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

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 XXV!

The twenty-fifth 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 XXV, discussing characters such as The Unknown Soldier, Vandal Savage, The Vigilante, Vixen, The Warlord, The Weasel, Wildcat, and 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 twenty-fifth 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 (136 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 beautiful cover by Kevin Maguire and Dick Giordano for Volume XXV! Click the image to enlarge.

Who's Who the Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #25 cover by Kevin Maguire and Dick Giordano

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

First up is the Weasel drawn by Joe Brozowski and Dennis Janke. Firestorm encountered the Weasel in Fury of Firestorm #38 (cover dated August 1985). More recently the Weasel showed up as a Black Lantern in Blackest Night. Click to enlarge.

Who's Who entry for The Weasel by Joe Brozowski and Dennis Janke

Next is the Vixen drawn by Luke McDonnell and Bob Smith. Vixen was a member of “Justice League Detroit” and a sometimes-ally of the original Firestorm (incarnation #1). More importantly, Vixen served as a JLA teammate to the Jason/Gehenna Firestorm (incarnation #7). Also worth noting, the writer who co-created Vixen was Gerry Conway (the same writer who co-created Firestorm)! Click to enlarge.

Who's Who entry for Vixen drawn by Luke McDonnell and Bob Smith

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  1. Joe X says:

    Just a few things this time:

    Vega fun fact: Marv Wolfman made Vega a red sun in the DCU specifically to keep Superman out of it,

    Vigilante 2: I just finished binge-watching Arrow S1 and 2, and damned if the Adrian Chase story wouldn’t fit right in.

    That Wayne Foundation pad was also the first headquarters for the Outsiders, and Halo and Katana lived there.

  2. Anj says:

    Thanks for another great Who’s Who show. I will admit that there are a lot of lesser-knowns in this issue but some of the art is stunning. That elevates it a little in my mind. It helps that Validus and Wildfire, two of my favorite Legion characters, is in this issue.
    Some comments:

    Valda – This is such a beautiful piece by Ernie Colon. Everything from the main pic to the surprint just works. As Rob said, pieces like this made me want to seek out some of these characters I didn’t know otherwise. This piece made me consider finding some Valda stuff … then I saw she was in Arak. That ended that.

    Validus – I have so much to say about this. First off, I agree that Curt Swan’s art here is a bit lackluster when Validus should be monstrous. If Rob wants to see Steve Lightle’s take, he should look up the Legion Annual #2 (Baxter series). Did you notice that his height is listed as 5’0”?? I suppose this should have been 50’ but was entered wrong … reminds me of Spinal Tap when the Stonehenge is made in inches not feet. Validus is a twin, as Winathians usually are. But somehow Darkseid is able to steal him without anyone knowing he existed. Don’t they have ultrasounds in the 30th century?? Anyways, while it is a retcon to make Validus, the child of Saturn Girl/Lightning Lad, it is inspired. Validus never had an origin. And his powers are mental lightning … the perfect thing for a child of those parents (with their powers)! That is perfect!

    Vartox – the girl he is hugging in the surprint is Lana who he tried over and over to woo (and did date for some time). His origin is depressing with the hardship he suffered. Such pathos is hard to take seriously with someone who looks like him! Palmiotti and Conner did a hysterical story with him in their Power Girl comic where he is played for laughs.

    Vermin Vundabar – as Shag noted, Barda is just radiating heat off the page. Rude does such a great job with Kirby stuff. And yes, Vundabar is always shown as being a short guy in the comics, so this must have been a typo.

    Warlock of Ys – this is the Reactron/Hyathis character of this issue. And by that I mean this is a character that I love. Maybe it is because I remember reading a Dillin drawn JLA issue where Zatanna and Green Lantern fight him in Ys. That surreal stuff by Dillin looked fantastic!

    White Witch – I will say they should have had some pictures of Mysa’s prior looks in the surprint. She initially has red hair and then has that time as The Hag. Her character has a unique personality within the Legion which made her stand out a bit.
    Wildcat – I love his Brave and the Bold Haney issues, including one of my favorites where he boxes Batman wearing Roman cesti. Post-Crisis, he definitely became a trainer for many young heroes including Black Canary in BoP. But do yourself a favor – Google ‘Wildcat Alex Toth’ and see Toth’s pitch to do a Wildcat feature!! The saddest are these – what might have been!

    Wildfire – He is my favorite Legionnaire and was the character I played in DC Heroes. He is definitely a hothead and often wanted to lead. His emotions were conveyed with Kirby Krackle spilling out the the tiny vent on his helmet. He is one of the more powerful Legionnaires. To put it in perspective, he is one of the characters brought along to battle the Anti-Monitor in Crisis #7. One of my favorite moments is when he vaporizes the twisted Oan clone in The Great Darkness Saga.

    Again, I know that this is a rough issue character-wise. But the art is sooo good. Here are the entries where I think the art is above-average: Unknown Soldier, Untouchables, Valda, Vigilante 1, Viking Commando, Viking Prince, Vermin Vundabar, Warlord, Whip, White Witch, and Wildcat 2.
    Thanks again!!

  3. Anj says:

    And Shag, I don’t know if these are the indexes about the DC history you are talking about:

  4. Siskoid says:

    Valda: Yes, totally in love with this drawing, and consequently, the character, and the only reason I sometimes want to read Arak Son of Thunder. Then I come to my senses.

    Vartox: I love that Power Girl story, Anj! This guy was in some of the first Superman comics I ever bought, and he’s total disco. I love him. Rob casting him as Sean Connery hits the nail right on the head.

    Vigilantes: I love the Golden Age hero (of course), and I can’t make myself care about the Punisher wannabe. Every time I’ve attempted to check him out, it was always Wolfman’s take (original or the more recent series), so if Rob says the Paul K stuff is actually exciting, maybe that’s where I should pick it up.

    Viking Commando: I LOVE this character, and I love him based in the premise and the Karl Kesel art ONLY. I’m hoping his few comics appearances will be as fun.

    Vixen: She went on to star in Suicide Squad, so the McDonnell art is doubly appropriate. She should be much more of a headliner. Loved her in JLU, has a good look, a great name, etc. Is Animal Man always stealing her thunder?

    The Wanderers: Don’t just appear in Who’s Who in the Legion, their revamp is in the updates! The new series had them reincarnated into new bodies or something, trying to fix the awfulness of their basic look. What’s with the giant hands on two of them?

    Warlock of Ys: It’s pronounced Eess. Ys is a mythical Celtic island, you can find it on Wikipedia and stuff.

