Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? Ep.5: Arcane to Atlantis

DC's Dr. Frankenstein. The Lord of Atlantis. A hospital for the criminally insane. A video game license. An underwater realm. Which are hot, which are not? The Girls of the Hot Squad are on course to take us through Who's Who #1 in this Hot or Not mini-series which dares to ask if the characters of the DC Universe are any more dateable than the ones from the MU!

Featuring permanent panelists Elyse, Isabel, Nathalie, Josée, Shotgun, and Amélie.

Listen to Episode 5 below (the usual mature language warnings apply), or subscribe to the feed on Apple Podcasts or Spotify!

Relevant images and further credits at: Who's Hot and Who's Not ep.5 Supplemental

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15 responses to “Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? Ep.5: Arcane to Atlantis

  1. Arcane: I never noticed before, but the human version of Arcane has either REALLY long arms, or REALLY short legs. So he was always mishapened, apparently!

    Arion: I never read Arion really, but I guess I liked his visual enough to subconsciously swipe his look and powers for a comic character I was developing in high school. Years later i dug the art out, and asked “Why did I draw Arion?”

    Arkham Asylum: I believe Len Wein wrote the backstory of Arkham for this issue of Who’s Who, and Gran Morrison ran with it and made it an utterly terrifying place of horror in his and Dave McKeans eponymous Arkham Asylum graphic novel. That’s where the true horror of the place kicked in. Before it was just your average mental hospital, although the horrorific art by Bissette and Totleben here is certainly showing the way. I always assumed the faces in the entry were Floronic Man, Joker, Two-Face, and Maxie Zeus.

    Atari Force: Better than the Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, maybe not, but I can see the connection, especially visually. Even as a kid I couldn’t get past the idea of a corporate entity posing as a super-hero team. What’s next, Kraft Kommandos? McDonald’s Mafia? That was the real stumbling block for giving this book a try, despite the gorgeous art of JLGL (PBHN) and Eduardo Baretto.

    Atlantis: I LOVE Marshall Rogers’ art, but his headshots here are a bit odd. His style was evolving into a strangely…quaint, old-fashioned look around this time, for some reason. His architecture however, is masterful. But he did study it in college, so that makes sense!

    Topo: One of my favorite Xum’s Who pieces, and that’s saying something!

    I know Aquaman was shown with fins as part of his body in the 1989 Legend of Aquaman one-shot drawn and follow-up mini-series by Keith Giffen, Robert Loren Fleming, and Curt Swan. First time I ever thought of them as being part of HIM and not just his costume.

  2. My first encounter with Arcane was in the form of Louis Jourdan, and then Mark Lindsay Chapman. The comic book version was a bit of a shocker. Really squicked out by his interation with his family. Truly horror inducing villain.Cranius is a fascinating visual.

  3. If Arcane wasn’t awful enough, he was also a Nazi war criminal during World War Two who experimented on prisoners! For my money he is the most viscerally horrible villain in the entire DC Universe.

  4. Fun show again.

    Arcane: Gross, gross, GROSS! Next!

    Arion: I thought he looked cool in Crisis, but I didn’t read any other comics with him in it. There was a great reimagining of him in the current season of Young Justice. I think the right hand was intentionally drawn that way to show it slightly obscured by the energy blast, and would work better if it was colored white instead of flesh tone.

    Arkham Asylum: “The Bat-Villain Signal” comment was hilarious!

    Atari Force: This was a great series, especially for the Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (praised be his name) art in the first half. While the omnibus is devoid of Atari Force entries (except BlackJack), they are all in the digital versions on Comixology. My dad had a few of the old Atari Force comics that came with the game cartridges. Their design reminded me of The Crest Team, who protected the citizens of Toothopolis from the Cavity Creeps in those old commercials I saw when watching my dad’s Super Friends video tapes.

