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Hourman & Batman Events

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  • Andy E. Nystrom
    I want people s thoughts on Hourman, but to do so, I ;d better include spoiler space for really, really big news in Batman s life. Hopefully others will be
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 1, 2005
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      I want people's thoughts on Hourman, but to do so, I';d better include
      spoiler space for really, really big news in Batman's life. Hopefully
      others will be nice and keep comments below the space because this really is
      big news.

      See
      You
      below
      the
      space














      For those of you who don't know, in the latest issue of Batman, Jason Todd
      is back from the dead. According to at least one interview this time it's
      not a hoax.

      Now the original Hourman also returned from the dead lately, but somehow
      this one bothers me more, even though both were both publicity stunts, with
      Jason's death actually being the bigger publicity stunt of the two. I've
      tried to work out why Hourman's return bothered me less and here's what I've
      come up with so far:
      1.Hourman's death was really an afterthought of the bigger Zero Hour
      storyline while the possibility of Jason dying was the specific point of
      Batman: A Death in the Family
      2.Jason's death was part of a deal DC made with the public to allow them a
      vote, which generated media publicity; unlike the Superman death it was
      always implicit that the deal was "in perpetuity". Doesn't matter that the
      deal involved a 50c US per person, or that it was a crappy publicity stunt.
      A deal was made with the public. I'd personally be hesistant to make any
      deal with DC involving anything long term that could be ignored decades
      later.
      In contrast, no such deal was made with Hourman, beyond leading the public
      to believe he was dead for a time, always a problem area for Marvel & DC
      superheropes.
      3.In contrasts to their deaths, Jason's *return* feels like the bigger
      publicity stunt of the two.
      4.Purely emotional response, but Jason's death simply "felt" more permanent
      than Hourman's, possibly because it was the focus of years of Batman stories
      afterwards. Yes, his return does the same, but at the expense of
      undermining more stories than Hourman's return did.
      5.In Hourman's case, a trade was made, so a death of sortsd still happened.
      If a trade was made in Jason's case, I'm not aware of it.

      Other people's thoughts?

      Andy E. Nystrom
      wo991@...

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    • jfglade
      ... include ... Hopefully ... really is ... Jason Todd ... time it s ... somehow ... stunts, with ... two. I ve ... what I ve ... point of ... them a ... was
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 2, 2005
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        --- In thejusticesociety@yahoogroups.com, "Andy E. Nystrom"
        <wo991@v...> wrote:
        > I want people's thoughts on Hourman, but to do so, I'd better
        include
        > spoiler space for really, really big news in Batman's life.
        Hopefully
        > others will be nice and keep comments below the space because this
        really is
        > big news.
        >
        > See
        > You
        > below
        > the
        > space

        >
        > For those of you who don't know, in the latest issue of Batman,
        Jason Todd
        > is back from the dead. According to at least one interview this
        time it's
        > not a hoax.
        >
        > Now the original Hourman also returned from the dead lately, but
        somehow
        > this one bothers me more, even though both were both publicity
        stunts, with
        > Jason's death actually being the bigger publicity stunt of the
        two. I've
        > tried to work out why Hourman's return bothered me less and here's
        what I've
        > come up with so far:
        > 1.Hourman's death was really an afterthought of the bigger Zero Hour
        > storyline while the possibility of Jason dying was the specific
        point of
        > Batman: A Death in the Family
        > 2.Jason's death was part of a deal DC made with the public to allow
        them a
        > vote, which generated media publicity; unlike the Superman death it
        was
        > always implicit that the deal was "in perpetuity". Doesn't matter
        that the
        > deal involved a 50c US per person, or that it was a crappy
        publicity stunt.
        > A deal was made with the public. I'd personally be hesistant to
        make any
        > deal with DC involving anything long term that could be ignored
        decades
        > later.
        > In contrast, no such deal was made with Hourman, beyond leading the
        public
        > to believe he was dead for a time, always a problem area for Marvel
        & DC
        > superheropes.
        > 3.In contrasts to their deaths, Jason's *return* feels like the
        bigger
        > publicity stunt of the two.
        > 4.Purely emotional response, but Jason's death simply "felt" more
        permanent
        > than Hourman's, possibly because it was the focus of years of
        Batman stories
        > afterwards. Yes, his return does the same, but at the expense of
        > undermining more stories than Hourman's return did.
        > 5.In Hourman's case, a trade was made, so a death of sortsd still
        happened.
        > If a trade was made in Jason's case, I'm not aware of it.
        >
        > Other people's thoughts?
        >
        > Andy E. Nystrom

