Who’s Who in the DC Universe #15

It's the fantastical fifteenth issue of WHO'S WHO IN THE DC UNIVERSE featuring characters from DC's realm of dark fantasy, Vertigo: Abby Arcane, Danny The Street, The Doom Patrol, Sandman's Endless, John Constantine Hellblazer, Mister E, Shade The Changing Man, Swamp Thing, and more! Plus YOUR Listener Feedback!

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78 responses to “Who’s Who in the DC Universe #15

  1. Only just starting this episode, but isn’t Jeffrey Lang married to Nancy A Collins? I’m sure his novels were mentioned in Swamp Thing letter columns.

    1. Can’t find anything to validate this. Perhaps back in the 1990s. Nowadays his partner is named “Helen”. In a weird coincidence, I was cataloging some of my STAR TREK books last night and came across some written by Jeffrey Lang!!?! So while I didn’t recognize his name in this issue of WHO’S WHO, apparently I own some of his TREK books. Small world!

      1. It’s entirely possible that I imagined it. I’m talking about letter columns from 30 years ago. I sometimes misremember.

  2. Had to stop listening after the Black Orchid entry to point this out:

    The Neil Gaiman story, which you both admit you didn’t read, actually revealed that the Susan Linden DNA-orchid hybrid *was* the original Black Orchid from the 70s. That version of Black Orchid was killed in the first issue of the Gaiman story, and her consciousness transferred into the “sister orchid” in Phil Sylvian’s lab (which was said to be the secret headquarters of the 70s Black Orchid with Sylvian talking about the room where she kept her computers and disguises). This event set the stage to reveal Black Orchid’s origin story in the rest of the mini-series.

    But this purple plant woman version is technically a “new” Black Orchid, but has the memories of the old, who was also a purple plant woman all the while. This story is as much a “departure” from the original Black Orchid as the elemental origin reveal for Swamp Thing and Firestorm.

    Also, a younger, pre-teen “orchid sister” was awakened in the Gaiman story, who was named “Suzy”. This is the “second Black Orchid” looking at the reader on the front art of the entry. But you are correct Shag that the entry does depict two versions of the same woman.

    And you should check out the story if you can find it. Part two is the first time Gaiman and McKean explore Arkham Asylum.

    Back to the podcast.

  3. My comments here will be few (and might beat Frank’s), because I have only dabbled in these books and not really stuck around–just like I attended a single Ozzy Osborne concert in 1996 before returning to significantly non-metal bands like DMB.

    Anyway … it is me, or does Kathy George kind of have a “Martha Quinn’s cooler sister” thing going in that entry?

    Re: Bill Jaaska. Yes, one of the most maligned Titans artists, but he had gotten the job because of the amount of independent work he had done (some of it with Marv Wolfman) as well as some X-Men and Hulk issues that had gotten praise from PAD. I have seen some pictures of uninked, uncolored pages from the Titans book and they are much better than what wound up on the printed page. The only truly good issue he had was #109, where I think he might have contributed coloring as well. Otherwise, it’s a bad time for the book.

    Btw, his life ended tragically in 2009 as he was found dead in a boarding house in Milwaukee, possibly due to substance abuse (https://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/bill_jaaska_1961_2009/)

  4. I wish that there would have been a cross-over with Swamp Thing & The Suicide Squad because they both are based in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana & it would have been cool seeing Swamp Thing freaking out Captain Boomerang.

  5. Another great episode guys. It’s a true testament to how entertaining you are. I have no interest in these characters. Vertigo just wasn’t my thing. I enjoyed Preacher and Swamp Thing, but too often I found the titles just too bizarre to be entertaining. Listening to Rob and Shag discuss made me feel like I’d missed out.

  6. Wonderful episode, fellas.

    Can’t wait for that JLA #144 Table Read.
    Shucks, ah reckon y’all can’t guess what cowpoke I’d volunteer to play?

    No, not Rex. Although, I’m sure he’s a fine livestock herding dog.

  7. Impressive pod cast. Most impressive. Yep Abby looks great here, Losses her creepy Gal look sadly, but great drawing. Always liked her as the hot yet creepy gal. Anton,,,,,, oy. Kelly Jones is great as creepy art. This works. Though I like him better in the movie. The first movie. Though as a creepy villain this works. He’s even more oy looking here than under Bernie Wrightson’s version.

    Moving on to Cliff. He looks great here. He’s my second fav character in Doom Patrol. Next to Crazzy Jane. Yep he is defiantly the every man character and works well as the POV character for readers. Yeah I first read him in Titans when Robin and Changeling came to save him. And he’s great on the TV show.

    Danny Street don’t know much about them. Other than Their being the Parent of the POV character in the Young Animals Doom Patrol comic. The Gerard Way room. Terry None I think is her name. I do have the one Robot Man action figure. It’s not a Mego…sadly. But, it’s cool. Only has 6 points of Articulation.

    The Endless looks cool. Waaait is that Despair next to Death. I think that makes that a topless woman in a Main Stream comic. Not sure. I see Desire next to Dream. The Death. I think Despair. Delirium maybe? Then Destiny. Destruction is dead at this point I think. Moving on. Constantine…. Em mostly liked Zed Martin in his book and the TV show. He was good in the JLA Dark 2 movies. Moving right along. Kathy George. Yeah … no that’s what people from New York think New Orleans is like.

    Louisiana is not stuck in 1950. Sorry no. One of the cops would have been African American. Oy This must be how Siscod feels when he reads Alpha Flight. By the late 80s no. They would not run in and shot a man. This was just in to give Kathy back story. Oy. She’s fine as a character. Looks like an 80s character. Cool look to her. Sooo Shade is in the body of the man who killed her family and boy friend…. oy.

    Kid Eternity … meh. Well they tried. (Sorry.) Kid of looks like the Dwayne Wayne sun glasses. Though speaking of lines aging some one. He looks like a 30 year old man here. Not a teen. Or Dr. Strang Love. I can see Peter Sellers, in this drawing. Almost like he’s saying. He can walk.

    Moving on. Mr. E is awesome. I got his 70s comics in 89. And liked them. And picked up a few when I moved to Texas for a year. He would have been great on Costantine. Or Arrow. Ah well. He was a cool character. I didn’t read books of magic. Probly for the best. I like Mr. E better as a hero. Though he defiantly fits Vertigo.

    Shade is cool. I remember him in the Justice League Dark. The comic movie. And I think the comic. I only know him from that. And the one time he became a woman. So don’t know the character well.

    Swamp Thing looks cool. Ah Wild thing song lol. Oddly that was close to his Cartoon theme. Though I always remember born on the Bayou with him. Because of the 2nd Swamp Thing movie. Yep Heather Locklear was great as Abby. Sorry not seeing the hotness on Temptress. The 3 witches look cool. Blodie looking hot. And the other 2 fit their roles. Hmm the Maden the Crown and huh. Jim Butcher kind of does that with Mabe and co in his books. And he’s a big comic fan. I wonder if there’s a connection?

