Who's Who in the DCU

Hey welcome back to your weekly distraction from sobering reality. Considering what’s happened, let’s make the most of it, shall we?

Tim, between Ben and Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns and Haagen Dazs’ Reserve line I’m finding that this is an amazing time to be a fan of ice cream. Do you have any favorite flavors or brands?

I’ve always been a huge fan of Chubby Hubby (pretzels covered with chocolate and filled with peanut butter?!!!!) and Half Baked from Ben and Jerry’s. I’d like to try the Americone Dream flavor, if for no other reason than to support Stephen Colbert. Hmm…what else?

Well, sufficed to say, I’m an ice cream fan. Sadly, while Janelle is too, she pretty much only allows frozen yogurt into our happy home. I mean, frozen yogurt is good and all, but it’s just not the same. Plus, far too few flavors in comparison with the real stuff.

And now I’m depressed. Thanks Mathan.

Links

Broken Dial

Beyond the Threshold

The DVD Lounge

Inside Fights

Machine Gun Funk

Moodspins

Not a True Ending

Popcorn Junkies

Primetime Pulse

Retro Grading

Tailgate Crashers

Visit our DC Boards and speculate about World War III.

Also check out the Starman Matt edition of Who’s Who in the DCU.

What I Read Last Week

Trials of Shazam #7Editor’s Note: Mathan has omitted this review because, really, you just don’t deserve its awesomeness. Question our use of the word “dig” will you?

Green Arrow #73 – I loved the stuff with Ollie and Connor. And I sort of dig appreciate the logic of why Ollie’s lying down. Clearly DC wants to take the character in a new direction and needs an out, which Judd is giving them. I also like the development with Brick.

Loveless #17 – Can I just say how much I love that Azzarello is playing Atticus, the sole Black lead on the book, a “not nice” guy. Some writers would shy away from making a Black character in a post Civil War story set in the South, unlikable, but not Azz.

All-Star Superman #7 – Tim, I echo your thoughts completely. It was a good issue, but it wasn’t great which is what we’ve come to expect. But yeah, the art was spectacular.

You know, it really was.

Fell #8 – First off, I’m glad the letters page is back. Secondly I loved this issue. I’m a sucker for when there’s a shift in format. This issue read like the creepiest episode of “Cops” ever.

Teen Titans #45 – Um, at this point I feel like I’m on runaway train and I’m just looking for the best spot to jump off. I don’t really care about this book or any of the characters anymore. And Tim; Match does look like Conner. It’s why he was recruited; for the psychological angle.

A chalk white, constantly degenerating version of him. I know why he was chosen, but I think how much he reminds them of Connor is WAY overplayed. It’s like saying Bizarro looks like Superman. Yes, same build, almost same facial structure, almost same costume, but nobody’s going to confuse the two.

After the Cape #2 – Wow, I didn’t expect the house of cards to crumble this quickly. This is going to be one really ugly ride.

52 Week Forty-Nine – Great cover (I like how all of the bullets are exhibiting personality). Great issue. Great fun. But man, isn’t that Black Adam stuff the definition of “foreboding”?

Yes, I believe it is. And it is a good thing.

Tales of the Unexpected #7 – Another great back up tale. From Tusky to Charlie Brown finally getting his revenge to the Architects, Chiang continues to impress. And Azzarello’s story just blows my mind.

Green Lantern Corps #11 – Gibbon’s run on this title has been leading to pages #18-19 of this issue. As a longtime GLC fan, seeing that segment knocked my socks off. I’m willing to overlook the stuff I don’t like about Gibbon’s run, because the guy knows his history.

Wonder Woman #7 – I really like the team of Johnson and Snyder, but I can’t figure out where I want them to land. It seems like Sarge is being made a villain to justify Amazon’s Attack. But seeing the Amazon’s again was fun.

