It's the ninth nifty issue of WHO'S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE featuring Black Canary, Blue Devil, Chuck Taine, Doctor Fate, Firehawk, Gim Allon, Hugo Strange, Kalibak, The Legion of Super-Heroes, Deathstroke the Terminator, Universo, Vicki Vale, Vixen, and more! Plus YOUR Listener Feedback!
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35 responses to “Who’s Who in the DC Universe #9”
I’m disappointed. I looked at the gallery before you got to the image and was really looking towards you tearing apart the Vicki Vale piece. I don’t like it all and that is definitely a upskirt shot.
Kalibak by Mike Parobeck. Wow, I had forgotten this happened. And looking at it, it’s also sad to realize that the most New Gods we ever got out of him were wood carvings in a (wonderful) Who’s Who splash page.
Regarding Kalibak, I always found it curious that he was the product of a loving union and yet he was despised by his father; while his brother Orion was the product of a union forced upon both mother & father and not one of love whatsoever… and their father saw him as his heir and his legacy. And while father fought one son regularly, he at best tolerated and ritually disrespected (and even killed, for a time) his other son whenever the chance presented itself. Sad that Heggra’s hateful act of killing the only love of his son’s life (something established in the Evanier comics, BTW, not a part of Kirby’s mythology) truly twisted or did away with whatever effect love had on the lord of Apokolips.
Regarding the 5YL LSH….. oh, I fear I risk having my Kalibak comments not read on the next podcast by doing this – gulp, have mercy for me here….. I feel like this era of the Legion was possibly a way to address the Silver Ageyness of the LSH at the time it was developed. So much of what stood out about about them before the 5YL jump was hidden behind big blue & white jackets and dense 9+ panel pages and real names instead of codenames. In a way it reminds me of the leather jacket era of the Avengers, but at least there they still had their old costumes on under the jackets (although those stories….oof); Giffen’s 5YL Legion was like trying to hide them in plain sight possibly for the sake of having them look & feel like cool new heroes of the early ’90s. While it’s far from my favorite Legion era, I have always appreciated that the stories (while dense & not totally friendly to lightly casual Legion readers such as me) were still quite good, and also that folks like Shag & the Legion of Super Bloggers possess the kind of knowledge and passion about them and can articulate how/why they still work as good & worthwhile LSH stories.
Addendum: this was what I reckon a measured response was? I hope that came thru. Didn’t dig the 5YL era, but I kinda figured they were trying to really make these kids stand out from the usual LSH stuff. And I’ve always wondered if there was some editorial desire to change them up a bit and that Giffen used this era to do just that. If I’m wrong, apologies, just babbling on the internet about things I’m not totally fully informed about. ;p
And regarding Vixen! I always get annoyed when people spell his name “Kevin McGuire.” And yet his signature for years has been “McG” and I apparently just connected the 2. O_o
I think the mis-spelling is down to Josef Rubinstein (the inker) as Kevin Maguire tends not to sign his work. There is often confusion when the inker signs on behalf of the penciller. I remember one JLI cover by Giffen and Templeton which was signed “Kieth and Ty” that I was convinced was pencilled by Sam Kieth just because of the mis-spelling.
Great episode! Of course, as a 5YL fanatic, it should come as no surprise that I love this issue. And so many comments, but I’ll try to keep it to a few key ones.
Dirk Morgna – Poor Sun Boy. He really becomes the face of complicity in 5YL, knowingly working for the Dominion in an effort to keep some order but also because they keep his hedonistic ways satisfied. The ending of his tale is really one of the saddest in the book. When he tries to finally become a true hero again, he is bombarded with radiation which doesn’t kill him but instead makes him live in excruciating pain in a battered body. Ultimately his partner Circe euthanizes him. So it is odd that with his semi-villainous take in this book that he gets such Fabio picture.
Firehawk – Yes this is little more than a pin-up, but what a pin-up! I’m surprised this got a little bit of a pass from you both. I love the character of Firehawk and she even took over my site on April 1st a couple of years ago.
Glorith – She certainly has a wonky origin story given that she remakes the universe with her taking the place of the Time Trapper to make sure Mordru doesn’t take over everything. Of course, she was in Mordru’s harem when she did that very thing. She becomes a big deal in the Legion book of course, given that she is plugged into the Trapper slot. But trying to explain how the Bierbaum’s rewrote the universe twice in the span of 3 issues early on in the 5YL run is difficult.
Hugo Strange – The Englehart/Rogers stuff is brilliant and the ‘ghost’ scene Rob describes is in the Laughing Fish story. I think the Moench/Gulacy storyline in LOTDK had just been released and was lauded at the time for ‘re-introducing’ Strange. He is definitely a weird dude in that story so the mannequin stuff is on the money. I always want more stories from him because I think psychologically breaking down the Batman is always a better story than trying to beat the snot out of him.
Mysa – Okay, this is my favorite and least favorite entry of the book. Bear with me. First off, it is gorgeous. Mysa looks great and sexy, rather cheeky, as she lounges in her mystic sanctum. Having Esteban Maroto draw her was inspired. There is a link between Mysa and Amethyst and Maroto had drawn the Amethyst mini-series years before. So all that is great.
Buuuutttt … in the 5YL book, Mysa had just been pulled out of this horribly abusive relationship with Mordru. She had married him to try and keep his evil intentions quelled but he threw her in his harem. She was verbally, physically, and (hinted at) sexually abused by him. She is a broken person when the Legion rescue her and it takes her a long time to center herself and heal. So having her in this ‘come hither’ pose knowing that about her felt a little icky at the time.
Rhea – I love what Morrison did to her character. I love that arc where she is part of this intergalactic war, a war ended in a very cool way. But the ending of her story reads almost verbatim of the ending of Miracleman’s super-smart super-powered baby girl in Alan Moore’s run. Moore always says Morrison cribbed from him; this time I think he was right.
Roxxas – thanks for bringing up that moment in Legion #12 Shag, the best moment in the fantastic 5YL run in my opinion. This guy is crazy. And in 5YL we hear all the weird voices in his head talking to him as he joyfully goes on this murderous rampage. Alas, poor Blok, we hardly knew ye!
Again, spectacular episode! Long Live the Legion!
Time for my short review of the episode.
It wasn’t that unusual for someone to ask for Richard Piers Rayner to draw Firestorm as he drew the elemental version in Swamp Thing annual 5 which was written by Neil Gaiman and featured approximately one fifth of Brother Power’s appearances. Tom Mandrake’s Firestorm next issue is one of the top entries in the entire series so I’m glad no-one listened.
