Monday, January 31, 2011

Where Is Thy Sting?

We have spent a great deal of time discussing the original Crisis on Infinite Earths - discussing the way the event was constructed, it's goals and its frustrations, and its dubious legacy. But the one thing we haven't actually mentioned so far, save for in passing, is the actual story itself. That isn't necessarily because the story itself is secondary: on the contrary, the story - for all the legitimate criticisms that can be levied at its density and self-referentiality - is nevertheless extremely well constructed and quite memorable for those willing to invest the time and patience.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Crisis to End all Crises

Talking about 25 year old continuity patches is pretty much the definition of inside baseball for comics people - the kind of comics stuff that people who don't read comics probably imagine comics nerds talking about all the time. But it's fun, for all that. I wonder, though - and there's no research or anything more than the most generalized kind of assumption to back up this assessment - whether or not that kind of continuity wankery holds any appeal whatsoever for younger readers. And by "younger" I'm not even talking about kids, I'm talking about readers who may be just a handful of years younger than me, who were born long after the Crisis and have no personal connection to old-school continuity as a living pastime similar to, say, statistics and sabermetrics in baseball. Readers for whom the phrases "pre'-" and "post-Crisis" have about as much personal resonance as, I dunno, Doc Savage and the Shadow did for me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Well, guess what: today, January 17th, 2011, is The Hurting's Seventh Birthday. Who the hell saw that one coming? I always know as soon as I see Mike celebrates his blogiversary that I'm next in line. There's a bunch of us all clustered together there - the "Class of Journalista 1.0," I guess you'd say.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Wolfman and Perez had many practical tasks to accomplish with Crisis, inarguably more in the way of substantial change than any mega-event before or after. First, as discussed before, the series was conceived as a celebration for fifty years of publishing on the part of DC Comics nee National. It's expected that any anniversary celebrated in the pages of a comic will be something resembling an exhaustive - or at least capacious - summation of the preceding interval. (DC was especially good at these kinds of events in the 80s - for example, see here, here and here.) The fact that the creative team behind Crisis actually took a fair stab at encapsulating the previous fifty fifty years - not merely of a single character's run but of the sum total of thousands of comics in multiple genres - is simply astounding.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Who's Going To Live

For anyone who wasn't reading comics at the time, it might be difficult to explain how big a deal the original Crisis on Infinite Earths actually was. The same features that made Crisis so successful and unique in 1985 have since been reiterated and plagiarized so many times that the impact of the original has probably suffered irrevocably as a result.

Monday, January 03, 2011

The Hole in the Center of the World

There are no limits placed on the ability of the human mind to imagine new cruelties.