Who’s Who in the DC Universe #14

It's the TITAN-ic fourteenth issue of WHO'S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE featuring The New Titans, Nightwing, lots more Titans characters, Animal Man, Dr. Alchemy, Green Arrow, The Injustice League, Lana Lang, Ragman, Rex The Wonder Dog, and more! Plus YOUR Listener Feedback!

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73 responses to “Who’s Who in the DC Universe #14

    1. Update

      So Shag was in on the Kennedy assassination, huh? Can he confirm that Ted Cruz’s father was the actual triggerman?

      Cal Durham: I’m sure Rob knew this once upon a time but has long since forgotten, but the legacy of Aparo’s Cal Durham character lives on in the YOUNG JUSTICE cartoon, where Aqualad’s Atlantean name is Kaldur’am. I believe that was incorporated into the New 52 version of the character, too, who was the son of Black Manta and Mera’s sister.

  1. Hey guys! Great show,
    a few comments here
    Catherine Cobert: There was a detail My friend John Harte pointed out to me back when this issue came out.
    As Cath is spilling her coffee, the framed picture of Captain Atom that’s on her desk is reacting to the coffee about to spill all over him!
    Lana and Pete: It’s Funny seeing Curt Swan and Jerry Ordway collaborating on a Modern Who’s Who Entry. Not because they wouldn’t, but because it refutes this very absolutist attitude many Silver/Bronze Age Superman fanatics. I won’t mention names but there were several “get off my lawn types in various Superman communities that act like Byrne, Jurgens and Ordway have no place drawing Superman because they cannot ever measure up to Curt Swan.
    Maxi Zeus: So Maxi Zeus is a Greek-themed, King Tut huh? Seriously though, I only ever saw Maxi during the War of the Gods storyline and of course his appearance in Batman The Animated Series. (in the 60’s TV show King Tut was the professor of Egyptology at Yale University who got injured in a student riot and woke up to believe himself to be the re-incarnation of King Tutankhamen).
    The Untouchables: The Bonnie and Clyde with John Dillinger Trio would be featured in an Episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. I don’t know if the producers o the TV Series were at all cognizant of the recent appearances of these Comic Book “counterparts”

    Looking forward to next Episode!

    1. Oh my goodness, I forgot about Maxi Zeus in War of the Gods! I bought that series (and tried to get all the tie-ins) because of Captain Marvel/Shazam but just forgot about everything in it. Thanks for the reminder and now I’m going to try and find those issues in long boxes………

  2. 1) On Rob’s preamble, I didn’t buy Who’s Who new. I got the last issue of the first volume of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, and then most of Deluxe Edition and the Updates off the newsstand… in part because OHOTMU actually reached the newsstand, whereas I only ever saw Who’s Who at the mall bookstores, and not consistently. I was into OHOTMU as a sort of educational resource– it’s a fairly dry reference book with a static overview image of a given character and maybe a few reprinted panels. I wanted relevant information on a fictional shared universe, which is why I didn’t buy the Master Edition, being all footnote and no text with bland repurposed turnarounds. I only bought the one issue of the first volume of Who’s Who, and rejected the universe it presented as goofy, outdated, and irrelevant. It was an open casket funeral for a Pre-Crisis non-continuity– a catalogue of moribund IP from a past time. When DC’s Updates came out, they were more like Marvel, but with a worse collection of artists spotlighting a smaller, younger universe who constituents of personal interest to me were already familiar enough without needing a summary. Even today, after having been a hardcore Post-Crisis DC fan, I look over the collection of Definitive Directory that I put together in the late ’90s as a collection of cute art with a really fun design and a springboard for ideas. I’ve become so immersed in Siskoid’s Who’s Editing because I look through a given issue and go “okay, what can I do with this property that suits my interests, and which characters can I screw with versus which deserve to have their history respected?” I love the look of the project, and the opportunity to speak of a substantial portion of a line’s properties in bite-sized installments, plus it’s being a snapshot of the earliest incarnations of these premises. But ultimately, for me, it’s about what can be dome with this dreamstuff going forward, not a reverence for a past that never spoke to me.

    Who’s Who in the DC Universe isn’t as good as Definitive Directory because it’s a cumbersome, fragile, flatter format that employs a pin-up image to varying degrees of success and a single page of text to either squeeze or inflate to space. It doesn’t have the historical scope of the original and is nowhere near as schizophrenic, because it’s not employing five decades of surviving artists and esoteric properties. It’s an overview of the Post-Crisis DCU up to the early ’90s, which means it stops just short of when I began to fully embrace the DCU as my reading home for the next decade & a half or so. It’s jarring when a Curt Swan or near-blind Jim Aparo pops up, instead of par for the course. However, it’s still a representation of some of my favorite years of comics publishing, and like OHOTMU, more of an informational resource that fills the gaps in my knowledge of a broader expanse of properties that I cared very much about (and despite my best interests still do.) And the Titans Hunt edition in particular was the launching pad for that period, so I’m very much looking forward to revisiting the creators and characters that embedded me in the DC Universe more firmly than any other in comics.

    1. As the other guy with a OHOTMU podcast, but one who prefers Who’s Who, or at least the original Definitive Directory, I have the reverse opinion. I think what I loved about about the original Who’s Who was its completism and focus on DC history. At least at that time in my comic book reading career, it was about discovering what I’d missed by not being a comic book reader from the 30s through to the 70s.

      The Updates and loose leaf were inherently inferior – and indeed, the post-Crisis issues of the original Directory had problems of this ilk already – because they were about pushing current continuity. Lots of morts in becoming who would NEVER have scored an entry, except that they just premiered in Booster Gold or Outsiders or something and ended up never appearing again. And so it is with OHOTMU. A lot of characters are omitted because they just aren’t important enough to the current MU (most egregiously, throwing everyone from another era into the Book of the Dead, giving Johnny Blaze an entry that doesn’t show Ghost Rider, etc. and leading to weird mistakes like forgetting to give Iron Fist an entry in the Deluxe Edition even though he had a book on the stands). And like those Updates, there are a lot of “new” characters in there who never amounted to anything. The focus on TODAY (and if I’m reading comics TODAY, then do I really need encyclopedia entries about TODAY?) makes the books less interesting to me.

      Now, it can be said – because it’s true – that all of these books are eventually dated. And that’s why the original Directory’s approach – iconic art and streamlined origin info – is best. Once the info is outdated, you can still look at the nice art (as opposed to OHOTMU’s focus on standees), and even then, as you say, those short texts are great for inspiration, for wanting to bring back characters, etc. That’s not a bug, it’s a feature. The original Who’s Who isn’t a snapshot of a dying continuity. It’s the foundation for all modified continuity yet to come.

  3. Anarky: The ongoing was written by Alan Grant and it stood out a bit on the stands to me when it was being published. It seemed like, “Wow, this is a bit late.” I think Shag was mixing Anarky up with Azrael, which was written by Denny O’Neil and lasted 101 isssues (counting the 1 million issue). It was pretty decent up until issue 25 and then it just wandered all over the place.

    Invasion: My favorite part of this image is it looks like Superman is staring disapprovingly at Amanda Waller…as he well should.

    Lana Lang and Pete Ross: Jeff and I often joke that Pete was Lana’s silver medal but I was invested in them as a couple. Which is why all of the things that happened in the mid-2000’s was so damn frustrating. This would have been right around the time that they were gearing up for the Sons of Liberty story line, which introduced Agent Liberty, two concepts the Supergirl television series botched horribly. Lana and Pete were a great pair and I loved them as Clark’s high school friends that he still keeps in touch with.

    And yeah…Pete was not only Vice President…but PRESIDENT for about five minutes after Lex was brought down.

    Nightwing: I love this costume. Like a lot. This is a great take on it, but to me Tom Grummett was the only artist that ever made it truly work, though Art Thibert comes in a distant second. I’m curious which action figure Rob had and if the one I had where it looks like Dick got down by Kori that night. Google “Legends of the Dark Knight Nightwing action figure” if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about. Not strictly NSFW but not really good for it either.

    Rex: Rob’s love of the Rex entry is amazing and made my day.

    1. I’d generally remembered that Nightwing figure that I never wanted to buy, but had forgotten its specific onanistic feature (not necessarily all that unique among pre-McFarlane low sculpting standards.)

  4. A) Anarky (unbound by even the rules of spelling) debuted in one of the Grant/Breyfogle issues I sampled when I was noncommittal about Batmania. I wanted every Batman comic to be The Dark Knight Returns, and that rarely panned out. I thought the look and premise of Anarky in that story was cool, although it reminded me of a relatively recent Ann Nocenti Daredevil issue that I liked better, and I was not yet aware how deeply indebted/parodic it was of V For Vendetta. I recall tossing through the second half, probably spied the “he’s really a kid” reveal, and put it right back.

