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Old August 30th, 2013   Mr. Wrong is offline   #1
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Default Some thoughts about legacies from Chris Roberson

"Why Doesn't Bruce Wayne Retire Already?!"

-Chris Roberson makes some great points here. This piece was written some years ago, but I find myself in agreement with most of his thoughts and suggestions.
 
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Old August 30th, 2013   Werehunter is offline   #2
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Oh I completely agree. Comics publishers, and some long running indies, need to either let their character's age or stop introducing new generations of heroes. The worst, in my opinion, has been the X-men, who introduce a new class to be the next generation of X-men every decade since the New Mutants appeared. But Batman and his Robins are a close second.
 
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Old August 30th, 2013   Bizarro #98 is offline   #3
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To a certain extent, this is what DC already does. They just add a sliding timescale to the idea.

The Legion is always 1000 years in the future, relative to the present. Booster Gold is always from 500 years in the future, relative to the present. In many ways, this is smarter than a set-in-stone timeline, because it prevents the real world from ever "catching up" with the fictional future, as we already have with The Jetsons and very soon will with Back to the Future 2.

If this guy wants a story about the Batman-immediatly-after-Bruce-Wayne, DC's been putting out a Batman Beyond comic for months now. So have at it.

If this guy wants a story about the Batman-immediatly-after-Bruce-Wayne but set in the primary DC cannon, well, there's lots of other reasons why that doesn't happen. There's no real consensus on who should be Batman after Bruce retires. There's not even a consensus on whether it would be one person or several!
 
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Old August 30th, 2013   Alan is offline   #4
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And this is why we have a nu52. Reset button hit again.

Fictional characters rarely have this problem as writers age along with their creations so they always have a finite life span. Only a few characters have transcended their limited lifespan outside the comics medium, James Bond being the obvious example. Reading the first Bond book recently was an interesting step back in time to the early 50's, a very different world and a totally different Bond to the current guy, but one that feels far more natural, even though the most recent Bond has also basically hit the reset button and starting more or less from scratch with a more 'realistic' (if you can use that word about a character who still pulls off the most amazing stunts rather than shooting people from a distance as the Connery Bond was doing in films like From Russia With Love).

Who would have thought any of these characters would have lasted this long or that the same idiots are reading them. This was supposed to be a medium with a built in new audience every few years as kids grew up and onto weightier fictions, so you could do whatever you wanted with the characters as they were always just talking to a bunch of 10 year olds.

DC have of course gone down the line of legacies for most characters two or three times over, and its up to each generation to bond with the version they like the most. But I think on the whole I would rather they hit the reset now and then. The replacement heroes of the late 80's and 90's killed off my interest at the time ( I think Kyle Rayner may have been the last straw looking back. I'm glad I wasn't there for Ollie's death!), and they have reached the conclusion that the 60's/70's versions are going to be the principal archetypes from now on and they will work with keeping them modern. Ok for me as those are the ones I know. If you are an 80's child and grew up with Wally West then it's a bummer and I can imagine how that feels, but I can see why from a logistical and commercial point of view that it makes sense to stick with the best known version. Doesn't mean they can't play around with characters from time to time, and there will always be the odd shock for effect, but it makes no sense to kill off or greatly change existing commercial properties, which is how they are now seen, though as we know it has actually always been the case. Superman was a radio series, film serial and eventually a TV show within a very short time after publication.

Marvel have managed it differently, and despite All the changes in books like the X-Men we still have a Franklin Richards who has taken 50 years to age to 8 or so. Which is a bit odd, but there is no perfect solution to this.
 
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Old August 30th, 2013   Mark MacMillan is offline   #5
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"Why Doesn't Bruce Wayne Retire Already?!"

-Chris Roberson makes some great points here. This piece was written some years ago, but I find myself in agreement with most of his thoughts and suggestions.
ddf
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This is why I like the Multiverse.

You can do dozens of stories on just the premise of "what if x didn't happen in this universe, allowing y to progress this way instead" alone (like The Nail for example but more in-depth)

While things like the Antimatter Universe, Extremists and New Gods help to add more variety to the Multiverse, being able to use all of the DC characters and creations creatively I think is it's main selling point.

Another plus is it's a lot easier to place things in another universe than to deal with the rules of malleable and solidified time in a fluid timestream and the "Butterfly Effect" caused when malleable/fluid time is messed with and isn't "fixed" before it becomes solidified in the timestream.
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   Mr. Wrong is offline   #6
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I think what appeals to me the most in what Roberson wrote was the idea of keeping characters (at least the non-immortal/non-near-immortal ones) in the era in which they were created. If DC HAS to publish 12 Batman books a month, having one title with Bruce as Batman in the '40s, most likely Dick in the '60s, Bruce's child/grandchild or a Batman Beyond-style progeny in the '80s or whenever/whoever, would inject a lot more variety into the various titles.

Plus, I've just REALLY wanted a modern Batman series set in the '40s for a long time. Put the "pulp" back in Batman (or should I say, "The Bat-Man"?).

