Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, now that the Fall Season is underway, what are your thoughts on the best new shows and your returning favorites?

Well thank you for asking me, Mathan. I do hope we can hear about your top choices next week. Remember, the people, they like me, but they LOVE you.

Anyway, on the new side, I’m digging Prison Break (sure, it strains credibility to the breaking point, but I love manipulation and machination), How I Met Your Mother (finally, a “traditional” sitcom that makes me laugh. NPH all the way!), Extras (Ricky Gervais goodness), My Name is Earl (I do enjoy the Jason Lee) and I’m on the fence about Reunion (soapy stupidity, but I love the device). Returning shows that still have me hooked include Lost, Arrested Development, House, Nip/Tuck, and, of course, The O.C. because I have no shame. Shows like Scrubs, Smallville, Alias, and 24 will probably be on the list too, but none of them have debuted yet this season and are thus, temporarily, removed from consideration.


Links!

IP Music has reviews aplenty!

IP Movies has a review of Breakin’!

Yes, but do they have any Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo?

IP Games has news on Animaniacs and Mortal Kombat!

IP Figures features Alex Ross via DC Direct!

IP TV has recaps aplenty, featuring Prison Break!

IP Sports has Aaron Cameron’s 50 Worst Sports Fans!

Moodspins is as original as ever!

IP Culture is here to make you a more well rounded person!

Our DC Forums features plenty of talk about Justice League Unlimited!

Tim, what are you linking us to this week?

I’ve got games!!! That’s right, yet more ways to waste away your day at work, without having to actually do any!

Shockwave is a great place to go for a whole variety of games, including my current obsession, Bejeweled 2. (What, a guy can’t like pretty things?

Super Arcade does its best to live up to its name.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our very own Arcade, here, for your enjoyment.


What I Read Last Week

Supergirl #2 – Eh. The book was ok. I’ve accepted the fact that this is a companion piece to Superman/Batman. It’s kind of fluffy and can be fun to read at times, but I don’t expect much from this title.

Gotham Knights #69 – Did we really need a new Clayface? It fits in with Hush’s plan, which I dig, but there are way too many Clayfaces in the DCU right now. Seriously.

The short answer is “no, we don’t.” The long answer is, “Dear God, no. Why must we have another Clayface. Why Lord, why?”

Hyperion #1 – I’m sorry I thought this was called Hyperion not Squad Assembled to Take Down Hyperion. The story was a good one, except that I was, y’know expecting Hyperion to do something.

Hellblazer #212 – Poor John. This was torturous to read. John did so much and still loses in the end. Great tale.

Black Panther #8 – I didn’t pick up the first part of this story so I was a bit lost. Still the issue wasn’t too bad.

Human Race #7– I enjoyed this mini. I just hope that the characters aren’t squandered away.

JSA Classified #3 – I feel so bad for Karen. It was a great touch to have her instinctually reach out for Huntress to find solace. I’m really curious how far Lex’s knowledge extends.

Green Lantern Corps #1 – My copy has a printing error where six pages of story are missing the very bottom of the page. It sucks. I got the gist of the story, but I’m missing bits of dialogue. I’ll have to buy another copy Wednesday. But the issue was very good. I’m sold on all of the new concepts.

Manhunter #14 – I’m glad Mark survived the issue. I thought the resolution was a satisfactory one. This book really is a joy to read.

True that!

Mister Miracle #1 – Man am I going to miss Ferry’s art. Morrison has such a fertile mind, it amazes me. Still this issue didn’t really seem too connected to the other minis, or am I missing something?

All good things in time, grasshopper. All good things in time.

Day of Vengeance #6 – Didn’t see that coming. Clearly the repercussions are going to be vast. From what we saw of the aftermath is was pretty cool. This probably could have been a four issue mini, but I’m pretty satisfied.

Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files & Origins 2005 – Using Donna to explain recent events was clever. Since I didn’t read Titans Hunt the second story didn’t have too much impact, but any way to incorporate Azz’s For Tomorrow into continuity is appreciated. Two cool things; 1) Cliff Chiang art and 2) Cissie and Cassie as drawn by Todd Nauck!


