Who's Who in the DCU

Fear not loyal readers, you’re not trapped in some sort of temporal vortex, it’s just time for a long overdue Readers Feedback Edition of the column. And when I say “long overdue” I mean it. Most of these comments were made well over a year and a half ago.

Anyway, consider it the column’s way of giving back. It’s your time to shine. So enjoy the holidays and your time in the spotlight.


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Glen answers a plethora of question from the 4/5 column

1. I don’t get Wonder Woman so I don’t care.

2. No more teen books. The last few years have completely burned me out on teens.
3. I’d have the DC Question visit the original Ditko penned Question to see them totally disconnect.
The current Blue Beetle meet the original, vitamin popping Bule Beetle, so the current BB would find out what he could do if he wasn’t whining all the time.
The Spectre of today meet the orignal Spectre who wasn’t mired in guilt so that he could see what he should do.
The new Freedom Fighters go back to Earth X and find out what real hard times are about.
Plastic Man to the Golden age to learn how to be funny again.
4. The idea isn’t orginal with me, but put more Robin and less Batman into the character.
5. I had a few problems with both.
JLA: After Identity Crisis, Meltzer no longer has a “cushion” of good will with me, so I am less forgiving of his work than other. I felt the arc dragged, and could really have been much better and faster. I didn’t need a whole first issue of discussion.
JSA: Some of the new characters didn’t do much for me. Johns relied a little too much on his standard tricks. Cyclone was annoying. Damage was too ’90s “Gritty.” I think the Hourmen have the whole addiction angle monopolized, and we don’t need a pain killer abusing Commander Steel. I think Vandal Savage is being over used. And the inclusion of Nazis as villains seemed as if Johns wanted to make some kind of statement of point, but he never made it. It was a little off putting and antiquated. But I liked Starman, the married Hourman and Liberty Belle, and the new Wildcat wasn’t annoying. On the whole, liked it better than JLA, but it could have been better.

Brian H answers my question about better names for Red Arrow from the 4/12 column;

Okay, I had to give it a shot, so here are a few for you.

Red Archer-at least it’s not just a different form of Green Arrow. How stupid would the Hobgoblin had been if he had been called Orange Goblin? People would have said “Spidey’s fighting Hulkamania” for crying out loud. Red Archer allows him to keep the costume, keep the tribute because of the similarities, and give a different spin on the name. Okay, this is out in left field, but I looked up archery in Wikipedia just to see if I could get any name ideas, and I found the word for the Japanese art of archery, which is Kyudo. Actually sounds like a cool name. KYUDO! Longbow. It would be popular with the ladies

Dhaise doesn’t get what the fuss is all about;

Red Arrow is just as good as Arsenal.

Most of the concept for Roy seems to be ‘make him green arrow without all the current baggage anyways’, so Red Arrow keeps it in line with that. The Arsenal era was fine for when Harper was expected to be his own character, but it’s not acceptable for an Ollie stand in.

Glen also has an answer;

Howsabout Shaft? Just kidding.
Seriously, I was hoping he’d take the name Golden Arrow from the Golden Age character from Fawcett, then Charlton.

Funny how that whole “Red Arrow” thing pretty much faded. I can’t even remember the last time it was brought up.

Jon L answers my question about fixing Green Arrow from the 4/19 column;

Grab his jewels at the base of the scrotum, dab a little bit of iodine at the other end. Than, make a small slit where the iodine was placed and squeeze ’em out, then cut the tubes with the scalpel. He’s back on his feet minutes later.

At least, that’s the way Mom used to do her goats. Or did you mean something else?

I’ll readily admit that I walked into that one.

