Who's Who in the DCU

Tim, HBO’s new series In Treatment, infuriated, intrigued or indifferent?

Intrigued. Quite enjoying it, actually. I have a few minor peeves (he’s obviously a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. THEY AREN’T THE SAME THING!; his office is way WAY too big. It’d be too intimidating for clients; the transference/counter-transference storyline has the potential to veer off course into heavy melodrama and I get uncomfortable just imagining it), but largely, I think it is very good. The sessions look and feel like legitimate session (albeit with considerably more interesting dialogue) and there isn’t a weak day in the bunch. I think Gabriel Byrne is a great actor with some phenomenally underwhelming choices on his resume, so it is nice to see him in a role befitting his talent. Blair Underwood, who I already like a lot, I think is doing some of the best work I’ve ever seen from him. And, after Sports Night, it is always good to see Josh Charles out and about. I say check it out.


Before we go any further I just wanted to say farewell to Matt Morrison as he’s posted his final regular column here at the Nexus. It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a colleague of his. He’s easily one of the most passionate and thoughtful people I’ve encountered since I started this gig. Matt was already established when I showed up, so he kind of paved the way for what you’re reading now. I’m going to miss his insightful pieces as well as his fanboy rants (which always came from a genuinely pure place) and I wish him all the best on his future endeavors.

I second that heartily. It is a bit bittersweet. I’m sad we are losing Matt because he was a great part of our site, probably our most consistent columnist (besides Mathan, of course) in terms of hitting deadlines and delivering the goods while doing so. On the other hand, I’m excited for him getting out there and trying something new. We may not find Matt on our site anymore, but I doubt this is the last time we’ll be reading something written by him.

Good luck and Godspeed, gentle Starman.

Links!

Broken Dial

The DVD Lounge

Inside Fights

Machine Gun Funk

Moodspins

Not a True Ending

Popcorn Junkies

Primetime Pulse

Pulse Wrestling

Reality Dish

Tailgate Crashers

And witness one of the best parts of Super Bowl Weekend.

While we’re on the subject Tim, what’d you think of the Super Bowl and its outcome?

I was pretty much thrilled. As I was telling everyone the weeks before the game, even it was another team the Patriots were playing, I’d be cheering for the Pats. Since it was the Giants though, being my favorite team and ally, that was where my allegiances lay. But because of liking the Pats, I was praying for a competitive game. And it was. I spoke to my Dad afterwards and he said that Gramp would’ve loved watching this one and that made it all the better for me. I mean, him being alive still would have been better still, but, I don’t know, it felt nice to think about the game in that way.

Also, there were far more good commercials this year. Much more consistency through. So thumbs up on that too.

Finally, Our DC Forum features speculation about Birds of Prey, reaction to Gotham Undergound and a great breakdown of why Countdown fails and where 52 succeeded.

Tim, care to link anything this week?

As long as we are talking Super Bowl, check out the 10 Best Commercials, as according to Fox Sports. My personal favorite is the baby investor one in which he hires the clown. My dad is terrified of clowns so any commercials that acknowledges their scariness always gives me a laugh. There’s also a link at the bottom of the page that directs you to the 10 worst, so enjoy that too.

What I Read Last Week

Superman Confidential #11 – I picked this up because it was the final part this title’s initial arc and I really wanted closure. I’m glad I got it, even though it meant seeing Jor-El wearing his corny headband.

Wow…it took eleven issues to complete this arc?! Really?

The Spirit #13 – I really like these specials. I enjoy seeing different artists put their spin on this character. I was disappointed that Risso didn’t give up the “Spirit” incorporated into the title page. But beyond that I dug the issue.

But the incorporation thing is trademark. To get rid of it would be…crazy.

Action Comics #861 – This book gets me giddy. Even though it’s not a 5YG Legion, it’s still an adult Legion. I like all the Justice League stuff, very interesting characters. And of course Frank and Sibal are in peak form.

Black Adam #6 – I’m really going to miss this mini. I can’t wait to see where Black Adam, Mahnke and Alamy show up next. Hopefully it’s on a Black Adam ongoing with Tomasi. Anyway, this final issue answered all the questions I had, and in a completely satisfactory manner. Good job Tomasi!

