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Lengthy Lantern Lifeline
May 23, 2009 7:51 PM   Subscribe

Over at Comics Should Be Good! Greg Hatcher outlines the history of Green Lantern to show how changes in a storytelling property eventually requires a "reboot" and why that occurs.

And also, there is that movie adaptation coming out in 2011, but there's also an animated direct to DVD movie coming out this year. Want your own ring? Make one out of paper, or you could cast one out of resin.
posted by GavinR (64 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight! Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power -- I AM A GIGANTIC NERD!!!!
posted by edheil at 8:23 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jebus, of course I'm wearing my obnoxiously green Green Lantern shirt when this post gets made. The Geoff Johns relaunch has been pretty good, Rebirth being overly continuity-heavy or no. For a series loaded down with a boatload of history, they've managed to make some sense of it in the current run, simply because the GL-verse is large. There are all kinds of Green Lanterns, which is just how the thing goes. Honestly, you can probably start picking up trades as of No Fear and just keep going, it's really enjoyable.

But as for comic book characters...they're properties. They belong to major corporations and have definite identities and values. The ideal for the superhero industry is probably the Mort Weisinger era of Superman, when it viewed its audience as having a complete turnover every 2 years (hence the ability to recycle stories in that period of time). This is complicated by having an audience that doesn't turn over every 2 years, and is in fact interested in all the continuity that has happened since then. What's really happening is that editors are property managers trying to keep the character within the acceptable boundaries required by the existence of this corporate property, while authors want to write their own stories and take the characters to places they hadn't previously gone. That means periodically adjusting things back to the "norm" while still dealing with all the continuity. Sometimes that means an attempt at a shakeup (Kyle Rayner), other times it means blowing away major changes to get back to the core of the property (return of Hal Jordan). That good stories sometimes get told within this framework is almost coincidental at this point – the comic companies have been trading for quite a while on pushing a relatively small group of readers to pick up large numbers of books rather than really pushing for a diverse readership.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure I agree with the unstated premise of the history, namely that we'd be better off with total premise revamps of all of these comics. After all, in the '60s, DC made a number of shots in the dark with old superheroes to get a few that really fired on all cylinders (mainly Flash and Green Lantern). The revamps are also going to be shots in the dark; probably less than 1 in 10 superhero concepts is something worth following to any large extent, and for the property managers / editors it's a question of sticking with a known but somewhat worn formula or risking it all on a big success. They aren't just going to keep playing the lottery with these high-value properties, because after all, their careers are at stake here. To a great extent, comic fans need to accept that their favorite characters will have good and bad periods, and that not everybody will agree on what is which.

Hmm. I guess I've been thinking a bit about superhero comics, and that just sort of bubbled out.
posted by graymouser at 8:40 PM on May 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's interesting how the new Startrek movie hasn't really ignited much nerd rage. I wonder if this means a final acceptance of the need to reboot long-running stories every once in a while. Eventually these long running serials just get bogged down by their own baggage. On the other hand, if it was going to happen why wouldn't it have happened years ago? Was there some final breaking point? Or is it that the people who made the new startrek movie actually made something cool: So that the benefit of redoing the history was obvious?

Eh, who knows.
posted by delmoi at 8:46 PM on May 23, 2009


Black Lanterns. Dude.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:56 PM on May 23, 2009


I'm probably the only GL fan I know who wishes to Christ they hadn't brought Hal back to life and given him the ring back.

Don't get me wrong -- I love Hal, and he was always my favorite Lantern, and I was as pissed as anyone when I saw his undignified "end" -- losing it, killing everyone in sight, only kinda-sorta redeeming himself in his death. I thought he deserved better.

But then I saw where they took it, and I really liked the arc. Jordan is overcome by his own grief, is pushed to unspeakable acts to try to recreate what he has lost (this is before Parallax was revealed to be a literal monster, which, boo), somewhat makes up for it in death, is sent to Purgatory, where he works out the torment of what he did. Gets a chance to help redeem himself further. Does so. Is asked afterward why he should be God's instrument of punishment. Says I shouldn't, what I did was unspeakable and unforgivable, I should be punished. The spirit grants him his punishment, and what is it?

Even more power than he'd had before. Only this time he can't control it, it leads him to dole out horrible sentences he would have never been able to stomach in life, and for lesser crimes than most of the villains he faced. And the kicker? He has to live with it until God says he's done.

This is, at least for the mainstream superhero comics world, wonderful tragedy. This should have been left to stand, because it's one of the few truly good character developments DC has ever come up with.

But of course it couldn't be left to stand. Because we can never change anything. No, we have to have magical resurrections and Criseseses and One More Goddamn Day To Wish I Hadn't Bought That Comic, because God forbid we take a beloved character and, you know, do anything interesting and permanent to him. God forbid he's scarred and made human. No, we'd catch too much shit at the cons this year. Not to mention that no one has ever known how to make a Spectre title work.

It's a combination of this, the seemingly endless crossover events, and the fact that you have to spend twenty bucks a month to find out what's going on with Batman despite the fact that he's nominally DEAD that made me finally say fuck this, nostalgia isn't worth it anymore. Literally the only way I'd follow it is to steal the comics through bittorrent, but it's just easier to find out what Warren Ellis and Robert Kirkman are up to.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:56 PM on May 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


For what it's worth, I'm not sure I agree with the unstated premise of the history, namely that we'd be better off with total premise revamps of all of these comics.

That's not really his point. Check out the last few paragraphs.
posted by voltairemodern at 8:57 PM on May 23, 2009


you certainly saved yourself there, gavin.
posted by the aloha at 9:02 PM on May 23, 2009


Also, I wrote a Green Lantern movie/fanfic/synopsis at one point on my now sadly neglected blog.

I like GL and wish he got more due in the DC Universe.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:03 PM on May 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


The solution, at least from what I'm seeing reading DC, is to do a whole alternate universe thing. Accept all continuity but cast it in another universe. Of course, they're setting it in stone, so, kind of blows the fluidity you had to play with it.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:03 PM on May 23, 2009


Also the GL corps would whup up on the Jedis
(just establishing some nerd cred here)
posted by Smedleyman at 9:04 PM on May 23, 2009


In cases like this, where fandom is obsessed with canon, the weight of canon can become so great, and so stagnant, and so stifling, that the writers can reach a point of frustration of just wishing it were gone.

