Who\'s Who in the DCU (1/13/04)

Howdy folks. I have to admit; I’m feeling a bit under the weather. I think I’ve got a bit of that Anti Life Equation Flu going around. Tim, are you suffering any ill effects from last week’s jaunt to The Fourth World?

It was not the prettiest of experiences, but I survived largely intact.

I’ve got to get on with the column. Now would be the perfect time to”¦
LINK!!

IP Music
IP Games
IP Figures
IP Movies
IP TV
IP Sports
Moodspins?

DOL gets love as always.

Tim, it’s your turn to link!

Indeed it is. First, though I am usually loathe to do this, I’d like to link to my column last week. There is a bit on how ID Crisis really went down that I think our readers would enjoy.

Besides that, I have these links that focus on the aspect of comics that almost never gets discussed here at the Nexus, comic strips. Here are a selection of some of my favorites. Boondocks
Get Fuzzy
Fox Trot
Zits!
Non Sequitur

Last Week’s Reads

Justice League Elite #7 – I love this book. It’s one of my favorites out right now. But then again I’m a fan of 24.

I’m a fan of 24 as well, but this book does nothing for me. Next theory!

Swamp Thing #11 – This book is beginning to bore me. I’m not “feeling” it. I hope Richard Corben comes back.

Breach #1 – Read my review.

I’ll have my mini review next week in my column, but until then let me say that I enjoyed it”¦I think. It was not perfect, there was some clichéd storytelling, but the art looked great and the book boasts a very intriguing atmosphere of dread.

Deadshot #2 – Read my review.

The Question #3 – Man did I dig this book. The book has finally clicked with me. The art was amazing, the story was very well written and clear this issue. This book has finally lived up to my expectations.

Firestorm #9 – Review is forthcoming.

Flash #217 – Nice to see Owen again. Nice tribute to Boomer. Nice to have Linda back. Nice issue.

My pick for best DC issue of last week.


What would a Q & A column be without questions?

Rob Awesome placed the lyric that closed last week’s column. Thus he gets to ask the first question.

In Rebirth #4, Ollie Queen puts on the Lantern ring, fulfilling every fanboy’s fantasy since Lantern/Arrow began way back when.

My question is: Who else in the DCU (besides the regular Lanterns) has ever put on a Corps Power Ring? Someone told me Nightwing did at one point. And Uncle
Sam did in the recent and terrible Superman/Batman story arc. Such crap that was…

Ok, so I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this was one of the most difficult questions that I’ve ever had to answer. Y’see I’m really struggling to come up with characters who have wielded the Emerald Power. I’ve wracked my brain. I’ve searched the net. Nay, I’ve scoured the net. But I couldn’t really come up with too many folks who wore the most powerful weapon in the universe.

We all saw Uncle Sam had the power ring in Superman/Batman #14. It was a neat image.

I also hope everyone saw Green Arrow sporting the power ring in Green Lantern: Rebirth #3.

Anarky #1 featured the title character sporting a familiar looking piece of jewelry.

In the Doomsday Annual #1 we learned that Doomsday once had a power ring. Clearly at this point, you can see I’m grasping at straws.

I really want to believe that Nightwing had a power ring in the final issue of Action Comics Weekly but I may be misremembering. Likewise, I know that Batman, Superman and Big Barda all possessed power rings in Elseworlds Tales, but I can’t confirm that they actually possessed them in the DCU.

I’ve let you down. I’m sorry. Tim, do you have any further sightings of green glowing rings on other hands?

A cursory investigation of my comics only turned up one more example of another wielding the emerald ring. Superman Prime (the golden fella) used it to defeat Solaris at the conclusion of Morrison’s DC One Million. It was pretty cool.

Sorry we don’t have more for you. I am sure the message board folk will call us on what we miss.


JohnBritton, do you have an “age old” question?

WWII was about 60 years ago. DC has pretty much decided that the original JSA should be tied to that war. How are they going to rationalize their ages now that they should be around 80 years old? I know that some of them had a magical encounter that keeps them young, but their wives and friends? Their children? How long can they keep this up?

What’s funny is that the week you asked that question, I had been thinking that this was one problem that was going to haunt the DCU in a relatively short period of time.

Now as it stands right now the first heroes in the DCU started popping up in the mid to late 1930’s. After that they couldn’t fight in WWII, because of the Spear of Destiny. Then with McCarthyism, they were forced into retirement (check out current issues of JSA to see how dark that period of their life was.)

