Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, I’m completely disgusted at the revelation of who The Carver is. I’m talking “return of Kara Zor-El/Battlesuit Lex” disgusted. Do you believe the writers had the gall to build up the suspense so much only for the answer to be so obvious?

You know, honestly, a day later and I still cannot believe they were that obvious about the Carver’s identity. The last second swerve was also pretty obvious about 15 minutes out so that was disappointing too. Some great emotions in the finale (the Cherry/Matt stuff in particular) but man…what a thorough disappointment that “revelation” was.

But Lex in Battlesuit bad? I just don’t know about that.


Links

IP Music (still) has a feature on some Essential Hip Hop albums.

IP Movies has some thoughts on King Kong.

IP Games really does have some of the best reviews around.

IP Figures is a great place to stop for last minute gift ideas regardless the age.

IP TV is full of season finales, holiday episodes and DVD reviews!

IP Sports has plenty of news, but lacks Polo highlights.

Moodspins is a festive spot for all.

IP Culture really runs the gamut in terms of Holiday stuff.

Our DC Forums has been pretty quite lately still there’s reaction to some Post Infinite Crisis changes.

Tim, care to link anything this week?

Who wants Christmas Games?! Well, here you go.


What I Read Last Week

Captain Atom: Armageddon #3 – I really feel badly for Cap. He tries to get help from the most powerful guy he knows, only to find out he’s not that powerful. Plus he finds out that he’s a time bomb. His life sucks.

X-Factor #1 – Great book. Peter David + Jamie Madrox = Mathan giddy. Plus the art team is perfect. I really like how David caught me up on everything I missed during my exile from the X-verse.

DMZ #2 – Better than the first issue, but not quite enough to make me commit to continue reading. This book just really isn’t striking a cord with me.

Action Comics #834 – I didn’t read it. I don’t know how this book keeps ending up in my box.

Magic?

100 Bullets #67 – Not a lot of action, but so much happened this issue. Way too many pieces have converged in one place. This book really is the joy of my month.

JLA #123 – My interest in this book is waning. It’s nice to see Ollie accept his role in the scheme of things, but that’s about it in terms of my pleasure in this title.

Hawkman #47 – Great cover. Great interior art. Nice to see the return of Golden Eagle, even if it felt a bit soon. I really liked how Charlie has father issues. It was a nice epilogue to the whole Golden Eagle affair.

Green Arrow #57 – Isn’t it creepy that within the span of seven days, we’ve encountered two characters explaining why they rape (The Carver and Dr. Light), ooh and they’re both “Doctors.” Anyway I liked the issue. I really liked Ron Lim’s art.

Nightwing #115 – I’m hoping that somewhere down the line that “real” #115 is leaked. I remember looking forward to the next issue of Nightwing, and I was caught by surprise by the actual cover to #115, but I couldn’t place why. I did enjoy the issue, but I was really anticipating the meeting between Luthor and Renegade, if only for more Luthor.

Me too. I wonder how far along everything was before DC pulled the plug. Also I wonder if this is just a later script bumped up or if everyone had to hurry to create this overly packed story to rush the plot along.

Firestorm #20 – Nice to see Buddy again and working with Jason too. A Marty Stein cameo really hints nicely at what’s to come. I truly do enjoy this book.

Son of M #1 – Powerless speedster? I’m so there! I’m saddened that it’s a mini, but it did a good job of catching me up on what House of M was all about. The art was nifty and the story was touching. That said, I’m not a huge Inhuman fan. But I do dig Pietro.

Teen Titans #30 – I’ve never liked Brother Blood, in any incarnation. I don’t care for the guy. I did like the Captain Carrot stuff and the resurrected Titans. But this storyline is barely ranking above the Liefeld stuff and below the cured Beast Boy stuff.

Wow…those are so harsh words. Can’t say I feel the same way. It is certainly better than the Simone/Liefeld issues and at least on par with Beast Boys and Girls.

