Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, I just got the Absolute Crisis and now DC’s released Absolute Kingdom Come with Absolute Dark Knight coming later this month. Why is DC trying to take all of my money?

From what I’ve read on the internet, it is because DC is a soulless conglomerate who’s only concern is ringing every last dollar out of its consumers with no regard for the “art” of their products.

Or it could be because they have lots of great projects that are deserving of the Absolute treatment and are just now starting to realize that there is a market for it.

Honestly, as theories go, I prefer the former. It is, in a phrase, much sexier.


(IP) Music has tons of great stuff on the horizon.

(IP) Movies tells you what’s worth your arm and leg.

(IP) Games is always fun to check out.

(IP) Figures is not about dieting.

(IP) TV has tons of recaps.

(IP) Sports has preseason news.

Moodspins is on hiatus, but will return in about a month.

IP Culture can be gothic at times.

Our DC Forum has debate about the future of former Titans and the madness that was Zero Hour?

Also My Favorite Blog has news about the upcoming Stormwatch series and some good news on the animation front.

Tim, I’m really curious what you’re linking this week.

Why, I’m linking you of course.

What I Read Last Week

Firestorm #28 – Jason is so believable. I really dig how his reaction to Mikhail works on different levels. Not only is it an example of a more assertive Jason, but it also works as dart to fans crying about Jason replacing past Firestorms. And of course the irony of Jason rocking CCCP gear and tussling with an actual Russian was nice as well. Very good issue.

52 Week Fourteen – Man do I feel bad for John Henry Irons. That guy is on the verge of “Ralph Regret.” The stuff in Khandaq was cool, but Will was the star of the book for me.

Agreed. The mad scientist plotline has been a slow boil throughout, but it has remained one of the more intriguing pieces.

Boy they sure went heavy on the foreshadowing with Montoya inner monologue, huh? I’m hoping this is a swerve and not just a lapse of storytelling.

Martian Manhunter #1 – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I dig J’onn’s new outlook. The mystery has me interested, but J’onn’s tone is what’s really selling this for me.

The Excapists #2 – Man, this is such a fun/great tale. I’ve loving it. It feels so real, yet it’s comic-y as well. It’s a great blend.

Squadron Supreme #6 – Yes, finally we get Nighthawk. (Though I’ve got to wonder the issue that focuses on the Black character gets the fill in artist.) That said, I’m disappointed in Straczynski’s choice to play the Redstone card so soon. Perhaps the upcoming crossover plays a role, but to have the notion of Redstone “trading teams” introduced at the end of last issue and having no build up to the pay off seems just a bit off to me. But apart from the pacing, I dug the issue.

I think the fill-in artist thing is merely a coincidence Mathan. Squadron Supreme is in a period of transition between artists and I think it just happened to fall on this issue which is, ostensibly, a done in one. But, I could be wrong.

Interestingly enough, I thought this was the best issue of Squadron Supreme since it moved to a Marvel Knights book. The art was rough in points but when Nighthawk first makes the scene, the art rises to the occasion. The artist (who may or may not be Oscar Jimenez) does a great job of rendering him human and yet vaguely alien. I think it’s the first time that we’ve gotten a shot of Nighthawk being legitimately scary looking.

Anyway, this issue has convinced me to continue on with the new ongoing art team (which starts next issue, I think) whereas before I read this I was prepared to drop it.

Secret Six #3 – It was a slow week so I picked this up, and it was better than I expected. Granted it’s not that glowing of praise, considered how much I loathed #2, but I’ll probably stick around until the end of this book now. I guess I’m kind of interested in what makes Catman’s seed so special. I mean Cheshire wanted it last time, and now Vandal wants it for his heir (which kind of makes him a skim Ra’s al Ghul in my eyes, but whatever.) I’m not going to rave about the issue, but it was better.

I’ve been a little more positive on this mini than you have and continue to be. It feels like a series of vignettes rather than a cohesive storyline, but the vignettes are entertaining. Brad Walker’s work still suffers in comparison to Dale Eaglesham, but I think it has started to grow on me some.

