Who's Who in the DCU


Tim, I shave my head. You shave your head. What’s the big deal with some pop star shaving her head?

The big deal is that she’s biting off our style. The press knows that ain’t cool so they are coming down on her for it. I mean, when Natalie Portman did it, at least she gave us a call and asked for permission.


Broken Dial

Beyond the Threshold

The DVD Lounge

Inside Fights

Machine Gun Funk


Not a True Ending

Popcorn Junkies

Primetime Pulse

Retro Grading

Tailgate Crashers

Also check our our DC Boards we’re all abuzz over DC’s next weekly event Countdown.

Any links this week Tim?

Ever lose your baggage on a flight? Here’s your chance to buy it back.

What I Read Last Week

Justice Society of America #3 – I really want to love this book, but the characters that I enjoy (Flash, Dr. Mid-Nite, Mr. Terrific) are pushed into the back to make way for characters that range from tolerable (Cyclone) to frustratingly annoying (the impending Commander Steel) to head scratching (Ted’s son). Oh, and after last issue’s cliffhanger with Starman, he’s also shoved to the back. The Vandal Savage reveal was predictable. But the art is as good as Eaglesham’s ever produced. But this book isn’t as thrilling as I want it to be.

Yeah, the juggling of the cast has not quite been worked out. But, three issues in, I’m willing to let its find its rhythm.

Trials of Shazam #5 – I was worried that the setting of this story was going to tread on delicate ground, but it wasn’t too bad. I even dug the magical jargon. Seeing Freddy prove his worth was a cool moment. And next issue looks to be pretty promising.

Sandman Mystery Theatre #3 – Man, this is one heavy read. The scene with Wes rescuing Dian was as touching as it was heartbreaking. But, yeah, this is a heavy one.

Welcome to Tranquility #3 – I’ve never been so enamored with Simone’s work as I am with this book. I love the world she’s created. I love the characters she’s created. It’s a fun book to read and a fun place to visit. And I love how she’s using the murder to explore the town and the relationships. Great job to all involved.

Y the Last Man #54 – Rumor has it that this issue actually will actually see payoff in the final arc, and I trust Vaughan. Still this issue felt like wheels were spinning. It felt like we were revisiting characters, not to wrap up loose ends, but rather just to see a familiar face and for a change of pace. It is great to “hear” women speak from a variety of points of view. I’m really going to miss this book.

52 Week Forty-Two – Dude, what is up with Ralph? I’m loving his descent. I mean the dug was low before, but taking a wheel from the wheelchair of a why with no legs is gully! Ralph, you get my props!

Applauding people for attacking the handicapped, Mathan? I am so proud of you.

Tales of the Unexpected #5 – Man, that Genius Jones kid lives up to his name. He’s got crazy insight on the comic industry. And while I know that the Spectre is on the cover I’m buying this book strictly for the back up; I’ve not read the main story for months. Chiang and Azz really need to do more work together, stat!

AGREED! Love, love, love the backup!

The main story though…it just makes me sort of sad. Not outraged, just…sad.

Hyperion vs Nighthawk #2 – Ordinarily I’d say that this book was just spinning its wheels, but a) I dug the same story from the different perspective and b) I’m a fan of Nighthawk. I enjoyed this book. I’m so pro-Nighthawk it’s not even funny. But despite my enjoying this and Ultimate Power, I’d really like to read an issue of Squadron Supreme some time this year.

Crossing Midnight #2 – I finally tracked this issue down. The story is weird, but it might be because of the cultural setting (which is weird since it’s written by a Brit, but maybe that makes all the more sense). I loathed Fern’s art in the 90’s, and I’m in love with it now. And JH’s covers are great. I can’t wait to read #3 (which I already have.)

Manhunter #28 – Tim, you so nailed it on in your review. I’d rather have the book go out on its own terms than try to appease the masses. This book is like the Arrested Development (the TV show not the group) of comics. About the issue: I loved Mark’s remarks about getting a new identity. I loved the idea that Superboy’s punches are still reverberating around. I loved, well, everything. I do want to know why the book is still getting the axe despite the bump in sales.

Nice comic to TV comparison there. I’ll have to remember to steal it.

And I think your theory about DC canning it just because you and I like it has got to be true. Why are you such a harsh mistress, DC, why?

