02 03 Nerd Lunch: DC Reboot: I think I have the JSA figured out . . . 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

DC Reboot: I think I have the JSA figured out . . .


Well, that bit about DC being better off with a clean slate, Year One approach? To clarify, I think they need to say, Superman and Batman are brand new, it's 2011, and here are their first adventures. But I love the whole history of comic book superheroes, and so I'd like to see the DC Universe preserve that through the Justice Society of America.

I've written before about the strange effects of the sliding timescale on comic book universes. In summary, certain characters are tied to certain eras --- especially WW2 --- and that's getting more distant every day. Meanwhile, the "Modern Age" always starts a vague 10-12 years prior to "present day." So there's this growing gap, and in particular this causes trouble not just for the Golden Age heroes, but for their various replacements, offspring, and protegees.

Sooooo . . . the following is a little sketch of how DC could shuffle a few characters around to fill 70 years of superherodom.

The Golden Age JSA is pretty much the classic 1940s team. Now there's some room for tweaking here --- is Hippolyta the first Wonder Woman? Is there a Golden Age Hawkman? But most of the early heroes are here, and most of them retired in the 50s, led good long lives, and either faded away or had their blaze of glory.

The Silver Age JSA evolves in the late 50s and is the dominant super-team of the 1960s. Some of the originals are still active from time to time, but the new blood includes several Golden Age sidekicks, all grown up. Sylvester Pemberton, formerly the Star-Spangled Kid, is now Starman. Sanderson Hawkins is the new Sandman (a millionaire playboy / two-fisted masked detective). The Crimson Avenger's sidekick Wing (a Kato knockoff) is the Golden Avenger (sort of a Bruce Lee Kato without the useless white guy). Black Canary debuts. This team should actually look a lot like the early Justice League, fighting weird aliens and mad scientists and other old-school staples.

Infinity, Inc. was a spinoff book that started in the early 1980s, mostly the offspring of the Golden Age JSA, along with the first wave of "ethnic replacements" --- female Hispanic Wildcat, female black Dr. Mid-Nite, etc. Problem is, while the math worked reasonably well in 1983, it doesn't work in 2011 --- most of the Golden Agers end up around 70 before they start having kids or training replacements. So I say, keep them in the 1980s. And you know what? Many of these characters have not aged well. I mean, Nuklon, with his red mohawk? Embarrassing. But think about these guys in the modern day --- in their forties, most of them married and raising kids, still ready to squeeze into the old uniform when the world needs them, even though those twentysomething kids in the JSA get all the press.

The Young All-Stars are the teenage legacy heroes --- Stargirl, Jakeem Thunder, and Damage, for starters, along with the kids of various Infinitors. In addition to providing some continuity, they could serve as friendly rivals to the Teen Titans or Young Justice or whatever the classic sidekicks like Robin and Kid Flash are calling themselves.

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