Who’s Who in the DC Universe #10

It's the tenth titanic issue of WHO'S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE featuring Angel and the Ape, Firestorm, The Flash, Hippolyte, The Patchwork Man, Robin, Thorn, Waverider!, Wild Dog, and more! Plus YOUR Listener Feedback!

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73 responses to “Who’s Who in the DC Universe #10

  1. Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the listen. I hate to be “that guy” but FYI Denny O’Neil created I-Ching and Robert Kanigher killed him off. I-Ching was occasionally referred to as “incredible” on some of the covers, so good on Xum for incorporating it into his logo. Xum is a really talented guy and should be working for DC.

  2. Rough start from Shagg, bashing Angel and the Ape and Dial H for Hero (as you may know, I’ve covered every single Dial H story ever on my blog, except for the newest series that’s running now, but it will come, trust me. Things pick up with the proto-Vertigo stuff and of course his beloved Firestorm. Phew!

    So glad “Nimbus” didn’t take. The Mist is so great in the Jack Knight stories.

    And that’s where I’m at. Dinner is ready. Will finish the rest later. Thanks for the company!

  3. If DOOM PATROL gets renewed, we should see Dorothy next season. (End plug)

    Connie ended up with Chunk, and they lived in Wally’s old mansion.

    Did Shag skip the Contruct/JLI/Maxwell Lord connection? (Plug JLI podcast here)

    The Swamp Thing cancellation is likely due to the new management at DC getting rid of whatever the old regime put in motion. It’s a time-honored tradition in entertainment.

    I like the Simonson-style background on Waverider, but not the rest so much.

      1. Sorry, Construct was involved with Max Lord creating the new JL, that was retconned in JLA Annual 9 to be Kilg%re, plus I always get the two of them confused.

  4. Hey! A few Superman characters. Hazaah!

    Draaga: This character first appeared at the tail end of the Exile storyline and thus he will always mean something to me. I have grown to like the idea that he was one of the champions that Mongul had in place on Warworld, but also had a sense of honor, so when Superman didn’t kill him he just couldn’t deal with it. His next big appearance was during the Krypton Man storyline that Shag mentioned and because Superman was under the thrall of the Eradicator he was pretty much willing to honor Draaga’s desire to die in battle. His final appearance in Panic in the Sky is actually touching, though Supergirl did not mourn for very long despite a few panels making it seem like she would.

    Thorn: I love the idea that Metropolis has street level heroes to deal with stuff Superman can’t because he’s so big picture. Her showing up in the summer of ’91 was a lot of fun and she stayed around long enough to be in the Legacy of Superman one shot. Jeff and I covered an issue of Adventures of Superman awhile back where Karl Kesel kind of brought her back, which was a fun issue. Bendis recently brought her back in the pages of ACTION COMICS, so apparently the character has some life in her yet.

    (I would also recommend the mini-series Gail Simone wrote back in 2004ish. It was good.)

    Waverider: Yes, I consider him a Superman character. Jurgens had a hand in creating him and brought him into the Superman books soon after the Armageddon 2001 event was over, and that epilogue happened in an issue of ACTION COMICS.

    Die mad.

    Armageddon 2001 may result in mixed feelings from readers of the time, but I loved the storyline. I didn’t buy all of the annuals, but that first 80 page issue will always mean a lot to me. I was still in the wilderness in 1991, which meant I knew nothing of this event outside of a house ad. I found the first issue not really knowing what it was about and just became enthralled with the despotic future and the fact that outside of flashbacks and the odd panel, there are no main heroes in this book. It’s all about Matthew Ryder. This made me connect to him more and I’ll always love this character because of that.

  5. Perhaps after the super-nova of the Legion issue, the next Who’s Who issue was doomed to be a letdown. And, I have to say, this sounded like even you guys weren’t into it as much as usual! And this issue included frickin’ Firestorm.

    Usually there is some character that I feel passionate about but nobody really bubbled to the surface. The closest was Lady Shiva who I loved in O’Neill’s Question. I always wondered who would win in an Elektra/Shiva fight. I suppose the two ladies would first sais each other up. In this entry, Shiva’s weapons are ludicrously long. Doesn’t she know that sais doesn’t matter?

    I like the Starfire page because there is something almost wholesome in her expression. This is sort of the ‘girl next door’ cheesecake hotness. That’s a win.

    Otherwise not much to say here. I am intrigued with all the Cinemax-cinema discussion here lately. Between the Shannon Tweed talk and the Laura Gemser talk, it sounds like another show is about to be slated. How about naming it ‘Late Night Steam’? Maybe it’s time we talked about Krista Allen (at the height of her power) being perfect to play Firehawk?

    1. Let the record show that this time I didn’t bring up *sigh* Laura Gemser* sigh. BTW, I’ve already mentioned it, but L’Alcova is an in-depth examination of class struggle, and if a viewer can’t see that because Laura kept taking off her clothes…is that on Laura or the viewer? After all, Laura can’t help it that she’s physically perfect! She was born that way.

      I don’t know about Krista Allen as Firehawk, but I always thought Brinke Stevens would have been a great Poison Ivy. As for Laura Gemser, well, she can play anyone that she wants! Circe, maybe, since she’s so bewitching? Can you imagine an episode of the 70s Wonder Woman show with Lynda Carter vs Laura Gemser? The mind boggles!

      1. I’ve always felt of the late night actresses, Monique Parent would have a made a great Rose & Thorn. And Julie K Smith as Black Canary.

        1. Since Laura Gemser is magical, maybe Laura as Zatanna?

          Lynda Carter has a B-movie (Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw) on her resume, so no recasting of Wonder Woman needed.

          Pam Grier as Vixen.

  6. Okay, Shag…FIGHT!!!

    Tim Drake, I love him, but not the best Robin. Dick was BORN to be Robin. Tim had to work at it, and that’s what made his character great. When he and young Dick met in that great Zero Hour crossover issue, Tim acknowledged he wasn’t the natural Dick was at super heroics. Tim working at something he so desperately wanted to be was part of his character, so he can’t be THE best, because part of his journey is TRYING to be that. He may be the best developed Robin, character-wise, at least during his Robin years, I’ll give you that. Having said that, he should still be Robin, because Damian is a horrible addition to the canon. I just read Tim is to get a new identity this week in Young Justice. Hopefully he’s not named after a burger chain this time. RED ROBIN….YUM!

    Also, I loved the “Barry is his own lightning” angle from that Secret Origins annual. It definitely laid the groundwork for Waid’s Speed Force. It’s so poetic, and it should have been left that way, and Barry should have stayed dead. I do love this Flash entry, and agree Kesel was Infantino’s best inker in decades.

    Shag the Prude was an interesting way to start the issue, but I must admit, I was surprised by the amount of skin seen in the Angel & The Ape entry then and now. I had no idea Foglio did dirty comics! Shame!

    I hate to keep bagging on everything you said, Shag, but I have to agree with Rob on the elemental Firestorm. If sales were that bad, just cancel the book. Changing a character to where they are unrecognizable seems silly to me. Plus, Ostrander and Mandrake could have made some creator participation coin had they went and made their own Fire Elemental. I just don’t understand that thinking.

    More later! Thanks for helping me ease back into work after a long holiday weekend!


        1. Oh, and while I think Dick was BORN to be Robin, he was also meant to GROW into Nightwing. I like it when he fills in as Batman, but it can’t last. DC will never let it, even though maybe they should.

          All of this is thrown out if you’re on Earth-Two, and Dick gets to be Robin in that boss costume. The second adult one, of course!

  7. And I’m back!

    Good points on Tim as Robin.

    Starfire: What I read of the post-New52 series (SERIES, not her appearances in the Red Hood/Arsenal comic!) really saved her. Lovely stuff. You should check it out if you can, Shagg.

    Rob, if you don’t care for the Waverider/Monarch temporal anomaly stuff, you’re gonna suffer when you listen to Zero Hour Strikes! We have to talk about that a LOT.

    Wild Dog: Greg Arujo recently tweeted an old trade article about the series where the character was still called Red Dog. I guess someone argued the character looked mostly blue.

  8. The elemental Firestorm (like every other non-Ronnie/Prof incarnation) was an interesting side story that lasted way too long and is best forgotten.

    I don’t like waffles.

    Great show in all, fellas!

    1. I remember the elemental Firestorm being an extremely fun run. If I remember correctly I didn’t think it was long enough. I would have liked to have seen it transition back to the original firestorm but…. Damn now I want to go back and read that series too. Thank goodness I have DC Universe where can read my comics on the 72 in TV screen.

  9. Did the entry for the Shark not mention what lets him be a Green Lantern villain at all, possibly the most comic book physics thing only, his invisible yellow force field?

