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

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 XX!

The twentieth 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 XX, discussing characters such as Sandman, Sargon The Sorcerer, Saturn Girl, Scarecrow, Sgt. Rock, Secret Society of Super-Villains, Shade The Changing Man, Shazam, and many more! We wrap up the show with your 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 twentieth 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 (76 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 Paris Cullins & Dick Giordano cover for Volume XX! Click the image to enlarge.

Who's Who The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #20

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

Only one this time, and it’s a doozy! The Secret Society of Super-Villains! Our favorite Nuclear Man tussled with one incarnation of these “super enemies” in Justice League of America #195-197 (Oct-Dec. 1981). To balance the Hero/Villain ratio, this particular incarnation included Killer Frost. Check out these issues if you have a chance. Click to enlarge the awesome illustration below by Alex Saviuk & Mike DeCarlo.

Secret Society of Super-Villains from Who's Who drawn by Alex Saviuk & Mike DeCarlo

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  1. 1. On the cover, the black area covering Shakira’s rear end looks like the shadow of Sgt. Rock’s leg. This lends further support to Dan Jurgens’ suggestion that she’s naked in human form. Them hips, after all, don’t lie.

    2. In addition to my Black Canary blog, which shall return with regular updates this week, I also publish a weekly review of SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE issues at my blog, Sandman Slept Here ( When I finish that series, I’ll review the issue of SECRET ORIGIN that ties his debut to the Crimson Avenger, as well as his early adventures collected in SANDMAN ARCHIVES. Thanks for the plug during your ten minutes on the character’s entry.

    I like your point, Shag, that Sandman straddles the line between superhero and pulp detective. It’s for this reason that I think the character would translate much easier to television or film than many other better known DC heroes… but instead we’re going to get a Batman show with every character but Batman.

    I can see Rob’s point that Sandman’s pose is kind of boring, but I like Bair’s lines and the inking as well as the surprint images in the background.

    A few weeks after Rob fractured the bedrock of his credibility by mispronouncing M.O.D.O.K., he takes a big step forward by rerouting Shag’s mispronunciation of Dian Belmont. Despite the atypical spelling, it’s Dian like “Diane”.

    3. I never cared about Seven Soldiers of Victory because every picture of the team I ever saw featured eight characters and two of them were sidekicks.

    4. Shadow Thief makes my Top 10 DC super villains. Something about the simplicity of his look hits the appropriate fan boy buttons for me and this entry is amazing. Kubert nailed this page as beautifully as any of his Hawkman illustrations.

  2. Siskoid says:

    Here we go…

    Suggested trades: I always pronounced Dian Belmont’s name as “Diane”. But yeah, great picks guys.

    Yellow bleed: I have two copies of this issue, an American printing and a Canadian one. Your scans don’t show it, so it may be just my issue, but there’s a very strange thing going on with the color yellow in my American printing. It’s like it was printed on twice, and the second time offset from the first. So everywhere yellow is a component, there’s a ghost or echo of that color coming off the figures. It’s not just a question of displacement because there are aren’t always white spaces where yellow should go. Everything is filled in, so it really is a double-printing on some pages. Can’t explain it. Good thing it’s yellow and not some darker color! The Canadian printing is fine. I wonder how many random issues of the series have such problems, possibly caused by the color holds. I just don’t know.

    Rubberduck: Despite Shag’s guess his logo was drawn by the artist for the entry, it actually premiered in the Zoo Crew series. You can all of the Crew members’ logos on the cover of #18.

    Ryand’r: Not only is there no pronunciation guide to help with this, the last such guide appeared in vol. XVIII. The very last. Who’s Who would not feature such a guide again.

    Sandman: The Dian’s dead retcon? I think it’s because Dian wasn’t in the yellow-purple costume adventures. That ugly, ugly costume which was practically the same as Tarantula’s (and why All-Star Squadron had to change the later’s; strangely, the Sandman’s first ever opponent was an unrelated villain called the Tarantula, a story that was reimagined in Mystery Theater). Dian presumably died between Adventure 68 and 69, or so Roy Thomas intuited. One reason Sandman deserves to have both costumes given first appearances is that they might as well be different characters! In fact, I’m surprised Roy didn’t put gas mask on Earth-1 as an early pulp hero complete with gal Friday (like the Shadow, the Spider, etc.), with Earth-2’s Wesley Dodds as a generic costumed crimefighter with a boy sidekick. The gasmask and post-gasmask stories are really quite exclusive to another another. As for the “prophetic dreams” origin, I think it may well be a Neil Gaiman thing to tie the original Sandman with the later models. If you look at Secret Origins #7, by Roy Thomas and Michael Bair, which came out on the SAME MONTH as this issue of Who’s Who, there’s no mention of it as a motivator for the character, and Roy isn’t the kind of guy who omits details that were established before.
    In other matters: The JSA shunt to Ragnarok was an epic story and I loved it, but yeah, also glad it wasn’t forever.

    Sandman II: No no, Sandman II WAS created by both Simon and Kirby, who collaborated on the first issue together before Michael Fleisher took over scripting with #2. Joe Simon was developing new projects at DC in the mid-70s, stuff like the Green Team and Prez; Sandman was probably a one-off thing between them.

    Sarge Steel: That guy he’s action-punching in the background is the Smiling Skull, a Red Skull rip-off who also appeared in another Charlton book – JudoMaster (whose series Steel appeared in as a back-up after his own series failed).

    Saturn Girl: Curt Swan poses are never going to be particularly interesting to me, but Kesel really does a good job hiding Swan’s other Swan-ness.

    Saturn Queen: Her LSV were foes of the “Adult LSH” which Superman met a few times in the Silver Age. So yes, that would be Superman. She’s seen been seen in “current” LSH continuity.

    Scarecrow: World’s Finest #3 was from before Superman and Batman would team up in the book. So that issue has a Superman story AND a Batman story (plus takes of Sandman, the King, Sargon, etc.) and he appears in the Batman & Robin story. 1941 is a lot earlier than I would have imagined for him, actually.

    Scavenger: A bit of a disappointment to me because the art never really does justice to the idea that the helmet is a creature’s head and he’s basically peeking out from inside the mouth. It’s clearer on the cover.

    Sensor Girl: I’m trying to remember if Who’s Who spoiled Sensor Girl’s identity for me. I was reading the new stories in Tales of, one year behind the Baxter Series (all I had access to).

    Sgt. Rock: You didn’t mention the First Appearance controversy. They name Our Army at War #81 as 1st, though that really features the story “The Rock of Easy Company” which is the 2nd prototype for Sgt. Rock, but has several differences with the finished product, most prominently being called Sgt. Rocky with a “y”. It was a one-off, like a lot of stories in war anthologies at the time, and the real Sgt. Rock wouldn’t appear until #83. The very first prototype was in G.I. Combat #68, simply called “The Rock”. So OAAT81 is an odd transitional choice, but you could make a case for it because Rocky is in Easy Company.

