Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DCU: 1978 Revamp--an Introduction

DC '78

My first project for "Mash-terpiece Theatre' is a fantasy reimagining
of the entire DCU circa 1978. Consider it a retcon, a rebirth, a merging
of the past 75 years of history into a more manageable 40-year history.

The long-version of the name is "The DC Universe Retcon/Flashback
of 1978," or..."DC '78" for short!

How is this a mash-up?

Characters are paired in new and different ways, and all of the various
acquired properties of DC (Quality, Fawcett, Charlton) are being fully
melded for the first time (especially in a historical context.)

Also, characters from different time periods (everything post-1978)
are being merged with that time period, making for some interesting
mixes. A compressed timeline, if you will.
Although, I have to say that not much past 1987 made it in as
I haven't been very impressed. And thus, the desire to do this project.
The ultimate fan-fic shorthand.

Old and familiar names are reapplied to new teams and fresh concepts.
New line-ups, new names, new characters, new connections, and a
comprehensive crossing-over of all the multiple earths and all the many
retconned histories....with only my faves remaining.
For the most part!

Why 1978?

The year of 1978 was an exciting time for comics fans as DC Comics
had an expansive line and was growing exponentially. Fun new characters
and concepts, new art styles, a good bit more interaction and use of
history, the beginning of legacy characters, and the height of nostalgic
fan writers' arriving. So, before the axe fell!

The Seventies had brought about a new face in comics, with copious
amounts of strange and alluring real-world interests.

This was the era prior to multitudinous rapes and gratuitous murders,
not to mention graphic depictions of violence (even in mainstream,
unlabeled books.) Don't let the simpler times fool you, however.

There were story and character developments that occurred which
probably outraged the fans of that day's prior continuity in the
same way that me and mine were upset by much of the 1980s' and
1990s' developments.

There was the League's betrayal by Snapper Carr, the introduction of
a replacement Doom Patrol, Wonder Woman and Jean Loring
losing their minds, and of course the murders of Mr. Terrific, Iris Allen,
and several others. Speedy was a junkie, for crying out loud.

Changes, major ones even, but in my opinion,
 done better ...and for story content, not merely shock value.
It seemed more like family, not business.

Why 'eliminate' the last 35 years?

There hasn't been much to interest me (on whole) from those years,
and especially the nauseating, endless revamps and rewrites that
have existed since the Crisis have bothered me greatly.

 I especially hated the dark and dire
turn of extremist behavior and death that overtook the industry for
over a decade, still permeating to this day.

1978 was a good focal point for one of the last times comics were
truly fun, magical, simple, and accessible. I wanted to recapture that,
if only for a moment.

(And, from a logical point of view, Ted Knight having a 20-year-old son
in the 1970s makes a good deal more sense than having one in the year
2000! A forty year history of stories ('38 to '78) is a monumental play-
ground, and quite ample for doing a truncated version of DC (et al) and
their massive collection of characters!)

(There's another good reason for a lightening of the load!
The less-populated universe was a less-complicated universe.
You didn't need a manual to comprehend every character,
despite what Marv Wolfman and company thought!)

No character will appear in more than one entry, so some
of your faves will be missing from the spot you may expect
them to be in order to pull duty elsewhere.

Is it too many characters in one place at one time?'s comics. We make it work!

DC '78 begins here! DC '78 # 1: Legion of Doom


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