FAN NEWS

Ask...The Question 52nd Column Special: Can You Stump...The Question?

Alex Jaffe

Alex Jaffe

June 10, 2020

stumpthequestion_news_hero-c_v1_200610.jpg

HELLO! I’m Alex Jaffe, better known in our community as HubCityQuestion. For one entire year, I’ve made myself available every week to answer the most pressing questions that our answer-seeking, DC Universe loving community could dream up in their vast and vivid imaginations. It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to provide this service, and for the milestone of our 52nd column my editors and I decided to do something special: we challenged you to ask the most difficult questions you could possibly imagine, and I’d take the time to answer a select few of your most intriguing stumpers.

 

Well, that’s not too big of a deal, is it? That’s the sort of thing you can expect from “ASK… THE QUESTION” every week. So, as a show of my love and appreciation for you, I didn’t just answer a few questions through this challenge: I answered ALL of them… for each of the first 52 people to answer the call. Some of you came at me with some of the finest material I’ve ever considered. Some of you… were having a little fun at my expense, I take it. But who cares! This is a party, let’s all have fun together. And now, it is with love and affection that I begin my sacred task. Bring in the new 52!

 

 

WHERE THERE'S A WILL

GL-Anniversary_dcu_heroc2_MH_v111.jpg

1. “What is every single member of the green lantern corps? (And by every I mean every not just earth)” -NYJt3

 

Very brave!

 

 

WONDERFUL TOYS

 

2. “How many gadgets has Batman had during his entire existence?” -comicswithjordan

 

Fewer than he’ll have next month, and never enough to bring back his parents.

 

 

HOLA TANNERITOS!

 

3. “In the Teen Titans cartoon, what is the real name of the character Red X?” -nightwing616

 

Red X is played by voice actor Scott Menville. He played Kimmy Gibbler’s boyfriend on Full House!

 

 

EVIL TEAMWORK MAKES THE EVIL DREAM WORK

 

4. “Which villain has The Penguin teamed up with the most in the past 78½ years?” -Reaganfan78

 

The Joker! (Riddler is a distant second.)

 

 

MR. BIG STUFF

 

5. “I’ve asked similar questions, but for this, it’s time to go bigger: which writer has written the most DC Comics? Single issues, OGNs, digital firsts, all of it.” -TornadoSoup

 

Robert Kanigher -- and it’s not even CLOSE.

 

 

BIBLE STUDY

 

6. “In The Crime Bible: Five Books of Blood, what is the secret message transcribed around the pages of the Crime Bible?” -BatmanMazz

 

What kind of Question would I be if I didn’t know the secret of the Crime Bible code? Transcribed around the margins of each page in the Crime Bible that we see in this series is a code referencing words in the passages of the Crime Bible itself. Put them together, and they reveal a hidden, sixth passage:

 

From the words of Lilith, 6:6–13:

These are the words of Lilith, who divined that which was, that which would be, who made seen all things hidden and who did counsel The First, all bow before him, and was equal in all things to him, and who laid waste the lands of the righteous.


6. Behold, the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise the four, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and cause the drink of the thirsty to fail, and for this shall he be most praised.

7. In devotion shall come one with fists like unto stone, who strips flesh from bone, and who leadeth them of his kind that also serve The First, bow before him, and following in all things the high madame of his teachings.

 

8. Tremble, for there shall come a time when The Faithless will cast out the prophet from the city of the foolish and wise; and then shall the high madame be lost to us, and the followers of the First, bow before him, will lack for guidance, and be as lost as he in His wanderings.

 

9. Then shall he who strips flesh from bone go forth from the abandoned shore to seek another, to prepare the way for that darkness to come, and so shall pass on the knowing of the four to the Faithless, and her countenance will be as a scoured bone, devoid of feature and empty, and in it all questions will be writ.

 

10. And The Faithless will come to know each lesson in turn, and thus come to know the ways and words of Cain, bow before him, and be thus changed by them, and the devoted of the kind will look upon her, and see her for a sign of the darkness ascending, for she will turn the Fourth Lesson upon he who strips flesh from bone, and lay him low.

