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Author Topic: If comic book heroes tell us something, we should BELIEVE it  (Read 11849 times)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2006, 06:29:21 AM »

Quote from: "nightwing"
Well, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's impossible to do good comics today, or that everything in the Silver and Bronze Age was high-quality. (far from it!)

What I meant was that whatever happened from 1956 to 1986, whether treasure or trash, has to be dealt with in some way and acknowledged as part and parcel of some continuing, evolving vision of the Multiverse. But in contrast, nothing published after the Crisis can affect in any way what happened in that previous, 30-year period.

If a writer in 2005 says the JLA performed mind-wipes during the Satellite Era, so what? He can't touch the REAL Satellite Era, because he's not writing about those characters. They are gone. If Frank Miller says Batman kidnapped and terrorized Dick Grayson into being Robin, who cares? That doesn't change the way it happened in the Golden or Silver Ages.

There was a time when the history of the Silver Age could be tweaked and re-written, and that time was the Silver Age (and to some extent the Bronze, since it continued Silver Age concepts). Uncle Morty was forever messing around with the story of Jor-El and Lara, for isntance. Sometimes in a good way, as with "Superman's Return to Krypton," sometimes in a bad way, as with the Superboy story that had the El's floating around space in suspended animation. But love or hate those stories, you had to at least put some thought into whether and how they fit the mythos. You are under no such obligation to reconcile modern stories. They are interesting, but they only "count" in modern continuity, not any continuity that preceded them.

When DC published the Crisis, they wrote the last chapter on Earth-1 and Earth-2. Anything after that involved characters with the same names, but different lives.


I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. I never said you said that. Rather, the point I was making is, that things have to be judged based on their high points, not low ones.

As for your point about DC no longer really having a cohesive history after Crisis, so it's not possible to retroactively affect anything...well, DC Continuity is such a mess post-Crisis that it's become almost an oxymoron. But like I said, the reason I can't really find it in me to "break" the Silver/Bronze Age from the Modern Age is twofold:

1) It's the Silver/Bronze Age versions of the characters (for the most part) that I care about, and all the neat stuff that happened to them that can be fuel for future stories, and if they're not the same, or a continuation, what's the point of Modern books about them, right?

2) As said in the other post, I believe the DC Universe's greatest strength is that it's LIVING. The idea that Crisis was "The End," the time of death written on the patient's sheet, and now the DC heroes are all placed in the company of characters like Holmes and Doc Savage whose tales can never legitimately be continued...well, it does scare the bejeesus out of me.

I can understand, however, wanting something like the Satellite years to be more "legitimate" and have priority over what "really" happened than IDENTITY CRISIS. There are some cases where one book captures the spirit of something so completely that how it sees things is ultimately truer to the spirit of the characters and events.

For instance, there have been ideas about Kang the Conqueror, and I rank them, in order of priority, this way:

1. Roy Thomas AVENGERS/Steve Englehart's "Celestial Madonna" and "Go West, Young Gods"
2. Busiek's AVENGERS FOREVER and "Kang Dynasty"
3. Roger Stern's Kang tales
4. Stan Lee's early Rama-Tut and Kang appearances
5. Everybody Else

(The reason Lee is so low on the list despite the fact he created Kang is the fact that the character was on shaky ground until the Boy and Stainless - for instance, there was the idea in an early Lee appearance that hinted Rama-Tut and Doom might be the same man, an idea forgotten when a much stronger grasp on the character came into play.)

So, if for instance, something in Roger Stern's work contradicted "Go West, Young Gods," it is the Englehart story that is judged to be more "right."

I say all of this because, ultimately, I do want to read good current comics about the DC heroes. I do want to see and think of them as a continuation of what's come before. Someone (I think SuperMonkey) once said that you can just buy back issues and not worry about what's going on now. Though it sounds hypocritical as hell of me to say, as I do spend more money on back issues than new releases, just buying back issues IS NOT THE SAME. It's the difference between wildlife photography and digging for fossils.

