Monday, July 24, 2017

The Bronze Age Shift

So, we just spent a week looking at the Comic That Ended The Silver Age: JLA #77 "Snapper Carr -- Super-Traitor".

It leads to the question: what OTHER differences did the Bronze Age bring? Why is it considered a different age from the Silver Age, if there was no break in continuity?  Fair question.  The inability of modern readers to distinguish between the Silver and Bronze Ages because there was no break in continuity is one of my pet peeves.  The wiki article linked above gives you some of the grander meta-view of the shift; here are some specifics in the DCU.

Superman.  Superman went from being a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper 

to a hapless anchorman for television broadcasting company. 

Some of his foes become noticeably nastier.  After years of being a fat guy in a brown suit or prison greys, Luthor gets a gym membership and a new suit.

And that's terrible!

Batman.  Robin left for college.  

Batman closed down Wayne Manor and moved into a swinging bachelor penthouse in the city. 

Who builds a MOAT around a PENTHOUSE?!

Batman foes were reintroduced as scarier and more disturbed. 

No more John Dough.

Warmed over Fu Manchu knockoff Ra's Al Ghul is introduced as ALREADY having figured out Batman's secret identity and not caring.  

I think Dick still uses that picture on Tinder.

Batman stories become generally spookier ...

and Batman becomes MUCH stupider.

Wonder Woman. Diana loses her supporting cast.  

Diana also loses her powers, 

learns martial arts from an old blind Chinese guy, 

opens a mod dress shop

That's because minis are IN, oh, god, Diana you're just HOPELESS.

fights lesbian slavers

borrows a machine gun.

Flash.  Barry Allen finally marries Iris West, 

I think we can ALL agree with that, Flash.

who figures out he's Flash because he talks in his sleep (as highly disturbed people do).  

That's a LIE. Everything Flash says is a lie.

She's murdered by Reverse-Flash 

This would make an AWESOME mural, by they way.

and Barry moves on FAST.

Barry's a player.

Green Lantern.  Slips on soap on in the shower banging his head, giving us our first black Green Lantern, John Stewart.  

You thought I made that up, didn't you?

Despite having a power ring that can take him across the galaxy, spends an inordinate amount of time with Ollie Queen on purposeless roadtrip of the US.  

Dumb and Dumber: The Bronze Age

Becomes a toy salesman and a truck driver and can't keep a job generally

Do NOT ask about the starfish.  I'm still trying to process the phrase "a thoughtful Hal Jordan".

Unable to sustain his own title, he's forced to buddy up with Green Arrow, of all people.

From your mouth to god's ears, Ollie.

Green Arrow/Black Canary. Black Canary immigrates from Earth-2, gains a super-power, and replaces Wonder Woman in the Justice League.  

Larry was such a good-for-nothing, loudmouth, sexist jackass that Dinah had to come to Earth-2 to find a suitable replacement.

Green Arrow loses all his money, suddenly hates rich people now that he isn't one, grows that stupid goatee, becomes a loudmouthed liberal,

Picking on Hal for being clueless is like kicking a puppy.
Except when I do it.

blows off his sidekick who has become a junkie.  

Ollie's a dick.

GA and BC start (what I will politely call) dating, even though he's the reason her husband died.

Martian Manhunter. Who?  Martian Manhunter was sent away on a space-bus (notice his absence already in the Snapper Carr Super-Traitor story). He completely missed the Bronze Age and the Satellite Era of the Justice League. 

"And don't let the door hit you on the way out...!"

Justice League. In addition to the above changes, the JLA become less a supergroup of all DC's icons than a mechanism for trying to make lesser characters more iconic. Hence the inclusion of 


"Someone has violated my mind!" Well... that would explain the new costume, alright.


Whoa; that's ... limber.
I wouldn't let him in the satellite
but my bedroom is another story.

Hawkgirl (-woman, eventually)

No joke pic; Hawkgirl's awesome.

the incompetent whiny villain-created android Red Tornado, 

When the man who married Jean Loring thinks your trouble, you are.

and the goddammed ELONGATED MAN, a goofy self-aggrandizing wannabe gold-digger left over from some Flash stories.

GOD, I hate that guy.

Not the Justice League.  Superheroes lose market share to other genres like Western, Fantasy, and Horror, which is why the Bronze Age gives us ...

Swamp Thing, 

Back luck for Terry Thomas.

Jonah Hex, 

Bad luck for Santa.


Now THAT's the Demon's Head.


 the Phantom Stranger.  

There's more, but you get the idea.  Frankly, the DCU changed more between the Silver Age and the Bronze than it has in ANY subsequent reboot.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Heroclix Custom of the Week: Snapper Carr

This is latest in my ongoing series featuring custom figures I use in the tabletop miniatures game, Heroclix.  In the last entry, I shared my custom for Apex City's GIANT ROBOT BEAR.  It's not easy to match that for absurdity, unless of course today's figure is...


The more you think about the fact that Justice League gave Snapper Carr a flying jalopy,
the more reasonable Lex Luthor seems.

For Snapper Carr I chose a dial that's short (so he can die really quickly) but still annoying (Snapper's defining characteristic).  It's the one-slot dial of some silly concept from Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D., an A.I. monkey named "HENRY".  I'm sure that's an acronym, because Marvel, but I don't care of what (also because Marvel).

This dials gives Snapper 'teleportation', a power he developed after his Justice League days during the "Invasion" crossover.  He has 'super senses', which makes some sense because his hypersensitive observational skills were part of what brought him to the JLA's attention.  

These panels show both his teleportation and his keen awareness of his surroundings <Batman eyeroll>.

The special damage power gives him both 'Empower' and 'Enhancement'; GREAT advantages in any sidekick, that let him help others attack without making him a good attacker himself.

I didn't have enough time to find a panel of Snapper actually being helpful.
But this is a great representation of not-being-a-good-attacker.

He's got the 'Tiny" size symbol which requires some special interpretation, since for all his faults, Snapper is NOT tiny.  

That's a pretty safe assumption.

Since the main effects of "Tiny" size are being harder to hit from afar and being able to be carried by normal size figures, I just re-interpreted those effects with some special traits:

If you are wondering why Green Arrow isn't in that list there are two reasons:
1. Green Arrow isn't an original member of the Justice League and wasn't there when they 'adopted' Snapper; and
2.  Green Arrow pretty consistently couldn't stand Snapper.

And here's his actual sculpt (a repainted Rick Jones):

I thought the fluorescent base might make him an easier target.