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

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 XVI!

The sixteenth 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 XVI, discussing characters such as Mr. Terrific, Mon-El, Mongul, The Monitor, Mordru, Multiplex, Nebiros, The New Gods, 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 sixteenth 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 XVI! Click the image to enlarge.

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

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

Multiplex, the first supervilliain Firestorm ever faced! Also, in some ways Multiplex was intended to be the antithesis of Firestorm. Both gained their powers from the same nuclear explosion. Our favorite Nuclear Man represents the power of fusion, while Multiplex represents the power of fission. Martin Stein is a respected scientific genius, whereas Danton Black was a shady, spotlight-stealing scientific-hack. I always enjoyed seeing Multiplex create smaller and smaller duplicates of himself. Fun! Click the image to enlarge.

Multiplex Who's Who by Joe Brozowski and Greg Brooks

Next is the Monitor (and Anti-Monitor). Firestorm was recruited by the Monitor and Harbinger early in the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Click the image below to enlarge, then read the entry. It’s a bit long, but provides an excellent recap of Crisis without getting bogged down in too much detail. I was seriously impressed by this write-up!

The Monitor and Anti-Monitor Who's Who by George Perez

Finally are the New Gods. Firestorm met several of them in Justice League of America #183-185. This was during one of the annual team-ups with the JSA. If you’ve never read those issues, I highly recommend them! Click the image to enlarge.

New Gods from Who's Who by Jack Kirby

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  1. Siskoid says:

    Volume 16, boo-ya! I don’t feel like it’s late, I rather feel like it’s just in time for me to select who I plug into my Who’s This? feature, companion piece to this here podcast.

    Sponsored trades: Morrison’s Doom Patrol is insane genius and it’s one of my favorite runs of anything ever. Good taste, Shag.

    Cover: Oh wow, Mon-El is having a chat with Mother Box. I’d always read that as the box floating above Harbinger’s hand, but that’s not that. Never noticed the Monitor thing either. Thanks for schooling me!

    Mr. Terrific: I might otherwise have done a Who’s this about this character, but I wound up writing about Terry in the wake of his New52 Earth2 re-appearance as a villain(ish).
    By the way, the current CURRENT Mr. Terrific has a Fair Play TATTOO. The jacket is from another continuity. Sigh.

    Mon-El: What’s the idea of the big eye in the surprint? It’s strangely surreal. Maybe because he had to watch history go by while he was in the Phantom Zone? Mon-El’s story (proof that Shag wasn’t vamping):
    DC repurposed a LOT of 50s Superman stories, definitely not the only time. I also wrote about Superman’s Big Brother, Halk Kar, which we can consider the Golden Age Mon-El:

    Mongul: I’ve discovered, in my old age, how much I dislike Jim Starlin’s figure work. His anatomy is often incredibly wonky. To me, Mongol’s musclebound arms are on purpose, to make him more gorilla-like, but now I think it’s just Starlin being Starlin. Don’t remember disliking him so much when he worked for Marvel, but then, I was a kid. What did I know. I think Rob’s right, WarWorld is a poor man’s Apokolips.

    …not really about the Monitors, but listening to Shag get on Rob’s back, made me realize who Rob reminds me of. Is it me, or does his voice sound a little like Kyle’s from Tenacious D? Maybe it’s just the role they both play. Yes Shag, that means you’re Jack Black.

    How to pronounce Monsieur Mallah, the French way: Start with Mer-Sier Mah-lah. Now, remove those “r”s, yes even the one actually in the word. A silent “r”, welcome to the French language everyone. And I can’t believe you went to the marriage rights issue, Rob. Seeing as Mallah and the Brain have a gay relationship in Morrison’s Doom Patrol (which is after this), the discussion takes a political dimension you didn’t intend.

    Mordru: Yes Shag you’re right. You can find out more in Amethyst’s Who’s Who Update entry. On live action characters, you get more if you stretch the definition. There have been live action Morgaines obviously, and the New Gods are sort of there in a little film called Masters of the Universe. If DC is looking to develop properties for television, I think Night Force has lost of potential.

    Mother Box: Ping! Ping! Ping! The shoulder Box is Mister Miracle’s.

    Multi-Man: He’s saved from Who’s This only thanks to his role in the comedy Injustice League. I think he has to go mostly cloth-free in case his newest power would destroy his suit, you never know.

    Multiplex: Your love of a helmet that includes 60s-style ladies’ glasses is suspect, Shag. Maybe it IS the drawing here. My question about Multiplex concerns his mustache. Is it part of the matter he loses when he splits? Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it isn’t, it always confused me.

    Mysto: Ah. Our first real contender for a Who’s This entry. Look for it later this week! #selfpromotion

    Nebiros: Lots of detail in the surprint, this must’ve been a huge drawing originally. Maybe that’s how it ended up being 2 colors of surprint, each large section Cullins drew in its own color. Possible?

    Negative Man: Is there something weird going on with John Byrne’s signature? It’s like “John” is in surprint, while “Byrne” is in black.

    Negative Woman: The energy being plays as a differently-colored surprint, which is odd. Hey, has there ever been a Negative dudes team-up with the Unknown Soldier? If Bob Haney were still with us… (Reactron is the villain you’re thinking of in the surprint. As far as Negative Woman’s final fate, the being left her when Larry came back and she ended up working with Checkmate as the White Queen. She died in Final Crisis, because she turned up as a Black Lantern in Blackest Night.

    Nemesis: Tom Tresser deserved much better, so he got a re-entry in the updates despite not a whole lot of changes in his story (joined the suicide Squad, that’s it, I think). Nemesis dated Wonder Woman AND got a crazy mini-series, you might want to check that out, Rob.

    Nemesis Kid: I really like Nemesis Kid’s powers, they’re really open-ended. I just want him to fight everyone, just to see what he would do.

    Neptune Perkins: I know he was a main member of the Young All-Stars, but I’ve tagged him for Who’s This? status just to see what he got up to in the Golden Age. Who’s Who is NOT wrong, Neptune P. first appeared in Flash Comics 66, and there was a follow-up story in 81. Those are his only two appearances before All-Star Squadron, which makes him very obscure indeed.

    New Gods: What’s interesting about the Norse connection is that they were initially Tales of Asgard Kirby never got to tell because he moved to DC (more or less; it was his way to tell such stories at the other company).

    New Olympians: Their first appearance is the B&TO issue up next in my systematic take-down of the Outsiders. I’ll be addressing it during the Winter Olympics. THEME!

    Newsboy Legion: Post-Crisis they WERE clones, and the originals were geneticists. Oh Cadmus.

    Night Force: Wolfman did the recent Night Force mini-series, with Tom Mandrake a good replacement for Colan.

