Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, is there anything good on TV?

There sure is, Mathan. 24 is having, in my opinion, its best season since the first (and it might be even better than that). My Name is Earl and The Office provide a one-two bunch that does not remove the sting of missing my favorite TV comedy (Arrested Development) but does manage to keep me laughing enough that some of the pain is eased.

The big one that I think you’ll want to check out though is Thief. It stars the incomparable Andre Braugher and, at only two episodes in, is still quite viewer friendly for you to jump in on.


IP Music is melodious.

IP Movies lets you know what’s matinee-worthy.

IP Games is really tempting me to get The Godfather.

Me too!

IP Figures should not remain in the box.

IP TV can’t find the remote.

IP Sports has NCAA aftershocks and baseball fever.

Moodspins has unique perspectives.

IP Culture is for those of you who like books without pictures.

Our DC Forum has attacks on Green Arrow and a peek at which “Super” dies!

Tim, care to link anything this week?

Yes. If my recommendation above was not enough to get you to commit to watching it, perhaps the Washington Post’s might hold more water.

Last Week’s Reads

Superman/Batman #24 – I really love McGuinness and Vines. I love them as a team. The book is good too. It’s nice to see that things are beginning to wrap up.

All Star Superman – I love this book! I love that Lois still doesn’t believe Superman. I love all the weirdness. I love the folks at the Daily Planet. This book is such a treat.

I didn’t think it was quite as good as issue #1 or #2 but it was still a blast. It’s so nice to read a Superman book and really enjoy it.

Green Lantern #10 – I do dig the direction that Johns is going. While I didn’t care for Reis on Action Comics I like his stuff here. This is a very solid OYL book.

Fallen Angel #3 & 4 – Nice to find out the truth about Lee. I do miss Bete Noire’s other residents. Hopefully we’ll catch up with them shortly. I also dig why Lee’s feet don’t touch the ground. This really is a good read.

Blue Beetle – This book suffers because it’s simultaneously a OYL book and a brand new #1. Instead of just tossing us in OYL, we flashback to events that take place prior to and during Infinite Crisis. That disjointed storytelling is what makes the book not as enjoyable as it could have been. I did enjoy the art though.

Wayne B. is way animated.

Since Justice League Unlimited is about to end, what are your favorite top (10) episodes and why?

It’s funny because I didn’t really watch the show religiously, so I didn’t think that I’d be able to give a solid answer to this one. I caught most of the first season, but as the Cartoon Network kept changing its timeslot, I grew tired of trying to find episodes. With each season I watched fewer and fewer episodes, until I barely even knew it was on.

However upon researching the show, I found that I’d seen enough episodes and that I did actually have the ability to rank them.

1) For the Man Who Has Everything – C’mon, this was a fanboys delight. A classic tale of Superman’s birthday, happening inside my TV? It get’s no cooler than that. In fact, I’ve still got this on tape somewhere.

2) A Better World – The Justice Lords rocked. I’ve a sucker for “alternate, darker versions.” And seeing how Doomsday was dispatched was pretty cool.

3) Legends – Ok, so it’s not actually the “JSA”, it’s as close as we’re going to get and it’s a damn fine homage to a simplier era. This was a fun episode to watch.

4) Tabula Rasa – I like Lex, and Lex played a role in this episode. And any story that can utilize Amazo to illict compassion deserves credit.

5) Comfort and Joy – Call me weak, but I enjoyed this holiday themed episode. It’s touching without getting to be too sickly sweet.

6) Epilogue – So by this point I was completely out of the continuity loop, but I do know that this episode bridged the gap between Batman Beyond and Justice League Unlimited. Plus we got some Batman Beyond closure.

7) The Once and Future Thing, Parts 1 & 2 – I love time travel and I love Chronos. The idea of time lost Leaguers is pulled off to great effect. Oh and we visit the future too.

8) Kid Stuff – It’s a fun episode. What more can I say?

