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(Slate)   Two grown men debate the canonicity and relevance of Krypto the Super-Dog   (slate.com) divider line 53
    More: Silly, Krypto the Super-Dog, dogs, Washington City Paper, relevance  
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1301 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 May 2013 at 12:50 PM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-05 11:41:10 AM
i1079.photobucket.com
A better dog...better, stronger, faster...
 
2013-05-05 12:58:12 PM
2.bp.blogspot.com

Super-er dog.
 
2013-05-05 12:59:02 PM
It's a better way to pass the time than grown men debating whose god could beat up the other.

Krypto's better than Jimmy Olsen, in any case.
 
2013-05-05 01:05:38 PM
I liked the way it was handled on Smallville.
 
2013-05-05 01:06:33 PM
Krypto's absence from the Superman films is disturbing.
 
2013-05-05 01:10:42 PM
I'm sorry, but Krypto isn't even the coolest dog in the DCU.

images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-05-05 01:43:01 PM

HeartBurnKid: I'm sorry, but Krypto isn't even the coolest dog in the DCU.

[images1.wikia.nocookie.net image 400x588]


Why are they always white dogs?
 
2013-05-05 02:10:11 PM

Mister Peejay: [2.bp.blogspot.com image 640x480]

Super-er dog.


Hell yeah.  That dog couldn't talk or communicate very well, but he could hack into a computer with no problem.
 
2013-05-05 02:12:25 PM
I think DC needs to stop introducing extra Kryptonians every chance they get. That means that the next time they reboot, I'd like to see Superman as the ONLY Kryptonian to escape to Earth. No Supergirl, no Mon-El, no Kandor, and no damned Krypto.

And they need to stop with the clones, too.

I would also like to see the next version of Superman reset to a lower power level. Not quite as low as his first appearances (when he couldn't fly, only ran a bit faster than a bullet, and was strong enough to lift cars and trucks but not planets) but not the godlike levels he has been at over the past several decades.

What DC really needs to do us thin the herd, so-to-speak. Their Earth is overpopulated with godlike beings and aliens, and to the people of that Earth it's no big deal that aliens or gods exist. It's not a shock to them. A bunch of people with power levels on par with Superman isn't good. It just makes Superman seem more and more average as superhumans go.

On Marvel's 616 Earth, guys with that level of power are special, and there's only a handful of them: Hyperion, Thor, Captain Marvel, Hulk and Red Hulk, basically. Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange and a few others might be able to take on Superman, but they don't typically display that level of power in their normal activities. Some cosmic characters are that powerful, but they don't live on Earth (Gladiator, etc.)

And when Marvel's Earth-centric characters get too powerful, they usually meet a bad end or lose their powers. Think of Molecule Man (he's been through a lot of crap, depowered, locked away, nuetralized, etc.), Sentry (killed by Thor), Ares (torn in half by Sentry), various Hyperions (killed, exiled, etc.), Loki (exiled, killed a few times, turned into a child with less power), and so on.

DC goes the other direction. Instead of toning down Superman, they amp up EVERYBODY ELSE to make them something of a challenge or comparison to him. They keep upping the ante, and soon their world is filled with gods walking among regular people, and the regular people don't seem to matter much anymore. So DC reboots again.

I think they'd be best-served by returning their WHOLE LINE to the characters from the Golden or Silver Age, with those basic power levels, and just basing them in the modern age. Give us the old-school Superman, the Green Lantern who isn't part of a corps of aliens, the Flash who isn't a force of nature, the Wonder Woman who isn't a near-invulnerable goddess, the Batman who is suddenly back to being relevant on a team full of people with powers... Give us heroes that we can relate to.

And get rid of stupid side-characters that are there for nostalgia purposes. Get rid of Krypto. Get rid of Bat-Mite. Get rid of Mr. Mxyzptlk. Get rid of Amanda Waller, Maxwell Lord, and tons of the lower-tier heroes that nobody ever uses or cares about. They might even consider getting rid of standbys like Lois Lane, Perry White, Jimmy Olson, etc.

Look at Thor comics... He hasn't had Jane Foster around in a long time; Not in any important capacity, anyway. In Spider-Man they let JJJ move on and become Mayor of New York City, they killed off Gwen, they had Harry move out of the country, Aunt May got married to JJJ's father and they moved away, they separated Peter and MJ but kept MJ as Pete's best friend who shows up occasionally (and now she owns a nightclub). Pete made new friends, got new jobs, met new coworkers... When was the last time Clark Kent hung around anybody who   wasn't  Lois Lane, Perry White, Lana Lang, or Jimmy Olson?

DC gets STUCK in nostalgia for the way the characters were 30-40 years ago. They just keep repeating the cycle over and over.

People biatch about Aunt May ("Why doesn't she die already?") but you never hear anyone saying it's about time Alfred kicked the bucket and left Bruce Wayne alone. The difference? Alfred's STILL THERE and Aunt May is married and living elsewhere.

All of DC is just a time capsule for the comics the current writers were reading as kids.
 
2013-05-05 02:13:39 PM
Oh, oops. Wall of text.

It's Sunday. Cope with it.
 
2013-05-05 02:26:23 PM
So not only had Krypton evolved a sentient race that looked exactly like humans, but it also evolved another species that looks exactly like an Earth dog, and in at least one continuity, yet another species that looks exactly like an Earth monkey.  I know it's comics, but there is a limit to suspension of disbelief.

The article was funnier than I expected.
 
2013-05-05 02:36:40 PM

ZeroCorpse: All of DC is just a time capsule for the comics the current writers were reading as kids.


Thank you! I'm glad someone besides me has said that.

/call me when the 1990s kids start writing, and we get Wally West, Impulse, Kyle Rayner, and the other decent books back.

//Oh, and as for Krypto? I think the last DC book I bought was Kurt Busiek's long delayed Krypto story, which finally saw print in Superman #712. Who doesn't like Krypto?

///But Streaky and Comet were pushing it.
 
2013-05-05 02:57:40 PM

47 is the new 42: So not only had Krypton evolved a sentient race that looked exactly like humans, but it also evolved another species that looks exactly like an Earth dog, and in at least one continuity, yet another species that looks exactly like an Earth monkey.  I know it's comics, but there is a limit to suspension of disbelief.

The article was funnier than I expected.


Did Krypto also evolve a half-buried Statue of Liberty?
 
2013-05-05 03:29:47 PM

FirstNationalBastard: ZeroCorpse: All of DC is just a time capsule for the comics the current writers were reading as kids.

Thank you! I'm glad someone besides me has said that.

/call me when the 1990s kids start writing, and we get Wally West, Impulse, Kyle Rayner, and the other decent books back.

//Oh, and as for Krypto? I think the last DC book I bought was Kurt Busiek's long delayed Krypto story, which finally saw print in Superman #712. Who doesn't like Krypto?

///But Streaky and Comet were pushing it.


Eh they are writing, but they aren't editing. So give it another two decades when the guys in love with the silver age retire...
 
2013-05-05 03:57:15 PM
Krypto's death in "Whatever Happened..." was sadder than Gwen Stacy's death.
 
2013-05-05 04:16:21 PM
What no love for Bat Mite?
 
2013-05-05 04:17:20 PM

HeartBurnKid: I'm sorry, but Krypto isn't even the coolest dog in the DCU.


I'm sorry, I'm going to have to disagree here.

upload.wikimedia.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_the_Bat-Hound

He's a dog. WEARING A BATMAN MASK.

Plus, he's awesome in Batman Beyond.
 
2013-05-05 04:25:52 PM
media.dcentertainment.com

Still don't know why I was so drawn to watch this thing from time to time. But I liked it more than a lot of other modern kids cartoons.
 
2013-05-05 04:30:23 PM

ZeroCorpse: I think DC needs to stop start introducing extra Kryptonians every chance they get. That means that the next time they reboot, I'd like to see Jor-El as the ONLY Kryptonian to fail to escape to Earth.


Imagine the look on Clark's face when he discovers Krypton had a whole plan for the blowing-up thing, and it just happened that no one told his dad.
 
2013-05-05 04:32:36 PM
Anyone that survives Krypton's destruction that wasn't locked away in the P'zone is a shiatty character.

