Who’s Who in the DC Universe #6

It’s the sixth sensational issue of WHO’S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE featuring Adam Strange, Ayla Ranzz, Captain Atom, Copperhead, Crazy Jane, Dove, Hawkman, The Huntress, Power Girl, Snapper Carr, and more! Plus YOUR Listener Feedback!

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88 responses to “Who’s Who in the DC Universe #6

  1. Early minutes yet, but before I forget. It is complete nonsense that Ayla is 6′ tall, and most versions have her as petite. It think it comes from that story where she impersonated her twin brother, and THEREFORE, must be as tall as he is. Just say he had a growth spurt later; they were teenagers after all. Jeez.

    1. Do like the idea of the two of them being more alike in stature though.
      Just say on the day those stats were measured Ayla had just been hitting the Cellulite-Reducto Ray a little bit too hard.

  2. Not all the way through. If only there was some sort of Doom Patrol podcast you could have mentioned after the Crazy Jane entry.

    1. Whoops! Sorry about that. You are right. There are probably a bunch of Johnny-come-lately folks who just started a podcast because of the TV show. I’ll strive to be better about mentioning them in the future!

      1. “At first I thought the car wasn’t going to stop after running me over, but then the car screeched to a stop then reversed full speed back over me”

        1. It’s ok, Paul. All that talk about Dolphin’s Secret Origin appearance and Shag didn’t mention the Secret Origins episode she was on. You know, the show that was on this very network, hosted by Ryan Daly, guest starring the DAG

  3. Paul – The promise of Neil appearances is one of the only reasons these guys keep Ryan around. Also, cFranks really likes the guy for some reason.

  4. Issues 7-12 came out the Friday before this podcast came out and they’re all AOK. I’m guessing they’re coming out six issues every Friday.

  5. Hey it appears that you forgot to mention that Jason Woodrue appears in the 1997 film Batman & Robin…
    No wait never mind you, you probably, did the right thing.

  6. Mr. Bones is credited on some sites as being created by Roy & Dann Thomas, but considering he was a rather openly ripped-off/ homage to the 1940s Standard Comics character the Black Terror maybe they thought it was better to not mention it.

  7. This felt like an Anj-Centric issue as so many of my faves were in this.

    Ayla Ranzz – yes, the art is crazy good by Steve Lightle. I have to say the 6’0 height has been a consistent number in all the Who’s Who runs. So I have to think it is real. She is one of my favorite Legionnaires. She is powerful and strong. She has had character growth over her career. Her relationship with Vi was cutting edge for the time. So good. And I do love the inset pics. The first one is the Ranzz family being hit by the Lightning Beasts of Corbal, how she got her powers. That middle one is a nice snapshot of the middle part of her career- Light Lass, with Timber Wolf, and playful. And then the last one with Vi. Just a perfect page!

    Dolphin – Hard to go from Dave Stevens to anyone. I agree, something not right with the face. And I have to say that Bove often did solid pin up work in prior Who’s Who. (Remember his lounging Queen Bee?). I am not a fan of the bathing suit over the jean shorts/white shirt. And I did enjoy her recent take in Aquaman as drawn by Stepan Sejic

    Dove – Another fave. Too bad we never find out what happened to her in Armageddon 2001 #2 since it was never printed. IT WAS NEVER PRINTED!!!
    The problem with Don was that he was how Ditko perceived pacifism which was weak and nonconfrontational. Hard to be a super-hero if you are static. Remember Dawn wasn’t the avatar of Pacifism but of Order. She was a much better, very refined, and very proactive fighter. She could see the order of things and anticipate. Loved that series.

    Huntress – as an Italian-American, I loved the inclusion of Helena Bertinelli into the DCU. I agree, this page is a noble effort by Staton. But it seems a bit too balloon-y to work well. I think she was best handled in the Simone BoP. Although Huntress Cry For Blood is also a standout.

    Power Girl – her secret origin issue podcast episode was my first guest stint on a podcast ever! Thanks Ryan!! While this isn’t my favorite of PG’s costumes, it isn’t my least favorite. The white, head bandy, diamond boob window Atlantean thing is sooo rough. I do like Bart Sears take on her. Everyone should read her Palmiotti/Conner series – a total hoot.

    Vi – another of my favorite Legionnaires. I agree that this is Al Gordon trying to 5YL this picture. Her strength in 5YL is amazing. She kept the scar on her face to remind her of the atrocities she was a part of. She loses her leg at one point in combat. But she has this great scene with her SW6 clone, telling that shy young Violet that she needs to decide for herself where life will take her and not let others decide for her. Love that scene.

    Thanks again for a great episode!

    1. Yes, Ayla’s height was grossly overestimated in the original Who’s Who, and we’ve been stuck with that ever since. And sometimes she seems very leggy, but the art varies WILDLY. Here’s a picture that’s fairly recent:
      The girl on the left is 5’2″. The girl on the right is 6 feet tall. THAT’S AS MAYBE!

  8. Is it just me or did Rob sound a bit…..exasperated in this one? I would like to think part of that was this issue’s weaker than normal art. (Yeah..)

    A lot of pieces didn’t quite hold up to the usual standard the loose leaf series had, I thought, established by now. Though, like him, I thought the Matt Wagner Copperhead piece was pretty great, as were the Bart Sears Power Girl (oh, the glory days when Mr. Sears’ art didn’t look like an overinked caricature of himself), Jerry Ordway & Mike Machlan Gangbuster and John Byrne’s glorious and amazing Godfrey & Grace pages.

    Other notes:

    – Alanna’s death was retconned during Morrison’s JLA run in #21, which was a fill-in story written by Mark Waid. Like Rob, I wasn’t fond of the unnecessary grit they added to Adam Strange in that Man of Two Worlds mini and anything to undo the unfortunate tone & conclusion of that story was a welcome sight.

    – Northwind did return after his Infinity Inc days, primarily utilized by Geoff Johns in JSA. You can probably guess this won’t be a happy road… Northwind & his people evolved into more bird like beings, inspired I would have to say by Hawkman’s look in KINGDOM COME some years prior, and he’d align himself with Black Adam in Khandaq, making him moreorless a villain. He got a wing ripped off and fled into obscurity once more for his evolutionary efforts.