    7 Soldiers of Victory: I love these guys, and love how they were all brought together in the first episode of Justice League Unlimited. Remember that? To answer some of your questions, Leading Comics #1 was published by World’s Best Comics, but featured characters from across different ranges (Detective, Adventure, Star-Spangled, More Fun, etc.). The stories were very much in the JSA mold, with different members splitting up to handle various elements of the plot. Looks like an editor wanted to emulate All-star Comics’ success, and took the characters the others would let him use. World’s Best was also the imprint (for lack of a better word) that published World’s Finest, which ALSO featured adventures of various heroes from across all of uber-National’s comics, so maybe it was the label used for projects that were allowed to use characters from every editor’s stable, I don’t know. The American Comic Book Chronicles series needs to come out with its volume on the 40s so I can get more educated!
    One correction: Sorry Rob, but their Leading Comics appearances have all been reprinted in DC’s Archives series (three volumes).

    The Shade: Not aware of the Meltzer story, because that’s not a writer I like to follow, but it does sound strange. Green Arrow had a previous relationship with the Shade? Enough so that he’s the guy who goes to the other guy’s apartment to clear out the porn before his parents get there? That’s just a strange combo to me.

    Shadow Lass: Kind of miss the Shadow Lass with almost-to-skin short hair in the art somewhere. That was a very distinctive (and rare!) fashion choice for a superheroine.

    Shaggy Man: Remember what I was saying about the 7 Soldiers in that episode of JLU? Well, the villain they go up against is the shaved Shaggy Man General Eiling! In other words, those guys were writing plots based on reading random issues of Who’s Who. Which is why it was so awesome.

    Shazam: Bingham drew the Secret Origin of Captain Marvel in Secret Origins #3. It was soon erased from continuity post-Crisis.

    Shimmer: You can tell a Perez costume design a mile off. He has a lot of qualities as an artist, but costume design isn’t one of them. It really isn’t. He sure loves his ‘fros, metal collars, etc. He never got out of the disco era.

    Shining Knight: Ah, so you did see the JLU episode. Yeah, baby. Yeah. Shining Knight is awesome and was one of my favorite All-Star Squadron members. A great entry. John Bolton’s stuff is often painted work, including the first issue of the Books of Magic mini-series (Tim Hunter’s appearance is based on his son’s), the Man-Bat mini, Menz Insania at Vertigo, etc.

    Listener feedback…
    Who in Ambush Bug #3 hasn’t returned? My guesses (no evidence or research): Wonder Tot, Binky, Doodles Duck, and Glop.

    LEGION and Vril Dox: Awesome. REBELS was not as good, you’re right. The new REBELS had some good stuff in it, but storylines tended to last too long, Bedard’s particular sin as a writer.

    Mazzucchelli: One of my favorite projects of his is Paul Auster’s City of Glass, a mind-blowing novel adaptation.

    Who’s This possible developments:

  3. Siskoid says:

    @Count: Maybe if you called them Law’s Legionnaires, you’d like them better. #headcount

  4. Anj says:

    Thanks for another great episode. There is plenty to talk about in this issue! As usual I will try to limit my comments.

    Cover: I thought this was a decent cover although Sensei and Sargon are way too huge. I think the Shaggy Man is holding a mirror to see how Scalphunter’s haircut is going. If it is a magnifying glass maybe he is looking for the Secret Six?

    Sandy: His ‘cure’ from being the silicon beast was covered in the ‘Whatever happened to Sandy’ Story in DCCP #42. It amazes me how much happened in that back-up series.

    Sargon: I also loved his death in Swamp Thing #50. I guess at one point Sargon was a villain. It was his dabbling with evil that made him most susceptible to the dark magic feedback in that seance. But did you know he also had a ‘Whatever happened to’ story? It was in DCCP #26, the first appearance of the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans!

    Saturn Girl: This is something of a plain entry for Imra. I am amazed that they didn’t include her pink bikini Cockrum costume somewhere in the surprint!

    Sensor Girl: Quislet is in the surprint because he joined the Legion at the same time as Sensor Girl. Her ‘vague’ sensory powers helped keep people wondering if she was Supergirl. Those powers could be super-vision, xray vision, superhearing, etc. (The Supergirl question is also why a distraught Brainiac 5 is also on her page.) This is one of my favorite pages in this issue.

    Serafin: like Shag I will be thrilled when we aren’t talking Forever People anymore. They are the worst Fourth World property. They are also like the Village People of the DC – a cowboy, a barbarian, a space guy! All we need is a cop!

    Shade The Changing Man: I could talk about all the incarnations of Shade The Changing Man for a long long time. I love this character. The Ditko issues are crazy dense. It is almost incomprehensible. It is one of those books that I reread every couple of years to see if I will understand it better. I mean, Ditko doesn’t give you a second to breathe. Between the politics and organized crime on Meta, the odd Miraco-vest, the area of Madness, the various zones, the embedded Metans on Earth … it is overwhelming. Madness.

    The vest distorts how people see Shade according to their mood. It means every issue someone is saying ‘He’s changing!!!’

    I love the Milligan book as well!

    Shadow Thief: How dare Shag trash Hyathis. She is awesome!

    Shining Knight: I love this page. It is beautiful. I loved his All Star Squadron stuff. But I also liked his scenes in Arthurian times in Crisis. In Morrison’s Seven Soldiers (and carried forward in Demon Knights), Shining Knight is Ystin, a woman. John Bolton did great art on the Delano Manbat prestige mini-series as well as the opening chapter in Books of Magic.

    Lastly, I will echo the love of the recent REBELS book from 2009. I reviewed all the issues on my site.

    I could really talk about Wesley Dodds’ Sandman but leave that to others. I loved Sandman Mystery Theater.

  5. @Siskoid – Meltzer had a six-issue run on GREEN ARROW immediately after Kevin Smith left the book. It’s not the most well-crafted story so much as a love letter to the author’s favorite bits of Ollie’s history with some fun and inventive bits of characterization… which pretty much describes Meltzer’s work on JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and the better parts of IDENTITY CRISIS.

  6. Xum Yukinori says:

    RE: Robotman I. Shag, you were actually correct. The last page of the “Whatever Happened To…?” backup story in DC Comics Presents #31 actually shows Robotman’s brain being transferred into Chuck Grayson’s body. The process was essentially the last three panels of the page so it may have been missed by those who “blinked.”


  7. Frank says:

    Sat on my reply. Let me see if I can edit out corrections already covered by others…

    1) Twenty episodes in. I’m never going to not hear “Tudy Man,” am I?

    2) The Sea Devils strike me as a solid supporting cast for Aquaman, specialized bit players for the DCU, and nothing else.

    3) I read and liked, like, two vastly non-consecutive issues of Shade decades ago and never followed up on it. Those trades never seem to turn up anywhere cheap, either. Huh. I gave Sandman Mystery Theatre two extended try-outs, and simply didn’t like it. I always assumed Dian Belmont’s name was just a spelling variation on “Diane,” but it could be “Dee-Ann.” Per YouTube, the latter option would be Spanish, while French is more like “Dee-Oh.” DC, get right on that pronunciation guide for the girlfriend of a forgettable 1940s pulp knock-off you’re currently aggressively pretending never existed!

    a) The cover’s inking credit went to Dick Giordano. It was so inked by “Giordano,” in the manner that we’ve come to expect “Giordano” to ink a Who’s Who cover. Inked it right up. Between the overall look and the character selection… let me double check with a quick survey… mmm-hmmm… yes… yes this is indeed my least favorite cover of the original series.

    b) It probably never made it that far, but wouldn’t it be neat if there was some unused pages from the aborted Who’s Who spin-offs out there?

