Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, they bowed down to our demands. Our month-long and much less publicized strike is over. Are you satisfied with the new terms of our contract?

I don’t know, Mathan. The royalities are nice, but…did all those people really need to die?


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 DC Boards are full of people questioning Salvation Run loving Sinestro Corps War and being underwhelmed by The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul.

Tim, whatever shall you link this week?

A nice holiday ditty entitled, Twas the Dark Knight Before Christmas. People without hearts need not apply.

What I’ve Read Recently

Robin Annual #7 – Great cover. I also really enjoyed both the main tale and the back up story. I may have to start reading Robin now.

You should’ve been reading this book like a year and a half ago. But, what can I do. As for the Annual…pretty mediocre in my opinion.

Countdown #26 – I’m glad this issue explained how the Monitors came about. Kolins’ art was good. But that’s about it.

Batman #670 – I liked Daniel’s debut. I really enjoyed how Morrison tried to explore the mythos of Ra’s al Ghul. I’m optimistic about this crossover.

I too liked the first installment. My enthusiasm has since dipped severely.

Justice Society of America #10 – I’ve got to admit that Johns and Ross did a good job of utilizing Obsidian in this issue. I do think that while being on the same team with Citizen Wang AKA Rod Johnson the Package Master might be intimidating, Supes looks a bit too ashamed on the cover. And I’ve officially signed the petition for the death of Cyclone.

Nooooooooo! Not you too Mathan?!

Legion of Super-heroes #35 – Great seeing Evolvo Lad again. Nice to see the Supergirl thing is being resolved. I’m going to miss Bedard and Calero when they leave.

Infinite Halloween Special – What I liked in this issue (Zatanna, Red Rain, Small Evil, Flash and Resurrection Man) I really liked. But everything else fell kinda flat with me.

Too much bad to too little good for my tastes. A poor ratio at a big price.

Ultimate Power #8 – Eh, I don’t see how all this is going to be wrapped up in one issue.

Trials of Shazam #9 – Loving this book. Cascioli’s art is a great addition. I’m digging the deals that Freddy’s having to make.

Action Comics #858 – Such a good issue. Dug the twist on Kal’s origins. Dug the retro Brainiac and the reveal at the end. I’m looking forward to this title again.

Crime Bible #1 – Solid first issue. I like the notion of a crime cult. I really liked the cover. It’s stunning. It’s nice to see Renee in action again.

Special Forces #1 – Wow. I picked this up because of Kyle Baker and I was not expecting this. Strong sympathetic characters. Tragic setting. This was such a well written story. I’m glad I picked it up.

Lord Havok & the Extremists #1 – One of the perks of having 52 Earths is that we get to see critiques on the 616. I liked how some of the JLE stuff was tied into the story. I am anxious to see them let loose though.

Countdown to Adventure #3 – This issue had a severe lack of Champ Hazard. I’m dropping this title.

Countdown to Mystery #2 – I’m really liking this new Dr. Fate. It’s always great to see Justiniano and Wong’s art, but Nelson is such an interesting guy. Now I’m sad it’s only a mini.

JSA Classified #31 – Huh? What happened in this issue? Nazi brains on the moon? The JSA in space suits. Pokemon?! And how did that robot spider “see” MT? I really tried to defend this arc, until this issue hit.

Wow…what a crash and burn. Ugly and poorly written.

Se7en #7 – Kind of a let down after last issue. I did get my “what’s in the booooox?!!!”

Ahh, Brad Pitt’s finest acting hour.

Welcome to Tranquility Armageddon #1 – Boo. Decent way to explain the shift in artist. But this story stank.

Supergirl #23 – Yes! I get to adjust to a new creative team. I love growing pains.

Metal Men #4 – I’m pumped we get another Doc Magnus and witness the debut of Metal Men. I loved the Gold/Lead stuff. All minis should be this fun. I’m officially signing on for Rouleau’s next thing.

American Virgin #20 – Now that the writing is on the wall, this book just makes me sad.

The Atom #17 – Is there a better relationship than Atom and Giganta? Look at Wonder Woman trying to salt up Ryan’s game? Amazonian haters, nothing worse.

Infinity Inc #3 – Wow. This book took a turn and I missed it. I’m going to have to reread everything again.

You are not alone on missing that turn. And I have leapt off the boat.

Fallen Angel #21 – Good read. Nice twist. I’m really growing to appreciate Jude.