Off to questions!

No one placed the lyric.

You can’t see it, but I am shaking my head in disappointment at this very moment. If my father has taught me anything, this is a thousands times worse then me yelling at you or hitting you. So just know, Mathan and I are very, very disappointed in you.


Talowolf can’t recognize when a habit becomes an addiction.

So I know I’m making a habit of this but can I get some info on Dir. Bones. How’d he get to be Dir., how’d his face get that way, could he take Black Mask in a fight? Is he Mockingbird?

Sadly there isn’t too much news on that front. I think that how Mr. Bones became Dir. Bones is one of those dangling plotlines that will linger around the DCU for years to come. Since he first debuted as Dir. Bones in the wonderful book Chase I’m sure that the mystery was to be revealed on those pages. However Chase was canceled before it reached a year, and the tale went untold. I’m on the verge of emailing D.C. Johnson to find out what he had planned.

But I can fill you in on Mister Bones.

From the 1/7/04 column
Mr. Bones wasn’t always a “good” guy. But again we have to go back to the 1960’s, when a certain Dr. Benjamin Amos Love was conducting experiments. Dr. Love was a gynecologist who really cared for his patients, as subjects in a perverse study. He injected six of his pregnant patients with an experimental drug. All of the women went into labor on the same night, and all of children were born as mutants. The kid who became Mr. Bones was born with transparent skin, and his skin produced a cyanide compound.

Since some of them looked pretty freaky he abducted the infants that night. He raised the kids, telling them that their real parents didn’t love them. Furthermore the only contact they had to the outside world was via the television or radio. This went on for twenty years. When Dr. Love died, the six, Arak, Baby Boom, Tao Jones, Penny Dreadful, Kritter, and Mr. Bones did what any mutants would do, they dressed up on costumes and formed a super team, Helix.

Unfortunately they didn’t have any real means of support so the used their powers to get some money, in a criminal way. Eventually they kidnapped Fury, a member of Infinity Inc. Of course the two teams battles, and Helix lost.

The two teams fought again, resulting in Mr. Bones losing his leg to Carcharo, an ally. Of course the good guys won. While the rest of Helix was sentenced to prison, Mr. Bones was released to the custody of Infinity Inc. He was made an unofficial member of the team. But through the machinations of the Injustice Unlimited, Skyman was killed by Mr. Bones touch. Mr. Bones cleared his name, but Infinity Inc disbanded.

How became the Director the DEO is still unrevealed at this point. Initially he spoke in rhyme and smoked constantly. But lately he’s stopped the rhyme shtick. He first appeared in Infinity Inc #16. He “killed” Skyman in #51. He popped up frequently in the series Chase and in various Secret Files and Origins. A memorable appearance was in Martian Manhunter #17.

He’s been popping up in JSA Classified lately and seems to have tossed in with Checkmate. So while Dir. Bones had shown signs of having a soft spot for the heroes of the DCU in previous appearances, he now appears to have had a change of heart.

In a fistfight with Black Mask, Dir. Bones wins. The guy has cyanide skin. As soon as he draws Black Mask’s blood it’s over.

Is Dir. Bones Mockingbird? Since he’s about the only character that I haven’t accused of being Mockingbird; yes, yes he is Mockingbird.

Tim, any thoughts on the mystery of Mister Bones?

I’m a fan of him as the Director of DEO. He’s got that creepy, “don’t know what side he’s on” government official vibe down cold. It’s like Director Skinner from the X-Files in the first three seasons. Plus, he has a freakin’ skull for a head. That’s boss.

Sadly, my experience with Bones stops there. Infinity, Inc’s heyday was pre-Crisis which makes me just too damn young to have read it then. Every once in awhile, I’ll remember it at look for it in back issue bins, but I’ve yet to find a deal that made it possible for me to pick up a bunch of issues at once. I wonder if DC’ll ever collect it in trade for folks like me.

As far as how he got where he is today, I assume it went something like this: he went to a career counselor, he or she helped Bones revise his resume and gave him a few leads he might want to check into. He proved himself as a temp at the DEO, became a full time employee, and worked his way up the ladder through hard work and innovative ideas. No mystery there.


