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-   -   Making sense out of Batman and Green Lantern's new continuity (http://www.comicbloc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90023)

Scott Mateo April 23rd, 2012 10:55 PM

Making sense out of Batman and Green Lantern's new continuity
 
Grandfathered continuity in the New 52

This is a really great article I thought some of you might like!

Mr. Wrong April 24th, 2012 02:00 PM

Very interesting!

I find the idea of all of those events that he mentions still being applicable to either character a tough sell, but he does a pretty good job at attempting to make sense out of this senseless mess. But...

BATMAN: In order to leave all of that stuff in place (Knightfall, Contagion, No Man's Land, War Games, Bruce Wayne Murderer, etc.) on top of the 4 Robins, 2 (maybe 3 or 4!!!) Batgirls, 2 Batwomen, squeezing the goofy 1950s stuff in there that Morrison referenced in R.I.P., Dick's time as Batman post-FC...

I just can't see it. Not in 5 (or 6, or even 7) years.

Quote:

– “Year One”: Bruce returns to Gotham and Batman meets Jim Gordon. Around this time he also meets Superman, Wonder Woman, et al., and helps form the Justice League.
Okay, fine...

Quote:

– Dick’s parents are murdered (with the Drake family watching). Batman and Robin take down Boss Zucco.
This couldn't have happened in Year Three, and even Year Two seems like pushing it. The less time Dick spent as Robin fighting alongside Batman, the more you minimize his relevance to the entire mythos, which, at least to my sensibilities, does a huge disservice to Dick's role as the original and most prominent Robin. To make this work with minimal sacrifice, Dick would have had to have become Robin in "Month Six" or something, and even that leaves virtually no time for any substantial training. He was an acrobat, but he didn't come "out of the box" with fighting, detective, and technical skills, so...

Quote:

– The 1950s, reimagined: in and around more mundane exploits, the Dynamic Duo have a series of weird adventures later set down in Bruce’s Black Casebook. Batman and Robin join the international Club of Heroes. Inspired by Batman, circus star Kathy Kane becomes Batwoman.
Okay, if Morrison's wishes must be respected because, you know, he's more important than the characters he writes, then I figure that this works only if the above-referenced 1950's weird adventures took place over the span of a month or two, maybe. Remember, every single month counts when you're working with the assumption that Batman's entire history is reduced to between 60 and 72 of them! (Months, that is.):wtf:

Quote:

– Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad team up with Speedy and Wonder Girl to form the Teen Titans. Barbara Gordon becomes Batgirl.
There was no Wally West Kid Flash.
There was no Donna Troy.
As far as we know, there was never an Aqualad.
Green Arrow appears to be at most in his mid-twenties now, so having had a teen sidekick who is now a young adult... that's tough to figure out. They must have been partners for... 3 months, maybe? 6 months?
So we're left with the possibility that maybe, maybe Dick teamed up with Roy two or three times. Maybe.
And if Barbara has been paralyzed for three years, then the only way she could have had a substantial career as Batgirl pre-injury is if she became Batgirl sometime late in Year One or very early in Year Two. And even then, she was not Batgirl for any significant period of time. Certainly not long enough to pay even a shred of the respect that her time as Batgirl in the comics deserves. This reduces her from a longstanding member of the Bat-Family to a flash in the pan that was crippled before she even gained any real experience or made any significant mark on Batman's history.

(Another thing to bear in mind is that Miller's "Year One" actually covers a whole calendar year!) So, It may need to be renamed "Batman: Month One" to make all of this work. Batman learned fast, I guess.

Quote:

– Dick goes to college. Bruce and Alfred move out of Wayne Manor, establishing a new Batcave downtown.
Okay, I guess Dick was in college for a semester, then. After all, he's roughly how old now? 19? 21? (If he's 21, then he's about 4-6 years younger than Batman is said to be, so I suppose, assuming Bruce returned to Gotham at age 21 (which is being ludicrously generous considering all of the training he supposedly took part in before returning to Gotham) then Dick was 17 when he became Robin? REALLY???

