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Sweet Summer Whine

Ok I know this is late but I wasn't gonna respond at all until a friend persuaded me to do it. Your Trial of Green Lantern story could have been very entertaining if you'd left off the dig at Kyle and his fans. Why did you feel the need to include that? Does that make you feel like a bigger person? I see Hal fans talk about what they experienced with the way that DC treated Hal yet here you are treating Kyle just as bad if not worse. Are we Kyle readers not supposed to have our character to enjoy? Does your character and enjoyment take precedence over mine?

Also you run a fan web page why did you do this when you know that probably a portion of your audience are Kyle fans. I've read Fanzine since Marc Campbell ran it and I must say I was very disappointed in this issue.

James Schee (JWSchee@aol.com)

Of course, the advantage of fan fiction is being able to give the people what they want. Not you, of course, but I got far more positive feedback than negative. However, there was a reason for my doing that beyond how funny it was, and your reaction is exactly why. And I hope you'll hear me out because this is important.

For the last several years, I have heard from many, many Kyle fans, and they all seem to sing a two-part song:
1) "Why are you Hal fans raising such a fuss about Emerald Twilight? He was really boring and he was old. Kyle rules! Kyle kicks ass, duuuuude! He's young and hip! You should quit caring about a lame character and get with the program! Emerald Twilight was a great story!"

That's part one. Nine times out of ten, it's followed by:
2) "I never read Green Lantern before Emerald Twilight."

I could only take this so long. Now that 50 Kyle issues are out and you guys have developed a devout interest in Kyle, I decided to see how you'd react if something horrible was done to a character you cared about. And, oh boy, was I satisfied with the reaction!

Look at what happened! Here I am, a fan writer doing a non-canonical humor story that will never, ever be used by DC Comics… and the Kyle fans are LIVID! They're hurt, frustrated and incensed, despite the fact that my little one-paragraph joke has not prevented them from enjoying Kyle Rayner every month.

Just something to think about, there!


Why bother to pick up a comic? You spent little to no time showing you even read the book you are talking about. SO WHAT if Elastic Man is not mentioned? That fact does not take away from the story. Liberals do paint the rich as all being crooked, you can see it everyday in the media. Ollie is stating his belief (which can hardly be called Bigotted since as he pointed out, he was a crooked rich man once pg12). The scan error on Martian Manhunter's part was clearly explained pg20. John Ostrander's error is unimportant to the STORY he was telling. I doubt that everyone at DC has a timeline in convenient wallet size form. You are too hung up on what happened in books ten years ago or in the case of For Sale- Justice League thirty years ago. Read the stories rate them on their merits, not on something only you would notice or care about.

Though I do think your site
worries too much about time errors I do really enjoy it. The fake newspaper made my day. The past does need to be remembered. Quickly to name a character I care about being heavily abused, Kamandi. The crew in charge of Superboy took the entire Kamandi future setting made it an island, threw out the plot, Kamandi himself, just to have three or four characters to add to their book.

I think Hal is being treated much better than Kamandi. Just remember though, no matter what DC does wrong, no matter what they do to any givin character, it could be worse……They could be MARVEL.
Jeffrey A. Clements (clements@fuse.net)

1) You know I read the comic. You're just being insulting.
2) There is no Elastic Man. Elongated Man, on the other hand, is my favorite superhero. It was mostly a joke, in the sense that most readers know that I run the world's only Elongated Man Website. (Personally, I am rather saddened that the "big 7" are the only members of the original JLA who seem to draw much attention. Elongated Man was a member of the JLA for 150 issues. Zatanna for about 100. The Atom for over 200. Yet they aren't given much attention in flashback stories or the art galleries. But I digress. This may be a personal pet peeve, but the 80 page giant didn't get bad marks because of *that*.)
3) Experiences may cause bigotry, but they don't excuse it. Any belief that "all x people are y" is a prejudice, and the fact that a large number of individuals may hold a belief doesn't make it right (think of the beliefs held by a majority of Southerners several decades ago).