Mort Weisinger is the greatest enemy Superman ever had, and DC's Silver Age is best ignored in its entirety.
 
2013-05-05 04:37:36 PM
ZeroCorpse just made the most thoughtful, interesting, and constructive commentary on the state of DC that I have ever heard, without at any point sounded elitist or too over-opinionated. I really appreciate the rational examples you gave, with context, and I think you should pass that up the chain to the (super)powers that be if you haven't. Good on you for being able to be a fanboy and stay (relatively) impartial without sounding like a whiney coont.
 
2013-05-05 05:19:46 PM

awalkingecho: ZeroCorpse just made the most thoughtful, interesting, and constructive commentary on the state of DC that I have ever heard, without at any point sounded elitist or too over-opinionated. I really appreciate the rational examples you gave, with context, and I think you should pass that up the chain to the (super)powers that be if you haven't. Good on you for being able to be a fanboy and stay (relatively) impartial without sounding like a whiney coont.


Now if someone could just apply that level of consideration and thought to the politics tab...
 
2013-05-05 05:29:25 PM

awalkingecho: ZeroCorpse just made the most thoughtful, interesting, and constructive commentary on the state of DC that I have ever heard, without at any point sounded elitist or too over-opinionated. I really appreciate the rational examples you gave, with context, and I think you should pass that up the chain to the (super)powers that be if you haven't. Good on you for being able to be a fanboy and stay (relatively) impartial without sounding like a whiney coont.


I am more or less on the same page with him about DC (I think Marvel some times goes to far the otherway)
 
2013-05-05 05:43:48 PM

ciderczar: Krypto's absence from the Superman films is disturbing.


You know if they make him anything but a white dog someone's going to throw a fit.
 
2013-05-05 05:54:05 PM

redsquid: Now if someone could just apply that level of consideration and thought to the politics tab...


Unfortunately politics will never have a proportionate number of geeks and their ilk to those of the other end of the spectrum. That's the opposite of how it ought to be. I believe Asimov put it the best way that I have have heard.

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

As far as THAT tab goes, I'm not helping matters much by improving the ratio. 'Ere there be dragons. *shudder*
 
2013-05-05 06:02:25 PM

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: ciderczar: Krypto's absence from the Superman films is disturbing.

You know if they make him anything but a white dog someone's going to throw a fit.


If they make him anything but the main protagonist of the story, I'll throw a fit. He should talk too, maybe play basketball.
 
2013-05-05 06:05:54 PM

ciderczar: If they make him anything but the main protagonist of the story, I'll throw a fit. He should talk too, maybe play basketball.


Air Bud 2(2) - Krypto Boogaloo?
 
2013-05-05 07:47:25 PM

awalkingecho: As far as THAT tab goes, I'm not helping matters much by improving the ratio. 'Ere there be dragons. *shudder*


I've been there a few times but I always end up backing away slowly.
 
2013-05-05 08:27:48 PM

ZeroCorpse: I think they'd be best-served by returning their WHOLE LINE to the characters from the Golden or Silver Age, with those basic power levels, and just basing them in the modern age. Give us the old-school Superman, the Green Lantern who isn't part of a corps of aliens, the Flash who isn't a force of nature, the Wonder Woman who isn't a near-invulnerable goddess, the Batman who is suddenly back to being relevant on a team full of people with powers... Give us heroes that we can relate to.


Um... weren't you just complaining about all the alien invasions and ante-upping?  Batman's the guy that holds on to all the "too dangerous to keep" technology they're always discovering that they "destroy" for the good of mankind or whatever.

He's probably the most powerful character in the setting, because he's got most of a century of salvaged/looted super-doodads on tap, plus that pool that makes him functionally immortal when he feels like it and the writer is tired of remembering he's middle-aged/old.  Just because he's not always in the scene punching things doesn't make him irrelevant, he's the dude that owns and upgrades the space-station with the giant cannon in the Justice league.

//And it actually makes sense that no one else in the setting has the tech, due to him being a paranoid nut.  Still waiting for a satisfactory explanation of why Reed Richards is comparatively useless...
 
2013-05-05 08:28:04 PM

awalkingecho: ZeroCorpse just made the most thoughtful, interesting, and constructive commentary on the state of DC that I have ever heard, without at any point sounded elitist or too over-opinionated. I really appreciate the rational examples you gave, with context, and I think you should pass that up the chain to the (super)powers that be if you haven't. Good on you for being able to be a fanboy and stay (relatively) impartial without sounding like a whiney coont.


Thanks. And that was just after waking up (I slept in).

I'd love to have a crack at DC's universe. I'd prefer being part of Marvel, but DC seems to need more help at this point.

My first act as DC's Editor-In-Chief: I'd put Dini and Timm in charge of coordinating the DC universe.

My second act: Make it policy to NEVER hire Rob Liefeld, Greg Land, and a handful of other artists who have really cheapened and crapped on the medium of comic books.

Third act: Another reboot, but this time a REAL reboot. My original idea was to reboot something like Earth-One, but have it exist in  real time. That would mean that all the heroes and villains who started in the 1930s and 1940s would be either dead, or very old and retired. The heroes that are there now are the sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters of the originals. Some of them are new people who took up the old mantle.

Batman is on the third generation at this point, and Bruce Wayne is long dead. Alfred is long-dead, too. Dick is retired, having just passed on the mantle of Batman to someone new. Helena and Barbara are retired, too. There is no new Huntress or Batgirl. There isn't a new Robin, either, as the newest Batman doesn't like the idea of recruiting a kid to enter this dangerous world of crime-fighting.

Superman (Kal-L) is still active. Lois is long dead, and Superman is showing a little age. None of the peripheral characters from his books are still alive. Superboy was just him as a teenager, not a clone or separate person. Supergirl doesn't exist anymore (and we'll figure out why, later).

The mantle of the Green Lantern (the original, not the corps version) has been passed on a few times. The GL Corps never existed (and WON'T exist).  The original Flash is long-dead. Barry and Wally never existed, but Jay's powers are passed on to his son, and then his grandson.

Wonder Woman is still alive and retired back home, having taken over as the ruler of the Amazons.

Several generations of heroes that existed prior to the Crisis would no longer exist, because on this version of Earth-One, the Silver and Golden age heroes stayed active and weren't replaced by updated versions with different powers or backgrounds. Whatever caused the metahumans to pop up everywhere in the 1960s and 1970s in the original timeline of Earth-One didn't happen here. Instead, the progression was slower, and more natural. Fewer aliens visited Earth. The average human doesn't know or believe that aliens exist. Superman was widely believed to be the result of a government experiement or some other freak accident, and his claim of being an alien never took hold.

Earth is somewhat isolated from the universe. There's no bottle city of Kandor. Krypton is a LONG lost memory. Not even Kal-L remembers much about his homeworld.

Lex Luthor died decades ago, and so did his son. Superman's main nemesis now is the only other Kryptonian who survived: General Zod. He remains the biggest threat to Earth to this day. Superman had no children, and it doesn't appear he's able to because in this timeline, Kryptonians can't mate with humans.

Plastic Man is still alive and remains the same apparent age -- A side effect of his powers. Captain Marvel/Shazam is still active, too, but he's an adult Billy Batson. It turns out that he didn't age when he was Captain Marvel, and only ages as Billy. He's only about 50 years old when he's Billy.

Zatara and Zatanna are dead. Zatanna taught her daughter, Zatalla, the family trade.

Starfire never came to Earth. Cyborg was never created. Raven never interacted with anybody. Beast Boy did come into being in the 1970s, and he's still active because his shapechanging powers have had an effect on his aging. Robin never became Nightwing because he actually graduated directly to being Batman.

The Joker is long since dead, as are almost all of Batman's original enemies. The only exceptions are Clayface, Killer Croc, and Mr. Freeze who all age much slower (if at all) than normal people. Batman has new enemies, though.

In this world, there will be no analog to any of the old-school supporting cast. We won't see updated versions of Maxwell Lord, G. Gordon Godfrey, Lana Lang, Jimmy Olson, Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, or anyone who was originally around in the old days. These people are all DEAD, and we're not going to be seeing their kids, either.

