Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Obsessive?

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Normally, I would be writing the review of Green Lantern Corps, but a comment in yesterday's reviews has given me food for thought.  I was doing my usual deeply moving review of my recent comic book purchases.  You may not personally agree with my remarks, which is perfectly fine.  Sometimes I'm thrilled, sometimes I am not...so thrilled.  But I love my books, and I try to say what it is that I do and do not like. 

Anonymous...and it is ALWAYS an Anonymous was pissy because apparently I had been moaning once again about the OLD Continuity, and how I miss it.

Have I really been doing that too much? 

Continuity is a tricky business.  I can certainly understand that it is both a blessing and a curse to the writers.  On the one hand, there is this enormously rich and convoluted history that makes up the background to your characters.  The groundwork has already been laid by the countless creators and writers before you, each one adding or subtracting, giving nuances, new events, new twists on old themes, and so on.  It can be comforting in a way.  But I can also see that for a bright new writer, all of that history can also be seen as an anchor.  An Albatross around the neck of wonderful new possibilities.  A new writer can want to come in and put THEIR stamp on this character...sweep away all that historical underbrush and start anew!

DC has a certain track record when it comes to dealing with their 70 plus years of history.  The original Infinite Crisis was an attempt to deal with all the convoluted things that had been added over the years.  To this day, people are divided over whether or not it worked as it should have.  And as always, I can say that in some ways yes..and in some ways no.

We comic book fans are an odd bunch.  And by that, I must include other fans of other genres.  Can you imagine the howl that would go up if they tried to completely wipe out the history of Star Trek for example?  The new series was a clever way to write new stories, and to update those stories for a new younger audience...but they didn't just take away all that had gone so boldly before.  They embraced it, and included it...and the story is better for it.  The same thing applies to Star Wars.  There are all kinds of new tales now, and a history that has been inserted into the backstory...sometimes deftly, and sometimes less so...but still, those first three movies are still the lodestone of the entire franchise.

So...impelled by the need to punch things up...to compete with Marvel, to attract a newer younger audience, or simply because they were bored....the Powers That Be at DC, decided to toss aside all those precious years and years of Continuity.  Oh, they kept bits here and there.  You can't toss ALL the babies with the Bathwater!  And I will freely admit that some of that old stuff is pretty ridiculous really.  Do we REALLY want to admit that Hal flew around with a baby space alien on his shoulder for a while?  Or that Hawkman has been five different people or something?  There are certainly a lot more examples.

And yet...and yet, I can't help but love my old Continuity.  I spent a LOT of money and a LOT of years learning that Continuity.  To this day, I freely admit that I don't know all of it, and I am constantly surprised by things...which is part of the fun, frankly.  Maybe it is because I was a History Major in collge.  But when the company comes along and says, thanks, but everything you knew is wrong, and never happened, and look, Superman is wearing a collar and no red pants now...it is hard to just meekly shut up and go along.

Oh, I'm still buying some of the books.  And I will also freely admit that some of the books have been pretty good.  But...no Lois and Clark?  Batman has gone through four Robins in four years?  They're not disposable Bruce!  Kyle and Soranik were never an item?  Kyle and Jade were never an item?  Guy didn't have a horrific childhood...just an average one, with vague feelings of discontent?  Did Parallax even happen?  No Justice Society, no Wally, no Donna, no Stephanie, no Cass, no Ralph and Sue, No Ted Kord.  J'onn J'onnz is scary now insead of endearing.  Wonder Woman is actually pretty fabulous, but her entire history is wrong and they killed Hippolyta AGAIN!  No Wildcat...and that's just wrong.  No boob window for Peej. 

God, there was probably no Kari Limbo. 

And everyone...EVERYONE is young and in their mid-twenties or something.  THERE IS NO MA HUNKEL!

And that's just wrong.

So...am I being obsessive, as Anonymous says...or am I merely being petulant?  You Choose!

 photo tumblr_mhgsyfVAiQ1rj0jkwo1_500_zpsa8308a12.png

Because without continuity, there probably wouldn't be stuff like this sort of thing going
on.  And that would be a shame.


At 7:28 AM, Blogger ShellyS said...

Maybe it's a generational thing, but I'm with you. Forget about what Anonymous said. You have a right to post on your blog the way you see fit about what you want to post, and if that's ranting or moaning or whatever about the loss of 70 years of continuity, so be it.

