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

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 XVIII!

The eighteenth 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 XVIII, discussing characters such as Phantom Girl, The Phantom Stranger, Plastic Man, Plastique, Poison Ivy, Power Girl, Psycho-Pirate, 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 eighteenth 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 (64 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 George Perez and Dick Giordano cover for Volume XVIII! Click the image to enlarge.

Who's Who The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #18

Here are your Firestorm-related Who’s Who entries from this issue…

First up is Plastique, the bombastic bombshell, by Joe Brozowski & Dell Barras! She first battled the Nuclear Man back in Fury of Firestorm #7 (1982) and has continued to plague him ever since!

Who's Who Plastique by Joe Brozowski and Dell Barras

Next is Power Girl by Joe Staton! A long time ago on a satellite far, far away… Firestorm and Power Girl were very nearly an item! Don’t believe me? Then check out this post!

Who's Who Power Girl by Joe Staton

Then we’ve got the Pied Piper by Carmine Infantino and Dennis Jensen! Firestorm and the Musical Miscreant tangled in Fury of Firestorm #5 & #6 (1982)!

Who's Who Pied Piper by Carmine Infantino and Dennis Jensen

Finally we’ve got the Phantom Stranger by Jim Aparo! Firestorm and the Stranger spent some quality time together back in 1985 during Fury of Firestorm #32.

Who's Who Phantom Stranger by Jim Aparo

Support Firestorm (and the WHO’S WHO podcast)! Fan the flame!

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  1. Siskoid says:

    The cover… I’ve seen the copy with the white neck on PG, but my copy (with Canadian price) is FINE! I didn’t color it in myself or anything!

    Letters page… I’m not the CANUCK and have never lived on the West Coast. Sadly. Because imagine my cred around here if I’d gotten published in Who’s Who! (And I didn’t write in about Prez either because I didn’t know who he was. I’d totally write in from the future though.)

    Phantom Girl: I’m on Rob’s side on this, especially today, and yes, I would have loved (would still love) to see that version of the Legion. Regardless of what they say in the Personal Data, it’s refreshing to see a woman with normal proportions. Besides, the surprint is BEAUTIFUL. Definitely one I came to love later in life.

    Phantom Lady: One I loved at the time. Cough cough.

    Phantom Stranger: All four possible origins were better than what we got in the New52 (or does that go without saying?)

    Phantom Zone: Without this image, I would never have realized the Byrne Superman wears the same hood when he executes the pocket universe’s Phantom Zone villains (at least one the cover), something that sends him off the deep end, fractures his psyche, turns him into Gangbuster and exiles him into space from which he returned with the Eradicator. All the pieces matter.

    Pig-Iron: One of my favorite entries in Who’s Who. So fun. Roy Thomas loves the history of comics and I always found it a hoot that one of his Zoo Crew was actually a Golden Age star. And in other words, the funny animal comics of the 40s and 50s ARE in continuity.

    Plasmus: Didn’t a few writers give themselves a challenge of doing one of the entries? Like William Messner-Loebs on Human Bomb?

    Power Girl: Obviously, PG and Huntress were both 2nd generation JSA, but it amuses me that Staton did both entries given the characters co-star in today’s World’s Finest.

    Pow-Wow Smith: Some very well-known characters in this issue, because we’re on page 15 and it’s the first character I might consider for a Who’s This column.

    Predator: Carol is also in it as Star Sapphire, of course. Predator is now the Parallax of the Star Sapphires, that evil entity that’s their lantern impurity or whatever.

    Prince Ra-Man: I can’t stop thinking about cheap noodles… Definitely a Who’s This character.

    Privateer: His last appearance as the Privateer was in Suicide Squad just before he went Manhunter again. That made me a fan for life. I’ve got some of dephased surprint Shag, but not as much as you. Only his sword has that red wash.

    Professor Amos Fortune: I’m with Rob, I really like that illustration.

    Professor Ivo: Because he was one of the first JLA villains I ever encountered, he remains one of my favorites, though his deformity wasn’t always as well-rendered as this. By JLDetroit, he was just kind of gray and scabby. Nowhere near as cool. We can at least thank him for putting that version of the League out of its misery.

    Prof. Milo: I am terrified of his hands.

    Psi: Isn’t there another Infantino drawing with Supergirl getting blasted in the same exact position? Psi died a horrific death in the Doom Patrol/Suicide Squad special.

    Psions: I left a scan of their one panel in Witching Hour for you on Twitter.

    Psycho-Pirate: I just can’t believe the original P-P is given space in the text and surprint.

    Pulsar Stargrave: Poor Pulsar, got his nose bitten off in the Legion of Substitute-Heroes Special.

    Yellow Dot… Yeah, my second! Where am I gonna put them all???

  2. Sphinx Magoo says:

    Re Phantom Girl: Man, I gotta agree with Rob and disagree with you on Jaime Hernandez’s Phantom Girl pic. Sure, the image doesn’t seem to match the stats, but it was neat to see a superheroine with realistic proportions. She was still gorgeous (I mean, look at that close up in the surprint), but not done in pin-up style; for that, you’ve got Dave Stevens’ Phantom Lady.

    Re Phantom Zone: Expect an update from Charlie Niemeyer on that depowered Kryptonian. He covered one story recently on “Superman in the Bronze Age”.
    Oh, and points to Rob for his line: “When you have a hammer, every problem is a nail.” Priceless!

    Re Phobia: Creeps me out even more after the events shown in “Identity Crisis” after she and Dr. Moon messed with Doctor Light. And Signalman. Brrrrrr……

    Re: Pig Iron

  3. Sphinx Magoo says:

    Oops.. Pressed the wrong button.

    Re Pig Iron: I want to see a cartoon series based off Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew. Your discussion helped clinched it for me. Plus, some Peter Pockchops cartoons. Not all pigs have to be Porky Pig.

    Re Plasmus: Marv Wolfman used to be an art teacher, if I recall correctly. I think I remember reading this in the Daredevil issue where psychic Uri Geller showed up. (Yes! It’s true!) Geller did the old “draw an animal and I’ll read your mind and draw the same animal” psychic trick with Wolfman, so that’s when Wolfman’s secret past was revealed.

    Re Plastic Man: Falling into a vat of chemicals seems to be a thing. Not only did it happen to Plastic Man and the Joker, but that’s also the origin story for Will Eisner’s The Spirit! In fact, it was funny to me that Plastic Man came from the same studio where Will Eisner worked. Maybe there’s an untold real life story that influenced these characters?

