Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, with May Sweeps right around the corner are their any season finales that you’re really excited about?

There are plenty. I’m looking forward to the return of Veronica Mars, and the finale, as it may be the very last original Veronica Mars episodes the world ever sees. Despite the naysaying, I remain a Lost fan and you know the season finales are an event onto themselves. I’d put Heroes in that same category. I’m curious to see how my Thursday comedies on NBC draw their season to a close.

Of interest, but not tons of excitement are the finales of 24 (sort of has been an “eh” season), Prison Break (my enthusiasm has dipped), and Jericho (the break hurt it in that I never remember it is on).


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

Tim, have you anything to link this week?

I sure do! Janelle’s paper is one of the guiding materials in New Jersey’s “Governor’s Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources” and that’s a pretty big deal. She’s #5 to be exact.

I do recognize that health care policy might not be of interest to all people (even if my fiancée did write it) so I am also including a link to Alanis Morissette’s rendition of My Humps. I don’t know why but I love it.

What I Read Last Week

Ion #12 – I liked that Kyle tried to reanimate his mom, similar to how Hal used his powers after Coast City. I liked that touch a lot. But again for a twelve-issue mini, it had like zero closure.

True that. (Did I just write that?) Very frustrating.

Green Lantern #18 – Loved the return of both Carol and Star Sapphire. I also dug the pseudo romantic triangle. And the back up was solid, except when did the Sinestro Corps come into being?

Detective Comics #830 – Still love Clarke’s art. Good seeing Batman and Robin together. Fun read.

Blue Beetle #13 – Darn it, I really wanted those aliens to be cool. But seeing Jamie and Peacemaker together really makes me appreciate their odd couple-ness. Oh and Albuquerque’s underrated as an artist.

Batman #664 – Neat read. Interesting pimp. And who doesn’t love it when Batman gets a beatdown?

Loved the “I’m cooler than he is” business at the start of the issue. Enjoyed Batman dealing with the prostitutes. Liked the idea of these cops losing their minds and dressing up like Batman. I even though Kubert’s art was better this time out. But what was the deal with the cop looking like Batman and Bane had a baby together?

That would be sort of hot though, am I right?

Catwoman #65 – Kind of disappointed about the Lex reveal, but it was almost equally cool. I just love how Pfeifer has Selina thinking she’s getting out, while she’s digging herself deeper. Love this book.

See, I loved me some robot. But I suppose it did give us a glimmer of hope that Business Man Lex was back. So, I get you.

Wonder Woman #6 Very meta read. But good. I’m certainly interested in what Picoult will do on this book. And Johnson and Snyder made for a good team.

The Exterminators #15 – Another creepy cover. I’ve got to admit that I dig Lucas’ art. But that whole drug/rape scene; way heavy, way unexpected.

The Spirit #4 – This book is a romp. Cooke and co. make this book a must read. I’ve never read the character before, but I feel like I know the guy and his supporting cast. Really good book.

Firestorm #34 – Boo. This arc will rank with the final arcs for JSA and The Flash as some great examples of how to end a book with a compost heap.

Such an ugly crash landing.

100 Bullets #82 – Great cover. I really liked we’ve got another thinly veiled sports figure in the book and the glimpse into a dead character’s past. What a glorious book, and the end is so near it’s scary.

52 Week Forty-Seven – Glad we’re back to Gotham. Glad Buddy’s on the way home. Glad the seeds for Infinity Inc have been planted. Yeah, that’s about it.

Poor, poor Buddy. The man’s got it rough.

Brandon R.’s back with this complicated doozy

Now a second part, little more involved I think. Take any 5 current heroes and place them as they are now to fight back in the days of their early times and why the heroes you choose and how do you think they would react and fare? On the same token take 5 heroes from the past at any point which you pick and plop them down in the here and now facing current villains and problems. Which 5 and why them and how do you think they would do? Now do the same for 5 villains current and 5 villains past?

I.E. Taking the 60’s Batman and plopping him down to face the current bats foes the way they are now or having The Joker meet his early boner spewing self. Have the current Manhunter with all he has been trough meet his early self or have the Current Flash go back in time and survive the old Flashes problems and people.

I thought I was ready to tackle this, but it still seems very daunting.