I’m amazed that this is one of your f favourite entries. I always felt it was missing something. It really looks like Dick Giordano inked it in his lunchbreak. It is great though to see the return of the surprint.
Linda Medley was always a star and she does a great job on the front image. I know what Shag means about there being something holding it back. It might be the colouring which (apart from the background) is oddly flat. I remember at the time every JLI letter column would feature a plea for Blue Devil to join and I thought his entry being drawn by one of the JLI artists was a sign he was joining.
I’m not really getting extreme muscles from this image. McDonnell always drew him bulky and Isherwood can’t resist inking Conan-esque musculature. It really is nice to see two different Suicide Squad artists come together.
Ty the guy does it again. Beautiful images throughout. Obviously I love the sound effect on the front but the “Ba-boom! Ba-bing! Ba-bong!” in the panels is the winner. Chuck looks super-cute in the relaxed panel. A bit like a chubbier version of my husband.
I feel conned by the cut and paste face shot on this entry and many of the others. I’d never noticed it before you mentioned it. I always interpreted the semi-medieval look of 5YL Legion as a reaction to the events of the 5 year gap. The United Planets were disunited and there was a real look back to the glory days of history. It was very “Make Daxam Great Again” . I’m probably reading too much into it and it was just that Giffen was really into renfairs.
More like Dick Morgna, amirite!
He really was the villain of a lot of 5YL and I think Shag is giving him credit for a story that is a year away as this issue was printed which turned his douche-ness on its head. He remains one of my least favourite Legionnaires and yet he gets the best artists for his entries – Colleen Doran, JLGL(pbhn) and Dan Jurgens. It’s not fair.
I loved the Messner-Loebs run and I thought Giarrano did a great job of redesigning Fate minimally but effectively. I must agree the pose is not very Inza. It’s a little too sexy. The images on the reverse were much more indicative of the run.
Amazing that anyone could make that design look dull. It’s very Ohotmu.
I thought this was a little pedestrian as an entry but I enjoyed the discussion about his Judaism and Rob is right. The post darkness Legion issues are amongst the best (until Omen shows up).
The image of her lying in the snow is from the famous hourglass issue where Mordru has taken over the Universe and changed history to make it so the Legion never existed. Glorith had to do a spell to recreate the Legion and make herself the supreme power in the Universe. It’s implied that this requires a her to bleed herself. It’s intensely creepy and macabre and suddenly it’s goodbye Superboy, hello Valor. Semeiks was probably chosen as he was drawing a Magic series but he really doesn’t suit this character. He’s not good at overt sexuality. This should be by Adam Hughes or Esteban Maroto.
The mannequins come straight from Prey from Legends of the Dark Knight by Moench, Gulacy and Austin. He really is a creepy mf in that story.
Literally one of the best. You were both right. I feel robbed that I never got Parobeck on a 4th World ongoing.
I’m sure this entry is by Stroman and Hanna because they were due to do the Darkstars ongoing (I think they managed 3 issues before Stroman went to Image). I love this entry because it looks very Statony and I love me some Joe.
You mentioned that the current 5YL issue was 18. This means that this coincides with the Khund war storyline when Keith Giffen had left the book because he was pissed off with all the editorial interference. It might explain why a comparatively high proportion of the Legion entries are not by Giffen. I’m really glad Keith managed to get all three Legion hqs into the entry.
I’m pretty sure statues of Luorno were featured in Valhalla as a memorial to her sacrifice. I’m also pretty sure that the other Luorno ‘s were only given different personalities after the Zero Hour reboot. This reached its peak in the Waid and Kitson run where there was a whole planet of her and 3 were chosen to go and join the Legion.
As mentioned above sexy is completely the wrong look for 5YL Mysa circa issue 18. This entry guys her personality by issue 50. I’m presuming it’s a case of editorial planning for her to become more confident and carefree and getting ahead of themselves. I do love the way Giffen incorporated Amethyst into Legion.
I can’t imagine how someone who hadn’t read Doom Patrol would react to this.in the middle of this issue this comes off as insane.
I have real problems with 5YL Roxxas that I didn’t have at the time of the issue. As a camp, gay man I have come to see the femme coding of villains as a real problem in comics. Making a male character feminine is a short cut to making him sinister and threatening in pop culture which is one of the ways that our culture is inherently homophobic. I agree that the story where Jan refuses to murder Roxxas in revenge is a great character beat for him, but I wish it could’ve been done without having to present a psychopathic murderer as a man in lipstick. Michael T Gilbert’s art is fantastic but this whole entry retrospectively creeps me out.
Kwapisz did a really good job of framing the page so that his silhouette was 100% readable.
Probably my favourite 5YL character. You needed the occasional funny issue in amongst the darkness. Some great little details in the art. I can’t remember what the acronym “poop” stands for but I know it was his political party. The look on Polar Boy’s face where he’s had a false head glued on as part of a insanity defence is delightful. Long live the Legion.
Interesting that he’s credited as Terminator not Deathstroke. I put him under F when I alphabetised my Who’s Who. I can’t believe I’d never noticed Terra in the kinda surprint. Really surprised that more American divorces aren’t begun with a headshot. Look on the bright side, if it wasn’t for Deathstroke getting Joey’s throat cut we’d have been able to hear his poetry.
If you’ve never read a story where Universo is the villain may I suggest the Universo Project from the Baxter series and the Legion and Titans Universe Ablaze book by Dan Jurgens and Phil Jimenez which everyone should own because it’s beautiful.
This is my favourite entry and not just because I’m a Prince fan. I know it’s an uplift shot but it doesn’t feel exploitative because of the style of art. Hempel is a genius at framing things dynamically. Breathtaker was my first introduction to his work and he brings such energy to pages of discussion. This may be the best colouring job in the loose leaf Who’s Who. Most of it is either Tony Tollin colouring it like a silver age book or Tom McCraw using every colour the computer has because it’s new whereas Hempel colours for mood and storytelling. I think the reverse is the only time I’ve seen an artist make a date with Bruce Wayne look appealing . With my favourites being Hempel, Matt Wagner and John K Snyder I really am pushing for a Comico reunion. If only they’d got the Pander Bros.