I think that did happen with DC, which is why they rebooted the entire universe in 1985 ("Crisis on Infinite Earths"), and formally announced that nothing from before that really had happened.

Getting to Star Trek, they're in somewhat of the same situation, only there's another aspect to it. A heavy canon is bad enough when you're telling stories at the leading edge. But if you want to go back and add stories in the middle of the canon, then you have to be really, really careful not to introduce anachronisms, or to make any change which is inconsistent with canon after that point. Because if you louse that up, the fans will swarm all over you.

I think the reason they just rebooted the Star Trek franchise is because they want to start telling stories about the early days again without being straitjacketed with existing canon from the ST:TNG era and everything else that came after.

With the reboot, now none of us know what's coming, do we? They might even kill off major characters. (Like Nurse Chapel, if we're lucky.) Hell, they already DID make a huge change in continuity in this movie. (A certain planet...)

And that gives the writers freedom to tell entirely new stories, without having fans bitching at them, "Ah ah ah! In thus-and-so episode of thus-and-so series, which happened after the story you're tellling me here, a character said this, and that means you can't do what you're trying to do!"
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:04 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Real, live actor age and die. Unless there are huge advances in CGI, they won't be able to use the same characters, because the actors playing them won't be around: Doohan and Kelley are already dead, Shatner and Nimoy are 78. The TNG cast isn't getting any younger.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:16 PM on May 23, 2009


(Meanwhile, drawn superheroes can use steroids heavily for decades without any apparent ill effect)
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:22 PM on May 23, 2009


If the story’s good enough, we really won’t care who or what you contradict.

INCORRECT
posted by Greg Nog at 9:31 PM on May 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


What I see when I look at the history of all these different versions of Green Lantern is this — the common factor to all of them is writers laboring under the lunatic misconception that this fictional entertainment really is history.

I love reboots and deconstructions. More fodder for the stories. So I applaud this idea that what we're talking about it not history, that it can be pulled apart and put back together again any number of ways.

Batman: Year One is universally liked. I would have liked to continue seeing that continuity played out. But fortunately, I get to also pretend that Year Two never happened. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:33 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's interesting how the new Startrek movie hasn't really ignited much nerd rage.

Speaking as a nerd, I expected to despise New!Trek. But I liked a lot.

I think the lack of nerd rage is due to:
1) Voyager and Enterprise sucked up a lot of rage that would have been aimed at New!Trek. Both shows sucked hard. I liked Voyager but it had a ton of problems. And Enterprise was just horrible. New!Trek was a significant step up from both of them.
2) The last few movies: also crap.
3) Abrams and company actually seem to give a damn. Brannon and Braga (they took over Trek after Roddenberry died) stated repeatedly that they didn't. Also, Abrams has talent. Brannon and Braga don't.
4) The movie, even though it did have some problems, was awesome.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:43 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am way behind on my Green Lantern reading, but the Sinestro Corps last year? Some of the best superhero stuff out there. Just fun, weighty, comics. I look forward to the Blackest Night.
posted by graventy at 9:51 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's interesting how the new Startrek movie hasn't really ignited much nerd rage.

Maybe the lack of rage is part of the desperation to find something you still love in the series.

The movie was, at its heart, mindless (at times VERY mindless) fun. I mean, I can tear it apart piece by piece, but the bottom line is I had fun at the movie, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Romulan forehead ridges or no Romulan forehead ridges
posted by graventy at 9:55 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


the bottom line is I had fun at the movie, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Me, too. And I think one of the reasons I had fun was that the developers upended one of the primary underpinnings of the franchise and managed to sneak it past the nerds.

Emotion. Real emotion. Fear, love, lust, rage, etc, were all dragged center-stage, where in the past, writers toiled beneath a perversion of Roddenberry's vision. He said the future would be good. And then Berman-Braga came along and interpreted that as a place where everything emotional would be sublimated, and the good guys should be shining examples of that.

No, in this version, the entire plot hinges on Spock losing his cool and freaking the fuck out. The worst thing Picard ever did earned him an Oprah-esque talking down to from Alfre Woodard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:21 PM on May 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


For example, I’d love to see new versions of the Flash, or Aquaman, or any of another half-dozen superhero concepts that I think still have plenty of miles on them.

I think authors spend too much time trying to revive/renew the brandnames of different superhero concepts. There's room to "reimagine" different concepts by simply placing them in an alternate universe (Marvel Ultimates works well, even though I personally can't get into it). There's a heck of a lot of room for simply doing limited series on completely different superheroes or writing short concept treatments. In any case, Marvel seems to have gotten fixated on doing multiple reboots within the current continuity, going from House of M to Civil War to Skrull Invasion to Dark Reign, all in the course of 2-3 years.

Plenty of one-off concepts worked very well for Marvel, like Supreme Power. When they tried to integrate it with the Marvel Ultimates universe (at least that's what I think they did), suddenly it got way too top-heavy.

writers toiled beneath a perversion of Roddenberry's vision. He said the future would be good. And then Berman-Braga came along and interpreted that as a place where everything emotional would be sublimated, and the good guys should be shining examples of that.

Voyager was supposed to be a radical new concept the Maquis and the Federation crew would get into disputes. Well, it was radically new for the producers of star trek, but for the rest of the audience, tv shows where characters have interpersonal tensions and disputes is called "decent scriptwriting."
posted by deanc at 10:39 PM on May 23, 2009


Is Batman back yet?
posted by Artw at 10:45 PM on May 23, 2009


It's interesting how the new Startrek movie hasn't really ignited much nerd rage.

Heh. See also the comibnation of nerdrage and love directed at NuWho, often from the same people. I mean, it's not *quite* as smart as I'd want in places, and RTD throws in all kinds of stupid crap, but it's recognisably who and it pretty much works and it's fantastic that there's a functioning version of the character that people actually like with a proper amss audience and all that. SO RTD deserves all the pats on the back he's been giving himself for pulling that one off.

