Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Aug 30, 2011.
I'd be into that. I used to love Young All-Stars back in the day.
The Multiversity "Thunderworld" issue came out today. It was excellent, easily the best Captain Marvel (NOT "Shazam", Captain Marvel) story DC has published since The Power of Shazam series ended in the 90s, and that's coming from a HUGE Cap fan. Its the first Multiversity book I really, really wish was going to become an actual series (although Morrison is really the only writer left who could write it well and is still working with DC).
Batman #37 had a pretty shocking implication about the origin of the Joker. I'm REALLY curious to see how they explain THAT one.
Batman and Robin #37 was obvious but gorgeous.
Interesting that he went all the way back to the start and made Billy and Captain Marvel separate characters.
Yeah, that's not my favorite interpretation of the character (I prefer Billy and Cap to be the same person) but I don't hate it, and the issue was just so great its something I can ignore.
I've been thinking about the Joker revelation and I've decided that
it's an elaborate prank on his part. He had his image inserted into those old pictures and arranged to have them discovered by Gordon and Bats. And he's just wearing a bullet proof vest when Gordon shoots him.
That does seem to be the case.
I read the new Batman Annual, which is an Endgame tie-in, and it was surprisingly good. It was basically a riff on the B:TAS episode "Joker's Favor" where the Joker basically torments some poor soul who bumped into him once over the span of five years. Really good Joker story that avoids the recent Marilyn Manson take that Morrison and Snyder have been doing.
I'm finally reading the original JSA series (1999 to 2006) by Geoff Johns right now. Anyone read it? It's very good. It's pretty exciting to be reading a brand new Geoff Johns series back when he organically built to exciting new stories. I love old school Geoff Johns. I also love the sheer number of characters on the team.
i love the JSA. especially that volume. the next one is good, but not as good.
JSA was one of the titles that got me back into comics. It's full of really damned good storytelling. I had stopped in late 1998, when aside from JLA, most of the stuff (main-stream, mostly DC, superhero) I was getting felt old and tired. A good number of the titles I was collecting, in my opinion, had writer fatigue. Waid had done all his best stuff on Flash and even a year off didn't re-energize him enough. Jurgens & Simonson were still writing their respective Superman titles (Simonson had been on Man of Steel since it started in 1991, while Jurgens had been on the title since 1991, as well, but had written Superman in Adventures of Superman since 1989), Ron Marz was trucking away on Green Lantern, etc.
Interestingly enough, between my dropping comics in late 1998 and picking it up again in mid 2001, all of those writers had since left for other things. In late 1999, early 2000 DC had quite a few new writers take over and it injected new life into the DCU.
Geoff Johns was one of those, and his work on both Flash and JSA showed a deep love for the characters. Much of the 90's had been about "shocking changes" that began in the early 90's with "Death of Superman" and "Knightfall," which kicked off a series of "shocking changes." I'm not saying that good, character focused stories were not being told (especially on titles like Waid's Flash), but the focus shifted away from that and towards ways to shock the readers.
The period from 1999 to 2003 saw DC focus more on characters than on anything else. Sure there were events (notably "No Man's Land" in the Batman titles leading up to 2000, as well as "Our Worlds at War" and "Joker's Last Laugh," both in 2001), but mostly creators were able to tell stories without too much interference or a need to have certain characters be in certain situations for "events."
JSA really benefited from this, as, unless I'm mistaken, the main title wasn't involved in any events until a single issue for "Joker's Last Laugh" in 2001 (there was a one-shot for the "Our Worlds at War" story, which didn't tie too much into the main series and was easily skipped if one wanted to). And then, it wasn't interfered with again until "Identity Crisis" in 2004.
That left Geoff to tell the stories he wanted to tell, without having to interrupt what he had going on. He used this to great effect to build characterization. While the "original" JSAers were well represented, he also did a great job adding depth to Mr. Terrific, Dr. Mid-Nite, Jakeem Thunder, Atom Smasher, Power Girl, and of course, his own creation, Stars.
