I was listening to a daily NPR program called Political Rewind recently. It was a continuation of a previous show about A.I. Fascinating, to quote Mr. Spock. A.I. of course, has been with us in various forms cinematically, for decades. Probably the first entry into that arena I remember, was an Adventures of Superman episode from season 2 titled “The Machine That Could Plot Crimes.” In which Superman “battled” the mysterious Mr. Kelso. Thinking computers have plagued heroes of every kind, in every medium as far back as the pulps.
We all remember Hal-9000 from the 2001: A Space Odyssey film, in 1968. Two more come to mind from the 70s, Colossus: The Forbin Project, and the Demon Seed. Many more have followed over the years. M3GAN being the latest example of that. These types of “bad actors” are nothing new to the comics. The last time I remember such an out-brake getting away from it’s creator, was when Batman’s contingency programs against rouge Justice League members got loose, in the Infinite Crisis maxi-crossover series.
That got me wondering if Brainiac has ever infiltrated the JLA satellite complex? Or infected the software used by Oracle to strike out at those connected to her computer network? Inquiring minds, mister City, inquiring minds. And yes, I know that Batman and family aren’t Brainiac foes per se, but, by hurting them, that would also hurt the Man of Steel.
Brainiac’s takeover of all the world’s and heroes’ technology is the basis of the New 52: Futures End event of 2014, which Batman Beyond must go back in time to stop from happening. And Brainiac goes head to head with Oracle for a memorable Birds of Prey arc as told in the original series between issues 69 and 75, “Between Dark and Dawn.”
Oh yeah, a bunch of times. You may want to check out a crossover between Impulse #21 and Legion of Super-Heroes #88 in 1996.
In researching Superman, for a Trivia Corner piece over at Office Hours, I came across the cover of Action Comics #310, from 1964. Story Title, “the Secret of Kryptonite 6.” Written at a time, when there were already 5 different versions of the deadly rock in existence. I’d forgotten all about the first appearance of Jewel Kryptonite, introduced in that story. I remembered it as being fake, for some reason. But it wasn’t. It was unique enough however, just being a remnant from Krypton’s Jewel Mountain.
The biological origin of the mountain itself, compared to the natural geological make-up of the planet, made this crystal ‘K’ something special indeed. I won’t spoil anything here, for those who haven’t read the story. But I do wonder, is Jewel-K still around in the new DCU? And if so, does it still affect certain Kryptonians in the same way? THANKS.
Jewel Kryptonite made a few appearances after Action Comics #310 in Pre-Crisis continuity, utilized by a young Lex Luthor in Superboy #115 that same year, and General Zod in 1983’s Action Comics #548-549. It hasn’t made any appearances in modern continuity since Crisis on Infinite Earths, but it was featured significantly in the Silver Age throwback event of 2000 set within the outmoded Pre-Crisis canon.
Got to issue a correction on this – Action Comics sets up Etrigan’s return to Hell, but the actual overthrowing of the triumvirate occurs in 1990’s The Demon#1-7. After a successful campaign against the forces of Hell, Merlin brings an end to Etrigan’s reign by bonding him back to the soul of Jason Blood.
Do you, or anybody else, know the real-world reason for why the Fawcett Comics characters (Shazam and friends) were moved from the fictional Fawcett City to the real city of Philadelphia? Does the city o’ brotherly love have some significance to Captain Marvel’s creators or the creative team that made the change?
I like all of the DCU’s fictional cities and I thought Fawcett was a good addition (especially since I just discovered it’s meant to be located in my home state of MN).
The setting of Shazam was changed to Philadelphia in The New 52, as part of Geoff Johns’ retooling of the mythology for better cinematic adaptation, with an eye on grounding Billy Batson’s story in the real world. Everything you see in the first Shazam movie takes inspiration from Johns’ New 52 Justice League comics, intended as a deliberate blueprint for an eventual adaptation. According to director David F. Sandberg, Johns chose Philadelphia because of its connection to Benjamin Franklin, invoking another legend of a real man calling down lightning.
Before I get into my query, I just wanted to tell you that I just picked up a reasonably good copy of the DC Universe pb series, titled Helltown. You had mentioned it, in response to an earlier inquiry about your namesake character. I was unaware of it at the time. I haven’t read it yet, but thanks for bringing it to my attention.
It seems like every time there’s a reboot of one kind or another, that always applies to Brainiac as well. By my estimate, there must be at least a 1/2 dozen variants across different mediums, thus far. I can only imagine this also applies to Brainiac 5. Of course I remember well their original appearances from Action Comics #242 (which also introduced the bottle city of Kandor), and issue 276 in Supergirl’s backup feature. Introducing several new Legionaries, including Brainiac 5 among them.
My queries are these. How does Brainiac’s Kryptonian origin (his latest, I believe, unless I have that wrong, of course), affect that of Brainiac 5? Likewise (staying with the Legion), what effect do all these present day changes to the SHAZAM family, have on CeCe Beck as Thunder in the far future? Or have these things yet to be dealt with? The Legion’s various reboots I’m afraid, have left me quite “lost in the woods” on this point. Thanks for your time, good sir!
Brainiac’s Kryptonian origins are an element of his character which is derived from Superman: The Animated Series. In the comics, he is still very much Coluan, as are his progeny.
CeCe has made no appearances in the latest incarnation of the Legion to date, so her status, like so many classic Legion concepts, is currently unknown. Perhaps it’s one of many concepts Bendis’s Legion reboot would have eventually explored had it found an audience.
Reading City Boy it appears Bruno Mannheim is going to be his major nemesis during at least the first story arc. That started me wondering, with all the various reboots, rebirths and flashpoints , do we know if he is still tied to the original Newsboy Legion or has that changed now?
I feel like I say this all the time, but the point of stories like Convergence, Death Metal, and Infinite Frontier is that the question “is such and such still canon” does not really have an answer anymore. It is, if the story wants it to be.
That said, Bruno Mannheim has not appeared in a comic with the Newsboy Legion since their first encounter in 1971. That mutual misadventure has yet to be confirmed or discredited by any specific incident since. Personally, I’d intepret that to mean that it did happen, or at the very least some version of the incident did, unless ever otherwise stated.
Up until the Crisis on Infinite Earths (and now again after the recent convergences), Clark’s cape (as well as his whole suit) was/is made of Kryptonian fabric that came to Earth with him in his rocket. As such it can’t be cut or torn or punctured except by something else from Krypton.