Category: Then and Now
Last article published: 21 June 2013
This is the 5th post under this label
While I've had to figure out what to do with categories that were designed to to review a certain show, of which there are no longer any episodes, for example, I don't think there's a tag as dated as "Then and Now". Normally, this would be the fifth in a series of articles looking at the old Who's Who series' collection of entries and imagining how many entries would make up a new DC reference work before and after the Flushpoint. That's IF it had come out in 2013 when the New52 was still a thing. Since then we've had Rebirth and Infinite Frontier that have restored a lot of the former DCU, and, well, 10 years of comics! So does this heading mean anything anymore? Well, we can always check it out. These are the entries in Who's Who Vol. V, AKA, Then:
Might still exist in continuity, but of absolutely no concern, I'm cutting: Colonel Computron, Composite Superman (at least the one that appeared a couple times pre-Flushpoint), Construct, and Cyclotron.
Sadly, the mismanagement of the Legion property means there's no Color Kid in active continuity, and though I left him in the count, I'd be very surprised if Colossal Boy got his own entry rather than just showing up in a Legion team entry, so little was done with individual members under the current format. Cosmic Boy, sure. Cosmic King, no. I almost hate to keep the Computo who appeared in the Telos series around.
Also on the erasure list: Colonel Future, The Council. I'm also cutting Croc, but only because he belongs under Killer Croc, in a later volume.
But though some of these characters would get an entry for tiny appearances (that's why you need the encyclopedia!), some characters have actually improved their cred since the original Who's Who was published. Claw has entered the DCU proper, but he's still pretty obscure. Cluemaster, as Spoiler's father, has had a much bigger role to play in Gotham. The Creature Commandos have had modern-day adventures and are set to star in their own TV show. The Crime Syndicate and all things Earth-3 have gotten a lot of play since the late 90s. And Cyborg's graduated from the New Titans to the Justice League!
And there would be additions of course, perhaps most prominently Maxine Hunkel AKA Cyclone (fits neatly over Cyclotron's entry). Constantine might well show up here rather than under "J", while Commissioner Gordon has a better claim. Crazy Jane would have fit here, but she's just become the Chief, so she would be in the previous issue. Cyborg Superman would be in here (damn his eyes), as would the Condiment King (bless his). Clownhunter. Crush. And maybe today, every Watchman would get their own entry, so the Comedian. Who else you got?
DC's current stance that would have everything in continuity or potentially so (either by putting a label on the book, or just letting stories contradict one another) means "Then & Now" is meaningless. The idea came from tracking what was what in the New52 - how much we'd lost, for example - but that's an idea from 10 years ago...