    I’ve had to use DC’s same techniques for scavenging logos when putting together my profiles for Martian Manhunter characters. Once, when I used to actually make them look like Who’s Who pages, I just took a plain usage of a name from a dialogue balloon and blew it up into a pathetic pseudo-logo. Funnily enough, an artist I was getting a commission from last weekend took note of this, and painted a nice functional new “logo” for the character while signing his name.

    c) My modest nostalgia for the issue or two of Captain Carrot I bought as a kid is not enough to make me welcome all these dang individual Zoo Crew entries. My tolerance for animal puns is low. Good illustration, and a sound reminder that green is not a choice color for stretching characters.

    d) Dig McManus’ twink Ryand’r. I like it when male relatives/significant others of super-women are relative non-entities, like the females in most male character’s supporting casts. Their being objectified makes it better. I thought Starfire and Blackfire got their powers from unethical tests performed by the Gordanians while in captivity. Do all Tamaraneans have a degree of energy projection power, or all their royals?

    e) Sabbac is a poster boy for the value of a Who’s Who entry. He only appeared in two early issues of Captain Marvel Jr. during the Golden Age, and then two appearances in the Bronze Age that weren’t even part of DC’s Shazam revival series. By being in Who’s Who and having it clearly spelled out that he got his powers in an evil variation on Captain Marvel’s own, he became a major Marvel Family adversary. Sure he’s an unrecognizable pagan-hellbeast type thing, and he was mostly written by Judd Winick, but…

    f) The best way to gauge my interest in the Sandman is in relation to Johnny Thunder. If I were a super-hero, I’d probably be the Sandman, and under those terms I’d rather not be a super-hero. What a bandwagon hopper. I’m fond of Michael Bair and own a piece by him, but I agree with Rob about this one being kind of stiff and blah. I have no use for the Kirby Sandman or Sandy. The primary Sandman legacy seems to be color blindness.

    g) My introduction to Charlton was in an issue of Thunderbolt, and I had thought that was the only one of their comics I owned as a kid. Some research reminded me that I also had a copy of Judomaster, since that’s where Sarge Steel’s back-up strip ran. It was probably written by Steve Skeates, and definitely drawn by The Dick Giordano, which made an otherwise run of the mill detective story memorable. Because I knew him as a P.I., I always had cognitive dissonance with DC’s making him their analogue for the more adversarial/backstabbing late Bronze Age interpretation of Nick Fury. To me, he worked better as a literary dick than a euphemistic one. That’s the Smiling Skull in the surprint, not Captain Nazi.

    h) Sargon has always been and will likely always be that guy I only knew from having died during “American Gothic” (nobody remembers that “Helmet of Fate” crossover.) He’s no Ibis the Invincible.

    i) Saturn Girl is one of my favorite Legionnaires, but this is not one of my favorite Legionnaire entries. Karl Kesel makes Curt Swan mildly sensual, where he’s usually the artistic embodiment of frigidity, so props for that accomplishment. Dan Jurgens’ Saturn Queen is debatably, marginally better.

    j) Like you fellows, I know Scalphunter pretty much solely from 1970s DC house ads. Looks cool, shared books with Jonah Hex and teamed-up with Batman, so he’s got that going for him.

    k) The Scarecrow entry is off-register in my copy, so all that detailing by Art Adams is blurry. Much as I love the artist, I’m not sure he’s a good fit. Scavenger’s color hold is also screwed up in mine, but the Ron Frenz art is nifty. Too bad he never had a run on Aquaman, especially in this time frame, when the Sea King could have used it. S.T.A.R. Labs is suitably sterile. It has served the DCU well.

    l) Given how much I usually enjoy Russ Heath, I’m surprised the Sea Devils entry leaves me cold. I never read the original Secret Six, but thought the Action Comics Weekly incarnation had interesting ideas. I do not share Rob’s enthusiasm for replacing cover images with the opening three-panel page of a story, especially when it’s just a driving sequence.

    m) I have always loved the idea of a Legion of Doom/Secret Society of Super-Villains, but been indifferent to DC’s implementation of it. It’s so cool to have a whole army of colorful bad guys, but their plots aimed low and their bottom feeders formed a heavy mound, plus they were stymied by Captain Comet and/or a spare clone of Paul Kirk in any given issue. That’s no slight against the heroes, as they took on super-crooks by the half dozen, but it does not reflect well on the half dozen crooks. Rob has to stop being such an Alex Saviuk apologist when he’s got one of DC’s best inkers of the time, Mike DeCarlo, and still underwhelms.

    n) Very nice looking Sensei. Deadman. Next. Sensor Girl probably should have had a skullcap instead of overselling the Supergirl red herring. Next. Sgt. Rock is cool, but what do you do with him after burning through hundreds of quasi-realistic war stories? Kubert probably just drew in his own logo as space filler. Next. Serifan. NEXT!

    o) Given the hassle Julie Schwartz faced when first putting the Justice League together, Jack Schiff’s tenuous position at DC in the mid-60s, and Martian Manhunter’s move out of Detective Comics and Justice League of America, I got to thinking. What if the editors had divided up “their” characters into separate teams? I even did some fanfic posts on the subject. Anyway, More Fun Comics was a National Allied Publications series, the same core publisher of Superman & Batman comics. For them, editor Mort Weisinger co-created Aquaman, Green Arrow, Johnny Quick, Vigilante and the team brand Seven Soldiers of Victory. That’s a perfectly fine group right there, that could have rendered the JLA moot (unless they were a more faithful rebranding of the JSA, which were mostly All-American Publications characters.)

    p) I think that the Shade entry is one of the best Carmine Infantino did, surely due to the contribution of Rick Magyar. It’s OHOTMUy, but that’s my jam.

    q) There’s a lot of talk about the failings of Bronze Age Jack Kirby, but not nearly enough about the weak sauce Steve Ditko of that period. I’ve read an issue of the original Shade run, and remember nothing about it except how his projection thingees looked. As much as I’ve gravitated toward respecting the creators’ intent with characters as I’ve aged, I’m confident that whatever Milligan & Bachalo did had to be tastier than this.

    r) Shadow Lass is cool, and Steve Lightle is full of win. Shadow Thief is the most iconic Hawkman villain, works well in the greater DCU, and the Kubert piece is keen. Shaggy Man is ridiculous, but I appreciate the shaved General version conjoined under Morrison. Why didn’t General/Eiling ever face Captain Atom? No strong feelings about Shakira, but pretty drawing. Is Mikola another of the were-people mentioned? I’ve enjoyed the Shark in the past, especially the recently reprinted “Countdown/Ignition” Green Lantern arc by Englehart/Staton. Guy Gardner resurrected him to form a “suicide squad” of Corps villains in a mission against the Anti-Monitor. Maybe Gibbons drew Aquaman in a U.K. magazine/annual? It’s been known to happen.

    s) Shazam is just a badass idea, and before the New 52, I’d have had a hard time passing on a series of the wizard/hero’s ancient adventures. Jerry Bingham was one of my favorite artists at this time, and he’s great here, but not appropriate on Captain Marvel (though he did his Secret Origins issue.) Shimmer is one of those generic fill-up-a-team villainesses, so she was treated as well as she deserved. Shining Knight is nice. John Bolton is another period favorite, in large part from his back-up feature/pin-ups on Classic X-Men. I still feel he’s one of the best horror artists comics ever had. Aside from that and The Black Dragon, Bolton hasn’t done a lot of interior work, preferring painted covers and art books.

