Friday, June 8, 2007

Counting Down...

So we're five weeks closer to another massive Multiverse-shaking event courtesy of DC... but how much closer are we story-wise?

Well, we killed Lightray, one of the New Gods. That's big, right? At least I THINK we killed him, because I'll be durned if he didn't show up the next week in an issue of Superman. Y'know, if we're going to really have Countdown serve as the 'spine' of the DC Universe for the next year or so, you might want to get the timing on issues right. It could confuse someone who isn't saavy enough to explain Cable or Rachel Summer's origins to their girlfriend.

Let me say up front... I love the idea they're shooting for with Countdown. I'm a huge continuity nut, so I love the fact that this huge master-series should tie into most of the major DC books and events for a year. But I think we've got a problem with the format of the book. When you insist on following more than three plot threads in an issue, you run a real risk of having anything actually happen in your title. Heck, 52 had a problem with this, and look at the creative talent on that book?

Look at it this way... I'm a big dork, so I've got a database to help me organize, and actually find my comics. One of the things I've been doing for the past year or so, is writing up a plot synopsis for most of the new comics I add. Just a quick blurb so that I can look at the issue five years from now, and jog my memory as to just what happened in this one.

Well, I'm having a hard time actually writing anything about Countdown. Sure, there's a lot going on in the book, but not enough of any one thing to leave an impression, most of the time. If I can squeeze out two full sentences, I feel like I'm a winner.

A good example with this week's issue... the main focci of the issue were Mary Marvel's thread, and the Monitors having a big pow-wow to decide what to do about all these naughty people who happen to be on the wrong Earths. (Well, primarily on Earth-1 because they happened to have wound up there after the FIRST multiverse-shaking Crisis.) Oh, sure, there's a bit with Jimmy Olsen, and something with a woman I have no clue who she is, and maybe some other junk too... but nowhere near enough of it to leave an impression.

And a last suggestion before leaving:

For the love of all that's super-powered, get rid of the backup story about the history of the Multiverse. We put up with it in 52. Honestly, I put up with it because they knocked $.50 off the price. If I'm paying the full price for a 32-page comic, I pretty much expect 32-pages of the comic, not another lecture on the history of the Multiverse.

What they ought to do, if they're so determined to put a stupid back-up in a weekly book, is put the Monitor's big meeting there, so we don't have to look at it in the regular story. Who wants to watch a bunch of folks have a meeting anyway? Would you want to buy an issue of the Justice League where they all sit up in their Satellite (or wherever the heck they're headquartered now) and do nothing but talk about the global political situation? I thought not.

At least one of the people I know who reads comics has already dropped Countdown. I'm not ready to, because I still really love the idea. But even I can't hang in there forever if the book doesn't improve. Maybe it'll be a badge of honor or shame... how far did you make it in Countdown?

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