Friday, September 22, 2006

The Replacements

I'll come right out and say it, even though most DC fans prefer to ignore it as the elephant in our living room:

Replacements do not work.

When writers/editors get lazy or desperate, they resort to scrapping the person who's currently "Heroman" and creating a new character to become Heroman.

And it never works. Not really.

They tried to replace Wonder Woman with Artemis. They tried to replace Batman with Azrael. They tried to replace Superman with Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian.

Fans were not happy. The original were back within a year or so. "Oh, that's not fair," you object. "DC never really intended to replace those heroes." As you say, then. But does that counter my point or help make it?

They tried to replace Flash and Green Lantern. The real ones, I mean: Jay Garrick and Alan Scott.

Those replacements were so-called successes, but in the longer run they are merely examples of the original concept becoming fractured. We keep burning through our Flashes and Green Lanterns now grow like mushrooms. Oh, and who's still around, smiling, and more popular than their successors? Jay Garrick and Alan Scott, the real Flash and Green Lantern.

Maybe that's not fair to Hal Jordan. Perhaps (unlike the Silver Age Flash) he's sufficiently different from his Golden Age namesake to be considered the original "space policeman with power ring weapon". But then that brings us to his replacements. When some editor finally said, "Yeesh, better send Hal to the Head Trauma Center for a couple decades!", they tried to replace him with likeable John Stewart, unlikeable Guy Gardner, and pretty but pitiable Kyle Rayner. Oh, and an anthromophic comic relief dog. Then the Head Trauma Center withdrew Hal's meds, so he went crazy, became evil, died, came back as a replacement for a different hero. Who's starring in the Green Lantern series now....?

His hard-travelling companion, Green Arrow, they blew up and tried to replace with a convenient illegitimate son who apparently grew up at the same Camp for Accelerated Childhood & Adolescence that the babies on soap operas get sent to. Even though GA-II was 90 times more likeable and interesting than his dad (but then again, so is Marsha Mallow), GA-II is gone, mostly unnoticed and his jackass father is back from the dead and mayor of his city.

Hawkman, anyone? Fortunately, Carter Hall is back and busy posing for his new Heroclix figure.

The only possible exception to this rule is the current Atom; maybe that's possible because the Golden and Silver Age versions never worked that well to start with?

I think it's just because he's so cute, actually.

I mean, who are they going to try foolishly replace next...

Aquaman?

Nah; not even DC's that crazy!

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Comments:
I totally disagree. >.>v

For one thing, having a crapload of Flashes and Green Lanterns is part of what makes those heroes special. For another, I always did like Wally better than Barry.

Legacies are fun and awesome.
 
This isn't only a DC trend, friend Scipio. Marvel's tried a replacement Iron Man a number of times, on the theory that Iron Man is the suit and nothing more. Nothing could be further from the truth. The one true Iron Man is Tony Stark, the mind that created the suit.
 
I think they work sometimes and not others, but I agree that more often than not, they don't work. But both Barry and Wally were solid replacements.

I like the new Atom series, but you're putting a lot of faith in a guy who hasn't appeared in even 100 pages of story yet. Or maybe that's just indicative of Atom's traditional plan of attack: Jumping the gun.
 
Sorry, but Jay and Allan have never been more popular than their successors

I mean, besides JSA, what do they have?

Allan has Checkmate, but let's not kid ourselves, good as it may be, the book won't last more than the current Flash no mattter how crappy the current Flash is (what I like to call the Nightwing\Solo effect)

As for the matter of replacements, as said in Seven Hells, Tim Drake has completely replaced Dick who is now the "elephant in the room" in the bat-titles
 
"having a crapload of Flashes and Green Lanterns is part of what makes those heroes special."

Is that intentionally ironic or merely accidently so?
 
Unfortunately, most of the new DC & Marvel characters created since the '80s have crashed and burned, too. Quality has not played a part in relative successes or failures. I believe the difficulty to sell new characters and the tendency for replacements to lose favor (or never gain favor in the first place) are part of the same trend. (Nobody new, thanks, our universe is full)
 
I'll leave my usual line of comments out...

I'll simply say, at least they replaced them with other people rather than Marvels idea of replacement...CLONES!!!
 