NEW supporting characters will be written. NEW careers, NEW coworkers, NEW friends, NEW family members, NEW important people in the government... Everyone is new, as they should be 80, 90, 100 years after the first superheroes appeared.

BUT this is still the DC universe. The familiar hero names will still be out there-- It's just that they're either surrounded by an all-new supporting cast, or the heroes themselves are completely different people who carry on a tradition.

I think that's a good starting point. The #1 rule would be "No taking long-standing characters and 're-inventing' them with the same names, similar powers, hip new lingo, and a different costume."

Batman is still Batman -- Still a guy who dresses as a bat and fights crime with wits, skill, and gadgets -- But he's not Bruce Wayne. He doesn't have a computer called "A.L.F.R.E.D.". He doesn't consult with Bruce Wayne's ghost or recorded messages. He doesn't even particularly remember Bruce Wayne because he was too young to recall the guy who was a famous millionaire playboy in the 1930s. His enemies are mostly new people. His friends are all new people. The only real tie between him and Bruce Wayne is the basic idea of the Batman, and the connection with Dick Grayson. To this new guy,  Dick Grayson was the only Batman since the early 1960s, and he retired in the 2010s. To this new guy, Wayne Manor is a commodity, not a family estate. Thomas and Martha Wayne mean nothing to him. He has other ghosts to motivate him. He has other reasons for doing what he does.

And he HATES it when Superman compares him to that old 1930s Batman.

That's a world I'd like to read about.
 
2013-05-05 08:37:07 PM

Jim_Callahan: Um... weren't you just complaining about all the alien invasions and ante-upping?  Batman's the guy that holds on to all the "too dangerous to keep" technology they're always discovering that they "destroy" for the good of mankind or whatever.

He's probably the most powerful character in the setting, because he's got most of a century of salvaged/looted super-doodads on tap, plus that pool that makes him functionally immortal when he feels like it and the writer is tired of remembering he's middle-aged/old.  Just because he's not always in the scene punching things doesn't make him irrelevant, he's the dude that owns and upgrades the space-station with the giant cannon in the Justice league.


Yeah, but I'm talking about pre-Crisis Batman here. He wasn't the overpowered "can easily beat Superman" guy that the Earth-Two version and all the Elseworlds versions became. There is no Watchtower on this Earth-One. There is no cache of technology here, because a lot of that stuff didn't happen here. There is no Lazarus Pit, because it's a stupid idea.

In short, in the scenario I was proposing, I was assuming writers would be  writers instead of  copiers. I was assuming they'd start over, forget about all the stupid crap that happened since Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, New 52, and all the other world-shattering events, and start back with a much more humble, more controlled world without all those crazy over-the-top, godlike machines and powers.
 
2013-05-05 08:40:31 PM
//And it actually makes sense that no one else in the setting has the tech, due to him being a paranoid nut.  Still waiting for a satisfactory explanation of why Reed Richards is comparatively useless...

Reed wasn't written by hacks, I guess.

Batman has been re-interpreted to be this ultimate badass because writers couldn't find any other way to make him useful or relevant in a world occupied by gods. Their only solution was to boost his power level, too, but without actually giving him powers.

Reed's also useless because he's a prick who is more interested in the research and study than actually doing anything with it. He's a pure scientist. The universe is just another subject in his petri dish.
 
2013-05-05 09:00:30 PM
I was never really sure why I didn't sink my teeth into the DCU nearly to the extent I did Marvel. I am thinking, having read your analysis and suggested improvements, that the power creep and overall populace of titans may have subconsciously turned me off from storylines I may have thoroughly enjoyed. It had a paradoxical effect too in that because I felt trouble identifying with them, I never invested deeply enough to actually find out WHY but you have illuminated what I suspect to be the cause.

Marvel always just felt more plausible (if fantastic) to me. When a story arc left at a cliffhanger I found myself more emotionally invested... Like a favorite might not be returning at its conclusion.
 
2013-05-05 09:45:02 PM

ZeroCorpse: Oh, oops. Wall of text.

It's Sunday. Cope with it.


gives me a chance to write ha-ha, you're serious. while you make very good points, dc will never do such a thing. everytime they a multiversealtering event that drags over a year to reboot and cull all the convoluted backstories, it takes 6 months, TOPS, for one writer to say 'you know what would be cool? BatMite! it's like a reverse red queen hypothesis, you have to do all the running you can to go backwards. all that ends up having is another recursion when the other versions of the characters show up again.
 
2013-05-05 11:23:30 PM

ZeroCorpse: Jim_Callahan: Um... weren't you just complaining about all the alien invasions and ante-upping?  Batman's the guy that holds on to all the "too dangerous to keep" technology they're always discovering that they "destroy" for the good of mankind or whatever.

He's probably the most powerful character in the setting, because he's got most of a century of salvaged/looted super-doodads on tap, plus that pool that makes him functionally immortal when he feels like it and the writer is tired of remembering he's middle-aged/old.  Just because he's not always in the scene punching things doesn't make him irrelevant, he's the dude that owns and upgrades the space-station with the giant cannon in the Justice league.

Yeah, but I'm talking about pre-Crisis Batman here. He wasn't the overpowered "can easily beat Superman" guy that the Earth-Two version and all the Elseworlds versions became. There is no Watchtower on this Earth-One. There is no cache of technology here, because a lot of that stuff didn't happen here. There is no Lazarus Pit, because it's a stupid idea.

In short, in the scenario I was proposing, I was assuming writers would be  writers instead of  copiers. I was assuming they'd start over, forget about all the stupid crap that happened since Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, New 52, and all the other world-shattering events, and start back with a much more humble, more controlled world without all those crazy over-the-top, godlike machines and powers.


1.bp.blogspot.com

Nah, the solution is just to make the planet and universe bigger. And to add back in all the old hokey stuff that everyone wanted to make go away.

In fact, after replying to your wall of text post, I imagined the Matrix Architect saying "This is the 5th time we've exploded Krypton, temporarily making Kal-el the Last Son of Krypton. We have become exceedingly efficient at it."
 
2013-05-05 11:27:37 PM

awalkingecho: I was never really sure why I didn't sink my teeth into the DCU nearly to the extent I did Marvel. I am thinking, having read your analysis and suggested improvements, that the power creep and overall populace of titans may have subconsciously turned me off from storylines I may have thoroughly enjoyed. It had a paradoxical effect too in that because I felt trouble identifying with them, I never invested deeply enough to actually find out WHY but you have illuminated what I suspect to be the cause.

Marvel always just felt more plausible (if fantastic) to me. When a story arc left at a cliffhanger I found myself more emotionally invested... Like a favorite might not be returning at its conclusion.


That's the reason Marvel appeals to me, more, too. Stan Lee knew this when he created all his heroes. He knew that they needed to be people first and superheroes second. They have problems that echo our own, instead of just "Lex Luthor got his hands on Kryptonite" and "The Green Lantern Corps is under attack by a universe-eating force of nature."

DC just keeps making each new hero tougher than the last, and really doesn't do much to distinguish them as PEOPLE. Sure, they have the occasional soap opera struggle (someone died, someone got married, someone left the team) but they don't really get into the individual characters' lives as much as they get into the amping up of power levels and the comparison between titans.

About the best, most human storyline I ever read in a DC comic was the whole thing with Beast Boy, Terra, and Deathstroke. The betrayal wasn't shocking because Terra used her powers against her former teammates; It was shocking because she had been emotionally stringing Gar along, and he was respecting her because he loved her, and then it turned out she was f♥cking Slade all along. THAT was human. The superhero stuff was secondary to the heartbreak. Readers felt empathy.

But when Pa Kent dies for the 20th time, we're just not invested in it. So what? We knew it was coming. Every time they reboot Superman we go through the whole thing over again. Krypton's blown up. Kal-El's parents die. He's adopted. He struggles hiding his powers as a kid/teen. He meets Lana. He finds out who he is. He meets Lois, Perry, and Jimmy. Pa dies. He joins the JLA. He fights Brainiac and Lex Luthor. Then we reboot again and we see the whole story with slightly different timing, looks, and costumes, but it's the same story.

Why bother rebooting if you're going to tell the same story and get Superman to the same power levels, the same people, the same jobs? If you're going to reboot, then  reboot.

