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

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 XV!

The fifteenth 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 XV, discussing characters such as ‘Mazing Man, Mera, Metamorpho, Mr. Freeze, Mr. Mind, and Mister Miracle, and many more! We wrap up the show with Who’s Who Listener Feedback! This episode sponsored in part by!

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

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

You can find the fifteenth 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 (78 MB).

Thanks to my co-host Rob Kelly, Sea King of THE AQUAMAN SHRINE, for doing all the post-production on this episode! Special thanks to Daniel Adams and Ashton Burge with their band The Bad Mamma Jammas for our fantastic Who’s Who theme song!

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

Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe, Volume XV cover by George Perez and Dick Giordano

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

We’ve got Mindboggler drawn by Joe Brozowski and Rick Magyer. Mindboggler faced off against our favorite Nuclear Man a few times in the mid-1980s. While fused as Firestorm, her illusion power affected only Ronnie and not the Professor. This made for interesting drama. While Mindboggler isn’t one of my own personal favorite characters, she did plague Firestorm a few times and appeared in Suicide Squad.

Who's Who Mindboggler by Joe Brozowski and Rick Magyer

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  1. Siskoid says:

    Cover: Thing I just now realized But yeah, very fun cover, I think you hit all the best bits.

    Inside front: You’ll note that once again, the pronunciation key for this issue is in the next. It pays to look ahead.

    Maxie Zeus: It kind of looks like the surprint drawing of him with the New Olympians was drawn separately, then cut-up to fit the page design. It really makes me wonder how these pieces were made, generally. Is the front piece drawn separately and pasted over the surprint image? Is the whole thing a cohesive drawing, and the back is turned into a color hold in the coloring stage? Does it differ from artist to artist? The process remains mysterious to me.

    ‘mazing Man: A charming, charming series. I recently read the whole thing cover to cover

    Mento: What, no breath mint jokes?

    Mera: One of the things I like about the image is that her feet are made to look like flippers. One of the things I don’t like about the image is Aquaman’s creepy, chokey embrace.

    Mercenaries: They were indeed drawn by the great Sam Glanzman through most of their run (though not the first appearance). I covered one of their crazier stories in Who’s This?

    Merlyn: See, here’s another example of what I was talking about re: how surprints are made. While Maxie Zeus looks like a paste-up job, and ‘mazing Man like a whole drawing with some parts color held, Merlyn looks like he was dropped on top of a separate drawing. The bow that covers his head and interrupts what I guess is a scene of him meeting the Sensei is the giveaway. The composition is just a touch off because of this.

    Merry: And her story became ever weirder post-Who’s Who. Some of the details in Who’s This?

    Metal Men: Very fun characters, which I met in DC Comics Presents way back when, and yeah, that recent JLI-ish back-up was excellent. Loved the addition of Copper.

    Metamorpho: The surprint for once has a character WITH a mask, since he sometimes wore a rubber mask to pass as human. So his true self is on the front piece.

    Midnight: Is my next subject for Who’s This? If DC wants to do the Spirit WITHOUT the license, they can bring him back! Though created by Jack Cole (of Plastic Man fame), Eisner worked on the strip when he returned from the war, so Rob’s mistake is understandable.

    Half-way point, so as usual, I’ll stop here, but I WILL RETURN!!!

  2. Anj says:

    For an issue with no huge heavy hitter characters, I surprisingly have a lot to say about this issue. I had notes on almost everybody but will try to keep it brief!

    1) Matrix-Prime: Okay … I get it … the Council/Gang/Matrix Prime had too much coverage in Who’s Who. They could have probably been covered in one page freeing up other entries for other Supergirl issues.

    That said, when I first read this issue I was impressed that Matrix Prime was also a mobile robot factory, scooping up the wrecked parts of robots Supergirl thrashed and then reforming them into new robots to fight her again.

    Anyways …

    2) Matter Eater Lad – The dude saved the universe when he ate … ATE … the Miracle Machine, a wish-granting device created by the Controllers and used by an insane Brainiac 5 to try to end reality. (The Miracle Machine was used by Superman to save the universe in Final Crisis.) He deserved some props. His main villain was a member of the Legion of Super-Rejects – a woman from Bismoll who gained super-strength from what she ate!

    3) Mento – my favorite moment is when, in the Alan Moore Swamp Thing, he witnesses the ‘shadow of God’ shaking hands with ‘God’ and goes even further mad. As Baron Winter said in that issue ‘Science and Sorcery … and explosive combination!’

    4) The Metal Men – I got a bunch of these reprints as a kid (maybe in a DC Digest?) and as a kid I loved the science facts that were put into the issue. “Don’t worry Tin, I am made of platinum which is ductile … that is, I can easily be drawn into wire.” “Don’t worry Iron, I am made of gold and I am malleable, that is, I can be hammered into thin sheets!” I loved the relatively recent miniseries with art by Duncan Rouleau.

    5) Miss Liberty – Don’t assume Anj isn’t happy about this page. I actually like this page and I am glad it is here! The story, the connection to Liberty Belle, the tragic odd death all prove this warranted admission. I will say the only part of the costume that works for me is the tricorn hat and the mask. Red vertical stripe pants on top of stilleto heeled boots?

    If any page deserved to be dropped from Who’s Who to make a spot for an ‘obscure’ Supergirl villain it is J. WILBUR WOLFINGHAM. Cursed be that name!

    6) Mr. America – What a great page! Everything works here. But you glossed over the bizarre ‘flying cape’ he had that he had to ride like a flying carpet. So nutty!

    7) Mr. Freeze – Who was the proofreader on this entry? In the origin it says he suffers from a condition where he can only survive if he is in an environment that is at least 32 degrees Centigrade – which by the way is the equivalent of 89.4 degrees farenheit. Not exactly Mr. Freeze. More like Mr. Balmy.

    It was weird to read that he had no origin here. The Paul Dini ‘dead wife’ origin is just ingrained now.

    8) Mr. Mind’s Monster of Evil – what a weird group. It did have a revival around this time fighting the All Star Squadron in the Crisis Crossover Issues. Great covers.

    As for Mind himself, how did they build an electric chair that tiny?

    In standard awful recent DC style, Mr. Mind was the villain in Countdown when he became some weird giant worm/mothra thing. Terrible.

    9) Mr. Mxyztplk/Mxyzptlk – Like Shag, I grew up with “Mix-el-plik” from the Super-Friends and the backwards “Clip-el-skim”.

    Gilbert Godfried did the voice on Superman the Animated Series, a perfect casting by Andrea Romano. In the first episode, probably realizing kids might have a hard time with the pronunciation and having Clark mispronounce it ‘Super Friends style’ the character does a pronunciation lesson with Superman including visual cues to the new pronunciation ‘Mix-Yes-Spit-Lick’. (The new reverse is ‘Kill-Top-See-Zim’). That first issue is great and actually homages Mxy’s first appearance in Superman #30.

    Surprised Rob didn’t bring up Mxy as the main villain in Moore’s ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?’

    10) Lastly Mr. Tawky Tawny!

    My favorite moment with him is from Crisis on Infinite Earths. He is one of the ‘heroes’ brought up to the Monitor’s satellite. Changeling sees him and is shocked by everything he sees. Tawky Tawny says ‘what, haven’t you ever seen a talking tiger’. It just flummoxes Changeling who says ‘no … yes … ‘. Of course ,Changeling can become a talking tiger himself.