    B) After my early exposure in Wonder Woman I saw issues of Animal Man on the rack of the one comic shop I had easy access to in 1989. I might have even picked up #1 off the shelf, but underneath that gorgeous Brian Bolland cover would be domesticity and Chas Truog art that sent the copy right back to the shelf. I didn’t catch the fact that Steve Pugh had taken over on art until an issue in, but I loved his work on Grimjack so much that I bought #52-53 on its strength alone. I couldn’t follow the story, and Pugh left shortly after the one story arc, so I had little incentive to come back around. The added Vertigo branding basically meant the end to the Bolland covers, and it leaned so hard into it’s Vertigoness that I was repelled by its apparent art school fart sniffing. I’ve gone back and read an issue here and there. I’d probably like the Morrison run to a point, but it’s been so thoroughly spoiled that I’ve never been motivated enough to really tear into it.

    C) I know that there’s a contingent taken with Catherine Cobert and that’s fine. The JLE never realized its potential, or even measured up to the JLI, and she was no Sue Dibny even in that context. The profile art only makes it worse.

    D) Dr. Alchemy was in that one new issue I bought of Who’s Who, and was therefore partially responsible for turning me off to the DCU for the better part of another decade. I specifically remember reading that Mr. Element stuff and just saying “nope.” Greg Guler ain’t overcoming that.

    E) All that promotional and solicitation art by Mike Grell for Green Arrow projects in this period made me want to read his stuff, but I couldn’t find it. Then I got the first issue of that lousy Brave and the Bold mini-series with The Question and Butcher, followed by random issues of the solo series never drawn by Grell, and finally The Longbow Hunters itself around 1993. Total disappointment. Absolute snooze. Kinda gross gender politics. Took the one vocal (if obnoxious) lefty hero and made him a Boomer backslide functional conservative killing people alongside the C.I.A. My views of Grell never recovered, and I don’t even particularly enjoy his artwork anymore. Also, one of the easiest condemnations of a multiverse is the existence of two whole Green Arrows instead of none, the preferable quantity of Green Arrows in existence.

    F) Art Nichols is not my preferred choice of inker, in general, but especially someone extra shiny like Mike McKone. Still a fun entry. I don’t like the various attempts to make a straight Injustice League, as the Mort collection shown here is perfect for the nonsensical concept. You can add or remove a bit, but never replace this silly core. The art on the Invasion! entry is wonky and sloppy, but I still appreciate the DCU getting drawn in the EXTREME! proto-Image styling of Bart Sears.

    G) Galactus’ Eurythmic fell under the heading of butch women that I had an aversion to in my youth, but more than any other Crisis creation that comes to mind, I warmed to her. She was basically L.E.G.I.O.N.’s take on JLE Power Girl (was Giffen going through a divorce or something?,) but what was grating in JLE was a semblance of personality in the face of Vril Dox’s straight men. She definitely wore the yellow best, and was one of the most powerful heroines in the cosmos within a milieu where that wasn’t a story breaker. I would have happily purchased a Who’s Who drawn entirely by Steve Lightle.

    H) Not even Jerry Ordway could save Curt Swan from looking like a store catalog illustrator, and the appearance of Lana and Pete just reinforces my belief that folks were reading the Post-Crisis Superboy on growth hormone (what were the Kents pumping into their cows?) during the Triangle Era.

    I) Tom Grindberg drew the Lord Chaos Armageddon 2001 annual, but the only way I’m willing to look directly at this crappy character is under Grummett. It’s less a slight on Grindberg than an accolade for Grummett. I did like the annual and the premise of the Team Titans, even if they were basically just a team of Rachel Summerses. Total Chaos had its moments, but overall was a signal that the highs of the Jon Peterson editorship had crested and were now ebbing.

  5. J) I first saw Maxie Zeus in one of those Batman comics from a year or so out from Knightfall, which necessitated Knightfall. I didn’t have any use for the guy then, and somehow even less so upon learning such a doofus was of a more vintage than my own damned self. Dude’s almost a Millennial but he acts like a Boomer.

    K) I’ve said before and shall repeat that Millennium is a much better event if you just don’t read Millennium. Many of the tie-ins are very necessary and exciting, but they’re dragged down by a mostly unattractive and rather silly core title that introduces one of the most disappointing and offensive super-teams in mainstream comics history. Bringing Joe Staton back for the entry literally illustrates the disparity. Just compare this to Jerry Bingham’s interlocking covers for the multi-book Louisiana showdown.

    L) I must confess that I prefer the coloring on the cover to the darker hues in the New Titans entry, even as I understand that the gray helps the characters pop more. There are so many heroes in so many colors that it helps to mitigate the garishness by having several of them blend into earth tones. While crowded, it is nice to see Grummett & Vey draw both teams together, well and in harmony. At the same time, it reminds me of how many of these characters never resonated with me, and how the Titans might have benefited from one team of stronger heroes instead of a franchise. Regardless, these are my Titans, more than even the Pérez crew, and I just feel happier seeing them this way. Man, I wish those flashback panels were bigger.

    M) I would strongly dispute Shag’s assertion that DC Comics lacked faith in Nightwing. Robin? Sure. That’s why they kept killing and replacing him. But Nightwing is down to Marv Wolfman. As mentioned, on the show, falling his separation from George Pérez, Wolfman suffered years of crippling writers block from which he arguably never recovered from. The Nightwing identity was introduced in one of the last major story arcs in Titans, and Nightwing was still viewed as one of the team’s biggest draws throughout the Baxter series. Trust that lots of people wanted to use Nightwing, but out of deference to one of DC’s most popular writers and most successful franchise, that wasn’t allowed to happen. At least until after Total Chaos, and the visible decline in quality across the Titans books in the year-plus that followed. Right around New Titans #100, Wolfman’s plans for the character were dissolved, Dick was swiftly written out of the book, and control of Nightwing was returned to the Batman Family. He was prominent in Knightend, became Batman temporarily in “Legacy,” then got a one-shot special followed by a mini-series where the character was given his last major costume overhaul. The ongoing was launched within a couple or three years after Nightwing gained “free agency” from the Titans.

    N) I think that we can all agree that Dick unambiguously had a mullet (and Changeling demonstrates the Platonic mullet.) As such, José Luis García-López, who successfully rendered the likes of Jericho and Kole, demonstrates that the limits of his powers are stretched by ’90s hair and costuming. The back of the profile provides ample evidence that he can still draw in praiseworthy fashion, but his kryptonite is the mullet. Anyway, I liked aspects of Nightwing’s costumes to various degrees, but never felt any of them came together to make up for his loss of iconic status as the original Robin. The Stelfreeze design was the towel being thrown. Solid black with a big Batman-like blue design across the chest. Done. It’s the sweatpants of super-hero costuming.

  6. That is my favorite Nightwing costume for Dick. Not my all time favorite because…. well you know….Kandor

    Rex > Duke The Super Action dog from the 70’s

    Always wanted more Red Wing less Mirage

  7. I can’t figure out who the hell the 2 characters in front of Batman & flash on the invasion page , can someone please let me know?

  8. Excellent show, gents!

    A few questions/comments:

    Proty is or is not the father of Saturn Girl‘S kids? If the answer is yes, Rob’s apathy toward the Legion makes a whole lot more sense.

    Do you think the Event entry coming this late in the WW game was to take up some space? Took a while right?

    On the topic of credit – I recently saw that Nightwing was credited to just Wolfman and Peréz on one of the animated features. Do you guys think Kane and Finger deserve some credit on that too? When is it too much?

    Always happy to see Rob diving into an entry as he did for Rex the Wonder Dog. Look for Rex to make an appearance in the Snyder HBO Justice League series.

    Is Hank Hall just DC’s go-to guy for swapping out villains?

    I also had NO idea jade and obsidian were gems. I thought it was just a color thing. Look at me learning!

  9. Now that the omnibus is coming, I wonder if they’ll make any corrections? Surely someone kept track of them … heck they can just go through your backlog.

    And wouldn’t it be incredible if Xum’s pages appeared in there? I know it’s extremely unlikely but a kid can dream.

  10. You also mentioned a podcast by Damian Whiter (sp?) names Should I Love This Comic but I can’t find it anywhere. Can someone point me in the right direction?

      1. Each episode reviews a comic I love and we try to judge whether it deserves to be loved.

        Episode 1 is about Millennium 2 so is relevant to this issue of Who’s Who.

        Episode 2 reviews Marvel Fanfare 40 with a great Angel story by Ann Nocenti and David Mazzucchelli.

        Episode 3 looks at Dr Fate 7 by FW favourite JM DeMatteis and Shawn McManus.

        We’re currently preparing episode 4 which will feature an issue of Thor by Walter Simonson and Sal Buscema.

        I hope you enjoy it.

  11. Hey, Rob & Shag! Thanks for another great episode. I discovered the series right before the quarantine and have used the time to burn through all nine years of the podcast. I am finally caught up! Another great episode – one note: how could your discussion of Maxie Zeus not include a mention of Will Sasso’s hilarious turn as the character on the Harley Quinn animated series?!?! Comedy gold, all the way!!