Didn't you read what *I* said? The problem is not so much that Ollie is a liberal and espouses liberal leanings; that's just part of who he is. The problem is that he's proven right, when he's the type of closed-minded character who should be proven wrong! Can you imagine a story where Batman's trying to solve a mystery and he follows the one Italian suspect because, after all, all Italians are members of the Mafia…and in the end, the guy IS a member of the Mafia, and Batman snidely comments that everyone should believe him next time he says I-ties are no good? That would be a very irresponsible thing to publish; the fact that the prejudice here is not racial does not make it right.
4) Yes, I know J'onn explained his scan error. I just think it was a poor excuse. As I said, Mr. Bryce's *reasons* should have been plainly noticeable. J'onn is not just some vague Counselor Troi-ish empath who gets surface impressions of people; he has been very adept at picking particular pieces of knowledge from people's minds. I could give you numerous examples, but I'm afraid they happened more than a year ago so you wouldn't care.
5) John Ostrander's error was not small, and it's not a matter of needing a pocket timeline. Since the 1996 revamp, SUPERMAN HAS NEVER BEEN A MEMBER OF THE ORIGINAL JLA! That's official, that's major, and that's affirmed as recently as the last two issues of JLA: Year One! And the difference between an ignorant comics reader like you and John Ostrander is that John Ostrander has been writing for DC constantly for over a decade. And if he has some fantastic lapse, then the editor should know better. And if the both of them fail to get a major part of DC history correct, then I have the right to call them on it. The fact that you and other new readers don't care is irrelevant. If I tell a Civil War story and several times I mistakenly show John F. Kennedy as the President, it'll go without comment by the average American high school graduate…but it's still incorrect.

I'd like to know how old you are and how long you've been reading comics. You seem to bear a lot of hostility towards any dilligent reader older than yourself. Sadly, the industry has been encouraging this of late…which is puzzling! The comics market is bad enough without the major companies telling their most devoted readers that their five bucks don't matter.

More important than how long you've been reading comics is: are you ready to quit when they tell you to? We older readers ("older"…I'm only in my 20s!) have been derided by a lot of the teeny-boppers who tell us we're old hat for standing up for Hal Jordan or pointing out the gaping continuity holes which were never allowed to go by without explanation before the 1990s. But our only crime is having loved and read DC Comics! Yet the message we get over and over is that we shouldn't care about what happened in any title previous to the last year or two. So get ready for it to happen to you! Someday, a writer will show a character you care about, maybe Kyle Rayner, doing something that's about 3 years off (say, living with Jade while he's in the New Titans, which is a minor example but the only one handy) and when you ask why the writer didn't know better you'll be told you shouldn't care about what happened before 2002, you old coot.

And it's not only me. You obviously haven't been talking with any other DC fans online. Do a few searches for JLA 80 Page Giant in http://www.dejanews.com and you'll see what I mean.


jeez! I love the d.c. universe just as anyone else does, your page is the only all d.c. page on the net (I think) and you have article's that LOOK good, but when I read them, I got something totally different.Your entire page consist's of complainig about continuity and minor mistake's, that

NO ONE notice's.It's people like you that go to sci fi movie's and complain about mistake's like "hey, there's no sound in space!"
You of all people are complaining about "realaism", you'll complain and say, "no way, if he's the son of that guy from the golden age, he would have to be older!" Men from other planet's are flying and have mind control and the white house get's blown up in every issue of EVERY comic, and your complaining about continuity?!?!?!?!?!?
Nelso (nelso@nwi.net)

I don't need any lectures about suspension of disbelief, thank you. I don't complain about sound in space. I can even accept the impossibly-cramped Zero Hour timeline. But allowing people to fly doesn't mean anything goes, and you know that, so let's be mature about it.

We are given *explanations* for the people who can fly. They aren't scientifically sound explanations which would work in our universe, hence the suspension of disbelief, but there are explanations.

Are you saying that a dozen couples born around 1920 not having kids until the early 1980s should just go by without comment? It doesn't seem even a little ridiculous to you? Now, if some caring writer comes along and explains that some villain cast the entire JSA into a time warp until about 20-30 years ago, I'll be able to accept that. I'll even tolerate the few retcons that would be required to make that necessary. But without any such story, the "kids of the Golden Agers" seem more and more far-fetched every year.

Now…as to Fanzing being "all about" complaining…well, there's a lot about the current trend of the DC universe to complain about. Until the current decade, writers were very attentive to the characters they wrote and I and many others miss it. If my articles in Fanzing were the only whiney ones, I'd just say I'm jaded…but almost every columnist and writer I meet is equally disappointed with current trends, and so I feel slightly vindicated. However, I do want my articles to also show my love for comics, and I am trying to achieve some balance in future articles.

By the way, you may have noticed the masses of misspellings in the critical letters which get sent in. Just thought you should know, I only fix typos on the complimentary letters; what's funny is that they almost never need them!