    – Steve Bove’s name has come up before in Who’s Who; he was an artist (whose work with Dolphin seemed a bit better than some of his older pieces in previous Who’s Who volumes) but more importantly he was an art director and logo designer at DC at the time of these series. I would have to think Shag knows of one of his logos in particular…. 😉

    – Tom Joyner, meanwhile, was a writer who bounced around various DC books during the late ’80s and early ’90s. His biggest contribution was Damage; he co-created the character and write that entire series.

    – regarding Copperhead again, I believe the inset image of him putting the squeeze on Batman (which, yes, is not a thing copperhead snakes do to their prey) is a bit of an homage to the cover of his first appearance. Or maybe he’s just hugging him…..he’s hugging him and turned to villainy because Batman beat him up over a hug.

    – and finally, is this the first time I saw Byrne’s Glorious Godfrey and saw Arcade with a cape? Is it the first time anyone has? Possibly. Now I’ll be spending the rest of the day coming up with an Amalgam story of the 2; perhaps something about how Arcadious Godfrey (& Amazing Ms. Locke) evolves his Murderpokalips lair into suicide booths, like from FUTURAMA….

    This post is sorta ending dark, which I did not intend, so let’s instead end with this: AQUAMAN THE MOVIE HAS MADE 1 BILLION DOLLARS. :)

    1. Oop, forgot 1….

      Mr. Nebula/Scarlet Skier by Tom Artis, an underrated artist for the time we had him at DC (and Marvel, I think he drew some She-Hulk comics between Byrne’s run on that ’90s title). Looking at Nebula’s design here, I reminded of how his outfit is also a shout-out to Uatu the Watcher. And FYI, Mister Nebula…..a star of DC’s recent Young Animal imprint, sorta…

  9. Gangbuster – Shag asked, so I answer. According to Jerry (The Extraordinary) Ordway, and if I’m remembering this correctly, he wanted to do a new version of the Guardian but editorial was against it so they created Gangbuster instead. Again, if I am remembering the interview correctly, there was this feeling in editorial that they wanted to go away from the Kirby stuff but then editors changed and in 1988 they reintroduced the Guardian, the Newsboy Legion, Cadmus, etc. I’ve said this before but I love Jose Delgado as a character. He was a fascinating study of what happens when you have the convictions to Superman but not the abilities. The fact that he was a school teacher and that his tech was all so store bought made him more compelling.

    Oh, Shag mentioned he dated Lois Lane but he was also involved with Cat Grant, so he has that going for him as well.

    Glorious Godfrey and Amazing Grace – I like this entry and I like these characters. That three parter that tied into Legends was one of my favorites of that first year of the Post Crisis Superman and it’s interesting what they managed to get away with. Glorious Godfrey is now more relevant than ever considering how someone getting a crowd of people to do his bidding just by whipping them into a frenzy is shockingly realistic. Frankly I think Legends as a concept has more meaning now than it did in 1986.

    The Fortress of Solitude – Unless I am forgetting something, Superman putting Jon and Martha (why did I say that name) is a more recent thing. It wouldn’t have made sense in the Post Crisis era because they’re still alive but in the current era it is actually touching and warranted.

    This version of the Fortress will always have a soft spot in my heart because it’s “my” Fortress. I was there as they rolled it out and liked how it didn’t serve the same function as it did in the Pre-Crisis era. I never argue taste or preference when it comes to comics but I am not a huge fan of Superman having this fantastic hangout where he keeps his trophies and all of this fantastic tech and animal life because I am more of a fan of a Superman that is the most amazing thing in his world. When you start adding the Fortress and the Bottle City of Kandor and all that it doesn’t so much take away from the character because it is so imaginative as it just makes the whole concept a little too out there. I love the Pre Crisis Fortress and had a ball talking about it with Rob on Treasury Cast but at the end of the day I like this Fortress better because it was basically this place that served as a museum for his home world.

    Also it wasn’t something he built. The Eradicator built it so Superman kind of inherited it. They tried to change it over the years by having it be a tesseract thing during the Mark Schultz run on SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL and then an Amazonian thing at the end of one of the worst Superman stories ever written and now Bendis has it in the Bermuda Triangle, which bugs me because I like the arctic setting but I’ve gone on long enough already.

    I love that fold out. It was and is awesome.

  10. Oh…Power Girl. Nearly forgot Power Girl.

    I like this costume. The first time I remember seeing it was a guest spot Power Girl had in an issue of The Flash and I thought it was incredibly sexy. Maybe I still have a thing for eighties fashion (that turtle neck look did something for me) but I will echo Shag’s statement that the fact that she was completely covered up made her sexier than showing off her cleavage. It’s not like I have a moral objection to her original looks but there was something about this costume that just gets me. I feel the same way about The Huntress. Her late nineties costume was so much better than that POS suit she wore around the Hush era.

    1. Shag was certainly right about silver working much better than white, too. The JLE coloring over time did not help that outfit look the way it does here…

  11. Shag either is tone deaf to how much I hate the Kitana Banana bit or just doesn’t care. It’s sad, really.

    A few things:

    Gangbuster. It was kind of a big deal to see a brown dude in a comic book. I just wish he didn’t look like a cross between a jockey and CHiPs. I get he assembled his costume at Home Depot and Big 5 Sports, but so did Wild Dog… Nevermind about the Wild Dog. GB was during an era when it was getting costly to follow the S-books in addition to my regular diet of Flash, Wonder Woman, and JLA/JLI, so I never really glommed on to the character beyond his intro.

    Hawkman – like Mr Matthews, I was big fan of this era of Hawkman. So what if it didn’t mesh with continuity? The stories were solid. And the clean up forced on the character (Andar Pol, I’m looking at you) only made things worse and dumber. And yes, Rob, a space cop with wing is ridiculous and probably shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It’s not like they gave him long hair, a beard, and a hook hand.