  12. O) The only time I’m consciously aware of the influence Marshall Rogers had on Bart Sears’ work is every time I misidentify the artist on the Obsidian entry. Mike Machlan designed many/most of the Infinitors before Jerry Ordway modified them, so if anything he probably deserves the higher billing of the two. Obsidian looks about as cool as he’s actually not. Do we still get to say “pathetically needy,” or do we have to cloak it in psychobabble like “separation anxiety,” “suicidal ideation” and “co-dependency?” I’m sure the gay community were doing cartwheels when he finally came out. Such representation!

    P) There are probably a few bigger fans of Pantha out there than me, but I wouldn’t count on too many. Admittedly, it’s probably a shallow pool to begin with. I mock the de rigueur lady cat member of super-teams of the Bronze Age, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like most of them, at least until Feral ruined the type. I really dig that she has true cat feet, and the mask bought at Vixen’s yard sale made her face appear more human than it actually was. I tease, but her costume design was better than any of Vixen’s while owing a debt to the color scheme of her original suit, and not too many wifcats wear a full (or much of any) super-suit, mask & all. The popular theory at one time was that she was the Yolanda Montez Wildcat, but it was eventually revealed that she was Rosabelle Mendez, a university student kidnapped and transformed. She was truly horrified by her appearance and actions after her unwilling transformation, with an understandable constant simmering anger. What made her a delight was that this manifested through a dark and cutting sense of humor, which included a running subplot of her wanting to commit infanticide against Baby Wildebeest. One of the few times I actually laughed out loud at a comic was one of Pantha’s lines during Total Chaos. In a better world, Pantha and Baby would have joined an incarnation of the Super Buddies to better display their comedy chops. Instead, she spent the better part of a decade in limbo before being decapitated, not unlike her fellow Latina, the aforementioned Wildcat.

    Q) I might have warmed to the supernatural take on Ragman more if it had been DeMatteis rather than Giffen doing it, but he went cartoonishly Jewish. Like, the equivalent of Warpath or Shaman to Native Americans. I thought being a poverty level Batman was more than interesting enough, but they wanted those Ghost Rider dollars and were willing to trade on kabbalah to get there. Whatever. Not my rag.

    R) Proty: beastiality, marital aid, or sentient yeast infection? Did Imra going insane when her children melted into protoplasm before giving the telepathic order “No Nore Legion” close out one of the series?

    S) Is Pooch the Frank Stallone of dogs?

    T) I’ve skipped reading way too many Tamaran-based arcs in Titans to suddenly develop an interest now. Finally started reading The Omega Men in recent weeks. Vega Vega Vega.

    U) Shag missed a decimal place on those Team Titans #1 solo variants, because they were eighteen pages each, not eight. And if you thought DC wanted their own X-Force before, you really need to hear this quote from Rob Liefeld on CSBG: “I proposed a new Titans book in 1991, Team Titans was the proposal, Jon Peterson who edited the book approved it, Marv Wolfman signed on to co-write it and then I couldn’t make the deal with Dick Giordano. God bless him, we just couldn’t make the numbers work. So I took my proposal and merged it with an existing indie project I had called Youngblood. Next thing you know, POOF…Image comics was born… Shaft was intended to be Speedy. Vogue was a new Harlequin design, Combat was a Kh’undian warrior circa the Legion of Super Heroes, ditto for Photon and Die Hard was a Star Labs android. I forgot who Chapel was supposed to be. So there you have it, the secret origin of Youngblood.”

    I thought Dagon was going to be the cool one, but his vampire shtick was just a license to mope. Most of the team was never developed enough to have much in the way of a personality. They just kept throwing half-baked opposing teams of future Titans after them until Monarch and Zero Hour shut the whole timeline down. The longest hate read I ever endured in comics. There was a solid four issue arc called “The Darkening Night” that went in a horror direction, but like New Titans around the same time, the writing fell off a cliff. I figure out of the 26 issues (including two annuals) that I bought new, I derived some degree of enjoyment from maybe seven, and another fifteen were among the most painful, joyless reading experiences of my life. Kerry Gammill joins a host of talented artists that also included Kevin Maguire and Phil Jimenez to make the group look more interesting than they ever were.

    That said, Mirage came out of the book an excellent character with a worthwhile story to tell. She had a lot in common with Pantha, as both were Latinas with sharp tongues. Mirage also showed depth through the adversity of an abusive relationship, implied rape, and single parenthood. Thankfully, nobody ever got around to punching her head off.

    1. I was a Team Titans stan back in the day and still wonder what the book would have been like if Jeff Jensen and Phil Jiminez didn’t have to compress a year’s worth of storyline into four issues.

      And I agree with you on Pantha and Mirage. I still have very harsh words regarding that page of Infinite Crisis and am kind of glad that Miri is languishing in obscurity so that Geoff Johns can’t maim her.

      1. My ability to read Phil Jimenez with an open mind was forever ruined by Team Titans. I bought every issue of his Wonder Woman run new, but have actually read less than a dozen issues, the first time since starting with William Messsner-Loebs that I could say that. I’ve never reread the Team Titans run (not sure if it’s still in my possession), but my current internal continuity dictates that I was probably mesmerized by the Jimenez art, because I welcomed the retroactive eradication of most of the group in Zero Hour.

        I’ve been trying to squeeze in as many fan fic concepts across 15 years of Post-Crisis DC fandom aborted by the next fifteen years of DC para-New 52 estrangement in Who’s Editing manifestos. Maybe I can still work in Mirage as Nightwing’s sidekick/babymama?

  13. Great show as usual guys!

    I’m spare you the repeat of my Animal Man story, just be sure he’s the one character I know pretty well – the others are just from an era that I really don’t know about.

    To squeeze an oblique Power Girl reference, apparently, the Terra from the Team Titan is from the same race as the third Terra, the one that Kara looked after in the ’09 series that bought me into this whole crazy world of comics!

  14. Still listening, but a few thoughts:

    Anarky: I didn’t know at the time that Grant was angling for Lonnie to be the new Robin, but it makes sense. We already tried a ginger Robin with Jason Todd 1.0, and I think they should have stuck with that look, myself. I wouldn’t trade Tim in for either, though!

    Lana Lang and Pete Ross: Ordway was a great inker for Swan. He managed to bring his own Ordway style, but bring out the pencils, which most Swan inkers never did. Nice to see you guys dug this piece.

    Nightwing: I really liked this costume update! I still have a lot of love for the original suit, but really only Perez could draw it, although Grummet came close. This one was much more adaptable to other artists’ styles. There was some confusion as to what color his utility belt was at first. You can see it blue in the New Titans entry, and yellow here, which is what they ended up going with. Fantastic piece by JLGL (PBHN) of course! And before Kenner made that…questionable Nightwing figure in the Legend of Batman line, I customized my own version of this Nightwing out of the Batman Returns Robin figure. I even gave him vinyl wing-thingees and a mullet made from hot glue!

    That first appearance gaff of Detective #29 began here, and was picked up in subsequent Secret Files and even a few of those DK books. Clearly they were referencing this not-quite definitive directory!

    Obsidian: I’m not sure why Rogers drew this, but man, I’m glad he did. As much as I love Breyfogle’s Batman from a few issues back, it would have been nice to get a proper Who’s Who entry of Bats by Rogers. sigh.

    Oh, and I believe that Mike Machlan actually designed a lot of the Infinity, Inc characters, because HE was supposed to the penciller of the series at one time, with Ordway inking him. Maybe Ordway was going to stay on All-Star Squadron? Either way, they made the switch before the series went into production.

    • Ragman does look boss here. The character could look pretty ridiculous if drawn by lesser artists, but thankfully Joe Kubert and Pat Broderick know how to really pull this look off. But I always imagine he smells bad. I can’t get past it!


  15. Pantha: I liked Pantha too, and she deserved better than to have her head punched off by the loathsome Superboy-Prime. I always thought her outfit kind of looked just a bit like that early version of Vixen who got eaten up in the DC Implosion, and only made a few appearances before her JLD makeover.

    Rex: I agree, this is a gorgeous piece! I only wish Rex was considered a founder of the Justice League, since he DID participate in Steve Englehart’s continuity-busting pre-origin of the JLA revealed in JLA #144. We should cover that issue on the network somewhere. It’s got Rex, the Blackhawks, Vigilante AND Plastic Man, as well as the classic JLA, Robin, Robotman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen…seems perfect for a jam episode.

    Team Titans; I was so into the Titans at this point, I bought EVERY SINGLE version of Team Titans #1! I thought the team had a lot of potential too, even though having Lord Chaos AND Monarch ruling the future seemed confusing to begin with. The instant costume/look changes the team had from Teen to Team seemed a bit jarring too. Then Jonathan Peterson left the books…and everything went to crap.

