Well folks it’s official; we’ve been doing this for a whole year. A little over a year actually. To mark the anniversary I’ll fill you in on how I came to 411Comics. I was over at the DC Message Boards (the Pre Crisis ones), and I saw that someone had posted a thread looking for someone who knew enough about the DCU to write a Q&A column. I thought this sounded like fun. After all I pretend to be a writer and I know a little about the DCU. So I sent some guy named Ben Morse an email saying I was interested. He wrote me back telling me to submit a sample column. So I got some questions from the DC Message Boards and answered them. Then I sent it to Ben.
I figured he would look it over and if it passed his scrutiny he would ask me for an â€œofficialâ€ column. I thought that column was just my interview. I was wrong. Ben ran that initial column, and the rest is history. Now since I am such a big fan of television conventions now it’s B’s turn to tell his side of the story (just like that one X-Files with Luke Wilson). (I was drunk, good and sauced. To be honest, I would have hired Mark Millar I was so blitzed. But instead we got M, so, well, y’knowâ€¦seriously, the story took place more or less the exact way M told it, except that I did the posting on the boards and receiving of the column. â€“B)
I know I know, you’re wondering; â€œMathan, what comics did you buy last week and what did you think of them?â€ I won’t keep you in the dark any longer.
Teen Titans #9: Read my review
Aquaman #16: This is a good book, not a dream, not a hoax.
Gotham Knights #51: Hush goes Rorschach, poor Riddler.
Abadazad #2: All ages book, yet with adult appeal.
Superman/Batman #8: More remnants of Krypton, great. (Read MY review. â€“B)
DC: The New Frontier #3: A shame it’s not continuity. (Wonderful read on every level. I wish it were an ongoing before I wish it were continuity. â€“B)
I also picked up Batman: Ego by the Darwyn Cooke. It is an amazing story. If you like New Frontier, pick this book up. If you like Batman as a character, pick this book up. If you are even reading this column, pick this book up. Since I’m plugging I might as well plugâ€¦
Ask 411Movies: Leonard Hayhurst answered my questions about movies and he can answer yours too.
Mike Z gives you some mouthwatering pictures of upcoming DC Direct figures based on last year’s â€œHushâ€ storyline. Plus he sounds off on the debate of keeping a figure â€œmint, on card.â€
March Madness is all around. No, it’s not some cheesy â€œfifth week event.â€ Read 411Black and bone up on the subject.
And of course how could we forget he adventures of DOL, where B, makes an alleged appearance. (And to make sure EVERYBODY knows, since EVERYBODY reads this columnâ€¦no, I am not a natural blonde. â€“B)
B what do you want to plug? (Oh, where to beginâ€¦with my column, of course! Also, be sure to check out the newest column here on 411, The Roundtable; I think you’ll enjoy it. Last but not least, if you still haven’t read Daron’s interview with Tony Bedard, you’re clinically insaneâ€¦but you can still go enjoy it, nutjob. â€“B)
Before we jump to the column, Josh Garvey do you have something to say?
okay, so the battle stuff between Avengers/ JLA, I agree with you for the most part, and thought I’d bring up some points.
First off is that Supes has a TON more abilities in his arsenal than Thor. Super speed, Heat Vision (which, if we go by Batman/Superman…3? maybe 4, it CAN be as formidable as lightning), freeze breath, a ton of increased sensory abilities. Yes, Thor has a magic Hammer. Superman could cover the hammer in ice, frozen to Thor’s arm. Hell, Supes is faster than the hammer. If he knows it’s coming, he could dodge it since, the only thing faster then Supes is Speed Force people. Another factor is that Superman is much more resistant to damage than Thor. Even when he’s fighting magic foes, it takes quite a bit to take Superman down. for comparison, have your esteemed colleague check out the second Black Panther trade, Thor gets knocked unconscious by a bullet to the temple.
Next, Vision V. J’onn. the thing about Vision and Martian Manhunter is that J’onn has essentially all of the powers Vis has, and then some. Vision has shown strength, flight, solar blasts, and density control. MM has all of those, plus his shape shifting abilities and telepathy. I really don’t see how Vis has a chance.
