Who’s Who: Anniversary Edition: Reader Responses

Welcome! It’s time for all of you to get your say on our anniversary so here it goes.

Let us first begin with some feedback from Comic Industry Big Shot Ben Morse

In regards to the first column without him;

*clap clap clap*

I’ve only gotten a chance to skim so far, but bravisimo, looks better than ever, nice job both o’ ya.

And for the record, Tim, you know I’m color blind and might have thought I was using red all along…@#$%&*.

Keep up the good work, gents.

In regards to a Nightwing comment in the 1/13/05 column;

Great column, I loved the Bloodlines stuff, gotta go back and read it again.

As far as Nightwing having a power ring, I’m pretty sure it was just
referenced that he was a backup choice for Hal, not that he actually got a ring.

In response to some Titans’ comments in the 2/24/05 column

“On paper Jericho is a cool character. He’s got a tragic story. He’s got a decent power. But visually he’s horrendous. He’s an eyesore. I didn’t actually read “New Teen Titans” during it’s heyday, and maybe his look played a role in that.”

Ironic, because in past interviews Perez has always cited Jericho as “his” character, one that was designed to be far more visual since he could only express himself through movement and expression. Doubly ironic that Perez was off the book before he had a chance to draw Joey more than a handful of issues.

“Before she could officially join the Titans, she died during the Crisis.”

She did actually officially join the Titans after they helped her discover her origin.

Fun fact: Kole was created to die. Marv Wolfman felt bad that he was killing off other characters in Crisis and none of “his,” so he created a Titan just to kill her. There were never plans for Kole beyond Crisis.

“The New Titans ended with #130, but in The Titans Secret Files & Origins #1 we got a glimpse at some “lost pages” that shows that groups failure to act as a team with a minor threat, cost them their government backing. After that everyone agrees to go their separate ways.”

But the story behind the story was that Arsenal felt bad that the team
simply wasn’t that good and that the members could be doing better things with their lives and powers, but knew they wouldn’t just agree to disband. Thus he deliberately did an interview with some female reporter, getting “tricked” into admitting that the Titans sucked, leading them to not feel bad about breaking up. Donna called him on it after everybody else left, knowing Roy could never get snowed by a chick because he’s a super pimp. Roy also said another reason he disbanded the team was because Donna and Kyle Rayner had broken up and the tension between them was hurting the team’s effectiveness.

In response to the 3/2//05 column;

“As for the Oscars themselves, eh. I got drubbed in the annual Oscar poll I do with Ben, his mom, Jamie Hatton, and several friends from college. I’ve finished second every year since we started, but this year…well, let’s just say, not so much. It was very depressing, but I think I’m good now.”

What Tim neglected to mention is that, for some reason, he taunts my mom unmercifully and for every year but one has lost to her. This year was no exception.

What Ben fails to mention is that he’s a liar. Before this year, his mother and I were all tied up. She now has the edge in the series once again 3-2. On a different note, I actually ended up finishing second this year, not nearly as bad as I expected when I wrote my original comments.

“Seven Soldiers of Victory #0 – This book has been getting bashed on our forums, but I loved it.”

Me too.

“Well, Superman’s not my thing, so no.”

I think between here and DCNV Tim says “well, XXX is not my thing…” about thirty times a week. It would be a great drinking game.

With all due respect, sir, *&^*&*@#$#% #%$#^$@#%$&^%% you.

“Who the heck are the current Hawk and Dove? It must be somebody, right? Are they both women now?”

I’m sure you already knew this, but Geoff is rolling out a brand new Hawk & Dove next month in Teen Titans. Dove is Dove II and Hawk is a woman as well (not sure who she is).

“My question to you this week; Which of the “big” miniseries (Day of
Vengeance, Villains United, etc) are you looking forward to the most?”

I’ve interviewed all four writers and I honestly can’t say I could choose any one. They’re all going to be amazing. I think the two people are kind of “eh” on, Day of Vengeance and Rann/Thanagar War, will really surprise people. DoV has a really wicked dark humor and Rann/Thanagar War has characters we haven’t seen in years. OMAC Project and Villains United will also be awesome, but they don’t really need a pimp.

And most recently Mr. Morse has posted this on our Forums;

I’ve been very fortunate to be the sort of unofficial second contact between DC and Wizard for Countdown (with the lovely and talented Chris Ward being number one) and have been able to talk extensively with Geoff, Dan Didio, Greg Rucka, Bill Willingham, Gail Simone, Dave Gibbons, Judd Winick, et al.

Here’s the deal: Countdown and what comes next is a showcase of the DCU.

1-It shows that a thousand different approaches and genres can exist side by side within one glorious thing called the DCU.

2-It shows why these are the greatest heroes anywhere.

We, as fans of DC Comics, are about to embark on a tremendous ride over the next year (yes, year). I’ll tell you write now, it’s going to seem bumpy at times, but trust that these guys (and gals) know what they’re doing. These are incredibly talented people.

And if you don’t trust them, trust me. I know where this all leads and it’s awesome.

