Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Witless Dictionary #11--Legacy Disenfranchisement

Once again, bringing you another installment in our continuing series of attempts to create terms for things specific to comics that don't yet exist, but should. Oh, and for those who asked, this is totally not me being snarky via professorial and/or literary aspirations.


Legacy Disenfranchisement--Term given to a specific tendency when fans become creators to roll back continuity and/or character development to where they remembered it was 20-30 years ago, thereby alienating the fans who grew up reading about said character after that point.

The justification usually given for Legacy Disenfranchisement is that running the clock back will make the character more accessible to a younger generation, which is perfectly valid if you assume that child development has not changed one whit since 1975 or so.

Or, to boil this down to a one-sentence definition: "Thanks for keeping my seat warm, Wally West!"

(Special thanks to the good people at House to Astonish for inspiring this Witless Dictionary)


Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

So it's basically DC giving its fanbase the old "get thee to a nunnery" heave-ho, with a side of "Let them eat Silver Age". Hmm.

Kazekage said...

I think it's more "Honest, Geoff, anything you want--you want a nice fluffy pillow? OK. Want Hal Jordan back? Theeeeere ya go . . ."

Apparently the game plan is to pretend nothing after about, oh, 1980, never happened. I guess they're counting on the fact that a lot of disgruntled comic fans put themselves in cryonic freeze after Crisis and they're just about due to wake up.

Or something.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Here's a mystery: why Johns? I can understand Bendis having carte blanche, he'd had a distinct style that seemed fresh in comparison to the dominant trends at the time, and people thought it was new and exciting, and he actually proved himself in the short run (less so after Avengers, but that's another story).

But Johns? What did he ever do to earn that kind of influence? Aside from that Hank Pym Goes Clit-Boxing sequence in Avengers, I don't recall him ever writing a particularly memorable story, or expressing a mindset that wasn't thoroughly mainstream.

Kazekage said...

Well, it all started when Johns found a plausible way to sort out the whole Hawkman mess, and unfortunately, we didn't see this as the distant early warning until it was far too late. All the signs were there--we just failed to heed them.

That issue of Avengers is, by far, my favourite example of the Jemas Era. I always have a copy to hand so I can tell people Someone Thought Five Pages of Coochie Spelunking Was A Good Idea.

I like to think Austen cries himself to sleep every night because he didn't think of anything like that.