Scalped #11 – I love a storyline that ends on a cliffhanger. This book is consistently a good read.

Y the Last Man #59 – Nice way to resolve the Alter thing. It makes complete sense. And it was nice to see Yorick actually “man up” with one issue left.

Countdown #25 – As I read this issue, I had flashbacks to Battle of Bludhaven and the final Firestorm arc. This issue was nightmarish.

Robin #168 – Yes! It’s so great to see Tim being a jerk. He’s going to be a great Batman one day.

Brave & the Bold #8 – Only Waid can make the Doom Patrol seem not only interesting but fun. As usual I loved this issue. It was a real treat seeing Perez’s Flash again.

Catwoman #73 – I don’t know how much more praise I can heap on this book. It rarely disappoints and almost always slays. This issue was no exception. Loved seeing the vindictive Calculator.

I want more of that collector fella. He… intrigues. And yes, another slay for this team.

All-Star Superman #9 – Essentially a “ditto.” Great cover. Loved Jimmy’s fashion statement. This book is magic.

Literally. Through it I can speak to dead movie stars and open portals into the sentient DCU. Oh, Morrison, what will you think of next.

Titans East Special – Over on the message boards we had some good ideas on where to take Power Boy as a character. I love Vulcan and dig Hawk & Dove. For the first time ever I can kind of sort of see why Judd has so many vocal haters.

What a kill-crazy mess this was. Just…ugh.

Salvation Run #1 – I liked this book much more that I thought I would. It may have do to with the Rogue focus, but seeing them work together was nice. And using that familiar planet was a very nice touch.

Whereas I liked it less. Willingham manages to fail at getting a single personality right and Chen’s art has really gotten quite generic over the years. How could a DC villain version of Secret Wars fail? I know not, but here it is.

Nightwing #138 – I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed an issue of this title as much as I did this one. Ironically that makes me sad.

As it well should.

Detective Comics #838 – Good cover, awful interior art. Like really, really not matching the story. Boo.

The Spirit #11 – Props to Cooke & Bone for using overused zombies effectively. I’m really going to miss these guys when they leave.

Checkmate #20 – Is it wrong that I was rooting for Waller? I wanted her to pull it off and was let down when she got taken out. Great read.

It is very wrong. But sometimes being wrong feels so right, you know?

The Flash #234 – Loved the Iris and Jai moments. Really enjoyed the art. The back up looked good, but felt like it’d been done before. I’m bored of “legacy” tales, especially with the Flash. Waid himself has already tread this ground with Mota and John Fox’s first appearance.

This book has officially entered the “one more issue” phase. I’m just not connecting with it at all.

The Vinyl Underground #3 – I dig how Brit this book is. Every character sound so foreign that it’s part of the fun book. And the various back stories are pretty interesting.

Crossing Midnight #12 – Great conclusion. Why I never realized that Kai could disrupt magic is beyond me. This book has quietly crept to one of my Vertigo faves.

X-Factor #25 – Boo to crossovers I don’t care about.


Wildcats 3.0 #1-4 – Props to those who have converted me. This title lived up to the hype. Now if only #5 would arrive in the mail.

100 Bullets #86 = Great Victor solo tale. I really love the slower solo issues on this title. They work so well and this one is no exception.

After the Cape vol II #1 – I’m glad we’re getting a second volume. Nice to see things picking back up. I really love the characterization and premise.

Action Comics #859 – I love the whole perverting of the Supes myth. I love Frank and Sibal’s art. It does appear that Donnor was dragging Johns down on their run, because I’m loving this one so much.

Suicide Squad #3 – I actually kind of like the back story in this issue. I am glad that Rick is away from Skartaris.

Plus, the General!

Simon Dark #2 – This book has really impressed me. I’m glad I gave it a shot. Hampton’s art is really something amazing. It’s so good that I’m worried about the inevitable fill in issue. I’m still not sold on this book being set in Gotham though.

Wonder Woman #14 Thank goodness Gail has arrived. This issue was fun and intriguing. I want to know more about that prisoner. I loved Grodd’s goons. Congrats Gail.

Black Adam #4 – This book is so good that it needs to become a monthly.

Green Arrow & Black Canary #2 – I liked the Ollie and Connor moments, but I loved the variant cover. I’ve got to get my hands on that somehow.

See? Winick’s not all bad. Although, he’ll be killing Connor is a month or two, so I may need to revise that opinion shortly.

