Monday, December 12, 2005

The Legion of Substitute Icons

As you know, the "JLA" book is being cancelled in 2006. Now, DC has chosen the Absorbsacon to leak, in Wizard Magazine like fashion, one of its special projects in 2006, a new on-going replacement series entitled:

The Legion of Substitute Icons

Since, thanks to various movie, television, cartoon, and comic book projects, DC iconic heroes are better known and popular than they've been since World War II, it's obviously time to replace them with other characters. Abandoning Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Aquaman, Plastic Man, and the Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, Green Arrow, and the Atom, DC is proudly announcing the Legion of Substitute Icons, starring -- well, featuring, anyway:

The Eradicator, Azrael (formerly of "Sword of Azrael"), Artemis, Guy Gardner (formerly of "Warrior"), John Fox, some guy who isn't Aquaman, Ralph Dibny, the Red Tornado, Charlie Parker, Connor Hawke, and a rejuvenated, amnesiac Ray Palmer (formerly of "Sword of the Atom")

"The LSI is based on a time-honored strategy for marketing our icons," DC head honcho Dan Didio said. "Nothing makes readers appreciate our important characters more than replacing them will poor substitutes. The principle has been used to reinvigorate interest in all our front-line characters, and we'll continue that fine tradition in 2006."


Anonymous said...

Something tells me you don't like Sword of Atlantis...

It might be the three posts that have either slammed it directly or with satire.

It might be the homage to how bad ass the original Aqua--

Holy crap did I have to say Original Aquaman? I've never had to do that before. I never thought I would either, it's always been Arthur. Superman "dies", Wonder Woman is "replaced", Batman is "crippled", but good'ol Aquaman was still there. He's lost an apendage, dealt with his wife going insane, hell he even once nearly beat his side kick to death in a FAILED attempt to save his son's life. Through all that he kept being Aquaman.

I guess some people just take that kind of character for granted...

Scipio said...

"Something tells me you don't like Sword of Atlantis..."

Heh. Good. Based on other people's comments, I was concerned my irony had gotten too, ahem, subtle

Truth be told, I really don't mind when people don't respect DC's icons.

I do mind it, however, when DC doesn't.

DC already DID Aquaman as essentially a "sword and sorcery" title; TWICE (David and Veitch). If I can remember that, why can't they?

Ragnell said...

Here's the problem, guys: Not enough people are reading. You may remember the sword and sorcery title before, they may remember it, but most of the target audience doesn't. And most interviews say Didio planned to cancel Aquaman, maybe kill him again until he got this pitch. So, I think Aquaman got off easy this time. This will be temporary, because no one's going to buy the book again, and we'll have our old Aquaman back in the relaunched JLA, talking to fish and humiliating bad guys again.

I'd suggest you try the Way of HEAT but I can't think of a clever water-themed acronym right now.

Ragnell said...

Oh, and you should have thrown the Cyborg Superman in there instead of the Eradicator. Better team tension because he's sneaky.

That way, when he blows up Star City (Not Coast City this time. Hal might be clumsy, but when he's not being called off to deep space he actually has a decent city-saving track record), only Connor Hawke and Guy Gardner will survive and a great service will have been done for the DCU.

Des said...

What about the "other" Atom. The one who was in Suicide Squad for a few issues. That wasn't Palmer was it?

Anonymous said...

Des is right. Suicide Squad Atom was indeed a different Atom.

From the looks of things, there's going to be a substitute Nightwing soon. Let's stop and think about this for a minute. A substitute Nightwing. Essentially, a substitute for a character who came into existence when they needed to substitute Robin, a character who for many years has been played, ridiculously enough, as a potential substitute Batman. The mind reels.

While I personally groan at the notion of "Sword and Sorcery Aquaman," I don't think it's impossible for the idea to work in practice. I just think there's no excuse for dumping the original Aquaman in the process. And the preview art, while pretty, sets off a thousand alarm bells: it looks like Conan with a big shark dude, which is frightening in a bad way.

Bully said...

I've got no problem with Scipio ragging on the new Aquaman series. It's his blog, and it's funny. But...let's face it...the outright criticism of the thing has to wait until we see it, until we read it.

It MIGHT be the best Aquaman series ever, reverent of the best of what has gone before, while building new mythology and characters while putting a new personality in the driver's seat. Jack Knight, anyone?

