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CSBG Archive

I’d Be Irked, Too…

Again, bear in mind that Countdown only finished last month so Final Crisis was already well underway long before Countdown and although I’ve tried to avoid contradicting much of the twists and turns of that book as I can with the current Final Crisis scripts, the truth is, we were too far down the road of our own book to reflect everything that went on in Countdown, hence the disconnects that online commentators, sadly, seem to find more fascinating than the stories themselves.

– Grant Morrison, at Newsarama about Final Crisis #1

Still, I think Grant Morrison has got to get over the fact that it IS going to be a big deal if his current series directly contradicts the comic that was specifically labeled a countdown TO his current series. It is not his fault, and I would be totally irked if I was in his shoes (and I, obviously, don’t care myself about ignoring Countdown – heck, I think it should be Federal Law), but whether it is is his fault or not, it IS a notable problem.

74 Comments

FunkyGreenJerusalem

June 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm

So what, Countdown doesn’t actually count and was just a series for the sake of having a weekly series to keep the money from 52 coming in?

I’m shocked.

Truly shocked.

No real sympathy for Morrison here. This may just be one of those playground rumors, but I hear that writers are occasionally required to re-work projects, sometimes up to the last minute. I guess I can understand the frustration involved in having to rework something that you’ve long-since put to bed because of someone else’s storyline, but that’s a drawback to working in a shared universe with characters that you don’t own.

I’m already avoiding Final Crisis I’m not seeing any reason to change my mind so far.

From the look of it, Morrison already knows what the drawback is to working in a shared universe with characters he doesn’t own: Hearing people whine about it when his story doesn’t mesh with an inferior one that came before.

Of course, that said, I have no problem with people being miffed at DC editorial for making such a huge blunder on the eve of their “we’re gonna point out which books ‘really matter’ so you can get the whole story” direction.

Which is not to say I necessarily sympathize with them, because whose fault is it that they keep falling for it? Fool me half a dozen times, shame on me, y’know?

Two letters for Grant.

T S

“Of course, that said, I have no problem with people being miffed at DC editorial for making such a huge blunder on the eve of their “we’re gonna point out which books ‘really matter’ so you can get the whole story” direction.”

It’s very easy to not worry about this at all if you just stop letting DC tell you which books “really matter”.

For example – I didn’t read Countdown and I didn’t read “Death of the New Gods”, so all these complaints that people have about Final Crisis #1? I don’t have ‘em. I can enjoy it in the manner it was clearly intended – as a sequel to Seven Soldiers (the last “big event” I bothered to pick up on an issue-by-issue basis from DC, as a matter of fact).

I agree with Jer.

Besides, scheduling-wise, it DID count down to Final Crisis. “When this series ends, Final Crisis will show up or something.” See?

I agree with every single word Jer said. I’m in the exact same position. Morrison is the only person at DC who has his head on straight, so I don’t really care what else DC Editorial wants to shove at people, I’m not reading it.

It’s very easy to not worry about this at all if you just stop letting DC tell you which books “really matter”.

Oh, I don’t (I realize I didn’t indicate that in my post).

But I can still understand people being mad based on the simple fact that they were told something would happen and basically the opposite happened.

I guess my question would be, why are people (seemingly) mad at Morrison specifically? He signed on to do a project with various implicit and explicit understandings. DC saw fit to reverse engineer plot points and use them in comics that are almost universally disliked. Is the implication truly that Morrison and Jones should have scrapped their years-long planning for Final Crisis in order to better line up with comics no one liked in the first place, and were meant to supplement their story in the first place? Would anyone be happier with that? Do people just want some sort of comfort that the horrible comics they wasted money on “mean something”?

Don’t look at Countdown. Focus Elsewhere.

Charles Cooper

June 9, 2008 at 8:22 pm

I can’t believe there are people here seriously implying that Grant Morrison should have changed his exiting scripts to line up with an inferior lead-in with which he had no involvement.

The reason this sounds like such an EXCUSE is because sometimes these folks act like they don’t all work for the same company.

