Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, anything big happening this week?

Hmm, now what could you be referring to? I’m not going to the dentist, so that’s not it. I don’t plan to kill a hobo. So what…

Oooooh! I know!

San Diego, here I come. Sadly, without my second from last year, Ben Morse (he has a job or some such nonsense), but with James Hatton being promoted from drunkard to drunkard correspondent, I’ll be bringing you daily (or hourly…nah, daily) convention updates Wednesday (Preview Night) ’til Sunday (or what I’ve nicknamed, “OHMYGOD I FORGOT TO LOOK FOR THAT ONE THING” Day). I hope that all of you will take the time to read the updates and comment on our message boards.


Links

Music has news on the Biggie Death trial.

Movies has reviews about some movie about four folks.

TV has folks who rave about cartoons!

Sports sports a true All-Star line up.

Figures is a place that just makes you want to spend money.

Moodspins has plenty of deep insightful opinions.

Games has the latest news on Comic book video games.

Tim, care to link this week?

Well, since we are talking about San Diego already, here is the Convention Homepage. Take a look at the schedule, and visit our Message Boards to tell us what panels you’d love to see us cover.


What I Read Last Week

Villains United #3 – Ok, so the point of this issue is to show how the team becomes more cohesive? It takes a whole issue to do that? I found this to be a fluffy, if brutal issue.

I didn’t find it fluffy at all. Beside the ill fitting art, I actually was largely without complaint on this issue.

Matador #3 – Amazing. I found the affair sequence to be done perfectly. And then they go and kill off _____ just as I begin to like him. I love this mini!

Yeah, it’s been excellent stuff. I’m very glad I impulsed bought this book at issue #1. I have yet to be disappointed by it.

JSA #75 – Very good issue. I enjoyed the sacrifice and redemption. I also enjoyed how things ended up. Seeing Black Adam so vulnerable was worth the price of admission.

I’ll concur on the Black Adam front, but I didn’t like the outcome of the “sacrifice” portion. It felt a little like the end of War of the Worlds to me, too pat, too hollow.

Y the Last Man #35 – Why is Yorick trying to be a hero? His sister is Hero. But on the plus side, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Ampersand to get some action.

Aquaman #32 – It’s nice to see Koryak again. Aquaman really needs to have a “sit down” with Geist. He’s got so much anger, I think he needs to work it out.

Superman #219 – Imagine that; Brainiac playing mind games. Powerful reading.

Firestorm #15 – This issue really sold me on Moore. I loved how psyched Jason was that he had someone looking for him. Classic. Cool cover, great art. More people should be reading this book.

Son of Vulcan #2 – This is an equally fun book. It’s unique in tone and appearance. I hope people are reading this.

Return of Donna Troy #2 – I hope that people weren’t so turned off by the previous issue that they didn’t buy this one, because this is a great issue. We get to see more about her other family. We also get nice reminders that the issue is happening “now.” Give this book a chance.


Parallax2814 gets total access in all the clubs

I haven’t seen too much off Access since GL#87, so what’s been goin’ on with him? Was he just used in the DCU after DC v. Marvel? Or do you know if he was used in any Marvel issues as well?

Alas poor Axel “Morty” Asher, I didn’t know him well at all. His only appearances after Green Lantern #87 was in the miniseries Unlimited Access it was another one of those crossover thingies.

Considering that the blood between DC and Marvel is far from “good”, I’m guessing that Axel is on ice for the time being. Maybe he’ll thaw out in, oh a decade or so. I’m not optimistic about and DC/Marvel crossovers, but I don’t really miss them much. JLA/Avengers was cool, but that was the only one that I really cared about.

Tim, do you miss Access?

Do I miss Access? DO I MISS ACCESS? Umm…no. Not at all really.


Joe: a simple name for a man with a complex question.

Has there ever been a superhero who has played the ultimate good guy for years and years, then suddenly become evil and stay that way? I can’t think off-hand of anyone who has done so and stayed.

The only guy that I can think of who was good and then went bad was Hank Hall. Hank was known as Hawk, of Hawk & Dove fame. He was the uber hero, even battling communists!

But his life got all screwy when he found out that his new partner, Dove (the female one, not his brother) was destined to be his mate. What made matters worse was when a future version of himself, known as Monarch, came back to the past and killed Dove.

