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Thread: Warren Ellis relaunches Project Superpowers!

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Canuck View Post
    I already explained that. It's from the dialogue. You mention that a line of dialogue would have changed everything in a single scene. I said that very thing as well about that portion of the story. If they wanted to indicate that some characters were opposed to the idea, Yank could have said "Those of us who..." There's no need for additional room, just different handling of the space you did have.

    By the way, It's my interpretation of the info provided, but it's no more an assumption than "they've argued at other times, so they must have argued then".

    When the book reaches that point of the story, there's a pretty great 2-page spread of the heroes in battle. If I recall correctly, The Flame is not on it. But he DOES appear on the next page or two when he's approached by Yank. So obviously not all the characters present appeared on the spread but that doesn't mean they aren't there.
    No, I didn't say they argued. Just because you don't have an argument doesn't mean everyone agrees. Maybe they argued, maybe they didn't, but it doesn't matter, because while these characters are all part of the same universe, they aren't part of the same team; they don't ALL have to agree on anything any more than ALL the Marvel superheroes need to agree on something or ALL the DC superheroes need to agree on something -- and it would be pretty unrealistic if they did. It could be as simple a thing as there were a lot of them that felt very strongly about interceding in Japan, and some just didn't, and stayed behind figuring it's up to the war department to do whatever they do. Do you assume there was a meeting of every single superhero in America, post-Hiroshima, to discuss the implications and decide policy en masse? I simply use the examples where the characters didn't agree with each other to show that they all came from different backgrounds, and had different ways of seeing things. Green Lama is a Buddhist, the Flame got his powers from Tibetan monks, Samson has an absolute literal belief in the Torah, Fighting Yank believes in the supernatural world, while other heroes believe in science, etc.

    You're just assuming this level of organization that applies to SUPERHERO TEAMS. Like everyone takes a vote, or there's some big meeting to come to a decision that everyone must abide by. There's NO superhero team in WWII, NO membership roster, NO rules that everyone must abide by, NO headquarters or equipment, NO communicators. You can't have a "Civil War" if there's no "Union" to begin with. Whatever loose level of familiarity they had with each other is rooted in those Golden Age cover images where you see three or four characters from the same publisher working together in some kind of wartime scene, more along the lines of a Brave and the Bold or a Marvel Team-Up (and following up on that in the modern day, that's exactly what we see the most in Project Superpowers - loose groupings of 3 or 4 characters working together). Where PSP is lacking in detail, I rely on the actual Golden Age comics as the primary resource for information about these characters. Where it doesn't directly contradict anything from those Golden Age comics, I am not making any assumptions beyond what has been shown (with the caveat that I will allow that the Golden Age covers that don't depict actual stories inside the comics can be taken as some sort of "untold tale"). Admittedly there are a lot of blank spots, but there's nothing stated in PSP that ever implies any sort of permanent team structure for WWII superheroes. If you're inferring that, you're basing it only by analogy to Roy Thomas' retro-superhero comics, something that has no basis in what's actually shown or stated in PSP, and further probably projecting some sort of leadership role to Fighting Yank analogous to Captain America. Since PSP isn't giving us a complete summary of the WWII history of these characters, only a couple of highlights that involved a lot of them together, I think you may be filling in a LOT of the blank spots by analogy to The Invaders and All Star Squadron where that analogy is unwarranted... your primary backup information source should be the Golden Age comics that featured these characters.

    Previous to the Japan mission, you see them together in one scene where they've been recruited for this mission to reclaim Pandora's Box from Hitler, and the CO explains to them what's going on. Later, Fighting Yank gets them together to try to convince them - unsuccessfully, so clearly these characters don't all see eye-to-eye about everything - to sacrifice themselves to be trapped in the urn. (Here we have another example where the heroes disagree with each other on the proper course of action -- yet, no heated arguments ensue, no punches are thrown.) So, based on that, you assume this group of characters works exactly like some sort of un-named All Star Squadron? But even in the scenes mentioned, there are many characters missing (seen later in the series, or in Alex Ross' Golden Age character gallery). Those two scenes are atypical (again with reference to the Golden Age stories, where they rarely teamed up, except on covers); lacking any name or assemblage by official request into a permanent team with an origin story -- there IS no superhero team. These scenes are more akin to a Marvel or DC "crossover event". But I do allow that this is where the title Project Superpowers (never mentioned in the story itself) appears to mislead readers. Where you see the word "superpowers" used in the series to refer to these characters, you should be thinking "superheroes" or "metahumans", not "All Star Squadron".