Green Lantern Movie

Why don't you write a plot for another Green Lantern movie. But in this one Hal goes nuts when Mongul destroys Coast City and Kyle Rayner has to fight him asthe New Green Lantern. Oh yeah and the Guardians send all the green lanterns to stop hal but he turns into Parallax and kills them all except for Ganthet who gives the ring to Kyle Rayner.
Rayner80@aol.com

I wrote Rayner80 a very brief reply "LOL! If it wasn't for your e-mail address, I'd swear you were being ridiculous! :-)", to which he wrote:

Screw you you assmuncher I was just making a suggestion and you have to be an asshole to me. I personally like Kyle way better then that mediocre character Hal I f you have a problem with that FINE! but don't be a moron when replying to it. I will never visit your site again and will encourage others to do the same you dickhead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That's what I get for being brief, I guess. I replied:
Hello? I wasn't being mean. LOL means "Laugh Out Loud". I was teasing.

As for your suggestion, I just don't see that *ever* making it as a movie. If DC wanted to make the movie with Kyle as the Green Lantern, they'd just begin it with Kyle and never mention Hal. Comic book movies have to discard a lot of baggage in order to streamline enough for the average movie-goer to understand them; in fact, even my plot outline is more complex than it should be, and I'd probably have to drop some elements in order to make it into a viable film.

You're probably used to dealing with nasty Hal fans, so I'll excuse your immature, rude reply.


And now, to clear the palate:

Just wanted to drop a line and say your netmag is awesome!!! Keep up the great work! I just wish is was weekly instead of monthly! heh

rodney reyes (dreamson@pegasus.rutgers.edu)

Oy! I just spent my entire Independence Day 3-day Weekend indoors, looking outside at the beautiful sunshine, meeting no beautiful women and getting not a bit of suntan, my only nourishment from re-heated barbecued brats and hamburgers, my only entertainment the "Twilight Zone" Marathon on Sci-Fi Channel, trying to get text articles from contributors a week later than they were supposed to be turned in…and I honestly wish it was every other month!


Well, I see you've gotten the June issue of Fanzing out. Let me be the first (if I am) to lavish praise on Louise Freeman Davis's Teen Titans story, "A Friend in Need." This story is so well written, if it were actually published in a DC Comic, I would probably start buying it regularly…and it takes a lot to get me to do that these days! A diamond amongst gems.

Keep up the great work! Fanzing is definitely the best fanzine out there, IMHO.
Chaim Mattis Keller (CKELLER@schicktech.com)

Thanks, Chaim! Since he sent this letter, Chaim has also turned in a fiction piece of his own which will run in a future issue of Fanzing!

On the Golden Age/JSA article:

Yeah, pretty good work there. Must have been hard to collect all those JSA and Golden Age info…not a period I particulary liked, though: Silver Age and afterwards are better IMHO. But indeed a good job, buddy…BTW, any chances of seeing Suicide Squad featuring Fanzing?

Edu Navidades (edu.navidades@mailcity.com)

Actually, we'll be doing a full Suicide Squad cartoon proposal in next month's "Adventures in the DC Cartoons". Check out Bob Riley's preview art at the end of this month's column!


You have a great ezine and I loved your summary of the JSA and golden age, but there are some places I think you may have mispoke.

To be honest, comics of the golden age were not written down to kids as much as they are today. Yes, many of the themes discussed in today's comics were not discussed in the 1940s, but the same is true of the reverse.

Certainly, if you were to examine the writings of Bill Finger in Batman, you would find many examples of well written mysteries and crime dramas based on some factual science-not psuedo scinece of the type found in modern age comics. Also, the golden age comics were perfectly willing to borrow concepts from such non-genre sources as O. Henry and Damon Runyon. I think this is because the writers grew up reading real books, not comic books. An interesting story with Superman (from WF #16) for example, discussed a wannabe song writer trying to make good in that tough profession. With references to "Tin Pan Alley" and setting the tale in adult locales, the writer (Jerry Seigel?) certainly was assuming that the people reading the story had at least heard of these realistic locations. Yes, the characterization was often one dimensional, but the variety of characters and situations didn't presuppose an intolerance for non-genre subjects on the part of the readership.

Contrast that attitude to modern day comics; which assume that all comic readers want cheap melodrama of the type found on a daytime soap opera. Who is really being written down to, the kid who was told stories on any subject, or the young adult who can only read the latest adventures of Superman if it is formatted in a recycle of a tale told just recently. Also, the writers of the day tried their best to tell good stories, not shape events and fit the story into same (see Genesis).

The art in the golden age is also not to be underestimated. While never as good as the art from comic strips (see Alex Raymond and Milton Caniff among others), the artists did try to make the heroes look as if they resemble human beings. Again, contrast that to the imitation manga craze with size 17 feet and shoulders too large to fit on the body they rest on. Yes, much of it was crude, but the golden age also can be credited with offering real talents (people such as Dick Sprang and Jerry Robinson). Also, no one style dominated the day; for every Jack Kirby classic you could have a decidedly different style from Bob Kane.

