Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Triplex: What's the trope for the situation when fans dislike an explanation for something because they accepted it without explanation?

Greenygal: Doing In the Wizard or One-Shot Revisionism?

Triplex: Not sure if either of those apply to what I'm thinking of. It's not about magic vs. science, doesn't happen within continuity, and isn't about averting a trope. It's a Justified Trope where fans don't accept the justification. I'm specifically thinking of a common (most often implied, but several times stated outright) reason I've seen why older fans don't like the threeboot. The previous series never even asked the question "Why did people entrust the safety of the universe to teenagers?" The threeboot asked the question and answered it: They didn't. This satisfied me, but apparently not many other fans.

Greenygal: Maybe it didn't satisfy them because that's not an explanation, it's a qualitative change to the nature of the comic. You're describing an averted trope, not a justified one. (Also, the previous series did ask and answer this question; they were a PR symbol for the new and struggling UP, and they were teenagers because they didn't have years of fighting each other to unlearn. You're thinking of the first series.)

arromdee: I'm pretty certain that in the first series it was said several times that the Legionnaires actually had reached the age of majority. (And I'm not talking about the infamous story about their aging either.) Googling shows that the age of majority in the United Planets was 14 years. So there's your answer for the first series.

Triplex: Averted trope - exactly. It made a change to the nature of the comic to allow the explanation to work. However, by even asking the question, it shot holes in the believability of other series, which is (I suspect) why many refused to accept it. The reboot explanation never worked for me. And the original explanation, I think, explains why many original fans didn't warm up to either newer version. The original didn't really depict the Legion as kids!

Still not sure exactly what page to link this to.

By the way, do we have a trope for the general situation of a remake/reboot reproducing effects while changing causes?

And what about... Many older Legion fans liked it when it was a generic "heroes save the world" series, and disliked efforts (5YL, some of the reboot or particularly the threeboot) to add more politics to it. What do you call this, other than people liking their escapism? Is there a relevant trope?

And, another reason I've seen given by threeboot-haters: Threeboot Earth is an allegorical world, not unlike those of Star Trek. However, for some people, this failed because they couldn't see how it reflected on the present. (I say it's the apathy.) For some - and this is the really interesting part - they would've accepted this society as a one-shot alien world, but were uncomfortable with it as the main setting. What do you call that, Too Close To Home?

Greenygal: I'm not aware of any specific tropes that cover these things, other than the general one of Broken Base (and Darker and Edgier in the case of v4). That said I'm a little uncomfortable with your initial trope to begin with, because a) as we've just pointed out, it's not true that this was never addressed, and b) it kind of sounds like you're interpreting people's motivations for them, unless there actually are a lot of fans out there saying that they don't like the threeboot because it asked the question and not because the answer it came up with made for a different book. (Also, um, I really wouldn't use the word "generic" to describe the first thirty years of the book. Just saying.)

Triplex: Okay, I guess the reason I never bought the previous explanations wasn't anything to do with underage status; it was that I don't find it credible for vigilantism to be publicly accepted.

By "generic", I meant that anyone in the 30th century with powers was eligible for membership, like the Justice League but unlike the X-Men.

Anyway, I frequent a number of comic book message boards, and I have seen many people explicitly saying they don't want too much politics in the series (and many who explicitly want it). I've seen several people ask regarding the original (or any version) "Why did people entrust their safety to these kids?", sometimes as a reason why someone couldn't get into the Legion. Many have said that they didn't like how the threeboot made being a teenager a more essential requirement than it ever was; that is, that they didn't like the focus on the "kid" question. Many say specifically that they'd like to see the Legion done as the League or the Titans in the future, whatever that means. Many demand that the future UP and specifically Earth be utopian; these fans tend to dislike 5YL and the threeboot.

Greenygal: ...why isn't there an entry for Legion in Broken Base, again? Anyway, I don't doubt any of that, and there may well be tropes in there; it doesn't support your original trope idea, is all. (Purely out of curiosity, do you have similar plausibility issues with the Justice League and the Avengers?)

Triplex: With any particularly-trusted superhero or team, and with any superhero without a secret identity. (I grant the Legion a pass on the latter, because maybe society will have changed enough in 1000 years.)

Okay, as I noted, I missed the point a bit. I say it's cause a number of readers talked about the kid thing, and nobody I know mentioned the aspect that bothered me.

arromdee: The "only one member with a power" rule was introduced only in the 1970s, possibly as a misreading of earlier stories. In particular, this rule didn't exist when Dream Girl changed Lightning Lass's power. She did say that she changed Lightning Lass's power because the old power was the same as her brother's and wasn't needed, but "wasn't needed" doesn't mean "has to be kicked out of the Legion". If there was actually a no duplicate powers rule, she would have already been kicked out as soon as Lightning Lad came back.

arromdee: More editing:

"During the late Golden Age or early Silver Age of Comics, DC Comics made an addition to Superman's Back Story: Before he was SuperMAN, he had been active in Smallville as SuperBOY. They told a quite a few prequel stories in this area, in which he met young Lex Luthor, young Batman, etc. Of course, they could only do such stories for so long; if Superboy was going to last, he needed his own heroes and villains.

One story introduced the "Legion of Super Heroes", a trio of super-powered teenagers from the future who committed many acts of Super Dickery while initiating Superboy into their club. The trio became popular enough to be seen again, as Superboy began traveling in time to team up with them, and the new members they'd recruited."

  • Superboy was introduced in 1945, much earlier than people often suppose. There's no question it was Golden and not Silver.
  • "Superboy was going to last, he needed his own heroes and villains." Superboy lasted many years without the Legion, and the Superboy series generally did not have new heroes and villains. And the Batman meeting happened 11 years after Superboy's first appearance.

"Over time, though, their popularity dipped to the point where, in the early Bronze Age, they were consigned to back-up features in various Superman family titles. In 1972, though, Dave Cockrum, who would go on to design many members of the Bronze Age incarnation of the X-Men, became the Legion's regular artist, and started redefining their look."

  • There were only two "various" titles. It became an Action backup because of the swap with Supergirl, and a Superboy backup after Mort Weisinger left. I haven't heard of popularity having much to do with either.
  • The Action Comics backup was still Silver Age.

{Puffy Treat: Leland was STILL really Leland after Zero Hour. My guess is, the low print run of the earlier DNA issues meant that many readers missed the issue where the Demon's Head revealed he had murdered and replaced the real Leland. It's true. For some reason, so many online commentators seemed to have missed that issue. (See "The Legion" #2 and #3)