Who's Who In The DCU

Hey, if you’re reading me than it must be Wednesday! B, a lot of things were said about Guy Gardner last week, want to add your two cents and defend your boy? (I was all excited to be the first one to point out that Brad Meltzer has mentioned that Guy was in his Green Lantern gear at Sue Dibny’s funeral because he felt tattoos, etc. would be disrespectful”¦but then like 85 people did it first on the forum. Still, Brad sent me a DVD sneak peak at his new WB series Jack & Bobby”¦then released it online through AOL! The cad! I’ll still be reviewing it with Megan for the TV section come Saturday. Anyhow, back to Guy”¦he is an amazing character with a fan following from fans and pros alike that can be staggering. I’ve extolled his virtues in this column many times, you can check the archives rather than me waste space being repetitive. Thus I choose to answer Daron’s “I could really care less about Guy. I’ve never really given him much thought at all to be honest”¦he pretty much bores me.” with simply this: Hey Daron, how are all those CrossGen books you loved doing? Yeah, I said it. –B)

So how was your trip to Vegas? Was it anything like “Meet The (Grand) Parents?” (My Vegas adventures have been chronicled in this week’s edition of my column. I cast and plot JLA: The Movie as well. I think it may be my swellest or most swell column in quite some time.–B)

I suppose we should get to”¦

THE LINKS!

FIGURES is up and running!!!!

DOL has a special guest star.

Joe has more rumors about the Superman movie.

Another Joe has answers your music queries.

Hayhurst does the movie trivia thing.

Sports recaps the Olympics.

Games has even more news on the new Nintendo.

A DC vs Marvel Tourney is about to start up. Nominate your picks. Vote early and often!

And now for your favorite subsection”¦

WHAT I READ LAST WEEK!!

Richard Dragon #4 Dude, I am so diggin’ this book! The creative team rocks. The flashbacks look great. Start reading this book.

The Losers #15 I’m surprised I’m still reading this book. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it and picked it up on a whim. Here I am 14 issues later. Ale Garza’s work on this issue has made me forget Graduation Day.

The Flash #213 Wally’s life gets more complex. The Turtle gets cooler. This book is way fun. (Howard Porter really deserves much credit for this issue, he stepped up his artistic game huge in making The Turtle come off as legitimately creepy. I love how many things are going on at once in this book between Captain Boomerang, Zoom, the Rogues, etc. –B)

DC Comics Presents: Justice League of America It’s s shame these tributes have to end on this book. I didn’t enjoy it and thought it was one of, if not the weakest of the tribute books.

WE3 #1 This book was way cool. Great storytelling, great art. I hope it keeps up this standard.

The Legion #38 Crappity crap crap crap! This final storyline for the book has made me feel the way the final year and a half of The Titans made me feel, only in 1/6 of the time. Good riddance. (Wow, that Titans analogy was dead on. You go, M! –B)

Superman #208 Money! Read my review. (Azzarello finally kicked it up this issue. Aquaman has never been so badass. –B)

Hellblazer #199 Way good. Read my review.

Green Lantern #180 Poor Kyle. Read my review.

I guess it’s time for you, the readers to ask your questions.


Parallax2814 is on a streak, correctly placing the lyric at the end of the last column. Start ‘er up!

Can you tell me how many Clayface’s there have been and histories on each of them.

I wish these guys got more play. I really enjoy the Mudpack.

Clayface I was Basil Karlo a famous horror film actor back in the day. But that day was long been gone. A famous director decided to utilize Karlo on a new project. Unfortunately it happened to be a remake of one of Karlo’s greatest roles. At that point Karlo decided to kill the cast. He adopted a clay-like mask as his disguise.

Two murders in the killings came to the attention of Batman and Robin. Bats deduced that Karlo was “Clayface.”

Clayface II was a guy named Matt Hagen. He had the sweet idea to get rich by looting sunken ships. He found one that was full of jars. While still underwater he opened one and found it had a strange oily substance. When he came in contact with it, it altered him physically. He became completely malleable, and claylike. He fought Batman and Robin and was defeated numerous times. He went to the big mudhole in the sky during Crisis. (He’s also the Clayface that the Clayface in the Batman cartoon was based on.)

