I’m sure that one page of Trinity #13 — you know the one I mean — was plotted and probably drawn before I even thought about annotating this series … but still, fellas, come on! You couldn’t have published it before I had a newborn to take care of?
(sigh) At least a good bit of fighting balanced things out.
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“That Was A Sonic Boom” was written by Kurt Busiek, pencilled by Mark Bagley, inked by Art Thibert, colored by Pete Pantazis, and lettered by Pat Brosseau; Rachel Gluckstern, assistant editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: Superman’s powers + the other Trinitarians’ ethics = watch out!
– Last week I thought Firestorm’s powers weren’t working as well on the robot dogs because they were somehow organic. This week Red Tornado calls them “security automata,” so I guess they’re not …? (Okay, they could be partially organic; but I’m letting this one go.)
– The current Atom, Ryan Choi, was created by Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, and John Byrne, and first appeared in the DCU: Brave New World special (August 2006). Like his predecessor, he’s a physics professor at Ivy University in the fictional DC locale of Ivy Town. Wonder Woman offered him JLA membership in The All-New Atom #18 (February 2008), but he hasn’t done much with the team until now.
– Atom’s method for disabling the CSA’s security system makes a little — no pun intended, but emphasis on the word “little” – more sense than Jeff Goldblum uploading a virus to an alien mothership from his PowerBook. Still, I think it works in the context of the anti-matter universe’s relationship to the main one.
– Ray Palmer, a/k/a the Silver Age Atom, was created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane and first appeared in Showcase #34 (September-October 1961). A longtime member of the original Justice League, he’s now the League’s science advisor emeritus. His “been a long time” comment probably refers to his self-imposed exile in the Multiverse following the events of Identity Crisis (August 2004-February 2005). Said exile lasted over a year, and was one of the subplots of the Countdown miniseries (2007-08).
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– Prior to Wonder Woman’s 1986 revamp, having a male chain her bracelets together would nullify her super-strength. That may not apply to Superwoman, but Superman’s probably betting that welding her bracelets together would at least slow her down.
– It’s not like Superman hasn’t shown strategic thinking, including as written by Busiek, but I presume we’re supposed to see this strategy being more on Batman’s level.
– Note Superman’s glowing red eyes, in the last panel and elsewhere. This is never a good sign.
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– Enigma’s comments about “failing to brand Batman” make me wonder why we haven’t seen the Howlers attacking Superman, especially with Superman’s vulnerability to magic. In fact, Superman handled the Howlers pretty well, getting them off Batman’s back in issue #9. Maybe that comes into play later, once all the artifacts are collected?
– Of course, for me there’s “branding Batman,” and then there’s the Bat-Brand.
– “Infernatu!” Did Enigma get S.P.H.E.R.E. from Hogwarts? (Probably from the Weasley brothers….)
– “Idol-head”: Sorry, I got nothin’. The Riddler didn’t have a satellite headquarters, near as I can remember. The closest I can come is Batman’s “Brother I” satellite, seen first in The OMAC Project #1 (June 2005).
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– “… marooning you in the interdimensional void”: That sounds like the fate of the original Earth-3 Crime Syndicate — stranded in an interdimensional prison by the Earth-1 and Earth-2 Green Lanterns back in Justice League of America #30 (September 1964) — as used to describe the immaterial existence of a Phantom Zone prisoner. In fact, this may be the CSA’s equivalent of a Phantom Zone projector.
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“Drop The Coffin And Surrender” was plotted by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, scripted by Nicieza, pencilled by Tom Derenick, inked by Wayne Faucher, colored by Allen Passalaqua, lettered by Ken Lopez; Rachel Gluckstern, assistant editor; Mike Carlin, editor.
In Brief: The Dreambound get the last artifact, but scads of superheroes mobilize to stop them.
Page 13 (story page 1)
– The figures in shadow are Donna Troy and Lady Blackhawk.