The shock of seeing his partner killed before his eyes drove Hawk over the edge. He killed his future self, and gave in to his dark side, becoming Monarch. Monarch evolved into Extant who was equally evil.

Extant was killed by Atomsmasher on the pages of JSA (that murder was detailed in the current JSA #75). But suffice it to say, when Hawk became Monarch he never did another good deed again. He was evil for the rest of his years.

It appears that Jason Todd will be able to land in this category as well. While he wasn’t (and isn’t) completely evil, his view of justice is just a bit off of Batman’s. For instance issued before he was killed Jason Todd was involved in a suspicious death.

Y’see there was this girl who was raped. Her rapist happened to be the son of a diplomat, which gave him diplomatic immunity. Jason didn’t appreciate that his hands were tied in this case, as the rapist is just being deported as opposed to tried. In a final act of defiance the rapist calls his victim from the police station. The call frightens her so much that she hangs herself.

Robin is incensed and rushes to the rapist’s apartment, leaving Batman playing catch up. Batman arrives just in time to see the rapist plunge from his building to his death. Batman asks a grim looking Robin what happened and Robin replies that he “slipped.”

So while Jason Todd may not be exactly “evil” he’ll certainly never become a hero again.

Tim, can you think of any other examples?

Well, there was, of course, Hal Jordan’s transition to Parallax, but that’s all behind us now. There was also Terra, who played being good for a time, but, as it turned out in the Judas Contract, was bad all along. Finally, there was almost Captain Atom, but people found out about that too soon and thus we have the sad tale of Hank Hall as detailed above.


Dhaise strikes from the darkness with this query.

How many of the Shadow Fighters killed in Eclipso #13 are still dead?

First, a little bit of backstory;

From the 1/7/04 column;

What happened? Man it was a bloodbath. Go over to the DC boards and ask about Eclipso #13, and you will some pretty strong responses. I honestly think that this issue it right up there with Starman #38 and Zero Hour as the stories that featured multiple deaths, that fans really seem to hate.

For some reason Commander Steel, Dr. Midinght, Wildcat II, Major Victory, Manhunter III, Peacemaker, and the Creeper thought that they could attack Eclipso by infiltrating his nation stronghold. That’s right Eclipso controlled a whole nation! Well I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will say this; it’s bloody and eclipsed animals are involved. This is by far the most infamous issues of Eclipso. But couple other notable issues are #7 & 8. I really liked those two. B, did you read Eclipso?

So let’s do a quick rundown of where those people stand;

Commander Steel – Still dead. I can’t really see this guy coming back. He’s related to the Steel from the JLA Detroit for goodness sakes!

Dr. Midnight – Still dead. Furthermore someone else has got the name. And he’s a member in good standing with the JSA.

Wildcat II – Still dead. The original is alive and kicking. Fortunately Wildcat II isn’t alone in death, as her brother, Eclipso II, joined her as well.

Major Victory – Still dead. But if I ever wrote for DC, I’d find a way to bring him back. He fits nicely into a storyline I’ve got in my head.

Manhunter III – Alive?! Y’see Mark Shaw was doing some deep cover government work at the time the whole Eclipso stuff was going down. Thus the government sent some poor sap in the Manhunter dress up. That sap was killed, but Mark who was miles away is still alive and kicking. (For more on all things Manhunter check out John Babos’ excellent NMM.)

Peacemaker – Still dead. There’s a chance that someone will take over the name, but that actual Peacemaker is gone and forgotten.

The Creeper – Alive?! Yup. Y’see while Jack Ryder is mortal, The Creeper has an insane healing factor. So even though he was ripped to shreds and buried, his body pieced itself together. Still worse for the wear he changed back to Jack, who dug himself out of the grave.

So as you can see Eclipso’s massacre was still pretty successful. The two characters that were the most memorable were the two who, as luck would have it, happened to survive the encounter.

Ooh, Tim that’s a good idea for your revamp feature; revamp Eclipso’s Doomed Patrol.

Hmm…well, Peacemaker, Commander Steel, and/or Major Victory perhaps. The rest are already pretty taken care of in some way or another.


Coren lives his life in perfect balance between order and chaos

Hawk & Dove, I think they used to be brothers. Now they’re sisters. Care to explain their history, considering their upcoming presence in Teen Titans? Or perhaps a link to an older column if one such exists.

