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"The Reclamation Project"
-- inspired by Mark Waid's JLA #20-21

In the early 1990s, a very mediocre mini-series just about ruined the character of Adam Strange by destroying every element which made his adventures so enjoyable. After a couple years of poor appearances in other titles, Adam's glory days were restored by a two-part story in JLA #20-21.

Writer Mark Waid's story wasn't perfect. It had some implausabilities, a few plot holes and scientific inaccuracies. Nevertheless, the important thing was that Mark had succeeded in bringing back a character thought to be irretrievably lost.

DC has lost numerous good characters to poor planning, badly conceived "revamps" and just downright lousy writing. Adam Strange was one; now he's back, almost as good as ever. Couldn't something also be done to reclaim Hawkman, restore the Metal Men, revitalize Guy Gardner, ret-con Hal Jordan or reanimate Tora "Ice Maiden" Olafsdotter?

Which brings us to this project:

Write a short prose story which restores a character to "greatness". The method is up to you. Due date: July 25th


  1. The reclamation project is intended to somehow reclaim characters widely considered to be "ruined". This means superheroes who were killed off badly/cheaply, superheroes whose "revamps" changed their characters and rendered them unusable, or characters who were in some other way mis-handled by a writer who just "didn't get the concept" and ruined the character's chances of ever seeing daylight again. Suggested characters are below. It's possible that you may know of another character needing reclamation, but you should e-mail and ask. No sense in your slaving away for three months just to discover that Booster Gold doesn't qualify because he's already restored!
  2. There is no need to stake your claim. There can be 100 different entries for Hal Jordan and no other characters submitted; we don't care!
  3. Stories must take place IN THE CURRENT DCU. In other words, DC could publish this next week and it would fix the problem. So, no Elseworlds. No dream stories. No "this would have worked if they'd done it in 1994 before Starman appeared."
  4. Prose format is suggested; script format will work, but we've heard from many who don't like to read script and Fanzing is primarily for entertainment (i.e. intended to be read!).
  5. These should be full stories, not plot proposals, springboards, samples or summaries.
  6. Please send your document as either an RTF document (that's "Rich Text Format" - extension ".rtf" - a very common format which can be saved and read by most modern word processors, and it allows bolding, italics, etc) or as a MS Office/Word document (extension ".doc"). E-mail it to
  7. Submissions should follow all of our regular rules for submitting fiction. It must "not suck", it cannot be rife with typos and poor grammar, and we reserve the right to refuse publication.
  8. ALL qualifying works will be run in the August issue, and we will declare one of them the best. To be fair, author's names will be hidden from the judges. (We're still working out the details here, as we need to include copyright when published on the web but we'd like the readers to cast their own votes.)


  • HAWKMAN (& GOLDEN AGE HAWKS & SHINING KNIGHT or possibly SILENT KNIGHT) - Katar Hol was already somewhat messed up by his modern day introduction. Then he was merged with numerous other "Hawk Avatars" including the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkwoman as well as either the Silent Knight or the Shining Knight (this is a rather messy point), thus ruining several other characters in the process! And THEN this messed up character was consigned to limbo.
  • METAL MEN - Read my Retconvention on the Metal Men to see how a writer who just missed the bloody point ruined the concept; the team is still around, but their glory days are forever lost and their history has been trashed.
  • GREEN LANTERN (HAL JORDAN) - No slam on Kyle here, but Hal Jordan suffered from a very bad editorial decision which had him acting grossly out of character just to get him to point B, the introduction of someone else as GL. All attempts to "placate the Jordan-lovers" have misunderstood that admitting he was once great is not the same as rectifying the injustice which has sullied his memory.
  • GUY GARDNER - Had a great thing going until "Emerald Twilight" spilled over into his mag and wrecked his Sinestro ring. This brought about the "Warrior" phase in which he got rid of the bowl-cut and the entire look/attitude that had made him popular since 1985.
  • ICE (TORA OLAFSDOTTER) - The writers of JLA wanted to kill off someone that would shock the readers…and ended up eliminating one of the most enjoyable characters left in the book! It's no surprise that JLA tanked after her death.
  • BLUE DEVIL - Robinson said "Hey, I need some dead weight characters to kill off for dramatic purposes in Starman!" and Blue Devil, Amazing Man and Crimson Fox bought the farm. Feel free to revive one or more. Blue Devil had actually been ruined earlier in Underworld Unleashed and JLA, both of which had Dan Cassidy acting very out of character. The guy's got a deal with the devil AND recuperative powers, so his death being permanent is unlikely.
  • AMAZING MAN - The grandson of the original All-Star Squadroneer. He'd been wasted in Extreme Justice but deserved better than the silly death in Starman. Do you think a bullet from a normal pistol could shatter glass as thick as the human body?
  • CRIMSON FOX - Again, a lousy death. She has amazing animal instincts but doesn't know her throat was cut?
  • FIRESTORM - As the fusion of an inexperienced teen and a counseling professor, he was vibrant. As a solo act…boring! Find some way to revitalize him.
  • HAWK AND DOVE - Wrecked by a last-minute effort to change the ending of Armageddon: 2001.
  • DEATHSTROKE - Generally considered ruined by Titans fans.
Article and layout © Michael Hutchison 1999.
All characters are © 1999 DC Comics.