Who’s Who in the DC Universe #1

It's finally here! Shag and Rob begin a new chapter of the Who's Who Podcast by taking a look at the first issue of the WHO'S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE Loose Leaf Edition! Featuring Superman, Darkseid, Scarecrow, Ocean Master, Fire, Amethyst, The Challengers of the Unknown, El Diablo, and more! Plus Listener Feedback!

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91 responses to “Who’s Who in the DC Universe #1

  1. The Bug… so you’re gonna read that jokey paragraph, Shagg, but you’re not going to give credit to Monty Python’s Flying Circus? Cuz that’s the Spanish Inquisition sketch.

    I’ll forgive you only because we share the same reaction to the Brotherhood of Dada. The Painting That Ate Paris is one of my favorite comics stories of all time. I also want to mention here that there’s a Doom Patrol comic on the ground in front of the Brotherhood, just a touch of meta. And while Mr. Nobody would assemble a second Brotherhood down the line, the original line-up is my favorite.

    Challs: I really liked the post-Crisis mini-series, one of those weird could-have-been-Vertigo takes on classic characters. Is that a giant female version of Multi-Man in the last panel? Similar costume.

    Darkseid: I like Badger’s drawing, but the coloring is a bit heavy-handed and smothers the art.

    Dominators: Never heard of ’em.

    Fire: I love the idea of showing various scenes from her history (like a surprint) on posters behind her.

    Geo-Force: The boot belongs to Heatwave. WHY WHY WHY am I the Outsiders expert of the group? #cursed May I also say that the green costume is even stupider than the brown and I can’t read “GF” on his chest as anything other than “girlfriend”. And “plus-gravity” powers? What is this Orwellian New Speak?!

    Hawk: He’s fine, thighs aside, but showing what could be a dead body in the rubble is more disturbing in a pin-up. I’ll always be Team Dove (Dawn) anyway.

    Jericho IN ADDITION TO Geo-Force? Are they trying to sink the new series right out of the gate?

    Ma and Pa Kent: Obligatory MARTHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    Ocean Master: I think the fault is Rubinstein’s here. Doesn’t look like proper Swan.

    Orion: 195 lbs????? I’m 190 and thin as rail! I know Orion has a very simple costume, which is probably why every artist after Kirby tried to change it. But you can’t out-Kirby Kirby.

    Kono and Cosmic Boy: What do we think of the special “dress” for certain families of books? Legion and L.E.G.I.O.N. will eventually be joined by Doom Patrol on that score, but they haven’t thought of that yet, as the Brotherhood of Dada doesn’t have it.

    Stanley and His Monster: The mini-series came out in ’93 yes, but Foglio did the Secret Origin in SO #48 that same year (Ryan will be disappointed in you), which the mini then used as a springboard. I do love that Who’s Who still has a commitment to all sorts of genres, as evidenced by this issue’s mix.

    Time Masters: Big fan of this mini-series though its contention that you couldn’t travel through time the same way twice is ultimately self-defeating. Fun as a puzzle for the characters, but not viable long-term. Is it a spoiler to say the Illuminati in the book was run by Vandal Savage? And of course the Time Masters TV series does exist, as Legends of Tomorrow, which used several elements including that last plot point. (Yes, Lewis Shiner was the co-writer, with Bob Wayne, of that mini.)

    Wotan: I love that in the very first Wotan story, Dr Fate kills him. And in the next issue, Fate goes to hell to make sure he stays dead. I guess it wasn’t mean to be.

    On Frank’s order: Yankee Doodle Dandy was a weiiiird Doom Patrol character, so yes, Vertigo (even if the imprint started after Who’s Who publication).

    General comments…
    I like the creator credits, but I do wonder what it takes for someone to get such a credit.

    As for giving credit for the text, I think that probably encouraged writers to sometimes go the extra mile to give them some style.

    Anyway, welcome back proper Who’s Who!

          1. ^^^^ Bro, it’s there for all to see. It’s okay. I cleared Siskoid’s honorary membership into the League of Davids.

    1. “Geo-Force: The boot belongs to Heatwave. WHY WHY WHY am I the Outsiders expert of the group? #cursed May I also say that the green costume is even stupider than the brown and I can’t read “GF” on his chest as anything other than “girlfriend”. And “plus-gravity” powers? What is this Orwellian New Speak?!”

      Is it because I haven’t listened to the show in a few years?

  2. Thanks for the shout outs to me, not sure what prompted them.

    The Challengers of the Unknown mini-series was great but in the early issues it looked like Jeph Loews was crapping on the team history, before bringing it back to a past-respecting evolution.

    Ocean Master – I’m mesmerised by that eel, it has button eyes like it’s a sock puppet/eel hybrid.

    Hawk – looks great, love it. That run established tat Hawk wasn’t human in the transformation.

  3. So it finally begins.

    Another great installment of the crown jewel of the Fire and Water Sunday shows. Tackling this specific format makes for rich ground for someone clearly so in love with the material he’s almost unable to be critical (Shag), and the skeptic who keeps a measured and logical view of things (Tob Kelly). Like the X-Files, but cast with dual Skinners.

    Regarding Curt Swan, like my bro-bro Rob, I’m not that into his work – particularly here. I get his significance, sure. But overall, his work is pretty stiff of an era of which I’m not particular fond. Say whatever you want, Rob Kelly. Get political, go agains the grain, just be Rob, Rob. Except when you criticize Highlander.

    Unlike Rob, I’m a huge fan of Morrison’s Doom Patrol. It’s easy to see how it could seen as weird for weird’s sake, but I urge the Yankee host of this podcast to give it a try. It can get up its own ass, as a good deal of Morrison’s work can, but it’s worth a shot. It was a college read for me and probably bears a re-read. Shag, does it hold up decades later? Or is it pretentious and overwritten?

    Man, I missed this show with its original pair of hosts. Glad to see it back.

    1. I imagine that Rob and I may the only ones to not care for Morrison’s Doom Patrol. I’m already on record as perhaps the only comic book fan in existence who actively dislikes most of Morrison’s work. To paraphrase what Rob said re: DP, it often seems he’s just trying too hard to be cool and off-beat, which results in stories that are simply incoherent and/or require an extensive knowledge of outside works to appreciate. It’s just not for me.

  4. Hey guys, great episode. Glad to have more Who’s Who to listen to, even if I won’t be buying the loose-leaf to follow along. Keeping binders of anything is for dweebs. I may be a comic book nerd, but that shit is for NERDS! haha! Regarding a New Gods podcast: I wish I had the time, because I really would love to start a podcast to go through the Jack Kirby Fourth World Omnibus. As for Esteban Maroto’s beautiful art, and appreciation of “boobies” in comics, the man drew many beautiful stories for Warren, in Creepy and Eerie, that often has topless gals, lovingly rendered by the phenomenal Mr. Maroto.

  5. Still listening, but I’ll set down my White Lightning for a bit and leave a few comments.

    I agree with Siskoid that Rubenstein probably dropped the ball on Swan’s art on Ocean Master. Almost no one in his 50 year career inked Swan properly. Murphy Anderson, Al Williamson and George Perez come close. If you’ve ever seen Swan’s pencils, you’ll note the Brian-Bolland-like level of detail and feathered lines he puts in. At this point in comics printing, SOMEONE should have been able to recreate that…but few tried. Too bad Swan rarely inked his own work.