This is a major gripe of mine. These characters aren't kept the same because of the fans. With good writing the fans will (and have) accepted new characters. It's the freakin suits that stagnate comics, they think it's easier to whore out an old character than a new. The comics fans I know would welcome some new blood. IF the stories are good.
 
I wouldn't call John or Guy Hal's replacements actually. They were designed primarily to co-exist with Hal, and really even in those few times that Hal did stop being the Lantern and those two took over, Hal was still the star of the book.

Kyle's the only one I'd consider a true replacement rather than a support character. And he is still roaming around in Ion, at least.

I do think, as ironic as it sounds, the multitude of Lanterns is what makes the concept unique. It's really the only heroic franchise I can think of that really is more of an occupation than a sole entity. There's room for all five Earth-Lanterns and more besides, because of the individuality of the characters and customizing of the powers. It's a very open concept that's currently allowing for three very different but appealing books. :-)

Now the Flashes I'll agree with you on. :-)
 
Marvel's done it too: Spiderman was replaced by Ben Reilly, Ghost Rider was replaced by someone not nearly as cool as Johnny Blaze, Captain America by USAgent, Iron Man by Jim Rhodes, Professor X by Changeling (Morph), Thor by Thunderstrike and Beta Ray Bill, Xorn by Xorn, Jessica Drew by Arachne, Daredevil by Iron Fist (ok, im joking now)...and what happens to those replacement versions...they disapear or die or come nowhere near as popular as the original. In almost all these cases, the original has returned and is there currently.

DC's done it even more because theyre trying to create a hero in that name for each generation: How many times did they try to make a Supergirl for the 90s crowd? We went through The Matrix Supergirl, Linda Danvers, The original Earth-2 one, Cir-el, etc, until we finally settle on the current Supergirl. Hawkman--wow, do we even count Zuriel and Golden Eagle? The Spector --cmon, Dr Fate, all of the legacies in the JSA...its not gonna stop either.
 
Rhodey kicked butt as Iron Man so I think that worked. And Spider-Man had clones take over for a while and...uh...nevermind.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
I remember someone saying that in the 90's the GL and Flash franchises had flipped, with Kyle being the lone Green Lantern and Wally being one of many speedsters in the DCU at the time: Bart, Max, Johnny, Jesse, XS and Jay himself. It looks like Infinite Crisis was the last step to reverse that trend. I only wish we were left with a version of Bart that I actually enjoyed reading about.
 
This is one of the things about the DC Universe that bugs me the most. I think having multiple iterations of every character running around at once has really diluted the appeal of a lot of DC's heroes.

I'm willing to concede the Green Lanterns (I may be the only person on the planet who thought the Hal to Kyle switch worked out pretty well and should have stuck) and the Flashes, but there's absolutely no reason for a Green Arrow family, a Wonder Woman family, a Superman family, and about half the Batman family.

And when you start giving D-list characters like Blue Devil a line of succession, then you've got a real problem.
 
Hmm. But isn't this part of a now traditional storyline where a usurper comes in to take over the role to demonstrate exactly why Hero X is the one true Hero X? Admittedly, it's a pretty hackneyed and lazy way to demonstrate that, but sometimes kind of fun too. I think it's fun precisely because you're right, it absolutely doesn't work. And somewhere, deep in our fanboy hearts, we know it. It's not supposed to work. It's totally schadenfruede.

I only think it makes for bad stories when the creators don't go in with the intention of eventually going back to the default model. Hawkman was the best example of this: each new writer or editor thought that his version was the one that was going to stick. It got pathetic.

Embarrassing admission: I liked Diana's bondage costume when Artemis took over. The horror!
 
Actually I would have accepted Green Arrow's demise if they'd let Roy Harper take over instead of the convenient never-before-mentioned illegitimate son.
 
Well, yeah, Ariel...
but you made it look GOOD!
 
Hey, quit picking on Blue Devil! One of the nice things about the original series was the deep (and, even in the early 80's, already anachronistic) supporting cast. Kid Devil was already a established supporting character, so his assuming the role of would-be sidekick was very nicely handled (and Danny's attempts to dissuade him worked well with his overall lack of interest in heroing). I am eagerly awaiting the reappearance of the entire Devil supporting cast in Shadowpact.