    4) I have two words for your podcast renaming scheme: New Coke. I’m a firm believer that there are no absolutes, and there are a variety of ways to approach any issue, except whoever came up with this stupid idea being completely wrong to infinity. The current title is a mouthful, so I can understand wanting to shorten it once the original series is covered, but do you really want to create the confusion in your iTunes library of multiple volumes with dozens of variant titles? It will dilute your brand and encourage listeners to skip dicier editions either intentionally or through omissions caused by the mess you’re going to make. Speaking not as a rabid vocal listener but as a concerned human being with common sense, don’t do this terrible thing you contemplate, if only because I will be there to say “I told you so” every single time you whine about the grievous mistake you made until the heat death of the known universe.

    5) I consider the Bronze Age to run from the late ’60s until the mid ’80s, and defend this period of Wonder Woman publishing as a whole. However, I am merely an advocate, not a zealot. The lead feature was more miss than hit in the first half of the ’80s. The Huntress back-ups were often the best reason to buy the book, and sometimes very nearly the only reason.

    6) There’s a lot of confusion about R.E.B.E.L.S. on the show and in the comments. L.E.G.I.O.N. ’89-’91 was a spin-off from INVASION! featuring 1,000 year young precursors to the Legion of Super-Heroes acting as a paid intergalactic security force. R.E.B.E.L.S. ’94-96, written by Tom Peyer, was a spin-off from Zero Hour and a continuation of L.E.G.I.O.N., which had been taken over by the twisted, super-intelligent evil infant Lyrl Dox. His father Vril Dox II was leading a resistance to the oppressive occupation of L.E.G.I.O.N. on member worlds. All of the Peyer written issues were very good and worth seeking out. The 2009-2011 volume of R.E.B.E.L.S. was written by Tony Bedard, and was a response to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Initially, it was about Vril Dox II leading a group that was analogous of ’80s Legion characters that had been lost to the 1994 reboot (Wildfire, Dawnstar, etc.) However, it soon became a “Justice League of Space,” as Adam Strange, Starfire, Lobo, Captain Comet and sometimes Despero fended off the invasion forces of the Star Conquerer (Starro.) This was an alright series that never really lived up to its potential.

    7) I strongly suspect Who’s Who: Star Trek will be background noise listening, through no fault of the broadcasters. Minutia minutes, engage. Now that, you can list under a separate heading.

    8) David Mazzucchelli went the indie artiste route after Year One on the acclaimed Rubber Blanket and the multi-award winning Asterios Polyp.

    9) Raʾs al-Ġūl? I grew up saying “Raise,” was taught by David Warner to say “Raysh,” and then Liam Neeson came along and insisted “Rahs.” Since his ethnicity was intended to be ambiguous, roughly insisting on an Arabic translation may not be as proper as it seems.

  8. Jeff R. says:

    So, as a team-heavy issue of Who’s Who, it’s appropriate that the two runner-ups for Egregious Omission of the Month are also teams: firstly, the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man (AKA the Seven Deadly Sins), and secondly, the Shadow Demons, who collectively scored a big enough body-count during the Crisis (excuse me, the “So-Called Crisis on Infinite Earths”) that they should have gotten an entry. But the actual winner this month is an individual, a true hero to all of the children of the world who has teamed up with numerous other DC heroes on multiple occasions, including a featured issue of DC Comics Presents with Superman: none other than Santa Claus himself. Lumps of Coal all around for the Who’s Who editors! (Additional runner-up status goes to the Sand Superman.)

    Strange to see the Shark discussed without reference to that wonderful comicbook phrase “invisible yellow force-field”.

  9. Kyle Benning says:

    You gotta be kidding me! Stupid WordPress froze and my entire response that I crafted while listening disappeared. Jeezalou, a post almost as long as Franks gone for all eternity. I had a long post weighing in on the Post-Crisis Superman and some of the unfair flak Byrne got for simply incorporating the ideas that DC Editorial wanted brought forward from Crisis (Supergirl’s death) and restoring the character to his classic Golden Age self (Superboy-less origin) and bring the character in line with the most popular incarnation of the character at that time and present Superman in the comics as he was portrayed by Christopher Reeve in Superman the Movie and Superman II. Most people between the ages of 25 and 50 would identify with Christopher Reeve being “Their Superman” this includes Mark Waid, who was the proverbal thorn in Byrne’s side, making it very apparent his distaste for this origin, and repeatedly slipping in Supergirl references in the Legion book he was editing, as a dig at Byrne, despite the fact that Supergirl was killed by Wolfman in Crisis and editorial wanted it to stay that way for the time being.

    A brief summary of my lost post:

    My 3 favorite entires were:

    1) Seven Soldiers of Victory
    2) Shining Knight
    3) Sandman (I)

    I find the Seven Soldiers of Victory to be pretty awesome, regardless of their county issues, I agree that Aquaman would make a great addition to the team. Shag was correct that the JSA and All-Star Comics was a case of two publishing houses coming together to do a cooperative publishing effort. I found the entry to be almost identical to Jerry Ordway’s cover to All-Star Squadron #29 (except for Ordway’s exclusion of Wing). The poses are nearly identical, with some of the characters just swapping what side of Shining Knight they stand on. This is a gorgeous and near perfect entry, but I think all of us are wondering how gorgeous this entry could have been if Jerry Ordway had done it.

    Have Sgt. Rock and any of the JSA or All-Star Squadron ever teamed-up or interacted outside of any possible interaction they may have had during Crisis (I can’t remember if they interacted at all or not). This seems like a no-brainer, two of DC’s most popular WW II Nazi smashing teams, the All-Star Squadron & Easy Company, teamed up in one adventure to provide some good ol fashioned American Asswhoopin on those dirty krauts! Who wouldn’t want to read that?

    Another great episode guys. Looking forward to see what you cover next week!

  10. Anthony Durso/The Toyroom says:

    I thought we were overdue for another one of these…

    Cover: Sensor Girl is preparing to cast an illusion. Either that or she has a
    headache from this mess of a cover. Let’s face it, no one does Who’s Who
    covers better than George Perez. Anything else is an effort in futility.

    Rubberduck: Is no one else bothered by the fact that the people yanking on
    Rubberduck on the cover seem to doing so with just a bit too much enthusiasm?

    Ryand’r: Ugh. Even The Omega Men are embarrassed that this clown got an entry…

    1) What was the deal with Mike Hernandez also going by the name
    Mike Bair on occasion?

    2) It’s pronounced “Dianne” not “Dion”. She’s with Sandman, not
    the Belmonts.

    3) Sandman’s costume was changed by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris
    when they took over his strip at the end of 1941. He also gained a sidekick in
    the same issue. Simon and Kirby took over the strip several issues later.