9) Injustice For All – This is a cool orgin type of episode. It’s nice to see The Shade.

10) The Return – I love the idea of a rampaging Amazo bent on revenge. Oh and he’s unstoppable. It’s a very good episode.

Tim, care to give a rundown of your favorite eps?

You know what, I’d absolutely love to. I really would. But I can’t. I don’t think I could give you my top three choices. I liked the show when I saw it, but I barely remember what I saw and with all the time changes, I never saw nearly as much of it as I would have liked.

Fortunately, he always carried a Bat mic for just such occasions.

I can tell you my favorite moment though. Batman singing “Am I Blue?” near the end of “This Little Piggy”. That was a kick.

Wayne B fails to see how “cartoony” is a bad thing.

What “secondary” heroes really stepped up? (IMO: The Vigilante, Vixen, The Question, Supergirl, and Mr. Terrific)

It’s funny because I think that’s really the legacy of the show; it really showed the diversity of the DCU. I mean this show featured the Viking Prince! Booster Gold and the Blackhawks also appeared. Since I’ve not seen too many “Unlimited” episodes (where the secondary characters did most of the stepping) I can’t really say who impressed me the most. But as I pointed out in my fave episodes I do dig Amazo.

Tim, in your opinion who wowed you the most?

Red Tornado. His pig impression was stellar.

“Really? Me? Wow”¦oh”¦for the pig thing? That’s just great. Thanks.

How sad is it that the only JLU episode I have a clear memory of involved Wonder Woman being changed into a pig?

Wayne B is bright, colorful, and full of life.

Should DC adapt any of the animated characters traits to their comic book counterparts?

Even though I continue to champion the notion of a Black Pete Ross, I’m going to have veto the idea of taking the lead from the cartoon. For the most part the JLU characters are just the DCU characters boiled down to their essence. I prefer the nuance that’s found in the DCU.

But it could be argued that DC is taking the lead from the cartoon. Hawkgirl is now the start of her own self titled book and many of the secondary characters who’ve appeared in the cartoon have found new interest in the comics.

If there is one thing that I’d like to see make the transition from the cartoon to the comics is the high profile role of John Stewart, however I think that we’re all aware that’s not going to happen.

Tim, where do you stand on this notion?

I like both universes. I think each has its charms. And because they both have their charms, I don’t see much of a reason for either to change to be more like the other. There are little things I like, Lockdown and Harley Quinn making it to the DCU after appearing in the Animated Series, and such, but largely, they work well operating independent of one another.

Wayne B thinks DC has some ‘splaining to do.

Why hasn’t DC tried to hire Dwayne McDuffie to write the JLA comic or at least a story arc? That man has done more with the Justice League than Joe Kelly, Bob Harras, and even Mark Waid combined.

Who’s to say that they haven’t and he declined? I don’t know too much about their relationship, but I do know that some creators don’t have kosher relationships with some companies.

I really think that this is much more a case of DC needing Dwayne more than Dwayne needs DC. As John Babos pointed out over at our DC Boards, DC had the opportunity to snag Roy Thomas and blew it because of editorial issues.

Now imagine you’re Dwayne McDuffie and you’ve got to choose between writing something with more creative control and less editorial input, for more money or write a comic book that’s full of notes from the editors about what needs to happen for less pay? I’m going the TV route.

Not to mention that I’m sure he’s getting loads of TV offers, especially since his Milestone cohort Denys Cowan is now the Senior Vice President for Animation over at BET (if only one of them would drop me a line). Oh and he’s penning a JLU video game too.

However, I do imagine that he could probably serve up an arc of JLA Classified. Possibly.

Tim, how do you explain why McDuffie been absent from the DCU?

Well, at this very moment, he is busy with a Marvel project called Beyond. Before this, it’s anyone’s guess. Maybe DC’s just not interested in selling the stories McDuffie has to tell. Or perhaps McDuffie has no interest in producing the stories that DC is looking for. Or scheduling never worked out. It could be all of those or none of those. It could be something we’d never think of. Unless either party came forward and said what’s what, we can only ponder until we’re all blue in the face.

