Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, congratulations on the engagement! Were you nervous? Was it a big spectacle? Did it involve a hot air balloon or skywriting or defying gravity in any way shape or form?

I guess I was a little nervous, but not too bad. In comparison with a lot of proposals, mine was pretty understated. We went to the restaurant in Washington, DC where we had our first date (Clyde’s, for those of you looking for a recommendation) and then went for a walk. When we got to a park a few blocks from Georgetown, I sat her down on a bench and spoke eloquently and she found my discourse irresistible. I don’t actually recall exactly what I said word for word, but I know it was something to the effect of “I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to do this and something keeps coming up. What I’ve realized though is that what makes it perfect is you and I together and the rest is just window dressing. Janelle, would you spend the rest of your life with me?”

She said yes, (if you didn’t guess), and then we went for excellent mud pie at Chadwick’s.

So, like I said, that’s probably pretty underwhelming. It worked for us though.

Oh, and the 4 carat rock didn’t hurt*

*Kidding about that. I’m poor, baby, poor. 4 carats will be beyond my reach for oh”¦the rest of my life.

Links

(IP) Music has lots of good review this week.

(IP) Movies has me kind of interested in Ricky Bobby.

(IP) Games has some good reviews.

(IP) Figures has some changes on the horizon.

(IP) TV is full of quality but Josh Clinton’s review of The Wire is a Must Read! (And don’t forget The Wire‘s first season is on HBO On Demand right now.)

And season three was just released on DVD.

(IP) Sports isn’t just for fantasy stuff.

Moodspins is going to rock when it returns.

IP Culture isn’t snobby at all.

Our DC Forum has speculation about the Sinestro Corps, the Justice Society of America and Titans East?

Also My Favorite Blog has a write up about the wedding of Black Panther and Storm. .

Tim care to link anything this week?

I sure do. First, I have what I am referring to as the first political victory of the 2006 elections. That’s courtesy of the Hartford Courant (America’s longest continuously running newspaper).

Then, on a more comic related note, Lost and Found brings you lost comic book pages and rare interviews that you might have missed.

What I Read Last Week

The Exterminators #8 – I was tempted to write a Words of Questionable Wisdom about this issue. Basically it was a roller coaster ride and I’m really torn about how I feel about the issue.

Y the Last Man #48 – Wow, this Alter issue came out of nowhere to me. I guess she’s a major player, she’s been here since the first issue, but she’s not really had that much screen time. I almost feel like this could be a flaw in an pretty solid book. But I just never considered Alter to be that important.

Fallen Angel #7 – Wow. I dig the shift in art style. And I dig learning what Lee did after falling. She’s not one to pull her punches nor bite her tongue. Her fallen compatriot was way creepy looking. Overall I enjoyed this issue, I do wonder if it’s laying the foundation for some retribution in the future.

Ex Machina #22 – There’s a shift in the art, and I can’t place my finger on it. But man, is this book good. The conversation between Todd and Mitchell was so real. Equally real: that shotgun blast. I’d almost forgotten about January’s schemes, but Candy’s look reminded me. I do love this book.

The art difference is Harris is doing an ink wash on his pencils now. See Newsarama for the details on that.

Unfortunately, I forgot to pick up this issue last week so I got it late and I still haven’t read it. Looking forward to it though.

The Creeper #1 – I dig the modern take on the origin. I really dig the modern take on Jack Ryder. And I certain dig Justiniano and Wong’s take on the title character. He really is creepy. But the lack of a cliffhanger left me flat. Apart from that, the book was solid.

OMAC #2 – Ok, apparently Bruce Jones is either “good” or “really, really bad.” This book happens to be the former. I way dig Mikey. I like how Mikey’s struggling to deal with what he is, hell he’s struggling to understand it. And man is that art pretty.

The Atom #2 – I have really taken a shine to Ryan. I love the fact that he’s not motivated by tragedy or revenge, but rather by curiosity. It’s such a refreshing take. He has a new toy and he can’t wait to find out all about it. He doesn’t want to be a hero, but rather be an adventurer. I also love his supporting cast, what a nutty bunch of goofballs. But that ending was pretty ominous. I can’t wait for the next issue!

I enjoyed this installment, but I have to say that the art looked much scratchier than last time out. Is it the inking breaking down or is Byrne turning into rushed work since they’ve already sidelined him?