    Sandman II:
    1) Before Neil Gaiman, Roy Thomas wrote a Wonder Woman
    story (Wonder Woman #300) that featured this Sandman stalking Wonder
    Woman in her dreams. Creep.

    2) Garrett Sanford was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (with
    Simon bowing out after issue #1)

    3) Originally Neil Gaiman was going to revive this version of the Sandman
    until he decided to go with his Morpheus creation.

    Sandy the Golden Boy: And you thought “The Boy Wonder” was a bad nickname…

    Sarge Steel: Speaking of action figures, I wonder if Sarge Steel is related to
    Big Jim’s buddy Dr. Steel?

    Sargon the Sorcerer: An honorary JLA member that they never really did much
    with after they awarded him with that accolade.

    Saturn Girl: I. HATE. THIS. ENTRY. This costume is the Saturn Girl equivalent
    of “mom jeans”….very unflattering. Bring on the pink bikini and the Farrah
    Fawcett locks of the 70s! This entry aside, still my vote for the Hottest

    Saturn Queen: That is Superman in the surprint. The LSV first tackled the LSH in
    Superman #147.

    Scarecrow: I believe that because The Joker was off-limits for Hanna-Barbera’s
    “Challenge of the Super Friends” (due to his appearances in Filmation’s
    “The New Adventures of Batman”) they split up his character traits between
    The Riddler and The Scarecrow.

    Scavenger: Easily in Aquaman’s Top 5 Villains. (Aquaman only has 5 villains? Oh.)

    Sea Devils: In an ideal publishing world, these guys would be in an anthology book
    rotating with Cave Carson, The Challengers of the Unknown, The Doom
    Patrol, The Metal Men, etc. These are the weird unique corners of the
    DC Universe that I really miss visiting every now and then.

    Secret Six: I love the concept of this book, which was clearly inspired by the
    60s spy-craze of Bond and Mission:Impossible. Too bad it didn’t last longer.
    The revival in Action Comics Weekly was one of the more interesting stories
    in that uneven anthology.

    Secret Society of Super-Villains: Love the concept, love the team but not a fan
    of the art on this piece. But better Alex Saviuk than Don Heck I suppose.

    Sensei: The Mr. Miyagi of the DC Universe. “Wax on, wax off, Daniel-san.”

    Sensor Girl: I understand DC’s position at the time, trying to keep the suspense while at the same
    time devoting one entry to a character but I would have preferred a Princess Projectra
    page to this one.

    Sgt. Rock: Ten-Hut! The classic logo would have made this piece much better. Another corner
    of the DC Universe that I miss dearly. Yes, I realize that there have been numerous attempts
    during the New 52 to publish other genres like war, horror, and magic but they’ve been
    lackluster and have failed miserably.

    Serifan: “Some people call me the Space Cowboy…”

    Seven Soldiers of Victory: aka The Law’s Legionnaires. Weird that such a lame group would be
    deemed worthy of two team names….

    Shade the Changing Man: Nobody does quirky like Ditko. Even though it’s late in the game,
    it’s nice that he did some of the DC characters that he was known for.

    Shakira: Isis from the “Assignment: Earth” episode of Star Trek, called….She
    wants her schtick back…

    The Shark: I tend to think of him more as an Aquaman villain than a GL one.
    GL works better with cosmic foes worthy of going up against a ring that
    can do anything. The Shark seems like a fish out of water (pun intended)
    when battling the Emerald Gladiator. Makes more sense for him
    to be an Aquaman foe.

    Shazam the Wizard: What is this guy’s obsession with acronyms? Here’s a What If?…
    Instead of DC getting the rights to the Big Red Cheese and the Marvel Family in the
    70s, Marvel Comics snags them up. “Billy Batson, Agent of S.H.A.Z.A.M.”, anyone?

    Shimmer: What is Perez’ fascination with perms?

    Shining Knight: Bolton did “Marada the She-Wolf” for Epic as well as the back-up
    features in the X-Men reprint book, “Classic X-Men”.

    ‘Til next time…

  11. Wow, get to the party late and all the good comments are gone.

    Well, that’s never stopped me before, so on we go!

    Favorite art pieces:
    Rubberduck, the Scarecrow, Sgt Rock, and the Shadow Thief. If you want proof as to how awesome that Joe Kubert guy was, compare his Shadow Thief with the guy on the cover. Paris Cullin’s version is just a shadow; Kubert’s version is a Shadow Thief.

    The Sandman is one of my all-time favorite characters. I totally agree with Shagg’s comment that he’s right there between pulp and super-heroes. Sandman Mystery Theatre ROCKED (if you were into mysterious, creepy goings-on). I remember how sad I was the first time I realized that the non-descript purple-yellow man was the same as the ultra cool Wesley Dodds. Thank goodness the gas-mask guy came back. I actually bought a gas-mask while I was in college (at a military shop). I was going to wear it for Halloween, but GAWD it was hot. I never did create a Sandman costume, although I kept the mask for years.

    The first time I ever saw Sandman II in his yellow and red I thought he was a grown-up Sandy and I eagerly grabbed the story with him it. It was one of the Kirby original issues from the late Seventies, I don’t remember which. All I do remember is that when I realized it was NOT Sandy and not real super-heroics, I put the comic back!

    I kept expecting Robb to mention that Sargon the Sorceror was an honorary member of the JLA. He appeared twice: in the original Star Breaker story (where he earned his honorary membership) and in one of the last JLA-JSA team-ups….the one with baby Black Canary.

    Saturn Girl’s profile is awful, if for no other reason that it doesn’t feature the Founding Members in action. I always liked Saturn Queen, Cosmic King, and Lightning Lord and didn’t understand why they were never introduced in “our” continuity. (They eventually were, with no fanfare whatsoever.) I, too, remember that scene from “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow” where the three of them run away from Angry Superman. Classic!

    And I the only one who stopped at S.T.A.R. Labs and thought, Huh? Why is it here and not in-between Starboy and Starman? Surely they don’t actually call it ess-tei-a-ar Labs!?! They seriously used “Scientific” as the word to establish its alphabetical order instead of STAR? Really!?!

    I would read SECRET SIX if it was collected, but the back-issues I have seen have been too expensive for me to collect the whole set.

    Little Russell Burbage
    on vacation on
    the distant planet Adon

  12. rob! says:

    When I occasionally don’t mention something that seems obvious, it’s basically because of one of the following reasons:

    1)I’m stupid.

    2)I’m always aware that we are pushing the 3-hour running time for every WW show, especially when Shag is leading, since he likes to get everything in about a given character. So once in a while something occurs to me, but if it’s relatively minor and Shag is ready to move on I stay silent.

  13. I’m with Russell, late to the party, and everything has been said!

    I’ll give it a whirl though.

    The cover: Meh. I like Cullins okay, but the series lost a certain luster when Perez officially moved on.

    • Sandman 1: I like Michael Bair’s stuff, but it is a bit stiff. Seems to rely heavily on photo-reference, making him ahead of the curve. Anthony mentioned the purple-yellow tights look was created by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris, but I seem to recall those guys creating some other super hero who is kinda-sorta important to this show. Both he and Sandy had capes in their first revamped adventure, but soon dropped them. It was very Batman-and-Robin-like.

