Who's Who In The DCU

Hey! Welcome back to your weekly jaunt through the DCU. B, did you peep What’s Shipping this week? I’m going to spend way too much money. But I have a hint that Rebirth is going to be at the top of my reading list. Doesn’t this week look promising?

This week and last week may combine for two of the very best weeks in recent memory as far as comics. I have been on the edge of my friggin’ seat for the new issue of The Flash, I am totally psyched for Rebirth, Kurt Busiek starts on JLA and a little birdie told me that Wizard is going to have a ton of good stuff. Also, knock on wood, but I hear a baseball team from Boston has a chance to make history. Thank God I’m drawing a regular paycheck and living at home, baby! –B

Links – By Way of My Favorite in Every Category

The Beatnuts

Table Tennis

Mario Kart

Parker Lewis Can’t Lose

DC Direct Kingdom Come Flash

Oh and you know I’m going to link DOL & the DC vs Marvel Tourney

B, what are you going to link this week?

Well, a combination of baseball and personal business stopped me from getting a column out this week, which is a shame because I’ve really been enjoying my Avengers dissection, but hopefully I can keep the rhythm unbroken next week. Luckily for me, I’ve got plenty of great stuff hear on The Nexus to plug in my place, including Matt trying to piece together Identity Crisis, Jamie & Dani going to the museum, Mike debuting on Marvel News, Tim keeping it real on DC News and finally, my partner in crime talkin’ it up on Hal Jordan. A fine week for readers here on The Nexus as well. –B

Last Week’s Readage

Firestorm #6: I’m glad we finally found out what happened to Ronnie. But I’m more curious as to what’s going to happen with Ronnie. It also had some nice character development.

I flipped through it, it was ok. I’m surprised Brad Meltzer is taking a lot of heat for not giving Ronnie more airtime in Identity Crisis as I figure that would kind of overshadow this book. –B

Adventures of Superman #633: Review forthcoming.

H-E-R-O: Review forthcoming.

Madrox #2: This book is criminally good. Why isn’t this a regular series? It seems like such a tease. I love this book.

This issue was better than the first, and the first was pretty good; I’ve really fallen in love with the character of Jamie Madrox here. Most clever book of the week if not for Cable & Deadpool. –B

Human Target #15: Read my review. Then read the book, please.

Manhunter #3: Way good. This is the next DC book that everyone should be reading. The Shadow Thief is finally made into a menace. If this were any other week, this would have been the book of the week.

Teen Titans #17 Read my glowing review. If this came out any other week it would have been the book of the week. B, why didn’t you tell me the new DC Direct Teen Titans figures were out? I can’t find Deathstroke anywhere.

I bought Wonder Girl for Megan and she loves it; I’m holding out for Superboy. There are plenty of Deathstroke figures around Boston, home of great football, baseball and comic book stores, M, let me know if you want me to send you one. –B

Identity Crisis #5 Wow. I was blown away. B, totally pegged this book when he described how even though you knew what was coming it still hit you. I don’t understand how some didn’t enjoy it and called it filler. Apparently you either enjoy this book or you don’t. It should have been the best book of the week but”¦

I wrote Brad Meltzer to praise him for how excellent this book was and he gave me a very appropriate Hitchcock quote in response: “It’s not the bang of the gun that’s supposed to get you, it’s the anticipation.” I can’t say enough good things about this issue and this book. –B

Plastic Man #11: Definitely the best book of the week. It’s an all ages book with both Identity Crisis and George W. Bush references. Plus we finally have a Black Pete Ross in the DCU! There may be a review forthcoming.

Neil, correctly placed the lyric.

I remember reading that in Extreme Justice there were some developments with Monarch, related to the fact that Captain Atom was supposed to be Monarch. What happened with Monarch and Captain Atom in EJ? I vaguely remember dimensional duplicates or some crazy stuff like that.

Nathaniel Adam was part of a government experiment. He was wrongly convicted of treason, but was offered a full pardon to take part in a government project that involved a hydrogen bomb and alien metal. The hydrogen bomb exploded. When it exploded, the alloy and Adam interacted in such a way that two beings were created. One was made of pure alloy with super powers, Capitan Atom, and the other was just plain old Nathaniel Adam, a regular guy stuck in the quantum field. Both of the guys thought that they were Nathaniel Adam.

