Who's Who in the DCU

The Future Invisible KidWho’s Who this week stars star of TV and film Michael Cera. And much like everything else he’s involved in, this column will receive critical praise. It is smart, funny, and awkward, but in a genius kind of way.

Besides our celebrity guest(s)- there are other surprise ones waiting within- we suggest the trades that would make up Batman’s biography and depress you with talk of the Apocalypse.

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Tim, now that In Treatment is over, what’d you think about it?

It was great dramatically speaking and a surprisingly accurate representation of what therapy is like. I appreciate they went for some ambiguity in the final episodes, but I do wish they went a bit farther with it. It rarely happens that one client leaves, has a couple stop therapy because they’re getting divorced, and nearly sleeps with one of his former patients in the same week, but I understand that storytelling demands a bit of elasticity when it calls to reality. I’d never really suggest sacrificing interest generation purely in service of realism.All the actors were top notch as well. Byrne, of course, takes the cake, but I think my two favorites are Sophie, who was just a dead-on portrait of a kid who became an adult too quick and never had a parent involved enough to stop her; and Jake, who nicely let himself unravel and reveal depths to his character that were entirely unexpected given ow stereotypical he appeared upon first blush.

So over all, good stuff. I’d definitely watch a second season, but I’m about 89% sure that’s not going to happen.

Links

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Our DC Boards are full of fear that Final Crisis will suck, thoughts on DC losing a copyright case and April Fools!

Anything to link this week, Tim?

Just the other day I was thinking about how much I used to like music video and how I almost never get to watch any these days, so I went on youTube and found some of my favorites for your view pleasure. Please feel free to enjoy Genesis’s Land of Confusion, Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, Robbie Williams’ Rock DJ, and Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic at your leisure.

What I Read Last Week

The Spirit #15 – I really want to like this book, but I just don’t enjoy it as much since Cooke & Bone left. I’m just really not that invested in it anymore and it makes me sad.

Lord Havok & the Extremists – I’m very interested in seeing what role the Estermists play in the future. And the look at Havok’s past was very revealing. I’m hoping for big things from this group considering they got their own mini.

Something tells me that is not going to happen. In fact, I bet that, after Final Crisis eliminates the multiverse (again) it will be many, many years before these guys make another appearance.

Teen Titans #57 – Really strong issue. Anyone who read this issue and didn’t come away a fan of Rose is insane. And huge props to Barrows for perfectly executing the action in the fight scenes. Really enjoyable issue.

This was easily Rose’s strongest showing since just after OYL when Tim was forced to pin her (naked, of course) to his bed and handcuff her. Come to think of it, when you start off that excellent, what do you do to top yourself?Apparently, you ruin this new anti-Titans team.

Cassie, (oooo, I mean “Drusilla”. Sorry.), on the other hand… Not so much.

One question though. Where the heck was Nearly Nude Jericho? What better opportunity to bring back the clothing avoidant hero than to defend his equally attire opposed sister? Answer: none. No better opportunity.

Fallen Angel #25 – I liked the profiles in the back of the issue. I liked the build up this issue. But man, I’m not digging all of the vibrant characters getting killed. But I suppose I felt the same about Juris and now that wound is healed.

Loveless #23 – Once again, I’ve got no idea where Azzarello is going, but I’m following. I’m also a fan of Zezelj’s art. It is nutty to see his art set in the daylight.

Blue Beetle #25 – First off Albuquerque is the star of the issue for me, whether it’s the shot of Guy and Milagro, or Paco and Brenda kissing he did some amazing things issue. My favorite had to be Brenda and Paco’s awkward pose in the background of the barbeque on page #21. So real. I love this title!

I know everybody loves Guy and everyone knows that I don’t. That said, “I’m the crazy one,” was such a perfect moment, I just had to give it up to he, the most annoying of Earth’s GLs.Anyway, this was a great send off for Rodgers (this was his last issue, yes?). Two near perfect issues in a row…you can’t better than that.

Green Lantern #29 – For an issue with a distinct lack of GL action, it wasn’t really that bad. But I loathe the notion of John Stewart the military man.

