It's the eleventh exciting issue of WHO'S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE featuring Big Barda, Dr. Light II, Guy Gardner, L.E.G.I.O.N., Mister Miracle, The Prankster, Rainbow Raider, Two-Face, and more! Plus YOUR Listener Feedback!
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56 responses to “Who’s Who in the DC Universe #11”
Great episode guys. Not much to say except on a few entries.
In reading Crisis, on Infinite Earths, I have to wonder if she was meant to be a more capable Supervillain to replace the wildly worthless Arthur Light. Of course, that didn’t come to be and I actually took a liking to Doctor Light during her JLE days. (I knew that her character was written much differently than she was originally but she reminded me of a girl I liked in High School)
Guy Gardner was always one of my favorite characters(I actually rooted for him over Hal in the Loser leaves town street-fight they’d have in Green Lantern 25. It would have totally changed the entire landscape of Green lantern before Emerald Twilight. (In fact, making Guy win and kicking Hal out might have made E.T. unnecessary
(I mean we all know it was unnecessary but If it hadn’t happened, I most likely would have dropped the book)
Actually, that pointy building on the right is not the Empire State building. It’s the Chrysler building.
I always liked Mister Miracle in the League and when he wasn’t around I filed him under “out of sight, out of mind.” Earlier this year I started reading the Mister Miracle series that came out during the JLI era..I actually kinda fell off just around the time Shiloh Norman was introduced in the series. (I WILL eventually finish it….I hope!)
Seeing Red as an expression of anger goes back to I don’t when. It that old. (it might even be older than Superman) All due respect to Geoff Johns as a writer. But with the Seeing Red and cowards being referred to as “Yellow”, I can’t really credit Johns with creating the emotional spectrum out of anything other than generally accepted conventions.
Harvey Dent is one of Batman’s Best Villains. Easily one of my favorites and the annual that this Entry draws heavily from was really where I got to “know” the character!
Yay! A new Who’s Who episode! Always a treat.
Big Barda: Y’all blew my mind back when you first talked about Barda and revealed that she was based on Lainie Kazan? I literally said, “WHAT? The grandmother from Delta Force and the mother from My Big Fat Greek Wedding was in Playboy?!” I can never look at either of those movies the same way again. I never really got Barda as a character until reading the original Mister Miracle comics and suddenly I’m like, “OH! She’s a full figured, bad ass woman! That is amazing!” I’ve had a soft spot for her since then.
General Glory: I LOVE THIS ENTRY. Makes me laugh every time I read it. I also love the fact that his first appearance took place in a story where Guy and the old man are fighting over a comic because it’s the only place that had his saying written down. Again, makes me laugh every single time.
Guardians of the Universe: Mosaic was a trippy series. The art by Cully Hamner was great and even though the writer of that series is now SERIOUSLY problematic, the books themselves were great. The point of the series was to make John Stewart a Guardian of the Universe but it was cancelled before it could fulfill that. Supposedly the series was cancelled by DC because it was too weird. I used to hate the writer because he killed C’Hp. Now I have a more concrete reason to dislike him.
Hell’s Hierarchy: Val Semeiks is a seriously underrated artist. I picked up the first few issues of that Demon series while on vacation in 1990 and loved his work. Val would go on to draw some great Superman stories as well as the Justice League: Incarnations mini-series and DC One Million.
Lexcorp: The thing that disappoints me about the Lexcorp entry is that the x-ray effect hides one of my favorite Easter Eggs of the Post Crisis era. To the right of the Daily Planet building, hidden by the x-ray thing, is the Newstime Building. That building was drawn to look like Los Angeles City Hall, which served as the Daily Planet in exterior shots on the Adventures of Superman television series. There are twin towers and boy did that bite DC in the ass after 9/11. On September 12, 2001, Adventures of Superman # 596 was released and it was an aftermath issue of the Worlds At War storyline. In one of the background shots the towers shown here were also shown…suffering major structural damage. It made the papers and led to me explaining comic book publishing and how stories are written and drawn ahead of time and how the books are at the stores the day before they are put on the stands and there was no way to pull it to my co-workers.
Mister Miracle: I love this character. When I finally read the first few issues of his original series I suddenly understood everything that was cool about him. That series was written like a live action weekly adventure series and is well worth tracking down.
Prankster: Superman #16, the first appearance of the Post Crisis version of this character, was one of my favorite issues during my formative years as a collector. I love this version of the character. He’s just a lot of fun.
Terra-Man: Okay…calm down, guys. Get off your flying, robotic high horse (that was meant as a joke) and just accept that they weren’t trying to make the Bronze Age version cool. The creators were just leaning into the ecological skid (Earth Day was huge in 1990) and the idea of a businessman that sees his company has polluted the Earth, and is now trying to make amends for that, is interesting and is, sadly, still relevant today. He’s not the best revamp, but the issues he was in were really good and tried to make a point. And before you start saying how goofy fun the Bronze Age Superman villains were, admit to yourself that most of them were cheap knockoffs of popular actors of the day.
Great point about the new Terra Man, Michael. My problem with him is that the original has the most wonderful visual – cowboy on a flying horse! The new fella could have been Eco-Guy or something, leaving the goofy fun (yeah!) Terra-Man on the table for a creative team who liked him.
Mind, I never got Toby’s villain name, sure, he was from Earth and had been taken to space, but surely something connected to his gimmick would have been better, Space Cowboy, maybe.
(Talking of Superman villains named Towbee, and as Shagg and Rob were rightly praising Xum, I’m looking forward to a lost Who’s Who entry on Towbee the Space Minstrel, prior to his inevitable Done-in-One Wonders debut.)
Now that I think about it, General Glory’s magic words being found in a Comic Book remind me of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. If I recall correctly, there was a magic spell that Angela Lansbury’s character was trying to remember or find and it turned out it was in the coloring or story book that belonged to one of the kids she was taking care of.
It’d be neat to see the JLI members assembled as a fighting team.
Against Dr. Spectro and Rainbow Raider.
General Glory had a lot of Captain Marvel by way of Miracleman in his creative DNA alongside the Captain America parts.
You have the timeline a bit wrong on Hell. The triumvirate was introduced in Sandman #3, but Lucifer wouldn’t retire and kick off Season of Mists for about two years. It’s those two years that the Demon business happened. Meanwhile, over in Hellblazer, supposedly in the same continuity as Sandman and the source of a lot of these people under earlier writers, we got The First of the Fallen, who wasn’t Lucifer and really couldn’t be squared with the other books…
Titans Talk. Not about Red Star, but Dr. Light. She should have been brought into that book rather than the league. She has the Vega connection to play with, you could easily re veal that she was hosting some part of X’hal; a Titans writer without writer’s block could have done interesting things.
I wonder if that was considered but then fell by the wayside.
Maybe she was just too darn old. Although we all know Donna is about 45.
Interesting thought about Dr Light. Considering Marv and George created/introduced her in Crisis, it’s weird neither of them used her anywhere after that. Possibly more of an editorial “creation” than a … creative one.
Another great episode. I’ll start by thanking you for my Frank award. I’m presuming it’s a compliment. What’s my prize? I’ll gladly accept the loose leaf issue 3 which remains the only issue of Who’s Who that I don’t own. I was a little worried about this issue because it’s a Joe Staton cover and you know I love his work. Thank God you were complementary.