Gareth belongs to a “fantasy League” league at work

It’s far too early to predict what is going to come out of Infinite Crisis, but I think we can safely say there will still be the JLA. With the possibility of the roster being re-shuffled, who would you like to see in the next incarnation of the JLA?

Personally, I’d like to see a team including,
Green Arrow
Hawkgirl
J’onn
Guy Gardener
Fire
Zatanna
Atom

and keep Clark, Bruce and Diana on call for emergencies.

You have a mix of old links to the silver age (j’onn, zee, ollie and ray) and the JLI (guy and bea, who could be written well in the right hands, and hopefully with some maturity now the rest of the old JLI are dead/corrupted) and a mix of powers (j’onn and guy as the heavy hitters, zee for magic, ray for science, ollie for ‘street fighting’)

What’s are your thoughts on this team, and who would be in yours?

First off, your team is solid. They’ve all got ties to the League. Personally I don’t know if Fire’s really that viable as a character, but that’s just me. I’m also less than certain that Atom will be available even after Infinite Crisis. But on to my squad.

Here’s the thing about the JLA, I’m probably only going to read the title as long as there’s a good creative team on it. I don’t really care who’s made the cut, so long as the writer is someone that I dig. I only began picking up JLA during the recent (and stinky) Crime Syndicate storyline. I stuck with the title because the follow up arc Crisis of Conscience sounded pretty solid. But who knows what’s going to happen when that arc wraps up?

But back to your question; I don’t really care. But for the sake of argument I’ll give you seven characters who could use a chance to shine;

Tempest – How many times do I have to say that this character is going to waste? (I’ll put money that either Tempest or Aquaman won’t survive Infinite Crisis.) The guy is a magical powerhouse and he’s got plenty of team experience to use. Also he’s got a wife, Dolphin, who can stay on monitor duty.

No, no, no. Remember what we talked about last week? Tempest is Outsiders material. Not JLA, certainly not yet.

Breach – I don’t know what the future holds for this character, other than his amazing book is ending prematurely. Breach is an energy hero and another powerhouse. He’s also got leadership skills, he just needs to reassert himself.

Hmm…I love the book, but…I just don’t know.

Supergirl – Since it’s probably a given that Kal is going to be avoiding the League for awhile, take the next best thing. Kara has all the power of Superman plus the inexperience of a rookie hero. The JLA is the best place for her, since they usually deal with A-level threats, her “mistakes” won’t be as horrendous because she won’t really need to pull her punches.

Mathan…why do you say things you can’t take back?

John Stewart – He’s the only G.L. without a regular gig.

That’s a choice I can get behind.

(at this point I’m struggling to come up with names. I’m looking around my room for something to trigger a character’s name popping into my head. I eventually decide to flip through some old comics.)

John Henry Irons – I know that he can’t be ‘Steel’ anymore, but I don’t want him in that capacity. He could help out on monitor duty and be an inventor for the JLA. He can keep the arsenal up to date.

It would be a cool role for him. If he can’t wear the armor again, I’d settle for Irons staying active in the DCU as the JLA’s personal Q.

Plastic Man – This guy is going to need a gig, when his book gets the axe. I think the JLA would welcome him back with open arms. He proven to be a capable member for years and his return to the ranks would serve the team well.

Plastic Man had some excellent moments in Morrison, Waid, and Kelly’s run. This is a great call.

Troia – She’s back from the dead. She’s too powerful for the Teen Titans and wouldn’t really fit with the Outsiders. But she’d find a good role in the JLA. With Wonder Woman apparently getting dogged out as a result of The OMAC Project Troia could be there to try to show that not all Amazons are eager to snap necks.

It might not be a bad choice, but the sheer thought of Troia makes my head ache. Between her ridiculously convoluted continuity, her brutally uninteresting miniseries, and her recent appearance in an uncharacteristically poor issue of JSA, I’d just as soon have her make herself scarce for a bit.

