Who's Who in the DCU

Spectre Headshot Boo!

It’s Labor Weekend here in the ol’ US of A and that means it is time to give thanks for the work we have and for the work we don’t have to have. Namely being a whiny Spirit of Vengeance forced to kill your own son for avenging your death. Or migrant worker.

Who’s Who is here to honor Cris Allen, his old partner Montoya, that flame haired fella from Final Crisis, Booster Gold, and Booster Gold’s chalkboards. Do your duty. Read the column.

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Tim, is it wrong that I’m really kind of enjoying the whole The Watchmen fiasco?

Wrong? Well, who am I to judge? That said, if thing derails and people in the comic community find out you took joy in it, there might be some hurt feelings. I’m not saying like PUMA level hurt feelings, but your nominating convention web presence might be more divisive than you’d like.

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Our DC Boards are all atwitter about impending cancellations, the return of Bart Allen and the future of Flashes.

Tim, care to link anything?

I feel that I should link something. But what…but what?

Ahh, here we go. Dig these cookies. They will change your life. In that they will shorten it because of cholesterol and sugar counts. But an early grave never tasted so good.

What I Read Last Week…(for the most part)

Wonder Woman #23 – I’m glad this arc is over.

DC still published a WW book? What a pleasant surprise.

Simon Dark #11 – I’m loving these monsters. I liked the way this story has really picked up and the meeting at the end of the issue.

Green Lantern Corps #27 – Don’t you think that the guy who got the cover about it raining eyeballs, got the whole thing wrong?

Yeah, no kidding. Good issue though. WARRIORS FOREVER!

Green Arrow & Black Canary #11 – Wow, this issue was boring. I mean except for the Cliff Chiang cover.

Oh come on, who doesn’t love a good 22 page info dump.

Booster Gold #11 – I like how Dixon didn’t really miss a beat in terms of tone for the issue. And I like the cause and effect aspect of the story. It’s good business.

Killer Moth. Killer Moth! KILLER MOTH! KILLER MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTH!

Revelations #1 – I’ll be real; I’m sorry to see Effigy and Dr. Light go. I think they both had potential as characters and particularly as villains. But I really like seeing how Libra handed the Spectre his tail. That’s intriguing.

Dr. Light has had this coming for a long time (and I’m not sure any character can come back from that first ultra creepy shirtless scene in this book). But I concur on the Effigy count.

Overall, a pretty good issue, even if it did remind of that whole Spectre killed his own son thing.

Action Comics #868 – Eh, I’m still reluctant to accept this new Brainiac. Though making him a physical threat was a nice touch. And man, this issue really looked great.

Batman #679 – I love the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. I love his costume. I love his voice. I love him. And I love this arc.

The talking gargoyles were a nice treat. But did Bat Mite really need to be there.

Secret Invasion #5 – The beginning felt like a retread of the Black Widow/Tony Stark scene from the last issue. And Maria Hill’s speech seemed to typify why Bendis’ critics hate him. And where were Cap and Thor? But the Savage Land stuff was fun to read and Clint made me excited for the next chapter.

I liked the Maria Hill bit, but then, I largely like Bendis, so what the hell do I know?

On the Clint front, was anyone else but him surprised to see Mockingbird was a Skrull? I mean, really? Come on, Clint, you are pretty, but there is no reason for you to be quite that dumb.

100 Bullets #94 – I’m so invested in this series and characters that these cliffhangers are killing me. That confrontation this issue between the two Minutemen, man, I was so full of suspense it was no joke. And the dread I felt on the last page knows no equal. That fight was as brutal as anything we’ve seen up to this point and given the characters involved, I’d expect nothing less.

Robin #177 – How does Williams II do two books a month? I liked Jason and Tim talking and fighting. I really liked everything this issue.

I’m not thrilled with Red Robin (even as a guy who sees Kingdom Come as a big reason that I got hooked on comics), but I do appreciate the mystery angle as opposed to him just being Jason Todd, which was a huge regression for that character.

Also, and I’m sure someone else has raised this point, but I’ll do it anyway, does Jason’s plan remind anyone else of War Games/Crimes? Anyone?

JLA #24 – Who commissioned this cover for this issue? It was nice to see Dinah put Bruce in his place and assert some leadership. Decent read.

