Who's Who in the DCU


Tim, even though we don’t get comics until Thursday, I’m not too disappointed because I’m so backed up with some books, that I could use the extra day to make some headway. How are you going fill your Wednesday void?

Scrambling to find bodies to fill in the overnight shift. Then thankfully, that was followed by mini-golf.

Ahh, mini golf. Is there no day you can’t improve?


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

Is Countdown a failure, is Kon-El copyright infringement, and will the mourning of Wildcats 3.0 ever end? You might be able to find the answers to all three topics on Our DCU Boards!

Tim, whatever will you link this week?

What a fine question. I believe that I will link this recent post from Kevin Church’s blog because I, too, hate the word in question used the in the context in question.

What I Read Last Week

Countdown to Adventure #1 – I didn’t want to like this book, but I kinda did. I enjoyed, nope, loved Champ Hazard. I want to see him and Adam in a sci-fi/buddy cop comic. Champ is so cool, his coolness rubs off on Adam, making him cool. And I equally loved Buddy’s sitcom-esque home life. And the back up wasn’t even half bad. Damn you DC for putting out a decent book!

Chip Hazard is the best man’s name since Max Power!

The Spirit #9 – Another great issue of this underrated title. This title better win plenty of awards this weekend. And Cooke is very deftly maneuvering the narration making for a thrilling read. Honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do when Bone and Cooke leave.

Fallen Angel #19 – Loved the bit with the in Lee’s mouth. I’m glad that we’re headed back to Bete Noire, because I didn’t really love this team up with Shi that much.

Metamorpho & Aquaman – Eh. The best thing about this issue was the art. And, yeah, that’s about it.

The Four Horseman #1 – Yet another book I didn’t want to like, but I did. I dug how Giffen managed to make the three icons presence in the book seem relatively naturally. I also liked the evolution of the Horsemen. Yeah, I was surprised at how much I liked this book.

Batman Annual #26 – I’d probably have more critique if I’d had my Birth of the Demon handy, but I didn’t. That said, I didn’t find anything really wrong with this origin of my favorite character. It filled in gaps and fleshed some things out. I dig Milligan and he didn’t mess up my favorite character. And how great are Lopez and Lopez? They’ve been working on Catwoman since OYL and managed to do this annual without missing an issue.

This was fine in a wholly throwaway but still entertaining sort of way. Would’ve liked to see Milligan cut loose with it though.

Ex Machina Masquerade Special – Tons of “wish this was Harris’ art” on our Ex Machina thread. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of Leon’s art, but I didn’t mind. I think that Vaughan had gotten rid of the framing device; the change in artist might have been more accepted as “it was a different chapter in Mitchell’s life.” But I really didn’t mind lack of Harris. It was a special after all.

Arrgh! I missed this! How did I miss this?! SO DUMB!

Teen Titans #50 – Talk about dredging up the nostalgia. I really liked this issue for all the wrong reasons. The stuff with Bart and Wally was just great. The Young Justice stuff seemed a tad off, but was enjoyable nonetheless. And for the first time in a long time, I’m optimistic about this title again.

I don’t count this as the start of McKeever’s run. That’ll be issue #51. Which is good because while this issue had its moments, it was not the best way to make your debut on the title.

American Virgin #18 – If posters weren’t bemoaning the lack of Cloonan, I might not have noticed. I loved the sweaty chaperone, he was the highlight of the issue for me. And this whole concept of the third sex is pretty enlightened. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

I like Cloonan, but the fill-in didn’t even give me pause. I think this book has finally settled into a consistently good groove and I’m happy about that.

Crossing Midnight #10 – I’m so glad that Vertigo let Carey do a text page to elaborate on enjokosai. That was interesting enough to be worth the price of admission. But the issue was very good in addition to that. Nguyen’s art fit the tone of the book and Carey’s story was haunting. I really dig this title.