So when the alloy being came out in the future/present, he swore he was Nathaniel Adam, and lived his life accordingly. But when the other Nathaniel Adam emerged, after spending years honing his own powers, he was none too happy and adopted the name Monarch II. This occurred in Extreme Justice #0.

I think it was a decent way of finally fixing the mess that was Armageddon 2001 (which sounds oddly ancient). B, would you rather have a quantum duplicate or a Bizarro B?

Well, if he was on my side and completely obedient to me, a quantum duplicate would be better, because he’d look like me, but if my twin was my mortal enemy, I’d want him to be a Bizarro both because he’d be dumb and I could outwit him and that way he couldn’t pose as me and do creepy stuff like score with my girlfriend or edit this column. –B

George Metcalf, do you have a topical question?

I just read about Green Arrow’s partner getting the HIV virus and I remembered then Speedy took heroin, and now I’m thinking that teaming with Ollie is a death sentence in itself. Does he have the bad luck when it comes to partners or is this how everyone’s partners are, y’know, like the comics industry has it in for ’em?

There are very few roles in comics more dangerous than being a sidekick. Being a 4th rate hero’s sidekick is pretty bad because you are cannon fodder for when a creator wants to make their bad guy look really bad. “Did you see the way Deathkitten destroyed Gangbuster? I don’t know how the Outsiders are going to beat Deathkitten.”

Of course being a scientist with important information doesn’t bode well for you either. Neither does being a recently introduced love interest (see Hawkman).

But yeah, sidekicks don’t have an easy time getting insurance. I’d say Ollie doesn’t have too much on Batman though. Speedys can’t compare to Robins. For instance the death of at least one parent is practically a prerequisite for becoming Robin (see Robin I, II, IV.) Robin I lost the gig because he was beaten too severely by Two-Face. Robin II became very well aquainted with a crowbar”¦ that happened to be in the hand of the Joker. He subsequently died. Robin III, had life pretty well under control, until last week. And the future isn’t too bright for the former Mrs. Robin IV.

If you’re a Speedy, you’re going to have “blood” issues, either injecting something in it, or something’s wrong with it. But I’d still rather be a Speedy than a Robin. The odds are much better.

B, would you rather be a Speedy or a Robin?

A Speedy, both because I wouldn’t have to wear the shortpants and because archery is cool. Of course I’d rather be a Kid Flash than either. –B

Ryan C, do you have a semi related question?

Can you give me the background on black mask? I have been enjoying war games(for the most part), but I have no real clue who black mask is. I know the name but not the history. Help!!!

From the 11/5/03 column.
Ah, Roman Sionis. When his parents died in a fire he gained control of Janus Cosmetics. Now this guy loved masks more than Dumas, so being newly rich he bought a lot of them. Too bad he wasn’t a better businessman, because he drove Janus to the ground, at which point Wayne Enterprises bought it up.

Of course Roman vowed revenge. So as anyone in his situation would do he carved mask from his pop’s ebony coffin. He christened himself the Obsidian Fa硤e. Oops, I mean the Black Mask. He offed some Wayne employee, which as usually happens, attracted the attention of a certain Dark Knight Detective. Bats cornered him in the Sionis house. Oh yeah and there was a fire that kind of burned the mask onto Roman’s face (a disfigured Bat foe, imagine that.)

Roman did the whole “Arkham” thing, and has now abandoned the mask, because women dig scarred faces (see Brad Pitt.) He’s now one of the most ruthless bosses of Gotham’s underworld, and he’s really big on torture (ask Selina Kyle’s kin.) In case you haven’t guessed, he is a major antagonist of the one and only Catwoman.

Since then he has done some pretty bad stuff to Catwoman, including some gruesome stuff with eyeballs. He was thought to be dead, but in a shock (especially in comics), he wasn’t really dead. He’s playing a major role in War Games. He recently slit Orpheus’ throat and was masquerading around Gotham as the vigilante. B, do you have any thoughts on the mega Bat crossover?

I’m not reading it, but I’ve been flipping through it. My initial observation is that if it weren’t so long and were condensed into less chapters with less unnecessary junk, it probably could have been a pretty good crossover. –B

Chase, you placed the lyric fire away.