52 Week Thirteen – Wicker Sue!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hells yeah!!!!! And have I yet mentioned how excited I am about Devem? I really hope that he lives up to his name. Yeah, I really feel bad for Ralph. He’s lost Sue again. I really feel bad for him. But hopefully Wicker Sue will return, so that both Ralph and I can be happy.

Detective Comics #822 – Kramer and Faucher are a suitable replacement for J.H. Williams III. I know that some people are bemoaning that the Riddler doesn’t remember Batman’s secret identity, but I think that Dini left it open enough that a writer could bring that back if they wanted to. I do like the Riddler on the side of law and order though.

Great issue. I appreciated the passive aggressive game Riddler and Batman played with each other trying to prove their superiority. Highlight of this behavior? Riddler knowing where the S&M club was and mocking Batman for being “naïve” while Batman responds by talking to the owner like they are old friends. In character and fun.

Outsiders #39 – C’mon, I deny anyone to not feel from Mallah and Brain in some way. They were made kind of sympathetic this issue, right? Just a tad? Anyway, I dug the clones and I even dug Mallah’s (Judd’s) jab at Thunder’s parentage. It was funny. I am worried about Katana. But again, I’m interested in the next issue.

Parallax2814 has mentor issues.

If you could bring in a sidekick for any character in the DCU what would his name/powers be and who would he be sidekicking?

If there were any character in the DCU that needed a sidekick it’s Jason Todd. He’s already well versed in the mentor/sidekick relationship and he’s played the mentor role, so naturally he’s due to be a mentor.

But I can’t decide on a name. “Blue Hood?” “Red Hoodie?” “Kid Hood?” I don’t know. And I’d really love to see Shrike, Jason and “Red Hoodie” team up against Batman, Nightwing and Robin. That would make for a great issue, if done right.

To balance things out I’d also like to see a hero with a sidekick; John Stewart. During Mosaic John gave some of the kids from Earth replicas of his ring. They were not quite as powerful, but they were almost fully functional. I’d like to see that return.

In my mind John befriends a kid from the inner city, who’s way too pessimistic for his age. John hooks him up with a ring to give him some optimism by showing him what he’s capable of if he puts “his mind into it.” I’d think that a Kid Lantern would work pretty well.


“Do I look like a man who suffer kid trying to copy me? I think not.”

Tim, are there any lonesome characters out there that you feel need a sidekick?

First, does DC really need more sidekicks? Really?

That said, I guess I would be least opposed to a Jr. Lantern. In my mind though, I see it as some kid discovering a yellow ring (perhaps Nero’s after Kyle beats him up in the pages of Ion or Gardne’s old one) and then seeking out a GL as a mentor. The GL resists and then, some time in the second issue, halfheartedly acquiesces because of a combination of the kid’s persistence and an imminent threat. I’d buy John Stewart as the Lantern (giving him a presence in the DCU beyond playing Hal’s second banana) and a new female character as the Jr. Lantern (with a way better name).

But, like I said, I’d like to cap DC’s sidekick population, if possible.

Jim H.’s dad left to bring criminals to justice one day and just never came back.

What is the deal with “Son of the Bat”? How do you see this playing out? Is the mother of this son Talia?

What’s the deal? Geez, this is awkward.

Well, when two comic book characters really love each other they”¦

Oh wait, you were asking how he came about? Phew. That was going to get pretty weird.

Well rumor has it that the child that Batman and Talia conceived in Son of the Demon is now in continuity. At least that’s what everyone is inferring from the latest issue of Batman.

How I see it playing out is that the kid is actually Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s, arguably the greatest Bat rogue ever, has been dead for a few years now but the catalyst for his death, Nyssa, is equally dead. So to me it seems as though the timing is right for Ra’s to return.

Maybe the kid in question is a clone with two dad’s Bruce Wayne and Ra’s al Ghul, similar to how Superboy’s dads are Lex and Clark. Or maybe he’s just a straight up clone of Ra’s. I believe in my heart that Ra’s is back, in the form of that kid.

Tim, any thoughts on Bruce Wayne’s progeny?

Yours is an interesting idea, to be sure. I’m not sure if I buy it though. I think Talia, for reasons of her own, has convinced this boy that Batman (or Bruce Wayne, anyway) is his father. My guess, however, is that it is a swerve.

In reality, I think it is going to play out that the “Son” in question in fact refers to Robin and Morrison is fooling us. However, if it truly is Bruce’s son, I could be okay with that.