    He does call his car the Blue Bettel. For Harry Desden and Hary’s Girlfriend did joking ly call him Booster Gold.

    Yeah Tim Hunter was a fine character. Yeah JK Rollins Not only a Terf, but not great at coming up with her own character. Also Tim Hunter is a cooler Character. And I hear he had a cool story in his teen years with Constantine in it, Any Way can’t wait to hear the next episode.

  8. A) Abby Holland was in most of the Swamp Thing stuff I tried during and after the Alan Moore run, but since I had the misguided impulse to only read individual issues rather than arcs, I didn’t move past them. I thought that she was attractive and dug the white hair with the black streak. However, she always seemed to be barefoot in cutoffs, and one man’s hippy chick is another’s white trash. That aspect reminded me too much of my childhood surroundings, so I mostly dismissed her. She’s the chick who does it with vegetables. Neither the first nor the last. I’ve liked Stan Woch since his handful of Huntress back-ups in Wonder Woman, and while I enjoyed him as an inker as well, I do wish he’d gotten more full art in.

    B) I only ever read a few odd issues of Shade, any incarnation, so my awareness of the American Scream is rather dim. Did it play into one of the last extended arcs on the Ostrander/Mandrake Spectre, as well? The early Hewlett art isn’t doing it for me, and the “logo” just reminds me of the awful font work DC especially ruins their covers with these days.

    C) Kelly Jones is hit & miss with me, but having him do anything Swamp Thing is a no-brainer,

    D) I fell hard for Neil Gaiman when I started reading The Sandman, but probably for budgetary reasons I never reached backward to Black Orchid, and now I don’t want to. I’m not overly fond of Dave McKean’s art, and I didn’t like the issues of the spin-off ongoing series I bought new when I was sampling most of the Vertigo titles. The series didn’t bother to offer a real introduction to the character or concept, and I was immediately alienated by the material. For Siskoid’s Who’s Editing, I did a fairly deep dive into researching the pre-New 52 stories, and really hated everything I read about and of the para-Vertigo version as a result. As a tip of the hat to both Sheldon Mayer and Rob, I made Sugar Plumm the Black Orchid in “my” continuity for that project.

    E) I don’t know that I have much to add to my previous assessments of Cliff Steele, except that I like him best when played by Brendan Fraser, who deserved a better career than he got. Richard Case doesn’t do anything for me, and I swear his stuff makes me think I could have drawn some comics if I’d just stuck with it as long as he did.

    F) Tom Taggert’s stuff was cute, but man, fan custom have gotten so much better than his tacky art project photos of the ’90s. Danny the Street has had an amazing career for an inanimate object from a mature readers title. Did you know they were used extensively in the New 52 Teen Titans as their resident Boom Tube (though he spent much of that time merely as Danny the Alley?)

    G) I listened to hours of Simon Bisley interviews for some Spawnometer episodes I’ve worked on, and he does express regret over abandoning some of his Doom Patrol era artistic pretensions in favor of making money hand over fist for ;painting big naked people with lumps of metal in their hands. The Beard Hunter was one of the first Morrison issues that I bought that helped cement my lack of interest in his run.

    H) Ken Steacy is aces on retro-50s deals.

    I) Stunned that John Constantine didn’t get a Who’s Who entry before this. Stumbled upon him in that one issue of Swamp Thing with Batman, Killer Croc, and the Floronic Man that I picked up from a discount bin in 1987. He was trying to intimidate a psychiatrist that had institutionalized him by pointing out that he was a fraud who tried to smear the Titans with fraudulent nudie pics. I didn’t know who he was, but he felt like a somebody right off the bat. Tried his title a few times without it going anywhere, plus the one issue of Books of Magic that came my way. Somehow I was led to try again during the Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon run, and that definitely turned me on. I followed the book monthly until their run wrapped and followed them to Preacher. I continued sampling Constantine stuff thereafter, but his book just didn’t interest me under other hands, not even the issues Ennis did with Will Simpson. I did like him when I read “American Gothic” in trade, and I feel like he’s one of DC’s truly great archetypal anti-heroes. For a while there, he was one of my favorite characters, and I heard great things about the runs of Warren Ellis and Brian Azzarello. I think part of the problem is that uncool people can’t handle him well and “cool” people make him a naked writer proxy. He’s an enormous Marty Sue now, to the point where I see YouTube videos railing against him, so that’s off-putting.

    J) “Martha Quinn’s cooler sister” is definitely a hook for me. I’m not concerned about Vertigo Kid Eternity at all.

    K) I quite liked Bill Jaaska’s work, and I think he would have been much better appreciated on New Titans if he’d followed Nick Napolitano’s heinous “Terminus” arc instead of Tom Grummett’s beloved run. I also think Titans would have been better served going in the super-hero horror direction post-100 rather than the lame post-Zero Hour Arsenal team.

    L) It took me a while to figure out (or more likely to be told) that Matthew the Raven was Matt Cable from the early issues of Swamp Thing. 100% Rob Liefeld stole the name.

    M) I can’t believe Biz was getting a paycheck for sketchbook doodles. I know nothing of the Men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., but Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. got around in the early New 52.

    N) I saw an issue of the Mr. E mini-series at a mall bookstore, thought “that’s stupid” and haven’t budged since.

    O) This episode finally confirms that, Xum’s commendable intentions aside, there will never be a Zook Who’s Who page not of my own making, but The Condominium Board of Bushes got two.

    P) Most of the characters in this issue that matter to me have already been in several Who’s Who editions where I’ve probably already said everything relevant to this forum. I wonder if this issue sold more copies because of Vertigo completists or less copies because of the mature readers partition? Y’know what? I’m on point P 29 minutes into my listening to the actual podcast. I have time to look up the answer myself. Okay, my records state that issue #14 sold 11,400 copies through Capitol City Distribution, and #15 sold 10,900, but #16 sold 10,450. Looks like standard attrition to me. While I’m checking, it looks like the Batman bump was real, as the Batmobile issue added 1,450 copies from the previous month, while the Joker issue added 500 copies. Ironically, the final issue with a Batman cover shed 450 copies. Say, which character am I on at this point? Tefé? At least Tefé starred in her own volume of Swamp Thing and made more appearances overall than Zook.

    Q) Temptress. From Mr. E. If Siskoid ever makes it this far, I’m hosed.