    Anyways, great podcast as always! Thanks again!

  3. Siskoid says:

    Mindboggler: Of her day for sure (or rather retro, the “punks” in comics should have showed up in the late 70s to be of their day, but there’s this strange pop culture lag when it comes to punk styles). If I have any affection for the character, it’s because she was killed in the Suicide Squad, rather memorably. She became a member of the Jihad, who adapted her consciousness as a virtual djinn yeah (called Ifrit). Wait, I covered her death somewhere. Yes, here:

    Mirror Master: The first Flash villain I ever encountered, in a black and white French-language reprint of that Flash issue with the giant hand coming out of a mirror. Grant Morrison’s version in Animal Man gave him some fun new tricks and made Mirror Master, despite the very retro name, a character you want to see again and again.

    Miss Liberty: I don’t think I’m going to do a Who’s This on her, despite her not appearing very often (I did catch her in All-Star Squadron during the Crisis, which is probably where the retcon comes from), mostly because the entry speaks for itself and I’m not particularly eager to read more Tomahawk stories. Unless I can find that death issue. Maybe that would make it worthwhile.

    Mr. America: Now here’s a character I want to Who’s This the hell out of. All three identities at that… damn, I should do three entries. (I agree, very Zorro. Or WWII Tony Stark.)

    Mr. Mind: (Great issue for Captain Marvel villains, isn’t it? Plus Tawlky Tawny!) I love how Scott Shaw thanks C.C. Beck in his signature for the piece. I *AM* a little creeped out that the magnifying glass revealing Mr. Mind is focused on IBAC’s crotch. Brr.

    Monster Society of Evil: As much fun as the Earth-S characters are here, I’m over the moon that the Earth-2 members are included, because that’s how I came to them, in an All-star Squadron arc where Mr. Mind crossed over and recruited obscure Golden Age villains (go Roy Thomas!) – Dummy, Mr. Who, Nyola, Oom and Ramulus. They don’t have any connection to Captain Marvel.

    Mister Miracle: You’re thinking of the very clear art of Joe Phillips there, though personally, I would have liked to see Ian Gibson work longer on the series.

    [DOCTOR WHO ASIDE: Of course, it was already 5 hours into the 23rd in the UK by the time you squeed about it. And the special DID NOT SUCK. It was awesome. But this is neither the place nor the time.]

    Ok, if I have anything to add based on listener feedback, I’ll have to come back to it. It was a fun issue, guys!

  4. Siskoid says:

    Listener feedback thoughts…

    The Mad Mod Witch is obscure, but the Mad Mod totally deserved an entry. There’s a huge bias against the Haney era of Teen Titans in Who’s Who (or indeed, the Titans pre-Wolfman). Boooo.

    How Much for Just the Planet? That book needs to be an audio book because doing a musical in book form doesn’t quite work. And you know what? I like the Shatner Kirk novels (at least the three or four I did read). They’re completely crazy, huge ideas, and makes inventive use of continuity. Cool exciting stuff, to be taken with a grain of salt, but to be taken. Some reviews:

    Yeah, let’s Google+ this bastich! (Anything not to join Facebook.)

    Tag: YAY! Marvel Family cartoon show clip! I loved that thing.

  5. Frank says:

    a. Regarding Shag’s enthusiasm levels, “I go in waves.” Aqua-pun?

    b. The New Gods collections are funky. DC borrowed the Marvel Essential format for Jack Kirby’s Mister Miracle in 1998, reprinting the first ten issues of the series in black & white for $12.95. The second volume was the exact same price and format, collecting #11-18, but it took three years and was retitled Jack Kirby’s Fourth World (Featuring: Mister Miracle.) Then there’s the four volumes of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus, which again reprints Mister Miracle #10-18 (this time in color,) dominating the final volume by virtue of Scott Free having outlived the rest of Kirby’s books. Still, you can’t get color Miracle on its own, and Mister Miracle #19-25 remain uncollected, despite featuring work by Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers thru #22, followed by Steve Gerber, Michael Golden, & Russ Heath thereafter.

    c. With a great big asterisk at the tail end of the statement, Star Wars may be my earliest memory*. I saw it at the drive-in with family friends in their station wagon. For me, the movie was over once the Princess was rescued and everyone made it back to the Rebel base. I went to sleep on my Disney bicentennial “America on Parade” pillow, and saved the Death Star sequence for television. I saw The Empire Strikes Back at the multiplex, found it a bit dark and boring, and may have caught a nap at some point (but did see the big non-climax.) Was wide awake throughout Return of the Jedi, which was probably my favorite movie of the time, unseating Raiders of the Lost Ark. I loved the universe, watched the TV cartoons/movies, and had my share of toys/book & record sets/comics. It was an important part of my early life, but I kind of moved past it by the ’90s.

    Late in the decade, I found myself immersed in the collectible card game, regularly playing a friend/customer who adored the series, worked at the Disney store, and dreamed of becoming an animator someday. The movies would play as we messed with the cards, and I’d rib him over my preference for Warner Brothers animation. The acquaintanceship didn’t survive the fallout from the closing of that shop, and the prequels thoroughly eroded my previous affection for Star Wars.

    Today, Disney owns the property, and I’m so disconnected that I have no care to give for future installments. I grouse about how Warners handles the DC movies, but enjoy Disney’s Marvel Studios. Weird.

    *Hey kids, movies used to repeat at theaters before the advent/popularity of cable TV. I cannot say for sure if I saw Star Wars in 1977, which would invalidate this status.

  6. Frank says:

    d. Is Paul Kupperberg a descendant of Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry? From Arion to Supergirl, so many waste of space entries.

    e. How do we know Matter-Eater Lad ate through the wall? Maybe Metamorpho had an explosive reaction on Tenzil’s digestive system?

    f. Hawkman was Geoff Johns’ least successful revival, and I think part of that was his unwillingness to incorporate the Silver Age Hawk material into the series. “Conan with wings” may be a decent elevator pitch, but the Hawks had more in common with the other affectionate, relatively mild-mannered Schwartz crime-fighting couples. Villains like Matter Master could have been jazzed up, and we could have gotten more detective/sci-fi tropes in the mix, but instead it was the same Highlander crap that killed the ’90s seres.

    g. I love Trevor Von Eeden from this period, but hate Maxie Zeus. Not to get all inarticulate internet fanboy, but he’s just stupid. I thought he was a ’60s era “hip” serio-comic lameoid, but he was actually created in 1979 during one of Denny O’Neil’s less inspired moments. Also, he created a team to battle the Outsiders, which only reflects that much more poorly on any character.

    h. I never quite made my way to ‘Mazing Man. It reeked of forced whimsy, and seemed to have some soapy elements.

    i. It’s strange that Mento developed into ten pounds of crazy in a five pound bag. The point of the character as created was that he was an American exceptionalist sort who was willing to overlook Rita Farr’s freakish disability so he could make her barefoot and pregnant if she’d only leave those creeps in the Doom Patrol behind. It seems like Marv Wolfman failed to recognize the utility of Steve Dayton as a storytelling device, and turned him into a generic super-villain. In the years since, he became the Hank Pym of the DC Universe with his constant mental instability and skin-crawling obsession with Rita.

    j. There was this weird tendency in the ’80s for superstars in one comic discipline to dabble in another. John Workman is one of the all-time great letterers, but he also did a fair amount of retro pin-ups, and I think he might have even had a portfolio at one point. I think he did a great job of evoking Nick Cardy with a curious Alfredo Alcala element. Didn’t she still have the flippers at this point, though?

    k. I have never met anybody who cared the slightest bit about the Mercenaries, the common nouns who managed to kill The New G.I. Combat within seven issues of their “1st Full-Length Mission” that left audiences only ¼ erect.

    l. “We need someone for Green Arrow to fight.”
    “How about a Sheriff of Nottingham type?”
    “Hawkeye already fights the Swordsman.”
    “Screw it. Just have another archer dressed in black. God, I hate Green Arrow. He’s useless!”