If Grant Morrison is considered the greater writer, then Countdown should have been changed. And if Countdown COULDN’T be changed? Or if the right people just never talked to each other? Then why do they pay the editorial staff a damn salary. I mean I can get the point that its not the job of a writer to “coordinate”. Guess who’s job that is…

I have less of a problem with it not tying into the trainwreck that was Countdown and more of a problem with stuff from the interview like this:

“In DCU #0 we’re watching him fall back through the present, into the past of Seven Soldiers where he finally comes to rest in the body of ‘Boss Dark Side’, the gangster from that story. The implication is that Darkseid has been consolidating his power base on Earth, in a human body, since at least the time of Infinite Crisis.”

The problem being that the page in question gave absolutely no impression of anything that Morrison describes here, and that there is that much of a disconnect between what he sees in his head and what is actually happening on the page does not really bode well for the rest of the series.

The problem is, if the FC script was done so far in advance, why couldn’t they get Countdown to fit in with it? Did they actively prevent the CD writers from seeing an FC outline?

um, why did anybody read Countdown or Death of the New Gods in the first place?

in other words, what Jer said.

Andrew Collins

June 9, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Man am I glad I jumped ship on the Countdown disaster somewhere around issue #40 of that title. It’s helped me keep my sanity and fanboy rage in check as I’ve taken a very zen-like “I just don’t care about Final Crisis” approach. My wallet is grateful too…

Yeah, exactly what Jer said.

But at the same time, I think GM may be misinterpreting the negative reaction. I suspect most readers aren’t annoyed with him or his story, but rather expressing a pent-up frustration at an editorial and marketing approach that tells readers “you also need to read this, and this, and this to get the whole story of our big mega-event!” but fails to coordinate the “this and this and this” part so the stories aren’t working at cross-purposes.

I’m perfectly happy not having read any of those other miniseries or tie-ins…but if I’d picked them up on the assumption they’d lead into FC and give me more insight into the background behind Morrison’s story (as DC claimed) I’d feel ripped off. I wouldn’t be blaming Morrison for that, though, and I don’t think any readers with any sense are.

Well, I’m confused.

Are we talking about the Death of the New Gods fiasco? ‘Cause if we are, then I would think that anyone who bought those series has a right to be mad.

I’m being generous here, but they had 11 months to figure everything out (that’s 8 months worth of Death of the New Gods issues, plus a 3 month “lead” from when it was first solicited).

That’s a f@cking long time for them “not to get their act together”.

I mean, if the series is called “Death of the New Gods” shouldn’t somebody have said: “Wait, don’t we need them for Final Crisis?”

Somebody?

Anybody?

I mean, what are they paying these people for?

In any case, I don’t blame Morrison. He has editors. Jim Starlin has editors. And Dan Didio has been talking about Final Crisis for 2 years now; so he supposedly “was in known”.

Whatever.

The only 2 possible explanations I see are:

1- Morrison went “Native” or AWOL for a year and hasn’t had outside contact with DC, his editor and the fans.

2- Dan Didio thinks that fans is another word for “weekly ATM machines”.

The fact that almost all of these so-called “event” maxi-series don’t ever seem to end their particular storylines, or have any type of conclusion within the series itself… Well, that should tell you which one of the two choices I think is the “likelier” of the two.

I sympathize with Grant, but I agree that the inconsistencies should be addressed somehow. I mean, I only read three issues of Countdown so none of the contradictions really bothered me, but I can imagine folks who read the series being upset or at least scratching their heads at the inconsistencies between the Big Event and the Comic Leading to the Big Event.

Darren Cawsey

June 9, 2008 at 11:22 pm

I’m more than happy that he’s ignoring Countdown. While Countdown obviously took some clues from draft scripts for Final Crisis about where to end up, the final product was bad and doesn’t mesh. In my opinion Dini (or Didio) should be the ones getting on-line flak, not Morrison.

Morrison’s story is Morrison’s story, and if Didio wants to mandate that there by a year long series to build up to it then he better make sure that the lead writer in charge of that series comes out with a product which doesn’t end up, you know, contradicting it.

To have Grant Morrison write Final Crisis and then force him to make changes so that it is more in-line with such a lessor creature as Countdown would be CRAZY.

Yeah, the “notable problem” I mention above is with DC editorial, not Morrison – just making sure that’s clear! :)

Well, most people would already have figured out Grant was not trying to be inclusive of Countdown or Death of New Gods. Bless you Grant, for doing exactly what you should have done.

