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WHO’S WHO: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe, Volume XI

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 XI!

The eleventh episode of our WHO’S WHO podcast is now available — the show that dares to tackle one of DC Comics’ greatest publications! Each episode Rob and I 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 WHO’S WHO: Volume XI, discussing characters such as the Joker, Jericho, Infinity Inc., Jonah Hex, Johnny Thunderbolt, Injustice Society, and many more! We wrap up the show with Who’s Who Listener Feedback! This episode sponsored in part by!

Be sure to check out our Tumblr site for several pages from this Who’s Who issue:!

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

You can find the eleventh episode of WHO’S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE PODCAST OF THE DC UNIVERSE on iTunes. Each episode is 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 (82 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 Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our fantastic Who’s Who theme song!

One of the coolest aspects of each Who’s Who issue was the amazing wrap-around cover! Check out this impressive Paris Cullins and Dick Giordano cover for Volume XI! Click the image to enlarge.

Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe Volume XI by Paris Cullins and Dick Giordano

Here is your Firestorm-related Who’s Who entry from this issue…

Johnny Quick of the All-Star Squadron drawn by Kerry Gammill and Bruce Patterson! Firestorm met Johnny Quick in Justice League of America #207 (Oct. 1982) during the JLA/All-Star Squadron crossover “Crisis on Earth Prime!” Click the image to enlarge.

Who's Who Johnny Quick by Kerry Gammill and Bruce Patterson

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  1. Phylemon says:

    Really looking forward to listening this as I travel this week. On twitter I mentioned Jericho and Inferior Five as being my favorite entries of this issue, but I forgot about Insect Queen. Wait, she’s part of the Legion isn’t she? She is a good candidate for hottest legionnaire as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Siskoid says:

    Because I know how you like us to give a comment about EVERY. SINGLE. ENTRY…

    Cover: Did Jade feel an invisible hand touch her there? Jester and Merryman couldn’t interact? (And keep the Jericho hate coming.)

    AND ROB! LOOK AHEAD! Jonny Double starts off the next issue! Because Johnny without the H! But I’m with you, the Multiverse was much missed, though I did like how the merged timeline created heroic legacies.

    Letters page: Pronunciation guide covers issue X too, a bit weird. We could have saved a lot of grief over Hippolyta’s pronunciation. The letter about the height of characters is the most memorable letter in all of Who’s Who. I still use those stats in every day life. -Signed: A 6’4″ guy (WHAT ABOUT US, CONRAD?!)

    Icicle: Probably pronounced Yor?

    Immortal Man: Definitely on my list of Who’s This? characters (in fact, look for it on tomorrow’s blog). Interesting how the surprint goes over his face like that. It’s a rare effect. Shag is right about the logo, it first appeared in his 3rd appearance, Strange Adventures #190. Thank you, preliminary research!

    Inferior Five: Phil Foglio brought them back in his Angel and the Ape mini-series, making Dumb Bunny and Angel cousins or something.

    Infinite Man: I have a weakness for any character whose skin looks like outer space. Well, maybe not the Troia costume. But the stars are the best part of it.

    Infinity Inc.: Cramped yes, and what’s up with all the Kirby dots? Jerry Ordway is the only good thing about Infinity Inc. I’m sorry, despite my love of Golden Age heroes, I could never muster much interest in these guys. The name is part of it. I guess the fact it was a direct sales only book at a time when I had no comic book store access is probably the other.

    Infinity Inc. HQ: Ugh. Todd MacFarlane, not my first choice to do technical drawings. Why is this “shot” taken at night? It makes the colors dark and muddy. (To go deeper into your question, All-Star Comics DID appear in the 50s, #57 cover dated 1951.)

    Ininity Man: It’s the original Firestorm, Shag! Five guys become one! Sort of. Ok, tenuous connection.

    Injustice Gang of the World: Does that logo feature a wet stocking in the Atlantic Ocean? Luke McDonnell gives us an alternate take on the Suicide Squad a few years before it existed. BOO-BOO – NO FIRST APPEARANCE LISTED!

    Injustice Society of America: BOO-BOO – NO ARTIST LISTED! We’re missing a proof-reader for SURE.

    Insect Queen(s): Another supporting cast snub, Lana Lang should have gotten her own entry instead of under the crazy, seldom-used superheroic identity. Earth-2 Lana is so obscure, she’s getting a Who’s This for sure. Needless to say, that double-L logo is confusing in the Superman universe.

    Invisible Destroyer: Speaking of Who’s This, here’s a guy who only appeared once. Sure shot. No weight problem here: 0 lbs. He did appear on the Green Lantern cartoon in a more modern costume.

    Invisible Kid I: He did return in the reboots/cloning stuff, and I did like him there. They made him a pretty good hand to hand fighter, so nobody knew from WHERE they were going to get slapped.

    Invisible Kid II: My first issue of the Legion was the one where he and White Witch go to Legion Academy to get a little training right after they joined. He does become President of Earth, even though he’s got the rudest name on the planet. (And yes, he got warp powers for a while and was seen using it in recent Legion issues.) Rob, you need a pinch hitter for the Legion books?

    INTERLUDE ABOUT THE ANNUALS: I can give you the scans for all of them. I took out the relevant issues when you started the podcast. :-)

    I… Vampire: Sort of a late rip-off of Tomb of Dracula, but Tom Sutton is great at angsty, squirmy comics. I liked the New52 version too. Army of Van Helsing zombies? It was awesome. The first goodie vampire was probably… Blade? Hannibal King?

    I.Q.: Why does he look like a 40s Hollywood director anyway?

    Iron Major: SLAP A YANK! Kubert is awesome as usual, lots of personality.