George M. was not going to ask this question until Superboy hit the wall of the universe

Since Jason Todd is brought back to life what do you think would happen if they took the continuity wave further and had Krypton reappeared and the Waynes cam back from the dead? It would make for some interesting Batman psychology as well as forcing Clark to deal with three sets of parents. I mean if Superman and Lois ever have to go visit Krypton they will need to take some substantial time off, not to mention what Thanksgiving would be like if all the parents got together.

That is an interesting question to ponder. In theory, the continuity waves could bring back since they’re just messing with the weaving of the universe, which was formed by combining every universe in the multiverse. Since some of those universes must have contained either a Krypton that didn’t explode or a pair of Waynes who didn’t get gunned down, those event could probably be incorporated into the DCU.

I think that we sort of got a glimpse of how Kal would react with the Return to Krypton storyline from 2001. It was successful enough to spawn a sequel in 2002.

As for Batman, I don’t know if I’d want to read that story. I think that Bruce could possibly be even more tormented with them alive. With them dead he doesn’t really know if he’s disappointing them, but if they were alive would they really approve of his lifestyle?

If you do want to see Bruce interact with his parents, you may want to check out Death and the Maidens, which features a Wayne family reunion, of sorts.

Tim, if those two things happened, how would Bats and Supes deal with it?

Barring them forgetting their whole origin stories, it would certainly make things more complicated for both, although Batman more than Superman.

In fact, Superman could almost get away with no problems at all. He’s not a hero because of Krypton exploding, he’s a hero because he has the gifts and his parents always thought him to do the right thing. Thus, I’d expect no change there. The only foreseeable problem is if Kal’s folks don’t get his dedication to earth and its people and demand he come home and act like a good, normal Kryptonian.

As for Batman”¦it’d be weird. His whole original reason for putting on the suit and fighting the hell that is Gotham would be reconned. However, it still have experienced it and remembered how the event happened, the horror and hopelessness he felt, how many years he’s dedicated to the mask, etc. Plus, by this juncture, his mission is not purely about his parents anymore is it?

I think it could make a good Elseworlds tale, but I’m glad DC did not go this way with Superboy’s fists. First, it just goes too far to be written off as “oh, reality got punched” and second, what the heck do you do five or six issues later? Forget the parents, shove them off to the side? Too many problems there.

Brock is looking for a place away from it all.

Whatever happened to the Monitor’s satellite? Is it still floating around up in space?

I’m pretty sure that it was destroyed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #6. I don’t have my actual issues in front of me, but I did some checking and that seems to bear out.

However, if it’s not been destroyed I think that it’s probably being used as Vril Dox II’s swinging bachelor pad. Can you imagine how the ladies would be impressed by that golden floating orb? And everyone knows that Coluans throw the best parties.

Tim, how would you use the Monitor’s satellite, if it were still around?

Well, I don’t think the bachelor pad idea would fly with Janelle, so I should probably toss that one out right away. I’m sure the Satellite would make a pretty decent office. Certainly all that computer power would help and there are no distractions up there. Or, even better, a rec room. Imagine The Warriors for X-Box on one of those big monitors. AWESOME!

Move over, Heff, your days are numbered.

My best idea though is that it could be a latter day Playboy Mansion. A place where the beautiful, the smart, the talented, the rich and the famous all come together to rub elbows, discuss and solve the world’s problems, and, of course, get it on. Presumably, I’d be at home in bed by the time the “getting it on” rolled around, but everything up until that point would be dope (do people still say dope?).

Coren can’t stop laughing at bad crossovers.

Ok, so in Last Laugh, Joker gave a ton of meta villains Joker Juice. So what were the effects of that juice? Did it vary from meta to meta? And why was Joker in Central/Keystone City during that event? In Flash it sounded like he was in jail there, but he’s a Gotham villain. Are there frequent prisoner transfers/exchanges between Iron Heights, Belle Reeve, Arkham Asylum and the rest? What other heroes have facilities to hold their rogues?