Ok I guess the five Batman, Robin, Green Arrow, Hal Jordan and Wonder Woman.

I’m picking Batman just for his inevitable interaction the Joker. Can you imagine how tempted Batman would be to kill the Joker, knowing that could spare Jason, Barbara and Jim Gordon all of that pain and sorrow? Would he consider it a step on a slippery slope, or would he sacrifice his idealism for the sake of those he cared about? I’d really be interested in seeing how that played out.

But I’d imagine that Batman would be ruthlessly efficient in cleaning up Gotham, and I think that the city might actually improve because of it.

Tim gets picked because I can’t help but wonder if, knowing all that he’s been through, he’d think that the Robin gig was worth it. Sure he gets to pal around with Bruce Wayne, but at the loss of a father. And if he did stick with the gig, Bruce would be way impressed at how on the ball the kid was.

Green Arrow and Hal Jordan both get the opportunity to do some image control. Both character have been haunted by green boxing gloves, so knowing what they know now, I’d have to guess they’d pick less lame ways to showcase their gifts.

Finally I’m picking Wonder Woman because, again, knowing how futile her mission ended up being would she do things differently? Knowing that she came her on a mission of peace and ended up a wanted criminal, would that factor in on her motives in the beginning?

I’d like to hope that Wonder Woman would be much more proactive on behalf of women, considering how her “mission” ended up working out.

Tim, want to jump in on current heroes going to the past?

Oh man…I think I sort of hate this question. I mean it’s great, but…so much work!

My present to the past heroes are Black Canary, Captain Marvel, Damage, Batgirl, and Beast Boy.

Black Canary as her more confident present day self would make a bigger impression in the past and, perhaps, have the smarts to avoid toxic bachelor Ollie Queen.

Captain Marvel would be more world weary and less “gee golly” about the superheroing.

Damage would be similar, but also a lot more violent and (paradoxically) a lot less prone to things like blowing up Atlanta.

The refocused, less crazy Batgirl would be potent in the past, rededicated to her mission and anxious to not get diverted off it again.

Beast Boy, having rediscovered his family in the Doom Patrol, would be less concerned with impressing his teammates and, hopefully, less likely to involve himself in destructive relationships like the one he had with the evil Terra.

For the past versions coming to the present Aquaman, Roy Harper, Kyle Rayner, Hawkman and Wesley Dodds.

I’m honestly picking Aquaman for a couple of reasons. First off I really want to get rid of his awful water hand, and I want Orin to be Aquaman again. But I also think that his happy go lucky attitude would be refreshing to read set against the current DCU.

I imagine that he’d be pretty troubled to find that his relationship with Mera had tough times and about the loss of Arthur Jr (among those other kids who looked up to him a son).

It would be a blast to see a young (and clean) Roy Harper in the current DCU. Roy, until recently, has been cast as the hard case (complete with stubble!) But young Roy would have to adapt to not only being a father, but having tons of former girlfriends.

Given that Roy is in the JLA now, I don’t think it’d be much of an adjustment. I mean he might not have the same skills, but he’d still be equally awestruck.

The only reason I’m picking Kyle is because I kind of his him whining about not being looked at as a real hero. Plus with John, Hal and Guy active he’d be even more insecure about his place in the DCU.

Hawkman is another one of those characters whose reputation precedes him, so it’d be pretty fun to see a Carter who’s a rookie having villains cowering before him. Of course there are also those criminals who’d bring it 100% to the rookie, much to his surprise. I think that he’d eventually rise to the challenge, but it’d still be fun to see the look on his face when some crooks turned themselves in and begged for his mercy.

Finally I’d love to see Wesley again. I don’t think that Wes’d have a hard time adjusting, as he was a pretty serious guy back in the day. Of course Dian would have to be brought along for the ride, because those two are inseparable. And honestly this is really a two-fer; I’m not digging Sand becoming Sandman, so getting rid of him would be a bonus.

Tim, care to chime in on the heroic blasts from the past?

Past to the present heroes would be Golden Age Superman, Green Arrow pre-revelation, Hourman I, Martian Manhunter post JLA Year One, and Wonder Girl.

Golden Age Superman would be stunned about how current Superman no longer goes after slumlords and corrupt politicians and the like and would become a more progressive superhero being more about social justice that bring supervillains to justice.

