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  1. #46
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    Blackhawk is a peculiar case. Because I would argue that, even more than the Justice Society, the Blackhawks should be anchored to World War Two. It's what gave them purpose--the members of the team represent the forces allied against the Nazis and Japanese Imperialists and invaded by them. Yet, understandably because of their popularity, the team persisted after the war and continued into the late 1960s (going from one publisher to another in the process), so you either have to assume that the Blackhawks were long-lived or their origin kept updating to different wars. I think there was a theory that Blackhawk Island existed outside of normal time and space and that kept them young.

    But you would think that efforts to reboot the team would go back to the original World War Two concept. Yet, after Howard Chaykin overhauled them, the next series after that in ACTION COMICS WEEKLY and then their own title was set in the post-war era. The main concern of these adventures seemed to be the Commies not the Nazis.

    Plus you still have Lady Blackhawk existing in the present day.
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  2. #47
    ...of the Black Priests Midnight_v's Avatar
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    Batman is even more complicated, given the enormous inherited wealth the character has and that his entire shtick is extrajudicially enforcing his own justice upon the underclass. If the news suddenly broke that Elon Musk or Donald Trump Jr. were running around New York City in body armor beating up poor people and "anarchists" with the explicit approval of the NYPD, I don't think most people would view them as heroes.
    Disagree. Especially if those "poor people" were robbing/raping/killing someone at the time. Anarchists. . . we are legitimately in the the era in the U.S. where about half ... or MORE would literally applaud if Elon Musk dressed in body armor one day and beat the snot out of 20+ Antifa Thugs in one sitting live on video. Especially if they were rioting and burning things, in his area of the city... honestly... just the wildfires that could start from that alone give people pause after the recent events.

    Not only would "the people" love him... he wouldn't do not one day full day in jail. In court? Sure. In jail? Not statistically. So while the people on these particular boards are of a particular bent about such things. . . we really aren't representative of what society at large things about "what a hero is".

    I mean... just how popular was the punisher on netflix for example. All of this question about stadning up to the test of time is a misnomer from my view.

    Because... I mean. ... really Clark is an Alien God, smallville is easily idealized america because thats how it was taught to him. WW, needs a war but not really because the world of man is always in conflicts and destruction of the world in some way shape or form. I wouldn't make her a posion ivy level environmentalist or anything, but that is a thing that she'd be aware of. Plus, if she harbors the belief that Matriarchal leadership is a big reason why the world isn't like paradise Island well she's not there yet by far.

    Finally... the core conceit of the super-hero genre is

    "We accept vigilantism"

    We accept it when the police and/or forces or earth aren't strong enough to stop a threat.... in the case of Bats

    We accept is it when the police and/or forces of earth aren't' "COMPETENT" enough to protect the status quo.


    The Communist villain's are still relevant because we still have communist enemies in the world, but more importanty is seeing the fall out of that. Putin was a Kgb operative.
    China is still... well being communist china so you know there's still stories to tell especially if those guys are long lived or replaced as jingoistic nationalist icons.

    I'm still waiting for "Von Bach" to show up as an eastern bloc strongman someone where like in Belarus.

    Oh and... I'm not sure who said it but Alan Scott isn't anytype of homosexual in the main universe, right? That was earth 2, correct? I remember one of his defining issues was
    with obsidian being gay. So i'm hoping thats just a poster using "implication, and poor extrapolation" than a thing on the written page because it makes the thing with
    obsidian almost seem like dc thinks its a hereditary thing. That seems bad. Oh well. GL.
    My priority is enjoying and supporting stories of timeless heroism and conflict.
    Everything else is irrelevant.

  3. #48
    Extraordinary Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    If batman was just being a jackass that hurts the innocent poor without actually dealing with the corruption of state. Superman would be coming for him. His boot would be on his ass. Clark would be one of those criminals batman tries to beat up. Let me tell you this, superman of 1930's gives back than what he gets and with interests. Otherwise, superman wouldn't have a problem with justice.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 09-23-2020 at 07:55 PM.

