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James Hunter

James Hunter



Hi all,

I have dropped EARTH-2 (simple reason, its not my JSA and the NEW 52 is rapidly losing my interest), I have read (as it came out) all of Geoff Johns run (both volumes) and INFINITY INC (not JSA but its related) and I was wondering, what else do I need to read?

Cheers.

James.


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Daveym 

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:
    Hi all,



    Quote:
    I have dropped EARTH-2 (simple reason, its not my JSA and the NEW 52 is rapidly losing my interest), I have read (as it came out) all of Geoff Johns run (both volumes) and INFINITY INC (not JSA but its related) and I was wondering, what else do I need to read?


Well you don't need to read anything obviously but since you clearly have a great love of the history of the team I'd reccomend tracking All-Star Squadron for starters. This was a book I could never quite get into back in the 80s, it was too strange, but since the 1999 revival I started getting issues cheap from bargain bins and found myself reassessing Roy Thomas' work on it. There's a rawness to the first three years worth that makes it have its own unique identity, the concept of super-heroes in the War is an interesting one, even if they get nowhere near the actual fighting... of special interest are the three Annuals as all are excellent reads in themselves that introduced some very important concepts and origins to the group and its JSA members. You get some topdrawer quality artwork to go with it - Jerry Ordway, George Perez, Wayne Boring & Mart Nodell among others. These three Annuals are among the very best examples of quality work that you will find among the 'Annual' genre in my view. Brilliant value for money.

On the same vein is the four part 'America Vs. The Justice Society' series which looks at the JSA in the 'modernday' as it battles accusations from a rediscovered diary of the deceased Batman. I loved this series as it was one of the first real looks at veteran heroes nearing the end of their careers but soldiering on regardless. This was another Roy Thomas penned series and a very useful guide to the history of the group up till that point, it's very dense to read but that just adds to the sense of value-for-money comics you get from Roy Thomas.
A bit harder to get is the late 1970s All-Star Comics revival by Gerry Conway, Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Wally Wood, while this isn't at all essential to begin with it does introduce some enduring concepts to the JSA such as The Huntress and Power Girl. There's also the unnderstated character work done by Paul Levitz.

I don't know if you've got the ten issue JSA series by Len Strazewski and Mike Parobeck circa 1996 but please do make an effort to find it as it is wonderful. I adored it and still do. It's a warm tribute to the veteran JSAers and tonally the complete opposite of the vast majority of team books on the market, both then and now. \(beer\)


Elsewhere though you can do what I do and roam Bloggerland looking for stuff you like - such as this wonderful page I can reccomend.






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James Hunter




Thanks very much for that Daveym, its a great help. I have 8 issues of the 10 issue JUSTICE SOCIETY series (unless there was also an 8 issue series in the 90s...) and the first issue of ALL-STAR SQUADRON (and about 3 of YOUNG ALL-STARS) but you've been a great help in establishing where I need to go now (and what order to do things in)

Cheers.

James.


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Daveym 

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:
    Thanks very much for that Daveym, its a great help. I have 8 issues of the 10 issue JUSTICE SOCIETY series (unless there was also an 8 issue series in the 90s...) and the first issue of ALL-STAR SQUADRON (and about 3 of YOUNG ALL-STARS) but you've been a great help in establishing where I need to go now (and what order to do things in)


There was an eight(?) issue JSA mini in the early 90s yes, it had terrific Tom Lyle covers and featured Vandal Savage as the main villain, not a bad series but not brilliant either.
I never got into Young All-Stars I'm afraid and my Infinity Inc appreciation fades after around the #36 mark - I always felt the Crisis and subsequent banishment of the JSA gutted that book and left it irrelevant, but the first couple of years are one of my favorite comicbook runs. \(yes\)
It's easy to forget just what an effect the Crisis had on the Justice Society, at the time the loss of the Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman trio left a huge hole in the group as it also deleted Huntress and Power Girl for example. Then there was the knock on effect to Fury for example. Eventually you did adjust to it but it is an example of just how devastating these 'Reboots' can be on characters - the Legion of Super-Heroes is another group always left damaged by these shifts. \:\-\!



