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This Comic Is Good – Final Crisis #1

That’s a good start.

Grant Morrison certainly does not have a problem delivering a grand scope to this comic book, which is quite impressive, and sets the tone for the entire comic book.

The book begins with a visit from a New God to Anthro, and one of the book’s endings is another classic DC character visiting Antro, as well. It’s a strong frame to the general story, which is a mixture of two main plots – the death of the New Gods (and their rebirth as humans on Earth) and the rise of Libra, the new head of the Secret Society of Super-Villains.

To achieve his goals of the first story, Morrison is playing fast and loose with DC continuity, which I am more than fine with, as it helps the story a lot more if these New Gods are treated as mysterious alien beings as opposed to “oh yeah, that guy who was on the Justice League with Guy Gardner and Ice.”

The idea of the Guardians cordoning the crime scene of Earth!?!? That was awesome.

Libra’s verbal smackdown of Vandal Savage? Awesome.

Green Arrow’s outrage at the death of a fellow hero? Well placed.

Dan Turpin, period? Excellent.

This was just a well-paced comic that sets up numerous plots while still giving plenty of interesting scenes in this issue, as well. All with strong, detailed artwork from JG Jones, who is better here than he has been in the past, and he’s already a good artist, so it’s a very good package.

The only drawback, I guess, is that some of the scenes could have “popped” a bit more – like the hero death, I imagined that being a bit more notable – still handled well (the Human Flame’s reactions were priceless).

The cliffhanger was intriguing as well (presumably it is Orion being reincarnated as a human) – this was a great start to Final Crisis.

Looking forward to more!

Recommended.

FYI, Don MacPherson reviewed it on his blog, too. Click here to read his thoughts. He liked it as well, but I think he liked it a bit less than me. Although it’s basically a difference between, like, a 8/10 for me and a 7/10 for him, ya know?

61 Comments

A lot of the criticism I’m seeing seems to focus on scenes going by too fast and lack of new reader accessibility. The former is a fair enough point, but the other two Crises had plenty of fast scenes, too (especially Crisis on Infinite Earths and the multiple panels in each issue that exist solely to promote tie-in issues). The accessibility thing is also a fair critique, but I think it’s safe to say that Final Crisis #1 isn’t meant to be anybody’s first DC comic ever.

The big hero death was the only part of the issue I didn’t care for. For such a big character with such a long history, said character’s death was incredibly minor and low key. We barely even got a good look at said character before said character was snuffed.

I will say that the character team-up at the end is a brilliant idea. I’m amazed no one’s done it by now.

I agree, it was a good comic. I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan, and I found Infinite Crisis to be a crushing disappointment. But this really grabbed me. J.G. Jones’s art was a big help, of course. But the story was intriguing (and I haven’t really paid attention to any of the lead-in books). As far as the death (do we really need to talk around this? Anyone reading this post who _doesn’t_ know who or what we’re talking about?) I gotta figure that it’s not permanent. Indeed, Morrison’s JLA run featured that character so prominently that I’d be surprised if Grant let him/her go so casually.

So who’s the corpse?

Fair enough, I’ll say we can do spoilers in the comments from this point on.

SPOILER WARNING!!!

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The Martian Manhunter is killed.

“To achieve his goals of the first story, Morrison is playing fast and loose with DC continuity, which I am more than fine with, as it helps the story a lot more if these New Gods are treated as mysterious alien beings as opposed to ‘oh yeah, that guy who was on the Justice League with Guy Gardner and Ice.’ ”

I don’t mind stepping out of continuity for a good story either- as long as such stories are CLEARLY branded as noncanonical. Proceeding to write the current DC Universe’s Great Crossover and then act all “I don’t give a damn about what others wrote previously” is not being creative, it’s being selfish.

And for the love of God, don’t give us a lame retcon explanation like “Superboy’s punches changed that.”

