Woah, new comics, new (importantly, much as I was surprised/appalled to find myself thoroughly enjoying Legion of Three Worlds last week. Oh, Geoff Johns, I’ve hated you for so very long and now… I don’t even know any more) Grant Morrison Final Crisis tie-in. It is the excite. I have no money.

(Which cover did you buy, Dimensioneers? Story cover is best, I find. Iconic pose cover is dull.)

Who else is possessed of the substance I call excite? David Uzumeri, for one I’d guess, given his annotatin’; two-steppin’ Tim Callahan and Chad Nevett, for three, judging by their conversation and PatrickMM, he also. Joe ‘Jog’ McCulloch is not but, then, Jog is a proper critic and grown-up and – much as I enjoyed the thoroughly plated serving Scott Kurtz deservedly received from comixxx critix – I am not. I can’t speak for bobsy Mindless or amy Mindless or any other of my cohorts in this regard, but man, I read (primarily superhero) comics still essentially as a fan. Particularly of Grant Morrison, without whom I’d probably have long since have deserted this sub/fusion/meta-genre ten years back and who, you may have noticed, you all come here to find out who the Black Glove is anyway (fuuck, there is an actual 1954 murder-mystery film of that title,) we tend to bang on about quite a bit. Just so’s we don’t have to write anymore caveats.

Anyway, “fan” is a bit of a troubled terminology in this context, that of the comics internet, probably primarily because of its usage in a five-word sequence (or variants thereof) that will for certain haunt Marvel EIC Joe Quesada unto death: “What about the fans, Joe?” I’d kind of like to reclaim the word from the serial complainants because I don’t have (want?) the gravitas to acclaim myself as a critic and I’d always thought – despite etymology! – that it connoted enthusiasm in some form and didn’t necessarily preclude criticism or objectivity. (‘So what you are saying here is, you are self-describing as a… fresh-faced devotee, male? Some kind of a fan… boy?’ Yes. Yes, I suppose I am. Depressingly, for this tiny crusade, “fan” remains allocated in the thesaurus under 504. Madman)

I like to think Jog’s suggestion that you could use the 3D Heroscape glasses (free with Superman: Confidential #1!) to look at the Zatanna image in Seven Soldiers #1 was in some way responsible for the genesis of this very comic. I’d not begin to debate him that, ah, yes, Superman Beyond! (3-D) is a splurge, a big muck of a comic that looks structurally less sound the farther from it, from the initial, frankly, orgiastic for me readthrough I get. It might be because it’s half a comic; split for whatever reason, art or script delays, to fleece a bit more money out the fans – what about the fans, Dan? What of them? So that’s, you know, dubious and somewhat noteworthy. It is, I imagine, a perfectly readable sidestory on its own without the rest of Final Crisis, on another hand.

And I’ll still buy and likely flip out over #2 because at this point I’m absurdly uncritical, immersed and excited about Final Crisis, have been since the poodle gave out the keys to the car, sending me into overdrive and most especially and explicitly because this issue appeared to – in running full circle with Morrison’s first DC work, Animal Man (particularly the entire closing trade, ‘Deus Ex Machina’,) applying a variety of uterine and hematal co-ordinates, and invoking Borges’ Book of Sand as perhaps part of a sequence of logic puzzles in an Emergence Theory stack – appeared to demarcate a bit of show insofar as the birthing of the sentient DC Universe, which I (possibly I alone) certainly have been waiting intently for. Without really knowing what it was I awaited – how would you know, really, if the DC Universe had become sentient? What would it look like, what would be different? How would a – rather, ‘this’, I don’t care about you – reader’s interaction with it change? Is this by far the most outrageous claim yet in a 20+ year battle of oneupmanship between Morrison and Alan Moore?