    Mark Gruenwald was like a Jewish Nazi. He may have been one of the guiding forces at Marvel in the ’80s & ’90s, but the man was on a constant mission to introduce as many DC analogues into the MU as humanly possible. His career as an artist never took off, but his role on OHOTMU allowed him to draw a number of entries, plus some gag panels in What If? His only extended illustration assignment was the 1983 Hawkeye mini-series, which he also wrote.

    m. Merry was not treated well by Roy Thomas, and that extended through the rest of her career, including not getting Ian Karkulled and ending up as part of “Old Justice.” I tried to give her a moment in the sun as part of “The Boy All-Stars.”

  7. As always, nothing spends two hours analyzing pictures and factoids I could just as easily find on the internet better than the Who’s Who Podcast! Fine work, you fine, fine fellows!

    I have to second what Anj said: despite the lack of A-listers in this issue, there are so many M-characters that I enjoy from this installment. Looking at the cover, however, I can’t figure out why George Perez included the Scarlet Witch on the back edge. I can only assume Tin is trying to look up her skirt to figure out what Vision is describing during their weekly robot bowling league.

    Speaking of the Metal Men, I love these characters and I like this double page spread… for the most part. I don’t care for the inclusion of Nameless, and I don’t like the “Sir Print” image in the corner looking more-or-less like an afterthought. And I, too, can’t understand why these characters haven’t made their way to an animated series, or better yet, a Pixar-style animated movie. They could easily be adapted as a kid’s movie. Will Magnus could be a socially awkward boy genius who creates the Metal Men to be his surrogate family, or he could just be a socially awkward boy tinkerer, who completes the designs left by his missing father, or adds the special spark to the responsometer that brings them life.

    Metallo is probably my favorite Superman villain, and while I like the design of the crazy, creepy green mask, that’s not my preferred look for the character. I don’t like the all robot version that 2000s, either. I think I like animated series version of the battle damaged human the most.

    Metamorpho is another favorite character who deserves so much better than the distinction of being a member of the Outsiders. His feature in WEDNESDAY COMICS by Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred is some of the best storytelling I’ve seen in years.

    Mera… Yeah, she’s cool.

    I always liked Mister Freeze because of the action figure based on this design (or vice versa), but I loved him after Paul Dini gave him heart and soul and backstory in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Scott Snyder changed Freeze’s origin for the New 52 in BATMAN ANNUAL #1 (2012). The new origin is interesting in that it makes Victor Fries crazy and justifies his being in Arkham Asylum, which previously didn’t make sense. But it took away the most compelling aspect of the character; the pathos, the torture, and the sympathy factor. Also, they took his sleeves away! What the hell is with New 52 cold-based villains losing their sleeves and internalizing their powers. Freeze and Cold already had the same gimmick, now they’re even more similar. Dear lord, just thinking about the homogeneity of the New 52 makes me want to throw something across the room!!!

    Mister Element isn’t as cool as Doctor Alchemy, but that costume deserves to be recycled for another character or purpose.

    Mirror Master is my favorite Flash Rogue (not counting Grodd, who shouldn’t count anyway), but this is a pretty boring entry.

    Mister America is awesome and could be retooled as a rallying, inspiring hero for a world without Superman and Batman like EARTH 2, but–oh, whoops, they brought Superman and Batman back in that series, because DC really doesn’t know any other way.

    I have never been interested in any of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World creations except for Mister Miracle. As gaudy and ridiculous as he looks, everything about him just works for me and the idea of a super-escapist warms my heart. I agree, though, that he should seem a little more svelte.

  8. @Anj. I’m pretty sure Mister Mind became the giant moth monster in “52” not “Countdown”.

    @Frank a. I also find Star Wars to be among if not my earliest memory, though in my case it was RETURN OF THE JEDI. It was the first movie I saw in the theater, though not in ’83–had to have been re-released a couple years later. I read a lot of the expanded universe fiction and comics of the ’90s and collected a lot of the roleplaying game material, though we never actually played a game.

    In general, I agree with Shag’s assessment that Star Wars fans try and shoehorn every bit of published material into one canon continuity. I was like that up until I saw Episode III and then I said, “Screw this, there are only three Star Wars movies, maybe six novels, and a handful of comics I want to remember.” And I’ve slept better ever since.

    @Frank b. If Johns or any writer is going to stick to the origin/iconography of the Golden Age Hawkman, I think “Indiana Jones with Wings” is more compelling than Conan.

    @Frank c. Most of my familiarity with Trevor Von Eeden was from the early ’90s BLACK CANARY mini- and ongoing series, and I felt like he tried too hard to emulate Frank Miller’s DAREDEVIL work on those issues.

  9. Jeff R. says:

    At first I thought I’d have to stretch for an Egregious Omission of the Issue this time…my first thought was Medphyll, but he got coverage in the Green Lantern Corps entry. My second thought was Medicus I, the LSH-era space station. But this got me thinking: the book is Who’s Who, not Where’s Where. There are some exceptions; entries for Krypton or Atlantis or Arkham Asylum, but they have to be pretty major parts of the universe, places central to a group of characters with a long-term accumulation of trivia and information.

    Places like, in a word, Metropolis.

  10. Siskoid says:

    A correction: I was wrong about Eisner taking on Midnight in later issues of Smash Comics. It was still Jack Cole. My confusion stems from Quality publishing Spirit stories (reprints of the newspaper strip) while also publishing Midnight stories. Can you blame me for confusing the two characters visually?

  11. Anj says:

    Count, you are right about Mr Mind being the 52 baddie and not Countdown. Both weeklies are so interchangeable in my mind as to be one giant stinky 2 year omelet.

    Frank, the creepiness of Dayton and Rita was shower-inducing in the recent Giffen Doom Patrol. The guy is plain icky.

  12. Frank says:

    1. It’s a sad statement when even responses to me require bullet points. I’ll sign up for a year’s subscription to “Indiana Jones with Wings,” but I don’t think the bolder chase is going to have the same kick.