“whenCountdown was originally being discussed, it was just a case of me saying ‘Here’s issue 1 of Final Crisis and a rough breakdown of the following six issues. As long as you guys leave things off where Final Crisis begins, we‘ll be fine.’ Obviously, I would have preferred it if the New Gods hadn’’t been spotlighted at all, let alone quite so intensively before I got a chance to bring them back but I don’t run DC and don’t make the decisions as to how and where the characters are deployed.”–Grant Morrison

Wow! A finished issue and DC still managed to screw it up.

I genuinely feel sorry for the fans who drank the Countdown/Arena/Gods/Salvation/Amazon/Mystery/Palmer Kool-Aid… but we told you so!

@red-Ricky – I did drink the Countdown to Mystery kool aid, and even though it was named Coutdown you should know that it was brilliant as long as Gerber was writing it. The last two issues sorta fizzled out because Gerber was not writing it anymore, because of his unfortunate demise. All I am trying to say is that you should not include this series in the list that you have made, because it, in no way, belongs there.

Yeah, the Doctor Fate stuff in Countdown to Mystery was really good. Even the other story was…

Well, Sturges and Hardin did as well as they possibly could, given the premise.

Hmm.. Maybe Morrison will get fired or quit DC now. That would be nice. Man, I’d love to see a Morrison led America’s Best Comics/Apparat deal with Image, all new characters and concepts.

I don’t know, it seems Morrison is getting ready to quit the mainstream entirely. After FC, he’ll only do Batman for the forseeable future according to him, but seeing as what DC did to FC, that may change. I’ll be anticipating all his creator owned work. He did say he wants to rethink superheroes entirely and so wants to stop doing them for a couple of years. Only time will tell what that rethink will result in.

All I am trying to say is that you should not include Countdown to Mystery in the list that you have made, because it, in no way, belongs there.

I’m cool with that. Besides, I still have Countdown to Adventure, Lord Havok & the Extrememist, and Captain Carrot & the Final Arc to add to the list of infinite tie-ins. Yes, even Captain Carrot was given the “New Earth” bump.

In any case, I’m not saying they are all bad. All I’m saying is that readers were lied to when DC said that these stories were essential, interconnected and would dovetail into Final Crisis. They obviously didn’t. And reviewers could tell. In fact, the term “editorially mandated” came up often in these reviews.

And yet, whether good or bad, Countdown still sold more than 65,000 copies (on average) every week. So yeah, a lot of people (or retailers) drank the kool-aid.

There are arguments for both sides of the coin, editorial messed up but Morrison should have been willing to alter scripts OR they should have given him some sort of consultant role on Countdown (The comic not the popular British quiz show although Carol Vorderman writing out the Anti-Life equation seems like a fun idea.)

I’d be interested to see if Morrison in his infinite wisdom and notebooks full of character concepts and ideas would make a good editor of a comics line. To me it seems, AS-Superman not withstanding, that the shine and sense of wonder has faded in Grant’s prose and maybe an editors position would give him the chance to still keep pumping out ideas but also refresh his love for the medium.

I agree with Jacob, you can find fault with both sides. I’m still shocked such a big gaffe even happened in the first place…

This is just bush league.

And it’s not the first time in the last few years you hear about something like this.

A couple of Dwayne McDuffie incidents:

1) He had to scrap his Despero/Degaton/Humanite story months after announcing it because he had no idea they had showed up in Booster Gold and that Johns was planning something.
2) The writer of Justice League of America didn’t know that James Robinson was going to be writing a sister-title to the book until someone told him on his message board.

I realize that neither of those things are relatively minor but they all add up. What the heck is Editorial doing over at DC if not communicating with the writers?

Tom Fitzpatrick

June 10, 2008 at 5:19 am

I’ve read the first 30 issues of 52, none of the Countdown, and none of the mini-series and various tie-ins.
Soooo, reading all of the above comments, it seems like a case of the right hand not knowing what’s the left hand is doing. Something like that.

I just like to read Morrison stuff, ‘cuz I’m such a “Whorrison”.
Besides, Jones’ art is nice to gaze at.

;-)

Rohan Williams

June 10, 2008 at 5:27 am

I kinda figured Morrison would be ‘irked’ about this since that interview in Comics Foundry, but it just occurred to me to think of Paul Dini’s side in all this. Between Countdown, the truly awful Ra’s Al Ghul crossover and everything else going on in the Bat-titles, I’d have to say one of the finest writers in superhero comics and animation is kinda getting a raw deal out of his association with Morrison, no?

