Saturday, July 05, 2008

Countdown to something inane

Countdown to Final Crisis

Put it this way: is it possible for a continuity-wise writer to deliver a story which makes sense to the interested, but uninformed reader?DC comics, with their mammoth-but-not-necessarily wise maxi-series, have put this to the test.

First off, a series of such a length is a statement of intent. If want people to spend $200 or $300 on a story, you'd better make sure it's a good one. Scratch that. Make sure it's a fantastic one. Fail and you're telling your readers in the starkest terms that you're taking them for a ride.

Countdown, sadly and predictably, is bloatware. Nothing much happens for the first twenty issues or so. That's four hundred pages, people. Even Dostoyevsky gets his arse in gear faster than that. We have a number of different plot strands which do, somewhere far down the line, come together. To get there, though, we have a long and uninteresting road to travel.

Here's how it goes: Donna Troy and co turn up in one of DC's new spangly universes. 'I'm detecting Ray Palmer,' says one of them. They get attacked by some local baddies. They despatch them using fists and blinding flashes from Donna's galactic pants. 'Ray was here, but now he's gone,' says one of the bruised locals. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. 52 universes and yet all so samey.

Incidentally, didn't Ray Palmer sing the theme to 'Ghostbusters'? Perhaps that's one of the new universes.

Let's remove these pointless Ray-searches - to add insult to tedium, there were special 'Search for Ray Palmer' one-offs with exactly the same guff - and see what's left.

Mary Marvel. Mary Marvel. Doubtless her behaviour was utterly out of character for the entire series, but I'd never heard of her before, so I'm fine with that. This was a good strand, I thought. Good girl succumbs to temptation, does some naughty things, sees the error of her ways, redeems herself. Sometimes the old 'uns are good 'uns.

Except - and I don't have a clue how a sane editor could allow this to happen - right at the end, after she's redeemed herself and been forgiven and this strand is put to bed, Darkseid turns up, offers our Mary some more evil powers. This is a last temptation, right? She'll turn him down. We've spent the last few months learning about Mary's character. She's seen where succumbing takes her. Only that's not what happens. Clean out of the blue, she turns evil once again. No foreshadowing, no reason to think it might happen. It doesn't make the blindest amount of sense.

DC staff, this is narration 101: don't have your characters make decisions the plot doesn't support. You're in charge of this. You're supposed to know what you're doing. Pathetic.

As I understand it, Darkseid turns out to have been offing various old Jack Kirby characters. Why he's chosen now is never explained, but explaining isn't DC's strong point. He has to store their powers somewhere. Wouldn't in Darkseid be a good idea, maybe? Or just down the corridor from Darkseid's bedroom? No, he stores them in Jimmy Olsen, Superman's friend-sidekick-irritant. Would it be possible to find any place more ridiculous than there? You can never underestimate the stupidity of the powers of evil, I guess.

By the time the series is drawing to a close, we've got multiple factions slugging it out. I never quite figured out who Monarch is, or where he went in the end. I understood the Monitors well enough. OMAC turns up at the party, for some reason. One woman, Una, turned into one and then turned back again. Did I miss something there? One universe gets 'destroyed' twice.

Could someone tell these scientific illiterates that introducing a virus onto one planet is not the same as annihilating the entire universe? Memo to DC: universes are really, really, fucking huge. Just because a virus is one thousand years more advanced than us - no, I don't understand that either, but bear with me - somewhere in a universe of a hundred billion galaxies with a hundred billions stars each there might be a planet with technology more than one thousand years ahead of us. They might find the anti-life virus as deadly as a snuffly nose.

And then the finale: Monarch and the Monitors have fallen by the wayside. Ray Palmer squashes a podule inside Jimmy Olsen (I suspect Olsen is composed of a multitude of podules, but there you go) and a new character pops out. Orion.

This brings me back to my continuity question. You're probably thinking Orion is an old character, right? Not to me. I'd never seen him before. But he turns up in the second-to-last week and kills the bad guy. Not Ray Palmer, not Donna Troy, not - heaven forfend - Jimmy Olsen, but some guy I'd never heard of. Surprised? You bet. Foreshadowed? Not in the slightest. For the uninitiated, this last plot turn made as much sense as the cast of Pride and Prejudice turning up and beating Darkseid to death with parasols. If you're planning to have Orion take care of Darkseid in the end, have the cast search for ways to spring him. Make that their goal. My enthusiasm for the DC universe seeped out of my head like air from a fart cushion.

Lord, I wish I could say something good about this series. Donna's galactic pants are fetching, I have to admit. The annihilation of one of the Earths was well-done. But the rest? Well, I would say bilge but.... No, I will say bilge.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 中国皮肤网 癌症康复网 中国公文网 工作总结 个人工作总结 班主任工作总结 年终工作总结 工作报告 政府报告 述职报告 述廉报告 考察报告 自查报告 情况报告 调研报告 调查报告 申请报告 辞职报告 实习报告 评估报告 工作汇报 思想汇报 汇报材料 情况通报 情况汇报 心得体会 学习心得 工作心得 培训心得 读后感 演讲稿 竞聘演讲 就职演讲 比赛演讲 征文演讲 节日演讲 演讲技巧 工作意见 活动策划 工作方案 整改方案 实施方案 企划文案 销售方案 培训方案 应急预案 规章制度 法律法规 事迹材料 先进事迹 个人事迹 申报材料 学习材料 考察材料 经验材料 交流材料 自我鉴定 模板范例 技巧经验 工作计划 民主生活会 入党志愿书 入党申请书 入团申请书 转正申请书 通知 毕业论文 合同

8:43 am  
Blogger kek-w said...

