Who's Who in the DCU

Sorry for the hiatus, but the real world occasionally springs things on us. I hope everyone enjoyed this years stripped down version of The Nexus Awards and that it held them over until now.

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Our DC Boards is full of discussion about mishandling of the Legion, the return of Superboy and R.E.B.E.L.S.

What I Read Recently

Booster Gold #16 – Great cover. Interesting action. I’m sort of leery about having the knife, but I did enjoy what happened. I liked the stuff with Cyrus, but if it happens too often it’ll get tiresome. I’m just glad that the book has kept pretty consistent since Katz and Johns left.

Adam Legend of the Blue Marvel #3 – Interesting. I guess having a government plant makes sense, but I don’t know if her keeping the secret all that time does. The moon scene was ok, but I’m really having a hard time believing that he’s been on the DL this whole time.

Solomon Grundy – Interesting. I didn’t dig how there was a lack of light source on the cover. I did enjoy the interior art. I’m intrigued by where this story seems to be headed. And I really like that Grundy is getting some complexity.

Prometheus – This could have been such a good issue but it’s laden with cliché. Kicking the New Blood characters is passé as is a villain dismantling a group of D-listers to prove how truly villainous they are. I won’t even get into how the treatment of Anima was offensive. And the reveal that an “anti-Batman” has a “Robin” was a fresh idea, months ago before it appeared in Batman Confidential. I’m glad that Prometheus is back, but I hope his next appearance is more appealing.

Green Arrow & Black Canary #16 – I’m digging how Kreisberg’s using use of subplot in each issue. I like how actions have repercussions. But I didn’t really dig the art this issue. Still, the cover was swell.

Titans #9 – I like the explanation for why Jericho gone rogue. I like the convo between Nightwing and Jericho. I like Jericho trying to be Nightwing. Basically I really liked this issue.

Nightwing #152 – I’m a sucker for Ra’s al Ghul so you know I loved the issue. Seeing Ra’s and Dick going at it was nice. It seems like Dick’s going to fill in Bruce nicely.

Action Comics #873 – I don’t really dig seeing Lex as a prisoner or with a gun to his head. I did like seeing what the heroes had planned for the Kryptonians. I really liked how the Kandorians dealt with their situation. And the two epilogues were very tantalizing.

Green Lantern Corps #32 – Nice to see Kyle step up and take charge. Creepy cover and solid action. I liked seeing how many GLs gave up after the new law was enacted. And it was actually pretty cool to see the Star Sapphire in action. Good issue.

Manhunter #38 – This was a such a great book and to see it end in such a lackluster way was really sad. This final arc was sort of convoluted and was felt disjointed. Really sad that this book had to go, and like this.

Final Crisis #6 – Wow, this mini gets more epic with every issue. Superman and Brainy, Kalibak vs Tawny, Renee introduced to the Multiverse, Sivana and Lex teaming up, Barry, Jay and Wally, Batman vs Darkseid? Seriously. This book is just loaded with awesome filling.

G.I. Joe #1 – I picked up this book for a few reasons; to recapture my youth, because of the Dave Johnson cover, because I’m getting in on the ground floor. And I really did enjoy the read. But it sucks that I’ve got to track down the zero issue now. Still I think I’ll be getting all of the Joe books.

Glen needs a quick ID;

Who is the Spanish speaking guy in armor in Final Crisis?

That guy is Iman. He’s a Mexican hero who made his debut in Superman Annual #12. He’s a genius who was living the dream. He went to Yale and became an astronaut. But when he was in space his mom was kidnapped and killed.

Naturally he vowed to use his genius to fight the good fight and set out to build a suit to aid him in such a fight. His suit is your typical armor based character enhancements. Also he hold Superman in high esteem.

Sharkbait needs to know something, lest his rage grow;

Has Atrocitus of the Red Lanterns always been around or mentioned prior to the buildup of Blackest Night?

Sad to say but Atrocitus is indeed a new creation, Alan Moore’s contributions to the Green Lantern Corps mythos have pretty much been exhausted. We saw the Children of the White Lobe, Ranx the Sentient City and Sodam Yat all during Sinestro Corps War. Atrocitus, on the other hand is a character who’s been retconned into the scheme of things.

And it’s a weird sort of backhanded compliment that Johns is paying Moore. On one hand he essentially saying that “Tygers” is such an awesome tale that he can use it as the inspiration for entire epics. On the other hand Johns undermines the payoff of the story by including Atrocitus on Abin Sur’s fateful starship trip to Earth.

