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  • Newbie question

    I just got into B5 over the past 2 months or so. I am a huge STS9 fan, and heard B5 also has a great story arc, so I tried it out, and I definately wasn't disappointed. Now, I'm done with the 4 seasons that are out on DVD, and I'm looking to something else with a great sci-fi arc like that. First off, does anyone have any recommendations? Secondly, I keep hearing about a series of books called Supreme Power, at least I think they're books, and I heard about a compilation of them which was recently released. My questions here are, what are they, and what form of media do they come in?? I just check Amazon and can't find them, if someone could help me out, I'd appreciate it. From what I've been able to find out, they're a 14-16 books series (I may be a little off on those numbers), and it's story arc'd, I think, (obviously, I don't know much about it), but if anyone could help me out, I would appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Peace, Love, & Recycle

    -Synbios1978

  • #2
    Supreme Power is a series of comic books written by JMS. The original concept (called Squadron Supreme) was a knockoff of Justice League of America, with not so subtle carbon copies of all the DC heroes (Superman, Batman, etc. etc. etc.). JMS has taken that and run with it to far deeper, mature, and scarier places. A trade paperback collecting the first 6 issues was just released, and that should turn up on Amazon if you're looking for it.

    Also a note: Supreme is not a limited run series. While it has it's arcs, it doesn't have a set ending, and can conceivably go on as long as JMS comes up with ideas. I don't know where you got the 14-issue number - although that might apply to Midnight Nation. That was a limited run series by JMS, also comic book, also currently released in a collection paperback. The tale is of an LA cop whose soul is stolen, and finds himself in an echo of America that only the forgotten people can inhabit. It rivals, if not exceeds, his B5 work.

    Rising Stars is another limited run JMS series, but due to legal shenanigans, one that hasn't yet been completed.

    As for TV - arc stuff is hard to come by, that's why B5 was so unique. Farscape has a good bit of continuity to it, but it's arc-ness is more in it's characters than in massive wars and such.

    Last edit I swear - You can read the first issue of Supreme Power right here, see if it's to taste and all.
    Last edited by Radhil; 03-22-2004, 07:46 AM.
    Radhil Trebors
    Persona Under Construction

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    • #3
      Explains a lot

      Thanks for all the info, that explains quite a bit. I'll check out the first issue and makes a decision based on that. However many thanks again for all the help. Also, could anyone recommend any books based on B5? I'm really looking for something to fill time between now and Season 5's release.

      Thanks,
      Peace, Love, & Recycle

      -Synbios1978

      Comment


      • #4
        Plenty-

        The Shadow Within - Anna Sheridan's trip to Z'ha'Dum

        To Dream in the City of Sorrows - fills in Sinclair's time on Minbar

        Technomage Trilogy (Casting Shadows, Summoning Light, Invoking Darkness) - tale of the mage Galen, apprentice to Elric, and weaves in and out of the show timeline

        There are two other trilogies (the Psi Corp trilogy - detailing the founding of the corp, Bester's early days, and Bester's final fate - also the Centauri Prime trilogy, Legions of Fire, which does Londo and Vir's actions between the end of the show and that future flash that showed Londo's end). However, both are just a little bit spoilerific if you haven't watched Season 5 yet, so I would stick with the other books until you've seen the whole show.

        Any of these should show up on Amazon.
        Radhil Trebors
        Persona Under Construction

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks again

          Thanks again for all the info....I will probably be book shopping within the next couple days.....thanks again!!!
          Peace, Love, & Recycle

          -Synbios1978

          Comment


          • #6
            Just don't buy any of the B5 stand-alone books except the ones mentioned by Radhil. The others are suckeriffic.
            I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by grumbler
              Just don't buy any of the B5 stand-alone books except the ones mentioned by Radhil. The others are suckeriffic.
              And even more important, now considered completely non-cannon. Which is why they weren't republished, unlike To Dream in the City of Sorrows and The Shadow Within.

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              • #8
                CREATING BABYLON 5Ö

                SYNBIOS,

                Welcome to the domain!

                It pleases me well that you have not been afflicted with the stereotypical TREKKIESÆÖ bias against BABYLON 5Ö, & are also able to enjoy STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE 9Ö.

                I would say that THE SQUADRON SUPREMEÖ is a satirical parody of THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICAÖ which examines how DCÖ characters might be handled if they were in The MARVEL UniverseÖ.

