Who\'s Who In The DCU

Ah ha! We have returned. I’m glad that you enjoyed last week’s column, it was bit rushed on my part, but I did my best. I recently spent six, long, hours watching the first two installments of Lord of the Rings. I have to say, I’m pretty far from impressed. (Finally! Another sane person in the world! –B)

Speaking of impressed, B this week’s Roundtable was the best ever, but I can’t quite put my finger on what made is so “best.” Any thoughts on the matter? (“¦seriously, dude, are you hitting on my girlfriend? –B)

Now it’s time to link.

Sports has great Olympic coverage.

DOL makes me laugh.

Games has news on old Nintendo games and the new Nintendo system.

Music is just full of goodness.

Joe has the best fill in column ever!

B, you’ve gotta link what you think people should be reading. (Simple: just hop over to my column where I link what I think people should be reading. –B)

Last Weeks Comics

I have a confession to make; when I went on vacation I went on vacation”¦from myself. (Sounds like a fun place. –B) That meant no comic books. So this past week I actually bought comics the comics that came out the last two weeks. Needless to say I’m still not finished reading.

Bloodhound #2 This book is moving slowly, but it reads well and looks great. I dig how it’s actually in the DCU.

Action Comics #818 This title seems barely in line with Supes’ other two books. It’s entertaining, but it feels very light to me.

Green Arrow #41 I really like this book. I really liked now distracted Ollie seems, and why shouldn’t he be. He’s portrayed as very human. I like that. (Needs more demons. –B)

Legion #37 Um could someone tell me why four villains taking their names and motifs from four “colored” JLAers have adopted a neo-Luddite stance in the 31st century? Anyone? (This storyline has done nothing for me. I’m very disappointed in the highly-touted Gail Simone. –B)

Teen Titans #14 I don’t like this storyline. It’s just boring to me. I hope next issue explains Ga’s past, but I doubt it will. (Don’t love the storyline, liked the issue. –B)

JSA #64 Great looking issue. Johns continues to approach continuity messes most would avoid (Sandman and Brute & Glob). I applaud his efforts. But shouldn’t the Hawkman title decide where Kendra’s heart lies?

Bite Club #5 Review forthcoming. It’s like The Godfather times The Lost Boys.

DC Comics Presents: The Flash Another great tribute to Julie. Read my review.

100 Bullets #52 I love this book. Read my review.

Identity Crisis #3 It’s crazy that such a compelling series has done a quick job of dividing comic fans. Either you love it or hate it. And even if you love it, you may not appreciate the brutality (and possibly misogyny) within its pages. Rumor has it that two creators fond of Sue Dibny (think Superbuddies) have abandoned the company in disgust (but this is the net so they may be just rumors.) I, for one, am digging the book. (I, for two. –B)

Before we jump to the column I should mention that I am well aware that I left Talia off of my list of folks who know Bruce is Batman. I left her off because she didn’t fit neatly in the sections I had (friends/family, enemies, coworkers.) She an ex lover but now she’s an enemy, but she hasn’t really attacked Batman yet. She was too difficult to fit a category so I left her off.

And now on to the questions. Some folks finally placed the lyric at the end of the last column. First up is Joshua Hoskins.

I remember way back in one of the earlier Titans series there was a problem with Beast Boy only being able to change into monstrous creatures. I never really followed Titans at the time so I have no idea where they went with it, and how he got his normal powers back.

Fortunately for me, I have already answered this question, a long time ago (12/10/03) on a website far, far away (411Mania). Here is my reply:

Ok, Garfield (Beast Boy, Changeling) Logan’s adopted pop; Steve Dayton is also the occasional villain Mento. Mento wears a helmet that channels his powers, but also tends to corrupt. Exposure to the helmet caused Gar to change into darker creatures as witnessed in New Titans #102. Then Raven, evil at the time, planted a Trigon Seed in Changeling. Somehow when the seed was removed it also removed whatever had been tainting Gar. And that is how Beast Boy became cute and cuddly again. Did I ever tell you about the time Ben got a Trigon Seed stuck in his teeth? Hilarious! How did you get that out Ben?