    Mid-point! Posting break!

  3. Siskoid says:

    Ok, not doing the second half entry by entry, but almost…

    Javelin: Was STILL a non-entity even after he appeared in Suicide Squad.

    Jemm: Ooh, Frank-baiting!

    Jennifer Morgan: Mike DeCarlo is my favorite Dan Jurgens inker, ever since Booster Gold.

    Jericho: BRING ON THE HATE! Bend down Jericho. Stab yourself with your belt. Amethyst called, she wants it back. Surprint can’t handle showing his power either.

    Jester: Definitely one for Who’s This? Maybe Jason Bard too. Shag, we ALSO had a Jester in our DCHeroes game, though no real connection to the Golden Ager. He had the same origin as the Flash, but the chemicals on the wall were samples of the Joker serum, so he was a Joker/Flash amalgam basically.

    Jinx: I came aboard the New Teen Titans bandwagon real late when it had become Tales but before it was a reprint book, and that started with the Fearsome Five recruiting a couple of new members, Jinx and Neutron. I’ve liked the characters ever since.

    Johnny Quick: I love speedsters as a rule, no exception here. Like Jesse Quick too, the fruit of the awesome tree.

    Johnny Peril: Who’s This? I mean, he’s shown up in JLDark lately, but he was always a mystery to me otherwise. I mean to go back to his original stories to see what he was all about. Maybe it’ll reveal what the heck that Borrowed Time Club reference is about, cuz it’s not related to the Challengers of the Unknown!

    Johnny Thunder II: Does it look like anyone else as if Gil Kane didn’t draw the glasses in the surprint until someone told him to? Otherwise, beautiful. It’s like he did the surprint separately in huge size, and shrunk like that, the fine lines are really gorgeous.

    INTERLUDE ABOUT WHO’S WHO ANNUAL ENTRIES: Check your Twitter Private Messages, Shag, I did good by you.

    Wrap-up page: I always thought it was strange to show Elvira on a cover when there’s no way she would ever get an entry herself. (1988 on the Killing Joke)

    Legends? Dude, rose-colored glasses there. Mutantmania done in the DCU. Lame despite the John Byrne art and Suicide Squad mission.

  4. Siskoid says:

    Human Target was AWESOME in Season 1 (it’s on DVD), and kinda lost its way in Season 2 (not on DVD). But there’s no real disguise shtick. Check it out guys.

  5. Anj says:

    Another great podcast guys! There weren’t many big name superstars in this issue but there sure were a bunch of characters who I love. As always, I could probably talk about every character but thought I would limit myself. And as I am a dyed in the wool Legion fan, I have lots to say about those characters. But I will agree, Ironwolf is the big winner here.

    Infinite Man – I was always intrigued with the idea that the Legion has two villains with immense super-powers based on time that are in direct opposition to each other. The Infinite Man has power based on the idea that time is circular (having been flung multiple times through the cycle). And yet they also have The Time Trapper, a villain based on entropy and the eventual end of time. Who would win if they fought? His big moment was the Crisis cross-over in the Legion earlier that year.

    Invisible Kid I – I always felt bad for this character. His power just didn’t seem strong enough to fit in with the Legion stories of the early 70s. He ends up being killed by Validus, crushed in Validus’ hand. What a rough way to go. And then we find out he was having some sort of long distance relationship with a ghost who would care for him in the afterlife. Bizarre.

    Invisible Kid 2 – His first appearance in Legion Annual #1 is a great story which also reintroduces Computo (in his sister’s body). He got the white stripe in his hair when he looked at Darkseid’s face in The Great Darkness Saga. It cause so much fear he lost his hair color. He did have that odd warp power which seemed to bring him into some sort of near-death limbo world. It seemed to stop happening once the Baxter series started (although he just used it in last month’s Legion!).

    Ironwolf – I am a huge fan of Howard Chaykin and I love the Ironwolf stories in Weird Worlds. How much? Enough to review it at length on Frank’s DC Bloodlines blog:
    You can see so much of classic Chaykin themes in these stories – the liberal hero, tired but dogged in his fight against tyranny, great word play, beautiful women, slick action. The exhausted hero who hates both sides of a war is so classic for Chaykin. So many other things still intrigue me – anti-gravity trees, wooden space ships, Urchin’s blood drug, mikah the drug, Vampires, pirates, Hamlet, Sheba O’Reilly the pirate queen. There are so many ideas stuffed into these three issues it would be told over 3 years in the current market. It is solid creative story-telling at its best. In 1992, Chaykin revisited the Ironwolf character in a one shot graphic novel with Mike Mignola and P. Craig Russell on art!! Man I could talk all day about this book.

    Jericho – I thought I was the only one who had an irrational and unhealthy hatred for Jericho. Man, I just can’t stand this character. The mutton chops, the ludicrous outfit, the pacifism, the wonky powers (needs to make eye contact then goes intangible and possesses person) … none of it works for me. And DC tried everything to make him relevant – he goes evil, he possesses the Superboy bizarre clone Match. Ugh … I just can’t stand this character.

    Johnny Quick – I have a great fondness for this character. As I kid I loved the idea of Super-speed and kept trying to say the formula to gain powers. Quick always seemed to be having fun in his adventures. There wasn’t a serious bone in his body. And I love seeing old Mort Meskin art with him using multiple images of Quick in one panel to connote speed. During Mark Waid’s time on Flash, he said that the formula was a ‘mantra’ to link Quick to the Speed Force. There is a great issue (Flash #91) where Waid had Wally say the formula to boost his immense normal speed even more.