    2. Sarah Byam shares blame for Dinah going GrrlDvyl. That flattop was most unfortunate. Trevor Von Eeden is a constantly evolving artist, as can be seen from simply comparing the Dick Giordano inked Black Canary mini-series to the ongoing. Von Eeden was doing “Sin City” long before Miller, but again, that was a period, not the definition of the artist. His figures were more rounded in the early ’90s, where I prefer Von Eeden’s more minimal, sleek, angular, almost impressionistic work from the mid-80s.

    n. I was introduced to Metallo through his guest appearance in Blue Devil, so I have a soft spot for the character. That said, John Byrne turned him into the Terminator, must other creators have followed suit, so I can’t point to any compelling stories where Metallo was a villain of magnitude worthy of respect and interest. I think it bears noting that the Kryptonite heart is what made Metallo a match for Superman, so he could certainly have been a Blue Devil caliber foil without that specific handicap to exploit.

    o. The Metal Men to me have always been a cute novelty concept whose time is long past that I only want to revisit in sweet natured nostalgia fare. Tin creating his own Itty Bitty Tinny nameless animatronic sex doll (“W-w-w-work t-t-t-t-that r-r-r-responsometer!”) is exactly the sort of updating I could do without. Bob Kanigher wrote Wonder Woman for its most misguided and misogynistic decades, so I think maybe issues with Platinum stem from there. Ross Andru was the Amazing Amazon’s Fradon & Aparo combined, drawing the strip and/or covers from 1958-1968 and again from 1979-1984.

    p. The only time I ever really got a kick out of Metamorpho was when he was written by Bob Haney. I suspect he’s one of those characters that’s so idiosyncratic that only their creator can make them fire on all cylinders. Aparo did a great job on art though, so Rex could survive losing Ramona Fradon.

    q. I want to like Metron, if only he could be written as something other than the modern New God of Gloat, DC’s answer to the Watcher. He looks cool, and the Mobius Chair would have made a fine Super Powers vehicle. He just needs to do things instead of being a cheap narrative device. It’s worth mentioning that Thanos started out as a Metron lift, until Roy Thomas talked Starlin into bulking him up to rip off “the good New God.” Thanos has his own flying chair, and dare to compare their cowls. Love this profile image!

    r. The Spirit ultimately appeared in most of the first hundred issues of Police Comics alongside Plastic Man, but he was owned by Will Eisner, so Quality Comics wanted their own in-house clone just in case. Jack Cole created Midnight, and solved the problem of the minstrel Ebony White with the retroactively equally offensive monkey sidekick Gabby. Midnight was relegated to Smash Comics for a not insubstantial run. I remember digging his Gil Kane illustrated Secret Origin.

    Wally Wood’s blockbuster homage to Jack Cole kept both from contributing to Who’s Who.

    s. I have a weakness for punk rock villains in ’80s comics, the larger the mohawk, the better. Since the BD/Firestorm crossover was an early introduction to both heroes for me, it probably didn’t impede my appreciation of Mindboggler, either. I think she was the first casualty of the Suicide Squad’s initial mission, and I remember thinking she had the coolest mug shot in the house ads. Brozowski was clearly channeling Pat Broderick for this entry, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  13. Luke says:

    Thanks again for the fun show, guys! A few comments for your perusal and enjoyment.

    Ahh the Matter Master — I do so love that Murphy Anderson drew him for this comic, even though though he was a Joe Kubert designed character. I always assumed that his ridiculous look was intentional, as his Mentachem wand makes him one of the Silver Age Hawks’ most powerful adversaries. In fact, much like other incredibly powerful Silver Age characters (I’m thinking specifically of Molecule Man), Matter Master was destined to be a doofus punching bag, because otherwise it’s not feasible that the Hawks could defeat him. It’s one thing for someone like the Shadow-Thief to be extremely competant, because his power can eventually be countered; Matter Master essentially has to have some inherent flaw in order to be overcome within the span of 22 pages. And that’s just fine with me, he is a personal favorite even though he never really made too much of an impact as a bad guy. I always thought he would pair up nicely with IQ; Ira Quimby could plan the jobs, then Madrill could use the wand to bring IQ’s devices to “life” to pull it off.

    I am mostly familiar with Metamorpho for his time with the Outsiders. I’m a fan, and lest I get derision heaped upon me again, I will leave it at that.

    Another Outsider related character, Maxie Zeus, never made much of impression on me from the comics. His New Olympians were the least interesting of Barr’s “5 Man Band” badguy teams, and he never did it for me. BUT! In Batman: The Animated Series, he was brilliant! Paul Dini said that with Zeus they were making their version of King Tut (“Wiiild!”), and he works perfectly as an over-the-top, pompous bufoon.

    @Frank, I disagree with you that Hawkman was Johns’ least successful revamp. Because while his solo series did not last as long as others, if you factor in the fact that Hawkman was pulling double duty over in JSA, it’s a much more prolific run. Furthermore, the barbaric, Golden Age influenced “modern” Hawkman solidified a personality for the character that was immediately embraced by the vast majority of the DC fandom. It made him much more unique in the grand scheme of things, especially compared to a lot of his teammates in the JSA.

    Furthermore, as we were discussing on Twitter last night, attempts by DC Editorial to walk back from the barbarian influenced character and put him back in a science fiction element were not only ignored outright by readers, but immediately retconned out of existence and dismissed. Jim Starlin specifically stated that he was asked to return Hawkman to his Silver Age roots, the seeds of which were planted plainly in his Hawkman Special #1. But the fandom rejected the concept, and DC kept him i his savage style for the balance of the Pre-Flashpoint universe and now in the New 52 as well. It works for him and has become Hawkman’s calling card in the modern era. But that’s just my take on it.

    Also, just a note — those black and white Fourth World books are actually grey tone, if you can believe it. So they are not as crisp as the Essentials or Showcase Presents books, but still quite readable, I think!

  14. Anthony Durso/The Toyroom says:

    Another great episode! I must be psychic because I was thinking we were due for a new
    Who’s Who podcast.

    The cover is another great example of Perez making everything and everybody work in a
    confined space without looking like he’s cramming everything in.

    Matrix-Prime: Ugh. As if this character wasn’t already covered.
    And yet they decided that Joker’s Daughter (who had a twisted history
    that would work perfectly in a “Who’s Who” entry) was unnecessary.

    Matter-Eater Lad: Love the Legion but how is it that this ass-clown isn’t a member of
    the Legion of Subs, instead of the LSH proper?

    Matter Master: I really only recall him from his SSOSV appearance and when he was part of the
    super-villain baseball team in an issue of “Strange Sports Stories”. His costume always made me
    think of the nursery rhyme “Wee Willie Winkle” with that nightcap he has on.

    Maxie Zeus: Poor Man’s King Tut

    ‘Mazing Man: A cute book I remember buying for the first three issues but not finishing off.

    Mento: I know this was his current Perez-designed outfit but I prefer his original look (as seen
    in the Doom Patrol entry drawn by John Byrne)

    Mera: John Workman is a great letterer. People should stick to what they know…

    Mercenaries: A full page? Unnecessary….

    Merlyn: Mark Gruenwald dabbled briefly as an artist for Marvel in the early 80s, with work on
    stuff like “What If?”, “Hulk” and “Hawkeye”. Perhaps it was his association with the Avenging Archer
    which helped him land his Who’s Who gig?

    Merry, Girl of 1000 Gimmicks: We have a tendency today to throw Mark Waid and Geoff Johns under
    the bus for being Captains of the Retcon but Roy Thomas really started the whole trend of unnecessarily tying in bits of obscure continuity.

    Metallo: This artwork does nothing for me. I would have preferred pencils by Curt Swan and inked
    by Jerry Ordway.

    Metal Men: A fun concept that DC feels the need to reboot every 5 years or so. Of the most recent
    attempts the only one that captures the vibe of the original characters was featured in “Wednesday
    Comics” and was penned (ironically?) by Dan DiDio. Oh and super art by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez didn’t hurt either.

