Retcons That Made You Go... "Huh?!"

I see your cap and bring Zorn brother pretend to be Zorn and magneto somehow

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That still makes my head hurt.

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Ice’s New Origin in Generation Lost and Human Target
The original origin
Tora Olafsdotter was the daughter of Olaf, king of the Ice people in a secluded tribe in the mountains of Norway. She was discovered by an energy tracker and a representative of Norway who wanted to. find the Ice-People so that he could recruit one for the Global guardians. Tora was was interested in the “Warm-bodies” from the outside world but her father was against their Kingdom ever being “corrupted” by the outside world. defying her father, Tora rescued the two men and the tracker made a deal with Olaf. let her leave with them to learn about the outside world, and he’d keep the location and existence of the ice kingdom a secret. The King reluctantly agreed and Tora joined the global guardians where she met Green Flame aka Fire.
The new version Tora was born with the gift create Ice and snow, make the temperature drop around her etc etc since she was very young. Invariably this caused problems for others when she was hurt or upset. Her Grandfather was the head of a Criminal organization and when he discovered her gift, he wanted to take her and use her to take Power. When They tried to take her by force, her father urged her to use her full power. in doing so, she killed her her Grandfather and his men as well as her own father.

The reason for the change…
Gerard Jones wrote the original Secret Origin (or scripted the issue it appeared in anyway) After his arrest and Trial, DC has done everything they could to wipe his contributions to DC lore off the table. (oddly enough, the only parts of Emerald Dawn they chucked were Hal’s DWI accident and battle with the colony creature known as legion) As a result, Judd Winnick was given a blank check to completely rewrite Ice’s origin…

The Premise.
The New Origin proceeds from the idea that Tora only ever told the league her Original story believing it to be true as a way of dealing with the trauma of her “true” origin… and that was that… they would never deal with it again… except…
The Problem.
The Justice League DID visit Tora’s Ice kingdom. After the death of Superman. Tora was feeling out of sorts. She had had a serious crush on the Man of Steel during their time in the Justice League at a time when Guy Gardner’s Biff Tannen with a Power Ring personality was getting worse and worse every day. She decided it was time to return home to Norway and mend fences with her family. Tora’s brother Ewald had taken over rolling the kingdom from their ailing father and was using powers granted to him by a mysterious outside force (later revealed to be the Overmaster ((an old Justice League Villain))

The League came to help Tora defeat her brother when her Mother had escaped the Kingdom and made contact using Tora’s signal device. During the Battle with Tora Ewald’s special scepter of Power was broken and the energy backlash killed him. it also gave Tora a serious power Boost including enhanced Ice making abilities, Super-Strength and Flight. However since the power that boosted Tora ultimately came from overmaster, he was able to take control over her for a short time before J’onn J’onzz was able to reach her and talk Ice back to her old self. After which overmaster promptly blasted Ice, killing her. (Additionally, it should be noted that Dan Jurgens had Ice try to get her people’s help in a Booster Gold story where saving Ted Kord had had Flashpoint level consequences. and Max Lord and Brother eye had taken over the world killing all but a few of the world’s Superheroes)

I get why DC wanted to distance themselves from pretty much everything Gerard Jones had ever done. I’m totally on board with them taking his work off their site as well as Comixology doing a similar job. That being said, It’s what they replaced it with that I’m not crazy about. I think they still could have used the bare bones of Tora’s Ice Kingdom Origin and build a new story from that. After all, they had kept The part about Hal’s dad was a test pilot who crashed his plane while Hal looked on in horror from Emerald Dawn and just changed a lot of the surrounding elements.

It wouldn’t have hurt Ice to keep the Ice kingdom and build on the later stories as the cause for her departure. such as Making Ewald the catalyst. This past year’s story Endless Winter could have been tied to Tora’s origin as a follow up and given her a bigger role in the DCU as a result!

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I thought of another retcon…

I know this was during Rebirth and was after the New 52, but having Chris Kent going back to being Lor-Zod and having him be a dark teenager just bugs me.

Chris Kent was such a fun character. Last Son gave Lois and Clark a taste of what it would be like to be parents, and Chris was a sweet kid. It’s what made what happened at the end of that story all the more tragic. Then he came back post-New Krypton. I liked what they initially did with him and Thara Ak-Var hunting rogue Kryptonians on Earth, but then it got all wonky with the spiritual aspects of Nightwing and Flamebird. And here was a case where aging him up made sense given his condition, unlike Jon Kent.

Actually, that brings up a good point…they sure like to give Lois and Clark an awesome child, then age him up.

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So here’s a new one….

In today’s Dark Crisis Young Justice……

Uhm…… Sorry Cassie, but that ship already sailed and you were the one who set it to sea! In Adventure Comics #2!

Additionally Tim also tried to confess but Conner told him Cassie already fessed up and he was cool with both of them.
(He took it a lot better than Ben Affleck in Pearl Harbor)

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Making Clark Kent the true identity of Superman. Prior to John Byrne’s Man of Steel, Clark was Superman doing an impersonation of a normal human. He was a mask he wore to try to fit in, integrate. Superman was who he really was, and Superman’s never-ending battle was the most important thing in his life. Post-Man of Steel, Clark became the real man behind the tights, and, for me, that really damaged the character.