  4. #49
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    If batman was just being a jackass that hurts the innocent poor without actually dealing with the corruption of state. Superman would be coming for him. His boot would be on his ass. Clark would be one of those criminals batman tries to beat up. Let me tell you this, superman of 1930's gives back than what he gets and with interests. Otherwise, superman wouldn't have a problem with justice.
    I can't think of any version of Superman who would be fine with harming innocents.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Does it make a difference though? If Batman witness someone committing a crime, it doesn't really make sense for him to not stop it regardless of their involvement in organized crime. It's the entire reason Superheroes go out on patrol beyond stumbling into an occasional disaster or Supervillain.

    He's not like Oliver Queen in season 1 of Arrow where he only goes after people on a list.

    And, honestly, if Batman is as culpable in that then we really shouldn't see any Superheroes with godlike powers involved in fighting normal crime.
    Batman doesn't have to never stop any ordinary crime, but him disproportionately targeting regular thugs can come off in poor taste. Especially if it's any Frank Miller-inspired Batman that literally beats them to a pulp.

  6. #51
    Extraordinary Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I can't think of any version of Superman who would be fine with harming innocents.
    Sure, but can any version of superman empathise with them?can superman feel what this guy feels every day?

    Cause this guy is what superman supposed to be. A working class man fighting a never ending battle for truth and justice.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I don't think Morrison is really trying to say something new or interesting about feminism in his WW Earth One books, but rather trying to grapple with Marston's ideas, which virtually every creator since the 1940s has been trying to avoid like the plague in favor of more palatable notions of female empowerment. While I don't think Morrison's WW stories have been completely successful, I give him credit for at least trying to engage with the original conception of the character, rather than the more mainstream, and hollow, version that most people are familiar with.

    Granted, I think he was more successful in his attempts to realign Superman to his original social crusader roots, even if that version didn't last very long either.
    I'd argue Marston's ideas have been avoided for a reason and that the more mainstream takes aren't any more hollow than his. It doesn't make later versions hollow, it just means times change. A fact DC frequently struggles with. When it comes to Marston, I feel too many people don't really understand the troubling implications of his ideas and why Diana had to evolve past them and you don't need a throwback comic to do that.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 09-23-2020 at 09:37 PM.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    I think it helps that he seems to be a bigger fan of Superman, and struggles to understand Wonder Woman more. Not every writer can fit every character. Morrison does great by like 99% of DC's characters (especially the older ones) but he's gonna miss once and a while. I wouldn't call Wonder Woman a complete miss, but it's more of a fascinating attempt/failure than his distilled perfection that is his Superman stuff.

    I'd still take his Diana over most of the takes we've gotten in the mainstream comics in recent years barring Rucka. At least she's fun. Volume 2 was better than volume 1, and he gains points for nailing Etta Candy and having the best ever version of Dr. Psycho.
    I'd put Morrison over Rucka's most recent take, which I found too dour and humorless for my tastes. I'm glad he finally explicitly made the Amazons bi and lesbians, but otherwise, it left me cold. Morrison's Earth One stuff is certainly not his best work, but he's at least trying to wrestle with who the character actually is and what her creator's intentions were for her.

    And, yes, his Doctor Psycho and Etta Candy are great.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight_v View Post
    Disagree. Especially if those "poor people" were robbing/raping/killing someone at the time. Anarchists. . . we are legitimately in the the era in the U.S. where about half ... or MORE would literally applaud if Elon Musk dressed in body armor one day and beat the snot out of 20+ Antifa Thugs in one sitting live on video. Especially if they were rioting and burning things, in his area of the city... honestly... just the wildfires that could start from that alone give people pause after the recent events.
    Well, we do agree on one thing. About half of America would applaud if Elon Musk dressed up in body armor and started beating up protestors.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I'd argue Marston's ideas have been avoided for a reason and that the more mainstream takes aren't any more hollow than his. It doesn't make later versions hollow, it just means times change. A fact DC frequently struggles with. When it comes to Marston, I feel too many people don't really understand the troubling implications of his ideas and why Diana had to evolve past them and you don't need a throwback comic to do that.
    I agree that some versions of Wonder Woman certainly aren't hollow. I think both Perez and Rucka had some very clear notions of who Diana is and what she was meant to represent. Unfortunately, the majority of writers who write Wonder Woman don't seem to have that strong a vision, nor does editorial. We'll see if Patty Jenkins & Gal Gadot's version has anything substantial to say in the sequel.