    Warp: Oh Warp, one of the main offenders in spewing bad GoogleTranslate French dialog. This guy only WISHES he were Batroc ze Leapair.

    Weasel: Small clarification – Weasel was killed as a member of the Suicide Squad, but not in their book. Rather, he died in the Suicide Squad/Doom Patrol Special, which was very deadly indeed.

    Wildcat: Big fan of this character. Big, big fan. I hear there’s a version of him on Arrow these days (I’m not caught up on Season 3). The art is very retro, and while I appreciate the historical relevance, I still wish a more modern and dynamic artist had done this one. Still like the cartoony little kids in the surprint learning boxing though.

    Wildfire: His relationship with Dawnstar is one of the great tragic, impossible romances in comics – eat your hearts out, Gambit and Rogue! To clarify something Shag said: He obviously wasn’t a member of the Sw6 Batch, because it’s impossible to clone an energy being, but he did show up towards the end of that timeline as the character NRG.

    Klarion the Witch-Boy: Yeah, forgotten in the “K”s, apparently (I should check, but I think it’s Klarion in the Kirby comics). Klarion has more recently appeared as part of Grant Morrison’s 7 Soldiers project, which is probably the best version of him. The New52’s new series… I really couldn’t get into. (Did you hate him in the 90s Demon comic too, Shag? I think that’s when he hung out with a sexified version of Teekl, shades of Star Trek’s Assignment Earth.)

  5. Joe X says:

    A couple more thoughts:

    Roy Thomas had proposed a Valda miniseries with Ernie Colon, but it fell through, as Roy’s relationship with DC had deteriorated badly after the Crisis.

    In one of their inspired casting choices, the DCAU Virman Vundabar is voiced by Laugh-In’s Arte Johnson.

    I also wanted to say something about the cover, but I’m having a hard time finding the right phrasing.

  6. Man, late night Who’s Who. Surly potty-mouths a-flyin’! You guys were cracking me up. This is a pretty “mort-heavy” issue, though.

    LOVE the Greg Sanders Vigilante, and love his Who’s Who entry. Morrow shows that Sanders prefers to draw his guns cross ways, which many western movie and TV heroes do. That’s why his pistols are in the holsters “backwards”. The Earth-One Vigilante DID appear again after JLA #78. He appeared with the proto-JLA in the flashback tale in JLA #144 (the comic which later inspired Darwyn Cooke’s “New Frontier” series), and Mike’s Amazing World lists his team-up with Superman, and subsequent solo series in World’s Finest as belonging to the Earth-One version, but your mileage may vary. Loved him on JLU, as well. Lots of great JLU characters in this issue…maybe Bruce Timm had a copy of this issue in his office?

    Vandal Savage DID have a sort of neanderthal-like appearance early on. It was only in the Silver and Bronze Ages that he started to look more human.

    The Warwheel-like weapon belonging to Dr. Doom that Shag was thinking of is probably the “Doom Roller” from the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars toyline. I have one, and Shag, you can come over and play. But don’t bring Rob. He’s been ragging on Curt Swan too much!!!

    Batman moved into the Wayne Foundation first, before Supes went to WGBS. He beat him to the change by slightly over a year, I think. The Wayne Foundation building didn’t have a set design at first. It may have been Austin who designed this look, I’m not sure. The new Batcave beneath was established several years during Steve Englehart’s run, around this same time the drawing was first published.

    Speaking of Curt Swan, thank you Rob, for agreeing with me that Weasel’s secret ID DOES look like a Swan face. I’ve been saying that inside my head for years!

    The Weather Wizard didn’t make it onto the 90s Flash TV series, unfortunately. We got versions of Captain Cold, Trickster and the Mirror Master before the plug was pulled.

    I never liked the Wing entry, either. The early Crimson Avenger and Wing were clearly rip-offs of radio’s Green Hornet and Kato, but their look was much more up Colan’s alley.

    Klarion the Witch Boy was on an episode of The New Batman Adventures (the second version of the animated series), believe it or not, along with Etrigan!

    Put me down for loving to see you guys cover the History of the DCU. I still have my Graffiti Hardcover edition from WAY back in the day, so let me know if you need some help on the bonus material from that.


  7. Fun fact about Vandal Savage; back in 1983 both Lex Luthor and Brainiac were on the block to get revamps. This is where we got the awesome totally robotic Brainiac and the power armor Lex that Super Powers would make famous. Marv Wolfman turned in proposals for both Lex and Brainiac with the Lex proposal wanting to turn the character into the head of a corporation instead of being the evil mad scientist type character. That proposal was turned down (though his Brainiac one went through) and instead of ditching the story entirely he retrofitted Vandal Savage as the bad guy that would be the head of a company. Wolfman’s Pre-Crisis Superman work was rather good and this was one of the better stories.

  8. Anthony Durso/The Toyroom says:

    Cover: 100% agree with everything that Rob mentioned about
    the cover. Considering Maguire’s mastery of facial expressions
    and body language, this cover should have been phenomenal.
    And yet this has to be one of the worst covers of the series.

    If it was me, I would have had a giant War Wheel on the back portion
    because, duh…and had the various characters trying to either jump on
    or get out of the way. As mentioned, the sword and sorcery characters
    could/should have been grouped together as well as the WWII characters.
    Warp could have been,oh I don’t know…warping from the back to the front
    (similar to who was it? Colonel Future on Issue 5?) and maybe just out of the
    path of the War Wheel in the nick of time. Warlord should have been the marquee
    character on the front, with Wildfire secondary. How about some showcasing of
    powers? Intangibility for The Untouchables. Weather Wizard whipping up a rain
    storm. Vandal Savage and Vermin Vundabar exchanging notes. White Witch vs
    the Warlock of Ys. Weasel squaring off against the Wildcats. Validus…GIANT
    Validus is in the background, barely visible! Holy Moley!

    But this is probably the worst issue so far (#26 is still in the pipeline) so maybe it’s ok?

    Unknown Soldier:
    • You can’t go wrong with Joe Kubert on a war character…period.
    • Did the Unknown Solider die during World War II? See “DC Comics Presents” #42,
    I think it presents a different story.

    The Untouchables: I like the idea of the gimmick of these guys changing their
    team name and visuals with each appearance. Supposedly they were contemplating
    a western look as The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang but that might never have…materialized.

    Valda the Iron Maiden: Comparing her to Red Sonja? Crom!

    Validus: The reveal of Validus’ real identity was one of the coolest
    plot twists ever. Considering his power of “mental lightning” I’m surprised
    his true parentage wasn’t thought of earlier.