JLA Classified #37 – Wait, is this really #37? Has it been that long since I dropped this book? Anyway, any story that Tim and I have built up as much as this one is bound to disappoint. But this one doesn’t, but it doesn’t really impress. I’m hoping it’s because for the longest I wanted to read it in one volume. I still can’t wait for the next chapter.

I am in the same boat, my friend. Same boat.

Alright, fine. Here’s your Trials of Shazam review. I hope you looooooooooooove it. Jerks.

Trials of Shazam #7 – I dig think the notion of Hercules in jail is an interesting one. This book really walks the balance between being too magical that I get bored and being a regular book. This issue almost stepped into the former.

And now, onto the column proper.

YAY!

Mark Poa is mad, MAD I TELL YOU, with power

Can you give us a lowdown on who are the mad scientists in Oolong island in 52? I’m wondering who the hell “I.Q.” is.

Aaron, less so.

I caught a glimpse of Dr. Cyclops in “52”. How ’bout a quick little background? He seems, uh…less than threatening.

But Glen D.? Crazier than them all.

Who was the Krabb that Dr. Will Magnus stole the gold watch from?

T.O. Morrow – T.O. Morrow was your typical mad scientist only his fixation was the future. While he failed at actually traveling through time, he did make a device that allowed him to witness the future. He used that device to copy the tech he saw in the future. Eventually he built a “fourth dimensional grapple beam” which allowed him to actually steal the tech he was witnessing.

He bumped heads with the Flash and Green Lantern, and the entire Justice League. Plus he created the second Red Tornado.

Baron Bug – This gent first appeared in House of Mystery #163. He was a foe of Robby Reed the guy who had the dial by which you’d Dial H For Hero. His whole thing is that he enlarges bugs to do his bidding.

Dr. Death – The dude is an old school Batman villain. How old school? Try Detective Comics #29, old. But he’s appeared more recently on the pages of Batgirl.

Rigoro Mortis – Also went up against Robby Reed. First he made the Super Hood robot. Then he sent the robot on the errand to set traps for super heroes. But poor Mortis didn’t realize that Robby Reed was the only hero in town.

Dr. Cyclops – Thus guy showed up in the House of Mysery #164“The Villain with the Doomsday Stare.” He used his super spectacles to cause trouble for Robby Reed. And he’s way threatening.

WAY THREATENING!

Komrade Krabb – Sadly everything that I’ve found points to Krabb being a brand new character. But hopefully he’ll have a long and eventful career.

Ira Quimby – Ira was your basically your below average (in intelligence) crook. However, as he was sitting in the Midway Museum he suddenly had a brilliant plan for a heist. He built some high tech stuff and he and his gang embarked on their scheme. It was foiled by those rascally Hawks.

Eventually he made his way back to the museum and had another brainstorm. Again it was foiled by the Hawks. Finally on his third drop to the museum he realized that something there was boosting his brainpower.

Long story short (oops too late for that) it was an alien stone, which when placed in sunlight gave off an aura that boosted Ira’s intellect. After being exposed to it for a long period of time Ira internalized its power, so that now all he needs to do is sit in the sun and he’s a brainiac.

Dr. Tyme – This foe of the Doom Patrol used a gun to slow speed down, which caused him to move at relative super speed.

Tim, weren’t you thinking of getting a summer home on Oolong Island? How’d you like to have these guys as your neighbors?

Eh, they’re alright. A little loud at night, but we’ve talked about and I think things are cool now.

They really do have excellent parties though and you should see the ladies in their running crew. Good times man, good times.

By this point, The Shade is just speaking nonsense

Okay I have gap in my Breakdowns collection. What happened after the JLI were lured onto Kooey Kooey Kooey

You mean the part where Dreamslayer and Silver Sorceress fought to the death, and both died? Or do you mean the part where Silver Sorceress was buried on the island?

Here’s some back story for those of you who aren’t familiar with the fantastic island of Kooey Kooey Kooey. First off, the island was alive, in that it wasn’t completely stationary and was known to venture around the ocean.

