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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 01 October 2019 at 9:11pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

They should have just blown everything up and started from scratch.  EVERYTHING.

After Crisis, all new #1's, every character is now appearing for the first time in this incarnation.  All other incarnations are done.  Kinda like how JB did it with Superman, DC should have done that with the entire line.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 01 October 2019 at 9:38pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Kevin, I agree overall. As I said, the Tangent Universe approach is much closer to the way I'd like for them to have gone.

But with Perez focused on Crisis itself and Miller still away on other projects, we wouldn't have gotten the 1987 WW or Year One, so should DC have forgone its chance to get top-flight people to re-imagine their characters and simply leapt forward with whoever was available?

Should they have created "placeholder" versions of the characters to fill the books until they could get the best people to do the "real" ones? 

I have little to no regard for the way it all worked out, but it remains problematic seeing what could have been done differently, given the realities of full-speed-ahead, uninterrupted publishing requiring new material each month.


Edited by Brian Hague on 01 October 2019 at 9:39pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 1:57am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The original plan was to do a “history” miniseries, recount everything in some kind of reasonable order, and then blow it all up in the last issue. The next month, everything would have started over with new first issues.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 3:27am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

The original plan was to do a “history” miniseries, recount everything in some kind of reasonable order, and then blow it all up in the last issue. The next month, everything would have started over with new first issues.

=========================================================

Les Daniels' book DC Comics 60 Years goes in to detail about Crisis, and that was the plan Gerry Conway was lobbying for to make the whole thing more streamlined when it was over. He called it "The Big Bang" as a working title.

I don't know why it was ditched in favour of the selective restructuring we got.
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Carlos Velasco
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 5:45am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Hey, at least DC events in the 80s were quite entertaining compared to Armageddon, Zero Hour and the rest of disasters:

Crisis: The main series had great art by Pérez. It was the first major event, at least for DC. There was an epic feeling. The monitor was a mysterious character. Crossovers were terrible, though.

Legends: Great art in the main series, entertaining crossovers, wasn't as confusing as Crisis. Perhaps a bit predictable, but not terrible.

Millennium: I hate the main series, I strongly dislike Staton's art and the plot felt too forced. However, I loved many of the crossovers by Byrne, Giffen, Ostrander and others. I believe Millennium crossovers are underrated.

Invasion: Crossovers were not very good here, but the main series was quite solid and interesting.

I was a child when I read the Millenniun crossovers and Invasion, so maybe I am too forgiving. I read Crisis and Legends a few years ago.

Crisis was a way to make characters more serious and the universe more coherent, so I don't have many complaints. My real issue is the event itself, I hate the character Pariah and I'm starting to suspect that I would hate Wolfman if it wasn't for Pérez. Please understand that I started reading comics just after Crisis happened, maybe I respect the reboots too much. However, I am very grateful that I am able to read about how Crisis destroyed too many things. I am more concerned about that, I don't care that much about continuity problems.
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 7:15am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Some of my very first comics, at age 7 and 8, were JLA/JSA teamups.
I got it. Older versions of Robin, WW, etc on Earth 2, younger versions on Earth 1. There wasn't the overload of crossovers between Earths 1,2,3,S,X and beyond. It was streamlined, aside from a few Brave and the Bold issues.
It. Was. Not. Confusing. Especially to a kid like me. How seasoned writers (soon-to-be archaeologists, as I believe our host refers to their insistence of dredging up minutiae for story fodder) and artists were soooo confused by the old multiverse escapes me.
That 'multiple earths confuses me' narrative needs to die. The most confusing and impenetrable parts have been the last 30 years of fixes, patches, bandaids reboots and splints to 'fix' it.
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 7:39am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Millennium: I hate the main series, I strongly dislike Staton's art and the plot felt too forced. However, I loved many of the crossovers by Byrne, Giffen, Ostrander and others. I believe Millennium crossovers are underrated.

=========================================================

The Manhunter in every book aspect did require us to throw a lot of character establishment and motivation for a number of supporting characters out the window as well. A few were done creatively, others were just "What?"
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 7:49am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The Manhunter in every book aspect did require us to throw a lot of character establishment and motivation for a number of supporting characters out the window as well. A few were done creatively, others were just "What?"

••

Noticed that, did you?