Morrison shouldn’t be doing what ‘The Internets’ fanboys tell him,They don’t matter and they only contribute only 3,000 unit to sales at best which doesn’t matter.

>>What the heck is Editorial doing over at DC if not communicating with the writers?

Hey, now — those online games don’t play THEMSELVES, y’know!

Can we all just say this is explained away by Hypertime?

I read both Countdown and Death of the New Gods, and I find that I can ignore both of them with complete equanimity. While there were actually parts of Countdown that I rather liked, especially in the beginning, it did seem to career wildly off-course towards the end. Death of the New Gods, just annoyed me.

Mr. Morrison has a valid point, and if I can suspend my state of disbelief enough to believe in talking Nazi Vampire Gorillas, then I can deal with Final Crises and a few plot differences.

What the heck is Editorial doing over at DC if not communicating with the writers?

Cashing checks.

Can we all just say this is explained away by Hypertime?

Yes. Yes we can.

I wonder if people would be so quick to agree/support Morrison had Countdown and DOTNG were of better quality. It seems like a lot of people have the attitude that, “Well, those stories sucked anyway, so we should ignore them”. Plus, people complain when Morrison’s stuff gets ignored or retconned, which seems a but hypocritical. If we ignored all the stories that were crap, about 70% of continuity would disappear.

What, that’s a bad thing why? lol

Dan Didio thinks that fans is another word for “weekly ATM machines”.

Why shouldn’t he think this? It’s true. Look at the numbers on Countdown, a series NO ONE LIKED. Look at the fans who buy series regularly and then bitch about doing it. Look at the collectors who are too OCD to break up a run. All DC has to do, apparently, is float the idea that a book is ‘necessary’ to understand the larger picture. They might as well be selling decoder rings. (And then changing the code every couple of months and marketing a new set.)

Of course, as a long-term publishing strategy, it’s insane…. but in the short term, it seems to be working. I wish I understood why.

D. Eric Carpenter

June 10, 2008 at 7:08 am

I read 52. I erad Death of the New Gods.

I don’t care that Final Crisis doesn’t jibe. That’s right. I don’t care.

It seems to me that Morrison told DC basic storypoints and beginning points of Final Crisis, then wrote the story based on that approval. Countdown was supposed to connect up to that…but Countdown dropped the ball. Hugely.

To me the story is Seven Solders/Final Crisis. I can ignore the parts of ‘continuity’ that contradict it, because I’m more interested in the intended story, not the scaffolding hastily built up around it.

If I can ignore Mopee, I can igore the more recent stuff as well.

Catch 22.

Editorial at DC doesn’t seem to interconnect too well on the various stories being told in the DC Universe, yet every time someone mentions DiDio’s name, he is accused of interfering too much.

ALL this blame is at the feet of editorial. They are the ones who are supposed to be manning the rudder on this ship. THAT is where the solution must be found, not carping on Grant Morrison.

On the other hand, if DC is putting readers in a position where they have to ignore stuff published within the past year, then I think it’s fair to say that’s a sign of really poor editorial.

Or maybe everyone’s afraid to just say “no” to morrisson?

Dini’s getting the shaft. Detective Comics is a much better read than Batman.

red-Ricky said:

“I mean, if the series is called “Death of the New Gods” shouldn’t somebody have said: “Wait, don’t we need them for Final Crisis?””

You show here that you haven’t read Seven Soldiers, and what the point of Death of the New Gods was.

In Seven Soldiers, Morrison introduced some of the NEW New Gods. The point of Death of the New Gods was to get rid of the OLD New Gods. The New Gods are being re-imagined. DC has said that the OLD New Gods just didn’t sell as they were, so they are trying something different.

Didn’t Morrison create some new New Gods in DC 1,000,000 or Rock of Ages?

I hate to say I told you so, but…
As I’ve said before, as soon as Morrison was linked to Final Crisis I knew I needn’t read Countdown or Salvation Run or Death of the New Gods. I figured whatever Morrison had in mind, DC would let him run with it and work the company’s plans around his, not vice versa. He’s too big a comics superstar to be made to worry about what Adam Beechan is writing in some weekly series or what Bill Willingham/Matt Sturges are doing to the villains. And this ain’t Morrison’s fault – It’s DC’s for trying to milk the weekly train and make as big of a money grab as they could off of their concept of “snowballing events”. I hope this is a lesson for a lot of comics fans who blindly support those events and hopefully also teaches DC something as well.