Aquaman #37 – Dude, I’m so hurt at the thought that Garth is dead. But he was supposed to be a powerful mage and the Spectre isn’t too cool on those kind of guys. I’m really worried that Malrey isn’t going to be exposed as the malevolent guy who’s a wannabe cop with the bloody cop from one of those early Sub Diego issues. I’m really going to miss this current direction of the book. I did like seeing all of those Aqua foes though.

Eh, whatever. Dead or not, I’m going to keep putting him into my JLA teams. I won’t be dissuaded!


Beej builds his friendships on lies and manipulation.

I’ve been slowly getting the comics hooks into a friend of mine by tricking her into reading Green Arrow, and have been fielding a lot of questions about Ollie’s various sidekicks, and realized I have one of my own about Arsenal, particularly his relationship with Cheshire and the custody status of their daughter Lian.

I guess my primary question is this: does Arsenal/Roy officially have sole custody of Lian, or is it a situation where he just took the kid and ran? In Villains United “Mockingbird” threatened the kid something fierce and Cheshire seemed at least momentarily concerned (till she went and got herself knocked up by Catman), so has Cheshire ever made a serious run at getting her back? If so, what happened, and if not, wouldn’t that have made a pretty good VU crossover into “Outsiders”?

Well allow me to put this whole custody issue in context. Would you rather place the child with a known (recovering) heroin addict or with a woman who actually nuked a country?

In Deathstroke #19 Cheshire actually bombed Quarac while trying to blackmail the world. Yup, she used a nuclear bomb on Quarac. Now I don’t think that there’s any court in the world that would grant her custody of Lian. Well, maybe a court in Zandia.

But that’s moot anyway. In a storyline that ran in Action Comics Weekly #613-618 Cheshire, Nightwing and Arsenal cross paths. The story ends with Cheshire abandoning Lian, knowing full well that she’ll end up with Roy. So Cheshire basically gave Roy sole custody.

Cheshire’s life doesn’t really lend itself to motherhood. She’s very much a 90’s type of woman on the go. Meeting important people and occasionally assassinating them.

I don’t really know if the scenario that you proposed about Cheshire trying to get Lian back could have been done. Mockingbird had some pretty sophisticated monitoring equipment and was keeping tabs on the team. We all saw what happened to the Fiddler in Villains United #1, and trying to save Lian might have actually gotten Lian killed.

Also any reunion between Cheshire and Arsenal would have conjured up images of The Titans, a book that loathe so much I cringe every time I’m reminded of how much time (and money) I invested in the book.

Tim, how do you look at Cheshire/Arsenal custody issue?

It’s a classic absentee parent situation. The state is always trying to keep the child with its biological parents, even in situations of addiction. Since Roy is a recovering addict and has been for some time, chances are the courts will not hold that against him. Add to that the fact that the mother is gone, Roy is pretty much guaranteed custody. As long as he does not go back to the stuff, chances are his parental rights will never be in jeopardy. Now if Chesire came back on the scene…well, there is that whole blew up a country thing.


R. Hardin’s Question of the Week reminds me of the sweet nostalgic embrace of the past

Since the current run of JLA is apparently ending with issue #125, and assuming there will be a re-launch fairly soon, who would you put in the new Justice League? You can incorporate what’s going on vis-a-vis Infinite Crisis and try to project a line-up, or just pick your favorite 7-12 heroes and throw them together.

Y’know what, since Infinite Crisis is supposed to be coming out next week, I’ll try to tie this week’s answer into the actual series.

First up, I’m going to pick Superboy-Prime. Superman isn’t going to want to be part of the League anymore, and Superboy will have patched things up with the Titans. Superboy will serve as the novice and the powerhouse. I’ll be interesting to see the other members of the team automatically turn to the “S” for leadership only to find a kid in his place. Plus, with his lack of a secret ID, he’s got nothing but time to devote to the JLA.

Since we’re lacking Batman as well (I’m guessing), I’ll take Catman. The guy’s had more lives than you can imagine, it’s time he tried wearing the white hat of a hero. He’s going to be the character that everyone really shuns but will end up saving the day. And initially he’ll be able to play both sides of the fence. He’s going to be much like Major Disaster was, only less self-deprecating.

