View Poll Results: Do you feel the legacy aspect in DC does more harm than good?

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  • Yes

    26 21.85%
  • No

    53 44.54%
  • Depends on the character

    40 33.61%
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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member El_Gato's Avatar
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    Default Legacy: Good or bad?

    Do you guys agree with the statement that being a legacy character tends to hold a character back from reaching their full potential? By potential I mean outside media appearances, rising in popularity and ultimately becoming their own hero with their own stories. On one hand legacies or someone taking up the mantle tend to also create unnecessary fan wars built on bitterness because said fans favorite isn't the one being used. On the other hand it gives newer characters that inherit a superhero name/mantle a greater chance of getting recognition and attention (I'll get back to you with examples).

    Some notable legacies in the DCU [different people have taken on the name]:

    Robin
    Green Lantern
    The Flash
    Blue Beetle
    Firestorm
    The Atom
    Wondergirl

    Just to name a few. I've also noticed that DC tends to create new minority characters by giving them the name/mantle of a previously White character which I feel does more harm than good. The minority character tends to get the shorter end of the stick and almost always the mantle reverts back to the original both in comics and outside media (Jaime Reyes seems to be the exception not the rule).

    So I ask you would you do away with the legacy aspect in DC? Do you feel it does more harm than good? Discuss.
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  2. #2
    D*mned Prince of Gotham JasonTodd428's Avatar
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    Personally I love the idea of having legacy characters but the execution of it, at times, leaves something to be desired. Honestly, I sometimes wish that the older generation of characters were allowed by the big two to "retire" so that a new generation of characters could move into those mantles organically but I'm pretty much in the minority there. Still I'd read the heck out of a book that featured the next generation of the JL taking over for their mentors, just as an example, but of course that will never happen with an in continuity JL title because Batman HAS to be Bruce Wayne and so forth or it's not the REAL JL.
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  3. #3
    Mighty Member WonderNight's Avatar
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    being a legacy character help and hurts! it helps when you want a new or less known characters to get there foot in the door by giving them a role/niche in a already big brand. but the down side is when the legacy needs to move on to something bigger. now you have to change one of the characters so they are not too similer. also sell to people why they should read and a donna troy book over a wonder woman book is hard. its like telling people to buy a ps3 over a ps4!

    my two favorite characters are legacy's (nightwing and power girl) and i would love for them to get more push's in and out of comics and be there own second gen world's finest, but i know dc and warner will just say go with batman and superman instead. that sucks.

  4. #4
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    I actually do not care for the legacy stuff. It works for SOME characters, but just a few. The Flash, Green Lantern, maybe a few second and third tier guys and gals (Starman, Hourman, etc). For the most part it's needless.

    Superman is Clark Kent/Kal-El. Batman is Bruce Wayne. Wonder Woman is Diana. Aquaman is Arthur Curry. Giving everyone a legacy is detrimental to the brand and the core of the characters themselves. Having 35 Robins does nothing but water down what it means to see Dick Grayson hand those pixie boots over to a new kid. Occasionally it can be a fun story (Batman Beyond was a solid show), but largely it does little to help.

    Honestly I'd even move the Flash away from legacy stuff. It gets in the way of seeing a fast dude in scarlet, defying space/time, and fighting giant apes.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 05-14-2016 at 04:01 PM.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    I actually do not care for the legacy stuff. It works for SOME characters, but just a few. The Flash, Green Lantern, maybe a few second and third tier guys and gals (Starman, Hourman, etc). For the most part it's needless.

    Superman is Clark Kent/Kal-El. Batman is Bruce Wayne. Wonder Woman is Diana. Aquaman is Arthur Curry. Giving everyone a legacy is detrimental to the brand and the core of the characters themselves. Having 35 Robins does nothing but water down what it means to see Dick Grayson hand those pixie boots over to a new kid. Occasionally it can be a fun story (Batman Beyond was a solid show), but largely it does little to help.

    Honestly I'd even move the Flash away from legacy stuff. It gets in the way of seeing a fast dude in scarlet, defying space/time, and fighting giant apes.
    These are pretty much my thoughts. I think it worked for the transition from Barry to Wally because it was one of the few instances that felt organic and earned, and it helps that I actually like Wally in the role. But even there, it obviously isn't the be all/end all way to do things, and I don't have much of a problem with Barry back in the role.

    Really, I see people say that legacy is the best aspect of the DCU but...most of the major and successful characters that DC has aren't legacies. The explosion of creativity we saw in the Silver Age was largely done without it. Marvel was churning out brand new stuff like nobody's business, and Hal, Barry and other DC heroes from that era were more revamps than legacies. Along with diluting the brand, I think legacy creates the illusion of change and creativity instead of actually doing those things.

  6. #6
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    I'd say legacy does more to help than hurt; the vast majority of legacy characters in DC have, in some way, expanded the mythos instead of retracting it to the same formulaic dirge that I feel some people prefer to the detriment of quality writing. To me, most of DC's franchises have benefitted from legacy style expansion in one way or another. The issue is not on the concept; it's in keeping up the stable of quality writers that can define characters well enough to keep the expansion going.

    And I think that's part of the issue here: DC's current roster is so heavy in talented and ambitious artists that we find them doing great work, but some of the lines and series have a dearth of decent writers and die...excelting the Green Lantern books (more heavily in the transition period to the New 52) and the Batman books (where a good stable of writers is about as much news as water being wet). I mean, I like Brett Booth and Kenneth Rocafort, but both guys couldn't do anything to save a Teen Titans book heavy on legacy characters when Will Pfeifer and Scott Lobdell turned in sub-par work.