It’s a very good time to be a comics fan period (as the newly anointed Image contact at Wizard, I highly recommend you all go pick up Invincible and look forward to Girls, Godland, Wildguard, Stardust Kid and more this summer…and as a fan of good comics you should also be getting Young Avengers, Astonishing X-Men, Cable/Deadpool, Runaways and the rest of the great stuff Marvel is putting out…and as an advocate of the indies, I recommend Teenager From Mars, Generic and anything else you can get your hands on) but it’s a great time to be a fan of the DCU.

Thank you.

No Ben, thank you.

Shiv’kala answered my question in the 6/30/04 column

Are Watchmen and The Dark Knight Strikes Back overrated? Not really. I don’t know what else to say but that both of them elevated the comic book art form and proved that serious, “adult” stories could be told about Super-heroes. Wathcmen in particular used just about every literary device known to man in it (symbolishm, foreshadowing, parallel storylines, etc.) But neither are easy stories to get through, by any stretch of the imagination and are definately products of their time. I’d imagine of Alan Moore or Frank Miller were to write these stories today, they’d be much different, as we have a different view of the future.

Nalydpsycho replies to my question about “War Games” from the 7/14/04 column;

My take on War Games, @#$% you DC. Trying to gouge readers. For shame. We are the reason you are able to make comics. Don’t screw us. I’m just SOOOOOOO pleased that my favourite mainstream superhero book, Birds of Prey, was left out. Well, issue 75 ties in but it’s not directly a part of the story. If a crossover involves more than one title a week, the company really needs to rework it.

Voteuel offered this bit of info about the 9/14/04 column;

Wonder woman is not owned by DC

If they should stop publishing it for more than something like a month at a time, the character would go back to the moulton family

That’s why when Wondy was cancelled so Perez could take over they published a three part mini series written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by trina robbins

At least that’s the way it’s always been unless something has changed

I’ve heard this before, but I always figured it was a bit of a comic book urban legend. Can anyone corraborate?

Joshua Hoskins should be relieved that his theory on Identity Crisis didn’t pan out;

My theory as to who is mastermind behind the crimes in Identity Crises is Lex Luthor. I’m going off the big hint from Superman/Batman when Lex stated there would be a Crises. As President he would have had access to the security services of the CIA & FBI, so he could have had them discover the secret identity of Superman, and many other heroes. Also, he has the simple motivation of revenge. The heroes deprived him of not just his Presidency, but also his corporation and public image. He would want them to suffer the same as he has.

I will state that I don’t like my theory, as it seems to be a copout. Though I have the feeling it is the easy out that DC will go with.

Blaine reacted to the following comment from the 9/16/04 column;

“Thankfully Action Comics #775 came out to give Superman a modern story that’s classic, but I think most would be hard pressed to find a Superman story that they enjoyed in the last decade.”

I think that For All Seasons was an excellent story. One of the best Superman stories ever. I thought Red Son was also great although one might not define it as a true Superman story.

Ultra Loyal Reader Scott Granell had something to say in response to a comment in the 9/28/04 column;

Vertigo is not a diverse line at all when it comes to race. You have all the personifications of universal concepts who all look like they came out of a Tampa Goth Club. Didi was a great vision (deathly pale), but couldn’t someone NOT be white.

As far as Black Characters go, you are sadly right, although there are exceptions, like cyborg in the team titans, and static shock in the tv series. However, note that TV is much kinder to nonwhite chars, why, because KIDS watch tv, whereas older people read comics, sad but true.

Neil has some nicknames that we missed in the same column;

As for nicknames, Batman is sometimes referred to as “The Bat.” Not an entirely clever nickname, but a nickname just the same. Ras Al Ghul refers to him simply as “Detective.”

Speedy/Aresenal…isn’t he sometimes (jokingly) referred to as “Red Arrow”? Or was that just who he becomes in Kingdom Come?

Green Arrow…isn’t he sometimes referred to as Robin Hood?

Black Canary…Lady Bird.

Roger had this to say in regards to the 10/5/04 column;

To answer your question, the only way Wolverine beats the Flash (Kid Flash, Impulse, etc) is if Logan sneaks up on him while he is sleeping. Wolverine is a mush more experienced and skilled fighter, but there is nothing he could do against Flash. How do you react to him? Same goes for Batman. By the time Bats reached for his Utility Belt, he would have already been punched about 1000 times.

Onto the subject of Thor’s Hammer. I do agree that there are a few DC Heroes that could lift Mjolnir. I disagree the reader that said Superman lifted it. From what I say in JLA/Avengers, Superman used the momentum from Thor throwing the hammer to him. Right after he caught it, he turned and smashed Krona’s “fortress.” In each frame, the hammer gets closer to the ground. Right after he put a hole in the wall, Supes got blasted and the hammer was no longer in his hand. When he later tried to lift the hammer, he couldn’t do it. Well, I gotta go. Thank you for your time.

Charles Hargrove had a difference of opinion;

Wolverine would beat the Flash for the simple reason that the Flash is a dumba$$. If he used his powers with any thought at all he would clearly be the most powerful character in the DCU. Since he has trouble with a talking gorilla and a guy who throws boomerangs, there is no way he could have the mental wherewithal to beat Logan.