Who is the DCU’s strongest telepath? Telepathy seems to be such a huge thing in the Marvel universe, but in the DCU, it seems to take a backseat to more physical abilities.

From the 11/3/03 column (oddly enough)
Well obviously Martian Manhunter make my list for the reasons above.
Hector Hammond is pretty powerful, he’s got one o’ them evolved brains.

Captain Comet once evolved an entire race on the planet that he was stranded on, just so that they could become technologically advanced enough to get him off the planet. That’s a pretty nifty trick.

Despero and Gorilla Grodd both have the whole “devastating mental power” with “extreme physical threat” combo going on. They are both powerful on both levels, and both appeared in the late lamented Supergirl comic.

Brainwave Jr is no joke. He made the citizens of NYC lose their minds. Look for a showcase of his abilities in next year’s JSA/Hawkman crossover.

Universo is constantly trying to take over the 31st century, mentally that is. And he did hold the entire Legion under his sway during “Dream Crime.”

But he was undone by Saturn Girl, so I guess that makes her pretty powerful.

My vote for most powerful goes to Brainiac. This guy goes toe to toe (or is it lobe to lobe) with Superman! He has a very formidable mind. His mind traveled from Colu to Earth. That is will power. I can’t think of another in the DCU who could touch him, mentally. This just in; Ben has the power to go mental. Ben feel free to add your voice here.

I’m actually going to stick with this list. I think Brainiac is the strongest. Brainwave (Jr) might be the most powerful good guy in the current DCU, but out of all the heroes Saturn Girl is the most powerful one in the DCU. B, a year ago you agreed with me, is that still the case?

Well, technically we haven’t seen the current Saturn Girl in action yet and won’t until the new Legion series debuts in December. With her out of commission, I’d have to give J’onn the nod, especially after seeing Fernus the Burning in action. Technically though, Johnny Thunderbolt, formerly Johnny Thunder, could potentially be the most powerful telepath of them all since The Thunderbolt, before merging with Johnny, at the command of The Ultra-Humanite, was able to override the mental powers of J’onn, Brainwave, Hector Hammond and several other DCU telepaths during “Stealing Thunder.” –B

Glen Davis do you have a question about a hero in limbo?

What’s the story with Peacemaker? I recently got one of the Charlton issues, and it was pretty decent. Then in DC he’s crazy, and then he’s someone else? What’s the deal?

Way back in the 7/18/03 column I wrote;
One Peacemaker popped up in JLI #65 as part of the Leaguebusters. Peacemaker III is a former doctor named Mitchell Black who got finagled into taking the Peacemaker mantle he now wishes he could relinquish.

Wow, apparently I was going for brevity. Well here’s a longer answer.

Christopher had two loving parents, Wolfgang Schmidt, an Austrian munitions manufacturer and Elizabeth Lewis an American author. When Chris was five, Wolfgang was exposed as a Nazi war criminal. His pop wasn’t too keen on the whole “public trial” thing so he killed himself, in front of his five year old son!

Elizabeth moved back to the United States, changed Chris’ name to “Smith” and tried to lead a normal life. But witnessing his father’s suicide left Chris understandably traumatized. So much so that his father would appear to him dressed in a full black Nazi SS uniform and push him to live up the Nazi legacy.

It was Wolfgang who, years later, told Chris to massacre a village in Vietnam. This lead to Chris being sentenced to 20 years in prison. But those cool Government folks gave Chris a chance. He would be let out early if he became a subject in “Project: Peacemaker.” It was some anti terrorism campaign, back before it was the trendy thing to do.

His pop pushed him to excel in the program. But the program ran out of money before he had finished his training. His mom had died years earlier, so he was kind of lost. He went back to Austria where he converted his pop’s munitions business into a household wares dynasty, all because he was tired of military. He then used his family fortune to found the Pax Institute, and even made his own Project: Peacemaker.

His pop urged him to fight for peace. His goal was to wipe out those who stood in the way of peace. His campaign came to the attention of the US government, more specifically Valentina Vostok, the former Negative Woman. She reined him in and he began working with The Agency and later Checkmate.

He, like every other hero in Parador, died in Eclipso #13. But since he was crazy, he was happy to die.

Like I said earlier the second Peacemaker showed up on JLE #65.