Colin believes in hindsight history

As good as Dark Knight Returns is, shouldn’t it be shunned for the simple fact that it made every writer (and DC Editorial, I guess) write Bruce as a god?

Wow, that’s a rather scathing indictment right there. I’m guessing that you’re saying this because it’s where Batman beat Superman (with the rarely mentioned assist from Green Arrow.)

But I’m reluctant to really blame that book too much. First off, Batman’s characterization evolved gradually. Batman wasn’t a “god” in A Death in the Family. Batman knocking out Guy Gardner with one punch wasn’t the act of a “god.”

I think that Batman became the guy that was so great that everyone grew tired of him right around the time that Grant Morrison relaunched JLA. There he had to be on top of his game, because he was just a normal guy among incredibly powerful folks. At that point he became “Mr. Perfect” and fans eventually grew bored with that characterization.

But again I don’t think that it’s directly related to Dark Knight Returns, it’s just more of an extension of the notion that Batman is man in a state of perfection. He is going to be smart. He is going to have numerous plans. He’s going to be nearly undefeatable. That’s just the nature of the character; he’s not a novice, he’s the consummate professional. It’s just that that aspect has been taken to the Nth degree.

Again, I don’t think that it’s the fault of Dark Knight Returns but rather on the minds that it influenced.

Tim, do you think that Dark Knight Returns actually tarnishes Batman as a character?

I hesitate to blame anyone for writing a strong product and having others misuse the example to produce inferior works. It would be like pointing to the writers of the Constitution and saying you wished they hadn’t bothered since you disagree with how the lawmakers in the United States interpret it these days. Just because Superman: The Movie led to (eventually) Superman 4 does not mean we should go ahead and erase the whole franchise. Even if Superman 4 was god awful (which it was). And so on and such of. You cannot blame the work or creator for what follows in its wake (unless they wrote it).

Besides, the real fallout of Dark Knight, in my opinion, has always been the prevalence of “grim ‘n gritty” storytelling that followed in its wake. I mean, everybody knows that.


Batman, don’t you know even you can’t outrun your legacy? Horse or no horse.

Jim H. has questions about the relationship between Mr. Wayne and Mr. Miller

Has Frank Miller done anything else Batman related besides Year One & the 2 Dark Knight stories?

Yes, yes he has.

Back in 1989, I received the leatherbound Complete Frank Miller Batman which contained Year One, Dark Knight Returns and a story called Wanted Santa Claus – Dead or Alive. That short story wasn’t written by Miller but he did provide the art for it.

That’s the first place I ever read Dark Knight! Wow”¦it’s like we’re twins.

Obviously he’s done a bit more work with the character since then. He wrote the Image Spawn/Batman one-shot. (Actually he wrote both Spawn/Batman crossovers. The DC and the Image one.) He’s also provided various pin ups to Batman related projects from Legends of the Dark Knight to Batman: Black & White.

He even contributed to Superman/Batman: World Funniest.

Oh and he’s currently doing a little book called All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder.

I’m actually a fan of his All-Star work, but not too many folks can say that.

Tim, given the lukewarm reaction to the Dark Knight sequel and the All-Star book, plus Batman’s upcoming war on terror, do you think Batman should consider a restraining order?

I don’t think it has come to that yet. I think Batman and Frank should try counseling first. Frank, after all, is not abusing Batman, he just has a very different idea what their relationship is about. In a supportive, therapeutic environment, both parties can express their feelings and concerns and hopefully, their relationship will end up that much stronger.

Jason R. revisits the scene of the crime and asks, “Why?”

If you are so inclined, can you give your opinion as to why exactly Jason Todd was hated with so much passion that he was killed off by the fanbase in the 80s?

Whoa, whoa, whoa! It wasn’t “the fanbase”, it was a slim majority. That like saying that the country voted for Al Gore to be President.

But as a guy who was around back then I may be able to shed some light on why Jason didn’t make it out of the 90’s alive.

First off, Jason wasn’t Dick Grayson.

Y’see back in the pre-Crisis days Jason Todd was a circus acrobat just like Dick Grayson. Jason’s parents were killed, just like Dick’s. And Jason became Robin, just like Dick Grayson.

However in the Post Crisis DCU Jason was a street punk who met up with Batman when he had the chutzpah to try to steal the tires from the Batmobile. Can you imagine having the guts to do that? Do you know what it takes to steal the tires off of the Batmobile? It takes brass tools!

ZING!