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
Alan Moore is the master of the retcon,


Miracleman was very well thought out, and I love the idea that Adam Strange was brought to Rann intentionally (and instead of being its hero, was despised as a primitive barbarian) but Moore as "Master" of the retcon? If anybody deserves that title, it would be Kurt Busiek. Or maybe Thomas. Most of the retcons that I like have been "Kurticons."

First, there was the incredible ball dropped in Busiek's AVENGERS that Ultron was - and always had been - based on Hank Pym's brain patterns.

Then there was the idea in UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN that the Green Goblin lied, and revealed his secret identity to the Crime Master as J. Jonah Jameson.

This sounds like a really arcane little detail, but it really wasn't, at least to me. Some people may envy me when I say this, but I read the early Ditko/Lee AMAZING SPIDER-MAN in those colored paperback sized digest collected versions (along with my brother's MARVEL TALES reprints) without any preconceived notions, with only the foggiest idea of who everybody was, without having all the really shocking developments that happens decades ago totally blown. I didn't know who the Green Goblin was, and the idea totally captivated me; who WAS he?

Then there was the story about Crime Master, where it was revealed that in their team-up, Crime Master learned the Goblin's identity. This blew my mind. Someone out there knew who the Goblin was.

Oh, and then there was the entirety of AVENGERS FOREVER, which did the incredible and made all of Avengers history one big story.

Generally, retcons are better at Marvel than at DC, because retcons there usually don't throw much away, but instead add some little detail that we didn't know before, e.g. that Magneto was a Holocaust survivor, or the Black Panther joined the Avengers originally as a spy. Not to say there haven't been losers; the idiocy Byrne inflicted on Galactus and the Sub-Mariner gets my Irish up to this day.

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
but I don't really like Marvelman past Book One. The same goes for Watchmen: it is critically acclaimed out the wazoo, and I own it, but I guess Moore's fascination with Nietzche at the time doesn't quite do it for me. He basically ends up completely deconstructing/destroying all of the characters involved.


I didn't like WATCHMEN until I realized that none of the characters in there were superheroes as we would define them. Once that was gotten out of the way, I could appreciate how skilled Moore was at characterization and worldbuilding, and how great the Dave Gibbons art was.
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2006, 06:53:33 AM »

JulianPerez:

Quote
there was a movie recently about Joan of Arc where she was presented as being someone that is insane and hears voices, instead of a dedicated nationalist, someone mystic and perhaps a little eccentric. It's very damaging to the Joan of Arc story, and to the power this character has over the imagination, to have her be crazy and hear voices instead of having a purpose.


Maybe a few of you missed this, because it tells you why I still have a real problem with this "Marvel is more realistic than DC" claptrap. Some of the supposed reasons are given in this very thread: and somehow a neurotic teenager motivated by his feelings is more realistic than a fully mature man who does things because he believes they are right, and because he has made a decision to act the way he does. I will grant you, the neurotically immature are far more common than the mature man or woman who makes a decision to do right, sometimes denying their "feelings" in the process. So what? Spidey (I love him) suffers an accident and starts throwing his muscle around because he's "feeling" so guilty about Uncle Ben. Hal Jordan is chosen as worthy by a higher power and, instead of using the ring to indulge his "feelings" (imagine if a neurotic teenager -- you know, someone "realistic" -- had been given the ring), he actually decides, as a mature man, to do what he believes is right. When he first got the ring, he didn't know he was being watched by The Guardians. He could have done anything he wanted. Since when was a grown man deciding to use power for good "unrealistic", or less realistic than teenagers who indulge their feelings and do things out of immature, selfish motivations?
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2006, 08:55:51 AM »

I think comparing a movie that has Joan of Arc being schizo to Spider-Man is a little unfair. Spider-Man's neuroses and the way he messes with J. Jonah doesn't undercut who he is because...that's who he is! Further, doing and being these things doesn't interfere with his choices to be a heroic character. Crazy Joan on the other hand, never had a choice like Spider-Man does.

The reason it's less realistic is that being goal-centered implies a simplified characterization. The villains likewise, were motivated by a vague, criminal misanthropy, or greed, or alternatively, megalomania. They wanted to rob a jewel, or take over the earth.

Now, compare that to Roy Thomas's story of Kang the Conqueror battling the Grandmaster in AVENGERS #69-71.

