Who's Who in the DCU


Tim, the dog days of summer are here. How you feel about the summer movies you went to see?

Overall, I did a pretty good job of avoiding lousy films this summer which both pleases and saddens me. Don’t get me wrong, I love good movies and having extra money in my pocket because of avoiding bad movies, but there is something to be said for the galvanizing experience of going through a bad movie with friends. For instance, I can name check Black Dahlia with Tim Sheridan and Janelle and we all “get” it. It’s like we fought together in the same platoon…if being in a war involved popcorn and not getting shot at.

In any case, my pick for best summer flick (that I saw) would probably be the Bourne Ultimatum and the worst was either the mediocre and instantly forgettable Shrek 3 or the nigh insulting Pirates of the Caribbean 3.


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

Our DCU Boards is full of tons of discussion about the nature of Power Boy, Rod Johnson’s heroic identity and revisiting Elseworlds?

Tim, something tells me you’ve got something to link this week.

I do indeed. GODTUBE!!! Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindi, Atheist, etc, you owe it to yourself to check this thing out and watch a few videos. They range from the unapologetically dogmatic and still way silly (“Abstinence”) to the funny even if I completely disagree (“8 Reasons I Don’t Others About My Faith”) to the interesting in that it points out a trend in Christianity I was unaware of (the “I’m a Christian, I’m a Follower of Christ” series) to the makes you sad about what religion does to some people (a kid discussing why he sees no reason to date, as backed up by Bible stories).

But I’m guessing you weren’t referring to that Mathan. Instead, I am assuming you were expecting me to commit acts of shameless ego stroking by linking my newest Wizard column. Well, I showed you, didn’t I?

What I Read Last Week

Countdown #37 – The Rogues continue to shine. Mary getting a tour of Zee’s place was nice. I even dug Oracle and Karate Kid’s segment. But I loved the return of the origin recaps!

Highwaymen #3 – Why do all Wildstorm minis with Stelfreeze covers rock so hard? This is such a fun mini. Tons of story and just the right amount of action. I really hope there’s a sequel.

Stelfreeze makes everything better, doesn’t he?

The Flash #231 – I guess I’m in the minority because I really liked this issue. I thought that Acuna’s art really worked well with the tone of the book and I liked how Wally’s sharing the spotlight of the book now. I had no problem with this issue at all. I really enjoyed.

I just didn’t, although I have a hard time saying why. I don’t particularly like Acuna’s art on interiors (everything is so flat and static), but I didn’t hate it here. I typically like Waid’s writing and I thought he was fine. But I just wasn’t involved in the book at all. There was no sense of wonder or danger to it.

Justice League of America #12 – I liked this issue. I thought that Meltzer did a great job of doing what he does best; showcasing characters. And using monitor duty to do it was a nice touch. He left tons of dangling plots and I can’t wait to see which ones he ties up.

This would’ve been great…if Meltzer was writing the book for another 12 issues. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a good issue, it is just a wholly flat way to end your run when nothing much has happened. On its own, I liked it. Taken in the context of the rest of the run and it being the last Meltzer issue, I can’t help but be disappointed.

The Programme #2 – I love the look of this book. Like I’m completely enamored with Smith’s art. Blown away is more like it. Milligan’s story is moving nicely and the dialogue reads the way that people speak. But Smith’s art is the star for me.

The coloring is pretty damn great too. Love that LSD page.

Thunder & Martian Manhunter – I really didn’t like this issue. I don’t dig Turnbull’s art. I hated the way Thunder was written. And I didn’t like that Grayven was killed. He was one of Kyle’s few rogues, so Kyle is that much less interesting now. It’s looking more and more like I’ll be jumping off Outsiders.

Catwoman #70 – Talk about your bounce back! I loved this issue. Great cover and really good issue. I loved watching Selina get away from the cops. I loved Selina’s trap for Rena. I loved the whole “convo between Oracle and Selina while Rena plots” scene. This book was one of the reasons I was hating the lack of a “next issue” box.

If the book ended here, this was a great (nay, a perfect) note to end the series on.

Thankfully, it’s not the end. Because I love it.

Loveless #19 – Really strong issue. It feels like Azz is kind of building to a conclusion, but I might just think that because Wes is dead. Still, I’ve got to commend Azz for making Atticus compelling by picking fights he loses. Though, I’m worried for him at the moment.

