Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, your DCNV column always breaks my heart. Sure it’s witty and well written, but you always end up ruining my day with news of cancellations. And this week you tell me that the Kid Amazo story that I’ve been waiting for years to read has been pushed back indefinitely. I’m just not sure we’ve got a healthy relationship.

Oh come on, baby. Don’t leave. I don’t mean to hurt you, you gotta know that. I don’t mean to. I just get so scared sometimes when I think of losing you. Oh baby, please forgive me.

Links (based on what I’m experiencing right now)

In terms of (IP) Music I’m all about Death Cab for Cutie.

For (IP) Movies I can’t wait for Superman Returns.

(IP) Games sees me really anticipating the next gen Nintendo.

The next (IP) Figures I’ll purchase will be the reissued DC Direct Crisis figures.

The (IP) TV show that I’m loving is Saved on TNT.

The subject of (IP) Sports has me lamenting the loss the Dallas Mavericks took, though it’s hard to hate on the Miami Heat win as Mourning and Payton finally got their rings. .

But what about Phoenix? Where’s their rings? When’s their time? When, Lord, when?!

Moodspins will rock when it returns.

IP Culture would rock if it addressed the Culture Wars.

Our DC Forum has Flash speculation, and a possible return of Infinity Inc?

Also My Favorite Blog has a guy who’s campaigning to play Green Lantern John Stewart!

Tim, care to link this week?

You bet I do. I’m late to this, of course, but my current obsession (besides all of you, my adoring fans) is Netflix. I knew about it and always sort of considered jumping on board, but resisted until this summer. Now that I’m doing it though”¦I shudder to consider life without it. That’s how good it is!

What I Read Last Week

52 Week Six – I dug the GL stuff. I really liked the Booster paying Rip a visit stuff. I can’t wait to sit down and try to decipher those scribbled notes.

DMZ #8 – This is the best multi issue arc yet! I dug how the explanation for the war unfolded. This book is really coming into it’s own.

Battle For Bludhaven #5 – Wow, this really stinks. When this comes out in a trade, I’m going to buy it as a gag gift for friends.

Wait, I don’t understand. Do you hate your friends?

American Virgin #4 – Did a mystery begin? Are we hunting for revenge or uncovering human nature? I’ve got no idea what’s around the bend, but I know that I’m in for the long haul.

Me too. I’m hooked”¦although its difficult to say what, exactly, at this point that I am hooked on.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #9 – I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that over half of the Wildstorm relaunches didn’t intrigue me on some level. Oh and the ending was satisfying. I loved the way Nate demolished everyone.

Nightwing #121 – Jock’s covers are great looking. I like how I actually care about Jason Todd and whether he lives or dies. In that regard I’m looking forward to the next issue.

I’ll agree with you on the covers. This is all.

Green Arrow #63 – I really think that people are being too critical of this book. I enjoyed it. It’s a good read. I dig Brick, though I might not dig the monster element, I’ll wait and let it play out before forming an opinion.

Dear DC,
What is about Green Arrow since Ollie returned that screams “must fight monsters” to you? I’m just wondering.
Sincerely,
Tim Stevens

Firestorm #26 – I’m curious about this sadistic new crook. I dig Gehenna’s jealousy. I also dig the automatons. Who doesn’t?! I dig everything about this title except, eh I’ll get into that later.

Checkmate #3 – This was a very good issue. The guest art wasn’t distracting and the story progressed nicely. This is a very satisfying read. I’ve grown to look forward to reading this book.

Same here. After issue #1, I had doubts about sticking with it but it’s been great ever since.

Green Lantern Corps #1 – I dug the characterization. I enjoyed the art. I’m glad the Rann/Thanagar team is getting more developed. I’m kind of scared about the prince with the Green Lantern fixation, it’s kind of creepy.

Archenemies 1-3 – This is such a fun book with a great premise. This book is so relatable to anyone who attended college. I wish more comics where this fun.

Supreme Power #4 – Wow, this book really is losing its luster. I used to love this title (at least in its previous incarnation) but this book is damn ass disappointing. Boo.

Boo indeed. Just not a good effort.