This entry is almost perfect. Love Adam’s version of the character. I read recently that Adam Hughes’s first work for DC was a Mr Miracle cover and he was trying to convince Helfer to let him take over that book. He describes being sad that he was given JLA instead. Weird. His Scott Free was hot.
Why does Scott Free look so perturbed in this entry? He’s looking at his feet. Is he about to step in something. Not very Kirbyesque.
You spend a bit of time on this logo which I think might be the only design by Bob Lappan to get into Who’s Who. It is pretty cool. I always quite liked the character but I always thought Terry Austin really emphasises the angularity of Sears’s art which doesn’t necessarily help.
Brian Stelfreeze is a personal favourite of mine. This image made me like this character much more than any of her stories ever have. I really am surprised that this entry didn’t lead to more appearances of the character as she looks so cool.
I think I’m going to have to disagree with you about this entry. I really do not like Broderick’s art in this era. I feel like he has decided to draw lots of similar lines as a way of making his art grittier but really it makes everything have the same texture. It really looks like Spectro’s hair is made of the same thing as the exhaust of his sky cycle. And don’t get me started on the crossword puzzle buildings. I really enjoyed the character in the Captain Atom book though.
You can rely on J C Leyendecker to bring on some homoerotica. Probably helps to have a woman draw it. I found it really interesting that JM DeMatteis went from writing one of the darkest, psychological Captain America runs to co-creating the most flippant Captain America parody. I also think it’s interesting that there were a number of parallels between Glory and the original Captain Marvel, particularly as CM was taken away from JLA when they wanted to keep him. Fans of puns will share my love of General Glory’s dog Glory Hound. God I love JLI. Someone should make a podcast about that series.
Guardians of the Universe
You already know what I think of the art but my biggest complaint is that they didn’t include the central tenet of Millennium in the art. I will never not find it funny that characters Gil Kane based on the Israeli leader ended up running off to sex-up a load of Zamarons. This is the problem with artists using realworld faces.
As you say it’s appropriate for Guy to be shown fighting Russians. It really was his defining characteristic in the 80s. I agree with Shag that Guy’s body language with Ice is far more toxic than in JLA. This may be because Joe Staton was most familiar with the unnamed writer’s version of Guy which was was less nuanced than the Giffen and DeMatteis characterisation.
It is worth reading the contemporaneous Demon series but this entry is much more based on an attempt to synthesize elements featured in Sandman, Hellblazer and other books. It’s probably relevant that this entry is written by Dan Raspler who was the editor of Demon and edits the Ostrander and Mandrake Spectre series that is being prepared at the time.
Still loving the page design for the DP entries. FILTH!
I love this book despite my misgivings about the character names mentioned last issue but I never felt Kitson was the best cover or pin-up art. I’m sure this is why Kevin Maguire drew most of the LEGION covers. Kitson’s art portrays the relationships and the characters effectively but doesn’t really come together as an image.
I love the way that Giffen refers to the Subs as his bipolar group. When everyone wants them to be treated with reverence he makes them buffoons. Then when everyone had accepted they’re ridiculous he makes them an effective fighting team. The worst thing about this entry is that Ty Templeton was working with Michael Eury on a proposal for an ongoing Subs book that he was going to write and draw which fell apart when Eury left DC. This is the promise of so much more that never happened.
Legion Supporting Cast
I love some of these characters but this entry is kind of boring. Personally I prefer it when they’re all together for no apparent reason.
Did anyone really believe Lex was really dead? I didn’t.
You mentioned villains being taken on by Hawk and Dove but what you missed was that it was as part of a crossover with the Creeper that came out of a reader competition to suggest a guest star. The whole idea was to use as many Steve Ditko characters as possible. And to shoehorn in as many jokes about madmen in Washington as the Kesel’s could manage. Greg Guler was always slightly unfairly overlooked. Obviously being the guy who takes over from Rob Liefeld is a poison chalice.
Jim Aparo’s best Who’s Who entry. This goes to show that Aparo’s work didn’t fade they just kept giving him inappropriate inkers. I love the fact that he went to the bother of copying the designs that Joe Phillips was drawing on Scott’s t-shirts. It’s really classy to show respect for the work of a newcomer even though you are a genius.
Mister Miracle (again)
Loved Shilo in the stories that made him Mr Miracle and Joe Phillips was a big part of this.
The use of the comic book ad page was genius. I particularly enjoyed the faux intellectualism of a whoopi cushion called Le Grand Fahteur. The faces of Lois and Supes in the X-Ray Specs panel are so expressive. I get a real feel of British comic actor Terry Thomas from Bog’s Prankster. I wonder if that is deliberate?
Everything Rob said about this entry was right. Perfect Ty art for a really cheap character. Almost makes me believe that there is no such thing as a bad character. Ty did phenomenal entries for Rainbow Raider and Snapper Carr. God help is if he ever uses his power for evil.
Tom Grummett is a genius but this really is the most generic pin-up. It looks like What If Terry Long was Superman. Horrifying.
I’ve never read any of the pre-Crisis Terra Man but I agree this character is dull. Jurgens produces a beautiful piece of art but he should not be a Superman villain. I’d accept him as a minor SHIELD agent but no higher.
My first Batman comic starred Two-Face and even though it was written by Max Allan Collins I still feel quite a lot of warmth towards the character. The annual that this entry is based on remains a favourite story of mine but I have to disagree that it makes him a villain from the start. He is presented as advocating an eye for an eye justice along the lines of the kind of person you’d see on a tv discussion of the death penalty not as an outright villain. I disagree with him but I don’t think he’s presented as evil. Even when he gives into the darkness at the end of the story I think it is shown as a broken Harvey rather than a necessary evolution. Chris Sprouse does an amazing job on that annual and this entry. I really would like to see him do a run on a darker book. I think the essential nobleness he gives his people works well with greyer stories.
I’m the guy who read this entry and wondered why they didn’t reference Aviax making whoopie with a bird dinosaur. It seems like the only memorable story beat in their adventures so an odd one to omit. I tell you those Steve Lightle covers really did mis-sell the Wanderers series. To have so much weirdness hidden behind such beauty. It blew my mind.
Oh well, only 5 months or so until we find out what you think of the dullest depiction of Aquaman ever. It’s ridiculous, we know Eury had Aparo’s number.
I’d never heard of JC Leyendecker, I’d always assumed, in those pre-Google days, he was some pal of Linda Medley’s. Well there you go. I’ve just had a very happy bus ride to work Googling ‘JC Leyendecker – homoerotic’. Wow, talented chap! By what did you see as homoerotic in the General Glory entry?
I first heard of Leyendecker in interviews with artists. In the days before the Kubert school artists who wanted to draw comics would often study illustration and would mention him in interviews. His iconographic layouts featuring idealised athletes and servicemen obviously had quite a big influence on a lot of comics artists and they would citen him as an influence. It was only in the last year or so that I read an article about Leyendecker’s relationship with his model who was also his lover. The article was illustrated with examples of his earliest images of his lover (adverts for shirt collars) which were phenomenally homoerotic. After reading the article I also went on a Google images voyage which was very entertaining. Glad I could liven up your bus ride.
By the way I didn’t think the General Glory image was particularly homoerotic it was just the connection my brain made with Leyendecker.
Boom Tube: Huh? They drop you within a mile radius of your destination?
Darkseid is… still about 15-20 minutes walk away.
Lord, that Big Barda page by Adam Hughes is stunning. What leaves me equally shocked, though, is the fact that I’ve never seen that image before. How is this not the first entry in every image search for Barda on the World Wide Web?. Get your act together, Internet!
Also, regarding Frank’s comments about Starfire in the feedback section: I, too, get a strong Latina vibe off of Perez’s Starfire in NTT. Years ago when I attempted to fan-cast the whole DCU, I picked Naya Rivera for Starfire for this reason.
Great episode. It’s Mister Miracle here there and everywhere! What do you expect from the greatest escape artist in the universe? No one entry can hold him!
I loved Rob’s evaluation of the Dr Spectro entry. You have to praise an artist who gives it everything he’s got regardless of who or what he is drawing! There are no small characters, only small artists!
Shagg… if the Statue of Liberty is turning you on, you may need help….
Although…. hmmm… she is kinda cute in that picture….
It’s the Stat-Cute of Liberty.
On boom tubes, sure, if you’re Prankster, you’re in and out of the tube in a hop, skip, and a jump. I’m sure the reference to “no more than a mile” allows for there to be scenes in certain comics where the interior is drawn to be noticeably lengthier. Didn’t artists ever draw big evil Kirbytech ships or Whiz Wagons making non-trivial-looking trips through them? Not everyone is walking, is my point. So a boom tube could compare to an on-ramp or off-ramp as the story needs, I guess.
On Lexcorp, it doesn’t seem like Shag is the first to make the “P” silent — to me the “P” sound is spoken, but there’s some Superman-related production at least that has similarly pronounced it “Lex Core”, but I can’t quite remember what it was. A Graphic Audio thing, perhaps? Also on Lexcorp, I always want to make sure Elliot S! Maggin gets credit for using it first in one of those pre-Crisis Superman novels he wrote.
Sounding the ‘p’ in ‘corp’ is legitimate? Now I feel terrible, I always assumed that was down to people not knowing how words work, or for gag value eg the GL Corp/Corpse bit when Blackest Night was a thing.
Two nations separated… indeed!
Well actually you don’t pronounce the p
As Merriam-Webster states
\ ˈkȯr \
plural corps\ ˈkȯrz \
And even that it is a homophone with core
corps or core (or corp or corpse)?
Corps and core are homophones with completely distinct meanings. Whereas corps usually refers to a group of people, core, a word of uncertain origin, carries the senses “the central or most important part of something” or “the usually inedible central part of some fruits.” Corp and corpse share an etymology with corps; all three words come from the Latin corpus, meaning “body.” However, corp is an abbreviation for “corporation” and corpse is most often used to mean “a dead body, especially of a human being.” (Before the eighteenth century, corpse could and often did also refer to a living body.)
In my experience (take with grain of salt), there is a difference between “corps” (referring to an organized group, in which the P is silent) and “corp” (short for corporation, in which the P is sounded).
Great episode, although there is an awful lot of Hawk and Dove bashing in this episode. A shame you guys don’t love them as much as they deserve to be loved.
A few comments.
1) Barda – you can clearly see that this is ‘early’ Adam Hughes. Gorgeous. But if you google more recent Barda commissions by him you’ll see even more stunning pieces. Nothing against this image at all! Just saying.
2) Doctor Light II – “You turn in battle girl? A fatal mistake!’ Way to go Dr. Light! I have come full circle with the death of Supergirl in Crisis. It is clearly the image of the Crisis. She died to save the universe and her cousin. And, of course, she has come back and is more popular than ever.
As for Dr. Light, I never blamed her for Kara’s death. She was so struck by Kara’s sacrifice that she changed herself. If you read her comments in Crisis #7, you see how that edgy angry Dr. Light is gone.
3) Guardians of the Universe – I will remind you my adolescent reaction to their story in Millennium when the left the universe to hang out with the Zamarons. “Great, the short, old prune guys get to paradise with Glamazons. Meanwhile, no girl will notice me!’
4) Guy Gardner – Maybe USAgent is one of those ‘good guys who is a jerk’? I think USAgent was basically the Marvel version of Guy.
5) Hell’s Hierarachy – I liked that so many demons seen only in the pre-Vertigo Hellblazer comic found their way into this mainstream stuff. Nergal, Agony/Ecstasy – all seen first in the early Constantine.
6) Prankster – LOve this version. I agree that it is weird that he is a Superman villain, especially given that there is also the Toyman. He should be an Atom villain.
7) Sudden Death – in his first appearance he is drawn by Chris Wozniak and the art is awesome. That is also the first time we see that under the costume, Hawk is all furry. The costume is shredded when Sudden Death explodes. Thanks for covering him and the excellent Hawk and Dove comic.
8) The Wanderers – no wonder Rob hates the Legion. We did see glimpses of them in 5YL. Dartalon is a spokesperson for SilverAle. And yes, there is the famous issue where the bird-guy shags a bunch of endangered birds on a planet so they won’t become extinct. Brrrrr …
I have to thank you for finally explaining ‘2-D man’ who I heard as Tootieman all these years! And for confirming it is Arisia. I sing along in the car when listening! High praise!
Crimson Fox: that was Starman #38.
Dr. Light: Didn’t she have the same problem with diet soda that Power Girl had?
The Charlton Spectro costume looks more like the Rainbow Raider one we’ll see later this issue.
Guy Gardner! There was a throw-away line in the issue where he and Hal had their fistfight that he’d been using his ring to bulk up his muscles, which makes a certain sort of sense for a man who’d spent most of a decade in a coma.
L.E.G.I.O.N.: “Dear Penthouse Forum/Rob, I never thought I would be writing a letter like this, but …”
Mister Miracle III: I liked Shilo better as the warden of a super-villain prison, as a nod to Kingdom Come.
Rainbow Raider: He was the star of one of the first Flash comics I ever bought. He’s closer costume-wise to the original Dr Spectro. At least he turned his bad art into a life of crime, instead of conquering most of Europe.
Xum’s Squid piece is great as always. He’s actually a riff on the Spirit villain the Octopus.
Yazz appeared as a JLA memorial statue in the issue of 52 where Firestorm started his own JLA, with blackjack and Ambush Bug.
Thanks for the breakdown on the origins of the theme song. The Bad Mamma Jammas deserve wider recognition.
Great to hear Who’s Who back in my pod feed. Another excellent episode, fellows! I have really been enjoying these loose leaf episodes but now that I won an issue, I enjoy it that much more!
This was also a great example of why I love Who’s Who so much. To show complete morts as interesting characters with great art. It made me want to seek out any issues with their appearances. I love the entries for Dr.Spectro and Rainbow Raider. Are they morts? Of course! Am I still going to find their first appearance issues? Absolutely! Did you mention the The Wanderers? I must have blacked out for that and will not seek out those issues. I would rather hear an Omega Men Who’s Who podcast than hear more about the Wanderers. Speaking of house ads, I remember seeing The Wanderers house ad proclaiming, “Reborn to solve the final mystery….. WHO KILLED THEM?” and I hated it every time I saw it. I miss those Hostess ads.
