Justice Society of America >> View Post
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Post By
Chris

In Reply To
little kon-el

Subj: Re: I agree with you...
Posted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 at 12:01:03 am EDT
Reply Subj: I agree with you...
Posted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 01:37:02 pm EDT

Previous Post

> > ...I don't necessarily like his stories that delve too much into history. I liked his stories in the past, and it appealed to me when I was younger and I was enamored by his historical background. I loved the reporter feel of his All Star Squadron stories where he would research time periods.
> >
> > But I think he feels that he is too bound by history. He doesn't have the fluidity to work with history. He expounds on history and does his best to overwrite it into his stories unlike Darwyn Cooke or James Robinson, who employ history in a naturalistic way that uses history as the backdrop and the visual element of his story.
> >
> > Roy Thomas comes off like Chris Claremont...more of a historian than someone who lets the story imply or riff on the culture of the time. He isn't a cinematic storyteller, and I think you can definitely tell the difference if you took, say, an issue of All Star Squadron where Green Lantern experiences the devastating effects of nuclear war and James Robinson showing us how the A Bomb affected Green Lantern. In the All Star Squadron, GL goes through his surreal landscape, emulating a G.A. story that was written to adhere to an internal timeline while also giving some relevance (in a Neal Adams-GL sort of way) to Alan Scott's fear of his own power. In Robinson's story, it was done visually, with a simple conversation with Johnny Thunder, and this weary smile and easiness as we see politics/red-hunting affect Scott's personal life.
>
> I'll concede that Robinson is probably the better pure writer than Thomas. Problem I have with Robinson vs. Thomas is how the two use retcons. Thomas, at least with All-Star Squadron used retcons that filled in gaps, or explained inconsistancies/coincidences. Robinson on the other hand uses retcons more to establish his own take of things. Thomas gives us a functional reason for why the Atom would later develop atomic-powered super-strength. Robinson does a story that adds on to that when it's not needed. In THE GOLDEN-AGE, he comes up with a separate reason for why the JSA and the rest don't end the war in minutes despite this is ground already covered. And it's Robinson that decided to have seasoned JSA execute the Rag Doll, Starman and Black Canary be adulturers and turned the Spider and Stalker into villains which aren't really things I'd call making something "nuanced" as much they are significant changes to the natures of the characters. Robinson's approach is a little too fluid for my tastes as he seems more intent on looking for ways he can change the stories to fit his sensibilities and Thomas is more of how much can I actually keep.
>

Because I think you do have good points about the failings that I have seen and that many have seen in Robinson's writing. His incorporation of actual history is always in reference to DC history (like the Rag Doll retcon, where (to clarify) it was Ted Knight who ended up killing Ragdoll). He plays Rag Doll as Charles Manson/Jim Jones/Son of Sam because it suits the time period that he's depicting (although a few years off).

What I think Robinson and Cooke excell in is the visual storytelling, not necessarily in the writing. I love Roy Thomas' turn of phrases (I still get chills reading his version of the origin of the Justice Society), but he's not a visual writer in the same respect as Robinson and Cooke (who definitely "write for the visual" because of their background in film and television).

- l.k.

