Some key people I left out: Nightwing, Batgirl or Batwoman, Dr. Fate, Martian Manhunter (in favor of Miss Martian), the Authority, the Atom, Metamorpho, Swamp Thing and probably a few others.
Have any of you seen this covered in the media, I mean other than USA Today? I ask because here in Nova Scotia there was an AP wire story about this in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald yesterday, complete with picture of Geoff Johns. It's pretty rare to have any stories about comics featured in this paper at all, yet here this was, mentioning the relaunch with all the new #1's, and the day and date digital info. Then it listed 10 new books and their creative teams***, but despite the picture of Johns the article did not mention Justice League #1 being the kickoff, nor does the article mention Jim Lee at all.
*** For the record, they are Green Arrow, JLI, Mr. Terrific, Fury of Firestorm, Captain Atom, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Savage Hawkman, Flash, and DC Comics Presents
Capt. Comics said: "Even after Green Lantern and Flash had been other guys for years, the general public still thought they were Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (even if they couldn't remember their names).That's how important the original DCU was -- even after all these years, it's still the baseline."
Yep, and it's Hal Jordan in next month's GL movie. And it will be Barry Allen in the planned Flash flick. A triumph for the baby boomers -- our versions of these guys are still the ones that count.
I hate to put it in those terms, George, especially since Boomer-bashing is so popular today. I'd just say that Jordan and Allen were the most famous and successful characters to carry the handles Green Lantern and Flash, and replacing them is a low-percentage move.
Moreover -- and I think we all saw this during the times when Jordan and Allen were dead -- removing those characters in order to replace them leaves a huge hole in history and continuity. You need them for the story to be whole, and if they're there, they're going to be the leads -- they can't take a secondary role, or they are not the same characters. Also, it would be out of character for the younger characters to aggressively replace them. You may be the most successful guy among your peers, but if your Dad's around, you're going to defer.
So I think it's the inevitable triumph of story structure. You can't remove Hal Jordan and Barry Allen willy-nilly without destroying the franchises.
You can't remove Hal Jordan and Barry Allen willy-nilly without destroying the franchises.
Oh, they got along without Barry for 25 years before they revived him. And I don't think they revived him because the franchise had been destroyed, they did it because, um, actually, I don't really know why they thought they had to do it. Frankly, I think they revived him pretty willy nilly.
Barry's lineage was so strong that his absence was a big point. No way did a Flash take the job without knowing it was dangerous. He was a legend they had to live up to. Even Jay was wearing a WWBD bracelet.
And I actually think they had a reasonably good epic storyline going when Hal went rogue and became a villain. He could've become DC's Galactus with a way, way better backstory. The greatest GL becomes the universe's most feared villain, privy to many of the biggest secrets of his foes! But they couldn't handle it. Brawk-brawk-brawk.
Granted, part of the problem was the guy they replaced him with was such a jamoke and so transparently aimed at Gen Xers that he was hard to swallow. Wally had that same problem, but at least he didn't appear out of nowhere.
I think Barry and Hal's problems added to the DCU. But Dead Barry and Galactic Hal aren't much for selling action figures, so they finally gave in to their accountants' memos and brought them back.
I don't think it has anything to do with Boomers directly. I think it has to do with when things were new and first being discovered. That's what injects the characters with awe and wonder that remains. Their origins are pretty straighforward, too. Using Wally or Kyle in origin stories would be tough on their own without changes. Wally was standing around a bunch of chemicals in a lightning storm because, um...
Any movie executive courting the Baby Boomer market with his summer action movie is not going to last in his job too long these days. They all go to the matinee shows when prices are cheap.
There are several reasons why Barry and Hal were revived (note that I'm not saying they had to be revived). When they were taken out of the equation and DC virtually pinky-swore that Wally and Kyle were the heroes now, they never really went away. The Return of Barry Allen, Emerald Knights, Final Night, JLA: Year One, Legends of the DC Universe, The Brave & The Bold, The Spectre starring Hal, even JLA/Avengers featured them and still made them look better than their replacements. Mark Waid and Alex Ross ignored Kyle altogether in Kingdom Come and get starring roles to the two in Justice. Because that's who they want to write and draw about, like Geoff Johns and Jim Lee.
Even though it was Kyle who appeared in Superman: The Animated Series with Hal's origin, no less, and it was Wally (as we eventually found out) and John Stewart featured in Justice League and JL Unlimited, it was always Barry and Hal that most creators were interested in working with. With movies of the pair now a reality, their origins are purest and free from prior incarnations as they had no real links with their Golden Age counterparts.
DC was dying to bring back Hal. In Kevin Smith's Green Arrow (which proves my point, BTW) when Hal and Ollie meet in Hero Heaven and Hal is the Spectre:
"So when are you coming back, Hal?"
"I am back, Ollie."
"No when are you coming back for real?
"Working on it."
And DC was. It was so successful and the older fans cheered! "YAAAAAAY!!!" that they did it again with the Flash because the writer wanted Barry and by this point, why not?