    Vanquisher: One or two Vanquishers doesn’t matter…this is a wasted listing
    either way.

    Vartox: Put me in the minority but I like characters like Vartox and Terra-Man.
    Superman’s Rogues Gallery has never seemed as deep on the bench as
    Batman or The Flash so it was nice to see some characters created in the 70s
    that stayed around instead of recycling the same villains from the 40s-60s
    (Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro, Toyman and Prankster)

    Vegan System: X’Hal, are we done with this Omega Men nonsense yet?

    Vigilante I: How cool would a 70s ongoing starring The 7SoV have been?
    Adjusting to life, some 25 years later. If the Freedom Fighters got a shot,
    why not the Law’s Legionnaires? And it would have been another Earth-2
    book and could have crossed over with the JSA once a year.

    Vigilante II: I liked his early appearances in New Teen Titans but at this point
    how was he worthy of two pages? Bad enough they gave him the key cover spot.

    Viking Prince: Another plea for the digital platform…this time with characters like
    Viking Prince, Silent Knight, Warlord, Arak, sharing the title. Or does no one care
    about anything other than superheroes anymore?

    Vixen: I was never sure what the thought process was behind JLDetriot. Out of the
    4 new characters introduced to the team by Gerry Conway, he had created 2 of them
    approx. 5-6 years prior to no success (Steel only ran 5 issues and Vixen didn’t even get out of the gate). And then there’s Vibe and Gypsy. Who was the editor that okayed
    this line-up? Honestly…

    Vykin the Black: Wow. Just….wow. DC really mishandled black characters in the
    70s, didn’t they? Kirby did it twice, with this mort AND The Black Racer, who not
    only wore black garb but was African-American as well. And how about Tyroc and
    the Black Kryptonians of Vathlo Island. Not to mention schoolteacher Jefferson Pierce, who added a huge afro to his mask and spoke “ghetto” to hide his true identity.
    Sweet Christmas!

    The Wanderers: I’m a big Legion fan but I couldn’t get past issue #1 of this
    series. This was a poor collection of characters even in the Legion’s ’60s run
    and the attempt to modernize them couldn’t have been something that people
    were waiting for. I think the Heroes of Lallor had more potential than these losers.

    Warlock of Ys: Uh, no.

    Warlord: Again, should have been the lead character on the cover. A 100+ issue
    run at the time of publication is nothing to sneeze at…

    Warlords of Okaara: OK…apparently we weren’t done with the Omega Men
    11 entries ago.

    Warp: No peripheral vision and warping abilities probably leads to lots of
    accidents. CLANG!

    The War Wheel: This entry seems more apt for the Marvel Handbook, which
    had a whole issue devoted to weapons and gadgets, which this really is.

    Wayne Foundation: This artwork originally appeared in “Limited Collectors’
    Edition” #C-44 and was later reprinted in “Best of DC Digest” #9.

    The Weasel: • Sooooo…..The Hyena isn’t enough for furry Firestorm foes?

    • My theory regarding the Curt Swan drawn secret ID head- I believe that Dennis Janke
    inked some Curt Swan stuff late in the game. Perhaps Joe Brozowski forgot to include the
    head as part of the original art and Janke swiped something from Curt and doctored it up
    during the inking phase to fit the bill?

    White Witch: Much like Alex Ross’ JLA ends before the induction of Firestorm
    (although I think he’s wrong…Ronnie is my cutoff for Classic JLA), MY Legion ends with the induction of The White Witch. Everyone else afterward is unnecessary IMO.

    Wildcat: Correct me if I’m wrong, but most of Wildcat’s appearances in “The Brave
    and the Bold” (the comic, not the cartoon) fall on Earth-B because….Zany Haney.

    Wildfire: One of my Top 5 Legionnaires. Love this guy!

    Wing: Half-Pager!

    Witch Boy: Imagine a 60s sit-com that opens every episode with a variation on
    the dialogue “Witch Boy?” as someone points to Klarion as he’s caught in the
    middle of some mischief.

    Without a doubt this is the “Fill-In” issue of Who’s Who. Most of these characters
    really don’t deserve the space they’re given.

    1. Mark says:

      Yeah, treatment of black characters during this time was pretty embarrassing – and remember, The Black Racer wasn’t originally dressed in all black – it was MUCH worse – he wore red, yellow & blue!

  9. rob! says:

    Speaking of Curt Swan, thank you Rob, for agreeing with me that Weasel’s secret ID DOES look like a Swan face. I’ve been saying that inside my head for years!

    We’re just like Kobra!

  10. Kyle Benning says:

    I love this issue, Unknown Soldier, Wildcat, Vigilante I, Viking Prince, Wildfire, Warlord, Vartox, and more! It may not packed with some of the DC Elite, but it contains a lot of solid characters and mainstays (at least at the time of publication) from DC’s rich past.

    I love the Vigilante feature from the Dollar Comics era of World’s Comics, those are some of my all-time favorite comics. Mike’s Amazing World actually distinguishes between the 2 Vigilantes and he lists the Vigilante as Earth-One being the Vigilante in the World’s Finest stories. Mike lists Earth-1 Vigilante’s first appearance as JLA #79 & 80 and then appearing in Adventure Comics and World’s Finest afterwards. Refer to the link to see what I mean.

    Shag how did you not realize that Vigilante is a Country Singer? There’s even an episode of Batman Brave & the Bold where Vigilante writes and sings a “Gray and Blue” song about Batman as Gotham’s hero.

    Shameless plug here, if you’re interested in hearing more about Viking Prince, check out the latest episode of my podcast King-Size Comics Giant-Size Fun(Episode 008 which hit last Friday, talk about good timing), where I reviewed DC Special #12 which reprinted 3 Viking Prince stories from Brave and the Bold (issues #1, 5, and 16) as well as the Golden Gladiator and Silent Knight stories that were also in Brave in the Bold #1 (which hit stands June 1955 btw). There is also a Bob Haney Robin Hood story from an early Brave in the Bold issue reprinted in that issue of DC Special as well. I absolutely love Viking Prince, there is a Hardcover from 2010 that reprints all of the Viking Prince stories that Kubert did. Instock Trades has for $23.19

  11. Jeff R. says:

    So, remember when I was saying I had to stretch for an Egregious Omission on these late issues? Not so much this time, as we get two co-winners with quite a lot in common: Vikki Vale and Vesper Fairchild. Both Lois and Lana made it in, but neither of the most significant love interests for the current form of Batman made the cut? (Batwoman hadn’t appeared at all for more than a decade and wouldn’t again for about the same amount of time, and Catwoman wouldn’t be strongly associated with the Earth-1/post crisis Batman for a while either.)