Secondly its natives brokered a deal with Max Lord so that the JLI to do the whole annexation thing. Of course this resulted in perhaps the most infamous Blue & Gold (that’s Blue Beetle and Booster Gold for you squares) debacles; Club JLI. It was a casino. It was a resort. It was doomed to fail.

And fail it did, when Big Sir pulled a “Rain Man” and broke the bank.

Much later Dreamslayer used it as the place to take Mitch Wacky and make him recreated the Extremists. And then I already told you about the whole battle to the death thing.

Tim, do you have any notable gaps in your collection?

Notable? Not really. Some little things frustrated me though. Like I have four of the six issues of that Argus miniseries from a few years back, I’m missing one of the issues of the Janus Directive crossover between the Suicide Squad, Checkmate, and Manhunter, some KnightsQuest issues (but really…do I need them)…not much noteworthy. I think I have cooler gaps on the Marvel side of my collection, but sadly, this isn’t that kind of column.

Apparently, we’re just a travel agency to The Shade

Speaking of said island what happened to it after JLI ended is it another thing which was quietly forgot of

It was forgotten about. That is until the most recent Suicide Squad title. Y’see Kooey Kooey Kooey was hit by a giant tidal wave (as opposed to miniscule one) and met its end in Suicide Squad #7-8. And who was the dastardly writer who killed off the fan favorite island? None other than Keith Giffen, the island’s cocreator.

Sure, in theory Kooey Kooey Kooey is still out there with Herb and the Chief, but it’s highly unlikely.

Tim, where would you rather be stuck; on Kooey Kooey Kooey or the island from Lost?

The island from Lost, no doubt. Sure it’s more dangerous but at least I wouldn’t spend every moment being embarrassed to be there.

Aaron doesn’t have much use for renown

I’m seeing ads that feature “renowned authors” like Tad Williams and Jodi Picoult now writing titles like Aquaman and Wonder Woman. I don’t know if either have previous comic experience, but it seems like more titles are going outside the industry to find good (or at least “name brand”) writers. Am I imagining things?

Nope, you’re not imagining things at all.

The current trend in comics is to get talent from another medium (like television or fantasy fiction), put them on a book and hopefully boost sales and increase readership for comics as a whole.

I’ve sampled a variety of offerings that I’ve seen that they run the gamut in terms of quality. Allan Heinberg’s (an executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy) run on Wonder Woman was entertaining but was (and is) incredibly late. The aforementioned Picoult’s run on the same title has been adequate.

William’s miniseries The Next did nothing for me. In fact I dropped it after like two issues. But Christos Gage’s (who has written for Law & Order: SVU) comic stuff has been pretty fun. I’m really loving his Stormwatch PHD title.


Christos Gage, The Gold Standard of Crossover Talent.

So, you’re right about the industry looking outside for scribes, but it isn’t as though the two examples you mentioned are really high profile books. Those writers are on those books in an effort to bring a buzz to the character as much as to the book.

It really sucks that DC doesn’t look too far outside the industry, like say to this very website. I mean Starman Matt has some great ideas for fixing Green Arrow (here’s the link again.)

Tim, how do you feel about “outsiders” writing comics?

Writers are writers. If they can do the work, then, please, hire them. I hate Hate HATE HAAAAAAATE the attitude that a lot of comic fans whenever an “outsider” gets hired. It is all “how dare they” and “holier than thou” because, god forbid, the comic book community not be incestuous and totally inclusive every moment of every day.

This isn’t to say that you should hire outside talent all willy nilly like. Yes, we should make sure people still hit deadlines and so on. Yes, we should make sure that they can write in the comic book format, not just write period. But talent wise there is absolutely no reason not to hire novelists, screenwriters, or journalists. In fact, we SHOULD do it. And we should not instantly assume just because a writer is hired from the outside that they a.) will miss deadlines and b.) somehow look down on comics and treat it as “second” job. The proof is in the delivery so let’s give people the benefit of the doubt, eh?