Jason also had a bit of a rebellious streak. He disobeyed Batman and even disregarded direct orders. Batman fans don’t take kindly to those who stray from the path of the Bat. He just wasn’t Dick Grayson and it rubbed some folks the wrong way.

Secondly there was an implication that he might have killed a guy.

Y’see in Batman #424 there was a guy who raped a girl, but couldn’t be tried because he had diplomatic immunity. Jason didn’t like that. To make matters worse the rapist called his victim from the police station as he was released, to taunt both the caped crusaders and the victim.

So Robin and Bats ran to her place to check on her on to find that she had committed suicide out of fear. So then Robin took off to the rapist’s apartment with Batman a few minutes behind. And as Batman was swinging to the apartment, he saw the rapist plummeting to his death.

Batman asked Robin what happened and his reply was basically “he slipped.”

Again, that rubbed fans the wrong way.

Finally, the fans were drunk with power.

I mean imagine if you had the power to kill a comic book character, literally at your fingertips. Wouldn’t you ponder killing him? I mean he’s not really real, so what’s the big deal? You get to kill someone and never have to worry about getting caught.

I’m not going to lie to you; killing a comic book character would really hit the spot right now.

Watch out, Agamemno. We’ve got our eyes on you.

Can you explain why fans voted to kill Jason Todd, Tim?

Because sometimes sacrifices need to be made and nothing makes a better sacrifice than a teenage boy.

Is that creepy?

What difference does a year make, Jason R. wonders

Also, can you give your opinion as to how/why Tim Drake was accepted with open arms by the same fanbase a few years later?

First and foremost, Tim himself really sold everyone, including Batman on the idea.

The notion that Batman needs a Robin was a very strong argument, especially considering how Batman was acting at the time (which was dark for the period.)

Secondly, the death of Jason left a void that readers were ready to fill.

Readers were ready to have a new Robin. The period of mourning was over and it was time to begin anew.

Thirdly he wasn’t Jason.

Jason was a bad boy, but Tim was pretty much a goodie two shoes. He was more saintly and a bit more intelligent. Furthermore Tim had actual parents who were alive. Tim was the antithesis of Jason. Except that he wasn’t a female or Black. But apart from that they were opposites. Especially the dead/alive part.

Lastly, Tim earned it.

Tim deduced who Batman was, showing his detective prowess. Tim also trained abroad. Tim deserved to be Robin, more so than any of the other Robins.

Can you think of any other reasons why fans warmed up to Tim being Robin, um, Tim?

He was far closer to Dick Grayson than post-Crisis Jason Todd was, but still not the Grayson clone that Todd was pre-Crisis. In this way, he satisfied the readers’ need for “sameness” while still being unique that people weren’t left wondering “what’s the point?”

Also I seriously think we thank Chuck Dixon for it. I know I joke about my love for Dixon all the time (don’t worry, Mr. Dixon, it is a purely respectful idolization type of love”¦no need to access the homophobia), but Dixon did sort of take a custodial role in Drake’s development, shepherding him from his first mini all the way through several dozen issues of his ongoing title. It is hard to imagine Drake catching on as well as he did if not for Dixon’s personal steerage of him.

Jag speaks well of the dead recently resurrected

Jason Todd. I loved his handling as The Red Hood and can’t really say I enjoy his forays as Nightwing II or whatever. I love that dynamic of him being the anti-hero who goes to the extreme and wanting to be better than his mentor whereas Dick and Tim never really wanted to surpass Bruce. What do you think and do you think he’ll come back as the Hood?

I too have dug the most of Jason’s appearances since his returning from the grave. I think that in the DCU there’s certainly a space for Jason to occupy.

I like the idea that Jason is an example of Batman’s “weakness” on different levels. Jason will never fail to remind Batman that his death went unavenged (which spell check is telling me isn’t a word, but doesn’t it sound nice?). But I also don’t see Batman even fighting Jason at 100%, he’s always going to hold back based on their past. He’s always going to think that Jason can go back to how he used to be. Jason is a modern day Two-Face in that regard.

Do I think that he’ll return as the Red Hood? I don’t know and I don’t really know if I want him to. I kind of like the notion of Jason being a wildcard in the DCU. I like that showed up as the Red Hood in Batman, Robin in Teen Titans and Nightwing in Nightwing. I think that “Jason Todd” as a concept and character is much better when he’s not cemented to a costumed identity.