I just have to call sheninigans on this theory. Without taking a stand either way on this “grand” debate, let me point out that Flash is not stupid and the gorilla does not merely talking, he is also a powerful psychic.

As for the man with the ‘rangs… eh, we all have bad days.

Kairow wants to add his two cents;

Let me say first, that I am a Mighty Marvel mark, but I think in this case Flash wins.

Scavenger also has his two cents full dollar;

Besides needing the pure of heart thing you need super strength to actually lift the hammer, so Conner and Jay are out. And it has to be super noble pure of heart, not just your run of the mill pure heart.

JSA got axed in the Zero Hour period because there was a realization that having WW2 heroes running around made DC seem like the old universe (as opposed to Marvel’s more modern take). TBTB were wanting people to forget that DC had been around for well over 50 years.

In JLTF, Priest declared Vandal Savage as a tuna fish sandwich. No matter how elaborate the plan, it boils down to taking over the world..(no matter how you dress it up, it’s still tuna fish).

Is Flash is written to his potential, Wolverine doesn’t touch him… or see him. If he’s written as usual, Wolverine anticipates where Wally is going to be and stabs there.

Neil actually wrote a column of feedback to the same column;

Teen Titans: Ben, you can tell Megan I understand. Though I’ve been a fan and reader of the Legion in the past, I just never got into the current series. As such, while I knew who the characters were, what was going on had me at a loss.

Superman: Mathan, I’ve gone on before about how I’m digging Azzarello’s run, but I do have to say his fight issues just bore me. Issues that are more about dialogue are the ones that have been interesting me so far, such as last issue, which was light years better than this most recent issue.

Kevin Smith: I actually found Clerks to be boring, but I love Mallrats. I recently picked up the “Quiver” TPB and enjoyed it immensely. What a fun trip around the DCU from Star City, to Stanley and his Monster, to Arsenal, to Black Canary, to the Demon, to the Phantom Stranger, to Deadman, etc. Very fun. I’m looking forward to reading “The Sounds of Violence” and especially “Archer’s Quest.” Though I’m not too sure I’ll like the Winnick issues, he left me kind of cold on Green Lantern.

Thor’s Hammer: I, too, am not sure about the rules, though JLA*Avengers made it seem like it was similar to Kyle’s ring, in that only those who the bearer (in GL’s case Kyle, in Mjolinir’s case, Thor) wanted to wield it could. I had previously thought that anyone worthy could use it. Assuming it is the latter, I’m not so sure Ted Knight could lift it. Certainly having an affair would lessen how “noble” he is and Ted always seemed to be more an idealist than someone who went out and acted on his ideals (aside from being Starman). Jack Knight, despite his rebellious past though, I could see. Though Jack always seemed noble despite himself.

Find me a guy more pure in the DCU than Jay Garrick and I’ll doubt his ability to lift Mjolinir. Alan Scott, definitely, as well as Hal and maybe Kyle. And before you bring the whole “Hal can’t because he went crazy,” in the 90’s I remember Thor himself went crazy around the time of “Infinity Crusade” and I think the hammer even rejected him for a time. Pre-ET there is no doubt in my mind Hal could lift it. Parallax days there’s no way he could. Spectre days, well is Odin’s magick more powerful than the Spirit of Wrath’s? This isn’t a case of pure of heart or noble, just whether or not the Spectre is powerful enough to overcome the enchantment… We’ll have to wait to see what happens post-Rebirth.

I guess my main problem is that I have a hard time discounting most of the JLA, JSA, and Titans (at least) from being able to wield the hammer, but it just seems like a good majority of the DCU would be able to.

Regardless, I’d say that DC’s Captain Marvel should be able to lift it, if nothing else. Noble and pure are this guy’s bread and butter and he was the only one able to defeat Neeron(sp?) because he was noble and pure.

I’d also want to hear Ben’s reasoning for why Jay Garrick couldn’t lift it… If there’d be anything blocking Jay, it’d probably be his own self not believing he was pure enough to do so. Not sure if you have to believe you are worthy to lift it, but the only reason I can see Jay failing is because he blocks himself.

Batman: You know what, while Miller’s takedown of Superman is controversial (I fall into the “yeah, it makes sense, but it’s not easily reproducible” category on that) it does show how the cards have to be stacked against Superman for Bats to win.

But, while Wonder Woman could wipe the floor with Bats, Superman has one advantage. He understands Bruce and he knows how to get under his skin. If Bats went over the edge, I’d send Superman, because if there is one person in the world (well…maybe Alfred and James Gordon could do it as well…) who could talk Bruce off the proverbial cliff, it’s Clark.

Jeph Loeb in “Superman/Batman” shows this quite well in his (controversial) duel narration. These two characters know how the other one thinks and they know how to get to the other one. Superman would know what to say, when to invoke Jason’s name, when to invoke Bruce’s parents, and when that fails, when force would be needed.

The Guardian, Arsenal, and Vandal Savage: Interesting. Thanks for the info. I have no problem with Jim Harper being related to Roy Harper, it makes sense. The part about Vandal harvesting organs though…not so much.

