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Lorendiac, Author at Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources

Lorendiac’s Lists – LONG-LOST AMAZON TRIBES

A few months ago I suddenly had an idea: “Why not post a request on a few comic book discussion forums, asking people how many Amazon tribes they can remember from DC’s continuity? With their help, I might compile a list of obscure Amazon societies and post it later on, for the edification of my fellow fans.”

I surrendered to the impulse. When I posted the request, I briefly described three tribes I remembered clearly — what I called “the Classic Amazons,” “the Bana-Mighdall Amazons,” and “the Underground Amazons” — in order to save people the trouble of mentioning those examples in their replies. I was certain I’d noticed references to a few other Amazon tribes in one comic book or another over the years, but I was having trouble dredging up any solid facts from memory.

I believe I hoped to end up with something in the neighborhood of eight tribes when all was said and done, but I’d take more if I could get them.

What with the helpful suggestions I received, and some other stuff I later ferreted out on my own with the help of online databases and such (comics.org was invaluable), the current tally stands at twenty-six. Plus several “near misses.”

Now I am going to share the fruits of my research with you. By the time you are done reading this document (and you may not want to tackle the whole thing in one session), you will probably have learned more about “Long-Lost Amazon Tribes” than you ever wanted to know!

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Lorendiac’s Lists: 9 Recruiting Strategies for Super-Teams

Let’s say that you are part of an established team of superheroes, and you feel the team needs some new blood. How do you find it? For that matter, how do you narrow the field if there are more candidates than you really want at this moment?

Today I’m not much interested in how the “founding members” first came together to create a team from scrach, although inevitably I’ll find myself referring to such things occasionally. My focus is elsewhere: “Given that a super-team already exists, how does it acquire the occasional new recruit?”

Answers to that question have varied enormously over the years. All the way from Very Formalized Procedures in the best (or worst) bureaucratic tradition, to Very Loose and Improvised methods at the other end of the spectrum.

As an example of the latter: In the early issues of the “Young Justice” title, veteran hero The Red Tornado was allegedly serving as a mentor-figure to the teenage members . . . in a vague sort of way. (Heavy emphasis on “vague” rather than “mentor,” the way I remember it.) By the end of the fourth issue, the membership included three boys and three girls: Robin (Tim Drake), Impulse (Bart Allen), Superboy (Kon-El), Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark), Arrowette (Cissie King-Jones), and Secret (real name unknown at the time, even to her, but it was eventually revealed as Greta Hayes).

Later on, Reddy was separated from the group for quite awhile. During his absence, Arrowette left the group, and Anita Fite, aka “Empress,” became the newest member. Here’s some dialogue from one panel of “Young Justice #35,” in which Reddy is finally touching base with the team again.

RED TORNADO: And I see we have an addition to the team. Was she subjected to a rigorous background check, an exacting series of standardized tests designed to measure her powers, and a sequence of personality interviews to determine her mental fitness?

IMPULSE: Nah. We just let her in.

RED TORNADO: Oh, good. I was worried things had changed.

Young Justice did a lot of good things for the world while it lasted, although whether that was “because of” or “in spite of” its informal recruiting methods is debatable. But as we shall see, other super-teams have experimented with a wide range of strategies for finding and recruiting the people they need!
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Lorendiac’s Lists: Character Aliases that Marvel and DC Have Both Used (5th Draft)

CHARACTER ALIASES THAT MARVEL AND DC HAVE BOTH USED (5TH DRAFT)

Pop Quiz!

Each of the following aliases has been used by:

A) One or more Marvel characters.
B) One or more DC characters.
C) All of the above.

(Bearing in mind that when I label characters as “Marvel” or “DC,” I include any who were first published at other companies, but who are currently connected to Marvel continuity or DC continuity because of later purchases or licensing agreements.)

Spelling and punctuation are important — the names “Batman” and “Bat-Man” are not quite the same thing (although you won’t see either version of that on this Quiz). But to make it a bit easier for you, for the purposes of this Quiz I don’t care whether or not a certain user of an alias was in the habit of using the word “the” at the beginning of his pseudonym when introducing himself. With all that in mind, here’s my suggestion for taking the quiz. On a piece of paper or in a Notepad window, please start one line with the letter A, one with B, and one with C. Then, as you peer at the list of names, jot down each numeral from 1 to 21 on the appropriate line. When you check the Answer Key at the very bottom of this ridiculously long piece, you can see how you did.