Also, did any of you buy anything from the ads like the one behind the Prankster? I personally bought the X-Ray Specs and they were…… underwhelming. Because of that, I hate you, Prankster.
Thanks for another great episode. Keep up the great work!
Great episodes guys!! Nominative determinism Is the phenomenon where you gravitate towards a job that fits your name. I think Jay and Miles (of X-plain the X-men fame) use “destiny” instead of determinism which I think makes more sense for comics. In any case, I’m thinking of picking up a bow and arrow now. Fun fact, this is the first issue that I never picked up at the time. I finally got it a few years ago with the rest in the series from Dave’s Comics in Richmond, VA before they unfortunately closed. I’m having fun discovering it alongside the show.
Another great episode, guys. This was right around the time I came into Who’s Who and about a year into my collecting and reading DC books, so this is clearly my formative period as a reader/collector.
Red Star’s entry here coincides with his return to the New Titans, and he would have a huge role in a three-part story about a year and a half later (New Titans #94-96). It deals with a plot to use Cyborg as a means to kill Boris Yeltsin and put the Soviets back in power. It was drawn by Phil Jimenez and written by Louise Simonson, who signed my copy but said she honestly didn’t remember writing those issues.
Again, a great issue and a great episode!
Man, it HAS been a long time since you guys did one of these, hasn’t it? Not to get all DAG on you, but, c’mon fellas, let’s pick up the pace a bit, okay? What’s that? Hey, Ryan and I did a whole season of Knightcast lately. Give us a break!
Big Barda: What can I add to this? It’s gorgeous. And Hughes remembered that Barda is supposed to be a big-framed gal, not just tall. I feel like a lot of artists like Byrne forgot how Kirby drew Barda, and made her too slim. Of course Byrne also made her do a porno with Superman (ducks a blunt object thrown by Michael Bailey). The colorist here also forgot Barda’s alternate bikini outfit is usually red too, but we’ll forgive them!
Crimson Fox: I never got the “Crimson” part of a brown costumed character. And no Sanford and Son jokes? You guys are slipping.
General Glory: Yeah, he’s the proverbial shark the JLI jumped, sorry. As a one off story, it’s fine. As a permanent member, it was too much for me. BWAHAHA had become BWAHA..heh…he..oy by that point for me. I think seeing this entry actually is what did me in, because I realized this guy was in for the long haul. The last issue I bought was the boxing issue Shag mentioned on the stands with this Who’s Who. Two nails in one coffin. Sorry Shag. I was past my JLI phase. We all go through one.
Mister Miracle: SEE, Jim Aparo still had it!!! DC should have let the man ink himself ALWAYS. Whenever he got the chance in later years like here, and in Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #1, he knocked it out of the park. It was tons better than being paired with the heavy handed Mike DeCarlo and a million times better than putting Bill Sink-o-vitch (I can’t spell his name) over his pencils. That was like mixing peanut butter and motor oil.
The Prankster: I know Prankster came first, but I always saw British comeidan/actor Terry-Thomas as the Prankster. The mustache, the gap tooth, and the completely silly, self-absorbed attitude just fits. I love the image of Lois shielding herself from his X-Ray specs. One of the best gags in all of Who’s Who!!!
Rainbow Raider: It’s okay Shag, it was years before I realized Rainbow Raider WASN’T a Silver Age Rogue. I always liked his suit because it reminded me of Cyclops. Sue me.
Red Star: See, I never got “Soviet Union” from this suit. I know the colors are there, but it’s more “generic super hero” to me. The green and browns of the previous suit looked more utilitarian and Soviet to me. Kinda like the soldiers Guy is beating up on the cover. But, man, I love Tom Grummett!!!
Two-Face: A stunning piece for sure, and Sprouse was the right man of the job after drawing the new Two-Face origin in Batman Annual #14. Although back then I couldn’t get past the fact that almost all of Sprouse’s male faces looked like TNG’s “Q”, John DeLancie. Just look at Harvey there and tell me you don’t see it.
As for the notion of Harvey being “bad” before the scarring, I much prefer how Alan Burnett handled it in BTAS, giving us “Big Bad Harv” a suppressed personality that housed all of Harvey’s bottled-up aggression, that eventually developed into Two-Face.
Guy Gardner: I must admit I HATED Guy back in the day. I couldn’t stand him. I didn’t understand why the DC paragons of virtue would put up with him. But nowadays Guy is practically quaint, given the anti-heroes that abound, and some of the behavior of the previously unflappable cornerstones of the DCU. So much has come that is far worse, I can swallow his character a lot easier now.
The Squid: Xum did it again, but of course he did! Just a fantastic piece. And not taking anyway from the piece, but Xum deftly lifted the great logo from the Squid’s cover appearance in Batman #357. The guy got a logo, so it was really surprising when Killer Croc became the more important character, and wasted him! http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/gallery/!dc/batman/batman357.jpg
Some feedback thoughts.
Best Robin: I stand by my statements.
Starfire: Perez has said when he began to develop more individuality in each of the Titans, he eventually based Kory’s features on women of his own Puerto Rican heritage. So yes, she “reads” Latino to me, and has for as long as I can remember.
Marvin: Yes, I hate him. With every fiber of my being. He’s the Jar-Jar Binks of the DCU. Thankfully, he has less merchandise.
What did Marvin do to you, Cfranks? This level of hate is illogical.
He’s just a kid with a dream and dog, man.
Illogical, like your hatred for say, the film, Ant-Man?
I likes what I likes, and don’t what I don’t, DAG.
He redeemed himself in the Hourman series, I think.
‘ Starfire: Perez has said when he began to develop more individuality in each of the Titans, he eventually based Kory’s features on women of his own Puerto Rican heritage. So yes, she “reads” Latino to me, and has for as long as I can remember.’
But did she before George told you?
I found it very distracting that George gradually started drawing everyone differently. Well, I wouldn’t have minded had he drawn Jerko in a coffin.
It bugged me when Perez started “casting” the Avengers during his ’90s run, because the specificity of their features I thought made it more difficult to project yourself into characters designed to be universal icons. I also think that Perez’s nose contributed to Jeremy Renner getting miscast as Hawkeye, and that sort of thing is the same reason I completely gave up on Bryan Hitch. Since Perez created most of the New Teen Titans, I felt he was just better defining them as he went along, and I appreciated for instance Raven becoming more clearly Indian rather than just another generic white girl (another thing that bugged me about the casting of the Titans TV show.)
Hi folks! Long time listener, first time commenter here and I just have to say that this show and community are absolutely amazing!
I am probably one of your younger listeners (I am currently an undergrad student) and I have never actually owned an issue of any Who’s Who series. However, my introduction to the DC Universe Encyclopedia. I got the first edition for my seventh birthday and read it until the cover fell off! When the second edition came out I did the exact same thing snd made a new cover out of duct tape and cardboard. Those books threw me right into the deep end of the DCU and gave me a huge appreciation for a ton of virtually unknown characters that I find fascinating to this day. That book also apparently lifted a ton from these loose leaf entries as well as from the originals from what I can tell.
This podcast has been pretty much the only one I have ever heard discuss characters like the Heckler and so it’s pretty alright in my book.
Also this was my first F&W network show and in the three years since I started listening I’ve been hooked so thanks Rob, Shag and the whole wonderful community that has really brought my comics knowledge up a few notches.
