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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    It's kind of obvious, but the reason DC and Marvel based their cities on New York was because that's where the publishers were located. And it happened that a lot of writers, artists and editors were from that area, in the period from about 1935 - 1965. While others that came to work for the companies--and most had to live in the area for employment--fell in love with New York and wanted to use it as a backdrop for their stories.

    Even if versions of the citiy were later given fictitious names, the model was New York--for most comics in the 1940s. Gotham City started out as Manhattan in DETECTIVE COMICS. The Spirit was originally located in New York and New Jersey, but later that was changed to Central City. Captain Marvel surely is in New York City--not the much later invention of Fawcett City.

    I personally liked how the DC writers and artists used New York but then put it through a blender and came out with these oddball versions of New York landmarks. Even in the 1960s, more fictitious versions of New York were being created. I recall that Ralph and Sue Dibny visited Empire City twice and this was clearly yet another fictional New York.

    It did bother me, however, in the 1970s when New York itself featured more and more in the comics. Diana Prince lived in New York. Superman--in the Sand Superman Saga--has his final confrontation with the creature in Manhattan rather than in Metropolis. The Teen Titans moving to New York had me spitting teeth. With all the New York facsimiles, why was it necessary? The pretend versions gave the writers much more freedom. Were we really supposed to believe Titans Tower was in the East River where any New Yorker would see it?

    I do think that fans care about the cities. It was a fascination of mine as a little kid--when I believed Gotham City and Metropolis really did exist, as after all the concept of the United States of America was rather mythological to this Canadian boy. But even when fans grow up they invest a lot of time on theories about the cities and where they are located. Bob Rozakis based his stories about the Calculator in DETECTIVE COMICS on a fan-made map of the DC cities--so the crime spree was supposed to travel across America from city to city (it turned out that there was an error in this map).

    As for available real estate--I remember there was a map of the U.S. in one of the DC events (maybe it was Our Worlds At War) that made the States look much bigger and Canada much smaller--so that the 49th parallel was perhaps the 53rd parallel. Since Canada is hardly ever featured in the DC stories (even though the super-heroes must fly over it all the time), I theorized that the U.S. took over a lot of Canadian land in the DC history, giving room for all those extra cities. While Canadian cities that do show up in the DCU (only Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary with any frequency) are actually north of where they appear in reality, which accounts for why they're nothing like the real cities and why it's so cold and snowy most of the time in the DCU's version of Canada.
    So what if anyone can see Titans Tower. It isn't like that thing was designed to be inconspicuous.

  2. #77
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    In the future, people will regard Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as belonging to the mid-20th century. There will still be stories about them set in the present day (whatever the present day is at that time), but these will be seen as variant "what if" type stories and not the bona fide thing.

    Take for example, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. There have been plenty of stories about these characters that imagine IF they existed in the present day, but we know that the urtext isn't in the present day. We know that Dracula belongs to the late 19th century, Holmes belongs to the later Victorian period and Tarzan belongs to the first half of the 20th century.

    In part, the reason the vampire, the detective and the apeman belong to their respective eras is because that's where the stories work best. The 19th century is a time when it was possible for a vampire count to exist on the edges of European society. Scientific detection was in its infancy during the Victorian period, so a consulting detective could make his mark in England. A white man could have lived in the jungles of "darkest Africa" in the first half of the 20th century, with a species of great ape unknown now. It gets harder to make these characters work further and further into the futue, without giving up some of their distinguishing features. They seem more real in those earlier times, but they seem more fake in the present moment.

    In the same way, too many changes have to be made to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman for them to be part of the future. And even when they are imagined in that way, we know that this is just an imaginary exercise, the same way SHERLOCK is an imaginary exercise, in seeing how we can adapt the original stories to the current era.