Action Comics #855 – Really loved the look of Bizarro world. Powell is the perfect artist for this arc. I really dig how Bizarro was hurt when Clark outed him. What a cruddy thing to do. Surely Clark knows the importance of the secret identity right? And for all of those Bizarro speak critics out there; would imperfect Bizarro’s speak perfectly imperfect? Wouldn’t perfect imperfect be too perfect for the imperfect Bizarros?

I hate you so much right now.

Black Panther #30 – I used to like this book, though it seem so long ago.

Countdown #35 – Mary and Jimmy(!) were the stars this week. Jimmy’s tryout was pretty funny and Mary’s expulsion was almost heartbreaking.

Juan Francisco Gutierrez Santiago has no sense of history

Before Sinestro Corps, what was the greatest action that Sinestro took on the DCU? Honestly it hadn’t seemed he was a menace until Sinestro Corps.

C’mon, Sinestro is like Hal Jordan’s premier villain. He’s like the Joker and Bizarro rolled up into one, with a pinch of Two-Face, and for Hal Jordan. He’s Hal’s corrupted counterpart (Bizarro), most iconic foe (Joker) and the two used to be buddies back in the day (Two-Face.) How much greater can you get?

But you’re right, he hasn’t done much in terms of high profile stuff lately. Now to be fair Sinestro had been lying low awhile there. And by low, I mean six feet under.

Y’see Sinestro was killed in Green Lantern Corps #223 way back in 1988. The GLC sentenced him to die and killed him. Unfortunately the Guardians didn’t want the GLC to ever kill a Kougarian (on account of the Zamarons took up with them after they split from the Guardians.) Thus when Sinestro was killed the Central Power Battery fell apart, robbing most of the GLC of their powers, save for a few rings.

After that Sinestro made, unsurprisingly, very few appearances. His spirit showed up four year later in Green Lantern Mosaic #2 & 3 and in Guy Gardner Reborn #2 & 3.

Then he showed up again in Green Lantern #49 & 50. And for a second he was alive. Until Hal Jordan killed him, again. And that was 1994.

After that he was resurrected again eight years later in 2002, on the pages of The Spectre, specifically #21-23. But again he died.

Then he was reborn in 2005 in SinestroGreen Lantern Rebirth. So for all intents and purposes Sinestro’s spent the better part (17) of the last 19 years, dead.

I think that you’re asking a lot of a dead guy to perform major feats of evil.

But I’ll try to impress you with some of his feats of evil. Sinestro managed to get the Mad God Sector 3600 on his side. (The Mad God Sector is a sentient, and malevolent, sector of space.) He also destroyed the planet containing Kilowog’s entire race of people (in an issue drawn by Bill Willingham.) I mean gaining the sway of a sentient sector and destroying an entire planets worth of people is kind of evil, right?

Tim, do you think that Sinetro is overrated?

Nah. I think he’s, I don’t know…rated? Especially when one takes into account the sorry state of Jordan’s villains beyond Sinestro, the pink (or is more purple…and if he is purple, has he and Prince ever been seen at the same place at the same time?) fella becomes a godsend.

Separated at birth?

Did The Shade really have to ask?

Do you think an absolute Starman would be a good idea


I think it’d be a great idea!

I mean imagine if we could read the memos from Archie Goodwin or his notes on one of James Robinson’s scripts? I’m pretty sure that either in the Starman trades or letter’s pages (probably both) we’ve seen Tony Harris’ character sketches, but imagine all the ones we’d have access to if the series got the Absolute treatment.

If it could combine the supplemental material found in the Absolute versions of Crisis on Infinite Earths and Kingdom Come Absolute Starman would kill. Like all pics of all of the Starman merch, so I’d have a checklist of what to track down.

It’s certainly one of DC’s most critically acclaimed series and probably one of the more logical series to get the Absolute upgrade.

Jack would love to help you with getting an Absolute Edition, but he’s busy being a dad.

Also, he’s fictional.

Wow, this question has gone from getting me happy to bringing me down, because I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Tim, would you like Absolute Starman and what other series would you like to see Absolutized?

