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In which Greg cops an attitude, which is probably not that healthy, but tries to overcome it by giving a quiz

I know that since we moved over here we have a bigger audience (I don’t know how much bigger, since the Great Cronin jealously guards those numbers!), and therefore we have a bigger range of opinions chiming in.  I have noticed that recently, people seem to be meaner to me, and it has made me cry.  Why, good readers, don’t you like me?  How can I live without your approval????

It’s strange.  I look at who links to us, and people are always linking to Greg Hatcher’s Friday columns, because, let’s face it, they’re excellent and thought-provoking.  People are also always linking to Brian’s comic book urban legends revealed, again, because they’re excellent (and famous!).  People link to some things I write, too, occasionally because they like what I wrote, but recently, because they think I’m an idiot.  The other day I came across a LiveJournal on which the writer claimed I can’t review comics because I didn’t remember that the Amazons had a purple healing ray.  If you think that’s stupid, well, you’re not alone.

I don’t know why Brian asked me to contribute to this site.  I suppose he liked my writing style and thought I had something interesting to say about comics.  You’d have to ask him.  I do know he didn’t ask me because of my knowledge of arcane, meaningless trivia about comic books, but apparently if I don’t possess that, whether or not I think a book is good is worthless.  I mean, I can’t possibly know if Casanova is any good if I don’t know the name of Spider-Man’s pet cat, can I?

I’m not sure why people get so upset about this stuff.  The person above devoted a whole (short) post to saying that he’s not going to read this blog anymore because I, a humble contributor, didn’t know something relatively minor.  Really?  I know, I’m writing a whole post about how angry I am, but I’m not really angry, because I have more important things to worry about.  I have two daughters to raise, so comics are just what they should be in my life – distracting entertainment.  Still, this is a weird phenomenon.

Is it because I have been picking on DC superhero comics?  That’s not exactly it, because those of you who read this blog a while back remember how I was raked over the coals for hating Owly.  But it has something to do with it.  I have been accused more than once of having an “agenda,” even though I’m not entirely sure what that agenda is.  I guess I don’t love superheroes as much as I should.  I do love superheroes, though, and I get very upset when superhero comics don’t live up to the wonderful expectations we all have for them.  Just giving us a comic book with just a character we remember fondly and little else isn’t fucking good enough.  Brian has fond memories of the “depowered” Wonder Woman, and I’m sure seeing her at the end of Wonder Woman #1 was a nice shot of nostalgia for him, but I very much doubt that he would keep buying the book if it started to suck (if he didn’t get comics downloaded directly into his brain, that is, as per his deal with Mephisto).  Nobody should buy a book for its potential – well, not for long, anyway (a few issues is okay).  There are far too many good books for you to hope that New Avengers will eventually be good (I don’t read the book; I just picked it at random, so don’t yell at me).

The idea that I – or anyone, by the way – can’t review comic books because we are not steeped in DC or Marvel’s convoluted history is ridiculous.  When I write these reviews (the one on Infinite Crisis took me four days, by the way, because I wasn’t working on it 24-7), I don’t have the time nor the inclination to dig through my comic book collection to find out the references, nor should I have to surf the Internets to find the answers.  Part of the problem with IC is that it was occasionally too obscure.  Mogo, for instance.  I knew who he was, but if you didn’t, you might be momentarily distracted by the big Green Lantern planet.  As for the Purple Death Ray, I only mentioned it because it sounded so goofy in context.  Imagine that thousands of robots are flying toward you to kill you and then say, with the gravitas that the scene demands, “The purple death ray has been completed.”  It’s stupid.  Cute, sure, but stupid in the context of the situation.  And if that upsets you, maybe you should ask yourself why you take comics so seriously.  They’re only comics, after all.

