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Subj: Re: would anyone else like to see new adventures of JSAers in the '30's/40's
Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 at 02:03:06 pm EST (Viewed 1 times)
Reply Subj: Re: would anyone else like to see new adventures of JSAers in the '30's/40's
Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 at 10:45:56 pm EST
> > or at least Green lantern/Flash/wildcat chronicles
> I would love to see it happen. I love reading about the JSA in the golden age. I think it would interesting to see how the guys did it back in the day. When I read about classified I was hoping that what we would get but it seem we only gotten modern area tales that really haven't been that great. I say give Robinson the book and give him a soild artist and watch the magic.
Well, it has already been done before. From the spring of 1981, thru to 1989, legendary writer, Roy Thomas wrote "All Star Squadron", and "Young All Stars". "All-Star's" stories were "untold" stories of, not just the JSA, but virtually all of DC and DC's owned Quality Comics golden age comic book super heroes. "YAS" changed the featured characters a bit (post crisis), by featuring a teen oriented group of WW2 era heroes who replaced the retconned-out versions of the Earth-2 Batman, Superman, etc. They did also have a few stories with the DC-owned?? Fawcett Marvel Family, but the main emphasis was on Earth-2, and the DC & Quality cast of characters. The stories tried to remain faithful to the original comics, combining references to the original comics of the 1930's and 40's, what we know happened to the characters in the silver and bronze age, and even references to real life history. Even references to other bits and pieces of popular culture were peppered into the dialogue here and there (including refereces to Indiana Jones, Shelly's Frankenstein, and Verne's Captain Nemo/20,000 Leagues under the Sea.)
Roy Thomas figured that telling untold stories, set during WW 2, when the characters were younger, and there both a wider array of heroes, and villains, was more logical to work on. During the "All-Star's" run (which lasted 67 issues, 1 preview, and 3 annuals) Thomas also cleaned up a lot of loose bits of continuity, all the while being as faithful as possible to DC's history. Among the things he did: he explained why the heroes never prevented the bombing of Pearl Harbor or immediately went on the offensive to Germany and Japan to end the war (A.S.S. preview in JLA#193,A.S.S.#1-4.), explained how the JSA membership was able to age more slowly and remain active into the 1980's (A.S.S. Annual #3), introduced Infinity Inc. & gave more back story/explaination to how the Golden Age Atom gained atomic powered super strength and changed his costume later in his career (A.S.S.#21-26, and Annual #2), came up with the origin of Earth-X and the Freedom Fighters (A.S.S.#31-35,50.) In the pages of JLA #219-220, he teamed up with Gerry Conway, during the 1983 JLA-JSA summer crossover, to explain how the Black Canary remained young in JLA, even though she started in the 1940's with the JSA (by explaining that the JLA Canary was the daughter of the JSA Canary.)
Thomas also, wrote "America vs. The Justice Society", a 4 part mini series, which gave a complete retelling of the origin and complete history of the JSA, from its inception in 1940, through to the 1980's, utilizing all continuity.
Another series he wrote, "Infinity Inc.", really was among the earlier books to focus on the current catch phrase of "legacy"....the series, set in modern era, was about the Earth-2 family members of the JSA....sons, daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, all of whom, influenced by the older generation, became a new young teen/early 20's oriented band of heroes (sort of an Earth-2 version of the Teen Titans....although it was never really referred to in that light at the time.) It dealt with this new generation of heroes trying to come into their own, as well as their relationships to their "families". Everyone seems to make a big deal about the "legacies" in DC's comics right now, but Infinity, Inc. was there before.....and they weren't the first (look at the JLA's adult membership, compared to their junior partners in the Teen Titans for instance....but I digress....)