The Brave & the Bold #6 – Waid writes for the fanboy in me. This issue was total fun and a great pay off. He made the Challengers viable in my eyes, and that’s a feat. This title has just been so cool. I don’t know how Waid keeps it up.

Batman Confidential #7&8 – Interesting story. I don’t know if it needed to be told, but it’s decent. And as much as I dig The Killing Joke this story kind of sets up how the Joker became a leader and planner. And the scene with the pre Harley was nice.

Checkmate #17 – I loved this issue. I really hope that Samnee gets steady work from DC because the guy’s a keeper. And Kudos to Rucka and Trautmann for dusting off relatively obscure character for this tale. To make Master Jailer viable and interesting is an accomplishment. I really want to read more about the guy.

Lousy cover, but a good story. Enjoyed the sad sack ending.

Booster Gold #1 – Did this come out last week?

Why yes, I believe it did.

I keed, I keed!

Oh you!

Strong first issue. Fun book. Loved the stuff with the JLA, Daniel and Rip. In fact I don’t think there was anything that I didn’t like. Though, given my familiarity with the character I found the origin recap redundant. Good stuff.

Neil wants to borrow the notes from class

I’ve heard good stuff about Booster Gold, including a new Rip Hunter Chalkboard, with all sorts of tasty tidbits for possible upcoming stories (something about a Red Lantern, Titans Hunt II, etc.).

What are your takes on the Chalk Board hints? And, do you think it’s a good idea to put things like this in comics to give vague hints about upcoming stuff (I personally love it!).

Glen is just planning to cheat off the smartest kid in the class

Care to try deciphering Rip Hunter’s newest blackboard scrawling in Booster Gold #1.

Wow. You guys couldn’t have started me off with something a bit slower or requiring less brain power? Nope you had to have me starting off with speculatin’ and decipherin’. Thanks guys!

Wormholes – This is probably just the title of the board. Wormholes are what are causing these events. And when you think about the whole “wormhole” aspect, it almost makes Mister Mind eating space work. Almost.

1870 – Well we know that Jonah Hex is making an appearance so I’m betting this is one wormhole that Booster’s got to investigate.

1939 (New Earth, Earth-2) 1985 + 2006 = Why 2008? – This is a kind of complex one. These are obviously important years in terms of publishing for DC comics. 1939 was when Superman got his own solo title and Batman premiered. 1985 is when Crisis on Infinite Earths began and 2006 is when Infinite Crisis ended and 52 began. So these were all huge years for DC as whole, but also for the DCU. It seems to be foreshadowing the importance of Final Crisis. Perhaps that everything has lead up to this point?

(Think about how cool it would have been if DC had named it Ultimate Crisis. That would have rocked so hard!)

After losing the Superboy case, the last thing DC needs is another costly lawsuit.

New Krypton? – I don’t know? Maybe the plethora of Kryptonians who are around decide to get together and set up an asteroid out in space that’s kind of like a Fortress of Solitude and call it New Krypton? Or maybe just as there’s a “New Earth” there’s a “New Krypton” out in space somewhere? Perhaps a group of Kryptonians survived the destruction of Krypton (not the ones on Earth, another group) and set up a place they called New Krypton. Who knows? And honestly I’m not that curious about this one.

Could this be a reference to those Kelly/Loeb Return to Krypton stories from a few years back?

Superman & the Legion of Superheroes – Well we know that Superman is going to meet up with a LSH shortly, so this is probably about that. And since Superman was never “Superboy” it’s probably referring to his time with the team, when he was younger.

Thom Kallor = Traveler – Sadly this probably has nothing to do with the perfectly adequate summer program on ABC named Traveler. More likely this has to do with Thom Kallor AKA Starman’s travels though the new multiverse. He’s from a future and before he ended up in the present he spent some time on the Kingdom Come Earth. So given the nature of Booster’s adventures and Rip’s specialty, Starman would naturally pop up on the radar.

The Return of Ray Palmer – Well I guess this guy is return, but does that mean that the Search for Ray Palmer comes up fruitless? Does the guy just stroll into the Watchtower and say “Hey, did I miss anything?”

That would be AWESOME! And not at all an F-U to those who have been buying Countdown, All-New Atom and the umpteen related one-shots (Challengers of the Unknown in the Multiverse, Challengers of the Unknown Do Elseworlds, etc).

Power Girl = Missing – Ooh, I’m hoping that Superboy-Prime kidnaps her. Or maybe she decides to leave Earth for one of the other 52 Earths. Or maybe the Power Girl we think is Power Girl is really a Skrull!

