Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, Life on Mars has returned! Aren’t you excited you get to spend time with Gene and Sam again?

Yeah. Well, more Gene than Sam, really, but still…yeah.

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Our DC Boards are mighty quiet. There’s some talk about Countdown Arena, but that’s about it.

Tim, anything to link this week?

Support the striking writers’ union (and entertain yourself) by heading to Speechless.

What I Read Last Week

The Exterminators #24 – Nice to have Tony Moore back. I dug the Apocalypse Now reference. But man, Oliver is kind of scary with the things that he dreams up.

Supergirl #24 – And I’m probably done with this book. But Reactron does show up next issue. But I’m not digging Puckett at all. I’m so torn.

Justice League of America #15 – Fun issue. As usual I like the character moments. And I like the Salvation Run tie in.

I don’t know. The conclusion made the rest of the arc feel like much ado about nothing. It was great to see Firestorm make the save and the bit about Batman and the pen was funny, but those are just moments. As an arc…disappointed.

Countdown #21 – Yup, that issue happened.

The Atom #18 – Y’know because Gail, a woman was writing the stuff with Ryan being smitten was funny. But I think if a guy wrote it, it might have felt creepy. Regardless, I really enjoyed the team up in this crazy mixed up town.

As did I. Oddly enough, I thought Gail’s rendition of Wonder Woman here was actually much better than her writing of WW over in Wondy’s own book.

Robin #169 – Man, I was just wondering how Nightwing was going to work himself back into the story. I’m so glad to see Tim portrayed as a human being who has lost and has desires. The kid’s been through too much not to be tempted by Ra’s’ offer. I really hope the status quo is shaken up a bit.

See, I found it to be wildly uncharacteristic of Tim. I’m all for drama and hard choices, but if mind control doesn’t play into this I’ll be disappointed. Between him acting like a petulant child towards Damien a few issues back and this tantrum here, Tim hasn’t acted like Tim since the start of this arc, with very little satisfying answers as to why.

Justice Society of America #11 – Wow, Hawkgirl is pretty boring now that she’s without a title. I loved Starman breaking the 4th Wall. I’m glad that Mr. America has returned and I’ll get into Judomaster later.

Wait…since when was Hawkgirl interesting in her own title? I’d amend your opinion to say something more like, “Wow, Hawkgirl was much more interesting when she was part of the Justice Society, not just visiting.” Or something to that effect.

Countdown Arena #1 – I really enjoyed this issue. The battle with the Nightshades was pretty cool, as was Monarch’s punishment for breaking the rules. You’ve got to give him props for practicing what he preached in terms of suicide. I didn’t dig the outcome for the Bat battle, it went opposite of how I wanted it to go. But I can’t wait for Red Son and DKR Supes to throw down.

Well, I’m glad you enjoyed it Mathan because I, even with sweet, sweet McDaniel art, did not. If Monarch so friggin’ powerful, what the heck does he need this team for anyway? And how come this book, which is essentially Mortal Kombat in the DCU, is so much less cool than Iron Fist’s current arc, which is essentially Mortal Kombat in the Marvel U? Especially considering DC is employs much more recognizable characters for it (variations on the theme though they may be).

Evidently, I’m very contrary today.

CP:TSFRP – Gotham by Gaslight – I dug it, except for the vampire stuff. But Tocchini’s art was great (he needs a regular gig.) And the Blue Beetle appearance rocked.

Glen is searching. Searching for the Search for Ray Palmer

How have you like the Search for Ray Palmer one-shots?

Confession time; I haven’t read them every Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer one-shot. I’ve actually only read three of them. I picked up the first one, CP:TSFRP – Wildstorm because I’ve grown kind of fond of the Wildstorm U. Also I really liked it when Captain Atom visited the place and wanted to see how other DCU characters would react to it.

And I pretty much liked the Wildstorm issue. It had some interesting moments and the different inkers really added to the disjointed feel of the book, in a good way.

Next I picked up CP:TSFRP – Crime Society which I loved. I really grew to love the Jokester. He was so unique and refreshing. McKeever really did a good job of fleshing the character out. I enjoyed that world and furthermore Duela Dent was actually interesting for the first time ever. Crime Society was probably the high mark for these one-shots.

I didn’t pick up CP:TSFRP – Red Rain because I never got into that much hyped Elseworlds series. I don’t really see the allure of vampires so investing in a vampire Batman story didn’t interest me when the stories were published and visiting that place doesn’t interest me now.