    I was probably as big a Vartox fan as there could be, back in the day (and never even became remotely aware of Zardoz until decades later.) Always thought he represented part of the best way to resolve Superman’s eternal triangle. (Because, well, what other suitors does Lana Lang have? Master Jailer, and teen Lana got to flirt with the odd LSH member every now and then but that doesn’t count. Pre-Crisis Pete Ross was married to someone else who’s name I don’t recall and might never have been explicitly established in any comic…)

  12. Harlan Freilicher says:

    Thanks for another great episode. I laughed out loud even before Rob started to totally lose it. A few thoughts:
    1) I was a little disappointed that this entire episode went by without a single dig at Northwind.
    2) You forgot to mention that Vartox also fell in love with Lana Lang, with the two of them doing a whiny “We can never be together despite our love” routine every time he appeared. Which was kind of stupid, as there was actually nothing preventing them from being together. Not. A. Damn. Thing.
    3) I had the first issue of The Wanderers. I can’t remember if I got the second issue, but I know that I never got anything beyond that. The premise seemed to be, “We’ve got a thoroughly uninteresting team of heroes. Let’s literally change everything about them. New costumes, new names, new powers, and even new bodies.” And yet, the team was still thoroughly uninteresting.
    3a) They couldn’t come up with a more heroic name than The Wanderers? When the Boy Scouts of America have a more heroic name than your super-team, it’s time to look for another line of work.
    4) The Yolanda Montez version of Wildcat joined Infinity, Inc. shortly after her debut, and was an active member of the team right up until the series was canceled. Some of those characters fared better than others after the cancellation. Yolanda got scooped up as cannon fodder along with the female Dr. Midnight when someone wanted to show that Eclipso was a bad-ass, but she could’ve just as easily wound up with a slot in the new JSA like the 2nd Hourman.

  13. Joe X says:

    @Jeff R: Vesper Fairchild would have been an amazing inclusion, considering she wouldn’t exist for another decade plus.

  14. Siskoid says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention my disappointment at Shag’s lack of Frank Zappa knowledge.

  15. wolfgang hartz says:

    I’m not a fan of Jericho, so I was excused from the quarantine boat. It’s not that I hate Jericho, I just never read any of his stories or really any of the new teen titans comics.

  16. rob! says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention my disappointment at Shag’s lack of Frank Zappa knowledge.

    I think Shag’s knowledge of pop culture picks up around the exact moment mine drops off the cliff.

  17. Siskoid says:

    Then mine must combine both of yours. I am the Amalgam Shag/Rob. You can call me The Irredeemable Rob, Aquastorm’s biggest fan.

  18. At one point while you guys were riffing, you discussed how the version of Who’s Who you’re currently finishing up would be the last time to feature extremely obscure characters, specifically suggesting that the loose leaf Who’s Who only covered characters DC was actively trying to promote.

    While I’m sure that this is essentially true, it got me thinking about the fact that the Firestorm featured in the loose leaf version was the Martin Stein Elemental version that had, by this time, been swept away into the far reaches of the universe and generally ignored. Other than what mostly amounted to a cameo appearance in War of the Gods (which would, I think, be close to the same time of this Who’s Who appearance), the Stein Elemental was never seen at all until DC decided to bring back the traditional version of Firestorm (although as Ronnie Raymond alone) in Extreme Justice a few years later.

    Stuff to look forward to for later, I guess. 😉

  19. Jeff R. says:

    @Joe. Damn, you’re right. Vikki solo, then. (I was thinking of Julie Madison as Vesper and that the Silver St. Cloud name went with the character that Vesper actually was. )

    @Harlan: Vartox was the only superhero of an entire other planet, and while he could take a few weeks of time off at a go to visit Earth, Lana was unwilling to make the move and interstellar-distance relationships never work. Hardly no reason at all.

  20. Joe X says:

    The Earth-1 Vigilante I also had his own legacy: there was a one-off character called the Swashbuckler that appeared in Detective 493, and helped Batman catch the Riddler. Based in Houston, his real name was Michael Carter.

  21. Harlan Freilicher says:

    @Jeff R: As I remember it, his planet was wiped out right under him, after which he could have stayed on Earth, but Vartox decided that with Superman on Earth he wasn’t needed, which was weird because it hadn’t stopped dozens of other people on Earth from deciding they could be useful if they put on costumes and did the whole “superhero” thing. Then, Vartox got totally played by people on a planet who used their amazing mental powers to fake a bunch of emergencies so they could feed him to their pet energy monster. After Superman rescued him, Vartox decided that he was totally needed there now, since the people had lost their mental powers, so he stayed to protect the folks who’d just tried to turn him into an entree. Vartox had finally found what he wanted; a helpless planet where he was the sole protector (because that had gone so well on his home world). All his choice. Vartox moaning about how he couldn’t be with Lana is like a guy moving his family to Kansas and complaining that he can’t hit the beach on his day off.

  22. Jeff R. says:

    @Harlan: These are not unreasonable moral decisions, though. A person with a superpower set that includes interstellar travel who has no deep roots on any currently existing planet is going to do so much more marginal good on any planet without Earth’s already-extant complement of superheroes than they would on Earth (or a planet well-patrolled by the Green Lanterns, or with its own local heroes like Vega.) Even moreso if they’re considering the kind of benevolent social engineering that existing guardians of the status quo tend to frown on, but even without those ambitions.

    (One could argue that he would have done the most marginal good by joining in the extremely high-stakes ongoing conflict between New Genesis and Apocalips, which would have been an interesting story…)

    I still say he’s got more of a reason for not being with Lana than, say, Jimmy Olsen did for staying away from Lucy Lane after a so-called aging ray turned her into a thirty-year-old with white hair..

  23. Martin Gray says:

    (Zillionth attempt to post this…)

    Hurrah for a great edition and ta for the shout-outs. As you were wondering, I live in Edinburgh, Scotland (See X-Men #127), but am indeed English. And I’m not a posh boy, so new accent needed.

    I’m pretty sure that Valda logo was originated for her back-up strips in Arak around issue 12 – and seriously, Anj and Siskoid, Arak, Son of Thunder was a ruddy wonderful read, you should try an issue or 50. It was so different from the Conan knock-off I expected, with its Dark Ages setting, European locales and likeable characters, plus, great art from Ernie Colan, Tony DeZuniga and their successors.