Batman #673 – I liked how Morrison referenced 52 and those wacky Silver Age Batman tales. I really liked how Bruce knows that Stephanie was Robin. This issue was just good stuff galore.

Look, I’ve given up on trying to figure out what it all means in the sense of an overarching storyline tying together all of Morrison’s elements. I’m sure it is there and will be revealed, but it is not quite connecting for me yet. That said, I am still enjoying the individual components based on themselves alone. By that standard, this is probably one of the better non-Club of Heroes Morrison issues so far.

Countdown #13 – Cyborg Superman as the villain profile and Ambush Bug in DC Nation? This book totally rocked for those last three pages.

But what of the previous 19 or so?

Lord Havok & the Extremists #4 – Eh, this issue’s backstory felt kind of lacking. I don’t think that Dreamslayer got enough development for my taste. But I suppose that most minis are bound to have an off issue.

Project Superpowers #0 – I liked the issue. I thought that they did a good job with a decent premise to set the book up. I’m interested enough to keep reading.

Green Lantern #27 – The Guardians are kind of worrying me. I did like the stuff with Scarecrow. And the Scarredian manipulating Ash is pretty creepy. Is it corny if I say I don’t like the look in her eye?

Yes.

Trials of Shazam #11 – Am I wrong for kind of wanting Sabina to win. She’s such an interesting character. Cascioli’s art is amazing. And Judd manages to make the Shadowpact not suck. Plus that last page is really great looking. I’m going to miss this mini when it ends.

JSA Classified #34 – Wow, what another lack luster issue. It seemed interesting, but by the end of the issue everything got really boring, really quick. Boo.

Y the Last Man #60 – Such a good issue. Such a great issue. It was the perfect ending. I loved the straightjacket bookends. I loved the glimpse at the future and past. I loved the resolution of the storylines. And man, that scene with the snow was pretty powerful. I’m really, really going to miss this title. It’s the first Vertigo book I’ve picked up every month from the first issue to the final one. What’d you think about the issue?

Typically, I read Y in trade. For this ending arc though I made sure to snag the issues from my friend. And I’m glad I did, because I’d hate to have to wait a few months to read this issue.

I’m a sucker for repetition of motifs and Vaughan does a great job utilizing them here. It wasn’t too “in”; it was just the right amount. I think the utilization of the flash forward, something I was initially wary of. My only complaint is Beth/Hero. I have no issue with her not choosing Yorick, but hooking up with his sister? It just never felt earned to me.

Seriously, send questions.

Yeah…we’re done screwing around here.

Glen is trying to be an Alpha, but he’s really more of a Beta

What did you think of the Alpha Lanterns, both the choices of the Guardians and their new look and powers?

Honestly I don’t really dig the concept of the Alpha Lanterns at all. Back in my day (which would be Green Lantern #130) if there was a questionable incident involving a Green Lantern, there would be a tribunal assembled on Oa and the GL would stand trial, like Arkkis Chummuck. Or in the case of Dalor, a fellow GL would level charges directly to the Guardians.

Basically, I don’t think that the GLC really needs an “internal affairs” branch. It’s kind of taking the whole space cop motif too far. I’m fine with the undercover arm in The Corpse, but the Alpha Lanterns do nothing for me as a concept.

And I don’t really care for the choices either. Perhaps if it had been set up differently, as opposed to the Guardians candidates for Alpha Lanternship all happening to be in the same room at that exact moment. It felt really false to me. But as far as the individual choices go here are my thoughts;

Alpha Lanterns Appear!

Varix – Even though he’s an established GL, I’m not really attached to him. But his entry in the Sinestro Corps Secret Files & Origins made him seem rather interesting. Certainly too interesting to be wasted like this.

Chaselon – I’ve got a soft spot for anyone from the Barrio and he’s a visually interesting character. I do like the post-op Chaselon because you can see how much stress the surgery did on his body.

Kraken – If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times; the Fourth World shouldn’t have its own sector as it’s in a different dimension. If you don’t get there via Boom Tube you’re dwarfed by the New Gods. That said if it means we’ll see more of Raker, I’m for it.