I did pick up CP:TSFRP – Gotham by Gaslight. It was the first Elseworlds and I have fond memories of reading Gotham by Gaslight so I was looking forward to this one. Plus it was Augustyn was writing it so I figured it’d be good. And for the most part it was. I liked seeing Blue Beetle, but obviously loathed the vampires.

By the time you read this I’ll have read CP:TSFRP – Red Son and I’m equally looking forward to that one. Red Son was easily my favorite Superman Elseworlds, so I’m eager to revisit that place.

All in all, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. I’m glad that DC has decided to give some exploration to these Earths and possibly expose them to new fans.

Personally I think that DC should continue the Search for Ray Palmer after Countdown ends. You could have Ray Palmer’s student loan officer get dispatched into the multiverse because he’s delinquent on his loans. But the loan officer can’t tell anyone why he’s looking for Ray because loan officers are despised multiversially. So sometimes he pretends that he’s an alumni guy who’s looking for Ray to tell him about the 20th reunion of his graduating class.

So clearly the concept is viable in a Post Countdown world.

Tim, since I’m sure you don’t support anything Countdown related, I’ll just ask where you think Ray Palmer is?

Hmm…let’s see. He can shrink to microscopic sizes, making him basically invisible. He can almost anywhere and observe almost anything without being noticed. He’s like Hollow Man without the six degrees of separation.

Thus, with great confidence, I predict that Ray Palmer is…on the floor of the U.S. Senate. All that scintillating debate, all that dedication to American ideals, it would just be too irresistible, as I am sure all of you are well aware.

Where did you think he’d be, the JLA women’s locker room?

Docbooty is a big fan of dwelling on the bad in any situation.

What are the 10 WORST Elseworld stories you have read?

I was having the hardest time trying to figure out how to answer this question. I mean I’m pretty particular about which Elseworlds projects I got into. Generally I’ll try out anything Green Lantern or Flash related. And I’ll pick up the occasional Bat project. My basic formula for my trying an Elseworlds was 40% character, 35% creators, 25% concept. Using that formula I was never really disappointed.

I even enjoyed the Elseworlds annuals from the 90’s.

But then I remember some Elsworlds that I’d buried in the back of my mind and forced myself to forget. Without a doubt Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating… were the worst Elseworlds stories I’d ever read.

Sure they weren’t technically “Elseworlds” but they might as well have been. And man did they stink.

It was a Pre 9/11 world so we were all a little more naïve back then. Comic fans could be forgiven for completely buying the hype about Stan Lee trying his magic with DC’s iconic names. It was a more simple time back then.

Of course Post 9/11 comic fans could be forgiven for continuing to buy those books because we all needed something to believe in, and some of us wanted to believe that despite all evidence to the contrary that Stan Lee could make this expensive experiment worthwhile. Our belief was unfounded.

What’s really sad is that I’ve never understood the allure of Stan Lee. I never thought he was that great or talented. So how I got caught up in the hype is beyond me. To me Stan is kind of like Ted Kennedy; all of his promise and glory days are 40 years in the past, he’s become a parody of himself and you kind of have to shake your head like “he’s the one who gets to survive? Thanks.”

Dude! That’s Stan Lee you’re talking about. Back the hell off.

Also, Ted Kennedy can still bring on the fiery oratory when he needs to. Yes, his head to enormous in person (even bigger than you’d imagine) and yes, he walks like a penguin, but he’s still a hell of a speaker.

But if I didn’t buy every issue of Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating… then clearly the terrorists would have won.

Tim, are there any Elseworlds that you didn’t really dig?

Well, despite my defense of The Man (not Denzel, Stan) I never read Just Imagine so I was spared that agony. But I’ve come up against so lousy Elseworlds in time. Here’s a few.

Batman/Captain America– Technically an inter-company crossover, but it has the Elseworlds stamp on it, so it counts. I hated, hated, hated it. What North was to Roger Ebert, this book was to me. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.

Batman: Master of the Future– The sequel to Gotham by Gaslight, you’d never know it to read it because the quality is so much less. Actually merely mediocre on its own, when compared with its predecessor, I can’t help but dislike it.

Robin 3000– So wanted to like it. So could not.

