Tim Drake was never Robin

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Korgeta » 2012-11-02 08:42pm

Superman and Wonder Woman a couple? If it's to boost wonder woman's comics fine but I'm just seeing her being sidelined over time because of it, but can't say I'm too keen on the pairing, so much change on superman's part that i wonder if it's deliberate by DC to ensure they keep the rights on Superman.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Batman » 2012-11-02 09:11pm

Clark and Diana isn't exactly a new idea (though not, I think, one that has been developed in main continuity much). Besides, Diana has been sidelined since her inception. The only reason she's part of the big three to begin with is because they needed a big name female superhero.
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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby jollyreaper » 2012-12-29 10:25pm

I never understood why the companies with perennial characters never just embraced the idea of eternal return, going with epicycles. The only comics I truly enjoyed were the ones with beginnings and ends, finite runs, no chance for anyone else to screw things up.

Rather than go through these convoluted partial and hard reboots and blah blah blah why don't they just give the whole universe a hard reboot once a decade? Forget gold, silver, bronze, modern ages, just stick the decade on it. This is the DC universe, 2000's This is the Marvel universe, 2010's. rest assured, we'll start a new cycle in the 2020's.

There will be a beginning, middle, and end. Writers will be put on the book, given carte blanche and know that anything they do will be for keeps, in that given era. Superman and Wonder Woman get hitched? That's cool. Batman snaps and kills the Joker? That can work. Within the era, everything counts. There's consequences. There's real storytelling. And at the close of the epicycle the story ends. New epicycle, say hello to your favorite archetypal hero, reborn and ready for new adventures.

I always hated it when writers came in and retconned away stories I damn well knew happened and greatly enjoyed simply because they had a different vision. But there's no real way to keep any kind of meaningful continuity over decades of storytelling, not when your characters are timeless, ageless, existing in some kind of strange bubble only tangentially related to our own.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Tsyroc » 2012-12-30 12:16am

I like the idea of hard reboots but I would also add that when they do reboot the writers need to resist the temptation to do a new and updated version of significant and fanboy favorite stories. That sort of thing was annoying when Marvel started the Ultimate universe. All the dweebs crying about wanting Venom in Ultimate Spiderman, because teenaged Peter Parker needed a dark version off himself to fight against. :roll:

When I was still reading Ultimate comics what was good about them is some of what they decided to do differently from the original continuity. There's no point in rebooting if the first couple of years are going to be all about how quickly they can rehash fan (or writer) favorite stuff back into the new continuity. There should be plenty to do just updating things to a different decade or so.

Obviously there will be some stories, origins, that can't be changed too much or the character will end up being too different from the original but the reboot should be freeing writers up to do their own thing not tying them down to how they can best adapt someone else's story to the new situation. The old fans can read their old stuff and get onboard with the new stuff, or not. New readers have a good starting point when it's all new. The late 80s reboot of DC kind of worked that way for me. I had pretty much gone all Marvel until John Byrne went over to reboot Superman. That got me reading DC books again.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2012-12-30 05:54am

jollyreaper wrote:I never understood why the companies with perennial characters never just embraced the idea of eternal return, going with epicycles. The only comics I truly enjoyed were the ones with beginnings and ends, finite runs, no chance for anyone else to screw things up.

Rather than go through these convoluted partial and hard reboots and blah blah blah why don't they just give the whole universe a hard reboot once a decade? Forget gold, silver, bronze, modern ages, just stick the decade on it. This is the DC universe, 2000's This is the Marvel universe, 2010's. rest assured, we'll start a new cycle in the 2020's.

There will be a beginning, middle, and end. Writers will be put on the book, given carte blanche and know that anything they do will be for keeps, in that given era. Superman and Wonder Woman get hitched? That's cool. Batman snaps and kills the Joker? That can work. Within the era, everything counts. There's consequences. There's real storytelling. And at the close of the epicycle the story ends. New epicycle, say hello to your favorite archetypal hero, reborn and ready for new adventures.

I always hated it when writers came in and retconned away stories I damn well knew happened and greatly enjoyed simply because they had a different vision. But there's no real way to keep any kind of meaningful continuity over decades of storytelling, not when your characters are timeless, ageless, existing in some kind of strange bubble only tangentially related to our own.


Oh, I wish they would do this. Then we could have continuity and still ditch the crap in favour of new ideas. And then I might read comics more often instead of looking on the industry as mostly a diseased cesspit.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Grumman » 2012-12-30 09:19am

I don't want the entire universe to be on a 120 issue clock, because it places another arbitrary limit on the stories you can tell. If a good series starts late, I don't want it cut short just because Batman readers have a short attention span. It's only the bad series - the ones that need retcons but don't get them or get retcons but don't need them - that would benefit, and then only if you actually do it right the next time around.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby ray245 » 2012-12-30 02:09pm

It would be so much better if the comic books can adopt the continuity policy of cartoons and movies. There can be numerous comic book series, each with its own continuity.

Just like how the Justice league cartoon and the batman cartoon series can exist side by side. Just because one series has a end does not mean anyone cannot start another new series based on the same characters.
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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Havok » 2013-01-02 03:21am

That is not how comic book fans want things. They want crossovers that have impact and lasting effects that build relationships between the heroes and villains. Convoluted continuity came from what you suggest, which was the way things were, before the industry decided to establish a single continuity based on fan desire, but did nothing to avoid the wackiness it initially caused.
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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Zablorg » 2013-01-02 04:26am

Like how the Golden Age was retconned to be Silver Age's Earth Two?
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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Havok » 2013-01-04 05:49am

Yup.
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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby jollyreaper » 2013-01-05 06:13pm

ray245 wrote:It would be so much better if the comic books can adopt the continuity policy of cartoons and movies. There can be numerous comic book series, each with its own continuity.