    Metamorpho: How is it that DC never published a “Metamorpho and The Metal Men” team-up book or a “Metamorpho/Plastic Man” flip book? Both seem like no-brainers.

    Metron: If there ever was a character who should be shilling for La-Z-Boy®…

    Midnight: Nothing could ever take the place of Will Eisner’s “Spirit”. That strip was BRILLIANT!

    Mindboggler: I hate when artists try to tap into “current” trends for a character’s costumes.
    Just looks dated months later. See also anything worn by Vibe.

    Mirage: Wasn’t he in the background of villains in “Batman” #400?

    Mirror Master: Why kill off a character only to bring back the same exact costume and weapons worn
    by someone else? Just an excuse for Crisis Cannon Fodder…

    Miss Liberty: Related to Liberty Belle? See comments for Merry, Girl of 1000 Gimmicks.

    Mist: Rob, do yourself a HUGE favor and read James Robinson’s “Starman”. But stop after that. James
    Robinson’s work of today doesn’t match his work on “Starman”

    Mister America: He (or his body) was one of the prime villains in “The Golden Age”, his brain having been transplanted with that of the Ultra-Humanite.

    Mister Atom: Huh?

    Mr. E: I always liked the edginess of this character…part of the infamous Trenchcoat Brigade.

    Mr. Element: Poor Man’s Dr. Alchemy

    Mr. Freeze: With the exception of The Riddler, the character the ’66 TV Show did the most for as far
    as making him a formidable foe of Batman was Mr. Freeze.

    Originally introduced in 1959 in “Batman” #121 as Mr. Zero, the character was forgotten after that first appearance until he was adapted for the TV series in 1966. He was given a brief origin in his debut episode when it was explained that the former Dr. Shivel blamed Batman for exposing him to the cryogenic fluid which requires him to live in cold temperatures.

    After three separate story arcs on the show, the character, now known as Mr. Freeze was reintroduced to the comics in “Detective Comics” #373 in 1968. He’d then lie dormant until he appeared as a member of the jury in the 1977 story “Where Were You on the Night The Batman Was Killed”.

    It wasn’t until 1979 (“Batman” #308) when he started to reappear on a semi-regular basis to battle Batman.

    Mr. Mind/Monster Society of Evil: This must be a “strength-in-numbers” philosophy because most of these characters are strokers on their own…

    Mr. Miracle: You know who draws a great Mr. Miracle? Steve Rude. I wish they had tapped him instead of Kirby. I’m surprised you guys didn’t mention that Mr. Miracle was based on the exploits of comics legend Jim Steranko.

    Mr. Mxyzptlk: There’s a great amount of parental pride in the fact that when my daughter was learning how to read she could rattle off all of the names of the boxed Mego WGSH figures I have including Mr. Mxyzptlk, complete with correct pronunciation.

    Mr. Tawky Tawny: He always reminded my of the Exxon/Esso tiger….

  15. Kyle Benning says:

    Would it be a Fleet of Omnibus? A Garage? Great selection on the Kirby Fourth World series, love those Omnibus collections! Also great choice by Rob, love those old Star Wars series! Wow what a great price on that first Omnibus!

    I agree with Rob, at the time of 1986, when you think about it, very few DC characters had toys on the shelf, especially when you get outside the big 7, so Mr. Miracle was definitely the top choice on the less than A-Lister line-up in this issue (still a great issue though!) In just a few short months, Mr. Miracle would be featured in the Super Powers four issue comic mini-series. Also he’d get his own special in 1987, as well as starring in the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire Justice League line-up which is still a year off at this point, but I’m going to guess they already had it planned with Legends looming on the horizon. By this time of the Super Friends cartoon, Mxyzptlk would have been all but out of the picture I believe. He appeared in a few of the earlier and mid seasons, but by the time they got to Super Powers and Galactic Guardians I believe he was no longer one of the villains being used. And speaking of Mxyzptlk, his name will always give 99% of fans headaches trying to pronounce. I blame the Super Friends cartoon for that confusion. Anytime I think of Mixy, his annoying voice starts blaring in my brain from those episodes. I love the Super Friends, and still watch them occasionally, but holy crap that episode where he uses the Red K to turn Superman into a super brat is annoying. What’s worse is that whenever he’s in a comic I’m reading, the voice in my head as I read his lines bouncing back and forth from the high pitched Super-Friends voice to the equally annoying Gilbert Godfrey voice Mxyzptlk had in Superman the Animated Series. I share Superman’s frustration and annoyance for the character every time he shows up, simply by having those voices in my head when reading.

    Maxie Zeus! I have his first appearance, Detective #483, signed by Denny O’Neil! When I met Mr. O’Neil a few years ago and had him sign it, he told me a fun little anecdote about how he created the character as a one off villain to be used once and thrown away, and is pleasantly surprised how much money he’s ended up making off of him in royalties. At this time the first of the Batman Arkham games had just come out and he was surprised one day when he received a fairly large royalty check for the use of Maxie in the game. He couldn’t believe the character was around and still being used today.

    ROB! Correction! Aquaman and Mera got married in Issue #18 NOT #19!

    Shag, hope you like Arrow, I just got into the series in the past month, I watched the entire first season in about 10 days courtesy of the local video rental store. Merlyn does make an appearance later in season one and plays a very, very large role. Don’t want to get too specific and spoil it. He’s played and written very well.
    Not the greatest recounting of Star Spangled Kid’s back story (go back and read JLA #100-102 and Adventure Comics #438, #441-443) but that does make me wish DC would put out Leading Comics (Seven Soldiers of Victory) and Star Spangled Comics DC Showcase volumes.

    Metamorpho, well since Batman is fated to have a new Cartoon every 5 years or so, maybe we’ll eventually get a Batman & the Outsiders cartoon in a couple of years. I’m surprised they haven’t done a New 52 Batman & the Outsiders series, we only have 15 Batman family books, I think the world is ready for the 16th. Batman & the Outsiders would make more sense than Dark Knight, does he really need 3 Solo titles? Especially since DC has gone to great lengths to establish a set, real timeline, Batman is neutralizing 5 city destroying, world shattering problems a day. He’s in more places at once than Wolverine and Spider-Man combined.

    Love the Mirage entry, perfect for Sienkiewicz. I wish this character would have been used more, if I remember correctly he appeared in an issue of Manhunter series that was written by Ostrander.

    I love Rich Buckler’s work, that Mister America entry is gorgeous. Buckler is a very underrated artist, he has done some incredible work over the years between his work on Justice League, Fantastic Four All-Star Squadron, Saga of Sub-Mariner, and Saga of the Human Torch, he really has done some amazing work. He is right up there with Ordway for the go-to artist on bringing Golden Age characters back into prominence in the (at that time) modern day. I enjoyed his Wonder Woman story he did in the *0’s Retroactive issue in 2011. Unfortunately I believe that was his latest work at DC. I wish they’d bring him back and bring back those Retroactive stories as well!

    I am not all that familiar with Mr. Mind, and I had recently read the Roy Thomas Shazam mini-series, and that part went right over my head. I thought it was weird that it zoomed in on the worm there, I didn’t get it, thank you for pointing that out! That makes so much sense now!