100 Bullets #73 – Man oh man are things heating up! Allegiances have been revealed and we know who’s playing whom. This book is stellar!

Ex Machina Special #2 – Spruce and Story did an amazing job of keeping the distinctive look of the book intact. And I loved the story set in Hundred’s past. The “opposite number” angle will never be stale to me. Sure the book works on deeper levels, but I’m using it as an excuse to keep my prejudice against birds.

Sounds like a fair and balanced approach to me.

Civil War #2 – Is Reed Richards really that flighty? He seemed kind “nutty” professor rather than “smartest guy in the Marvel U” professor. And call me skeptical, but I’m really curious how long the “reveal” will stick. Apart from the reveal, this book is on par with the previous issue, which is to say; a bit of a letdown.


Soak1313 placed the lyric. That’s two weeks in a row we’ve done that. Keep up the good work readers (and send me some questions!).

Yeah! Send those questions. Don’t make us come to your house and beat them out of you. We will you know. Mathan and I”¦we’re crazy.

Soak1313 is caught up in a vortex.

Could you give me a brief run down for the red tornado? it seems he’s going to be a player coming soon with the new JLA and i know very little about him.

Ok, let me take a deep breath, because this is probably going to be a long one full of twists and turns.

Once upon a time on the planet of Rann (see, I bet you weren’t expecting that) there was an evil living tornado called the Tornado Tyrant. However after encountering Adam Strange the Tyrant decided to switch teams and thus he became the Tornado Champion.

Sadly, much like Harvey Dent after him, the battle between good and evil within the Champion was too much to bear. He split into the Tyrant and the Champion, and the former was defeated by the latter.

As is usually the case after defeating your evil counterpart, the Champion’s essence drifted through space unencumbered. However it was pulled to Earth by the machinations of T.O. Morrow.

Y’see Morrow was putting the finishing touches on his Red Tornado android, which he planned on infiltrating and destroying the JSA with. The Champion got cozy within the android and naturally lost his memory.

As luck would have it the JSA found out about the plan and beat Morrow and the Tornado. But the essence of the Champion helped guide the Tornado into joining the JSA for a spell before ditching them to jump to the pros; the JLA.

As androids are prone to doing, Red Tornado wanted to learn more about humanity so he adopted an alter ego; John Smith. He also hooked up with a woman named Kathy Sutton. But that’s not all! He also took Traya a young orphan under his wing.

Life was kosher for a spell. But then the Crisis happened and Red Tornado had a startling revelation; the reason he drawn to Earth was because he was an Earth Elemental, specifically an Air Elemental.

At this point he went a bit loony. Not only did he find out new things about his nature, but the pollution in the air was driving him batty. He encountered some other elementals, Firestorm and Swamp Thing and he mellowed out. In fact Firestorm made him a human-esque exo-shell so he’d feel more human.

He and Captain Atom took a trip to the Astral Plane (it was off season, so it was less expensive.) Once there Tornado almost got lost but the good Captain saved him. So all was well.

However the next time he showed up, on the pages of Primal Force the Red Tornado was looking worse for his wear; he was back in his android body and as rickety as a weather-beaten porch. He had very little of his humanity back and barely uttered a word. He served a time with the Leymen and then disappeared again.

The next time he showed up the kids from Young Justice found him in the JLA’s old Happy Harbor HQ. He had abandoned his environmental fervor and had his humanity back. He served as Young Justice’s mentor. He also tried to introduce himself back into Kathy and Traya’s life.

However once Young Justice was ended to make room for Teen Titans the Red Tornado disappeared from sight once again. But judging from the silhouette on the cover of JLA #1 it appears he’s going to be returning in a big way.

To which I have but to add: woohoo! The single best part of the otherwise disappointing “Crisis of Conscience” arc in JLA was when Red Tornado picked his newly refurbished body off the (proverbial) mat and lay a hurting on Despero so the JLA could recoup and save the day.

It’ll be good to see him back in the big time. Hope that it fits him as well as I think it will.


Neil is the hunted

In JSA: Classified #3, Huntress mentions to Kara that she got kicked out of the Justice League twice. I thougt I forgot something about Morrison’s run, only remembering Bruce kicking her out during “World War III.”