PS: READ SANDMAN AGAIN! It totally holds up and is absolutely wonderful. A classic of the medium for a reason.
As one of the gang, a big welcome from me, glad you’re joining in, David!
1. Rob acknowledged Shag’s visual acumen in the Two-Face image. Rob said to Shag, “You’re right.” Shag, you had better make an audio grab of that and keep it on all your devices. It is rare aural gold.
2. Xum, I hate to be Mr. Editor Person on you, but in your otherwise brilliant Squid entry, there is the word “Prefatory.” It is probably supposed to be “predatory.” I hate for your reputation to be sullied by typos.
3. Crimson Fox. This is the only opportunity I’ll have for this rant. I read the Starman story with her years after it was published. I had not seen the character previously. I had seen Blue Devil and the original Amazing Man many times. I had already developed a strong dislike for superhero stories of slaughtered superheroes. Yes, I understand that this is a way to show how tough and ruthless the villain of the piece is, but I still do not like it. After my initial dislike of this particular Starman/Mist/Crimson Fox/Blue Devil/Amazing Man story, I figured out my way around it. The story is told by Mist. As far as I am concerned, Mist is an unreliable narrator. She told the story to her baby, but there were no corroborating sources. So, in my head canon ( a phrase I learned on the Fire & Water Network!), the events as described by Mist never happened. Blue Devil wasn’t killed, Amazing Man wasn’t killed, and Crimson Fox survived to be in a French language comic by Moebius.
Finally! The crown jewel hath returned! I felt like CFranks waiting for an Eagles reunion!
I appreciate that you guys do the show given the time it demands. I love that you guys do this for us and for free (except I’m a patreon, so I demand satisfaction!).
Regarding Giffen’s style during this time, I always wondered if he was inking a face one day, dropped some ink over it to completely cloud any features and thought, “Wait! I can do this all this time!” And it hurts because I love Giffen – even the style he used during his Trencher days.
Xum knocks it out again! How’s he do it?
Why doesn’t Rob like the Legion? he likes BATOS! I’m not being mean about that, but there’s a lot of similarities. Crazy villains. High melodrama! Lots of nutty turns and twists? Is it that the LSH’s cast is too big? Is that that Rob doesn’t like reading about teenagers? What is it?
I get why Rob doesn’t like L.E.G.I.O.N. It’s a bit of a mess sometimes. I really wanted to like it. In fact, I only really got it into when Phase joined. But there was something that kept me at bay. No idea what it was. Maybe it was its alien-ness. No idea. Incidentally, if Shag likes the acronym LEGION, did he ever get into Alien Legion?
Impressive pod cast most impressive. Huh pretty cool issue. Big Barda looks awesome. I’d say Lainie Kazan was more vixen build than big boned in her prime. Or as the kids say now days thick. Any way Barba is awesome. She was great in the cartoon and in the Bat Man and Super Man movie when they go to Apocalypses. the Sooooooooooooooo…. on to Crimson Fox. Ok Bart is a great artst and he went to Kubert so he knows a lot about art…but, how does this costume at all look like a fox? But, the character was great. And I liked her in the JLE.
But, defiantly glad Neil helped his friend and helped a fellow creator. Indy creator or not glad he let him keep his work. Dr. Light was great in JLA Tack force. And good in the 200 JLA. Or the team before Dick Grason as Bats took over from with the rest of the titans as JLA. She ware a suit in Task Force…th comic not video game. Thought the video game was great. Dr. Spectro ,,,, Captain Atom fought him? How is he a threat to Captain Atom? He;’s a less interesting version of Crazy quilt. Moving on.
Ah General Glory he was awesome. I mostly remember him From Lobo’s back. in the iddue ware Lobo is a woman. And in the WW2. It was….well weird. bt liked him teamed with Guy. Guy was also cool in this. Thought what else is their to say about him? The Subs as Comandos…… em why? Did I mention I have a U tube page? r. Miracule he was cool I had his toy as a kid. he toy was just so cool I think every one had him.
I liked hm a bit in the comics though he was my fav in the Another Nail. Ware he becomes a spirt in a Green Lantern ring that Barda uses. Prankster was fun, but when I first saw him .. they made him
dark and he killed with the gimmicks…sigh. Ranbow rider….. I liked him in the Flash cartoon. That’s all I got. Red Star… yet he shouldn’t be built like that. The height and weight is what they give Spidey in the Ohotmu. And not JRSR. But, regular version of Peter. So that wouldn’t work.
Two Face looks cool. Was weird that the Jokers daughter turned out to be his.
Ah the Squid. Xum did a great job. And cool coverage of it…. but you forgot he was in BTAS. In an issue ware it looks like he kills the Bat Man… by accident. He’s a looser villain that trips in a fight and bats falls. And looks like he’s dead so every one gives him respect… save ats Rouges who try to kill him.
Till Joker almost does till Bats shows up and beats the Joker and sends them both to jail, but the Squid gets respect for out thinking the Joker, but Bats did most of it. It was a fun one.
Am I the only person whose episode won’t download properly? First it was nothing more than the opening song, then it wouldn’t play anything at all. I’m now listening at the site, which is a shame as it’s really hard to move backwards and forwards with precision.
1) All this time that we’ve been pleading with you not to end Who’s Who on !mpact, and we’re now past issue 11 of 16, and the gaps between episodes are widening, and there’s still Update ’93, which is going to be its own little slice of Hell. Lookit Rob Benioff and Shag Weiss over here.
2) I got a themed jam commission contribution from Joe Staton at Fire & Water Con 2017, and couldn’t help but feel guilty about all the shade I’ve thrown his way over the years. Not because I threw it, mind, but because I wasn’t going to cop to it while exploiting him to maintain the theme of pioneering independent comics artists drawing Image characters on their 25th anniversary. Shadowhawk turned out nice, as did the Guy Gardner cover, because Staton stayed in his lane.
3) Martin, I had no trouble with this particular episode, but I feel your pain on having to suffer through a crumby site player when you can’t get to a favorite podcast by any other means.
A) Growing up here in Texas, Billy Graham’s sermons and visits to town were treated so reverentially, I never realized until around the time he died last year what kind of person he really was. I mention this because I googled Lainie Kazan, since I couldn’t quite reconcile my mental image of her from later years with her influence on the creation of Big Barda (their connection is the #3 image suggestion after “body” and, regrettably, “Zohan.”) Her bombshell days were before my time, but I recall “Lust In The Dust” being an early cable staple, and she was still transitioning from zaftig at that point. Anyway, this search directed me to a blog post discussing how Graham had inspired Glorious Godfrey (as well as Richard Nixon’s being particularly inspiring for Darkseid’s dialogue) and now I want to read the entire Fourth World Saga on x-ray for essential context like that. When it’s just a drawing, it’s easy to see how someone could look at Barda and Wonder Woman and say “same thing, right?” But add Lainie Kazan’s voice and Adam Hughes’ fidelity to Barda’s beefier frame and a knowledgeable fan is like “what are you even talking about?”