Creatively I’d like to see either Scott Beatty or Will Pfeifer writing the book and either Darryl Banks or Dale Eaglesham on pencils. Wade von Grawbadger would be the inker in either case.

Tim, jump into this JLA discussion.

Truth be told, I love the big 7 Morrison idea of the JLA. For obvious reasons that’s not tenable at the moment. I also love the idea of heroes like Connor Hawke and Kyle Rayner traipsing the hallowed halls of the Watchtower. Again, that is politically possible at DC right now. So with that in mind, here’s the folks that I think have got to make the cut.

Aquaman– In four pages in JLA #118, I was reminded how well Aquaman can work in the JLA. He was nearly cool. Give him a little bit longer on the book, in a leadership role, and I think he could really meet his potential.

Martian Manhunter– To paraphrase An Officer and a Gentleman he’s hot nowhere else to go! He makes my list of criminally misused or underused DC characters and the JLA is the only place he consistently has to show why he deserves a little more attention.

Black Canary– She was a founder and she deserves another go round. It’s as simple as that.

Zauriel– What can I say, I dig the former angel who was nearly the new Hawkman. He has a great relationship with Aquaman as seen the last time the two of them were on the JLA together, he’s thoughtful, introspective, and still can wield a flaming sword like no one’s business. He’s too good a character to be put upon the junk heap of comic history this soon.

Power Girl– DC’s been pushing her hard all summer, and here’s the promotion. She’s served before, but now that’s she’s got all her origin issues sorted out (or will shortly), it’s time to give it another go ’round.

Mr. Terrific– Every team needs a Batman and the JSA currently has two (Terrific here and Doctor Midnite). Mr. Terrific is the better fit for JLA membership so he gets the promotion and Sand gives chairman of the JSA another shot.

Animal Man– Yeah, you heard me. Stop snickering. The fact is that every JLA incarnation has at least one character that makes you think “Really? Him (or her)? Really?” Then, in the end, they prove their worth and you realize they really are cool. Animal Man is that character for this League. Add in that he is a family man and a buddy of J’onn’s from back in the day and I think he’s a great fit.

So there are my choices. How about you, readers?


Legion is concerned with loose ends wearing yellow rings

Whatever happened to Nero from Winick’s run on Green Lantern? And what of his ring?

Normally, Mathan would handle this question. However, this one slipped through the cracks so I am here to handle it. That’s what teamwork is all about.

Anyway, the last time we saw Nero and his ring was Green Lantern (the previous volume) #145. When Hal Jordan (as Parallax) had restarted the sun during Final Night, somehow he left behind a bit of emerald power in its core. For months, Kyle had been increasingly drawing on it, making him more and more powerful and his powers more and more difficult to control. Somehow, Nero also became aware of this power source and the two engaged in a race to see how could get to the sun and claim it for their own first. They fought, Kyle shunted them off to some sort of parallel universe where they continued to fight, bare knuckle style, and then Kyle finally came up the realization that he could absorb all the power into himself and be reborn as…ION. He did so, Nero was defeated, and claimed by the Qwardians to make sure that their ring and/or investment in him was not destroyed. He has no been seen since and I would not hold my breath on seeing him again anytime soon, sadly. The yellow ring wielder of focus these days is Sinestro and it seems unlikely to change in the near future.


Legion loves symbolism

What exactly does Superman’s symbol stand for? From what I remember he was named “Superman” after he had the symbol, meaning it meant something before he got his name. Maybe I’m over analyzing this, but I’m still curious. (And I could be wrong about him being dubbed Superman after he already had the symbol.)

Ok, in 1986’s Man of Steel he was dubbed “Superman” before he had the costume. He saves the day at an event that is being covered by the press. He’s caught on film and decides that he needs to invent an identity. He designs the “S” and Ma Kent designs the suit.

However in 2002’s Birthright the “S” symbol is common on Krypton. It’s a powerful symbol to the culture of the planet and Clark is sporting it to honor his people.

As for which explanation is the valid one, just read further. And if you want to learn more about the histories behind the “S” check out this page.

Tim, what’s your favorite story behind the “S”?