I love Vixen but this is a little dull particularly for Kevin Maguire who is usually amazing. Part of the problem is the surprint of the bird. Apparently Kim Yale came up with the idea of featuring the animal Vixen was emulating as a surprint but I think it worked better in stories. I remember a sequence by John K Snyder where she was changing animals in each panel that worked particularly well. Imagine this image head on with Vixen swooping like an eagle rather than hovering.
Anyway onwards and upwards. You get Firestorm for Shag next month and the Shark for Rob. And Dorothy Spinner, Joe Potato and Garryn Bek for the guys who are only interested in the really top flight characters.
I was trying to say I file terminator under D, for Deathstroke.
Thank Rao, a Who’s Who to help me through a rough Monday.
Still listening, but a few comments on my lunch break:
-Black Canary: Yes, this is THE image of Black Canary I think of. Perfection. It doesn’t hurt that Dick G drew the Black Canary team-up in B&B #166, that resonated with me for reasons I couldn’t understand at a mere 5 years old.
– Blue Devil: I would say it may be the “squished head” thing Medley has got going on that may be throwing you Shag, but since you like Giffen’s stuff during this period, maybe not? More on that later.
– Bouncing Boy: Leave it to Templeton to make tasty lemonade out of those sour, dour 5YL lemons.
– Sun Boy: I like Colleen Doran’s art, but I feel there’s always something overly effeminate about it. It kind of works for a pretty boy fashion model like Dirk here, even though he does become a right scumbag in this series.
– Dr. Fate: I really like this piece (despite the weird boobs Shag pointed out). Which amazes me, because I really dislike Giarrno’s later DC work on books like the post-Zero Hour Manhutner. Blech.
– The Hugo Strange entry is straight out of that LOTDK arc, “Prey” which is one of the best of that run. And yes, there is some kinky stuff hinted at with Strange and his mannequin. And that Bat-mask IS very S&M.
– Kalibak: I LOVE this entry too! Parobeck was taken from us before he could be fully appreciated, but I certainly was a fan from the get-go. It’s weird how this looks more like the Super Powers design which DC can’t seem to decide if they want to acknowledge or not.
– White Witch: I wish this entry had told us how she went from albino to caucasian and lost her antennae. But the art is just gorgeous.
– The Legion of Super Heroes: I feel like this looks like a bunch of characters who are made of Silly Putty and were put in a NASA centrifuge. Everyone’s head is so WIDE, and squished! I really dislike this period of Giffen’s art, almost as much as his period apeing that European artist in the late 80s. And great points on the whole “SUPER HEROES” angle, Rob!
That’s it so far. I know Shag loves this era, but I’m sorry, I think this ended up setting the Legion off course, and they have never recovered. Yes, Crisis took out a knee, but this reboot hobbled the whole series. But it’s certainly a snapshot of a very narrow time in DC’s publishing history!
Famously Dick Giordano suggested that Moore and Gibbons create new characters because their series would ruin the Charlton characters and, though I love 5yl, it could only be followed by a reboot. Nothing else would work.
Shagg and My Brother,
First off, I can’t ever replace Rob in Mr and Mrs. K’s eyes! They love their son! That said, I know I’m a favorite. Who wouldn’t love this punim [mine]?
Now for the show:
Glad the roughest issue for Rob is over and done with. I have a mixed reaction to the 5YL Legion. On one hand, it was the only version of the Legion that interested me until the Abnett/Lanning/Copiel era. On the other, Rob is very correct – are these “super-heroes”? I get what Giffen was trying here, and I like, but I do wonder if it goes against the entire premise of the LSH. It’s a slightly tamer version of what Rick Vietch does with his Maximortal and Brat Pack. At their heart, these are characters and stories created for kids and tweens, and I often wonder if “maturing” them cuts out the core of these characters and ideas. It’s like the Titans series on the DCU app – is this really the kind of “hero” you want to watch? I know what vigilantes would be like in real life – total douches on a power trip – so is that what these comics and shows should go for tonally? Rant over.
Really surprised you guys dug that VIcki Vale illustration. I’ve seen some great work out of Hempel – this ain’t it, fellas.
I don’t know what it is, but Giordano’s Black Canary was, well, dullsville to me. I think his line work looked amazing on that Modesty Blaise one-shot he drew, but his style really dates a character. Hard pass.
it was nice to hear Rob enjoyed some LSH stories. He’s the harder guy to please. Except for movies because he likes Hot Fuzz, which is total crap.
Rob deserves all of the medals for enduring this snoozer of an issue with aplumb.
I will temper my comments on 5YL because I have not read it, but as someone who devoured every LSH issue that was printed from 1958 to 1989 and from 2005 to 2013 in about 18 months, my apathy towards this period in Legion lore is telling, I think. Maybe someday I’ll work up the motivation to make it through the run, but nothing in the entries pushed me in that direction. I think Rob’s point is valid. 5YL seems to be all about, let’s take one of the wildest, comic-bookiest properties in DC and drain every bit of the color and silver-age fun it ever had. Again, I can’t speak from experience, but nothing in that sentence sounds like an enjoyable reading experience to me.
Okay, on to more positive comments:
1. There just isn’t a poorly drawn woman in this issue, is there? Although, in fairness, Shag, there is no “kind of” in whether or not the Vicki Vale entry is an upskirt angled shot.
2. Blue Devil- Am I the only one who prefers this version of Daniel Cassidy? The deal with Neron and becoming a real devil instead of a guy trapped in a suit is a jump the shark moment that the character has never recovered from in my opinion.
3. Firehawk- I’m going to surprise people and agree with Shag. I would absolutely love to see Lorraine on a JLA team without Firestorm. Of course, for that to happen, DC would have to figure out that the Justice League can be more than just the so-called called “Magnificent Seven,” or even those seven with a few substitutions (Mera instead of Aquaman or a random GL instead of Hal). Every great incarnation of the team featured a more diverse cast of A, B, and C list heroes, but I digress.
4. Deathstroke- Finally a Jericho reference. Now things are picking up! Shag, you mentioned Slade and Adeline having a third child, Rose. First, I’m sure she hadn’t made it into continuity yet, but more importantly, Rose isn’t Adeline’s kid. She is the illigitimate daughter of Slade and a woman he rescued after his divorce from Adeline. Of course, that still makes her Jericho’s half-sister and is, therefore, at least distantly related to the top echelon of cool characters.
Well, that is all the enthusiasm I can muster for this issue. Hopefully, the next installment will appear sooner rather than later as a quick perusal of that issue shows it to be far superior to this month’s offering (there are at least four entries I am genuinely excited about!).