Superman: Red Son– Beloved by many, it merely bores me. It probably wouldn’t make my list except for the fact that after listening to everyone repeatedly state how great it is, my disinterest has curdled into dislike.

Superman & Batman: Generations– Like Batman/Captain America, but only involves DC characters and much, much longer.

I think they are more if I really wracked my brain, but yes, Docbooty, there are plenty of Elseworlds out there to dislike.

Glen is looking for someone to pronounce the time of death

Do you think Sodam Yat is really dead? Can a Daxamite die under a yellow sun? Some are complaining that it was wrong to kill him because he’s an Alan Moore creation? Should Moore creations be immune from death? If so why not Kirby’s or Fox’s or Dixons?

You’ve given me quite a lot to chew on with this one. I guess I’ll take it in order.

I don’t think that Sodam Yat is dead. He’s supposed to be the new Ion. That’s the Torchbearer. He’s much too powerful an asset for the Guardians to let him die. It’s not every day you get a Daxamite off Daxam.

Daxamites can die under a yellow sun. A Kryptonian can die under a yellow sun, when exposed to kryptonite the same is true when a Daxamite is exposed to lead. Only when it comes to Daxamites it occurs much quicker and getting them away from lead doesn’t cause the process to diminish. Any exposure is quickly fatal. That’s why Mon-El went into the Phantom Zone, and why his pop died during Invasion!.

Sodam Yat was created by Alan Moore, even though Yat was only mentioned in a story about a future that had yet to come to pass and was potentially fictitious. So it wasn’t like Alan Moore gave him an origin or even used the character, he just mentioned him. And while Moore is notorious for the detail in which he writer his stories, this was probably just a one-off tale and he realized that Superman would be the “ultimate Green Lantern” but being short of Kryptonians (ah imagine having only one Krypton survivor) he opted for a Daxamite instead.

(Yes, I’m aware that Yat would have played a role in Twilight of the Super-heroes the tale that Moore pitched, but never materialized. But I’m betting that at the time that Moore created Yat, he was a one-off.)

I don’t think that Alan Moore’s creations should be immune from death. Or any writers’ creations for that matter. I forget where I read it, but I thought the general rule for writers was that it was impolite to kill off a character created before they were born. I think that’s a pretty good rule of thumb for the most part.

Therefore, as much as I dig Alan Moore’s writing, I don’t think that his creators should live forever. Like it or not, he was playing with DC’s toys, so DC can do whatever they want with them. It’s the reason why The Watchmen is being made into a movie. (You hear that DC, you can do whatever you want. Please release those DC Direct Watchmen figures!)

It’s very much like when you were a kid and went over to a friend’s house to play. You may have made the coolest creations with his Legos, but you can’t be mad at him for deciding to take those creations apart and do something else with those Legos.

Yeah, I can. What I did with the Legos was art. What he did was just awful.

Creations can’t be sacred. If they were sacred, we’d never have any growth and we’d never get books like Starman. The only Starman that James Robinson created was Jack Knight. Ted and David were previous characters, as were Mikaal and Gavyn. Yet they became so much more because they were allowed to grow and be fleshed out, and yes, even die.

If you worry about “who” created “what” you end up with Obsidian in Justice Society of America who’s literally two-dimensional. No character should be exempt from change or death.

Except for GUNFIRE!!!!!!!!!!, because he’s already perfect.

Care to chime in on the myriad of topics presented for us Tim?

Wow, what’s with all the “can we touch Moore’s stuff” related questions lately. Are we in the midst of a paradigm shift?

Anyway, in no particular order, here are my feelings.

Of course you can kill Yat, even though he’s a Moore character. I’d argue they shouldn’t because he was not yet developed enough to make his death truly affect the reader. But his death shouldn’t ever be taken off the table, whether it was Moore or Mackie who created him. And it is exactly for what Glen hints at. If you say no Moore creations can die, where do you draw the line? I mean, you’d obviously do it before Fox, but other than that, how do you decide?

As far as Yat being dead, I’m assuming not. First, there’s the aforementioned lack of development and second his GL ring never peels off him to seek out a different host. I’m thinking he’s just enjoying himself a little liedown, that’s all.

Dhaise is amending his address book.

How many of the Bloodlines characters are still alive?

