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  1. #1
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Default How did they handwave away Barry, Hal, & Ollie being dead for years?

    I'm sure they must have given some explanation as to why three guys who were each declared legally dead for several years suddenly reappeared, but I can't remember what those explanations were. Does anybody know or was it just ignored?

    Hal would be the easiest as he lived a lot of his life drifting from job to job and place to place. He could just say he was off backpacking in Asia for a few years, but Barry was a somewhat prominent member of the Central City Police Department and Oliver Queen was a prominent billionaire businessman.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Or how they suddenly looked younger despite their age. Hal was retconned to always be young. Ollie was explicitly deaged so he should have been 50+ to anyone who knew him.

    Barry, they didn't touch on it much. I vaguley recall something about him being in witness protection as the cover story but my memory is hazy on that. Post Flash Rebirth, Johns tried to make Barry seem like a man out of time who missed a lot of events of his friends lives especially in Blackest Night but in Flash's own title he tried to play Barry and Iris like they were young and hip again. Iris, whom at that in time had lived in the future, raised twins, raised a grandson, came back to Wally's time, written an autobiography and lived a full life post Barry's death.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    I might be wrong, but wasn't it public knowledge that Oliver Queen was Green Arrow. I remember that being the case in Mike Grell's run. "Oh yeah, that's where Green Arrow lives, right across the street". Most notably Ollie was on trial for accidentally killing a civilian.

  4. #4
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    Or how they suddenly looked younger despite their age. Hal was retconned to always be young. Ollie was explicitly deaged so he should have been 50+ to anyone who knew him.

    Barry, they didn't touch on it much. I vaguley recall something about him being in witness protection as the cover story but my memory is hazy on that. Post Flash Rebirth, Johns tried to make Barry seem like a man out of time who missed a lot of events of his friends lives especially in Blackest Night but in Flash's own title he tried to play Barry and Iris like they were young and hip again. Iris, whom at that in time had lived in the future, raised twins, raised a grandson, came back to Wally's time, written an autobiography and lived a full life post Barry's death.
    YES! They explained Barry's death as him being in the Witness Relocation Program. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    I might be wrong, but wasn't it public knowledge that Oliver Queen was Green Arrow. I remember that being the case in Mike Grell's run. "Oh yeah, that's where Green Arrow lives, right across the street". Most notably Ollie was on trial for accidentally killing a civilian.
    Ollie's secret identity was always kind of weird, particularly the further we got from the 60s and his ridiculously specific goatee looked more and more anachronistic. The idea that no one could tell that one of Star City's most prominent citizens, who'd been a rich playboy and run for mayor on multiple occasions, was also Star City's resident superhero made Clark Kent's glasses look positively foolproof.

  6. #6
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Hunter View Post
    I might be wrong, but wasn't it public knowledge that Oliver Queen was Green Arrow. I remember that being the case in Mike Grell's run. "Oh yeah, that's where Green Arrow lives, right across the street". Most notably Ollie was on trial for accidentally killing a civilian.
    I think Ollie read up on his death too in Quiver.

  7. #7
    Three Legged Member married guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    Or how they suddenly looked younger despite their age. Hal was retconned to always be young. Ollie was explicitly deaged so he should have been 50+ to anyone who knew him.

    Barry, they didn't touch on it much. I vaguley recall something about him being in witness protection as the cover story but my memory is hazy on that. Post Flash Rebirth, Johns tried to make Barry seem like a man out of time who missed a lot of events of his friends lives especially in Blackest Night but in Flash's own title he tried to play Barry and Iris like they were young and hip again. Iris, whom at that in time had lived in the future, raised twins, raised a grandson, came back to Wally's time, written an autobiography and lived a full life post Barry's death.
    Yeah, the Iris de-ageing disturbed me WAY more than Barry's.
    DC are still yet to explain how it happened.
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  8. #8
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    First you have to tell me which timeline. Back in the 1990s, they were fond of timelines. And you had all sorts. Ten year, twenty year and variations on all. Because comic book time is not like real time. And what seems to us like decades can only be a few months in comic book time. Especially when you have characters that are static for decades, with very little change in their lives. There was no pressure to age up Hal or Ollie or Iris. Those were decisions taken by certain writers and artists, because they thought it would be cool. But in the reality of the comic book they didn't have to age.

    Iris didn't need to be so old. She died and then her essence was brought back to the 30th century and she got a new body, then she went back to the 20th century in a different body and saved Barry then went back with Barry to the 30th in her new female body. Then Barry went off to die in the Crisis and she had kids. But she was living in the 30th and 31st century. Paul Levitz established in one story that the Legionnaires didn't age very much because of futuristic science--so people in their thirties and forties appeared no older than teen-agers. Paul later said that was a bad idea--but I think it was a great idea and I just accept that as true. In any case, it just makes sense that Iris wouldn't look so old as the artists made her look. But they were going for a mood. Since she was on her third or fourth body by then, when she came back to the 20th century, despite being a grandmother, she should have not looked that much older from when she died.