Disrespect of Teams: I think this is a topic which could be delved into by team:

We’ll start with the Justice League…If you go by the original idea that it was a way to get the top heroes at DC together, then Aquaman’s tenure as leader after ousting the main guns and getting people like Vibe to join was a big sign of disrespect. As was the Giffen-DeMatteis years (again, I’m not arguing good or bad here, I’m just saying it is disrespectful of the original intent of the League).

Jurgen’s League post “Death of Superman” didn’t help and by the time Gerard Jones picked up the title, it was a pale shade of its former glory.

I think JLA by Grant Morrison was the first sign of DC showing respect to the original intent of the League since the mid 80’s, but it was also disrespecting those past 15 odd years (“odd” as in “around” as well as in “strange” ).

Recently, their “round-robin” creative teams were disrespectful of the potential the League has when one creator handles it. Kurt Busiek being given the title is a sign that DC realized its mistake.

Then there’s the JSA, which was described quite well in the column. Roy Thomas really brought the team to new heights and Crisis cut the legs out from underneath him. DC revived the Justice Society in the early 90’s only to again cancel their title in favor of trying to remove them from the scene in Zero Hour.

Luckily for us fans though, DC realized the potential of JSA and restarted the title in the late 90’s and it’s still going strong.

The Legion: Crisis was the first sign that DC wasn’t respecting the Legion anymore, since afterwards, they cut out the Superboy part of the origin and made the Legion team really work to come up with a solution that didn’t involve a complete revamp of their origin.

It worked for a while, but then DC decided to completely cut out the Superboy part of the origin. I know there are a lot of Legion fans that felt that DC disrespected them by the Giffen/Bierbaums era, which put the Legion into a darker world and did away with individual costumes and code-names.

I guess DC realized that there was still potential in those things, so they created the Legionnaires, but long time Legion fans felt disrespected by DC when they restarted their whole damn origin post Zero-Hour.

While I enjoyed that era, I do have to say that Mark Waid, in a recent interview, said it best, in that DC was a bit disrespectful of the revamp when they didn’t restart the issue #’s and didn’t really advertise that this Legion was starting on the ground floor. Thus, people who might have tried a Legion free of its baggage were not given adequate warning that now was the time.

And now, again, people feel DC is disrespecting the Legion by restarting it again and jettisoning the past 10 years of continuity.

Perhaps the biggest way that DC is disrespecting the Legion is that they seemingly forget that the Legion plays an integral role in the current DCU. Their post-Zero Hour revamp disrespected the great Post-Crisis stories involving the Legion, including Byrne’s two-parter where Superman met Superboy and the “Time and Time Again” story arc. They tried to “fix” this in an issue of Legion focusing on the Time Trapper and various instances of the Legion phasing in and out of reality (one in particular phased in just when Superman from “Time and Time Again” arrived in the 30th Century.

And now with this reboot, it seems that stories like the Legion in the 20th Century story from a few years ago, The Final Night (which took place during that time), Superboy meeting the Legion and dealing with Lar Gand, the aspects of Flash and Impulse that drew on the Legion, the Starman of 1951, etc. are all impacted and become big continuity question marks.

Biggest of all, in my mind, was how DC disrespected the Green Lantern Corps. Basically, they axed them and killed off many of its members. The members who didn’t die in ET were sold into slavery and freed by Guy Gardner (which, while that Guy was my favorite version, you have to admit, I’m sure those GLs would have rather been rescued by anyone else ). Then some became Darkstars and then DC went on two rounds of killing off more ex-GLs. First, the GL story leading up to GL #75, where the Darkstars are trying to stop Gravyn on Rann. GLs such as Charlie Vicker were killed during this and the Darkstars were devastated.

A few months later, Fatalilty managed to kill a few more of them when she targeted those remaining former-GL Darkstars.

So, while the other teams were broken up, restructured, sent to Limbo, partially killed off, no team has been so utterly destroyed as the GL Corps.

I’ll leave how DC disrespected groups like the Titans, the Outsiders, L.E.G.I.O.N., the Darkstars, etc. to others.

Do you really think that Wolverine would beat The Flash? Sadly, yes. Not because it should happen, but because TPTB would use the same logic that said that Logan beat Lobo…

In reality…Logan is no Slade Wilson, so I doubt he’d even scratch Wally. Wally would really pour on the speed and out-race Logan’s healing factor. It’s good and it’s fast, but Wally would be faster, inflicting more and more damage on Wolverine until he was down for the count with too many injuries for his healing factor to heal him quick enough to get back into the fight.

As Logan’s healing factor works quadruple time to heal basically every area of his body, Wally could just speed Logan off to a contained area to lock him up.

Of course, if for some reason Wally felt bloodthirsty, he could try to see if Adamantium was the right density for him to vibrate through and explode. I’m pretty sure that Adamantium would be too dense (like the metal used to make up Speed-Metal from John Fox’s century) and I doubt Wally would be motivated to use such a killing move.