Of course, the "sliding-scale" timeline works fine for the most part. My true preference is a status quo where characters return to their basic template at the end of each story, and no one bothers to ask why Dick Grayson has been 11 or 12 years old for 70 years. I know I'm in the minority on that one.
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   JRM is offline   #7
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I think what appeals to me the most in what Roberson wrote was the idea of keeping characters (at least the non-immortal/non-near-immortal ones) in the era in which they were created. If DC HAS to publish 12 Batman books a month, having one title with Bruce as Batman in the '40s, most likely Dick in the '60s, Bruce's child/grandchild or a Batman Beyond-style progeny in the '80s or whenever/whoever, would inject a lot more variety into the various titles.

Plus, I've just REALLY wanted a modern Batman series set in the '40s for a long time. Put the "pulp" back in Batman (or should I say, "The Bat-Man"?).

Of course, the "sliding-scale" timeline works fine for the most part. My true preference is a status quo where characters return to their basic template at the end of each story, and no one bothers to ask why Dick Grayson has been 11 or 12 years old for 70 years. I know I'm in the minority on that one.
ddf
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They did put Batman into a pulp setting in the First Wave imprint. Perhaps, one of their books should have been a Batman on-going. But he was there but that line was mostly ignored by in large, though the quality was there.
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   Mr. Wrong is offline   #8
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They did put Batman into a pulp setting in the First Wave imprint. Perhaps, one of their books should have been a Batman on-going. But he was there but that line was mostly ignored by in large, though the quality was there.
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I wish I had picked up the FIRST WAVE titles. Did the stories reach a reasonable conclusion before they were axed, or did they just stop unresolved?
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   JRM is offline   #9
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I wish I had picked up the FIRST WAVE titles. Did the stories reach a reasonable conclusion before they were axed, or did they just stop unresolved?
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Been a while, I honestly will have to go back and look.

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Old September 2nd, 2013   Alan is offline   #10
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It was a limited series anyway, so the First Wave one was complete. It was ok, but it was, if I remember rightly badly affected by delays. That won't affect the trade of course! Doc Savage seems to be e kiss of death as far as comics are concerned though.
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   Mr. Wrong is offline   #11
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It was a limited series anyway, so the First Wave one was complete. It was ok, but it was, if I remember rightly badly affected by delays. That won't affect the trade of course! Doc Savage seems to be e kiss of death as far as comics are concerned though.
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It does seem to be the case.

I wonder if the SPIRIT and DOC SAVAGE series had decent conclusions before they were axed...
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   Alan is offline   #12
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The Spirit did. It was never quite as good after Darwyn Cooke but it was always worthwhile. Moritat did a good job throughout, and there some nice guest artists. But it wrapped up properly. I stayed with it all the way. I dropped Doc Savage with #1 though. I thought it was just about the worst written comic I had ever read. I know JG Jones came on board later but I think he had to cut his plans short and finish as best he could.
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   Mr. Wrong is offline   #13
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The Spirit did. It was never quite as good after Darwyn Cooke but it was always worthwhile. Moritat did a good job throughout, and there some nice guest artists. But it wrapped up properly. I stayed with it all the way. I dropped Doc Savage with #1 though. I thought it was just about the worst written comic I had ever read. I know JG Jones came on board later but I think he had to cut his plans short and finish as best he could.
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I wasn't talking about the Darwyn Cooke SPIRIT, I meant the one that tied into FIRST WAVE.

The series that started with Cooke was AWESOME, IMO.
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   Mr. Wrong is offline   #14
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Speaking of Bruce Wayne aging...

 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   Alan is offline   #15
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I wasn't talking about the Darwyn Cooke SPIRIT, I meant the one that tied into FIRST WAVE.

The series that started with Cooke was AWESOME, IMO.
ddf
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I'd forgotten that there was a new series at all, I just remembered them as one book. But it was Moritat that did the second series and that did conclude.
 
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Old September 2nd, 2013   Bizarro #98 is offline   #16
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If DC HAS to publish 12 Batman books a month, having one title with Bruce as Batman in the '40s, most likely Dick in the '60s, Bruce's child/grandchild or a Batman Beyond-style progeny in the '80s or whenever/whoever, would inject a lot more variety into the various titles.
ddf
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While a bit less redundancy in the Bat-titles would be a welcome change (though I probably still wouldn't read them either way), I don't agree that it necessitates turning Batman into a period piece character. You could still have Batman in the present, with DickBat 20 years in the future, and the Super-Sons 40 years in the future. And as I said, there's already at least one book like that.

Plus, I've just REALLY wanted a modern Batman series set in the '40s for a long time. Put the "pulp" back in Batman (or should I say, "The Bat-Man"?).
ddf
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And speaking of nebulous futures, Multiversity is going to feature the pulp-styled Earth-20, which among other changes has a much more Shadow-inspired Bat-Man. Personally, I'm hoping they'll give him a really exaggerated wide-brimmed hat.

Of course, the "sliding-scale" timeline works fine for the most part. My true preference is a status quo where characters return to their basic template at the end of each story, and no one bothers to ask why Dick Grayson has been 11 or 12 years old for 70 years. I know I'm in the minority on that one.
ddf
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I think that's only the minority opinion among hardcore comic book fans, who are really the only ones who feel like they're entitled to characters that "age with them".

I think history has demonstrated quite conclusively that franchises where no one ever ages are a lot more likely to remain relevant to multiple generations.
 
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