Ask Me About DC Comics

Hi, I‘m Alex Jaffe. The thing I do for work, other than record this podcast and mystery projects with tim rogers, is know about DC Comics. I’ve helped write and compile encyclopedias, consulted with writers as a resource for their stories, and I have a regular column where I take any questions people have about DC stuff. So if you want to know anything about that, this is a place you can ask me, and discuss it in general.

Which actor and/or director is most likely to destroy their career/s by attempting to replicate Deadpool's success with a Dogwelder movie?

any good superman stories to recommend? i read all-star superman from recommendation and it was pretty good

hoping you have a good one jaffe :>

What’s the nomenclature status on DC Comics? i.e. The seemingly “Detective Comics Comics” part.

Is it now agreed by all that it’s OK to say DC Comics? Is there a split in the fan base? If so, is it just some kind of tomato/tomato divide in the community, or something more sinister? Do some people still nitpick _wellackshually_-style when anyone says "DC Comics"? Did DC themselves comment on this?

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@“gsk”#p115958 Which actor and/or director is most likely to destroy their career/s by attempting to replicate Deadpool’s success with a Dogwelder movie?

I’m gonna say one of James Gunn’s old Troma buddies. Maybe Trent Haaga.

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@“Emily”#p115959 any good superman stories to recommend? i read all-star superman from recommendation and it was pretty good

> hoping you have a good one jaffe :>

Oh yeah, I love Superman. Highly recommend Man and Superman, Superman: Up in the Sky, Superman: Secret Identity, Superman Smashes the Klan, Superman for All Seasons, and the Superman Adventures tie-in to Superman: The Animated Series.

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@“◉◉maru”#p115965 What’s the nomenclature status on DC Comics? i.e. The seemingly “Detective Comics Comics” part.


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Is it now agreed by all that it’s OK to say DC Comics? Is there a split in the fan base? If so, is it just some kind of tomato/tomato divide in the community, or something more sinister? Do some people still nitpick wellackshually-style when anyone says “DC Comics”? Did DC themselves comment on this?

DC themselves prefer to simply go by “DC” these days. For instance, just this year the official Twitter account switched over from “DCComics” to “DCOfficial.”

As far as fans go, all I’ve encountered agree that saying “DC Comics” is fine. Sometimes we’ll say “Detective Comics Comics” as a joke.

Having read posts on DC‘s blog since my early days of interneting, I’ve hoped to find a chance to pick Jaffe's brain on DC Comics.

First of all, any stand-out books in this Dawn of DC launch? I stopped following current comics much halfway through Infinite Frontier, so Tynion is still working on Batman in my mind over a year after moving on.

Second, are there any comics that do what Multiversity : Thunderworld 1 did in DC's archives? That one-shot with bright colours, wide smiles and winking humour amidst wacky situations is what I've held most SHAZAM comics to and not quite been satisfied, Hoping the new Waid SHAZAM will do it for me, but maybe I should look beyond Captain Marvel himself for this kind of tone.

If I used to be pretty big into DC, but haven‘t read anything since around the middle of Blackest Night, what would you recommend? I’m open to anything, so another way you could approach this question is: what‘s the really, exceptionally cool stuff that’s come out of DC in the last 15 years or so? Not everything necessarily, just your highlights.

Also, is there an easy way to read your column? I feel like a dumdum but I have no idea how to find it on the DC website. The one I found with a search engine was good (H-Dial has good SEO), and I want to read more of them. Is there an archive anywhere or anything?

who has the most comfortable outfit?

In Batman comics, has there been examples of him going after business owners or politicians that break the law in ways that they get away with in real life?

For example, would Batman go after Boris Johnson for lying to Parliament? Would he punish wage theft? Would he help find the evidence in Trump's court case about Stormy Daniels?

I enjoy Batman hunting psychos on the streets of Gotham in stuff like The Long Halloween but crime is always depicted as murders, drug deals and terrorism in the Batman media I have consumed. Does it ever touch on crimes that rich people do that aren't what stories typically depict as crimes if you get what I mean?

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@“citrusity”#p115975 First of all, any stand-out books in this Dawn of DC launch? I stopped following current comics much halfway through Infinite Frontier, so Tynion is still working on Batman in my mind over a year after moving on.

Sure! Phillip Kennedy Johnson's Action Comics run continues to do interesting stuff. Superboy: The Man of Tomorrow has that great 90s Superboy flavor, tactile telekinesis and all. Spirit World is a gorgeous, very fun book featuring an original nonbinary protagonist backed up by an unlikely team of Cassandra Cain and John Constantine (two personal favorites). From what I've seen of Cyborg, it looks like it's finally going to be a Good Cyborg Book. And Mark Waid is writing Shazam! With Dan Mora on art! You can't miss that.

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@“citrusity”#p115975 Second, are there any comics that do what Multiversity : Thunderworld 1 did in DC’s archives? That one-shot with bright colours, wide smiles and winking humour amidst wacky situations is what I’ve held most SHAZAM comics to and not quite been satisfied, Hoping the new Waid SHAZAM will do it for me, but maybe I should look beyond Captain Marvel himself for this kind of tone.

Oh, I think it will. Apart from that, I would highly recommend you check out Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber's Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen. The best thing to come out of Bendis's tenure at DC was that he convinced Fraction to write 12 issues for us.

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@“Mnemogenic”#p115977 If I used to be pretty big into DC, but haven’t read anything since around the middle of Blackest Night, what would you recommend? I’m open to anything, so another way you could approach this question is: what’s the really, exceptionally cool stuff that’s come out of DC in the last 15 years or so? Not everything necessarily, just your highlights.