    And as I pointed out in a private conversation, the first Who’s Who mentioned the Houses of Mystery and Secrets were located in the hills of Kentucky. You should see what it does to our homeowner’s insurance!

    I believe Craig Blaisfield was tapped as the artist for an Outsiders relaunch that got delayed until 1993 (just like Stanley and His Monster). If memory serves he draws a few more Outsiders characters, but by the time the series hit shelves, Paul Pelletier was the artist.

    I love Ordway’s Superman (top 3 for me as well), but the coloring on both the logo AND Superman’s skin kind of bring it down. There are a lot of very pale people in this issue. Plus, I think I would have rather had a more iconic image of a super-speed change from Clark to Superman. But that’s me.

    This IS Ma and Pa Kent to me as well. Gammill does a great job of making them look a bit more real than Byrne. Byrne tended to make them look like little imps or something sometime, next to big lumbering Clark.

    Not a huge fan of Badger’s Darkseid. I appreciate the mood of the piece, but for a character this big, I wish DC had gotten Byrne, Steve Rude or Walt Simonson. Someone who worshipped at the Kirby altar but would bring something unique to it.

    Orion…oof. That’s ugly. It looks like Orion’s eyes are popping out ala Total Recall. I like Cullins, but some of this New Gods stuff looks VERY dated. He was channelling a bit too much Marvel/Image stylings at this point.

    Speaking of which, I always liked Greg Guller’s art on Hawk and Dove. It just fit the character as presented, being essentially a caucasian Hulk in a costume, as established by Liefeld. But Guller had more traditional stylings to rein things in. I guess I never really thought about it being that extreme.

    Well, that’s all I can think of for now. If you guys pick on me more in the feedback, I’ll come back to whack you with both of my full Who’s Who binders! And I WAS in high school when I bought those!!!


    1. YES, I had a letter published in Who’s Who. God help me. I’m going to start assembling armor for all the ribbing I’m going to get for it.

      Oh, and I forgot to mention how much fun I had with the booger glue that bound these packs together. I was one of those picky kids who liked to play with rubber cement, and squeeze out Elmer’s Glue and let it dry so I could pick it off and play with it. Kind of like Goldmember.


  6. DC Dave here…or is it OCD Dave?

    You guys had me in stitches when you read my note. I’m not sure what made me laugh more – “OCD Dave” or the imagery of myself holding out the gummy stuff in my arms, a la Superman/Supergirl Crisis #7. Thanks for the laugh.

    Another fantastic episode. Glad to have the “regular” show back.

    Two things I learned this episode:
    Shag, I’m guessing you and I are the same age, since I, too, was 18 in 1990.

    Rob, you and I had the same response to Morrison’s Doom Patrol. Next!

    I wanted to take a minute to address your 1 star iTunes review.

    Rob, while I find that you and I are actually a lot alike in many ways, our politics do not line up. And yet, here I am, years later, still listening and enjoying your podcasts.

    I thought your message was spot on. First off, this is your podcast. You can do whatever the hell you want. And just as much, I can choose not to listen if I don’t like it.

    Have there been occasions where I’ve rolled my eyes because of a rare outright political statement you’ve made? Sure. I’ve also laughed at political jokes you’ve made before, too.

    But, like you, if someone brings too much politics into a show that has nothing to do with politics, I will just turn it off. I’ve sadly had to do that on two occasions, to podcasts that I really enjoyed. I’ll give the show a chance, but after multiple episodes of spinning out of control on political rants for podcasts that have nothing to do with politics, I’ve had to hit ‘unsubscribe’ on the podcast and move on with my life.

    I can honestly say that you’ve done a fine job of not going down that rabbit hole, and I continue to listen to the show.

    And honestly, if you can’t take the occasional joke or political job about the politics you support, you just need to get a life.

    Carry on friends!
    DC (or OCD) Dave

    1. Yeah, that 1 star review was a great, if depressing, example of how people react to things now. He describes the entire show in more or less glowing terms, but due to a single errant comment, he drops the show all the way to the ground. You think maybe since it was one minor element, you’d dock the show one whole star at most? Nope! Burn it to the ground! I don’t know if things are more extreme these days or if I ‘m just old enough to notice it all. I listen to some shows and patronize other things here and there involving people whose opinions do not mirror my own, and the world seems to have kept on spinning along just fine. 🙂

    2. Not sure I have much to add to what you and Max say, but I definitely want to add a “me, too” to this (perhaps not THAT #MeToo, however…).

      I was a bit concerned that I was giving Rob a “pass” because on those few times he HAS “gone political,” it’s been sentiments I agree with, but then reminded myself of an Old Time Radio podcast I enjoy. THAT host is decidedly different (politically) from me, but also tries not to “go there” too often. On the rare occasions he does, I may well roll my eyes, but I still listen because I enjoy the show. Why can’t others do the same, or failing that, just walk away? I truly wonder if some folks care more about attacking their political opponents than they even do about the political positions they’re claiming to espouse….

  7. Since Shag asked…

    I love Jerry Ordway’s Superman, both writing and art. I’d agree with Rob that he is one of the Top 3 Greatest Superman Artists Of All Time, definitely in the Top 5. The problem with this specific piece is that…well…I agree with Shag. There is something off about the face. I don’t know what it is but it’s just not right. The composition is great. They put a lot of thought into this version of Metropolis and the art on the other side is great but the lighting, the face and, as Rob put it, that weirdly colored logo bring the whole down a little bit.

    But down a little bit Ordway is still better than most artists on their best day.

    Rob, did you ever read the World of Smallville mini-series? It’s where all of he background for Ma and Pa came from. I’m wondering if me reading that mini-series, which was melodramatic but emotional, made the events go down better than reading it in text.

    And the art on the Ma and Pa piece is just amazing. 98% of the Superman entries in this edition are gold.

  8. Great job, guys. Well worth the wait. If I had any idea how to do so, I would be sorely tempted to start that strangely missing Fourth World podcast (“The BOOMcast?” “SourceCast?”), but thankfully, I have no idea how to do so, and what little I can deduce about the process seems an awful lot like work. Still, there’s about the idea of Rob and Shag knowing that someone is out there talking about the Forever People every month….

      1. I’ve got the (four softcover) omnibus volumes (omnibi?), and a headset with a mic….NO! Must…resist! The siren call of the Source is strong!

          1. I’ve so far resisted the siren song of starting my own podcast, but I love the idea. I know enough about the Fourth World to be dangerous, but I’ve never really read any of it. I wasn’t a Kirby fan growing up. It would be interesting to go and read them.

  9. Finally the loose leaf Who’s Who episodes! Hurray!

    First off, thanks to Shag for sharing the series so I can follow along on the M-Z entries! I will say that this opening episode reminded me why I organized my sheets alphabetically. ‘Supernatural’ ‘Hero’ is Supernatural? And folks that walk a fine line, sometimes a hero and sometimes a villain? Why stick them in amber under some designation?

    A couple of comments on specific entries.

