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  1. #1
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    Default Do people still think the Post-Crisis writers were better?

    Personally when I look around these days it looks like one era's ideas are aging and lasting much better than the others. Idk but it's funny to me that Post-Crisis Superman was created to be "Clark first" now he's getting booted from being Superman for the second time in a decade or so. There's other little ironies I see in the character now.
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    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Post-Crisis writers had way more freedom than pre-Crisis writers did. The rule up to 1986 was that all books had to be kid friendly first even at the expense of a good story. We don't know if the pre-Crisis Superman could have been salvaged because they weren't allowed to change the status quo.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Post-Crisis writers had way more freedom than pre-Crisis writers did. The rule up to 1986 was that all books had to be kid friendly first even at the expense of a good story. We don't know if the pre-Crisis Superman could have been salvaged because they weren't allowed to change the status quo.
    And yet Krypto exists once again and Keith White no longer exists at all. Hell we had the return of the Post-Crisis Superman arrogantly try to put Krypto "right" by putting him in his Silver Age design from the white German-Shephard design of the N52.
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    This feels like a "I'm going to prove the '86-05 era is terrible and has killed Superman and no matter what anyone says I'm right" kinda thread. Good luck.
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  5. #5
    Superfan Through The Ages BBally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Post-Crisis writers had way more freedom than pre-Crisis writers did. The rule up to 1986 was that all books had to be kid friendly first even at the expense of a good story. We don't know if the pre-Crisis Superman could have been salvaged because they weren't allowed to change the status quo.
    Except when it came to referencing anything remotely close to Pre-Crisis Superman lore in within the main continuity, no Phantom Zone criminals unless they were from another universe or not Kryptonian at all and word is that when Kara appeared in that Deadman Christmas story, Mark Waid got fired from his editorial duties because he allowed it. It wasn't until around 2005 when they were allowed to do something close to that.
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  6. #6
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The World View Post
    And yet Krypto exists once again and Keith White no longer exists at all. Hell we had the return of the Post-Crisis Superman arrogantly try to put Krypto "right" by putting him in his Silver Age design from the white German-Shephard design of the N52.
    Honestly,i loved the wolf design.Not that the old design was bad.But,new52 had a lot goldenage elements.A 40s pulp hero needs to be different.as @superduperman said,The character had restriction during silverage.Goldenage didn't much,except for some editorial.
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  7. #7
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Post-Crisis writers had way more freedom than pre-Crisis writers did. The rule up to 1986 was that all books had to be kid friendly first even at the expense of a good story. We don't know if the pre-Crisis Superman could have been salvaged because they weren't allowed to change the status quo.
    Interesting. I think there was less freedom than a general "pre crisis" because of the lack of thorough continuity. You could retcon many things back then, bring the Kents back from the dead at half the age, etc.

    By the time O'Neil came about they were at least more open to "permanent" change, like if we're talking about Clark being a newscaster until the reboot. Maturity is a tricky subject but I wouldn't describe Maggin, Bates, or Conway as writing particularly juvenile stories. Which is why I say "better" is way too subjective. Wolfman was just as good in either setting for one. I don't see a status quo as better than the work being put in.

    Where the OP goes and for which Superman is lasting... Eh. You see very many ideas from all time and I think it's pretty understated that they had to be Superman fans in the first place which means like pre Crisis. Jurgens for one is a really big Silver Age fan and every once in a while it comes out.
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Early Post-Crisis had a lot of restrictions in place, as mentioned above. It was a New Coke-like course correction, so there was a handful of "don't do this, you must do that" directives that Xed-out various aspects of Pre-Crisis Superman's history that were deemed not in line with consumer tastes of the day. On the flip side, canon is by its very nature restrictive. By throwing out Pre-Crisis canon, it gave Byrne the opportunity to have a fresh start to define Superman using a blank-ish slate. So I don't know if I'd say Post-Crisis had more freedom, but rather different freedoms.

