Friday, December 6, 2013

Transilvane, a Real World with Real People

"Transilvane, a Real World with Real People" from Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #143 (DC, 1971) by Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta
Jimmy Olsen is an important series to me. It's how I track when the Silver Age ended and the Bronze Age started. Corroborating evidence.


  1. Thanks for the link back to the old article! Well worth reading again.

    So the DC Bronze Age is from 1971 to, what, 1985?

    There's another turning point that gets overlooked in comics too, and that would be the death of Aquababy in 1977. To my way of thinking, that's the point at which DC decided it hated itself, or at least parts of itself, and started killing off characters. That was the start of equating darkly cynical storytelling with "good" storytelling, and I hope DC grows out of that phase soon.

    I just looked it up, the death of Aquababy was written by David Micheline, a Marvel import if there ever was. Why am I not surprised? Marvel had always been better-suited for killing off characters than DC, but what works for Marvel doesn't always work for DC.

  2. I'm not sure I can agree with DC becoming cynical all the way back in 1977 and then also hoping it's a "phase" (it's been more than 35 years after all). I'd rather say it became a trend with Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, and to some degree, Crisis and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. The financial success of these stories plunged DC into a Dark Age of Marvelization, realism and anti-heroism that perhaps they haven't walked back from yet.

    Their successes through the late 80s and early 90s have been because they channeled that darkness into the projects that became the Vertigo line, where they WORKED. Or in intelligent, political thrillers like Suicide Squad. Where it falls apart is when it is applied across the board (the New52 is the prime example) and/or to heroes we should technically aspire to be (like Superman). Also, dark doesn't mean it should be humorless, which a lot of DC these days has become. Compare to Marvel, which is still churning out the usual angst and soap, but with a lot of fun thrown in. I love books like FF, Hawkeye, Young Avengers, Daredevil and yes, even Superior Spider-Man, because they are so damn FUN. DC's answer to Superior Foes of Spider-Man (which is hilarious) is stuff like Forever Evil (which is dreary).

    1. Good points all around. Let's just say I "hope" it's a phase in the same way I "hope" Santa finally delivers me that pony this year.

      One small point of light: in nu52, Aquababy hasn't been killed off because he hasn't even been born (yet). I hope we get the "good" Geoff Johns on this who knows to preserve what makes a character worthwhile, and not the "bad" Geoff Johns who seems to relish graphic dismemberment a bit too much. Total coin flip on this one.

      You mentioned Daredevil; now Mark Waid, there's a guy who gets it. The guy really gets both companies; he understands the heroic core of the DC universe as well as the human foibles of the Marvel universe, and much of what he writes could live in either universe equally well. I desperately want him to do the next DC / Marvel crossover, and it needs to be a Dick Grayson / Ben Grimm miniseries.

  3. You won't get a "good" Geoff Johns on it because he's left the book. Jeff Parker takes over this month, and he's best known for fun, positive comics. I'm going to start reading Aquaman again as a result, though I expect sales to drop because fanboys.