Rather than give him a lame costume and codename, he should just go with the flow. I don’t think that anyone would be happy if we were talking about a character named “Darkwing” (if only because of that klutz Drake Mallard). No name could ever mean as much as Jason Todd does, to the heroes of the DCU and to fans.

Tim, what do you think Jason’s future should hold?

Hopefully no more run-ins with a certain Mr. Bruce Jones.

Neil is fortunate enough not to read Nightwing and yet wants to be included in the horror.

Jason Todd as an Amoeba: For someone who didn’t read Nightwing, explain please!

Basically Jason ingested something that imbued him with limited shape shifting powers, temporarily. It was only for like half of one issue and wouldn’t have been that big a deal, if the storyline weren’t so maligned.

Tim, if you want to go into further detail about Jason’s transformation, feel free, but I prefer to put that issue behind me, in every regard.

I’m done with it except to say this. To the person on the message board who questioned why I would include the Amoeba thing in DC’s Top Five Mistakes since it was a.) so recent and b.) wildly unlikely to be long term, I have this to say: I know. That’s why it was the “bonus” because it was not all that serious.

It was a seriously awful moment though.

Jim H. is a cruel, cruel man.

When will Jason Todd finally die………………………………..again?

Funny that you should mention that because Tim and I have begun plotting out Batman #950 which is actually the issue when Jason Todd dies again.

Y’see in 2010 Jason Todd will get his own title Legends of the Uncanny Jason Todd’s Astonishing Friendly Neighborhood Ultimate All-Star Adventure Spectacular (but fans will refer to it as LUJTAFNUAAS for short.)

It’ll be pretty successful, but as of the 50th issue it’s be renamed Jason Todd: Accountant of the Bat to reflect the shift in direction that takes the book from the streets of Gotham to the 12th Floor of Wayne Enterprises. Fans will complain that Jason Todd’s balancing of the columns, number crunching and clean ledger work isn’t really that riveting, but DC, bolstered by winning NCPA’s prestigious “book of the year” (the only comic to win such the honor) continues on the accounting course.

However the book ends with the 100th issue, after a yearlong arc that finds Jason trying to track down a missing receipt from Lucius Fox’s recent trip. The storyline has Jason traveling on a trip from Markovia to Opal to Vanity to Coast City. Fans initially enjoy the arc, however when it’s revealed that Fox had simply left the receipt in his overcoat the backlash is so strong that DC axes the book before #101 can be released.

From there Jason goes on to guest star in various Bat books including Alfred Pennyworth: The Batler, before fading from the limelight.

However Jason does return in Batman #950 which features his death scene. He’s killed by the new Red Hood who then utters the line “There’s only room in Gotham for one resurrected Robin.” The Red Hood then removes the mask and reveals herself as none other than Stephanie Brown. She then goes off on a monologue about how she resents that Batman never put her costume under glass and how she’s going to make him pay for it.

And that’s how Jason dies”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦.again.

Tim, the Stephanie Brown act of vengeance was my idea, why don’t you share with the readers how you wanted Jason to die?

I maintain, death by cinnamon cruller was a perfectly valid story idea. It was delicious and horrifying. Don’t let your jealousy of my genius cloud your judgment here Mathan.


A murder”¦most sweet.

Jag is curious just who that masked man was

In the Red Hood saga, the Black Mask and Hood had a barroom brawl that ended with Mask stabbing and killing the Hood but someone else being under the Hood’s helmet. Who was that old mustachioed dude?

Um, a pawn? An innocent victim? I’ve really got nothing for you.

But I’ll happily make something up.

Jacob Starinski was just your typical Gothamite. Well “typical” for Gothamites involved in the “adult entertainment” industry. He started out as an actor, moved to directing and eventually ended up as a producer of Adult Films.

Everything was good. Jacob was making a pretty penny with Jay Star Productions, and he even managed to settle down and start a family. In fact he planned on taking a couple years off and trying to go completely legitimate. Everything was good.

And it stayed that way until the Red Hood came to town. It appears that some of Jacob’s associates were delving into some of the more unsavory aspects the adult industry. The Red Hood decided to take the organization down from the head.

Red Hood confronted Jacob with the evidence and gave him an gave him a choice; have his life destroyed by the Red Hood, or pose as the Red Hood for night and get the ability to cash out and leave Gotham with his family. Having heard about the Red Hood’s “heads in a duffle bag” incident Jacob chose the latter. After all, how difficult would it be to pose as the Red Hood, he had a background in acting after all.