Eh…it is sort of a non-issue to me. I find the press naming him first scenario a little less taxing on my sublimated sense of disbelief (why the heck do the Kryptonians have a symbol that looks exactly like an English “s”, I ask you?), but I don’t find myself bent out of shape about either way.


KyleLitke has a question that might haunt Superman scholars for ages

What’s the story with Birthright and Superman continuity? Is it officially part of it? If so, doesn’t it make the timeline even more screwed up than it already is? I mean, before Superman even donned the costume for the first time, they’re talking about terrorist color codes and the Homeland Security Department, which are both very recent developments in the last four years. But Superman existing only four years is, frankly, pretty stupid, considering the vast number of stories. So, what’s the deal with Birthright?

First let’s read my thoughts on Birthright

Birthright was ok. Here are some of the more notable changes;

Kal-el was born on Krypton, which looks much more like the Silver Age Krypton than John Byrne’s “World of Krypton.”

Clark Kent’s powers began developing earlier, more akin to the tv show Smallville’s timeline.

Another influence of Smallville, Lex Luthor spent some time in Smallville, and even went to school with Clark. The two were friends. (But young Lex still has flowing red locks in Birthright.)

Lex was a super genius, who was so smart that he alienated himself. His quest for comparable intelligence was a driving force in his looking for extraterrestrial life.

Clark didn’t find out his Kryptonian name until after he became Superman, when Lex attacked him in Metropolis.

No one in Smallville will acknowledge that Lex was ever there, nor will he acknowledge it. He suffered some sort of breakdown so that he doesn’t recognize that the Clark that he knew (sans glasses) looks anything like Superman (also sans glasses.)

That’s about it. There were some pretty good scenes, but it doesn’t really make up for some of the stuff that I didn’t enjoy. But I don’t want to bash the book.

Is Birthright in continuity? Kind of. If you look around you can see examples of Birthright being referenced in DCU books. For instance in Superman/Batman #1 the sequence where Clark recounts his origin is much more Birthright than Man of Steel or World of Krypton. In Superman/Batman Secret Files & Origins 2003 the second story (Young Luthor in Smallville) is clearly based on Birthright continuity, plus it’s written by Mark Waid who wrote Birthright.

But most recently in Superman #220 Supes used his vision powers to look at Superboy’s soul. The concept of Supes being able to view souls was introduced (in comics) in Birthright. Of course this issue also featured Eradicator, who has a clear link to World of Krypton.

Basically Birthright isn’t completely in continuity, but it’s clearly influencing it.

Tim, what’s your official stance on Birthright?

The nice thing about not really reading the Superman books very often is that I rarely have to redefine my understanding of Superman’s origins. Overall, I prefer the Man of Steel origin, but I think the best scenario is probably a bit of each being true. The one problem with Birthright is that if you really look at it, it causes a whole lot of other things in Superman’s timeline to go wonky. For example, prior to Birthright, Lex Luthor and Perry White were contemporaries. How can I contemporary of Perry White’s have grown up with Clark? Prior to Birthright, Lex was an older crooked business man who “died” of kryptonite poisoning, but actually had his brain inserted into new body that was introduced to the world as Lex Luthor the second. The idea of this is less mentioned now, but it was still all the vogue as recently as The Reign of the Supermen. Again, how could Lex realistically (in the eyes of the public) be Clark Kent’s age (roughly) and also have a child who is around Clark’s age? The nice thing about Man of Steel is that it rebooted the whole line. It was literally square one and thus everything else that came before it didn’t “happen” until it happened post-Crisis. With Birthright, however, the beginning was changed but none of the middle was. Thus, we have a problem. Add into that factors like the return of multi colored krypton, Supergirl, and Superdog and not one but two stories entitled return to Krypton and it is increasingly difficult to tell which way is up. But we also have another Crisis coming up, so perhaps all will be resolved soon enough.


Jon is new to the party

Hey I’m kinda new to the dc universe… came in around Identity crisis. Was wondering if you guys could bring me up to speed on a few things.