A few of the heroes, (most notably Hourman and Starman), remained relatively active from the 60’s to the 80’s. Then when they went off on a mission to prevent the end of the world. They were stuck in a never-ending battle, and thought dead.

But eventually they were feed from the tortuous dimension. They have now returned to prominence as one of the DCU’s premier teams.

The problem with them is they are one of the teams that are tied to a period of time. Like Hal Jordan’s daring role as a Pre “Man on the Moon” test pilot, their link to a period of time could weaken them with time.

Sure their battle with Ian Karkull left them and some loved ones showered with energy that caused them to slow down their aging, but they are still aging.

The problem that’s going to arise is in ten years, when some of these characters are going to be celebrating their hundredth birthday (presuming that the JSAers were in their early twenties when they became heroes in the 1930’s.)

If DC keeps with their idea that the current age of Super Heroes (Superman debuted) around ten years ago, then all they really have to do it say that the JSA spent more time in limbo. Instead of coming out of limbo in the 1990’s, then they came out 2000. That would explain why they haven’t really aged that much. That would probably be the easiest way.

However I think that a more fun way of doing it would be to just push the JSA’s birth up twenty years. Or even to the 1960’s. Wait, hear me out.

If DC pushes the JSA to the 1950’s or 1960’s, then they have an all new era to explore. Just as All Star Squadron and Young All-Stars told tales set in the 30’s and 40’s, yet explored issues that weren’t dealt with and had the advantage of being able to fit the stories within the context of history, creators could do the same thing with a JSA set in the 50’s and 60’s.

What’s more is that these books could be like a retro “Ultimate” line. Jay Garrick stories could be told in a Barry Allen era. You could replace Hal Jordan with Alan Scott, and place the JSA in the role of the JLA. Plus the 1950’s would still give the JSAers that “old school” cred from a “bygone era.”

Imagine all of the creators who would love the opportunity to tell heroic stories set in the Silver Age, and have them part of the continuity. Notable Silver Age buffs Kurt Busiek, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and Tom Peyer would probably jump at the chance to write a book like this.

Of course this would only work if there were an actual Crisis II to reset the DCU. But this would leave the option open for the current JSA title to keep going, provided it’s still running ten years down the road.

There is always the “place the JSA on a separate Earth, with a separate vibrational frequency. This would undermine the idea of a JSA book, but would allow DC to keep the JSA with their original period of origin without having to answer any pesky “why/how are they still alive” questions.

(On a semi related note, DC needs to decide who is the inspiration of the DCU, Superman or the JSA. In Birthright which is being pushed as “Superman’s current origin”, there is no mention of the JSA. In fact young Clark wonders if his costume will look foolish, as if to imply the Earth had never known a costumed hero before. That was one of my largest complaints about the book.

I completely understand the culture and historical significance of Superman, but continuity wise, he wasn’t the first, therefore the JSA deserves some props.)

I don’t know which one DC is going to choose. They may even have a completely different card up their sleeves. All I know is that DC is going to have to cross this bridge in a relatively short period of time, so they should have a plan lying in wait. And if they are planning a Crisis II for this year, I hope they factored this in, lest we have to face a Zero Hour II in 2014.

Tim, do you have any thoughts on the DC’s impending JSA troubles?

That they really aren’t that big a deal?

This sort of thing just does not tend to bother me all that much, not sure why exactly. If I can accept that Dick Grayson has visibly aged with Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth don’t seem to have at all, then why wouldn’t I be able to buy that the JSA is staying (relatively) young looking and spry. Sure, the reasons that DC has offered up haven’t exactly been excellent, but I can swallow it.

I personally like the WWII connection and how that time period also provides a convenient reason for the JSA to disappear (the Anti-American hearings led by Sen. McCarthy). It explains the need for a second Superhero era to arise that, while acknowledging the contributions of the past, would be more likely to acknowledge Superman and JLA as their inspiration then Alan Scott and the JSA.

As far as your solutions, (although I don’t think one is necessary), I think the longer limbo time works just fine. The separate earth thing is the reason we got a Crisis the first time around so I’d just assume not go there. The Ultimate esque 50’s JSA stories sound cool, but they don’t really fix the problem (Ultimate implies separate, continuity free universe, not a solution to the DCU proper). Plus, as we discussed a few weeks back, anthology books of any kind are a tough sell, regardless of the talent involved.

