Recently, I heard that the comic book character, Booster Gold was killed in the DC Comic book series 52, which is kindof the wrap-up (or sequel) to DC Comic’s Infinite Crisis. In the past two years in the comic books surrounding Infinite Crisis, several characters that were created and revamped during the late 80s and early 90s have been killed (Blue Beetle), dismantled (Captain Atom), totally altered beyond their origins (Fire) and original purposes and designs.
Several fans of this era of comic books are really up-in-arms over this, as several beloved characters that they grew up wtih, are no longer alive-and-kicking. DC swears that this is not an intentional attack on a certain era of characters.
Now… coincidentally, while all of this has been happening, I’ve been doing some summer cleaning, attempting to clear some space out for the impending arrival of my kid in November. This means clearing out of books, comic books, CDs, assorted items that were really important for me to hold onto at the time.
Now, if I look over a lot of the stuff that is being removed from my posession, I notice that most of the stuff that I’m getting rid of is of a certain era as well. Stuff that I’ve had for years-and-years, tends to stay around. They have meaning or purpose to me, or have a stronger emotional impact and more difficult to get rid of. The stuff that I have purchased recently, I have yet to fully enjoy or I am using for more specific needs.
Or to fully make the analogy between my life and DC Comics:
My old stuff is akin to Superman, Batman, etc… These are classics. You can’t get rid of it. I have an old clock-radio that my grandmother gave me when I was 9. It is cracked. The dials don’t work. And barely works. (like Superman…. kindof kidding)
My new stuff is akin to Ion, Impulse, or (the new) Firestorm or Hawkgirl…. These are new and exciting stuff, that are still yet to be developed fully. Even if they arent good, there’s still the need to try to make it work again. I have surround-sound speakers (that I got off the back of a truck), that are not set-up properly, and have never really worked the way I want, when they were (not necessarily the fault of the speakers), but these were not thrown out, because I want to configure them properly one day.
The stuff being thrown out, usually was purchased from my post college years (94-95) to my pre-marriage years (02-03) is akin to the Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, all the characters that are not currently active or were killed. I have plenty of books that are good, or haven’t read yet, but I tossed them. I have basically come to the philosophy, that anything that I have not used since I moved from my apartment to my house (8/8/01).
It makes sense. These characters were created and made active/popular in the 80s or 90s, and trying to alter these characters for the modern age is difficult and not as much fun. But the older characters, even minor ones, have such a long history and whose passing would have such an emotional impact (say Metamorpho or Black Lightning), these characters are classics, they can’t be ‘touched’. Creators are more willing to alter them for the modern age because of this.
Solution? Either create no new characters, and never have this issue… Which is akin to never buying any non-consumable products anymore…. (And believe me, that’s quickly becoming my philosophy.)
Or, just accept that this is the passage of life. The same is true with music. Oldies and Classic Rock are still on the Radio, every song getting some play and some love. And the music of today is, of course, played and analyzed. But the music of the 80s and 90s that wasn’t a sing-along pop hit, gets put on the shelf.
Okay, that’s it from me.