Related Articles

23 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

“Only then you find out that in fact, they’re the ones who have precipitated all this. The chaos, the darkness, the madness and war are all actually the fault of people so blinded by nostalgia that they’ve become the monsters. They’re so determined to recreate a perfect world that never really existed that they will destroy everything that’s real.”

Are you talking about Luthor, Superboy-Prime, and the Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-2, or the writers at DC?

And when you were talking about Captain Light, did you mean Doctor Light?

ReplyReply
mygif

“Superboy-Prime really is the kind of villain who succeeds in making you root like hell against him, he needed his actual comeuppance at the end of the story. Saving him for another crossover was a mistake.”

That really is the line, isn’t it? It’s easy to create villains who are horrible, horrible people that readers will learn to hate. The problem is, if they hate them, they won’t want to see them coming back. They want to see them get killed off or locked away forever.

It’s much harder to create villains who can come back again and again, because they have to be almost as interesting (and in their own way, likable) as the heroes themselves.

ReplyReply
mygif

Are you talking about Luthor, Superboy-Prime, and the Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-2, or the writers at DC?

See, that’s why I didn’t like it very much. Because Superboy Prime is pretty much thinly-veiled complaining about fanboys (or, as DC probably doesn’t think of them as much as they should, customers.)

ReplyReply
mygif
malakim2099 said on October 8th, 2011 at 12:24 am

Only then you find out that in fact, they’re the ones who have precipitated all this. The chaos, the darkness, the madness and war are all actually the fault of people so blinded by nostalgia that they’ve become the monsters. They’re so determined to recreate a perfect world that never really existed that they will destroy everything that’s real.

Sounds like the Republican Party. 😉

ReplyReply
mygif

Only then you find out that in fact, they’re the ones who have precipitated all this. The chaos, the darkness, the madness and war are all actually the fault of people so blinded by nostalgia that they’ve become the monsters. They’re so determined to recreate a perfect world that never really existed that they will destroy everything that’s real.

That IS the Republican Party.

@malakim2099: there, I fixed that for you.

ReplyReply
mygif

Only then you find out that in fact, they’re the ones who have precipitated all this. The chaos, the darkness, the madness and war are all actually the fault of people so blinded by nostalgia that they’ve become the monsters. They’re so determined to recreate a perfect world that never really existed that they will destroy everything that’s real. The heroes find their way by opposing this madness, and the storm breaks. With the crisis over, Earth can begin to heal. That’s the idea, of course, but the actual story muddles it.

Wait, what? THAT’S what you took away?

It was breathtakingly clear, at least to me, that what Johns really wanted to do was write a big story about how Alexander was, in fact, totally right.

The muddles you refer to aren’t muddles at all; they’re the main thrust of the story. You’re SUPPOSED to think he’s right. That’s the point. The idea isn’t that all the darkness, chaos, and war are caused by people so blinded by nostalgia they’ve become monsters; the idea is that they’re right and the post-Zero Hour, pre-Infinite Crisis universe IS a fucked-up disaster filled with inferior versions of the REAL DC heroes, and Alexander is putting things right.

Having the Psycho-Pirate be behind manipulating everyone gives the ‘inferior’ versions an out; it makes them NOT horrible. It gives them a chance to be heroic. And we couldn’t have that. They have to be manipulated by Alexander putting a crowbar into their flaws (flaws that wouldn’t have existed in his purer world, so really its their own fault he’s able to succeed) and twisting.

It feels like the Trinity don’t overcome their flaws and that nothing got resolved because Johns wasn’t allowed to simply get rid of them and had to leave them hanging around. If he could have gotten away with killing or replacing them, he would have.

ReplyReply
mygif
Wally Kovacs said on October 8th, 2011 at 3:11 am

I’d argue that the Psycho Pirate thing would be a cop out. They needed to have the current world be ‘worse’ than the old one. But still, ultimately, it is wrong to destroy a flawed reality for a fictional utopia.

Most of the time when a story like this comes along, it will bring up a question. In this case, it’s the question is, do Luthor and Prime have the right to destroy the current universe, flawed as it is, in order to make a better one. Basically, trading one life for another, on a massive scale, because they deem one to be better. If it turned out the ‘flawed’ universe wasn’t really flawed at all, then it cuts the legs out of the question. The answer becomes “well, of course it’s wrong, the current universe isn’t really flawed, they just made it flawed as an excuse to replace it with a better one”.