For GL vs. Iron Man, an important point is that Lantern has dealt with Hyper sonics before. I’d wager he’s pretty close to finding a way to guard against them.
Flash vs. Scarlet Witch, she needs time to get her Hexes going. Flash can run around the planet more than once in the time it takes her to hex something. It would be a pretty fast battle.
Also, Thor vs. Bats, it’s not JUST that Batman will fight dirty, he’s analytical and has foresight. if he sees the fights going on, then he will have analyzed Thor’s attack pattern, and found a way to deal with it. When he’s mid fight, Thor isn’t exactly the most calm or rational. Batman’s cold calculation would get him through it.
Very well said. B, you want to comment on this or do you want to let sleeping dogs lie? (No dogs sleep on my watch, babyâ€¦let’s hit these in order: 1. Not only is Thor’s hammer magic, he’s imbued with mystical properties himself; in other words, if the left don’t get yaâ€¦my point of reference is that Captain Marvel, the DC version, always seems to get the better of Superman solely based on the magic thing. Shazam’s boy is no slouch, but I gotta think Thor at least matches if not exceeds him in fighting ability, thus if Cap can beat Supes, so can Thor. 2. How does Vizh have a chance? I thought I outlined this pretty succinctly in my initial column: he’s not susceptible to telepathy the same way your run-of-the-mill human brain is, and J’onn almost always goes for the telepathic whammy before trying something else. I still think it’s possible, though not certain, that the moment of confusion J’onn experiences when analyzing/attacking Vision’s not-human â€œbrainâ€ is enough time to for Vision to strike; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 3. Fine; sonics don’t work, Iron Man has a friggin’ arsenal of other weapons to tryâ€¦besides, they will work, just because GL has faced sonics before in no way means he has a pat way to always defend them; if this were the case, there would be a lot less sonic-powered heroes and villains and comics than there are due to ineffectiveness. 4. Wanda doesn’t need to cast a hex, she has shown the ability to have a hex force-shield surrounding her person; safe bet is she’d have one up before the battle began, so when Flash goes to make contact, he’s getting hexed, no matter how fast he is. 5. There’s really nothing to counter-argue as the primary argument is â€œBatman will find a way.â€ Tell me what that way is and then I’ll say why it won’t workâ€¦but hopefully you won’t, because this DC diehard is getting tired of taking the high road and defending the other guys. â€“B)
On that note let’s jump to the questions.
Matthew Justus do you have the perfect lead question for the column?
If you could ever do some sort of genealogy of the JSA (current and past incarnations of the members and what their respective deals are) that would be great, although it might take up an entire column or so. Hell, Hawkman alone could probably do that…although I’m not sure whether or not he’s currently on the team…which is why I need that
You would think that since I decide what I’m going to answer I wouldn’t start with a hard one. It just goes to show you that I’m stupid. Furthermore I am completely running with the â€œgenealogyâ€ theme.
Now if we say that the original JSA was Atom, Black Canary, Dr. Fate, Dr. Mid-Nite, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Hourman, Johnny Thunder, Mr. Terrific, Sandman, Spectre, Starman, Star Spangled Kid, Wildcatâ€¦
Atom didn’t have any kids, but he is Atom Smasher’s godfather, and had some of his DNA used to create Damage. (Atom Smasher’s actual pop is Cyclotron, a villain who fought the Atom and who the Atom actually owes for unintentionally bathing him in radiation and giving him super-strength; Cyclotron later reformed and made Atom the godfather of his son. Also, Vandal Savage used many Golden and Silver Age DC heroes’ DNA patterns when he tampered with infant Damage and Atom was one of them, but he was the boy’s biological father as well. â€“B)
Black Canary had a daughter, who became the modern Black Canary.
Dr. Fate didn’t have any offspring.