Story continues below

Well, this was more bitter than I wanted.  Like I said, they’re only comics!  One thing I like about blogs is when I post something, we have comments so that people can debate things.  If I get something wrong, I expect to be corrected, but it would be nice if it was done without rancor.  I don’t attack commenters personally, because life is too short.  So if I screw something up (and let’s face it, I’m not perfect), let me know.  It’s perfectly fine for a commenter to write, “Uh, Greg, it was in 1977 that the Bedeviler was revealed to be Astonisho-Man’s fiancee, not in 1975, and it took place in Mighty Suburban Tales #312, not 213.  And remember, thanks to that retcon, Citizen Crane never had that sexy sidekick Back Ho.  She no longer exists.”  That’s cool.  But I’ll say it again, if you don’t like my reviews, don’t read them.  And can we keep the personal attacks to a minimum?  And I don’t have an agenda beyond wanting comics to be good and to thrill me and to tell stories that are marvelous.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

I can’t leave my bitterness behind completely, though!  I figured, since people berate me for my lack of knowledge, to quiz you on your knowledge!  No prizes for this one, just the satisfaction of knowing the answers.  These are questions that I know the answers to simply from memory, so my challenge to you, good readers, is: Leave your answers in the comments, but DO NOT do any research to find them out!  That means no digging through your comic book collection and not browsing on-line.  Because, you know, if you don’t know all of these answers from memory, obviously you have no business reviewing comics or commenting on others.  Whoops, was that too bitter?

I have no plans to change, by the way.  I just wanted to get this off my chest.  Begin answering!

1. What is the name of John’s psychiatrist/lover in Faust: Love of the Damned?

2. In what issue of Starman do we first hear a reference to the “bad dwarf”?

3. How old does Scorpio claim to be in the “Who Remembers Scorpio?” story from Defenders #46-50?

4. Who illustrated the excellent Neil Gaiman-written Riddler origin story in Secret Origins Special #1?

5. Who blinded Betsy Braddock?

6. What is the name of Niles Caulder’s “wife”?

7. In what comic book did Moon Knight first appear?

8. Who created Vesper Fairchild?

9. In what issue of Uncanny X-Men does Jubilee first appear, and who are the villains in the issue?

10. What kind of poem did Richard Madoc mention when Morpheus cursed him with idea diarrhea?

11. Who are the “villains” that Buddy is hired to find in Peter Milligan’s run on Animal Man?

12. Who was Wonder Woman’s publicist?

13. Hunter Rose adopted a young girl.  What was her name?

14. Into whose body does the Ultra-Humanite put Hitler’s brain in The Golden Age?

15. Who’s the hero of Rex Mundi?

16. What is Dreadstar’s first name?

17. What job does Pappy get when the Scurvy Dogs are forced to seek employment?

18. What’s Chris Grahame’s strange secret in Kingdom of the Wicked?

19. Who was the Sin-Eater?

20. Who was the Suicide Squad trying to rescue when they were stopped by the Justice League?

Have fun!  Remember – you’re on the honor system.  No cheating, please!


I don’t know most of these. Although I suspect some. Here are the ones I do know, from memory:

6. Arani Desai (Caulder?), aka Celsius.

10. A sestina, on the subject of silence, I think.

11. (Guessing) Was that the Front Page and the Green Cigarette?

20. (Guessing) Plastique?

Greg, you’re a big mean jerk who secretly only loves Fantagraphics publications and wipes your ass with purposefully dog-eared copies of Civil War and 52! Get off the Internet, you cactus-hugging hippie!

PS: Back Ho is still in continuity; she’s the new Wonder Woman. Duh.

PPS: The answer to #7 is Werewolf By Night #32. The rest of your questions don’t involve Moon Knight and are therefore irrelevant, further proving you shouldn’t be reviewing comics.

PPSS: For the sarcasm-challenged, I’m joking. I love Greg Burgas and frequently agree with his reviews.

Ooh, some good questions there. Making me miss Starman all over again.
I appreciated the “Event Comics” articles, and yes, the Purple Death Ray means nothing to a great many people. I started reading comics a few years after the first Crisis, and I’ve never read Wonder Woman, so it struck me as silly, too. Don’t worry. Life is too short to be well-versed in the nuances of Amazonian Purple Technology.
That may be the silliest thing I’ve ever typed.