Look at Marvel's Ultimate line. Spider-Man is similar, but so very different. In the end, Peter Parker dies before he's 18 years old. He's surrounded by the same people, but he also meets new ones. He dates different people (he was dating Kitty Pryde!) and actually gains the respect of JJJ when he risks his life to save people when Magneto attacks New York. Gwen lives! Someone new takes over as Spider-Man. Everything, except for some names and faces, is different from the 616 version.

Superman is the worst problem DC has. His stories can be decent, but his power levels always increase, always get ridiculous, and then his stories suffer. Not only his stories, in fact, but ALL DC stories, because he directly influences the world he's placed in.

Honestly, I never understand why Batman makes any sense at all when Superman could swoop into Gotham city and eliminate all the crime in a weekend. Guys like the Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, Clayface, Killer Croc, Clock King, and even Ras Al Ghul would mean NOTHING to a guy who can juggle moons and survive the inside of a star. They couldn't hide from him, because he can see through walls. They couldn't harm him. They couldn't even join together and present a challenge... And yet Superman basically leaves Gotham City alone. It's not all that far from Metropolis, either (It's in New Jersey, and Metropolis is in Delaware).

Honestly, how can Superman be about two minutes away (or less, considering his speed) and leave Gotham's crime to Batman? I get that Bruce might get pissed, but isn't the point of Bruce's campaign to SAVE Gotham? Wouldn't it make sense to say, "Hey, Clark. If you have five minutes, would you mind helping me bust the Joker, Two-Face, and the Riddler before they KILL EVERYONE IN TOWN?"

This is why DC is a mess. You have a god on one side of the Delaware Bay, in a shining, almost crime-free city, and you have a crazy man in a bat suit on the other, in a dirty, dangerous city ruled by criminals. And we're just supposed to accept that a world in which Superman can hear a girl scout falling out of a tree ten states away is a world where that same man would IGNORE the happenings on the other side of the bay?

Batman almost belongs in Marvel. He'd make a hell of a lot more sense there.

Fano: gives me a chance to write ha-ha, you're serious. while you make very good points, dc will never do such a thing. everytime they a multiversealtering event that drags over a year to reboot and cull all the convoluted backstories, it takes 6 months, TOPS, for one writer to say 'you know what would be cool? BatMite!


You're right, of course. It's like DC sets a bunch of "rules" when they retcon and reboot, and then a few months later they completely toss those "rules" out and go right back to the way it was. Only with shiattier costumes and more convoluted history.

I'd love to see DC make a whole new universe in which the one rule is "Nobody from the other universes is allowed here." just to see what they'd come up with.
 
2013-05-05 11:37:18 PM

ciderczar: Nina_Hartley's_Ass: ciderczar: Krypto's absence from the Superman films is disturbing.

You know if they make him anything but a white dog someone's going to throw a fit.

If they make him anything but the main protagonist of the story, I'll throw a fit. He should talk too, maybe play basketball.


Also, they should Rastafy him by about 5%.

While hunting for the panel of Superman challenging the people of Metropolis to accept his dog "he's your dog too, now" I found this gem of Aquaman's sex slaves:
www.blogcdn.com
 
2013-05-05 11:55:58 PM

ZeroCorpse: Fano: gives me a chance to write ha-ha, you're serious. while you make very good points, dc will never do such a thing. everytime they a multiversealtering event that drags over a year to reboot and cull all the convoluted backstories, it takes 6 months, TOPS, for one writer to say 'you know what would be cool? BatMite!

You're right, of course. It's like DC sets a bunch of "rules" when they retcon and reboot, and then a few months later they completely toss those "rules" out and go right back to the way it was. Only with shiattier costumes and more convoluted history.

I'd love to see DC make a whole new universe in which the one rule is "Nobody from the other universes is allowed here." just to see what they'd come up with.


Sorry to cut out the rest of your post, I just wanted to take some extra time to underline this part, because the rest of your argument is so cogent and such an elegant solution that I want to remark how perversely they have ZERO intention of ever doing such a thing.

Every single time DC goes the "reboot everything, start from scratch route," that lasts about 5 seconds until some chucklefark in the peanut gallery says (in PeeWee Herman's "I say we let him go" voice) "but wouldn't it be cool if Superman and Batman got together to explode God?

Furthermore, the inability to cull c-listers comes from the dark side of Stan Lee's mantra "EVERY hero is SOMEBODY's favorite." The moment you cut some ridiculous character point, there's enough dedicated fans that love THAT part the best. So after some time of clamoring, at the very least, that shiatstain will be smeared across the pristine new canvas of your reinvented characters. Hell, has Vic Sage returned from the dead yet? It used to be the most guaranteed way to stay dead outside of death by origin story (note that the Waynes, Ben Parker, and Jor-El ALWAYS stay dead) was to be a second or less tier character that gets replaced with someone else.
 
2013-05-06 12:12:10 AM

ZeroCorpse: //And it actually makes sense that no one else in the setting has the tech, due to him being a paranoid nut.  Still waiting for a satisfactory explanation of why Reed Richards is comparatively useless...

Reed wasn't written by hacks, I guess.

Batman has been re-interpreted to be this ultimate badass because writers couldn't find any other way to make him useful or relevant in a world occupied by gods. Their only solution was to boost his power level, too, but without actually giving him powers.

Reed's also useless because he's a prick who is more interested in the research and study than actually doing anything with it. He's a pure scientist. The universe is just another subject in his petri dish.


...to Batman's detriment, by the way. Batman works great with a study of fighting crime, detective stories, and crazed madmen. Tower of Babel, I think, is what solidified the notion that Batman could defeat ANYONE. Now granted, in the rules of superhero comics, there is a grand tradition of having whomever the writers WANT to win, no matter how underpowered in a fight. But in "reality," if Batman ever decided to take on even a mid tier power level character in the DC Universe it should probably look like the panel after the heroes decided to band together against Dr. Doom in Secret Wars.
 
2013-05-06 12:42:02 AM

Fano: ZeroCorpse: //And it actually makes sense that no one else in the setting has the tech, due to him being a paranoid nut.  Still waiting for a satisfactory explanation of why Reed Richards is comparatively useless...

Reed wasn't written by hacks, I guess.

Batman has been re-interpreted to be this ultimate badass because writers couldn't find any other way to make him useful or relevant in a world occupied by gods. Their only solution was to boost his power level, too, but without actually giving him powers.

Reed's also useless because he's a prick who is more interested in the research and study than actually doing anything with it. He's a pure scientist. The universe is just another subject in his petri dish.

...to Batman's detriment, by the way. Batman works great with a study of fighting crime, detective stories, and crazed madmen. Tower of Babel, I think, is what solidified the notion that Batman could defeat ANYONE. Now granted, in the rules of superhero comics, there is a grand tradition of having whomever the writers WANT to win, no matter how underpowered in a fight. But in "reality," if Batman ever decided to take on even a mid tier power level character in the DC Universe it should probably look like the panel after the heroes decided to band together against Dr. Doom in Secret Wars.


That might have solidified the notion, but I think the whole "if he can prepare he can beat ANYBODY" thing comes from The Dark Knight Returns, when he takes on Clark.

What people conveniently forget about that match-up:

1. Clark was severely depleted of energy only a short time before, because he survived a nuclear blast.
2. Bruce had to cover himself head-to-toe in anti-Superman armor.
3. And brink a tank.
4. And get help from Ollie.
5. AND bring Kryptonite.
6. AND count on Clark pulling his punches and not really wanting to go through with killing Bruce, anyway.

And Bruce STILL ended up getting pretty thoroughly beat-up- Nearly killed- before pulling out that sneak-attack win. Hell, if you want to be technical, Bruce doesn't beat Clark. OLLIE is the one who fired the game-changing arrow.

Superman held back A LOT in that fight, and yet everyone whips it out as "proof" that Batman can beat anybody. It's bullshiat. If Superman had cut loose, Bruce would have had a hole burned in him from two miles in the air, instead of even having the chance to prepare for a "meet up."
 
2013-05-06 01:34:03 AM

ZeroCorpse: Superman held back A LOT in that fight, and yet everyone whips it out as "proof" that Batman can beat anybody. It's bullshiat. If Superman had cut loose, Bruce would have had a hole burned in him from two miles in the air, instead of even having the chance to prepare for a "meet up."