Sadly on the night that the Red Hood called on Jacob it was the night that Black Mask and Red Hood were destined to meet. And the rest is history.

Tim, do you have any idea who that guy was?

It was just some homeless fella, but your idea is much cooler. Thus, it is my new interpretation of his identity.

Andrew is judge, juror, and executioner

How do you feel about the argument that Batman allowing Joker to live discredits him as a crime fighter? I’ve heard that posed from a lot of people, and I’ve pretty much made up my mind, but I thought I’d pick your brain.

You have to respect conviction. There are plenty of factors that go into why Batman doesn’t cross “that line.”

I think that Batman has faith in the system. The system works most of the time, it’s just the Joker seems to find the few glitches the system has, be it using mental illness as a defense or lax security. But by killing the Joker he’d basically be saying that the system doesn’t work. And once he crosses that line, where does he stop? Doesn’t he have to kill any criminal for fear that they’d escape justice because of a flawed system? Batman, deep down, is an optimist and he’d never give up on the judicial system. Remember Batman might operate outside of the law by he still uses it as a guideline.

I also think that Batman killing the Joker wouldn’t be justice so much as revenge. It’s like in Se7en, John Doe doesn’t hurt the detective, he hurts someone close to the detective, thus the cop become Wrath, a deadly sin. So by killing the Joker, Batman wouldn’t be an agent of justice he’d really just be as guilty as the Joker.


Come on now, could you really kill a face this adorable?

Let’s also remember that Bruce Wayne’s parents were killed. Bruce has a problem with killing. He didn’t like it when Joe Chill did it, he didn’t like it when Wonder Woman did it. He doesn’t dig killing in any context. It goes against his personal conduct code and you have to respect that.

To me he’s not discredited as a crime fighter by his not killing the Joker. No one faults Batman for not locking up criminals in the Bat-Cave or issuing tickets, because that’s not his job. And in punishing criminals isn’t part of his job then no one should criticize him for not killing the Joker.

Where do you stand on this one, Tim?

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it here. Batman should not kill the Joker. Ignoring the economic factors involved (killing one of the most recognizable villains in history), it still does not fit the character. Batman views justice as the great equalizer and would do nothing to undermine that process. That’s why he does not kill Joker, that’s why he defends the Joker when he’s falsely accused, that’s why he develops ways of dealing with his heroic peers should they go crazy, that’s why he puts on the cape and cowl every night. He believes in the possibility of a just world and sees murder, whether random, calculated, or done for vengeance, as having no place in such a world.

Drop down, Neil and give me twenty, you maggot!

Not having read Robin prior to this (well, except for issue #1 when it came out), who is the military guy Batman contacts about Tim? Researching on the internet, I gather he is another shot at making a DC version of Captain America (after General Glory) and that he went by the name The Veteran.

What’s his story, why is he interested in Robin, and what’s his relationship with Batman?

As near as I can tell Nathan, (the Veteran) is pretty much an immortal guy. Rumor has it he’s been around since the country was founded and has fought in many of its’ wars.

What is known is that he’s pretty much invulnerable and a master tactician. Because of these gifts he heads up a special force of the military that handles missions outside of normal parameters. At one point in time he tried to recruit Dick Grayson for his squad, which rubbed Batman the wrong way.

He’s interested in Tim because Tim shows promise and could be quite an asset to his teams. He sees potential and possibly a kindred spirit in Tim, and he wants the opportunity to see what can come of it.

Since you actually read Robin perhaps you can offer more info Tim?

Actually, I had no part of the book at that time. I stopped reading it shortly after Dixon wrapped up his time on the title, came back when Willingham took up the reins, and abandoned the title again three issues later. Most recently, with Beechen writing, I have begun to read it again. The Veteran did not show up until the end of the Willingham run and thus, I know nothing of him. He’s in the picture below though, if you care. He’s, well, the General-ly looking guy.

Aaron questions if it is nature or nurture

Renee Montoya…lesbian…cool. Was there some sort of long, drawn out story line leading to her coming out of the closet or did she just show up at the Gotham Policeman’s Ball with a chick on her arm?

I wouldn’t say it was a long drawn out story but there was a tale told.

It took place in Gotham Central #6-10 (which is collected in the trade titled Half a Life.) It seems Renee outted as part of a smear campaign, and then framed for murder. It’s a really powerful story that even manages to touch on her parents’ reaction to her preference. It is heartbreaking and tragic, but it’s so well written and beautiful to look at.