Just as J’onn was the center of the team, this team’s center will be Alexander Luthor. He’s going to have plenty of time for monitor duty, and he’s going to have a unique understanding for the catastrophic events that they face. I’d also introduce the theory that Alex gives off a pheromone that sets people at ease (like Faith). I know whenever I see the guy I am overcome by a calming effect. But I’d bring back his perm, because you can’t have Alexander Luthor without a rockin’ perm.

Since he’s a personal favorite I’m moving Ragman up to the majors. While I favor his original incarnation, even though he’s a Batman knockoff, his current mystical abilities have grown on me. I think that there would be a natural competition between Ragman and Catman, as both are trying to prove that they belong. Ragman would provide the magical tether that JLA teams frequently use.

Donna Troy will be filling in for Wonder Woman. Back from saving the universe and commanding a team, she’s going to want to be more proactive in the DCU, and you can’t get more proactive than the JLA. She’s also going to have to deal with Superboy-Prime’s crush on her. Of course that’s not going to sit well with…

Kyle Rayner, he’s the resident GL and the most tenured member of the JLA. Kyle is going to have to deal with a lot. He’s finally going to be looked up to as a hero, but the downside is that he’s going to have to deal with not only working alongside his ex (Donna Troy) but the fact that she’s probably a better leader than for the team than he is. Finally Kyle will get some growth.

Sasha Bordeaux is going to round out the team. She’s going to the “tech” go to person. Some members of the team are going to distrust her because of the whole OMAC issue, but Donna and Kyle are going to give her the benefit of the doubt primarily because they were off Earth when most of the stuff went down. Sasha’s going to be connected at all times and is going to alert them when they’re needed. She’s basically going to be the monitor system in human form.

And that’s my whole squad. Tim, who do you think should be in the JLA?

Well, I already did my Infinite Crisis JLA a couple of weeks ago so I’m not going to go that route. Instead, I am proposing a substitute League. With the big heroes sitting it out, who better to take up the flag than those who once took up the flag for them.

Steel has more than proven himself a hero in his own right, so he is the obvious choice of the four Supermen to take Kal-El’s place. I mean, really, it would either be he or the kid and can you imagine Connor on the JLA? No. Me either.

He was crazy as can be the first time around, but Azrael is back and better than ever. He won’t don the Batsuit this time, but he will gladly fill Batman’s role in the JLA. It took dying to beat his demons, but now that is all behind him. Or is it?

As statuesque Amazons go, Wonder Woman is cream of the crop. However, for a time, a red head named Artemis nicely filled out the red, white, blue, and gold bathing suit and she’ll be happy to do so to redeem the good name of Wonder Woman, the Amazons, and Paradise Island after the killing Max Lord fiasco of earlier this year.

Kyle Rayner has been Green Lantern for more than ten years now, but with Hal Jordan back in the picture, he is viewed as a fill-in as much now as when he first came on the scene. How better to prove his skeptics wrong than being the go-to GL for this new league?

Flash spent some time in the future working his way back to the present while a future Flash named John Fox put the moves on Wally’s wife Linda. Not cool. However, the man seems to have gotten his act together and serves with the JLA One Million. With his unique knowledge of the past, he’ll know that this is the time where the JLA will be without a speedster and he’ll be more than happy to come back and hold that spot. No home wrecking this time though.

Aquaman has not been replaced yet, but he’s about to be. Let’s bring the new guy on board and make sure he has what it takes to be ruler of the Seven Seas.

Some people just refuse to stay dead and that was the case with Connor Hawke’s dad, Ollie Queen. He returned before his son, also Green Arrow, had a chance to really prove himself. However, with Ollie busy being mayor and Hawke no longer in Star City, what better way to step out from old Dad’s shadow than being the Green Arrow in the League.

Last, but not least, is Jemm, Son of Saturn. Sure, he never filled in for J’onn, but he did act as the Injustice Gang’s answer to Martian Manhunter (under duress) for a short time so I think that is good enough for government work.

And that is my team of Leaguers, the Fightin’ Substitutes. Quake in fear.