How do you (meaning anyone other than me; I’ve already settled it in my mind) reconcile Batman with Detective? Clearly Detective is a team-up book, and Batman is involved with some things that aren’t even mentioned in Detective. Obviously, what Morrison is writing isn’t being coordinated in Detective.

Also, let’s dispel this online myth that there is a “NEGATIVE REACTION” to Final Crisis. Every review I’ve seen has been at least positive, with some absolutely glowing. I loved the book. It is full of comic book geakyness and yet a dense, challenging read. And that’s only issue 1.

Conor E asks:

“Did they actively prevent the CD writers from seeing an FC outline?”

That’s quite possible because the fear of a leak. Information is kept to a minimum few people, even in as small a business as comic books.

The problem with a small industry like comics is that everyone knows somebody with information about the other company’s projects. Remember that recently someone (was it at Millar’s site?) said that Final Crisis was already suffering from delays. How could they know? Someone knows someone who mentioned it, that’s how.

Greg Hatcher said:

“All DC has to do, apparently, is float the idea that a book is ‘necessary’ to understand the larger picture. They might as well be selling decoder rings.”

That’s the nature of crossovers. Marvel does the same thing in a different way. Marvel never did reconcile what happened in Civil War with what happened in some of the regular books. Some discrepancies were minor and some were bigger.

I, also, don’t understand why the continued crossovers continue to sell so well, but they do. That means we will continue to get them for at least the next 2-3 years, so we might as well get used to that idea.

The problem is not “discrepancies” the problem is for readers of Countdown the series ended with a “final” battle between Darkseid and Orion. Orion is left mortally wounded wandering the streets of Metropolis while Justice League looks on. Cut to Final Crisis #1 Orion is found mortally wounded in the streets of Metropolis the Justice League is surprised and asks “what happened?” readers of Countdown respond – “um Darkseid remember 5 seconds ago when you were there?” so what we have is deliberate deception. This isn’t a continuity error this is DC setting it up so we THOUGHT we knew what was going on putting the character in the exact same setting and circumstance where we saw him at the end of Countdown and then pulling the rug out and saying NOPE none of that stuff ever happened. It’s just an incredible coincidence that Orion died in the exact same place and time in Final Crisis 1 and Countdown 1, you’re so silly to think that it was a continuation of the same story, why would you think that? It is a royal SCREW YOU to people who foolishly bought their product and their hype for the last year. There will be a reckoning.

I didn’t buy into any of the super mega maxi series stories after 52, because as soon as I finished it I had the feeling nothing would come after it that would be anywhere near as good. I didn’t spend a penny on Countdown or Death or any of the other stuff that came out, and I’m so glad I adopted a wait-and-see approach…

Steve Englehart coulda made it all work. :P

Also, shouldn’t the editor also get involved at some point? I mean it’s not like the didn’t know what was coming from Grant either, no?

Without responding to anyone in particular:

I think Morrison is probably miffed because a lot of the FC #1 chatter has revolved around these inconsistencies rather then the story itself. Rather then people saying “wow, the Green Lanterns have a code for Deicide that they’ve never had to use before” (which is pretty cool, BTW), people just wanted to know why the code hadn’t been invoked when the first New God (Lightray?) died. I can understand why he’d be miffed: his creative efforts are being overlooked for continuity problems he had nothing to do with.

Someone above made a very good point about Darkseid’s apparent fall through time in DCU #0 not coming across on the page at all, which I think is a very good point. Morrison has become increasingly esoteric since his JLA run, culminating in the almost unreadable (IMHO) last issue of Seven Soldiers. He’s so busy being vauge with his Big Ideas that they often don’t translate across the page at all. Part of me wonders if the reason no one’s been really able to explain the premise of Final Crisis succinctly is that no one understands it….

The reason that companies keep having to resort to big crossovers and other stunts is because that’s the only thing that puts asses in the seats. After Infinite Crisis, the DCU books were largely left on their own to sink or swim. What happened? They largely sank. Look at Marvel– they begin to put most of their drive behind the Avengers family of titles. What happens? They take off, but now X-Men sales begin to sink, and fans complain that there’s no “attention” being paid to them. So Marvel runs a big story through all those books. But now the Ultimate line is fading….

