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Author Topic: How old is Johnny Alpha?  (Read 7719 times)

Frank

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #90 on: 15 September, 2018, 08:26:45 pm »
... once you put the ability to time travel into a story, it causes huge problems with the "finality" of anything ... Apologies for the double post, I couldn't modify the previous one!

There's irony for you.



SIP

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #91 on: 15 September, 2018, 08:32:07 pm »
... once you put the ability to time travel into a story, it causes huge problems with the "finality" of anything ... Apologies for the double post, I couldn't modify the previous one!

There's irony for you.
:lol:  indeed!

JOE SOAP

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #92 on: 15 September, 2018, 08:37:02 pm »
Max Bubba and Rage were 30 years ago now. The stories stand irrespective of what happens now.

I have previously been comprehensively schooled by members of the board that new star wars films, for example, have not impacted on my continued enjoyment the originals, so surely a new development in Strontium Dog in the 21st century does not retrospectively ruin or detract from a story from several decades past?

Anyway, I have enjoyed the new storylines and Johnny's return. Just occurs to me that in a story where time travel has featured prominently, that our main character may at least contemplate abusing the power to save the life of the most significant person in his life.


That's conflating personal enjoyment with the development of what happens in-story. It's not only about the importance of stories past but of stories future. Presuming the decision to resurrect Johnny in such a literal fashion means the writer wants the consequences of those past stories to still be extant at the present time then it's all about the character and not just rebooting for the sake of. Otherwise they could've just gone back in time and saved both Johnny and Wulf – but that's kind of a boring story and only re-enforces the idea that death really doesn't matter in that universe.

Resurrecting Johnny was a narrative fudge borne from the desire to undo a consequence. In hindsight, it was said that killing Johnny was a mistake. Apparently the same degree of regret for offing Wulf is not there, so they replaced him with his son instead, which is better for Johnny and the series.

SIP

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #93 on: 15 September, 2018, 08:45:34 pm »
....unless you want to read some NEW Johnny and Wulf stories that is.

JOE SOAP

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #94 on: 15 September, 2018, 08:49:00 pm »

Indeed, and the flashback stories could've filled that hole easily, but I assume the creators wanted something different to keep them interested.

SIP

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #95 on: 15 September, 2018, 08:51:25 pm »
Absolutely.

Though we did have a change of writer between rage, the final solution and Johnny's return (if I'm remembering right). I wonder if Wagner would have done the same.

I am glad we moved forward from the flashback stories though.

Frank

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #96 on: 15 September, 2018, 09:14:05 pm »
Though we did have a change of writer between rage, the final solution and Johnny's return (if I'm remembering right). I wonder if Wagner would have done the same.

Wagner & Grant wrote all the classic-era strips together, so it wasn't so much a change in writer as the loss of one.

Grant says he returned from Christmas holiday (1987) to find Wagner had dissolved their writing partnership and divvied up their writing assignments, so The No-Go Job (June 1988) is the first story he could have scripted without some Wagner involvement.

Grant says Wagner had become bored of the strip and wanted to kill Alpha around the same time they offed Wulf, and so he (Grant) was only fulfilling Wagner's wishes when the Pteranodon/skellington hybrid did its thing. Wagner says he can't remember but must at least have signed-off on the plan.*


* Grant also claims both writers wanted to put their characters off-limits for other writers before leaving IPC, too - and (as Steve Green says) Richard Burton also claims it was his idea to murder Alpha (because approval ratings were down and he thought it would shake up the strip?!)

SIP

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #97 on: 15 September, 2018, 09:18:24 pm »
Very interesting! Thanks for the info Frank.

JayzusB.Christ

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #98 on: 15 September, 2018, 09:19:36 pm »
I can't really see how the time-travel thing was played down after the 90s - there was Johnny meeting his younger self in Blood Moon, and Dredd meeting Johnny yet again in a time job a couple of years ago.

It also opens up the whole 'Is Johnny's world Dredd's world in the future' can of beans, but that's been examined to death in other threads.
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

TordelBack

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #99 on: 15 September, 2018, 09:22:40 pm »
...in a story where time travel has featured prominently, that our main character may at least contemplate abusing the power to save the life of the most significant person in his life.

The only problem with that (reasonable) idea is that significantly changing the past has been shown to have universe-threatening effects in SD (although trivial changes like those in The Mork Whisperer dont seem to matter).  Wulf's well-decayed zombie attacked Johnny in Final Solution, so somehow rescuing him from before/around the time of his death would have consequences. Plus Johnny has played with the whole resurrection thing before in the Moses Incident,  and that didn't end well.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #100 on: 15 September, 2018, 09:36:58 pm »
Reversing a death with time travel has already been shown not to work (in Rage) - death finds a way of claiming its own.

SIP

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #101 on: 15 September, 2018, 09:40:47 pm »
Very good points. And death eventually claiming someone is a really interesting one. Perhaps that premise is exactly what influenced the nature of Johnny's eventual resurrection.

Steve Green

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #102 on: 15 September, 2018, 09:57:33 pm »
There have to be consequences - Johnny's resurrection wasn't easy - and the excuse given is that being shot by blasters is different to an unnatural death, which is fine with me.

It's been stated multiple times that time can't be changed significantly - Blood Moon for example, and obviously with Ragnarok or the Schicklgruber job.

I guess you could have Kenton go off the rails and try to save his Dad, with Johnny forced to travel back, stop him but also have to watch the events without interfering, but seems best to move on.

I can't see of any way to bring Wulf back without breaking the rules of that universe - otherwise why stop with Wulf? Johnny could stop the Project too.

TordelBack

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #103 on: 15 September, 2018, 10:31:17 pm »
Well yeah,  but the point is that L&DoJA showed that Johnny wasn't ever actually dead - his body was still warm, and didn't decay: it was some kind of Lyran sorcery that kept him like this, maybe a consequence of his energy bring used to open the portal to Earth, or maybe even an effect of the wee beastie that was hitchhiking in his noggin.  The only bit of Final Solution that was actually retconned was what happened when the Flying Thing attacked him the second time, the disintegration being shown to be an invention of Feral's and merely what he told Middenface.  Everything else played out the same,  except Feral kept the existence of a "body' secret. The only thing the Stone Wizards did was restore his eyes and wake him from his eldritch slumber.
« Last Edit: 15 September, 2018, 10:37:14 pm by TordelBack »

Steve Green

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Re: How old is Johnny Alpha?
« Reply #104 on: 15 September, 2018, 10:50:35 pm »
OK, well there should be quotes around death and resurrection.