– Donna Troy … you know, I could slide by with Hawkman, but she’s a little tougher to summarize properly. Donna Hinckley Stacey Troy Long was created by Bob Haney and Bruno Premani and made her first appearance as Wonder Girl in The Brave and the Bold vol. 1 #60 (June-July 1965). Her backstory was revealed by writer Marv Wolfman and artists Gil Kane and Nick Cardy in Teen Titans vol. 1 #22 (July-August 1969). It was expanded upon greatly by Wolfman and George Pérez, first in The New Teen Titans vol. 1 #38 (January 1984), and later in The New Titans #s 50-54 (December 1988-March 1989). John Byrne also played with her origin in and around Wonder Woman vol. 2 #s 123-25 (July-September 1997). Essentially, Wonder Woman vol. 3 #1 (August 2006) established her as Wonder Woman’s sister, raised as an Amazon on Themyscira. Donna traded in “Wonder Girl” for the codename “Troia” in The New Titans #55 (June 1989), but lately has been going simply by “Donna Troy.” She’s also been a Darkstar, which you might remember as an organization analogous to the Green Lantern Corps. She’s the widow of community college professor (and Internet punching bag) Terry Long. Her current costume, designed by Phil Jiminez, first appeared in JLA/Titans #1 (December 1998).
– Lady Blackhawk, a/k/a Zinda Blake, was created by Jack Schiff and Dick Dillin and first appeared in Blackhawk vol. 1 #133 (February 1959). She’s a World War II-era aviatrix transported to the present day during the time-twisting events of Zero Hour: Crisis In Time! (September 1994). Her first modern appearance was in Guy Gardner, Warrior #24 (September 1994). She’s currently one of Oracle’s primary “Birds Of Prey” operatives, first appearing in that title in issue #75 (December 2004).
Pages 14/2 and 15/3
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– The Ares statue depicts the god of war as designed by George Pérez for Wonder Woman vol. 2 #1 (February 1987), et seq. On her first Vol. 2 adventure, Diana thwarted Ares’ plans to prod the United States and the Soviet Union into war.
– The Cheetah was created by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter and first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 1 #6 (Fall 1943). The original Cheetah was socialite Priscilla Rich, whose jealousy of Wonder Woman expressed itself through a homicidal second personality. The second Cheetah was Deborah Domaine, who first appeared in issue #274 (December 1980), written by Gerry Conway and pencilled by Jose Delbo. Both were essentially women in costumes.
– Barbara Minerva was the first post-revamp Cheetah, and was created by George Pérez. She first appeared (out of “costume”) in WW v. 2 #7 (August 1987), and as the Cheetah in issue #8 (September 1987). She was an archaeologist who, through mysterious rituals involving a jungle cat-god, could transform herself into a part-human, part-cat creature.
– Sitting on the telephone pole with Robin is his Teen Titans teammate Ravager, a/k/a Rose Wilson, who was created by Marv Wolfman and Art Nichols for Deathstroke The Terminator #15 (October 1992). Rose is Deathstroke’s daughter. Her brother was Grant Wilson, the first Ravager, created by Wolfman and Pérez for The New Teen Titans vol. 1 #1 (November 1980). As shown in issue #2 (December 1980), Grant died on his mission to destroy the Titans. Rose became the Ravager in Teen Titans vol. 3 #8 (April 2004).
– Julia Kapatelis, Dean of the Department of Geology at Harvard University and (at one time) Wonder Woman’s first friend in Patriarch’s World, and her teenage daughter Vanessa, were created by George Pérez. Both first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #3 (April 1987). Diana spent much of her early years in America with Julia and “Nessie.”
– The Silver Swan was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan and first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 1 #288 (February 1982). She was Helen Alexandros, who made a deal with the war-god Mars for superpowers and a beautiful appearance. As revamped by George Pérez and Len Wein, the character reappeared in WW vol. 2 #15 (April 1988) as Valerie Beaudry, who made a similar deal with an evil corporate fat-cat. Valerie eventually reformed. Ironically, each of those first appearances was in stories titled “Swan Song.”
