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(Slate)   Two grown men debate the canonicity and relevance of Krypto the Super-Dog   (slate.com) divider line 7
    More: Silly, Krypto the Super-Dog, dogs, Washington City Paper, relevance  
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1304 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 May 2013 at 12:50 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-05 02:12:25 PM
6 votes:
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 08:40:31 PM
1 votes:
//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 08:37:07 PM
1 votes:

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 08:28:04 PM
1 votes:

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 04:37:36 PM
1 votes:
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 03:57:15 PM
1 votes:
Krypto's death in "Whatever Happened..." was sadder than Gwen Stacy's death.
2013-05-05 12:58:12 PM
1 votes:
2.bp.blogspot.com

Super-er dog.
 
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