Dr. Mid-Nite was a â€œconfirmed bachelor.â€ (There was speculation for awhile as to whether or not the original Mid-Nite was gay, but Geoff Johns more or less put that speculation to rest in an issue of JSA a year or so back in which it was all but confirmed that he and â€œlongtime companionâ€ Myra Mason were an item. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean he was always heterosexual. â€“B)
Flash didn’t have any children, but he has mentored a few of the younger heroes. He also inspired Barry Allen.
Green Lantern has two kids: Jade and Obsidian. (Their mother was the Golden Age Thorn, a schitzophrenic villain who married GL in her meek Rose Canton identity without him knowing who she really was then snapped and left him after having the children. â€“B)
Hawkman and Hawkgirl had Hector Hall, the former Silver Scarab and Sandman, and current Dr. Fate. They were Northwind’s godparents. The original Hawkgirl is the current Hawkgirl’s great aunt.
Hourman had a son Rick Tyler, proving a genetic link for addiction. Rick has taken the Mantle of Hourman as well. Way in the future the android Hourman has a genetic link to the original Hourman.
Johnny Thunder had an illegitimate son Will Power (from Primal Force), and adopted a daughter named Peachy Pet.
Mr Terrific is the grandfather of the villain Roulette.
Sandman never had any kids, but Sand was like his kid. (Sand was actually the nephew of Sandman’s long-time girlfriend Dian Belmont; the two never married. â€“B)
Spectre was childless.
Starman had two kids David and Jack Knight, who both followed in his footsteps to varying degrees of success. Jack also had a couple of kids. Starman is also Phantom Lady’s cousin.
Star Spangled Kid didn’t have any kids. But his adopted sister Merry, Girl of 1,000 Gimmicks, hooked up with reformed villain Brainwave and they had a kid, Brainwave Jr.
Wildcat had a son, who was kidnapped and allegedly killed. He has trained various heroes in the â€œsweet science.â€ (Wildcat’s son Jake was kidnapped by his foe Golden Wasp, this much we know for sure. That the villain reformed and that both he and the boy were later killed was told to Wildcat by the new villain Killer Wasp, who claims to be the Golden Wasp’s son and to have grown up with Jake being like a brother to him; presumably it’s the truth, but the guy is a hideously deformed villain, so who knows. Wildcat’s most notable pupils were Batman, the second Black Canary and Catwoman. â€“B)
Johnny Quick who joined the team later had a daughter, Jesse Quick. (Johnny was never actually an official member of the team; he was a member of the All-Star Squadron and a close JSA ally, but never officially joined. â€“B)
Since I’m here I might as well do the All Star Squadron as well.
Out of the Young All Stars only Tsunami had offspring, the hero Deep Blue.
Air Wave had a son Harold Jordan who became the hero Air Wave II.
Amazing Man’s grandson is Will Everett, Amazing Man II. (Or rather WAS Amazing Man II; he was killed by The Mist in an infamous issue of Starman. â€“B)
Commander Steel’s grandson Henry Heywood III became Steel. (Who was beaten almost to death by androids in the pages of Justice League of America and then had his life support plug pulled by Despero in Justice League International. â€“B)
Firebrand II’s brother was Firebrand I. She is also Atom Smasher’s mother’s godmother.
Guardian is Roy â€œArsenalâ€ Harper’s great uncle. (Both are also descendants of the immortal villain Vandal Savageâ€¦don’t ask. â€“B)
Liberty Belle is Jesse Quick’s mother.
Paul Kirk had loads of clones.
Plastic Man has a son.
Ray’s son Ray Terrill is also known as the hero Ray.
Stripesy is married to the current Star Spangled Kid’s mom. He also has a son.
Zatara’s daughter is Zatanna.
