Who's Who in the DCU

Welcome back to Who’s Who, which seems to only serve to support Blackest Night, these days.

And I completely apologize for the length of time between columns, but answering questions about the dead and recently resurrected really takes a lot out of you. Let’s jump into the column, shall we?

Manolis is always inquisitive, unfortunately;

Who is Don Hall and why’s he at peace?

Oddly enough Soak1313’s got the same thing on his mind;

Why would don hall be so at peace that the BL rings can’t revive him? i really don’t know much about any hawk and dove stuff.

That whole Don Hall scene was one of the most intriguing developments of this whole Blackest Night affair. I’ve got a few theories about Don Hall’s status in Blackest Night.

Theory #1 – As a character Don Hall was always about peace. He wasn’t about cracking heads, he was about helping people and saving lives. So, given his very nature, he might beyond the reach of Black Lantern’s ring.

Theory #2 – Since Don Hall died saving lives, there’s the argument that could be made that he’s at peace because he died doing good. He died helping people, what hero could complain about that? He gave his life to save someone else, it was a heroic way to die and he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Theory #3 – Since Kara Zor-El and Barry Allen have both been resurrected after dying in the original Crisis, DC needed someone who actually died to stay dead. A coin was flipped and Don Hall won.

Personally I’m going for #2, because it said “at peace” meaning he’s fine with what happened and how it happened. Many of the other characters that we’ve seen come back as Black Lanterns were probably bitter about the way they died, thus they were susceptible to the sway of the Black Lantern ring. Don Hall, not so much. I’m also guessing that’s why we won’t see Ted Knight’s corpse out and about.

Billy C wants to be a quick study;

I’d never read anything flash-related other than JLA, until I picked up Rogue War in trade last week. I loved it and want to get myself up to speed. So my question is What would you consider to be essential flash reading?

Oh Billy C, you know me too well. You know I love The Flash and always jump at the opportunity to ramble on and on about the character and title. I’ve read plenty of Flash tales in my time as a comic reader, so I’ll give you some of my faves.

The Flash Secret Origins & Files – There were three of these one-shots and they’re all pretty much chocked full of information about The Flash. Secret Files & Origins are easily the fastest way to get acquainted with any character, and the Flash ones are especially good.

The Return of Barry Allen – Do not google this story, it contains a crazy swerve and you really don’t want spoiled. Just track down the trade and enjoy it. It’s easily one of the best stories that DC’s put out in the last 20 years.

Terminal Velocity – It’s a Flash epic. Since you enjoyed Rogue War, you’ll probably enjoy this one too.

Dead Heat – Again, it’s another Flash epic. It’s good stuff.

Rogues – You probably should have read this before you read Rogue War, but this trade may enhance your enjoyment of Rogue War. They say that a hero is only as good as his foes, so this trade, which focuses on the Rogues themselves, provides some depth for what used to be two-dimensional characters.

Blitz – This trade features the debut and rise of Zoom. It’s a great introduction to the character and a pretty thrilling ride.

Iron Heights – This one-shot is sort of a precursor to the current Flash Rebirth mini. It features the same creative team and offers up a look inside Iron Heights, which is where the Rogues in Keystone end up.

Rogues Revenge – This mini from last years was technically a Final Crisis tie in, but it was a loose affiliation with the event. It basically just focused on the Rogues seeking revenge against someone who had done them wrong. It’s a really good read.

I picked out these trades because they should all be pretty readily available and easy to find. There are other Flash stories that aren’t in trades and might be harder to track down, and while they may not be considered “essential” they still pretty darn good reads.

Hey, it’s Thursday that must mean that Manolis has a question about something related to Blackest Night;

Who are those Black Lanterns in Blackest Night Batman #1?

Blackest Night - Batman #1 010Blackest Night - Batman #1 011

Ugh, we’re only two months in and I’m already tired of Blackest Night. I’m really hoping that everyone who’s resurrected will be resurrected by October or else I may lose my mind.

Roland Desmond is none other than Blockbuster. His brother Marc Desmond was the original Blockbuster and he died. Roland became Blockbuster who was a large mindless hulking figure. He made a deal with Neron to become smart and later became the crime lord of Bludhaven. Naturally this brought him in conflict with Nightwing. Blockbuster was killed by the second Tarantula.

Arnold Wesker, when he was alive was known as the Ventriloquist and was a rogue of Batman. He spoke though Scarface a dummy, who was the dominant personality. Wesker was killed by the brand new Tally Man in the Batman story Face the Face.

Anatoli Knyazev used to be known as the KGBeast. He was a former KGB agent who became an assassin. He was also killed by the new Tally Man in Face the Face.

Margaret Pye was once the criminal Magpie. She made some early post-Crisis appearances in Gotham in both Batman #401 and Man of Steel #3, but she never really amounted to anything in Gotham. Suprirse, she was killed by Tally Man in the aforementioned storyline.

Edmund Dorrance was the villain known as King Snake. He was a frequent thorn in Robin’s side during Tim Drake’s early adventures. He proved to be one of Tim’s most persistent nemesis’s. Edmund also happens to be the father of Bane. Edmund died while trying to take over Kobra.

Deacon Joseph Blackfire is actually a surprising entry. He’s Deacon Blackfire and he only appeared in The Cult, a controversial story that many thought wasn’t in continuity. Basically Blackfire unites the homeless under his will and throws Gotham into chaos. He even breaks Batman, mentally. The brainwashed Bats joins Blackfire’s cult. He eventually breaks free and beats Blackfire ruthlessly. Blackfire’s followers see that he’s mortal, rebel and kill him.

Tom & Tad Trigger – The Trigger Twins were mercenaries that were employed by Blockbuster and frequently turned up in Bludhaven to deal with Nightwing. They were killed during Infinite Crisis.

Arnold Etchinson was the villain Abattoir. He was killed by Azrael when Az took over for Bruce Wayne as Batman.

Please, DC stop resurrecting dead characters.

Jag

I’m still pissed that DC killed Orpheus off years ago. Do you share my anger?

I share your anger, but it’s sort of weird because I can’t think of anything that I’d read that actually featured Orpheus. I wasn’t really frequenting Gotham at the time when Orpheus was active, I was mostly into Bludhaven action.

No, my anger about Orpheus’ death is for a couple of other reasons.

Mainly, I’m irked because he was a Black hero in Gotham. Black characters are rather hard to come by in Gotham. Sure you’ve got Lucius Fox and assorted cops, but you really don’t have any heroes who happen to be Black.

And Orpheus was introduced to sort of fill that void. He was meant to address the issues of race in Gotham and it’s poorer neighborhoods. He was the hero of the Hill. So I’m not that happy that a character who represented so much was killed off.

I’m also not that happy at how the character was killed. He was offed in a rather lame fashion. He was killed to make Black Mask look like a serious threat. A guy who feed people eyeballs needs to be pumped up as a villain.

And he was the only person to die during War Games. Ok, he’s not the only person, but he’s the closest thing to a major character to die. Leslie’s character was redeemed, Steph is still alive. It’s almost like Orpheus is still dead so that the whole story mattered.

So yes Jag, I do share your anger, despite my having never read anything he was featured in, including War Games.

Ok, that’s going to do it for this edition of the column. Hopefully the next edition won’t take as long. Also, I hope it’ll have a lack of Blackest Night too.

“Open your eyes and see me, tell me it’s not too late.”

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