And let’s say that Wally didn’t feel like injuring Logan to the extent that his healing factor was overworked. Fine. Wally would just duck Logan’s moves and get him in a position where he couldn’t hurt him.

Then he could do a number of things to Logan, speed related. First he could do the old trick of spinning around and launching Logan over the horizon. Or he could run Logan straight into a rock going pretty damn fast. Or he could lend Logan his speed and race around the world until Logan collapsed from exhaustion. He could also use the trick he used on Grodd recently and on other occasions, where he runs fast enough to give his fist extra mass and knock Logan into next Sunday.

Basically, Wally has enough tricks in his bag o’ speed tricks to daze, pummel, injure, confuse, and just plain deliver the smack down upon Logan that it really wouldn’t be much of a fight.

Now granted, unless Wally could (a) do the vibration trick, (b) sever Logan’s head from his body and keep it far enough away so as to negate his healing factor from fixing it quick enough to keep Logan alive, or (c) run Logan into the Speed Force and leave him there, Wally’s just going to be able to take Logan out for a short period of time. Which is why I say the best thing Wally could do is to take Logan out and then secure him in some containment cell.

Smith also has an opinion;

Unless Flash gets tranquilized, he dominates wolverine… I don’t think the healing factor would work if you were getting continually pummeled in the same place on your body hundreds of time a minute… As for Logan’s offensive, how he see, let alone hit Flash? His enhanced senses would let him know Flash is coming and he has quick reflexes, but from Flash’s point of view, would he even be moving at all?

My problem with how Flash went down in Identity Crisis in the fight against Deathstroke goes along with my problem in thinking that Wolverine could beat Flash – Despite the explosion, if Flash is moving at super speed, there is no way that a sword or claws would even hit him.. Even if Deathstroke has 10 times human reflexes (I think), Flash is at least ten times faster then that… Unless he’s running blindfolded, there’s no way that -run into the sword- would work, so I guess whoever wrote Identity Crisis could also have Flash run into
Logan’s claws in a similarly inane way…

As to how Flash could beat wolverine, how about throwing a projectile through his eye socket at super speed (like a bullet, but faster) – that could fly around inside Logan’s adamantium skull, bouncing around and pulverizing his brain, eventually making him totally helpless. And its not like Wolverine could dodge an attack like that from the Flash.

Glen Davis disagrees, but about something else;

I have to disagree with either you or Ben about the Arsenal stories. IMO, the whole thing about Savage using body parts of his relatives as replacements for his own, seemed on its face, lame. The entire concept came out of the clear blue sky. How was he even able to transplant organs back in the Stone Age, when he had no better tools than anyone else? I also thought he was a Cro magnon man. Why doesn’t Roy, et al, look more different than normal people? Nothing more has been done with the concept since, due to the poor quality of the concept.

As to Vandal Savage himself, he should be a behind the scenes bad guy, but with a very powerful organization behind him, with a number of plans always in motion to become emperor. Personally, I was a little surprised he wasn’t in Luthor’s cabinet.

Julian L. Smith also has a solid dollar’s worth of feedback;

Least respected teams? How about The Blasters, Night Shift and/or CyberR.A.T.S (?) or even the extremely amusing Justice League Antarctica. The Team Titans didnt get much love either, but they weren’t THAT bad…they got more love than The Global Guardians, Ultramarine Corps. Oh, and lets not forget The Leymen, the Great Lakes Avengers of DC Comics.

Adam Strange…last I saw of him was in JLA when he had the Zeta Beam energy drained from him. Where has he been?

I just read about Empress in your column. That run of Young Justice, which I never read, sounds like a real crapfest. Then again, I hoped Randy Orton would hold onto the title for a minute, so…

Who could life Thor’s hammer? Superman, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. That’s it. Bats is too traumatized and everyone else is just no pure enuf. Short list.

Superman could beat Batman, anytime and anyplace. Period. I ranted about this before. ANYtime, do you hear me? Even on a bed of Green-K. Remember how he dealt with Manchester Black’s team? That’s it. Superspeed concussion w/ heat-vision lobotomy. Done. Do you feel me, playa?!?

Why yes, player, yes I do.

Nathaniel A. Hensley finally gives us a chance to change columns with his comment on the 10/12/04 column;

Just wanted to add that the vertigo mini-series “Two Gun Mojo” and “Riders of the Worm and Such” are both EXCELLENT comics, and should be checked out by everyone with a strong stomach (even those who dont like western books * author Joe Lansdale has a real dark touch for the material.)

Nalydpsycho answered my question in that column;

The number one factor, concept. Do I like the genre? Do I buy an abundence of the genre? Not enough? Does it seem like it has some real depth and story potential? Is it fresh and new? Etc…

The number two factor is writer. Gail Simone is the only writer I’ll try anything by, but Brian Azzarello and Brian K. Vaughan are close. I’m also definatly going to pounce on any future projects from Jason Rand and Arvid Nelson. But if I have liked a writers work, then it increases the likelihood I’ll try it. If I’ve tried and never really cared for their work, it decreases the chance. And if I’ve never read their work, than it’s a non-issue.