As a hook, and they have to hook you, the fan, somehow or other into continuing to purchase the tawdry tales of superblokes, it really is a doozy: it really will all amount to something, something incredible, this time. It always feels like you’re on the cusp of discovering something important…

And perhaps it is only: I Have Wasted My Life, on this nonsense. There’s definitely a – I’m not traditionally a DC person, but you can get involved in looking into the interrelated cosmologies, this massive soup of wildly contrasting and even disputational symbolism, much of it drawn from the wells of, well, much of human culture – I suppose there’s a kind of imposition of interconnectedness, of relation to your own life could be drawn somehow out of it. But it’s a deep and often dank chasm. What excuses I have for perhaps not appreciating the form of comics rather than these kind of things, superheroes, their endless millwheel, for trying to avoid the opprobrium of the cognoscenti, are growing ever more elaborate. So the map of it, is a way – the DC Universe(s) are perhaps the most pictorially documented and, I’d have to imagine, one of the largest areas claimed, colonised even, in fiction. It alters over time. Versions of Atlantis and America, the two uppermost mythological territories of our own time, are disputed. I think the upcoming MMORPG is sort of an interesting, if pretty much completely linear, model to draw from:

“The door to the DC Universe is open”, as the man says.

But then, on a more pat basis, you could say: “Why, the DC Universe exists in the mind of the readers, of the fans. Of course. Time-staggered.” Like that bit in Zatanna where she’s being read by thousands of different eyes, at different times, or when Animal Man, well, I’ll let him tell it:

Simple narrative tricks, really, but then I can draw an enormous amount of coincidence, significance, whatever out of Animal Man purely on a geographical basis. I was born in Botswana beside ‘Cry Freedom’ era South Africa, my grandparents run a farm in Tanzania (grandmother, rather. My grandad died last week) and my family on that side constitutes around 10% of registered white nationals of the country. Now and forever, I am the Bots’wana Beast, God help me. When I first started seeing my then girlfriend, now fiancé and mother of my child, I used to get a couple of trains through to Anniesland, in Glasgow. I’d hang about in the flat, get half-baked on some crap rocky hash, get the train into town, pick up back issues of Doom Patrol from Futureshock Comics. We’d occasionally go for a drink and/or a meal at Lock 27 by the canal, the only halfway decent boozer in the area, so it was a bit of a surprise to discover that this one pub was the one at which James Highwater – who’d later wear the Psycho Pirate‘s Medusa Mask, a loose-end that I don’t think anyone ever addressed afterward – lay slumped on a tabletop, to be awoken by The Author. The Medusa Mask, as an object, traditionally induces emotion of whatever desired type in its target – it’s interesting as a symbol here, primarily, because it looks like this:

pretty much the prime visual bit of iconography for drama – the masks of Thalia and Melpomene, Pierrot and Columbine, and it is – on full broadcast, in ‘Deus Ex Machina’ – what brings the recently compacted multiverse ghosting back, the major players being Ultraman and Overman… in Superman Beyond! the wisdom that Alexander Luthor Jr. imparted in the (terrible) Infinite Crisis, that Superman is the basis for all these Earths is made definitive: the Superman analogues are key to their worlds (e.g. Nazi Superman = Nazi Earth-10, Doc Fate = Pulp Age Earth-20.)

Various bloggers are describing Final Crisis as a ‘greatest hits’ compilation or set from Morrison and directly emphasising this issue’s particular relationship with the closing of Animal Man, Merryman as harlequin combinant – encompassing, more recently, Brendan McCarthy’s Lord of Limbo from his Solo issue and Azzarello/Chiang’s Doctor Thirteen – returns as cicerone of the trash-heap hinterland. A symbological masquerade, leading to Limbo’s library (I also work in libraries, though it isn’t going very well) and Jorge Luis Borges.

Borges does actually exist in the DC Universe, continuity guardians – he appears for one panel in the first Rick Veitch issue of Swamp Thing, accompanied only by Metron, a “writer going blind in his garret in Buenos Aires”. If only the Ultramarines had been founded over the site of the capital of South America’s second, rather than third, best footballing nation I could tie that in to the bleed wall picture of Clark Kent in the Infant Universe of Qwewq – derived from Italo Calvino‘s Cosmicomics, btw -perfect. But alas, no.