I’ve just spend the last five minutes typing various combinations of “mathan” “New Blood” “Bloodlines” “Argus” and “Loose Cannon” into Google looking valiantly (and fruitlessly) for the previous column were when over all of the Bloodline characters so I could just cut and paste and update. Sadly the only thing I found is that Tim genuinely cares for Argus, and those hits kept getting my hopes up that I’d found something to aide me.

But since I couldn’t find what I was looking for I guess I’ll have to trudge on.

Let’s get the negativity out of the way and start with the dead, shall we?

Those no longer among the living are; Ballistic, Geist, Razorsharp, Nightblade, Mongrel, Terrorsmith, Ragnarok and Prism.

I know, I know, that’s only eight characters. You’re thinking “there should be more of those guys dead” and I don’t blame you. When you consider that Kil-El offed five of those guys by himself, how have the others managed to avoid death this long?

Anima, a fellow New Blood, who hooked up with Cyborg’s Titans East, may be dead. We’ll find out when Donna Troy finishes her quest for Ray Palmer and joins her fellow Titans in Titans #1. I’m going to say that she’s not dead, because if she is dead then that means that Vulcan and Hawk & Dove might also be dead, and I just can’t allow myself to entertain that thought.

Not to interrupt you or anything, but what was the deal with Anima in that book? I thought she was a grunge rocker? Did Winick change her up as a commentary on popular music (she’s a grunge rocker during the grunge era, a “pop tart” about three years after they stopped ruling the airwaves, etc) or did they just figure, “Hey, she looks cooler in a purple peekapoo unitard with studs on it.”

Just pondering.

Channelman is equally in limbo because he’s in a coma. But as long as nothing clogs his feeding tube he should be good.

Argus is a resilient dude. He recently lost his eyes, but he’s living solely on good vibes from one T. Stevens.

Cardinal Sin has managed to survive by catering to the religious right. He’s very active in Red States and does polling for the GOP.

Chimera has maintained a low profile by sticking mostly to voiceover work in commercials.

Slingshot and Shadowstryke are currently both in the adult film industry.

Rodney James got a job with UPS and is happy in middle management.

Pax tried to go Hollywood. Sadly K Pax bombed. Kevin Spacey salvaged his career. Pax wasn’t as lucky. He couldn’t even get a gaffer gig and has since founded a relatively successful mail order business.

Myriad was actually a cool character so I’m not going to mock her.

Edge his tried, unsuccessfully to sue WWE, Gillette and various extreme sports.

GUNFIRE(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), is totally awesome and will never die!

Loose Cannon is totally kicking himself because he so totally could have been a red “hulk”, but he chose cornflower blue instead. He’s a roadie for John Tesh, which, y’know, keeps him busy.

Hackrat, who can manipulate computers with his mind continues to wait by the phone for either Oracle to call. Or Calculator, he’s not picky.

Hitman is still relatively popular.

The Hook works at a popular casino in Las Vegas and during the slow summer months works at a horror themed camp.

Layla is serving time for assault and battery as a result of the umpteenth time someone made an Eric Clapton quip upon meeting her.

Lionheart, like Robbie Williams before him, tried to conquer America but success was elusive. He’s currently slated for an appearance on the BBC version of Dancing with the Stars.

Krag moved to Boulder. Get it? Cause he’s a rock guy. “Boulder” “Rock.” Look, it was either Boulder or Pebble Beach, be happy with what you got!

Pebble Beach would’ve been better.

Joe Public hit the Powerball and ironically opted for a life of seclusion with an unlisted number.

And that is how those characters have managed to avoid death this long.

But rest assured that if any of them did die, they’d get legacies. In fact that’s my dream project. New Blood Legacy. It’s like JSA where the older New Blood characters mentor the new, as yet created New Blood legacy characters. I mean the DCU is all about legacy and the New Bloods should have one too.

Tim, I know GUNFIRE(!!!!!!!!!!!!) is your #1 and Argus is your #2, but do you have any other fave New Bloods?

First off, I searched and I searched and I searched and I think I found the Bloodlines column in question. It was a hazing you put on me back when I first started here and it goes a little something like this (Beware, it is long):

Anima, “Animus-summoning grunge rocker” – Had her own title and showed up in Wonder Woman #175.

With the nostalgia rush for grunge rising (Pearl Jam‘s greatest hits, anyone?), Anima gets the band back together, at the behest of a VH1 reality show. They do a few shows before they come to realize that, “ yeah, we were NEVER popular.” Band disbands (haha) and Anima returns to her job as a bitter record producer for a small label. Hilarity no doubt ensues.

