Who's Who in the DCU

This week’s Who’s Who: Reader Reponse?! You bet!

Reader response time! Let’s get right to it.

JT wrote in with a prediction that is far enough in the past that I can feign superiority

Just checking in with a question and another 52 related prediction. 1. First the prediction. As I am sure you guys remember I called that Booster Gold would in fact be Supernova… although I was hardly alone in that prediction. My next prediction, and I’m curious as to your take on this, is who will die in 52. DC has said someone major would kick the bucket, and so far the speculation that it would be Booster has proven wrong so far. And it sure seems like the Question is almost done. However I do not think Question will die… he may be MIA for a bit to recover but he will not die. My reasoning behind this is his recent surge in popularity. It would seem a little rash to kill off a guy who fans are becoming more and more interested in.

Instead I am predicting that Black Adam will be the one that DC kills off before all is said and done. The ongoing plot with Black Adam has been him trying to show that he is now good… yet bad things keep happening, and now the horsemen are in Khandaq. So I figure before it all is over Black Adam will sacrifice himself either to save Isis and Osiris, or avenge them, and in the end prove himself heroic. I’m also not saying he will stay dead but to me Black Adam seems the most likely to die.

Good thought, but, sadly, wrong. I think, truth be told though, I would’ve preferred your way. Even after the Question’s death, I remain unconvinced we won’t see Mr. Sage sometime soon.

Glen answered the question posed in the 2/8 column about DC’s next weekly

It would have to be awfully good for me to support another year long weekly. I haven’t been real happy with 52.

Dude, if you were disappointed in 52, you must be LOVING Countdown. LOVING!!!! Drop us a line and let us know about that and if Trinity might be intriguing enough for you to go for round 3.

Dhaise also has two cents to give

Not one with the ‘real time storytelling’ format. ACW was at least consistent.

And so does The Shade;

Hell yes! I am used to weekly comics due to having collected 2000ad for nearly half my life. Another one won’t hurt especially as I am dropping teen titans after the current arc and several of my other current must buys are either ending or limited series…

In that column we also introduced a nutty notion, here’s what Neil had to say

As for the 7×7 Forgotten Heroes: I really like your plan Mathan, but I feel I have to try my own… Premise: Time is broken. Fragments of history have been thrown together to form New Earth. For some, it marks a Brave New World, but for others, it brings only tragedy.

Seven people come to realize that New Earth has forgotten them. Uniting together, they must stand at the forefront of a war that only they can prevent. For some it’s a chance to be a hero again, for others, a chance to start new, for all of them, it’s a chance to make a mark on New Earth for better or worse…

1. Joe Gardner: The team’s defacto leader. Tired of being forgotten, and tired of being mistaken for his brother, he’s decided to attack crime head on. He’s a weapon’s expert, and a dirty fighter to boot. He realizes that being forgotten means his sins are washed away.
2. Gangbuster: Jose Delgado’s life has gone from bad to worse. Hunted by both criminals and the law, his former crusade against crime has dogged him since he left Metropolis. Then, one day, after the Earth is almost destroyed, no one even remembers him. Joe searches him out and offers him a chance to once again make his life worthwhile.
3. Chronos (Walker Gabriel): Time is broken, and so is Walker. Confused, lost, and severely depowered, he can only manage jumps of 10 seconds. Useful for dodging punches and fixing quick mistakes, but a far cry than what he used to be able to do. He wants to regain what he lost, but unfortunately for him, exactly what he lost was erased from his mind.
4. Triumph: A crisis in time took him from the Justice League just as he was about to make his debut, time being broken leaves him forgotten again. Now is the time for him to make his mark, or fade into nothingness.
5. Bloodwynd: Times have been tough for Bloodwynd. First, the Spectre’s rampage left him powerless, and then Alex Luthor’s plan left him forgotten. With the new age of magic, Bloodwynd is finding new powers. Scary powers. If he can’t get control of them, they threaten to tear him and all those close to him apart. To make matters worse, several of DCU’s most prominent characters are tied to Bloodwynd in ways none of them ever knew or dreamed of.
6. Lena Luthor: In her short life she’s been traded by her father for power, raised and manipulated by Brainiac, and now forgotten. She’s a Luthor and as such, wants power any way she can get it. She’s not to be trusted, but is the only one who knows the secret that ties each of the seven together, and can tear them, as well as the world, apart.
7. Resurrection Man: To wake up after dying is one thing Mitch Shelley has gotten used to. But waking up forgotten is another. In the past he was mistaken for a member of the Forgotten Heroes. Now he is at the forefront of a new group of Forgotten Heroes.

Sound cool, except for two things. First, you like Mathan’s idea but don’t have word one to say about mine?! Screw you pal!Second, Joe Gardner? Really? Do you want people to laugh at you when you walk down the street?