    R) This issue is the welfare queen myth of my alphabetical comments. I’m just throwing letters at this thing because why not? I should have withheld all letters and made this the only numbers-exclusive comment of the entire nine year run of this podcast. So, the Dreaming gets an entry? Cool. Cool. Because you couldn’t look up “the collective unconscious” in 1992. Or if you did, it wouldn’t have the official green location border. This is the DC Sampler Fire & Water episode of my comments to this podcast. It seems to me I am trying to tell you a dream–making a vain attempt, because no relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation, that commingling of absurdity, surprise, and bewilderment in a tremor of struggling revolt, that notion of being captured by the incredible which is of the very essence of dreams…No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence–that which makes its truth, its meaning–its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream-alone…

    S) The Endless entry is the metatextual core of my sentiments toward this edition. The Sandman expanded my awareness of what could be done with the medium of comics and I adored it until wait– didn’t I already do this for the Sandman’s solo entry? God, at least they didn’t give all these guys their own entries. I like most of these concepts but the build up to Destruction was a total letdown. They never really put Despair over, either. Delirium had the fun lettering gimmick of the sort that won Todd Klein all those awards, but she could get annoying quick. Destiny does the destiny thing, but he didn’t exactly gather a fan following, right? I guess Desire was third best, and was low-key the main villain of the series. Dringenberg is one of my most preferred Sandman artists, but he totally blows it on Desire’s androgyny. So clearly a chick that I had to check to make sure I wasn’t looking at Death instead.

    T) I know I just talked up Mike Dringenberg, but Kelly Jones could have made his career by just staying on The Sandman for the entire run. Lord, “The Kindly Ones” could have worked if he’d drawn it. Reading that not-remotely-monthly was like getting kicked in the teeth. It always disturbs me when the Maiden gets drawn too comely, because I know she’s dangerous as hell, but Jones just can’t help himself. I’m definitely more of a Death type, but “Cynthia” got that badonkadonk.

    U) Something about Paul Johnson’s realism was deeply off-putting to me. I bought Children of the Voyager #1 for the glow-in-the-dark cover and thought the interiors looked like a Classics Illustrated of Swann’s Way. Not unlike post-Books of Magic Tim Hunter.

  9. 1) I’ll not entertain revisionist history of the lame Jurgens Teen Titans series. That could have really been something with the George Pérez inks, but the characters and villains were worthless. I’ll also note that there were numerous Titans teams that were worse than the New 52, including the aforementioned Jurgens run. Unrecognizable as some may have been, at least that book had characters anybody cared about. Other awful Titans runs include the Baxter series under Barreto, Arsenal’s team, and about half of Team Titans.

    2) I know !mpact isn’t the end, it’s just going to be half of the last four episodes, joining Battalion, Bloodwynd, Candlemaker, Cerberus, Count Viper, Furball, Ice Man, Ig’nea, Hacker, Jakob Whorssman, L.E.G.I.O.N. R.E.C.R.U.I.T.S., Lady Jane, The Legion of the Super-Clones, The Lurker, Mister Z, Ramona, Thrust, the Thunderbolt Supporting Cast, Willoughby Kipling, White Dragon, and Yankee Doodle Dandy in holding the pillow over the face of Who’s Who: The Definite Podcast of the DC Universe. But hey, at least I won’t have to worry about cross-referencing my past written thoughts to avoid repetition before discussing the intricacies of Applejack! Who am I to argue against a veritable all-Forever People multi-episode final arc? You guys are going to Crusaders us so good! This will be the “Fighting Chance” of podcasting!

    1. Jurgens’ Teen Titans is everything a reboot should be – roughly the same concept but with new characters, and some third-stringers to tie it to the original. I think its greatest failing is what always hurts TT – old dudes writing teen characters.

      1. I don’t think it’s the same concept at all. Nor were the New Teen Titans, mind you, though they held on to it by having legit former sidekicks on board (and Wonder Girl who it at least a junior version of Wonder Woman). Jurgens’ Titans were more like the Outsiders or Justice League Detroit, a bunch of new characters that may or may not ever catch on, led my a veteran figure (the Atom). By not bringing in any established characters (which the other three examples did), it just that version of the team entire forgettable.

        As it was, Infinity Inc had more of a claim to call themselves Titans (in terms of concept). The only concept behind Jurgens’ Titans is that they were teens, a concept shared by many many superhero groups.

          1. If both Legion and Titans had the same concept, then that idea of a concept is way too broad. No one would describe the JLA as simply Adult heroes. And yes, Young Justice is the new Titans.

            The actual Titans brand has been dead for decades.

          2. Cue Siskoid the Contrarian in 5…4…

            Listen, pal, the big Wolfman/Peréz splash sidelined the kid sidekick idea real fast. Only half the team were sidekicks – and Wolfman got rid of Kid Flash as quickly as he could. The heyday of the Titans didn’t employ what you’re calling its core concept – which to me says its true core was just up and coming heroes with Marvel angst – which Jurgens’s run had!

          3. right, which TT under Jurgens emulated.

            I would argue The Titans under Devin Grayson is the equivalent of The Bradys drama series from a few years back. some stuff just doesn’t stack up under ‘maturation’

  10. Gentlemen-
    Amazing and informative episode as usual….regarding John Constantine, I believe the creator credits are listed as they are because, although Alan Moore introduced the character in Swamp Thing, his backstory and personality weren’t truly fleshed out and expanded upon until he received his own ongoing monthly. Jamie Delano, who I believe wrote the first 40 issues or so, John Ridgeway and the other artists listed truly formed John’s character. It was in those first few years that readers learned about his punk rock roots, his family strife and childhood in Liverpool and his failure with Astra and subsequent stay in Ravenscar Mental Hospital. While Alan Moore may have provided the initial sketch, Delano, Rigeway, et, al filled in the rest of the picture.
    As a fan of the Ennis/Dillon run (Rob, if you love Preacher you should seek out their work on Hellblazer), it’s amazing to see the massive exposure Constantine is enjoying today. We do live in strange time…..obviously. Wonderful episode boys, looking forward to the next (last????)——- Mick Jamison

  11. Lads,

    Man, I love this show. Has it really been six months? So glad we licked that whole pandemic in the time between episodes!

    Let us discuss the issue at hand!

    So odd that Animal Man wasn’t in this issue, isn’t it?

    Abby, Anton, Swamp Thing 1, Tefé, and the Parlaiment Funkadelic of Trees – yeah, Alan Moore peppered his Swamp Thing run so richly, you can argue he built of the spine of Vertigo. Like Mr Shagg, I came on with Nancy Collins’s run and had to go back to read Wein and Moore. I don’t recall anything from her run, except maybe some sort of tree nanny for Tefé. And like Rob, I also collected the Brian K Vaugh / Guiseppe Camoncoli short run of Swamp Thing 2.0. Now THAT could have been a CW series.

