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  1. #76
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    I'll admit I'm a bit biased on this subject, since I'm a fan of the CW show, and most of the Barry Allen comics I've read are the New 52 and early Rebirth runs, Flashpoint and Geoff John's Flash Rebirth (though I have read some of the early Silver Age stuff too).

    But honestly, I'm a fan of the ''dead mother'' retcon. The idea of a hero's arch-nemesis hating him so much that he uses time-travel to retroactively make his life miserable, while ironically still helping shape him into the hero he was destined to be, is a neat one. The show of course took it a step further by having Thawne literally turn Barry into the Flash.

    I like the idea of Barry becoming a forensics scientist in order to one day exonerate his father, and also to ensure that no other innocent is wrongfully accused of a crime.

    I respect the fact that a lot of long-time fans hate this retcon. But here's the thing - the original Barry Allen was a pretty bland plain vanilla character. He was the herald of the Silver Age who didn't really grow out of the Silver Age. Yes the powers and the rogues and the stories were all cool, but the character lacked any real depth. Yes I know the guy who ''just wants to do the right thing'' has a certain appeal, but contemporary audiences (by which I'm not just talking 2021, but even 1986) demand more.

    So instead of getting a modern reinvention, like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman etc. Barry Allen was relegated to backstory, and the younger, cockier and more flawed Wally West became the 'modern' Flash. Barry got to be the saint of the superhero world with all his goodness for goodness' sake.

    When he came back though, and became the current Flash again, he needed to be more than a resurrected saint. Thus...the retcon.

    Here's the thing though - I don't think the retcon needs to make Barry angst-ridden and totally consumed by his mother's murder. I think Barry needs to be someone who's taken this tragic event from his past and used it to grow stronger and even more optimistic about the positive change he can effect in the world - as a CSI and as the Flash. Flashpoint is the exception, the one time there was a chink in his armor, and considering the circumstances, a pretty justified one.

    And I don't think Barry was bland. He was my favorite silver age character. And I don't everyone needs a trauma in their past. And I especially don't think characters need to be rewritten to in-name-only new characters. And I really disagree with the "demanding more" bit - it's not more, just different. And not that different, frankly, as several other characters were also rewritten to add more angst and trauma, as well (and that's on top of a significant number that were build that way from the start). That's gotten to be as old-hat, repetitive, and one-note as anyone just doing the right thing, and far more common.

    It's funny, because I'd been told that heroes/characters were pretty indistinguishable in characterization/behavior until the bronze age when I first got into comics, but I actually found the silver-age invented characters (and some of the golden age ones in the golden age, too) quite distinct. They weren't the all the same at all. And they were sort of rounder and more "normal acting" than modern ones sometimes are, where one character trait is really exaggerated/focused on. And much more healthy, functioning, mature adults in the real world, which is a plus to me. The drama of those with life in disaster or who keep sabotaging professional or personal relationships can be entertaining for a while, but with these long-running characters, it just gets put on "repeat" until it becomes tiresome. TV shows have an easier time of that since they don't run as long, but even then after a couple years, I'm ready to more forward instead of staying on the hamster wheel. And I can tolerate and enjoy in a 15-18 year old an immaturity (if a character is growing up) that is just tedious and annoying in anyone 20+, muchless 30+. Not talking about the Flash show, BTW, just thinking of some fiction in general.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 07-29-2021 at 04:04 AM.

  2. #77
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    Batman redescovering the bat-family and stopping be distant from them (just to return to square 1 the next run)

    Batman having a final battle with Joker for the umpteenth time

  3. #78
    Doctor Fate Doctor Kent Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    Call it like you want, but I still think it is over done at this point.
    Tynion IV and his apprentice Ram V love this trope!

    Not J. Michael Straczynski knew how to write a good Kent Nelson!


  4. #79
    Black Belt in Bad Ideas Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Kent Nelson View Post
    Tynion IV and his apprentice Ram V love this trope!

    Not J. Michael Straczynski knew how to write a good Kent Nelson!

    His Superman run was pretty awful but I really enjoyed his Brave and the Bold for the most part. The Aquaman/Demon issue was rad.
    May we never forget:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    Daddy Zeus can hit the bricks.
    Truer words never spoken.

  5. #80
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    And I don't think Barry was bland.
    He was as bland as all of the superheroes were back in the Silver Age. Everybody's favorite here, regardless of when they were created, would have been just as "vanilla." Besides, it's hard to call Barry bland during the late '70s and '80s after all the stuff he went through.
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  6. #81
    Astonishing Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Zoom going back in time to make Barry's life miserable from childhood onwards is fine for a brief story arc but not as a new origin. If you had to change the character that much, then what's the point of bringing him back? I can't imagine any fan of Barry being enthused about the dead mother origin and Barry being turned into a perpetual screw up who messes up the timeline every Tuesday over the guy who died to save the world and became the ultimate symbol of heroic sacrifice in the DCU.

    OG Barry's appeal was that he was a proto-Peter Parker. A geek who grew up to become a hero himself. He seems like the shy, quiet, withdrawn type of geek but wouldn't be able to shut up if you get him talk about something he is really passionate about, whether it's science or the OG Flash.

  7. #82
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Kent Nelson View Post
    Tynion IV and his apprentice Ram V love this trope!

    Not J. Michael Straczynski knew how to write a good Kent Nelson!

    Good stuff .