    Titans talk time: Starfire was my favorite New Teen Titan, alien pun names and uncanny pupils and all. But she hasn’t been served well since the good part of the Wolfman run. Like most of those characters so far, it’s someone else’s fault. In this case, it’s bad decisions regarding Nightwing. See, Nightwing should stay a Titan. Going back to Gotham (or Bludhaven) is a regression. Nightwing is a leader, not a follower. Should only show up in the same state as Gotham wearing the Batsuit. And making that boneheaded decision ruins Starfire. I don’t know if the deeply awful Mirage plotline came out of the writer’s block or a mandate from the Bat office…

    But Starfire is a character defined by divided loyalties. She has responsibilities as a Princess or as a rebel back home that she is avoiding, and she needs a reason for that. She needs a strong connection to Earth for that to work, and there’s nobody who can replace Dick (I will never call him Ric) Grayson in that role.

    Supplemental Titans Talk: Vikki was the more interesting H-dialer and following her back from the heel turn would have been a better choice than focusing on Chris.

  10. I have mentioned before how I have always liked Starfire. Okay part of that was burgeoning hormones and the fact that she was Robin’s girlfriend, but I liked the dichotomy of the innocent, naive character who was also a fierce warrior. Walking passion in a lot of ways…but LOYAL. Later writers didn’t get that and made her into a tramp, in my opinion. Starfire was not that way, until lesser hands who only half-remembered their old comics cast her in that light. This is a great entry, and after Perez, Grummet was the best at drawing her. But that goes for most Titans.

    Joe Potato…yeah, I’m not sure why they thought he warranted an entry. Harold (Batman’s huncbacked tech assistant created around the same time) doesn’t get one, but Joe does? He was a fun gimmick character, but not entry-worthy. I guess they couldn’t do half-pages in this format.

    I loved it when Tom Taggart did his mixed media stuff. I think Patchwork Man definitely made it in based on his visual alone, and if you can get Taggart to produce something like this…why not?

    The visual similarities between Elemental Firestorm and Waverider seemed odd at the time, partially due to them both being in this issue. Waverider has the better visual though. Sorry Shag. Plus, he made it onto JLU…sorry Shag.

    Draaga’s shirt SHOULD be blue, I believe. I liked the comic version much more than his Doomsday-lite appearance on the worst episode of Justice League Season One.

    The stinger at the end? I’d axe that guy.


          1. How would you rank the following Justice League support staff ?

            Snapper Carr
            Dale Gunn
            Sue Dibney
            Catherine Cobert

  11. You know i love these Who’s Who shows! And opening with an argument was a master stroke!

    Speaking of master strokes, I’m 1000% behind any Emmanuelle talk! Did you guys ever catch that series where Sylvia Kristel returned to the role in a weekly series? She would recount the adventures of her younger days to one-time Bond George Lazenby (young Emmanuelle played by actress Marcela Walerstein).

    I quite liked Monique Gabrielle’s brief stint in the role. She’s more my type. But I do love me some Gemser. As for Krista Allen – now we’re talking! A guy I know worked on her Emmanuelle movies/series and says she’s just the nicest lady. ALways great to hear.

    I think I had Kevin Dooley sign my Joe Potato entry. Easily one of the best WW entries in the series.

    Dick Grayson is the best Robin. As I’ve said before, I like Tim, but he just smacks of Robin by committee. He’s too much of a reaction against Jason Todd Mark 2 for my tastes. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a Todd fan.

    Regarding the one co-host’s penchant for murdering teenage characters, I ask him this: Better to kill off a character that might not be working out too well OR remove them from books for a bit and try a new take or rehabilitation?

    What I’m saying is Jason Todd’s murder was a lame stunt and something that cheapens the integrity of the Batbooks’ characters. What if they just killed Aquaman off because they didn’t know what to do with him and replaced him with a younger, “more exciting” version only to bring him back?? Oh, wait…

  12. Hey guys, great podcast as always …
    I always liked the cartoony look of the Angel and the Ape entry. It’s funny, but despite Angel being topless and everyone being maimed or killed in the background, I actually thought it could sell the characters as a concept for an animated series.. My roommate in college took one look at this and said DC was gonna get sued out of their socks by marvel for including Wolverine’s Clawed hand in the upper left corner!

    Flash. At the time this issue came out, Barry was long gone and aside from the TV show I hadn’t really become a full-time Flash fan as yet. I was glad that despite being Dead for what? five, six years now?) Barry still did get his own entry and I really enjoyed the art on it as I was collecting the Trial of Barry Allen at that point and I the look was almost identical. On the other hand it’s funny to me that Barry is drawn as being so super-muscular, I always picture Flashes as being lean. yes they have muscles…but they don’t usually come off looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger! ( I had an argument with another comic buyer in a shop on that subject when Grant Gustin’s first promo for the Flash aired right after the end of Arrow’s second season)
    Still this entry made me more interested in Barry’s run as the Flash and I started reading through the Greatest Flash Stories Ever Told to get to know him better.

    Now as much as I was starting to like Barry Allen, Wally West was/is/will always be my FLASH and I love that his supporting cast gets their own page. I really miss these characters and I hope that when all the dust settles from DC’s current mish-mash, that we get to see some of them again.
    (btw…I also want to see a comic heavy Flash podcast come out Shag….It seems like every time I try a new Flash podcast it only focuses on the TV show. )

    Joe Potato was a riot when I read his entry because I I had just read the most recent issue he had appeared in. I figured he was going to be used more frequently but then with the New Robin being introduced, it’s not really hard to see why he wasn’t. (the funny part about his potato peeler knife is that it’s just a bluff-gag. the Potato peeler is actually made out of rubber and it’s meant to scare people into talking rather than be used as an actual instrument of torture.

    Now I have to say, I wonder if DC and/or Comixology follows your podcast because only this past Thursday they start releasing the Jonni Thunder series right before you cover her in Who’s Who! I never had much interest in the character herself, although I half-expected her to at least get a mention during the Straziewski/Parobek run on Justice Society a few years later.

    I actually missed the issues when Kilg%re first appeared and I didn’t get around to buying them until much later. Interestingly, I first heard the name when Wally was shot by Vandal Savage in issue 50 and the Kilg%re saved Wally’s life with an implant that he had left in Flash during their first encounter.

    The thing that always stood out to me about Lady Shiva’s entry was that she was holding the two sais, she had three thugs down on the ground but neither the thugs, nor the sais had so much of a drop of blood on them.

    With Robin I actually didn’t read the entry too closely as I had been following Tim’s progress to becoming the third Boy Wonder. I knew every step he took already so I never really saw the need to read it. That being said I never cared for the way writers called Alfred Batman’s manservant. I would have much preferred it if they used a term like Confindant or at the very least, Butler.

    Waverider. I was always a big fan of this character and a lot of it has to do with the fact that Armageddon 2001 was the first major event I followed after my return to the DC Universe after a Death in the Family. Waverider’s biggest and best claim to fame would come about a year or so later when they used him to facilitate the return of the Justice Society from Ragnarok (aka editorial limbo….a place they seem to keep finding themselves in)

    Well, that’s pretty much all I have to say this time out. See you again next time guys!

    1. Barry has complete control of his molecules (except when a villainous transformation demands he forget this), I’m sure I saw him artificially bulk up at least once.

  13. There’s no doubt that we’re living in an age with a wealth of comics characters in media: just among DC properties on CW shows alone, there’s a wealth of characters in live-action, including (as you point out) Wild Dog. Other shows have brought on Draaga and Kilg%re, and Mason (Troll)bridge even, but then … you have Waverider. “We like how the name Waverider sounds, but we don’t care particularly about anything else having to do with him,” is what I imagine the Arrowverse creators saying, and that’s a shame if you do like the comics character. Since the name’s been used, and repurposed as the name of the ship on Legends, shucks, I guess we won’t be seeing Waverider the CHARACTER anytime soon on ANY Arrowverse show. Oh well, Can’t have everything, I guess. But you can have Wild Dog.

    1. I was going to say…It would be cool if they introduced the character Waverider as well as Monarch in a future Arrowverse crossover called Armageddon. On the other hand the “Hero comes to the present from the future to find a way to prevent a future villain from coming to power” plot is pretty much what season 1 of Legends was all about to begin with.

  14. (I should of clarified that I was disappointed in myself. When I saw the artwork for Vicki Vale and didn’t like it, I assumed you two would zip where you zapped. It was a painful reminder that I should sit back and just allow myself to enjoy the coverage by you two free from expectations.)

  15. I fell in love with Angel in the 100th issue special. I thought Lois and Angel proved they were heroes despite being ordinary people. They got all their skills and abilities from their own work and study (without Batman’s super power).

  16. If only Joe Potato had been created with some sort of motif, a distinctive or playful hook about him to make the character stand out, maybe he could have caught on.

  17. Congratulations on another great show.

    That Angel and the Ape pic is disgraceful. A fully grown monkey man drawing a nude of a young woman he first knew when she was a kid? Skeevy, thy name is Sam.

    I don’t get the love for the Draaga illo, it’s just a guy who looks more comical than scary. And I’ve never gone along with the idea that a murderer is suddenly OK because he has an ‘honour code’. Still a murderer. And the logo is a bit rubbish, and badly placed – it looks like the D has been filled-in in a slapdash manner, even though it’s actually fine.

    Joe Potato. Well, he had legs. Not.