    Black Orchid – People who know me know that I like my spies human and not weird plant hybrids. While I liked how Gaiman tied in all the DCU’s great plant minds into a college collective, I don’t think BO needed to be a part of that. I won’t spoil the ending of the mini-series, but man, did it reek of some dude named Ezra with blonde dreads, fresh from his round of hacky sack, putting on a Tori Amos album, and saying, “But wouldn’t it be great if the comic ended, like, with recognizing beauty, instead of, you know, recognizing hate? Anyway, I slept with your girlfriend.” Freakin’ Gaiman. I get it, you’re Lou Reed but you majored in Womens’ Studies. Congrats.

    Shade, Scream, Kathy, etc. – I dipped in and out of this series. For some reason, my college LCS had six particular months of back issues for all the Vertigo books on clearance. And most of them, my apologies to the artists, didn’t look that great. So many looked amateurish. But Shade, holy crow, was beautiful. So I bought what I could and dove in hard. I’d argue nothing beat the first year or so. Loved these entries. Each one of them perfectly captured their subjects.

    Doom Patrol entries – Perfect college fodder. Shroomin’ in the room, like Rob did in JKS. I hear the special tea helps you draw a boss-ass horse! I think DP had been struggling to find a hook after Morrison left. I love what the Young Animal creatives are doing with the series, smartly putting the focus on newer characters instead of trying to do their best Morrison riff. Like with the Invisibles, I think Morrison let his ideas get away from him, and the outpour of ideas masks some of the more clever takes on DC’s weirdos.

    John Constantine – Freakin’ Alan Moore tells you in JC’s intro in Swamp Thing how to pronounce the name. How it became “teen” and not “tyne” baffles me to this day. Correct someone, and you’re the jerk who points out that Frankenstein is the doctor, not the Monster. Great character that works best as existing in his own corner of the universe. Also possibly the reason I thought it was okay to smoke between the ages of 19 to 27.

    Sandman, et al. Oy. Okay, this is where I get all “It’s not the band I hate, it’s their fans.” We get it. You’re messed up. Maybe you cut yourself, I don’t know. Hey, I liked the Cure, too, but you don’t see me trying to look like Robert Smith. Queen’s my favorite band in the world, but do I grow a mustache? It was the constant prodding of people telling me to read Sandman that kept me from Sandman. Also, get some sun, Endless. Jesus. Great entries – the Death one from a few years back still takes the cake, though. Also, a lot of the dudes in college I knew into Sandman pretended to be down with feminism just to hang out with girls and hope they’d get some sex out of it. That’s what Sandman means to me. The Kindly Ones rocked, though.

    Great episode. Man, I love this show. And congrats again to my big bro Rob. You can’t spell “bro” without “rob.”

  12. Some random comments for this episode.

    Black Orchid: I forget where I read this, but apparently because of Gaiman’s accent Dick Giordano thought Neil was wanting to write Blackhawk Kid. I just have this image of Neil saying it and Duck just staring blankly as he tries to remember if DC ever published Blackhawk Kid.

    I remember reading this series in the summer of 1990 when my older sister Jane, who had previously looked down on my comic book reading, found Sandman. The first issue of Black Orchid ended up in our house and I could not get into it despite Lex Luthor making an appearance.

    Kid Eternity: Another random memory, this time from a Wizard interview with James Robinson. Apparently when Robinson mentioned he was working on a project to Marv Wolfman, Marv asked that he not “Kid Eternity” the title. Apparently the revamp ruffled some feathers among the creators. I’m sure there were statements about these British kids getting off their lawn thrown around.

      1. The file was not built as a Comic Book Reader file, just a simple “zipped” folder of high-res JPEG files so you can view and even print them out clearly. My trial version of WinZip expired, so I used WinRAR to create it.

  13. When I bought this issue, I was surprised I wasn’t like “hey, who put the chocolate in my peanut butter”, because I was definitely NOT reading any of the “fringe” titles that would soon go Vertigo. But you know what, I didn’t mind, because I got just enough from these entries to expand the scope of my understanding of the DCU. And if I never read any of these books (and I did, when I worked at a comic shop in college), I still had assimilated enough about each one to at least understand their place in the great tapestry of the lore.

    A few comments:

    The Three Witches: Tis the season, and it’s also the season when Hocus Pocus is on the air every day for a month. When that film came out, I wondered if the writers hadn’t noticed DC’s old Witching Hour comic, especially with the plump and sexy witches in both, respectively. Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in the film seems a lot like Cynthia here. And…how do I put this delicately…what exactly is she doing with her right hand there? Maybe it’s nothing, but since Jones is clearly amping up her sex appeal to 11, and this is a more mature-readers themed issue…there may be something there.

    Danny The Street:
    I have always suspected the figure of Cliff Steele on the back of the entry was customized from a 12″ Captain Action Dr. Evil figure. The buggy eyes and the nose seem similar. Maybe Taggert painted over the blood shot veins on the original figure’s eyeballs.

    Tim Hunter:
    I always thought his left leg looked a bit odd. It’s probably correct perspective at work, but it’s very non-comic perspective, so in the medium looks wrong, and makes it look like Harry…er Tim there just wiped out and suffered a compound fracture under his mom jeans.

    Great episode as always gents!


  14. Thanks for another fun episode. The loose leaf series is definitely a time capsule of its day. Sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the bad. This issue showed the roots of the Vertigo line, which I loved. The Endless by Mike Dringenberg made this Sandman fanboy happy!

    1. You mean because of the lack of mullets?

      Teen super-heroes. That’s it. That’s the concept. They weren’t the sidekick team way longer than they were. Why is this so hard to accept?

      1. DC for most of my comics-reading days was about legacy. The Titans started as the JLA’s legacies building their own team (and we could say the same of the Legion who were Superboy’s legacy), and yes eventually, they adopted members who were never connected to adult heroes (the 70s additions). New Teen Titans still started with Robin and Kid-Flash in the mix, and though Robin grew up to be Nightwing, as long as he’s in the team, it’s a legacy team. It’s what Batman’s sidekick grew up to build.

        Now remove ANY legacy teen heroes (or former teens, because despite your assertion, there have been eras of the Titans that have been teenless, while still having former sidekicks on board), and what are you left with? A teenage team that could have ANY NAME. There is no relationship between the Atom’s Titans and any Titans team or Titans member and the new kids on the block who are just appropriating the I.P. without building on the past.

        But regardless of who’s more correct about what the Titans’ core concept (and there have been enough iterations of the team to support both sides), for me, the Atom being forcibly reverted to a teenager (happened to Tony Stark too… what is this, the CW universe?) and working with a team of forgettable new characters I would have trouble even naming today (I have better memories of Superboy’s Ravers, for Pete’s sake)… That’s not gonna come up in any discussion of best Titans line-ups.