Glen answered the question from the 2/15 column about the return of the Silver Age

At the risk of sounding flippant, until Jimmy Olsen is knocking down secret potions like they were shots and changing in giant sea turtles, don’t talk to me about any return to the Silver Age. It isn’t happening.

Having read and LOVED Countdown, I assume you are now eating your words Glen. Please submit us a picture that demonstrates the feast you are enjoying.

The Shade also had some thoughts on that topic

Really hard question that one. I am not a huge fan of Silver Age silliness and I hope this revival won’t go as far as having Superman drive cars or turn into weird creatures due to red K poisoning. Also less JLI and Charlton characters either dying or being changed beyond their original appearance would be nice too…

Is changing Charlton characters “Silver Age” or are you just trying to adhere a pet issue onto an unrelated question?Ahh, I kid because I love Shade.

Also, Blue Beetle is awesome!

That is all.

Nalydpsycho wants to get in on the debate

I like the silliness. But, DC’s mistake is trying to take the Silver Age serious, and having strong continuity with Silver Age-iness. This leads to them having the worst of both worlds.

THANK YOU! This is exactly what I’ve been saying, Nalyd! Grafting Silver Age concepts into “serious” stories without making effort to actually “fit” them is awful.I’d also like to add that I don’t hate the Silver Age. Some might be under that impression (in part, I think, because I’ve written the words “I hate” and “the Silver Age” in close proximity several times) but it is not true. I just think that, much like Pauly Shore and Yakov Smirnoff, the Silver Age was fine for its time…and that time has passed. If you can sell Silver Age concepts in a modern package (a la All-Star Superman) by all means, do it. If you can’t though (see most of Loeb’s “modern” Superman), please don’t try.

Vampiro69 points out my error from the 2/22 column

Great column as usual. However I do believe you forgot about Red Tornado belonging to a team called Primal Force. However, this is easy to forget since the series didn’t last very long.

Did we forget or did we will ourselves not to think about it.

Glen has an answer to the question from the same column

Not really on board for Countdown. I’ve been mostly disappointed with 52, plus they raised the price.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Glen’s ongoing decision making saga!I can only hope you stuck with your choice, Glen.

Surprise! Glen answered the question in the 3/1 column

Overrated comic writers include JMS and Bendis. I think Brad Meltzer is qualified too. You’ll probably get some messages saying Winick, but a writer hated by half the comics community can’t really be considered overrated, can he? (If so put him in.)

The Shade get in on the overrated action

I don’t know if the Americans rate him much but I think Mark Millar is completely overrated. I may be Bias as he wrote some of the worst 2000ad stories ever (except for Cannon Fodder that has a place in my heart) so yeah Mark Millar gets my vote.

Great, someone let Dhaise in

I’m going to fanboy hell for these. For me, Overrated mainly means ‘Considered a ‘can do no wrong’ creator even when the finished product is found lacking’. I enjoy a lot of books from guys I consider overrated, my taste is just as subjective as anybody else’s…I have blind spots for my favorites. Brian Azz- I have hated most of his super hero books I’ve read as much as I’ve loved his ‘non tights’ work. From the guy who makes 100 Bullets so engrossing I expected a lot more than what I got with Cage or “For Tommorow”, and his efforts on that lex Luthor mini proves to me he has capability with the genre.
Bill Willingham- Sorry guys, I love Fables, but Shadowpact isn’t special to me and BW tenure on Robin was one of the most horrible books I’ve ever read that didn’t have the name ‘Bruce Jones’ on the covers. Fables keeps me guessing what everybody is going to next with an excitement and energy the Shadowpact doesn’t. Compared to fables, BW is just going through the motions on Shadowpact.
Grant Morrison- I can’t point fingers at other ‘overrated’ guys without mentioning Grant. I’ve read a lot of misfires that get excused because Grant’s name is in the little box and the legion of fandom that buys his stuff won’t let us forget that Morrison’s a god among men. I’ve even enjoyed a bunch of those misfires, but if there is ONE guy in comics who can get away with ANYTHING mediocre based solely on his name appearing, it’s Grant.
This segues us nicely over to…. Geoff Johns- Holy Moley- Rebirth was the biggest piece of trash released by DC in the era I am calling ‘the era of DC comics releasing trash’ a 6 issue mini series dedicated to retconning anything and everything related to the Green Lantern Corps since the Silver Age with so many logic defying fanboy platitudes thrown in that book you can practically see where the script pages were stuck together. Geoff can demonstrate an amazing ability to spin gold out of other people’s mistakes, but to me, he’s equally likely to just churn out the same kind of crap over and over in a formula story.
The cynic in me says that if DC didn’t have such a huge category of bad writers past and present, Johns wouldn’t look as distinguished- because when he’s NOT fixing their messes, it comes off pretty formula. All Johns really seems to have going for him anymore is the legacy retcon, and once you’ve swapped your characters around enough times, any real emotional resonance goes away. And I’m not touching Bendis, Ellis, Byrne, Claremont and Winick, because I’m sure other people have plenty of hate to throw their way.