As for the "old guard," he cemented Jay as the father-figure who never really had a family of his own (except for one brief moment, which I won't ruin as I'm not sure if you read about it, yet). Alan was the stern one, always there to correct the younger guys if he saw them getting out of line. Geoff build that for Alan based on his failures with his son, Todd. Ted, also got some great characterization, as someone else who had a chance at being a parent, but faced tragedy.
And, yet, I keep saying, "Geoff," forgetting that for most of the run, up until issue #50, it was also David S. Goyer who co-wrote with Geoff. It's easy to overlook him, since Geoff continued on, masterfully, without Goyer, but, at the same time, we should not ignore his role in the writing. We also should not forget Geoff's other co-writer, James Robinson, who got the title started with Geoff, and gave him a lot to work off of (Sand's move from sidekick to chairman, Hector's taking on the helm of Fate, as well as the team dynamic that served as the core of the title).
The entire run is amazing, but up through "Black Reign," especially is one of the best runs on a comic book, ever. I felt the post-"Black Reign" stuff wasn't quite as good, but it was still some solidly entertaining stuff.
I got out of comics in 2012, and looking back, I think it's partly due to the fact that things are totally different than they were in 2001 when I started collecting again. I'm not just talking about the "New 52," I'm talking about the mentality of those in charge, namely the sense of a shared universe, without the need for editors to micromanage everything. Granted, it started years before the "New 52," but the reports of editors meddling in titles.
I think another thing that benefited JSA greatly was to have Peter Tomasi as its editor. I don't get the sense that Tomasi meddled at all, instead he cultivated a situation in which one of the best runs in comic history was allowed to happen. Perhaps this is why he went on to become one of my favorite writers, when he left editing to write books such as Green Lantern Corp.
JSA is one of my favorite DC comic series ever. I have a lot of problems with Johns nowadays, but back then he was just great. I actually love the pre-reboot JSA better than most versions of the Justice League, and it had just great characters. Johns run on Justice Society of America, which came right after JSA and continues from it, is very good too, but it completely disintegrates as soon as he's off the book. While I actually think the current Earth 2 stuff is ok, it really doesn't hold a candle to the pre-reboot JSA stuff.
My favorite DC period is actually the early 2000s in the years leading up to Infinite Crisis. It just seems like every book was firing on all cylinders then and everything was building organically towards something (Infinite Crisis). A lot of the stuff post-Crisis was great too (Johns' Green Lantern is my favorite).
I'm up to JSA #45 now. Now I just read the two trades of Stars and STRIPE which came out before/during the start of JSA. I noticed at some point in JSA Stargirl suddenly has Starman's staff without explanation. Where did this happen? It didn't happen in her own mag and it didn't happen in JSA. I'm guessing Starman which I've never read?
From what I remember it happened in the last issue of the Starman book. Read the spoiler at your own risk.
Spoiler: Starman / Jack Knight
In the last issue, Jack retires from super-heroics to raise his son produced when he was raped by the super-villain Mist. He passed the staff on to Courtney, anointing her as the successor to the Starman legacy.
His son? Isn't he the same age that Courtney is?
I think Jack was in his early to mid 20s when he retired but it's been a while since I re-read Starman so I'm not certain.
I just read the Stars and STRIPE trades and there was an issue with him in it, I'm pretty sure they said Courtney is 16 and he was either 18 or 20.
Actually Robinson quit like halfway into the first story. Two of the issues are actually ghost-written by Johns, which I think introduces Hectorfate and has Sand as the new chairman. IMO the latter is probably Goyer's. Not sure about the former. But his stuff seemed to be mainly focused around either Hector or Sand.
I think Tomasi is a so-so writer. But I think he is an amazing editor. He was involved in not only JSA, but Hitman, JLA including the classical Morrison and Kelly runs as well as the the relaunch of Green Lantern with Johns and the Batman title with Morrison. He definitely should not have jumped ship from editorial, you don't see that caliber of editors at either DC or Marvel right now.
