And yet, both of those characters have been replaced. Yes, even the Bug-Eyed Bandit, whose son took on the role in the early 1990s. With Aquagirl, I can see a "niche" that needed to be filled. But BUG-EYED BANDIT?
I'll admit that Wally only works as a successor character, carrying on the legacy of his departed mentor. If you take that away, you might as well just call him Barry.
And didn't they go with that take on Wally in JLUnlimited? Did they say that he was continuing the legacy of Barry? Can someone fill me in?
(I know Jaime Reyes had good storylines in the Batman B&B cartoon where he learns that he's continuing a legacy of a rich WASP, which shows that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea. We are all legacy characters after all!)
However, Hal is just another in a whole galaxy (universe?) of space policemen who happened to be given the ring. Giving it to Kyle or Guy or Jon Stewart amounts to much the same thing. I don't see anything intrinsic to the concept that means it has to go to Hal. You can SAY that Hal is the greatest, but no matter how many times a writer TELLS it, I've yet to be SHOWN it.
Jon Stewart was the Green Lantern for a whole generation of kids, and got much more exposure than Hal ever did. Making Hal GL again was a regressive move on DC's part.
I didn't grow up in the US in the 60s and 70s but it looks like you are overstating the case for the recognisablity of Hal and Barry. If they were known, the Flash was some guy in a red suit and GL was some guy in a green suit, but I'd doubt non-fanboys could have named Hal and Barry. They didn't make it into movies, TV or radio until the 21st century.
Something no-one has mentioned yet is how Jon in the JLA made the DCU at least look a bit more inclusive and progressive. Jon as substitute GL on the fringes of the JLA might have been a bit tokenistic, but at least you had a minority representative in the role of one of the franchise characters. Cyborg looks a tad more tokenistic to me. GL is 2nd tier and Cyborg is 3rd tier, if that.
Cap, how do you feel about how Hal coming back sends Jon to the back of the bus again?
Don't DC have a lot of work to do to show they are inclusive and representative rather than just saying they are?
(Actually, I find it funny that 'purity' is the term being bandied about when we are discussing Jon's demotion from being pop culture's most recogniseable GL!)
Capt. Comics said: "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."
Maybe I should have called it a RARE triumph for the boomers -- sort of like Jay Leno reclaiming the "Tonight Show" from Conan O'Brien (even though O'Brien, born in 1963, is technically a boomer himself).
I think the Silver Age characters were, for the most part, so strongly conceived that it's hard to replace them without major disruptions. Replacing Hal Jordan with "a 20-year-old with a babe girlfriend" (as one wag put it) may have seemed like a smart marketing move, but it repulsed a lot of readers.
The big exception to this rule: the "new" X-Men team started in 1975. These characters, mainly conceived in the mid-'70s and later, were better conceived (and more popular) than the original team from the '60s. Second major exception: the "new" Teen Titans of the early '80s. Again, an improvement over a '60s team. IMHO.
I agree in both cases.
I was a big original X-Men fan precisely because they were so puny when compared not only to other heroes, but their own enemies. There's no way the original five should have lasted two minutes against Magneto. Heck, they probably wouldn't have lasted two minutes against Spider-Man! And somehow their creative team always consisted of second-stringers. I love me an underdog, so I rooted for them. But I was under no illusions about their chances for success. The 1975 team, on the other hand, was enormously powerful, diverse and interesting. Plus, big names on the book. No worries there!
As for the Teen Titans, I'd have read it no matter who wrote it or what it was about as long as Nick Cardy was on the art. And as much as we laugh now about Bob Haney's eccentricities, he was considered a star in the 1960s at DC. No second-stringers here! Well ... except for the team. Once again, it was pretty weak, except for Wonder Girl, who was a GIRL and couldn't possibly be allowed to save the day every issue. And I still shake my head at those early issues, when Haney was jumping through hoops to get Aqualad into the action. I know why he was there and Speedy wasn't -- Aquaman had his own book, and Green Arrow didn't -- but common sense says to drop the water-guy and get a land-guy if you're going to fight on land all the time. How many convenient swimming pools did the original Titans run across? Silly. And, yes, Haney's dialogue was laughable even then. Leapin' lungfish, fab four fans, it was terrible! So the Wolfman/Perez revamp did the same for the Titans that Wein/Cockrum did for the X-Men: A huge upgrade in power, a more diverse and interesting team and A-list, contemporary creators.