    Some rapid fire comments on other stuff. Everything Jerome Moore did in Who’s Who is fantastic and Invisible Destroyer is no exception. I have a fondness for Jade. Nothing made me want to read Warlord more than the Jennifer Morgan entry (I still never read it). I can’t ever say anything bad about Marshall Rogers art but the Joker art is an odd composition with his face shadowed under the fedora brim.

    Anyways, keep up the great work!

  6. Kyle Benning says:

    Who’s Who Volume XI Comments

    For Shag’s Request, according to Wikipedia, the Who’s Who Entries ran through the 1989 Annuals and had the following Characters:

    Character Entry Annual
    Alfred Pennyworth Batman #13
    Anatole “Bob” Blazac Justice League International #1
    Andre Blanc-Dumont Blackhawk #1
    Antithesis Secret Origins #3
    Aristotle Rodor Question #2
    Barbara Gordon Batman #13
    Batman Batman #13
    Black Canary I Green Arrow #2
    Black Canary II Green Arrow #2
    Blackhawk Blackhawk #1
    Blackhawk Express Blackhawk #1
    Boris Dmitravich Razumihin Justice League International #1
    Bumblebee Secret Origins #3
    Carlo ‘Chuck” Sirianni Blackhawk #1
    Cat Grant Action Comics #2
    Catherine Maureen Colbert Justice League International #1
    Catwoman Detective Comics #2
    Chunk Flash #1
    Clayfaces I-IV Detective Comics #2
    Commissioner Gordon Batman #13
    Cyndy Kurahara Justice League International #1
    Doctor Fate Doctor Fate #1
    Esteban Sanchez Justice League International #1
    Flamebird Secret Origins #3
    Flash (Barry Allen) Flash #1
    Flash (Jay Garrick) Flash #1
    Flash (Wally West) Flash #1
    Gargoyle Secret Origins #3
    Golden Eagle Secret Origins #3
    Green Arrow Green Arrow #2
    Grover Baines Blackhawk #1
    Herald Secret Origins #3
    Inada Akastsu Justice League International #1
    Isadore O’Toole Question #2
    James Cameron Green Arrow #2
    Jerry & Tina McGee Flash #1
    Joan Williams Garrick Flash #1
    Joker Detective Comics #2
    Joshua Barbazon Justice League International #1
    Kapitalist Kouriers Flash #1
    Keng Quan Chee aka Mairzey Blackhawk #1
    Lady Blackhawk (Natalie Reed) Blackhawk #1
    Lady Shiva Question #2
    Mary West Flash #1
    Mason Trollbridge Flash #1
    Matrix Action Comics #2
    Mayer Agency Wonder Woman #2
    Michael & Lisa Morice Justice League International #1
    Myra Fermin Question #2
    Olaf Friedriksen Blackhawk #1
    Penguin Detective Comics #2
    Poison Ivy Detective Comics #2
    The Question Question #2
    Ra’s Al Ghul Detective Comics #2
    Riddler Detective Comics #2
    Robin (Dick Grayson) Batman #13
    Robin (Jason Todd) Batman #13
    Rodan “Duke” Katatami Justice League International #1
    Rosa & Dana Rubikskova Justice League International #1
    Scarecrow Detective Comics #2
    Shado Green Arrow #2
    Speedy Green Arrow #2
    Swamp Thing Swamp Thing #5
    Tasmanian Devil Justice League International #1
    Titan Seeds New Titans #5
    The Titans of Myth New Titans #5
    Troia New Titans #5
    Two-Face Detective Comics #2
    Vicki Vale Batman #13
    Weng Chan (Not to be confused with Wang Chun) Blackhawk #1

  7. Kyle Benning says:

    And to clarify, when I said “Replace” my old copies in the previous feedback, I just meant purchase a better 2nd copy,of course I will always hold onto my originals :)

  8. Kyle Benning says:

    Wow can’t believe I won the Yellow Dot! Thanks guys! Obviously I need to wait until the episode finished before I start leaving comments 😛

    Great episode as always guys! Can’t wait for Volume XII!

  9. It’s ridiculous that this issue did not include entries for Iman and Impulse, despite their not being created or established at the time of its publication. If they could donate a page to Invisible Destroyer, who only appeared once, then they should have been able to give space to characters who would debut 8 and 14 years later.

    Jericho is one of the Top 3 reasons why I hate Deathstroke.

  10. Anthony Durso/The Toyroom says:

    I was bumped that today was Back-to-Work-Monday-After-The-July-4th-Holiday
    but that was quickly remedied by listening to the Who’s Who podcast! Thanks!

    SPOILER ALERT: Jonny Double shows up in the next issue!

    Icicle: Crisis Cannon Fodder anyone?

    Immortal Man: During the Crisis, Immortal Man sacrificed himself one final time
    and erased himself from existence. The character was brought back post-Crisis during the “Resurrection Man” series and teamed with the similarly powered character against Vandal Savage until he once AGAIN erased himself from existence. Dude should find a different line of work…

    Inferior 5: 1) During the Captain Carrot mini-series “The Oz-Wonderland Wars” it was revealed that the I5’s exploits took place on Earth-12.

    2) Also, during the Phil Foglio “Angel and the Ape” mini-series it was revealed that Dumb Bunny and Angel O’Day were half-sisters.

    3) And finally, Merryman is somewhat of a tour guide to Limbo during Grant Morrison’s run on “Animal Man”.

    Infinite Man: This Legion fan is not a fan of this villain. Bah!

    Infinity Inc: 1) “The Generations Saga” is one of the most under-rated storylines of all-time IMO.

