Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, it’s so humid here that my posters have sweated off the walls. I can’t deal with it. I just wanted to say that. What I’m really curious about is your non-bagging policy in regards to your comics. You’ve got to explain that.

Much like my predecessor, Benjamin J (not his real middle initial) Morse, I simply don’t do it. I collect comics to read them and as long as I can keep them in readable condition (which I have, most of my comics fall in the Near Mint to Very Fine range), I’m pleased. If and when it starts to become apparent that the quality of the comics is suffering, I will go back and bag and board them all. Until then, I like not having to deal with opening and closing them, avoiding the tape getting stuck on the comics as I pull it out, having to replace the tape every 6 months or so (as is recommended), etc. The easier it is for me to read my comics, the better. As silly as it sounds, a bag and a board are another barrier between me and instant comics gratification.

And you don’t humid until you lived through a Connecticut heatwave like the one we’re in now. It’s like a friggin’ rainforest around here.


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Tim, anything you care to link?

Sure, why not. How about we explore Connecticut through it’s sources of printed news. Well, central Connecticut anyway.

First of all, we have the big dog on the street The Hartford Courant. In case you were wondering, the Courant is oldest continually printed newspaper in the country and consistently wins awards for its layout. Suck on that New York Times.

Entertainment related news from the Courant can be found here.

Then, for those of you who can’t trust news from a corporation, Hartford Advocate is your weekly hookup. If you believe their news is not funded by corporations though, the joke is on you. The same conglomerate that owns the Courant owns the Advocate too. You’d never know it to look at both papers, but it’s true.

If local news is more your speed, The New Britain Herald is probably the paper for you.

What I Read Last Week

Manhunter #12 – Way to end the first year with a bang! Great cover, great story. Great characterization! I love the Chase appearance. This book deserves more praise.

More importantly, it deserves more sales.

Ex Machina #13 – Kind of a slow issue. It was nice to see Mitch as a kid. But this wasn’t as action packed as I kind of wanted it to be. It wasn’t bad, it was just different than expected.

Adventures of Superman #642 – Great issue. Sacrifice has really been thrilling. I so dig how Supes justifies his actions. It’s odd to see him playing the “Batman” role. Odd and refreshing.

Day of Vengeance #4 – The middle of the mini is getting kind of slow. It’s cool, but it kind of drags along. Detective Chimp does rock though.

Gotham Knights #67 – Great Cliff Chiang cover! Neat little fill in issue. Fun read, with pretty big ramifications.

Teen Titans #26 – Boring. I know this is supposed to be a “slow down” issue, but I don’t care about Superboy. And now that I don’t have to put up with Ben “Kon El” Morse, I can proclaim my indifference for the character throughout the column without fear of repercussion. Ha!

Ahh, such a big man now that Ben isn’t around, aren’t you? Such a tough guy.

You should know better, M, I’m never fully gone…for the record: eat it. -B

JSA Classified #1 – It’s nice to see Karen portrayed with feelings and emotions. I found this to be a pretty powerful read. Plus I’m digging the Legion appearance.

The Human Race #5 – I’ve no idea how this mini will wrap up in two issues, but I’m digging Raab’s story and Justiniano & Wong’s art.

Plastic Man #17 – A purely fun book that pokes fun at Infinite Crisis and crossover hoopla. We need more comics like this.

On to the questions! Oh and for the record, no one placed the lyric at the end of the last column.

I feel my face grow purple with rage at all of you and your continued refusal to properly guess the lyric.

Kyle Litke is a dog person

Here’s one on the subject of Krypto…what happened to the Krypto that was in Superman a few years back? The one that wasn’t a superdog. Bibbo took the dog in during that whole Luther destroying Metropolis fiasco, and tried to name in Krypton, but the person making the dog collar would only put 6 letters on it…anyway, I know Superboy ended up taking the dog during his series, but that’s the last I can remember. Whatever happened to that dog?

Krypto was hanging out with the lad of steel during his “wear a leather coat throughout all weather” phase of his life. However when Superboy left Hawaii (in Superboy #49) he left the pooch with his classmate, Hillary Chang.

You’d think that was the end of the tale. But it’s not. Superboy visited Hawaii again in Superboy #69 and ended up brining the mutt with him to Cadmus. His stay at Cadmus was so successful that, when the Agenda attacked, Krypto took up the charge and lead Cadmus’ misfit animals against the intruders.