Green Arrow pre-revelation would be fun because people would not be used to a Green Arrow who’s not politically motivated and really just a hero because he’s rich and bored.

Hourman I would enter and shake things up, still being addicted to Miraclo and the rush of adventure. It would be interesting to see how his family reacts to the “new/old” Hourman who is bringing back the baggage they’ve all recently overcome.

Martian Manhunter would be in a position to a.) not be angry J’onn of his recent mini and b.) not be used to taking a back seat to heroes like Superman. Thus, maybe he could finally stop out on his own and establish himself as a premiere superhero, not just the (formerly) always chosen member of the JLA.

The young uncomplicated Wonder Girl in the present day would pack an emotional wallop as we’d see her cope with Superboy’s death but from the perspective of younger and not as emotionally committed woman.

Ugh, we’ve got to do villains again? Villains are so lame!

Ok, so current villains sent to the past? Sinestro, Superboy-Prime, Zoom, Bane, Amazo.

Sinestro – C’mon, the guy trained Hal Jordan! Don’t you think that maybe if he had the chance to do it all over again he might do things differently? Perhaps he’d forget to tell Hal about the need to recharge the ring and leave him stranded in space? Or perhaps he’d keep his corruption under wraps for a spell longer. Who knows, but I think that Sinestro would like to take another crack at it.

Zoom – I really like the idea of the current Zoom going back to the days of the Reverse Flash, especially consider his notion that being a good hero involves loss. And imagine if he took that mission on a wider scale for the DCU? It would be ugly.

Bane – I’d be curious to see if the current Bane would stay a good guy, when transplanted into the past, especially considering all of the knowledge he now has. Would he be tempted to give breaking Batman and taking over Gotham one more try or would he turn his back on his evil ways and focus on Santa Prisca. I think that he’d probably try to destroy Batman again.

Superboy-Prime – I have to believe that Prime would consider his time as a docile kid in a hanging out with Alex in limbo as a waste of time. I think that he’d much rather have been more proactive and become a “hero” sooner.

Amazo – How cool would it be to see the current Amazo, with all of his different abilities going up against the original Justice League? He’s that much better as a villain and that much more powerful. I think it’d be an interesting read.

Ok, Tim how you work on the villains going to the past, while I work on the next and final part.

Present villains to the past would be Joker, Lex Luthor, Dr. Psycho, Prankster, and Charaxes.

Joker and Charaxes would both go to the past because their current brand of evil is horrifying to the newbie heroes of the current age (let’s say JLA: Year One timeframe) that even the dark Batman would not be dark enough to not be initially overwhelmed by this horror unleashed. It’d be even better if they kicked in the JSA era, but, of course, those two weren’t around then.

Lex Luthor and Prankster both go back for similar reasons. Lex Luthor because the way his current incarnation is going, he’d be a better fit for the era where a green battlesuit seemed like a fine choice. Prankster because he’s such a throwback he belongs in the past.

Finally, Dr. Psycho heads back because what better time for a misogynist to live than in the go-go 80’s and spearheading the beginning of the backlash against feminism.

Ra’s al Ghul, Sonar, Blockbuster, Killer Moth, Eclipso are the villains that I’d like to have switched out with their past versions.

Basically I just want Ra’s and Blockbuster back from the dead. Imagine how creeped out Bruce would be to find out that Ra’s was back or how unnerved Nightwing would be if Blockbuster was back from the dead?

For Sonar, I’d much rather have a corny tuning fork gun than the lame techno/cyborg guy who faced Kyle. Plus consider the story potential for this guy; he once proposed to Sue Dibny. Imagine if he renounced his villainous ways because of her death? I’m telling you corny Sonar is story gold!

Tim, you wanna wrap things up here?

The past to present villains of my choosing are Killer Croc, Per Degaton, Sinestro, Black Mask, and Dr. Polaris.

Per Degaton because, well, that’s just his thing.

Killer Croc would hail from the era where he was smart and leading a gang. Just because he’s monstrous looking doesn’t mean he has to be an idiot and the return of this version of the character would prove that while taking everyone by surprise.

In the case of Sinestro, I was thinking a still GL version. Imagine if you will an arrogant but not yet evil Sinestro interacting with Hal Jordan. Hal knows what he will become but can’t really do anything about it because this Sinestro really isn’t that one.

