Posted by cbishop (8621 posts) - - Show Bio
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3809/24/13Grandma's Comics 2: Superman & Batman: Generations TPB(Blog) (Forum)Gen. Discussion(Back) (Next)

In the first Grandma's Comics, I said:

Honestly, I had forgotten that I had given her the first issue of the Superman & Batman: Generations mini-series. Upon seeing it again though, I remember explaining the premise of an Elseworlds to her, and telling her that if she liked it, I could get the other issues for her, or a collected edition.

If I didn't remember giving her the single issue, I certainly didn't remember giving her the trade paperback. Mom strikes again, apparently- I found it laying on my desk, when I got home from work- something that turned up when she and my aunt were going through grandma's things. I had to think about it, but I did finally remember giving her the collected edition. I felt bad that I had only given her part of the story, and I wanted her to be able to read the whole thing... I'm getting tired of saying this, but I don't know if she did or not. I like to think that she did, and that she enjoyed it.

If you've never read it, Superman & Batman: Generations is an Elseworlds tale about a Superman and Batman that existed from the 1930's (when they were created in real life) to the present (1999, when the title was published). They're adults all the way through, so John Byrne had to come up with some creative ways to keep them alive and active for sixty-some years, and that's the fun of it. The story was well received enough to get sequels in Superman & Batman: Generations II, and the less well-received Superman & Batman: Generations III.

I have yet to find all the issues to SBG3, so I don't have a recommendation, but I loved SBG2 as much as the first one. This is probably linked to the fact that I think the DC and Marvel characters should be generational- living, dying, and having offspring that carry on for them. Mortal characters become immortalized to fans in a way that never-dying, continually merchandised characters will never know. Besides, you can always tell "untold tales," when you want to revisit bygone eras and characters. But letting old characters die or retire allows new ones to rise up and actually have lives that stand to reason.

So the Teen Titans would have replaced the Justice League, Young Justice would have been the Titans' sidekicks, and eventually YJ would have sidekicks of their own. Instead, we have immortal adults due to commercial considerations, and teen-turned-adult characters that can't stay sidekicks, but can't step into the roles they're meant for either. So they get shoved aside for newer sidekicks, becoming outsiders (literally Outsiders, at DC). It may be moneymaking in the short term, but it's very shortsighted about the possibilities for long term gains.

Imagine if DC had picked up on Generations, and did a Crisis-type story that left the characters in one, generational universe. We're looking at The New 52, trying to figure out how Batman had five Robins in five years? Imagine coming into a generational universe, and trying to figure out how many Batmen have succeeded Bruce Wayne, and who the current one is. Who's still alive, and who's dead? Superman would presumably be immortal, but what about Wonder Woman? Is she older, or is her molded-from-clay form immortal also? How long do Atlanteans live? If closer to human lifespans, who succeeded Arthur? What happened to Green Arrow, Cyborg, Black Canary, etc.? How many Flashes have there been? How many Green Lanterns? The possibilities go on-and-on. With the current DC, it just seems to be, "Okay, so how does their origin work in the modern era?" They wouldn't have to figure all that out if they'd go generational, for crying out loud.

...So...that was way off-topic, but that tends to happen with grief- you find things to use to distract yourself from it. Comics have certainly always been good for a distraction. I'm going to have to give this book a read through again, and enjoy feeling a little closer to grandma's memory. Thanks for reading, and thanks for bearing with me in my grief. I'm bearing up reasonably well, all things considered.

#1 Edited by cbishop (8621 posts) - - Show Bio

to be edited.

#2 Edited by kfhrfdu_89_76k (3768 posts) - - Show Bio

I like to think digressing as a very useful practice. As long as you get back on to the topic at hand, if there`s more to say about it. And digressing from taht topic for a while, may give some new insight to it. As you pointed out.

I had no idea you thought the same way as I do. Because I`ve never seen a blog where you complain about how DC (and MARVEL) handle these things. And many of the creators, partly.

#3 Posted by cbishop (8621 posts) - - Show Bio

@kfhrfdu_89_76k: The generational characters thing is something I make comments about here-and-there, but I don't think I've done a blog about it yet. I think I've mentioned it as part of a blog, but not as the main topic. I've wanted to get my thoughts together on it, but haven't gotten around to it. This blog was off the cuff. Part of my problem is that I can see the other side too- commercialization has its place, and my age has caused me to consider the value of working for DC or Marvel. ...I want to do blogs for both points of view eventually. :}

#4 Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k (3768 posts) - - Show Bio

@cbishop:

While we`re waiting for those...

#5 Posted by cbishop (8621 posts) - - Show Bio