Sadly that was the dog’s last appearance. Much like Supergirl before him, Krypto was been pushed aside in favor of a more “Silver Age-y” character. But rest assured, I’ve got a Krypto pitch that I sent to DC. I don’t want to say too much, but it involves Rex the Wonder Dog and Power Girl’s cat. I think it’d be a huge hit, with the resurgence of Detective Chimp.

I’m just waiting to hear back from them. Sitting by the phone and waiting, patiently.

In the meantime, Tim, even if you don’t think that Krypto I is a viable property, shouldn’t he get some form of closure?

If by Krypto I you mean the dog you just described (because, in reality, wouldn’t Silver Age Krypto be Krypto I) than sure. He was just a regular old dog, I’ve got no issue with naming a regular white dog Krypto as an Easter egg to the fans. It is the super powered mutt with the cape that bothers me.

JohnBritton loves to gossip

In JLA 78 or so (1st series), Black Canary hooked up with Batman. What other heroes have the Big 7 hooked up with?

Ok, so I’m going to just run down the list. I’m also going to have some pretty broad parameters as far as what “hooking up” entails.

Superman – He and Maxima have kind of hooked up. She’s pursued him and they’ve kissed at the very least. He’s also kissed Wonder Woman. That’s all I can think of right now.

Batman – He’s been romantically linked with Wonder Woman. He’s also been involved with both Sasha Bordeaux and Catwoman, who are kind of like heroes.

Except that they’re not. (Well, maybe Sasha) But hey, whatever.

Wonder Woman – She’s had flings of sorts with Superman, Batman, and Aquaman. (it was a royalty, thing).

Aquaman – He hooked up with Wonder Woman and had a pretty steady thing with Dolphin. But then that crumbled, after which his protégé Tempest quickly impregnated and married Dolphin.

Further evidence that life just isn’t fair for the Sea King: his “son” stole his woman and knocked her up. Sometimes you just can’t talk to enough finish to erase the pain.

Green Lantern – Kyle’s hooked up with both Jade and Donna Troy. Donna left him because she didn’t share the feelings that he had for her. Jade actually cheated on Kyle, in his own bed, while he was off in space. It’s no wonder Kyle’s a nomad, in every sense.

Actually Donna and Kyle’s history is a lot more complicated than that. He did a nude of a woman in his building (Allison, I think) and Donna walked in while it was going on. Cue big fight and Donna storming off. Eventually, they reconciled. Then, her ex-husband and child were killed in a car accident and it so effected her she just couldn’t be around Kyle and needed time to get herself back together. Eventually, through villainous machinations, Donna was given a form of magical amnesia and forgot all about her love for Kyle (and a bunch of other things). That was pretty much the final nail in the coffin for Kyle.

As for Jade, Kyle at one point asked her to marry him. She gave him a “probably later” sort of answer. Then Kyle’s great space race thing went down and she decided to defile his bed. Because who wouldn’t do that when their almost fiancée leaves town for a bit.

The Flash – Wally’s only really hooked up with Magenta, and she’s not a hero anymore. He’s happily married to Linda Park.

Martian Manhunter – This guy gets no love, in any sense of the word.

JohnBritton deals in superlatives

What was the best Morrison arc on JLA? I recently reread the first one, with the Martian invasion and I wasn’t too impressed. I remember loving the Connor Hawke issue, which had all those cool Elseworlds dreams from the Key’s machine, but I think it was a one-shot.

Ooh, you know which one I really liked? The one that finally put the lame Aztek out of his misery.

Dude, you just crossed the line! You looking for trouble, pal, well I’ve got the map right here!

Oh, Tim, calm down. I was just kidding. While it’s not a JLA arc proper, I really enjoyed DC One Million. I recently picked up the trade, and it blew me away. It’s nice to read a comic that makes you think and imagine. Plus I dig wacky stories set in the future.

Tim, what’s your fave Morrison on the JLA?

It’s hard to choose for me. JLA under Morrison is the first book that I really started to collect monthly (yeah, I’m such a newbie). First, the Green Arrow initiation issues you managed are a definite highlight. And it was a two parter, not a one shot.

Besides that, I’ve got to give nods to the opening Hyperclan arc (if for no other reason than issue #3 showing us how crazy excellent Batman is), the Ultramarines arc, and the Amazo single issue (which, now that I think about, I believe was actually written by Millar). I would also nominate Earth 2 for consideration, even though it was its own standalone OGN.

JohnBritton is concerned with Alan Scott spends his time

What’s Alan Scott’s job nowadays? Is he public with his identity? I know he used to be a big-time broadcaster, but the folks he gives orders to must notice that he’s not 85 years old.