Clayface III was some dude named Preston Payne. Poor Preston was born with acromegalia. His chronic hyperpitutarism caused his physical appearance to be deformed and disfigured. But he was also smart. He tried to go the Nip/Tuck route but to no avail. He managed to get a blood sample from Matt Hagen. Then he distilled the blood down to a single ingredient, which he then injected into himself.

For a moment everything was cool. His flesh became malleable like Hagens. But then he started getting fevers and headaches. The only way to get rid of the maladies was to touch another person. The problem was that he had developed a corrosive touch, which caused the people he touched to dissolve.

Preston built an exoskeleton to support his now unstable physical form. The suit also provided him with super strength. He also went crazy, falling in love with a woman. But not just any woman, the only woman would he could still touch; Helena, a mannequin. Whenever Batman would beat him he’d usually end up in Arkham, for obvious reasons.

Clayface IV or Lady Clay used to be know by the name of Sondra Fuller. Like most women, she didn’t like the way she looked, so she let Kobra experiment with her. She’s almost identical to Clayface II power-wise, except that for some reason when she imitates the appearance of someone she can duplicate their abilities.

Karlo masterminded a union of all the Clayfaces, even the remains of the deceased member, called the Mudpack. They captured Batman and tortured him. But Karlo wanted more power. He took blood samples from them and injected them into himself. He gained all of their powers and dubbed himself “ultimate Clayface.”

Clayfaces III and IV fell in love and lived in a cave outside of Gotham. They had a kid, which they named Cassius. After the “Cataclysm” storyline (the big earthquake) Cassius went to Gotham. He got caught up with the DEO and they took a sample from him.

Dr. Malley came in contact with the sample and they bonded, becoming another member of the Clayface family: Claything.

Batman bumped into Karlo during No Man’s Land, but I don’t think that the Mudpack has appeared recently. I’m guessing the Clayface that appeared in “Hush” was Karlo, but that’s just an educated guess. B, admit it, you dig the Mudpack. (I’ve never been a huge Clayface nut, but with the history you just gave, I’m intrigued to maybe pick up some back issues. I did always love Clayface in the Batman cartoon, great tragic villain. –B)


Jacob Starinski asks;

I need a rundown on the various Supergirls in the DCU. Can you help me?

This is one of the more common questions. I’ve addressed it before and will do so again here:

From the 8/1/03 column

(Supergirl is from a previous column)
Let me begin with the Matrix/Supergirl. Matrix is from the pocket universe (long time readers will remember I described in my very first column way back three weeks ago.) Matrix is an artificial life form created by that universe’s Lex Luthor to help save that Earth from General Zod and his cronies. She could fly, change her appearance, and had telekinesis. She came to Earth looking for Superman. She found him and he went to her universe and saved the day. Unfortunately Matrix was hurt badly and semi reverted to her protoplasmic state. Clark had her stay with his parents in Smallville to give her time to heal. During that time she had an identity crisis and became a dark version of Superman. Again Clark set her straight. After she was all fixed up she fell in love with Lex Luthor II (actually just Lex Luthor in a cloned body). But who wouldn’t have fallen head over heels for that dreamboat, tall long flowing red locks. But I digress. Their love didn’t last. Then one day while in Leesburg Supergirl stopped to save a stranger by the name of Linda Danvers. Unfortunately Linda was beyond saving. However Linda’s almost lifeless body and Supergirl’s almost alive body merged. The result is a Supergirl who was alive and had Linda’s memories and appearance. She could only alter her appearance between Linda and Supergirl. There are three things that happen as a result of this merger. First Linda can be redeemed (we find out that she was quite a hellion). Secondly Matrix can actually experience life, with all its ups and downs. Lastly a new Earth born angel has been created. What is an Earth born angel you ask? An Earth born angel is created when one being selflessly sacrifices themselves for the salvation of another. Plus the new and improved Supergirl got additional powers like flame wing, fire vision, and the ability to teleport.

