Saturday, May 13, 2006

How old is Batman??

So how old is Batman anyway? Superman? Wildcat?

How many excuses can DC (and Marvel for that matter) make for heroes that don't age? How old was Batman when he started his crusade and then when he found a young Dick Grayson who's parents had just died... etc etc

It's not hard to understand why DC and other company's have a hard time pulling in new readers, it seems as if comics have a hard time enacting actual change. I know I wasn't alone in hoping for REAL change as a result of Infinite Crisis, and while I am enjoying the one year later stuff it would have been nice to see something like Dick Grayson as the new Batman. It amazes me that Dick, Wally, Conner (Green Arrow), Cassie and many other young heroes have been allowed to grow up and yet the older heroes seem ageless.

To an extent it makes sense with Superman - he's alien, perhaps he ages slower. Or Wonder Woman, since she's a daughter of the Gods. But I fail to see DCs need to hold onto the old heroes as much as they do. I mean it's not as if they can't have elsewhere stories or whatnot. It's just hard to believe Ollie's still running around playing Robin Hood when not only does he have a growen son, but Roy's all growen up as well. And it's not as if Batman can't be cool without taking an active physical role - just look at the huge fan base behind Batman Beyond. Bruce still kicks butt while allowing his legend to contiue on with the younger generation. Even Kingdom Come worked for the older heroes - except for Dick as Red Robin, that was dumb.

DC will have a harder and harder time introducing younger heroes without aging the older generation. I still listen to classic rock while enjoying newer music at the same time. If comics embrace real change while maintaining the integrity and continuity of the DCU's heroes themselves they would have a much better chance of gaining a younger generation's interest.

It is hard to think of Batman as someone besides Bruce Wayne - but it's even harder to believe that a 60 year old man is still swinging from rooftops.

And I've certaintly had enough of Hal Jordan - I really liked having Kyle around as Earth's GL. The Flash seems to be the only comic that consistently changes out the man behind the mask.

The younger generation can be just as intersting as the old - I think Wally West proved this. I enjoyed seeing him grow up, from young Kid Flash to a member of the Titans, to eventually taking over for Barry, and now as a father. Yes, at times we miss Barry - but Barry had a good run and his legend lives on.

Everything changes - it's how they grow into something new.


Anonymous Jeff said...'s weird. In the 90's, change was in the air. Connor was the new Superboy, another Connor was the new Green Arrow, Kyle was the new GL, WW was replaced by Artemis for awhile, Dick got to be Batman for all of 2 months(Prodigal Son), Wally was the Flash wholeheartedly and new heroes like Damage and Hitman were made. Lately however, things have been going in reverse instead of forward. All the young heroes of the 90's and replaced by the old guard. Many fans today still feel betrayed by DC for doing this. And it continues. I hear that Jay Garrick may be getting de-aged so he can be the Flash again. I think it's safe to say that Batman, WW and Supes will never age. But what about the rest? And how silly is it to see Robin grow into a man, Tim move from high school to college, and all the while Bruce remains unchanged? Most of this is due to licensing, but some has to do with bringing in talent from outside the industry to write comics. Why is Ollie GA? Cuz Kevin Smith wouldn't write a book starring Connor. Why are all teh old X-men back, ignoring everything Morrison laid down? Cuz Wheedon liked that old era of the mutants and wanted to bring it back. And what the heck was with Green Goblin being dug up or Gwen Stacy coming back, then being made into a complete skank? JMS was a fan of the early Romita era and wanted to write these characters. I like Batman , but there's never really been a great run of any monthly bat-title. The best bat-stories are the miniseries, one-shots and Elseworlds. Oh, and how weird is it that I grew up reading Peter Parker's adventures in college and now I'm way older than college age but Petey is only aboout 2 years out of school? Maybe the superheroes eat at the same burger joint and drink from the same water fountains as Archie Andrews, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the gang.

Saturday, May 13, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

See, I don't understand that, why do newer writers want to redo stuff that was already well done? If I got to be a comic book writer I'd only want to redo stuff that was poorly done - like Nightwing. Also, as a creator, I'd want to, well, create. I'd rather make something of my own cool than rehash what's already been done.

Saturday, May 13, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Well I have always believed we need to let heroes age (slower then normal) but age. It destroys all continuity when you don't allow them to age. How can Dum Dum Dugan (who was in WWII) still be the numebr two guy at SHEILD?.

It's fine to say cosmic rays, the green flame, the speed force, etc. kept certain heroes young, but how can everyone else growup and certain heroes remain young. Janet and Hank Pym, Bruce Wayne, Ollie and all the rest of the human heroes need to move on. It is the name that is for marketing, not the secret idenity.

Plus a new generation serves new readers. Listen to the radi show or any 20 something comic reader and they prefered Kyle, Connor, Wally and Connor (Superboy and Green Arrow) as the torch bearers of the name. The JSA has rotated their cast almost 100% and it works just fine.

It also would create great stories that would almost write themselves. Dick and Tim would be a great team, make Jason the new Joker - it would be all good.

Jeff - The Batman book by Moench was a good run in its own book as was the Denny O'Neil era and the Steve Englehart era.

Saturday, May 13, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Yeah, Moench had a good one year run with no crossovers. So, you know what the craziest thing to try and logic out is? In Batman Secrets, we are shown flashbacks of Bruce and his friend when they were boys. They look about the same age, maybe 4 years difference at most. So how in the present of the story is Batman still a young man while his good friend looks like Dolan from the Spirit? About the same age as kids, now one is maybe 38 and the other looks like late 50's, early 60's. Try and do the math to figure that out.

Saturday, May 13, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Comic math can hurt your brain.

Sunday, May 14, 2006  

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