 

11. And then shall her vision become clear, and She who was Faithless will come to know her slavery, and see now her freedom, and the devoted of the abandoned shore shall fall on knee before her, and gaze upon her countenance themselves, and see their most-praised villainy;

 

12.  Then shall they call out to her, and call her Face-Less, and offer service of The First, bow before him, at her command, and thus shall she take a new faith, in service of Cain, and bow before him.

 

13. So shall The Face-Less lead them, and raise up the devoted, and herald the coming of the last high madame upon the world; and the gods once new, now old stained see the sign, and know the time of their reckoning is come.

 

To summarize, this is all a dogmatic interpretation of the events of the comic itself, showing that Renee Montoya was always destined to follow its path.

 

 

TIME TO AGLET IT GO

The Question.jpg

 

7. “I got to know what is so sinister about those aglets? The truth must be known!” -TheDankKnight1939

 

Okay, are you ready? The truth is… there is no sinister purpose behind aglets. In the JLU episode where The Question offers that immortal nugget of wisdom to his torturer, he’s really just attempting to frustrate him while stalling for time.

 

 

RIDDLED THROUGH

 

8. “How many riddles has The Riddler riddled in TV and movie history?” -reload

 

Only one: “How do I beat the Batman?” He’s asked it many different ways, and yet it remains unsolved.

 

 

GO GREASED LIGHTNING!

 

9. “What is the exact mix of chemicals, plus how much lightning did it take to give The Flash his powers? Asking for a friend…” -AshleyWilbanks

 

I can’t tell you that. Super-Villains might be reading this. But I will tell you the lightning component is much more important than the chemical compound. No mere bolt of electricity will do it; it has to come from the Speed Force.

 

 

PRESENT AT THE CREATION

 

10. “Alright. Who is the true creator of the multiverse. There are some who claim it’s Perpetua, others think it’s that little blue Guardian who turned evil. There are a lot of different stories for the DC creation, but who really did it?” -Behemoth

 

Literally, Gardner Fox and Julius Schwartz. But the truth when it comes to questions like these where new answers are proposed by new writers is that the latest version is always considered to be the “correct” one, until some other writer changes it again or changes it back. So right now, the Perpetua origin is the one we’ve got.

 

 

I'M BATGOD

 

11. “Of all the Batmen from all forums. TV comic book movie… got into a royal rumble which one would be the last standing. My pick would be samurai Batman.” -batmanbill1143.48539

 

There was a version of Batman in Kurt Busiek's Trinity who, along with Superman and Wonder Woman, literally becomes an all-powerful god. That one.

 

 

MISSING IN ACTION

Crisis-on-Infinite-Earths-header.jpg

12. “Besides Hal Jordan, which characters were absent from “Crisis on Infinite Earths”? To narrow it down, let’s go with named characters who’d made more than one appearance from June 1938 (Action Comics #1) - April 1985 (Crisis on Infinite Earths #1).” -wilkinswontkins

 

Nobody you’d miss.

 

 

YES.

 

13. “Is it possible to create a somewhat reasonable timeline for Pre-Crisis/Earth-2 Batman? Could we take every issue from Detective Comics #39 to his death in the pages of Adventure Comics #462, and somehow create a sequence of events?” -FerroLad

 

Sure.

 

 

STIFF UPPER LIP AND ALL THAT

Alfred Pennyworth.jpg

14. “How many times has Alfred made a witty retort to Batman in the comics, tv shows, and movies? (Live action and animated both included).” -ajm08g

 

I certainly haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about. Alfred Pennyworth has never been anything short of a consummate professional with Master Bruce.

 

 

SEND ME FORGET-ME-NOTS

 

15. “List all members of the Forgotten Heroes and all members of the Forgotten Villains.” -jaxxx

 

More of a command than a question, but okay. In order of age: the Forgotten Heroes are Congo Bill, The Ray, Rick Flag, Rip Hunter, Cave Carson, Dane Dorrance, Immortal Man, Animal Man, Dolphin, Atomic Knight, Ballistic, Patricia Trayce, Resurrection Man, and Fetish. The Forgotten Villains are Ultivac, Atom-Master, Mister Poseidon, The Faceless Hunter, Kraklow, and Enchantress.