But, on Wednesday, I picked up the first part of the “Teasdale Incident,” and I saw that Max Lord was welcoming the new Dr. Fate when he sees Huntress, who mentions she is joining too.

What are the circumstances surrounding her entering the League for the first time.

Well y’see the Queen Bee (the ruler of Bialya) had planted a post hypnotic suggestion in Blue Beetle’s head that was triggered in Justice League America #26 (which came out just a month after Huntress #1). The suggestion was that he kill his teammates. The Huntress prevented him from doing so.

Then a short time later the Huntress helped the team retrieve Big Barda’s Mega Rod. During these two incidents Huntress impressed Max Lord enough for him to extend her an invitation to the join the team. She declined. However Max used his powers and gave her a “push” and she joined up.

Once she realized that she didn’t join on her own free will she quit the team.

See! Max Lord had a history of bending heroes to his will! Tim, isn’t this proof that Max Lord was indeed a bad guy?

Are we really going to resurrect this debate again? While we’re at it can we also discuss who the one true Green Lantern is? And we shouldn’t forget tot talk about whether or not making Impulse Kid Flash was a good idea or the single worst thing anyone has ever done, ever (Plus, parenthetical question: How could DC cancel Young Justice. It was sooooooooooooooo good.) Oooh, ooh, or maybe whether or not Superman Blue/Superman Red is just a cash grab?


For Neil, it all comes down to the character question

Also, she seems a lot more…jovial…is this another case of Giffen/DeMatteis lightning up a character or was she a lot less…intense…in the late 80’s?

Neil, there’s a chance that she was more intense than she is right now. She starred in a “Suggested for Mature Readers” in the late 80’s. She deal with realistic criminals who barely wore costumes and there was plenty of killing going on.

So yes, her appearances in Justice League America are an example of Giffen & DeMatteis inserting some levity in a character who rarely smiled.

That’s like this column. I’m really not like this. I’m much more pleasant and happy-go-lucky. But, according to the current direction of the Comics Nexus, when appearing in Who’s Who, I am to be as sarcastic and borderline abusive as possible. But it is not really me, it’s just my grim n’ gritty era.

Also, they make me hold this firearm and wear a belt with a lot of random pouches when I edit the column. I don’t get it, but they say it’s the current trend.


Scavenger wants to lend Steel a hand (har, har)

So, once Priest’s brilliant series got axed and Steel became generic comic book
uber-scientist, I lost track of Steel. I’m reading 52 6, and he’s pulling off his hand and using nano somethings to heal people!?!

Well the rumor is that this is a post-Infinite Crisis retcon. Perhaps Grant Morrison really wanted Steel to lose his hand to the General but DC didn’t want it to happen. However now, with the ball firmly in Grant’s court he was all “Ok, DC, you want me to do the whole ‘exclusive’ thing? Well it’s gonna cost you. It’s gonna cost you Steel’s hand! Whaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa!”

Tim, don’t you think this is how DC got Grant to sign on the line which is dotted?

I like the idea of Morrison have Didio strapped to a death trap of some sort while menacing him on this issue (“Do you expect me to talk, Grant?” “No, Mr. Didio, I expect you to retcon in a reference to Steel losing his hand! HAHAHAHA!”) but I’m guessing that wasn’t how it went.

If anything, the current rumors are that Morrison’s bargaining chip was actually Seaguy II. Though I love 90% of his work, I’ve gotta be honest and say I think that Steel’s missing hand would have been more worth it to DC, but that’s just me.


“Checkmate!” Seaguy triumphs over subtle storytelling yet again.

Maybe it was like a 2 for 1 thing.


Scavenger questions Dr. Irons’ credentials

And did one of those Superboy hitting the wall things suddenly make him a medical doctor, or do DC writers just not know the difference between an MD and a PHD?

I think that there’s a line between genius and medical doctor, but it’s not as large as you think it is. Aren’t looking at a blueprint and examining an X-ray kind of similar? (I’m pretty sure the answer to that rhetorical question is no.) And were the minds that conceived artificial hearts, pacemakers, and hearing aides working from a medical standpoint or an inventors?