In general, I find the mass crossover "events" infuriating, but that one really cut to the bone. "One of your characters has always been a Manhunter, and here's the list for your book." I was told I had to use Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen or Perry White. No other choices, and, of course, those were picked without any consultation with me.

I ended up using poor Lana, as I felt I could contain the damage as much as possible that way.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 8:21am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

It. Was. Not. Confusing. Especially to a kid like me. How seasoned writers (soon-to-be archaeologists, as I believe our host refers to their insistence of dredging up minutiae for story fodder) and artists were soooo confused by the old multiverse escapes me.

•••

It didn’t confuse the writers. But their arrogance compelled them to assume “kids like you” were confused—even tho no one was complaining, and they weren’t really writing for you, anyway.

Of course, the simplest solution was to STOP MENTIONING the “confusing” stuff. Like how I didn’t mention Reed and Ben having fought in WW2.

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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 9:52am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I was told I had to use Lana Lang, Jimmy Olsen or Perry White.

========================================================

It boggles the mind how you could justify Perry and Jimmy being Manhunters in the context of the stories.

At least with Lana you devised a story that worked as best as it could.

Len Wein, in his Blue Beetle run, just used a throwaway villain as the Manhunter instead of a supporting cast member.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Peter M. - what, you don't like my footnotes?*

It seems there is a difference of opinion about COIE depending on when one started reading comics. There were those such as myself (and Mr. Byrne, and a few other troglodytes) who were reading DC long before Crisis. To us, Crisis was unnecessary, and by violating and rewriting history and continuity, maybe a little bit enraging; I know I didn't like the outcome even a little.

There are those who started reading comics around the COIE itself, and heaven save them! A year or two of the prior status quo, then a huge change with characters who were mostly unknown, and then a brand new set of characters... except for the ones whose sales precluded interrupting them.

And then those who started reading after Crisis, and to whom things were always as the current comics, and what are you old fogeys complaining about anyhow?

Continuity is a curious beast, and it varies in its application, all the way from Superman having aged 100 years on his way from Krypton to Earth to Superman being born on Krypton, not Earth, and Batman being Bruce Wayne, whose parents were killed in front of him when he was eight. So it couldn't be erased entirely or anyone who started reading before Crisis would have to start from scratch - and that meant losing readers. Worse, it meant messing up existig non-comic properties (TV shows, movies, the occasional novel, etc.)

Crisis never was entirely clear of its purpose, and DC blew a HUGE opportunity to take a little more time to decide exactly what they wanted and how to do it. Why release it in 1985 when it could have been set in 1987, taking a while, and finally restarting DC comics with Superman #1 (or even Action Comics #1) in June, 1988? A fifty year anniversary is a great time to start again!

Realistically also, while the Tangent characters are a good idea (and some of them very salable in their own right), merchandising simply COULD NOT allow Superman to be a true superman (he's super because he thinks better and smarter) or the Flash to be made of light, or the Joker to be a hero. And the reasoning is almost ironic; you can't change Superman, and you can't have a character with different powers and abilities be called Superman (so that sales advantage is gone before it can start taking effect.)

Had Crisis ended with the History of the DC Universe, it might have worked - but it would have taken so long to establish backstory. And starting all the titles from scratch wouldn't work for team books; you couldn't have a concurrent issue of Justice League or New Teen Titans when Superman had not yet met Batman, nor before the creation of Kid Flash and Wonder Girl.

Mr. Byrne has related that he had a perfect method of restoring Superman to the Man of Steel from his MoS #1. Same continuity, but hence modified to get everything in order. I spoke to one of the DC writers who had submitted a spec script for a possible new Flash, of an entirely different nature. It MIGHT have worked. But not in a haphazard rush with no real idea of where DC was going post-Crisis. Shucks, I even believe I recall reading that Marv and George had a different ending to Crisis that would have preserved everything, and just turned COIE into one big bad gangbuster of a company wide crossover, with few or no after-effects.

Changing fifty years of DC would mean creating years of stories that had to lockstep into the new reality. And either DC didn't understand this, or had no creators who were willing to do that.


*You are a bad man and you make me sad. :)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 11:03am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

A guy I used to know years ago had an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel. I used to wonder why he’d not become a writer. Then one day I asked him about the backstory on a character I was thinking of using. He gave me what I needed, but then went on with “of course you’ll want to reference THIS, and THIS, and THIS, and THIS...”

None of which had anything to do with my story.

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