Green Arrow #71 – I also loved this issue. I loved both of the hero/villain parings. I love that Jason is being portrayed as a viable character (I’ve almost completely erased his Bruce Jones treatment from my mind). This was as enjoyable as comics should be.

Highly enjoyable action book! So fun!

Stormwatch PHD #4 – I loved this issue. I loved the “girls night out.” I loved the glimpse into the characters. I even appreciated the creepy extreme heroes. The ending was slightly predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless. And Tim, since you’re not only admitting that I was right about this book but that you love Nextwave, why aren’t you reading Legion of Super-heroesFell?

Alright! I’ll pick up the first Fell trade (I think it comes out in April) and give it a whirl. Given your recommendation, I’m looking forward to it.

Nalydpsycho placed last week’s lyric so he gets to go first. Yay!

I think Nalyd is my new favorite. Deal with it, rest of the readers!

Nalydpsycho is so cold, you’d think he’s been hanging out at my house (we keep the thermostat at 63. 63!!!! That’s just craziness)

What is Captain Cold’s origin?

Len Snart was just your typical criminal in Central City. He was trying to figure out a way to neutralize The Flash so that he could earn a criminal living in Central City. He stumbled across (stole) an article about the Flash’s speed in hopes of figuring out a way to stop the hero.

Len decided that a cyclotron could disrupt the Flash’s speed, so he designed a weapon to use against him. He exposed his weapon to radiation in a cyclotron lab. But it had the unforeseen effect of freezing things solid. And thus Captain Cold was born.

“Hey, guys, what restaurant do I remind you of? Come on, guess. Nothing? Fire and Ice!!!! Get it? Why are none of you laughing?”
Try as hard as he might, Captain Cold could never instill an appreciation of prop comedy in the rest of the Rogues.

Over the years he reformed and returned to crime various times. He’s lost his sister and become a noble criminal of sorts. But he’s one of the few criminals who actually have some degree of intelligence.

Tim, you’re a fan of Captain Cold, right, why is that?

Why? His name is Geoff Johns, simple as that. His portrayal was tres excellent and it made me appreciate the character. I liked him as part of the Rogues, previously, but it was a sort of “oh look, neat, the Rogues” situation. I only came to appreciate him as a solo character when Johns took over the book.

Aaron has a three pronged approach

When last I read about him, Trident was a mediocre villain on the pages of the original New Teen Titans. Same guy today? I read that he has “powers”, whatever that means. The original just had a trident that shot out energy. Scary.

Now wait a minute! That’s not right at all. The weapon didn’t just “shoot energy”. Each of the three, um, pointy things on the trident (are they individually called dents?) (No, they’re called prongs…nice idea though.) shot out something different.

The right ‘dent shot fire. The left ‘dent shot ice. And the middle ‘dent blasted concussive force. Oh, and the tridents could also make holograms! So there!

Furthermore, there were originally three different people behind the identity of Trident. But since they didn’t all commit their crimes at the same time most folks thought that Trident was one person.

In reality a guy called “Prof” created the weaponry and shared the identity with two other guys, one a former Golden Gloves boxer and the other Sammy Jaye. The committed their crimes and encountered different members of the Teen Titans.

Sammy was killed and dressed in the uniform, so that people would think that Trident’s days were over, but Starfire figured things out and the other two were apprehended. The unnamed boxer later escaped and resumed the mantle until he was captured again. I’d have to guess that he’s still the guy under the mask.

Though Meltzer is a crafty one. He’s hinted that Trident is going to be a player, so there’s a chance that he’s going to play Trident as a tricky character. Perhaps he’s going to put a new character under the mask, or perhaps even an established character.

I don’t know what he’s going to do, but it can’t be worse than leaving the character in limbo for years.

Tim, do you care about Trident?

Not yet. He’s got a cool costume and I’m willing to believe that Meltzer will do something cool with him. For now though, he’s just a costume to me.

Glen D. recognizes that infamous is even better than famous

Who were all those Nazis at the infamous picnic scene in JSA#3

The dude that Hawkman initially brought down in issue #2 is White Dragon. Daniel William Ducannon is your typical right wing nut-ball, only with ties to both neo-nazi groups and the KKK. Unfortunately he also has the metagene (as he discovered when the bomb in Invasion! was activated.) When he uses his power his power he appears only a s flaming skeleton, his power is to become fire.