    DC was always open about the Vartox/Zardoz connection.

    There’s no way a Wayne Boring Who’s Who entry would have more life than a Curt Swan – yeah, Swan’s images lacked dynamism but they were beautifully naturalistic, whereas Boring’s were stiffer than Boston Brand. His work has a certain charm – his women were goddesses – but I’d always tire of the stock poses by the second page of any given story.

    Good call on Greg Sanders/Saunders and Hawkgirl – if Roy Thomas never made the connection, surely James Robinson did.

    Anyone ever see the Vigilante film serial? Bet that was a hoot.

    As for the Adrian Chase version, he was, like the Weasel, a mort from Day One. A singing cowboy on a motorbike? Now that’s Terra Man-level genius.

    Rob, no way should an advert count as Vixen’s first appearance, only in-story appearances matter.

    It’s always good to hear the Justice League pilot TV film mentioned, I really enjoyed that, it’s silly, good-natured fun.

    Just because Wildcat was careless with his kid doesn’t make for a rule – loads of Earth 2 heroes had children and they grew up just fine. (Let’s pass over Jay and Joan’s unfortunate adoption.)

    I’m not convinced DC was ever pushing Wildcat as a big name – he had a couple of minis, as second banana to Batman and Catwoman, and that’s it. I did like the idea of Ted Grant and Queen Hippolyte being bosom buddies back in Byrne’s Wonder Woman run.

    Ah chaps, you misunderstand me – I knew of the Superman Salutes the Bicentennial Treasury, but never saw it – these things rarely showed up in the UK. The first I recall were the two that were published around the time of Superman The Movie.

    Jeff R, I’m pretty sure we never learned the name of Silver/Bronze Age Pete Ross’ wife. She was likely one of those always-in-the-shadows types.

    And finally, never mind Abin Syrup, what about Abin Surprint?

  24. Martin Gray says:

    @Joe X, I’d forgotten the Swashbuckler, nice one. Maybe he was also related to the Richbuckler?

    And he’s bound to be an ancestor of Booster Gold, with that name because, comics.

    @Jeff R Didn’t Jimmy more likely stay away from Lucy because she’d been a total sow to him for years before she became an old lady, then a 30-year-old with white hair. And of course, he had that lovely, sweet Meg to hang around with by then…

  25. Crap, how’d I forget to mention the Swashbuckler! I wrote a Back Issue article on him, believe it or not!


  26. Frank says:

    1) In light of the penultimate Who’s Who Podcast covering the original series, I’d like to invite your interested commentators to contact me via Twitter @rolledspine or email at to discuss participating in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Podcast Edition. While clearly an unashamed rip-off of this show, the format will actually be quite different and allows for a multitude of contributors. Just not those slackers Illegal Machine and Mister Fixit.

    2) I read that Vigilante mini-series when it came out in floppy and I was obsessed with DC history. Didn’t do much for me. I’ve read some Levitz/Giffen Legion from the Curse period, but I preferred the Baxter format series.

    3) I agree with the criticisms of the cover and will point out the embarrassment of negative space and stickish figure cheats. It’s also very blandly drawn. The only figures I liked were Vigilante and Vixen. The only character that looks like Maguire is Travis Morgan, so I wonder if Giordano contributed to the limpness. Maguire redeemed himself by limiting the characters and increasing the quality on Mayfair’s Who’s Who gaming supplements.

    A) The Unknown Soldier was featured in house ads within my earliest comics, but I never actually read any of the Bronze Age stories. I know him from Post-Crisis and Vertigo stories, where he’s interesting if uncomfortable. Weird pose.

    B) Very nice Untouchable drawing and not a bad concept (very Barr-y) likely doomed by its trademark conflict with the Elliot Ness material.

    C) My recollection of Valda was that she was referred to as The Iron Maiden, that she more full body armor that deemphasized her femininity, and that she was like Arak’s Red Sonja reimagined as Joan of Ark. Thought she had a back-up feature. Figure the emphasis on “Valda” related to the return of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents villainess. Nice art.

    D) Liked Validus better without the mutated temporally displaced baby retcon, but it kind of makes sense with his powers. Usual stiff Swan art.

    E) I bought the first DC Direct Vandal Savage action figure clearly based on this swell Binghamesque Denys Cowan entry. Was introduced to him during the only run of Flash I ever liked, the early Mike Baron/Butch Guice issues of the Wally West relaunch. He was so intimidating and fearsome, he left a lasting impression, and is still among my favorite villains. I’m happy he became a regular Martian Manhunter villain in the late ’90s, and sad because their enmity didn’t last much into the new century. There was a JSA Classified story where Savage tried to kill Alan Scott as his last act before dying himself, and when that sounded weird to me, I checked and found Green Lantern was where he’d gotten his start.

    F) Vanquisher was one of the more trying characters to appear in the second year of Blue Devil. Jim Starlin started that OMAC back-up strip, which was intended for Kamandi before the DC Implosion, and was eventually dumped into Warlord. By that point though, Starlin had moved on to The Metamorphosis Odyssey, so an entirely new creative team were left to continue its brief run.

    G) I like Vartox, probably the best example of The Batroc Rule among Superman’s rogues gallery. It’s cool that he’s one of the few male characters whose costume is as sexualized and impractical as most super-women, but he’s played totally straight by Curt Swan (who looks spiffy under Brett Breeding’s inks.

    ) Obligatory dismissal of Omega Men-related entry undeserving of even a lettered comment point.

    H) Beyond serving as a novel background hero in ensemble series, I never found much of value in Vigilante I. Fond of Gray Morrow, though. Vigilante is demonstrating cavalry draw holstering, which allows ease of ambidextrous access, especially from a seated position (as on a motorcycle.)

    I) Steven Grant has mentioned Marvel’s misgivings about employing The Punisher as a protagonist on moral grounds as a family company, which meant he had to push for years to get the 1987 mini-series approved. It’s worth noting that his ongoing series wasn’t approved until the more profit-motivated Tom DeFalco became EIC. DC seemed much less concerned about being tacky/controversial in 1983 while trying to prove how edgy and mature they were with a Teen Titans spin-off. I loved the annual the character debuted in, when he was a silent assassin of colorful super-mercenaries. The supposedly “realistic” solo series was much less appealing than the pulp promise of his debut, plus the art would have been drab even if George Perez wasn’t the immediate standard for the character’s rendition. I’ve tried to read the series numerous times at various points, with the chief commonality being that it was all dull suck. Cool design though, so of course that’s the first thing they’ve tried to “fix” with each dire revamp, most driven by his biggest/only fan, creator Marv Wolfman. I always misremember the newspaper article featured in the background of house ads for the Vigilante series as referencing Bernhard Goetz, but it actually predates the “Subway Vigilante” (one of whom’s attackers/victims was named Barry Allen.) DC instead exploited the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan for shock value, the cads.