Nalydpsycho leaves mouths agape

I have yet to enjoy anything Geoff Johns or Greg Rucka has written. But, the big overrated for me is BKV. Sure, he’s good, but, I’ve never read anything by him that’s memorable. It’s all completely forgettable, yet, he gets heaped with praise.

The problem I have with choosing “overrated creators” is figuring out who they should be overrated by to count. The likes of Millar, JMS, Bendis, Winick, Byrne, and company have so much vitriol thrown on them by us online types that it is hard for me to think of them as “overrated”. On the other hand, if you look at their sales, someone must dig them (right?) so there’s an argument to be made there for overrating. I just don’t know though.As for your, Nalyd, you so crazy. BKV? I love when you kid!

Ol’ reliable Glen has an answer for me from the 3/21 column

Concerning Black Adam’s behavior in 52, killing a country’s queen and trying to assassinate the king is considered an act of war by pretty much everybody. Black Adam treated Bialya about the same way Rome treated Carthage. Not very surprising in my book.

I’d argue that his reaction was still a bit over the top, but I’m inclined to agree. I remember thinking, at the time, that the only reason anyone was really in a tizzy was that Black Adam had superpowers instead of bomber and fighter planes.

Neil has some comments from the same column

Writing for Trades: I think Legion of Super-Heroes is a perfect example of how things should be done. Most of the issues are “done in one,” but still connect to the larger arc. It’s like one of my favorite shows Babylon 5, which did the arc better than any other show I’ve seen before and really, in my opinion, set the standard for the shows that are popping up now. But, for the most part, the main story in each episode was dealt with in the hour, but sub-plots and the arc were touched upon as well, and they all built up to big climaxes. So, you get the satisfaction of things being “wrapped up” and the thrill of wanting to read more to find out how things are resolved. Green Arrow and Superman: I think Superman, being the kind of guy he is, is a “go along to get along” kind of guy. Whereas Ollie is a “raise Hell” type. If Ollie had Superman’s powers, I think he’d use them to help out the “little guy” more and stick it to the fat cats. Whereas Superman focuses on the big picture. Which makes me hope that Kurt Busiek uses Ollie in the current arc in Superman, where he was told by Arion that his actions would lead to humanity’s demise, because humanity needs to do things for themselves. I think Ollie would have a lot to say about that.

Post-Crisis: Better or Worse: Last Son of Krypton: I miss this, it was definitely better post-Crisis. Right now, it seems that it’s similar to Pre-Crisis, where, apparently, the only ones who died on Krypton were Superman’s parents.

Better Pre-Crisis: Add to that list Green Lantern, because the Crisis drove the Guardians to leave the Universe, which lead to the destruction of the first Corps, which destroyed a key aspect that made GL unique. With all that has been said about how boring Hal is and how many people didn’t like Gerard Jones’ run on the title, you have to realize, GL was at a low point when that title started up again in the early 90’s. Jones did the best he could at re-establishing the Corps and dealing with Hal. But before the Crisis, the Corps was at its peak and Hal was a stud. Only now, 20 years later, are things restored.

Legion of Super-Heroes: Mathan, as much as I agree with you about how wonderful the “Five Years Later” storyline was, we have to admit, the Legion got the shaft by the Crisis. It’s very origin was put into question, a very questionable “fix” was instituted (a Pocket Universe?), and only 5 years after Crisis did DC bother to address this fully, by wiping out Superboy totally. Giffen and the Bierbums did their best with what they had, and made it work, but it didn’t last.

Neil also has some thoughts on the 3/29 column about heroes meeting their younger selves

Well, to me, the most obvious choice would be Hal Jordan. It might be fun to see Hawkman (though Hawkgirl already got to meet her past self, sort of, in “JSA B.C.”) after all these resurrections go back and talk with Khufu. I think Billy Batson meeting his younger self would be interesting, especially since he now has the powers of Shazam. The current Starman in Justice Society of America meeting Starboy would be great (especially if it’s the current Starboy!). And for fun, and to piss off you guys, Guy Gardner meeting Guy Gardner (seeing all the changes he’s gone through, it would be real interesting to see what Guy would say to his past self).The only one I can really imagine and plot out is Hal meeting Hal. Young Hal Jordan finds himself alone in the California desert with an alien ring. Suddenly, in a blast of green, the current day Hal Jordan, who just had an encounter with Abin Sur’s son, goes to talk with his past self. There are so many issues Hal would have to talk about. Most notably, the stuff with Parallax. But also trying to get him to be more “in the moment” and recognize what’s going on around him (the fact that he never thought to give Abin a proper send off, or to see if there were next of kin to notify/return the remains to). I figure once all of that stuff was discussed, Hal could comment that he knows his past self can remember none of this, and wipes his own mind before returning back to the present.