Sadly, today artists no longer have faith in the readership to accept many different styles and in effect "draw down" to the readership. Just take a look at some of the drawings found today to see human bodies drawn every bit as unrealistic as their golden age counterparts.

With regard to the earth-2 Robin: Yes he did appear in All Star (the 70s version) but he debuted as Batman's replacement in JLA #55 (or thereabouts).

A fun read nonetheless.
KRothst402@aol.com


While I like your idea for a new JSA, I'd like to give my idea for a new line-up

The core of the group: Flash, Sentinel, and Wildcat, who are all still active and vital. The rest of the group would be replaced by their thematic and/or spiritual successors:

Hawkman: Replace with Bulletman.
Hawkgirl: Replace with the new Bulletgirl (Deanna Barr)
Atom: Replace with Atom-Smasher (formerly Nuklon)
Hourman: Replace with Countdown (Formerly Rick Tyler, Hourman II. DC already has plans for a series starring the Morrisson-created Hourman III, so I needed a new name)
Black Canary: Replace with Liberty Belle
Dr. Fate: Appoint a new one, with the original helmet and powers.
Dr. Midnight: Bring in the ghost of Charles McNider.
Johnny Thunder: Replace with Kiku, the Badhnesian girl.
Starman: Replace with Jack Knight.

What do you think?

KrytenToo@aol.com

I like the name "Countdown" (well, and Atom-Smasher, but Mark Waid created that one). As for Liberty Belle, she has to be around 70 now (although granted, she doesn't look it).


Greetings Fanzingers!

I must say I really enjoyed your articles on the JSA and you are not alone in wanting to see a new JSA. I contacted DC earlier this year with my own roster of heroes that greatly resembled yours. However I chose to have Captain Marvel as a member. Even though the current version of the character does not enjoy Golden Age origins, Cap/Billy has the spirit that makes him fit on this new team.

Also, as a nod to the 1970's run of All-Star Comics, I added Power Girl and The Huntress. Yes, I know these two ladies are no longer their Earth-2 selves, but it just wouldn't be right to have a new Justice Society without them. The Huntress does not fit into the JLA, that team is just too cosmic for her. She needs a more down to earth group in order to function well.

I'm hoping DC will reconsider it stand on their Golden Age heritage and bring the JSA's heirs back into the spotlight.

Thanks for listening,
Randy Hampton (MrAtlas@webtv.net)

In my casting, I tried to not have any aged Golden Age characters, simply because the explanations for these guys to not be in a rest home get less and less plausible as the years go by. Shining Knight and the Guardian both have reasons for being youthful today (one being a clone and the other time-tossed!


I just read the article about the JSA and I agree that it's time to bring back Dr. Fate, whether it's a new person or the original Dr. Fate. I just now got into Dr. Fate after his appearence on Superman: The Animated Series and saw he was an interesting character and wanted to know more about him. I saw some stories featuring Fate and he didn't interest me as much as Dr. Fate, so I really think because Fate like you said failed that it's time for Dr. Fate to return. Anyways, keep up the good work on your page and I'll be coming back!

Mike Rehor (MSR77@aol.com)


I was reading your ideas involving Shining Knight for a while, and he sounds like an intriguing character, but I heard soemwhere that he was one of the people absorbed into the "Hawk Avatar." I'm not sure, but you may as well look into it.

Lisa Fortuner (tertia@rocketmail.com)

I don't own any issues of that last Hawkman series, but someone warned me that he may have been a Hawk Avatar. I checked the Hawkman FAQ online and, according to it, there is some confusion as to whether it was Shining Knight or Silent Knight who was the Hawk Avatar. The artwork in that issue reportedly flipped from one to the other. Given that Sir Justin, the Shining Knight, had a winged horse, you'd think it would be him.

However, logically, why would it be Sir Justin? Of what era would he be the Hawk Avatar? It couldn't be the Camelot Era, unless the being that assigns the avatars made a lousy choice; Justin's horse sprouted wings, and that same day he was trapped in ice until the 1940s. The 1940s and the 1990s both have their own Hawk Avatars (Hawkman, in each case), so Sir Justin would be superfluous!

Whatever. I think the whole Avatar mess ruined enough characters without throwing out Sir Justin as well. I think that the Shining Knight would be an interesting character to explore in a miniseries or special. (I've even been thinking of some proposals along those lines, but he's not really a character to launch your career on!)


