Welcome back once more to another edition of ASK…THE QUESTION. I’m Alex Jaffe, better known to the DC Community since 2018 as HubCityQuestion, and I’m here to dispense my expertise on the breadth and depth of DC’s history. Where exactly do you come in? I’m so glad you asked. All you have to do is stop by my place of business in the official DC Community, drop your inquiry and I’ll take it from there. Away we go.


OGSAMSON507 asks:

What titles were on the first wave of DC/WildStorm in 1999? What do you think ghosts are?

WildStorm Productions began life as an independent entity in 1992, at first associated with Image Comics before migrating to DC at the end of the decade. The first year of WildStorm titles as a DC imprint included:

  • A relaunch of WildCATS
  • The debut of The Authority
  • The Night Tribes one-shot
  • The Darkchylde Summer Swimsuit Special
  • Wild Times, an Elseworlds-style series of one-shot treatments for Deathblow, DV8, Gen13, Grifter, Wetworks and WildCATS, featuring cameos by DC characters
  • Mr. Majestic
  • Yeah!
  • The “Divine Intervention” WildCATS/Gen13 crossover
  • Deathblow: Byblows
  • Desperadoes: Epidemic!
  • Ball and Chain
  • Speed Racer
  • Nightfall: The Black Chronicles
  • Steampunk: Catechism

That same year, the new Alan Moore-led WildStorm imprint, America’s Best Comics, launched with:

At this time, WildStorm also continued publication of a number of creator-owned titles inherited from Image Comics, including Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, Crimson, Leave It to Chance and Danger Girl.

I believe ghosts are like dogs and they just sort of do things arbitrarily.


Moonknightrider2.98991 asks:

Before Crisis, very few superheroes actually took their relationship to the next level. I know Jay Garrick and Joan were married, even though it happened after Jay retired. Were they the first DC couple to get married?

Almost, but not quite. Jay and Joan were depicted as married for the first time in 1961’s The Flash #123, when Barry checked in on them over in Earth-Two. But just a few months before that, in The Brave and the Bold #34, Hawkman and Hawkwoman were depicted as a married couple for the first time for their own Silver Age relaunch.


Wrightline1.42741 asks:

Bat-mite has been around a very long time, but I’ve never seen him unmasked. Has his true face ever been revealed and I just missed it?

Nope. As far as we know, that’s just what his face is. One should keep in mind that fifth dimensional imps don’t really have physical forms in the way we perceive them and merely assume those shapes for the benefit of lower beings. The Bat-Mite form we know is the icon he’s chosen to represent himself on Earth, cowl and all.


ken.cramercohen.12391 asks:

Could you explain where most of the major DC cities are currently located, and where they were originally supposed to be?

I’ve addressed this in the column previously, though it was in an older edition that’s no longer publicly available. So, let’s tackle this one again with a few updates.

The truth is that in the Golden Age, most fictional cities didn’t have any specific basis and were simply intended to be Anytown, USA. It was only as continuity between titles got more established in the 1960s and 1970s that creators started thinking about where specifically each of their fictional cities were located. With that in mind, let’s go through each of DC’s most memorable cities and see if we can figure out their location based on accrued evidence.

Amnesty Bay: Home to the lighthouse of Tom Curry, father of Aquaman, and the sleepy fishing town that Arthur and Mera call their home away from Atlantis. Firmly located in coastal Maine.

Blüdhaven: Nightwing’s solo stomping grounds after parting ways with Batman. Located in reasonable driving distance either south, or to the west or southwest of Gotham, depending on the writer. (See my Gotham City entry below.)

Blue Valley: Birthplace of Wally West and where we first meet Stargirl in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Located in Nebraska, as per Wally’s origin story, “The Flash: Year One - Born to Run.”

Central City: Barry Allen’s hometown is the twin city of Jay Garrick’s Keystone City, each lying across from the other on opposite sides of the Kansas-Missouri border. As shown in The Flash #188, Central City is on the Missouri side, and Keystone City is on the Kansas side.

Coast City: My spiritual predecessor Bob Rozakis placed Hal Jordan’s “City Without Fear” in California in his own ’70s column, “Ask the Answer Man.” While Paul Kupperberg’s The Atlas of the DC Universe places it in Northern California near San Francisco, the broadcast of its destruction in “Reign of the Supermen” puts Coast City in Southern California, just south of Santa Barbara.

Dakota City: Milestone Comics cofounder Dwayne McDuffie placed the home of Icon, Static and Hardware in Michigan, having based the city off his own upbringing in Detroit.

Fawcett City: Prior to the New 52, Fawcett City was home to the characters DC inherited from Fawcett Comics, including the Shazam Family. The JSA vs. Kobra miniseries placed it in Minnesota. Currently, as of Mark Waid’s Shazam! relaunch, it’s considered a fictional borough of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Gateway City: Home base of Wonder Woman in the ’90s, as well as Wonder Girl Cassandra Sandsmark, the Spectre and the first Mister Terrific, Terry Sloane. It’s overtly based in California, but its visual similarities to San Francisco specifically suggest Northern California.