The current Mr. Terrific and Dr. Mid-Nite were inspired by their predecessors exploits, but aren’t related to them. (Though, as revealed in JSA: All-Stars, the original Dr. Mid-Nite saved his successor’s mother from a group of muggers in Norway and then delivered the man who would one way take his name. â€“B)
Black Condor, Captain Triumph, Crimson Avenger, Doll Man, Doctor Occult, Human Bomb, Jester, Judomaster, Manhunter I, Midnight, Mister America, Phantom Lady, Red Bee, Robotman I, Sandy, Sargon, Shining Knight, Tarantula, Tiger, Tigress, TNT, Uncle Sam, Vigilante, Whip, and Wing are childless as near as I can tell. B, did I miss any major genetic ties? (Well, on a technicality, since Hippolyta is now the Golden Age Wonder Woman, according to current continuity, her daughters became the current Wonder Woman and Troia respectivelyâ€¦but that’s a whole other column. Also, there is a second Phantom Lady, but I’m unclear on her genetic relation, if any, to the original. â€“B)
As far as I can tell All Star Squadron is still in continuity. You just have to replace Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman with different characters. In my mind those stories are still valid if only as a blueprint for what happened. The specifics, of who filled the Batman or Superman roles can be filled in later. But to me and to most folks I’d imagine that those stories could still be made to â€œwork.â€ B, do you think those comics are worthwhile or worthless? (Well, as I mentioned, you don’t need to fill the Wonder Woman role, John Byrne already did. And Roy Thomas provided plenty of suitable alternatives to Superman and Batman, so I think the stories make perfect sense, save any crossovers involving multiple Earths and such. â€“B)
Mr. Picklebum, with a name like that you’ve got to have a great question.
Why is Alan Scott called Sentinel and not Green Lantern? I know Kyle and John et al currently bear the mantle, but would it hurt to address Scott as his original namesake?
Well, The Powers That Be at DC wanted Kyle Rayner to be â€œthe one and only Green Lanternâ€¦â€ so John went into limbo, Hal became a villain, and Guy became Warrior. Alan Scott got youthified, internalized his power and became Sentinel. Alan Scott remained Sentinel for nearly a decade before officially becoming â€œGreen Lanternâ€ again last year in JSA #50. It was a glorious moment, and almost made up for the complete disrespect done to the character in the past eight years. B, what do you make of the whole Alan Scott controversy? (As I’ve noted in the past, I’m all for multiple characters bearing the same name. Comics fans are smarter than they are often given credit for and I doubt they’d get so confused by two characters having the same name that they’d drop a series featuring one; if anything they’d track down appearances of the other to get the scoop. Never cared for the name Sentinel and am pleased that Alan Scott has reclaimed the name he carried proudly for nearly three quarters of a century. â€“B)
Catharine Jensen do you have a question that would cause one to ponder?
Which heroes are most comfortable away from modern conveniences – including techno-gizmos and power rings?
Elsewhere in the email she mentioned camping. You hear that B, we’re going camping! (This, coupled with the fact that M said â€œHappy Anniversaryâ€ at the end of his e-mail to me with this column, scares me to no end. â€“B)
Let me break this down into groups.
First we have the Arrows. Ollie Queen, Connor Hawke and Roy Harper would be the most comfortable camping because they are basically hunters. Let’s face it the difference between wounding (a criminal) and killing (dinner) is inches. Plus Ollie is pretty good as minimalist conditions.
Next we have the Bats. Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake would all be pretty good out there. They are very resourceful. They could easily handle a weekend away from civilization. Plus Dick is very comfortable under a tent. The only problem would be getting them to take some time off.
For the heroes that wouldn’t do well we will start with the Speedsters. Jay Garrick, Wally West, and Bart Allen. Jay would do the best, but Wally and Bart could not handle the concept of â€œenjoying nature.â€ They would find it boring. They might last five minutes. Tops.
I’ll also put some of the other â€œteen heroes’ here. Connor Kent would lose his mind being away from action. He would beg to be back in Smallville, just to get out of camping. Courtney Whitmore is your typical 16-year-old girl. Need I elaborate? Cassie Sandmark might not find it incredibly boring, but after a day I bet she would be suffering from cabin fever.
I don’t think the Lanterns would fare much better. Kyle Rayner is a punk. He’s a wimp who couldn’t handle being without his ring. John Stewart could adjust, but wouldn’t be stellar. And Alan Scott is just an old rich guy, I think he’s too far removed from the common man to enjoy camping.