In any case, much as I like the Book of Sand (given the narrator by a Scotsman, somewhat notably,) The Library of Babel and The Garden of Forking Paths which is, of course, bestrode by the Endless Destiny and his chained book, it now occurs that they did suffer a lack of – as Chris Sims might put it – some brightly coloured superheroes, all-consuming Manichaean threat and the immersive futuretech we know as 3D glasses. That these stand to improve them. If these concepts could somehow be fused in a technicolour, multiplanar blast, an annihilation of opposites and then set as reagent to the Gwydion/Merlin (G/M for short) of living language, a little bald man in a jar, from Seven Soldiers: Zatanna… well. It’d certainly be complex, like the question “how can you be inside and out?”

Much of Morrison’s career – really since Animal Man #5, if not earlier – has, in one sense, been a treatise on the existence and nature of two-dimensional beings and our relationship with them. The stuff about ‘story’ here treads dangerously close to Gaiman territory, but is sufficiently cracked and semblant to Mister Nobody‘s origin to give it a bodyswerve. It’d be remiss not to mention Vibrational Match’s currently running series on The Filth, with special regard to #3 here, where David covers much of this territory in a far less slipshod and tan-gen-gential manner.

It’s hard, I find to live in the Western world and not have Batman in particular catch your eye daily nowadays, somewhere, on the telly, a billboard, in a newsagent in those Panini reprints or figurines, though; Grant is on record as believing in them as independent entities, which sounds mental (or Kaos Magik, if you prefer) but at this juncture I, proscriptively an avowed rationalist, son of a Maths teacher, am almost aboard that Yellow Submarine.


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36 Responses to “Unreal Estate – Superman Beyond, the Book of Sand and the Harlequin”

  1. RAB Says:

    Ever since Grant first started mentioning the idea of making the DC universe sentient, I’ve had one practical concern about the undertaking: were he to succeed, what happens when this mangled, abused, traumatized, frequently destroyed and recreated universe works out what universe is the cause of all its suffering? Has no one stopped to consider how it might retaliate against its abusers? Think of the weapons it has at its disposal…

  2. Andrew Hickey Says:

    I see what you mean about us writing much the same thing this time – but your post is better.

    The reason most people aren’t interested in the whole sentient universe thing is because, frankly, most comic fans have neither any sense of wonder nor any wish to experience anything new. It’s quite the most thrilling idea I’ve ever heard, and I’d give *anything* for it to actually work.

    (And I’ve been enjoying some of Johns’ work recently too, though I’ve had to go and wash myself afterward…)

  3. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    I think it’s the post-52, touched by the hand of GMoz, effect with Johns; the bits of 52 I ascribed to him, primarily Infinity Inc, anytime the Titans or JSA turned up, were execrable… but yeah, I checked his first arc on Justice Society and the Alpha Lanterns and GL origin stuff and basically nothing stuck in my craw, it all seemed quite good, which was something of a surprise.

  4. bobsy Says:

    Nice stuff. Sorry to hear about your Grandpa.

  5. Zom Says:

    You lot have convinced me to go back and attempt to enjoy Superman Beyond!

    Must remember to read it in daylight. 3D strains the shit out of my eyes when I try reading it under artificial light.

  6. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    Thanks, b – at a point, you kind of start thinking they’ll go on forever; was mid-80s, lived most his life in East Africa, not a bad shot really. I’m still processing it a bit.

    Yeah, Zom – I should really link Andrew’s review which is by far the most similar territorially to mine, I would’ve had I been aware of it when battering this out, and I did link myself in his comments field, and he does mention the affect your vision undergoes afterward… I don’t take drugs anymore, but it definitely helps to submerge you in the insanely fast narrative. It IS half a comic, no doubt, and I think it’ll go down easier when completed.

