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Friday, April 15, 2005
Lots of little things
I just discovered that about half the e-mail sent to this site is being dumped in the spam folder. Serves me right, I suppose, for only checking it once a month.
Hmmm...maybe I made the contest too difficult. Okay, first person to e-mail me with at least 15 correct songs gets the disc.
Things we talk about at work when it's not busy and we're not doing anything that requires a lot of mental effort: You know what just doesn't work? The current DC time-line. Are they still insisting that the current age of superheroes only started twelve years ago, with the appearance of Superman? Because that just throws too many things off if they try to insist on. Most recently, the notion of Captain Boomerang and Golden Glider having a kid in his early twenties just won't work unless you push the time-line back to at least the twenty year mark.
In fact, that's probably not a bad idea. Pushing it back to twenty years lets you still have Batman and Superman showing up twelve years ago and Wonder Woman showing up just after the Crisis on Multiple Earths, but the trade off for that is you have to let some of the "older" characters like the Hal Jordan Green Lantern, the Barry Allen Flash, the Oliver Queen Green Arrow, and possibly Aquaman, be active in that "twelve to twenty years ago" time period. In other words, you can't let the time-line start with Superman. At least some writers at DC already seem to suspect this and have quietly been assuming a twenty year time-line. Grant Morrison in the DC One Million series let drop a reference to a "twenty year old Arrowplane." And as I mentioned earlier, the new Captain Boomerang's parentage simply isn't possible unless you have the original Captain Boomerang and Golden Glider active twenty years ago at least. And yes, I realize that the new Captain Boomerang's parentage is still in question, especially since Golden Glider was a later addition to the Rogue's Gallery, but for it to even be theoretically possible, or presumed to be correct by others, they had to have been able to meet twenty years ago, and the only plausible way is if they were hanging around to fight Flash.
Of course, what really messes up the DC timeline is the Teen Titans. If you go with the twelve year timeline, and figure that Dick Grayson didn't become Robin until year three, that only leaves nine years for all the original titans to age from their early teens to their early twenties. It's possible, but it contracts a lot of stories into a very tight timeframe. For one thing, it implies heavily that Dick Grayson has actually spent more time as Nightwing than he ever did as Robin. If we go with the twelve year time-line, with the Crisis happening somewhere around years five or six, that means that he was only Robin for two, maybe three years, but he's been Nightwing for at least five.
You know what I've really been enjoying lately? Discussion of comics books from the unpretentious perspectives of fans who just want to read and enjoy the stories and are therefore interested in the developments in various titles from the angle of how this affects the over-all fictional "story" of the comic universe they read. You know, people who can read and talk about a big event comic without feeling the need to go on at length about how it is allegedly "disrespectful" to characters, creators or fans, or who feel the need to swear a lot to describe the "awful writing" or "terrible art" but without actually offering any reasoning or examples of why they feel that way about the writing or art (because, y'know, it's evident that everyone is going to agree with them, so why should they).
Now, before the usual suspects chime in to accuse me of doing the exact thing I'm claiming not to like when others do it, bear in mind Walt Whitman. "I am large, I contain multitudes." I'm allowed to feel differently about different things, and for different reasons. I like the grim noir of David Lapham's Detective because it's a good Batman story. I like Winick's more super-heroey Batman because it's nice to see a Batman actually doing super-heroic stuff and occasionally cracking a joke and not being a total dick to everyone. And I don't like most of the last twenty years of Batman stories because they came from writers and editors who didn't get Frank Miller's joke. Also, bear in mind that while I appreciate people who can enjoy super-hero comics in a "at face value" manner, I'm not the type of personality who can avoid thinking critically or analytically about anything. It's part of the consequences of being a critical theory-nerd for so long. (Postmodern Barney, remember?)
So I'm not claiming that I'm "superior" to people who rant on and on and on about what they don't like in comics they proudly proclaim to not even read or care about. But, when I get snarky and vicious about a comic, bear in mind that it's a comic I actually read and genuinely feel is worthy of having scorn heaped on it. I'm not just doing it because I want to maintain my "credibility" with the other "cool bloggers who hate super-hero comics," or to get links to my site, or to impress my friends with how many times I can type swear words. I'm doing it because it's a really crappy comic.
Post shower clarity edit: I guess what I'm trying to say is; if you're going to be a bitchy, know-it-all comics critic, would it kill you to use Gore Vidal as your model/inspiration instead of Ignatious Riley?