  8. #83
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    Zoom going back in time to make Barry's life miserable from childhood onwards is fine for a brief story arc but not as a new origin. If you had to change the character that much, then what's the point of bringing him back? I can't imagine any fan of Barry being enthused about the dead mother origin and Barry being turned into a perpetual screw up who messes up the timeline every Tuesday over the guy who died to save the world and became the ultimate symbol of heroic sacrifice in the DCU.
    I have been a fan of Barry since the late '60s, yet I'm okay with the retcon. My only problem is that it doesn't make sense logically - if the Reverse Flash can alter a timeline, then Barry should be able to fix it the way it was originally.
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  9. #84
    Ultimate Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Darknight Detective View Post
    I have been a fan of Barry since the late '60s, yet I'm okay with the retcon. My only problem is that it doesn't make sense logically - if the Reverse Flash can alter a timeline, then Barry should be able to fix it the way it was originally.
    This is the part that makes the retcon stupid. Thawne can make Barry’s life hell but Barry can’t undo the changes to the timeline? Flashpoint bills itself as a story about how Barry needs to move on, but it also portrays Barry as deleting the Flashpoint timeline as a good thing. So why is it ok for him to do that but he can’t stop Thawne, someone who made changes to the timeline on a greater scale than Barry did? It’s just stupid and makes no sense.
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  10. #85
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    This is the part that makes the retcon stupid. Thawne can make Barry’s life hell but Barry can’t undo the changes to the timeline? Flashpoint bills itself as a story about how Barry needs to move on, but it also portrays Barry as deleting the Flashpoint timeline as a good thing. So why is it ok for him to do that but he can’t stop Thawne, someone who made changes to the timeline on a greater scale than Barry did? It’s just stupid and makes no sense.
    Yeah, it's nonsensical. Thawne can alter the timeline to his liking without any butterfly-effect consequences, but when Barry is trying to make things right, his efforts cause unintended ripples (despite the fact he never did any of this pre-COIE.
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  11. #86
    Astonishing Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Darknight Detective View Post
    He was as bland as all of the superheroes were back in the Silver Age. Everybody's favorite here, regardless of when they were created, would have been just as "vanilla." Besides, it's hard to call Barry bland during the late '70s and '80s after all the stuff he went through.
    I just don't agree. He was not bland to me, just not exaggerated, as they often are today. It was back before when there were separate superhero and soap opera comics. While I can enjoy some drama, these days it's constant upheaval in everyday life, with heroes frequently engaged in self-destructive behavior (albeit not all of them at the same time) and it's tedious.

    I also strongly disagree that it takes trauma and angst to make character be non-bland.

    OG Barry's appeal was that he was a proto-Peter Parker. A geek who grew up to become a hero himself. He seems like the shy, quiet, withdrawn type of geek but wouldn't be able to shut up if you get him talk about something he is really passionate about, whether it's science or the OG Flash.
    I sort of agree with the first part, but not the second. Barry was never quiet or shy or withdrawn (indeed, there's an early issue where we meet and old school friend of his who was). He had good social skills. A beautiful girlfriend (albeit, his constant lateness could be a problem). He wasn't picked on and seemed self-confident (by that I mean he didn't seem to lack self-confidence, not that he was unusually self-confident). Which is a great, really, to say a science-oriented comic-book reader can be that instead of stereotypical geek. And he and Iris were always so well put together and stylish looking. Part of it's just the way they wore the clothes. Look at Barry v. Bruce as drawn in those days and without context, I wouldn't be pegging Bruce as the well-put-together billionaire and Barry as the "science geek." Okay, a lot of that is down to Infantino's art. But it still affects my perception.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 07-29-2021 at 03:21 PM.

  12. #87
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzigone View Post
    I just don't agree. He was not bland to me, just not exaggerated, as they often are today. It was back before when there were separate superhero and soap opera comics. While I can enjoy some drama, these days it's constant upheaval in everyday life, with heroes frequently engaged in self-destructive behavior (albeit not all of them at the same time) and it's tedious.

    I also strongly disagree that it takes trauma and angst to make character be non-bland.
    I specifically said during the Silver Age was when all characters were cardboard-like. It was the Bronze Age of my youth where the characters started getting flesh on their bones. IOW, I didn't find him uninteresting at all (BTW, he has been my favorite Flash for over 50 years).

    As for trauma making a character less bland, I never said it did.
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  13. #88
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    This is the part that makes the retcon stupid. Thawne can make Barry’s life hell but Barry can’t undo the changes to the timeline? Flashpoint bills itself as a story about how Barry needs to move on, but it also portrays Barry as deleting the Flashpoint timeline as a good thing. So why is it ok for him to do that but he can’t stop Thawne, someone who made changes to the timeline on a greater scale than Barry did? It’s just stupid and makes no sense.
    I remember in the TV show they had it to where the timeline is so fragile that the more you try and make changes the more it "cracks," although that never stopped other time travels in the same universe...

  14. #89
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I remember in the TV show they had it to where the timeline is so fragile that the more you try and make changes the more it "cracks," although that never stopped other time travels in the same universe...
    Exactly. The Legends by themselves should have changed the Earth by now into something unrecognizable with all of their travels.
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  15. #90
    Boisterously Confused
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Darknight Detective View Post
    I specifically said during the Silver Age was when all characters were cardboard-like. It was the Bronze Age of my youth where the characters started getting flesh on their bones. IOW, I didn't find him uninteresting at all (BTW, he has been my favorite Flash for over 50 years).
    I thought so as a kid, but I've been rereading the Silver Age (currently in 1966). I'm noticing that there are differences in the characters, just not extreme ones. Green Lantern and Flash probably have the starkest distinctions. Even tho they were both All-American Good Guys, Hal was a a bit of a cocky snit, and Barry more of a dependable nice guy.

    ETA: thinking on it a bit further, JL writers weren't taking time to work with those distinctions, but you could see them in the individual titles.
    Last edited by DrNewGod; 07-30-2021 at 07:16 AM.

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