01. Turtle Man
02. Tachyon
03. Spider Man
04. Songbird
05. Sabretooth
06. Risque
07. Professor X
08. Onyxx
09. Nightman
10. Krag
11. Kingpin
12. King Cobra
13. Iron Fist
14. Heatwave
15. Hard Drive
16. Ghost Rider
17. G-Force
18. Dream Girl
19. Catspaw
20. Cat Woman
21. Black Queen

Now that the Quiz is over, let’s move along.
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Lorendiac’s Lists: The Master List of Flagsuit Characters (Fourth Draft)

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest, nicely timed for the Fourth of July! Remember, again, this list is written by Lorendiac, not Brian Cronin. – BC.

In June of 2007, on various forums, I requested help from my fellow fans in compiling a list of “Flagsuit Characters”; those who like to dress and act in a way which will presumably make people see them as Particularly Patriotic American Heroes. I thought it would be appropriate to post the full list on the Fourth of July of that year, and I did. The First Draft had 155 entries. Then more suggestions came in from various readers, and I decided to make this an annual tradition. The Second Draft had 205 entries; the Third Draft had 237 entries; now the Fourth Draft has 249 entries.

These were my original guidelines:

To make it onto my final list, a character has to meet a few basic criteria:

1. He (or she) wears a costume that includes red, white, and blue. (The presence of other colors is also acceptable as long as all three of those are included. But if the costume only has two out of three—red and blue without any white, for instance—then that doesn’t count!)

2. The character obviously wants to be viewed (by the general public) as an exceptionally patriotic American hero. I’m not saying the person must “really” be a hero, or even has to be a citizen or legal resident of the USA, for that matter! I’m just saying that this is the image the character obviously wants to project! If there have been any villains who put on red-white-and-blue outfits in order to fool people into thinking they were heroes for awhile, I’m perfectly willing to count that! (But not if they were just impersonating Captain America, for instance—only if they invented a fresh identity for the occasion.)

3. He (or she) must have appeared in at least one published comic book story. (I don’t want costumed characters who only existed in movies, TV shows, videogames or other media.

I then offered examples of what I didn’t want — Superman was disqualified by both Rule #1 and Rule #2, as I saw it; Spider-Man was also disqualified by Rule #2.

Those rules still apply, if you’re thinking of mentioning someone I’ve still managed to overlook!

I try to keep the listings as short and sweet as possible; I’m not writing an entire book here. I don’t usually mention what a hero’s secret identity was, nor what powers he had (if any), nor (in most cases) in which title he first appeared. I do mention who first published his adventures, though.

In cases where I personally have not been able to double-check such details as the exact physical appearance of the character (did the costume include red, white, and blue, all three colors at once, in a way which resembled the U.S. flag?) I have typed Unconfirmed at the end of the listing.

And I only list each “character concept” or “role” once, even if the same alias and costume have been used by multiple characters all belonging to the same company. There is only one listing for “Captain America,” for instance. I figure Steve Rogers was the original; so and any other “Captain America” published by Marvel has just been a shameless knockoff of the basic concept!

On the other hand: There are four listings which each begin with the name “American Eagle,” because four different companies have each created at least one character apiece who wore a flagsuit while using that patriotic alias!

There’s always room for improvement, but this is the best I’ve got at the moment. Happy Fourth of July!
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Lorendiac’s Lists: Temporary Disguises That Took On Lives Of Their Own

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest piece! Remember, again, this list is written by Lorendiac, not Brian Cronin. – BC.

When what looks like a brand new character turns out to be someone else’s Temporary Disguise, and then later the disguise “really becomes” a new character concept in its own right, who’s fooling whom?

This list is not an April Fool’s prank, but if you happen to see it posted on the first of April (which is what I’m hoping for [Sorry, Larry! – BC]), then feel free to tell yourself it’s kinda relevant because it lists times when people at Marvel or DC have appeared to be playing a shell game with the long-suffering readers. There is an odd sequence of events which I have observed several times in my years as a diehard fan of superhero comic books. It runs as follows:

A new costumed character debuts. Then it turns out it’s an old character with a new paint job; he just felt the need for a Temporary Disguise! Then it turns out that someone else entirely, probably an honest-to-goodness new character, is now using the same colorful combination of alias-and-costume with the intention of making it a more permanent thing than the role’s inventor ever did. It often seems that something originally conceived as a “Temporary Disguise” became so popular that it finally took on a life of its own!

Years ago, I became interested in this phenomenon and solicited help from my fellow fans in finding out how often it had happened this way. I had to work out some rules of thumb for what belonged on this list and what didn’t. Please remember that the key words are Temporary Disguise. I have no interest in trying to list every possible instance in which a hero or villain has created a certain role, intending to use it for a long, long time – and then the first user eventually died or retired or mysteriously vanished or otherwise abandoned the role, leaving the field clear for someone else to come along and revive the old role, costume and all!
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Lorendiac’s Lists: 11 Methods of Target Acquisition

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest piece! Remember, again, this list is written by Lorendiac, not Brian Cronin. – BC.

