blackest_night_1

EXTREME RUBBISH!

I’ll let you in on a secret.

Every time a Geoff Jeans’ (his new name*) mega-event comes around, I know, just know, that this time, forget all the other times, I’m going to enjoy it. See, I understand the allure of holidaying in the DCU. There’s all those superpeople with all their superpowers, the tangled web of all those relationships and history. There’s The supernatural, outer-space, the far future… It sounds great on paper doesn’t it? Well that’s just it, IT’S NOT GREAT ON PAPER. IT’S SHIT ON PAPER.

But I forgot about that last Saturday night. Last Saturday night I was well broke, worn out after a hectic week full of work, birthdays, gardenfests (a weird one, that), friends visiting from Norwich and fuck all time to myself, and I was looking forward to nothing so much as curling up with the complete story-so-far of Blackest NICE (*and this is the story’s new name), and oh. how. wrong. can. you. be. POODLE.

It didn’t take much to push me over the edge, just Alfred phoning up the JLEmbassy in Washington to let his superchums know Bruce Wayne’s grave had been desecrated. Just that. A little thing. Why should that bother me? Because it was yet another bloody reminder of what it was that I was reading. You see, fuck all that stuff about tangled relationships, I hate that shit. I hate the fact that everyone in the DCU knows everyone else. I can forget about it when reading Final Crisis (tho’ not entirely) because Morrison gives you other stuff to thrill to, but not with Jeans.

‘Cause that’s what his comics are about.

And Blackest NICE has to be the truest articulation of his vision. By resurrecting fucking EVERYONE in the DCU he gets to work all his favourite hangups into the equation: his overdeveloped reverence for DC history and continuity, erecting bloody statues, monuments and super-tombs on every other page, his desire to mine even the most inconsequential characters and cul-de-sacs of the universe for story potential, to enliven – what was it that other blogging bloke called it? – all of those ‘blobs of colour in the corner of the crowd scene’, and, most importantly, have everyone hang out with each other.

The guy wants the DCU to breathe, he wants us to feel we could live there – heck, he wants to live there – and that’s all he wants, that’s all this whole thing is for, and that’s just a bit dark. In this case it’s tantamount to necromancy.

Seriously, if you think Blackest NICE is about anything other than the continuity fucking itself then just read the comic again. Everything, all the ‘dramatic’ stuff, centres around some bullshit that happened in a comic (I hope) you didn’t read: Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s relationship, the return of Martian Manhunter, Ralph and Sue Dibny… It ends on bloody Ralph and Sue Dibny because that’s, you know, definitely the most dramatic thing ever. Only it’s not. Not unless you give a shit. And I don’t. The Flash cries about it or something, but I didn’t.

Jesus, you couldn’t ask for a better metaphor, could you? Let’s resurrect all those corpses, all those dead stories, all the C listers, and have them interact with everything else all over again. This comic is living on recycled air, totally ingrown. Nothing from the outside will ever penetrate it, I guarantee you that.

So that’s my main bugbear with what I’ve read. That to someone like me who doesn’t know anything about the Atom’s ex it’s impenetrable and boring and that, judging by how fetishistic and self-referential the whole exercise is, the guy writing it hasn’t read anything other than comic books in the last 10 years.

Ah, but there are other things that confirm that. I’m not going to list all the hideous, clunking sentences that litter these comics (oh, fuck, go on then – my fave, from the Spectre: ‘Deadman’s body is now as wandering as his soul…’ *!* Urgh!), it would just be a bloody chore, but I would like to point out just a few of Jeans’ choicest character moments. I mean to begin with, what’s with that scene with all the old JLEers around Blue Beetle’s grave hectoring each other about getting on with their eulogies, or telling them they’re not allowed to speak. I mean, WTF?!? Fuck off Fire, if Guy wants to dedicate a few words to his friend, I think, in this uncharacteristic moment of sensitivity, it might be okay to let him, and, Canary, Booster might be a bit too choked up to say his piece, so why not FUCKING LEAVE HIM ALONE. Maybe Jeans wants these people to look like bickering cocks – the JLE do have a history of it – but it just looks so completely inhuman. This isn’t how grieving people talk.

I hope. Whatever, this isn’t a triumph for psychological realism.

