Who's Who In The DCU

Welcome back to your favorite net destination on Wednesdays. Before we get to the joviality, let’s address a serious topic.

Ben,
I have been visiting your various sites for about a year and a half now, enjoying many of the columns and Who’s Who in particular. I have had a few questions I’ve wanted to submit, and have actually submitted one, but I never know any of those damn lyrics! The part of it that pisses me off is that I am a music fan, I own a gazillion cds, but i never have a clue. I think a big part of it is that I’m a bit older then Mathen(35) and I listen mainly to Old school punk and (real, not that radio crap) ‘alternative’ music. I listen to some hip-hop and current rock, but I guess I’m old. These kids and their Rap! Anyway, the one question that I’ve been dying to ask, but only submitted once (because I can never guess the lyric) was this: Would it be possible to give a brief History of Red Tornado(2). I know the earth 2-then Earth 1-then post crisis jazz, but I’m lost after about the 5th issue of Primal Force. I love this character, but I’m not really sure what’s been going on with him at all.
Anyway, even if this question never gets answered, I’ll keep reading. You guys are informative, hilarious, and seem to have a general love of these characters that i appreciate.
Thank you,
P. E.

This is a serious issue, and one that needs to be addressed. My name is Mathan, M-A-T-H-A-N!! Not only is it at the top of the column, but at the end as well. A-N!!!!

(I’m kidding, I’ve always wanted to scream on someone for mispronouncing my name.)

First off let my just say that all the lyrics aren’t rap lyrics. I’ve used lyrics from artists such as Weezer, Queens of the Stone Age, Badly Drawn Boy, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, Eddie Murphy, Radiohead, The White Stripes, John Mayer, and The Cars. I’ve also used lyrics from songs heard on Sesame Street and The Simpsons, in addition to TV theme songs. I’m a diverse guy.

Secondly the lyrics only guarantee that the question gets answered in the very next column. If you ask a question, it’s going to get answered, eventually. I like to put together “theme” columns. For instance this one features a few Infinity Inc. related questions. I’ve also got quite a few Teen Titans questions, so a column featuring them is on the horizon. My point is don’t be afraid to ask a question, just because you don’t know the lyric. P, I’ll answer your questions. I promise. And thanks for reading despite my inconsiderate nature.

Let’s not lose in all this hullabaloo the fact that I have once again proven myself a hero of the common man by bringing this fellow’s case before the cagey and unapproachable M. I am your champion. –B

Lastly your answer. I guess that you already know about the “Red Tornado as an elemental” deal. I covered the Primal Force in another column. Red Tornado was basically just a hunk of junk in that book. He was much more mechanical than man. When that book was canceled Red Tornado went back into limbo. Until a couple of kids found him. What were their names? Oh that’s right. Superboy, Impulse and Robin. B, you love this team, want to take over from here?

Red Tornado served as mentor to the fledgling Young Justice team for the majority of their run, as the team expanded to also include Wonder Girl, Arrowette, Secret and later Li’l Lobo, Empress, Slobo and The Ray among its ranks. During his tenure with the team, he temporarily became human, then sacrificed that to save his family (YJ 80 Page Special #1) and reconnected with Kathy Sutton and Traya, his common law wife and adopted daughter. After Kathy ended up in the hospital, Reddy tried to get custody of Traya, but there was a big court blowout because he was an android. Eventually, when Kathy recovered, Reddy resigned as YJ’s mentor both to spend time with his surrogate family and because he was stressed out by the team’s frequent tendency to disobey him. He selected Snapper Carr to replace him as the team’s JLA liason, but still remained a presence in the lives of the team, enrolling Traya in private school with Cissie King-Jones (the former Arrowette). He returned to aid the team in their final battle against a rogue Secret and has not been seen since (unless you count JLA/Avengers); presumably he’s doing the domestic thang. –B

B, aren’t you pumped about tonight’s Smallville? When I saw the preview, I got all “fanboy” in front of my roommate. It was embarrassing.

M, I marked out like any good Flash fan should, and since Erica Durance isn’t going to be on this week’s episode they definitely needed a hook to keep me coming”¦but I would be an awful liar if I said my television would not be tuned to Fox for Game 7 tonight. Fear not though, Smallville shall be taped. –B

Well, now that we’ve taken care of that, I suppose I should link.

I don’t like women that play Games.

The female Figure(s) is truly amazing.

I’m a big fan of female Sports, especially volleyball.

I’ve found that Music, can win a girl’s heart.