I once listed the various reasons why some people become superheroes and start looking for villains to smite — and on another occasion I examined the options they have after they’ve subdued a villain in the traditional slugfest and then start asking themselves: “Now what shall I do with him?” (Those discussions, among others, can be reached via the links at the bottom of this piece.) But it recently occurred to me that I’ve never really addressed the middle portion of that process: Given that someone has already chosen to dress up as a superhero, just how does he go about finding those bad guys so he can smite them properly?

To put it another way, what’s his preferred method of target acquisition?

Here are the answers I found for how the heroes and the villains may end up confronting one another.
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Lorendiac’s Lists: Timeline of First and Final Appearances of Every Supergirl, Superwoman, Etc. (5th Draft)

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest piece!- BC.

Some of you may remember previous Drafts of this work, although it’s been three years since I posted the last one. Now it’s back! It is one of the longest things I have ever posted at once on any Internet forum. (Over 25,000 words.) Believe me, I will understand perfectly if you don’t want to read it all in one sitting. After I had inserted all the new material, I didn’t want to proofread it all in one sitting! I can scarcely expect more of you than I do of myself, right?

But as long as DC keeps dragging more Supergirls and Superwomen (and similar characters with other names) into its continuity, I will keep trying to sort them all out for you!
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Lorendiac’s Lists: Character Aliases that Marvel and DC Have Both Used (4th Draft)

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest piece!- BC.

Let’s suppose you hear from a Very Reliable Source that a new miniseries is scheduled; it will be a joint effort from Marvel and DC. It will feature the following characters, all of whom have previously appeared in other comic books over the last umpteen years, using the same colorful aliases they will be using in this special crossover event. You are even told that these key characters will be split up into two groups, which we shall call “Blue Team” and “Gold Team” for the sake of argument.

Blue Team
Ant-Man, Aurora, Black Widow, Blink, Diablo, Electro, Gladiator, Jolt, Karma, Legion, Lionheart, The Lizard, Professor X, The Puppet Master, Magneto, Mockingbird, The Masked Marauder, Mysterio, The Vulture, The Wasp, Yellowjacket.

Gold Team
Bane, The Bat, The Creeper, Doctor Destiny, El Diablo, Huntress, Ice, Impulse, Jade, Manhunter, Obsidian, Oracle, Rainmaker, Raven, Ravager, Robotman, Spoiler, Titano, Voodoo, Witchfire, Zealot.

Given all of the above, are you safe in assuming that the Marvel contingent will be the Blue Team, and the characters representing DC will be clumped together on the Gold Team?

No!

It could just as easily be the other way around! Or each team could comprise a mixture of Marvel and DC character concepts! Just because a comic book has “Professor X” in it doesn’t mean the user of that name has anything to do with the X-Men, and just because a villain calls himself “Bane” doesn’t mean he once broke Batman’s back!

A year ago I saw someone on DC’s own discussion forums asking for advice. He wanted to write and post a fanfic featuring what I gathered was an original character, although the story would be set in the DCU, but the heroic alias he had in mind was one which he realized DC has already used from time to time (not for anyone who ever had his own title, though). The fan wanted advice on whether he’d get in trouble for copyright infringement if he stuck with the name he wanted to use.

I figured he didn’t really need to worry. First, because nobody can copyright a name all by itself; second, because DC doesn’t even visibly object to the existence of thousands of online fanfics that obviously are using their distinctive characters (instead of just recycling the occasional name for a new user); and third, because if frequently swiping colorful names for their new characters from old characters at Marvel is good enough for DC (and vice versa), then swiping names from both companies for our new characters certainly ought to be good enough for us common folk!

When I was a kid, I used to wonder how the various writers at DC and Marvel managed to keep coming up with nifty new “superhero names” or “supervillain names” that nobody had ever thought to use before. Now I know better. They don’t necessarily sweat blood in the effort to come up with new aliases in the superhero genre! Often, they just dust off and recycle old names, from their own company’s past continuity or a rival’s, if they figure they can get away with it!

When I started soliciting suggestions for the first draft of this list in early 2007, I could think of a few names offhand (“Captain Marvel” was an easy one), and I figured there were more duplications I had seen over the years but wasn’t immediately remembering, and probably several others involving characters I’d never heard of. I estimated I might end up with 30 “shared aliases” after my fellow fans had weighed in.

