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WHO’S WHO: Update ’87 Podcast, Volume 1

Who's Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC UniverseThe Fire and Water Podcast Presents… WHO’S WHO: UPDATE ’87 PODCAST, volume 1!

The inaugural episode of our WHO’S WHO UPDATE ’87 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: UPDATE ’87, volume 1, discussing characters such as the Young All-Stars, Batman, Bizarro, Black Adam, Booster Gold, Carcharo, 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 first episode of WHO’S WHO: UPDATE ’87 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 play the podcast using the player below or by right-clicking “download”, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (135 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 Joe Brozowski and Dick Giordano! Click the image to enlarge.

Who's Who: Update '87 Podcast, volume 1

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  1. Shag says:

    Stella (from Batgirl to Oracle: A Barbara Gordon Podcast) dropped this knowledge bomb over on another of our sites. Thought I would share with the gang here!

    My ears were burning so I came over here to see what’s up! I listened to this inaugural episode of this brand new podcast! How exciting! I was especially happy to hear Batgirl featured on her Who’s Who in 1987! It certainly is a ‘revision’ from her previous Who’s Who entry. I would like to correct Rob on one thing that made me turn my head…Babs is not the tennis star, that is from Bette’s Who’s Who (Xum above also mentions this). While Babs may have some tennis abilities, she is most well-known for her gymnastic abilities (until the new-52, which I shan’t talk about).

    Since you asked, I would like to explain some of the differences that this ‘revision’ makes to Babs’ history.

    1) She grew! Originally she was 5’6” and 121 lbs! I think she may have undergone some sort of torture on the rack to grow 5”!

    2) MAJOR changes to her family! Originally, James Gordon was her biological father, her deceased mother was Thelma, and her brother, Anthony, was a US spy who was killed by some Chinese Supermen! (He previously faked his death but this was for real). Barbara Kesel was the one to fully retool Barbara’s origins in Secret Origins #20 (1987) and the 1988 Batgirl Special. Suddenly, Babs has a tragic backstory, with her mother (Thelma) being killed and her father later spiraling down to alcoholism which would take his life. At least her aunt (now Barbara Sr. is married to Jim) and uncle took her in, and her cousin is the creepy James Jr.

    3) One of the problems I have with this ‘revised’ origin is the fact that Barbara wanted from the get-go to be a sidekick to Batman. This stems from the fact that she was hiding in her father’s office one night when Batman came in to talk with Jim. She apparently ‘got a crush’ on Batman, and this fueled her desire to be a hero. Bah, BAH, I say! Originally, Babs was already training her mind and body, thinking she wanted to do SOMETHING to help her city. She made her Batgirl costume to prank her father at the Policeman’s Masquerade Ball. By pure happenstance, Bruce Wayne, on his way to the Ball, was being robbed by Killer Moth. Babs stopped to help him and the rest is history. This at least is kept true in the ‘revised’ origin.

    I don’t like the fact that Babs based all her decision making on Batman and wanting to emulate him. While she technically is a derivative of Batman, she originally started off on her own, which I think makes her more powerful and special. She was working for herself and her city (and her father), not for Batman. When you suddenly say she became Batgirl because she was carrying a torch for Batman when she was younger, you create a weaker character, almost a woman just following a man’s lead. That is NOT Barbara Gordon!

    4) Her resume remained the same EXCEPT the fact that in the ‘revised’ version she has suddenly lost her PhD! How does that happen?!

    5) The last difference is a major one and one that gets my goat! Shortly before the Crisis, writers decided to pull down the character, practically making her useless to herself and others. I still have not figured out why this happened, but I have three theories:

    a) Writers or DC in general were getting tired of the character and were slowly trying to write her out of existence in order to focus on another character.

    b) There was a desire to heighten the tragedy of Supergirl’s eminent death during Crisis, so they put her up on a pedestal while contrasting her with the flagging character of Batgirl.

    c) The idea of The Killing Joke was already floating around the DC offices, so the character of Barbara Gordon was minimized and separated from the identity of Batgirl in order to make THAT STORY work.

    Unfortunately, the ‘revised’ version of Who’s Who focuses on her ‘failure’ during Crisis, and cites that as the reason why she is in semi-retirement. Before the change to the character, Babs lost her Congressional seat and was pretty disappointed and feeling like she could no longer help as she could. Her father (Jim Gordon) pushed her to reevaluate her attitude and she started working with the Humanities Research and Development. This all lines up with the ‘revised’ version as well. Where it differs is the fact that pre-Crisis, Jim was forced out of his position by some crooked politics in Gotham, and he was taking it pretty badly, which impacted his health. Babs decided to not go out as Batgirl as much in order to take care of her father. She would continue to fight in other ways, however, the best example being Detective Comics #533 where she protects her father in the hospital from some baddies AS Barbara Gordon. It may be sad to see Babs ‘semi-retired,’ but at least she had a purpose and it was for a good reason. How disappointing that Crisis changed it to make it seem like her ‘semi-retirement’ is a cop-out.

    That’s it! I could go on and on, but those are the major points! Thanks for asking, and thanks for a fun, engaging, and informative first episode! You guys may be younglings in the podcast world (with this being your first show and all), but I think you’ll go far!


    (The End!)

  2. Michael Chiaroscuro says:

    Just started listening so I’m only on the Instocktrades recommendations and I need to comment immediately! Rob! So happy to hear someone else extol the virtues of the Barr-Davis run on ‘Tec. That is also my favorite Batman run ever, of all time, for all time, etc. etc. you get the drift I think. It’s such an underrated run and coming out when it did, during the Miller-ization of Batman, it got lost in the sauce. The Alan Davis hardcover collection is beautiful, and even though I have the issues I scooped that collection up immediately when it came out a few years ago. Gorgeous work from a master comics illustrator. And like Rob said, the stories from Barr were wonderful, incorporating some classic villains in some old school stories but with modern (for that time) twists. Awesome! I get so jazzed thinking about that run.

    Now off to listen to Update ’87. Like Shag, I agree that 1987 was a great year for DC and I enjoyed the updates immensely at the time. Looking forward to listening to this episode. Off we go…

  3. Wolfgang Hartz says:

    I noticed that whenever there is a reference to superman or wonder woman, they still say “see superman II” or see “wonder woman II”, even though there’s only supposed to be one of each! But anyway, I’m glad the updates are being covered. I didn’t start listening to you guys until after volume 19, so now I can comment on entries I was too late for the first time around!

  4. Xum Yukinori says:


    Congratulations on your brand new podcast show. I enjoy it just as much as the old show.