> > > ...I don't necessarily like his stories that delve too much into history. I liked his stories in the past, and it appealed to me when I was younger and I was enamored by his historical background. I loved the reporter feel of his All Star Squadron stories where he would research time periods.
> > >
> > > But I think he feels that he is too bound by history. He doesn't have the fluidity to work with history. He expounds on history and does his best to overwrite it into his stories unlike Darwyn Cooke or James Robinson, who employ history in a naturalistic way that uses history as the backdrop and the visual element of his story.
> > >
> > > Roy Thomas comes off like Chris Claremont...more of a historian than someone who lets the story imply or riff on the culture of the time. He isn't a cinematic storyteller, and I think you can definitely tell the difference if you took, say, an issue of All Star Squadron where Green Lantern experiences the devastating effects of nuclear war and James Robinson showing us how the A Bomb affected Green Lantern. In the All Star Squadron, GL goes through his surreal landscape, emulating a G.A. story that was written to adhere to an internal timeline while also giving some relevance (in a Neal Adams-GL sort of way) to Alan Scott's fear of his own power. In Robinson's story, it was done visually, with a simple conversation with Johnny Thunder, and this weary smile and easiness as we see politics/red-hunting affect Scott's personal life.
> >
> > I'll concede that Robinson is probably the better pure writer than Thomas. Problem I have with Robinson vs. Thomas is how the two use retcons. Thomas, at least with All-Star Squadron used retcons that filled in gaps, or explained inconsistancies/coincidences. Robinson on the other hand uses retcons more to establish his own take of things. Thomas gives us a functional reason for why the Atom would later develop atomic-powered super-strength. Robinson does a story that adds on to that when it's not needed. In THE GOLDEN-AGE, he comes up with a separate reason for why the JSA and the rest don't end the war in minutes despite this is ground already covered. And it's Robinson that decided to have seasoned JSA execute the Rag Doll, Starman and Black Canary be adulturers and turned the Spider and Stalker into villains which aren't really things I'd call making something "nuanced" as much they are significant changes to the natures of the characters. Robinson's approach is a little too fluid for my tastes as he seems more intent on looking for ways he can change the stories to fit his sensibilities and Thomas is more of how much can I actually keep.
> >
>
> Because I think you do have good points about the failings that I have seen and that many have seen in Robinson's writing. His incorporation of actual history is always in reference to DC history (like the Rag Doll retcon, where (to clarify) it was Ted Knight who ended up killing Ragdoll). He plays Rag Doll as Charles Manson/Jim Jones/Son of Sam because it suits the time period that he's depicting (although a few years off).
>
> What I think Robinson and Cooke excell in is the visual storytelling, not necessarily in the writing. I love Roy Thomas' turn of phrases (I still get chills reading his version of the origin of the Justice Society), but he's not a visual writer in the same respect as Robinson and Cooke (who definitely "write for the visual" because of their background in film and television).
>
Not nuanced?? The successor to Stan the Man?? Not Nuanced? Roy Thomas is one of the greatest, and most under rated writers of all time. How about trying on "The Kree/Skrull War" for size?, just to start off.

I agree more with the other commentators. The problem today is that no one cares about history, and continuity. And that's part of why we're in the mess we're in.....inconsistentcy, without care of how it affects a story....just as long as the creator gets his money and name in the spotlight. Roy Thomas did retcon's the right way, as listed above. He tried to keep as much as he could, and fix what needed fixing or would need help from some logical retcon work. Not nuanced? I loved his take on the history/origin of Earth-x. I've heard too many people rag on him. They claim they want complexity, and yet complain that he was too complex? I loved the rich sense of history that he brought to All Star Squadron. Rather than a boring "ho hum" approach to his work, he came up with ways to use history/continuity to his benefit, and to the benefit of the comics themselves. He could have said "Quality Comics heroes were all native to Earth X"...but that would have been boring and not given us a rich element of history. Having Earth 2 & Earth X versions of characters would have been unwieldly....having DC and Quality comics heroes be native to their own worlds, would have been boring. His concept brought a nice complexity to the stories, and gave us a great origin/early history. And nothing says that he couldn't have had some quality heroes be native to Earth X later on either (I always thought the New Firebrand could have been the Earth 2 version of the Quality Wildfire, and could have been used in that way.) Roy's cleaning up of loose ends, and logical use of continuity was great, and was what should have been done throughout all of DC (rather than eliminate the multiverse they should have just cleaned up what needed cleaning or what needed clarification.) New writers haven't done things better....they've just created their own versions of things which have stepped on each others toes, story and continuity wise. Roy Thomas was perhaps the greatest Earth 2/golden age writer ever. Geoff Johns is good, but hasn't come close to doing as much as thomas accomplished.

I can appreciate that you aren't into the more historical approach, and that's a taste or opinion....but you can't say thomas isn't good or nuanced because of that....he is nuanced, because of all his effort and sweating the details, and the fact that he tried to do what he did within the framwork of keeping as much of what he could, while writing, new, fresh stories.

Just the old v. young element in Infinity Inc.....my goodness. That was both nuanced, and it dealt with the "legacy" element long before anyone coined the term.


> - l.k.


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