    To the degree that they all felt patriotic, they lent their abilities to the war department, but most of these guys were not full-time soldiers. They had civilian IDs that they maintained throughout the war. When Fighting Yank says "we" went, he's talking about the other superheroes he knew best, and those he agreed with or got along with best. He's speaking for himself, he's not the spokesman for every person who had superpowers in WWII. The only way they'd have gotten together as many supers as appeared in Japan is by putting out word through some newspaper, or perhaps a radio speech or something like that. It's hardly an "argument" if you're simply recruiting volunteers who happen to agree with your POV. It's not even clear if Fighting Yank was the one to initiate the idea, or he's simply recounting that he was part of it. Frankly, I'm kind of baffled as to why you feel it's absolutely necessary to project the inclusion of every single character not depicted in that scene as actually being there, though not shown. Why does it matter if they weren't? If they weren't there, it doesn't imply that they argued or fought against the idea, it could be nobody asked them, they were busy elsewhere or couldn't be contacted, just didn't feel it was their job and declined to go, or whatever. But the most logical reason would simply be they didn't agree with the plan, so they didn't volunteer. It does seem a little more realistic and consistent with the depiction of the PSP characters as more than two-dimensional, who have their own individual outlooks and personalities. But it really doesn't matter WHY they weren't there. Maybe some were that you didn't see, who knows. But it just doesn't seem realistic that Every American Superhero That Existed During WWII could, or would want to, be there. It's easier to just read what's on the page.
    Last edited by pulphero; 09-25-2014 at 06:42 AM.

  2. #122

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    Nope. I am assuming there is no dissent because none is displayed. In light of how hugely impactful the decision was, if there had been some disagreement, I would expect to have a hint of it. Even something as small as someone saying "Wait a minute, I don't know about this..." as the heroes set off.

    All the other stuff you write about is you arguing points I'm not actually making. I've said since the beginning that even just modified dialogue would have been fine, so with "You're just assuming this level of organization that applies to SUPERHERO TEAMS. Like everyone takes a vote, or there's some big meeting to come to a decision that everyone must abide by" you couldn't be more off the mark. I've said the exact opposite.

    You are assuming there is dissent in that situation because there has been some in other situations. You go right ahead and interpret it however you want, I simply don't agree with you. In fact, in light of how often disagreement was displayed in other situations, I would expect that if there had been in that situation, it would have been displayed as well at least in some small way.

    Frankly, I'm kind of baffled as to why you feel it's absolutely necessary to project the inclusion of every single character not depicted in that scene as actually being there, though not shown.
    Who said anything about "absolutely necessary"? I've explained why I feel that's where the story goes. I'm not fighting it out of stubborness, you just haven't convinced me otherwise. I could be similarly baffled that you feel so strongly about your interpretation of events, especially when there is actually nothing to support it.
    Last edited by Captain Canuck; 09-25-2014 at 09:14 AM.
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  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Canuck View Post
    the example given was the bit about "while they were distracted by the symptoms of the war, I fought the war itself" or something along those lines. A number of times back then, people tried to decipher what Krueger was trying to get across, so that someone perceived the events of issue zero differently than I did is about the furthest thing from surprising.
    The example you're giving here about "while we were distracted" is something more specific to Krueger. You're trying to decipher the meaning of a single word, "we", in the context of "We went to Japan". If I'm talking about my family's trip to Japan, and I say "We went to Japan", and then you ask "How did your grandmother like it?" and I have to explain that Grandma didn't go, it was just me, the wife, and the kids... this is more of a generic problem with the pronoun "we". You really just don't know who the speaker is including or dis-including, based on the fact that the speaker never said "My family went to Japan, except for Grandma". People generally don't talk like that.

    I've probably said this about a hundred times now, but this is what you get when you try to introduce too many characters in a very limited number of pages. It's choppy, densely packed, and there's a lot of details left out or not explained clearly, because there just isn't room. Should they have started out with fewer characters? YES!

