Who's Who in the DCU

The column has returned! Kind of. In the past three months there’s been plenty of change in the world and this column isn’t immune from it. So jump on in and check out how much things have changed.

This week we’ve got Brainiacs, characters from Limbo and Amazos (oh my), plus the return of the “Temporary Mainstay!” C’mon, you know you’re curious and you know you’ve missed the column.

Tim, the fall season is upon us. What are you watching and what should I try to catch?

Future mathan here. Well actually I’m just a “relative future” mathan, in that I’m in the future of when this column was written, but I’m really just in the present. Basically this column was written just about three months ago.

But what a different time three months ago was. Back then a Black President of the United States was unheard of, outside of fiction. In those days we were only experiencing an economic downturn. Madge and Guy were happily married and Chad Ocho Cinco was still entertaining. Those were the days.

Unfortunately Tim can’t be here right now. He got caught up with two guys named Jimmy and Tommie and they started getting into the rackets. And before you knew it they were running things. But then things got crazy, Joe Pesci got whacked and Tim had to rat everyone out to save his tale. Tim is now in the witness protection program.

So that leaves me to do the column by my lonesome, bear with me, it’s going to be bumpy. The first two things to go will be the wit and the pics, both of which were provided by Tim. But I’ll keep answering your questions so keep them coming.

Links

Diehard GameFAN

The DVD Lounge

Inside Fights

MachineGunFunk

Moodspins

Radio Exile

Popcorn Junkies

Primetime Pulse

Tailgate Crashers

Our DC Boards has love for the Rogues, Geo-Force and Wildcats 3.0?

Tim, whatever will you link this week?

Sadly all links to Tim been erased by the feds.

What I Read Last Week

Superman Beyond 3D – Sometimes a shot of pure Morrison is just what you need. I loved the skim-Doc Manhattan. Actually I loved all the different versions of “Superman.” I loved how Superman stepped up to be the hero. I liked the 3D. I loved Mahnke’s art and JH’s cover. I’m so glad that this is a two-parter.

Wow, three months later and still no part two. Interesting.

Blue Beetle #30 – Congrats to Sturges for keeping the fun in this book. The faux Batman intro was nice. And the return of Anubis and Devil Dog was fun. I’m not sure how I feel about this mystery villain pulling the strings, but I’ll wait it out. And of course Albuquerque’s art is stupendous.

If only I’d gotten this column out sooner, I might have been able to save this book.

Teen Titans Year One #6 – I swore I missed an issue of this mini, but I didn’t. I really liked how odd this issue was. It was very internal for a book that’s been so action packed. It was a departure, but a welcome one. Again, Wolfram deserves props for the Flips, Ant and Ding Dong Daddy appearances. I’m sorry this mini’s over.

Teen Titans 62 – Wow, I didn’t see that coming. There’s a dread hanging over this book now, and I kinda dig it.

JSA #18 – I loved Doc Mid-nite’s “be careful what you wish for moment.” And I liked that Lance died (because I hate 99% of the newbies.) But even the debut of Nearly Nude Magog was overshadowed by my hate (HATE!) for Damage. I swear, I’m going to cry tears of joy when his face gets re-messed up. I may even buy that issue twice.

Why is Damage’s face still undamaged?

Rogues’ Revenge #2 – Why would this mini only be three issues. That’s not nearly enough of Johns/Kolins on Rogues goodness. I loved the loose end from Gotham Underground. I love the honor of the Rogues. But I really love the Zoom/Inertia tandem. I’m kinda rooting for Inertia to survive this mini.

Superman #679 – If you told me that James Robinson would write a story that featured three issues of fighting, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But Robinson pulls it off. I’m curious about who’s helping Atlas. But the whole Lana/Lexcorp thing threw me for a loop. I must say that I’m looking forward to see what Robinson does with Krypto next ish.

The Krypto issue was good too.

Ambush Bug Year None #2– Pure unbridled awesomeness, covered in hilarity sauce.

DC Universe Last Will & Testament – I love Meltzer’s crush on Slade. I love the character moments in this story. I love Brion the pawn and Brion the brother. Wait a minute, Meltzer made me love Geo-Force? Diabolical!

Black Panter #40 – I dig the art and the story for the most part. But that ending. It’s really difficult to pull off a surprise when you’re dealing with Skrulls, especially this late in the game.

The Family Dynamic #1 – I like getting in on the ground floor of a heroic saga. The characters are interesting and the art is really crisp. I’m intrigued and disappointed that it’s been cut to a three issue mini.

Everyone should check this mini out

Catwoman #82 – Bummer. I loved this book. I loved the work that Will Pfeifer, David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez put in month in and month out. I loved how the issue had a little bit of everything; it was fun, it was sad, it was exciting. This was a great final issue and everyone was on top of their game. I loved the ending, but hated that it ended. It’s just not fair.