  27. Xum Yukinori says:

    Great show as always, Gentlemen. Am I one of the few people who enjoyed the DC Sampler show?

    A few comments:

    The Untouchables fought Looker in the “single member back-up stories” in The Outsiders baxter series #2 and #3. While I have also read the DC Comics Presents story with Robin and the Elongated Man, I didn’t realize they were the same characters until I read the Who’s Who entry. Bizarre.

    The Warlock of Ys was actually holding Zatanna, and not Carol Ferris, but I believe you knew that …

    Weather Wizard: I recall reading in an interview with Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo (in Starlog or Comics Scene, maybe Comic Interview) that they had an idea for a Weather Wizard episode for the 1990-91 THE FLASH programme, but it would have been too expensive. As I recall, he would have been responsible for the lightning striking Barry in the pilot (a failed attempt at a jailbreak or to destroy the police headquarters, I think). This may be why Rob believed Weather Wizard was on the show… (“That oughta do it.”)

    Also, as I mentioned on Twitter, Weather Wizard did not appear on Hawkman, but this Who’s Who issue was released just before Tony Isabella had left the Hawkman series (a shame, because I thought the Shadow War concept was brilliant), so I wonder if Isabella had a storyline with Mardon in his “five year plan” for the Thanagarian War…

    And I agree with Earth 2 Chris that the Graffiti Designs hardcover “extras” should also be featured in your upcoming “History of the DCU” episode – especially since the essay by Bob Kane is one of the few instances he acknowledged in print that Bill Finger deserves credit for co-creating Batman…

    And “Abin Syrup” is a great sobriquet. If he is looking for a logo, he can crop this:

    Next episode is the Wonder Woman issue… I cannot wait. There is this string tied around my finger to remind me to do… something…

  28. The kidnapping of Wildcat’s son was, I believe, invented by Alan Brennert for the Black Canary story in SECRET ORIGINS #50, as Rob said. Ted Grant tells Dinah Laurel Lance the heartbreaking story as an object lesson and to explain why Mama Canary retired after starting a family and disapproved of L’il Canary following the hero path. Brennert mistakenly referred to the kidnapper, Yellow Wasp, as Golden Wasp.

  29. Darrin and Ruth says:

    Being a sword and sorcery fantasy fan, I must say all of the swords in this issue were much appreciated. As a big Warlord fan and a huge Mike Grell fan it is easy for me to choose the best entry in this issue and I definitely think Warlord should have been the main character on the cover. Honorable mention goes to Valda the Iron Maiden by Ernie Colon. We like almost every incarnation of Zorro and agree enthusiastically with Shagg’s comments about the excellent Topps comic series.

  30. Harlan Freilicher says:

    @Jeff R: I’m pretty sure this is the first time anybody has ever had their relationship choices held to the “more reasonable than Jimmy Olsen” standard. I will concede that part, just as I will readily admit that Vartox is a more impressive superhero than Northwind.

  31. Frank says:

    J) Viking Commando and Viking Prince fall right in my “don’t give cares ’bout no Vikings” sour spot. You know who are really into Vikings? Neo-Nazis and beer commercial producers. Don’t know if I’ve mentioned this theory before, but I’ve long suspected Kirby started creating ridiculous disposable characters like Vermin Vundabarr specifically because he wanted to be able to dispose of them. Unfortunately, every time Kirby tried to kill someone in the Fourth World, DC would come up behind him and resurrect them. I mean, this guy is basically Colonel Klink, right?

    K) I alternate between referring to Vixen with and without the “The,” but it does help distinguish her from all the other Vixens. I don’t recall her costume being any different between her ’70s house ad and first published story appearances several years later. She has one of those subjective first appearances like Marvel used to tout as “In Shadow/Cameo.” Ads usually don’t count officially, but then again, Marvel UK was so enamoured with their newly created Transformers villain Death’s Head that they rushed out a one page comic strip that ran in several of their titles which secured them the copyright/trademark over Hasbro. Depends on who benefits most from the accounting. Anyway, I prefer to think of Canceled Comics Cavalcade as her first appearance, since it has greater narrative and historical value, plus I’d like to see it come our someday in better than Xerox quality reproduction and in color. Her Action Comics story was pretty lame, plus it was drawn by Curt Swan, sooooo…

    That said, the story from The Vixen #1 diverges from her reintroduction in the Detroit League, including her parentage and the name/abilities of her blood adversary. Before the New 52, I wanted to see DC fill in the gap between the heroic ages of World War II and the modern era with C/D-listers that worked best in specific times past (like the original Hawk & Dove needing to be in the Vietnam period.) In my head canon, Mari Jiwe ran around in the blue and gold costume in the past, and her relative Mari Macabe took up the mantle in the present.

    If you couldn’t tell, I like The Vixen quite a bit, and am excited about her upcoming cartoon. However, I recently read the origin story of Marvel’s The Cat, and it’s hard not to see parallels between the two. However, the Cat developed into Tigra, so Vixen better owns her origin without ridiculous complications, and basically just matters more as probably DC’s best heroine of color.

    Vykin the Black is provably not DC’s best hero of color.

    L) My chief reference point for The Wanderers is an article in the free DC circular that replaced DC Sampler in 1987 that spotlighted their series and Millennium. So, I found them less interesting than Millennium, since I bought that, but never the Wanderers, which was a fixture of quarters bins in my experience. Their tagline was something like they had to solve the greatest mystery– their own murders. But since they were still doofuses even after being revitalized and redesigned, I just figured they deserved to die and the real crime against the common good was their resurrection. Didn’t help that they were drawn by one of my personal all-time least favorite artists, Dave “The Vacuum” Hoover. It’s funny that Shag said he couldn’t find their comics anywhere, as a whole run can be had for about $14 at Lone Star Comics, but only 3 of 7 issues were available of the book I was looking into at the time, Critical Mass.

    M) I seem to recall that the Warlock of Ys was at the center of a popular theory of the ’90s that involved his switching places or corrupting Hal Jordan, leading to Emerald Twilight. Cool Gil Kane art on nothing character.