    A few points for me to mention:

    Axis Amerika: Shag, you may be on to something with Fledermaus and Kid Karnevil. While I do not believe it was explicitly stated that they were both the same character, it was stated that Karnevil had died and was apparently so bad that he was kicked out of Hell. Fledermaus was actually crushed to death by a knocked-down plane in Young All-Stars #6. Whether he was killed by Fury (who in her “Blood Avenger” form knocked down said plane) or by Sandy the Golden Boy (who actually placed the unconscious Fledermaus beneath the plane thinking he would be safe from a nearby fire) is up for debate. While I would not think Roy Thomas’ Fledermaus as a character so vile even Hell wouldn’t want him, characterizations have been known to change in many “lower-string DC characters during the Naughties (‘00s). A question for Bill Willingham for sure, though connecting the two characters would sound like a typically logical “Geoffcon” (Geoff Johns retcon).

    Batgirl: Rob, you misread the final paragraph of the entry. The “tennis champ” statement was actually referring to the Betty Kane Batgirl, which means this entry was essentially acknowledging that the Kane version of Batgirl as well as the Kathy Kane Batwoman still existed post-Crisis – at least until DC editorial changed their minds (leading to the creation of Bette Kane: Flamebird in Secret Origins Annual #3).

    Batman: Regarding Leslie Thompkins, she first appeared in the 1970s classic: “There Is No Hope in Crime Alley!” And while it was revealed in that story that she had comforted Bruce the night his parents were murdered, she wasn’t originally Bruce’s guardian until later stories (I seem to recall it was actually in the 1980s, after her appearance in Detective Comics v1 #483 but before the Crisis that this change was made, but I may be incorrect because I cannot recall the actual issue. Anyone?).

    Shag, the Robin portrayed here is Jason Todd. Tim Drake doesn’t appear until the “Batman: Year 3” storyline.

    Bizarro: I too also favor this Bizarro story in Man of Steel #5, but that may be because of the respective nods to the original Bizarro story in Superboy v1 #68.

    Blue Beetle I: The Fox Publications version of the Blue Beetle did indeed have a radio serial: You can listen to a number of his melodramatically exciting adventures here:

    And a fun fact: the DC story you had mentioned was not the first time Ted Kord fought the Dan Garrett Blue Beetle since his death in Charlton’s Blue Beetle #2. In AC’s Americomics #3 in the early 1980s (which happened to have a Pat Broderick cover), Ted Kord fought his predecessor, though it was revealed to be a “prototype super robot” duplicate built by Ted’s crazy uncle on Pago Island. Ted also encountered a “Gods resurrected” Dan Garrett (that obviously channeled a bit of Jack Kirby) in a separate story in the same issue. I love how “The Gods” (there were two of them) left the resurrected Dan a handwritten note in his apartment wishing him luck in his new job, which was signed, “The Gods” with a postscript: “P.S. Try not to get killed this time.” Ted seemed to take the whole resurrection thing in stride… (“I don’t know how you came back from the dead… but it’s been a honor [fighting beside you].”)

    FireShag: Glad you enjoyed this finally-finished “end of your old show” parting gift to match Rob’s “Earth Two Aquaman” entry. Guess we will have to wait a while for an entry on “Color Hold”…

    And “Firestorm the Atomic Man” is not the only Who’s Who entry I had created for “The Line It Is Drawn”. I had done a “Kid Lantern” entry a few years back (using red dots instead of yellow for some then-valid reason that escapes me at the moment), and there is another unfinished entry from a previous week that will be ready for an upcoming “make-up week” that is held twice a year. And perhaps one day we will see an entry for… “Professor Xum”! (Wouldn’t I like to be a surprint too…)

    Cheers. Until episode 2.

  5. Michael Chiaroscuro says:

    Rick Leonardi drew the Batgirl portion of Secret Origins Vol. 2 # 20, which I bought off the stands back in 1987. Here’s a link:

    Maybe because I was a kid when I bought this and the Who’s Who Update #1, but I always loved Leonardi’s Batgirl illustrations, not that there were that many to my knowledge beyond these two instances. I used to marvel at his Who’s Who entry for Babs. Just loved her face in the surprint and thought his Batgirl drawing was also really sharp. But I might be biased, as Leonardi was an artist I used to take notice of a lot back around that time – he drew lots of issues of the X-Men, Daredevil and Cloak and Dagger, all faves of mine over at Marvel. So I was probably predisposed to liking his art. Now that I look at his Babs in the surprint, there is something very Manga about the big eyes! I still love it to this day. I think Leonardi had a very unique style among mainstream artists at DC and Marvel at the time so his work always stood out to me.

    And Shag: I love Batman and the Outsiders. So there. I thought Rob expressed affection for the series once upon a time on this podcast, no? Again, I bought a lot of these issues as they came out in the 80s and was particularly attached to the Alan Davis drawn run. In recent years I completed the run and was floored at how good Aparo still was at that point in his career. And it was a lot of fun to read the letter columns in that series too – people were really critical of Barr and took the book VERY seriously and Barr clearly had a good time verbally sparring with the fans. I also recall reading several letters of complaint when Davis took over, just ripping into Davis’s art. Huh??? The man’s a master. But it just shows you how much love there was for Aparo out there at the time. That’s basically why I’ll always love the book – two legendary artists drew it for most of the run and that helped overcome some of the really goofy plots. But even the goofiness was a blast. Plus the cover to the first issue is still iconic and makes me smile – Aparo drawing all those JLAers with Batman telling them off and saying he’s got a new team now! Great stuff.

    I agree with Rob here – the Alan Davis Batman entry is also one of my favorite pieces ever. I remember wishing at the time that I could have it in poster format! It encapsulates everything that made Batman great up to and at that time.

    I realize most of my comments today are heaping praise on Alan Davis. I can’t help it! It’s nice to see him featured so much in this episode.

  6. Siskoid says:

    Yay! Update!

    The cover… Batman about to teabag Tyrano… yeah… best bit, and I’d never noticed it before.

    All-Star Squadron: I was very happy to see a more inclusive shot of the team, though the art is only okay, and very strange to actually start the update with a “Y” entry… I think Midnight is just skulking away, not flinching. Maybe he wants out of the team.

    Ares: No Revised banner, but he IS a revision of Mars from the original volume.

    Atmos: He would actually become a Legionnaire in the 5-year gap. I’m having to do a Who’s Who entry for him sometime this summer.

    Axis Amerika: Damn you Gudra! You stole Winged Victory from the Shining Knight!!!

    Bad Samaritan: Snooze. Could the entry BE any vaguer?! One of the things the original volume of Who’s Who did well was ignore Mike Barr’s lame Outsiders villains. The Updates seemed to assume these guys would eventually be big. None of them ever were. BRING ON THE DUKE OF OIL! Or don’t.

    Still… Outsiders attack Gorbachev in the surprint…

    Batman: The Robin grinning in the surprint has to be Jason Todd and not Tim Drake at this point, Shagg.