Beware the Red Lanterns – This probably has to do with Sinestro and his Corps. But it better not have anything to do with Geoff Johns trying to introduce yet another ring based corps in the universe.

Star Sapphire’s energy is considered pink, right? Because that’s the only guess I had. Was there a red energy tube at the end of the Acuna drawn Green Lantern story?

Ronnie Raymond + X = Firestorm! – Well this is obviously announcing the impeding return of Ronnie Raymond, the one, true Firestorm. Though it certainly doesn’t bode well for Martin Stein. Perhaps the “X” in question is Jason Rusch? Or, more likely the “X” means anyone.

Long Live the Real King – This may have to do with Monarch, since Captain Atom was originally intended to be Monarch. That would explain the “Real King” aspect. Hopefully DC’s made the decision to keep him around for awhile.

Or it may have to do with the Royal Flush Gang. Who knows?

Isn’t the Real King Jesus? I can see the ads now.

Watch out! DC about to go biblical with Christianity’s biggest superhero!

Boy, I do hope that God has a sense of humor. Otherwise, the manner in which I conduct myself…not a good call.

Titans Hunt II – Well in the first “Titans Hunt” tons of Titans were killed as the extended family tree was “pruned.” Given that there were tons of missing year Teen Titans, perhaps someone starts bumping them off. Maybe Power Boy decides that there are far too many Titans running around and it’s diluting the product, so he goes on a hunting spree?

Haven’t we already had a second Hunt? That said, I know that new Titans writer Sean McKeever started reading the Titans as a kid when the first Hunt happened so maybe he’s got an homage to it coming up.

Dar(ksei)d R.I.P. – Oh, right the New Gods are supposed to be dying. And I’m still not interested in them.

Don’t Worry about Countdown – focus elsewhere – Well this is obviously a reference to Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 classic (and the theme to the greatest Tom Cruise movie of all time, Cocktail) Don’t Worry Be Happy Clearly, Don’t Worry about Countdown – Focus Elsewhere is a single that Bobby McFerrin’s going to release next year to capitalize on the 20 year anniversary of his biggest hit ever. Will it be a success? Can anything remotely associated with Countdown avoid its taint?

How dare you sir! How dare you perpetuate the lie that Cocktail was a good movie. It is, was, and always shall be an abomination!

Who is Dr. Thirteen – Dr. Thirteen is kind of off the grid right now, which means that Rip Hunter would be interested in him. I can see this being used as a springboard to explore some of the more interesting corners of the DCU.

Tim, I never thought I’d be more tired of looking at blackboards than when I was in school, yet here I am.

Aren’t comics fun?

The Shade jumps in with the Booster boosters (which, by the by, would be an excellent backing band name if Mr. Gold ever went on tour)

What are your thoughts on that insane last page of Booster Gold 1?

I was pretty surprised to see it. I mean, I don’t why I was surprised given the nature of the book and Geoff Johns’ name on the cover. But it still caught me off guard.

I mean, I already knew that Brainiac 5 was in Booster’s future because of the cover, but seeing that it was going to be a tussle through time just makes me more excited for it to happen.

I’m less interested in the Final Crisis portion. It seemed like a real JLI-fest there. Plus we’ve got camo-Aquaman and J’onn in nearly all of his Martian glory. I already know that Final Crisis is coming, I didn’t really need it hinted at here.

Camo Aquaman.Camo Aquaman!CAMO AQUAMAN!CAMO AQUAMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Sorry. Proceed.

I’ll admit that I’m looking forward to the return of Mr. Mind way more than I should be. But it’s such a corny Silver-Age-y image, I can’t help but love it.

I did like the bit with the Blue Beetles. I’m glad that Booster’s trying to save his pal. But I’m curious how DC is going to keep him dead.

Tim, what’d you think about four panels from the future?

I’m most looking forward to the Beetles and Booster (in the past!) laying out Max Lord and then realizing duh duh daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Blue Beetle must die or the world will be destroyed. Good times.

Also, did I mention:


Oh, I did? Well, umm… good then.

Neil gazes into the future

Are you liking the “Coming Soon” pages at the end of the First Issues of Geoff Johns’ new books (see Justice Society of America #1 and now, Booster Gold, #1? Should all new comics continue to do this? Should existing comics utilize a similar page each December, to showcase what’s coming up in that comic next year?