        1. At this point, it is my firm belief that DAG doesn’t believe any of this, and is just winding Siskoid up for giggles. “They’re both dark-haired straight orphan boys within a ten year age range and a half-foot height who married above their station and work for metropolitan newspapers when not wearing red & blue costumes while employing their superhuman powers for the betterment of mankind. Therefore, Superman and Spider-Man are functionally interchangeable.” And really, aren’t all super-heroes just variations on Superman? The Teen Titans are just a bunch of Superboys of varied genders and powers and personalities and motivations, but at heart, ultimately, a mere collection of Superboy variants. As are the Legion (moreso, even), and what are the New Warriors but Marvel’s collection of Superboys as Bronze Age afterthoughts, and also the Boy Commandos are Clark Kents but poor and with ethnic accents. And don’t get me started on the whole Batman Family/Scooby-Doo Gang deal. But most importantly, I Don’t Even See Color, Man.

          You see ShRoaggb? You left us with an endgame of only Vertigo, !mpact, and the Class of ’92, so of course we’re fighting over scraps from the Titans issue like rabid dogs in a brutal winter. When we start up on the Gemsercast again, you’ll have no one to blame but yourselves.

          1. An endgame of Pre-Vertigo, Impact!, “Class of’92”–

            PLUS: DC Heroes RPG issues, maybe that whole Xum’s Who book as a complete issue, since much of the early Xum’s Who segments don’t cover as much detail as the regular Who’s Who entries–

            And the Sad Sack and Sugar and Spike stories with the title “Who’s Who.”–

            And by then the Omnibus will be out and they can start to cover the whole thing again!

            Or– they might consider moving to (shudder) Secret Files and Origins.

  15. Another excellent episode, gentlemen! Except for the verbal sparring of Shag telling what Rob is going to say (Why do mommy and daddy fight like that?). I really enjoyed this episode even though I hardly have read any of the books these characters are in!

    When Vertigo came around, I was the perfect age for it. But, I guess because I was supposed to like it, I didn’t. I guess that’s the whole point of being a dickish teen with angst. Nobody’s going to tell ME what to read! Honestly, none of the titles really appealed to me. They all seemed weird for weird’s sake and that just seemed dumb to me. But there were two exceptions; one was Sandman Mystery Theatre (not the right Sandman to read, apparently but I loved it!) and Hellblazer.

    Whoo boy, I fell into Hellblazer hard. Unlike Rob, Hellblazer just made complete sense and I totally “got it”. From his punk roots and onward, I loved most of the stories and, to this day, is one of the few comics where I’ve gone out of my way to collect all the issues (the other being Alpha Flight because I think it’s the law if I’m Canadian? Siskoid, what’s the ruling?). I find, though, Constantine works best as the charlatan jerk who (maybe) knows magic. In fact, some of my favourite moments is when he’s facing supernatural elements, but handling them in a mundane way, to the point that you wonder if actually knows any magic whatsoever! I totally agree with DAG that he works great in his own corner of the universe. Since the new 52, they’ve tried to make him more “mainstream” with the other superheroes and I find that he loses some of his magic (pun intended) that way.

    I could blather on about Hellblazer all day, but I won’t. Once again, you made an episode where I hardly know any of the characters and make it so interesting, it makes me want to track down some of these storylines. Maybe it’s finally time to give Vertigo a re-try. Well done and keep up the great work!

  16. Late to the game but I couldn’t wait for this issue. Like Shag I was in the ‘comics are like … mature, you know. It can teach you deep thinking’ stage of my comic reading. I bought almost all of the books featured here and when the Vertigo imprint started I read a chunk of the early one shots and mini-series.

    While I didn’t read Sandman until after this, I was on board at the start of Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Shade the Changing Man, and those are two comics which I regularly reread and I feel are important parts of who I am as a comic reader. (And of those two, I think Shade is my favorite … there I said it.) I also collected something like the first 12 years of Hellblazer. I think Delano and Jenkins are superior to Ennis even though Ennis seems to be the most popular.

    But if I could only have 2 issues of the loose leaf Who’s Who, it would be this one and the Legion.
    Some comments:

    Abby Arcane – yes, there is definitely a Bissette/Totleben feel to the art here. I think the unofficial marriage happened in Swamp Thing 34 where she -ahem- eats his tuber and they become even more connected. I have always liked her character. She is resilient and always overcomes the tragedy in her life.

    American Scream/Shade/Kathy George – I have already said that I love the series. And Shag astutely points out that Bachalo’s art changes in front of our eyes to his more distinct style somewhere around issue 8 I’d say. The American Scream arc is pretty bonkers with exploration on JFK, the drug culture of the 60s, classic hollywood, and even homelessness. But I was glad it was wrapped up within the first 2 years because it began to almost feel like ‘topic of the week’. Still brilliant and the three parter at the end of the first year looking at the issues with Shade’s physical body belonging to the murderer is just brilliant. But of all this, Kathy is the standout character. She grows so much over the series. But the issue where she confronts herself over her drinking is just haunting. Seriously … everyone should read this series.

    Black Orchid – the mini was my introduction to Gaiman and McKean. I like it more than I should. I always like Black Orchid and found the new version intriguing enough. Enough to own the super expensive ‘there is no such thing as a black orchid’ McKean print (hanging proudly in the comic book loft).

    Doom Patrol, etc – Loved Morrison’s book even if at times it seemed to veer to the weird just to be weird. Still great fun with great art. Surprised Shag didn’t remember Red Jack who claimed to be both Jack the Ripper and God. Super creative. And where comics in my youth taught me vocabulary, Morrison taught me about art movements, german folklore, the origins of LSD, and other ephemera. Love it to bits.

    Hellblazer – I am much more a fan of the cocky but secretly tormented Constantine. The guy who defeats the big bad but kills his friends. The guy who didn’t save Astra and who sort of makes Zatara implode. Jamie Delano and Paul Jenkins wrote that guy perfectly. The first year and a half of Hellblazer is terrifying. Ennis made him more badass … then made him a homeless drunk. A bit to heavyhanded in both directions where I wanted nuance. Great image for him at this time.

    Tefe – I’ll say it was Tefe who, in a way, made me drop the Swamp Thing comic. Rick Veitch took over writing for Alan Moore and was sooooooo decompressed. His time travel story and the ‘sprout’ story took forever. By the time it all wrapped up I was basically done. It’s a shame because hearing her be a branch between the red and green does sound interesting.

    Anyways, everyone should read Shade the Changing Man, especially the first 2 years or so. Just brilliant reimagining of the Ditko source material with the vertiginous feel of the 90s.