    Belle Reve: It means “beautiful dream” in creole french, it’s meant to be be “Rev” not “Reeve”, but since that’s how ‘Muricans seem to want to pronounce it, the New52 version actually spells it Reeve, which I hate with a passion. I think this is an important entry because the Suicide Squad ground crew doesn’t get another entry somewhere, and they were distinctive and important to the stories. Man, I loved that run. No Squad has been at all interesting without Ostrander’s participation.

    Bizarro: Don’t stick your tongue out, Lucy! III and IV both had versions of Bizarro, in a way. I wouldn’t assume they’d do a silly version of Bizarro in the WB’s movies… They’re all about grit and grime and scowls. This version would be a much closer fit.

    Black Mace: Is it me or are LaRocque and Tanghal channeling Frank Miller here? Especially in the face?

    Blue Beetle I: Revised? Dan Garrett wasn’t included in the first volume of Who’s Who, was he? Anyway, I think they mention Fox because it’s not a company whose properties they absorbed.

    Halfway point, in between Beetles… I’ll be back for more this afternoon.

  7. Kyle Benning says:

    Going to listen to the episode twice, listening now at work, I’m going to go home and leaf through the issue and then listen again, but thought I’d chime in with some preliminary thoughts.

    1) I love the cover on this one! Over the years Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have become best friends and almost synonymous with each other. The Blue & the Gold!At this point they would have just been briefly introduced to each other and had very limited interaction between the 2 of them in Justice League, but given what the next 15 years or so held for them as friends and teammates, it’s very fitting that they are so close to each other on the cover. At least for me it has always made this cover iconic and memorable seeing them both flying/swinging across the cover next to each other.

    2) I believe Belle Reve is pronounced Belle “Reeve” as in Christopher Reeve, at least that’s how it was pronounced in both the Smallville and Young Justice tv shows (if I’m remembering that correctly).

    3) Rob, we have all been wishing for a Bizarro in a Superman movie, we sorta kinda got Bizarro in the Dark Superman in Superman III and Nuclear Man (no Shag, not that Nuclear Man). While Superman IV had some real rough patches, pretty much anytime Lex Luthor’s dbag nephew showed up, I actually really like Nuclear Man as a villain, he’s pretty menacing, a total match for Superman on a power level, and somewhat visually appealing (minus his nuclear finger nails), at least visually appealing enough for Rob Liefeld to totally steal his costume design and make money off renaming him Supreme.

    4) I really dig Captain Atom’s costume, always wished that they hadn’t screwed the pooch on Armageddon 2001 and stuck with the plan of making Captain Atom become Monarch instead of Hawk. At least they attempted to rectify it down the line. The Captain Atom as Monarch story arc in Countdown was definitely one of the more enjoyable threads of that series.

    5) I would say Carapax is filed under C instead of Indestructible Man just to avoid confusion with Steel the Indestructible Man. Obviously it would be a few years before John Henry Irons would come along, but just think about that, you have John taking the name Steel, and if Carapax took the Indestructible Man, poor Hank Heywood III wouldn’t know what to call himself.

    Great first episode to kick off the new series!!! More to come later after I look through the issue and relisten!

  8. Anj says:

    Huzzah for the return of Who’s Who!

    Great comments already so I’ll try to be brief… try.

    Young All-Stars- I also bought the first year and I think most of that was based on loving the covers of the first half year or so. Boy, the art on that book was something special. I also really like the ‘Golden Age’ Fury on the team. Her origin is based on tragedy which adds a nice dark element to the team. Throw her in there with Reactron, Hyathis, the Gang, Warlock of Ys, and Manhawks as those weird characters I love.

    Amethyst – I definitely miss the pre-Crisis Amethyst, and did when this book came out too. I think the Amethyst book being promoted on the back is the Giffen/Newell mini-series, best known for it’s unbelievably gorgeous art by Esteban Maroto.

    Atmos – he was one of the heroes hypnotized/lobotomized by Universo in the beginning of the Universo project. He and Dream Girl had a dalliance there while mesmerized. When Dreamy broke the mental bonds, she was stuck with him being a bit of a lech and her saying things like ‘why is my body so sore?’ In the end, I think it is revealed he has low level mind powers. Ultimately he is killed by BION in the 5YL book, a test subject to see if BION was ready to be cut loose.

    Black Mace – the woman on the page is Projectra in her earliest costume. Only a few months before this book came out there was an issue with a flashback story of Projectra’s first mission (with her other new teammates) where she fought him. In the Baxter series, as Sensor Girl, Jeckie defeats him by removing all his senses, leaving him devoid of any input.

    Brimstone – Now that you guys mention that he looks like a wrestler, I am convinced that Byrne designed him after King Kong Bundy!

    Glad to have the show back! And next issue, there is another one of Anj’s weird character loves!

    Arisia – I also found the ‘I’ll age myself so we can do it’ storyline of Arisia super-icky. Brrrr …. And then, based on a comment Shag said I google-imaged ‘Arisia Cosplay’ while at work. Note to self: Never google image ‘Arisia Cosplay’ while at work.

  9. Anthony Durso/The Toyroom says:

    Welcome back, guys!

    • Young All-Stars/All-Star Squadron: Like Rob, I had every issue of All-Star
    Squadron but Young All-Stars couldn’t hold my interest for a full year.

    By the time this version of “Who’s Who Update ’87” is done, you will
    be tired of anything related to Young All-Stars and Infinity Inc. They
    will make you long for the days of The New Gods, Omega Men and
    Atari Force.

    Roy Thomas had his work cut out for him at DC by this point. Still working
    on popular titles but having his hands tied by the new post-Crisis editorial
    policies. Most of these retcons of the Golden Age Superman, Batman,
    Wonder Woman et al characters just didn’t work.

    • Axis Amerika- I believe the word you’re looking for is pastiche or analogue?

    • Bad Samaritan- Mike W. Barr was the king of the pun-inspired names wasn’t he?
    His Outsiders work is filled with such nonsense. It’s great!

    • Batgirl- Rick Leonardi also drew Batgirl’s origin in “Secret Origins” #20 (November 1987)

    • Batman- This is the two-page Batman spread we DESERVED back in “Who’s Who” #2. Let
    me also share my love for the Barr/Davis run on “Detective Comics”. It’s too bad it
    couldn’t have lasted longer but Batman was well on his way to becoming grim and gritty.

    • Belle Reve- This is the type of entry I would expect to find in OHOTMU…

    • Black Adam and Captain Marvel- Another poor attempt by Roy Thomas to modernize
    Golden Age characters in the post-Crisis DC Universe. I jumped ship after issue #2.
    Tom Mandrake was all kinds of wrong for the art chores.

    • Blue Beetle I- 1) Blue Beetle’s radio show ran from May to Sept 1940.
    2) Gil Kane also drew the Blue Beetle origin in “Secret Origins” #2.

    • Booster Gold- I think the cover art is a better representation of Booster than this art
    by the character’s creator.

    • Brimstone- Speaking of wrestling…How have we NOT had a Brimstone, Chemo and Validus
    battle royale yet?