  4. Sphinx Magoo says:

    Oh, and one quick note, while listening to you guys discuss the Power Girl entry. Shagg, you must’ve really been hitting the Diet Mountain Dew. I had to keep checking my iPhone to make sure I hadn’t sped up my podcast by accident. I thought I was listening at 1.5x speed or faster. Clearly, you were at one with The Speed Force.

    Re Predator: He seems tailor made for the new52. Where is he?

    Ok. Gotta run. I’ll listen while in transit. Thanks for these podcasts. They’ve been great!

  5. Anj says:

    Thanks for this great podcast I have been looking forward to this issue being reviewed since the beginning of the ‘hottest Legionnaire’ discussion.

    It is important for me to again say that I think the ‘hot Legionnaire’ contest covers the career of the character, not just the Who’s Who page. But, for non-Legion fans, Who’s Who might be the only place that people would see these characters, a true pin-up.

    On to my comments.

    Phantom Girl: For example, I completely agree with Shag that this is a rough picture of Tinya. I like Los Bros. Hernandez but this picture just doesn’t work. And for someone like Shag who thinks Phantom Girl is the hottest Legionnaire, this page has to be a let down! I have been warning Shag about this page in the comment section of the Who’s Who podcasts forever. And I will bask a bit that Lightning Lass’s page is oodles better than this one. Ayla is the true hottest Legionnaire.

    Phantom Lady: Just perfect.

    Phantom Zone: As a Superman and Supergirl, I love this entry because it does lay out the history of all the villains from the Zone. Hard to believe that General Zod didn’t get his own entry. While Zod has become famous, I like some of the lesser known villains. General Xa-Du was just used in the Morrison Action Comics. I think Nam-Ek who fused himself with a Rondor is a wild looking character.

    And, from a Supergirl point of view, I have to highlight Jer-Em, a religious zealot who sabotaged Argo City’s engines so it couldn’t travel to a yellow sun galaxy because he thought Kryptonians having powers was an abomination. Without the engines to get the city to safety, all the citizens (but Kara) die of K-poisoning.

    Lastly, if you want to see some of Veitch’s PZ work, I highlight some of the twisted DCCP#97 here:

    Polar Boy: I also love this picture, especially the split shot in the surprint showcasing his life in the Subs and the main group. Poor Polar Boy’s tenure in the Legion, especially his term as the leader, was very rough.

    Power Girl: I love this page as well. I find Joe Staton’s work often too ‘cartoony’ but this works here. And I think this does invoke the Wally Wood proportions seen when PG first appeared. Her origin is odd – the delayed passage from Krypton to Earth so she appears well after Superman – but that element has been co-opted by Supergirl in recent years (since the Loeb/Turner reboot).

    Prof Ivo: His hatred for the League was pushed into the Legion timeline when he tried to kill their descendants in the Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1 ‘Who shot Laurel Kent?’ story. Great book.

    And I’ll end with ….

    Psi: I am so thrilled that Shag actually talked semi-glowingly about the Supergirl villain. She recently was brought to the New 52 by Supergirl-scribe Sterling Gates in Forever Evil Argus. With her return, I have taken a close look at her comic career on my site:

    Anyone who wants a closer look at her tortured appearances can head there.

    I could talk much more about some other entries – Prof Hugo Strange, Poison Ivy, Punch and Jewelee – love this issue.

  6. Anthony Durso/The Toyroom says:

    The cover: Perez is always a genius when it comes to covers with a diverse cast.
    You can see the love and effort he puts into these characters with all of their individual nuances…

    Letters Page: • Ian Kurkull gets an entry in one of the updates
    • Prez crossed-over with Supergirl so he should have been included

    Phantom Girl: Yes, this art does not do Phantom Girl justice…But beware…
    (SPOILER)…Saturn Girl (my vote for Hottest Legionnaire) fares even worse
    with her Who’s Who entry…

    Phantom Lady: Hands down one of the best entries in the book, if not the series.
    Before DC obtained the rights to the Quality Comics characters, Phantom Lady
    was the epitome of “headlight comics”.

    Phantom Stranger: One of my favorite “obscure” DC characters. I always loved
    when he mysteriously showed up in issues of “Justice League of America” or “The Brave and the Bold”. I really don’t care for the “modern” version that joins mystic teams (The Trenchcoat Brigade, Shadowpact, etc.) and is always there to help out in various crisies and cross-overs. He should operate on the fringe IMO and not be right in the mix. I’ve always liked how he kinda turned down regular JLA membership but then was willing to invoke it when it suited him.

    Phantom Zone: Horrible artwork…horrible entry…just…horrible…
    (Interestingly, General Zod has become a main Superman villain since
    this entry [and even before he was the featured baddie in “Superman II”]
    but he wasn’t worthy enough to receive his own entry in Who’s Who at the time)

    Pig Iron: I was a regular reader of “CCAHAZC” back in the day but I never had
    a real fondness for any of the characters…except for Pig Iron. He was absolutely
    my favorite of the Crew.

    Plasmus: Len Wein and Marv Wolfman each drew a Who’s Who entry. Len’s was
    Despero. Len was obviously the better artist of the two. Even inks by George Perez
    can’t save this entry.

    Plastic Man: I think Plastic Man would have been served better with a two-page
    spread. For such a pliable character this is such a static pose IMO. Perez did a
    better job with Plas on the front cover. (One of my favorite Plastic Man artists has
    always been Jim Aparo)

    Poison Ivy: Agreed…this one falls short. I think in Poison Ivy’s earlier appearances
    she was indeed brown-haired. The red hair came later (perhaps around the time of
    Batman:The Animated Series?)

    Polar Boy: Steve Lightle is one of the under-rated Legion artists. He really did a
    lot of great design work while on the book.

    Power Girl: Staton’s artwork is a little too cartoony for me for this entry.
    Compartively his Huntress entry is much stronger IMO.

    The Prankster: Another favorite piece from this issue! Superman has quite a weak
    Rogues Gallery at times but I love that he has foes like The Prankster, The Toyman
    and Mr. Mxyzptlk that befuddle and confound him. Batman would eat these guys
    for breakfast…

    The Predator: As if Carol Ferris’ Star Sapphire identity wasn’t enough? She makes
    Jean Loring look sane. Well, almost…

    Primus: Motherfu…! What th’?! ANOTHER Omega Men entry?! Ye Gods!

    Prince Ra-Man: After reading this entry it becomes perfectly clear why this dude
    was killed off in Crisis On Infinite Earths. What else could they do?

    The Privateer: This assclown should have permanent residence in Arkham Asylum.
    I read all of his stories, his series, as well as this entry and I still can’t make heads or tails
    of the whole thing. A perfect example of laying too much foundation on a character that’s
    worthy of none of it.