The current Peacemaker is Mitchell Black. He’s just your average guy. Mitchell was a doctor. That was until he decided to perform a risky operation on a child, against the kid’s parent’s wishes. Needless to say the operation wasn’t successful. The kid died, Black lost his license.

The Pax Institute swept him up for Project Peacemaker. He’s the Peacemaker at the moment and doesn’t really dig the gig. If you really want to read about the guy read the L.A.W. miniseries. But I wouldn’t pick up book with Dol’s hands. B, would you rather be the new Peacemaker or read L.A.W.?

Ouch, tough call”¦you realize that L.A.W. is essentially Watchmen if it had been done by a different creative team? Oh, actually, it’s Watchmen done by a different creative team”¦but with Judomaster! Hey, that doesn’t sound so bad”¦

A quick note on the original post-Crisis Peacemaker, my only exposure to him was during the Suicide Squad chapters of “The Janus Imperative” (a great candidate for a trade paperback treatment as it could reinvigorate the long dormant but once vibrant espionage corner of the DCU) and he was one cool if completely insane mofo. He reminded me of the Adrian Chase incarnation of Vigilante but even more nuts”¦I wonder if those two ever tangled”¦oh right, we’re supposed to be the A side of this Q&A column. –B

Jason, do you have a question about an equally forgotten hero?

Quick question, in the JLA: Rock of Ages (TPB) there is a red martian under the influence of Lex Luthor? What’s the story behind the alien and where is he now?

Jemm is just a guy from Saturn. When he first came out he was the sole survivor of Saturn. As it turns out the folks on Saturn are just clones of Martians.

He was a hero who had been manipulated by Lex Luthor into a plot against the JLA. He’s got super strength and flight. He’s also got that whole weakness to fire thing going on. With his nifty gemstone he could probe emotions of other folks. The gem also allowed him to project his emotions and shoot beams. He’s on Saturn married to a Saturnian who love J’onn. But that’s all boring stuff.

The good stuff is that Jemm was originally designed to be J’onn’s replacement in the DCU, the way Barry was replaced by Wally. Jemm was supposed to be J’onn’s nephew. However some people planned to bring J’onn back into the spotlight. So Greg Potter, Jemm’s creator, had to scramble to fix things, moving Jemm’s home planet from Mars to Saturn, and even rewriting scripts. So B, who’s the better uncle; Barry or J’onn?

Barry allowed his nephew to be doused in potentially dangerous chemicals and struck by light while J’onn wears short shorts and red suspenders”¦there’s really no right answer here.

On an aside, the in house ads for the original Jemm: Son of Saturn series in the 80s, with some young kid finding Jemm ala E.T. were classic. –B

Tim Stevens placed the lyric but didn’t ask a question. Thus I’m going to have to ask one for him.

Whoa, whoa, WHOA! Tim “Dancing=staring at somebody in an intensely creepy way and then throwing my hips around wildly” Stevens placed the lyric? That guy last week who accused you of having lyrics that only young, hip, street-wise types would get the lyrics clearly had no idea what he was talking about. Stevens really got it? Was it something by House of Pain? Last I checked Tim listens exclusively to House of Pain and bands from Canada”¦-B


You are my idol. I enjoy reading your column ever week. It may be the highlight of my week. That said, my question is; who wins in a fight between Jemm and Zook?

This is without a doubt the most difficult question I’ve ever faced. I think it really goes down to the degree of difficulty. Sure Jemm’s got that nifty gem, and super strength, but I know where Saturn is. I could get to Saturn, if I really wanted to. But I have no idea how to traverse dimensions. Zook is from another dimension, so he’s got to be more powerful. I don’t even know where other dimensions are. I really think Zook is taking this one. B, who is your money on Zook or Jemm?

I”¦I”¦I’m sorry, M, I can’t do this. I know we have a sacred oath to uphold here at WWitDCU to answer any and all questions that come our way, but”¦Jemm vs Zook? Dammit, Stevens”¦I will not make that call! I’m sorry if I’ve let anybody down”¦-B

Neil, wanna go again with a kind of appropriate question today of all days?

Since the pictures of the new DC Direct Rebirth figures came out, everyone seems to be asking “who’s Black Hand?” I and others have schooled them on GL’s cliché spouting nemesis, but I’m sure there are others who still need some learnin’

Also Hector Hammond is a favorite suspect in IC discussions, so a bit on him might help people if he is revealed to be involved.

