Sunday, September 02, 2012

Focused Totality

Reading "Justice League" #12 finally gelled for me the big problems I have with the book. It's not just that it's bad, it's not just that it's melodramatic and poorly-written and incomprehensible and generally unattractive and wholly inconsequential to the rest of the universe. It's that it's all those things in very familiar ways.

In short, it's an early '90s X-Men series.

I may be being unfair with this comparison, since I read only a handful of X-Men comics in the early '90s (barring the beat-up copy of "The Dark Phoenix Saga" that I read repeatedly around the same time). But then, there's a reason I couldn't get into those comics, and that reason is that I had no idea what was ever going on with them. I remember trying to parse out what the heck was going on with Psylocke and Revanche and eventually just going back to Spider-Man and Moon Knight.

But when I read the overwrought exchange between Superman and Wonder Woman and how they both just felt so alone, right before kissing, I couldn't think of anything besides Scott and Jean or Gambit and Rogue. All the focus on infighting and drama and personal conflicts and relationships, all the villains who don't do much beyond monologuing or standing and looking menacing, all the references to past events that I'm not familiar with, all the Jim Lee art, and suddenly it all clicked together. Geoff Johns is trying to be Chris Claremont, and while it's been clear from the start that he was trying to focus this book like an exposé, only now has it become clear why.

It's not really surprising, the Claremont/Lee X-Men being among the best-selling comics in history. The entire New 52 seems to have been an effort in sympathetic magic or cargo cult comic creation, as if acting like it was the '90s again would bring back the prosperity the industry had during that time. It's just...weird. And it's certainly not the Justice League comic I want to be reading.

And so I'm done with it. Finally. Sealed with a kiss.


Anthony Strand said...

Congrats! I finally bailed after #9.

Tom Foss said...

Dennis, get help.