  17. Like Shagg, I was a Vertigo nut – the line came at a time when those were the kinds of comics I wanted to read and I was a completist for many years. Of course, this issue of Who’s Who came out about a year before Vertigo became an actual imprint (and good thing, because I think we would NOT have gotten Vertigo as part of Who’s Who after that partition closed off. Notably, a lot of the books mined for entries here were on the wane when they went Vertigo. Morrison gave Doom Patrol to newcomer Rachel Pollack, Animal Man (not here, but definitely part of that set) hit its final forgettable chapter under Delano, I’m not sure how much I can tell you about post-Vertigo Shade… Swamp Thing under Collins wasn’t great, so that was looking up, and Sandman was bullet-proof by that point.

    But I read it all, and all the new stuff that came out. Morrison’s Doom Patrol will always be important to me (and I don’t think villains from a past iteration needed to be in here when they got their due in the original Who’s Who, you also seem to have forgotten the Brain and Mallah got their own loose leaf entry). Shade was great too, and Young Animal’s Shade the Changing Girl definitely follows that continuity (so… Earth-86, I guess?), but that American Scream storyline is probably more relevant today than it was then. I’ve said my piece about Swamp Thing on other shows, but this era is definitely a low point; everything between Moore and Morrison-guided Millar isn’t really my jam (Veitch introduced the Gray, by the way, which the New52 turned into the Rot).

    I got into Sandman and Hellblazer relatively late, and initially through a friend’s issues (we bought a huge batch of direct market DC from the late 80s in a comic book store’s going out of business sale between us. I got Animal Man and Doom Patrol (and LEGION), and he got Sandman and Hellblazer. I really got into Sandman with Season of the Mists and backtracked. I only got into Hellblazer with Ennis, and otherwise was more interested in guest writers before that (Gaiman, Morrison). I guess Delano doesn’t really turn my crank.

    The other early Vertigo characters (about to get monthly series at this point) didn’t get very memorable runs, I’m afraid. There was such a thing as stock Vertigo and I believe Black Orchid, Books of Magic and Kid Eternity fall into that category. Not bad reads, but I have difficulty bringing up any memory past their mini-series. In particular, Kid Eternity was an early Morrison disappointment for me, taking a character I thought was a lot of fun and taking a sour path with him. I was happy to have Nocenti on the monthly, and of these three, it’s the series I would most likely re-read, but still.

    Speaking of Nocenti, hearing you describe de Robuttman image evoked a similar scene in Nocenti’s Daredevil, the blazingly awesome Acts of Vengeance tie-in where DD is up against a mountain of Ultron heads.

    1. Seemed to me A LOT of the mid-90s Vertigo titles fell into what you’re calling “stock Vertigo.” The various mini-series and one-shots filled with muddy art, spotty coloring, and writing that tried too hard to be edgy and thoughtful, but just read like bad college creative writing. And like with all camps, Vertigo fans dared you to find fault with anything published under that banner.

      I enjoy these glimpses into the world of Young Siskoid. It all tracks!

      1. I don’t disagree with that in hindsight, but then I bought a lot of “stock superhero comics” too. It’s more about a flavor of what you want to read in disposable stories. How many comics in our collections are just that, disposable? And every once in a while, you get a stand-out story or run and that’s what you end up talking about 20-30 years later, even if your longboxes are full of lesser books you don’t rightly remember.

        1. You hit the nail on the head! I think all my longboxes are full of disposable stories! But I love them all just the same! Maybe I should re-listen to Collecting Comics, the Fire and Water way. I think I just found out I’m a hoarder…….

  18. Esteemed Gentlemen—

    The reasons I enjoy The Who’s Who Podcast in no particular order are:
    – Rob
    – Shag
    – the awesome theme sequence
    – the jokey jokes ‘n such
    – my having been acquainted at least somewhat with the characters being discussed.

    Well, ya can’t always have everything I guess. But four outa five is still good! Thumbs up, fellers!

  19. I’ve listened to about half the episodes now, but I still have to ask this question… what are the words in the theme song after Phantom Stranger? Help me out, please.

  20. Hi Guys, thanks again for a fantastic podcast. I’m always glad to see a new episode. Time for my normal attempt to give even more feedback than Frank.

    Abby Arcane – I think this might be the best illustration of Abby that I have ever seen. As you say she is beautiful but not oversexualised. This was just a couple of months after Stan Woch’s issue of Sandman and I’m glad he was available.

    American Scream – Jamie Hewlett was doing some great work in the early 90s and this looks great. I do wish they had been able to get Jamie to colour it. He is by far his own best colourist and this would sore with his input.

    Anton Arcane – This is beautifully disgusting. Kelley Jones is ideally suited to draw Swamp Thing and his villains. The small images on the entry are phenomenal.

    Black Orchid – personally I would’ve preferred Blackhawk Kid. I have never read this story but I really admire the entry. McKean adds so much mood with the colours. I was a huge fan of the Dick Foreman and Jill Thompson ongoing and would heartily recommend it.

    Cliff Steele – Images like this always made me wish that Richard Case did his own covers on DP. There was a sense of graphic design in his images which made them stand out from a lot of his contemporaries. As mentioned above this image almost references the Nocenti/JRJR Ultron story. I’ve tried searching for the Joe Staton designed head but I don’t think it is there. It’s great to see the leg from when Cliff briefly got spidery. Fantastic entry. Well written by Mark Waid who we shouldn’t forget edited some of the Morrison/Case run.

    Danny the Street – I was always slightly unimpressed by this entry. Obviously it’s a well made model but it doesn’t even begin to express how bright and colourful Danny was. In particular there should be some use of the gay slang polari (How bona to vada your dolly old eke) which was a key element of Danny. I’d recommend everyone should look up Julian and Sandy from the old BBC radio show Round the Horne just to get an idea of the roots of Danny’s. Black and white is just a bit too naff for such a dolly ome palome.

    Doom Patrol – Both Case and Greenberger excel in this entry.

    DP Rogues Gallery – I think this might be the first appearance of Shit the Dog if you remember the late 90s. These aren’t even the best villains from the run. I mean The Beard Hunter dies in his first appearance. Morts.

    The Dreaming – This might be the most undrawable entry in the issue. How do you draw an ever changing place that we already know centuries of stories about? Dringenberg does a fantastic job of expressing the flexibility of the place. Does anyone else remember seeing the small image of Morpheus at the gates being used as a letter column ad for this issue in the pre-Vertigo books?

    The Endless – I’m sure this image is referencing something else but I can’t remember what. Is it an album cover?
    I wonder if the dog is meant to reference the plans for Destruction who hasn’t appeared yet.

    Flex Mentallo – Ken Steacy is the ideal artist for this entry. I’m sure I read the stories featuring Flex before I saw any of the source material. I really can’t remember how I made sense of him.

