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  1. #1
    Boisterously Confused
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    Default LoSH and NTT: Creatures Of Their Time?

    Seems like The Legion and The Titans enjoyed their greatest success in the 1980s. It's been a rollercoaster for both of them ever since.

    Is that a factor of the Silver Age kids audience coming of age with them? If not, what?

  2. #2
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    That may be part of it. They both had 1 amazing creator as well though. Keith Giffen was and is an amazing writer of everything but dialog apparently, and George Perez is on a lot of peoples top 10 artist lists.

    Another factor was Legion of Superheroes and New Teen Titans were both B List books that could get away with stories that Superman Batman and Wonder Woman could not. Marv Wolfman upped the sex quite a bit in those books just as Chris Clairmont did in X-Men. That was a big factor in the success as well.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Riv86672's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    That may be part of it. They both had 1 amazing creator as well though. Keith Giffen was and is an amazing writer of everything but dialog apparently, and George Perez is on a lot of peoples top 10 artist lists.

    Another factor was Legion of Superheroes and New Teen Titans were both B List books that could get away with stories that Superman Batman and Wonder Woman could not. Marv Wolfman upped the sex quite a bit in those books just as Chris Clairmont did in X-Men. That was a big factor in the success as well.
    Really good points; I agree.

    Something that I think applies towards your B list book observation is, as a wrestling fan, there are those who are most exciting when they’re -chasing- a world championship, but once they get to the top spot, they aren’t nearly as compelling.
    For NTT especially, I remember they kind of leveled off w. the debut of Tales of The New Teen Titans and became less and less a must read for me and other fans I knew back then.
    There was nothing inherently -wrong- w. the book, it just didn’t have the...oomph? of the earlier stuff.

  4. #4
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    I don't think that we can just say that they were creatures of their time and that that's why they're not popular anymore. If that were true, the X-Men would have probably gone the same way. However, they haven't.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Goblin of Sector 2814 View Post
    I don't think that we can just say that they were creatures of their time and that that's why they're not popular anymore. If that were true, the X-Men would have probably gone the same way. However, they haven't.
    A good point. What do you think made the difference?

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    A good point. What do you think made the difference?
    The X-Men had longer stretches of quality. Claremont had plenty of ups and downs after Cockrum and Byrne left, but he still did some of his best stuff without them and he stayed on for a total of 17 years. Whereas NTT lost steam as soon as Perez left as co-creator. There is also the fact that the X-Men have had many "seismic shifts": NTT #1 is basically the equivalent of Giant Size X-Men #1, but it doesn't have any equivalents to Jim Lee's overhaul, New X-Men or the current HoX/PoX. And it desperately needs stuff like that, as even the X-Men have fallen into ruts in between those shifts.

    It may be easier for the X-Men because they are inherently a little more independent than the Titans, a franchise in which the five main leads are spin offs of bigger name characters and will never completely stand on their own despite at times being great characters. That's why I think it's always important, beyond those five, to have the Titans be wholly original characters without ties to other corners. Stuff like the cartoon and the live action show prove that there is an audience for them, but those also rehash the stories from the comics to present them to a new audience. The comics haven't been able to tell new stuff with them in a while

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    There is also the fact that the X-Men have had many "seismic shifts": NTT #1 is basically the equivalent of Giant Size X-Men #1, but it doesn't have any equivalents to Jim Lee's overhaul, New X-Men or the current HoX/PoX. And it desperately needs stuff like that, as even the X-Men have fallen into ruts in between those shifts.
    I would consider the Geoff Johns relaunch in the early 2000s an equivalent.

  8. #8
    DC Enthusiast Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    A good point. What do you think made the difference?
    I think Chris is a better writer than Marv

    The X-Men had the persecution allegory that the NTT didn't

    Being Sidekicks in a universe where the real heroes don't age out and retire puts a glass ceiling on them, on top of which other writers want to make their pet sidekicks up and be the focus. It's why we have 5 Robins, several Wondergirls, and Superboys, and Bruce Clark and Diana still fill the pages of Superman Batman and Wonder Woman. It's a problem unique to DC and pretty out of hand at this point.

    You tell all these stories showing growth, never get to be the top dog, no longer the new kid, and one after another of replacements for you get the focus for the young guns. Unable to go up to the top they just sort of got pushed aside into limbo. It's why DC was so foolish to allow writers to make so many knockoffs that just split the fan base. When DC does a reboot they take the gutless way out and try to say all this cool stuff happened even though it's all brand new.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    I think Chris is a better writer than Marv

    The X-Men had the persecution allegory that the NTT didn't

    Being Sidekicks in a universe where the real heroes don't age out and retire puts a glass ceiling on them, on top of which other writers want to make their pet sidekicks up and be the focus. It's why we have 5 Robins, several Wondergirls, and Superboys, and Bruce Clark and Diana still fill the pages of Superman Batman and Wonder Woman. It's a problem unique to DC and pretty out of hand at this point.