But that's not really the point here. The point is that the 60's reinvention was of characters who had not been published in 10-20 years, which pretty much eliminated all the initial fan alienation that would have been felt (which is why Hal, Barry, and Ray seem a little more solid than, say, Jaime)

I certainly understand the corporate thinking behind a complete revamp. It's the same sort of thinking that leads to Ultimates and All-Star (ditch the confusing backstory, but keep the general concept) but without the need to relaunch more than one title. And a lot of that does have to do with the dismal track record the big companies have had introducing new characters. It's a lot safer to bring in a replacement for a while, then return the original (giving you a spare character who has hopefully built up a following during his replacement run) and hope the fans forgive you.

I think it's certainly worked with Kyle. Green Lantern is pretty much back to how it should be, and Kyle gets his own title that people wouldn't be buying were it not for his stint as GL.

So, yes, I don't think replacements tend to work (particularly if the gap between disappearance of original and appearance of replacement is small enough that the same readers are reading both). However, I think the temporary replacement does seem to be a more succesful launching pad than the cold launch.

And finally, anyone who thinks Beta Ray Bill was not a vast improvement over Don Blake is nuts.
 
I think if the companies kept characters in at most two titles and used some talent on creating/establishing new characters it would approach win/win. I don't have numbers so I'm not certain, but what I glean from the boards is few people buy every title that the x-men (as an example) appear in, most buy either Astonishing or New. I used to love the x-men now I hardly bother. I spend more time trying to find something good than sticking with a series that's mailing it in.
 
They introduced Connor before they killed off Ollie. They ran around, much like now, calling each other Green Arrow, confusing friends and foes alike, until Ollie blew up.
I would say 87.76% of the legacy characters from that last issue of Teen Titans are not only unnecessary but nonsensical. Was the Atom so popular he needed a teen version? Power Boy is just for comedic value and just thinking of the time put into designing and naming those characters is hilarious.
As for replacements, Jay Garrick is not as popular as Barry or Wally was and seems to have survived based on how low an impact his death would have had. Maybe now he's worthy of killing off, but he has Geoff Johns to thank for his new status.
Alan Scott was reinvented a few times when most Golden Age characters were left in the bin. Having wrote that, I have no idea why I pointed out.
So far Firestorm's replacement is working out, but that may be more of an idictment of Ronnie (he was uninteresting).
Starman Jack Knight was more popular than any Starman including the weird replacements combined.
 
Thanks Scip, but oh lord, the chafing, the chafing!

I required so much...balm...to ease the pain.
 
"The point is that the 60's reinvention was of characters who had not been published in 10-20 years, which pretty much eliminated all the initial fan alienation that would have been felt (which is why Hal, Barry, and Ray seem a little more solid than, say, Jaime)"

Very good point.
 
The one I miss is Blue Beetle. Ted Kord was becoming a very likable (at least to me) character. Then they knock him off....Sheesh -and a kid replacement? Fuhgedaboutit!
 
Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian

If Superman is Nero, who's Caligula?

I agree that the replacements have gotten completely out of hand. The problem is that DC has started to see itself self-consciously as "the company that does legacy heroes," without realizing that most of its legacy-hero decisions have been pretty stupid (replacing Wally West with a force-grown Impulse? hell, did we gain all that much by replacing Barry Allen with Wally West, for that matter, except for way-too-many "return of Barry Allen" stories?).

By now DC's penchant for replacing current heroes with stock replacement characters has become an obsessive mania, consuming even harmless second- and third-tier quirk characters who were distinct enough on their own not to need to leave a "legacy." Did we really need a third Blue Beetle, or a second Booster Gold, or another Aquaman? Did the old Aquaman have to get old and grow a crazy squidface to confirm that he's no longer Aquaman? The rumor now is that Renee Montoya's going to replace the Question. In the name of god, why? What next: Mr. A, The Next Generation?

I'm enjoying the new Atom right now, too, but mostly because Simone's writing is pretty wildly enjoyable. I have little to no confidence in DC to make these other ones work.
 
"They tried to replace Wonder Woman with Artemis. They tried to replace Batman with Azrael. They tried to replace Superman with Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian."

I doubt any of those were ever intended to be permanent. Just a general shakeup/marketing ploy.

Old superheroes never die, as long as there are old superhero fans.
 
