Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

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Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Thu May 14, 2015 4:27 pm

We all knew DC's Convergence series was just a two month event while DC relocated, but was it actually more than that? Justice League #40 (which a friend kindly sent me) somewhat unexpectedly took a detour away from the League to show us Metron revealing that all the previous DC timelines (and the Crises which ended them) still existed and he could see all of them, before having him confront the Anti-Monitor, who we are told has been destroying reality only for it to be recreated as part of an endless cycle. We were also told that since Flashpoint, the new timeline has failed to properly "solidify", presumably explaining the numerous continuity errors which everyone on the internet has been complaining about since 2011. So, is the New 52's time now up? Will the former DCU, or the original multiverse, be back in DC's 80th year?


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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Thu May 14, 2015 5:53 pm

tony ingram wrote: So, is the New 52's time now up? Will the former DCU, or the original multiverse, be back in DC's 80th year?

Very unlikely. Too few old fans to make it worth doing. This is what I hated about Zero Hour, too, they were hinting at a return of the multiverse (Hal's dialogue, especially) but it never happened.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Thu May 14, 2015 6:19 pm

Maybe. But apparently, despite low orders in the comic stores, the Convergence books have performed surprisingly well digitally...

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Thu May 14, 2015 11:47 pm

tony ingram wrote:the Convergence books have performed surprisingly well digitally...

Which makes me think it's NOT older fans buying them. They don't seem to like digital, overall.

Me, I'd be happy for DC to open it's stories to any era. But, that isn't likely. And I get why, but there is a lot of material I'd be happy to pay to get reprinted, either print or digital.

I keep waiting for DC to do what Marvel has been doing and selling subscriptions to a digital library of their material. I'd pay for that.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Fri May 15, 2015 6:52 am

It'll happen, I'm sure. DC just seem to be slow catching up with Marvel on stuff like that.
I do agree it's probably younger readers who've been buying the Convergence stuff, which makes me hopeful DC will rethink the viability of those characters and eras.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Fri May 15, 2015 11:04 pm

tony ingram wrote:which makes me hopeful DC will rethink the viability of those characters and eras.

Do you think it's less the characters (or the particular versions) who strike people as viable than that good creators? That is, even a boring one-note character can be seen as viable (interesting?) if the creators make them so.

I LOVE the pre-COIE versions of most of the characters, they're the ones I think of as "mine". I would love to see more of them. But, I just doubt it. And 30 years on, I've learned to live with it.

Plus, I STILL have problems with DC.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Sat May 16, 2015 7:13 am

I haven't been reading DC since 2011 so I can't judge the creators, but I still think that characters like Superman or Flash (Jay or Barry) work better if not too far removed from their roots. I don't think the realistic, Marvelized approach (which works fine for Marvel) really suits a lot of DC characters.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Wed May 20, 2015 5:33 pm

tony ingram wrote:I don't think the realistic, Marvelized approach (which works fine for Marvel) really suits a lot of DC characters.

Having seen Man of Steel, I'm inclined to agree. But, I would think a good writer could change my mind. It would be hard, but possible.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Wed May 20, 2015 6:03 pm

Superman is the perfect example. He's an iconic character, but really, more icon than character. He is essentially a simplistic character representing the best aspects of humanity. Trying to make him too human and too flawed just detracts from what made him popular in the first place.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Wed May 27, 2015 5:41 pm

It appears that the original multiverse is back, and so is every previous version of the DCU since COIE. Wow.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Thu May 28, 2015 4:46 pm

tony ingram wrote:It appears that the original multiverse is back, and so is every previous version of the DCU since COIE. Wow.

Someone spoiled that for me, but I haven't read the book yet. I let myself break my DC ban for Convergence, and I am going to read it soon as a whole.
So they now have access to tell stories from any point in DC's history?

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Thu May 28, 2015 4:57 pm

That seems to be the case. Though it's not very clear.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Fri May 29, 2015 9:00 pm

tony ingram wrote:That seems to be the case. Though it's not very clear.