    Professor Hugo Strange: Marshall Rogers should have been tapped for this art…

    Psimon: Surprisingly one of the more minimalist costumes designed by George
    Perez. He must have been tired that day…

    Psycho Pirate: I wonder if he STILL remembers the pre-Crisis universe?
    Maybe he could be used to reboot the horrible New 52niverse?

    Pulsar Stargrave: Anytime you can get a villain to wear bell-bottoms you know
    you’ve hit a homerun. I always thought they didn’t use this character to his full potential. Great Legion foe!

    Pursuer: Can we get through one issue, ONE ISSUE, without a New Gods entry?

    End notes:

    • I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Shag’s pronunciation of ME-GO as MEG-O bugs me to no end…

    • I had commented that:
    “Imagine how much shorter this series would have been if you removed
 all of the New Gods, Omega Men and Atari Force listings.” And then Diabolu Frank took it one step further by suggesting someone crunch the numbers. Well done, Siskoid!

    • The Penguin may have not been the first villain in the ’66 Batman TV series but I do believe he did clock in the most appearances…

  7. Martin Gray says:

    Psi is back in continuity, as of the current, actually-rather-good ARGUS mini-series by Sterling Gates and Neil Edwards.

    And didn’t a New 52 Pig Iron show up in Threshold?

    Rob, I wish you wouldn’t sound so outright, snortingly derisory over stuff you’ve not read (how would you feel if people were so dismissive of Ace Kilroy?), such as the Quex-Ul/Charlie Kweskill business – the character is actually rather interesting, and appeared in good stories.

    Of course Prez was in the DCU, he was in Supergirl’s early Seventies run at the time of his series, #10.

    And while I like the Jaime Hernandez Phanny, that really isn’t Tinya, you’re right, it’s a Kirby gal.

  8. rob! says:

    how would you feel if people were so dismissive of Ace Kilroy?

    If Ace Kilroy was taking up valuable real estate in a company’s one shot at a definitive guide to their universe in lieu of characters like Commissioner Gordon, Sugar and Spike, Prez, The Human Flying Fish, etc., then they’d have every right to be dismissive.

    That said, my tone is supposed to be more good-natured eye-rolling, not outright derision. I’ll keep an eye on that going forward.

  9. Harlan Freilicher says:

    Great episode. Some random thoughts (because I rarely have any other kind):
    1. It does my heart good to see that so many other people share my conviction that Northwind is among the lamest characters in the DCU. It should be worth noting that Composite Superman could kick His feathery ass, and that Slipknot would stand a better-than 50-50 chance of taking him down. At least until Roy and Dann Thomas made him a magic user for about five seconds.
    2. Yesterday, my 4-year old son started asking me to name super villains who are “girls”. I started to run out rather quickly (it had been a long day), and then, thanks to this episode, I was able to remember to add Plastique and Phobia. I felt remiss when I had to explain to him who Firestorm is; I need to pay more attention to the boy’s education.
    3. Re Pig Iron: I remember being really excited as a kid when I learned in a footnote in an issue of Captain Carrot that Peter Porkchops had a long history. I’ve always been a sucker for tie-ins to stories from long before I was born. The Zoo Crew stories frequently tied in with DC’s old funny animal comics, and the fact that I’d never heard of any of them before didn’t stop me from enjoying the sense of continuity. Is it any wonder I was a fan of Infinity Inc and All-Star Squadron? Or that the New 52’s trashing of what came before makes me cringe?
    4. Power Girl: By the time this issue came out, she had already left Infinity, Inc. And it’s kind of sad that her origin story and power set just got more and more muddled until finally Geoff Johns said, “screw it,” and restored her pre-crisis origin.
    5. Phantom Lady: Nobody ever mentions that “black light” is the nickname for UV lights, like they use to make white t-shirts glow in Laser Tag arenas and lame dance clubs. And you have to wonder: Did she ever just refuse to go fight the Axis because it was just too damn cold out for a non-powered hero to wear that costume? Shag, I believe that’s your cue to make a nipple joke.
    6. Predator: Long before the movies, DC had characters named Predator, The Terminator, and Roger Rabbit. They failed to trademark any of these names, and missed out on major royalties. They even had to start referring to the Terminator as “Deathstroke the Terminator,” and change Captain Carrot’s secret identity to Rodney Rabbit (explaining that it was his middle name by which he suddenly wanted to be known). And yeah, the “Predator is the male aspect of Carol Ferris” twist was so lame that I want to work the name Northwind into this sentence.
    7. While most of my time as a comic book reader was spent in the post-Byrne era, I started reading Superman in the late 70’s, so to me the Bronze-age version will always be the “real” Superman at some level. Byrne created a compelling, cool revamp without having to make Superman go all emo or dark, and I accepted what I still considered to be an unnecessary change because he was telling good stories and staying true to the essence of the character, but I bemoaned the loss of Superboy, Supergirl, Krypto, and the Lex Luthor who wasn’t a direct rip-off of the Kingpin. Over time, various writers must’ve agreed with me, because they spent the next couple of decades gradually bringing back almost all the “silliness” that Byrne dropped in his reboot. Then came the New 52, and the movie that rightfully left the name “Superman” out of the title.
    7a. If The Lego Movie had come out before the New 52, I’d have been able to make “Honey, Where Are My Pants?” jokes when they changed Superman’s costume.
    8. Phantom Zone: One bit that never made sense — Making it Jor-El’s invention while he was trying to find a way to escape Krypton’s imminent destruction. Okay, so Jor-El KNOWS the planet’s gonna blow up, and he takes time out to reform the planet’s penal system? “Gee, We’d better not use this to survive our imminent doom, but maybe I can make lemonade out of this lemon! I’ll get back to trying to save my species after I run this by the Science Council and lobby to have it replace our current way of dealing with criminals. No hurry. Hey, do I smell cookies?” Bet he was kicking himself when the end came and he hadn’t had enough time to build a rocket that could fit his whole damn family! And didn’t he know that he was ensuring the inmates would survive Krypton’s explosion, and would either be condemned to exist forever in horrible conditions or would escape to menace an unsuspecting universe with a planet-sized chip on their shoulders?
    14. Can somebody explain to me why Polar Boy wound up in the Legion of Substitute Heroes while the main team took Matter-Eater Lad and Bouncing Boy, and didn’t throw Lighntning Lass out on her butt when her powers changed to “making things light?” The Subs had several members who could clearly have kicked the asses of many Legionnaires, if they hadn’t been played for laughs.
    R. I don’t care what you guys say; Brainwave was an awesome character in Infinity Inc, once they dropped the lame “Junior” from the end of his name. Ditto Nuklon, who had a more likeable personality and a better power set before the series was cancelled. After that… “I’ll pay tribute to my godfather the Atom by becoming Atom Smasher. Or I could pay tribute to Wildcat by becoming Wildcat Squisher…” And bye-bye went his density-controlling powers, with no explanation.
    9. By the way, Nuklon’s mom was supposedly going to be raised by Firebrand after Cyclotron (Nuklon’s grandfather) died. The Atom was going to look in on the baby from time to time as her godfather. The Atom then became Nuklon’s godfather when he was born. None of which explains why Nuklon’s mom a always talked like a stereotypical first-generation Jewish-American mother from Brooklyn, complete with Yiddish peppered into her conversations, or why Nuklon in turn threw around Yiddish when he was talking. She was raised by a rich Irish-American socialite and Al Pratt. The Yiddish thing isn’t genetic; we Jews have to learn it.
    11. Re Prince Ra-Man: How did anybody think this name would work for a character? You get to choose between a noodle joke and merely noting it’s lameness. There is no pitch that I can imagine using to sell this name. Imagine seeing a comic book on the spinner rack with “Inside: Another exciting adventure of Prince Ra-Man!” On the cover. Would you plunk down YOUR 12 cents? No. I wouldn’t plunk down 12 cents TODAY for that comic.”
    Okay, clearly I’m not getting enough sleep. Thanks for another great episode. Keep ’em coming!

