Infinite Crisis begins today.
October 12, 2005 6:29 AM   Subscribe

Infinite Crisis begins today. In 1985, DC Comics released Crisis On Infinite Earths -- arguably the biggest retcon engine in comicbook history. The goal of the Crisis maxi-series was the unification of disparate DC timelines and dimensions (designated as numbered or lettered Earths) into a single universe. Beloved heroes died and new heroes emerged. Twenty years later, DC is putting all of its heroes and villains back in harm's way with Infinite Crisis. Building steam from plot elements in last year's critically-acclaimed Identity Crisis (written by NYT Bestselling Author Brad Meltzer) and a quartet (1, 2, 3, 4) of related mini-series published over the last six months, Infinite Crisis (penned by Geoff Johns) promises to be just as jarring as the original Crisis. So jarring, in fact, that flagship characters of the DC Universe will be pitched forward in time, a year into the future. To account for the lost time, a weekly series called 52* will start in May of 2006. And when the dust settles, DC will start progressing all of its characters and stories in real time.
posted by grabbingsand (53 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It is uncanny how this failed to generate a spark of interest in my mind for looking into this latest move by DC comics.

Please wake me from my comic free slumber when Infinite Spider Jerusalem Crisis is greenlighted. You know, the one where Spider Jerusalem appears in every DC comic and shoots every DC superhero with his anal prolapse gun.

That I would pay $2.50 to read.
posted by illovich at 6:49 AM on October 12, 2005


1. I'm moderately interested in Infinite Crisis; I've skipped most of the tie-in prequel series because of the sheer awfulness of Countdown to Infinite Crisis (I mean, Jesus Christ, look at that name), but all of the aftermath stuff sounds at least sort of interesting. Infinite Crisis doesn't have to be very good to be more engaging than House of M, the competition from across the aisle.

The real shame is that no one's paying any attention to Seven Soldiers, which is one cool mutherfucking megaseries.

2. Please wake me from my comic free slumber when Infinite Spider Jerusalem Crisis is greenlighted. You know, the one where Spider Jerusalem appears in every DC comic and shoots every DC superhero with his anal prolapse gun.

I honestly don't understand why people love Transmetropolitian so much. Ellis is writing fan fiction about Hunter Thompson. Why not just read Thompson and cut out the middleman?
posted by COBRA! at 7:24 AM on October 12, 2005


They killed Blue Beetle. For this they shall never, ever be forgiven. I miss Ted already.
posted by terpsichoria at 7:31 AM on October 12, 2005


I don't get the Spider Jerusalem love either. I have friends who read it, love it, swear by it, but it's pastiche at best.

I did read and rather liked Identity Crisis, it kicked off a brief interest in comics, which has been pottering along for me with the likes of the Walking Dead, and Y The Last Man (PDF of the first issue). If I want superhero jollies, I read Invincible. I don't really like massive crossovers, because they're done every year just for the sake of it. And frequently they feature space, which is stupid and wrong.

*Grumpy*
posted by Swandive at 7:33 AM on October 12, 2005


Man, I loved The Blue Beetle when he was with Charlton Comics. Bringing back the nostalgia today, people. Wow.
posted by willmize at 7:52 AM on October 12, 2005


I honestly don't understand why people love Transmetropolitian so much.

Personally, because Royce is one of the greatest supporting characters EVAR. "You're not fucking with my front page!"

Actually, another reason I love Transmet is exactly the reason I think these plot-wipes and such are so lame- Transmet ends. I remember the first time I started watching Anime a few years back and suddenly realized that the shows had a structured storyline that actually concluded. As someone who read Batman and such and watched only American cartoons for much longer, the concept blew my friggin' mind. That DC and Marvel have to reset their characters every ten years or so is basically an admission that they never had a goal for them- that they would simply shape them to whatever marketable trend they saw fit. ("What? You mean Bob Kane didn't really envision Batman having robot armor in the early 90's? Blasphemy!") Ultimately, it's a sign of shitty writing. They killed Robin based on a phone poll, for fuck's sake.