One of the comics that I brought back from my trip back home a few months ago was Chase, perhaps the cancellation that hit me the most.

The reason I bring up this book is because I think it answers both of your questions perfectly. First Alan Scott is introduced to Agent Chase (by Bruce Wayne, no less) as Head of Gotham Broadcasting. On that same page Chase begins to believe that Alan Scott is Batman’s secret identity.

Now this would imply that Alan’s secret identity isn’t known, since the DEO agent foolishly believes he’s Batman. Of course this was back when Alan was still Sentinel and youthified, but that’s irrelevant.

Y’see Alan Scott is rich, and rich people have access to technology that’s beyond those of mere mortals. So people probably think that Alan has had a lot of “work” (in the Joan Collins sense) done to explain his youthful appearance, (and he’s still pretty young looking for someone his age.) Look at America’s Oldest Teenager® Dick Clark.

Tim, would you read a book called Alan Scott: Head of Gotham Broadcasting that detailed Alan’s fight to keep his company in the Black and his battles with the FCC?

Although there is no more heinous villain than the FCC, no, I would not read such a book. Now if Scott had an adorable secretary/sidekick who was hiding a dark secret…then, we could talk.

JohnBritton just doesn’t know when to stop

Hugo Strange seems like such a great old Batman foe, but he doesn’t really appear that much, and certainly isn’t considered among Batman’s greatest. Why not?

Honestly he’s not because he doesn’t deserve to be.

I hate to break it to you JohnBritton, but the only reason Strange gets any props is because he was one of the first (if not the first) to nail Bruce’s dual identity. That’s it. That’s his claim to fame.

I dig the guy. I hope he’s Hush but, he’s not really that impressive. He’s a shrink who got to the meat of the Bruce/Batman connection.

Tim, do you give two hoots about Professor Hugo Strange?

A man representing my craft in comics? Of course I care about him. I agree though, he’s never been a consistent enough villain to make the upper echelons of Batman’s gallery. It’s a shame, I think there is a lot of potential there. But, dealing purely in what he’s done, not what he’s capable of, he can’t be considered Batman’s greatest foe.

To illustrate my point, look at Bane. Bane knew Bats identity and he used it to break Bruce. What did Hugo do with it? I think he tried to become Batman once in the pages of Gotham Knights, but beyond that…not too much. The potential for mind games is massive, especially considering he’s a psychologist (we do exist just to mess with and manipulate all of you, you do realize, right?), but he’s never delivered on that.

JohnBritton feels that heroes’ love lives are not private

Who has more “girlfriends”, Ollie Queen, or Dick Grayson? Ollie gets the rep, but I have a feeling Dick has earned one.

Again, I’m using loose parameters in terms of “girlfriends.”

Nightwing – This guy was married once (Nightwing Annual #1), was engaged once (Starfire), hooked up with two Batgirls (Barbara Gordon, and Huntress) and had semi consensual (on his part) sex with a murderess (Tarantula).

Green Arrow – Now I’m no expert but he’s impregnated two women (Shado and Connor’s mom), had a long on again/off again relationship with Black Canary and he bagged Dawn, Manitou Raven’s widow, he also cheated on Black Canary with Marianne, her assistant at the floral shop, cheated on Black Canary again with Black Lightning’s niece Joanna Pierce, and rumor has it he hooked up with Catwoman in Green Arrow #86.

So I’m going with Ollie on this one. Best-case scenario, they tie. But since Ollie’s older it’s much more probable that Ollie’s had a bit more experience.

Either way, I’ve got them both beat.

Tim, who do you think would be the better date: Ollie or Dick?

Umm…your mom! (That’s for cracking on Aztek).

Seriously though (or as serious as one can be with this question), I’d go with Mr. Grayson. He’s a piece of arm candy worth having around. Ollie would be cool to get in bar brawls with (on my side, of course) though.

Scott Kelly knows that family is the most important thing in this world

Whatever happened with Uncle Dudley from the Marvel Family? I remember seeing him after the 1st relaunch of Captain Marvel, but I have no idea if he even still exists.

Uncle Dudley is still around in Fawcett City. He’s been known to put on a costume and pretend to be Uncle Marvel, despite not having any powers. Well one time he was granted power by Ibis, but he’s since returned to normal.

Rumor has it Captain Marvel will get a larger profile in the DCU post Infinite Crisis so maybe he’ll be back as a supporting cast member.

Tim, would you rather have a crazy uncle or a super powered one?

Can’t he be both?