That's what I've seen so far. Could be great. Glad to have been wrong on this one.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Fri May 29, 2015 9:34 pm

Predictably, a lot of people are claiming the fact that the older characters were shown as faded in the background means they've actually been erased and replaced by the newer ones.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:47 am

tony ingram wrote:Predictably, a lot of people are claiming the fact that the older characters were shown as faded in the background means they've actually been erased and replaced by the newer ones.

That was my initial thought, to be honest. I hope to be wrong, and what Didio has said makes me think I am wrong. Let's hope.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:49 am

tony ingram wrote:Justice League #40

Do you have a scan of the cover of that one? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:48 am

I'll upload one later, but it doesn't show much-just the faces of Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:02 pm

tony ingram wrote:I'll upload one later, but it doesn't show much-just the faces of Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor.

Sorry, never mind. I found it on Comixology. Interesting issue. I'll have to read more in depth later.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by PhantomRambler on Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:27 pm

Hmmm... catching up with things around here....
So, after all the promo about the New 52, it seems that DC is actually saying all its previous incarnations of the Mukltiverse are still around, but only being used on an occasional basis ?
It strikes me that re-presenting old characters and series may just be a way of maintaining copyright and a way of getting feedback on what their next tv/film attempt might be.
The Pre-crisis DVU always worked for me, the merger into a single Earth threw up as many inconsistencies as they were trying to resolve (did they ever straighten out the timeline for the various incarnations of Hawkman?)
i think I need a scorecard to work oput who's who/what's what in the latest version of the DCU.
It just seems to me that there have been too many mega-crossover universe-shattering maxi-series since CoIE, and made worse by the frequency with which they appear. These "events" have stopped being special.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:51 pm

I never had any issues with Hawkman's continuity post-Crisis, to be honest. Carter Hall was Hawkman from 1940 onwards, Katar Hol came later. Yes, it got a little complicated when the Hawkworld reboot happened, but all that it really meant was that Carter Hall had stayed active from 1940 until the first incarnation of the JLA, then ended up in Limbo with the JSA, and been briefly replaced by a Thanagarian spy claiming to be his son before Katar finally came along in the 90s. When Carter returned, he and Katar were briefly merged until Katar died and carter resumed his role as Hawkman.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by PhantomRambler on Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:46 pm

I bow to your knowledge of Hawklore, but I still think they never quite got it all together... Very Happy
Tim Truman did the Hawkworld series didn't he? I was always quite impressed by "The Kents" series he did that dealt with the ancestry of Kal-El's foster father.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:02 pm

I liked Truman's Hawkworld, but DC did cause unnecessary complications by making it a full-on reboot of the character instead of just the Hawkman: Year One that it was originally intended to be. And people will persist in thinking of the Hawkworld version as the "post Crisis Hawkman", despite the fact that it was published over three years after Crisis and the Silver Age version had featured in a 17 issue ongoing series in the meantime...

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:37 pm

tony ingram wrote:And people will persist in thinking of the Hawkworld version as the "post Crisis Hawkman", despite the fact that it was published over three years after Crisis and the Silver Age version had featured in a 17 issue ongoing series in the meantime...

As someone who both enjoyed COIE and thought it entirely unnecessary (I thought it was fun showing ALL the characters, and I never had trouble figuring out who went where and didn't care when writers mixed that up) I think DC should have just rebooted ALL their books. I know why they didn't, they weren't going to risk losing readers who'd been reading the books which sold (like Titans, which is really funny in one way) but there was no coherent resolution and THAT was the very thing they said they were after.
And it made things even murkier.
Then again, I'm not big on strict continuity. Never have been.
Also, Hawkman never did confuse me. They changed him, which they've done more than once on a lot of characters.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:47 pm

"Not...big on...strict cont-t-t..."
no, I'm sorry, it does not compute. I think I need to lie down... Shocked

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:06 am

tony ingram wrote:I think I need to lie down... Shocked

First thought was, Sorry! I hope you're ok soon.

tony ingram wrote: it does not compute.


And the second was did you know you can probably blame Julie Newmar for this phrase? Supposedly it comes from her character on My Living Doll. Which is an ok sitcom, actually. Not great but worth watching.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:02 am

I've never heard of it...