The only comics I've ever read with ongoing storylines that work are the ones that are self-contained and in no way rely on contemporary culture- the strongest examples being Groo the Wanderer and Usagi Yojimbo, and until recently Bone.

In Transmet, I was introduced to Vita, liked her, dismayed by what happened, and satisfied at the conclusion of the story. I think it's because the story took only five years from beginning to end. Meanwhile, I was eight or nine when the Joker offed Jason Todd. I don't give a fuck anymore. Hell, Barbara Gordon's been crippled for so long that the average fan would be angry if they reset the character and she didn't have her spine shot out. In contrast, losing Spoiler pissed me off because it was a new fresh character that was simply thrown away in yet another case of DC having a female character get the hell tortured out of her for the sake of advancing a shitty plotline. It's either-or with the big books: they see new characters as expendable and old characters as immortal. I can't relate to, or care about the day-to-day aspects, of either.

Most fanboys would put Dark Knight Returns, at least prior to Miller shitting on everything it stood for in 2002 with a sequel, on the top of their list of great comics. I think that it presents somewhat of a potential ending to the Batman saga is one of those reasons.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:52 AM on October 12, 2005


The real-time thing has me geeked out to the max.

[rant]
I hate massive over-complicated crossovers 'cause they're inevitably a result of poor writing and lack of editorial control, and often seem like a grab for extra cash *coughcough* Clone Saga *coughcough*. I never did manage to read all of Crisis on Infinite Earths settling for summaries for most of the plot. With that thing, it felt like if you weren't aware of every detail of the 30-some years of backstory necessary to understanding what the hell was going on, you'd be utterly lost. At least I was.

But Infinite Crisis feels different, maybe because I know more about the characters but I think also because the stories aren't referencing crazy-obscure details about a fifth-stringer superhero's life. Just been reading the miniseries and maybe a few of the tie-ins has given me a pretty good idea of the main plot and DC seems to be doing a lot to guide readers through the breakdown.

House of M, though . . . gah! I used to like Marvel better than DC, thinking it offered a more realistic depiction of humans with powers rather than just goody-goody gods, but you can get sick really fast of the steadfast refusal to make their plotlines, like, sane (X-MEN HELLO I AM TALKING TO YOU JEAN GREY) or consider their readers when setting up these crossovers. For example, DC starts Countdown, they up production of their series to catch up with it. Marvel starts House of M and doesn't seem to make an effort to even get titles released on time, much less catch up to keep 'em in continuity.

See, I think you pick the classic or continuity approach to comics. Either try to keep your stories in line with one another and sane and somewhat in real-time, or go nuts and do all the clones and resurrections and alien babies you want, but don't torture your readers with retconning and massive series with crackpot explanations for the existence of some character's mutagenetic alternate-reality second-cousin and why we should care about him.

[/rant]
posted by schroedinger at 8:09 AM on October 12, 2005


XQ: I definitely feel you on self-contained stories being more satisfying. I don't think it's an accident that the best stories from the Big Two tend to be out-of-continuity "What Ifs" that take the iconic characters and put them into a story with a definite ending and no need to leave things open for continuation (your Dark Knight Returns example, and, say Cooke's New Frontier, that Millar Superman-growing-up-in-Soviet-Russia mini, Morrison's X-Men run [supposedly in continuity, but written as a self-contained narrative, and steadily being removed from continuity by Marvel editorial]).
posted by COBRA! at 8:16 AM on October 12, 2005


I'm with you on Transmet, XQ.

Pretty fond of Invisibles too, and of course Sandman. Occasionally even Poison Elves though it really is kind of amateur by comparison.

