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Author Topic: What might you reject?  (Read 28224 times)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2005, 03:33:55 AM »

Quote from: "Johnny Nevada"
>>The Superman of 2965. They kind of already have a 30th Century with the Legion of Superheroes, which had a much more interesting future world. Saying either one or the other is the true future means the other didn't happen, and if I had to pick one, it would be Legion's.
<<

Which is why they soon retconned his time-era into being *2465*.

Granted, I don't ever recall Professor Zoom, the "Reverse-Flash", mentioning there was a version of Superman running around in his era, seeing as how Zoom was *from* 2465 (or thereabouts; see that "Flash" cover with Barry punching Zoom back to 2465)... ;-)


Is that right? Huh!

However, there are so many problems outlined above with "2465" that even THIS retcon is not truly acceptable. The first is, of course, the Professor Zoom problem that you bring up. The second is that there is no real sense of scientific progress from "2465" to the Legion Future, a gap of 500 years. Perhaps this can be explained by rebuilding and recovering knowledge lost after atomic wars. This is supported by the Legion future to a limited, indirect extent; remember Chemical King, who died preventing World War VII?

The third is this: if there was a lineage of demonstratably real Supermen continuing in a lineage, why would "historical records of our era be scant, " as the Legionnaires are always so quick to point out?

All this raises one question, though: why is it generally assumed that Superman only lives a single human lifetime? It would be true if the events of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? are true, which I sincerely hope they are; that was a tearful, beautiful story. But why is it that writers previously have assumed that an invulnerable Superman won't STILL be around, still eternally youthful or perhaps with a gray hair there or here, by most distant future dates?

There's a question I don't think anybody's asked yet, which is astonishing: is Superman ALIVE in some form come the Legion future?
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Johnny Nevada
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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2005, 05:38:35 AM »

>>>

Is that right? Huh!
<<

Well:
http://www.comics.org/graphics/covers/1428/400/1428_4_153.jpg

>>However, there are so many problems outlined above with "2465" that even THIS retcon is not truly acceptable. The first is, of course, the Professor Zoom problem that you bring up.  The second is that there is no real sense of scientific progress from "2465" to the Legion Future, a gap of 500 years. Perhaps this can be explained by rebuilding and recovering knowledge lost after atomic wars. This is supported by the Legion future to a limited, indirect extent; remember Chemical King, who died preventing World War VII?

The third is this: if there was a lineage of demonstratably real Supermen continuing in a lineage, why would "historical records of our era be scant, " as the Legionnaires are always so quick to point out?

All this raises one question, though: why is it generally assumed that Superman only lives a single human lifetime? It would be true if the events of Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? are true, which I sincerely hope they are; that was a tearful, beautiful story. But why is it that writers previously have assumed that an invulnerable Superman won't STILL be around, still eternally youthful or perhaps with a gray hair there or here, by most distant future dates?

There's a question I don't think anybody's asked yet, which is astonishing: is Superman ALIVE in some form come the Legion future?<<

Hmm... there's the possibility that the Superman of 2465/2965/whatever exists in some alternate future timeline that doesn't lead to the Legion's future (a la Kamandi's future). Which'd take care of all of the contradictory points about him...

But if I were trying to make him fit into the "one, true future":

1. Maybe Zoom was too focused on Flash to bother mentioning or thinking about the Superman of 2465?

2. Scientific progress... hmm... well, guess that's always varied in how DC's shown its futures. 100 years in the future often seemed as advanced as the Legion's future 1000 years hence...

3. Maybe the Legion didn't want to reveal to Superboy/Superman stuff about his future? (OK, no real answer to this one...)

4. Is superman still alive? A descendant of Supes apparently was still alive (Laurel Kent, yes?). But Supes himself, I kind of doubt it... else we'd be seeing Superboy wondering why he kept turning invisible when he went to the future (per that "can't exist in two places in the same time-era" rule of pre-Crisis time travel)... unless there's a *really* good explanation for Supes dodging *that* scenario (and not being around in the Legion time-era to help the United Planets out)...
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2005, 01:46:08 PM »

For my money those stories were the most imaginative and complex ever told in 8 pages.  Id like to see Frank Miller and his ilk do that.