    That Amethyst entry is the big winner here. You totally see Russell’s influence on the art. And the three inset pics are great for her. I love that character, well due for a retry.

    I’m a big fan of Hawk and Dove. He doesn’t look too bulky in this pic. Surprised his tiny inset pic of what he looked like underneath the costume wasn’t touched on! Also surprised you didn’t mention the Secret Origin episode by Ryan, me, and Paul Hix, Paul Hix, Paul Hix. And also, no mention of my letters printed in that run?

    The Kono page is just great. Don’t know why Maguire got picked (maybe Giffen asked him to?) but thrilled by it.

    And as the guy who reviewed the first 4 years of the 5YL Legion in the Legion of Super Bloggers, seeing them here again is a treat.

    My problem with the Superman page is that it feels awful stiff. There is no sense he’s flying here. A beautiful image. But sort of static.

    And lastly, the Wotan page was the first one where i thought ‘wow, I really prefer the original.’ Mignola for the win.

    Looking forward to the rest of this series!

      1. Not many people did. 🙁

        New52 Amethyst was the first proper Amethyst I read, and I loved it. I like the story they crafted, and thought they were taking it in an interesting direction, especially with the twist of a certain bad guy originating from Gemworld.

        I wish they’d bring this version back.

        1. I read it too, it had great art certainly. I seem to remember it getting a little wonky towards the end as they introduced other “Supernaturals” in the book. I think Amethyst is such a pure fantasy concept, it works better as its own story than rubbing shoulders with other DC stars.

  10. Two other things…

    I have been thinking about how I would do a Fourth World podcast for some time. Maybe when…if…when I get munchies Millennium Project done I’ll work on that. I have everything. I mean all of the original issues, the seventies revival, the late eighties series, the ‘90s stuff…everything. So I have the will, the resources and all that. Just missing the time.

    Also, I have a vivid memory of buying this series as it came out. 1990 into 1991. Every month was a new surprise. I am so happy you finally got to this.

  11. I don’t think I’ve listened to a podcast, ANY podcast, in over a year. I meant to listen to at least Who’s Who in Star Trek and Who’s Who in the Legion but I never got around to it. Normally I listen at work but It’s been a stupid year and I got behind. But needless to say the return of Who’s Who in the DC Universe brought me out of limbo.

    Normally, I don’t need a copy of the issue being covered because the images are imbedded in my brain. I can’t tell you how often I’ve gone to the shelf of the original Who’s Who comics to source an image or look something up. Apparently that’s not the case with the loose-leaf edition. For the life of me the only images I could conjure up mentally where the Superman entry (the cover, duh) , The Brotherhood of Dada (count me in as another fan of Morrison’s run…what’s NOT to “get”?), Fire (because that image was everywhere in the house ad) and Ocean Master (primarily because I used the art for a custom Mego box and spent time altering the ridiculous helmet to get it closer to the Silver Age look). Other pages described by Rob and Shag SEEMED familiar but without the book in from of me they’re not fully focused in my mind’s eye.

    I was a big fan of the updated format when it came out but over the years it’s just been…inconvenient…to look for something in the loose-leaf format. A bit cumbersome in hindsight. Yes, there’s a lot of great art in there but there’s also a lot of, um, no-so great. And characters/concepts that really shouldn’t rate a page in any format. I guess I prefer more of the “classic” art and artists of the original Who’s Who. It’s timeless. The loose-leaf update is very much a product of it’s time and some of it hasn’t aged well for me. It actually seems more dated than the original run does.

  12. I never bought this version of who’s who or binders when they came out.
    6 months ago, a comic book store by me was having a half off sale. and they had the whole set in both binders for $30.00. so that’s right, I got all 16 issues in both binders for only $15.00!!!

    whooo whoo!!!!

  13. A quick word on the Orion entry (my apologies if I duplicate something someone had said earlier):
    At this point in the New Gods storyline (done by Mark Evanier and Paris Cullins), Orion was trying to fit in with the population of New Genesis. IIRC, Lightray pointed out to Orion that even though Orion was born on Apokolips, he’d spent the majority of his life on New Genesis, and he still carried himself as though he was from Apokolips even though he espoused the benevolent teachings of Highfather. Orion, being Orion, changed his outer appearance but was still as teeth-clenchy as ever. The look didn’t last long, with Orion declaring something along the lines that a leopard can’t change its spots.

    Also, a word on the Darkseid entry. It’s funny to see that Darkseid had some Floo Powder to chat with his son’s complaints.

  14. Hey Shag and Rob — haven’t listened to the show in a long time. I was inspired to come check out the site as I was cleaning out my briefcase and found my Nuclear Sub button. So I just happened to browse over right after the episode was posted.

    First thing I see is Siskoid bashing the Outsiders, so I guess some things never change.

    I have no experience whatsoever with the loose leaf edition of Who’s Who. With this series beginning in June of 1990, I was not reading comics, at least not DC (or Marvel) at the time. While I have come across issues of the original series (even pulled a few out of quarter bins in the time since you guys started the podcast), I have never actually seen any of the loose leaf editions in person.

    Some thoughts:

    Mister Nobody – I became familiar with this character during the Keith Giffen Doom Patrol run, where the shadowy organization MSE was a constant thorn in the side of the Patrol. MSE stood for Mister Somebody Enterprises, as Mister Nobody had finally “become somebody,” and was now white instead of black.

    Challengers of the Unknown – June Rogers was an honorary Challenger, introduced right at the start of the feature in Showcase, but did not receive a uniform until the short-lived revival in Super Team Family. There was a “5th Challenger” in the original series, Corrina Stark, who stepped in for Prof Haley in the last few issues, but she was dropped after that series ended. A new Challengers series, titled, appropriately New Challengers, is coming up spinning out of Dark Nights Metal.

    Regarding Darkseid — going back to the Kirby issues, he was portrayed as being rational and even-keeled, very “Lawful Evil” on the alignment chart. I’m sure I will get bashed for referencing the Forever People, but in an issue of that series, Desaad has trapped the People in a torture chamber, and Darkseid excuses himself from the proceedings, saying that he no interest in Desaad’s cruelty. I think we have gotten away from the thoughtful and philosophical portrayal of Darkseid, although when Jim Starlin handled the New Gods he stuck to that characterization. (Similar to Thanos, naturally.)

    I have never warmed to Geo-Force’s green and yellow outfit. I much prefer his earth-toned costume, which seems to be a common sentiment since he wore that costume in the post-Infinite Crisis Justice League of America series, then Outsiders and forward. If anyone is going to write about GF, it needs to be Barr, naturally. I have long threatened to do an Outsiders blog or podcast, but my level of masochism is not high enough to open myself up to that level of abuse.

    Anyway, thanks for the new show guys.

    1. Sorry about the Outsiders, it’s called a recurring gag. But wait, do you mean you’d be a masochist to cover the Outsiders because you also consider them pretty bad, or because you think you’d attract naysayers like myself in your comments section? (I would never do that, let’s be clear.)

      1. I’m with Dave Siskoid on BATOS. Okay to amazing art saddled by goofy prose and goofier villains. It’s one of those titles people I respect are quite find of, but the magic they find in this title eludes me.