    Night Girl: Shame about the miscolored slice of cape between her arm and body. Looks like she’s holding a piece of paper under her arm there.

    Nighthawk: Now better known as one of Hawkman’s reincarnations, with Cinnamon in the Hawkgirl role, suffer on, Rob. Most lately seen in the New52’s All Star Western, and he’s still hanging with Cinnamon. I keep mistaking him for Johnny Thunder for some reason.

    Nightmaster: I might throw him into Who’s This? regardless of Shadowpact because I didn’t read that series and he remains a big question mark for me.

    Listener feedback…

    Rob, dude! You completely forgot Scavenger in the Aquaman villains covered in Who’s Who. Still, four is really low, I’m not disputing that.

    Shag, on Blue Beetle’s villains, you must be thinking of Madman and the Madmen, which were actually created by Steve Ditko in the Charlton Blue Beetle series (I have the Modern Comics reprint).

  2. Martin Gray says:

    Thanks for another fun episode, I listened as I was in the gym for my Klurkur class, before going to Mass with Monsignor Mallah.

    A few points …

    First off, Nathaniel Dusk, while indeed shot from Gene Colan’s pencils, WAS in colour – is Rob trapped in that Calvin & Hobbes cartoon in which the old days are restricted to black and white?

    I love the idea of Orion having a ‘Mon-El brow’!

    The ‘boll’ in ‘Bolland’ rhymes with ‘doll’, Shag, old stick.

    I want to know more about Rob’s Vertigo pitch for the return of Zatara and debut of Zatanna ,,,

    Yeah, the recent Night Force was indeedy written by Marv Wolfman and it was pretty good, with the excellent Tom Mandrake keeping the Colan flame alive, check out an art page at my review of #1. Or don’t!

    Nemesis Kid KILLED Karate Kid, the clue’s in the term ‘mortally wounded’ 😉

    A tiny thing, it was Johnny Double in Showcase, not Trouble. Which would work too, mind.

    They did later change the Newsboy Legion II origin, making them clones, rather than sons, which is a bit rubbish! Flipper dipper!

    I disagree that Multiplex had the best helmet this side of Magneto (that would be Dr Polaris in the Bronze Age). Multiplex looks like a 1950s biddy wearing horn-rimmed specs.


  3. Mister Terrific – I want to like this guy in the way I want to like all Golden Age characters, but seriously, his gig is “fair play”? That’s not worthy of the Justice Society of America. Maybe the legally required adult club advisor for the Boy Commandos or Newsboy Legion.

    Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, had a Mister Terrific story about Sloane’s loser brother. I don’t remember where that story was published, but it was decent, only in that it confirmed Mister Terrific himself isn’t that interesting.

    The modern era Michael Holt was never as cool as Geoff Johns wanted him to be. Part of it is the wretched costume design. A leather jacket with Fair Play on the arms was at best a decade too late to look cool, and the T-shaped mask was ridiculous! Also, conceptually, he was designed as a runner up. It takes a very special kind of disconnect from your target audience to think billing the hero as “The Third Smartest Man on Earth” would be attractive to new readers.

  4. Sorry, Shag, but Mon-El is not B-list.

    Mongul – I agree with Rob’s take: Mongul’s who you get when you want to avoid the Fourth World baggage associated with Darkseid. That’s why I like Mongul more and think he makes a better arch-foe for the Justice League.

    Negative Man – John Byrne has always been hit-or-miss for me, and lately I’m thinking that the deciding factor for his work that I like is the collaboration with Terry Austin.

    I know there has always been a comparison between Doom Patrol and the X-Men because of their publication history and the title “strangest heroes of all”, but I think the DP is much more derivative of Marvel’s First Family than the mutants. They started with four characters: a brilliant leader, a strong man trapped in an armored shell, a guy who turns into energy to fly, and the one with two x chromosomes. Their freakish deformities lend them more to the monstrous outcasts that defines the Fantastic Four for their first couple adventures.

    Nemesis – Yeah, he was Wonder Woman’s boyfriend for a while after Infinite Crisis. That was one of several ways DC pimp slapped Diana in the modern era.

    Neptune Perkins – Holding his breath for seven minutes would be impressive-ish if it wasn’t proceeded with “horrible salt deficiency”.

    I loved Wolfman and Colon’s Tomb of Dracula, so I got the recent DC Comics Presents Night Force–the same book Rob plugged in the intro–and gave it a shot. It didn’t make me want to read more. Sorry.

    Nightmaster – Never thought much of the character, but damn, that’s a great image!

  5. Anj says:

    I have to admit when I first flipped through this issue I thought I wouldn’t have much to say. But as usual, I have more comments than I thought I would. I will try to be brief.

    Mon-El – There were occasionally stories set in the present when either Superman or Supergirl are facing off against the phantom zone villains and Mon-El shows up to help or give inside info. Lightle did write an issue of Legion of SuperHeroes (#23 in the Baxter series) where he is developing some resistance to the lead antidote and he has to get sent back to the Zone briefly. The lead poisoning makes him have fever dreams which can make some of the issue trippy.

    Mordru – You have to love Mordru. Guy kicks the snot out of the Legion every 5 years or so. Shag is right, he is shown as a Gemworld sorcerer in the Amethyst mini-series in 1987 written by Giffen/Newell with achingly beautiful art by Esteban Maroto. In Great Darkness Saga, he is drained of his power. Later in the Baxter series they try to cleanse him of his evil thoughts with some mild success. In the ‘5 yr later’ Legion, Mon-El kills the Time Trapper completely undoing the ‘pocket universe’ continuity. Without that, Mordru takes over the universe and rules with an iron fist. It is only the creation of Glorith as a counter-force that resets the universe.

    Negative Man and Woman: the two characters did co-exist in the Paul Kupperberg/Steve Lightle/Erik Larsen Doom Patrol series. The two vie for control of the negative being. Initially Negative Woman didn’t need the bandages and looked quite striking with the plunging neckline. Lastly, the villain in her surprint is … REACTRON … a Supergirl villain whose origins are linked to Doom Patrol’s Tempest.

    Nemesis Kid: He did indeed kill Karate Kid, beating him to death in a martial art fight. Nemesis Kid’s powers allowed him to deflect Karate Kid’s capabilities. Shortly after, Princess Projectra comes upon the body of her dead husband (KK). She then declares she has the right to royally execute Nemesis Kid. While his powers short-circuit her illusion power, she still has the power to … use her bare hands. She snaps Nemesis Kid’s neck. And then, having broken the Legion Constitution, she leaves the team for a while.