That said, I do agree that the New Gods should *always* have been treated on a different level than Earth’s heroes… but they were not, and that’s the fact. Maybe Morrison should just write a New Gods Elseworlds…

Oh, btw- the idea of Anthro having learned to use fire from Metron would have been a lot more impressive if a WHOLE freakin’ advanced civilization -Atlantis- had not existed AT THE SAME TIME as the Cro-Magnon first appeared (40,000 years ago). This has been explained by saying Atlanteans were a divergent race ala Marvel’s Eternals, who also coexisted with cavemen. So, even a two-bit Atlantean farmer could have done the same thing.

See what happens when you don’t research your continuity?

Personally, I call bullshit on Manhunter’s death. We don’t see it, but more to the point, Grant has been talking about it for so many months now that I just have to think that he’s faking us out.

Sijo: About that Atlantis thing…YOU’RE THE ONLY PERSON ON EARTH WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS THAT.

Boo, hiss to the death of the classic character. I already read very little DC, and now they’re removing one of the few characters I care about. I suppose we’ll see if it’s permanent.

Had no idea who half the villains or any of the monitors were, so this issue probably didn’t have the ‘oomph’ for me it did for regular DC readers. I thought this book was fine, but continue to wish the DCU were more accessible.

That said, I do agree that the New Gods should *always* have been treated on a different level than Earth’s heroes… but they were not, and that’s the fact. Maybe Morrison should just write a New Gods Elseworlds…

It was a “fact” that Helena Wayne was the Huntress.

Then it wasn’t.

It was a “fact” that Barry Allen was dead.

Then it wasn’t.

It was a “fact” that Power Girl was Superman’s cousin.

Then it wasn’t.

Then it was, again.

This could go on for awhile. ;)

In other words, this is the perfect example of Morrison’s Hypertime – if the story is hurt by bad ideas of the past (and do note that one of the writers Morrison is ignoring here is HIMSELF – he admits he, too, made the mistake of making the New Gods too human) – then you shouldn’t have to be stuck using the mistakes of the past.

He even throws a bone by addressing that DC heroes ARE familiar with the New Gods, just not to the same level we’ve seen in the past.

Flipped through it at the store, read some reviews and recaps, and… I just don’t care. DC’s officially burned me out on their universe and changed things up so much without any real consequences that I don’t care if so-and-so is dead/returns/becomes infatuated with having sex with horses. Everything is important and nothing matters.

What I just don’t get in this issue is the treatment of Orion and the New Gods, as far as the Justice League is concerned. I mean, here we are, not weeks after Superman witnessed the death of the New Gods, and after watching Orion fall in battle with Darkseid, and they’re acting as though it never happened. What’s more, you had not one, but -four- New Gods serve with the Justice League at one point or another, and yet the JLA sits around talking about them as though they’re something rare and different.

And no one’s surprised that Orion was around to be murdered, after he supposedly died in battle weeks before?

No one’s surprised that there are any New Gods -left-, after the way they were all massacred? Superman saw most of them -dead-, and yet he’s claiming that instances of contact are on the rise… and doesn’t stop to consider the incongruity?

I wouldn’t be so persnickety if these things hadn’t -just- happened, so recently that the bodies have barely had time to cool… and everyone’s suddenly taking a far different approach to the New Gods than they did before.

I hope they explain that whatever factors went into the ressurection of the New Gods explain something about altering memories, or perceptions, or histories, because let’s face it, the Barda and Scott Free who had barbeques with the JLI don’t exactly jibe up with the treatment of the New Gods as -gods-.

Oh, and it helps to keep in mind that apparently, Seven Soldiers takes place “a week before Infinite Crisis” or some such, according to some sources. Which still has its own problems a’plenty, but….

Is it wrong that I hated the quick takedown of Empress? I liked her in Young Justice, and I got ticked while she was shown with white skin in Day Of Vengenace. And while I’m thinking about it…was this the first appearance of Mas y Menos? I know they’ve been in a few splash pages.