    2) If Don Newton hadn’t passed away suddenly, would the world have been saved the annoying
    designs of Todd McFarlane on “Infinity Inc.”? (Don Newton was supposed to be the new artist as
    of #12 but passed away while working on #11. McFarlane took over as of #14)

    Infinity Inc HQ: 1) All-Star Comics became All-Star Western with #58 in 1951, and
    continued that numbering until #119 (1962). When All-Star Comics
    was revived during the 70s, it picked up the numbering at #58 and
    went through #74.

    2) I think Infinity Inc. made their HQ location known to the general public because weren’t they a “heroes-for-hire” type organization? Thus the “Inc.” in their name?

    Infinity Man: There’s a lot of Kirby nonsense I don’t care for…This is more of the same.

    Injustice Gang of the World: 1) JLA #158 was my first intro to the IGW. Still love that issue.

    2) Now…why did they use that version of Tattooed Man’s costume when his most recent IGW appearance (see the aforementioned JLA #158) he was wearing his “sailor suit”?

    3) The abandoned IGW headquarters was used by Luthor and Dr. Octopus in the “Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man” tabloid cross-over.

    Injustice Society: 1)Solomon Grundy is also the one character to appear in live-action
    up to this point of the entry. (Legend of the Super-Heroes)

    2) Rob’s mention of having Sportsmaster on a super-villain baseball team was an instant call-back to “DC Super-Stars” #10 (December 1976)

    Insect Queen: The Earth-2 version was created by E. Nelson Bridwell who obsessed about this type
    of trivial nonsense.

    Invisible Destroyer: I became fascinated with the look of this character because of his Who’s Who entry. I was always disappointed that he wasn’t revived/revamped/rebooted by Geoff Johns…

    Invisible Kid I: Hands down the worst costume ever for a Silver Age Legionnaire. He deserved to
    die just for that offense alone…

    Invisible Kid II: The (new) token Legionnaire (who also speaks FRENCH!) that made everyone forget Tyroc

    INFO BREAK * A quick search shows that the Wikipedia page for “Who’s Who in the DC Universe” has a list of the characters and which 1989 Annuals they appeared in.

    I..,Vampire: I remember enjoying his original strip in “House of Mystery”. I tried to get on board
    with the New 52 version but I didn’t last too long (and neither did the book)

    I.Q.: A quirky Julius Schwartz character if I ever saw one…

    Iron Major and Iron Wolf: Nice art but that’s about it for me…

    Jade: One of the more interesting members of Infinity Inc. She had much more potential than
    her brooding brother Obsidian.

    Jason Bard: How did Jason Bard rate an appearance during this run but Commissioner Gordon did not?

    Javelin: Is it just me or did Dave Gibbons work on a lot of crap Green Lantern villains? Wasn’t he also
    responsible for the Demolition Team entry?

    J’emm, Son of Saturn: J’emm recently got an action figure in the DC Universe Classics line.

    Jennifer Morgan: Nice early work from Dan Jurgens. I sometimes forget how far back his DC
    career really does go.

    Jericho: I love George Perez’s artwork but sometimes his costume designs make me question his sanity. Either that or he does it purposely so no one else draws the characters he creates.

    The Jester: All I know of him is the time he popped up (along with every other Golden Age hero)
    as part of the full roster of the All-Star Squadron (#31?)

    Jinx: I never cared for any of the new additions to the Fearsome Five.

    Johnny Cloud: De nada

    Johnny Quick: It was retconned that the magic formula is a mantra that allows Johnny Quick to focus mentally and tap into the Speed Force.

    Johnny Peril: He’s the one that booted Wonder Woman out of the lead spot in “Sensation Comics”
    when the titled changed to a mystery format.

    Johnny Thunder I: I don’t know about him being a douche but he was always the least effective
    member of the JSA…Couldn’t someone else on the team have controlled the Thunderbolt and left
    Johnny at home babysitting Peachy Pet?

    Johnny Thunder II: I I recall, it may have been suggested in the “Whatever
    Happened to…?” feature in “DC Comics Presents” that John Tane is
    an ancestor of Chuck Taine, Bouncing Boy of the LSH.

    The Joker: I have to disagree…I love this entry. Marshall Rogers’ version of the
    Joker was not as maniacal as say, Neal Adams’, so the pose actually fits
    Rogers’ version perfectly.

    Jonah Hex: 1) Mark Texiera was the artist for the “Hex” series while Tony DeZuniga
    was the original artist on the “Jonah Hex” series.

    2) Jonah Hex’s tragic end was originally revealed in The Jonah Hex Spectacular (DC Special Series #16) in 1978, written by Michael Fleisher.

    Jonni Thunder: Freakin’ Roy Thomas….SMH


    • Elvira’s House of Mystery ran 12 issues (11 regular and 1 “special”)

    • In regards to the “Super Friends”- Characters like the Global Guardians were
    created IN the comic and of course DC was able to use them and integrate them into the DCU proper as they saw fit.

    With characters like Wendy, Marvin, Wonder Dog, The Wonder Twins and Gleek (as well as Samurai, Black Vulcan, Apache Chief and El Dorado) they were created by Hanna-Barbera for the TV series. So, even though they may have appeared in issues of the comic, I surmise that they were licensed by DC from H-B to only appear in that venue. Anything else would have probably required additional fees.

    It wasn’t until DC and H-B all ended up under the same umbrella of corporate parent WB that DC was able to use these characters more fluidly, either in their universe or in merchandise.

    • Hop Harrigan- It wasn’t until about a month ago that I discovered that Hop Harrigan was responsible for a catch-phrase that has been used in my extended family for decades. Whenever my grandfather or one of my great uncles seemed to be tuning out the sound of their wives voice in lieu of a football game, to get their attention the wives would yell out “Hey CX4!” I never knew what it meant so I recently researched it and discovered that it was apparently Hop Harrigan’s call letters. So I was thrilled to actually hear it as the tag to the podcast. Ha!


