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Monday, June 08, 2009 

It's not the end of the Crisis at DC

The Nashua Telegraph writes a puff piece about Final Crisis. They first say:
Short history: DC's superhero books have a tradition dating to 1963 of an annual crisis of some sort, generally in the summer, bringing together its biggest stars for a huge adventure (or if you're cynical, a huge sales event).

Last year, the Powers That Be determined that 2008 would be the last: a Final Crisis.
I'm afraid it's not the last; there's still another one going on right now, and it involves the quality of their writing, which is in the pits. And there'll be another Crisis or crossover in the future, the big question being whether it'll be good or bad. As long as an editor like Dan DiDio is in charge, the latter result is more likely.
Tapped to write it is one of the amazing writers of our generation. Grant Morrison thinks laterally, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of DC's publishing history.
Yep, and he even has an obsession with writing up overrated hogwash that goes overboard with gross, violent spectacles (as in New X-Men), or even indulges in "drug-inspired" storytelling, which Batman RIP bore allusions to as well.
In between, we have a giddy adventure involving the transition from the Fourth World of gods to the Fifth, the return of the most famous Flash from the dead, the triumph of the anti-life equation, a trip to the "overvoid" involving 4-D Vision, the death of Batman (sorta), Japanese cosplay, the land of canceled characters, an army of transdimensional Supermen and the end of the world.

Actually, the sheer comic-booky breathlessness of this journey has engendered some criticism; some fans say "Final Crisis" is incoherent.

I disagree. I just think it's such a dense story that it's difficult to ingest with one swallow. Morrison doesn't slow down to explain much, which means the reader has to work harder than usual.
And that's just the problem: as they say, his storytelling is dense, and unappealing, and even the claim that you need to read some of his stuff at least twice to make sense of it just doesn't work.

They even have something here about Green Lantern that could use a little scrutiny:
Johns has become famous for a trilogy of miracle revamps, including the Justice Society of America and Hawkman. These concepts had become so mired in contradictory continuity that they had become radioactive. Yet, Johns smoothly flipped all those problems into their own solutions, and the JSA and the Winged Wonder are successful concepts once again.

He did the same with the most famous Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Previous regimes had turned Jordan into A, a psychotic mass murderer; B, replaced; and C, dead. Most considered the character unsalvageable.
Oh really? The only reason Hal would be "unsalvageable" is because nobody at DC was willing to do what it takes to fix things at the time. It's not impossible if you put your nose to the grindstone.

Still, this does have me wondering what they think of Doctor Light: as a villain, is Arthur Light unsalvageable ever since Identity Crisis depicted him as a rapist? In a manner of speaking, one could argue that it's possible (and maybe that's why he was rubbed out in Final Crisis, because they realized that for now, he could be an embarrassment and exceedingly difficult to use without making readers cringe). But he too could be fixed; it's just that for maybe a decade, they're going to have to put him away on the back burner until the whole Identity Crisis debacle can be gotten past - if they want to get past it.

It's not impossible to fix defamed characters if they allow for it to be done. That's why, if newspaper columnists like these were really serious about their fandom, they'd make a plea for better writing.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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