Star Trek: New Visions #17: All the Ages Frozen

'Based on feedback they have apparently found that NEW VISIONS goes over big with people who are not "conventional comic readers". I interpret that to mean those people who have spent WAY too many years reading comics, and have built all kinds of rules for what they should be. The people who complain that they "don't like photos with word bubbles in them" but who have no problem with the photorealistic painted books.' - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations III #12: "Century 30: Time and Time Again"

'One of the complaints the Byrne Bashers like to dust off from time to time is that I have a "fetish" about young girls crushing on older men. In a forty five year career, this is something I have done a grand total of four times with Mac and Heather Hudson, Lana and Superman in GENERATIONS, Rita Farr and Cliff Steele, and Reed and Sue Richards. And that last one was set in place by Stan and Jack. As fetishes go, not much to write home about.' - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations III #11: "Century 29: Little Girls Lost"

'That small scene, um, generated a brief rash of outraged posts and emails to DC from the Work Far Too Hard At Being Offended crowd. "Byrne portrays Superman as a child molester!!" Happily, this was more than counterbalanced by responses from female readers who thought the scene was "beautiful". I guess they got it!' - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations III #10: "Century 28: Gods and Monsters"

'When you're likely to live forever, perceptions are going to change, and sometimes drastically. Some of the readers who took time to respond to the series were apparently not ready for my musings! There was a ripple of outrage when Bruce Wayne became involved with, and eventually married to, Lara Wayne, his "great granddaughter". Many people seemed to stick on the language, and overlook the fact that Bruce and Lara had no blood relationship.' - John Byrne

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Star Trek: New Visions #16: Time out of Joint

"I've noticed a recurrent phrase in reviews and commentary about NEW VISIONS. Even the most exemplary comments make reference to the fact (and it is fact) that not every single panel in every issue is perfect. The seams show. Sometimes head transplants don't work. Lighting doesn't quite match. Etc. But here's my question: are there ANY comic books, drawn, painted, digital, you name it, that are 100% perfect, first page to last?" - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations III #9: "Century 27: A Soldier's Story"

'Once GENERATIONS is presented as any kind of coherent "universe" or "ElseWorld", it completely falls apart. It's like looking behind the curtain and finding out who Oz really is. The "hypertime" inclusion springs directly from Alan Moore's infamous "but aren't they all" line, in reference to "imaginary stories". For some reason that became a battle cry for FAR too many over-aged, ennui-engorged "fans", people who simply could not accept the old stories for what they were -- or GENERATIONS for what it was meant to be. Sigh.' - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations III #8: "Century 19: History Lesson, Part Two"

'When I was working on GENERATIONS, one of the first things I needed to figure out was just how old the Kents were when they found the rocket. Originally, they were described as "elderly", but since I would be dealing with an adult Superman in 1939 in my first story, which set the landing of the rocket sometime around 1910, I got to wondering what "elderly" meant back then, when "old" kicked in around 50! Eventually I decided Pa was around 65 in 1910, old enough to qualify as "elderly" by the standards of the time. That meant he would have been born around 1845, meaning he could have fought in the American Civil War.' - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations III #7: "Century 26: History Lesson, Part One"

I"n GENERATIONS 3 (which for some mysterious reason DC has chosen not to collect in trade paperback form) I had Batman create an army of OMACs to battle Darkseid's invading parademons. Next thing I know, the "real" Batman is creating an army of OMACs. Coincidence, I'm sure." - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations III #6: "Century 25: Love in the Time of Apocalypse""

'One of my personal disappointments with G3, oft mentioned, was that DC's insistence that I "take it forward" broke the pattern and lost, I thought, much of the charm. By moving "ahead" of the DCU I lost many of the points of recognition that had been such a a big part of the FUN of the first two.' - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations III #5: "Century 24: Family Secrets"