Cool, I’ve got no problem with that;

From the 4/10/03 column;
Ok, here is what you have to understand about Hawk and Dove, they were created in a different time. See America was in turmoil. There was this war that America was involved in for some sketchy reasons. Some Americans supported it and other Americans were against it. People were protesting, and the whole thing was a big fiasco. I know, I know 1968 looks pretty absurd with thirty-five years of hindsight.
Well Hank Hall and his brother were like opposite sides of a coin. Hank was the athlete, Don was the intellectual. Hank was conservative, Don was liberal. So on and so forth. Their pop was a judge and encouraged them both. Well someone mad an attempt on his life, and the boys followed the would-be assassin. They ended up locked in a room listening to the new plans to kill their father. The kids wished for some power to help the situation. Their wishes were answered by a couple of voices (where were those voices when I wished for my CD turntables?) Those voices belonged to a pair of Lords, one Lord of Order and one Lord of Chaos. Now as one would expect Lords of Order and Chaos are enemies. But these two Lords, T’Charr of Chaos and Terataya of Order, were in love. Sort of like an extra dimensional “West Side Story”. Terataya, I just met a Lord of Order named Terataya. Sorry I got distracted.

These Lords peeped the plight and granted the Hall brothers powers. Hank was Hawk (because he was aggressive, like the bird of prey) Don was Dove (as in the universal symbol of peace). Hawk was pretty fast, super strong and nigh invulnerable, and Dove was extremely agile. Now how the powers worked was that whenever there was a great injustice, all the kids had to do was say “Hawk” or “Dove” and they would be transformed into the heroes. As long as that injustice was present they would remain empowered and costumed. But once the injustice was gone so were the powers and costumes.

You see Hawk and Dove were an experiment. These Lords wanted to prove that their respective houses could work together. The problem was that Don looked up to Hank too much, and wasn’t individual enough for the Lords. So while Don was saving some kids in a building, the Lords took his power away and gave it to Dawn Granger. Unfortunately it was at an inopportune time and Don was killed. Without his brother Hank became a loose cannon. Eventually Hawk and Dove/Dawn became a team together again for the first time. They had lots of adventures, one in which they even met T’Charr and Terataya. The Lords transferred their essences to ensure that Dawn and Hank would be the last recipients of the Hawk and Dove powers, and to give them a power boost. Dove could even fly. Plus Hawk and Dove kind of hooked up (wink, wink).

But then in 1991 some dude named Waverider came back from two years ago (2001) and said that one of 1991’s heroes would kill all the other heroes and rule the world in 2001 as Monarch. How could one of 1991’s best and brightest go on a superhero killing rampage? With a little help from the future. Monarch traveled back in time to confront Hawk. Monarch revealed himself to be none other than the future Hank Hall. Hawk refused to believe that he could become evil. So Monarch killed Dove in front of him to prove just how evil Hank would become. Hank then killed Monarch, and accepted his destiny by becoming Monarch. Monarch then became Extant and killed some Justice Society members. The end?

from the 2/24/04 column;
Or so we thought. Apparently she wasn’t dead, she was just beaten up. See Mordu drove Hank crazy making him become Monarch by making it look like Dove, the love of his life (more on that later) was killed. But she wasn’t. In fact she was full of life, as she was carrying Hawk’s baby. (That baby got the soul of Hector Hall, and became Dr. Fate.)

As for the “behind the scenes version” of the origin;

From the same column;
Off in a different dimension called Druspa Tau, a Lord of Order, Terataya and a Lord of Chaos, T’Charr decided to stop all the fussin’ and a fuedin’ between the two houses. They decided to make an experiment. They would both bestow two humans with powers that represented their houses; Order and Chaos.

The first set were the pair of brothers Hank and Don Hall. At first it was cool. There was a balance. But then Don started deferring to his older brother Hank too much, giving the chaotic Hawk too much sway. The decided that perhaps the brother route wasn’t the way to go. So they took the Dove aspect away from Don, causing his death. They gave it to Dawn Granger. Dawn and Hawk had much more of a balance going on.

When Hawk and Dove eventually went to visit Druspa Tau, they met up with their benefactors. Terataya and T’Charr became one being, Unity.