  7. The Beast Must Die! Says:

    Read it half pissed, late at night. Thought “meh”. Read it sober, next morning. Thought “fucking YES”.
    I’m loving the fact that Mozzer’s wrapping up his own personal tour of the DC mythos, linking his twenty year old work up with the hyperdelic grindcore of ‘Final Crisis’. ‘Superman Beyond’ was like some geeky sourcebook for Morrison nerds like me.

  8. The Beast Must Die! Says:

    Oh yeah – good review, Bots.

  9. Duncan Says:

    Aye, I should’ve said – on the greatest hits – it’s really quite unusual for him to revisit, whether or not he’s elaborated on it a bit, the exact same concept as he did with Limbo here and I mean, I don’t normally like being pandered to so much, but I’m willing to make speshy exceptions because this was just a jumbo truck of high concept. Also! Everyone knoes FC#4 is gonna be Rock of Ages, rite? But I was thinking #1 was kinda 52, kinda 7S, the whole notebook narration really sealed it re; 52 but then there’s the New Gods tampering with civilisations which is all 7S#1… it’s a bit harder to ascribe the first two direct correspondents.

  10. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » Sept. 2, 2008: We’re number 43! Says:

    [...] The Mindless Ones get that much closer to a Unified Field Theory of Grant [...]

  11. Neon Snake Says:

    *sigh*

    And here I was ready to say something about how you lot make my comics better simply by writing them, and I get slapped in the face by a naughty, naughty swear. Naughty.

    Anyway, you do. Keep it up, gents.

    (Bots, sorry to hear about your Grandad, fella.)

  12. Neon Snake Says:

    That made no sense. What I mean’t to write was “you make my comics better simply by writing ABOUT them”. There, much better. I blame the bloke who did the naughty swear.

  13. Bill Reed Says:

    Sorry about your granddad.

    As for Superman Beyond, it gave me eye-strain, but I did quite like some of the ideas contained within.

  14. Papers Says:

    I really did like this comic, particularly coming at a time when I’m gasping — simply gasping, I say — for that final overdosing hit of All-Star Superman. It managed to return and revive themes and ideas running back to, yes, Animal Man (and Flex Mentallo — this comic seems to expand upon one desperate little line Flex says at one point), it pops with all those little snacky one-off moments that Morrison makes me happy with (Earth-20′s pulp age Doc “Fate” Dibney and Sue “Blackhawk” Dibney!)…and the Quantum Superman, of course, old Doctor Manhattan spliced with some Brainiac.

    The 3D didn’t really do it for me, though.

    I like that, up until that last page, you can *almost* forget that Ultraman is an *evil* Superman who would take great pleasure from the revelation of the Infinite Book that Evil Wins in the end. Why exactly is he included in this farcical expedition out past “music” — the edge of the multiverse? Superman, Allen Adam, and Captain Marvel sure have to contend with some wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing, between Ultraman and Zillo Valla, or the morally ambiguous Overman. This isn’t a valiant team of heroes, for all the posturing — this is a ship of lost souls that Superman has stowed away on, even if Marvel’s a nice kid really and Adam’s only problem is that he’s sense-inhibiting super-drugs.

    I stand by my assertion that Morrison’s playing off Ellis concepts (and not because of the Bleed’s significance) in this one, starting with the crew of the Ultima Thule — a crosstime ship piloted by a group of superbeings using their powers to operate it (and even act as the engine, in Zillo’s case) comes directly from Planetary, even down to having a Captain Billy Marvel pastiche as its crew-member. This might not seem significant, but it’s a nice change of pace from Morrison’s usual drawing on Moore’s old playthings — or the massive love poem to Kirby he’s been doing with Final Crisis and everything else.

    Zillo Valla…of course, she plays into the “vampire queen” archetype Morrison set up in Seven Soldiers with Gloriana Tenebrae — both are ultimately a little ambiguous regardless of how they seem (Gloriana was an evil monster but was really only acting in the interests of her society as a whole, while Zillo seems good only to be very clear that our Superguys are of no consequence, just tools really).