 

 

FETCH THE PURPLE RAY FOR THAT BURN

 

16. “Who is Donna Troy?” -BatJamags

 

Not popular enough to carry her own solo title.

 

 

APOKOLIPS HOW MANY

 

17. “In how many issues has every incarnation of Darkseid appeared?” -ReepDaggle

 

620.

 

 

THE EDITOR SHOULD OBVIOUSLY BE INCLUDED

 

18. “Okay. How many artist, writers, etc has DC employed over the years? Everyone that works on the creative team. So no janitors or whatnot. You can debate with yourself over whether the editor should be included.” -TheBatmanofNML

 

2,761 writers, 2,607 pencilers, 2,553 inkers, and 472 editors (as of this writing).

 

 

MASTER OF MY PUBLIC DOMAN

Sherlock-Holmes.jpg

19. “What public domain fictional characters are real people in the DC Universe?” -mysterious_stranger

 

Ohhhhh, BABY, you KNOWWWWWWWW what I l LIKE! Yeah, let’s get all the way into this one. For now, we’re going to stick to literary characters, glossing over characters from mythology, folklore, and religion. Due to their epistemological nature, as discussed previously, belief in all of those figures makes them real. For the rest, here they are in order of age:

 

* Beowulf and Grendel, from the epic poem Beowulf, between 700-1000 CE. Featured in their own ‘70s DC comic series, and co-starred with Wonder Woman during Gail Simone’s run.

 

*King Arthur, Merlin, Morgaine le Fey, and the rest of the legendary characters of Camelot, dating back to the 1130s. Tied deeply into the lore of the Demon Knights.

 

* Robin Hood, his Merry Men, and all the characters of his legend, the earliest of which goes back to circa 1450. Met with many members of the Justice League and their allies in a number of time traveling adventures to 12th century England.

 

* Angelica and Argalia, from the 1483 epic poem Orlando Innamorato. Supporting characters to Arak, Son of Thunder.

 

* Queen Titania, Lord Oberon, and Puck from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1595. They oversee the fae-folk of the DC Universe just as they do in Shakespeare’s play.

 

* Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, also named Frankenstein, from the 1818 novel Frankenstein. Frankenstein is better known in the DC Universe as an agent of S.H.A.D.E.

 

* Arthur Gordon Pym, eponymous protagonist of Edgar Allan Poe’s 1838 novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. Grandfather to Neptune Perkins of the Young All-Stars.

 

* Bob Cratchit, Mrs. Cratchit, and Tiny Tim, characters from A Christmas Carol, a novella from 1843. Bob appears as a henchman of The Joker in Batman: Noël.

 

* Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan, protagonists of the 1844 novel The Three Musketeers. Batman, Robin, and the Boy Commandos met them in 17th century France in a number of time traveling adventures.

 

* Sweeney Todd and Nellie Lovett, staple melodramatic characters first debuting in 1846 penny dreadfuls. Their ghosts appear as enemies of Kate Spencer.

 

* Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, of the popular detective serial beginning in 1887. Sherlock’s adventures are shown to be quite real in the 50th anniversary issue of Detective Comics.

 

* James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis introduced in 1893. Figures into the same 50th anniversary issue.

 

* Count Dracula and Van Helsing, of the 1897 novel Dracula. Enemy of Beowulf in the ‘70s, died trying to bite Superman in the ‘00s. Van Helsing was introduced as the leader of the Van Helsing order of vampire hunters in 2011’s I, Vampire.

 

* Rima the Jungle Girl, of the 1904 novel Green Mansions. Member of the expanded Super Friends.

 

* Hugo and Abednego Danner, protagonists of the 1930 novel Gladiator. Sometimes cited as an early influence on Superman. Hugo Danner’s son is Young All-Stars member Iron Munro.

 

 

ONE IS THE LONLIEST NUMBER

Marquee_Convergence_5510ae9b1b06d7.71016622.jpg

20. “How many different DC multiverses have we seen? Of course, we know the proper number of them is infinite, but how many can we name and identify across all of DC (and potentially otherwise) media?” -Numbuh1Nerd

 

One. That’s the whole point of Convergence -- it’s all the same multiverse!

