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Author Topic: A question about multiple universes...  (Read 15021 times)
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llozymandias
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2005, 09:44:58 PM »

Another reason i prefer the Pre-Crisis DC Multiverse to the current DCU is crossovers.  Inter-dimensional crossovers are more interesting (to me anyway) than same-earth meetings.  In a multiverse setting you can have as many heroes as you want, & have any of them meet any (or all) of the others.  Granted you can also do that on just one earth, but  here things end up super overcrowded real fast.  Besides that old Marvel cliche of "heroes fighting each other when they meet, because each thinks the other is (or could be) a super-villain",  would be at least a little more credible if the heroes involved are from separate earths.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2005, 10:21:40 PM »

I agree with that...

One thing I leave out, and many would probably disagree with me about is that the Bronze Age left me a little cold...

I had a stack of my older brother's DC comics from the entire 60s and started buying my own in the late 60s and 70s...and some of the changes struck me hard, Superboy's youthful Kent parents, I never liked Morgan Edge or the Global Broadcast Network, the Sand saga, the Super sons...they were definitely different...there is a huge difference in tone between the two "Super Teacher from Krypton" stories (the second one I only have read here)...stupid characters like Snapper Carr in the JLA I could just ignore, but the creeping "realism" was turning me off...

The Crisis taken alone seems to be a super hero story again...

But that's just me...
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nightwing
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2005, 02:45:59 PM »

llozymandius writes:

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Another reason i prefer the Pre-Crisis DC Multiverse to the current DCU is crossovers. Inter-dimensional crossovers are more interesting (to me anyway) than same-earth meetings. In a multiverse setting you can have as many heroes as you want, & have any of them meet any (or all) of the others. Granted you can also do that on just one earth, but here things end up super overcrowded real fast. Besides that old Marvel cliche of "heroes fighting each other when they meet, because each thinks the other is (or could be) a super-villain", would be at least a little more credible if the heroes involved are from separate earths.


Well, yes, it was more interesting.  Usually in the JLA/JSA crossovers at least a year had passed, and in the case of some characters even longer, since we'd seen the Earth-2 crew.  That gave us a chance to catch up on them.  And since they weren't in a monthly book, there was the freedom to do really interesting and permanent things with them, without worrying about how it would affect another book in the line.  A big problem with cross-overs today is making them work within every character's continuity...it rarely succeeds.

And as you say, mixing universes feels much more like an "event."  Having two heroes from different towns bump into each other is no big whoop.

Matter Eater Lad writes:

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The Crisis taken alone seems to be a super hero story again...


Yes, the Crisis is THE superhero story, in the sense of most characters involved in one big, 12-issue slugfest.  But what do you do with it?  You can tack it on to the Bronze Age as "THE END" and end your collection there.  But you can't really use it as a starting point for the new DCU.

And it does not stand on it's own.  In order to understand, or care, about what the heck's going on, you have to have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of pre-Crisis history. In fact, it's kind of ironic, given that it was meant to make things easier for the reader, that this story requires more knowledge and understanding of tangled DC history than any other tale ever published.  Certainly it is much less accessible than any JLA/JSA crossover I ever read.

So you have to know a lot of history to even understand the series But at the same time, you have to have a willingness to watch that history come to a violent end.  So I have to wonder; who is buying all these hardback, paperback and soon "Ultimate" collections of the story?  Modern fans?  They don't have any emotions invested in the characters, so why bother?  Old-timers like me?  Why would I want to watch it all happen again?

For my money, Crisis is a story that had tremendous interest at the time...but because it was an event, not because it was a good story.  Here in 2005, it's an irrelevant oddity that doesn't fit anywhere and can't stand on its own.  It's kind of like "Who Shot JR"...it seemed important at the time, but who gives a rip now?
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2005, 03:42:33 PM »

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="nightwing" And it does not stand on it's own.  In order to understand, or care, about what the heck's going on, you have to have a near-encyclopedic knowledge of pre-Crisis history. In fact, it's kind of ironic, given that it was meant to make things easier for the reader, that this story requires more knowledge and understanding of tangled DC history than any other tale ever published.  Certainly it is much less accessible than any JLA/JSA crossover I ever read.


That's the irony that makes me think the DC explanation is bunk and that they knew it...but, what a blast to plan and write the story at the time...

The only thing I'm not sure of is if it was impossible to construct a new DC mythos...it had been done before, the Silver Age itself was a new direction after a more or less 10 year hiatus of Golden Age cancelled titles...and it was different than the Golden Age, more emphasis on detail and sci fi, less on mysticism...
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Maximara
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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2005, 05:09:32 AM »

Quote from: "dto"
And then we have alternate timelines (current, past and/or future) which were seen very recently in both Teen Titans and Superman/Batman.  Hypertime, the Post-Crisis equivalent to the old Multiverse (where everything that could happen exists, INCLUDING old Pre-Crisis continuity) figured prominently in The Kingdom and Zero Hour.  The catch is that one cannot remain in an alternate Hypertimeline without unravelling Reality, so you can't take up permanent residence in another timeline like how Black Canary emigrated from Earth-2 to Earth-1.


