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Headscratchers: The DCU
  • Its a minor one but at the end of the Infinite Crisis The Joker kills Alexander Luthor with a joy buzzer burning up half of his face, yet at the beginning of 52 Lex Luthor uses the body to pass the buck of his most recent criminal endeavors on an alternate reality version of himself... and the body is in perfect shape....
    • Reconstructive surgery on the corpse.
    • Morticians can do some pretty good work even on people who've had half their head blown off.
      • Especially if they've got comic-book superscience behind them.
  • Why haven't DC taken advantage of the renewal of The Multiverse to publish Alternate Universe versions of their characters? Off the top of my head, I could see Earth-2 stories doing something similar to an Ultimate Universe using the original versions of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. A regularly-published Earth-2 Batman book would be interesting, given that Earth-2 Batman used guns at one point, and Earth-2 Two-Face is more of an Anti-Villain than his modern counterpart. it would certainly be a better AU take than All-Star Batman and Robin...
    • Justice Society has already traversed to Earth-2 during the Gog storyline (and had the Kingdom Come Superman temporarily join the team). The universes that are similar to the originals Pre Crisis (Earth-2,3,5,10,etc.) are all similar, so it's not like a giant mystery about which is which. As for the Earth-2 Batman... he's dead, just like the original Earth-Two Batman, his daughter Huntress is a heroine in his stead. But to answer your question in better detail, right after 52 (where the Multiverse is reintroduced), we got Countdown to Final Crisis which had a group of people travel from universe to universe (if you missed it, you're not alone; DC screwed up with their Countdown tie-ins) and Final Crisis we saw more universes. There's a good possibility that we'll get a/several Multiverse title(s) soon, so don't worry.
    • Apparently Chief Editor Dan Didio doesn't like out-of-continuity stories. That's why Elseworlds got canned, among other things.
      • As willing as I am to blindingly accept that Dan Didio is doing something evil—again—is this actually the case? Trinity was barely in continuity, and even then no one can remember it. Superman/Batman goes in and out depending on the week. Wednesday Comics is definitely out of continuity. And his Silver Age obsession would seem to contradict that, as every other story back then was an "imaginary" story or what have you.
      • Considering that there is now a miniseries explicitly labeled as an Elseworlds story coming out this month...
    • I don't know when that post was created, but it's October of 2013 and they have. There's Earth-2, back in its full glory with a series that follows the Flash, GL and Hawkgirl of the new universe. Not only that, but World's Finest features two characters who originated in Earth 2—Power Girl and Huntress—on the regular Earth. Then there's the line of graphic novels known as Earth One (note the spelled out number) which has given us two Superman Original Graphic Novels and a Batman one. Finally, every time there's a book that takes place in the universe of an animated series or movie, that's considered a different "Earth" as well.
  • Green Lantern's weakness is yellow, which I can forgive, stupid as it is. But, doesn't that mean that any color MADE from yellow, like green or orange, would be immune to the ring?
    • So far as I understand, it's less about the color as it is the place on the emotional spectrum. Green Lantern crash course it is. The emotional spectrum is red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet, with each representing an emotion - rage, greed, fear, willpower, hope, compassion and love. The reason the Green Lantern Corps are weak to the color yellow is because, in many cases, members of the Corps do not have the sheer willpower to overcome their fears. Observe the death of Jack Chance - during the Sinestro Corps War, Parallax made him fear, broke down his courage and was able to kill him as a result.
      • Additional: In theory, the GLC works against other emotions because they are not so opposed to courage as fear is. This is the reason I'm waiting quite eagerly to see what happens when Larfleeze (the Orange Lantern) meets the Indigo Tribe, as it pits greed against compassion, which are diametrically opposed.
      • If the shipping is to be believed, Indigo-1 and Larfleeze will fall in love which is a Headscratchers in and of itself.
      • This is all recent a Retcon. For decades the Green Lanter Rings simply did not work on things colored yellow, and that was that; emotions and courage had nothing to do with it. As to why colors that were made from yellow, including green itself, were not affected, the real reason was, again, that's just the way it was. If you need something more than that, remember that yellow is only a primary color in subtractive coloring, but in additive coloring, green is a primary color, and both yellow and orange are made by mixing varying combinations of green and red. Since the rings project light, additive color theory is more appropriate to understanding their functionality.
      • Indeed. Most humans perceive the color we call "green" when we see electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths from about 490nm to about 560nm, whereas most humans perceive the color "yellow" when we see electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths from about 560nm to about 590nm. We can approximate reflected colors by mixing pigments in paint, but that is perhaps more an artifact of the human brain's color processing software. Wikipedia is, as always, helpful.

  • It's well established in the DCU that Lex Luthor has massive secret stockpiles of Kryptonite (How so much of the planet Krypton came with Kal-el also Bugs Me). He's used it to power Superman Killing cyborgs, Superman Killing spaceships, Superman Killing guns, a Superman Killing ring, etc. Why didn't he ever just poison Metropolis's reservoirs with Kryptonite? It's been shown that Kryptonite doesn't kill humans as quickly as it does Kryptonians. It took months for Lex's ring to nearly kill him. So the moment anyone in Metropolis was sent to a hospital for severe radiation poisoning for no obvious reason, Lex would be able to tell it was really Superman, then kill him in a more satisfying manner. If nobody got sick quickly, then Lex would at least learn that Superman doesn't drink tap water. Then he could just poison the bottled water supplies. The 52 miniseries confirmed that Lex doesn't care how many innocent people could be hurt or killed by his schemes. I mean, if I had an enemy whom I wanted dead with every fiber of my being, lacked the morals to care about innocent people getting hurt or killed, had good cause to believe the enemy lived in a specific city, and had a poison that would quickly kill only that enemy, I'd use it in that manner.
    • Luthor doesn't believe that Superman has a secret identity, mostly because if Luthor had that kind of power, he would see no reason to hide it. And there's no reason to believe that Superman even needs water, given that he can breathe in space. Besides, if Luthor went all out destroying Superman, with no regard for civilian casualties, he runs the risk of going too far for even Clark's boyscout nature to tolerate. In the first arc of Superman/Batman, he came very close to crossing the line that would have resulted in Superman killing him by, once again, almost destroying the world.
      • Something that has annoyed me since they Small-vilified (pun most certainly intended) the modern continuity. Lex Luthor is one of the smartest people on the planet, he saw all sorts of strange things happen while he lived in Smallville and they all just happened to center around Clark. Years later Clark shows up in Metropolis and coincidentally the same time that Superman shows up and he never put two and two together and realized that Clark was Superman. Lex isn't that dumb!
      • Hence the reason that it is the height of impossibility to shoehorn Smallville into mainstream DCU continuity. The most basic, blatant reason? CLARK KENT HAS SPENT NINE SEASONS IN NO KIND OF DISGUISE, NOT EVEN A PAIR OF GLASSES, SO HE LOOKS JUST LIKE SUPERMAN. Smallville is a continuity all to itself. This same argument can be used to ask why, when they've had every other DC hero show up, they refuse to do the one most demanded, Bruce Wayne showing up in Smallville, or now I guess Metropolis since the show's really set there these days.
      • "Wow, Mr. Reporter Guy, you kinda look like Superman!" "Yeah, I get that a lot." Ever met someone who looks a lot like a celebrity? Heck, there's people in real life who look like Superman.
      • They didn't refuse to use Batman. They couldn't because they couldn't get the rights to use him. They'd even planned on using a young Bruce Wayne, and introduced a character with the plan that if they ever got the rights, they would say he had been Bruce all along under an assumed name.
      • It's implied in All-Star Superman that Lex is face-deep in denial about Superman's identity/so blindingly wrapped up in his superiority complex and his bitterness that he has nothing left but his brain, the knowledge of how to make the perfect cocktail, and a whole ton of hatred for the Man of Steel. Another fun term for it might be 'Screw secret identities, I'll kill you anyway'.
    • This troper forgot about that first one. Knowing Lex, he probably believes Superman lives in some secret fortress 24-7. It's probably a good thing for Lex that Supes didn't have his powers when Lex crossed the Moral Event Horizon in 52.
    • For the most part, Luthor loves Metropolis. Sure, he went a little crazy and flattened it when he was ill (it got better). As established in Morrison Justice League, he sees civilian casualties as regrettable and took the first chance he had to bring said dead people back to life. Of course, it also had the benefit of making Luthor look better but most anything he does does.