    I would have loved to see Kirby inked by Giordano more often. He could’ve brought that extra look oomph to Kirby’s finished artwork. I know there are a lot of Kirby bashers out there, and I see their points on some drawings, however I think that criticism is a result of Colletta’s inking style in the majority of those cases. I have this gorgeous Kirby biography hardcover that has a load of Kirby’s uninked pencils and they are amazing, there was a lot of his brilliance in his later years lost when his work got inked. I think most people can agree that there weren’t too many pencillers out there that had their work improved by Colletta’s inking. Just saying. This piece here shows off what Kirby was capable and I think is a better representation of his quality artwork.

    Back to Mxyzptlk, Morrison embraced the court jester side of the character in his New 52 action run, which centered around 5th Dimension imps.
    It was another great episode fellas! Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave! I can’t wait for the next episode.

    Rob, have fun at your signing, sounds like fun, hopefully it has a great turn-out!

  16. Siskoid says:

    @Anthony: Matter-Eater Lad is in the Legion for the same reason Bouncing Boy is. They’re awesome.

    (I guess it does take a Legion guy.)

  17. Phylemon says:

    I had great comments for this issue, but one by one you mentioned them all. Alright, here are a couple of thoughts:

    1. I love Matter Eater Lad! Now that DC has shelved the LSH (again), I wonder if they would be amenable to having their next reboot feature a more comedic take. DC could use a little more Matter Eater Lad and Bouncing Boy.

    2. That Mento art is gorgeous. Why don’t we have a superlative nickname for George Perez?

    3. I have the same weakness for Red Heads that Shag does, but Merry, Girl of a Thousand Gimmicks, is not hot by an measurement. I customize action figures as a hobby, and I recently made a Merry out of a Super Powers Robin. So, long story short, any girl who has the same body type as the boy wonder doesn’t warrant a second look.

    4. The Nameless character is a great story. She wasn’t supposed to stay nameless. In the Metal Men comic the characters requested that their readers give suggestions about what to name Tin’s girlfriend. They apparently received no suggestions of value, so the character stayed Nameless.

    5. I’m not sure if this question will ever relate to any other character, but the Mr. America entry makes me wonder how the Who’s Who people chose what name to feature a character under. I personally prefer Americommando, but either seems equally plausible. Why go with Mr. America?

    Anyway, Just to keep my percentages alive, I am thinking of renaming my cats “Composite Superman” and “Hillbilly Marvel” just for you Shag. What do you think?

  18. Siskoid says:

    1. Yeah Long Live the Legion!
    2. All I can think of is the Prez, but that’s as lame as it is confusing.
    3. That’s a great idea for a custom figure!
    4. I would have called her… uhm… if she’s made of Tin, Tina… wait a minute… why did Platinum poach that name?! Ok then, Ferra? Ferra Faucet, there you go. Done.
    5. Maybe he was forgotten in the A issue, and they remembered him before the M issues.

  19. Harlan Freilicher says:

    @Anthony Durso – No question that Roy Thomas was the king of the obscure tie-in. If Dr. Mid-Nite’s nurse had a different hairdo in one issue of All-Star Comics, from her other appearances Roy would’ve worked it into a story involving Johnny Quick’s run-in with a villain who’d kidnapped her regular hairstylist, who happened to be the guy Carter Hall had bumped into while running to change into his costume in an unrelated adventure. But he rarely retconned in the modern sense of the word; he added, but didn’t alter until DC forced his hand by pulling Earth-Two out from under him. Geoff Johns, on the other hand, despite a taste for obscure bits of DC history, has never hesitated to rewrite the past as he goes when he feels it serves the story he’s telling. Sometimes there’s a wall-punch or a Flashpoint to explain the change, sometimes it’s just “Now it happened THIS way.”

    Hey, I just noticed that on the cover, Metron’s got an arm around Merry! Since when does he get all cuddly? Is there some kind of New Gods pon-farr? Or is she telling him what she wants for Christmas?

  20. Frank says:

    t. Mirage actually did look pretty cool in his debut appearance in 1982– kind of like Ragman cosplaying as Cluemaster. The character is otherwise unremarkable and has barely appeared since, so this truly was a wasted profile. I get commissions at conventions of Martian Manhunter related characters, and my favorites are the ones where the artist manifests previously unseen potential through a vivid, surprising interpretation. That’s what Bill Sassafrasxyzptlk does here. I’d also like to point out that this isn’t even DC’s most famous Mirage, that title going to my favorite member of the Team Titans. Savor that in your mouth for a second.

    u. Mirror Master II debuted a few years later as a Scotsman in an early issue of Grant Morrison’s Animal Man. I think they’re the most easily adaptable Flash Rogues for modern audiences, as mirror-based powers are more distinctive than pedestrian elemental/gimmick weapons. He got nice play in Justice League: Doom, too.

    v. Miss Liberty was nifty as a Revolutionary War proto-superheroine, and I’m glad she created a legacy through Liberty Belle. I’m guessing the Liberty Bell snuffing was probably prompted by Tomahawk readers being disgruntled over a costumed crusader invading one of the last bastions of western comics in an ever expanding sea of tights.

    w. The Mist was among the least embarrassing Golden Age super-villains who could be transported whole to another era without major alteration.

    x. I have a knee jerk dislike of Mr. America. It bugs me that, intentional or not, he attempted to hijack the “Miss America” title away from the wimmins. He also was the Anglo Zorro, which makes me call him for cultural imperialism shenanigans. His costume is ugly and boring, especially the knee socks and bland cape. He has exactly the trim of mustache that makes me want to kiss a man with my knuckles. His inability to choose a set identity is pathetic. Did James Robinson make him some sort of Nazi sympathizer/double agent? If so, good!

    y. I can’t get into Mr. Atom. It’s probably because I never read any of his Golden Age appearances, and hardly ever enjoy Shazam stories from any other era. For instance, if I recall correctly, Jerry Ordway turned him into a nuke that destroyed Mary Marvel’s home town (but conveniently killed no one of consequence.) Also, Mr. Atom looks like an old timey vibrator with a ribbed tip for her (dis?)pleasure.

    z. Mister E creeps me out. I think Neil Gaiman turned him into the Witchfinder General of the Trenchcoat Brigade– the pseudo-protagonist zealot who’s more brutal and terrifying than the monsters he hunts. I haven’t read much with him, and he’s a might too silly and on-the-nose for Vertigo, but I’d be interested in seeing him as a terrible inquisitor in the modern DC magical universe.

    α. Mr. Element… is… sort of… just… I mean… I can’t. Sorry.

    β. My brother had the Toy Biz version of that Mr. Freeze action figure. It was perfect for getting beat down by other figures who tried to cave in his damned fool head through that retar– er, doltish ice cube helmet. No sir, those provocatively mounted guns do not in any way compensate for your masculine frigidity. I used to think of Captain Cold as the Flash’s irrelevant Mr. Freeze knock-off, but time and tales caused me to embrace Leonard Snart and dismiss the cheesy Batman villain. In fact, I don’t think Mr. Freeze is even suitable for Gotham City in the modern era. I feel like half of all the old Batman rogues should belong to Dick Grayson after the partnership split, with Nightwing getting all of the more over the top comic-booky foils like Freeze.