    Now that I think about it, Superman and Coca-Cola both got reboots around the same time...
    Last edited by DochaDocha; 04-26-2021 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Meant Early Post-Crisis, oops...

  9. #9
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuwagaton View Post
    Interesting. I think there was less freedom than a general "pre crisis" because of the lack of thorough continuity. You could retcon many things back then, bring the Kents back from the dead at half the age, etc.

    By the time O'Neil came about they were at least more open to "permanent" change, like if we're talking about Clark being a newscaster until the reboot. Maturity is a tricky subject but I wouldn't describe Maggin, Bates, or Conway as writing particularly juvenile stories. Which is why I say "better" is way too subjective. Wolfman was just as good in either setting for one. I don't see a status quo as better than the work being put in.

    Where the OP goes and for which Superman is lasting... Eh. You see very many ideas from all time and I think it's pretty understated that they had to be Superman fans in the first place which means like pre Crisis. Jurgens for one is a really big Silver Age fan and every once in a while it comes out.
    Weren't comicscode rules loosened by then?@bold,I kinda disagree with their whole approach.They kinda trivialised the action hero .Also,i don't think they even thought the vigilante nature of the character.They kinda wanted to put more focus "do we need a superman?",His morality and all that...etc.Here is the thing,mangas don't do that.

    I am not gonna tell a "old western type" story and trivialize the showdown to talk about something "deeper".Though,i do love characters with deep stories.What i am getting at is that,The action should intrincsic part of the story and the conflict.Morality should be conveyed through action.I am against compartmentalising and then worse saying "Superman is too big too be action hero".when that's,what the character was created for.he was created to punch.But the punch doesn't have to be meaningless.I am strictly against treating action as "set pieces" like western stories nowadays do.I do think these guys took superman too seriously.I get that they wanted to tell serious stories.That's what i love about "under the redhood".at the end of the day,it's just a three way showdown.Superman's story is just an imaginary laugh tale. He is the man of action.Everything about the guy should be action oriented.His comedy,his emotional beats,his politics...etc.everything.

    I kinda thing,one punch man does this without saying "Sure,there is action over there and here".Maybe,it's cause these guys aren't interested.But,that's what always interested me.I mean,what do you do when speech is out of the equation like an old silent movie.Though i do agree about the need to depower superman is ridiculous.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 04-26-2021 at 08:23 AM.
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  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Yoda's Avatar
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    Depends on what your definition of "better" was? Post-Crisis was necessary because Pre-Crisis was on the verge of cancellation more or less right? So whatever the preference for status quo, whatever those writers were doing wasn't connecting. Admittedly I've tried several times to read a lot of Bronze Age Superman and none of it really connects outside of maybe Moores stuff and the odd issue or two. On the whole, those stories just do utterly nothing for me. The Post Crisis Status quo has been the basis - with a mix of a lot of Pre-Crisis elements - for nearly the last 40 years of stories and outside media. To the extent their baseline ideas have been successfully translated into that, I'd say they did a pretty good job.

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    Early Pre-Crisis had a lot of restrictions in place, as mentioned above. It was a New Coke-like course correction, so there was a handful of "don't do this, you must do that" directives that Xed-out various aspects of Pre-Crisis Superman's history that were deemed not in line with consumer tastes of the day. On the flip side, canon is by its very nature restrictive. By throwing out Pre-Crisis canon, it gave Byrne the opportunity to have a fresh start to define Superman using a blank-ish slate. So I don't know if I'd say Post-Crisis had more freedom, but rather different freedoms.