Glen goes into greater detail;

Haven’t even read Green Arrow for months, so take it for what it’s worth:
1. First thing, I’d get rid of Judd. Probably replace him with Scott McCullar, who has a genuine love for the character.
I think making him mayor was a mistake. When you’re the mayor of the city, you can’t go around whining about “blue fascists.” The whole Speaking Truth to Power fantasy doesn’t work when you are in power.
As for villains, there would be a never ending parade of marksmen of various sorts coming to Star City to prove themselves. Not just Deadshot and archers like Merlyn and The Spider, but Javelin, Fastball, the dude with the slingshot, the whole raft of them. Along with them would be villains that are more or less arrow proof, to make Ollie use his skills in creative ways. Maybe take up the Urban Hunter part of character and introduce a bunch of animal themed villains for him to hunt down.
For storylines, I would point out that Ollie is popular not only for his liberal politics, but his failure to live up to them. He’s the only character I can think of in which failure is one of his primary allures. So I’d send in some Batman villains so that Ollie can measure himself up to Bruce…and fall short. I’d focus on “ripped from the headlines” type stories, rather than the lame social activism angle going on now.

And now, a year and a half later, Judd is gone and the book has morphed into Green Arrow/Black Canary. Man, time can be so cruel.

Aaron needs to get something off his chest;

Words cannot describe how awful the World War III miniseries was. Sorry for venting to you, but my brother didn’t pick up his phone and I suspect he was in the backyard lighting his copies on fire. Just one extra-extra-extra long fight sequence with some tacked on secondary and tertiary side stories to explain some of the OYL events in the laziest, half-assiest way imaginable. And, I understand *why* DC had to do this. I understand how the intent of “52” changed over the course of 11+ months, but “WW3” was absolute ass.


Dhaise follows Aaron’s lead;

It was garbage. Black Adam is so pissed that he took a few detours…while every catalyst for OYL took place in the course of the same two days??????? To say nothing for Jason and Lorraine who can’t stand each other suddenly kissing, or the martian who felt every other member of his race go extinct being molded by black adam, or gar and cassies ‘long exile’ from the titans being a mere week? or two supergirls….or more z list characters like young frankenstien and the already replaced terra being killed in the hope of giving the event ‘weight’…or the dopey batgirl and deathstroke scene…or the-

You know what? The book just sucked.

Gee, I hope I don’t open any old wounds with this column.

Glen answers my question about a certain mini from last year in response to the 4/26 column;

I was disappointed by Amazon Attacks. A lot more action, and a lot less of Batman sitting in front of a computer. I got enough of that in the OMAC mini to last me for the next ten years.

Admiral Snackbar wanted to add this;

Anyway, I totally agree with the fact that Superman III is much worse that Superman IV. I’ll give props to the Quest For Peace for the simple fact that it at least tried to be a good movie. It totally failed, but dammit, it still tried.

Dhaise’s got thoughts on 52;

I think it was worth the 12.75 and tax I paid for it, but I was really underwhelmed by the contents. I do think props should go out to the production team who managed to see the book out on stands every week on time. The fact that prompt books are considered a ‘perk’ of the industry in this day and age bothers me, and these guys delivered when they said they would. Pure ambition alone probably makes it a notch above its quality to me.

The history of the DCU was worthless, and I liked most of the origins-though, no Superman was kind of weird.

The covers were neat,most of the time.

Glen also shares his thoughts on 52;

52 was by and large, a commercial success, but an artistic failure.
There was far too much repitition and dull spots. The only consistently entertaining storyline was Will Magnus on Oolong Island. I stopped caring about Steel by issue 10. Renee bored me in the first issue. The space faring heroes did a little better, but not much.
On another subject, I thought Mr. Mind looked dumb. I read that he was supposed to have the face of a giant butterfly, but he didn’t. The wings shouldn’t have been bat like, but more like a moth’s or butterfly’s.

Neil’s offering up some thoughts on the 5/12 column;

Detective Comics covers: Tim, I’m with you. Bianchi, like Acuna’s style drive me nuts. There’s just something about it that doesn’t fit with how I like my super-heroes drawn and colored. I felt the same way with Igor Korday’s work in New X-Men when Morrison was writing the book. To me, the best comic artists go for a slightly cartoony feel, solid lines, vibrant colors, and should “explode” off the page. Bianchi, more than Acuna, well, his work seems more like what I’d expect to see in a museum, not in a comic book.

Why Jimmy Won’t Die:

Because few people can remember the last time someone’s death really affected Superman (hint: she was his cousin and she’s alive again.)

Then again, most people collecting comics in the past decade can remember when a perceived death affected Superman (see if you can go back and count the number of times that Lois, Ma and/or Pa Kent have “died” in the past ten years. Go on.)