My favorite character so far in DC has been the Question. What exactly is his deal…. I’m guessing he’s a good fighter but does he have any mystic abilities? The miniseries referred to him being a shaman of sorts. Second are there any plans to raise his profile in the DCU? His own series or maybe even a trip to Gotham? I think it’d be interesting to see him and Batman interact.

The Question has actually had his own title. And he even had a quarterly book as well. He’s been known to hang out in Gotham from time to time. But let’s get into his background;

From the 11/03/04 column
The Question, like many heroes was an orphan. The Hub City orphanage named him Charles Victor Szasz, but when he got out on his own he changed it to Vic Sage. As a kid he didn’t quite understand human nature, this lead to his adult profession of investigative television journalism.

At KBEL he covered political corruption. He got frustrated because he couldn’t uncover all the corruption with his reporting. So he turned to his good buddy Aristotle Rodor. Rodor who had been working with Arby Twain on a new kind of artificial skin called Psuedoderm.

Psuedoderm didn’t quite work out. And impurity in the gas that bonded it to the skin was sometimes fatal. The two creators decided to give up on the breakthrough. But Rodor was going to sell it to third world countries anyway. Sage decided to stop Rodor and wore a mask of Pseudoderm that covered his features. Thus the Question was created.

The Question went after the corruption that Sage couldn’t expose with his reporting. He retired to the Amazon rain forest to “find himself.” But he later returned after learning a few things (marital arts wise) from Richard Dragon.

Most recently The Question mentored The Huntress and connected her with Richard Dragon, who taught her some things as well.

He came up again a little over a month ago.

from the 8/12/05 column
The Question is an odd bird. He exists on the outskirts of the DCU. Honestly he’d fit in perfectly over in the Vertigo universe, but in the DCU he’s kind of an outcast.

He’s always been portrayed as “connected” but not really as a shaman, until recently. There are many aspects to his character. He’s very inquisitive, which lead to his portrayal in JLU. But his connection to unseen things is what evolved into this recent portrayal in his miniseries.

You want my honest theory? I’m guessing that Vic Sage will play a part in the upcoming 52. 52 is supposed to bridge the gap between Infinite Crisis and every post Infinite Crisis book. And who better to explore the new DCU than someone with a naturally inquisitive nature like Vic Sage? Personally I think he’s a going to be a featured character in the weekly book.

But apart from my speculation, I’ve not heard of him popping up in any of DC’s books anytime soon. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that I’m right.

Still no word on the future of The Question.

Tim, I know you didn’t dig his recent portrayal but what would you do with the character if you could decide his future?

Before I get into that, did you notice how close Vic’s orphanage name resembles the kill crazy Batman villain Mr. Zsasz? Weird.

I didn’t dislike the idea of him as a city shaman in theory, only in practice. Having seen it though, I would prefer someone not visit that particular idea. It is too out there for a character that works best down in the muck of the city.
As far as where would I like to see The Question go, I’d say back to his roots. Crusading reporter by day, avenging hero by night. I could take or leave the objectivism that was an important part of his origin (although it would be great to see a writer really bite into that and tell the story of a hero being a hero entirely for himself), but I think the rest is quite strong.


Jon likes gray monsters that growl a lot.

Second is Doomsday… where is he at? It seems to me someone who can beat the hell out of Superman would have a higher profile.

Well let’s take a look back, about a year, shall we?

From the 8/25/04 column
Well Doomsday was in the possession of Darkseid as seen in Superman #175. In fact in Superman/Batman #10 an army of Doomsday clones attacked Themyscira in an effort to distract Superman.

But in Action Comics #814 it was revealed that Doomsday escaped from Apokolips and he’s looking for a rematch with Superman. He’s supposedly on Earth.

In the time since that reply we’ve seen Doomsday come to terms with his intelligence. He appeared to have also gained a conscience. Doomy was practically a supporting character during Chuck Austen’s run on Action Comics (which I’d hardly recommend.)

The end of the run actually featured Doomsday sporting an “S” shield and even saving Superman! It was interesting to say the least. On the off chance you want to read the issue in question it’s Action Comics #825.

Doomsday is alive and intelligent and on the loose.

Tim, is it possible that Doomsday is Mockingbird? ?

………..I……I just don’t have the words.