Id rather spend $3-$5 on aratty Superman family comic from the 60s then todays modern crap which is badly drawn and poorly written.

Ive been reading a collection of Edmond Hamilton's short stories from the 30s-50s and it's amazing it's scope but also how much of the greatest
Superman-Batman stories fo the 50s and 60s were written by him.

Fun. Imaginative and brilliant in their mythology.
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ShinDangaioh
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« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2005, 10:50:47 PM »

Quote from: "Coldsam"
My problem with Argo City began with the fact of it's survival intact because it had a plexiglass covering over it. It was my impression in the story about Krypton's end was to planet exploded into small bits. Look at any story about the death of Krypton before the Supergirl story and the destruction of the planet is total. But, let's put that aside for a moment, then when Argo City starts to become Radioactive, Kara's father has enough leading shielding to cover the ground surface of the entire city. .

That chunk of rock is the size of Mars.  Smiley  Krypton was a big planet.  You could bury Earth under the polar ice caps of Krypton.  The city only covered part of it.

The lead sheilding for Argo is a problem, but  I've always thought that lead shielding was supposed to be used to complete the space ship that was being built in Kandor.  Maybe Argo is just where they stored all the lead sheilding for the fleet of spaceships that Jor-El was intending to build.

I've always ignored the temporal problems with the Legion.  Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth, Kristen Wells, Lydia-7, Legion, Superman Jr, the grandson of Superman.  There were many possible futures for Earth-1 and I miss them.

Back to the topic at hand:
I've had a problem with the Chronicles of Krypton.  Gee, can someone other than an El family member achieve greatness on Krypton?
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2005, 11:13:16 PM »

Quote from: "ShinDangaioh"
Quote from: "Coldsam"
Back to the topic at hand:
I've had a problem with the Chronicles of Krypton.  Gee, can someone other than an El family member achieve greatness on Krypton?


Time travel is completely choked with problems anyways, so I forgive a lot...

Good point about the Chronicles (of which I read maybe 2)...good storytelling might have had them branch out from the El family a bit more...

A good story is worth a million small problems with continuity or more realistic science...
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2005, 02:10:35 AM »

Good points, Jonny Nevada, and all of them seem solid. I had forgotten about the translucent effect from time travel. I always thought it was interesting because it offered a solution to one very obvious, gigantic logic hole in the Superman mythos: if Superman can crack the time barrier, if he ever makes a mistake in any story, he can just go back in time and fix it. If you REALLY give some thought to this, it would make a monkey out of just about any Superman story! This isn't to say that Superman isn't alive in SOME form come to the Legion future...maybe he's something like Tom Strong, who in his old age became the bearded wizard guardian of the Tower at the End of Time. Perhaps Superman's in suspended animation, prepared for a battle at the end of time? His mind has been placed into the benevolent Supercomputer that runs Rokyn?

Here's a possibility concerning the Superman of 2965 - or 2465, or alternate 2465, or whatever the hell: maybe he's the future of the Superman of Earth-2? Batman and the Joker were two descendants that appeared in the 2465 stories, and there are Batmans and Jokers on Earth-2. One point of divergence between Earth-1 and Earth-2 is that Earth-2 has no Legion of Superheroes. Perhaps because the future of Earth-2 is protected by the descendants of Superman, so there was no niche the Legion could be created to fill?

As for the point about Laurel Kent (LLs in the first name - cute), I seriously think the Superman lineage and Superman legacy that the Legion was a spin-off of, deserved better future representation than a throwaway Legion Academy member. If you're GOING to have a future descendant of Superman in the mix, he or she should be less easy to ignore.

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"


A good story is worth a million small problems with continuity or more realistic science...


I totally disagree with this statement.

I'm also astonished to see it on a board with respect for the past like Superman through the Ages; after all, what IS continuity at its most fundamental, basic level than the fact characters are able to remember their past?

