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Author Topic: Into the Bronze Age  (Read 5915 times)

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #330 on: July 18, 2017, 04:18:30 AM »
Howdy folks, I've got a spine-tingling horror-flavored tale for y'all tonight!  Here comes another edition of Into the Bronze Age!
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/into-the-bronze-age-april-1971-part-4/
God Bless
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Online daglob

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #331 on: July 18, 2017, 04:39:08 AM »
Darn. Now I have to do Super-Clark...

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #332 on: July 18, 2017, 01:39:50 PM »
Hahaha!  I don't know if you HAVE to... :lol:
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Offline Epimethee

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #333 on: July 22, 2017, 04:37:35 PM »
Quite interesting reads, Benton. The surprise Submariner review and the context of the last Aquaman story added a lot. And of course, Kirby's Miracleman debutů!
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Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #334 on: July 27, 2017, 06:02:26 PM »
Thanks Epi!  I'm very glad you enjoyed it.  Yeah, I enjoyed that first Mr. Miracle issue more than I expected on this reading.  It really was a lot of fun. :D
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Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #335 on: July 30, 2017, 04:15:27 AM »
Howdy folks, and welcome to more Bronze Age goodness!  We've got another issue of Kirby's Jimmy Olsen today, which is a highlight.  Check it out!:
bentongrey.wordpress.com/2017/07/29/into-the-bronze-age-april-1971-part-5/
God Bless
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Offline kkhohoho

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #336 on: August 04, 2017, 03:38:30 AM »
So I was thinking about just where to put this and figured, hey, if I'm going to to be talking an old Bronze Age comic from DC, I might as well post it in a thread about old Bronze Age comics from DC. So here we are.

Anyhoo, I've started reading the 70's Titans books again, mostly because I've really been getting into the 80's Titans and, subsequently, the Titans themselves. I read the first 30 issues or so from the 60's and early 70's, but it never really hooked me. The characters were never all that interesting, even for the time, and the book either never had a real direction or, when it did, either attempted to confound you with TOTALLY RADICAL hippie slang and fads, or tried to turn its' characters into powerless secret agents with even less life and personality than before. Needless to say, the 80's blew everything that came before in the book out of the water and even some of DC's other comics at the time, like Justice League. I will say after reading more of DC's Bronze Age output that they did start getting better as a whole long before the Crisis. I'd say about '77 with stuff like Englehart's Detective Comics run is their watershed year, and when they finally started getting on par with Marvel. But the 80's Titans was groundbreaking stuff regardless. In any case, it's gotten me hooked on the Titans, so now I want to read those 70's issues that I skipped to fill in the gap; get a sense of what happened in between and also get to know some of the Bronze Age Members better, because there were a good number of Titans that were only active members in that era.

Anyhoo, I'm starting with #32 and, while it's not bad, again, the 80's books make it look like a school play. I'm not even sure Wally has a real personality here, which is baffling because Mal Duncan of all people does. I'm actually starting to like the dude. He didn't have a real personality starting out either, but now he's become a nice, easygoing guy that can put 'er up if he needs to. Basically like he is in YJ, except here he's a major player and not just one of the MANY neglected members of The Team that the show didn't really focus on and didn't really need. It's worth reading these just to see some of these neglected Titans getting proper attention. But the real kicker is this little exchange:

MAL: Love your white soul, brother Titan!

WALLY: Love your black one Mal, and if I've got any soul, you've taught me how! Let's go!

Just try reading that out of context without getting any ideas. Come on. I dare you. Seriously though, did the writers even realize just what they were doing here? Maybe it's just how DC's characters tended to talk back then, I don't know, but anything coming close to that nowadays would be nothing short of a declaration. And this isn't the only time these two have an exchange like that either. It almost makes you wonder if the writer DID know what he was doing. (Almost. Almost.)

But yeah, other than that, it's not a bad issue, but I don't know if I'd call it great or anything. Marvel was still blasting DC out of the park, and it would still be a few years before they'd start playing catchup in earnest. But if you're a Titans fan, it's worth checking out these issues just for the Titans history alone.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 01:01:23 PM by kkhohoho »
The Golden Age; 'A different look at a different era.'