    Untouchables: I still remember these guys in their goofy yellow helmet costumes from that DCCP with Supes, Robin and Elongated Man. They definitely got a visual upgrade when someone got cheeky and remembered Elliot Ness. Nice piece by Stelfreeze. Love the reflective effect of the cars’ fenders!


    1. New Titans: That Starfire outfit…it’s so odd. At first glance, it seems more modest than her original, classic Perez look…but then you notice that Kory is completely bare from her boots up to her breast. So, not so modest after all. That strange starburst near her crotch seems quite an odd choice too. But of course, if I remember right, when Starfire made this costume change, it was actually Mirage posing as her, so she could hook up with Nightwing! So, should the REAL Starfire ever really have been shown wearing this, standing in a group shot with Mirage? Why would she wear it later on, given the circumstances?

      Carl Durham and the Crusader: Xum did it again, of course. I love these two being grouped together, and I too cherish my copy of Xum’s Who.


    2. Chris, I’m right with you. I bought every #1 to Team Titans. Mostly for the Kevin Maguire covers and I thought Phantasm looked cool. It came as surprise to me when BTAS: Mask of the Phantasm came out and that was not the Phantasm I knew!

  16. How can there be 20 comments before mine, and no one has thanked the two of you for DC FINALLY giving us a Who’s Who Omnibus! All joking aside, you guys re-ignited my live for this series. I’m sure you did it for others as well. The fact so many people texted you about the upcoming release (wether it was thousands or just dozens) proves how much Rob Kelly and Shag Matthews are identified with this series by a lot of people. So, unless I missed it in a previous comment, Allie me to be the first to thank you for a job week done.
    (I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that Marvel and DC have gone back to Treasury editions and gave Digest a try in recent years either.)

  17. To talk about Nightwing for a moment:

    My suspected “reason” for this Nightwing entry was a planned Nightwing mini-series in the early 1990s by Marv Wolfman with artist Art Thibert. This series was mentioned in Amazing Heroes, and there was an Art Thibert Nightwing poster for sale related to the project, as well as an Art Thibert pin-up in the Titans Sellout special. From what I heard, the story involved Nightwing defeating an alien threat (which had kidnapped Starfire) essentially singlehandedly, and would end with Dick proposing marriage to Kory. But this reason for the entry is only a guess.

    And did I hear Rob read that Dick’s first appearance as Nightwing was “New Teen Titans #39”? Because that is also incorrect. Issue #39 was when Dick Grayson gave up the Robin identity. He would not have the name and costume of Nightwing until five issues later, in the renamed Tales of the Teen Titans #44.

    I didn’t follow Team Titans, but when Shag said the original story was that the Terra from the future was actually the original Terra, I wondered if they were going to go the Geo-Force route in Batman and the Outsiders #1 — in which Geo-Force was shot dead, but Baron Bedlam’s soldiers buried him in the earth, which nurtured him and brought him back. Apparently, the Titans had her buried in a coffin because they did NOT want her to come back — but that is only a guess.

  18. Went for the comment instead of the email because that’s what the cool kids seem to do. Anyway.

    I remember being so excited for this issue when it dropped in 1991 and for years afterward had serious beef with it because it completely spoiled the ending of the Titans Hunt storyline for me. The New Titans was a book that was notorious for late shipping, so much so that when he came onto the book as editor, Jon Peterson swore he was going to get it shipping on time, something he was mostly able to do at least for the first parts of the Titans Hunt storyline. However, as time went on, there were a number of issues that were delayed, especially issue #81, which was a pretty awful War of the Gods crossover that involved a team-up of Pariah and Terry Long (Oh, don’t worry, my copy is CGC graded and locked in a vault because it’s such a HOT comic). But as I eagerly read the Titans-related entries, I saw story details that wouldn’t come to fruition until a couple of months later and was so annoyed, especially after a full year of cliffhangers and anticipation. I’ve since gotten over it.

    Peterson, for what it’s worth, was the editor the book needed. The book was moments away from being canceled and Peterson was the assistant editor under Mike Carlin, and while this is conjecture on my part, I believe that he probably got the job on the book because he didn’t have much to lose. Being young, hungry, and full of ideas did help turn it around; unfortunately, he left way too early and while Rob Simpson was a competent replacement, the book started to slide in quality until being thrown off a cliff right around issue #100 (and into the abyss after Zero Hour).

    By the way, you played the conversation with Ty Templeton at the end of the issue, which was great. If you want to hear why Troia’s costume is different on that Who’s Who entry, I asked Tom Grummett about it when I met him at the 2018 Baltimore Comic-Con. You can hear this on episode 90 of Pop Culture Affidavit.

    Shag mentioned that there didn’t seem to be much faith in the character of Dick Grayson during this period (or prior to that) because he didn’t get his solo series until the mid-1990s, although he did have an issue of Teen Titans Spotlight and a solo feature in Action Comics Weekly. However, there was a Nightwing miniseries in the works during this era with Art Thibert attached to draw. Unfortunately, it fell through and all we ever got was a Thibert-drawn Nightwing poster in an issue of New Titans (it was either the Sell-Out Special or issue #100 and I’m too lazy to go through my shortboxes right now).

    As for the individual entries, I’m actually not a fan of this New Titans pin-up because while I love Grummett’s art and it is drawn well, it’s not particularly dynamic. They’re just standing there. All of the individual Titans entries have them in some sort of action pose, but this is way too static for my taste and I would have loved to have seen them coming right at me instead of looking so small. I will give him credit for the second Nightwing costume and the second Starfire costume, which were definitely ’90s updates but not as egregious as the “Total Teamwork, Total Tech, Total Justice” Cyborg that’s standing behind them. JLGL (PBHN)’s Nightwing entry is tied for first with the Valor entry by Adam Hughes. Both are gorgeous.

    Otherwise, this was another great episode and I can’t wait until the next!


  19. Time for my endless feedback.

    Anarky – Alan Grant is on record that he didn’t want to do the Anarky ongoing series. He was convinced by the editor to do it against his instincts. I love the fact that Norm Breyfogle has hand lettered the logo. Sometimes I forget that Norm lettered all his early work. I genuinely believe that you get better comics when the artist does the lettering as they are able to balance image and text. It’s interesting that Grant and Breyfogle aren’t given creator credits when they were for Joe Potato. Maybe the lawyers were worried about having an image of V for Vendetta. I’m looking forward to  hearing your thoughts on the creator credits for John Constantine next episode. They definitely sound like some lawyers have been involved.

    Animal Man – beautiful Bolland piece.

    Catherine Cobert – I think the problem with this piece is that Terry Austin has based Catherine’s face on Bart Sears’s version and not taken into consideration his tendency to give women manly chins. She would’ve worked better in Terry’s style if he’d referenced Moving Day. I must say I disagree with Shagg that the art team should be reversed. I think it’s very interesting to see them swap. Amongst my favourites are the issue of JLE pencilled by Art Nichols and inked by Bart Sears, the issue of Web of Spider-Man pencilled by Jim Mooney and inked by Greg LaRocque and the Batvillains pin-up pencilled by Bob Wiacek and inked by Walter Simonson from Detective 600.

    Doctor Alchemy- Terrible logo again and I have a theory. Back in the day, Todd Klein used to do the production on Who’s Who and would get a credit for doing it. He has shared on his blog loads of information about his time in DC production and has referred to boxes of original and photostatted logos going back decades they used to use. When they needed a  logo they would search through the boxes for a pre-existing  logo and if they couldn’t find something that worked they would’ve designed something new. Todd has shared pictures of a lot of these logos because he obtained many of the files after DC digitised them in the mid 90s. This issue is published in 1991 so the files aren’t digitised yet so they can’t get old logos off the computer. You’d think they could find old logos in the files, but between issues 9 & 10 of this series DC moved offices and I bet they hadn’t managed to reorganize their files yet. They could get Todd to design them new logos but he left staff in 1987 and is now the award-winning letterer of Sandman. I bet his price had gone up. Quick solution is to use a commercially available font on the entries. I reckon my theory could work.

    1. Green Arrow  – This is my favourite Mike Grell Who’s Who entry. Fantasticly moody. I usually complain about entries with single colour backgrounds but the negative space really makes Ollie pop.

      Injustice League  – another entry with a problematic logo. Mike McKone has clearly left the room for a bold logo and the font used isn’t able to fill the space. It’s a shame as he has put so much characterisation into the team. I also feel a bit sorry for Art Nichols who didn’t get a credit as inker. Can’t wait for the full story of Rob’s run as a Justice League artist. Were you able to draw more issues than Dick Dillin?

      Invasion  – This seems sloppier than Sears’s normal art. Maybe it was rushed. I’m most annoyed by Amanda Waller having the wrong haircut and Nuklon looking like he’s losing control of his bowels. Love that Bob Greenberger gives extra attention to the events from the comics he edited particularly in the case of Doom Patrol.

      Lady Quark – George Perez has always said he based her look on Annie Lennox and obviously Steve Lightle looked at reference of her face. It’s a really impressive image that makes her look super cool.