Half a Life actually won a few awards for its portrayal. It wasn’t a drawn out ordeal, nor was it really hinted at or foreshadowed. But at the same time it didn’t really come out of nowhere. It’s probably just a pretty accurate depiction of what would happen.

I mean except for the stuff with Two-Face and Batman.

Tim, you were a fan of Gotham Central did you dig Half a Life?

I certainly did. Probably my favorite storyline on the book, or tied with Unresolved for that honor, at least.

Colin loves him some Ralph Macchio”¦and who can blame him.

Could Karate Kid take Nightwing? Breaking tons of ice with one strike, and throwing Micro Lad out of the tower seem to suggest that he don’t take no guff, and knows what he’s doing.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the face of the most dangerous man in the galaxy.

Y’know I’d imagine that Karate Kid could probably beat Nightwing. Karate Kid is most likely well versed in at least some of the martial arts that will be invented between now and the 31st Century, which gives him the automatic advantage right there.

Plus when you factor in that he’s got a Legion Flight Ring, which he’s probably incorporated into his various styles, Nightwing is just out of his league.

Tim, can you think of anyone that Nightwing could actually beat?

Besides your mom, you mean?

Sorry, sorry. Couldn’t resist.
To choose a prominent few off the top of my head, I’d say Arsenal, Green Arrow (Ollie Queen), Huntress, Jason Bard, and Wild Dog.

Tim, we’re almost out of time we’ve got to hurry up and get to the Temporary Mainstay!

This one goes out to my boyz in the Wu! 06111!!!

Neil advocates the 5 for 10 (and no, I don’t know what that means)

What were the five biggest mistakes DC made in the past 10 years?

I’ve decided that this week I’ll talk about the five mistakes that cut straight to my heart.


Canceling Impulse

I loved Impluse. It been reading The Flash since the first issue, and I loved that I had two titles about speedsters to enjoy. Impulse was also a well written and fun title. It was just a treat to read and it featured a character that I liked.

Plus when it ended we never really got resolution on the fate of Max Mercury. Boo.

The Mercury thing bugs me too and I never even read Impulse.


Abandoning Elseworlds

I loved Elseworlds. I remember when I picked up the very first one, Gotham by Gaslight. It rocked my world and made me really ponder what was possible. I was sure to pick up anything Flash or Green Lantern related. And if you had J.H. Williams on it, I was so there.

I even loved the Elseworlds Annuals. They were a cool way to make (sometimes) stale concepts fresh and new again. I’m sorry that they’re not doing them anymore.

I concur on this one. I love a good Elseworld and I think it is sad that DC would write off the whole format because they went to the well too often rather than try to practice restraint going forward.


Shredding Elseworlds 80pg Giant

On a related note, shredding this book broke my heart. I’m a collector by nature, so when I saw this book advertised, I was excited; not only was I going to get another 80pg Giant, but I’d be getting more Elseworld action!

But then the book got shredded. And to make matters worse, a few copies existed and they were out of my reach, way over across the pond. So, there was something that I really wanted, yet couldn’t have.

That book is the one book that I want most in this world and it haunts my dreams every night.

Wow”¦that’s so sad Mathan. Knowing how much it means to you, I will redouble my efforts to find it. I promise nothing, of course, but I’ll try. For we are brothers in arms; soldiers in the war on lacking comic knowledge.


Losing Axel Alonso

Axel Alonso is a big wig over at Marvel. But he used to be a pretty big wig over at Vertigo. He was the guy behind most of the anthology miniseries (Gandland, Heartbreaker). He was also the editor for 100 Bullets.

I was a fan of this guy’s book. And given the big things that he’s doing over at Marvel, I can only imagine what he’d be doing for Vertigo or even the DCU. DC should have done what they could to keep him.


Not Having Cliff Chiang on a Monthly Book

I know that Tim and I are probably Cliff’s biggest fans, outside of his immediate family. I never miss an opportunity to shower him with praise. I love his work. It’s so consistent and so clean. He’s a true professional.

But DC, while giving him regular work, doesn’t have him on a regular book. Even on Human Target Cliff was the back up guy. My point is that I need a book where I know that I can get my Cliff Chiang fix on a regular basis, and I need DC to make this happen.

Truly a tragedy of Greek proportions that Chiang seems to be jumping from mini to mini these days. Wake up DC, he’s awesome. Now show him love!

