Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, first it was Kid Rock and Tommy Lee, now it’s OJ. I don’t really feel safe in Vegas. I may have to relocate back East.

We are ready and willing to receive the living beacon of hope called Mathan. What’s your feeling on New England’s Rising Star, Hartford, CT? It’s my base of operations and let me tell you…umm…I got nothing.

Still, the East Coast is where it’s at.

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Our DCU Boards are full of jostling junk, love for Starman and the answer for what WWCWARJ:TPMD stands for.

Are you linking anything this week, Tim?

Consider this my gift to all of you. No need for thanks.

What I Read Last Week

Justice League of America Wedding Special – Fun issue. Solid art. Decent character moments. Loved Joker, Cheetah and Lex looking at photos.

Yeah, that’s about the size and shape of my feelings on it.

Justice Society of America #9 – While I appreciated the whole FDNY issue coinciding with 9/11 and the relatively slow nature of the issue, it didn’t blow me away.

Superman #666 – Eh. I don’t see what the hype was about.

Welcome to Tranquility #10 – I love the back ups in this title. And I love the characters. This is a very enjoyable title that I think more people should be reading.

Suicide Squad #1 – Eh, I wanted to like it more than I did. There seemed like too much back-story crammed into to this issue. Still, I’ll keep with it because I know it’ll get better.

Search for Ray Palmer: Wildstorm – I love jealous Kyle. It’s always nice to see the Authority (especially since their title is MIA). But to see them go up against the milquetoast heroes of the DCU was kind of fun.

X-Factor #23 – Quicksilver is getting creepier and creepier. It’s nice to see all of the things that happened the past few months have been orchestrated. Enjoyable issue.

Fallen Angel #20 – The five stages bit felt a tad clichéd, but (as pointed out in the threads) it made for a better ending. I did enjoy seeing the town regulars again. And I love Calero’s art!

Se7en #6 – I had forgotten which victim “envy” was so the issue kind of snuck up on me. This issue did provide a great look at what kind of discipline John Doe had. It was creepy and scary, but really rather good.

Green Lantern #23 – Loved the cover. Nice to see Ghost City again. And John too. But Man, what’s going to happen to Kyle?!!!

Countdown #33 – Oh, that’s what happens to Kyle.

Nice job DC!

Stormwatch #11 – I love how Gage has fleshed out this corner of the universe. But why didn’t anyone catch Black Betty’s flub about Jeremiah? Isn’t he supposed to be missing? I also dug how the informant misinterpreted the intel. Good stuff.

Great book. I’m missing it already and it has not yet left.

Black Adam #2 – A second issue that’s completely on par with the first. This book lost nothing. I love the 52 follow up stuff. I love seeing Black Adam’s journeys. I just love this book.

Booster Gold #2 – Another fun issue. I liked that Booster outsmarted Sinestro, and also left his “footprints” in the time stream with both Sinestro and Guy. Good stuff. The only thing I don’t really like is the whole death certificate thing.

100 Bullets #85 – The return I was waiting for and it kind of disappoints. I was expecting a death, not the high road to be taken. It was nice to see Benito flex a bit though.

Ultimate Power #7 – I was really enjoyed this issue, all of the various probe plots and whatnot, until the last page(s). Boo. I don’t want any more characters in the mix.

Surprise! Bill actually placed the lyric, which means he gets dibs on the beginning of the column.

Wow…when’s the last time that happened?

Bill is near and dear to our hearts

I’ve got a question that I know is near and dear to your heart. In Justice League Unlimited, John Stewart is the man. He takes charge, gets all the chicks, and still kicks butt whenever the ring loses its charge. However, my only exposure to him in the comics was in that lame World without a League arc. Can you recommend any John Stewart appearances I should track down?

It’s really rather nutty, because the guy that you describe, isn’t really the John Stewart that I know and love. Maybe that’s not entirely true.

I mean the John Stewart that I know has been known to take charge. He was in charge of Oa when it was a mosaic world. And though he’s a widower he still does pretty solid with the ladies. And when there weren’t any working rings he still did his part as a Darkstar.