Green Man – It’s sad that Green Man was looking for individuality and ended up losing his personality. But how he’ll probably relate better to Stel.

Boodikka – Another personality that I really liked. Space Amazon’s rock and we could probably use more of them. I’m going to miss her.

In terms of their abilities I guess they’re kind of impressive. No need to recharge rings or sleep is sort of interesting, kind of. And the bond to the Book of Oa should prove enlightening. I do sort of like that they can drain the power from rings. But man, do I hope that that doesn’t come back to bite the GLC in the rear.

Is there any doubt that it will?

Still I’d much rather have a GLC version of Serpico with Green Lantern Al Pacino chewing his way through scenery. That would be so dope. But unless we’re going to be getting a GLC version of The Wire, I’d really don’t want to see the space cop thing extended any further.

Tim, what are your thoughts on the Alpha Corps?

I’m taking a wait and see approach. I like the craziness of the Guardians that this move indicated and I love the pure creepiness factor of these formerly recognizable GLs now have removable faces and how they appear more than happy to be flashing their robot grill while on duty. That said, the IA angle dulls some of the excitement for me too. That just doesn’t strike me as all that interesting a concept. But…I could wrong and this is what I am hoping.

Kirk is doing interviews for his replacement as we speak

With Amon Sur dead, who would be the “best picks” in sector 2814 for the Sinestro ring? Of course, the main criteria is the ability to instill great fear.

Yeah, see, I’m not really all about the “instill great fear” part. I mean if we’re talking about the scariest character that I know it’s obviously Amoeba Jason Todd, but I don’t necessarily want him to reappear.

Major Force Headshot I’m much more of a “familiar face” type when it comes to casting. Now we know that Mongul (aka Space Liberace) has a Sinestro Corps ring, so why not give it to another villain from that era. That’s right, I want Major Force to get the power ring.

(Going back to your initial premise I do think that the Maytag Repairman would send shivers down the spine of Kyle Rayner. Though in fairness when Gordon Jump was the Maytag Repairman he kind of creeped me out because I’ll always remember the time he tried to get Arnold and Dudley drunk.)

Alex Nero would probably be a suitable candidate, especially since he’s already possessed a yellow power ring.

Personally I’d like to see one of the Mosaic Kids get a Sinestro Corps ring. For those of you not in the know, the Mosaic Kids made their debut in Green Lantern Mosaic. They were the kids from Evergreen City, which was transported to Oa. Kid’s being what they are, they went out to explore the Mosaic World, which got them into trouble. John Stewart helped them out and gave them versions of the GL power ring for protection.

And since the kids have pretty much been forgotten I’d like to see one of them be resentful against GL’s in general and John specifically. The ring picks up on this that links up. Any of the kids would work, but I’d like to see Samosa or Kelly get the call.

Tim, who do you think would make a good addition to the Sinestro Corps?

Scarecrow was a cool, (and obvious choice that I still somehow missed) so I’m a little disappointed we didn’t actually see him as a Sinestro Corps member.

Dr. Psycho Headshot Accepting that there are some things I just can’t change is easy enough to do, but after Crane I’m not getting a lot of ambition. Another bat villain like Zsasz or Hugo Strange would be interesting to me. I am also inclined to think that Onomatopoeia would make a cool Sinestro Corps member, but that just be because I want him to get more action period. And, after that, my idea well has run dry.

Oh wait…Dr. Psycho would be pretty great, too.

Glen is exploring his corps options

Are any of the new lanterns established characters besides The Black Lantern? Any characters that should definitely be in one Corps. Or another?

None of the other various Corps are established entities, save the Zamarons. And even the Zamaron thing is a slight retcon. And while there’s clearly a link between Black Hand and the mysterious new Corps, it’s not really established.

As for who I’d like to see in the various Corps, I really think it should be insular to the Green Lantern corner of the universe. So I wouldn’t want, say Risk to sport a Blue Corps tongue ring (he’s got no arms people!)

The DCU has plenty of characters out in space.

