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  1. #976
    Spectacular Member Fromper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    sheesh, spicy talk for Isabella but I can't say I disagree
    So apparently, I missed something. What's up with Tony Isabella and Black Lightning? I know he created the character, but why is he criticized so much? I'm currently rereading my old comics, and I just read his 1995 run of Black Lightning, which only lasted 8 issues before he was apparently fired. What was up with that?

    As for my opinion on the comics, it's my only exposure to BL as a character. I agree that the "black guy tries to clean up the ghetto" stereotype was heavy handed. The first 4 issues were ok, but nothing special. Issue #5, on the other hand, was phenomenal. Then the final 3 part story arc was pretty good, so I'm a little sorry he didn't have the chance to continue the series past that.
    Just re-reading my old collection, filling in the occasional gap with back issues, not buying anything new.

    Currently working my way through 1990's Flash, Impulse, and JLA, and occasional other related stuff.

  2. #977
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fromper View Post
    So apparently, I missed something. What's up with Tony Isabella and Black Lightning? I know he created the character, but why is he criticized so much? I'm currently rereading my old comics, and I just read his 1995 run of Black Lightning, which only lasted 8 issues before he was apparently fired. What was up with that?

    As for my opinion on the comics, it's my only exposure to BL as a character. I agree that the "black guy tries to clean up the ghetto" stereotype was heavy handed. The first 4 issues were ok, but nothing special. Issue #5, on the other hand, was phenomenal. Then the final 3 part story arc was pretty good, so I'm a little sorry he didn't have the chance to continue the series past that.
    Afaik the issue is he's a mediocre writer who shit talks DC for not using his character when everytime they do he barely holds a solo for 10 issues.

  3. #978
    Incredible Member Vampire Savior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shockingjustice View Post
    I agree with you on the black leads in a final fantasy like story (my bias aside of that being my favorite video game franchise) and escapism or appealing to everyone, but I have to disagree with you in the context of milestone.

    Considering the location and issues of where some characters lived they had to tackle those issues. Virgil grew up in a bad neighborhood, and rocket had to deal with pregnancy at a young age where she ultimately decided to keep the baby. That can be empowering because some black people can relate. And to be fair Icon was a Republican. For characters like blade their story is different in that vampires is the main issue. Same with Miles Morales whose issue carrying on the huge name of spiderman when he died, and not about him growing in a bad neighborhood, which a good portion of black people didn't grow up in.
    I'm going to disagree that Milestone HAD to do a story with a single black female teen pregnancy. I mean, it's nothing that offends me or anything, even if I can think of a many other things I'd rather see a black female hero involved with, but that didn't have to be done. They could have done a black female in a Final Fantasy-like setting (just throwing that out there). But they truthfully didn't seem to have the inclination for such things, even to the point where such a comic is difficult for me to imagine from Milestone. Rather, they were more comfortable and more at home writing a black teen female in a scenario you will see on Maury Povich, for better or worse.

    I'm sure I'm not going to articulate this well, but sometimes I wonder and even worry about the black imagination in regards to fantasy. Of course that's a case by case thing with individual people, but there are some collective patterns that have caused some concern with me at times. I know there are people that really like Milestone, but I look at some of that work sometimes...and I wonder...I guess what I'm getting as is how come I see fantastic stuff like this from other people:


    But when black people are putting themselves in fantasy, it's about hoods, gangs, teen pregnancies, prison, slaves, stickin' it to whitey like Django, and stuff like that? Like I said, I get it more when white people are behind some things like that, but it seems even black people perpetuate some images themselves.

  4. #979
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    I'm going to disagree that Milestone HAD to do a story with a single black female teen pregnancy. I mean, it's nothing that offends me or anything, even if I can think of a many other things I'd rather see a black female hero involved with, but that didn't have to be done. They could have done a black female in a Final Fantasy-like setting (just throwing that out there). But they truthfully didn't seem to have the inclination for such things, even to the point where such a comic is difficult for me to imagine from Milestone.
    I only read Static and Icon, but certainly in those they were firmly in a "real-world" type setting. Which is, in truth, what I generally prefer from my comic books. I did notice that both future teen heroes were engaging in criminal behavior in their first issues. As did several of their friends (some immediately, like Rocket's boyfriend, others later, as with some of Static's pals). For both Static and Rocket, the events changed their paths in life. I guess the idea is that it's opportunity/escape and that good kids would have ended up in criminal lifestyles without the chance? Honestly, I have no idea what messaging was intended (haven't read letters pages, interviews, etc.). Or even if there was any intended messaging or just a "hey, this makes a good story." Just noticed those two worked that way. Haven't read the other titles, so can't say anything about them.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 08-20-2019 at 05:30 AM.

