Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator (ludickid) wrote,
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
ludickid

In a bind, in a binder

Hey, big thanks to calamityjon, who was kind enough to send me unbidden a big pile of the 1991-1992 version of Who's Who in the DC Universe. In case you're not as massive a dweeb as I am -- and who is? -- this was the version of Who's Who that was released as cardstock one-sheets, and you were meant to put them in order in these big goofy three-ring binders.

Even without the bizarro format, this was without a doubt the strangest manifestation of the Who's Who series. It wasn't as original as the first version, as exhaustive as the second, or as swanky as the DC Encyclopedia iteration of a few years ago; it resembled nothing so much as the sort of project a smart high school kid might come up with if the real thing wasn't available from DC itself. It also came at a really strange period in DC history, and by "strange", I mostly mean "shitty". It fell into that odd Phantom Zone that came after Crisis On Infinite Earths (so we get the rebooted, no-multiple-earths interpretation of the DC continuity), but before Zero Hour (so the versions of a lot of the characters aren't recognizable to plenty of modern-day fans.

Frankly, this is a helpful thing for me to have, for no other reason than it's a period of DC history I know next to nothing about; after being raised on comics my whole life, I stopped reading them for several years from around 1990 to right around Zero Hour (1994). So the history of DC (and Marvel too, for that matter) around this time is somewhat of a mystery to me; included in Jon's package was a Who's Who in the Impact Comics Universe, and I don't have any fucking idea what Impact Comics even is. According to Wikipedia, it began in 1991 and ended in 1993, which means it came and went during the exact times that I wasn't reading any funnybooks that had combative dipshits in tights in them; the entire thing was created and then ceased to exist without my having even known it happened. I hate to deploy the tunnel-vision criticism so common to all stripes of writers and assume that anything I don't know about must not be worth knowing, but honestly, even compared to the generally wretched stuff DC did around Zero Hour, their output around this time looks pretty dire. There's not a lot of good art in the set (compared to the mid-'80s Who's Who comics, at least), the writing is terribly inconsistent (especially when they try to be funny; this is something you should really leave to the pros, guys), and for some reason, DC decided around this time that pretty much everyone should have a mullet.

Still and all, it's a great resource, a ton of grist for my mill, and an important tool for when I finally revise the Who's Who/OHOTMU recaps later this year. Thanks, calamityjon!
Tags: comics, geek
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