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Showing posts 0-5 of 14 matching: generations

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

New Old Release: DC Comics: Generations

Today at your Local Comic Shop:

© DC Comics

This hardcover reprint of Generations: Shattered and Generations: Forged is being called DC Comics: Generations because DC can't bear the thought of putting out a comic without a colon in the title.

According to solicitations, this book contains only those two comics plus the related prequel story from Detective Comics #1027. If you'd bought those three books when they came out like I did, you'd have paid $29.97 (or more, if also like me, you bought multiple covers of each issue... 2020 was a very lonely year). DC Comics: Generations has a cover price of $29.99. Two cents is small price for the convenience of having the whole story in one book.

And while you're at your Local Comic Shop, you'll also find Booster Gold in the Tales from the Dark Multiverse II collection, which reprints the alternate reality horror story from Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Wonder Woman: War of the Gods #1. If that's not enough colons for you, you're going to have to find a different publisher.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: dark multiverse generations new releases reprints

Friday, March 12, 2021

Generations Writers Roundtable

You may recall that this time last week, I asked whether the "Linearverse" introduced in Generations Shattered and Generations Forged should count as continuity. That question got answered (in a roundabout way) when earlier this week Russ Burlingame took a break from writing books about movies to interview Generations writers Dan Jurgens, Robert Venditti, and Andy Schmidt in a spiritual successor to his old "Gold Exchange" column for ComicBook.com.

ComicBook: The idea that realities have always been there, just out of sight, rather than actually being destroyed, is a revelation to the characters here -- but is that how you view the worlds that are destroyed in each subsequent Crisis event? Certainly it's how The CW explicitly dealt with their post-Crisis multiverse.

Dan Jurgens: I hadn't thought about it that way, but I certainly see your point!

For me, on a personal level, I find it harder to accept the notion of entire planes of reality being destroyed, only to be recreated again. “Hiding” them or making them inaccessible actually seems much more believable. The amount of energy required to destroy and recreate universes is tremendous, after all.

Plus, we weren't going to change anything. The Linearverse was meant to stay much the way it had been, which is a place that is belt around DC's published history.

Robert Venditti: To steal from Dan a bit, I hadn't really thought of that. I don't know if it's important to me that definitive explanations are made. Mostly, I want to leave toys in the sandbox for other creative teams to play with. I think we've done that.

Andy Schmidt: One of the things that I generally want to shy away from as a creator is writing over someone else's work or saying that it never happened. Because it happened for the reader and for the creators who put those stories together. They're real and they're important to someone.

Most of the comics I grew up reading that got me into comics in the first place have been retconned so they never happened, but they're still what made me fans of those characters in the first place. So, for me, it's just kind of a respect thing for fans and creators both. If it's real to you — I should treat it as such. Generations Shattered and Forged gave us a platform to re-validate those "hidden" stories as you called them. To let readers and creators know we remember, and we still love those stories, while also crafting something new to introduce those takes on characters to new fans. It's challenging and it's fun and I think it's upbeat in the approach and hopefully in its execution.

I like the "it is what you want it to be" approach to the DC Universe — which in the past has made such titles as Formerly Known As The Justice League possible — so I'll choose to consider the story canon. Thanks, guys! I think I'm going to like this Linearverse.

Elsewhere in the interview, the creators also talk about why they chose the characters they chose to include in the story, as well as the long shadow Zero Hour cast on Generations. I recommend you read the whole article yourself at ComicBook.com.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: andy schmidt comicbook.com dan jurgens generations gold exchange interviews robert venditti russ burlingame

Friday, March 5, 2021

Serious Question

I said at the start of the week that I wanted to talk about Generations Forged, so if you haven't read that yet (or for that matter Generations Shattered or Dark Knights: Death Metal ), beware that spoilers follow.

...

...

You've been warned.

...

You know from cover (and timing) of Generations Shattered, this story takes place in the DC Omniverse created in the wake of Dark Nights: Death Metal.

© DC Comics
Dark Nights: Death Metal #7, January 2021

As if the Omniverse wasn't a big enough concept to take in, it only gets bigger. ("Infinity is just so big that, by comparison, bigness itself looks really titchy," explainsthe Hitchhikers Guide the Galaxy.)

At the end of Generations Forged, as Waverider returns the Batman of 1939 (abducted by Kamandi in Detective Comics #1000) to his native time, he introduces us to another concept:

© DC Comics
Generations Forged #1, February 2021

Waverider goes on to imply that the Batman of 1939 will continue fighting into the modern day, that the Batmen of all publishing ages (Golden, Silver, Modern) are the same character (who may or may not have memories of all of his adventures.)