Black Canary – One of the best characters in the DCU. More than anything else, I credit her run in Birds of Prey for becoming a top tier character.
Chuck Taine & Luornu – In the Retroboot (which is the most recent version of the Legion since we are in the midst of the Great Legion Drought), these two are still together. Luornu has somehow gained Multiple Man powers (while the two were on their second honeymoon) and is rechristened as Duplicate Damsel.
Dev-Em – Ugg. This character has NEVER done anything for me. This art does nothing to change that opinion. BTW, his “Krypton” appearances has about as much in common with the character as Halle Berry had with Catwoman.
Dirk Morgna – I’d argue that at this stage in the game, he wasn’t a hero. Charitably he could be considered a supporting cast of the Legion, but really he was a hapless villain.
Dr. Fate – I have always wondered what the hell is going on with the duel buildings background.
Firehawk – I guess the only reason she hasn’t appeared in the Arrowverse yet is because they have trouble with wings. She seems like a character that would work well there in some form.
Kalibak – you forgot to mention the amazing mug shot on the back. I love how he is almost too big for the frame. As I’ve said before, we are lesser for not having any more of his art.
Kilowog – I never liked this piece. Sorry, but it just doesn’t grab me.
Legion – While I love 5YL, I’m not in love with this image. I don’t want to speak more about the Great Legion Drought, but it is a shame that we have been without a Legion book for over 5 years now.
Luornu – During the Silver Age, she was three carbon copies. But then again, most of the Legionnaires were carbon copies with different swiggles coming out of their hands. By the 70’s and 80’s she was beginning to show some differences between her two (remaining) selves. It was 5YL that really firmed the idea that each body was a distinctive personality that would combine to form a “whole.” Purple Luornu was the aggressive, flirtatious one; Orange Luornu was the timid, shy one; White/Middle Luornu was the girl next door one.
Roxxas – It always bothered me that the Acme Poison Gas Dispenser wasn’t written in Interlac.
Tenzil Kem – Hands down my favorite Legionnaire. Hands down my least favorite drawing of him. I think the issue is that while Giffen is a great sequential story teller, he isn’t great at the splash page.
[Deathstroke the] Terminator – No mention that they flipped his portrait image? That is almost worse than reusing the art from the front.
Vixen – The worst costume for this character ever. Also, every member of Justice League Detroit is or has been part of the Arrowverse. So while they have never had a formal team-up, All the members are present in other media.
Some more thoughts:
– Rhea Jones: My art history professor would be very angry that I never noticed the Venus connection, Rob. Good call. I will admit 15 year old me was bummed that nekkid redhead had no face and an eyeball on her chest.
– Roxxas: I always liked this piece, but I will admit I have a hard time seeing the earlier version of Roxxas (which Gilbert illustrates in the vignettes) in the face of the modern version. The disconnect makes his disfigurement not as horrifying…because it doesn’t look like the same person.
– Deathstroke, The Terminator: I think you hit the nail on the head with the Taskmaster connection, Rob. This piece really seems like a classic Who’s Who piece, or maybe more like the annual Who’s Who entries, where they kind of fudged the surprint with just large montages in mono colors.
-Vicki Vale: Okay, I’ll admit, I HATED this piece back in 1990. Vicki Vale was far too important for this experimental, indie guy! Where was Breyfogle? Aparo? Why was this weird art style and strange perspective used! Vicki was important! She was practically Batman’s Lois Lane! She was in the movie! She would be his love interest in all the sequels, and….yeah, I was wrong. This is pretty sweet.
-Vixen: Yeah, this is a pretty blah costume. Nice art of course, but it’s a bit too subdued, much like the 5YL Legionnaires are, in a “extras from Shakespeare in the Park” sort of way. I like her JLU look, which is similar to her JLD outfit, with a MUCH better hairstyle!
-Fireman Ferrel: Of course this is awesome, because it’s Xum. Why didn’t DC do more with this guy as a supporting player? He could have helped Batman against both Firebug AND Firefly!
Great show guys!
Now, is that LSH group image (i.e. cover) one of the many homages to Maguire’s Justice League (1987) # 1, or is the similarity not enough to qualify?
Well done on another tremendous episode episode, I was informed, educated and entertained.
Meanwhile, Dick Giordano’s Black Canary is definitive, definitely among the best illoes in the book. No one draws blondes better, even Jonny Thunder is compelling with his pencils and inks.
I wondered if Giffen and the Bierbaums were trying to equate Roxxas with the Joker, visually, in the comics there was a lot of emphasis on his creepy lips. It’s interesting that Roxxas sitting on skulls creeps Shagg out but not Mysa doing the same thing.
The Morato White Witch entry is gorgeous but it isn’t Mysa – her sexy was always linked to innocence, this gal knows she’s sexy. And she just looks like a model from central casting rather than the then-current Witchy. Mind, she has power, meeting the male gaze straight on.
Vicki Vale is dynamic but horrible. With those legs she looks like a pair of scissors.
I like the Dirk entry. I wonder if the colouring was meant to evoke Golden Age hero Firebrand, hot Rod Reilly – right down to the diaphanous shirt
That Inza Dr Fate series is the best, read it Rob! I loved the concept of a genuine neighbourhood hero. Who needs Spidey?
I like the Firehawk costume but not the hair colour, Lorraine looks like she’s advertising shampoo. The beak nibbling her nipple looks painful.
That Kalibak picture is incredible, the most memorable image this issue.
If you’re British, Kilowog is an incredibly unfortunate name.
That Legion entry isn’t all drabnesss, there’s lots of smiling. And I’ll tell you who’s making big bucks after the economy collapse – whoever changed fashion entirely within five years. So many frills and overcoats!
And again, that’s Ayla, no I, two syllables, not three. Even when Shagg was reading out Joe’s correction comment he put an ‘I’ in there!
Oh Shagg, you have to read the Universo Project from the Baxter Legion, it’s wonderful.
That purple outfit was the most boring look ever for Vixen. And it’s like they took the haircut from Foxfire of the Institute of Evil in the Squadron Supreme (insert Squadron Supremecast plug here as desired).
1) OMG! This is the one! I don’t have a complete set of the looseleafs, but I can never remember which ones I need, and I randomly only have part of this issue. Not sure how that happened (maybe an incomplete issue came with one of the binders?) but I knew I’d never seen the Black Canary or Blue Devil entries before now. Not gonna lie, it’s a bit galling.