This issue was more “This Comic Is Meh,” but I expect that to change.

I have a question that maybe somebody can answer for me:

SPOILER WARNING.

The kids “Dark Side” tells to attack Turpin…is that Leviathan from the Karian series in Seven Soldiers?

I’d have to say it’s EXTREMELY unlikely that the children in the Dark Side Club are the same ones as Leviathan from Klarion. The Leviathan seemed to still be in possession of its own will and mainly took action against Ebeneezer Badde, who Darkseid would have no reason to attack, whereas the children are pretty clearly being affected by the anti-life equation and are wholly under Darkseid’s control.

Mike Loughlin

May 29, 2008 at 6:54 pm

I liked Final Crisis well enough (does anyone really think J’Onn is gone for good? I think they’re putting him in storage until someone figures out what to do with him, maybe Morrison himself by the final issue), but the Monitors scene dragged, and who the heck are the Alpha Lanterns? (No, I haven’t been reading Green Lantern) Also, don’t the JLAers realize they know most of the New Gods, or has all this changed since “New Earth” came out of Infinite Crisis? I loved the human New Gods, my favorite part of the 7 Soldiers Mr. Miracle mini.

Rich: Of COURSE it’s not permanent. Too many writers like this guy. He will be revived in due time- I think given how badly his own mini misfired it may be time for J’onn to lay fallow for a bit.

One thing that impressed me was that the book managed to be dark, but not “look at the blood! And the horror! And the crying!” dark. Part of this is down to the art, but I think Morrison avoided wallowing in the horrible darkness for the most part and is more focused on just moving the story. Compare with INFINITE CRISIS #1.

(Okay, Dr. Light is still Dr. Rapey McRape, but they’re apparently going to kill him anyway.)

Evan, I’m sure you’re right about it not being permanent (see Allen, Barry, etc., etc.). I’d still prefer it weren’t at all. C’est la vie.

Should I get this?

I am paralyzed with indecision.

And I have a pretty big week already.

PRO:

I’m a huge Morrison fan.

ESPECIALLY Seven Soldiers.\

Sounds like a big ‘ol Kirby tribute. I’m so game…

Killed the Martian Manhunter, who’s been kind of a non-functional mish-mash of a character ever since they merged the psychic detective version (which is a great idea), with the Superman clone version (which isn’t a great idea), together back in the eighties. Poor JJ’s a patchwork monster of convoluted back-story and powers, and needs a total retooling/streamlining to make work.

Hint: Go back to the psychic detective!

Con:

The only Morrison project I’ve REALLY liked in the last few years (like, since Seven Soldiers) has had JH Williams III on pencils. So it’s not exactly Grant that bowled me over, there, even. And, yeah, even that fell apart at the end.

Company-wide cross-over. *Wanky and barfy motions.*

No real cool high-concept, ALA WE3. The only selling point to the story is that it “matters to continuity,” which tends to translate in my head to “editorially driven clusterfuck.”

Already got some big ticket items this week: Skyscrapers of the Midwest and the Comics Journal. I ain’t made of money.

Of all the subsequent stories to bear the “Crisis” name, this was definitely the one to be closest in tone and feel (at least so far) to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths… it’s so big and so epic that, yes, you feel a bit lost and sometimes you have to go back and say “wait, is that what I thought it was?” but I think that’s just that nature of the beast for something with this scope… Anyone who’s read Flex Mentallo or Animal Man knows that Grant Morrison has probably thought more about what a Crisis level event means to a fictional universe, and I have very high hopes for where this is going.

What I really love about this issue and of the original Crisis, though, is that the real human moments of the story come from the Monitors, while most of the more human heroes and villains are all business from the very first scene.