Star Trek seems like it's the same kind of thing, and the same kind of relief. And yay! to that, because it's good to have Star Trek around.
posted by Artw at 10:51 PM on May 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Heh. Guy Gardner's "classic" look is awful enough to begin with, but those mid 90s revamps are *horrible* - especially the Rob Liefeld lookign one. The titles tags ("So, so wrong" and "Please god never let the 1990s style of comic ever come back") are very apt.
posted by Artw at 11:18 PM on May 23, 2009


Great post. Reminds me of a comment by Nick Lowe in the last Interzone: "A comics universe is the largest form of narrative artifact so far developed in human history."

I think with Star Trek they defused the nerd rage by clearly stating it was a new timeline from the birth of Kirk onwards, which undermines complaints about continuity. Also they mostly changed unimportant stuff like character, turning Kirk from Organization Man to Rock'n'Roll Rebel: it's not like they moved the shuttle bay to the saucer section or something.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:26 PM on May 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


Also, since I pretty much get my sense of DC Universe superheroes that are not Superman or Batman from the Bruce Timm cartoons and Grant Morrisons run on JLA to me Kyle Rayner and John Stewart are the real Green Lanterns to me (and assorted weirdos from Alan Moore back up stories) and Hal Jordan is, like, just some guy. I dunno, maybe that'll change if I figure out what the relevant graphic novels are leading up to Sinestro War and read them, which is something I've been meaning to do for a while, but he just doesn't seem that interesting from what I know.

I failed to have the required nerdgasm at the idea of Barry Allen coming back as well. To me he's pretty much been Teh Guy Who Died In Crisis On Infinite Earths, which is pretty cool actually, but that means fuck all if he turns up again.
posted by Artw at 11:38 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here;s something sort-of-related, I guess: an interview with Alan Moore shortly after he took over Swamp Thing, a series where he scrapped or reworked huge chunks of the original premise and ended up creating a comic which stands up as one of the bets runs on any DC comic of all time.

(I found it googling for the Green Lantern story "Mogo Doesn't Socialise" , about which he says it's "quite nice in a stupid sort of way" - pretty good summary)
posted by Artw at 11:49 PM on May 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Just want to say: Comics Should Be Good is awesome in general. I say this, and I don't even read comics generally, although I seem to be absorbing a lot of information about them.
posted by JHarris at 2:30 AM on May 24, 2009


robocop is bleeding: Not a bad story there. Plus one for you.
posted by JHarris at 2:45 AM on May 24, 2009


I love a good rehashing of the damage inflicted on titles & fans over the years. The Comics 101 Archives are fantastic for catching up on the storylines of various books and characters.

Turns out I haven't been around there in a while. There goes the rest of my long weekend...
posted by Banky_Edwards at 4:58 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


CSBG is the only other web site/community blog I participate in with any sort of regularity. Hatcher's piece's are always engaging and thought-provoking, great to see him on the Blue!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:49 AM on May 24, 2009


It annoys me to see so many people making the deeply stupid argument that the weight of canon restricts writers. A good, non-lazy writer should be perfectly able to write within the canon they're working with. When someone's writing a novel that's ostensibly about the real world, no one says, "Well, you have to understand that it probably won't be very good; I mean, all the history is so well-established, there's not really room to do anything new." Who in their right mind would point to, say, The Grapes of Wrath, and call it continuity pr0n just because it deals with events that the author himself didn't have control over? "Yeah, it was good and all, but I think Steinbeck was sort of restricted in that he couldn't turn Tom Joad into a samurai with a laser-sword who has a climactic showdown with FDR in the last scene. And also, it turns out that Joad and FDR were secretly brothers, and that both have telekinetic powers."

For real-world novels, people spend huge amounts of time researching the minutae of the "canon" they want to write about -- actual history. For Marvel/DC/Star Trek stuff, one needs to spend a tiny tiny fraction of that time; basically, twenty minutes on Wikipedia. There's no excuse for not being able to do that, then writing a decent story within that framework.

I think the main problem isn't the weight of canon, it's that writers so often fail to follow through on the canon that already exists. Good writers, like Alan Moore, actually do follow through: Mxyzptlk is immortal and all-powerful? Maybe he eventually decides to try out being pure good or pure evil for centuries at a time, rather than just being a trickster. Swamp Thing is made of living plants? Maybe he actually starts to identify with the earth rather than humanity, and begins to be motivated by a spiritual connection to the planet rather than a desire to fight crime. Moore didn't need to whine about canon, because the dude has the good sense to actually follow through on the premises of the canon he was given to work with. And he shines as a stellar example of a writer simply because he asks the remarkably straightforward question: Okay, so what does this premise lead to? The problem with most other writers is that they're less interested in exploring that question, and more interested in writing THE ULTIMATE GAMBIT STORY WHERE LIKE WHAT IF GAMBIT WAS LIKE THE MOST POWERFUL MUTANT IN TEH UNIVERSE, and the whole thing becomes a terrible Mary-Sue-ish jerk-off session. Jesus fuck, the DC Universe could spend the next twenty years writing about the intersection of Christianity and superheroes based solely on the sudden appearance of Zauriel, but no, they've got less interesting fish to fry, like HOW COOL IS ZAURIEL'S SONIC SCREAM? ANSWER: PRETTY COOL I GUESS, IT TOTES BLASTS HIS ENEMIES

To shift this to the Star Trek canon: One of the biggest reasons Voyager sucked shit was that they didn't follow through on the premises they had: that two crews who stand in complete opposition to each other are suddenly forced to get along, which makes for a hella antagonistic journey, where no one can entirely trust each other. But the show the writers made was not a follow-through on that really excellent premise, it was just an even more boring version of TNG (except with B'elanna getting a little mad from time to time, presumably whenever the writers lurched out of their slumber long enough to realize that interpersonal conflict is interesting). Hell, the writers were so unwilling to follow through on the basic premise that the Maquis might actually stage a mutiny against the Federation, that they made one of the only truly dissenting voices into a Cardassian double-agent rather than disturb us with the revolutionary idea that hey, maybe well-intentoned and intelligent people don't always see eye-to-eye when it comes to making moral decisions. (On the other hand, one of the more interesting episodes of Voyager was "Gravity", where the writers follow through on the canon universe's stated premise that it really kind of sucks to be a Vulcan, and where the writers show, start to finish, what a young Vulcan in love has to look forward to: getting beat down until he/she represses every iota of passion.)