A) Despite the hefty $1.75 cover price and for reasons now lost to me, I pre-ordered the entire Black Canary: New Wings mini-series from the Diamond Previews at my first regular comic shop pull box in Colorado (I did previously have a flea market box for a very short time ahead of moving.) Dick Giordano is definitely a definitive BC artist, though I’m less enamored with this entry than you guys, and would have favored one of the m.s. covers for her Super Powers action figure packaging. As a newly reacquainted DC reader, I thought the m.s. was way too beholden to the ongoing Green Arrow series, so it felt like walking into a second reel, and the overall story did not engage me. I bought a few issues of the ongoing as well, but aside from the lovely art, both were meh. Sarah Byam has one of the stubbiest non-stub Wiki pages that I’ve ever seen.
B) Blue Devil by Linda Medley is certainly… okay? I appreciate the appearance of the entire supporting cast on the profile page, and the art reflects the tone of the series… nicely? interesting that Shag’s love of BD presages his passion for JLI. Still waiting for his phone call to cover more issues like Flamebird awaiting the ring from the Titans when a slot opens up. Did I ever release the segment of my interview with Mark Waid where he acknowledged blowing it with BD in Underworld Unleashed? I did 20-30 minutes with him and have parsed out maybe five…
C) I thought Rob was overly concerned with Bronze Tiger’s mass, but those are admittedly some thick ass thighs. Michael Jai White is not a lean man, either. Isherwood on his own is better than he is when inking McDonnell. I love this dude.
D) Not into Chuck Taine’s beard.
Dev-Em: Shag mentions that he blew up the moon in the 5YL era. What he didn’t mention was that he did so in an issue of ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. It was the final full chapter of TIME AND TIME AGAIN and was significant because, at the time, Keith Giffen was having a lot of problems with the Superman office. According to Keith, as related in an interview he did with WIZARD, things got really bad and the two offices didn’t have a lot to do with each other. Apparently Dan Jurgens was able to smooth things over, which makes sense given his history with the Legion, and the team became a motif for his chapters of TIME AND TIME AGAIN. When I finally read the 5YL Legion I was shocked that the destruction of the moon, which eventually leads to something even worse, was done in another book. If you weren’t reading the Superman titles it seemed like one issue there a moon and the next you see the debris from the destruction. Blew my mind.
Kalibak: Minor nitpick. Shag mentioned that Turpin was supposed to be Jack Kirby. That was only in the animated series. Turpin in the comics was a typical, and yet awesome, big, tough guy. To quote Reservoir Dogs, he’s like The Thing without the rocks. Him fighting Kalibak happened in an issue of New Gods and was retold in 1995 in the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN ANNUAL.
Also, I appreciate irony and during this issue Shag broke the meter. Shag…you know, a guy we exclusively call Shag…the guy that wants to me called Shag…argues that it’s cooler to call people by their real name because that’s what you would do in real life.
Cognitive dissonance or purposeful irony? Shag will reveal this in the next episode.
Finally, Rob says that first appearances are decided by comic historians and I had this vivid image of The Council of 12. A smoky, dimly lit room where figures wearing robes decide what is and is not official in terms of comic books. This would later be replaced by the Internet.
Well, I’m sorry guys, but I come here to complain a little.
I fully understand and to some degree, enjoy, Rob’s dynamic in the podcast, and I can empathize with the Legion dislike. But, I feel that the Legion entry analysis suffered for it, since Shag got to tell the biography brief, but there was not comment whatsoever on the image itself, even to say “I don’t really care about it”. There are many things that deserved a little spotlight: the JL#1 homage/conversation of the image, the character acting for all characters, the logo placement and how it plays with the image, Bounty’s gun placement and Kent’s reaction and so on.
Now I demand a 30 minute episode addenda JUST COVERING THIS ENTRY.
Impressive pod cast. Most Impressive. hmm, not a bad image of Canary. I use to like her a lot….till BOP had her fans putting her over Huntress…no…just no. But, this is a cool costume…but not as much fun as when she ware the JLI costume. But, she was great in GA when Grell wrote her. Same with her in the Detective back up comics. Sorry was never a Blue Devil fan. Though the casting of homes in the role of him on Swamp thing is inspired. Chuck works well here. Though I mostly remember him from ware Comment Queen had a crush on him.
But, he was fun when Cockrum drew him. Interesting. Cool Insa as Dr. Fate. I don’t know. I like how she looks. The Gold Corset looks cool. Yep Fire Hawk looks cool as always. Glorithis kind of a cool character. I always liked Hugo strange. Back when I read a back issue in reading class of when he dresses as Bats and fights him. But, Dick shows up and saves him. Kalibak…. sorry I mostly only like him on the Super-Man cartoon.
Mysa is the white witch? Cool. Didn’t recognize her with out the Mantis like Eye brows. Oh did I mention I still have a U tube page? Still under Liz Anne Oswalt. Ware I talk about many things. Trans issues. Politics. Comics. Star Wars. Wrestling. What ever I want to talk about. Moving on. Rhea Jones….ah I missed her. Interesting design. Death Stroke, he’s kind of cool. Ah Task Master interesting. I thought of Death Stroke more of an Evil Captain America. Vicky….yeah I liked her well enough, but in the comics I liked Alfred’s daughter better. But, she was ok. Still, the movie was her best version.
Though it is telling Spoiler that in the first Tail Tale game she was the villain. Vixen is pretty cool. Though I like her better in the JLU out fit and hair cut. Cool add on character by Xum.
Jeff has it right on Luornu’s three personalities. 5YL made it true with the SW6 Legion, which was the basis for the Reboot where Triad’s three personalities were developed further. The Reboot held that most Carggite “triplets” are identical in personality, and that Luornu’s three very different attitudes were a kind of disability. She was stigmatized for it, but it actually proved to be a strength – independence. That said, the three sisters tended to fight and sometimes the aggressive personality played against the others. Three minds means three “types” when it came to men, and one of them did show romantic interest in Chuck Taine (another in M’Onel, another in Suberboy). As for the statues, that original Triplicate Girl killed by Computo always had a memorial statue even back in the Silver Age.
Mysa: I say “MY-za”, but I if I can’t make Shagg say Sen-SAY (watch Karate Kid or something!), then there’s no hope anyway.
Good call on the DnA Legion collection. Shotgun and I are just starting Legion Lost this week on the Legion of Super-Bloggers (our reviews every Thursday).