    • Caress- Part of the attempt to modernize the Fatal Five. Fail. You can tell that DC was
    trying to push Legion characters since the book was one of their best sellers at the
    time. Black Mace and Caress didn’t deserve individual listings. After all, earlier LSH
    foes like Evillo and Radiation Roy didn’t get entries. Cosmic King only got 1/2 page.
    Should have just saved the space and waited for the Who’s Who in the Legion.

  10. Siskoid says:

    Oops, sorry, click on Submit before you guys mentioned the Revised issue on Blue Beetle I, and since I was writing this as I was listening, other comments beat me to the punch of certain things. I’ll try to make sure that doesn’t happen in this second part.

    Booster Gold: Yes, disappointing art. I don’t know why because it’s the original Booster team and it should really shine. Part of it is not seeing Booster’s eyes through his goggles. Makes it col where it show twinkle.

    Captain Atom: Although I like Blue Beetle best as a CHARACTER, the Captain Atom SERIES was my favorite Charlton import. It had a great international thriller kind of feel, great art, the fake origin (based on the Charlton series’), Plastique’s role, all of it. Damn shame what happened to the character. Yes, I’d agree they Manhattaned him, but Moore should probably credit Dr. Solar as an inspiration for Doc Manhattan as well.

    Captain Marvel: You taped the show before the Secret Origins podcast ep.3 came out, but it did, today, thought I’d mention it.

    Carapax: Ostrander found a fun use for him in his relatively recent (pre-New52) Suicide Squad mini-series. I have some love for ‘im.

    Caress: I know Mano. You, miss, are no Mano.

    Catalyst: Also found his way into Ostrander’s later Suicide Squad (or was it in Manhunter… that era anyway). I think he’s pretty cool. Generally, I LIKE the one-off villains Len Wein created for Blue Beetle, but I guess Rob will want to pass them all.

  11. Siskoid says:

    Siskoid’s teenage adventures in Texas… I thought you knew, Shagg. Shared custody, a father who moved to TX, half-a-dozen summers below the Mason-Dixon…

    Well, it happened.

  12. Siskoid says:

    You know why I think Roy Thomas included Hourman in a Quality Heroes story? Because the first ever masked superhero in comics was the Clock, who though his first couple appearances were not under Quality’s banner, was published by Quality thereafter.

  13. Shag says:

    Just heard from Bill Willingham himself on Twitter about Kid Karnevil & Axis Amerika’s Fledermaus. Looks like I’m just creating retcons in my head!

    ‏@FirestormFan – @BillWillingham Question: Was there a connection between Young All-Stars Fledermaus & your Kid Karnevil? #FWPodcast

    ‏@BillWillingham – I don’t believe so, except they both, at one point in their lives, were members of Nazi themed super villain teams. Kid Karnevil was first a member of the villain team Pentacle, in Shadowpact, but proved too disturbing and evil for them. Remember, he was the kid who was kicked out of Hell because he scared the workforce.

  14. Tim Wallace says:

    Darn it! Xum beat me to some of this, but…here goes.

    Yes there was a Blue Beetle radio show! If I ever get around to launching my podcast I plan to include those episodes on my show!

    The Who’s Who entry is a bit, well…off. The Dan they speak of and the Dan the provide the first appearance for are two different guys…sort of, mostly.

    Dan Garret (single “T”) was the original, Fox Features Syndicate character that debuted in “Mystery Men” #1 (1939). He was a police officer who donned a chainmail suit, and took vitamin 2-X to gain super strength to fight crime!

    Now, around 1954 Charlton acquired the rights to reprint Fox’s Blue Beetle, in of all places “Space Adventures”, starting with issue #13. They later renamed another book (“The Thing!”) “Blue Beetle” with issue #18 and did a short run of original (non-reprint) “golden age” adventures, before creating their own new take on the character.

    Dan Garrett (double “T”) was Charlton’s “original” Blue Beetle, debuting in “Blue Beetle” #1 (1962). This Dan was an archaeologist, who discovered a scarab in Egypt that bestowed a variety of super powers to him.

    The AC/Americomics issue Xum not only featured the Robo-Dan vs. Ted Kord fight, but the Dan Garrett resurrection story also retconned the idea that archaeologist Dan was in fact a reincarnation of police officer Dan…and at that point being reborn as a secret agent with the Central Intelligence Bureau.

    When DC bought the characters from Charlton, as I understand it, they were buying the Charlton created versions; archaeologist Dan and Ted Kord. Fox’s Police officer Dan is public domain character at this point, and no one ever touched the AC versions again to my knowledge.

    Funny enough though, when DC released their 1991 “DC Comics Cosmic Cards” trading cards they included a 3-part “Hero Heritage” mini-set, that included both Dan Garret (Golden Age, first appearance “Mystery Men” #1), Dan Garrett (Silver Age, first appearance “Blue Beetle” #1), and Ted Kord (Modern Age, “Captain Atom” #83), which would seem to acknowledge that the 2 Dan’s are NOT the same character.

    There…probably WAY more Blue Beetle info that anyone wanted…but…it’s what I do!

  15. I’ve put on my angry pants and I’m ready to rock.
    Here goes….This issue SUCKED.
    The cover was the best part of the issue by-far. Besides the Batman entry (I include myself as a fan of the Barr-Davis run) and the Batgirl art, the rest of the issue was Blah, “b” as in Blah.
    I never liked any of these other characters, and have only recently come to enjoy the adventures of Blue & Gold.

    Sorry, guys, I’m a Classic Multi-Verse type of guy.

  16. Wow, you guys are doing a Who’s Who show! Great idea! I love Who’s Who! Bought every issue from number 1 on! Kind of confused why you two started with update ’87, but that’s cool! I can’t believe someone hasn’t thought of this before!

    Oh, wait…

    Anyway, everyone covered my notes, but I’ll add a bit.

    Amazing Grace: I love it when the usually “CAL-LASSY” Rob gets baudy. “Over the shoulder boulder holder” is something I never expected him to say, and I snorted out loud. I use that term all the time, but just ask Cindy, I’m like school on Sunday…no class.

    Arisa: Her tale is one of those WTF moments you really can’t explain away. I have nothing but love for Englehart, but what was the man thinking? I did NOT like Staton’s work much in this period. He went too far into cartoony and everything seemed rushed. Just sayin’.

    Artemis: When I figured out her parents were Huntress and Sportsmaster on Young Justice, I couldn’t believe she was THIS Artemis. Talk about obscure!

    Bad Samaritan: As others have pointed out, that’s Mikail Gorbachev talking to him there! He looks like Eel O’Brien undercover.

    Batgirl: Stella took care of this one, but I will point out that Leonardi seemed to be channeling Carmine Infantino more than usual (he followed him on Spider-Woman at Marvel). Probably because Infantino co-created/designed Batgirl. Just look at that close-up shot of Babs…that’s an Infantino face. Her height has to be WRONG. I always thought that.

