Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Missed Potential in Merged Earths?

You know what I've always wanted to see? More crossovers between Infinity Inc and the Teen Titans. It's something that always upset me a little about the Multiverse-turned-Universe, there were constant implausible adult cross-dimensional interactions, but we never got to see anything of the kids.

It always seemed like there'd be an interesting cross-perspective there. Infinity Inc and the Titans are vastly different teams. With vastly different styles. Maybe that means crossing over would be impossible. Still, I'd have liked something.

Even in the Universe, the only real second generation crossovers I can think of are Jade and Dinah Lance.

It seems weird to me, because there'd be really interesting ideological details to imagine. Not to mention that the existance of both teams on one world adds an interesting complexity to the Infinity Inc people.

Which came first? II or Titans? If it was II, what led them into a different direction than the Titans went? If it was the Titan team, why didn't the II people join them instead of making their own? I think there are a lot of interesting possible explanations for this: ideological difficulties, power difficulties, both teams unable to deal with the other's leadership style.

Would they have been allies? Rivals? Or in such different leagues that it never came up? This is the sort of New Earth thing, I'd really like to explore...we know how the big things, the big teams interrelate, but how does the minutia work?

There is such interesting potential in the blended universe that hasn't yet been explored.

Like with Sanderson Hawkins and Dick Grayson. I've always wanted some sort of crossover between them. I mean, when it comes down to it, they come from a very similar core idea. They're both originally Golden Agers (1940 and 1941), they're both child sidekicks to grittier heroes. Neither had powers. Both served as living symbols of hope and brightness through their costumes and identities. Both were light-hearted, cheerful wise-crackers there to brighten their heroes up while helping them kick criminal butt, and acting as sounding boards for their detective partners' brilliance. Robin was a more physical, openly cheerful sort of character, Sandy was more acerbic and tended to be better with the mental contributions.

I think it would be really interesting on that meta-level to see them interact now. Sure, they're no longer contemporaries, but that just makes it more interesting to explore the characters.

They're even the same age (give or take a few decades in stasis) which would add to the whole dynamic. Having them team up on an adventure would be interesting and a lot of fun!

Not to mention that, for whatever reason, we've never really gotten to see Sand interact much with people his own age. I'm hoping that the new line-up of Rick, Jessie, and apparently Maxine Hunkel, who all seem to be of comparative ages, would remedy this a little. Still, I'd love to see something where he gets to team up

Unfortunately, there would be a big risk to this whole thing. At their best, the characters would be able to shine in different ways. Dick's superior physical ability, Sandy's sharper detective instincts, Dick's socially adept charm, Sandy's bland adaptability, Dick's training (I imagine Bruce was rougher as an instructor than Wes), Sandy's powers. There are a lot of ways this could go well.

Of course, there are a lot of ways it could fuck up too. Especially with Dick's character in the mess he's been in for such a long time. Dick's various personal turmoils have battered the character down to the point that he's even his leadership abilities. His fighting ability seems to be shot, at the moment at least, going by his abyssmal performace OYL. It might be a very big mistake to pair him up with the JSA's ex-chairman in an adventure.

I have to admit, once I get past my initial "Wouldn't this be *cool*?!" reaction, my first thought imagining a crossover is:

"Bruce doesn't love me! Woe!"
"...okay. Um...Wes turned me into a sand monster by accident? It's okay now though..."
"... Fine, you win, damnit."

Which actually makes me snicker, but probably wouldn't be the best idea for a comic.

Still, there's other crossover potential. One thing I'd always have liked to see remedied is that we really never got to see Sand interact with people his own age. There was a bit of Team camaraderie with Al and that mess with Kendra, but really, that doesn't count. He's in a weird position in the JSA, age wise. He's too old to be terribly close to Courtney and Jakeem, too young to really fit with Alan, Jay, Ted or Carter, and his particular set of experiences set him apart from Pieter or Michael, both of whom only became heroes in their adulthood.

The new lineup looks promising. Rick Tyler's there, Jessie Chambers, Maxine Hunkel. They look about the same age, which should be interesting. But I still think there's a lot of missed crossover potential. (Surely Kyle could be roped into a team-up. Come on! King of Tears, Empire of Tears, something could be done with that! Or...hee. Roy. I don't know what they'd do exactly, but I think a Sand and Roy team-up could very well be comedy gold!)

On the plus side though, Jessie was a Titan first. Perhaps she will end up something of a bridge between younger generations. That'd be cool! Earth 2 and Earth 1 are merged yet again and I'd really like to see that played with a bit more.

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  • At September 05, 2006 11:24 AM, Blogger Your Obedient Serpent said…

    Actually, Jessie was a JSA'er first. she originally appeared in the early-'90s Strazewski/Parobeck Justice Society of America comic, and was pretty much a member in good standing for that book's 12-issue run.