It just bugs me that fans constantly moan about the event driven nature of modern comics, but contiue to support the events and not the good books that stay self contained. We only have ourselves to blame.

A lot of the fans who moan aren’t the ones who support the events. It’s just that the Internet is a really small part of the audience.

If you’ll let me make a poor anecdotal point that is revealing in its own way, X-Force #1 was one of the best selling comics of the year and I don’t think that’s because of the pretty decent workmanship by Yost/Kyle.

“Obviously, what Morrison is writing isn’t being coordinated in Detective.”

Dini actually seems to be going out of his way to pay lip service to what’s happening – he namedropped Jezbel this past issue, for instance (with the rather logical point that Bruce’s romantic life is, to say the least, screwed up at the moment).

As for Final Crisis… I maintain that DC Editorial was replaced by Skrulls moments before Johns submitted the script for Infinite Crisis #1. 52 was just something left over from the previous regime.

There are arguments for both sides of the coin, editorial messed up but Morrison should have been willing to alter scripts OR they should have given him some sort of consultant role on Countdown (The comic not the popular British quiz show although Carol Vorderman writing out the Anti-Life equation seems like a fun idea.)

But it’s not his job to make sure all the dots connect. His job is to turn in a good book, continuity or no. If DC is worried about making sure everything hangs together, that’s what editors are for. Editorial dropped the ball (or didn’t pick it up in the first place). I can’t blame Morrison for being annoyed by people blaming him for it.

The Skrull invasion dates back at least to when they decided it was a good idea to have Sue Dinby murdered with a rape retcon thrown in for good measure.

The point of Death of the New Gods was to get rid of the OLD New Gods. The New Gods are being re-imagined.

Well, I could be wrong since my opinion is based on what I saw in the FC Sketchbook & FC#1, but I don’t see any “re-imagening”; just redesign.

Giving Metron, Orion, Darkseid & Black Racer a new custome is no different (in my eyes) than when Aquaman got his “blue wavey” suit, or Superman got electric powers. In the end, we are still talking about the same characters.

When Jack Kirby created the Fourth World, he also created the Third World with a whole set of Old Gods (see Wotan, Arzaz & Gog); then stuck them in the “Source Wall”. In other words, The third world weren’t old versions of Darkseid, Orion and Metron; they were entirely different characters all-together.

And thats what Kirby established. That if the New Gods were to die, a Fifth “Entirely Different” World would take its place… with no Metron, Darkseid, Orion and certainly no Glorious Godfrey.

To say that the new Silver Surfer Metron is the new reincarnation of the old “new gods” is to miss the point of the New Gods entirely.

So yeah, I’m glad I didn’t read Death of the New Gods. The way I see it, they are alive & well; and Morrison is going to continue writing the story he started in Seven Soldiers: Mr. Miracle. (By the way, Shilo has been around since 1973 and he even appeared in JLA as Mr.Miracle when Scott Free was presumed dead.)

But Ultimately, there are no “New New Gods” here; it’s just the same old “New Gods”… but written better!

Yeah, you know what. Just put all the countdown stuff out of your mind and read it on its own merits. I know that it is sad we have to do that, but don’t let editorial mistakes get in the way of a good story.

I hated Countdown (but stupidly bought it all), but I quite enjoyed Death of the New Gods. Though I would have been pissed off to be Starlin and have the two most interesting characters have their final showdown in Countdown. It will look like crap in trade.

You know what though. I am treating that as a completely separate story to Final Crisis. A what if? If you like.

DC just bit off more than they could chew leading in to this event, by trying to tie it all together. It didn’t work out well, and Didio has admitted as much. Going forward they won’t be crossing stuff over as much, which is just fine with me.

“If you’ll let me make a poor anecdotal point that is revealing in its own way, X-Force #1 was one of the best selling comics of the year and I don’t think that’s because of the pretty decent workmanship by Yost/Kyle.”

Thanks for supplying all the confirmation needed that most comic book buyers are complete idiots. Quite frankly, i’m not surprised that a lot of you are decrying Morrison in this post then.

“Thanks for supplying all the confirmation needed that most comic book buyers are complete idiots.”

Agreed, else how to explain Liefeld selling 40,000 copies of a book after all these years.

