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Author Topic: What might you reject?  (Read 28102 times)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #40 on: August 05, 2005, 03:14:26 AM »

Quote from: "llozymandias"
Silver-age Luthor could have easily cured his baldness if he wanted to.  The whole "i hate Superman only because he made me go bald" thing seemed to start in the late 60s or early 70s.  I wonder how many people have actually read Jerry Siegel's story from 1960.  A lot of people credit Elliott S Maggin for Lex's experiment in creating life.  That was in Siegel's story.  In that story Lex started hating superboy for ruining his greatest experiment.  He believed Supes did it deliberately out of jealousy of Lex's superior intellect.  The baldness was treated as a side issue.  At first Lex's intention was to use his super-intelligence to make himself more famous than Superboy.  Lex's first attempt to kill Superboy was after several more of his experiments backfired.  Lex believed Superboy was actively sabotaging his work.  Basically Lex hated Superman, because he saw him as an obstacle/impediment to Lex's greatness.


All good points, all good points. I have had the opportunity to read Jerry Siegel's original story, and Luthor's motivation seems pretty concrete. Maggin's "expansion" of it made everything much clearer, and made Luthor a much more sympathetic and pitiable character, by making Lex a misfit rather than just antisocial and eeeeeeevil. Maggin does, however, deserve applause for his "humanization" of Luthor; nowhere is this better seen in stories like MIRACLE MONDAY where Lex actually saves Superman from Saturn. In Superman's Maggin-written battles with Luthor, Superman is twinged with a sense of loss: he regrets Luthor is his foe. In Maggin's stories, it's taken as a granted that eventually, Lex Luthor will be redeemed and join the side of the Angels.

I always, always liked this idea that every being has a soul and can be redeemed; it feels like much more of a "total" victory. I always hate "future stories" that end with macho idiocy like the hero and his archvillain staring down at one another and battling to the death. One of my favorite aspects of the Avengers is, so many of the members are former supervillains. The Swordsman, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Living Lightning, Sandman, Hawkeye...all reformed beings that first appeared as supercriminals.

One of the best, and head-clockingly obvious and simple, extensions of the Luthor origin was made by Alan Moore in SUPREME. Darius Dax "always resented Supreme because his genius was ignored."

Perhaps my point was muddied a bit because I went for easy bald guy jokes. My point is this: even in the very good Siegel origin of Luthor, Superman is a peripheral figure in Lex's beginnings. Lex dislikes Superboy not because of what he does but because of the fact he just happens to be there. I stated that Luthor might be a more compelling villain if Superman had a degree of moral responsibility, created by his choices where he was aware of the consequences (not a "wrong" choice, but one I wouldn't envy and that would weigh on the conscience of the moral Superman - save Luthor or save the town), in the creation of his greatest enemy.

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
Actually, I kind of agree that there was a big change in the "bronze" age, that was a beginning of self doubt that struck me very much, in some ways, as much as post-Crisis stuff that I frankly don't pay much attention to except a mild interest in reading about it as an abstract concept...


People always make a big deal out of GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW. I really have never understood it; especially when people talk about how "moving" it is. Well, it sure did "move" me - move me to burst out laughing! Anybody that finds Silver Age Superman covers unintentionally funny ought to get a load of the hilariously pompous, utterly irony-free self-righteousness this series palmed off. Worst of all, Marvel comics had been doing stories about social topics since the company's inception; GL/GA wasn't doing anything new; in fact, it was almost a decade too late. If it had come out at Marvel instead of DC, no one would have cared. At that late in the game, 1972 - it has all the "relevance" of your fat, balding Dad squeezing into a $15 polyester suit because he just figured out what "Disco" is.

Though Neal Adams was a pretty great artist - that is, before he lapsed into schizophrenia and "Amateur Geology," Howard Hughes-style.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2005, 03:22:28 AM »

No doubt GL/GA left me cold, there just is nothing that comic book heroes can do to solve over simplified societal ills...

I was just as bummed by Galaxy Broadcasting, totally broad brush "hippies' and the so-called relevant but STILL stilted dialogue, and making Superboy's parents young...

Nope, did not like the Bronze Age, sam I am...
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #42 on: August 05, 2005, 03:46:19 AM »

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
No doubt GL/GA left me cold, there just is nothing that comic book heroes can do to solve over simplified societal ills...