But I can’t think of any of his appearances that featured John as the character he was in JLU. The John of the DCU was pretty much a different character. He lacked a military background and was pretty much seen as a back-up choice.

If you want to check out the John Stewart that captured my imagination I’d suggest that you track down Green Lantern #185-200. There’s going to be a ton of Hal Jordan, a pinch of Guy Gardner but you’ll also see John coming into his own with the help of Katma Tui.

Of course you absolutely need to check out the entire Green Lantern Mosaic series which ran 18 issues. It’s John’s solo title and for me it’s where he truly blossomed as a character.

If you go in looking to read about a guy who “takes charge, gets all the chicks and still kicks butt whenever his ring loses its charge” you may be disappointed. But if you want to read about John Stewart you’ll be thrilled.

Tim, do you have any great John Stewart stories that aren’t a decade and a half old?

Do I?!

No, no I do not.

“Black Lantern’s” not Julian L. Smith‘s problem either

Re: the “Black Lantern” discussion in Justice League of America Wedding Special. Has this ever come up in COMICS before? Have Hal, Guy or John ever had this discussion amongst themselves or with another? I thought this exchange was great.

I’d love to say that I thought it was great too, but for me it was more of a nice way to explain the switcheroo everyone knew was coming. I mean I completely appreciated how Hal Jordan the kind of awkward nature of the scene. That felt real to me.

But I really want to say that the “Black Lantern” is a relatively new phenomenon. I don’t remember him being the “Black Lantern” before JLU. Granted, when he first became the main GL, the fanbase wasn’t as connected or vocal, but the first time I really became aware of the nickname was when the popularity of the JLU cartoon.


John lets Hal know, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”

I know that Hal and John had it out in Green Lantern Mosaic #5, but I think that’s the most out in the open that things have been discussed. Understandably, Kyle’s had more heart to heart talk about being deserving of his role than John has.

It was nice for McDuffie to get meta and address fanboy concerns, but ultimately that’s all it was.

Tim, what’d you think of the scene in question?

It felt authentic enough to me to trick me into believing that it had some in-comic significance. The “revelation” that it was meta is not particularly surprising, but I thought McDuffie pulled it off without it proving too intrusive.

Soak1313 speaks of the Cursed One

With Freddy appearing in the newest issue of the Black Adam issue I was wondering what his story is. I don’t know much about him and was wondering why he has crutches and what has happened to him in the Trials of Shazam mini. Thanks guys.

I just want you to know that both Tim and I are really, really torn up about this Soak.

From the 6/14/07
Freddy Freeman was just a happy go lucky kid, fishing with his grandfather, when Captain Nazi crashes their trip after being knocked down by Captain Marvel. Both Freeman’s are injured. Grandpa goes into a coma and Freddy is crippled.

Captain Marvel and Mary decide to share their power with Freddy, which transforms him into Captain Marvel Jr. Grandpa dies.

Wait a sec here! Freddy being crippled and his grandfather dying are collateral damage from a Captain Marvel fight? I thought this guy was happy go-lucky and such? And why didn’t CM3 use that power to beat Cap’s face into a fine paste after that. I mean, jeez, I hate CM3 with the white hot passion of a thousand suns and I still think he got the short end of the stick from Marvel here.

I’m ok. I’ve pulled myself together enough to go on.

As far as Freddy’s trials are going. It’s mighty slow. The first issue debuted over a year ago and we’re just over halfway through the tale.

Basically Freddy’s had to deal with earning the abilities of Captain Marvel, one by one, from gods in new forms. For instance he got a tattoo from Solomon and had to break Hercules out of prison. Wacky stuff like that.

But the minis been taking so long that I forgot to pick up the latest issue, because it’s that far out of my mind.

Tim, any thoughts on Freddy?

I loathe him so very much. Perhaps in becoming Captain Marvel (no Jr here) he and I can reconcile, but for now…ugh.

I don’t know why he is the receptacle for so much of my scorn…he just is.

The stupid jerk.


Change your costume all you want Freddy, I’ll still find you.

Julian L. Smith presses Mathan’s buttons

Tim DrakeJason Todd is back. Ice is back. Is Amazing Man (from Extreme Justice) still dead?