Superhero comics that go on for half a century where nothing ever really changes except when characters get redesigned to be more edgy and modern, just don't do it for me.
posted by Foosnark at 8:18 AM on October 12, 2005


I used to like Marvel better than DC, thinking it offered a more realistic depiction of humans with powers rather than just goody-goody gods,

The pendulum swings back and forth. A few years ago, there was a lot of creative energy at Marvel and DC was moribund. Lately, DC's taking a lot of chances and doing some interesting things while Marvel sits in a rut. It'll cycle through again.
posted by COBRA! at 8:19 AM on October 12, 2005


I used to read comics. Then I read Sandman and nothing else was the same.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:23 AM on October 12, 2005


The Soviet Superman (Red Son) looked interesting, but I wish someone would tell me if it is worth reading.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:33 AM on October 12, 2005


Yeah, Marvel's continuity has really blown in the past decade or so. With a few exceptions (Morrison and Whedon on X-Men, most notably), all the good stuff has been going on in the Ultimate line, which was basically Marvel admittting that their continuity was FUBAR and starting from scratch.
posted by mkultra at 8:38 AM on October 12, 2005


The Soviet Superman (Red Son) looked interesting, but I wish someone would tell me if it is worth reading.

I liked it; it's interesting and fairly witty, with all the fun of a Superman story without needing to know a lot of backstory.
posted by COBRA! at 8:39 AM on October 12, 2005


The Soviet Superman (Red Son) looked interesting, but I wish someone would tell me if it is worth reading.

I'm not even much of a comic guy, and I loved it!

Idle thought: I would laugh if the new Superman movie turned out to be based off of Red Son, but none of the promotional material hinted that anything was going to be different from the usual mythos.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:40 AM on October 12, 2005


Watchmen.

That is all.
posted by S.C. at 8:46 AM on October 12, 2005


It's not a given that the continuity will be advanced in real time. It is merely a strong rumour that I re-reported in the linked thread.

But there is additional evidence that this will happen; Geoff Johns, in his final issue of The Flash, gave Wally and Linda twins (using a time-twist to bring them back after having been miscarried). Historically, every time a major DC character has kids in continuity, they die (Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Power Girl, etc.) The reason for this is that you can't have the kids age and yet not have the other characters age.

By bringing the twins "back to life", this is a strong pointer towards "real time" continuity. Johns could have left them 'dead'.

Yeah, I'm a comic geek. Sue me.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:46 AM on October 12, 2005


Meanwhile, I was eight or nine when the Joker offed Jason Todd.

Spoiler: Or did he?

I bailed on Marvel when they brought Jean Grey back again.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2005


I like comic books, but usually read at the fringes of them (stuff like the Vertigo lines) because it annoys me that the companies won't ever let their characters mature, then die and create new interesting modern characters. Some comic fans can't seem to adapt to change very well, for example, check out the reviews of "identity Crisis" some of the complaints are little more "OH NOES THEY DID SOMETHING I DISAGREE WITH WITH MY FAVORITE CHARACTER!"
posted by dial-tone at 9:03 AM on October 12, 2005


Gack. Who can afford to follow these massive, series-crossing megasagas with current comic prices? I gots bills to pay, dammit.

I would drop heavy change on the four-colors if they'd go back to the cheap newsprint. The glossy paper is gross and gives them reason to believe they can charge magazine prices. If I wanted to drop $10 on shiny paper, I'd buy Vogue.
posted by ToasT at 9:09 AM on October 12, 2005


Spoiler: Or did he?

Almost certainly. We did see the body. And the Jason Todd who may be the new Red Hood sure appears to be a lot older than the Jason Todd who died.

Without spoiling today's issues of Villains United and Infinite Crisis, there is a moment of revelation in each book that would explain this neatly. Or messily.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:11 AM on October 12, 2005


Holy cow, Power Girl has had some work done since I read DC books years ago.
posted by brain_drain at 9:11 AM on October 12, 2005


S.C.: you can't just say "Watchmen" and recede from the conversation! What about it did you like?

I loved watchmen, the cinematic art, the depth of characters, the story. I was sort of put off by the bright colors, but I guess that's to be expected from a comic out of the mid-eighties.

Anything by Alan Moore is fantastic.
posted by splatta at 9:12 AM on October 12, 2005


Gack. Who can afford to follow these massive, series-crossing megasagas with current comic prices?

