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  1. #31
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    I liked progression in the classic Legion of the 30th/31st century and the original Earth-Two JSA--because in both those cases there was a situation that allowed real time in the comic book. I could believe that the Legion started in 2958 and that time kept passing for the characters--but because of science in the far future age was a different thing (you could be a teen for decades). I could believe the JSA formed in 1940 and some characters aged while others were immortal or semi-immortal and didn't age as much, but everything on Earth-Two was set in real time.

    In the mainstream comic books, how do you make it work? It seems scatter-shot, where characters age at different rates. Sometimes children grow up fast, sometimes they don't. And there is no such thing as real time in the comic book. So why are these characters being aged at all? If in twenty years, a character ages five years, why does that happen? There's no comic book science that explains it.

    If you want characters to age and change and have kids and see those kids grow up--then you should advocate for a comic book world set in real time. I think that could work--but it would probably have to be a separate imprint where this is the rule of the universe.

  2. #32
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecretWarrior View Post




    Or does this age characters too much?
    This is one of the more insane theories and I hate that this mentality even exists. If a creator thinks that having a family "ages" or "hampers" a character and the stories that can be told, then that creator does not have much creativity in the first place.
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  3. #33
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jekyll View Post
    This is one of the more insane theories and I hate that this mentality even exists. If a creator thinks that having a family "ages" or "hampers" a character and the stories that can be told, then that creator does not have much creativity in the first place.
    The thing about adding kids is that it changes the mood of the stories. Not everybody can roll with it, so that's something beyond even a creator's skill.
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  4. #34
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    Based on the reaction Wally's kids got(and still get) from some fans, having kids as a way to retire heroes is not very popular. The only superhero kid who was 100% beloved by fans was Jon, Damian is polarizing at best. It also helped that neither Superman or Batman retired. Wally didn't retire either, but fans(at the time) felt he got shafted because of the kids.

    Also the theory that certain writers/creators peddle that having sidekicks and kids 'ages a character' is pure nonsense. Even if it did, there are plenty of viable stories that could be told with an 'aged' hero and their sidekicks or children.

  5. #35
    Incredible Member Vampire Savior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I don't think we would've had as many seminal or memorable storylines and characters without the successive creative teams that have taken ownership of the titles over the years.
    When you actually look at these characters, even the really big ones, they are lucky to have even two really groundbreaking stories or runs despite being in publication for so many years and having so many different people working on them.

    Superman has his death and return saga, All-Star Superman, and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Outside of that...eh...I'm not saying there aren't any good stories, but not a whole heck of a lot of true classics. I mean, there was a lot of amazing world building going on at times in e silver age, but I wouldn't say those stories are timeless greats.

    Green Lantern has the O'Neill and Adams run and the Johns run. Then just a whole bunch of "other" stuff.

    The Flash has Mark Waid's run.

    You can argue that there are more big stories and runs for these characters, but the point is, you can probably count these classics on one hand for each character. And the characters don't seem any more enriched than, say, Sailor Moon. Actually less so in a lot of instances. For example, I would argue Sailor Moon has more classic stories, and is a better developed character with a better developed world than Wonder Woman. Despite Wonder Woman being in publication WAY longer, most of her time is spent spinning wheels and going in circles in comparison, because these varying creators can't seem to decide on a distinct vision for her.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire Savior View Post
    When you actually look at these characters, even the really big ones, they are lucky to have even two really groundbreaking stories or runs despite being in publication for so many years and having so many different people working on them.

    Superman has his death and return saga, All-Star Superman, and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Outside of that...eh...I'm not saying there aren't any good stories, but not a whole heck of a lot of true classics. I mean, there was a lot of amazing world building going on at times in e silver age, but I wouldn't say those stories are timeless greats.

    Green Lantern has the O'Neill and Adams run and the Johns run. Then just a whole bunch of "other" stuff.

    The Flash has Mark Waid's run.

    You can argue that there are more big stories and runs for these characters, but the point is, you can probably count these classics on one hand for each character. And the characters don't seem any more enriched than, say, Sailor Moon. Actually less so in a lot of instances. For example, I would argue Sailor Moon has more classic stories, and is a better developed character with a better developed world than Wonder Woman. Despite Wonder Woman being in publication WAY longer, most of her time is spent spinning wheels and going in circles in comparison, because these varying creators can't seem to decide on a distinct vision for her.
    To be fair, Sailor Moon only had one writer and she was a lot more competent than the hacks in DC comics(and Western comics in general now). The 90s anime also did a lot of world building and fleshing out of characters that wasn't in the manga. The manga was more focused on plot and the one who got the most development there was Usagi/Serena. The anime fleshed out the other Sailor Scouts and the villains.

