Who’s Who: Update ’88 – Volume 2

It's finally here, the second issue of WHO'S WHO UPDATE '88! Shag and Rob take a look at new and updated characters such as Icemaiden, Joker, Lex Luthor, Lori Lemaris, Miss America, and more! We wrap up with YOUR Listener Feedback!

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63 responses to “Who’s Who: Update ’88 – Volume 2

  1. Sweet! My dreams of getting a yellow dot award have been fulfilled. Now I can die a happy man…I’m realistic in my goals.

      1. Thank you very much, Al! It was great. It was put together by Houchen Bindery and the guy who came up with the idea and actually put the issues in the box on the cover was Tim Benson who works at Houchen.

  2. As hinted last time, the Omission this month is fairly Egregious, actually: The Justifiers (also known as the Heroes of Angor, passed over for the third time by Who’s Who. The first time around was understandable, as a one-off in joke alternate universe team and all. The second time, maybe, with only one post-crisis appearance. But by this time the two living members, Bluejay and Silver Sorceresss were firmly ensconced in the JLI supporting cast/reserve membership ranks. I could have felt justified making each of those Omissions of the month and Wandjina the Thunderer an honorable mention, but I’m just going to get them all together here.

    Interesting reference to the non-existent Batgirl(revised) entry in the Joker one. I wonder if that means the “is Killing Joke in-continuity” debate inside DC changed positions a couple times during the production of this series of Who’s Who…

    The Mordru backstory that gets Lords of Order/Chaos taint all over an otherwise good character was in the Amethyst miniseries, which was absolutely gorgeous art on a horrid story.

    1. Hi Jeff; think you are wrong about Blue Jay/Siver Sorceress being part of JLI membership at the time of the Who’s Who Update. They were arrested in Justice League 3 and I don’t think they appeared again until Justice League Europe 11 or 12 which is another year or so down the line. Wandjina would have appeared in the current JLI story that was taking place at the time so you could argue for his inclusion.

      1. I thought that at least Bluejay reappeared in the setup to the Wandjina story, although I could be wrong. Anyhow, omissions can be based on being destined for a greater role, especially in a case like this where it’s pretty clear that Giffen&co had plans for these guys.

        Memebership wasn’t really all that formal during this JL era at any rate, despite the fact that they were theoretically on UN salaries at the time.

    2. Oh, a late Honorable Mention for omissions this week: Nergal, one of the few recurring nemeses John Constantine would acquire, who was already deeply tied into his storyline by this point. (We are still pre-Vertigo here, and as we’ll see from the first entry next week, being proto-Vertigo is no excuse.)

  3. Who’s Who Forever! I just listened and had a great time. I can post the Batman Moving play-let if you’d like to read it. Frankly, I wanted to hear Shagg and Rob as Batman and Superman with background music… but I can hear it in my mind. So, I will post my BVS moving dialogue shortly…

  4. 1) Who’s Who Update ’88 is turning me to the dark side, filling me with hatred. It’s so repetitious that I can’t comment on the show from my tablet, as I have to search through my comments on past editions to see what I have and haven’t said about the same set of characters as little as a few months apart between their entries. I’m grateful that there are only two more issues in this edition. I welcome its end.

    2) At my introduction to this cover, I considered it passable. Too light on detail and the figures too rectangular, typical of Templeton then. I think the all white background of this cover works better, since the figures pop, and Templeton had more interesting poses for them here than with the first issue. I’ve come to like it more over time, and realize one of my main issues is that I just don’t like this transitional period between Crisis and the building post-Crisis DC. The company was trying to push their The New DC characters hard, and they just weren’t impressing anyone with The New Doom Patrol, The Young All-Stars and The New Guardians. There simply wasn’t enough time between The Definitive Directory and the Updates, especially since DC opted out of picking up the slack of the first Who’s Who volume.

    A) The Secret Origins Podcast episode on Icemaiden drops tomorrow, so I’ll save my detailed comments for there. I never had much use for Icemaiden I and didn’t care when she died. Cute art on the entry.

    B) Lou Manna drew a solid Iron Munro that more strongly recalls early Superman and is more dynamic than the original entry. Manna is probably best remembered for his short stint on a similar character, Dynamo in Red Circle’s T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents revival. However, Malcolm Jones III renders Manna unrecognizable under his embellishments, which isn’t a knock, since the final piece looks good and in line with the art style on Young AS. It’s just too bad a second Munro entry wasn’t saved until the ’90s, where his ultimate role in the DCU was played out in the pages of Damage Plus, I really enjoyed Bill Marimon’s redesign of the character, and it ticks me off that the industry forgot all about him.

    C) I was a bigger fan of Kyle Baker during this period than I ever was a fan of Bill Sienkiewicz, who admittedly originated this style in comics, but was also too clearly indebted to Drew Struzan and other forebearers. Besides Why I Hate Saturn, my favorite thing Baker ever did was a Dick Tracy mini-series where the coloring was so uncommonly beautiful I thought he might actually be taking pictures of skin and superimposing drawings over it Kirby style. (I just looked, and it was probably just map pencils & water colors.) The comics were better than the movie they were supporting, certainly. Baker was also inking Web of Spider-Man in its early years, when it and Spectacular were trying to be as cutting edge as they could manage and still be about Spider-Man. I do recall Baker doing a lot of Joker merchandise during Batmania ’89, but I only ever owned the Bolland holding-up-his-hair-and-cry-laughing shirt that I wore until it fell completely apart. Like Watchmen, by the time I read The Killing Joke in ’91 or ’92 (4th printing? 7th?) it was too late to be any kind of shock to the system. I agree with a number of modern/revisionist assessments that it remains a high water mark as one of the best illustrated works of all time, but the story was needlessly gross and mean-spirited.

    D) I appreciate your schematics of the JLI Embassy on the off chance I ever need that attention to detail for something. The actual JLI entry is a mite too “indy” hipster for my taste, with the funky lettering and floating heads. The main image is pleasant enough while reminding me that I dropped the book before the Adam Hughes run because Templeton wasn’t cutting it for me.

    E) That Karma surprint with the gray/zip tones is one of the best things I’ve ever seen Erik Larsen draw, but why isn’t there a teenaged Vietnamese woman anywhere to be seen?