Also, comic companies should hire Mathan and myself to write for them. We have gold here people. GOLD!

Mark Poa detects a trend…six months after the rest of us

I thought Red Arrow was just part of the Kingdom Come influence on the current DC universe. So far we’ve got…

Red Arrow
Starman
Jakeem Thunder
Wildcat
Batman’s kid by Talia

I’m probably missing quite a few… are there any others with Kingdom Come influences?

Man, I’ve really got to thank Wizard for doing the heavy lifting on this one. The March issues features the story “Kingdom Come Connection” which runs down the characters who appeared in Kingdom Come and have popped up in the modern DCU. (And really helping me out is the least Wizard can do since gave up my former partner in crime Ben Morse so that they could have a nifty staff writer.)

Anyway here’s a list (not including the ones you mentioned)


Offspring – Plastic Man’s son had his own one-shot as part of the almost tolerable Kingdom event. And on the pages of 52 we actually Luke suit up and join the Teen Titans, for a spell.


Zatara – Another character who appeared in both Kingdom Come and 52. But he played more of a role in Teen Titans.


Rebel – This guy who was fighting Damage in Justice League of America #1 was supposed to be Von Bach.


Swastika – This member of the Fourth Reich played a role in Kingdom Come.


The Brain Trust – They showed up way back in JLA Annual #1, hot off the heels of their Kingdom Come appearance.


Northwind – His appearance in the previous JSA title featured him looking strangely like the Hawkman in Kingdom Come a sort of half man/half bird creature.


Kid Flash – Wally West’s daughter from the future that was Kingdom Come showed up back in the day in The Flash, but hasn’t been seen since.

That’s all the Wizard has, and they to it straight from the horses mouth.

Tim, is all of this Kingdom Come stuff really opening a can of worms?

I…I don’t really know how to answer that. Do I think it is a good idea? Not particularly. I love Kingdom Come, but it is meant as an alternate possible future. Poaching ideas from it just strikes me as lazy when we are doing it at this rate.

Also, it encourages idiots at conventions to ask if DC is heading toward Kingdom Come continuity. God, I hate that question!

Soak1313 goes for the green

I have some GL Corps questions. Can I get some background on the Green Man and Sodam Yat? i never really followed any GL titles before now and was curious about these 2 characters.

Well the original Green Man hailed from Uxor in Sector 2828. Now what you’ve got to understand about Uxor is that it’s a place where individuality is frowned upon. People don’t have names, they are called by their profession.

The original Green Man longed for individuality and found it in the Green Lantern Corps. He was a model GL, almost too model. Y’see the Guardians of the Universe had a pact with the Psions; the Guardians promised not to interfere with whatever the Psions were involved in. As a result Green Lanterns weren’t supposed to enter into Vegan Space.

But Green Man did just that by aiding the Omega Men. However once in Vegan space he stopped using his ring. Eventually he lost his ring and battery, but he gained a teleportation power and joined the Omega Men.

Sadly he died during Invasion! Thus there’s a new Green Man from Uxor who’s appearing in Green Lantern Corps.

As for Sodam Yat, in order to fully appreciate Green Lantern Corps #11 but specifically pages #18-19 of the issue, it’s a must that you get your hands on Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2 (actually I’m sure that the tale is available in one of the “Alan Moore” trades that DCU has put out so that might be easier to get.)

Anyway, that issue features the tale “Tyger” and it’s about Abin Sur (Hal Jordan’s predecessor) trying to save a kid who’s ship has landed on a planet that Guardians have imprisoned some vile villains, the Empire of Tears, on. One of them, Quill of the Five Inversions, promises to answer three questions.

Despite his better judgment Abin asks him three questions. The first is where the girl is, which Quill gives her whereabouts. For the second question, Abin asks about his own death. Quill tells a tale, which we know turns out to be the truth.

