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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Default DCís middle generation problem.

    Characters like Tim Drake and (superboy) Conner have a problem because their whole identity was built around being the “new kid”. So when a new generation comes around they are left with very little direction and purpose. Batman and Superman and other adult superheroes are to popular ( and lucrative) to ever fully leave the stage permanently. And every new generation of writer wants to leave their mark by adding new characters to the mythos. Thus you wind up with a crush in the middle. A bunch of characters that aren’t the new kids anymore but will never be the head liners. It’s the major flaw in DC’s legacy idea.

  2. #2
    Concerned Citizen Citizen Kane's Avatar
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    This would be less of a problem if those characters weren't designed to just be either sidekicks or trinity-themed heroes. Characters like Batwoman, Sonar, Batwing, Gotham Girl, Spoiler, etc. are just redundant. If DC would just design brand-new heroes and vigilantes that are completely unrelated to any existing characters, we wouldn't have these directionless ones we have now.
    Last edited by Citizen Kane; 08-23-2019 at 10:23 AM.

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    Spectacular Member ERON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    And every new generation of writer wants to leave their mark by adding new characters to the mythos.
    This is a huge problem not only with DC, but with any shared universe comics. Every new Batman writer wants to add a new sidekick, so now Batman has a dozen sidekicks or former sidekicks. Every GL writer wants to add a new Earth Lantern, so now we have close to ten Earth Lanterns. It also extends to character deaths and resurrections. New writers want to leave an impact by killing off a long-standing character or bringing back a character killed off by a previous writer. After decades of this, you get a glut of redundant characters that have all died and come back multiple times.

  4. #4
    Uncanny King-Kamalu lemonpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    This would be less of a problem if those characters weren't designed to just be either sidekicks or trinity-themed heroes. Characters like Batwoman, Sonar, Batwing, Gotham Girl, Spoiler, etc. are just redundant. If DC would just design brand-new heroes and vigilantes with no ties to any other character, we wouldn't have these directionless ones we have now.
    I wouldn't even say that's the issue because these character have unique properties and can be redesigned or progressed away from the sidekick role (Red Hood, Wally West) or away the theming of the Trinity (Spoiler*, Nightwing) at anytime. The problem is, which is emblematic of DC's issue, the lack of meaningful story/character progression. Damian Wayne deposed Tim Drake as Robin over a decade ago, why is he only just now leaving the Robin title behind!? DC would be better off with these character (and all the new characters that are introduced only to get neglected) if they allowed things to change and progress organically and properly utilize their large roster of unique characters. we don't need the same 4 or 5 characters taking up the lion share of page real estate in almost every book; the brand is secure DC, you don't need to constantly reaffirm the status of the same characters repeatedly.

    * design-wise at least, I don't read much Spoiler to know how her stories and niche work
    Last edited by lemonpeace; 08-23-2019 at 10:28 AM.
    SIGNAL/Duke Thomas is the Midnight Sun of Gotham (respect thread)
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  5. #5
    Ultimate Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    This would be less of a problem if those characters weren't designed to just be either sidekicks or trinity-themed heroes. Characters like Batwoman, Sonar, Batwing, Gotham Girl, Spoiler, etc. are just redundant. If DC would just design brand-new heroes and vigilantes that are completely unrelated to any existing characters, we wouldn't have these directionless ones we have now.
    I don't think Gotham Girl will still be around after King's Batman run ends.

  6. #6
    Concerned Citizen Citizen Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    I wouldn't even say that's the issue because these character have unique properties and can be redesigned or progressed away from the sidekick role (Red Hood, Wally West) or away the theming of the Trinity (Spoiler*, Nightwing) at anytime. The problem is, which is emblematic of DC's issue, the lack of meaningful story/character progression. Damian Wayne deposed Tim Drake as Robin over a decade ago, why is he only just now leaving the Robin title behind!? DC would be better off with these character (and all the new characters that are introduced only to get neglected) if they allowed things to change and progress organically and properly utilize their large roster of unique characters. we don't need the same 4 or 5 characters taking up the lion share of page real estate in almost every book; the brand is secure DC, you don't need to constantly reaffirm the status of the same characters repeatedly.