    F) I got Batman #401-403 out of a grocery store three-pack, then bought the last chapter of Year One at a Waldenbooks, then got a copy of (I think) #411 out of a discount dinged bin at Third Planet before a big gap until the start of A Death in the Family. I was unaware KGBeast even existed until years later, like a “Knightfall” tie-in or that issue of Aquaman with NKVDemon that was the only one I bought new in that entire run. KGBeast was referenced as being totally hardcore, but in my every exposure to the character, he’s just a big doof with a bad accent in the periphery of stories involving bigger names. I do recall seeing some back issues of “Ten Nights of the Beast” at inflated prices, but for the first time ever, I was disappointed to learn Jim Aparo did the interiors of a book. I wanted cover artist Mike Zeck instead. Also, Aparo and the colorist screwed up, because the text clearly states that it was supposed to be a cable wrapped around the Beast’s wrist (based on scans I saw online.)

    G) That’s a very nice drawing of Lex Luthor in a very specific period of time. The kryptonite ring giving him cancer was a clever twist. We talked about three different Luthors in the core of Who’s Who and one in Update ’87. What’s left to say?

    H) Of all the concepts for DC to bring back Post-Crisis and inspire two entries, Little Boy Blue and the blue boys (lack of capitalization not mine?)

    I) Was the New Mutants such a success for Marvel that DC tried to carry Doom Patrol with their rejects? Again, nice art work by Larsen on a nothing character named Lodestone, which I only know because the page is sitting in front of me.

  5. On reflection it strikes me what an incredible contribution Rob Kelly makes to this and all podcasts he appears on. His wit and insight often floor me. I find his observations to be quick and deeper than most, plus his encyclopaedic knowledge of comic art is staggering. I really enjoy every episode of Who’s Who featuring Rob Kelly and the Irredeemable Shag.

      1. Wow Paul! Pander to the host much?!? You are going to swell Rob’s ego so much it’ll burst that already enormous chrome dome!! (See, that’s how you treat Rob to ensure he knows his place.)

  6. Late to the party here, but a few comments:

    Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys appeared in the Flash title, but NOT in any Flash story. They were the subject of one of DC’s short-lived Bonus Book free supplements shoved into random comics. These stories featured work by fledgling comic creators. Gordon Purcell was one of the few who went on to a long career in comics. He’s done tons of Star Trek comics for multiple publishers, and I’ve met him, and he’s a helluva nice guy!

    Man, Ice is showing some SERIOUS thigh flesh there. WOW! I never noticed it before, but that’s essentially a thong there. I always thought “Captain Atom” in this entry looked like the Peter Venkmen design from “The Real Ghostbusters” cartoon.

    I love Ty Templeton, and I really like his covers on this series, but yeah, I don’t like his JLI entry. Martian Manhunter looks as Stiers-like as he ever got. He’s either got a gut, or really bad posture.

    The stinger at the end was unusually raunchy…and funny as hell!!!

    Thanks for making my first Post-vacation Monday bearable!


  7. Another unfeasibly fabulous show, it’s great to have you back.

    I love that cover. Process of elimination, at the top of the cover, whose boots? And I’m very worried that Lori Lemaris’ wheelchair is going to roll off, I do hope they’re over water.

    I’m not sure we need the word ‘revised’ given the word ‘update’ is on the cover.

    I am sure that something like learning who your grandfather is is not worth a new entry – I’m looking at you, Arn Munro… that should have been a line in the letter column. Updates should be reserved for major changes.

    Talking of majors, Major Force should have been rendered unusable – or better yet, dead – after his cold-hearted killings.

    Mind, I’m one of those who thinks the Joker has been allowed to go too far over the line – Batgirl, Jason, Sarah Essen… these aren’t anonymous Gothamites, they’re central characters whose deaths/maimings should have seen their perpetrator at the very least locked away in a cell on the moon. And, disagreeing with Rob for the first time ever, I hate that Joker image. The Clown Prince of Crime is a skinny Minnie.

    Worse, even, than that Joker picture is the J’onn Jonzz entry, which makes our hero’s off-planet form as inhuman as his homefront look (an idea nicked from Cham of the Legion).

    I don’t care how John Byrne might justify it, Lori Lemaris was a respectable soul, who likes a nice wet polo neck sweater. No way would she not dress for the ‘camera’.

    No doubt someone above has told you the Little Boy Blues V2 appeared in the Dr Light Bonus Book in Flash #12, not an actual Flash story. And then never again. I must say, what with the original Newsboy Legion and original Blue Boys, the DCU was a bit short on bachelors, confirmed and otherwise.

    As regard Mxy, I wonder if Clark had a day off from the Daily Planet every 90 days to sort out his supernatural shenanigans. No doubt Lois could do the maths on that one.

    I love the Lords of Order and Chaos. Bring on Flaw and Child. And yessiree, the Mordru bit was new at this point.

    Are you confusing the Council from Supergirl with the gang, in your random dig? Hee.

    There was a moment in this episode when I punched the air because Shagg was so spot-on about something.

    But I forgot what it was.

  8. Ha, see, I knew someone would mention Little Boy Blue, nice one Chris.

    Forgot to say, who the heck let that JL entry pass, with the image disappearing into the fold? It’s basic Production stuff.

    My fave entry is Midnight, hands down – it’s so darn cute!

    Ice looks a bit odd, I prefer the later Who’s Who pic of her with the cute baby seal … was that Brian Stelfreeze?

    I wouldn’t allow Karma on any super-team I was running, his grooming routine is obviously lacking. Mind, he was on a super-team run by a lunatic.

    And Ronal was a doctor. How is he not a catch? In a non-fishy sense.

    There’s a mad scientist with a smiley moon on his head in that Miss America picture, how come no one mentioned that? You’re freaked out, like me, aren’t you?

  9. Great episode, fellas. Even though Shag took his standard jabs at half of the entries in this issue of Who’s Who, and more than half of of the listeners in the feedback section, I think we can all agree that Rob was a total curmudgeon during this episode.

    Icemaiden: In Tom Artis’ world, people lack a four-inch section of body mass in their torsos, like none of them have intestines. This style really soured me on the secret origin of Zatanna and Zatara.

    Justice League International: I’m split between your feelings about this one. Like Shag, I really like Templeton’s work on this entry. Like Rob, the sitcom tone of JLI was all wrong for the premiere super-team of the DC Universe. I said it on the first episode of Justice League International: Bwah-Ha-Ha Podcast (plug), Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire should have been doing BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS while a true blue Justice League made up of the vestiges of the Classic and Satellite-era teams ran concurrently. Peter David and Jim Aparo anyone?

    Karma: I was too young to sport the mohawk and leather vest look in my “rebel-without-a-cause/clue/care/conviction/car” youth. Apparently, I was a bald baby and my hair didn’t grow in until I was four or five years old. I must’ve overcompensated because by the time I was a teenager in the ‘90s, I was all about the Seattle grunge sound, growing my hair to my chin, dressed in flannel shirts and blue jeans with holes in the knees.

    Miss America: The patriotic symbolic hero lends itself best to superior human strength and endurance, because that’s what we associate with the spirit of our nation. I understand the want to give Miss America a more visually distinctive power set, because DC’s most iconic female heroes are already defined by super-strength or fighting ability (Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Hawkgirl, Supergirl, Batgirl, Power Girl). But the transmutation thing is so far from the essence of the national hero to be simply dumb. If she was meant to be a replacement for Wonder Woman in the Justice Society, give her the powers of Wonder Woman. Is it boring? Sure. Too bad.

    If you want to give Miss America an ever-so-slightly more unique or visually distinctive power set, make her a truly inspirational hero. Give her psionic powers to inspire men and women to fight harder or rally around a cause. She gives heroes a power boost sort of like how the Blue Lanterns can supercharge the Green Lantern rings. Don’t like that idea? Try this one. Her origin had her receiving wisdom from the Statue of Liberty. Short of riding the statue into battle to the tune of Jackie Wilson’s “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher”, give Miss America Lady Liberty’s torch, or something similar, that has vaguely defined powers like Alan Scott’s ring or Ted Knight’s Cosmic Rod.

    Nightwing: The original Perez-designed Nightwing costume is the only version I’ve ever liked. Not love. Not even “like-like”. Mere friendzone-like. Robin is one of favorite DC characters, be it Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, or Tim Drake, but once any of them graduate or die or appear in the New 52, I lose all interest.

    Iron Monroe/Neptune Perkins/Young All-Stars: I know Roy Thomas created these characters as stopgaps for all of bleeding wounds Crisis inflicted on his Earth 2 continuity. Ironically, the only way the Young All-Stars would ever appeal to me would be as an alternate universe Super Friends from Earth 17b or something.

    “Women are Refrigerators” was a popular refrain from every standup comic from 1993 to 1996. They’re both cold, they both provide food, and you can stare at both for twenty minutes and not see the thing you really need. Now let’s move on to jokes about psychiatrists and how people of different races act differently around the police.

    1. Artis improved, over time. His work on the Impact line The WEB was much better than the stuff here and Secret Origins. However, it always remained very stylized.

  10. On Neptune Perkins: I didn’t catch how dense this was with literary references. While Shag cited almost everything else, I just wanted to call out Arthur Gordon Pym, from Edgar Allen Poe:

    “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is the only complete novel written by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The work relates the tale of the young Arthur Gordon Pym, who stows away aboard a whaling ship called the Grampus.”

    A seminal work that a number of horror authors have alluded to in their stories.

  11. Finally, Who’s Who has come back to the Network (to swipe from The Rock)!!!

    I like the Ty Templeton cover. I was luke warm to Templeton, back in the day; but, he really grew on me over time. I think it took the over-rendered 90s to really get me to appreciate the power of simple linework.

    I bought a copy of Gladiator and read it, a few years back; excellent read, though the ending doesn’t quite work. It is obvious that Wylie factors into Superman, quite a bit. Gladiator features many of the super feats, while When World’s Collide factors a lot into Krypton and the rocket to Earth (it’s also at the heart of the beginning chapters of Flash Gordon). Jon Carter is another big influence, with the lighter gravity and leaping, plus elements of Doc Savage. Marvel adapted the story in Marvel Preview #9, the black & white magazine series. It was adapted again in Legend, at Wildstorm.

    KGBeast looks like he’s supposed to be tag-teaming with Ivan and Nikita Koloff (of 80s World Championship Wrestling fame). Oy, KGBeast and NKVDemon; I said it elsewhere, be glad DC stopped before we got a pak of Russian assassins, called the Cheka-Board.

    Loved Manga Khan and L-Ron. I’d watch a weekly tv series with those guys.

    The Manhunter mask was a mail away premium, as I recall (subscription maybe?). The costume was greatly inspired by the Japanese superhero tv show Kamen Rider (Masked Rider). In that opening Dumas story, when they are in Japan, the name is called out by the crowd. I spent a day talking to Doug Rice about the book, at a local convention, as he drew me a Manhunter pencil sketch. He was a big fan of those tokusatsu shows, like Kamen Rider, Kikaider and the Super Sentai shows, which spawned the Power Rangers. of course, Rice’s Japanese inluences were well displayed in Dynamo Joe, at First Comics. I was reunited with Rice the following year and got a sketch of Prvt. Pomru, the cat-alien character from Dynamo Joe. Rice went on to work at Warner animation, on Pinky & the Brain, which was comics’ loss.

    Glad you like this Shag; I’ve never been a fan of Austen’s artwork (or Beckum, as I first knew him). He was a rather abrupt (and short-lived) follow-on to Alan Davis, on Miracleman and this does nothing for me. It’s a bit of an awkward pose. It’s no Jack Cole. I’d rather have seen Mike Parobeck or somebody like that. Actually, now that I think of it, given that DC used some indie artists on these, BC Boyer, who did Masked Man, at Eclipse (which was a Spirit riff).

    Funny you mentioned Michael Pollard, since he played Mxyzptlk in the Superboy tv series. The 40s Mxy stories were pretty good and I’ve read a couple of good ones in the 70.

    Nemesis was a great concept that never quite jelled. i always enjoyed Dan Spiegle’s art, even if he was more of an old-school stylist. he was a darn good storyteller, which aided the so-so stories.

    Neptune Perkin’s future is left out. After the war, he gave up the superhero world, and a bit of hair and moved into broadcasting, using his given name of Jack and would end up a host on the A& E Network.
    Meanwhile, it sounds like Roy Thomas was channeling Philip Jose Farmer, in that character history.

    I loved the Newsboy Legion in Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen stories and Karl Kesel used them well in his Superman stories.

    Collen Doran draws a great Nightshade; but, I didn’t care for this version of the character. She started well, in Suicide Squad; but, it got a bit too supernatural, for my tastes. I liked her better as a sort of spy.

    I liked Nightwing’s costume, apart from the feathers. The collar said “circus,” to me (especially in light of Deadman). I definitely prefer it to later versions (and the mullet).

  12. Back to Update Hatey-Hate, Number Two

    3) I second Martin’s emotion: The Joker trespassed too far too often in too short a span of time, even if you wipe the slate at Batman #450 where they maybe killed and replaced the original Joker. Would it have killed DC to have other Batman rogues kill some of those supporting characters? For instance, Killer Croc got to kill Jason Todd’s parents Pre-Crisis, only for The Joker to kill his mother and Jason himself Post-Crisis. At least his dad was offed by Two-Face.

    4) In the midst of all this hoity-toity Philip Wylie Gladiator pictureless novel talk, I’d just like to point out that it was also adapted into a comic book by Howard Chaykin and Russ Heath in 2005’s Legend, through Wildstorm.

    J) I see value in the concepts of the Kali Yuga and the Lords of Order & Chaos.

    K) The first Post-Crisis Superman comic I read (and the first I’d wanted to buy in years) was a dinged discount copy of the John Byrne Lori Lemaris story. I enjoyed it well enough to start buying both Superman and Action Comics off the newsstand for about six months. It was the year of Superman’s 50th anniversary, and the last instance of his being my favorite super-hero for a given period. I recall being miffed with Maury Povich for making a snide comment about The Man of Steel back when he hosted A Current Affair, and I watched the CBS TV special on a black & white television while living in the desert. I bowed out sometime around the release of The Quest For Peace, though. Anyway, the romance comic was affecting, and Lori really should have gotten an earlier entry on the strength of her dozens of Silver and Bronze Age stories. There must have been something in the water in 1959, as (the Princess Diana) Wonder Girl’s sometime boyfriend Mer-Boy debuted mere months later. I expect Lori inspired Superman’s red trunks to counter his collegiate blue balls, as the alternative would have Clark eating fish tacos.

    L) I dig Major Force, which makes me a hypocrite for all the smack I’ve talked about Venom, since Clifford Zmeck is Eddie Brock in every way that matters (with some proto-Carnage besides.) Also, it was a combination of the violent demises of Captain Jean DeWolff and Zmeck’s murder victim that blunted the potential shock of Killing Joke, as they were my introductory women in refrigerators (Force at least threatened to do that to Guy Gardner’s mom, and also killed Arisia, but through suffocation I think.) Besides being a perfectly awful unsympathetic villain with similar origins to but different powers than his heroic mirror self Captain Atom, Major Force also has that eye-catching distinct color scheme. As for Brad Vancata, I’ll always associate him with Rob Liefeld through his coloring on The New Mutants in its Chromium Age peak and for doing most of the X-Force trading card set (which I still own.) I want to say that he was the first colorist I ever remember signing their work.

    M) Manga Khan was mildly amusing, but his initial story marked my first jumping-off point on JLI when Kevin Maguire took an extended break.

    N) I was very into the opening story arc of Manhunter ’88, but a mix of poor newsstand distribution and the book jumping the shark at only the fifth issue means I wish it had just been a mini-series. I might have thought differently if I’d gotten a subscription through DC Comics, which was how you got that cardboard mask Shag mentioned (I’ve never even seen one.) I loved Mark Shaw’s complex, troubled history, Dumas’ fixations, the Japanese setting, Doug Rice’s early uncommon manga influence, and the concept of a super-bounty hunter. Unfortunately, most of that got dropped within the first year in favor of near constant crossovers and the desperate return of a Dumas in the final story arc. In the years since, Mark Shaw’s history became increasingly convoluted with bouts of presumed death and homicidal insanity, so he’s not exactly viable anymore. I still like that costume though, and I even had an off brand action figure around 1989 that I suspect might have stolen Rice’s design.

    O) Nice enough drawing of the Manhunters if you can forget Kevin O’Neill drew their first entry and this revision is all about Millennium, not to mention the Manhunters get a two page spread in Who’s Who. A bit much to ask.

    P) I contest no facts presented on the podcast related to the Martian Manhunter entry. I would dispute Rob’s claim that J’Onn J’Onzz is a pillar in the DC Universe though, given that the DCU has stood up without him for a whole lot of years. I’d like Rob’s statement to be be truer, but it’s not so. Rob also said that this was “the” Who’s Who entry for the character, but the version in The Definitive Directory was perfectly fine. This is just a Revised Entry in an Update covering a recent mini-series, reflected in the art, which is nice enough under those terms. Interested parties can listen to J.M. DeMatteis discuss his work on that book in The Martian Manhunter’s 60th Anniversary Special Part 1 podcast, starting at 58:42.

    Q) Man, I’d like to read that Midnight book drawn by Chuck Austen in 1988 that doesn’t exist. I’ve tried to read Spirit stories now and again, but they don’t seem to grab me. I’ve liked the few Jack Cole Midnight stories I’ve tried. He’s a kick.

    R) How am I supposed to take Miss America seriously when she didn’t make The Definitive Directory? Nothing to add to my Secret Origins comments.

  13. Oh, and I forgot, yes, Nightwing does look a bit stumpy. It happens to the best artists. Occasionally scale gets away from them a bit. I remember a Perez Cyborg where his legs were REALLY short for the rest of his body.

    Other than that, the Nightwing piece is fantastic. I like his disco costume! And I always knew those were wings. So there. Perez even designed them to work as a glider, like later versions of the costume, but they just never used it in the comics with the disco suit.


  14. There’s are wings, there, Chris? I see the feather effect, but nothing that could extend outwards (or-er missus) and allow him to fly.

    While I loved that Dick honoured his World’s Finest pal Superman with his new hero name, I wish he’s gone for Flamebird, after his Eyrie chum Jimmy, allowing him to stay a bright hero. Going for a dark ID was too Bruce, Dick was always meant to be the light in the dark of Gotham city.

    I completely forgot to say how great Xum’s contributions were, as ever. I remembered Master Villain immediately, that was a great period for the Flash.

    1. I couldn’t figure out how those wings would work, but Perez said he intended them as glider wings. I believe he mentioned it in Glenn Cadigan’s Titans Companion book. They worked it into Dick’s second costume that Tom Grummet designed. The one that kept the disco color scheme, but streamlined out the high collar, etc.

      Oh, and yes Xum’s stuff was fantastic as always. I remember the Master Villain too! I have those two Flash issues he was in.


  15. I loved these Ty Templeton covers back in the day. Still do, they’ve held up very well. His style is so clean and crisp. There are a number of artists working in that style in comics today; it seems to be a popular style now and I couldn’t be more pleased. Artists like Javier Rodriguez (Spider-Woman) and Chris Samnee (Daredevil and Black Widow) are two of the best working today and they seem to be spiritual successors to guys like Templeton.

    Tom Artis really messed with the proportions on that Ice Maiden entry. Everyone’s waists are ridiculously tiny. Love the character though, and I’m still hoping DC gives us a Fire and Ice book (or mini series) one day, with Kevin Maguire on art.

    Shag, you cracked me up. After telling us you weren’t going to spend much time on some of these, including Iron Munro, you then spent a large amount of time on Iron Munro. That’s okay, your enthusiasm for it was infectious! I never read Young All-Stars but you make it sound like a decent comic. Still, I’m glad Rob said “Let’s move on.”

    I remember not loving this Kyle Baker Joker entry at the time, but now I can respect it artistically.

    I can see both Rob’s and Shag’s points on the Justice League entry. It’s a lot of fun, especially those floating heads along the sides, but it’s not the most dynamic entry for the company’s premier team either.

    Larson’s surprint in the Karma entry is sharp, and against all my better judgment I like this entry a lot. Go figure!

    “Ten Nights of the Beast” from the Jims – Starlin and Aparo – was INSANE. I remember finding it wacky as hell back when it came out and a reread a few years confirmed that, yep, it’s INSANE. And as much as I love Aparo, but that series was not his finest work. Mike Zeck drew a series of phenomenal covers for that run and they’re still some of my favorites.

    As always, what more can we say about Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Praise Be His Name? His Luthor page is just fantastic.

    I nodded off during Shag’s monologue about the Lords of Chaos and Order. Did I miss anything?

    I’m only an hour in and still have nearly two more hours to go – my goodness you gents can TALK! I’ll be back if I have anything salient to add.

    Great job, as always!

  16. Here is the “Batman Needs Help Moving” play-let that Shag mentioned. Please enjoy…

    [Batman dials a number on the Batphone.]
    [Ring, ring, ring…]
    SUPERMAN: Fortress of Solitude.
    BATMAN: Hey, Superman. It’s me, Batman. What’s happening?
    S: Hey Bats. I’m just taking a Friday afternoon off from protecting the planet I love. What are you up to?
    B: Oh, not much. Not much. Hanging out. Yeah… Wayne Enterprises is pretty much up and running.
    S: Oh, cool. Yeah, it’s a heck of a building. Did you design that?
    B: No, no. It was a friend.
    S: Oh… [AWKWARD PAUSE] How’s Robin?
    B: He’s well. Thank you for asking… Um, yeah, so… what are you doing this weekend?
    S: Protecting the world, mainly.
    B: Awesome, awesome… More specifically, what are you doing tomorrow morning around 7-ish?
    S: [TENTATIVE] Um, not sure… Why do you ask?
    B: Well, uh, I have to move the stuff from my Batcave over to the new hideout at the Wayne building. I was wondering if you could help a brother out.
    S: Umm…
    B: If we both put our backs into it, it shouldn’t take any time at all. The dinosaur breaks down into five easy pieces.
    S: What about that giant coin?
    B: You can roll that.
    S: Hmm…
    B: Plus, get this– there’s a McDonald’s right next to the building. I know you love those Egg McMuffins. Breakfast on me.
    S: Well, I do like an Egg’a’muffin…
    B: What do you say?
    S: Umm… well… [LONG PAUSE]
    B: Supes?
    B: What’s that? What are you doing?
    S: [BEEPING STOPS] Oh no! That’s the… Kandor Alarm!
    B: The what?
    S: The Kandor Alarm! There’s an emergency!
    B: Really?
    S: I have to contact Jimmy Olsen and reform the team of Nightwing and Flamebird!
    B: Who? What are you talking about?
    S: [BEEPS LOUDER, THEN STOPS] Did you hear that? It’s worse! I have to shrink down and go to Kandor. I might be some time… In fact, probably 3 or 4 days. I should be back by… Tuesday.
    B: Look, if you don’t want to help…
    S: [VOICE FADES AS HE SPEAKS] Up up and away!
    [The Phone doesn’t hang up.]
    B: Hello… Hello. Supes, you didn’t hang up the phone. Are you still there?
    [Long Pause. The sound of a phone receiver fumbling around is heard. Then, the receiver is loudly dropped.]
    S: Goddammit.
    [There is a quick whoosh, followed by a dial tone.]
    B: OK… I wonder if Barry is on monitor duty this weekend. Hmm, maybe he’ll have Wally with him.
    [Sound of Batphone being dialed.]

    Never fear! Batman was able to get The Flash and Kid Flash to help him move. Batman bought them 2 Egg McMuffins each. The move took a total of 3 ½ minutes. They were done before the McMuffins arrived.

  17. Holy cats! This comment page is going to require that I get a second mug of tea…

    I just wanted to comment on Lex Luthor. Excellent image by JLGL!, but I wanted to forward this question specifically to Rob: do you think John Byrne based his depiction of post-Crisis Lex Luthor on actor Albert Finney? Byrne’s bald Lex looks an awful lot like Finney’s Daddy Warbucks from “Annie”, at least to me anyway. Maybe I should dig up some pictures for evidence…

    1. I found this image of Albert Finney (http://movieactors.com/photos-stars/albert-finney-annie-1.jpg) and this one (http://showbizgeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/albert-finney-daddy-warbucks.jpg), which might look like the Luthor from this famous scene (http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/waitress3.jpg).

      Granted, I think Byrne played with his look, but there was something in the eyes that made me think of Albert Finney.

  18. Funny… I always thought Nightwing’s yellow costume elements were feathers. Now, looking at the design again, I wonder why…

  19. Re: Xum’s entry for Master Villain-Listening to the episode, I was foggy about the character, seeing the entry and reading the text brought it back and put a smile on my face. I remember that story (Flash 248), Barney and that whole era of the Flash. Loved that! That wasn’t long after the story of the Top’s revenge, from beyond the grave, where he had planted bombs throughout Central City, just before his death. The Rogues hunt them down and collect them; but are running out of time to defuse them (issue 244).

    1. Master Villain! that brought back all sorts of great memories. That Flash comic was one of my first comics and if I recall correctly it had a scene showing Barry sorting his comic collection. I remember thinking how great it was showing an adult with a comic collection. It was also a decade or more before I found the second part of this story in a store and got to see how the story concluded. I’ll have to dig out these issues!

  20. S) I think you can tell good Mr. Mxyzptlk stories. I liked John Byrne’s pass when I was reading Superman and he was fun on Superman: The Animated Series. It’s just that he’s so much more of a gimmick that drives a story as opposed to an actual character that I see him more as a device than anything.

    T) I was big on the Legion of Super-Heroes in the post-Zero Hour period written mostly by Toms Peyer and McCraw, which included an epic Mordru story that established him as one of if not the greatest villains from that period. I thought it was cool when a 10,000 year younger version tore up the JSA in their first story arc.

    U) The Negative Man entry as drawn by Erik Larsen is not to my taste. Let me guess: this revision exists solely to remind us that Larry Trainer and everyone else on the original Doom Patrol born with a penis survived General Immortus’ trap?

    V) Nemesis got a better looking entry through association with the Suicide Squad and Kupperberg’s espionage titles. Good for him. Don’t got care.

    W) Hey look, useless proxy Neptune @#$%^&*~ Perkins gets a second ϜϞϧϠϣϟϪϬϲ϶ entry, the fourth so far specifically repeated from Who’s Who Vol. XVI (June, 1986.) This is way better than an entry from literally anyone else who appeared in a DC Comic but never got an entry. You want Slash Maraud? Let’s get a New God or some Atari Force in this spot. I don’t care if Elvira isn’t part of the Post-Crisis DC Universe! Don’t even leave the Young All-Stars title if you don’t want to. Surely there was some government liaison or extremely minor villain that would be more valuable in a reference guide than a second Neptune Perkins entry! We can do like the G.I. Joe Order of Battle and give Anthony Perkins an entry just in case he ever joins the team!

    X) I tried to see value in The New Guardians. They are at least an international super-team of almost entirely non-white characters with a destiny of greatness foretold by a reliable narrator. But see, I’ve actually read issues of The New Guardians, and they are the worst pandering, pretentious, dull, cheesy, unintentionally racist/homophobic and just plain godawful books. An amendment should be added to the articles of the Geneva Convention covering Jet’s rasta-dialogue. Floro? El Extrano? The Hemogoblin? SnowFlame? This book was so offensive and objectively terrible that the spearhead of the book was booted off partway through the second issue and the heavily marketed spin-off from DC’s biggest event of 1988 was canceled inside its first year!

    Y) I went back to my comments on Who’s Who Vol. XVI (June ’86) from which this is the fifth duplicate entry, and I quote myself verbatim, “I can’t bring myself to care even a tiny little bit about the Newsboy Legion.” Still.

    Z) Oh awesome, we’ve finally progressed to duplicate entries from Who’s Who Vol. XVIV (July ’86,) and I’ve already discussed Nightshade at length in the Secret Origins Podcast forum. I really like this character concept, costume design, and logo, plus the Colleen Doran art is freakin’ chill. How many Who’s Who entries for superheroines were drawn by two different female artists, I wonder? Eric Shanower broke the streak of girl power on looseleaf edition.

    Z+1) And now the second and final repeat from Who’s Who Vol. XVIV (July ’86,) a largely word for word repeat with new Nightwing art. It’s a quality pin-up marred by all those needless words.

  21. Brian Augustyn was the model for the cover of the Lex Luthor one shot that James Hudnall wrote.

    Aren’t embassies supposed to be in national capitals? That would make them Justice League Consulates.

    No surprints on that JLI 4 page section, either.

    Powers Boothe is basically playing Lex on Agents of Shield these days.

    The Bonus Books suffered from some really poor printing, as I recall.

    Mark me down as a confirmed Order/Chaos hater. JM deMattheis was allowed to run with this for far too many years.

    That IS the pre-Crisis history of Lori, without Ronal being an alien.

    The Manhunter surprint needed shots of all the different identities at least. The mask was a subscription promo, I think.

    You can really see Austen’s manga influences there.

    People from the old LSH-L mailing list will remember all the jokes about Mordru’s hat.

    I think the Nemesis piece would look a little better if the big circle was in black.

    Nightwing is another example of Perez designing costumes only he could draw.

    1. “Aren’t embassies supposed to be in national capitals?”

      Not necessarily, but that is usually the custom. In the US, there are nine “diplomatic missions” that are based in New York City (because of their relationship with the UN), that are also recognized as the official embassy of that country (Andorra, Samoa, and Tonga, for example).

  22. Another excellent show, Shagg and Rob (Giving Shagg first billing here as he was complaining about being referred to second during the show 😉 ).

    I spoke about Ice Maiden in my comment to the Secret Origins’ podcast and I would re-iterate here that her best costume was when Adam Hughes redesigned it. I loved her relationship with Guy Gardener as it led to some humourous situations in the JLI book (the “Guy Gardner on Ice” issue has to be one of the most funniest issues ever released!)

    Not too fond of the Joker art – to me, the definitive Joker Artist is Brian Bolland – his art on the the cover of the Greatest Joker Stories ever told that was issued in the late 80s/early 90s, where he references the Laughing Fish storyline is an excellent piece of art. Unfortunately, the Joker tends to be a bit overused these days – would prefer if he was kept off the Batbooks for 18-24 months and then bring him back for a big storyline.

    Justice League International – loved this book, but the Ty Templeton art is a bit too blocky for me. Kevin Maguire would have been a better choice obviously.

    KGBeast – 10 Nights was a great storyline – I think there was a bit of a retcon in the Batman Year 3 storyline where Nightwing accused Batman of letting the KGBeast to die, and Batman told him that he hadtold the police afterwards that he was down in the cellar and he escaped. Of course, that meant that Batman allowed the police to try and capture someone who Batman himself could not take down. I believe KGBeast came back during the Troika storyline post Zero Hour.

    I loved the redesign of Lex Luthor by John Byrne and Marv Wolfman – it was a much better foe for Superman than a mad scientist with a power suit! These days, they seem to want to have both versions at the same time but I always the businessman version.

    While Major Force was primarily a Captain Atom villain, I read more stories about him when he was an adversary to both Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner. I believe in the last Guy Gardner Warrior issue, Major Force killed Araisia, who was part of Guy’s supporting cast at the time.

    All in all, a very good episode and look forward to the next one.

  23. Yet another shameful entry in this slog of a series. Not ONLY did you not include the image of the Lords of Order and Chaos, but Rob had to shut down Shag from discussing these pillars of comic mythos! (That’s right, I can side with my ancient nemesis, the Irredeemable One, from time to time. It keeps him on his toes and lowers his guard.)

    I’m actually only half joking, because while I know NOTHING about these things I find the concepts fascinating and it did sink my heart a bit of have Rob just shut down the topic and move on. I mean the episodes are so dang short anyways, how much harm could another 20 minutes on the Lords of Order and Chaos have done?

    1. They really were fascinating, Nathaniel, check out the 16-issue run that followed the original maxi-series, as well as originally creators Mishkin, Cohn and Colon, there were contributions from Giffen, Loren Fleming and Doran.

  24. Work stuff being intense, I listened to the podcast, but the comments have completely passed me by. I hope to enjoy reading them during my retirement. So instead of commenting on each entry of note and risking repeating someone else, I’ll actually take the bird’s eye view and comment on entries NOT of note.

    Specifically, how many of the entries in Update ’88 really don’t deserve the space they’re given. There are lots of fairly minor revisions (Iron Munro, Joker, Martian Manhunter, Nightwing, etc.) and some of these feel like someone had plans for them that never materialized – even if I accept Miss Liberty (didn’t have an entry before, so that’s fine) – Midnight had only appeared in Secret Origins, and the “new” Blue Boys only in a Bonus Book… These might have been “pilots”, but seeing as these didn’t lead to any more stories, pushing them onto Who’s Who was both annoying and pointless, no matter how happy I am with the art.

    I just wonder if Who’s Who could have stuck around longer if from ’88. they’d have gone with a single, larger Annual each year, sticking to new or heavily revamped characters and doing away with the padding.

  25. Glad to finally see this ‘cast return. I was beginning to lose hope that I would ever hear y’all cover volume two, although I count it as a point of personal pride that I didn’t swing by and leave nagging comments that you were late. Anyway, congratulations on the new network! Things look spiffy and I love that there is now a one stop shop for all of my fire and water listening needs. On to the comments:

    1. The Cosmic Treadmill only goes through dimensions, not time, Shag. I appreciate you switching up the old “wayback machine” patter, but let’s be comic book accurate.

    2. There is no argument: Nightwing’s “Disco” collar is his best, and only legitimate, look. During the recent Wondercon Rebirth reveal I was flummoxed that the staff argued about whether Dick should be in red or blue. The only argument is collar or even bigger collar. Both are acceptable points of view, though.

    3. As I listened to the podcast, I blurted out, “Flipper Dipper!!” in response to your question about whether or not one of the Newsboy Legion was a scuba diver. My wife, startled by my outburst, just shook her head and called me a nerd. So, thanks for the marital discord, guys.

    4. I think we can all agree that Young All Stars was better in concept than in execution. I’ve always been a little confused, though, about why the transition was necessary at all. All-Star Squadron would have worked perfectly well without the newly off-limits “big” characters. I think Roy Thomas would have been happier and, ultimately, written a better series, if he just focused on characters like Johnny Quick, Firebrand, Liberty Belle, Hourman, and the like, without creating analogues for the supposed “big guns”.

    5. My only real concern with the JLI entry is that Green Flame’s hair is too dark. I think Rob’s concern about the entry is not invalid, but his problem seems to be more with the core concept of JLI itself less than the silliness of this entry in particular. As a side note, I really love the less powered versions of Ice Maiden and Green Flame over the more powered Fire and Ice.

    6. I will always prefer the “mad scientist” version of Lex that populated the Super Friends and my Super Powers action figure collection, but I have to confess that the art on this Luthor entry is pretty spectacular.

    7. Lodestone- Sorry, Shag. Rita Farr is the only hottie on the Doom Patrol, and even blown up on the island of Codsville she is hotter than Little Orphan Lodestone here.

    8. There is a joke about Lori Lemaris being “a piece of tail” somewhere in all of this, but I’m too sophisticated to make it. Her’s is the best entry in the book, though. Knowing that Byrne acknowledged Silver Age oddities like Clark’s mermaid mistress makes me loathe the post crisis revamp a little less and inspires me to add it to my reading list.

    9. Manhunters- I steadfastly believe that the Millennium crossover could have been something really cool. The notion that the Manhunters had planted spies throughout history and that any one of our hero’s supporting cast could rise up and betray them made for a chilling concept. Unfortunately . . .

    10. New Guardians- these guys came along and muddied the waters. They are why Millennium failed.

    11. Titans- Shag, dude! I won’t even complain about the next Who’s Who podcast being a month late if you use that free time to read the seminal Wolfman / Perez run.

    1. Hey Paul, as a man who does a domm patrol podcast I’ve been surprised by the number of Lodestone fans. There are, by my last count, two.

    2. Paul, the Cosmic Treadmill was originally and primarily used for time travel ever since it first appeared in The Flash v1 #125. In fact, the only time it was used for travelling to other dimensions was in the Crisis on Infinite Earths series, despite Kid Flash’s dialogue to the contrary…

      1. Ah, scratch that last comment. A version of the Cosmic Treadmill was used to enable The Flash to journey home to Earth One after he accidentally travelled to Earth Prime (our dimension) in The Flash v1 #177. The Flash tried to use that treadmill (which was stored in Julie Schwartz’s office at DC Comics) again when he and four other Justice Leaguers were drawn to Earth Prime due to a popular reader vote (really) in JLA v1 #153 — but it didn’t work because of unintentional interference from Ultraa…

        The Earth Prime treadmill contained some residual super-speed vibrations from the Flash’s first trip to enable Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin to cross dimensions to fight/meet the JLA and JSA in JLA v1 #123-124.

        Those four issues, and Crisis on Infinite Earths, were the only times I believe the Cosmic Treadmill was used to cross dimensions…

        There was also a time when Ralph Dibny acted as a makeshift Cosmic Treadmill to help the Flash and the JLA escape the Key’s dimensional keyhole traps in JLA v1 #150, but I am not sure whether that should count…

  26. Another great episodes guys, thank you. Having transitioned from “binge listening” to “waiting for an episode to come out” a few months ago, it’s a tough wait, but always worth it.

    I enjoyed the discussion of Miss American, and agree with you – she could have (and should have) worked as the best analog for the “missing” Wonder Woman. Here’s a Golden Age character that (despite the weird powers she ends up having), could easily fit in for Wonder Woman. You retcon her now being the (adoptive) mother of the Infinity Inc. Fury, and you’re all set. Really a nice bandaid when you think about it.

    It made my brain hurt that Hippolyta was eventually retconned into the role of the Golden Age Wonder Woman. While I actually like the idea, it just made things muddier.

    Overall, I didn’t think the Update 88 series was that great, and suggested by Siskoid, I think an Annual (or a every other year) publication would have better served the title. I also had hopes at the time that we’d see the Egregious Omissions actually get entries, but alas, but 1988, DC was completely looking ahead, as the pre-Crisis and old publishing universe was growing smaller in the rearview mirror.

    Thanks again, though, for another fun episode!

  27. In 1969, USAF Sergeant Clifford Zmeck raped and killed Elaine Allard (a crime that was witnessed by her young son Martin). Found guilty, Zmeck was given the same deal as convicted murderer Nathaniel Adam: survive having a nuke detonated under your butt and and your sentence is reduced. I don’t know if Eiling and Megala told Zmeck what happened to their previous guinea pig (as far as they knew, he was vaporized).

    With Zmeck, they used a smaller bomb and lots more of the alien metal but the end result was the same. Propelled into the future, Zmeck found the metal fusing to his body and bestowing him with powers. Unlike the return of Nathaniel Adam, the powers in charge knew Zmeck would return, and while his body was still molting, they implanted him with bombs, gas detonators, cameras, and mics.

    While Captain Atom was an effective hero, Major Force was not. The major (pardon the pun) reason was this: Nathaniel Adam was innocent of murder and Clifford Zmeck was not. The government tried to use Force as a hero, but he always fouled it up. Plus he really liked murdering ladies. Yes, it was Force that stuffed Alexandra DeWitt’s dead body into Kyle Rayner’s fridge.

    Major Force eventually escaped his government handlers. His body developed a tolerance for the knock-out gas Eiling implanted him with (he even grew to like it). He found that if he hung out with Queen Bee in Bialya, his bosses couldn’t monitor his actions. He was eventually kicked out of that country.

    Towards the end of Captain Atom’s 1988-91 series, he and Major Force (and Superman) were kidnapped by an alien called Kylstar. After they were freed, Force went voluntarily with Kylstar to become a hero on another world (something he failed at on Earth, with its large collection of women and refrigerators).

    At some point, Foce returned to Earth and I think became a mercenary-for hire. He is even used by Captain Atom at least once (hired by President Lex Luthor to take out Superman, I think). Force continued to walk a thin line between hero and villain until Flashpoint happened and I crossed my fingers for an end to the character. Alas, as Shag pointed out, he was dusted off by Dan Jurgens in the pages of Firestorm’s New 52 title. Whether or not the New 52 Major Force is the same sort of bad apple as he predecessor remains to be seen.

    But let’s never forget the first time we saw him:


  28. A brilliant show as always, gentlemen. I must admit that I have started to find less enjoyment in the Who’s Who series starting with Update ’88 due to the lack of “distant past” historical entries and encountering what was to me too many rewritten histories — but my enjoyment of your podcast has not diminished in the least.

    I am a bit late to the commenting party this go-round, to the point where my first contributory notes are essentially to clarify Shag’s remark about using the Cosmic Treadmill to travel through time. However, I do believe that there is one observation I can make about this issue that was not covered by someone else…

    NIGHTWING: Thanks to a few fellow George Pérez art enthusiasts, I managed to procure a high-resolution stat of the original black and white art for this entry, which is quite beautiful. I suspect that the Nightwing logo was originally planned by Mr. Pérez to be in the blank panel just above the Dick Grayson portrait, and that this plan was changed by the page designer since there was more space that needed to be filled. Whether this excess space was due to the copy being too short because the editors were holding off on revealing Max Allan Collins’ new explanation of how Dick Grayson left his partnership with Batman and the post-Crisis, non-Kryptonian origin of the Nightwing name is up for debate…

    Seems like I was really reaching there. Perhaps I should better spend my energy to fill out an iTunes review instead…

  29. This was another great episode guys, as many others have said. We are entering an era of DC that I really don’t care for, though, and we’re also seeing the beginnings of that overly inked and stylized 80s art that I dislike as well. Still, I’m enjoying the journey.

    A few brief thoughts: First, this version of Luthor is THE version of Luthor, or at least he would become such after being synthesized into the TAS version. Sometimes a character takes some time to develop into what they were really meant to be, and that’s the case with ‘ol Lex. There has never been and never will be a more perfect counterpart for Superman, the alien sun god, than the man who is the peak of human development and achievement. That’s a wonderfully archetypal balance of characters.

    Second, Neptune Perkins…what a Mort! I’ve never read a story with him, and though I generally love aquatic characters, this guy sounds and looks like a huge loser. He has no powers but can hold his breath and has webbed hands and feet? That’s not a superhero, that’s a sideshow!

    Third, that Topo entry is just too awesome! I absolutely love it! I love his “flexing,” as well as the other art Xum chose. It’s perfect!, and Aquaman’s eight-armed ally definitely deserved a listing.

  30. Am slowly getting caught up, and am SO late on this one that I’ve had to just skim through the previous comments for the sake of my own sanity. Apologies if others have said anything I’m about to already.

    I was a fan of Byrne’s take on Mxyzptlk, and collected all of his appearances up to the point of Superman’s death vs. Doomsday (probably a few after that, too, but that’s where it’s harder for me to be sure. Certainly that was already well after Byrne left the books). It bothered me when later authors reverted back to the old “trick him into saying his name backwards” bit without so much of an explanation, and Mxy’s misadventures at that point were even further removed from reality at that point, anyway. It just got to be too much.

    I don’t have access to the story just at present, but I think the “McGurk” reference dates back to Mxyztplk’s (note the transposition of the T and P) first appearance back in the Golden Age (which, of course, was also the source of the Animated Series version’s look for the Mxyzptlk character). Gilbert Gottfried was undeniably a perfect voice for the character.

    I’m reminded of Bat-Mite’s first appearance in the Brave and the Bold series, where he breaks the fourth wall to point out that there are multiple interpretations of these characters, and while some may well prefer the more “realistic” stories that typify other takes, the off-beat stories feature our favorite imps from the 5th Dimension are no less valid.

    As Shag often says, “find your joy!”

  31. This was one of the few issues of Who’s Who that I was able to get my hands on as a kid. Your coverage of it, however, reminded me of how much of a transition state DC was in at the end of the 80s. Things were getting a lot darker, but the weirder aspects hadn’t evolved into Vertigo yet. The Will Payton Starman and Manhunter were both titles I wanted to like but just couldn’t get into (yes, I’m listening to the podcast for both). Shag talking about Manga Khan’s rant gave me a nostalgic laugh out loud. I was walking through the grocery store listening on my earbuds so I had to ignore a few funny looks. Thanks for another good one guys.

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