Capt. Comics said: "A huge upgrade in power, a more diverse and interesting team and A-list, contemporary creators."
As the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad characters -- only badly handled characters. The original X-Men had their moment (or seven or eight months) of glory under Thomas and Adams in '69. But that wasn't enough to save the book from going reprint.
Someone should do an essay some day on Neal Adams' failure to rescue high-profile books. His acclaimed art couldn't keep Deadman or GL/GA from being cancelled, didn't save X-Men from reprint status, and -- from what I've read -- his Batman didn't sell any better than Bob Brown's or Irv Novick's. Neal may have come along a bit too soon -- before fans' tastes could swing a book's sales.
I also love underdogs, which helps explain my lifelong attachment to characters like Iron Man and Daredevil, who never quite made the A list -- though they've also had their moments of glory, in which their mags were as well written and drawn as anyone's. Even in the '60s, they each had Lee and Colan, and a bit later Thomas and Goodwin. No second-stringers there.
Alexandra Kitty said: "Who knew that even the Bucky Clause had a loophole?"
Maybe now it should be the Gwen Stacy Clause, or the Battling Jack Murdock Clause, or the Thomas and Martha Wayne Clause ... unless they've been revived while I wasn't looking.
Personally, I'd have to say that I have no problem with the DCU as we know it drawing to a close in September.
25 years is a very long time to keep one continuity on the road. Most of the good properties have had 100's of stories told about them, many of those stories quite good even! Do we really need more about these particular incarnations of the characters?
I like Secret Six, but even they will have had 40+ issues by the time September comes around. That's a lot of issues to tell their stories. Very few good runs by the same creative teams last much longer. Hopefully the deadline will concentrate Simone's mind to wrap up the series with a proper ending. I'd understand if she wanted to move on, anyway. She should be writing less marginal books if there was any justice.
According to Gail in the blog Doc pointed to, they've known about it for a year, so we should see good wind-downs of any that are ending.
I think it'll be a pity if we don't see Jack Knight one more time before the big kablooie, but I've no doubt he will pop up again when the sales fall in one of Robinson's future DC projects. (Cynicism thy name is Fanboy!)
I'm sure there are other great properties that deserve a proper farewell too, even if they last published years ago. It would be a pity if the Blackest Night ghoulfest is going to be their swansong!
I'm glad the Jim Corrigan Spectre and the Vic Sage Question got proper endings to their long sagas. They may well be back after the new start at some point, but in this continuity at least they had that fairly unusual dignity.
If you read the comments below the YouTube Green Lantern trailers, a large number of them are by people upset that once again, a minority character has been turned white for a big budget movie.
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Regarding Green Lantern skin colors ...
When I was first introduced to Green Lantern, it was Hal Jordan, and he definitely was not a white guy. You see, I first met him as part of the Super Friends show. And on that show his skin tone was decidedly non-white. I remember as a kid that I puzzled over this for a long time.
He didn't speak with an accent.
He didn't have a foreign language catchphrase.
He didn't act different.
Or talk about celebrating strange holidays I had never heard of.
But he was differently colored. ... and yet he acted just like a regular person. Given the era of cartoons -- and even regular TV in general -- this made Hal Jordan an odd one. <sarcasm>I mean surely they could have done something to help us understand what he was! Just look at his teammates Apache Chief, El Dorado and Samurai! They were perfect representations of their cultures!</sarcasm>
But really, perhaps this was an early effort by Hanna-Barbera or DC to bring diversity to their lineup.
Later when I first found a Neal Adams GL & GA comic at my cousin's house, I was kind of surprised Hal was just another white guy. (There goes my diversity argument.)
Now decades later, I wonder what there intent was with that skin color selection. Was he supposed to look middle eastern (maybe from Jordan?) or hispanic?
I'm at the point now, that if DC decided to just out-and-out decide that Hal Jordan was a non-white Muslim or hispanic, I would be fine with that. His real name wouldn't make muck sense, but I'd be OK with it.