You mean the cover that apes a scene from the previous issue almost exactly, but has little to nothing to do with this issue? Why do you ask? Is it a problem of some kind?

The Flash #243 – So are we all on the same page: #250 is the last issue, right?

That wouldn’t surprise me. And boy to yet another creative team change. I think I’m jumping off this side again.

X-Factor Layla Miller #1 – Awesome read. Is that why the last couple of issues of X-Factor sucked; because all of the greatness was being stored in this issue? Why can’t the regular title read like this?

Air #1 – How I missed the bruise cue, I don’t know, but I didn’t catch on to the “flashback” until I was way too deep into the issue. I wish they’d had more set up Etesian’s, because the hijacking comes out of nowhere. But apart from that it’s a pretty strong debut.

Batman & the Outsiders #10 – Yeah, I think I may be done with this book. Depending on who’s taking over and what happens.

Dreamwar #5 – I totally dig the inclusion of villains. And Superman vs Midnighter vs The Joker was pretty fun too.

Brave & the Bold #16 – This issue was so great. Superman’s disguise was hilarious. And his code of conduct was equally funny. The dynamic between Catwoman and Superman was just great. If Superman/Batman became Superman/Catwoman, I’d totally pick it up.

War Heroes #1 – I picked it up for Harris’ art and I wasn’t disappointed. The story was solid, though I’m curious where they go from here. Strong read.

X-Factor #34 – Boo to tie-in books that crossover with other books. Shame on everyone involved.

My compliments to their brilliant marketing scheme.

Cyborg #4 – Really Equus? I mean I’m glad that the subplot between Cyborg, Wildebeest and Equus, established in Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files to be touched upon, but this mini really blows.

Concurred.

Legion of 3 Worlds #1 – I liked the various homages to the Legion mythos. I liked how Superboy-Prime inspired the LSV as a counterpart to young Clark inspiring the LSH. I liked the callback to the foundation of the Legion with RJ Brande, Cos, Garth and Irma. I liked Brainy’s attitude. I liked Prime’s role, but then again I’m a fan of Kil-El. I really liked that the Cham/RJ link was kept. And of course I dug the cameos.

Trinity #12 – Kurt is kind of making up for messing up the CSA last time around with a pretty good story this outing. I’m curious about John Stewart’s issue. But the Riddler was the star of this issue. And why didn’t I make the connection to Enigma before? It seems so obvious now.

It was obvious from the start, I thought. But maybe that’s just because this book largely and consistently underwhelming.

Superman’s Reign #6 – Seeing Batman operate in this would was cool. I really like Tangent Earth and I especially like how reluctant Bats is to get involved. I can’t wait for next issue.

Glen is hot like fire!

Who is the flame headed dude holding Martian Manhunter when Libra offs him?

EffigyOh Glen, I’m not surprised that you’re unfamiliar with the character because he’s one of Kyle Rayner’s so-called rogues. Along with the character in question, Effigy, Kyle’s other rogues included such luminaries as Grayven, Magaan, Sonar and a singular Manhunter android. And people say that Aquaman’s got a lack of viable threats.

As opposed to Hal “Hot Shot!” (what was his ridiculous nickname again?) Jordan’s rogues gallery that includes such heavy hitters as epaulet wearing Sonar or the rarely seen Invisible Destroyer (see what I did there?). There’s much quality there, eh?

Anyway Effigy he’s got a sort of interesting origin. Martyn Van Wyck was just your typical regular dude, until he was abducted in standard fashion. (There’s a standard fashion now?) He was alone one moment and he the next thing he knew six days had passed and he was exhausted and naked.

Been there, done that.

And everything was cool, until later he fumbled with his lighter and burst into flames.

That, too.

Oddly enough Martyn wasn’t burned, instead he found that he had control of the fire and could shape it as he pleased. Naturally he decided to use his powers for crime.

Those charges were unsubstantiated and the DA dropped the case. You have no right to bring that up, Mathan, after I told you about it in confidence.

Oh…we’re still talking about Effigy? Heh…umm…I was just kidding around?

Of course the other half of the story is that Martyn was abducted by the Controllers, the less benevolent cousins of the Guardians of the Universe. In fact the Controllers are kind of inept; they experimented on Martyn and when his powers didn’t immediately manifest they cut him loose, to use his powers for crime.