    N) My understanding is that The Warlord was to DC as Conan and Star Wars were to Marvel in the ’70s: a sales lifesaver in troubled times. They were of course replaced by the parallel ascendency of X & NTT. I liked the book during a time of high melodrama in the early ’80s related to riffs on the ol’ presumed dead son and Man in the Iron Mask, but lost interest when my source for twenty-five cent copies dried up.

    The Warlords of Okaara were. That’s my definitive statement on the concept.

    O) Warp continues the streak of poorly designed George Perez characters while also breaking it by being so lame it doesn’t even look good when drawn by George Perez. This goober was no Vanisher, which means he wouldn’t even be a worthy foe for a New Mutants spin-off.

  32. Joe X says:

    @Frank: Instead of the Warlock of Ys, I think you’re thinking of Lord Malvolio, who wore Alan Scott’s costume, and swapped rings with Hal in the Action Comics Weekly run.

  33. Phylemon says:

    Well, Wolfgang Hartz can deny us, but I’d like to welcome Aaron Moss into the fold of Jericho fans (although I couldn’t find his comments, but I’ll take your word for it.). Funny story on this by the way. At my local shop, Boomerang Comics in Lewisville Texas, I struck up a conversation with one of the employees about Teen Titans. I suggested that she read the “Tales of the New Teen Titans” mini-series from 1982. Her immediate response? “Is Jericho in it?” After some conversation, it turns out Jericho is her favorite character as well! So, between Aaron, myself, and the cute red-head that works at my LCS, the cult is growing.

    So, on to this issue:

    I agree with Rob’s comments about the cover. The random sizing of the characters is off-putting. I also think Warlord would have been the superior choice for the number one guy (at the very least, a number two position on the front cover was warranted).

    The omission of Sugar and Spike is egregious, and the argument that they didn’t meet the criteria doesn’t hold water since they were in Crisis.

    The first three entries feature beautiful art. I’m always a sucker for entries like The Untouchables that have the dual color surprint.

    “Because, comics” is my new favorite catchphrase.

    Others have mentioned it, but five foot for Validus seems a little short.

    Speaking of Validus, I will agree that this art is not a knockout, but I really loved the Vartox entry. It’s hard to describe, but the Curt Swan art makes me want to track down his stories for some classic silly fun.

    Gray Morrow! About a month ago, I purchased some digital versions of old Creepy comics. I was so struck by the art of Gray Morrow, a penciller who I had not previously heard of, that I went on a Google binge for hours. It’s good to see his work on a DC character.

    I’ve never been able to get into Vigilante’s II’s series despite my best efforts. I want to like him, especially because of the Titans connection and the cool looking costume, but comic book anti-heroes always give me the Bores.

    Y’all were a little rough on The Viking Commando. He seems like he would be fun to fight Nazi’s with.

    Finally, on page 16, we get to our Kapow moment! Forever Person Vykin (the unfortunately named), who is holding the team’s mother box. Shag, I will look forward to you directing that apology towards me when you finally break down, read the Forever People, and recognize its awesomeness. Really, you just need to read the whole Fourth World Saga (4 omnibuses that I’m sure can be found on In-Stock Trades).

    Out of spite, I really want to like The Wanderers, but there is not a whole lot there to care about. Celebrand’s hands are like twice the size of his head. Just bizarre, and not in a good way.

    Warlord needs a Big Mac, but other than that, a beautiful entry.

    George Perez elevates an otherwise pedestrian Warp entry. I love all things Teen Titans, but Brotherhood of Evil is the least interesting of their opponents.

    Rob, I find your comments about Valda’s logo funny when a few pages later you get The War Wheel. The whole entry, including the logo, is top notch. I love this concept!

    How did we get through the White Witch entry with no mention of the line, “The White Witch has taken personal combat training courses as a Legionaire with generally unsatisfactory results.” Shag usually is all over those sorts of things. I love the idea of her failing those classes. Did she have to cram for the final the night before? Did she have to retake the course in summer school? What does the Legion constitution say about washing out of your combat class.

    The Wildcat I conversation is one of the reasons I love this podcast. I have looked at that entry a dozen times, thought, “Oh my gosh, how did that art pass muster,” and moved on. Knowing the connection between Hasen and the character makes this entry make so much more sense. Thanks, guys.

    Until next time . . .

  34. Frank says:

    Joe X, you are correct about my incorrectness.

    P) Did a crazy person with no taste trace Warp in my copy of Who’s Who, or do other people have a printing error where he’s practically embossed through the page to the War Wheel entry? I read some of the Evanier/Spiegel Blackhawk material from the early ’80s, including a War Wheel appearance featuring a femme fatale (Domino?) that was cool. There are sone excellent covers from the 1950s I’d recommend checking out as well. I dislike the surprint encroaching on the subject figure.

    Q) Unless the mission of the Wayne Foundation revolves around principles of right to death, that building is the worst comic book nonsense. No wait, the Weasel is also that. Isn’t it bad enough that Firestorm has one underpowered feral Spider-Man reject were-villain? I guess the Weather Wizard is a few steps up in originality from dudes with fire powers, but those stairs are toward the bottom of CN Tower. The Whip has a garish costume and unimaginative name, but I like Gustovich’s gentler take on the Neal Adams school of art. I need to read that stack of Justice Machine I bought cheap a few years ago.

    R) Fun to see one noted Legion inker embellished by another, and I always thought White Witch was a neat looking character, despite limited exposure. Mike DeCarlo draws the sexiest armpits, and I don’t often consider armpits in that sort of evaluation. I’m not 100% sure that’s how boobs work, but I dig the image overall.

    S) Wildcat I has a swell origin and found a very cozy utilitarian role in the DC Universe, but my feeling is that his time had passed post-Crisis as a player in modern stories. It would have been okay if he were allowed to fully age and become a surly old fart, but he was played as middle aged and far too active for a character wearing that costume riding around on motorcycles and stuff. I liked him until he started getting on my nerves as the JSA’s Wolverine by way of Ben Grimm, basically. Artist Irwin Hasen is probably best knownso for co-creating the Dondi comic strip. Wildcat II had a moronic X-angst origin and was the nth cat-lady on a super-team. I didn’t mind the character and applaud the pro-diversity motivation behind her creation, but she was so redundant that I applauded her role in the great Diablo Island massacre in Eclipso #13 (which off the top of my head also claimed Doctor Midnight, Peacemaker, and Commander Steel, as well as some other guys whose deaths were retconned.)