Yes, Julian, he is still dead. And I’m not happy about it.

Now granted, being a character who made his debut during the great Justice League Explosion of the 90’s, I can kind of see why he wouldn’t necessarily be ripe for the resurrecting. It was an ugly time for comics all around.

But Amazing Man was killed in the infamous Starman #38 which featured the Mist at possibly her most malevolent; destroying Justice League Europe that was attempted to rebuild itself. The gent who wrote that issue, James Robinson, is on record as having attempted to kill the characters killed in that issue in a manner where it wouldn’t be difficult to resurrect them.

The issue is almost a decade old, yet Amazing Man has yet to return to the DCU.

Blue Devil, who was killed using Holy Water, has been resurrected. Geoff Johns is the guy who wrote his resurrection.

Crimson Fox was also killed in that issue. Yet she’s got someone carrying on her mantle. The new Crimson Fox showed up in Green Lantern, written by Geoff Johns.

Firestorm and Ice also played roles in the issue and subsequently died. Yet both have returned in one form or another.

And for some reason Amazing Man remains dead.

You’d think that we’d have an Amazing Man running around the DCU by now. I mean in the current Justice Society of America we’ve already seen the legacies of Mr. America, Wildcat and Commander Steel extended to a new generation. Twice in the case of Mr. America.

The original Amazing Man was a recton, an attempt to add some diversity to DC’s Golden Age past. And he had a legacy before legacies were trendy. But clearly fans were clamoring for the return of Commander Steel and Mr. America.

This just in! Good news for Amazing Man fans. In two and a half short months we’ll get some Amazing Man action in Justice Society of America #11. Ooh, December, just show of the 10th Anniversary of Amazing Man II’s death! Mark it on your calendars folks!

Tim, who’s your favorite legacy hero?

Red Tornado, obviously. Because the Golden Age version (you know, the one with the pot on her head) gave rise to…

THE CHARACTER FIND OF 2006!!!!!

That’s right, CYCLONE!

Ain’t she grand? And, if the Alex Ross cover is to believed, she is totally not about wearing underwear, despite her costume being a billowy skirt, and she spends her JSA cash on electrolysis for, well, those harder to shave areas. What’s not to love?

Juan Francisco Gutierrez Santiago thinks the DCU might, just might, have a decent amount of legacy characters.

Which heroes/villains have a namesake in the DCU and who are they? I mean like the Flash, Manhunter, Red Tornado or Wildcat. I’d like to know just how many heroes/villains have more than one incarnation and which one is the best. For example, my favorites GL are Alan Scott & Guy Gardner, It seems is quite common in the DCU.

Juan Francisco Gutierrez Santiago, “quite common” doesn’t do it justice. I’m pretty sure that by the time I finish typing all of these legacies, my fingers will be bleeding.

Yay for bleeding fingers!

(For the sake of brevity, for the most part I’ll be ignoring Vertigo and characters set in the future. And I’m also going to leave out the legacies that you’ve never heard of, because really it’s kind of oxymoronic.)

Airwave – The father/son tandem of Larry and Harold Jordan used this name. If I had to pick the best I’d say it was II.

Can there be any true winners when we are talking Airwave though?

Amazing Man – Will Everett and his grandson, also named Will, took up this mantle. Again, I preferred II.

Whereas I will go I because he had the good sense never to be associated with Extreme Justice.

Atom – Al Pratt, Ray Palmer, Adam Cray and Ryan Choi have all been “The Atom”, I like Ryan the best.

I’m a big Ryan booster, but Ray is still tops with me.

Batgirl – Barbara Gordon, Huntress and Cassandra Cain have at one time or another been Batgirl. Call me old school, but I favor Babs.

I hear you, but Babs is so much better as Oracle than she was as Batgirl. That…makes things difficult for me to choose a favorite.

Black Canary – A mother daughter team, both named Dinah. I like the current on the best.

Seconded.

Blockbuster – Brothers Marc and Desmond Roland have both used this name. I preferred Desmond.

Same here.

Bloodsport – Two guys, Robert Dubois and Alex Trent have both used this villainous name. I liked Robbie the best.