    * design-wise at least, I don't read much Spoiler to know how her stories and niche work

    While plenty of characters are eligible for the Nightwing treatment, a majority of them seem to suffer from being completely generic personalities. Unfortunately, it seems that DC lacks the talent and motivation to evolve characters like Tim Drake into an interesting, independent character. DC only adds to the problem when they think it's a good idea to have 10+ heroes operating in Gotham City; all of which have little personality beyond being tied to Batman in either theme or involvement.
    Last edited by Citizen Kane; 08-23-2019 at 11:18 AM.

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    Spectacular Member Dr. Ellingham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    A bunch of characters that arenít the new kids anymore but will never be the head liners. Itís the major flaw in DCís legacy idea.
    Well, it's only a flaw if you believe the fictional world is immune to revision, and/or you believe DCU time will progress forward in a semi-realistic fashion.

    But both notions have been proven false more than a few times. The history, the characters, it's all up for revision, and as you pointed out - the middle of the multiple iterations are particularly at risk of consolidation.

  8. #8
    Spectacular Member Fromper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    While plenty of characters are eligible for the Nightwing treatment, a majority of them seem to suffer from being completely generic personalities. Unfortunately, it seems that DC lacks the talent and motivation to evolve characters like Tim Drake into an interesting, independent character. DC only adds to the problem when they think it's a good idea to have 10+ heroes operating in Gotham City; all of which have little personality beyond being tied to Batman in either theme or involvement.
    It's really sad to me that newer readers see Tim Drake this way.

    He was an interesting, independent character when he was first introduced, and through most of the 90s. He had three miniseries, followed by his own solo series as Robin, and 90% of the time, Batman wasn't in it. At the same time, Tim wasn't in 90% of Batman, Detective, or Shadow of the Bat issues. It was only the big Bat-family crossovers that ever brought them together, despite working out of the same Bat-cave. Alfred appeared with both of them more often than they appeared with each other. Ironically, one of my few complaints about the Bat-family at the time was that the traditional Batman and Robin team didn't seem to actually exist any more, despite both characters still being there. You almost never saw them working together.
    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.

  9. #9
    Concerned Citizen Citizen Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fromper View Post
    It's really sad to me that newer readers see Tim Drake this way.

    He was an interesting, independent character when he was first introduced, and through most of the 90s. He had three miniseries, followed by his own solo series as Robin, and 90% of the time, Batman wasn't in it. At the same time, Tim wasn't in 90% of Batman, Detective, or Shadow of the Bat issues. It was only the big Bat-family crossovers that ever brought them together, despite working out of the same Bat-cave. Alfred appeared with both of them more often than they appeared with each other. Ironically, one of my few complaints about the Bat-family at the time was that the traditional Batman and Robin team didn't seem to actually exist any more, despite both characters still being there. You almost never saw them working together.
    I find it unfortunate that I have trouble seeing Tim Drake beyond a Dick Grayson clone. I suppose that's a detriment of being someone who was initially exposed to comics from the mid 00's, but writing quality from DC is also largely to blame. However, I've found myself collecting collected editions for the 90's and earlier. Currently, I'm waiting to snag the Absolute Edition for Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member protege's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    This would be less of a problem if those characters weren't designed to just be either sidekicks or trinity-themed heroes. Characters like Batwoman, Sonar, Batwing, Gotham Girl, Spoiler, etc. are just redundant. If DC would just design brand-new heroes and vigilantes that are completely unrelated to any existing characters, we wouldn't have these directionless ones we have now.
    Flip side of that arguement is that newer characters really donít catch on with readers the way they used to.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member protege's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fromper View Post
    It's really sad to me that newer readers see Tim Drake this way.