Silver Age Origins Alert!!!!!!!!!

Hector Hammond was just a regular crook, back when crooks were a common occurrence. And they will be again, dammit! –B He was avoiding cops in some hills when he encountered a metor, a meteor that had evolved some foliage into plants that wouldn’t exist for another 100,000 years! (And how do you determine that? I have a degree and I couldn’t figure out what a hundred years of plant evolution looks like. But whatever.)

Being the crafty crook he took the meteor to his hideout. Then he kidnapped four scientists and exposed them to the meteor. They grew super smart. Fortunately their wills grew super weak. Hector made them invent things that he then claimed he invented himself. Green Lantern discovered the plot, returned the scientists to normal, and took Hec to the authorities.

Hector broke out of jail, found the meteor again, and bathed in its rays. This gave him a huge noggin filled with big brains and made him a “future-man.” But Hec wasn’t satisfied. He wanted immortality so he took another ray bath. And while he gained immortality, he completely lost mobility.

He really wants to get his mobility back, which brings him in conflict with Green Lantern. Apparently the meteor that gave Hector his powers and immobility, is a fragment of the same meteor that gave Gorilla Grodd his mental powers.

As you would expect he’s pretty smart and has telekinesis. He can overtake weak willed individuals. He’s even usurped G.L.’s ring. He’s also an in expert hand-to-hand combatant, on par with Batman and Nightwing.

I’m kidding, he’s completely immobile. He can barely blink. He makes Professor X look like a decathlete. B, do you think that Hector can ever be made cool again?

He should go back to being a petty crook, at least he’d be unique again.

Honestly, Geoff Johns says he’s gonna write him, Geoff has made every Flash villain except Rainbow Raider cool and HH has a big head and brain powers”¦you do the math.

William Hand lived the life of luxury. He came from the wealthy Hand family of Coastville. But he didn’t really dig that lifestyle and rebelled against it. In fact his goal was to drag the Hand family through the mud. So he embarked on a life of crime.

He created a device that could absorb the energy from a Green Lantern ring. The device looks kind of like Starman’s gravity rod, but not as cool.

Of course since he’s a Silver Age villain he needs a gimmick. His is that he bases his crimes on maxims or clichés. The only one I really remember was the “angels on the head of a pin.”

You already think the guy is lame, but wait it gets better. Hand spent many years compiling a book that contains the solution to any problem a criminal could face. And he’s got a photographic memory so he can “look up” anything in the book at anytime.

“Car won’t start, page #37.”

“Guy doesn’t have the key to the safe, page #109.”

“Lame costume, gimmick and ‘power’, um, I can’t seem to find the solution to that problem.”

End of Silver Age Origin Alert.

Trivia fact: The name “William Hand” is a homage to Bill Finger of Batman fame.

B, who has more potential Hector Hammond or Black Hand?

With that creepy new look BH has in his DC Direct figure, my money might be on him”¦but then again, Geoff Johns+big head+brain powers”¦this one’s going to go down the wire. My name is Ben Morse and I approved this answer. –B

InsidePulse Music’s own Aaron Cameron has once again graced us with his presence.

I remember thumbing through a couple of parts of the whole “Young Hal Jordan returns to team with Kyle” story. How did the writers tip-toe around that whole “Hal went loony and nearly ended the universe” chestnut that surely would’ve made Young Hal very disappointed in himself if he ever found out?

Well Aaron the fact of the matter is; they didn’t tip toe around it.

A young time displaced Hal Jordan met up with Kyle Rayner in Green Lantern #100. They had some fun in the present DCU. Then in Green Lantern #106 the younger Hal Jordan faced Parallax, his slightly not heroic future self.

They fought. Older Hal wanted younger Hal to return to the past to fulfill his destiny of becoming Parallax. But younger Hal wasn’t too keen on the returning to the past if that was what his future held. Kyle got in the way of what was clearly a Hal to Hal conversation.

Parallax transported all three to Coast City before it was destroyed. Parallax almost sold younger Hal on the idea of going back to prevent the destruction of Coast City and the death of Barry Allen. But younger Hal doesn’t want to, because it means there’s a chance he’ll become Parallax. They start to fight again.