Jon “shazams” himself up another question

Finally Captain Marvel. What are his powers… is he just Superman with magical basings instead of kryptonian? And how many people are there kicking around with his powers? Well how many before Day of Vengeance 6?

He’s really not a Superman clone, but that’s mostly because he doesn’t have vision powers. Y’know, why don’t we jump in the wayback machine and let Mathan from the past explain it to you;

From the 9/21/04 column
Young Billy Batson stumbled cross the wizard Shazam, who bestowed him with the power of Shazam, to become Captain Marvel. Cap became the hero of Fawcett City. He split his power with Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr.

Now Billy Batson is like 16 years old, but when he says “Shazam” a magical lightning bolt strikes Billy and he’s transformed into man sized hero. Shazam is an acronym for the powers that he possess; Solomon’s wisdom, Hercules’ strength, Atlas’ stamina, Zeus’ power, Achilles’ courage and Mercury’s speed. If he says “Shazam” again he’s transformed back to Billy.

He left the JSA because of the awkwardness of the adult looking Captain Marvel, flirting with the teen age Stargirl, even though they are much closer in age than they appear. Rumor has it that Cap will return to those pages relatively soon.

(Black Adam uses the same spell as Billy Batson, but derives his powers from other gods.)

Of course there have been recent changes to Captain Marvel. He was in a cosmic tussle with The Spectre and almost won. But he didn’t. Billy was last seen plummeting toward the Earth trying frantically to remember his magic word.

Tim, what do you think the future holds for Captain Marvel?

Big things in the months to come is my guess. With Shazam going down for the count (for now) it’ll fall to Billy (and possibly Black Adam) to keep the wizard’s legacy and make sure it does not die. I figure he’s due for a pretty strong profile in Infinite Crisis and maybe, just maybe, a solo title next year.


Neil revisits one of his own former queries.

Last November I asked about the recent whereabouts of Dan “Terrible” Turpin (as with my original question, I was spurred to ask by seeing the S:TAS episode “Apokolips… Now!” part II on Boomerang this week.

Dan, Dan, where art though Dan?

Sorry. Nothing new. Dan is still M.I.A. Here’s what I wrote last year.

From the 11/16/04 column
I have looked up Dan Turpin and I can’t find anything about his whereabouts. I know he was part of SCU as recent as a year ago. I’m guessing that he’s still around, and that the writers just wanted to explore a different facet with the Man of Steel, so they introduced a female head of SCU, to flirt with Supes.

Last I saw, Turpin was still kicking around Metropolis; I think he showed up in one of the earlier trades of the most recent series of Superman collections. …quot;B

Now regarding Dan’s demise on the cartoon, I’m pretty sure that’s based on an early Orion comic. In that story Dan didn’t really die, he was just transported to Apokolips. Orion eventually saved him. But the cartoon didn’t end the story that way.

Great episode, great story. …quot;B

Hopefully Dan will reappear at some point in the future.

I’ve been reading the Super Books since Azz, Rucka and Austen took over. I think there may have been a Turpin reference. But the guy is a rare sight. Maybe he’s taking some much needed vacation time. I’m sure that he’s earned quite a few vacation days for his time on the force.

That’s how they should reintroduce Turpin, by pretending he was on vacation. His first panel should be him walking into M.S.C.U. and saying how great his vacation was.

There is the rumor that Dan Turpin has been laying low because DC doesn’t want to detract from it’s fourth All-Star book; All-Star Dan Turpin.

B Tim, who would you rather lead SCU, Dan Turpin or Lupe Teresa Leocadio-Escudero, who enjoys bubble baths?

My mother always told me that no bad likes a bubble bath. On the other hand, Turpin has a great nickname. Also, I am a way insecure male who can’t take directions from a powerful female figure. Advantage: Turpin.


Another column has ended. I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Oh, you know I did!

Send me your questions and comments because without you the column is nothing. My question to you this week; Now that Day of Vengeance is over how do you feel about the mini?

Our very own thread is a fun companion piece to the column and a great place to submit questions!

“Cause you’re always mine to keep when you’re gone.”

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