And just what does the Flash mean when he responds to Hal’s assertion that no-one’s found the Rogues’ secret cemetery with a deadpan ‘I will’? Does he intend to go and piss on their graves? Disintern the bodies and skullfuck them?

And as for the Flash falling apart over the Dibny death: SHUT UP! Look, Geoff, if you care so much about the demise of these inconsequential characters, if the Flash cares enough to ‘sit down for the first time since he got back’, it has to be because of what Ralph and Sue represented – fun, silliness, childishness, goodness – everything that makes comics good for kids and puppies – so then why oh why do you not understand the irony of turning them into rotting zombie people who like nothing better than to impale their mates with big spears [Editor's note: ah, but that's the point, Poodle: it's about the tragedy of innocence lost!]? Personally I don’t mind what you do with them, but, if all this means so much to you, YOU SHOULD!

And another thing. I’ve noticed this trend for you to patronise scientists by having them waffle on about the really, real supernatural side of life and the transcendent power of emotions (which we have you on record as saying you believe are somehow super-physical, just like the lantern’s spectrum) and the ability of these things, and only these things, to invest life with meaning, and you know what: bollocks. Try reading a book by Dan Dennet, Susan Blackmore, Richard Dawkins or any one of a million scientists and you’ll find this question dealt with very abruptly indeed, sometimes in the first chapter. Scientists are just as moral and capable of finding just as much ‘meaning’ in the cosmos as anyone else – this idea that they’re somehow mistaken, that if only they could really connect with their spiritual dimension they’d realise the truth of things, that only then would they be truly whole, is specious nonsense, easily refuted, and an argument that’s as common as muck to boot.

Speaking of bad ideas: this emotional spectrum hogwash really gets me. Avarice! Eh? Why not depression? Boredom? Excitement? Grumpiness? It’s all so arbitrary! Can you imagine hanging round with someone who’s angry or jealous every day, or, more ridiculous still, being that person? It’s just so silly! Death, an emotion? The what now?

And what about….

I’ll shut up now. I’m not going to read this comic again. There’s not enough time.

But I am going to start my own rival summer event entitled Lantern Sex War Night! where we cut straight to the chase and all the DC properties get down to it, roman style. And I do mean all the properties, priapic super-mice and sentient planets included. MASSIVE SPOILER: at the height of the sexual carnage, all will begin to weep and howl uncontrollably for the Dibnys, with Superman wailing ‘why did they kill you? why did they kill you, INNOCENCE?!?’ before spaffing the sun in two and everyone dying.

And then getting resurrected and it all starting again.

Brilliant. And waaaay more honest.

But Blackest NICE didn’t come out this week, did it? No, it did not.

Check back on Tuesday for a review of something that did. Can you guess what?

[Editor's note the second: Poodle is concerned that this post could be construed as an ad hominem attack. Just for the record, Poodle is of the opinion that Geoff Johns is probably a nice guy, it's just that he writes comics which never fail to cause the yapping ponce great distress]

66 Responses to “Poodle: “I’ve seen superman having sex and it wasn’t very nice””

  1. Andrew Hickey Says:

    *applauds*
    The odd thing is, some of Johns’ work *isn’t* like that – his run on Booster Gold was entertaining and fun and quite well-written, for example. But so much of it *is* that…

  2. javi Says:

    Wow. Childlike name calling and changing it to Nice for an unknown reason?

    As for pissing on the bodies of your beloved characters… Um, heaven forbid that they be used after they’ve been written off by the creative staff. Brings up a good question on if characters should just be ignored than killed off when writers have no use for them.

    If you want pocket universes or heroes not knowing each other than go read some indie titles. This is like complaining that the marvel universe has too many teams in New York. It’s their stage and their characters.

    Add in that the continuity is something fans strive for. Dislike it when events occur in one book and have no effect on others that happen in the same time/area.

    I suppose haters gotta hate.

  3. Botswana Beast Says:

    That they do, javi.

    That they do. Haters gotta hate, arselickers gotta lick arse. How it be, son.

  4. Thoapsl Says:

    ‘why did they kill you? why did they kill you, INNOCENCE?!?’

    Oh man, now I want that on a t-shirt. In giant purple letters, surrounded by flames, and the ‘o’ in ‘innocence’ is a heavy metal skull with bloodshot eyeballs.