    You tell all these stories showing growth, never get to be the top dog, no longer the new kid, and one after another of replacements for you get the focus for the young guns. Unable to go up to the top they just sort of got pushed aside into limbo. It's why DC was so foolish to allow writers to make so many knockoffs that just split the fan base. When DC does a reboot they take the gutless way out and try to say all this cool stuff happened even though it's all brand new.
    Honestly, I don't think the sideckick thing affected NTT so much. NTT falls in popularity happened before the multiple generation of sidekicks aspect was a thing.

    Not even the "real heroes don't grow, so sidekicks can't either" should be a problem. Wally left the team (and become Flash), while Donna lost any connection to Wonder Woman. So, the only regular ex sidekick in the group was Dick and DC can always reduce the difference of age with Batman (they already do that).

    NTT members were 20s when the comic started, I think the could become an independent adult group and even a top dog if the popularity was mantained (although the Teen part would likely dissapear).
    Last edited by Konja7; 08-04-2020 at 08:04 AM.

  10. #10
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    Being Sidekicks in a universe where the real heroes don't age out and retire puts a glass ceiling on them, on top of which other writers want to make their pet sidekicks up and be the focus. It's why we have 5 Robins, several Wondergirls, and Superboys, and Bruce Clark and Diana still fill the pages of Superman Batman and Wonder Woman. It's a problem unique to DC and pretty out of hand at this point.
    There's only two Wonder Girls. Donna and Cassie. Damian's generation doesn't have one, which is why DCeased de-aged Cassie and had her join the Super Sons in the new Trinity.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    A good point. What do you think made the difference?
    Wolfman's weird obsession with trying to justify Deathstroke turned off a lot of people. It also didn't help that the quality of stories declined after Perez left.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member DurararaFTW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king81992 View Post
    Wolfman's weird obsession with trying to justify Deathstroke turned off a lot of people. It also didn't help that the quality of stories declined after Perez left.
    To be fair, Rose is the only character Wolfman introduced in that era that proved to have any staying power.

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    I think the Legion was really hurt by that second Waid reboot, even though in terms of content it's initially pretty solid. Superman and a lot of other characters managed to survive a reboot, and so did the Legion, but rebooting them again so soon after D&A left - what a waste. The rest of DC wouldn't get a hard reboot for another six years after that point. Not to mention that the New 52 was kind of a mess for them - weren't there like three different irreconcilable versions of the team running around at the same time? Which is probably not an insurmountable issue, but it's hard, I'd suggest, for building a brand that's historically not done well with retcons and reboots, in terms of sort of swimming in them.
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  14. #14
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    NTT had one thing going for it. Perez and Wolfman carefully constructed the team with all the character dynamics in mind. Yes Robin, WOnder Girl and Kid Flash were there but Kid Flash got phased out fast and the other two evolved a lot

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    A good point. What do you think made the difference?
    I can't really say for sure on the Legion, but I can make a few educated guesses at least for the Titans.

    I think a large part of why the Titans faced a decline was because DC stopped investing in that property as its own property. Now, that's not to say that DC editorial just woke up one day and said "the Titans are donezo as far as we're concerned." No, it wasn't that monolithic or sudden. I think it was just the culmination of a few things that took years to unfold.

    For one, there was generally this attitude that, no matter what, no team was allowed to outshine or was "above" the JLA. Not the JSA, not the Legion, and not the Titans, even though the latter two outsold the JLA at the time. Second, starting at least in the 90s, there was almost an effort to take the Titans characters away from the Titans franchise.

    That kind of became apparent when Wally West became the Flash after Barry's death. Now, even though Wally was still friends with all the Titans, he eventually had to join the Justice League because he was the Flash. And the Flash belonged on the JLA...right? I mean, when you think about it, Wally didn't really HAVE to join the League just by virtue of being a Flash. Jay was a Flash who was active, but he wasn't on the League. He was on the JSA and he stayed on the JSA. However, because Wally's ascension to Flash was seen as him "graduating" that meant that he had to "graduate" to Barry's spot on the League even if that meant leaving the Titans behind. It was something that fundamentally undercut the central thesis of Wolfman and Perez's New Teen Titans run: that these characters had come into their own and weren't beholden to their mentors; that they were their own franchise. And, for the record, I think Wally West is the best Flash and that his years on the League are awesome. However, it did divorce the guy from his friends and yeah, DC tried to balance it for a time by making him a member of both teams at the same time, but at that point, it was kind of like Solomon splitting the baby.

    At almost the same time, in another move that followed the same pattern of undercutting the Titans, there was a concerted effort by the editorial at the time to separate Nightwing from the Titans so that he could be folded back into the Batman books. So, that's what they did, specifically around the time of the Knightfall story arc. Dick left the Titans, took over as Batman, and after Bruce's return got a solo Nightwing series operating out of Blüdhaven, Gotham's somehow-more-violent sister city. People I don't think realize that that was not just a happenstance occurrence because that's the direction the writers wanted to take Dick. It was a conscious effort by DC's editorial to fold Dick back into the Batman corner of the universe. And, like with Wally, those decisions might have been great to read for Dick as an individual, but you have to admit that taking away the Titans' literal leader undoubtedly did a lot to weaken the franchise.
    Last edited by Green Goblin of Sector 2814; 08-05-2020 at 05:53 PM.

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