Of course I would love an Absolute Starman. I’m not saying I would marry such a volume if it existed, but that has more to do with Connecticut laws against bigamy and the fact that Janelle, being animate, would be more upset (and thus dangerous) about a cancelled wedding that the Absolute edition. But in my mind, that book and I would be totally hitched.

As for Absolute Editions in general, I think they should only be devoted to seminal works. Sadly, DC obviously disagrees with me as there is an Absolute Hush. So I’ve downgraded my expectations to: seminal works and works of vast importance to the current continuity of DC’s icons. Yes, Hush still doesn’t fit, but I can only bring myself to compromise so much on this issue.

With that mind, here’s a random, very incomplete list of what I might suggest for Absolute Editions.

Batman– Batman: Year One is an obvious choice, but that Anniversary Hardcover more or less satisfied all the requirements of an Absolute Edition already. I guess the difference would be that it would bigger in Absolute style. So…there’s that.

Beyond that, oddly enough, nothing screams out a need for an Absolute edition. I reject Knightfall (etc) on the basis that while it was big sales wise, it’s impact has come and gone. Besides that, there are plenty of Batman stories I’ve liked, be they big or small, but none have risen to the necessity of an Absolute collection in my mind. The closest I could think of would be more of a Joker edition with The Killing Joke and A Lonely Place of Dying occurring in the same edition (and possibly The Man who Laughs).

Superman– Death/Reign/Return of Superman is rejected for largely the same reasons as Knightfall. Beyond that, being not much of a Superman fan, I don’t have a lot of suggestions to draw on. Of what I’ve read, I think Superman for All Seasons or Byrne’s original Man of Steel miniseries are both worthy choices (although, admittedly, Man of Steel does not have much continuity bearing these days). An Elseworld-y but great choice would be Superman: Secret Identity, the semi-recent Busiek Prestige Format miniseries.

Much like Joker, a Lex edition could be a possibility as well, made up of The Unauthorized Biography and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel.

Wonder Woman– Not a clue. Perez’s stuff, maybe?

Flash– Again, not really sure. I’d love a Rogues Absolute with all of Johns Rogue Spotlight issues, plus commentaries, extras, and the original script to the ½ issue, but that doesn’t really fit my criteria, does it? Besides that, I’m sort of idea-less. Return of Barry Allen, maybe?

Green Lantern– Emerald Twilight and Rebirth, two separate editions. I know they are populist and perhaps not breathtaking from a writing or art standpoint, but both have had a huge bearing on the title’s current life. For me the Emerald Twilight edition would collect Emerald Twilight, the first couple Kyle issues (culminating in Alex’s death and the Major Force fight after) and the two Zero Hour tie-ins.

Green Arrow– A lot of Grell’s stuff would no doubt qualify here although I must confess I’m not familiar enough with those issues to pick.

Aquaman– Hmm…Time and Tide? That’s all I’ve got.

Martian Manhunter– Yeah, good luck on that.

Legion of Superheroes– No, I don’t read them. But given what I’ve heard, The Great Darkness Saga would be the obvious choice.

Wildstorm– Two volumes for Authority, one collecting Ellis’s run, one collecting Millar’s. More Planetary volumes. Astro City volumes, especially one of the Confessor arc.

Vertigo– Jeez, what doesn’t qualify? I’d love to see Unknown Soldier, Fables, or Y. I imagine many folks would also be down with Preacher or Hellblazer. Vertigo “founder” books like Moore’s Swamp Thing and Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Animal Man are fine choices too.

Gunfire– Every moment, every appearance. Bliss.

Soak1313 knows he shouldn’t be asking and yet, he does.

Now I know this has probably been covered before, but what has The Shade been up to since the end of Starman? Given I shouldn’t ask this because I haven’t read the last trade yet just in case I get spoiled.

But you did read the trade when Jack traveled to the 30th Century and met with the Legion of Super-heroes, right? I know it’s not written in stone, but usually when a character is still alive 1,000 years in the future, it’s a good sign about his longevity. So, don’t worry about spoilage.