Of course he was wearing armor, which he uses to focus his powers. He was a foe of the crazy post crisis Hawkman.

The dude who hit Hawkman with the statue is Captain Nazi. He’s the new one, not the old one who met his end rather recently.

Reichsmark is a new guy, who despite what I thought has no ties to the Silver Ghost.

Swastika is a guy who’s making his modern day debut, though he did show up in Kingdom Come.

The female speedster answers to Blitzkrieg, though she shows no signs of being related to Baron Blitzkrieg. She does remind me Zyklon though. However having a Zyklon and Cylone in the same issue might have been confusing.

“…for ice cream!!!” the Baroness added, seconds later.
Exhibit A why DC has yet to ask me to right the Fourth Reich.

And I think that’s it.

Tim, do you think that the Fourth Reich is going to have staying power?

Well, they’re Nazis, aren’t they? Nothing comic writers like more than arranging for Nazis to be evil and then get their heads kicked in.

That said, I wouldn’t hold my breath for the Fourth Reich to become a big force in the DCU. Heck, I don’t think they’ll even reach HIVE punching bag status (that’s HYDRA punching bag status for all you Marvel fans out there). But I imagine they’ll pop up now and again to get pummeled by a group or heroes or perhaps Batman on his own if he’s bored one night.

Babos is back and he apparently wants an answer…really.

What’s the difference between the Trickster and the Prankster really?

= ?

What isn’t the different between those two? (That didn’t not make sense at all.)

Oh dear god, my editor mind is melting.

First off The Trickster’s name is James Jesse. The Prankster’s name is Oswald Loomis. The Prankster was only five feet tall (he’s since grown taller), while the Trickster is six feet tall. While both have blue eyes, the Prankster’s hair is brown, while the Trickster’s a blond.

The Prankster would have been great in vaudeville, but he was born too late. As a result he had to settle for a kids show. As the host of The Uncle Oswald Show he enjoyed some degree of success.

But when his show as cancelled he used the sponsor products that he’s stockpiled over the years to get revenge against Metropolis and Morgan Edge. He was caught, but that was really part of his plan; to retain his celebrity. He’s mostly just an annoying character that grates Superman’s nerves.

James Jesse was actually one of the Flying Jesses, a family of acrobats. He was afraid of heights and when pressured into performing he invented boots that contained compressed airjets, which basically allowed him to walk on air.

Using the boots he conquered his fear and became an impressive aerialist and eventually a daredevil. But that bored him, so he decided to embark on a life of crime. He created the identity and costume of the Trickster and set out to be a criminal.

However he decided to make his debut in Central City, home of the Flash. He soon became fixated on the Flash and they became archenemies. He eventually became the most unpredictable of the Rogues.

But when Barry died, James left Central City in search of a new hero to plague. He found that in Blue Devil. However the two evolved past archenemies and eventually became friends. In fact it was Blue Devil who hooked James up with a gig in the special effects industry in Hollywood.

It was during Underworld Unleashed that James almost became a “good guy.” It was he who almost took down Neron all by his lonesome. He also got a starring turn in his own New Year’s Evil one shot.

After that James worked with the FBI in an effort both to test security and provide insight on the criminal mind. However it was later revealed that James’ shift away from crime was the result of brainwashing by The Top. The last time he was seen, he was a criminal again.

The Trickster uses what looks like childhood pranks but are actually weapons and gadgets. He’s a poor fighter, who’d much rather use a weapon than be in a fight and he’d also rather run away to resume a fight later.

And there you have it Babos; the Prankster sucks and the Trickster is a character full of nuance.

Tim, which of these two characters do you prefer?

No contest, Trickster in a walk (on air). Even if I do dislike the “oh, it was all a magic lobotomy” regression of his character.

Sly Reference likes multitaskers

Which character has been on the most teams? I know the Atom has been on JLA, the Titans, and worked with the Suicide Squad. Is there anyone with more than that?

Yes, yes there are.