1. Don’t know.
2. Don’t care.
3. Don’t know.
4. Don’t care.
5. Don’t know.
6. Don’t care.
7. Don’t know.
8. Don’t care.
9. Don’t know.
10. Don’t care.
11. Don’t know.
12. Don’t care.
13. Don’t know.
14. Don’t care.
15. Don’t know.
16. Don’t care.
17. Don’t know.
18. Don’t care.
19. Don’t know.
20. Don’t care.

Ahh … through my window, I hear the sirens of the Comic Blogger Police. They are coming to shut me down.

#13 is Stacy Palumbo

spider-man’s cat is named “noodles”.

ok sarcasm now turned “off”.

Wow. I guess I should shut down my blog too then as I don’t know the answers to ANY of those. Ziltch. Nada. I’ll take a guess at #4 and sat Brian Bolland though.

As to the your post in general. Here is where I think this venom is coming from (I’m not sure if it’s from more than one person *cough* K *cough* or many): you said that since the blog moved from Blogger to CBR you’ve been seeing a vast increase in traffic, which I think is great as the more people reading this, the more they might start thinking about the comics they get and how most of them are crap, which will lead to them seeking out good comics, but I digress.

Let’s think about where that extra traffic is coming from though. What kind of person spends a lot of time reading websites about comics? Probably not the casual reader, but more so the longtime hardcore fans. Thus when one or more of these fans see a review of something, which they purchased and probably liked, that is, shall we say, less than flattering, they feel the need to defend the work soley because they like it. The natural reaction is to become defensive and they take any “attack” on the comic as an attack on them because they liked it. Hell, I liked parts of Infinite Crisis but my eyes aren’t shut to its non-sensicalness.

That’s my rambling for the day.

That’s the whole problem, Cheeseburger. Just because you like something that I don’t doesn’t mean I’m right and you’re wrong. I freely admit to loving Bon Jovi. Am I therefore an idiot? I read plenty of books that others don’t like, and occasionally I will reconsider my purchases because someone doesn’t like something. What I try to do is look at why books work or don’t and maybe let someone know about new stuff they might have missed. Like Emissary, in your case. You can make your own decisions about the book, but if you didn’t know it existed, how would you know? It should never be personal if I want to figure out why something works. It’s interesting to do, and I certainly wouldn’t criticize anyone for liking something I hate.

It’s not Brian Bolland, by the way. But I shall say no more!

Wow. I feel my geek-cred slipping away.

5. Slaymaster
7. Werewolf by Night
14. Dan the Dyna-Mite

i read your writings becauseeeeeee…

bum bum buuuummm

my lcs is more “sports” orienated..so not many guys hang in there reading comics(they dont even have gamers!! thasts just insane) so i got nooo one to talk to..my family is more on the “hood” side and comics are seen as wussy and for kids…sooo if i have thougths i got no one to talk to..sure i could keep cutting up letters and pasting them in letters to joe q but its kinda hard to stalk with out leaving any dna evidence(*dammm u csi!!!*)

so me? i like how you dont talk down to the readers..most reviewers are so proud they are smart that they act it out with thier heads up the butt..use big words..talk all like they are gods gift to the industry….like they are the word of god…you seem more friendly..more like straight up…you take the good and you take the bad(mrs.garett?) you give it to me real…with no fancy shmancy bull..its not an english lit paper its an opion and you do that…you also remind me why i never go near d.c.

plus you let me use run on sentences..and if you think about it …run ons are a lost art form.

You know, I like reading your work Greg.

I don’t nessisarly agree with your opinions, but it’s good to have a conflicting view, it helps a person see more of the whole.

And all you need to have to review comics is an apreciation of the medium. You don’t have to be knowledgable in all the lore assiciated with the comics or characters. A lot of readers arn’t anyway.

oh i forgot answers..