That said, I hate to disappoint you, but The Shade’s only really made four appearances since Starman ended. He showed up during Archer’s Quest in Green Arrow #16 & 17. It was a pretty cool part that he played.

He also popped up in JSA #48 & 49, but that was more of a cameo type affair. Word up.

But rumor has it The Shade has become a total “greeny.” He got all inspired by An Inconvenient Truth and has been spending all of his time on global warming. He’s trying to get mad scientists to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and getting them to recycle their giant robots.

Tim, do you think that The Shade is going to made a difference?

No. We’re all doomed by our greed and arrogance. But, it is cool of him to try though. Thanks, The Shade!

The Shade littering several years before his epiphany and change in lifestyle.

Juan Francisco Gutierrez Santiago’s been to a lot of funerals.

Seeing the recent events in the Teen Titans team, I’d like to ask, which is the super-hero team that has had the most deaths in their history. I thought it was the Justice Society or the Doom Patrol, but it seems I was wrong since both of those teams have characters that have returned from death. How many and who are their dead members? I mean, from the most “deadly” super-hero team

Since we’re going for “hero teams” I’ll leave off the Suicide Squad, but they’ve had around 30 of their members die.

(Wow, I just found a team that actually lost more members than the Squad. I’m actually impressed, but not surprised.)

Well, let’s start with the Teen Titans. Here’s a rundown of who they’ve lost; the original Hawk & Dove, Omen, Harlequin II, the original Terra, Kole, Danny “Phantasm” Chase, Pantha, Baby Wildebeest, Aquagirl, Terra II, Kid Flash II, Bombshell, Superboy, Osiris and Young Frankenstein. That’s only 16 members dead and technically Kole and Aquagirl never joined the team.

Next we’ll try out the JSA. They’ve lost; Atom, Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson), Sandman, The Spectre, Batman (Golden Age), Superman (Golden Age), Starman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Wonder Woman (Golden Age), Wonder Woman III, Mr. Terrific, Black Canary, Hawkgirl, Robin (Golden Age), Skyman, Huntress (Helena Wayne), Johnny Quick, Hourman III and Dr. Fate (Hector Hall). That’s 19 dead members. Though it was clearly “their time” for some of them and a few might not be in continuity, but still, we’re looking the other way for the Titans so it extends here.

The Doom Patrol, is so less than aptly named. They’re not even into double digits when it comes to dead members. Disgraceful!

But the JLA rules supreme when it comes to fallen allies. Give me a minute, I’ve got to rest up before I begin typing up those former heroes.

Ok, let’s go. Aquaman, The Flash, Hawkgirl, Elongated Man, Steel, Vibe, Blue Beetle, Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson), Rocket Red #7, Rocket Red #4, Hawkman II, Hawkwoman, Sue Dibny, Dr. Fate II (Linda Strauss), Crimson Fox (twice), Lightray, Silver Sorceress, General Glory, Maxima, Triumph, Hawkman III, Amazing Man II, Mystek, Tomorrow Woman, Aztek, Wonder Woman III, Retro, Hourman III, Antaeus, Major Disaster and Manitou Raven.

That’s 32 members of the various Justice League teams that have died or been killed. That’s a ton of people. And that’s not including the Justice League Antarctica.

So there you have it kids; while it may be an honor to join the Justice League, you have to ask if it really worth having on your tombstone.

Tim, is joining the Justice League all it’s cracked up to be?

Look, you know how my membership in the team went. Why do you always give me a hard time about it?

Yes, I did sleep with Wonder Woman and Zatanna. And yes, I told each of them that the other forced themselves on me. And yes, that led directly to the two of fighting one another and totally not only a headquarters but also a nearby city. And yes, there were several hundred causalities in the wake of it. And yes, during it I did elbow Superman and say, “Wow…PMS, huh?” And yes, when I was asked to leave, I did break one of Batman’s cowl ears. Whatever. We all make mistakes. Let it go, okay, Mathan?

But while I was there? IT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME! I highly recommend joining.

Oh, and Zatanna? Call me, okay?