    Now THIS is my Huntress. Who knew Rob had such a knowledge of the Cosa Nostra that he knew what “Omerta” meant? Rob “Mob? What Mob?” Kelly indeed! I was a big fan of this version of the Huntress. I liked how was distanced from the Batman books and truly felt like a grass roots heroine. Batnut was inserted into the last three issues of her book, a bat-shaped silhouette that would continue to stain her character, so much so the Bat-worship was shoehorned into an origin book written by Greg Rucka. But I digress. For a brief moment, Helena Bertinelli became an interesting, strong character in her own right.

    Power Girl – Shag ain’t alone in liking this costume. It’s a lot more functional that anything else she’s worn. Her original costume was an afterthought at best. “how much does a boob weigh?” I don’t know. How does Shag weigh? Also, my take on real-world Power Girl? Actress/Stuntwoman Vanessa Cater.

  12. Power Girl’s original Super Squad costume was, by far, her best. No boob window, just a simple, cool costume. Now, I don’t mind the boob-window (’cause boobs), but it is a distant second to the original. The yellow costume is hideous and should have never been tried (like most costumes designed around this same time).

  13. Reverb was also the codename of the evil Cisco on the Earth with the evil versions, not sure if they called it Earth-3 but that’s what it was.

    !npact falls chronologically between this series and the 1993 update, so that’s probably the time to do it.

  14. Nitpicking department: I know the story Rob means, with Mike Mignola artwork and Superman in a space suit. It’s a Superman issue spinning out of Action #600, the last team-up issue. The Hawks take Supes to the asteroid field that was Krypton and he has visions of its history. The space suit in the Fortress of Solitude is actually the armor he wore in Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite when Red K made him lose his powers temporarily.

    Other notes… I love the Hawkworld monthly too.

    I think the Gangbuster credit conundrum may be that Wolfman did create José in his early run of Adventures, but Ordway created the Gangbuster persona and look when he took over. I’d have to check just when José first put on the helmet.

    Does breast size affect weight all that much? Not as much as you seem to think. As this is a frequent discussion on one my shows, I had the scientific research done. Here it is, in bra sizes:
    Bra sizes 32A, 30B, 28C = about 0.5 pound per breast
    Bra sizes 34A, 32B, 30C, 28D = about 0.6 pound per breast
    Bra sizes 36A, 34B, 32C, 30D, 28E = about 0.7 pound per breast
    Bra sizes 38A, 36B, 34C, 32D, 30E, 28F = about 0.9 pound per breast
    Bra sizes 40A, 38B, 36C, 34D, 32E, 30F, 28G = about 1.2 pounds per breast
    Bra sizes 42A, 40B, 38C, 36D, 34E, 32F, 30G, 28H = about 1.5 pounds per breast
    Bra sizes 44A, 42B, 40C, 38D, 36E, 34F, 32G, 30H, 28I = about 1.7 pounds per breast
    Bra sizes 44B, 42C, 40D, 38E, 36F, 34G, 32H, 30I, 28J = about 2 pounds per breast
    Doesn’t mean weights (or even heights) make sense in Who’s Who and OHOTMU. They often don’t. Those books needed more women (and on the flip side, more muscly men) to vet the numbers.

    Nitpicking Shagg’s pronunciations department: In addition to the K-hund K-rfuffle, kept calling the hottest Legionnaire Aylia when her name is Ayla. So it’s A-la, or it might be I-la, or maybe A-ee-la, but it can’t be A-lee-ah. (Expected joke: The hottest Legionnaire’s name is pronounced Phantom Girl.)

    1. FYI, the size of surgical breast implants can be measured either by volume OR by weight.
      The largest of all breast implants shall henceforth be known as “The Wally Woods”.

  15. Fun show, guys, but something’s bugging me.

    Rob doesn’t like Northwind and thinks his powers are inadequate?

    So, what are his powers?

    1. Increased speed and stamina
    2. Ability to travel in a way people can only usually travel in machines
    3. Ability to communicate with a specific segment of the animal kingdom

    He’s a half-human child of two worlds with family ties to the leadership of the non-human world. Oh, and he lost an appendage for a time?

    Rob, Northwind is the Aquaman of the skies.

    1. I was thinking exactly the same thing, Allen!

      Which led me onto the thought experiment … “Assuming there are no Bad Characters (and most comic readers would consider at least one version of Hawkman to be a fairly interesting concept), just what would it take to make Northwind cool?”
      New Costume?
      New personality/attitude?
      New team affiliation?
      New hot creators?

      Bendis seems to be taking some previously dormant DC properties and writing new comics with them… could he resurrect a character as… ahem… Irredeemable as Northwind?

      1. My first thought on what to do with Northwind would be to lean into what is most different about his “man of two worlds” family backstory. With other characters — such as Namor and Aquaman — it’s all metaphor. The heroes themselves are (at least in the comics) are white. But Northwind’s dad is actually African-American. It seems to me that you could play that up.

        I’d also think about changing the setting. Since he’s a legacy character of the 1940s Hawkman, what about setting Northwind in the 1950s or the 1960s, when there were still miscegenation laws on the books and during the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement.

        Would he be a symbol or an outcast?

        But I suspect there are probably many takes that could redeem the character.

  16. As someone who’s had a fetish for FBBs, I’d say Power Girl’s stats are reasonable if even a bit modest, as some shorter ladies exceed 150 lbs. (and contemporary PG hits 160). Bodybuilders need to gain mass to turn into muscle; it’s not really the healthiest lifestyle and it seems like they’re one off-season away from plain obesity if they’re not hitting the gym. But Kara’s stats certainly make more sense than Lightning Lass and Amazing Grace’s. Aliens, I guess.

  17. Another great episode….

    Just waiting for the episode where Rob has enough of Shag and DC’s shenanigans and just starts wasting people… The Earth Prime Vigilante. 8)

    Love Bolt. Mainly cuz he showed up and fought the best Starman (yes, Will Payton).

    As far as Sarge Steel, I just covered the issues of Suicide Squad and Checkmate (the end of the Janus Directive) where eh was put in charge of the whole kit and caboodle. Great story.

    As far as the Jericho fan club, I too am a member, so maybe that’s why I understand the reference to where the meetings are held. Originally they were held at Kane and Wintergreen, but too many assassins kept stopping by.

    Until next month (or whenever the next episode appears), make mine Who’s Who.

  18. VERY late to the party this time, and most of my thoughts have been shared by others (in some weird nerd hive mind, apparently), but here’s a few.