    • The various Kryptonite objects you discuss above all came from one fist-sized chunk of Kryptonite. Which was all that existed on Earth at that given time (this was the Byrne revamp). It wasn't until later that more Kryptonite showed up.
    • How hard is it to create a Kryptonite bullet? Just fill up a machine gun with them and Superman will be dead in no time. HOW IS IT NOBODY'S EVER USED THIS?
      • They HAVE used it, multiple times.
      • Kryptonite is known to be fairly low on Moh's Hardness Scale- which is why its so easy to break off chunks of it. Chances are, if you tried to shoot it out of a gun, the bullet would shatter, and instead of shooting long distance green death you'd emit a puff of green powder.
      • And also, Superman is - say it with me - faster than a speeding bullet.
      • Two words: discarding sabot. The lead bullet will hold the kryptonite needle center together just fine, until it hits Superman's skin — at which point the lead will splash against his skin, and the kryptonite sabot inside will keep going and punch right through Kal-El. Even better, Superman's X-ray vision won't spot the kryptonite sabot inside the bullet because the bullet is made out of lead, and Superman won't suspect anything is wrong because bullets are supposed to be made out of lead. And how often does Superman bother to dodge vs. ordinary lead bullets? He actually goes out of his way to get in front of bullets so that they don't hit any innocent bystanders!
      • In the Silver Age (don't know about Post-Crisis) kryptonite did not affect Superman's invulnerability. This wall banger was created to explain why crooks couldn't just expose Superman to kryptonite then shoot him when he lost his powers. There is, at least, one story where Superman is shot at with kryptonite bullets & you can see them lying on the ground next to him.
      • Kryptonite penetrates Superman's invulnerability Post-Crisis. One villain, Bloodsport, had a gun that shot kryptonite slivers.
      • He survived kryptonite beams, kryptonite clouds, and magical golems made entirely out of kryptonite. Why would you expect kryptonite bullets to work any better?
      • Moreover, Kryptonite doesn't kill Superman on contact. He's still more resilient to injury than the average person, with or without a Kryptonite bullet lodged in his chest. If you got him in the heart or in the brain, it might kill him, but it might not kill him instantly. Metallo shot him in both Superman/Batman: Most Wanted and the comic arc it was based on, and he survived.
      • Better idea: Use a... ahem... mentally challenged suicide bomber that has kryptonite dust and regular ball bearings in it. Superman swoops in to talk to the bomber, since the bomber probably doesn't realize what exactly he's doing; bomb goes off, kryptonite dust de-powers Superman, ball-bearings make Superman-flavored jelly. Come on villains! This ain't that hard!
      • Again. Super. Speed. He can run/fly away from an explosion fast enough so that the shrapnel would never hit him. Besides, he would already have scanned the bomber with x-ray vision, seen the kryptonite (or seen the strange lead casings keeping said kryptonite hidden) and dismantle the bomb from a distance with heat vision.
      • There is nothing "strange" about 'lead casings' when they are bullets. Bullets are supposed to be made out of lead.
  • What sexuality is Wonder Woman? It makes a lot of sense for her to be a lesbian (growing up knowing only women and all) but then she also has a love interest when the writer isn't busy reimagining her backstory and creating one of the worst Continuity Snarls in comics. So then she would be bi, but sometimes DC is trying to avoid making their third most known superhero seem to be gay despite it seeming that their way of getting gay superheroes is to have lots of lesbians.
    • The question of sexual identity in the way you're suggesting it wouldn't exist on Themyscira. Regardless, the fact is that she's shown interest in male characters and thus doesn't exclusively lean towards women. More than likely she just doesn't care what gender anyone is, and is willing to have relationships with anyone with whom she feels a connection. Her love interests (having been admittedly few and far between) have thus far been heterosexual men, but that doesn't mean all of them will be. However, given that people are only just coming around to accepting gays in media and people who are bisexual are generally dismissed as faking it for attention or kidding themselves, it may be a while before mainstream comics sees a positive example of bisexuality.
    • Not that much. On the other hand it's not impossible for her to be just heterosexual. While the lesbian relationships are the only ones she could possibly see while growing up, the idea of her having relationships with one of other amazons is somewhat Squick-y due to the whole "our daughter" thing. After meeting people she didn't knew since diapers (i.e. coming to America) she could find herself attracted to men although it would be a hard thing to accept - something like when homosexual people who grew up in heterosexual families come to terms with their sexuality, only the other way round.
    • Who cares?
      • The sizeable group of LGBT people, particularly women, who love Wonder Woman, love comics, and would like to see representation beyond tokenism or second-string characters no one outside of comics fandom would have heard of. And our straight allies. And fans in general who would like to see more diversity in comics and are tired of the same old straight heroes.
      • Ditto for those fans who love Wonder Woman and comics, follow the continuity, and have noticed that every love interest she's ever had has been a male. Some of us don't think that's a bad thing, and seeing Diana outed, in stark contrast the way she's been consistently portrayed all the way back to the Perez run, would be disappointing. Whether it was done to appeal to a minority or as fanservice, it would still come off as cheap.
    • When asked if there was a man in her life, Wonder Woman replied "No, and there is no woman, either." Make of that what you will.
  • In the pilot of Justice League, an alien that has been masquerading as a U.S. senator for two years is shown to dissolve into white goo after spending five seconds in direct sunlight. How did he manage to campaign?
    • Maybe people just thought he was a typical shady politician.
      • Ba-dum tish!
    • "Today on Nightline, Senator Bob will be with us to discuss tax rates. Owing to Senator Bob's skin condition, the lights will be set on low."
  • In Superman Returns, Lex Luthor's plan involves creating a new continent under his control using Kryptonian crystal technology. After he creates the new continent, what's to prevent every army in the world from just taking it from him? All we see on the island is Kumar, some nameless henchman, a dog, and his girlfriend.
    • I think it was Hand Waved by Luthor saying he'll challenge the world with the Kryptonian technology, but your point still stands, all he has is a giant rock.
      • The main reason this one is so obvious to me is because Luthor said he had Kryptonian technology, but he never actually uses it. When Superman shows up, they just throw the kyptonite at him and start punching him. Man, that scene was disappointing. The whole time I thought they were going to fight Superman with these awesome Kryptonian weapons and they just start beating him up gangster-style instead.
      • Why use some Kryptonian heat-ray that would just waste energy when you can have the satisfaction of beating the crap out of Superman with nothing but your bare hands? Also, Kryptonian weapons would have made for a poor Christ parallel. The beating and jeering of the thugs is meant to mimic the Via Dolorosa, the same way the wound to Superman's side is Jesus getting stabbed in the side.
    • The movies like to portray Luthor as a big, sinister realtor. The first one it was land in California, the second one has him ogling Australia, and he wasn't in the third one because that was the year he renewed his real estate license.
      • In regards to the kryptonite island plan, if kryptonite functions anything like in the comics, wouldn't Lexor Island be radioactive and cause eventually fatal cancer in anyone who spent an extended period of time on it?
      • If.
      • I was curious how he was expecting to get anyone to move to a giant chunk of pointy rock with no fresh water, no fertile soil, no plant life and nothing to pollinate any that he imports, no natural resources of any kind, and no flat areas of ground to build on even if someone did want to. And all of that is assuming that kryptonite has zero toxicity, because if it has ANY negative effect on humans a whole island of it will probably kill anyone who moves there anyway. Even Antarctica has water and fish, for criminy's sake. Unless there's a lot more to this plan than Luthor tells us, Lexor Island is probably the only piece of land in human history that actually manages to be one hundred percent worthless.
  • The villains in DC One Million attempt to kill the original Superman in the 853rd century by firing a chunk of Kryptonite, hidden on Mars for millennia, into the sun (which is where he lives then); when the Justice League figures this out, they secretly replace the Kryptonite with a disguised Green Lantern ring. Thus, when the chunk is fired, Superman comes out with the ring and helps defeat the Big Bad... except that the Green Lantern ring has gone 83,000-odd years without a recharge. So how did it work?
    • In the 90's when the storyline was written, Green Lantern rings had been switched to a version that had a finite "fuel" supply that could stay "full" as long as it wasn't used; however, later all existing rings were switched back to the 24-hour charge. Perhaps they switched back in the intervening 83,000 years?