Booster Gold #4 – I liked Max and Rex, but I didn’t really dig the Supernova reveal. Still this book is tons of fun.

Regarding the Supernova reveal: What is this, an X-Men pick from the 90’s? Hoooooooooooo!

Tranquility #12 – I’m really going to miss this place.

Countdown #24 – Nice to see Kil-El living up to his name again.

Crime Bible #2 – Seriously Saiz and Rucka need a Question solo title stat! And props to both of them for handling the lesbian thing so maturely. But seriously, I need more Saiz in my life.

Who doesn’t?

All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder #8 – Again, this was a fun read. The Joker is a menace and the stuff with Batman and Robin was fun. But did they have to rip Hal to hard?

Batman & the Outsiders #1 & 2 – Eh. I liked Lopez and Bit as the art team better than Rodriguez and Bit. I don’t know that happened behind the scenes with this title, but the mess has spilled over into the pages. This book is a train wreck.

Countdown #23 Surprisingly good issue. Kil-El and Mxy made for a decent read.

Countdown #22 – I don’t want to talk about it.

Not even a little.

Batman #671 – How cool was it to see Batman get a beatdown and tough it out? Morrison was just waiting to put that moment in there.

That “lasting longer” line? Totally Airwolf! (Thanks to Dave Campbell for that). Too bad the rest of the crossover has larger failed to reach those heights.

Deathblow #8 – When this title ends I’d like to see an Absolute Deathblow, just for the creator commentary.

American Virgin #21 – This book just keeps getting better, how can it be ending?

Because of original sin, Mathan. We are born to suffer, and this is how we are reminded of that.

Green Lantern Corps #18 – I loved the scenes on Daxam. I loved the fight scenes. I really loved the nods to Sodam Yat’s first appearance. This was a really good chapter of the saga.

Gotham Underground #2 – Nice to see the Gangs of Gotham. Equally nice to see Batmite and Spoiler again. Didn’t really care for Dick’s skim-Matches. But I’m basically enjoying this mini.

Teen Titans #53 – A bit too much going on this issue. I really liked Miss Martain’s moments, especially with Tim. Blue Beetle absolutely rocks. But this issue was just busy.

Trials of Shazam #10 – Tawky rocks! Cascioli’s art is so good that I’m irked he didn’t do the entire series. For the most part this book has been worth the wait.

Blue Beetle #21 – Not too bad for a fill in issue. I liked seeing Traci again and Paco and Jamie trying to cover in front of Jamie’s pop was fun. But I’d prefer not to have fill ins.

Supergirl & the Legion of Super-heroes #36 – Props to Bedard and Calero for taking the baton from Waid and Kitson and running with it. They didn’t miss a beat and kept things moving. I loved this arc. And I really liked the stuff with Brainy and Dreamy. As odd as it sounds, Shooter has some shoes to fill.

Superman/Batman #43 – Why did I buy this issue? Equal parts DnA, McKone and Dr. Light. But this issue really sucked. Boo to me getting suckered.

JSA Classified #32 – How a lame battle with Solomon Grundy ends with the return of Vandal Savage and Jade(?) is beyond me. But I still expected more from an Alan Scott tale.

Exterminators #23 – Creepy as ever. Graphically gross. This book is losing steam with me.

The Programme #5 – I didn’t see Korovin’s turn coming. And poor, poor Max.

Poor Max? POOR MAX?! What about Poor Senator Joe, huh?

Ex Machina #32 – BKV loves his dream sequences, and they always have me scratching my head. But this issue seems to be building to the next one and BKV doesn’t disappoint.

Lord Havoc & the Extremists #2 – I dig Gorgon’s story. I didn’t see the swerve coming. But I like the look at how that world operated. I’m anxious to see how the rest of this mini plays out.

Neil has his finger on the pulse.

The recent rumor is that Bruce Wayne will die and a Robin will inherit the mantle of the bat. Is this an awful idea or is it just a bad one?

I’m a fan of Grant Morrison. I followed him blindly into Seven Soldiers and enjoyed it. I love the tossed off nuggets of his genius that are The Atom and Metal Men. But this idea sure sounds like a stinker.

It’s tough to say why I don’t dig it. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t the biggest fan of Knightfall. I mean I liked the set up and the build up, but it was draining. And it also seemed kind of gimmicky, especially on the heels of Superman’s death.