    γ. Mr. Mind is an awesome idea from a revered story arc that never should have come back from that electric chair gag. Like Jean Grey, a character made special in death proved insufferable through resurrection.

    δ. I’ve never gotten to read “Mister Mind and the Monster Society of Evil,” the greatest (and longest at two years) epic of the Golden Age. It was collected in the 1970s as a big (unauthorized?) black and white tome, but despite years of teasing, DC refuses to publish the arc due to its period racism. I think my frustration at being denied this insane assemblage of oddball bad guys drove me to order the first volume of Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit instead.

    As much as I liked Jerry Ordway’s painted Power of Shazam! graphic novel, I have no use for the crumby series that followed. Peter Krause was simply the wrong choice for art, and Ordway’s stilted dialogue and corny characterization laid the groundwork for the assumption that Captain Marvel doesn’t work, so why not “fix” him? I still get steamed when I think of his limp four part “Monster Society” redux. An image like this makes the case for a true multiverse; something DC had never had. DC always had one “real” Earth, and then inferior duplicates for alternate versions of their Silver Age characters. Shazam needs its own world to preserve the correct aesthetic for these concepts.

    ε. Every now and again, like in the JLA/JSA/New Gods team-up “Apokolips Now!” I’m impressed by Mr. Miracle. The rest of the time, he’s a bit of a schmo in a hideous costume whose wife and sidekick are more entertaining then him. There’s so much right about Scott Free as a concept that isn’t actualized in the stories.

    ζ. I respect Mr. Mxyzptlk’s role in Superman lore and can see how his “story engine” would entertain the right audience, but it ain’t for me babe. No, no, no it ain’t me, babe.

    η. Mr. Tawky Tawny is the exception that proves the rule, because I’ve never read a version of the character that wasn’t awesome. From the slyly satirical cartoon character in times of yore to Mr. Assy Aslan from that overrated Jeff Smith book, Mr. Tawky Tawny is often the best part of any story he appears in. I recommend fans visit Andrew Weiss’ reoccurring tributes at Armagideon Time:

  21. Siskoid says:

    @Harlan: Hey! Don’t knock Crisis in Infinite Salons, it was awesome!

  22. Luke says:

    A large part of Fawcett’s published material is believed to have fallen into the public domain. If you want to read Captain Marvel And The Monster Society of Evil, you can find it on Comic Book Plus, a repository of PD Golden Age comic books which you can either download or read online.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

  23. Frank says:

    θ. Lock-Up was a mid-’90s Batman Family-plaguing vigilante who maintained his own private prison, the exact same m.o. as the characters from Chain Gang War just a few years earlier. He was created by Chuck Dixon, who I’d guess got the name from the Stallone movie (which I liked when I saw it in the theater and have wisely avoided ever since. I also liked An Innocent Man on home video, so maybe it was a “thing” for the younger me, but present me had no trouble skipping The Escape Plan.) To the best of my knowledge, he never got a profile page, so you guys may never address him.

    ι. My favorite approach to writing within a set continuity is Stan Lee’s: What you like, keep, and just forget what you don’t like ever happened. How many terrible, unnecessary, infuriating retcons would we have been spared if people adhered to this simple philosophy?

    κ. The Superman Family was obviously stolen from the Marvel Family, but I find it curious that Captain Marvel Jr. was the “straight” strip with classy realistic art and more gravitas, while Superboy was a looser, goofier, more lightweight version of Superman. I wonder if the world would have been improved by a Mac Raboy Superman and a C.C. Beck Superboy.

    λ. Rob is clearly the Dick Van Dyke of podcasting. I also notice that he’s not only given up on reigning in the language, but seems to indulge in pottymouth the most of you two, making him the Florence Henderson of podcasting.

    μ. I spent the night in Bowling Green, Kentucky a few months back on a road trip. My girlfriend made her first visit to White Castle, which seemed to amaze the dude standing behind us in line enough to express his surprise to a friend. We have Whataburger in Texas, so we more than get by.

    ν. If Rob is so emphatically opposed to an OHOTMU podcast, I would vote against it, because I’ve listened to him talk about the Legion of Super-Heroes. Still, you guys are like the Jay-Z and Kanye of comic book encyclopedia podcasting, so you gotta watch the crown. Would Rob have more enthusiasm for supporting small independent publishers like Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee in their “pin-ups with instantly outdated biographical information” comic book series? I yearn to hear his opinions on Mother-One and the Kirbyesque universe building of Robert Kirkman. Or just farm OHOTMU out to Siskoid and Luke Jaconetti.

    ο. Unlike Rob, I do have a legitimate grudge against Red Tornado, partially for his having usurped J’Onn J’Onzz’s role in the JLofA, but mostly because of his Red Tornadocity.

    π. It occurred to me as Shag’s recommendation of obscure/maligned Keith Giffen series overlapped with mine how society really needs navigators to help it separate the Giffen wheat from chaff. Giffen is a comic book creative genius with Ditkosque willingness to travel down avenues best left alone, marring his overall reputation. For instance, folks can feel confident in skipping Reign of the Zodiac, Aquaman, Agents of Law, The Book of Fate, Video Jack, Division 13, Punx, Dominion, March Hare and I’m going to take a courageous stand against The Heckler and Vext as well. Maybe a comprehensive list of certifiable duds can alleviate broad Giffendifference so that his gems can shine brighter.

    ξ. My understanding of the “so-called Crisis on Infinite Earths” is that Marv Wolfman intended that the event “didn’t happen” for anyone but Psycho Pirate, so outside of Who’s Who, it was just a weather balloon. DC’s handling of the aftermath was inconsistent, so one character’s momentary red sky was another’s yearning for a universe lost.

    ρ. One of my favorite stingers!

    ς. I almost made it through the Greek alphabet!

    ♀. I must now remove my glove and slap you across the cheeks. I demand satisfaction, brrr-others! Rob has been unapologetic about laying Cleveland steamers on the Wonder Woman rogues gallery, but Shag’s hiding behind low Bronze Age sales is a true act of cowardice! It is the height of hypocrisy that a Bronze Age apologist who runs a blog devoted to a ’70s hero whose book died early and was written by prolific period Amazing Amazon author Gerry Conway would play that card, especially when the bone of quoted contention was related to a Golden Age villain. It must be nice to be Rob Kelly, who has never suffered from a favorite character being routinely mocked and diminished across all media by ignorant jerk-offs who aren’t even familiar with the hero’s solo series, only restating the biases of others in service to cheap shot jokes. I’d be curious to hear Shag and Rob’s reading history with Wonder Woman, and would be disappointed to learn that it could be largely summed up by Justice League of America and post-Crisis appearances.

  24. Frank says:

    3. Like Russell, while I was giving ups to Mindboggler, I also had Magpie in the back of my mind. Dig her and I’ll raise you the Mime.

    4. The DC Animated Universe made an appreciable contribution to the comic book one. Mr. Freeze, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Renee Montoya, Harley Quinn… no wonder the Timmverse is so revered, and I say this as a fan of only modest degree.

    5. Just to grind the party to a halt, former Mr. Miracle artist Joe Phillips is a gay black recent amputee without health insurance or steady work. If I had a support link available, I’d post it.

    6. Luke, I forgot about the graytones until you mentioned it. I thought they worked well, actually. It’s sometimes tricky to parse out the components of panels in pure black and white reprints.