With Peter Parker acting the "Iron Man" as Tony Stark's bodyguard and the Other around to take over as Spider-Man (if only it were the Wierd instead), I think Marvel is poised for a new round of the Replacements as we get to the "plot-twist" portion of Civil War. As you point out, the inevitability of that particular twist (a year later the original is back yet every year they've got to try the stunt anyway) is pretty exhausting.
 
The problem with that reasoning is you are assuming a character can only have worth if the replacement is permanent. That is kind of a uniquely comic book fanboy mindset - that everything is forever.

Just as an example, I'd argue Kyle did his job - he kept the Green Lantern concept alive and kicking while giving other pieces of the mythos a much needed rest. 15 years later, we get to dust off Hal & the GL Corps and they are both doing much, much better commerically than at anytime since probably the mid 1960s.

Part of the reason I like DC is that is has a dual overlay on its characters - most of them are strongly linked both to a team AND to a family of characters.

Arthur just wasn't delivering the goods when it comes to his series. People weren't buying. So we have a new Aquaman and maybe he will last 1 year or 4 years or 8 years, but, if during that time, he can shake some of the cobwebs off that tired corner of the DCU and give Aquaman a chance to rest (and a chance for absence to create fondness) then replacing the character was a better decision than just stumbling foward month after month with a book that wasn't working.

It isn't necessary to mate with a character for life for that character to have value.
 
Jay and Allan have never been more popular than their successors.

Never?

In the fabulous forties, Jay appeared in every issue of "Flash Comics" (an anthology title, despite its name), "All-Flash" (Which was Jay's from cover to cover, originally quarterly but soon promoted), and "Comics Cavalcade" (which he shared with Alan Scott).

Let me say this again. Jay was a cover-featured character in three ongoing titles (just like Superman and Batman), plus appearing regularly in a fourth, "All Star".

Refresh my memory: When did Barry do that? Barry, whom Jay was never more popular than?

Barry couldn't even hold onto the one title, what with secondary features falling into his back pages alla time (Kid Flash, the Elongated Man, Green Lantern, Dr Fate, Firestorm...)

Heck, even Vigilante and Tomahawk managed to appear in two titles each simultaneously. Poor Barry.

"Never" is a long time, grasshopper.
 
Oh, and Alan Scott had "All American", "Green Lantern" and "Comics Cavalcade", plus "All Star". And Diana Prince had "Sensation" and "Wonder Woman" plus "Comics Cavalcade". (Given her limited involvement in the Justice Society, "All Star" hardly counts for her.)
 
Interesting thing to note: most of the heroes you mention are all fairly well known outside of comics fandom, so perhaps that's what's stopping their replacements from working. I mean, there have been replacements for many heroes in DC history (Kate Spencer, aka Manhunter Number...what, 5? Three Blue Beetles, Starmen out the wazoo and I suppose Stargirl too, since she has the cosmic rod - that is the cosmic rod, right - five Vigilantes; although I'll concede that the other four failed because they weren't singing cowboys, no fewer than three Shining Knights, two Robins, the new Wonder Girl - which means that Donna Troy has a replacement if you stop to think about it, three Firebrands, a replacement for both Atoms (Damage or maybe Atom-Smasher for the Golden Age Atom, the new guy whose name I can't recall for the Silver Age version), the new Firestorm, Cassandra Cain and Partridge In A Pear Tree, DC's replacement for the Bug-Eyed Bandit set to debut in 52 #38 when he kills the illegitimate son of Detective Chimp, Gumshoe Gorilla, who was born from his secret, heretofore unknown affair with a runaway from Gorilla City).

What I'm trying to say, in my own heavy-handed, roundabout way, is that maybe replacements aren't meant to work for the top tier characters except for that one time with the Flash - and yes that worked, without it, would we have Chunk? - but perhaps it's okay for the lesser-knowns because it gives them a chance to reach a status they couldn't have achieved previously.

Of course, I'm aware that this opens the argument to factoring in the resentment of fans against writers for killing off a character simply because they couldn't find a way to make them work in with everyone else, so I could very well have put my head up my ass without knowing it.

Word Verification: Mlaml, the Space Llama, Hal Jordan's replacement for Itty.

Other Word Verification since I'm a slow typer: Lxzqhe, the sound of Mlaml getting hit in the head to save Hal from the pain of yet another concussion.
 
What's with the "family" hatred?