I’m convinced J’ohnn will be revived in this series, simply because I think Morrison is planning to elevate the more important heroes in the DC Universe (and possibly all of the heroes) into Gods. Batman won’t simply be Bruce Wayne, but the spirit one accepts when you decide to give yourself over to fighting crime. Martian Manhunter will be the spirit that embodies the alien fitting in on Earth.

I could be wrong, but this idea fits in really well with a lot of Morrison’s other stuff.

Personally, this was a good week for me & Mr. Morrisson. I’ve not been a fan of his run on Batman, but this week was epic between Batman & FC. He did manage to fit in the beginning and end of humanity (homo sapienity, anyway), and with a minimum of trinity facetime. Jones was on the money, especially in the non-narrative scenes. I really can’t wait for the next issue to come out, and I was really on the fence about this after Infinite Crisis and the poo-dance that was Damian (not quite Ibn al Xu’ fasch) Wayne.

Personally, I call bullshit on Manhunter’s death. We don’t see it

Yes we do.

And as for the playing of fast and loose with the New Gods, hasn’t it always been Morrison’s way to change the rules if he can’t win the game? Just think of people being unfamiliar with Orion as a “secondary mutation”…

Yeah, that’s one thing I don’t like about Morrison, though at this point, I’ve stopped caring or thinking DC (or Marvel) will adhere to continuity just so a star writer can write ‘his’ story. With that said…

This wasn’t too bad. Not great, but not too bad either. Definitely an improvement over IC and all the Countdown series. The art for me is also a strong selling point, though then again, I always thought IC LOOKED good ;)

At this point, I’m more interested in the destination as opposed to the journey, so we’ll see how things end up. Just hope DC does a better job of maintaining the status quo once FC is done than they did after the original Crisis.

In regards to continuity and countdown and all that, apparently countdown didn’t turn out like they all originally planned and i guess grant just went with the original plan. or maybe it will make sense by issue 3. he’s promised there wouldn’t be any superboy punchy punchy nonsense going on.

with manhunter, i knew it was coming but it still tore my heart out a little. but maybe this is grant turning j’onn into his dc one million incarnation? it is very doubtful he killed him for good, because he considers killing characters to be lazy writing and prefers to mess with them badly.

btw, the cliffhanger was not orion but Nix Uotan, the exiled monitor. note the hairstyle.

MarkAndrew, I don’t know what to tell you. The good news is, it does indeed read like the sequel to Seven Soldiers…but the bad news is, it also reads like the sequel to Infinite Crisis, 52, and Countdown. There’s even a couple veiled callbacks to Identity Crisis — heck, there’s even a fairly funny swipe at what Brian Bendis is doing at Marvel. The good news is, if you wanted something that feels like Morrison really did plan the whole thing from the beginning, and that this is the payoff, it has that feeling. But although I admire how he manages that (and what’s up with Jones’ drawing of the little wee Hall Of Justice? We all know Morrison doesn’t waste space on a page, so what’s it doing there?), and although he’s as good as ever at sculpting characters with just a couple lines of dialogue, and although Jones is fantastic, and really captures a lot of the SSoS #1 Williams vibe while still doing his own amazing thing…despite all that, the bad news is that the Libra-Vandal Savage dialogue couldn’t be sharp enough to not make me a feel a buzz-killing deja deja deja vu by this point, and the killing of the famous character actually made me physically yawn. All I could think was:

“When’s Sky-High Helligan gonna show up, damn it?”

Come on, you know she’ll be back…

…Um, she is gonna be back one day, right?

We got Terrible Turpin, and that’s good, but this was a really quick read and that’s bad. This should’ve been DC Universe #0 — because I’m a nervous fan with Event Fatigue and I don’t know if I even care if evil wins, anymore. And I’m sure Morrison’s playing with that feeling of mine on purpose, really really sure…but I still have this nagging anxiety: if Seven Soldiers was his “Watchmen”, and The Invisibles was his “From Hell” (crazy bastard did ‘em in reverse!), is Final Crisis going to be his “Twilight Of The Superheroes”? Because I’m not sure I’m down with that.