  15. Hey guys a excellent episode
    Having finally caught up with all The Who’s who episodes this was a really good new episode.

    I do want to mention the amythest cartoon you says Hanna Barbara were supposed to do
    I’ve never heard of that but they did do a cartoon called wildfire that looking at the plot is pretty much the exact same plot of amythest
    It has the adventures of Sara, a 13-year-old girl growing up in the American West as she discovers her true identity as a princess-in-hiding from another realm who is destined to fight the evil witch Lady Diabolyn.
    Had the exact same premise of a girl being a princess from another dimension being sent to earth as a baby being adopted abd then later finding out she’s a princess and going back and forth from both dimensions trying to free her kingdom.
    If there was a amythest cartoon at the time being considered by Hanna Barbara its most likely that it didn’t work out and they decided to use there premise for there own cartoon.

  16. I didn’t catch it, but how was Wotan indexed? Hero, Villain, or wimping out with Supernatural?

    I’m wondering if that binary distinction is going to get them in trouble before the run’s over. As you mentioned, they just missed Jericho’s heel turn (although IIRC it isn’t actually revealed for several more years), they’re well before Hal Jordan or Maxima flip sides. Not sure if the timeframe is right for Mekt Ranzz or the Trickster. Etrigan will give them the Supernatural out. Lobo?

    Anyhow, on to the subject of omissions. I’ll probably do a list (10?16?) at the end of the series, but I really just don’t want to spoil myself on future issue contents (this came out the same month as the final issue of Firestorm (v2). Did they miss out on that last chance to see?) , and see no other way to do it. That said, this first issue is special: it had the job of, well, being the first, giving a full tour of the DC universe. And it mostly did it. They gave representation to every currently active team book in the DC. Except one. Would it have killed them to put one member of L.E.G.I.O.N ’90 in here? (Modern DCU space got the short shrift in general, with Sinestro and half a Dominators entry)

  17. I think with Fire they were trying to find a way to have a character that had being a honeypot as a back story. But how much can they do with that while following the comics code.

  18. I may have an explanation for why Rob remembers getting this issue while attending the Kubert School. I was eagerly waiting for this book to come out in June of 1990, but it ended up getting delayed for a month (so it didn’t come out until maybe late July). It was probably still on the stands in August because I think it delayed some of the other issues by a month as well, so Rob’s shop may have had it long enough for him to get it when he returned to the Kubert School.

    Amethyst may have been included because, if I remember correctly, there was a war between the Lords of Order and the Lords of Chaos that was being hyped in a number of DC titles around this time, and Amethyst may have been a part of that.

  19. Welcome back, it’s like you’ve never been away! How come Rob and Anj and I are the only people to organise our Who’s Who in the most logical manner, everyone all-in, alphabetically? There’s far too much overlap between characters and statuses for fancy-schmancy ordering!

    I really think Amanda Waller should have had the red hero border – she’s far more protagonist than supporting cast.

    Witty writing or not, things like Blue Beetle’s Bug are just a waste of space – it’s a flying ship with amazing stuff like a chair on rollers. Give me people, not things

    Magenta/orange looks great on the Superman illo – back in the Silver Age they used all kinds of colour combos. My favourite was green/yellow/red. When it’s just red and blue, that’s boring (worst of all is the glassy version from the films, it’s far too full for a comic book).

    I never made it past book one of the Atlantis chronicles, despite buying them all digitally. I just can’t get into ‘brother against brother for the crown’ stuff and the prospect of several more issues was just too much. Big Arion fan though!

    And if you do ever mention Anj’s letters printed in Hawk & Dove, remember, I’m in Amethyst!

    1. For what it’s worth, I also did all-alphabetical. Shag even mentioned the fact (thanks for the shout-out, by the way! See you at Gallifrey One!). I just only had a few of the issues, having not collected the whole set. I, too, have wondered how those who attempted character-grouping formats handled gray areas and overlap, but if they figured out what worked for them, c’est la vie!

      While I can agree that Waller was more “protagonist” than “supporting cast,” I wonder if her decidedly non-heroic characterization (“anti-hero”?) was a factor in denying her a red border.

  20. I’ve been bogged down or wiped out by stuff for months, but of all days, the girlfriend and I are finally enjoying individual breathers on Valentine’s Day. So now I can at least start on replying to the first episode of Who’s Who released in the 21st Century (right? Feels right.) At least until the cycle begins anew at the Black Panther premiere tomorrow.

    0) Jerry Ordway is an extraordinary artist, and certainly a great Superman inker, but his full pencils on that character never turned me on. The debut cover is competent. It’s probably just me who thinks it Superman’s legs looks like streamers on a kite.

    1) The only way the OHOTMU Master Edition could claim any form of superiority over this edition of Who’s Who is in their use of cardstock on every page. Then again, the covers are the hardest pages to turn in the binders, and my individual pages have held up surprisingly well for a few decades of light usage. Also, Master Edition was the worst, and I only own it in Essential Editions with firm, near virginal spines. Useless and hideous.

    A) My impression is that Luke McDonnell proves the contractor’s rule that you can have it fast, cheap, or good, but you can only get two at a time. After having put together my own Who’s Who, I would also paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld: As you know, you go to Who’s Who with the entries you have, not the entries you might want or wish to have at a later time. Maybe Greenberger had the Amanda Waller entry written or knew he could do so as a rush job without the fanboys squawking over the particulars of this entry. McDonnell spent most of 1990 doing random fill-ins and What If… It was a match made in… San Jose?

    B) The further Amethyst got from Shazam-meets-She-Ra, the less I could understand why anyone bothered to use her. I realize this is terribly naive, but did anyone ever consider asking a woman creator what they might like to do with a character created specifically to target the girl’s market? Something besides dragging her into the Lords of Order & Chaos mess before becoming an adversary to the Jared Stevens Fate?

    3) I like the Supernatural heading when applied logically. Dr. Fate is a super-hero with magical powers, so he should have a red border. Death is a fluid perceived embodiment of a universal constant that is beyond human moral constructs, and is therefore supernatural.

    C) Another thing that made Master Edition dreadful was the abandonment of the technical schematics of Eliot R. Brown. Blue Beetle’s Bug could also use some of those. It’s a nice enough custom super-hero transport, but I can’t get excited over a standard shot from a period comic tilted so that I’m seeing the action from the most static angle possible. Watchmen ruined me for straight-on shots of the Bug, too. I keep waiting for Booster Gold to deploy crowd control protocols against Occupy Wall Street or a women’s march.

    D) Screw me too, but I agree with Rob. Every time I’ve tried to read the Vertigo period Doom Patrol, I have been underwhelmed by its smug try-hard hipster doofusness. Even when I enjoy Morrison, I feel like I can never get off on it as much as Morrison gets off on himself.

    E) And now I agree with Shag that Cain and Able’s appearance had nothing to do with an historical nod and everything to do with The Sandman being a milestone in comic culture crossover into the mainstream. I used to ear the same Kelly Jones Morpheus t-shirt as David on Roseanne. I liked 1990 Jones better than contemporary Bernie Wrightson, but not so much over the long haul. He should have done more Sandman work.