But first let’s look at all of the other people who’ve been members of three teams; Batman was part of the JLA, the original Outsiders and the Suicide Squad. Alan Scott was a member of the JSA, the All Star Squadron and the Sentinels of Magic. Red Tornado was part of Young Justice, and both the JSA and the JLA. Black Canary has been a member of Birds of Prey, JLA and JSA. Blue Devil was a Sentinel of Magic, part of the JLA and is now a member of the Shadowpact. Damage was part of the JSA, Titans and Freedom Fighters. Nightwing has been an Outsider, Titan and a member of the JLA.

Nuklon was a member of JLA, JSA, Suicide Squad and Infinity Inc.
Arsenal has been a member of way too many teams. He’s been part of the Suicide Squad. He’s been part of Checkmate. He’s a founding Teen Titan. He’s led the Outsiders. And now he’s in the JLA. By my count that’s five teams. So I’m saying that Arsenal has been on the most teams.

Tim, did I miss any notable members of multiple teams?

Kyle Rayner qualifies with having been on the JLA, the Titans, and the GL Corps. There is an argument to be made for Impulse/Kid Flash/Flash as he’s belonged to that government Titans group (that was Teen at all), Young Justice, and the Teen Titans. Wally, similarly, could be considered as he’s been part of the Teen Titans, the JLA, and Justice League Extreme or whatever that covert group that Kelly wrote about was. On some Earth, Ollie Queen might make the cut as he was part of the Seven Soldiers (in Golden Age continuity), various Justice Leagues, and that Justice League EXTREMEEEEEEEEEEE! group. Fate was a Sentinel of Magic, a JSAer, and a JLAer, but I’m not sure how you score that since those were actually different Fates along the way.

Besides that…I got nothing.

Aaron is clowning Arsenal and that’s not right

I might’ve previously asked this one, but when did people start taking Arsenal seriously? His “Speedy” schtick was played mostly for laughs in the ’80s, then, in the early ’90s he becomes Arsenal and now he’s JLA material? Did fatherhood help him mature? Dude was a clown and now he’s one of earth’s greatest heroes? Guess there’s hope for all of us.

Arsenal has always been taken seriously. I mean don’t you recall seeing him shooting up on the cover of Green Lantern/Green Arrow? I mean unless you think that heroin is a laughing matter.

But yeah he was a sidekick, so he was a bit of a joke. I mean Robin became Nightwing and Kid Flash became The Flash. Wonder Girl got married and Aqualad lost his true love. Yet Roy had a child with an assassin. That is kind of funny.

It is?

Basically Wally and Dick stepped up to the majors, Donna and Garth grew up, but Roy remained basically an adolescent.

But Arsenal put in his work. I mean the guy was a member of Checkmate, several incarnations of the Titans (Teen and not) and the Outsiders. Oh, and the Suicide Squad. He’s been a leader of one version of the Titans and of the Outsiders.

And when you look at it, Roy probably should be the next sidekick to “graduate.” Donna is in such a flux that she’s damn near radioactive as a character and Tempest is pretty much MIA. So of those original Teen Titans and sidekicks, it would make sense for Speedy to move up to the JLA.

That said Roy was a huge screw up as a leader. He was in charge of the Outsiders when there was the huge breakout at the Slab. He was also the one who got shot, nearly fatally. Oh that’s right, he’s also the guy was getting used as a pawn by Deathstroke masquerading as Batman. And he had that drug habit. And he’s related to Vandal Savage.

Given that it does kind of seem that he was picked just because of who he was and not based on his skill or merit.

I wonder if Hawkeye Arsenal ever regrets this particular fashion choice.

Tim, why do you think that Arsenal got “the call.”

Because Brad Meltzer really likes him?

Because a Titan needed to graduate and Nightwing was too obvious, Donna Troy was too annoying, Tempest was, well, too Tempest-y, and Cyborg is a minority (I’m not sure if I can get away with that joke, but I’m giving it a shot)?

Because, at this point, he really only has the JLA, the GLC, and the Shadowpact to join so why not start at the top?

Because it gives an excuse to slap a red GA suit on him and call him Red Arrow?

Because why the hell not?

I don’t really know…choose your favorite.

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with Glen D

Who is this Lady Styx in 52? Have we seen her before?