    That said, Wonder Woman is also an incredibly difficult character to write well period. I think only Superman comes close in mainstream superhero comics. I don't blame creators for struggling with what to do with her. Yet I think there's something truly special about the character, which is why I keep coming back to her after continually being disappointed by creative team after creative team.
    Last edited by Bored at 3:00AM; 09-23-2020 at 10:51 PM.

  11. #56
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    I think when it comes to Batman, a lot depends on where America goes politically in the next few years. So far, his sheer popularity has made him bulletproof as a brand, and beyond politics in general (notice how there are relatively fewer political discussions about Batman than there are about Superman in general).
    Interesting observation, because modern Batman is an extremely political figure to me. Though that is perhaps part of it: part of the "public persona" of modern reactionary conservatism is to deny it is political, and Batman works very well as a power fantasy for reactionaries.

    For all that I dislike Miller's vision of Batman, I do have a lot of respect for TDKR simply because it engaged directly with the zeitgeist of the 80s.

    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    But certainly, there is a left-wing conception of the world that would render Batman as a 'toxic' character, not just because of his actions, but also because of the simple fact that he's a wealthy white male - and if American politics (and the Western world in general) lean further into this kind of left-wing politics, then Batman's dominant status as the world's most popular superhero character may well be in jeopardy (though I don't think that will necessarily affect his popularity globally). That said, politics notwithstanding, the notion of being a victim of crime and wanting revenge for it is far from dated. The iconic visual of Batman swooping in to take down a mugger is still as possible in 2020 as it was in 1940. Its not as though street crime and organized crime have been completely eradicated. And if you lean more into Batman as a 'superhero', then this isn't even a passing concern.
    I'm not sure Batman is the world's most popular superhero. He most definitely is in the USA, and the USA is an outsized presence for superheroes, but if you remove the USA and only looked at the rest-of-world? Then I think Spiderman, and it's quite possible that Superman is also more popular.

    And yes, Batman as a victim of crime, vowing to fight it, still works as a concept. But it needs a lot of updating in this day and age.

    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Wonder Woman is relevant in any era IMO, but I can understand the appeal of keeping her arrival in Man's World in the past. Of the Trinity, she's the one who's continued to maintain a proximity to her Golden Age origins, through adaptations and other works. Personally I feel its a little more stylistic than anything else, but I also feel Diana adopting an American identity and championing America kinda makes a little more sense if her first exposure to it was during WW2 as compared to today.
    I can understand the appeal, but I flatly reject it. Wonder Woman is by far the most political character of the Trinity (heck, among the entirety of DC's cast), and if there is one thing I've taken to understand about doing political discourse in fiction, you must engage directly with the subject if the majority of the readers is to get it. Otherwise the result will only be that most readers will miss the point entirely.

    For a case in point: X-Men. Who explicitly were meant as a commentary on the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. But how many people read them as that?

    That's also why I get more and more curious about Wonder Woman 1984. That time is a lot closer to ours, and no-one can see Pedro Pascal's Maxwell Lord and not think of Donald Trump.

    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Superman is a tricky one. I agree that the iconography of the character is rooted in a certain vision of America from the 1930's to, say, the 1970's. But I think he's become pretty timeless and really, could work in any era. The problem with Superman is that no one can agree what the character should stand for or how much he can or should change to suit contemporary audiences. I don't think the actual setting of the stories, chronologically speaking, changes much.
    I think Superman can work very well in today's world, and remember that the time when he (and Wonder Woman, or for that matter Captain America) was created was nearly as polarising and tension-filled as today, if you only look at US politics. Having Cap punch Hitler on the cover in March 1941 was an intensely political—and bold—statement.