Geez, way to dreg up bad memories. For those not in the know, Last Laugh was a less than pleasant crossover event, involving the Joker. The effects of the juice was that the villains became loony, nutty and occasionally bonkers.

The Joker wasn’t actually in Kansas at the time, he was imprisoned in The Slab, which shows how truly forced this crossover was.

As for prisoner transfers, they’re pretty rare. You may have the occasional prisoner being transported to one of those prisons, but not transferred from one to the other, unless the story demands it.

I’ll let Mathan from the past handle the other prisons in the DCU;

From the 7/13/04 column
Now since Arkham is so well respected in the DCU as a place for the mentally unstable, some non Gotham criminals have ended up there; most notably Doctor Destiny. The good Doc is a JLA foe, yet he popped up in the Arkham Asylum hardcover, which I love. “And the dollhouse looks back at me,” chilling. I was way too young when I read that.

Blackgate is for the regular cons, that can’t claim insanity.

And now for the other prisons in the DCU.

Lockhaven is the prison in Nightwing and Richard Dragon, because that’s where Bludhaven’s criminals end up.

Iron Heights is in Keystone, thus the Flash Rogues end up there, as well as other Central/Keystone crooks.

Stryke’s Island is off Metropolis and where the foes of Kal El serve their terms. (But I believe this one got relocated to outer space orbit as a result of the Ending Battle crossover; it may have moved back after The Harvest over in Action Comics. –B)

Of course we can’t forget Belle Reve, its in Louisiana, and is usually associated with the Suicide Squad.

The Slab is basically where the rest of the DCU’s criminals go after convicted. It played a huge role in the second arc of the current Outsiders. It also popped up in the current Green Lantern storyline. Milo Norman, the former Mister Miracle II is in charge of the Slab.

Tim, which do you prefer TV prisons or Comic prisons?

To be held in? Wow, I’m not really thrilled with either choice then. But if I had to choose, give me the comic prisons. There seems to be significantly less rapes and people escape like every week.

For consistent entertainment/ realistic portrayals, give me TV. OZ was genius and Prison Break is ludicrous fun. There have been good comic prison stories, but not often.

Colin is trying to spark an international incident.

I was reading the few issues of Justice League Europe I have, and the series started off with the JLE being hated in their adoptive home of Paris because the team was almost exclusively American, and the French loved the Global Guardians, their former heroes. Facing this PR disaster, why did Fire and Ice, both former Guardians, not switch from the JLA to the JLE? Wouldn’t that have been good for the team? Metamorpho and Animal Man could’ve gone back to the states. Even Elongated Man could’ve left.

And as a side note, it was great to see Wally with a chip on his shoulder from Dibny calling him a knock-off Flash and always trying to get with Power Girl.

Hm, this is a tough one.

Well, I’d say that Fire still probably belonged in the JLA, because she’s still from America, right? One could make the argument that Ice belonged in the JLE, since she was European, but then we would have been robbed of that wonderful Ice/Guy relationship and would life be worth living without that?

I’m betting that Fire & Ice just fit better with the JLA. It was really all still under the auspices of the JLI. I can understand why you might not want a team of Americans as the JLE, but I’m sure that you can also understand the importance of having team with a more international make up as your “main squad”, at least for PR purposes.

And really if you had the chance to live in New York (the city that never sleeps) or in Paris (the city that never bathes) which would you pick?

(Parisians, I kid, you’re a wonderful bunch. Except for when you’re mean to your immigrants.)

Tim, which would you pick?

I’d like to visit Paris someday, but my heart always belongs to NYC.


Mr. Met, a hero in his own right.

Chaos defends a lady’s honor.

I noticed that in the last two years leading up to Crisis there’s been lots of reference about heroes and how human they are or maintain while being heroes… I remember Flash commenting that Wonder Woman doesn’t know what it’s like to be human, but with her actions in WW #219, I think she’s exhibited more human emotion that any of the others in recent times… your thoughts?