JSA Classified #15 – I know it was a slow week, but oh my god was this book bad. I didn’t even finish it. I basically wasted my money. This title is dropped! I’m done. Maybe when a new storyline starts I’ll come back. But for a company and title that’s so concerned with “legacy” they really seem to be soiling the JSA’s with less than mediocre offerings. That last JSA arc stunk, and the current Classified arc is equally horrid. Poor Geoff Johns is really going to have to dig himself out of quite the hole.

Parallax2814 gives us the power. The fool! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

If you had creative control over the character who would you have made Flash after Infinite Crisis?

I’m not even going to feign impartiality on this one: Wally West.

I’ve been a fan of Wally’s since Crisis on Infinite Earth’s #12 (gosh, has it really been that long?), so he’s probably always going to be my favorite and my “go to” for the role of The Flash.

Sure I’d probably stretch out a mystery about who’s sporting the red suit. It would pretty much start like the current series began, with Jay Garrick. But then I’d quickly introduce a concept a scarlet blur that’s racing through in Keystone. Jay wants to get to the mystery of who this new speedster is, but he’s not fast enough. This guy’s speed is beyond Jay’s abilities.

From there I’d probably have, a still powerless Bart wanting nothing to do solving the mystery. Even though it’s moving erratically Jay gets close enough to the blur to think that it’s Barry. Jay goes to check in with Linda and Wally to get their take, but they’re not interested to the point of being distant and preoccupied.

Eventually we get to the realization that the blur is actually Linda and Wally’s twins who, when touching each other can move at super speed (like the Mas y Menos from the Teen Titans cartoon).

Y’see the twins are toddlers now, and they’re getting into typical toddler trouble, only at super speed (and with an aura to protect them from any real dangers.) But they’re also sort of hogging the Speed Force. Once Wally, Bart and Jay get the twins settled down, the Speed Force gets distributed normally and everyone is back to full speed again. With his speed back Wally resumes his role as The Flash.

That’s how I would have done it. You’ve got Wally back as the Flash.

Tim, who would have been you’re pick as The Flash?

It may seem a bit hypocritical of me, but I’d also choose Wally. The new Flash series has just been lousy and does not justify pushing Wally aside to install a prematurely aged Bart into the role.

That said, I can imagine myself accepting either Bart or Jay as the new Flash if the story was strong. Heck, I could even accept John Fox (future Flash), Jesse Quick, or an all new character in the role. I would need justification for it to happen, but there are scenarios that would leave me missing Wally but okay with the switch.

The scenarios could be damn near anything but they’d need two factors: a.) a strong death or loss of powers scene for the departing (or retired) Wally and b.) a compelling chain of events leading to the new (or old, in the case of Jay) character taking on the mantle. Sadly, in this transition, neither has been fulfilled. Thus, I return to the default and vote Wally.

Aaron is an alchemist

I’m pretty sure it was Doc Magnus in 52 #2 who said that the Metal Men “…don’t really work anymore”. I only vaguely remember the MM, but was there some sort of cool, cataclysmic story behind this?

Um, how to answer this? How about: “possibly?”

I’m pretty sure that the last time we saw an active Metal Man was during Identity Crisis with the whole “crime scene” scene, and even then I’m equally sure it was only Gold.

So there probably is a cool, cataclysmic story behind Magnus’ words, we just don’t know it yet. But maybe it’ll show up in 52 in a flashback, the same way we saw how the space heroes got back to Earth.

Tim, do you care what happened to the Metal Men?

Yeah, sure. I mean, it is not of a big concern to me, but if there is a cool tale to told, I’d be down for that.

Neil lives a life of danger. To everyone he meets, he is a stranger.

Also, while I know Alan Scott, Michael Holt, Bea DaCosta, and Amanda Waller pretty well, the other characters, I’m not up on (some more than others, but a little bit of history would help):

Taleb Beni Khalid, the Black King (is he new to the DCU?)

Sasha Bordeaux, the Black Queen (I read The O.M.A.C. Project mini and special, which featured her quite prominently, and I know she was involved in the whole, “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive” storyline, but perhaps you can help fill in some of my gaps)

King Faraday, White Queen’s Bishop (I know he’s been in the DCU for a long time, and even got a role in Justice League Unlimited and in the 90’s, I think he was in The Danger Trail miniseries, but I don’t know much about him)

Shen Li Po (Again, is he new to the DCU?)