    Atlantis: Marshall Rodgers draws really cool architecture. I think he did the artwork for that old DC Super Powers “Justice League of America Skyscraper Caper” 3-D city board game they sold in the 80s. My dad found it hilarious that a game for kids 6-12 had an objective of super heroes pushing super villains off the roofs of tall buildings.

    Topo: Thank you for covering my dad’s Topo entry. You actually posted an old version with an art mistake that he called “M. C. Escher on the drums.” He did correct it for the print and digital version. Perhaps Topo’s sidekick should be an actual tadpole named Squirt.

    So glad to hear you plan to continue Who’s Not into future volumes (Babe is in the next issue, so something for the Hot Squad to look forward to next year). An issue of Who’s Who covered every year means I will be in my 40s by the time you finish the first series run. I plan to keep listening until then.

    1. Isamu, YES, Marshall Rogers did do the artwork for that Super Powers game. He and Terry Austin even signed the art! I still have the game, and the graphics are a ton of fun. The little figurines are gorgeous too. But yeah, the game play…a bit brutal!

      Just FYI the Crest Team commercials were designed by longtime Marvel artist Herb Trimpe. The Cavity Creeps look very much like some monsters Trimpe’s Hulk would fight!

  5. Impressive podcast most impressive.This is Liz Anne Oswalt. To me arcane only looks good in the movies. As for the weird thing they did to his body. While he was trying to take over something’s body. The monster frontally just assumed that’s what he wanted to look like. The spider thing was probably use their attempt at upgrade. The costume he wears works well enough for what is. Though I’ll is like his brother better as a character. Though he was decent in the movie from the 80s. In the first and second one. Though I like the concept of his brother the patchwork man better. Again looking at all the things he makes this is probably why the creature thought you wanted to look like that. He took over his daughters dead husband and controlled it with bugs to have a relationship with her. So we can tell when Alan Moore took over as the writer. Or Rick Veach.

    Arion. It’s not just his hands most of the proportions on this are not great. The upper bodies fine. With his legs are deftly not long enough. So it’s not just his joystick that is completely out of proportion. And not in a positive manner. I’m also pretty sure that’s not how sleeves would fall on that outfit. But, it looks like the artist was trying to do a Steve Ditko style pose they just weren’t able to pull it off. It looks like something he would do in an issue of spider man. No offense to their talented. But, they’re not able to pull off a Ditko pose. Not that that’s an easy thing to do. Also why would you want a jewel that big around your neck? It’s on his chest but it just looks ridiculously large. Elton John would tell him that’s way too gaudy. And I don’t get why he has the canvas armor top if it’s not represent anything but his shoulders. Specifically since he’s a wizard. I haven’t read any of the stories I may have to look them up at some point.

    Though I always hated when they put power girl as one of his ancestors. I prefer her being a kryptonian. But, this guy is a decent enough character. And they got the height and weight right. But, he definitely needs a wardrobe consultant. Moving along. The Arkham Asylum bit kind of works. Though when they get to the later issues it looks better than us. Still it works for what it is. Atai force was always pretty cool. Though the group I know was after the champions left. And start was the only person you had any connection to the original group. Packrat was little my favorite characters in that book. And they had brought in a love interest for art some guy named blackjack. Not sure what happened to him. They could just change the name and lose the logo and redo these.

    Since by this point they had nothing to do with the Atari games console. If they just slapped on a different title for the name of the group. They could reprint these. Since this had nothing to do with the console by this point. All they had to do was go back and cover the Atari symbols on everything. Atlantis looks good enough and it was cool seeing an entry of Topo by Xum. Can’t wait to hear the next podcas

  6. Love this Who’s Hot Who’s Not show.

    Arcane – Like Siskoid, the story where he animates Matt and is amorous with Abby scarred me. I was a teen when I read it so not exactly naive. But that issue was so disturbing. Brrr … I do love the later scene when Arcane, in hell, wonders how many years he has been damned and he is told by Swamp Thing it has been less than a day. Gave some idea of how terrible perdition is.