  5. #980
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I dunno man. Arrow has had decades of solo material, but the Hawks and (especially) Atoms have always struggled with ongoings and are usually seen as part of a team. And Red has never been a solo act, ever. I think Jeff, Vic, Vixen, etc, aren't so far off from those guys. They all have decades of history behind them, stories that have focused on them and expanded their worlds, etc. When Atom joined the League, was he really in such a better position than these other guys?
    But Arrow, Atom and the Hawks all joined the JL pretty early after it's creation and and have established relations with the core members.OK Atom might be also not the best choice. But Green Arrow and the Hawks are also classic characters who are around since the 40s and the rivalry between Olli and cater is also kind of iconic as is Ollis friendship with Hal Jordan.
    They are not as big as the Big 6 but much closer than Vixen, Black Lightning and Cyborg.

    And Red Tornado was created in the pages of the Justice League comic and is therefore pretty closely tied to that franchise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    I think the power levels are a bigger problem, but far from one that is hard to get past. Aquaman is far less powerful than Clark, and so is Bruce (well, before the Batgod gave him plot device powers anyway). They always found something worthwhile to do.
    Aquaman is iirc quite often not present in JL-Storylines, in the current run he has iirc pretty much disappeared after drowned earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    And.....as much as we talk about what the League is and what they represent and all.....Gnort was a member. I feel like if he can get in, anyone should be fair game.
    I am specifically speaking about the current big 6 line up. Gnort was iirc a member of the Justice League Antarctica, which was basically created by Max Lord to get rid of him and a few other Guys (and even that didn't went that well ...).

  6. #981
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    Rather than shoe-horning in a bunch of characters and pushing out others, I would keep the Justice League of AMERICA origin as it was, but establish that other teams around the world had their origins at relatively the same time. Maybe all in response to an alien invasion, that included the Appelaxians but other invaders, as well.

    And maybe some of these groups had much more diverse representation. We just don't have that much of their story, because the comics mainly focused on the Justice League of America. The memberships in the teams didn't stay the same--and there was some interchange between them. Some of these groups also took the Justice League name (or translations of that) but they were of something else--while other teams had completely original names.

    Tell that bigger story--and it's more inclusive without negating the original Justice League of America. I prefer this, because it's true to the reality of our experience. We do get more stories about the big name heroes who are mostly white Americans--but that doesn't mean there aren't just as many stories about other people. In the real world, the Justice League of America would get all the press--and the other groups of people would be ignored. That's a more honest approach to the comic book reality, rather than trying to pretend that the super-hero world is and always has been inclusive and fair.

    It also gives writers new places to go, rather than simply recycling the same version of history now with slighty more colour added. They can tell entirely new stories about all these other heroes we didn't know about, because we were too busy with the JLA and the JSA.
    celebrating 50 years of 4 beatles crossing a zebra

  7. #982
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    I think the reboots were an innovative way to shake up story but it's lost the novelty and is only diminishing returns at this point. My controversial take, they should go to a sliding-timeline but also starting aging heroes out of the main universe into "elseworld" multiverse stories. When a character dies or retires in the main universe they are no long usable in that universe and you can tell whatever era story you wanna tell in other earth with them. They'd have to make it like a hardcore official mandate to enforce it but i think that's the best way to balance the different sensibilities between generations of fans.
    Lemonpeace has the solution I would prefer. I do have to wonder if it's viable. I can see how trying to run multiple continuities might only spread an already small fanbase over multiple imprints, and make for a problematic business model.

  8. #983
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    But we should give up on this idea that there is a main universe. There are many universes and they all matter. And the universe we're in now isn't supposed to be the main universe. It's just one of many possibilities.

    I said this a couple years ago--I want one universe that has a master timeline. It's a universe where everything has already happened and most of the big storylines that we know have been played out. And that Earth has reached a stasis where nothing much is happening anymore. On this Earth are some big name heroes, who now watch the rest of the multiverse.

    They know how the timeline should play out on most Earths--but they're interested in the anomalies in the different realities. I don't imagine that they would play a significant role--their prime directive prevents them from interfering. Yet, from time to time, the comics would pull back to show how one timeline is being observed by this group in the master timeline. It would be a way to indicate that we know how this story is supposed to play out, but on a given Earth it might go another way.

    A writer could use the master timeline in a way akin to how Jim Shooter used the Adult Legion to indicate the direction that the Legion should be heading. Or how Chris Claremont did the same thing with "Days of Future Past" for the X-Men. So you have a cool story telling device that gives the reader a road map, but then the writer can have some fun by subverting those expectations.
    celebrating 50 years of 4 beatles crossing a zebra

  9. #984
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    That sounds like a recipe for "continuity doesn't matter" - they just switch universes whenever they want to change anything up. It's a nice setup if you want to do lots of self-contained mini or maxi series or the like. Not good for long-running titles.

  10. #985
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    I think it's the opposite. Changing continuity on the fly, without giving people a heads up that the story is now taking place in another universe, that's the "continuity doesn't matter" recipe. But when it's clearly indicated that this whole continuity is consistent to a specific Earth, then the reader can get their bearings and isn't trying to work out whether this is still part of another continuity.