  7. #37
    Incredible Member Vampire Savior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king81992 View Post
    To be fair, Sailor Moon only had one writer and she was a lot more competent than the hacks in DC comics(and Western comics in general now).
    Yeah. That's my point.

    This system with circulating writers that write the characters over eternity is not necessarily better. You get more volume, but most of the stories are pretty crap and aren't notable. And these days, the stories often disregard and contradict each other. The woman who worked on Sailor Moon also created Sailor Moon, so she undoubtedly knows that character's voice and world, and what Sailor Moon would and would not do in just about any situation. With Wonder Woman, the creators can't agree on this, and because of that, she's going around in circles. Plus, the creator is usually going to care more about their character and story than some random hack who can't be bothered to read and research much of the stuff that came before them.

  8. #38
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire Savior View Post
    Superman has his death and return saga, All-Star Superman, and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Outside of that...eh...I'm not saying there aren't any good stories, but not a whole heck of a lot of true classics. I mean, there was a lot of amazing world building going on at times in e silver age, but I wouldn't say those stories are timeless greats.
    Doesn't even need to be classics, just stories, characterizations, new characters, and world-building that other writers or adaptions can utilize and build off of.
    Green Lantern has the O'Neill and Adams run and the Johns run. Then just a whole bunch of "other" stuff.
    And Wolfman. And Ron Marz. I think I also remember reading that Steve Englehart had a solid run?

    The Flash has Mark Waid's run.
    And Johns. And William-Messner Lobes. All of whom build off each other for their subsequent run.
    You can argue that there are more big stories and runs for these characters, but the point is, you can probably count these classics on one hand for each character. And the characters don't seem any more enriched than, say, Sailor Moon. Actually less so in a lot of instances. For example, I would argue Sailor Moon has more classic stories, and is a better developed character with a better developed world than Wonder Woman. Despite Wonder Woman being in publication WAY longer, most of her time is spent spinning wheels and going in circles in comparison, because these varying creators can't seem to decide on a distinct vision for her.
    I think every major Wonder Woman writer has added at least something of value to the title that's enriched her mythos in some form or another.

    (Except Robinson with Jason).

  9. #39
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    I never understood the hate Heroes with kids get, well that's a lie I get it but I seem it to be extremely unnecessary. Their lives change just like ours they don't have to be frozen in time forever. It also gives the opportunity to tell a different type of story and expand their mythos.
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  10. #40
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    Of course, sometimes it's a dig into already established mythos. In Marvel's MC2 universe, set in exactly this scenario where the old guard are gone and their kids have taken over, the new Spider-Man was a kid called Gerry Drew. Of course, he's the son of Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman (Peter's child, of course, was Mayday Parker, Spider-Girl, and this obviously came long before Miles Morales debuted, so Peter's retirement left the Spider-Man mantle up for grabs). A few years ago, writer Dennis Hopeless had Jessica decide to get pregnant via sperm donor. As a result, a baby Gerry now exists in the main 616 universe, and he has his mother's powers.

  11. #41
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    It is not the kids being there that is bad. It is writers always wanting to magically age the kids up and give them powers that is the bad thing. I didn't mind Wallys kids at all when they were babies. When they aged them up though I derailed the whole book and is one of the leading reasons the series got cancelled.

  12. #42
    Incredible Member Blue22's Avatar
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    To be fair, if writers want these kids to become characters in their own right, there's not really much they can do with them as babies. Just because they grow up, gain powers, have their own stories, etc; doesn't necessarily mean their parents' stories will be completely derailed. That didn't happen with the Fantastic Four. It didn't happen with Batman. Some would argue that it happened with Superman but I don't think it was that bad. It didn't' happen with Black Lightning, from what I've seen. I haven't read a lot of pre-Flashpoint Flash so I can't comment on Wally's situation. But I remember liking Jai and Irey well enough as well as the idea that the OG Teen Titans were now old enough to have their own kids and potentially start a new generation.

  13. #43
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    Much like sidekicks, the tough thing with kids - even if you retire the hero over them - is that a How Old Are They? thing begins to surface over time. Over at Marvel, the Fantastic Four has tennis-balled the ages of Reed and Sue's kids a few times trying to balance the illusion of change with the need to keep those characters available.