  11. The actor most often mentioned as being somewhat of a source for Bill Robinson’s design of the Joker is Conrad Veidt in “The Laughing Man.” :-)

    Or Google-image “Conrad Veidt” and you’ll find something to creep you out AND that looks like Marshall Rogers’ illustration.

  12. Martin Stein Returns says:

    I loved Jonni Thunder. I think it was the first mini-series I ever collected as a kid. While the superhero angle might have been a tacked-on sop to the fanboys (not to mention the design of Thunderbolt), I thought the “private eye by trade, superhero by chance” gimmick worked really well. One of the things that really worked for me is that, even though she was retroactively declared to have been on Earth-2, she might have been in her own little world. Which is exactly how I like my superheroes. If you read her mini-series, she might as well have been the first and only superhero in the world, which is just fine with me. I like superheroes in as realistic a world as possible; a world that has hundreds, if not thousands, of heroes and villains with superpowers and fictional cities is too far astray from a world I know and can relate to.

  13. Martin Stein Returns says:

    And I’ll tell you why she didn’t “take off”: she’s a strong female hero who is not derived from a male hero. And fanboys are just not interested in that. A brand-new female hero without the prefix “Bat-” didn’t sell in 1985, and wouldn’t sell today. Fanboys want white heterosexual males in tights and *that’s it*. Even the idea of heterosexual males that fuse together and share a body might be a little too you-know-what for some, which is a theory I’ve always maintained regarding the B-list status of a certain nuclear man.

  14. Frank says:

    A. After having poo-pooed most of Paris Cullins’ covers, I must admit that this one was head and shoulders above his earlier offerings. I like the thrust of characters from the Boom Tube out, the density of figures, and the opportunities taken in producing more robust head shots for the closest characters. The dark background makes the figures pop in a way some of the icky, gaudy colors previously used failed miserably. The layout is good enough to dazzle the viewer into not realizing what a motley cast made up this issue. I disagree with Shag about the resemblance to OHOTMU, because those characters were always in full figure profile exiting to the right in a sea of drab white negative space. That rigidity of design gave Who’s Who an opportunity to improve on Marvel, and in instances like this with characters of different proportions/perspectives spilling out in all directions, DC won.

    B. If you want to insure my disinterest in a character, give them a one note, common power like ice generation, flame projection or electricity conduction. Looking at you, Icicle.

    C. Cowan & Barreto made a neat team on Immortal Man, and it would have been fun to see their roles reversed at some point. I like how they managed to spotlight a character with no definitive visage. I looked at some Strange Adventures covers, and his logo was even more boring there.

    D. Dumb Bunny married Ambush Bug in his last mini-series. I always found these characters too arch and lowbrow to be funny, but if Irwin Schwab wants to someday further abuse his “in-laws,” I’d read that.

    E. Really nice art on Infinite Man, but I never read a story with the guy, and dismissed him as a rip-off of Marvel’s Eternity. Based on the progressive decline of Western Comiczation, I’d say entropy trumps infinity, so Time Trapper would win. Further proof: I’ve read a bunch of Time Trapper stories without even trying.

    F. I reproach Jerry Ordway for Nuklon’s mohawk (in general,) the shabby costumes of Silver Scarab and Fury, and the totality of Northwind and Brainwave Jr. The two best looking heroes, Jade and Obsidian, are too far in the background, and speaking of backgrounds, those green Kirby dots suck. Infinity Inc was a great concept with a decent opening story arc that curdled swiftly into a sort of New Mutants/X-Factor– derivative of a derivation of an idea. I like looking at the Ordway and Michael Bair illustrated issues, but trying to read them feels like I’m being punished for something I did wrong (Not hating the Jared Stevens Fate? Thinking the Pieter Cross Dr. Mid-Nite was a lame retread of the already wimpy Charles McNider? Wishing Jay Garrick had died with the rest during Zero Hour?)

    G. Y’know, I actually prefer the Psi-Hawk to Infinity Man. To repeat, I prefer the recycled New Universe concept that I at least have a nostalgic connection to over a Jack Kirby creation that no one else could be bothered to do anything remotely substantial with. It’s like saying I like grits over gruel.

    H. Does anyone else recognize how deeply flawed Justice League of America was as a book that it took until 1974 for the Injustice Gang of the World to come into being, only to flame out for another few decades? It’s almost as bad as DC opting out of giving the Legion of Doom a listing and waiting until a 1996 Extreme Justice two-parter to incorporate a piss poor incarnation into continuity. The Secret Society of Super-Villains was the closest DC ever got to their own Masters of Evil, twelve years late and heavy on evil gorillas.

    Anyway, I think we need to revise our grading system for villains, because if Scarecrow or Poison Ivy are “A” list, it would have to be A-. Mirror Master is solidly B-list, and I’d like to think Shadow Thief is B-. Chronos is the greatest Atom foe, which means he joins Tattooed Man on the C-list. These guys definitely predated me, so they’re total ’70s cats. I dig the RNC logo (“Drill baby drill!”) and the static mediocrity of Luke McDonnell & Dick Giordano is perfect for this lot. In defense of McDonnell– he doesn’t look like that when Bill Wray inks him. The quality of his art sharply declined in the ’90s, but I thought he was perfect for Denny O’Neill’s depressing Iron Man run and the gritty second half of JLDetroit’s existence. As for costume quotas, there’s an awful lot of orange-brown on this team between Mirror Master, Libra, and Scarecrow.