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1089779/chapters/2193203

Online daglob

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #337 on: August 04, 2017, 04:56:27 AM »
I always liked The Titans, even when they were teens. It's a series I read from the beginning (in Brave and Bold?), but by the '70s, they were running pretty sparse on ideas. It's funny that the '80s series took the characters an did so much with them.

If you think about it, they tried to de-power Wonder Woman, and at the time Benton is reviewing she was still "normal".

Offline kkhohoho

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #338 on: August 05, 2017, 04:36:29 AM »
So I was reading Teen Titans #35 and came across this:

DONNA: And we're not really Mr.Jupiter's children!

MR.JUPITER: In a way you are Donna...

Uuuuuuuuuhh...

(Again, it probably came across as a lot skeevier than intended, but still.)
The Golden Age; 'A different look at a different era.'

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1089779/chapters/2193203

Offline kkhohoho

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #339 on: August 05, 2017, 03:23:01 PM »
You know, at this point, I'm starting to think that the writers either must have known what they were doing or were just that oblivious because this can't be a coincidence. Let's take a lookie, shall we?

MR.JUPITER: I've got important work here, so Robin, you'll lead the team to Ranistan and find [Grady]!You must!

ROBIN: We will, if there's half a chance! I remember we first met that beautiful character...

You know, considering what Robin usually goes dressed in, maybe it isn't that far-fetched...
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 04:44:48 PM by kkhohoho »
The Golden Age; 'A different look at a different era.'

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1089779/chapters/2193203

Offline Spade

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #340 on: August 05, 2017, 04:33:10 PM »
Well,he did sleep in the same bed with Batman,so... :unsure:
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Offline kkhohoho

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #341 on: August 06, 2017, 11:17:36 PM »
And it just keeps coming. To be fair, the main story of TT #41 doesn't have anything really explicit in it or anything, but the backup story is a different kettle of fish. This might just be more due to the artist f'ing up than anything else, admittedly, but that doesn't stop a kid Lilith saves from making a porn face. I couldn't make that up if I tried. Maybe it's the dead soulless eyes or just the particular way in which the kid's roundish mouth is drawn, and the artist might not have even known what he was doing, but it's there nonetheless.
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Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #342 on: August 09, 2017, 04:06:37 PM »
Haha, interesting timing, Kk, as I just recently read #32 and posted my commentary on it:
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/into-the-bronze-age-april-1971-part-6/

Yeah, it's a weird issue, and it's a weird run in general.  The first portion of it is all Zany Haney, and is exactly what you'd expect from him, including the forced and utterly painful 60s slang.  Steve Skeates' tenure on the book has proven better, in general, but we're still dealing with a team and a concept that hasn't quite reached its potential.  It's not really fair to compare it to the NTT era book, as that is really a different animal.  Of course, that book is one of the all-time greats, but it also benefited from a unity of control and vision.  There's still some charm to these old Titans stories, but they are definitely still evolving.  I think if Skeates had the opportunity to stay on the book and really make it his own, we might have seen something special develop.  As it is, we just get more of Haney's poorly planned wackiness, entertaining, but not very substantive.

The 'soul' exchange is pretty goofy.  It made me laugh out loud as I read, but I didn't take it as anything romantic, even unintentionally so, but perhaps that's because I've been engrossed in 70s books over the last year and change.  The language struck me as dated, but understandable. 

Yeah, DG, I'm actually waiting for them to return WW to herself in 72/3 to start cataloging her books. 

