Comics

Comics

JJ Abrams owes his career to old DC comics

Posted by Rob Noble on July 20, 2010

So I’ve been catching up on the first season of ‘Fringe’, via the Netflix, and it’s confirming something I’ve long suspected: JJ Abrams owes the last ten years of his career to old DC comics.

The big twists in ‘Fringe’ (the “Walternate” universe), ‘Lost’ (the flash-sideways) and his ‘Star Trek’ re-boot (Spock Prime travels backwards in time, creating an alternate universe for everybody in Starfleet Academy) are all based on some pretty well-known ideas from the Pre-Crisis days of DC comics. From the late 1950′s up until 1986, DC characters like Batman and Superman lived in a multiverse. Bruce Wayne might be a 30ish bachelor in one universe, but an old man, a WW2 vet in another. And frequently, they’d team up. When I was a kid, I *loved* the yearly team-ups between the alternate versions of characters, and now JJ Abrams brings this idea to pretty much every new project he develops.

But this season 1 clip from ‘Fringe’, episode 8? This clip is something else. Because on Earth-2, where Superman and Wonder Woman, et al, were all fighting the Nazis in WW2, a character named “Johnny Quick” was introduced. Read more about him here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Q…

Like all good super-speedsters, JQ can vibrate his body, his very molecules, so fast that he can pass through solid matter. He can run through walls and doors and make himself intangible when he needs be. And he does this by reciting an equation: 3X2(9YZ)4A. Sure, it’s gibberish, but it’s all that’s needed to explain how a regular guy gains super-powers from following a “magical” formula.

And seeing it in Fringe makes me wonder, does DC even *have* copyright lawyers? Because this is flat-out plagiarism.

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