Jessica Midnight (Again, aside from having read the Countdown minis and hearing about “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive,” I don’t know much about her. She seems chummy with Sasha now, but it seemed in the miniseries, that the two were quite antagonistic towards each other, or was that just because of whose knights they were?)

Thomas Jagger (New to the DCU or new to me? And is he related to Mick?)

Count Vertigo (Last I saw of him, he helped out the Society in Villains United and prior to that he was with the Injustice Society, where he was taken down by Dr. Mid-Nite due to his inner-ear disorder. Is he really reformed or does the Wall have control over him, like she did in The Suicide Squad)

Jonah McCarthy, (I read the issue directly of Wonder Woamn directly following “Sacrifice,” so I know he was one of Diana’s advisors and friends, but was secretly working for Checkmate. Beyond that, I don’t know anything)

Ok. Let’s start with the easy folks first;

Taleb Beni Khalid, Shen Li Po and Thomas Jagger are all new to the DCU. They were created just for the current Checkmate series.

Jessica Midnight was actually a tenured member of Checkmate, I mean until she was killed. Her rivalry with Sasha is probably a result of their respective roles in the organization, coupled with the fact that Midnight recruited Sasha into the group.

Sasha Bordeaux entered into the DCU as a result of Lucius Fox wanting to look after Bruce Wayne’s well being. Fox hired Bordeaux to act as Bruce Wayne’s bodyguard. She did a great job and despite his evasive maneuvers, she eventually found out Bruce’s secret. I mean she was the best bodyguard money could buy.

Painted into a corner Bruce trained her so she could accompany him on his nightly activities. Through it all, Sasha was slowly falling in love with the guy.

But then Bruce Wayne was framed for murder. Both Bruce and Sasha were arrested and imprisoned. Bruce broke out and became Batman full time, while Sasha was involved a jailhouse skirmish, which resulted in her getting severely wounded and in desperate need for medical attention to survive.

That medial attention came from Checkmate. They also offered to fake her death and set her up with a new identity, provided she join them. She did and “Sasha Bordeaux” died in prison.

Meanwhile Batman cleared the names of both Bruce and Sasha, only to find that he was too late for her. But he didn’t believe the story that Checkmate sold him, so he made life for their Gotham operations difficult until they agreed to let him see her again. They met and he confessed that he loved her! And the audience was all like “awwwwwwwwwww.”

She let him down gently and went about her Checkmate business.

King Faraday is an interesting character. He was part of the shift away from heroes in the 1950’s and was a pretty straight up spy when he premiered in Danger Trail. He was just a run of the mill spy character. However with is inclusion in Showcase #50 DC made an active attempt to make him part of the DCU proper. In subsequent years he’s become one of the foremost spies in the DCU. He’s usually involved with the government to some extent as witnessed by his recruiting for Task Force X (both Nightshade and Bronze Tiger) and by his current role in Checkmate.

You knew that Count Vertigo had a problem with his ears, but did you know he is so damn pretty it should be illegal?

Count Vertigo used to be a thorn in Green Arrow’s side. He was born with a defective inner ear, and had a device implanted in his head to fix the problem. But if he messed with the device he could affect other folks’ equilibrium. When he first appeared he was trying to steal some stuff that his parents had sold. I believe they were family jewels. (No jokes, please.)

He got hooked up with the Suicide Squad in return for a shortened sentence. Around the same time he was diagnosed as bipolar. As if that didn’t make him sympathetic enough, he was kidnapped and manipulated by rebels from his homeland that wanted him to help them overthrow the government.

Things went from bad to worse when he was rescued by the Suicide Squad. Y’see Poison Ivy made him her slave and put him under her control. Eventually he got free of everyone’s influence, but was suicidal as a result.

He got Deadshot to agree to kill him to put him out of his misery (and since Count V is still around I’ll give you one guess as to how that ended up.) He bumped into the Spectre in Vlatava, which resulted in Vlatava being wiped from the face of the globe.