    I. I prefer the Injustice Society remain in the past and allow the IGW and SSoSV to hold the present. Before “JSA” launched, I had grand ideas for an Infinity Inc. revival that treated the team as the modern Justice Society while embracing modernity. I still think that would have been the better way to go, since “Justice Society of America” is so square and unwieldy a title. No wonder the New 52 went with “Earth 2.”

    J. Insect Queen is gross. I can’t unsee that, no matter how cute Kristin Kreusk seemed. I’d just be waiting for a Cronenberg twist in the midst of a hook-up. Bronze Age costumes for Golden Age retcons were and remain a problem (see also: Rob Liefeld’s undeniably chromium World War II era attempts.)

    K. Invisible Destroyer is the least JKM Jerome K. Moore drawing I’ve ever seen. Blame Karl Kesel? Ugly costume, dumb concept, and irrelevant. Could be a Firestorm villain.

  15. Martin Stein Returns says:

    How about “Extraordinary” Jerry Ordway? The word “extraordinary” has “ord” and “ary” in it.

  16. Frank says:

    L. The Pre-Crisis Invisible Kid was already dead when I started reading Legion comics, although there was a story late in Levitz’s run where he appeared in an ambiguous fashion (ghost?) However, my true jumping-on point as a devoted Legion reader was the Zero Hour reboot, where Lyle Norg swiftly became my favorite member. His hideous original costume was replaced with a snazzy black onesie that in some way indicated invisibility. He was very intelligent, but unassuming and personable, with leadership qualities and slick spy skills. I think the creative team made a point of building up the previously deceased characters, and Lyle kind of outshone his fellows as a result.

    Jacque Foccart never meant much to me, since he was a non-entity in the ’80s; the token non-white legacy who was promoted up and out of the way during the 5 Years Later period, and was absent thereafter. Art Adams did a swell drawing of him though, and his costume looks nice, if a tad simplistic (and again, yellow relates to invisibility how?) Excellent title-worthy logo.

    M. Possibly one of the reasons Tom Sutton’s Andrew Bennett seemed off is because he was going through a Giffenesque Eurocentric massive rethinking of his art style, as seen in his brief run on Grimjack, and maybe struggle to turn back the clock. I always wanted to try “I… Vampire,” especially after I heard it was by J.M. DeMatteis, but it never happened.

    N. Murphy Anderson’s I.Q. looks appealingly quaint, but boy, Hawkman sure did his best to show the Atom that a terrible rogues gallery may be worse than none at all. He failed though, as Byth, Gentleman Ghost, Lion-Mane, and Shadow Thief mean he has four times as many viable foes as the Mighty Mite, and twice as many as Aquaman. Russell mentioned that I.Q. figured into the first Hawkman/Adam Strange team-up, which reminds me how Vulkor the Capsule Master was in the first Brave & the Bold team-up (Green Arrow/Martian Manhunter,) and Monty Moran the Getaway Mastermind was on the first super-team to battle the JLA, and nobody cares about them either.

    O. Damn, Iron Major is a sinister son of a gun. He was Sgt. Rock’s Baron Strucker, but like Frank Rock, had a much less vigorous post-war career than Nick Fury.

    P. Why didn’t Howard Chaykin screw with Ironwolf when he molested DC’s other pulp sci-fi characters in Twilight? DC did one of their little Baxter format collections of the Chaykin issues in 1986, which might explain the inclusion. Pretty picture.

    Q. Jade’s one of those characters I want to like more than I do or likely ever could. Cute, but mundane, right? She’s like Katie Holmes without the Machiavellian divorce prowess. I’m trying to decide if her boob window is more or less appropriate than Power Girl’s. She’s got less cause for the display, but much better odds against a slip in combat.

    R. Blah blah Jason Bard blah. This page is all about Javelin. The first Green Lantern comic I ever bought was his debut appearance, which ended with him putting Hal Jordan in an impossible to survive situation. Javelin was the first of many who taught me to hate Jordan, because what kind of hero nearly dies because they’re covered in yellow paint? The answer was not Hal Jordan, which I learned years later when I finally thumbed through the second part of the story and felt gyped. I think Javelin has a great costume and unique weapon, but he punched way out of his weight class and gets mocked for it. He only got two Suicide Squad appearances, but he survived both, so how about that?

    S. I’m not sure if Jemm had the most boring ’80s comic, but it was probably the most depressing, psychologically troubling and sluggish one published as part of a mainstream universe. Whoever thought Greg Potter was the guy to reboot Wonder Woman probably only knew Charles Moulton’s work by reputation, or disagreed with it fundamentally and wanted to explore the dark side of female bondage. I’m not sorry that Jemm became its own thing rather than dragging J’Onn J’Onzz into that mess. Jemm’s a guy who comes in handy when talk turns toward a Martian Manhunter Family, but he’s E.T. on steroids and still an inert pushover. He was easily the least compelling character in his own book. The hobos and random militant Saturnians and even the emotionless robots had more personality.

    Colan’s art on the series was good, but that surprint is doodly. McLeod’s like Bob Layton in that he tends to assimilate his pencilers into proxies for his own art style, but as Shag said, he didn’t choose to overwhelm Colan. His taking over the inks from Klaus Janson really screwed with the story’s visual tone, though.

    Morrison may have brought the character back, but it was John Ostrander who actually utilized the Jemm afterward, and even he threw Jemm under the bus in favor of his more interesting supporting cast/villains. James Robinson turned him into Prince Namor in a couple of Superman side series everyone already forgot ever existed.