  15. Linkblogging for 02/09/08 « Thoughts on music, science, politics and comics. Mostly comics. Says:

    [...] Bots’wana Beast over at the Mindless Ones has reviewed Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D, in a review he was nice enough to compare with mine, but his is better. I’m hoping to touch more on the themes from that comic later this week, as there’s a lot to say there… [...]

  16. amypoodle Says:

    I enjoy the implication that Superman finds himself stranded in Limbo BECAUSE he leaves Earth in its hour of greatest need. That things are so fucked down there, now that Darkseid’s taken over, that Earth’s mightiest champion will soon be nothing more than a gloomy memory….

  17. Zom Says:

    That’s a very nice take, Poodle

  18. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    I’m glad you expanded on the Ellis thing, papers, because my initial reaction reading your comment on B’lith was a sour face (“Ellis does not influence the Grant; the Grant influences Ellis!”) – I like that reading quite well indeed now.

    Poodle = yus. Nailed it. I was having trouble with Supes in limbo because, yeah, how can he the most unforgettable character, the key to the universe, be there??? How??? The answer, inevitably, is Very Bad News.

  19. Papers Says:

    Ellis certainly has his tics and predilections, but he and Morrison form part of a specific strain of comics writers right now, even if their concerns are often different; and sometimes it’s heartening to know that Morrison is willing to delve into or tap other sources than his big two (Mookrby). I think my reading was influenced by the Mahnke — his artwork tends to push me more in the direction of the Authority than the JLA (despite his run on JLA books), something about the gritty, and with Morrison pushing Ultraman, Overman, and Allen Adam in the story (all of them presumably influencing their universes more directly/actively than Superman does, insofar as geopolitical manipulation goes, putting them more in the Authority camp).

    Merryman’s presence sort of upsets me — it’s seamlessly depressing, coming out and admitting there’s probably no chance of an Inferior Five revival; I’ve never directly encountered them, only in passing (here and there, Alan Davis’s Another Nail for example) but I always wanted Howard Chaykin and Phillip Bond to follow up their ANGEL AND THE APE miniseries for Vertigo with an INFERIOR FIVE number, particularly given the apparent Dumb Bunny / Angel connection.

    But that’s just sad, lonesome dreams. & I’m surprised nobody commented on the obvious king/jester thing, but maybe it’s too obvious.

  20. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    I was too busy drawing another, not entirely convincing, squiggle from the Medusa Mask hoping no-one would notice its dubiety…

    Couple other things I meant to say: I’m not sure about the planes (which seem kinda NxNW) and ravens (although the latter are quite prominent when Animal Man accesses the morphogenetic field on peyote) on the bleed wall spread at the bottom of the review there, but it does, I’ve just noticed, describe an enormously condensed arc of Clark losing Lois – 4L went on about it being Vertigo, some of it, or something? And I thought one panel was from JLA: Classified #2 when Clark saved that woman, but it’s not – it’s him out in bars, the rain, smoking, broken; classic Morrison, really, the soppy bastard.

    the Quantum Superman, of course, old Doctor Manhattan spliced with some Brainiac. – someone else was saying Reed Richards, actually, which made a degree of sense…

    Oh, the MMORPG, to expand… yeah, I was imagining before I wrote this, but then forgot to put it in, that there’s probably plenty computing power to just actually treat all DC comics panels as actual windows and just scan them in and you could generate this contiguous, altering terrain in pixellated cyberform (as I say the terrain, what happens, is in our heads anyway, some of it – more likely you could actually download and read every DC comic ever, but I feel certain it’d turn you into a monster in the doing)… it’s the dream of a child, but then we all imagined youtube and the internet before they happened, right?

  21. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    Not to give up on Inferior Five though, Papers – Dumb Bunny was at the Herocon in Bulleteer #2? #3? And the Blimp an attendee at Booster Gold’s fauxneral in 52. Superman said he’d rescue him, I trust in the big man.