You mean like Gundam as a metaseries. You know there's giant robots in each setting and they're going to look like Gundams but the details can be very different.

That could work, too.

Just like how the Justice league cartoon and the batman cartoon series can exist side by side. Just because one series has a end does not mean anyone cannot start another new series based on the same characters.


Well, I'm thinking of the hard resets simply because comic book realities get silly when you try to keep them in anything like the real world. Then again, that also goes for fictional realities based on the real world like West Wing. It diverges from our timeline right after Nixon so Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, they don't exist. Which then becomes very complicated when you have the 2000 election, 9-11, and other real world events that are stepping all over a show that can't ignore them.

But I suppose if you don't have the hard resets you can just go with alternate continuities, just stick the name of it on the issue and people will know.

The problem with a franchise is management won't let the writers take any risks that might break the franchise. But perversely, they'll also demand ridiculous plots that will break the franchise because they're looking for a stunt to increase circulation.

However it's done, the only thing I'll say that's an incontrovertible fact is lame-ass retcons that undo established events in the story utterly ruin everything that's been built. Any of this soap opera crap like Captain Hero didn't really turn evil he was mind-controlled or replaced by a robot or an evil twin from another dimension, time travel hits the plot reset button, villain who was graphically and definitively killed not really dead, no no no no.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby jollyreaper » 2013-01-05 06:20pm

Havok wrote:That is not how comic book fans want things. They want crossovers that have impact and lasting effects that build relationships between the heroes and villains. Convoluted continuity came from what you suggest, which was the way things were, before the industry decided to establish a single continuity based on fan desire, but did nothing to avoid the wackiness it initially caused.


But that's really the struggle with any established line of entertainment, isn't it? How do you keep the existing fans satisfied while attracting new ones? Making either one happy pisses off the other.

It looks like Marvel tried this with some spinoffs. MC2 is more traditional heroes from before the grimdark 90's, meant to appeal to comic newbies. Ultimates was supposed to be something similar while remaining outside of the main continuity. But having started in 2000, looks like there was a reboot in 2009 and 2011. When they get to the point of rebooting once a day, we can call it Marvel Windows. *sad trombone*

How successful have those imprints been? Given all the fan carping, it's hard to tell if they're making money or not.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Majin Gojira » 2013-01-06 09:34am

MC2 is currently rather dead last I checked. It's primary title, Spider-Girl, managed to last quite a while, 130 issues, before switching to digital and a backup feature in Amazing Spider-Man Family (which only lasted about 4 issues in print), with quite a few other titles in it. There were numerous minis and the like which didn't last quite as long. The core title only changed once (switching to "Amazing Spider-Girl" after 100) and is the longest running female led title at Marvel. I'd call it a cult hit primarily. It started the late 90s with Roughly 40K on average, but sank slowly over time.

The Ultimate Universe was going strong until Ultimatum happened. That story arc was so bad it nearly killed the entire line. Only now has it regained its footing. The best selling title, Ultimate Spider-Man has so far lasted 170 issues before it relaunched as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (which recently had its 19th issue). Sales wise, does the same numbers a the second-lowest Avengers title (Avengers Assemble) and things like Daredevil and Hawkeye (Which is probably the best piece of sequential art out there at the moment) - Around 38K. Other Marvel titles in that sales bracket are things like Secret Avengers (lowest Avengers title, which sells 42K), Venom and Avenging Spider-Man (lowest Spider-Man title) (32K). Other Ultimate titles go from Venom and Avengering to where Avengers Academy, Captain Marvel and Red She-Hulk hang out (22-20K), which is near or on Marvel's cut off point.

So it appears that Ultimate was more successful, but it's really a different beast. One's a total new universe, one's a divergent one. It was made to cater to new readers initially. MC2 was an accident. May Parker as Spider-Girl debuted in an issue of What If before spinning out. She wasn't a planned universe, but a happy accident.
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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby jollyreaper » 2013-01-06 11:21pm

So what's the fan reaction been to running two major continuities in parallel? And what was so dire about Ultimatum?

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Grumman » 2013-01-07 04:29am

jollyreaper wrote:And what was so dire about Ultimatum?

Loeb just started killing characters willy-nilly. [spoiler=]Nightcrawler drowned, Blob ate Wasp and then Giant-Man ate Blob, Magneto breaks Xavier's neck, etc, etc.[/spoiler]

And the reason for all this pointless death? Loeb's previous book, Ultimates 3 (the one that ruined the Ultimates) [spoiler=]killed off Scarlet Witch, so Magneto had a hissy-fit and tried to destroy the world.[/spoiler]

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby jollyreaper » 2013-01-07 07:22am

Is this Loeb guy and angsty teenager or something? Is there any possible way to tell a story with those exact plot points that isn't terrible? Oy.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby Grumman » 2013-01-07 08:25am

jollyreaper wrote:Is this Loeb guy and angsty teenager or something?

A father who did not cope at all well with the death of his son, retired, and then got called back out of retirement by Quesada. So while you can't really blame Loeb for his work falling off a cliff, the chief editor has no excuse for not catching the problem.

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Re: Tim Drake was never Robin

Postby jollyreaper » 2013-01-07 08:58pm

That's rough. I feel for the guy but man, I read up on that debacle now and it's Russian-novel-dark. It's like only a few steps removed from Ichi the Killer. How long until our comics are just a Serbian Film in lurid color?


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