    Batman: YES. This is gorgeous, and Rob is right, this encapsulates all that is Batman. I think Robin could be either Dick or Jason, but it’s probably Jason, and since Barr and Davis were mostly doing the pre-Crisis Jason, despite the horrible retcons Max Allan Collins was concocting in Batman, I’m more agreeable to him here. Put me down as another HUGE fan of the truncated Barr/Davis run. The artwork is of course, gorgeous. Equal parts Adams realism with Sprang cartooniness and design. And Barr was one of the first writers to be able to justify the Batman who was Robin’s “old chum” and a fierce warrior to criminals. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.

    Bizarro: I like how they admit he’s never called Bizarro in Man of Steel #5. In a cut scene from Superman IV (which you can see on the DVD, with REALLY horrible music), Superman encounters an earlier Nuclear Man who is mentally addled and acts a lot like the classic Bizarro. But yeah, why hasn’t he or Brainiac made it into a film yet? Give Lex and Zod a rest, people.

    Blue Beetle I: I have that Americomics issue Xum wrote about. It’s kind of cool, in a fanish way. Technically, this entry covers the initial Charlton Silver Age Blue Beetle. The Golden Age version first published by Fox had a secret formula that gave him powers. Charlton reprinted some of these stories in the 50s, and revived the character with a modified costume and the scarab origin.

    Blue Beetle II: I like everything but Ted Kord’s face. This doesn’t look a thing like Cullins’ Ted Kord, and his eyes are pointing in two different directions. This has always bothered me.

    Captain Atom: I like Pat Broderick, but sometimes his proportions go wonky. Look how short Atom’s right arm is. Plus, as you said, that pose…

    Captain Marvel: Tom Mandrake was the wrong choice for this character, period. This was a wrong-headed direction for the character in general. Jerry Ordway did it much better.

    Great “first” episode fellas!


  17. I say with no shame and with no hyperbole that this issue of WHO’S WHO is very emotional for me. I realized this fact as I was listening to the episode. See, I started seriously buying comics in the spring of 1987 as the term “tardy to the party” is apparently my mantra. Despite loving super-heroes my entire life and occasionally dipping my toe into the comic book world it was John Byrne’s Superman that finally sucked me in. The very same month I bought the Superman books that would eventually lead to the borderline personality disorder I have today WHO’S WHO UPDATE ’87 #1 came out. There I was at eleven years old curious about the larger DC Universe and the kind folks at the company decided to put this tome just for me.

    Okay, it wasn’t just for me but it felt that way.

    If I was going to do a some cultural anthropology on my own fandom I think it’s fair to say that UPDATE ’87, ’88 and the binder edition of WHO’S WHO are at the core of what made me a DC person with UPDATE ’87 #1 being patient zero, to mix my metaphors. I love everything about this book, even the entries that don’t speak to me all that much.

    Thanks so much for the multiple shout outs. You guys are awesome.

  18. Frank says:

    1) I was skeptical about renumbering the Who’s Who Podcast, but I now have to eat crow. It’s a completely different show with David Gutierrez and Chris Franklin taking over as hosts, and the new “hair metal” version of the theme song featuring electric guitar licks (though that attempt to rhyme “Axis America” and “Lady Shiva” was painful.) The trivia quiz replacing the old comment reading section spices things up and sets this reimagining apart.

    2) Joe Bro offered an unquestionably functional cover. I will not tolerate any questioning of its serviceability.

    A) It’s weird how the Young All-Stars are abutted against the All-Star Squadron listing without regard to cover listing or the alphabet. I’m not opposed to using analogues/surrogates as continuity patches in a shared universe, but it doesn’t work nearly as well to create whole new characters where the originals are legally available, especially when you replace the absolute greatest heroes in a continuity with poorly designed mega-morts. Iron Munro and Fury went on to offer some utility, but the rest were straight up killbait eyesores just waiting for another Diablo Island massacre or a Starman murder mystery. I think these guys were so subpar, they survived by non-virtue of being totally forgettable, so nobody remembered to kill them off. Far better to employ well-positioned preexisting replacements, the way Black Canary stood in for Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter assumed the Superman role in Post-Crisis JLA stories. Those characters stepping up temporarily to fulfill editorially mandated retroactive omissions elevated the stature of both characters, even after the retcon was retconned back to the seminal continuity. “Literary.”

    B) I like Eel O’Brien as a depression-era gangster afforded pliable immortality. His being from the WWII period was occasionally alluded to in Post-Crisis story, but never in depth or to full satisfaction. Say, why didn’t Roy just keep telling stories with this paired-down Squadron? Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Amazing Man, Tarantula and Firebrand could have surely held up better than the a Young All-Stars. Howard Simpson gives Joe Brozowski a stroll for his loose change.

    C) To Byrne’s credit, he did try to femme up the Fourth World Sausage Factory, and Amazing Grace was appropriately punny (though I’m not sure Jack would approve of her outfit.) As Shag described Giffen’s revisions to Amethyst, my brain kept saying “shutupshutupshutup.” The original title was too girly for me to get into, but it worked for what its creators intended it to be. The “everything you know is a lie” approach was supremely disrespectful here, and deeply off-putting on its own terms. This version turned up in Giffen’s run on the Jared Stevens Fate as well.

    D) Perez’s Ares was a Galactus-ish foe for Wonder Woman with a nifty design that stuck as a primary rogue in spite of his absence of personality and his being too stupid to foresee a probable nuclear winter in his bid to start WWIII for fightin’s sake in his first story arc. I preferred the street-level “Ares Buchanan” from the Messner-Loebs run that came closest to resembling the entertaining thug Ares of the Bronze Age. Then Byrne reinstated the dull as dishwater Perez Ares, and Greg Rucka wrote him as a Loki stand-in. Diabolu Frank does not have a Wonder Woman podcast because life got in the way of all my podcasting efforts the past several weeks, despite my already having written the outline for the first episode and done the intro. Let’s see if I can get it done thus week…

  19. Joe X says:

    The Gladiator novel is considered one of the primary influences on Siegel and Shuster when they created Superman.

    You know what would have been a great All-Star fill-in? A story featuring all the comedy sidekicks like Percival Popp the Super-Cop, the Three Dimwits from Flash, and Woozy Winks among others.

    I’ve always thought he was a 30th century version of Captain Atom. LaRocque’s LSH got even more Kirby-ish once Arne Starr took over full inks.

    I think Gudra was supposed to be the Valkyrie from the JSA origin story.

    Ah the 80s when Gorby was all over comics.

    Tyrano: The Gil Kane swipe in the background just shows how iffy Staton’s art was then.

    That Shazam mini would have been so much better if it was the Don Newton version.

    Dan really liked the costume that the 1000 leader wore, since he used it for Extant.

    I think Byrne created Bloodsport as a reaction to media reports that he was going to “Rambo-ize” Superman.