I’m also not that keen on the proposed relaunch from #1. Batman has one of those big numbers that 99% of comics won’t ever reach. He made it through the 50’s, he deserves better than that.

And despite seeing what a Robin could be in the most recent issue of his title, I don’t want to see Tim as Batman. Wait a minute. As I was typing that last sentence I realized that I do want to see Tim as Batman. Just getting the occasional glimpse of him as Batman in Teen Titans isn’t enough. I wouldn’t mind seeing him as Batman full time. He’s pretty good at it.

Still, I don’t like the idea. I especially don’t like knowing it’s going to happen more than half a year before it happens. I completely respect whoever leaked it, because I’m assuming they did so to sabotage the story, and I think it needs sabotaging. I don’t want to see it happen. And I’m glad that it’s not going to.

Tim, how do you stand on this squashed story?

On the surface, it sounds like a lousy idea. Or in Neil’s terms, both an awful one and a bad one. I mean, who really believes that this sort of thing will stick? Show of hands?

Yeah, zero. Exactly.

But impermanence, in and of itself, is no reason to poo-poo it. A story that will obviously end with a return to the status quo can still be good, or even, dare we hope for it, great. I mean, isn’t that narrative arc the backbone of comic book story telling since it began?

Still, despite my Morrison love, this one just does not click with me. I remain trepidacious because it seems increasingly like DC is down to one or two attention grabbing tricks in its bag. This one is a little ditty I call, “character death.” Don’t believe me? Check out Death of the New Gods. Or Titans East, complete with “Who Will Die?” cover blurb and three of the most gloriously stupid pages worth of (oddly unbloody) death. If this was four years ago, I’d sit up and take notice of a note about Bruce Wayne dying. These days, though, I just yawn.

Soak1313 loves Chinese board games

In the newest issue of Batman there is a character called I Ching. Has he been introduced before and if so what is his history?

I Ching has indeed appeared before. I Ching is kind of a bigwig in the DCU. Well he was in the Silver Age. He mentored Wonder Woman and helped Superman heal. And now, just like battlesuited Lex Luthors, colorful kryptonite and Kryptonian cousins, he’s back in a big way.

And now I’m crying.

Y’see I Ching belonged to a sect of folks who recognized the connection between magic and science. Instead of choosing one, they respected both. (Think of them as the Unitarians of the magic/science debate.) Of course over time word got out about them, which led to people seeking their knowledge, including bad people. To make a long story short, I Ching is the only surviing member of sect.

So when the Silver Age Wonder Woman lost her powers, Diana Prince and I Ching hooked up. Not “hooked up” in a Laguna Beach sort of way. (Would’ve been too hot for the 70’s Comic Code!) They hooked up in a trainer/trainee sort of way. (Which can still be kind of hot if you think about it. “I will be your father figure, put your tiny hand in mine” and all that. Yeah, you know what I’m saying.) He taught her martial arts and other things of that nature.

Both I Ching and Diana were instrumental in aiding Superman when the “Sand Superman” was causing him trouble. In fact I Ching was responsible for actually resolving that issue.

Eventually Diana got her powers back. I Ching also happened to die in that same issue. Coincidence?

The current I Ching showed up Wonder Woman #2 before having a speaking role in the current issue of Batman. Apparently Grant Morrison has a fondness for the character and is going to be keeping him around.

If anyone is wondering, this is the other prominent trick in the ol’ bag for DC these days: the resurrection of Silver Age concepts and ideas. Sometimes it can be good (All-Star Superman, Egg Fu), sometimes it can be bad (anything main DCU Man of Steel related: multiple kryptonites, Supergirl as cousin, that friggin’ dog), and sometimes it is a push (I Ching, currently). I liked it slightly more than the death thing, but that’s mostly because I don’t read Superman. If I did…I’d just be angry all the time. More so, I mean.

Maybe Glen cares?

Who is this Chroma guy that got killed in JSA #1?

Chroma is a nobody. He’s literally a character that nobody cared about ever. But here’s his back story.

Chroma made his debut in Infinity Inc #14 at an “outdoor rock concert.” He flew right in and captured the audiences attention with a song about the end of the world


Infinity Inc. came in and attacked. (Buzzkills.) Their attack put him in the hospital where he remained unconscious. He revealed that he was faking as he could better study human folks. He basically said that he came from deep space to sing his song of doom and gauge reactions to it. Was he trying out new material? Was he testing human beings to see how we coped with the end of the world? To quote the Queens of the Stone Age, “no one knows.”

