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  1. #1
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    Default Having Kids: Easiest Way to Retire Heroes W/O Ticking Off Fans?





    Or does this age characters too much?

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Adekis's Avatar
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    I think it ages the characters too much, but then, I just straight up don't like when heroes retire. I prefer them to start doing something else like Hal Jordan, or to die on the job like Ted Kord or Barry Allen.

    I don't much like Jon and Damian, for example, and giving their Dads too much baggage, and tangentially, making it more likely that Kal or Bruce will retire, are both reasons why.

    And that's just for the Big Names. Give someone like Roy Harper a kid, and it ages them up less, but it still ages them up a little bit, that's for sure. Do it with enough characters, or with enough other aging factors like art or certain kinds of writing, and you suddenly realize you think of Dick Grayson as thirty and Bruce Wayne as nearly fifty, and then you've got a problem again. Or at least you do if you think that the main heroes shouldn't retire. Which I kind of do.

    I disagree with the notion that adult heroes would or should retire upon having kids. I mean, some of them might. I could maybe see Wally doing it and passing the torch to a grown up Bart or something. But that's only because Flash was, at least for a good while, about that legacy. Superman and Batman, I don't see either of them ever retiring while they are still remotely capable of doing the job. Going on reserve, becoming less active as they age? Maybe. But not retiring.
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  3. #3
    Incredible Member Blue22's Avatar
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    I like the ideas of heroes being able to get a little older, have families, make way for the next generation, etc....to an extent. The way DC did it with Dick and Tim's generations were very rewarding and damn near flawless.

    I don't think characters like Jon and the Robins (not just Damian. Bruce has pretty much raised three boys to adulthood already) age their parents so badly that seeing them still work as heroes is implausible. I think once Those characters become adults, themselves, then things get a little tricky. But hey, that's why time moves by so slowly in comics. So we don't really have to deal with that....until now.

    While I've always liked the idea of seeing these heroes become parents (I was actually pretty bummed when Dick's last girlfriend's pregnancy was a false alarm) I'm not a fan of those kids feeling like they're meant to grow up and take their parents' title. That's why I'm still opposed to Damian becoming Batman and it's why I'm VERY opposed to 5G Superman. Even if it's something they want, it still hasn't ever sat right with me.

    That's why I loved that all of the Robins went on to have their own identities, and that Dick only took up the mantle of Batman because he had to. Not because he wanted to or because he thought it was something he was destined to do. They needed a Batman, at the time, and he was the only one who could temporarily step up to the plate. That's understandable and it gave us a really good Batman and Robin run. But it's an exception for me.

    I don't like the idea of characters having kids with the whole purpose of them growing up into their replacements. Let them grow into their own people with their own titles. I mean...look what's happening to Jon now because they're so desperate for him to hurry up and replace Clark. He had a good thing going on and, in two or three short years, was already on track to being one of the most well developed child characters I'd seen in comics in a long time. But then they had to go and rush the rest of that growth.
    Last edited by Blue22; 11-21-2019 at 11:21 AM.

  4. #4
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    It makes for fun in-the-future stories, but I'm not a fan in-continuity. There was a time I loved progression in comics, back when it was something new, and experimental in The X-Men, The Legion of Superheroes, and The New Teen Titans. Over time, however, I realized that the big brands became so for a reason, and progressing the characters in time and circumstance is robbing the next gen of their opportunity to experience and enjoy the greats for themselves. Sure, it's nice to have my heroes travel along with me through time, but they aren't just mine.

    There are exceptions, of course, like Busiek's Astro City. But that title was designed, from its inception to be more about story than individual character brands, and having times and heroes change was part of its core DNA. What's more, I don't mind the occasional hero that's taken off the board by retirement or death, but IMO, it's unreasonable to expect a publisher to bench a strong brand.

    So on the whole, no.

  5. #5

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    Replacing characters will always piss off someone so its a matter of picking your poison.

  6. #6
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    I don't see most superheroes having kids *until* they retire, especially with a public secret identity.

    I think having heroes just retiring to retire is (and should be) perfectly normal. For those with non-Superman level powers, it makes total sense that they wouldn't be able to "go" after awhile.

    Giving them kids and then shunting them off to retirement, also gives the character baggage in case another writer wants to bring them out of retirement in the future. (Coming out of retirement also a normal/believable plot point)

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't mind seeing super heroes having families. Some of these characters are over 80 years old. Also marriage, family and children are just natural progression for some of these characters like Superman. However, I know some fans while they may like Jon Kent and Damian Wayne don't want their fathers to retire. So, I think the future of the DC Universe should be shown with elseworld or alternate future stories. Keeping characters the same is tricky either they risk become stale and boring. Somewhere down the road seeing these heroes advance maybe the only thing that keeps their books on the shelves.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow6743 View Post
    I wouldn't mind seeing super heroes having families. Some of these characters are over 80 years old. Also marriage, family and children are just natural progression for some of these characters like Superman. However, I know some fans while they may like Jon Kent and Damian Wayne don't want their fathers to retire. So, I think the future of the DC Universe should be shown with elseworld or alternate future stories. Keeping characters the same is tricky either they risk become stale and boring. Somewhere down the road seeing these heroes advance maybe the only thing that keeps their books on the shelves.
    I don't mind heroes having families. Aquaman, Elongated Man, and Wally-Flash are all great examples. Hell, that's been going on since Rice Burroughs' third Tarzan novel.