God Bless
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Offline kkhohoho

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #343 on: August 12, 2017, 06:05:30 PM »
So I finally finished the original TT today, and while it wasn't horrible, it wasn't exactly what you'd call a classic. While it did have its' moments and could be fun, more often than not, it was just kind of bland more than anything else, and when it wasn't bland, it was 60's hippe-slang and outfaded fads. It was alright for DC at the time, but that's not really saying much, because outside of fringe books like Doom Patrol or the Legion, DC didn't really stack up to Marvel until the late 70's or so. Speaking of which, I will say that that the late 70's Titans was a big step up from what came before and if it had been published a few years earlier could even have matched up against Marvel. Except this was 1976-1978, which meant Claremont's X-Men run had started just a year or so prior and singlehandedly raised the gold standard practically overnight, so compared to that and some other books Marvel was doing, it was still a bit lacking.

But I think the most darning thing was, especially with what was to come later, that the Titans never really had much of its' own mythos. When it came to having a rogues gallery, common plot elements and trappings, etc., I'm not sure I can really mention a single thing that stood out. X-Men was the same way before Claremont came along outside of Magneto and the Brotherhood, except again, Claremont was on the scene by the time the original book came to an end. Teen Titans needed a serious kick in the pants, and just a couple years later, it got just that. This was a book that could go toe to toe with anything on the stand and was even better than some of them, fleshing out the cast more than the old books ever did while also giving the Titans their own recognizable elements and mythos; their own distinct part of the 'verse as it were. That's what X-Men did, and that's how the X-Men got to be where they are now, and it was the same with the Titans.

That said, as a fan of the 80's Titans, it was still worth reading the old stuff. It never comes anywhere close to the 80's stuff, but it's still interesting to see how it used to be and to get to know all of those earlier members that the 80's book doesn't focus on that much. Even if we never even really got to know some of them that well regardless. (Aqualad and Bumblebee, I'm looking at you.) But in terms of being a good worthwhile book that can stand on its' own? Not so much.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 07:46:00 PM by kkhohoho »
The Golden Age; 'A different look at a different era.'

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1089779/chapters/2193203

Offline Spade

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #344 on: August 12, 2017, 06:43:49 PM »
At this time Marvel had something DC didnt;Steve Gerber.A man well ahead of his time.And a great lineup of horror books.Tomb of Dracula,Werewolf by Night,Ghost Rider(that will become more conventional pretty fast)...
Thou,my knowlege of 70's DC isnt all that great tbh.Some Batman,Some Swamp Thing,parts of House of Mystery,GL/Green Arrow and thats about it.
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Offline kkhohoho

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #345 on: August 12, 2017, 07:50:36 PM »
At this time Marvel had something DC didnt;Steve Gerber.A man well ahead of his time.And a great lineup of horror books.Tomb of Dracula,Werewolf by Night,Ghost Rider(that will become more conventional pretty fast)...
Thou,my knowlege of 70's DC isnt all that great tbh.Some Batman,Some Swamp Thing,parts of House of Mystery,GL/Green Arrow and thats about it.

Completely forgot about Steve Gerber. Yeah, his stuff was incredible, but at the same time, so was DC's Doom Patrol and Legion back in the 60's. As great as his stuff was, it didn't necessarily represent Marvel as a whole, same as Doom Patrol and Legion didn't represent most of DC, whereas Claremont's X-Men and DC's NTT had a much more noticeable impact.
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Offline Spade

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #346 on: August 13, 2017, 05:18:33 AM »
Taken as a whole,Marvel was weirder then DC in those days.Im just now reading a comic where SHIELD takes on Godzilla with a giant rubik cube launcher.No,seriously. :)
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Offline kkhohoho

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #347 on: August 13, 2017, 02:17:26 PM »
Taken as a whole,Marvel was weirder then DC in those days.Im just now reading a comic where SHIELD takes on Godzilla with a giant rubik cube launcher.No,seriously. :)

Doesn't mean it still wasn't better though. And I think what you just described is as good an example as any. ;)
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Offline Spade

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #348 on: August 13, 2017, 04:02:08 PM »
I didn't say that was a bad thing.It was a good kind of weirdness.
Seems like it hard to strike a balance these days.Most stories either take themselves too seriously,or just try to be weird for the sake of weird.But that's a another topic.
''Even our origin stories have gone sour.''
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Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #349 on: August 15, 2017, 02:40:33 PM »
Hah!  Well gents, I think Kk is more or less right.  The second volume of Teen Titans is a pretty mixed bag, very uneven and without any clear direction.  In other words, it's a book largely written by Zaney Bob Haney.  As creative as that guy was, he wasn't much for interconnecting plots, continuing development, or planning ahead.  He's actually a significant part of the reason that Aquaman has such a weak rogue's gallery, since he rarely ever brought an enemy back when he was writing the book in the Silver Age.

