Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, there haven’t been too many cancellations lately, aren’t you kind of scared?

Terrified. It is only the calm before the Great Culling, I know it. Currently, I am hiding characters like The All-New Atom and everyone from Checkmate at a bunker offsite so DC cannot get to them. It is a temporary solution at best, I know, but it is all I can do. Please help by praying to whatever God you worship (although, as we all know, there is only one God. The Christian one. Sorry Buddhists. Tough luck.) for the salvation of these heroes. PRAY WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT!

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Visit our DC Boards, where we salute patriotic wang.

Are you linking anything this week?

I kind of owe to everyone after several weeks of no links, right?

So I second Mathan’s link because there really is nothing like a package that you can’t help but salute.

And to keep things from getting too testosterone-y (the real San Francisco Treat!) around here, I give you Girls With Slingshots which has just gone daily! WOOHOO!

What I’ve Read Last Week Recently

Justice League of America #10 – Loved the issue. Not only do we get Wally West back, but we get some cool character moments too. This was a thoroughly enjoyable crossover, plus it featured my favorite version of the Legion.

It was…fine. I’m not going to say it was bad because it wasn’t and it was probably the best Justice League installment of this crossover. It just felt like we covered a lot of ground for very little reason. A comic has to work extra hard to leave me only mildly pleased with the return of Wally West and this one did it. So…make of that what you will.

Ex Machina #29 – I’m kind of wary of parallel universe given the tone of this book and I’m going to miss Zeller. But the ending was cool, in an eerie sort of way. Still Zeller did do a great deal of hinting about the future, so that was nice.

In theory, I completely agree about the parallel universe thing. However, in execution, BKV totally made it work. How did that happen?

The Highwaymen #1 – This was a fun little read. It’s action packed and pretty well written. Plus Lee Garbett’s art kind of reminds me of Frank Quietly. This looks to be a promising mini.

The Spirit #7 – This was solid one-off. I really enjoyed every tale and it was kind a neat departure from the usual issue long story. I honestly barely missed Cooke.

Brave & the Bold #4 – Once again, this book delivers the goods. Blue Beetle was fun and the Supergirl/Lobo stuff was actually enjoyable. Plus Waid gets to write the LSH again next issue. I don’t know how he does it, but Waid mades this book work. And Perez and Wiacek never fail in terms of art.

The Flash #13 – Wow. I really didn’t expect Bart to die. That was heavy. But it plays nicely into what’s going on with the Rogues in Countdown. And even though I loved Impulse and grew to care about Kid Flash, I felt that Bart dying was probably putting him out of his misery. Though, I’m betting that he’s in the lightning rod in JLA #10.

Actually, that’d be great. Especially if that version of the Legion includes XS.

I actually liked this issue (and this arc) a bit. I was persuaded to pick it up by the presence of the Black Flash (note for DC in the future: including the Black Flash and the Rogues in a single issue is something I can never resist buying) and didn’t regret it. I dislike what it accomplished because I think it is evidence of DC totally not understanding why the book didn’t work, but judging it apart from that, it read well.

Checkmate #15 – Good issue. The torture was pretty heavy and very brutal, but overall I really liked what happened, until Batman arrived. This is my second favorite team book crossover this month.

You kidding me? Batman being there is great news! We finally get to see him make Mr. Terrific cry when Bats makes cutting remarks about getting there first with Sasha. AWESOME!

Catwoman #68 – I was so afraid for Helena it wasn’t even funny. Pfeifer crafted a great issue full of suspense that was truly gripping. My stomach was literally in knots. I truly love this book.

So underrated! I wish I had room in my offsite bunker for this book because things don’t look good and that’s a real shame.

Crossing Midnight #8 – Man, this book is a trip. I love that fact that we’ve yet to have a fill in artist. I also love how the rules of the world that Carey’s created are carefully being revealed. I highly recommend that folks try out the first trade.

JSA Classified #27 – What the hell? Why did this two part tale have two different artists? Why did parts of this issue read like a bad after school special? In fact the only good thing about this issue was that they showed Desaad has been doing behind the scenes stuff in the DCU. But that’s about it.

Wonder Woman #10 – This book doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. I generally like the tone, but it seems to have a lack of direction that might stem from having at least two writers in ten issues. Boo.

Black Panther #28 – Zombies? More boo. It’s like this book is two, two, two Marvel tie-ins in one. This book just seems to be trying too hard. Or maybe it’s the inclusion of Storm, Thing and Human Torch that’s turning me off.

Countdown #45 & 44 – I liked seeing Donna Troy cut loose in #45, it’s certainly one of the best moments in recent memory. I dug Mary’s confrontation with Billy. And I’m glad that Monarch is taking a more active role in the DCU. Plus the Holly stuff is very intriguing.