Another thing that sort of troubles me, while Abin Sur might not have been the most developed character in the GL mythos, I’m not really sure that I dig him being recast as the Fox Mulder of the GLC. In “Tygers” Sur breaks the rules laid down by the Guardians to save some innocent lives. But Johns’ retcon has Abin returning to Ysmault to uncover the truth. Originally Sur was corrupted by that brief encounter, but now his corruption comes no only from prolonged exposure, but from taking of the Five Inversions with him in his craft. It’s literally a case of playing with fire and getting burned.

I will say that I do sort of like the backstory for the Five Inversions that Johns has crafted. A terrorist group set out to avenge their sector? Clearly Johns has some interesting ideas, let’s just hope that Blackest Night lives up to the hype.

Glen feels love is in the air;

What do you think of the burgeoning relationship between Kyle Rayner and Soranik Natu?

I can’t lie; I’m not really a big fan of it. I think that my main problem with it is that it’s been done before and almost to death.

I mean, everyone’s probably aware that John Stewart not only hooked up with but married Katma Tui of Korugar. Of course she was killed, which was just one of the tragedies he had to endure.

And eons before that, when the female Oans left the Guardians to become the Zamarons, the took up with the men of Korugar for a spell. And now Mr. “unluky at love” himself, Kyle Rayner is embarking on a secret affair with Soranik Natu of Korugar? That seems mighty fishy to me. It’s almost as if something about Korugar.

Wait a minute! Hal Jordan was the new Green Lantern for 2814 before John Stewart, and Stewart was the new GL for 2814 before Kyle Rayner. Now if Kyle Rayner and John Stewart both hooked up with the Green Lantern from Korugar, doesn’t it follow that Hal Jordan did the same thing?

Think about, doesn’t the blood feud between Hal and Sinestro make more sense when you introduce romantic entanglement and a bad break up into the equation? Clearly Hal and Sinestro hooked up for Sinestro went rogue. It’s as clear as day.

Wow. That’s some groundbreaking storytelling and retconning that DC is putting forth right there. I applaud them for their efforts.

Neil wants more Moore;

Keeping with the theme, do you think Rot Lop Fan, introduced by Alan Moore, will play a role in “The Blackest Night”? I wonder what a blind GL will do there.

While Soak1313 asks the similarly themed;

also from that same trade there is a GL story about katma tui having to find a GL on a world without light. i thought that was a pretty cool concept and was wondering if that guy/thing from the planet ever popped up again.

I really doubt that Rot Lop Fan will show up in The Blackest Night, which is sort of ironic considering that he made his debut in a story titled “In the Blackest Night.”

For those not in the know Rot Lop Fan is a member of an alien race that lived in total darkness. As a result the species is completely blind and has no concept of either light or color, thus making the concept of a “Green Lantern” a difficult one to convey. In fact Katma’s ring couldn’t translate “Green” or “Lantern” into something that Rot could understand.

Eventually she figured out what to do and he became a member of the Corps. Since then he’s only appeared in crowd scenes. And while that doesn’t mean that he won’t be showing up in the upcoming crossover, I do think that it would raise more questions about his usefulness.

But hey, Johns has been waxing Moore’s car for a couple years now, so what’s to stop it from continuing?

Glen needs some clarity;

What the hell happened in FC #7? If the universe did change, does it really matter since we know so little about it since the last crisis?

What didn’t happen in Final Crisis #7? Pure awesomeness was there. Unadulterated goodness was also present. We got an ironic “women in refrigerators” moment and we got the death of Hawkman. We also got Superman being the great guy that he is and a couple of Flashes outrunning death. We also got the return of the Zoo Crew as well as Grant Morrison taking thinly veiled jabs at Frank Miller and Alan Moore.

I mean really, what more could you ask for?

I think that you’ve got a point about this crisis happening rather quickly after the previous one. But this Crisis didn’t really tweak things in terms of continuity. This Crisis made the multiverse public knowledge. It threw Batman into the distant past. It sent the Monitors away. It showed how far we’ve come from, the Silver Age to the Information Age (which is why the book was so dense and full of obscure references.)

Superman saved the day. That’s what happened in Final Crisis #7. Was there any doubt that he would?

Jag looks to the future;

My latest question is about Dick Grayson. He’s been one of my
favourite characters for a long time and with Bruce Wayne going on
hiatus and Dick most likely poised to become the new Batman, what are
your thoughts on the change? Personally, I think that although the
fanboys may have a hernia over it, it could be an interesting move
that, if handled well, could result in a great cache of storylines.

If you look at it, Bruce Wayne has done pretty much everything as
Batman yet Dick as “The Man” would be fresh and exciting as the
character has matured in the past couple of years (particularly in the
past few months) and ready to ascend to one of the top levels of DC
superhero-hood. He even took down Two-Face by himself recently and
it’d be nice to see this young Batman trying to fit in with the top
tier heroes (like Wally West did when he became The Flash) and try to
protect Gotham while trying to give guidance Robin (whether its Tim or
Damien) and Batgirl.