    Firestorm is nicely drawn. And he doesn’t look too skinny to me. But I absolutely hate the design and this version of Firestorm. It’s Firestorm for teenagers who like the poems by Goth girls printed in Sandman letter columns. Rob is right, ‘destined’ is rubbish. I cannot stand the ‘always meant to be a fire elemental’ bit, the usually inspired Ostrander should have left Swamp Thing tropes alone. Gerry Conway hit on gold with Martin and Ronnie, and this replacement version was much less appealing, visually and conceptually. Ostrander should have kept the classic set-up and told new stories with that. As Anj says, if you’re going to change things that much, just cancel and let the readers miss the character.

    Shagg is right, Infantino has become madly stylised by this point (though I still loved his work). But look at him inked by Bob Oksner on the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl series and Superman #404 (written by Paul Kupperberg) – Lana Lang there will take Shagg’s breath away. Seriously, pop over to the DC app and at least check out page four, I’ll wait…

    I’m another who misses Wally’s supporting cast, they were really well developed and useful story engines. Thanks for the namecheck, by the way! Mary West is sitting with me now, she says hi.

    The striking Jonni Thunder and starchy Joe Potato should have shared a page, as minor DC detectives. They could form an agency with dull-as-dishwater Jason Bard and skeevy Sam Simeon.

    I could never figure out which Legionnaire Garynn Bek was standing in for. OK, he had Timber Wolf hair, but no powers.

    That Patchwork Man illo is amazing.

    Shagg try the DC You Starfire series by Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Emmanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy, it’s delightful. Starfire is compassionate, courageous, brave, naive, smart, loyal… for once her personality is more rounded than her boobs. Oh, and it’s set in Key West (no relation to Mary).

    I really like the Hippolyte drawing, she looks wonderfully regal – put this brunette version in a fighting pose and it’s just Diana, but in robes it can only be Hippo. And dig the fantastic way Cynthia Martin draws those folds.

    I’ve never liked Lady Shiva, she’s just one of too many interchangeable DC femme fatales.

    The Shark was one of the first DC villains I came across, in his debut appearance. I’ve always found him scary – a shark that can chase you on land and blast you with mental powers before nicking your steak dinner? >eep< I loved Shagg’s logic that comic book atomic rays wouldn’t evolve a shark because sharks are so slow to evolve… that’s the point! It’s a shame that Karl Kesel’s less interesting King Shark means Karshon is never used these days.

    I like Tim loads, but Dick is the original and best Robin, every other one is a take on him.

    Xum’s I Ching entry is truly marvellous, well done matey!

  18. Great show, guys! Once again, you guys created a fantastic episode regardless of the content within *cough*Shark*cough*. Since I never bought the loose leaf Who’s Who, I enjoy seeing all these entries I never would have come across. My favourite being Waverider(!) as I remember buying a couple of those Armageddon 2001 annuals. I remember Superman Annual 3 the most as I thought it had a neat cover. And without reading all the annuals (or even being that interested in Armageddon 2001), EVEN I KNEW that Captain Atom was supposed to be Monarch. It must have been a very badly kept secret which prompted the change.
    As far the the Legion Omnibuses, I’m only about 200 pages in and, even though I enjoy the stories, there is a lot, A LOT, of plot contrivances and deus ex machina. I feel perhaps these Silver Age stories aren’t meant to be binge-read. Also, thanks for asking how to pronounce my name. It’s pronounced “Dye-ness”. Kind of sounds like “dynasty” without the “ty”. Don’t worry about it as almost everyone gets it wrong. The worst being a written (not pronounced , mind you, but written) letter labeled Mark Penes. I spelled that correctly. It was too close for comfort.
    Finally, the end recording of Chris Franklin reading his Who’s Who letter was great. I would hate to hear myself read the letter I wrote to Groo when I was 13. That would not age well. Anyways, thanks for another great show and keep up the great work!

  19. Impressive pod cast. Most impressive. Hey cool Chris got a letter published. Grats. Wow I agree with Rob Kelly. The Angel and Ape image is fine. I mean mostly like any life studies class. Artist have nude models all the time. In fact she’s waring more cloths than most. And she’s being B.A. She’s kicking butt and taking names. Is it the evil Emil guy cos playing as Robin the problem? And hey they predicted Dues Ex Machina comic. Look it has a cover on the wall of the Mayor Super hero. I’ve seen James Bond coves showing more.

    As for Ape meh. I’ve dated worse than Angel has. Ok they were human. but still. Though I did dated this one woman who kind of looked like him. None of the guys I have dated looked like him…some were worse, but still. And it’s Her posing for the Fury page from Who’s who 10 cool. Dragga looks cool. Oh did I mention I have a U tube page? That’s Liz Anne Oswalt. The Fire Storm looks cool. I didn’t read this one, but liked them on the Specter. Awsome Joe Potato! He’s awesome. Ah you are wrong sir. I picked his issues of Bats off the shelf. Liked the one ware he threatened a guy with the Potato peeler. It worked till Bats took it and found out the peeler was rubber.

    Patchwork Man was pretty cool. I always liked him…well mostly from Who’s Who. Save his weird appearance in the Vertigo Swamp thing. Robin I picked up his too mini sears. And they were good. The whistle was used well to distract Shiva and the King Snake. A cool enough villain. That was a blind M. Artist. He worked well. And he later even gives Bats a good fight. I always liked Star Fire. And the 90s Teen Titans comic made her work well. Ah the Velvet Tiger. Sorry only know her from Hearing Shagg on Bat Girl to Orical . When Shagg and Stella talked about her lol. Wave Rider was fine.

    Yeah sad we never got Supes as pres, but we now kind of have Bats. 😀

    I-Chang having picked up the trade of these issues cause I’m old but not that old. He was pretty cool as was awsomre to see him train WW. The white Ema Peal jump suit was cool too. Though Jeez O’Neal . Really how many times can you have her buy shoes? Most of What Dany wrote in those issues were fine and homes as WWs new love interest kind of worked. Though he was a Lee Marven rip. Time Trench. Such a 70s P.I. And it got worse when Danny left…..uggh the cringe. But, I-Chang was not the problem. As a yoda to WWs Skywalker he was great.

    Sadly he never came back. With the Crisis well multiple ones you’d think he could come back. He could have trained the Huntress or Cannery. Or Bats. Bats has trained with 1000s of Masters why couldn’t I-Chang be one? Oh Shagg sorry you were wrong Dorthey Spinner does appear in the Doom Patrol TV show. In fact she’s the Chief’s daughter. She’s the reason the Chief manipulated every one. Because her powers are that him and he was trying to find away to control them. And she removes the bad guy. And kept the Doom Patrol in the Panting ware she’s living that is a pocket dimension she created to stop a bomb that would destroy the universe as we know it.

    But, she is in fact TV star Dorthy Spinner. We never see her face though. I’m guessing Metomorph girl is waring a real Bra. Modesty and what not. I mean Rex wares cloths some times. Though he could probly just create them with his powers, but he gets real cloths…when he wants too. Any Way can’t wait to hear the next pod cast. And when ya’ll get to Impact and the Jaguar listing. She was my fav of those her and Black Hood. Though the Shield is Waids first shot at doing a cap like character.

    Hmm the Hypalotia image is pretty bland ya’ll are right. To Bad Odway couldn’t draw her again. He was great on her. And Supes. I think he drew her first listing. Not sure. It’s been years. I was 14 the last time I saw it. and Now I’m 45 sooo.

  20. I don’t know what Shagg does not like about the Angel and the Ape who’s who entry. I looked at it for a long time, very hard and often and I found it quite good.

  21. “The new Who’s Who blog is here! The new Who’s Who blog is here! I’m somebody now! Millions of people listen to this blog every day! Things are going to start happening to me now!”

    Thanks for the shout out guys! I played it over and over for my wife and kids – you could actually hear their eyes roll – it was great!

    I don’t have the memory to critique your shows, but I want you to know how much fun I’m having. I’m currently up to the original Who’s Who episode 12, and since the originals are currently on the DCU service. I’m able to look them up and enjoy them even more! The only thing I wish you would have done was to do the feedback at the start of the shows rather than the ends. Since I’m basically binge listening, I would have rather heard the comments about what I just heard before listening to another episode. Makes my addled old brain strain to remember what happened in the previous episode.

    I also noted that it seems that Rob’s audio quality has improved tremendously from the early days… did he get new equipment at some point or is this just my imagination?

    BTW Shag, you had said that you had done the math and figured you guys would complete the entire run sometime around 2017 and you both laughed at that. Guess your math skills are no better than your pronunciation skills!

    I do have 1 real request… I love the theme song from the Bad Mamma Jammas, but no matter how many times I’ve listened to it I can’t seem to make out all the names (I’m hard of hearing). Does anyone have the lyrics posted anywhere?

    Again, thanks for the hours of entertainment you’ve given me! You guys keep talking and I’ll keep listening.