    • Sandman II: I first met this guy in a DC Blue Ribbon digest, printing an unpublished Christmas tale. BIZARRE.

    • Sandy: Thanks Rob. You ruined that classic JLA/JSA tale about Sandy for me. Now I’ll never be able to NOT think about Wes just going to Fate or Spectre to fix this. DAGNABBIT!!!

    • Ah, Sargon. Mike Friedrich’s favorite Golden Age character? He brought him back as a villain in Flash, then redeemed him in JLA and gave him honorary membership. I guess no other creator thought this was a good idea, since it was essentially forgotten. It doesn’t get mentioned here at all!

    • Scalphunter: He co-starred with Batman in a great issue of The Brave and the Bold, #171, written by Gerry Conway and drawn by JLGL (PBHN). James Robinson had the character go “un-native” and become Brian Savage, sheriff of Turk County and Opal City. He also retconned him into Balloon Buster’s father.

    • Scarecrow: I LOVE this entry. Crane rarely looked this gangly and creepy.

    • Scavenger: If Aquaman were a Marvel Comic, it’d look like THIS!

    • Sea Devils: I feel REALLY stupid. For some reason, it never occurred to me that this was Russ Heath. I guess I’ve glossed over this for years. Now I need that Showcase Presents!

    • Secret Six: The old guy in the back just farted.

    • Secret Society of Super-Villains: This IS oddly Kirby. Maybe it’s Darkseid’s presence? Mike Decarlo’s inks always make everything look chiseled out of stone.

    • Sensor Girl: That is a sharp design. Damn, Lightle is GOOD.

    • Sgt. Rock: That logo thing always bothered me a bit too.

    • Seven Soldiers of Victory: This art is a bit similar to Jerry Ordway’s excellent cover to All-Star Squadron #29. The SSoV was culled from only National titles, no All-American books like JSA, which picked the top stars from each anthology (minus Supes and Bats, and later Flash and GL)

    • Shakira: Okay, I’m glad you guys went there, so I didn’t have to.

    • Shazam: Jerry Bingham had just drawn the Shazam issue of Secret Origins, so that’s why he’s drawing the old Wizard here. What no mention of his days “Mentor-ing” in the motor home?

    • Shining Knight: That JLU episode DID assemble the Seven Soldiers of Victory. They even brought over Speedy from the Teen Titans cartoon, and made continuity freaks’ minds EXPLODE.

    Shag thinks I have social skills…HA!!!

    Thanks for saving yet another Monday fellas.


  14. Oh, one more thing: The “Raish” Al Ghul pronunciation was popularized by Batman: The Animated Series. The producers of that show went straight to the source, co-creator Denny O’Neil for the pronunciation of the name. O’Neil even wrote the script for the episode introducing Ra’s.

    So if that pronunciation is wrong, it goes straight back to his initial creation. It bugged me in the Nolan film that they pronounced it “Ras” even though I had previously thought that correct before BTAS.


  15. rob! says:

    Rob has to stop being such an Alex Saviuk apologist when he’s got one of DC’s best inkers of the time, Mike DeCarlo, and still underwhelms.

    All I know is, I have an Aquaman sketch by Saviuk in my Aqua-Sketchbook and it’s superb: dynamic and full of life, traits I have not seen as much when he’s inked by other people. Maybe there’s something about his pencil art that inkers find hard to finish without severely altering. Saviuk worked with Will Eisner, who didn’t suffer artistic fools gladly.

    Conversely, I never though Mike DeCarlo was all that great an inker. E-2 Chris’ comment “Mike Decarlo’s inks always make everything look chiseled out of stone” is right on the money.

  16. Siskoid says:

    Ra’s al Ghul pronunciation…

    I don’t particularly care of BTAS or even O’Neil think it’s Raysh, it just doesn’t make sense in the context of LANGUAGE.

    The Egyptian sun god is Ra, pronounced Rah.
    Apostrophe s is as z sound.
    al is Arabic for the, and pronounced Ahl.
    Ghul is not the issue here, whether you say Ghoul or Gull, I don’t care.

    So it’s Rah’z Ahl Ghul, because that’s how those various components are pronounced. The Raysh pronunciation continues to mystify me.

  17. rob! says:


  18. Kyle Benning says:

    Mike DeCarlo is one of DC’s best inkers? Since when? There’s times he made Perez look less than spectacular and stiff, which is pretty tough to do. I’m not saying he’s a terrible inker, but I wouldn’t say he ranks anywhere close to what I’d consider some of the top inkers working at DC at the time like Dick Giordano, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway, John Beatty, Brett Breeding, or Terry Austin.

    Rob is correct, Saviuk is a fantastic artist! He had some great work on the Superman titles and Spider-Man in the 1980’s.

    I recommend everyone go check out Saviuk’s Facebook page, he has some pictures up of the great free sketches he did this past weekend at Indy PopCon.

  19. BTAS is GOSPEL! To speak against it is blasphemy!!!

    Rahz probably makes more sense, but I’m still going to say it Raish, because Kevin Conroy said so!

    Mike DeCarlo was one of Dick Giordano’s apprentices, I believe. He got a LOT of work from DC in the 80s. I think he was a competent inker and artist in his own right, but his style was very overpowering, and he often strangled the style out of powerhouse artists like Perez and Jim Aparo. It think his inks are one reason Aparo’s later Batman work gets such a bad rap.


  20. Tim Wallace says:

    Several issues back I cast my vote for Shadow Lass being the sexiest Legionnaire. Shag states in this episode that she’s the sexiest “in this issue”…and yet, her pic is NOT posted to tumblr?

    This is now a trend…talking up a ladies appearance and then not showing us the pic!

    For shame gentlemen…for shame!

  21. ^I’m still waiting on that Doreen Day scan…;-)


  22. Anj says:

    I like Mike Decarlo a lot as an inker. I thought his work with Perez on his couple of issues of Crisis were very nice.

    But his work as an inker with Greg Larocque produced some of the prettiest post-Giffen Legion books I have seen.

    And a reminder … Lightning Lass is the hottest Legionnaire.

  23. Siskoid says:

    And of course, DeCarlo on Dan Jurgens’ Booster Gold gave it the perfect gloss.

  24. No matter where I live, I am always in the “Mike DeCarlo overpowers the penciller” camp. Everything he inks looks the same to me, no matter who actually pencilled it.

  25. Frank says:

    Russell, my understanding of alphanumeric organization is that the letter in an acronym is treated as its own word so long as there are periods. It isn’t Scientific T.A.R., but “S, period.”

    Rob, I’ve seen your Alex Saviuk piece, and it is exceptional. I do mean that in every sense. His work on DC Comics Presents bounced me right off the book, and I have to force myself to read through his Atom back-ups in Action Comics. His run as artist on Green Lantern/Green Arrow was in my opinion the worst in the history of either character’s publishing. He was the guy who drew every failed licensed series Marvel tried to launch in the ’80s, before he settled into his longest run of all on the red-headed stepchild of Spider-Man books, Web. To me, Saviuk is possibly the worst long-lived mainstream artist in all of comics, the guy you got for product when you wanted the barest minimum amount of individuality or soul. I can’t speak of him without prejudice, obviously. I’m always surprised when, on rare occasions, he turns out a piece like yours that betrays that he isn’t in fact Maytag Artbot 2000 and can create a work with blood flowing through its veins.