    7. Given how toxic Hawkman had been rendered by the ’90s, Geoff Johns had nowhere to go but up. That said, he made some good choices that continue to benefit the character, but I feel he lacked the affinity for that character later displayed to much greater impact on Green Lantern and Aquaman. In a bit of a twist, after succeeding Mark Waid’s lengthy Flash run to much acclaim, I think Johns actually rendered Wally West radioactive in the end.

    8. Anthony Durso got me to thinking– what if the reason there are so many Kupperberg entries is because he was willing to (help?) write them? What if Joker’s Daughter was left out not by editorial exclusion, but an inability to find a willing writer for the entry in the allotted time? Maybe there was less of a top down selection process and more of a catch-as-catch-can?

    9. Going to go read “Monster Society of Evil Now…”

  25. rob! says:

    The reason I am so emphatically against covering OHOTMU is because the gaps in my knowledge of DC lore becomes apparent enough with each new episode of Who’s Who. I would only have that problem x100 when talking the Marvel Universe, and I see no need to subject myself to that ridicule every month.

    Also, as is obvious from our commentary, I concentrate more on the art in WW than the text, which Shag is always chastising me for not having read. OHOTMU offers nothing (or at least very little) on the art front, with its stock poses and no variety, so I would have very little to say.

    Maybe that’s a good thing?

  26. Siskoid says:

    I don’t know what Luke thinks about this, but I don’t think I’m the right person to do an OHOTMU podcast, even if such a thing was a good idea. For one thing, I don’t have a complete run. For another, I don’t consider myself a Marvel Zombie, having read their comics almost exclusively in the 80s and in the past 3-5 years. To compare, I’m only fuzzy about DC Comics from 2000 to 2007 (where I was out of comics altogether). And I like Who’s Who for the same reasons Rob just listed, neat original art, comparatively little text.

    Imagine having to do the horrible Master Edition of OHOTMU! Gah!

  27. @ Kyle. “Fleet of Omnibus”… Nice.

    @ Frank d. “I don’t think Mr. Freeze is even suitable for Gotham City in the modern era. I feel like half of all the old Batman rogues should belong to Dick Grayson after the partnership split, with Nightwing getting all of the more over the top comic-booky foils like Freeze.”

    I would not have much of a problem with that.

    @Frank e. You just ruined Florence Henderson for me.

  28. Martin Gray says:

    I was rather nonplussed to hear all the discussion around who got the top cover spot in relation to toy presence and, later, super-friendliness … neither have ever been much on my radar. I’m not sure the Super-Friends (lamest team name ever!) ((Well, apart from Kickers Inc)) (((And Slingers))) ever made it to UK TV screens, ditto the Super Powers toys and shops. So I always assumed it was simply the most famous characters in the comics universe at the time, something that seems to work well enough with the examples so far.

    Shag, you did it again – referred to Silver Age Captain Marvel stories – there weren’t any … unless you mean the Kree fella or the Split guy.

    Rob, thank you for attempting my accent – you’re only 271.9 miles out, according to Google!

    I don’t get what’s so surprising about the second Metallo being the brother of the first, isn’t this kind of thing rather common?

    I keep mishearing ‘Jericho’ as ‘Jerk-o’. Funny, that.

    Frank, apologies if I’m being particularly thick, but what do you mean by ‘Wally Wood’s blockbuster homage to Jack Cole kept both from contributing to Who’s Who’?

    I hate Merlyn because his name has nothing to do with his MO.

    Maxie Zeus is just rubbish, and Denny O’Neil was right to assume he was worthy of just one appearance. Actually, I’d not even have given him that.

    Siskoid, I had the same thought, Tina would have been the perfect name for Little Miss Tin. Oh well. I wonder if Brainiac 5 and Tin had a support group for creepy superheroes who tool their own girlfriends?

    Nocturna, yeah, she’s hot (too early?)

  29. Siskoid says:

    According to one possible version of events, Doc Magnus should be in that support group too.

  30. Phylemon says:


    I love “The Prez” probably because it is lame and confusing. I also would love to hear Rob and Shag constantly struggle with the phrase “George ‘The Prez’ Perez”.

    Ferra Faucet is genius! Too bad you weren’t around to suggest that in the 60’s.

    @Martin Gray

    If you didn’t have The Super Friends or Super Powers Action Figures, your childhood was missing something major.

  31. Frank says:

    10. Re: Florence Henderson– Shakes the Clown didn’t already do that 21 years ago?

    11. Sometimes sensitive artist Rob peeks out. You don’t want to OHOTMU? So don’t OHOTMU! What, it was just a suggestion?

    12. The designation “Master Edition” was derived from its role in the dom/subbie paradigm with Marvel readers. “You’ll take these bland stock art turnarounds and thin, vague single page copy and like it, zombie!”

    13. Martin, that was a bit of especially unpleasant gallows humor regarding the parallel between the end of each creator’s run. Nobody was really sure if they were from the House of Lords

  32. Luke says:

    I keep seeing an Essential OHOTMU at my local used book store. Maybe I will pick it up and do that podcast. I concocted a great name for the show this morning, after all.

  33. Martin Gray says:

    Thanks Frank, eventually I might have worked that one out!

  34. Martin Stein Returns says:

    Shag, you pondered why it is that you can accept Mr. Talky Tawny, Mr. Mind and even Hoppy the Marvel Bunny but you can’t accept Fat Marvel, Tall Marvel and Hillbilly Marvel?

    Could it be that one group of characters are not a bunch of insulting stereotypes while the others are?

  35. Luke says:

    “θ. Lock-Up was a mid-’90s Batman Family-plaguing vigilante who maintained his own private prison, the exact same m.o. as the characters from Chain Gang War just a few years earlier. He was created by Chuck Dixon, who I’d guess got the name from the Stallone movie (which I liked when I saw it in the theater and have wisely avoided ever since. I also liked An Innocent Man on home video, so maybe it was a “thing” for the younger me, but present me had no trouble skipping The Escape Plan.) To the best of my knowledge, he never got a profile page, so you guys may never address him.”

    Just wanted to add that for a lot of folks, such as myself, Lock-Up may best be remembered for a self-titled episode of Batman: The Animated Series, where he was portrayed as the guard at Arkham Asylum which the INMATES were scared of. The best scene in the episode is him facing a review board, where one after the other the Bat Rogues sit down to testify, and then falter and refuse. Lock-Up eventually gets a costume and proposes to Batman that they work together (Bats catching the bad guys, and he keeping them imprisoned forever); needless to say this does not go well, they fight, Lock-Up gets jacked up, roll credits.

    “Best Remembered” may itself be a bit of overstatement as this is a middle of the road episode which did not make much of an impression, but I will always remember the character due to this appearance.

  36. Luke says:

    More on Lock-Up: The aforementioned Batman:TAS episode, written by Paul Dini, was the first appearance of the character, aring in 1994, a full two years before he appeared in the mainline Batman comics. So while Chuck Dixon brought him into DC Comics proper in the pages of Robin, Dini is the credited creator.

    Strange, the tangled web of these characters.

    Also on the OHOTMU front, turns out the Essential I saw at the Used Book Store was the ’89 Update, so no podcast on that yet.

  37. Kyle Benning says:

    Luke if you’re looking for a OHOTMU Podcast partner, I would be interested in the endeavor! It would be a grand undertaking!

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

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

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