Suspended Animation Suspended Animation
by Michael Vance & Jon Suter

Ever since Marvel Comics' "Secret Wars" and DCs "Crisis on Infinite Earths", we have been besieged by comics mini-series which are guaranteed to reshape the comic cosmos.

Most of these have turned out to be considerably less consequential than promised.

One of the most interesting ones is DC's 1997 four-issue series, "Genesis." It was to clarify the various mythologies of such DC series as Wonder Woman, New Gods, Power of Shazam, etc.

John Byrne deserves considerable praise for his script. Joe Rubinstein's art is also commendable.

The problem is with several of the related stories which appeared in other DC publications.

In the worst examples, the relationship of those titles to the primary mini-series often seems stretched beyond credulity.

This is not surprising considering the number of editors and writers.

I cannot advocate that any collector try to acquire every "Genesis" crossover but some are essential.

Among the best are Aquaman 37, Jack Kirby's Fourth World 8, Spectre 58, Wonder Woman 126. and Green Lantern 91.

Since John Byrne is responsible for Fourth World and Wonder Woman, the close relationship to "Genesis" is no surprise.

His version of Wonder Woman has to be one of the best in recent memory. In the 1950s and 1960's, the character was little more than a joke to many readers. After "Crisis O" Infinite Earths", George Perez made excellent revisions of the basic concept and Byrne has revived her yet again.

The paradox is that he revived her by killing her as part of the "Genesis" storyline.

Yes, Superman was "killed" a few years ago, but he never suffered the indignity of an autopsy.

The "trick" by which Diana survives is feasible, but Byrne also takes advantage of the situation to allow others to be Wonder Woman.

At this time, Diana's mother is Wonder Woman and Donna Troy, the one-time Wonder Girl, is on the scene. In fact, Byrne seems to be rewriting some of her past as established in the first series of the title Teen Titans.

DJS

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1998 Starland