Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tales From The Quarter Bin--DC's Lost Generation!

Would you like to know the difference between DC and Marvel right now?

Take a gander at this double-page spread (which I am too incompetent to present properly...) from DC Sampler #1 (1983):

Holy schnikes! What a wonderful collection of characters!! Through their own creations and their Borg-like assimilation of the characters from other comic companies, DC boasts one of the deepest rosters of super-heroes imaginable! Hell, even that stunning tableau is only a tiny percentage of the classic heroes DC has available:

But how many of them "exist" today?!? How much of their heritage has DC flushed away in an attempt to be modern?

DC has altered their timeline so that now, no heroes fought in WWII. There are no legacy heroes. For some reason, that would be distracting or confusing. Nope, no heroes until 5 minutes years ago. No history. No legacy.

And even the ones they've "revived" for Earth-2 are in another dimension, and are even younger than Earth-Prime's heroes, and a few of them they've even made villains, because that's cooler or something. These guys even let their homeworld be blown up, so, hardly the Justice Society there.

Meanwhile, there's Marvel:

Man, I'll never get tired of that cover...

Marvel also had a buncha characters who battled in WWII. But you know what?

Instead of putting these characters out to pasture, they're still here, still fighting.

Yeah, it defies all sense of probability and logic that pretty much all of the Invaders would still be alive today. But really, isn't it better that way?

Some characters have been updated, there's some legacy heroes, but they're basically the same heroic group as in the past. And you know what? Marvel didn't see fit to pretend that their history never happened, that all of these characters didn't fight the Nazis.

Modernization without denying/eliminating the past?? Someone please tell DC that's still possible.

I'm not sure exactly when DC became ashamed of their past. Or when they decided that the public would hate and fear their heroes, so they couldn't have them do anything that might make make them popular, like, oh, I dunno, punching Hitler in the jaw?!?

Man, whoever thought that Marvel would become better at legacy heroes than DC?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tales From The Quarter Bin--Wither War Comics?!?

Remember when the comic companies used to publish war comics?

DC once thought it was a shootin' offense to not be putting out good war comics:

Wow...modern DC executives better hope that failing to give the readers what they want is no longer a firing squad offense...

It is curious...war comics were once all the vogue, even into the mid-1980s. DC was obviously proud that they were still cranking out Sgt. Rock and the Haunted Tank et. al.

All that changed post-Crisis. And I shouldn't single out DC--Marvel hopped off the war comic bandwagon a lot earlier than the Distinguished Competition.

I'm sure part of it was that WWII was more and more remote, and more recent wars were more problematical from a "will they audience accept this war as moral and necessary" angle. War comics are easy when you can make Nazis the villain; not so easy when you've got to portray enemy troops of other races and cultures and not offend anyone.

I don't have any really brilliant thoughts or ideas here...I just found it interesting that 30-odd years ago, DC was proud of their war comics, and sold them fairly hard. Times change...

From DC Sampler #1 (1983), by these guys:

Tales From The Quarter Bin--How To Promote The Legion Of Super-Heroes!

It's now been over two years since DC published a continuing Legion Of Super-Heroes title (not counting the recent Convergence tie-in, because, really now...Convergence.).

Back in the halcyon days of 1983, DC understood something fundamental about promoting the Legion Of Super-Heroes:

The Legion incorporates/intersects with every part of the DC Universe, and with every style/genre of comics. There's no need to re-focus or reboot the Legion--just pick the story you want to tell, and tell it.

Don't worry about the "too large a cast of characters"--good gosh, the X-Men can remain popular despite that "handicap." How many Avengers are there these days? The large cast isn't a bug--it's a feature!

Don't worry about "too complex a back-story or continuity"--heavens, that's not stopping DC from running promoting Justice League 3000, is it? Besides, being set a thousand years in the future, if you've got a smart editorial team, you can pretty much ignore any events/continuity you want to. Dismiss it with a "records from that era were all lost!" aside...and just tell stories.

Teenagers with superpowers form a club to fight evil in the future--by Rao, what part of that is too difficult to grok?

From DC Sampler #1 (1983)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Apparently, Themyscira Doesn't Have The 5th Amendment!

Diana has stopped a wicked warlord from a little wanton misadventure...

Wait wait wait. One more time with that?

Really? The Lasso Of Truth is recognized in international court? There is no right against self-incrimination, no right not to testify against yourself? You can force people to speak "absolute truth" against their wills? The "magic" of the "gods" can overrule fundamental human rights?

I gotta say, I'm a little bit uncomfortable with that, Diana...

From Sensation Comics (digital edition) #48 (2015)

Monday, August 31, 2015

Manic Monday Triple Overtime--When The Cover Is The Spoiler!

Great cover...

But is it a spoiler? Because this exact scene is (at greater length) the climax of the first story in this issue:


So, minus points for being a total spoiler. But plus points for not being a lying cover--the scene actually occurs! More plus points for being a more economical version of the story? Still--total frakkin' spoiler, right?

I give up--what do you think?

From Airboy #61 (1949)

Manic Monday Bonus--Quick, Robbie, To The Bugle-Mobile!!

Most people don't realize the coolest thing about being the publisher of The Daily Bugle...

You get to go booming around town in the Bugle-Mobile!!

Delay justice! Help criminals escape! There's no limit to someone can accomplish when they have...The Bugle-Mobile!!

From Amazing Spider-Man #70 (1969)!