Finally, I have the answer to your Birthright question. Now, if they want Birthright to end up official canon, but wish to maintain the JSA’s role as the first big time superhero team in the DCU, it is enough to do. Clark’s concern about being seen as silly makes sense even if there was a JSA. Think about it. If Clark goes active in the 90’s and the JSA disbanded in the 1950’s, the last time anyone saw high profile spandex superheroics would have been 40 years before, or nearly 2 generations. It would be like thinking about wearing one of those one piece bathing suits that gents wore in the 20’s. Sure, other people did it in a time past, but that does not mean modern people will accept it with open arms.


Asif, got a query?

In continuity, how long has it been since Jason Todd died? How long has Tim Drake been Robin? Sometimes when past events are references in comics it seems that years have passed, but then other times it seems like only months. And sometimes when it seems that weeks have passed by, it’s only been a few days. Is there a set relation between real-time and DCU time? I’m assuming it’s totally random and is up to the writer to determine what time-line they use. Has any writer ever attempted to set a uniform relationship between real-time and DCU-time?

They did try to have time pass in the DCU. The first wave Secret Files & Origins featured a timeline of events. The very first one Batman had actual years. We all know Year One. But did you know that in Batman Year Six, Dick Grayson became Nightwing? Or that Jason Todd died in Year Seven? Tim Drake took up the “Robin” Mantle in Year Nine. The timeline ended with Year Ten.

But to put this in perspective, that issue came out in 1997.

The JLA Secret Files & Origins also had a Year One, Year Two”¦theme going on. The Starman Secret Files & Origins featured the headings of “Four Years Ago” and “Now.” So there was an attempt to put the DCU in some sort of chronology. But DC really tries to stick on a “Ten years ago Superman ushered in the current age of heroes” timeline. Thus the epic Batman tales Knighfall, Knightquest, Knightsend, Prodigal, Troika, Contagion, and Legacy all happened during Batman’s tenth year as a hero.

Comic book time is a lot like Soap Opera time; it flows, but at an unusually slow pace.

Tim, would you rather age at Comic Book time or Soap Opera time?

Comic book time. Seems to last longer and it is a lot more interesting. Plus, I wouldn’t have to deal with my child turning from 2 to 16 overnight. At least not without some sort of time traveling despot involved.


Charles Hargrove, do you have a question that is dear to my heart?

You mentioned the influence that Smallville has on the DC Universe and you mention Clark and Lex both being in Smallville. I remember them both being in high school in Smallville. They were the two smartest kids in class (well duh). But this would have been before Crisis. What was their shared history after Crisis? Where did Lex grow up?

After the Crisis, Clark first met Lex when he arrived in Metropolis. Y’see Lex was the king of Metropolis. He was to Metropolis as Bruce Wayne was to Gotham, only a corrupt version.

Actually a better paradigm would probably be Saved by the Bell. If Bayside was Metropolis, then Lex was Zack Morris. All of a sudden A.C. Slater arrives, in the form of Superman. Lex/Zack felt threatened by A.C./Superman and a rivalry develops. Only in the DCU Zack and A.C. don’t become friends.

In fact at their first encounter Lex was having a party on his yacht. When terrorists tried to commandeer it. Superman arrives and saves the day. At that point Lex lets the secret out of the bag; it was all a hoax. He had hired the “terrorists” in order to meet the Man of Steel, so he could offer Superman a job!

Supes isn’t happy. Neither is the Mayor. The Mayor orders Lex arrested. Lex says something like “you can’t arrest me, I’m the most powerful man in Metropolis.” The Mayor responds “Not anymore.” Superman arrests him and the bad blood is born.

Lex’s early years were a great tale (I urge you to pick up The Unauthorized Biography of Lex Luthor, trust me, if this doesn’t convince you of how great Lex was before the Smallville-iffication, I’ll tough Birthright as a masterpiece.)

(I’ll second that recommendation. An accurate and spooky look into the mind of a charismatic, driven sociopath. Actually, to further the Smallville comparisons, Lex’s father on the show, Lionel, has a rise to billionaire industrialist that sounds a lot like Lex’s rise in Biography)

Seriously, it’s a great story, and it’s nice that it doesn’t really tie into Superman’s origins, because Lex grew up in Metropolis. He has a rough life that lead to him being the man he became. You can see the seeds of his arrogance planted in that very story.