I’m not going to lie to you; I’m loving the “coming soon” pages in those books. But I’m a guy who loves “next issue” boxes (and I’m irked that I was robbed of them this week) so clearly I like having a hint at what’s upcoming.

I don’t know if those pages should be mandatory though. I mean the industry is way too fluid for things to be set too firmly, much less in stone. Look at James Robinson’s Starman.

Jack went to visit Charity who told his future. He was supposed to team up with the “man with the wings”, who Robinson had intended to be Hawkman. But Hawkman got so jumbled up that by the time James intended to use him, he shied away from the character.

So having those pages at the end of a debut issue might leave some fans lamenting stories that don’t happen.

Plus creators jump around so often. I mean I’d much rather a shot at Marv Wolfman writing an interesting Nightwing than be stuck with Bruce Jones, because the latter already had a years worth of stories plotted out.

I agree that the planning and foresight is a good thing. But suppose I don’t like where the titles going to be headed? Doesn’t the final page advertising future storylines run the potential to turn off as many people as it excites? And is that a risk that’s worth taking on in the debut issue?

I’m sure the reason we dig them so much is because they’re a rarity. If they were commonplace we probably wouldn’t notice them.

And really, does the internet really need more speculation about upcoming comic storylines?


Tim, how do you feel about the “coming soon” pages your BFF Geoff Johns has unleashed on the industry?

I like them, but, as with anything, moderation is the key. It shouldn’t be a standard because then the reason that they’re cool and we like them goes out the door.

That said, if someone besides Geoff used them now and again, I’d dig it.

Brock missed it

So, Zoom battled Damage? And I missed it? My God, it must have been glorious! When and where?

Well, you did miss it, I guess. It happened in Infinite Crisis #1 when Uncle Sam and his Freedom Fighters were surprised by some big guns from the Society. It was Sinestro, Dr. Polaris, Dr. Light, Zoom, Cheetah, Bizarro, Deathstroke, Psycho Pirate and Black Adam against Human Bomb, Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, The Ray, Black Condor and Damage. Needless to say it wasn’t pretty.

As far as the Zoom/Damage battle it wasn’t really “glorious.” In fact it was all of two panels. But those two panels were enough to create bad blood that’ll probably go away.

Personally I found Human Bomb’s treatment at the hands of Bizarro to be the startling, followed by Black Condor’s exit before the fight begins.

Tim, care to revisit Uncle Sam and co.’s beatdown?

Like build a monument in its honor, establish a museum around that monument, and hire young, attractive tour guides to lead people around said museum, spouting facts about the Freedom Fighters? If that’s what you mean by revisit then, yes, I’d very much like to do that.

However, if you were just asking me to talk about it…no, I’m good.

Neil needs a damage report

Can you give me a full history on Damage? I have the first few issues of his title and the one that revealed who his parents were, but nothing after that. I also heard that The Titans retconned in a story of abuse by his adopted parents. What direction did his title take after he found out his origin? What about his stint in the Titans? And do you like how he’s being handled in Justice Society of America?

Grant Emerson was your typical 16-year-old kid. Kind of. He moved around a lot and bounced from school to school, but he was an average kid. However he discovered that he had superpowers after he destroyed some property, namely his high school.

However his “parents” weren’t really his parents. They were actually just charged with looking out for the kid and waiting for his powers to activate. They worked for Symbolix, a biochemical company.

So when his powers activated, the Emersons told Symbolix who sent goons after Grant. He was captured; his “parents”, no longer useful, were killed. But Grant escaped and tried to find out about his past. He hooked up with former Young All-Star Iron Munroe and eventually with the Titans, who at that time were a government sanctioned team lead by Arsenal.

After too long Grant found out that he was the result of an experiment of Vandal Savage. Savage had collected DNA samples from a variety of heroes and injected them into the embryo that Mary and Al Pratt had conceived. Given that Al Pratt had been the Golden Age Atom, it seemed more than likely that the child would have metahuman abilities and given the DNA cocktail Savage injected it with the odds only increased.