John is a sharp dude who enjoyed a challenge. When he lost his hand, he probably became interested in the medical side of things and boned up on the subject. I’m guessing that he became pretty well versed in the field. Thus when Dr. Mid-Nite had a similar case, John was someone that popped up in his head.

Case in point, whenever I think of that late 80’s Huntress title, I think of nutmeg because I was eating a meal that someone had put too much nutmeg into a sauce, so much that it was overpowering, while I was reading the first issue.

(Actually it’s nothing like that. I just wanted to insert that bit of trivia into the column. I’d planned on putting it in the Huntress portion, but I couldn’t remember what the overpowering ingredient was, until this segment.)

Ahh, what a delightful digression.

The point is that I think that John is probably close to or on the line that separates genius from doctor.

Tim, do you think that it’s beyond reasoning for John to be called in for a consult?

Nope. In fact, I can give you a few reasons.

The serious one (and my reading on the consultation) is this: Steel was called to the scene because of the melding of flesh and metal that Vox had experienced, a subject that Steel would most certainly be in a place to discuss and offer assistance in. And I say that without even considering the whole retconned lost of a hand thing.

The second reason, “Uber Doctor Syndrome”(UDS), is also part of the explanation. UDS was coined by Polite Dissent and concerns the comic book phenomenon wherein a doctor or scientist of something somehow, over time, becomes an expert in every science and medical related. DC is guilty of this less often than Marvel is, but they still do it and I think Dr. Irons is a living, breathing (in the comic book sense) example of just that.

My final explanation is that Steel has been in triage situations before. When all hell’s breaking loose and you’re right in the eye of the storm, sometimes you’re called upon to do something that you are not, strictly speaking, trained to do or know anything about. Like riding a unicycle while juggling or being an MD when you are really a PhD. And it works out; you did it! You learn from the incident and you gain confidence. It happens a few more times and each time you perform exemplary under adverse circumstances. In short, you’ve gained the touch”¦the power. (YEAH!!!) I think this is the case with Steel. Even without the sheepskin, other heroes have seen him rise or have heard of his rising to the occasion in medical situations. Thus, the question becomes not “Why call Steel?” but rather “Why not call Steel?”


Optimus Prime is here, in person, to present Steel with the Leadership Matrix


Scavenger is concerned for the children.

And what the heck did they do to Natasha?

What do you mean? When Steel was too injured to carry on as Steel, he passed the mantel on to his niece. Natasha inherited a suit of armor more advanced than anything that John had ever donned.

The armor did the typical things that John Henry’s armor did, however Natasha’s armor could also enlarge. So it was pretty cool. Natasha took up the mantel to help out Superman and stayed with the part time hero gig until recently (52).

Tim, do you think that John was being too hard on Natasha?

Do I ever! Limiting your problem child’s freedoms is one thing. Being a tyrannical jerk at the same time is another. Being a tyrannical jerk to an exemplary child is even more another thing. (If that makes sense”¦which is almost certainly doesn’t.)

Natasha has proven herself to be brave, smart, insightful, and responsible, especially considering her age. John must know this because he trusted her to fill-in for him. So why is he treating her like she’s the type of kid who breaks curfew, throws crazy parties when he’s away, and cuts class three days a week? How is it that she goes from his heir to not even being able to drop by and visit the Titans?

Not cool, John, not cool.


Scavenger is a jerk, apparently.

And where is Paco Irons during all of this?

You mean the Paco Irons that even Priest wants to forget? We’ll leave that one alone.

Tim, any TV you want to rave about?

Wait, who? Paco? Oh, this”¦this I need answers on. Nay, I demand them.

As for TV, I will once again recommend Rescue Me and Entourage. Great shows no matter when they air, but in the barren wasteland of summer TV, they are the greatest oasis you can imagine.


Neil

Like Tim, I am curious as to what you, Mathan, think of Comet’s new costume (and the dropping of the faux-rank of Captain).

I’ll be honest; I’m not quite sure that I dig him losing half of his name.

It’s not just because I was a fan of Impact Comics The Comet. And it’s not because I’m really attached to it. I just can’t quite wrap my head around him abandoning it.