Here is the scoop on the Kryptonian Supergirl.
Y’see in the old Pre-Crisis DCU Kal-el wasn’t the sole survivor of Krypton. When Krypton blew up one domed city survived the explosion. That city was Argo City. The dome was built my Kal-el’s uncle. Of course the ground turned into kryptonite, anti kryptonite. But those kryptonians were survivors so they laid lead sheeting to protect them from the anti kryptonite. Everything was good and dandy. Kara Zor-el was even able to see her cousin Superman’s exploits on Earth via a super telescope. But then some meteors crash into Argo City. Fortunately the dome was self-sealing. Unfortunately they damaged the lead shielding. Slowly dying from anti kryptonite poisoning they managed to send Kara Zor-el to Earth to be with her cousin. And that is the honest truth. The sad, wacky, honest truth.

She managed to hook up with the current Supergirl through a villain who wanted to rid every universe of Supergirl. Kara landed in the current DCU on accident, but eventually everything was returned to normal.

Since I wrote that two other Supergirls have appeared. One named Cir-El was a player in the Superman books. She first appeared in Superman 10 Cent Adventure. She was supposed to be daughter of Superman and Lois Lane, but that wasn’t quite true.

She was just a regular Metropolis citizen who was abducted by the Futuresmiths, working in tandem with Brainiac 12. They got some El DNA from a strand of hair and used it to graft the kryptonian DNA to the random woman, thus creating Cir-El. She sacrificed herself to help Supes beat Brainiac.

The latest Supergirl is appearing in the current Superman/Batman storyline. She seems to be the old pre-Crisis Silver Age Supergirl. Batman’s not so sure. Superman knows she’s his kinfolk. B, what do you think, or did you think before the latest issue of Wizard spoiled the ending? (Yeah, didn’t that suck? I think she’s Superman’s legit cousin, but I also think I was enjoying the storyline a lot more when it came out on a monthly basis. –B)


Fellower Nexuser Un Gajje (aka TIM STEVENS!!!) asks;

Hey Mathan, how much do you wanna tell me about Ragman in an upcoming column? I would say very much, but I don’t want to speak for you.

This is one of the least common requests. (Kind of like Tim at dinner parties. ZINGER! –B)

from 8/29/03 column

Back in the 16th century a whole bunch of Rabbis cast a spell on a suit of rags to make a Jewish protector. A human host is needed to make the suit work, but when it’s working watch out. The suit absorbs the souls of evildoers. Not only that but it hunts them down. Once the souls have redeemed themselves they are released. The current wearer of the suit is Gothamite Rory Regan. He has hooked up the Batman on some occasions, and even hangs out with the Sentinels of Magic. Personally I prefer the Kubert’s 70’s version.

Wow, that was brief. I guess I’ll go further. Back during WWII, Jerzy Reganiewicz was going to learn all about the Ragman from a rabbi, but they got separated in Warsaw. Jerzy came to the United States and became Gerry Regan.

He got married, had a son, Rory, and established a business. Rags and Tatters was a booming junk business. Unfortunately Gerry was killed by some common punks. Rory, who hadn’t been back to Gotham since he got back from Vietnam, did return home to sort out family affairs. Once there he found that he had inherited the suit composed of rags”¦and living souls.

He has hung out with both Batman and the Sentinels of Magic. I recommend both of the Ragman miniseries. But I still prefer the classic Kubert version from the 1970’s. When I first discovered Ragman, he became an instant favorite. He seemed so much cooler to me than Batman or anyone else. There was probably a solid six months when Ragman rocked my world. B, don’t you think Ragman looks cool? (He sure does”¦twenty bucks says Tim goes as Ragman for Halloween this year”¦or Lex Luthor”¦again”¦-B)


Joonya, do you have an interesting question?

I thought everyone knew about Batman. The War Games arc makes it sound like he is still an urban legend to some people. Haven’t these people seen the Bat-Symbol? I could have sworn that Bruce was on the news during a press conference in Morrison’s JLA. The reporters in War Games make it sound like there is no proof that he even exists.

I can see both sides of the “urban legend” argument. On one hand how could people not believe that Batman exists? There have been numerous sightings and there was a bat signal. I’m sure that there are criminals who Batman has put away that would love to spill the beans about him, not to mention cops who encounter him. I also know people who believe everything they hear or read on the net. So belief in Batman could be widespread.