I was just as bummed by Galaxy Broadcasting, totally broad brush "hippies' and the so-called relevant but STILL stilted dialogue, and making Superboy's parents young...

Nope, did not like the Bronze Age, sam I am...


I ought to point out at this point that being a liberal/progressive, I did not dislike GL/GA because I disagree with it, but rather because it was (ironically) dated, ludicrously self-righteous, and cheesy. In fact I think I dislike GL/GA more than say, a conservative Ayn Randroid monologue like Steve Ditko's QUESTION or MR. A, because GL/GA's shallow treatment of complicated problems reduced robust arguments and talking points to poorly thought out simplifications that came out of Green Arrow's mouth. Denny, if you're reading this, you're not helping.

How right you are about the dialogue. Comics dialogue is never more stilted when it's old guys trying to write hip teenagers. Jim Shooter and Stan Lee's dialogue was great because it had a poetry to it that stands the test of time.

BRANIAC 5: "Chuck the chatter! Listen to that guy's spiel!"

Or:

HAWKEYE: "That's the fifth jet we've crashed! Gosh, I hope ol' moneybags Tony Stark don't pull his clams from our superhero combo!"

CAPTAIN AMERICA: "The Avengers will fight no matter what the cost, Hawkeye!"

HAWKEYE: "Yeah, but we sure would look nutty riding into battle on roller skates!"

See what I mean? It just rolls off the tongue. On the other hand, the insulting to normal intelligence excesses achieved in series like PREZ or the original Silver Age TEEN TITANS just make you want to hit your head with a tack hammer. Thank GOD  they kept the sweet Supergirl from talking "jive" or listening to "twist" records.

Though I can see Linda Danvers with a black boyfriend. She seems like the type.  Cheesy
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« Reply #43 on: August 05, 2005, 06:54:18 PM »

I loved DC's Bronze Age myself. It was easily the best era, IMO.

What I liked most about it were the fact that the motivations of heroes and villains were deeply explored, but there were also the great ideas of the Silver Age. To me, it felt a lot like true, living breathing mythology.

And yes, I liked the socially relevant GL/GA series too--they're acclaimed for a good reason. For its time, it was very counter-culture and examined issues that hadn't yet been explored in the DCU. It reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Easy Rider. There's likely some influence from that film in the stories.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2005, 07:27:13 PM »

Quote from: "NotSuper"
And yes, I liked the socially relevant GL/GA series too--they're acclaimed for a good reason. For its time, it was very counter-culture and examined issues that hadn't yet been explored in the DCU. It reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Easy Rider. There's likely some influence from that film in the stories.


Quote from: "NotSuper"
and examined issues that hadn't yet been explored in the DCU.


(Emphasis Mine)

Yeah, I liked Easy Rider too - but that's because it didn't have fershlugginer superheroes in it.

Perhaps I ought to be clearer about the terminology I use because there's some confusion...this site lists things in terms of Golden/Silver/Iron/Bronze Ages, which is a scheme I don't quite agree with, because ages ought to be catageorized according to the talent that exists in them, and the shuffling of said talent. When the Silver Age ended depends on the character and company in question.

I would argue that Superman's Silver Age, for example, continued until 1986, for the simple reason that Superman was being written by talented people (Maggin, Cary Bates) right up to the last possible minute, and for pete's sake, he still had his "good" Silver Age artist (Curt Swan)!

Marvel's Silver Age can be said to have ended in 1974. Marvel's Silver Age was defined by two talented geniuses: Steve Gerber and Steve Englehart. When Gerry Conway became EiC, both of them quit and left to go to DC, where Steve Englehart delivered one of the best runs Batman received, and then went on to do one of the best runs Green Lantern ever received. This isn't entirely a clear-cut distinction; the Marvel Silver Age limped along for several more years after this, because it still had talents like Roy Thomas, and produced great 70s titles like MASTER OF KUNG FU, SPIDER-WOMAN, BLACK PANTHER, DEVIL DINOSAUR, CHAMPIONS, CONAN, IRON FIST, (and that guilty pleasure) UNCANNY X-MEN.

Obviously CRISIS was the capstone to the DC Silver Age; it's officially over and until then DC still had their Silver Age history and continuity in play right up until that point. After Crisis, untalented writer/artists were placed into positions to "write" (Mike Grell, John Byrne, and Keith Giffen being the most outrageous offenders).