The good Count was part of the Injustice Society, for a spell. He also tried to seek vengeance against Green Arrow (Green Arrow #22), but he realized that it was an empty pursuit. He stayed on the criminal fringe for awhile, even joining the Society. However it’s clear that he’s made amends enough to be part of Checkmate in the present.

Jonah McCarthy was cast as the rookie in the Themysciran Embassy. He was an aide to the legal attaché. In reality he was a plant for Checkmate. So anything that he “was” clearly wasn’t true.

And that’s the story of Checkmate. Be sure to check out the latest issue. It’s a great read.

Tim, don’t you dig Checkmate?

I absolutely do. The first issue left me with plenty of doubts, but each issue since has erased all those doubts. It’s got a great cast, sticky international situations that mirror real life while still being faithful to the fantastic quality of the DCU, and the art is darn pretty (although there has already been a fill-in).

It’s not the best book out there, but it is certainly the best Rucka book since Gotham Central and superior to its predecessor The OMAC Project.

Aaron is really stuck on Doc Magnus this week

Later in “52”, Magnus mentioned that he had to deal with the demise of the Metal Men and “all that other stuff”. (Might’ve been in issue 6 or 7) Anyways, is there any backstory to what that “other stuff” was?

Um, yeah, I’m going to have to again plead ignorance. I don’t even know what happened to the Metal Men, so I don’t even know what happened after whatever happened to them happened.

However I will pretend the “all that other stuff” in question is actually Bruce Jones’ run on Nightwing. I mean who could blame him for taking a time out after that? What a pile of garbage that is. Man, I can’t wait for it to end. I mean there was a time when I was naïve enough to think that “there’s no such thing as too much Nightwing” (in fact it was my high school year book quote), but clearly Bruce Jones has cured me of that.

I mean really, a female Nightwing with powers? What were the editors thinking?

Words…words fail me.

Or maybe Will was talking about the events contained in Infinite Crisis.

Tim, what do you think “all that other stuff” was?

The non-glamorous part of his life is my guess. While he was off running around with robots, making out with Platinum (the robot, not the failed, but good, TV show about a rising rap star), and being a generally irresponsible cad about town, his other responsibilities went unnoticed. Now he’s got a couple of nieces who used to love him and now just resent him after one too many Christmases without Uncle Doc coming by despite his promise to, paperwork to file for multiple patents, that shed he kept telling the neighbors he would build so his tools weren’t just all over the lawn, and his basement sure could use a good reorganization.

Of course, after getting himself all set, what does he do? He goes to hang out with a mad scientist rather than maintain his life. Those poor, poor nieces.

Soul on Fire needs it, can’t live without it, City of Crime, oooh yeah

Ok, I just read the City of Crime graphic novel. Please tell me, WTF was that all about? Was that an Elseworlds or something? I gave up trying to figure things out about a third of the way through and just enjoyed the atmosphere and writing. Is Freeze dead? Who was the dude making the clay people? Why were people freaking out? What the crap was going on? Were the writers on drugs?

Can anyone help me out here?

Batman calls this crime a cloud over the land. But he made the weather and then he stands in the rain and says “It’s raining!”

Y’know I didn’t actually read this story. It was a twelve issue tale that ran in Detective Comics. Since I didn’t really dig Hush that much (though in hindsight it probably would have made a decent All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder tale) I way wasn’t ready to sign on for another year long Bat event.

Oh and I also picked up Detective Comics #800 and wasn’t that impressed with David Lapham’s writing.

Fortunatley a gent named Greg Borgas breaks it all down for you.

Sorry I couldn’t help.

Tim, both The Roots and Pete Yorn have albums dropping this month, aren’t you excited?

You know I am, sir! But which to pick up first, that is the question.

Aaron is looking to join a social organization

Intergang. Can I get an “Intergang for Idiots”, 60-second summary of their origins, an essential storyline or two and just who’s pushing the buttons?

Finally, Aaron asks a question that has an actual answer.

