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On The Hot Seat: WW2 Heroes in Comics

Written by Steven Harris on Wednesday, July 27 2011 and posted in Features

Porcelain38 sits down with OH user Dravgon to talk about the revelancy of WW2 heroes in comics today.

With the entire reboot of the DCU coming in September it's hard not to notice the lack of the WW2 superteam the JSA. While many fans of this beloved team are outraged, can the JSA really exisit in the modern DCU? If the JSA seems "dated" how can Marvel hero Captain America still be in the forefront of the Marvel U?

Today On The Hot Seat sits down and talks to OH user Dragvon about the use of WW2 aged heroes in the current comic industry.  

Porcelain38: DC has re-launched their entire universe with the glaring exception of the JSA. Many believe this is because of the dated feeling of the JSA. Is DC making a mistake in not bringing back the JSA?

Dragavon: DC is making a mistake in not bringing back the JSA because it was a decently selling title that was hampered by wrong writers and an unnecessary title expansion. In the hands of the right writer, a concept like the JSA works very well.

It's not the age of the older characters that's the problem; it's the way that they were used. Every piece of fantastic fiction that I have read has included an older wiser character that provides information and advice to the younger protagonist. However the key in these situations is that the protagonist is the younger person. DC's mistake, especially if they are trying to write to a younger audience might have been to make Alan Scott, Jay Garrick and Ted Grant the protagonists instead of the advisors.

Porcelain38: How long can an idea like the JSA stay around for? What will happen in 25 years from now when it gets to be the 100th anniversary of WW2?

Dragavon: The JSA can be a lasting title as long as it is more about legacy left by the previous heroes and the training of younger superheroes and less about the older superheroes. Every new writer to the series promised it would be about the legacy and the training but invariably went back to the old guard being the focus with the new characters being the supporting cast. If the new heroes are the focus, the fact that the older superheroes have been around for 75 years is not an issue that needs to come up regularly.

Porcelain38: How do you make the JSA in a modern time setting?

Dragavon: The best way that the JSA works in the modern setting is as an academy where the older heroes teach the younger legacy heroes. They pass on the wisdom and skill learned from experience. Additionally the older heroes should never be the solution to the villain of the week as they invariably are. Another issue where the big bad is defeated by Alan Scott or Jay Garrick is not something we ever need to see again.

Porcelain38: What about Captain America? Will he ever become dated?

Dragavon: It is not possible for Captain America to become dated. He doesn't just represent the soldiers who fought in World War 2, he represents the ideals of our nation and society, the best of us. Cap stands for every underdog who's been knocked down but gets back up again and every little guy that refuses to be pushed around by those bigger than him. It's not possible for a concept like that to get dated as long as people still believe in liberty and doing what's right.

Porcelain38: How is that Captain America is easily pushed to the front of Marvel's comics whereas the JSA is put on the back burner?

Dragavon: Captain America is quite a different concept than the JSA. One is a solo title where the main character is given room to grow as a character. JSA is an ensemble title where only a few characters are given any development or focus (and it is invariably someone like Alan or Jay). Additionally the villains in Captain America seem a lot more down to earth. The title does have some strange concepts like Arnim Zola, but in general it's Captain America versus extremists of one sort or another. The JSA on the other hand has a far more schizophrenic group of villains who sometimes have no justification. They have faced of against Nazis, time-travellers, immortals, legacy version of their old enemies, evil Gods and ex-members. There never seems to be any reason as to why the JSA is facing these foes and not another team.

Well fellow OH users, what do you think?

Written or Contributed by: Porcelain38

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