B, what are your thoughts on super hero camping? (You’re forgetting perhaps the most obvious choice for a hero who could thrive away from modern technology and conveniences: Hawkman. He lived previous lives before any of the junk we have now was invented, he’d have no problem doing so again. â€“B)
Asif, do you have a question that will give me a headache?
Is Superman/Batman in “Continuity”? Meaning that will the events in this title’s storylines affect (or be mentioned in) the regular titles for both characters?
Yes, Superman/Batman is in continuity, which makes the current issue so distressing. Red K? Kara Zor El? This is madness! This is the first issue of the storyline, so I know that everything will be returned to moderately normal by the ending. But if not this has huge ramifications for the entire DCU.
The main problem with this Kara Zor El is that, realistically you can’t have Kara Zor El in the DCU. You can’t do it. There were three major things that happened in Crisis. 1) The multiverse died, 2) Flash died, and 3) Supergirl died. More than that Supergirl died in battle to stop a great threat. By introducing her in the DCU, you completely spit in the face of Crisis #7. That sacrifice has no meaning.
Now DC needs to pull a â€œReturn of Barry Allenâ€ on readers or else they start so speed down a slippery slope (which is ironic because the mind behind that story has started DC on that slope with â€œBirthright.â€) To paraphrase politicians â€œIf Kara Zor El remains in the DCU, then those psycho Hal Jordan fans have won.â€
But for some reason I believe that the creator of the Composite Superman/Batman Rocket Ship will make this a memorable story, without demolishing a truly memorable comic book moment. B, does that statement fill you with faith? (As I said in my review for the latest issue, I let S/B get away with a lot, continuity-wise, because to me if a writer can nail the two biggest characters in comics the way Jeph Loeb has, he gets a few freebies; in other words, I’ve got faith. Just to clear up a minor thing you said though: Red Kryptonite exists in post-Crisis DCU continuity and has since the multi-part â€œCrisis of the Crimson Kryptoniteâ€ story that took place before Superman died and right around when he proposed to Lois; I think it’s in TPB though it may be out of print. â€“B)
Now to mark this anniversary column I’m going to use the rest of the column for reader’s response (y’know the column that I usually use for weeks I don’t have time to answer questions) Enjoy.
Hey, welcome to yet another reader’s round up column. I have no idea why this is running, but I’m sure future Mathan or B, will tell you. Now let’s get to the stars of the column; y’all.
In the 9/17/03 column (incidentally another reader’s response one) Ben ran through the objects in JLA/Avengers #1. Matthew Justus wanted to point this out;
Hey, I wasn’t sure where to e-mail Ben, so I figured I’d throw this over to you. He lists one of the artifacts for the DC half of the JLA/Avengers crossover as the Eternity Book, used by Eternity of the Endless to record everything that goes on. Off the top of my head, I’m not sure whether or not it’s called the Eternity Book, but I know that it’s Destiny, not Eternity. The Endless are all named after concepts that begin with the letter D: Destiny, Dream, Death, Desire, Despair, Destruction, and Delirium (formerly Delight).
B, want to comment on this? (Other than to say â€œwell done, Matthew, you may have gotten me this time, but there shall be another day!!!â€ in melodramatic villainous fashion? Nope. â€“B)
Ricardo Arbulo sent this nice message in (and for the record I’m glad we aren’t in the DCU too.)
Thank God I don’t live in the DC Universe, otherwise I’d be kind-of dead by now, since I live in that “little South American spot by the name of Montevideo”. Until now all those disasters and genocides you mention have been happening in unreal locations (except for the destruction of Earth and other small issues like that), but the massive destruction of a real world’s city (yes, a city, Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay, it homes 3 million people) seems unusual, mainly because we never had a problem with any other real-world nation, including USA. Well, maybe our low profile put us in the list of candidates for “cannon meat” of disposable catastrophes and genocides.
In the 9/24/03 column I wrote about relationship’s going Garrick and as Doburcham noted, I may have missed one.
