Who’s Who Review #4

It's the fourth fantastic episode of WHO'S WHO REVIEW! Shag and Rob take a fresh look at classic entries from Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe, featuring The Atom, Dawnstar, Floronic Man, Ghost Patrol, Justice League of America, Mother Box, and more! Plus we cover YOUR feedback!

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55 responses to “Who’s Who Review #4

  1. When you get to be a crabby old man yelling at those kids to get off my lawn, you pick up a lot of useless facts. Back when I was a crabby young man yelling back , I picked up a copy of First Issue Special featuring Warlord. Yes, time does in fact work differently in Skartaris. The last paragraph stated something along the line of: (I paraphrase) time is an enemy to all men, Travis Morgan is lucky. He has escaped it.

    TNT and Dan, the Dynamite could in fact work pre crisis. The trinity had counterparts on Earth One but there were others. Wildcat, the Vigilante, Robotman and, I believe, Plasticman, were all revealed to have also existed on Earth One. Among that select few were TNT and Dan. It was an issie of DC Comics Presents IIRC. Superman wondered whatever happened to them. He tracked them down and discovered them living off the grid. They were afraid to use their powers because they were concerned if they accidently touched their rings together, they might create a nuclear explosion. They were afraid of accidently running into each other somewhere. So, Superman solved that problem by moving one of them into the Bottle City of Kandor.

    I don’t understand all this hate for Snapper Carr. He’s right up there along with the Adventurer’s Club and the Green Glob as some of the most under appreciated characters in DC. Well, maybe not the Adventurer’s Club. Don’t forget he went on to have an illustrious career as a hero in his own right. He survived the alien Invasion and founded his own team, the Blasters. Became a mentor to Young Justice and was one of the few people who was able to resist the Anti-Life Equation when Darkseid conqured the Earth. In that one-shot he became a Checkmate Knight, led the Resistance and rescued and apparently tamed the Barbara Minerva version of Cheetah after they did the nasty. No small feat since Barbara had a habit of killing and eating her paramours. So hey, Cheetah wouldn’t even eat Snapper Carr.

    1. Don’t forget Snapper’s fantastic role in Hourman (I’m not being sarcastic). That was a great series, and they even explained how Snapper got out of the Starlag he was imprisoned in from the pages of Valor (the question no one was asking, admittedly). His helping Hourman discover his humanity was great.

  2. My numbered response to this show:
    1. The Atom entry is the best (hey, it’s Gil Kane, what’s not to like?); otherwise, am I detecting some dissing of Ka-Zar by Rob? He’s awesome! Or he was in the early ’80s when Bruce Jones and Brent Anderson were handling the character. Nothing wrong with Shag’s idea of Atom as Ka-Zar in a miniature DC version of the Savage Land (you can probably tell that the Sword of the Atom material was the only time I found the character interesting).
    2. The Dawnstar entry is also nice, and yes, Sherman is a great artist. He had a run as the main penciler on Superboy & the LoSH in the late ’70s that lasted for just under 20 issues. Although brief, it was well-regarded by fans at the time and later because, among other things, of his the very pleasing-to-the-eye renderings of the female Legionnaires, and pretty much any other female character…
    3. If you have a copy of Swamp-Thing #21, or a book in which it’s reprinted, that’s what you should have John Glover sign.
    4. Interestingly enough, in grade school at least, I was not bullied for reading comics, and until about third grade, most of the boys in my class also read them (by the eighth grade, though, there were only two of us regular comics readers left, and I was the more die-hard one).
    5. My other favorite entry is Red Star/O.G. Starfire, and I agree with Shag about his look – generic as it is, I’ve always liked it.
    6. I know nothing about Helix, and based on both the entry itself and your opinions of them they do seem rather lame. However, I have to admit that Tao Jones is a pretty clever name for a comics character. I could do without the stereotypical Asian dragon lady portrayal, though.

  3. Yes, sadly, Little Cheese was killed off in “Captain Carrot and the Final Ark” and was about as well received as Identity Crisis. Another failed attempt to make silly animals dark and gritty.

    Little Cheese featured prominently in the Grodd issue I had mentioned: He comes across the Teen Titan Changeling (previously Beast Boy, and, sadly, eventually renamed back to Beast Boy) who is in the form of a little green mouse. Little Cheese says something like “oh you poor misshapen soul”. And then the story scurries on from there. Included in this issue is the classic line from Superman 2: “Not God … Grodd!” Classic stuff for someone who was 11 years old at the time.