We’ve not seen Lady Styx before. She’s a brand new creation, but she’s making waves throughout the DCU. Despite her apparent death in 52 she’s since appeared in Mystery in Space and in the current Omega Men miniseries. In the latter she’s employed her army of followers dubbed Darkstars (they are garbed similar to the former intergalactic policing group) . (The Darkstars also show up in Mystery.) They’re a pretty scary bunch.

While we don’t know where she came up, the Guardians of the Universe believe that she’s from a part of the cosmos that’s beyond their wealth of knowledge.

Regardless, it seems as though she’s her to stay and will be a part of the DCU for the near future.

Tim, any thoughts on Lady Styx?

Even though she didn’t die, the way she went out in 52 was all sorts of disappointing. Scariest figure in the galaxy and you stopped her by, more or less, hitting her with a vehicle? That is not the stuff of scary space despots, I’m afraid.

Other than that though, I like her. She has a cool design and her legions of followers eternally exclaiming, “Believe in her” is ultra creepy. As we all know, I’m no big space fan, but I certainly like her a lot better than about 95% of any of DCs other space faring residents.

Soak1313 brings forth a profound sense of deja vu

Can I have a rundown on Captain Comet?

I know that we’ve covered Captain Comet before, because I can remember writing something snarky about the guy, but for the life of me I can’t find it anywhere.

Basically Adam Blake was born under a passing comet. His pop said he was destined to be great. Little did he know how great Adam would be. Adam showed his gifts early. When he was four he could find lost objects easily. At age eight, he could read the text books his parents John and Martha had them lying around (for who knows what reason) and completely recite them. When he got to high school he found that he could play any instrument with ease, even the bagpipes! And he was also amazing at any sport.

Wow…it is like DC Comics wrote an unauthorized adaptation of my life. I better contact my family attorney.

Despite his greatness at everything he felt lonely and isolated. And rather than finding companionship or even seeing a shrink he went to see physicist Emery Zackro. Zackro did some tests and found out that Blake was a mutant, an example of the future of mankind. Adam possessed talents that wouldn’t be common in the average man for another 100,000 years. With the physicists’ help Blake became more skilled in his use of powers.

He adopted the identity of Captain Comet, because that’s what you do when you’re a mutant who’s a hundred millennia beyond mankind. His superiority complex led him to leave Earth in his ship called the Cometeer (Really? The Cometeer? Wow…) and “find himself.”

Over the years he’s joined and later led L.E.G.I.O.N. He’s currently appearing in Mystery In Space.

Tim, did I ever tell you about my Captain Comet pitch, where he was a homeless hero? Anyway, what are you’re thoughts on the guy?

No, I haven’t. But I sure would like to.

Umm…it’s funny. I liking Mystery in Space, the book that currently features him, but I don’t really have much of a sense of him. I’m pretty sure you could swap him out for Adam Strange (who Starlin actually wrote the series for initially before being told he was off limits because of 52 and, I expect, blindness) and I wouldn’t notice. Or any other space faring human being in the DCU. So, he’s a bit of a cipher; fine, but not a character that I have any feelings toward one way or another.

Aaron is bathed in darkness

I’ve cobbled together pieces of the Eclipso series and, I gotta say, I’m digging the hell out of it. I assume it was just low sales that ended this title, but it was a good read to me. Was “The Darkness Within” mini and accompanying crossovers strong enough for me to hunt down?

I’d have to guess that Eclipso was cancelled both because of sales and for the content. The book was incredibly violent, not only for the time but for a DCU book in general. I enjoyed the series, but even back then I was kind of shocked at how far the envelope was pushed in terms of content. There were so many gruesome deaths in that title. It was heavy.

As for The Darkness Within, it was cool, but I think that it probably works better as the prequel to the series, which it was. The annuals vary in quality, but the bookends are pretty solid. In fact I can’t really recall a stand out annual, but I do remember the Joey Q covers for the various Superman annuals rocked!

Sometimes things got…odd when heroes get Eclipsed.

But since these aren’t going to be high end items I say you go for it. You’ll probably be able find them for dirt cheap and they’re kind of cool to read. Yeah, go ahead and buy them.

Tim, do you recommend anything Eclipso related?