5. Who blinded Betsy Braddock? some bad guy with long hair hahaha i wann say task master but it wasnt him..something master..right?? and then mojo gave her those cool techno eyes..and it was in the snow..but for the life of me i casnt recall his name just what he wore(ok that sounded creepy i cant rember his name but yet i recall his clothes???wohh)

9. In what issue of Uncanny X-Men does Jubilee first appear, and who are the villains in the issue? i dont know either…but the bad guys were some science guys the also apered in the inferno storyline..but this issue was a mall issue where rouge and dazzler and storm went for a girls day of shopping..jubliee thought they were cool so she hitched a ride…this was before the reavers attacked..i even rember the cover..it was yellow and had pink accents(theoir i go creepy again) and they all looked scared.

19. Who was the Sin-Eater? something wolfe..right? a detective..i was to lil back then…but i rembert that time..spidey wopped firelords bootay around this time.

dang you all are gonna take my comic fan-man card away now huh?

4. Brian Bolland did the cover… I have no idea. I used to know. I swear. Maybe it was Norm Breyfogle or something simple.

6. Arani… something. Lord knows what her superhero name was.

17. TV chef! Right? Pappy was the old one.

20. Nemesis. But I just read that the other day.

I suck, yes.

But so do you, Burgas! Burn in hell, and whatnot. I guess. If you’d like.

That awesome Riddler story was awesomely illustrated by Bernie Mireault.

These guesses should not be interpreted as a personal attack. They are not!

7. Werewolf by Night

9. the name of the villains was M-Squad (as noted by someone else, they were a bunch of comic-relief “mutant-busting” scientists). I want to say that they (and Jubilee) appeared in UXM #244, or thereabouts.

19. Stan Carter (if I remember correctly, a police detective who worked with Jean DeWolf, one of the Sin-Eater’s victims)

1. Jade. I don’t remember her last name.

7. (guess) Werewolf by Night.

9. I think the issue # was 237. The villains were the M-Squad.

12. Angela Snow. I think. Pretty sure it was Something Snow.

19. Stan Carter

20. Nemesis

6. Arani Desai

7. Werewolf by Night (issue 29, I think)

12. Mindi Meyer

13. Wasn’t that Christine Spar?

16. Vanth

19. Someone’s brother, I seem to think. He killed Jean DeWolfe.

OK, five out of 20.

SHUT UP YOU BIG JERKWAD!! I’ll show you “mean!!”

Seriously, though, I’m pretty shocked at the vitriolic responses you provoke. Even at the old site. I don’t even agree with you on most topics but I still like your writing. In fact, one of your posts was the first one I ever read on the blog, and I believe the first one I responses to. It was that one where I basically blamed liberalism for something or other like I usually do. Then everyone attacked me.

Anyway, if it makes you feel better, you and Cronin are the two people who inspired me to blog in the first place. Before that I thought blogs were dumb and uninteresting exercises in narcissism. I still believe the narcissistic part, but you showed me they could be thought-provoking to. Actually, scratch that, you may not want to take credit for inspiring me to blog.

You are not merely arguing taste. You are – quite rightly IMO – saying this or that is poor workmanship, which goes quite a way beyond personal preference.
Now, if you’re somewhat relaxed about your own tastes you will likely have no problem admitting an irrational fondness for some stuff which you know is of poor quality (e.g. Bon Jovi). Unfortunately, that ability is not widely shared. So when you step up on your soapbox and attempt to calmly demonstrate why the DC event of the decade is mostly a pile of manure, you inevitably will end up alienating people who can’t conceive of the notion that they might like a poor product. (or at the very least, that they’ve got questionable taste)
I think they might be able to deal with you saying “I don’t like it” (Or at least you could easily call them idiots if they read more into that then personal preference), but to the extent that you are reaching for an objective assessment (however short and imperfect that reach) you are stepping on the self-esteem of people who can’t seperate actual quality from their personal preference.


Greg. I can’t believe you like Bon Jovi. That’s the last straw. Not only am I no longer reading your columns and not only am I no longer reading this Blog, I am never going to read the internet again. Ha. Take that.

Seriously though. I’m so glad I found this blog. I loved your review of Infinite Crisis and I’m delighted some one else out there thought that the Purple death ray sounded stupid.