    The non-Charlton Blue Beetle rights were kind of sketchy at the time. I know Roy Thomas wanted to use him in YAS, but decided it wasn’t worth the hassle. These days DC would say “Screw you, we own it,” and back it up with zillions of lawyers.

    I liked that Captain Atom was really a political thriller masquerading as a super-hero book.

    Carchurro! The Cinnamon-coated Man!

    Since they also retconned Persuader to be Asian, I wonder why they didn’t make Caress his daughter or something.

    We could use some links to all these podcasts and blogs.

    1. The Persuader’s ethnicity has always been a bit in question. If you go back and look at his initial appearance against the Sun-Eater you will see that Curt Swan makes him pseudo-Asian. He then jumps back and forth between Asian and Caucasian for the rest of his existence.

      This was at the same time that Jim Shooter had introduced a character he had intended to be Asian named Karate Kid, but who eventually appeared as a brunette Caucasian kid.

      But yeah, Caress as a character is a dud. And her origin sounds interesting, but it never ever actually appeared IN the stories. In her one appearance, she was just *there.*

  20. One more thing on Batman: Leslie Thompkins helping to raise the orphaned Bruce was one of Barr’s contributions to the post-Crisis Batman that stuck. He introduced the notion in Detective #574, Davis’ penultimate issue. Pre-Crisis, Leslie was simply a kindly lady who comforted Bruce the night his parents were killed, and when Batman visited her on that same night every year, per “There is No Hope in Crime Alley” from Tec #457, she had no idea he was the same person she helped all those years before. The animated series further strengthened the post-Crisis relationship, making her a friend and colleague of Dr. Thomas Wayne, as seen in the adaptation of Tec #457, “Appointment in Crime Alley”, which was adapted by…Gerry Conway! Whew!


    1. Joe X says:

      It’s certainly better than Batman @#209, where it’s revealed that Bruce was mostly raised by his uncle Philip’s housekeeper, who was also the mother of Joe Chill!

    2. Joe X says:

      It’s certainly better than Batman #208, where it’s revealed that Bruce was mostly raised by his uncle Philip’s housekeeper, who was also the mother of Joe Chill!

  21. Joe X says:

    Just thought of this, since Firehawk is in the new Super Team Family post, was there ever any talk of her being related to Golden Age hero (and pink puffy shirt wearer) Rod (Firebrand) Reilly?

  22. Tim Wallace says:

    And now that I’ve finished the episode…Carapax and Catalyst.

    Carapax was built up from issue #1 of the Len Wein/Paris Cullins series. It seemed as if every issue, or every other issue, you got at least a one page peek at Carapax digging around Pago Island. In one way or another (short peek or full story) he appeared in half of the issues of this run! I guess the “Indestructible” tag had something to do with the suit being self repairing with a self renewing power source. Not completely indestructable though…two Beetles managed to take him down!

    Catalyst also appeared over several issues in the 2nd year of the Wein/Cullins run, and according to appeared in “Deathstroke”, “Justice Society of America”, “New Teen Titans”, “Suicide Squad” and…”Firestorm”!

    They both even showed up in the 2006 Jaime Reyes “Blue Beetle” series in an issue that featured something like a Blue Beetle Revenge Squad that also included the Madmen, and Firefist (the villain from DC’s 1st BB issue).

  23. Jeff R. says:

    So, while I can’t promise egregiousness, I am going to try and find an Omission of the Month for this series. Restricting to characters who debuted too late for the first go-around makes things considerably harder. For the first issue, the honorable mention goes to Caitiff, the First Vampire, a villain who appeared in the ‘lame duck’ Superman run between Crisis and Man of Steel, notable for being one of the earliest stories to showcase Keith Giffen’s new art style. The Winner slot goes to a character who could have been in this issue or the next alphabetically speaking, Cat Grant, the first new addition to Superman’s supporting cast with any real staying power in decades.

    Indeed, the post-Crisis Amethyst stands out as a colossal waste of characters and talent. The four-issue actually made things worse, tying her in to Mordru/White Witch and thus getting lords of order/chaos cooties all over those characters as well. But at least it was fairly well-drawn.

    I liked Caress (and the other New Fatal Fivers, for that matter), probably more than they deserved. When they brought in the Fatal Five Hundred for Titans/Legion I still wish we had seen a Caress and a Mentallia among the various versions instead of just one hundred of each original one; with maybe one Dark Man that could just as easily have been an art error.

  24. Frank says:

    E) Arisia was a great anecdote to take down Hal Jordan with and she was an okay supporting character to Guy Gardner before dying in his series. Artemis’ costume is gloriously ’80s gaudy, so on the nose that if she wasn’t actually from that period I’d call foul on her being too ’80s. She lost her name to the Wonder Woman supporting character, just as her mother lost the Huntress moniker to Helena Wayne, so both ended up going by “The Tigress.” Early McFarlane was very Liefeldian. Don’t believe I’ve ever heard “all hat, no cattle” and I’m from Texas, but I like it and will use it without any attribution whatsoever. Atmos made gingers in Mohawks a thing for DC after Nuklon, I suppose. Kirby Dots and Kirby Krackle are both valid and can be used interchangeably.

    F) I missed talking about the weapons section on the inside cover. So familiar, almost as if DC were half-assed stealing from OHOTMU Vol I #15, the all-weapons issue. What’s not to like about WWII Nazi JLA analogues? Didn’t they bring back an updated Axis America in some modern era Justice League stories? I know Brian Murray best for ghosting Rob Liefeld on some pages of X-Force before graduating to launching the EXTREME Superman lift Supreme in the early days of Image. He was also swell in Groundhog Day.

    G) Bad Samaritan could have been a good Nighshade foil twenty years earlier, but seemed out of place both in a then-modern team book and as a representative of “godless” commies. I think Baron Tyrano was in some Englehart issues of Green Lantern, but he clearly wasn’t a memorable part of that sweet run. Rick Leonardi is an artist I often can’t stand who is made or broken by his inker, but Karl Kesel works very fine on the Batgirl entry.

    H) Mike Barr comes from an ambivalent place since he was the last writer on “my” well-adjusted manly Batman of the Bronze Age, but also wrote the deluded unreasonable bastard man-child proto-Miller G.D. Batman of The Outsiders. It also doesn’t help that his dumb team book euthanized Brave & The Bold. What I can say is that I’ve never been into Alan Davis’ take on the Batman Family, and I resent him for going with the Detective Comics run instead of the second Aquaman mini-series where he would have been better suited and have a more lasting impact. Davis was too soft focus and nice for Batman, the weak link between great Barr Bat collaborators like Aparo and Jerry Bingham.