Plus, if Bruce and Alfred did still move out of Wayne Manor, that REALLY makes the idea that Bruce had no idea there was a hidden floor in the Wayne Foundation building a la Court of Owls even more implausible. After all, he had the Wayne building loaded with secret passages and whatnot... Seems to me like you've gotta jettison that whole move out of and back to Wayne Manor.

Quote:

– Ra’s al Ghul enlists Batman’s help in finding the kidnapped Robin and Talia, and reveals his ultimate plans for Batman and Talia.
Okay, no real problem, except Bruce had to have knocked up Talia back when he was 16 in order for Damian to be 10 years old today, barring some fruity "rapid aging" process that Talia or Ra's cooked up. More absurdity. And Bruce encountered Ra's several times before "Son of the Demon". So, in order to make this work, we end up sacrificing many classic Batman VS. Ra's encounters, thus diminishing Ra's as a recurring foe. Boooo.

Quote:

– The original Teen Titans break up (as it happens, just before Bruce and Silver St. Cloud do).
So Roy and Dick stop hanging out after about two weeks. Wow. What a monumental moment...

Quote:

– Batman discovers Zatanna has brainwashed Dr. Light, so Zatanna alters his memories.
As of now there is no indication that Zatanna, or for that matter, anyone but the 7 current Leaguers and J'onn (very briefly) were ever in the JLA. I honestly don't see how ID Crisis can possibly still stand in the Nu-continuity. Ray Palmer was never the Atom. As far as we know, Ralph and Sue have never even existed. So, minus all of that, why would Zatanna be mindwiping Bruce? Was Zatanna even around 4 years ago (which is about where we are currently)?

Quote:

– Frustrated with college and wanting independence, Dick leaves Hudson University. Not long afterwards, Raven recruits Robin into a new Teen Titans.
Never happened.

Quote:

– Batman quits the Justice League and forms the Outsiders.
Never happened, unless it was for about a week. Plus, Katana, as per her portrayal in the Nu-BoP, never experienced any of the character developments seen in BATO. And we have an Elemant Woman now, no Metamporpho. And I think I just read that Looker will be appearing as an all-new character soon, so...

Quote:

– Robin’s dealings with the grim Vigilante, and the Teen Titans’ teamup with the Outsiders, give Dick a new perspective on his relationship with Bruce.
Never happened.

Quote:

– Bruce and Alfred move back to Wayne Manor.
Already addressed this above. If it still happened, I hope they had a lovely 3 weeks living at the Wayne Foundation Building.

Quote:

– After Robin is shot during a fight with the Joker, Dick decides to quit as Batman’s sidekick. When the other Titans are captured by Deathstroke and Terra, Dick becomes Nightwing to rescue them.
That may be why Dick quit as Robin, but the NTT stuff NEVER HAPPENED. DC has told us so.

Quote:

– Jason Todd becomes Robin II.
Okay, so I guess we've made it to Year... TWO now? After all, Dick's already 18 by this point. After a glorious YEAR as Robin, he is IMMEDIATELY replaced by Jason Todd.

Quote:

– Batman rejoins the Justice League. Dick and Bruce reconcile.
Probably never happened, as the whole Zatanna/ID Crisis thing makes no sense. So why did he quit? and Even though Dick is now Nightwing (for SOME reason), he should still be getting over the gunshot would from the Joker. I suppose he and Bruce just couldn't stay mad for long. Like, for more than a month.

Quote:

– Bruce and Talia conceive Damian Wayne.
What? So Damian's 4 years old now? See above for why this can't work.

Quote:

– The Joker shoots Barbara, paralyzing her; and murders Robin II shortly thereafter. Barbara becomes the anonymous, omniscient Oracle.
Okay, so after, oh, 2 months, Jason Todd is taken in, trained, fights crime, and is killed by the Joker. Okay. And Barbara bounces back VERY QUICKLY from her initial injury and establishes herself as Oracle seemingly overnight.

Quote:

– Debut of Huntress (Helena Bertinelli).
Sure, why not?