And while no one really close to Supes has died recently, DC has him crying like an Emo kid everytime someone in the DCU dies…

As to who will die, well, can’t we just say Karate Kid, who fits a few of the Monitor’s criteria for dying (definitely someone who should be dead, at least in his “present” and since this isn’t the “official” version of the Legion, he’s quite possibly a “world jumper”). Though they’d have to do it just right to top his death, one of, if not perhaps the best hero deaths in comics (yeah, I said it, moreso than Barry, Kara Zor-El I, Bucky, etc.).

Warriors: Tim, you and Beau Smith would love that. He’s been dying to do a Buck Wargo (the guy who buddied with Guy in his series and footed the bill for the bar) and the Monster Hunters (his group) mini-series since he was writing Guy Gardner: Warrior. Oh, and count me in for the ride, as well.

I’m still optimistic, I mean DC’s already gone ahead and revived their space heroes (Adam Strange, Rann-Thanagar War, Mystery in Space, Countdown to Adventure) and their magic heroes (Day of Vengence, The Shadowpact, The Spectre, Journey into Mystery, Countdown to Mystery, as well as the Sword and Sorcery part of that genre with The Warlord), the Western hero (Jonah Hex), their War Heroes (Sgt. Rock), and seem to be hinting at reviving other genre comics (the references to Kommandi), so why not some of their adventure titles (like Congo Bill) and have a Buck Wargo and the Monster Hunters back-up story in it, hopefully segueing to a mini-series or even better, an ongoing?

Firestorm: I fell in love with the character shortly after his series ended. As I collected the back issues, I found that it was Ostrander’s stuff I liked more, even if the dynamic of Ronnie and the Professor made for a better overall premise. In other words: Conway/early Ostrander stuff–better idea, Ostrander’s run/Mikhail/Elemental better stories.

I’m still mourning the loss of the latest title. The original hook made me avoid the book for a while, but hearing about Stuart Moore’s issues made me grab some at a 1/2 price sale at my LCS. It was fantastic stuff, which really hit it’s stride during Infinite Crisis. OYL, the first arc wasn’t as strong, but Stuart’s last arc was great. Then Dwayne McDuffie’s issues were awesome (my only complaint was that there were too many one-liners, it sounded like the characters were in a bad sitcom).

I can’t wait to see what DC has in store for Firestorm though, it sounded like Didio implied that even without a title, he’d be a prominent figure in the DCMV.

Darkseid: One of my favorite Darkseid appearances, aside from the animated universe, is in the aforementioned title Firestorm: The Nuclear Man, specifically, issues #58-59, which were John Ostrander’s first issues as the on-going writer. (He scripted two issues of the crossover for Legends previously).

In it, we see a side of Darkseid that Paul Dini seemed to pick up on for Countdown, as the story opens with Darkseid, in the midst of his Legends plans, playing a side game for amusement, with a chessboard full of familiar faces.

Anyway, while his Legends machinations were slowly falling apart, he decided to mess with Firestorm and a janitor named Rudy Jones. Due to his manipulations, Rudy ended up doused with chemicals, transforming him into the Parasite.

To me, that is Darkseid, playing around with the pieces of the DCU, from the bigger ones (his “Legends” game) to the smaller ones (Rudy Jones). And all with a cool indifference.

My other favorite Darkseid moment comes near the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, when he pretty much decides that everything is going to Hell, so he’ll just take Apokolips and hide out in some alternate/pocket dimension. While some may accuse him of “cut and run,” I admire his ability to just say “screw it, I’m outta here, you deal with merging Earths, anti-matter waves, I’m Darkseid, I’m above all that!).

Mindwipes: This is a case of it never being an issue because, until Identity Crisis, no one made it an issue.

I agree with Tim’s tenents, but I’d like to expand on #2 to include any change to the mindwipee’s personality. It was wrong of the League to do it to Doctor Light.

My main gripe with it being made an issue is that it further limits what a hero can do. I’m okay with heroes not killing, like Guy Gardner said in Green Lantern Corps, it’s better to make them face the music, then take the easy way out. Besides, it’s comics…not killing means the villain will be around to encounter the hero again, which usually makes for good stories.