– Vanessa’s path to Silver Swan-dom went through manipulations by Doctor Psycho (see below), the sorceress Circe, and another evil tycoon, each of whom helped use Diana’s eventual departure from the Kapatelis household to stir Nessie’s feelings of abandonment into hatred of Wonder Woman. Vanessa first became the Silver Swan in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #171 (August 2001).
– The girl in Giganta’s office is the teleporting Misfit, a/k/a Charlotte “Charlie” Gage-Radcliffe, created by Gail Simone and Paulo Sequiera, who appeared first in Birds Of Prey #96 (September 2006).
– Giganta was created by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter and first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 1 #9 (Summer 1944). Originally Giganta was a female gorilla “evolved” into a human by Professor Zool (no relation to this Zuul). The modern Giganta is Dr. Doris Zeul, presently a colleague (and onetime date) of Ryan Choi at Ivy University who can grow to immense size. She first appeared in this form in Phil JIminez’ Wonder Woman vol. 2 #175 (December 2001). [EDITED TO ADD:] John Byrne had previously done a riff on the Giganta origin ’round about WW v.2 #125 (September 1997). He introduced the dying Dr. Zeul, who tried to transplant her brain into Wonder Woman’s then-comatose body. However, Dr. Z ended up with her brain in the body of a gorilla called “Giganta.” When next seen in issue #175, Dr. Zeul was in the familiar Giganta body. The brain-swapping which got Zeul’s brain into the body of a circus performer named Olga was explained in issue #180 (June 2002).
– The man in the cape with Nightwing is Doctor Mid-Nite, a/k/a Pieter Anton Cross, M.D. The original Doctor Mid-Nite was created by Charles Reizenstein and Stanley Josephs Aschmeir, first appeared in All-American Comics #25 (April 1941), and died in Zero Hour: Crisis In Time! #2 (September 1994). Dr. Cross was created by Matt Wagner and John K. Snyder and first appeared in the Doctor Mid-Nite miniseries ([March-May] 1999).
– Doctor Psycho was created by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter and first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 1 #5 (June-July 1943). Originally he was a creepy little person with mind-controlling abilities who farmed ectoplasmic energy from the brains of hypnotized women, mainly his wife. Today he’s just a creepy little person with mind-controlling powers. The modern Doctor Psycho was created by George Pérez and Jill Thompson and first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #55 (June 1991).
– Maxwell Lord IV was created by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire and first appeared in Justice League vol. 1 #1 (May 1987). One of DC’s ubiquitous billionaires, he worked (behind the scenes at first) to organize, fund, and shepherd what became known as Justice League International. However, Max had his own agenda, which eventually involved working behind the scenes to exterminate every superhero on Earth. Max also had his own considerable mind-control abilities, which he used to ill effect on Superman. Confronting Max and his super-pawn, Wonder Woman realized that the only way to break his hold over her friend would be to snap Max’s neck. This she did in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #219 (September 2005). Immediately thereafter, the Brother I satellite (which had also been under Max’s control) broadcast the deed on worldwide TV, eventually causing Wonder Woman to go into hiding for about a year.
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– Ah, wacky tombstones!
– The “Romeo” tombstone may be a reference to inker Romeo Tanghal, but I suspect it’s “Romero,” as in Night of the Living Dead’s director George A. Romero.
– Okay, here we go. Players not already identified include Supergirl, Stargirl, Miss Martian, Starfire, Wonder Girl, Damage (next to Robin), Raven, Red Devil, and Cyborg (under Geo-Force’s arm).
– Team affiliations: Wonder Girl, Ravager, Red Devil, Robin, and Supergirl are (or were, in Supergirl’s case) all Teen Titans. Grace, Katana, Metamorpho, Geo-Force are all Outsiders, as was Nightwing. Donna, Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, and Cyborg are all Titans. Stargirl, Damage, and Doctor Mid-Nite are all Justice Socialites. Huntress, Misfit, and Lady Blackhawk are all Birds Of Prey.