Third is art, much the same as writer, but I value writer slightly more. Todd Nauck and Darick Robertson are the only artists who’s work I’ll try almost regardless (I have no interest in Teen Titans Go because of the huge style shift in the art, so they still have to provide their own style for me to support it.) Same rules as writers, except the benefit with art is that rather than determine what I think about those I’ve never read by giving them a shot, I can give a thorough look through in store.

Then there’s characters, which amounts to , John Constantine, Nightcrawler and The Question, beyond those three, doesn’t make much of a difference, and even then…

Glen Davis also had some thoughts on that column;

Actually Mathan, I read that during the silver age, Martian Manhunter had a younger brother named T’omm. Seriously. I’m not kidding.

I usually buy comics because of the combo of character and writer. For instance, I like Nightwing, but I won’t buy Grayson’s crap. I can’t think of any examples of the reverse off hand, but there are some, I’m almost positive. For me, the artist acts only as a disincentive to buy the book. Take the Invaders for instance. I like the characters, the writing isn’t too bad, but the art is so terrible I’m about to drop it.

Julian L. Smith disagrees with my assessment of Wally’s powers from the same column;

Anyhow…I don’t really agree with the explanation of Flash’s powers. Simply because, in the case where the bullet touches the back of his neck and the speed kicks in, that’s more of a case of Flash just got caught slippin’. Honestly, if his speed/perception of times is so great Deathstroke should NEVER have been able to stab Flash in Identity Crisis. In fact, NObody should be able to put hands on him aside from another speedster, or metahuman moving at super speed. In JLA when the Ultramarine Corps was introduced, Flash was saving people and the UMC set off some land minds w/shrapnel to cut up his legs. NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED. Why? If Flash’s perception of time, while in superspeed mode, slows his environment (ie the Turtle Effect) he should see it all coming and step around it. Now, if he were standing still, unaware and go sucker-punched, I would understand…because he got caught slippin’. Superman has super-reflexes and gets caught slippin’ all the time…like those (here I go again) stinkin’ kryptonite arrows in DKR. Bah!

George Metcalf has some thoughts on the 10/19/04 column;

Only Hulk in raw power could beat Doomsday, but which Hulk, Savage, Grey, etc.? What about the Maestro, if I recall he’s stronger than the Hulk. Also what of Super Skrull, I mean the guy needs to run invisible, put a little invisible bubble in Doomsday’s head and *pop* Doomsday collapses from an aneurysm. Or still S.S. just turns invisible and has his way with Doomsday, what he can’t see he can’t hit, right?

Nalydpsycho also has some thoughts;

I’m thinking about the Doomsday in the Marvel U. Some theories.

Pete Wisdom might be able to damage him, his hot knives were supposed to be hotter than the sun, but that’s a longshot.

Speaking of which, Longshot and Domino could do it, how much luck would it take to pull out a fluke victory over Doomsday?

I’ve always wanted to see Human Torch go white hot. Imagine him going nova then getting hotter and hotter until himself and the flame are invisible? Doomsday would so sublimate.

Or the other extreme. Iceman brings Doomsday to absolute zero and Thor shatters him.

Or Silver Surfer just b#$%h slaps him…

Vortex also responded to the Doomsday query;

I would’ve said the Juggernaut, but it seems he’s not totally invulnerable after the way Onslaught beat him. Toe-to-toe fighting I’d say the savage Hulk is your best bet. Doomsday adapts to how he was last beaten so it takes a little more each time, but the hulks strength is only limited by his rage. So in theory he’ll always be able to make himself that little bit stronger to get the last punch on Doomsday.

Then there’s the ohters. Silver Surfer could do it, but I think he’d only be able to beat him once. Guardian could do it once too, as long as he can stay confident. I wonder… His strength and invulnerability is based off his confidence, so surely if he got drunk he’d be unstoppable! Hmm, yes well…

For less direct attacks you can guarantee the Fantastic 4 or Doctor Doom could beat him – just port the guy over to the negative zone and leave him there or something. Then there’s that popstar mutant that can teleport across galaxies.

Oh yeah, and f&*%$#g Wolverine. I bet he’d beat him somehow, what with the way Marvel bosses have such a h#$%^n for the guy.

Darque on Doomsday;

Old-school, truly unstoppable Juggernaut would be able to at least come to a stalemate with Doomsday. Hulk would get trashed at first, but would come out on top sooner or later, once he began to get pissed. I’d say Mjollnir through the head might do it, too. Wonder Man could probably hold his own. Silver Surfer would own Doomsday, no problem, but that’s because he’s pretty much a god. Dr. Strange could come up with something, it’s what he does. If he could affect his mind, a powerful telepath like Xavier could probably do something.

Dhaise had this rebuttal to my WOQW defending Hal Jordan;

Council paints Mr. Jordan is a very unfortunate light, while glossing over some pretty heinous deeds in the argument ‘well, he could have been a lot worse’. While this is certainly true, I would like to point out than anyone calling themselves a ‘force for good’ generally upholds themselves to a higher standard than those they oppose.