    I) Belle Reve was one of the best, most unique and most enduring contributions to the DC Universe made Post-Crisis. Bizarro hasn’t been in a Superman movie because they have historically downplayed their comic book elements in a misguided bid for mainstream acceptance and manageable budgets. It’s the same stinkin’ thinkin’ that has given us six Superman movies where Lex Luthor or a reasonable facsimile are villains in five and Zod two, but none feature Brainiac. Also, Bizarro as Frankenstein is so boring and unimaginative that I’m disappointed in Shag for even putting it forth as a desirable option.

    J) I’m sure we’ve all heard enough times about how Black Adam only appeared once in the Golden Age before resurfacing in the 1970s series, but given how he’s eclipsed Captain Marvel in relative popularity and is the rare highly visible non-white DC character with a legit fan base, it’s a good thing that went down like it did. Had he been more firmly a honky or had spent years getting beaten up by the Marvel Family, he might not have been so primed for the accents that turned him into a DC contender. He even works drawn by Tom Mandrake, the least Marvelous artist to work on that set of characters.

    K) When I bought the underwhelming Booster Gold #1 based on the unfulfilled promise of getting a free pin for my troubles, I think Blackguard was the best thing to come out of that deal. The cover was weak, looking like an unexceptional issue of Marvel Two-In-Team-Up-Super-Stories, and I hated Booster Gold immediately, but I liked that Blackguard kept up the color theme and made good use of an appropriately villainous term. Too bad he was treated as action filler so more time could be spent on the Booster concept (’80s “Greed Is Good” shill.) Black Mace is decent in a low key way for a Legion foe, but I have no knowledge of him. Bloodsport is badly designed with a skeevy backstory, and I’m glad Dan Jurgens stole the teleporting weapons bit for the ’90s Weapons Master.

    L) I thought for sure that there was a Blue Beetle movie serial, but I guess there was only the short lived radio show. Still enough for inclusion in my never-to-be-realized DC answer to The Defenders featuring the biggest classic multimedia characters acquired but not originated by DC. Have the Jaime Reyes Beetle hang out with Captain Marvel and Plastic Man, while Ted rolls with the Charlton crew. Anyway, I never had much use for Dan Garret(t), especially since I’ve heard his stories were not exactly among the Golden Age’s finest. I’m not that into Ted Kord either, disliking the boilerplate Bronze Age too late Wein/Cullins series, though he earned some laughs in JLI. I suspect my never having read any of his Charlton stories contributes to this, since I usually prefer their versions of the characters to DC’s. Then again, he’s a Spider-Manabee, and I don’t have a high tolerance for those.

    M) In my epic DC crossover that will never be, I killed off Booster Gold to motivate Blue Beetle to be a better hero, and then DC did the same thing but flipped the characters. In retrospect, they had it right, since Booster Gold is more unique and has more interesting things to say within the genre. Still not a fan, though.

  25. Siskoid says:

    Fight the power, Frank! Outsiders hate forever!

    And yeah, Bizarro as Frankenstein may be the “best” option if you’re “serious-izing” or “logic-izing” Superman, but where do you go from there? Nowhere, which is why Byrne immediately blew him up.

  26. rob! says:


  27. Siskoid says:

    I know you do.

    We can still be friends.

  28. Anj says:

    I am pretty sure that the first appearance of Bizarro was in a Superboy comic (not Superman) where he does explode and give a blind girl sight.

    I think Byrne was completely doing an homage to that story, something he did early on in his run (see his first Mxyzptlk story, his Lori Lemaris story, etc).

  29. Martin Gray says:

    Anj is spot on about Bizarro starting out in Superboy, I remember being surprised when I found that out at the time out Byrne’s reboot.

    Now, comments posted at the other website that aren’t covered here …

    There’s a great presentation of the Perez Ares in the recent digital Sensation Comics, with art by Jamal Igle.

    Shag, I think you’re getting Bizarro confused with Nineties Solomon Grundy – Bizarro didn’t change with every appearance, he was the loveable version pretty consistently for decades.

    You lads, learn to read. It’s Danny Bulanadi – ‘A’ in the middle.

    ‘Blackguard’ is pronounced ‘Blag-gard’, Shag. Do you not listen when people yell it at you?

    I laughed at your comment, Shag, when you said an artist had ‘made it’ after noting he’d been in the film and TV industry. Did you really mean that’s the measure of success?

    You are entirely correct, Rob – an entry for Belle Reve? I loved Suicide Squad, but come on!

    Love you guys!

  30. Xum Yukinori says:

    You are correct, Anj. Bizarro first appeared in Superboy #68, and he was destroyed at the end of that story. Luthor duplicated the circumstances that created the Bizarro Superboy to create a Bizarro Superman in Action Comics v1 #254. Since this was a different character, this was considered the first appearance as far as the Bizarro SuperMAN was concerned.

  31. Frank says:

    N) Considering what a noisy, mouthy villain Brimstone was, I can see how that wrestler that used to battle Bugs Bunny could have been an influence. You know, Brimstone never seems to get credit for being the last villain to battle (and defeat) the Justice League of America. Professor Ivo’s androids stalked and occasionally killed the former Detroit heroes as individuals after the League was officially disbanded. Brimstone made short work of J’Onn J’Onzz when the hero stupidly assaulted the fiery fiend in Legends, but the Martian Manhunter later took out Brimstone almost as an afterthought in Justice League Task Force (though that flew in the face of the Underworld Unleashed crossover pitting unfamiliar heroes and villains against one another.)

    O) I knew Firestorm from the Galactic Guardians cartoon and guest appearances/crossovers, but not strictly as a solo hero in his own book. The one time I did read a few issues of Firestorm, it was during the blank slate period, and I didn’t stick around. Meanwhile, Captain Atom’s series was in the early going, he had similar powers and personality to the Ronnie Raymond Firestorm, plus the art of Pat Broderick, but telling more vital and compelling stories with a better supporting cast and more appropriate villains. So what I’m saying is that I not only follow Firestorm Fan for Shag rather than his hero of choice, but I specifically discount Firestorm because of my preference for Captain Atom. Also like Ronnie Firestorm, Captain Atom’s book sputtered out after a couple of years and never recovered from the loss of Broderick (though Blank Slate and Elemental Firestorm offered that book a second wind Nathaniel Adam was denied.) I never caught what an obvious Vietnamified update of Captain America Atom Mark II was, and that surely didn’t hurt my appreciation of the revamp. I also went back and read the right wing Charlton original version of the character, who is great fun and not at all like Doctor Manhattan: Man of the Atom (Solar was an equally obvious influence.) The “cover stories” assigned Captain Atom by the government were his out-of-continuity Charlton adventures. Talking of which, Captain Atom will take over the new Power of the Atom mini-podcast this week, covering his debut in Space Adventures.