Arisia Headshot Violet – This is supposed to be “love” which is really a difficult trait to quantify in a character. It’s not like there are too many character for whom “love” is the distinguishing characteristic. I guess if anything I’d like to see Arisa get a purple ring and allow her feeling for Hal to run to the surface. But I’m really drawing a blank here. Possibly Adam Strange given how he feels about is wife.

Poison Ivy Headshot Poison Ivy, given her powers are often portrayed as very lust based, would be a cool one to see. And what about that superhero groupie that was kicking around during the 90’s? (I know, for sure, that she at least appeared in Aztek, but I think she popped a few times in the Superman titles). I could see her “love” of superheroes easily being recognized and taken advantage of by the Zamarons.

Can any violet ring bearers be male? If so, I’d move for Dick Grayson or Roy Harper to at least be offered a ring. Or perhaps a still grief befuddled Tim Drake?

Lobo Headshot Red – So this is rage/hate. If we’re going for the rage angle you’ve got to look at Lobo getting a ring he makes tons of sense. So would Starfire. But if we’re doing the whole “inspire great hate” then perhaps Vril Dox would be a better candidate; no one in the DCU likes him.

Effigy Headshot This one is easy for me. Hawkman gets one offered to him. It only makes sense.

Probably Lex Luthor, too, unless Salvation Run puts him beyond reach.

The one that takes it, however? Here’s your chance to either bring back Effigy (if this is the Controllers’ ring as Mathan has hypothesized) or the handicapped man the Kyle “healed” from back in the first year of his tenure as Green Lantern. I think either are great choices.

J'onn Headshot Indigo – Compassion is what this is about and even though they’re both on Earth I’m going to include them: Superman and Martian Manhunter would be excellent Compassion Corpsmen.

Connor Hawke Headshot Ugh…compassion…this is tough. Maybe the comatose Connor Hawke will be brought back by this ring and be able to resist it given his condition? I suppose his liberal father wouldn’t be a bad choice either if he wasn’t so darn arrogant. (Also, from a money standpoint, making Green Arrow a Indigo Lantern does not make much sense).

Although, if you think about it, there is a hell of a lot of compassionate folks in the DCU so…it is a tough call to make. The more I think about it though, the more I like the idea of Connor Hawke.

Space Cabbie Headshot Orange – I’m still not quite sure that I get this Corps. The whole thing is about greed? Given how he’s going to be adding rings Mongul (aka Space Liberace) would totally be in the running for this ring. And I think if Grayven were alive he could get one too. And is Space Cabbie is like any of the cab drivers I’ve met, I think he’d certainly get one of these.

Roulette Headshot Booster Gold, hands down.

But, that seems unlikely, with his own book doing well and such.

Thus, I’m thinking someone like Roulette, whose whole life is about getting other people’s money or one of the lesser Rogues who are forever consumed with the idea of pulling off big scores. Abra Kadabra, perhaps? An orange ring really wouldn’t hurt his uniqueness since his powers are pretty nebulous in terms of presentation already.

Captain Comet Headshot Blue – Captain Comet is sort of an optimistic character, so I think he’d be deserving of this ring. I’d also have to guess that some character who will have descendants in the Legion will show up as part of this Corps.

Linda Park Headshot I’m caught up with the idea that Cyborg Superman is going to be a hope ring wielder, but I don’t have a lot, besides his bio in the Secret Files, to back that up.

Barring him, Superman would obviously be a great choice (given his own supply and the man he inspires others), but highly unlikely, the naturally perky Cyclone seems like a hopeful gal, but hope and just being overwhelming happy aren’t the same, and…well, I suppose I could go on and on.

My leading nominee would be Linda Parks though, given her hope for children’s survival.

Abin Sur Headshot Black – Who doesn’t have someone dead in their closet? I mean that in terms of GLs and their past, not like I’m a serial killer or anything. Anyway, I’m expecting Amon and possibly Abin Sur to show up for Hal. Also for Hal, his pop. I’d also put money on Katma Tui popping in on her husband. Kyle will probably have an ex or two haunting him and Guy’s bro will probably show up.

Skies the limit on this one. I imagine there will be plenty of familiar faces.

I’m really curious to see how Johns will put all this together. I mean he’s got, what, a year and a half to set everything in motion and deliver a story juggling multiple Corps and getting people to care about those Corps. He’s totally got his work cut out for him.

