Tag Archives: justice society

DC Comics’ Paul Levitz

21 Aug

I met Paul Levitz, former President & Publisher, editor and writer of DC Comics, at the Singapore Toys Games & Comics Convention 2011 yesterday.

For more than 35 years with DC Comics, Levitz was responsible for hiring talents such as John Byrne, Marv Wolfman, Keith Giffen and Alan Moore. My favorites among his works as a writer include All Star Comics in the late 1970s, featuring the resurrected heroes of the Justice Society of America. He is credited with creating the Huntress of Earth-2, Helena Wayne.

My favorite of all Levitz’s contributions would have to be his run on Legion of Super-Heroes in the 1980s. He wrote Legion from 1981 to 1989, including the classic “Great Darkness Saga” where the LSH faced off against Darkseid.

Legion, with its ensemble cast  of more 30 super-powered teens from the 30th Century, was easily my favorite book at the time. I have the emblem of one of its members, Timber Wolf, tattooed on my arm. Even the electronic hardware I have at home (PCs, network drives, etc) are named “Ayla”, “Kara” and “Imra” after female Legion members.

Paul Levitz returns as writer for Legion of Super-Heroes on 21 September 2011 as part of DC Comics’ “New 52” line-up of new #1 comic books.

Grumpy Fanboy’s DC Comics Secret Identities Quiz

3 Sep

DC Comics recently revealed that, following Bruce Wayne’s return from the dead, Dick Grayson will hang on to the cape & cowl. That means that two characters will get to call themselves the Batman. (The last time this happened was during the aftermath of the Knightfall story arc, when Wayne forcibly reclaimed the Batman mantle from Jean-Paul Valley by beating him to a pulp. This time, it seems the sharing of the Batman name will be on decidedly friendlier terms.)

DC Comics has had a long career of characters sharing hero names. Over the years, names like Green Lantern, the Flash, Green Arrow, Doctor Mid-Nite, Doctor Fate, Wildcat and Starman have been passed down to a younger generation of heroes (usually family members or former sidekicks).

Think you know a lot about the secret identities of DC Comics characters? Take this quiz and find out.

Grumpy Fanboy’s Top 10 Comic Book Doctors

30 Aug

Comic book heroes and villains alike have earned – or presumptuously adopted – the title “Doctor”, hinting at a capacity for greater for good or for greater evil. Here are the most prominent Doctors in comic books:

10. Doctor Faustus

First appearance: Captain America #107 (Marvel Comics), November 1968

Born Johann Fenhoff in Vienna, Austria, Faustus was a criminal mastermind specializing in psychological methods of combat. In the Marvel universe, he fought the likes of Captain America, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, and allied himself with other criminals such as the Red Skull.

Why he’s on the list: He was behind the plot to assassinate Cap … and he succeeded!

9. The Doctor

First appearance: The Authority #1 (Wildstorm), May 1999

The Doctors are shamans gifted with elemental powers and assigned to protect the Earth. There is always only one Doctor at any given time and each retains the wisdom and abilities of previous Doctors. The most famous is Jeroen Thornedike, a Dutch heroin addict and a member of The Authority.

Why he’s on the list: The Doctor is among the most powerful beings in comic books, displaying abilities that include telekinesis, gravity control and time manipulation. Linked to the planet itself, his powers are virtually without limit.

8. Doctor Light

First appearance: Justice League of America #12 (DC Comics) June 1962

The most well known Doctor Light, Dr Arthur Light, was a criminal physicist whose hi-tech costume enabled him to manipulate light waves. He was portrayed for years as a relatively minor villain, fighting the Justice League, the Teen Titans and Green Lantern. His criminal associations included the Fearsome Five (a group he founded), the Suicide Squad and the Injustice Gang.

Why he’s on the list: Although often dismissed as a joke by the super-hero fraternity, Doctor Light did play a major role in one of the DC universe’s most pivotal story arcs, Identity Crisis, when it was revealed he once raped Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man. Identity Crisis would lead to breakdowns in relationships between key Justice League members.