One of the reasons I liked the new Star Trek movie (besides its exciting action scenes, its eye-candy spaceships, Karl Urban's AWESOME portrayal of Bones, the half-laugh and muttered "That's the worst!" that Kirk's dad says at the suggestion of naming his son Tiberius, etc) is that they do actually work within canon -- they just make clear that it's an alternate universe, and we move on from there. That's totally canon-kosher, given that we're already in a fictional reality that regularly acknowledges the existence of alternate universes.

The problem isn't canon, it's shitty writers. Any writer who looks at a Universe with thousands of habitable planets, who has the ability to create any new planet that he or she wants, and the ability to create any kind of alien race he or she wants, and a motherfucking MULTIVERSE just in case shit STILL feels too restrictive, AND the ability to make anything new happen in the future, and STILL has the audacity to whine about how restrictive their canon is and how they wish they could just reboot the whole goshdarn thing already -- that writer should either be taken into a dark alley and shot, or taken into a dark alley and given a Geocities page onto which they can write any amount of fanfic they like.


Romulan forehead ridges or no Romulan forehead ridges

I think the lack of Romulan ridges in TOS, coupled with the presence of them in TNG, signal that the forehead ridges are totally cosmetic variants on Romulans, like skin color on Earth, and the overwhelming presence or absence in certain incarnations of Trek is basically a result of geopolitical domination by certain racial subgroups on Romulus, like if you landed on Earth and communicated with the Umayyad Caliphate in 750, and were like, okay, humans are brown, and then a thousand years later communicated with the British Empire and everyone's like, hold up, why are humans pinkish now, what's going on

posted by Greg Nog at 7:53 AM on May 24, 2009 [90 favorites]


Greg, I favorited that so hard I nearly broke a finger.
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


It always seemed odd/implausible to me that comic book characters would never make references to some of their wilder adventures from the past. If I had been in the Secret Wars, you'd better believe that if I ran into Captain America a decade later I'd be all, "So, wow, remember that Battleworld shit? What the fuck was up with that Beyonder dude, anyway?"
posted by the_bone at 8:37 AM on May 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Just want to say: Comics Should Be Good is awesome in general.

Yeah, ditto. Every time it gets linked somewhere, I'm like, ooh, yeah! And then I don't remember to go back, because I don't really keep up with comics and yadda yadda yadda. It's a mistake I need to correct.

I say this, and I don't even read comics generally, although I seem to be absorbing a lot of information about them.

So the first Spiderman book I ever read as a kid (and one of the only Spiderman books I ever have read, actually) wasn't actually a book at all but an index of several dozen issues from like #1 through #49 or something like that, with cover art and a couple paragraphs of synopsis and I guess some misc. stats or facts or collector stuff and whatever that had no interest for me.

But I devoured that thing—it was like a shotgun blast of comics narrative background, all at once. And I feel sort of the same way about this kind of writing; aside from being compelling for the analysis and discussion, it's also just a nice sort of high-level gap filler. I'm not someone who is ever going to make the effort to get up to speed on the whole DC or Marvel universe, but I love filling in some of the gaps on the stuff I have read. I've read so little all in all that mostly what I have is gaps.

The first superhero comic that I read much of was Mister Miracle—I got a couple dozen hand-me-down issues as a kid, of the original run of the book, and then ended up collecting a couple dozen issues of the (a ha!) reboot of the series, in which Scott Free and Big Barda and "Uncle" Oberon all of a sudden move to the burbs to settle down and live the quiet life (Or So They Think, yes...). And I didn't know squat about DC at the time, so every one of these crossover characters, the JLA folks and so on, were at best vaguely familiar and generally not even that. I read the Lobo/Green Lantern crossover plot before I had any idea who either Lobo or the Green Lanterns were, and it made no goddam sense to me at the time. (Also, Lobo was a goddam wuss in that storyline.)

Same problem with the first volume of Sandman. It's chock full of in-universe references that mostly meant nothing to me (although there was that brief encounter with—squee!—Scott Free).

So reading stuff like this that plows into a given slice of that history is like the twist ending of a mystery film for me—all of a sudden some of that shit just snaps into place. And I love that. I could read comics commentary all day long.
posted by cortex at 8:46 AM on May 24, 2009


Is Batman back yet?

Heh, I read that as "Is Batman black yet?" Talk about reboot...

It annoys me to see so many people making the deeply stupid argument that the weight of canon restricts writers.

I dunno, 30+ plus years of writers, editors and suits making short sighted decisions is bound to have an effect and to argue otherwise is pretty silly.

A good, non-lazy writer should be perfectly able to write within the canon they're working with.

That statement completely ignores the bizarre and sometimes completely contradictory stories about characters. Recently there was the story line about Spider-Man being a clone, which mocked 30 odd years of Spider-Man stories that said he wasn't a clone. So you're the writer comes along after all that, what do you do? You can't just be an average writer, you have to be among the best to have all that crap make sense and there probably aren't enough salesmen in the world with the smarts to hire editors who have the smarts to hire writers who have the smarts to fix that mess.

X-Men was pretty good when just Chris Claremont was writing them (jesus, I'm old enough to remember when there was just one X-men book), they generally made sense. Then Marvel whored out the product by expanding it and making writers less important while the artists took over plotting so they can do really cool stuff that attracted speculators and 12year old boys. That problem is that 12year old boys turn into 14 year boys and they know when there's good stories and when there's crap being shoveled at them. The first mega crossover was cool, the second not so much and the third was pretty fucking obvious what was going on. That canon is there, it's a complete mess and the fans, who've spent their time and money, want that canon respected.

So no, acknowledging that the weight of canon restricts writers isn't stupid, it's a sane response to the insanity of years of shit product shat out by coked out salesmen intent on the bottom line.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:19 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have something pompous and pseudo-intellectual to say about comics continuity, Mircea Eliade's Myth of the Eternal Return, and fanboy perception of sacred and profane histories, but first I need another cup of coffee, an egg sammich, and a bong hit.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:42 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


the writers were so unwilling to follow through on the basic premise that the Maquis might actually stage a mutiny against the Federation, that they made one of the only truly dissenting voices into a Cardassian double-agent rather than disturb us with the revolutionary idea that hey, maybe well-intentoned and intelligent people don't always see eye-to-eye when it comes to making moral decisions.
This was a clear case of simply being unable to overcome the institutional cultural inertia of the Star Trek franchise and all those involved with it. In their own minds, however, they thought that having scenes where Janeway would ask the opinion of one crew member, who'd offer a solution, and then another crew member, who'd offer a different solution, was a big radical change that would shake our perceptions of the Star Trek Universe to their core.