Kang the Conqueror faced the Grandmaster because he wanted the Grandmaster to restore his beloved, Ravonna, to life. In all of the ages Kang ruled, no science existed that could bring her back. He was despondent and desperate enough to put everything on the line for her. Kang's desperation and his love are the two motivators for his actions.

Now, later on, Kang beats the Grandmaster, who offers him the choice of Life (for Ravonna) or death (for the Avengers). Kang, enraged at the Avengers for thwarting his will in the story, is so pissed and proud and full of hate, he chooses powers of death so he could destroy. The Avengers barely escape, and Kang is left with his beloved Ravonna, still dead and cold in her glass case.

The reason this is more realistic is because how successfully it cements Kang in your head, how it gives him a degree of humanity besides his status as a conqueror or time-tyrant.

Hal Jordan is a poor choice for an example because he can't feel fear. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean he's unrealistic, but the difference between Marvel and DC ini the Silver Age, the key question that was asked, was what would a person without fear really be LIKE?

There was a Christopher Priest series where Hal Jordan suffered from alcoholism. I'm sure the execution was absolutely terrible, but the idea ITSELF I did like for two reasons:

First, alcoholism is a disease, not a moral failing, so it's compatible with a character like Jordan that has been established as beiing honest and incorruptible;

Second and more importantly, it shows us what a person without fear would really be like. It can't be that Hal can't feel fear, because that's downright inhuman. More likely, Jordan's fearlessness is like the fearlessness of people in high-risk occupations like cops or firefighters: they are fearless because they develop the ability to tell their brain, "okay, I don't need to feel this now." And they suppress it. You don't need to be a psychologist to guess at how damaging that is in the long term. People in these occupations are at higher risk for things like alcoholism, because they need an outlet somehow.
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« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2006, 10:13:31 AM »

When I was a kid, I never took "without fear" to mean Hal is psychologically incapable of feeling normal human fear; but that it means he is extremely brave, and the fear that would stop a normal man doing something would be under control and wouldn't even slow him down.

When the Battery identified Hal as being fearless, it didn't pick out a nutcase, it picked someone who would not hesitate or run away when facing great danger or the unknown.

It's about someone who has control, in spades.

I'm not so sure alcoholism is a disease, but I do agree it's not a moral failing (if I get your meaning) except in one sense. I do have a big problem with Hal Jordan being an alcoholic... It's one of the most pathetic of all human weaknesses and there's this little problem of Hal's chief attribute: his prodigious will power.

I think it's a terrible storyline for a Green Lantern. It just doesn't wash.

Quote
Hal Jordan is a poor choice for an example because he can't feel fear.


I can't see how that makes him a bad example, as I'm talking about the conscious decision a man can make to use power for good, and that such a man is not "unrealistic" while a screwed-up teenager is "realistic". I'm saying one is not less realistic than the other. I hope I'm making it clear. You could pick any of the old DC heroes. I chose Hal because he had power thrust upon him and could have done anything. But I've explained all that.

Anyway, despite not liking my examples, I hope you understood what I was saying.

I don't know the Kang/Grandmaster comic, but that's a clever story, and a tragedy.
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nightwing
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« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2006, 02:53:37 PM »

Julian Perez writes:

Quote
As for your point about DC no longer really having a cohesive history after Crisis, so it's not possible to retroactively affect anything...well, DC Continuity is such a mess post-Crisis that it's become almost an oxymoron. But like I said, the reason I can't really find it in me to "break" the Silver/Bronze Age from the Modern Age is twofold:

1) It's the Silver/Bronze Age versions of the characters (for the most part) that I care about, and all the neat stuff that happened to them that can be fuel for future stories, and if they're not the same, or a continuation, what's the point of Modern books about them, right?

2) As said in the other post, I believe the DC Universe's greatest strength is that it's LIVING. The idea that Crisis was "The End," the time of death written on the patient's sheet, and now the DC heroes are all placed in the company of characters like Holmes and Doc Savage whose tales can never legitimately be continued...well, it does scare the bejeesus out of me.


Well, we're still talking at cross purposes.  I don't mean to say the DCU is "dead," but the continuity that existed prior to 1986 most certainly is.