      Lana Lang & Pete Ross – This is beautiful. Ignore anyone who criticises Curt Swan, he was always great he was just regularly badly inked. Under the extraordinary Jerry Ordway his art sings. PS. I have a lot of love for Millennium and even I am glad people were ignoring the Manhunter retcon.

      Lord Chaos – Clearly any child of Terry Long was going to be evil, but you can take a joke too far. I like Tom Grindberg’s work on Firestorm but this looks bad.

      Maxie Zeus – Terrible character,  terrible logo, amazing entry. Jim Aparo was a god among men.

      Millennium  – My 1st DC comic was Millennium 2 so I have an inordinate amount of love for this crossover but even I know it wasn’t great. Bob Greenberger actually makes it sound better than it was and Joe Staton really brings it. I love his framing of the scene. It feels really Ditko-ey.

      1. The New Titans – I am not a fan of this art. It feels to me like it’s been cobbled together. Certain characters look like they’ve been statted into a finished drawing. Look at the linework on Troia – I genuinely think that she was drawn at a separate size to everyone else and made to fit. Maybe she was wearing the Perez costume in the original picture. It’s a shame because I generally love Tom Grummett’s art. Maybe he was overworked. I’m pretty sure he was on Titans and Adventures of Superman by this point, plus 4 Who’s Who pages.

        Nightwing – Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, praise be his name indeed. He makes Nightwing’s mullet look cool. That’s like a superpower. I remain in awe of him. How does he do an angle like that which is 100% believable yet also appears effortless and spontaneous. Phenomenal.

        Obsidian – You ask how the inker got a creator credit. The original plan was for Jerry Ordway to continue to pencil All-Star Squadron and for his studio-mate Mike Machlan to pencil Infinity Inc. If you reread All-Star Squadron you’ll see there is the occasional story pencilled by Machlan. Apparently they realised that Mike Machlan wasn’t quite fast enough to pencil a monthly book and as Jerry Ordway had enjoyed helping to design the Infinity characters he asked to do the new book. But most of the Infinity Inc characters were designed by Mike Machlan and then developed by Jerry. The weirdest element of Obsidian for me is that apparently Roy Thomas named him Todd Rice after a fan. It always seems risky to name company characters after real people as someone can later completely change them.

        Pantha – I love this design. I always quite liked the fan theory that she could be Wildcat 2. Mainly because there are far too many cat ladies in comics.

        Ragman  – I actually like this Pat Broderick entry. There really is a first time for everything. I’m going to pick up Rob for calling this the original logo. On the first issue of Ragman the same logo outline is used but the patchwork design is made up of photographs of pieces of fabric. I always liked that version the best but it was replaced by the drawn patchwork from issue 3. I remember reading an interview with Joe Kubert where he talks about finding the right fabrics and creating the image. I love the fact that he would put so much of his time into getting the logo right.

        The Ranzz Family  – Are we sure their second set of twins weren’t also supervillains? They look really creepy in the main image. I love the fact that I could almost hear Rob’s eyes rolling as Shagg explained the Validus retcon. It’s hilarious how ridiculous Legion history sounds if you’re not in love with it (I am).

        Rex  – My favourite entry. It’s odd that Ty Templeton had to convince them to include Rex as he had recently been a guest star in Flash. He really must be a Wonder Dog if he can control a horse. Horses are evil.

        Tamaran – YAWN!!!

        The Teen Titans  – I do not understand how these ugly character designs ever happened. Kevin Maguire redesigned them for Team Titans but they really didn’t work. They are almost the Platonic ideal of getting middle aged men to create cool characters for the kids. Gammill does well considering.

        Untouchables  – I first discovered these characters in Hawk and Dove and I loved this entry when I first saw it. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. In between then and now I saw JLGL’s version which was even better.

        Valor- Adam Hughes is amazing.

        Wildebeest  – This is a great image of a character with loads of potential. Sadly the post Titans Hunt issues of Titans really fall apart pretty quickly. I feel like marketing began to overwhelm storytelling and Marv kind of fell down the cracks and into his worst habits.

        Once again let me thank you for such a great show. And to say thanks for being so supportive about Should I Love This Comic?

  20. Great show, guys! I’m so glad you went through the Titans entry because I couldn’t recognize one of the characters and it was driving me crazy! I didn’t recognize Pantha with her head on.
    (I’ll leave now…)

  21. All hail the Who’s Who podcast! First off, thanks as always for this show, which kept me out of prison, and opened my eyes to the wide world of comic book podcasts! No matter how many other shows Rob and Shag appear on, this one will always be the first that I ever heard them do. I am very good at compliments! As for this issue: I actually have this one! These things are hard to find out there, people! First of all, that cover: it manages to be amazing even though it just depicts a bunch of people standing around….kind of like the Kevin Maguire Justice League #1 cover? Seriously, Tom Grummett is one of THE people whose style I think of when I think of “superhero comics.” Calling him the John Byrne of his era is totally appropriate. Now, for some (so-called) points:
    Anarky: I know I read Batman comics with this character in them. I also know that I cannot remember any of them. Norm Beyfogle really makes him look good (if not exactly 12), though.
    Animal Man! …the entry is amazing, and hearing Rob sing his name is a moment for all of the internet to treasure.
    Catherine Cobert: That main image is a masterclass is “static image storytelling,” and the inset pics do a great job of telling you more about who Catherine is, too. Such a fun and well executed piece!
    Lana Lang & Pete Ross: Another amazingly classic looking piece almost marred by lazy and badly placed “lettering.” They should have just put their names on their sweaters or something, I say.
    Millennium: Man, do I hate the fact that Joe Staton did the art for this series. Even now, when I look at that entry, I think “Wow, that looks like something that I can’t wait to read!” …..Sigh.
    Nightwing: I’m all for mullets in comics. Just not this one. Also, I prefer the disco collar costume to this one. Wait…am I wrong about EVERYTHING?
    Obsidian: great character, great idea for the main image, but the execution looks like he is really tired and just caught sight of the paparazzi or something. He looks like he’d rather be anywhere else than on that page.
    Pantha: The complete opposite of Obsidian: pointless character (Sorry), but looks so cool here that you just can’t wait to find out more about her! And then…you do….
    Ragman: the best he’s ever looked outside of a Joe Kubert drawing, for sure.
    Ranzz Family: (cue Addams Family music, with mental lighting zaps instead of finger snaps?)
    REX THE WONDER DOG: Captain America is the Rex the Wonder Dog of the Marvel Universe. This entry is amazing, this character is amazing, and Rex should be in charge of the Justice League forever.
    Teen Titans: Kerry Gammill gets nowhere near enough mention as a solid superhero artist. He’s another Grummett/Byrne iconic-heroes type, in my opinion. Plus, he drew lots of Power Man and Iron Fist! Oh, right , these characters….next!
    Valor: I love this character, and this era of the Legion. This entry, even with all the talent behind it, is just super dull to me. Also: a full panel of Lobo for the insets? What the frag?
    Anyway, guys: thanks yet again for one of the greatest things on the internet, and I just wish I stopped to make some real comments on more episodes. Know that I listen to them all, though!

  22. This is not a comment on the show but on the issue itself: This is the weakest issue of the series for me because I could not give a rat’s ass about the Titans of this era, Tom Grummett or not. And yet, I am still among the incensed that Pantha was beheaded matter-of-factly in Infinite Crisis by Superboy Prime. The Rolling Head of Pantha was a blog meme for a while and is emblematic of post-2000 DC Comics.

    Read Anarky a few years ago and enjoyed it. Proof: https://siskoid.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-old-52-anarky.html

    Invasion: Spectre was pulled out of Invasion by the Lords of Order, so he doesn’t deserve to be so prominent, but he WAS in it. Batman’s involvement is also marginal, but both he and Flash fight the aliens in Cuba (Khunds and Durlans respectively). But whatever, the real problem is that they don’t really make it look like an event. Heroes get together. Ooh. Like every event. How about some aliens on the front there, y’know?

  23. That Dr. Alchemy story was the main reason I decided that buying Flash every month wasn’t worth it for 8 pages of Firestorm.

    Titans Talk: I couldn’t keep interested in the Titans during this era, and that Wildebeest entry can show you exactly why: look at those issue numbers. Titans Hunt lasted nearly 50 issues. And it wasn’t a slow boil subplot, either
    It was the main focus; four years of plate-spinning, stalling, stories that went nowhere interrupted occasionally by a Donna Troy story. And breaking up Nightwing and Starfire, ruining both characters. I’ve said it before: Moving Nightwing to the Bat-family is a regression. He needs to be a leader, needs to be taking on Justice-League level threats with his skills and team.

    Bringing back Terra was a good idea. Did we ever find out exactly how that worked, pre-Flashpoint?