Dhaise has some thoughts on the same column

1 What’s your take on Wonder Woman being so behind schedule? – If editorial treats a book like crap, they shouldn’t be surprised when fans use it as toilet paper.
#2 Do you think that DC should have more teen group books? – No, I’d rather see a good book with a strong premise and a creative team that enjoys them instead of hopelessly spinning off as many ‘themed books’ as they could to saturate the market. Witness 90’s mutants, and 00’s cyborgs- neither of which did the industry any favors.
Are you sure cyborgs didn’t? Because, you know, cyborgs are totally cool.
What five characters would you have visit their past selves, and why? As much as I’d like to use this mental exercise to ‘save’ the Question and Blue Beetle from their fates, using time travel as an out for either of them would destroy the premise for Vic, and Ted would simply be used as nothing more than background filler in the big dumb yearly event.
#5 Vandal Savage. With all possible respect Mr Savage, for supposedly such an intelligent immortal responsible for all sorts of heinous misdeeds and military conquests, your 20th and 21 century record outright sucks, you haven’t had a ‘win’ since the Hitler stuff you’re frequently bragging about. You’re a punchline to a joke told over 2 issues. Go back forewarned and get prepared. Go kill Cyclone’s parents.
#4- Waverider and Chronus. “Time is broken”, go fix it already. The only thing worse than blindsided time travellers are ones content to let the mistakes stand.
#2- Jasonstorm. -If Ronnie’s suddenly retconned ‘nuclear reactor body’ isn’t destroyed…Ronnie doesn’t go nova and give you his powers. No Jasonstorm means your best friend would still be alive. Sure, your dad would probably continue to beat you up, but you had most of that coming for the first year of your book anyways. How the hell does a guy who can’t afford college drive around in a hummer? Slacker.
#1- Hawkman. Go back in time to Sue Dibny’s rape and tell your younger self to kill Dr Light on the spot. It’s cleaner that way.
How would you improve Nightwing’s title? – I’d get him the HELL out of these big dumb events and put him between the cracks- Sort of like Ted Kord without the 1 shell sendoff at the end. Instead of trying to sell ‘the universe knows you don’t belong’ in a mythos gleefully accepting parallel worlds, time travel and the constantly mentioned ‘post infinite crisis guy with two wives’, I’d put Dick in the middle of some really overlooked conspiracy or crime wave that would showcase his abilities and character traits instead of having him pose while Superman and Batman end up doing the heavy lifting.

What did you think about the opening arcs for the current JSA and JLA tiles? – I thought JLA was pandering crap, and JSA was pretty much regurgitated from the last run. Meltzer relied way too much on forced and corny lines like “I don’t need a lasso to know she’s telling the truth”- who the hell monologues like THAT??? and BIG CHANGES we knew weren’t going to stick (Red Tornado human? suckers.) for a very anticlimatic and go nowhere arc. Toss in the latest Super Friends homage and my disgust is complete. At least Roy and Jefferson got promoted and Geo Force can be spotlighted (that means ‘murdered’ when you write at DC) in a high profile book. The JSA, on the other hand, is relying nearly entirely on ‘omigawd, Kingdom Come was SO COOOOOOOOOOL 10 years ago’ to launch its book with its standard roll call formula. The legacies were once impactive, now its just par for the course whenever some old fogey gets mentioned. And I’ve probably not really mentioned it outright, but I &%&^#*@@$%% HATE cyclone. When Damage is the high point of a book, you know you have issues.

Cyclone is awesome! That is all.

The Shade didn’t want to be left out

What five characters would you have visit their past selves, and why?
The Question: “Yeah you know the smoking thing…yeah don’t do it…oh and Maxwell Lord is a nasty piece of work deal with him a.s.a.p, Oh Renee Montoya is a bad idea for a replacement.”
Spoiler (during war games) “Yeah Matches Malone is Batman. Remember that okay?”
Ray palmer “Your wife is a nutjob who needs her memory erased and locked up in a looney bin.”
Sue Dibny: “Just stay near your husband at all times. Believe me you’ll thank me in the future oh and thank Ray Palmer as well.”
Ted Kord: “In case the Question doesn’t believe himself…Maxwell Lord is a killer…do not trust him…repeat do not trust him!”
What did you think about the opening arcs for the current JSA and JLA tiles? I liked then both for different reasons though I do believe that the JLA one felt like it was written as a trade paperback.

And thus another round of your comments draws to a close. Do take care of yourselves and we’ll see you next week for our regularly scheduled Who’s Who.

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