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James Hunter




Ah fair enough, its that 8 issue mini that I have then, that means I need to invest in the 10 issue JSA.

On the subject of CRISIS and the JSA, I didn't/don't actually find it was the original CRISIS which ruined the enjoyment of the JSA (which I have to credit Geoff Johns for bringing back even if his writing nowadays leaves me cold) but rather ZERO HOUR.

It was ZERO HOUR that harshly eradicated Doc Mid-Nite, Rex Tyler-Hourman and the Atom which is one of the weak points of that series for me

On the subject of the Huntress, I am having problems with her in WORLDS' FINEST because that's NOT the Helena Wayne that I read about (in the excellent DARK KNIGHTS DAUGHTER TPB) and I actually grew to like Helena Bertinelli pre-NEW 52 (in fact, she was my favourite female DC character and I loved how Simone used her in BOP but I digress!).

I *should* like WORLDS' FINEST but I just find the characters unrelatable (Power Girl is worse but both are bad)

Cheers.

James.


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Daveym 

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:
    On the subject of CRISIS and the JSA, I didn't/don't actually find it was the original CRISIS which ruined the enjoyment of the JSA (which I have to credit Geoff Johns for bringing back even if his writing nowadays leaves me cold) but rather ZERO HOUR.



    Quote:
    It was ZERO HOUR that harshly eradicated Doc Mid-Nite, Rex Tyler-Hourman and the Atom which is one of the weak points of that series for me

Yeah... for me it wasn't so much that they decided it was time to write them out it was the casualness and brutal nature they did it in.
Geoff Johns got some great stories out of it though what with the war against Extant in #13 and the Hourman arc later on around #65 so in that sense it all worked out fine. We wouldn't have had the JSA relaunch in 1999 without it and as that first issue highlighted with Wes Dodds a lot of these oldtimers were too old and infirm by now to be returning to active status. I think it is well known that editorial (Mike Carlin?) detested the idea of old age superheores, which is why we were served the Zero Hour massacre among other slights towards the JSA...


    Quote:
    On the subject of the Huntress, I am having problems with her in WORLDS' FINEST because that's NOT the Helena Wayne that I read about (in the excellent DARK KNIGHTS DAUGHTER TPB) and I actually grew to like Helena Bertinelli pre-NEW 52 (in fact, she was my favourite female DC character and I loved how Simone used her in BOP but I digress!).



    Quote:
    I *should* like WORLDS' FINEST but I just find the characters unrelatable (Power Girl is worse but both are bad)


I can understand your feeling on Power Girl, she's really not much like her original self, but i think that is a reflection of what DCs lack of political will is - it really does seem to have a problem with willful and politically charged characters.
They neutred famously vocal players like Oliver Queen, now a bog standard comicbook marksman. John Stewart who used to be an equally passionate civil rights proponent is another, you could lump Guy Gardner in there too given his fairly radical reworking in recent years. Remember Ostranders politically aware Katar Hol? Or Wonder Woman's dedication to being a pseudo-Ambassador sponsoring a peace message? Power Girl is Just another example of a strong and opinionated character being 'straightened out'.

Beyond that though I really do like the new set up and this is a good updating of Helena Wayne, I'm not at all opposed to the new Earth 2 concept. I do however feel World's Finest needs a bit more energy injected, so far I've been fine with it but it does read very old school in it's plotting and so far not a lot has happened really that's worth talking about... \(beer\)



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James Hunter





    Quote:

    Yeah... for me it wasn't so much that they decided it was time to write them out it was the casualness and brutal nature they did it in.
    Geoff Johns got some great stories out of it though what with the war against Extant in #13 and the Hourman arc later on around #65 so in that sense it all worked out fine. We wouldn't have had the JSA relaunch in 1999 without it and as that first issue highlighted with Wes Dodds a lot of these oldtimers were too old and infirm by now to be returning to active status. I think it is well known that editorial (Mike Carlin?) detested the idea of old age superheores, which is why we were served the Zero Hour massacre among other slights towards the JSA...