      • Why do they need to switch back? It's a Nineties, Kyle-Rayner-rules power ring. The fact the Guardians have gone back to the 24 hour limit with the new rings doesn't affect the one buried on Mars, surely?
      • But Kyle's ring (which it was implied to be which is why there were no Green Lanterns in the future) would only work for Kyle and people with whom he shares some sort of genetic connection so it shouldn't have worked for Superman. Although Kyle's ring also worked for Parallax, something that they really never really explained- maybe it was a psychological thing since he didn't really need the ring with his Parallax powers.
      • Kyle's ring was Hal's ring originally, the Last Guardian picked up the remains, used his powers to reforge it, and zipped off to give it to Kyle. Being Hal's ring originally it likely still had security settings allowing for Hal to use it still active since there wasn't any reason for the Guardian to think he needed to deactivate them.
      • Kyle's been shown able to alter the ring's security settings, so to speak, and allow it to work for others.
    • Or, more simply, they buried his power battery along with his ring.
    • Or the Rings of the 853rd Century are self-powering. Everything else has been upgraded then, why not that too?
    • Or they're solar powered...
    • Better yet, if the original Supes has been living in the sun for years, why would the villains even try to kill him in the first place? It's not like he's foiling crime. Seems like they'd be going after Superman of the 853rd century...
      • Did you even read the story at all? A) Superman was scheduled to come walking out of the sun and rejoin the universe. B) Solaris the Tyrant Sun (the villain) wanted revenge against the original Superman for defeating him over and over.
      • Hand-waved in later Green Lantern issues by saying the battery can be invisibly linked to the ring.
  • In Justice League Hawk Girl is an alien, and has natural wings. So, is that a mask on her, is that just what her face looks like, being an alien?
    • Just a mask. We've seen her and other Thanagarians with their masks off, in late season two and in all the JLU seasons. The wings, on the other hand, are natural.
  • I am willing to suspend my disbelief to "get" that the New Gods are actually giants, and that whenever they travel to Earth in the "Boom Tube", they actually diminish in size to human levels. But, the Tomorrow People aren't gods. Why should they be the same size as the other inhabitants of New Genesis and why would they use the Boom Tube? Power of suggestion?
    • By Tomorrow People, do you mean the Forever People? If so, where are you getting that they aren't gods? They're the first New Gods to appear in the comics, biking out of, yes, a Boom Tube to breathless Jack Kirby narration.
      • Yeah, they're the Forever People. It was a translation error. Jack Kirby might have said they were Gods, but they were later retconned (by John Byrne, I think) into being humans raised in New Genesis.
      • No, the De Matteis Forever People miniseries showed that they were human orphans raised by Highfather on New Genesis, but they were transformed into gods and given powers. John Byrne basically wrote off that whole miniseries (and their subsequent appearances) by having Darkseid pluck the old Forever People from right after the first Forever People series and retconning them into real gods. This means, however, that they were either turned into gods or were originally gods (and that there were two sets of Forever People running around, one older than the other). Either way, they're gods.
      • More relevantly, gods or not, the Boom Tubes alter scale both ways; one post-Crisis issue of Superman made this explicit.
  • This isn't limited to the DCU, but what's with those brief things that some superheroes (such as Superman and Batman) wear on top of their tights?
    • Superman's too clean-cut to go commando and too image-conscious to go out with a VPL. This is his answer to the dilemma.
    • The original inspiration for Superman's costume was the garb of collegiate and circus tumblers/gymnasts and wrestlers. The "modesty" shorts were worn over their skintight tights specifically because, well, for the obvious reasons of modesty! Times and mores have changed a lot since then...
    • When they say he is Superman they mean it (if you know what I mean) and his costume was made by his (adoptive) mother. Can you imagine standing in front of a mirror looking at how the fabric is molding itself to every curve of your body looking down and seeing it is molding to EVERY part of your body and from outside the door you hear your mum call How does it fit Clark? A lot of people would grab a pair of red pants rather than let their mother find out whether they dress to the left or to the right.
      • Technically if every continuity since the 70s Superman's outfit is based on Kryptonian clothing, my guess is everyone on Krypton dresses like that. (Especially with The Kandorians we've seen in their attack on the president.)
  • In Identity Crisis, after Atom finds out his ex was responsible for Sue Dibny's death because she wanted him to come running back to her, why does he commit her to Arkham asylum of all places!? Not only is that place hardly conductive to one's mental health, but the place also happens to hold 51% of all psychotic super villains at any given time, but she's also publicly known as the Atom's ex-wife! Either the Atom is a phenomenal idiot, or he's just that cold.
    • Besides which, Arkham is an asylum for Gotham City, a place in which Jean Loring has never resided. There aren't any mental institutions in Ivy Town?
    • The woman went and did a tap dance on another woman's brain. Maybe it was out of the JLA's hands. And at least Arkham is trained to handle science-crimes. Allegedly.
  • In The Dark Knight, why did Jim Gordon destroy the Bat-Signal? In the Nolan movies, the Bat-Signal is a secret between him and Batman, a means to summon him for secret meeting. Nobody else knows about its existence, so there's no reason to destroy even if there IS a manhunt on Batman.
    • Are you kidding? How do the Police miss a large spotlight on their roof? And the Bat-Signal itself is hardly invisible to the general populace.
      • Yeah. The Bat-Signal is pretty obvious, even if he threw a tarp over it when it wasn't in use or something; as to why Gordon smashed it, obviously the G.P.D. were making him do so as a 'we're not with this vigilante' kinda thing.
    • I'd like to point out that the Bat Signal isn't a secret. I recall a Superman comic in which a young boy in Metropolis wanted Supermans help so he spray paints the big "s" on a basketball court claiming that "This works for Batman"
    • But the question is referring to the Nolan films specifically. Where it is an open secret at least, since Gordon feigns ignorance in a "Bat signal? What Bat signal?" kind of way.
    • It's symbolic. While the signal — and the relationship between Batman and Gordon and the police — is officially denied (plausible deniability, that sort of thing), smashing it is a way of officially saying "it's over."
  • How does Harvey Dent go from black to white in the course of three movies?
    • The casting people not paying attention.
    • Or the original actor not being willing/available.
    • They Just Didn't Care.
    • The acid did it; the TV footage showing white Harvey was just bad quality.
    • Tim Burton was in charge for the first two movies, and had a fairly racially-blind casting policy. He thought Billy Dee could bring something to the part. When Joel Schumacher took over for Batman Forever, he decided to cast a more campy version in Tommy Lee Jones (which you can tell, because he's really fucking getting into it). Happily, Billy Dee got paid anyway. If you need an in-universe explanation: Billy Dee's Harvey Dent quit/retired/moved, and his replacement also happened to be named Harvey Dent.
  • Couldn't Gotham City cut down crime rates by making it less convenient for the supervillains to strike? In the old comics, they had about a dozen different birdwatchers' clubs, which was a good excuse for the Penguin to strike. Any time they had any kind of comedy club or tribute to comedians, they knew the Joker just had to show up. Any kind of cat show was an invitation for Catwoman. If they downplayed some of this stuff, the villains probably wouldn't have had as much inspiration.
    • They don't downplay it for the same reason that people still continued to fly after 9/11 and to use the underground after the London bombings - to stop would be to basically admit that the villains have won.
      • If terrorists pulled off 9/11 style attacks as often as supervillains go on rampages, you better believe people would stop flying!
    • I guess when you live in a place as depressing as Gotham City, you need whatever pleasure-giving hobbies you can possibly have. Plus, Comic Book Time means that it's hard to know how often these villains actually do go on their rampages. If that doesn't satisfy, then Superboy-Prime punched time and made it happen.
    • Arguably lampshaded in Batman Beyond when the villain Payback turns up at a society function and someone in the crowd says "no more charity events! They're too dangerous!"
  • When the Spectre wanted to destroy all magic, shouldn't he commit suicide, as he himself is a magical being?
    • Maybe that was his plan; but he had to destroy everyone else first.
    • He explicitly said this. Eclipso had him so confused that he thought getting rid of magic would get rid of all evil as well, rendering him unnecessary.
  • Are John Constantine, Tim Hunter and the Endless still part of the DC Universe?
    • Not exactly. They're Vertigo characters and the current head of Vertigo is stingy with her toys.
      • I thought it was DC policy, so as to avoid kids accidentally picking up Vertigo books because they thought Hellblazer was cool when he popped up in Superman, or what have you.