  5. Papers Says:

    That post was verging on a “written by Dirk Anger” tagline, wasn’t it? Wow. I mean, life-extending drugs! FOR H.A.T.E.!

  6. Papers Says:

    (And I mean that in the nicest way possible, obvs)

  7. Lanmao, the blue cat Says:

    First off, I totally agree with this take on Blackest Night. It sucks, and it’s dull, and everybody is bestest pals who go bowling on Thursdays, and AGAIN WITH THE FREAKIN’ DIBNYS.

    I’m more than a little suspicious, though, of your invocation of the metaphysical authority of Richard Dawkins. I’ve not read the others whom you mention, but I have read him, and I was less than impressed. He seems to take on his opponents primarily in straw man form, and is not interested in the things that they have written in their own defense. This is especially true in his attacks on religion, with which I am most familiar. He attacks the apologists of religion in their weakest form, he largely ignores answers that have been given to the questions that he asks (even to dispute them), and often describes groups primarily in stereotype form. He seems like something of a bigot, and I would not be surprised that he dispenses with the role of psychological metaphysics in a first chapter. Sure, it’s a question that has absorbed the attention of people as diverse as Augustine, Kant, Nietzsche, and Marx, but why should it warrant any consideration beyond an introductory chapter?

    None of the above should be taken as a defense of the rainbow of Lantern Corps. It’s arbitrary and boring, as you say. I guess that I’m taking issue with what I take to be your implicit claim in that paragraph: that science has resolved questions of the nature of the mind, of meaning, and of ethics. Looking back, I think that maybe you mean something more pluralist than that, but I’m not sure.

    But yeah, Geoff Johns sucks. I’m gonna skip the rest of Darkest Night.

  8. Danny Djeljosevic Says:

    You know you’re in for crap when the big superhero crossover about reanimated superheroes begins with everyone conveniently celebrating Dead Superhero Day.

    That bit with Alfred made me laugh because it was an unintended (probably) Arrested Development reference. “I’ve made a HUGE mistake.”

    Ah, those days when Geoff Johns was just the guy who had a pretty decent run on The Flash.

  9. visa Says:

    i’m going to bed – goodnight all my poodle butts and lemon merengue pies

  10. Andrew Hickey Says:

    Lanmao, couldn’t agree more on Dawkins (one of my favourite bloggers, Andrew Rilstone, has a 15-part ‘skeptic’s guide to Richard Dawkins’ that just eviscerates The God Delusion – http://andrewrilstone.blogspot.com/search/label/A%20Sceptic's%20Guide%20to%20Richard%20Dawkins ) but I think the point being made is that one can appreciate life and have a life full of ‘meaning’ without filling your head full of newage platitudes. Something like Feynman’s quote “Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. I, too, can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? ”

    The problem with the kind of stuff Johns occasionally writes isn’t that it’s done from a religious point-of-view – I’m not even sure that it necessarily is, as much as he’s just absorbed unthinkingly a ton of cliches from USian pop culture – but that it’s done from an *anti-intellectual* point of view. It’s the glorification of ignorance, and of choosing instinct over reason, and I think it’s a pernicious moral message…

  11. Andrew Hickey Says:

    Sorry, I’ll try that link again – here

  12. The Satrap Says:

    Haters gotta hate, indeed. By inspiring highly enjoyable rants like this one, crappy pointless continuity porn like BN does end up fulfilling a role.

    A word about the many-hued Lanterns. Although I gave up on Johns’ oeuvre many moons ago and can only assume that the actual writing has been trite rubbish, the idea is not necessarily bad. Of course, the choice of some emotions over others to receive the Lantern treatment is arbitrary, but the cod myth-making typical of superheroes is not supposed to be an exhaustive and rigorous activity. After all, Venus or Inanna were strongly associated with lovemaking, but if there’s a Sumerian god or daemon of boredom he’s not quite so famous.

  13. Lanmao, the blue cat Says:

    @Andrew: Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Looking at it now, that does seem to be the point being made. I agree that Johns isn’t coming from a religious standpoint. My beef with Dawkins isn’t that he argues against religion, it’s that I find him disingenuous, and so am troubled by references to him as any kind of intellectual last word (I am easily troubled). I’ll definitely take a look at the links. If I remember correctly, Stanley Fish had a good couple of columns about Dawkins in the NYT a while back.