So, the point was that Alexander, Prime, and Old Supes were right … to a point. But just because the old universe was better, doesn’t mean you should destroy the current one to try and recreate the old one. It becomes a failed Aesop if you back away from the issue by making it cut and dry in the end.

However, the problem with doing a philosophical question story arc is that you probably need to push some characters to act in ways they wouldn’t normally. For the Trinity, it wasn’t so bad. Identity Crisis set up Batman’s reasoning for going down the road he did, while Wonder Woman was backed into a corner on the Max Lord situation. Superman was a bit odd, but he was recovering from long term mental manipulation, so he at least had that as an excuse to fall back on.

ReplyReply
mygif
Jason Barnett said on October 8th, 2011 at 11:12 am

I believe you’re misreading the storyline. The supervillains and the cosmic manipulations were the doings of Alex and Prime. But they had nothing intentional to do with things like tha OMACs or the heroes actions.

But it’s interesting in all the talk about Prime as fanboy that no one noticed this: he didn’t just complain about things after the fact, Superboy Prime beat on the walls of reality because he wanted a real world. Things got darker as he did so. Then when he broke out he complained about the changes. Fanboys said they wanted more realism and things got darker and then they complained about it

ReplyReply
mygif

Marc: “It was breathtakingly clear, at least to me, that what Johns really wanted to do was write a big story about how Alexander was, in fact, totally right. ”

I think this is basically right, but I don’t think Johns knew that’s what he wanted.

I actually sort of like Infinite Crisis, but what really drags it down is that Johns doesn’t *realize* that–intentionally or not–he made Luthor, Superboy (Prime), and Kal-L the protagonists of the story. Like Warren Ellis said, “They killed everyone on your Earth to make room for everybody on theirs.” Or something like that.

Alternatively, Johns *did* realize it, but couldn’t have that, so he does everything in his power to make them unlikeable. Clark’s a whiny fanboy who wants everything to go back to the way it was. Alex is a sociopath who doesn’t even care when his own foster/alternate reality mother dies, and he couldn’t save her. So what we wind up with is a story with no focus, heroes acting with no obvious moral goal beyond self-preservation, and villains who aren’t really that villainous, only insensitive, crazy, and dirt-stupid, respectively.

If they’d just gone full-bore “all you did was prevent me from saving the world, now you have to live with it” I think it could’ve been a pretty great comic. As it is, it’s sort of a failure.

Interestingly, it’s sorta weird how a uber-fanboy and a bald genius who are really into the Silver Age conspired to remake reality and this passed pretty much entirely without any sort of self-awareness.

P.S. Greg Cox is a really nice guy.

ReplyReply
mygif

I just read it recently–thanks, dead Borders–and at least two murderers from IC have their own books in the DCNu: Sinestro and Deathstroke, who were involved in the deaths of the Freedom Fighters. And countless others. Of course, Batman is never brought up on charges in connection with the deaths of who knows how many OMAC’s; so it’s like the whole book was being retconned while I read it.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Jason Barnett: No, it’s made very explicit in the book that the Psycho-Pirate is manipulating the Spectre into destroying the Rock of Eternity (to unleash the wild magic that Alexander needs to fuel his world-maker) and that Alexander took control of Brother Eye from Batman and used the OMACs as his soldiers. (This is a slight simplification of the events in the comics, where Alexander worked through Maxwell Lord and Jean Loring and manipulated them with the Psycho-Pirate, but it’s still true.)

@Murc, @Wally Kovacs: And this is the problem I’m talking about. Alexander Luthor is supposed to be sympathetic except when he’s not, right except when he’s wrong, and his actions are validated…so long as he’s changing the bits of history that Geoff Johns personally agrees with. It doesn’t feel like a tale of moral ambiguity, it feels like Johns is trying to have his cake and eat it too. He’s trying to decry the dangers of nostalgia, while still changing the DC universe to bring back all the stuff he remembers as a kid. He’s trying to decry the grim and gritty environment in DC Comics, while still keeping all the main characters sympathetic enough to sustain their own comic book fandom. Essentially, the message of the book is, “Everything that I don’t like is terrible and wrong and screwed up and everything I like is awesome,” and that’s not an internally consistent message no matter how you slice it. :)

ReplyReply
mygif

He’s trying to decry the grim and gritty environment in DC Comics, while still keeping all the main characters sympathetic enough to sustain their own comic book fandom.