Kyle butts in and tells them that they have to return to their respective places in time. Eventually they agree to do just that, but only after they have their memory wiped of the entire incident. So the minds are swiped and the Hals go back to their times. Except for Hal who became Parallax and Parallax who died fixing the sun.

B, would you rather go back and give advice to your younger self or get advice from an older version of you?

I have a lot to offer a younger version of me, such as “don’t trust people named Mathan” or “you don’t need the full run of Titans,” but at this point I’m pretty sure I’ve peaked and a future me will just be like “dude”¦Motley Crue broke up for real.” –B

James Lawson, would you like to point out an oversight on my part?

When you asked if there would be another Starman in the DCU, did you forget about Courtney Whitmore, who for all intents and purposes is carrying on the Starman legacy?

Nope I don’t recognize Courtney Whitmore as part of the Star legacy. There ain’t no Stargirl or Starwoman. Starwoman belongs in the kitchen, making me some supper!

I’m joking, I’m joking. What I meant was will we ever see a new Starman monthly title. Stargirl is cool, but she’s just a cast member in the JSA. I’d rather see a new Starman (or Stargirl/woman) title, on the off chance that some of Jack Knight’s supporting characters might pop up. It’d be even better if it were set in Opal.

There I admit it. I’m a fiend for Starman!

Speaking of Starman, Nalydpsycho, ya got a related query?

So what was the deal with the early 90’s Starman? Was he a member of the Knight family? Was he remotely interesting?

The “he” in question is, I’m guessing is Will Payton. He wasn’t a member of the Knight clan, but David Knight (Ted Knight’s son, and Jack Knight’s predecessor) made his first appearance in that title, Starman #26.

David showed up as a looney tune dressed in his fathe’s old costume and demanding Payton hand over the name, but he was under the control of some villain if I remember correctly. –B

He was remotely interesting. First and foremost he was from Tucson, like yours truly. It was cool to watch him come to understand his powers and discover his origin. The realization that he was no longer human (he didn’t need to eat, sleep or breathe) was handled pretty well. It was a neat little title. I remember the issue when he ran into Valor was a pretty funny one.

B, do you have any thoughts on Will Payton?

Great costume. –B

Sandmatt, do you have a question about the guy very close to my heart?

Lex Luthor: Is this still that cloned son of his with his brain in it that was around during the Death of Superman or is it the original. I ask because in that he had a full head of long ginger hair, but now he’s bald again.

Also how did the clone thing come about? And why does he now look like the original Luthor?

From the 11/26/03 column
Ok Lex got cancer from kryptonite, faked his death, cloned himself a brand new body, and pretended to be Lex II. But then there was a clone plague and Lex got sick. So he tried to destroy Metropolis, but got caught. While on trial he made a deal with Neron to get better, and got another clone to take the rap. So the American people think that they elected Lex Luthor the respectable businessman to the Oval Office. Lex is in the healthy cloned body of Lex II.

B, also pointed out that Lex got a lot of good press from trying to help the world during Final Night.

So B, since the election is coming up who are you voting for? I’m voting for Lex again on Tuesday. Sure he’s a cheat, a liar, and a criminal, but really who cares about that stuff; he’s not a wimp and that’s what really matters. We need to stay the course. Vote Lex/Sinestro ’04. B, Sinestro’s on the ticket, I know you’re voting for Sinestro.

C’mon, M, are you seriously telling me you won’t be voting Gunfire in ’04? Not even after he’s added Loose Cannon as a running mate? –B

Seldee, do you have another perfectly timed question?

Hi guys. Being a constant reader of your column I know you guys pimp The Flash a lot, and also the works of Geoff Johns. I’ve over the last year or so I’ve become a huge Johns fan myself. I love Teen Titans, his Hawkman was cool, and he’s writing is what got me into the JSA (I’ve begun a quest to get all of the JSA trades). Now with the Identity Crisis crossover I picked up Flash #214, and my reaction was just why in the hell haven’t I been reading this book. Well I can answer that pretty easy the answer was money I guess I’m just going to have to drop one of the crappy X books I just keep reading mostly out of habit. Anyway like JSA before it the Flash is now being added to my pull list, unlike JSA though I doubt I’m going to be able to (or even want to) get everything from the beginning in trade form. With that being said my question is this, what is the best place TPB wise to jump on and get caught up with the Flash. Thanks.