7. Doctor Mid-Nite

First appearance: All-American Comics #25 (DC Comics) April 1941

Three heroes have used the name Doctor Mid-Nite. The first and best known, Dr Charles McNider, was a member of the “Golden Age” Justice Society of America, who fought against the Axis powers during World War II and operated as an elderly super-hero throughout several modern-day JSA adventures. His only superhuman power was being able to see in total darkness, which he exploited with the use of “blackout bombs”. McNider died heroically during the Zero Hour crossover story arc.

Why he’s on the list: Doctor Mid-Nite had the distinction of being one of the earliest costumed adventurers to use the title “Doctor”. He was also one of the world’s first blind super-heroes.  (McNider suffered from a condition known as “Day Blindness”.)

6. Doctor Fate

First appearance: More Fun Comics #55 (DC Comics), May 1940

The original Doctor Fate, Kent Nelson, was a member of the Justice Society of America whose mystical abilities stemmed from the helmet once worn by the ancient wizard Nabu. Like many of his “Golden Age” contemporaries, Fate fought magical enemies and petty criminals alike, battled the Axis powers during World War II, then fell into relative obscurity before being revived together with the “Earth 2”and later the modern-day Justice Society.

Why he’s on the list: Doctor Fate is one of the most powerful mystical beings of the DC universe, playing critical roles in a number of major story arcs. Apart from the many publications, he has also appeared in the Justice League animated series and the live action series Smallville.

5. Doctor Manhattan

First appearance: Watchmen #1 (DC Comics), September, 1986

Doctor Manhattan was a main character in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic graphic novel The Watchmen. As Dr Jon Osterman, he was killed in a lab accident only to be reborn with god-like abilities that allowed him to manipulate matter at the sub-atomic level or alter time itself. In The Watchmen’s alternative timeline, Doctor Manhattan single-handedly changed the course of human history by helping America win the Vietnam War and introduce alternative sources of energy.

Why he’s on the list: He is among the most powerful beings ever portrayed in comic books or in film, boasting even the ability to create life itself.

4. Doctor Strange

First appearance: Strange Tales #110 (Marvel Comics), July 1963

Strange was a former neurosurgeon who, following a career-ending car accident, studied under the powerful sorcerer known only as the Ancient One. While much of his career focuses on protecting humanity from magical threats such as the demon Nightmare, the Dread Dormammu and Baron Mordo, his skills are often tapped by other heroes against world-threatening opponents.

Why he’s on the list: In the Marvel universe, Dr Stephen Strange is “Sorceror Supreme”, the world’s most powerful mystic. The exact limits of his power are unknown, though one of his spells could cause Galactus himself to scream in terror.

3. Doctor Octopus

First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #3 (Marvel Comics), July 1963

Dr Otto Octavius was a criminal genius accidentally fused to four titanium-steel robotic tentacles in a lab accident. Dubbed Doctor Octopus (or “Doc Ock” to Marvel fans), he is among the best known and persistent Spider-Man villains.

Why he’s on the list: Doctor Octopus ranks #28 among IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Villains Of All Time and is named as a favorite of Stan Lee himself. Doc Ock has battled Spidey in every media he’s appeared in, from the comics, to video games, cartoons and film.

2. Dr Bruce Banner

First appearance: Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics), May 1962

Banner is best known as his alter-ego, the Hulk, following accidental exposure to a gamma bomb. Banner has been treated for the most part as a tragic character due to the loss of his very identity when he transforms into the rage-driven Hulk. He has had a wide-ranging career under a number of writers, who have portrayed him as from Avenger, to conqueror of the planet Sakaar, to the dictatorial ruler of a post-apocalyptic North America.

Why he’s on the list: As the Hulk, Banner is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, whose physical strength grows in direct proportion to his anger. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

1. Doctor Doom

First appearance: Fantastic Four #5 (Marvel Comics), July 1962

Dr Victor Von Doom is a criminal genius, accomplished sorceror and sovereign ruler of the Eastern European state of Latveria. His armored suit hides his scarred face, protects him from injury, enables him to fly, grants him superhuman strength and allows him to manipulate energy. In his many attempts at world domination, he has clashed with the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and even the X-Men.

Why he’s on the list: Doom is the textbook comic book super-villain: egotistical, obsessively intent on conquering the world and having the resources to do it. His very name “Doctor Doom” is so deeply ingrained in popular culture that it is often used when referring to real-life personalities, from climatologists to economists.

See the greatest Doctors battle it out in my Youtube channel!