B) When I interviewed Mark Waid, he talked about how he easily typed out reams of text from memory about myriad DC properties while working on the looseleaf Who’s Who, which makes the half-filled Boom Tube page an unintended critique. The Fourth World is certainly one area of the DCU that he’s never seemed to lingered on, and given that it was something of an intrusion of Marvel content/talent marking the end of DC’s Silver Age, I wonder if there’s an unreported Alex Rossian fanboy hiccup there. All this is to say that I got more mileage out of idle speculation than I would have talking about the actual entry.
C) Crimson Fox always read to me exactly as advertised here: an NPC generated to check off some obligatory boxes in service to an assigned premise rather than a muse. Can we talk about how she doesn’t look anything like a fox, and how she’s just another one of the seemingly endless variations on clawed cat-ladies that seemed to be a requisite addition to super-teams of the late Bronze and Chromium Ages? Any story that treated her as a character worth exploring was made worse for the attempt. Given that I really enjoyed Bart Sears’ art from this period, I mourn for the entry he could have done in service to another character, nearly any other character, more deserving than this one. Brutes & Babes & Sugar & Spike? Bring it.
I actually watched Powerless via On-Demand when it was still running on NBC because I had just enough interest in z-list DC adaptations to justify using them as an excuse to stare at Vanessa Hudgens for 22 minutes at a time (she’s the Laura Gemser of live broadcast television musicals.) It was almost charming in its lack of actual comedy, like a community theater production of an office sitcom trying to spice things up with Bruce Wayne(‘s cousin.) With a bar that low, a barely recognizable take on Crimson Fox was actually the idealized, recurring super-heroine of the short-lived series. Also, they mentioned Dr. Psycho that one time.
Finally, Redfox was found exclusively in quarter bins by the time I regularly made it to legit comic shops, post-b&w bust. And anyway, Fred Sanford got there first.
4) Velvet Tiger 100% looks like an !mpact character. DC should have traded her for Captain Commando and then killed him off in that Starman issue instead of Amazing Man.
D) I never blamed Dr. Light for Kara’s death either, but given that #7 was the only issue I read new and I was a Marvel Zombie at the time, I probably wasn’t as invested in the particulars as most. We definitely need more accomplished Asian heroines and fewer creepy old rapists in comics, so I’m kinda sorry DC didn’t support Kimiyo Hoshi better. Yeah, she fit squarely into the “dragon lady” stereotype, but I have to admit that she was a lot more fun as hell on heels than as Crimson Fox’s understudy in post-worth-a-damn late stage JLI. I think the most grievous error was in giving Hoshi a variation on Arthur Light’s costume, making her a nonsensical quasi-legacy to a laughingstock when the whole “Dr. Light” thing should have been a goofy layman mistranslation of a more sophisticated Japanese handle. Brian Stelfreeze hadn’t quite hit his stride yet, but the signs were apparent in this entry.
E) It looks like Dr. Spectro’s villainous motivation is to withhold the questions necessary to start the crossword puzzle in the background. When Pat Broderick at the peak of his powers still draws you to look like a Mort of the Month, we’re all left to wonder why you weren’t killed off to build up a better Captain Atom foe. I’m very fond of the Cary Bates run, but there’s a reason no one can name a member of his rogues gallery besides Venom cosplaying as the Will Payton Starman. In their defense, so much of the Charlton run was devoted to Captain Atom battling the Commie Menace and one-off aliens, there wasn’t exactly a standing pool to draw from.
5) Regarding David Capune, I’m sure we all really appreciate being reminded that we’re such crusty old turds that an undergrad is a whippersnapper. I can’t recall for certain, but I may have set up my first Amazon account specifically to order the first edition of The DC Encyclopedia. Then they wouldn’t leave it at my apartment, and I had to rush over to the UPS station on the burnt out side of town to pick it up before it got sent back, and it was all worth it because I loved that thing. It’s a snapshot of all of Who’s Who and most of the DC Secret Files & Origins that captured the final moment when I still adored the DCU before the rot fully set in. I didn’t even upgrade to the second volume, as it reflected too much Didioling, but I still pull my copy off the shelf when I want to take an expansive view of the times when DC & I were happy together.
F) I really hate to point at a female creator as the point where JLI started to suck, so I’ll just blame Giffen & DeMatteis for not providing Linda Medley with better stories to draw in a way that I still don’t find appealing regardless. Actually, I’m going to really piss some people off and point to the bloom first falling off the rose when Ty Templeton didn’t replace Kevin Maguire, and that Adam Hughes papered over rough patches when the writing started to turn. Coming too soon to the JLI Podcast, “The Teasdale Imperative.” Try not to notice all the stupid crap with Power Girl’s cat, the Conglomerate, and the Spy parody pages while you’re trying to enjoy the Despero arc, gang. Anyway, Cousin Oliver Glory certainly underlines when the hard times truly hit, and I encourage indignant listeners to rank their favorite General Glory stories on a scale of Nightcat to NFL Superpro (I personally place “Glory Bound” ahead of Street Poet Ray, but “Visions of Glory” below Illuminator.) Never forget that time they tried to reboot General Glory in the last issue of JLQ by lifting wholesale from a recent Image comic when they were at peak derivative (and from a Captain Marvel swipe besides!)
6) Dale Gunn, Oberon, Max Lord, Sue Dibny, Wendy, Catherine Colbert, The Yazz, Snapper Carr, Marvin.
G) Guardians of the Universe dickery is one of the things that turned me off from reading Green Lantern comics, and they’ll now likely be forever overshadowed by those other Guardians in the MCU (who’d have ever thought?) I don’t hate the little guys, but increasing gender balance beyond Smurfette isn’t going to suddenly make them relevant and palatable in the 21st Century.
H) You have to give credit where it’s due: it was smart to relaunch Green Lantern as a quasi-team book/stealth anthology rotating three “lead” GLs instead of arguing for chopping the baby into halves, especially when it came time to spin-off a franchise. “Mosaic” was brilliant at times, both in story and art, easily outshining its sibling titles. With Pat Broderick exiting, Hal Jordan’s book really suffered from the Hal Jordanness of Mark Bright. Guy Gardner seemed to be produced through gritted teeth by an unenthused scripter and an artist who really should have moved on to Scooby-Doo years earlier than he did. In retrospect, the writer clearly needed to be dropping titles from his workload rather than adding them, and cashing all those checks expedited his burnout and dismissal from the field. Greater editorial wisdom would have seen Michael Jan Friedman & Travis Charest maintain the core book instead of launching Darkstars, and Guy Gardner would have made better use of Ron Marz and Jim Balent than languishing on the Alan Scott feature in GL Quarterly. But then, this was the same editor who tried to use health insurance for his ill son to extort the further services of Broderick, so that guy was also trash. Anyway, the first year of Guy’s solo title were a trial, but it got better when Chuck Dixon did his Year One 4-parter, and then Warrior was great for a handful of issues before settling into mediocrity at best.
I) Hell’s Hierarchy is a perfect example of DC not being at its best as a shared universe. All the wacky Demon stuff with the Val Semeiks art is incomparable with the then-contemporary dark fantasy of proto-Vertigo, and both are diminished by this sorry attempt at parity.
J) I read a bit about Joshua Clay and tried to formula a response, but it just made me tired.