    Now that I think about it, Superman and Coca-Cola both got reboots around the same time...
    This is a fair assessment. My point was that the restrictions placed on the pre-Crisis Superman made it difficult to compete with Marvel well into the 70s and 80s. Yes, the post-Crisis era had it's own restrictions. Many of which I've complained about in the past. DC's literal shame over the pre-Crisis Superman kept a lot of things out of circulation for a while. Including reprints and collected editions. Could the relationship with Lois have been allowed to progress to the point of marriage under the pre-Crisis model? I don't know because they weren't allowed to try. Would quietly ignoring things like Superbaby or Krypto have helped sales? Again, they weren't allowed to try so who knows. We don't know what would have worked and what wouldn't have because they just didn't bother. I've seen some of the late pre-Crisis era stories and they weren't great. So it's not like they were putting out these great stories that nobody was reading. It was the same simple stand alone kiddie type fare they've been doing for decades. Meanwhile Spider-Man was already engaged to be married by 1985 and Cyclops of the X-Men already was married. Marvel was moving forward and DC wasn't.
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  12. #12
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Better is subjective, but the ideas were new to play with, and at the time it was a pretty big success. It took till about the end of the triangle era for it to start to falter. Which is nothing to sneeze at, it lasted a good while. But it definitely proved to have less of a shelf life than more classical elements.
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  13. #13
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    At the time of Crisis, they were on a creative upswing. Writers were encouraged to come up with new ideas and there was the promise of creator rights, so they thought they would reap the reward for generating new ideas. In terms of continuity, it was a mess--but that's an editorial thing--they hadn't worked out what the universe was going to be and how different projects would relate to one another (Giffen and DeMatteis went with a lot of second stringers on their Justice League simply because the other editors weren't willing to share their characters).

    The problem is the creator rights didn't work out so good. The talent realized they could get screwed and they stopped producing new ideas. Except for the Karen Berger line of comics which would become Vertigo where she gave them a lot more freedom and that paid off in quality comics. However, on the mainstream super-hero side, the writers just recycled everything from the post-Crisis (effectively cancelling the old stories by replacing them with new versions). They didn't create a whole lot of new characters and franchises--they simply revamped the old characters and introduced a bunch of spin-off characters within the existing franchises.

    Of course, none of this has anything to do with writing. Pre-Crisis, a lot of the ideas that we love so much didn't come from the actual script writer--they were the product of editors, senior editors, editorial directors, artistic directors, publishers--or they were created in plotting sessions between the editor and the writer.

    In terms of writing--the actual scripts--I think all writers are pretty much good at their craft. In the old days, a writer had to generate a lot more scripts, got paid a lot less, and only had so much time to finish the story. If those same writers were working today and they needed to write in today's style they would--and they'd be a lot happier, because they'd be making more money and maybe they could even enjoy luxuries like a health care plan and a retirement fund and royalties for their work.

    If the writers of today were hurled back in time and had to learn how to write scripts for Julius Schwartz and Mort Weisinger, they would make that adjustment, because their lives would depend on it.

    In terms of pre-Crisis Superman. My understanding is that in the mass market Superman comics sold big. SUPERMAN FAMILY was a money-maker. The problem is he didn't sell well in the direct sales market. But things like Warlord, Batman, Titans and Legion did. So what was the problem?

    Sure the mass market was dwindling as less venues sold comic books--but if they had just kept Superman as a popular mass market character, wouldn't that have worked out for them? Post-Crisis, they flirted with the idea of changing the imprint to Superman Comics for the books they sold at mass market stores. So that suggests the Superman brand was still their best seller in the mass market.

    I think it was John Byrne himself back around 1979 or 1980, he was asking why the publisher wasn't making a bigger deal out of the Christopher Reeve Superman (with one of the biggest box office movies of all time at that point). They could have had photo covers on their Superman comics. I thought they should do a magazine (Marvel was doing several magazines at the time). A SUPERMAN magazine could have got better display in drug stores--and featured the movie actors on the covers--with a combination of articles and comics.