Evaluated as an issue: it isn’t a must-buy. It’s a great teaser, and I wish they’d sent it out that way. I read the first three pages and jumped on it. If I’d read four more pages I wouldn’t have. But if it had been DCU #0 I’d be stoked right now. And, I would’ve probably bothered to read DCU #0.

Oh, and I suspect the Anti-Life children may be a Morrisonized version of the Forever People.

Oh, and “Nix Uotan”? I didn’t know that; that’s funny. Guess we know what Morrison’s mythological template is for this one, then…!

Like everybody else, I’m torn. God help me, I just don’t fucking care if any hero lives or dies in this thing. The stakes are way higher than that, now.

And he’s only got six more issues.

I’m scared.

Hold me, Nix Uotan!

Random Stranger

May 30, 2008 at 4:21 am

I’m still on the fence with it. The first issue didn’t repulse me but it didn’t make me go “Oh yeah! That’s the stuff I’ve been waiting for in a giant company crossover!”

The first issue of Infinite Crisis did that for me even if the pay off wasn’t there thanks to laying down what appeared to be a coda for the series (that they lost track of half way through for the sake of beating up Superboy) and the return of the golden age Superman.

Final Crisis? Well there’s evil stuff happening but none of it really amounts to much yet. Orion dies and I don’t care because we’ve had nearly a year of that stuff. Darkseid has evil children and but its completely vague what’s occurring and I can’t raise any interest. Libra steals Metron’s chair; I follow the implications but that only makes me go “Oh he’s going to use it to travel someplace he shouldn’t” and move on. Some nobody shows up and unites the villains under one banner and I couldn’t care less because I’ve not only seen it done before, I’ve seen it done multiple times in the past couple of years. The Martian Manhunter is executed for the sake of a grade-Z villain and I don’t even blink since the J’onn I was interested in is long gone.

All of it is set up and no hook for me. It might read fine in the trade but it hasn’t stirred me at all yet.

I found the book a little choppy, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it either bad or good. I give it time.

But why do people keep saying that J’onn was killed off panel? Are you people all missing the page where he run through by what looks like the Spear of Destiny?

Derek B. Haas

May 30, 2008 at 5:49 am

I figured that the guy with bad hair at the end was that Monitor they’d exiled to the material world, not Orion.

That’d work, too, Derek! But I think seeing Orion adjust to his new life as a “human” would be a bit more interesting, so I’m hoping that’s what it is.

Hell, the guy at the end could even be J’onn, based on the fact that they’re talking about him on the television right as he wakes up. Who knows with crazy Grant?

What if Libra is J’onn is disguise? Stranger things have happened…um, on 2nd thought, nah, it would be kind of dumb.

Stephane Savoie

May 30, 2008 at 7:02 am

Has anyone else pointed out that the book Libra is carrying is the Crime Bible?

If I were a bit less lazy I’d go through and see if the Great Lord And Master Mr. Cronin has come up with a Comic Book Dictionary phrase for what I’m talking about, but I am that lazy so…

I really liked this book. It’s a great piece of comic art to me for the following reason: I felt like Infinite Crisis, as a sequel to the original, feel into too much of a ‘nostalgia trap’, whereas Final Crisis, one issue in admittedly, has set up a tone equivalent to the original, without being slavishly indebted to its set of characters and plot points.

I thought the cliffhanger was the Tattooed Man without his tattoos for some reason.

I believe I saw somewhere that the guy in the cliffhanger was labelled as a fallen monitor in a sketch book.

Did anyone else notice all the little clues involving Mister Miracle?

I thought the guy at the end might be J’onn too. Here’s hoping, but the haircut look more like Nix.

Libra is Glorious Godfrey. Paging Legends….

“What’s more, you had not one, but -four- New Gods serve with the Justice League at one point or another, and yet the JLA sits around talking about them as though they’re something rare and different.”

