Thursday, March 09, 2006

As with yesterday, I'm not complaining about Infinite Crisis in an "I can't believe it's not better, I'm so shocked it's crap because I had such high expectations sort of way." But what I forgot to mention was that the most recent issue ends with the Superboy of Earth Prime (really, it makes sense if you read comics that were published TWENTY YEARS AGO and not mentioned again until now) showing up wearing the Anti-Monitor's costume.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!?

Because now the series has the potential to genuinely surprise me. Because if it doesn't turn out that Superboy of Earth Prime (again, twenty years ago it made sense) is possessed by the Anti-Monitor somehow, I really will be caught off guard. Because this is a story from Geoff Johns, hailed as a fantastic writer for rehabillitating Green Lantern Hal Jordan with a handy "The Devil (or Yellow Fear Alien; same thing) made me do it" excuse. So, y'know, why not go for the old possession thing again?


Having said all that, I do want to point out that I'm not saying that all Marvel and DC superhero titles are crap. Or even not of interest to me, which is a more honest evaluation. I'm expecting to keep enjoying Legion of Super-Heroes and Birds of Prey as much as I ever did, because they were good without relying on the crutch of retelling stories from the past, or bringing back old characters just for nostalgia purposes. I'm expecting good things of Hawkgirl because Walt Simonson and Howard Chaykin developed their own voices as storytellers decades ago, and proved back then that, even when working on company-owned characters like Thor, Blackhawk and The Shadow, their own voices would come shining through. And they told stories that, again, didn't rely on bringing back the past.

And Marvel? Nextwave is still great; a superhero comic that doesn't waste time being anything else than a big, action-packed, explody thing. She-Hulk? Brings back lots of stuff for the sake of nostalgia, true, but manages to tell interesting, funny stories with it, rather than, say, sticking in eight pages of lousy (but gorgeous) Captain Carrot story in the middle of an issue of Teen Titans without capturing any of the spirit of the original Captain Carrot series. Plus, Paul Smith is going to start drawing She-Hulk. (And Mary Jane Loves Spider-Man doesn't really count as a superhero book, does it?)

Beyond that, and the Dini and Morrison-scripted Batman books I mentioned yesterday, it's tough for me to imagine a new Marvel or DC series that would make me want to buy it. DC is announcing one new series after another these days, starring characters I used to love, by creators I used to like, and none of them interest me in the slightest. And I'm going to lay a chunk of the blame squarely at the feet of Infinite Crisis, for so clearly defining for me what I'm not enjoying about the comics these days.

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