Who’s Who In The DCU 4.07.04

Hey guys. Firstly I want to apologize for last week. That Bizarro Mathan messed things up pretty badly. Fortunately he was still under warranty so I just packed him up that sent him to the nearest Lexcorp authorized repair service.

Link Time!

DOL celebrates a new annual event

Mike Z plays with toys.

Hayhurst answers movie questions.

Black has baseball and basketball!

Jim and Daron answer my questions!

B, have anything you want to link? (As always, my column, in which I further explain an answer I gave here a few weeks ago about the top five writers in comics history, and The Roundtable. Also, check out another new edition of The Steel Cage. –B)

Of course what would a column be with out my brief thoughts on last week’s comics?

Batman 625 A surprising ending that I didn’t see coming. I loved this arc.

Flash #208 A real treat for Flash fans. Quality read. (Check out my review for my thoughts. –B)

Green Lantern #175 Huh?

Legion #30 (don’t ask why I’m just getting it) A decent ending to the story. Ok read.

Hellblazer #194 Wow, pretty creepy. Good, but scary read.

Legion #31 Giffen back on the Legion! A dream comes true. (Not for me. This was a sad imitation of the great work he did on the book back in the 70s and early 80s. Story was funny though. –B)

Reign of the Zodiac #8 A sad ending. Read the review.

Avengers/JLA #4 Well worth the wait! Great ending. I love to just look at this book. (Ditto times three. –B)

Ok, Hallsy got the lyric at the end of the last column, so I’m going to answer his question about Shining Knight first. Don’t look for the question; sadly it was one of the causalities of the Crisis at 411.

Well way back in the day Sir Justin did a really good job fighting with King Arthur. Because of his loyalty and prowess Merlin gave Justin a flying horse and enchanted sword. Oh you want to know what he did? Well Merlin was stuck in a tree, the result of an incantation by a sorceress. Justin was chasing two outlaws and his lance hit the tree on accident. Merlin was released, and showed his gratitude by giving Justin light and bulletproof (even though I wonder what Merlin knew about “bulletproof”) armor. He also gave Justin’s horse wings. And he did that enchanted sword thing too.

Well Justin continued on his mission, to take down an ogre. Justin mortally wounded the ogre, but with is last bit of strength the ogre kicked Justin and Winged Victory into a mountainside causing an avalanche. And as everyone knows, an avalanche of snow is prime conditions for…suspended animation.

Miraculously Sir Justin and Winged Victory were found in 1941. They were taken to NYC and thawed. Then they embarked on a crime-fighting career. It was kind of like that movie “Crocodile Dundee,” only Justin spoke in Medieval English, not an Australian accent. They even joined a team, but I’ll get into that later.

As time passed he hooked up with fellow Golden Age hero, Firebrand (the female one). Those two kids had a crazy love going on. Shining Knight even tried to help Abby Arcane find Swamp Thing when he was lost in time. Justin visited various eras looking for Swampy. He eventually checked in with Abby two years after he started looking, but twenty years had passed for him. You can peep that in Swamp Thing #87 and 109.

Shining Knight showed up in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. He went undercover in Blue Valley to try to take down the Dragon King; the guy who he thought had killed Firebrand. During his battle with Dragon King and Shiv, his mind was damaged. As a result he was shown as the high school janitor in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., which was a really fun book to read.

Buddha Man1 do you have a related question?

What ever happened to the Seven Soldiers of Victory? I know they made some appearances in the All-Star Squadron, but outside of that what have they been up to lately?

The Seven Soldiers of Victory had a pretty cool origin actually. Back in the day (the Golden Age) there this criminal mastermind, the Hand. Well the Hand had received some bad news; he was dying. In an effort to gain some sort of immortality he decided to give his criminal plans to other crooks. He put together a gang of five bad guys, and challenged five heroes to stop the crimes from happening.

Crimson Avenger and Wing had to stop Big Caesar, Vigilante and Billy Gunn battled the Dummy, Shining Knight had to take down Red Dragon, The Spider fought Prof. Merlin, and Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy were charged with the Needle. (“Prof. Merlin?” “The Needle?” “Big Caesar?” I doubt that even James Robinson could make these guys threats, and he made the Dummy a threat. Professor Merlin?)

Of course the good guys won. So the Hand decides that the heroes should die by his hand. He booby-traps his house, then invites the heroes over. But then the Hand gets good news; his illness is curable. So now he realizes that he has to kill the heroes if only to stay out of jail.

He tries to kill them, but Vigilante shoots his weapon. It explodes killing the Hand. The heroes decide to stay together to fight crime, except for Wing, because Crimson Avenger is worried about his safety. Wing was all “But Batman lets Robin fight crime, and Speedy fights alongside Green Arrow.” And Crimson Avenger was like “Do I look like Batman? As long as you are my chauffer you will live by my rules, young man.” Wing “Fine!” Crimson Avenger “Fine!” They walked into their respective rooms and slammed the door. Slam! Slam!

Where was I? Oh yeah the Seven Soldiers of Victory were formed. They were sometimes called Law’s Legionnaires. They were a pretty dependable team during their day.

Then in 1948 they faced the Nebula Man after being gathered together by The Spider. Spider seemed to have a lot of answers to their questions, which raised the suspicions of his fellow teammates. Wing stays behind to watch the wounded Spider, while the other Soldiers use Spider’s device to combat the Nebula Man. Billy Gunn, who has been investigating Spider goes to tell Wing what he has found, and ends up with an arrow in his neck from Spider!