    Night Force – I bought this book when it came out and didn’t appreciate it much then. But it reads like a wildly scary acid trip.
    The first arc of Night Force has a team of a hard drinking journalist named Jack Gold, a paranormal scientist named Donovan Caine trying to harness evil as a power source, and an innocent but emotionally tortured medium named Vanessa Van Helsing . They are positioned by Baron Winters to try and stop the physical entity of evil from overwhelming the world. The series shows the miasma of evil erupting into our world, the perfect sort of chaotic environment for Colan’s style. At the end of the story, Caine has been maimed, losing limbs. Van Helsing has been shown to be the conduit for evil into this world and as a result must be kept happy all the time or else wickedness will overhelm her and flood the planet. And Gold is stuck pretending he loves Van Helsing to placate her even though he hates her. Chilling.

    Lastly, a while back I also thought of getting some Who’s Who entries signed by the artists. When we hit ‘R’ I’ll scan and send by Reverse Flash entry signed by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson!

  6. Anthony Durso/The Toyroom says:

    First let me say thanks Rob and Shag…without your commentary this issue
    is excruciating for me to get through. No real stars or favorites for me to look
    forward to.

    The cover: My least favorite Perez cover for Who’s Who. Sorta fitting though
    for what is somewhat a lackluster issue…

    • Mr. Terrific: Not a fan of the art. Not a fan of the character really either.
    When he was killed off by The Spirit King in “Justice League of America”
    I just didn’t care. Wasn’t thrilled with his modern day counterpart in “JSA”

    • Mon-El: Steve Lightle can do no wrong when it comes to the Legion. He
    really nails every entry he does.

    The Mon-El prototype Halk Kar appeared in “Superman” #80 (Feb. ’53).
    Mon-El’s 1st appearance was in June ’61.

    Blame the Legion’s recent cancellation on DC’s need to add yet another
    Justice League title to the line-up, “Justice League 3000″. Obviously, two
    titles featuring futuristic super-teams can’t exist in the New 52niverse.

    • Mongul: Here’s the real Anti-Life Equation: Darkseid>Thanos>Mongul

    • Monitor & Anti-Monitor: I realize these characters were important to DC
    at the time but it’s still a shame that they got a 2-page spread while a character
    like Batman got one.

    (Shag- Blue Beetle was from Earth-4. Earth-C is home to Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew.)

    • Mssr. Mallah: Why, oh why has there never been a villain team consisting of
    Mallah, Ultra-Humanite, Titano, Gorilla Grodd, and Gorilla Boss? I would so buy that!

    • Mordru: I never understood why a 30th Century Legion foe was part of “The Legend/Challenge of the Super-Heroes” special. As a kid, and Legion fan, in the 70s it was cool, but baffling. I’m curious to know why exactly he was part of the package of villains that were clearly influenced by The Legion of Doom.

    • Morphea: While I was an “Atari Force” reader back in the day, I thought
    Who’s Who devoted way too much space to these characters that DC didn’t own, instead of characters that they did own.

    • Mother Box and New Genesis: Ugh. See my New Gods comments below…

    • Multiplex: Do you think Multiplex and Maddrox the Multiple Man ever get
    together and exchange ideas?

    • Myrwhdden: At one point every DC hero needed an imp to baffle them.
    Superman- Mr. Mxyzptlk, Batman- Bat-Mite, Aquaman- Quisp, Flash- Mopee,
    Martian Manhunter- Zook.

    • Nathaniel Dusk: Sorry, didn’t read it. I was busy wasting my money on the first issues of “Silverblade” and “Sonic Disruptors”…

    • Negative Woman: Shag, I believe Negative Man and Negative Woman merged
    at one point and became Rebis.

    • Nekron: This is one of those characters that Geoff Johns rescued from relative obscurity.
    I marked out when he returned in “Blackest Night”. Fun stuff.

    • Nemesis Kid: He beat Karate Kid to within an inch of his life. And although he
    wanted to die in battle, his wife Queen Projectra convinced him to destroy the machine that the LSV were using to move the planet Orando, sacrificing his life.
    In turn, Jeckie snapped Nemesis Kid’s neck. (As was her royal privilege…LOL)

    • New Gods: Kirby was indeed a one-man character factory but the proliferation of New Gods
    characters throughout this whole series is exhausting by this point. So many minor characters
    got listings whereas other DC headliners did not.

    • Night Force: That Baron Winters was always shady. Too bad other writers (besides Alan Moore
    in “Swamp Thing”) didn’t make more use of the character in other titles.

    • Night Girl: Although he gets huge props as an inker, Terry Austin is so under-rated as an artist.

    Night Girl never deserved to be a Sub IMO…working in tandem with Shadow Lass she could have been a part of the main Legion earlier than she was. Lost opportunity.

    • Nighthawk: Yes, retconned to be one of Hawkman’s many past identities…
    with Cinnamon as one of Hawkgirl’s.

    • Nightmaster: Prior to his Who’s Who entry, Nightmaster only appeared in “Showcase” #82-84 back in ’69. And yet, Jason’s Quest DIDN’T get a listing. I wonder why so arbitrary?

    Listener Feedback: Aquaman had FOUR villains in “Who’s Who”- Black Manta, Ocean Master, Fisherman and Scavenger. And he had a shared foe with Green Lantern in The Shark.

    Odd Man was originally supposed to appear as a back-up in “Shade the Changing Man” starting with issue #9 (Sept. 1978). When the DC Implosion hit, the story was shuffled off to “Cancelled Comics Cavalcade” #2 to secure the copyright. This story was finally printed in “Detective Comics” #487 (Dec.1979). So he did make one official published appearance prior to the publication of “Who’s Who”.

    Blue Beetle fought The Mad Men, not to be confused with the Mad Mod nor Sterling, Draper, Cooper, Pryce.

    “Where Were You On The Night Batman Was Killed” took place in “Batman” #291-294. The four villains on trial were The Joker, Catwoman, The Riddler and Lex Luthor. Two-Face was the prosecuting attorney. (SPOILER: But was actually Batman in disguise!)

  7. Kyle Benning says:

    Good riddance Shia!!

    Who’s Who, what a great way to start the week!

    I agree Morrison’s Doom’s Patrol is great, I’m currently reworking my way through the series and love it. I think this along with Animal Man, represent Morrison’s greatest works ever.

    Woo-hoo I loved Night Force! I really enjoyed the recent 7 issue mini-series written by Wolfman with Tom Mandrake art. Hmm, has that series been out almost 2 years already? Wow where does the time go? Anywho I recommend you check that one out.

    The cover, I love this one, one of Perez and Giordano’s finest, Mon-El and Fastbak look fantastic. I count 6 Multiplexes?