Most would be surprised to find Black Mask on my list, but I’m really hoping for the early, “I wear a mask carved from the wood of my father’s coffin” Black Mask. Why? Because unlike most villains, he was largely unconcerned with Batman; his beef lie with Bruce Wayne and the whole Wayne name. That’s not a side of Batman that is in danger enough and always liked the Black Mask brought that to the table.

Dr. Polaris made the list because he’s a villain I kind of like and I think it is a shame he’s dead. So, here we go, bringing him back.

The Shade’s already waiting for the new heroes to become the old again

Do you think the current version of the Spectre will stick or will the higher up retcon it eventually. I personally think this will happen with the new Shazam

I honestly can’t see why anyone would want to tinker with the current Spectre (though I should disclose that I’ve only been reading the back up in Tales of the Unexpected).

But again I don’t see anyone clamoring for the return of Corrigan. For a character that’s been around as long as he has, the guy’s not really well known, outside the fandom. In fact I bet if DC had a press release saying that The Spectre was going to be killed, more people would reply “who’s that” as opposed to “wait, how can someone who’s dead be killed off?”

I mean the only reason Hal Jordan isn’t the Spectre is because more people wanted him to be Green Lantern, not because people wanted Jim Corrigan to return. The Spectre isn’t one of those characters that you associate with a secret identity; he’s just known as a magical force in the DCU. That’s it, that’s all.

I’m sure that Jim Corrigan was a cool dude, and one day I hope to collect the Ostrander/Mandrake series, but I know Crispus Allen. I’m familiar with Crispus Allen and I throw my support 100% behind Crispus Allen as Spectre.

My name is Mathan Erhardt, and I approve of the preceding message. (But don’t hold me accountable for any other part of the column.)

Tim, do you think Crispus should get comfortable or should he dust off his resume?

I’m inclined to think he can get comfortable in the job. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Crispus as Spectre, they just need to write good stories about it. I’d hate to think that DC would interpret the wildly negative reaction to Tales of the Unexpected to the character as opposed to the atrocious writing and more often than not poor art. I suppose it wouldn’t be the first time if they did, but I’m thinking that they’ll hold off on such a move for now.

The new Spectre, in a gentler moment. About to kill his son. Sigh…so pastoral.

Glen salutes the flag

What do you think of the new new Mr. America in JSA #4?

Y’know I was kind of indifferent about the death of Captain America. I mean Civil War was kind of boring but…wait you said Mr. America, my bad. I get patriotic heroes confused.

Um, the new Mr. America? I guess I can take him or leave me. Personally I hope that Geoff Johns leaves him alone and lets someone else pick up that thread if they choose to.

I mean I really liked the Mr. America who showed up in the first issue. He was a guy you could root for, a class act, someone you could get behind and other old timey phrases that imply all around goodness. Maybe it was because he was investigating the murder of his family, but I found him to be sympathetic and interesting.

But this new guy is kind of lame. I mean not only is he a mole, but now he’s going to be a hero with no income? How does that work?

However DC could make this work. If every fired FBI agent becomes Mr. (Or Mrs.) America then there would be an Americorps that rocked! How awesome would it be if every former member of the FBI decided to do the vigilante thing?

Perhaps you’d care to give your two cents on the new new Mr. America, Tim?

As I said over on the message boards, his moment of “accepting” the mask didn’t really do it for me. I appreciated that it meant the name could go and it nicely illustrated Wildcat’s point about being a hero not just being a family matter, but, at this point, there’s no backstory to sink into. In a scant few pages, we came to appreciate the previous new Mr. America because of his struggles. Being fired sucks, sure, but it’s hardly the best motivator to being a hero. Without an idea of his motivation, the character is shallow, a blank slate to me. I need a bit more to go on for me to embrace (metaphorically, of course) a hero.

Dhaise is talking so quiet I can barely hear him. (He is a him, right?)

How about some rundown on Whisper A’daire from Batman and now 52?

Thankfully we’ve answered in the past, because off the top of my head I’ve got no idea.

Whisper A’daire is an associate of Ra’s al Ghul. She was one of his agents and dutifully did his biding. She’s also usually in the company of Mr. Abbot.