Continuity, at least to me, is vital because a character's history, and what they have done, is more interesting to me than their powers or their code name. History is a tool for characterization, a tool for creating new stories by digging into what has happened previously. And it makes the world more true and grounded; isn't Luthor's characterization more true and more honest because he remembers all the other times Superman has placed him into prison, fueling that cueball-headed crook's rage and resentment? The fact that Starro the Conqueror remembers his previous battles with the Justice League and adopts new strategies to fight them every time gives credit to Starro's alien intelligence.

Why is it the worst writers (Byrne, Giffen, Grell) are the ones that play the most fast and loose with continuity? Because skill with world-building and making a place feel more "real" are qualities possessed by good writers, just like plotting, characterization, and imagination are. Characters should behave consistently with how we know them to behave and how they have been established as behaving. You can try to separate "continuity" from "telling good stories," but the fact of the matter is, the things that define "continuity" are what make stories good: namely, consistent, accurate characters taking actions that are appropriate and believable (however that is defined for each character and the setting).

And it should be noted also that even errors in continuity can become the basis for future stories. Kurt Busiek's AVENGERS FOREVER used lapses in characterization and headache-inducing errors in continuity to create a wonderful story that explained them off. But this works only as long as characters exist in a "real" world and a "real" framework where mistakes can exist, because there is a right way to do something, a "true" history and canon that divergences can be made from. If there is no continuity, no mistakes can exist.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2005, 03:25:55 AM »

Simply, total continuity is impossible, sometimes it can be repaired, often with disastrous results and it still isn't repaired, i.e, crisis, zero hour...

I love history, I like it when it is respected, but its the product of who tells it in real life, and its not consistent...

A good story, however, stands the test of time...

Yes, when Superman first time traveled and learned of his origin, he remained outside of it and translucent...a neat concept...it just didn't last, the temptation to have real interaction in time travel stories was too great...

Changes like this are interesting, and what we all like to talk about and debate, but I can wish it to never change but it has to, eras change...
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2005, 06:00:30 AM »

Getting back on topic, more things about Superman that weren't successful that I could live without:

The "Hey, that Kryptonian looks just like me!" Stories. All 13.7 billion of them. Seriously, I really think everybody in the world has a twin either in the Phantom Zone, or the Bottled City of Kandor. There's Dru-Zod and his identical appearance to Luthor (yeesh, poor guy - Luthor's an evil genius, but he's a bald, pudgy-faced dog of a man), Van-Zee and Sylvia Plath being identical doubles of Lois Lane and Kal-El, that one girl or series of girls that looked identical to Supergirl...really, this plot is so very tired now.

Luthor's original origin. C'mon, the guy can build a forcefield to block out the sun, but he can't synthesize a cure for male pattern baldness? The reason Luthor's original origin always bothered me is because, as it was an accident that led to Luthor not having his hair, Superman has no moral responsibility for Luthor's creation, and consequently, no guilt or sense of failure or desire to make amends. Because there is no guilt or responsibility, there is no sense of tragedy. It was all just a misunderstanding that Luthor for whatever reason, took way too seriously. It would be emotionally wrenching and poignant if Superman had, instead of charging in (admittedly thoughtlessly, but blamelessly), made a CHOICE, fully aware of the consequences of his actions.

I understand that the "it was all an accident" scenario is created to preserve Superman's incorruptible decency, and while I am all in favor of this, there are ways to preserve this without having the scenario made irrelevant and emotionally empty. As Alan Moore wrote in "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow," it is always the most moral people that are pained by conscience. Perhaps Luthor's deadly experiment threatened the entire town of Smallville. Superboy chose to extinguish it, *knowing* Luthor would take offense and possibly be injured: choosing the lesser of two evils.

Even the guy that "got" best of all what Superman was supposed to be all about, Elliot S! Maggin, understood how unsatisfying this all was, and he placed Luthor's hair loss in the more comprehensible framework of a lifetime pattern of a misanthropic Luthor being permanently misunderstood and shunned, with Superboy becoming the most visible target of his rage and frustration.
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"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
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