    If you assume that Wally was twenty in Crisis and he was twenty-five by the time Barry came back from the dead, then you have a five year timeline. I'm just spitballing here. But within that five year timeline, both Ollie and Hal died and came back, so the time that passed for them would have been even less.

    Even though there were some fun things that came from Ollie and Hal being older in certain comics--in hindsight, I don't think it was worth the mess it made of everyone else's timeline. The characters have been around for decades, but they don't age, because it's a comic book. Simple as that. Other people in the comic book world don't notice this because they exist in the same world with the same rules--they don't need to age either. If I got a picture of myself in my attic that keeps getting older, while I stay young, I'm not going to go looking in anyone else's attic--better to live and let live.
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  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member j9ac9k's Avatar
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    I think if we had gotten the tv show based on the original concept for "Powerless" as an insurance company, I'm sure we would've seen that in the DCU resurrection insurance policies are a dime a dozen and people "die" and come back all the time.

  10. #10
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    Death is relative.

    Back when they did COIE it felt so powerful, because it was well permanent.
    They were gone, even heroes you grew up loving, caring about, well too bad we the geniuses at DC
    have decided it was time to shoot a whole bunch of them in the back of the head, then dump
    them in a ditch.

    But the thing is that while it lasted for various amounts of times, it couldn't be maintained.
    Supergirl is a good case in point, it was stunning when they killed her.
    It even led to an appalled Newsweek op-ed if I remember correctly.
    People wanted her back, DC went through various maneuvers, she got dusted off, was back
    better than ever.

    The thing is that now we have become cynical about the death of characters.
    Oh, they've killed Superman again? Let me mark the time, so I can know how many hours
    and seconds before he returns.
    Hey Batman good to see you again. How was the afterlife? No, don't worry about
    Gotham City, it is still here. Yes, the political system is as corrupt as always.

    That is the thing about death. In the real world when we have family members, friends die
    it is a gaping wound we understand it will never be the same. But with superheroes
    well it becomes a temporary plot device, that will be undone a few issues, a few years down
    the road.

    It is like all the reboots that DC does. These constant crises means the power of the reboot
    gets lost. COIE had this emotional power because you had a sense this was it. No one feels
    that way about what happens with these reboots. Don't like the latest crisis, the latest reboot?
    Don't worry there will be another one in a few years. You can always enjoy the latest elseworld
    title while you wait.

    Death in the DC universe is a temporary marketing phenomenon. I suppose DC could revise the power of
    death by killing off an important character, then keeping him dead. The problem would be that we are all
    too cynical about death now. Like the boy who cried wolf, we would just figure four months from now that
    character would return.
    Last edited by RobinGA; 10-28-2021 at 10:54 AM.

  11. #11
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    Not all deaths are created equal.

    When Charles Biro had Meatball die, it was all part of a carefully planned arc, which had Curly join the little Wise Guys, burdened with his part in the death of Meatball. When Jim Shooter introduced Ferro Lad, with the foreknowledge among the readers that Ferro Lad was doomed, it was part of an epic tale that gave Ferro Lad's sacrifice great meaning. When Goodwin and Simonson ended their Manhunter series with the death of Paul Kirk, it was a story that was so well-respected that no one has dared to revive Kirk (just his clones). When Wolfman and Perez introduced Tara Markov, a complex character who gained sympathy among the readership, they knew exactly what they were doing and her death had profound meaning (and it should have stayed that way).

    It's different when writers knock off characters for cheap reasons. If a writer kills off a character like Ching, just to dump on all the writers and editors that worked on Wonder Woman during his absence, then I don't see why he can get away with that. Should Keith Giffen be able to kill off Karate Kid just because he doesn't like the character? Should Arthur Curry, Jr., die off panel (which somehow was more grim than if he we saw his murder) just to get him out the way so the writers can split up Aquaman and Mera?

    It doesn't seem right to me that any old writer can come along and kill off a beloved character--especially one they didn't create--and that has to be set in stone. If writers make dumb decisions that ruin the comic books, they deserve to have their decisions reversed.

    And there are some revivals that were always part of the plan. I'm sure Len Wein knew when he killed off Red Tornado in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA 102 that he was going to bring back the elemental android in issue 105. The writing was on the wall for Superman's death. You knew that Bruce Wayne would never actually be dead.

    Well-planned stories that have meaning should be respected. Cheap writing has no right to that.
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  12. #12
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    I figure FLASHPOINT and then REBIRTH kind of rewrote everything.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by j9ac9k View Post
    I think if we had gotten the tv show based on the original concept for "Powerless" as an insurance company, I'm sure we would've seen that in the DCU resurrection insurance policies are a dime a dozen and people "die" and come back all the time.
    I actually enjoyed that show. Sad that it got cancelled.

  14. #14
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buried Alien View Post
    I figure FLASHPOINT and then REBIRTH kind of rewrote everything.

    Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
    Yeah, true - but all three were already resurrected before New 52, they didn't come back due to the reboot.
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  15. #15
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    With Ollie, his origin story is literally him being missing/presumed dead while he was becoming Green Arrow. I'm sure his circle thought it was nothing new when he died and came back before.

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