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Monday, November 09, 2009 

Johns may be biggest assistant in the desecration of the DCU

The Nashua Telegraph gushes over Geoff Johns with the following superficial nonsense:
Forget turning lemons into lemonade; I’m beginning to think writer Geoff Johns can turn lemons into fine wine.

Johns has gained a reputation for fixing characters that have become radioactive because various revamps have made their histories too convoluted. He did it with Hawkman, he did it with the 1960s Green Lantern and Flash, and now he’s doing it with the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Uh uh, I cannot agree with this, most certainly not on the Flash, which he helped to bring down several years ago, and is now helping to tarnish in retrospect. Barry Allen deserves much better.

In fact, while we're on the subject, this reminds of a continuity glitch, maybe one of the earliest goofs Johns came up with, where in 1991, he wrote the following about Cyborg in The Flash #180: "when Vic was a kid, he was caught in an explosion. Lost his limbs and almost his life." Except that, if he'd read the Tales of the New Teen Titans miniseries from 1982, he would've seen that Vic Stone had been horribly burned by a corrosive giant alien worm his own father had accidentally teleported into his laboratory at S.T.A.R headquarters, that killed his mother. Nothing compared to Johns's obsession with injecting disturbing violence into the scripts, including in Blackest Night, but still a head-shaker nonetheless.

And Johns seems to have quite a problem with changing things as they suit him, including the retcon for the weakness the power rings of many GL Corps members have to yellow, and even bringing back Sinestro in a way that doesn't jibe with earlier continuity. Another is his knack for "continuity porn". But worst of all is how he's one of Dan DiDio's yes-men. And that's what I find most alienating today about Geoff Johns.

Also: he recently turned Hawkman and Hawkgirl into living-dead zombies in Blackest Night, so I'm less sure now if he was trying to fix them.

I don't think Johns can turn lemons into fine wine at all. On the contrary, I'd say he can weave gold into straw. And I don't think I'm likely to find his take on the Legion any more appealing.
For the uninitiated, the Legion is a group of super-powered teenagers from 1,000 years in the future who, inspired by Superboy, suit up and fight bad guys. It was a throwaway concept in 1958 that refused to die and became a major part of the Superman mythos, since Superboy would routinely travel to the future as the team’s paramount member.

But along came “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in 1986, which removed Superboy from DC Comics history. That excision mortally wounded the Legion, and various reboots tried to resuscitate the corpse by filling in with ersatz Superboys.
Oh really? Well that's nothing compared to the mortal wounds inflicted upon the universe as a whole since Identity Crisis and even before. After several years, I've begun to see Johns for what he is: a most overrated writer indeed.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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