But, there’s only so much you can do with a villain, especially if they learn your identity. So I say, mindwipe away, just don’t alter their minds any further.

I agree with you about the last few issue so Firestorm, but McDuffie’s been doing a pretty good job with the character in JLA.

Guess whose got thoughts on the Multiverse; Glen!

I love the multiverse. I know some people have conniptions at the mere mention of the word, but I always thought it was a great idea. I wish DC would come up with fifth week events for Earths 2,3,4,5,8, etc.

I’m not even sure that DC acknowledges 5th Weeks anymore.

The Shade share his Multiversal thoughts;

Hey if it means A version of Vic still lives then yay!

Neil returns with some thoughts on the 5/20 column;

Guy Gardner – Guy is just a jerk who care about no one but himself.

Guy who loves his mother? Guy who melted down when Tora died? Guy who had a nice heart to heart with Tora’s mom after her death? Guy who recently told a fellow GL that he too “got a special tingle” when he met her? Guy who decided that Zero Hour was the perfect time to go back and prevent Coast City from going boom? I could go on, but Guy cares about more than just himself.

With the 5/28 column I took some time off. Here are some thoughts on that dark period;
Dhaise sums it up best;

Without Mathan, it’s like seeing half a soul in the column. Riggs needs Murtaugh for both of them to be at their best, not sharing screentime with Leo Getz.

To which famed alum B replied;

Leo Getz?! I was here first, pal!

In the 6/8 column I asked about your favorite team, here’s Glen’s;

My favorite Hero team is the JSA. It has the longest history, and the coolest characters.

The Shade has a fave too;

Um suicide squad don’t count right?


TEAM 13!

Beadle has some thoughts on Booster Gold’s (then) upcoming title;

I just have to say that Booster’s book has the potential for too many innuendoes. If you have someone called Rip Hunter getting lost in The Bleed, then…. no. There’s just too many jokes, and too little time.

Yeah, whatever happened to the multiverse angle of Booster’s book?

In the 6/15 column I asked about the best aspect of Countdown The Shade offered this;

Its a coin toss between The jimmy olson story and the rogues

Ah, what a simple time that was. There was a “best aspect” of Countdown.

Neil has some thoughts from the same column

Projecta: I thought she hid her identity as Sensor Girl because she killed Nemesis Kid, and the Legion Charter strictly forbids using lethal force.

As for Nemesis Kid, while the name thing is a bit of a give away, it also relates to his powers, to be anyone’s Nemesis, by developing the ability to counteract anyone’s powers. Which is how Projecta beat him, by not using her powers (if I remember, it might be time to re-read those issues again).

Disrespect: I’d have to say, to add to Tim’s comments, that Catman fits with what he’s saying. Meltzer made a joke out of him, but Simone made him awesome.

From the 7/2 column Glen shares his thoughts on Sinestro Corps War Special and has a correction;

I really enjoyed The Sinestro Corps, although I question the need to bring in what should be Superman villains. Has the disco collar superceded the Nehru jacket as the dress of choice for evil doers?
Wildcat himself claimed to a relationship with the original Huntress in the last volume of JSA #10. Plus there is the fact that she and Sportsmaster went out of their way to capture him in one of the Starman/Black Canary team ups that James Robinson used to open up a world of meaning. And they seemed to have an odd relationship in that very issue of the All Star Squadron you mentioned. I was just wondering if there was anything else.

Dhaise also liked a certain crossover;

The Sinestro Corps? Was actually a pretty entertaining read, despite all the ‘subtle’ Hal Jordan worship going on in the book. It hit the right chords,and hopefully Kylelax is a short term thing.

Dhaise also shared this after the 7/12 column;

what’s your favorite Vertigo title?
Currently: Fables
Hall of Fame: Preacher and Shade, the Changing Man

The simonson Orion ongoing (ha!) was a pretty entertaining New Gods tale, and I liked the storyline which featured Desaad torturing Kyle. And the forever people mini,And the Great Darkness saga (arguably the best LSH story ever) featured one realllly badass nemesis who was….a new god. If you folks are going to fill word counts shilling never-was’es like Gunfire , you must give props to the New Gods!