It MIGHT be the worst Aquaman series ever, pleasing neither new fans or those fond of the old character, a quickly cancelled and forgotten while putting a new personality in the driver's seat. Jared Stevens, anyone?

That'sall I have to say about the new Aquaman for now. Let's have some jokes at its expense, no problem. But let's actually all make a date to get together next year and talk about the series after it comes out.

Amy said...

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't snark, man -- snark is best when it's classy and well-written, and these last few entries have been both. (The Absorbascon: Helping Emphasize Aquaman's Talents since March 2005!)

I'm just sad that The Social Bedders' song "Ballad of Aquaman," which laughs about how Aquaman is the only member of the JLA that hasn't been replaced by a younger, "hipper" version of himself, is no longer true...

Anonymous said...

Snark away, but I'm looking forward to giving the new book a chance.

Of course, I also like Scipio's LSI, put Giffen and DeMattis on that!

Anonymous said...

Ooo, how about a team where the icons themselves are the substitutes!

Electric Blue Superman
Bondage Harness Diana
Back in Black Batman

Uh, any others?

Anonymous said...

Ion, Sword of Greenwich Village?!

Bwahahahahah! I think I rented a porno by that name once.

Anonymous said...

It could be worse. It could have been Bruce Jones instead of Busiek. And then where would we be?

Scipio said...

"But your obsession over this Aquaman thing is starting to get real old."

Wow, you're right. Almost four whole days now. I should stop wasting time being concerned over DC blowing the huge opportunity presented by an upcoming (sure to be popular) television series that might actually bring some new people to pick up an Aquaman comic book, which Aquaman won't be in, and return to more important things, like posting pictures of Hal Jordan hitting his head.

But I'm the man who did an entire week of nothing but Dr. Domino, folks. I could do nothing but make fun of "Sword of Atlantis" for MONTHS. And I just might... at least until people who are guests on my blog stop trying to tell me what I should and should not "get over".

"I know it's your blog and you're free to do with it as you please, .... but get over it."
You do? Really? Well, you've got me fooled!

Scipio said...

K26, actually,I think the LSI could make an amusing Elseworlds story...

"On a world without heroic icons ... you do the best you can."

MarkAndrew said...

"Charlie Parker"


If that were true, that would be the single awesomest thing, ever.

But he's dead, so would it be, like, his ghoat? Or what? And if it IS his ghost, how would he hold his sax? Would he have a ghost axe, too?

And would he still shoot up? I've noticed a dearth of heroin addicted Superheroes post-Speedy, and that seriously needs to change and...

*Clicks Link*



Anonymous said...

LJI - Legion of Jazz Icons

Anonymous said...

In regards to your quiz over there, I would actually very much pay for issues of "Ma Kent: Sword of Smallville." I see it now: years of being a quiet, all-supportive housewife has finally driven her over the edge and Ma goes on a rampage, serving up justice and vengeance in equal measure and culminating in an epic battle against the Smallville Town Council and the County Water Authority.

Anonymous said...

It's the authors right to write what ever the heck he wants!

Like I said in the original post the only thing that really depresses me is that it's not Arthur. I'm not going to stop buying the title (unless it does suck, in which case I won't even have my "I'm an Aquaman aquafan" excuse), and I will give it 3 issues to impress like I do every other title.

Anonymous said...

Only way I'm buying LSI is if Atom's a teenager.

HEAT for Aquaman? Feel free to use:

Totally Undo New Aquaman!
Still Have Aquaman Real, Kurt!
Save the Quality Undersea Icon, Dammit!
Make Orin Really Arthur, Yo!
Busiek: Arthur Stays Sovereign!
Can Replacement Aquaman, Busiek!
Kurt, Erase the Loser Please!
Give Us the Legenday Leaguer!
Save Eternal Aquaman, We've Endured Enough Duplicates!

Anonymous said...

The Red Tornado could potentially, if given the right writer, be very awesome. I mean, IIRC, he's actually a tornado in an android body. An ALIEN tornado. OK, so maybe that's not so awesome, but it would be interesting if a writer tried to convey the very alien thought processes a being like that would have, rather than just using him as DC's Vision and killing him off every other week.