Y’see as the Infinitors debated amongst themselves about how to deal with the Chroma issue, Chroma felt he’d gathered enough information and left the planet.

The powers that Chroma exhibited was a rainbow of energy which caused electronic disturbances. Oh and he had that whole singing voice mesmerizing people going for him too.

So he’s like Pied Piper meets Halo meets Dazzler meets Rainbow Rider…or something? Wow…wow.

If Wizard was still cool and had Mort of the Month, he’d certainly have been one. Personally I’m glad that he got taken out because he’s a character that didn’t have a following so no one is whining about him. Plus DC could use to lose a few more rainbow themed characters. And I don’t mean “rainbow” in the Obsidian way.

Tim, what other themed characters could DC use less of?

Well, DC has a goodly amount of heat/fire based villains and cold/ice based villains, but I actually tend to like both categories of characters so, although it would be the most sensible place to cut, I’m having a hard time identifying expendables.

Maybe sonic based villains besides Pied Piper. Cause, man, does that Sonar in the military outfit suck or what?

Julian L. Smith has a taste for quicksilver

Are there plans for the return of Max Mercury?

I’d have to guess that there are no plans for Max to return. It’s pretty much accepted that he’s gone and trapped in the Speed Force after the Golden Age Reverse Flash, Rival, took over his body. And while I love the guy I just don’t think that there’s much of a call for the guy.

With Bart not only no longer Impulse, but no longer living Max would just be another expendable hero if he were to return to the DCU. So staying in the Speed Force would probably be in his best interest.

But if I could craft his return he’d come back and be Wally’s nanny. Iris and Jai need someone to watch over them, and Linda probably wants to get back to the work place. So we put Max in the West home to look after the kids.

It’d be the perfect mix of Who’s the Boss and Heroes. Actually it’s probably be more like Mr. Belvedere and Heroes only with Zen teachings. So I guess it’d be like some sort of crazy mix between Mr. Belvedere, Heroes and Life, in a comic book.

Tim, how would you like to see Max Mercury return?

I would now! Mr. Belvedere rules! I love that guy. He’s sooooooooooo funny.

Whoa…gotta take a breath. Remember the mantra.

I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key. I should want to cook Mr. Belvedere a simple meal, but I shouldn’t want to cut into him, to tear the flesh, to wear the flesh, to be born unto new worlds where his flesh becomes my key.

Er…moving on. We’ll catch back up with Tim later.

Soak1313 is tired of being outrun

How exactly do Zoom’s speed powers work? I know he isn’t tapped into the speed force and it has something more to do with time based stuff. So help?

“Zoom’s speed powers” is a misconception. Zoom doesn’t have speed powers; his powers are temporal in nature. Zoom doesn’t move at superspeed, he just slows down time around himself so he appears to be moving fast. Basically he’s like Hiro on Heroes.

Since he’s messing with time Zoom seems to be moving faster than speedsters, but he’s really just moving normal speed and slowing things down. It’s not the easiest concept to wrap your head around, which is why I’m so glad that that Hiro exists as an excellent example to use.

Tim is Heroes good for anything other than providing examples of how super powers work?

Sure! It gives (or gave) me a place to see Adrain Pasdar (Profit) every week besides my DVD collection and it gave the delightful (and tiny) Kristen Bell a job.

Julian L. Smith looks back, without anger.

I liked Savitar and thought he was pretty much ‘over’ as a villain. What are the chances of seeing him again?

This is a tough question.

On one hand chances are slim because Savitar was pretty much stuck in the Speed Force at the end of Dead Heat.

On the other hand not only did Kil-El proving escaping the Speed Force is possible but Mark Waid is writing The Flash again.

But oddly enough on yet another hand Mark Waid isn’t the permanent writer on The Flash.

I think that there are clearly seeds planted that could be used for Savitar’s return. Perhaps he got out when people were trying to hold Superboy-Prime in. Maybe he escaped alongside Superboy-Prime. Or maybe the Speed Force has been weakened enough for him to escape. Plus the aforementioned Rival escaped by using Max Mercury’s body, so it’s possible.

I’m sure we’ll see him again at some point, we’re talking about comics after all. So I’ll say there’s a 100% chance of seeing him again. I just don’t think it’ll be anytime soon.

Tim, are there any Flash foes you’d like to see again?


