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Author Topic: IC #1 - At last they return  (Read 89378 times)
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #120 on: October 20, 2005, 05:01:18 PM »

Quote
The problem with Crisis on Infinite Earths (besides the horror of watching billions of people die) was the rigid continuity that came afterwards, similar to your database in many respects.

DC didn't allow time travel until 1991. That's what killed the Legion of Superheroes and caused all of these reboots. Superman's powers were limited so that he could not travel to other planets...making Superman no longer a sci-fi character. Most of the Superman universe ceased to exist, since only the Fourth World was accessible, through boom tubes. The world of Smallville, Bizarro World, Atlantis, Midvale, etc. were no more, while Krypton was too boring to write about. Superman's world became much smaller, because DC forced it to be so.


Grant Morrison was goiing to change all that with a Hypercrisis series, which will now never happen, here is his thoughts on Crisis and the DC universe.

Grant Morrison quote:

Anyway, Crisis was all right but in the end it left a DC universe stripped of its childlike lunacy, and in which some fairly dull limits were placed on the creative imagination by John Byrne and others (for sound creative and marketing reasons perhaps but short-sighted, I believe, as these things often are). This seemed to me a boring path to take in a business which relies on peddling the rawest and most outrageous fruits of the deranged mind and so I began to rebel against the prevailing trends as soon as I got work on a mainstream DCU title. I missed the super-pets and the parallel worlds and felt they could have been handled in a number of ways and still retain their odd appeal and meaning. I hated the post-Dark Knight school of pain-and-guilt comics and I'd lost interest in the claustrophobic 'realism' of the Watchmen camp, so by the time I got hold of Animal Man in 1987 I was ready to bring all my favorite four-color John Broomist crap back in a tidal wave of self-referential madness. Hence Animal Man and especially Doom Patrol.
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #121 on: October 20, 2005, 09:04:04 PM »

AFAICT, the limit that's hard in a shared universe is the "big deal" limit.  The same "big deal" event should result in roughly the same level of fuss throughout the world.  Whether it's a "lot of fuss" or "little fuss", it should be reasonably consistent.  

A million people vanish, and the only place anyone really mentions about it is in the Superman books, because it's Superman who makes them vanish?  Like Batman wouldn't be on the case, on behalf of the many Gothamers that went missing?  Or any number of other folks?  Dumb.

Since Julian likes Hal as GL Smiley, let's talk about Kyle's stint as Ion where he turns into a godlike figure for awhile.  He doesn't heal Oracle because...?  Well, becoming godlike isn't as big a deal in the cosmic tales of the GL as it is in the less-cosmic tales of the Birds of Prey.  GL works better in space.  Batman works better on the streets of Gotham.  Perhaps they need to have a couple universes, not one big one.  They forked the mystics into Vertigo, so do another fork.
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« Reply #122 on: October 20, 2005, 10:36:11 PM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
A million people vanish, and the only place anyone really mentions about it is in the Superman books, because it's Superman who makes them vanish?  Like Batman wouldn't be on the case, on behalf of the many Gothamers that went missing?  Or any number of other folks?  Dumb.


This is something that really, really bugs me about the Modern DCU, is that they do not take their shared universe seriously; whether it be because of lack of communication between the various departments, editors asleep on the job, or good old-fashoined egomania, they do not coordinate together so that there are no rational, real-seeming consequences to really anything. The reverse-rapture engineered by Superman that nobody else talked about is by far one of the worst offenders in this regard second only to NO MAN'S LAND.

Generally, my position has been that "continuity," as modern fans call it, or rather, consistent worldbuilding, ultimately, is GOOD.

But that does not mean some stories just aren't possible, because in a universe where you have Superman, the Green Lanterns, and others, they just don't make any kind of SENSE. I'm talking about KNIGHTFALL here; making it a Bat-only crossover is mind-bogglingly bad logic.

Dennis O'Neil approved this story when he was Batman editor, so I suppose he's to blame for not shooting it down immediately as any sane editor would have.  I tell ya, that guy was great on HAWKMAN AND THE ATOM, but things just started to go south when he took away Wonder Woman's powers and had her wear gogoboots and a catsuit. Whoa. On second thought, Dennis O'Neil is the greatest writer ever.

Nonetheless, there are some people that can't handle thinking in terms of superheroic power level. Remember Dennis's fill-in story on JLA a few years ago? The one where the JLA, who have the assembled power to travel through time and battle entire alien armadas unscathed, piddled around saving a species of endangered monkey?

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"
Since Julian likes Hal as GL Smiley, let's talk about Kyle's stint as Ion where he turns into a godlike figure for awhile.  He doesn't heal Oracle because...?  Well, becoming godlike isn't as big a deal in the cosmic tales of the GL as it is in the less-cosmic tales of the Birds of Prey.  GL works better in space.  Batman works better on the streets of Gotham.  Perhaps they need to have a couple universes, not one big one.  They forked the mystics into Vertigo, so do another fork.


Good point, Re: Batman, who the writers feel that they need to segregate into his own corner of the DC Universe where nobody thinks or talks about him.

You know, you can take the vigilante out of the noir city, but you can't take the noir city out of the vigilante.

