Welcome back for the 113th edition of ASK…THE QUESTION! I’m Alex Jaffe, better known to the DC Community as HubCityQuestion, and my greatest purpose in life is to dispense answers to you about everything you ever wanted to know about the DC Universe. And what I don’t know off-hand, I’ll chase down until I have it solved. Let’s take a look at some of the cases you’ve brought to me this month.
One of my favorite holiday stories is JSA #55, where Geoff Johns brings the original Red Tornado back into the fold. Most of her Golden Age adventures were standalone comedic stories and she was mostly isolated from the rest of the DC Universe. When did she actually become part of the DC community as a whole? In other words, when did she become a “serious” character?
Apart from her 1940 All-Star Comics #3 cameo, Ma Hunkel would never cross over with any other DC title or character for the rest of her tenure in All-American Comics, Comic Cavalcade and other published appearances. The next time she would be presented in the context of the DC Universe would be in 1980’s World’s Finest #265, appearing briefly on a TV screen in an arc concerning T.O. Morrow and the new android Red Tornado.
Hunkel’s next DC Universe-contextual appearance (discounting a standalone Secret Origin feature) would be in 1990’s Animal Man #25, as one of the characters inhabiting Comic Book Limbo, awaiting liberation by an interested creative team. She’d go on to feature as one of the many background heroes in Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come, no explanation offered.
The original Red Tornado’s first full-fledged superhero team-up beyond cameo status would take place only as late as 1999’s All-Star Comics 80-Page Giant, alongside Hippolyta, Liberty Belle and Phantom Lady. It was from that point on that Hunkel would be considered a historic supporting member of the JSA, her inaugural cameo notwithstanding.
Red All Over
I am reading The Spectre 1987 series and the antagonist within issues #5 and #6 is an entity fueled by the Red who gains power through people’s hate. I know the Red played a big part in Animal Man books. When did we start seeing the Red in the DC Universe?
Chalk this one up to coincidence. The red, rage-inducing energy present as mist and rain in The Spectre is entirely unrelated to the Red, as it would come to be defined in Animal Man. Referred to at first as a morphogenic field, alternatively known as “the Template,” in Grant Morrison’s Animal Man, it was Jamie Delano who first dubbed the web connecting all animal life that Buddy Baker accesses “the Red” when he took over the title in 1991. It’s notable that these Spectre stories never refer to the rage-inducing phenomenon as “the Red,” and, to wit, is associated exclusively with the emotion of rage, rather than any morphogenic field that connects all animal life, as the Red would be defined in the future. This is really just a case of two different writers using the same color.
Spanning the Globe
I’ve lost track of the U.N. sponsored international group once known as the Global Guardians. Can you bring me up to speed (or point me to a previous column) with regard to where this group and any new members stand today? Thanks!
Okay, across all rosters of all incarnations of the team (now essentially defunct), there have been nearly thirty Global Guardians. So, we’ll have to make this quick.
Tasmanian Devil (Australia) is living in Peru, enjoying retirement with his husband, Extraño of the New Guardians.
Fire (Brazil) is still kicking around with her life partner Ice, most recently cooling her heels in Smallville.
Centrix (Canada) only showed up for induction into the Global Guardians in 1994’s Justice League Quarterly #17 and was never seen again.
Gloss (China) is one of many former Global Guardians who are members of rarely seen, but distantly active, superteams we were briefed on in 2017’s Doomsday Clock. Gloss serves on the Great Twenty, a conglomerate of the Great Ten and the Justice League of China.
The Little Mermaid (Denmark) joined General Eiling’s Ultramarine Corps in the 1990s, presumably falling in battle to Darkseid with the rest of the Corps in 2008’s Final Crisis #4.
Chrysalis (France) was one of the later members of the Global Guardians, only appearing in a couple issues after her debut. She was last seen in the battle of Earth’s female heroes against the forces of Circe in 2001’s Wonder Woman #175.
Fleur-de-Lis (France) was a member of the France-based Justice League Europe as of Doomsday Clock, but was enlisted as a mercenary by Ultra-Humanite to counter Midnighter in 2021’s Superman and the Authority. Unfortunately, she was paid in NFTs.
Crimson Fox (France) is the current leader of Justice League Europe, as per Doomsday Clock.
Wild Huntsman (Germany) was thought to have been one of the many members of the Global Guardians to perish in battle with the villain Fain Y’onia, but emerged sometime later in Germany. Recently an ally to Wonder Woman, he was last seen fleeing a German metahuman laboratory in Doomsday Clock.