In fact in Superman #2 Lex’s had a computer come to the conclusion that Clark Kent was Superman, but Lex refused to believe that Superman, a guy with all those powers, would pretend to be a mortal. What a great twist, using the character’s arrogance.

My main problem with the current “Lex and Clark went to Smallville High together” is that it stretches the suspension of disbelief to a breaking point. I can believe that on Smallville Lex isn’t quite sure that Clark has power because we don’t know how the story ends. We don’t know that when Lex eventually battles Superman he can’t put two and two together.

But we can clearly see in the current DCU that Lex, a brilliant guy, can’t put two and two together. His “alien matter detector” registers Clark as an alien, but he doesn’t know that Lois Lane is married to Superman? C’mon. Really!

Tim, am I making too big a deal about this?

It’s the Lois Lane syndrome. How could one of the best investigative reporters in the world not know her partner is also Superman for years and years?! Well, for one, the editors and writers decided she shouldn’t. I guess it could be annoying, but I am willing to suspend some disbelief if it makes the story work.

So, yeah, I think you are making a bit too big a deal of it. The fact is, if Lex ever learned that Supes and Clark were one and the same, that would be it. Lex would have all he needed to destroy the Man of Steel. For me, it would be more unrealistic to have Lex figure it out and fail to utterly destroy Superman in a few months, then it is to have Lex just plain not figure it out. And, since we know that DC will never really let Lex destroy the Man of Tomorrow, I just assume the folliclely challenged genius remain in the dark.


Asif, got another question?

I know you’re not a Teen Titans expert, but I recently read the first few issues of the latest Teen Titans series and was wondering why all of the teens were reluctant to join the new Titans

For a couple of reasons.

First those “teens” were part of a team called Young Justice. They were just a group of kids, who did the hero thing with minimal adult supervision, mostly in the form of Red Tornado and Snapper Carr. They had plenty of fun exploits and really enjoyed their time together.

But then in Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day Young Justice (and the Titans for that matter) were demolished. The teens’ inexperience was shown as a rogue Superman robot decimated their squad. Two members of The Titans were killed, including Troia, Wonder Girl’s mentor.

This kind of scarred the younger heroes and caused them to disband Young Justice, since the last time they were together lives were lost.

However the mentors of Robin, Wonder Girl, Impulse and Superboy knew that the kids needed each other, and suggested that they meet up with Beast Boy, Cyborg and Starfire, who could provide a pinch of tutelage and bit of peer mentoring.

Personally I think that another reason for the lack of interest in joining the Teen Titans is because the last book that featured the name Titans stunk. I mean that book stunk to high heaven. It actually featured Starfire sporting an aluminum foil helmet to keep transmissions out. Seriously.

It was so bad that the reason that B became Comic Insider Big Shot Ben Morse is because he submitted an article/cautionary tale entitled Why The Titans Was The Worst Book That I Ever Collected Every Issue Of.

Tim, we know that B & I loved Young Justice and loathed The Titans. What are your thoughts on those two titles?

While this very well may lead to me getting stoned, I have to say that I tried to get into Young Justice at the start and just couldn’t. I collected probably the first 8-10 issues before throwing up my hands and giving up. I liked the idea of those characters together, but that was all that seemed to work for me. The stories did not really draw me in and the humor rarely felt funny (the notable exception would be the first issue’s “nightmare” sequence that poked fun at Peter David’s approach on other titles at the time). So, I can’t really issue an opinion on YJ on the whole.

Titans, on the other hand, I agree with you wholeheartedly about. There was a big dropping of the ball there and the book was pretty consistently bad, especially everything after the first year on.


Coren, do you have a question that can take my mind off that terrible Titans book?

Ok, so I’ve heard stuff about Powergirl being Supergirl, there being various versions, there being more than one at once. Shed a light for me on both (if they are in fact two different people) heroes?

I’m guessing that a variation of this question is the question most often asked of this column. If there were one good thing that could possibly come out of an alleged Crisis II it would be a unified Supergirl theory.

The first we had the Matrix version. Then we got the Matrix/Linda Danvers version. Then we briefly had the Pre Crisis Kara Zor El. Then we had Cir El. Finally, and horridly, we have an official Post Crisis Kara Zor El.

From too many columns to mention;
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.

From the 8/31/04 column;
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.

In the order of their Post Crisis appearances here is how I feel about the Supergirls. Dug, Loved, Kosher, What? and Why?