    Hellblazer – I never felt like Will Simpson was the right artist for John Constantine. He’s much better at action adventure stuff. In fact last time I managed to get to a comic convention (Portsmouth 2019) they had an exhibition of Will Simpson’s concept art for Game of Thrones. He’s much better at drawing dragons and battles than pissed-up wide-boys. My favourite Hellblazer issues are all from the Jamie Delano run. In fact the fifth episode of Should I Love This Comic was about a Delano issue drawn by Sean Phillips.

    Kathy George – Can I agree with Shagg’s love for this character? Milligan and Bachalo really made her real. Ultimately the 75 issues of Shade were about Kathy not Shade. Nice to see Lenny in this image. I wish she’d got her own entry. She could’ve had the page given to the DP Rogues Gallery. Weirdly this page is drawn by Bachalo before his best work. I don’t think I could have imagined how good he could get when he was already amazing.

    Kid Eternity – Talking of artists who were great in 1992 who got even better here’s Duncan Fegredo. I love this iteration of Kid Eternity more for it’s potential rather than it’s execution. As a Dr Fate fan it’s no surprise that I like a new twist on order and chaos.

    Les Perdu – I was reading Swamp Thing before Nancy A Collins came on and I remember the excitement of the announcement of Collins and Jaaska coming on. Collins had a good run but Jaaska only did an annual and a few pages each in 2 other issues. Les Perdu was the antagonist of Collins’s first stories and the story of the creature was quite moving. It looks disgusting but it’s actually a kind of Ragman-y collection of lost souls. You do feel for that poor Stoaty thing.

    Matthew the Raven – I remember the speculation about who Matthew was in the Sandman letters page. I can’t remember what my solution was but I remember being wrong.

    Men from NOWHERE – As I reread this issue it becomes more and more evident that the villains in DP really don’t stand up to analysis. In the stories they work but when you start explaining them you sound insane. Bisley was having a Richard Corben moment in the small images.

    Mister E – JK Snyder III is a genius and Jay Geldhof supports him well here. The character design is so strong but I have to say the mini series this entry recounts is pretty poor. I picked the whole thing up as it was beautiful (of course) but I felt it was ultimately empty and a bit obvious. Love the entry though.

    Parliament of Trees – Stan Woch drew the first appearance of the parliament so was a great choice of artist. Great to see Man Thing in there. I do feel for Peter Sanderson having to include the Mantango stuff from the Doug Wheeler run. I suppose it was too soon to ignore that run.

    Shade – My Shade page is missing from my Who’s Who collection. I’m furious. It’s one of my favourites and I have no idea where I have put it. Rob and everyone else has to read at least the first 50 issues of Shade. At the time I’d have rated it third after Sandman and DP, but on rereading it is one of the best pre-Vertigo books.

    Swamp Thing – It’s weird that they gave Swampy the constipation grimace. I was never convinced by the John Higgins version of Swamp Thing. I do love the silhouette in the small images. It reminds me of that wonderful George Perez panel from History of the DC Universe that is one of the most iconic Swampy images in my brain.

    Tefe – She was the star of one of my first Swamp Thing issues. I clearly remember the shock when she copies her dad and leaves her body. And the image of Abby holding her empty body. I criticise the Doug Wheeler and Pat Broderick run but that one hit like a punch in the stomach. I think Shagg is unfairly remembering Bill Jaaska’s Titans run. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez couldn’t have rescued the crap Marv Wolfman was churning out at that point. From reading interviews with Marv he seems to be dependent on who is editing him. Bill was

    1. I lost accidentally published that mid sentence.

      I was trying to say that Bill Jaaska was a great artist. His issues of Hulk and X-Men really prove that fact. It’s such a shame that his career never recovered from the Titans. Talking of the Titans I also have positive feelings towards the characters from the Dan Jurgens run. I’ve never actually read any of it but I am a big fan of the Titans/LoSH Universe Ablaze series which runs alongside the Devin Grayson run but prominently features those characters.

      Temptress – JK Snyder III is a genius. If he wasn’t I’d complain about this entry as the character is such a mort.

      Three Witches – You can tell this was drawn in the era of the wonderbra. Cynthia is a little over the top. Jones does give us one of the best versions of Mordred. Really I would have liked to see representations of some of the alternative looks the 3 witches were given in Sandman butI do enjoy this.

      Tim Hunter – I never really enjoyed Paul Johnson’s pen and ink work. He always drew better in full colour like in Books of Magic. It is exceptionally 90s to represent youth with a skateboard. I do love the fact that Tim seems extra fabulous with his jazz hands. Maybe AOL could produce a Tim Hunter musical. Gerard Way could write the songs.

  21. I’m not a particular fan of the Biz Doom Patrol villains piece, but it does capture the spirit of the book. Now the Richard Case stuff is timeless!

    Shag, I’d appreciate it, as a special favour to me, that you ask Rob his thoughts on Shade The Changing Man every 5 minutes on every podcast you do together from now on.

  22. I got this issue sometime in the mid-aughts and was left really disappointed by most of it. The Morrison Doom Patrol has always been a bit over-hyped in my mind, far too often depending on weirdness for weirdness’ sake instead of good storytelling. This issue is dominated by the team and its villains, and suffers for it. The Sandman entries fail to impress in the same way Dream and Death do in other issues.

    Never read the Jeter / Snyder Mister E book. It’s an odd hole in my history of seeking out JKS3’s work. I’ve loved the guy since I received his Jeckyll and Hyde Classics Illustrated when I was far too young. Jeter’s other comic work is limited to a Wildstorm era Star Trek book, so I’m not sure how good his comic credentials are, but he would go on from this to write the first ever sequel to Blade Runner, a fun book IMO that became a divisive piece of fandom for decades.

    I will say the Shade related entries made me incredibly interested in that series. I’ve picked up the trades since but still have yet to dive into them. It’s strange too, as both Milligan and Bachalo are definite favorites.

    I’ve been a big fan of the prose of Nancy A. Collins for years, but nothing about her run on Swamp Thing ever seemed intriguing. The entries here did little to entice me. I’d much rather see her give us another Sonja Blue novel than read this.

    Tim Hunter does look like a total douche in his portrait here. Sadly, that’s probably his peak as an interesting character. The Books of Magic ongoing was criminally dull, proving not every bespectacled owl-befriending boy wizard is equal.

  23. Apologies if I’m repeating anyone, I’ve not had time to read the responses yet!

    Thanks for another exciting episode of Who’s Who in the DC Univesre.

    Of the entries, my faves were the amazing Shade and the Three Witches. Mr E is absolute favourite, John K Snyder III could do no wrong…

    …oh, Temptress. A Snyder entry I don’t like. She looks like she’s holding her massive boobs up. And check the positioning of the Mr E doll’s hair between her legs – that’s not accidental. Common.