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:57 pm

tony ingram wrote:I've never heard of it...

The DVD of the first few are out, so I'm guessing a lot got pulled from Youtube, but this was up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ShixDbF_js

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:05 pm

Mbast1 wrote:
tony ingram wrote:I've never heard of it...

The DVD of the first few are out, so I'm guessing a lot got pulled from Youtube, but this was up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ShixDbF_js
Hmm. I now understand why I've never heard of it. I do find it quite funny that Julie Newmar, despite playing the title character, is only "also starring", while the main credit goes to some bloke...

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:20 pm

tony ingram wrote:Hmm. I now understand why I've never heard of it. I do find it quite funny that Julie Newmar, despite playing the title character, is only "also starring", while the main credit goes to some bloke...

At the time the "star" Bob Cummings was really a big star and she was brand new. It was built for him, and when he quit it only lasted a bit longer.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:58 pm

I've never heard of him. What else did he do?

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:27 pm

tony ingram wrote:I've never heard of him. What else did he do?

I have only seen a couple of episodes, but he had his own show in the 50s. It also starred Ann B. Davis (Alice from The Brady Bunch), Dwayne Hickman (Dobie Gillis) and Nancy Kulp (Miss Jane from The Beverly Hillbillies). Some of that is on DVD, but only because it lapsed into public domain.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cummings

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:29 pm

PhantomRambler wrote:So, after all the promo about the New 52, it seems that DC is actually saying all its previous incarnations of the Mukltiverse are still around, but only being used on an occasional basis ?

Not sure how this is going to play out, really. Apparently COIE was NOT completely undone, according to a blurb I read from the writer, and there was talk of the old multiverse evolving into the current one, but who knows? I would love to be able to see new stories of (for example) the Bronze Age Superman, but it's been 30 years. I honestly don't know that I care any more.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:30 pm

I'm not familiar with Dobie Gillis, either, or any of those actors. I vaguely remember The Brady Bunch. That was shown in the early evening over here in the 70s.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:33 pm

Mbast1 wrote:
PhantomRambler wrote:So, after all the promo about the New 52, it seems that DC is actually saying all its previous incarnations of the Mukltiverse are still around, but only being used on an occasional basis ?

Not sure how this is going to play out, really. Apparently COIE was NOT completely undone, according to a blurb I read from the writer, and there was talk of the old multiverse evolving into the current one, but who knows? I would love to be able to see new stories of (for example) the Bronze Age Superman, but it's been 30 years. I honestly don't know that I care any more.
The writer seems to be indicating that despite that rather confusing two page spread which appeared to show the older characters evolving into newer versions, every past incarnation of every character is now available to the writers. I notice Hypertime has reared its head again, too...

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:55 pm

tony ingram wrote:The writer seems to be indicating that despite that rather confusing two page spread which appeared to show the older characters evolving into newer versions, every past incarnation of every character is now available to the writers. I notice Hypertime has reared its head again, too...

I like Hypertime.

And then, there's this:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/didio-talks-post-convergence-dc-we-should-always-be-looking-forward

"I always feel that we should always be looking forward. I feel very strongly about that. I think we have to be looking to the future. Instead of looking to the past of what we've done, I think we've got to embrace where we're heading, and what things might be coming in the future of our books and characters."

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:05 pm

Sounds like the same crap he's been spouting for the last few years, to me. Didio, whatever he says, has no respect for the past, or for the characters, stories and creative talent that made DC a success. But hopefully, someone above him will see the possibilities he's clearly still missing.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:23 pm

tony ingram wrote:Sounds like the same crap he's been spouting for the last few years, to me. Didio, whatever he says, has no respect for the past, or for the characters, stories and creative talent that made DC a success. But hopefully, someone above him will see the possibilities he's clearly still missing.