    Little Cheese appeared with most of the rest of the Zoo Crew in an episode of Robot Chicken where the Justice League travels to Earth-C for the funeral of Captain Carrot. And, of course, Hal Jordan is a dick and can’t take seriously anthropomorphic animals as heroes. I guess he doesn’t remember Ch’p?

    Google also tells me “On Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Little Cheese appeared on a bottle of squeezable cheese in the episode ‘’A Bat Divided.’“ (Insert organic plug for the recent episode of the JLI podcast)

    I hope the “boop-beep-boop” machine randomly selects another Zoo Crew member in the next episode! (Was there an entry for the Wuz Wolf? If not, there should be!)

  4. No seperate listing for the Wuz Wolf but he was listed in the Pig Iron profile since Pig Iron was golden age character Peter porkchops.

  5. Of this group of characters I have to say little cheese and atom are my favorites of lot size changing heroes are some of my favorites.

      1. Dad used to ponder how that would work. He once told me that, relatively, if you are at 1/12 your actual size, then an oxygen atom would be 12 times bigger than normal. Can the miniturized alveoli in your lungs or even your blood cells handle those?

  6. sure Sword of the atom IS BETTER! But normal ATom could be at least REALLY GOOD. Ray as a super famous scientist who works where the atom is always fighting giant whatevers is not very careful with his secret. Now maybe Roger stern DID that in power of the atom ( which is amoung the late 80s dc i missed due to no regular comic store. BUT that seems like the way to go
    JEEZ HOW golden age charcters were two people sharing a body?

  7. Thanks for another fun show, Uncle Rob and Uncle Shag.

    The Atom is holding a fountain pen. I couldn’t find any cover image of him using a pen as a weapon from my dad’s comics though. Maybe that scene happened in a story?

    Interestingly enough, there is another Who’s Who entry where two versions of a character’s costume are shown in color, and it is the Golden Age Atom in his 1940s full-mask circus strongman outfit and his 1950s costume with the finned hood. I figure the older costume was given equal prominence in the entry because Al Pratt appeared more often in the All-Star Squadron comics than the Infinity Inc. ones being published at the time.

    My dad showed me the Sword of the Atom comics after I saw the four Cartoon Network DC Nation animated shorts that Uncle Shag had mentioned, because I wanted to know how the story ended. My dad said he didn’t care for this take on the Atom when this series first came out, but in showing it to me, he said he appreciated the “John Carter of Mars in the South American jungle” idea more. I liked it a lot too.

    How do Dawnstar’s wings work in space? Perhaps they use the solar winds…

    Floronic Man: I’ll admit that when Uncle Rob said that the character had achieved “even greater fame” after his appearance in Swamp Thing, I immediately, and jokingly, thought he meant his later appearance in Millennium as well…

    The Filmation cartoon, “The Plant Master”, was an Atom short. But the villain was not Jason Woodrue, but a jackbooted scientist named Strayle who “combined electronic wave patterns with plant growth” to create plants that could entwine people or emit a sleeping gas, which he planned to use “to gain wealth and power.”

    The Ghost Patrol could be revived in the modern era today… there are plenty of Nazis for them to fight.

    Wasn’t Critter in Helix the dog that died on the way back to his home planet?

    A Mother Box (called Maya) also appeared in The Done-In-One Wonders Podcast Wonder Show.

    It was interesting that the TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite entry acknowleged the Super Friends story in the History section. It may be the only entry to have done so. It probably helped that, as Hal stated, the story continued in Superman Family #190 in a story written by… E. Nelson Bridwell.

    Thank you for spotlighting a page from the upcoming Xum’s Who volume II (available in print this Fall). As Dad was working on volume I, he already had thoughts for volume II and started writing the entries up, as well as developing some of the logos. As Dad had said on many occassions, “It is faster to write than to draw.” (Especially since he was using Dragon software, which transcribed whatever he said into his microphone.)

    Incognito was on his list because the Breathtaker entry had a note to “see Incognito”. And then there was no Incognito entry. It likely got bumped off the list in favor of a new character or group of characters such as… oh, I don’t know… HELIX?

    Incognito’s logo was taken from the “next issue” blurb on the final page of The Fury of Firestorm #29. Dad actually created Itty’s logo, using tall letters to contrast the name.

    Itty did not really “bedevil” Hal Jordan. He was essentially a pet that had a “spider sense”. Hal did have some dwarfish intergalactic bedevilers in his comic though. They went by the moniker of the Guardians of the Universe…

    Itty’s Hostess ad was pretty straightforward. Itty was swinging through a downtown city on his Itty webbing and saw a bank robber fleeing from his heist on foot. Itty lands on the crook’s shoulder and starts vibrating, which makes the crook turn his head and see a corner store display of Hostess Fruit Pies. The crook stops what he is doing to snag a pie, pointing out all of the processed pastry’s selling points as he eats it, and the police catch up to him. Itty then vibrates a punch line because he couldn’t talk. “You will impede your flight with every bite of Hostess Fruit Pies.” The end.