  22. Duncan Says:

    I’ve just discovered that this post looks like utter balls in Firefox. Sorry, freeware fans!

  23. Papers Says:

    Ha! I don’t even thing I twigged to the Carrier floating dog’s-nose-out of that door in that big spread up there. Hilarious.

    Post doesn’t look *that* bad in Firefox, Dunc.

    I can see the Reed Richards, but Brainiac seems more Superman-specific in my mind. I was actually thinking more of Brainy-5, mostly because the uniform looks when he’s in lotus-position, a little Legionnaire-like.

    Reading every DC comic ever would probably induce the desire to go into pervert-suit crime, though. Just sayin’. I’d go mad, I know I would.

  24. Dave Says:

    I liked “Superman Beyond 3D” lots better than I was expecting to, and “Final Crisis” less than I would like.

    SB had fun cosmic ideas, the “real” Captain Marvel, Merryman, and a vampire Monitorette. It was superficial but fast-paced. The bits I didn’t like so much included Emo Nazi Superman, which is a truly terrible idea on many, many levels.

    FC… man. Why is National-Cliché-Man from BSA bitching about worthless young super-heroes? (Other than to establish the Super Young Team as sympathetic underdogs, that is.)
    Why is Sonny Sumo such a tool? How the HELL did Granny Goodness get her claws into that Alpha Lantern without the Guardians noticing? Can the J(LS)A find their collective asses with both hands? However much I liked the Turpin arc (and I liked it a lot, it seemed like a shout-out to “The Filth”) there are plenty of bits to this story that are vaguely unsatisfying.

    Ah well. Off topic.

  25. Zom Says:

    Q. How did Granny…

    I’m happy to assume that the hoary old mystical baddies can shield their actions from the mystical goodies angle holds true here. It’s a bit of a fanwanky explanation, but it’s a well established element of many fantasy plots. Makes double-sense in universe where “evil has won”.

    Q. Why is Sonny Sumo…

    I like Sonny Sumo. I think he’s cool.

    Q. JLASA asses…

    No, that’s kind of the point. There was no big rallying moment because big rallying moments are rousing and give us hope – which would go against what Morrison is trying to do here.

  26. The Beast Must Die! Says:

    “Why is Sonny Sumo such a tool?”

    Dude…are you reading the same comic as me?

  27. Eric Garrison Says:

    Great post on the nature of Grant Morrison’s writing. It seems like a lot of his stuff is in a more decompression style. Stuff like Batman RIP probably won’t make sense until the entirety of Grant’s batman run is read all over again. I would presume the same with Final Crisis.

    I read Superman Beyond and it seemed like a cluttered mess. I find the concept of the 52 earths hokey, why not have infinite earths? The concept of a whole race of monitors is also insane, they were created what-3 years ago? So then sense of losing it all does’t really seem that powerful (as they now recreate their universe and origins every 3 years)

    What I love about Geoff Johns’ writing (the only stuff of his I really like is JSA and some part of final crisis) is that he builds on old continuity and makes it seem like something new.

    Grant is a genius at exploring deep concepts and deep storytelling. Batman RIP is something else, Final Crisis has been a big let down so far.

    Eric

  28. dave Says:

    Nokay.

    Sonny Sumo is a tool because:

    1) He only fights for money (or by dramatic necessity)
    2) He rips out a dude’s heart (in self-defense, of course!)
    3) He places said internal organ on top of his glass of water as a tip for the (surely long-suffering) bartender.

    The scene sucks because:

    1) Japan has an appallingly low murder rate
    2) He is in a room full of wanna-be superheroes

    Which means that the most likely response to a potentially lethal confrontation between Sonny and Grant’s 50th rewarming of the “Bug-Man” concept would be a bunch of eager amateurs mobbing the two of them before any kewl dismemberment action happens.

    Finally, we come to…

    3) It’s the start of a really obvious redemption arc for Sonny, where he rediscovers his heroic “groove” with the help of our designated sympathetic unlikely heroes, Shilo Norman and the Super Young Team.