I don’t like the current Supergirl and I’m not going to buy her title when it comes out (which is saying something because I love DC #1’s.) She irks me. Maybe it’s because the story that introduced her was late and terrible. Maybe it’s because I enjoyed have Kal as the sole survivor of Krypton. Who knows? The point is I hate her, like some people hate Chuck Austin.

Tim, what are your thoughts on the various Supergirls?

I am fascinated and confused that the character (or rather the idea of the character) has commanded so many revisits and revisions. I too prefer Supes as the only survivor and I am not sure who, beyond a few very devoted Silver Age fans, still wanted and needed a Supergirl back that was related to Superman.

But it could be that I am just crazy since we are about to get another Supergirl series starring the Big Blue Boy Scout’s cousin and her crazy concave stomach.

I guess she’s kind of like the Spider-Woman of the DCU. No matter how many different times and ways a new Supergirl is introduced only to fail, creators will be just aching to give us a new one.

As for Power Girl here’s a recap on you.

From the 10/3/03 column.
To quote Who’s Who in the DC Universe from 1990 “Few heroes have pasts as confusing as Karen Starr.” That is like the understatement of the century.

WACKY SILVER AGE ALERT

Back on Earth 2’s Krypton (does that really make any sense?) Jor-L’s brother Zor-L took his advice on Krypton’s impending doom. So he decided to build a craft to save his family. Unfortunately he wasn’t a rocket scientist (Zor-L was actually an expert on the sciences of the mind) and he didn’t really have much time, so the craft he made was only big enough to carry his daughter Kara.

The rocket took off, but it didn’t take the same route as Kal-L. Instead it conserved fuel and aided in Kara’s mental development. Not only that but it also slowed her aging down so that while the trip took 60 years, she only aged 20 years. She landed and became Power Girl. But then the Crisis happened.

Y’see in the post Crisis DCU there was no Earth 2 ergo there was no Krypton 2 ergo there was no Jor-L ergo there was no Zor-L ergo there was no Kara. Yet Power girl still existed. How could that be you ask?

HOKEY POST CRISIS EXPLANATION FOR A VICTIM OF PRE CRISIS CONTINUNITY AHEAD.

Apparently around 50,000 years ago Arion (Atlantis mage) hooked up with Lady Chian and has some kids. One of those kids grew up and had Kara. Magic was coursing through Kara’s veins, after all Arion was Lord High Mage of Atlantis. In an effort to better other Atlanteans, Arion had Kara undergo experiments to increase her strength. But as is usually the aces the 2-year-old Kara became possessed by Garn Daanuth’s spirit, who happens to be Arion’s evil brother.

To save Kara Arion placed her in a crystal chamber in another dimension where time flows slowly. The chamber took care of Kara mentally and physically. She ended up on Earth in the late 20th century. Since Arion was such a whiz at magic, he cast spell over the chamber to find a suitable candidate to explain Kara’s presence. Thus she believed herself to be Kal-El’s cousin. But the truth is she’s really Arion’s granddaughter.

Or is she? In JSA #50 Arion confessed that he was just kidding, they aren’t related at all. So alas Kara is again without an origin.

So there you have it. Basically in the Pre Crisis Multiverse Power Girl was the Supergirl of Earth 2. She fits into the Post Crisis DCU because no one is really asking any tough questions or thinking about it too hard. Rumor has it continuity clean up wiz, Geoff Johns is going to tackle her origins, but who knows when that’s going to happen. Hey B, you talk to Geoff, when is that going to happen? Hey Tim, you know Geoff Johns, any idea when that’s going to happen?

I don’t because no one really does, not yet. As Johns continues to assure fans, it is on the way, but there are a few stories that have to come first. If I had to guess, I’d say we could expect a definitive Powergirl origin to be revealed in JSA by the middle of next year. I would guess even sooner than that though.


MarkPoa, do you have “column favorite” question that Tim can prove his worth?

Remember the Bloodlines crossover that went around the annuals a while back? (Hey, that was more than 10 years ago! :O ) I wonder if you have a list of the heroes that were created during that time and their status now. All I remember is that Hitman got his own series…

Ugh, Bloodlines. This is another of those FAQ about the DCU. Why people are so curious about a year that I’m betting DC wishes they could forget I’ll never know. Tim, you need to bring your “A” game on this one. This is your final exam. Your task; give the readers your thoughts on what these characters are doing now.

I am assuming that my thoughts do not have to have any basis in the real of the DCU, so, please, do not look to these answers as legitimate summaries of where all these fine characters are now.