George M supports woman-on-woman violence

Since Superman beats the Hulk, I was wondering if Supergirl or Wonder Woman can beat She-Hulk (rules, because that damn Iron Man/X-Men battle convinced me of the need for them: open area, like a desert, killing is fine (but does it really give someone an edge in a one on one battle like this?), and use the powered-up She-Hulk from volume 2 of the TPB)

I’m really not that familiar with She-Hulk’s power levels. But I’m guessing that she’s maybe a hair less powerful than her cousin? Going on that theory, I’m picking Supergirl to win. She had to be taught to tone things down, thus she’s not really going to hold back for too long, as frustration sets in. She’s also going to be more likely to cut loose with the devastating effects of her powers. She not going to as opposed to killing as Kal is, thus making her more effective in a battle like this. Oh and she was trained by the Amazons.

Amazon training is also why I’m going with Wonder Woman beating She-Hulk. Sure She-Hulk may have been an Avenger, but she’s also a lawyer. Wonder Woman is a warrior. Not only does she have that lasso, but she’s also got a pretty strong stamina. She’s also not one to hold back in a brawl. She knows how to use someone’s strengths against them. And we all know that Diana’s got no problem killing.

Tim, do you agree or disagree with my belief that DC would win this battle?

I agree with your estimate of She-Hulk v. Wonder Woman. It is tough for me to pick a Marvel female hero who could possibly beat Wonder Woman.

However, regarding She-Hulk v. Supergirl, I think I’m going to throw my support behind She-Hulk, due mostly to experience. Also, I dislike Supergirl and it colors all of my judgments about her. I may not be fair, but I am honest, at least.


Starman Matt wonders when he should have felt grief

Hmm… when did Maxima die?

Maxima died in Superman: Man of Steel #117 when she flew a space ship to intercept at oncoming attack on Earth. The ship was destroyed. The attack was not thwarted.

I’ll admit to missing Maxima, if only because she was an interesting character. She was more interesting when she was trying to procreate with Kal, but even as a hero she wasn’t half bad.

Tim, any thoughts on Maxima?

Not a one. And I like it like that, thank you.


Sly Reference can’t fight fate and thus, shouldn’t feel so bad

I was reading something in another thread that was discussing Dr. Fate. It mentioned Fate and Nabu as two separate entities, and that Nabu was the one who was actually in charge of the helmet/gloves/medallion. How does that work? I thought Fate was tied to the helmet, but obviously I’m wrong. Who or what is Fate, then, and what’s its/his story?

I also seem to remember a number of people who have taken up the mantle. Maybe a quick rundown would be appropriate.

Wow, this is an interesting question. Nabu is like the conscience of Dr. Fate. He’s a voice that counsels the person who’s wearing the mantle of Fate. “Dr. Fate” is who the person who don’s Nabu’s helmet and amulet becomes, and they get Nabu whispering in their head. Nabu also kind of controls how much power Dr. Fate gets.

Nabu is the Lord of Order who “powers” Dr. Fate. Dr. Fate was originally Kent Nelson, back in the Golden Age. While Kent is no longer among the living he’s currently taken up residence in Fate’s amulet.

Next up was Eric Strauss a kid that Nabu aged to adulthood, so that he could become Dr. Fate upon Kent’s passing. But they eventually died in battle. Inza Nelson (Kent’s wife who died shortly before Kent) was brought back life, along with Kent and for awhile they would merge to become Dr. Fate. Later, Inza became Dr. Fate by he lonesome. But that was short-lived.

There was also that much hated Jared Stevens version of “Fate” but the less said about that the better.

Most recently Hector Hall was Dr. Fate, but now that he’s gone to the afterlife, I’m guessing that someone else is going to take up the mantel.

Tim, do you have any thoughts on Dr. Fate? How about you give him a revamping?

I sure can do a revamping of him. And I’ll do it right now. Now, bear in mind that this was inspired by a dream I had a while back so, if it seems to have holes in it, blame it on my subconscious.