And this is why I insist that the current continuity is simply another universe, and our beloved ones are still out there because the multiverse lives and is more vast and varied than anyone could guess.

So keep doing what you've been doing and don't worry about any silly Anonymous. If people think you whine or obsess too much, they don't have to read your blog.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Thank you Shelly. Considering the new 52 as just another part of the Multiverse works for me too.

I do have a tendency to moan a lot sometimes, so I guess that can be annoying. But does anyone REALLY want to keep this little experiment going on forever?


At 9:43 AM, Blogger ShellyS said...

The crazy thing is, there are things I like about the new 52. There might not be a Lian Harper, but I'm liking this version of Roy. And Jason Todd is superior here to his earlier versions. So, we need a universe that's the best of all of them!

I figure we'll get another reboot in about 2-4 years. ;)

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Alex said...

You're no more obsessive than any other of us, including that anonymous who was obsessive enough to complain about you :-)
And it's YOUR Blog so write away!

I miss the old continuity as much as you, and that though I'm 25 and have been reading comics only since 2 years! But I borrowed a LOT of old stuff - even some of the Golden Age - and like it much better. My favorites are even the ones about legacies like JSA, Green Lantern or Starman.

Well many younger new readers seem to prefer the new version - which I think happens with every reboot, because people always like "their" heroes. And as Shelly said, there are even some decent ideas out there, which would be missed by their fans.

I sure could live with the multiverse compromise of it being on another earth - heck, isn't that the whole point about having multiple earths?
So I will think that all the history is somewhere out there till DC acknowledges that thought. Which I hope will happen in some crisis in one or two years.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Alex, there is some pretty decent stuff in the new 52. And you don't have to be old like me, to enjoy the old comics, so good for you!

It's true that I hate the new Jason a lot less than I hated the OLD Jason. And it's nice to have Roy with his arms and not crazy.

I miss Oracle though.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Shiraste said...

First, it's your blog so write about and rant on it in whichever way you want. No one is forced to read it after all.

For new readers or those casual readers who don't really have an encyclopedic knowledge of the old universe - like me - it's likely easier to get into the rebooted universe; and to check out characters you never really read before. Mitch Shelley was one of those for me and I'm still annoyed his book got canceled.

I mean I'm not a complete novice, I read various stuff here and there on and off. The only thing I actually follow regularly since several years is GL starting with Rebirth. This happened because a friend is a huge Hal fan and I got into it with the excellent stories following Rebirth.

Anyway, back to the point. For us it's fine because you don't get overwhelmed with huge amounts of background and references to this and that.
However, once I get into something, I want more, I want to explore back stories and how a character got to be where s/he is "now". That's sadly not really possible at this point.

For people who grew up with the old continuity it is likely a lot worse. For them it must be a bit like running into a brick wall; and there is the nostalgia factor. So I can certainly understand if there is ranting going on and I do NOT mind. I actually like to hear those more or less obscure tidbits of character history from time to time. It gives me incentive to look for old issues which are still new to me.

But I try to insulate the old from the new universes. It is not really fair to compare something a little over a year old with something that has 70 years of history under its belt. So the "alternate universe" way might be the best choice.

Hmmm... a longer read and probably less cohesive than I wanted to sound. Especially with my cat ambushing me midway. :P

At 1:32 PM, Blogger ShellyS said...

Damn, but I miss Oracle, too. That's why I haven't been able to read Batgirl. And because I miss Steph as BG.

I did hate the old Jason, to the point that I voted for him to die. I'm amazed that I like this version of him.

At 8:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's more than that. It's that some characters have been retconned out of existence, while others have been changed so much that there's nothing left but the name.

That means that for the distinct persona who existed for decades in comics, there's an end. They're done. There will be no more stories about them anymore.

I can't read DC comics anymore, because almost all my favorite characters are, well, gone.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger ShellyS said...

I mostly feel the same way, Anon. I really miss the old characters. The only reason I can read any of the new books is that I picked the characters I thought would be least likely to annoy me because I lost their "real" versions. And being such a Roy Harper fan, I had to try the book he appears in. The only reason I'm still reading the books I'm reading is because they're good. But you're right. They're not the same characters with the long, rich history.

At 9:35 PM, Blogger Jeff McGinley said...