    James Bond might be an example that is right on the knife's edge as we speak. Is he a contemporary character and do his new movies have the same authenticity as his earlier movies--or do we think of the new movies as simply adaptations of a story that rightfully belongs in the Cold War era?
    Last edited by Jim Kelly; 08-18-2018 at 07:57 AM.
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  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    In the future, people will regard Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as belonging to the mid-20th century. There will still be stories about them set in the present day (whatever the present day is at that time), but these will be seen as variant "what if" type stories and not the bona fide thing...
    Superman is only one on which I can agree with you. Technology can eclipse Superman in time. Social inequity might (and likely will) still be with us, calling for a champion, but the idea that it can be addressed through abilities like his may become unsupportable (unless superhero stories return to being tales for children).

    Wonder Woman is another story. Her myth may have power as long as power is allocated by gender, which might erode, but doesn't look to end as long as humans remain human.

    Batman is the most durable. As long as there are violent criminals with which society cannot adequately cope, and as long as humans are afraid of the dark, and as long as a writer can imagine technologies slightly better than what we have, there will be room for Batman. I don't see anything less than a Fall-of-Rome scale collapse of Western Civilization, or an evolution of civilization into something unrecognizable wiping him away.

  4. #79
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    Green Lantern creating complex machine constructs is dumb.

    Making shapes of light is fine, even (for example) projecting the image of a locomotive works. You can grasp the idea of his will to punch something manifesting as a heavy, speeding train in his imagination, and imposing such a form on the projected force.

    On the other hand, creating an mini-gun to shoot construct-bullets, complete with recoil and belt-fed ammo takes it too far. The concentration required to envision such a complex image would be a lot more than just a good old punch would take.

    I know artists like getting nuts with a ideas, and DC probably hopes to sell a passel of ring-construct toys, but it's bad for the concept and story.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Superman is only one on which I can agree with you. Technology can eclipse Superman in time.

    What?
    This is a fantasy thread so you can postulate whatever you want but you need to look into the physics to see what it would take to make a man invulnerable enough to fly into the sun.


    Social inequity might (and likely will) still be with us, calling for a champion,
    Maybe, but that guy was never Superman


    but the idea that it can be addressed through abilities like his may become unsupportable (unless superhero stories return to being tales for children).

    Wonder Woman is another story. Her myth may have power as long as power is allocated by gender, which might erode, but doesn't look to end as long as humans remain human.
    Despite the motivations to create this character, if that was what WW was about, it would have died in the first issue.


    Batman is the most durable. As long as there are violent criminals with which society cannot adequately cope, and as long as humans are afraid of the dark, and as long as a writer can imagine technologies slightly better than what we have, there will be room for Batman. I don't see anything less than a Fall-of-Rome scale collapse of Western Civilization, or an evolution of civilization into something unrecognizable wiping him away.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    In the future, people will regard Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as belonging to the mid-20th century. There will still be stories about them set in the present day (whatever the present day is at that time), but these will be seen as variant "what if" type stories and not the bona fide thing.

    Take for example, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. There have been plenty of stories about these characters that imagine IF they existed in the present day, but we know that the urtext isn't in the present day. We know that Dracula belongs to the late 19th century, Holmes belongs to the later Victorian period and Tarzan belongs to the first half of the 20th century.

    In part, the reason the vampire, the detective and the apeman belong to their respective eras is because that's where the stories work best. The 19th century is a time when it was possible for a vampire count to exist on the edges of European society. Scientific detection was in its infancy during the Victorian period, so a consulting detective could make his mark in England. A white man could have lived in the jungles of "darkest Africa" in the first half of the 20th century, with a species of great ape unknown now. It gets harder to make these characters work further and further into the futue, without giving up some of their distinguishing features. They seem more real in those earlier times, but they seem more fake in the present moment.

    In the same way, too many changes have to be made to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman for them to be part of the future. And even when they are imagined in that way, we know that this is just an imaginary exercise, the same way SHERLOCK is an imaginary exercise, in seeing how we can adapt the original stories to the current era.

    James Bond might be an example that is right on the knife's edge as we speak. Is he a contemporary character and do his new movies have the same authenticity as his earlier movies--or do we think of the new movies as simply adaptations of a story that rightfully belongs in the Cold War era?
    No one is going to see those characters as belonging to the mid-20th century as long as comics and related media keep writing them in contemporary times. No one sees Iron Man as a Vietnam era character and that's because the core of his story isn't confined to one time period.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrklyn View Post
    What?
    This is a fantasy thread so you can postulate whatever you want but you need to look into the physics to see what it would take to make a man invulnerable enough to fly into the sun.