I am told that if you live in Sweden that it is perfectly legal to download pretty much anything, including books, movies, music, TV shows and comics. I am also told that every book from the largest publishers and many boks from smaller publishers are scanned and made available via BitTorrent and/or DC++, often on the day of release.

If you are not Swedish, I do not advocate this option.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:17 AM on October 12, 2005


I followed some of the buildup to Infinite Crisis (I like Adam Strange for some reason) but soon abandoned it completely. Just too much bloated back story and marginal, second-tier characters to keep up with.

To be honest, I don't quite understand why the comic publishers feel the need to retain such a perfect continuity. What's so bad about simply rebooting a series? These efforts to rewrite history such that everything makes sense seems similar to astronomers of old coming up with incredible equations to explain retrograde orbits: a lot of work for something that's ultimately useless.

That said, I'm really enjoying The New Avengers, and can understand why a lot of explanation and preparation had to go into it. But the whole Avengers Disassembled thing was lousy.
posted by aladfar at 9:36 AM on October 12, 2005


Not Swedish, even by descent.

While at one time I would religiously follow 8-10 series month by month, I no longer see the value of the investment. I can get a 250-page import manga paperback for the same price as three or four 40-page comics. The U.S. industry needs to get back to its roots. They alienated their bread-and-butter audience - kids - by pricing their product for the "collector market", thus insuring a shrinking and aging fan base. Plus, the old heroes and stories are tired.

Guess I'll just have to live the dream and draw my own.
posted by ToasT at 9:43 AM on October 12, 2005


I read the series by authors I like and figure if there's anything in the metaplot I need to know, I'll find out on scans_daily.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:48 AM on October 12, 2005


I was pondering this thread while working out at the gym* and while I am all in favor of DC trying something new with this whole real time thing and actually aging characters as we read, I worry about future storylines. I mean, how many times are we going to have the Hero Confronts His Own Mortality And Passes The Torch story in a few years? How many times will Superman be zapped by an age-reversing ray to keep him in his prime?

I mean, I like stories about the iconic superheroes in their later years. Miller's aged Batman of Dark Knight was a great glimpse into the character (As was the similar Bruce from Batman Beyond, pre-JLA tinkering last season) and a great story, but how interested are folks in reading about Batman getting to that point? The story is old Batman, not aging Batman. I think that people are not going to be as interested in the middle years stories, they'll wait with their dollars until the Hero Returns story begins.

So how else can you keep a character fresh? Well, you can restart'em or you can do What Ifs/miniseries with'em.

I have mixed feelings about restarts. On the one hand, they're a great way to get in on one of the iconic characters/teams without all that backstory (Marvel's Ultimate series, DC's Batman:Year One spin-offs) but on the other hand, they get real old, real fast (X-men has had, what, 6 different restarts/retellings/branches in the past decade -basic, cartoon1, cartoon2, movie, Ultimate, etc.. How many goddamn times do I have to read the goddamn Phoenix Saga anyways?). You need the restarts, though, to draw in the new generations and keep the business ship afloat.

Limited series are great for telling the What If stories that couldn't be told in the normal timeline (Kingdom Come, 1602), but the publishers can not just let them lie. There will always be sequels if the "limited" series makes enough money. (I curse the thought and deed that made me buy The Kingdom.) So then the limited series become lines of their own (House of M)and we're left the whole Red and Blue crap all over again.

So how can a publisher get people to buy its comics featuring its iconic heroes while remaining fresh and accessable?

There needs to be a change to the industry (and more importantly, the fans), a change that would probably never happen entirely and would be fatal if it did. Parts of it have been happening for years now, but only amoung the comic-set: The rise of the storyteller. That is, instead of people buying a comic because it features Hero X, they buy it because it's written by Author Y (Or drawn by Artist Z, I guess). Whatever the comic is about, we trust our Gaimans, Millers, Moores, and Busieks to not steer us wrong. I mean, people buy Stephen King books because they're by Stephen King, not because we want to see what Pennywise is up to. Also, publishers should let the story end when the author ends it, not keep it on lifesupport with a squad of hacks. This is not to say that once the author ends a story that nobody else can play in that universe, but that well-planned characters are not "updated" or the world is radically altered for a quick sale or promotion. I mean, I'd love to see more stories based on So Smart In Their Fine Uniforms, but I don't need someone blowing up the planet and making it a WWI Space Opera or something.