  22. Rob and Shag,

    I guess I’m still living in Bizarro world (which, if Shag is to be believed, is my usual state). I don’t get the lack of enthusiasm from both of you for an issue that has a ton of great entries! Let’s launch into my random musings:

    1. Angel and the Ape- I wanted to gush about this entry, but Shag’s sudden bout of conscience would make it seem that I’m the pervert. I will simply say that it is one of those singular panels that tells a complete story in a single image, rewards deep observation with its myriad Easter eggs, and is equal parts funny and sexy.

    2. Dial H for Hero- I will freely admit that the entry itself, while competently executed, is somewhat less than exhilarating. The Dial H concept, however, is the perfect crystallization of Silver Age DC’s wildly imaginative and silly ethos and I will support it everytime I am given the opportunity. It is, as a side note, also the perfect example of how these sorts of concepts don’t survive when you subject them to critical analysis and deconstruction, which has unfortunately been the case the last few times modern writers have gotten ahold of the H-Dial. I don’t need to know where the heroes come from or what psychological effects the people who use the dial suffer from due to its use. It’s childhood wish fulfillment fantasy and should remain so. Time will tell, I guess, if Mr. Bendis makes a similar mistake with the property. I do like the screw head hero on the right.

    3. Dorothy Spinner- As others have mentioned, Dorothy being rescued by the team was the final scene of the Doom Patrol series. One would assume that she will play a large role in season two if the show is granted one. Shag, here again we are oil and water. I LOVED the Doom Patrol show, but felt Swamp Thing was okay at best (the writing and acting in the pilot in particular was excruciating). I wonder if you were turned off by DP because of your fondness for the source material? I’ve mentioned that I’ve never read Doom Patrol other than the original Drake / Premiani run, so I spent very little energy with the usual, “that character would never act that way” nerdboy concerns. The Titans show, however, nearly gave me an aneurysm because I adore the Wolfman / Perez stuff and no one was in character on the TV version.

    4. Jonni Thunder- I like the idea of this character more than the character itself probably. As a child of the 80s, this is my version of the Thunder legacy and I will always prefer her over either of the JSA affiliated “average guy with magic genie” offerings. The irony in this is that I didn’t read the miniseries until my adulthood. P.I. Thunder is one of a handful of characters who seem super familiar thanks largely to the ubiquitous house ads that were run constantly during this mid to late 80s (Fellow Gumshoe Nathaniel Dusk and “I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-J’onn-J’onzz” Jemm, Son of Saturn are also in that list). As far as the art on the entry itself, it’s Dick Giordano, so there are no negative comments to be made about the art. I like the Dutch Angle Camera shot and the subject matter itself establishes a nice narrative hook that compels the reader to learn more about the character and her story.

    5. Nimbus- We’re back to Bizarro world. I think this is one of the finest art pieces in this issue. There is virtually no dead space, the expression on the character’s face denotes a mad glee that is appropriate for Nimbus, and the piece as a whole creates an atmosphere of foreboding. Of course, we also disagreed about Weather Wizard a few issue back, so maybe I’m just a sucker for images showing stormy weather occurrences.

    6. Robin- I disagree with Shag about Drake being the best Robin, but not enough to argue about it. The truth is, I kind of like all the Robins in their own way, even Damien. Where I will take my stand is in saying that I will always hate this costume change. My Robin will always have the short pants and pixie boots. I’m really working up a compelling argument for why (My best three arguments so far are: 1. It harkens back to Dick’s circus days more than this paramilitary pseudoarmor and helps remind the Robins of why the lineage was created in the first place, 2. A character whose primary offensive ability is acrobatics needs to not be encumbered by excessive clothing, and 3. well, there are female super-villians as well, so Robin is employing the same tactical advantage against them that Power Girl, Black Canary, and Starfire enjoy over male opponents), but the fact of the matter is that it is pure nostalgia, and I’m okay with that. George Perez drawn college age Dick Grayson still in the Robin costume always makes me smile for some reason.

    7. Starfire- Tom Grummett is criminally underrated. I don’t think there is anyone who wouldn’t choose George Perez as THE Titans artist, but Grummett is a fantastic runner up. His Starfire here is a great example of this in that it is classic, clean, and, yes, sexy. Shag, I understand your criticism of Kori even if I disagree with it. Where we can’t see eye to eye is your favorable feelings about Anna Diop’s performance in the Titans TV show. I already mentioned I didn’t love anybody’s characterizations in the series, but I could almost see the heroes I loved in the performances of every other actor except her. She had none of Kori’s heart, passion, “otherness”, or grace. In my opinion, she was the lowest point in a show that was kind of filled with low points.

    8. Velvet Tiger- True Story: In my binder, Velvet Tiger is filed away with the Impact characters because she looks like the sort of generic character that a 90s Indy comic would create. Like all the rest of the Impact characters, I’ve never read any story with her in it or been bothered to actually read this entry.

    9. Waverider- I really love Dan Jurgens art. That being said, if you had given me a dozen guesses, I would not have been able to actually predict that Jurgens had drawn this entry. It might have been in the inking or the coloring, but it looks muddled and less than Dan’s best effort. The character itself was a useful plot device to tell a new generation of imaginary stories, but he is another one of those characters like Pariah, Bloodwynd, or The Batman Who Laughes that is so tied to the time period he was created that he is almost instantly outdated and useless for future stories.

    Well, I enjoyed this episode even if the hosts didn’t. Onward, gentlemen, to issue#11!!

    1. In the midst of my anti-Anna Diop rant, I forgot a comment I was going to make. The green aliens that Starfire is fighting in that inset picture are the Gordanians, basically the muscle to the Psions brains. The fact that no one has brought that up in forty-something comments seriously makes me worry about the company I’m keeping.

  23. Apart from the 2 or 3 big names this is issue more than any other is like a giant black hole that characters entered into and were never heard of again.

  24. I’m a bit surprised that you guys couldn’t think of a “costume update that stuck” other than the Robin/Tim Drake redesign by Neal Adams.

    Adams’ most famous redesign is Green Arrow’s 1970s costume, which has stuck around as his default classic look ever since!

  25. Another fantabulous episode! I was only half way through when I realized I needed to send in some comments. While I love the occasional debates between Rob and Shagg, and find that my opinion on any given topic usually falls somewhere in the middle, I can’t disagree with Shagg more on his opinion of Starfire. I certainly respect and value your opinion, Shagg, and agree that Koriand’r has been mishandled many times post 80s Wolfman/Perez. However, in the original canon (which is what sticks with me), she was a much more complex character. Yes, she was scantily clad, but she was oblivious to her projected sexiness. She was naive to earth ways and customs, but what alien wouldn’t be? She was fierce, fearless and combat savvy, yet what people tend to remember first is the sexiness! Maybe it is understandable based on other renditions of her character, but I choose to remember the original portrayal. She certainly deserves better than being considered a “vapid, airhead, cheesecake girl”. And unfortunately, she is not the only female character to be reduced to her physical attributes only…think Fire and Big Barda. Both have at times been depicted much more one-dimensional than what they are. Not to veer off too far, but Fire was really done right in Rucka’s Checkmate!

    The other topic I wanted to comment on is Rose and Thorn. I can see Rob’s confusion with the listing only having half of her name…I felt the same way. The character has always been Rose OR Thorn, depending on who is in control at the time during the story, but when she has been headlined in a team-up book like Brave and the Bold, in a backup story in Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane or in Who’s Who, the title has been Rose and the Thorn…up until now, it seems. To me it is important to see her as two parts of a whole…two personalities in the same body. Having a listing with just the name Thorn sort of diminishes the importance of what makes the character interesting, and that is the split personality. It would be like referring to “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” only as “Mr. Hyde”.

    Rob, be glad you did not read Armageddon 2001. The confusion that was Armageddon 2001 is well represented in Mike and Paul’s DC OCD rankings of DC events at 19 out of 28, currently. Waverider = eye roll, in my opinion, but I did like the listing, as well.

    You guys are great and I love the work you do!

  26. It’s time once again for my brief (ha ha) response to the latest Who’s Who podcast. I feel that I should start by thanking Rob and Shag for their thoughtful responses to me getting political last time. I’ll try to keep it lighter this issue.

    You can call me a Whoster but I am not and have never been hip.

    Interesting that Todd McFarlane is suggested for Firestorm and Eury says Angel hopes Todd draws something for Who’s Who. Am I misremembering or do they announce that Todd would draw Catwoman and then they have to apologise when he blows the deadline?

    Angel and the Ape – I love this but you’re right that it is verging on the misogynistic. The Foglio mini is fantastic and this entry is a great representation of it. I particularly love the IS Wilson logo created for the mini. As a recent gym recruit I could believe that Darkseid is responsible for all gyms as they are a well of despair. You mention that Angel is only wearing a thing on the front but Sam is completely naked on the back and you don’t seem concerned. Double standards.

    Dial H – I always quite liked the idea of Dial H but not so much the stories. I had enjoyed the recent Hawk and Dove annual with Chris as part of Titans West. I am also the only person who liked Hero from Superboy and the Ravers. Famously the first gay teen hero I remember seeing in the mainstream and he gets a boyfriend and adopts Rex the Wonder Dog.

