ASK... THE QUESTION! Column Submission Thread

I think there’s a little misconception happening here that Batman created Brother Eye because of Sue’s death. The reason Batman created Brother Eye was due to a different, though related, storyline in the same series, where Batman discovered that the rest of the League had been altering his memories. That’s still part of Justice League history.

I should also say that there’s no evidence, just because Sue is alive, that her death didn’t happen. Characters return to life off-screen all the time due to cosmic shifts in reality. We don’t know whether Sue was somehow revived, or if the current state of history is that her death never happened.

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Before we close out Women’s Month, this March, 2024, let me piggyback off of your fine article from earlier this month, on some of DC’s creative female writers over the many decades since this company’s founding. I was searching through my library for something today. I came across a small softcover book from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. It was published by Image Comics, in 2016, and edited by Betsy Gomez. It’s title " She Changed Comics." Normally, I’d talk about this at Office Hours next week. But next Tuesday, will be two days into April. So I thought it more appropriate to do so now.

It looks at a large range of talent from across the spectrum, in all published media. From the Golden Age, through the Underground Comix of the 60s, Manga and the Bronze Age, right up through what was then, the present. From the writers, artists, letterers and colorists who were hired, to those in positions to oversee their work, and do the hiring. Also included were a dozen interviews with the likes of Gail Simone, Trina Robbins, and more. It’s a good little reference book (although not a complete listing) which I can’t recommend enough. It is a fine look at Women in the Comics. Which by the way, is also an excellent book in-an-of itself. Compiled by Maurice Horn, a legendary comics historian, and published by Chelsea House, in 1977. Looking back at 100 years of women expressing themselves through their art. Both books can be found on ebay and other sources.

And so, to those ladies past and present, who have contributed sooo much to our enjoyment of the worlds of fantasy, romance, drama, comedy and adventure, I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

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wait. Are you saying the mind wipe is still canon? I was under the impression that DC no longer acknowledged that, just as they no longer recognized most of Zany Haney Brave and Bold teamups. Or certain Byrne story arcs from his Superman run.

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I’m saying no statement has been made either way.

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Your mention of Byrne story arcs reminded me of his time at the helm of Wonder Woman’s title, back in the mid 90s. A rare misstep by Byrne (according to many fans) who were less than pleased with several story-lines. While I understand their objections to some depictions of her (reminiscent of the bondage themes that were prevalent at the hands of her creator), and other valid concerns, for the most parts, I found the stories enjoyable. Especially returning Hippolyta to the past, allowing WW to continue on in the era of the JSA. Having both older and younger Jay Garricks existing together in the same time and space (without the universe being torn asunder) made for interesting future time travel possibilities. That also created a duplicate Hippolyta. As the original from that time-line, was still Queen of the hidden island paradise of Themyscira. I guess John was too busy with his Dark Angel reboot of Donna Troy (another sore spot with some fans) to look into a Queenly meeting. As I don’t recall the two ever appearing together, during that time. These early post CRISIS reboots unfortunately set the stage for far too many others that would follow.

Anyway, didn’t mean to get off on a WW tangent. Occasionally, comments like yours open the door to related subjects of interest to me. I now return you to our learned, thread host, who kindly allows me to rant, from time to time! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hello @@HubCityQuestion :0_the_question_jlu: ,
It’s your friendly neighborhood Lincolnfan78! I was just on the internet and it said Smallville is celebrating 75th anniversary. So I was wondering, what’s the history of Smallville early years? Who invented the name, how did it get it start? Thankyou. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Superman’s pre-Metropolis history as Superboy began in 1945’s More Fun Comics #101, featuring a young Clark Kent growing up on his adoptive family farm. The town that farm was in would first get its name in 1949’s Superboy #2 – 75 years ago!

Now, the question of who first coined the term “Smallville” is tricky, as unfortunately Superboy #2 is one of many issues from the Golden and Silver Ages where our surviving records on who worked on that issue are incomplete. It’s most likely that Superboy editor Whitney Ellsworth was involved in the decision, but there’s no way to be absolutely certain it came from him. What we can say is that it wasn’t the choice of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, as neither were involved with Superman at the time.