Woo, rambly. So in short, I think it's cool that DC is doing this, trying something new, but ultimately I think it's just slapping some lipstick on the ole pig for the sake of a few more dances. It will increase sales, create controversy, and all be retconned in 2010.

*Needless masculine reference in light of the extremely geeky bits to follow. Afterwards, let us all gather around a case of Beast, punch each other in the shoulders, pick up heavy objects, and put them down again.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:56 AM on October 12, 2005


Ah, Crisis...that brings back some happy memories. As a kid I was a Marvel guy, and thought everything DC put out was grade-A cheese until I borrowed the complete series from a friend and read it all in one sitting. It had everything (except a cool-looking villain); great art, a compelling plot, and most/best of all...death! Superheroes, some important, getting offed all over the place! Seemingly for good! I'd never read anything like it before.

I tell you, it was like that special edition of Radioactive Man where he and Fallout Boy get killed on every page!
posted by you just lost the game at 10:10 AM on October 12, 2005


A slavish devotion to continuity instead of simply telling entertaining single issue stories is what killed the comics market for the casual reader. I don't understand getting all worked up about something like the death of the Blue Beetle, because the Blue Beetle is an imaginary character who was never alive anyway. As soon as the market dictates, he'll be in stories again (see also: just about every character who has ever died in comics).
posted by MegoSteve at 10:14 AM on October 12, 2005


Won't somebody PLEASE think of the Hypertime??
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:22 AM on October 12, 2005


I honestly don't understand why people love Transmetropolitian so much.

Meh, i didn't say I did. It was a decent book that I was about sick of when they ended it, which is something I had respect for.

What I loved so much was his bowel destroyer gun, which he set to anal prolapse and shot the President with in a public toilet.

Now that was writing. Does Hunter S. Thompson have a bowel disintegrator ray gun? I didn't think so!
posted by illovich at 10:22 AM on October 12, 2005


I can get a 250-page import manga paperback for the same price as three or four 40-page comics.

I get what you mean, although it's more like 200 pages vs 22 pages, and manga pages are half-sized compared to U.S. comics. The difference isn't quite that dramatic when you think about it.
posted by bobo123 at 10:23 AM on October 12, 2005


As somebody who gave up superhero comics of all kinds in favor of arty/indie comics a while back, I've actually been tempted to start reading them again by these big crossovers. Partly I guess that's because the indie comics seem to be getting as moribund and rote as the superhero comics of old seemed to be, and partly it's because I've been hearing good things about the new series.

I actually think stories about Batman aging might be pretty cool. Imagine: Bruce Wayne begins to lose his touch with the ladies, he paints the Batmobile red, he resents Robin for his youth... Robin starts to pick up on all the ladies Wyne brings home... There's potential there, I think. (Well, maybe just potential for some awful slash, but still.)

I do agree with S.C.'s implied statement that Watchmen represents the alpha and omega of modern superhero tales, though. Moore did a fantastic job of breaking down the various parts of the genre. (It's too bad that the book spawned so many other awful superhero-deconstruction books, though.)
posted by whir at 10:26 AM on October 12, 2005


I'm ready to believe these are documentaries, not comics. There's too much contradictory stuff going on to be coming from just ONE universe.

That would certainly help explain stories like this one: Journalist Stands By His Story That Bush And Others Indicted [in secret, by Chicago Special Prosecutor]., the same author also covering news about Government Secrets and Cover-ups; Religious and Spiritual Phenomena; Unpopular Science; Suppressed Health Alternatives; Legal/ Social Injustice and Environmental Protection and Alien Presence on Earth and UFO Phenomena.