I would agree with that, basically, it was the brutality with which Extant wiped out Doctor Mid-Nite, Hourman (Rex) and Atom which was the problem (although, to be fair, its not as brutal as what happened to Beth Chapel and Yolanda Martez in ECLIPSO!). Admittedly Hourmasn came back (in a superb arc, that was Geoff Johns at his best, nevermind this JUSTICE LEAGUE rubbish!). I think the problem wasn't getting rid of the senior JSA (bar Ted, Jay and Alan) but the brutality of it all.

In a long-winded way I am agreeing with you!


    Quote:
    I can understand your feeling on Power Girl, she's really not much like her original self, but i think that is a reflection of what DCs lack of political will is - it really does seem to have a problem with willful and politically charged characters.
    They neutred famously vocal players like Oliver Queen, now a bog standard comicbook marksman. John Stewart who used to be an equally passionate civil rights proponent is another, you could lump Guy Gardner in there too given his fairly radical reworking in recent years. Remember Ostranders politically aware Katar Hol? Or Wonder Woman's dedication to being a pseudo-Ambassador sponsoring a peace message? Power Girl is Just another example of a strong and opinionated character being 'straightened out'.


To say Power Girl is not like her older self, to me, is COMPLETELY under-stating the situation, she's become an un-relatable character and has none of the redeeming qualities she had pre-reboot. I don't want to get into a political debate but I do see what your saying, I am just very interested to see what Lemire does with post-NEW 52 Ollie when he takes over the title in Feb (I am not reading it at the minute but Lemire's name is definitely a draw!). I remember when Wonder Woman was an ambassador for peace though, yes and I *miss* that element to her character which is FAR less obvious post FLASHPOINT which is a shame (the pre-New 52 Diana had some good runs under Heinberg, Rucka (the best by far IMHO) and Perez and that's a Diana I miss \:\(


    Quote:
    Beyond that though I really do like the new set up and this is a good updating of Helena Wayne, I'm not at all opposed to the new Earth 2 concept. I do however feel World's Finest needs a bit more energy injected, so far I've been fine with it but it does read very old school in it's plotting and so far not a lot has happened really that's worth talking about... \(beer\)


I *thought* I wouldn't be against the new set up for a new 52 EARTH-2 but it turns out I am, because I am dropping the title. I just find the characters *too* different for my liking and, with the outing of Alan Scott, I don't have ANY problem with that other then the knock on effect it has of on other characters (noticably Jade and Obsidian and, indirectly, Kyle because he can't of had a relationship with Jade and I liked them together both as a couple and, later, as friends).

If I'm honest, to me, it would of made more sense to have Jay be gay in the New-52 because it doesn't have a knock-on effect the way Alan's outing does.

I would enjoy WORLDS' FINEST if Helena Wayne was made a little similar to her pre-CRISIS self and Power Girl had a *complete* overhaul to her New 52 character. I *want* to like Helena Wayne but there isn't enough to go on and I liked the relationship she had with the Earth-2 Robin pre-Crisis.

Okay, I'm rambling now but my basic point is that I *want* to like Helena Wayne and WORLDS' FINEST as a title but Levitz isn't making it easy.

I've ranted enough \(beer\) (you've earned one for listening to me ramble! \:P )

Cheers.

James.



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Lightning Strike




Starring the Team:
-All Star Comics #58-74
-America vs. The Justice Society #1-4
-Adventure Comics #461-466
-Wonder Woman #232-233
-Wonder Woman v2 #130-133
-All Star Squadron
-Infinity Inc.
-The Golden Age #1-4 (by James Robinson and Paul Smith)
-DC Special #29
-The Last Days of the Justice Society Special
-JLA #28-31 "Crisis Times Five"
-JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice HC
-Crisis on Multiple Earths TPB vol #1-5
-Crisis on Multiple Earths, The Team-Ups TPB vol #1-2

Featuring solo characters:
-Starman (by James Robinson and Tony Harris)
-Hawkman 4th vol 2002 (by James Robinson and Geoff Johns)
-Hourman (1999)
-Action Comics 484 (one of my favorite Earth 2 Superman comics)



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Lightning Strike






    Quote:
    I *thought* I wouldn't be against the new set up for a new 52 EARTH-2 but it turns out I am, because I am dropping the title. I just find the characters *too* different for my liking and, with the outing of Alan Scott, I don't have ANY problem with that other then the knock on effect it has of on other characters (noticably Jade and Obsidian and, indirectly, Kyle because he can't of had a relationship with Jade and I liked them together both as a couple and, later, as friends).


