Yesterday, during my shift at Gatekeeper Hobbies, (Huntoon & Gage, Topeka!  Ask us about our Heavy Metal back issues!) I was overcome by a sudden sadness at the loss of Jay Garrick, elder statesman of the DC Universe.  During Wally West’s run as the Flash in the 1990’s, Jay was used as an avuncular presence, a superhero’s superhero, the guy who had it all together thanks to 50 years of thinking at super-speed.  After the Crisis on Infinite Earths removed Superman’s Golden Age origins, Jay replaced him as the first superhuman of the modern continuity, always ready with some folksy wisdom and a tip of his silvery hubcap hat.  Still, I am a fan of the New 52, and I actually believe that, overall, it was a move that will help to guarantee the longevity of the characters and DC Comics as a publisher.  Heck, I even like Nicola Scott’s redesign of the new Jay Garrick.  Still, I can’t help but remember the good times of the original Golden Age Flash.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) once nearly bought a WWI doughboy helmet in an antique store, but couldn’t figure out a way to complete the look without hurting a canary, asking:
Is it worth the loss/alteration/retconning of a favorite character if it seems to be for a greater good?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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4 Comments

  1. SmarkingOut Adam
    September 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm — Reply

    Forget the greater good. If I like a character I want them to stay around. If someone thinks they need to be retconned, maybe they aren’t creative enough to have a job that requires creativity.

  2. Michael
    September 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm — Reply

    For The Greater God (The Greater Good!), sure. And in the case of the NuDCU it’s not like they’re messing with the actual same characters, but new version of them from scratch. Well, the vast majority of them.

    But after what’s done for The Greater God (The Greater Good!) is done, then what? If it’s done and it’s great and I love it, then all is well. But if not, what then?

  3. DrNobody
    September 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm — Reply

    I love the new Earth-2, but feel there is still a place/need for the elder statesmen JSA… Apparently DIdio and crew feel that old heroes have no place in the new DCU, however… I don’t fully understand why there can’t be an Earth where they were the 1st Gen heroes and maybe that earth has no Superman… Possibly a place for the Infinity Inc with Jade, Obsidian, and various other characters maybe not currently in use on the main Earth…

  4. b003
    September 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm — Reply

    Good if not over used friggin DC crisis lack of continuity gobbledygook.

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