I don't know. I know I'm not the target audience for a lot of this, and that comics in general have to change and they DO have to focus on the future to survive. I just wish they'd stop pretending that older fans will get what they want (as when they played up Hal's remark about one universe not being enough in Zero Hour, or when they reintroduced "THE multiverse" in IC but a different one) when they know they won't. Fine, our time is done, move on. I get that MY Superman is done, except in re-reading, I'm ok with that.
But stop with the pretending.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:28 pm

It's called not having the courage of their convictions.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Sam_Vimes on Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:29 pm

tony ingram wrote:It's called not having the courage of their convictions.

Hear-freaking-hear.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:52 pm

Ah, well. there's always Batman '66, I suppose...

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Spektre on Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:20 am

tony ingram wrote:"Not...big on...strict cont-t-t..."
no, I'm sorry, it does not compute. I think I need to lie down... Shocked

Exactly.

Continuity is, or it is not.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:52 am

And if it is not, there is chaos.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:20 pm

tony ingram wrote:And if it is not, there is chaos.

I disagree. For a time those fans who need that kind of strict continuity could be served, because of the direct market. When you can be sure that readers have access to all the necessary issues you can do long-form stories and build those from that kinds of strict continuity. But that's just not the case any more. Too few fans there, and many of the modern ones seem both more casual and more likely to pick up just the things that tell the stories they like.
So, I think, we're back to the kind of situation we had decades ago. Where, for example, on Star Trek you had a loose continuity between episodes but the network still wanted it to be open to new people dropping in. So if one episode contradicted another it didn't matter if it were in a small way. As long as the over-arching character traits stayed the same little things could come and go.
So, within the publisher's line you can have books which are very strict on continuity because they expect a reader to either stick with them for a long time or be willing to go back and find out what is going on (for instance the old LoSH), but they can't do that for everything. One of the reasons I've heard many times and even felt to some degree myself is that this obsession with a strict continuity makes it hard for new readers. And that's what publishers need right now.
I just don't think that every book a publisher has (even in a shared universe) should line up with every other, across both the line and time. I know some fans find that important, but they're small in number and publishers can't cater to that any more. And, honestly, it doesn't matter to me, I am quite capable of enjoying stories that contradict each other, if they're not meant to be telling the same story. (Harry Potter vs. MASH or MacGyver). I'm NOT trying to insult fans who feel a need for that strictness. (Although I've been insulted more than once by them for not agreeing...) I just don't think publishers can survive by only aiming for that market.
I am not mixing up long-form storytelling and strict continuity, by the way, I know they're different, but I think they work together in some ways, and that they illustrate my point.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:36 pm

I don't really see why adhering to past continuity should necessarily put off new readers, as long as it's handled lightly and not continually thrust in readers' faces. If an event from a character's past is referenced, a new reader will not know if this is an actual past story or a new invention, whereas a longtime reader will, but so long as it's presented correctly (meaning not in a "you must have read these 119 previous issues in order to understand what we're talking about" way) it shouldn't affect anyone's enjoyment of the current story-so why contradict anything? I've always thought the real reason for throwing out continuity was to indulge lazy writers who don't like having to do research.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:02 pm

tony ingram wrote:I don't really see why adhering to past continuity should necessarily put off new readers

This is something a lot of long-term readers say and I think it's because they're not new to it themselves and most of us got into comics before the strict continuity of the late 70's and on took hold, so we knew a lot.
MANY new readers have said that that strict continuity is what causes them to not get into comics. Not only have I seen it on discussion boards (and heard it in real life) but I've seen professionals discussing how to deal with it.

tony ingram wrote:as long as it's handled lightly and not continually thrust in readers' faces.
The problem is that it often IS thrust in their faces. Both from the writers (face it, most comic writers just aren't that good) and from other fans. I've seen many a light discussion of comics devolve into angry screeds about how stupid some new reader is because they don't know why issue 40 of JLA contradicts issue 10 of Superman from decades before. (Yes, that is just a set of issues I pulled out of my hat...) That puts people off.

tony ingram wrote:If an event from a character's past is referenced, a new reader will not know if this is an actual past story or a new invention
And if it IS well-done that's fine. Doctor Who is great at this. But most comic writers don't do it with that kind of skill.
I had a long discussion (?) with Ron Marz and Kurt Busiek on Twitter about this years ago, and it was bizarre. Interesting right up until Marz pulled the saddest argument from authority I've ever seen. But, I digress...