Sadly there’s not a lot know about her past. If she’s to be believed she’s British and if Batman’s research is to be believed, she’s over 80 years old. The reason she looks good for her age is because she’s an addict of a drug the Ra’s supplied her with.

Ra’s distilled the essence of the Lazarus Pit into a drug. While it doesn’t make users immortal, it does greatly slow down the aging process, provided the user ingests it on a regular basis. The drug also appears to alter DNA, as A’daire’s seems to be mixed with that of a cobra. As a result she periodically sheds her skin.

However it appears that she’s currently aligned herself with Intergang.

So Tim, I know you’re a fan of Whisper, how do you feel about her role in 52?

I honestly forgot it was her until someone spoke her name in the latest issue of “52” so that’s a bit disappointing.

However, character-wise, I think it makes perfect sense that she’s fallen in with this Bible of Crime business. Despite all her aggression and intelligence, she’s a follower. She needs something to be, for lack of a better term, fanatical about. In the wake of Ra’s demise and the subsequent discontinuation of his environmental mission, it seems sensible that she’d fall in with another organization with a broad, far reaching goal, no matter how obvious (to us, anyway) it is that this group is nowhere near Ra’s in terms of realizing their goals or really knowing what they’re doing.

Glen is taking a public opinion poll

Do you think that Power Girl will make a good chairperson of the JSA or will her tenure go down in infamy?

That’s a very interesting question. I don’t know too much about team leadership. I mean I know that Arsenal is the worst leader ever given his run with the Titans and Outsiders. I know that in the future whoever leads the Legion actually has impact on what happens. But the JSA?

I mean, how would we judge Mr. Terrific’s tenure as chairmen of the JSA? Strictly on the basis of that horrible Paul Levitz closing arc of JSA I’d say that his tenure sucked brussel sprouts. That arc was awful.

It sure enough did, but Terrific was Chair a time before that when the book was still hitting on all cylinders. Cut the man a break.

The way I see it Power Girl isn’t really going to be making decisions, she’s just going to be reacting. It’s not like she’s going to say “we need to go to Gotham.” I think that the closest thing we’re going to get to Power Girl using her authority is that she might to send the team on a mission of sorts based on the babbling of Starman.

But that’s about it. Really what huge decisions did Michael Holt make? Did he really steer the team in any direction? Isn’t the chairperson of the JSA the most pointless figurehead gig in all of comicdom?

Tim, do you think that Power Girl’s going to make a good leader?

If the book was actually to explore it, I think it would be interesting at least. Watching Power Girl have to temper her brashness to rally her team and make sure the communication lines were open (sounds sort of boring the way I’m describing it, but) would give DC an opportunity to evolve the character and/or show how some are just not fit for leadership.

However, since the JSA relaunched, leadership has been portrayed one of three ways: ineffectual (Sand), angry and intimidating (Hawkman’s sort seizure of power in Black Reign), or wholly not depicted (Mr. Terrific) so we’ll probably never got a true idea of how Power Girl is as a leader.

The Shade is asking for a referral

Do you think a Dr 13 mini series written in the exact style as the current back up in tales of the unexpected would work?

“Do I think it would work” or do I think it would be heaven on paper? Well the answer is a resounding “both!”

Seriously, I think that it could work, but it’d have to be like 100 Bullets (a book that I just found out Tim doesn’t dig and I’m shocked) where Azzarello has a game plan and a destination in mind. It just wouldn’t be as much fun as a “write as you go” type affair. Of course you’d need Cliff Chiang as the series artist

I should clarify this 100 Bullets thing before we get too far. I like the book now. However, after I read the first four trades, I did not. I loved the idea, was disinterested in the execution. I should have clarified that better in DCNV. That is all.

Obviously it’d be a tough sell as none of the characters are marquee characters. But I think that word would get out and a buzz about the book would build. I admit that I’m a little worried at how long Azzarello could pull off a “meta” book on a monthly basis, but if anyone can do it he can.

Tim, would you care for another helping of perfection?

I love me some perfection. Where can I sign up?

Stone King sure is asking for a lot

A few columns back you guys did your versions of the Seven Soldiers. And you threw a lot of names around I’d never heard before. A lot! I know this is a big annoying task, but any chance of you running those characters down and telling me who they are?