    So, I didn’t like it that much. I hope this explains why.

  29. Zom Says:

    Decompressed is the last adjective I’d use to describe Morrison’s writing, Eric. Morrison cut his teeth at 2000AD where writer’s got 5 pages a week to tell a satisfying chunk of story.

    RIP might be a little more decompressed in terms of plot than most of his writing, but compared with what most writers are doing these days it has the density of a fucking dwarf star.

    Dave, I know what you’re saying, but for some reason none of that bothers me.

  30. The Beast Must Die! Says:

    Hmmm. I’m still not seeing ‘tool’. But each to their own.

    Out of interest what do you mean by;

    “Japan has an appallingly low murder rate”

    Genuinely curious. Why would a low murder rate be appalling?

  31. dave Says:

    > Genuinely curious. Why would a low murder rate be appalling?

    That was meant as bitter irony.

    It is appalling that some parts of the world have a vastly lower murder rate than others.

  32. Bots'wana Beast Says:

    I don’t agree about Sonny, Dave, nor is it particularly the topic here but it was worth it for the tip to meditate for ooh, 15 seconds on him; yeah, he does fight for money, hmm… he’s basically (being used in FC as) about the most rudimentary archetype of the superhero there is (a wrestler, yessir,) I think: a very tough, baldy man in a black t-shirt who rips the heart out of firestarting mechagangsters (Megayakuza was asking for it, and he got warned.)

    You seem a decent enough chap, but oh, man, you used the term ‘kewl’ which is… *nngh* best left to the John Byrne leper colony if you want my advice.

    Re: decompressed – I think you mean “supercompressed”, Eric? This is essentially why FC:SB!3D is, I’d not disagree on that score, a clutter. Monitors… well, the original Monitor (who was I guess something of an Uatu the Watcher analogue – not sure if DC were playing catchup back then?) first appeared in ’82 as part of buildup to Crisis on Infinite Earths.

    I’m not sure why there are 52 earths either, really, other than it was a good title for a weekly series and they needed some kind of thematic thread to attach to it. It’s some kind of parameter, I guess.

  33. Zom Says:

    I wouldn’t assume for a minute that Morrison is overly attached to the 52 concept. Looks to me like he’s moving to abandon it what with all that talk of multiple multiverses in SB!

  34. bobsy Says:

    It seeems that the DCU Japanese supersetup is different to the Western one – perhaps all the big beefs (monster rampages aside) are settled in the ring, with audiences, fanbases, belts, acclaim, the right to be no1, as the prizes. Much better than ruining the CBD whenever an old rival comes to grind axes.

    And money. It seems not to have been noticed, but fighting for money is the only moral reason to fight, out here in the real world, from armies to boxing rings.

    Along with self-defence, of course. Sonny Sumo’d been attacked and injured, and so took the mechabaddie out, removing any further threat to himself or the other patrons of the bar. It’s really not that toolish a thing to have done.

  35. Finally Crisis #6: so that’s how The Dark Knight returns… « Mindless Ones Says:

    [...] Ah, we come to it late this week, and we also come mob handed. Poor Amy is having to deal with Real Life and couldn’t devote quite as much time to his annocommentations as he normally would. So we multiply, much as do the art teams on this ultimate event comic – if you think of amy as JG Jones, whose panels are the sole ones bordered in sheer black, Zom as Pacheco and I also, the Bots’wana Beast, as Marco Rudy. Perhaps bobsy will write about #7, filling the Doug Mahnke role. (p.s. if you’re expecting amy this week for Superman Beyond, tough shit, because I – that is, the BB – have called dibs on that and wrote about #1.) [...]

  36. FC:SB(!)3D#2 « Mindless Ones Says:

    [...] him is – I don’t actually think I mentioned him doing #1, but a lot of that post is awful mealy-mouthed – Captain Allen ‘Atom’ Adam. He looks [...]

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