I don’t know if I’d say that Wonder Woman has been the most human. Batman’s been pretty emotional (whether he’s holding a grudge for Hal Jordan or his teammates for mindwiping him.) He’s dealt with the death of Spoiler and the betrayal of Leslie Thompkins. And we won’t even get into how he reacted to Bloodwynd’s death.

(He wept like a baby.)

I do think that it’s fair to say that DC has been showing the human side of their heroes recently. One of the attacks on DC’s pantheon is that they are heroes first and people second. The policy at DC seems to seesaw between “we want to lift our characters up to the modern day gods that they are” and “we want to show how truly human (fill in the blank) is.”

For instance when Grant Morrison relaunched the JLA it wasn’t a deconstruction of superheroes, it was fanboy fun. By the same token, Wally West longing for his secret identity back and taking a blue collar job is clearly an attempt to make him more relatable.

So, I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think it’ll last.

Tim, agree or disagree?

Do I think it will last? Sure, for a little while. Then comes the inevitable swing of the pendulum. There is a balance to be struck between hero and icon but, frankly, comics often have a hard time striking any balances. For awhile, the industry is all about variant covers, holograms, and playing to collectability. Then, they move back to the core fanbase and building the industry from within sans sales stunts and cash grabs. One year, all is doom, gloom, grim, gritty, and “realistic”. Next year, it’s loud, bright, bombastic, and fantastical.

So right now, for DC, the trend is “human” heroes. When that gets too complicated and bogged down, it’ll be back to icons. Then, when icon story telling gets too static and flat, here comes the heroes’ humanity again. And so on and so on. Wait a while and whatever trend in comics is in while go away and its opposite will take its place.

Except a trend revolving around new heroes. Fans will never get behind that.

Cory H. has a casting couch he’d like you to sit on.

I asked the Marvel guys about my predicted casting call for an Avengers movie, so here goes my JLA version:
Bats- C. Bale
Supes-B. Routh
G. Lantern- Michael Jai White (Stewart), Jordan (Harrison Ford), Rayner (Chris Klein)
Flash- Ryan Reynolds, Matt Damon
Hawkgirl- Kelly Monaco or Jessica Biel
Martian Manhunter- Michael Clark Duncan (painted green)
Wonder Woman- C. Zeta Jones, Charisma Carpenter
Aquaman- Jude Law, M. McConaughey or the guy from Entourage…lol
Green Arrow- R. Reynolds or Chris Jericho
Black Canary- Trish Stratus or Elisha Cuthbert
Zatanna- Any of the Charmed sisters
Capt. Marvel- George Clooney, Matt Dillon, J. Phoenix
Plastic Man-Jim Carrey
Blue Beetle- Wilmer Valderrama
Hawkman- Bill Goldberg
I just think Denzel is perfect for Mr. Terrific
What ya think???

I think you did a very good job.

Tim, how do you– oh wait, you wanted a more detailed account of my thoughts? Here goes,

First off let me say who I basically agree with (meaning I’m not totally opposed to); Batman, Superman, Flash, Hawkgirl, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, Plastic Man, Blue Beetle and Hawkman.

Now, I’ll add my two cents on those I feel I could do a better job with;

John Stewart – I love Andre Braugher, but he’s almost too good for the role (his talents would be wasted), so I’m going for Don Cheadle.

I like Don Cheadle a lot. I think he’s great. I don’t know about casting him though. Me, I’d go Richard T. Jones. He’s recognizable but not well known, has some good acting chops, and a great superhero voice.

Richard T. sans sunglasses and/or an unbuttoned shirt, for once.

Hal Jordan – This is the spot for George Clooney. He’s the guy who would bring Hal Jordan to life.

Both of you are going too old for this part. Geoff Johns and DC went to great lengths to make Hal young again and Clooney, while awesome, is not young enough. Plus, he destroyed the Bat franchise. That’s never a good thing.