Maybe this is the secret to handling Batman in other comics where he deals with elements opposed to his own world, which lacks space age, science fiction elements: just have him stay being Batman, stay being deductive, even when the JLA is on the fourth Moon of the Grimlack system fighting superintelligent gorillas.

Marv Wolfman understood this dynamic; Batman, in NEW TEEN TITANS #4, confronted by mystics creating a circle, left the magic stuff to Zatanna, but he noted "Note that the ritual leaves NO SIGN OF STRAIN!" See? Even in this crazy Ditko other swirlydimension, Batman was still being Batman.

The people that state that one of Batman's greatest strengths is his plausibility don't get the character. Batman lives in a stylized world of gargoyles, constant rain, and a giant moon in the background, a world that is just as unreal as say, Superman's.

When you're fighting Two-Face with Robin tied to a pair of twelve foot dice, is Batman fighting on another planet REALLY so jarring a change?
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« Reply #123 on: October 23, 2005, 02:18:56 AM »

Quote from: "Uncle Mxy"

A million people vanish, and the only place anyone really mentions about it is in the Superman books, because it's Superman who makes them vanish?  Like Batman wouldn't be on the case, on behalf of the many Gothamers that went missing?  Or any number of other folks?  Dumb.


There's just no way that that storyline could've taken a whole year. A month, at most.

I will admit, though, that "For Tomorrow" offered the first comics I've ever read in which the Clark/Lois relationship seemed even vaguely, well, sexy. And I don't mind the Fortress being moved to South America. And we finally have the "real" Zod back.
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« Reply #124 on: October 23, 2005, 08:48:04 AM »

http://www.lacunae.com/archives/000398.html

Interestng review of the current mess by Douglas Wolk on his blog.  Wolk is an astute critic who does comics reviews for mainstream print sources (Wash Post, Believer, etc) and it's funny to see him writing as an uncritical fanboy about a series that just looks like carp to me.
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« Reply #125 on: October 23, 2005, 09:00:43 AM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
I disagree.

The problem with Crisis on Infinite Earths (besides the horror of watching billions of people die) was the rigid continuity that came afterwards, similar to your database in many respects.

DC didn't allow time travel until 1991. That's what killed the Legion of Superheroes and caused all of these reboots.  Superman's powers were limited so that he could not travel to other planets...making Superman no longer a sci-fi character. Most of the Superman universe ceased to exist, since only the Fourth World was accessible, through boom tubes. The world of Smallville, Bizarro World, Atlantis, Midvale, etc. were no more, while Krypton was too boring to write about. Superman's world became much smaller, because DC forced it to be so.


Actually DC did allow Time Travelbefore 1991: Comic Boy mini series (1987) then in Superman #8 (Aug 1987) and Boster Gold was revealed to be time traveler. The Time Masters series (1990) tried to establish the rules for time travel in the DC post-Crisis universe wuch like most of their efforts was poorly thought out; the idea that one method of time travel woudl work only twice (once to the past once to return home) was DOA when you remambers the exploits of Barry Allen, Professor Zoom, AbraKadabra all of who each used the same method of time travel enough times to qualify for frequent time travel minutes.

Superman did not need to go to other planets to be a Sci-Fi character as Verne and Wells stayed firmly on earth in their Sci-Fi novels. Nor did taking him back to his 1940's Golden Age power levels limit the stories that could be done. Notice that some of the best Silver and Bronze Age stories do not have Superman exclusivly using his power but using his brain as well something that was sorely lacking in the Silver Age much of the time.
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« Reply #126 on: October 23, 2005, 09:03:06 AM »

On the issue of the current Superman verses the ones of days gone by we are treated to the best those ages has to offer in reprints. The 'what were they thinking?' or 'were they thinking?' stories are quietly filed away.

Like the totally idiotic one where Superman is clasified as 4f because he accidently used his X-ray vision to see the chart in the next room. Then instead of finding a way go join up as Superman he just putters around the US fighting bozos the JSA could have easily handled if Superman had had enough brains to tell his friend what the sam hill was going on.  The after the fact Spear of Destiny retcon fixed this but until it did there were a lot of things wrong with that picture.

The Earth-1 Superman had similar problems especially when the more 'realistic' Bronze Age came along. Superman's non-involvement in Korea or Vietnam was never really delt with. Then there was the constant idea Lois had that somehow Clark Kent and Superman were the same person even though he had made it appear they were two seperate people more times than I can count.

Also that Pre-Crisis Lex Luthor never figured out Superman and Clark Kent were the same person was increadable. Luthor knew Superman had some form of secret identity and that he had once been Superboy. The number of people whose leaving Smallville and arriving in Metropolosis that matched the departure of Superboy and the appearance of Superman likely could be counted on one hand. Luthor with his obsesion and his brain should have figure it out with a speed rivaling that of his Bryne counterpart.
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« Reply #127 on: October 23, 2005, 09:15:13 AM »

Yeah,  I stumbled over that sci-fi reference too.  If anything, it limited the space opera aspect of Superman.  But the door was wide open for the return of the Super-Mobile!

That Cosmic Boy series looked weird.  And even though I love the New Gods, I wonder at the predominance of Apokolips in Earthly affairs post-Crisis, from Legends on (the last John Byrned project I ever bought??).
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