    PSP is basically a "crossover event" for a brand-new universe, one where (even though it's reviving characters who we've heard of and who existed in stories 70+ years ago) the characters haven't already been established first in their own series. Imagine reading a Marvel or DC crossover series as your first experience as a comic book reader. While some of the characters will seem familiar from other media, it's really not a good place to start reading the Marvel or DC universe. But at least with those examples, you'd have the ability to go back to some earlier stories to fill in the gaps in your understanding and knowledge.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Canuck View Post
    Nope. I am assuming there is no dissent because none is displayed. In light of how hugely impactful the decision was, if there had been some disagreement, I would expect to have a hint of it. Even something as small as someone saying "Wait a minute, I don't know about this..." as the heroes set off.
    And that's the way you'd do it, if it was a situation that involved dramatic character conflict. Not every character's personal decisions (in a series that has TONS of characters) fall into the "dramatic conflict" category. Putting in some dialogue in the scene in Japan detailing why (LONG LIST OF NO-SHOWS) wasn't there would just have been awkward.

    You say "They were all there, there just wasn't room to show them all", and I say "They weren't all there, and there just wasn't room to elaborate why".
    That there is no "team", so no one is going to be marked as "absent", and that no one is committed to anything as a non-member, these things are just common sense to me. I doubt if there was ANYthing that happened during the war that involved ALL of them. What would need explaining to me is if they ALL just immediately said, "Right, let's go" because that doesn't even seem human, more like mind-control. But let's consider how much space is given to this sequence. Presumably any explanations would have to be shoehorned into the same amount of space, and the stuff they DID show seemed cramped and ill-explained already. And the nature of the mission is such that I honestly can't see even the most gung-ho for this mission as having any kind of beef with anyone declining the request to come along, particularly in light of the fact that the U.S. Government is NOT underwriting this mission. It really seems pretty simple to me -- they put out the word, and these are the people who stepped up. No harm, no foul... there's NO time to fight or even argue about it, they can't FORCE anyone to go, and they've got to get a move on. No, they really don't need to account for everyone that isn't there in the story, because the story has got to get a move on. We've already got more dramatic conflict in play here than we have space for, so we've got to let some things slide.

    I base "why wasn't so-and-so there" on human behavior, and the fact that in any group of 50 people, it's hard to find complete agreement on anything (just imagine if they had to draw their superhero pool from internet message boards), not on the comic book logic of creating forced conflicts - in PSP, during WWII, there are about 80 (including sidekicks), more than half of whom are NEVER seen in the series (just in Alex Ross' Golden Age character sketches); we just presume that they are out there, somewhere. Those that are missing in EVERY scene -- what's their excuse? Maybe they don't NEED one, because almost NO one makes it to every superhero party. Doesn't mean some of those no-shows weren't for completely different reasons, or that some characters' personal reasons didn't run the gamut from angry to "I'm not sure" to "I just can't". Then there are just the logistics of trying to corral all these people and get them together (some were undoubtedly spread far and wide, involved in various situations) in the meager time frame allowed for this mission. You seem to think they all had each other's personal phone numbers on speed-dial (except there was no speed-dial in 1945). Some of the heroes probably never even knew until later, that there WAS a mission, so they never even had to decide. As I tried to indicate in my previous, long, post, there are almost as many possible reasons for the no-shows as there are no-shows. You seem to be assuming the only answer to this is that at some point they were all in a big room together and there was either a reasonable debate, heated argument, or a brawl of some kind, but I don't think it would have been as simple as "Are you with us, or against us?" But it could be as simple as "There was no conflict, because the disagree-er wasn't in the same room with anyone when he read the telegram." But let's assume every single one of these characters was quickly and easily contacted, and there was unanimous agreement. In 1945, just getting ALL these people together in one place to make the trip is going to be a bitch. On August 6, 1945 Hiroshima was leveled by the bomb, killing 80,000 people. Three days later, Nagasaki. THREE DAYS to plan and execute an invasion of Japan including all the world's existing superheroes? Even if every single ONE of those heroes was chomping at the bit to go, some of them aren't going to make it. As it is, we see absolutely NOTHING that happened in those 3 days before they got to Japan (INCLUDING "as the heroes set off"). They practically have to leave the minute the first bomb hits Hiroshima, but there's no live TV report in 1945... Maybe the only ones that actually made it were those already somewhere in the Pacific. Certainly any character in Europe who didn't have superspeed or unlimited flying power didn't have much of a chance. Also, there didn't really seem to BE a plan when they got there... guess they couldn't come up with much in 3 days.
    Last edited by pulphero; 09-25-2014 at 05:22 PM.

  5. #125

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    Are there any news if Dynamite is still doing a new Project Superpowers?

    In the old news reports on the project it was said the new series should be ready and out in late 2014, but since then, no news about the project

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