    Hahaha the Who’s Who Dick of the Month ahahaha, hey you guys could pass out that award to a lucky listener each month for their negative feeback, kind of the opposite of the Yellow Dot Award…but I feel like Frank would probably be the undisputed reigning monthly champ, I kid Frank, I kid.

    The story of Mon-El is a said one, I love this character, his plight always made me sad. The “Seed Stock” they refer to I believe is a nod to the Aliens in DC Presents #1 & 2. I forget their races, but basically they were one race that split and has had a civil war lasting a billion years. They travel around the Universe fighting each other and settling new worlds. Their ships are actually organic, and they claim that their abandoned ships breaking down on world’s are what started life. They claim they started the circle of life on earth, as well as colonized Krypton and other planets in the red star system, and stabilized the planet, delaying the cataclysmic explosion that was doomed to occur on Krypton by millions of year. If you remember that story, the Flash and Superman are racing through time, each representing one of the two races in the civil war, and have to find a way to circumvent the Earth’s current role in the war, without ending the war and preventing them warring races from starting life on Earth and Krypton. The story gets a little tedious, but it’s one of Pasko’s finer stories and how can you not love the Jose Luis Garcia Lopez art.

    Don’t get me started on the lack of a Legion title, there’s somethings you just don’t do. If sales are slow, you find a new creative team, you don’t just cut a book that has been a staple for DC for half a century. You wouldn’t cancel Action Comics or Detective Comics because of low sales, you’d find a new creative team. God forbid they publish comics that are more than publicity stunts with short term sales spikes. That said, I was actually really enjoying Levitz’s New 52 Legion, I dug it, it was one of my favorite titles. It’s sad when in 2011-2012 we had at one point 3 Legion titles coming out a month (Legion, Legion Lost, Secret Origin of Legion) and then 12-18 months later we had no Legion at all. If nothing else bring back Adventure comics, and have it feature 2 stories, a Legion and something else.

    Monitor 2….hmm, I wish they would have run with this and gave the Anti-Monitor more of a back story. They could’ve said the Monitor was from Earth-1, the Anti-Monitor or Monitor 2 was originally from Earth-2, and during a dimensional vibration phenomenon (similar to one that allowed for the heroes of Earth-1 & 2 to team-up) he was tossed into the Anti-Matter Universe where he grew and dominated, and became obsessed with destroying the Matter universe he was spawned from.

    Hahahaha wow, is Shag the Hank Pym of the Podcasting Universe? I guess some times you just have to sock a dame, right Shag?
    When are we going to see a campaign for equal marriage rights for evil mastermind Gorillas? I can see this being a hot button issue in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

    FYI Darkseid, Granny Goodness, G. Gordon Godfrey, and the Furies were all featured in season 10 of Smallville. I need to go back and rewatch the Legion 2 parter of Smallville as well, was Mon-El in that episode? I don’t think he was, but that surprises me that with 2 essentially Superboy tv series, between Superboy and Smallville, that Mon-El has never had a live action appearance.

    I would love to start and co-host a Blue Devil Podcast, if nothing else, listen to one. This is another great series that needs to be collected! How has DC not given Firestorm, Blue Devil, Blue Beetle, and Booster Gold the Showcase treatment? These would sell like hotcakes!!!

    I love all of Byrne’s Doom Patrol entries, he nails the characters, it’s too bad that when he finally got to tackle the characters that his run was less than stellar. It still had some high points, but it was kind of a wrecking ball to DP continuity. I agree DP seems like a Marvel type series, some of those early Silver Age series from DC seem to have that Marvel feel like Challengers of the Unknown (Fantastic Four) and Doom Patrol (X-MEN) but unfortunately they didn’t take off like their Marvel counterparts.

    Joe Staton is the man, nuff said.

    This New God’s entry might be my favorite Kirby entry, Greg Theakston really does a great job inking Kirby, I would’ve liked to see Theakston ink Kirby all those years instead of Vinnie Colletta. This entry is a little heartbreaking, as it helps show what Kirby’s art could’ve looked like all those years. I don’t think Colletta did any pencillers justice or did them any favors, I feel like most of Kirby’s art that is criticized today is the result of Colletta’s inking, and not Kirby’s Pencils. I love Kirby’s art, and still enjoy his Colletta inked stuff, but when you look at the finished pencils vs. the finished Colletta inks, to say something is lost is an understatement. This entry is gorgeous, it’s too bad it serves as an exception and not the standard of Kirby’s finished art.

    Terry Austin is a great artist, but you’re wrong. Stop the Blasphemy, to imply that it was all Austin making Byrne into one of the greatest artists ever is wrong. He complimented Byrne very nicely, and was his best inker, they were a comics dream team, but to imply that it was Austin saving Byrne’s pencils is wrong. Byrne looked great in this era regardless of who was inking him, his work still looked amazing and the tops in the industry when he was inking himself, or inked by Kesel or Beatty. As pencillers and inkers, Byrne and Austin had very similar styles, but if you look at solo pencils, Byrne wins, but Austin just edges out Byrne in inking. They were a great example of Synergy, but implying Austin carried Byrne is just wrong, there is a reason why Byrne inked by anyone was in more demand than Austin doing both the pencils and inks himself.

    There you go, a 4 Star Spectacular Super Team starring Aquaman, Green Arrow, Plastic Man and Batman.

    Hey it’s funny you mention that DC Explosion House Ad, I just posted a picture of that on the Two True Freaks Facebook page yesterday as I stumbled across it reading some old World’s Finest issues.

    Haha Shag, not a fan of Final Crisis? Hahaha, definitely not Morrison’s finest moment, but it still tops Civil War for me, but that’s like say Dog crap smells better than cat crap. You and Rob should devote an episode of Fire & Water or two, to a Geek Talk episode where you discuss your least favorite crossover events of all time, Rob will undoutbly rant about Identity Crisis while you can let it reign on Final Crisis, and please don’t forget to touch on Millennium, Bloodlines (maybe guest spot by Frank?), and War of the Gods (Frank likes Wonder Woman too right? I’m sure he’ll try to defend this dysfunctional turd story. It had gorgeous art but it was wasted on a meandering, directionless story.)

    About the Metamorpho & Metal Men stuff, I would just love an anthology book that featured Metal Men, Doom Patrol, Metamorpho, Plastic Man, and maybe the occasional Adam Strange and Challengers of the Unknown story. I love Anthology titles, I wish they were still used today. The Dollar Comics era of DC has some of my favorite short stories. DC put out some real gems in the pages of World’s Finest, Adventure Comics, and Detective. If I ever get myself into podcasting, it would chronicling all of the Dollar Comics DC put out in order. Maybe one of these exists, already, if it does, I need to find it and start tuning in.