All of the above points are true, and I'm still on the hunt for the comic panel from the Secret Wars where the assembled heroes take a vote on taking out Doom even if it means destruction by a bolt from the blue. One second after voting to take him on, the assembled powers of Marvel are instantly incinerated.

I LIKE Superman, and I'm still willing to concede all your points. When they killed Poochieman, the Sentry, in Marvel I was thrilled. Trying to amp up Batman to Superman levels by ridiculous Charles Atlas superpowers in planning cheapens him. It was more fun in JL:U when Batman faced off a weapons backed Amanda Waller with a backup of the Justice League with "mine's bigger." Was it Dark Knight Strikes again where all the superheroes had to take lessons from Batman? That was beyond ridiculous, where he was shaming people with the power to destroy planets as being feeble unless they were his disciples. Then again, I feel there is a certain point where Frank Miller became the devil feeding Homer donuts saying "you want Batman kicking ass? Have all the Batman asskicking you WANT." and the forcefeeding us into our accepting maws endlessly. That is the philosophy by which I judge All-Star Batman and Robin to be pure brilliance. It is EVERYTHING the fanboys wanted. It's EVERYTHING the fanboys believed.
 
2013-05-06 02:35:03 AM

HeartBurnKid: I'm sorry, but Krypto isn't even the coolest dog in the DCU.

[images1.wikia.nocookie.net image 400x588]


Reminds me of this (from an Australian comedy show):

Charlie the Wonder Dog
 
2013-05-06 02:38:25 AM

Fano: ZeroCorpse: Superman held back A LOT in that fight, and yet everyone whips it out as "proof" that Batman can beat anybody. It's bullshiat. If Superman had cut loose, Bruce would have had a hole burned in him from two miles in the air, instead of even having the chance to prepare for a "meet up."

All of the above points are true, and I'm still on the hunt for the comic panel from the Secret Wars where the assembled heroes take a vote on taking out Doom even if it means destruction by a bolt from the blue. One second after voting to take him on, the assembled powers of Marvel are instantly incinerated.

I LIKE Superman, and I'm still willing to concede all your points. When they killed Poochieman, the Sentry, in Marvel I was thrilled. Trying to amp up Batman to Superman levels by ridiculous Charles Atlas superpowers in planning cheapens him. It was more fun in JL:U when Batman faced off a weapons backed Amanda Waller with a backup of the Justice League with "mine's bigger." Was it Dark Knight Strikes again where all the superheroes had to take lessons from Batman? That was beyond ridiculous, where he was shaming people with the power to destroy planets as being feeble unless they were his disciples. Then again, I feel there is a certain point where Frank Miller became the devil feeding Homer donuts saying "you want Batman kicking ass? Have all the Batman asskicking you WANT." and the forcefeeding us into our accepting maws endlessly. That is the philosophy by which I judge All-Star Batman and Robin to be pure brilliance. It is EVERYTHING the fanboys wanted. It's EVERYTHING the fanboys believed.


Total agreement. All-Star B&R was like a giant Frank Miller anal suppository for the fanboys.

Yeah, they killed Sentry and then they just replaced him with a new Hyperion, who is currently a member of the Avengers. He was the Marvel Superman before Sentry ever came along. At least this one seems to be from a dimension where the Squadron Supreme were genuine heroes.

Anyway, I think it's kind of funny how everyone hated Sentry, but nobody cares if Marvel keeps pulling Hyperions from every parallel dimension they can.
 
2013-05-06 02:51:39 AM
How to fix DCU.

First, Establish. Get with the best creative minds and map out the DCU Cosmology. Establish Earths 1-52. This is Bible.

Second  New 52 is the new Premier line. It's got good stories but they're too tied to the originals. Let it be its own. It is its own world. It becomes Earth-2.

Third, the Mainline world, Earth-1, is picked up just post-War of Light. Infinite Crisis is in, Flashpoint is out. I liked that world. It had possibilities. And no Damian farking Wayne.

Fourth, Superman adjusted down but still powerful. Juggling planets? No. Living cars with a finger and punching (appropriately powerful) villains through buildings? Yes. "World of Cardboard" - that's Superman. He lives in it. I also slightly modify the personality to give him a bit of an edge. He's humble, but he can have a bit of swagger. Again, that moment in DCAU when he fights Darkseid and enjoys cutting loose? I want that. I want a happy Superman. Superman is not Marvel. He enjoys being as powerful as it is - it isn't a "A terrible privilege", quoting Tony Stark in the Avengers movie. To him, it's just a privilege  one he enjoys. He LIKES being earth's savior, and has his head on right enough where he won't abuse it.

Fifth, pull Batman back a bit. His Frank Miller "every possible thing" persona is too heavy. Here's where I disagree with ZeroCorpse - Superman is fine, he just needs tweaking  BATMAN is the one who's way out there. He is supposedly so geared and prepared that It makes any failure on the character's part look like lousy writing. He needs to be surprised more often, and needs to break out. For one, he should be fighting more crime - less supervillains  THey're special. Unless they're street-level enough to be reasonable (Two-Face, Penguin, Joker) he shouldn't ever be in his stories without a reason. He didn't get into the Cowl to punch Mr. Freeze. He went there to prevent the kind of crime that took his parents. THat said, I don't want a non-fantastic Batman. I just want him more focused. Likewise, when he teams up in the JLA I want him organizing. It looks silly to have Gods fighting above and here's a guy throwing boomerangs on a rope swing. Off-putting. He should be financing, leading and directing. Superman is the heart of the JLA, Batman is the brains, and Wonder Woman is the will.

Sixth, Wonder Woman's origin needs to be a lot more New-52-ish. I really like what they're doing in that book.

Seventh, I get the best talent in the market, and I ask them who THEY want to write and draw. I don't assign a gritty artist to Teen Titans or a jokey writer to the Question. I try to react to my talent and give everyone the time they need.

Lastly, I do my best to honor the past while not being beholden to it. The DCU's biggest strength is continuity. Use that. Don't be afraid to reference a 20 year old story - people have Google.
 
2013-05-06 02:59:27 AM

ZeroCorpse: Fano: ZeroCorpse: Superman held back A LOT in that fight, and yet everyone whips it out as "proof" that Batman can beat anybody. It's bullshiat. If Superman had cut loose, Bruce would have had a hole burned in him from two miles in the air, instead of even having the chance to prepare for a "meet up."

All of the above points are true, and I'm still on the hunt for the comic panel from the Secret Wars where the assembled heroes take a vote on taking out Doom even if it means destruction by a bolt from the blue. One second after voting to take him on, the assembled powers of Marvel are instantly incinerated.

I LIKE Superman, and I'm still willing to concede all your points. When they killed Poochieman, the Sentry, in Marvel I was thrilled. Trying to amp up Batman to Superman levels by ridiculous Charles Atlas superpowers in planning cheapens him. It was more fun in JL:U when Batman faced off a weapons backed Amanda Waller with a backup of the Justice League with "mine's bigger." Was it Dark Knight Strikes again where all the superheroes had to take lessons from Batman? That was beyond ridiculous, where he was shaming people with the power to destroy planets as being feeble unless they were his disciples. Then again, I feel there is a certain point where Frank Miller became the devil feeding Homer donuts saying "you want Batman kicking ass? Have all the Batman asskicking you WANT." and the forcefeeding us into our accepting maws endlessly. That is the philosophy by which I judge All-Star Batman and Robin to be pure brilliance. It is EVERYTHING the fanboys wanted. It's EVERYTHING the fanboys believed.

Total agreement. All-Star B&R was like a giant Frank Miller anal suppository for the fanboys.

Yeah, they killed Sentry and then they just replaced him with a new Hyperion, who is currently a member of the Avengers. He was the Marvel Superman before Sentry ever came along. At least this one seems to be from a dimension where the Squadron Supreme were genuine heroes.

An ...


After every single panel of All Star B&R I could hear Miller throwing his arms up and shouting "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?"