Though, honestly, I think the series became quite good in the later seasons, when they had good science fiction stories based on interactions between the Doctor and Seven of Nine. Eventually they figured out "what worked" even though they were unable to break out of the conceptual straitjackets that they claimed the series itself was designed to defy.
posted by deanc at 9:44 AM on May 24, 2009


Seriously, here's a timeline for the Terminator franchise, of course the series is going to be weighted down by the shitty decisions.

It's like life, you can do what you want, but you have to live with those consequences.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:45 AM on May 24, 2009


Then Marvel whored out the product by expanding it and making writers less important while the artists took over plotting so they can do really cool stuff that attracted speculators and 12year old boys.
I think you also get certain people who've always had personal problems with a given comic universe or premise getting in charge and finally steamrolling the continuity when he gets a chance. Joe Quesada seems to have had a bee in his bonnet about everything that Marvel did with the universe in the 80s and 90s, disliking that it was a world with a large drama pitting homo sapiens in tension with mutants and a Peter Parker who, like many people his age after dating someone for a long time, was married.

Marvel became something quite different than what it started as, and in a certain sense, that's a good thing: you can't keep repeating the same crap over and over again. Instead of allowing the stories to go where they were leading, Quesada wanted to eliminate those storylines altogether. And I really don't see the point: Ultimates was a perfectly good and popular outlet for "reimaginings," and you can always create new superheroes that grapple with the same issues as the late 60s/early 70s-era Spiderman dealt with (which seems to be what Marvel's Icon imprint is doing with Kick-Ass).
posted by deanc at 10:00 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


For a pretty good examination of compelling things that could be done with any particular comics properties, check out MGK's Why He Should Write Dr. Strange series (scroll to the bottom and read up). I didn't even know who Dr. Strange was before he started writing those, but if they hired him to write that series, I would buy it. I'm like Cortex, in that while I find them fascinating, my comics knowledge is mostly made out of gaps, and I'm just not capable of digging through and trying to figure out what the canon is like. And I hate jumping into the middle of stories without knowing what's going on. But I would jump right in and read MGK's Dr. Strange run, continuity be damned.
posted by Caduceus at 10:42 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


These debates center around how one categorizes multiple works that share common themes. I suspect that many people think of a franchise as a party. Guests come, and many of them wear appropriate clothes. Still, others offend by arriving in cut-offs or mismatched socks. Of course, one could think of things another way: as a series of parties, all centered around the same theme but not beholden to each other. My Halloween party has nothing to do with your Halloween party.

I can't see that one of these approaches to superior to another, although, in certain cases, one may allow you to enjoy stories more than the other one will. I do wonder if one approaches is more natural than the other. Without putting effort into classifying, is it natural for readers to think of all Cthulhu stories as taking place in the same universe, even if they're written by different authors with wildly different styles? If so, then readers will naturally get bemused when they encounter items in story B that contradict items in story A.

IF it's natural to default to the position that thematically-linked stories are set in the same universe (and hence shouldn't contain contradictions about that universe's "physics"), then a writer should be able to overcome this by making it really explicit that he's creating an adaptation -- not another chapter.

There are two ways he could do this: it could be explicit in the title, as in "Sherlock Holmes in the Year 3032," or it could be obvious from reading the first few pages, e.g., "Bilbo Baggins was a giant of a man, over seven feet tall and weighing 400 lbs."

My question is, IF the author is this explicit, then why is there still debate? I haven't seen "Star Trek" yet, but I couldn't miss the fact that this is an adaptation (or a "reboot" as current jargon has it). That's being discussed everywhere. Seemingly, that should be enough for viewers to know and expect canonical rules to be ignored. For some, it is. For others, it's not. I'm curious about the latter sort. Why are they bothered by an adaptation being an adaptation?

Is it because their minds simply won't accept the idea of adaptations? Can they not stop themselves from trying to fit items from the new work into the cannon? If so, it makes sense that they'd be irritated. Square pegs don't fit into round holes, and cognitive dissonance is painful. (Of course, a reboot really needs to BE a reboot. It needs to be very clear that it stands on its own. I think this is why the new "Battlestar Galactica" worked. You didn't need to get it all tangled up with the old version in your mind. It created its own universe.)

Is it "religious" offense? Have they become so emotionally attached to the cannon that they feel threatened by the very idea of an adaptation, the way a Christian might be offended by me adapting the Bible so that Jesus is a woman? If so, what is this offense about? Is it a concern that new readers will prefer the new version to the old one? Is it fear that -- horrible as the new version is -- it will get stuck in one's head and so ruin thoughts about the old version?

I wonder if there's a good way to prime fans to better except adaptations, the way you can sometimes prime someone to accept veggie burgers by saying, "Try not to think of it as a hamburger." If so, is there some way that the marketing behind reboots is getting things wrong? Are they trying to have their veggie burgers and eat them too, claiming to both belong to the cannon and to not belong to it at the same time?
posted by grumblebee at 11:11 AM on May 24, 2009


I miss Ch'p.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 12:06 PM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Comic books, for whatever reason, seem to function as little serialized chunks of commodified myth. And myths, no matter how debased, are true (within the narrative context of the myth itself). I think that's a source of some of the discontent readers experience when writers attempt to "reboot" franchises. To use grumblebee's example: an adaptation of the Bible featuring a female Jesus could never be the Bible. Such a work could only exist as a reflection of the work it references, no matter its spiritual, theological, or literary merits. But in the comic book universe, these distinctions are muddier and they are all happening in the same narrative possibility-space. Each reader has constructed in his or her head what parts of the myth are "true" and those parts rarely match exactly the parts each subsequent team of writers and artists brings to a given book: the "canon".