Instead, why not Prison Break’s Wentworth Miller. He’s got that fearlessness and casual arrogance down pat already. He grows out his hair a bit and boom, there you go.

I call this look ‘smoldering’.

Kyle Rayner – My heart wants Wes Bentley, but my brain says Freddie Prinze Jr. And I really can’t explain that.

Neither can I, but it sure does make me sad. Suggesting Prinze for anything is just”¦bad, okay? Bad.

I could support Bentley though. I feel like there’s a better choice, but none come to mind, so Bentley it is.

Martian Manhunter – I see why you chose Duncan, he looks the role, but I think that Clancy Brown (the voice of Lex Luthor on JLU) would really inhabit the role. Is J’onn really all that different from Brother Justin?

Yes, yes he is.

However, he is not that different from Alias’s Carl Lumbly. Sure, Carl is a bit older these days, but it’s all good. An exercise regimen and this guy is perfect. He already voiced J’onn on the JLU and he was MANTIS. MANTIS! Do not question the choosing of the one man great enough to play MANTIS.

If you think I’m handsome now, you should see me when I’m green and wearing red suspenders.

Aquaman – I’m drawing a blank, and whenever I draw a blank I go for Neal McDonough. It’s a habit that I’ve got.

I love Neal, but again, I think you’re off. Jude Law is a fine choice is you are playing Aquaman as Golden Boy of the Sea. If you need him to be the angry Peter David version or angry but with a hand and the orange and green version, you need someone else. Perhaps, John C. McGinley? He does, after all, have guns out to here (that means muscles, folks).

This looks I call ‘intensity’. Which also happens to be the name of a TV movie I starred in. Neat, huh?

Black Canary – I’m going for the Rachel McAdams, who was like everywhere last year.

I fully support this. No questions asked.

Green Arrow – While I’m sure Starman Matt could do this better than I can, this is where I’d put Matthew McConaughey. He’s got that Ollie like swagger.

Hmm”¦yeah, that’ll work. He’s gotta be more early McConaughey (think the lawyer of A Time to Kill) and less the current himbo model (Sahara, Failure to Launch)

Captain Marvel – This is Jake Gyllenhaal all the way. He can play “unsure” better than anyone I know.

Maybe he plays unsure well, but he can’t be as physically imposing as Captain Marvel, ever. Even at his biggest (say in Jarhead), Gyllenhaal is clearly a small man. A talented, handsome, in good shape small man, certainly, but small nonetheless.

Marvel, unsure of himself or not, must be a presence. Thus, I’d say a bulked up Chris Klein could be your ticket here. He’s tall, capable of getting in great shape, and he plays naiveté incredibly well.

As for Denzel, he’s got Black Lightning written all over him. He’s just the right age to play that role. The younger Mr. Terrific should be played by Isaiah Washington.

Denzel is the man and thus can play any damn role he chooses. However, if he chose not to play Mr. Terrific, you’ve made a fine choice in Washington.

Tim, it’s your turn to cast-away.

No Charmed Sister shall ever sully my set, so instead I go Neve Campbell. She’s played a witch before (witch, magician, purveyor of magic, it’s all the same), her coloring is right for the role, and she’s matured into a good actress.

Isn’t Goldberg the wrestler? Yeah, that’s not going to work for me. Instead, we’ll be going with Rolf Moeller from Gladiator. He played the big guy.

It’s true, I did. I was the big guy.

Finally Wilmer will not ever ever ever have a part in this film or any other that requires any sort of seriousness and/or lack of a bad accent. Plus, I have young cousins who he will probably try to date. Allow me to suggest a young newcomer to play the new Blue Beetle.

Cory H. needs the expression “bigger than life” to be literal for DC’s heroes.

Seriously is the possibility there for a DC motion picture available for anyone
not last named Wayne or Kent?