Glen is searching for identity…someone else’s

Who is this Rex Carter from Booster Gold?

He’s a mysterious character indeed. “Jason Goldstein” doesn’t actually show up in the Time Masters miniseries, so either “Jason Goldstein” is from an unseen adventure of the team or, like Rip Hunter, the other Time Masters were using aliases to protect their identity.

If Rex is any character from the Time Masters mini he’s probably Corky. But there are two problems with that theory. Firstly, Corky was Bonnie’s brother and Rex has already claimed to have killed Bonnie, which doesn’t seem very brotherly. Secondly, Corky committed suicide.

Y’see Time Masters revolved around a young Rip Hunter who was still tinkering with time travel. As such, he hadn’t quite perfected it yet, so time travel was limited to a one round trip affair. Corky had wasted his trip and was despondent over the prospect of never traveling again so he hanged himself.

But it is possible that Corky was just a name that Jason Goldstein assumed to protect his identity and that he somehow was saved from suicide and that he killed his own sister. If I were a betting man I’d put my money on Corky.

Tim, are you digging Booster Gold?

Unexpectedly, I am. Even with that lame twist this past issue.

Julian L. Smith expects us to make his financial decisions

I was thinking of picking up The Great Darkness Saga. Should I borrow or buy?

I don’t know what kind of budget you’re working with, but you may want to consider leasing The Great Darkness Saga or possibly doing the rent to own option.

I know that Rent-to-own Comics offers up some pretty good deals when it comes to trade options. You’ll be paying more over a longer period of time, but it might be easier on the wallet. Leasing is another option.

Personally I’d buy it, but I’m a big Legion fan and Giffen fan. I loved it when I read it. It’s easily my favorite Darkseid story. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself;

Do you have any knowledge of that era of the Legion and it’s members?

Are you prepared to be completely sucked into the 30th Century of the Legion of Super-heroes?

Do you like Keith Giffen’s art?

Do you like Daxamites?

If you answered “no” to two or more of those questions then “The Great Darkness Saga” probably isn’t for you. But if you answered “yes” to two or more than I’d recommend it for you.

Tim, is “The Great Darkness Saga” for you?

For you, Mathan, I’ll try it.

Glen wonders if it wouldn’t be easier just to heal the handicapped rather than worry about making everything handicapped accessible.

So it seems like Booster Gold is going to save Barbara Gordon from the Killing Joke? What are your thoughts on this matter? Should Batgirl be saved from becoming Oracle and lead the JLA? Does it really matter if The Killing Joke is in continuity or not?

Allow me to preface my answer by saying this; I love Batgirl: Year One and don’t read Birds of Prey.

That said Barbara Gordon should be Oracle.

I can remember reading stories (Manhunter, Suicide Squad) where Barbara was wheelchair bound yet a computer expert and thinking how cool it was, because back then computers weren’t that commonplace. I certainly didn’t know how to use one, so she might as well have had a super power.

Oracle is a character very much ahead of her time when the evolution took place and a 100% modern character. And just like Batman, Robin and Nightwing, in theory anyone could be Oracle it they put the work in. Except that Oracle is even more inspiring because she didn’t allow a personal tragedy to alter her goal of doing the greater good. When faced with paralysis many sink into a depression, so the thought that maybe a comic fan facing paralysis can find inspiration in the evolution of Barbara Gordon is reason enough to keep her as Oracle.

She serves a much greater purpose as Oracle than she would leading the JLA as Batgirl.

As for The Killing Joke being continuity I’m for it and against it, if that makes any sense.

I’ve got a second printing of The Killing Joke and it’s one of the first books that I read multiple times. At first I loved it for Bolland’s art. At the time Bolland was so much more of a draw than the guy who wrote it. Then I grew to love the story, the nuance and the panel layout. And eventually learned about Alan Moore.

Of course Alan Moore didn’t intend for The Killing Joke to be continuity, he was just writing a story. He didn’t think it would be the definitive Joker origin nor did he think that Batgirl would be a wheelchair as a result.

Not to sound sadistic, but I liked that Barbara was paralyzed in that story. At the time it was shocking and there was a real sense of vulnerability in the DCU, but particularly in the Bat family. It was like anything could happen and that was exciting. So in that regard I’m all for stamping it with in continuity.