    F) I think you guys should make a molehill out of that mountain. I’m guessing the Challengers of the Unknown are meant to be stomping around a replica Challengers Mountain for a promotional shot, highlighting their fakeness ahead of the revelations in their upcoming mini-series. A little hard on Tim Sale here, but yeah, he’d be much better even a year later on Billi 99.

    Anyway, the Challengers fail because they’re a team of interchangeable white dudes created for an environment whose moment has long passed, just like The Blackhawks, Boy Commandos, Easy Company, Haunted Tank, Atomic Knights, Newsboy Legion, Rocket Red Brigade, and the Sea Devils. They all voted for Trump. They suck.

    At the very least, they could form a team out of one standout member from all of these teams, so that we might bother to care about more than one or two of these samey-samey honky heroes. Sgt. Rock and Gardner Grayle together could maybe make the needle twitch for half a second. Even if you swap them out for more women and minorities, that will only last until the current volume is cancelled in less than two years, and they won’t even be remembered for use as cannon fodder. In a super-heroic landscape, they’re mundane. You know who folks do remember? The Secret Six and Suicide Squad, because they repurposed good trademarked names into properties that have value in a shared fantastical universe. Stop wasting a boss name like The Challengers of the Unknown on “Card Suit” Chad, “Primary Color” Kelly, “Mineral” Malone and “The Skipper,” with optional “Fox News Blonde.”

    4) The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe was created to both celebrate and serve as a tombstone over the grave of 50 years of the company’s history. Who’s Who: Update ’87 & ’88 sucked because they focused exclusively on their year of publication with low quality green talent and properties. Who’s Who in the DC Universe was a huge improvement by offering a more comprehensive look at the current line after it had a few years to build new history in need of some codification, and benefited from more contemporary talent in their prime. I like looking at the looseleaf art more, and the text is more vital, but I prefer flipping through a comic book over delicately sifting through a binder. I also wish DC had looked back and done more historical material missed in previous passes, but I also dug how “now” the looseleafs were. The Definitive Directory is often hoary, dredging up a lot of old crap presented by old fogeys, but the ’90 edition feels smaller and perhaps too narrow. I really enjoy having a snapshot of a specific place in comic book history. but see the missed opportunities and cringe-inducing Chromium. But I think we can all agree, this is WAY better than the Updates.

    1. “Anyway, the Challengers fail because they’re a team of interchangeable white dudes created for an environment whose moment has long passed, just like The Blackhawks, Boy Commandos, Easy Company, Haunted Tank, Atomic Knights, Newsboy Legion, Rocket Red Brigade, and the Sea Devils. They all voted for Trump. They suck.”

      Frank, you had me up until you made the “The all voted for Trump. They suck.” comment. Especially after Rob’s comment in the show.

      All of those properties you mention do not suck. They’re all great. Are some of them relics of time past? Of course. But all of them were great concepts for their time.

      1. I regret associating DC’s various non-powered adventure team members with Trump supporters. It was a cheap shot and they don’t deserve that. I was just triggered by their “good old days” homogeneity and I’ve had a gigantic chip resting on my shoulder for about 15 months now. The ache from carrying that weight every day makes me extremely irritable. I like the whole lot of those properties to varying degrees, but I don’t think any single one of them works today without a degree of heavy lifting that the talent would better spend on a new property merely inspired by the old ones.

        1. When you say, “[i]t was a cheap shot and they don’t deserve that,” you meant Trump supporters, rights? 😉

          In all seriousness, thanks. All of those properties were products of their time. And we should enjoy them for what they were then. I don’t know if Kirby wanted a diverse cast for COTU, but even if he did, he knew the market wouldn’t support it.

          While I think those proerpties could work, I do agree with you that it would be an investment of time to make it happen. And I’m guessing DC Editorial probably agrees with you on the time investment on these properties vs new properties. I’m going to guess these properties will only be rolled out once a decade, to keep the trademark alive.

          1. Indeedy. And I’m dreading the upcoming Challengers launch spinning out of that clusterf*ck that is Metal. Dave’s right, frank, all the properties you’re (knee-jerk, I assumed) slagging off worked for the readers of the time and some of us still find they have real charm. I’ll take original Cave Carson over the stylish but unreadable Young Animal version any day of the week.

  21. Glad to finally hear the first podcast on the loose leaf edition – I cannot comment on the filing of the loose leaves as (gasp!) I never collected these when they came out – it is enjoyable to hear the different ways they are organised though!

    Amanda Waller – Great character and regarding the drawing, she was generally drawn in the pants suits in that period, as far as I remember, so McDonnell was on point there. As pointed out, it was around this time that the Squad moved out of the government sponsored team and into a more freelance team, which was enjoyable but I think the period before this was the better squad, being involved in political intrigue.

    Amethyst – never read this character’s stories and, not being a huge fan of magical stories, will probably be a while before I would get into them. I did read the New 52 version when it came out, but again, was not a fan.

    Blue Beetle’s Bug – great post, but I have to echo Siskoid, no mention of the Monty Python source!

    Brotherhood of Dada – “The Painting that Ate Paris” was a great story (with JLI participation to boot!). I found Morrisson’s run on Doom Patrol somewhat hard to get into, but he developed a great crew with the Brotherhood. Am I right in saying that apart from Mr. Nobody, none of the others appeared again after that arc? (Paul Hix, Paul Hix, Paul Hix? – are we suppose to say his name three times now?)

    Cain and Abel – Enjoyed their inclusion in the Sandman series, and given they were the keeper of the stories in the 70s run, made sense to be part of the Sandman supporting cast. Have had a chance to read some of the old tales from the House of Mystery recently and they were some fun, spooky stories.

    Challengers of the Unknown – Enjoyed the Sale/Loeb TPB on this when it came out a few years ago, and it also included an unpublished JLI Quarterly story by that team which reconciled the Multi-Man appearence in that miniseries with the simultaneous appearances of Multi-Man in the Injustice League. I read some of the original tales in a Showcase Presents volume but they tended to be much of a sameness to them. Would agree that Sale’s art improved substantially since that drawing when the miniseries came out.

    Darkseid – Have to confess, I tend to get a bit weary of the Fourth World characters. Maybe they should have left them rest when Kirby finished his saga – but then we would not get Mr. Miracle in the JLI or the use of Darkseid in some very good DC Events.

    Dominators – Great villains in the Invasion miniseries, and they were brilliantly used in the 5 year later Legion as the masterminds behind the silent takeover of Earth.

    El Diablo – another series I haven’t read. Great art by Mike Parobeck though.

    Fire – excellent art by Adam Hughes. After the Giffen/deMAtteis run, she was not used to great effect – Jurgens turned her into a Valley Girl, Jones made her extremely needy and emotional after Ice’s death and even Ostrander didn’t treat her great in that one-off issue in Martian Manhunter. Rucka managed to turn that around in the new Checkmate series post Infinite Crisis.

    GeoForce – poor art on the entry. As commented on the podcast, tended to be written as a hothead. He was an interesting choice to bring into the JLA during Meltzer’s run but the need to do another Outsiders book took him out of that arc.