    To me, the political values of Superman are built on two ideas. One is the fantasy of the best of America. The other is the fantasy of being white-passing: on being considered as a full member as society, while at the same time knowing you are not, and the possibility of that membership being relinquished at any time.

    That's part of why I think Superman Smashes the Klan worked so well, because it grabbed that theme and made it an explicit part of the story. But that's also why I think its basic story could have worked even better in today's time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I don't think Morrison is really trying to say something new or interesting about feminism in his WW Earth One books, but rather trying to grapple with Marston's ideas, which virtually every creator since the 1940s has been trying to avoid like the plague in favor of more palatable notions of female empowerment. While I don't think Morrison's WW stories have been completely successful, I give him credit for at least trying to engage with the original conception of the character, rather than the more mainstream, and hollow, version that most people are familiar with.
    But Marston's ideas were about feminism. Sure, an idiosyncratic version of it, but about feminism.

    My take from Earth One is that Morrison simply doesn't grok feminism, and was deeply unsettled by Marston's Wonder Woman (and I agree that there is a lot of baggage and outdated elements in Marston's Wonder Woman). The result was that he undermined the core vision of the Amazon, thus undermining the entire point of Wonder Woman. He also used some modern feminist discourse and used it to target the Amazons and Wonder Woman's message, rather than using it to update them.

    That's why I call Morrison's Wonder Woman for Bizarro Marston.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    I'd argue Marston's ideas have been avoided for a reason and that the more mainstream takes aren't any more hollow than his. It doesn't make later versions hollow, it just means times change. A fact DC frequently struggles with. When it comes to Marston, I feel too many people don't really understand the troubling implications of his ideas and why Diana had to evolve past them and you don't need a throwback comic to do that.
    I agree that there is a lot of Marston's ideas that need to be updated or even jettisoned. But there is a hard core there that I still thinks is worth revisiting and examining, that goes far beyond simple female empowerment.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post

    I agree that there is a lot of Marston's ideas that need to be updated or even jettisoned. But there is a hard core there that I still thinks is worth revisiting and examining, that goes far beyond simple female empowerment.
    What do you think that core is?

  13. #58
    Extraordinary Member manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    For me, it's that so called feminine qualities to submit and to search for peace in conflict isn't weakness.

  14. #59
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    What do you think that core is?
    Good question! Note that this will be unfinished, sometimes ambigious, and not necessarily the same elements that other people will see.

    One is the all-woman utopia of the Amazons. Scratch that a bit using modern terminology and discourse, and you have a society without gender. Themyscira is DC's original Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism.

    Another is the idea of loving leadership, or in Marston's words "loving authority", that is leadership through empathy. Marston tied that to his variety of gender essentialism, which is both dated and problematic, but I think the concept of "submission to loving authority" can still be worthwhile, especially if it is framed to be about identifying and finding such leaders. That's why I think the phrase "loving submission" is a grotesque misreading of Marston. Wonder Woman should be about rejecting the leadership of any person who doesn't love you, not about loving your leader.

    A third is the vision of the leader as a woman. Here is a an interesting article discussing the symbolism of the No Man's Land scene and how it ties into depictions of Joan of Arc and Liberty Leading the People: The Wonder Woman “No Man’s Land” Scene Is Rooted In History, Myth and Art.

    Even Marston's kinkiness fits into this core, because Wonder Woman rejects the sexual mores and prejudices of Man's World. Bondage—and I think this should stand in for sex in general—can and should be loving, playful, and fun.

    Again, this is unfinished in all matter of ways. But to me peak Wonder Woman was reached with her smiling towards Charlie in the 2017 movie and saying "But who will sing for us?"
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    But to me peak Wonder Woman was reached with her smiling towards Charlie in the 2017 movie and saying "But who will sing for us?"
    That is easily one of my favorite moments in that film.

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