I'm gonna have to check out what's going on with Hyperion. I love comics, but I do love my lulz with comics as well.My  issue with Sentry was that he was 100% Poochie material. His funeral was the icing on the cake. He came out of nowhere, and received a farewell worthy of a FINAL sendoff of Superman/Batman/Spiderman. Captain America crying and saying he was the best of us was the best comedy ever.
 
2013-05-06 04:18:53 AM

ZeroCorpse: That's a world I'd like to read about.


That sounds like what Earth 2 would have been like if Crisis never happened and Comic Book Time moved relative to Real World Time. No Titans, no Flashes other than Jay, No GLC.
 
2013-05-06 05:02:22 AM
My ideas on fixing DC:

Fire Dan Didio, and never let him within 500 feet of DC's offices ever again.

Hire Alan Burnett and Paul Dini to take his place.

Get back Mark Waid on Flash, Geoff Johns on Green Lantern, keep Levitz on Legion of Super-Heroes, Gail Simone back on Secret Six, Grant Morrison on JLA, George Perez on Wonder Woman, and Marv Wolfman on Teen Titans.

If Greg Land or Rob Liefeld get within 100 feet of DC's offices, they will be eliminated on sight by a rooftop sniper hired exclusively to keep those asshats away.

Bring back JLU to TV, and give Batman Beyond the few extra seasons it should have had. Un-cancel Green Lantern and Young Justice.

Get Joss Whedon to do the Wonder Woman movie like originally planned, and give him full control. Invest in cloning so we can make a 20-something Lynda Carter to fill the role.

Do another GL movie, but with Nathan Fillion in place of Ryan Reynolds, and no Parallax, no Hector Hammond, just Sinestro.

The next Superman movie will have no Luthor, no Zod - the big bad will be Brainiac. But not just any Brainiac...it'll be the cool Terminator-looking version from the early 80s.

Pay Nolan whatever it takes to do another Batman flick, with JG Levitt taking over the mantle, not Bale. Let Bruce have his happy ending. Make the villain Mr. Freeze, and base the script on the TAS episode "Heart of Ice", Get a serious actor, like Patrick Stewart or Ian McShane to fill the role and get the bad taste of Batman & Robin out of people's mouth.
 
2013-05-06 05:56:30 AM

FuryOfFirestorm: My ideas on fixing DC:

Fire Dan Didio, and never let him within 500 feet of DC's offices ever again.

Hire Alan Burnett and Paul Dini to take his place.

Get back Mark Waid on Flash, Geoff Johns on Green Lantern, keep Levitz on Legion of Super-Heroes, Gail Simone back on Secret Six, Grant Morrison on JLA, George Perez on Wonder Woman, and Marv Wolfman on Teen Titans.

If Greg Land or Rob Liefeld get within 100 feet of DC's offices, they will be eliminated on sight by a rooftop sniper hired exclusively to keep those asshats away.

Bring back JLU to TV, and give Batman Beyond the few extra seasons it should have had. Un-cancel Green Lantern and Young Justice.

Get Joss Whedon to do the Wonder Woman movie like originally planned, and give him full control. Invest in cloning so we can make a 20-something Lynda Carter to fill the role.

Do another GL movie, but with Nathan Fillion in place of Ryan Reynolds, and no Parallax, no Hector Hammond, just Sinestro.

The next Superman movie will have no Luthor, no Zod - the big bad will be Brainiac. But not just any Brainiac...it'll be the cool Terminator-looking version from the early 80s.

Pay Nolan whatever it takes to do another Batman flick, with JG Levitt taking over the mantle, not Bale. Let Bruce have his happy ending. Make the villain Mr. Freeze, and base the script on the TAS episode "Heart of Ice", Get a serious actor, like Patrick Stewart or Ian McShane to fill the role and get the bad taste of Batman & Robin out of people's mouth.


No.

Just no.

Writers revisiting characters they previously had a great run with always leads to disappointment.
 
2013-05-06 12:29:27 PM

FuryOfFirestorm: My ideas on fixing DC:

Fire Dan Didio, and never let him within 500 feet of DC's offices ever again.

Hire Alan Burnett and Paul Dini to take his place.

Get back Mark Waid on Flash, Geoff Johns on Green Lantern, keep Levitz on Legion of Super-Heroes, Gail Simone back on Secret Six, Grant Morrison on JLA, George Perez on Wonder Woman, and Marv Wolfman on Teen Titans.

If Greg Land or Rob Liefeld get within 100 feet of DC's offices, they will be eliminated on sight by a rooftop sniper hired exclusively to keep those asshats away.

Bring back JLU to TV, and give Batman Beyond the few extra seasons it should have had. Un-cancel Green Lantern and Young Justice.

Get Joss Whedon to do the Wonder Woman movie like originally planned, and give him full control. Invest in cloning so we can make a 20-something Lynda Carter to fill the role.

Do another GL movie, but with Nathan Fillion in place of Ryan Reynolds, and no Parallax, no Hector Hammond, just Sinestro.

The next Superman movie will have no Luthor, no Zod - the big bad will be Brainiac. But not just any Brainiac...it'll be the cool Terminator-looking version from the early 80s.

Pay Nolan whatever it takes to do another Batman flick, with JG Levitt taking over the mantle, not Bale. Let Bruce have his happy ending. Make the villain Mr. Freeze, and base the script on the TAS episode "Heart of Ice", Get a serious actor, like Patrick Stewart or Ian McShane to fill the role and get the bad taste of Batman & Robin out of people's mouth.


I'm of the opinion that Arnie could have made a very good Mr. Freeze, in the right movie.  Unfortunately, B&R was not that movie.

/don't look at me like that
//Arnie could be a great Mr. Freeze
///All he'd have to do is mimic his performance in the Terminator movies
 
2013-05-06 02:02:20 PM

ZeroCorpse: That might have solidified the notion, but I think the whole "if he can prepare he can beat ANYBODY" thing comes from The Dark Knight Returns, when he takes on Clark...

Superman held back A LOT in that fight, and yet everyone whips it out as "proof" that Batman can beat anybody. It's bullshiat. If Superman had cut loose, Bruce would have had a hole burned in him from two miles in the air, instead of even having the chance to prepare for a "meet up."


This illustrates, in excellent detail, the essence of your flawed thinking - "IF Superman [does x], Batman loses."

Exactly.  But Bruce knows with ABSOLUTE certainty what Clark will and will NOT do, because he's the world's greatest detective with tremendous experience studying the psyches of some of the most complicated people in the world.  He knows that Clark is a big boy scout - that he would never go all-out against a frail old man, even if that old man is beating the ever-loving snot out of him.  Bruce beats Clark because he's willing to go farther and cross lines that other people won't (this is a major point in DKR - Batman views his struggle as a "war," and he fights crime as though he's engaging in total war.  This is why the government, the media, the other heroes, etc. end up so alienated from him.  He constantly crosses lines that they can't).  In short, Batman has a "power" that's greater than super-speed, flight, anything - willpower.  If Bruce decides to do something, he DOES NOT QUIT.  This is the crucial psychological edge that Batman has over basically everyone in the comic book universe.

People think it's the super powers that matter, but it's not - that's just fan-wankery for "who can beat whom" threads.  It's the CHARACTER that counts.  We don't relate more easily to Peter Parker than Superman because Peter Parker is somehow more "realistic" - the guy comes up with a masterful piece of chemical engineering as a TEENAGER, and can also cling to walls and lift CARS over his head.  We can relate better to Peter Parker because he's constantly getting picked on.  We empathize with the experience of the world throwing crap at us.

We don't find Superman hard to relate to because he's so godlike, we find him hard to relate to because he's got an extremely old-fashioned sense of morality and he's very, VERY happy.  Clark Kent is probably the only well-adjusted person in comics, in fact - he has a meaningful, fulfilling job that puts him solidly in the middle class; he has a healthy, committed relationship with a strong, intelligent woman; he has numerous friends who care deeply about him; he overcome the tragedy of his biological family's death and found a home on a new planet, with adoptive parents who loved him and raised him to be not merely a good person, but the BEST person.  Most of us haven't found that level of deep personal fulfillment (maybe it's why we enjoy escapist hobbies like comics) so we have a hard time identifying with him.