To which B responded;

Mostly by ignoring your really really bad jokes so I can save my energy for the at least remotely coherent ones. On a sidenote, that was during the period of New Titans that even Marv Wolfman admitted was a mistake, well after he had burned himself out and was just staying on to get paid and try and fix things somehow. Unfortunately, things never really got fixed”¦but we’re getting Games by Wolfman/Perez next year, so I forgive you, Marv!

B, are my joke really that bad? (Yes. –B)

Joshua, since you didn’t get an original answer, yet were the first to place the lyric, wanna go again?

Who is the greater patriotic character Captain America or Deathstroke the Terminator? Both are normal men who have been slightly altered, but rely more on their combat knowledge and skills than powers, both were American soldiers, but Captain America has not allowed his skills to be used for any entrepreneurial developments, while Deathstroke has embraced the true spirit of capitalism for the use of his skills.

Very interesting question. I’ve honestly never considered the parallels before. They are rather similar. But if you’re going for patriotism you have to say Cap. That guy dresses in red, white and blue. He’s walking patriotism.

Now if you want to ask who actually represents America, that could lead to a heated discussion. One could say that Deathstroke represents the reality of the United States, where Cap represents the idealism.

In principle America stands for democracy not capitalism. But clearly the two seem to have become intertwined in the minds of some. So basically if you are a Michael Moore fan Deathstroke represents the U.S.A. On the other hand if you’re a Lee Greenwood fan, Cap represents America to you.

B, all of this talk of Batman/Daredevil is foolish, wouldn’t you rather read Captain America/Deathstroke book instead? (For sure, especially if Geoff Johns will write it and George Perez will draw it. As far as the debate, gotta say Cap, as capitalism is certainly a facet of America, but not the whole kitten caboodle. –B)

Parallax2814 also placed the lyric. Fire away;

I was wondering if you could give me a list of all the heroes and villains who can travel through time.

This is deceptively tough. I’m just going to list folks who can time travel using their regular powers, or time travel as part of their regular shtick.

I’ll start with the bad guys.

Abra Kadabra is from the 64th century and has fought the last two Flashes.

Braniac 13 seems to have time travel capabilities.

Chronos is a known time traveling villain, who died, but is back.

The Reverse Flash traveled through time via.

Per Degaton from JSA fame is a time traveler.

Knodar, a Green Lantern foe can traverse the time stream.

Of course the Time Trapper.

Savitar, has traveled through time.

Gog can travel in time.

T.O. Morrow has been shown to have time traveled.

The Lord of Time, surprisingly, could travel in time.

Oddly enough Time Commander also had time travel abilities.

Timazo (Amazo who had abosorbed the android Hourman’s powers) was a time traveling bad guy.

Now in terms of time traveling good guys we have;

He of cool hair, Waverider

Rip Hunter is an ace at timetravel, as are the other Linear Men.

The android Hourman, who appears to be popping up in next months JSA, could travel in time.

Any speedster, in touch with the Speed Force has the potential to travel through time, (ala Max Mercury) but not with any sort of control.

Chronos (the not so bad guy) traveled all through time.

Un WhinyGajje do you have a question for the column?

Inspired by Identity Crisis, can you give us a little history of Bolt and Merlyn? Ooh, and perhaps some sweet, sweet Deadshot info?

Larry Bolatinsky is Bolt. That’s about all that’s known about the guy. He’s a pretty successful assassin in the DCU. He tried to kill the Trickster, but didn’t succeed, due to some trouble from Blue Devil. He’s also gone up against the Will Payton Starman, who was at one point the only hero who had placed him in custody.

Most of Bolt’s powers come from his suit, which is a high tech marvel. He can fly, shoot bolts of energy and teleport with that nifty suit. He’s also supposed to be a tech genius which could explain why he was to eager to get his hands on the package in Identity Crisis #1. (He also appeared in the waning days of the first Suicide Squad as a member of the rogue Task Force X. –B)

Merlyn “the Magician” was an expert archer. He was so good in fact that he proved to be an inspiration to a young Ollie Queen. Soon after Green Arrow appeared Merlyn challenged him to a competition, and beat him. Merlyn then vanished.

He popped up later as a member of the League. Not the Justice League, the League of Assassins. He tried to kill Batman, but failed. Since he failed he couldn’t return to the League, because the prize for failure is death. Instead he became a regular assassin; he even took work as part of a plot against the JLA.