Quote:

– Noticing the changes in Batman (and the lack of Robin), and having put together that Robin was once a Flying Grayson, Tim Drake sells Batman and Nightwing on the idea that he could be the third Robin.
Fine. Where are we now? Year Three?
Quote:

– Batman meets Jean-Paul Valley/Azrael.

– “Knightfall” /“Knightquest”: Bane breaks Batman’s back. Jean-Paul Valley takes over as Batman II. Robin goes solo while Bruce recuperates.

– “KnightsEnd”: Robin and Nightwing help a recovered Bruce take back the Batman identity. Nightwing then poses as Batman briefly while Bruce finishes recuperating.
It takes Batman 2-3 weeks to recover, I guess.
Quote:

– Debut of Spoiler (Stephanie Brown).
Sure, okay.

Quote:

– Nightwing leaves the Titans for Bludhaven.
Nightwing may have left something to go to Bludhaven, but it sure as hell wasn't the Titans.

Quote:

– Oracle and Black Canary become the Birds Of Prey.
I suppose there's no problem there...
Quote:

– Big Bat-crossovers, 1997-2004, include “Contagion,” “Legacy,” “No Man’s Land,” “Bruce Wayne: Murderer?” and “War Games.”
Over the span of maybe 2 months? 3 months? Good thing the Center for Disease Control, the Army Corp of Engineers, and most other government agencies are known for working so fast and efficiently. 11 years later and we can't even rebuild the Twin Towers in NYC... Just imagine if all of NYC was decimated by an earthquake... It might take 40 years to rebuild.

Quote:

– Cassandra Cain becomes Batgirl II.
There's no indication this ever happened as of yet.

Quote:

– Batman learns about Zatanna’s mindwipe and creates Brother Eye.
Very unlikely, which also seriously undermines the events of Infinite Crisis, assuming it occurred at all (which I just don't see the need in if there was no CoIE, or a JLI fronted by Max Lord, or WW killing Max Lord, or Golden Age Superman watching from "paradise" along with Lois, Superboy-Prime, and Alexander Luthor, 4 characters whose world never existed...

Quote:

– Stephanie Brown substitutes for Tim as Robin IV.
...for 3 hours

Quote:

– Jason Todd returns from the dead as the Red Hood.
3, maybe 4 months after his "death".

Quote:

– Infinite Crisis/52: Batman decides to be mellow, and takes a year off to find himself. Kate Kane becomes Batwoman II.
There's no way to have Bruce gone for a whole year, especially when you only have 5 or 6 years to work with. No IC=No 52.
I suppose Batwoman II is fine at this point. Why the hell not? There's always room for more in the Bat-clown car.

Quote:

– Talia brings ten-year-old Damian to Gotham. Batman squares off against Dr. Hurt, and Darkseid hurls him back through time.
Again, how is Damian 10 years old? Dr. Hurt, fine, it's Grant Morrison's after all, and we don't want to undo any of his supreme holy brilliance. Screw Denny O'Neil, Doug Moench, Alan Grant, Chuck Dixon, etc.
Batman hurled back through time? I can't reconcile FC with the giant hulking Darkseid seen in Nu-JL.

Quote:

– Musical chairs during Bruce’s absence: Dick becomes Batman III, Tim becomes Red Robin, Damian becomes Robin V, and Stephanie becomes Batgirl III.
6 weeks, tops. And Bruce, IF he was hurled back in time, returned in about a month. Thus ends Tim Drake's illustrious 3 months as Robin.
Quote:

– Upon Bruce’s return, he sets up Batman Incorporated, based loosely on the Club of Heroes.
Why the hell not? At this point things are so screwed up that I suppose it makes no real difference.

As for GL, you pretty much have to axe his death, Parallax, Final Night, his time as Spectre, his Rebirth, and WAY too many important plot points from Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, War of the GLs, and Brightest Day. That doesn't even begin to look back at his pre-ET career.

I just don't see how it works. Stupid "soft reboot"...