There’s actually a somewhat reasonable explanation for that – the current JLA isn’t the most experienced team in the world. Black Lightning’s never been on the JLA before, Vixen has barely hung around the team since the Detroit days, Arsenal’s not the type of hero that would care about Cosmic stuff (… and I don’t think he’s slept with any of them, which is somewhat surprising), Hawkgirl’s JSA tenure didn’t really cross over with any New God-related stuff. So Superman and Batman explaining things in simple terms (largely for the readers’ benefit) kind of jives with them giving people who aren’t used to the New Gods a refresher course. Meltzer obviously was trying to take the JLA into more smaller-scale conflicts, but Morrison’s NEVER seen them that way.

My bigger gripe with the scene was that apparently no one told Morrison that Black Canary’s now the JLA leader. That, or he was told, and had the same “… wait, SERIOUSLY?” reaction everyone else did when Meltzer came up with the idea, and just wrote it with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman fulfilling their command roles like they did in his JLA run.

I thought it was good – at least there wasn’t the same type of drastic change in direction that happened at the end of Infinite Crisis. That’s still the biggest blown storyline in comics history.

Brian, if the past stories about Orion or Mister Miracle etc being in the JLA should be ignored so as not to get in the way of Morrison’s story….or say John Stewart’s only major story, Cosmic Odyssey which was all about the New Gods….why should any of it matter?

Martian Manhunter was killed? So what? Who’s he?
Little Blue Guys? They matter? Why?
Justice League of what? Huh?

Morrison’s telling a story that’s supposed to resonate because of DC History..that is the point of a “Crisis” story these days, no?

Ignoring that history undercuts the whole point then.

Morrison’s story resonates with the parts of DC history he thinks are worth resonating with.

That was the whole point of his and Waid’s Hypertime – EVERY story happened, individual writers just don’t have to feel like slavishly adhering to all of them, even the ones they think are bad.

And I think Final Crisis is very much a return of Hypertime.

I hypertime comes back. I liked the idea, and I think it did a better job of explaining all the continuity inconsistencies that spring up. But I do appreciate that Superboy Punch! is now part of the comic vernacular.

As far as “ignoring that history undercuts the whole point then”, slavishly nodding to previous events and making them fit is a bit fanwankish and holds up the story more than helps. I don’t think Morrison ignored it, I think he “played fast and loose” with it to get on with the big story.

I also hope hypertime comes back. In some alternate dimension, I could have typed that correctly the first time.

I think we’ve had this conversation before, Brian, and I don’t think we’re ever going to see eye to eye on this (and wouldn’t it be a boring old world if we all thought the same?)…but I just can’t go with you here. In a shared universe as big as the DCU, feeling free to ignore every story you don’t like is effectively the same as everyone ignoring everyone else’s work, at which point it’s no longer really a “shared universe” anymore. There’s a large enough pool of writers with a large enough pool of tastes that everyone’s going to think someone’s story is bad and should be ignored.

At that point, what you’ve got is a story where actions don’t have consequences. The New Gods died last month, but Grant Morrison isn’t interested in dealing with that story, so they die all over again this month. No follow through equals no consequences equals no drama. Why should I care about anything that happens when next week someone might arbitrarily decide, “No, that chapter of the story was lame and I refuse to acknowledge it”?

All this is an aside to ‘Final Crisis’ specifically, because I don’t feel qualified to debate on that subject (seeing as how I haven’t seen more than the first few pages.) But I think that something was lost when COIE made it okay to undo old stories. I don’t get my money back for those old comics, why should they get to negate them from continuity? :)

There’s a large enough pool of writers with a large enough pool of tastes that everyone’s going to think someone’s story is bad and should be ignored.

Exactly.

That’s the whole POINT of Hypertime – EVERY story happened – writers just only have to specifically deal with the stuff they want to use.

No one is tied to dumb ideas just because “they happened.”

