Sunday, November 13, 2005

Infinite Crisis #2 - Spoilers Abound!

Well, first off, it was nice to see Animal Man and his family again. Morrison's AM revamp was my first exposure to his writing, and made me a life-long fan. I even stuck with the series after he left the book, and only finally dumped the book following the 50th issue. Boy that comic went from great to absolute dreck, didn't it? So, it was a treat to check in with the Bakers.

That said, the remainder of the comic was an unmitigated let-down. I really thought I would be this book's target demographic, but thus far the plot seems tightly focused on characters I have no attachment to. I'm not interested in Donna Troy's return from the "dead", and I don't care what Power Girl's geneological tree looks like. Honestly, I'd prefer more Psycho Pirate over those two characters.

And then there is the massive info-dump that comprises the middle of this issue. I think this is the point in which any pretense of telling a genuine story is abandoned, and Geoff Johns admits to the readership that this is nothing more than a long-form "course correction" for the DC universe. Kal-L's monologue is so meta, such a blatent comment on the current state of DC Comics, that he ceases to be a character in a fictional story, and becomes instead Johns' proxy.

The comments themselves, basically that the DC universe has become far too dark and hopeless, seems curiously flawed to me. There are a few examples given of this grim n gritty-ness, but anyone with a working knowledge of the comics published by DC over the past 15 years knows that, while there were many dark, cynical stories published during that time, there were also many, many books that were light, even funny old-school superhero type stories.

The problem with these books, which included at various times Stars and STRIPE, Young Heroes in Love, Supergirl, and Hourman, was that they simply failed to sell. They were all, I believe, cancelled due to poor sales. So, is Kal-L thus levelling a criticism at the comic buyer? Is Johns saying that DC fans were wrong when they voted with their dollars to continue Lobo over YHIL? It's a bit odd, like Johns is telling readers to sit back and buy the books they need, rather than the books they want.

And then there's the kicker. The panel chosen to represent the ultimate descent of the DC universe into complete and utter darkness, the montage of scenes that pushed Kal-L to break free of his captivity in order to set things right, is composed entirely of scenes that occured in the build-up to Infinite Crisis. They are all events designed and orchestrated to darken the DCU prior to this very series. This disingenuous approach, tsk-tsking the events that he himself helped arange and set in motion, weakens the statement considerably. It makes the thesis invalid. Sigh.

Oh, hey, is that a new costume on Booster Gold, or is Jiminez just really off in his rendition? I only ask because there were a few places in this issue where the art seemed really shaky. Clearly, Jiminez hasn't got a handle on Power Girl yet, because I can't imagine his intention was to make her so grotesque.
And his older Kal-L Superman looked odd in places as well. I usually enjoy I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Perez's art, so I hope the drop in quality this issue is a result of deadlines or some such.

Finally, I'm not even going to touch the cliffhanger statement from Kal-L, except to say that it doesn't make sense, except in regards to the dictates of the plot. And that's not so good.


Blogger kelvingreen said...

I'm in full agreement with your thoughts, I think. This isn't a story, but I never thought a writer as middle-ground as Johns could tell a story likethis anyway.

"I'm Superboy-Prime"... oh for fudge's sake...

And yeah, it's so hypocritical; "look how all those lead-in stories we made you buy are nasty things" and Old-Superman telling the young-uns off for killing their enemies and mindwiping people and so on, when he'd do that every issue. Bleh.

And my gosh the art is ropey. Not good at all.

And I said all this in my SBC review, and I get hate mail, because Crisis is the r0xx0r5 apparently. Bleh again.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

It's just... Seven Soldiers is SO much better... it's cohesive, uncluttered, and elegant. I know that IC is the horse that DC is betting the farm on, but I hate to see a spectacular mega-series like SS get pushed to the rear because a bunch of fanboys are laying on their backs while Geoff Johns rubs their bellies and feeds them treats.

And I don't even really hate IC, I just think it's clunky, self-serving, and overblown. Oh, crap, maybe I DO hate it then....

11:33 AM  

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