                I also recommend obtaining a copy of CREATING BABYLON 5Ö by DAVID BASSOM, if you can find it.
                My Executive Producer insisted that I read his copy, & I am glad he did!
                ôàBe seeing you!ö
                MALCOLM XERXES
                Stuntman/Actor FINNEGANÆS SQUADÖ

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'll admit I had my doubts

                  After watching the story arc towards the end of DS9, I defined it as my fav sci-fi experience that I had watched yet (compared to The Next Generation), and really didn't want anything else to compare to it. However, after a few months of having no sci-fi to watch (I haven't been able to get into Star Gate SG-1), I really needed a sci-fi fix. I checked online, and everyone seemed to recommend B5. I looked at the price, and decided to pay $80 to give season 1 a shot. I'll admit after watching all but the final 3 episodes of the first season, I was really feeling let down. The CG was while great for it's time, poor compared to today's standards. There was a lot of foreshadowing, but it seemed I knew what was going to happen throughout all the episodes themselves, and I found myself laughing everytime SinClair was talking. I was ready to throw away the $80 I'd paid on S1 and cut my losses, but I decided to see if others felt the same way I did, and asked on scifi's B5 board if it got any better. I expected either an "of course" answer or a "what do you mean you don't like it" response, but I was actually shocked when most of them described season 1 as a necessary evil to setup the rest of the series. So, I watched the end of season 1 and finally found some redeption for my purchase with the episode "Chystallis" (sp??), at the end of S1. So, I bought S2, and had watched S2-4 within a 5 week timeframe.

                  I read about everything that happened with the networks and that explained why S4 felt a little rushed to me, and now I sit waiting for S5.

                  One thing I didn't quite figure out and I don't know if it's going to play a part later possibly, but it seemed like an open end was with Mrs. Winters. She gained an ability (I'm trying to keep it spoiler free) in the first season fairly early on, but her character didn't seem to really to play the role I expected it to play. Was there any reason why she felt cut off all of a sudden?

                  Thanks,
                  Peace, Love, & Recycle

                  -Synbios1978

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I'll admit I had my doubts

                    Originally posted by Synbios1978
                    One thing I didn't quite figure out and I don't know if it's going to play a part later possibly, but it seemed like an open end was with Mrs. Winters. She gained an ability (I'm trying to keep it spoiler free) in the first season fairly early on, but her character didn't seem to really to play the role I expected it to play. Was there any reason why she felt cut off all of a sudden?
                    The actor wanted to leave the show. I believe this end was always intended for her character, but that more would have come of it. With the actor gone, JMS (I think, this is all on memory) simply bumped her off in a manner of speaking, and had to leave it at that.

                    Art always bowing to the pressures of Real Life. Pity, eh?
                    Radhil Trebors
                    Persona Under Construction

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not exactly... Talia was always designed to take on the entire 5 year arc. That's why the Ironheart thing was there in the first place... it's how JMS was able to put Talia into Lyta's arc. Had she remained, pretty much most of what we saw Lyta do (save the Vorlon stuff) would have gone to Talia.

                      -----
                      Much of the Lyta arc will now go...
                      From: STRACZYNSKI [Joe]
                      Date: 12/19/1993 11:10 AM
                      Fourm: Genie

                      Much of the Lyta arc will now go to Talia, but there's now a
                      different
                      way of getting her into that arc.

                      jms
                      ----

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        B5 CASTING

                        KEVIN,

                        I am fascinated by the way things developed on that programme, casting-wise.

                        I wish I had known then what I know now about how the actors' personal decisions influenced ongoing storylines.
                        ôàBe seeing you!ö
                        MALCOLM XERXES
                        Stuntman/Actor FINNEGANÆS SQUADÖ

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kevin
                          And even more important, now considered completely non-cannon.
                          Actually, they were surely considered non-canon before they even came out!

                          Remember "Clark's Law" where Sheridan foments a riot that kills hundreds to he could score political points off of Clark? God, did that book stink. The rest mostly ignored the show and what it said about the charactors. CL insulted it.
                          I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Re: I'll admit I had my doubts

                            Originally posted by Radhil
                            The actor wanted to leave the show. I believe this end was always intended for her character, but that more would have come of it. With the actor gone, JMS (I think, this is all on memory) simply bumped her off in a manner of speaking, and had to leave it at that.