Jag apparently would like to see Batman badly beaten

Has Batman ever faced off against a super-powered character like a Brainiac or a Darkseid in a one on one situation? Granted, he can’t physically match up with them but he could use his wits to outsmart them. It seems that Bats’ foes are relatively powerless.

Oddly enough Bats has faced a few powerful opponents in the past few months. (We’re going to ignore the fact that Batman actually gave Darkseid a beatdown in the Superman/Batman arc that reintroduced the Kara Zor-El into the DCU).

In The OMAC Project #3 Batman was dismantled by an OMAC. I mean he was thoroughly handled. And while it wasn’t one on one Batman #637 featured Bats and Nightwing up against Amazo.

As far as Batman’s much vaulted intelligence, it doesn’t come in too handy with too many villains outside of Mxy. If a guy can vaporize you, chances are he’s not going to let you talk your way out of the situation.

Tim, wasn’t it nice to see Batman taken down a peg in OMAC?

I dug it. Not that I wish harm on others or anything.

Oh, to add another Bats/Darkseid faceoff, check out Cosmic Odyssey. The two don’t trade blows or anything, but Batman does out think Darkseid, thus preventing the One Who Is from realizing his dream of possessing the Anti-Life Equation.

Jeff is concerned with the state of capital punishment in Gotham City

I have a Batman related question. I remember this story that revolved around this villain who emitted electricity from his hands. He gained this power when he was about to be executed. He ended up surviving and started going after all the people who witnessed his execution. I remember that he ended up electrocuting Batman in the sewer. Robin and Dethstroke was also involved in the story in some capacity. I believe it took place in the early 90’s. Can you shed any light on the issue and number this story took place?

I believe that the guy you’re referring to is Buzz Galvan. The story in question was Electric City and took place in Detective Comics #644-646. Here’s his story.

Elmo “Buzz” Galvan murdered four people. His accomplices plead out and he took the fall, which meant he was sentenced to die. He got the chair and was electrocuted, but didn’t die. His central nervous system was fried and he was partially paralyzed.

(For some strange reason, the state wouldn’t allow him to be put in the chair again.)

Partially paralyzed, Galvan managed to drag himself out of bed in the infirmary. In an attempt to kill himself, he bit on a power cord. Instead of killing him, it fixed him. He got complete mobility back. But as a result he needed to carry a generator with him for life, which is quite the fashion trend.

He then embarked on a revenge mission to kill those who witnessed his “execution”, including one “Jim Gordon.” The Electrocutioner (whom I think you’re confusing with Deathstroke, but it’s over a dozen years ago so don’t sweat it), a vigilante at the time, got involved and actually killed Batman. A rookie Robin by the name of Tim Drake managed to “convince” the Electrocutioner into defribing Bats back to life.

The story continued and eventually ended.

I have to say that, “The story continued and eventually ended,” is quite possibly the best ending to a question ever. I think I may use that from now on.

“So Mr. Stevens, tell us why you had blood on your hands when you were arrested.”
“Well, I was cutting a piece of tuna at home and not paying nearly enough attention. I cut myself and, well, the story continued and eventually ended.”
“So after you cutting yourself, you—”
“I said, ‘the story continued and eventually ended.’ Got it?”

As far as the Electrocutioner goes, he was under the Blockbuster’s employ for sometime over in Nightwing. He also tangled with Robin in a recent issue of Teen Titans.

Jerry H. loves rodents

I was wondering… what is G’nort’s real status in the DCU? Wasn’t he a GL before? I saw him in a Darkstars uniform and I can’t really appreciate why the Keith Giffen-DeMatteis JLAers are irritated/aghast at him in the Formerly Known As The Justice League TPB. Thanks!

Um, the guy is a joke. He’s like Jar Jar Binks, only intentionally annoying. He was technically a Green Lantern, but he was like the “slow” one. It’s like “what if Homer Simpson was a Green Lantern, and furrier?”

G’nort is basically a joke of the DCU. Unlike Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Elongated Man, Guy Gardner, Lobo and Fire & Ice, G’nort was created for the JLI. He’s a joke.

Bad news for G’nort; folks who stepped in the spotlight with that book have been having a hard time lately. Sue’s dead. Beetle’s dead. Max is a rogue. I think that the G’nort of old’s days are numbered.

In fact I’m going to go ahead and say it; G’nort is Mockingbird. Have you seen him in the Villains United at all? Exactly!

Tim, don’t you think that G’nort is a likely candidate for Mockingbird?

Do you want me to cry? Is that what you want?