Ahh, the Secret Origin arc. Or, as it is known to me, the “go ahead and take four months off from this title” arc.

All-Star Superman #10 – I’m almost positive that after Morrison finishes up his All Star run, DC should retire the character, because virtually everything else is going to pale in comparison.

At this point, doesn’t life pale in comparison. Utterly awesome.In other words, this comic could not be more Val Kilmer.

Batman Confidential #15 – I really, really like this new Wrath. I like he’s cracking wise like a good Robin would. I like how Bedard fit this story into Year One continuity. I’m really hoping that Wrath survives this adventure.

Me too. And while I think Bedard is one of those writers that people really like that I find merely fine, I have to admit he’s doing a great job with this arc.

Countdown #5 – This book is the antithesis of everything good and wholesome.

So, basically, it is like the comic book version of Daron, then?

Scott Keith’s query gets another go round.

They’re doing a Justice League movie (apparently with the Gyllenhaals playing the Wonder Twins, inspired casting if there ever was any) and a Teen Titans movie has been rumored for a while, but what about a Legion of Super-Heroes movie? The great thing is that there’s so many versions that it’s nearly impossible to screw up continuity and offend the fanboys because it’s all set in the future, but having said that what version of the team do you go with, who do you include in the movie as your main players, and who should play them? I mean, the Big Three are obvious choices, but do we need the multiple Superboy clones like Ultra Boy and Mon-El (or whatever name he has in current continuity — I haven’t been keeping up since the Zero Hour reboot)? Do you throw a Wildfire in there for the Wolverine cool factor and play it super-serious ala Keith Giffen when he could
draw or put the guys like Polar Boy and Bouncing Boy in there for comedic effect and play it like Keith Giffen once he turned into self-parody?

Ok, so a couple of weeks ago I delved into my thoughts on a Legion movie. But I didn’t quite feel I could effectively give a good answer to the casting aspect of the question. But now after two weeks I finally feel confident enough to provide some of the actors that I’d cast in the flick.

The Future Lightning Lad Lightning Lad – I was struggling with this role. And then I remembered Noel Fisher. He can be seen every week in The Riches, but he’ll always be Huff’s most tragic patient to me.

The Future Saturn Girl Saturn Girl – I’m going to have to go with Big Love’s Amanda Seyfried, mostly because she’s blonde.

What truly high standards you apply to your casting duties.

The Future Cosmic Boy Cosmic Boy – Even though he’s way old, he’s not too old to play a youth, thus Jesse Metcalfe would be perfect for Rokk Krinn.

The Future RJ Brande RJ Brande – You need an actor who is going to be able to pull off “larger than life.” And there are few actors that do grandiose better than Oliver Platt.

Love it! Can’t get enough Platt! Anyone else ever see Deadline? Until The Wire focused on the newsroom this year, it was so the Val Kilmer of TV shows about journalism.

The Future Brainiac 5 Brainiac 5 – I haven’t seen Jeremy Blackman since Magnolia, but based on how I remember the kid from ten years ago, I think he’d do a decent job as Brainy.

Hmm…I wonder what that kid has been up to.And from a brief internet search the answer is, apparently, Broadway. And, if IMDB is to be believed, very much being not gay and being involve with his girlfriend, a woman. Seriously, not gay. The posters can’t seem to stress that enough.

The Future Chameleon Chameleon Boy – Anton Yelchin, with the right make-up would totally rock as Chameleon Boy.

Seeing Anton reminds me…I’m totally the only person who saw the movie Charlie Bartlett and enjoyed it, aren’t I?

The Future Stay BoyStar Boy – I’m going with the current Star Boy and putting Tristan Wilds, of The Wire into the role. He’s a real talent who deserves to reach a wider audience.

Not sure how good a fit it would be (because, of course, this is the Legion we are talking about), but here, here! All The Wire players deserve long and important careers.

The Future Invisible Kid Invisible Kid – Michael Cera would add some comic relief to the movie as Invisible Kid. Plus, even though I’ve not seen Juno, I’ve heard that no one rocks a headband like Cera.