[Regarding the need of a JSA retcon to explain why people born most of a century ago have teenagers now…]
As for an explanation, how about the energies which kept them young made it more difficult to have children, so it was a lot longer before they were successful?

Daniel Henschel (LEAFORD@webtv.net)


Rock of Ages

Bruce,
My favorite aspect of the Rock of Ages storyline is the interaction of the Joker and Lex Luthor. Who's the one villain other villains (even one's with phenomenal power) are afraid of? Of course it's the non-super powered Joker. And who's the one villain who's NOT afraid of the Joker? Of course it's the also non-super powered Lex Luthor. I think the way Luthor back-handed the Joker after the "casket gag" was priceless. Some may try to explain this away with the philosopher's stone. The argument could be made that Lex wasn't afraid of the Joker because of control it granted him. I disagree with that assessment. Looking back at other Joker/Luthor team ups, he's always has a disdain for Jokers antics. The only two other post-crisis Joker/Luthor team-ups I can think of are World's Finest 1 and Underworld Unleashed. I'd love to see more of these two villains together. I don't know about you, but I think a World's Vilest would could be a hell of a read.
Ollie (OLLIE@cns40.fnal.gov)
Green Arrow's "Politics"

I wasn't that crazy about the "For Sale" Justice League story, either. While I'm not speaking from experience, you'd think Ollie would know wealth has it's own set of trappings and drawbacks. He must be thinking of that "Behind every fortune, there's a crime" saying I once heard somewhere. The story reminded me of a Dan Jurgen's JLA story done shortly before the Death of Superman. The Atom has rejoined the team and is musing to BloodWynd his time with the league, saying how Green Arrow and Hawkman would fight all the time due to their politics. He relates: "One time when we stopped some muggers, Green Arrow wanted to know what social difficulties drove them to commit crimes. Man, stuff like that drove Hawkman nuts." (Of course, if I had Hawkman's histories I'd be a little nuts too!) To what degree this "Green Arrow and Hawkman don't get along" plotpoint is a retcon or just a whimsy 'good old days' sort a thing, you can put in the retcon file.

On a slightly more personal note, I've never liked Oliver Queen that much. He ignored Connor Hawke and treated Roy Harper like crap. I'm not exactly thrilled to learn Ollie will be returning in a new GA series, although at least they aren't killing Connor off.

I really dig your site. It's a nice look at DC comics, and the "good" and "bad" things about it. The Time Travel/Alternate Universe stuff is a pain, but you obviously have a lot of love for these characters. (Except Kyle Rayner, but what can you do?) So far one of my favorite "essays" you did was saying Ralph Dinby was cooler than Plastic Man. IMHO, Eel O'Brien got more publicity since he doesn't have a code name that sounds like the title of a porno movie. I'm suprised "Elongated Man" ever made it past the comic code.

While the 60th Anniversary of DC Comics sounds cool, what else do you have planned? An issue dedicated to Green Arrow would be nice. As you know, I don't like Oliver that much, but Connor is cool. Maybe a retrospective would put a new light on GA.

Bobby C. (r.coakley@worldnet.att.net)

One thing I forgot to note: Bruce Wayne. Isn't he one of the richest men in the entire world, probably even richer than this guy? Yet Green Arrow doesn't suspect that his money is filthy or that he's inherently evil. I suspect that Green Arrow is just one of those people who thinks that if he could be corrupted, everyone must be corrupted.

As for future stuff…hmmm. Well, we've got our "Greatest Stories Ever" next month, as well as our "Magic" issue and an issue focusing on "Sidekicks, Spouses and Supporting Characters" (which gives me room to talk about my favorite sassy brunette, Sue Dibny). Hopefully I'll get around to doing some fiction of my own again. And I can't wait to see the finalists in our big swimsuit contest. (Sorry, being cooped up all summer is driving me nuts.)


Superman movie?

What happened to the second installment of the Superman Movie script? I kind of expected to see it this month, but maybe the author is not done with it yet. Just looking for more info on this. I really enjoyed the first installment.

Ray (RHReynolds@.prodigy.net)

Now an announcement by Erik Burnham:

Folks… I know some of you (a small some, but a some nonetheless) has been waiting for part 2 of Superman: the Man of Steel. Well, after battling lightning storms, a wiped hard drive, and becoming the big brother a prematurely born li'l sister (which has snapped up a lot of my time; taking care of things while hospital visits were/are being made in far-off cities) I still haven't completed any more!
Embarrassing, sure -- but I promise I'll have some more writing for Fanzing soon. In the meantime, y'all may just have to make do with my cheesy art instead of my cheesy words.

I want some cheese.

Thanks for wondering, my two interested readers!

 

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