 

 

SO, NOT SPEED FORCE?

 

21. “How does @SuperBlueGrodd like every post right after it’s posted?” -Alias

 

He doesn’t; he just likes posts he reads in the community habitually, and happens to be active around the same times that you are. Also, not really the type of question this column is for, but I’m not being choosy today.

 

 

DO YOU EVEN SUPER-LIFT, BRAH?

 

22. “In terms of force-pounds, what is the most that Superman can deadlift?” -spietz6.32133

 

Okay, I want you to try something for me. Think of the highest number you possibly can. Got it? Good -- it’s higher than that. Something something Final Crisis.

 

 

MY BIG FAT KIRBY WEDDING

 

23. “In the animated feature, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, at the wedding of Rebekah and Orion, there is an incongruity or an error given the layout of this particular universe. What is it?” -AntLeon

 

Trick question! There WAS no wedding between Orion and anyone named Rebekah. He was betrothed to the New God, Bekka. Moving on!

 

 

LEMME CHECK PETS.COM REAL QUICK

Marquee_SUPSOANN_1_13_450_CMYK_5acd5b42ec6193.34179015.jpg

24. “Even if a kryptonian plays tag with him… what in all creation does Krypto use as a pull toy???” -c-m-woodworks

 

I’ve never seen Krypto use one, but there are all kinds of materials in the DC Universe which could be used to make a toy durable enough for a Kryptonian dog. There was a whole book about it.

 

LET'S ROKK

 

25. “We know the Legion of Super-Heroes first appeared in Adventure Comics #247 in 1958: Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl. But it was years before their civilian identities of Garth Ranzz, Rokk Krinn and Imra Ardeen were revealed. What issue did this reveal take place, I can’t find it; and what creator gave them their real names? For that matter is Salu Digby related to Ralph Dibny? Who thought it was a good idea to name Matter-Eater Lad’s planet Bismoll after a pink pepto?” -kkole

 

Superboy #147, E. Nelson Bridwell, probably not, and Jerry Siegel.

 

 

DOES PRACTICING IN THE MIRROR COUNT?

 

26. “Throughout all types of media (comics movies TV shows etc.)How many times has Batman said ‘I’m Batman’” -TheBatman.7002ofNML

 

I’m gonna say… 40. Yeah. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

 

 

TO THE MANOR BORN

batman 66.jpg

27. “Congratulations on 52 columns! I’ve never had a column go a full uninterrupted year, so three digital cheers for Alex Jaffe (cheer) (cheer) (cheer)…

I’ve held off on this for a while, but since we’re going hardcore…when was Batman’s home first called Wayne Manor? I tried finding it for a Titans Easter egg article back in 2018, but gave up after going through a few years of comics. Early issues called it Wayne Mansion, or other variations…even calling it “Bruce’s apartment” at one point…but I could never find where it was first called “Wayne Manor.” I’ve always been curious. I hope this isn’t the end of our friendship as I know it!” -Joshua Lapin Bertone

 

Well, not uninterrupted. I had to take a couple weeks off in December when the offices were closed for the holidays. The truth is, unless I’m missing some one-off use of the nomenclature in an obscure early issue, “Wayne Manor” didn’t catch on until it was used in the narration for the ‘60s Batman TV show. After the series debuted, Bruce’s homestead is consistently described as “Wayne Manor” throughout the comics. Anyway, who said we were friends?

 

 

A STARRO IS WARNED

 

28. “Who was really behind Lex Luthor’s plan to take down the Trinity by arresting Superman for animal abuse and pitting Batman and Wonder Woman against each other?” -YoYoFroYo

 

Okay, let’s see… this is a reference to an old conversation in an obscure community thread… looks like Starro, by way of Gorilla Grodd? Thank Rao for Community 2.0’s robust search features.

 

 

CUT OFF

 

29. “What is Choke (the villain from Birds of Prey Vol. 3)’s true identity?” -cyberbatgirl

 

The subject of an abandoned storyline.