MarkPoa wants to plan a Darkstars Reunion

I remember Charley Vicker, Gallius Zed, and John Stewart also became Darkstars after Emerald Twilight. How many former Green Lanterns became Darkstars anyway? Who were they? How did all the recruitment happen (I mean, did the Controllers just decide to open an ad for ex-GLs)? And whatever happened to them after the Darkstars ended (Well, we know what happened to John, at least)?

Well what happened was when the GLC was destroyed in Emerald Twilight, the Controllers came a-calling on John Stewart to recruit him for the Darkstars. John in turn recruited a number of former Green Lanterns including; Xax, Varix, Hollika Rahn, Galius Zed, Medphyll, and Charlie Vicker.

(A few others joined before and after that issue. Aa joined before and Larvox and K’ryssma joined later.)

What a happy ending to the horrible story that was Emerald Twilight, right? They all found some gainful employment. But then things took a turn for the worse.

In Green Lantern #72-75 during a battle with Grayven to defend Rann. Hollikka died in Green Lantern #72. K’Ryssma died in Green Lantern #74. Charlie Vicker died in Green Lantern #75.

But even those who survived that battle still had hard times. Galius Zed was killed by Fatality in Green Lantern #82. And we all know what happened to Medphyll over in Starman.

I’m sure that other former GL’s became Darkstars, and I’m sure that others have died. We may get to hear those tales in the future, provided Green Lantern Corps: Recharge proves successful.

Tim, would you of the finicky reading habits, be interested in reading an ongoing Green Lantern Corps book?

I am finicky reading habits? I swear, a guy doesn’t read every book the shelves and suddenly he’s overly picky.

Anyway, to reinforce that image, probably not. I’m not a tremendous fan of the concept of the Green Lantern Corps in the first place and I tend to avoid space operas (hence my not buying Rann/Thanagar after issue #1), so the cards are stacked against such a title. Then again, the GLC: Recharge features Kyle, who I am a big fan of, and is written (in part) by Geoff Johns, who writes an excellent Kyle (he writes a better Kyle than Hal, in my opinion), so it is not beyond the realm of possibility. I’ll probably do the same thing I did for R/T. I’ll pick up the first issue. If it works for me, I’ll climb aboard. If not, then I’ll save a couple of bucks and leave future issues on the shelves.

Aaron ponders what might have been.

Along the same lines, I found lots of stories and ideas and titles that were proposed and/or hyped (COMING SOON!) but never released. IYO, what’s the *most* hyped title or storyline from DC to never see the light of day. New Titans’ Games? Blue and Gold? Just’a Lotta Animals spinoff?

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to Blue & Gold. I wasn’t enough of a Titans fan to anticipate Games.

But from what I’ve read the proposed Helix title that focused on the Infinity Inc. rogues, sounded pretty interesting. I also would have been interested in reading Mike Carey’s take on Firestorm. James Robinson telling a final Jack Knight tale and revealing The Shade’s origin, have been rumored for years, and I’d enjoy reading either one. And James Robinson’s silver age follow up to The Golden Age would have knocked my socks off, I’m sure.

But the book that I was really looking forward to, that never actually came out was Kid Amazo. It was written by Human Target scribe Peter Milligan and was to be a hardcover graphic novel. It was supposed to come out last year and never dropped.

It sucks because I would have scooped that book up on the Wednesday that it dropped. Eh, what are you gonna do?

Tim, I know your answer is going to differ from mine.

I was disappointed about the Amazo thing too, but I wasn’t nearly as sure that I was going to buy it. Games is supposed to be on the way, so I don’t think we can consider that. Besides, I didn’t even hear about it until it was announced that it was really truly going to press this time. JLA/Avengers probably would have been on the list for years, but that was taken care of by Busiek and Perez in that miniseries that a lot of people had much love for.

I think the #1 anticipated project that never saw print is, unquestionably, Twilight of the Superheroes. It was a vision of the future of the DCU as penned by none other than Alan Moore. Sadly, DC pissed off Moore (I believe this was the first or second time), so he scooped up his toys (and scripts) and went home. Thus, no Twilight. And since Moore and DC have clashed a number of times since then, I think I can say with a relative level of certainty, that there never will be a Twilight.

Well I’m going to end the column on that note. I hope everyone enjoyed it.

Before we go, I’ve got to ask you your question of the week; Now that the wait is over, what are your thoughts on All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder?. (Feel free to rant or rave as much as you want.)

“Ya know the whole 120 and a + degree, but I can’t keep ya God up off his knees”


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