Alan April 24th, 2012 02:26 PM

I find what works for me is to abandon any attempt at making sense of it and just take it for what it is. it's new, whatever they now say goes.

There is no way very much of all that makes any rational sense at all (four Robins? Damian being 10? No.), so by making a giant metaphorical leap into the great blue beyond I freed myself from 40 years of continuity haggling and just thought 'sod it'.

It works.

Same as when I threw my old VHS tapes out. But where that created a huge real space (which I am rapidly filling with comics), this clears mental space for stuff that is far more useful.

Just let go.

superfriend April 24th, 2012 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan (Post 1767915)
Just let go.

this is kinda what i figured would show up in this thread eventually. hence why i don't really get involved in talking about it online. there's kind've this growing mentality that if you follow this stuff or are concerned about it then you're unevolved, anal retentive and caught in the past.

as if this wasn't how DC Comics operated just a year ago.

but, hey, kudos to those who can adapt at the drop of a hat, yeah?

but to actually give this idea of ordering the history of these universes some consideration, is it worthwhile? has it ever been? or has everyone who has ever engaged in this exercise been foolhardy? and have the editors, writers and creators that have dabbled in these grand fictional universes had an culpability in this mentality? or is it just a fan creation?

these are probably what i'd like to see dealt with with a conversation on this topic than trying to sort out a timeline in terms of years or a "let it go" response.

for my part, i absolutely adore what Grant Morrison has done with Batman. this is the most expansive embrace of a character's entire history thru story that i've seen. and it worked. its animus was decidedly inclusive and though it made great use of history, it wasn't a slave to it. entertaining, informative, universal, popular, and profitable.

this has always been my problem with reboots in general (course, not all reboots are created equal so fortunately we can judge them on their own merits)...the new doesn't have to be the enemy of the old. perhaps it just takes a singular talent to pull it off. perhaps we are woefully devoid of such vision that could virtually put their arms around all of the history of a character.

Mr. Wrong April 24th, 2012 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan (Post 1767915)

Just let go.

No. ;)

I mean, I let go in the sense that I no longer buy the comics, but as for signing on to the idea that this isn't an insult to anyone who actually cares what happened yesterday?

No.

Mr. Wrong April 24th, 2012 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by superfriend (Post 1767917)
this is kinda what i figured would show up in this thread eventually. hence why i don't really get involved in talking about it online. there's kind've this growing mentality that if you follow this stuff or are concerned about it then you're unevolved, anal retentive and caught in the past.

as if this wasn't how DC Comics operated just a year ago.

but, hey, kudos to those who can adapt at the drop of a hat, yeah?

but to actually give this idea of ordering the history of these universes some consideration, is it worthwhile? has it ever been? or has everyone who has ever engaged in this exercise been foolhardy? and have the editors, writers and creators that have dabbled in these grand fictional universes had an culpability in this mentality? or is it just a fan creation?

these are probably what i'd like to see dealt with with a conversation on this topic than trying to sort out a timeline in terms of years or a "let it go" response.

for my part, i absolutely adore what Grant Morrison has done with Batman. this is the most expansive embrace of a character's entire history thru story that i've seen. and it worked. its animus was decidedly inclusive and though it made great use of history, it wasn't a slave to it. entertaining, informative, universal, popular, and profitable.

this has always been my problem with reboots in general (course, not all reboots are created equal so fortunately we can judge them on their own merits)...the new doesn't have to be the enemy of the old. perhaps it just takes a singular talent to pull it off. perhaps we are woefully devoid of such vision that could virtually put their arms around all of the history of a character.

A shared fictional universe where history has no relevance? Not for me.

I think you're dead on. DC has played the "Here's our history" game my entire life (well, certainly at least since CoIE, if not before to a lesser extent. That was one of the reasons for creating Earth-2 in the first place).

CoIE, History of the DCU, DC Legacies, Roy Thomas and Geoff Johns' entire careers at DC... these are just the tip of the iceberg.

I am so unevolved that I just recently began standing upright and using my thumbs. That must be why I care.