Effigy made a couple of notable appearances. No, wait, he didn’t. The guy had potential but he never lived up to it. And while it made sense for Effigy to play a part in J’onn’s death, it sucks that he had to pay the price for his actions with his life.

I mean it’d be great to see Effigy take a greater place in the pantheon of villains. He could have been such a powerful threat in the DCU. Plus he’s got space origins, so he could have even been a threat in space. I mean except for the while “no air in space” that might have been a hurdle.

Anyway I mourn the death of Kyle’s most memorable rogue.

Tim, how do you feel about Effigy and how he’s been handled?

This felt like a “cannon fodder” death to me, the kind of thing I think DC has utilized a bit too often to date. I mean, the guy did not even get an ultra awkward two page setup involving young women, shirtlessness, and instructions involving the words “hold” and “down” like Dr. Light.

(I’m sorry to bring that up again, but it made my skin crawl to a degree that most forms of entertainment rarely achieve. Maybe it is the population I currently work…I don’t know. I just know that it made me go “brr”.)

Part of my opinion, no doubt, is influenced by the fact that I am a Kyle booster (I like Hal and John, too, for that matter, but Kyle was the GL of my formative comic collecting years so he’s my favorite) and thus have an appreciation for Effigy’s potential. That said, I think, even if I didn’t care, the scene would reek of a certain “after thought-ness” as if the script initially read “insert a c-grade villain of your choice here to be quickly killed.”

In reality, however, I think that Effigy died because his continued breathing complicates the Controllers roll in the Spectrum Wars Geoff Johns has going on in Green Lantern. Which I kind of, sort of get. I think you could make it work, but killing him is probably the easiest solution.

So, if that was the reason, fine. I’m not thrilled about it, but I accept it. Couldn’t his demise have a little more something to it though?

Dirk seeks our wise counsel

I just recently got back into comics about 3-4 months ago and have been struggling with trying to find something I can get into without having to sell my kids to buy back issues.

Can you guys recommend anything? I’m into “realistic” kind of stuff, similar to the new Dark Knight, but I can also get into some gritty or regular superhero stuff, as long as it isn’t too “dumbed down” for the younger kids.

Well there plenty of good reads out there. Sadly most of them are cancelled.

First off, since you referenced The Dark Knight, I’m going to point you in the direction of Gotham Central. It’s no longer being published, but most of the issues can be found in trades. It’s a book that centers on the cops of Gotham and it’s a fine and thrilling read.

Next up I’m going to venture outside of the DCU and suggest Wildcats 3.0. You don’t really need to know too much about the Wildstorm Universe or even Wildcats as a team. It’s a story about getting the band back together and making the world a better place.

I’m going to suggest Manhunter next because it’s such an awesome read. It’s a book that’s tied into the rich continuity of the DCU but not bogged down by it. It’s pretty realistic and occasionally gritty. It’s a really good title that’s still being published and back issues should be pretty easy to find.

I’m not trying to hog everything so, Tim, have you got some suggestions for our reader in need?

Since Mathan undercut me by choosing Manhunter (he knows I’m the biggest Kate fan EVER), I’ll start in the Wildstorm U.

Two titles that you can either pick up in trades or for cheap in back issues are Sleeper and Stormwatch PHD. The first deals with espionage in a world with superheroes and is a kick in the throat with every climatic moment. There are two volumes of series out there and, I think, six trades, so that oughtta keep you entertained for a bit. Stormwatch PHD was not a limited series, but mostly worked out like it was. It is profiles a law enforcement team made up of cops and super powered folk who deal with the earthly issues that the superhero community sometimes is just too busy pounding one another to notice. It played down-to-earth well without being boring and really nailed the feel of awkward camaraderie teams like this can develop.

On the DC side, I don’t think I have much to offer that Mathan did not hit on. So, I’ll commit a scene around these parts and point you down the street to Marvel and Daredevil. Anything from the beginning of the Bendis era to today should satisfy the itch, but I’d call particular attention to the Brubaker stuff from the past year since a.)it’ll be easier and cheaper to get a hold of and b.) the most recent storyline featured a reunion of the team from Gotham Central which Mathan recommended above. They hit on all cylinders at DC and they did so in this arc, too.