  24. U2) I only have Capitol City Distribution’s sales numbers, but X-Force #1 sold 806,100 copies of a single comic book polybagged with a handful of different trading cards. Team Titans #1 sold roughly 30,000 copies each of five different comics with high dollar creative teams that included the same back-up team feature. So a disparity between the two debut issues of over 4X the entire sales of all five comics produced as Team Titans #1 versus Rob Liefeld & company surely not costing the same as five separate creative teams. Through Capitol City, sales on X-Force #2 plummeted to a mere 280K while Team Titans #2 held steady at a rock solid 10% of that number. Economics like that are the reason we still can’t take the ’90s seriously.

    I don’t think “Teen Titans” was so much a rights issue as a desire to not hang the anchor of a “teen” designation on the title at a time being a paramilitary “team” would added I guess ten of thousands to the sales numbers. It was probably conceived in the same manner as X-Men/New Mutants where the core book evolved so far from its basic premise that it was repurposed to launch a spin-off, only for DC to skip straight to X-Force, but the title regressed back to late stage New Mutants as sales tanked.

    Wolfman didn’t so much leave Team Titans to do “other stuff” as flail so badly that he was increasingly directed to focus on New Titans until the end of his career as a significant writer at DC. He used up the last of his ’80s goodwill and got pushed out the door.

    V) I’m guessing Brian Stelfreeze wanted to draw a ’30s car and his editor wanted to see him do it, although the Untouchables must have gotten some kind of bump from their first listing. I’ve never seen them in a comic book not called Who’s Who.

    W) Valor helps me understand the cult mentality. DC kept telling me how important Mon-El was, and how he would seed the universe with the champions that in a millennium would form the Legion of Super-Heroes, and I kept swilling that Kool-Aid. I wasn’t well versed in their continuity, so I didn’t realize that he was Superboy’s Ted McGinley, and that all the hype wasn’t a setting-up but a papering over. I still thought that DC was going to make him happen someday after I exited the Legion readership at the end of the 20th Century.

    X) We don’t talk enough about how the Wildebeest Society is one of the most ridiculous conceits of the modern era. Teams of Bondian scientists and soldiers were working for Jericho (who I guess lives off Slade Wilson’s child support payments and art commissions?) out of secret lairs (plural) to pretend to be a single minor super-villain who fought the Teen Titans a handful of times in the late ’80s? And most importantly, they wear a cumbersome one-size-fits-none cybernetic suit with yak hair glued all over it, pretending to be a refugee from the Island of Lost Souls version of an African animal most people never even heard of? I suppose in order to scam subsidies from the World Wildlife Fund? Only to have a second life as an hirsute Big Sir to Pantha’s Multi-Man in the JLI of Titans teams? And I say this as someone who sees “Titans Hunt” as a personal high water mark of super-team comics who is still wistful about the lack of more appearances of the Baby/mama duo post-1994.

    2) Favorites: Bolland Animal Man, Lightle Lady Quark, Grummett Pantha, Gammill “Teen Titans”.

    3) As always, enjoyed Xum’s contributions. I like Cal Durham more than DC seems to, and he got another spin in the Tad Williams run. Crusader looked too spiffy for a one-off.

    4) Mark Waid could have been a good editor of comics, but decided to be a great writer of them instead. Jonathan Peterson could have been a great editor of comics, but wrote Strikeback! instead.

    5) Was it Moebius who was astonished American artists would cede control of their art by not lettering it themselves?

    6) Wasn’t the rolling severed head of Pantha a running gag in Ambush Bug: Year None, or am I confusing it with Julie Schwartz in the Nothing Special?

    7) I can’t address Jeff R.’s comments about Nightwing being the Rory Gilmore of the Batman Family without turning it into an actual novel, but yes, Dick Grayson should be DC’s Captain America, not their Daredevil. He’s one of the greatest team leaders in the history of comics with real world international name recognition, so let’s give him hitting sticks to treat hydrocephalic Kingpin like a pinata in Chromium Age Hub City.

    8) Thanks for the Marvel Handbook plug that I totally, shamelessly set you up for. Got extremely burned out on a 2-3 week production schedule and never had a David Gutiérrez to spur me on, but will start on OHOTMU V1 #2 in August. Just have to finish sifting through nine hours of recordings for the just first segment.

    9) Lots of addenda, but I’m still in denial that there’s less than half a dozen episodes left, and two of them(?) are goddamned !mpact issues, because you bastards insisted on leaving that crap near the end. As if 2020 wasn’t depressing enough.

  25. In my experience, the best Maxie Zeus tale is the lead story of Detective Comics #483, “The Curse of Crime Alley.” Maxie actually comes across as interesting and menacing. Of course, it’s by Denny O’Neil and Don Newton, and it bore a cover drawn by a certain highly praised artist with a name of many syllables. That team could’ve made Gargamel cool.

    Also in my experience, the best Pat Broderick-drawn image is the front page of the Ragman entry in this issue. Sorry, Shag.

    Frank’s point about the Mr. Element / Dr. Alchemy debacle is a good reminder that there was never an era wherein the comics creators didn’t occasionally do dumb, base-breaking things. I guess that’s the inherent risk of producing so many stories each month. I still preferred when they would ruin the plots and not the characters or the overall tone. It was more easily recoverable.

    Reflecting on the excellence of Xum’s work, his prodigious talent, and his extraordinary thoughtfulness and kindness to others makes me proud to be part of the same species. It also spurs me on to do better in my own life. He reminds me of Ecclesiastes 9, and especially verse 10, which encourages the reader to do his work “with all his might.” (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+9&version=NIV)

    Perfect stinger. It’s wonderful to know that story and to have heard it in the author’s own words. I’ve never owned a copy of the loose leaf, because I wasn’t going to comic shops much when this came out (I’m not angling for a shipment here, Shag, but you’re kind to think of it). I think I also appreciate the earlier Who’s Who editions more than this one for the same reasons that Rob does. All that said, you two are definitely making this journey through the loose leaf edition enjoyable, and a bonus like this stinger is only one example of how you do it. I’ll miss this show when you’re done. Fortunately, the network has more great content than I can get to. Thank you all!

  26. Let me reiterate for the millionth time – there is no Katana Banana stand anymore. Let’s just say there’s a reason Shag lives in Florida, the only state in the union without an extradition treaty.

    1. DAG, does this mean you’ve expanded to brick-and-mortar? I salute your boldness in this era of economic uncertainty, sir!

  27. You guys did it! Due to your sheer power, there will be a Who’s Who Omnibus! All it took was 8 years of your podcasting life (oh Lord, have I been listening for 8 years now?) Okay, maybe it wasn’t just you but I would like to think so. I’m so looking forward to this Omnibus, should it get printed.

    I”m not sure if it’s just me, but all the entries seem to have gotten nice artwork this time around. Whether you liked the characters/teams/events or not, you guys seem to at least think the artwork was nice. Which is great for a comic trying to get the reader try out more comics. Get them hooked with the art!

    And because of that, Lady Quark’s entry makes me want to find out more. What a striking entry for a character. If I didn’t know anything about the DC history, her entry makes her look like she is on the same level as Wonder Woman or Supergirl.

    Great googly moogly, did Ty Templeton knock it out of the park on Rex the Wonder Dog! I’m not a huge animal/pet fan or animal comics fan (sorry, Rob) but this makes me definitely want to pick up a series drawn by Ty. I don’t care what’s it about, if it looks like this, I would buy all the issues.

    Team Titans #1 came out during a time where it was easy for me to get sucked in to all the covers. Not only did Kevin Maguire do all 5 of the covers, but it was during the time where speculators told everyone had to buy #1 issues because THEY WERE ALL COLLECTOR’S ITEMS! Thanks to them, I’ve got all 5 covers, a whole lot of Spawn #1, and a gold foil, silver-ink Jim Lee signed WildC.A.T.S. #1. I’m still waiting for buyers to make me a millionaire…….

    This was another fantastic episode! Well done, gentlemen. Keep up the great work!

    1. Oh, and I should have also mentioned, I bought that Animal Man TP from InStock Trades that Rob recommended (but based on Shag’s recent JLI…. Meanwhile episode). You guys are persuasive and enablers, but I hope you get some sort of kickback!

  28. Impressive pod cast. Most impressive. I 2 have started watching Star Girl. I’ve only seen 2 episodes, but it’s pretty good. Though I’m more a fan of S.T.R.I.P.E. than I am of Star Girl. He seems like an every day Joe trying to get along with his new wife’s daughter. And be a dad to her. And his son and move to a new town. And he use to be a side kick to Star Man. And you find out how few friends he had. And so far she had one moment ware she’s nice to him. Cool show, but so far I like Pat” Dugan better. Not seeing Star Spangle Kind Cortney’s birth father all that great either. But, maybe if I watch more I’ll get Courtney as a character. Her Finds are kin of. Look Hour Man is Emo.