A Glorith was eventually introduced in the original/Levitz continuity, a Legion Academy member that graduated to Legion membership in volumes 6 and 7 of the series. I say “a” Glorith, because aside from the magical powers, they look and act nothing alike.
Invasion-related nitpick about Tenzil Kem: The idea that Bismollians evolved naturally because the planet was toxic was undone in LSH v4 Annual #2, which tells the Legend of Valor as Seeder of Worlds. There, we learn Valor liberated a bunch of meta-humans from a Dominator concentration camp and relocated them to planets where their powers would help them thrive. Bismoll was one of these, and metas with matter-eating powers settled there. So the powers came before the planet (this is true of many Legion-era powered races).
Do I have anything to say that isn’t Legion-related? Not all that much. Maybe that I also like that Vicki Vale art, but that I don’t particularly care for that Kalibak which I find a little silly. He’s like some kind of fairy tale ogre with all that wood around him.
Another great episode, guys! Who’s Who is what brought me to this network and I enjoy whenever a new episode drops. I just wanted to chime in that I finally made the plunge and bought some trades from InStockTrades.com because of you guys. You both have recommended so many great titles over the years (I still need that Alex Toth book!) but having said that, 2 of the books I got were the Legion of Superheroes: The Silver Age Omnibus Vol.1 and Vol.2 so I apologize to Rob and high-five Shag. Anyways, I thought I would bring this up due to the nature of this episode. Keep up the great work!
Shag, you know I love Blue Devil bunches, and I gotta say, I understand your take but this entry brings a big smile to my face. BD and the gang look so darn happy! My only thought is that it’s definitely a Medley piece, not much sign of Cullins style or influence. BD is not in a Cullins pose. The faces of the gang is not how Cullins depicted them, and those things threw me at first. But when I realized I was thinking that, I appreciated this entry much more. My 2 cents.
That certainly is a very inexplicably German font for Firehawk.
I first saw Hugo Strange in that Prey arc of LotDK, and loved the character. During the late nineties and early oughts there was a series of Batman stories of the form “Mystery villain is messing with Batman’s life in a way that at least strongly implies they know he’s Bruce Wayne” and each time Hugo Strange would have been a better solution that the one they went with
Instead he didn’t make the suspect list. Now, he was dead at the time, but it’s not like other characters who were dead weren’t considered…
Short Titans talk: Deathstroke works on Arrow because Terra is not in that continuity. He doesn’t work as anything but a pure villain in mainstream DCU because she is. (I like Priest, but going our of your way to put that back into the Rebirth continuity? Why, and ew.)
If the DnA Legion is your thing, don’t miss their Hypernaturals series from Boom. It’s the best of the not-Legion stories that includes Stuart Moore’s EGOs, and Black Hammer’s Quantum Age.
Cain had moved over to the House of Weirdness after the House of Mystery was briefly tied to the Elvira license.
Bronze Tiger and Richard Dragon originally worked for G.O.O.D., one of those paid-by-the-period spy agencies that infested pop culture post-Bond.
The old English style civilian clothes in 5YL were a carry-over from the one issue (#5?) where Mordru ruled the universe, although Universo always dressed like that.
Did Gerry ever think about tying Lorraine Reilly to Rod Reilly, the Golden Age Firebrand?
Sorry I melted your brain there, Shag. MUA-HA-HA-HA!!
Lady Cop & Fireman Ferrell? Someone call Dick Wolf, we’ve got the next Chicago spinff!
Hypernaturals is great, I agree.
Sorry to be such a negative Neal this time around…
Black Canary – For me, the background of her boyfriend really takes away from the main image, which I love. Can’t go wrong with a Giordano pinup. The background image seems to regulate Canary to just a supporting character in Green Arrow’s world, even though Canary was around for at least two decades before she and Arrow became a thing. I promise I don’t just dislike Arrow being back there because I’ve always found him obnoxious and he’s the only member of the Justice League that I hate even more than Snapper Carr. Sorry to leave everyone in the dark by being so ambiguous about my feelings towards Green Arrow, but if you don’t have anything nice to say….
This is for pretty much all the Legion 5YL posts….I’m not very familiar with the Legion, but going by their real names and removing their costumes makes it even more daunting for a new reader to try and jump in. If you’ll recall, the Fantastic Four didn’t have costumes in their first two issues, and Stan Lee said readers complained and so the FF adopted suits. If Stan Lee and Jack Kirby couldn’t pull off costume-less superheroes….no one can. I commented on Bouncing Boy because he was always my favorite male Legionnaire, simply because I loved his goofy look and power set. I hate the goatee, too…Don’t mind them in real life, but I think I may have been prejudiced against heroes with them (see the Black Canary comment.) Does anyone else hear the theme to What’s Happening in their head every time Bouncing Boy shows up or is that just me? The “boing” sound makes me think it could have been his theme song.
I enjoy Gulacy’s art and think Terry Austin is one of the finest inkers to every work in the industry. However, this image doesn’t convey evil to me. It is more like, “Naughty Super Villain. Get down off the couch!” (FYI, I don’t mind if my pets get on the furniture.)
To echo Rob, the Englehart/Rogers/Austin (him again) run of Batman/Detective is awesome and I highly recommend it. However, Hugo only spends a couple of pages dressed as Batman in it. Gerry Conway and Doug Moench not only grabbed that particular ball from Englehart and ran with it, I think they may have over-inflated it.
Ummm…is this a parody of an upskirt shot? Considering the weird angle and proportions, this could just as well have been an upskirt shot of Plastic Man, Elongated Man or Stilt Man
Ok, I realize we’ve dropped the B-movie actress conversation, but just so Rob will have something to comment on other than comments about the Legion
I’m glad to see that Frank and Rob both like Laura Gemser (a co-worker of mine likes her too, so that means she has at least four fans) but I must chastise Rob for dismissing Laura as “only” Emanuelle. I first discovered Laura in the Terrence Hill/Bud Spencer comedy Crimebusters, which HBO showed every other month. It aired in the months that HBO didn’t show Hill’s SuperFuzz. Since I grew up and went to college in rural Alabama, I haven’t seen nearly as many Laura Gemser movies as I would like, but she also did action (Ator and The Bushido Blade with Frank “Movin On” Coverse), and at least one horror movie (Murder Obsession). She must have done more horror films, because I recall a horror board I used to frequent had a topic: “Laura Gemser…Hot or needs to eat a sandwich?”
