Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just Sayin'--Final Crisis

Hi,

Yes, Internet, I have heard of a book called Final Crisis.

Yes, Internet, I have read the resulting furor about it and how it's sifted out into those who think it's brilliant vs. those who think it's incoherent rubbish.

No, Internet, I bloody well haven't read it. I have heard it would be best to wait until it's all in one nice, neat collected edition before I try to comprehend what's there, be it genius or insanity.

As such Internet, I do not have an opinion on the relative merits of Final Crisis, Grant Morrison, or saving the DC universe with the power of karaoke.

It is one of the great fallacies of comics fans on the Internet that everyone who comments on things falls into a nice, neat, Manichean choice, and we must all line up accordingly, just like at the DMV.

For instance, the assumption is either "you wholeheartedly think everything going on in comics is awesome or you're an old fuddy-duddy who longs for a Silver Age that never actually existed (Or, put simply, "Alex Ross") and your opinion is worthless.

Those of us who might want to take a little more time to make up their minds, or have no opinion, or are just waiting for it all to be over and done with, already, are, it is assumed, expected to wait out in the hall.

21 comments:

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Works for me - I'm staying far away from discussions of Recent Events; if I didn't care enough to actually read them at the time, I'm certainly not invested in talking about them after the fact.

Kazekage said...

Thing of it is, there's such pressure on you to weigh in on one side or another you kinda feel like you're obligated too, right?

And with something that incoherent, really, a certain distance is needed. Also, a vast research team to answer the whole "what the hell?" question . . .

Nat "Sweetwater" said...

it actually reads better as a whole, there's quite a few things that I felt like I missed in later issues but then upon going through it again I caught. It's an odd bird, the "channel-zapping" technique takes some adapting to, but it's more coherent than the (superior) seven soldiers maxi-series.

Nat "Sweetwater" said...

it actually reads better as a whole, there's quite a few things that I felt like I missed in later issues but then upon going through it again I caught. It's an odd bird, the "channel-zapping" technique takes some adapting to, but it's more coherent than the (superior) seven soldiers maxi-series.

Kazekage said...

That's what I'm thinking, really--FC is something I'm gonna have to digest in one collected whole (MAYBE with Superman Beyond in the mix as well, as it seems like a necessary addendum) and then see how I feel about it, really.

That said, I'm all for actually trying to make an artistic statement out of a Big Crossover Event, if for no other reason than if it's between that and a long boring storyline about Norman Osborn in Charge of Eeverything . . .shit. Sing, Superman, Sing.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

This is why American audiences need greater exposure to 2000AD: because Morrison had already done a Crisis that was Story first, Big Crossover Event second in the third act of "Zenith". It was everything the original "Crisis on Infinite Earths" should have been (and wasn't). And, being an early Morrison work, it's a hell of a lot more coherent than any drug-fueled karaoke hell he's been unleashing lately...

Kazekage said...

I'm going to start a band called "Drug-Fueled Karaoke Hell." I love the sound of it. :)

It's funny you mention 2000 AD, because to the extent most American readers even know about it, our perception of it is completely skewed--us colonials only really know it for stories like Judge Dredd and Slaine and all that. It's a rare few who know about the more thoughtful and experimental stuff like Halo Jones or Zenith.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Or even series like Nikolai Dante or Bad Company: less cerebral but still highly enjoyable, and willing to take many more risks than the average superhero comic.

In fact, I've always thought of 2000AD the way I think of webcomics: as an alternative to the Marvel/DC/Image superhero genre in all its permutations; a way of telling different kinds of stories. And that's very refreshing after a long spell with the spandex people.

Kazekage said...

I haven't heard of either of those, so I have a feeling I'll have to read up on them myself. :)

There's another lesson to be learnt from 2000 AD, especially as the big two try their hand at anthologies again--there's quite a lot to be said for having variety in your anthology--having the freedom to tell any kind of story and not have to worry about it fitting overmuch is kind of something that should be encouraging.

I understand why you'd say that--though I'm not altogether sure of what to make of the fact that 2000 AD keeps being raided for the big two's enrichment, but I reckon that's comics, innit?

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Oh, you should pick up Nikolai Dante - it's an amazing series, entire orders of quality above anything Robbie Morrison put out for DC back in the day, and you can really get the sense of a historical saga unfolding throughout the years.

In a nutshell, unfortunately, yes. :) The truth is, I don't think the direct market could sustain a comic like 2000AD even if it did hit all the right notes: it's just not a format that American readers (specifically readers of the Big Two) seem capable of digesting.

Kazekage said...

I'll have to see if I can get my hands on these--lord knows I have enough resources and money now, so it's at least possible.

I think they actually tried to run 2000AD over here--it seems like I remember that someone picked it up and it was on the US stands for awhile. Coupled with the fact that one could argue (not unsuccessfully) that DC's killed the idea of weekly comics period now . . .yeah, it would be pretty long odds.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

I remember DC cutting a deal with Rebellion at the time to release TPBs of 2000AD material in the States. As might be expected, they did it Bass-Ackwards by choosing the material based on writers who were popular in the mainstream, like Mark Millar, who... well, I'm sure you can guess the level of his work over at 2000AD. Not surprisingly, the deal went bust after a few months.

Kazekage said...

Oh yeah--I remember that deal now. I never knew exactly what the reprints consisted of though--I'm almost terrified to contemplate the stark horror of Mark Millar's 2000 AD work. I think the deal collapsed to save all civilisation.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

To be fair, they did get some of the classics: Peter Milligan's "Bad Company", the Moore stories ("Halo Jones" and "Skizz") and "Devlin Waugh" (not among the best stories but certainly one of their more esoteric efforts, about a bodybuilding Dandy in the mold of Oscar Wilde who slays vampires). But the rest... waste of paper, frankly. And they left out a lot of material I would've printed before, say, "Red Razor" or "ABC Warriors" (basically Transformers with spikes).

Kazekage said...

"Devlin Waugh" sounds like the most bat-shit insane thing I've ever heard of, and I've read quite a few Marshall Law and Nemesis the Warlock stories in my day. :)

I seem to remember ABC Warriors being printed by someone back in the 1980s, though. It was by a very very third-string company, but I remember it.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Oh, it's completely mad. Wonderfully so. :) Although unlike "Nemesis the Warlock", it doesn't get sucked into its own mythology because its writer suffers a pagan-centric mental breakdown midway through and tries to convert his entire readership to the worship of the Khaos Mother Goddess. ;)

Kazekage said...

. . .so "Nemesis" finished up very much like "Promethea" really, then? ;)

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

Minus the sentient Tarot cards. (Aaaand Jim Balent just perked up with a tiny flickering light-bulb over his head...)

Kazekage said...

Oh he's done it already--remember that post I did where Tarot was standing on The Devil's nipple? Yeah. FEMALE EMPOWERMENT.

Diana Kingston-Gabai said...

That'll be the defense some angry woman gives when they find a six-inch stiletto heel buried in Jim Balent's face. That or "My vagina was haunted."

Kazekage said...

And that will be, at long last, FEMALE EMPOWERMENT. :)

Thing is . . .Tarot has, I think, a primarily female readership. What they make of this and what they get out of it takes me back to when I was a child. . .

. . .In that I'm helpless and crying a lot. ;)