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  1. #31
    Veteran Member Darth Kal-el's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I always found it hard to reconcile the John Lennon from 1963 with the John Lennon from 1968. One had relatively short, dark brown hair and a chubby face. The other had long dirty blonde hair (sometimes pulled back in a ponytail), round-rimmed glasses and a gaunt face. Were they really the same person?
    Maybe he was Superman

    Anyway this is just the new status quo called truth running through the books. They say you only need one book to understand the story. We shall see, but Action 41was the first issue of the story. Also welcome

  2. #32
    Phantom Zone Escapee manofsteel1979's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I always found it hard to reconcile the John Lennon from 1963 with the John Lennon from 1968. One had relatively short, dark brown hair and a chubby face. The other had long dirty blonde hair (sometimes pulled back in a ponytail), round-rimmed glasses and a gaunt face. Were they really the same person?
    Good point...and yet some nutters speculated whether the paul McCartney post 1966 was the real one or not, yet no one speculated about Lennon's authenticity.

  3. #33
    You guessed it mr_crisp's Avatar
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    Congratulations, folks! Now you know that Clark Kent is Superman and he's probably been using his powers to spy on you.
    The Gypsies had no home. The Doors had no bass.

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  4. #34
    Incredible Member Lorendiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manofsteel1979 View Post
    As for the rest, don't worry. This current storyline is just one in a long line of "status quo altering" story lines that eventually reverts back to the status quo. Over the 25 years i've been reading Superman comics, hes died and returned ( with a mullet!) , had his powers taken and returned numerous times, seem Metropolis raized to the ground by Lex Luthor only to see it rebuilt via magic, and even had his powers and costume completely altered for a year. In comic books nothing remains static. I would just enjoy the ride. Who knows...you may end up enjoying Yourself!

    Oh and welcome to the forums!
    I agree with the basic sentiments I just quoted. I regard such things as "Hey! Everybody and his brother now knows Superman's secret identity!" as fitting into the category of stories that I call "Temporary Stunts" or "Temporary Changes." It looks very weird and shocking to diehard fans of "the traditional approach" to a popular superhero . . . and in a few months or a few years, everybody in the comic books will seem to have forgotten all about it, thanks to whatever excuse a writer sees fit to use to "turn back the clock" and restore the Sacred Status Quo!

    To add to the examples already provided by manofsteel1979, some other dramatic things that have happened to Superman in the last few decades (without really mattering in the long run) have included:

    1. A great deal of fanfare about the long-awaited marriage of Lois Lane and Clark Kent . . . when it finally happened in the mid-1990s . . . followed by many years' worth of stories showing them as a happy couple (usually) . . . and then, a few years ago, their entire marriage was "erased from history" when Superman got thoroughly rebooted for "the New 52."

    2. Superman not doing anything to warn the American people that "I know for a fact that Lex Luthor is an evil man" when Lex was running for President of the United States in comics published in 2000, with the result that Lex was elected to that job in the DCU, and gleefully moved into the Oval Office for the next few years! Naturally, you never hear anything about that in the comics any more. (Even before the "New 52" reboot, I don't think it got mentioned very often.)

    3. Various "Supergirl" characters coming and going, without rhyme or reason, and sometimes never being mentioned again after they'd been "kicked offstage and swept under the rug," as it were. (I once made a bit of a name for myself on Superman-themed discussion boards by compiling a master list of all of the "Supergirl" and "Superwoman" characters who had ever been "canonical" at one time or another. It was a ridiculously long list! )

    4. A story, back around 1999 or thereabouts, in which we were led to believe that Superman and Wonder Woman spent 1000 years fighting side by side in Asgard, then were transported back to "here and now" in the modern DCU, and then Superman just shrugged it off and went right back to business as usual as a superhero. He hadn't been perceptibly changed in any way by the fact that he was now a solid thousand years older than he used to be! (Pretty soon, everybody at DC just forgot all about that silly story -- or at least they hoped we had forgotten it, which amounts to the same thing.)

    If you just repeat to yourself that "This is a Temporary Stunt and a few years from now it will be like it never happened in the first place!" then it becomes ever so much easier on your nerves when you see something happening in a DC comic book that goes directly against what you think that character "is all about!" (Trust me, I speak from personal experience, and plenty of it! )
    Last edited by Lorendiac; 06-12-2015 at 08:58 PM.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorendiac View Post
    I agree with the basic sentiments I just quoted. I regard such things as "Hey! Everybody and his brother now knows Superman's secret identity!" as fitting into the category of stories that I call "Temporary Stunts" or "Temporary Changes." It looks very weird and shocking to diehard fans of "the traditional approach" to a popular superhero . . . and in a few months or a few years, everybody in the comic books will seem to have forgotten all about it, thanks to whatever excuse a writer sees fit to use to "turn back the clock" and restore the Sacred Status Quo!
    I might've had this reaction back in 1987, but actually these stunts look a lot like what I remember from the old days. It's just the presentation that's changed. Classic comics had these same stunts which fit into either one of two categories:
    1. imaginary story/dream/alternate reality or
    2. hoax/temporary change/mass delusion.