Even worse, he’s decrying grim-and-gritty, but doing so by piling even more of it on. Just about every big crossover DC’s done since at least as far back as Infinite Crisis has tried to offer a message of, “After this bloodbath, everything will be back to the bright shiny (whitewashed) clean (sterile) times that made the Silver Age great! Honest! This time for sure!”

And then it doesn’t really happen, and they ramp up the violent horribleness even more for another try. The last umpteen years of the post-Crisis-but-now-old DCU wouldn’t have been nearly so grimdark if Johns, Didio, etc. weren’t so committed to making them that way as arguments for why the Silver Age was supposedly so awesome.

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on October 8th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

You could argue that bloodbaths seldom create bright shiny clean times, Slarti, and that there’s an actual theme in there somewhere about the road to hell…but frankly, I just don’t think DC (or Marvel, for that matter) has that much self-awareness.

ReplyReply
mygif
Jason Barnett said on October 8th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I’m not sure Johns is that “grim & gritty” He’s violent, but in a way that says shit happens in a battle. They don’t go in looking to kill and the protaganists are rarely obsessed about the darkness of the world as though it was it’s natural state.

ReplyReply
mygif
Travis O. said on October 9th, 2011 at 1:04 am

Does anybody else feel like finding fault with DC Comics at this point is like not only beating a dead horse, but actually sitting on its back and fully expecting it to take you somewhere?

ReplyReply
mygif

@ Jason Barnett: I’d be tempted to agree with you if it wasn’t for the dozens of characters who died in horrible, non-reversible ways just because Dan DiDio or Geoff Johns didn’t like them for some reason. There were a whole lot of minor characters getting torn apart by Black Adam and stuff for no particular reason.

Meanwhile, other characters who should have died if things were really that serious came through unscathed basically just because they were more popular (which kind of undermines the “casualties happen in battle” argument).

ReplyReply
mygif

I would argue that Infinite Crisis might work better if there was additional emphasis on the parallels between the story lines of the minor characters and the big 3. Superboy’s disinterest in being a superhero early on mirrors Superman’s seeming inability to inspire others, while Booster Gold would have worked as a decent counterpoint to Batman (Batman was paranoid and pushing friends away, while Booster spent the preInfinite Crisis material trying to protect friends and failing miserably.)

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be anything resembling a counterpoint to Wonder Woman (and of course, the idea that she had lost her balance was always the weakest of the criticisms of the Trinity in Infinite Crisis.)

ReplyReply
mygif

So what was the project? Fiction or non? Reference work? It’s a very interesting analysis in any case.
I found Superboy prime just annoying (I agree he’s meant to be a fanboy parody, but I don’t think that makes his constant whining any more tolerable), Johns’ stated conviction he’s a great villain notwithstanding.

ReplyReply
mygif

My basic reaction to Infinite Crisis:

“Okay, so Booster Gold and Guy Gardner are having a really tough time fighting the OMACs, all sorts of heroes and villains have been killed by death rays and things, the Spectre is on a rampage, Black Adam is killing other supervillains, Deathstroke destroyed a whole city in a ridiculously out of character moment… Explain to me again why Batman and Wildcat are still alive? And the answer better not involve ‘jumping at exactly the right time’.”

ReplyReply
mygif

@Fraser: It was going to be a comprehensive look at the entire crossover phenomenon, from “Crisis On Infinite Earths” and “Secret Wars” up through “Infinite Crisis” and “Civil War”. It became obvious when I had only made it up to writing notes on “Millennium”, and DC and Marvel had made it up through “Amazons Attack” and “World War Hulk” (with “Final Crisis” and “Secret Invasion” on the horizon) that it would be impossible without a gigantic staff of trained, diligent, utterly-insane researchers. :)

ReplyReply
mygif

Pity. Sounds like it would have been interesting.

ReplyReply
mygif

That & Identity Crisis is the reason I advise fans to makes their own canon.

ReplyReply
mygif

[…] COIE, Infinite Crisis got a lot of lead-up in the regular DC books. As John Seavey puts it, everything is turning to crap: the world’s villains have united under Lex Luthor in […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments