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WHO’S WHO PODCAST: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe

Who's Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC UniverseThe Fire and Water Podcast Presents… WHO’S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE PODCAST OF THE DC UNIVERSE, Volume I!

It’s finally here!!! The inaugural episode of our WHO’S WHO podcast — the show that dares to tackle one of DC Comics’ greatest publications! Each episode Rob and Shag will cover a single issue of the legendary 1980s series, Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe. This time around we chat about Volume I (March 1985), discussing characters such as: Aquaman, Animal Man, Adam Strange, All-Star Squadron, The Atom, and many more!

You can find the first episode of WHO’S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE PODCAST OF THE DC UNIVERSE on iTunes. Each episode will be released as part of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST feed. While you’re on iTunes, please drop us a review. Alternatively, you may download the podcast by right-clicking here, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (41 MB).

Thanks to my co-host Rob Kelly, Sea King of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE, for doing all the post-production on this episode! Special thanks to Daniel Adams and his band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our brand-new super-hilarious Who’s Who theme song!

Have a question or comment? Send us an e-mail at:

One of the coolest aspects of each Who’s Who issue was the amazing wrap-around cover! Check out this gorgeous George Perez cover for Volume I! Click the image to enlarge.

Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe, volume 1 cover by George Perez

Finally, here is your Firestorm-related Who’s Who entry from this issue… The Atomic Skull, by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson! Our favorite hothead and Flash teamed-up to battle the Atomic Skull way back in Flash #293 (Jan. 1981). Click the image to enlarge.

Atomic Skull Who's Who entry

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  1. Siskoid says:

    Brilliant idea! I’m possibly the world’s biggest Who’s Who fan, but I’m glad for the competition. I’ll give it a listen today once I’m done with the daily bloggering.

  2. Siskoid says:

    Right away, Rob’s wrong about Who’s Who being nicher than Fire and Water. You’ve gone from 2 heroes to EVERY hero and villain!

    Aright, 1 hour 20 to go…

  3. Siskoid says:

    No images, but it hardly matters, I know my Who’s Who by heart. The first few issues especially. I could enumerate the entries in order from memory. Ok, I’ll stop interrupting and just listen.

  4. Siskoid says:

    One-hour mark: Agree with you Shag, Who’s Who #1 predates the Earth-2 Aquaman mention in All-Star Squadron. I have no doubt Who’s Who editors did not consider him a different character.

  5. rob! says:


    I still thing the WW shows will be less “popular”, simply because we’re talking about a 25-year old series that has little relevance to the current 52. And while the regular F&W show only covers two characters, they are both currently starring in ongoing books.

    But I would love to be wrong! If there’s an audience Shag and I would love to cover every single WW series!

  6. Siskoid says:

    Well guys, I loved walking down memory lane with you and the first issue of Who’s Who. And I can’t wait for the next episode!

    To answer your final question:

    I’m about Rob’s age, so I must have been 13 when it first came out, and at the time, I’d gotten the last 2 issues of Marvel Universe (pre Deluxe edition). I was such a nerd, I initially hated that it DIDN’T have the exact stats on how much any given character could bench-press, but because it was a quicker read, with better art and more characters, it soon became the favored encyclopedia series.

    I read or flipped through #1 so many times, it is literally falling apart. At my nerdiest, I would give my gang of friends superhero identities for the month (like some kind of Who’s Who Dial H version of cowboys and indians). I still miss doing that, as I miss the series (in any form, but comics are superior to loose leaf).

    Specific impressions from #1? Arrgh Flexographic! Favorite piece Ambush Bug (he was already meta in his appearances in Action at this time). Least favorite Aegeus, yeah. Between the two of you, you pretty much had similar thoughts and experiences I did with each entry. Atari Force? Read it this year, a nice surprise. Find one of my Old52 entries to learn more.

    By the way, you didn’t mention the yellow bubble page borders. I expect an update in episode 2.

  7. Frank says:

    I’m with Siskoid. Mainstream American comics are an aging medium whose youngest fans are likely in their mid-20s. Not everyone is on board for Firestorm or Aquaman, but the kind of people who frequent DC blogs are all over referencing obscurities and world exploring through stuff like Who’s Who.

    Another reason why OHOTMU was better: It still exists. They’re nowhere near as good as the ’80s editions, but the format remains relatively intact with new editions every few years. It gives the impression that Marvel cares about their history, where DC was running from it during Who’s Who. DC never reached back to the characters they missed like Marvel did, and instead ran from one reboot to another until they gave up entirely and let Wikipedia handle it.

  8. Luke says:

    Listening to the episode now. I remember running across a run of these and OHOTMU in the dollar bin at my LCS, but I ended up not buying them just because I have so many dang comics, but this podcast is making me want to go back and try to find them again! I loved hearing you guys talk about the various entries and characters.

    I do want to say that the Angle Man could be a useful villain if one sticks to his original concept as the guy who “knows all the angles.” I would use the character as a master planner type character who crooks would hire to plan their heists. He’d be super anal and pay lots of attention to even the smallest details. Like a mix between the modern takes of The Calculator (evil Oracle) and The Prankster (villain hired by other villains), but more brash and irritating.

    Just a thought!

    Thanks for the podcast guys!

  9. Frank says:

    Luke, one of the great joys of comic collecting is cracking open a Who’s Who or OHOTMU and just paging through it. Look at the variety and exceptional quality of art. Stop and read an entry that catches your attention. Flip back and forth to compare the strength levels of characters X vs. Y (OHOTMU only.) Not only doesn’t it matter if they’re out of date– it’s better if they are. All that history, frozen in amber, often at a specific high or low point. The enormous concentration of information and images is glorious. Screw Wikipedia– the day I give these away is when you know it’s truly over for me.

    Also, you called it on Angle Man. Some moron decides to make him look like an escapee from Spidey Super-Stories, and everybody forgets what his angle truly was.

  10. Keith Samra says:

    Awesome podcast Steam Boy’s. I loved it!!! I dont own any Who’s Who book’s, so im looking forward to experience them through the podcast’s if you guy’s continue on with it.

    Listening to you guy’s made me think that Who’s Who would make an AWESOME action figure maxi line!… Get me Mattel on the line!

  11. Siskoid says:

    I used to flip the pages and imagine each entry as an action figure or playset. Each with its own special feature, like light-up hands for the guys who threw energy beams and stuff.

    I tell you, the number of mental games I played with Who’s Who is almost infinite.

  12. Luke says:

    One quick note about Arak, Son Of Thunder: his book was different from pretty much every other Sword & Sorcery book which DC published in so far as it did not take place in a “fantasy” setting. It actually was an “alternate history” title, taking place in a version of the real world, save for the fact that magic existed. Arak was a Native America found as an infant by a very lost tribe of Vikings, and raised among them. As a man, he would eventually find his way to the court of Charlemagne, and have adventures in the ruins of ancient Rome as well as the Byzantine Empire. His weapon of choice was his otomahuk, a small axe (eventually known as a tomahawk in English). His companion (and heroine in her own right) was Valka the Iron Maiden, a female knight in service of Charlemagne who was brutal and deadly with a sword.

    Essentially the series gave Roy and Adrienne Thomas lots of opportunity to do historical research, and take said research and turn it slightly sideways in order to make S&S adventures out of it. It’s a good book, I think, but I like S&S, so there you go.

    (In my mind I always have said “Air-Rack” when pronouncing his name.)

  13. Luke says:

    Errr. Valda. Not Valka. Valka was the name of Kull’s god. Valda was the Iron Maiden from Arak, Son Of Thunder.

  14. Shag says:

    You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the comments! We really had a blast recording this! We’re hoping to get out another WHO’S WHO PODCAST in the next few weeks.

    Thanks again!

  15. Siskoid says:

    My contribution to the Who’s Whoniverse : Who’s Air Wave?

  16. […] My buddies Shag and Rob covered this entry on their most excellent podcast Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe.  You can check the episode the Atomic Skull was featured in by clicking on this link. […]

  17. Martin Gray says:

    OK, I’m a tad late, but it’s fun to catch up. I really dropped by to recommend the Arak series, but Luke has already said it better than I could – it really is a well-written, wonderfully drawn book with a flavour all its own. (One tiny point, Mrs Thomas is Dann, not Adrienne – perhaps Adrienne Roy was colouring.)

    I think Marshall Rogers studied architecture, which may be why he did the ASS HQ.

    I hated Sword of the Atom, it took away the point of the Atom by having everyone be the same size as everyone else. And what’s with a loincloth over tights? Plus, they made Jean a trollop.

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