Green Lantern Annual Sinestro Corps Special #1 – I loved this issue. So worth the wait. It so lived up to the hype. Great to see Zoom again. The thing with Superboy-Prime getting out and Kyle becoming Parallax were some great moments (especially how Sinestro got him.) Even Sinestro’s oath worked.

I honestly really, really liked it. Loved the art, enjoyed the story. I still think Kyle as Parallax is a bit hokey, but damn if the setup didn’t win me over.

X-Factor #20 – Good issue. It didn’t knock my socks off. The whole thing with the terrorists was kind of boring to me. But seeing Quicksilver in the limelight was enjoyable.

Teen Titans #48 – Not really a fun issue. Maybe it suffered from being a tie in issue, maybe not. But my love affair with this book is nearing its end. It’s going to take something extremely compelling to keep me reading this title.

You read Titans start to finish and you’re ready to jump ship on this book? Not that I disagree, I just like to mention that you read Titans start to finish. It is funny!

Blue Beetle #16 – This issue was so good! Not only do we get the regular team back, but we get Eclipso and Tracy 13? More fun romantic tension. And the dentist bit was hilarious. Seriously, this book is honoring the spirit of Ted Kord. Again, I think folks who haven’t read the book need to try the trades.

How great was it when Eclipso more or less apologized for Jean killing Sue Dibny? How evil are you when Eclipso wants no credit for your choices?

Fallen Angel #17 – Interesting. I dug the flipbook nature more than the actual story. I’d much rather read a Bete Noire tale than one featuring a guest-star.

Supergirl & the Legion of Super-heroes #31 – Wow the quality of story had declined. I’m going to give Bedard a few issues to find his footing, but he does not impress me at all. Not even with the inclusion of Tenzil Kem.

Seriously, you guys need to send some questions my way. Otherwise we’ll end with a summer full of reruns, and y’all don’t want that? Do you?

I’m about this close to coming to all your houses and punching you in the mouth, hard, until you ask questions. Seriously. Did I mention it would be hard?

Charles H. sees things correctly

Why does everyone seem to blame Batman for the Brother Eye and the OMACs? I mean, yes, he did create Brother Eye as a big spy satellite, but as far as I remember he didn’t create the OMACs and didn’t turn Brother Eye into a dimensionally shifting, sentient supercomputer. Did I miss something?

Whoa! Charles, I think that you’re letting Bruce off the hook prematurely. I mean did Batman create the OMAC’s? No he didn’t, but he planted the seeds.

Think about it like this: Batman’s paranoia is what put the Brother Eye in space in the first place. Sure Max Lord discovered the satellite and, after introducing OMAC nanites into the world populace used it to OMAC-tivate folks. But Batman took that first step down that slippery slope.

If Batman hadn’t put the satellite up who knows what Alex Luthor would have done, not having a hunk of metal to give sentience to. And really, the OMAC’s utilized the information gathered by Batman when battling the heroes and villains they encountered. Those “Alpha” designations came from Bruce’s files. His fingerprints are all over the OMAC ordeal.

You cannot absolve Batman of his responsibility for the OMAC’s.

Tim, are you with the defense or the prosecution?

Let’s see if you can guess from the following argument.

Yes, but why stop there? I mean, Batman only created Brother I because of his mind being erased because of opposing the mind erasure of Doctor Light, so isn’t it the Justice League’s fault?

On the other hand, the Justice League never would’ve mindwiped Dr. Light if he hadn’t tried to rape Sue Dibny so OMAC is his fault, right?

(I’ll skip the whole “what if Sue never visited the satellite” step because, frankly, I don’t like where that goes).

If Ralph had never become Elongated Man and/or had never wooed Sue, she never would have been in danger of being a victim. Ralph = OMAC then, logically.

Or not. What of those contortionists that Ralph was obsessed with as a kid that led to him discovering Gingold that activated his metagene? Without them, no Elongated Man, no Sue Dibny being raped, no mindwipe Dr. Light, no mindwiped and thus ultra paranoid Batman, no Brother I, and, finally, no OMACS.

So, there you have it. Contortionists are to blame. For this and so many other things.


EEEEEEEEEVIL!

Jason R. reaches out.

If you had to pick one single comic book to get a non-fan interested in comics, which would you choose? I mean a single issue, no trade paperbacks or collected editions. Let’s assume this person is a complete and utter non-comic fan and is giving you 10 minutes of reading time to enlighten them.

Oh man. These questions are always tough. Honestly, any of the stand alone issues of Human Target (most notably #6 or 10) would probably be pretty high on my list. I loved the title and mourn its passing to this day.

I’d second that. Love me some Human Target. LOVE IT!

