I just read "DCUniverse: Legacies" #3 (SPOILER ALERT IS ON)  where they spotlight the beginning of the heroes that found the Justice League. Not only are Superman and Batman once again original members, after years of saying Batman joined after Green Arrow and Superman was too busy to join (though he seemed to be there at every major event), but Wonder Woman is now again back as a JLA founder. After twenty-five years, or three generations of comic readers, of saying WW arrived in Man's World years after the JLA was formed and Wally West was the Flash, that she was a new, different character and that she had no connection with the League whatsoever, she is now back where she started.

 

Now I consider this a good thing, a return to a reality I know well, much like there being a Superboy in the Legion. The JLA is DC's foremost team. It deserves to have Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman acknowledged as its foundation.However this return to a more Earth-One-like continuity does lead to some questions.

 

What is Black Canary's place in JLA history? She joined originally as an older Earth-Two character to be the "girl" on the team. That can't be true now. If they show Silver Age-ish stories or flashbacks with both as members at the same time, that's not right either. In "Identity Crisis", when they show the Satellite-era JLA, WW is NOT depicted, even though she had rejoined the team long before Zatanna was inducted.

 

As the years passed, WW as a relatively recent figure was surplanted by WW as one of the Big Three. She was even shown as a mentor to Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) again, which further twisted her convoluted backstory. By the time of Morrison's "JLA", WW was a major player in the team and was treated as if she always was!

 

Another hero this could effect is Hawkman. I know, I know. Like he needs more alteration to his history. But, if WW who got restarted in 1986, is now established as a JLAer, why not the Post-Crisis Katar Hol who arrived on Earth in 1987? Or will the original Carter Hall still be a member, which never really sat well with me anyway? He looked different from the E-1 Hawkman but will they include Katar as part of the back-to-basics approach?

 

Again, I like this change. I just hope it doesn't create more problems that we'll need another crossover event to fix!

 

 

BTW and off this thought completely, I read "Secret Warriors" #17 and found out that (SPOILER ALERT) former Howling Commandos Dino Manelli and Pinky Pinkerton had passed away. Were these actually depicted or just part of the narrative to show that it's been 65 years since the end of WWII? 

 

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Figserello said:
No ill feeling toward Secret Origins #46, which contained JLA: Ghosts of Stone by Grant Morrison?

Not by me, no.

Figserello said:
I've never read it, but if we are going to minutely analyse the differences between comics published decades apart, I might as well learn something...

Then read on…

I don’t recall wherefore I bought Secret Origins #46, but it tells the origin of the respective headquarters of the JLA, the LSH and the Teen Titans. I can tell you that, apart from the LSH tale (which is drawn by Curt Swan and features the first appearance of Arm-Fall-Off Boy), until this morning I haven’t read it in 20 years. I knew exactly where it was, however; I have it filed with Who’s Who in the Legion of Super Heroes. I consider that story to be canonical except for the appearance of Fortress Lad. But I digress…

The origin of the JLA’s cave headquarters takes place on the day of the first meeting of the team and features Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and Black Canary. (Now that I think of it, it makes a good follow-up to Secret Origins #32.) This story, too, is drawn by Curt Swan, but George Freeman’s style of inking isn’t as suited to Swan’s pencils as Ty Templeton’s on the LSH story. The JLA story is typical Morrison, involving aliens and the hoary Silver Age DC motif of disembodied costumes coming alive.

The main point of the story, though, is “if these walls could talk,” and is told from the POV of the cave itself. It’s a nice little story but not too terribly memorable (as evidenced by the fact I didn’t remember it). the cave misses the JLA. Perhaps Morrison based his Doom Patrol there to keep it company.
I think Mark Gruewald had the best idea with his Wonder Woman analog, Power Princess of the Squadron Supreme. She's the same person, slowly, if at all, aging. So she belonged to both the JSA and JLA. Not Mother and daughter, no time trips, no memory losses and no revisions. A Wonder Woman who has been active on this Earth-Zero since 1941! She fought Nazis in WWII, was the secretary for the JSA and All-Star Squadron, was the inspiration of Fury, left the spotlight in 1951, returned soon after but more in the shadows for the 50s, saved a young girl's life and brought her to Paradise Island, renewed her commitment to fighting evil, worked more in the open around Superman's debut, helped form the JLA, mentored both Wonder Girl and Fury II, lost her powers, discovered white jumpsuits, met I Ching, regained her powers but lost some memories, undergoes twelve trials, rejoins the League, etc, etc.

