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Monday, February 19, 2007 

Geoff Johns continues to overload on violence

This week, we make the discovery that, in re-launching JSA as a full title with a boolean included, Geoff Johns is undermining the entertainment value with plots that feature more increasingly violent assaults and murders. And while neo-nazis like the ones featured in issue #3 are some of the worst villains around, that still doesn't mean that we need to see a mother and child being sent to the great reward in a sea of red juice. Bloodletting certainly isn't needed in order to prove that the villains are the cannibals they are.

This also brings me to note something I noticed in some of the Johns-scripted books I've read. As the Savage Critics blog says:*
As the non-maimy parts of this book show, Johns has a good handle on characterization and the clever hook. But I kinda doubt he'll ever really develop those traits to any significant extent now because this is the kind of stuff that keeps him at the top of the charts.
I think they've hit upon something there. For example, it was speculated once on Johns' own board that an old girlfriend of Barry Allen's, Fiona Webb, could be turning up as the wife of a police detective when he was writing the Flash. But lo and behold, nothing ever came of that possibility, and the whole thing was virtually forgotten after awhile. There were some other interesting side stories with potential, in Flash and in JSA, that also never had anything come of them, if at all. In Hawkman, there were even a few supporting cast members who only seemed to be there for the sake of having a supporting cast! And why should Bart Allen become Kid Flash in 2003 if they're only going to go by that for three years or less?

For someone whom you'd think had talent in coming up with interesting character developments and supporting casts, Johns certainly isn't proving himself in that capacity by far. I wonder if it could have anything to do with the problem of writing-for-trades that's become a troubling staple for many books today? Years ago, it sure seemed like a lot of writers could manage developments without having to write a storyline that's padded out for at least five issues. That's something that, IMO, comics have to return to. And besides, I doubt that they wouldn't be able to manage printing even a story that isn't written for trades into a compilation of some sort after awhile.

There are many ideas from years past, more than I could even think to list here now, that need to be tried again today.

* Depending on what browser you're using, as the webmasters noted a short time ago, there may be a glitch in accessing a single page here, because the HTML extensions aren't turning up correctly. I can access it with Explorer, but with Netscape, it looks more like a lot of HTML code that comes up.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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