Basically Intergang is the criminal organization active in Metropolis. Ok, I shouldn’t say “the” since the 100 (and later the 1,000) also operated out of Metropolis, but since I know that some of you will be sending emails asking “what’s the 100”) I figured I’d give Intergang some degree of props in term of the crime racket in Metropolis.

Anyway it used to be run by Morgan Edge, but Ugly Mannheim is the guy most associated with the group. They’re supplied weapons from Apokolips by Desaad, who just enjoys suffering.

Ugly was thought dead when he had a botched escape attempt via Boom Tube. His pop Boss Moxie took over the control of Intergang for a spell, but he didn’t make it out of Infinite Crisis alive.

Currently Ugly is back in control, a giant, and claiming that he’s not associated with Darkseid anymore.

As for essentially storylines, I can’t in good conscience recommend any, as it would mean actually reading a Super title.

Tim, aren’t lame concepts like Intergang holding Superman back?

In the way they are used, yes, they aren’t so hot. However, the concept, in and of itself, is not holding Superman back. I gotta believe a mafia-esque gang equipped with dangerous alien weaponary could have a place in the world of comics in general and in Metropolis specifically.

Hokey Smoke Tim, it’s time for our Temporary Mainstay!

Ahh, Temporary Mainstay, how I love thee.

Neil is stuck in the timeloop

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

This week it’s all about prematurely canceled titles.

Canceling Solo

How could this title be canceled, especially before Cliff Chiang had the chance to do an issue?

This was a great book. You know how great this book is: even issues I wasn’t that hyped about, like Scott Hampton, Jordi Bernet and Tim Sale, slayed me. Each issue was an exploration of an artist employing a variety of styles.

What’s worse is check out the some of the artists who were working on their issues of Solo; Brian Bolland, John Cassaday, Dave Gibbons, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Brian Stelfreeze! Couldn’t DC have dropped the book down to semi annual or annual issues and kept it going? Boo!

Booooo, indeed, Mathan. Boo, indeed.

Canceling Hourman

This book could have really been great. Can you imagine if the stuff that was rushed into the final few issue had been developed naturally over the span of months or years? Can you imagine what other T-shirts we could have seen Snapper sport? And what about seeing Rags’ art on a monthly book again? This was a fun series that just didn’t have enough support.

Could have been really great? Could have been??? It was great until the last four or so issues and then, as you pointed out, everything was tossed in and it ended on an unsatisfactory note. Up until that point though… SO good. I miss Scorcher, Tyler, Snapper, Bethany, and the rest darn bad.

Canceling Resurrection Man

You had Butch Guice’s art and DNA on writing, what more could you ask for? How about a fun character who gets a new power every time he dies? Sure the book may have been a bit much for some to follow, but it was a fun ride and it explored some of the more interesting corners of the DCU. This book should have had a much longer run.

It actually had a pretty impressive run in comparison with a lot of the cancelled too-soon titles, so it says something that it still felt like the plug was pulled too soon. What a simple, yet brilliant superpower, huh?

Canceling H-E-R-O

Ok, so this book didn’t have too many recurring characters. But on the plus side, every character that did appear was incredibly engaging and superbly developed. I’ll never forget Joe’s tragic story.

It was also a great way to expand the DCU. In that book we saw heroes and villains created every storyline. And while the conclusion was satisfactory, I wish we’d been left hanging about Robby Reed’s motivation just a bit longer.

Man, I really do miss this book.

I was a champion of this book early on, briefly drifted away for an issue or two, instantly regretted and came right back and stuck with it to the end. In retrospect and in reading that/those issues I skipped, I can’t begin to imagine where the heck my head was at during that period. Every issue made use of the HERO device in a way that made sense and, yet, had not really been seen in the DCU. Its shifting cast of characters, with none being truly reoccurring, probably spelled its demise, but it was also what made it so compelling. A deep look at “what if someone who was so normal that they could live in your neighborhood without sticking out got superpowers” that came on with something more than just “everyone would die” or “life would be smooth sailing.”

Canceling Chase

Chase could have been huge for the DCU. It was pre Powers and pre Gotham Central, it was pretty cutting edge stuff. The idea of a series devoted to the law enforcement’s perspective of the metahuman.