In short, a Wonder Woman with 70 years of experiences and adventures. Forever strong, forever beautiful with endless possibilties and story directions, that's a character worth writing about!!
The cave misses the JLA. Perhaps Morrison based his Doom Patrol there to keep it company.

Nice catch with the Doom Patrol. If it were any other writer this would be a nice little conceit. However, with Morrison - maybe we're being asked to consider that fictional places do have memories?

(I think I'll link to these posts from my Morrison discussion, as this may be the closest I'll get to reading SO #46.)

“And another Crisis won't fix it, because now people are so used to the friggin' things.”

 

 

There’s another quotation from Rocky, the Flying Squirrel, that is also appropriate here:

 

“That trick never works!”

 

I chuckle over Philip’s quandry because, well, I guess I never realised what genius lied in my obstenance.

 

You all know that, for me, the real Justice League of America stopped with the last Fox/Sekowsky issue (# 63 [Jun., 1968]).  At the time, that wasn’t a conscious decision for me as much as a visceral one.  I kept reading JLA, hoping against hope that it would recapture the magic I had found in those first eight years.

 

It never did.  But, at least---except for a few minor, but deeply irritating wire-crossings, like O’Neil’s erroneous treatments of Snapper Carr and J’onn J’onzz---the group’s history remained consistent.  Until the Crisis.  But for me, the Crisis meant that all bets were off.

 

Since then, DC has revised its universe god-knows-how-many times, changing what was what so often that even it can’t keep things straight, let alone the readers.  That leaves fans like poor Philip here, struggling to make sense out of the mess.  And even if he eventually does, sooner or later, DC will rearrange things all over again, as the good Fogey alluded.

 

I have been an amused on-looker to all of this, and I have discovered that what was once obstenance on my part has become balm.  I don’t have to worry about where the Black Canary fits into the yet-again-revised history of the JLA, or just when Wonder Woman joined, or which Appellax creature fought whom, or who Hawkman really is.

 

Because for me, the Justice League of America is still those ten Silver-Age super-heroes sitting around the council table in their mountain secret sanctuary, along with Snapper Carr, waiting for their next case to come in through Snapper’s transistor radio or a request for help in the mail.

 

A case that will never come, of course.  Because that moment has passed, and it can never be recaptured.  But as I see the spaghetti-tangled mess that the fictional history of the DC universe has become, and how fans of generations even subsequent to mine are left scratching their heads in dismay, trying to make sense of it all, I find satisfaction in a determination that the Justice League began here and ended here.

 

No matter what one’s individual era of the Justice League is, I would recommend to every fan to do the same thing.  To quote the last line of the last episode of the 1970’s run of the television series Columbo:

 

“This far, and no further.”

Trust me, Commander. I know what Black Canary's position in JLA history is, that Wonder Woman is indeed a founding member of the JLA,  which Appellax creature fought whom and who Hawkman really is. I prefer and believe in the Earth-One history of DC Comics, first and foremost.

But it is DC that changes their own history, several times now. It is they who are making things confusing for older readers, current readers and new readers. On basic premises like saying Wally West and Kyle Raynor are permenantly the Flash and Green Lantern, then bring back Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. That Wonder Woman is a "new" hero then giving her more history again, the Legion Of Super Heroes (need I say more!), Superman's changing origin, etc.

I know what I know, but what's actually true and current is always up in the air!

Philip Portelli said:

Trust me, Commander. I know what Black Canary's position in JLA history is, that Wonder Woman is indeed a founding member of the JLA,  which Appellax creature fought whom and who Hawkman really is. I prefer and believe in the Earth-One history of DC Comics, first and foremost.

 


No doubt, you do, Philip. But you're also the one who posed this question in the initial thread:

 

"What is Black Canary's place in JLA history? She joined originally as an older Earth-Two character to be the 'girl' on the team. That can't be true now. If they show Silver Age-ish stories or flashbacks with both as members at the same time, that's not right either. In 'Identity Crisis', when they show the Satellite-era JLA, WW is NOT depicted, even though she had rejoined the team long before Zatanna was inducted."

 

I never have to pursue any kind of clarification or explication on this.  The Black Canary is a member of the Justice Society of America on Earth-Two.  Period.  It doesn't matter how DC has screwed with her over the ensuing four decades.  For me, her status as a JSAer is "actually true", and what's current is not material to me.