Argus, “shadow-melding undercover agent” – Had a miniseries and was last seen in Flash #127.

Contemplating the irony of being a “shadow melder” trapped living in the shadow of a much more popular and well known superhero.

Ballistic, “armed and dangerous vigilante” Appeared in the “Blood Pack” miniseries. (Also a member of the latest incarnation of the Forgotten Heroes, who showed up in Resurrection Man. -B)

Runs a daycare in suburban Maryland. No more guns for this self-described.

Cardinal Sin, “disillusioned priest” – After Bloodlines I haven‘t heard a peep.

He went where all disillusioned priests go (if they aren’t going to jail): Lutheranism. I understand he is quite the Youth Group Minister and has met himself a very nice young Midwesterner. He and the tall, blond woman of Scandinavian descent plan to be married soon, say things like “oofda”, and eat lutefisk until it comes out there ears. Good times.

Chimera, “illusion-creating hero” – Ditto

For all you know, I could be Chimera, the illusion creating hero. Or Mathan could be. Or your parents. Or you and you forgot all about it!

Oooh, you feel that? That was me blowing your mind.

Edge, “blade-hurling community hero” – More of the same. (He made a cameo in the Blood Pack mini-series. ââ‚“B)

Like all good community heroes, he ran for public office, won in a landslide, and immediately forgot all his promises and all his constituents’ names. Sure, he’s a sellout, but sleeping on piles and piles of money dulls that shame a bit.

Geist, “ghostly night-hero” – Ah this guy also appeared in the “Blood Pack” miniseries. (And had probably the coolest costume of the New Bloods. By the way, Blood Pack was actually decent; if you see it in a quarter bin, snatch it up. -B)

The world’s coolest haunted house effect, Geist sells out his abilities to the highest bidder every Halloween and lives the rest of the year off the profits.

Gunfire, “high-tech renegade” – Had his own book, is now the laughing stock of the entire DCU, even the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

Being excellent, eight days a week.

Hitman, “the name sez it all!” – He was the most successful of the bunch, as he had a very popular book, and began the running gag that Gunfire was an absurd hero.

In all seriousness, I believe this fella is worm food. If not, he’s busy drinking somewhere, telling stories, and preparing for the next round of zombies.

Hook, “hook-handed former soldier” – Starred in the movie of the same name and had a successful run off Broadway. Wait, wrong character. This guy went nowhere after his first appearance. MIA suits this “former soldier” well.

Actually, that is the right character. He also bedeviled the devilishly (why all the devil imagery? I know not) attractive Jennifer Love Hewitt (Love to her friends as she insists on mentioning in EVERY FRIGGIN’ INTERVIEW!) in the successful horror franchise I Know What You Did Last Summer. Currently considering the next season of The Surreal Life and/or a recurring part on Desperate Housewives.

Jamm, “prodigious surfer-dude” – Do you think that this concept went anywhere? NEXT!

It went where all stories of prodigious surfer dudes go: disappointment-ville. After years of trying to make a living surfing (and failing miserably), Jamm gave in and took that job that his dad got him at the bank. He’s now an assistant manager and is married with three kids. He’s pretty sure his wife is cheating on him and every morning he stares in the mirror for 20 minutes contemplating if it really would be worse to be dead then to deal with the slow, sickening loss of soul that is consuming his life.

Joe Public, “strength-siphoning patriot” – This guy actually bumped into Azrael and Martian Manhunter after he first appeared. Sadly, he is still a loser.

A used car salesman. Come on, what is more “Joe Public” than being a vulture-like used car salesman? Nothing. Except maybe being ripped off by one.

Layla, “tough-as-nails space explorer” – Layla popped up during the whole Bloodlines crossover. She hooked up with L.E.G.I.O.N.

Exploring space. Duh.

Lionheart, “armored high-tech knight” – This dude showed up in Justice League books a few times (Specifically right before Zero Hour -B) . But is nowhere to be found now.

Makes occasional appearances at his local Medieval Times where he is something of a legend. 200 bouts and no losses! Otherwise, he tries to keep busy with his other hobby, whittling.