      • The best in-universe explanation I can come up with is that some individuals in the DCU (Doctor Occult, the Martian Manhunter, etc.) have counterparts in the Vertigo universe (which is not one of the 52, but something else entirely), but it doesn't work the other way around. As for the Dream vs. Starro storyline ... the Endless can do pretty much whatever they want within each one's purview, and that may include jumping continuities if necessary.
      • Yes, Vertigo characters are still part of the DC Universe. Animal Man is still Vertigo, but he has been part of some important stuff, especially in Infinite Crisis and 52. Dream (as in Daniel) has been in JLA, and (probably) Death is in the new Batman story "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader". The semi official explanation is that less focus is payed to the Vertigo characters because DC has, of course Loads and Loads of Characters.
    • Dream also turned up in JSA a lot. He featured in one of the first issues of the JSA reboot in 1999, in Sand's dream. He later chastised Degaton to prevent him from bothering Hector and Lyta. He summoned his parents and some teammates to a false dreamworld Brute and Glob had constructed (watching Lyta smash Glob in half was rather awesome) to rescue a brainwashed Sand. His final "appearance" was his arm opening a door to the Dreaming to let his mother and father escape the slopes of Hell.
    • The problem has since been complicated by the fact that the Vertigo titles are no longer in-continuity to each other, let alone to the DC Universe in general. For example: There is a canonical portryal of the Supreme Being What Created The Universe and His Fallen Angel Adversary and all attendant cosmology surrounding them both in Vertigo's Lucifer title. There is also a canonical portrayal of the Devil, the history of the Creation, the general cosmology of the universe and the afterlife, and so forth in other Vertigo titles, such as Hellblazer. And then there's the scoop on the Presence (aka the Source), etc., and the afterlife, and all that in the regular DC Universe. And none of these portrayals are, or can possibly be, even remotely reconciled with each other. (For example, the Lucifer run ended with God retiring and being replaced by his teenage granddaughter Elaine, while the Presence in the DCU isn't even anthropomorphic.)
      • A big part of most Vertigo comics, especially Sandman, is Perception Is Everything. Everyone perceives the gods and spirits and what-have-yous in a way consistent with their culture and world view. God isn't anthropomorphic in the regular DC comics (and most of the Vertigo ones, I might point out) for the simple reason that God doesn't show himself to just anybody. Wonder Woman interacts with Ares in a Superhero context, so he takes the form of a comic book villain in those stories, while the Sandman interacts with the Greek gods on a more-or-less equal level, so they appear in their classical forms in those stories. This doesn't solve all the niggling little problems, but it goes a long way toward being able to see Vertigo and DC proper as one shared universe.
      • The perception explanation doesn't work: many of the relevant scenes in Lucifer are shot from the POV of Lucifer, Michael, or God, who would most definitely not be subject to this problem. Also, as of the end of the Lucifer run God was not only replaced by his teenage grandkid, but the fact of this replacement was publicly announced to every inhabitant of Heaven, Hell and the various mythological dimensions. So "perception" doesn't apply here either, and neither does divine obscurity: it is a widely known fact among all angels and demons that Yahweh has passed on the torch, and yet this has not happened in the DCU (or Hellblazer).
  • How does comicbook Two-Face get the straight line of scar down his face when it's acid that did it? My -theory- is that he tried to use a file folder to save himself but it didn't work. Just wish they'd explain.
    • I'm reasonably certain that the current scarring is self-inflicted (he got it cured, went through counseling, the whole nine yards, then he went crazy again and scarred up his face). Before that, it could just be coincidence. Although more than likely, if most of one side of his face was scarred, he just picked at the rest of it so that it was a perfect line.
    • That is actually the explanation for Two Face in Batman Forever. Watch the news story about Harvey Dent again.
  • We know what happens in real life when skyscrapers fall down. D.C. continues to have near-monthly skyscraper collapses. It bugs me.
    • People can get used to anything. If enough skyscrapers collapse, everyone will treat it as a routine event.
    • There are problems here beyond the psychological. The fine dust from the WTC towers went right through the masks of rescue workers, causing long-term damage equivalent to inhaling volcanic ash.
      • Superman has super-breath. Problem solved. (yes, I know, it's over simplifying it but)
      • Actually, considering Superman has to blow it somewhere, that may raise more problems than it solves...
      • Breathing works two ways. Superman inhales it (or as much as he can) and blows it out into space. Presumably it's not lethal to him.
  • Hypertime: is it real or not? And did Kansas get scorched again in canon as established in 'The Kingdom', the two-parter that showcased Hypertime?
    • Given that the multiple DC Universes exist again, they don't actually need Hypertime. One assumes that, during Infinite Crisis, all the universes were sort of futzed with so that they didn't require Hypertime. So the simple answer is that it used to exist, and the complicated answer is that it doesn't not never exist.
    • DC's official stance is that it doesn't exist anymore. But keeping in mind that a) the creators of Hypertime are pretty much the main storytellers at DC right now and b) it's been mentioned in recent books like Booster Gold and 52 (you know, the series that reintroduced the multiverse) and c) that the very design of Hypertime means it's impossible to get rid of, I'd say that yeah, it still exists.
      • Not to mention that any retcon, no matter how blatantly not-Hypertime, can be explained in Hypertime terms. Superboy-Prime's retcon punches = Superboy-Prime futzing with Hypertime. It actually arguably makes it make more sense in that case.
  • Related to the Spectre question above... how, exactly, did he kill Shazam? Shazam was already dead, killed right as he created Captain Marvel. Only his spirit dwelt on the Rock of Eternity. And nobody ever says that the Spectre "banished" or "destroyed" him, they say "killed".
    • Given everything that's going on right then, I doubt anyone wanted to bother with semantics. He had some form of distinct consciousness that wasn't there anymore after the Spectre was done. By the DCU rules, that was probably close enough that 'killed' applied by default.
    • Shazam was a ghost only in the Golden and Silver Ages; the current portrayal of Shazam, as established in the "The Power of Shazam" graphic novel, is of a living, though ageless, wizard. (Though how the Spectre managed to kill someone who had become a god by the end of the "The Power of Shazam" series is anyone's guess.)
  • John Constantine ages in real time. Zatanna does not. Discuss.
    • Pots gniga!
      • All right then. Constantine ages in real time, Zatanna does not. Zatanna also interacts with the rest of the cast of the DCU, who also do not age in real time. She and Bruce were friends as children. She's been a member of the League. Eventually Constantine will be an old man and die, but Zatanna is, at her oldest, about forty (assuming she's the same age as upper estimates for Bruce Wayne).
    • This is something that Vertigo's segregation could actually be beneficial for: since John so rarely interacts with the mainstream DC characters, its possible that Hellblazer's timeline just goes faster. That is, the middle-aged John we see exists in the same universe as middle-aged versions of the Justice League, but he never runs into them. Any of John's appearances in other titles take place in his past, compared with his main series. Closer reading of the comics may contradict this (i.e., people referring to what year it is in Hellblazer vs. JLA or something) but it works for me.
    • Zatanna is vain enough to cast an anti-aging spell. Constantine just doesn't care.
  • When did the age of superheroes start? Canon has it that Bruce took Dick in when he was about twelve, and this was also during his third year of superheroing. Bruce and Clark got their start at about the same time, and Supes is claimed to have inspired the new age. Since Dick is about twenty-five now, this would mean that they got their start around fifteen years ago. The problem comes in when you consider heroes like Green Arrow and Green Lantern, who are in their late forties (while appearing younger due to having come back from the dead). So did they get their start before Superman and just stayed out of the limelight, or did they start later in their lives than the rest?
    • Yes, because ''every'' hero and villain were the exact same age when they got started and they ''all'' got started at the same time. Scenario: Clark Kent was twenty-seven when he made his debut, while Hal Jordan was twenty-three when he got his power ring two-three years after Superman's debut.
      • Yes, that's what the question asked. Look again. "Did they get their start before Superman and just stayed out of the limelight, or did they start later in their lives than the rest?" I don't know if you didn't read the question, or if you just came up with a comeback that you thought was particularly clever and didn't care that it didn't fit. Regardless, your suggestion doesn't fit: Hal is (or was, at one point) older than Clark, not younger.
      • Except that the solution is so obvious that, if you didn't need to be snarked at about it, why did you ask the question?
    • Alternately, you could go here.
      • This Troper reccomends getting comfortable first.