    I'm just not a fan of using them to take a major character off the board.

  9. #9
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the illustrious mr. kenway View Post
    Replacing characters will always piss off someone so its a matter of picking your poison.
    Yep, The number of fans who are okay with superheroes they love to read retiring has to be very tiny.
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  10. #10
    Incredible Member Blue22's Avatar
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    For me, it depends on how it's done and whether or not I think there's not really anywhere else to take the character in a meaningful capacity.

    For example, if it had stayed at the same level of competence it was at for the first 49 issues, Tom King's Batman run could have been a great way to retire Bruce Wayne. Though that doesn't necessarily mean they'd need to immediately find a new Batman. Unlike Selina, I've never subscribed to the idea that Gotham NEEDS Batman, either symbolically or literally (honestly, I'd say it's more the other way around given how dependent Bruce has come to be on his life as a crime fighter). Gotham needs constant hero protection, no doubt. But the family, with Bruce possibly in a mentor/guidance role like Alfred, is enough to have that covered.

    I think one of the best examples of a franchise continuing to thrive after retiring a main character is the X-Men no longer being dependent on Charles Xavier. Though...Hickman kinda drove a wedge in that recently xD

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    I always liked the conversation Superman and the Jack Knight Starman had when Jack was thinking about retiring to raise his kids away from the crazyness. Supes told Jack some heroes are in it for the long hall while others are not and there is nothing wrong with that. You have to be true to yourself and what you want. I would much rather have seen Roy just retire and raise his kid than see all the garbage that character went through. Same with Wally. If they had just had him decide to walk away with Linda and the twins and show up once in a while that would have been so much better than what they did to him.

  12. #12
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    This is something I thought about some of these characters have existed since the 1940s. With Crisis on Infinite Earths characters like Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman got definitive endings to their stories. Years from now when I am a old woman and my grandchildren hopefully are able to read comics in whatever form they may take I hope they can love and discover these characters the same way I did. But, I also hope that someday I can get that same feeling that people who have read those characters since the 1940s got of knowing that the stories they love had a end.

    That's a unicorn in serialized comics that we may never get again and its special. Something you love ending doesn't always have to be a bad thing. If fans of the past did not get a ending to their stories first we wouldn't have the stories we enjoy today.

  13. #13
    It sucks to be right BohemiaDrinker's Avatar
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    The one character where I thought "okay, he's gonna take care of his kid now" is Jack Knight; but although firmly established within DC continuity, Starman was almost a vertigo series. It felt ok that it ended.

    Other than that, the whole "retired because kids" doesn't make sense for superheroes: these people have powers and use to protect the world and, when they really have a reason to protect it and make it a better place, they'd suddenly go "no can do, need to play house now?". Just doesn't add up.

    Also, there are countless examples of heroes having kids and not retiring: Superman, Batman, Black Lightning, Kate Spencer Manhunter and the list goes on.

    Add to that, the one example where they tried to retire a hero and use the kids as an excuse, which was Wally, did indeed piss of fans. (It was only the second or third motive to get pissed off in a loooooooooooooooooooooooooong list that was to come, but fans got pissed at that excuse. And how!)
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow6743 View Post
    This is something I thought about some of these characters have existed since the 1940s. With Crisis on Infinite Earths characters like Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman got definitive endings to their stories. Years from now when I am a old woman and my grandchildren hopefully are able to read comics in whatever form they may take I hope they can love and discover these characters the same way I did. But, I also hope that someday I can get that same feeling that people who have read those characters since the 1940s got of knowing that the stories they love had a end.

    That's a unicorn in serialized comics that we may never get again and its special. Something you love ending doesn't always have to be a bad thing. If fans of the past did not get a ending to their stories first we wouldn't have the stories we enjoy today.
    I don't mind the idea of things ending either. But a lot of superhero fans do. In fact, they seem to think the idea of these characters going on for 50+ years without significant changes or endings is a plus. Personally, I've been thinking it may be more of a bug than a feature.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamFTF View Post
    I don't mind the idea of things ending either. But a lot of superhero fans do. In fact, they seem to think the idea of these characters going on for 50+ years without significant changes or endings is a plus. Personally, I've been thinking it may be more of a bug than a feature.
    Fans also hate reboots but, if you don't reboot what I am describing will have to occur eventually. You can't have both. You can't hate reboots but want Bruce Wayne to be Batman forever. You can't have these characters have history without the advancement of time within their stories its simply not possible.

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