While the Omniverse just increases the size of the bucket for potential story settings, the Linearverse is a radical revision to understanding DC Comics' publishing history.

For GamesRadar.com, Michael Doran has already written several articles on the implications of this revelation, each quoting Generations Forged architect Dan Jurgens on his intent with this new Linearverse.

"It's fair to say that what we built here, the Linearverse, is its own universe that can fit into the larger context of DC's Omniverse," explains Jurgens. "It's a place where some unique and individual stories can be told."

Jurgens himself admits that this is an imperfect solution to an artificial problem. Comic book fans have always struggled with reconciling how Dick Grayson could be a boy in 1940 and still a young man in 2020 or how both Superboy and Superman could each have co-existing adventures for most of 80 years. These are only "problems" when trying to reconcile the lives of fictional characters with the passage of nonfictional time, but they are problems that fans have nonetheless tried to resolve for as long as we've been reading and relating to new monthly comics.

I don't mean to suggest that I think the Linearverse is necessarily any worse than any other attempt at reconciling the impossible. From my restricted point of view as the chronicler of the adventures of multiversal time-traveler Booster Gold, I've always attempted to to harmonize the many incarnations of Booster Gold onto a single entity, albeit an occasionally fractured and splintered one. That's no so different from what happens in the Linearverse.

So, to finally get to the serious question I referenced in my post title, what I want to know is whether the adventure told in Generations Shattered and Generations Forged happened to a Booster Gold in a previously existing continuity or not? The rules as explained for the new Linearverse would seem to suggest it happened to all known Boosters while at the same time happening to none of them, or maybe only those that exist inside a Linearverse that reflects the sum of all other universes.

For reasons I can't quite express, I don't find any of these options entirely satisfying (thought that may not be surprising coming from someone who obsessively tracks super hero minutia for a hobby).

Perhaps there is no definitive answer to my question, at least not yet. As GameRadar reports,

"There are all sorts of stories and adventures worth exploring in the Linearverse," Jurgens concludes. "If readers like what they've seen, react well to the concept, and ask for more, it might just happen."

Like so much else, maybe the answer to my question will only become clearer with time.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: batman dan jurgens gamesradar.com generations linearverse michael doran multiverse omniverse superman

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

New Release: Generations Forged

Assuming you live in a place where your weekly comics shipments haven't been affected by blizzards or power outages or shipping delays, you'll find this at your Local Comic Shop today:

© DC Comics

Despite having a different title and being marked as issue number one, this is the second half of Generations: Shattered, released last month. You can find a preview online at comic-watch.com.

Also available today is Future State: Suicide Squad #2, which continues the adventures of Gold Beetle. Her connection to Booster is made clearer in this issue, with a brief cameo by none other than our beloved Chronal Crusader plus a significant role for Skeets in the era of DC One Million!

Buy both of them and make Skeets happy.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: comic-watch.com future state generations gold beetle new releases previews suicide squad

Friday, January 29, 2021

Lateral Men

It's been three weeks since Generations: Shattered was released, so you should have your copy by now, yes? Good. Because we're going to talk about it today. Specifically, we're going to talk about this panel:

© DC Comics
art by John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki, Hi-Fi

If you've been reading DC Comics for a long of time, you may recognize most of those people, but Booster boosters in particular should probably have a pretty good idea who the Linear Men are. This is an unusual line-up of that team. It's no coincidence that many of them directly pair up with a Multiversal heroic counterpart, a contrivance that is explained in the story as the nearly omnipotent Dominus bends reality to his will.

But even accepting that, one of those Linear Men stands out. Can you spot which one?

© DC Comics
Hint: It's this guy.

Whoever that guy is, I doubt anyone calls him "Rayak the Ravager."

Quick history lesson: The Linear Men concept was created in Adventures of Superman #476 (by Dan Jurgens) in 1991 with the introduction of The (singular) Linear Man.[1] That Linear Man died, sacrificing himself in the 30th-century to "correct" the history he'd unintentionally broken while trying to bring justice to Booster Gold. (You'll find more information on the interactions between the Linear Man and Booster Gold here.)


art by Dan Jurgens, Art Thiebert, Glenn Whitmore, Todd Klein

Shortly thereafter, in Superman #59 (by Dan Jurgens), we learn that the Linear Man was a rogue member of the mysterious Linear Men of Vanishing Point who are "dedicated to guarding the linear sanctity of the time stream." By the time of Superman #73 (by Dan Jurgens), it is well established that there are three remaining Linear Men: Matthew Ryder, Liri Lee, and Hunter.[2] (The impetuous Waverider is often an ally of the group but isn't really a member.[3])

In our group shot at the top of the post, both Liri Lee[4] and Matthew Ryder are clearly identified by name in our Generations: Shattered confrontation. Naturally, the third Linear Man should be Hunter, especially since he appears earlier in the issue beside both Liri and Ryder.