Hmm…besides his series? Maybe the Princes of Darkness arc of JLA? Besides that, nah…much of his early stuff has a Silver Age quality that I assume Aaron won’t like. Plus, good luck tracking it down and paying for it.

The Shade returns us to one of our greatest hits.

Eclipso issue 13: which characters are known to have survived that mess I know Mark Shaw did as he is appearing in Manhunter and the creeper obviously did but who else?

Finally a question that not only do I know we’ve covered but I can find the column we answered it in!

First, a little bit of backstory;

From the 1/7/04 column;

What happened? Man it was a bloodbath. Go over to the DC boards and ask about Eclipso #13, and you will some pretty strong responses. I honestly think that this issue it right up there with Starman #38 and Zero Hour as the stories that featured multiple deaths, that fans really seem to hate.

For some reason Commander Steel, Dr. Midinght, Wildcat II, Major Victory, Manhunter III, Peacemaker, and the Creeper thought that they could attack Eclipso by infiltrating his nation stronghold. That’s right Eclipso controlled a whole nation! Well I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will say this; it’s bloody and eclipsed animals are involved. This is by far the most infamous issues of Eclipso. But couple other notable issues are #7 & 8. I really liked those two. B, did you read Eclipso?

So let’s do a quick rundown of where those people stand;

Commander Steel – Still dead. I can’t really see this guy coming back. He’s related to the Steel from the JLA Detroit for goodness sakes!

Dr. Midnight – Still dead. Furthermore someone else has got the name. And he’s a member in good standing with the JSA.

Wildcat II – Still dead. The original is alive and kicking. Fortunately Wildcat II isn’t alone in death, as her brothercousin, Eclipso II, joined her as well.

Major Victory – Still dead. But if I ever wrote for DC, I’d find a way to bring him back. He fits nicely into a storyline I’ve got in my head.

Manhunter III – Alive?! Y’see Mark Shaw was doing some deep cover government work at the time the whole Eclipso stuff was going down. Thus the government sent some poor sap in the Manhunter dress up. That sap was killed, but Mark who was miles away is still alive and kicking.

Peacemaker – Still dead. There’s a chance that someone will take over the name, but that actual Peacemaker is gone and forgotten.

The Creeper – Alive?! Yup. Y’see while Jack Ryder is mortal, The Creeper has an insane healing factor. So even though he was ripped to shreds and buried, his body pieced itself together. Still worse for the wear he changed back to Jack, who dug himself out of the grave.

So as you can see Eclipso’s massacre was still pretty successful. The two characters that were the most memorable were the two who, as luck would have it, happened to survive the encounter.

There is a new Peacemaker who’s made some appearances in the lovely Blue Beetle title. Sadly given the latest issue of Justice Society of America is also appears that we’ve got a new Commander Steel and Wildcat. Boo.

Tim, defend the new Commander Steel since you love him so much!

It’s not that I love him so much, it’s just that I don’t hate him right out of the gate. He’s only existed for literally two issues and we have, more or less, no sense of him beyond that he’s missing a leg and still pretty upset about that. I’m not saying you have to embrace the guy, but can’t we give him a chance?

Warm words The Shade has never said lately pop off the top of his head

Charity from Starman (yeah,yeah I know single minded on that series) I heard she was a horror host similar to Cain and Abel is this true.

Yes indeed she did. Charity was the “host” of “Dark Tales of the Forbidden Mansion” a book that ran from 1971-1975. It was your typical book that featured self contained tales. It was short-lived and barely remembered.

But thankfully James Robinson remembered it and blessed us with Charity in Opal.

Tim, would you like to see Charity again?

Sure, if you no other reason than it might lead to future questions about her allowing me to further quote the musical “Sweet Charity”. Sweet Charity, by the way, recently wrapped up a tour starring, wait for it, MOLLY RINGWALD!!!


Umm, so where were we?

And that does it for another week.

Next week might see some Bleed or some Tales of the Unexpected. Or maybe even rather obscure characters. It might possibly even feature your question, provided you send one my way.
Seriously, all you have to do is send one to me. You can email me, or post it on our thread. Tis, tre fun.

Before I go, here’s my question to you; So now that the next weekly event, Countdown, is official, are you going to be along for the ride?

“I said I was the cops, and ‘your husband’s in jail. This state looks down on sodomy.'”