    Maybe, but that guy was never Superman




    Despite the motivations to create this character, if that was what WW was about, it would have died in the first issue.
    What do you mean by the last two?
    Last edited by Agent Z; 08-18-2018 at 09:19 AM.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    I don't see anything less than a Fall-of-Rome scale collapse of Western Civilization, or an evolution of civilization into something unrecognizable wiping him away.
    It's not that Batman--or Superman or Wonder Woman--will go away, as long as their copyrights and trademarks remain viable (and maybe after that)--but they will be understood as belonging to the 20th century. People go on wearing V for Vendetta masks, but they know V belongs to the late 20th century and Guy Fawkes belongs to the early 17th century. People keep telling tales of Hercules, but they know he belongs to Ancient Greek mythology--even the Romans knew that (who changed the name from Heracles).

    It's like with Mickey Mouse. Disney may continue to use Mickey Mouse as a symbol but he's as much a part of 20th century pop culture as Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe.

    Even if you think that the Frank Miller version of Batman has made a more indelible impression than the Finger/Kane version--that's still a part of the 20th century. In fact, I'd say the more multiple versions of the character you make, the less strength those versions have--and just become iterations of a core concept that can be traced back to the first stories. And that gradual erosion, I think, wil have people considering Batman as an artifact of that earlier time. But one that you can revive and do new stories about.

    Then again, Batman might become so tired out that another iconic character replaces him and the Dark Knight becomes moribund.
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  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    It's not that Batman--or Superman or Wonder Woman--will go away, as long as their copyrights and trademarks remain viable (and maybe after that)--but they will be understood as belonging to the 20th century. People go on wearing V for Vendetta masks, but they know V belongs to the late 20th century and Guy Fawkes belongs to the early 17th century. People keep telling tales of Hercules, but they know he belongs to Ancient Greek mythology--even the Romans knew that (who changed the name from Heracles).

    It's like with Mickey Mouse. Disney may continue to use Mickey Mouse as a symbol but he's as much a part of 20th century pop culture as Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe.

    Even if you think that the Frank Miller version of Batman has made a more indelible impression than the Finger/Kane version--that's still a part of the 20th century. In fact, I'd say the more multiple versions of the character you make, the less strength those versions have--and just become iterations of a core concept that can be traced back to the first stories. And that gradual erosion, I think, wil have people considering Batman as an artifact of that earlier time. But one that you can revive and do new stories about.

    Then again, Batman might become so tired out that another iconic character replaces him and the Dark Knight becomes moribund.
    You're using the word belonging incorrectly. People will know when these characters were created but to say they belong to a particular time is disingenuous.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    In the future, people will regard Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as belonging to the mid-20th century. There will still be stories about them set in the present day (whatever the present day is at that time), but these will be seen as variant "what if" type stories and not the bona fide thing.

    Take for example, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. There have been plenty of stories about these characters that imagine IF they existed in the present day, but we know that the urtext isn't in the present day. We know that Dracula belongs to the late 19th century, Holmes belongs to the later Victorian period and Tarzan belongs to the first half of the 20th century.

    In part, the reason the vampire, the detective and the apeman belong to their respective eras is because that's where the stories work best. The 19th century is a time when it was possible for a vampire count to exist on the edges of European society. Scientific detection was in its infancy during the Victorian period, so a consulting detective could make his mark in England. A white man could have lived in the jungles of "darkest Africa" in the first half of the 20th century, with a species of great ape unknown now. It gets harder to make these characters work further and further into the futue, without giving up some of their distinguishing features. They seem more real in those earlier times, but they seem more fake in the present moment.

    In the same way, too many changes have to be made to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman for them to be part of the future. And even when they are imagined in that way, we know that this is just an imaginary exercise, the same way SHERLOCK is an imaginary exercise, in seeing how we can adapt the original stories to the current era.