    The Conglomerate: Man, these guys were a bit ahead of the curve of the “leather jacket team look”, weren’t they? 90s Avengers owe them a royalty check.

    Dolphin: I believe Steve Bove drew that Secret Origins story, didn’t he? I think he was kind of obsessed with the character.

    Gangbuster: I really liked his utilitarian costume. The designs and earthy tones of it remind me just a bit of Ordway’s Tarantula redesign for All-Star Squadron. I wish Jose had stuck around to be a bigger character in the DCU.

    Amazing Grace: Yes, brain-washed Superman did indeed get it on with Amazing Grace. Whenever Supes got ruffied, Byrne had him bump nasties with Apokoliptian women. Someone could write a psych paper on this.

    The Huntress: Yep, noble effort, but this doesn’t work. The flat colors don’t help either.

    Power Girl: Let’s look at this costume of Power Girl, the “jazzercise” outfit of Black Canary, and…Firestorm! Yes, Shag apparently likes the blousy, shoulder pad look. Sure, PG’s blousiness is pretty much in her turtle neck only, but evidentially our Floridian friend has a fashion sense that’s just dying to burst out. I sense Hammer pants are also on the table.

    Snapper Carr: Snapper’s greatest moment in comics? Probably. The one time he is actually “cool”. Heck, I even riffed on this entry in an upcoming letter I’m sure you guys are going to eviscerate me for.

    Fun episode as always gents, and man, that Hawkman image looks a lot better on a red background, doesn’t it?

    Oh, and I hate the Hawkworld costumes. So bland and ugly. Blech.


  19. You know I’m feeling generalized podcast burnout when I miss a Who’s Who for three days and come a hair under the 50th comment. Onward…

    A) I’ve owned the ’90s Adam Strange mini-series for at least 20 years and never had any particular desire to read it. My always mild interest in the character had more to do with liking the costume and the character “type” than anything that was ever on the page, especially in a Silver Age DC comic. Still, a deconstructionist narrative drawn by one of Kubert’s offspring is pretty much the exact formulation for saltpeter when it comes to any character where I’m concerned. Glad Mark Waid brought the family and optimism back in the JLA two-parter (though the art was so horrendous even a Junior Kubert would have been preferable.) Planet Heist was okay, and the Pasqual Ferry art was a major selling point.

    B) Light(ning) Lass has nice art, nice representation, and I’m perfectly neutral on the character. I am positively disposed toward Bolt and stand behind whatever it was I said about him wherever else he’s appeared on this podcast. I remain fond of Captain Atom and feel that he never recovered from the one-two punch of the Monarch fake-out and Extreme Justice. The Conglomerate existed, and there was even a parallel Earth version of this team concept. Praxis ever being “popular” is #FakeNews. Matt Wagner had more fun with Copperhead than the character deserved. Diane Guerrero is a classy edition to the Doom Patrol TV show that I’d like to check out but won’t because it’s on a stupid app. That Dolphin entry is what happens when prospective artists known they’re in direct competition with an all-timer Dave Stevens piece, so they don’t. Minka Kelly looks good in the costume of Dove, a character I do not care about.

    C) Floro.

    D) How many entries are we into this thing and now we’re wasting Jerry Ordway’s talents on Gangbuster, DC’s idea of adequate Latinx representation in 1990? If the cold streak holds up, this may well go down as the single worst installment in Who’s Who’s publication history. Glorious Godfrey & Amazing Grace are up to that challenge, as well as demonstrating that John Byrne is his own worst inker as well as his own worst enemy. 1990 may have been around the time he was running out of that ol’ magic that made him a titan of the Bronze Age. Maybe he loses all his powers when exposed to chromium?

    E) Graham Nolan draws Hawkman with a disc shooter. Drab uniform looks like a Ghostbuster fueled by Red Bull. Tim Truman’s Hawkworld mini-series made me not a Hawkman fan after flirting with that prospect while doing a mid-90s dive into his library. While I enjoyed the first year of the Ostrander spin-off, it proceeded to run for thrice again that long on not-enjoy mode (if you count the Hawkman spin-off of the spin-off of the reboot.) In retrospect, trading Katar & Shayera’s personalities also made no sense, except to demonstrate that Shayera is the better character even when saddled with Katar’s anger management issues. Once again, I would argue that as with Hawkworld, George Perez’s ground zero relaunch of Wonder Woman failed to develop a new sustaining mythos for the Amazing Amazon. The book only sold below Marvel’s cancellation line of 120K when Perez was drawing her and far worse when he was not. He saved the book from Greg Potter and from the dire 60K sales of the previous volume, but it was in no way a “win” comparable to Byrne, Miller, or other Post-Crisis successes. Every criticism leveled by Shag against the Hawkworld reboot could be applied to Perez’s.

    F) I tried the Helena Bertinelli Huntress series when it came out, but the Staton art was too dated for the time period, and the revamp was too dry for me. When Chuck Dixon started playing her off of the Bat-Family as a potentially homicidal black sheep, I felt like she started coming into her own, plus those Travis Charest covers were peak Of The Time in a way that appealed to me in the time. I still like Helena Wayne, but I think Bertinelli brings more to the table, and regardless of her preference for Dinah Lance, I think Huntress is Gail Simone’s best “spirit animal” in comics. I’ve tended to fancast Eliza Dushku, but I dig Mary Elizabeth Winstead and look forward to her interpretation. I need to check out the new podcast (H-Town represent!)

    G) I’m not intimidated by Kanjar Ro cosplaying as Mammy Two Shoes. I prefer Mr. Bones as the prototype for the Sam Jackson Nick Fury but with the extra shady elements of late ’70s/early ’80s Nick. My tolerance for Scarlet Skier begins and ends with Justice League Antarctica and I have no such tolerance for Mr. Nebula. Artis drew one of their JLQ appearances. I officially remember JLQ far better than either of you despite my avoidance of discussing the (inoffensive but lame) Conglomerate, and am the lesser for that recollection.

    H) Northwind. Drawn by Lou Manna of lesser T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents revamp non-fame. Reminds me of that old Jewish joke about the food being terrible and the portions too small. I never was sure if he was supposed to be black, but if I were black, I wouldn’t claim him.