I know “Prodigal” touched upon these elements but that was really
Gotham-centric. This new Batman would be inexperienced with the
responsibilities and not as feared/respected as Bruce was in the DC
world. He’d have to really earn his stripes (although Dick is
respected, he’s still looked upon as Bruce’s kid) and this new
approach is really compelling to me.

What do you think?

I think that you’ve bring up some very interesting points about Dick Grayson as Batman, but I can’t say that I agree with everything.

Personally I’m a fan of Dick as Nightwing. I was crushed to hear that the title was ending as it was the last of titles in triple digits that I’d been collecting since #1 to go. Also, I was totally loving Peter Tomasi’s run on the title.

I really don’t think that taking up the mantle of Batman is a step in the right direction for Dick. He become Nightwing because he’d outgrown being in the shadow of Batman, so for him to assume Bruce’s old role sort of seems out of character.

Also I think that Dick is second only to Superman in the “trust” factor in the DCU, meaning that everyone in the DCU trusts Nightwing. Older heroes remember him as Robin and are impressed at how well he turned out. His peer group all look to him as a leader and anyone younger than him look to him as a role model of what to aspire to. I don’t see how stepping into the role of Batman would do anything to help solidify his reputation in the DCU.

As Nightwing, he doesn’t have to try to fit in with the “top tier” in the DCU because he’s basically one of them. And in terms of being a mentor to younger heroes like Tim, Damian or Batgirl, he’s already done this with the Teen Titans and specifically with Tim.

I just don’t see a real shift in dynamic if Dick Grayson becomes Batman. The closest thing to a shift that I could imagine would be that Dick’s Batman wouldn’t be so grim and gritty. He’d probably crack a joke or even a smile now and again.

The only way I see Dick taking up the mantle is to prevent someone else from corrupting it. We know that Jason Todd’s in the running and there’s a rumor that Two-Face might get involved too. Plus Hush is still out there. Honestly I think that the actual Battle for the Cowl will be more interesting than what happens if Dick becomes Batman.

Sharkbait looks to the past;

with Batman in the past, do you think he’ll want to stay there for a bit or try to come back asap (like scrawling messages for people to find in the future or something)?

Well, I really can’t see Batman wanting to say in the past, I mean he’s naturally going to want to return as soon as possible. That said, I do think that he’ll eventually accept the fact that he’s stranded in the past with no way to get back.

I’d really be sort of anxious to see how Bruce does in the past. I’m sure he’s already figured out approximately what year it is, and surviving won’t be a problem. But just checking out his daily routine seems interesting to me.

I mean, I think that once it sinks in that he’s stuff in the past, Bruce might look at it as a sort of vacation. Granted it’s a vacation that might never end, but I doubt that his conscience is going to be screaming at him fight crime when, given the era he’s in, crime is barely a concept.

I do think that Bruce probably knows that whatever attempts he makes to contact his friends in the present will be worn away by the sands of time, so that’lll probably rain on his parade a bit too.

So I basically think that he’ll make some attempt to get the messages out there, but eventually he’ll kick his feet up and enjoy his break from crime fighting.

Glen takes us back to the future;

Are you looking forward to the Final Crisis Aftermath books coming soon?

I really, really am. In fact I’m looking forward to all of the books. I just hope that I’m financially able to pick them all up, as opposed to grabbing the trade (which I really don’t want to do.)

Run – This book sounds very interesting. I’m completely captivated by the character of the Human Flame. I’m really looking forward to seeing where his story goes since he’s wanted by the heroes and loathed by the villains. I’m betting that he’ll end up in some pretty interesting corners of the DCU.

Dance – I was a fan of the Super Young Team when they first appeared and I was really hoping that they’d be followed up on as characters. Plus you’ve got Joe Casey, who’s a quality guy, writing. I really can’t wait for this one to begin.

Ink – I liked the original Tattooed Man and the fact that he tried to go straight. I like the current Mark Richards version too. I liked him when he made his debut, but I really loved what Grant Morrison did with him in Submit. So I’m really looking forward to seeing where the character goes from here.

Escape – I’m intrigued by this one. I thought, based on the cover, that it’d be about Libra, but it apparently stars Nemesis. That alone has me interested, mainly because I’m curious as to how he ends up there and gets out of his Wonder Woman gig. Still, this is the book that I’m anticipating the least.

And that’s it. Those are my thoughts on the Final Crisis Aftermath books. I’m pumped.

Sadly that’s going to do it for this week. The next edition will feature ton more questions and answers.

Before I go, here’s my question to you; who do you think should take up the role of Batman?

“Bring me back to love, bring me back to life.”

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