The problem is that Silver Sorcerous and Blue Jay had left their Earth and lived on the main Earth for years with no problems totally invalidating this idea. Furthermore the Black Zero saga where one Superboy went on a collection spree of both his counterparts and Doomsday again invalidating the idea.

Supergirl is a real problem as it is not clear just what her reality really is. The LSH books had it a reality the Time Trapper saved from before Crisis (which made no sense) while the Superman books had it an alternate timeline the Trapper shaped to his choosing by reaching back 1 million years. But we later find out that the Trapper had wiped out everything else making him insanly powerful (Guardians Darkside and all the rest gone) which didn't make much sense either.
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Maximara
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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2005, 05:28:12 AM »

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
The only thing I'm not sure of is if it was impossible to construct a new DC mythos...it had been done before, the Silver Age itself was a new direction after a more or less 10 year hiatus of Golden Age cancelled titles...and it was different than the Golden Age, more emphasis on detail and sci fi, less on mysticism...


Except as noted by this site itself the Silver Age did not spring full formed when the Barry Allen Flash came out in 1955. You had the Flux Age from 1948-1958 where the three surviving heroe books (Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman) slowly setting the stage for what would become the Silver Age. It was much like the Modern Horror comic revival in the late 1960's set the stage for the Bronze Age where the stories started getting more of an 'edge' to them.  After Crisis and Secret Wars we entered into the Iron Age of comics and while there have been a few diamonds (Destiny's Hand, End of an Era, Dominus Saga) the stories have on the large part not held up that well.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2005, 10:05:47 PM »

Tying this conversation back into Superman, one of the severe weaknesses of Crisis is that no matter how things could have been designed on "Earth-Zero," it meant that Superman was no longer going to be the FIRST superhero ever. Previous to crisis, on both Earth-1 and Earth-2, Superman was the first superhero to emerge on either world.

Having Superman not be the first superhero ever, and merely having him be a follower in a heroic tradition established by others decades before, is rather an insult to Superman's role in the history of comics, where he WAS the first. Superman isn't just another superhero; he was the point of origin for the entire concept. Superman as "just another superhero" compromises his uniqueness, even if he is the first after a brief pause in superheroic activity.

Responding to the original point:
Taking aside for a moment the eventual outcome, the concept ITSELF of altering the DC Universe into a Marvel-style universe seems like a pretty sound idea. Why WAS Marvel selling more books than DC was? It isn't because of talent; both companies had brilliant, talented people writing and drawing their funnybooks, and some, like Roy Thomas, Steve Gerber, and Jack Kirby, got their start at one company and then switched to another.

At least the reason *I* preferred Marvel to DC comics as a kid is because there was a degree of cohesiveness about the Marvel Universe the DC Universe lacked, which made the Marvel Universe feel more REAL. And I don't just mean team-ups. DC had Team-Ups up the wazoo; for pity's sake, even the Viking Prince teamed up with Sgt. Rock in an issue of Brave and the Bold.

What I mean by cohesiveness is this: most heroes, except the purple-pants tearing Hulk, get their costumes of "unstable molecules" from Reed Richards. When Spider-Man was revealed as a coward, there were panels of other superheroes discusing their thoughts on this revalation. Captain America didn't participate in some Avengers comics because in his own book he was being forced to cooperate with the Red Skull (and the other Avengers that same issue wondered if Cap had turned traitor). This only improved under the writers that took over. Englehart's tying the Blue Area of the Moon was created by the Kree, for example.

This degree of interconnectivity is visible at DC but is extremely rare, and only begins to appear after the Marvel model shows up. Almost never do we see Superman in the Silver Age mentioning the Justice League that he is a part of in his own book. Elliot S! Maggin did his best to establish a connection between Superman and the Guardians of the Universe, for example, but that was well into the Bronze Age. Most of this work was done by writers at Marvel; witness all the unification of concepts that Roy Thomas did with the Golden Age characters like the JSA, All-Star Squadron, and so forth.

One "exception" is the Batman/Superman team; Superman had a "Batman Room" in the Fortress of Solitude, and Batman sometimes showed up in Superman's comics to help keep his secret identity in front of Lois or Lana. But this was very much an example of lack of world-building cohesion too: Batman didn't return the favor. Maybe the Batman writers felt that having Batman have a partner that was as smart as he was with infinite more range and utility would make Batsy look bad in the comparison.

The approach that was taken, to give DC more a Marvel-style approach, was a very good idea. What I *don't* see is, why is this, and the multiple earths concept, mutually exclusive? Can somebody explain this?
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2005, 12:25:21 AM »

Maybe those are good points -- but the two worlds concept did tie two TIMES together, the JLA necessarily did as well...Hawkman and the Atom interacted on adventures, but having not read Marvel in the 60s, I don't know how cohesive they were...when did Marvel become so cohesive...right after Spiderman, the Uncany X-Men, and the Fantastic Four, or did that take some time as well?
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