Of course at this point you’re probably curious whose DNA was in that cocktail. Well it was a quite a mixture. It included;

Jay “The Flash” Garrick
Libby “Liberty Belle” Lawrence
Johnny “Quick” Chambers
Alan “Green Lantern” Scott
Ted “Wildcat” Grant
Rex “Hourman” Tyler
Charles “Dr. Mid-nite” Mcnider.
Carter “Hawkman” Hall
Shiera “Hawkgirl” Sanders
Dinah “Black Canary” Lance
Ted “Starman” Knight
Joan “Miss America” Dale
J’onn “Martian Manhunter” J’onzz
Barry “The Flash” Allen
Dinah “Black Canary” Laurel Lance
Hal “Green Lantern” Jordan
Ray “Atom” Palmer

So, while Al Pratt was Grant’s “father” all of those people contributed to his being.

After finding out about his true origins (in Damage #12) Grant tried to put his life in order. He reunited with the Titans, which he’d become estranged from and even attended the funeral of a friend.

But Damage kept blowing things up. He blew up part of the Titans HQ on television and while under the possession of a villain he threatened to blow up the Eastern seaboard. His title ended with him on the run and underground.

Yeah you did!

Damage ended up being part of The Titans and it was in that book that it was revealed that he’d been abused by John Emerson, the man he thought of as his father. The abuse was severe enough for Grant to repress and for it to affect how he dealt with authority or adult figures. The revelation occurred in the storyline that ran in Titans #17-19

As far as my thoughts on the guy; I’m not really a fan. I think he’s very much of a “you had to be there” type of character similar to Booster Gold. Since I missed the boat on Damage, I doubt I’ll ever “get him.”

As a result I don’t really dig him Justice Society of America. I mean I guess I like how Johns has shown how his getting pummeled by Zoom has affected him, and picked up on that thread. But as a guy who doesn’t dig the character I find his self loathing tiresome and bordering on whining. “Look at me, I’m scarred.” Hey Damage, get some perspective; some of your teammates didn’t make it out of that battle alive. Shut up already!

How do you feel about Damage, Tim?

I like the idea of Damage. I mean, he is the living breathing connection between the Golden, Silver, and Modern Age of comics. That’s a genius (if creepy, given the reasons for it) concept for a character.

Sadly, in practice, Damage is less impressive. Currently, he is the Penance of the DCU. This interesting (or potentially so) character who has lost all personality because of a tragedy and instead is just angry and self loathing all the time. A little of that is good, great even. But there needs to be a personality underneath it for us to care. In both cases, the personality is not buried, it’s just gone.

Kirk has a question about 11

Regarding the post Infinite Crisis DCU. Specifically, Superboy-Prime. I understand why they can’t call him Superboy, but why not just call him “Prime”? It seems each book I’ve seen him appear in has taken great pains to make sure he’s not called anything. Any reason for this that you know of? Any suggestions for a name, if not Prime?

Well I don’t think DC can call him “Prime” because I’m pretty sure that someone still holds the rights to the name “Prime.” Prime was actually a comic character from Malibu Comics, which was later purchased by Marvel Comics. So, calling him Prime is out of the question.

I’ve decided that I’m going to call him Kil-El. That’s how I’m going to refer to him from this point on.

But it’s really hard to give him a name, because a) he’ll probably pick is own name and b) its really all about how he sees himself.

If he still sees himself as a hero/savior who’s doing the right thing he’s not going to call himself “Malevolent” because he doesn’t think of himself as a villain. If he still sees himself in that light he’s actually likely to call himself “Hero” or “Savior.” Possibly Ascendant.

But if he’s accepted that he’s the “bad guy” than he’ll probably go for something with a more evil bend. If Rival weren’t already taken I’d suggest it for him.

I think it would totally awesome if his name was Radical Dude, but I’m not holding my breath.

Until he gets a name and probably after he does, I’ll be calling him Kil-El.

Tim, do you have any ideas for what we should be calling the character formerly known as Superboy Prime?

When I write about him in the Sinestro Corps, I call him Superboy Prime. Just that’s mostly just because I’m an ass. His semi-official name is, I believe, Prime. Which DC can use. They just can’t sell a book called “Prime” in much the same way they can have a character named Captain Marvel but they can’t see a book called Captain Marvel (hence “Shazam!” and its various iterations).

And thus we’ve come to the end of another column. We’ll be back next week, possibly covering recognizable heroes, back to school reading and Holly Robinson.

Of course we can always use your contribution to the column. Send some questions my way via email or post on our thread. And feel free to ask more than one at a time.

But before the column’s done here’s my question to you Which crossover event are you enjoying more; Amazons Attack or Sinestro Corps War?

“Unsaid things begin to take their toll.”

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