Well as luck would have it last week’s Entertainment Weekly actually gave a brief rundown of some of the DC properties that are in development. That list was basically The Flash and Wonder Woman. Um, and that’s about it.

A few years ago I actually addressed this in a Words of Questionable Wisdom. It’d take up too much space here, so read that piece were you’d see which DCU properties I’d put on the big screen.

Tim, who would you like to see on the silver screen?

I think a Starman film that used the Jack Knight character could be a great choice. A sort of crossover hero film like the Crow or the Matrix was because there are superhero trappings but also a great sense of style, design, and uncommon attitude to the character.

Chase could be a good flick, but it would probably be better as TV series with room to grow and breathe.

I can’t decide if Suicide Squad: The Film would be a great black comedy action film or if you’d need to know the characters in all their villainous glory first to become emotionally involved in the movie.

Not all, but several of the Seven Soldiers characters could be the basis for excellent movies. In particular, Guardian (you’d have to drop the “Metropolis”), Shining Knight (I might not have liked the mini, but there is a ton of potential in that story), and, my personal favorite, a sword swinging latter day Frankenstein as the loner hero the world never asked for.

Colin actually has a pretty good point.

What was with issue 226 of Flash? Ok, so Rogue War’s done, and Wally needs some downtime. DC expects me to believe that he’s going on some dopey alpine expedition when his wife just gave birth to the twins?!?! Wally West: deadbeat dad?

Can I just say that I spent way too long trying to recall the term “stock issue?” Seriously, I googled “editor” “fill in issue” “commission” and even “inventory issue.” I swear, “stock issue” was on the tip of my brain. And now that I’ve found it, I’m not quite sure that’s the right term, but I’m sticking with it.

Anyway Flash #226 was in all probability a stock issue. A stock issue is an issue that’s commissioned by an editor, either because they want to try out new talent or because they like a story that’s been pitched. The story is usually self-contained, though occasionally the script may be altered to reflect more current happenings in the title.

I’m guessing that the story in Flash #226 had been written awhile before it was published, because Piper and Wally were very chummy. It’s odd that Piper and Wally would be so chummy immediately after Rogue War or, as you pointed out, Wally would take a vacation after getting his twins (back.)

But stock issues are a common practice in the industry. Deadlines get blown and books have to be published, so a stock issue becomes an actual issue. Usually they feel much more smooth than Flash #226 but what are you going to do?

Tim, how do you feel about stock issues?

Some of my favorite issues are actually stock issues (also called “drawer books” or, in my vernacular, “drop-ins”). There are some great one-off stories out there that wouldn’t have seen the light of day if it was not for other people missing deadlines. It is, however, all about timing. A drawer book after a huge storyline wraps up, especially on a team book, is golden. However, a stock issue after a huge change in the status quo that does not address or even really mention the change is never good.

Of course, what also hurt that issue was that it was not very good on its own merits either.

Colin pays Mathan a compliment. Others should take note.

Mathan, you’re something of an anomaly within comic fans, as I rarely read you whining about how horrible some book/scribe/artist/story is. Are there any books you haven’t been digging for a minute and are collecting just to keep that run going?

I do try not to bash comics too often, because I realize that those names in the credits are actually people who invested in that product. I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feeling or bash them, because they’re doing what I’d like to do and since they’re actually doing it I can’t be too hard on them because I’m not in their shoes.

For instance it really irked me when people were attacked Devin Grayson’s final arc on Nightwing, when anyone who even looked at solicits could see that the story that was told was missing a couple chapters from the story that she intended to tell. It’s the behind the scenes pressures that make me reluctant to really bash anything.

Also I’m trying to promote comics. I’ve gotten enough emails from people telling me “thanks to the column, I’m back reading comics after 10 years” that my ego has inflated enough to think that I’ve got a bit of power, and I’m careful how I wield it.

Now, to your actual question; kind of.