    T) On a team of polite young whitebread, Wildfire was the coarse Everyman that shook things up. He served the team in his time, but never found him exceptional. I like Gene Colan’s art on the Wing entry, and he’s a rare Asian costumed adventurer at DC, but he’s also the footnote of a footnote.

    U) My first and longest exposure to Klarion the Witchboy was the Grant/Semeiks volume of the Demon. I never read the Kirby volume, so that’s my base conception of the character, as a magical nuisance with a mean streak who turns up in sorcery stories. I do think the New 52 missed the boat on exploring Klarion as trans (is he a witch, or a boy, or is he and his lapcat beyond your narrow definitions?) Great looking entry.

    Looking forward to the History of the DC Universe episode, as I have the Graphitti Designs hardcover will the supplemental material.

    Happy to inspire that DC Sampler punch drunk giggle fit! Makes me laugh just hearing the strains of Rob’s nervous beakdown.

  35. Gord Tolton says:

    Thank you, Shagg and Rob for inviting me to post my e-mail to the page, I assume you’d want it on the Volume XXV listing

    Hi, Rob and Shagg
    Great Who’s Who Volume XXV podcast.

    I have to write and tell you how much I appreciate not only your show, but for the great positive review for the Greg Sanders Vigilante page. Vigilante has been my favorite comics character since I was about 8 years old, and first learned of him during that immortal JLA-JSA team-up.

    I have a few comments that may enlighten you as to what’s going on with the Earth 1-Earth 2 Vigilante divergence, according to Mike from Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics who­–thankfully for us–thinks about these things way more than may be healthy!

    Now of course Earth 2 Vig is in fact the Seven Soldiers character from JLA #100-102, and the original character that appeared in Action Comics from 1941-1954, and in Leading Comics with the Soldiers during that era. He is only really seen again at the Crimson Avenger’s funeral in Infinity Inc #11, in 1984; retroactively, in All-Star Squadron; and in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12.

    He also appeared with the Soldiers in “Land of Magic” a story that ran in Adventure Comics # 438-443 (with Aquaman headlining, Rob!) that was created from an unproduced script. Presumably that tale occurs in the late 1940s.

    You are correct that Roy Thomas did not link Greg Sanders with Sheira Sanders or Speed Sanders, but in fairness, he didn’t use Vig all that much, and never utilized Speed Sanders at all. I got the sense Roy didn’t like the character-he was kind of a downer on western comics because he’d been ripped off as a kid when his All-Star Comics subscription was replaced with All-Star Western.

    Now the Vigilante that appeared in JLA #78-79 (the satellite story) is in fact considered to be the Earth-1 Vigilante.

    Steve Engelhart also used him in flashback in JLA #144, in retelling the League’s origin of 1958, along with many other DC stars like Robotman and Plastic Man, who also inexplicably don’t belong in that period. (But it works if you consider this as Earth-1 Vig’s first chronological appearance).

    This Vigilante had several solo appearances throughout the 1970s.

    – A back-up feature in Adventure Comics # 417, 422, 426 and 427 in 1972-1973.

    – As a co-star of Superman in World’s Finest #214, in 1972, during the brief period when WF was a multiple team-up-like title with Supes as the anchor.

    – the Dollar Comics era in World’s Finest #245-248, that was so superbly penciled by the great Gray Morrow. (I will speak on Gray later, so as to address another of your points on the art.)

    Why the Who’s Who page makes no reference to various Vigilantes is due to the chronology of publication. By this time we are well into the post-Crisis era, and Vig, like many Golden and-Silver age characters is considered as being rolled into a single character for convenience. Which does make the history more linear, but of course, creates many more paradoxes, like Rob’s comment about #JLA 78-79 indicates. But hey, isn’t sorting all of this out in your brain half the fun of continuity in the first place?

    Greg Sanders appeared later in Post-Crisis continuity in El Diablo, Stars & Stripes, JSA, and presumably died in the Grant Morrison Seven Soldiers epic, though he supernaturally appeared in the Bulleteer episodes. The last time we get to see him is in of all things, a Jimmy Olsen one-shot special around 2008.

    We got an excellent period-era Vigilante of course, as you mentioned, fighting Bugsy Siegel in City Lights, Prairie Justice. For the most part other appearances such as JLA: Year One and Kingdom Come, he’s pretty much used as background.

    In New 52 Suicide Squad he was shown posed inexplicably with Jonah Hex as the bounty hunters that filed the cells of Belle Reve in history. A shame he is so under utilized. Such a great character.

    Despite how I’ve structured and detailed all of this explanation, I just don’t get all militant about it. Multiple earths adds nothing to a ground-level character like the Vigilante to keep worrying about having him span too many time and dimension anomalies. I just want a cowboy who shoots first and rams his motorbike into monsters.

    Now, onto Gray Morrow’s art. As a western historian, I appreciate that Gray was one of the few artists who could do western clothing and accoutrements right, and naturally made the Vigilante look like he could step out of a panel onto a dusty road in Wyoming. So many artists can’t draw a stetson or a six-gun or Greg’s cavalry shirt to save their lives.

    In Worlds Finest #247, Morrow drew an arsenal for Greg like we had never seen before, or since. Hidden in his guitar case, we see a boot dagger, a wrist derringer, a sawed-off shot gun, extra revolvers and a Dirty Harry style Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum– revealing an edgier side of the character that was ready for trouble.

    He also put great detail into the motor-cycle, a Harley Davidson Electra Glide, that Greg rigged with explosives into the gas tank, and hit a switch and ram the bike into things whenever he was overwhelmed. We saw him do that in the Justice League Unlimited episode against the Shaggy Man.

    Sorry, back to Gray. You mentioned that Greg’s wrist seemed abnormal in the Who’s Who entry. You’re right. As Shagg indicated, the revolvers in Vig’s holsters are reversed, with the butts to the front– quite opposite to what you see in many westerns or the average Kid Colt.

    This is a military style that allowed the shooter a variety of shooting positions. He could cross-draw – with a left-hand pulling out of the right holster and vice-versa, or he could draw left-on-left, as Gray shows in the picture. To do that, he would have to somewhat reverse his hand as he draws, in order for the weapon to come out in the right position (and pointing the right direction!). His thumb is in that position because he is getting ready to cock the trigger as his gun is removed. This drawing is so great because that position illustrates how much research and detail that Gray Morrow was prepared to put into his work.

    Anyway, thank you so much for a great episode, and so many great episodes in general. I follow along with the reviews from my originals, and it just reminds me of why I once got so much entertainment from comics.

    Regards, Pardners!
    Gord Tolton

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