    P) As previously mentioned, I’m with Shag in disliking the DC Comics character Shazam/Captain Marvel, with the rotten “New Beginning” mini-series a good example of how nobody at DC knew what to do with the character, least of all Roy Thomas. However, I would be singing a different tune if Thomas and originally planned artist Don Newton had gone through with Captain Thunder, a more thoroughly contemporary revamp of Billy Batson as an African-American youth. The disrespect and shoddy handling shown to Captain Marvel at DC would have been much more vociferously challenged if he was DC’s Black Superman instead of a dumb little white boy constantly embarrassing himself in Superman’s playground. The World’s Mightiest Mortal and his Marvel Family were afforded a lot more consideration and entertainment quality at Fawcett, which is why the line survived into the 1950s, long after most other super-hero titles, and in spite of DC’s constant legal harassment.

    S) Surprised to see Tailgunner Jo got a listing in Update ’87. Conrad Carapax looks like a clean-shaven Adolph Hitler. I also liked Marc Hazzard: Merc when Peter Davis wrote him (see my interview with PAD on the first Amazing Heroes Podcast.) Coachella is so hipster. Wait, Chimichanga? Oh yeah, I remember Carcharo! That was the Elvis movie where he tried to change his image with a Eastwood style spaghetti western. But seriously, how many sci-fi shark-man villains does DC need? Shark Week aside, they’re no gorillas. I have no recollection of Caress, not even her entry, which I forget as soon as I turn the page. I think Khunds is worse the way Shag says it, which sounds like a racial slur instead of an English one. Catalyst reminds me of Carapax, who also reminds me not to read Blue Beetle solo comics.

    3) HotDCU was literally intended to be the epilogue to COIE, as in the original plan was for the old universe and main story to end in #10, and #11-12 were meant to be the laying out of the new universe. I don’t recall why that plan changed, though presumably they hadn’t figured out what exactly the Post-Crisis Universe was going to be yet, so they dropped a wall on Huntress instead (much to the surprise of her once planned mini-series writer/artist Jerry Ordway as he received the pages of her death to ink.)

    4) Quality effort from Xum & Michael Bailey on Shag’s Who’s Who entry. I don’t think I rate as a nemesis to Shag, but more of a recurring frienemy. As such, I expect I’ll be one of those “dead link” (see…) entries that is teased but never materializes.

    5) I never got to see a Heroes World shop, because Marvel in the ’90s. Oddly, I only just now learned there is a comic shop called Heroes World in Houston, but not the same thing. Grr, retailing flashbacks!

    6) I never got around to commenting on the Film & Water Podcast on Blues Brothers, which was so effervescent it put a big dumb smile on my face driving home from a rough day at work.

    7 ) There’s an Adam Warlock & Thanos podcast? Why am I still listening to you guys? Gotta go…

  32. Phylemon says:

    Wow, there are a bunch of comments already! Looks like the renumbering gimmick worked out well for you, even if it does make you no better than Marvel in the 90’s. Okay, a couple of thoughts.

    1. Although “surrogate” is a perfectly acceptable word, what you were looking for, Shag, was the word “analogue,” which would be a more accurate term for the way the Young All-Stars filled in for the Golden Age heavy hitters. Speaking of the Young All Stars, although I like the concept, I could never get into the series. The few issues I read seemed like such a let down from the greatness of Roy Thomas’ All Star Squadron.

    2. Other than the Super Powers Action Figures, was Plastic Man ever really shown to be on Earth 1 prior to Zero Hour? I always saw him as an Earth 2 guy that got brought back into the fold after all the people who cared about continuity stopped making comics. Regardless, he is still a poor man’s Elongated Man.

    3. Oh dear God in Heaven, I had forgotten about the Lords of Order and Chaos nonsense! The way that tripe permeated every late 80’s comic perplexes me to no end and is, more than anything else, the sign that DC was six months past its expiration date the same way that you can tell milk has gone sour by the smell.

    4. Add me to those who like the Outsiders.

    5. Yeah, it’s hard to justify giving Belle Reve 2 pages. I know the Suicide Squad was a big deal, but it is still 2 pages worth of a big gray block.

    6. You guys could not be more wrong about Bizarro. This version is a grim aberration and the only real Bizarro was Bizarro No. 1 from the beloved Silver Age (although the version that has shown up in the recent mini-series will do in a pinch). If he did show up in a DC movie, he would most closely resemble this version and they would suck all the joy out of the character just as they have every character to recently be in a DC movie. God I miss Christoper Reeve! Side note, I’m surprised neither of you mentioned it, but this Bizarro’s S shield is facing the correct way, which is further proof that he is not the real B-man.

    7. Blackguard may be the Jericho of your new podcast. I am a huge fan of Booster Gold and Blackguard’s status as BG’s first foe earns him a special place in my heart. The whole first arc of Booster’s initial series, which introduces not only Blackguard, but also his villainous co conspirator Minddancer before having Booster defeat the whole 1000 committee with the help of Thorn, is a thing of beauty. It’s hard to argue against Blackguard’s general genericness (elevated by the so-called Jurgens’ House style), but as we saw from Bad Samaritan and Black Mace, being generic isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    7a.You mentioned that it looked like Blackguard was designed for the Super Powers action figure line. Although he never made an appearance there, it was fairly easy to customize a figure for him with a Flash head and a Lex Luthor body (although I still need to add in the magenta ponytail).

    8. Wasn’t there a Silver Age JLA foe who had the Bloodsport “materialize weapons out of nowhere” power? The name Weapons Master comes to mind, but I may be making that up. Regardless, Bloodsport’s powers are not unique.

    9. I always wondered if these entries for Booster and Beetle being side by side in this issue was the inspiration for Keith Giffen making them a buddy bromance. It is probably just hindsight on my part, but looking at these two pages would make me want to put these characters together as a team. As a side note, I agree that Booster always looked best with his, “floppy hair.”

    10. Update on Binky in Converegence: He was not utilized as well as I would have hoped, but it was still a pretty neat little appearance. In the Convergence: Supergirl Matrix mini, Supergirl is chasing Ambush Bug around the various cities (don’t ask). At one of these stops, they encounter Casey the Cop from the Sugar and Spike series. Their city is being attacked by some nondescript zombies. Casey mentions that the only people left are himself, Binky, and “those two little kids . . . that jabber away like they actually understand one another.” He even mentions that the zombies have already gotten to “Bob and Jerry” which is a great little sly reference to Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis, who had comedy comics at the same time as Sugar and Spike and Binky. Anyway, we don’t see the end of the story, but things look pretty dire for these simple innocent characters. Despite that, I’m choosing to believe that they pulled together and defeated their undead adversaries and Binky, Casey, and the kids have now set out to find survivors and rebuild their civilization (starting with the local soda fountain and comic book shop).

    Anyway, congratulations on another stellar podcast. Looking forward to many more.

    1. Shag says:

      Quick note… Phylemon is famous for typically having the exact opposite opinion from the rest of the world, but this time he’s exactly correct. Instead of “surrogate”, the word I was looking for was “analogue.” Thanks Phylemon! … wow, it actually stung my fingers a little to type that.

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