his parents. Both were signed up by James Jesse, the former Trickster, another reformer Rogue, for some as-yet-unrevealed project; Geoff Johns has said we’ll see all three again before 2004 is up. During that appearance, Mick mentioned he had left Cadmus because all the clone weirdness was too much for him. –B)

Nalydpsycho do you have a questions with serious international ramifications?

Who are DC’s Canadian heroes and villains?

Ouch. I looked this up and I was surprised. I’m ashamed to say this but DC is lacking in the Canadian heroes department. This is whom I came up with;

Centrix of the Global Guardians who appeared in JLQ #16

Corona, Aquaman’s baby’s mother. She became a fire elemental Aquaman (the good series) #5.

Koryak, Aquaman’s first son is also from Canada. But the last time I saw him was in international waters.

Flying Fox the dude from the Young All Stars.

Remember that book “Young Heroes In Love?” Well Frostbite, a guy in the book was from Canada.

And that’s it. Five heroes from the DCU are Canadian. I bet there are more homosexual heroes in the DCU than Canadian heroes. Villains aren’t much better.

Plastique, Firestorm’s foe is Canadian. While she also hooked up with Captain Atom I’m still going to call her a criminal.

I implore you, our neighbors from the north, do not boycott DC Comics because of your gross under representation in the DCU. Please. B, why do you think there are so few Canadian heroes in the DCU? (Because, to be fair, Marvel go ‘em first. If DC ever did any book where the big hook was that the characters were Canadian, fans everywhere would have ever right to scream Alpha Flight rip-off…they may not want to do that in public though. It’s still not as bad as Millar ripping off Hush…but I digress. –B)

JohnBritton you want to ask something?

When you have kids, what superhero are you most likely to introduce them to first? How about if you have to introduce your wife to superheroes, what one book do you give her? Your granddad loved superhero comics as a kid. What book do you give him to rekindle his love for the medium?

When I have kids, I guess I’m going with Green Lantern for the first character to introduce them to. I love The Flash, but I know that as a kid I thought the idea of having a ring that could do anything I wanted it to do, was the coolest thing ever. Just the concept is perfect for a kid.

Now a wife is a bit more difficult. A persons taste would dictate what I introduce them to. Even in terms of character. For instance my roommate really like Smallville, so I’m guessing I would go for Superman Birthright for her. But my mom really likes the Superman movies, so for here I might get her “Man of Steel.” Then again my mom is the smartest person I know so she could probably gleam more from The Watchmen in one reading than I could in a dozen. My ex on the other hand would probably enjoy the quick reads of Nighwing. What I’m saying is I’ll answer when I meet Ms Right.

And now for a purely hypothetical exercise, I’ll move to my Grandpa. I guess it too would depend on what he liked as a kid. I’m guessing we aren’t talking about Marvel Comics here, as he is my Grandpa. If he was a kid I guess JSA could appeal to him, as they were the heroes back then. So for sentimental value that would be the way to go. If he was a Batman fan I would probably go for “Hush,” it’s every fan boys dream.

B, I know you want to chime in on this one. (When I have kids…and to be honest, given my combined love of booze and lack of sense of responsibility, that could be any day now…they’re getting my New Warriors collection. Those are the comics that shaped me as a lad and so I would pass them on. As far as DC, I’d probably steer them towards The Flash, my personal favorite, and as a kid I thought being able to run really fast would be way cooler than a dumb ring…still do. As for the wife, since the only girls I’ve ever met only read X-Men, maybe I’d give that a go…but since I think the most emotional and intelligent comics ever were New Teen Titans, I’d try that as well…to be honest, I could see a mature, sensitive woman loving NTT…hence, not the type of woman I will marry. –B)

And now for our random ending. Buddha Man, want the honors?

I always thought that Ross’ Red Robin costume looked like Dr. Midnite for some reason.

Indeed. I’m looking at both action figures at this very moment (that I am typing, not that you are reading, although possibly) and the similarities are numerous. It is an obvious influence. (…-B)

Well the sun is coming up. I’m going to call this column finished. Here is your question of the week; What is always the first comic book that you read when you get home from the shop and why?

“Hov’s a living legend and I’ll tell you why; everybody wanna be Hov and Hov’s still alive.”

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