Comicbooks: Modern Mythology?

Not All

Three-headed Buddha statue. I
Photo by Varun Tandon on Unsplash

The latest version of Opera doesn’t keep any cookies, including passwords. Getting back here took much time. Now I’m very late!

Opera’s loss…

Some are amateur in both art and writing, but the others can fit the idea.

The Legion of Superheroes 

I’ve been a fan of this for more than three decades, but it’s been around since 1958. They were created by  SF legend Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino. Over the years, many others have both written and drawn them.

Readers know ultimately Computo is an evil being, kills one of Triplicate Girl. Mordru is an ancient sorcerer with a fear of being underground… for stories set in the far future they have quite a past!

Some could argue these stories are known only to their readers… but outside Norse myth fans and readers of the Thor comicook is Ragnarok common? How about the Fenris wolf? Ygradsil, the World Tree?

Different song, same dance.

Superman

Some say there are many Jesus metaphors in Superman. I find that funny. Like me, the creators of the character, Jerry Siegal and fellow Canadian Joe Shuster, are also Jewish. So’s Jesus… but this isn’t meant to be a theological debate.

More people know Superman than the Legion. Ask many strangers and they’ll know Superman, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, and Kryptonite. A big chunk of them will know Jimmy Olsen and Perry White. The Daily Planet is a modern–day Mount Olympus.

As I said, he has Jesus metaphors thanks to his death and resurrection to life. He’s also the first superhero, the inspiration for all to come.

Superman has become part of our zeitgeist the way Zeus was to Ancient Greece. The exact stories aren’t important, but we remember the characters.

Retcons

“Retroactive Continuity” is when due to an event everything you knew about a character is suddenly changed to reflect a new interpretation. The killer of The Bat-Man’s parents changed often like this, and whether they’re caught. Superman’s power level was sometimes lowered, or some abilities removed, some events (like the deaths of Ma and Pa Kent) get changed too.

Mythology is like that. I’m not an expert, but I took some Mythology classes at University. This was over 30 years ago. Correct me if needed :

In the Greek Pantheon, many of the goddesses now called Zeus’ daughters were his wives first. They were the goddess of a region until Greece conquered them. To smooth over the takeovers, Zeus became their spouse.

Over time, the mythology got rewritten and changed.

Many years from now, some comicbooks may be unearthed and thought of as our modern mythology.

Writing For Comicbooks

A bookcase of comicbooks.
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I’ve been a full-time comicbook reader since I was 13. I read my first book when I was 7 when a dog-eared copy of an issue of The Brave And The Bold came into my possession.

I’ve had many RPG publications of the superhero variety. I founded an APA about comicbooks in 1990 and a zine about them in 2007. In 2009 it won an award here in Canada. In part, a series I read in the 1990s is an influence on my novel.

With all these influences and past ones and my writing skills, you’d think I’d be a lock to write comicbooks.

You’d be wrong

I was successful with one short script, but every other I’ve tried failed.

(Many writers would only hype themselves as successful. Not me. I admit –and own — my gaffes.)

1999

This was the year of my sole success in writing the script for a short story in a comicbook.

It was for an erotica anthology a friend asked me to contribute to.

That’s not a genre I’m comfortable writing. In fact, I’ve never been able to again.

I soldiered through, putting the smallest of adult scenes, and for the lack of a less bizarre term, I wrote a literate erotica tale.

My friend liked it. His editor… not so much. The important thing, but paid.

Steampunk Revolutions

Steampunk Revolutions

In 2014 I tried again. I knew very little about the steampunk genre, but I thought I had a good story idea.

I never finished it. Still haven’t. I’ve broken one of Heinlein’s Laws (finish what you start).

The Future?

Maybe I’ll do better in the superhero genre since I read that a lot. I won’t try it yet, however. I have my novel and other projects to finish first.

Long Live the Legion!

This is not like my typical posts on this blog, but I wished to share my views anyway.

DC Comics have announced they will soon be cancelling the series due to poor sales. Paul Levitz – a writing legend on the series, and Keith Giffen – art legend on same – couldn’t save the title. Instead they killed many of the cast, and now the plug is being pulled.

5.22.10PaulLevitzByLuigiNovi4

5.22.10PaulLevitzByLuigiNovi4 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been a fan of the LSH for most of 33 years.

Julius Schwartz (the SF literary agent who carved himself another legendary career as a comicbook editor) helped to  pioneer this property, with Hugo-winning author Otto Binder, then joined by his brother Edgar as E and O (“Eando”) for awhile.

English: at in 2002. Français : au , en 2002.

English: at in 2002. Français : au , en 2002. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cracks began to show every time that the company rewrote the series in an attempt to remove Superman from the series. He was finally returned, but after 4 of these “retcon”s (retroactive continuity; essentially re-writing what we already know) the damage may have irrevocably been done – and having mediocre new stories didn’t help either.

The Legion hopefully will return someday. Meanwhile, the excellent past stories are collected in history volumes to read.