Couple that with the inventive use of continuity (The Justice Experience) and ongoing mysteries (Chase has powers? How did Mr. Bones end up in charge of the DEO?), and you’ve got a top rate read. I won’t even go into how great J.H. Williams III and Mick Gray’s art was. If only fans knew what they were missing.

I loved, loved, loved this series. Thank goodness Chase lives on in numerous guest appearances and a supporting role in Manhunter.

Tim, do you lament the canceling of any books?

Look who you’re talking to, Mathan. I love me some cancelled too quickly books. Most of them it seems. But I’ll narrow it down to five for you, and the fans.

Canceling Bloodhound

Put this one in the same category as Chase. It was a book about how (almost) regular law enforcement officers (or former, in this case) deal with a world where superpowers seemingly trump human laws at every turn.

The protagonist, Travis Clevenger, was a cop turned convict turned police collaborator who has an uncanny knack for super villain profiling and a capacity for pain that is high enough it would leave Batman jealous. He was, by turns, gruff, sympathetic, insufferable, brutal, and utterly real. His supporting cast (mostly his “partner” Atlanta cop ) played well off of him, usually fulfilling the role of straight man to showcase Clevenger’s mean spirited and whipsmart sarcasm.

Art from Leonard Kirk didn’t hurt to sweeten the deal either.

Canceling Major Bummer

Humor books that are actually, you know, humorous are often few and far between in the comics industry. This is one of those excellent exceptions.

It could be broad, silly, or sly, and was often all three at once. It was a remarkably self assured book out of the gate. It would eventually stumble just before it ended, but it was still more entertaining than most of the books on the shelves at that time.

Cancelling Breach

I hate Captain Atom. Actually, truthfully, I don’t really give much of a damn about him either way, but if having Captain Atom inherently means not having Breach, then so be it. I hate him.

Breach was an odd book to put into words. It was creepy, claustrophobic, and more often than not, left my skin crawling just a little bit. It also plucked the heart strings with efficiency as we watched things like a hero slowly lose his grasp on the memories that made him who he was, a doctor care too much for her patient, and a boy brought back from a horrible fate only to face a world where his mom was dead and his sister and father might as well have been.

There have been better books before it and better books will come after it, but rarely has a title so fully scratched an genre itch that I wasn’t even aware of.

Canceling Human Target

This one counts double because Janelle loved it too. Between the cancellation of this and Arrested Development, she claims she has no faith in the entertainment industries. So, thanks a lot DC.

Anyway, there was damn near nothing that didn’t work for me about this title. The art was excellent, regardless of who was working on the issue in question. The writing was economic brilliance. It was also the best product that I’ve read or watched about the shattered identity of America in a post-9/11 world. Our government continually tells us how different life is since 9/11, but this book actually captured what that difference looked like and felt like. It was less of a true “change” and more of an uncovering and Milligan understood and captured that.

God…I sound so pretentious when I talk about this book, don’t I?

Canceling Aztek

This book, on the other hand, makes me sound wildly unpretentious. Dumb even. I just think its cool, alright, and I loved it much.

It is by no means Morrison’s wildest contribution to comics nor Millar’s most in your face. Doesn’t matter. It is straight up superheroing with subtle twists that delivered every issue. With Morrison being one of DC’s current it-boy, I can only hope that a trade is coming soon so everyone else can gain an appreciation for this book.

Aaron takes SCUBA lessons

San Diego became…”Sub Diego”? The concept/storyline/resolution was better than it sounds, right? Right?

Dude, Sub Diego sound way cool. What sounds so uncool about Sub Diego?

Oh wait, you live in San Diego. Got it.

Well to be honest, it wasn’t completely resolved. We found out that Anton Geist developed the process by which the folks we able to breathe under water. He was able to do that with some help from Aquaman’s DNA. He also had the backing of Progene Tech. Progene Tech is behind the actual tidal wave that submerges San Diego.

Sadly with Infinite Crisis and Aquaman’s redirection, we’re left with no resolution. There’s a chance that Progene Tech has yet to be held accountable for their crimes.