While I’m not big on “female” TV, I dig Oxygen.

B, what linkage do you want to convey?

I’m really enjoying the current “talk about the Avengers member by member” format of my column and so can you! Who knew I hated Crystal so much?! Also, word up to my homeys Tim & Jamie! –B

Destination: Last Week

Nightwing #98 Review forthcoming.

Action Comics #820 I dug the art. I really don’t see what people see in Austen, either good or bad. Buy it for Doomsday.

Bloodhound #4 This was a way good issue! A great conclusion to the opening arc. If you aren’t reading this book, you’re really missing out.

Justice League Elite #4 Wow. The first arc left me “eh.” But this issue blew me away. It was amazing. I’m a fan, this book has just moved up on my reading list.

One of the most underrated books on the stands; it’s very dense reading with lots of stuff going on and great art. The revelation of who killed the dictator was underwhelming, but the bits with Vera and Manchester were creepy and neat. Not your Daddy’s JLA for sure. –B

Hawkman #33 Review forthcoming.

Hard Time #9 Please, more people buy this book. It’s honestly one of the best books on the market. It’s so rewarding. Give the trade a try.

Ex Machina ##5 This was a good issue. It’s nice to see more of the back-story play out. I think this will be a title everyone is raving about next year.

100 Bullets #54 I can’t wait until next issue. When does this title ever disappoint?

Green Arrow #43 Controversy. Does no one remember New Guardians? Did anyone read The Monolith’s last issue?

Kinetic #7 Read my review.

JSA #66 I didn’t like how the Hourman story played out, because I had a feeling it was going to play out that way, plus my favorite Hourman didn’t make it out. But I suppose Johns’ leaves the door open for his return. Good issue.

Oh god”¦I can’ resist”¦if you’re a fan of the android Hourman, stay tuned, his story’s not over. –B


Marshall was the first to correctly place the lyric so he goes first.

I have a question about Alan Moore’s Watchmen. I read somewhere that he was initially going to use established characters for that book. Any Idea was that was scrapped? Do you know who was going to be in there and which character they were replaced by?

Now at first I thought I was going to get off easy. I know for a fact that I recently answered this very question. So, I figured that I’d google “mathan” and “Watchmen” and it’d pop up. Nope.

So question that I can answer off the top of my head, I stubbornly spend a half hour on trying to look up a previous column where the answers were. I would have gone through my column and found the specific one, but I was too stubborn for that. I had to google myself.

At a quarter to four, I decided that I had spent way too much time on this question. So here you go Marshall;

The Comedian is The Peacemaker

Dr. Manhattan is Captain Atom

Nite Owl I is the original Blue Beetle – Dan Garrett

Nite Owl II is the Ted Kord Blue Beetle

Ozymandias is Peter Cannon – Thunderbolt

Rorschach is The Question

Silk Spectre is Nightshade.

B, I’m so confused? Did I actually write that column, or is my perception bleeding into an alternate reality?

I”¦I don’t think so, but this is so creepy, because I just finished Watchmen last week and was going to ask you who was the Peacemaker analog”¦I figured it was Comedian but”¦wow, creepy. –B


Last week I attributed a question to Bronze Age that he didn’t ask. The question that he did ask was;

I was wondering if someone could help me out with what has happened with Jim Gordon. Why is he no longer the commish? Was he injured in some way or forced out of his job?

B, seriously I know that I’ve answered this one before too, but I can’t prove it. I’M LOSING MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good. That makes for more compelling writing. All the greats were crazy”¦except Hatton, he’s just drunk. –B

But to answer your question Bronze, Jim was indeed hurt. He was shot and seriously injured. The guy who shot him was a criminal he busted in Chicago, who later posed as someone else to join Gotham P.D. Jimmy decided to retire and Commissioner Michael Atkins too his place.

B, how long before Jimminy returns to the police force?

How many months until Batman Begins comes out? –B


Chase placed the lyric and has an interesting question.

My question is actually from a friend of mine, and it is a crossover question. If DC villain Doomsday ever entered the Marvel universe, do you think any character could stand up to him? You know, all the DC characters are so godly, and the Marvel characters seem less than half as powerful in most cases. Is Kryptonite a metal that Magneto could manipulate within Doomsday? If so, I think maybe you’d have your man right there, but I doubt it.

Any one character? If we’re talking about a brawl I’m guessing that only Thor would be able to stand up to Doomsday. For the outcome of that battle, I’m going with Doomsday, because he’s a killing machine. Thor’s a warrior, but Doomsday was bred for survival. I think that if he and the Hulk battled there would be a stalemate, but all other life would be destroyed.