But to counter that argument I would suggest that you rent “Wag The Dog.” It’s an excellent example of how things can be manipulated. In that light I can see how someone might not believe that Batman exists. There it’s not like the guy leaves evidence around. He’s like Bigfoot, I’m sure that people claim to have seen him, but do you really believe those people?

Plus the whole Batman the urban legend doesn’t really seem to go with his whole purpose, “to strike fear in the hearts of criminals.” Y’see he can’t be an urban legend and a deterrent to crime. You can’t have people claiming that Batman doesn’t exist and still have criminals being afraid to commit crime.

Now if I were Bruce Wayne I would address the urban legend thing like this; I would hire the looniest bunch of crazies, like the Lone Gunmen from X-Files. I would pay them to say that they’ve witnessed Batman and have proof that he exists. No one ever believes what those types say, thus Batman must be a hoax. B, what do you think about the whole “urban legend” thing? (I agree with your first couple points, but you’re one about his being an urban legend deterring his effectiveness against criminals. Urban legend doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist, it means he might exist but you’re not sure”¦the unknown is far more frightening than knowing precisely what you’re up against, my friend. –B)


JohnBritton do you have a question that you asked a long time ago?

If time passed in the DCU, does Batman’s war on crime ever end? Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg have made significant changes in NYC, so why couldn’t Batman, Commissioner Gordon and Bruce Wayne pull it off, given enough time and a little reality in incarceration and sentencing?

(In regards to Rudy, sure crime when down on his watch, but I think that there were also several highly publicized incidents of cops crossing the line during the same time. Which makes ask is a dramatic decrease in crime worth any price?)

I don’t think that Batman’s war on crime would end. A war on crime couldn’t just be about punishing the act, but also preventing an environment that makes crime an option. Gordon and Batman could clean up the streets, but I don’t think that would keep them clean. It would require Batman to actually invest some time as Bruce Wayne to make conditions better.

Bruce Wayne is basically trying to prevent a kid from watching his parent’s get murdered. Think about it like this; suppose Batman had confronted his parent’s killer and found that the guy had gone down the slippery slope of crime after having to drop out of college because of a lack of money. I believe that Bruce Wayne would have set up a fund to provide financial assistance to any college student needing such assistance in Gotham, if only to put his mind at ease that that situation would never happen again. He’d probably still be Batman, but that fund would still be in place.

I think that Bruce needs to invest more in Gotham. What does the Wayne Foundation do in terms of crime prevention? Does Bruce invest anything into The Hill? If Bruce Wayne spend as much time trying to prevent crime as he does apprehending criminals I think that he could actually be fighting a winning battle.

As for the issue of incarceration and sentencing, again that only affects current criminals and not future ones. Any lawyer would have a field day with a client who was apprehended by Batman. And would sentencing really matter when Ra’s al Ghul and Bane have created breakouts to get back at Batman?

So basically Batman’s war on crime would be about as successful as this country’s war on drugs or terror. B, agree or disagree? (Agree. Your points are valid. So long as the potential exists for crime to re-emerge even if Batman & friends have squelched it, the war is never over. –B)


Shiv’kala you have an interesting theory on Identity Crisis, care to share?

Anyone thinking that “Tower of Babel” might play into Identity Crisis? I’m assuming Bats had/has files on more heroes then just the JLA, so it could have far reaching consequences. Might put a little startch in Bruce’s shorts if a hero was actually killed due to information in those files. Wouldn’t help J’onn any if the villain(s) also got a hold of his files from JLA: Year One. (Is it just me, or does Waid like writing stories where a character has compiled tons of information on their fellow heroes which falls into the wrong hands).

I’ve been thinking about this more and more. I like the idea of the files getting into the wrong hands. I think that this could actually be major, especially since The Calculator is now supposed to be the criminal equivalent of Oracle. Folks, I think this theory could be a keeper.