Furthermore he’s had it for 55 years, why is he changing it now? Is he having a Midlife Infinite Identity Crisis on Infinite (yet again) Earths? (Sad thing about this? I can totally imagine myself buying that comic.) I don’t’ know, I just don’t get what sense it makes to change his name.

I mean, I suppose I could accept it if the story warranted it. Like if he gets kicked out of L.E.G.I.O.N. and loses his rank, then I guess it would make sense, storywise. Or maybe if he’s stuck on a planet where they’ve got no word for “Captain” but Comet translates, then I suppose it would work. But other than that I can’t see how it’d be an organic type thing.

It just seems to be a bit of slick repackaging and unless DC plans on rebooting the character (not like anyone is really clinging to his continuity) than it strikes me as very superficial. It’s like DC is saying “he’s not the lame character that you never thought twice about, this is cooler hipper character” when in reality it’s the very same guy.

As for the costume, I like the color scheme a bit better. I dig his gauntlets(?) and the dark blue ridged areas. But that’s about it.

I don’t dig his belt, nor that garish buckle. I don’t dig whatever is going on with his back. I hate his holster. I also don’t care for the circles on his shoulders, chest, ankles, and obviously his back. And what is up with wiring on his backside and thigh area.

Again, maybe once the story unfolds, all of his costume additions will make sense, but right now it seems very busy.

Tim, care to chime in Comet’s new look (if you can call it a new look as it’s kind of “Comet’s introductory look)?

I actually like it. It is definitely busy, but, as rendered by Shane Davis, it is not intrusively so. I say it’s a welcome change from Comet’s old not-so-great look that is not a significant enough departure from the original so as to render Comet completely unrecognizable.


Neil apparently thinks that we are members of Bravo’s Fab Five

And again, what of Lorraine Reilly’s new costume? And for the record, I liked her second costume and her flaming hair, when it’s not a ‘fro. More like when it resembles Starfire’s.

Well as a guy who’s been enjoying Firestorm since #1 I can boldly say that I don’t really care for Firehawk as a character. I get that she’s the vet to Jason’s rookie, but I really wanted to read about Ronnie Raymond’s supporting cast, I’d buy issues of his book from the quarter bin.

I love Firestorm, it’s a well written book, but I’m not fooled for a minute into thinking that Lorraine Reilly and Martin Stein aren’t there in an attempt to quell the anger of the whiny Ronnie fans that have flocked to the Message Boards. Just because Jason inherited the Firestorm powers doesn’t mean he’s got to be saddled with Ronnie’s cast.

But to answer your question, I’m cool with her new appearance, it’s just her appearances that annoy me.

Tim, since I just went on a rant is there anything you want to rant about?

Usually the answer to this question would be yes, as one good rant deserving another. But”¦I find myself coming up empty.

Give me a sec to think. Until then, here’s an awesome picture of a shark.

Okay, you still here? Good, I’ve got a mini-rant.

What difference does it make that Bryan Singer is gay? How does that effect his ability to direct a Superman movie in the least? Why does that mean that Superman now has obviously got to be “gay” or “gay as hell”? Rock Hudson was the epitome of matinee manliness in his time and he was gay. He still sold the image just fine, didn’t he? Ian McKellan was Magneto and he is gay as well. You never saw Magneto trying to make out with Pyro though, did you?

So, let’s all be a little less reactionary homophobic, okay? A man (or woman’s) sexuality has no impact on their talents.


Neil, the copyright cop, is on duty

And what is the deal with Starfire’s nova blast? I thought only the Human Torch could do that?

What, are you saying that Johnny Storm has “nova blast” trademarked? Hey it’s not like he’s going to be using it anytime soon.

What?

Get it? Because he got beaten bloody in Civil War #1? Nothing?

Nope.

Whatever.

If I had to guess how she’s able to nova blast (notice the lack of â„¢ there?) I’d say it’s got something to do with combination her ability to absorb solar energy and her getting very emotional charged.

Tim, can you come up with a reason for Starfire’s seemingly newfound power?

Isn’t just her usual blast power, but turned up to eleven? That’s how I view this “nova blast”.

Oh wait, I just got your joke Mathan. I still don’t think it is funny though.