    I) When DePowered Girl in the “I’m now officially just checking a box on the team roster gender balance quota checklist and have no aspirations beyond that role” white & gold Jane Fonda look is a highlight, it’s a really bad issue of Who’s Who. Even Bart Sears refused to draw the Heroes of Lallor costume he designed in any of the history boxes. It’s not terrible, it just is. I would have been fine with PG as a Daxamite, and once Kryptonians were greenlit with the return of Kara Zor-El in the aughts, they could have easily gone that route without involving Earth-Two. I’ve got more than one cousin, but she could also be from another house (and could use a distinct name more than anything.) I prefer PG not be associated with the Legion or JLA, since being the JSA’s powerhouse is kinda sorta the primary defining element of her friggin’ existence.

    J) The Royal Flush Gang. Drawn by Steve Erwin. But it does show what kind of awesome sauce Al Vey was slinging in the inks. One of the unsung greats in his field.

    K) Sarge Steel was a back-up feature drawn by Dick Giordano in one of the old Charltons I was able to score as a kid, which affords him a minuscule amount of nostalgia cache.

    L) “Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb! Well, I got smog in my noggin’… every time you make the scene.”- My recollection of the time Ed Byrnes showed up on an episode of Married… With Children, because I’m not 77 Sunset Strip old. Also, he’s not dead yet, in case you assumed such (as I had with Carol Channing until today, so I’m only just now right about that.)

    M) I liked Vi better than most 5YL players, but she’s among my favorite Legionnaires anyway, and I have a noted soft spot for non-Marvel shrinking heroes. Art’s okay. You guys were too hard on Mike Leeke, given how unambitious and inept these entries have been.

    N) Cat ladies are hackey and making them Latinas even more so, but I kinda dug Yolanda Montez, and she deserved better than the Diablo Island massacre. I recall at one point it was heavily theorized that she was mutated into the New Titans’ Pantha, who was also executed cavalierly in a super-massacre she was too good for.

    1) Didn’t expect to make it all the way to N. This was a very bad issue.

    2) I missed out on the Aquaman Shrine poll, but would have voted for Lorena for the Aquaman sequel. I dislike Garth.

  20. I need to chip in into the Power Girl costume debate. I really like this iteration and is, in my mind, second only to the classic white outfit (with or without boob window). And it’s MILES ahead of the awful “Princess of Atlantis” contraption that followed it.
    I also think Sears really captured the “Power” in her, drawing a strong woman, not just a fit or a sexy one, which really fit her characterization at the time. Shortly after Marshall Rogers tried and failed with this costume and it was soon forgotten.
    I remember in the letters page at the time someone suggesting that the cape-less look made sense since she had lost her ability to fly at the time, which kind of makes sense.

  21. Adam Strange – My all-time, top favorite character. I don’t know why. But there is just something about a resourceful, smart guy with all kinds of cool gadgets on a fantastic world. And I’ve always loved that he’s not all doom and gloom. Which is probably why this was not my favorite iteration of this character. I was so glad when he was redeemed by Mark Waid in the pages of JLA.

    Ayla Ranzz – Just beautiful.

    The Conglomerate – Since she doesn’t get her own entry, can we talk about Gypsy’s problematic codename? The word is considered offensive to the Romani people. And to have it applied to a character that was nothing more than a suburban runaway? DC needs to acknowledge that it is not an appropriate name in this day and age and give her a new one.

    Glorious Godfrey & Amazing Grace – You can see the decline in Byrne’s work starting here. So much of the background is just the suggestion of scraps and parts as opposed to actual thought out debris.

    Huntress – Surprisingly this isn’t the worst costume for the urban vigilante. No, that award goes to the Jim Lee-designed outfit that has a giant belly shirt opening.

    Northwind – When I was a kid, my only exposure to the character was Who’s Who and Crisis. I thought he was cool. Then I saw this outfit. And then I actually read some Infinity Inc. Nevermind.

    Vi – What a juxtaposition with Ayla’s entry.

    Wildcat – Let’s play a game. Let’s create a Latinex character, under-use her, and then kill her off (along with another minority character) in an unceremonious way. We’ll call this game “Wildcat II.” I think 90’s DC will go for it.

    Overall, great coverage of an “OK” issue.

  22. I am overjoyed at the news that Who’s Who is now on Comixology. I only ever owned one or two issues of the original series, so it will be great to finally get hold of the rest of them. It will also give me an excuse to relisten to all of the early episodes of the Who’s Who podcast…. Did I mention that I’m a furloughed government employee with some extra time on his hands.

      1. Thank you for asking, David. Fortunately, we’re okay for the time being.

        I do want to add a general thank you to the Network at large. Being able to participate in this great community is one of the things that has helped me maintain my sanity over the last month.

  23. Hi Guys,

    Great episode. Sorry I’ve been slow to comment but you can’t imagine how long it takes to scratch my opinions into the walls of my cell in the asylum using just my fingernails.

    I was greatly amused by how “I can’t pronounce anything” Shag managed to get my surname right at the first attempt and then “corrected” it to Witter. Just think about what washing powder promises to make your smalls (or the Procol Haram song). It is also fun to hear an American saying the names of provincial English towns. Your accent makes them sound like fictional places.

    I was also happy to hear Rob inspired to create Hourman’s arch-nemesis based on my spelling mistake. When they inevitably use him on the telly can you remember me when they turn up at your house with barrowfulls of cash.

    Into the issue …

    Adam Strange – a very odd pose, he looks like he’s holding onto an invisible trapeze. I also think the logo that worked really well with the trade dress of the mini is lost in a traditional illustration. I thought that series worked really well as it’s own thing but destroyed him as a part of the DC Universe. They were right to retcon it away as quickly as possible.

    Ayla Ranzz – Steve Lightle is a genius. He did tend to draw all women a little too thin for my liking but I know that’s just a quirk of style. In the Twomorrows Legion Outpost collection there is a vintage Keith Giffen interview where he states that Ayla has the most traditionally sexy body type but leans away from it. It’s interesting to see the juxtaposition of Dream Girl and Light Lass in his first run and realise that he draws a bustier Ayla but you don’t notice because of her body language and how she dresses. Rereading the entry I’d remembered them being much more direct in describing the relationship between Ayla and Vi and I’m slightly disappointed that they censored themselves. This is particularly compounded by the decision to show her snuggling with the ex-boyfriend and not even looking at the current girlfriend. Aggghhh!

