DC Debate: Should the Original Versions of Iconic Heroes Retire?

@EDT

Welcome to the first DC Debate.

First question: Should the original versions of iconic heroes retire in order to let legacy characters take center stage?

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I’m excited!!! Should there be a poll or something so people can vote on who won the debate?

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There is no center stage. Originals and their legacy can coexist in peace.

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Once we are done, we will do that. Thanks, I didn’t think of that.

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Awesome!

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@CKComics To clarify, we start with opening syatements, 2 rounds of arguments, then rebuttals/closing arguments?

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Yep, what do you think the length should be?

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I comprehensively reject the premise out of hand and with extreme prejudice.

That is all.

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For opening statements, let’s limit to a couple of paragraphs

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Sounds good

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Allow me to kick things off

Ladies, gentlemen, everyone in between…what IS a hero? The definition has some flexibility depending on who you ask. But one common elements between all answers is that a hero is a symbol. Superman’s “S” is a symbol of hope back on his homeplanet and has come to mean the same thing on Earth. Bruce turned Batman into a symbol that multiple people have taken up. Any Amazon can claim the title Wonder Woman if they prove physicially and spiritually worthy.

In this debate, I plan on showing you how DC already has a history of letting older heroes step down for the younger generation take charge. I will also point out how doing the same thing now can be a healthy thing for the company and the comics industry at large. I say this not to discredit the heroes we have come to love. But rather to see new favorites become all they can be.

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My task today is to prove that legacy characters should stay in their place as sidekicks and the main versions of the characters should keep center stage. Characters such as Robin, Nightwing, Superboy, and many others have received their own titles to showcase their talent, however, we must keep the main versions of the tried and true characters as Batman, Superman, and Wonder woman.

In the era between the Golden age and the Silver age many characters got rebooted and became new characters. The three characters that were performing well did not, they continued with there stories until the crisis when everyone got a reboot, yet they did not become new characters. my argument is coming from the side of “if it aint broke, dont fix it.”

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And now, we begin the 1st of 2 rounds of debate

Let’s go back to the Golden Age of comics. We had the original version of the DC Trinity, versions of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman that would themselves be changed and altered over the years. But for the purposes of my argument, I want to focus on what I call the Golden Age Trinity. Jay Garrick (The Flash), Alan Scott (Green Lantern), & Kent Nelson (Doctor Fate). Three characters that were at their peak back when they were the only versions of these characters. And they did quite well, being the focus of their own solo adventures as well as strong members of the first superhero team, the Justice Society of America.

But then, World War Two came to an end, and the age of superheroes had to change. Jay Garrick retired and Barry Allen became the new fastest man alive. He would become an integral part of DC for years to come. It was his discovery of the multiverse that shaped the DCU as we now know it today. Alan Scott was replaced with Hal Jordan. But we didn’t just get a new hero - we got an entirely new mythos, one that embraced sceince fiction and the cosmos, opening up a wide variety if stories. The invention of the Green Lantern Corps would also bring in new heroes starting with Guy Gardner and going all the way to Jo Mullein. Kent held out the longest, holding onto the mantle for several more decades until the Strauss family took over. This lead to others holding the mantle, including Kent returning. But he ultimately decided to train a permanent successor, Khalid Nassour.

The point I’m trying to make her is that while this Golden Age Trinity is still around in some form, they are no longer considered the main versions. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten these other heroes, who can be accurately described as legacy characters. They open up brand new stories to tell, new ways of connecting and inspiring new generations of people - both in their fictional world and in our real world!

Let’s also not forget that the Justice Society of America was ultimately replaced by it’s Silver Age counterpart the Justice League of America as the most well known superhero team. The JSA would of course have several books set in the modern day, with several veteran members coming back. But the focus was always on training and preparing the new generation of heroes. Those like Stargirl, Michael Holt as Mister Terrific, Kendra Saunders as the new Hawkgirl, and Dinah Lance - daughter of Dinah Drake - as the new Black Canary. I’m willing to bet that most of you see Michael Holt and Dinah Lance as the default versions of their respective titles - the first ones you see in your head when you hear Mister Terrific or Black Canary. Respect is given to Terry Sloane and Dinah Drake, but it has come time for new people to take their mantles and accomolish things that they never could.

A recurring theme when it comes to superheroes is the idea we should always move forward, the march of progress. If we don’t keep moving forward and still hold onto the exact same people in their roles, heroes will become stagnant. Repeating the same stories with the same characters while readers slowly lose interest and stop caring.

This is my first argument. DC already has replaced their main heroes with legacy characters and it has been a breath of fresh air. Expanding the lore of the larger universe, opening up new stories to tell, and connecting with more people.

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Read less Jurassic Park more comics.

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Oh man…I fixed it, thanks for pointing that out! :sweat_smile:

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Couldn’t resist.

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Considering I’m on mobile, I’m surprised that’s the only name I messed up

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The Golden age to the Silver age characters, I will say, was a good way to let legacy characters shine. However, at the time the Silver age characters took over the Golden age characters had been inactive for 7 years. I don’t think DC will want to put all characters on hold for at least 5 years before restarting with their legacy characters.

Also, when DC rebooted the characters, they changed them completely. These were all-new characters with the names of the classic characters. Currently DC’s legacy characters, who are already connected to a main hero, have backstories and established continuity of themselves.

I am not saying that legacy characters can not take over for their more popular counter-part, Wally West for example stayed in the role of Flash for decades. But for every legacy character that works there are at least three that do not. Wally West lasted for 23 years as the Flash; However, Dick Grayson as Batman lasted 2 years after Final Crisis, Queen Hippolyta did not last long as Wonder Woman, and neither Steel nor Conner Kent lasted as a replacement for Superman.

The legacy characters that work the best are when the characters being replaced did not leave much of an impact on the world itself, such as Star-man, or when the Main version dies and DC is not afraid to keep the Character dead for a while, such as Flash or Green Lantern.

My Argument: Legacy Characters can work, however, it would require DC to do things that I believe they are not ready to do.

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So…

Sorry I am like the worst at jokes. Ask around. :laughing:

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I always thought the way we define legacy could be narrow at times. Like I love the example you pulled up of Wally West as Flash. He’s the perfect passing down the torch, anyone could ask for. Same goes for Cassandra Cain who was mentor not only by Batman but also the original Batgirl where the latter philosophy often contrast the former on how to mentor Cass. Cassandra Cain seeking to learn from both is why I love her character so much as she carries not just the name of Batgirl but also the legacy of the Batman with her.

That being said there is also legacy characters out there I really love like Kate Spencer, Michael Holt, and Jaime Reyes that redefine their respective mantles. Rather than simply continuing the work of the predecessors, they actually evolve the mantle and modernize that they form their own unique identity from it and in many cases, surpass the original.

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