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Author Topic: Are Legionnaires "disposable?"  (Read 8310 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2006, 08:49:57 PM »

I never have quite understood the "real" argument, since I subscribe to the opinion that comics are for kids and if 16 year old need teens in comics to see what's real, they need to get out of the house more...to me, I like comics because they remind me of how I thought when I was a kid, but other's mileage may vary.

The earlier Legion deaths seemed somewhat different to me, because Lightning Boy's involved coming back after the sacrifice of Proty I, and the Triplicate Girl situation was always odd to me...her duplicates did speak, and its been said they could potentially live separate lives, but their existence always seemed to be to react to a situation and then return to a single person...when one was killed, it SEEMED more like a power was lost as much as life.

Which leaves Ferro Lad as an early example, one where Shooter was pushing an envelope, but I wonder how far it would continue to be pushed, even in his mind.
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Aldous
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2006, 05:52:19 AM »

Not all comics are for kids, though. Most super-hero ones are, I grant you.

I was always very intrigued by Triplicate Girl. I always took the super-power to mean that each of the three girls is equally real, each one is 100 percent Triplicate Girl.

A question I wonder about is when the three girls have done different things in different places, does Triplicate Girl (the whole one) have all their memories and feelings at her disposal? (I would say so.) And does it follow that when she splits into three again, does each of the three once again only have those particular memories and feelings unique to that person -- and when one is killed, as one was, leaving two, are a unique set of memories/experiences lost? I think they would be. (Unless Triplicate Girl, the whole one, consolidates all the separate memories/experiences of the separate three each time they rejoin into the whole...) This also suggests to me the complete Triplicate Girl is a different creature to each of the three separated girls. And yet, they are all 100 percent Triplicate Girl. What a thoroughly confusing (but fun) character.

Pardon me, Julian, but in using "losers" who "don't count" as your examples, you have convinced me even more that what I said is correct. And that sort of maudlin tripe you quoted (involving said nobodies) is exactly why I said what I said about the portrayal of death.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2006, 06:07:23 AM »

Not all comics are for kids, though. Most super-hero ones are, I grant you.

Sorry, Aldous, that's what I was getting at...to me, comics are things that children and adults would read in the 40s en masse, and then threw away...lots of GIs and folks who liked a common literature that they didn't take seriously...there was a lot of pruning in the 50s and then they evolved into parables for young people...and that's where my interest still lies, but sure there are other comics and what remains today.

Your questions about Triplicate Girl are interesting because it is often implied that the duplicates were capable of their own lives and memories, and this may have been stated but I don't remember any stories that went in to it, at least in my reading days of the 1960s.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2006, 07:35:00 AM »

Quote from: MatterEaterLad
The earlier Legion deaths seemed somewhat different to me, because Lightning Boy's involved coming back after the sacrifice of Proty I, and the Triplicate Girl situation was always odd to me...her duplicates did speak, and its been said they could potentially live separate lives, but their existence always seemed to be to react to a situation and then return to a single person...when one was killed, it SEEMED more like a power was lost as much as life.

True, Triplicate Girl's third body dying isn't as significant as say, the death of Lightning Lad, because there are still two other bodies so she can still participate in Legion stories. It not being that significant is not quite the same as it not being a "legit" death, though.

Because it sure as hell felt like a death, it was certainly hideous enough: on the COVER, no less, there was a tentacle wrapped around Luornu's waist simultaneously choking and disintigrating her from the midsection (WRATH OF KHAN-style), and Superboy thinking "this heartless jukebox means business! He just killed Triplicate Girl!"

Somehow I don't think that picture made it to the Legion recruiting poster. Cheesy

Quote from: MatterEaterLad
I never have quite understood the "real" argument, since I subscribe to the opinion that comics are for kids

I think that the best comics, like the best children's literature too, can be read and appreciated by both children AND adults. As a kid reading comics, the thing that struck me the most about the comics I liked was how they felt very intelligent and complicated, and did not insult the intelligence of the reader; I never read, liked or appreciated any book written exclusively for children, such as Archie or Richie Rich (and I still can't). I for one, do not think superhero adventure comics should be written exclusively for either children or adults. There should be something there for the kid part of our brain (battles and monsters and space travel) and things for the adult part (likeable characters and unpredictable plots).

Quote from: Aldous
I was always very intrigued by Triplicate Girl. I always took the super-power to mean that each of the three girls is equally real, each one is 100 percent Triplicate Girl.

Interesting speculation. Is it possible the Triplicate Girl body that died was the one that had the crush on Superboy? Because except for her being concerned for him during Superboy's stay on Takron-Galtos, after the death of that body the Triplicate Girl concern for Superboy gradually faded away and she fell in love with Bouncing Boy.

The coolest thing by far about Triplicate Girl's power was how writers were able to somehow cleverly get use out of something as trivial as her power, which as Jim Shooter put it, was "suited to weird sex and not much else." The best example was a Cary Bates backup, "1+1=3" in the back of the first appearance of Tyrok.

Quote from: Aldous
Pardon me, Julian, but in using "losers" who "don't count" as your examples, you have convinced me even more that what I said is correct. And that sort of maudlin tripe you quoted (involving said nobodies) is exactly why I said what I said about the portrayal of death.

I just did a spit-take after reading that. Describing Steve Englehart - of ALL the writers in comics - as "maudlin?" now Roy Thomas, on a bad day, maaaybe. I giggled like a schoolgirl at "the death scream of an ant" and "even an android can cry."

Was the death of the Swordsman over the top? No. Steve Englehart never had a problem with being over the top; he was subdued and his dialogue was natural, and he let powerful emotions speak for themselves. It completed the character of the Swordsman, a story that was all about failure and being unworthy.

Steve Englehart's entire sixteen issue "Celestial Madonna" (his best work apart from his DETECTIVE COMICS) is a story about redeption, and the Swordsman redeeming himself in the end is a part of a larger theme. Even Kang - the villain of the piece - will inevitably get redeemed. The Mantis herself becomes redeemed for her selfishness and cattiness, becoming the Celestial Madonna.

The Swordsman in death, redeemed himself - and to the end he thought he was a loser. WOW.
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DoctorZero
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2006, 06:00:24 AM »

The Legion has suffered too many reboots at this point.  The last one was, in my own opinion, totally unnecessary.
Certain core Legionnaires were irreplacable, while others could be killed, married off, or exiled without the team suffering.  Each writer had his or her favorites, and tended to ignore certain other Legionnaires.
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