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Author Topic: If comic book heroes tell us something, we should BELIEVE it  (Read 11850 times)
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Aldous
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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2006, 11:36:54 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"


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.


I agree with Telle on this. Here's why. The super-people in Watchmen are just a little further along the super-hero spectrum that includes all the characters of yesterday and today. You can follow the progression, from the clean-cut old-style JLA to the neurotic Marvel types, to the vigilante-type thugs, then on to outright scum. You can follow the evolution quite easily, and I suppose you only need pick which part of the spectrum you prefer.
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nightwing
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« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2006, 01:58:55 PM »

Julian Perez writes:

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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.


Well, here I can only look to what DC's stated intent was.  The Crisis was advertised as the end of worlds and the beginning of a new DC. When it was over, there was much braying and ballyhooing about how bold and imaginative everyone was, and how DC was getting a "fresh start."

However, as you say, they muffed it.  Some characters were rebooted entirely, others partially, still others not at all.  Superman and Wonder Woman were re-done from the ground up; they are demonstrably NOT the versions that existed prior to or even during the Crisis.  Batman seemed largely unaffected, except that Jason Todd was a new person in everything but name.  Hal Jordan the rest of the GL Corps were totally unchanged, with hints that they -- unlike other heroes -- retained full memories of the Crisis and the Multiverse that preceded it (this was picked up on and taken further in "Zero Hour", where Hal/Parralax tries to restore the Multiverse).  Wally West, likewise, seems to remember everything, and there are others.

But I wouldn't confuse imcompetence with intent.  DC wanted to change their fictional universe after Crisis #12.  It took them several months to get started with Superman, even longer with Wonder Woman, and years later in Zero Hour we got still more tweaking (like un-solving the Wayne murders).  Hawkman and Power Girl are still being re-booted every other month.  The fact that DC is too disorganized, unfocused and untalented to do the job right doesn't mean they weren't trying.

Quote
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).


Yes, but then he'd also have to be the same Hal who murdered several fellow GLs and went nuts for no good reason in "Emerald Twilight."  (That's right, no good reason.  What did Coast City mean to Hal? He hadn't lived there in years).  If you're going to exercise the right to see a continuation in spite of DC's clear intent, then I'm going to exercise the right to imagine a clear ending for "old Hal" in 1986, despite evidence to the contrary.

For that matter, since I was a kid I've felt free to accept or reject any story I've read on a case-by-case basis.  This month Batman fights the Joker?  Canon.  Next month Batman finds his long-lost older brother?  Doesn't count.  Superman learns his glasses hypnotize people?  Doesn't count.  And so on.  The only difference lately is that instead of only throwing out a month here and there, I've thrown out about 20 years.  That doesn't mean I don't read the stories, and even enjoy some things about them. But for me, they don't "count." I don't commit them to memory and add them to my overall picture of the characters.  They're just excercises in speculation, like your example of modern-day Shadow or Doc Savage tales.

Quote
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?"


For you.  For me, there's a lot more delight in the answer: "I haven't the slightest idea!"  :wink:
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davidelliott
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« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2006, 04:04:40 PM »

Wow.. what a thread!!

I do agree with points on both sides, Julian, as I see it, is looking at it from and entertainment POV ("Hey, they're comic books... I enjoy them) and nightwing is looking at it from what the DC mgt tried to accomplish.

I agree with you, nightwing... the COIE was supposed to, from a managemt POV:

Clean up the muddied multiverse
Clean up errors in continuity
Give the DCU a fresh start

Well, over the years it evidently did none of that.  Even at the time it did none of that.  That's why we need little reboots like Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis.  Long gone are the days of Morty and Schwartz who would edit dozens of magazines at a time (didn't Julie edit EVERYTHING it seemed in the '70's?), thus ensuring continuity.  Now either Batman is an urban legend or he's not.  Superman wasn't born but conceived in a birthing matrix or he wasn't. So on and so forth.  There's more confusion today that there EVER was!  Then when Hypertime was introduced to give us a bone, that was taken away, so to speak...

Recall, too, how beautiful and peaceful the unified Earth was at the end of COIE?  How different it turned out!!!!

NOW, there's talk of the JLA finding a second Earth soon, with it's own JLA and JSA.

ugh!

But then again, it IS only fiction... so we SHOULD be able to enjoy it for what it is.. but it's like a hyped up book that lets you down, cause it wasn't that great to begin with...
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« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2006, 05:24:30 PM »

Quote from: "davidelliott"

Clean up the muddied multiverse
Clean up errors in continuity
Give the DCU a fresh start


I never believed that...

Comics sales were lagging, big sci fi and fantasy movies with special effects were becoming common, video games were out of the arcade and into homes...

DC wanted a multi issue crossover blockbuster and probably thought little beyond that...if it was about a too complicated universe or a fresh start, DC as a company would have had a comprehensive plan on how to re-start each title, or introduce interesting new titles.
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nightwing
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« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2006, 06:09:25 PM »

Right, DC never does anything without thinking it through.   :roll:

Ever see the scene in "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" where Pee-Wee takes a header off his bicycle and ends up rolling onto his butt, only to announce, "I meant to do that!"

Repeat this scene over and over for 20 years and you've got the post-Crisis history of DC editorial.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2006, 06:50:09 PM »

Well, really wanting something, and thinking it through are two different things... Cool

Actually, since no remnant of the Crisis was really the same as what it was before, the implications of a reality with no accurate or even "true" history is actually a very difficult thing to write...and to make it plausible would probably take a few years of pretty boring stories.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2006, 07:39:01 PM »

We are on the 3rd Superman reboot since Crisis.

1st the Dreaded iconoclastic man of steel reboot.

2nd "the well at least he tried but it wasn't as good as we wish it was" Birth right reboot, which I don't think no one really brought, including DC Comics.

3rd the current so far so good post-IC reboot which is showing a lot of promise, but many people here are playing to wait and see game after being burn for 20 years.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2006, 08:04:17 PM »

Well, that says something about Superman anyway...at least people keep trying and don't let him go...
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