Umm…sure.

Blue Beetle – Dan Garrett, Ted Kord and Jamie Reyes have all adopted the name. I hate to admit it, but I love Jamie most of all.

After much deliberation, I think I agree.

Brainwave – Yet another father/son team. Henry and Hank King Jr. I really like Jr. I hope he gets some use soon.

Gets some? How crude. But yeah, Jr’s top dog here.

Captain Boomerang – Surprise, it’s another father/son team. I like Jr, again.

The young one has potential, but Digger is still tops.

Cheetah – Man, we’ve got tons. Deborah Domain, Pricilla Rich, Barbara Minerva and Sebastian Ballestros have all used this name. Um, I’ll say I like Pricilla the best.

I have less than no idea (ponder that philosophy majors!). Who’s the current one?

Chronos – David Clinton and Gabriel Walker both used the name. I’m all about Gabriel on this one.

I concur. Though Clinton gets some recent respect for his turn in All-New Atom.

Clayface – We’ve got Basil Karlo, Matt Hagen, Preston Payne, Shondra Fuller, Cassius Payne and Dr. Malley have all been some type of Clayface. I like Preston the best because he’s such a tortured soul.

The one from the Animated Series? Yeah, he’s my favorite. Canon or not.

Crimson Fox – Originally “she” was twins, Constance and Vivian d’Aramis. But now someone else has assumed the name. I liked when she was twins.

I’ll say yes to that. It’s a nice enough concept and who doesn’t love twins? In an entirely non-leering sort of way, I mean.

Dove – Don Hall and Dawn Granger have both been Dove. I like Dawn bestest.

I say they’re tied.

Dr. Alchemy – Psychic twins Albert and Alvin Desmond have both used this name. I like Alvin best.

You know, I like the character, but I had no idea that he (they) was (were) a twin (twins). And what of the guy from the “Ignition” storyline in Flash? Or was he Mr. Element?

Dr. Fate – Kent Nelson, Eric and Linda Strauss, Jared Stevens and Hector Hall have all been a “Fate” of some sort. I kind of liked Hector.

Nelson’s classic, the husband and wife team was an interesting hook, but Jared’s family. I can’t turn my back on the man.

Dr. Light – Of the four Lights (three villainous and one heroic) I like the heroic female the most.

There were really four? I had no idea. My favorite incarnation of Doctor Light was the one who lived inside Kyle’s battery for awhile (he got out during Final Night, if I recall correctly). He was crazy powerful but still a bit of a coward. Unfortunately, he’s actually the Dr. Light we have now and all that stuff has long since been excised. But for a time, he was my choice.

Dr. Mid-nite – Charles McNider, Beth Chapel and Pieter Cross have all been the good doctor. As much as I want to go with Beth, I’ve got to say Pieter.

PIETER 4-EVA!

Firebrand – Rod and Danette Reilly and Alex Sanchez were all known by this name. I’ve got to go with Danette, but only because I’ve got a thing for redheads.

Ooo, good call. Love me some red—

I mean, how shameful of you Mathan, objectifying someone based on hair color. Hang your head.

Me, I’ll choose Sanchez since I own his entire series and I think he’s the only Firebrand who has headlined a book for any period of time.

Flash – C’mon, you should know this. And for the record I’m a Wally guy.

As am I.

Fury – Two women have been Fury and it’s another mother/daughter team. I like the elder Fury most.

Daughter Fury (great band name by the way) rubbed me so badly the wrong way when she was in JSA, I’ll go mom too. And for the record? Both of them had a truly terrible costume.

General Glory – Joe Jones and Donovan Wallace were both the General. I liked Joe most.

Why not? Joe it is.

Green Arrow – Really, you should know this too. I’m an Ollie man.

I like Ollie. I love me some Connor.

Green Lantern – Seriously. And, while I honestly love John, Hal’s the guy who got me into comics.

Hal was my first GL as introduced to me by my father, but I remain a Kyle man myself. But really when it comes to earth GLs the only way you can go wrong is to choose Guy.