    But I guess the best way to describe him is un-hot. None of the forms, from evil looking old guy to any of his bug forms is appealing.

    Arion – he always seemed like a pretty boy to me. So surprised there was such a discussion around him being hot or not.

    Atari Force – Dart is hot. Dart is so hot, her hotness pervades everything so this page is by extension hot.

    Always fun to hear the discussions and thankful for this group! Happy new year!

  7. The talk about Atlantis and living under a dome reminded me of when I “slept with the sharks.” My kids were in Girl Scouts when they were younger, and I was a chaperone for an overnight trip to an aquarium in Tennessee, which had a bunch of cool activities for the day, including sleeping in a tunnel with a glass ceiling under the largest tank housing lots of fish, including sharks, thus the name of the program. It was a fun day, although I’ve outgrown the ability to sleep on a hard floor. Ah, youth.

    Loving the spinoff show, Hot Squad and mighty leader Siskoid!

  8. Great discussion about Arkham Asylum. One of smart ladies made a good point that reflected my opinion of DC Bat-writers. They’ve gone to the well too often with the Gotham penal system. The initial idea of Arkham was a clever one. There must be a place in Gotham for the truly insane and they got to do a little homage to Lovecraft. Subsequently it has become a “thing.” A building that not only doesn’t meet any kind of building code, but also no kind of health or rehabilitation standards. “Ooooh, it’s a creepy, evil place! You go mad just looking at it! Ooooooh!” Then EVERY Bat-villain was put there. Also, like every other incarceration facility in the Gotham area, it apparently has revolving door on every wall. Bat-writers, since about 1990, seem to think that all prisons are built like the ones in 1930s Warner Brothers movies. Villains go in. Villains come out. Everyone reading this: when was the last time any prisoner escaped from a prison in your state/province? I get that these writers just want to tell good Batman stories, and use the classic Rogues’ Gallery, but too often, IMHO, they seem to re-write favorite stories and hit the same beats. So, we get something like Arkham Asylum. Again and again. Which would have been shut down in the 1980s from lack of federal funding. Or completely re-modeled in the 1990s to meet updated disability codes. Or, a new facility would have been built out in the industrial suburbs near an Interstate highway. Pah!

    Tadpoles are fresh-water. Aqualad was also called “Minnow” by Aquaman.

    Atari Force was better than it had any right to be. It was better than most comics published at the time. Conway and Garcia-Lopez created some truly well-defined, individual, and memorable characters. Also, the first story arc has a real good twist in the story!

  9. Great to hear more Hot or Not! I’m really enjoying the back and forth between Marvel and DC. I also loved hearing the gaming bios of the ladies! But was saddened when it made me realize how old I was, ugh. My favourite game is most likely Heroes of Might and Magic 2 (any HOMM heads out there?) but a close second is Portal, which is a little more contemporary, I guess. Are the kids still playing Uncharted? I feel like I’m just digging myself a bigger age hole.

    Arcane – For every incarnation, I feel like he’s just trying to make himself more disgusting than before. Almost like there’s a God-like writer trying to one-up the previous stories!

    Arion – I’m a sucker for anything that has “waffle” fabric like he has on his shoulders, kind of like long johns. Automatic waffle hot!

    Arkham Asylum – I can’t stop staring at the spit on Joker. Disgusting. And reminds me of Sal Buscema!

    Atari Force – I recently read this series and really enjoyed the first arc with Conway and JLGL (pbhn). It was a shame that it was burdened with the IP of Atari. Some people will be turned off right away by a “corporate” comic, but they should really give it a try. It was a great sci fi soap opera! I feel like Babe will become the next Armadillo. Would the ladies like Taz better if they knew he was really !!SPOILER ALERT!! a she, and in fact becomes a mother during the series?

    Topo – Great to see Xum’s awesome work again! By far, my favourite of all the comic octopuses/octopi/octopedes. It’s all about the drumming……

    Well done, everyone! Keep up the great work!

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