                            Art always bowing to the pressures of Real Life. Pity, eh?
                            It was probably for the best, though. Probably my favorite JMS quote, responding to a poster who couldn't figure out how JMS could handle the loss of Talia when she had been proclaimed "the future" and given these special powers ran on 12/17/1995:

                            RE: Talia...look, you've kinda got to look at this the way I do. Stuff happens. Yes, Talia was hoped for to be a key to the solution of the problem. (Not the key, but a key.) But if you do that, every single time, you become predictable. It means you, the audience, can relax. "Well, we know now that Talia will always get through this because she's the one they're hoping for." Suspense: gone. Story: suddenly predictable. There's no rule that every person who is hoped to help solve the problem in real life is gonna make it to the end or BE that solution. So if you delete that person, now it's "Oh, hell, NOW what're they gonna do?" which is more intrinsically interesting to me than the other option.

                            Generally speaking, about once a year, toward the end of the year, I kinda look around at the characters with a loaded gun in my hand, and say, "Hmmm...if I take out *that* person, what happens? Is there anyone here I can afford to lose? Would it be more dramatically interesting to have this person alive, or dead? What is the absolute bare minimum of characters I need to get
                            to the end of the story and achieve what I have to achieve?"

                            It helps to really remember that this is a *novel*, and uses the
                            structure of a novel. That means you have to have some real suprises as you go. Anyone is fair game. To the question "Why did you get rid of Sinclair? Why'd you get rid of Keffer? Why'd you get rid of Talia? Why'd you get rid of....oh, er, that hasn't happened yet...." there is only one answer: 'cause I
                            felt like it, and 'cause I thought it'd make the story a lot more interesting.

                            The stories I like best are the ones that ratchet up the tension and the uncertainty inch by inch until you're screaming. This could apply to any of Stephen King's novels (and recall that a lot of my background is in horror writing). Mother Abigail in THE STAND was supposed to be their hope for the future. So in short order she's vulture-food, JUST when she's most needed. *Because that's interesting*. It makes you say, "Oh, hell, NOW what?" (Stephen actually does that a lot in his books, and it's a technique I've
                            learned as well.) Boromir in LoTR was a capable, skilled fighter, deemed absolutely essential to the Company of the Ring...oops, there he is by the tree, full of Orc arrows.

                            Stuff happens.

                            Same here.

                            jms
                            Hehe. "about once a year, toward the end of the year, I kinda look around at the characters with a loaded gun in my hand..."

                            Gotta love it.
                            I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Newbie question

                              I don't want to give anything away for our Newbie friend who started this thread, so maybe he'd better skip over this post, but I can't help wondering how much of that is 'loaded gun' and how much is actually revisionist history. Would Talia have become a part of the five-year arc if Pat Tallman had been brought back in the first place to reprise the role of Lyta? Would JMS have needed Sheridan if not for Michael O'Hare's departure, and how would that affected big chunks of his arc, particularly World without End? What would season five have been like with Ivanova instead of Lochley?

                              One of the aspects of Joe's writing I admired the most was his ability to adjust his story arc to accommodate the various cast changes that took place, some of which were his 'loaded gun,' and others that he and the other producers on B5 had no control over. The real behind-the-scenes history of Babylon 5 would probably be utterly fascinating, but I suspect the fans will never hear about most of it, either because of differing viewpoints about the same events, a healthy dose of revisionist history, and the fact that some events would be a bit uncomfortable to talk about, even today. All that being said, I don't think most of them impact on the final storyline, which will always one of the pinnacles of SF story-telling, either on television or in general.

                              Oh, and Synbios, if you are reading this post, you don't actually have to dig up any of the Squadron Supreme's previous outings in order to appreciate the superb Supreme Power; in fact, I'd recommend against it. But if you're a real masochist, I'd suggest tracking down a copy of the 1989 graphic novel Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe, written by Mark Gruenwald and drawn by Paul Ryan and Al Williamson (ISBN #0-87135-598-1). It pretty much wrapped up Gruenwald's storyline from the original series, proving enough exposition so you don't have to dig up all the old issues. But if you've been spoiled by Straczynski's amazing work on Supreme Power, you'll probably be disappointed by the graphic novel- even though it did feature a staggeringly high body count of Squadders biting the big one in all sorts of nasty ways!

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