Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Different World

The death of the original Supergirl was the death of innocence in the DC Universe, in the same span as the death of the original multiverse. 'Cleaning up the continuity', they called it. Ha, it's all come back in one form or another, except for the innocence.

It's a different world, some might say.

All the more reason to give hope and heart.

Jim Mooney — iconic artist of the original Kara-El


Kid said...

I didn't much mind the first Crisis on Infinite Earths, Thom. The previous continuity had got a bit convoluted. Having said that, however, the best way to deal with it would have been to simply ignore what didn't seem to work. So, no more reference to Krypto, Streaky, Superhorse (or whatever it was called), etc.

Those who wanted to believe they were still around somewhere could do so, and those who wanted to think they didn't exist could do the same.

I've lost count of how many continuity changes they've had since; I've also lost interest. I can't remember the last time I regularly bought a DC comic, apart from the occasional reprint or special.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

The thing that bothered me most about the first crisis was the anhilation of Earth 2, essentially wiping away the golden age of DC as if it had never happened.

You make a really good point that they could've just ignored all of it, until and unless writers could make good use of the characters and plotlines.

Almost everything from the pre-crisis days has emerged in some form anyway, so what was the point except to make it more complicated than ever?

I understand how editorial feel they need to update their characters every generation to keep them fresh for new and old readers. They just need to be smarter in their innovations.

Kid said...

I think it was mainly a way of getting increased media attention and making money off the back of the books.

Incidentally, when Denny O'Neil wrote Superman for the brilliant 'Kryptonite Nevermore' series back at the start of the '70s, he adopted the 'ignore it' technique. I think he (or another writer at around the same time) dismissed Krypto by having Superman say he was off exploring in space somewhere - result? No more sign or mention of Krypto, allowing for a less juvenile style of storytelling.

That was the way to do it.

Hope you liked the plug over on my blog, Thom. You may get an extra visitor or two out of it - not that you need any more I'm sure.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

That is a helluva plug, Kid, thanks!

Yes, I thought of the Kryptonite Nevermore series as I was thinking about this whole subject. That was an excellent technique.

I know I've made a simplistic pitch about this complaint, 'cause I know that there are excellent people in the trade even today, and that they are working daily to be innovative and entertaining. I need to think this out more before proceeding with more commentary.

Kid said...

Excellent people I'm sure, but perhaps not best-suited to the medium of comicbooks. A lot of current comics seem to a frame-by-frame print-out of a movie, as if those involved are pitching them to any movie-executives that may be out there.

And, if you don't want even a fraction of the vilification that I've come in for from some quarters, Thom, then you'll have to chose your words very carefully indeed. In fact, so carefully that you might dilute what you're trying to say to a level that doesn't make it worth the effort.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Yes, Kid, I'm aware of that problem of dilution. That's why I would like to hear the pros and cons of the issue from others, the young and the old.

Are modern comics really enjoyable—enough to still be enjoyable 20 or 30 or 40 years from now? If so, why so—if not, why not?

Kid said...

That's a big question. I know of one thirteen year old kid who enjoys one modern comic in particular ('though he's a bit star-struck from Tweeting with some of the artists), but his all-time favourite comic (so far) is one that ceased publication nearly twenty-two years ago.

People will develop a taste for burgers if that's all that's ever put in front of them. They can't compare them to steak if they've never tasted it.

Not a perfect analogy, but I'm sure you can see what I'm trying to say.

Modern comics seem to have their fans, but in much smaller numbers than was the case back in our day. Of course, there are other reasons to be taken into account when trying to determine the reasons for decreased sales, but the perceived lack of quality must surely be one of them.

Norman said...

Can I ask Thom, where did this appear? It's Mooney, but strange looking for Mooney.
P.S. I agree about the innocence being lost around that time

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Norman, that is a specialty drawing circulating in fandom, created by Mooney toward the end of his life, long after he had ceased creating her regular adventures. It's strange looking because the proportions are so exaggerated. But it certainly is iconic though.

Norman Boyd said...

Thanks Thom