    Bolt – really dynamic pose from Lyle and I really enjoyed the issue of Starman he was in (my first exposure to Bolt). The logo is amazing. Was it the same one used before. It seems designed for that pin up.

    Captain Atom – you already know my thoughts on Pat Broderick and his weaknesses at this point, but that background really does look like he’s nuked a city. Maybe if it was coloured in greys it would’ve looked more like a smoggy city but obviously Tony Tollin couldn’t go that way as Captain Atom wouldn’t stand out against a grey background. Mainly I wish they’d got Rafael Kayanan to draw this. He was the current artist on Cap and I loved how shiny he made him. Also, why is Peggy evil in the inset? It makes sense for Randy to look dumb as that was his primary characteristic.

    The Conglomerate – I really enjoyed their appearance in JLQ but this is a rather bland image. I don’t have much to add except that Maxi-Man first appeared in.the Joe Phillips drawn run of Mister Miracle. He was very hot in that series. BTW don’t Google Joe Phillips and hot guys in a business context NSFW!

    Copperhead – Matt Wagner is a God among men!

    Crazy Jane – revisiting this image I hadn’t remembered the jigsaw puzzle being used as an image of the character until the later issue where her origin is recounted. I know I reacted negatively to the euphemistic nature of the Ayla entry but I have to say I think Said did a good job of indicating her history without scarring or scaring readers who weren’t ready to deal with the graphicness of Doom Patrol.

    Dolphin – weird, weird, weird! I know that Bove and Joyner were trying to launch a Dolphin series that never really went anywhere and that makes this entry and her secret origin odd. It doesn’t really feel like it reflects her history and it doesn’t match with her future. I like the image i itself but it’s not Dolphin. Dolphin wears denim hotpants.

    Dove – I thought Greg Guler did a great job on this, obviously Karl Kesel and Tom McCraw were a big part of the image too. I thought it was a genius move by the Kesels to suggest that the Lords of Order have the powers to Dawn before Son died. It made them more unknowable and arbitrary.

    Floro – it makes sense that this is drawn by the Mark Pacella who worked on Mr Monster and that Aquaman special with George Freeman but I find it very difficult to accept that this is the same artist who took over from Liefeld on X-Force. I remember at the time being disappointed with this because the short story that set up his post New Guardians status quo was by Gaiman and Mignola and this isn’t. Nevertheless Pacella produced a striking image.

    Gangbuster – definitely created by Ordway and Machlan and given fully formed to Wolfman. DC during the 80s apparently had a form that you filled in when you created a character and encouraged top artists to create their own characters. In interviews Ordway talks of him and Machlan creating Gangbuster in the studio they shared with Pat Broderick and Al Vey. Marc Wolfman was a long way away.

    Glorious Godfrey and Amazing Grace – I normally like Byrne but this isn’t doing anything for me. They seem to be just floating in space and not interacting with their surroundings and if anyone was good at grounding figures in a landscape it was Byrne. I know part of the problem comes from the logo obscuring what Grace is stood on and the flat colouring doesn’t help. I’m passing on this one.

    Hawkman – Nolan does a great forced perspective shot. You can tell he was trained by Joe Kubert to have the audacity to attempt this. I loved Hawkworld but my love was for Shayera. She always felt like the cornerstone of Ostrander’s stories and Katar was there as a supporting character.

    Huntress – I have a bone to pick with anyone who criticises 1980s Joe Staton. I am an unusual case as Millennium was my introduction to DC comics so I think everyone should look like the Staton version. I love everything that Joe did on the main image. It’s a dynamic pose that reveals the character as she was, kick first ask questions later. Personally I think the colouring had failed this. There is a streetlight on yet the background is daylight. I would’ve loved to have seen this coloured by Robbie Busch who did the majority of the Huntress series and really added to the mood of the series. I know you were shocked by the level of cartoony distortion in the insets and I can see where you’re coming from. The first panel is based on Helena’s childhood memory of an attack on her by her father’s enemies and is presented in the series as distorted because of how it has scarred her.

    Kanjar Ro – my predictive text just tried to change that to January Jones, now that’s brave casting. I have nothing else to say.

    Mr Bones – Jay Geldhof is another genius. Fresnel really produced some of the best Who’s Who artists. JKS3, Matt Wagner and Geldhof were consistently great. I wish they could’ve got Bernie Mireault and the Pander Bros. I always find it weird that Mr Bones is credited to Todd McFarlane. There’s a sketch of Mr Bones in the issue before he first appeared by Mike Machlan with a text box saying he was created with the other Infinity characters. Of course as other commenters have pointed out his look is highly derivative of Golden Age characters so maybe none of them deserve a creator credit.

    Mr Nebula & Scarlet Skier – I will buy any comic drawn by Tom Artis, even the impenetrable Tailgunner Jo. Your discussion of whether or not Tom Artis ever drew JLI forgot that he drew the first appearance of these two. I thought they did a great job of parodying Galactus and getting it to fit into their JLI world.

    Northwind – you’ve all said it already. Even Roy knew he was a loser and wrote him out.

    Power Girl – very surprised her hair isn’t aflame after that explosion. Bart always drew her like she had at least two cans of hairspray in there. I loved this costume but it was my era and I do agree that no-one else could draw it as well as Bart. I never read the pre-crisis Power Girl until much later so I never thought of her as changed and just accepted the Atlantian nonsense. I’m impressed (ish) by Siskoid’s breast research.

    Royal Flush Gang – very dynamic. Using the giant playing card as a platform was a great idea. I’d recommend reading the Titans story by the Kesels and this art team. It’s just before Titans Hunt so Jericho is still dull for anyone who doesn’t like the Titans being interesting.

    Sarge Steel – he’s cool.

    Snapper Carr – talking of cool guys here comes Ty Templeton. Best entry in the issue. Who would’ve thought Snapper Carr could have been such a star. It makes you wonder how great a Waid/Templeton post Blasters Snapper in space series would be. Maybe it could’ve single handedly snapped comics out of the 90s crash.

