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?


SallyP said...

DC does seem to just be flailing around lately. It has a truly magnificent history and a vast number of great characters...which for some reason, it is desperately trying to pretend never existed. I wish that they would just embrace their continuity and consider it to be the great asset that it IS... rather than an embarrassment.

Madman said...

I could not agree more. DC had such a rich history and wonderfully interesting characters. Moreover, leveraging those heroes provided a much-needed counterpoint to the "superheroes have to be teenagers" meme in comics.

But, no, DC had to go and flush all this history away for reasons that are, as yet, unexplained. It was stupid, and a waste.

Yes, this denial of history -- which in general requires continual reboots -- is perhaps the main reason that I have stopped buying much in the way of comics.

Martin Gray said...

I'm with the choir, DC had something amazing with its legacy of heroism, whether pre-Crisis on several worlds, or post-Crisis, on one. How many times have they got to go back on the decision to, say, eliminate the original JSA, before realising that celebrating the first generation is a good thing, a necessary thing?

And that recent Invaders series by James Robinson and Steve Pugh was an underrated gem. Just don't look at John Cassaday's Human Torch figurework...

Madman said...

Completely agree with the other posters. I absolutely loved the All-Star Squadron and, to a lesser extent, Infinity Inc. But somehow, this group was just not hip enough or was confusing or interfered with finding younger audiences. So, they were just dumped.

It started with the Crisis in the 1980s when it was decided that the Earth 2 concept was just too confusing to DC's delicate readers. But now Earth 2 is back, but without the rich history -- it's just another reboot.

And, yes, that is why I have pretty much dumped comics, particularly DC comics. It's hard to invest in a character when that character could completely change.

Sad, really