Thursday, September 11, 2008

You Are All So Stupid

You can't remove a person's heart from their body and expect them to live. There's comic-book science, and then there's listening to mentally challenged teenagers talk about Yu Gi Oh, and then lower still on the totem pole of stupid there's Selina Kyle in a hospital room with jumper cables hooked up to what appears to be her lungs.

Your big crossover is about important characters having been replaced at crucial points in their history by evil shape-changing aliens. So . . . let's say you reveal that Character X is revealed to be a Skrull. Would anyone minded if you had gone far enough back to reveal that it was not actually Character X but actually a Skrull who beat his wife back in the early 80s? Anyone? I almost admire Brian Michael Bendis' unwillingness to step on any previous creator's stories in writing his own - it's generally classy in a way that clannish, backstabbing superhero writers usually aren't. But! Still! Make an argument as to why that bit of unsavory detail has to remain On The Record.

Batman says "cunt" a lot in real life. Usually after work at the bar.

I wonder if "New Ways To Die" was the plan all along for Brand New Day, or a reaction to the perceived sleepiness of the relaunch. It's pretty much bog-standard as far as these things go, but nonetheless has the same kind of old-school pizazz that made "The Sinestro Corps" such a sales darling. (Despite it's general air of redundancy, it projected the illusion of relevancy with sufficient vigor to achieve implausible sales increases.) If Amazing doesn't jump at least 20,000 copies for the duration - reorders included - I'll eat my hat, because the market really is that predictable.

So how come no one has mentioned the drug-addled Dr. Manhattan analogue in that Superman Beyond thing? There's no love lost between Morrison and Moore, but this is rather interesting nonetheless. Now more than ever Watchmen is one of the few true sacred cows in mainstream comics. There have certainly been a few extra-canonical references over the years - that profoundly weird issue of The Question, for one - but since at least the early 90s there's always been a tacit, if not explicitly stated understanding on the part of editorial that if Watchmen was to remain on its pedestal as (arguably) the company's most significant single story, ever, it needed to be kept sacrosanct: not out of any desire to placate the unplacatable Alan Moore, but simply for the logical reason that one of its major selling points is its absolute critical and thematic autonomy. What this meant wasn't just no followups, which have always been mooted, but no Ambush Bug spoofs, no thinly-disguised analogues getting ripped apart in Millar's Authority. Allowing Morrison a free hand to take the piss out of the story's signature Captain Atom analogue, even if it doesn't seem like that big of a deal on the surface, strikes me as a significant act, and as much of an indicator of Morrison's uniquely privileged status at the company as anything else.

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