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Author Topic: History of the DC Universe = significant backup  (Read 4772 times)
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JulianPerez
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« on: July 10, 2006, 08:09:35 AM »

You have no idea what a pain in the ass figuring out what's official or not in DC has been for the past decade or so. To those of us that value interconnectivity, respect for history, treating characters as "real," and consistency - old school fanboys like me, Kurt Busiek, Phillip Jose Farmer, and others...the last few decades have been pretty much hell, as the concept of "DC Continuity" became an oxymoron.

Nearly every discussion I've had with friends centered on the DC Universe, the concept of "what IS IN the DCU now," or how things "really happened" has been the primary point of discussion for years, because nobody really seemed to know. Even the so-called original HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE from Wolfman and Perez was useless and contradicted the moment it was published.

So, coming out of this climate of nothing being clear, PRAISE JESUS AND THE GREAT SPACEMAN for the "History of the DC Universe" backup telling us precisely what is and isn't the DC Universe, something that many people have been waiting for years.

Now we have "History of the DC Universe" in the back of 52 recognizing that the multiverse happened, and existed, but no longer exists now. Am I the only one that recognizes how absolutely significant a change this is?

In other words, all those stories did happen, only nobody remembers them now.

This may sound like the merest semantic difference from the old state of affairs where stories just never happened, but it really is the most profound change to happen to how continuity is talked about in decades. I said earlier I didn't feel IC really changed the status quo. How wrong I was!

Consider for a moment the Paul Kupperberg NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL.

CRISIS, in its monumental arrogance, comitted the one sin that you're not supposed to do in a shared universe: say something "never happened." Obviously I'm talking about Supergirl, the Silver Age/Bronze Age Supergirl. So, what becomes of the Paul Kupperberg DARING NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL's villains, the Gang?

The Pre-Crisis history couldn't provide an answer. As nearly as I could determine, there were three posibilities: 1) It's possible they never existed, because Supergirl didn't exist, but that wouldn't make any sense. 2) It's possible that they existed, but that another heroine opposed them on the new shared earth and restructured history. The name of Power Girl, for instance, was tossed around.

Ah, but wait! Possibility 1 is right out the window because these guys DO exist in the post-Crisis DC Universe. Ms. Mesmer of the Gang appeared in a Morrison issue featuring a Legion of all-female supervillains.

Now, we get to the post-IC DC Universe. The stories DID happen, but nobody remembers them. Which means that DARING NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL actually DID happen! Which means Supergirl DID fight the Gang, and they just don't remember, and presumably, the Gang has no memory of this.

Think of all the uncertain-status questions that have been resolved thanks to this new approach to DC History, which begins with recognizing that YEAH, there WAS a multiverse, and yeah, what you read DID happen as you read it.

So, color me a fan of "History of the DC Universe."
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Klar Ken T5477
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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2006, 03:11:53 PM »

Uh...right. :roll:
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006, 03:38:15 PM »

Well, maybe the change in language is a step forward, though it seems that DC saying a history that changes a universe's future no longer exists makes no sense (even in a sci fi reality where time travel doesn't make real sense to begin with)...I suppose it it would help establish the fact that no one could journey back to the multiverse, but ultimately, the fact that no one can remember would be enough...even though Psycho Pirate and some others creeping in could remember...and of course, most important in a STORY is the reader, and the reader didn't have his/her memories erased or his his/her history destroyed.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2006, 05:16:38 PM »

Sometimes I really wonder about the consistency of the stance at the time, or if the post Crisis really was left up to later decisions...there is no doubt that Psycho Pirate saying "you never know who is going to live and who is going to die" implies that the characters did exist, just that the only one who remembers is in an insane asylum...was it later that writers thought some handful of possible "rememberers" might show up in some mags and ruin concepts like "the only survivor of Krypton" by speaking Kara's name?

There was just no game plan, not a good idea when you are re-ordering the nature of all of existence.
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ShinDangaioh
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2006, 07:56:26 PM »

And they still don't have a good game plan.

PAD's Supergirl has been stated by Dan Didio that she does not exist.  

clapclapclap  Way to go DC.  You repeated all the mistakes of Crisis but with none of the positives.
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Great Rao
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2006, 08:55:49 PM »

Quote from: "ShinDangaioh"
clapclapclap  Way to go DC.  You repeated all the mistakes of Crisis but with none of the positives.

I don't read many DC books any more, but I already know of at least two positives:

1 - PAD's Supergirl has been stated by Dan Didio that she does not exist;
2 - A re-worked Superman that is incredibly well written, incorporates the best of all that has come before, and has a great origin.

S!
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"The bottom line involves choices.  Neither gods nor humans have ever stood calmly in a minefield forever.  Good or evil, they are bound to choose.  And when they do, you will see the truth of all that motivates us.  As a thinking being, you have the obligation to choose.  If the fate of all mankind were in your hands, what would your decision be?  As a writer and an artist, I've drawn my answer."   - Jack Kirby
DBN
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2006, 11:13:30 PM »

Quote from: "Great Rao"
Quote from: "ShinDangaioh"
clapclapclap  Way to go DC.  You repeated all the mistakes of Crisis but with none of the positives.

I don't read many DC books any more, but I already know of at least two positives:

1 - PAD's Supergirl has been stated by Dan Didio that she does not exist;
2 - A re-worked Superman that is incredibly well written, incorporates the best of all that has come before, and has a great origin.

S!


Actually, Didio specifically stated that the Matrix was wiped from continuity, not Linda. Geoff Johns backed this up on his forum.

Furthermore, I tend not to take Didio seriously anyway. He also stated we would learn that the Post-Crisis Kal was one in the same with the Earth 1 Kal during Infinite Crisis. That never happened. He also tends to contradict himself at times.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2006, 01:31:17 AM »

Quote from: "Great Rao"
Quote from: "ShinDangaioh"
clapclapclap  Way to go DC.  You repeated all the mistakes of Crisis but with none of the positives.

I don't read many DC books any more, but I already know of at least two positives:

1 - PAD's Supergirl has been stated by Dan Didio that she does not exist;
2 - A re-worked Superman that is incredibly well written, incorporates the best of all that has come before, and has a great origin.

S!


That's the one thing about DC's history that I've got reservations about.

I don't know if I'd call Peter David's Supergirl being wiped from history a "positive." Not because I liked the character (though Peter David made lemonade with the lemons of the ridiculous Matrix concept) but because catastrophic "this never happened" erases JUST DON'T WORK. They have never worked, and are outright destructive to the interconnectivity of the world.

However, from what I gather about the veiled nature of Geoff Johns comments, the implication is that they have very specific solutions and plans to the Matrix problem more nuanced than just "

Quote from: "Shin"
And they still don't have a good game plan.


I disagree. I think part of the difference this time over the original Crisis is that this time, everything is done with extensive planning, something that caused the DC Unvierse after CRISIS to fall to pieces. People here are talking to each other. Hell, we had a splash page in INFINITE CRISIS of all the significant figures in 52 months before the series was published! Don't forget the fact that the books are spun a year ahead, with obvious gaps that the previous years are clearly and deliberately meant to fill. So, considering this level of top-down planning, and the quality of the people involved (the aforementioned Busiek, Johns, Simone, Levitz, etc.) this Crisis is doing right in the aftermath, what the original Crisis did wrong.
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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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