Harlequin – Molly Mayne, was the original. She married Alan Scott. Duela Dent was the second. Marcie Cooper was the third. And I guess we can include Harleen Quinzel. I’ll say Duela, because she gets no love. Ever!

So true. For a reason. Go Harley!

Hawk – Hank Hall and Holly Granger are both Hawks. I’ll pick Hank, but only because Holly’s had like zero screen time.

Same choice, same reason. I was tempted to choose Granger though, just to incite Babos’ anger.

Much love Babos!

Hawkgirl – Shiera Hall, Shayera Thal and Kendra Saunders have all been Hawkgirl. I’ll say Kendra, though she’s not as great as she used to be.

You speak the truth.

Hawkman – Nope, I’m not getting a headache tonight. I dig Carter.

KATAR!

Hourman – Rex, Rick and Matthew Tyler are all men of hour. I’ve got to go with the android here.

There is no other choice a sane man can make.

Also: booo Rick! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Hyena – It’s been both Summer Day and Divan Shi. You can pretty much take your pick here.

I’ll go with Summer for awesomely bad name.

Icemaiden – Both Sigrid Nansen and Tora Olafsdotter have been Ice. I like Tora the best, despite her association with Guy Gardner.

People seem to like this Tora lady so what the heck, I’ll agree.

Icicle – Joar & Cameron Mahkent, father and son again. I like Cameron because he’s got a personality.

Yup.

Killer Frost – Crystal Frost and Louise Lincoln. I’m all about Louise.

Me too.

Manhunter – We’ve had Paul Kirk, Dan Richards, Mark Shaw, Chase Lawler, Kirk Depaul and Kate Spencer. I want to say Mark, because he used to be my fave, but now it’s Kate.

It is Kate all the way, but yes, Mark does deserve a nod of the head.

Mister Miracle – Not counting Thaddeus, we’ve had Scott Free and Shilo Norman. I’ll say Shilo because of his Seven Soldiers mini.

I choose Scott for his part in the best marriage in comics.

Mister Terrific – Terry Sloane and Michael Holt. Um, I’m going with Michael here.

Really? I thought you were all down on the current MT.

Michael’s my choice too.

Nemesis – Tom Tresser and Soseh Mykros. I’m with Tom on this one.

Besides the name, do these characters have anything in common?

Phantom Lady – Sandra Knight, Dee Tyler and Stormy Knight. I really like Sandra Knight, because she’s related to Jack.

Wouldn’t Stormy be as well? Not that it matters since Stormy has a lousy name (is she an adult entertainer or what? Because that’s the only way it would be okay.) and Sandra is also related to Kate (Manhunter) Spencer.

Psycho Pirate – Charlie Halstead and Roger Hayden. You’ve got to go with Roger, don’t you?

Why yes, yes I do.

Rag Doll – Peter Merkel, Colby Zag and Pete’s son have all used that nom de villainy. I’m going with Peter here. He’s the bestest Rag Doll ever!

The Secret Six factor gives Pete’s son the edge. Plus he has those awesome monkeys.

Ravager – Grant & Rose Wilson, Bill Walsh and Wade Defarge. I’ll go with Rose here. I loved her in Nightwing.

I know Rose best so I choose her.

Ray – Happy and Ray Terrill and Stan Silver are all Ray. I like Ray’s “Ray” the most.

No doubt.

Red Hood – The Joker and Jason Todd. I’m all about Jason when it comes to my Hood.

You have chosen wisely.

Red Tornado – Ma Hunkel and that wacky android. As usual, I’m going with the wacky android.

Who wouldn’t?

Robin – I shouldn’t have to explain this. And I’m going with Stephanie here.

Oh, you’re funny.

Tim’s my choice. And not just because of the name. Although it doesn’t hurt.

The Spectre – Jim Corrigan, Hal Jordan and Crispus Allen. I’ve got to give props to Crispus on this one.

Really? Jim’s my choice by a mile.

Starman – The greatest legacy of all time! Ted, David and Jack Knight, Mikaal Tomas, Prince Gavyn, Will Payton and Thom Kallor. I think that you’ve got pick Jack here, with Ted coming a close second. But they all rock.