Tim, do you have a five mistakes that DC made that have affected you personally?


The JSA’s Crash & Burn– For 90% of this book’s run it was, essentially, good as gold. Then, around issue 74 or so, the whole thing started to follow apart. First came the crossovers that often ended up shoehorning in Day of Vengeance related material, distracting from telling stories of the JSA. The most egregious of these came when an entire issue focused on Hal Jordan and his cousin Airwave, with Alan Scott around to justify it as a JSA story. Champagne’s fill-in arc started promisingly before going on too long and killing off the admittedly ineffectual Dr. Fate in a way that provided neither happiness to those who questioned his wishy-washy nature nor to fans who held out hope for a Hector with a backbone and a purpose.

That was followed by a decent Stargirl done in one. Any enthusiasm that that reignited in me was rapidly undone by Levitz’s run that followed and ended the book.

I understand that the title is being relaunched. I’m just not convinced that they needed to scorch the earth of the previous series in this manner to do it.


Editorial Interference Derails the Authority– I’m not typically one for “kewl” (as the kids call it) comic stories that are typically characterized by stylized hyper violence and wave after wave of unbridled arrogance. There are those that would say that I should therefore not care for the Authority. They would be wrong and would be underestimating just how good (and how not “kewl”) the book was during Ellis’s run and the first half of Milla’s. At that point in the series, I was loving it, could not wait for the next issue to come out, and, judging by its sales, I was not alone in that.

However, with increased popularity came increased scrutiny. And with increased scrutiny came censorship and a random fill-in arc that, while decent, killed the book’s momentum and led directly to me dropping it when Millar departed. It’s possible that Authority might have been headed towards the scrapheap by that point anyways, it’s time on the stage exhausted. However, it was certainly hastened in that direction by DC suddenly doubting the product just as it was hitting its apex.


Bad Crossovers– I know, how silly. Everyone knows crossovers are bad, right? Well, maybe, but shouldn’t that not really be the case? Shouldn’t we just not accept badness because “that’s the way it is”?

Occasionally DC seems to agree with me in this area. Crossovers like Zero Hour, Underworld Unleashed, DC One Million, and Final Night, while not perfect, displayed a craft and a caring, as opposed to a naked cash grab. Others, like Genesis, Last Laugh, and the War Games/Crimes duo, were messes. Boring, slipshod, or ugly (and often some combination of all three) these crossovers were DC at its most greedy and left with a lousy taste in my mouth that, if I’m honest, still lingers whenever DC announces its next “big” event.


Regression– I have mentioned this a few times before so I won’t belabor the point, but it essentially boils down to this. Through the miracle of “legacies” DC has the ability to move their universe forward without aging everyone or erasing continuity every few years (yes they still do that, but technically they don’t have to). In the 90’s they utilized that phenomenon for all that it was worth, taking risks and transitioning characters off the stage so others could take on their masks. Then the 00’s arrived, and the backpedaling began. Risks were pushed aside for staid favorites and the message stopped being, “DC: A Company that Challenges Itself” to “DC: Complain Enough About a Dead Character and We’ll Bring Him Back at the Cost of His Replacement”. What’s worse is the lasting impression its left wherein I am consistently concerned that, soon enough, new heroes like Jason (Firestorm) or Jamie (Blue Beetle) will be cast aside so old favorites can return for no other reason than satisfying the type of fans who say things like, “Jason is not Firestorm. Only Ronnie is. I won’t read a Firestorm book until DC remembers that.”


Larry Hama on Batman– This is totally just my personal pet peeve, but I kind of feel like that’s the point with this week’s approach. Coming out of No Man’s Land, the Bat titles had a full head of steam and the exciting creative teams to match. Over on Batman that meant Larry Hama, who I was not familiar with but was told did a great job on GI Joe, and awesome action artist Scott McDaniel. I was psyched.

It was horrible. Not McDaniel. He was typically great. Which made the book’s crappiness all the worse. I was expecting the superhero Batman title and instead I got awful dialogues and inner monologues and a super villain called Orca. What a disaster.

Darn, that means the column is over. I hope that you enjoyed our trip to Gotham this week, who knows what next week will hold. I’m guessing that I’ll contain a question from you, provided you send in my direction or post it on Newbie Friendly Thread

But before I go allow me to ask you a question; Are you excited about Richard Donner is returning to Superman?

“I ruined your engagement cause I left with who you came here with.”

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