Of course the magical characters could whip up a spell and banish Doomsday to Helix-ville (keep reading, you’ll get the reference.) Now that he has a mind, he could be susceptible to mental attacks. It’s just like playing Heroclix Doomsday is a close combat expert, but he doesn’t really have a ranged attack.

Teams would stand better against him. Even though he decimated the JLA, it was a rush job. The X-Men would at least be able to slow him down some.

I don’t think Magneto would do any damage to Doomsday, because I’m pretty sure that Doomsday really have too much blood for him to work with, and who knows if the blood he does have contains metal.

(Speaking of hypothetical battles between DC villains and Marvel heroes go check out the tournament, which is really heating up.)

B, are you going to join the tourney and do you think Doomsday would be unstoppable?

First off, I already did join the tourney, and second”¦wow, intriguing. The easy answer is to say somebody like Dr. Strange (or in the DCU, Dr. Fate or The Spectre) but in terms of raw power, maybe, MAYBE, The Hulk could pull it off if only because they’d punch each other out and then like D-Man could swoop in and land the killing blow (check out D-Man and more in my column this week!) –B


Not quite a year ago The Nexus’ own Tim Stevens asked;

My interest in Infinity Inc. has been piqued. Who were the members, how did they relate to Golden Age counterparts, and how many of them are involved in the Black Reign? Heck, for those who aren’t, perhaps you could tell me what they are up to these days as well.

This question isn’t that old.

Infinity Inc. had several links to the JSA. Here is a breakdown of the members and their link.

Brainwave – was the son of JSA enemy also know as Brainwave, and Merry the girl of 1,000 gimmicks (ah the Golden Age.) He was last seen in JSA trying to help the team rescue Sand. He was good, then became bad. Then he became worse due to a worm in his head, but now he’s good again.

Dr. Midnight – was a doctor who worked under the original Dr. Mid-Nite. She died a brutal death at the hands of Eclipso.

It is also a woefully forgotten fact that she was the love interest of the JSA’s current Hourman, Rick Tyler, who never mentions her. –B

Fury II – was the daughter of the original Fury. She is hanging out with her husband, Dr. Fate. The two were finally reunited again, after a trip into the Vertigo universe.

Hourman II – was the son of the original Hourman. He went crazy. But then he got better. Now he’s reunited with his pop, who was saved from his death by the android Hourman, much to my dismay.

Jade – daughter of the original Green Lantern. She just took over the lead of the Outsiders.

And somehow, according to the latest issue of Outsiders, knows Nightwing’s secret identity, along with the rest of the team”¦huh? –B

Northwind – was the godson of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. He got mutated into more of a hawk/human hybrid. He’s chilling with Black Adam over in Kahndaq. He can’t talk anymore, but his wing grew back!

Sadly he no longer has that 80s costume which was a dream come true for a color blind person like myself. Finally, a super hero who dressed like how I would if nobody helped me pick out my clothes! –B

Nuklon – was the protégé of the original Atom, and the grandson of Cyclotron, a Golden Age villain. He changed his name to Atom Smasher, he joined the current JSA. But then he gave into the dark side and killed some folks. He too was with Black Adam in Kahndaq, until Rip Hunter asked for his help at the end of the current issue.

He also had runs with the Conglomerate and the super crappy post-Zero Hour JLA. During the latter, he was one of writer Gerard Jones’ favorite characters, as Gerry went to great lengths every issue to remind us that he was Jewish and looking for a wife. –B

Obsidian – son of the original Green Lantern. He went loony. But his pop is trying to make things right again.

Also a part of that wretched JLA run. Gerry hinted he may have been gay, but never went anywhere with it. Cool costume. –B

Power Girl – who knows? She alleged to be the cousin of Superman. She’s still hanging with the JSA.

And her origin should be told within the year. –B

Silver Scarab – son of Hawkman & Hawkgirl. He died. But then he came back as Dr. Fate.

In between, he was The Sandman for about five seconds. His son is the current Sandman, Morpheus’ successor. –B

Skyman – FKA Star Spangled Kid, Golden Age hero. He died.

Wildcat II – she was inspired and trained by Ted Grant. She was brutally killed by Eclipso.

Solomon Grundy – bad guy, but not so bad around Jade. He got even friendlier and hung out with Jack Knight. But then he got mean again. He was in the current issue of Hawkman, mean again.