K) L.E.G.I.O.N. was a cute way to work around the severing of ties between the Legion and the 20th Century thanks to Supergirl’s death and Superman’s stingy editor. Alan Grant is not one of my favorite Giffen collaborators, and the more he took over full writing chores, the closer L.E.G.I.O.N. got to those lesser sci-fi strips from a dry Britsh anthology where Grant cut his teeth. Vril Dox was the obvious highlight, which is why he was the only member to star in both volumes of R.E.B.E.L.S., and everyone else seemed to be there just to react to him or Lobo. Stealth wasn’t much of a character, but her reproductive cycle was another notable element of the series. I’m inordinately fond of Captain Comet, so his presence helped. Barry Kitson’s art didn’t hurt, but he wasn’t as polished as he would get, so it only helped some of the time. The stories were massively improved when Tom Peyer took it over, just as the art hit the skids. Derec Aucoin/Donovan helped a lot when he joined the continuation as R.E.B.E.L.S., one of the more criminally unheralded classics from DC’s Chromium Age.
L) I was about to quit for the night after having been at this for hours and only getting halfway through the issue, but the Legion Subs signal a steep downhill directory from here. These guys are perfect foils for Ambush Bug, but they don’t bring the yucks on their own, and are too lame to help the case for the Legion. When Rob said “I never cared for Jason Pearson’s art” as I was pulling out of my driveway this morning, I was seriously like “whadafug he jus’ say?” I’m pretty sure the undercurrent of anger that fueled my swipe at the JLI artists earlier was partially fueled by this grievous lapse in taste. In Rob’s defense, the Legion Supporting Cast entry halfway rates this dismissal, but it’s still better than the one that preceded it.
M) Dusty Abell’s Lexcorp architects all over Pat Broderick’s Spectro cityscape. Yep, that’s all I’ve got. Madman proves that Ditko did no more favors for Blue Beetle than Captain Atom in the villain department. They get in the way of Randian tracts that fill up whole panels. Greg Guler is the Paris Cullins of Grant Miehms.
N)I love classic Silver/Bronze Jim Aparo, and this Mr. Miracle entry is definitely late-BATOS caliber. The subtext of Mr. Miracle is rendered text by Shilo Norman, but when a dude is otherwise named Scott Free, subtlety isn’t the draw. Hope Ava DuVernay casts a Serena Williams-type for Barda.
O) The Prankster is proof that sometimes it’s okay to just kill off a fifty-year-old property instead of allowing it to become a tired parody of itself. Let’s just hope they don’t make him a New 52 Logan Paul.
P) Great issue for architecture. You plan that city, you animals! Of course Rainbow Raider is a Silver Age character, as evidenced by this classic Gil Kane Green Lantern cover from 1966…
Q) I like that Red Star’s Titans Hunt costume pops with the reds & yellows, and showed his increasing distance from the Soviet State. Once he became a Titan, he needed to be a character instead of a USSR straw man for Kid Flash to punch. In his old suit, he looks like every other stock Cold War commie super-soldier. Didn’t care for the fire powers, and it’s funny how after a three-issue backdoor mini-series-within-a-series, he barely appeared on another cover for the last year of his membership.
R) I didn’t “get” Terra-Man as a kid, but at least his ridiculousness stood out in a big Vartox way. Truth is Battle Armor Al Gore makes for an inconvenient revamp. And if I ever made a Superman movie, the villain would totes be Lee Van Cleef riding Pegasus. I Have It All Planned Out In My Mind.
S) Chris Sprouse’s Two-Face is ugly to look at for all the wrong reasons. I used to hate Two-Face until B:TAS turned it around. Why don’t we talk about Richard Moll more?
T) The Wanderers’ series ended when they solved the mystery: who killed them? Audience disinterest. That and Dave Hoover art, I’d wager. But Mark Waid managed to fill the full page for their entry. Another clue to another mystery.
DFrank, are you saying Kevin Dooley leveraged health insurance against Pat Broderick??? What!?!
S) Richard Moll was the first villain on Highlander: The Series!
I didn’t name names because I couldn’t find easy reference on the first page of an extremely lazy Google search, and it’s entirely possible I’m misremembering a one-on-one conversation with Broderick at a con a few years ago while more focused on nailing down the details of a commission, but it tracks, right?
Cheers for another spiffy episode. I’m really enjoying the shows for this volume.
‘Affiliation’ doesn’t mean ‘membership’ so yes, given she was with them a lot, Big Barda should have been linked to JLI in the entry.
The boom tube entry was a waste of space. It could have been a line in ranch New Gods entry. Had the bit about the boom tube being up to a mile long ever been in any comic? Sorry, I’ve had the Jack Kirby Fourth World Omnibus since it came out and haven’t had the strength to get it off the shelf.
I could never figure out why the JLI’s French member was called Crimson Fox. ‘Red Fox’ would have made no more sense. I just assumed she was a take on Pepe Le Pew.
Poor Christmas Baubles Man, but I do love the idea of a mort of the issue.
The Substitute Legion entry was as boring as heck and the logo was far too big. But in a related note, the LSH Five Years Later Omnibus is listed on Amazon once more, for release on 18 August next year. I’ve ordered mine. That’s Rob’s birthday present sorted.
Rob is right, the best entry of the issue is Prankster, it’s just perfect – a brilliant idea, superbly executed. I always assumed he was Jimmy Olsen’s fat uncle.
OK so the Rainbow Raider seems daft but he’s a Flash villain, he fits into that world of science gimmicks and was written by Cary Bates, so he appeared in terrific stories. Crazy Quilt was also colour blind – maybe Rainbow Raider is the Earth One version of him.
Rob, I never knew Liz Anne’s opening one was a Darth Vader nod. Did he say it on Nanu-Nanu?
It’s funny that everyone had the impression Jonni Thunder house ads appeared for a large part of the Eighties. She starred in a three-issue mini-series, so the ads likely appeared for two or three months beforehand and while the comic was running and never again. Conclusion: we were all buying too many comics. (It’s amazing she’s not been on TV, I mean, she’d be really cheap to do, a white suit and once a season use of powers…)
Oh, and I have another great new podcast idea for the most obsessed Rob. He goes back through every entry in every version and corrects the height/weight details according to his artistic eye.
10/10, would listen 🙂
I’m coming in late, so just a couple of points.
Crimson Fox: This is an open invitation to ask any of the, oh, HALF OF THE NETWORK, that is French-speaking for help on pronouncing French words. La renarde rousse… that last word (which means red haired, or ginger) is not pronounced like the last name of a famous MMA fighter turned actress turned wrestler. It’s simply “Rooss”. A lot of silent “e”s in the French language.
Madmen: What’s always been amusing to me is that they first appeared in Charlton’s Blue Beetle #3, I first read the story in Modern Comics’ reprint of Blue Beetle #3, and then they made they first DCU appearance in DC’s Blue Beetle #3. So the first appearance here doesn’t really need to say the (incorrect) “Second series” bit.
Good work, good show, good idea skipping the Wanderers.
So everyone should ask Bass or Shotgun?
“Who’s Who: the Definitive Podcast that kept Max Traver out of prison”…returns! And just in time! (I discovered this network and this show when I lived under some really noisy upstairs neighbors. It HELPED.)