Primetime Pulse’s own Kevin Wong is great at corporate synergy.

With the Heroes DVD out, I figured that people might want to know a bit more about Loeb and Sale’s previous collaborations. Can you help me out here?

Of course. Anything for Kevin Wong, or K-Dub as I like to call him, y’know, when we’re hangin’ out. But that’s really personal stuff, let’s get to your answer.

Tim Sale and Jeph Loeb have collaborated quite a few times in the DCU and those collaborations have proved rather successful.

In the beginning Loeb and Sale worked together on the Challengers of the Unknown miniseries in 1991. It wasn’t huge, but it was a successful partnership.

But something clicked when the two reteamed for a Halloween themed Legends of the Dark Knight Special in 1993 entitled “Choices.” They followed that up the next year with another LDK Halloween special “Ghosts” and again in 1996 with “Madness.” Those three specials can be found together in the trade paperback Batman: Haunted Knight.

Madness actually preceded Ghosts, not vice versa, for those who are wondering.

For an encore they took it to the next level by teaming up on the acclaimed limited series Batman: The Long Halloween. It was both a murder mystery and a follow up to Batman: Year One.

They followed that up with Superman: For All Seasons an equally praised take on Superman early in this career. Then they returned to Gotham for Batman: Dark Victory. (Each of these miniseries can be found in trade format.)

The two then collaborated on two short tales; one in JSA All-Stars #2 focusing on Hawkman and the other in Superman/Batman Secret Files which details young Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent almost crossing paths. The latter tale is very brief, but very poignant.

Loeb and Sale collaborated next for DC with Catwoman: When in Rome a continuation of their work in fleshing out the characters in Gotham early in Batman’s career.

Sale and Loeb teamed up for the premiere issue of Solo a book that showcased the work of a different artist every issue. I miss that book.

Probably my favorite Loeb/Sale collaboration was in Superman/Batman #26. It was story written shortly after Loeb’s son Sam lost his battle with cancer. The story is about how a young Clark Kent deals with his friend Sam getting cancer. It’s such a powerful, touching tale, especially considering the context of the story.

Superman/Batman #26 was also the issue that Sam Loeb was writing when he passed.

And that pretty covers the Loeb and Sale collabos on the DC end.

Tim, what do you think the Loeb/Sale teams ups and what’s your favorite “Tim & ____” team?

I’ve enjoyed about 90-95% of their stuff. I couldn’t get myself excited for Catwoman for some reason so I never followed it and their Marvel collaborations (Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, and Hulk: Grey) were hit or miss and seemed to stick with me a shorter time. Overall though, not a bad record.

As for my favorite “Tim &____” team, it would, of course, be Tim and Janelle. (Awww) followed closely by Tim and Mathan (AAAWWWWWWWWWWW!).

The Shade might be jumping the gun

What is your thoughts on the apparent loss of the showcase presents which reprint stuff from the 70s and 80s

Y’know I was really torn on how to answer this question because a) I don’t pick up the Showcase Presents collections and b) they aren’t cancelled yet.

But then I did some research and I saw that two of the Showcase Presents that I was most interested in Suicide Squad and Secret Society of Super Villains have been cancelled (or as DC wants you to believe, pushed back.)

I have to say, I’m outraged! I’m actually typing this very hard on my keyboard. As hard as I possibly can. In fact it’s very hard to actually type the words correctly, but I’m doing my best!

I mean, c’mon DC I don’t have a mint of cash to spend on Silver Age books. So when I need my fix of Silver Age kooky stories, where an I going to turn? Obviously not the Showcase Presents which may or may not be cancelled. Do you plan on replacing this line with DC’s Wackiest Silver Age Stories Ever and then following it up with DC’s Almost Wackiest Silver Age Stories That Didn’t Quite Make The Cut For The First Collection But Should Still Be Adequately Wacky For Your Insatiable Appetite For All Things Wacky, because I don’t even know if that’s going to fit on any cover. And even if it does, what are you going to call the third collection?