Again, use the example of the Bond films.  My enjoyment of "The Spy Who Loved Me" is not dependent on any belief that it stars the same James Bond who fought Auric Goldfinger.  Roger Moore is James Bond, Sean Connery is James Bond, but they are not the SAME James Bond.  I don't find that threatening.  If I worried about that kind of thing, how could I ever reconcile the scene in Die Another Day where Pierce Brosnan admires the poison-toed shoe he apparently took off Rosa Klebb's corpse...despite the fact that he would have been 9 years old in 1963?

It's the same with DC.  In 1986, everything changed.  Krypton was not the world it used to be.  Kara Zor-El did not exist.  Wonder Woman didn't leave Paradise Island until the Justice League had already been in business for ten years. Obviously nothing that happened in the old continuity happened in the new, or if it did it happened very very differently.

It's not me saying the Silver and Bronze Ages are over, it's DC.  It's been an editorial edict for 20 years and counting.  Now, that's not to say there isn't some crossover.  Apparently some of what happened to the Bronze Age Batman also happened to the Modern Age Batman, for instance.  But that's nothing new.  In the old continuity, there must have been an Earth-2 Kathy Kane Batwoman and an Earth-1 version, and the Earth-1 Batman at some point or other had the bat emblem without the yellow oval.  But how many of Earth-1 Batman's adventures paralleled those of his Earth-2 predecessor?  We never knew.

All I'm saying is that Geoff Johns, for instance, can no more put words in the mouth of Silver Age Superman than Pierce Brosnan can put words in the mouth of Sean Connery 007.  Mike Henry's Tazan may have run around with a gun and briefcase, but that didn't mean Johnny Wiessmuller's did.  And so on.

Quote
So, if for instance, something in Roger Stern's work contradicted "Go West, Young Gods," it is the Englehart story that is judged to be more "right."


You give nice examples from Marvel, but they don't count.  Marvel has never had a declared, deliberate cut-off point where they themselves said, "everything on that side of the line is the old Marvel, everything on this side is the new."  There have been bumps, glitches and contradictions in Marvels' evolving continuity, but for all intents and purposes the Marvelverse of 2006 is the one that began in 1962.  That is NOT the case with DC.

Quote
I say all of this because, ultimately, I do want to read good current comics about the DC heroes. I do want to see and think of them as a continuation of what's come before.


That's your preference, and more power to you.  But it's not DC's stated intent.  At least not in the most literal sense.  Of course any new Superman comic that comes out continues the legacy of Superman in the broadest sense, but in terms of internal continuity, there are few if any ties between 2006 Supes and his SA predecessor.  If you don't believe me, pick up one of those "Ultimate Guide to Superman" books at Barnes and Noble and see how much of it relates to the mythos that existed prior to 1986.  NONE, that's how much.

But again, if you mean it in the broader sense, if you mean you want to read a story about a guy from Krypton who wears a cape and does good (mostly), then no problem.  But if you want to read brand new stories about characters who are the same people you knew growing up in the 70s, then you need to stick with Marvel.

Quote
Though it sounds hypocritical as Heck of me to say, as I do spend more money on back issues than new releases, just buying back issues IS NOT THE SAME. It's the difference between wildlife photography and digging for fossils.


Well, that's one way of looking at it.  On the other hand, a person who eschews the latest Patricia Cornwell novel in favor of vintage Dashiell Hammett can hardly be accused of not being a mystery fan.  Yes, Cornwell's stuff is contemporary and more in touch with trends of the moment, but Hammett's stuff is better, period.  Or to make a more precise analogy, a Holmes fan is no less a Holmes fan for skipping Michael Cabon's "Final Solution" in favor of re-reading Conan Doyle's originals.  You could argue that Holmes comes to life every time one of his stories is read.  It doesn't matter if it's the first time you read it, or the fiftieth.  And if my kids read it ten years from now, it'll be new to them.  Likewise Silver Age Superman lives every time I pull out my Showcase volumes.