 

 

SOUP NICETY

 

30. “What is Batman’s favorite soup?” -ralphsix

BAT SOUP.png

 

 

DON'T SKIP LEG DAY

 

31. “How fast does The Flash run?” -rarcand.12081

 

Faster than everyone else.

 

 

TITANS TOGETHER

 

32. “How many incarnations of the Teen Titans have there been? Who are all the members of the Teen Titans and Titans?” -Zuberi

 

Keeping this as simple as possible, and sticking to only the ones which have existed in the central continuity: there’s the original Teen Titans from the ‘60s (1), the New Teen Titans with Cyborg, Raven and Starfire from the ‘80s (2), the time-traveling Team Titans (3), the ‘90s Teen Titans led by The Atom (4), Arsenal’s team in The New Titans (5), the two incarnations of Teen Titans by Geoff Johns before and after Infinite Crisis (7), the temporary team of Teen Titans active during the 52 series (8), Titans East, Titans West, Titans L.A., the Terror Titans, Deathstroke’s own Titans around the period of Brightest Day (13), two incarnations during The New 52 led by Tim Drake (15), and another two post-Rebirth led by Damian Wayne (17). So, 17. The original team from the ‘60s has been reunited a number of times, but I don’t count those as new incarnations. As for who they all are -- intellectual property owned by DC Comics, a subsidiary of Warner Brothers, a subsidiary of AT&T.

 

 

PAGING SAM HUMPHRIES

 

33. “Is there any relationship between harlequin from Alan Scott green lantern and Harley Quinn?” -nickpryor00.4504

 

Nope. Weird, right? You’d think somebody would do something with that.

 

 

EYES WITHOUT A FACE

 

34. “A while back Bats met a Charles Maire [in 1939’s Detective Comics #34], as you can see he has an appearance identical to your own. So help out a fellow detective, do you know this man. If so do you have an idea why he would steal your identity, I have confidence you didn’t steal his.” -TheRealDetectiveChimp

faceless.png

 

Identical, really? My chin isn’t nearly that pointy.

 

 

PAGING SCOTT SNYDER

 

35. “Is there any connection between Diamond Jack’s black opal magic and Eclipso’s?” -Earth-Two-Kenn

 

No, but cool fan theory.

 

 

SEEING GREEN

 

36. “How many different constructs has Hal Jordan created?” -arkhamassassin

 

Well, I could comb through every single appearance Hal Jordan has ever made and count this up for you, but I don’t want to believe you hate me enough to make me do that. So instead, I did this: I took stock of unique constructs in 20 issues from throughout the history of the character, each one three years apart, to account for roughly 1% of his 2,000ish in-continuity appearances in his 61 years since 1959. Then, assuming a consistent rate of creativity, I multiplied that number by 100. Through those 20 issues, I counted exactly 50 different constructs. Therefore, we can extrapolate given the sample data that Hal Jordan has likely generated around 5,000 construct varieties between his debut and today.

 

 

SMARTY PANTS

power of shazam.jpg

37. “Why doesn’t Billy Batson get the wisdom of Solomon when he says Shazam? I mean it’s like:

* S

* H The strength of Hercules…check

* A The stamina of Atlas…check

* Z The power of Zeus...check

* A The courage of Achilles…check

* M The speed of Mercury…check

Wait, what about the wisdom of Solomon? … Nah, he’s just going to be a dumb kid.” -joesergi

 

A little comic book history lesson: the idea that Shazam (or Captain Marvel, as he was known before 2011) manifests as a child’s mind in an adult body is a relatively late addition to the mythos, considering the character’s prodigious past. Before DC reinvented the hero for the Post-Crisis ‘80s, Captain Marvel was essentially an adult entity who swapped places with Billy when he said the word. And as a grown-up, Big Red Cheese often employed better judgment and critical thinking to get to the bottom of his serialized challenges. (Many hardcore Captain Marvel fans still miss this incarnation.)

