Crisis Who? III

Does Who's Who act as a spotter's guide to Crisis on Infinite Earths? Part I and Part II of this investigation confirmed it does not. DC's Directory is missing some key players like Earth-1 Wonder Woman and Fireman Farrell (who?! just go read it), so how will the third act of Crisis compare? Issue 9 itself is massive (it's the ones with all the villains on the cover) and there are consequently a lot of omissions. So while I thought I might do this in three parts, I guess it's gonna have to be four. This time around, Who's Not in Who's Who from Crisis #9...
Let's start with a couple of whoopsies that got immediately fixed in the first update. Darwin Jones' omission can probably be forgiven since he never actually headlined a strip (i.e. put his name above the title), as a higher-up in the Department of Scientific Investigation, he regularly appeared in Strange Adventures through the 50s and mid-60s. Alas, no respect for a civilian hero. Also note that he's being interviewed by Megan O'Dell, a reporter from Blue Devil (see the bottom of this here article).
One omission that can't be forgiven is Vibe's. No other member of the Justice League of America was so slighted, not even the ones who lived in Detroit. This, more than any other absence in the first volume of Who's Who, is a MISTAKE and not a choice.
Speaking of Detroit, I really think Dale Gunn should have had a Who's Who entry. Just a support staffer for JLDetroit, but holy hell, he was cooler and more badass than any of the new kids on the team. BAD. ASS. And he had a cool power armor, so it's not like it's gonna look like just another civilian. Where the Chuck Patton piece we were denied?
Ok, so at this point, villains from Earth-4, i.e. Charlton Comics, make their appearance, which means there's suddenly a lot of obscure characters on the page that necessitate a Who's Who entry. Or else, we're lost! First up is a character that I think they decided was the Ghost, a Captain Atom villain that got an entry, but the Ghost has a kind of pharaonic headdress. This guy, on the cover and in the interior art, doesn't. I think he was conflated with the Question villain known as Banshee. That's the Banshee's mask, but his gliding wings are normally a lot bigger, so he's been given the Ghost's color scheme (if we can call it that) and diaphanous wings. And I guess the eyes are closer to the Ghost's. Anyway, I bet Banshee wouldn't have made it in, if I go by the guys that come next.
The glowing guy in orange is Image, a Nightshade villain I don't know a whole lot about, frankly. And I don't know much because HE DOESN'T HAVE A WHO'S WHO ENTRY!!!
In the middle there is Dr. Spectro, a version of which would get an entry in the Updates, though of course it wouldn't be this version of the character who shopped at the same store Punch & Jewelee did. That store's closed now. Like the rest of Earth-4.
Moving on to Earth-S, a more glaring omission, apparently because his entry would have come too early. The editors hadn't yet decided what to do about villains from ancillary Earths. Everyone agrees Black Adam should have been in there, and I guess could have been in the out of order entries at the back of issue 26, except his world was no more by then. But look, he's front and center on Crisis #9's cover, and has proven (whether you like it or not) an enduring character at DC, one with a higher profile than Captain Marvel himself through the 2000s!
Going back to Earth-1, we have Morgan Edge. A major player in the Superman Family of books through the 70s and 80s, and fine if you don't want a guy in a suit in your Who's Who pages, but it makes me realize there wasn't even an entry for Intergang? Guys, that's a big piece of Jack Kirby's Fourth World that's outright missing. Intergang would eventually get a page in the loose leaf edition, but Edge never did get a Who's Who entry. He's not even pictured in the Intergang one. Ridiculous.
For at least one of my Fire & Water friends, this is THE BIG ONE. This panel shows Bernie the Brain watching TV, and on his desk, pictures of his friends, Sugar & Spike, whose series lasted almost 100 issues between 1956 and 1971. A humor strip without an innate fantastical element it may be, but if you're gonna include just one, this would have been it. Especially since they appear in Crisis. This ain't Binky, folks.

A previously mentioned, the issue also features a few civilians, like Megan O'Dell, Bethany Snow from Titans, Jenet Klyburn (who shows up as a headshot in the S.T.A.R. Labs entry), you could even count Frances Kane (a picture in Wally West's house, she shows up in the updates under Magenta), maybe even some others gasping in the crowd. Up to you if you think they should have been included, but I'm content to let DC off the hook there, especially with characters that didn't appear in other books but their home series. In other words, I'm more concerned with the Commissioner Gordons and Perry Whites than I am the Megan O'Dells.

When next we meet, it'll be to end this little series.

4 comments:

Siskoid said...

He gets a line, that's clue #1. The people on the street who get interviewed and such tend to be name characters. He's also not wearing a contemporary uniform, the hat is definitely old-timey. And Farrell isn't THAT obscure when you consider he made the cover of Showcase #1.

But I might have missed him if not for the excellent work of Lou Mougin and Mark Waid who compiled The Official Crisis on Infinite Earths Index, for which Robert Greenberger and George Perez were consulted, and which was approved by "The Staff of DC Comics". So I'm thinking they got the real skinny where I would have just guessed.

Anonymous said...

In one of the letters columns, DC said they were negotiating (re-negotiating?) for the rights to the Fawcett characters as Who's Who started publication; they secured the rights too late to include Black Adam, but just in time for Billy and Freddie. Adam was mentioned in the Monster Society entry, but as you said, he could've gotten an entry at the end of #26 instead of waiting for the Updates.

Mike W.

Bradley Walker said...

No "innate fantastical element" in Sugar and Spike? You don't consider babies who can communicate with babies of other species fantastical? Not to mention Bernie himself, a genius inventor who spoke English before he learned baby-talk. And that's not even getting into the cameos from Santa Claus and the occasional Halloween witch.

Siskoid said...

Well, y'know, no gorilla private eye, or pink demon, or idiot superheroes.

 

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