Aww man! I forgot how much I loved this book. It’s true that time heals all wounds, but then crazy time travel goes back and reopens them. Hades!

Glen cares about the casualties

Who are those people that Dr. Light and Mirror Master zap (in Final Crisis #1)?

There’s nothing that I’d rather do than explain who those sorry souls are. They are none other than Empress, Sparx and Mas y Menos.

Oh wait, did you want a more detailed explanation of who those characters were? Something that you couldn’t gleam just from reading the issue in question? Well, I guess I can do that too.

Empress was, once upon a time a member of Young Justice. Anita Fite wasn’t an original member but joined up with the team during their trip to the Olympics in Zandia. She’s a Vodoun practitioner, an accomplished athlete and fighter. She’s also got a bit of the Anti-Life Equation lodged in her noggin. Oh that’s right, she’s also raising her reincarnated parents.

Speaking of family, Sparks is related to Canada’s Force Family. Sadly, unlike the rest of her kinfolk, Donna Carol Force didn’t inherit any powers. Tired of being the only unpowered person in her family she journeyed to Metropolis where a bunch of aliens had been biting people and giving them powers. That’s right Sparx is a New Blood.

She was even part of the Blood Pack. And as part of the trifecta of lame also starred in Superboy & the Ravers. That poor, poor character.

During her time with the Ravers she got a crush on Superboy and then Hero, who later turned out to be gay. It was on the pages of Superboy & the Ravers that Sparx lost her powers.

Inexplicably it was on the pages of Superman/Batman that Sparx appeared next and fully powered up. And then she showed up in Final Crisis.

Mas y Menos are twins speedsters who originated on the Teen Titans cartoon and were later wedged into the DCU as Teen Titans who joined up during the one year gap after Infinite Crisis.

They’ve got to be touching in order to us their powers and for the most part they just hang out in the background of a panel and don’t really do or add much. It kind of makes you wonder why someone even bothered introducing them to the DCU proper.

Tim mathan of the (relative) Future, is the DCU big enough for Mas y Menos with all of the other speedsters running around?

I, mathan of the (relative) Future, don’t think that there’s room for Mas y Menos, especially with Wally getting the shaft. I mean DC’s got more than enough people tapping into the Speed Force, any more and it might put a damper on the coolness.

Soak1313 needs 3D ids,

care to list the characters that appeared in limbo in the final crisis 3-d supes special?

Ok, Soak, but only because you asked so nicely.

First off the dude on the far left with the dark hair and circle on his chest is Nightblade, a New Blood.

The dog in the mask is Ace the Bathound.

Behind Ace are some characters from The Haven that alien city that landed on the remains of Coast City and then strangely disappeared.

Rumor has it that the guy in the hat with the black and white striped shirt is Captain Action.

I couldn’t find out who the armored chap to the left of Merryman is, but I have it on good authority that the guy behind him is Scooter, one of DC’s teen characters.

The guy taking a peek from behind Merryman is, gasp, GUNFIRE?

Hardhat is the dude to Merryman’s left, he tussled with Green Lantern as part of the Demolition Team. .

Behind Hardhat are as follows;

Suit and crazy glasses – Private Eyes from Hero Hotline

Next to him, sadly, is Chronos.

The scarfed dude Geist, another New Blood.

The odd looking guy with no eyes is Voiceover, also from Hero Hotline.

According to what I found the guy in the mask behind him is Ballistic, yet another New Blood.

And the large hulking guy is a Golem, probably the one from Primal Force.

Tim mathan of the (relative) Future, how did you feel seeing those characters in Limbo?

Eh, it was enjoyable. I mean I got a kick out of it. And I liked the meta aspect of it. It almost reminded me, in tone, of Dr. 13’s Architecture & Mortality, which everyone would be wise to pick up Still, here in December of 2008, I’m more interested in how this story turns out.

Jag’s got an amazing question. Wait, I misread. Strike that.

Got an Amazo question for you. I think the character’s concept of stealing powers is pretty cool but I’m confused as to why the animated version is a generic looking android and yet the DC version of Amazo is a roided up Christmas elf. Are the two versions related at all or did the creators just develop two completely different variations of the character?

Both Amazo’s are related. They both fought the Justice League and they were both created by Professor Ivo.

It’s just the circumstances that are a tad tweaked. In the comics Amazo was created to battle and defeat the JLA, because Ivo is evil.

But in the cartoon Amazo is an experiment. He’s just an android whose creator died before he was fully programmed. And since he’s such a “black slate” it made sense to make him as nondescript as possible. It also allowed the animators an easy way of conveying which Leaguer’s powers he was using at the time.

When Amazo debuts in the cartoon he’s not good or evil, he’s a pawn of Lex’s. And since he’s a just a pawn it wouldn’t make sense to make Amazo look like his comic counterpart, who looks like a bad guy. Amazo in the cartoon is just a misunderstood mixed up character.