    That Swampy entry is indeed well done but it doesn’t work for me, the growing a body bit is a neat power, but for an iconic image, it’s too specific. I want a classic Swampy, with heft, not a wispy wee fella.

    It’s interesting that Rob said Dave McKean wasn’t great at sequential storytelling, I would say the same is even more true for Chris Bachalo – so many pages of his Marvel mutant art is impressive at a glance, but I can’t tell what the heck is going on from panel to panel. Again, he’s great at pin-ups – the Kathy George piece is great. (She was half a day late for her parents murder because she was having sex in the field – she must have been well knackered.)

    I am intrigued by Shag’s problem with reading a long run of Hellblazer, doesn’t every comic book just go on and on? It’s just the same song with a different tone to the superhero sagas. As for Rob enjoying the jail issues, that’s great… I really disliked them, Brian Azzarello just couldn’t write UK dialogue and didn’t even bother having him on his home ground. I left the book for years! Try the currently running 12-issue series, it is just wonderful.

    Totleben and Bissette get first credit for Hellblazer because he started as an Easter egg, they enjoyed putting a character who looked like Sting in the background of Swamp Thing.

    I would argue that the Parliament of Trees entry – which to me is really unimpressive even without the nasty, ill-placed logo – shouldn’t have a supernatural border because it is a natural part of the DC Universe. Really, those borders are so stupid.

    I always think of Tefe as ‘Tofu’.

    And I love it when Shag says ‘Art Thibert’ because it sounds like ‘Artie Bear’.

  24. Whoa, whoa, whoa Rose Occult did all the footwork in the Books of Magic, it was where I first came across her and was disappointed that this whole shared existence wasn’t the norm when reading along for your Who’s that issue. Guess I just have something for women with bob cuts in general!

    Like Shag I was going through my Goth Adjacent phase really being into my Sandman, and reading in Black Orchid in one of those UK comics I’ve mentioned elsewhere. Most of the other though I never got into at the time, not being a big comic reader at the time. Though I’ve managed to catch most of the DC Animal version of the characters, so that must count for something right?

    I’m sure you’re sick of it by now, but a good issue as usual.

  25. Were you ever in a group conversation where one person really had nothing to offer, but would pipe up with a tangential point whenever he could just to feel included?

    Well, it’s happening again.

    Shagg, you pronounced Houma correctly (HOME-uh). Real place, by the way. Lovely people. Delicious food. Sportsman’s paradise. You pronounce things correctly more than you think, and the rest of us actually know how things are pronounced less often than we pretend to, but we’ve all formally agreed not to tell you. You know what? Forget I said that. I don’t need more legal trouble from Siskoid.

    Speaking of pronunciation and Siskoid, his fellow countryman Gord noted above that you both pronounced Les Perdu wrong. I took two years of high school French, which puts me at the same level of French language capability as Anthony Edwards’ character in the movie Gotcha. That qualifies me to take the two of you to school (not really, but see the first sentence above).

    Les Perdu (“The Lost”) is pronounced Lay Pair-DUE, but you have to really nasalize the DUE. Just imitate the accent of Inspector Clouseau, a castle guard from Monty Python, or Siskoid voicing DeSaad — whichever one you sink is ze most outRAgeous.

    Pretty sure the animal is a weasel. It’s too skinny for a beaver, especially in the tail, and the teeth are all wrong. It isn’t a bad weasel, actually.

    From the Department if Forgotten and Distorted Lyrics: Swamp Thing makes everything…GROOVY.

    Finally, let me add my voice to Rob’s and Gord’s in demanding mob chant style:


    Thank you both for your time.

  26. I’m not really into “dark fantasy”, and didn’t go thru a “dark dark dark” phase. But I’m familiar with more of these characters than I expected.

    I was buying Kupperberg’s Doom Patrol and just went right into Morrison/Case and stuck with it to the end.

    Shade was appearing in Suicide Squad, and picked up his series just because I enjoyed the character for over 50 issues. Plus the 70’s ad for his original series is burned into my brain and so the fascination was long-established.

    And so many of these characters had a mini-series to introduce (or re-introduce) them: Books of Magic, Black Orchid, and kid eternity. I grabbed the minis at the time, but wasn’t up for financially committing to ongoing series.

    Lots of great images in this image. Thanks for sharing them, and for the great show, guys!

    1. Oh! I forgot! Love the table read idea! Please make this happen! (And I could help out if there’s room. I can do a wide range of voices: Mephisto, Neron, Nebiros, PJ Frightful, you name it!)

  27. A testament to Rob & Shag – I didn’t have an interest in these characters in 1991 and still really don’t care about them. And despite an initial *UGH* and a desire to just skip the issue, I was immediately drawn in.

    You guys are great and another great episode. Thanks!

  28. Well, it took two months and a long car trip with nothing better to do, but I finally worked up the motivation to listen to this podcast. No offense to y’all, you did an admirable job as always, but none of these characters (or at least these iterations of them) spark my joy. Instead of a character by character review, I’ll simply summarize by saying that all of the characters that existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths were better in that timeline, and all of the characters that were made after that time should have been left in their creator’s imagination. Bah, humbug, I’m an old man comic book fan.

    Okay, I’ll make one concession. Shag did a good enough job selling it that if I ever have to go into a Covid induced quarantine, and I couldn’t find anything else worth my time, I would consider reading some issues of Shade The Changing Man.

    Also, this issue made me more excited for the Impact issues.

  29. Salvete! I just finished listening to this while on a run in New Year’s and I have two comments:

    1) Shagalicious, thank you for singing “Swamp Thing”! I demand a song per episode!
    2) I was startled with an inaccuracy (I assume on the part of the publisher, since I don’t have the entry in front of me) about the Three Witches. You had mentioned that they take different forms depending on the culture of the viewer. The error comes in with you saying /reading that they could be the Fates or the Furies; both of these are entities that existed in the classical world of the Greeks and Romans and served completely different purposes. For it to make sense and be accurate to that culture, the Three Witches could never have been both of these at any one time. If a Greek or Roman character were seeing them, they would see the same thing. I imagine it was the creator going a bit crazy on the three women in culture theme but not thinking it through/doing the research.

    Thanks for your hard work in doing these! It keeps me entertained during my runs!
    Stella (CCO of the Kitana Banana Fruit Stand)

  30. Is anyone impacted by the lack of Atari Force entries in the Who’s Who Omnibus? Me either. The outfits of Mr. Element and Mongul are still miscolored, Brown instead of green for Mr Element, Azure instead of purple for Mongul, the Index mixed the Batmen of Earths 1 & 2, and names the Post-Crisis Superman as that of Earth-1, but otherwise this book is perfect, Who else has started listening to the Who’s Who podcast all over again with the Omnibus?

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