        What you said about DC violating a contract with those people who
        dialed one of the two phone numbers to vote for the first erstatz
        Robin either living or dying makes sense (although those who voted
        for him to live might not feel cheated). I'll confess I didn't spend
        the 50 cents or whatever it would have cost to vote by phone back in
        the day; I didn't really care what was going on in the Batman books
        back then and I still don't care what is going on with Batman and
        that franchise now. I still haven't read "A Death in the Family" and
        don't intend to do so.

        I did feel angy when I learned that three Justice Society members had
        died in a mini-series and, frankly, I'm glad to have Hourman back and
        I would appreciate it if the Atom and Dr. Mid-Nite were returned too.
        Did I except Hourman's death and expect it to be permanent? No
        really, I resented the decision to kill off a few venerated
        characters to generate some sales, but I hoped Rex "Tick Tock" Tyler
        would return.

        I tend to ignore the mini-series and special issues and whatnot that
        are designed to garner high sales figures by using DC's older
        characters as cannon fodder, and I refuse to buy such issues because
        I'm not going to franchise a death machine, for what little good it
        does me.

        If DC were to repeat the "Does he live or does he die, you decide"
        nonsense again with a character I did care about, I would vote for
        the character to live. If that character was snuffed by blood
        thirsty "fans" I would be disappointed, but if he returned I
        wouldn't feel cheated; after all, some of the best people have been
        resurrected.

        Take care,
        Jon
      • Andy E. Nystrom
        Spoiler space in case you ve still missed the news. I promise there is some Hourman stuff. :) ... It s not a story that holds up with repeated readings, but
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 5, 2005
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          Spoiler space in case you've still missed the news. I promise there is some
          Hourman stuff. :)


















          >that franchise now. I still haven't read "A Death in the Family" and
          > don't intend to do so.
          >
          It's not a story that holds up with repeated readings, but that's mainly due
          to the number of coincidences than the death part. Though I like the
          Joker's portrayal, at one point referring to himself jokingly as "Just
          another victim of Reaganomics."

          > I did feel angy when I learned that three Justice Society members had
          > died in a mini-series and, frankly, I'm glad to have Hourman back and
          > I would appreciate it if the Atom and Dr. Mid-Nite were returned too.
          > Did I except Hourman's death and expect it to be permanent? No
          > really, I resented the decision to kill off a few venerated
          > characters to generate some sales, but I hoped Rex "Tick Tock" Tyler
          > would return.

          My only problem with his return is that, due to time manipulation, a lot
          seems to happen between the seconds just before the death: Hourman robot
          shows Rex a vision of the upcoming JSA, Hourman moved to a pocket dimension
          he can stay in for just one hour, a fight for who will die in his place
          ensues... am I forgetting anything?

          > If DC were to repeat the "Does he live or does he die, you decide"
          > nonsense again with a character I did care about, I would vote for
          > the character to live. If that character was snuffed by blood
          > thirsty "fans" I would be disappointed, but if he returned I
          > wouldn't feel cheated; after all, some of the best people have been
          > resurrected.
          >
          For me it would depend on the cirumstances. How solid the "contract" was,
          how well written the death was, the implications afterwards, etc. The story
          was so-so and it now seems that ther "contract" weasn't so strong, but the
          implications afterwards were well written generally. As a reader I felt I'd
          moved on from Jason's death. There was a sense of finality not usually
          found in shock value deaths.