      1. In our defense, we were looking at the pages individually, digitally. We were not flipping through the comics or collections. Hence why we missed the Golden Age Atom layout. And I remembered myself a day or so after recording, before the episode came out. I *knew* we were gonna get dinged for it.

  8. Really interesting show. First of all, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to have my say as to the hottest Legionnaire ever since I began listening to your older episodes. IMHO, Shrinking Violet and Dawnstar were always 1A and 1B.

    Second, I am one of the few evidently and the proud maybe? Helix fans. And it all started with this Who’s Who entry. They were the antithesis of the Mike W. Barr kind of villain team. Whereas Barr always seemed to adhere to a theme for each of his teams Masters of Disaster, Force of July, Nuclear Family, etc., the Helix characters just appeared kind of thrown together at random. “Sure let’s have a skeleton and a toddler and a dog with glasses wearing a tie!” And there was something endearing about that to me.

    Finally, I’m glad that previous commenters have mentioned the Story That Should Never Be Named from Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew. Thankfully, they retconned that one later. We don’t speak about that one in my house.

    And there was another member of the Crew added after the originals: American Eagle, who “never had any powers except those granted to him by the U. S. Constitution!” He was kind of a mashup of Captain America and Sam the Eagle from the Muppets.

  9. I would definitely recommend getting an autograph from John Glover if you have the opportunity to meet him. I met him a year or so ago when he appeared at a convention in Cleveland. He was truly one of the nicest & most engaging celebrities I’ve met at a con. I’ve got hardcover book containing numerous Superman-related signatures over the years: Noel Neill, Jack Larson, Margot Kidder, Sarah Douglas, Dana Delaney, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, Marc McClure, John Schneider, & more. Glover was a highlight.

    His brief appearance in Annie Hall has never left me & I’m sure he’d get a kick out of signing a dvd or poster.

    1. I met Noel Neill at San Diego Comic Con around 1984 or 1985, at the DC table (there weren’t really booths back then). She signed a DC giveaway book from the time. I wish I had kept that comic! It got liquidated years ago.

  10. The Atom: The Marvel storyline that Sword of the Atom reminds me of isn’t Kazar but the Incredible Hulk and Jarella’s World, right down to the skin tones.

    Dawnstar: There are no definitive Dawnstar stories. The one showcase story she had was Exile, running in half or all of three issues of the Newsprint Legion book during the first year of the Baxter book and it was horrible. That’s where the triangle stuff was in. She had good moments in the Great Darkness saga I think, but so did every legion member.

    Helix is an Outsiders villain team that got sent to the wrong address.

    JLA artists: there’s a world where Alan Moore was offered JLA around this time, so there’s probably worlds where Dave Gibbons is tapped for the art with or without Moore. Probably too many knock-on effects, but that’s the general idea, they should have poached another artist off 2000 AD.

    1. I will disagree with Jeff here that the Dawnstar/Brainiac 5 story in Tales was bad. Sure, works better as a Star Trek story than a Legion one, but it had great Dan Jurgens art and paid attention to Dawny who, we can agree, didn’t get the spotlights she deserved. There’s a Dawnstar back-up in one of the LSH issues prior drawn by Gene Colan, but it’s a dramatic moment with her parents, I wouldn’t call it a great showcase.

  11. Thanks for another fantastic and fun episode fellas. The Who’s Who Review has become one of my favorite podcasts. The randomized entries are a lot of fun. I like not knowing who’s coming up next.
    Regardless of who was the regular artist of The Justice League of America, DC owed it it to the team’s legacy to get the right artist to draw their entry. It should have gone to George Perez, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Jerry Ordway or Chuck Payton. It was DC’s premier team with their premier characters. If they were only going to highlight the current roster, then McDonnell would have been an ok choice. This was a wasted opportunity to create the greatest JLA image odor the company’s 50th anniversary.
    Both Atom and The Flash had sad endings just prior to Crisis. They both disappeared without any effort from the JLA to find out what happened to them.
    For some reason, every time I see The Ghost Patrol entry I think they’re WWII fighter pilots. I have no idea why.
    I’m always going to remember Dan the Dynamite for his remark to the other sidekicks at the big meeting of The All-Star Squadron in issue 31. “None of you guys even has a special power. But TNT and me…”. I always felt it put that smug Robin in his place!
    Moving on, Rob, I vote yes on getting Mr Glover to sign a Floric Man entry. I’m right there with you when it comes to getting a celebrity I’m a fan of something out of the ordinary to sign. It shows you’re a fan of their work. When I had the opportunity to meet Nick Castle (original Michael Meyers/director of The Last Starfighter) I found a copy if T.A.G. The Assassination Game on DVD for him to sign. His face just lighted up. He began discussing the it with the crowd. It was a great moment.