And that’s the story of some Hawks & Doves. Now here’s my theory on the current version of Hawk;

From the 3/30/05 column;
John, I’ve got to believe this is our introduction to Holly. I’m also pretty sure that she wasn’t ever mentioned before. I’m basing this on the fact that I hold Hawk & Dove #20 in my hands. It’s a Christmas issue focusing on Dove/Dawn. I’ve skimmed the issue over and find no mention of a sister or Holly.

But apart from that I’ve got no problem with her appearance. I like the idea that “Hawk & Dove” are siblings. I think it makes the premise enticing again.

Even though you didn’t ask, I’ll give you my idea on how I’d “fix” things.

The Grangers moved around a lot, due to the diplomatic nature of Mrs. Granger’s job. Dawn, being the more levelheaded of the Granger girls, took each move in stride and adapted. Holly the more brash of the girls tended to “act up” when placed in a new school setting.

When Mr. Granger got his job at Arlington’s S.T.A.R. Labs, the Granger’s had choice to make; uproot Holly from a situation where she had finally adjusted and was comfortable or allow her to stay in England and go to school. They chose the latter. As a result Dawn decided to attend Oxford to be closer to her sister. Holly would occasionally visit her family in the States.

Upon the death of Hank/Hawk/Extant, the Lords of Order and Chaos decided to try a new “Hawk & Dove” experiment. Since the last Hawk & Dove weren’t related, the prospect of coupling and the resultant child proved to be a temptation for others to interfere with the “experiment.” Thus the Lords decided to go back to the sibling model of the original “Hawk & Dove” experiment, only this time to prevent Dove from being overly influenced by Hawk, they allowed Dove to remain Dawn, who is both older and more experienced than Hawk/Holly.

So, as you can see Hawk & Dove are either very popular or confusing, judging by the times they pop up in the column. I’m interested in finding out more about the duo, and quite frankly would welcome a new miniseries starring the two.

Tim, anything new to say about Hawk & Dove?

Me, personally, no. But Polite Dissent has a nice series of columns that summarize the Hawk and Dove mini that introduced Dawn to the role.


JohnBritton has an extinction agenda

How many Kryptonians survived? How many Martians? How many of those Jemm Saturn people? Folks from Xanshi(sp?)? How about other survivors of destroyed worlds? Coast City? Seems like everybody from the GL mythos survived the destruction of Coast City. Did anyone actually die when Hal killed all the GLs, or do I have that story wrong? I love comics, but I sure can’t remember a thing.

Y’know JohnBritton, back in the good ol’ days there was only one survivor from Krypton; Kal-El. However now he’s joined by his cousin Kara Zor-El. That brings that total to two.

Martians are a few more. The White Martians in the Hyperclan number eight. J’onn himself and his evil brother Malfeic bring the total to ten. There was a Martian Gardner in American Secrets so we’ll say eleven.

As for Saturnians there’s a whole planet full. They’ve got Red and White as well. And they’re still feuding.

Fatality claims to be the only survivor from Xanshi, but I find it hard to believe that no one else was off world when the planet exploded. She’s certainly the best known, and the most celebrated. It’s just that deep in my heart I can’t believe that she’s the only one.

The Legion’s got survivors from plenty of worlds, it’s just a matter of what continuity you go by. At one point Mon-El was one of the few survivors of Daxam. Element Lad’s race to killed off, leaving him the only survivor. Currently Triplicate Girl comes from a planet populated by, um, herself. So I guess she’s a loner, in a way.

Now onto Hal Jordan’s rampage. There are two trains of thought about it. The first is that Hal killed them without a second thought. The second is that Hal bestowed them with enough power to get safely to a nearby planet.

Let’s take it incident by incident;

First up were Ke’Haan and Laira who were never heard from after Hal took their rings.

Then we have Tomar-Tu who was also bested by Hal. We never saw him again either. But in Darkstars #36 Xudarians do raise a statue in his honor. Two other statues there are Tomar-Re and John Stewart (which shows that you aren’t necessarily dead if you have a statue in your honor.)

Jack T. Chance – beaten by Jordan, never seen again.

Kreon and Hannu both hold true to form, being beaten and never heard from again.

However Graf Toren provides the most damning evidence against Hal Jordan; he along with other GL’s were found dead and floating in space in Guy Gardner #20.