With Crisis on Infinite Earths, the unification of the multiverse into one single universe, all continuity was realligned as one.....and certain redundancies were eliminated (the golden age versions of Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Arrow and Speedy were all retroactively written out of post-Crisis history, since they were so similar to their younger Earth-1 counterparts....at the time, most of the creative staff felt there was no way to keep any of these characters.) To this effect, All-STar was cancelled, and Roy Thomas started "Young All-Stars", creating new, teen based heroes, who were somewhat similar to the above 7 legends, and who, in post Crisis continuity, were supposed to be the "replacements" for those legends. For the most part, this new series focused on these young heroes, and the adult heroes were more in the backround (it had been Thomas' intention, prior to Crisis taking place, to gradually make Earth-2 Supes, Batman, etc. more of a focus to "All-Star", as they were bigger names and money makers for DC.....hence the decision to focus on their new retroactive counterparts in post Crisis continuity.) "YAS" ran from about 1987-1990 or so....31 issues, an annual and a special. The series had some strong moments, but with the emphasis on the young heroes, and the combined de-emphasis on both the adult heroes and working with old continuity, YAS wasn't as good, particularly, since the market was flooded with teen hero-oriented books. However, as mentioned there were some cool elements: In the first story arc which gave the origin for the YAS (who were sort of junior members of the All Star Squadron), there was awesome art, the creation of really cool Nazi based villian team, and they did allude to the post crisis origin of the Freedom Fighters (in more of an "aside" sort of way...the FF was an off shoot group of the All Star Squadron in post Crisis continuity now.....they branched off to protect the American west coast, while the All Stars proper were remaining based on the East Coast...if I remember correctly....and in the artwork they even used Quicksilver and Alias the Spider in cameos....neither appeared in the original origin storyline (although The Spider was shown going to Earth X as a new FF recruit in ASS#50)....of course both would become more utilized in the pages of Starman and Flash over the past 15 years.)Another strong story, was the origin and backround of Iron Munro (the new post crisis version of the Earth-2 Superman)...it was a 6 part story arc that did have his own father be a sort of "superman" experiement, and had his father's origins be tied to things like Captain Nemo and Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, as well as the sci-fi "supermen" novel that was a partial inspiration to Siegal and Schuster when they created Superman in the first place. Since there was so much literary "history" involved (which invoked the spirit of Thomas' original "A.S.S." series)this to me, stood out as one of the best points of the whole series.
Being a continuity buff, over time, I've grown to have a great deal of displeasure, with how newer authors have treated the DC universe in general and the golden age characters in specific. I respect Robinson's ability to tell a story, but am not really a fan of his. I always felt his Starman was so-so. Didn't he write "Golden AGe"??? It was ok as an "elsewhere" story, but wasn't spectacular, and I really haven't like any attempt to integrate elements of that story into regular continuity. Maybe my re-reading his Starman again, would give me a fresh view of his work, but, in my mind, he really wouldn't be THE choice to do a series like you suggest.
Surprisingly, I've found a great deal of "retroactive" animosity towards Roy Thomas, which astounds me. A number of "fans" on these web/blog sites, seem to be attacking him, and his work, and his talents, which really surprises me. Its probably because he was so much into continuity, and the current "attitude" among many fans and writers is that continuity is bad (which is the wrong idea actually.....continuity is the best!!!) He's one of the greatest writers and editors in comic book history. He had a flair for both great stories, developing sub plots, and characterizations, but also was an amazing historian when it comes to working with/being faithful to/correcting continuity. In my mind, he'd be the perfect writer to do another "untold stories of the JSA"....unfortunately, so much of what he did during the 1980's has been undone. No one was keeping track of continuity, so you have multiple writers doing multiple things to the characters. Roy Thomas did so much for comics (he took over writing many big titles from Stan Lee in the 60's and 70's, brought in the Conan and Star Wars franchises to Marvel, and helped to clean up so much continuity mess at DC during his near decade tenure there....its amazing that anyone can slam him and his reputation....its a travesty really.) The main problem with DC was not that multiple earths and alternate time lines is bad or hard to understand....its that DC had no continuity cop to keep track of all the wealth of history it had accumulated over 50 years. Roy THomas, at least, tried to organize some of this....with the work he did on stories dealing with Earth-2, Earth-x....he was even going to create a Spectre graphic novel around 1983/84, which was supposed to explain why the Spectre seemed different in Earth-2 appearances, from his Earth-1 appearances.
I agree that JSA classified stories have been so-so. I did know, going in, that this was going to be more or less solo stories....it was not supposed to focus on untold WW-2 era stories of the JSA. But the stuff so far (2 years in) has been ok, but not really stunning. There has been some good art, and some good stories, but a lot of average writing. I'm actually giving consideration to dropping it. Even Justice Society is on probation with me. I thought the first issue was good, but issues 2 and 3 have been so-so with me. I lost a lot of respect for Geoff Johns, with his involvement with Infinite Crisis, and the direction of the current DC comic line. Infinite Crisis sullied the fine reputation of DC's history, characters (particularly the Earth-2 Superman, Earth-prime Superboy & Earth-3 Alexander Luthor), and I felt it was somewhat of a slap in the face to the older fans....the dialogue seemed to be chastising the old school fans not supporting the newer writers, and caring more about the old days. I know it may even be nitpicking, but I dislike the thought that in the stories Wildcat is considered an "original member".....he was not one of the founding members of the JSA...he just has a very long affiliation with the group....its admittedly minor quable, and hasn't taken away from whatever enjoyment I have gotten from the modern book.....it just shows how the newer writers don't research what they're working on and get the facts mixed up.
Overall, I agree with you....actually I agree wholeheartedly....I just don't think there is anyone at DC who could write an "untold" series, nor do i think that it would do well in the current comic book climate. I really don't think these days would see that kind of a book get support (considering how much "continuity-bashing" goes on....)But who knows....maybe someone can do this at some point.