And his morality - this is what the best Superman stories are about.  It's about how he refuses to cut corners the way other heroes do (I'm looking at you, Batman).  Look at Kingdom Come, Red Son, or What's So Funny About TJatAW - Superman is defined by being super-shiny lawful good.  That doesn't resonate with many people anymore - even after the 90s anti-hero decadence, we still tend to view the world in shades of gray.  We have a hard time with Supes because he sees things in very black and white terms; he's NEVER going to kill the Joker, not matter how many people the Clown Prince murders.

Superman is a hero for a different time and a different culture, that's why he's got popularity problems these days.  It's NOT about the powers.
 
2013-05-06 02:12:25 PM

ZeroCorpse: I think that's a good starting point. The #1 rule would be "No taking long-standing characters and 're-inventing' them with the same names, similar powers, hip new lingo, and a different costume."


That's a terrible idea.  The vast majority of literature - including GREAT literature (e.g. Shakespeare) is writers taking pre-existing ideas and spinning them in slightly different ways.

Case in point:  We've got this guy, see, and he's really wealthy.  But he sees injustice and corruption, so at night, he dresses all in black and works as a costumed vigilante relying on his tools and his wits to survive.  By day he pretends to be a harmless idiot playboy.  Name that character:

ZORRO - who was pretty much Batman before Bob Kane took all of the important details and just threw a new spin on them (with a dash of The Shadow for good measure).

And need I mention The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?  Or Watchmen?  Both highly-regarded works that recycled old characters by giving them new twists.

Literature is BUILT on this practice, and comics especially.  "Original" doesn't mean better - it's almost impossible to come up with a completely new idea out of whole cloth.  The best writers make extensive use of what has come before to create something "new" - that is, in the sense that it twists or modifies its source material enough that it "freshens" it.
 
2013-05-06 06:53:46 PM

lamecomedian: ZeroCorpse: I think that's a good starting point. The #1 rule would be "No taking long-standing characters and 're-inventing' them with the same names, similar powers, hip new lingo, and a different costume."

That's a terrible idea.  The vast majority of literature - including GREAT literature (e.g. Shakespeare) is writers taking pre-existing ideas and spinning them in slightly different ways.

Case in point:  We've got this guy, see, and he's really wealthy.  But he sees injustice and corruption, so at night, he dresses all in black and works as a costumed vigilante relying on his tools and his wits to survive.  By day he pretends to be a harmless idiot playboy.  Name that character:

ZORRO - who was pretty much Batman before Bob Kane took all of the important details and just threw a new spin on them (with a dash of The Shadow for good measure).

And need I mention The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?  Or Watchmen?  Both highly-regarded works that recycled old characters by giving them new twists.

Literature is BUILT on this practice, and comics especially.  "Original" doesn't mean better - it's almost impossible to come up with a completely new idea out of whole cloth.  The best writers make extensive use of what has come before to create something "new" - that is, in the sense that it twists or modifies its source material enough that it "freshens" it.


Warning. Wall-o-text again.

You're taking my rule too far. I didn't mean you couldn't have SIMILAR characters based on old ideas. I meant you couldn't take Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, etc. and just make the "newer, hipper" versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, etc.

Thinking of Zorro and coming up with Batman? No problem there. That's actually writing.

Taking Superman and "reinventing" or reinterpreting him with a slightly new costume and barely-modified origin, switching his job from "reporter" to "blogger" to make it updated, cool and hip? That's what I don't want to see. That's what I was talking about when I said, "No taking long-standing characters and 're-inventing' them with the same names, similar powers, hip new lingo, and a different costume."

If you want to make a new character based on Superman, that's fine. That's how we get the Captain Marvels, Hyperions, and others of that ilk. But taking Superman and just tweaking him slightly and introducing him as a "hip new direction" or "re-interpretation" of Superman? Don't do that.

Yes, Marvel Ultimate did that, but they did it in a better way. The Marvel Ultimate Universe keeps moving forward and doesn't reset shiat. People die, and they're just replaced after that; No retcons or reset buttons. DC could never do this.

That's what I like about the Ultimate line-up. They don't f♥ck around when they change or kill off characters. Peter Parker is DEAD. Janet Van Dyne is DEAD. The Blob is DEAD. Wolverine is DEAD. Cyclops is DEAD. Magneto is DEAD. Nightcrawler is DEAD.  And they've all stayed dead.Instead of finding some stupid way for Wolverine to come back to life, for example, they wrote up a whole new character: A son (and it's not Daken!) To carry on the Spider-Man tradition, they created a whole new character: Miles Morales. To continue the X-Men, they brought in new characters and promoted old ones. To continue the Ultimates, they created all-new characters and they always bury their dead for good.

DC could really benefit from that sort of re-inventing. They sometimes play with it for a while (Dick as Batman) but then they hit that big old reset button and everything is back to normal. Superman didn't die. Batman didn't die. Hal Jordan didn't die. Everything goes back to the way it was.  You will NEVER see any of the main JLA members die for good, and that's why they're all getting so damned boring.

Yes, Marvel 616 does this a bit, too, and they need to stop bringing back every Avenger they kill off (though Sentry is probably going to stay dead, and I'm pretty sure Swordsman and Captain Mar-Vell will, too.)   But Ultimate Marvel doesn't do that.  They almost never bring back a dead character, and it makes their whole universe feel much more alive and dangerous. Events have actual consequences.

In the Ultimate Universe, Reed Richards went totally off the reservation and became a major villain-- And he stayed that way. The Fantastic Four is broken apart. Sue's hanging around with the Ultimates. Johnny's hanging around with the X-Men. Ben isn't rocky anymore-- he's a glowing purple energy being, and he and Sue are a couple. Captain America is the President. The nation has just been through a real civil war and several states dropped out. Billions worldwide were killed over the past year.  And this all remains canon!

Now, wouldn't it be cool if DC had the balls to turn Batman truly evil, making him the JLA's honest-to-goodness arch enemy? And wouldn't it be game-changing if he decided he had to take Superman off the board, and so he honestly, truly, without any take-backs, KILLS him?

And after that, wouldn't it be cool if someone else-- Someone very powerful but not from Krypton-- stepped up and took on Superman's title and duties? And there was no reset. No "Oh, Kal-El was just in hiding." or "He was sent hurtling through time but now he's back!"

How about having this evil Batman wipe out Metropolis? I mean, actually kill 75% of the population including the superheroes who show up to try to rescue people? Kill off bunches of B & C-listers in one stroke. Maybe even take out a couple of A-listers?

And let that remain canon. No reset button. The world has to continue on without Kal-El, without Blue Beetle, without Kid Flash, without Starfire, without Cyborg... MAKE IT STICK! Instead of letting writers "fix" things by resetting big events, force them to  keep writing forward and develop new ideas and characters.

It's just such a let-down when they do character deaths in the main Marvel or DC lineups (More so in DC, because they keep resetting all of reality. Marvel just resets individual moments, not all of reality.)

What would happen to the DC Earth if they didn't have to CONSTANTLY maintain the status quo?

The writers are stuck. I get that. WB won't let them write truly creative stuff that could potentially kill or dramatically change their characters permanently. So they're forced to write  around  their characters' long-standing images, and that sucks.

The biggest problem with DC is WB depends on merchandising, and the most popular characters are pretty much immune from significant changes, death, or destruction. They must ALWAYS be recognizable as the characters they've always been so that WB can sell pillowcases, lunch boxes, video games, snack cakes, and other things.

What Marvel did with the Ultimate line was FREE THEMSELVES from the marketing and merchandising tie-ins. They still have their 616 mainstays (and Cinematic Universe, now) to grace toys and lunchboxes, but they have Ultimate as this great playground in which they can write freely without worrying about not being able to sell t-shirts with the new Spider-Man on them, or market backpacks with the now-defunct Fantastic Four. They've got free reign to do ANYTHING to the characters, and it's a fun ride!

Yeah, it gets weird and stupid sometimes, but even when it does they continue to live with the mistakes and missteps. They write from that point and fix things in-story, instead of just starting over.