Same reason I don't read the new books. They're just not "my" JSA or JLA or GL or Flash, etc.
I just can't get into them. I hate what DC has done with this new 52 garbage and wish they would just proclaim it one of the many other Earths and bring back the old DCU.




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Daveym 

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:
    I *thought* I wouldn't be against the new set up for a new 52 EARTH-2 but it turns out I am, because I am dropping the title. I just find the characters *too* different for my liking and, with the outing of Alan Scott, I don't have ANY problem with that other then the knock on effect it has of on other characters (noticably Jade and Obsidian and, indirectly, Kyle because he can't of had a relationship with Jade and I liked them together both as a couple and, later, as friends).

I think most of the rebooting DC did last year was very arbitrary on the whole, I can see why they did it with Superman but there was no need at all to do it with Firestorm, the JSA, Wonder Woman, the Flash or Hawkman for example. Many of their characters really suffered because of it and some might never recover. When you alter Superman and Hawkman's looks as radically as this I think it's hard to not suspect this is all a passing fad... it is impossible to pretend these characters pasts and traditional looks don't matter.

Nontheless after a lot initial of misgivings I have got behind Earth-2. I can understand the reasons they've gone this route and James Robinson has begun constructing a worthy alternate earth that is interesting to explore.
Alan Scott is an odd one, to me he reads as far too perfect to be believable, The Flash on the other hand surprised me as I find him endearing with his naivity and boundless optimism. I've started appreciating the new take on Terry Sloan as well, a madman but a plausible one with understandable motivations. Earth-2 is a full scale reinvention of all of these characters, the downside to it is that by moving them to their own earth they are put in direct competition with the Justice League's popularity and recognition, furthermore there is an editorial edict not to have too many counterparts to Earth-1 characters which bizzarely means no Hawkman, Dick Grayson, Vandal Savage or Lex Luthor will be turning up on earth two.


    Quote:
    I would enjoy WORLDS' FINEST if Helena Wayne was made a little similar to her pre-CRISIS self and Power Girl had a *complete* overhaul to her New 52 character. I *want* to like Helena Wayne but there isn't enough to go on and I liked the relationship she had with the Earth-2 Robin pre-Crisis.

I'm genuinly puzzled by your criticism of the Huntress as out of all of them she is the one virtually unchanged from her Pre-crisis self.
The costume is different obviously but her background and relationships are pretty much the same as they were. Dick Grayson is no longer there true but I can accept that omission. I know Helena Bertinelli had a fanbase but I'm afraid I was never one of them, I was too attached to the Helena Wayne origins for the character and found Levitz' twist in Issue #1 a good one.

I'm very attached to the original JSA, those 70s and 80s JLA/JSA team ups and Roy Thomas' work on them in early Infinity Inc for example are my defining moments for them all but the Crisis did a lot of damage to the JSA concept I thought. Erasing Earth 2 and the histories of Wonder Woman, Superman & Batman did a lot of damage, but when Geoff Johns revived the Earth-2 concept in the JSA Annual a few years ago it just wasn't the same, you really can't go home again as it looked and felt like it was stuck in a timewarp in the 1980s. Worse still some characters felt off by a mile - the Huntress and Power Girl ironically.

But I like the Earth 2 concept, hence I broadly like what James Robinson is aiming for. \(yes\)







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James Hunter





    Quote:
    I think most of the rebooting DC did last year was very arbitrary on the whole, I can see why they did it with Superman but there was no need at all to do it with Firestorm, the JSA, Wonder Woman, the Flash or Hawkman for example. Many of their characters really suffered because of it and some might never recover. When you alter Superman and Hawkman's looks as radically as this I think it's hard to not suspect this is all a passing fad... it is impossible to pretend these characters pasts and traditional looks don't matter.