One couple you forgot is Lightning Lad (Live Wire) and Saturn Girl. I believe that, no matter HOW many incarnations, Garth and Imra will always end up together.
In the 10/1/03 column I asked who had the worst costume. 411Comic’s very own Daron offered this;
Who has the worst costume in the DCU…that’s an easy one: Martian Manhunter. It barely even qualifies as costume…Put some clothes on man! (Says the guy who thinks a helmet makes a nice accessory to a suitâ€¦and don’t get me started on those shoulder padsâ€¦-B)
Christopher M Pilto thinks differently.
Far and away, the worst costume design EVER (read like the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons) would be the long haired, golden hook for hand, green scaly pants, no shirt Aquaman that graced the DCU for five years there. Bad, bad, bad design work. He wore a tiara like Wonder Woman for cryin out loud. Not that I was a particularly big fan of the Orange Shirt Of Death or anything. And his short-lived blue underwater camo costume was sorta weak. Actually, I don’t think Aquaman would even wear clothesâ€¦maybe I should pitch an Elseworlds to DC with a nekkid Aquaman in it. Hmmm.
Mike Z had yet another opinion.
You asked : “who has the worst looking costume in the DCU?”
I’m not really a big fan of Kyle’s new look, or any look he’s had since his first costume. He’s a graphic designer for cripe’s sake, he should be able to do better!
Apparently I made some disparaging remarks about Blue Devil in the 10/8/03 column. Will Helm took me to task.
I enjoy the Who’s Who in the DCU column, but I have to take you to task for your take on the character of Blue Devil. I have no idea why anyone would be ashamed of a character (or, more specifically, a book) like that. I remember that, while the character was a particularly weak concept, the book itself was loaded with satire and absurdities, especially involving Hollywood and all the related insanity. It was almost like an anti-superhero book long before that became hip. Of course, my nostalgia may be clouding my opinion of Blue Devil and I haven’t read the entire run of the book, so I don’t know where it went after I lost touch with the character, but, in my opinion, he’s not necessarily a hard character to work with as long as the content is kept campy and light. Sadly, after the “grim ‘n gritty ’90s,” I guess this is too hard for most writers to do; hence, Danny is now a real demon armed with the trident of Lucifer. Eh, whatever. I appreciate your opinion on the subject, but I disagree with it.
In the same column I asked what comic had the best cover, Scott Kelly offered an unusual selection
I assume that I’ll be the only person who will be selecting this cover as their favorite. It has to be Secret Origins #40. I’ve attached a copy for your inspection.
While it may not be the best cover that comics have to offer, it is notable for a few reasons. On the letters page they explain that they asked a bunch of comics professionals for their opinions on what kind of covers sell the most comics. The answers they got included: monkeys, motorcycles, the colour purple, dinosaurs, the hero crying, and asking the readers a question that requires they read the book. They decided to include all of them at once.
Needless to say, I bought the comic because of the cover. It worked!
In still the same column I commented on GL Power Rings, Jason Wasikowski wants to clear some things up.
Clarification on the GL power rings in the galaxy…
There is one other sure power ring in the galaxy, I can’t remember its name, but it’s the GL member that is also a planet (Kyle recently re-charged the planet and linked it back to the battery on Oa).
Also, when it comes to being able to replicate new rings… it is not his Power Battery that can create the new rings as Ben said. When that time displacement brought Hal into the modern era, Hal was taken from the time when he was recruiting for the corps. Before he was returned to his own time, Hal used his ring to make a duplicate for Kyle (that was the special power of Hal’s “recruiting” ring). Now Kyle can use that ring to make duplicates for other potential GL’s and rebuild the corps.
Killowog doesn’t have a ring yet (it was taken by Hal of course), but I’m guessin the current story arc will end with Kyle making new rings for all the GLs.
In the 10/15/03 column I asked about your favorite comic book quotes. Ed O’Brien was quick to send his in.
You asked for favorite comic book quotes? One that comes to mind right away is from Superman/Batman #1, when Supes takes off from Batman without him noticing, and Bats says “I hate it when he does that.” I laughed my ass off on that, as even though I’ve only been reading comics about 15 months, I’ve heard that line COUNTLESS times used on Batman.