© DC Comics
art by Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, Hi-Fi

So why in the big team shot is Hunter misidentified as "Rayak the Ravager"?

If I had to take a guess, I'd say that whoever wrote the label was trying to recall the name "Ryak the Rogue" from memory. Ryak is the newest Linear Man — the first not created by Dan Jurgens. Ryak makes his first appearance in The All-New Atom #7 (by Gail Simone) in 2007, and he looks nothing like Hunter. For one thing, he's green.

© DC Comics
art by Mike Norton, Andy Owens, Alex Bleyaert, Pat Brosseau

As his moniker might suggest, Ryak was a solo actor in Atom, but he made a cameo appearance beside the other Linear Men on Vanishing Point in Dark Nights: Death Metal: Rise of the New God in 2020. Look closely at that panel, and alongside Ryak you'll spot Ryder, Liri, Rip Hunter, and Waverider, but Hunter is missing, replaced by none other than the original Linear Man himself![5]

© DC Comics
art by Jesus Merino, Vincente Cifuentes, Ulises Arreola

As you can see, keeping the Linear Men straight takes as much work as the convoluted continuity they are sworn to protect. The DC Multiverse is a big place. Every once in a while, we should probably expect the writers, artists, or editors to confused a name and a face.

On the other hand, the events of both Dark Knights: Death Metal and Generations: Shattered involve realities and timelines altered by gods themselves. In which case, if Dominus wants to call Hunter "Rayak," who are we, mere mortal readers of comic books, to correct him?


1 As for the original Linear Man's real identity: it is commonly assumed to be Travis O'Connell. That name comes from the "Linear Men" entry in the Who's Who in the DC Universe Update 1993 #2 (by Roger Stern) which identifies four Linear Men by name and states that "[Travis] O'Connell eventually sacrificed his own life in the late 30th Century." Unless there were multiple Linear Mans chasing Booster Gold in the 30th century, I think we've solved that mystery. (DK apparently agrees; they identify O'Connell by name in their entry for the Linear Man in their officially-licensed The DC Comics Encyclopedia.)

2 Hunter is, as you might have guessed, Rip Hunter. But he's not the one we know. According to the story "Falling in Line" in Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #1 (by Dan Jurgens), Hunter is the evolution of the young, mischievous Rip Hunter from an alternate history that appears to closely mirror the original Rip Hunter, Time Master, whose pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Earth-1 adventures were chronicled in a book of the same title.

3 Technically, Waverider, like Rip Hunter, is two Linear Men. See, Waverider and Matthew Ryder are the same person, separated into two timelines by the accidental death of his/their parents. In violation of the Linear Men's prime directive, Waverider himself changed the history that forced the divergence that allowed his alternate self to grow into his role as the Linear Men's Ryder. (For details, see Superman #61 by Dan Jurgens.) And while we're on the subject, I might as well mention that Matthew Ryder and Waverider first appeared in Armaggeddon 2001 #1 by Archie Goodwin... and Dan Jurgens.

4 Liri Lee is the only female member of the Linear Men. I probably don't need to tell you, but she was created by Dan Jurgens for Superman #59. She takes the name Linear Woman in Time Masters: Vanishing Point #6 (by... oh, you know). That may take place in a different reality or at a different point in Liri Lee's future chronology than the events of Generations: Shattered. The biggest problem with hanging out at Vanishing Point is that time and space don't have meaning anymore.

5 This isn't the first time O'Connell has been seen since his "death" in Adventures of Superman #478 (by Dan Jurgens), and there are many well-intentioned websites that appear to confuse O'Connell and Hunter, which is understandable. (Heck, I did it myself when I first listed my annotations for the issue, and I obviously know better.) Both O'Connell and Hunter share a 1990s affinity for shoulder pads, pointless belts, and cybernetic parts. And, of course, they are both Dan Jurgens creations. Rule of thumb: if he has black hair and a holster, it's O'Connell; white hair, Hunter.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: characters dan jurgens fernando passin gail simone generations hunter jesus merino john romita jr linear man linear men liri lee mike norman rayak the ravager rip hunter ryak the scout waverider


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