    Dorothy Spinner – I love the Doom Patrol t-shirt and converse. I’m glad they didn’t pretend she was a superhero even though she often saved the day. Richard Case does a fantastic job of continuing the DP entries. I’m wondering if he lettered her logo. I’m surprised that the fact she was created by Paul Kupperberg and Erik Larsen wasn’t listed. That first appearance was a weird issue where she defeats a chaos demon by throwing rocks at it. She’s clearly part of an Oz parallel (Gale and Spinner are both types of wind) but why the monkey face? Paul was having an odd mood.

    Draaga – I don’t recall this being one of the reprinted pages in issue 16 but this colouring error is far worse than Max Lord’s border. Cullins and Janke are a great team. I’d recommend everyone pick up the Superman fill in they did with Luthor and Mr Mxy (I can’t be bothered to research how to spell that). My favourite Draaga story is when he, K’Raamdyn, Bibbo and Lobo get drunk and attack Superman.

    Element Girl – beautiful evocation of the Sandman issue. This is why Colleen Doran is one of my favourites.

    Firestorm – I love the elemental Firestorm. Mandrake is fantastic. I agree with Shag that the light from within should be bolder. I am upset that it is one of the entries where the face shot is repeated. It’s interesting that John Ostrander still wrote the entry even though he has left the book. He obviously couldn’t let go. Shag is also right that Rob needs to read this run. It’s amazing. Shag is also right to describe it as mature. It’s interesting how many mature comics could be passed by the comics code but a number of intensely immature comics need to be released as adults only. On the other hand Rob is right that it can be frustrating to have a character changed for a new direction that could be a new character. Having said that, I think part of the success of the elemental Firestorm (artistic success, I don’t know how well it sold) was down to the reaction of the supporting cast to the change. This worked because we knew Lorraine and Martin and the others.

    Flash – I’m a Wally fan but I like this maintain image batter than the Wally image from this series. I like the use of different logos for the different Flashes. Kesel does a great job of modernising Infantino. I love the Secret Origins annual story by Robert Loren Fleming that makes Barry the lightning bolt that struck him. It really makes the Crisis story a significant part of the Flash legacy.

    Flash Supporting Cast – this is my Flash. William Messner-Loebs really did a great job of developing these characters. I know you don’t remember much about Connie but she was always smart and funny in the Loebs run. I particularly liked the Rogues Reunion story when she tricks Dr Alchemy into turning her Platinum plated bracelet into a pure platinum one. Also the scene in my favourite issue of the run when all Wally’s friends team up to rescue him from the Turtle and Turtleman when she subdues a villain by removing her Mac to reveal her superhero costume which is so sexy he’s awestruck.

    Gareth Bek – I remember being intensely irritated when I realised his wife was called Marij’n (marijuana) and her father was called Kaniz -Biz (cannabis). I think I made that connection reading this entry in 1991 and I thought it was a childish joke that shouldn’t be sullying my serious comics. I’ve lightened up a bit since then (I quite like a silly pun) but this still annoys me. Particularly as Marij’n was one of my favourite characters in LEGION. It’s quite odd to see Garryn listed as a hero as he really was a bit of a sick in the stories. By LEGION 91 he really should be listed as a supporting character.

    Hippolyte – you are wrong. This is a beautiful entry. Cynthia Martin does a great job of drawing the group of Amazon’s all having different faces.

    Joe Potato – really love this entry. I never read any of his appearances but I enjoyed this so much that I always thought Grant and Breyfogle should do a Joe Potato series. I would still buy it with a different artist. But I would but it sadly.

    Jonni Thunder – let’s start with the creator credits. Issue 1 of Jonny Thunder features a behind the scenes feature by Roy about the creation of Jonni and includes early sketches by Ernie Colon which look very like the face that Giordano draws her with. I’m surprised that she is only credited to Roy, Ernie and Dick as I’m sure that article mentions Gerry Conway and Dann Thomas as vital in her development. I would love to read an interview with Ernie that specifically references Jonni as Roy states that Dickk drew it because Ernie had to leave the project but in the Comic Book Artist interview that Ernie have in their Seaboard Atlas issue Ernie is really disparaging about Dick Giordano. At one point he refers to him as “a very bad inker” . Obviously I disagree but it makes me wonder if Dick took over Jonni Thunder from Ernie against his wishes. It’s definitely a book that plays to Dick’s strengths and interests.This entry is amazing. Dick was born to draw a female PI series. If you love this entry and haven’t read them I would recommend the issues of Birds of Prey that Dick drew. He really was made for that book. This entry makes up for Black Canary.

    Kilg%re – regarding the pronunciation I remember a letter in a Baron -era Flash where a fan suggested it should be Kilgolore taking % as olo. This obviously doesn’t fit with Kilg%re using Seamus O’Kelrig as an anagramatical alias. I’d go with Kilgore. I know what Shag means about the television screens. They do look like repurposed panels but I think they’re redrawn as the inking doesn’t look like Marzan who inked the originals.

    Lady Shiva – I can’t remember where I read it but I’m sure I read around 1991 that there were plans for a Lady Shiva series written by Dennis O’Neil. I remember thinking they should get Randy DuBurke to draw that. I’m surprised that never happened.

    Lords of Order and Chaos – I remember being very excited seeing Shawn McManus drawing Dr Fate again after leaving the book. Interesting that two of the there back images from Sandman. The Lord of Order as a cardboard box and the Lords of Chaos as a child. It speaks of how big Sandman was.

    Nimbus – love this cover image. Weird to think of a time when the Mist was renamed and then returns to the original name. It’s odd how you get snapshots of time when changes that didn’t stick happened.

    Patchwork Man – great, creepy image. I loved the issue written by Steve Bissette about him where Abby finds all of him apart from his head. The hug is one of the most beautiful horror images I’ve ever seen.

    Robin – Tim is the best Robin. I can understand why they used Tom Lyle but I wish they had used Breyfogle or Aparo. Interesting fashion choice to get Tim to flash his crotch at his mother’s grave. By the way, Chris O’Donnell was very hot in the 90s.

    The Shark – how do you make such a dull image out of such a dumb character? Hal Jordan ruins everything.

    Starfire – this pose feels better now that it’s Megan Rapinoe’s signature move. I’m not a particularly but Starfire fan but I love this. Tom Grummett really is doing some great work. I don’t know if I can agree with Phylemon that he is the second best Titans artist. Regular Titans artists include Nick Cardy, Bruno Premiani, Jose Luis Garcia -Lopez, Eduardo Barreto, Barry Kitson, Nicola Scott and Mike McKone. Second best is highly contested.

    Thorn – I agree with Rob that this should be Rose and Thorn just like we should have had Jonni Thunder: Thunderbolt. Love the clean, graphic quality of this image. It’s no surprise that one of the graffiti names is Nagel. Pearson is channelling that 80s fashiony illustration. This image made me so excited when I heard that Jason Pearson was taking over Legion. Fantastic. Shag refers to this art style as the Ultraverse art style. Jason Pearson was one of Gaijin studios which has a changing roster over the years including Cully Hamner, Brian Stelfreeze, Joe Phillips, Karl Story, Adam Hughes, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story etc. They also linked to Cranial Impact Studios which featured Mike Wieringo, Richard Case, Chuck Wojtkiewicz, Chris Wozniak etc. These two studios between them feature almost every artist who became a huge star immediately post Image and it’s no surprise that many of their shared styles were aped by the Malibu crowd.

    Velvet Tiger – I loved the Hawk and Dove story featuring VT and Oracle. I would recommend them.

    Waverider – very rare to see Dan Jurgens inking his own work. In this era Dan was inked primarily by very clean inked so it’s nice to see a slightly edgier finish. Didn’t Monarch get changed specifically because there was a phone line you could phone for rumours about comics and they revealed the secret. Supposedly the people involved believe the story was leaked by a DC employee who had a beef with one of them (Archie Goodwin, Dan Jurgens, Dennis O’Neil and Jonathan Peterson) but I’ve never read who their main suspect was. I’d love to know.

    Wild Dog – amazing image by Beatty. Surely he was featured because he was going to be in Ms Tree Quarterly.

    Anyway, best entry of the issue goes to Thorn from me.

    1. I’m hoping this comment gets in before you record the next show. In light of Ernie Colon’s passing I was thinking that my comments about Jonni Thunder might be seen as disrespectful. I want to emphasise that Ernie was a favourite of mine. I first discovered his work on Damage Control, but my favourite work of his is Amethyst which I discovered in back issues. That alone would Mark him out as a genius. He also edited the Mike W Barr and Keith Pollard Green Lantern run which I found in a charity shop and really enjoyed. His letter columns really had a distinct identity and showed his enthusiasm for comics. He’ll be missed.

  27. The scene in Crisis on Infinite Earths with Jonni Thunder and other detectives finding the dead body of Angle Man was from the eleventh issue not the first.

  28. You know I’m seriously preoccupied with plans for stuff like the upcoming Boston Fan Expo (which will apparently now involve fistfighting with Shag over Dick Grayson’s objective superiority as Robin) when a Who’s Who Podcast drops on a Sunday, I don’t even notice until Thursday, and haven’t begun commenting until a full week later.

    A) Angel & the Ape is one of those premises that I used to have an interest in because of my greater concern for the DCU as a whole, but as that has waned, they just don’t matter anymore. It’s the good-looking passing acquaintance of a friend that I’m not friends with anymore. Also, I read at least one issue of the Foglio mini-series and remember next to nothing.

    B) As much as I love the Who’s Who Podcast, the Dial “H” for Ho-Hum entry is a perfect example of why the show maybe doesn’t have to go on. Is this the second or third pass as these kids, who haven’t really progressed since the first and are presumably only here because a Mark Waid type (checks credit: Mark Waid) campaigned for them on a slow month.

    C) Dorothy Spinner is one of those blind spots where she’s almost exclusively presented in a noted run of books that I don’t particularly care to ever read. I know her from references to Doom Patrol in reference materials like this, and I’m fine with leaving it that way.

    D) Draaga is a sparse collection of consonants and vowels that I can unfortunately recall in their correct number and order by association with lame Superman comics that waste space in my memory. Typical alien warrior who can’t accept defeat and pursues our hero out of a mix of rage and respect. Made a decent appearance in a Justice League cartoon. Died (I think?) in “Panic in the Sky,” the kind of crossover people who liked the Triangle Number Era remember fondly yet doesn’t rate an episode of DCOCD is spite of their having deigned to cover Salvation Run. Passable art; ugly coloring.

    E) Having never read any of the ’60s Metamorpho issues, and her Sandman appearance fell into the small area I didn’t own (I had most of “Season of Mists” and several teen issues in floppy and bought the first two trades, so “Dream Country?”) I can’t say for certain that I know any Element Girl stories. Nice entry, though.

    F) My brain always sees Elemental Firestorm as fur-lined, like Black Cat or Voodoo. Don’t recall if that’s Mandrake-specific or overall. He looks like Lion-O. I have no use for anything after the Blank Slate/Pozhar period of that run. Way too far afield from the original concept, far too derivative of Swamp Thing, and clearly afterward nobody wanted to write the character for the five years it took someone to bother handwaving this incarnation away. Have to disagree with Chris Franklin’s suggestion that Ostrander & Mandrake could have just taken their take elsewhere for a creator owned book because nobody would have read it without the Firestorm logo on the cover. Sometimes, trademarks are a form of welfare.

    G) I like this Infantino/Kesel entry art for a version of the Flash that was no less dead here than he was in the previous entry. Why’s Why in ’90? And no, Infantino sucked after the Silver Age. I will suffer no apologies for his sloppy, ugly non-efforts when guys like Don Heck, George Tuska, and Curt Swan were doing comparatively superior work. I’m sure if they’d been given a Dennis Janke or Karl Kesel, they’d have cleaned up nicely as well. The Flash Support Cast continues the pattern of reminding everyone why 1990 was a fallow creative period for most of the heroes who rated cast entries.

    H) Garryn Bek was the whiny straight (every)man of L.E.G.I.O.N. and served that role fine. I forget he exists when I’m not reading an issue of that book. Nice perspective from Jim Fern.

    I) Hippolyte is drawn by Cynthia Martin because she did the dreadful War of the Gods, but I think she’s lovely here without Romeo Tanghal’s oppressive inks. I would have vastly preferred a Martin run over Jill Thompson, who I found a terrible fit for the book, and especially over Chris Marrinan. Hippolyte was a major figure throughout the Perez run, and had a spotlight run of issues within a year of this entry. Let us not forget that she actually served as Wonder Woman extensively and that Connie Nielsen’s portrayal in the DCEU is more substantial than most anyone not considered a lead.

    J) I know most people who listen to this podcast are very affectionate toward the Grant/Breyfogle Batman material, but to me it’s mostly all Joe Potato. I liked the first arc of Shadow of the Bat and some of the Anarky stuff, but the rest turns me off so much that it was part of my exit strategy from listening to Knightcast before Knightcast employed it’s exit strategy against my listening to it.

    K) I always like looking at Dick Giordano’s spotlight renditions of Jonni Thunder because she’s got a Lauren Bacall meets Veronica Lake vibe, but never want to actual read the book. One of those weird ’80s DC pulp throwback mini-series like Nathaniel Dusk and Silverblade probably subsidized because the aging talent wanted to do them rather than for an older mainstream audience that was no longer there.

    L) Piggybacking on JoeX, Kilg%re the Password Requiring a Special Character saved Maxwell Lord from death around J.L.A. #100 and struck a deal that turned him into the new Lord Havok. Then some White Martians sent those plans crashing to Earth alongside Metamorpho, Nuklon, et al.

    M) I’m pretty sure Rob just confused Lady Shiva with Cheshire? Anyway, I was vaguely aware of Shiva through her appearances in the “Fables” annuals crossover of 1988 that I inexplicably collected as back issues in 1989. I didn’t make the connection between that and her turning up in “Death In The Family” on account of the short hair and radical art departure, but Starlin got my attention with Batman’s fear of a fair fight with her. I got the Detective Comics issue where Batwoman was murdered, which helped raise my awareness of Bronze Tiger, which eventually elevated Shiva by association. In retrospect, I guess it was KnightsEnd and her exceptionally high martial arts stats in the Mayfair RPG that finally broke her out with me, followed by “Brotherhood of the Fist” and Chuck Dixon’s insistence of her being right near the top of all DC hand-to-hand combatants. Anyway, long story short, she’s one of my favorite “benchmark” characters who define the skill/power hierarchy of their particular discipline, plus she’s just a fun mixer in any given story. When she shows up, you now Kilg%re just got real. One of my favorites at DC, and the coolest entry of the issue.

  29. I really enjoy this podcast! I’m a new listener and cannot get enough of your network!
    Your personal insights and opinions create an enjoyable discussion of what are basically encyclopedia entries.

    Rob: I share your indifference and/or boredom with Legion Five Years Later. Not only does deconstructed, grim and gritty, angst ridden Legion not interest me, but the Keith Giffen art was overly stylized and unappealing. Maybe Zack Snyder was a Legion 5YL fan.

    Shag: I agree with you regarding Starfire. I always thought everything about her was kinda shallow and only wish fulfillment for young men. Don’t get me wrong, the visuals are always appreciated (especially by George Perez), but her character was never that interesting or original. And yes, I acknowledge that almost everything about comics is wish fulfillment for young men.

    Concerning the “secret” identity of Monarch:
    Many of the house ads for this Armageddon crossover showed a list of all of the annuals in order of release.
    I assumed that this showed the order in which Waverider would interact with each character.
    The Captain Atom annual was listed last.
    To me, this was always the obvious clue to the Monarch identity.

    BTW with all of this discussion I looked up Laura Gemser. Wow! I’m sorry that I’ve never been exposed to her in until now!


  30. N) The Lords of Order and Chaos was a thing that I spent too much time thinking about when I was very preoccupied with the workings of the DC Universe and the story potential of all the Kali Yuga stuff. Divorced as I am from that prior preoccupation and having never particularly liked the Dr. Fate material I’ve tried (the first Jared Stevens Fate series is underrated, he noted in an ankh-shaped dagger to Shag’s heart) I find this all terribly dull now. Amorphous shapes speaking obliquely in a nine-panel grid is not one of my preferred flavors of Giffen or DeMatteis. I adore the 9-panel grid when properly applied, but it most definitely does not belong in a book about magic and literal forces of chaos.

    O) Nimbus is one of those science words that you can look up in an encyclopedia and maybe sounds cool enough for Rob Liefeld to add to his list of nouns that publishers would pay him to produce, but to anyone who has an inkling of science awareness sounds dumb as hell. And I mostly slept in science class, but still. “Welcome to the reign of Evapotranspiration! Watch the reverse-Frasier trajectory of my receded hairstyle!”

    P) All I can think of while looking at Tom Taggart’s Patchwork Man entry is how bad I want to up the darkness & contrast to remove those matte lines.

    Q) Finally getting to a Tim Drake Robin entry is one of the joys of a new edition of Who’s Who. I mean talking about a significant but previously uncovered concept, not the actual character. Tim Drake fever passed me by. I remember it being a big deal when he was introduced and the mini-series was selling out, but that was when I was still under the sway of the X-Men. I wasn’t even buying New Titans yet, I don’t think. I did preorder Robin II #1 to see what the fuss was about, and even the hologram sticker underwhelmed. Robin III’s lenticular covers looked like a nightmare to operate and were hideous looking on the stands, so I skipped it. I read some other Chuck Dixon/Tom Lyle Robin material, like the first chapter of a multi-parter in Detective involving Lynx and, was it Ghost Tiger? The martial arts Fabio guy? Whatever, they never grabbed me.

    My next extended exposure was Knightfall/Quest/End, and I picked up a bunch of the earlier issues of the spin-off ongoing because of Tom Grummett, Phil Jimenez fill-ins, and Dick Grayson appearances. They were… okay. Tim was inoffensive. I liked that he was more proactive and bookish than the other Robins to set him apart. The costume changes made sense. Given that I was leaving the period where Batman was a character I wanted to read about, I was glad that he had a functional Robin that did not compel me to buy more Batman comics. I love Dick Grayson, but I resented his return to the Bat-Family because it made me keep buying Bat-titles after I no longer wanted to. Tim Drake never created that problem for me.

    Dick Grayson is one of my lifelong favorites who I enjoy more as Nightwing. Jason Todd was probably my favorite Robin, since it’s a role I struggle with and he was a nasty twist on the premise, but I don’t care a lot about him past that role. Tim was tailor made to be the kid who was good enough to be Batman’s sidekick for and never progress past that point, which is perfect if you don’t want Batman to look like an aging absentee father surrounded by generations of little bastard Robins. Sadly, Grant Morrison thought otherwise, or at least Dan Didio was too stupid to leave him dead and restore Tim Drake, which seemed to be Morrison’s long game.

    R) The Shark! Drawn by a dude who did decent likenesses for licensed comics! I got nothin’!

    S) The New Teen Titans was a canny X-Men knock-off produced by a prime Marv Wolfman and an ascendant George Perez at a time when the original appeared to be waning under an uninspired creative team that were overstaying their welcome. It’s a testament to their affection for the characters and their craft that the rather mercenary filling of a perceived market need was received so well by fandom. That said, Robin = Cyclops, Wonder Girl = Invisible Girl/Marvel Girl, Cyborg = The Thing, Changeling = Human Torch, Kid Flash = Quicksilver, Raven = Scarlet Witch, Speedy = Hawkeye, and Terra was Kitty Pryde with a twist. I’m not usually uncomfortable with race-swapping, but part of the reason Anna Diop’s casting in Titans didn’t sit well with me is that she was always a Storm rip-off with coded Latina features and a bucket of related stereotypes. Hot-tempered, passionate, overtly religious, plus the very ’70s “What’s wrong with going nude in this strange society?” Emmanuelle Arsan libertine foreigner opportunism*. The cartoon went a long way toward stripping out the more unsavory aspects of the character, but she still “read” as a space-Latina, and quite frankly super-heroes are in dire need of Latinx representation. Several dozen movies and TV shows in, between the MCU and DCEU, we’ve got, what, Yo-Yo, Vibe, Gert, Gypsy, and one alternate each for Ghost Rider and Spider-Man? Take all the white characters you want, but don’t take from one minority representation to give to another, especially when African-descent characters are already vastly more prevalent and visible.

    All that having been said, I still haven’t ever read a Starfire story that did anything for me. Like Claremont did with Storm, Wolfman tried to progress past the traumatic childhood backstory and “stranger in a strange land” tropes to make a more complex, mature heroine. Ororo suffered through an identity crisis, PTSD, a long term disability, the struggle to prove her continued worth in the face of it, her first adult romantic relationship, and a pilgrimage to her native culture drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith. Starfire got temporarily impregnated with a demon soul via a forced lesbian encounter during her wedding ceremony with onlookers in a prismatic foil-covered anniversary issue before “aborting” the seed by going Super Saiyan as part of some rarely/never-referenced Tamaranian warrior heritage. New Titans #100 traveled to the planet of the sharks and Silver Surfer jumped the entire thing. And that’s why I’m still waiting to like Starfire.

    *This one’s for Shag! Admittedly, there was a lot of Pacific Islander stuff i there too, but someone else (probably someone not from Texas) will have to throw down for their representation.

    2) The sad thing is that thanks to my old blog entries, I probably could throw together a GemserCast pretty easily, but it loses a lot without the visuals. Boy, you could sure earn the explicit tag with sound clips, though. I tried to do a tongue-in-cheek-and-elsewhere hyper-detailed satirical analysis (huh-huh, “analysis”) of Emanuelle in America that burned me out on covering the material anymore after an entry (huh-huh) or two. By the way, I first saw Gemser in Black Cobra “starring” a slumming Jack Palance in a glorified supporting role, which my father recommended to me in part because it ends (spolier) with a guy dying via rectal insertion of the titular snake. She also co-starred in a Michael Landon movie called Love Is Forever that was all over discount stores in the dollar DVD days. Okay, I’m officially putting this extended (huh-huh) tangent to bed. #BetterThan5YL

    1. Honest query. Did anyone else ever read Starfire as ‘coded Latina’? It’s the first time I’ve heard this theory and I just don’t see it. And maybe I just don’t know enough about Latina stereotypes to recognise them… Princess? Evil sister? Big hair (that seems more Jewish stereotype).

  31. 3) Not only will I stake Phylemon’s bet on Tom Grummett being the second best Titans artist, but I’d argue that the quality of his run was overall the best. I’m not especially fond of the first year-&-a-half when Perez was dividing his attention and heavily embellished by Romeo Tanghal, and most of his Tales of the Teen Titans run was a tug-of-war with Dick Giordano over whose style would dominate. Perez’s best inker will always be Perez, and his sweet spot was in the 30s and his handful of early Baxter run issues. Grummett started off on better footing, even with oppressive Bob McLeod inks, and then Al Vey turned New Titans #62-100 into the best work of either of their careers. I’m still amazed that Grummett could turn in work of such high caliber while doing two books a month (Doug Hazelwood’s superlative inks on Adventures of Superman surely helped) but it also “broke” him. He switched to a looser, less detailed style for Superboy and Robin that was nice but simply no match for his earlier accomplishment. Revered as Perez’s run was, he did better work for longer periods elsewhere. Much of Perez’s NTT stuff is lackluster by comparison, both to his other efforts and to Grummett’s run. My sole reservation is that at least Perez drew more issues than not, while Grummett’s absenteeism was epidemic, especially after “Titans Hunt” began its wrap-up. The nearest competition to either is Nicola Scott, another immense talent deserving of greater recognition.

    T) Since Rose & the Thorn were in one of the earlier comics I read, and drawn by Jim Aparo, I held onto a nostalgia for them for a while before he recurring appearances in Triangle Number Superman comics killed my interest. Her National Comics revision wasn’t bad. Jason Pearson should have had a better career, and should get a revitalization like Stelfreeze enjoyed after Black Panther.

    4) Again referencing Damien Whiter, Cully Hamner of course did Firearm, Adam Hughes’ clone Terry Dodson did Mantra, plus several of the lesser known Ultraverse artists drew in a Gaijin-y style, so that’s probably were Shag was coming from.

    U) Your Velvet Tiger talk got lyrics from The Cure’s “Lovecats” stuck in my head this morning. Way too many cat-women around for me to waste time reading about the Arisia of Hawk & Dove comics. Nuts, now I’ve got Sue Thompson in my head. ♪”Quit messin’ and testin’ ’cause this ain’t at all impressin’ to me…”♫

    5) Blame it on Ace, but since he went there, my favorite of the later Emmanuelles was Natalie Uher from the, ahem, “formative” 6 and Allie Haze from the Emmanuelle Through Time series. I like to pretend Emmanuelle is a parallel series to the James Bond movies because of the Lazenby TV rendezvous. What other woman could possibly keep up with 007? Krista Allen is my Timothy Dalton of Emmanuelles; I can see why you’d tap them, but I personally couldn’t get into them.

    V) I never could get past Waverider’s obviously being Silver Surfer + Nova II in appearance, but Armageddon 2001 was a great excuse to spend a summer doing extended What If…? stories instead of the more ludicrous and ponderous Elseworlds. I recognize Dan Jurgens’ ability but his work never makes me feel anything emotionally.

    6) Though I reckon Anj was just in it for the puns, I think Elektra would beat Shiva in a fight, but I’d rather read about the latter. Marvel’s martial artists just operate on a higher level than DC’s, in the same way Batman could never compete with Captain America in a straight fight. I very much preferred this issue of Who’s Who to the last specifically because it’s more far ranging and obscure than average.

    W) I think this was the one where I put Wild Dog down: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/256-wild-pod-a-wild-dog-podcas-43051305/episode/09-moral-stand-chapters-7-8-43710820/

  32. I know Joe Potato’s ridiculous, but that’s why I like him. He’s a Silver Age Batman/Dick Tracy style character, and I dig his entry. So much fun.

  33. I waited too long to comment, and now all my brilliant, pithy, hilarious thoughts are gone. Or already stated by Frank.

    What I do remember from this episode, was the great number of characters I HAD NEVER even HEARD of! Or read about. Or anything! Granted, I wasn’t reading comics when this came out, but I’ve been listening to you lot natter on about myriad comics and none of those F&W podcasts mentioned Joe Potato, or the cat-lady.

    (new)Firestorm. After talking about an character, Element Girl, whose powers are based on the elements, you kept saying (new)Firestorm is a “fire elemental.” Fire is not an element. Fire doesn’t burn in outer space, or on the sun. Oh, sure, two guys can get fused into one being and re-arrange molecules of inorganic material, but my suspension snaps when fire is called an element. I only accept that when Philip Bailey and Maurice White are singing.