So there you have it DC, you’d better not axe a line of reprints that I have barely any interest in and have yet to support.

Tim, any thoughts on this one?

I too am a bit doubtful that these titles will see publication any time soon (the cynic in me I suppose) and it is disappointing. But, on the other hand, much like Mathan I don’t typically buy Showcase. For me, it is a lack of color issue (also, well Silver Age stories are often good for a laugh, I don’t need to own them, you know?). So I am perhaps not the best to speak on this. I could rage for you, but it would be strictly faux rage.

Glen doubts Pluto

In Countdown to Adventure #1, they showed aliens from all “nine” planets. Two of those races were Green Martians and the Red Saturnians, but I’d never seen any of the other alien races before. Is this their first appearances? And to which nine planets were they referring? I saw no humans, and Pluto is no longer a planet (or is it in the DCU?)

Pluto. Beautiful. Mysterious. Such a f###ing planet! Science can suck it.

First off, I don’t listen to what those fancy book learnin’ scientists say. Not in an “intelligent design” kind of way; I’m all about evolution.

No I’m talking about their demotion of Pluto. Pluto will always be planet in my mind. Call me old school, whatever. I also dig oatmeal and as far as I’m concerned the coelacanth is still extinct!

I think Pluto is more or less grandfathered in because of perception and such. (Officially, it is called a “dwarf” planet, which I’m pretty sure is some kind of slur). But other Pluto-esque space objects? No more planetary affirmative action for you!

But back to your question, I’m like 99% sure that this is the first appearance of those other seven alien cultures. Earth wasn’t represented because the folks on Earth had killed themselves (possibly due to mad scientists not recycling their giant robots, possibly due to a world war over Pluto’s status as a planet, the issue didn’t make it clear.) So that’s like one extra planet.

However since this took place on the “forty-eighth such incarnation in the multiverse” that would place it on Earth-47, I guess. So clearly in that Earth’s solar system Pluto is still a planet plus there’s another planet which has life in addition to every other planet in the solar system having life.

The planets that were explicitly represented were Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury. I didn’t see Uranus anywhere. (Giggle.)

I’d guess that Pluto and Uranus were represented. And I’m pretty sure that the other two planets were Timathan and Erhardtevens. But I could be making that up.

Tim, how do you feel about aliens?

They are coming to America to steal our jobs!

Why’s Charles H gotta badmouth Scott Free?

Most of the natives of New Genesis seem to have powers, except for Scott Free. What’s the deal? Why is he just normal guy?

He’s so far from normal. Not only is he a totally extreme escape artist, but he’s also the bearer of the Anti-Life Equation. He killed hundreds of people just by saying a few words. He possesses the thing that Darkseid’s been looking for, forever. The thing that would allow Darkseid to control the entire universe is what Scott Free has.

Plus he’s one of those guys who apparently doesn’t have a problem being with a woman who’s taller than him. That’s pretty rare for someone who’s not short. I mean like Oberon doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. Actually, that might be why he hangs out with Oberon; because he wants someone to look down on. I guess you’ll have to scratch his “being comfortable with his height as a super power” notion that I tried to sell there. Darn.

But, yeah, the guys is not without his abilities. He just chooses not to use it. He even turned down getting the god-power birthright when his pop, Highfather died.

Tim, do you think that Scott Free has an issue with height?

Yeah, probably.



I was trying to dream up some double entendre involving height and Free’s wife Barda, but I got nothing. Just imagine something dirty, but still witty, then imagine I wrote it here. Then laugh at how freaking funny I am!

And with that I think we’re going to call it a column.

Great. What a not at all awkward place to stop.

Of course we’ll be back next week with more Q&A material including; who the biggest threats in the DCU are, Granny Goodness’s deal and possibly even a DCU timeline. Maybe. And of course your question, so long as you send it my way.

You can either email it to me or feel free topost on our thread!

Of course I can’t end without asking you guys a question; What would you like to see get the Absolute treatment?

“I never felt so wicked as when I willed our love to die.”

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