I have to agree that most of the NEW 52 reboot was too arbitary (how can you have 4 Robin's in 5 years?? How can you say one minute that Tim WAS Roobin and the next he wasn't how can you say there have been other Titans then retcon that there hasn't?? How can you say Superman died if Superboy didn't come from Cadmus and there aren't other Supes trying to convince Lois they are the real deal if there's NO romance with Lois?? The list goes on and on). I also agree that too ignore Supes' traditional look, the one which is in the conscious of the wider market is foolhardy. In all I have to agree with all your points here \:\)


    Quote:
    Nontheless after a lot initial of misgivings I have got behind Earth-2. I can understand the reasons they've gone this route and James Robinson has begun constructing a worthy alternate earth that is interesting to explore.
    Alan Scott is an odd one, to me he reads as far too perfect to be believable, The Flash on the other hand surprised me as I find him endearing with his naivity and boundless optimism. I've started appreciating the new take on Terry Sloan as well, a madman but a plausible one with understandable motivations. Earth-2 is a full scale reinvention of all of these characters, the downside to it is that by moving them to their own earth they are put in direct competition with the Justice League's popularity and recognition, furthermore there is an editorial edict not to have too many counterparts to Earth-1 characters which bizzarely means no Hawkman, Dick Grayson, Vandal Savage or Lex Luthor will be turning up on earth two.


I am glad you've been able to get behind it, I wanted too but just can't. I gave it the whole first arc and I think that's fair. I have rel issues with Alan, as I have noted (I also agree that he's too "perfect" and is in danger of becoming the mary sue of EARTH-2). I personally think its a mistake to have an editorial edict saying that characters can't have counterparts on different earths, its not THAT confusing and I feel that DC editorial seem to think fans are a lot simpler then they really are!


    Quote:
    I'm genuinly puzzled by your criticism of the Huntress as out of all of them she is the one virtually unchanged from her Pre-crisis self.
    The costume is different obviously but her background and relationships are pretty much the same as they were. Dick Grayson is no longer there true but I can accept that omission. I know Helena Bertinelli had a fanbase but I'm afraid I was never one of them, I was too attached to the Helena Wayne origins for the character and found Levitz' twist in Issue #1 a good one.


Let me try to explain my criticism of the NEW 52 Huntress then. Basically, I was a fan of Helena pre-CRISIS through back issues (and I liked her appearances in INFINITE CRISIS and the arc which re-introduced Earth-2 ore-reboot) but it was the Helena Bertinelli version who I grew to a love as a character from her appearances in her original mini right through to her (highly enjoyable) time as a member of the Birds of Prey under Gail Simone's pen.

To me, so far, the Helena Wayne we are seeing in the NEW 52 hasn't taken the best of either character an, indeed, has taken the dull aspects of both characters. For example, I loved Helena Wayne's sisterly relationship with the Earth-2 Robin and, now that he no longer exists, it takes away from an element of her character and, in a similar vein, I liked Helena Bertinelli's friendship with Huntress and Barbara Gordon, which has also now been entirely erased 9or seems to have been!)


    Quote:
    I 'm very attached to the original JSA, those 70s and 80s JLA/JSA team ups and Roy Thomas' work on them in early Infinity Inc for example are my defining moments for them all but the Crisis did a lot of damage to the JSA concept I thought. Erasing Earth 2 and the histories of Wonder Woman, Superman & Batman did a lot of damage, but when Geoff Johns revived the Earth-2 concept in the JSA Annual a few years ago it just wasn't the same, you really can't go home again as it looked and felt like it was stuck in a timewarp in the 1980s. Worse still some characters felt off by a mile - the Huntress and Power Girl ironically.


I was attached to the original JSA too, particularly from James Robinson's *last8 stint with the characters (THE GOLDEN AGE) and I loved INFINITY INC too (meaning I am very similr to you) but its this fondness which has made it hard for me to accept the NEW 52 EARTH 2 title, it has retconned all that I loved about the JSA (from Roy TThomas' run this was a mixture of the new allowing the old to operate independantly as INFINITY INC and from Johns run it was the legacy aspect of the title that I loved). I also don't like the loss of Jade and Obsidian, as I have said before, not just for the loss of 2 excellent characters but because of the knock on effect the loss of them (Jade in particular0 has had on the wider DCU including areas we were told were 8not* being revamped!