    And then Xum once again brilliantly shows DC that they already had characters that needed exploration.

  34. A few random thoughts…

    I really don’t get the hate on Angel and the Ape. Is it cheesecake? Sure. But it’s intentional and played as a gag, so I’m not really sure what the problem is. Am I irredeemable now?

    I really don’t care for this Firestorm incarnation at all, but Tom Mandrake draws the heck out of it.

    Garryn Bek has one of the worst haircuts in the history of comics, although the post-first mini series pre-Grummett Robin is trying to challenge him.

    The Hippolyte entry has me wondering why Cynthia Martin wasn’t regularly penciling Wonder Woman if she could get that dead on with aping Perez.

    Jonni Thunder is one of the best designed characters of the 80s in my opinion, but she never amounted to anything at all in the thirty years she’s existed. I feel like someone could still pull her out and utilize her really well, but doubt anyone ever will.

    Randy DuBurke’s sequential art never worked for me, but he was an amazing pin-up artist, with this Lady Shiva as a prime example. But I really don’t get her Hero tag especially after her recent appearance in Robin. She’s an assassin, even if she does target villains.

    Never has a story at DC petered out worse than that of the Lords of Order and Chaos. It would have been great to have some resolution of their conflict, but instead all the series they were featured in were canceled and they were pretty much never mentioned again. Well, maybe the post-Zero Hour Fate used them, but everyone involved with that book should be ashamed with themselves, so…

    No one draws Starfire as well as Tom Grummett in my opinion… and that includes George Perez. Something about his art just makes her look sing.

    Interesting to see the Jason Pearson art on Thorn, as this was before he was pretty much known for anything at all. He’s gone on to become pretty famous for his hyper-kinetic cheesecake-friendly style, but this shows little of what would come.

    Greg Guler drew the hell out of the Velvet Tiger piece, much as he did out of the Hawk & Dove series no matter your opinion of the title. He was an amazingly talented comics artist but pretty much left the industry after the book ended. He moved into animation and has been working at Disney for two and a half decades now, clearly as a key character designer in animation. He was instrumental in designing the look of the Gargoyles cartoon, so comics loss was certainly everyone’s gain.

    Conceptually, Wild Dog was an amazing idea for an 80s comic book, smack dab in the middle of the action movie boom. But he’s an odd duck as part of the DCU. I’m glad to see both Arrow and the recent Cave Carson comic realized eh could have his uses however and have finally integrated him into their respective universes.

    1. Oh! Nicholas reminded me of what I wanted to say about the Angel and the Ape piece. Why does Sam face his drawing board away from the model?!!? He has to keep looking over his shoulder to draw her!

  35. With the Angel and the Ape one the real problem is the pedestal Angle is standing on. I know O Day is her but if you didn’t know anything before this entry you are seeing a sem-inaked female on a pedestal that says property of. If they had just left that off it would have drastically changed the feel of the picture.

  36. When I heard they were going to bring Robin back I was rather annoyed. I liked Batman without Robin (of which we barely got a year) and that Grayson was Nightwing by himself. And was not really sad to see Jason go. So if they had gone a different way from showing Tim Drake as going more of the detective route in the role and that he only wanted to be Robin and nothing more in that position than I think I would have had much more problems. And he definitely wouldn’t have become my favorite Robin.

  37. Hope this isn’t too late to make it into a comment section. I love these shows for many reasons, but one of them is definitely how long they are! I thus tend to save them for times I need to go on a road trip, even short ones, so sometimes it takes a while to listen to.

    Anywho, I agree with Shag on multiple points here, like:
    *) Tim Drake is the Best Robin!
    *) Starfire was a pretty meh character for me till Titans, and Anna Diop’s excellent portrayal was a big reason why I like her in the comics now more as well. While the Show is def my least fave of the 4 shows on it so far (T, YJ, DP, ST), it’s still one of the better Super Hero shows (TBH, the cliffhanger ending to the season is a large reason I rank it way lower than all 3 other shows on the network). 3 out of the 4 MC’s + Hawk and 1st Dove’s portrayals on this show are the first times I really connected/jived with these characters (Dick Grayson and Dawn Granger were already great characters in my opinion, and Dawn is one of my fave DC females!).
    *)Swamp Thing (the show) is Soooo Gooood! I am not even a fan of most horror, and this show is a lot closer to horror than I usually like, but My Goddess is Crystal Reed Great as Abby Arcane! The Entire Sunderland Family’s storylines have been great, if disturbing, and Wow do I love Maria Sten as Liz Tremaine!
    *) Krypton season 1 was Way Better than I Expected!! I’m looking forward to Finally Having Time to catch up on S2, soon enough…
    *) Mark Hempel is Awesome! I used Gregory I – IV as ‘evangelical tracts’ on how awesome comics were to quite a few friends and acquaintances in High School!

    …though I was sad to hear he didn’t love Doom Patrol, because “My very favorite Comic- to live-action adaptation” is a dead-ass tie between Legion and Doom Patrol. I was So Worried, till recently, that despite the near universal praise for DP, the executives were sleeping on this show and not gonna renew it! So glad it’s getting another season!

    And I need Everyone to Understand how awesome Young Justice is! The first two seasons already had it as my favorite non-comics version of the DC Universe, but Season Three is upping that show’s game considerably, and I’m so glad we’ve already got a 4th season assured!

    And, lastly, I often find myself listening to Frank’s comments with either a fist raised in solidarity or at least a bemused chuckle of partial agreement, but he can sit down with that Firehawk Hate. Over a Decade before I actually became a DC Fan, Lorraine Reilly was one of the first things that really interested me about the DC Universe, and my Random Newstand Browsing was on a constant trawl for issues with her in them, but to no avail so often. And Thus I almost exclusively stayed in my Marvel stable until the early 90’s…

  38. Don’t worry, 108th Sage, there’s a comment even later than yours. My thoughts on this episode are not as erudite as many of the more timely comments, but here goes:

    Chris, great letter. I’ll take “whoster” as a fandom name.

    Rob, I’m with you. Jonni Thunder was great. Giordano or whoever had the idea that noir would work again in the shiny-on-top, seedy-on-the-bottom L.A. of the 1980s was spot on.

    Shag, I agree with you 100% regarding both Tim Drake and Year 3, but even I noticed your failure to mention Siskoid’s fine work on the highly questionable topic of Dial H for Hero. Man, after all these years, it still sounds really dumb.

    Also, your assessment of Starfire has always been off-base, but it’s forgivable, since DC’s completely changed her character for no reason once or twice. Starfire, as originally imagined, was a passionate woman who fought, played, and loved hard – a “no better friend, no worse enemy” kind of girl. She was plenty bright, but never an academic or intellectual, because she believed in deeds, not words. She was generally optimistic and sunny despite some horrific experiences that occasionally haunted her, just because she was that darned resilient. I don’t know if she’s still around anywhere, but I hope she is.

    In a related story, Shag, a few episodes ago, you asked an admirably direct question: “Captain Entropy, WHO ARE YOU?” Please select one of the following media-sourced responses:
    1) A friend.
    2) Long time listener, first-time caller.
    3) Your worst nightmare.
    4) I’m Batman.

    On second thought, ignore the last three. Seriously, Shag, you’re not supposed to know who I am. That’s what secret identities are for. I know modern Marvel and the Arrowverse have muddied the water on this, but think back to the Bronze Age. My secrets protect my loved ones – from poverty, in this case. My employers in the military-industrial complex can be a tad controlling when it comes to public statements, so I shall maintain my anonymity for now. But, like Superman in his rooftop interview with Lois, I will tell the public a little bit about myself.

    My secret origin: My mutant power of sowing chaos and disorder in my wake manifested at an early age. Despite this, I attended a military college, where my x-factor was even more conspicuous than in other settings. My ability to completely trash an inspection-ready room within five minutes of the inspection being over sparked amazement, occasional outrage, and finally begrudging admiration. One night, while a group of us were shining our shoes to prepare for a long day of training new cadets, the topic of entropy came up. My friend Paul, a fellow comics nerd, said “[Real name redacted], that’s your superpower! You’re Captain Entropy!” And thus I remain to this day, my secret known only to…well, a lot of people, really – especially after my roommate had the name tag on our door changed. Maybe this story does fit better in the MCU.

    My Who’s Who origin: When I was a kid, my local supermarket began stocking Who’s Who among their monthly comics. I bought them. I enjoyed them.

    Now wasn’t that thrilling?

    A final, even-more-belated comment: Philemon, I genuinely appreciate your recommendation on the Butcher, despite your love of Jericho. However, I still want to wait for the inevitable team-up series with the Baker and the Candlestick Maker.

    1. Captain Entropy,

      I came here to berate our hosts for their now four month tardiness with a new episode, but I’d rather spend the time thanking you for the laughs, both for your secret origin story and the ” . . . Baker, and Candlestick maker” crack.

      1. Phylemon, I apologize for being far later seeing this comment than Rob and Shagg ever were with a new episode. I also apologize for misspelling your name. But mostly, I’ll thank you for the kind words. You’re very welcome for the laughs.

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