    There were a lot of things they could have done with Superman in the mass market--but they didn't seem to try. They just decided to reinvent him for the comic shop consumers.
    Last edited by Jim Kelly; 04-26-2021 at 09:40 AM.
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  14. #14
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoda View Post
    Depends on what your definition of "better" was? Post-Crisis was necessary because Pre-Crisis was on the verge of cancellation more or less right? So whatever the preference for status quo, whatever those writers were doing wasn't connecting. Admittedly I've tried several times to read a lot of Bronze Age Superman and none of it really connects outside of maybe Moores stuff and the odd issue or two. On the whole, those stories just do utterly nothing for me. The Post Crisis Status quo has been the basis - with a mix of a lot of Pre-Crisis elements - for nearly the last 40 years of stories and outside media. To the extent their baseline ideas have been successfully translated into that, I'd say they did a pretty good job.
    But Superman definitely isn't what he once was and while he's still one of our biggest icons, I'd say it's more due to the fact that he's grandfathered in from the popularity of his early impact and success. Even so, he doesn't move as much merchandise as he used to, his last film ventures were duds (one of them leaning towards post-COIE for the basis), he's relegated to the small screen now and it's possible the next film reboot may not have Clark at all. His most popular other media appearance right now is the evil version from Injustice. So while some post-Crisis ideas kept him afloat and stuck around, how successful they are is a bit of a mixed bag.

    Yes a lot of the pre-Crisis stories haven't aged well, but that's due to the writing style than the mythos and how the character was set up at the time. Moore's stories can only be written with Superman as he was at that time, and they've aged far better than the Byrne comics have despite the latter being the more "modern" incarnation. And I think the post-COIE mythos has only contributed three things of note: businessman Lex, the marriage and his death. And the marriage is just an extension of Lois being his iconic love interest going all the way back to Action #1.

  15. #15
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Ironically I guess... Lois and Superman had gotten further apart than ever. There were a lot of things they still could have done to bring them together, but telling a different story that could be the same is just a different story, y'know? Might as well commit to that difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Weren't comicscode rules loosened by then?@bold,I kinda disagree with their whole approach.They kinda trivialised the action hero .Also,i don't think they even thought the vigilante nature of the character.They kinda wanted to put more focus "do we need a superman?",His morality and all that...etc.Here is the thing,mangas don't do that.

    I
    I'm not sure that one part of Superman #247's famous story sums up Maggin any more than Junk Man from #455. The ideas rattled off from 1970-1986 didn't stop for anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    This is a fair assessment. My point was that the restrictions placed on the pre-Crisis Superman made it difficult to compete with Marvel well into the 70s and 80s. Yes, the post-Crisis era had it's own restrictions. Many of which I've complained about in the past. DC's literal shame over the pre-Crisis Superman kept a lot of things out of circulation for a while. Including reprints and collected editions. Could the relationship with Lois have been allowed to progress to the point of marriage under the pre-Crisis model? I don't know because they weren't allowed to try. Would quietly ignoring things like Superbaby or Krypto have helped sales? Again, they weren't allowed to try so who knows. We don't know what would have worked and what wouldn't have because they just didn't bother. I've seen some of the late pre-Crisis era stories and they weren't great. So it's not like they were putting out these great stories that nobody was reading. It was the same simple stand alone kiddie type fare they've been doing for decades. Meanwhile Spider-Man was already engaged to be married by 1985 and Cyclops of the X-Men already was married. Marvel was moving forward and DC wasn't.
    I think a lot of people ended up with the impression that DC was ashamed of the pre Crisis matetial. But they recruited a pre crisis writer along with a number of pre crisis superfans who eventually built the mythos back up from largely what was missing in the beginning. The 1987 collection of greatest stories wad also one of very few reprints from the era. The approach they had looks better in hindsight though: do not by any means touch the old continuity and you'll effectively world build. Incorporate the stuff you're breaking from and you get Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, New 52, or another reboot that doesn't stand on the same level as the original. Although they still irked Byrne by using Garcia Lopez for the promotional art, haha.

    As far as not great stories go, it's very subjective but I'd put the likes of Superman #416, DCP #87, or other stories not based around the end of the line against anything modern.
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