Tim mathan of the (relative) Future, which Amazo is your favorite Amazo?

All Amazos are pretty good Amazos. I had really high hopes for Kid Amazo, back when it was a graphic novel, but when it was finally published in JLA Classified, it didn’t have the same impact. I guess my fave would have to be Timazo from the completely awesome Hourman series. That was a great book

Neil’s got a brainy question,

Opinion question guys: which version of Brainiac, the villain, is your favorite (meaning the Superman villain, not Brainiac 5 being a jerk or insane, etc.)?

Wow, there are so many to choose from. Let me give you a rundown off the top of my head.

Pre-Crisis Robot Brainiac – I didn’t like him visually. There was just something about the whole “robotic” look that I did. But his ship looked cool. And what Alan Moore did with “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” kinda made my appreciation for the robot grow. Still not my favorite though.

Brainiac 13 – I don’t like him. I’m not really a fan of tentacles. Not even on calamari. And the whole reason for him being in the present is so convoluted, even to me, the guy who does this column. I’m not a fan of this Brainiac at all.

Indigo – I kinda liked her as a Brainiac. What was she, Brainiac 8 or something? I liked the swerve. I liked her as a character. She’s pretty high on my list mostly because she wasn’t overused.

Milton Fine – This is my favorite Brainiac. I liked the carnival mentalist angle. I liked the conflict between Vril and Milton for control. I liked that it tied into L.E.G.I.O.N. mythos. I really liked Milton’s struggle. I even liked when Vril took over completely and cloned himself a new body that was all green. Yup, ol’ Milty is my fave even when he became completely Vril.

I’m not a fan of the “city stealing” Brainiac. It seemed like a corny Silver Age concept and I was glad when they got rid of it. By the same token I’m not a fan of Brainiac having a connection to Krypton.

Thus I’m not completely bowled over by what Geoff Johns is doing in Action Comics right now. I can kind of dig on the notion that Kal’s never really faced Brainiac before. And I’m not 100% against Kara being afraid of Brainiac, but the whole shrinking of cities is going to be a hard pill to swallow. Though I am glad that he’s much more of a physical threat this time around.

Do you have a favorite Brainiac, Tim mathan of the (relative) Future?

I guess the current Brainiac is cool enough. As long as he keeps his green skin.

Tim mathan of the (relative) Future, do you smell that? It smells like a potential Temporary Mainstay!

Great.

Jag has a question he’d like us to wrestle with.

If DC was like wrestling, what would be the top five characters you would give a “push” to, as in more notoriety and a higher status?

Ok for the inaugural answer I’m going to give you the purest answer possible.

Catwoman – I’m really, really broken up about this book. But I don’t think that it’s too late for DC to un-pull the plug. I mean Pfeifer, Lopez & Lopez were incredibly consistent month in and month out. They didn’t miss any issues or have any fill ins. And even the issues that crossed over with Amazons Attack and Salvation Run were remarkably strong. So I’d have DC give this book another shot.

Manhunter – DC needs to publicize this book more. It’s newbie friendly yet acknowledges continuity. It’s pretty self-contained yet exists firmly in the DCU. This book can be everything to all people, all it needs is the momentum and a bump in priority from the powers that be.

Blue Beetle – Yet another character that could use a boost. Yeah, I know he’s in Teen Titans, but his solo title is just so great. Great supporting cast and subplots. Great art and solid writing. And it’s a fun book that still has heart. This book should be a hit.

Wally West – Barry is back, which means Wally is about to be shoved from the limelight. All signs point to his book being cancelled, again. Wally needs a little something to bolster fan confidence in the character; I need to know that DC is going to stand behind Wally. It’s important to me.

Ambush Bug – After the debacle that was Countdown, DC needs to poke some fun at itself. And after having taken part in the first two weeklies DC owes Keith Giffen a vanity project. DC could kill two birds with one stone and make me very happy. And how about an Ambush Bug edition of Showcase?

Tim mathan of the (relative) Future, who would be your five to move to the next stage?

First off I want to say how much it sucks to have my fears about Blue Beetle and Manhunter realized as they’ve both been cancelled. Secondly it kinda rocks that DC is putting out an Ambush Bug edition of Showcase. But that doesn’t balance the scales DC!

Anyway, I’m much too distraught to answer this question in my present state. But that’s the glory of a Temporary Mainstay, I’ll have the chance to answer it again.

I think that’s going to do it for this week (which was actually three months ago). Next week we may cast Gotham Central. We may also discuss the nature of permanence in the DCU. And we might answer your question, provided you sent it our way.

You can email me or post your queries our very own thread!

Oh, before I go, here’s my question to you; what do you think of Trinity?

“We could be stuck in traffic for over a week, with a car full of quintuplets who are all cutting teeth.”

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