It reads as a myth, so we want every bit of it to be true. But it's a piece of commercial art that passes through many, many hands over the course of its life, so contradictions and anomalies proliferate, especially because a comic book's very reason for being is to obey the mandate: "Entertain Me NOW". So the myth circles back to its source: a "reboot", a retelling of the origin story that highlights what the creative team sees as essential to the character, or a pruning away of the narrative excrescences that are the inevitable by-product of writers and artists trying to sell stories.

Fanboy aside: For my comics-buying dollar, the best example of a rebooted franchise going today is Ed Brubaker's "Captain America", which managed to get a major marketing splash with the death of Steve Rogers and which then used Bucky Barnes' rebirth and assumption of his mentor's mantle as a way to re-examine the essential details of the Cap myth and what those details mean in the modern world -- Cap and Bucky are very much men out of time, out of sync with "modernity", and Brubaker takes that bit in his teeth and runs with it. Of course, I suspect they're about bring Steve Rogers back from the dead and fuck the whole thing up....
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:07 PM on May 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen "Star Trek" yet, but I couldn't miss the fact that this is an adaptation (or a "reboot" as current jargon has it). That's being discussed everywhere. Seemingly, that should be enough for viewers to know and expect canonical rules to be ignored.

For the record, grumblebee, the new Star Trek isn't an adaptation; it's an alternate-universe story that fits into pre-existing ideas set up by four decades of canon Star Trek. In fact, this new movie is exceedingly careful to make its viewers aware that its action jibes with the basic rules set up by all the Trek we've seen so far. So if nerds hate it because it's an abomination of the Trek they've come to love, it seems a tiny bit reasonable for them to do so; the film does, after all, present itself as part of the universe they know, rather than as an unrelated "based on that other fictional universe" thing in the way that Battlestar Galactica did.

That said, though, who are these nerds who have seen the movie and hate it? Not me; not my friends; no nerd I know, and I am a giant fucking Trek nerd from way back. I have no doubt these haters exist, but I think these figures are like "welfare queens" or "hipsters" -- constructs that are easy to denigrate, but that really don't have enough in the way of numbers to make them as common as rants on the internet would have us believe.

Most of the giant Trek nerds I know (myself included) loved the new Trek movie. It says where it's going to be different from the pre-existing Trek, and then, having given itself that freedom in a plausible way, it does its own thing. Compare this to the last execrable Trek movie, Star Trek: Nemesis. In that one, we suddenly got a lot of implausible shit thrown at us that had never been part of the Trek universe before: The heretofore unmentioned "sister race" of the Romulans called the Remans, another random android brother for Data, and a secret clone of Picard (that the bad guys somehow had the foresight to create years before Picard became the universally-famed superbadass that we all know). No one liked Nemesis. That was a terrible movie. And it wasn't terrible because it took place in the canon universe, it was terrible (in part) because the pre-existing structure of the canon universe wasn't good enough for the writers; they felt they had to jazz up the franchise with all kinds of wacky new crap. Rather than sticking with what they were given, and examining the characters and unfolding of consequences within that framework, they went nuts and added whatever they thought sounded kind of cool and sexy at the time.

To build off your Bible metaphor: Essentially, the new Trek movie is like if you wrote a story about Jesus's childhood in which he goes on an adventure to India; it doesn't directly contradict anything in the Bible, it just adds to it. Still, a few people will probably feel like your story detracts from the simplicity of the Jesus story they know. Nemesis, on the other hand, was like if you worte a sequel to the Gospels where Jesus comes pack to earth, shoots people with a Beretta he's nicknamed "Lil' Magdalen", and invents powered flight so that he can have sex with Pontius Pilate on an airplane.

And to carry the metaphor into the world of Paramount's business practices for the last decade before the new film came along, it would be like the Catholic church, having adopted your latter story as canon, said, "That's weird, people still don't like the Bible. Let's write another Gospel with even more explosions and tits! That must be what people want!" The recent failure and even-more-recent success of the Trek movie franchise has less to do with whether it's a canon nerdgasm ripped straight from the pages of Memory Alpha, and more to do with whether the writers and directors are good at their craft.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:10 PM on May 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


I loved that the NuTrek brought in a bunch of depth of background detail by mining the novels for inspiration. Both a huge bear hug to die hard fans and acknowledgment that the Trek novels have had some pretty great ideas and ripping yarns in em'. Plus, you didn't have to make up too much new stuff, it was already there and interesting, just unused, which is great. MGK's plot treatments of Dr. Strange does that too and I would read that series in a heartbeat.
posted by The Whelk at 12:19 PM on May 24, 2009


shoots people with a Beretta he's nicknamed "Lil' Magdalen", and invents powered flight so that he can have sex with Pontius Pilate on an airplane

I can't believe Grant Morrison hasn't done this one yet.
posted by Iosephus at 1:36 PM on May 24, 2009


It annoys me to see so many people making the deeply stupid argument that the weight of canon restricts writers.

I think you make several excellent points, but I take issue with this. Because the second you say, "So-and-So wouldn't do that..." is an example of canon restricting a writer, so it's far from a stupid argument.

Canon said Kraven the Hunter was constantly after Spider-Man because he saw the hero as the biggest of big game. It's a total arms-wide, pulpy Silver Age motivation, and the bad guy would never actually kill the hero. Just like Dr. Evil and Austin Powers: Why don't you shoot him? Shush! But he's right here! Shush! I've got a whole bag of shush!

So, in "Kraven's Last Hunt," the character was, if not rebooted, then stripped down to the bone. Because now Kraven's motivation was that he wanted to prove that he could be a better Spider-Man than Spider-Man himself. And the arc opens with Kraven whipping out a rifle and plugging Spider-Man right there and then.

Janeway and the Maquis are stuck together on a ship. What happens? The Maquis are suddenly all wearing Star Fleet uniforms, because that's what canon says should happen.

Laura Roslin finds the first Cylon onboard the Fleet. What happens? She flushes Leoben the fuck out the goddamn airlock. And then changes her mind six or seven times over the course of the series. Because that's emotion.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:16 PM on May 24, 2009


an adaptation of the Bible featuring a female Jesus

Oh man, the possibilities.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:42 PM on May 24, 2009


My question is this: How is it that Batman became the only superhero who can undergo a hundred different interpretations and remain a viable character? Somehow he's broken free of the chain of canon, or at least in his non-comic showings. Is it that he's managed to become so generally known that the hardcore geeks don't feel like they have ownership of him anymore?