    Vi – proof that the only person who can do Giffen is Giffen. I wonder if this issue fell into the period when Giffen left the 5YL Legion during the Khund war as he was the ideal Vi artist. I wonder how you got Al Gordon confused with Al Vey? I suppose we should be grateful that you didn’t go for Al Milgrom. Crisis on Infinite Als.

    Wildcat – my continuous problem with Yolanda is that I think Ted Grant is one of the greatest characters that DC has. Yolanda can only seem secondary to me. It’s probably like those people who think Barry Allen is interesting who couldn’t give Wally a chance.

    Fortress of Solitude – Jurgens sneaks in loads of little Easter eggs which is great fun and that run of stories coming after Superman returned from Exile are my Superman.

    Anyway I’m planning to use my week off work next week to get caught up on the JLI podcast so I can start joining in the discussion on those. So I’m sure you’ll hear from me soon.

      1. How did Grendel become Fresnel? Is that even a word? Does anyone know how to turn off predictive text on an Amazon Fire tablet?

          1. I’ll add a second recommendation for the Titans vs Royal Flush Gang story from (I think) New Titans 68-69.
            Its a nice little two part story, even with the inclusion of Danny Chase who infiltrates the expanded Gang when Ten brought her own team into the mix, appropriately enough called Ten’s Little Indians. But it was also when King revealed that he’d become an immortal (a result of the meta-gene bomb from Invasion) and Jack got given a laser eye. It’s also got a nice little fake out with an old JSA villain pretending to be The Joker.
            Not nearly as edge of your seat exiting that Titans was about to become, but a solid little two parter nonetheless.

  24. On Gangbuster: His last major role was in the Busiek-Bagley TRINITY weekly, and at one point he lost a million dollar winning lottery ticket, which was picked up by Bibbo, which allowed him to buy the Ace o’Clubs.

    Huntress: As a huge Earth-2 fan, I didn’t really like the Mafia version at first. Combined with Joe Staton’s Craftint pages, I dropped the book after 3 issues. I’ve since grown to appreciate her, but the original is still my favorite.

    Mr. Bones: His shtick was his rhyming, and he was later revealed to be African-American. Was his rhyming actually rapping, and id Roy Thomas accidentally create a Vibe-level stereotype? Also Helix teammate Penny Dreadful appeared as his D.E.O. secretary in Chase.

    Snapper’s on Young Justice season 3. He even references JLA 77, where he leads the Joker to the Secret Sanctuary.

    Wildcat: La Garra “The Claw” was the early version of Yolanda that was in the early promos for Infinity Inc.

    1. I’m pretty sure Mr. Bones was always African American, and not retconned to that. I thought the same thing when they revealed that in Manhunter, but I then I did a read of Infinity Inc. not too long and realized “Huh. That wasn’t a retcon. He has always been Black.” Looking back at it, I wonder if it was a way of exemplifying preconceived prejudices: how many people thought he would be white just because all that is seen is his skeleton?

  25. It’s amazing! I have had these Who’s Who pages and binders since they came out in 1990-91. In all that time…. I NEVER noticed that the background colors for the cover and the actual Hawkman page were different from each other! (and no, I’m not colorblind) I actually didn’t pay much attention to the post Hawkworld version of Hawkman until after Zero Hour. (Until this past summer, when Comixology released pretty much everything Hawkman from the Silver age to the 1990s)

  26. So, so late to commenting… sorry!

    1) Many congratulations on getting Who’s Who onto Comixology. Jeez… what with Aquaman slaying all before him at the cinema, Who’s Who back in electronic circulation and Superman The Movie gaining an anniversary screening, it seems there’s almost nothing the Fire & Water podcast can’t achieve when it puts its mind to it. (Unrelated question… When is your next Presidential election coming up? Totally unrelated question… honest!)

    2) Acknowledging Rob’s antipathy towards the coloured category borders for the pages of the looseleaf edition, perhaps you should designate a standard border colour for “I don’t give a crap”, just for him?

    3) So… Rob just picked a Legionnaire, Snapper Carr and Copperhead as his 3 favourite entries in this issue. My question is: at exactly what point was he replaced by an evil robot double?

    4) Power Girl. I quite like the yellow and white costume. One thought about the picture on the back of Captain Atom’s page; I have a clear recollection that after PG was de-powered in the pages of JLE, she couldn’t fly for a while. So perhaps she *is* hitching a ride on Captain Atom’s shoulders? Does anyone else recall this, or is the aging memory playing tricks on me?

  27. Top shelf banter, gentlemen. I’m with Shagg on liking Ostrander’s Hawkworld series (the story, not the art), but I’m also with Rob’s take on “realism in a story about a space cops who come in and attack shadow creatures”. Hilarious! But remember that when going over height/weight discrepancies! Where does one draw the line?

    1. Wait a second… Weight = Mass x Gravity, right?

      If Nth metal negates gravity, then it must reduce a characters’ weight.

      I think we may have solved the longstanding Who’s Who “There’s no way a 7feet 2inch high character can weigh 78pounds…” conundrum. Answer: Nth metal underpants!


      (You can just pop the Nobel Prize in the mail, thanks! )

  28. Sorry Shag. Up north is where wilted lettuce made it’s most probable entrance into the States not in the South. It’s believed that it evolved from dishes the Germans who came over to Settle in the States made. The majority of German immigrants that came over (f.x. in the 1880s immigrants that were born in the German Empire made up about 2.5% of the population of the U.S.) settled in the Mid-West. Also on top of this the Mid-West was on of the largest pig raising areas and by the mid-1800s as many as 70,000 pigs per day were transported from Ohio  (Cincinnati [home of the template of the Justice League headquarters] didn’t get the nickname Porkopolis for nothing) to the East coast. This is why you get people like James Beard (TV shows and cookbooks), or Jean Hewitt (specifically her New England Heritage Cookbook not her Southern Heritage Cookbook) believing it probably originated in the upper Mid Atlantic to New England area. Though you do have a few people such as Jan Carlton going with the dish possibly coming from the South then going to the Mid-West I however believe them to be mistaken considering…

  29. So after sharing this with Shagg, he recommended I post it on here to let all my fellow Who’s Who listeners check it out. This link takes you to a Justice League Roster of (I believe) every known permeation of the League I have been working on for about a year.