But, as you said, kudos to those who really don't care at all if the fictional universe they enjoy has absolutely no sense of an even slightly feasible chronology anymore. It no am what me be wanting.

Matches April 24th, 2012 02:59 PM

DC continuity didn't make sense a year ago either. Or five or ten years ago for that matter. A pretty decent argument can be made for the idea that DC continuity has never made sense.

The "let it go" line of thinking isn't intended to put anyone down for liking the idea of ordering continuity and trying to fit all these disparate pieces together. It's merely a recognition that it's always been a fan-created game. If it's not fun anymore, why continue to play?

Mr. Wrong April 24th, 2012 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches (Post 1767927)
DC continuity didn't make sense a year ago either. Or five or ten years ago for that matter. A pretty decent argument can be made for the idea that DC continuity has never made sense.

The "let it go" line of thinking isn't intended to put anyone down for liking the idea of ordering continuity and trying to fit all these disparate pieces together. It's merely a recognition that it's always been a fan-created game. If it's not fun anymore, why continue to play?

It is kind of fun, until someone dismisses your thoughts as a waste of time and tells you to get over it.

Plus, in the past DC at least TRIED to make sense out of it. Now they just said to hell with it.

Matches April 24th, 2012 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Wrong (Post 1767928)
It is kind of fun, until someone dismisses your thoughts as a waste of time and tells you to get over it.

Why does someone else's commentary on something you think is fun affect your enjoyment of it?

Alan April 24th, 2012 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Wrong (Post 1767922)
No. ;)

I mean, I let go in the sense that I no longer buy the comics, but as for signing on to the idea that this isn't an insult to anyone who actually cares what happened yesterday?

No.

But this is the difference - I DO buy the comics, most of them in fact, and when the new 6 come out it will be pretty much all of them.

I still love the old stuff. No problem. I have just accepted that DC have the absolute right to do whatever they want with their characters, so if they decide to do yet another reboot then that is up to them. You've chosen to opt out Nd not buy them, but that doesn't mean they haven't done it.

There were lots of issues after the first Crisis, folding Earth 2 into Earth 1 created a whole bunch of anomalies, getting rid of the original Batman, WW and moving Superman into limbo etc. Zero Hour did hideous things.

But I'm enjoying the new comics and I'm enjoying the fact that the new universe IS uncertain. We don't know that certain things have happened in the past to affect things now. All they've done is abandon the most recent version of DC History, which is not the version pre Crisis, pre Zero Hour or pre Infinite Crisis.

I totally agree with Superfriend that someone like Grant Morrison was able to just make all Batman history canon, even the silly stuff, and that was wonderful, even if it made no real sense if you were being dogmatic about what could fit in and what couldn't. And as things stand, most of that seems to be still there. It's just best not to ask exactly how!

Mr. Wrong April 24th, 2012 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches (Post 1767930)
Why does someone else's commentary on something you think is fun affect your enjoyment of it?

That's a perfectly valid question. But being told to "just let go" EVERY SINGLE TIME you dare question the sensibilities of the DCnU does grow a bit tiresome after the seven- or eight-hundredth time you hear it.

No one has ruined my enjoyment of it, though. But doesn't a three-word response seem just a tad dismissive? I never said folks who have no problem with it are WRONG for feeling that way, or that they should just "Get with it."

A thread was started about "Making sense of Batman & Green Lantern" in the DCnU. I replied with my thoughts. Does that warrant being asked, essentially, to just stop doing so? Had the thread been called "STOP making sense of Batman & GL's History" it might be a different story.

There is, as superfriend pointed out, a certain... "soft snobbery" or "smug superiority" among many who like to just instantly dismiss anyone who actually wants the stories they are reading to have a foundation that at least TRIES to make some kind of sense. And I say that with ABSOLUTELY NO ILL WILL directed at anyone in particular. I'm not offended. It just seems that in a thread with this title and intent, essentially an exercise in trying to make sense out of the nonsensical timelines half-created for Batman & GL in the DCnU, telling someone to "Just let it go" is dismissive.

Reread superfirend's post. He put it far more elegantly than I can.