I'm going to cut myself off at five, or I'll be here all day:

Starting after Blackest Night and right before New 52, my favorite book from that liminal period is Justice League: Generation Lost. Secretly one of the best Justice League runs ever.

My favorite comic of the New 52 era was Jeff Lemire's Animal Man.

When we get to Rebirth, the can't-miss titles are Priest's Deathstroke, Gene Luen Yang's New Super-Man, and Robert Venditti's Hawkman.

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@“Mnemogenic”#p115977 Also, is there an easy way to read your column? I feel like a dumdum but I have no idea how to find it on the DC website. The one I found with a search engine was good (H-Dial has good SEO), and I want to read more of them. Is there an archive anywhere or anything?

There used to be, but from what I understand the site is in overhaul mode and a lot of the archive functionality is currently broken. For now, just keep an eye on https://www.dc.com/news.

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@“yeso”#p115979 who has the most comfortable outfit?

I think probably Superman. It's literally made out of blankets.

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@“Chopemon”#p115984 In Batman comics, has there been examples of him going after business owners or politicians that break the law in ways that they get away with in real life?


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For example, would Batman go after Boris Johnson for lying to Parliament? Would he punish wage theft? Would he help find the evidence in Trump’s court case about Stormy Daniels?


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I enjoy Batman hunting psychos on the streets of Gotham in stuff like The Long Halloween but crime is always depicted as murders, drug deals and terrorism in the Batman media I have consumed. Does it ever touch on crimes that rich people do that aren’t what stories typically depict as crimes if you get what I mean?

Yeah, this happens often enough. It's sort of the basis for most of his fights with The Penguin since 1990, who has more or less "gone legit." Roman Sionis, the Black Mask, is another corrupt industrialist Batman goes after a lot. Then there's the Court of Owls, an old social club that runs Gotham from the shadows and that Batman's consistently fought with over the past 12 years. One of my favorite stories like this is Batman: No Man's Land, which features Bruce going to Washington so he can stop Lex Luthor from orchestrating a real estate grab that would give him control of the city.

in your opinion, which character is most overrated, and conversely, which is most under-appreciated?

Respectively, Batman and The Question. I’m not saying Batman sucks, it just rankles me when he’s treated like The Only Guy in Town. And The Question is my personal favorite superhero, but I’m lucky if he makes 4 background appearances in a year.

What question about Detective Comics Comics have you been asked the most? What's the most interesting question you were asked exactly once?

Unrelated: In my imagination there exists a perfect Batman/Riddler story where Batman is, above all else, an actual detective. Maybe he gets too distracted trying to solve Riddler's riddles before realizing in the second act that he should more or less ignore them and just try to find the guy. Does this story already exist and can I go read it, or do I need to become A Guy Who Makes Comic Books and craft it from whole cloth?

@“Jaffe”#p115989 amazing, thanks!

@“Jaffe”#p115993 What do you like about the Question? Living in a marvel/image household, I‘ve never heard of this guy but I did skim his wikipedia page long enough to see that he’s based on an Objectivist?

lol I didnt want to say…

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@“TheFragranceOfDarkCoffee”#p116000 What question about Detective Comics Comics have you been asked the most?

Because my column is called "Ask The Question," the question I get the most often is about that aglets line from the "Question Authority" episode of Justice League Unlimited. My answer is that The Question was likely just stalling for time, and not to take him too seriously.

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@“TheFragranceOfDarkCoffee”#p116000 What’s the most interesting question you were asked exactly once?

"Would you like to write for our website?"

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@“TheFragranceOfDarkCoffee”#p116000 Unrelated: In my imagination there exists a perfect Batman/Riddler story where Batman is, above all else, an actual detective. Maybe he gets too distracted trying to solve Riddler’s riddles before realizing in the second act that he should more or less ignore them and just try to find the guy. Does this story already exist and can I go read it, or do I need to become A Guy Who Makes Comic Books and craft it from whole cloth?

There are a few Riddler stories similar to this premise, but my favorite is 1993's The Batman Adventures #10, "The Last Riddler Story."

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@“deepspacefine”#p116003 What do you like about the Question? Living in a marvel/image household, I’ve never heard of this guy but I did skim his wikipedia page long enough to see that he’s based on an Objectivist?

Oh yeah, The Question was originally an objectivist character as created by Steve Ditko in the 1960s, although not quite as hardline as people make him out to be in pieces like this. When you read the actual original stories, it's not as Randian as you imagine. (Spider-Man, another Ditko co-creation, also has some objectivist tendencies in his original stories.)

But it's his reinvention by Denny O'Neil in the 80s that really made him into my favorite character. In the first two issues of The Question's own comic series, he experiences a violent awakening to the shortcomings of his personal philosophy, and the rest of the series becomes an examination of a man with a once limited perspective trying to expand his understanding of life and morality. The Question is a character who constantly fails, and never gives up. He just learns from those failures to become a better man.

Are all GLs bastiches?

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@"Jaffe"#p116006 he experiences a violent awakening to the shortcomings of his personal philosophy, and the rest of the series becomes an examination of a man with a once limited perspective trying to expand his understanding of life and morality. The Question is a character who constantly fails, and never gives up. He just learns from those failures to become a better man.

Dang that _does_ sound good.

Do you have an affiliate link for dc comics online or whatever it's called?

@“connrrr”#p116008 So, this has been a cyclical situation since the O‘Neil/Adams Green Lantern run in the 1970s, through every major Green Lantern story. A Green Lantern realizes that the Guardians of the Universe may in fact be the baddies, they try to reform the organization, and then the table gets reset and they have to do it all over again. What sets human Green Lanterns apart is that they don’t take the law of the Guardians for granted.

And then there are plenty of GLs who just mind their own business. Mogo, famously, doesn't socialize.