For some folks, digging up fossils is a bore and photographing wildlife is a thrill.  For others, the fossils are the height of excitement and the last thing they'd ever want to do is be in the company of a smelly, dangerous animal.  Count me among those who prefer the musty scent of old bones to the stench of fresh spoor.

Quote
Some people may envy me when I say this, but I read the early Ditko/Lee AMAZING SPIDER-MAN in those colored paperback sized digest collected versions


Weren't those fantastic?!!  I've still got mine.  Cheesy

The whole Green Goblin reveal was a mistake and I don't blame Ditko for quitting over it.
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TELLE
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« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2006, 03:43:12 AM »

Wow, where to start?

I guess with Julian's stubborn inability to separate the Bronze from the Iron Age.

Quote from: "JulianPerez"

1) It's the Silver/Bronze Age versions of the characters (for the most part) that I care about, and all the neat stuff that happened to them that can be fuel for future stories, and if they're not the same, or a continuation, what's the point of Modern books about them, right?


The short answer is, there is no point. Or, the point is to continue making money.  The "neat stuff that happened" to our favourite DC characters before 1986 can certainly be used as fuel for new stories, but not with any sense of continuity beyond the vaguest echo.  At best, these perversions, adaptions, pastiches, and outright plagiarisms of themes, plots, entire stories and characters can elicit a knowing smile of a flash of recognition from older readers and younger archaeologists.  At worst, they only make us sad, angry, and nostalgic for a vanished world.

Quote
2) As said in the other post, I believe the DC Universe's greatest strength is that it's LIVING.


Of course it is a living mythology (or brand) but the storylines, continuity and characters of the previous generation have been given an ending.  New characters with the same names but different life stories, origins, jobs, friends, memories, and adventures have been set up in their place in this Living Universe.  To apply the analyses and history of the previous, now "dead" characters to their "living" replacements is problematic.  To talk about one storyline being truer to the character, when we are talking about different characters misses the point of Crisis and the last 20 years of editorial fiat at DC.  I can read some new DC superhero comics on their own terms (especially something like New Frontier or the Morrison Superman which seem to be set in a Universe apart --although the Morrison stories are quite slight for a regular payout of $4 or whatever the price is, especially since I'm not invested in the franchise) but I don't pretend that these comics tell the stories of the characters I grew up with (I probably would have the same problem with a current Spiderman comic although, as I've said, I thought the Busiek Avengers/Avengers Foprever seemed to pick things up where I left off, somewhere around Secret Wars I and the advent of West Coast Avengers, etc).

re: Kang

-That early Thomas characterization of Kang was classic Marvle melodrama and very memorable.  I wonder, would anyone be able to read that today who wasn't already a Bronze?Silver Age fan?  
-Didn't Walt Simonson do a Kang/FF/Thor epic?

re: Watchmen

I think they are definitely superheroes as we would define them today. How are they not? Costumed vigilantes with a more-or-less pro-social/moral mission (however erroneously applied or arrived at), special powers, abilities or tools.  Of course, we come to realize that they are all very troubled people and that even with arguably the best of intentions many of them eventually transform themselves into what would be considered villains in a more traditional superhero melodrama.  This is the story the book tells but it does not negate what they are, at least as we experience them initially.

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JulianPerez
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« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2006, 07:15:06 AM »

I think there's a perception that there is a deep break point around the time of CRISIS. And there certainly was a break between 1985-1995, as the Original Universe was handed over to "popular" writer/artists that for the overwhelming most part just didn't know what they were doing.

There was an aesthetic break, certainly, and I don't think anyone will argue against there being a division between the Bronze and Modern Age (though I generally tend to put the break a significant time before CRISIS, when it seemed that obnoxious, Conway, was writing EVERYTHING). And as Nightwing has pointed out, there certainly is an absolute, definite break for Superman, and the colossal mess that is HAWKWORLD, as well as for Wonder Woman, Captain Atom, and later for Richard Dragon under I believe, Dixon.

The thing is, though, "hard" reboots like the kind Superman and Hawkman got are truly, truly abnormal and RARE. They were rare then, in proportion, and rare now. Except for characters like Superman and Wonder Woman, most titles had their history intact, with a few details changed, coming out of Crisis.