But the final question Abin asks is about the final battle of the Green Lantern Corps. And Quill’s answer is just as the Guardians says on page #18 of the latest Green Lantern Corps issue.

Now I’m not going to lie, I got completely “fanboy” while reading that part. I mean, sure it’s cool seeing Kingdom Come influencing the DCU, but imagine a seed, which was planted in 1986, coming to fruition 21 years later. I was completely slayed!

Plus that story really stuck in my mind. I mean I didn’t know who Alan Moore was at the time, all I wanted was to get my hand on everything Green Lantern related. But Kevin O’Neill’s art completely weirded me out. I swear to you, that story still sticks in my mind as one of the creepiest things I’ve seen. You’ve got to check it out.

Tim, isn’t it nutty how Alan Moore is still having influence on the DCU to this very day?

A bit. And I’m sure, given his relationship with DC, he just loves it so.

Admiral Snackbar doesn’t dig us at all. Seriously. No digging at all. Zero diggage.

Can you guys come up with a better way to review something other than saying “I dug this issue” or “I wasn’t digging the art” or “I really did dig that last issue of Green Lantern” etc. Just put the shovels away please. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that none of you say that in real life. I’ve never heard anyone use the term at all in my day to day life. Maybe it’s just me though.


“You want to come down to the underground
Old school – here’s a shovel can you dig it fool”

Well I can attest to the fact that I do indeed “dig” things out in the real world. In fact I pretty much write the way I talk (hence the use of “slayed” and “weirded.”) Actually you should try to track down That Bootleg Guy, as he’s one of the few people who’ve actually met me in person. He’ll tell you that I “sound” the same.

But more to the point, the reason why I’m less than verbose when I’m describing “What I Read Last Week” is because it’s the final thing I do before I send the column off to Tim. Little known fact: everything that comes before the first question and after the last one are the last parts of the column to get done.

Another piece of the puzzle; I’m usually writing the column late night Tuesday – early am Wednesday. In fact if you sign on AIM until like 3:45am, chance are you’ll see “mathboogie” is on (but away.) That’s me.

So I do those parts right before I go to bed and after a full night of writing. Plus, generally I’m just looking at the covers and trying to remember what happened on the pages inside. While I’m struggling to stay awake.

This is why I’ve stopped writing clever things for the links. It’s also why “my question to you” went missing for a few weeks.

But for you, I’ll work on increasing my vocabulary, starting this very column! (Though, at this point you already know if my attempt met with success.)

Man Tim, I hope that I’ve got my thesaurus handy.

Me too. I totally dig thesauruses. They are boss, not beat at all. What is beat are people that mock the way we speak/write. Not cool man, not cool.

You know what else I dig? Puppies. I dig those huge! They are hella cool. And wicked cute.

The Shade needs a bigger boat

Who is the Great White Shark?

Fortunately, this is one of those questions that we’ve gone over before, because my hand could use a break right about now.


Just as cute as can be.

Warren “Great White Shark” White was a great investor. But he was also great at bilking folks out of loot. He was a fraud. When he was brought up on charges he had the bright idea of pleading insanity to try to get a lighter sentence. His problem was that he was in Gotham and ended up being sent to Arkham Asylum.

While there he had a tough go. He ran up against Two-Face and almost became a victim of Jane Doe. As a result of Jane’s plot, she locked White a freezer. While there his skin became frostbitten and turned pale white. He also lost his nose and lips to the cold, which caused him to resemble his namesake a bit more. Warren was eventually driven over the edge, to the point where he became content to stay in Arkham and “fix” things from the inside.

And we’ve yet to see him again. But then again we’ve not been to Arkham in a while either.

Tim, do you think anyone will ever do anything cool with Great White Shark?

Could happen. They’d have to work hard not to just do a redux of Killer Croc’s early years though. What I’d really love is Great White Shark never getting out of Arkham but controlling things from behind the glass. The puppet master/untouchable feel that it would lend the question would be very cool and unique, currently at least, in the Batverse.