Glen sings “Earth 8, Earth 8, will you be mine?”

We’ve discussed Earth 8. Should Booster Gold have been there instead of New Earth? He is post Crisis, and has a different ethic than the other Earth 1 heroes. He might fit better with say, Kyle Rayner and the rest. It seems he just never came up in the discussion of Earth 8 before.

Booster GoldThe reason he never came up before is because he’s clearly a New Earth character. There’s no way he’d exist on Earth-8. And here’s why;

He’s from the future – Being from the future explains his ethic and how he views things in the hero world.

He’s got links to Superman – In the early days of his title Booster and Supes crossed paths a few times. They both operated out of Metropolis and carried themselves in two different ways. He’s almost a reaction to Superman in a way.

He’s got links to the Legion – Part of the equipment that Booster, um, boosted was a Legion flight ring and Brainiac 5’s force field belt. Given that those were part of his uniform he sort of needs them to be Booster. And if you need a Legion, you can’t be on Earth-8.

I don’t necessarily agree. Although it is a nightmarish thought, there is no reason why one of the relatively similar Earths (let’s say the newly explored Earth-2 as a for instance) would not have a version of the Legion in their future. I think that is the solution Johns is driving to right now, in fact, to clear up all the disparate Legions DC has seen fit to allow to run rampant over their Universe.

I also think the whole premise of this question is wrong. The Earth-8 that would have had such heroes was wiped out by Crisis on Infinite Earths. It was offered up in Infinite Crisis as a place where heroes like Kyle or Breach (so coming back!) would’ve ended up if not for the smushing of the Earths. However, there is no reason to assume that, in this post-almost eaten by a giant Mr. Mind DCU, there is an Earth that fits that criteria or that it is still #8.

Um, I think that’s enough evidence that Booster belongs on New Earth.

You just sort of ignored everything I just said, didn’t you?

Tim, how much longer do you think Booster will have a solo title?

More than 6, less than 12.

Jag is left with mixed feelings

My question has to do with Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen. I think one of the strength’s of the Batman titles is that there is often a strong emphasis on some of Batman’s “normal” allies, like the cops that work with him. In past years, we’ve seen some added exposure to the GCPD with Gotham Central but recent developments with Montoya and Allen have given me mixed feelings.

I think the strength of Montoya and Allen was that they were normal cops and people mixed up in a world full of super-beings and alien evil-doers. Through them, you could kind of see a perspective from the street-level, so to speak. However, with Montoya becoming the new Question and Crispus as the Spectre, it seems awkward and not a good use of the characters. I think Montoya and Allen were fine as normal cops and having them as superheroes doesn’t work. What do you think?

(Ugh, why did I answer this column in the same one that I’m trying to introduce Gotham Central to a new reader? I’ll try to be a spoiler free as possible.)

I will agree that Batman’s supporting cast sports an impressive roster of those outside of the cape and cowl set. I’ll even add my voice to yours in terms of the whole “normal people in a world of supers and aliens”, I too liked that dynamic.

But I don’t have a problem with where Montoya and Allen are now as characters. And this is for a couple of reasons.

First off, Gotham Central ended. Chances are those two characters would have faded into the background until some writer decided to introduce a new threat to Gotham and have said threat kill off the cast of Gotham Central to show how truly evil he is. Or maybe the Joker would have killed Montoya to get back at Two-Face and offed Allen just for the fun of it, and because it’s his m.o. now. The point is those characters are alive now because they evolved.

Isn’t it better to have Allen and Montoya still active in the DCU, even if they’re not just “normal” anymore, than to have them remain unchanged and inactive?

The second reason is because if it wasn’t for Montoya and Allen, I’d probably not really give a hoot about either the Question or the Spectre. The reason I picked up the first Allen as Spectre mini is, well honestly it had a lot to do with Will Pfeifer and Cliff Chiang telling the story, but my fondness for Allen also played a role.

And even though 52 was where I really got hooked into Montoya, Gotham Central was where she blossomed as a character. And by the end of Gotham Central she was damaged as a character. 52 saw her heal and become the Question. I dug the evolution.

Honestly, where was Allen’s character going to go after Gotham Central? He had nowhere to go.

