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Author Topic: If comic book heroes tell us something, we should BELIEVE it  (Read 11585 times)
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2006, 08:45:06 PM »

Quote from: "nightwing"
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).


If I recall correctly, the explanation given during Steve Englehart's GLC Crisis tie-in issues is that the Green Lantern Corps were in the antimatter universes while the other heroes were trying to save the positive ones (which explains why John Stewart, who was Green Lantern of Earth at the time, for the most part was absent during the Crisis itself).

Quote from: "SuperMonkey"
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.


I wouldn't consider any of those to be "hard" reboots besides the 1986 one with Byrne, Wolfman, Helfer and the rest, because for the other two, Superman's background is tweaked, but Superman's post-Reboot history is for the most part still in place. The Superman that Busiek is writing about still experienced some of the great Roger Stern outer space stories, and (groan) the Death of Superman; he knew Steel just how we saw it, and Maxima and Riot, and so on. Things like whether there was a Superboy or not is different, but Superman's post-1986 history for

In other words, saying "...Oh by the way, he might have been Superboy now" doth naught a reboot make.

Though except for Roger Stern's stuff, I absolutely hate the overwhelming majority of this entire period as being a clueless waste (which is why I'm on this website in the first place). actually, I think the fact that it is for the most part still around is actually a good thing.

I suppose that's an inherent difference between me and perhaps Nightwing and others (though I would not want to put words in his mouth, of course), which is that I don't think the solution to out of character behavior is necessarily to expunge the story in question from continuity forever; such a solution is good in the short term, but disastrous in the long term.

The reason is, we are made to question what we are seeing as being "true," so it's not possible to have any emotional or long-term connection to a character or world. If nothing really matters, if anything can be called a hallucination by the next writer...who cares? This ties into the theme of this entire thread to begin with, that the thing that usurps suspension of disbelief the most, is we doubt what is going on.

It is true that many characters have been written in really out of character ways that are really destructive. Nightwing brought up the whole Parallax B.S. - a piece of nonsense perpetrated because the editorship refused to admit that they made a mistake. But I don't think pretending Parallax never happened is really the solution, because like or not, so much has been done with it that it's not possible to bring Hal back without referencing it.

Ultimately, I like how Geoff Johns brought back Hal Jordan, with the whole "the devil made him do it" explanation for Parallax that preserved Hal's heroism and let him return without being "broken goods," but still having in play this very dark chapter of his life that he can look back on and have it influence his characterization.

I don't think it's possible for a story to be so destructive that never again can we accept a character, if they're placed in a framework where their actions make sense. Kurt Busiek once said, and I agree with him, that "Don't worry, they're superheroes. They can handle it." Electric Superman was retarded beyond all reason, but ultimately Superman as an idea has the resiliency to bounce back from something like that.

Boy, did I ever think that Jim Starlin was full of it when he said that any Thanos story that he didn't approve of (in other words, any Thanos story not written by HIM) "in reality" featured a Thanos clone or robot.
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Johnny Nevada
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« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2006, 01:37:14 AM »

>>
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). <<

Except that the current Hal probably doesn't recall meeting Superboy/teenaged Clark Kent when both of them were teenagers (in an 80's "Superboy" comic I have)... just like Ollie probably doesn't recall meeting Superboy in that early 60's "Superboy" comic... or Hal not recalling trying to go to Earth-2 and failing (in a 1970 JLA/JSA crossover)....and so forth. While almost all of Hal's pre-Crisis adventures still "happened" to the post-Crisis version, it's the "almost" part that's the sticking point in both the old and new Hal not being the exact same guys... :-)
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Aldous
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« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2006, 02:40:18 AM »

Maybe some of you need to re-define what a re-boot is. I can't stand any of that rubbish about Hal Jordan being an alcoholic and going mad, and being a super-baddie trying to kill the whole planet... or whatever it was.

He was re-booted before, to his detriment. Have another look at Green Lantern #76. What do you call it when a character's whole personality is changed, when his strengths are swapped inexplicably for weaknesses, and he starts taking it where the sun don't shine?

In that issue, DC exchanged Green Lantern for a whole new character who wasn't Hal Jordan anymore. Whatever happened after that was happening to Version 2.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2006, 03:04:04 AM »

How far back does the term "re-boot" even go?  Just back to the computer terminology?
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2006, 03:10:55 AM »

This is the same guy as Silver Age GL?
http://zonigang.hot.lu/users/4944/k7busrnifyw879wz1654gsoyy2gfhd.jpg

Not even in anyone's worst nightmare!
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« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2006, 04:40:53 AM »

Quote from: "Aldous"
He was re-booted before, to his detriment. Have another look at Green Lantern #76. What do you call it when a character's whole personality is changed, when his strengths are swapped inexplicably for weaknesses, and he starts taking it where the sun don't shine?