True that! GEORGE MICHAEL FOREVER!!!

The Future Triplicate Lass Triplicate Lass – I’m going for Mae Whitman in this roll. She’s an amazing actress, but she never seems to get play anything other than serious. So hopefully if the “different aspects of personality” is utilized, she’d get a shot to show off her range.

Not to undermine the seriousness of this or anything, but someone is totally having dirty thoughts about what her as Triplicate Lass. And to him, Eric of East Lansing, Michigan, knock it off. Women shouldn’t be objectified, even drawn ones.Also, she was in Arrested Development, the TV show that defined funny. So, yeah, she’s done that.

I just realized I pretty much respect all of the actors I’ve listed, but I’d hate for them to be in a Legion movie. The Legion just wouldn’t work on the big screen, so if these actors, my faves, were stuck on the sinking ship that I’m sure the Legion would be, it would stink.

Clearly I was right with my first instinct to not cast the film.

Tim, as a life long Legion fan, what did you think of my casting?

Did you know I don’t like the Legion? That’s just a super secret secret from me to you.Anyway, I actually like the cast a lot. Very cool mix of actors and it skews name recognition for talent, which is always a good thing. I can’t say how much each person would serve the story, but I could imagine myself taking in a matinee of this movie at a discount theater 5 weeks after it came out. So…good job.

<a href=http://www.thejulianelement.com/http://www.thejulianelement.com/Julian L. Smith might as well start calling himself Prince with all the time he spends thinking about the end of the world

Let’s talk apocalyptic futures. Kamandi – Last Boy on Earth lives in some desolate future. The old OMAC series said the same thing. Arion just showed Superman some bleak future for humanity. And I’m sure there have been a few others. What does The Legion of Superheroes say about the past and The Great Cataclysm? Has it ever been outlined anywhere?

Dhaise posed the similar

Any speculation on the Great Disaster?

Ok guys I get it; I was wrong to try to cast the Legion movie. But calling it a “great disaster” and “apocalyptic” is going a bit far. And frankly it hurts my feelings. Not cool.

Umm…Mathan whisperwhisperwhisper

Really?

Yup.

Oh, wait you guys were talking about the desolate futures in the DCU. My mistake, I guess I’m just overly sensitive.

Well first off, the dismal futures in OMAC and Kamandi are the same one. The Buddy Blank in the OMAC series turned out to be Kamandi’s grandpa, tying everything together in a neat little Kirby-esque bow.

As far as the Legion is concerned the past was murky for a few reasons. First if the records of the past weren’t clear it made it more believable why the Legion wouldn’t travel to the past to add a helping hand, because back in the day the Legion would travel to the 20th Century on the drop of a dime.

It also kept Legion writers from setting events in stone. As the DCU grew and continuity became an issue you needed a disaster in addition to a thousand year buffer to keep the rapidly changing DCU from affecting the Legion. And even that didn’t always work (see Celeste Rockfish.)

Also something to remember is that a lot of this “great disaster” stuff starts popping up in DC comics from the 1970’s, back when a post-atomic war was the cool thing to do. The Atomic Knights (who popped up in Battle For Bludhaven and Countdown) existed in a post-atomic war world.

The Crisis spin-off Hex, staring a time lost Jonah Hex in a far flung future was set after a nuclear war, so it’s disaster-rific too.

As for my speculation on the Great Disaster, I don’t care to speculate, I’m just glad that it’s wrapping up. Though calling Countdown a “great disaster” is almost harsh. Almost.

Tim, how do you like your future; bright and shiny or apocalyptic?

I like my apocalypses like I like my women. Bright and shiny on the service with hidden depths of corruption, dark dangerousness, scheming, and really bitching steampunk technology. Well, that last one does not come up with the women as much, but…still.