From the 3/3/04 column;
Well in the last issue of his comic Gunfire had the JLI help him take his insane pop, Ragnarok, down for the count. Since then he has pretty much been a joke in the DCU, as B pointed out last week. As for the other heroes, let me give you a refresher course. (And those descriptions come straight from the folks at DC themselves.)

Anima, “Animus-summoning grunge rocker” – Had her own title and showed up in Wonder Woman #175.

With the nostalgia rush for grunge rising (Pearl Jam’s greatest hits, anyone?), Anima gets the band back together, at the behest of a VH1 reality show. They do a few shows before they come to realize that, “oh yeah, we were NEVER popular.” Band disbands (haha) and Anima returns to her job as a bitter record producer for a small label. Hilarity no doubt ensues.

Argus, “shadow-melding undercover agent” – Had a miniseries and was last seen in Flash #127.

Contemplating the irony of being a “shadow melder” trapped living in the shadow of a much more popular and well known superhero.

Ballistic, “armed and dangerous vigilante” Appeared in the “Blood Pack” miniseries. (Also a member of the latest incarnation of the Forgotten Heroes, who showed up in Resurrection Man. –B)

Runs a daycare in suburban Maryland. No more guns for this self-described “rageaholic”.

Cardinal Sin, “disillusioned priest” – After Bloodlines I haven’t heard a peep.

He went where all disillusioned priests go (if they aren’t going to jail)”¦Lutheranism. I understand he is quite the Youth Group Minister and has met himself a very nice young Midwesterner. He and the tall, blond woman of Scandinavian descent plan to be married soon, say things like “oofda”, and eat lutefisk until it comes out there ears. Good times.

Chimera, “illusion-creating hero” – Ditto

For all you know, I could be Chimera, the illusion creating hero. Or Mathan could be. Or your parents. Or you and you forgot all about it!

Oooh, you feel that? That was me blowing your mind.

Edge, “blade-hurling community hero” – More of the same. (He made a cameo in the Blood Pack mini-series. –B)

Like all good community heroes, he ran for public office, won in a landslide, and immediately forgot all his promises and all his constituents’ names. Sure, he’s a sellout, but sleeping on piles and piles of money dulls that shame a bit.

Geist, “ghostly night-hero” – Ah this guy also appeared in the “Blood Pack” miniseries. (And had probably the coolest costume of the New Bloods. By the way, Blood Pack was actually decent; if you see it in a quarter bin, snatch it up. –B)

The world’s coolest haunted house effect, Geist sells out his abilities to the highest bidder every Halloween and lives the rest of the year off the profits.

Gunfire, “high-tech renegade” – Had his own book, is now the laughing stock of the entire DCU, even the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

Being excellent, eight days a week.

Hitman, “the name sez it all!” – He was the most successful of the bunch, as he had a very popular book, and began the running gag that Gunfire was an absurd hero.

In all seriousness, I believe this fella is worm food. If not, he’s busy drinking somewhere, telling stories, and preparing for the next round of zombies.

Hook, “hook-handed former soldier” – Starred in the movie of the same name and had a successful run off Broadway. Wait, wrong character. This guy went nowhere after his first appearance. MIA suits this “former soldier” well.

Actually, that is the right character. He also bedeviled the devilishly (why all the devil imagery? I know not) attractive Jennifer Love Hewitt (Love to her friends”¦as she insists on mentioning in EVERY FRIGGIN’ INTERVIEW!) in the successful horror franchise I Know What You Did Last Summer. Currently considering the next season of The Surreal Life and/or a recurring part on Desperate Housewives.

Jamm, “prodigious surfer-dude” – Do you think that this concept went anywhere? NEXT!

It went where all stories of prodigious surfer dudes go”¦disappointment-ville. After years of trying to make a living surfing (and failing miserably), Jamm gave in and took that job that his dad got him at the bank. He’s now an assistant manager and is married with three kids. He’s pretty sure his wife is cheating on him and every morning he stares in the mirror for 20 minutes contemplating if it really would be worse to be dead then to deal with the slow, sickening loss of soul that is consuming his life.

Joe Public, “strength-siphoning patriot” – This guy actually bumped into Azrael and Martian Manhunter after he first appeared. Sadly, he is still a loser.

A used car salesman. Come on, what is more “Joe Public” than being a vulture-like used car salesman? Nothing. Except maybe being ripped off by one.