So, there you have it. I’ve got no beef with where Allen and Montoya ended as characters. And the opportunity to see them together again is one of the main reasons why I’m picking up Revelations.

Tim, how do you feel about what’s happened to Allen and Montoya?

Like Jag, I also have mixed feelings. As you pointed out this move has kept them around so that’s good news.

However, kept them around for what, I ask?

One has taken up a costumed identity because her mentor was it before her. It represents a redemptive arc for her. I’m okay with this one, except that the miniseries that followed up on the concept completely lost my interest sometime mid third issue. Also, I am totally convinced the old Questions will be back any day now and Montoya will be back to square one.

The other was killed and restored as DC’s original Ghostfaced Killa, the irrepressible scamp we call the Spectre. That move, in and of itself, I did not hate. Did not love it either as it was way far away from the roots of the character. On the other hand, Corrigan was a cop, too, so okay. However, since then… so not good. He’s appeared in two minis, one in which he killed his son (really, DC, really?) and another which was so unrelentingly bleak that even I thought, “Maybe DC Comics isn’t the best venue for this.” They took a fascinating character and made him, by turns, a cipher, a whiner, and, lest we forget, a child killer.

So…yeah. Maybe he was better off dead.

Glen needs it spelled out for him

Can you translate the chalkboard in Booster Gold #10? There’s a whole lot of chalkboards in the DCU for some reason.

Gotham City isn’t safe MIDNIGHT HAS THE HEARTS! – I’ve really got no idea. Maybe this has something to do with the Batman mini with midnight in the title?

That makes sense, but I was thinking more along the lines of the red and black motif that Batman: RIP is rocking these days.

RED LANTERNS = BLOOD – This is obviously a nod to the upcoming Red Lantern tie-in to Final Crisis. I’m guessing there’s going to be blood and maybe some death?

I’m onboard the 9am prolly trolley for that one.

The Perfect Peter Platinum isn’t so perfect – This had to do with the next issue of Booster Good. And perhaps it alludes to how Peter Platinum kinda failed in execution, where the notion of him seemed so great.

See Booster Gold One Million.

Listen to Libra the Prince will fall on HIS sword – Is he going to kill Wonder Woman? She’s Diana Prince right? That’s the only Prince that I can think of. I mean unless Libra is going after His Royal Badness, which would be truly evil.

Not to mention foolhardy. No way can Libra face down ALL the Rainbow Children.

The “HIS” though is eye catching. Is it Libra or the Prince that is the “his” in question? Also, isn’t Geo Force a prince? And doesn’t everyone LOOOOOOOOOOVE Geo Force?

Trigon = Red Herring – This had to do with the recent team up in Brave & the Bold where Nightwing lured every hero in the DCU to another dimension to battle Trigon, only Trigon wasn’t really attacking. Nightwing wanted to save them from evil skim Deadmen.

…sure.

Who is under the MASK – I want to say that this has to do with Red Robin. I know I was asking this question after the latest issue of Robin. But it could also be about R.I.P. and the idea that someone’s replacing Batman.

Me, I’m thinking it concerns these:

MASK!!!

MOBILE ARMORED STRIKE KOMMAND!!!

Or maybe Barry Allen is not really Barry? And obviously Libra is not all he said he is. Either might be the masked figure in question.

City of Angels > Zatara – I’m guessing this has to do with Reign in Hell a mini I’m not reading. I mean Zatara is dead and so are Angels and so are people in Hell. I’m probably grasping as straws here.

A revival of City of Angels opens at the same time as a brand new musical about the life of Zatara. Reviews and ticket purchases favor the revival.

Come on, you know comic fans love a good musical-off!

Why, Captain Atom? Why? – Captain Atom is going to do something bad at some point. Maybe it’ll happen in Trinity. Or maybe it’ll happen in Final Crisis. Maybe Captain Atom is going to force people to Submit? Or maybe it’s got to do with Booster’s Armageddon 2001 crossover. It’s probably that last one.

Ugh…I can’t even pretend to care at this point.

Jean Paul Valley Lives! – Perhaps this is disinformation about R.I.P. Or maybe Hush, a doctor, saved JPV. But I really hope that JPV is dead.

Not me. JPV forever!

That’s not him! – ???

Again, Barry Allen? Libra?

