John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane
jkahane

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A Crisis of (Comics Collecting)

I haven't really spoken about this, but those of you who know me well out there know that I am very fond of comics, specifically DC Comics. I read a few of the Marvel Comics series way back when Jean Grey died, and when...well, never mind...suffice it to say that I have a real fondness of some of DC's stuff. I was a huge fan since I was young of the Justice Society of America, and glommed onto Wonder Woman during her Nazi-fighting days, but by far, my big one was the Legion of Super-Heroes (LSH, for short). (The two best website for material on the Legion can be found at the LSH on Wikipedia, but the best stuff can be found at LegionWorld.net and Chaim Keller's Legion of Super-Heroes Help File, and a couple of other sites you can surf on your own time. :) Or at least I was until about a year ago.

The Legion first debuted in an issue of Adventure Comics #247 in April of 1958. I was all of 2 years, 9 months old, so don't remember it, but my dad (bless him) started collecting that stuff when it debuted, and he was already collecting the Justice Society stuff and the Wonder Woman stuff even back then. As for the Legion, well...the team was closely associated with Superboy and was first portrayed merely as a group of time travellers who frequently visited, or were visited by, the young Superman. It was several years before the Legion's origins and back stories were fleshed out, and the group's connection to Superboy was loosened. They have remained a moderately popular DC franchise since that time. The appeal of the Legion for me has been that I grew up with them. By the 1980's, these kids had grown into adulthood as had I, and it was something that I still enjoyed reading. However, I stopped reading the comics a year or so ago...


All that came to a close in 1985, when DC Comics pulled off their Crisis on Infinite Earths stuff. From my perspective, the continuity of the DC universe with all the multiple universes (what was called the Multiverse) never gave me any problems. But apparently it did at DC. At least to the editors, writers, and the like who claimed they couldn't keep things straight, and needed to do something about the 60+ years of continuity they had established. The Crisis started a trend in the comics industry in which the company's began to come up with a once-yearly event that was so shattering that it affected all the heroes, villains, and normal people in the comics universe and crossed over into all the various comics during that three-month to eight-month period. The Crisis on Infinite Earths destroyed the Multiverse, leaving only one universe, and one Earth, and gave us an entire group of hero groups that we knew whose history was either totally changed or only moderately so. During this so-called Crisis, Golden Age Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and some of their modern-day descendants were killed off, but so were the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen) and Supergirl. Coupled with the fact that in the new, single universe Superman never was Superboy, Legion of Super-Heroes continuity suffered greatly. But the comic survived.

Over the next few years, DC Comics continued to give us these once-a-year events that affected the lives of their heroes, but eventually realised they had really botched continuity even more in some ways, and decided to relaunch the various heroes in a new year event - Zero Hour. So the Legion underwent a complete reboot again, and this time the heroes were no longer the adults, but back to the youngsters that they were when I started reading comics. What made this worse, was the fact that every crisis seemed to introduce new heroes to the universe, the chance to kill off or modify the old heroes, or replace them with younger characters who took the name of these heroes. The Legion of Super-Heroes was never the same really, not the group that I had come to love in my youth or who had gone through the Earthwar, the Great Darkness saga, and some of the other memorable epics of Legion history that I shaln't go into here.

But in late 2005, I gave up on the comics. While I was still enjoying the Legion title, I was all set to give up on the Justice Society of America and Wonder Woman, especially in light of the fact that DC was at the time leading up to the Identity Crisis, where someone was knocking off people related to the heroes, and then the later Infinity Crisis (which I still have no clue as to what it was about, other than leading into the 52 weekly series, which deals with the aftermath of the Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman "difference of opinion" that led them all to quitting as heroes for a full year - and I might be wrong about this). And 52, which started in May, 2006, is still going on until the same time this year, so... The only DC comic I was reading still for a bit was Fables, which is a marvelous adult series about the storybook characters and faerie tale characters living in the modern world, and dealing with some interesting situations. But even that got a bit...boring for me. Actually, it wasn't that the comics got boring, it was that I felt abused and belittled by the writers, editors, and continuity maintainers at DC Comics. I understand that new readers have to be constantly brought into the reading fold, and to do so one has to use concepts and create modern-day approaches to the comics at the cost of alienating and possibly losing some of the older readers. But that attitude that I had, that feeling of malaise about the comics is all over now, and well...


However, I'm back now. spross convinced me to go to the comics store today to see what was going on with my comics subscription, which I am embarrassed to admit I had forgotten to cancel. Well, okay, I was afraid to cancel it. And I got hooked, I admit it. I am definitely a Fables fan still, and really missed the title, and while I missed Justice Society and Wonder Woman as well, I didn't want to get back into modern-day DC continuity again. So I went to the back rack of the Legion stuff...and the moment I looked at it, I knew I had to buy it again. So I snatched up almost a year's and a half's worth of Legion of Super-Heroes, now called *Supergirl* and the Legion of Super-Heroes (emphasis mine), don't you know, and the same number of issues of Fables, and well...the rest is history.

Of course, the scuttlebutt now is that at the end of the 52 series or sometime after that, DC comics will have a Multiverse again...and who knows what may happen to Legion continuity?

In the meantime, I've got to get ready to run the Agone rpg game session tonight. Looking forward to this, but shouldn't be thinking about comics right now.

One Crisis at a time...so to speak. :)
Tags: agone rpg, comics, fables, gaming hut, jsa, justice society of america, legion of super-heroes, personal, rpg, rpg hut
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