I’m pretty sure that Stone is referring to our 1/26/07 column. That’s the column were we put together our squads of “obscure heroes.” I went for an all Black team, while Tim skewed uber obscure.

Anyway I’ll happily breakdown the members of my team.

Bloodwynd – His secret identity is unknown and his abilities are pretty much undocumented. What is known is that he possesses the Blood Gem, which was crafted by slaves in the South and passed down from generation to generation. He can raise the spirits of the dead and cause killers to feel the pain they inflicted. Oh and if a death has happened he can sense it.

John Stewart – He’s the only Green Lantern from Earth who didn’t star in his own book during the past 12 months. He also happens to be the Black one who was on the television show Justice League Unlimited.

Bronze Tiger – This former member of the League of Assassins and former (and current) Suicide Squad member is one of the foremost martial artists in the DCU on par with even Batman. He’s got a troubled past and a hunger for violence. But currently he’s incomplete control.

Coldcast – Coldcast was a member of The Elite, a team that Superman opposed, who used violent methods while saving the world. After a change in leadership the Elite gained respectability and even became affiliated with the Justice League. Coldcast has the ability to manipulate energy, mostly electromagnetic energy. His ability to control subatomic particles gives him the power to stop someone in their tracks literally. Also he can fly.

Onyx – Onyx is another former member of the League of Assassins. She teamed up with Green Arrow on a few occasions. Most recently she served as Orpheus’ bodyguard (to little success as he ended up dead.) She was a member of Gotham’s vigilante community, but she’s been MIA as of late.

Empress – Anita Fite was a member of Young Justice before team disbanded. She’s a skilled fighter who can also coerce people to do her will using her voice (and the pinch of the Anti-Life Equation she holds in her head.) She gifted in voudoun. And she’s the sole character of her parents, who were murdered and reincarnated as infants.

Amazing Man – Will Everett III adopted the heroic identity of his grandfather. Will had the ability to assume the properties of any inorganic substance he touched, meaning the strengths and weaknesses. He was shattered after he mistakenly assumed the properties of glass.

Muhammad X – Muhammad X has the ability to control density and gravity. He’s only made one appearance (in Superman #179), so the guy’s pretty much a blank slate.

Tim, it’s your turn to breakdown your heroic squad.

Wow…alright. Deep breath and…here we go!

Swashbuckler– Michael Carter was the nephew of the original Vigilante, Greg Saunders. He lived in Texas and his big moment was a team-up with Batman against Riddler (who was apparently visiting the Alamo on vacation). He quickly faded into obscurity.

El Diablo– Rafael Sandoval is a City Councilman who was frustrated by his inability to affect change in office and his role as a token Latino of the party. To battle against this feeling of inadequacy, he donned a mask and became El Diablo. He was recruited by the Justice League (Giffen era) but turned it down because of his responsibilities at home. He most recently had a “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” appearance in Villains United.

Heckler– The Heckler (aka Stu Moseley) was a humor character in a short lived Giffen penned series. He fought crime in Delta City with seemingly no abilities and only his sarcasm to protect him.

Vext– Also a Delta City resident and star of a short lived Giffen penned book, Vext was a god of a minor pantheon that was phased out of existence. In the pantheon, he was the god of bad luck (essentially) and continued to be bedeviled by it as a civilian.

Aztek– The Ultimate Man! He was raised by warrior monks to fight a Shadow God and ended up in Vanity impersonating a doctor (and former supervillain) who died in Aztek’s costume debut. He would go on to join the JLA and apparently tied during Grant Morrison’s final storyline on the book.

Orpheus– Gavin King was the original Orpheus, a Gotham based hero. He was initially a famous dancer, but upon returning to Gotham, after all he had seen touring, decided to become a costumed vigilante to protect and inspire his people. He was killed by Black Mask during the horrible HORRIBLE War Games story (her, DC, where’s his Batcave Memorial?). The Orpheus I was going to use was from Detroit and inspired by Gotham’s Orpheus.

Bloodhound– Travis Clevenger was an ex-cop in jail for killing his partner. He also had an uncanny ability to profile super powered villains which he parlayed into a sort of work release program. He has no superpowers, but has worked out extensively and has an incredibly high pain threshold.

Bloodwynd– See above.

Black Orchid– “Suzy” is the most recent Black Orchid. Like her predecessor, she is a master of pheromone manipulation.