Jag keeps on banging that drum

I was recently reading that Frank Miller is still working on a manuscript about Batman and Al-Qaeda, which he has described as probably going to be offensive to everyone. A lot of industry people have already criticized Miller for this as it smells of jingoism and will probably be filled with racial overtones, like the Superman “Slap A Jap” outrage during WWII. What do you guys think of this? Knowing the crap that Miller churns out now, I cringe at the thought that he’ll have Batman running around Gotham, beating up terrorists and calling them “rag-heads”, because you KNOW he’s going to do something like that. It’s really disheartening because Miller was one of the most prominent comic book people to weave the political into comics such as with Dark Knight and the Cold War in the 80s and how the American people were manipulated. What happened to the guy? Anyway, it boggles the mind how DC would commission something so inflammatory just because its Frank Miller. What do you guys think?

Just because it’s commissioned doesn’t mean it’ll see the light of day. I refer you to Elseworld’s 80 Page Giant a work that DC commissioned and then promptly shredded. (And if anyone knows how I can score a copy of that shredded book, drop me a line.)

Seconded!

So really there’s no guarantee that this Batman tale will ever be released or even finished. Of course on the other hand the powers that be might decide that a Batman comic written and drawn Frank Miller might be worth whatever negative publicity the comic will receive. After all controversy sells and Fox News is bound to promote the book endlessly.

That said, if anyone is going to find WMD’s in Iraq, it’s going to be the world’s greatest detective, because you find fiction with fiction.

God, I am so loving you right now for that.

And there is always the chance that Frank will follow through on his promise to offend everyone. Maybe it won’t be jingoistic. Maybe we’ve lost our faith in Frank Miller because of All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder? To quote High Fidelity “is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins?”

“Is it better to burn out or fade away?”Sorry…just had to play.

Hasn’t the The Dark Knight Returns earned Miller a few missteps?

I can’t say that I’m really looking forward to having the book released. Because I’m honestly not all that confident that Miller can pull Holy Terror, Batman off. I want to believe that it won’t be racially offensive, but Frank is an over the top kind of guy, so even I cringed when the book was announced. And given how “patriotism” is defined in this day and age, saying that the book is patriotic doesn’t really instill me with much faith.

Then again, there’s always the chance that Miller has been concentrating all of his energy on writing Holy Terror, Batman which would explain why so many people are less than happy with his writing on All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder.

Tim, are Frank Miller, Batman and terrorism a good mix?

Theoretically, they could be.How?

I’m so glad you asked.

The way I see it there is one of three ways this project could work.

1.) As a think piece: Miller has oft (or twice, at least) described Batman as a terrorist for the good guys so putting him up against Al Qaeda (presumably terrorists for the bad guys) is kind of genius. He could delve into how terrorism is defined and who defines it and whether or not there truly is a difference between a hero and a terrorist or is it all just based on which side of the line your particular allegiances lie.

2.) As a “true” satire: When I talk “true” satire, I’m thinking more along the lines of Jonathan Swift and Modest Proposal as opposed to say Scary Movie (parody) or All-Star Batman and Robin (parody and/or absurdist piece). In this approach, Miller can merge the presentation of all the racism of those old Superman and Captain America comics, with their extreme stereotypical depictions of the “enemy” and the racism against “Arabs” (although, often, the targets of such prejudicial feelings and/or actions are not actually Arab at all) of today to produce a work that acknowledges the way we dehumanize people in wartime based on appearance with bone dry scathing humor.

3.) As a straight up race against the clock thriller: Sure, 24 is jingoistic, but no one seems to mind so why not just go for it? Okay, kidding a bit.

But it is possible to do an edge of your seat thrill ride about terrorism that does not stoop to ethnic stereotypes. And who does not love an action comic starring Batman?

Do I see any of these three happening? Well…I’m trying to stay optimistic.

M.G. is watching a Biography on a certain Gotham playboy

If I wanted to read the Batman biography in one sitting, what 10 or so trades would sum the life of the character? Using the existing catalogue of Batman trade paperbacks, create your ideal, readable timeline of Batman’s life. For example, you might start with Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, have Grant Morrison’s current Batman run in the somewhere in the middle and end with Batman: Year 100.

First off, 10 trades does not equal one sitting. I don’t even think I could read 10 trades in one day, much less one sitting.