Since a number of these characters are dark-and-gritty edgy type characters from the 90's, a better choice for writer would probably be John Ostrander. If anyone could make these characters cool, it's him. John Ostrander could make absolutely anyone cool. John Ostrander made CAPTAIN BOOMERANG cool, for cryin' out loud.

Other possible members: the Cir-El Supergirl, the pseudo-Metamorpho from the Outsiders whose name I'm forgetting becuase like the other Outsiders he has no personality whatsoever, the modern-era hot female supermodel Jonah Hex. (Don't ask. Just don't.)

Word verification--Sjzfo. That could be a dark-and-gritty 5th-dimensional imp who took over from Mxyptlk in the 90's.

Anonymous said...

I always loved Red Tornado.

Especially because I love Adam Strange, Rann, and Rannian bad guys!

Let the hating of mallet comence.

Scipio said...

' the modern-era hot female supermodel Jonah Hex. (Don't ask. Just don't.)"

Oh-- I'm asking!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Scip, here's info on the origin of that female Hex,

Boy, I have to say, 10 points for a very strange idea...kind of cool in a weird way, if even it was capitalizing on the whole bad girl thing that was going on at the time.

Jeff R. said...

First: How can you have a Legion of Substitute Icons without the supreme substitute himself, the one, the only Reverb?

Second: penetrating the whole ironic code thing for a minute, isn't Wally West as much an imposter as any of these guys? (Or, going further, aren't Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, and any last son's of Krypton with an 'e' in their Kryptonese name also just poseurs?)

Scipio said...

" the supreme substitute himself, the one, the only Reverb?"

AH,mmm; you are wise, Papa Smurf...

"isn't Wally West as much an imposter as any of these guys?"

You know, I'm not sure. There are some mitigating circumstances, such as having been Kid Flash for such a long time. But note: Wally's book is being cancelled. I'm not sure they aren't bringing Barry back.

A while ago, I would have said that was undoable and unwise. But that's what I would have said about Hal Jordan... and I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused.

Is the Legion of Substitute Icons a joke? Reality has gotten so weird lately that I have trouble with my sarcasm detector.

(This happens to me A LOT at Daily Kos, too. I'm still not sure if Harriet Miers was ever REALLY a Supreme Court nominee. That COULDN'T have been for real!)

Scipio said...

"Is the Legion of Substitute Icons a joke? "


they are to me.

Not to DC, apparently.

Ragnell said...

You realize, you know, if you renamed this blog KELP (Which was my personal favorite) and posted nothing but Sword of Atlantis jokes for months like you threatened, we'd all continue to read and laugh ourselves silly.

In fact, you'd probably inspire others to post on their blogs, mocking your obsession. This wll result in even more blogs commenting on your obsession and its entertainment value vs its presumed patheticness. In time, the Comics Blogohedron could become consumed with Aqua-frenzy, self-referential congratulatory statements and bile. It would threaten to absorb the rest of the Internet -- swallowing such massive communites as the scientifically-minded Nerdalogue, the fanatical Religiosphere, the treasured Cheapskatescape, and even the dreaded Pornoverse!

We're looking at mass destruction on a planetary scale here, unless... *Finally looks at day-old post following this one*

Thank the Guardians! Earth is safe, Scipio is back to making fun of Hal Jordan.

Scipio said...

"In fact, you'd probably inspire others to post on their blogs, mocking your obsession. "

Sadly, that's already happened a few times.

"In time, the Comics Blogohedron could become consumed with Aqua-frenzy, self-referential congratulatory statements and bile."

Like sharks. Where is the real Aquaman when you need him?

Actually, the potential comic book irony in all this lies in Devon's theory: that this "new Aquaman" is, in fact, the Golden Age one (a la the original Superman) come to take his place in our world.

Which would be very cool.

Except ...
he wouldn't wear that outfit. Or use a sword; he'd used swordFISH. And octopi, electric eels, sharks, whales, and flying fish, the six marine species that are found in every square foot of pre-Crisis sea.

Ragnell said...

franny -- No, Aquaman died in that one... And so did Superman, and Batman, and Wonder Woman and just about everybody else in Morrison's JLA.

Anonymous said...

Then they came back as zombies.

That was actually kind of cool...

But what if it was the original original Aquaman. The scientists son who could just breath underwater.