I think that is an example of what Julian has been calling a "soft reboot".

Here's how I've been thinking of the terms:

"Hard" reboot:
-character basically reinvented with new or radically reimagined origin, history, friends, abilities
-old continuity and adventures are ignored and essentially "never happened" --the character has no memory of them
-usually accompanied by a clear break from the past character in the form of a new series, costume, etc.
-examples: Silver Age GL, Flash, Hawkman; Byrne Superman; Perez Wonder Woman; clone Superboy; that Fighting American thing (jim Lee?)

"Soft" reboot:
-slight changes to setting, personality and/or abilities of characters, usually within continuity so that the character remembers his previous adventures and situation --a "tweaking" or rebranding without the benefit of a totally fresh slate
-many parallels to a retcon, wherein history of the character is creatively reinterpreted to give a different emphasis to events
-examples: Spiderman's black costume, Wally West Flash, Mod Wonder Woman
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2006, 07:42:24 AM »

Quote from: "Super Monkey"
This is the same guy as Silver Age GL?
http://zonigang.hot.lu/users/4944/k7busrnifyw879wz1654gsoyy2gfhd.jpg

Not even in anyone's worst nightmare!


I agree these were really lousy stories. However, I don't think the fact that Hal Jordan that was once Parallax (especially since "the Devil made him do it" as Geoff Johns asserts) necessarily leaves him totally unable to be a heroic character in the future. They're superheroes, they can weather these things.

Further, nobody can tell me that the Englehart-written Hal Jordan (which was before, during and after COIE) isn't the "real" Hal Jordan. Englehart's take on the character was so worthy, true to life, and interesting that if he ain't Hal, nobody is.

Quote from: "MatterEaterLad"
How far back does the term "re-boot" even go? Just back to the computer terminology?


Yeah, that sounds about right. There were reboots prior to the computer age (Jack Kirby taking over the Sandman, for instance) but they weren't actually called that until the computer age.

I'm very interested to find out the origin of the term "boot" and "reboot," which is something I'll have to research, because I'm betting that it actually involves kicking the machine!

TRUE STORY: For a philology course, my final term paper, which was to use firsthand research to uncover the origin of a contemporary word. My word was "debug."

The term "debug" in computer terms goes back to the 1940s, when Dr. Grace Hopper found her several-ton military computer wasn't working, because it had inside of it a hornet's nest! So, she had to get some spray and workmen to "debug" the computer.

Quote from: "Johnny Nevada"
Except that the current Hal probably doesn't recall meeting Superboy/teenaged Clark Kent when both of them were teenagers (in an 80's "Superboy" comic I have)... just like Ollie probably doesn't recall meeting Superboy in that early 60's "Superboy" comic... or Hal not recalling trying to go to Earth-2 and failing (in a 1970 JLA/JSA crossover)....and so forth. While almost all of Hal's pre-Crisis adventures still "happened" to the post-Crisis version, it's the "almost" part that's the sticking point in both the old and new Hal not being the exact same guys...


These sort of shifts are very disruptive and annoying, to be true. I think it's up to every individual person to determine to what extent these sort of little tweaks work or don't work.

But not all tweaking is created equal. Changing some details fundamentally alters who a character is, but changing others doesn't do this.

For instance, changing the detail that Krypton's destruction was a tragedy, fundamentally alters the Superman story in a very significant way (arguably, to its detriment).

But changing the fact that Oliver Queen once helped Superboy before his costumed career began by dressing up as Robin Hood to a costume party, and using GA's first "trick arrows..." If that never happened, I think Ollie as a character won't be that different.
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« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2006, 03:08:53 PM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"

I'm very interested to find out the origin of the term "boot" and "reboot," which is something I'll have to research, because I'm betting that it actually involves kicking the machine!


The computer term Boot (start) comes from the term Bootstrapping.

from Wiki:

The term bootstrap is believed to have entered computer jargon during the early 1950's by way of Heinlein's short story By His Bootstraps first published in 1941.

Bootstrapping was shortened to booting, or the process of starting up any computer, which is the most common meaning for non-technical computer users. "Bootstrap" most commonly refers to the program that actually begins the initialization of the computer's operating system, like GRUB, LILO or NTLDR. Modern personal computers have the ability of using their network interface card (NIC) for bootstrapping; on IA-32(x86) and IA-64 (Itanium) this method is implemented by PXE and Etherboot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping_%28computing%29
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