It gives an established hero a more rooted presence and a sense of importance that wouldn't have otherwise
And in the case of C-listers it even gives them a supporting cast that makes them less superfluous

Plus it made me interested in Firestrom for once


@Daniel, you're talking as if Hal or Barry even existed in the forties
for the purpose of discussion, two versions of a character can only compete with each other once both have been created
 
You seriously count G'Nort as a Hal replacement?

Scipio, have you been hit with the yellow ceiling tile?
 
Professor X by Changeling (Morph)

You can't really count that as a "replacement". That was Marvel back-pedaling on their decision to kill off Professor X; just about the second biggest cop-out in comics history.
 
Does your theory mean that they'll be bringing back Ted Kord? Woohoo!But hey, lay off the Green Lanterns! We neeeeed Green Lanterns! Lots and lots of well-muscled firmly buttocked Green Lanterns. But yeah, the new Atom does nothing for me.
 
I think replacements of lower-tier characters can work... but replacements of the Supermans and Batmans and Spider-Mans of the world never will. Which is the only argument you need against the notion that real time and aging should be enforced in comic-book continuity.
 
Sorry Sally, Ted Kord is Blue Beetle number II :)
 
"Those replacements were so-called successes, but in the longer run they are merely examples of the original concept becoming fractured. We keep burning through our Flashes and Green Lanterns now grow like mushrooms. Oh, and who's still around, smiling, and more popular than their successors? Jay Garrick and Alan Scott, the real Flash and Green Lantern."

More popular than their successors (or at least, Barry and Hal)? I don't know about that. Sure, comic readers may have at least some fondness for the two and may prefer them over Barry and Hal, I doubt Jay and Alan are the people the general public thinks of when you mention Flash and Green Lantern, respectively. As for comic fans, we've seen fans go as far as to start groups like H.E.A.T. to clamor for Hal Jordan's return, but I don't think there've been nearly as many fans clamoring that Alan Scott should be the "one, true Green Lantern."

"The point is that the 60's reinvention was of characters who had not been published in 10-20 years, which pretty much eliminated all the initial fan alienation that would have been felt (which is why Hal, Barry, and Ray seem a little more solid than, say, Jaime)"


Took the words right out of my mouth. ;)

"This is a major gripe of mine. These characters aren't kept the same because of the fans. With good writing the fans will (and have) accepted new characters. It's the freakin suits that stagnate comics, they think it's easier to whore out an old character than a new. The comics fans I know would welcome some new blood. IF the stories are good."

I doubt that most other fans will feel the same way. Comic book fans in general, especially in this day and age, are very adverse to changes made to characters... especially if those characters are replaced. I don't think good writing is going to really make a difference to many of them; in fact, chances are that they'll be so upset that the character's been replaced, they're going to think the writing's bad no matter what.
 
Comic book fans in general, especially in this day and age, are very adverse to changes made to characters... especially if those characters are replaced. I don't think good writing is going to really make a difference to many of them; in fact, chances are that they'll be so upset that the character's been replaced, they're going to think the writing's bad no matter what.

I think this is why so many people are down on the Waid/Kitson Legion.
 
"The point is that the 60's reinvention was of characters who had not been published in 10-20 years

Not exactly true. The Jay Garrick Flash last saw original publication in 1951 (a JSA story, not a solo Flash story, but he was there and played a large role in the story), a mere 5 years before Barry Allen came along. And Hal Jordan was introduced only 8 years after Alan Scott was last seen by readers.
 
"Is that intentionally ironic or merely accidently so?"

Intentionally, I suppose. Obviously it's a paradox, but being part of a legacy or a larger group is something that's relatively rare among superheroes (though not as much so as it used to be). Wally worked best during the Mark Waid run, when he was connected up with all the other speedsters. Similarly, they keep bringing back the Corps concept because it just *works* creatively.
 
You can add the Silver Age Superman and Wonder Woman too, since the replacement versions ultimately failed.

As for the Flash, he's a bad example. The Silver Age Flash was one of the most popular characters at DC during the sixties. Only Superman and Batman were more popular then Barry. His popularity was so great, it ultimately lead to a new Silver Age and then the Marvel Age of comics.