Tim, do you have any other characters you’d like to see in those various Corps?

There’s only one guy that I think would be a natural choice, Corps wise, for Johns to include but I cannot figure out where he’d go: Snapper Carr. I gotta think he at least gets offered a ring, but, again, I can’t say what shade of the rainbow that ring will be.

I’d also like to see Triumph show up with a ring, but I can’t even begin to imagine what side he’d be on. Maybe hope because he so hopes that he’ll be recognized again?

The Shade has an exceptionally unimportant question on his mind

When did G’nort die?!?

G’nort died on the inside when you stopped calling him. I mean, he didn’t need much, just an occasional “hey, how are things?” But you couldn’t even do that, could you Shade? For shame. How do you sleep at night?

Poor G’nort. Poor, poor G’nort. Here we are twenty years after he first appeared and he doesn’t even get love in this column. He doesn’t even get love in the DCU where he’s “presumed dead.” He doesn’t even get love on the web where no one seems to want to acknowledge that Guy Gardner Collateral Damage ever happened. And sadly that was his final appearance, before he presumably died off panel somewhere.

But maybe he’s not really dead. Maybe the Guardians couldn’t find someone to partner with him, so they sent him on a fools errand? Perhaps he’s part of The Corpse? Maybe he always was?

But I seriously don’t know what happened to G’nort. I’d recommend you pick up the aforementioned Guy Gardner tale, but because of my conscience I really can’t do that.

What are your thoughts on G’nort, Tim?

I make every effort to keep my thought devoid of G’nort.

Glen apparently believe us to be Mr. Wizards

Who is this Time Commander in JSA: Classified? What did the tachyons actually do?

JSA Classified #34 marked the debut of the new Time Commander, so you know about as much as I do about the guy. However given context clues we can theorize some stuff about the guy.

On page #16, panel #2 of the issue he begins by stressing the role of legacy, so maybe he’s related to the original Time Commander. But then he says “John Starr was my mentor, my friend–” which seems to undermine the whole relative theory for two reasons. First off, there are many relatives who share the same name. But secondly, generally blood relation tends to come up when villains are doing the monologue thing.
But the thing that really seals it for me is the next panel when the new Time Commander, with downcast eyes says “–and so much more.” To me that seems to imply that Sterling Fry and John Starr were romantically involved. And to me that’s kind of sad because it means that these two guys who have access to time travel couldn’t find any time in the future where two guys could get hitched and face the same protections under the law that husband and wife have. And given that harrowing prospect I don’t blame them for turning to crime.

As for what the tachyons did, as you well know anytime you try to harness or handle unstable chronal energy you face the possibility of complete physical dissolution and floating as dissipated atoms through the time stream. I mean didn’t everyone learn that in high school quantum field theory? Mr. Torres covered that like the first week of class.
Tim, did the Time Commander really need a legacy?

Of course he didn’t, but this is DC and no character is too minor for a legacy. Huzzah Time Commander, huzzah.

Dhaise is a wordsmith

Why is “chocolate egg cream” only considered one word on New Earth?

I guess Dhaise didn’t get the memo about the rules of magic being changed. I can’t blame you for not reading that bore-o-book Shadowpact, but the rules of magic being changed was referenced both in 52 and Trials of Shazam. And in this new age of magic “chocolate egg cream” constitutes a “magic word.”

I think it’s kind of like “hocus pocus.” It’s associated with magic, but I don’t think that anyone really considers it a phrase.

And really, how lame would it be to try to figure out a “magical phrase?” Then you’d be left with Teth Adam walking around uttering things like “Wicker Sue”, “Red State Radu”, “Nearly Nude Jericho” and “What Would Citizen Wang aka Rod Johnson: The Package Master Do” for issues and issues on end. And while I’d totally buy multiple copies of a comic featuring that on a regular basis, it’s probably not everyone’s taste.

And it should also be noted that Billy Batson is a graduate of the Fawcett Unified School District which makes Baltimore’s education system seem like a blissful day at Bayside or Santo Domingo. Someone with Billy’s educational background might consider “chocolate egg cream” one word. “No child left behind,” my foot.