    Hawk – he was treated as a bit of an idiot after the death of Don Hall. I seem to remember him being involved in stories where he was captured or duped in both Booster Gold and the Doom PAtrol/Suicide Squad special. I read the Kesel/Liefeld miniseries which was good so may dip my toes into the subsequent series later on.

    Jericho – Tom Grummett is an amazing artist, isn’t he? Jericho has been resurrected of course since the Titans Hunt and is still in place in the current Deathstroke run; however, maybe he should have been kept in the “Dead and staying dead” category of DC?

    Kono – Lovely Maguire art. I remember her being part of the 5YL run, but otherwise, was not very memorable.

    Ma and Pa Kent – beautiful Gamill art (I feel he was very underrated as an artist) and an excellent piece on the Kents who were part of what made Superman great in the post-crisis era.

    Ocean Master – he tends to be thought of as the “Aquaman villain that’s not Black Manta” doesn’t he? (Sorry Rob). He was used well in the Throne of Atlantis storyline and I felt they were building to another big storyline involving him but that seems to have gone by the wayside.

    Orion – I remember he was wearing that uniform when he joined the JLI around issue 42 but he reverted back to his original costume shortly thereafter.

    Rokk Krinn – very interesting take on Cosmic Boy but I much prefer him as the powered leader of the Legion.

    Scarecrow – excellent drawing – I remember seeing this Who’s Who page reprinted in one of the UK reprints of Batman Monthly (I think – Martin Grey, do you know?) when I first started getting into comics and thought that the Injustice Gang was a big thing in the DCU. Great character and a good foil for Batman.

    Sinestro – not a great drawing by Staton unfortunately but that was how he drew him when he was drawing the Guy Gardner Warrior miniseries. I feel the post-Rebirth (the first Rebirth) version of Sinestro is the best one.

    Stanley and his Monster – excellent miniseries and it’s a shame that such a miniseries would not be commissioned today.

    Superman – what can I say? Great drawing of Superman by Ordway when he was at the height of his post Crisis greatness.

    Time Masters – would recommend the miniseries (came out in TPB around the time of 52/Booster Gold) and it interacted with a lot of the DCU at that time – Booster Gold, JLI, Superman, Green Lantern and Animal Man all made cameo appearances.

    Wotan – like Amethyst, not a big fan due to the magical element.

    Atlantis – Gorgeous drawing.

    Look forward to hearing the next episode from you two.

  22. For the 1 star rating review for my part I say kudos for reading it. Not because of what you said in responce (though I agree) but because basically you have said that if anyone gives a review you will read it.

  23. An excellent episode! I’ve been eagerly waiting for the Who’s Who (DC version) show to come back and I have not been disappointed!
    As much as I enjoyed the original Who’s Who comics as a kid, I never got into the loose leaf editions because I, at the time, didn’t think they were “real” comics. I mean, I took my Who’s Who comics on camping trips (just in case I couldn’t remember the origin of Kite Man, I guess?). But now I have to take a binder that won’t fit in my backpack with sheets that might fall out? No, thank you.
    Having said that, I like hearing the joy that these editions have brought to everyone from the listings and artists to the way that people stored them. Did anyone NOT put them in binders and just put them in a comics box? Or is that crazy talk?
    Anyways, looking forward to the next episode!

      1. I always assumed Gint-Sized Man-Thing had the same proportions as a normal comic, just more pages. Is that not right? maybe you mean one of the black and white mags in which he appeared?

  24. Another great episode. It instantly took me back to when I was in middle school and these came out. There were books I wasn’t allowed to get at the time (All the proto-Vertigo books, Suicide Squad, Green Arrow) so Who’s Who was a glimpse through the keyhole.

    My thoughts on some of the individual entries:

    Amanda Waller – Right away, the classification system gets off on a dubious foot. The Wall is way more than a supporting cast member. But I guess she falls into this category by the default of not being a quantifiable hero or villain.

    Blue Beetle’s Bug – wish they had done a tech diagram of it.

    Brotherhood of Dada – Because of this entry, Dadaism always held a certain fascination for me. When I was in art school, I remember I was one of the few who already knew of the Dada movement, and instantly understood the importance of Duchamp, Man Ray, and Ernst. Also, I was fascinated by the Quiz, and realized I (and probably everyone on this network) would be her arch-nemesis, since as a comic nerd, I can come up with super-powers easily.

    Cain and Abel – It seems kind of odd that Cain isn’t killing Abel in the inset picture – instead he is killing others. I’m not that familiar with the 70’s horror comics, but in the Sandman and later stuff he only kill Abel, and that was almost a compulsion more than anything else. My favorite Cain and Abel story is The Dreaming #8 where we find out the “real” reason Cain killed Abel.

    Challengers of the Unknown – You know who could do amazing classic Challengers? Karl Kessel & Tom Grummett. They proved in their run on Superboy that they can handle Kirby creations respectfully while still doing new and fun stuff with the properties.

    Dominators – You forgot to mention that the Dominators were (sort of) in live action for 2016’s CW series Invasion! crossover. But not really.

    El Diablo – I really, really miss Mike Parobeck. In an era when everyone else was trying so hard to crosshatch and speed line every inch of the page, his work was clean. No fear of bad drawings being hidden by over-rendering – not that he had bad drawings to hide.

    Fire – Was she naked when she powered up? Where DID her clothes go? And while we can agree on the beauty of Hughe’s cheesecake, it’s his little touches (like Bea’s raspberrying Jack O’Lantern) that make him a stellar artist.

    Geo-Force & Hawk – fitting that these two should be back-to-back. The frat brahs of the DCU.

    Jericho – If anyone could handle the over-detailed outfits created by Perez, it is Tom Grummett. I started reading New Titans during this era, and I loved his work. Wish I could say the same for the character. Being dead was the best period of this character’s publication history.

    Kono & Rokk Krinn – YES!!! 5YL Legion!!! I don’t know if there was a correlation between Legion readers and Who’s Who readers, but the team always got the love. We might not ever see loose-leaf entries for The Atom or Captain Marvel, but we got entries for every Legion character. Also, there was a lot of backstory given in these Who’s Who entries that was never revealed in the actual book.

    Ma & Pa Kent – Disappointed that they didn’t do headshots and vital stats for them. Then again, maybe the “known relatives” would have taken up all of the page.

    Orion – I only remember this costume from his brief time in Justice League America (when they thought Mister Miracle was dead). What good, really, is his head gear? It’s protecting his forehead, cheekbones and the bridge of his nose. Not the important things like his eyes or skull.

    Sinestro – Interesting they didn’t slap a “deceased” label on him, since at this point he was dead and wouldn’t really come back for another 14 years.

    Stanley and His Monster – What a fun concept and what fun art. I just wished they had done vital stats for them: I would have loved to see what they thought the height/weight for the Monster was.

    Superman – While I agree on the slight stiffness, this is still classic, perfect Superman.

    Time Masters – Regarding the limitations on the time travel: I always figured it was a human ignorance thing. They simply didn’t know how to make it so you could use a method two times. After all, even in the post-Crisis universe, characters had already been time-jumping via the same method lots of times.

    Atlantis – calling this a map is a bit of a misnomer. It is a gorgeous piece of art, but a map it isn’t.