    An eternal toddler as a supporting character gets tedious. But if the offspring starts growing up, that demands attention to the question of just how old the parent is. For a Superman, or a Wonder Woman, that's probably no biggie. For a Batman...we got issues.

    Even with retired characters that becomes a problem. If we have Barry or Bart drop in on Wally and Linda and they're screaming at their rebellious middle-schoolers to do their homework, it invites some mathematics about how old The Flash must be.

    Dark as it is to say, Black Manta's murder of Aquaman's son was a bit of genius on this score. They let Aquaman's story progress, but then simultaneously turned a then-relatively-new thug-of-the-month into the Sea King's arch-enemy, gave Aquaman the angst and intensity he'd lacked in comparison to his inspiration (The Sub-Mariner), and - to the point of this thread - shut down the question of how old the child must make Aquaman.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    To be fair, if writers want these kids to become characters in their own right, there's not really much they can do with them as babies. Just because they grow up, gain powers, have their own stories, etc; doesn't necessarily mean their parents' stories will be completely derailed. That didn't happen with the Fantastic Four. It didn't happen with Batman. Some would argue that it happened with Superman but I don't think it was that bad. It didn't' happen with Black Lightning, from what I've seen. I haven't read a lot of pre-Flashpoint Flash so I can't comment on Wally's situation. But I remember liking Jai and Irey well enough as well as the idea that the OG Teen Titans were now old enough to have their own kids and potentially start a new generation.
    It's funny that we posted different opinions of the FF and kids within moments of each other. I was proofing mine when you posted, so I didn't see it. I actually think the FF provide an example of why kids can be problematic.

    I 100% agree with you that a kid need not end a heroes' career; Korak didn't put Tarzan out of business. However, unless you've got some explanation built into why the character is not subject to aging, a child that grows up on you is going to be a problem for the character.

  15. #45
    Astonishing Member phantom1592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    To be fair, if writers want these kids to become characters in their own right, there's not really much they can do with them as babies. Just because they grow up, gain powers, have their own stories, etc; doesn't necessarily mean their parents' stories will be completely derailed. That didn't happen with the Fantastic Four. It didn't happen with Batman. Some would argue that it happened with Superman but I don't think it was that bad. It didn't' happen with Black Lightning, from what I've seen. I haven't read a lot of pre-Flashpoint Flash so I can't comment on Wally's situation. But I remember liking Jai and Irey well enough as well as the idea that the OG Teen Titans were now old enough to have their own kids and potentially start a new generation.
    It's all about how time flows. You can have a baby floating around without too much disruptions. A year maybe two passes and the rest of the world flexes a little to allow it. But once you need that kid to be a teenager?? Well, now EVERYONE has to have aged over a decade and it breaks down. Maybe Damien didn't derail Batman... I would argue that, but whatever... But it sure as heck derailed Tim Drake. He's been an absolute disaster since Damian showed up. Also, you go from one main character... to a team book. May be good, may be bad... but Flash's book spiraled hard when the kids showed up. No more classic Speedster stories... just sharing the spotlight with the kids and teaching them and he was really pushed right out. People say jon was well received... but I remember a LOT of complaining about 'Super-dad'.

    It's really the same problem people have with replacements and minorities and new characters... it's all about the companies not printing enough books for every new character, and nobody wants their favorite character pushed to the background. If I want to read about Superman.... I don't want to be reading 3 issues about his kid starting school. I want Superman. But yeah, the only thing that makes the kids worse is that when they show up... they don't just break the current book/character... they throw a wrench in the whole shared world.



    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    Of course, sometimes it's a dig into already established mythos. In Marvel's MC2 universe, set in exactly this scenario where the old guard are gone and their kids have taken over, the new Spider-Man was a kid called Gerry Drew. Of course, he's the son of Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman (Peter's child, of course, was Mayday Parker, Spider-Girl, and this obviously came long before Miles Morales debuted, so Peter's retirement left the Spider-Man mantle up for grabs).
    And honestly, that's the way to do it best. Start a new imprint where you have a clean slate and can write whatever you want. Batman can be 50 and his grandson can be Batman now... because we still have the 'normal' world we can keep reading the originals. I enjoyed a lot of the Ultimate, 2099 and MC2, because they didn't succeed at the expense of the original characers I loved.

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