Thursday, September 1, 2011
That e.e. cummings quote was the first thing I thought of after I heard DC's latest announcement: the JSA is alive and well post-Flashpoint, it'll just be on Earth-2 is all. Okay, it was the second thing I thought of. The first was, "Holy crap, they're gonna use Earth-2 again?!?"
For those who don't know: Earth-2 is/was an Earth that existed parallel to the Modern DCU (also known as Earth-1). On Earth-2, the Golden Age never ended. Instead of Hal Jordan, Alan Scott is the only Green Lantern. The Flash is Jay Garrick, who runs around in a Mercury-styled helmet instead of a bright-red Spandex cowl. Superman and Wonder Woman have gray hair, and Batman's dead. Sidekicks like Robin and the Star-Spangled Kid have grown up. Almost all the heroes have kids, who in turn carry on their parents' legacies. There was a tradition where Earth-2 would cross over with Earth-1 every summer, but other than that, they stayed in their own little world...that is, until Crisis on Infinite Earths, wherein DC mushed together all the parallel Earths and their histories. Many aspects of Earth-2 disappeared in order to not conflict with Earth-1 history (old Supes and Wondy went bye-bye!), but overall, a lot of it stayed intact, and readers ended up with a DCU history that extended for decades, and Golden Age characters now regularly rubbed shoulders with the new kids. That all ended yesterday, though, when DC slapped the "reboot" button again and effectively erased the very existence of both the Golden Age and the JSA in favor of a "streamlined" DCNu, where no superheroes existed before Superman...and since DC has barely done anything regarding parallel Earths (they may TALK a lot about "52 Earths" since Infinite Crisis, but have you noticed that we never SEE them?) it seemed as though all those scores of heroes and their legacies were gone for good.
Personally, I've only really been getting into the Golden Age heroes for the past five years. I was aware of them for a long time, of course, I just didn't pay a lot of attention. It was combination of my buddy David Charlton writing JSA fanfics over on DC2 and my growing interest Vigilante and Starman that made me dig a little deeper. I've gotten a healthy respect for those mystery men and women, and the idea that DC would chuck their very existence out the window was akin to slapping your grandpa in the face. A character here or there disappearing could be tolerated to a degree, but this was too much. Both fans and critics alike were howling, and I think DC's recent announcement was a last-minute scramble to appease them.
Whether it was part of the "big plan" or not, I'm glad they did it. I'm also glad that they've tapped James Robinson and Nicola Scott to work on the new JSA title. Robinson knows the Golden Age like the back of his hand, and I've loved Scott's artwork since I first saw her on Birds of Prey years ago. If they can pull this off, it'll be a pitch-perfect book. Matter of fact, even though there's been no announcement of when this title will start, I've been sorely tempted to skip all the DCNu offerings (except for All-Star Western! Jonah gets a free pass every time!) and wait for JSA to hit, be it a WWII-themed book or a continuation of the old pre-Crisis era. You know, completely ignore this shiny new universe that's wiped out scores of heroes just so they can look hip and edgy, and instead move into one that's full of people who are more than glad to teach the next generation what it means to be a hero.
As the old song goes, it's just a jump to the left...