  10. Tim Wallace says:

    This is one of a few issues I still haven’t managed to replace since my flood last year…that said…there are some great entries here, and between the descriptive banter you guys provide and the tumblr page it’s almost like I didnt loose it at all!

    Shag you mentioned Dell Barras…I’m familiar with him as Paris Cullins inker on Blue Beetle. The first 6 issues of the series were inked by Bruce Patterson, but when Dell took over it gave the book a much different look. It’s always interesting to me to see how different inkers can change the look of a penciller’s work!

    Lastly…I’ve kept my silence on this issue until now, in part because I’m not a huge Legion fan, so perhaps my pick doesn’t mean much…but I’m throwing in my vote for hottest Legionnaire…we haven’t seen her yet, and it’s another missing issue from my collection (so I might be shooting myself in the foot)…but I say the hottest Legionnaire is Shadow Lass! Loves me some blue skinned super-babes!

  11. Siskoid says:

    Harlan: Bouncing Boy WAS initially rejected for Legion membership, but then saved the day as a civilian and everyone saw the benefit in keeping him around (he bounced back from the disappointment really well, see?). Note that they also rejected Sun Boy in those try-outs (he could merely “glow brightly” then). The Legion accepted Brainiac 5 and Supergirl instead, not too shabby.

    As for Polar Boy, he had terrible control over his powers, which is one of the better reasons for rejecting an applicant. He grew into his powers over time, but by then, felt he could do more good shepherding the Subs. When he moved to the Legion, there was no question he had acquired control and leadership since he’d last tried out. (Eventually, all the Subs did, and were members in the period prior to the 5YL era.)

    And Matter-Eater Lad? He could not be denied! He has perfect control over his powers, which are unique among the members, and are innate. And he was under 18. That’s what’s required of a Legionnaire applicant.

    Oh, and on another point, I guess we almost had copyright notices at the end of Predator and Terminator films like we did on the Karate Kid movies!

  12. Phiveball says:

    Isn’t pulsar Stargrave that wimpy butler from the horrible Larfleeze comic that is currently running?

  13. Jeff R. says:

    A version of Prez also showed up in Firestorm (as simply ‘Rikard’, from an alternate timeline where he took up a career other than politics. And had a little Doctor Manhattan ‘DNA’ as well, bridged by both characters’ connection with watches.) However, Prez Rikard is not going to be this month’s Egregious Omission of the Month. Instead, that honor goes to Professor Zoom. Yes, I know that he shows up next issue under ‘Reverse-Flash’, but that’s just stupid. Eobard Thawne is the guy’s real name, Professor Zoom is his nom-de-crime, as it were, and “The Reverse-Flash” is a mere sobriquet. Listing him under that would be like putting Kal-El under ‘M’ for “Man of Steel” or the Joker under ‘C’ for “Clown Prince of Crime”. Or, for that matter, listing Dubbilex as “The Pursuer”. (My vague memory is DC eventually acknowledged that Zoom should have been here in a later lettercol.)

    Professor Hugo Strange was criminally underused for decades, honestly. (During the late nineties/early 00’s there was a long string of long-form Batman mysteries for which he would have been the ideal suspect [somebody appears to know Batman’s identity and is going to elaborate lengths to psychologally mess with him], but he doesn’t even get considered as a possibility inside the books.)

  14. John H. says:

    I’m not saying Siskoid didn’t deserve the Yellow Dot Award, but he may have overlooked a New Gods appearance. I don’t have the issue in front of me, but the entry for Who’s Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #1 says Darkseid had an entry in that issue, which would bring the New Gods count up to 73. That said, he may have not counted it deliberately, since it was outside the main Who’s Who line.

  15. Martin Gray says:

    Actually, the hottest Legionnaire is Sun Boy, geddit? Oh, suit yourself.

    Gag apart, and from the gay perspective, I’m gong with Cosmic Boy. In the bustier.

  16. I positively love this issue! Most of these personalities are just pure fun!

    Phantom Girl: I agree with both Rob AND Shagg. I like this drawing of an adorably cute girl, but she ain’t Tinya Wazzo. ‘Nuff said.

    Phantom Lady: always liked this character and this portrait, even before I realized she was hot. On the other hand, Is this the only profile which doesn’t actually follow the main image-sub image template?

    Phantom Stranger: my favorite “mainstream” character in this issue. Just love the look and the mystery of this guy. Beautiful art by Jim Aparo!

    Pig Iron: my wife and I go to antique malls on a regular basis, and recently I came across an issue of some old comic that featured Peter Porkchops. Knowing who he turns out to be, I was sorely tempted to buy said comic. Love me some Zoo Crew.

    Plastic Man: I agree with Shagg that this is a great illustration, but I also agree with Rob that it’s not a great Plastic Man illustration.

    Plastique: Shagg, this is the costume she is wearing on the cover of Firestorm 7, without the mask. Did she change her costume in her later appearances? And as for her motivations, isn’t she wanting Quebec to be its own country? So she is a terrorist against both the US and Canada, oui?

    Poison Ivy: She was a brunette until the BATMAN cartoon, and then she was suddenly a red-head. Check out her debut back in TEC and in her JLA and SUICIDE SQUAD appearances if you don’t believe me.