Anyway: huzzah! Joe Staton on Guy Gardner! Max is a happy comic book person! Also, Big Barda and Scott Free are perhaps tied for “my favorite couple in the DCU” alongside Ralph and Sue Dibny! And such great entries related to the Miracle family, too! With General Glory and Doctor Light bringing in even more JLI flavor, plenty of Legion (and L.E.G.I.O.N.) entries, this issue has more than enough excellent content to make up for even the presence of the “new and improved” Terra Man and the downright awful travesty that is the Wanderers! Okay, the art for the Wanderers entry is great, and makes it look the series might actually have been kind of fun. But, see, I know that it WAS NOT. And, in the unofficial but seemingly implied showdown between Doctor Spectro and Rainbow Raider, I gotta go with Mr. Roy G. Bivolo. Sure, both of their logos are surprisingly boring for such color-forward characters, but for me, it all comes down to the backgrounds. Those buildings in the Dr. Spectro entry look like the architectural equivalent of zipatone. Sure, the city behind the Raider looks a bit cramped for my tastes, but the buildings look like they weren’t all built at once by a screensaver or something. Anyway: great episode as always! It’s awesome to have the Who’s Who show back on my headphones!
A few who’s who:
I got Rainbow Raider’s first appearance of the spinner rack and thought he was going to be HUGE! HUGE! I tell you…I was shocked that B&B 194 portrayed Rainbow Raider as such a loser.
The Jim Aparo Mr. Miracle is a beautiful piece. While I always thought his art was good, I enjoyed his 70s work the most and this picture is such a throwback to that time. I wonder if the editor first encountered Mr. Miracle in B&B, as I did. I’m very embarrassed that I was well into my 40s before I realized the name Scott Free was a pun.
I have enjoyed Adam Hughes artwork since Maze Agency, and I like every part of the Barda entry except the main one. There is something off about her expression to me. I’m going to go with Rob here about some of the measurements being off…I always picture Barda as being 6-5 to 6-7 in my mind’s eye…almost She-Hulk size.
Ok, going B-movie for a minute, but this will dovetail back into Who’s Who…I think the Brinke & Dave Stevens relationships was one of those deals where they dated for five years and stayed married for five minutes. Both of them admit their tempestuous relationship served as a template for Cliff and Bettie’s rock relationship. Brinke said in interviews that she would read The Rocketeer and say, “I remember when we had that argument.” Marco from Hollywood in the Rocketeer was based on photographer Ken Marcus, who had a relationship with Brinke after (and maybe during) the marriage. Anyway, I don’t think Brinke has ever done an interview where she didn’t complain that Dave always drew her body and stuck someone else’s head on it. The Rocketeer collection that I have has the photo of Brinke that Dave used for the famous shocked Bettie with hand bra drawing. Maybe Marcus wooed Brinke by saying, “Hey when I do images of you, I won’t superimpose someone else’s head on it.”
Strangely, after the divorce, Brinke continued to model for Dave. He drew her face for a Twisted Tales cover which wound up being reused as the box art for her movie, Dark Romances and the comic shows up in the movie.
Ok, back to Who’s Who….if you look at Dave’s Catwoman entry, the Selina image doesn’t look anything like Brinke, but if you look at the Catwoman main image, the eyes, shape of the nose and pouty lips all look to be Brinke. That is definitely Brinke’s flawless figure…Ok, sorry for so much Brinke. I used to be a fan, but I’m still mainly a Laura Gemser man. Brinke was gorgeous but she’s no Laura (Can you tell I have a fondness for skinny, long-haired brunettes?) Laura is still the queen. Although, since Laura and Brinke were both in Emmanuelle movies (Laura in 2, Brinke in 4), I wouldn’t have been adverse to seeing them together in a movie.
Oh, and I forgot. From my first glance of the Squid in Detective 497, I thought he looked like a bad cross between Woozy Winks and the Heat Miser from Year Without a Santa Claus
Lots of JL-Eyecatching entries this issue. All of the JLI pieces look great! And Mister Miracle by Jim Aparo? DANG! That’s just mesmerizingly good! Aparo must have really loved MM, even if he didn’t draw a regular series with him. Love, love, love!
And good memory, Shagg. It was me that tweeted about the General Glory comics appearing in Huntress #15, during my read thru of the 1989-90 series. That issue came out the same month as JLA #39, months before GG’s storyline in JLA #46. That was a crazy surprise find!
Dr Spectro certainly has come a long way. First a villain in the Squadron Sinister, then a hero (of sorts) in the Squadron Supreme, then a woman received the Power Prism, then … What’s that? Doctor SpectrUM? Oooooooh. Sorry.
My addiction to digital comic subscriptions let me read the 80’s Captain Atom series with this Dr Spectro. Boy, that costume gonna burn out some retinas, but it is a BEAUTIFUL image. Broderick drew the hell out of it.
Red Star’s entry is noteworthy solely for Grummett’s artwork. This series was very fortunate to be published at a time when Grummett could provide so many entries. So good.
Another great episode, guys!
Well, even though it took what seemed like forever for this podcast to drop – the timing was perfect as I was finishing up the Star Trek & Legion Feedback episode. That was the last of all the Who’s Who episodes I needed to catch up to ‘real time’
Another great episode, but now I’ve actually got to wait to listen to another Who’s Who episode! I must say that I am a little disappointed that neither of you seemed to know where my paraphrased quote came from. It was from the great Steve Martin movie, “The Jerk”
I’m not as verbose as most of your commentators, but know that I do get quite a lot of enjoyment from you two. Thank you for going through the theme song for me – I can now sing along, so I guess you guys owe my wife an apology!
Until next time… Who’s Next?
Ooops. For some reason it posted my real name instead of my handle!
Apologies for coming to this late. My podcast feed was reset recently and I’m still repopulating it with the shows I want.
I was surprised to hear a reasonably-complete retelling of Starman #38 (featuring the deaths of Crimson Fox, Amazing Man, and Blue Devil) without hearing Shag mention the appearance of Firestorm. Did I just miss it? Firestorm was notable for surviving that event (mostly by being Lord away from the main action, admittedly), but it was also a fairly rare appearance for the character at that point in time, shortly after his return (with Ronnie Raymond flying solo) In Extreme Justice (say what one will about that series. It gave us Firestorm back!)
In a similar vein, I was pleased to hear a shout-out given to Shadowstorm, a villain that never really got a chance to shine, falling victim to the cancellation of his designated hero’s title, and then to the changes that reverted Firestorm back to “nuclear man” status. While I agree while I agree with most fans that the “nuclear man” is my preferred incarnation of Firestorm, the loss of the Elemental version meant that Shadowstorm didn’t really have a place in the DCU any longer, and he has thus been largely forgotten.
Xum, you feel up to a Xum’s Who entry?
(please note again my request for an edit feature on comments!)
So when I was a little symbol I wasn’t into American comics, but I do remember two comics that I guess had an influence on my tastes and listening options. (I promise this’ll make some sense honest)
The first was JLI and Doctor Light was probably one my favourites in the first issues, she was just properly grumpy, and whilst I didn’t follow for much longer (wasn’t easy to get here) I still have a soft spot from them.
The second was that issue of Supes with Barda, yup that one, despite that it hasn’t scared me too much and now I consider her one of my faves. Second to Power Girl obviously!
If anyone has read Bombshells I think Roller Derby Barda has to be one of my favorite costume of her, next to the original Kirby obs.
I shall settle for the long, long, wait for the next episode!
I’m catching up- great show