I still maintain CRISIS was actually good for the JSA, it was ZERO HOUR that ruined them but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

The basic upshot of what I am saying is that I think Robinson is a good writer (he's proved that many times) but I feel the revamping of EARTH-2 was/is a mistake on the part of DC editorial especially as he is suffering from so many editorial mandates.

Cheers.

James.


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Sethno


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    Quote:
    If I'm honest, to me, it would of made more sense to have Jay be gay in the New-52 because it doesn't have a knock-on effect the way Alan's outing does.


Joan Garrick might disagree with you.





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James Hunter




LOL granted but it would *only* effect Joan where as Alan Scott has had a knock on effect by getting rid of Jade which has a knock on effect on Kyle...(and DC do claim that the GREEN LANTERN continuity and the BATMAN continuity are unaltered!)

Cheers.

James.


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Daveym 

Moderator

Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008




    Quote:
    I am glad you've been able to get behind it, I wanted too but just can't. I gave it the whole first arc and I think that's fair. I have rel issues with Alan, as I have noted (I also agree that he's too "perfect" and is in danger of becoming the mary sue of EARTH-2). I personally think its a mistake to have an editorial edict saying that characters can't have counterparts on different earths, its not THAT confusing and I feel that DC editorial seem to think fans are a lot simpler then they really are!

See this is one of the flaws with Earth 2 for me (of which there are several let me assure you!), in his Comicvine Podcast James Robinson has made clear the 'No duplicates' edict from up above extends even the rogues Galleries of Superman and Batman - Incredibly no Joker or Lex Luthor existed on Earth 2 for example. But Catwoman did. So too does Supergirl/Kara. We know Lois Lane as well existed.
Robinson also makes clear that he isn't allowed to create a 'Hawkman' for his Hawkgirl though is keen that he might be able to wrangle one in the future, meantime over in Savage Hawkman we're introduced to what may be Shayera Thal, a.k.a Hawkgirl... so another potential double standard?

It was a bold move splitting the DCU up with the 'new 52 project like this and it's a worthwhile effort, but the downsides are apparent. While Earth 2 is in its own bubble and under construction as a universe the Earth-1 of the Justice League etc is well established. But I have to say the absence of Doctor Mid-Nite, Doctor Fate, Wildcat and all these other characters from the main DCU is going to end up very inconvenient and irritating for writers in the future. Doctor Fate especially was always an important chesspiece in the DCU and major events...



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Sethno


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Member Since: Fri Mar 09, 2012
Posts: 3,386



Actually, DC is NOT saying the Batman continuity is unaltered. For example, they're now saying Tim Drake was never "Robin". They now claim he began super-heroing as "Red Robin", a show of remembrance and respect for Jason Todd's Robin (when Jason was thought dead).

We also know that things Batman was involved in where other parts of the DC Universe are concerned couldn't have all happened the way they did in the previous timeline, since much of the rest of the DC Universe has changed, Batman being indirectly affected.

Then there's the matter of Helena Wayne of Earth 2 having at some point taken over the identity of Helena Bertinelli. Did she do this before The Huntress first appeared on the mainstream Earth? After? Was Huntress ever Batgirl?

How did Bruce father Damian in his Batman identity when he couldn't have become Batman yet at that point in time?

Too much HAS changed, even with stuff we HAVE had explained, let alone stuff we haven't.

As for Jade, don't forget that since Alan didn't even EXIST in the 40's of the mainstream nu DC Earth, Jade couldn't have existed either.





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James Hunter




I know all about the RED ROBIN/ROBIN fiasco but DC's *official* stance (until its not and they change it again) is that all the BATMAN classics are still considered in continuity, we've already seen DEATH IN THE FAMILY and the KILLING JOKE acknowledged, just to name 2) We also no that its canon, in the NEW 52 that Dick Grayson served as Batman for a year whilst Bruce was "missing".

Don't get me started on the whole was there a Helena Bertinelli on Prime Earth thouugh, that just gives me a headache!

My point is that DC's *official* stanc e going back to the interviews done by Didio and Bob Harris) is that G.L and Batman have not been rebooted.

I agree this is very flimsy and hard to accept but it *is* the official policy.

I hope you had a good Christmas anyway though (and apologies for the greatly delayed reply!)

Cheers.

James.


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