Crisis Who?

After flipping through a couple issues of Who's Who to see if the Directory really did apply to the Crisis on Infinite Earths, it may be interesting to do the opposite. If someone was in Crisis, did they, in fact, turn up in Who's Who? If the Directory is meant to act as a spotter's guide, no character in Crisis should be left out. Let's take a look at the first act, issues 1-4.
I guess it could be said King Solovar is included in the Gorilla City entry, but seeing as he's a recurring character in the first act of Crisis, he may have merited a bit more. This omission is the most acceptable of this lot, however.
In issue 2, the Legion sequences feature the Science Police, and an unnamed officer Erin Shvaughn. We wouldn't get an entry for her (or for Gigi Cusimano) until the Who's Who in the Legion series, but I don't know if you think that counts or not.
The big one, of course, is the Earth-1 Superman who appears in the series from #2 on. Because Who's Who lasted a year beyond Crisis, the character had been rebooted by the time he got an entry, despite being heavily referenced in the series prior to that point. The entries for Krypton, Krypto, Lois Lane, and just a COUPLE PAGES earlier, Supergirl, are all pre-Crisis. Heck, the Earth-2 Superman gets an entry at a point where his Earth has ceased to exist, so... What they should have actually done is sacrificed a couple characters down the line, or even cut down on the double-page spreads, to include an Earth-1 Superman IN ADDITION TO the current Superman. Big dropping of the ball.
Issue 3 features the death of Kid Psycho, a fairly obscure Legion-era character, but if you're going to give him a death-by-antimatter (indeed, he's known as the first hero to die in Crisis), you really need to tell readers who the heck he is. And that's what Who's Who is partially for! Had to wait for Who's Who in the Legion here as well.
Lori Lemaris actually plays a pretty big role in Crisis, and is seen to die near the very end. So while, like King Solovar, you might say she's covered in the Atlantis entry, that little headshot doesn't really cut it. She was a pretty important part of the Superman mythos and appeared regularly in the Silver Age. She had enough stories to get a full entry, in my opinion.
The Wonder Woman of Earth-1 is, just like Supes, is a casualty of Crisis, and of Who's Who. RIDICULOUS! How am I supposed to interpret what I see in Crisis and any comic published before George Perez took the strip over!? Arrrrgh!
Constantine was a recurring character in Swamp Thing, and gets a scene in Crisis #4, but Who's Who had this phobia about plain clothes (just look at entries for Alfred Pennyworth, Lana Lang and Jimmy Olsen), especially if you haven't gotten your own strip/series yet. John eventually shows up in one of the updates, but think about it from the Crisis reader's point of view. Saga of the Swamp Thing was a creepy, mature read that many superhero fans veered away (at that age, it creeped me out too much), so when the character gets a featured scene like that, that reader would need some Who's Who support.

Next week, more Who's Who fumbles as we head into Crisis' middle chapters.


Mike W. said...

At least the Earth-2 Wonder Woman got an entry in Crisis ... sort of. I think Lori Lemaris's death in Crisis was supposed to put an end to the character--maybe DC thought the whole mermaid thing was too Silver Age--but then Byrne used her again right away in Man of Steel, so that made her canon again.

Anonymous said...

Good point

Siskoid said...

Silver Age-ness didn't stop them from giving the Legion of Super-Pets an entry only pages away from where Lori would have fit.


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