    He was an interesting, independent character when he was first introduced, and through most of the 90s. He had three miniseries, followed by his own solo series as Robin, and 90% of the time, Batman wasn't in it. At the same time, Tim wasn't in 90% of Batman, Detective, or Shadow of the Bat issues. It was only the big Bat-family crossovers that ever brought them together, despite working out of the same Bat-cave. Alfred appeared with both of them more often than they appeared with each other. Ironically, one of my few complaints about the Bat-family at the time was that the traditional Batman and Robin team didn't seem to actually exist any more, despite both characters still being there. You almost never saw them working together.
    For me, i’m More interested in him as how he relates to Batman. Kind of the same problem I have with duke Thomas. And this just brings up the argument, do we even need a robin anymore? We have nightwing, i don’t Really care about Tim or Jason, and i’d Like to have seen duke and Bruce work together, but most people prefer to see Batman work alone. Don’t get me started on batgirl/ batwoman.
    Last edited by protege; 08-23-2019 at 01:13 PM.

  12. #12
    Spectacular Member Fromper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    I find it unfortunate that I have trouble seeing Tim Drake beyond a Dick Grayson clone. I suppose that's a detriment of being someone who was initially exposed to comics from the mid 00's, but writing quality from DC is also largely to blame. However, I've found myself collecting collected editions for the 90's and earlier. Currently, I'm waiting to snag the Absolute Edition for Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing.
    After the fiasco of Jason Todd being rejected by fans because he really was exactly like Dick, pre-Crisis, DC made a point of making Tim a very different character when he was introduced.

    Dick already had the athletic skills to be Robin, from his years growing up in a circus and flying on the trapeze. But he had to learn to apply that to fighting, and had to learn from Batman how to be a detective. Tim, on the other hand, fell into the Robin role by detective work - his origin story involves figuring out the Bat-family's secret identities. He had the brains, but he had to work his tail off to learn the physical skills necessary to be Robin. In the end, Dick grew up to be a great detective like his mentor, and Tim learned the physical skills, so they ended up in a similar place. Also, it was emphasized early that Bruce was Tim's teacher, but Tim related much more to Dick as someone who had gone through the same role, even though they rarely saw each other, since Nightwing wasn't based in Gotham in those years.

    So they started out very different, and had very different personalities early on, but Tim kinda grew up to be the next Dick, more than the next Bruce. Which might be part of why later writers have a hard time maintaining his unique personality.

    As for your last comment, I never read Swamp Thing, but I've heard so many good things about it that I want to catch up on that one at some point, too.
    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.

  13. #13
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    DC has always had an issue of balancing each subsequent generation of sidekicks or of having to juggle too many sidekick character existing at once.

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fromper View Post
    It's really sad to me that newer readers see Tim Drake this way.

    He was an interesting, independent character when he was first introduced, and through most of the 90s. He had three miniseries, followed by his own solo series as Robin, and 90% of the time, Batman wasn't in it. At the same time, Tim wasn't in 90% of Batman, Detective, or Shadow of the Bat issues. It was only the big Bat-family crossovers that ever brought them together, despite working out of the same Bat-cave. Alfred appeared with both of them more often than they appeared with each other. Ironically, one of my few complaints about the Bat-family at the time was that the traditional Batman and Robin team didn't seem to actually exist any more, despite both characters still being there. You almost never saw them working together.
    I remember the big reveal of Tim Drake's Robin costume. It was an epic moment and the costume was an incredible update that not only modernized it but also said 'No, I'm not Grayson or Todd.'

    I also remember Drake being the first Robin to have his own series. Even Grayson hadn't had one as Robin, and he was still a couple years away from getting his first solo book as Nightwing.

    And I remember Chuck Dixon being the definitive writer for Drake, especially during the King Snake story that helped flesh out his own niche of the Bat-verse.
    "There's magic in the sound of analog audio." - CNET.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    Characters like Tim Drake and (superboy) Conner have a problem because their whole identity was built around being the “new kid”.
    I think even in pre flashpoint they stopped being the new kids at some point.
    The bigger problem is that they can't really graduate out of beeing teenaged, because this spot is already occupied by Dicks Generation.

    I think in the new 52 they tried to solve this problem by mostly erasing that generation, which was also not really popular among the fans.

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