The good news for you is that the entire Flash series hasn’t been collected in trade form, so you don’t have to worry about picking up the entire series.

Best Flash trade? I’m not really a “trader.” But I guess if you really want to understand what’s going on in upcoming months I’d pick up Blitz and Rogues. B, you’re the trade-meister, what would you suggest?

You’re in luck, Seldee, ‘cause I loves me some Flash. First off, you’re going to want to grab “Born To Run,” in which Mark Waid retells the origin of Wally West, former Kid Flash and current bearer of the Flash mantel. From there, track down “The Return of Barry Allen,” the turning point of Waid’s run. I’d also advise “Terminal Velocity” and then if you’re digging the Waid version of The Flash, there are several more volumes of his work, but avoid “Race Against Time” at all costs. As far as Geoff’s run, with the exception of his first arc, “Wonderland,” everything has been traded in the following order: “Blood Will Run,” “Rogues,” “Crossfire” and “Blitz.” If you’re still hankering for more, I’d recommend “The Life Story of Barry Allen,” “JLA: Year One” and “Flash & Green Lantern: The Brave and the Bold,” all solid Barry Allen tales by Waid. Read all of this and you’ll be a better person than you are now”¦not to say you’re not a good person now. –B

Graham Hudson do you have a question that’s kind of a Bizarro version of the previous one?

I’ve just finished reading JLA v3 arcs “Tower of Babel” and “Divided We Fall” (plus that little arc in between about the chick from storyland). They were excellent stories and very accessible to me, which is tough to do because I’m not really a DC fan. In fact, these were the first stories I’d ever read about JLA.

Are there any other JLA v3 arcs that would be worth collecting? My local comic book store has a huge selection, so pretty much anything from the beginning of JLA v3 would be available. I don’t want to buy TPBs, just individual comics, so I’d need to know the comic book numbers (not just the arc “names”).

This is a tricky one. I’m never really read JLA. But I did collect six issues. JLA #16 & 17 featured Prometheus. They were way cool. It also featured the JLA’s newly extended lineup. I’d highly recommend those two issues.

I also picked up JLA #28-32. This storyline featured an impromptu JSA/JLA team up. It also featured an attack by the 5th dimensional creatures. It’s an epic story with plenty of action. You should definitely give those issues a peek.

B, I’m sure you have more issues of the JLA to recommend.

Honestly, all of Grant Morrison’s JLA run was excellent”¦so was most of Mark Waid’s”¦and Joe Kelly’s. All the JLA trades are good; I’d particularly recommend “New World Order,” “American Dreams,” “World War 3,” “Tower of Babel,” “Divided We Fall,” “The Obsidian Age” and “Trial By Fire.” –B

The JLA question reminded me of Kirk’s question from months ago.

Suppose the JLA were gone, forever. Now assuming that you keep all of the teams (JSA, Outsiders, Teen Titans) together, who forms the new JLA?

That’s an interesting question. You are going to need a strong team. A team of heroes who are powerful and resilient. They would also have to be pretty experienced.

I would pick
Green Arrow
Hal Jordan
Blue Devil
The Creeper

That would be my new JLA. I mean here is a group of heroes that not even death could keep down. What more could you ask for in a team? I’d nickname ’em JLAzarus.

Mike Donohue, do you want to close out the column on some wackiness?

Can Superman close his eyes and use his X-Ray vision to see through his eyelids?

I’m going to say yes, yes he can. His eyelids aren’t made of lead. His other powers work on himself. He shaves with his heat vision. I remember when he lost control of his powers as a result of Lex (vote Lex/Sinestro ’04!), and his heat vision was burning his eyelids and hands. So I’m going to believe that his x-ray vision would peer through his eyelids.

B, agree or disagree?

Agree on the x-ray vision thing”¦disagree on the election thing”¦Gunfire’s position on gun control: screw gun control, he IS a weapon! –B

Well that’s it for another week. Thanks for all of the support, feedback and questions. You can send it to me, or post your thoughts on the Message Boards. My question to you this week; Seriously Zook vs Jemm, who’s left standing after that brawl?

“Through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet.”