Kirk M wears many masks

With the whole “Battle for the Cowl” teaser that DC is putting together after Batman RIP, how do you think that storyline could/will differ so that people don’t associate it with Captain America being replaced?

Captain America v. Batman

Well for one I think that Captain America’s death came out of nowhere. There wasn’t really a storyline, in his own title, that lead up to his death. (True…unless you count that little Civil War thing, I guess.) Batman R.I.P. is providing set up for this next chapter in Gotham’s history.

Also, unlike Cap, Batman has plenty of active former sidekicks who could be a suitable successor. I mean you’ve got Nightwing, Robin, Jason Todd. Plus there’s Huntress and Batgirl. And that guy formerly known as Azrael might still be around.

Plus the storyline is being set up as a “Battle.” I’m expecting tons of action. Cap has one book, where as Gotham’s got plenty of characters in quite a few books. This is going to be a crossover, and it makes sense given all of the people looking to fill that void.

I don’t think that the storyline is going to get the media buzz that Cap’s death got, just because it’s not coming out of left field, like Cap’s death did.

I’m also guessing that since it’s a crossover it’ll be longer and perhaps have some unevenness to because it’s going to have different creators doing it. So in that regard it’ll probably have a bit of drop in quality, thus creating a difference between the two tales.

Tim, what do you think about these Cap/Bat comparisons?

I think it is interesting, given that this is in the second time in three years the books have sort of weirdly mirrored each other. First there was the long dead partners resurrection move that both pulled with Jason Todd and Bucky the Winter Soldier, respectively.

In that “battle” (if you want to be like that about it, and clearly, many do) I give the edge to Cap because, while I liked both at the start, DC derailed Jason Todd but good with Countdown.

Now? Too early to tell. I mean, Bats not even dead yet. Or seemingly dead. Or however they are going to do it. The Death of Captain America storyline has been as much (or more) about what happens next, whereas Batman: RIP seems more about what happens up to and including the death. “Battle” could show me to be a liar, but my guess is that Bats death with be significantly short-lived, especially in comparison to Cap’s year plus long time resting in peace.

Glen is back to school.

There’s another blackboard in Booster Gold 1,000,000 for you to translate.

I’ve never been happier to have Johns and Katz off of Booster Gold. No more blackboards!

Death leads to Darkness – This seems to be a reference to “The Blackest Night”, next year’s big event.

That one’s a gimme.

Azrael comes and goes – I think this has to do with the lack of Mark Shaw in Manhunter. I mean the last thing we saw was that he was on his way to being the new Azrael. But now that the book’s back he’s not been seen. Perhaps DC is planning something with Azrael?

They must be, right? Because, at this point, all the hints at it are getting excessive.

For every positive there is a negative – This seems to be about Libra. I mean he’s all about balancing the scales and that was what his teaser image was all about. So I think that when Final Crisis is all said and done, the seed will be planted for evil to rise again.

Hmmm…I’ll buy that.

Booster Gold Armageddon 2001?!? – Great, another crossover that no one was asking for.

YAY!

Is Dibny the KEY – Maybe this is a Reign in Hell reference, another book that I’m not reading? Perhaps they’re talking about Sue’s death being that turn to a darker DCU.

Metacommentary on the chalkboard then? I’m thinking your first is probably closer to the mark.

Although, how cool would it be if the Dibny’s were the key to victory over Darkseid?

Thlayli is for equal right for all, be they human or bug lover.

Since I basically keep up with comics vicariously through the forums and columns here (long story), I’ve been running across a phrase that sort of confuses me: “Jimmy Olsen, buglover”. Care to elaborate on this one, or would IP’s puritanical sponsors frown on that?

The short story is that on the pages of Countdown Jimmy Olsen hooked up with the Forager. Now the Forager is a humanoid bug from New Genesis. Thus some of those potty mouths over on our Forum dubbed him “Jimmy Olsen Bug$%&*er.”

And then to make matters worse, Forager actually dumped Jimmy before the series was out. That’s low.

Sadly none of the above were the worst to come out of Countdown

Tim, what were some of the other bad things to come out of Countdown?

1.) The amount of money fans lost by sticking with it.
2.) The derailing of Jason Todd’s character arc.
3.) The wasting of otherwise talented artists and writers on a lousy project that just never got better.
4.) The Death of the New Gods stuff that turned out to be a complete waste since Final Crisis immediately contradicted it.