    Polar Boy: My favorite character here, and my favorite piece this issue hands down. Steve Lightle is an artistic genius. Rob, even if you think this is a “zero” character (more like a sub-zero character, zing!) there is no question that the art is fantastic.

    Power Girl: compared to this entry, the Plastic Man profile is a masterpiece. Moving on.

    Pow-Wow Smith: I don’t like this entry, sorry, and I’m not sure if it’s because of the name (although the logo is kind of retro-cool), or the static Infantino pose, or the character itself.

    Prof Hugo Strange: Shagg, if you haven’t read the Englehart-Rogers DETECTIVE issues, you should. They are bloody fantastic!

    Prof Milo: in case you didn’t figure it out, it’s this loser that Poison Ivy has surrounded on the back cover. That issue with the werewolf was the last (?) Neal Adams illustrated issue of BATMAN. It was still pretty bad.

    Psi: Q: How uninteresting was Carmine Infantino’s art by this point?
    A: He even managed to make a basically naked woman dull looking. I was not shocked to not hear Shagg say this woman was “hot,” because, really, this illustration is just embarrassing. Moving on.

    Pulsar Stargrave: probably the most interesting illustration in the book. Keith Pollard really rocked this. By the way, that’s him against Star Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and Sun Boy, Shagg. (LL is grabbing for Sun Boy’s knee.) Unfortunately for this character, he was introduced by Jim Shooter in his last issue of Superboy/LSH, so his story was never adequately explained. I’d love to see him again and find out who or what he really was (is? will be?).

    I have to argue against the idea that The Pursuer was a last-minute add-on. A quick look at the next issue finds that the first entry is The Puzzler, the last “P” character. If The Pursuer wasn’t around, wouldn’t it make more sense to end the “P” characters here, instead of having the letter “hang” over into the next issue? Just saying….

    Loved how my name came up something like three times this issue. Thanks, guys!

    Little Russell Burbage-Lad
    The Planet Tharr

  17. Frank says:

    1) Fantastic cover, even to the point of incorporating the lousy inking of the Giordano studio into the sketchiness of the Phantom Zone Criminals.

    I’m not into Plastic Man as a horndog, since he started out as a serious character and has since become almost solely defined as a perverted goofball. For once, yes please Geoff Johns give me a darkened revamp. The one guy interacting with Plas is Punch, who seems to be trying to physically “jockblack” the Pliable Pseudo-Phallus running up his girl’s booty. Then again, Punch could be doing a jubilant handstand on it, if some of Art Spiegelman’s assertions were correct. Plas did have a series in the 1970s that tied into the cartoon, plus he was was appearing in Adventure Comics just a few years prior to this book’s release.

    Rob’s totally right about the Pliable Paladin rating center square. Power Girl offers a brokeback pose so good you almost accept it.

    2) Even after all these years compiling Martian Manhunter resources on the internet (going back to the 1997 DC Comics Message Board,) I can’t tell you when exactly “Martian Vision” happened. As a Silver Age character whose powers were defined by their lack of definition, it would be something of a fool’s errand to attempt to catalog ever example. J’onn J’onzz had the ability to see through solid objects starting with his fourth appearance, as well as “Super-Vision” that enabled most of Superman’s sight enhancing tricks, plus his eyes started producing heat through “Atom Vision” from his seventh story (though that was little seen for decades afterward.) I don’t recall the first printing of the term “Martian Vision,” but it’s a catch-all for everything from laser to microscopic to telescopic vision, on through to focused bolts of telekinesis.

    A) My first comic book girlfriend was Kitty Pryde (I’m not alone. Show of hands?) so I’ve always had an affection for Phantom Girl as her distant, pan-continuity cousin. That said, Shag’s totally out of line with his rant against Jaime Hernandez, whose work I enjoy and who did a fine job on Tinya. I could have sworn there was an article or a documentary (Comic Book Confidential?) or something where Los Bros were asked to do work by a big publisher and their one word answer was “no,” followed by a dial tone. Guess not. Outstanding suggestion by Rob for Los Legion, which would have added a far greater diversity to a team already lauded for it, including body types.

    3) It’s funny that Rob mentioned that specific Back Issue article. It turned out that I had preordered that specific issue for the Warlock feature, but first heard about the DIY COIE follow-up piece at The Aquaman Shrine. My mind exploded with possibilities, so I was very disappointed when the book arrived with mostly rearranging of the deck chairs at DC/Marvel circa 1986. I spent months researching industry history from the period and finding existing pieces of art that would play into my own elaborate line wide rehistory, “The DC Revolution.” In fact, the project got so weighted down by my expectations of it and the gobs of R&D time, that it was slowly, quietly abandoned with nothing to show for it.

    In case you were interested, in my universe, Justice League of America became a quasi-anthology title for a year or so ahead of the first major Post-Crisis crossover “The Zone,” in which Firestorm was to figure prominently before joining the reformed JLA when it reverted back to a team book. The Pozner Aquaman mini-series was turned into an ongoing with art initially by Alan Davis, but sales floundered after he left. The new permanent team was to be Bill Willingham, Chuck Patton, and Dick Giordano, wherein Aquaman learned that his claim to royalty was a fabrication created by Nuada Silver-Hand in her plot to manufacture and sacrifice a king to her dark Lovecraftian gods. Aquaman’s mother was in truth a scientist who had rediscovered and improved upon a formula created in the 1940s, which had led her into a variety of entanglements with Atlantis. Aquaman and Mera would now be the surface world’s protector against the horrors of the deep, including those created by his sorcerer half-brother.

    B) I’ve never been able to find a reason to give a crap about Phantom Lady beyond her being repeatedly blessed with artists far greater than she ever deserved, with Dave Stevens being the pinnacle of that phenomenon. Her logo is definitely better than Phantom Girl’s.

    C) Mild fondness for Phantom Stranger based on early exposure, but to call me a legitimate fan would be an overstatement. Jim Aparo, on the other hand, boo-yah! 3 entries in 33 minutes!

    D) The Phantom Zone is one of DC’s best rebuttals to all of us whining about characters not being included in Who’s Who. Many of these guys were very important to the Superman mythos, but never received solo entries, most glaringly General Zod. Of course, at this point Zook had appeared in more stories than most of these characters combined, much less Zod on his own, so screw that.

    E) I’ve always tried to respect the weirdness of the original Brotherhood of Evil without actually being into them, while I was more open to the second model despite being very conscious of how blandly conventional they were for X-Men/Titans type foes. Amongst a group I’ve struggled to appreciate for what they meant to the teams they fought, I’ve had the least trouble with Phobia, a solid performer in her weight class of malevolence. For once, Perez didn’t go way overboard on a design, and it works as a result. Also like the combination of Patton & Kesel. Chuck Patton drew many of the Tales of the Teen Titans stories during the gap year(s) before the reprints of the Baxter series kicked in.

    F) If Pied Piper wasn’t created to be a mid-century homosexual stereotype, they sure didn’t veer away from that quality. This doesn’t even work within the context of the Rogues. I liked him better (re: at all) following his redemption and outing under Messner-Loebs & Waid.

    G) I’m not big on the Zoo Crew beyond misplaced nostalgia, but this has to be one of the best looking entries for Scott Shaw’s team. The in-joke about not wanting to read old Peter Porkchop comics blows back a bit at DC though. Maybe Who’s Who had such short entries compared to OHOTMU because Marvel researchers were actually enthusiastic about diving into their longboxes? I have to admit to having a lot more Marvel Essentials on my bookshelf than Showcase Presents.

    H) Marv Wolfman’s pencils melted away at the touch of Perez. Except for that amateurish logo, maybe? Plasmus is another member of the Brotherhood who is perfectly fine at putting a heroic team through their paces without inspiring any sort of fan club. Plasmus the Living Boilerplate.

    I) I hate this Plastic Man entry. It’s ugly and dull. Not only is it Joe Staton at his worst, but it’s Plas at his laziest and least inventive. This reminds me of when DC purchased Wildstorm, at a time when I was at the prime of my fandom for DC and still current but waning on WS. I was very excited about the prospect of merging universes and talent, even though Jim Lee liked his DC analogues too much, and DC would have probably been better served buying all of Rob Liefeld’s ersatz Marvels instead. Anyway, DC ruined Wildstorm, and as I learned more of my history, they’ve ruined most anything they’ve every bought. They purchased Plas in 1956, forgot they had done so until 1966, and have offered one insipid, hackneyed, malignant reinterpretation of the character after another ever since. So this image recalls the awful short lived ’60s series, a reasonable exception to my general rule against book burning.

    J) I like Plastique, but in this specific forum after repeatedly addressing that subject, I have nothing to add. I agree that the Poison Ivy entry was weak by Steve Rude’s standards. If Ivy really does sell weed, for once that line about drugs funding terrorism would ring true. Ivy doesn’t work for me as a reader, but her best moment in my experience was being drawn by Brian Apthorp for Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #3. I’d have used that as the basis for all future renditions, as opposed to Jim Lee’s in “Hush.” The extremely low grade Polar Boy was drawn by Steve Lightle. ‘Nuff said. Nicol Williamson wants his helmet back.

    K) Joe Staton redeems himself with a wonderful Power Girl entry that is true to the character’s proportions without seeming salacious. The classic look is still the best, with a nice logo. The surprint is too crowded though, lacking definition in a problematic way.

    L) The Pow-Wow Smith logo is superior to everything else on the page, including Infantino’s Ken doll anatomy. How many torsos can you fit under that crotch? The Prankster image proves that even John Byrne in his prime couldn’t save everybody. The Predator is one of those characters that was badass looking in his/her time, but his/her convoluted continuity undermines any foothold he/she could ever gain in the annals of villainy. As I recall, Neron took off with the Predator baby, and it was never mentioned again. Primus was drinking Pork Soda from a Punchbowl on Seas of Cheese.

    M) Okay, so House of Mystery and House of Secrets were DC’s watered down post-CCA knockoffs of EC’s horror anthologies, and they were both edited by Jack Schiff. After the super-hero boom, Schiff was pushed off the Batman family of titles and retreated to the anthologies, which he tried to rejigger into super-hero titles. Mystery got the Manhunter from Mars & Zook as a lead feature, then was bifurcated by the arrival of new cover star Robby Reed. Secrets got the newly created Eclipso to join longtime anchor strip star Mark Merlin. Both the Manhunter and Merlin had big shake-ups inside two years, with J’onn J’onzz ditching Zook to battle the international crime organization Vulture in a quasi-spy scene, while Merlin merged with Prince Ra-Man. Secrets was canceled in 1966, Schiff left DC for good in 1968, Joe Orlando revamped Mystery into a more successful rip-off of Warren Publishing’s knockoff of EC, and then Orlando revived Secrets in the same mold for 1969.

    The central figure is nice, but let’s not put all the blame on Savvy Yuck’s inker for the rest. He can do bad all on his own.

    N) I read about half of the weekly Millennium before it put too much of a cramp on my budget, and liked it enough to try the Manhunter spin-off. That launched great, helped in part by the rich sense of history derived from Mark Shaw’s few appearances under many identities in key stories. Privateer was a dick in his JLA appearances, and he definitely traded up from these dud duds and those of Star-Tsar (ugh) as Manhunter. Still, all this having been said, DC should have picked one damned Manhunter and stuck with it, and he should have come from Mars. [No reds on my physical copy.]

    O) Surprisingly good profile image for Professor Amos Fortune, and yes, Bill Wray always brought out the best in Luke McDonnell. No luck glands! Really dig Cowan’s Hugo Strange image, and one of the few Batman villains I still like/find interesting. I recommend the arcs featuring the character in Legends of the Dark Knight by Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy. The central figure in the Ivo profile is nice, but the surprint is stiff like something from a ’50s b-title. For me, Mike Zeck is one of the art gods, and even though Professor Milo means nothing to me, I’m all over this image. I can see the similarity to Aparo, which is no bad thing. Zeck provided covers over Aparo’s interiors on “Ten Nights of the Beast.”

    P) How did Shag get through the Proty entry without mentioning the Adipose? I wonder what the PSI on Psi’s bikini is? I actually liked that image, probably entirely thanks to Bob Oksner. I did not like Chuck Patton’s Psimon as much as I probably would have without Larry Mahlstedt. Creators can’t stop popping his brain balloon, most recently in Salvation Run. My best liked version of Psimon was (God forgive me) under Judd Winnick and Tom Raney on Outsiders, when he engineered that Brotherhood orgy. Bit of a Mesmero lift, but still wrong-cool.

    Q) Psions… Yeah. Everyone wants to say “Guardians of the Galaxy” over “Guardians of the Universe” lately because while both have a talking raccoon warrior at their disposal, only one has a movie people want to see. Psycho-Pirate is a nifty visual and concept with a swell entry. I so liked the white on green interplay of Pulsar Stargrave that I did many white variations in my attempts to design alternate Martian Manhunter costumes.