tony ingram wrote:(meaning not in a "you must have read these 119 previous issues in order to understand what we're talking about" way) it shouldn't affect anyone's enjoyment

But it often does because you're often expected to have just that level of knowledge of the characters. Readers today have access to SO much material and other fans but comics writers (ok, superhero writers) often still try to shove it all into a story (I think in part because they know if they don't fandom will blow up at them) and it not only makes for clunky writing it makes the material chaotic. THAT is where I see the chaos, the attempt to wrangle too much into it.
Some writers can write fantastic stories where all parts of a character's past are kept the same, where they can put in Easter Eggs for old readers without stopping the flow of the story (actually one of my favorite things about the current Flash tv show is exactly this). Many either can't or don't bother.

tony ingram wrote:so why contradict anything?
Given the length of some character's histories I doubt you can NOT contradict something. To me, and this is entirely my own preference, as long as the major points are kept I don't care if there's a minor contradiction as long as it's a good story. Which, I know, some people will say can't happen, but I think it can. I honestly know so little about the geography of New York that I can read a Spiderman story where it shows he's from Queens or the Bronx and it wouldn't mean a thing to me if it weren't where he'd been from prior. I wouldn't care, and it wouldn't affect my enjoyment in any way.

tony ingram wrote:I've always thought the real reason for throwing out continuity was to indulge lazy writers who don't like having to do research.  

Lots of fans seem to feel that way. I don't agree, but I'm sure some of that is because I don't much care. I don't find it "lazy" to not research 30-50 years of stories for minor details. I just don't.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:19 pm

I might agree with that if it were still 1985, or whatever-the sheer difficulty of doing such research was part of why both Marvel and DC put together their Handbook projects back then, after all, to make things easier-but we now live in an age where information is readily available at the click of a mouse. Want to know the history of a character who first-and, indeed, last-appeared in 1975? Just Google the name. So why not do it?

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:32 am

tony ingram wrote:Want to know the history of a character who first-and, indeed, last-appeared in 1975? Just Google the name. So why not do it?

To the extent knowing a character's history helps a story, the research IS easy to do, I agree. But it's the "why" that I don't get. If you really know a character's history and want to use that to tell amazing stories (Alan Moore, Morrison, etc.) fine then do that. But I don't see why a writer needs to know every detail of every part of a character's history to tell a story.
I once read an interview with Frank Miller (decades ago, this was in print!) where he talked about just ignoring parts of history he didn't like when he wanted to tell a story. And I can see why. To me, the story I'm reading is what matters. Do I like IT? Do I not. If it connects to other things, cool, that can be fun. If not, I will be ok with it.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:23 am

I think I've just always been pretty obsessed with vast, complex fictional universes where everything links up with everything else, whether it's the old (ie until about 2005) Marvel Universe, the Doctor Who universe or, when I was a kid, Tolkien. When things stop linking up, it doesn't matter how well written the story is, it becomes disconnected for me and I can't enjoy it.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by Mbast1 on Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:00 pm

tony ingram wrote:I think I've just always been pretty obsessed with vast, complex fictional universes where everything links up with everything else, whether it's the old (ie until about 2005) Marvel Universe, the Doctor Who universe or, when I was a kid, Tolkien. When things stop linking up, it doesn't matter how well written the story is, it becomes disconnected for me and I can't enjoy it.

I love them, too. I think I know more about the Pre-Crisis DCU than I do the real world. And it's easier, because it's all made up. I get that. And I know it's personal taste. I'm not arguing that. I'm just saying 1) I don't NEED that kind of strict continuity 2) with the vastness of the stories told (number and kind) I think it's a hindrance and 3) it's also going to put off new people. That's the extent of my point, I think.

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Re: Is the Old DC Universe Returning at Last?

Post by tony ingram on Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:13 pm

Hmm, well, I think we'll have to agree to disagree. Although curiously, I read a lot of stuff from Dynamite, and their far looser approach to continuity bothers me not all-I suppose it comes down to what you're used to from certain properties.

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