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Topic: Q for JB: CRISIS and after (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 2:53am | IP Logged | 1  

Something I've always been curious about and I'm hoping that you, JB, can help me with it--

I've always found it somewhat ironic (or just tragic) that two of my favorite DC comics from my teen years LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES and NEW TEEN TITANS (and, as I understand it, DC's biggest sellers) were sort of "sacrificed" in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Ironic since it was the TITANS team of Wolfman, Perez, and editor Wein who put things in motion with CRISIS that ultimately destroyed their TITANS.

JB, from your perspective over on the SUPERMAN revamp, did you know or hear anything about these two books being KNOWINGLY weakened in an effort to revive sales on books like SUPERMAN, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, JLA, etc.?

It just seems to me that either the powers that be were very nave that TITANS could survive with the whole Donna Troy confusion and that LEGION could survive with SUPERBOY being written out of continuity OR they willingly tossed the dice to shore up the icons even if it cost them their biggest sellers.

I really can't imagine a comics industry where LEGION (just cancelled a few months ago) doesn't have its own book, though it's understandable since it's been in a long death spiral ever since CRISIS. And, likewise, though they keep bringing the name back, TITANS has never been the same. It's the same as Marvel's X-MEN being nowhere to be found on today's stands.

Edited by Eric Jansen on 28 December 2014 at 2:56am
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 3:03am | IP Logged | 2  

Addendum: They REALLY didn't seem to care about my other favorite books at the time--Roy Thomas' INFINITY INC. and ALL-STAR SQUADRON! Those books DEFINITELY were never to survive post-CRISIS!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 6:07am | IP Logged | 3  

CRISIS happened before my time at DC.
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Kip Lewis
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 6:56am | IP Logged | 4  

How was Legion destroyed by Crisis? The
title continued. Yes, it was changed but
Five Years Later could have happened with
or without Crisis. Few years after Crisis
it got a second book. Yes last year or so
it was cancelled but that had nothing to
do with COIE.

Titans also continued for years. Any
diminishing in quality or sales was
connected more to changes in the creative
staff. Personally I found the quality of
TT stories to have diminished before
Crisis.

Edited by Kip Lewis on 28 December 2014 at 6:57am
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Jason Czeskleba
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 1:38pm | IP Logged | 5  

Crisis retroactively made the Legion's past continuity incredibly dense and confusing, but I don't think it's what killed the book off.  I think a bigger problem was Levitz's decision to significantly age the characters during his run.  This was probably gratifying for readers at the time, but by the end of his run it had resulted in the book being so far away from its original concept that the decision was made that they had to blow it up and start over with a complete reboot.
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Kip Lewis
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 4:42pm | IP Logged | 6  

But that change you are talking about. ..
jumping five years into the future, the
introduction of the clone batch could have
all happened with or without Crisis
because the idea to jump five years and
change the entire premise of the team was
not dependent on Crisis.

Plus the removal of Superboy was not from
Crisis. That came from Man of Steel, a
separate event that happened later.
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Darren Ashmore
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 4:53pm | IP Logged | 7  

Titans had begun to decline in  writing quality after George Perez left the series (and I recall Marv Wolfman commenting that he suffered some writers block during the same period). The erasure of Wonder Woman from continuity and the subsequent de-emphasis of Superman's Kryptonian roots (Kandor etc.) certainly had an impact on Wonder Girl especially and Nightwing tangentially but it was never a big issue for the series and the WG stuff wasn't even addressed for another four years.

The Legion didn't immediatly suffer as a result of Crisis.  Remember, the specifics of the Superman relaunch weren't known when Crisis ended, the next to last page of Crisis #12 had Superman and Power Girl walking off together in mourning toward the Fortress of Solitude.

Crisis's problem IMO was that the aftermath hadn't been worked out very well in advance.  Editors and writers were either unable or unwilling to get on board with the thing.  Result: a mad scramble after the fact to try and smooth out the wrinkles.  Compare the characters featured in Crisis 11 & 12, to what we got for the next 12-24 months.  My feeling at the time was if Marvel had done the same type of story, the transition to a 'new' Earth would have been much smoother.  Of course, for the longest time that was the major difference between the two companies, while DC had editorial fiefdoms which rarely crossed paths, Marvel prided itself on a clear editorial policy across its line.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 5:17pm | IP Logged | 8  

I recall Marv Wolfman commenting that he suffered some writers block during the same period...

I recall a DC editor, years ago, saying that "Writer's Block is when you can't write, not when you write badly." Was he referring to Wolfman's troubles? I can't say.

Of course, one of my favorite quotes on the subject came from Charles Schulz: "Writer's Block is for amateurs."

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Ed Love
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 5:52pm | IP Logged | 9  

I would say the problem with  those Titans was that the company was NOT willing to sacrifice the title. Much like Nu52, they didn't want to be rid of the adult former Teen sidekicks despite supposedly rebooting the Universe.

The problem with Legion was not just ignoring the Superboy aspect of their history. He and Supergirl were already just occasional guest-stars and the title could have continued the same as it had been with never referring to the two again.

So, we got several waves of retcons trying to explain various holes: who inspired the Legion? Pocket-Universe Superboy? Or was it Valor/Mon-El?
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Darren Ashmore
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 6:16pm | IP Logged | 10  

Crisis should have been either all or nothing. Scrap the existing continuity and start from scratch (and not half heartedly like Nu52), or don't go that route at all and just have a big crossover with all the characters. Wolfman however seemed fixated on 'fixing' the DC universe when it wasn't really broken, and being the writer of the best selling title gave him that opportunity. 
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Josh Goldberg
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 6:36pm | IP Logged | 11  

Interesting that Wolfman's "writers block" coincided with Perez's departure from the book.
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Jason Schulman
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Posted: 28 December 2014 at 6:43pm | IP Logged | 12  

The best thing to do would have to been to reboot both the Superman mythos and Wonder Woman mythos in ways that didn't affect the shared universe. That was certainly possible. JB could have (and, I think, would have if asked) done most of what he wanted to do with Superman without removing Superboy and Supergirl from Superman's backstory. And thus the Legion's backstory would've remained as it was before 1986.
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