 

And let me add, as I always do:  I'm not saying that any subsequent definition of the Black Canary's history is worse or better than what it was for me back in the Silver Age.  I'm just saying that, for me, anything that came after doesn't count.  So I don't have to juggle this version with that version and the other one.

 

 

 

 



Fair enough, that's probably the best way to keep one's sanity about these things.

My original intent was to show that with each alteration, each "cosmic reset", there will be a ripple effect throughout the DCU. Many of the Post-Crisis changes have been negated or further changed. As examples, Luthor is now once more the same age as Superman, not older. The Legion, version 2.0 has been demoted twice, Superman was a Legionnaire but not Superboy (?). Wonder Woman is a founding member of the JLA again.

Earth-shattering? No. Were good and great stories told? Yes. Am I losing sleep over any of this? Of course not! (Well, there's that Legion thing....never mind!) But somewhere down the road, questions about the new, over-riding continuity will be asked beyond Black Canary's new place in JLA history. And more "explaining" stories will be written.

I've semi-argued with Figs over the role of continuity in comics, past and present. The creators are crafting a meta-fictional world so they are mapping its boundries, assigning functions, motivations and backstories. Each time they decide to go in a new direction, there seems to always be unforeseen repercussions that could be ignored but seldom are for long. Is Morrison's JLA still "valid"? We have to wait to see what happens if the past continues to hamper the future!

Superman was a Legionnaire but not Superboy (?).

Where did you get the idea that Superboy wasn't a member of the LSH? My take is that nearly all of Superboy's adventures occurred in the future with the Legion, and his membership (honorary if not active) is for life.
Sorry, what I meant that Clark was Superboy in the 31st century, not in his own time. At least currently at any rate!

I went to the library today and I took out Superman:The Man of Steel Volume 4 which contains the Pocket Universe storyline that was DC's first attempt to explain the Post-Crisis history of the Legion. *SPOILER ALERT* To sum it up briefly, the Superboy of Earth-One was not from E-1 but from a pocket alternate Earth created by the Time Trapper so he could manipulate the Legion. The Legion, however, were from the same Post-Crisis Earth as John Bryne's Superman (III) who was never Superboy and never met the Teens of Tomorrow. The Legion never truly broke the time barrier and visited their "real" past. Superboy died saving his Earth and was entombed in the 30th century as "The Greatest Hero of Them All!"

Superboy still existed and, for the most part, the original stories did happen. DC published Who's Who In the Legion #1-7 in 1987-88 which confirmed this with an entry for Superboy. There was, sadly, no entry or mention of Supergirl. There was also a great change in Dev-Em, the Knave of Krypton's past. Luthor was ignored.

Being a lifelong Legion fan, I was taken back by the loss of our Superboy, vanquished due to the Cosmic Reset Button and that some people thought the concept dated and cliched. But I still read on, and there were great stories to be told. Superboy's death was the focal point of Legion #50.

Then came the Five-Years-Later storyarc, the SW-6 Legionnaries, Invasion!, L.E.G.I.O.N.'89, Valor, the Legion 2.0, Laurel Gand/Andromeda, the Kon-El Superboy, the Legion 3.0, Supergirl version #???, Final Crisis, The Legion of Three Worlds, Superman: Secret Origins. All stories crafted to settle one plotpoint: What Inspired The Legion If There Was NO Superboy?

The same issues involve the Justice League origin, the nature of Hawkman, Wonder Woman's importance, etc. Every time they try to solve one problem, more were/are created.

Imagine a new reader buying back issues from the 1989-2004 period. How confused they must be!!

I suppose, if you removed "Superboy" from the "post-Crisis" universe, it wouldn't require too much finagling to have the Legion be insouired by legends of the Teen Titans.

Other people have brought up that point, too, Baron. And it's just as plausible as adapting Mon-El into Valor. Except.....

DC never considered the Teen Titans (any version) in that role. There always had to be some link to the Superman mythos in order to give the Legion the status they had before. Why not say they were inspired by the Justice Society or the Justice League? Because DC needed them tied into Superman. Consciously or subconsciously, the writers knew the Legion worked as Superman's 31st century legacy. Attempts to tie them into other characters (Flash, Green Lantern) have been awkward and, well, unnatural.

The Legion could have been inspired by any super-hero or team: the Green Lantern Corps, the Metal Men, the Young All-Stars, LEGION, the Omega Men, and yes, certainly the Teen Titans but it always had to be Superboy/man!

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