He showed up in Young Justice #23-24, as an Olympian for the rogue nation of Zandia. (So”¦funny. –B) But now he’s back to his “bow for hire” ways. He’s an amazing archer, who isn’t above using trick arrows.

Floyd “Deadshot” Lawton was just your average kid. Your average kid whose family was so powerful that they lived in a town named after them. That’s right Floyd grew up in Lawton. His older brother Eddie was the big man in high school, whereas Floyd was just a rebellious teen.

Floyd’s mom, Genevieve hated his father, George. She hated him so much that she manipulated her sons into a plot to kill their father. Eddie didn’t want Floyd to be a part of the plot, and Floyd (surprise) rebelled against the plot. For his troubles Floyd was locked in the boathouse.

Floyd escaped and tried to alert his pop to the plot, but it was too late. Eddie had shot his father, but rather than killing him it just paralyzed the guy. Floyd and Eddie struggled. Eddie ended up dead, Floyd ended up with a death wish.

George was a class act about the whole affair. He squashed the investigation. He kicked his wife out of the house, to a pad just outside of town, but still supported her.

Floyd tried to live the life of a rich guy in Gotham, but it didn’t suit him. He got married, had a son and named him Eddie, after the brother he killed. In an effort to feed his death wish, Floyd donned a costume and became an assassin. Batman busted him quick, but Floyd had found a new passion.

Floyd joined the Suicide Squad. (“Was recruited for” is far more accurate. –B) There was even a therapist at Belle Reve who developed feelings for Floyd, but he was having none of that. (Floyd considers all women to be liars who really only care about getting some and/or money. –B)

Floyd’s mom grew to be a pretty bitter lady. So bitter that she planned to have Eddie, her grandson, kidnapped in order to force Floyd to “finish the job” of George’s killing. But this just drove Floyd over the edge and on a murder rampage. He caught up with Eddie, but not before a child molester had accidentally killed him.

As you can imagine Floyd wasn’t happy about this. So he went back to Lawton and confronted his mother. Apparently his therapist thought this was going to be a big breakthrough, because she was actually shocked when Floyd killed his own mother.

Then Floyd went back to the Suicide Squad and lived happily ever after. (Actually, right after those events, which took place in Deadshot’s mini-series, he killed Senator Cray, a jerk who was gonna leak info on the Squad, so Rick Flag couldn’t. He ended up in Arkham until Bronze Tiger busted him out to help rescue half the Squad from Apokolips. After that, Floyd took a contract to try and kill Squad head Amanda Waller, but she bought him off and then he rejoined the team. He’s shown up in most short-lived incarnations of the Squad since the book’s cancellation and has also appeared in Batman’s titles, notably trying to kill Cain. -B) The End.

Floyd has those nifty wrist magnums, and he’s got a real fine eye.

Interesting fact: Bolt, Merlyn, and Deadshot make up three fifths of the “Killer Elite”(from JLA #105-106, an Underworld Unleashed crossover.) The remaining members are Chiller and Deadline.

Fellow Pulser Mike Z wanted to get some info on Jean Loring.

Jean Loring was a very successful criminal attorney in Ivytown. She also happened to be involved with Ray Palmer. He coincidently happened to be the Atom. She was a career minded woman (in the 1960’s, which was pretty forward thinking at the time) who put work before her relationship. In fact it was Ray who kept brining up the topic of marriage.

Eventually the two settled down. But they both had successful careers and, like Ethan and Uma they grew apart. For all intents and purposes their marriage was over long before the two finally and mutually agreed to end it. They both had grown attached to others. But Ray and Jean remained close. They even collaborated with Norman Brawler, an author, on the Atom’s autobiography, which revealed his identity to the public.

While they weren’t always friends, Ray and Jean have always been there when one needed the other. Jean is still practicing law, in fact she resided over the original Chronos’ will when he passed away a few years back. To me she’s the ultimate class act; I mean I don’t recall her ever making any comment about Ray’s size.

Fellow Nexuser(?) Kyle Litke poses another interesting question;

Does Lois know Bruce is Batman? It seems that he doesn’t think so, as he was secretive around here, but in Hush, just after Bruce walks away, Clark whispers “I think there’s only one way we’re going to find out what Bruce is up to…” to which she responds “Have fun being all tights and flights. And remember, despite how he behaves when he’s…y’know…that you two are friends.”