For example, Sonar made appearances immediately in the two years after Crisis in the incredible Steve Englehart GREEN LANTERN CORPS, which referenced the first Fox/Kane appearance of Sonar and Modora in 1960. The most amusing use of Silver Age DC in Englehart's GL was the story where freaky bathroom sponge headed alien GL Salakk - NOT Hal Jordan - was brought to the future to become Pol Manning!

And this was barely a year or more after Crisis! So I don't think it's accurate to say that even for the majority of DC concepts, Crisis was a catastrophic break with history. Hell, NEW TEEN TITANS and LEGION were still continuing plot threads before, during and after Crisis as if it wasn't going on! It was a severe break with aesthetics, certainly...Green Arrow was doing very ugly and violent nonsense in that Grell series, and with Giffen writing the Justice League everyone came off as slightly mentally retarded, but still, GA and the League were being badly and inappropriately written...but the Ollie Queen in LONGBOW HUNTERS was still very much the Ollie that Elliot Maggin and Dennis O'Neil wrote about.

(Incidentally, a friend of mine, and fellow Englehart fan, had a conversation about which was the best work Stainless did at DC. There was his big trifecta, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, and DETECTIVE COMICS, to say nothing of his minor stuff like his brief stint on MISTER MIRACLE).

As I said, "hard" reboots are not the norm and never really have been. The majority of DC titles went out of Crisis with histories a bit garbled (I'm not even going to go into the B.S. Giffen nonsense about Black Canary being a League founder right this frickin' second), but mostly intact.

This actually came up during a conversation in my comics store recently where I argued that the Legion can't survive without a connection to Superboy: the fact is, they haven't: sans Superboy, the Legion has had four reimaginings: the Giffen Legion, the SW6 Legion, the Waid Legion, and the Peyer Legion. Two of these are "hard" reboots. One "hard" reboot is absurdly rare; two are absolutely, totally unprecedented in all of comics history; the only other person I can think of that's gotten two is Captain Marvel.

Why is it important if a character is not "hard" rebooted? If a character is not "hard" rebooted, it means that their past can be drawn on to create future stories. It means that character is a continuation, and something that has a past to draw on, even a brief one, is stronger than a character without this.

In other words, the contemporary Hal Jordan is the same Hal Jordan that was put on a sham trial by the Manhunters for destroying a planet (in Steve Englehart's 1977 JLA run), the same one that fought intelligent Gila Monsters in the 57th Century (in the Kane/Fox GL), the same one that teamed up with first Barry Allen (in BRAVE AND THE BOLD) and later Green Arrow (in the O'Neil book).

Quote from: "Nightwing"
For some folks, digging up fossils is a bore and photographing wildlife is a thrill. For others, the fossils are the height of excitement and the last thing they'd ever want to do is be in the company of a smelly, dangerous animal. Count me among those who prefer the musty scent of old bones to the stench of fresh spoor.


I'm not saying AT ALL that new books are intrinsically superior to old ones by virtue of the fact they're new (far from it, in fact, considering all the crap on the spinner rack, and the depressing fact that Warren Ellis is writing comics instead of riveting girders at a steel mill in Dublin like he should be).

What I am saying is that there is a great deal of appeal in the idea that there's an answer to the question, "what's going on in the DC Universe RIGHT NOW?"

As I said with my pulp comparison, we just don't know what the Shadow and Tarzan and Doc Savage are doing right now, and there's no way anyone could give us an answer that would be anything more than speculation, because their stories are DONE. They could be alive and well, they could be dead, they could have children and their children are fighting evil...who knows?

Quote from: "TELLE"
At best, these perversions, adaptions, pastiches, and outright plagiarisms of themes, plots, entire stories and characters can elicit a knowing smile of a flash of recognition from older readers and younger archaeologists. At worst, they only make us sad, angry, and nostalgic for a vanished world.


I think you're right to be angry with creators for mischaracterizations that make a character feel like lookalike dopplegangers, and believe me, I sympathize. The spunky Black Canary that refused to go back to Earth-2 so she could be with the man she loves back in the Satellite years, would NOT have had happen to her what happened to her in Grell's LONGBOW HUNTERS.