Countdown sucks ass. Trickster doesn’t redeem it, Piper doesn’t instill faith in the story. It’s a year long product designed to push and shill other books on a weekly basis, while former cash crop titles suffer in quality (Titans) to justify the book as ‘vital’. Embrace the Hatorade, for it will quench your thirst for nonsensical dc event books.

Nalydpsycho also has a favorite Vertigo book;

I think Y: The Last Man is the only one without a spot in my top 10 books. But, 100 Bullets is the greatest ongoing series ever.

Nalydpsycho wanted to share his thoughts on the 7/21 column too;

My biggest problem with the Nightwing vs Blockbuster arc is that Blockbuster died, awesome villain that was truely Nightwing’s foe.

I want Nightwing to lead the JLA!!!!!!!

Human Target is great, but, not better than Sandman, Fables or 100 Bullets.

Tim is wrong, Planetary is part of the WSU. It’s been referenced in other titles.

To which some guy called Ungajje countered;

Yeah, you are right, Nalyd. However, my point is still valid. For anyone looking to become familiar with the Wildstorm U, Planetary is no help. Referenced or not, it feels like a book apart 99% of the time.

Savor that folks, I don’t know when Tim’s next appearance around these parts will be.

Neil also gets in on the action;

I just want to restate DC 1,000,000 was pure awesome, made into comic form.

It was so good, it made me quit comics for about 3 years. Really.

The month after DC 1,000,000 ended, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying the titles I got on a monthly basis were not as much fun or as full of as much excitement as DC 1,000,000 was.

Flash was starting the “Cobalt Blue” saga. Which, after a year of Morrison on the title, left me kind of cold to Waid (I truly believe he was awesome on the title in the beginning, but stayed too long). I collected Green Lantern on and off, never really connecting with Kyle. The Superman titles were in a major slump, coming off of Electric Superman/Superman Red-Blue/and Millennium Giants. The whole beginning of the Dominus saga was interesting, but from what I hear, it never lived up to its potential.

JLA was the only title I kept collecting, albeit in TPB form.

The late 90’s were not good, quality wise, in terms of comics, in my opinion. Some gems still shone through (Starman, but I didn’t start collecting that until the 2000’s, I’m still a few TPBs from finishing the series), Young Justice was just starting, and, of course, as previously mentioned, JLA.

Mark Poa concurs;

It bears repeating.

I’ll have to agree with your choices for best crossover events. One Million, Underworld Unleashed, and Final Night were examples of good crossovers.

Glen gives his thoughts on Megaverse as per my question in the 7/24 column;

I’m optimistic about the megaverse. I like what Grant Morrison said about each world being a potential unique comic line on its own. I’m really looking forward to the Search for Ray Plamer and hope that each world really has an impact. I also like the idea of seeing some of the heroes not originally from Earth One closer to their original state.

Wow, looking forward to the Search for Ray Palmer. If only we knew then what we know now.

Glen answers my question about creators overstaying their welcome from the 8/3 column;

Rick Veitch definitely stayed too long on Aquaman.

Dhaise shares some equally hated runs;

Teen Titans/Young Justice Graduation Day – You thought that Judd-scorn was only due to his handling of Green Arrow? Many many many people do not like this book. at all. To the point that it’s still brought up at panels.

Manhunter (vol 4?) The crappy zero hour one. Throw in Giffen’s attempt at a suicide squad title too for good measure.

Peter Milligan and Chuck Austen’s X Men. The only time I’ve read something positive online about these runs were a- people saying that PM might be good BEFORE the first issue shipped and B- TLH discussing the Chuck Austen run.

Honorable mention: Christopher Priests Deadpool run sucked.

Mark Poa seconds;

Oh, I had Judd-scorn even during his Green Lantern writing days. 😛

Seriously, though, a lot of Young Justice fans hated this series as it marked the end of that series. A lot of Titans fans liked it, though since it marked the end of a horrible run of Titans and the birth of the current Teen Titans.

Wow, what an interesting trip down memory lane. Still, we’ve got to bring it to a close. But we’ll be back next week.

Enjoy the holidays everyone.!

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