I don't follow the Batman comic, though I'm aware that he died. It doesn't seem to matter though. He could die in any number of comics, movies, cartoons or video games, but the idea of Batman will always be around. Somehow it's become indestructible. Someone else will use the character and create something new. I don't think any other superheroes have that flexibility, with Spider-Man and Superman being the only two coming close. I think almost every other Marvel and DC character is locked up in the basement of canon, out of sight of the public imagination.

Basically I think a big part of the problem is that hardcore fans want to keep these characters sealed in their original package, when the writers need to be given leave to rip open the box and play with the damned things. Put them out there, see what happens. If they're robust enough, they'll survive being mutated and reborn. If Writer A and Writer B want to do Green Lantern comics, each with their own continuity, both getting published at the same time, then that should be allowed. If the original character is spinning his wheels, then he should probably just be put down.

This is happening to some extent, but I think the long tangled thread of continuity attached to most comic book characters should be cut up and thrown away lest the characters get choked by their own ridiculous and tortured histories.
posted by picea at 11:48 PM on May 24, 2009


You know, I think Hatcher's definition of reboot/launch/imagining perfectly encapsulates what's wrong with Amazing Spider-Man right now1. "Turning the book into something completely different." Now, I know that he means "different from what came immediately before," such that a relaunch can include back to the basics approaches, but the problem with One More Day/Brand New Day is that it's so desperately trying to bring back the late 70's/early 80's. Instead of a joyous hearkening back, what we're getting is a reminder that it's easier on the wallet and less insulting to our intelligence to go back and read those original issues. Holy moly, Aunt May has a new boyfriend! Shocking! That's never happened before! (Except as recently as right before the relaunch - and twice before that ...) Spidey's run out of webbing! How will he ever survive?!

(Actually, BND has also put a pall on some of those earlier issues because one of the same writers came back for a brief stint and demonstrated that he thinks people who wear turbans can't speak English, or at least that jokes about such are funny.3 Sigh, Roger Stern, to think that you used to be one of my favorite Spidey writers.)

1. Besides Marvel editorial's assertion by implication that everything wrong with Spider-Man these days is all Mary Jane's Fault.2
2. And the sudden racist tendencies. Seriously, it's like all the black characters are poor and criminal; poor and help-I-need-a-white-person; rich and amoral and/or insane; or Robbie Robertson. Who is awesome, but jeez, there's only so much one guy can offset.
3. I mentioned the racism, right?

posted by bettafish at 3:32 AM on May 25, 2009


Check out this fan-made trailer imagining Nathan Fillion in the lead role.
posted by shannonm at 9:31 AM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


My question is this: How is it that Batman became the only superhero who can undergo a hundred different interpretations and remain a viable character? Somehow he's broken free of the chain of canon, or at least in his non-comic showings. Is it that he's managed to become so generally known that the hardcore geeks don't feel like they have ownership of him anymore?

Well, there's Superman as well. Did anyone really care that he was dead or an electric blue thing or had a mullet or whatever? They still had stories about the REAL superman.

I think what it means is these characters have hit the iconic, Sherlock Holmes/Dracula level where they can survive just just about anytyhing and people will still think about them in a classic way, and go back to them for stories, and continuity be damned. Which is great, but alos problematic, as it makes it hard to do any stories that involve change convincingly.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, I'm still dead.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:12 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hey, but you died so Infinite Rape Crisis - or whatever the fuck it was - could live!
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have no problem with rebooting or drastically changing franchises and characters so long as it leads to a good story, like with the new Star Trek or with Warren Ellis's Nextwave, which didn't so much play in the sandbox of existing Marvel canon as it did roll around in the sand while calling it ridiculous.

I think Brand New Day, which was brought up in this thread earlier, is a sterling example of how not to do a refresh. It was sort of nice to have a Spider-Man that had grown up, had a job and a wife, and was in his own small way getting his life together. The Spider-Totem and Morlun stuff was ridiculous, but that was a small price to pay for seeing the character taken in a new direction. Now, with the current status quo, Spidey's a 30-something unemployed man living with his elderly aunt who has mixed luck with women and no money. Which wouldn't be quite so insulting, except for the fact that Quesada said the intent of the story was to make it so readers could identify with the character.

Thanks for that one, Joe.

(Side note: The best thing to come out of Brand New Day was the fact that J. Jonah Jameson is now Mayor of New York. It still could have been done with a married Spidey but it's also still pretty rad.)
posted by HostBryan at 7:16 PM on May 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just saw Star Trek - I thoroughly enjoyed that. I now think it's VERY Who like, what with the main plot with the romulan space pineapple being cobblers but with the shear joy of having it back overriding that. I actually really enjoyed all the liberties they took with it.
posted by Artw at 7:27 PM on May 25, 2009


How many god damned power ring colors are there now, anyway? Is there some kind of fucking build-a-bear workshop for power rings now or something?

"Hey Chad, whatcha got there?"

"Oh, man, this is my Burnt Umber Lantern power ring."

"Your what?"

"Yeah, there's an outlet now, by the Olive Garden. You just pick, like, a color and a mental state and they make it up for you."

"Seriously? What does it do?"

"Well, you know how I really like shaved Asian porn, right?"

"Yeah."

"Yeah, so if I concentrate really hard I can create my own shaved Asian."

"That's awesome!"

"Yeah, it's okay. I really wanted a flesh-colored ring, but they discontinued that because they said it was racist. Hey, you should see Tim's, though. It's plaid and it allows him to nap anywhere on a magical cot made of Doritos, in case he gets the munchies."
posted by middleclasstool at 8:35 PM on May 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Janeway and the Maquis are stuck together on a ship. What happens? The Maquis are suddenly all wearing Star Fleet uniforms, because that's what canon says should happen.

Nonsense. That's not canon, that's unimaginative producers and show-runners who, in many ways, are like the quasi-mythical Trek fanboys, so worried about changing anything about the grand "vision" that storytelling is effectively neutered, not because of any kind of prior character or setting history, but because of writer's guidelines. Deep Space Nine certainly did more interesting things the Maquis, and was also able to do more interesting things as a show buy not sticking with the old Roddenberrian/early-Next Gen method of storytelling, but by addressing and confronting the premises of Star Trek, not just changing, willy-milly, established characters and concepts (making Picard a gun-crazy Prime Directive violator, eg Nemesis.) DS9 hewed very closely to the canon, but was not afraid of expanding on and questioning concepts of the setting, and that helped make it a stronger show.
posted by Snyder at 10:34 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Blue Beetle: You're dead, dead, and cancelled at the same time. How's that for adding insult to injury? But in the Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon, you're pretty awesome. I highly recommend it.