This really is a great question. It makes me wish that DC had a line of books like Marvels “The End” series, so that we could do this with other characters. Oh well, it’s time to get to the quintessential Batman.

EgoBatman: Year One – Obviously this is the place to begin. This is the one that really made me a Batman fan and made me forget all about the corny tv show. Easily one of my favorite Batman tales ever.

Batman: Ego – This is a brilliant but brief look at Gotham’s protector. But it’s 100% Darwyn Cooke goodness, and you can’t go wrong with that. Plus it’s a peek into the mind of the character.

The Killing Joke – A great look at both Batman and the Joker. Have I mentioned how stunning the new deluxe edition is?

Death in the Family Death in the Family – This one doesn’t hold up nearly as well as anything else here, but it’s still a pivotal moment in the life of Batman.

Arkham Asylum – The Dark Knight lives up to his name in this book. It’s a dark and moody tale, but it gives it gets you into one of Gotham’s most famous locales.

Tower of Babel JLA: Tower of Babel – Batman is all of his superhero-y glory. This is the story that illustrates how well Batman plays with other heroes.

Hush – I’m not the biggest fan of this story, but in terms of villains this story gives you the most bang for your buck, which is why I’m including it. It’s flaw (that it’s a fanboy’s wet dream) is what makes it perfect for this list.

Face the Face Face the Face – I really liked this story. It’s Batman and Harvey Dent and James Robinson with some stellar artists. It’s just quality.

Batman: Detective – This collection of Paul Dini’s run on Detective Comics is a nice throwback to stand alone issues that focus on Batman’s brain. It’s got some excellent characterization and some really nice looking art.

Dark Knight Returns Dark Knight Returns – This is how my Batman journey ends. It’s a classic and while it’s dated to a degree, it still holds up pretty well.

I’d really have liked to put Batman: Black & White on my list, but the anthology features stories set at various points in Batman’s career and even out of continuity, so it didn’t fit with the “chronological” part of the question.

Tim, how does your Batman chronology work?

Hmm…well, you hit a ton of the highlights, no doubt about that. But, I’ve got some alternate suggestions.The Long HalloweenFor one, I’d ditch Hush. Oh boy, would I! While I don’t despise it like some (it was fun and pretty), if one’s looking for a villain extravaganza with great art, they can do better. And they don’t even have to look under a different author’s work! Long Halloween gets that spot.

I’d also lose Face-the-Face for, while it is good, there is nothing definitive about it. Even it’s setting up of the new status quo is more a return to a previous one and if someone is just looking at Batman’s history in slices, they are unlikely to even know that a new status quo was needed to return to the old one.

Similarly, Batman: Detective goes by the wayside. I like all the stories a whole bunch, but there is nothing about it that makes it any more necessary than, say, Rucka or Brubaker’s runs and I wouldn’t include them in this crowd either.

Instead, I’d add Batman: Dark Detective in the first slot for presenting what some consider the “best” version of Batman, the one that provided the basis for the Animated Series version of the character. It is a natural bridge from the Year One Batman to the modern day one as well. Plus, it has that awesome Joker fish story.

The Last ArkhamIn the second slot, I put Batman: The Last Arkham, the first arc from Shadow of the Bat. It presents a different take on Batman’s psyche than Arkham Asylum does and I think is a nice counterbalance to that story’s “Yo, Batman is one CRAZY guy!” approach. Putting both on allows a reader to draw their own conclusions about what kind of shape his mind really is in.

So, my final chronology goes like this:

Batman: Year One

Batman: Ego

The Long Halloween

Dark Detective

The Killing Joke

Death in the Family

Arkham Asylum

Batman: The Last Arkham

JLA: Tower of Babel

The Dark Knight Returns

Juan Francisco Gutiérrez Santiago is looking for matrimonial role models

Who are the most solid couples, married or not, dead or alive, in the DCU?

Oh happy couples, what a depressing topic. I’m kidding! This is going to be a fun one.

Obviously Ralph & Sue Dibny would have to be atop my list of any DCU couples. They were together and happy in life and are together and happy in death. It seriously warms my heart to think of them.

