Friday, October 28, 2005

Infinite Crisis scares me

I fear the ramifications of Infinite Crisis.

No, no, not the dispelled rumor that Wally West will die, not the prospect of someone else in the Batsuit, something far more sinister.

I fear the new architects of the DCU.

Grant Morrison and Mark Waid have been given new, cushy jobs as various types of universe editor people for the DCU. Morrison and Waid, along with Mark Millar and Tom Peyer (I believe) were behind a proposed revamp of Superman. Now, it's been awhile since I read about this, but if I remember right, the idea was that everyone but Superman would forget the last several years of Superman continuity. So, Superman would remember being married to Lois Lane, dying, and all that, but no one else would.

Raise your hand if that's the dumbest freaking idea you've ever heard.
Thank you. You can put your hands down now.

Not only would that be overly complicated, but it'd make Superman depressed and moody, having to bear the cross of his forgotten life. I don't see how that Superman could achieve the sort of "mix of the best of Superman's various eras" that they were hoping for.

Furthermore, Waid's a real hit-or-miss writer, but I get the impression that he's constantly convinced that he's the best there is at what he does. As evidenced by his refusal to compromise with Alex Ross on "Kingdom." Ross's ideas for the series, a prequel to "Kingdom Come" that would explore the lead-up to the big superhero war, were cool. Waid's ideas for "Kingdom," a sequel to "Kingdom Come" where Wonder Woman and Superman's child who can control Hypertime would be the focus of some weird reality-spanning slugfest, weren't so cool. In fact, the miniseries really kind of sucked. The only good thing to come out of it was Hypertime, which has been used well twice since its introduction ("The Flash" and "Superboy"). And yet, the prologue and epilogue from "Kingdom" really set the stage for the revelation at the end of "Infinite Crisis" #1.

Where was I? Oh, right, so one of my big fears is that Waid's awful, awful, awful "Superman: Birthright" will become the official Superman origin across the board. I mean, supposedly this is already the case, but absolutely no one knows why or how it's supposed to fit with established continuity, so it really hasn't had any impact on the stories, except that they draw Kryptonians weird now and Superman sometimes can see people's souls. Shudder.

My other fear is not nearly so great, and primarily has to do with the famous Morrison revamps. Sure, he revitalized Animal Man and the Justice League with his irreverent ideas and weird spins on things, but "Seven Soldiers" has been a showcase of weird Morrison revamps. I'm not saying that's bad, I'm just wary of a universe populated by characters that only Morrison understands. "Guardian" was good, but I kind of miss Cadmus and the related characters, who never got a decent resolution after the last staff change on "Superboy." If all the "second-stringers" and "also-rans" get a Morrison treatment, sure they'll be cool, but I can't imagine too many people knowing what to do with all of them. Notice how often Zauriel has appeared since Morrison left JLA, or how horribly Harras handles the Key. Anyone can write the adventures of an impish witch-boy with a pet cat who likes to cause trouble. Not everyone can write a young boy from an underground Puritan society with ill-defined mystical powers and a strange code of morals and conduct. I don't think Morrison should dumb down his comics or characters, I just don't want to see every DC character revamped by Grant unless Grant ends up writing all of them.

So Infinite Crisis has me a little on-edge. I hope for the best, a universe where we can all quietly forget that "Birthright" ever happened and go on with our lives with Kirby and Morrison characters living side by side, but I fear the worst. And oh god, the worst is bad.

1 comment:

Ragnell said...

Don't worry. It's DC, the most resilient property in comics today. The DCU's collective healing factor makes Wolverine look like a hemophiliac. It can recover from anything. Anything. It made it through Electric Superman, it can make it through this.

Worse comes to worst, they can just pick a random Green Lantern for Parallax possession and reboot the timeline again. And we all get to enjoy the Armored Parallax design again.