W. Harmon is a long time reader, first time writer.

I love the Who’s Who and read it every week. The only issue is it often leaves me with a desire to learn more for myself. So while running through Wikipedia entries I started to think about Spoiler, and Mr. Didio’s continual insistence that she not get a memorial in the Batcave. Then a thought occurred to me. Is it possible that, in an effort to show Batman the error of his ways, Leslie Thompkins hid a very much alive Steph away instead of intentionally killing her?

Ooh Tim, we get to revisit your favorite subject this side of the Legion of Super-Heroes!

I want to state for the record that I’m pro Leslie Thompkins trying to teach Bruce a lesson by killing Steph. Don’t get me wrong, I dig enjoyed Steph’s presence in the DCU, but I like the idea of a character being so fed up with another character that it drives her to take extreme measures.

I mean honestly, it’d be like if I saved a kid and he grew up to be a Karl Rove! I’d really have to ponder that if I had the chance to do it all over again.

And that’s exactly what Leslie had to do. Leslie had to watch Bruce bring in Dick, Jason and Tim to be patched up, all because she enabled a young Bruce Wayne. Finally she’d had enough, snapped and took a drastic measure in hopes of getting Bruce to realize the folly of his ways.

C’mon, we’ve seen Alfred disagree with Bruce and refuse to help. This is really just a little different.

But to answer your question, I don’t think that Leslie hid a live Steph anywhere. I’m pretty sure that Batman did some DNA tests to make sure it was Steph. Furthermore I don’t see how Leslie could keep the strong willed Steph from returning to Gotham.

However if somehow the Red Hood were involved and he managed to not only save Steph but recruit her to his “sidekicks with a spine” campaign, I’d be all there.

Tim, aren’t you all goosepimply at the thought of your favorite tales being retconned?

I actually pitched this as part of the teen superteam thing we did a few issues back. I had Spoiler on my team, alive and well because she was hidden away by Leslie. Leslie had taken Steph on a world tour of sorts to convince her that the way of the Bat was wrong. Steph dutifully went along with the medical missionary work and ultimately decided that there was a balance to be struck between both paths because, hey, she’s not obstinate and capable of something besides all or nothing thought.

I like the idea because it is the best possible outcome of a terrible storyline. Leslie is redeemed (at least somewhat) and Steph is alive and well. Spoiler has a new reason for being (with her father largely a nonentity in Gotham these days) and Gotham has a vigilante that Batman does not want to be there. It’d be like the old Huntress/Batman model except Spoiler’s “credentials” to disagree with Bruce are not tarnished by a ridiculously violent nature.

So, actually, a retcon would sit quite nicely with me.

And, lest we forget, it is never okay to kill someone, especially a kid, to prove a point. You hear me Dr. Thompkins?

Glen is the most random human being ever.

What did you think of the Rush City mini series?

Yeah, about that book, I never picked it up.

I know, I know it looks like I read very comic published by DC, but I really don’t. I recall the house ads for the book. I even remember seeing the first issue on the stands. I almost wanted to pick it up because (I think) Timothy Green was doing the art and Jock was on covers. But I didn’t.

So basically my thoughts are; it happened, but now it’s over.

Tim, you have any thoughts on the book?

A book so uninteresting even it being penned by Chuck Dixon didn’t make me want to buy it.

And sadly that brings us to the end of yet another issue.

But who knows what next week will bring? It might feature Azrael. Or maybe it’ll have our opinions on the must underused characters. Or perhaps it’ll your question which gets answered. Provided you drop it our way.

Have we been promising Azrael for like….10 months now?

You could email it to me (mathan_e@hotmail.com) or you post it over on our very own thread. It’s way more fun if you post rather than lurk.

Oh and before we go here’s my question to you How would you fix Green Arrow?

“In my mind I’m crawling on your floor; vomiting and defeated.”

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