    Initially--back in the '30s and '40s, these were resolved within one story--often only 13 pages or less. There were other featured comics like ALL-FLASH where a story could play out over 33 pages, but I don't know of any published Superman stories that went on for that long back then. The K-Metal story was supposed to be book-length, but it was never published--I wonder what the upshot of that story would have been--would it have changed the status quo for Superman or would it eventually be some kind of hoax, dream or otherwise invalidated later? In the daily strips, there were stories that went on for a very long time. There was one where Clark and Lois did get married and it was supposed to be for real, until the writer was told to turn it into an imaginary story.

    By the '60s, these kind of stories could go on for more than one issue. The Virus-X story was continued over the space of five issues. In the '70s, the Sand Superman Saga dominated for about nine months. Subsequent to this, to avoid confusion, the Julie Schwartz books would often have a note explaining that the events in this story take place after the events in other Superman (or Batman or other) stories in other titles.

    The difference from now and then was that we knew everything would go back to normal. Or we had a pretty good assumption that order would be restored. There were some stories where I was shocked and thought a change might hold. And sometimes things happened that did affect continuity from then on. Supergirl was revealed to the world, Dick Grayson graduated from high school, Roy Harper was a drug addict, the JLA did shift their HQ to a satellite above the Earth. Ra's al Ghul was brought to justice, Clark Kent did stay at WGBS.

    The details of the "Truth" story remind me most of
    • "When there was no Clark Kent," SUPERMAN 127 (February '59); story: Jerry Coleman; art: Curt Swan and Stan Kaye.
    • "Who Took the Super Out of Supeman," et al, SUPERMAN 296 (February '76) - 299 (May '76); story: Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin; art: Curt Swan and Bob Oksner.

    The big difference for us now is that we know DC can easily throw out continuity and change their universe. So the game is a little different. The kinds of devices a writer had to use before to restore the status quo aren't necessary now. And the reader has no expectation that continuity must right itself or all is lost.

    But the writers, consciously or unconsciously, seem to be harvesting a lot of old material for their "new" stories. I feel so strongly about the debt that modern stories owe to past stories and past creators that I believe every comic should have a page at the back, where past creators and their work are acknowledged. It doesn't seem right that work can be passed off as "new" when it really would not exist if not for what was already created before.
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  6. #36
    Incredible Member Lorendiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I might've had this reaction back in 1987, but actually these stunts look a lot like what I remember from the old days. It's just the presentation that's changed. Classic comics had these same stunts which fit into either one of two categories:
    1. imaginary story/dream/alternate reality or
    2. hoax/temporary change/mass delusion.

      Initially--back in the '30s and '40s, these were resolved within one story--often only 13 pages or less.
    To clarify something: Yesterday, when I dashed off the post which you were responding to here, I did not say, in so many words: "And the dramatic and controversial Temporary Stunts of 'modern times' are largely in the same tradition as lots of kooky Golden Age/Silver Age stories which would show something 'shocking' on the cover, and then by the end of the story, within the pages of that same issue, pretty much everything would have been explained away and 'returned to normal.' It's just that nowadays, DC milks this sort of thing for a lot longer before it 'fades away' into comic book limbo, several months or a few years later!"

    No, I didn't say exactly that, but I know I was thinking it! I've been thinking it for a very long time, in fact.

    Heck, shortly after I finished that post, yesterday, I suddenly remembered something I read in an op-ed piece in the "Hero Illustrated" magazine, back around 1993 or 1994. The author (it might have been Dave Sim of "Cerebus" fame, but don't hold me to that) was talking about the recent "speculator craze" that had afflicted the comic book market of the early 1990s, what with people buying lots of extra copies of the issue containing "the Death of Superman," etc., and he said something along the following lines (paraphrased from my imperfect memory):

    Just imagine if this speculator mania had existed decades ago, when all those crazy Silver Age stories were coming out. We would have had the following conversation taking place repeatedly:

    "Hey, Bubba! It says here that in next month's 'Action Comics,' Superman will get turned into a green turtle!"