    James Bond might be an example that is right on the knife's edge as we speak. Is he a contemporary character and do his new movies have the same authenticity as his earlier movies--or do we think of the new movies as simply adaptations of a story that rightfully belongs in the Cold War era?
    I can see that. Except maybe Wonder Woman... I don't see anything rooted with her for good OR bad. I've made the comment before that Batman doesn't really work in the 21st century anymore. When Batman was created he was peak human fighting mixed with genius intellect. He was a detective whose gear included night goggles and fingerprint kits and voice recorders, he had a chemistry set in his cave and could make an antidote for poisons... Now?? In order to make him 'super smart', he has to have designed super-rocket jets and mech suits and teleporters and rebuild Red tornado.... BECAUSE HE"S BATMAN!!! The core concept is falling apart and imploding on itself. Batman really WORKS when there isn't an internet or facial recognition software and stuff like this. I like my Batman like I like the Shadow.


    Superman isn't as bad. I think Superman can keep changing with the times... but the idea of being a newspaper reporter to have instant access to all the world's disasters has become very dated. And yet, Clark Kent = Reporter is such a core concept they'll never really get away from it. So yeah, while Superman can be timeless... Clark Kent is becoming anachronistic.

  11. #86
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    With Wonder Woman, you have things like the movies and the TV show that establish her origin in the past. She's one character that can easily be anchored in the past, yet continue to have adventures in the future for centuries to come. Much like Promethea, of course. She's also like Dracula in that way. Movies done about Dracula usually keep his origins in the distant past, even if the movie is set in the present day.
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  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    You're using the word belonging incorrectly. People will know when these characters were created but to say they belong to a particular time is disingenuous.
    ??? - Really?

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Green Lantern creating complex machine constructs is dumb.

    Making shapes of light is fine, even (for example) projecting the image of a locomotive works. You can grasp the idea of his will to punch something manifesting as a heavy, speeding train in his imagination, and imposing such a form on the projected force.

    On the other hand, creating an mini-gun to shoot construct-bullets, complete with recoil and belt-fed ammo takes it too far. The concentration required to envision such a complex image would be a lot more than just a good old punch would take.

    I know artists like getting nuts with a ideas, and DC probably hopes to sell a passel of ring-construct toys, but it's bad for the concept and story.

    Yep.

    I remember either in one of the game stats or one of the books it was stated that GL's could only create things that they could truly picture and understand. Hal Jordan was a pilot and mechanic... it's feasible he COULD make a jet because he knew them inside and out. However that was the reason that most of the time they stuck with hammers and boxing gloves and anvils and 'simple' constructs. You just couldn't imagine and visualize every moving piece of a complex thing like that.

    It's also the complaint I had about both emerald twilight with Hal wearing 14 rings... and Kyle in general. More rings requires more concentration and splitting his willpower and would have made Hal WEAKER not stronger. And Kyle's fancy manga constructs have half of their concentration just on what it looks like when a giant green fist would have been stronger and more efficient.

  14. #89
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    In the early days of Green Lantern ('60s and '70s, I mean), there were all kinds of things that you could do with a green ring--shrink, grow, turn invisible, travel to alternate universes, go incredibly fast, create duplicates. It seemed to me it was in the ring and less in the person using the ring. Will power and no fear were just the primary requirements for the Corps--but it was possible for anyone to use the ring. It's like tellng your modern smart phone to do something for you--once you give the instruction, it does all the work.

    I guess these difficulties with the modern rings were created to put a limit on Green Lanterns, other than yellow.

    Visually, you want to give the artists something to do. Granted there doesn't have to be all that detail in the ring constructs; however, it's a visual medium and the artist needs to impress the reader with his craft.
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  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    --but it was possible for anyone to use the ring.
    There were stories of individuals trying to use the ring and it didn't work. There was even a story that someone took the ring and Jordan operated it when it was on someone elses finger. The major thing it could do that seems to not be seen now, and was inherited from the golden age GL was to go through walls.

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