"In some ways, I'm kinda glad I didn't get to do [my Captain Marvel idea]. GENERATIONS addressed, at least in part, some of the negative aspects of being superheroes, and I planned to continue that with Captain Marvel. My intent was to have middle-aged Billy Batson spending more and more time as Cap -- who was now YOUNGER than Billy -- and in so doing neglecting his wife and teenaged kids. If you grimace reading that, it's quite okay. I sorta do myself!" - John Byrne

2325 C.E. )

Superman & Batman: Generations III #4: "Century 23: Return of the Warrior"

"As I have pointed out many, many times, none of the Amazons should look a day over 25." - John Byrne

2225 C.E. )

Superman & Batman: Generations III #3: "Century 22: Out of the Ashes"

"A year or so ago Dan Didio asked me to do a small project in which I had absolutely no interest. In fact, I was actually resistant to doing it, even tho it would have taken, at most, a couple of hours of my time. He did his best to cajole me into doing the thing, and finally I said 'Okay, I'll do it -- but my price is GENERATIONS 4.' He was amenable to this, saying that sales on 1, 2 and 3 had been good enough to justify 4. He said he would set the wheels turning and get back to me. When he did so, it was to inform me that Paul Levitz had said no, as he felt the 'ElseWorld' concept had been over-used and was tapped out. I reminded everyone that GENERATIONS was an 'imaginary story', not an ElseWorld, but Levitz was firm, and that was the end of that." - John Byrne

2125 C.E. )

Superman & Batman: Generations III #1: "Century 20: Crosstime Crisis"

"A 'generation' or two of Batman fans have grown up thinking of Alfred as the faithful old family retainer -- this is how Frank Miller portrayed him in THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and BATMAN: YEAR ONE, for instance -- but it has not always been so. In fact, Alfred did not join the Batman family until the mid 1940s, after Dick Grayson had become Robin. In that story we learned it was Alfred's father, Jarvis, who had been the old family retainer (and would have been the butler and general factorum when Bruce's parents were killed).

"In order to address this within the 'rules' I set myself in GENERATIONS, I decided that I would have it both ways. Whenever we saw young Bruce in flashback (the only way we have seen him so far in G1 and G2), it would be Alfred who was the faithful manservant, thus installing him retroactively as had become the case in the comics. But (as in G3) when we saw young Bruce in 'real time' it would be Jarvis Pennyworth who was the Wayne Mansion major domo.

"Confused yet?"

- John Byrne

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Batman & Captain America (1/2)

'Over the years, a few writers and artists have tried to swim against the [grim and gritty] tide -- as I did with GENERATIONS, for instance. In fact, when I did BATMAN & CAPTAIN AMERICA, which basically spawned G1 when Marvel and DC decided not to play nice any more, I said I hoped my book would be popular enough to create a new "trend" in comics -- FUN! I also said, tho, looking back on how "relevant" had spun down into "grim and gritty", that I expected if "fun" did catch on it would not be long before it became "goofy".' - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations II: "2019: Father to the Man"

"When I was a kid I loved the extended families of the lead characters. I was there for the introduction of Supergirl, Batmite, Bat-Hound, Batwoman, Batgirl (the first one) and a passel of others. The notion that these additional characters de-uniqued the originals did not occur to me. The curious -- and sad -- element, is watching DC trying to have it both ways, with grim-n-gritty versions of these once kid-friendly characters. I totally loved Krypto. That's why I did the best I could to break your hearts in GENERATIONS!" - John Byrne

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Superman & Batman: Generations II: "2008: This Ancient Evil"

'The most amazing thing about the whole series, for me, tho, was how fascinated -- and in some cases even obsessed! -- some readers became over the identity of Bruce Wayne's wife! Logically, of course, she would have been Julie Madison, who was introduced as his fiancee in an early story, and who he would surely have married in the "real time" environment of GENERATIONS. But just by hiding her face, I got people lathered up. And, you know, that's what reading these here comic books should be all about!' - John Byrne

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