So did Clark tell her? How pissed would Bruce be if he knew that?

Dude, Clark is a chump. He’s one of those guys who gets a girl and it ruins him. I’ll bet Clark tells her everything, while they do each othe’s hair and paint their toenails.

It appears that Clark did tell Lois about Bruce. What a punk! I’m not saying that Clark should have lied to Lois, because lying to your girl is wrong, but don’t volunteer things. It’s like, if I know that my friend cheated on his girl, I’m not going to volunteer that information to my girl. It’s not important, she doesn’t need to know. Where Bruce spends his nights is no business of Lois’.

Of course the argument could be made that Bruce has no problem with her knowing because she knows who Superman is, but that’s hooey. Clark is married to her not Bruce. Does Linda Park know about Bruce’s taste in eveningwear? Man, Clark is weak!

Personally I think that this is why Batman always beats Superman when they battle. In the back of his mind Bruce is thinking “and this is for telling Lois my secret identity!” Clark has broken some serious “guy laws” and I think action needs to be taken.

B, you don’t spill all my personal business to Megan do you? (Sorry, M, I was on the phone with Megan talking about your secret identity as Gunfire II”¦what’s up? -B)

My man from 144Anima Soak1313 has a question that needs some answering.

In JLE what exactly are Coldcasts’s and Menagerie’s powers? I know she offers a bug to Flash to make his nausea go away, also as spying “crabs” with Vera, but what else do they do?

Ok, the original Menagerie had bonded with “an alien warrior crèche” that she could control.

Coldcast is your typical controller of matter, but he can control it on an atomic level. That’s why he’s able to create such lifelike duplicates. He can also stop time by messing with electrons.

In their original formation the Elite was acting under the will of Manchester Black. This was revealed by Menagerie. Black wasn’t too thrilled with her betrayal, so he gave her a stroke.

The current Menagerie is the original’s sister.

Another member of the team is The Hat. He’s a demon. But he takes the guise of a runefield-powered magician, who enjoys taking a drink, like say Tony Stark.

B, you know a lot about comics; which other “heroes” are Menagerie, Manchester Black, and The Hat based on? (The Authority”¦which I never read, so I don’t know the names of the individual characters. –B)

Geez, it’s only 4am. I think a have time for another question. Shiv’kala?

Okay, I’ll bite…please tell me more about Spoiler and how she went from being the daughter or a criminal to the new Robin. Wasn’t she pregnant at some point? What happened with that?

Ah Stephanie Brown. She had a difficult home life. Her mom was a junkie and her pop was a criminal. Eventually he adopted the guise of Cluemaster, and left clues for the authorities at ever crime, which was the fashion at the time. He got caught, lots of times and went to jail and prison. I should point out, as people rarely do that he also served as a member of the J.L.A. (the “A” in question standing for Antarctica, but it’s still the J.L.A. nonetheless.)

Well prison made him a better crook; he learned to stop leaving clues. Young Stephanie became the costumed crusader known as the Spoiler to thwart her fathe’s crimes. She was way green and didn’t have Bruce Wayne’s deep pockets so she was a shabby hero. Since she lived in Gotham she bumped into Batman and Robin. Bats disapproved (as usual) but she and Robin got close.

She developed a crush on Robin. But she got pregnant by another guy. She had the child and gave it up for adoption.

She and Robin were involved, but things became rocky. Batman didn’t help things when he revealed that Tim Drake and Robin were one and the same. When Robin’s pop found out about how Tim was spending his nights, he made Tim give up the gig.

Batman trying to provoke Tim into returning and to prove that Tim was replaceable made Stephanie the new Robin. But she’s recently been fired from the role of Robin and gone back to being the Spoiler.

Be sure to stop by the Forum and post your thoughts about the column and questions for it. Think Floyd’s a manly name? Post it in the forum. Or email it to me. Either way give some feedback. My question for you this week; Didn’t Clark break some serious “guy rules” buy spilling the beans on Bruce?

“I lost mine, what can I do? Tread lightly round me, cause I’m all blue.”