As for you quiz I can answer none of your questions and i cheated.

13. Wasn’t that Christine Spar?
Christine Powell Spar was the daughter of Stacey Palumbo and her therapist, who raped her on their wedding night (I forget her husband’s name, I don’t have my Grendel collection with me). Hunter Rose adopted Stacey after killing her Uncle, Barry. The legal battle he faced in adopting her was the subject of his novel “My Little Chickadee.”

(Can you tell I’m a bit obsessive about the series yet?)

5. Who blinded Betsy Braddock?
Ha, first one I know (by heart at least): Slaymaster.
My fierce Alan Davis love may have something to do with it.

7. In what comic book did Moon Knight first appear?
Werewolf by Night, don’t ask for issue numbers. I’m not a robot.

9. In what issue of Uncanny X-Men does Jubilee first appear, and who are the villains in the issue?

M-squad and see answer to question 7.

13. Hunter Rose adopted a young girl. What was her name?

14. Into whose body does the Ultra-Humanite put Hitler’s brain in The Golden Age?
Dan the Dyna-Mite, then Dyna-Man (two after each other. Man, I’m on a role).

19. Who was the Sin-Eater?
Ah, tip of my tongue.. Stan Carter?

Conclusion: I’m a Marvel zombie.

moose n squirrel

June 27, 2006 at 3:52 pm

You’re a big mean meanie who’s mean. Anyway, I only read comics – NO! – graphic novels – DOUBLE NO! – comix with an ecks – about morose twentysomething shoegazers whose strained attempts at sarcasm only demonstrate their profound disconnect from humanity while listening to indie bands in their native wartorn Somalia. So nyah.

6. Her codename was Celcius, first name Arani?
7. Werewolf by Night… #33 I think
8. Doug Moench and Kelly Jones
9. 244 and some anti-mutant humans.. squad or force or something

Greg: Ignore. Free text commenting invites an inherently negative bias anyway (people are more likely to complain than praise if providing feedback), so it’s probably just the law of averages.

(P.S. If you really wanna piss some people off, suggest that maybe Ultimates 2 is not in fact the Greatest Comic Ever Made By Someone Not Named Jack Kirby. Sit back, crack a beer, and watch the hate mail flood in! Good times!)

Those Who Hate Greg: Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

moose n squirrel

June 27, 2006 at 4:32 pm

Who hates Greg, anyway? Those people suck. Ignore them, Greg – you’re part of the Comicbookresources.com media empire now! And besides, you’re always right anyway – except when you’re obviously wrong (you liked Infinite Crisis? After all that? That’s just weird, man).

I kind of don’t want people liking Greg. It’s kind of funny to see all the crazies come out the moment Greg gives an opinion on anything. I have no idea why he excites so much vitriol, but it’s almost comedic and makes for some lively comments sections.

Superboy Prime

June 27, 2006 at 5:20 pm

Greg, I’ll punch through the head of anyone who says anything bad to you or about you. You know. If you’d like.

Because I like your stuff ‘though I might not always agree.

It took some kind of superpower to not only read through the crappy comics but then rear up and write the series of Event Comics reviews you did.


Off the top of my head:

1) No idea, but I own those issues.

2) No idea, but I also own those issues.

3) No idea, don’t own the issues.

4) Bernie Mireault

5) No idea, but I seem to remember reading that story.

6) Irani Desai

7) Werewolf by Night

8) J. Scott Campbell?

9) 260-something. The Marauders maybe?

10) Don’t recall. Sold the issues on ebay.

11) Some kind of newspaper looking guy–The Headline or something…don’t recall.

12) Hmmm…was that in the Rucka issues?

13) I can picture her, but can’t remember her name.

14) Can’t recall, but I own the trade.

15) No idea.

16) Vance

17) No idea what that question even means.

18) Ditto

19) Killed Jean DeWolff, right?

20) Deadshot?? I can’t remember that one either.

I suck.

The sad thing is, there are these people out there who have become so accustomed to speaking angrily and insultingly on the internet, they don’t know how not to. They start any conversation or discussion with a rant about why somebody is the antichrist.

