Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Golden Age vs. Earth Two

I'm not gonna make this one a long rant. It's just, reading JSA today reminded me about why I really don't want the DCU to go back to "Earth-2" permanently.

See, I love the Golden Age stuff. I love the Golden Age heroes. I love the JSA.

But I like them *now*. I loved Johns's whole JSA Returns, and the Golden Age psuedo-elseworld, because what I love isn't so much the comics as they were written in the forties, but the way in which the forties are portrayed now in the comics. I love that sense of history and legacy tinged with a modern perspective.

And I like my JSA without Superman and Batman. Wonder Woman can stay...but as Hippolyta thank you, not Diana.

See, when I read this month's JSA I was disappointed. Because as necessary as the story is for IC, I don't read JSA to read about Superman and Batman...any version of them. They have Action Comics, Detective Comics, Superman, Batman, Superman/Batman, Legends of the Dark Knight, Gotham Knights and spinoffs like Supergirl, Nightwing, Batgirl and Robin.

I read about JSA for the legends. And yeah, I know that in the real forties Superman and Batman were the main heads of the team.(I've been corrected! Thanks guys, they were only the heads in the later re-interpretation of Earth-2! Which is what I really don't want returning. :-))

But I think that something's lost there. See, when I say I want more GA-flashback type stories, what I want are stories about Jay, Alan, Carter, Ted, Wesley, Sandy the Golden Boy, the Crimson Avenger, Johnny Thunder, the Spectre...

I want to see these guys shine.

I love the thought that with or without Bruce or Clark, the JSA existed and was going strong. I love seeing Alan and Carter as the head statesmen of the JSA rather than Superman or Batman. I love Jay as the warm voice of wisdom, Ted as the brawler, Wes as the detective.

In my opinion, Superman and Batman are unnecessary in this scenario. In fact, the thought of them in there permanently I feel robs what the Modern Age has given to these "lesser" heroes. (Who are only lesser when stuck in a group behind Batman and Superman).

JSA gave some great characterization to Ma, Power Girl and Earth-2 Lois Lane, I admit. But the rest...Jay had one line. I didn't see much of any of the others. None of the newbies, of course, but also really none of the old-timers who are supposed to shine there. (And *did* in the far superior Degaton-in-1951 story)

I still think this Earth-2 stuff's clearly not sticking around, the covers for the new issues have everyone on one Earth again for example. (And I'm in denial about a certain ghost silhouette looking like E-2 Batman. There might be another explanation). I don't really want these guys to remember E-2 anyway. They shine better unencumbered by that time.

And I like the JSA on regular Earth thanks, I like them having *inspired* the Silver Age JLA and Superman and Batman and company. I like the thought of Alan Scott and the Crimson Avenger inspiring Batman, not them following his lead. Besides Batman's got 14 million other books where his adventures are told, where he gets to lead and kick ass and dominate his given group. Superman too. Leave the JSA, and the prestige of being the "elder statesmen" to those that deserve it.

Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait and see. At least my three favorites are still alive and well. :-)

(Edited for Clarification: What I'm complaining about really, is the way the JSA is portrayed in multiverse stuff, mostly the seventies. And that's what I think of when I think of "Earth-2"...and what I'm afraid of happening. I really really don't want is a return to the Superman/Batman dominated era to the JSA, and that's really what Levitz's story felt like to me. :-))


  • At February 09, 2006 4:17 AM, Blogger Marionette said…

    Actually Batman and Superman didn't appear much in the JSA originally. In fact I just took a look at the cover gallery at the Grand Comicbook Database and there is no sign of Supes or Bats on any of the covers of the original run, so I'm not sure they were members until the JSA was revived for the JLA crossovers in the sixties.

  • At February 09, 2006 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Superman and Batman only appeared in one panel or so in All-Star # 3, and were only active in the story in All-Star # 36. Otherwise they weren't really a part of the action at all. The basic rule then was that, if you had your own solo book, you had to quit the JSA, which is why Jay and Alan were written out for quite a while as well.

    This even carried over in a lesser way when JLA first began-Superman and Batman would appear for a couple of panels, but not really as a major part of the action, for most of the first ten issues or so.

  • At February 09, 2006 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They also appear in All-Star #7, when they (along with Jay) show up to each give Johnny Thunder $100,000 for charity.

    For the most part, I agree with this post. I love the JSA anytime, including the Superman/Bruce Wayne-heavy 70's run, but I like the Johns stuff much better. That's *my* JSA.

  • At February 09, 2006 1:39 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Hey guys! Thanks for replying! I'm awed at your knowledge! :-)

    I admit, when I think Earth-2, I specifically think of the multiverse stuff. The seventies. Not so much the *original* stuff. But you guys are right about them not playing much, if any really, role in the JSA. I suppose if it went back to that, I wouldn't have that much of a problem (except Alan had his own series for a while, and Jay is rumored to possibly get Flash, and Hawkgirl's getting *her* own...and I still want *them* in the JSA. So I'm really a hypocrite. :-))

    Anyway, the Levitz story was very heavy with aspects I'd consider closer to the Seventies, Superman/Batman heavy stuff. And that's really what I don't want. If E-2 *is* permanently restored, that seems more like it'd go. And I really don't want that. I like the JSA as it is now.

    But then, I have to admit, I'm rarely unhappy with the way DC handles big changes, so I should give them a chance regardless. :-)

  • At February 09, 2006 4:34 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    *gasp* However did you know?!

    (And honestly, I've no real idea why. I think it's the pajamas and the mouthiness. And the wirepoon. I dig the wirepoon. A wirepoon beats a batarang any day. :-P)

  • At February 09, 2006 5:23 PM, Blogger Scipio said…

    " And yeah, I know that in the real forties Superman and Batman were the main heads of the team."

    Oh, heavens, no. You've been deceived a much later retcon of the JSA that was part of the re-interpretation of Earth-2.

    Wonder Woman herself barely appeared in the comic, and that was only to bring readers over from HER comic (which was extremely popular).

  • At February 09, 2006 5:25 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Scipio: Thanks for the correction! I get often confused by later retcons, I admit. It's part of being a relative newbie. :-)

    But it's the re-interpretation of Earth-2 that I'm afraid of happening. I'm petulant. I don't want *my* favorites upstaged. :-)

  • At February 09, 2006 11:11 PM, Blogger Hale of Angelthorne said…

    I can't for the life of me figure out the real need for the whole Infinite Crisis mess, which is rapidly becoming as bloated, unwieldy and ludicrous as Crisis on Infinite Earths (which at least had a point). Superman-2 is a villain? WTF? I didn't see anything wrong with DCU's post-crisis continuity (other than, you know, the Batman as Dorian Gray), so why screw with it? I suspect John Byrne is behind it all somehow.

  • At February 10, 2006 7:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Admittedly, much of that 70s All-Star run and all of the "Adventure Comics" JSA stories were written by Levitz, which I assume is why he's doing this arc now.

    He was partial to Earth-2 Superman and Bruce Wayne back then, so it makes sense that he still would be.

  • At February 10, 2006 10:59 PM, Blogger Hale of Angelthorne said…

    Great! So it IS a John Byrne-style retcon ego trip! Who does this guy think he is, Jim Shooter? But you know this all ties back to the Batman aging post: if you absolutely refuse to allow your characters to age at all, then you are pretty much doomed to an endless cycle of retcons and relaunches, aren't you?


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