Deep Blue– The daughter of the wizard Atlan (also Aquaman’s dad) and Tsunami, she’s followed in her mother’s footsteps to become a heroic woman of the ocean.

Hourman III– The android from the 853rd Century. He spent most of his series learning about humanity and sacrificed himself in the JSA to bring the first Hourman back to life. That Hourman has returned the favor by slowly rebuilding Tyler and, for the purposes of my series, he would’ve completed the project.

Argus– Last showing up in JSA Classified as a victim of having his eyes removed (he got ‘em back) Argus is arguably the best thing to come out of Bloodlines (I say arguably because the people, they love Hitman). He’s an undercover FBI agent who has the ability to see beyond the normal spectrum and disappear into shadows.

Xero– A black professional basketball player who is, in fact, a hired government gun. Even better? He dresses up as a blond haired white guy to do it.

Mystek– Supposedly dead (but I ain’t buying it) the mysterious Mystek was a woman who dressed in a superhero costume that made her appear to be a man (she was like latter day Yentll, or Marvel’s Ronin) to even further conceal her identity.

I mentioned a few other characters, but I think that covers the important facets of my team. Hope that answered some questions for you.

The Shade is blasted.

That recent thread on the Blasters makes me want to know more about them. Aside from Snapper Carr was there any other recognizable names in the group.

I loved the Blasters. They probably the first spin off book that I collected on the strength of an original series. Here is their story;

During Invasion! the Dominators gather up 50 people from across the globe and put them through a test. The test was a deathtrap full of mines and high tech weapons and it was designed to see if folks had the metagene. Of the 50 who entered only 6 survived. Those six were:

Snapper Carr – He could teleport when the snapped his fingers.

Jolt – A Spanish model whose ability was to repel anything she came in contact with… anything.

Looking Glass – A British writer who could transform his body into a living mirror.

What kind of superpower is that?

Frag – An Austrian man who could become metal and fire explosive blasts.

Dust Devil – An Israeli child who could create a miniature tornado.

Crackpot – A conman from New Orleans who could convince anyone of anything, as long as he remained calm.

They were aided by Churljenkins a female feline from another planet, Gunther a rebelling Dominator and Ms. Levy, Dust Devil’s mom.

After Invasion! ended the six tried to resume normal lives to little success. Some found themselves in mental institutions (Snapper) while others could barely control their powers (Frag, Jolt).

Eventually Snapper got the band back together. And they decided to do the team thing, in space. Years later (in Valor #5-8) the Blasters got received a distress signal from Babbage, the AI on Valor’s ship. They aided him, but also unleashed the Unimaginable back upon the universe. In the aftermath of this adventure the fate of the Blasters was a mystery.

One piece of the mystery was revealed when Snapper turned up in Hourman sans powers. It was later revealed that the Blasters had survived the ordeal. However at a later date Snapper became separated from his team and didn’t know their fate. His trying to find them landed him in the custody of the Khunds. The Khunds cut off his hands. Snapper was later saved by L.E.G.I.O.N. and Vril regrew Snapper’s appendages.

And that’s the story of the Blasters.

Tim, do the Blasters sound even remotely interesting to you?

Honestly…no. Well, the Unimaginable does (is that Morrison thing ‘cause it sounds like it would be). But that’s about it.

Sadly that brings us to the end of another column.

But before I go, regular reader Glen Davis pointed out that I’ve slacked off on my asking you, the readers, questions at the close of the column. I’m guessing it’s because I usually do that toward the end of the writing session, so I’m usually pretty spent.

Anyway in an effort to make up for lost time here are five questions for you, the readers to answer, to make up for the four weeks that I slacked off:

#1 What’s your take on Wonder Woman being so behind schedule?

#2 Do you think that DC should have more teen group books?

#3 What five characters would you have visit their past selves, and why?

#4 How would you improve Nightwing’s title?

#5 What did you think about the opening arcs for the current JSA and JLA tiles?

Ok, now the column is over. But we will be back next week. Possible topics; islands in the DCU, screwed over characters and obscure characters. And of course your question may be answered as well, provided you ask it.

You can either post it on our thread or you can email it to me (mathan_e@hotmail.com).

Ok, seriously the column is over now.


“You were my favorite moment of our dead century.”


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