I agree with pretty much everything you said there, except:

Do not dis Jimmy Olsen. lol.

10:35 am  
Blogger Eddy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:20 am  
Blogger Eddy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:58 pm  
Blogger Eddy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:58 am  
Anonymous Eddy said...

Hi, I liked your post, was useful. I came across this post through a Google search and your post was relevant. Thanks. Check out this link. I think that you might enjoy it.
http://mafiawarscheats.ratereviews.net/

Thanks
Eddy

3:39 am  
Blogger 美好 said...

援交友留言,視訊聊天室,成人貼圖站,情色視訊,情色論壇,美女圖片,080視訊聊天室,正妹牆qk176,18sxe成人影城,080視訊聊天室,免費交友,情色a片,台灣成人網,情色a片,聊天交友,台灣情色,情人貼圖,上班族聊天室f1,成人網,正妹交友,成人視訊,彰化人聊天室,台灣情色網,免費聊天,美女交友,丁字褲美女寫真,情色,免費視訊聊天室,777成人區,哈啦聊天室,0401視訊美女,免費色情影片,成人視訊,免費視訊,正妹牆自拍, ut聊天室,免費視訊,免費視訊g,八國聯軍成人,聊天室ut,

3:35 pm  
Blogger lettyrburrage said...

hello~nice to meet u..............................

4:06 am  
Blogger 連絡 said...

Learn wisdom by the follies of others. ..................................................

5:31 am  
Blogger Term Papers said...

If want people to spend $200 or $300 on a story, you'd better make sure.But I don't want to spend own money for this types of stories.


Term papers

12:26 pm  
Blogger 香水 said...

辛苦了!祝你愈來愈好!........................................

5:27 am  
Anonymous オテモヤン said...

オナニー
逆援助
SEX
フェラチオ
ソープ
逆援助
出張ホスト
手コキ
おっぱい
フェラチオ
中出し
セックス
デリヘル
包茎
逆援
性欲

4:08 pm  
Blogger ispomyju said...

Many thanks have your share..................................................

8:38 am  
Blogger #6 said...

It seems so strange now when, as today, I find a blogger on comics whose views are congruent with my own.

It's only logical, given that Bendis is the new Liefeld, and that the loyal 250,000 (and shrinking) see no fundamental problem with Countdown, or Civil War, or... anything in modern corporatecomics... It's just sad that this tiny minority who buy DC and Marvel are such useful propaganda tools for the media (who own DC and Marvel) to claim that no other comics exist...

Even though IndyPlanet overflows with good, bad, ugly and random ideas. :)

Thanks for writing a great blog!

1:23 am  
Blogger hh1y5t65 said...

The tribe standard is very good continues to refuel
...................................................

3:08 pm  
Blogger oebdegii said...

交友留言板免費影音聊天室yoyo免費視訊絲襪美女觀賞軍中情人視訊影音美女視訊聊天網色情片免費看 kiss日本免費視訊網址免費視訊影片18h漫ut美女聊天室玩美女人視訊網性愛圖貼影音視訊網0204 電話交友免費視訊影片下載辣妹影音頻道美女視訊聊天色美媚部落格免費 a日本免費視訊聊天哇塞 影音視訊網ut美女寫真免費情人視訊love 免費視訊美女影音觀賞免費視訊影片分享武則天影音視訊網日本avdvd介紹免費觀賞美女交友影音聊天室嘟嘟成人貼片彩虹影音視訊網

7:13 am  
Blogger wfrrqrtw said...

視訊美女聊天性感辣妹圖片免費情色短片下載區美女影音視訊網0204貼圖區完美情人視訊聊天室色情片觀賞免費視訊美女影音觀賞18h 漫貼圖區日本免費影片辣妹圖貼is 語音聊天室免費線上av觀看520影音視訊網日本免費視訊帳號玩美女人影音館免費情色片影音聊天網台灣美女貼圖區色情片免費文字視訊 聊天影音視訊美女免費電話視訊交友網完美情人視訊色情片免費觀賞免費ava片線上看檳榔西施影音聊天室火辣視訊 影音美女網0204movie免費影片比基尼辣妹圖片華人影音視訊網

5:19 pm  
Blogger ac21f2d2 said...

Such attentively manages your ~
.....................................................

9:56 am  
Blogger dfadf said...

Microsoft Office
Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010
Office 2010 key
Office 2010 download
Office 2010 Professional
Microsoft outlook
Outlook 2010
Windows 7
Microsoft outlook 2010

9:11 am  
Blogger dfadf said...

Microsoft Office
Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010
Office 2010 key
Office 2010 download
Office 2010 Professional
Microsoft outlook
Outlook 2010
Windows 7
Microsoft outlook 2010

2:55 am  
Anonymous 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe AC Compressor said...

I have read a few good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to create such a fantastic informative site.

10:43 am  
Blogger sheena said...

VW Jetta Turbo
This is my Good luck that I found your post which is according to my search and topic, I think you are a great blogger, thanks for helping me out from my problem..

6:29 am  
Blogger sheena said...

VW Jetta Turbo
This is my Good luck that I found your post which is according to my search and topic, I think you are a great blogger, thanks for helping me out from my problem..

6:29 am  
Blogger Michael Babbage said...

Thanks for your very useful Information. I will bookmark for next reference. I really liked this part of the article. I wait for the next post :)

11:25 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home