And, though Barry and Hal were replacing Alan Scott and Jay Garrick, they weren't really replacements. They had their own villains, new costumes, new origins, etc. Alan and Jay stil lived on another Earth and occasionally they would still have adventures. Neither was turned into a murdering psychopath (Hal Jordan) or just discarded like used tissue (Firestorm).

Also, Barry and Hal were now part of a new continuity. They weren't relying on the same costumes, same villains, etc.

It's why THEY worked and replacements fail. There is this misguided belief that replacements will bring in new readers who find any back history confusiing.

The biggest problem with that is, the previous continuity still exists. The new hero then fights the old villains. Instead of making things less confusing, it actually makes things more confusing.
 
I think this is why so many people are down on the Waid/Kitson Legion.

At this point, I don't know as Legion fans have as much problem with change. I've been down on the first year of the Waid/Kitson Legion (though it's picked up since) because I thought the "eat it grandpa" focus was heavy-handed and dull and because the war plot dragged on far too long. It didn't help that the characters kept doing things that made me dislike them--again, that seems to have softened in recent issues.

In other words, it's less about the changes themselves (though change-for-the-sake-of-change does bother me a little) and more about the writing. But that's just me.
 
Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian

Ha. That's funny. You made my day, Scipio.
 
At this point, I don't know as Legion fans have as much problem with change.

If there are any Legion fans left, how could they have a problem with change? This is, what, the ninth reboot since Crisis? Tenth? Something like that, I'm sure...
 
That's the common (snarkish) wisdom, TT, but I'd say there've only been two and a half. :-) And yes, there are still some of us fans left.

I'd still maintain that this last reboot was more "change for the sake of change" than any other continuity "adjustment" thus far....
 
"You made my day, Scipio."

I knew most people wouldn't get that one, but I also knew those who did would appreciate it a lot ...
 
Two and a half? Forgive my ignorance, but what constitutes half a reboot?
 
Two and a half? Forgive my ignorance, but what constitutes half a reboot?
 
Ok, by my count:

the "half": When Carlin forced the Legion to get rid of Superboy entirely. Mon-El became Valor, etc. etc., but there wasn't a wholescale change in continuity. I don't see this as a full "reboot," as it continues most of previous continuity. But it did change enough to be noted as something, thus my "half."

Reboot 1: The "Archie" Legion.

Reboot 2: The current Waid/Kitson Legion.

I don't count the "Mordruverse," since it was only one issue and was intended as a transition between the Superboy and Valor things. Other than that and the things I mentioned above, the Legion held to one general continuity--as much as a decades-long team can, anyway.

What other "reboots" do you see in Legion continuity?
 
What is the "Archie" Legion? While I can picture Jughead as Matter-Eater Lad I doubt that's what you mean. Are you referring to when they all got stupid names like Live Wire, Ingot, Umbra, etc?

Wasn't there a "Superboy's Legion" thing awhile ago? I didn't read it so it's possible that wasn't a reboot but an "Elseworlds" or something. And what about when there were two of every member, right around Xerox Hour? Maybe that wasn't strictly a "reboot" either but it sure didn't help abate the confusion.
 
Yeah, the "Archie" Legion was the post-Zero Hour thing. "Superboy's Legion" was an Elseworlds. The SW6/Legionnaires thing was...well, it was Keith Giffen going off, but it was part of the original continuity. Not a reboot, but contemporaneous with the "adult" Legion. (Giffen's original idea, never completed, was that the kids would be the real deal and the adults were the clones. Thankfully, he left the book before getting that far.)

I don't find it confusing, but I've been reading LSH for many years, so....
 
I don't find it confusing, but I've been reading LSH for many years, so....

And I have not. Maybe it seems less confusing close up than from far away. It just looks like there've been more different versions of this team since Crisis than any other, is all.
 
Giffen's original idea, never completed, was that the kids would be the real deal and the adults were the clones.

Around that same time, didn't they also say (or at least imply) that Lightning Lad never really returned from the dead, and the "Lightning Lad" who'd fought with the Legion since his "resurrection" (and married Saturn Girl) was really Proty?
 
The Legion of Super-Ben Reilly!
 
Yeah, it was. The Giffen-Bierbaum years had a lot of "fanfiction gone mad" elements in it. The whole Garth/Proty thing had been proposed in a Legion fanzine in the '70s and subsequently forgotten about until that annual. Which, I guess, fans either loved or hated. (I was not on the love side.)
 
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