Saturday, 7 December 2013

Transient And Lasting Fiction

One Green Lantern Annual comprised three or four short stories framed by an opening and a closing sequence which in turn were one small part of a then current on-going story line. Since one of those short stories was by Alan Moore, it is preserved as part of Moore's complete works long after all the other stories and their context have passed away into back issues archives or private collections.

Similarly, Neil Gaiman's Sandman, having become a permanently in print work of literature, preserves one stage in the development of a monthly comic book. The Hecateae refer Morpheus to the "...League of Justice..." (Preludes & Nocturnes, New York, 1995, p. 75). The Justice League of America had ceased to exist but had been replaced by a new Justice League, soon to be relaunched as the Justice League International, with both the US and the USSR ensuring that they controlled at least one of its members. (Of course, there have been major changes on Earth Real as well as on Earth DC since then.)

Morpheus visits one of the newly established JLI embassies. Searching their records unearths references to the satellite, the Detroit fortress and the secret sanctuary, thus summarizing the history to a certain extent. I remember when the JLA met in the sanctuary in the early 1960's although I had yet to learn of the earlier JSA. Since Morpheus' visit to the JLI, the restored original JLA has had a base on the Moon with teleportation links to Earth and I do not know the current situation. Thus, superhero comics have undergone endless changes in search of sales. Because Sandman began when it did, it has preserved one stage of the JL evolution although Gaiman soon learned not to have his characters interacting with theirs.

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