The Olympian (Greece) joined Justice League International in 2012’s Justice League International Annual #1, only for the team to immediately disband thereafter. He has not been seen in the present day since, but flashbacks in Wonder Woman suggest he remains an active hero in Greece.
Manticore (Greece) was in the short-lived incarnation of the Global Guardians following Infinite Crisis, but wasn’t seen again past that version of the team.
Cascade (Indonesia) was one of the last members to enlist in the Global Guardians, and rarely seen after her initiation. She represented Indonesia for an international meeting with Black Adam in 2006’s 52 #10, but hasn’t been seen since.
Jack O’Lantern (Ireland) died of natural causes some time after his last appearance in 1994’s Justice League Europe #50. He was replaced by his cousin, who remains an active member of the magical community, as most recently featured in 2023’s Lazarus Planet.
Seraph (Israel) is active as a member of the Israeli superhero team Hayoth, established in John Ostrander and Kim Yale’s 1980s Suicide Squad series. We learned of this back in 2018, in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock.
Jet (Jamaica), formerly a member of the New Guardians, led the Post-Infinite Crisis Global Guardians for their brief tenure. Missing since 2008.
Rising Sun (Japan) is another Global Guardian established by Doomsday Clock to currently be active with another national superteam, Big Monster Action.
Tuatara (New Zealand) was severely injured in a battle between the Global Guardians and the ancient villain Fain Y’onia in Justice League Quarterly #17. Left in a vegetative state, his body was last seen left in Seraph’s care.
Ice (Norway) is never too far away from Fire, even when her temper gets them both into trouble. They started a small business together in Smallville, until it burned down. (It wasn’t Fire.)
Glacier (Norway, formerly Icemaiden) quit the Global Guardians after Tora Olafsdotter made them seemingly superfluous. Mostly vanished from the superhero scene, Glacier reappeared in 2021’s ‘Tis the Season to be Freezin’, now identifying as one of the DC Universe’s few nonbinary superheroes.
Tundra (Russia), as of Doomsday Clock, is active as part of the Russia-based superteam the People’s Heroes.
Doctor Mist (South Africa) remains an active and respected figure in the DC Universe’s magical community. He worked for a brief time with Justice League Dark, and recently aided Black Manta in Manta’s 2022 miniseries with the eradication of a global psychic plague.
Impala (South Africa), like Doctor Mist, remains one of South Africa’s most prominent heroes, as featured alongside Doctor Mist in 2021’s Truth & Justice #1-3.
Sandstorm (Syria) was one of the metahumans who pledged his allegiance to Black Adam in Doomsday Clock. He remains active as a Syrian vigilante.
Thunderlord (Taiwan) was killed in the line of duty in 1994’s Justice League Quarterly #17 battling Fain Y’onia.
Godiva (United Kingdom) remains an active hero as a member of the UK’s superteam Knights, Inc., as per Doomsday Clock.
Owlwoman (United States) was last seen in the battle against the Secret Society of Super-Villains in 2006’s Infinite Crisis #7. Whether she survived remains unknown.
Bushmaster (Venezuela), like Thunderlord, was killed by Fain Y’onia. But you know, these guys can come back at any time.
The Batman Question
So, Bruce has done everything he can as a former billionaire socialite and as Batman… So, the people/citizens and his enemies who hate and blame him for how messed up Gotham is, are they making excuses to put the entire blame on him just because it’s that easy?
All right, let’s address this. One of the more popular questions in the Batman discourse is the proposal that, with all the money Batman has at his disposal, he should be able to fix Gotham by using his cash to bolster the city’s infrastructure and institutions. This isn’t a particularly present question in Gotham City itself, but more commonly found across social media. That’s because, if you’re living in Gotham City, the answer is obvious: Bruce Wayne already does all that. This is what the Wayne Foundation is for.
Right up until he lost his fortune in the Joker War, most of what Bruce Wayne did during the day was allocate the funds available to him to bettering conditions and security at Arkham, providing educational grants and job programs to Gotham’s disenfranchised, and reconstructing and repairing all damage done to the city after villain attacks and cosmic disasters. Bruce Wayne is already doing the responsible thing with his money to provide a better future for Gotham City in the long term. But for today’s problems, until those big picture projects yield results in making Gotham a safer and happier place, that’s what Batman is for.
That’s our time this month, but get at me on the message boards if you’ve got a mystery on your mind. Don’t wait for someone else to ask it—you may not find the answers if you don’t ASK… THE QUESTION.
Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly "Ask the Question" column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DC.com. Follow him on Bluesky at @AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.