And by the way, it works. Janelle still cites this series as her favorite and, without it, no way she’d be reading comics. No way.

Black Lightning #5 is another of my favorite issues. It’s a great “character” issue and really provides insight into Jefferson Pierce. I wish that more creators who were planning to write the character would read it.

Green Lantern: Mosaic #4 (wow, has it really been 15 years?) is yet another fave.

But you asked me what comic I’d get to get someone into comics. And for that I’d have to say Superman Annual #11 fits the bill.

“For the Man Who Has Everything” is, in my mind, probably the best single comic issue. It’s got traditional comic action, Batman, Wonder Woman and Robin. It’s fun, thrilling and tragic. It’s even got humorous bits. I’m telling you, this is the most complete comic issue that I’ve ever read.

I don’t see how someone could read that comic and not be touched or have the desire to read more about Superman. That issue makes me a fan of Superman every time I read it.

Another I’d gladly second.

Tim, what are some of your favorite single issues and which would you use to sell the medium?

This is always tough. I tend to drift more toward the two issue jobbers for converting people (A Gotham Tale, Uncle Sam, etc), but single issues always seem tougher to dream up.

Since this is a DC column, I’ll give you my DC choices.

Batman: Ego is a great story with gorgeous art from Cooke. It is strange and compelling and will definitely peek an individual’s interest in Batman as something deeper than a guy who punches stuff while wearing a mask.

If the individual drifts more the diabolical, any of Johns’ Rogue Spotlight stories in Flash are fine choices. Captain Cold’s from issue #182 is the cream of the crop, but Pied Piper (#190), Zoom (#197), Mirror Master (#212), and Heatwave (#218) all were profiled with only the Pied Piper one not quite working for me.

Animal Man #5 is one to show anyone who thinks comics aren’t clever or smart or fans of very meta-fiction. It’s pretty genius, truth be told.

For a more recent choice, you can’t go wrong with All-Star Superman #4 which is crazy, fun, and so overblown I challenge anyone, comic fan or not, not to delight in it.

I could probably keep this up all day, but we have still more questions to tackle. So, for now, those are some suggestions.

Soak1313 believes in a higher power

I was wondering where Zauriel has been between his JLA stint and his recent appearance in Shadowpact.

Ugh. You do realize that you’re about to travel down a path from which there is no return. There’s no coming back from this, once the door is opened it cannot be closed.

This is your last warning, turn back now if you desire your sanity.

Ok, that was your last warning.

After his time with the JLA, Zauriel spent some time hanging out with the Spectre… the Hal Jordan Spectre. They spent some time together in Legends of the DC Universe #36 and Spectre #2-4 and Spectre #24.

Most recently Zauriel had his own Helmet of Fate one-shot. You remember the Helmet of Fate one-shots don’t you? Those five books that were supposed to set up a Dr. Fate title that’s been pushed back and downgraded to a mini? Oh, that’s right, they weren’t that memorable.

But that’s what Zauriel’s been up to. And even though he’s in the Shadowpact he should still be lucky he’s not faded into obscurity like, oh let’s say Bloodwynd.

Tim, you’re a fan of Zauriel, explain the allure.

Well, for one thing, he’s a Grant Morrison creation and I have a weakness for Mr. Morrison. Especially considering that Zauriel was a creation from JLA, the book I more or less owe my interest in comics too.

Beyond that, however, I loved that he was a humanist in the realest sense of the world. He was so pro humanity that despite watching us destroy ourselves for years and years, he still could fall in love with an earth woman. And sacrifice his entire way of life for her. And, after all that, accept that she had a fiancée and step out of her life gracefully.

He was a bit goofy, utterly obsessed with collecting (and who of us can’t relate to that), and through and through a hero.

These days though, he is more like a heavenly assassin and that seems a waste to me.

Charles H. wants to thank you for doing the jobs nobody wants to, Wildfire.

Since when is Wildfire in a robotic body? I thought that he was just a container suit full of anti-matter energy. Suddenly he is Red Tornado v.2? Huh?

I’m guessing that you’re referring to the conversation the two shared in Justice League of America #9.

My take on that convo is that they’re relating being sans human bodies. It’s not that Wildfire is saying “I know what it’s like to be in a robot body” it’s more of an “I know what it’s like to lose my flesh and blood form.” Drake is telling John “it gets better.”

When you read it like that it makes more sense and fits with the characters. Especially when you consider that Red Tornado only recently lost his human form.

Um, Tim, what’d you think of the recent JLA/JSA/(LSH) crossover?

Goodness that was a healthy slice of continuity porn, wasn’t it?

Honestly, I think it was a waste of a crossover. It could’ve been so much more, so much cooler, but it seemed utterly obsessed with resurrecting obscure bits of trivia to give all of us geeks stuff to giggle over.

That said, none of the issues were without neat moments. Which to me makes it all the more frustrating. These two writers know how to write good stories but they let their love of comics’ past prevent them from writing something worthwhile in the present. Honoring the past can be worthwhile, indulging in “remember this? And remember that? And what about that?” rarely is.

Glen has the balls to ask us a question.

In the new ish of JSA Classified, there is a guy they are calling Sportsmaster. Is this a new Sportsmaster? He doesn’t look old enough to be a golden age villain, not even old enough to be Tigress’s father. Wasn’t the original married to the original Huntress? Whatever happened to her? There have been allusion to the original Huntress having…”relations” with both Wildcat and the Paul Kirk Manhunter, what’s the deal there?

Ok, the thing about the Sportsmaster is that he’s dead. However that doesn’t keep a good or Golden Age villain down. Accordingly he’s been cloned by the Council who used those clones as their foot soldiers to do their dirty work. So that’s probably who Wildcat was hanging out with.


Me? Oh, I’m just being awesome. Like usual.

And now for Paula Brooks.

In the Pre-Crisis DCU Paula Brooks as the Huntress was a foe of Wildcat and was married to Sportsmaster. They had a child who grew up to be Artemis/Tigress II.

However in the Post Crisis DCU was first introduced as the heroic Tigress on the pages of Young All-Stars. She was a part of the team and participated with them on many adventures. She absolutely worshiped Paul Kirk at the time.

During one adventure however she was mortally wounded. After her subsequent resurrection she cut all ties with the Young All-Stars and presumably began her journey toward becoming the villainous Huntress.

However apparently Paul Kirk staved off her trip to the dark side, because the two were seen in tandem during the JSA Returns event. During that storyline, in All-Star Comics #2 is when she referred to him as “lover” fueling speculation that the two had become intimate.

Of course at some point after that adventure Paula fully embraced villainy as the Huntress. She married Sportsmaster and had her daughter.

Sadly I couldn’t find any mention of her shacking up with Wildcat.

Tim, Golden Age villains; viable or retire-able?

When their name is Sportsmaster and they specialize in sports related weaponary, the answer is always “viable.”

The Shade is still surprised by resurrections. In this day and age?

Hippolyta is alive again when did this happen?

This actually happened as part of the Amazons Attack storyline. Circe resurrected her. But the storyline is still ongoing so maybe it’s not really Hippolyta. Who knows?

Wow, that was a quick one, wasn’t it Tim?

Umm…yes?

Well, at least Charles H. recognizes that it is “cool and all.”

Has it ever been explained why Mr. Terrific (v.2) is invisible to machines? I mean cool and all, but why?

Has it ever!

Y’know Mr. Terrific’s mask? That “T” shaped thing on his face? That’s his mask and it’s loaded with nanotech, which makes him invisible to technology. It’s the reason why OMAC’s couldn’t see him. It’s why he’s so great at being covert.

But that mask is even cooler than that. It’s actually bonded to his face on a molecular level, meaning it’s always there. He can make is vanish. It’s also pretty much the focal point for all of technological gizmos, including his T-spheres.

It goes back to his being a tech wiz and having developed all of these devices himself. And that’s why he’s Mister Terrific.

Tim, do you think that Mister Terrific lives up to his name?

Oh boy does he ever!

I really have nothing else to say here. I just really like Mr. Terrific.

Julian L. Smith creates corporate synergy where we fail

From the 07-02-07 WoQW article:

Robin says, “…Then Batman and I decide to take a year off and it turns out the reason he was such a jerk who fired Spoiler was because he had some kind of evil bat demon in him.”

Mathan, please explain. I don’t read the bat-books, but was under the impression that they steered clear of magic and such. Also, he had a bat demon inside and nobody noticed? Ah, just explain if you can, please.

Oh WoQW, our most consistently thought provoking column here at the Nexus. You even provide questions for my column? Talk about synergy! Is there nothing that you can’t do?

But to answer your question Julian, that line is actually referencing an issue of 52 (#30 to be specific) where Batman encounters the Ten-Eyed Men of the Empty Quarter, a nomadic tribe that specializes in exorcising demons. He gives one a beatdown and asks for their aid in making him better. When he later encounters Robin he basically says that all of the negative aspect of Batman have been vanquished. And that is what Paul was alluding to in his WoQW.

Thus we’ve come to the end of yet another column. But we’ll be back next week with tons of new questions, provided that you submit them. You can either post them on our thread (where joining is easy and new folks are always welcome) or you can email them to me.

But before I go here’s my question to you; what did you think of the Sinestro Corps Special?

“Three words is all it takes to break your heart in two.”

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