  • What in the Hell were the Guardians of the Universe thinking drafting only 7200 Green Lanterns to police the entire universe?! Considering what we know of the size and number of stars in the universe, if we assume 3600 space sectors with 2 Lanterns per sector that's roughly TEN BILLION BILLION STAR SYSTEMS per every Lantern pair, or five billion billion star systems per every individual Lantern. They're supposed to effectively patrol that?! Seriously? Why not a more sensible system like, say, 1-2 Lanterns per planet? Or 1-2 Lanterns per star system? That's still a lot of territory but at least it's manageable. Plus if the sectors are arranged so they all simultaneously converge at the center of the universe that means each sector is long and spindly, reaching from Oa all the way to the outermost reaches of the universe. So not only does each Green Lantern have a horrendous amount of territory to keep track of, in order to stay on top of everything that's going on in their sector they have to spend most of their time zooming back and forth from Oa to the Source Wall constantly. Geez, no wonder Hal Jordan was able to single-handedly wipe out the entire Green Lantern Corps. Clearly the Guardians are utterly incompetent administrators.
    • It actually used to be 3,600. One Corps member per sector. But I can't even think of a No-Prize explanation, so the answer is "because the Guardians are dumb."
    • Personally I think that either the DC universe is far smaller than our existent universe, or Guardians of the Universe is merely a title, and the reality is the Corps patrols merely the local volume of galaxies (or even just the milky way). Then again they might also be just policing those systems that have sentient life within them. The vast majority of star systems are probably just comprised of lifeless hunks of rocks and gases, and are largely ignored by the Corps.
      • Another explanation is that Green Lanterns only deal with to Cosmic/Intergalactic threats, which shouldn't be too difficult to spot while scanning a galaxy. Of course, all of Earth's lanterns spend an disproportionate amount of time fighting terrestrial villains like Hector Hammond and Tattooed Man, but they have to: they live here.
      • A possible typo in the Kingdom Come graphic novel says that Oa was located in the center of the galaxy, not the universe. It's possible that their universal status is indeed an exaggeration.
      • Made necessary since Guardians of the Galaxy is already, well, you know.......
      • Guardians of The known universe. You know that story written by Alan Moore, based entirely around assigning a Green Lantern to the Obsidian depths? The very fact that it didn't have one already, means that it was just discovered.
    • The whole premise (Oa at the center of the universe, which is a sphere, and sectors radiating out from Oa) falls apart in the face of modern cosmology from the word go. The big bang is an expansion of space time, not an explosion (despite all those pretty graphics in science shows). This means that there is no center of the universe and the universe has no edge. (Alternately, every point in the universe is the center of the universe, but there's still no edge.) The sector system simply cannot work in the real universe. We must therefore conclude that the DCU is a completely different type of universe. This, of course, could help explain how the laws of physics are so different that superpowers exist.
      • Or maybe they just decided Oa was at the center of the universe because they were on it, and they mapped everything else in relation to them.
  • Why does everybody keep taunting Superboy Prime? I mean really, the second it looks like he's not going to be able to kill them all right this minute, everyone starts calling him names. Naturally that makes him angry enough to do something about him. He may act immature, but I would think he's earned the right to be treated like a legitimate threat.
    • "Why does everybody keep taunting Superboy Prime?" Morbid curiosity?
    • Because he is a representative of the rabid fan-boy, not one of a fan. (Fans and fanboys are different). Certain people see too much of themselves in Prime and they don't like it, because seriously, go over to the comic page on Discontinuity (and especially Troper Tales) and you'll see that Prime's characterization is spot on for some of the worst type of fanboy whining. I personally think he's hilarious in that regard, but he's actually pretty interesting (see Sinestro Corps War, Legion of 3 Worlds, Blackest Night, 'but NOT Countdown) in other regards.
    • I think the original question referred not to the fan reaction but to the other characters' actions. Either they don't realize that they're pushing his Berserk Button or they just don't care (after all, it often looks like he's going to kill them anyway).
  • Power Girl being allowed to remain in the universe following Crisis on Infinite Earths resulted in a mess of problems involving her backstory and source of powers - and it only got worse when they were retconned in Infinite Crisis. Seriously, was there any reason she was kept in the universe other than fanservice?
    • Its stated in Infinite Crisis- she fell through the cracks. Out of story? They kept many other Earth-2 only characters; Huntress springs to mind. It is simply that unlike the new Bernetrelli, the New Earth origin for Power Girl didn't stick, so they floundered around for one until they gave up and said she was the original.
      • However, Power Girl was arguably the only Earth-2 only character who a) kept a pre-Crisis past (that is, was theoretically the same character before and after) and b) whose actual pre-Crisis past couldn't work anymore.
    • Power Girl is very much a Depending on the Writer character. When handled by a competent writer she's a lot more than a pair of breasts — she's a software engineer, owns a big computer company, has her own side characters, and briefly dated Mr. Terrific. When handled by an incompetent writer, of course, she's Supergirl with implants, but it's the writing at fault there and not the character.
  • DC universe has heroes who vary all along the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism. This is fine, except that the place each hero inhabits tends to reflect this attitude. Given that they are all set in the same world, why would anybody choose to live in Gotham or Bludhaven if they could move to Metropolis or Fawcett City instead?
    • Same reasons why anybody lived in Angel Grove between 1992 and 1998 and why anyone lives in Marvel NYC. Either incredibly low prices on apartments or homes relative to available incomes in the area, or that's where the jobs in their industry are and they have no choice. Anyone working for Wayne Enterprises, for example, pretty much has no choice but to live in Gotham. And you could probably get a decent rental in Bludhaven for less than twenty dollars a month, judging from the city's general portrayal.
    • Alternatively, the same reason anybody still lives in real life cities like NYC and Chicago even though both have an enduring reputation (deserved or not) for crime and corruption. Clearly there are aspects of both Gotham and Bludhaven that make them appealing enough for people to live there, despite the drawbacks. Maybe the presence of wealthy corporations (such as Wayne Enterprises) creates a strong job market.
      • Going off this, perhaps these cities are portrayed the way they are because of each superhero's outlook on their environment. Put Batman in Metropolis, and you'll see grit you'd never guessed was there looking from Superman's perspective. Gotham, meanwhile, is actually a fairly nice city when Superman looks at it. Something like that.
      • Metropolis has a ghetto area called the Suicide Slums, so you're probably right in that there is a seedy side to the city, but Superman focuses on the good stuff.
    • Here in the real world, Dinkins-era New York City was still the most populous city in the US. I'd say that people just grow attached to their hometowns and generally won't leave without some really compelling reason, and apparently the threat of dying gruesomely as a random crime victim isn't compelling enough for a lot of folks.
  • I don't know if this is explained in the comics, but why doesn't Vandal Savage look like a caveman (as in, facial-structure-wise)?
    • Because he's a Homo Sapiens Sapiens, biologically modern. There was a period of tens of thousands of years where biologically modern humans co-existed with neanderthals, and lived in a very similar manner. It was only after a cultural and technological revolution that our ancestors began their rise to cities and societies. Vandal is probably one of those- from long enough ago that he's a caveman, but not so long that he isn't a physiologically modern human.
    • Actually he's Cro-Magnon. The Real Life reason is probably that artists didn't do any research on the skeletal and facial structures of early humans.
      • Cro-Magnons were anatomically modern in most cases. Slightly more robust, which can generally be shown by making him look big and tough, which they do often enough, and with slightly larger braincases, which is difficult to discern without a tape measure and being there in person.
      • In a lot of the animated adaptations and in a few comics depictions, Vandal Savage is often given a heavy brow and weird facial structure to reflect this.
    • As is revealed in Final Crisis: Revelations Vandal Savage is in actuality Cain of the Old Testament, who would be a modern human.
      • Which raises questions because there was already a Cain in the DC Universe who looked nothing like Savage. But that just raises the Vertigo continuity question again ...
    • Plastic surgery.

  • If kryptonite radiation from Earth-1 can't hurt Earth-2 Kryptonians, shouldn't that also mean that Earth-1 solar radiation shouldn't give them any powers?
    • Earth-2 Krypton exploded for different reasons than Earth-1 Krypton, I think. But they can never decide if that's the case, so I don't know.
    • Suns radiate in a very broad spectrum, while kryptonite presumably radiates in a very narrow one. Thus, the Sun has more room for error.
    • Light is the same from universe to universe. Rocks aren't.