    Dr. Midnight is way to into family time. But, I’ll wait till I see more and see if I like the main character. The Jonny Cash song helped Pat. Moving on to the character. Moving on to the comic. The New Titans seem cool. But, I don’t think I read any thing about them. At the time I had to cut a few books. So Supes had awesome books. Still this looks awesome. Though I mostly remember Pathra from when Super Boy Prime killed her. Anarchy is fine the costume works. Ah so that’s why he becomes kind of Tim’s enemy. Since he was planed to be Robin. Cool. Thanx for lettings us know.

    Animal Man looks cool. The Color is what kills it. Still he’s an ok character. Vetch I mostly remember from Swamp Thing. I think I read his run in the 80s. Not sure. Injustice League is fine they were funny in JLE. Invasion cool drawing. It was a good enough comic. Not my fav, but not bad. Lady Quark was a cool enough character, but other than Crissis I didn’t read her much. Can’t say much about her, but she looked cool when Perez drew her. Lana Lang and Pete Ross are fine. I remember Pet as VP. he worked well there. As did Lana. Nightwing is cool. The an with the butt most women love as do some Men.

    Not sure if Perez started it in Titans, but in most comic U tube Channels. I’ve see many women talk about it. Which is not bad. But other than that he’s a cool character… minus Ric Grayson and Joker wars…. sigh. I liked his costume with the Blue bird on his chest best though the red version is cool too. And he was good when he was Bat Man for a bit. When Bat Man was traveling threw time. Obsidian is cool, yep they both have gems for names. Sorry ya’ll missed that. Now if they could just team with Amethyst and work in Opal City. Other than that I like him. He did appear on Legends briefly as part of the JSA.

    Played by Lance Henriksen . So yeah He was a TV star, but his powers weren’t used. Shadow affect have just kind of hit with Shade in Star Girl I think. Marshall Rogers drawing him was cool. Other than him being a villain in JSA he never got a real good story. Not sure why cause he was a cool, character. And he dated a lawyer in the Manhunter comic. Damon Matthews I think his name was. It was in the Kate Spencer Man hunter comic. Ragman is awesome. I picked up the Kubert run after reading his Bold and the Brave team up with Bat Man. And that comic was one of the reasons I did the Joe Kubert World of Cartooning correspondence course.

    Waaaay back when. That and Hawk Man and a lot of other Great Kubert drawings. I didn’t read this one since I liked Rag Man as more of a street level character. Though I did read Shadow Pack and liked him there. He was fine in Arrow. Though Wild Dog was the stand out. No really Arrow made Wild Dog work. Rex the Wonder Dog You know how Rob feels about the LSH? That’s how I feel about Rex. Sorry. And I love dogs. It’s just….. no. Teen Titans cool I can hear the TV Theme song to them from the real Teen Titans cartoon every time I hear the group name. Puffy AmiYumi song sticks with me. I even watched their cartoon once. Once.

    The Untouchables are fine. I think I saw them fight Super Boy and the Ravers once. Er Conner El. Version of Super Boy. Xum Yukinori did a great job on these two added characters. Though mostly I remember the Destroyer from the un official DC and Marvel team up. Ware a Sub Mariner story kind of fits with this Aqua Man story. Back to the Bins did a pod cast on it.

  29. Thanks for another superbly entertaining podcast. I must say, this is my least favourite issue so far, with only a handful of rather good images (Lana Lang & ‘Peter’ Ross, Nightwing, Untouchables, Obsidian, Rex) and one outstanding one (Valor, love that Letratone).

    In the spirit of letter writer Jazz Walker, be nice to Arlene Lo and anyone else who might have made a mistake. As regards a mistake in the name of a character or place, just because a person works at DC as a proofreader it doesn’t mean they will know all the characters. If anything, negatively criticise the writers and editors. Besides, how can you expect anyone to stay awake while reading about Maxie Flaming Zeus, a Batman villlain almost as boring as Ra’s al-Dhul.

    Gosh, a new code colour. But oh Rob, how on earth could you state that grey isn’t an exciting hue?

    It’s interesting that Shag compared lady Quork to Annie Lennox – it seems so obvious now, previously I always saw her simply as an old broad in a most inappropriate outfit. Clever Shag.

    That Lana Lang and Pete Ross picture is just adorable – it’s such a shame they couldn’t stay together in that period. ‘Think about what the Smallville TV show did for for Lana and Pete Ross’, says Shag. Made Lana a snivelling whiner and Pete such a personality black hole that no one noticed when he left the show?

    This Nightwing costume is horrific, what with the webbing under the arms and the bad hair and the stupid little bat symbol on the belt. I much preferred his original disco look.

    Team Titans were the worst and that first issue gimmick of making people buy five issue #1s killed the comic at birth.the crackly blue guy was striking, though.

    Great as Tom Grummett is, has Donna ever been drawn to look as hideous as in that group shot? The costume, the face, the weird boobs… poor, poor Donna. And then she gets a son who dresses in her clothes.

    Invasion? Constipation more like, everyone looks like they’ve not been to the loo in weeks. Bart Sears’ art sears my eyes. I used to be a fan but somewhere along the way his work got really ugly… Captain Atom looks like someone melted his face.

    As for reviving Who’s Who, I’d model the format on the original in terms of being a comic book rather than a series of ‘choose-your-own-filing-system’ inserts – don’t invite people to make decisions, it just leads to dithering, or bad decisions. But for the content, I’d follow the second version, ie a selection from the entire A-Z every time, avoiding the chance of anyone seeming left out; it becomes a case of, ‘we’ve not got to that yet’. Also, it means we don’t get a boring bunching of characters with Black or Dr in their name.

    Oh, and employ me as proofreader as I DO know all the names 😉

  30. First things first. You will be happy to know that my re-election as president of the Jericho Fan club went off without a hitch. Riding the coattails of this landslide victory, I’m proud to announce my write-in candidacy for the 2020 United States Presidential election. I mean, I’ve got to be the best of the available options, right? My campaign slogan is, “Unlike my opponents, I will stay as mute as Jericho.”

    To the issue at hand, I’ll have to admit that it is filled with some gorgeous artwork! All of the notes I have are, “Wow, this page is beautiful!” which will make this all super repetitive. To spare y’all some of that, here is a quick list of my favorite entries (with just a few side comments):

    1. Injustice League: The humor and characterization in their faces! Also, the text itself is hilarious.

    2. Lana and Pete: It’s weird seeing them older, but you just can’t beat some classic Curt Swan. I’d prefer Murphy Anderson on the inks instead of Ordway, though.

    3. Obsidian: Not quite sure why, either because of that cool composition with the character literally emerging from the shadows, or the phenomenal use of zipatone, but this is my second favorite piece in the book. Even though the character isn’t the greatest and the pose itself is static, it is still visually stunning to me.

    4. Ragman: I rolled my eyes when Shag said he turned the page and lost his breath with the Animal Man entry (it’s pretty, don’t get me wrong), but then I flipped the page past Pantha and had the exact reaction to Broderick’s work here. The perspective! The detail on the cityscape! The color and use of shadow! This is easily the best art piece in the issue.

    5. Rex: Templeton draws a fluffy good boy!

    6-7. The Untouchables! and Valor are also stylistically interesting choices that, although not to my liking, are eye catching in their own rights.

    Other random comments:

    A. Invasion is everything I hate about this era in comics.

    B. I know that Tom Grummett already drew a lot of this issue, but I don’t think anyone would have complained if he had taken on the Lord Chaos entry (and maybe the Nightwing entry as well). Grummett’s work on each of his entries is as good as Grindberg’s is bad.

    C. Speaking of Nightwing, Disco Nightwing is the only good Nightwing costume. It’s all been downhill for Dick since New Teen Titans #39

    D. You asked for recommendations of good Maxie Zeus stories. If others haven’t mentioned it, he has some fun cameos in the Harley Quinn series on The DC Universe App. It’s not rightly the same character in anything other than name (as is too common these days), but worth the watch when you have a chance. Nice Aparo art here, by the way.

    E. I never understood this version of the Teen / Team Titans. This storyline, coupled with the too similar Armageddon 2001 event, always makes my head hurt if I think about it too hard. I did appreciate the fan service of giving us a “new” Terra, however. Honestly, this is a bit of a nadir for my favorite comic book franchise until Dan Jurgens saves the property in 1996. That odd assortment of characters (Argent, Prysm, Risk, Joto) had all the charm that this lot was lacking. Kind of a shame that Who’s Who was not publishing in 1996 and therefore, by virtue of the “Old Man / Get off my lawn” bylaws I’ve sworn to uphold, they never existed.

    F. For the record, Jericho would wipe the floor with the Untouchables.

    G. Speaking of Jericho, my copy of this issue oddly stops after Valor other than a note that says, “Titans Hunt never happened.”

    Well, I definitely used up all of my enthusiasm on this issue, especially if the next issue is Vertigo focused. The creation of that imprint marked my ten year exile from comics, and my subsequent research on the topic shows that I didn’t miss anything. So, expect me to be a ray of sunshine in the comment section next time.