Mr. Bones – bad guy who was assigned to the team as part of probation. He’s the current head of the DEO.

B, do you think that Tim will still make use of this information?

You better hope not, M. Any information Tim “makes use” of usually ends in a badly botched world domination scheme that sees half of Newington, Connecticut destroyed and Tim Sheridan transformed into a hyper-intelligent baboon. –B


InsidePulse Music’s Own Aaron Cameron, do you have a related question?

OK…what’s the deal with Jade? In 1988, she was a member of Infinity Inc and Obsidian was her brother, I think. Now, I’m reading that she’s got GL ties that extend beyond her roots with Alan Scott (who was/is her father, right?) I’m so confused. And, while you’re at it, what happened to Obsidian? I always hated that smarmy bastard.

Well Aaron, Jade is indeed Alan Scott’s daughter. But she recently ended a relationship with Kyle Rayner. Kyle Rayner is the guy that everyone is whining about right now, very similarly to how people were whining about Hal Jordan ten years ago.

Anyway, she and Kyle hooked up. He tried to propose. She even thought she was preggers. But when Kyle went into space, she decided to come back to Earth. Even though they hadn’t officially broken up, she still started hooking up with another dude, in Kyle’s bed! That girl was scandalous. To paraphrase Bell Biv Devoe “never trust a green butt and a smile.” Now she’s the leader of the Outsiders.

Also, in between her runs in Infinity Inc. and as Kyle’s woman, she went Hollywood! She was more or less a bust as an actress, but scored her “big break” as trainer and advisor to the Blood Pack in their seminal mini-series. –B

As for Obsidian, he went loony. Who could imagine that a guy with shadow powers would have a “dark” side? So he was communicating with Ian Karkull, another shadow guy, who was instrumental in giving the JSA their youthful appearance. Ian put the bug in his ear that he should give into the dark side. To thank him Obsidian killed him.

He had a couple of big blowouts with the JSA, as a result of the last one, he lost his shadow powers, but his sanity was restored. I’ve got to admit, I miss the bad Obsidian.

B, how do you like your Obsidian, powerless and sane or powerful and insane?

I’ve enjoyed all of Obsidian’s development since he left the JLA and stopped begin so damn whiney. He was a cool villain, but I think he’ll make a cool hero with a lot to redeem for if Geoff Johns can fit giving him his powers back into the 800 other storylines currently running in JSA. –B


Shiv’kala, do you have a related question?

I picked up a few issues of Infinity, Inc. in the $0.25 bin last weekend. What happened to the rest of Helix (since, as we know Mr. Bones joined the D.E.O. Sorry, couldn’t resist rhyming that ;-))? Also, in one of the issues, the female Wildcat was revealed to be a “sibling” of Helix, what became of that sub-plot?

Our man Juan Francisco Gutierrez Santiago asked the similarly themed question;

Whatever happened to Helix? Although they aren’t really a great villain team I would like to know what happened to them, especially considering there was supposedly going to be a series called Helix after Infinity Inc got canned. I would like to know what happened with them, especially after how well Mr. Bones was able to fare in the DEO. The only one I liked besides Bones was Penny Dreadful, probably because she was the closest to Bones. Anyway, have they made another appearance or not? Because I suppose that although Bones was kicked from Helix, he would be able to do something for his family once he became the CEO of the DEO. Also, although I didn’t find any reference about them in the dcuguide web page, I did find a comment pointing out that the secretary of Mr. Bones in JSA All stars 7, named Penny, could indeed be Penny Dreadful of Helix, which would make sense to me, seeing as how Bones always cared for his family. Still that’s not a fact, just a comment. And I would like to know if it’s true or not, specially after seeing the glove she had in her left hand in those JSA specials. Also in Wonder Woman it’s supposedly to have appeared some of the girls from Helix in Wonder Woman’s bout with Circe some time ago. I think I saw Babe Boom in her old outfit of Baby Boom and next issue also featured Penny Dreadful and Tao Jones with some “weird” comments (about Tao Jones powers).

Shiv’kala,

The subplot was that Wildcat’s mother was treated with the same stuff that Dr. Love treated the rest of the Helix mothers with. As a result she had the prowess that she had. She felt torn, because she had allegiances to both Helix and Infinity Inc. Unfortunately for her she chose Infinity Inc. The heroic path lead to her death in Eclipso #13. If she had joined the villainous Helix, she would have just faded into obscurity.