But the initial storyline American Tidal is certainly worth your attention. Will Pfeifer had a wonderful set up and conceit, while John Acrudi did a great job of expanding upon the premise and developing the new status quo. Sadly IC ruined that momentum.

Tim, what would it take to get you to read Aquaman?

The eeriest comic page in…forever.

I actually did read Aquaman during Pfeifer’s very short run on it. Moreover, I quite enjoyed it. So, I guess the answer would be, bring on a writer who’s work I have very recently enjoyed who has a hook (no pun intended) to the story that’s more than “it’s Aquaman…but cooler this time” or “it’s not Aquaman, but yet, it is”. Pair him with an up and coming artist whose work has caught my eye. Then, voila, I buy the book.

I’m not hard to please. Honest.

Soak1313 is up all night with thoughts of Devem. Weird, right?

Call it being a very late night for me but who is Devem again?

I’m sure that everyone knows that Devem is the leader of Cult of Conner on the pages of 52. However what many of y’all might now know is the character’s Silver Age origins.

Well back in the Silver Age, Dev Em was a Kryptonian delinquent. He was always causing a ruckus on Krypton. As a result they punished him not by putting in juvie and not by putting him in adult prison. They put him in suspended animation and placed him in orbit! Never let it be said that Kryptonians were soft on juvenile crime.

But, as you’ve probably guessed, it’s mighty hard to remain in orbit when the plane you’re orbiting explodes. Dev’s prison was shot out into space. As luck would have it, Dev landed on Earth.

Now upon realizing that the planet of their birth was destroyed, many folks would have been scared straight or at least a bit sad. Not Dev. He promptly put Superboy into the Phantom Zone and went on a ruckus spree, as the Boy of Steel, defaming young Clark Kent.

Naturally Superboy got out and bested his rival, but Dev, the tricky rascal that he was, bounced to the 30th Century.

Once there, the sobering realization hit him; he was a thousand years from home, which wasn’t really there as it had exploded a while before even that. Thus he went on the straight and narrow. He became a member of the Interstellar Counter Intelligence Corps (which was as corny as it sounds.)

He helped out the Legion on several occasions, but he still maintained his less than pleasant demeanor.

However that was the Pre Crisis version. The Post Crisis version was much, much cooler.

Dev Em actually only appeared once in the Post Crisis 30th Century, but what an appearance it was.

Dev showed up during the Time and Time Again storyline when Superman was being bounced around the time stream. He popped into the 30th Century on three occasions, encountering the Legion during three different periods. The final time he met up with the Legion, it was during the 5YG Legion.

Superman landed in the 30th Century in time to meet up with Dev-Em, now a mad Daxamite and an adult. They tussled, during which the Moon, fully colonized, was destroyed.

So yeah, the appearance of Devem in the DCU is never a good thing. Personally I’m hoping that Devem is in league with Match, who could certainly pass as a resurrected Connor. I mean that’s my second choice, I’d really like Devem to be a rebellious Kryptonian.

Tim, I know you dig the idea of Kal being the “last son” and all, but doesn’t the idea of a juvenile delinquent Kryptonian sound kind of cool?

Fun fact: Match is part of Titans East. You heard it here first.

Or possibly second, if you are reading this after already reading your stack of DC Comics. I think Didio gives it away. Jerk. In a parallel Earth though, where Who’s Who is released on a Tuesday…I’d have scooped him.

Anyway, as for Dev Em, the idea of a juvenile delinquent Kryptonian does sound sort of cool. However, there is so many ways to tell the same basic story without needing to make Kal less unique that I do not support the current Devem being revealed as yet another long lost cousin of Superman or whatever. If he was a synthetic like Eradicator though…that I’d be down for.

Aaron is bathing in dirty, dirty water

Dude, how ’bout some more details on the infamous “Erik Larsen run on Aquaman”. Even when I was out of comics, I still heard about the negative fan reaction towards the guy and his stint on the title. Anything juicy behind it, or is this just a case of Aquaman fans pissed off over a little bad writing?