    1. I’ve been feeling very nostalgic for the Jurgens/Perez Titans lately, it had a nice fresh feel to it and, in Argent, one outstanding character who should be being used to this day. Dan talked about them on a recent Word Balloon.

      1. Completely agree, Martin. They are the best example I have seen of how you keep the Titans’ ethos even with an entirely new set of characters. I love Argent, both in terms of look, personality, and power set. She should be, at a minimum, a character that pops up from time to time in cameos.

        1. My only problem with Argent was her VERY oversexed look, for a very young teenager. That plunging neckline was insane. I always got the Jurgens Titans were mid-teens, like 15 to 17 at most. Underage, in other words.


          1. The Geoff Johns era was generally fun but loses points for rewriting the characters of Impulse and Superboy. The end of the Wolfman run was pretty poor. But nothing compares for sheer awfulness with New 52 Titans. Just horrible.

          2. Mine is the tail end of that era, when things went freaky with moojum dolls, teenage witches, giant cockroaches and drug-filled balloons! It was so great to, decades later, come across the Teen Titans Wasteland podcast… hey, how about a crossover with Titan Up The Defense, I can see you and Hub sparking off one another?

          3. The worst era is absolutely the New 52, with the red-skinned Beast Boy. I would mention other characteristics of that series that made it a travesty, but I think I blocked it from my subconscious. I feel like they were maybe in a pit for 43 issues and were supposed to kill each other? Did I hallucinate that?

            Best era for me is the lead up to and immediate aftermath of the Judas Contract. It is still the high water mark of Titans’ stories, in my opinion, and not just because it introduced Jericho. Second choice would be right at the beginning of the Baxter series (That Terror of Trigon arc made an incredible impression on me when I first read it). Honorable mention goes to any appearance of the Fearsome Five, who are my favorite Titan foes.

  31. I’ve been listening to your show on my long commute to work. Just as I finally got caught up, you are almost at the last issue. My love is for the original series, but it has been fun revisiting the era of the loose leafs. I read the original series as a kid. It taught me so much about the vast DC universe, which I still love. I enjoy the insights and opinions of the hosts. I started listening to more shows on your network and have enjoyed those too. Thanks for the great show!

  32. I consider Maxie Zeus as one of the worst Batman villains, but your best bet for a “good” story is probably Batman #470 by Grant & Breyfogle.

  33. Well, it took some time, but I made it through the comments. (I had to establish a base camp and make several small expeditions!) Chris wrote something about JLA #144. That was something I understand. I wonder if Frank’s comment make more sense in the original Martian.
    Judging only on the samples you provided, I am not too impressed by this collection of illustrations. Mostly it’s because it seems that there is no sense of place in most of them. Where is the Injustice League? In front of the closed bleachers of an abandoned gym? At the lumber section of a big-box hardware store? Is Animal Man posing in front of flamingo wallpaper? “Invasion” makes no sense at all. Who builds a place with windows for a ceiling, two small balconies, and no stage? The so-called Teen Titans could be on any world ever mentioned in Strange Adventures, Legion of Super-Heroes, Space Ranger, and every Green Lantern story ever. Which world had purple skies? Obsidian is stepping out of the most generically generic brick wall ever built by imaginary masons.
    This is why the picture of Rex stands out. First, the character is clearly delineated. There are no superfluous lines, like on Anarky’s cloak or The Untouchables car. Templeton masterfully varies the thickness of his inks to emphasize the outline of the dog with a thicker line, and suggest fur and shading with thinner lines. The background is evocative of the American southwest. Mesas, mountains, and scrubby pines can be found, but they don’t call attention to themselves. The coloring of the sky, which reminds me of a sunset not a Crisis, and the foreground are bold, yet flat, to enhance Rex’s white fur! That is glorious!

  34. Oh boy. I’m about to get kicked out of the clubhouse.

    He’s Rex the Wonder DOG, right? Not Wonder MOUSE? I’m sorry, but Ty Templeton is a great artist, but he doesn’t know how to draw a German Shepherd head. I’m currently on my 4th GSD, and one of those was white. In no way does the head on this dog look like a German Shepherd. Pomeranian? Maybe. GSD? Nope.

    This is what a White German Shepherd looks like: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pidwf977oh9nzwn/Athena.jpg?dl=0

  35. Fun show, guys.

    There was an Earth-Two Aquaman. And an Earth-Two Green Arrow. (The Earth-Two Green Arrow is possibly more real in that he appeared in comics written by someone other than Roy Thomas.) But by the time of this version of Who’s Who. Earth-Two had ceased to be. It was an ex-continuity. Sort-of.

    After Crisis, there should only be one Green Arrow. But briefly that’s not the case. In All-Star Squadron the extended team poses for a photo that includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin and Aquaman. Then we see the same picture where the Golden Age Super Friends have been replaced by the Freedom Fighters. But Green Arrow and Speedy are still in the post-Crisis World War II era photo. And yet, this Green Arrow was Oliver Queen — with a different origin, but still Oliver Queen.

    Eventually this Golden Age Oliver must have gone into continuity limbo. He’s probably arguing for all eternity with the JLA-era Katar Hol who also had a brief post-Crisis existence.

    And yet, there was still a multiverse.

    Because the Green Arrow in Longbow Hunters and the subsequent series isn’t the Earth-Two Green Arrow, or the Earth-One Green Arrow or the New Earth Green Arrow. He’s the Earth-Grell Green Arrow.

    Apparently it was a joke among DC editors that Grell’s comics take place in their own continuity. It was rare enough for Grell to even call Oliver “Green Arrow” (in Longbow Hunters and Wonder Year, Oliver mentions that nickname with disdain, but it’s not used in the monthly Green Arrow comic series.) When we see Hal Jordan appear in Green Arrow, he’s not wearing a ring or a costume. It’s clear that Hal and Ollie did some hard-travelling heroics in the past, but you’d never know from those Grell-written issues that they fought — or worked for — aliens. In Grell’s continuity, the JLA didn’t happen. And Grell disputes that Black Canary lost her powers as a result of Longbow Hunters, she never had them.

    I expect this is why the pre-Grell Green Arrow career is given so little attention, and possibly why Grell didn’t write the entry.

    To make sense of it, there has to be an Earth-Grell Green Arrow who ages in real-time and lives in a world without superpowers, and a New Earth Green Arrow who shares some of the Longbow Hunters history, but who ages more slowly and lives in a world with the JLA and the rest of the DCU.

    I like Grell’s run on Green Arrow. And it some ways it makes sense for a liberal hero to become more reactionary in middle age — we saw it with hippies becoming yuppies. And I think we see it now too, Green Arrow’s political turn didn’t bother me in the 1980s, when I was slightly right-of-centre, but around the time this Who’s Who issue first came out, my political axis shifted. Now that I’m firmly on the left, it’s kind of sad that the left-wing Ollie vanished for a few years.

  36. Dear Mr. Rob and Mr. Shag,

    The very first comic book I ever bought was Who’s Who #11, featuring the Joker on the cover. Having grown up watching The New Adventures of Batman and The Super Friends, collecting Batman toys and Super Powers action figures, I was familiar with many of the heroes and villains of DC Comics. I was fascinated by what I found inside Who’s Who. A Green Lantern who was /not/ Hal Jordan? Who was also the father of “Jade”? Why were there so many Johnny Thunders? I continued picking up the series as the original 24, er 26, issue run came out, followed by the Updates. I was a full-fledged comic book guy by the summer of 1989 and my collection has expanded ever since, reading titles like Superman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Astro City and Fables. Who’s Who will always be my first love, however.

    For the longest time, I would have dreams at night that I would find a brand new issue of Who’s Who that I had never seen before. Sadly, despite the 1989 Annuals and loose-leaf edition, this dream never came true.

    Until one day it did.

    While on Pinterest, I stumbled upon a Who’s Who entry I had never seen, with a credit by Xum Yukinori. Every so often I would find another and then another. Earth 2 Aquaman? Yes, please. Superman’s Fortress of Solitude? Awesome! My dreams came true at last when Mr. Yukinori allowed me to purchase one of the hard copies of Xum’s Who. It is now one of my most treasured comic books.

    I am sad to learn of his passing, but very glad to have been led here to the Fire and Water podcast network. I have a lot of catching up to do, but I have enjoyed every minute of listening to the two of you. Just as Who’s Who has a special place in my heart because it was my first comic book, your podcast will always be special as my “first podcast.”

  37. First off I just want to say I am a first time commenter but long time fan. I will make this short and sweet.

    Having recently lost my Who’s who collection and other comics in a wildfire out here on west coast. I wanted to let you know The Who’s who podcast has greatly uplifted my spirits. Doesn’t quite take the place of reading the old issues and loose leaf, it does make me smile to be able to listen to the episodes at my disposal. Will definitely start over at episode 1 while I hit some comic book shops scrounging through back issues trying to rebuild the collection.

    Thank you both for lifting this old fan boy’s spirits

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