    Be warned: this is NOT a small file. It is huge and may not be accessible on phones or other mobile devices (If this were to be printed, it would be over 34 feet long). For that, I am sorry. But I have yet to find a way to shrink it to a small file size and still retain all of the fidelity of information on the graphic. I am working on uploading a PDF version, and when that is available I will let everyone know.

    I’m excited to share this with my fellow comic nerds. I hope you all enjoy exploring it and finding your favorite version of the League tucked away on it somewhere.

    1. Jeff, I couldn’t get it to open fully on my iPad, but what I saw is amazing! I can’t wait until I can see it properly, I mean, blimey, you even got the gender-swapped heroes from Superman in there. Fantastic work!

      But does Shagg mind that Firestorm is sideways? Hey, he’s flying in at an angle. Again, well done, sir.

      1. Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you like it.

        I really should thank all the original artists from throughout the history of DC Comics. I debated using head icons for all of the characters but a) it would have taken way longer, and b) I felt it was better to highlight the true artists.

  30. Who’s late? Me!

    Thanks for another great show. As ever, Rob proves that sighs matter.

    Shagg, you mentioned that you’ll be doing fewer gallery posts so as not to stop people buying the digital issues – but that’s the original Who’s Who, not this one. So scan away!

    How ironic that the so-called hottest female legionnaire began by impersonating her brother – that she got away with it implies she and Garth were androgynous in appearance… maybe that helped Imra fall for her, she was so cutely boyish (ducks). Anyway, I like her better as Light Lass, it’s a unique power for the Legion.

    Bolt has been in Sideways recently, and is better than ever, so keep reading those JLA 100-page giants, Shag.

    The Conglomerate – I really liked these guys, they had potential. Wonder whatever happened to the likes of Echo and Praxis. Regarding Jeff’s comments, above, Gypsy is a great name, it suits her original hero look and power set. ‘Gypsy’ is offensive to some Romani folk, yes, but others use it as a mark of identity. Context is important, and I’ve heard more people getting offended on behalf of Romani folk than actual Romanis complaining. And of course, ‘gypsy’ also means someone with a peripatetic lifestyle, or a Broadway dancer… I’m glad the WB Flash show hasn’t dumped the term, as it’s only in the last few years that some people have decided it’s offensive; it’s never been used as a pejorative in JLA books, so I don’t see why it should be changed. If she was called ‘pikey’ I’d be the first to agree (I’ve Irish tinkers on my mother’s side, you should see the photo of my great-grandad, he looks like he’s stepped off a packet of Lucky Charms).

    Dolphin – how wonderfully appropriate that Who’s Who has forgotten the Forgotten Heroes.

    Dove – I see the Titans TV series mentions Dawn’s sister Holly, that’s a deep cut. And I loved that Hank and Don went to Kesel University! Mind, Geoff Johns wrote that one. The Order and Chaos costumes in the comics were horrendous, Hawk looked like a hedgehog.

    Floro? Sounds like a margarine. Wasn’t Richard Nixon the model for Jason Woodrue!

    Jose Delgado was great but as Gangbuster? Man with bin lid. Boring.

    The Guardian was Jim Harper, not Roy, who was his nephew.

    Good point about the Amazing Grace and Glorious Godfrey logos – perhaps they should have presented them like the old Hollywood opening credits when there were two stars of equal status/pathetic bigheads – the first name on the left, but lower: the second name on the right, but higher.

    Hawkman. Ugh. Take away the most famous visual signifier of a classic hero and replace it with longbox lids. I don’t care what ‘a cop would have’, these are comics, go for the Fabulous!

    I’m also a massive Staton fan, but Huntress looks like a cartoon pig here. I don’t remember her getting a reboot in between her series and the Batman books. What changed? To be honest, I could never get over losing Helena Wayne, she was a brilliant character and the tweaked version just reminded me of a legacy lost. Mind, she’s a million times better than the current Huntress, who’s been story-mangled so much in just a few years as to make her almost unusable…. and that costume, with the tight overcoat. Awful.

    Kanjar Ro looks like someone’s Grandma, get some trousers on!

    I hate that Power Girl costume, that colour combo is weak, and the design still emphasises her boobs. Even the Atlantean one was better, that had an Alan Davis vibe.

    The original versions of the Royal Flush Gang had the best villain team costumes in comics. DC keeps redesigning them, to ever-worse effect.

    Wildcat II was far ahead of her time, being not just a female stepping into a hero identity established by a man, but a Latino replacing an old white guy… ‘diverse’ before anyone used the word that way.

    Who’s next?

  31. Congorilla actually did get an entry in one of the updates after the main 16 issue series.
    In the “whatever happened to category, my question would be Whatever happened to Jack Small and Petey the Demon that turns into a Dog? (from the Giffen DeMatteis run of dr. Fate)

  32. After three years listening, I’m FINALLY up to date, mainly because every time I’m listening to an episode in the car the kids make me rewind the theme song so that they can sing along to it. Again and again and again. I’ve had that earworm in my head for three years now. I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I’m making here.

    Whilst I’m stoked that there’s seemingly the opening moves to producing a reprinting collection taking place, I can’t be the only one who would love something a little more…complete.

    Ever since I picked up my first Who’s Who issue in the early 90s (the original series #2, if memory serves) I’ve wanted to see a collection that has the Who’s Who page followed by some reprints of two or three of the best stories about that character to give us a flavour of that characters printed stories. I know I’d happily take out a new mortgage to pay for 20 odd hard cover 1000 page collections of this sort. Although my wife might have an alternate opinion on this financial investment.

  33. Another memory resurfaces, as they tend to do on listening, that Mr Nebula and Scarlet Skier also appeared in an issue of the Will Payton Starman series. In it Starman meets up with Mon-El (or Valor as he was known then) in a hilarious issue written by Peter David.
    Any issue that can use the phrase “Your mother lusts for my throbbing studliness.” as a cause for two superheroes to fight has got to be worth a recommendation.

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