And so on and so on.

Too high or too low, there ain’t no in-between. My darling, I don’t know why Neil goes to extremes.

Is Mary Marvel ruined as a character now?

Not for me she’s not.

I mean I never really cared about Mary before. I liked when she had that one-shot with Supergirl. I also liked when she hooked up with the Superbuddies. But apart from that she just seemed kind of boring to me.

I mean do I really need a female version of pure and innocent Captain Marvel? Let me make something clear; the Marvel Family is the perfect argument against derivative characters. What exactly is the difference between Cap, Mary and Jr? Not powers that’s for sure. And even Cap’s bland personality is nearly overpowering when compared to Mary and Jr.

But not now.

Now Mary is interesting. She was tempted and she fell. And let’s not pretend like this is new. In Underworld Unleashed Neron wanted to tempt Cap, so getting Mary to fall really is a coup. And it makes sense, even if the execution in Countdown was garbage. She lost her powers when she needed them, and probably a bit of faith in them. She lost her connection with the Marvel Family and she lost her sense of self. She had a moment of doubt that was exploited. It’s a great arc on paper.

Mary Marvel's Heaving Bosoms

It’s kind of hard to pretend that DC didn’t okay this cover just to get people to stare at Mary’s breasts, you know? It is shameful, really.

Mary Marvel as a hero with her skill set is way too redundant. You’ve got Power Girl, Wonder Girl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman. You’ve also got Miss Martian now. And even Donna Troy. That’s way too many flying super strong females on the side of good in the DCU. Mary didn’t stand out from the back in terms of her gender or even in her own “family.”

But now she’s a threat. She’s like Jason Todd, only more powerful. I’m much more apt to pay attention to her now.

Tim, what do you think about Mary Marvel and her current role in the DCU?

As a guy who loathes the Marvel family for exactly the reasons you said above, I’m all in favor of a shakeup. As you pointed out, however, the execution was pretty weak, not the least for the fact that they more or less ended the arc with her redeemed and then completely negated that two issues later. Just dumb.

Her current role will be fleeting, of this I have no doubt, so I’m more interested in what happens next. If we can avoid the “run back to the status quo”, I think some very intriguing ideas could come out of this. However, if everyone learns a lesson and everything returns to normal lickety-split…it is just another wasted opportunity.

Glen goes negative

What is the status of Larry Trainor, Negative Man and the rest of the Doom Patrol? Have they been around again? We can’t have a crisis without them can we?

I think the last that we’ve seen of the Doom Patrol was on the pages of Titans when Raven’s brothers attacked Beast Boy.

Before that they showed up in a OYL issue Teen Titans. But the Doom Patrol really aren’t major players in the DCU at the moment.

That said, Grant Morrison and the Doom Patrol do have a history together. And with all of the weird action in Final Crisis a Doom Patrol appearance wouldn’t be out of place. So maybe they’ll show up somewhere down along the road.

Any thoughts on the Doom Patrol, Tim?

Buy and read the Grant Morrison trades. Do not be tempted to do anything more than that.

Neil doesn’t want to be right

Is it wrong that I love Black Adam the most out of the whole Marvel Family?

Nope, not at all. Black Adam really came into his own on the pages of JSA a few years back. Then 52 made him a star. His solo miniseries was nearly flawless, due to the outstanding team of Tomasi and Mahnke.

Black Adam has got all of the complexity that the rest of the Marvel Family is missing He’s got pathos and he casts a dark shadow. He’s regal and honorable, yet threatening. I could go on, but then it’s just sound like I’ve got a crush on the guy.

Basically, it’s not a big deal to care more about Black Adam than the rest of the Marvel Family combined.

Tim, care to gush about Black Adam?

I think you covered it nicely. Embrace the Black Adam for he is the interesting Marvel.

Well, I’m tired, so let’s call it a column. But don’t fret, well return next week (really) with some more answers. Casting Gotham Central, changes to the DCU and possibly your question will be answered, provided you sent it my direction or post on our very own thread!

Before I go, here’s my question to you What do you think about Barry Allen’s return?

“If everything’s commercial, where the ^&%$ is The Show?”

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