I have to applaud your willingness to continue with the New 52, and find things to enjoy in it. I just dropped it (except Demon Knights, Paul Cornell writing Etrigan would be something I'd read even in a universe where everyone sits around and cuts their toenails all day.)

It's kind of like when a movie is made of a favorite book. Even if people who don't know the book can enjoy the film, its almost impossible for those who loved the book to ignore all the good stuff that is missing.

Somehow the soon to be gone Young Justice series managed to create a new DC universe that feels like it has the history intact, its a shame the comics don't.

At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Boosterrific said...

I know that I'm naturally a malcontent, but the New 52 offends me so greatly I would walk away from DC Comics without ever looking back if I wasn't committed to running a website devoted to Booster Gold, the one character who was explicitly implied to have survived FLASHPOINT intact.

I might be able to tolerate the reboot if the editors and publishers behind the New 52 didn't appear to be acting arbitrarily in selecting what would and would not be sacrificed from years of storytelling and character development (which we commonly shorten into the much-maligned word "continuity") without any obvious plan to replace it.

One of the things I like about this site is that you can find joy in the New 52 even if you haven't been able to fully embrace it yet. I keep hoping some of that will rub off on me. Thank you for that hope.

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the Mike Grell drawn Green Lantern backup stories in Flash's book are childhood favorites, especially the ones with itty the space alien!

Love your site, Just hadda stick up for the lil' fella...

Any thoughts about the upcoming artistic switch on all of the Lantern titles?

At 11:32 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Actually, I really don't mind Itty either...but you have to admit that it is a pretty bizarre concept.

Booster shows up...or at least is mentioned...every once in a while. Or just enough to give me a smidgeon of hope that there IS a backdoor exit to all of this. I also find a certain amount of evil satisfaction in the idea presented by Booster as a matter of fact...that the Superman/Wonder Woman love affair is WRONG!

I can understand that for a lot of people coming to the comics without as much baggage is a whole lot simpler. And yet...half of the fun to me, is searching through all of those old issues, or trades, or compilations, to find out just what it is, that everyone is so excited about...what MADE that new favorite character the way that he or she is. Yes, it can be expensive...but so satisfying!

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Bryan L said...

I've been reading comics for a very long time, and I'm pretty good about embracing change. I LIKED the "five years later" Legion. I like Miles Morales as Spider-man.

But a lot of the New 52 seems to be very spur-of-the-moment to me, rather than carefully thought out. I'm pretty sure there's no bible around the DC offices that has everything laid out coherently. I can't shake the sense that changes are being made simply because someone thinks they're "cool" as opposed to having a goal or purpose. Honestly, the title that I get the best sense of cohesiveness from is Earth 2, which is odd considering it's "outside" the 52 universe. Or maybe not so odd -- see my next paragraph.

Bottom line is that I feel like they rebooted to streamline things, but then didn't actually sit down and set up a streamlined universe. Except for Earth 2.

Now that said, I'm relaxed about it. I'm quite certain the old DC Universe is out there in the multiverse somewhere, and unlike Anonymous, I know it will be back one day (see: reading comics for a very long time). I think the primary reason DC hasn't embraced that is that they are waiting to get us "invested" in the new universe first, else we would all simply sit on our wallets and wait them out. Until it happens, though, I'll read the stuff that seems good, same as always.

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Alex said...

I second Bryans thoughts, especially the last paragraph.

The new 52 seem to me comparable of the changes in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" scale-wise.
I guess people then feeled something similar to what happens now.

In the next Crisis some of these changes got retconned because people complained. Then the NEXT Crisis after that retconned the multiverse into existing again (without counting every minor crisis event) ...

So yeah, I think DC just likes its backdoors and will always keep one open or create an new one.
All these events seem to be a bit tiring to me, but somehow I'm actually impressed how they manage to make up a loophole in-universe every time ^^.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

Bryan, you are preaching to the choir here. The whole reboot has indeed seemed so...arbitrary. Some stuff stays, some stuff goes, and there are MASSIVE contradictions that have to then be explained.

Perfectly good characters have been dropped by the wayside. Nobody knows what actually happened and what didn't. And frequently there just wasn't enough time for things to have happened, and yet still fall within the 5 year timeline.

It's...annoying. And I freely admit that there were things in the OLD Continuity that didn't make a whole lot of sense either, thus the whole reason for Infinite Crisis, Zero Hour, and so on and so forth.

It was messy. And yet, God help me, I loved it.


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