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Comic Book / DC Universe: Legacies

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An old man, Paul Lincoln, proudly displays his memorabilia and begins to tell his history...and, simultaneously, the history of the DC Universe. From the streets of Suicide Slum in the 1940s to Washington at the end of The Golden Age of Comic Books to Metropolis in The Silver Age of Comic Books, he tells of the transition between the old-style masked heroes to the newer heroes, even as he tells his story.

Each issue is written by Len Wein (creator of Swamp Thing and many others) and illustrated by various people. Paul Lincoln's story doesn't take up all the book either - there's a backup story called a "Snapshot" of various characters at various times.

This series ran for ten issues from 2010-11. It's basically the DC version of Marvels.

Tropes used in DC Universe: Legacies:

  • Changing of the Guard: The JSA to the JLA (especially since a few of the Leaguers are Legacy Characters of those in the JSA).
  • Comic-Book Time: Oddly played with. Paul seems to age in "real time", as if the Silver Age happened in the sixties, The Death of Superman in the nineties, and it's currently 2011. But the heroes, and the villains and supporting characters ... don't.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The first few issues are about Paul Lincoln growing up in a rough neighborhood, as he decides whether he wants to be a cop or criminal (he chooses cop).
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  • Darker and Edgier: Paul comments that once the Doom Patrol died, everything seemed to get darker. The Joker used to be just a prankster, then gassed a bank (including his own men) and when Batman asked why, he replied, "It's Thursday! Isn't that reason enough?"
  • End of an Age: The end of The Golden Age...
  • The Everyman: Paul Lincoln. The story is told from his point-of-view.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Paul marries Peggy, the redheaded sister of Jimmy.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All the "Snapshots" have a title consisting of a non-concrete noun beginning with R: "Reflection", "Reaction", "Resurgence", "Remembrance", "Resistance", "Revision", "Reunion", "Revelation", "Resurrection", and "Redemption".
  • Kid Sidekick: Paul comments on the emergence of sidekicks (which eventually form the Teen Titans) and how, when he was a kid, the kids mainly worked on their own (like the Newsboy Legion).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Superman's rescue of Lois from falling out of a helicopter in #3 is closely based on the same scene in Superman: The Movie, complete with the line "You've got me? Who's got you?"
    • The strapline for the King Arthur "Snapshot" on the cover of #7 says "Camelot 500", a reference to Camelot 3000.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Jimmy's life as a criminal gets him behind bars...where he becomes a model prisoner. Eventually, Paul testifies for his parole and Jimmy eventually gets out, becomes a better person and is eventually accepted back in his sister Peggy's life.
  • Retcon: A few things get rewritten to smooth out the story. In #9, for example the Sentinels of Magic arrive to fight Asmodel-Spectre as a team under that name, while in the original Day of Judgement crossover, they reluctantly join forces during the storyline, and only get a name in the postscript story. In the same issue's "Snapshot", Shazam says that the Hawks were killed an unspecified amount of time before he gave the power to Black Adam, which honestly makes more sense than the idea that all the Ancient Egyptian proto-supers knew each other.
  • Super Registration Act: When the House Un-American Activities Committee demands that the JSA unmask themselves, Hawkman first takes a moment to talk it over with the others and then says, "For so many reasons, our faces, our names, our secrets must remain our own. But don't worry, Senator, you won't be hearing from us again," then the entire JSA disappears in a flash of light. This was the end of the Golden Age.
  • Youthful Freckles: Jimmy and Peggy had freckles as kids.


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