Doctor Fate has disappeared from the earthly plain some nine months ago. In that time, his tower in Salem has been purchased by a weathly but eccentric (are there any other kind of wealthy people, really) recluse, Arthur Alberts. Its connection to the dimensions has been severed, but in the center of the house sits the artifacts that we recognize as Fate’s helmet and medallion but the new owner seems uneducated about. He is, however, fascinated by them, so he invites five former college classmates, all very successful in various fields, to help him crack their mystery.

As the classmates, Elena Marisco, Tom Grige, his wife Sally, Nadia Dominick, and Chester Denville, begin to unlock the secrets and powers of talismans, things begin to get complicated. It becomes more and more clear that Alberts is not as unaware of the talismans’ purposes as he originally claimed and is, in fact, in search of unending power. As the tower comes alive once more and the five race against time to stop what they have unwittingly started, some will not make it out alive. Most in fact. When the dust settles, who will possess the power of Fate?

So…what do you think? Would it work?


Aaron wants to engage in name calling.

KGBeast, Film Freak, Killer Moth, Agent Orange…quick, name five villains, off the top of your head, with worse names.

Dude, there are so many different variations of “worse.” For instance if you want corny one only needs to look for “Captains”, like Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Captain Stingaree , Captain Calamity and Captain Nazi.

If you want a hero who seems to have villains with perpetually bad names check out the Flash. He’s got Colonel Computron, Abra Kadabra, Big Sir, Rainbow Raider, and Double Down.

Of course there are always the names that are hard to pronounce. I’m not a huge fan of Mr. Mxyzptlk, Kilg%ore, NKVDemon, Zsasz, and Kanjar Ro.

There you have it. I gave you 15 that just popped in my head. It’s tough to have a villain with a cool name.

Tim, can you think of some other “bad” villain names?

Calendar Man is the type of name that strikes fear into exactly zerio people.

Ditto for Toyman, Ragdoll, Crazy Quilt, and Granny Goodness.

Anytime you invert a superhero’s name, like Man-Bat, is just weak.

Glorious Godfrey uses an adjective that a man named Godfrey cannot ever hope to truly live up to.

Black Manta’s name would be cool if, in reality, he was not black. Given the fact that he is, it is weak and sort of off putting. It is not like I go around calling myself White Tim.

And speaking of Aquaman villains, The Fisherman? Seriously?

I could go on and on, but I won’t. I think you get the idea, Aaron. It is far easier to be a bad ass villain than it is to come up with a bad ass name for yourself.


The Dark longs for a certain red haired Amazon

Where is Artemis? I lost track of her after she seemingly became the queen of Hell in Artemis Requiem. I think she is an untapped character who should be given a chance to shine and not be cast aside like Ben Reilly or Azrael Batman who were just poor attempts to shake things up.

Eh, I’d be lying if I said I was a fan of Artemis. To me she seemed like a poor attempt to cash in on the “bad girl” craze that was sweeping the industry at the time. I can’t really think of too many characters created during the 90’s that I really care for. I suppose when it comes to the 1990’s I’m pretty much in line with Kal-L.

As for her whereabouts, she’s turning up in the current Wonder Woman, which focuses on an OMAC attack Paradise Island. It features pretty much every Amazon of note, and Artemis is helping lead the fight against the OMAC’s. If you really dig the character, I’d advise you check it out, since she may not live through the storyline.

Tim, do you think that Artemis is going to survive Infinite Crisis?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question objectively since I just read Infinite Crisis #3 and that sort of, kind of told me what happens to her. But, before reading that issue, no, I was not expecting her to die. In fact, I had not even thought of her at all. In years. Several, blessed years. Oh, how I long to return to that state of grace. Well, it could be worse. I could remember Byrne’s run on the title.

Oh damn…now I’ve done it. ARRGH!!!!!


Well, another column has come to a close. I want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays. Be sure to send me your questions or you can post them over here.

Yes, a big Happy Holidays from me as well. I hope you get everything you asked for (the true purpose of the holidays) and that, if you get a chance, you remember Jesus, the Maccabees, or the Seven Principles. But concentrate on the gifts first, of course.

Seriously have a great time and give all your families my love. They’ll appreciate it.

Before I go here’s my question to you; What are some of the worst villain names that you can think of?

“It may be years until the day, my dreams will match up with my pay.”

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