    The back cover – that is the most quintessential early 90’s pattern and colors I have ever seen. Also, for some reason, my issue came with a paper version of the back cover to protect (?) the real back cover. It was the only issue to have this.

    Looking forward to the next episode! Keep it up!

  25. G) Darkseid’s logo is METAL, and dates back to at least Super Powers. My best guess on the use of Mark Badger for the entry is that they wanted that Cosmic Odyssey vibe, but Mike Mignola was at Marvel by 1990. Badger is a good fit sabotaged by the excessively dark colors. I like that he’s contemplative and reserved here, not the cartoon bruiser he would start to become in the wake of pivoting to toyetic. It is weird to think of how relatively new Darkseid was at the time, especially in relation to his perhaps more famous influences from just a bit later in the decade. For contrast, Deadpool today is almost 50% older than Darkseid was in 1990, and Spider-Girl is about the same age. Did Rob feel a twinge of panic when he realized he’d said “omega blast” and corrected before the comments could start flooding in?

    H) It certainly does look like Sprouse was going for McFarlane business on the Dominators. Boy, they blew it on the TV adaptation. DC has so many alien races, but I don’t recall seeing that orange border very often.

    I) Count me among those who didn’t fully begin to appreciate the simplicity of Mike Parobeck until after he died, though I did enjoy his B:TASifications of other DC heroes in Batman/Superman Magazine. El Diablo is now the fire generating convict in Suicide Squad, so there’s one less property to worry about being tainted by association. Anyway, Rafael Sandoval was a hot mess by the time his writer was done with turning him into an actual devil in J.L.A. Someone should steal that mask design.

    J) Adam Hughes was quite cinematic before he joined similarly slow artists and just started churning out good girl pin-up covers. I like the idea behind Fire’s logo, but the flame effect itself doesn’t work, and “Fire” is about the most generic super-name possible. I guess she anticipated the use of simple nouns for characters
    in the ’90s. I was never very fond of Fire, but I developed an appreciation for Green Fury when researching her Super Friends days for a podcast. I still need to do the Green Flame follow-up I wrote but cut because our “radio play” of her Super Friends adventures was already episode length.

    K) I don’t think the Geo-Force entry was intentionally funny, I prefer the yellow and green suit because it’s a more unusual color scheme and as awful as the character who wears it. The tan suit was better on Terra, anyway. Explain to me how death eludes Geo-Force? Nobody likes this guy, so if you wanted to permanently off a hero for cheap effect, his would take.

  26. I’ve only caught the episodes over 2017, but this was a great jump-on point!

    I think Geo-Force was included because he’ll play a role in 1991’s War of the Gods event. It was supposed to be a “big” or “key” role, but that’s not how it worked out.

    Stanley and his Monster was so much fun. I likewise remembered the Secret Origins issue. It’s also great fun to read the whole trifecta of Foglio’s DC minis: Angel and the Ape, SahM, and Plastic Man.

    I didn’t know El Diablo was drawn by Mike Parobeck (such a loss). Something to look for. I LOVED his JSA series, far too short-lived.

    Well done, gentlemen!

  27. Great episode, gentlemen; welcome back. And thanks for reading (and praising) my iTunes review; I am the mysterious “TrivTriv.”

    I predicted one of you would peg your In Stock Trades recommendation to the Brotherhood of Dada page; it’s one of the most memorable Who’s Who entries ever, and it fascinated me at the time. (Still took me 15 years to read the story, however…)

    Agree that Tim Sale’s COTU entry is way, way off. This was the first time I’d ever seen his work, and it looked hopelessly amateurish to me, like something out of a dime-store coloring book; I couldn’t understand how anyone thought it was professional quality. It was a pleasant surprise a few years later when I read his Batman issues and developed an appreciation for his style.

    How I organized my looseleaf entries: At first it was according to the color-coded categories, but I recall reorganizing them once or twice. The only specific scheme I can remember is ordering them by date of first appearance. I remember debating something like whether “Winter 1940” should go before “February 1940.” (I guess so, since “Winter” could be January. Then again, it might also be December.) I never saw the binders at my LCS, so I put the pages in a black plastic binder I was issued at school, decorated with the school’s crest. (Yes, we had a crest. I went to one of THOSE schools…)

    Onward, good sirs!

  28. L) Rob Liefeld’s work has an energy and enthusiasm that offsets his technical issues. Greg Guler’s work does not. Guys in our age group mourn for the days of artists drawing comics “The Marvel Way,” which basically amounted to 1970s John Buscema with pleasant variations on uniformity that at least had more flourish and drama than, say, Curt Swan in the ’50s. The Image antecedents helped to revitalize and diversify comic book art, but there was still a substantial chunk of their generation who dutifully grinded out this sort of style guide adherent journeyman material. Late ’80s DC was swimming in acceptable, perfunctory sequential storytelling that made us all thirsty for the Chromium Age excesses to come. I’m surprised Hawk & Dove lasted as long as it did, between the look and buying into the magic beans that were the Lords of Order & Chaos. Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly are working some excellent cosplay (aside from that blond wig) but I still see the concept as a non-starter.

    M) Jericho was a better Dove than Don Hall. I have hated Jericho and his Kenny G Jheri Curl in my day, but never wholly, and I look back on him with increasing fondness in the face of his constant, unearned, loud derision. He was Marv Wolfman’s Peter Rasputin riff, which in the long run worked better for me than namby-pamby Colossus and his child bride kink. Jericho mindfully walked a semi-pacifistic path after having his entire life’s course altered by his father’s violence at an early age. He was a lover who also knew how to be a fighter when it was called for, and had a fun power with a nifty activation that could have adapted very well to live action on even a tight budget. The name is cool, the logo is fine, so his main problem was the funky costume and dated ’70s vibe. When the combined might of Tom Grummett and Al Vey can’t make you fully pop, you need some serious revision. Finally, excepting the stuff done by or after Geoff Johns that I barely remember, Jericho was not evil so much as corrupted by the Trigon-tinged souls of Azarath.

    N) Between the Who’s Who in the Legion marathon podcasts and the Super-Bloggers in my Twitter feed, I’m sick to death of hearing about Five Years Later. I read it during my late ’90s Legion binge, it was ground zero for Giffen’s most aggravatingly misanthropic storytelling tendencies in that time period, and I’m just not with you guys on this. Trench coats, stubble, too-cool-for-codenames, f-new-readers with our incomprehensible jargon and non-exposition… ’90s era awfulness was more than just pouches and oversized guns, which 5YL also had bound-in. I admittedly only read the series once, and started skipping parts after Giffen left, but I honestly have no recollection of the character of Kono outside of her entry’s art. I look at Rokk Krinn and expect to hear a lecture about how Seattle is the only legitimate scene and all those Chicago acts are a bunch of phonies with their back door major labor deals.