After that, it's all "Modern Age" to me. Yes, there was a lurch in style around the time the two Steves and Denny O'Neil and Maggin and Roy Thomas showed up. I suppose there wasn't a "Bronze Age" if you go by PEOPLE instead of STYLE.

If I may add one more thing: the age previous to 1938 or so, which focused mostly on comic strips and artists like Milton Caniff and Alex Raymond, is occasionally called the "Platinum Age."
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« Reply #45 on: August 05, 2005, 07:47:34 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
After Crisis, untalented writer/artists were placed into positions to "write" (Mike Grell, John Byrne, and Keith Giffen being the most outrageous offenders).

I wouldn't call them "untalented." The problem with Byrne's Man of Steel was that it made Superman too much like a Marvel character, specifically a mutant (he developed his powers during puberty). Superman didn't need to be moving planets, but he was de-powered way too much post-Crisis. But I did like the Marvel stuff I've read that Byrne was a part of (though he's a better artist than writer). I disagree with a lot of the things that he says, but I do think that he has talent.

The only real problems I had with Byrne's work were Superman killing and how Krypton was de-emphasized.

I've never read anything Giffen wrote that could be considered "bad." I didn't care for his JLA (it lost all of its mythic nature), but that's pretty much it. I haven't really read much of his stuff, to be honest. I doubt that I would have any degree of outright hatred for it, though.

As for Grell, I didn't like the fact that he wanted to completely change Green Arrow and Black Canary with NO explanation. For instance, in his version, he said that Black Canary never posessed a "sonic scream." My complaint with him is that he didn't want to work in continuity.
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« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2005, 11:51:58 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
look at the wonderful job Busiek did with AVENGERS FOREVER, reconciling mistakes and flaws, so that not only are they NOT mistakes and flaws, they're explanations that can be built on to create a story.


A fun comic for long-term teen and adult fans (I read some issues I bought at a garage sale), but basically points to what is wrong with the last 30-odd years of superhero/adventure comics writing: insularity, continuity obsessions, nerdish nostalgia.  Could someone who had never read Avengers appreciate it at all?

Quote

I don't mean to slight the Golden Age either, but the fact is, while there were very many talented people that worked in those times, it simply wasn't as good as the Silver Age was; there were talented people, but not AS many talented people. To be totally fair, there were bright spots: Moulton Marston's acid-trip brilliant though creepily sexually deviant WONDER WOMAN, Kirby's CAPTAIN AMERICA, C.C. Beck's cute MARVEL FAMILY. and Eisner's SPIRIT. For the most part, Golden Age plots were centered on rote;


Not to get overly nerdish myself, but I lump the classic EC and various horror/crime/sci-fi comics of the 40s-early-50s into the Golden Age (Atomic Age by some).  Krigstein, Kurtzman, Elder.  Mad Magazine.  Jack Cole and Plastic Man.  Crime Does Not Pay.  Boy Comics.  Romance comics.  Early Dan Decarlo.  A great period for newspaper strips as well.  But as with any period, 90% of the output was crap.

Most days I thank RAO that, for all but the tiny ghetto of North American superhero comics and their current fans, comics have today escaped the descending spiral of these so-called Ages and the death-grip of the Direct Market/comic book shop and entered a new Golden Age of adult graphic novels, manga, translated Euro-comics, classic reprints and new inventive kids' comics, all to be found at your local book store.
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« Reply #47 on: August 06, 2005, 12:38:28 AM »

For me, the Bronze Age is my favorite era as well. While the Silver Age comics are enjoyable, I guess I liked the writing tone of the Bronze Age stories, and the various runs (Maggin/Bates on Superman, Engelhart's Batman, the GL/GA series, and if we go with the tail end of the era, "Captain Carrot", Schaffenberger's art on "New Adventures of Superboy", etc.). Liked the way Lois was treated in this era more than in the 60's as well, I suppose; and being able to see African-American characters show up more and more in 70's stories also probably helps from my perspective (speaking of "Though I can see Linda Danvers with a black boyfriend. She seems like the type.", I'd imagine Linda wouldn't care about her boyfriend's ethnicity; just as long as he's "dreamy"... :-) ).

Re: Eras: I consider "Bronze Age" for DC stretching from c. 1970 (Weisinger retiring, Kirby joining DC, the makeover Supes got) to 1986 (the end of "Crisis"). 1986 onwards is the "Modern Age" for me...
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