Loose Cannon, “super-strong ex-cop” – He had a mini, showed up in Superboy and the Ravers. I will repeat: he is a cheap Hulk knock off. (He appeared in Superboy‘s solo series too and that is your Superboy solo series fact of the week, by Ben Morse. -B)

Stunt doubled for Hulk in Ang Lee’s divisive film (“Hulk big star now. Hulk no need to do stunts for puny Asian director, genius or not. Hulk need craft services now!” the green behemoth told Entertainment Weekly during filming of the movie.) Spends most days waiting by the phone for confirmation of the sequel.

Mongrel, “darkforce-blasting rebel” – This one also showed up in the “Blood Pack” mini. (Appeared in the post-Zero Hour Hawkman series as well. I liked this one. -B)

Mongrel’s still a rebel. Every Thursday from 8-10 pm when his friends and he go out bowling, he really lets that freak flag fly. Otherwise, he’s a successful stock broker. But that doesn’t mean he can’t still rock!

Myriad, “personality-absorbing assassin” – Without a doubt, she was my favorite. I would love to write something with her. She showed up with in Hitman once. She rocks!!!!

There just aren’t a lot of opportunities for personality absorbers these days. Particularly if they’re assassins too. So, mostly, she absorbs personalities and kills for money, all while waiting for some brave soul to make use of this pretty ingenious character. Sadly, I would advise her not to hold her breath.

Nightblade, “regenerating martial artist” – Yet another member of the “Blood Pack.” (I liked this guy. He could cut his own arm off and still laugh about it. -B)

Drinks heavily. Hey, if your liver cells are going to regenerate anyway, why the heck not?

Pax, “last of his race, space-shaman” – This guy was L.E.G.I.O.N.’s priest. But he had such a taste for vengeance. Since that book is gone, so is he.

His self help book, Such a Taste for Vengeance was released last year to huge reviews. It remains in the top 20 selling non-fiction books all these months later. Oprah has him on the show semi-regularly and there are rumors he may go the Dr. Phil route and get his own show. Finally has found inner peace. And boatloads of cash.

Prism, “light-manipulating scientist” – This character showed up to battle Eclipso. He also hooked up with the “Blood Pack.”

You know that bitchin’ laser light Pink Floyd show at the planetarium last week? You may thank Prism.

Razorsharp, “sword-armed hacker” – Guess what group this one belonged to. That’s right the Secret Six, I mean the “Blood Pack.” She also had a miniseries with the Cybarats.
(They showed up in Robin as well. The Cybarats have also suffered a few jokes in DC letter columns of yore, methinks. -B)

Swords and hacking go together like… well, nothing really. Razorsharp ditched the blades and became a webmaster. Years (and a sex change later) you might know her as Widro.

Sparx, “lightning-wielding hero” – She hooked up with Superboy and the Ravers. She was also in love with that gay hero, Hero. (Arguably the most well-known New Blood besides Hitman thanks to her long run with the Ravers. She was also in Blood Pack. -B)

Observational stand up comedian in the Seinfeld/ DeGeneres mold. What she can’t have other interests beyond wielding electricity?

Terrorsmith, “monster-making villain (?)” – This guy popped up in “Blood Pack.”
(No, actually he didn’t. The only members of the Pack not already listed were Loria, who was introduced in the series, and Jade, the current girlfriend/ex-girlfriend of Kyle Rayner -B)

He works for me. We wreak all sorts of unholy hell on the residents of Wu-ington, CT.

Why?

Why not?

Huh. My sense of humor hasn’t evolved at all. How utterly depressing.

Anyway, to get back to your question Mathan, my top 5 Bloodliners are: GUNFIRE (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), Argus, Myriad, Geist, Cardinal Sin, and, I don’t know, let’s say, Channelman.

Glen is thinking about playing matchmaker for Mathan

What do you think of the new Judomaster?

Eh, I thought she was kind of convoluted. It was like Johns was trying to stuff as much legacy as he could into the character in an effort to make her interesting. I didn’t read her appearance in Birds of Prey but it felt like Johns took it upon himself to flesh her out and it seemed like he was trying too hard to say “see, she’s relevant.”

I am interested in how her ability to works. Since she’s doing something to throw people’s aim off, I’m hoping that she has to be aware she’s being target and focus on throwing them off, rather than it just being an innate ability.

I would like to see something try to shake her hand or even kiss her. I bet a first date with her is hilarious. There’s no cheesy romantic gestures like feeding her dessert because you can’t get a bead on her. Yup, it would suck if Judomaster was your girlfriend.