    O) I don’t recall if I’ve specifically ranted about this regarding Who’s Who or just in general, so to keep it brief, Ma & Pa Kent are Superboy supporting characters. They die to twist the knife in Clark’s invulnerable gut that regardless of his godlike powers, he can’t save everyone… even those closest to him. If you kill off Pa and (have a hottie play) Ma continuing on with her life, you’re doing Peter Parker. If you have both live, it reinforces the narrative of Superman as the perfect white dude living an idyllic fantasy free from heavy complications while diminishing the roles of the people who are supposed to define his adult life. If you need sounding boards, that’s a role for Lois or Jimmy or Perry. I care about Superman as a twice orphaned immigrant. I don’t care about a cornfed Kansan sharing a milk with his parents while deliberating how best to wield his awesomeness in service to The American Way. Kerry Gammill is a good enough artists to draw two tombstones and make that work. Just another reason why I hate the Carlin era books.

    P) I’m going to counter Siskoid and say that I halfway like the Ocean Master entry and that’s all the way because of what Joseph Rubinstein brings to it. The “normal half-brother” origin is vastly superior to that eternal brothers-in-conflict fantasy crap. It’s true to life and poetic instead of a trope. The logo sucks.

    Q) The best part of the Orion art is the zip tone. The Cullins revision is an overwrought gaudy eyesore, and it’s odd Shag forgot that it’s the costume Orion wore during his JLI stint. I think the New Gods have suffered from artists that try to render them as realistic humans and writers who struggle to figure out what it means to be super-hero gods. I think Tom King is proving the opposite tack works better, where you write to their humanity, while Mike Allred is showing that portraying the cosmic counts the most in the visuals. I still haven’t read the story of Orion as an unwanted and distrusted child with inborn emotional problems coming to terms with his role as a champion of the good while struggling with inner and exterior demons. I have seen him act like a jerk and spout bumper sticker philosophy, which explains why he keeps getting unnecessary cosmetic changes.

    R) Ichabod Crane is probably my favorite DC Scarecrow, but like, my third fav comic book one. My favorite Batman villains tend to be the guys who got a spotlight in the Bronze Age like Killer Croc and Hugo Strange or the recurring ones from the 1966 series/movie. Scarecrow is in that third tier of dudes I know from the comics and other adaptations, but didn’t seem to fascinate me or the general public as much. The Pratt art is fine, but the colors not so much.

    S) I now own Joe Staton art, so I certainly like him in the right context or with the proper embellishment. I didn’t want him drawing Sinestro in 1990. It was a time when DC needed to move forward, and this representation was a throwback. Mark Nelson only accentuated the Silver Age vibe. I continue to have a soft spot for Phil Foglio keeping Stanley and his Monster innocently old school, though.

    T) Rip Hunter would be swell on the Easy Challengers of the Blackhawk Patrol, but not so much joined by forgotten randos in the Time Masters. Also bums me out that Art Thibert gave us this but not Nightwing & Starfire.

    5) I forgot to mention that The Green Fury could breathe fire much greater than twelve inches, and not just out of her mouth. She hilariously flew by jet propulsion out of her nostrils. I hope her farts were merely self-match-ignited.

    6) In the current political climate, I’ll confess to not having any patience for indulging people who would support a blatantly racist moronic demagogue rapist traitor, but I do try to have tolerance for more general differences in ideology. There are guys who took questionable shots at my president that I was immediately done with, but if they were coming at it correctly, it might be worth having a conversation about. I’ve never given a podcast a one-star rating, because if it’s that bad, it’s probably not worth the trouble of logging on and writing a review. I think the sort of people who have that kind of free time are petty and basically outing themselves as having a micropenis. The specific example noted was clearly setting aside his Klan dunce cap at the public library he’s trying to close down despite it being his only internet access so he could commit all of his severely limited brainpower to failing to resolve the logical fallacy of dragging a show he openly endorsed over one lefty comment just because Vladimir said it was a required task.

    7) I wouldn’t show up for a dedicated New Gods podcast. I’m good for a short run deal at best. To be honest, my interest in listening to and producing podcasts* has waned significantly in the past year, perhaps as a symptom of the pervasive joylessness of life itself that set in around 2016. I wish more people would commit to limited engagements or single exhaustive episode** explorations of a topic (like the way The Projection Booth will thoroughly cover a film/franchise for 3-4 hours with people originally involved with or intimately familiar with the subject) then call it quits. There are only so many things I have enough interest in to devote 18 or 36 or 100 hours of my life to having discussed in podcast form. I picked up Shag’s habit of playing shows at 1.5x or double speed, but I’m left-swiping unheard more often, and I don’t make the time to comment on most of them like I used to. In recent months, I’ve favored switching back to radio, or even enjoying long silences so I can just think or empty my brain and simply be for a little bit. But I listened to the new Who’s Who twice in one week at its recorded speed, and it made me happy to do so.

    *Podcasts were the new blogs, and it’s 2012 o’ clock.

    **It would however be offensively stupid to try to cram all of Kenneth Johnson’s “V” into a single podcast episode. Any idiot could tell you that.

  29. First, I don’t have these, never, read them, never even saw them. I was well out of collecting when they were published. Loved listening to this, and enjoyed reading all the comments. So I want to add mine. Let the old guy have a few moments!
    1. Amanda Waller. What heroic thing has she ever done? I’m serious. As far as I’m concerned, she’s no better than a super-villain head-honcho. She has her team of villains commit crimes and manipulates them through threats and coercion. She is the embodiment of Big Brother Government.
    2. The Ocean Master drawing and the Superman drawing. The figure work on Ocean Master is outstanding. A full body image. Legs in motion, arms in motion, hips and shoulders in opposition, torso in motion. That is the kind of image this kind of collection calls for! The Superman figure is stiff. Legs straight, knees locked. One arm straight elbow locked. Also what looks like a tumor on his left tricep. Even the background is stiff. the buildings are parallel with the edges of the page. It’s got a nice texture, but it’s dull.
    3. The Kents. I agree completely with Frank. (Rao help me!)

    Shag mentioned that they published letters. Where? As a separate page?
    I’m with you, lads! These entries are going to get more ridiculous, but I love hearing your fond memories! That goes for all of you!

  30. Just a coupe of super quick comments:

    1. I find myself oddly in agreement with Rob about the Doom Patrol. I have a high threshold for weird, but Morrison’s DP was trying too hard for the weirdness factor. It’s kind of like the current DC “event” Metal, in that the sense of story takes a back seat to, “Let’s see what weird thing we can do.” No thanks.

    2. I’ve already admitted that this loose leaf version isn’t my cup of team (interesting to hear even the editor agrees with me), but I appreciate another chance to see Jericho. He is a king among these characters, and the splash page art supports that.

    3. Speaking of the art, there are alot of misses here for me, but I’m just not a fan of the stylized art forms that were all the rage back then. I do like the Kents and Fire.

    4. Finally, I’d like to point out that Shag mentioned one of my comments and then used it to prove to Rob that “everyone” agreed with his point about the color coding. His belief that I represent the voice of the people is seriously going to affect my reputation as the contrarian.

    5. Oh, actually finally, I am one of the bad comic book geeks who actually did get a subscription to this title delivered to my home. Mine never came rolled up (the heavy covers made that a challenge, I think) and this is probably why I have all the issues, as the 90’s is when my interest in comics temporarily waned.

  31. Amethyst eventually received a cartoon series as part of the short-lived DC Nation initiative. It was a series of shorts in an anime-ish style totaling just a little over 9 minutes. You can watch all of them here:

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