Gotham City: It’s common lore that Gotham City was originally meant to be New York, before it was masked under a fictionalized identity in 1940’s Batman #4. For the most part, Gotham’s true location is typically obscured. But when specified at all, most sources place Gotham in New Jersey, including the “Amazing World of DC Comics” fanzine of the 1970s, 1981’s Detective Comics #503 (where it’s specifically twenty miles south of the Jersey Shore), 1990’s Atlas of the DC Universe, and the 2016 film Suicide Squad.

Happy Harbor: First home of the Justice League of America, and later to Young Justice. JLA: Year One is one of many sources to establish it in Rhode Island.

Hub City: You didn’t think I was going to leave this one out, did you? Home to the characters DC acquired from Charlton Comics in the 1980s, including Blue Beetle, Captain Atom and that one guy with no face. Hub City was depicted most thoroughly in Denny O’Neil’s The Question. Denny himself wrote that he partially based his version of Hub City on East St. Louis, and as such, Atlas of the DC Universe places it in Illinois.

Ivy Town: A college town, home to both Ray Palmer and his successor as the Atom, Ryan Choi. As such, Titans #28 appropriately places it in Massachusetts.

Keystone City: See Central City.

Metropolis: Of all the cities in the DC Universe, the location of Metropolis is the most in flux. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster originally based Metropolis on their home city of Cleveland, but later writers and artists drew inspiration from New York City. In media such as Superman: The Animated Series and Smallville, Metropolis is seen in Kansas. But in comic book continuity, Metropolis is often placed on the Delaware side of Delaware Bay, just across the water from its sister city of Gotham. This correlation began in the previously alluded to “Amazing World of DC Comics” fanzine and found confirmation in Atlas of the DC Universe. But today, just as many sources suggest Metropolis to be in New York, including the “Death of Superman” storyline. Personally, I prefer the Delaware location—New York already has a pretty huge city to its name, and shouldn’t have to be crowded by Metropolis. But either way, it’s a quick flight from the City of Tomorrow to Gotham and back.

Midway City: A big museum city and former home to Hawkman, Hawkgirl and the Doom Patrol. It was originally based visually on Chicago, but “Ask the Answer Man,” Atlas of the DC Universe and Tony Isabella’s The Shadow War of Hawkman all place it in Michigan.

Midvale: Home of Midvale Orphanage, where Supergirl spent many of her first years on Earth. Midvale’s exact location is unknown, but it lies on the outskirts of Metropolis.

National City: The modern-day home of Supergirl in both comics and television, National City is a highly fictionalized version of the city of the same name in the San Diego metropolitan area.

Opal City: The glamorous setting of James Robinson’s Starman series, and probably the best city to move to in the DC Universe. The JLA tie-in to Identity Crisis establishes Opal City in Maryland, after a long history of interview comments by Robinson opining the same.

Ozma Gap: Hometown of Galaxy, the Prettiest Star. Based on the area around the real-life Green Bank Telescope, this small town can be found in West Virginia. 

Palmera City: The new home of Blue Beetles Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes as of Blue Beetle: Graduation Day. Although it appears to be based on Miami in the 2023 Blue Beetle film, the comics put it on the East Coast of Texas, across the state from Jaime’s hometown of El Paso.

Parthas: A small town in rural Ohio, cloaked from the world for most of its history by alien technology. Home to a community of alien refugees from across the universe and their families, and birthplace of the half-Naltorian hero Dreamer.

Platinum Flats: Home to the Birds of Prey for a brief time, beginning in 2008’s Birds of Prey #116. Located squarely in the Silicon Valley area of California.

Port Oswego: Home to one of DC’s newest breakout characters, Naomi McDuffie. Located explicitly in Oregon.

Smallville: Kansas, naturally—though its location wasn’t nailed down until more recently than you might think. Kansas was first established as home to the Kent Farm in the 1978 Superman movie (though the actual filming was done in Alberta, Canada) and was canonized in the comics by John Byrne’s Man of Steel in 1986.

St. Roch: Introduced in the 2002 Hawkman series as Carter and Kendra’s new Louisiana home.

Star City: Over the decades, Green Arrow has divided many of his adventures between the real city of Seattle, Washington and the fictional Star City—which earlier sources place in Northern California. But in the 2016 Green Arrow series, these two parts of Oliver Queen’s career were reconciled by establishing Star City as an alternate name for Seattle itself.

Vanity: Home of Aztek, the Ultimate Man. Vanity is shown to be somewhere in Oregon.

But no matter what city you’re from or may find yourself in, it’s easy to find yours truly. Just stop by my place of business in the DC Community and have a chat about the finer points of the DC Universe. You’ll never regret it when you 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.