Hal was ‘only’ responsible for two deaths…. so that makes them ok. Kilowog was his best friend, his trainer in the Green Lantern corps. To just casually dismiss that death because in the end, ‘he got better’ is an outrage. The fact that he also killed ANOTHER fellow who had proven themselves unfit for the responsibility of the ring is moot. There can be some credence lent to the ‘what about all the lanterns who died in space/combat when their rings suddenly emptied because our favorite maniac just drained the central power battery’ but since the only ones we saw were the ones Jordan assaulted (for doing their job) and dismembered (because he wanted their rings) I will concede the point to spare us all any of Jordan’s ‘it was all the guardians fault’ diatribes.

The guardians got mad because Hal didn’t like seeing some property he held dear go boom, along with its current residents. To this I say…grow up Mr. Jordan. Your family didn’t reside there anymore, and you waited until after Superman left your vicinity to play god. If your intentions were so noble, why not share with the man of steel instead of acting in secret? Coast city was a monumental tragedy, but the Guardians were not responsible for it, and blaming them for your grief was just another example of that Classic Hal Jordan whinefest of avoiding responsibility while wallowing in guilt, legitimate or otherwise. You didn’t agree with the guardian’s rules? Then you shouldn’t have worn the ring…have I mentioned that the defendant has quit that job several times in the past, only to end up on his knees crawling back at later dates?

Before Jordan’s physical death, he went to a bit of an extreme with that whole ‘wipe out the entire universe and rebuild it according to his own desires’ and in the process attempted to kill several of his former cohorts. He was an indirect accessory to the assault on the JSA that left many members incapacitated, debilitated, or dead. Where were the tears for the innocents then Mr. Jordan? Oh I forgot, you’d ‘fix things’ later, even though your track record has proven less than stellar in that regard.

The only character trait Jordan seems to have in defending his actions, is that he wasn’t to blame, others ‘forced’ him into acting as he did. Nobody was holding a gun to his head when he slaughtered Killowog, the Cyborg (final night), or Sinestro. Nobody was manipulating him into sending his whipping boy extant into combat that caused the death of his former comrades at arms. Nobody forced him to destroy his own ring, become the Spectre, assault other Green lanterns on multiple occasions, attempt to alter reality, or play god either.

And now he’s a ghost, ‘forced’ to redeem or punish murderers as an act of contrition. How truly fortunate that the one person who is so quick to condemn others must now act on that and punish only ‘certain’ killers (IC #4) who are deemed ‘worthy’ of his attention. It’s even more amazing to my mind that years of Jordan irresponsibility is ignored in favor of nostalgia, and he’s already being paroled from an arguably light sentence anyways.

In closing, I was a big fan of Hal Jordan, but this character does not deserve to be in a position where his own ‘best judgment’ is used when wielding the ‘most powerful weapon in the universe’. I think your clients own words said it best GL 50′.I don’t deserve this anymore’.
Let him spend his time being punished and rehabilitated instead of assuming a beat in any of the designated sectors.

James Lawson offered this tidbit in response to the 11/3/04 column;

In response to your comment about characters like the Shadow and Doc Savage crossing over with DC continuity, it did happen once. Back when DC got the rights to the Shadow around the early 1970’s, they decided to give him a guest appearance in one of the Batman comics. It’s been so long since I’ve seen the issue, I can’t remember the exact issue, but pre-crisis, Bruce Wayne as a child, gets caught in a crossfire between a robber and the Shadow, explaining Batman’s aversion to firearms. Hope this made sense.

Lucas also had a bit of added info;

You might be interested to know why Billy Dee Williams was replaced by Tommy Lee Jones for the role of Harvey Dent/Two-Face. I got this information from IMDB.com

Apparently, Lando Cal…I mean, Billy Dee signed on for the role of Harvey Dent because he KNEW that Harvey Dent would become Two-Face in a future sequel, and had a contract clause added reserving the role for him. When time came for Batman Forever (or perhaps earlier…see below), Warner Bros. decided they preferred Tommy Lee Jones to play Two-Face, continuity be damned (that was some acid!), and bought out Lando’s…er…Billy’s contract.

Oh, and more Two-Face film trivia…Christopher Walken’s character (department store owner Max Schreck) in the original script for Batman Returns was actually going to be…you guessed it, Harvey Dent. The explosion towards the end of that film would have been the cause of his disfigurement. Thank you for allowing me to drop some science.

Bill also had a bit of clarification;

In regards to the DCU martial artists I just wanted to add that Connor Hawke is considered second to only Lady Shiva in the DCU. This was quickly established after Ollie’s death and Connor took over the Green Arrow title.

Brittp had something to add;

Because of his own rebellious offspring Zeus gave Helena Sandsmark (Wondergirl’s mother) the ability to neutralize Wondergirl’s powers with a touch. Revealed in Wonder Woman #133

Scavenger had some points of interest from the 11/16/04 column;

Maggie Sawyer regularly appears in Gotham Central (DC’s top book).

Steel’s White Zone may or may not be the Phantom Zone…As soon as Priest took over the book and made it good, he dumped the whole metahuman stuff as some kind of technology bamboozle that was being played on Steel by Dr. Villain (pronounced Will-hain…it’s French).