It was a bit worse than that. I think that a lot of fans who enjoyed Peter David’s run on Aquaman were kind of turned off by Erik Larsen’s rather simplistic approach to the character. This is perhaps best exemplified by Larsen reintroducing Charybdis, the character who was responsible for Aquaman’s loss of a hand, as “Piranha Man.” I’m pretty sure that the character even made a comment about how pretentious Charybdis was, and that’s why he was changing it.

There was also the introduction of the Land Lovers, a group of underwater dwellers who wanted to experience the surface world. It was an attempt at broad humor, and it didn’t quite work.

It would be like if 52 suddenly had a new creative team, who decided that T.O. Morrow was a lame character, decided not to follow his disappearance, but thought that the idea of Booster and Skeets as an “Odd Couple” type team would be great for humor. It was a drastic shift in terms of tone and content.

Tim, are you a fan of Larsen’s work?

Would his Spider-Man pencils count? If so, then yes, I remember digging them way back when. Beyond that…I can only point to a complete lack of interest in anything else he’s worked on.

Sorry Mr. Larsen.

Colin takes the form of a puddle

Could the Wonder Twins really work in the DCU, or is the gimmick inherently goofy and a poor idea?

What do mean “could?” They do exist in the DCU. They were part of Extreme Justice.

Nothing quite says “extreme” like this duo.

That said, it is an inherently goofy gimmick and a poor idea. No one remember Wendy and Marvin, but they remember the Wonder Twins and Aquaman. Those are the two (three?) concepts that haunt comic fans.

Everyone knows and mocks them. “Form of” and “Shape of” are taunts used to terrorize comic fans. And before Extreme Justice we could attempt to counter with “but, but that’s just the cartoon, not the comic books.”

Sadly those days are over. Now we’ve got to accept that the Wonder Twins are in fact in canon and part of “our” culture. We can no longer deny them and try to cast them out; we’ve got no choice.

Tim, did anything redeemable come from Extreme Justice?


No, Mathan…no.

John-Paul F. just recently grasped the use of simple tools.

What is DC’s fascination with primates? Within the last couple of months I’ve read 5 comics with gorillas and 1 chimp. Those being Superman/Batman twice, Outsiders, Teen Titans, and Shadowpact.

First off, let me applaud you for your use of “primates.” Many people would have simply gone with “monkeys” which is just completely inaccurate. But you went above and beyond, and I just want to let you know that I appreciate that.

That said, primates rock. I’ll go ahead on go on record as saying that you can’t have too many primates. Hell, I’d even hang out with Dr. Zaius, Cornelius, and Caesar if I could.

Also I don’t know if you really count Teen Titans and Outsiders as separate, because while they are distinct books, they dealt with the same gorilla, Monsieur Mallah.

I think that the first Superman/Batman gorilla, the Ultra Humanite, was kind of necessary because it was the Golden Age Superman and Batman, and it involved switching bodies, which is like his M.O.

Also, I don’t know if the Shadowpact is applicable, as Detective Chimp is part of the team. He’s always going to be there.

But I will say that Titano’s appearance wasn’t necessary. In fact it was almost out of left field. I’d bet that he was included at the behest of Ethan Van Scriver, the artist.

And I supposed that perhaps I could concede Mallah should have been in one book or the other, but not both.

It should also be noted that Gorilla Grodd was not among the bunch, which means that he’s got to get a new agent if DC is indeed primate crazy and he can’t land a gig.

Speaking of Grodd, I’m reminded of the pretty awful JLApe Annuals. I’d like to retract my statement about there not being such a thing as too much primates.

I guess I basically think that DC is giving the fans what they want: more primate content!

Tim, you do you think that DC should be charged with primate misuse?

Nah. Many years has passed since JLApe and time heals all wounds. But boy…who dreamed up that genius idea, right?

“So get this…he’s a giant primate…with Kryptonite vision! Awesome, right?

Sadly that brings us to the end of the column. But don’t fret, next week we’ll discuss Shiva’s childbearing years and the Joker’s stint with diplomatic immunity. And possibly your questions, provided you send them to me or post them on our Primate Loving Thread!

Oh and before I go, here’s my question to you this week; Are you excited about the new Justice League of America?

“You show me how it’s supposed to be done, I’ll make sure you have young fun.”