I suspect his apology there about his "mix up with web master" happened because he put his "web up with mix master." Slurry in, slurry out.
posted by hank at 10:31 AM on October 12, 2005


I get what you mean, although it's more like 200 pages vs 22 pages, and manga pages are half-sized compared to U.S. comics. The difference isn't quite that dramatic when you think about it.

The size format is different, but you can move about the same amount of story. That's 10 times as much narrative for two or three times the price. That's why the American mags at Borders occupy a small spinning rack and the manga have an entire wall of shelves.

And while you may say the art is bigger in a Marvel or D.C. book, it's also "pertified" with heavy gradation and effects to the point where you barely feel the artist's touch. Manga are black and white; I like to see lines - ink, man!
posted by ToasT at 10:34 AM on October 12, 2005


.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:32 AM on October 12, 2005


It's odd that Marvel sort of peaked around the same time that grunge and the rest of angsty Seattle stuff was out. They did that well and rode it to the hilt with things like the emphasis on Wolverine and Gambit (and the X-Men overall), but it's felt less like Nirvana and more like Creed for the last couple of years. They occassionally do cool stuff (like give Mike Alred X-Factor or the Captain Universe goofy series), but most of it's just like this boring high school thing. Which I understand—and it's a little funny to see a bunch of 20-something dorks talking about why comics just don't connect with them, or kids, or casual readers anymore— but they just don't do it for me. Seeing things like Cages and some of Paul Pope's stuff just changed the expectations that I have for comics. And without hiring awesome writers and artists at exhorbitant saleries, I just don't think that mainstream comics are gonna come back...
Maybe it's that the staff is so self-selecting now that everyone who works in comics is an ultimate comics dweeb, so they know the Blue Beetle instantly...
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 AM on October 12, 2005


Go XQUZYPHYR! Go! What you said, way up there.

KlangKlangston -- Stracynski's (sp? that babylon 5 dude) run in Spider Man has been good, and the Hulk has been excellent. (I was going where John Romita Jr. went, and was pleasantly surprised.) It seems Vertigo is the only house related to the mainstream comic audience that fairly consistently kicks ass.
posted by undule at 12:12 PM on October 12, 2005


I don't follow the comics as much as I would like to. But I have religiously watched all the Timm-verse DC Animated Universe's Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond, & Justice League cartoons.

I really wish DC allows Batman Beyond to be Batman's future. That's how it ends up in the animated universe and it's a great way to carry forward the Batman legacy. Plus the older Bruce Wayne just kicks ass.

I loved how the old Bruce says "I didn't realise how green I was" referring to his younger self who has travelled to the future for one episode.

Plus Terry is a good Batman, he's no Bruce Wayne, but he's a good member of the Batman family, no pun intended.
posted by riffola at 12:29 PM on October 12, 2005


What XQUZYPHYR said.

That's why I buy certain manga series religiously. Because I know that, unless it's a certain series by Rumiko Takahashi, it's going to come to an end one day, and that the characters I care for will be given resolution. Real resolution, not just killed off in a stupid editorial decision.

It's only recently that I've become interested in American comics, mostly because of the aforementioned scans_daily. And even then, it's usually been series that have ended or will end, like Preacher, or Planetary, or one-shots like Batman Black & White or Arkham Asylum. That, and anything by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. :)

Of course, there also was the Griffen Dematteis justice league, which had characters I really came to like, who are either dead or...well, I'm sure you get the idea. (although, I am enjoying the Power Girl min-series thingy that's running now)

.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:32 AM PST on October 12


D:
posted by kosher_jenny at 2:18 PM on October 12, 2005


Now THIS is a job for Superman!

Welcome back, Kal-L!!
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:33 PM on October 12, 2005


Now THIS is a job for Superman!

Welcome back, Kal-L!!


Yeah, that was nice to see.
posted by COBRA! at 2:45 PM on October 12, 2005


Spoilers below:

The second best, and far more ominous line, in IC #1 was Bats telling Superman:

"Face it, Clark, you haven't inspired anyone ... since you were dead."