Live and learn! A week later, thanks to the help I received, my First Draft actually listed 166 names. Several months later, incorporating new suggestions from my fellow fans along with others I had dug up on my own, I had 303 in the Second Draft. A year after that, I figured I had 416 in the Third Draft. Now, almost a year later, I figure I’m up to 653 “aliases” which both Marvel and DC have used for characters (or someone else used them at another company, and then Marvel or DC later added those characters to their collections, somehow).

I dare to hope that I finally have most instances of “duplication” covered here. At any rate, I’ll probably want the tally to get up to at least 750 before I bother releasing another draft. How long will that take? Beats me!

Over the years I’ve had to hammer out some rules of thumb regarding what counts and what doesn’t for the purpose of this list. Let’s run through those now, to save you the trouble of asking why I completely skipped over certain names.
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Lorendiac’s “Timeline: The Shifting Continuity of Hugo Strange”

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest piece!- BC.

Over the last few years, I’ve occasionally stated in online discussions that Hugo Strange got the reboot treatment after COIE — “reboot” meaning that all of his previous appearances were flushed down the toilet and forgotten by him, by Batman, and by any other characters who had participated in any of those old stories. Some of my fellow fans have disagreed with that assessment. Eventually I decided the matter deserved a really comprehensive explanation. I have been working on this timeline, off and on, for quite some time, with a lot of rereading of various stories along the way, in an attempt to explain just how I found myself forced to conclude, years ago, that Post-COIE Hugo Strange was a rebooted character who remembered none of the events from his Pre-COIE appearances!

Now I’m unleashing the results upon the world (long after I had previously estimated I would do so, but who’s counting?). Be warned that most of this is summaries, with bits of commentary from yours truly, of many published stories, from 1940 on, which included Hugo Strange in a prominent role. If this subject doesn’t sound absolutely fascinating to you, then your chances of being entertained as you read the rest of this piece are dubious. But don’t say I didn’t warn you right up front!

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Lorendiac’s Lists: The Master List of Flagsuit Characters (Third Draft)

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest, nicely timed for the Fourth of July!- BC.

In June of 2007, on various forums, I requested help from my fellow fans in compiling a list of “Flagsuit Characters”; those who like to dress and act in a way which will presumably make people see them as Particularly Patriotic American Heroes. I thought it would be appropriate to post the full list on the Fourth of July of that year, and I did. The First Draft had 155 entries. Then more suggestions came in from various readers, and a year later I posted a Second Draft with 205 entries. Now it’s time for the Third Draft, with 237 entries. (It has actually gained a bit more than 32 new listings, because I saw fit to delete a few of the previous ones.)

Here were my original guidelines:

To make it onto my final list, a character has to meet a few basic criteria:

1. He (or she) wears a costume that includes red, white, and blue. (The presence of other colors is also acceptable as long as all three of those are included. But if the costume only has two out of three—red and blue without any white, for instance—then that doesn’t count!)

2. The character obviously wants to be viewed (by the general public) as an exceptionally patriotic American hero. I’m not saying the person must “really” be a hero, or even has to be a citizen or legal resident of the USA, for that matter! I’m just saying that this is the image the character obviously wants to project! If there have been any villains who put on red-white-and-blue outfits in order to fool people into thinking they were heroes for awhile, I’m perfectly willing to count that! (But not if they were just impersonating Captain America, for instance—only if they invented a fresh identity for the occasion.)

3. He (or she) must have appeared in at least one published comic book story. (I don’t want costumed characters who only existed in movies, TV shows, videogames or other media.

I then offered examples of what I didn’t want—Superman was disqualified by both Rule #1 and Rule #2, as I saw it; Spider-Man was also disqualified by Rule #2.

Those rules still apply, if you’re thinking of mentioning someone I’ve still managed to overlook!

I try to keep the listings as short and sweet as possible; I’m not writing an entire book here. I don’t usually mention what a hero’s secret identity was, nor what powers he had (if any), nor (in most cases) in which title he first appeared. I do mention who first published his adventures, though.

In cases where I personally have not been able to double-check such details as the exact physical appearance of the character (did the costume include red, white, and blue, all three colors at once, in a way which resembled the U.S. flag?) I have typed Unconfirmed at the end of the listing.

And I only list each “character concept” or “role” once, even if the same alias and costume have been used by multiple characters all belonging to the same company. There is only one listing for “Captain America,” for instance. I figure Steve Rogers was the original; so and any other “Captain America” published by Marvel has just been a shameless knockoff of the basic concept!

On the other hand: There are four listings which each begin with the name “American Eagle,” because four different companies have each created at least one character apiece who wore a flagsuit while using that patriotic alias!