Boodikka, on the other hand shows is evidence to the contrary. On his rampage, Hal cuts off her hand and leaves her in space. Yet in Legacy: The Last Will and Testament of Hal Jordan she shows up alive and well, and bitter.

Clearly Hal killed both Sinestro and Kilowog, both of whom are alive once again.

So there’s your answer; one of the GL’s Hal encountered is dead, while another is alive, with plenty never being seen again. Does that mean they lived happily ever after or are still floating in space somewhere? I don’t know.

Tim, are those Green Lanterns alive or dead, and do you have any comment on surviving aliens?

I’d say those GLs we haven’t heard about are quite, very much, extremely (and so on) dead. However, this should not be taken to mean that Hal killed ALL the GL’s. There were many who were still in the home sectors who very likely lived, albeit sans power ring, and continue to do so today. The specific number on that? Not a clue. I suspect the upcoming GL Corps series helmed by Dave Gibbons and Geoff Johns will go a long way towards answering that question though.

Superman should be the only surviving member of Krypton and no one ever will convince me otherwise. That is all.


Nathaniel H is intrigued by group shots

Who are all the villains were in the two-page spread near the end of issue #2 (of Villains United)? I know a few of them, but many of them are unfamiliar to me.

You could have told me who you know, that way I can skip over them. But it’s too late for that now.

Let’s start on the right hand left corner;

Cheetah- Everyone should know her.

The guy with the blue cape is Doctor Polaris, he showed up recently in Action Comics, crazier than a loon.

The guy floating on the cloud is Weather Wizard.

The guy floating with the green/black cape is Count Vertigo, a frequent Green Arrow adversary and occasional member of the Suicide Squad.

Under Cheetah is Shadow Thief who was a major player in Manhunter.

Next to him is Knockout from Superboy.

Next up is Captain Nazi, who I’m not going to bother describing.

Behind him is the new (and hopefully improved)Crazy Quilt. (Is there any possible way she wouldn’t be an improvement?)

The guy with the dogs is the brand new Hellhound.

The guy with the top hat is The Wizard, who looks remarkably different than he does in JLA #115.

Behind the Wizard is Black Spider a flunky villain.

Next to Wizard is Fatality, one of Kyle’s few rogues.

Killer Frost is the blue looking female underneath Weather Wizard. She just finished a stint in Firestorm.

The beast lurking behind her is Hyena.

Lurking further behind her is Multiplex who also just appeared in Firestorm (and he’s also on the wall behind Dr. Polaris.)

Finally crouching in front of Knockout is Brutale one of the rogues in Nightwing.

Tim, I think you and I should petition DC to stop doing two page speads featuring multiple characters.

But how would we keep you sharp if they didn’t?

By the by, I’m not sure who that Black Spider is, but I do know he is new. The previous owner of the identity bought it in Gotham Central about six months back. Unless he get better, which, since this is comics, I can’t rule out entirely.


Talowolf is looking for some stunning swimwear.

Remember those Marvel swimsuit issues that used to come out? Did DC ever do any of those or anything really close to that?

I do recall those. But I’m pretty sure that DC didn’t publish anything like that.

Although DC did to a pinup calendar featuring the sexiest aliens of the DCU. Just imagine a scantily clad Martian Manhunter (in both is natural and “humanoid” forms). And what about those Dominators? Hot! Of course we can’t forget the Blok and Strata shots. As I remember the Gil’Dishpan and the Durlan shots were very controversial (there’s a reason Durlans always wear a cloak.)

Tim, do you have any fond memories of that calendar?

No…no I don’t. And you’d think with smoking hot J’onn in it, I would. Weird.


Talowolf can’t reign in those hormones

While on the subject who do you think has the hottest female heroes? I’d include any and all comic companies past and present just for fun.

Well Inferno from the Legion of Super Heroes had fire based powers so she’d raise the temperature pretty quickly. But I’d have to say that Aquaman’s baby’s mother; Corona is the hottest of all the females, after all she’s the fire elemental.

Tim, is there any female outside of the DCU that could heat things up like Corona?

Ladies and gentlemen, watch as we toy with our valuable readers. We are a cruel lot, are we not?


Well I guess we should call it a column. As always email me you’re questions or comments or make them over on the Message Board

My question to you this week; What do you think Infinite Crisis will be about?

“Darling, I love you but give me Park Avenue.”

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