  12. Useful tip for Shagg…

    Just like I taught you how to remember Lara rhymes with Kara, Metron is like metric. If not, metric would be pronounced “mi-trick.”

    Also. Rob, turn Florida blue….for all mankind!

  13. Still listening, but JLGL (PBHN) should have done the JLA piece. OR, ask George Perez to NOT draw every member of the Brotherhood of Evil, and draw the frickin’ JLA. I have never been a big Luke McDonnel fan. I think this piece is fine, but not the KAPOW piece this team deserved.

    1. Yeah, I think Perez should have one the ENTRY, at least. Big crowds are his thing. Chuck Patton had recently been the artist AND originated the new Detroit characters, so I think he would have been a good bargain choice.

  14. I’m glad my Who’s This? entry for the Ghost Patrol helped Shag. They were part of my “obscure characters” run of the feature, before I decided, ahh screw it, let’s do EVERY entry. I’m currently in the middle of writing the Floronic Man entry – what a coincidence! But yeah, Ghost Patrol does have to be taken in context of the comic it was published in. It was definitely a send-up, with the Axis powers shown as buffoons. There’s at least one story where they prank Hitler. In context, it was the comedy strip in Flash Comics, which was mainly straight superheroes. A lot of books had that change of pace strip. Midnight (in Smash Comics) is another that you expect would be a pulpy Spirit clone, but no, it’s a zany comedy.

    Like Rob, I was surprised the Electrocutioner was a vigilante rather than an straight super-villain.

    Little Cheese: No one wants to mention why his death is as objectionable as it is, so I’ll say it. He was eaten by Alley-Kat-Abra. The destruction of 2 characters! It really is Earth-C’s Identity Crisis.

    Mother Box: Well clearly, the guy in the lower left-hand corner CAN’T BE Ben Boxer, since Ben is from Kamandi, not the Fourth World. I always assumed it was Scott Free, who also had access to his box on his shoulder like that, but the blank eyes are really not Scott’s. Just a random New God?

    See my Dawnstar “definitives” under my response to Jeff, above.

    And like Isamu said, Itty was more akin to Topo than he was of Quisp. He was one of the “forgotten” characters in Ambush Bug #3, which is the first place I ever saw him. The next one after that was when he evolved into this cosmic giant, which… ok.

    1. Re: Mother Box, I think it is Scott Free in the lower left corner. I never read it as blank eyes, but rather his eyes are lidded over as he is looking down.

  15. Jennifer Morgan did ineed appear in Justice League Unlimited, in the episode “Chaos at the Earth’s Core”. We just recently covered this on JLUCast just a month or so ago, which proves that neither of the network founders listen to my show. I will go suck my thumb in the corner, while I listen to their reheated Who’s Who show, and continue to comment on it.

    The Golden Age/Earth-Two Atom Al Pratt also has two costumes in full color in his entry. BUT he was appearing in both, with the full-masked “wrestler” work currently on display in All-Star Squadron, and the later, fin-head helmet gear showing up on occasion in Infinity, Inc.

    Electrocutioner’s initial design, created by Irv Novick (and not Roy Thomas) was quite different, and oddly enough, had a very similar color scheme and silhouette to the later Adrian Chase Vigilante. So maybe someone decided he needed to look visually different from his opponent when he showed up in the later’s title:

    Electrocutioner original look

    I always preferred Red Star’s first costume as well. It looked like a military super hero. That first story in the original TT #18 is one that isn’t mentioned often in the wave of “socially relevant” comics of the time, but it really does read well, and tries to bridge some gaps between countries in conflict.

    The story behind that TNT piece is extraordinary! Did you notice the circles for the Secret ID vignettes are drawn in ink next to the figures? And they are indeed printed in black outline like the heroes. Very intersting.

    Xum and Isamu continue to impress of course. I need to get my letter in!

    1. Oh, and I forgot to add another DC feather in John Glover’s cap: He was the voice of the Riddler on BTAS. I’d definitely get him to sign my Mint on Card Kenner Riddler action figure!

  16. 1. The Sword of the Atom version of the Atom was a super-cool iteration. I preferred it to his old costume, and really wish he’d return to it. That version of the Atom would have a sudden new shared interest to buddy up with Hawkman (shared fascination with melee weapons). Hell, he’d probably suddenly also have a renewed interest in Green Arrow’s fave weapon, because they’d be suddenly vitally important to him.

    2. Dawnstar (and Angel) losing their wings — I suspect that artists decided to give up on doing wings! Didn’t Hawkman & Hawkwoman get mechanical looking wings around the same time?

    Also: “How to people talk to fish?” “That’s just science.” Bwahahahaa!

    3. I liked the name of the Electrocutioner, but preferred the later look as well.

    4. I wasn’t so impressed by the character in the original Who’s Who, though I liked the art. And THEN I read the Saga of the Swamp Thing. Especially “The Anatomy Lesson”. Who’s Who page for signature: +1 Vote!

    5. I used to prounounce Darkseid as “Dahrk-SEED”. That was before I learned German in high school.

    1. A) Mother Box — yes, I remember reading the older Mister Miracle comics and saw how Scott powered up the Mother Box with his love and belief. It — felt a bit weird.
      B) Dan the Dyna-Mite and _Golden Age_ . Brrrrrrr. That was the second time I got a chill down my spine reading that story. The most powerful chill was when the Dolores Winter name was mentioned, and that was also because of my familiarity with the entry in Who’s Who.

  17. Thanks for another great episode and a ton of laughs.

    Atom – I scored all those Sword of Atom issues – both miniseries and specials – in some dollar boxed a while back and liked them more than I thought i would. Pretty fun stuff. It is ironic that the whole thing starts with Jean divorcing him. AND SHE WAS NEVER SEEN AGAIN!

    Dawnstar – I think Sherman doesn’t get enough love as a Legion artist. His stuff is solid, as it is here. If anything, I feel like the art is almost too small although I guess with full wingspan she would have to be small. I love Dawnstar. I don’t like Bendis’ change of technologic wings. I thought her switch to ‘Bounty’ in 5YL was interesting. And I love her relationship with Wildfire. A stand-out Dawnstar story might be Tales of the Legion 321-323, a sort of solo story.

    The Floronic Man – the Millennium comment was laugh out loud funny. He is truly psychotic in Moore’s Swamp Thing, basically blowing up Houma Louisiana. Interesting he was made a hero.

    Helix – Ahhh Roy Thomas and puns. Tao (asian philosophy term) Jones like Dow Jones the stock market index. Penny Dreadful! Baby Boom! It’s comical … but not because the names are funny. Infinity Inc. got a major push with the Crisis getting no less than 8 crisis crossovers! EIGHT! And Helix was all over those books. Too much of a bad thing.

    Justice League – did you know Snapper Carr was a character on the Supergirl show. But really Snapper Carr in name only, playing a newsroom producer.

    As for the John Glover autograph …
    When I go to comic conventions I always try to bring a favorite issue that might not be too famous for a creator to sign. The oddball pick always gets a look/question/knowing nod. I mean I am sure Jim Starlin signs a metric ton of Infinity Gauntlet books. But DCCP #28, the Supergirl issue? Not too many. So I am with you there Rob.

    I’ll also say that I had Laura Vandevoort (who played Supergirl on Smallville) sign a Smallville comic with Supergirl on the cover and she was pretty pumped to see it and was glad the character was still getting some love. So I say go for it. But I wonder if he’ll even know the connection!

  18. Great episode. I’m late, but yeah, there’s another entry where the main image depicts two versions of the character, and it’s the Al Pratt Atom entry, on the page facing the Ray Palmer Atom one. Whoops!

    The Electrocutioner was brought back into the Batman-villain fold in the early ’90s, when Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle did a great story arc featuring him and another electrical-powered villain. Shortly after that, he showed up in some early issues of the Robin ongoing series, now fully villainous and teaming up with the Cluemaster. (He even makes a comment about he was a sucker for not being a criminal from the start.) Those were my comics glory days, so the details are imprinted on my cerebellum.

    I also remember Itty from the Ambush Bug “Where Are They Now?” issue, possibly the funniest comic book I’ve ever read. And, maybe I’m crazy (well, I am, but you know what I mean), but I have a distinct memory of Itty appearing in the old 1960s Green Lantern cartoon. Did Hal have a sidekick of some kind there? Is this something I could easily check via the Internet instead of asking here?

    “Millennium made him a household name.” I’m reminded of my past magazine-editing career, when I was editing a piece by a less-than-objective writer, who declared that some band that 99.9999% of humanity had never heard of had “changed the world forever.”

    1. The Filmation Green Lantern’s sidekick was named Kairo, who was from Venus (essentially Tom Kalmaku redrawn as a blue alien). They acquired an alien bird mascot named Beepy at the end of the “Sirena, Empress of Evil” episode, which resembled a red owl. Perhaps that is the “Itty” you were thinking of?

  19. 1) I’ve been resistant to Who’s Who Review, I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep listening, and I do think I kept my resolve not to comment on the first episode (not checking/don’t care.) But you’ve explained all the rationales, I’ve accepted my addiction to most FW Podcasts Who’s Who content, and I can see the value of a fresher non-marathon pass under better recording conditions. But also, extras like Yukinori Family DC Dollar Comic Editions that expand the line-up of subjects go a long way toward validating AfterW*H*O. I’m still going to offer myself as a co-host and editor if any FW All-Stars ever wants to start a Secret Files podcast that actually continues the mission statement of Who’s Who past 1990, the point where Rob’s DC fandom died before beginning his own personal Ghost Patrol of Silver-Bronze material. This will not be my last such proposition of this comment thread.

    A) Shrinking characters are such a classic comics trope that I don’t know how often we stop to think that none of them have been truly successful since the Golden Age. Doll Man was the rare titular hero of his own book that survived into 1953, plus 113 appearances in Feature Comics, mark him as one of the true greats of that period. No shrinker since has come close, and let’s be honest, 38 issues of The Atom in the Silver Age is pretty pathetic. I mean, Ant-Man has nothing on Ray, but Palmer is closer to the Metamorpho end of the spectrum than a Firestorm or Aquaman.

    Sword of the Atom certainly refreshed the concept, but it also had a limited shelf life. Barbarians were big in the early ’80s, but Atom’s impact was small within that genre. Really, what’s the point of having these types of adventures within the very narrow scope of a tiny Amazonian civilization with one yellow-skinned alien race? Conan had the whole world and his own Hyborian Age, and while Sword of the Atom pushed the boundaries of code-approved comics, Savage Sword didn’t even bother to submit to the spinsters. I do wish that period had been given one more proper mini-series to wrap up, rather than Roger Tern literally torching the setting to regress back to Ivytown.

    For the record, it’s only been 15 months since the last episode of the Power of the Atom podcast, and its 613 episode run eclipses anything on your network. Admittedly, only 18 episodes have actually been produced, the numbering was an April Fool’s gag, all of the episodes are well under ten minutes, I probably won’t do any new ones in 2024, and I’m just going to stop talking now.

    B) I dig The Construct. It’s an evergreen concept, but I do wish they’d give him to a tech hero as a marquee villain instead of the diminishing returns of facing the J.L.A.

    C) I can see both sides of the Legion 5YL argument, but I mostly favor Rob’s take because Giffen was so ridiculously grimdark. Also, I just don’t think the Bierbaums were very good writers, and the run is sandwiched between the vastly superior Levitz run and the Archie Legion. Inarguably, both are truer to the spirit of the Legion, and far less bound to the times in which they were produced. 5YL does not hold up outside of its publication context, especially after Giffen departs, but for me the whole run is an easy pass. As for Dawnstar, I think her appeal was also a product of her time, being the years of broad support for AIM and a popular cultural fetishization of Indigenous iconography.

    D) It just occurred to me that Helix was Roy Thomas doing Mike W. Barr. Those are Outsiders villains. See also, Arak. “Sorry for the genocide. Can we interest your people in being a ’70s fad, like the pet rock?”

    E) On the Justice League of America question, my first thought was also Chuck Patton. He had moved over to the Titans office by that point, and just as with J.L.A., he could have been heir apparent to George Perez, especially with Dick Giordano inks. However, my understanding, from reading between the lines of various diplomatic comments, is that Patton had deadline issues that seemed to burn his bridges in both offices. He was so talented, could produce figures so iconic, and dude is just gone after 1985. Spot illos, a few fill-ins, and done with the industry after the 1988 Nightwing & Speedy serial in Action Comics Weekly. But I listened to Shag’s further parameters on the “who else but Luke McDonnell” question while driving to work, and immediately thought of Mark Texeira. He also had deadline issues, and wasn’t in the form that made him a personal favorite until Psi-Force, but he was still good enough to do the Masters of the Universe mini-comics and a bunch of other licensed material. At around the time of this entry, he was wrapping his run on Hex and about to move to Marvel. I think that he could have done the gritty phase of JLDetroit that McDonnell managed, but also done a killer ripped Batman and Martian Manhunter around #250. Just picture his finhawk Despero. It would have been a game-changer, and I liked the McDonnell run more than most.

    But anyway, this leads into my other proposition. I listened to the JLI episode with the Franklins covering the animated adventures, but I’m just not a big cartoon guy. My buddy’s girlfriend was taping the early episodes of Justice League off Cartoon Network, but I told her that it was okay to stop. Years later, a dollar store near me was selling VHS tapes of Challenge of the Super Friends around the same time I was getting Justice League DVDs through Netflix, and I preferred the tapes. I didn’t want to do a whole comment along those lines, so i just won’t leave one there (I did really like the handful of Brave & the Bold that I saw.) But anyway, you guys keep talking about how all the Justice League podcasts on the network are ending soonish. I’d be up to do a show covering the Morrison/Porter JLA series if one of the All-Stars wanted to upload that. The 30th anniversary is coming up in 2026. Just putting it out there.

    F) I liked that Gil Kane cover on one of the Incognito issues. Man, Xum clearly needed an alphabetically appropriate entry to buttress Itty. He must have searched long and hard before settling on him. Anyway, I was introduced to Itty via The Ambush Bug History of the DC Universe, which was the first proto-Who’s Who that I ever bought as a back issue (circa 1987.) I wouldn’t touch the rest until the ’90s, but Itty contributed to that one being a gas. In retrospect, it’s kind of amazing that Giffen missed Zook in that issue, but I guess he wasn’t in that many issues of Detective Comics, and maybe Keith passed on House of Mystery? I feel confident that Zook will eventually be represented by Yukinori Family, reason enough to keep this podcast going, in my book. However, Zook was not an imp, but rather an otherdimensional “pet,” a proper sidekick, and the only supporting cast J’onn J’onzz had in the latter years of his strip. 28 appearances, darn it!

    G) John Glover looks great for 79. No matter how many comic book movies he does, to me he’ll always be Daniel Clamp from Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

    1. Another benefit of Who’s Who Review – with only 13 entries, Frank won’t run out of letters nearly as often in the feedback.

  20. H) Oh, I forgot. You guys told me for years that the Who’s Who podcast would not end with the !mpact Universe, and I didn’t understand that what you meant is that you will never actually cover the !mpact Comics Who’s Who. I wish you’d been clearer on that absolute, unwavering denial of service. I will not be submitting a proposal to the network to participate in that one, which will never ever ever be produced anyway.

  21. Following a single character can lead to some crazy places, and yes sorry to say I’m talking about Power Girl again, but I must admit the most surprisingly enjoyable was when she appeared in Warlord (116-124 + Annual 6). The reason I’m mentioning it at all is because she ends up teaming up with Jennifer Morgan to explore the ruins of the Atlantian civilization and fight various magical threats, as assides to the main story about something or other! It’s probably the best exploration of PeeGee’s Atlantian origins, and that comes from someone who… is not a fan of the whole concept.

  22. I was just about finished writing out my thoughts about this wonderful episode. All I needed to do was fill in a few comments about the Hows and Whys. Then my browser closed on me. I lost it all. I can’t bring myself to write it all out again, but I will recreate one part:

    My wife loves the theme song. She has it pretty much memorized (after only hearing it about 5 times), and any time I get too geeky, she starts humming the intro at me.

    Thank you for creating a great way to revisit this amazing series once again.

    P.S. Little Cheese is NOT dead! Thanks to the wonderful Cartoon Physics of Earth-26/C, no one there can really die. They eventually pull themselves back together and carry on.

  23. Browsing through all the previous comments, I don’t think anyone mentioned that Itty showed up fairly recently in the anthology miniseries Legends of Tomorrow. Specifically, in the Sugar and Spike story of issue #4. That miniseries was a great value, with each issue containing four full length features, but for the price of only two, at $7.99.

  24. Did Shag really say he is still riding the sword of the Atom? You say things like that on purpose, don’t you, Mr. Matthews? I shall restrain myself from making any number of immature adolescent quips that come to mind and instead just say: Tsk tsk, sir! Tsk. Tsk.

    As for the episode: I think with Ghost Patrol and the JLA entries we have here of an artist at his best and then at his no-so-best. When given the right assignments, Luke McDonnell’s work really pops. Ghost Patrol is always an entry that sticks out in my mind, not to mention his Suicide Squad work (both the Who’s Who entries and the SS book). Specifically, his best entry in the Who’s Who series is far and away his rendition of the Duchess (aka Lashina). The dark, grittiness of his style that worked so well on Suicide Squad was simply not a good fit for the JLA (I was reading the book at the time), and his run on the book was an unfortunate pairing of a good artist with the wrong material.

    Regarding the Who’s Who entry, matters were only made worse when contrasted with the stellar JSA entry done by the legendary Jerry “The Extraordinary” Ordway. Such a letdown that the preeminent super-hero team of the DCU didn’t receive the same treatment. But, like you guys, I struggled to name someone who could have done the entry and given it the same level of iconic stature that Ordway gave the JSA. But, then I remembered the commissioned sketch of Firestorm by Chuck Patton that Shag shared on Facebook recently. Wasn’t Patton still working for DC at the time? He is arguably one of the best JLA artists to have ever worked on the book. And, he even co-created a couple of the JL Detroit characters. It seems like he should have been the go-to choice, assuming he was available and willing to do it. You guys know why he wouldn’t have been tapped to do it?

    Well, that’s all I got. Thanks for another enjoying episode and stroll down memory lane.

  25. Mother Box seems like an ideal license for a 3D-printed Raspberry Pi case.

    Helix was weird even when considered as Outsiders villains, with the dog also being ca computer hacker, and Bones being Roy’s idea of a rapper. Penny Dreadful was Bones’s secretary at the DEO for a while.

    I also love the Zoo Crew, but would kill for a Justa Lotta Animals cartoon.

  26. Great show, Rob and Shag. You guys have really become household names since Millenium.

    The Dawnstar entry is gorgeous. James Sherman is my favorite Legion artist of all time, even though he did about six total issues. And, Rob, how dare you rip the 5YL Legion? You mean you don’t like that DC took it’s bright, exciting team of the future and dragged them down into a dark, dystopian series with muddy art, overwritten dialogue, and inexplicable Shakespeare-in-the-Park attire just so they could brutalize, mutilate, and murder their characters? Well… That’s on you.

    Helix: You heard it here first, people. Rob hates dogs and babies!

    Is Jennifer Morgan’s power the ability to make cotton candy? Hope she’s monetizing that. As far as her wearing a skull chastity belt, hell yeah, it’s a good idea. Skartaris is basically Studio 54 with dinosaurs. Gotta use protection.

    I still remember being massively disappointed that they gave Luke McDonnell the JLA page. I liked him on Suicide Squad because the theme and atmosphere of the book fit his style. But, not a good fit for the League. As for who should’ve been on the JLA series at that time… maybe Dan Jurgens, Paris Cullens, Jerry Ordway, Ron Randall, or Don Newton. However, there is only one answer for who should have done the Who’s Who JLA entry: José Luis García López. It would’ve been an iconic 2-page spread and could have been used on merchandizing for decades.

  27. Where do I start? I thoroughly enjoyed the episode and love a lot of these characters. I prefer my Ray Palmer Atom to not be Conan, Ka-Zar, or the Hulk on Jarella’s world. Sorry, guys. I always thought Dawnstar had a beautiful entry. I wondered how one of the Ghost Patrol from the French Foreign Legion was named “Pedro.” I read about Helix in Infinity Inc. and felt like it was a joke I wasn’t getting. I love the Zoo Crew and am always impressed by the talents of Isamu and Xum Yukinori.

    But, let’s get to the absolute best part of this episode. My letter was read during Who’s Who How’s and Why’s. As a long listener of this podcast, I couldn’t have been more proud. I shared it with my wife and my comic book Facebook friends. I even explained to Shag that he pronounced it correctly once. “Steib” rhymes with “tribe” is what we always said growing up. I also mentioned the connection to Darkseid’s spelling and pronunciation. Shag reminded me of his long history of mispronouncing names so “Monsignor” Mallah and “Mee-Tron” just had a big laugh about it.

    Thank you, Rob and Shag, for truly making my day!

  28. Where do I start? I thoroughly enjoyed the episode and love a lot of these characters. I prefer my Ray Palmer Atom to not be Conan, Ka-Zar, or the Hulk on Jarella’s world. Sorry, guys. I always thought Dawnstar had a beautiful entry. I wondered how one of the Ghost Patrol from the French Foreign Legion was named “Pedro.” I read about Helix in Infinity Inc. and felt like it was a joke I wasn’t getting. I love the Zoo Crew and am always impressed by the talents of Isamu and Xum Yukinori.

    But, let’s get to the absolute best part of this episode. My letter was read during Who’s Who How’s and Why’s. As a long time listener of this podcast, I couldn’t have been more proud. I shared it with my wife and my comic book Facebook friends. I even explained to Shag that he pronounced it correctly once. “Steib” rhymes with “tribe” is what we always said growing up. I also mentioned the connection to Darkseid’s spelling and pronunciation. Shag reminded me of his long history of mispronouncing names so “Monsignor” Mallah and “Mee-Tron” just had a big laugh about it.

    Thank you, Rob and Shag, for truly making my day!

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