That, combined with the scene of the Spectre rampaging over Gotham City with the Bat-signal pointed squarely on his chest makes me think that perhaps Bruce Wayne will be the new human host for the Spectre. Which, of course, means Bruce will have to die.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:10 PM on October 12, 2005


Interesting guess WolfDaddy - that would be very interesting to see and actually makes sense.

******* spoiler
The appearance of Kal-L means that there is a lot about Superman that I don't know. Is he the Golden Age Superman? Is there a planet juggling Silver Age Superman?

Does anyone know of any good rundowns on the various versions of Superman and how they relate to continuity?
posted by rks404 at 7:30 PM on October 12, 2005


While Batman is one of the pilars of DC Universe, I think Bruce Wayne brings so much to the character. Bruce Wayne is Batman's secret identity, in his mind he refers to himself as Batman. I love that. It would be a shame to kill Bruce Wayne even if there is a new Batman in town.

One reason people accepted Terry as Batman in Batman Beyond is because Bruce was still around and during the show when Bruce dons the old Batman costume a few times or when he is shown tossing the batarang around in the cave, or dressed as Grey Ghost, or when he's rejuvinated thanks to Ra's Al-Ghul, those were moments that make one realise that Bruce Wayne never stopped being Batman.
posted by riffola at 8:47 PM on October 12, 2005


(Long spoilerish comic geek dissertation coming on!)

rks404: Kal-L is indeed the Golden Age Superman, though whether or not he is also the Earth-2 Superman is open to interpretation, depending upon how much of a pedant I mean geek you are. He played a much bigger role in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths than did the Earth-1/Silver Age Superman. He along with his wife Lois, the Earth-Prime Superboy, and Alexander Luthor Jr of Earth-3, stayed behind in the anti-matter universe to make sure the Anti-Monitor was finished, and it was he that delivered the killing blow (or DID he?? We still don't know who the major enemy is in Infinite Crisis). After the end of the battle Luthor opens up some kind of 'gateway' into which Lois, Kal-L and young Superboy all enter, and it's strongly implied that they're going into some kind of paradise or heaven, never to be seen again. And indeed we haven't seen any of those characters since. Perhaps.

In Mark Waid's series The Kingdom we see Kal-L somewhere in Hypertime--perhaps the "paradise" where the quartet ended up--trying to break free of some kind of barrier that appears to surround the Earth-2 everyone thought had vanished in the Crisis...just to see if he could. He eventually stops once he realizes he can break through to the other side, though it's implied he won't do so until the time is right. While we don't see Lois, Superboy, or Luthor in that series, we do see Kal-L smashing his fists repeatedly against a barrier of some kind, eventually breaking it in the last panel of Infinite Crisis #1.

While The Kingdom wasn't as seminal to the comic geek world as the series upon which it was based, Kingdom Come, it endeared itself to me by letting me know that Kal-L was still "alive" somewhere out there as well as having the balls to imply, strongly, that The Phantom Stranger was actually the child of Superman and Wonder Woman from the Kingdom Come timeline, and by exploring the nature of family relationships--even if those families are made up of superheroes.

riffola: The Superman/Batman comic that's today's answer to World's Finest has been a mind-fuck to say the least. Supes and Bats have been subjected to multiple run-ins with the Kingdom Come Superman, alternate timelines in which the duo are the despotic rulers of earth (and whose adoptive parents are the Legion of Super Villains!), and in a recent issue, Batman ran into the Red Son Superman while Superman ran into none other than Terry McGinnis in his Batman Beyond garb no less! I believe that's the first time we've ever seen a Timm-based animated character in print in "official" DCU continuity--a sign that Bruce may indeed become a mentor to someone else wearing the cape and cowl? The S/B series may well prove to be more important to Infinite Crisis than anyone yet realizes, as it was there that Lex Luthor (but WHICH Lex Luthor??) warns "there shall be a Crisis" and hints that the new--ostesnibly legit--Kara Zor-El/Supergirl May Not Be Who She Appears To Be. I mean KRYPTO hates her. That can't be good.

