A couple of weeks ago I was enjoying some delicious Thanksgiving morsels at a friend’s house when I got into a nerd-versation with a delightful chap by the name of Arnie, who doesn’t just love comic books, he nurtures them. I assume that every night before bed he gives them some sort of Cider House Rules tuck-in treatment. Now, I’m not a huge comic guy. My grade school buddy, Mike Soper, scared me away from it. Every week he would buy two copies of EVERYTHING. One to read, and one to keep in the mylar–and the ones he read he still put back in mylar. The depth and breadth of his collection and its organizational system made me say to myself, “Screw this A LOT,” and I promptly became obsessed with chess, D&D and computers. The moral is, WE BOTH LOST. Back to my original point, I really liked Arnie so I asked him to start doing the occassional “Comics Nerdist” report so as not to deprive the young nerdlings who don’t get that need satisfied by my snarky gadgetry talk. Here is his first entry:
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN.
Okay so it’s official, DC wants the Silver Age back. Well, I’m being liberal with the term, “Silver Age”, what I really mean is the status quo that DC enjoyed right before Crisis On Infinite Earths.
It’s been a bit of a slow, almost subtle build up. Over the last few years we’ve seen…
- The return of the late Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.
- The return of the late Hal Jordan/Green Arrow.
- The return of the late Carter Hall/Hawkman.
- Black Canary being slightly de-aged and having her Canary Cry returned.
- The reintroduction of the Kara the Kryptonian Supergirl.
I’m sure I’m missing a few… and I’m sure someone will let me know…
Anyway, ever since Infinite Crisis hit in 05/06, the brakes on this particular train have been cut…
- Superman was Superboy as a young man again.
- Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash, is back!
- The original Pre-Crisis Legion of Superheroes is back.
- Wonder Woman is now Diana Prince again (love the white jumper).
- The original New Teen Titans (ground breaking George Perez/Marv Wolfman era) have reformed as the Titans.
- The current Justice League Roster looks more like the Satellite era League than what we’ve seen in years.
- Earth 2, THE Earth 2 is back giving us the return of the Helena
Wayne Huntress and the Adult Robin plus many others that were done away
with in their post-crisis existence.
- The return of the original Challengers of the Unknown.
- The Freedom Fighters, the Outsiders, the Global Guardians and the Doom Patrol have all reformed with somewhat altered line-ups.
Once again, I’m sure I’m missing something.
The question is: Is this return to the 80’s status quo a bad thing?
Me, personally, I think it’s pretty cool.
I was there reading about these character the first time around and consider them to be “classic”. Maybe I’m reliving the wonderment of reading these tales as a tween boy. Only now, they’re being written for me as an adult. Comic fans are older now, and as a result the books are skewed for an older audience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I grew up with comics and comics grew up with me”.
The whole point of the original Crisis was that DC felt that their established multi-verse was too complicated. Well, I was 12 and the concept of Earth 2,3,S,X, etc. made perfect sense to me. It was cool. Don’t get me wrong… at the time I thought Crisis on Infinite Earths was an amazing comic (still do as I sit here typing in front of my oversized poster of Alex Ross painted over George Perez ‘ pencils poster of said Crisis) and I voraciously read everything (nearly) published after the “Man of Steel” mini-series that helped established the new, streamlined DC continuity.
So welcome back multi verse, welcome back Silver Age. I missed you…. Without even realizing it.
My predictions for the future?
1) Arthur Curry returning from the dead to resume his role as Aquaman
2) Barbara Gordon becoming Batgirl again
By Your Pal,
Arnie: The Hero in His Own Comic Life.
“I’m totally bi… I like Marvel and DC.”
Images: DC Comics, Arnie Ross