– Supergirl, a/k/a Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El, was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino and first appeared in Action Comics #252 (May 1959). The original Supergirl died in Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 (October 1985). The current version first appeared in Superman/Batman #8 (May 2004).
– Stargirl, a/k/a Courtney Whitmore, was created by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder and first appeared in Stars And S.T.R.I.P.E. #0 (July 1999). She originally called herself the Star-Spangled Kid, after the original Golden Age hero who was friends with her stepfather. (Sylvester Pemberton, the first SSK, was created by Jerry Siegel and Hal Sherman and first appeared in Action Comics #40 (September 1941).) However, when Jack “Starman” Knight retired from superheroics in Starman vol. 2 #80 (August 2001), he passed on his Cosmic Rod to Courtney, and she changed her codename accordingly. The Cosmic Rod performs many of the same energy-projecting functions as the Kid’s Cosmic Converter Belt, including enabling its bearer to fly.
– Miss Martian, a/k/a M’Gann M’orrz, a/k/a Megan Morse, is a White Martian (as opposed to the late J’Onn J’Onzz, who was a Green Martian) with the usual range of Martian super-powers: basically all of Superman’s, plus shape-shifting, invisibility, telepathy, and immateriality. She was created by Geoff Johns and Tony Daniel and first appeared in Teen Titans vol. 3 #37 (August 2006).
– Wonder Girl II, a/k/a Cassandra “Cassie” Sandsmark, was created by John Byrne for Wonder Woman vol. 2 #105 (January 1996). First appearing as Wonder Girl in issue #111 (July 1996), originally she used various magical devices to give herself super-strength and the power of flight. She has since been given her own set of super-powers and Amazon equipment. Her current look has been developed from the designs of penciller Todd Nauck in Young Justice (see, for example, issue #47 (September 2002)).
– Damage, a/k/a Grant Emerson, was created by Tom Joyner and Bill Marimon and first appeared in Damage #1 (April 1994). The DNA of several super-folk swims in his cells, and he has energy powers which he can use to either enhance his physicality or release in a big explosion. His current look was designed by Dale Eaglesham and first appeared in Justice Society of America vol. 3 #1 (December 2006).
– Red Devil, a/k/a Eddie Bloomberg, f/k/a Kid Devil, was created by Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, and Paris Cullins, and first appeared (as Eddie) in Blue Devil #1 (June 1984). The nephew of Dan “Blue Devil” Cassidy’s boss Marla Bloom, Eddie became Kid Devil in issue #14 (July 1985; pencilled by Alan Kupperberg). Originally a teenager with a costume and Blue Devil’s original electronic trident, a deal with the diabolical Neron turned him into an actual demon (as of Teen Titans vol. 3 #42 (February 2007), written by Geoff Johns and pencilled by Peter Snejbjerg). He adopted the “Red Devil” name in last month’s TT v.3 #61 (September 2008).
– Raven, Starfire and Cyborg were created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez and first appeared (as charter members of the New Teen Titans) in DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980). Raven (a/k/a Rachel Roth) is the daughter of the extradimensional devil named Trigon; Starfire (a/k/a Kory Anders, a/k/a Princess Koriand’r of Tamaran) is, you guessed it, an alien princess; and Cyborg, a/k/a Victor Stone, is the recipient of life-saving cybernetic implants which happen to give him super-strength and let him plug in useful gadgets.
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And with that, we’ve reached the end of Trinity‘s first quarter. While I don’t expect the Crime Syndicate arc to last much longer, I will say it’s given the book a good shot of adrenaline. I’ve also enjoyed how the characters’ introspective observations feed into the overall plot. I’ll be looking forward to the next 39; and I’ll see you here next Friday for more trivia!