Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Get Ta Know Me! Part V

Greg has asked me a bunch of questions -- mostly comics-related -- and I'm finally getting around to answering them. Hopefully I'll be able to add some images to this big block o' text once I get home...

1. If you could erase from history the events in any one comic (or involving any one character) where things "went the wrong direction," (a la my opinion of pretty much everything with Swamp Thing since Alan Moore's departure) who/what would it be?

You want obscure? I’ll give you obscure!

I choose Legion of Superheroes #6, from 1988 or so. It was the issue that reality warped back to “normal” from a universe that Mordru the Merciless ruled, but the change was slightly imperfect. History had changed, so that Supergirl was no longer a member of the Legion – he place was taken by a similarly powered lookalike named Laurel Gand (Mon-El’s cousin – and yes, skip down to question 2, all you non-comics geeks).

Her introduction wasn’t bad – there’s nothing wrong with the story per se, and it’s part of one of my favorite runs in Legion history. But – BUT! – it was the first time the LSH’s history was presented as malleable, and paved the way for the various reboots to follow. I’ve liked each of those reboots, but every time history changes it takes me farther and farther from the Legion that I loved as a kid and teen. So as much as I liked that particular issue, it started a slippery slope that I’d veer away from, given the chance.

Okay, non-geeks? It’s safe again.

2. You can perform one illegal action without any (legal) consequences. What is it?

Legal consequences aren’t the only consequences I’d face for most crimes – so stealing and killing are out. (Sadly.) This leaves me with streaking. Not a victimless crime, by any means – I can only imagine the nightmares will continue for generations after the last person to see me race through the Vatican butt-naked is dead and gone – but one that my conscience wouldn’t trouble me too much about.

3a. Let's set aside our ideals of comic movie adaptations for a moment. Given the films that do exist, what's the best comic book movie?

Hmm. Spider-Man 2 is the best superhero movie. American Splendor may be the best comic book movie.

3b. Okay. Now, what's your favorite?

Tough one. For suspense and action, I’d say V For Vendetta. But I love Hellboy too, for sheer comic-book fun. And there’s nothing – nothing! – like the Modesty Blaise movie – a case where “favorite” and “best” aren’t even in the same universe.

4. Of all the cool books no longer being published, if you could resurrect one, with any of its previous creative teams, who would produce all new stories, which would it be?

5. On your word, Andy Helfer and Kyle Baker will pick up where they left off and continue their work on The Shadow to some kind of conclusion. Do you give the word? Well? Do you?

Why’d you ask the same question twice?

Okay, in reverse order:

5) Of course I do. And that word is “Lenore.”

4) What would I choose? More Preacher stories? More Sandman? More Transmetropolitan, more Chase, more Suicide Squad? (Actually, we’re getting more Suicide Squad, and a little more Hitman, too. So that’s nice.) More Flash by Cary Bates and Irv Noivick (my personal favorite team)? More Legion by Levitz and Giffin? More Question by O’Neill and Cowan?

So many of these are tempting. But I can’t help thinking that they were all somewhat a product of their time.

I think the revival that would make me happiest would be this:

More Calvin & Hobbes. Or, frankly, anything else Bill Watterson wants to write and draw. I can’t think of any comics rebirth that would make me so happy, and so confident of the results.


(As usual, if you’d like to be interviewed, just ask. I’ll ask you five questions in these comments, and you can answer them on your blog, or here, if you don’t have a blog. They won’t necessarily be about comics, so there’s no need to be left out!)


Greg! said...


1 -- I couldn't've narrowed things down to that one issue, but I can certainly see wanting to shove a chair under the knob on that door to Legion changes before it got twisted sideways on its hinges over the years that followed.

2 -- I thought your answer was okay, until I got to the mention of the Vatican. Then I thought it was brilliant.

3 -- a&b -- Yeah, I thought they might be two different answers. (Thus the two-part question.)
I still haven't seen American Splendor. [hang head in shame] Other non-superhero flicks in the running for me would include The Road to Perdition and Ghost World (although I need to watch it again to confirm my good memories).

No arguments here with Spidey 2. (Just a heartfelt wish that Spider-Man 3 had lived up to the promise. [sigh])

4 -- Totally unexpected answer. And so very right.

The thing about the titles you mentioned is that most of them had closure at the conclusions of their runs. Some were left kind of open for the possibility of more to come, others decidedly (and, in the case of Preacher, beautifully) wrapped up.

The Shadow got its own question in part because I made the list of questions over the course of several days, and added the two questions days apart without seeing the connection, but it stayed in because it's "ending" was so distinctly unfinished. It's kind of a different, certainly more specific, case than the more open question.

I'd still love to see the Chase / Bloodhound team-up book, though, if only as a mini or a big one-shot.

5 -- Aww. Now I want to go back and re-read the ninteen (?) existing Shadow issues...

Greg! said...

Ack! A mis-typed possessive pronoun "it's" got past my lazy proofing and I posted it in your comments!

Shame. I'm dripping with shame.

Actually, given the weather, it's probably just sweat.

Sharon GR said...

My oldest has begun to read Calvin & Hobbes, and I'm reminded of how good they were (especially when particularly funny ones get read out lout to me OVER and OVER.) My children also now understand why Mommy has a t-shirt with a boy and a tiger dancing to a record player on it.

I wonder what Bill's doing now? Maybe I should check The Google...

Travis said...

Maybe I need to see Spider-Man 2 again. I enjoyed it, but it was my least favorite of the 3 movies. It got so bogged down in places I was bored.

American Splendor is great, I really liked that one.

Michael said...

Actually, it was much earlier that Legion history got untracked - it was the decision to reboot Superman that was the true start, a year after the end of Crisis. With Byrne's revamp removing Superboy from Kal-El's past, DC was forced to introduce the Pocket Universe to attempt to explain how Superboy didn't really need to be stripped from Legion history (though Supergirl was).

Rob S. said...

True, Michael, but that one didn't bother me as much. Or rather, it bothered me more at the time (I didn't care for the story), but it doesn't strike me now as the beginning of the slippery slope. (Or maybe it's the beginning of the slope, but Laurel Gand's introduction is when it gets slippery. Ah, metaphors...)

I guess I feel that the difference is that the Superboy retcon was of the "everything you know is wrong" variety -- the things that happened, happened, but but they happened that way for a different reason than the one you originally were told. Whereas the Supergirl/Laurel Gand switch actually caused a change in history, rather than a learning something new about a Legion history that was still largely intact.

But certainly, the slope could be traced back to that Time Trapper pocket universe story. But I think the urge to change history itself would have been much easier to resist if Giffen & the Biernbaums hadn't done it wholesale in issue 6.

And thanks for stopping by, by the way!

Greg! said...

O my gawd! Laurel's look is just so '80s!

Rob S. said...

2980s, baby!