There have certainly been books that I’ve read out of loyalty and not enjoyment. I suffered though the first year of the current Aquaman and only stuck with it because I was intrigued by the following arc. I’m actually not sure how much longer I’m going to stick with the book now that it’s got a new direction.

The much maligned The Titans title was certainly a book that I stuck with out of loyalty to the characters. I loved the individual Titans (Nightwing, Jesse Quick) but in those last couple of years, issues were real torture to read.

More recently I only stuck with The Flash after Rogue War because I have every issue of the title, and it was the first book that I picked up from #1. I really didn’t enjoy the last storyline of the title, I felt it ended the book on a sour note.

Oh, I find it very hard to believe I demanded this.

I also still haven’t read JLA #125 because I just got bored with the story.

Under normal circumstances I probably would be the guy who sticks with the book to keep the run going (I did it with The Titans) but thanks to OYL, 52, and Infinite Crisis that habits been broken.

Y’see I’ve had to cull my spending because I can’t buy every book. The Superman books didn’t make the OYL jump onto my pull list. JLA Classified didn’t either. I’ve decided to invest in books that I’m actually interested in rather than trying to find interest in. Plus I know that at some point I’m going to be referencing what I read and I’d rather be writing something glowing than lamenting a purchase.

Tim, are there any books that you’re reading just because of the “good ol’ days”?

At the moment, no, but that does not mean I’m immune to it. I too collected Titans (although, from what I can see, not nearly as long as you or my predecessor Ben Morse did). I stuck with Robin and Nightwing while Dixon was on long after he lost control and began to spin his wheels are both books because I loved the characters and, as you know, have much admiration for Chuck “Master of Action” Dixon. Ditto to Waid’s Flash during Chain Lightning and beyond. It’s not uniquely DC, either. I have every issue Daredevil issue from sometime in the 130’s on and even I’m not so big a fan as to pretend like all of them are very good or even mediocre (what makes it worse is that most of those I hunted down later. I’ve only been consistently buying Daredevil as it came out since Karl Kesel’s run on the book).

But, in the end, I’d prefer my habit remain enjoyable to me. I don’t need to be throwing good money after bad in the name of completism if the stories are leaving me unfulfilled or actively disappointed. I think the thing I like least in the comic fan community is those that continue to buy a book long after they have read several issues and decided that it’s no good.

The only thing worse than that, I suppose, are those people that do not read a book anymore (or never read it to start with) and still complain about every new issue that comes out.

Neil thinks the Outsiders are living up to their names a little too well.

I picked up some issues of Outsiders for their tie-ins to the big-hoohaw going on in the Polaris Galaxy. So, help me out, who are Grace and Thunder (and which one is Black Lightning’s daughter)? Specifically backstory and powers, please.

Oh Politically Correct Neil, Black Lightning’s daughter is the Black one. Her codename is Thunder. She’s called that because, well let’s get to her powers.

Anissa Pierce has the ability to alter her density. Thus when she’s heavy and she hits the ground it sounds a bit like Thunder.

Grace is none other than Grace Choi. When she was a kid she lived with a foster family who abused her. She ran away and ended up in a child sex ring. Once there she was branded. Her abilities kicked in when she was 12 and she got away and fended for herself.

We first met Grace when she was working as a bouncer for a metahuman club. Arsenal recruited her for the team, and it was clear that they’d had a fling in the past.

Grace’s powers are that she’s invulnerable and strong. Oh, and given the beatdown Sabbac gave her, she can heal really fast too.

Tim, do you have a favorite Outsider?

Because I’m boring, it is Nightwing. However, I’m kind of psyched to see how Captain Boomerang (Jr.) got to the team and what he’s all about now, OYL.

I think I’m going to call it a column.

Really? But I was just heating up.

Oh well.

It’s been fun, I hope y’all will drop me a few questions via email or over on Our Very Own Thread! at the Forums.

Before I go here’s my question to you Who would you cast in a JLA movie?

“Nowadays kinds don’t get beat they get big treats; fresh pair of sneaks, punishment is like ‘have a seat’.”