    They treated her much better than they did Power Girl, Robin and Spangles in the '70s -- none of that "Super Squad" nonsense, she was by-golly JSA.

    She was also wearing a variation of her father'scostume, which was light-years better than the BOOB Q outfit they saddled her with later.

  • At September 05, 2006 11:49 AM, Anonymous Loren said…

    Hmmm...interesting and I think it would make a neat story. But, my understanding is that the Infinity, Inc'ers are not teens, but more along the lines of the first generation Titans. So, if this is the case, it would stand to reason that the Teen Titans (first generation) came first in the new Earth as they were teens on a team while Infinity, Inc. were always young adults.

    I would have loved to have seen Infinity Inc./Titans (as in the Titans that existed the same time as Young Justice and not the team now). Whatever the case might be, I'd love to see the legacy characters that came from Infinity Inc. become more visible in the DC Universe and interact with the other young adult heroes.

  • At September 05, 2006 11:55 AM, Anonymous Mark Engblom said…

    Yeah, I'd love to see more (or even SOME) interaction between the second-generation types. The whole Infinity Inc. concept has been the red-headed stepchild of the DCU since the first Crisis, with a few tenative mentions here and there over the years. Now with a new history to map out with (hopefully) some bold new directions to take things, I'm really hoping more of the E-2 legacy can be acknowledged and worked into the mix.

    There have been tantalizing hints that at least some of the E-2 history has been preserved (exactly how remains to be seen), but there is definitely an intact memory of the E-2 Batman and Superman floating around, so an Infinity Inc-as-Teen Titans of E-2 theme will hopefully emerge at some point.

    I get the feeling the post-Infinite Crisis DC is still very much a work in progress, and that various "factions" within DC editorial have differing vision about what that DCU looks like. I can see some being very open-minded and charitable toward E-2 legacy stuff, while others may be very hostile and dead-set against it....with probably not alot of middle ground between the two camps. At this point, no camp has emerged as the "dominant" post-IC vision...though with the early teasing of more JLA-JSA team-ups and Meltzer's hint that an "Earth 2" may be discovered by the Flash are encouraging.

  • At September 05, 2006 12:49 PM, Blogger Ferrous Buller said…

    "I've always wanted some sort of crossover between them."

    Trying so hard to resist any of the obvious jokes about that one...


  • At September 05, 2006 1:26 PM, Anonymous david brothers said…

    I've read a lot of JSA, though didn't really take. Wasn't really my bag, if that makes sense, and I don't remember a lot of it.

    Does Sand ever do detective work? I know that Sandman Mystery Theatre is supposed to be great and features GA Sandman doing detective work with Dian(e?), but I don't know if Sand ever inherited any of that.

    I look at Sand, and I see a Batman-style scary detective. It's possibly the mask, but that's my first impression.

    This relates to a bizarre Elseworlds idea I've been kicking around, but that's something else entirely.

  • At September 05, 2006 2:03 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    serpent: Oh! That's right! I'd completely forgotten! I remember her more in the Titans era. Still, I think she'd make a good bridge!

    loren: Yeah, that's my thought, as the IIers seem the same age as the first gen Titans. Which makes for an interesting perspective. Why didn't they join the Titans to prove themselves? What made them band together instead? I'd love to see that. :-)

    mark: Me too. It seems like there'd be really interesting stories there, both past and present.

    I wouldn't mind a multiverse, as long as the JSA-JLA that we know are on the same world, as I really like the generational aspects. I'd just like to see more of that with the kids.

    ferrous: I assure you, I have no idea what's funny there. :-)

    david: Yes and no. He's been referred to as being a detective sort like Wes, but we only really got to see it in one issue, where he, Michael and Pieter are investigating a death. It's portrayed as something they've done before behind the scenes.

    There isn't a lot of room for that style detective work in JSA proper, which is why I want a Sand comic! :-)

  • At September 05, 2006 9:30 PM, Anonymous Ununnilium said…

    I'd like the Earth-1 and Earth-2 characters left on one Earth, but I'd really like the Marvel Family characters split off. Except Black Adam - he can be the New Earth equivalent of CM.

  • At September 05, 2006 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So,how does time-travel work in a multiverse?

  • At September 07, 2006 5:26 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    ununnilium: I think that could work. If anything can really. The Marvels (sans BA) really don't seem to work in the modern DCU.

    anon: Same way it works everywhere else: best understood with copious amounts of alcohol.

  • At September 07, 2006 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ...and hyper-pretzels,always remember those,too.There is never a 7-11 Cubed when you REALLY need one...


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