    It's the solution that should have been used instead of COIE. If they had just told readers that the comics were now taking place in a new continuity--it would have been simple enough and everyone wouldn't expect it to fit with the previous comics. But they tried to have their cake and eat it, too. So the post-COIE DCU was a mish mash of continuites jammed together, leaving readers to figure out what's in and what's out.

    Not every reader is going to like the new universe continuity. But I think most readers want to believe that the continuity they love still exists and isn't being overtaken by another continuity. So, as long as the publihser acknowledges that this beloved reality is its own thing and isn't subverted by another reality--then readers will allow the new continuity to have its own integrity--and won't feel so slighted. Plus it gives the publisher a free hand to return to that older continuity universe whenever they want, without having to explode universes to do so.
    celebrating 50 years of 4 beatles crossing a zebra

  11. #986
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    I think it's the opposite. Changing continuity on the fly, without giving people a heads up that the story is now taking place in another universe, that's the "continuity doesn't matter" recipe.
    Different flavors of the same thing to me. Either way, I won't get one long-running continuity with events building on each other.

    But I think most readers want to believe that the continuity they love still exists and isn't being overtaken by another continuity
    Sure. But if I don't get to read new stories set in the continuity I love, I just re-read old ones. Might pick up a tpb if a particular new story looks good, but certainly couldn't get invested in any new character or series when it's only going to be flash-in-the-pan, then disregarded and forgotten.

    But maybe it'd get the casual reader market. If anyone could make comics appeal to casual readers again, that would be big money. It's just not what I'm interested in reading. What's best for DC and best for me aren't the same, though, and I do know that.

  12. #987
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    If you give up on the idea that there has to be one main universe, then it's more likely that your favourite universe gets to live and exist alongside the other universes. Whereas, if there can only be one and it's not the one you like, then you're stuck. So I prefer to believe that my favourite universes still exist and can be returned to at any time, without the need for continuity breaking crisis events. I would much rather that DC published comics that were each set in different continuities, so I'd have a chance of getting the one I like.
    celebrating 50 years of 4 beatles crossing a zebra

  13. #988
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    If you give up on the idea that there has to be one main universe, then it's more likely that your favourite universe gets to live and exist alongside the other universes.
    I disagree, that's all. I think without a main universe, there will be no real universes. Instead, each run will have it's own continuity, and with every change in creative team, there'll be a new run and nothing from the old will matter anymore. Maybe that won't happen, but I think it's the most likely outcome. Well, that or times when the Green Lantern writer says it takes place in the same universe as Batman and then the Batman writer says no it doesn't.

    So I prefer to believe that my favourite universes still exist and can be returned to at any time, without the need for continuity breaking crisis events. I would much rather that DC published comics that were each set in different continuities, so I'd have a chance of getting the one I like.
    I just think we're more apt to end up with no continuing continuities, rather than several. Instead there will dozens of short-term (for one series, none lasting more than 5 years and many less than 2 years) continuities that never get revisited.

  14. #989
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    I actually liked the Justice League movie. And have no desire to see the Snyder cut.
    Now listen to me, Clark! This great strength of yours--you've got to hide it from people or they'll be scared of you!

  15. #990
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire Savior View Post
    I'm going to disagree that Milestone HAD to do a story with a single black female teen pregnancy. I mean, it's nothing that offends me or anything, even if I can think of a many other things I'd rather see a black female hero involved with, but that didn't have to be done.
    Well, I think what Milestone *had* to do is a murky concept. They didn't *have* to do anything. This is art, after all, and *had* is.....troublesome, yknow?

    Now, I'm not an expert here. I haven't read and watched interviews, I haven't spent hours digging into the deeper subtext between the stories and the people who made them. And in general I'm just kind of an idiot anyway. So Im just guessing at what Milestone's creators were thinking. And I don't know how old you are and whether you'd remember this decade. But the early 90's was a very different place. And I think what Milestone was setting out to do was create stories that spoke directly to their audience on a very personal, relatable level. Inner city black kids have it rough, and it was worse in the 90's. There was no Obama, no Neil DeGrasse Tyson. No one outside of male athletes, rappers, or the occasional actor were showing up on tv for anything other than crime (and those athletes, rappers, and actors weren't immune to that either). And I think Milestone wanted to tell these poor kids who had the whole world stacked against them that they could turn it around. They needed role models who looked like them, came from the same place they came from, and were written and created by the same. That sort of thing largely just didn't exist in pop culture then. What we had were a few, rare handful of black characters, usually created by middle aged white guys, often created to exploit some Hollywood fad like Blaxploitation, and managed by old white guys.

    Milestone *could* have done a steampunk fantasy series with a black lead (and I'm sure I'd have loved it then just as much as I'd love it now). But that fantasy hero probably wasn't going to resonate with Milestone's intended audience the way Static did. Even if it held the same message but did everything through fantasy-based proxies and allegory, it wouldn't have resonated the way seeing someone just like you, from a place just like your's, would.
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