Who cares about Countdown/Death of the New Gods? They were awful and Morrison is great. I’m willing to accept whatever he wants Final Crisis to be, because when it’s done, it’ll be great.

Don’t be such a snob, Chuck, not everyone who doesn’t think Morrison is God’s gift to comics also buys X-Force…and Jbird, if Countdown/Death of the New Gods were actually good, does that meant we should’ve cared?

One unspoken part of this “problem” is that GM himself probably had/has no idea what is going to happen in Final Crisis. He famously turns in skeletal “scripts” (six pages for a 22 page comic, etc) for the artist to flesh out.

So, though DC editorial is (in)famously, unforgivingly inept and seemingly maliciously ignorant, the most sinister crew of ham-handed villains ever assembled, worse by far than even the chattering ignorants on the message boards, they were probably not in a position to know what was coming.

Their sin was pretending they did

I agree that Countdown was crap, and I stopped buying it after about 6 issues, but Death of the New Gods was pretty entertaining. It was by Jim Starlin, people. He was writing good New Gods stories long before Morrison ever got a hold of them.

“He famously turns in skeletal “scripts” (six pages for a 22 page comic, etc) for the artist to flesh out.”

That contradicts with his famously wordy dialogue and narration.

ABoyNamedPosh

June 10, 2008 at 9:58 pm

“He famously turns in skeletal “scripts” (six pages for a 22 page comic, etc) for the artist to flesh out. ”

Huh?! GMo is notorious for his pretentious and impenetrable scripts. Have you ever read the script for ‘Arkham Asylum’?

It’s not pretension if he is accurately representing himself. If he knows what all the words mean, and is expressing ideas, as opposed to just stringing words together, it’s not pretentious writing.

I think the term you want is “high-falutin’ “.

I’m not sure a thirty year old script should be held up as an example any more, posh. His style for the last decade or so (longer?) has been to give scraps of outlines to the artist, so the work can be begun and then write and revise up until the last minute using the art as a guide. It’s not the artist’s fault Seven Soldiers shipped late.

It would be very surprising if Final Crisis #5 has been written yet or exists in anything other than an outline on airline cocktail napkins. #4 is probably pushing it.

This said, I think he is one of the most consistently enjoyable writers in comics. He’s just not, you know, able to let anybody know what he’s going to do in advance (because he hasn’t yet decided himself).

The final scripts are often very beautiful, but nobody sees them until very very late in the process, like too late. I don’t know that anyone is allowed to edit him. I doubt it. I think they just run through it real fast to make sure there are no cuss words or nipples.

It’s possible no one saw Mister Miracle, because, well, you read it. Sort of worried about Final Crisis having to do with it, because, well, you read it.

Still, far more successes than failures.

I’m going to throw my hat in here. No, this isn’t going to be another of my “DC has forgotten what superheroes are really about” posts. But, I will still point out another of DC’s problems: lack of planning.

Oh sure, they plan ahead a lot. As in, which events they will have next year, which “new directions” certain characters will take, etc. But it’s obvious by now they don’t really plan it in detail. Their attitude is, “we’ll think of something when the time comes.”

Evidence: Infinite Crisis being rewritten at the last moment; 52 forgetting its purpose (to setup the One Year Later issues) until right before the end; Countdown also being rewritten midway due to low sales; and now, the Final Crisis snafu.

Meanwhile, over at Marvel, events like Civil War, World War Hulk and Secret Invasion, are planned much better years ahead, thanks to editors working more closely with the writers (conflicts still happen, but they are not as big as in DC.)

It’s amazing DC’s events sell at all. I guess completist syndrome still affects many fans. But that can’t last forever….

[…] how the internet caught fire over that. We even had quite a back-and-forth over it here. The argument seemed to break out as roughly, “Grant’s an artist! It’s not his […]

Somewhere five years ago, DC dropped the ball. Identity Crisis was a bad idea; it darkened heroic characters just a shade too much. Infinite Crisis just compounded the stack of bad ideas; three universal reboots of sorts in twenty years was two too many, especially with Superman’s semi-reboot early in the decade. 52 and Countdown were mad scrabbling for sales. The multiple Legions are a mess, no matter how they plan to reconcile them. Final Crisis will, it seems, push even further into the direction of Identity and Infinite. DC could stand to lighten up for a while, perhaps to the level of the mid ’90s. Not going to happen.

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