It’s almost as silly as a purple death ray.

But for what it’s worth, Greg Burgas is an integral part of CSBG, and I will say so at any opportunity.

Dirty Bon Jovi lover.

I like you, Greg.

And really, what else matters?

1. –

2. The issue with the circus freaks. The nazi midget guy mentions him. Dunno what number it was. I thought it was gonna be Dr.Psycho for SO long.

3. –

4. Matt Wagner. I love that story. Hell, the whole thing is pretty freakin’ sweet.

5. Slaymaster.

6. Arani (a.k.a. Celcius)

7. Werewolf by Night.

8. Peter Milligan?

9. Sentinels?

10. Sestina.

11. The Green Cigarette and Nowhere Man.

12. Myndi Mayer.

13. I am disgusted and horrified that I cannot remember this.

14. Dan the Dyna-Mite.

15. –

16. Vanth.

17. –

18. He has a secret evil conjoined foetus twin in his brain.

19. A whack-job with a shotgun who cleared house on Spider-Man’s supporting cast during the 70’s.

20. I remember one where they were trying to bust Amanda Waller out of jail, and another where they were trying to rescue some weird Saddam Hussein analogue.

That’s true, Brian, since you are The Dread Lord and Master!

moose n squirrel

June 27, 2006 at 8:18 pm

See, now this is just becoming too much of a love-in. So I’ve decided to hate Greg now with a supervillain-level passion, just on principle! Now enter the man called… CROSSOVER!

“You called me mad… MAD! But you shall RUE the day you mocked my poorly-edited multi-title masterpiece of muddlement, Greg Burgas! Rue the day… FOREVER!

“I hold hostage within my Fortress of Fandom all your favorite writers and artists, and shall begin executing them with my deadly Rage Ray unless you comply with my demands! You have ONE HOUR to write a glowing review of ‘Green Lantern: Rebirth’… or the lovely Mr. Morrison here will simply… LOSE his HEAD!


If I punch my ethernet connection hard enough, can we forget any of this ever happened?

Crossover sounds pretty dangerous, but we won’t know for sure until we find out exactly what color his Rage Ray is.

moose n squirrel

June 27, 2006 at 9:58 pm

Fortunately for Grant and the other hostages, Crossover is both deeply confused and incredibly slow – due to decompression and publishing delays, he can only appear once or twice a month, tops, and when he does he frequently contradicts whatever he was doing before – and by now they’ve all wandered off while he waits for his next script to be completed.

So when are we going to get the answers to these? So far, nobody’s even attempted #2, 3, or 15.

Check the post above this one, Matthew!

1. don’t know

2. don’t know

3. 52

4. don’t know

5. Slaymaster

6. Arani Desai Caulder, aka Celsius

7. Werewolf by Night #32

8. Doug Moench and Kelley Jones

9. Uncanny X-Men #244, M-Squad

10. What kind of poem did Richard Madoc mention when Morpheus cursed him with idea diarrhea?

11. Who are the “villains” that Buddy is hired to find in Peter Milligan’s run on Animal Man?

12. Who was Wonder Woman’s publicist?

13. Stacy Palumbo

14. Danny Dunbar, aka Dyna-Mite

15. Who’s the hero of Rex Mundi?

16. Vanth

17. don’t know

18. don’t know

19. Stan Carter

20. Tom Tresser, aka Nemesis

I miss Back Ho. She was a great sidekick. Alex Ross always made her look hot on the covers.

15. Who’s the hero of Rex Mundi?

Julien Sauniere if I recall correctly. He is a doctor

On the other hand, I never knew Spidey had a cat, so I guess it all evens out.

oh and #8 is Doug Moench
Continuity and trivia can be fun, but the best comics don’t require either and a good reviewer certaintly does need any arcane knowledge, just good writing skills, a certain je ne sai quoi, and an ability to read and analyze the story to call out if something is good as the site title implies.


Good call on Rex Mundi, Lauren. And Spidey has never had a cat, as far as I know. I was just funnin’ with you.

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