Andy Richardson also had in interesting take on one of the answers from the same column;

Just a quick comment on the new Johnny Thunder. Just because JT only has one living son, doesn’t mean that the current is not the 7th. I read a book called “Seventh Son” by Orson Scott Card, where some of the other sons had died in childbirth, or even miscarried. JT may not even know how many sons he actually had; only that he has one living. That’s the way writers could get out of it anyway. That might explain JT’s comment, or like I said if the baby miscarried very early, they might not have even known they were pregnant.

Brian G responded to my Supergirl question from 11/23/04 column;

Alright. As for your comment about Supergirl, I think I like her, under the condition that she sticks around for a while. I mean, come on. How many Supergirls have we gone through in the last ten years? The purple jelly, Cir-El, etc. If we stick with this SG, great. She’s got the potential for story (especially with Kara, whoops, Karen Starr), she’s got the legacy angle with Superman and the potential for the heel turn since we really truly have not had a glimpse into her head in S/B (which has a notorious amount of inner monologue.)

I think there’s a potential for a REALLY good set of stories between Nightwing and SG, what with Dick’s taking from the Kryptonian world and Kara being a bridge to that.

At any rate, I think she can be positive as long as she’s not cookie-cutter.

Silv was right on the money in regards to a comment in the same column;

Okay, who says the Atom is the murderer? Yes, it LOOKS like that; however, if I recall, aren’t there a couple of white dwarf star belts bouncing around the DCU? I vividly recall the Atom’s ex-wife’s husband using one to attack Dr. Palmer at one point. The end of IC #6 could very well be what we call “a swerve”.

Dhaise answered my question from the 12/9/04 column;

Identity Crisis 6’s cliffhanger. No book has been so satisfying in recent memory. Not since Thunderbolts have I been so surprised.

Glen Davis also had some thoughts on that column;

I’ve thought some on DC’s cities. I think most of your geography is in the ballpark. You missed St. Roche, which is in Louisiana. I’ve long thought Gateway City would be in Pennsylvania, the “Gateway to the West.”

Repairing Hal Jordan’s personality should be relatively easy. Just study the QB’s of legend: Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, etc. I believe that’s what Hal was originally all about, and the part that was missing for a very long time.

BronzeAge had something that I missed in the 12/16/04 column;

In regards to the question you answered about DC characters coming from cartoons, I have one more for you. Detective Montoya was introduced in the Batman Animated Series first and then became a regular in the Batman comic series. She was even Bullock’s partner till he was forced out of the GCPD.

Unfortunately, that’s the only other one that I can recall.

Nick Vinson answered some questions from the same column;

How do you feel about the ending of Identity Crisis?

I enjoyed it. I was expecting a big fight between the ‘murderer’ and the JLA. However, instead of superhero hijinx what I got was something completely different. And in hindsight I respect Meltzer MORE for it. It would have been easy to cop out with a super villain or The Atom being the killer and the JLA shows up… and there’s a FIGHT! Instead we wrap up the murder in the first 4 pages and spend the rest of the issue dealing with the characters as human beings. Something that a lot of hotshot writers don’t know how to do, and a lot of punk fanboys wouldn’t appreciate anyway.

What comic related gift would you like for the holidays?

The Spirit Archives vol 1-5

Lorenzo Bonilla also had something to add;

Interesting side note on minority characters and old super friends characters; In Justice League Unlimited, they introduce a team of superheroes called the U-Men, who were basically the retooled versions of Apache Chief (Manitou Raven in the episode) Samurai (Wind Dragon) Black Vulcan (Bolt) and the Wondertwins (designed to be eerie androgynous elf twins) all had the same powers and were a celebrity super team. They even employed the hackneyed speeches in the old cartoon series. Well, all is not well for the team as they find out they are clones that are experiencing cell degeneration. They go nuts and tear down their base, with Manitou Raven trying to stop the madness. The League intervenes, and defeats them, but federal agents, except for Manitou, who stays with the league, escort the U-men. It was a good episode and introduces Waller, known in the Hush trade for being in charge of metahuman affairs. Also the goal for this super team was to create superpowers under government control and delivers a shock moment when Batman is smug with Waller, and she responds, “you better be careful rich boy” delivering the indication that she knows who Batman really is.

Ryan Connor offered this encouraging word;

I just wanted to say I am loving the new dynamic with you and Tim. yeah I miss M and B, but damn since Tim came on this has been a great read!

Finally…some feedback for glorious me! I was beginning to think no one even read what I wrote.

Glen Davis offered this idea as for the identity of the person on the cover of DC Countdown;

I’m going with Blue Beetle for two reasons: I think I see goggles, and he’s not originally a DC hero, and they always seem (to me) to be considered a little more expendable, if that is at all possible in the DCU.

That’s it. Happy Anniversary!

You deserve all the happy my friend. This column is yours and your work on it has been truly great. Take a little bow.

Here’s my question for you this week; What is your favorite “anniversary issue” of any title?

“The hottest show on TV? Hand’s down that would have to be The Wire.”

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