Layla, “tough-as-nails space explorer” – Layla popped up during the whole Bloodlines crossover. She hooked up with L.E.G.I.O.N.

Exploring space. Duh.

Lionheart, “armored high-tech knight” – This dude showed up in Justice League books a few times (Specifically right before Zero Hour –B) . But is nowhere to be found now.

Makes occasional appearances at his local Medieval Times where he is something of a legend. 200 bouts and no losses! Otherwise, he tries to keep busy with his other hobby, whittling.

Loose Cannon, “super-strong ex-cop” – He had a mini, showed up in Superboy and the Ravers. I will repeat: he is a cheap Hulk knock off. (He appeared in Superboy’s solo series too”¦and that is your Superboy solo series fact of the week, by Ben Morse. –B)

Stunt doubled for Hulk in Ang Lee’s divisive film (“Hulk big star now. Hulk no need to do stunts for puny Asian director, genius or not. Hulk need craft services now!” the green behemoth told Entertainment Weekly during filming of the movie.) Spends most days waiting by the phone for confirmation of the sequel.

Mongrel, “darkforce-blasting rebel” – This one also showed up in the “Blood Pack” mini. (Appeared in the post-Zero Hour Hawkman series as well. I liked this one. –B)

Mongrel’s still a rebel. Every Thursday from 8-10 pm when his friends and he go out bowling, he really lets that freak flag fly. Otherwise, he’s a successful stoke broker. But that doesn’t mean he can’t still rock!

Myriad, “personality-absorbing assassin” – Without a doubt, she was my favorite. I would love to write something with her. She showed up with in Hitman once. She rocks!!!!

There just aren’t a lot of opportunities for personality absorbers these days. Particularly if they’re assassins too. So, mostly, she absorbs personalities and kills for money, all while waiting for some brave soul to make use of this pretty ingenious character. Sadly, I would advise her not to hold her breath.

Nightblade, “regenerating martial artist” – Yet another member of the “Blood Pack.” (I liked this guy. He could cut his own arm off and still laugh about it. –B)

Drinks heavily. Hey, if your liver cells are going to regenerate anyway, why the heck not?

Pax, “last of his race, space-shaman” – This guy was L.E.G.I.O.N.’s priest. But he had such a taste for vengeance. Since that book is gone, so is he.

His self help book, Such a Taste for Vengeance was released last year to huge reviews. It remains in the top 20 selling non-fiction books all these months later. Oprah has him on the show semi-regularly and there are rumors he may go the Dr. Phil route and get his own show. Finally has found inner peace. And boatloads of cash.

Prism, “light-manipulating scientist” – This character showed up to battle Eclipso. He also hooked up with the “Blood Pack.”

You know that bitchin’ laser light Pink Floyd show at the planetarium last week? You may thank Prism.

Razorsharp, “sword-armed hacker” – Guess what group this one belonged to. That’s right the Secret Six, I mean the “Blood Pack.” She also had a miniseries with the Cybarats. (They showed up in Robin as well. The Cybarats have also suffered a few jokes in DC letter columns of yore, methinks. –B)

Swords and hacking go together like”¦well, nothing really. Razorsharp ditched the blades and became a webmaster. Years (and a sex change later) you might know her as Widro.

Sparx, “lightning-wielding hero” – She hooked up with Superboy”¦and the Ravers. She was also in love with that gay hero, Hero. (Arguably the most well-known New Blood besides Hitman thanks to her long run with the Ravers. She was also in Blood Pack. –B)

Observational stand up comedian in the Seinfeld/ DeGeneres mold. What”¦she can’t other interests beyond wielding electricity?

Terrorsmith, “monster-making villain (?)” – This guy popped up in “Blood Pack.” (No, actually he didn’t. The only members of the Pack not already listed were Loria, who was introduced in the series, and Jade, the current girlfriend/ex-girlfriend of Kyle Rayner –B)

Works for me. We wreak all sorts of unholy hell on the residents of Wu-ington, CT.

Why?

Why not?

Well Tim, the times up. I hope you are satisfied with your answers, but more importantly I hope the readers are satisfied with your smart alec remarks.

I’m going to call it a column. But don’t fret, the column will return. On the horizon, Atom the barbarian?, Oracle M.I.A?, The Joy of Eclipso? All that and the answer to your question too, provided you email it to me or post it on the Forums.

My question to you this week; Anything in particular you’re looking forward to this year, comic wise?

“Put the pen to the paper and press the envelop.”

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