This visual joke, however? GENIUS!


Neil is the black sheep of the family

Finally, I thought Blackfire had similar powers to Starfire to begin with, methinks a primer on Komand’r is in order.

What’s there to know about Komand’r? She was born on Tamaran just like Starfire. Only she was born on the day that the Citadel attacked and conquered Tamaran. Furthermore she was born a cripple on that planet, on account of her not having the ability to fly. As those who are politically incorrect can imagine, this made her bitter.

But she might have had a reason to be bitter. The entire population of Tamaran hated her, because they linked her with their subjugation as a people. They also took away her birthright as princess of Tamaran and gave it to her sister, Starfire.

Komand’r and Kori went to train with the Warlords of Okaara. They were both pretty skilled and did well. Komand’r hated her people so much that when she finished training she joined up with the Citadel to get revenge. Part of it was her working out a deal to banish Starfire from Tamaran.

Through an amazing coincidence both sisters ended up being experimented on by the Psions where they gained their amazing powers. From there the two sisters remained at odds through the destruction of Tamaran (a couple of times over.) There were times when the two had appeared to have buried the hatchet, but eventually the bad blood would boil to the surface.

Komand’r was thought to have been killed the last time that Tamaran was destroyed, but she turned up alive and well on the pages of Rann/Thanagar War.

Tim, don’t you think that it sucks for those stuck on the planet with Starfire; Buddy’s married and Adam’s got no damn eyes!

It’s rough, there can be no doubt of that. I mean, what’s going to happen to poor Kori’s confidence when no man are ogling her? How will she know that she’s beautiful without someone complimenting her “sweet rack” or “outrageous can”? Will she still feel wanted when no one is around to drop a quarter in front of her and ask her to pick it up really sssslllllooooooowly?

Oh, you mean the dudes? Yeah, I’m sure it is hard on them too.


Aaron can’t help but dredge up the past.

A few months back, you mentioned a character or storyline (can’t remember which) that you describe as “one of the most reviled in DC history” (I’m paraphrasing, but ‘reviled’ was in your quote). Anyways, I’m wondering what characters, storylines or titles were fed through the DC hype machine, only to be completely pooped on by readers. I’m talking “Jar Jar Binks”, “Howard the Duck”, “Ishtar” and “Poochie the Dog” levels of reader backlash here.


Underrated.

Sure Aaron, we can almost go yearly on this one. If we’re talking about storylines you’d have to say Genesis, Millenium and Zero Hour are pretty much all loathed by fans.

Joker’s Last Laugh is equally reviled, as were JLApe and Bloodlines two of the more infamous of the “themed” annuals.

Azrael, the guy who took over as Batman when Bruce’s back was broken, doesn’t have that many fans. Jared Stevens, the guy who inherited the role of Fate during Zero Hour was universally hated. (My poor, poor cousin) And you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who actually enjoyed Electro Superman.

For all its hype the Millenium spin-off New Guardians added very little to the landscape of the DCU. Does anyone remember Haven The Broken City, the place that existed where Coast City used to be, before Coast City came back? Yeah, I didn’t think so. While those two didn’t have a crazy backlash, they not only didn’t deliver on promises, but they hit with a resounding thud.

Those are a few that I could come up with off the top of my head. I’m sure that I’m missing some of the more obvious examples. Tim, can you come up some of the most reviled of the DCU?

I sure can! Although Mathan will disagree, I think Leslie Thompkins villain turn at the end of War Crimes certainly qualifies. Also on the list would be Nightwing’s rape (which I disagree with people’s reviling of), the Detroit Justice League, and anything done with Hawkman post-Hawkworld pre-his JSA resurrection.

Things that don’t make it that you might think would at first glance are events like Hal Jordan going nuts and Sue Dibny’s rape. There were plenty of detractors to these events and they were loud, but there were also plenty of people who enjoyed the stories that unfolded from them and supported the writers’ decisions in those cases.


The sun has not quite come up so I’m going to call it a night. Be sure to email me your questions or post them over on on our kooky thread.

But before I go here’s my question to you; What’s your take on Peter Parker revealing his identity to the world?

“Hens love roosters, geese love ganders.”

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