411’s own Matt Nute also has a favorite line from a comic book.
Best line ever from a comic book: end of the “Dead Heat” arc. Wally’s racing Savitar and realizes he can’t outrun him without breaking the whole lightspeed threshold thing. So he does it, catapulting them both into that border zone between the physical world and the Speed Force. Looks back as Savitar, who’s going off about “I will have the power! I will be a god!” Wally comes back with my favorite comics line ever:
“You want to see God? Fine. I’LL DRIVE.”
And just like that, *BOOM*, they’re gone. Waid’s run on FLASH had all the cool lines like that. No one’s ever topped that.
Brock noted that I excluded a hero from the column.
Howdy! Just thought I’d point out that there’s at least one other DC hero who will kill when needed: Superman! (Executed the Phantom Zone villains in Superman # XX, dropped Doomsday in # 75 and SuperCyborg Henshaw in # 82.)
Warren sent this tidbit it.
Quick correcton regarding the secret id answers. Early on in his career. Kyle Rayner came home to find his girlfriend Alexandra DeWitt, murdered and shoved in his fridge all carried out by Major Force by the government no less. I don’t think he qualifies as having a smooth time with the whole secret id thing. Not to mention have you seen the bashing the guy takes on fan message boards?
In the 10/22/03 column I asked what was comic’s greatest death. Gary went with a memorable one.
I’m sure that many people will chime in with the same answer as me, but I think that Flash 2’s death in Crisis was the best death. One he has stayed dead, so his sacrifice has played a major role in continuity (if there is that such thing anymore). Plus Crisis got me into DC comics back when I saw it on the newstand (I pretty much only read Spidey before that) and Crisis got me into DC. Then I see Barry’s death and it was the biggest super hero I had ever seen die before. Supergirl didn’t bother me too much, cause she was a girl (hey I was 9 or 10) but the Flash was a hero. And he went out like one.
Rennie was the first to chime in.
The best death comic of all time had to be Crisis: the Death of the Flash. Abused and tortured by the Psycho-Pirate and forced to bear witness to the Anti-Monitor’s plans. He escapes this jello-like wall, beats the Psycho-Pirate from pillar to post and makes him use his powers to make the army of Qward attack the Anti-Monitor. Then with Psycho-Pirate begging for mercy he punches him and destroys the death cannon buying the universe another day. Through the first few issues of Crisis a sickly Barry Allen would appear and no one knew way. It was a cool way to show what had happened to him and the fact that the Anti-Monitor had abducted him because he was the biggest threat to his plans was beautiful. Growing up as a kid this was my favorite story and lifted Barry Allen beside Hal Jordan as my favorite heroes in comics.
Charles Hargrove had a different opinion.
While not DC, I think that the best comic death of all time was Captain Marvel. Nothing heroic, just dying of cancer. I think that that remains the most interesting and affecting death in comic history.
Madman Ike is thinking of another one
Best Death would have to go to Supergirl in Crisis #7. Can’t think of any other instance where I actually shed tears when a comic book character died.
Desheep has a few other deaths in mind.
Shazam in â€œKingdom Comeâ€ was good for DC. The trouble is that DC seems to kill off characters every other month and they ALWAYS come back.
There was a LOT of good deaths in Marvel’s Transformers series. They always made a real special occasion of anyone dying, which is weird seeing as they were all robots and could be rebuilt. One that sticks out was Ratchet. Ratchet sacrificed himself to stop the Decepticons from invading an unprotected Earth by crashing the Ark, which was great seeing as he was one of the original cast and how the whole series started with the Ark crashing into Earth.
StarMatt partially agrees.
If out of continuity stories count, then I vote for Captain Marvel in Kingdom Come as the best death ever.
Shivkala goes a different direction in choosing best death.
I guess my vote for best comic book death would have to be the death of Betty Ross Banner in Incredible Hulk. Mostly because she was so significant in Bruce’s life and because it was so nicely juxtaposed with Marlo reading Betty’s autobiography. It was a really nice way to go over her life as she lay dying.