Speaking of cartoons, I also highly recommend the Spectacular Spider-Man show for fans old and new alike - by the same folks who did Gargoyles. I'm not kidding when I say it's the best screen adaptation of Spidey out there (yes, better than the second movie). And if you're very old school, every episode is like a nerdgasm. ("Oooh! Freddie Foswell! Squee! They made Tombstone a badass!") And mega bonus points for race-blind casting (I know it's animation, but I'm not sure how else to put it) that should make every Hollywood exec bow their head in shame. Really, if a cartoon with forty years of canon to work with can do it, why is every new television show out there the Some White Guys, a Gal of Optional Ethnicity and the Token Guy of Color?

HostBryan: I agree with you that the JJJ-as-Mayor idea is entertaining, except that the writers ... seem not to get JJJ at all. The thing is that Spider-Man is the one blind spot in the psyche of a crochety old guy who is, fundamentally, not that bad a guy. He and Peter like each other, though you'd have to put a gun to Jonah's head to get them to admit it. Jonah once anonymously paid for Peter to get the best legal defense in the city, back when he was on trial for murder (LOLCLONESAGA), which is something coming from the most miserly, self-aggrandizing man in the Marvel universe. The version in BND is just a jerk, and characters who've seen his better qualities talk about him as though he's just a jerk. JJJ plots should be hammy, entertaining and sometimes vaguely heartwrenching, but this is just dull.

Middleclasstool: I am less irritated by the "emotional spectrum" (... what) since I was informed that Geoff Johns does not, in fact, take it seriously, but I still want to see a Star Sapphire who isn't a skinny alien chick with boobs. Come on, where are the slug ladies? We've got a red lantern who's a LOLCAT.
posted by bettafish at 11:38 PM on May 25, 2009


(Some of this post contains spoilers for fairly recent comics, so...)

bettafish: Admittedly, I haven't read much of post-BND Spidey, so I have no reason to doubt that they have gotten JJJ's character wrong (Didn't he also anonymously put up the money for Front Line after the Bugle got bought out? Correct me if I'm inaccurate). And it's a total shame, because I can see it in the issues I have read and a storyline with JJJ acting the way JJJ is supposed to act while also being Mayor has some potential. I guess I'll have to stick with Mitchell Hundred for now.

Oh, and re: the whole Blue Beetle being dead thing. I seem to recall that a pretty big part of the first arc of the current Booster Gold ongoing involved Booster doing all of Rip Hunter's grunt work for the promise of bringing Ted Kord back. If memory serves, Rip refused to do it because to do so would fundamentally alter the timestream (my eyes start to glaze over at these points because DC does everything it can to make them impenetrable), so Booster went and did it himself, rescued Ted from Maxwell Lord, and ended up helping him live happily ever after...with the catch that nobody could ever know that Ted Kord was alive again. So technically, he's alive, but nobody knows it and apparently nobody will ever know it, until such time as editorial demands dictate such a change. It was all actually rather sweet.

<>
posted by HostBryan at 1:18 AM on May 26, 2009


The real issue (heh) a lot of people miss in these discussions of comics continuity is the perpetual question "What story am I reading?"

If a single author wants to write a bunch of unrelated novels, we generally have no problem with that. Even if he's writing, say science fiction novels that have a variety of mutually-contradictory visions of the future. Separate stories. No problem.

But that author loses the ability, in his seventh book, to bring in a character or event from one of the first six books and build on it in a way that makes the whole set of seven books greater and more interesting than the sum of their individual stories.

Continuity is simply a name for the practice of adding to an existing story. When done right, you can use continuity to create a narrative or emotional payoff that is simply not possible in the space of a single book, comic, TV show, whatever.

Comics (especially) want to have it both ways. They want to sell you a $4.00 book and tell you "this is a self-contained story, you can enjoy it all by itself." Writers want to say "I'm telling a different, unrelated story using the Spider-Man character. You don't have to try to make it fit with the other stories."

But then, they also want to have the narrative power of bringing in a character and having the other characters react based on their previous history. They have an idea for a new chapter in some earlier storyline, and they want to say, "this story is a continuation of that earlier story." And a lot of the best comics are built on those kinds of connections. But when you keep doing it for 60+ years, it's a mess.
posted by straight at 12:32 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


If memory serves, Rip refused to do it because to do so would fundamentally alter the timestream (my eyes start to glaze over at these points because DC does everything it can to make them impenetrable), so Booster went and did it himself, rescued Ted from Maxwell Lord, and ended up helping him live happily ever after...with the catch that nobody could ever know that Ted Kord was alive again. So technically, he's alive, but nobody knows it and apparently nobody will ever know it, until such time as editorial demands dictate such a change. It was all actually rather sweet.

No, Booster saved Beetle, but then history started to rewrite itself ala "A Sound of Thunder," so Beetle goes back to die as he's supposed to and restore the timeline. Booster thinks he's dead, but apparently somehow Ted actually isn't dead and hasn't revealed himself. *shrug* I stopped reading the book in the interim, I dunno.
posted by bettafish at 5:18 AM on May 27, 2009


Greg Nog: "it really kind of sucks to be a Vulcan"

Damn it really sucks to be a Vulcan
Pon farr fuckin with your head, right?
A real logical Vulcan never loses his control
And real logical Vulcans don't start fights (etc.)

(This would be better if I knew "Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Gangster" better.)

posted by ocherdraco at 3:40 PM on May 27, 2009


No, Booster saved Beetle, but then history started to rewrite itself ala "A Sound of Thunder," so Beetle goes back to die as he's supposed to and restore the timeline. Booster thinks he's dead, but apparently somehow Ted actually isn't dead and hasn't revealed himself. *shrug* I stopped reading the book in the interim, I dunno.

That sounds... fucking stupid, TBH.
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM on May 27, 2009


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