    Woo-hoo! I thought I was going to have to fight for Mike DeCarlo all on my own, and then the cavalry rushed right past me at the back end. To me, DeCarlo’s one of those guys like Bob Layton, Bob McLeod or Joe Rubinstein who get called in when you need to “fix” the pencils by treating them as breakdowns. I’m fond of him because he’s either saved really bad pencils cough*toddsmith*cough or jazzed up journeyman artists like the nerdy girl made-up into the prom queen in an ’80s teen comedy. Jim Aparo was steadily going blind in the ’90s, which is why he was given increasingly heavy-handed inkers. It isn’t fair to compare DeCarlo’s inks to Aparo in his prime. Rather, compare his run to the guys who followed, like Rich Burchett, Sal Buscema, and Bill Sienkiewicz, who obliterated the pencils. DeCarlo inked Perez on Tales of the Teen Titans when George was juggling the launch of the Baxter series and Crisis at the same time, so I’m thinking comparison to Romeo Tanghal might be more appropriate than a-game Gorgeous George.

  26. John says:

    The question of which building inspired the design of S.T.A.R. Labs is interesting. There are a couple of buildings in New York that have a flared base, the W. R. Grace Building and the Solow Building, but the first appearance of S.T.A.R. Labs was Superman #246, cover dated December, 1971, which predates the construction of both those buildings. What I don’t know is whether the S.T.A.R. Labs building actually appears in that issue. (I don’t have the issue; for all I know, the first appearance was more of a first mention, e.g. “I’m Dr. So-and-So, from S.T.A.R. Labs.”) But if it did, it’s possible Curt Swan may have been inspired by Chicago’s First Chicago (now Chase) Tower, which has a flared base and was completed in 1969. Impossible to say, with Swan having passed on.

  27. For anyone questioning Jim Aparo’s abilities in the late 80s, early 90s, I recommend taking a look at Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #1 from 1991. Aparo pencils AND inks himself in the opening and closing sequences, and it was the best work DC published by him in a good 10 years by that point.

    I was stunned when this story came out, because I had also assumed Aparo NEEDED a heavy inker by this point. Not so. It’s prime Aparo stuff.


  28. Jeff R. says:

    Is there any evidence in the comics that Ra’s name is cognate with the Sun God, though? (There is some that the latter part is at least partially cognate with Algol, which makes the name’s linguistic origins Arabic rather than Egyptian…)

  29. Jeff R. says:

    Wait; Ra’s isn’t right as a possessive, but what is? Ra’s’s? Ra’s’?

  30. Frank, regarding STAR Lab, yoru comment is my point exactly. If the entry “Star Labs” is being treated as a word, it should be found between Starboy and Starman. If it’s being treated as an acronym, it should have been the first “S” entry. As it is, the editors used the word “scientific” to place it, because “scientific” comes between Scavenger and Sea Devils.

    Basically, Star Labs is in the wrong place.

  31. In case anyone is interested, Rob’s guest spot on Super Mates is now available to download:


  32. Frank says:


  33. Xum Yukinori says:

    BTW, Roy Thomas’s retcon/history filling of the Sandman’s history where Dian Belmont was killed happened in All-Star Squadron #18. The story explained why Sandman changed costumes and why it was similar to the purple and yellow appearance of the Tarantula.


  34. Xum Yukinori says:

    Also, my understanding on the Ra’s Al Ghul pronunciation is that it should be “Rass” (rhymes with “glass”). I am not Arabic, but I have lived in a Muslim country for a number of years. Perhaps one of your Arabic listeners can confirm?


  35. @Xum – Thanks for directing me to that All-Star Squadron issue!

  36. Martin Gray says:

    I’m the last commenter this time, but it doesn’t make much difference, I can stop a conversation on Day One …

    Anyway, another great show, I really wish it were weekly. Mind, this comment won’t apply when you go to Star Trek, I’ve no interest in that as podcast fodder. And as Frank says – I think I’ve said it previously too – renaming the podcast is a terrible idea, and if you do it you’ll be cursing your descendants ever more.

    I don’t care how Ra’s al Ghul is pronounced, all I hear is zzzzzzz. And the Sensei is ever less exciting.

    I read a lot of Scalphunter, they were great little tales. And I don’t think he ever shared a book with Jonah Hex, Frank, he simply took his spot in Weird Western. While James Robinson extended his place in DC history via the stupid O’Dare and Balloon Buster and Star Boy business (how I HATE reincarnation), his DC connections go back in the other direction – Brian Savage aka Scalphunter was the son of Matt Savage, Trail Boss from Western Comics. Mind, I think Robinson references this too. So you may know.

    Perhaps the reason he didn’t really scalp people was that the Scalphunter name was a late addition; I believe the strip was originally going to be called The Savage. Dunno why it was changed, perhaps someone had a moment of sensitivity – not that Scalphunter is much better.

    Kyle, I like Alex Saviuk too, but darn you for making me look at his Facebook page and seeing how old he is now – to me he’s the lucky kid who’s taking over GL/GA from Mike Grell.

    I see why you’re puzzled by the non-incorporation of the classic Sgt Rock logo, but Kubert did occasionally go freeform and draw it in the art. A few examples are here:

    Now, anyone for a few verses of Sgt Rock (is going to help me)?

  37. Phylemon says:

    Not so, @Martin Gray. I haven’t weighed in yet, so you will have to settle for the penultimate comment position. I would have spoken up sooner, but I had to finish up the school year before I could devote the time this deserved. That’s right, Shag and Rob, I am a teacher and am responsible for shaping the minds of the future of America. Let that sink in for a moment.

    My bet is that Sarge Steel’s hat is a late addition to the cover, as without it the body language between Sarge and Shimmer is a little too Domestic-abusey for 80’s sensibilities.

    A handful of entry comments:

    1. There are a handful of series that I actively collected in my youth and managed to complete. Who’s Who (obviously), Booster Gold, Giffen’s JLI, Blue Devil, anything with Ambush Bug, Wolfman /Perez Teen Titans (or as I prefer to call it, Jericho and his Amazing Friends), and finally Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew. The latter I bought as a complete set the first time I walked into a comic shop. I read the whole set over an awesome summer week at the beach. Man, I miss my childhood!

    2. Sandman I- It just isn’t an 80’s DC comic without a large, mostly magenta, piece of artwork. The logo is very nice, but I’ve just never seen the real appeal of the character. I’ve never read the Sandman Mystery Theater (anything that is loved by that many people just has to suck), so maybe reading that would change my opinion, although I doubt it.

    3. Sargon the Sorcerer- Sargon is the kind of magic hero that I like and see far too little of nowadays. Instead of being used as a sort of Deus Ex Machina, Sargon’s power is fairly limited and defined. He could, in affect, animate inanimate objects. At this point at least, he isn’t a cosmic level sort of guy like The Spectre or Phantom Stranger. All in all, an interesting character that I’d like to read more about.

    4. I’m not sure I like any piece of art in this issue better than the expression on Chameleon Boy’s floating head in the Saturn Queen entry. Great Jurgen’s art.