    "Whoa, Nellie! We'd better order an extra case of those! Ten years from now, when Superman is still a green turtle, collectors will be paying a small fortune for mint-condition copies of the back issue that launched a whole new era!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    The big difference for us now is that we know DC can easily throw out continuity and change their universe. So the game is a little different. The kinds of devices a writer had to use before to restore the status quo aren't necessary now. And the reader has no expectation that continuity must right itself or all is lost.
    I don't think there's such a "big difference" between "then" and "now." In other words, I don't think the diehard fanbase's knowledge of the possibility of "DC can easily discard some old continuity on a whim for the sake of a new story" has only arisen comparatively recently -- in the 30 years or so since "Crisis On Infinite Earths," for instance.

    Even before COIE and the transition to "Post-Crisis" continuity, DC had several occasions of "Let's just have our characters implicitly develop Collective Amnesia about the events of a previous story which now feels like a millstone around our necks! It shall never be spoken of again!" That didn't require the current writer on a title to jump through hoops with an elaborate scheme to "carefully undo" the consequences of the controversial previous story on one pretext or another; it just required sweeping it under the rug and pretending it had never happened in the first place!

    The first example that springs to mind is the fate of the creature known as "Mopee" who once claimed, in a Silver Age tale, to be directly responsible for Barry Allen gaining super-powers. Mopee has never been heard from again, and all subsequent "retellings" of Barry's origin story have carefully avoided any suggestion that Mopee was ever involved in any way!

    Another example would be the story in "Superboy #158" (1969) in which Superboy discovered his biological parents, Jor-El and Lara, were technically still alive -- but frozen and floating in space -- and had to be left that way because if their metabolisms were warmed up to normal, they would quickly die of radiation poisoning which no one knew how to cure. That story was never revealed as "a dream sequence" or "an Imaginary Story" or "only happened in an obscure parallel universe we've never mentioned before" -- it was simply ignored by everyone and his brother at DC after that single issue had come and gone! As with Mopee: All subsequent "retellings" of Clark Kent's origin story, and the tragic death of his Kryptonian parents when the planet blew up, continued to stress the point that Jor-El and Lara were dead, dead, dead! Not just "frozen solid and waiting for a miracle cure to come along."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    But the writers, consciously or unconsciously, seem to be harvesting a lot of old material for their "new" stories. I feel so strongly about the debt that modern stories owe to past stories and past creators that I believe every comic should have a page at the back, where past creators and their work are acknowledged. It doesn't seem right that work can be passed off as "new" when it really would not exist if not for what was already created before.
    Lovely idea -- in theory. But in practice, I see it as a lost cause. For one thing, if such pages were published, the fans would still be moaning and whining about how only some of the "obvious influences" had been acknowledged. "Good grief, how can it be that you credit a Superman story from 1982 and a Superman story from 1967 as serious influences here, but you callously fail to acknowledge the story's 'obvious debt' to a similar plot which was used in a 'World's Finest' story in 1950?"

    Then the writer posts an online remark saying, "Well, I've never read that WF story from 1950, so I doubt it had a direct influence on any of my recent work. It may have influenced the writers of the stories that influenced me, but that doesn't mean I need to 'credit' some story I never even heard of before!"

    Then fans would throw a hissy fit about how "elitist" this writer sounded in refusing to pay proper tribute to old Golden Age classics . . .

  7. #37
    Astonishing Member JackDaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorendiac View Post
    4. A story, back around 1999 or thereabouts, in which we were led to believe that Superman and Wonder Woman spent 1000 years fighting side by side in Asgard, then were transported back to "here and now" in the modern DCU, and then Superman just shrugged it off and went right back to business as usual as a superhero. He hadn't been perceptibly changed in any way by the fact that he was now a solid thousand years older than he used to be! (Pretty soon, everybody at DC just forgot all about that silly story -- or at least they hoped we had forgotten it, which amounts to the same thing.)
    Still regard the fact that he didn't bonk her once in a thousand years as complete proof that Superman has stronger will power than Hal Jordan. This is one of the feats that should be in top 10 super feats of all time.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    But the writers, consciously or unconsciously, seem to be harvesting a lot of old material for their "new" stories. I feel so strongly about the debt that modern stories owe to past stories and past creators that I believe every comic should have a page at the back, where past creators and their work are acknowledged..
    That'd make a long list. There are always examples of recycling in books, films, and comics, but if you can spin the previous material into something of your own, you don't have to piggy-back off that legacy.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Threads View Post
    That'd make a long list. There are always examples of recycling in books, films, and comics, but if you can spin the previous material into something of your own, you don't have to piggy-back off that legacy.
    If there was someone like Bob Rozakis or E. Nelson Bridwell working in comics now, I could see it as a column at the back of the book--included with the indicia and house ads. It wouldn't have to be long, because it would be an ongoing column that would continue to discuss past stories that echo current storylines. I think that everyone would appreciate that, as it would help to set the comics in a context and could promote other books. The columnist could even field questions sent in from readers. It's always good to have a little background information.
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