It’s really a shame Peter David left the book after the following issue, since the ideas he seemed to have for a Betty-less Bruce were good.
I’d say Barry Allen also, but with the introduction of the Speed Force, Wolfman’s idea for bringing him back, and time travel making him only a cosmic treadmill away, it’s hard to see it as a “death.” In my mind it’s more of a “exit, stage left” type thing, where he’s gone, but more in a “Obi-Wan Kenobi appearing to Luke throught he Force” type way.
Superman’s death was also pretty good, but the circumstances around it left a lot to be desired.
Doburcham has yet another memorable death.
Favorite death in the DCU? Starfire’s boyfriend (and spy for The H.I.V.E.) from TNE NEW TEEN TITANS vol.I issue #16. Throwaway character but the story itself was fantastic! (Ooh, nice one. â€“B)
Nalydpsycho goes another direction.
I liked Pete Wisdom’s death, just because it reminds me of that scene in Austen Powers, “I’ve got a gun, I’ll go to my room, get the gun, and shoot him” etc… It was so simple, so obvious, Pete Wisdom was shot in the back of the head.
Sticking with the understated realistic type death for my answer, but one with real impact. I’m going to say a three way tie, Ben Parker, Thomas Wayne, and Martha Wayne.
B, you want to ring in on this?
I’ll say Superman.
Yeah, we knew he was coming back, but that didn’t make it any less epic or shocking to actually read that final page of Superman #75. I also liked that there was no elaborate plot devices (at that point in the story), no convoluted back story, and no question from the hero…it was just the ultimate hero doing the right thing, no matter the cost, and being pushed beyond the breaking point.
For me, not story with Doomsday, Cyborg, etc. that has come after can ever cheapen the impact of The Death of Superman.
Barry Allen, Hal Jordan (in Final Night), Captain Marvel (Marvel version and KC version), Supergirl (pre-Crisis), Live Wire (Legion Lost) all get nods…but decisive second place goes to Colossus.
I also erroneously implied that the KGBeast was dead the in the same column. Charles Hargrove quickly corrected me.
Okay, I have a question about the KGBeast. You mention that he is dead, but I am pretty sure that he showed up again after the Ten Nights of the Beast. Didn’t he show up in Robin where he got his ass kicked by King Snake and then didn’t he show up when Batman and Wildcat busted an underground boxing ring?
On the topic of KGBeast Madman Ike adds.
The KGBeast did survive and go on to make Robin’s(Tim Drake) life more complicated in that 6 part mini-series of his where he went to France to learn martial arts from so oriental guy. I think he showed up to plague Huntress as well, though that could have been in Robin’s afore mentioned mini-series.
Still in the same column Composite Superman came up. The Scavenger had this to say.
Composite Superman-The Legion in the past year or so had the new equivalent show up, who was I think a Durlan with all the LSH powers.
Also in Impulse’s series, he faced a composite Superboy who was half
Superboy half Robin.
The Scavenger added this about Metamorpho’s immortality.
Metamorpho and immortality. Per Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Metamorpho is immortal until Ra decides to not have him be alive anymore (which is how Element Girl finally died-She asked Ra, and that’s it)
Speaking of immortality Craig Man or Fan has one name I forgot.
On ur immortal list, u forgot to mention Plastic Man!
And on the topic of Matter Eater Lad Madman Ike points out;
Matter Eater Lad also served as the Legion’s cook after DC revamped them back into teens in the 90’s.
I just want to thank everyone to sends me feedback because I do read every bit. And whenever you answer a question it always ends up here.
Speaking of questions here is your question of this week; What was the funniest comic you ever read?
â€œI used to be sad, now I’m just bored with you.â€
Tags: Alan Scott, Avengers, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Flash (Barry Allen), Flash (Jay Garrick), Green Arrow, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Jay Garrick, JLA, JSA, Justice Society, Justice Society of America, Oliver Queen, Tim Drake, Wally West (Flash), Who's Who in the DCU