But I don’t know if the Joker’s origin needs to set in stone. For me it’s the definitive origin for the Joker. That’s the origin that I have in my mind when I think of the character. I think that finally made the Joker more than just an archenemy. And humanizing a guy who’s doing horrible things in the story is no small feat.

However I completely accept the multiple choice theory that many creators run with. He doesn’t need an origin. Whoever he was before he fell into that vat is irrelevant, he’s the Joker now and that life is gone. It recent art in Batman Confidential was and interesting take. And the arc in Gotham Knights was perhaps too ambitious, but gets points for trying to follow up on The Killing Joke.

I love Alan Moore and think that he’s a great writer, but I don’t revere the guy. I don’t think that his DCU work is sacred (The Watchmen is). I dig how Sinestro Corps War sprung from seeds that he planted, but his stuff isn’t untouchable.

Tim, where do you stand on the multiple issues at hand?

Wow…lot of stuff here so I’ll hit each one fast for maximum efficiency.

1.) Barbara is way more interesting as Oracle than she was as Batgirl so she deserves to stay in that role. The Bat house is already full enough, no need to give her a demotion.
2.) I’m all for Oracle playing General to the JLA. They can have a field leader too, just like an army. Now tell me that couldn’t work.
3.) I too enjoy the ambiguity of the Joker’s origin in The Killing Joke. It could be real, it could not be and I’d like to see it treated in that way. Tantalizing hints here and there, perhaps, but contradictions forever muddling the picture. As for the rest of the story? It needs to be continuity so Barbara stays Oracle.

Julian L. Smith must have a lot of lead, all the crap he’s talking.

How the hades can Sadam-Yat much less any other Daxamite be a threat when they can be taken down by tainted Chinese toys? What kinda crap is this? I’m sorry; LEAD is their Achilles heel? That’s just…HORRIBLE. Are there any memorable Daxamite stories in the DCU? Are there any other Kryptonian-like races in the galaxies?

Dude, you’re so selling the Daxamite’s short. Sure they’d probably die when setting foot in a Baltimore row house, but they’re pretty formidable.

Daxamite’s are a threat because that power goes to their head. Look at how most Kryptonian’s react when they get their powers, they get drunk with power. And that’s how the xenophobic Daxamites are.

But you’ve got to cut them some slack on their weakness. Mon-El, the first Daxamite was a Silver Age creation, and they needed him to make a quick exit. Thus he was allergic to lead. The writers didn’t know that almost 50 years later the concept of Daxam would still be around ore even prominent. .

(Of course in the 1960’s they also didn’t know not to eat lead paint and thought we’d have flying cars and cities on the moon, so that might put some perspective on things.).

We really should have flying cars by now. Just saying.

Also, no more weather.

My point is that something that was thought to be a one-off character got saddled with a lame weakness that was then given to an entire planet of people. Cut the Daxamites some slack, I’m sure they would have rather had something cool as their weakness, like diamonds or one of the other Metal Men, like Platinum.

Would it be any better if a young Clark Kent gave Mon-El a custom platinum grill and then found out that Mon was allergic to the stuff? Of course not, then you’d have written an email asking why they could be taken down any rapper from South and saying things like “Bling is their Achilles heel?” Unless you can come up with a suitable weakness I’m going to bet there’s no pleasing you.

As for good Daxamite tales I’d recommend Invasion! which isn’t a full Daxamite story, but has a pivotal moment for Daxam. Also Valor an unofficial spin off from Invasion! (but official spin off of Eclipso: The Darkness Within) is a cool little book about the Daxamite Lar Gand exploring the DCU.

In theory there may be other races similar to Daxamites and Kryptonians, because Daxamites descended from Kryptoinans. Some Kryptonians set out to explore the universe, settled upon Daxam and thus became Daxamites.

So I suppose if some other Kryptonian explorers settled on another planet, there maybe another “super” planet out there.

How do you feel about Daxamites, Tim?

They seem nice enough, but then I was listening to Lou Dobbs today and I think he turned me around on this whole thing. They’re streaming into our country and taking our jobs! Jobs from hard working Americans! BOOOO to Daxamites, I say.

Next week we might determine if DC needs a reboot and who’s got DC’s worst haircut. Or maybe we’ll go Bizarro all over you? Who knows?

Feel free so send some questions my way either by posting them on our thread or you can email me.

Before I go here’s my question to you; What was your favorite title of 2007

“And your arm candy’s sweet on him, every woman that you left for this heifer has a college degree coming.”


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