          So for the sense of having moved on alone, I'll not interested in the
          resurrected Jason Todd. Fortunately, this is all fiction, so I can take the
          same approach I take here to Norman Osborn's return: I don't care what other
          writers say; I'll just rewrite stuff in my head so he remains dead with this
          new Jason an imposter. It may never reach the printed page, but as far as
          I'm concerned he's still dead, and Judd's just confusing him with that other
          Jason from the horror films who does routinely return from the dead :)

          --Andy EN
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        • Richard J.
          Did anyone honestly think back when fans voted by dialing if they wanted Jason Todd to live or die, that he would actually get more votes to live? ...
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 9, 2005
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            Did anyone honestly think back when fans voted by dialing if they
            wanted Jason Todd to live or die, that he would actually get more
            votes to live?

            --- In thejusticesociety@yahoogroups.com, jfglade <no_reply@y...>
            wrote:
            --- In thejusticesociety@yahoogroups.com, "Andy E. Nystrom"
            <wo991@v...> wrote:
          • jfglade
            ... I didn t bother to vote, because I had already given up on the Batman books by then. I would presume that there were folks who bothered to call in and who
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 14, 2005
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              --- In thejusticesociety@yahoogroups.com, "Richard J."
              <lightoller_ch@y...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Did anyone honestly think back when fans voted by dialing if they
              > wanted Jason Todd to live or die, that he would actually get more
              > votes to live?

              I didn't bother to vote, because I had already given up on the Batman
              books by then. I would presume that there were folks who bothered to
              call in and who voted for Jason Todd to live, who wanted him to receive
              more votes to live and thought he might. I always assumed that more
              people voted for him to die to see if he would be killed off. As far as
              promotional stunts go, the "does he live, does he die" stunt always
              struck me as one of the lowest and meanest things any publisher has
              done.

              As Martin has pointed out, and I believe he was in a position to know,
              the assumption by upper management was that Todd was going to die, even
              if the vote had to be falsified. Despite that, I am sure there were
              people who thought the "election" was honest and who voted for Jason
              Todd to live. I'm sure some of them believed he would survive, even if
              they were a small minority.
            • Andy E. Nystrom
              ... Well, I don t know if I d go that far since at the end of the day it s all just make believe, but while I like the idea of Jason dying, I do think it
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 14, 2005
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                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: thejusticesociety@yahoogroups.com
                > I didn't bother to vote, because I had already given up on the Batman
                > books by then. I would presume that there were folks who bothered to
                > call in and who voted for Jason Todd to live, who wanted him to receive
                > more votes to live and thought he might. I always assumed that more
                > people voted for him to die to see if he would be killed off. As far as
                > promotional stunts go, the "does he live, does he die" stunt always
                > struck me as one of the lowest and meanest things any publisher has
                > done.
                >
                Well, I don't know if I'd go that far since at the end of the day it's all
                just make believe, but while I like the idea of Jason dying, I do think it
                wasn't the most creative way to go about it. If you have some legitimate
                dramatic reason to kill off a character, if you have a compelling story to
                tell, and you feel the long term benefits outweigh the loss, do it right and
                just kill the character, no gimmick (and don't bring him back decades
                later).

                Jason in his own way was more of a mess than even Hawkman or Donna Troy
                (they had convoluted histories, but pretty consistent presonalities; in
                contrast changing Jason's origin after Crisis seemed to result in him having
                a different personality for every title DC was producing at the time;
                sometimes he seemed really innocent, other times he seemed to be applying
                for the role of the Punisher's sidekick). His death arguably made the use
                of Jason more focussed. But no, you didn't really need a phone-in vote for
                that. In fact the story would have probably been more powerful if it hadn't
                literally been phoned in.

                Andy E. Nystrom
                wo991@...

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