The most bizarre entry on Laura’s resume is probably the made-for-network-TV movie Love is Forever, co-starring Michael Landon and Priscilla Presley. The producers made Laura change her credit to Moira Chen, so no one would recognize her from her Emanuelle films.
Oh, and Laura also recorded a single on RCA records. It truly was a single because the B-side was by someone else.
This may seem like I hi-jacked the comments, but for all we know, Black Emanuelle exists in the DC universe and she has the same super power she does in her cinematic incarnation: she can get anyone she wants into bed. Maybe she’ll even seduce Black Canary and get her away from that guy on her Who’s Who listing. Who would come between Black Canary and Black Emanuelle if BE got a Who’s Who listing? Propinquity, you know.
OK no more talk about Laura Gemser…at least until I comment on another podcast.
Ab) Black Canary may have been dearer to her heart, but Gail Simone’s spirit annual is Huntress. Despite sampling the early specials/minis, I only started collecting Birds of Prey because she got dumped into the series to reflect the short-lived tv show.
Bb) Post-Infinite Crisis Blue Devil is just Hellboy.
E) Dev-Em. Sigh. I’m with Rob on 5YL Legion of SUPER-HEROES. I’m in the midst of a look back at Keith Giffen’s early ’90s output, and boy, it sure was early ’90s output. Imma literally do a podcast on this, so I’ll spare you the fine details, but I don’t think enough has been made of how fully Giffen embraced the deconstructionism of the period. Also, once you blow up the moon, you kinda have to let Earth itself slip away, and then before you know it you’re on your fifth “ground zero” reboot. Dev-Em is retroactively a writer proxy for Keith Giffen ultimately being responsible for destroying the Legion forever, full stop. It’s not sodomizing Sue Dibny, but nobody’s exactly championing a character with that much baggage, either.
F) Looking at the Legion group entry sure reminds me of how I’ll never re-read the 5YL run. It wasn’t terrible and I don’t hate it, but it was also frustrating, diminishing, a bit dull, and simply not what I want from reading Legion (or most) comics. Possibly the least plausible aspect of the entire period was a large, extremely diverse group of people would willingly wear identical, bulky, one-size-fits-all gray jackets. They look like inmates at the drabbest prison in the universe. This is like cosplaying workers at a a chemical plant in Flint, Michigan. And I’m very put-off by the rampant facial asymmetry here. Will now lump the rest of their entries together.
What in the hell is Dirk Morgna wearing? At least Gim Allon is so goyish that you could never call him stereotypical as he trots out a menorah for holiday pin-ups. He’s the Jewish equivalent of a chreaster. Am I compelled by completionism to mention Glorith? Brandon Peterson’s art on the Luornu Durgo is much better than his stuff on Uncanny X-Men but much worse than everything that came after. I only recognize Mysa as an albino. The Michael T. Gilbert Roxxas art is very nice. Tenzil Kem got a bit of that Maguire vibe. Universo was the villain of one of my fav arcs, and I’m pleased with Paris Cullins’ work on the entry.
G) Doctor Fate has one of my favorite costume designs. I like it more than I like the character. It doesn’t translate well to the female form, in part because a portion of its appeal is putting a man in a girdle. Women are all the time in girdles. NBD. You also lose the mage-knight quality, because magic is a feminine domain, so it’s just a fashion casualty sorcereress. She looks like a Crayola’s Secret Angel from their Gimps For Her sub-line. None of this is helped by Vince Giarrano drawing pointy bulbous tumors growing out of the armpits.
H) I like Barry Kitson as much as the next guy, but I’m looking at the Firehawk entry and I’m thinking he’s at the halfway point between Paul Ryan and Mark Bagley He would have been the Adam Hughes of a Gaijin Studios type arrangement of early Valiant Knob Row (Sean Chen, Mike Leeke, Bernard Chang, etc.) I’m grateful that Firehawk was never a member of a proper Justice League team. She’s Extreme Justice level at best.
I) Paul Gulacy is one of my top 5 all time artists, and I was introduced to Hugo Strange through his LOTDK arc “Prey” with Moench & Austin, so I have no problem with the representation here. I actually considered watching the Hugo Strange episodes of Gotham with B.D. Wong, and actually did buy a freakin’ Batman trade recently collecting a selection of his more random appearances (a Bolland cover never hurts.) He’s your basic creepy evil psychiatrist, Batman’s Dr. Faustus.
J) Kalibak gets a bum rap. Dude is the son of Darkseid, but he’s disregarded because he mostly gets beaten by Superman and Orion. Guy was featured on Super Friends and Superman: The Animated Series, but he gets less play than parademons.
K) I was shaking my damn head about Rob not knowing who Larry Stroman was (understandable for a chromiumphobic) and Shag figured he was a Milestone guy (Oh my god, Becky, He’s just so… big? Round? Out there?) Stroman is the bestselling African-American comic book creator of all time, and while it took a minute to get used to the sea change in art from Whilce Portacio, I came to very much enjoy his uncommon work on X-Factor and beyond. Wish he’d approve the friend request, though.
Larry Stroman produced 8.72 issues of X-Factor before getting fired by Marvel and landing at DC for what they anticipated to be a major launch, Darkstars. Stroman quit three issues in and was replaced by the best of the Lee clones, Travis Charest, so early that Charest produced all the covers for the run-to-date (though #1 was suck a quickie that they used excerpts from Stroman’s interiors as the background of a glorified convention piece.) Charest produced 3.83 issues worth of interiors and eleven total covers before also quitting for Image, and the never-was that was Darkstars was eventually left to Mike Collins. I think it’s a testament to how ill-conceived and unnecessary Darkstars was that nobody brings up a DC book that also claimed Jim Balent, Mitch Byrd, Patrick Zircher, Howard Porter, and Paul Pelletier as artistic contributors (with an eleven issue run of Mike Deodato Jr. covers.)
I like Kilowog. That’s 13 characters, counting the period. 15 with spaces.
L) The Rhea Jones entry is maybe Richard Case’s best, but I never read any of her appearances. He came to town once. Jeez, that Shadow Thief entry is lazy.
M) They used the Deathstroke the Terminator entry image to promote his ongoing series in Comic Buyer’s Guide without my knowing it, and I remember being perplexed when I could find a book with that cover. Related: the only time I ever actively sought work by Steve Erwin. One of the most appealing of all the entries, oddly enough.