Now for the rest of Helix, the just faded into obscurity. They are in limbo, along with The Force of July, Masters of Disaster, The Hybrid, and Injustice Unlimited. Villain teams that are specifically created to counter a hero team, tend to vanish as soon as the team does.

I will point out that pretty much all of the Force of July died during the “Janus Imperative” at the hands of the Suicide Squad. The only one who survived was Major Victory, who briefly joined the Squad and later led the Captains of Industry, but was another victim of that Eclipso issues you keep mentioning, although I’ve heard he’s shown up since. There were plans for a Hybrid series back when New Titans was riding high, but it never materialized and most of the team’s members were on Roulette’s wall of the dead during the JSA’s “House Rules” storyline. New Wave of the Masters of Disaster killed her teammate Shakedown in another issue of JSA, but he’s since shown up alive too. –B

They was to be a Helix series, but it never really got off the ground. Apparently there was some promotional material produced, but the book was axed before it even came out.

I see two possible fates for the members of Helix. 1) they will be used in JSA, where Geoff Johns will weave his magic and make them vital to an amazing epic that wraps up all of the storylines of the Infinity Inc series.

Or they could equally end up in Outsiders where they battle the team, and are either beaten soundly in during a two page spread or outsmart the team and escape to fight another day.

Practically every female character in the DCU showed up in Wonder Woman #175, which is the issue that Juan Francisco Gutierrez Santiago was referring to. But the characters have returned to limbo, so answers are had to come by.

I’m betting that Dan Curtis Johnson, the guy who wrote the criminally underrated Chase series (that featured Mr. Bones in the DEO) had a story for how Bones ended up there and what became of Helix. Unfortunately the title was cut short.

If someone decided to actually make Bones’ secretary Penny, Penny Dreadful, then perhaps that thread is going to be picked up. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.


Juan Francisco Gutierrez Santiago, why don’t you ask the question that’s on everyone’s mind?

Do you know by chance the reason why infinity inc got canned? I ask this because recently I read the last numbers of that series and there is no indication of such a thing prior to number 53 and on top of that there is supposedly an annual between 52 and 53.

I’m guessing there were numerous factors. Obviously sales were a factor. Great selling titles don’t really get canceled.

An equally important factor was Infinity Inc’s lack of place in the post Crisis DCU. In a universe where the JLA picked up where the JSA left off, Infinity Inc (who originally served as the successors to the JSA on Earth 2) was a team without a role to fill. Their whole identity was predicated around the idea that they were the next generation of heroes. But in the post Crisis DCU there was no need for a next generation team. Not only was there a JLA, but also Teen Titans and the Outsiders both of which were Earth 1 titles in the pre Crisis DCU.

B, why do you think Infinity Inc was canceled?

The same reason you cited, M: lack of purpose/direction following the eradication of Earth-2. Also, Northwind’s costume may have played a role. –B


Julian L. Smith didn’t place the lyric but here’s his question anyway because it allows me to gush.

I have never read Starman. If there is a good TPB to recommend, let me know. But, that aside, how does the Gravity Rod work? What are its powers/capabilites? It was mentioned in the DC One Million story arc as a weapon/tool on the level of the GL rings. So what’s so great about it?

I love Starman. I’ve got the zodiac chart logo tattooed on my back. I love the book, the story, the art, and the character. You should pick up the first trade, then the next one and all of them until you have the entire series. That may take awhile because the final trades aren’t out yet, but trust me when I say they’ll be worth the wait.

While you’re waiting you should buy the individual issues, because that letter column was one of the best in the industry. That book rocks!

As for the Gravity Rod, most of us Starman fans prefer the superior Cosmic Rod to the Gravity Rod. The Cosmic Rod can be controlled telepathically, project energy blasts, project light or heat and even create force fields on a limited basis. Oh yeah, it can fly. How does it do all that? Ted Knight was a genius. He designed it to draw its energy from the stars. For a cool diagram of the Cosmic Rod, check out the Starman Secret Files & Origins, which is also a good place to start on the title. It’s where I started.

B, do you think we’ll ever see another Starman in the DCU?

You have the zodiac chart logo tattoed on your back? That’s bad ass! All I’ve got is my Scottish clan symbol on my shoulder”¦it’s pretty cool though. I’m planning on getting the tried and true Superman shield on my ankle soon enough. –B


Well that’s going to do it for another column. Remember ask your questions regardless if you know the lyric or not. Visit the message board and share your thoughts. My question to you is What’s your take on the whole Green Arrow/HIV controversy?

“I’m gonna tell it all, I’m gonna sell it all, I’m gonna sell.”

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