Still, to paraphrase an American politician, I don't think there's anything wrong with DC continuity (there's that oxymoron again) that cannot be fixed with what is RIGHT with DC continuity. Dinah's still the tough bird she was in the Satellite Years and in that Alan Brennert 1986 SECRET ORIGINS issue...she's had some bad stories, but she's a superhero, she can handle it; she fought the Lord of Time with Elongated Man. She just needs a good writer to write her correctly, that's all (which she's gotten in the person of the incredible Gail Simone).

Quote from: "Aldous"
Anyway, despite not liking my examples, I hope you understood what I was saying.


I see what you're saying, and for the most part I think you're right...however, there's a difference between having a solid, plausible and altruistic personality type that can exist, and being fully three dimensional.

This by the way, is not meant as a slam to the "serve and protect" white male DC heroes of the 1950s to mid 1960s. The emphasis of the writers was on plot, not characterization and what they created was extraordinary.

Quote from: "Aldous"
I don't know the Kang/Grandmaster comic, but that's a clever story, and a tragedy.


Yeah, you can't go wrong with Roy the Boy. What a pro! His Superman and Legion stories are brief, almost fill-in arcs, but they were interesting. The Reflecto story in LEGION (which undid the Conway nonsense about Superboy never returning), the "Fortress of Fear" tale, that one where he time travels...

If you want to read it, boy, do you ever have options! Want it in black and white and cheap? It's reprinted in ESSENTIAL AVENGERS VOL. 4. If you want it in color, it's in the KANG: TIME AND TIME AGAIN trade, which has a great Lee/Kirby story featuring the Growing Man and the definitive Roger Stern Kang tale, too. It was reprinted in MARVEL TRIPLE ACTION too...

The idea that this story has been deservedly reprinted while Stainless Steve's JLA run has never been, however, strikes me as monstrously unfair.

Quote from: "TELLE"
I think they are definitely superheroes as we would define them today. How are they not? Costumed vigilantes with a more-or-less pro-social/moral mission (however erroneously applied or arrived at), special powers, abilities or tools. Of course, we come to realize that they are all very troubled people and that even with arguably the best of intentions many of them eventually transform themselves into what would be considered villains in a more traditional superhero melodrama. This is the story the book tells but it does not negate what they are, at least as we experience them initially.


The characterizations in WATCHMEN are meant to make the characters as deliberately unseemly as possible; they're superheroes in a very general sense. There's a definite vibe that even Moore himself didn't want us to like the characters. Night Owl looked like a shy, introverted hero type not unlike Wonder Man without major disfunctions, but then...BAM! There's that creepy, creepy scene where he can't have sex without wearing his superhero costume to bed.

Once you get past this, and understand it, is it possible to enjoy the series.
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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!"
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« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2006, 11:06:12 AM »

A major aesthetic break and "hard" reboot of half of the top ten superhero properties at DC is what I would call a big, alienating, near-irrepairable break.

You can have Sonar, whatever that is.

Quote from: "JulianPerez"
What I am saying is that there is a great deal of appeal in the idea that there's an answer to the question, "what's going on in the DC Universe RIGHT NOW?"


Not to me: one or two barely interesting superhero books, the possiblility of a nostalgic animated show or special project, Vertigo titles by people like Cameron Stewart, Gilbert Hernandez, or some old pro, and reprints of classic pre-1986 comics --these are the things that are going on at DC, among thousands of other things, that I am interested in.  I'm glad there are more things that interest you, though.

Quote
I think you're right to be angry with creators for mischaracterizations that make a character feel like lookalike dopplegangers, and believe me, I sympathize.


I will take anyone's sympathy.  Thanks.

Quote
Still, to paraphrase an American politician, I don't think there's anything wrong with DC continuity (there's that oxymoron again) that cannot be fixed with what is RIGHT with DC continuity.


Not much right now from what I've seen browsing the racks, reading online previews and millions of websites fill of news and hype about DC comics, but sure, if they have good writing, consistent editing, and great art, I might start buying DC superhero comics for my kid when he is old enough to read.  Otherwise, there are tons of other great comics and manga for kids out there without giving Warner Bros any more money...
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