Yeah, Marvel was publishing better books, on the whole.  I think that's probably safe to say, but DC had some standout titles and innovation was happening on both sides of that fence.  I've been reading through some Marvel books from the 70s that I hadn't read before, and I've been really impressed by the social relevance in Captain America.  It can be plenty clumsy, but it still tends to be more subtle and more effective than O'Neil's Green Lantern/Green Arrow.  It helps that the book has a black protagonist, giving a very different point of view on issues of race and the like. 

That being said, arguing that the increase in quality in the DC books is somehow undercut by Claremont's X-Men run is rather unfair.  You're comparing the DC books to one of the greatest comic runs of all time.  Most comics, from any company or any period, can't stand up to that comparison.  :)  Your point about the impact the book had is a good one, though.  There's little doubt that Claremont's run was influential in multiple ways.

Well, I'm curious to see what is coming for the TT book in the rest of the Bronze Age.  I'm fairly certain I'm just starting to get into the good stuff here.
God Bless
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Offline kkhohoho

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #350 on: August 15, 2017, 05:30:56 PM »
That being said, arguing that the increase in quality in the DC books is somehow undercut by Claremont's X-Men run is rather unfair.  You're comparing the DC books to one of the greatest comic runs of all time.  Most comics, from any company or any period, can't stand up to that comparison.  :)

Yeah, you're probably right. Even taking Claremont out of the equation though, while the late 70's Titans was okay, it still had problems, ones which were there from the beginning. While characters like Speedy, Mal, and the Joker's Daughter (now that's an out there character concept if I've ever heard of one...) were reasonably fleshed out for most books of the time, others like Dick, Donna, and Wally weren't really given the time of day. You could argue that it's because it they were still showing up in their mentors's books, (though I'm not even sure if Donna really was,) but seeing what the 80's Titans did with the three of them, that's really no excuse. Bumblee doesn't really get much development either, but Aqualad's the real offender. From start to finish, the poor lad (see what I did there? ;)) barely had as much of an inkling of real personality outside of horridly done catchphrases and being a bit ticked off or a bit chipper depending on whether or not it was Tuesday. Same with Aquaman over in JL IMO. So while it was definitively a step up, it was still beaten out by other books on the stand, including some from its' own company. Englehart's Detective Comics run was out by the time the TT finished up and it basically provided a model that scores of Batman writers for years to come would follow, nevermind providing the foundations for Batman TAS. You also had other knockouts like the Warlord and the Legion, which just got its' mojo back after suffering for a while after Shooter left at the end of the 60's, and others I'm sure. The late 70's was when DC finally got its' game on, but even though it was better than ever, Titans just couldn't quite hack it until Wolfman and Perez came into the picture. Sad but true.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2017, 07:05:55 PM by kkhohoho »
The Golden Age; 'A different look at a different era.'

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1089779/chapters/2193203

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #351 on: August 15, 2017, 06:47:36 PM »
I haven't read those issues, but I imagine you're probably right, Kk.  I get the impression that the Titans was always a second class book for DC. 

As for poor Aqualad, I think he suffered from the same thing as the rest of the Sea King's supporting cast.  His mentor's book was cancelled just at the point where major characterization work was getting under way, and he missed out on most of a decade of defining stories.  It's a crying shame.
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Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Into the Bronze Age
« Reply #352 on: August 21, 2017, 07:15:50 PM »
Howdy folks!  I've got another edition ready.  Check it out here:
https://bentongrey.wordpress.com/2017/08/21/into-the-bronze-age-may-1971-part-1/
God Bless
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