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DC Talk – with Hal 1/13/14

Oh, hey.  Welcome back to Comical Musings.  I don’t really understand how the internets work, and I expect that there is a reasonable chance that you ended up reading our blog completely at random, so it is important that I identify the name of our site up front.  I’m the proprietor’s brother Hal, and I focus my prosaic exhortation on DC’s comics, so this post would logically be called DC Talk-with Hal (I think it’s probably also important to identify the column you are currently reading, because otherwise how would you know the link took you to the right place.?)

Sarcastic introductions aside, if each individual post in this series got a unique title, this one would be called “Who’s Who in the DCU.”  If you’re familiar, Who’s Who books are popular scams around academic institutions, offering sub-Facebook quality updates on your fellow alumnus’ statuses, for some straight up cabbage.   You probably have to chip in a few extra ducketts to get them to retract the comment that they heard you were turning tricks for a cat named Montavion.  Anyway, you might get the impression that I’ve gotten a few too many “invitations” to be included in “Who’s Who” publications for my alma matter.  No worries. I’m sure it’s a thing.

But there are a couple of individuals in some of DC’s current stories whose who I am unable to identify.  This is an intriguing paradox of mystery for me because I am usually good at figuring out the identity of secretive masked heroes.  But at the moment, there are two mysterious individuals in DC’s ongoing titles, and when I ponder their identities I have no strong suspicions.

But before I get into them, I want to take a moment to recognize someone who stands head and shoulders above all comic characters.  I just got back from an event honoring the long-time friend of our blog, Rick Cromack.  He was our first “interview with the industry” and he has supported Scott’s vision for this blog ever since.  As far as we’re concerned, he stands as a larger-than-life figure in the realm of retail comics and games sales (not to mention he’s a paradigm of what customer service and customer relationships should be).  Tonight marked another major career transition for Rick; and I’m glad I was able to be present among the hordes of friends and supporters to cheer him on, even if Scott brought me to help cover the two-drink minimum.

Rick, we look forward to seeing what you’ll do next.  Thanks for believing in us.

Rick may not be a DC character, but you know who is?  Batman on Earth 2.  So the real Bruce Wayne Batman died back in issue# 1.  But now we’ve got someone else who has taken on the mantle; and he’s a real B A (you know, a real bad a$$.)  The problem is that I can’t figure out who he really is.  As far as I can remember, the only clue to his identity is that he regrets not being present when the original Batman died.  This new Batman is clearly willing to use lethal force, just ask the Joker.  But who is he?  Is it Azrael?  Is it Nightwing?  Is it Terry McGinnis? (He does have a red and black color scheme.)  Is it Charles Bronson from another dimension?  I really don’t know.  But I’m 70% sure it’s not Grifter, this time.  Obviously, I was already following Earth2, but if I wasn’t, I might start because I’m really curious to find out who is behind the mask.




They probably give it away in this month’s issue and I sound like a complete doofus (again) because I haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet.  (If that turns out to be the case, I will update you on my derp-status.)  Wouldn’t it be weird if it was Alfred?  But I think that’s unlikely because DC already has one alternate Alfred running around causing trouble.

Speaking of which, when the Outsider brought the Crime Syndicate to our dimension they brought along a mysterious masked captive.  “The Grid” scanned him and detected no super powers, but Super Woman confirmed that this individual was very dangerous.  So far all this person has done is stare at the inside of a potato sack and keep a chair warm.  The Crime Syndicate clearly seems to be afraid of this person, but they are unwilling to kill him, so they just keep him drugged and locked in a closet.  From the few glimpses we’ve been given the person appears to be an adult male.  So who is it?  (R. Kelly! because he had an album with the word closet in the title.  Ha ha.  I’m so clever.)




It seems logical that if the Crime Syndicate doesn’t like this person then they were a “good-guy” back in the Crime Syndicate’s original dimension.  So their analogue in our dimension should be a “bad-guy.”  Scott is convinced that it is Alexander Luthor Jr.  I think he instinctively roots for gingers at every possible opportunity.  Alexander Luthor hasn’t appeared in the New52 yet, but I think it’s unlikely that he is the Crime Syndicate’s captive.  If Alexander Luthor Jr. was a problem for them back in their home dimension, why wouldn’t they just kill him?  Also if that were the case, then I would expect that Lex would have been the first person they drafted when they landed in our world.  It’s possible that Alexander Luthor Jr. could be part of some uber-strategy, but that would have required some impressive pre-cognition, and I don’t think Lex Luthor’s secret weakness is hearing Maury say, “You are the father.”

There are other powerless characters who it could be, Deathstroke for example.  Deep down, I sincerely hope it is the other dimension’s version of Killer Moth.  But I think all these options are unlikely for reasons similar to those listed above.

It could be that something bad will happen if they kill the mystery person, so they keep him alive. (But then I would think that “The Grid” would have detected that too.?)  Instead, my theory is that the Crime Syndicate is keeping this person as an ace-in-the-hole.  He’s bad too, but he’s too destructive and unpredictable to let him roam free.  If things go south for the Syndicate they’ll turn him loose and KABOOM.  “The Grid” says he has no powers, but maybe his powers are magic based so “The Grid” couldn’t detect them.  What I’m saying is that maybe they brought Earth 8’s Billy Batson.

Now you may object that we already have an anti-Shazam, but Black Adam still respects rules and justice in a twisted way.  Imagine a Shazam that was as evil and chaotic, he might be more of a… Foxy Shazam.  If they let him loose, then things would likely go downhill quick, for everyone.  The Syndicate’s mystery captive appears to be an adult, but their Batman is Thomas Wayne Jr., so I don’t see that as a problem.

It’s just a theory.  I’m not even strongly convinced of it myself.  Do you have your own ideas about the identity of Earth2 Batman or the Crime Syndicate’s captive?  Feel free to leave a comment below.  Don’t worry, no one reads the comments, so it will still be our secret.  Heck, if you know who they really are then drop a red herring in the comments to throw the rest of us off the trail.




That’s all for now.  I’ll close by informing you that the people here at Comical Musings (the blog you are currently reading) appreciate you for reading (even if the internet brought you here by accident.)  Maybe I wrote this by accident, you don’t know.  Finally, I’ll remind you that the thing you just read was written by someone named…



About Hal

Favorite Comics: Flaming Carrot, Prophet, Dial 'H', Silver-age Green Lantern

Defining Quote: "Y'all don't want to hear me, ya just want to dance." -Andre 3000


  1. My thanks for the kind words. It was fantastic seeing everyone at my farewell get-together!

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