You’re reading The Complete Infinite Crisis, a Comprehensive and Encyclopedic look through the universe-changing superhero event published by DC from 2005 to 2006. Shelfdust are proud to provide a complete overview of the story, and everything that happens in it. We’ve had to get some experts in though – there’s so much going on that needs to be explained!
Last time round Kelly Kanayama gave us a thorough understanding of Jim Gordon, Professional Sad Boi. But in doing so she mentioned somebody called… Frasier? And his son, Frederick? I’m not sure if this is DC Canon or not – so I’m bringing in a real expert to help us out and explain what the heck is going on! Matt Sibley, help us please!
Matt! I’ve been told about someone called Frasier? Who is Frasier, and what was his first canonical appearance?
Matt Sibley: A Harvard and Oxford alumni, Frasier origin came as he found himself treating a patient at the Boston Sanatorium called Diane Chambers. She’d been working at local sports bar Cheers, owned by a polar opposite personality called Sam “Mayday” Malone.
Sam was a former Red Sox superstar before his drinking got out of hand. After months of frequent barb-trading, they started a relationship just as fiery as their arguments, and of course, it’s always the brightest which burn out quickest. Their break-up was a blow-out and Diane quit, proclaiming she would never return and leaving for the sanatorium in the hopes of healing her heart and mind. Frasier might claim to be a stickler for the ethics of doctor/patient relationships, but he found it hard to deny his growing feelings for Diane. The two began seeing each other romantically.
Okay, so what happened next?
Sibley: Word must travel slowly in Boston as it took a few months before news of Sam falling off the wagon — that he’d returned to his ways of drinking and womanising — once again reached his former flame. Ever the kind soul, she felt like she should return to Cheers to check in on him, which in turn led her to the thinking that maybe Frasier could help ol’ Mayday through his relapse. They also chose to keep their relationship secret at first while the psychiatrist worked his magic.
In the end, Diane both admitted the truth to Sam and agreed to come back to work at Cheers. Thus, a love triangle was formed, but working in close proximity to a former flame, with a current partner on the other side of the bar was never going to work. It caused more complications than moments of joy for the couple, culminating in Diane leaving Frasier at the altar, He stuck around Cheers however, in fact much longer than Diane herself who left one day and never came back
…well except that one time, but that’s a whole other story
…Right. So what were the other folks at the bar like? Friendly? Was it the sort of place where everybody knows your name?
Sibley: Cheers was the type of place you could find camaraderie, a shoulder to cry on or friends to joke with. Whatever happened to you on a given day, you could walk in, pull up a chair and forget your troubles. Chances are you’d be pulling up a chair next to Norm Peterson, a man whose entrance was always met with a rousing welcome, and which he usually followed with a witty retort. Another barfly, Cliff Clavin spent his working hours doing the mighty work of the US Postal Service before coming in for a beer and using up all the oxygen by trying to regale a less than interested crowd with facts and trivia. Waitress Carla Tortelli was frequently unlucky in love, though her brash exterior ensured no-one caused trouble and she had a fondness of keeping Cliff in line any time he overstepped his bounds. Behind the bar, Indiana-expat Woody Boyd kept the drinks flowing, even if his mind wasn’t as quick as his pours.
Of course, if you were there in the early days, you would have seen Ernie “Coach” Pantusso. Before he passed, the man was kind and warm with a fatherly disposition. And in the later years when the bar became corporately owned, Rebecca Howe was always about, one step away from breaking down into a nervous wreck about how she’d ended up in a place like Cheers. As for Frasier himself, he hung around long enough to meet fellow psychiatrist Lilith Sternin, whom he eventually married and had a child with…
…until that relationship turned sour too. But again, a story for another time. You should pop in one day – whoever’s there is sure to tell you all about it and more.
Thanks Matt! I have to say I’m not sure how this ties into Infinite Crisis, but you’ve certainly got me interested! Come back next week, everyone, and we’ll get more in-depth on the life and times of Frasier Crane – and this love life of his!
Matt Sibley is a writer, critic and podcaster who is most commonly found writing for Newsarama as part of their “Best Shots” reviews team. You can find him on twitter here!