N) Does an upskirt count as such if the figure is so resolutely unarousing that it may as well be a tasteful abstract nude statue in the middle of a city park? No fan was serviced by this image. I instantly recalled the Vicki Vale entry when you referenced it on the podcast, which I honestly can’t say about the peachy Parobeck Kalibak, so who’s to say which made the strongest impression? Never been a Hempel guy though, and Vicki Vale is the least valuable lady reporter significant other in the DC Universe. She’s Lois Lane combined with Jimmy Olsen, but without any of the good stuff. She gets a ginger hue and a camera but no commitment. Batman’s Friendzone, Vicki Vale. No turtle, man, not even a snapper. Of all the font-y logos, this was one of the least egregious, on account of the Vs.
O) Vixen in purple is like Diana Prince in the white jumpsuit, but only if you hate the mod period. It is one of the lamest costume changes. I’m not mad at it, because it’s too lame to inspire emotion. It’s just like, “Dude, why doesn’t Vixen have a real costume?” I take it back, because why TF am I not seeing Kevin Maguire draw Vixen in a legit costume? Isn’t that what Sarah Douglas was wearing in the Superman II Treasury? So glad Vixen was in the Suicide Squad instead of Justice League International having a single solitary person of color in their classic period (so obviously Dr. Light II doesn’t count.) #JLIsoWhite. Also, Vixen debuted in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2. The whole point of printing a book by that name was to establish copyright for DC over the material, so it counts.
2) Laura Gemser is a better actress and stronger screen presence than any of the “official” Emmanuelles, including Sylvia Kristel. Fight me. Also, many of the Black Emanuelle flicks were arguably thrillers, and Gemser definitely dabbled in horror. Emanuelle in America anticipated torture porn, and, y’know, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals. I believe in the Emmannuelle Extended Universe. I do not believe Gemser could have been the next Claudine Longet, though.
I agree with all of your Gemser comments. The only Gemser “horror” film I’ve gotten to see is Erotic Nights of the Living Dead and it isn’t so much a horror film as a….well, I don’t really know how I would classify it.
Joking aside, I forgot to mention L’Alcova, Joe D’amato and Laura Gemser’s “art film.” It really is an examination of class struggle although I feel it falls apart at the end. Really, this is a movie I wouldn’t have watched, since I want escapism in my entertainment, but Gemser lured me in.
I’m not an expert on Laura Gemser’s entire oeuvre, just because I haven’t been able to find a lot of them, but I have read that some of her movies that were titled Emanuelle films in English really weren’t filmed as Emanuelle films….Divine Emanuelle aka Love Camp is one of these that I have seen.
I have seen and own both Emanuelle in America and Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals (my favorite Gemser flick so far) just in case I didn’t make that clear.
When I first got Netflix, I saw it as a license to check out all the transgressive cinema I’d missed out on, then slowly regretted polluting my brain with a lot of that imagery. My long trek through the the variations of original flavor Emmanuelle/ Black Emanuelle/ faux Emmannuelle in my blogging days confirms that there are probably more fake Gemser Emanuelles than real ones. Regardless of the character she was playing or situation she was in, for (deceptive) marketing purposes, Gemser was Emanuelle. Which is still way better than the janky skanky non-ASP not-Emmanuelle flicks. At one point, I was ranking them like Bonds and trying to formulated a unified theory of Em(m)anuelle continuity.
Hi guys. After many years away from comics reading and collecting, I joined DCU and have been having a blast watching the shows and catching up on what I’ve missed as well as re-reading some of my old faves. With that said, I did a search for something and stumbled upon your Who’s Who #8. I’ve never listened to any podcast before, but had such fun listening to yours that I went back and binge listened to the first 7. What fun!
I laughed every time you guys said something about, “if this is your first time listening…”, since you were talking to me!
I may have to go back and listen to your original series at some point.
Keep up the great work, and I’ll keep coming back! Thank you.
All the things that I wanted to write in response while listening have almost vanished! What remains is: 1.) Shag, read the original Universo stories! Especially the two-parter “The Outlaw Legion.” 2.) Shag, lots of comics readers, bloggers, podcasters, and commenters use code names. At least that was the consensus of Siskoid, Shotgun, Bass, Gothosmansion, Phylemon, and me. I had a lot of problems with 5YL, and that was one of them. I think the only thing about 5YL that I like is Anj’s (not his real name) series if reviews on the Legion of SuperBloggers site. 3.) Shag, read the Englehart/Rogers/Austin (Simonson) issues of Detective Comics! This is imperative! Englehart brought Hugo Strange back from 37 years of obscurity and made him into a great character for the extended story. Other writers kept bringing him back, with rapidly decreasing greatness. 4.) Rob, Hi, Rob!
This was the issue that I was looking forward to! I was fortunate enough to receive issue #9 and #3 (Green Lantern) in these sealed comic book collections sent by my aunt and uncle. They would purchase them in Costco (I don’t think they had a Sam’s Club yet.) with a new set (maybe 20 comics, a month or two old) coming out about every month. I know that I continued to receive them beyond Zero Hour.
DC’s bundles consisted of two or three Superman & Batman titles, both Star Trek series, and both Justice League titles. From there, more random titles could be included: annuals, specials, quarterlies, a stray issue from a mini series or lower tier title, even a promotional poster on occasion. The Who’s Who issues were great but a little confusing. I had not been reading Legion or Doom Patrol at the time, so the changes in the appearances in the membership was a little surprising. However, it did not take much effort for me to recognize Dirk, Gim, Lournu, Chuck, or Tenzil without their old codenames. The same goes for Rhea Jones and Rebis.
(Incidentally, the DC bundles were usually much nicer than Marvel’s. The DC titles were all from about the same month. Marvel tended to include a good mix of titles as well, but you would often find certain issues repeated over more than one collection: a New Mutants chapter in the X-Tinction Agenda, that Hulk issue where he fights Sabra, and X-Force #3, for instance.)
At least that was the consensus of Siskoid, Shotgun, Bass, Gothosmansion, Phylemon, and me. I had a lot of problems with 5YL, and that was one of them. I think the only thing about 5YL that I like is Anj’s (not his real name) series if reviews on the Legion of SuperBloggers site. 3.) Shag, read the Englehart/Rogers/Austin (Simonson) issues of Detective Comics! This is imperative! Englehart brought Hugo Strange back from 37 years of obscurity and made him into a great character for the extended story. Other writers kept bringing him back, with rapidly decreasing greatness. 4.