    5. The foreground image of Scarecrow is pretty phenomenal, but I’m not in love the surprint. I do agree with Shag that I apparently don’t know as much about Scarecrow as I thought I did.

    6. The Scavenger’s surprint looks like it would be awesome if I were wearing 3D glasses. The red and blue that went into making the purple color is offset in my copy.

    7. I assume you are making a reference to it, but I’m not sure that I owned a comic in the 80’s that didn’t include at least one asterisk directing me to a footnote caption box explaining what S.T.A.R. stood for. Someone in editorial REALLY thought that the acronym was genius.

    8. I’ve recently acquired several of The Sea Devils original adventures. I completely agree with Rob that the Russ Heath artwork is breath taking, although I will say that I find the stories very enjoyable in that simple Silver Age way.

    9. I purchased the original Secret Six stories a few months ago but haven’t read them yet. Thanks for not spoiling the big reveal.

    10. Sensor Girl- You really don’t see Ben-Day dots used often enough anymore. Sensor Girl’s costume is cooler than she is, kind of like when my cool aunt would buy me school clothes for Christmas. I wonder what thought went into who would get the dual color surprints, because they always pop.

    11. I’ve managed to get a couple of volumes of the Sgt. Rock archives, and those stories are just awesome. There is mention of his being a boxer in those early stories. I believe it is the explanation for why he is called “The Rock”, because his opponents would pound on him but couldn’t knock him down. Obviously the easier explanation for his nickname was that Rock was his last name, but I think the story in question predates the character being called anything other than “Sarge.”

    12. Finally, the kapow moment of the comic: The Forever Person Serifan! I would buy a Serifan / Pariah / Jericho crossover all day long! Great pitch, Rob!

    13. I own a trade with the Ditko Shade the Changing Man series. Every time I read this entry, it affirms my decision not to crack it open. It gives me tired head, although I’m sure I will read through it at least once before it is all said and done.

    14. I think one of the morals of the Who’s Who series is that Kenner did not make nearly enough Super Powers figures. As a kid, I use to have a reoccurring dream that I had Super Powers figures of all the characters in Who’s Who. Shadow Lass would have been an excellent addition to the line.

    15. It may be blasphemy, but the Shadow Thief artwork is the superior Kubert entry in this issue. Joe might be most closely associated with Sgt. Rock, but Carl Sands is the standout here.

    16. The “Young” Shazam costume in the surprint is killer. VLAREM, by the way, is just a lazy anagram for Marvel.

    17. Shimmer still creeps me out a little. One of the clearest comics memories I have is of the Fearsome Five coming around to mess up Cyborg’s attempt to look more human in Tales of the Teen Titans #56-57, and the cliffhanger of 56 has Shimmer trapping Wonder Girl in a wall she creates out of thin air. I was left with the impression that she was just so dangerous and nearly impossible to beat (of course issue 57 would prove me wrong there, but the impression stuck). I still love the Fearsome Five and think of them as the near perfect arch enemies for the Titans.

    Off of the top of my head, I don’t think Binky (DC’s Archie Andrews), Green Lantern’s pet Itty, or Jonni DC (all characters seen in Ambush Bug #3) have had comebacks in the modern DC universe. Egg Fu most definitely had one, though.

    I’m glad that I was able to give you something to think about with my Question comment, Shag. It is all part of my master plan to get you to come around to my way of thinking.

  38. Frank says:

    Martin, Scalphunter was a back-up feature briefly in Jonah Hex and his digest title, plus an issue of the Gray/Palmiotti series.

    Phylemon, I am well familar with that *, but I still can’t tell you what S.T.A.R. stands for off the top of my head. I also mix up the two main meanings of S.H.I.E.L.D. (“Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Law Enforcement Division.”) The only one I’m confident in is The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves.

    I don’t think Mockingbird’s identity was revealed until Action Comics Weekly, and I believe it was a bone of contention among original fans.

    Itty turned up a few times during Gerard Jones run on Green Lantern.

  39. Martin Gray says:

    Frank, thanks!

    And Phylemon, you’re welcome to the last spot, it’s lonely at the bottom.


  40. Phylemon says:

    Frank, my only real clear memory of the footnote was struggling with the pronunciation of technological and confusing it with technical which was the more familiar derivation to me at the time. Even at the time, though, I thought it should be “Scientifically and Technologically Advanced Research” because I’ve never not been a grammar nerd.

    Frank, you are right about it being lonely at the bottom, but I’m thrilled that there are still some of y’all around to comment on my goofy thoughts.

    Speaking of goofiness, I just finished up with the first issue of the new Forever People comic and, apart from some unnecessary gender swapping, it is a fairly worthy successor to King Kirby’s original stories. I hope you all read it and learned how awesome these characters are.

  41. Phylemon says:

    Also, Frank, I think I would be disappointed to get through the Secret Six stories and not get a conclusion. Thanks for the head’s up. Luckily I have the Action Comics Weekly issues as well, so I’ll add those to the pile. A lousy conclusion is better than no conclusion.

    I’m not sure there were more Itty stories to tell, but god bless Mr. Jones for trying.

  42. Michael Chiaroscuro says:

    Not much to add, as I’m extremely late to the party, but I will second Earth 2 Chris’s comment on the Scavenger entry – it reminds me so much of Mike Zeck era Marvel work! Which is funny ’cause I used to read a lot of Ron Frenz drawn Spider-Man back in the day (always loved Frenz), but I never noticed the similarity between his style and Zeck’s until this entry! Anyway, it’s a gorgeous piece, so dynamic. I want Shag’s Time Machine so we can hop back to the ’80s and get Ron Frenz to draw an extended run on Aquaman now! Just beautiful.

    I also love seeing Art Adams any chance I can get, so his Scarecrow page is a treat as well. Just the right amount of atmospheric creepiness in the surprint.

  43. Harlan Freilicher says:

    I’ve got an idea for an awesome new DC title that unfortunately should’ve been pitched back in the 80’s or 90’s. Inspired by some of the lesser lights (okay, total duds) we’ve seen in Who’s Who, I give you the super-team title that should have been:

    The Disposables!

    Obviously that’s just the book’s title; the team would need a different name inside the comic, like the Danger Guard or something. But I’m talking about a team made up entirely of characters who could die without really being missed by the readers. And die they would. That would be the hook to keep bringing the readers back: At least one team member would die in every issue. No telling who, or at what point in the book (sometimes it would be on the first page). The key would be to get a writer who could consistently come up with creative and violent deaths, but who either had no interest in or no talent for characterization. I’m sure a few names will come to your minds. After all, the last thing we’d want is for somebody to find an angle to make these characters compelling; that would spoil our enjoyment of watching them die.

    As for the roster, Northwind is a no-brainer. So is Ryand’r, Prince Ra-Man, and every member of the Forever People. Quislet travels to the past so we can watch it buy the farm. Likewise, Flying Fox from Young All-Stars travels forward in time, or just ages slowly, or whatever. We’re going to need a big list of recruits if we want to keep the body count rising, so I’ll throw the floor open for suggestions.

  44. Siskoid says:

    Disposables forever!

    Also, here’s the complete Who’s This? for this issue:

    Who’s Sabbac?

    Who’s Scalphunter?

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