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For me it’s the opposite. I like that Clark is the real guy and Superman is the identity. He was raised as a human. And he needs to have a life of his own outside of being the man of steel.

It’s why that speech in Kill Bill volume 2 never landed with me. The idea Clark is an impression of humanity makes Superman seem so distant and alien…which is ironic because he is an alien by birth.

For me it boils down to that excellent line from Lois and Clark… “Superman is what I can do. Clark is who I am.” It says volumes about the character.

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Agree to disagree. To me, the whole “I’m a real guy” schtick rings hollow. He’s not. He can crush coal into diamonds. Real life problems don’t really hurt him, and that’s a good thing. He’s supposed to be a mythological figure. He’s supposed to be when intention meets ability. There is nothing out of his reach, and yet he chooses to not be a tyrant but to help. Making him a midwestern football star farm-boy who needs to be constantly reassured that he’s really just a normal guy really damaged that in a way that has been irreparable.

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And I’ll agree to disagree too. What you’re talking about is the Silver Age Superman. And there’s nothing wrong with that version at all. But even that version was an updated version of the Golden Age Superman. The character goes through constant changes.

It really depends what you’re comfortable with. I grew up with the Post-Crisis Superman. I had knowledge of what came before with comics, the Superfriends and Filmation cartoons, the movies, the television shows (including Superboy), but I resonated with the Post-Crisis stuff more.

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Well, I would say that I’m just talking about Superman. I didn’t grow up with the Silver Age. That’s just the incarnation of the character where “I got it.” At this point, I’ve read every variation of Kal and there’s only one incarnation where I don’t “get it.”

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My personal view on Superman is not an either or proposition. Of course he is a Kansas farm boy, and a famous reporter, and an alien with godly abilities. All of it informs who he is. I consider it an extreme case of the different faces that most of us put on in different settings. We can be somewhat different people at work than we are at home or with our friends, or parents, or even out in public. Sometimes people lie, hide things, sometimes people filter certain aspects of their personalities. Some more than others of course, and Clark to me is an extreme case of that. I understand that he has almost always been depicted with dual identities, but the ones that resonate the most with me are the ones where the take is more nuanced than “the disguise is ___ and the real person is ___”, where that line is blurred somewhat. Comics since I started reading in 2011 seem to handle him that way for the most part, and I love that.

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Maxwell lord turn to villainy in final crisis

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The entire re-numbering ploy new 52 decision.

The time DCU was turned into DCUI.

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Yeah and, to be clear, I’m not discounting the idea that the midwestern farm boy is part of who he is. Of course it is. I just refuse to believe that someone with Kal’s abilities and the unique perception of the world they afford him ultimately sees himself as Clark Kent. That was clearly the intention behind Byrne’s Man of Steel and it continued long after Byrne left the Superman books. Here’s a dangerous Post-Crisis Superman drinking game: While reading through the Superman comics after 1986, drink every time Superman says or thinks to himself something like “but I’m really just like everyone else.” And that’s the sticking point for me. That’s why it’s the retcon that makes me go “huh?!” They took a miraculous outsider and made him just some guy.

I would say that his characterization hasn’t been quite that ham-fisted lately and there have been runs in which he is more in line with how I see him. But, like I said before, after Man of Steel the damage was done. But, hey, I argued about this a lot a decade ago, and essentially lost when Rebirth came about. The complexion of the argument also changed when Supes outed his secret identity. But, if I’m asked about my least favorite change to a character in comics, it will always be this one.

In actuality, I’ve just moved on to supporting Jon to become the Superman that Kal can no longer be.

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The Infinite Frontier Crime Syndicate. I prefer the New 52 version. The new Atomica design is hot, but I like the New 52 version due to… fond memories.

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Agreed. I don’t like the John Byrne take on the character.

That said, I don’t think that the Kill Bill description of the character is quite right, either. The Clark Kent “disguise” isn’t how he sees human beings as a whole, but it still does serve as a critique of human beings. Namely, when someone treats a mild-mannered person like Clark Kent poorly, it’s time for Superman to put that someone in their place. Kal-El is a defender of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society, and how better to expose those who exploit the weak than to pose as an easy target for bullies?

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I like that take on it. It’s been so long since I’ve seen Kill Bill that I really can’t remember the speech that everyone is referring to. I always liked to think of it as like when people in your everyday life look past you or underestimate you, but you’re aware of the “real” you that’s on the inside.

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Here you go:

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Interesting.

You might like Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s current Action Comics run. He’s still Clark Kent, but has this larger than life presence to him that I think brings the character closer in line with what you think of him.

I kinda sorta see myself in Clark. I came to this wonderful country when I was less than a year old over 40 years ago. This is home and is where I belong. Yet I have these roots that extend way overseas. I’m bicultural and bilingual, yet I often don’t appreciate the expectation and stereotypes that come with that. I’m… me! Yes a proud American, and yes with immigrant roots, and yes with my own unique life experiences… and all of it informs who I am. Sorry if I made that too personal, but all those thoughts trigger in my head when I hear the Clark/Superman debate. He can be both, and he is both. The notion that he has to choose being one or the other is what doesn’t sit well with me.

Or maybe I’m overthinking it :slightly_smiling_face:.

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This just reminded me of Columbo, “Oh and uh, one more thing…”

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