And I love it.

Thank you, Mark Waid and Grant Morrison! What a wonderful idea!!

I second the support for Hypertime specifically and ignoring some stuff specfiically. If it gets in the way of telling a good story, I say go for it. It’s funny, but the way it reads, and knowing that it’s been a long time in the works, I have to think that it’s actually DC that first changed the script (figuratively and literally) and that Morrison stood his ground and just kept on with the story he’s telling.

That’s the way it seemed to me at least. And I say good on him for it.

It does appear that way, Alonso.

But I dunno – it’s not like stuff is even changed THAT much.

Most of the stuff is minor, anyways.

That is not even necessary. Batman is explaining shit to superheroes that haven’t dealt with the New Gods. Being upset about it is pure stupid. Is fucking SPEEDY really informed about Orion?

Rohan Williams

May 31, 2008 at 12:09 am

Joe’s absolutely right, that scene doesn’t really mess with continuity at all. We can probably drop the Hypertime explanations for now. Also, I think the Manhunter’s return was hinted at in last week’s JLA, when Superman referred to JJ’s ‘secret mission’ (although I haven’t been reading JLA, so he might have been talking about something else). If he really is dead, that’s a piss-poor way to go, but I’m sure he’s not.

The issue itself wasn’t anything overly special, for mine. It suffered a bit from Morrison’s uniquely choppy writing style. But at least we can see what ‘Final Crisis’ is actually ABOUT now (taking away good’s hegemony over evil), which is nice.

I don’t think I made my point sufficiently clear, there, so I’ll use an example that clarifies it perfectly: The ultimate extension of Hypertime to its logical conclusion was Dan DiDio’s decision to write all the stories that used Hypertime out of Hypertime because he thought it was a lame idea and decided he shouldn’t be bound by other people’s bad ideas. :)

What the current crop of writers is doing (and I don’t intend to single out Morrison, this is endemic to modern superhero comics) isn’t “ignoring” stories they don’t like, it’s actively singling them out for retconning in some sort of attempt to advance their own personal agendas. All of the major retcons of ‘Infinite Crisis’ were done solely to retcon existing retcons that Geoff Johns (and Morrison and Waid and Rucka, who all had quite a bit of input) thought were “lame”. They brought back the multiverse purely because they didn’t like the story that undid it, not because they had any vision or purpose for a DC multiverse. The next crop of hot writers will no doubt retcon away that retcon because they were big fans of post-Crisis DC.

You claim that this “Hypertime” approach allows you to ignore continuity when it gets in the way of stories, but I look at the stories and see the opposite–they’re ignoring storytelling to focus on whose continuity is going to dominate each narrative.

“Sijo: About that Atlantis thing…YOU’RE THE ONLY PERSON ON EARTH WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS THAT.”

Riiight. Because I’m the only person who’s ever heard of the ARION, LORD OF ATLANTIS series. :-P

Hey, I’m not saying it was a GOOD idea. The Arion writers should have done their research and set the series at a time where, you know, HUMANS ALREADY EXISTED. Though they’re hardly the only ones who committed such errors in comics history.

If they want to reboot that, fine by me. But dammit, do it CLEARLY. Do a DC History series with *details* (not the crappy thing they did in 52.) Don’t just drop us into stories were we have wonder, “Hey, what happened with…?” I don’t buy comics to then have to make up my own explanations (without even getting a No-Prize for it! :-p )

Brian: Umm, I hate to break this to you, but Hypertime is no longer being used. Didio himself said so.

It was a bad idea, anyway. Not that we could have alternate realities, that was cool. But to assume that the main reality changes without warning? That means the freakin’ universe is UNSTABLE. Sounds like a menace to me, not something to be celebrated. Not to mention being an excuse for poor writers to ignore continuity at their whim. Which is what has ruined DC’s continuity all along. You notice Marvel doesn’t suffer these problems (well, with rare exceptions like ONE MORE DAY…)

Oh, God, comic companies, please do not listen to the people that want their fictional universes all mapped out and detailed and “consistent.”