Personally I still think the person behind Identity Crisis is going to be revealed as Ray “The Atom” Palmer. B, I know that you thought it was going Snapper Carr, explain to me how a fan of Young Justice could think Snapper is going to go rogue? (I never said I wanted him to, I love Snapper as Snapper, but he does have a history of going to the dark side, intimate connections with the JLA and their loved ones, and he did at one time have the power to teleport thanks to Invasion! It would explain why Jean Loring was shocked at the identity of her assailant. –B)


Ricky Grenier, something on your mind?

What’s with that Faith chick in JLA?

Faith was introduced when Joe Kelly was writing JLA. Batman picked her to be one of the substitute JLAers during the Obsidian Age. All anyone really knows about her is that she used to work with this guy named Manson and his group the Clockwatchers. The left that group to join the JLA.

She has telekinetic powers, and weighs a lot. Major Disaster is the only teammate that knows the truth about her, whatever that is. She left the JLA for the Doom Patrol, where she can now be seen.

Kelly created the character, and probably knows her secrets. But is she in Kelly’s JLA spinoff, JLE? Nope she’s in John Byrne’s JLA spinoff Doom Patrol. Once upon a time I would have had faith (ouch) that Byrne would have given the character a cool story, but now; not so much. B, do you think that Faith has a chance to be a major player in the DCU? (Doubtful, if only because Byrne doesn’t seem to care much about her and Doom Patrol doesn’t seem to be doing well. On an interesting note, I asked Kelly about Faith at San Diego, why she wasn’t in JLE and how he felt about Byrne using her. He was honored at Byrne using her and relieved because he didn’t have anywhere to go with her; he wanted to tell her story in JLA eventually, but he felt she was too nice and didn’t fit in with JLE, so he wasn’t going to get the chance and she would have ended up in limbo had Byrne not come along. So Fait’s origin could still be told someday if Kelly gets the green light. –B)


Parallax2814, wanna go again?

Which costume of Kyle’s GL costume do you prefer, Pre-Ion, Ion, or Post-Ion?

That’s easy. I really liked Ion’s look. It was sleek and reminded me of Rond Vidar’s costume from the post-Crisis/pre-Zero Hour Legion of Superheroes. That is probably my favorite Green Lantern costume of all time, so Kyle’s Ion look is my favorite of Kyle’s looks.

Next is the current look. I could probably do without the collar, but I like how sleek it is. The original costume just reeks of the 90’s. B, how do you rate Kyle’s costumes? (I like the current costume a lot. I thought the Ion costume was a bit plain for a god-like figure. I didn’t mind the original Kyle costume at all. –B)


Terrence Bell do you have something that you need to get off your chest?

I have a Superman question that has been bugging me for some time (primarily due to the fact that I can’t find the particular issue I am wondering about in my collection).

At some point in the mid to late 70’s, my parents bought me a “digest” sized Superman comic book that had either two or three stories in it. In one of the stories, Superman is killed by Lex Luthor (and possibly other super villains). In the final panels of the story, I remember Luthor and the other villains sitting around a conference table celebrating Superman’s death, when all of a sudden Superman appears on a large viewscreen flying straight towards Luthor’s hideout. Superman then bursts through the viewscreen and proceeds to defeat the “bad guys”, following which he pulls off a mask to reveal that “he” was, in fact, Supergirl, who then vowed to continue the fight for “Truth, Justice and the American Way”.

Given that I read this comic some 25+ years ago, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the details outlined above were slightly incorrect, but I’m sure that this comic book and story must have existed, as it obviously made enough of an impact on me that I can still remember it reasonably well after all of this time.

Please tell me that I’m not going nuts!!!!!!

The comic that you are talking about is Superman #193. It was also published as 80 Page Giant #31. It recounts the story that you recalled to a “t.” Your memory doesn’t betray you. You described it perfectly. (Congratulations on not being nuts! WWitDCU saves lives! –B)


Well that’s going to do it for another column. I saw Spider-Man 2 and Hero yesterday (Sunday) and I was slayed. Spider-Man so lived up to the hype and Hero was just plain dope. I recommend everyone check out Hero.

Email me your feedback (questions, comments, possibly even corrections) or post them on the column thread over in the forum. My question to you is; Does anyone know what happened to former column regular JohnBritton?

“I’m so gangster, just knowing myself makes me affiliated.”

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