    R) I don’t know how often Art Adams drew Who’s Who entries, but if it was less often than five in every issue, you’re not allowed to not post every Art Adams Who’s Who entry on your Tumblr. Art Adams drew Zook for me, and the image was stolen by somebody to become the header for Comic Vine’s Zook entry, which is a win for the general public. Punch and Jewelee only appeared twice before Crisis because they were super-villains in a Charlton Action Heroes book, which means they had double the exposure of most.

    S) I’m sure there’s a TV Trope about the guy who has never failed to catch/kill his prey who of course fails against Our Heroes the first time out. Devilance the Pursuer is a sweet name for a dude who is not this dude, because this dude looks like Prancy Pants the Flat Forker. He’s the Deathstroke the Terminator of the Forever People. So not a compliment.

    4) It’s 2014. Why is the word “anthology” even in our vocabulary for future comics when digital downloads are where we’re actually going? Produce a trial issue for Undervalued Character X, release it free or at reduced price on teh internets, get immediate feedback, and progress to discontinuation or profits from there.

    5) Congratulations to Siskoid for his Yellow Dot Award repeat, (despite stopping short of the looseleaf edition like a quitter, you quitter you!) I can’t recall if either of us has gotten a Steam Award yet, but the race is officially on for who can become the first EGOT of the Fire & Water Family of Podcasts! Who’ll get that coveted Power Cassette? The Hero Points Hit Point? Winners get a free copy of “Hey Kids, Comics!” with a $16.19 purchase at!

    6) I like “Who’s Next!” Especially “Behind Blue Eyes,” though obviously “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” were the bigger hits.

  18. Earth-Three Krank says:

    That was actually me who offered the info on Giffen’s Peacemaker. Other creative teams included:

    *Blue Beetle: Steve Englehart, Dave Ross and Alex Niño.
    *Judomaster: Frank McLaughlin.
    *Peter Cannon– Thunderbolt: Pete Morisi.
    *Captain Atom: Paul Kupperberg and Paul Chadwick, who was replaced by Who’s Who profile artist Denys Cowan.
    *The Question: Mike W. Barr, Stan Woch and Rick Magyar.
    Sarge Steel: Andy Helfer, Trevor Von Eeden and Dick Giordano.

    Can someone please talk DC into Canceled Comics Cavalcade Volume 3?

  19. Siskoid says:

    Sorry John, but I did count it.

  20. Siskoid says:

    Frank: I raise my hand.

    Also, I completely agree with your digital-first model and I’ll raise you the end of floppies to be replaced by direct-to-trade (à la Tintin, Asterix, etc.). Sorry old schoolers. The industry isn’t moving on quickly enough to save itself.

    And I did NOT stop short of the loose leaf edition. That tally was for everything with a Who’s Who banner on top. I know Shag ran through it real fast, but was it that unclear?

  21. Joe X says:

    Get here one day late, and there’s already a gigantic number of responses. Anyway, some notes:

    Phantom Girl could and did travel into the Phantom Zone, once to save Mon-El.

    Veitch also did the DC Comics Presents #85 story with Swamp Thing, so he had a little Superman experience. He also re-teamed with Alan Moore on Supreme.

    Wolfman wanted to break in as an artist, and I’ve seen some of his fanzine-era Nova pages. It’s a good thing he settled for writing.

    @Siskoid: at the time, Bill Messner-Loebs was still writing and drawing Journey for Fantagraphics, so he would have been brought in for the “give the indie guy a nice check and some exposure”, same as Jaime Hernandez, Scott McCloud, and Chuck Beckum.

    Dell Barras also drew Roy Thomas’s Captain Thunder and Blue Bolt for Heroic.

    Predator was one of the emotional spectrum entities, like Ion or Parallax, but for the Star Sapphires. That’s where Shag gave up.

    With the right inker, Alex Saviuk can pull off a nice Jim Aparo impression.

    The Mark Shaw Manhunter series was launched with Doug Rice of Dynamo Joe as the artist.

    Proty I and the resurrection of Lightning Lad led to one of the more controversial retcons of the Giffen and Bierbaum LSH v4.

    Marv Wolfman created the Psions to try and make them the DC version of the Kree as part of his Marvelization of the DCU.

  22. Phylemon says:

    I really thought I got through the episode quickly this time, but here I am at the tail end of the comments again. I blame Shag and Rob for releasing this the day after my Spring Break ended. Surely that was no coincidence. Alright, to the random thoughts:

    1. So, apparently I am “wrong” about everything, but when it comes time for Shag to choose his in stock trade choice, he picks my recommendation of the Strange Deaths of Batman. Funny that.

    2. I love Rob’s comment about Perez’s love of DC showing through this cover. Could not agree more. Well said!

    3. How could you not notice the Coloring error on the front page? It has marred my appreciation of an otherwise spectacular piece of art for over 25 years. I am intrigued by Siskoid’s statement about their being a correctly colored version. This may cause me to do some online shopping.

    4. I miss Phantom Stranger as a character who stands on the sidelines and guides others to fulfill their destiny. Same goes for Madame Xanadu. It is a shame that there is no room in the new 52 for characters like that.

    5. What is interesting about the Phantom zone entry is that although it appears to gather decades of silver age Superman stories (and it may for all I know), it is basically a summary of the 1982 four issue Phantom zone miniseries. I read the miniseries fairly recently, and was struck by how much this entry reads like a companion piece.

    6. There are many worthy contenders, but Phobia is hands down my favorite piece of art in this issue. The surprint is gorgeous (although the dual colors could be what draws my attention to that) and the logo, although small, is super creepy and pitch perfect.

    7. Well great, now I have to go back and buy 62 issues of Peter Porkchops to complete my Capt. Carrot collection. Thanks guys!

    8. Plastic Man is a poor Man’s Elongated Man and always will be.

    9. I knew we couldn’t get through one episode without you taking a Forever People jab, which brings us to the big news of the month! Are you as excited as I am about the new Forever People comic coming in June!? Face it guys, you’re on the wrong side of history on this one. This is the first good thing DC has done since Didio and Giffen’s OMAC series.

  23. rob! says:

    Plastic Man is a poor Man’s Elongated Man and always will be.

    Might be the most offensive thing ever said related to the podcast, and I’m including everything from Frank.

  24. Siskoid says:

    Phylemon: The Canadian version is correct. Look for the cover with the 1.35$ price on it.

  25. Siskoid says:

    How do I upvote Rob’s retort on this thing?

  26. Phylemon says:

    Well, rob, I guess I have filled my quotient of “contrarian” views for this broadcast. I have no real issue with Eel, but I’ve always thought Ralph’s detective ability made him a more versatile and interesting character, just like Reed Richards scientific gifts elevate him over Plastic Man.