 

Since his complete integration into the DC Universe from his Fawcett Comics beginnings (and a stopgap time displacement origin in the ‘70s), the nature of Shazam was changed so that it was now Billy who remained in control when he transformed. Billy still has access to the Wisdom of Solomon, but it’s more of an active power than a passive one now -- one he has to intently call upon, which often runs counter to his impulsive streak. Still, the Wisdom of Solomon does give Billy certain constant advantages in the modern era, such as the ability to comprehend any sentient being’s language, and a perfect eidetic memory.

 

 

NO SICK DAYS HERE!

 

39. “Who appeared on DC Daily in the most episodes?” -Reaganfan78

 

I spoke to a few people involved with the production of DC Daily about this. Unfortunately, the complete show records are unavailable while the office is closed over quarantine. All I can say right now is that of the core group who have been part of the show since its debut, and haven’t taken off significant time for other projects, the answer would have to be Clarke Wolfe, Hector Navarro, Sam Humphries, Samm Levine, or Whitney Moore. (I also asked Hector -- his best guess is Clarke, though I *suspect* it may be Hector himself...) But I’m not giving up! When regular operations have resumed, I promise to report back with a more definitive answer.

 

 

IT'S RIGHT ON THE TIP OF MY TONGUE...

 

40. “How many version of crisis on infinite earths r there” -kingdomheartsfan2.0

 

The title is a clue.

 

 

WHAT A THRILL

 

41. “In Ditko’s Charlton work about The Question, I never really got the sense that Vic Sage was much of a thrillseeker. When Denny O’Neil wrote his '80s Question series, he pretty early on has Batman criticize his new Question for being something of an adrenaline junkie, instead of being a super-hero for the right reasons, (whatever those are). Now in Blue Beetle (vol 6) # 5-7, a post-Ditko, post-Crisis, but pre-O’Neil Question appears, and jumps out of the Bug somewhat recklessly if I might say so, which seems consistent with the thrillseeker characterization that O’Neil criticized, and that I don’t think is true to Ditko…

 

My question is, where did that ‘thrillseeker’ bit come from? Did some DC editor write up a ‘guide to the Question’ that claimed he was an adrenaline junkie or something, or did it come from anywhere at all?” -Nether-Lohengrin

 

I’m not sure I agree with the premise of your question. There’s a certain amount of showboating that goes into any decision to become part of the costume set. Did Vic Sage really need to become a masked mystery man to get the leads he needed, or was he doing it partly for himself? Is even Batman acting hypocritically in this scene, projecting his own motivations from personal trauma onto this newcoming crimefighter? Personally I interpret this early depiction of The Question in O’Neil’s first two issues as less a statement on The Question’s character specifically, and more about taking the entire Super Hero genre as a whole to task -- just as O’Neil had previously done with Hal Jordan in the first issue of his Green Arrow/Green Lantern saga. It’s a starting point from which to initiate change.

 

 

RING MY BELL

Hal-Jordan-Emerald-Twilight.jpg

42. “How many different Green Lantern rings has Hal worn over the years and what happened to them? Which is he wearing now? He started with Abin’s ring. He created his own. But current run makes it seem like he has his original ring again, which should not exist, if I remember correctly.” -Highball2814

 

Three. Hal’s original ring went to Simon Baz, during the first year of The New 52. Sinestro made Hal Jordan a second ring, which Hal was able to control himself after a fight against Black Hand in that same period. Hal had to abandon this ring shortly before the “DCYOU” era, while branding himself as a traitor to take some of the intergalactic heat off the Green Lantern Corps by crediting himself with their recent missteps. The ring Hal forged himself at the beginning of the Rebirth era was the one he was still using by the end of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, but both that series and the Green Lanterns book were concluded in 2018 to allow for a soft reset which would give incoming writer Grant Morrison creative control to explore a more Silver Age inspired version of Hal Jordan. For Morrison to tell his story, a few minor continuity changes were made, one of those being the idea that Hal has always had the same ring. It’s, all things considered, a relatively minor continuity hiccup, and I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

 

 

ROCK STEADY

 

43. “Specifically, what type of rock is the Batcave made of?” -Detective651

 

Not a lot has been written about the geology of Gotham County, but we do have one source we can consult... the famous nursery rhyme about Gotham City's Court of Owls. It begins as follows:

 

Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time

Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime.