However, Bruce/Batman's an aristocratic despot at his heart. He knows beyond a shadow of a doubt what's best for everyone, and takes measures to make sure everyone's 'safe', doing so often behind the backs of his fellow teammates. What better way to make sure he's got his eye on everyone than becoming the human portion of the wrath of God? :-) Of course, Bruce being a devout atheist may put that theory in the circular file, but I thought the imagery in IC 1 of the Spectre with the bat signal square in the center of his chest to be very evocative. We'll see.

Non- or disdainful of mainstream comics-geeks: YES I KNOW TOO MUCH ABOUT ALL THIS SHIT SO LEEMEE ALONE ALREADY I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING SO DON'T BOTHER. :)
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:38 PM on October 12, 2005


No, no, this is fascinating for a Marvel geek like myself.
I like the "super kissing" power that Superman apparently used to have. You know, due to the sun or something.
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 PM on October 12, 2005


Wasn't that in the movie? Movies don't count dammit!
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:06 AM on October 13, 2005


The Marvel Knights stuff is pretty good, I think, especially in terms of Daredevil.

***SPOILERS***
Everybody in New York City now knows that Matt Murdock is Daredevil, he doesn't know this yet, he's going to be arrested, every criminal he's ever fought will go free. The Marvel Knights series just unmasked Daredevil, who is now a fugitive from justice. Also, Bendis always writes well, and an arc just ended where we see a church discussion group about Daredevil, with each of the participants sharing why they love or hate him. That's not your usual superhero fare, I think.

Anyway, Desolation Jones is just fucking amazing every time, and the new Authority stuff is good, especially the Magnificent Kevin arc, which is basically just a way to bring back Kev and have him fight a weird clown thing that shouts, "I'm a vagina!" before throwing pies at people.
posted by 235w103 at 1:02 AM on October 13, 2005


I believe that's the first time we've ever seen a Timm-based animated character in print in "official" DCU continuity

Repent! There's Harley Quinn, said the Ticktockman!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:51 AM on October 13, 2005


Thanks for all the good info WolfDaddy! I think I'm going to pick up Crisis on Infinite Earths this week and re-read Kingdom Come.

I'm actually really enjoying this storyline and would be delighted to see the return of the old DC multi-verse.
posted by rks404 at 9:46 AM on October 13, 2005


"Face it, Clark, you haven't inspired anyone ... since you were dead."

I think this may possibly highlight one of the minor problems that may possibly impede Infinite Crisis' ascent into the pantheon of great literature. It's utter, plangent bollocks.

And there we find the mystery of Geoff Johns, the writer of this work. While he has a mastery of continuity normally only associated with the severely disturbed in terms of how exaclty Dove can in fact be disguised as the comatose wife of Doctor Fate (no, realy) by the evil wizard Mordru (no, really), he's less firm on things not immediately connected to superhero bloodlines. So, for example, although the years since the death of Superman are not largely characterised by people not being inspired by Superman (if anything, I would say inspiration had maintained a pretty steady state, with the saving of the world and all), this detail is ignored to fast-wind us to the point where the characters need to be to drive the crossover. Likewise, the plotting of Identity Crisis seemed rather to evince the dead hand of Johns - after much agonising about the morality of wiping the memories of murderous super villains who have discovered their secret identities, the heroes then decide to imprison the villain of the piece, who knows every single one of their identities and is barking mad to boot, in Arkham, where she will be a) surrounded by their worst enemies, many of whom are known as chatty Cathies, and b) able to benefit from an incarceration/escape ratio of approximately 1:1.

One begins to suspect that Batman is kicking up a fuss about this mindwiping brouhaha purely as an opportunistic attempt to rid himself of any obligation to hang out with the other superheroes, who at this point must seem to him increasingly like the embarrassing halfwits one might befriend in one's first week at a job and then find oneself unable to ditch.
posted by tannhauser at 9:26 AM on November 2, 2005


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