As one of the few fictional cities in the DC Universe with a widely agreed upon and acknowledged state, Smallville was first identified as a town in Kansas in 1978’s Superman: The Movie. The 1980s Post-Crisis Man of Steel series by John Byrne would translate that fact into the comics. Smallville has remained a part of Kansas ever since.

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Has J’onn ever been upset at The Green Lantern Corp for not saving Mars?

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No, because Mars was outside their jurisdiction at the time. In Ostrander and Mandrake’s Martian Manhunter series, we see that millennia ago the Martians rejected the Guardians’ offer for protection, dismissing them as long as they were alive.

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Thank you

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They got arrogant huh?

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Considering that many of the worlds under the jurisdiction of the Guardians at the time of their refusal were eventually wiped out by Manhunters, I would say they made the right call.

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Wait but wasn’t Earth under their jurisdiction at that time?

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Good question. The Manhunters only came to Earth of their own accord after the massacre which led the Guardians to discontinue them, driving them into the shadows and operating in secret through the Cult of the Manhunter and choosing human agents.

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Oh ok! Thanks HCQ!

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I was waiting for the right moment to get into this. Now, seems like a good time. So, let’s talk Superman and the Martian Manhunter for a while.

Kal-el (and all other Kryptonians) are from the giant planet of Krypton. One possessed of much heavier gravity, and given life by a Red Sun, and other life sustaining elements. Very similar biologically to humans, their cellular structure undergoes change on our smaller Earth. Becoming immensely powerful under our lesser gravity and the “cosmic rays” from our Yellow sun. Or, so goes the pseudoscience. None of which of course, explains the powers and abilities of beings from our second nearest planetary neighbor, Mars. Similar in size to Earth, the same yellow sun that shines upon our own world, does the same to Mars. And yet, the powers and abilities attributed to Martians, have never been explained, that I’m aware of. They just seem to be there (without any rhyme or reason), whenever a writer wanted to get creative. Looking at everything this “Swiss Army Knife” of super-heroes can do (according to the DC Database), almost gave me a headache.

Now, I’ve always preferred the original (much less powerful) version from his early days as a back-up feature in Detective Comics. When being able to turn invisible, intangible was telepathic, could shapeshift and was green, made him different enough from the Man of Steel, to be interesting. Before time and various writers, turned the dial up to 11, and made him more powerful than Superman. Personally, I’ve always thought that the Martians originated on another world, or came from another dimension. Before coming to make Mars their home, for whatever reason. And before they came to the attention of the Guardians, and everything that followed thereafter. It might go a long way to explain why they can do what they do, but Earthlings, can not.

Of course, that’s just my own little theory. I haven’t seen a better one put forth, as yet. Or maybe, I just missed some story-line or mini-series that covered all that. What say you Q-meister? Thanks as always for your time!

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I’m afraid the heavier gravity explanation for Kryptonian strength fell out of fashion in the Silver Age, when the source of their power was changed to that of a yellow sun. As J’onn is a child of the Silver Age himself (depending how one measures, by zeitgeist if not by literal demarcation), his powers are a matter of biology, not deterministic evolution. Just as every Legionnaire has powers born from their own species, so too do the Martians.

An explanation which may suit you is that Martians had existed for much longer than humans have inhabited Earth, their civilization billions of years old to humanity’s mere million, giving them more time to adapt and evolve into their abilities.

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Ha! I knew you’d come up with something. Nice job sir!

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When did Wonder Woman last use the civilian identity of Diana Prince? And if no longer in use, was it fazed out, or perhaps dropped off on an alternate Earth? Thanks!

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The last time Wonder Woman used a civilian secret identity was in the 2006 “One Year Later” storyline, which Batman helped set up for her to continue living in man’s world while Wonder Woman continued to draw public enmity for her execution of Maxwell Lord. That status quo only lasted up until 2007’s Amazons Attack event, though, and Wonder Woman has remained a public figure ever since.

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