Jay & Joan Garrick come in a close second because Joan hasn’t been appearing much lately and they aren’t nearly as inseparable as #1 are.

Next up is Wally West & Linda Park – They’ve been a couple for years and their love has withstood plenty of challenges. Theirs is really a love for the ages.

I guess Adam & Alanna Strange are next. They aren’t that prominent, but they’ve been together for a long time and they’ve got a kid together.

Clark & Lois fit right in here. They’re not that impressive as a couple, but they’ve been together for awhile now.

Black Canary & Green Arrow have had their ups and downs those bumps never really felt permanent. There was always the idea that they were just taking a time out. Now that they’re finally married they’re even more fun to read about.

Alan Scott and Molly Mayne-Scott would be next. They’ve been together longer than Lois and Clark, but really, when was the last time you saw Molly or even a reference to her?

I’ve also got to believe that Jack & Sadie are happy together, somewhere away from Opal.

Those are really the couples that I can think of that I find really impressive. But here are a few couples that really impressed me, before one spouse got killed off.

Barry Allen & Iris West – Barry was a jerk for keeping his powers a secret from his wife, but they made a good couple. And even after she “died” she still looked out for him. He went to live with her in the future where they had a happy life, before he died.

Punch & Jewelee – For a second, this criminal twosome was the model for stability in the DCU, couple wise. But then Punch died, in a very shocking and surprising death, leaving poor Jewelee a single parent.

Mister Miracle & Big Barda – I was never really a fan, but this couple had been together for years, before all the New Gods started getting killed off. Yawn.

Tim, can you think of any couples that I’ve missed?

You didn’t miss Dick Grayson and anyone, that’s for sure! HA! Take that Nightwing/Starfire and Nightwing/Oracle fans! Also, he doesn’t belong on the JLA. DEAL!Ahem…sorry.

No, I don’t think you missed anyone.

Stone King feels lonely

Everyone knows the big partnerships. Batman and Robin, Batman and Superman, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. What are the less well known underappreciated partnerships either temporarily or ongoing?

Well you’re forgetting Hal Jordan. He’s like one of the best guys to team up with. Just ask Barry Allen. Green Lantern and the Flash had quite a few teams up in their heyday. In fact it even spawned a miniseries The Brave & the Bold.

Green Lantern and Green Arrow also had a pretty well publicized partnership. They shared a title together, with Black Canary as a frequent guest.

Green Lantern was such a popular guy to team up with that when Kyle Rayner took over the title, he was forced into pairing with fellow next gen legacy heroes Wally West and Connor Hawke for the sake of nostalgia.

Naturally Black Canary and Green Arrow has had a fruitful partnership. Mister Miracle and Big Barda also follow along the same lines.

Nightwing and Wally West have had some good adventures together. And if you’re including “Blue & Gold” how could you leave out “Fire & Ice?”

Superboy and Robin worked pretty well as a team, before Conner was killed.

Ummmmmmm, I really can’t think of too many other partnerships right now, but I know that I’m missing some.

Tim, who are some of your favorite team ups?

The few times Nightwing and Superman chill is fun for me. It always strikes me as someone hanging out with their cool uncle that is completely different than the rest of the family.Batman and Kyle Rayner was a good time too because, on the one hand, Batman had no use for him and, on the other, he was always dropping little hints that he actually did like Kyle or at least think that he was a capable hero.

Despite my feelings on Guy Gardner, his partnering with Blue Beetle and Kyle Rayner has been enjoyable.

Hitman and Resurrection Man was two issues of bliss.

Aztek and anyone (Batman, Green Lantern, Superman) was AWESOME!

There’s plenty more, I’m sure, but that’s where I’m stopping.

That’s going to do it for this week’s edition. Next week we might cover Captain Marvel, Black Adam and cloning Guy Gardner? Plus your question; provided you drop me a line asking one.

Feel free to email me your questions (mathan@insidepulse.com) or post them on our thread

But before I go here’s my question to you: What do you think about Frank Miller’s proposed Holy Terror, Batman?

“If you must know the truth about the tale, go and ask the milkman.”

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