It turned out that the Spider betrayed them, because he was a Ludlow (that family that has a feud with the Shade) and they are all shifty folks. Furthermore, Spider has a missing component for the nebula rod. Wing KO’s Spider takes the device and joins the other Soldiers in battle. They end up teleported to the Himalayas!

Wing destroys the Nebula Man, but at the cost of his life. The other Soldiers are actually sent to different eras from the resulting explosion. Crimson Avenger was stranded in the Aztec empire. Shining Knight ends up chilling with Genghis Khan. Stripsey spends some time building pyramids in Egypt. Vigilante is stuck in the Old West. Star Spangled Kid visits the prehistoric past, and Stuff goes to ancient Greece. They are all rescued by the JLA and JSA. The JSA just assumed that the Soldiers had retired like every other Golden Age hero of that era. Which should teach you something about assuming.

When they got back to this era they retired from teamwork. Vigilante popped up in Impulse Annual #2. Shining Knight showed up in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., but I’m not going to say which issue, because the entire book was great. B, wasn’t that origin kind of cool? (Very much so. Seven Soldiers fun fact: pre-Crisis it was the Earth-2 Green Arrow and Speedy taking the spots of, I believe, Vigilante and Billy Gunn in the Soldiers, although Speedy wasn’t killed. –B)

Jon, do you have a question?

Quick, stupid question: Does Clark Kent have a middle name?

Clark Kent does have a middle name, two in fact. His middle names are Joseph and Jerome. This of course is a tip of the hat to Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, his creators. Peep the last page of this month’s Wizard for more super interesting Super facts. B, what do you think the most interesting thing that few people know about Superman? (Again, referring to this month’s Wizard, I think it’s neat that Kryptonite debuted on the radio, not in the comics…a shiny green rock you can’t even see! Holy irony! –B)

John Maclachlan do you have a question that would allow me to tease B?

What I am asking for here is more of an opinion than a question but I need to know yours. Are you as sick and tired as me listening to Marvel fans talk about how the DC characters, most notably the JLA, are too powerful? I agree with them that Superman is off the charts powerful, and the Flash is essentially unstoppable without magic but even they have weaknesses (i.e. magic, telepathy). This is where my argument with the Marvel world starts. Is there anything that can hurt the Juggernaut when that telepathy-shielding helmet is on his head? Can’t Magneto do pretty much anything AND he also has one of these ridiculous helmets? Xavier can find anyone in the world and potentially wipe them out just by thinking about it? Doesn’t this make him the most powerful person in comic’s period? These are just a few examples but I could go on with Silver Surfer, Thor or the Hulk. I just get irritated that people bash the DC universe when the Marvel universe is ‘guilty’ of the same concepts.

I agree that anyone who thinks that DC heroes are too powerful is off their rocker. You gave some pretty good examples. I just don’t understand how exactly the Juggernaut is “unstoppable” (but he rocked in that Capcom arcade game!), The Hulk is pretty much off the scale as well. Silver Surfer is pretty powerful too. I know that when I played Heroclix with my best friend (he was Marvel, I was DC) we would constantly bicker about the pros and cons of each universe’s characters. I mean the Hulk gets stronger the angrier he gets. Silver Surfer has the “power cosmic”, whatever that is. Really both universes are pretty well stacked on each level. But anyone who says that DC’s heroes are too powerful needs to get their head checked. Isn’t that right B? You can think of lots of ways the Avengers could take down the JLA, right? (Yep…and wasn’t that you more finally admitting I’m right as opposed to teasing me? –B)

JohnBritton I know you have something on your mind.

Will Superman ever permanently change his costume? I realize he changes it a bit here and there, but will any wholesale change actually hang on for good and become the new image in peoples’ minds for what he looks like?

I doubt that Superman will ever change his costume. It is far too iconic and is as recognizable a symbol as the American flag. Even though folks cry about how outdated the underwear on the outside of the costume is, it is still one of the great costumes out there, and easily one of the most identifiable.

On a related note I loved Superman’s phase as “Krypton Man.” Without a doubt that was one of the coolest costumes I have ever seen on Kal El. What’s that you say? Because of “Birthright” one of my favorite Superman stories, which ran from Superman #41-42, Adventures of Superman #464-465, and Action Comics #651-652, never actually happened? Damn you Mark Waid!

JohnBritton do you have a follow up?

Will anyone find a suitable replacement for the Martian Manhunter’s look? I kind of hope not, because as impractical as it is, I’ve grown used to it.

God I hope so. In this day an age, especially after the shenanigans of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, we need to be careful not to expose any children to Martian Nipple! I mean can you imagine how damaging it would be to a child to actually see a Martian Nipple? J’onn J’onzz needs to get a new costume ASAP, for the sake of the children! B, can you imagine anything more dangerous to a child than the sight of a Martian Nipple? (Four words: M as a dad. –B)

Well folks I am going to bed. Next week will probably see Elementals and Avatars, reformed villains and rogue heroes, more than likely lots of Batman, and of course your question will be answered, eventually. Your question for the week: What’s your take on the whole brouhaha around the new Firestorm Series?

“I never sleep, cuz sleep is the cousin of death.”

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