    I feel that JSA stands stronger as the Generation 1 heroes in a world where they have successors. I know people disagree with me there, but Geoff Johns proved that worked well. I feel that the Batman and Green Lantern families continue to demonstrate how much stronger a franchise is when you embrace legacy characters and expand instead of shrinking everyone. Flash proves the point in the opposite way; containing the franchise to one book has handicapped it so far in the New 52, with one decent and very creative run after which the book was hamstrung by derivative storytelling that tries to juggle an obsolete status quo from before I was born. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Titans prove the writing aspect pretty thoroughly; when good writers approach their families and the multiple legacies thereof, we get to enjoy multiple books (like Donna Troy in a decent Devin Grayson Titans book while Cassie gets served well enough in Young Justice to become team leader through fan votes) but when ever the writing sags, they do become loads upon the franchise.

    And I have a huge bias towards the 90's and early 00's, so know that what I'm about to say does feed off that bias. But the best Flash story is The Return of Barry Allen, where all the real dramatic meat of the story comes from Wally trying to grow beyond Barry's shadow. The best Batgirl situation is Cass and Steph as field agents while Babs is one-woman digital superpower. The best JSA stories exist in Geoff Johns's work, where they are such veteran combatants that you know they trust the current generation but can step in to help if need be. Green Lantern was never stronger than when it had 4 men serving for Earth and they had a history of successive service. And DC once managed both Titans and Young Justice, and now, in the regressive story climate couldn't even field one of those books without retconning its own decisions.
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  7. #7
    Mighty Member
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    Speaking as a person out of comics 94-05 I run counter to the pro continuity crowd and have enjoyed whatever the current creative team throws at me most of the time. However I have through trades enjoyed the back catalog as well. I object to the repurposing of characters to PC issues of gender/orientation or race. That doesn't mean you can't retire an original character and have the new character take over ( Star Girl comes to mind) but that seems to be as bad in some minds.To me that view stagnates the creative process. As a fan of Silver Age Hal Jordan it is time to kill off all the Earth based GL's and introduce a new non Earth based GL.Finish off the entire Speed Family and maybe bring back the Stan Lee version.The current controversy over Man of Steel is another fan war I don't get. But that's just my take on Legacy and related issues.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member Tupiaz's Avatar
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    Having minority characters become legacy characters is blackfacing. Writers should be better at creating minority characters on the own merits. It is just hollow gesture which gives the idea minority can't have their alter egos but have to take somebody else's.

  9. #9
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    Oops, I misread the question and voted yes even though I meant no! I love the legacy aspect of the DCU, although I'll admit that writers often have no idea what to do with legacy characters, even when there's no real dilemma. It shouldn't be a massive struggle to make all the former Robins, Flash family, or Green Lanterns fit into the DCU, even though they've been struggling with this issue for years. But it's an issue of bad writing and not a flaw with the concept of legacy characters.

  10. #10
    BANNED colonyofcells's Avatar
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    reboots without the legacy baggage makes the characters more accessible to new customers.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    Not just a good thing, it's literally the best thing about the DCU.

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colonyofcells View Post
    reboots without the legacy baggage makes the characters more accessible to new customers.
    Yeah, I don't think losing the dense history harms any of the major characters. The basic premises and settings for characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman etc. are enough to generate interesting stories.

  13. #13
    Incredible Member Ulysses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    I actually do not care for the legacy stuff. It works for SOME characters, but just a few. The Flash, Green Lantern, maybe a few second and third tier guys and gals (Starman, Hourman, etc). For the most part it's needless.

    Superman is Clark Kent/Kal-El. Batman is Bruce Wayne. Wonder Woman is Diana. Aquaman is Arthur Curry. Giving everyone a legacy is detrimental to the brand and the core of the characters themselves. Having 35 Robins does nothing but water down what it means to see Dick Grayson hand those pixie boots over to a new kid. Occasionally it can be a fun story (Batman Beyond was a solid show), but largely it does little to help.

    Honestly I'd even move the Flash away from legacy stuff. It gets in the way of seeing a fast dude in scarlet, defying space/time, and fighting giant apes.
    I'm in 100% agreement with this person.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlanta96 View Post
    Oops, I misread the question and voted yes even though I meant no! I love the legacy aspect of the DCU, although I'll admit that writers often have no idea what to do with legacy characters, even when there's no real dilemma. It shouldn't be a massive struggle to make all the former Robins, Flash family, or Green Lanterns fit into the DCU, even though they've been struggling with this issue for years. But it's an issue of bad writing and not a flaw with the concept of legacy characters.
    Fuck, I did too.

    Anyway, Legacy is a good thing that can be botched.

  15. #15
    Mighty Member C_Miller's Avatar
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    I don't think there's any story element that's 100% good or bad. However, I really enjoyed the legacy aspect to the DC Universe prior to Flashpoint. It's what brought me over from being a Marvel only reader back when I first started reading. It's not that I hate Barry Allen or Hal Jordan (Well, in fairness, I'm not a big Hal fan), but it was the history of the Universe that drew me in. Quality of writing aside, it's probably why I'm not reading too much DC these days. The depth of Universe is what has been missing in my eyes.

    Legacy also creates an ability for DC to introduce some diversity without creating new character franchises that in today's Big 2 Market, would probably fail right off the bat. You can have a black Mr. Terrific, a Korean Atom, a Hispanic Blue Beetle, a female Manhunter without race or gender bending and still have the "classic" white character in the Universe. It's nice way of having your cake and eating it too.

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