Just let people write and draw good stories.

Oh, God, comic companies, please do not listen to the people that insist that the only way to be able to write and draw good stories is to spend all their time retconning away each others’ old continuity that they don’t like.

If someone wants to write and draw a good story that doesn’t fit into continuity, they can always do so; nobody complained that ‘Monster Society of Evil’ didn’t fit into Captain Marvel’s continuity, did they? No, because Jeff Smith didn’t pretend it did. And gosh, it still worked just fine. He wrote and drew the story he wanted to, and so did Darwyn Cooke with New Frontier (even though I still can’t stand that one, but it has nothing to do with the continuity) and so does Tom DeFalco with Spider-Girl, and so did Bendis with Ultimate Spider-Man (although it got kind of old for me around issue #60)…

The issue isn’t when people write stories that don’t fit into continuity. The issue is when people write stories that don’t fit into continuity, and insist loudly that they do so fit into continuity and if you notice a problem then shut up, you whiny fanboy, you must not have a life to be paying attention to that and anyway that old story doesn’t count anymore. :)

Think of it this way. The kind of story you’re defending isn’t Grant Morrison’s ‘Doom Patrol’. It’s John Byrne’s ‘Doom Patrol’ that tried to claim Morrison’s ‘Doom Patrol’ never happened. Which one is the “good story” and which one is the pointless exercise in continuity?

Hypertime is fine when applied to stories that are old enough that they’ve generally had time to fade into being more history than immediate context. Saying it’s okay to apply Hypertime to stuff published within the last year– or that it’s even necessary to do so in order to tell a good story– reflects very, very poorly on DC as a publisher.

John, I am in no way defending any such thing. All I’m saying is that good stories are more important than a fucking puzzle.

Rohan Williams

June 1, 2008 at 12:21 am

There’s an interview with G-Mozz in the last Comics Foundry in which he mentions that other DC writers weren’t even meant to touch the New Gods over the past year or so. His story, which he’s presumably had in the bag for awhile, reflects that- it’s meant to be an epic re-introduction to the New Gods, not a follow-up to a crappy mini-series about their deaths. So the fault for Countdown and its tie-ins not matching up with Final Crisis would seem to lay at editorial’s feet, not Morrison’s.

Is there any way that can be confirmed?

Rohan Williams

June 1, 2008 at 2:21 am

The interview is in Comics Foundry #2. As far as whether or not such a request was actually made, your guess is as good as mine. But he seemed relatively miffed that his wishes weren’t respected, and indicated that he’d be telling the story the way he wanted to tell it originally anyway. Which would seem to be what happened.

Rohan Williams

June 1, 2008 at 2:25 am

From the interview:

“Back in 2006, I requested a moratorium on the New Gods so that I could build up some foreboding and create anticipation for their return in a new form … instead, the characters were passed around like hepatitis B to practically every writer at DC to toy with as they pleased, which, to be honest, makes it very difficult for me to reintroduce them with any sense of novelty, mystery or grandeur. So in cases like this, where fellow creators have overlooked my carefully established additions to DC continuity or ignored my pleas to hold certain characters in reserve, my intention is to follow the through-line I’ve established in my own work so that there’s at least some long-term consistency.”

On second thought, I doubt there ever will be any confirmation on this, since it would make DC editorial look quite stupid. Plus, considering how we’re now firmly in the era of the ‘star writer’, if this is true, how dumb does that make DC for potentially pissing off someone they have given the keys to the kingdom?

I like how this book isn’t crammed with artwork where it becomes impossible to discern what was going on. I hope the rest of the book is like this, and on time, otherwise i’ll lose interest like I did with Wonder Woman. It’s probably one of the more accessible things that he’s written recently, even if I had to look up anthro and kamandi.

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