DC would be amazing if they had a line like that. As a writer, I'd love to be allowed to play in that universe. Let me kill off Lex Luthor and replace him with Bruce Wayne. Let me give Barry Allen an inoperable brain tumor. Let me wipe out STAR Labs and set Doomsday loose on Earth after Superman is already dead. Let me wipe out the Metal Men and Doom Patrol and NEVER BRING THEM BACK. Let me have Vandal Savage's plans have LASTING, LONG-TERM EFFECTS. Let me allow characters to get old, get sick, retire, and die.

Permanency. Consequences. Story progression.

DC has tried many of the above story ideas in Elseworlds and one-shots, but they never make them last. They never go on from there. It's always "Well, that was a cool hypothetical question. Now back to the way things always were."

That's what I meant with my statement above: Don't just replace Kal-El with Kal-El. Replace Kal-El with someone we've never seen before. And make it remain canon.
 
2013-05-06 11:33:12 PM
ZeroCorpse:

Warning. Wall-o-text again.

You're taking my rule too far. I didn't mean you couldn't have SIMILAR characters based on old ideas. I meant you couldn't take Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, etc. and just make the "newer, hipper" versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, etc.

Thinking of Zorro and coming up with Batman? No problem there. That's actually writing.


Taking Superman and "reinventing" or reinterpreting him with a slightly new costume and barely-modified origin, switching his job from "reporter" to "blogger" to make it updated, cool and hip? That's what I don't want to see. That's what I was talking about when I said, "No taking long-standing characters and 're-inventing' them with the same names, similar powers, hip new lingo, and a different costume."

Didn't your "wish list" for the DC universe basically include the abolition of every legacy character since the Golden Age?  No Flashes past Jay Garrick, no Lanterns past Alan Scott, etc.  Those are characters with "the same names, similar powers, and a different costume" - and they were all great additions to the DC universe.  Maybe I'm misunderstanding what exactly you're looking for - I mean, let's face it, DC's new 52 is terrible, really terrible. I'm not going to argue with you there - but you seem to be looking for something quite radically different.

If you want to make a new character based on Superman, that's fine. That's how we get the Captain Marvels, Hyperions, and others of that ilk. But taking Superman and just tweaking him slightly and introducing him as a "hip new direction" or "re-interpretation" of Superman? Don't do that.

Then we wouldn't get excellent stories like "Superman: Red Son" or "The Dark Knight Returns."  Some of the best writing that DC has done has come from taking those characters in different directions/re-interpreting them.

Yes, Marvel Ultimate did that, but they did it in a better way.

This sounds to me like you're okay the actual practice of "re-interpreting" characters, so long as it's executed properly.

The Marvel Ultimate Universe keeps moving forward and doesn't reset shiat. People die, and they're just replaced after that; No retcons or reset buttons. DC could never do this.

Marvel also maintained the Ultimate line side-by-side with the rest of their books.  They didn't stop publishing "traditional" Spidey in favor of Ultimate Spidey (who was really great).  And while we're on the subject of Spider-Man, I find it hard to believe that you can look me in the eye and tell me that Marvel doesn't do retcons or push reset buttons after Brand New Day and One More Day - we're talking about one of the most hamfisted, character-defiling retcons in the history of comics here.  And how about House of M where Marvel decided it needed to thin the ranks of a bunch of mutants because it had added WAY too many to keep track of?  Marvel is every bit as guilty of this as DC.

That's what I like about the Ultimate line-up. They don't f♥ck around when they change or kill off characters. Peter Parker is DEAD. Janet Van Dyne is DEAD. The Blob is DEAD. Wolverine is DEAD. Cyclops is DEAD. Magneto is DEAD. Nightcrawler is DEAD.  And they've all stayed dead.Instead of finding some stupid way for Wolverine to come back to life, for example, they wrote up a whole new character: A son (and it's not Daken!) To carry on the Spider-Man tradition, they created a whole new character: Miles Morales. To continue the X-Men, they brought in new characters and promoted old ones. To continue the Ultimates, they created all-new characters and they always bury their dead for good.

And a lot of the writing in the Ultimates series was pretty weak.  Wolverine was a freaking pedophile, for crying out loud.

DC could really benefit from that sort of re-inventing. They sometimes play with it for a while (Dick as Batman) but then they hit that big old reset button and everything is back to normal. Superman didn't die. Batman didn't die. Hal Jordan didn't die. Everything goes back to the way it was.  You will NEVER see any of the main JLA members die for good, and that's why they're all getting so damned boring.

In the Ultimate Universe, Reed Richards went totally off the reservation and became a major villain-- And he stayed that way. The Fantastic Four is broken apart. Sue's hanging around with the Ultimates. Johnny's hanging around with the X-Men. Ben isn't rocky anymore-- he's a glowing purple energy being, and he and Sue are a couple. Captain America is the President. The nation has just been through a real civil war and several states dropped out. Billions worldwide were killed over the past year.  And this all remains canon!


Your rubric for storytelling seems to rely pretty heavily on "how many characters get killed/crapped on" and "how many characters become evil"  This isn't Game of Thrones, these are comic books we're talking about - ongoing serialized adventures of colorful costumed heroes.

Now, wouldn't it be cool if DC had the balls to turn Batman truly evil, making him the JLA's honest-to-goodness arch enemy?


They did.  He was called Owlman, and it was pretty cool.

And wouldn't it be game-changing if he decided he had to take Superman off the board, and so he honestly, truly, without any take-backs, KILLS him?  How about having this evil Batman wipe out Metropolis? I mean, actually kill 75% of the population including the superheroes who show up to try to rescue people? Kill off bunches of B & C-listers in one stroke. Maybe even take out a couple of A-listers?

And now we're back to "omg wouldn't it be great if they KILLED A BUNCH OF PEOPLE?"  A lot of us LIKE these characters.  We don't WANT to see them die - we want to see them fight evil and win.

It's just such a let-down when they do character deaths in the main Marvel or DC lineups (More so in DC, because they keep resetting all of reality. Marvel just resets individual moments, not all of reality.)

Here's your solution: when a character that you like dies in the comics, just stop reading those books.  Boom!  You've just blocked any retcons, and now you get to go enjoy other comics.

DC would be amazing if they had a line like that. As a writer, I'd love to be allowed to play in that universe. Let me kill off Lex Luthor and replace him with Bruce Wayne. Let me give Barry Allen an inoperable brain tumor. Let me wipe out STAR Labs and set Doomsday loose on Earth after Superman is already dead. Let me wipe out the Metal Men and Doom Patrol and NEVER BRING THEM BACK. Let me have Vandal Savage's plans have LASTING, LONG-TERM EFFECTS. Let me allow characters to get old, get sick, retire, and die.

Seriously, man - every single "contribution" you would make to comics is to wreak death, destruction, and misery on characters that you allegedly love.  That's kind of messed up.  You're not *really* talking about Batman growing old and dying - you're talking about him going nuts and WIPING OUT OTHER HEROES.  That's your vision - death, misery, despair.  Let me tell you pal, we've been through that: it was called the nineties, and we've gotten over it.

Permanency. Consequences. Story progression.

DC has tried many of the above story ideas in Elseworlds and one-shots, but they never make them last. They never go on from there. It's always "Well, that was a cool hypothetical question. Now back to the way things always were."


And what's wrong with that?  You admit that DC is doing the things you want them to do, but it's somehow not good enough for you because they won't throw beloved characters on the trash heap for good?

That's what I meant with my statement above: Don't just replace Kal-El with Kal-El. Replace Kal-El with someone we've never seen before. And make it remain canon.

That's ridiculous, and I'll tell you why: people LOVE these characters.  They want to continue reading about them for years to come.  Sure, there's going to be a lot of crap stories along the way, but 90% of everything is crap.  And in the midst of all the chaff, they still produce some great alternate interpretations of those characters - I've listed quite a few in this thread.  Seek those out and read them, if you want.  But it's selfish to expect publishers to just throw away beloved characters just because you want to read different stories.  If you want to read something other than Superman, pick up a copy of Nightwing (what's that, you say?  A DC sidekick character who went on to become his own unique hero, thus progressing as a character without a reboot?  Heresy!) or Before Watchmen or ANY OTHER BOOK.  I mean, this is literally only a problem for you - you don't want to read about Superman anymore?  Then stop reading Superman comics!  It's so simple, Joe Quesada could even figure it out.
 
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