...NO ILL WILL!!! :D:D:D

Matches April 24th, 2012 03:23 PM

A three-word response might be dismissive, but no one in this thread made one. Alan's response included those three words but there's more there as well.

There really is no way to fit all of Batman's backstory into five years. It can be a fun game to play but it really can't be done.

It was also impossible to fit Batman's backstory into fifteen years or whatever the number was pre-Flashpoint. Morrison's approach was wonderful but only because he really didn't spend time on timelines and whatnot. He just said, essentially, "it all happened".

superfriend April 24th, 2012 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches (Post 1767930)
Why does someone else's commentary on something you think is fun affect your enjoyment of it?

i would never presume Alan guilty of using the "let it go" statement or an indictment of others who don't "let it go." to be sure.

but as much of a comicbook statesman of fandom as you are Matches, i don't think you're prepared to defend the tactic internet-wide.

for my part, i didn't mean to accuse Alan, merely use it to make a larger point. i realize this was probably unclear so my apologies to all involved here for stirring up a contrived conflict. you, everyone of you, are reasonable people and well-natured and shouldn't be needlessly riled up like it seems painfully apparent i did.

Mr. Wrong April 24th, 2012 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matches (Post 1767939)
A three-word response might be dismissive, but no one in this thread made one. Alan's response included those three words but there's more there as well.

There really is no way to fit all of Batman's backstory into five years. It can be a fun game to play but it really can't be done.

It was also impossible to fit Batman's backstory into fifteen years or whatever the number was pre-Flashpoint. Morrison's approach was wonderful but only because he really didn't spend time on timelines and whatnot. He just said, essentially, "it all happened".

You are technically correct. But those three words have been thrown about as an instant "silencer" move to derail any discussion of past continuity, which SUPPOSEDLY wasn't jettisoned for Batman & GL. As I said at the end of my very first post in this thread, "stupid soft reboot". Had they done a complete reboot across the board, NONE OF IT WOULD BE AN ISSUE.

I really don't want to argue with you or Alan, both of whom I like and most often enjoy your thoughts. I was just attempting to address the subject of the thread that we are having this discussion in. Now we're talking about my enjoyment of playing the continuity game or how many words Alan technically used in a response. I don't think that was the point.

Matches April 24th, 2012 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by superfriend (Post 1767941)
i would never presume Alan guilty of using the "let it go" statement of an indictment of others who don't "let it go." to be sure.

but as much of a comicbook statesman of fandom as you are Matches, i don't think you're prepared to defend the tactic internet-wide.

for my part, i didn't mean to accuse Alan, merely use it to make a larger point. i realize this was probably unclear so my apologies to all involved here for stirring up a contrived conflict. you, everyone of you, are reasonable people and well-natured and shouldn't be needlessly riled up like it seems painfully apparent i did.

You didn't rile me up - sorry if I gave that impression.

And I'm not prepared to defend anything Internet-wide.

Mr. Wrong April 24th, 2012 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by superfriend (Post 1767941)
i would never presume Alan guilty of using the "let it go" statement or an indictment of others who don't "let it go." to be sure.

but as much of a comicbook statesman of fandom as you are Matches, i don't think you're prepared to defend the tactic internet-wide.

for my part, i didn't mean to accuse Alan, merely use it to make a larger point. i realize this was probably unclear so my apologies to all involved here for stirring up a contrived conflict. you, everyone of you, are reasonable people and well-natured and shouldn't be needlessly riled up like it seems painfully apparent i did.

You certainly didn't rile me up, nor did any other individual poster here. I'm not riled. Hence my use of 3 "Big Grin" smilies in one of the last posts. I do feel as though I have been put on the defensive for essentially trying to "play the game" that was set up by the post. But I don't mean "put on the defensive" in any rabid, angry sense. Just feeling as though I've been told that the futility of trying to fashion a reasonable timeline for these characters is something that I am wasting my time doing. It's not a waste of time if I enjoyed doing it.

Again: ABSOLUTELY NO ILL WILL!!! :D:D:D


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