No surprise look at the editorial credits for the post-Johns Justice Society book. You have the same editors who did the Daniel/Liefeld Hawkman, the nu52 BoP and Firestorm taking charge of that book. Essentially people who have done terrible books were giving the reins to the Justice Society. A lot of the weakness at DC is just terrible editors and editorial practices.
As I said, I think that was the best mix of DC letting the writers do their thing, while still working towards maintaining a singular universe.
However, it wasn't all great stuff. While JSA and Flash were great, I heard pretty bad things about the end of Winnick's run on Green Lantern and even worse things about Raab, his replacement.
Speaking of Winnick, he turned Green Arrow into his personal soapbox with the heavyhandedness surrounding Mia finding out she had HIV.
Joe Kelley sort of petered out on JLA, just in time for DC to decide what its flagship team needed were rotating creative teams, including Chuck Austen, who they then decided should get a year run on Action Comics.
Speaking of Superman, they gave the flagship title to Azzarello and Lee, who started out decent, but man the ending of his year-long story was just bad.
Over on Batman, Jeph Loeb had his run with "Hush," which as we've said in this thread is mediocre at best.
The period between late 1999 and the start of Infinite Crisis for DC was an example of a time in which there were a number of really, really good titles. It was also a time of some serious creative mess-ups.
However, I guess the same could be said for the period after Infinite Crisis.
Since I quit comics again, I've been re-reading a lot of my runs of books and I am now reading through Flash. The Waid and Johns stuff was amazing, but man, the post-Infinite Crisis stuff was just rough. The Dimeo/Bilson run on Flash: Fastest Man Alive was crap. Marc Guggenheim came on for a few issues, but it's clear he was just given the job to kill off Bart. He did a decent job, but Iris, Hunter/Zoom, and other characters are just horribly written.
The OYL stuff was a mixed bag. Some writers, such as Stuart Moore on Firestorm did an amazing job of using it to its full potential and telling a great story. The eight part Superman story that Johns and Busiek told at the beginning of OYL, "Up, Up, and Away" is one of the best Superman stories, ever. And, of course, Johns used OYL to start the run up to "The Sinestro Corps War" in Green Lantern (along with Dave Gibbons in Green Lantern Corps).
But Meltzer on Justice League of America, the aforementioned Dimeo/Bilson run on Flash: The Fastest Man Alive, much of Busiek's solo work on Superman (aside from his "Camelot Falls" storyline, which was decent) were all misfires.
Read Starman. Seriously. James Robinson had one of the greatest runs on a comic ever with this (I realize I said that recently about Jeff on JSA, but regardless of how much/little Robinson had to do with JSA, it's clear Geoff drew inspiration from his run on Starman).
The Jack Knight in Starman always seemed at least 21 to me. I don't know if they ever gave an exact age for him, but I'd even say mid-20's would work. Part of the story of Jack is how he went from a rebellious teenager into a true hero.
I was never quite clear on when Robinson quit. Having the "Justice Be Done" trade, I always assumed that the Sand solo story (issue #5) was his last story (and the credits on the cover bear that out). Issue #6, the Black Adam story, was the first time Geoff got credit on the cover. However, I believe you when you say they were ghost written. It's not the first time things like that were done.
I still think he is a good writer, but perhaps he could see the writing on the wall for his editing style and decided he could contribute more as a writer. It's quite telling that the titles he edited were among the best DC was putting out at the time.
early 2000s/pre Infinite Crisis is my favorite DC era too. i remember nervously reading Green Lantern Rebirth. i assumed they would kill Kyle off but thankfully that never happened.
i enjoyed Johns run on Hawkman too.
the Meltzer and Robinson volume of JLA is a favorite of mine. Meltzer spends a lot of time with Red Tornado who is a favorite of mine. i know some people don't care for the Robinson run because of the characters involved.
and yes, Starman is an excellent.
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