    Another great episode guys (despite Shag’s Mee-tron making 2 more appearances) this is the best podcast on the interwebs. Fan the Flame and Ride the Wave!

  8. Jeff R. says:

    This month’s egregious omission is one that I actually considered an egregious omission at the time: Moonbow, a Firestorm supporting character who didn’t make it into this issue despite having made her first appearance two full weeks before it came out. So, for that bit of nostalgia’s sake I’m pretending not to have learned anything about production scheduling realities in the intervening decades…if they could do a teaser on the second part of her intro story, why not an actual page?

    I’m honestly surprised that she never got killed horribly in Green Arrow or Suicide Squad during the nineties…

    Nemesis’s all right; certainly an upgrade from Steve Trevor at least. And classic Trevor’s a major upgrade from DCnu Trevor…

    And I’m going to have to say that Night Girl’s non-membership in the Legion proper (at least during the timeframe anywhere near Who’s Who) has to disqualify her from the competition.

  9. Voice of the Red Skull says:

    Didn’t you use to work for Multiplex? If not the Multiplex from Firestorm, I’m sure it was some Multiplex or other…

  10. Harlan Freilicher says:

    Shag, I’ve gotta disagree with you calling bullshit on the “Monitor II” designation. We’ve got decades of referring to him as the Anti-Monitor now, but at the time it was kind of a bullshit designation itself, added to distinguish the two Monitors. During Crisis, the Anti-Monitor always referred to himself as “The Monitor,” (starting a month before the cover that introduced the name “Anti-Monitor”) and whenever anyone addressed him directly by name, they just called him “Monitor.” I assume that Marv Wolfman was trying to get across how the two Monitors were exact counterparts to one another by giving them the same name, and then discovered that he couldn’t have a simple conversation about the plot without having to explain, “No, I mean the BAD Monitor grabs him!” “No, this was the GOOD Monitor’s plan!” “Um, George, this artwork is amazing. It’s the kind of thing people are still going to be praising thirty years from now. But, uh… you’ve got the wrong Monitor killing Supergirl. Maybe I should’ve been more specific in the script, but I thought you’d get it from context. Sorry.”

  11. Frank says:

    ffA) Mr. Terrific was the guy with no Earth-1 analogue who was still seen as disposable enough to murder off-panel in one JLA story. Dumb name, ugly costume, Marty Sue concept. I like Michael Holt, but Drunkula is right about Johns’ inability to get enough kids clapping to fully bring him to life. I think this is another set-aside concept, where you have to allow Terrific to exist in a moral universe where he preaches without conflicting with other properties’ grayer aesthetic. Also, Romeo Tanghal overwhelms DeStefano here.

    ffB) I was introduced to Mon-El through the 1992 Eclipso event, so
    I was impressed with his being declared more powerful than Superman. Then of course they made a point of Superman beating him in the second bookend handily, and then Valor happened, and then Lar Gand got “fixed” with the rest of the Legion seventeen times. Remember that time he was rendered “M’Onel,” Martian for “He Who Wanders?” Or how he was supposed to “seed” the worlds the Legion would spring from, then promptly died, accomplishing nothing? Or how he invented the “Superboy punch” by clocking the Time Trapper and creating the Five Years Later continuity (or something?) To make a long comment short, screw Mon-El. He’s a tractor trailer full of circumstance hitched to a go-cart worth of character. But hey, sweet Lightle!

    ffC) I spent the month of March 2009 producing Mongul related posts for my Martian Manhunter blog. I even created an elaborate three part fan fiction to explain his backstory with the Alien Atlas. I was obviously invested in the Wein/Levitz/Starlin incarnation.

    I was introduced to a Mongul through “Reign of the Superman,” and read most of his Post-Crisis appearances, with his posthumous two-part origin story in Showcase being a favorite of that time. It wasn’t until later that I discovered the Pre-Crisis Mongul was a vastly different and much superior character. In his DC Comics Presents appearances through “For The Man Who Has Everything,” he was a despot overthrown by a religious fanatic who used different gimmick weapons/artifacts in hopes of reclaiming his kingdom. While physically more powerful than Superman, Mongul preferred to use extortion and traps to get his way, setting up clever scheme plots. After Crisis, he was a pointless sub-Darkseid thug with no true motivation whose default plot was “More Black Mercy, Ya’ll” and today mostly partakes of stupid, sadistic, excessively graphic Pete Tomasi scripts. I’m a big fan of Pre-1986 Mongul and now feel that enough invective can be hurled at the Post-1986 models.

    To review, Mongul helped destroy Coast City as a ring-kissing lackey of the Cyborg Superman, and had his neck broken to build up Neron. Mongul Junior was created by Jeph Loeb in the late ’90s, followed by his Chyna-esque sister Mongal. Tomasi revised Mongul Junior in the horrific mode established in Showcase and had him decapitate Mongal, then keep the maggot-infested rotting head as an object of derision/monologue. Him, I hate.

    ffD) The Anti-Monitor was a hugely important villain in one epic story who was later brought back and siphoned of all merit/meaning. I also wonder why they bring back the Petrified Egg Fu version instead of the nastier, more humanoid version.

    ffE) I have no strong feelings about the Monocle, but he’s one of the more decent Golden Age/Hawkman villains. Dull art, though.

    ffF) Monsieur Mallah being a genius is a bit too much for me, but that wasn’t maintained over time, so I like the gorilla guerrilla as I know him. The entry art is rad, and I was bummed when DC decided they needed to have him and the Brain murdered by Gorilla Grodd on the Salvation planet because Dan Didio. I think I read the argument over Mallah’s marriage rights on Dr. Ben Carson’s website.

    ffG) Mordru’s a tough hombre; one of the few villains to consistently challenge the Legion. I wasn’t won over by turning him into a less intense modern day JSA foe, but it did up his profile.

    ffH) Never got into Morgaine Le Fey, probably in part because I don’t care for her Kirby armor. For the same reason, I’m not wild about Brian Bolland being compromised by Kirby’s aesthetic. I used to own Batman Family #17, which featured the sorceress against the combined forces of Etrigan and Man-Bat drawn by Michael Golden.

    ffI) Cara Sherman Tereno’s art on Morphea is very nice. I ought to check out her page(s) in the first Wonder Woman Annual…

    ffJ) Mother Box is cool. I seem to recall Orion chose to disguise himself because New Genesians found his natural visage distasteful and it instilled fear in humans.

    ffK) My eye was not drawn to Multi-Man’s lower portions, so I don’t know what’s up with you guys. Patton drew the Challenger’s Secret Origin, so that’s probably why he got this gig. I guess the Challengers wanted to be on the scene first in the event one of their foes broke out of prison, which would be commendable if not for the whole gross violation of human rights and due process aspect.

    ffL) It’s convenient how Multiplex went from a groan-inducing contemporary reference to a relatively unique if antiquated one. Not into the character, but the twist of his duplication powers was nifty. Certainly one of the least risible Firestorm foes. Just once, I want to villain who accuses the hero of ruining them personally/professionally to turn out in the right. It’s like in Iron Man 2, would it really have been such a problem in Tony Stark’s dad had really put the screws to Anton Vanko? Layers, y’know?

    ffM) Wasn’t Myrwhydden the pet “Get Out of Jail Free” card carried by H.E.A.T. members trying to explain away Hal Jordan’s homicidal rampage?

    ffN) Rob, you had the daughter of a magician go on a quest to find her missing father? Wait, did I confuse Myrwhydden with the Warlock Of Ys? Anyway, Mysto? Not all old strips deserve a revival, it seems. Woof.

    ffO) I bought a water damaged copy of Nathaniel Dusk #1 from a flea market as a kid, and had trouble wrapping my brain around the murder of an innocent woman within. Wasn’t she going to be saved by the comic book hero, like in the other comics I bought? No, she wasn’t, it seemed. Mature! I had an off-putting encounter with Don McGregor at SDCC 2000ish during a panel with Gene Colan. A Bronze Age great, but kind of colored my perception of the guy from then on.

  12. Tim Wallace says:

    I need a longer commute to work! It’s Friday and I still have about 30min remaining in this episode!

    Blue Beetle is from Earth…nevermind…

    Blue Beetle fought…nevermind…geez, see what i get for being late to the party?

    Shag, the Justice League of Anarchy mentioned was part of the “Justice Leagues” mini-series…but didn’t get their own book. They were one of a few alternate Leagues (which also featured Zauriel’s JLApostles, Wally West’s JLAdventure, and a couple more) that made cameos in the main books

    I’ll also say while Paris Cullins inked by Gary Martin is nice, and that Nebiros pic is pretty sweet…I always had a preference for Paris inked by Bruce Patterson, as in the Blue Beetle monthly.

    and Kyle…there is a Showcase: Booster Gold, but I agree…Firestorm, Blue Devil and Blue Beetle deserve them too!

  13. Frank says:

    ffP) Here’s the thing about Nebiros: I loved the early issues of Blue Devil, but found my interest slowly but steadily trailing off as the series progressed. Rereading them as an adult, I realized how much of my enjoyment centered around BD’s first and best villain. Nebiros has a kooky visage that can be either kid-friendly fun monster or creepy as hell, depending entirely on context. He had a fantastic perspective and rapport with Dan, who was himself at his best serving as average Joe in an extraordinary circumstance. It was weird seeing Nebiros played straight in the late ’90s, but he still worked in a way Blue Devil hasn’t since Underworld Unleashed. I’d also like to say that Gary Martin is one of the unsung great inkers, and he still produces lovely art today. Shag, you want to go in on a sort of “if we’re not married to other people by such & such date” pacts, where if no one has started a Blue Devil podcast by “Firestorm Classic #24,” we do occasional FWPodcast fill-in shows covering a span of BD issues? While I’m thinking about suggestions, why not cover Firestorm ’78 through to the Flash serial as your half of episodes featuring Aquaman & the Others for the 8-12 issues it lasts before cancellation?

    ffQ) I liked the Giffen/Clarke take on Negative Man, and the basics are all there, but I can’t quite cross the bridge to becoming a fan. Nice looking entry. It occurred to me recently that since the X-Men are an overwrought metaphor for social acceptance of alternative lifestyles to WASPishness, what sets the Doom Patrol apart is that they quite pointedly are not a part of any true minority. They are handicapped people– disfigured and traumatized, in such highly specific ways that each member is uniquely alone in their individual struggles. The DP are a manipulated/abused support group for irreparably damaged souls who not only don’t fit in anywhere else, but are limited even in their ability to relate to one another. Curiously, given Marvel’s penchant for melodrama, that degree of tragic isolation is highly specific to mid-century DC Comics, especially Weisinger era Superman.

    ffR) Stop staring at Negative Woman’s ample bosom as lovingly rendered by Joe Staton. Now here’s an entry with a prominent crotch (and a sentence perilously close to a double entendre.) The New Doom Patrol sucked, and this character is more interesting as a facet of Rebus’ sexuality than an entity unto herself.

    ffS) I was always impressed with Nekron due to his prominent role in the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps mini-series, where he and Krona took on all 3,600 of them.

    ffT) Nemesis was a back-up I stumbled upon often enough in the early days of my collecting. Thought the name and concept were cool, but could never get past Dan Spiegel. Still can’t, to be honest. This entry is a sloppy collection of disparate, poorly doodled images.

    ffU) Kyle Baker was such a wicked inker in his Sienkiewicz period. He could have sold Curt Swan to the ’80s kids if they’d stuck together. Nemesis Kid = Terra prototype.

    ffV) Neptune Perkins was a convenient blank slate to project the Golden Age Aquaman retcon on to. I kept waiting for somebody to kill him as a throwaway shock moment in any given Young All-Stars/Aquaman/etcetera appearance. Did that ever happen? It should have if it didn’t. Neptune Perkins makes Mr. Terrific look like Green Lantern. He’s the poorer man’s Black Condor.

    ffW) New Genesis tries to give Rob his third page of New Gods coverage, and ruins it with a drawing that calls attention to architectural weakness. The art on the core entry looks like a picture of a box of Colorforms that had just been opened after a big move. I have no problem giving the Marvel artists their due credit in constructing a hugely successful universe, and I understand the desire to scorn the company man that continues to receive the lion’s share of the credit and perks for that accomplishment. However, whatever the property’s virtues, the New Gods was flatly written, excessively violent, somewhat pandering, involved mean-spirited and petty in-jokes, and is essentially just an update of Thor with a handful of characters anyone really gives half a damn about. No matter how ugly the divorce, Stan Lee was at least half responsible for the majesty of Marvel. Also, that dorky Darkseid should have you thinking twice about taking swipes at Thanos or Mongul.

    ffX) Wasn’t Paul Neary the primary inker of Alan Davis during this period? His run on Captain America helped me off that title, but I appreciate the Von Eeden/Aparo-ness seen here. Why didn’t the New Olympians just lay low for a few months and then target Batman and Robin sans Outsiders? Oh right, because Batman & Robin were more formidable than the Outsiders sans Batman.

    ffY) Nighthawk wasn’t even particularly big by DC western hero standards. Check out the two page spread for the period in History of the DC Universe. A case could be made for him against Pow-Wow Smith, but he was no Scalphunter. Wouldn’t consistently time-lost Jonah Hex be the Captain America of cowboys? Cinnamon was Hawkgirl’s reincarnation, right? Okay entry.

    ffZ) I can’t bring myself to care even a tiny little bit about the Newsboy Legion. Night & Fog were hideous kinky. Night Force was this thing that was too late for the Bronze Age horror boom and too clueless for ’80s sophisticated horror in the King/Moore/Barker vein. Night Girl is a modest character with a pleasant entry. Charles Vess is a master at illustrating nothing characters like Nightmaster once and insuring they got reused by future creators.

  14. Anj says:

    I am pretty sure that Negative Woman was not part of Rebis.

    Larry merged with the Negative Spirit and his physician in the hospital to become Rebis.

    I don’t know the ultimate fate of Valentina.

  15. rob! says:

    It occurred to me the other day that so far Shag and I have spent a total of 36 hours (minimum) discussing the contents of WHO’S WHO.

    I don’t have a point, it’s merely an observation.

  16. Doug says:

    Negative Woman News now!

    There’s some interesting (being nice) developments for the New 52, particularly on the Negative Woman front in Justice League #27 coming out this week.

    Valentina Vostok is NOT related to Vostok of the others. I asked Geoff Johns this question directly via email to which he replied, “Vostok has no connection to the Negative People.”

    As for Val’s relation to Rebis, Anj is correct. There is no connection between Valentina and Rebis. Rebis was a merging of Larry (or a clone of Larry, per Giffen’s particularly enjoyable run with these characters in 2010’s Doom Patrol #6) and his physician. “Larry” as it were is the name the negative being begins to give himself, having inhabited a number of bodies throughout DC lore (pre-, post- and mid-life Crisis).

    Once the Negative Man returned to Larry, prior to becoming part of the Rebis conglomerate, Val left the Doom Patrol and joined Checkmate (original version with the armored Knights). She perished in Final Crisis #4 (well, at least her body was there) and, as Siskoid noted, Val made her next appearance as a Black Lantern, again in Giffen’s spin with the DP. Man, that book was pretty special in retrospect.

    One last, quasi-interesting fact about Negative Woman: she has a HeroClix figure. Negative Man, not so much.

  17. Anj says:

    I forgot that Val was in the Blackest Night Doom Patrol book. I try to forget it because Giffen had the Black Lantern DP Tempest (who shoots force blasts) have powers over controlling storms.

    Otherwise, I agree that Giffen/Clarke Doom Patrol series was a fun book, merging all the different Doom Patrols with little explanation of continuity. And the characters just rolled with it because ‘weird things’ happened to them.

  18. Frank says:

    Anthony Durso, Zook was otherdimensional, but not a baffling/nuisance imp. He was a pet/sidekick, and I suppose the Diabolu Idol-Head was the recurring supernatural troublemaker.

    Starro could be argued as an Aquaman foe, but exclusivity was probably Rob’s angle.

    Kyle, I know my role as designated WhoDickery Doc. It is to get Rob so flustered that he can’t even comment on his own show. Done. Also, I’m glad you’ve committed yourself to producing the Blue Devil podcast. When does the first episode go up? It’s been a week since you promised!

    I think the reason I came to like the Giffen/DeMatteis Doom Patrol so much is because it was the only inclusive series. The New Doom Patrol was a totally Marvelous knock-off group, and the Kupperburg/Lightle series was mostly a continuation of that. Morrison got rid of many of their characters as possible in favor of his own inventions. Arcudi then created his own characters, and then Byrne tried to pretend none of those series happened in favor of rebooting the original team through the prism of a tepid, undistinguished Bronze Age club. Only the last series said that every other book happened, and tried to have that make some kind of sense, while still being delightfully askew.

    Vinnie Colletta is my preferred Jack Kirby inker. Most of his embellishers fed into the “Kirbyness,” practically wallowing in his particular ticks that have often aged poorly in unintentional camp. Colletta challenged Kirby, and that aggressive synergy elevated the work. “Tales of Asgard” holds up better than virtually anything else from Kirby’s late Marvel period forward.

    John Byrne was one of the greats, and I enjoyed seeing him reinterpreted by most of the finest inkers of all time. Byrne’s worst inker is, of course, John Byrne.

    War of the Gods was DC’s opportunity to prove that they didn’t want Wonder Woman-centric events and would happily sabotage any attempts to offer an opposing narrative. Not forcing John Byrne to draw his own cruddy Genesis scripts and then assigning that fan favorite Ron Wagner instead continued the pattern. I’ll throw down for Bloodlines though, but there are zero angles for Aquaman or Firestorm in that, so it wouldn’t happen here.

    Jeff R., a revitalized Steve Trevor is one of my favorite things to come out of the New 52. I almost read that A.R.G.U.S. mini-series for him.

    Okay, now I just have to finish the non-Who’s Who-specific bookend commentary at The Aquaman Shrine… then belatedly comment on the last Power Records Podcast… and now there’s a new Fire & Water up? Dang…

  19. Anthony Durso says:

    Frank- So basically you’re saying that Zook is similar to Green Lantern’s pal Itty?

  20. Frank says:

    The Post-Crisis retcon zo’ok is like Itty, since they were both sentient space plants who worked with super-heroes. The Silver Age animal sidekick Zook predated Itty by thirteen years, and was closer to a Krypto than a Bat-Mite. Zook could stretch, track prey with his antennae, and generate extremes of heat and cold.

  21. Phylemon says:

    Rob, I apologize for not including you in the club of red-head loving comic geeks. We can use as many members as we can get.

    Couple of quick points:
    1. Shag, it is pronounced “pro-nun-ciation” guide, not “pro-noun-ciation”. Ironic, I know, but it bothered me throughout the podcast this time around.

    2. This has actually, bothered me for a long time and I’ve never thought to bring it up. Maybe others will back me up here. Why is Rob always so much quieter than Shag? With headphones I can usually hear you both, but without them, Rob is nearly inaudible.

    Okay, the issue itself:

    1. I’m stunned neither of you brought up the issues with Mr. Terrific’s anatomy. I don’t usually comment negatively on the art, but Terry Sloan’s head looks far too small for his body.

    2. I think other’s have mentioned this, but Mr. Miracle’s Mother Box is on his shoulder. He is the one pictured in the surprint.

    3. I am appalled that the Newsboy Legion entry didn’t include Flipper Dipper in the main image. I would assume that it was racism that caused the oversight, except that FD is racially insensitive in his own right, so political correctness is the more likely candidate.

    4. Both runs of Night Force were some of my favorite comics. I think others have mentioned it, but this would be a great concept to adapt to television.

    5. Shag could not be more wrong about Nighthawk being the center piece Western Hero in the DC universe. That title clearly belongs to Jonah Hex. Nighthawk is only in the running insofar as he is a rip off of the Lone Ranger.

    6. I love the idea of calling him “Gorgeous” George Perez! Well done, Rob.

  22. Martin Gray says:

    Hi Phylemon, re: ‘1. Shag, it is pronounced “pro-nun-ciation” guide, not “pro-noun-ciation”. Ironic, I know, but it bothered me throughout the podcast this time around.’

    Isn’t that Shag’s gag?

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

  24. Joe X says:

    Hey guys, new Who’s Who podcast listener here. I stumbled across you while looking for something else, and I’m hooked. I remember buying Who’s Who #1 from my LCS.

    I’m so tempted to become one of those guys who sends you a list commenting on every entry, but there’s enough of those guys already.

    I will say that in the mid-1990s there was some discussion floated on some DC-related mailing lists I was a member of about a CD-Rom version of Who’s Who, but I don’t think it went anywhere. These days it seems ideal for an app with micropayments, but there are several free websites that do pretty much the same thing.

    Todd Klein did a huge number of the logos for WW, and he lists a bunch of them on his website,

    As far as the crown of Retcon King goes: E Nelson Bridwell > Roy Thomas > Mark Waid > Geoff Johns

    Thanks for the hours of enjoyment so far.

  25. […] by Sholly Fisch with art by Dario Brizuela! The gang are hanging with Roy Raymond (plus recent WHO’S WHO PODCAST featured character, Mysto the Magician Detective)! Click the panel to […]

  26. Harlan Freilicher says:

    As the Who’s Who podcast approaches the issue with the most members of Infinity, Inc, I can’t help but reflect that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to rant about a topic of no real consequence.

    See, back in the day, I actually founded InFANity, Int, the unofficial fan club of Infinity, Inc, and published its newsletter/fanzine, the InfiniTimes. Yes, I was that geeky as a teen. But even a rabid fanboy like me could never find anything to like about one particular member of Infinity, Inc. Yes, I’m talking about the Feathered Failure. The Winged Wonder-Why-He’s-On-the-Team. Norda Cantrell, a.k.a. Northwind.

    So please, join me now as I piss on one element of one of my all-time favorite comics by one of my all-time favorite authors. Harlan Freilicher, founder of the Infinity, Inc. fan club/fanzine, proudly presents…


    1. Stupid origin.
    Norda Cantrell’s status as the offspring of a human and a bird-woman from the hidden city of Feithera is premised on Dr. Fred Cantrell seeing a woman with an actual BEAK and thinking, “Now, she is HOT!” She wasn’t hot. She wasn’t even a mammal. Then, we’re supposed to believe they could mate and hatch (that’s right, I said hatch) a baby.

    2. Hawkman Lite; VERY lite.
    Hmmm… How can we distinguish the winged bird-guy from his godfather, Hawkman? I know! What if we take away the things that make Hawkman an effective crime-fighter? No medieval weapons. No fighting skills. No aggressive instinct whatsoever. In fact, we’ll mention that his people are vegetarians so that it’s clear he’s strictly prey rather than predator. In exchange, we’ll give him “migra” powers, which give him all the crime-fighting advantages of a homing pigeon.

    3. Globlass.
    Northwind’s only weapon is the non-lethal disorientation gun he brought with him from Feithera and keeps on his person at all times. It’s not a bad weapon for a superhero, which makes it a shame that he almost never uses it. In fact, when it first shows up (several issues into the series), he only remembers he has it because it gets knocked out of his belt during a battle! He uses it that time, and then one other time during the entire series. Because, why would you use a weapon capable of taking down Solomon Grundy when you could fly around ineffectively?

    4. “You can talk to birds?”
    When he first appears in All-Star Squadron, Northwind launches a fleet of birds in a Hitchcock-style attack. It’s impressive. Which leaves one wondering why he NEVER does anything like it again! In fact, the only other time he talks to birds, he’s trying to get a bunch of seagulls to tell him what they’ve seen, and they’re too busy thinking about their dinner to pay attention to him because, well, because they’re just seagulls. Proving once again that Snow White would NOT have made a good addition to any superhero team.

    5. Lame look.
    Northwind’s initial costume was kind of boring. Weird stylized mask that was completely unnecessary, since he had no secret identity; the guy grew up in hidden civilization of bird-people in the arctic. Then, with issue 12, the Infinitors unmasked at a press conference, and Norda (like Nuklon) dropped the mask from his costume. Suddenly, his costume went from boring to just plain lame. Then, toward the end of the series, Norda left the team for a while (not that anybody really noticed) and turned up again in a costume that was actually kind of cool-looking. Of course, this being Norda, the cool costume went the way of his decent weapon and effective battle-tactic and never appeared again (although to be fair the series was canceled soon after).

    6. Lame personality.
    Norda was an amazing combination of dull, insecure, dull, socially awkward, and dull. In an “untold origin” story, Roy Thomas tried to portray him as a rebel who had rejected the path set for him in his secret bird-people city, but somehow it was never believable. It was like an untold origin story where Batman turns out to have worked as a standup comic for a few years. Then in his last appearance, Norda shows up acting all take-charge and capable. Needless to say, he never appears again in this form.

    7. Lame ever after.
    Roy Thomas once complained that the Infinity, Inc characters have been “strip-mined” ever since the series was cancelled. Can’t argue. Individual characters popped up everywhere (even in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman) with almost no attention paid to their original personalities, and frequent changes to their powers. So how did Northwind fare after the series ended? This character was so lame that it was literally decades before anyone found a use for him. They finally brought him back when Black Adam supposedly offered Norda’s bird-people refuge in Kandaq. But it wasn’t quite the Norda we’d all known and not given a crap about. No, this was a whole NEW Norda that nobody gave a crap about. We were told that pollution had somehow accelerated evolution for the bird people of Feithera. The result is that Norda has lost the power of speech (evolution at its finest), has a bird-head like the rest of his people, has wings that have pretty much replaced his arms, and has big, claw-like feet. Oh, and for some reason, he and the other bird-people all have hawk-heads now, so apparently they’ve gone from herbivores to birds of prey. No real explanation as to how this mutation occurred. No real explanation as to WHY it occurred, since you could’ve dropped Norda and the bird-people entirely without impacting the whole JSA/Black Adam storyline at all. But that’s Northwind for you.

    Thanks for listening, and remember our slogan:
    Northwind — Making Dr. Mid-Nite look impressive by comparison since 1983.

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