    T. Jennifer Morgan exists. I acknowledge that objective fact, but I wish to deny her presence in my subjective truth.

    U. I used to dislike Jericho, but I never saw him as irredeemable, and the overwhelming negativity toward the character makes me feel bad for him. I read a Tales of the Teen Titans solo two-parter with him back in the day that I liked. He was a ladies man, a sensitive artist, I liked the storytelling accommodation made for his muteness, and I think his power is kind of cool. Really, all my issues with the character are laid at George Perez’s feet, because everything truly worthy of loathing are the visual aspects. It’s like after Al Milgrom failed to create the most ridiculously unappealing character ever, Perez took up the challenge, completely destroyed all competition, and then smugly spiked the ball by creating Pariah, Cole and Harbinger as well. Everyone thinks he’s a sweetheart, but there is a corner of pure evil in George Perez’s heart, and it is manifested by 85% of every character he ever created. I dub it the Crimson Plague. Logo’s okay, though.

    V. The Jester proves that any costume can be made to seem agreeable under the exact right artist, because I’m pretty sure under normal circumstances, whatever the hell that is he’s wearing has been explicitly condemned as an abomination in the eyes of GOD ALMIGHTY in more passages of the Old Testament than shellfish and sodomy combined. Leviticus 19:41 states “It shall be an everlasting covenant between mankind and the Lord that thou shalt not co-mingle textiles of horizontal stripes and polka dots, nor hues of chartreuse and carmine and citron, for it grieves the Lord your God, who led you out of Egypt to be your God, and sought to establish for you a nation away from pagan worship of jinglebells and fae footwear that is an affront to all that is holy.” Do you think Ken Steacy could have made Jericho work?

    W. Jinx is one of those characters that looks nifty as part of a villainous team, and she even got a nice logo, but no creator has ever invested one iota more thought into to her than that. But she’s still better than Jennifer Morgan.

  17. Anj says:

    Ironwolf appears in one panel of the Twilight series, as a pro sports type figure in a rocket jousting type thing.

    I wonder if Chaykin liked his own character too much to deconstruct him as he did everything else in that series.

    Still, I always thought he was nobler than a pro athlete.

  18. Phil Rutledge says:

    RE: Comics comfort food:

    Enjoyed the latest podcast as always (and thanks for the mention of my Firestorm sketch collection a few podcasts back), however it was the mention of “comics comfort food” that peeked my interest since I just rediscovered my comics comfort food in the past few months.

    I purchased comics off of the spinner rack in the 70’s and early 80’s in a small town before I went off to university in a larger city where I had access to a “real” comic book store and a pull box. As a result there were a ton of holes in my collection since (a) I didn’t always have the money as a kid to buy every issue and (b) the distribution of comics to small rural Canadian drug stores wasn’t great. In the 90’s after graduating and getting a real job I was able to buy and fill a lot of those holes. However this lead to reading lots of runs in starts and stops or stockpiling runs that I would read in order “someday”.

    What I have really started enjoying is picking up TPBs that collect some of the epic stories from the 70’s and 80’s and being able to read them all in order (finally) in a great presentation format. It’s so much more convenient than digging through my long boxes, I’ll never give up my “floppies” though!

    Some recent favorites:
    * Justice Society Vol 1+2 reprinting All-Star Comics 58-75 and their Adventure Comics stories
    * The classic Aquaman run in Death of a Prince
    * the Original Firestorm run + the Flash backups in the Firestorm trade (they need to collect the rest of the Flash backups!)
    * Huntress backups from Wonder Woman in Huntress: DarkKnight Daugther
    * DC Comics Presents + the Shazam tabloid in Superman vs Shazam
    * JLA/JSA team-ups in Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol 1-6
    * Guardians of the Galaxy appearances in GotG: Tomorrow’s Avengers Vol 1+2

    Enjoying single issues I read multiple times as a kid as well as issues I bought in the 90’s and read just once or didn’t read at all, in a single collection has been a joy. Something about the simple pre-crisis, bronze age, story telling coupled with my own nostalgia has made this my comics comfort food!

    (and yes I was able to purchase these and more from at a great discount – great sponsor!)

  19. Frank says:

    Anj, I don’t remember if I caught the Ironwolf reference in Twilight, and even though I wrote a synopsis of the series, going back and reading that would be too much like reviewing court transcripts of testimony regarding where the bad man put his thingy.

    X. Johnny Cloud is my favorite Loser, but it should be noted that he had a six year solo run as the cover-featured star of All-American Men of War, and it looks like Brozowski was emulating the art style of that strip. Cloud was replaced in the book by Balloon Buster, who got the title canceled inside a year. After four years in limbo, Cloud and the Losers took over Our Fighting Forces for the final eight years of its run.

    Y. Kerry Gammill at his peak was to me the nearest competition to Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez in terms of on-model licensing friendly universally perfect super-hero art. Too bad his talents are applied to Johnny Quick, a character I assumed for years was just some fake retro hero. Instead, he was yet another Mort Weisinger brand rip-off of a popular comic character. His costume is okay, but that and Liberty Belle are all he’s got. In the Golden Age comics, he looked more like Cannonball than Quicksilver, with energy blasting from his lower half.