Tim, any thoughts on the new Judomaster?

I enjoyed her semi-naïve presentation in Birds of Prey. As far as her appearance in JSA goes, she’s still a bit too thin (personality wise) for me to really render a judgment on the matter.

Julian L. Smith knows a good idea when he sees it.

I liked the idea of Nightwing being a traveling hero. He should be the star of “The Brave and The Bold” and hook up with new heroes each month/arc. Which other 2nd-gen hero would make an effective star of a team up book?

I can think of five right off the top of my head.

Connor Hawke – He’s still alive right? He’d make a fine candidate for a team-up book. Now I’m probably biased because I’ve never read a solo Connor tale. I’ve only experienced him with Kyle, or Kyle and Wally, or Ollie and Roy. But I think he’d be really good in that setting. He’s the type of character that would cause the folks he was teaming up with to learn something new about themselves. Plus I really like Life so I’m kind of digging Buddhist characters right now.

Life is a great show, isn’t it?

As far as this choice, you have my full support in the matter.

Kyle Rayner – I’m picking this one with the caveat that it be a book set in space. Kyle spent way too much of his early career teaming up with everyone and their grandma on Earth. So give this guy a chance to “find himself” out in space and team up with some of the DCU’s more interesting characters at the same time.

I don’t love the space idea, but more Kyle is always a good thing.

Jason Todd – I don’t know how looking for Ray Palmer is going to affect Jason, but I like how his teaming up with different people has different outcomes. Donna Troy doesn’t seem to mind him, but Nightwing and Robin get their panties all up in a bunch whenever he’s around. He’s very much a polarizing character on both sides of the fourth wall, so you could use him as a guide to seeing how close to the line your favorite character would go. Imagine Manhunter and Jason Todd together.

Power Girl – She’s really doing nothing right now. She’s another of those characters who needs to find herself. She can stay on Earth, but she’s got to find her place which could be the set up for the whole book.

Scoop Scanlon – I know you asked for 2nd Gen characters and since Scoop made is debut alongside Superman he’s definitely a 1st Gen-er, but the guy is made for a team up book. If Jimmy Olsen can be an anchor in Countdown certainly Scoop Scanlon can have a team up book. I mean, he went to the World’s Fair! How exciting is that?! Scoop has to help Metamorpho save the day, but he’s also got to get his story to the copy editor before five! How is Scoop going to help GUNFIRE(!!!!!!!!!!!!) stop Crazy Quilt when he’s sitting in jail after being held in contempt of court for refusing to reveal the anonymous source for his story about zoning graft in the 30th District? I guarantee this book would atop Diamond’s top seller’s list.

A brilliant choice.

Tim, is there anyone you think is prime for a team up title?

Let me give you five, too, shall I?

Sand(man)– He’s not doing much in the JSA these days and I say that’s a tremendous waste. I’d love to see this time displaced fella (remember, he was a teen in the forties and now he’s a late twenty/early thirty-something in the 21st century) getting a feel for this modern world while rubbing elbows with the numerous heroes who have arisen, for better or worse, since his sidekick heyday.

Martian Manhunter– He does not generally work well as a solo character and, yet, in the JLA his uniqueness is taken off the board (Superman does almost all the same stuff, but he’s more well known and, well, whiter. Batman is a better detective and strategist than the good, but not quite good enough J’onn, etc). So, clearly, one-to-one (or one-to-a few) teammates are the way to go. I’d especially be psyched to see him interacting with some of DC’s teen heroes.

Huntress– The black sheep of Gotham teaming up out and about and teaming up? How will other heroes react? Will they already have their mind made up about her? Will they be afraid to like her because no one, but no one, disagrees with Batman? Will they be disappointed to find she’s not nearly as bloodthirsty as her reputation suggests? You are intrigued, aren’t you?

Cyclone– The thrilling character find of 2006 (it was 2006, right?) deserves more face time and the DCU deserves more chances to interact with her. Deal with it haters!

Blue Beetle– He’s just too much damn fun not to make the rounds, you know?

I think we’re going to call it a column on that note.

I really have no idea what’s going to be in next week’s column. Feel free to send me dozens of questions. You can either email me or post them on our thread. It’s a fun place to visit and contribute.

Here’s my question to you this week; Are there any characters that you feel should be exempt from killing?

“Should have knocked before you came in the spot. Ghost you wrong.”

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