  • Why does Black Adam have pointed ears? Has this ever been explained?
    • ...all the better to hear you with?
    • He has them in his human form too, so they don't have anything to do with the magical side of things. Presumably it's just a weird genetic quirk. Alternately, he's an amnesiac Vulcan brought to earth by some form of ancient Egyptian science or something. This would also explain his perfectly slicked-back hair. As we know from the brief appearance of a Vulcan Green Lantern, they do exist in the DC universe.
  • Is willpower technically an emotion?
    • 'Courage' would be a better word since Green Lanterns are required to conquer fear, but the whole 'emotional spectrum' concept came long after the original Lantern stories that stated willpower as necessary to manipulate the ring.
    • That's also kind of the point. Green is at the center of the spectrum, and thus the most "balanced." The Guardians would prefer that the Green Lantern Corps not have any emotion at all, but they make allowances for the nature of sentient life forms. As you stray away from green, you get emotions that exert more of an influence over the person in question: rage and love are the most powerful, greed and compassion are compelling, fear and hope are influential.
      • It's more like the color/emotions on either side of the neutral balancing green/willpower emotion are opposite/complementary. Fear vs Hope? Compassion vs. Avarice? Rage/Hate vs. Peace/Love?
      • The Star Sapphires are anything but "peaceful".
  • On Earth-Three, all the good guys are bad guys and all the bad guys are good guys. So why is is Earth-Three Lois Lane one of the good guys? Is she not, and I just haven't gotten to that bit? Or . . . is there something we don't know about the normal Lois?
    • If I recall correctly, post-Crisis, Lois Lane is the secret identity of Superwoman, the evil counterpart to Wonder Woman in the Crime Syndicate universe. But I haven't ready any Crime Syndicate stories recently so I can't say if this is still canon.
      • That's Antimatter Universe Lois Lane. Pre-Crisis Earth-Three Lois Lane was a different character from Superwoman and indeed a good girl (as well as the wife of heroic Earth-Three Lex Luthor and mother of Alex Luthor Jr.)
      • As you can tell by reading some of the contortions Bizarro-speak can get into, if everything is opposite, then nothing is.
  • Concerning Zatanna's backwards-talk spells: When she casts a multi-word spell, does she have to reverse the entire sentence or just each individual word? For instance, if she wanted to teleport a single person would she say "tropelet nosrep" or "nosrep tropelet"?
    • Yes. That is to say, some writers have her do one, some have her do the other. It's never been very consistent.
    • This troper has read before that, technically, Zatanna does not have to say her spells backwards and that it is merely a concentration aid for her, and also that it has been suggested that if she could kick the habit she would be even more powerful than she is already. Or something like that.
    • On the subject of Zatanna, why isn't she presented as being one of the big guns? Think about it! All she has to say is "doolb otni etinotpyrk" and Superman dies a horrible death! (Not that she'd ever do something like that of course).
      • Because it's very difficult to write a story about someone with powers like that. It's the same problem they ran into with Superman and the main reason why they had John Byrne tone his powers way down back in the 80's. Once you show Superman juggling planets it kinda takes the drama out of watching him foil a simple bank robbery or catch a falling plane. Zatanna has the same problem. Once you realize she could kill anyone by saying "blood into cement" backwards, you've pretty much passed the point where any villain is a credible threat to her.
      • Also, and I will admit that this is no-prizing it a bit, the explanation of her backwards speak being a concentration aid and not the true source of her powers implies that her powers don't function in the manner of "anything she says backwards happens," but "she can alter reality with her mind but it is incredibly difficult and requires an enormous amount of concentration, as it probably would," which would mean that there are things that are beyond her ability, most likely things that are especially complicated or large in scale, or even simply things that she simply has a hard time visualizing or wrapping her head around. Of course, what her limits exactly are aren't portrayed very consistently, but that's not quite the same issue.
      • The presence of the Vertigo imprint has helped a lot, really. There are Rules for Magic. Admittedly, they're extremely vague and poorly defined and broken more often than not, but still there. Thus, whenever we see Zatanna completely fail to say "gniddup otni dieskraD nruT!" we can just assume that the Powers That Be have a No Pudding Rule in effect.
      • Furthermore, going around turning people's blood into cement would make her a massive supervillain who kills millions of people, so all her friends would disown her. Perhaps she dials it down a notch on purpose to avoid crossing the Moral Event Horizon, realizing that With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
      • "enas rekoJ ekaM!" "ebuT mooB esolC!" There has to be more to it than just not wanting to slip into evil. Maybe she's just not very good under pressure?
  • How does the Atom breath when he's smaller than an O2 molecule?
    • The same way he sees when he's too small for photons to reach his eyes.
    • Someone asked him once. He doesn't know. Specifically, he said "it's best not to think about it."
    • Easy, O2 molecules and photons in a very-very close proximity to him shrink down, as well. Wonder why no one ever thought about that.
  • If Daxamites are descended from Kryptonians, then why is it lead that affects Sodam Yat and not Kryptonite?
    • The race may have come from Krypton, but their physiology is different. The current Daxamite race are descendants of Kryptonians and Daxam's initial native populace who interbred into one species after centuries, making them just different enough to no longer be considered Kryptonian.
  • I haven't read many Flash comics, but there's something that bugs me about the concept. You have someone with super speed, which combat-wise is probably the best stock superpower there is, and almost all of his villains are just regular guys with weird guns? How do any of them ever put up a decent fight against the Flash? How do any of the fights with them go any different than "the Flash runs up to him and punches him a dozen times before he can react?" In particular, I seem to recall reading that Captain Cold's gun was created in a freak accident, which should mean that's the only one he has...so why doesn't Barry just break the damn thing and presto, Cold's just a middle-aged guy in a parka?
    • No, Cold's gun was based on blueprints that Cold stole from a lab, so he can make one (or have several hidden away) anytime he wants. The Cold Gun and Heatwave Flamethrower are specially designed to stop the Flash from running fast (creating a absolute zero area and creating extremely high temperatures respectively). And if their stuff is taken by the police, odds are the stuff will "vanish" from the police storage. And Flash has a couple more villains who he can't just punch straight away, like Mirror Master who can hide in his own dimension. And there is a difference between the Barry and Wally Flashes: Wally is more easy-going with the Rouges than Barry ever was.
      • How do extremely high temperatures stop the Flash from running fast?
      • I dunno, I don't read The Flash much myself. One panel in Rouge's Revenge says the heat can melt the Flash's boots to the ground. My guess is that while the Speed Force allows a speedster heat protection from friction, it doesn't protect from an outside heat source. And also, in before with info that objects lose speed in an absolute zero temperatures, so Cold keeps the Flash from running fast by making it really, really cold.
      • In the most recent volume for the Flash, I believe it was issue #3, Heatstroke, the Reverse Flash Task Force aka Renegades equivalent of Heat Wave from the 25th Century, used his flame gun to burn away the Flash's aura so that should he take off, the Flash would be burned up from the friction.
    • "How do any of them ever put up a decent fight against the Flash?" Um... they don't? I haven't kept up with all the newer shit of the past decade, but a large amount of the Wally West Flash comics I've read have him effortlessly defeating his villains. Only the really really big terrible awful shit slows him down at all. If what I've heard is true, Wally West Flash is basically a freaking GOD compared to the entire rest of the DCU. Cosmic treadmill? Doesn't need one. Zoom around various time periods of the past, looking for someone? Doesn't need to, he can tell where they'll be. Going up against another speedster? Oh hey, guess what, you aren't a speedster anymore, you're a fucking STATUE.
  • While Stephanie Brown's return doesn't bug me, what does is that she was said to never be dead at all. Even though she appeared as a ghost twice during the Batgirl series. The first appearance could be attributed to a hallucination, but the second one cannot.
    • She was in a coma, and close enough to death that her spirit was roaming a bit?
    • Infinite Crisis rewrote the universe. In other words, Stephanie Brown really did die because Leslie really did refuse to treat her. But when the Crisis hit, this was one of the things rewritten. So possibly Batgirl never saw that second ghost, or possibly she saw it in a way that it could be put up to hallucination.
      • So, Superboy-Prime did it? Steph has something in common with Jason Todd?
  • Why didn't Hal Jordan's father just bail out of the plane before it crashed? I understand he wanted it to crash where it wouldn't hurt anyone, but I don't understand why he didn't eject once he had it aimed at an empty spot.
    • Perhaps he was too close to the ground to react in time or too preoccupied with keeping the plane from spinning out of control. Also, just because he had it "aimed" at an empty spot doesn't mean it would stay on that course after he ejected. He may not have wanted to take that risk, especially with his son in the crowd.
    • The reason he didn't bail out was the same as why Yuri Gagarin didn't bail out: if he did, there would have been a good chance the plane would have hit somewhere where there would have been casualties.
  • I don't know if this has been answered in the comics or not, but why does the Atom stay small so often? It seems like every time I see him in a gathering of superheroes, he's always around six inches tall, sitting on the back of a chair. Is it just more comfortable for him? Is it a side effect of something? Does he just enjoy having a giant-sized view of the superheroine's breasts? What's going on?
    • Umm... maybe he just likes being small. He's one of the few people who thinks shrinking isn't a stupid power to have. And probably it's just to show Atom's power off when he doesn't actually do anything in a story.
    • Well, the original reason was that his costume was only visible when he was shrunk (when he was normal sized it would stretch and become transparent, kinda like pantyhose). So he would stay shrunk whenever he was on superhero duty or else his costume (and therefore his secret identity) would disappear. Not sure if all that's still canon, though.
    • I always figured he just wanted to take up less space. I mean they may have a lot of people to fit in one room and he may need to scoot over. Kinda like how Spider-man sticks to walls in crowds.
    • In the first post-Crisis Atom solo series, his powers were modified so that he could appear in costume at full size, specifically so that he could interact more normally with other characters. This has subsequently been ignored, as far as I can tell.
    • In JLA: Strength in Numbers he said that he feels safest when he's small.
    • I don't know about the rest of you, but I would enjoy having a giant-sized view of the superheroine's breasts. It's quite possible the costume thing was just an excuse.
      • Based solely on that one episode of JLU, I must agree.
  • Forgive me for breaking out this old chestnut, but why doesn't anyone just shoot Wonder Woman in the legs? I know, speed of Hermes, but when she's standing there deflecting bullets with her armbands, no one ever thinks to aim lower?
    • Same reason they bother shooting Superman.
    • What bothers me more is why Wonder Woman bothers with the bracelets at all. If her body is durable enough to take punches from Superman, what's a bullet going to do?
      • Hurt? She can take punches from Superman, it doesn't mean she likes it.
      • Her flesh is highly resistant to blunt trauma, but not so hot against piercing damage. Kind of like Kevlar in reverse. It might have something to do with the fact that she was sculpted from clay. Punch a clay statue, and then shoot it, and you'll get very different results.
      • I personally chalk it up to a combination of bad guys realizing that 1) Her reflexes are probably good enough to let her duck or crouch in time to deflect a bullet fired at her shins, and 2) Even if a bullet catches her in the leg, it won't be immediately lethal, nor, since she can fly, would it be particularly incapacitating. Aim for the torso or the head, you at least have a chance of putting her down if she fails to deflect a bullet. Shoot her in the legs, and she's now very very angry at you, and still fully capable of flying up and hurting you. Less a plot hole than a rare occasion of the bad guys dropping the Idiot Ball. The real question is why they don't try using shotguns, flamethrowers, or some other weapon that targets an area instead of a discreet point.
    • The same goes for Superman (in the black and white TV show). When someone shot at him, he stood there and took it, but when they threw the pistol at him, he'd duck.
      • I know this isn't the question, but it's possible that ducking large objects is just a reflex. It's unlikely that you have time to react to a bullet, but if you have time to duck a pistol, you duck!
  • Does Larfleeze actually like rotten food, or is it just an effect of the orange light that he sees it as a delicacy-laden banquet?
    • He probably likes it. Nonhuman biology and all that- no reason the type and condition of food we need would also be what he needs.
    • Rotting food also tends to taste and smell stronger than fresh food, so it makes sense for it to be extra appealing to him.
  • When Zatanna casts a backwards-talking spell, does she pronounce the words phonetically backwards (like if you were playing a tape backwards), or does she pronounce them the way they are written backwards?
    • We see them written backwards rather than having the sounds reversed (so it's "hsaw" and not "shaw", for example) so probably just the way they're written. The current explanation is that the words themselves are not inherently magical, they're focusing mechanisms for Zatanna and Zatara. So she probably just thinks, "Okay, wanna turn this guy's gun into a dildo, so G-U-N, that's N-U-G, I do 'into' all the time, that's 'otni', and dildo, O-D-L-D-I? No, no, it's like... O-D-L-I-D, okay, 'odlid otni nug!"

  • In JLA: Tower of Babel, specifically part two, Ras Al Ghul's scientists engineer a virus of some kind that can "mangle the language centers of the human brain". Okay, sure, we'll handwave that. But why is the kryptonian affected? Is Wonder Woman human? (I honestly don't know) If not, then why is she affected? etc, etc...
    • Further more, sure, a lot of human society would get hung up on the created dyslexia, but there's also a lot of human society that could function more or less fine... so most businesses close down for a day or so, but a lot of things have recognizable pictures on them, along with the labels. I can see how an ATM transaction would get fouled up, but a couple trial and error runs, and you can get you things done. Hell, if nothing else, everyone just goes home, or to a bar, and watches pre-recorded shows/movies/etc. The bars might need to just run tabs for everyone, but that's vaguely doable. (cash shouldn't get too fouled up, you just need people who remember what president's on what bill..)
      • and ear plugs cancel the effect. because it's sonic. wow...
      • *sigh* Did you people even read the comic? Like, at all? Because it goes into exquisite detail on exactly how devastating it would be if the written and spoken word suddenly became unintelligible. Airline pilots would be unable to read their instruments. Doctors would be unable to read the labels on bottles of medication, leading to them being withheld or misapplied. The launch buttons for nuclear missiles become indistinguishable from the shutdown buttons. A Chicago PD bomb squad is unable to find a plutonium bomb hidden in an airport locker because the locker numbers are impossible to read. Militaries around the world stumble across national borders, risking war between neighbors, because they are unable to read maps. See that? Interesting how things change when you bother to read.
    • To answer the original question, for all Superman's alien-ness (and this goes for Wonder Woman/Martian Manhunter/whoever), the fact that they're humanoid, capable of normal human interaction, and are for all intents and purposes people, it's not hard to imagine their brain structures are similar enough to ours for that to happen. As to whether or not dyslexia is covered by their actual powers, however, I can't really say.
  • Why are there still Christians in the DCU? I understand in our universe, but the DCU is host to several pantheons, entities and beings of cosmic power. You'd think they'd have joined pantheism by now
    • The known deities are established as having been formed by the Godwave, whereas whether or not The Source/The Voice/The Hand/The Presence/Whatever they're calling Him this week (aka, that hand that emerged from the nebula In The Beginning which Krona was trying to look at, the guy giving The Spectre commands, and the thing the New Gods worship) is a particularly large Godwave product, some sort of Cosmic Unconscious, an Eldritch Abomination, or a True Creator is extremely debatable, given that where the evidence points depends heavily on the writer. Christians/Muslims/Jews simply fall on the "Creator" side of the spectrum, Buddhists fall on the Cosmic Unconscious side of the spectrum, atheists, pantheists, and polytheists the Godwave Product side (in which case He's no more worthy of worship than Zeus and crew for the pantheists, or nobody being worthy in the case of atheists like Batman and Mr. Terrific).
      • In short, there's enough contradictory or ambiguous evidence for pretty much all religious groups and lacks thereof to feel that their pre-existing faith or lack thereof has been proven.
      • The question also applies (albeit in a modified form) in the real world; why is anyone religious if there's so much scientific evidence against most religious affiliations, so presumably the same answer applies: it's a leap of faith.
    • Christianity, Judaism, and Islam do not necessarily reject the existence of other gods (or godlike beings). They only claim that all other gods are false gods and should not be worshipped.
      • Well, yes and no. Christianity in particular takes the view that God is the only God. Judaism likewise insists that only the G-d of Israel actually exists. As does Islam.
      • Depends on your interpretation of Christianity. Traditional Catholic Catechism teaches that there are not and never were any other gods but the Lord. But John Calvin once said "…we must beware of superstition, by which our minds are turned aside from the true God, and carried to and fro after a multiplicity of gods." Some Christian interpretations also hold that those who worship other "gods" are actually worshipping demons who have purposely deceived them into turning away from the Lord.
    • Religious debates in comic book worlds get very interesting.
    • They can believe those beings exist and are incredibly powerful without believing they're gods.
    • When you think about it, the events in the DCU would enhance a Christian's faith. Resurrection plays a major part in their religion, and eternity is a major goal for them. Death Is Cheap and superheroes are known for coming back to life. I bet the average preacher uses Superman's cheating death as evidence to get converts. The dead rising and Death itself claiming it allowed this will have complications, though.
      • It does cheapen Jesus' death and resurrection when the same happens to superheroes all the time, though. Gaining converts by claiming Superman is the second coming of Christ I could see, but the only other interpretation I could see a preacher coming up with is warding people away from Superman, since he's obviously aligned with dark forces.
      • They could claim that it's a sign of Revelations. Christianity is pretty flexible...
      • I think they can handwave the cheap death with the story of Lazarus; Jesus brought him back, and Lazarus wasn't even needed to fight Brainiac. The superheroes returning to life are sent back by God to perform more good works; saints that God lets get more proactive with their intercessions. Doesn't undermine the dogma so much as tweak it.
  • What happened to all the supervillians when the J.S.A disbanded?
    • Probably most of them "retired", either out of boredom or because, with the supers and their "no-killing" code, the government could use lethal force against them with agencies like Task Force X.
  • Aren't captured supervillains ever sentenced to death for their crimes? They can't all be managing an Insanity Defense, and while it's true that they can probably break out before their trials are complete, you'd think the legal system would adapt to trying them in absentia.
    • Well, how many non-insane supervillains have actually been convicted of crimes that would warrant a death sentence?
  • What happens if you expose a gay Kryptonian to pink kryptonite?
    • The extremely high levels of campness generated cause the universe to explode.
  • How come only half of the 52 earths have been reveealed and how come we only know so very little about the 52 earths that are known?
    • Probably because the histories and backgrounds of those other worlds haven't been written yet. They'll be filled in one by one as the writers come up with new stories.
  • So, a ton of old Wonder Woman comics say things along the lines of "faster than Mercury, stronger than Hercules". Captain Marvel's powers include the strength of Hercules and the speed of Mercury. Yet he's consistently stronger and faster than her. How does that make sense?
    • Because back in those days Captain Marvel was published by a completely different company, Fawcett Comics, and they established him as having strength and speed roughly on par with Superman. When DC acquired the character I guess they decided fans would be upset if they weakened his powers (which wasn't an unfair assumption since, according to sales, Captain Marvel was the most popular superhero of the 1940s). As for why they never thought to scale Wonder Woman's powers up to match Captain Marvel's, I have no real answer.
    • I think it might just be that you're referencing the old comics. As I recall, the post-Crisis comics never state that her strength and speed are equal or superior to any given god, just that she's blessed with great stats in both categories. I have a vague idea that a writer once went on record that Diana's strength and speed are 99% as good as Superman's, and I generally imagine that he and Captain Marvel are roughly equal. Since every time I've seen them fight or spar she trounces Supes with superior skill, I assume she could do the same to Captain Marvel. Her powers don't need to be scaled up to match or surpass the Big Red Cheese; for practical purposes, she's probably more dangerous already.
  • This troper doesn't understand Trinity. Batman and Superman work well as a team because they have significantly different strengths and weaknesses. But Wonder Woman's powers are mostly Superman's but scaled down, with a few extras lake the bracelets and lasso. So what purpose does she serve?
    • Simply put, it's not about their powers. It's about their personalities, their methods, and their general outlooks on life. To quote The Other Wiki, "Batman is the pinnacle of human achievements, physical and mental; Superman is the ultimate freedom fighter, with an absolute will; and Wonder Woman's message inspires all around her to do what is right to the end." Point is, there's a lot more to balancing out a team than just the power sets of the team members.

  • When superheroes come back to life, how exactly does the metahuman community deal with this? Here are just some examples:
    • When and how do superheroes consider the possibility that their fallen comrad isn't coming back(it does happen), and decide they might as well reveal their identity?
      • In most cases they probably don't reveal the dead hero's identity no matter how long he/she has been dead. Unless you're trying to crap out a tell-all book and get on the talk show circuit, there's nothing to be gained from it as far as I can see. And of course, they would have quite a lot of egg on their faces if the hero they had given up as permanently dead suddenly came back to life after his friends had let the cat out of the bag.
    • If they don't, then how do they explain their secret identity's disapperance? I'd think the citizens would be suspicious when hearing "The Flash has returned! Oh, and Barry Allen is back from his all-expense vacation." Some may even think that "Barry returned at the same time as the Flash came back to life! There must be some sort of connection...maybe their related? Or even crazier, one of the same! I must tell everyone!"
      • It's very rare for heroes who stay dead as long as Barry Allen did to come back at all. Most of the time they're only "dead" for like a year at most (taking into account Comic Book Time). And even in Barry's case, I'm sure they could think of something. They could say he moved away for a while and fell out of touch with his old acquaintances. People do that all the time.
    • How do they handle bank accounts? Especially when the hero doesn't have a secret identity.
      • Lots of fraud and lawsuits, I suppose. Not the most upstanding thing for heroes to do, but there's no way around it.
  • Shouldn't Black Adam and Superman be significantly stronger than Captain Marvel at this point, considering how much power he's given away?
    • No. When Billy alone is in Captain Marvel form, he is at full power. When both Billy and Mary are powered up, the power is split in half between them. It all depends on how many are using the power at one time.
  • So, just what is canon for the DCnU?
  • The New 52. I was a fan of the DCAU and familiar with the comic canon from TV Tropes and second hand stories. So I decided with the new DC digital publications to check out the universe. So far I checked out Flashpoint, Brightest Day, some assorted Flash titles, Infinite Crisis and the Action Comics run of Lex Luther looking for black lantern ring energy. So I read Justice League (2011) #1, and it opens up a "few years ago" Green Lantern doesn't even know if Batman really exists or is an Urban Legend, Darkseid is alive again, and neither they or Super Man seem to be familiar with each other. In other words, a clean slate. I'm reading the preview descriptions for the other new titles. Half of them seem to be acting as if the old plot lines are continuing after a minor hiccup. Example, Barbara Gordon is no longer paralyzed and is Batgirl again, but Swamp Thing is described in a way that implies a continuation from Brightest Day from the preview. I'm going to read Swamp Thing to see for myself to see if it is working from that angle or they are going for pre-retcon origin of Swamp Thing again, but I'm literally scratching my head over this at the moment.
    • Finished reading Action Comics #1, Swamp Thing, JLI, Storm Watch. Does this relaunch make any more sense to long term fans than newcomers? This all just seems to be coming off to me as if someone deleted half the content of a DC Wiki and they are trying to recreate the canon off of what remained. In other words, they decided to go full continuity snarl instead of fighting it for the sake of rule of cool.
      • To be honest, the whole "New 52" concept just seemed unnecessary. It seemed more a case of the writers currently Running the Asylum wanting to have an easy way to dump any continuity from 1986 onwards that they didn't like.
  • Ok, so Abel Tarrant, the Tattooed Man, can animate and control the tattoos he gave himself using a special chemical as ink. So why didn't he give himself a tattoo of Superman's likeness, or whoever was the most powerful super human he'd ever heard of? Like, all across his abdomen? I have no idea whether his tattoo objects assume scale size when he summons them, but even a two foot high Superman simulacrum under his command would have been a lot more useful than a freaking snake.
    • I don't think his tatoos would replicate the powers of any superheroes. I think he can just make them move and hit/grab things with them.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths headscratcher-Earth Prime is supposed to be Real Life. Yet we're supposed to buy that the Anti-Monitor destroyed our universe in 1986, and that it was recreated in 2006. Explain.
  • If they're meant to be a Mirror Universe to the Justice League of America, why does the Crime Syndacite seem to not have any evil Aquaman and Martian Manhunter? For that matter, why did the original Earth-3 have Lex Luthor as its only hero? I'm pretty sure the Justice League of America has more bad guys to mirror than Lex flipping Luthor.
    • It's not an exact mirror universe, given that the evil counterparts have different names and faces.
    • There's also that the Crime Syndicate gleefully murders people left and right, so it might be more a function of 'Luthor is the last one still alive' as opposed to 'Luthor was the only one ever'.
DC: The New FrontierHeadscratchers/Comic BooksThe Darkness

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