I don’t know if I love them all as much as Mathan, but Jack’s my choice too.

Star Spangled Kid – Sylvester Pemberton and Courtney Whitmore. I’m casting my vote to Courtney here.

Yessiree.

Steel – You’ve got Hank Heywood and his grandson, Hank III plus John Henry Irons. Oh and how could I forget about Nate Heywood. Obviously I’m going for Nate. I mean WWCWARJ:TPMD?

THE PACKAGE MASTER CAN’T BE STOPPED!!!

Seriously though, I’m supporting John Henry and his improbable name.

Tattooed Man – Abel Tarrant, John Oakes and a new guy have all assumed this identity. I’m a sucker for Abel.

In memoriam, I choose Abel.

Tempest – Joshua Clay and Aqualad. I’m going for Aqualad, mostly because of Phil Jimenez’s mini.

Aqualad gets my vote as well.

The Thinker – You’ve got Clifford Devoe, Cliff Carmichael and Des Connor. I’m siding with Carmichael as my fave Thinker.

The computer program is my choice.

Toyman – Winslow Schott and Jack Nimball have both used this name. I’m a Winslow fan.

I can’t be made to care.

Trickster – James Jesse and Axel Walker. I’m so on Jesse’s side here.

I prefer Jesse, especially in his hustler just on the right side of the law role that he had post-Underworld Unleashed, pre-stint at the FBI.

Wildcat – Ted Grant, Yolanda Montez and Tommy Bronson. I hate Tommy and Ted’s kind of responsible for Tommy, so I’ll say Yolanda.

Harsh. Grant’s my fave.

Zoom – Eobard Thawne and Hunter Zolomon. I really can’t call it; I love them both tons.

Zolomon gets the edge for me.

(if you want to see who I left out or legacies outside of the DCU visit Same Mask, Different Identity, where I go when I don’t feel like wracking my brain.)

Tim, what do you want your legacy to be?

One that involves me never dying. Barring that, I’d choose a legacy of unquestioned rule over a cowering populace.

Or, you know, family members and friends who remember me fondly. Either, really.

Julian L. Smith spots a problem with Countdown

I don’t know about you, but Countdown is doing nothing…and I mean NOTHING…for me or my excitement about the DCU. Is there some hidden function that Countdown will serve in the long run? Does it all culminate into this Final Crisis?

I’m with you. Countdown isn’t fun or thrilling or even that interesting. Sure Trickster and Pied Piper are the most consistently interesting, and Holly Robinson’s pretty solid too. And even Mary Marvel’s bits can occasionally intrigue. But Jimmy Olsen is garbage and Karate Kid isn’t doing too much for me.

I think that it’s pretty clear that Countdown was meant to capitalize on the surprise success of 52. But whereas 52 was designed to be pretty self-contained and function as a complete story itself, Countdown appears to have a different function.

I see Countdown as a freeway; it’s a series unto itself, but it’s also got off ramps to various titles and on ramps from still others. It’s supposed to spill over into other books, in an attempt to lure readers there, and it picks up threads from some books to increase its readership.

The storylines in Countdown plod along. I really don’t care about Karate Kid at this point. I was interested when he made his exit from JLA, but not now. I love Holly Robinson, but Countdown is sucking the life from the character. Mary Marvel getting seduced to go bad can’t get here soon enough. All this meandering is killing me!

I don’t see how Countdown can culminate in Final Crisis because there’s no real “build” going on at all. I really don’t know why I’ve yet to drop the title.

Oh, that’s right. The origin pages.

Tim, c’mon read Countdown with me; it’ll be like Titans all over again!

If you remember, I jumped ship from Titans too. This is another quest I fear you’ll have to go on your own with. I wish I could be there for you, but…I just can’t.

Yup, we’ve come to the end of yet another column. As usual we’ll return next week with the dish on how Darkseid split the Olympian Gods, if Superman is earning his keep and Firestorm. Oh and possibly your question, provided you fire it my way.

You can either email me or post them on our thread which is full of critique.

But before I go here’s my question to you; who’s your favorite legacy hero?

“..my people on the low end try to ball and get over. “

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