    Z. Dick Giordano was fantastic when he assimilated Trevor Von Eeden on the first Black Canary mini-series, but I thought TVE’s minimalist/art deco work from this period was fantastic. Johnny Peril seemed like a nifty concept, but I’m not sure he ever appeared in a comic I read. I did almost buy this issue of Who’s Who off the newsstand based on my interest in the Johnny Peril entry, but as I previously mentioned, the “D” volume was the only one I ever bought new.

    aa. Steve Leialoha wasn’t my bag, but every now and again on something like this or that X-Men Annual he did, I can see the appeal. I think he inked Al Milgrom on Secret Wars II, but the main books I remember him from were Coyote and Spider-Woman. As Shag noted, Johnny Thunder’s origin is a long walk off a short pier. All that material, and he’s just the guy who summons the guy you read the story for. He’s like Jimmy Olsen if all Jimmy ever did was turn on his signal watch at the first sign of trouble. That’s okay though. He’s also the one “hero” who got the Alzheimers. Forgetaboutit.

    bb. John Tane was one of the best examples I can think of where super-hero tropes were successfully married to the western genre without it being obvious or feeling out of place. Johnny Thunder even managed to work in the whole femme fatale/occasional partner action that was big with the pilot strips. Gil Kane absolutely kills it here, and I think he was always strongest on western strips, which were hugely enhanced by his dynamism while reigning in his worst Kirby-inspired excesses. He put so much effort into a surprint that he gleefully went too expansive on, forcing it to be shrunk into a wedge of enticing story tease.

    cc. I’ve come to loathe the Joker, destroyer of all suspension of disbelief, and this entry isn’t helped by having a logo that features a better rendering of the character than Marshall Rogers provided. He looks like a cosplayer who put most of his ensemble together at Suitmart (where I seriously bought an outlandish three-piece lavender number for my sister’s wedding.) Aparo, Bolland, or go fish.

    dd. My affection for Jonah Hex has waned over the years, but I can’t fault High Plains Drifter: The Ongoing Series, and I’m glad the offbeat character has had such a healthy publication history. I’ll defend Hex as a concept, but Michael Fleisher had a much poorer grasp on the Road Warrior aesthetic than he did a macabre spin on the spaghetti western. All those robots and the silver age sci-fi junk ruined the mash-up. As for Mark Texeira’s art, I’m going to throw some blame at the inker again. Tony DeZuniga’s style isn’t a good match, but it’s palatable on the western side, whereas on the sci-fi side the line weights are flabby and the overall image made drab by inks. The whole time Texeira was at DC, it seemed like they made a point of tossing repressive inkers at him to flatten his flair. There was no excuse for Jonah to raid Johnny Blaze’s closet, though.

    ee. Jonni Thunder looked like a nifty neo-noir heroine, but I found the Thunderbolt tie-in killed any enthusiasm I might have mustered to read a single solitary story about her. She’s a hardboiled private eye… who turns into an flying electrical goddess? Um, no. Give her modest powers (maybe as a human taser with limited charge and no pure energy form,) but that went way, way too far.

    ff. I liked Legends the first time I read it, and the overall premise of Darkseid creating a cannon version of the Wertham crusade was inspired. It does not hold up well with time and age though, especially Len Wein’s hoary dialogue and the book turning into a backdoor pilot generator in the later issues.

    gg. As a fan of the hostess in the ’80s, I bought several issues of Elvira’s run, where I never intentionally purchased a Joe Orlando era House of Mystery. The stories were forgettable anthology fare, just as had been the case before the repackaging, but I got a kick out of Elvira’s bookends and the quasi-cheesecake/scream queen covers. Brian Bolland did the first one, as seen on the cover roll in this issue’s inside back cover. I’m pretty sure I didn’t pay full cover for any of them, though.

    hh. Did we ever get a Congo Bill stinger? We deserve a Congo Bill stinger.

  20. Ben Avery says:

    I don’t have much to add by way of, well, anything approaching what most commenters here have, but I will say thanks for keeping up the good work with these. Even the issues where you complain about how boring the contents are, you manage to make interesting and informative. Keep it up! I’ll be with you through Who’s Who in Star Trek!

  21. Phylemon says:

    Another great podcast, although I felt that I disagreed with y’all more than I usually do.

    1.Jericho is in my top five characters ever. Interesting power, unique personality (sensitive artist types as Super Heroes are pretty rare), and a costume that, if nothing else, was distinctive. The “Parallaxing” was heart breaking and unnecessary.

    2. Bug butt aside, Insect Queen is hot, and I’m surprised that Shag doesn’t feel that way given Lana’s hair color. I would put this character in the running for hottest Legionaire.

    3. Infinity Man came before Captain Planet, so if one is derivative of the other, the Kirby work is the original. Also, Forever People still not boring.

    The first season of Human Target is on DVD and worth a watch. I actually enjoyed the second season, but I’m clearly in the minority.

  22. In the excellent indy comic normalman, our hero runs into a trio of identical teams of teenaged superheroes — The Unecessary A-Man, the Tight Teens, and the Clone Kids. I had always thought the Clone Kids were meant to be Infinity Inc… but evidently they are riffing on the DNAgents instead. Huh.

    “He’s Hawkman villain, no one cares.” Really? IQ’s origin includes Adam Strange in an oblique way, as the rock wihch gives him his powers was found by Strange. His deal is that the more sunlight he absorbs, the smarter he gets. So he will sit in the sun and get super smart before planning his heists. IQ is actually a very effective Silver Age baddie, able to concoct lots of gadgets to baffle the Hawks.

    Uh, the only thing Johnny Quick is known for to “modern readers” is that he is Jesse Quick’s dad.

    Never read Hex, but I did like Jonah Hex’s line from Justice League Unlimted which referenced it: “Time Travellers, huh?”

    In closing: “Solomon Grundy want pants too!”

  23. aye-aye-aye:
    I think I remember reading somewhere that Merry Man from the Inferior Five was based on Woody Allen, but young Woody when he was still a stand-up comedian and not old Woody, the pedophile director.

    1. Shag says:

      Thanks for all the comments!! Have I mentioned lately that y’all are the single greatest podcast listening community!!!! You guys are the best!!!!

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