There’s always room for improvement, but this is the best I’ve got at the moment. Happy Fourth of July!
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Lorendiac’s Lists: 10 Types of Comic Book Forum Weirdos

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest, nicely timed for April Fool’s Day!- BC.

Author’s Note: This list is not a hoax. However, in keeping with the humorously disrespectful spirit of this special day, it does break away from my usual approach for these lists. Instead of talking about strange things which frequently happen inside the comic books, or the reasons the writers and editors may have for making those strange things happen, I just talk about some of the peculiarities of the people who love to talk about those comic books in online forums. I wanted to post something along these lines years ago; but I figured I had better spend enough time on various comic book forums to build up “credibility,” so that people reading this list would recognize “Lorendiac” as a fellow fan and thus know I was laughing “with” them instead of “at” them. I’m not some anthropologist who just wandered in off the street a few days ago and started analyzing comic book fans as an outlandish subculture—although that premise might make a good comedy movie someday . . . Continue Reading »

Lorendiac’s Lists: The DC Reboots Since Crisis on Infinite Earths

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest!- BC.

Three years ago I requested help from my fellow fans in compiling a list of all the reboots DC had done of characters or entire teams in the years since COIE. Recently I repeated that request on a few forums, asking for help in listing anyone who had received the Reboot Treatment within these past three years. Here’s how I think it stands at the moment, for anyone who was wondering.

Before I offer my current list of DC Reboots, I want to talk a bit about what I mean and what I don’t mean when I use that word “Reboot.” This has caused a bit of confusion in the past. Different fans had different definitions in their heads when they saw and used that same word in their responses. Let’s see if I can explain myself clearly this time, using what I honestly believe to be the same definition commonly used by a majority of those fans who really worry about “reboots” and what does or doesn’t qualify.. Continue Reading »

Lorendiac’s Lists: 14 Answers to “Why So Many Retcons?”

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest!- BC.

14 Answers to “Why So Many Retcons?”

Years ago I tried to classify retcons into general categories. That piece, among others, can be reached via a link at the bottom of this post. But this time I’m going to look at the problem of retconning from a different angle, by trying to answer a popular question: “Why do the creators and editors of new stories about old characters keep inflicting so many retcons upon us?”

Sometimes it seems as if every time you finally think you’ve perfected your mental model of what the modern Batman continuity (for instance) says about the histories and current motivations of each major figure involved, some troublemaker in the industry erases ten percent of this old story, fifty percent of that old story, and one hundred percent of another story arc you have in your collection, in the process of making room for a supposedly “new and improved version” of the relevant continuity as he imposes his own retcons upon the larger structure! You are supposed to quickly realize what has happened and make all necessary mental adjustments on your own time! Why do they keep doing this to us? Over the last few months I’ve written down another motive whenever I thought of one, and here’s my current list of the different things which might be going through someone’s head as he or she contrived yet another retcon! Continue Reading »

Lorendiac’s “Timeline of Wonder Woman’s Killings, Post-Crisis”

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest!- BC.

It’s been over three years since Wonder Woman killed Max Lord and Superman gaped in horror at the spectacle. That’s enough time for our tempers to cool enough to let us look at the context in a calm, rational fashion . . . right?

The plain implication of Superman’s reaction was that he had never seen his friend Diana kill a sentient being before, he had never heard of her killing a sentient being before, and he had never believed that she might start doing such a thing in the foreseeable future, no matter how viciously dangerous a particular villain appeared to be! The entire concept came as a complete shock to him!

When considered in the context of all the other Wonder Woman stories which had been published since her Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Reboot, did that “plain implication” actually make any sense? Let’s look at the record! Continue Reading »

Lorendiac’s “Character Aliases That Marvel and DC Have Both Used” (3rd Draft)

Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest!- BC.

Ant-Man, Aurora, Black Widow, Blink, Electro, Gladiator, Jolt, Karma, Magneto, Mysterio, Professor X, Speed Demon, The Vulture, The Wasp, Yellowjacket . . . “obviously” they are all Marvel characters, right?

Argent, Blockbuster, Hitman, Huntress, Impulse, Manhunter, Psimon, Ravager, Raven, Spoiler . . . “obviously” they are all DCU characters, right?

Burnout, Freefall, Rainmaker, Voodoo, Zealot . . . “obviously” they are all Wildstorm characters who were created before Wildstorm became a division of DC, right?

Icon, Rocket, Static . . . “obviously” they are all Milestone characters, soon to be integrated into the regular continuity of the DCU, right?

Well . . . yes and no. The truth is: All of the “aliases” I just mentioned have been used on both the Marvel and the DC sides of the fence, for different characters! Continue Reading »

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