 

As the Court's base of power is underground, we can therefore deduce that Gotham is built upon a bedrock of granite and limestone. So too, the Batcave.

 

 

EVERYBODY LOVES DICK

everybodylovesdick_news_hero-c_v1_191108.jpg

44. “Who’s had more girlfriends -- Jimmy Olsen or Dick Grayson -- and can you list them in your order of preference?” -MisfitCMJ

 

Definitely Dick, simply by virtue of being the focal character in far more issues over the years than Jimmy. And yes, I can.

 

 

DEATH TAKES A ZOOM CALL

 

45. “Have the multiple incarnations of death in DC ever interacted?”  (Death of The Endless, Nekron, Black Racer, Black Flash, etc)” -JulianStyles

 

They have! Death of the Endless, Nekron, and Black Racer all appear together in 1990’s Captain Atom #42, as many faces of the same entity. Each version of death we see in the DC Universe, this issue proposes, is just another aspect and expression of the same idea.

 

 

MAP DECISION

Multiversity_Map.jpg

46. “According to the DC multiverse map, there is only one hell, one heaven, one apokolips, but also infinite earths. Meaning that, in the entire dc universe, there is only one darkside, lucifer morningstar, the presence/god/the source. So if a person from earth 1 died and went to heaven, does the doppleganger from earth 2 go to the same heaven. Do they meet? Can the same person meet his/her infinite amount of dopplegangers in hell or heaven? Is god, darkside, lucifer morningstar aware of this? Would crisis on infinite earths affect this?” -Superman_167

 

The idea that there’s only one Darkseid, Lucifer, or supreme god in the multiverse is demonstrably untrue, given the number of contradictory stories about all of them. Like a single atom, the multiverse map from Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity is a simplified model of the much more complex nature of the universe. What you see on the map is where all relevant worlds lie in position to Earth-0, where the main DC Universe takes place. For instance, there are many more versions of the “evil doppelganger” universe than the one Earth-3 which is present on that map -- every universe may well have its own. Morrison and Snyder themselves account for this in their own multiverse-exploring series, where the mapped multiverse itself we see is revealed or alluded to as merely one cluster of many. The truth is, even as these maps and charts of the DC Universe are presented, the context of these stories which ostensibly explore the boundaries of the world such as The Multiversity or Dark Nights: Metal is always laden with the irony that any attempt to map out a realm of pure imagination will always be woefully incomplete. The greatest purpose to mapping a universe is to surpass it; to explore what lies beyond its corners and on the other side. An infinite universe, after all, allows for infinite possibilities. So why set limits? In the grand scope of all fiction, there is no “one true” version of anything. Especially when every story counts.

 

 

SHOULD WE CALL THE CALCULATOR?

 

47. “What single issue has sold the most copies?” -bd1

 

Because sales were tabulated differently for most of comic book publication history, consistent hard sales data for individual issues doesn’t exist prior to 1997. Since reliable sales tracking was put into place, the best selling issue published by DC Comics has been 2002’s Batman: The 10-Cent Adventure, with 702,126 copies. (One imagines the price point has a little something to do with that.) But before 1997, we do have some rounder, softer figures for certain landmark issues dating back to the early ‘90s. In this period, DC’s best selling issue was 1993’s The Adventures of Superman #500, featuring the return of Superman after his battle against Doomsday. A reported 4.2 million copies were sold, dwarfing the 3 million reported sales of Superman #75 -- the issue where Superman died.

 

 

WINNER WINNER, NABU DINNER

Dr. Fate.jpg

48. “Why doesn’t Doctor Fate have a show yet we’ve seen a lot of Easter eggs for him” -redx420fatboy

 

I don’t know! You’ve officially stumped me, redx420fatboy. This is the first time this has ever happened. Congratulations.

 

 

BOOSTER OF SELF-ESTEEM

 

49. “Hey Mr. Boss HubCityQuestion.

I have a couple of issues / comments/ questions, what ever fits; for you to pick apart.

The Flash has been responsible for Flashpoint and some other time travel related issues, So what is the deal with Booster Gold? How come Booster travels in time and there is no big dramatic disaster that spans the multiverse and etc. More over, how come Rip Hunter didn’t get more involved at any point in any story to stop The Flash or Booster Gold from screwing things up. At least a cameo to give a foreboding warning. Granted Booster Gold screws things up from the word go, and then instantly starts to work on fixing the issue , but it doesn’t get to the level of what Flash did. Yet I don’t see Booster Gold as the upper level super hero as Flash is, and I look at Booster Gold as just a screw up even on his best of days. That being said a side bar question, since Booster Gold is noted as having stolen his tech and is mainly out for his own self interest , why hasn’t anyone told Booster Gold, thanks but no thanks, you need to stop what your doing, go home, and leave all this tech to someone like Rip Hunter or The Creeper. Or maybe even Scooby Doo. Infact I would rather trust Scooby Doo with Booster Golds tech than leaving it to Booster Gold.” -GLCSector3295

 

Little tip, 3295 -- never ask a question at a Q&A that could be interpreted as “more of a comment.” With that said, every single one of these points is addressed in 52 and the subsequent 2007 Booster Gold series, when you read them from start to finish. I’ll provide you with this teaser: if you really believe that Booster Gold is an ineffective bumbling excuse for a Super Hero, then Rip Hunter’s plan to save the timeline is working.

 

 

"ASK METRON, YOU INSIGNIFICANT ANT" DOESN'T HAVE THE SAME RING, THO

Young-Justice-Outsiders-Episode-25-Metron.jpg

50. “Besides yourself, which DC character would be the best to hold a weekly column answering fan questions and why?” -superherowade

 

Metron, and his accursed omniscient Mobius Chair. Ohh, but I am jealous of that chair. Maybe then I’d know why doesn’t Doctor Fate have a show yet we’ve seen a lot of Easter eggs for him.

 

 

TO THE BATMOBILE!

 

51. “The iconic Batman ‘66 Batmobile 1st iteration was based on the Italian designed and built Ford Futura concept car. The other 3 were built off a different chassis. Who was the manufacturer and what was the chassis?

Bonus points for how much money was paid to Ford for the Futura concept car.” -DeSade-acolyte

 

The other three Batmobiles were built on a chassis for the Ford Galaxie -- and the original concept car, while valued at $250,000, was sold for one dollar. How do I redeem those bonus points?

And finally, a question from my editor, Dixon Gaines! I’d like to thank Dixon for 52 weeks of selecting images and pithy titles for each question in this entire series. Wouldn’t be the same without you, bud.

 

 

WHAT A SEARINGLY INTELLIGENT, DEVASTATINGLY HANDSOME QUERY!

Firestorm.jpg

52. “Hi HCQ! Long time editor, first time caller. Excited to Ask the Question!

 

Firestorm’s costume initially featured puffy sleeves from roughly 1978 until he merged with a Fire Elemental in 1989’s Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #85. He eventually went back to his old look and costume, but sans puffy sleeves. My question is this: who do you think told him he looked like a background dancer from the Pirates of Penzance and convinced him to drop the puffy sleeves? The Professor? Someone from the JLA?” -Dixon Gaines

 

Since the Super Hero community was founded by a bunch of folks who wear their underwear on the outside, it’s been an unspoken rule that heroes don’t make fun of each other’s costumes. With few exceptions, that particular issue is a glass Hall of Justice. But in Firestorm’s case, it was merely a matter of trading one questionable fashion choice for another, as he reinvented himself after a battle with leukemia to join the ranks of the X-Tremely ‘90s Extreme Justice. Now that he was no longer a fire elemental, Ronnie had the opportunity to ensure his outfit didn’t clash with the styles of his new teammates. Brace yourself for attitude.

 

And that, my friends, is 52 questions! For many years, I dreamed of having a space just like this one, where I could share my knowledge and passion for comics with the world. I’d like to thank each and every one of you for helping me keep this column alive, and I hope I’ve provided a few satisfactory revelations for you along the way. It is my solemn vow that as long as the fates continue conspiring to allow me to keep this silly little dream alive, I will always make myself available for you to ASK… THE QUESTION.

 

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.