Tim, are you at all interested in discovering the new rules of magic?

Would it involve any sort of schooling or book reading? Because, if it does, I think we all know the answer to that.

Kirk does not cotton to icons

I was drawn into comics by the “Death of Superman” arc and, being a complete newbie, actually thought that one Eradicator, Cyborg, Steel or Superboy would actually be chosen to replace Superman on a permanent basis. Now Grant Morrison is “killing” Batman. If he does actually go through with it and Bruce Wayne is no more, do you think he could be permanently replaced?

Short answer; “no.” DC and parent company Time Warner have way too much tied into the whole Bruce Wayne/Batman dynamic. Now maybe I could see DC doing a type of “ultimate” Batman book where Batman is actually someone else, but Batman in the DCU will always be Bruce Wayne.

Everyone knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne. We know how Bruce Wayne became Batman. We know all about the trip to the movie theater and dead parents. It’s practically American mythology. Plus you’ve got to consider that with the death of Heath Ledger, Time Warner doesn’t really want any more hurdles to keep The Dark Knight from going smoothly into theaters.

Plus Batman already has his back broken and we went thought the whole “replacement” thing. I mean if Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen couldn’t face permanent replacement, why would anyone believe that Bruce Wayne would? Bruce Wayne is like Jack Bauer or James Bond; the show does not go on without them.

But if DC wanted to fool everyone into believing that Bruce was going to be gone forever they should set the story up by introducing character and designs from Batman Beyond. If Terry showed up people would be more apt to believe that perhaps Bruce was actually going down for the count.

Tim, could you see a scenario where Bruce Wayne passed the mantle on?

Yes. It is called “Elseworlds.”

Otherwise…never permanently.

Uh oh. It’s that time again! Time for the Temporary Mainstay!

Commence whooping and hollering!

Coren thinks Oracle should just concentrate all her time on sending out invitations

Ok Mathan, in Birds of Prey 100, Oracle sends out notes to at least 14 women who we see on page. I think I know them all (Dr. Light, Skyrocket, Janissary, Firehawk, Jessie Quick Grace, Arcata, Madame Xanadu, Hawkgirl, Bumblebee, Wonder Woman, Rose/Thorn, Phantom Lady, and Power Girl). There’s also obviously other people who weren’t pictured, 7(like Judomaster, Manhunter and Barda). Who else do you think would make a good fit for the Birds right now? Who else might Barbara have asked?

Alpha Centurion Gangbuster I think that Babs should try to get more guys involved in the actions of the BoP. I mean she could use some romance if only to get Nightwing jealous, thus this week I’m going for characters who’ve made few appearances in the new millennium

For what I think would make for an excellent group dynamic I’d like to see Anarky and Agent Liberty work with Babs. Here you’ve got Agent Liberty, trying to uphold the ideals of the United States and Anarky who’s doing his best to bring about a revolution. Each has their own methods and they’ve got to work together with Babs. It’d totally love to read that book.

I also think that Alpha Centurion and Gangbuster would be good operatives for Babs. Maybe she bumps into a homeless Alpha Centurion on the street and directs him to a shelter that Gangbuster is running. Then she asks Gangbuster to help her get Alpha Centurion’s gear and bam, you’ve got a squad that’s ready for action.

Can you think of any characters you’d like to see in BoP, Tim?

Harley with Pop Gun

I remember back in the middle of Gail Simone’s run, Huntress got all pissy when she figured out that the Birds where, in part, an Oracle run halfway house for wayward heroes. With that in mind, I think Oracle should be reaching out to former female villains who are struggling with staying on the straight and narrow. Her first two recruits should be the fresh from the Amazon Training Camp (as run by a disguised Granny Goodness) Harley Quinn and Holly Robinson. Holly would fit into the mold easily, but imagine the inherent conflict of the easily swayed and rarely serious Harley butting up against Oracle and Huntress.

On that note we’re going to call it a column.

We need your questions, so send them or post them at our boards.

Before I go, here’s my question to you; What did you think of the final issue of Y the Last Man?

“We gave them money, all we could do is wait. She’s found garroted and bound.”

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