    Also, am I the only one who, after hearing the last sound clip, thinks Plastic Man sounds like Rob? Maybe that explains the connection.

    I will definitely be looking for the Canadian version of this issue.

  27. rob! says:

    Also, am I the only one who, after hearing the last sound clip, thinks Plastic Man sounds like Rob? Maybe that explains the connection.

    When you’re in a hole, stop digging!

  28. Kyle Benning says:

    Finally got a chance to listen to this today at work! What a week! Another stellar issue!

    First off, Rob, congratulations on the article in Back Issue, I haven’t gotten a chance to sit down and read it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

    I feel like I say this about every issue, but man do I love this cover, this has definitely got to be in my top 5 favorites.

    I have to agree with Shag on Phantom Girl, while the art is gorgeous, I definitely think Hernadez’s art would have been perfect for Beautiful Dreamer or Big Barda. Gorgeous art, but not true to Phantom Girl’s petite size.

    Wow, that Phantom Lady entry, Dave Stevens is without a doubt in the top 5 artists of all time for drawing beautiful women. Wow, what an entry.

    I really wish they would’ve had Gene Colan do the Phantom Zone entry. Correct, Veitch did do the last issue of DC Presents featuring the Phantom Zone villains, but how could you not want Colan who did the beautiful art on that awesome Steve Gerber penned Phantom Zone mini-series.

    Hugo Strange had a fairly significant role in the awesome Young Justice Cartoon as the Warden/Head Psychiatrist at Belle Reeve.

    Professor Ivo, another character Arrow has brought in and made a prominent threat, I’ve really dug what they’ve done with him, they do a great job of making you hate him.

    Speaking of Secret Origins, has this 1980’s volume ever been collected? Man that was a great series. The Paul Kupperberg & John Byrne Doom Patrol Secret Origins Annual remains one of my favorite single issue comics of all time!

    Another great episode guys! Can’t wait for the next episode of Who’s Who!

  29. Joe X says:

    And it looks like I was wrong, and Harvey Bullock predates Moench on Batman for some time, having first appeared in Detective #441, by Archie Goodwin and Howard Chaykin.

  30. Anj says:

    Kudos to Rob on the article as well. Just a great piece and very nostalgic for me.

    I was given that Dick Tracy comic as a kid and remember being startled by the violence in it.

    Flattop makes a sling shot out of a hot water bottle and then shoots glass from an aspirin bottle into the prison guards eye to escape.

    And then, he tries to swim away at the end but under the water gets stuck between 2 poles holding up a wharf or something and drowns.

    Crazy stuff … but I loved it as a kid.

  31. rob! says:

    It’s a damn shame DC didn’t do more Dick Tracy comics. I’ve read that treasury a thousand times.

    BTW (Plug Alert), this isn’t the first article I’ve written for BI. If you go to my website you can read all the previous ones I’ve written via PDF.

    BTW 2, I have another article in the next issue, a big piece on Red Tornado.

  32. Martin Stein Returns says:

    I just want to chime in to say that I could not care less about the hottest Legionnaire debate, because in my estimation the Dave Stevens Phantom Lady has them all beat hands down. I have to confess that I spent quite a bit of time with this particular piece of art back in the day… doing what young teenage boys do.

  33. […] Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe, Volume XVIII is up to the volume featuring Pied Piper […]

  34. Benton Grey says:

    Good heavens this one got a lot of feedback! I suppose I am pretty late to the party here, having had to catch up on several episodes. As such, this comment is about the last four or so episodes rather than just this one. After that caveat, my brief thoughts will seem rather anticlimactic, I fear.

    Shag, your selection of a team of your favorite characters that you mentioned a few episodes back is, almost, precisely the makeup of a DC version of the Defenders I’ve created a few missions for in my DC mod. It includes Firestorm, Blue Devil, Dr. Fate, and Aquaman, among others. That strikes me as a fun bit of happenstance.

    I just started reading Detective Comics from the 70s, and imagine my surprise and pleasure when I began to recognize all of the various backup characters from this very podcast. I think I have a better reaction to the likes of Mysto after having heard him discussed here. I find these characters charming now.

    Also, I see what y’all mean about DC stretching the idea of “detective” for this title. I just read a Hawkman backup story (that was quite good), but I don’t think Hawkman is really primarily known as a sleuth!

  35. Luke says:

    Prince Ra-Man, Prince Of Noodles, I love it. And I do love ramen noodles!

    I have never pronounced Psimon as Simon, instead as Psi-mon. It may be that with the -mon suffix, I automatically default to the Digimon style name. Or it may be that I have a son named Simon and don’t want to associate him with this loser. Of course, he is best known to me as the guy who hated being called “Brainiac” in Tiny Titans! That time he hung out with all of the other Brainiacs didn’t help his cause.

    Pulsar Stargrave, in the New 52, has been reimagined as the fussy, put-upon, forced-into-service butler of Larfleeze.

    Benton Grey said: “Also, I see what y’all mean about DC stretching the idea of “detective” for this title. I just read a Hawkman backup story (that was quite good), but I don’t think Hawkman is really primarily known as a sleuth!”

    @Benton, the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl were certainly police officers, but no, they were not detectives in the sense we normally think of the term. Gardner Fox typically wrote them as investigators, but not sleuths.

    Many years ago, Diabolu Frank and I discussed the police procedural analogues regarding our pet characters. Our conclusion was that Martian Manhunter was akin to Joe Friday (straightforward, no nonsense, only concerned with facts), Hawkman was Rick Hunter (smash first, ask questions later, but not as lethal as Harry Callahan), and Hawkgirl was Dee Dee McCall (the sassy one who works with the tough guy).

  36. Jeff R. says:

    I just realized that I almost egregiously omitted someone myself. While I’m still going to go with Professor Zoom for the pick, there is another character who deserved a mention: The Purple Pile-Driver. One of the most ridiculously overmatched villains to ever face Superman, this man was a true paragon of persistence, never considering relocating to a city with superheroes more closely matched to his power-level, and while utterly ridulous and pathetic, his appearance in an issue of Superman or Action always heralded a great story. This is because that was the day when editorial mandated a certain numbers of fight scenes in each issue, and when those fights were with the Purple Pile-Driver, you knew they were truly obligatory and something far more interesting was happening in the other pages. So he gets an honorable mention, and should have been in Who’s Who.

  37. […] sure to check out Episode Eighteen of the amazing Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe hosted by Rob Kelly and the […]

  38. […] sure to check out Episode Eighteen of the amazing Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe hosted by Rob Kelly and the […]

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