  14. Red Scharlach Says:

    The God Delusion is porn for atheists. What you want to do is read his earlier works like The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and Unweaving the Rainbow.

  15. amypoodle Says:

    Javi, where on earth do I describe the Dibneys as my beloved characters? Eh? I don’t give A FUCK about them.

    What?

    That’s as far as I’ll engage with you, mate. You couldn’t be arsed to engage with me, so….

    Actually your post, with it’s willfull misunderstandings of practically everything I’m saying, irritates me so much I don’t even know where to start. Just bloody respond to what’s actually been said or go away.

  16. Gunderic Mollusk Says:

    Y’know, Sir Poodle, you have a talent for articulating what seem like vague itchings in the back of my head. Blackest Night at its zenith provides tons of opportunities to skulk around on Wikipedia to ponder why the fuck these characters are so important. Somehow the environment sets this book in such a way that if you aren’t up on these characters, it’s like being excluded from the DC Club. Well, the whole thing seems not dissimilar to the Dark Side Club: a place where thoughtforms can chum it up while blathering about past battles and needless rules (i.e., Guy not speaking, Batman supporting cast member #227 forbidden from doing anything other than bark like a mudskipper) to drain the life and vitality out of the thing, and expect readers to do the same (and they do!).

    It’s all just… tired. But the new Batman game’s a blast!

  17. plok Says:

    Little-known fact: the word “troll” begins with an “um”.

    The second letter, if I recall right, is “wow”.

    The last three are “dude”, “why don’t you go X”, and “peace”. So that motherfucker can’t even spell his own name right, eh?

    Enmerdeur, not worthy of even your limited reply to him above. I delete comments like that and walk off whistling.

  18. Zom Says:

    To be fair to Javi I’m pretty sure he’s commented here before and not in a trolly way. The problem as I see it is that the guy likes Blackest Night and feels that he’s being personally got at, and who can blame him really? Amy has not only contented himself with giving the comic a good old slagging, there’s also the implicit suggestion that he strongly dislikes the enthusiasms and mindsets that make Blackest Night a viable product.

    That said, I completely agree with Amy that Javi has failed to engage with much of the substance of Amy’s post, although again this understandable given that it is more of a rant which points towards a number of (what Amy would consider) serious problems than a series of cogent arguments. As someone who entirely agrees with Amy’s assessment, however, I find myself landing firmly on his side.

    Javi, it’s probably worth noting that while Amy’s thoughts do skirt the edges of ad hominem attack, he doesn’t actually resort to name calling, unless you think that “Jeans” counts. It’s irreverent, yes, it’s silly, sure, and I’m confident that it’s intended to be read that way, and the same goes for the substitution of Night for “Nice”. As he makes clear above, Amy objects to the reverential tone of Johns’s writing, the idea that everything in the DCU is somehow important and deserves a statue or a memorial or a special day or a legacy, and, not only that, needs resurrecting. By bringing silliness to bear from the get go Amy intends to waft away the stink of importance that Blackest Night exudes.

    Also, it’s not about rejecting the idea of reusing old characters outright – of course it’s not about that! – it’s about rejecting the approach outlined above, it’s about a lack of freshness, an “ingrown” sensibility. The same goes for Amy’s statements about everyone knowing everyone else – it all depends how you approach it. Under Johns’s pen (at its worst – I actually like some of the man’s writing) the DCU has a deeply parochial, almost incestuous quality which is pretty much the opposite of the kind of thing we at MO enjoy about superhero comics: novelty, expansiveness, possibility….

    Also, can you really be ignorant of the discussions around the value of continuity that litter sites like this? We all appreciate that many fans enjoy it, but many of us feel, with very good reason, that a rigid approach to continuity actually hurts good storytelling.

    God, that Flash line, that’s just weird…

  19. Zom Says:

    Not that Johns demonstrates a particularly rigid approach, you understand. That business with Barry Allen being stopped in his tracks by the death of the Dibnys – the oh-so-good-and-pure-Dibnys – is testament to the fact that he’s not adverse to the odd retcon.

  20. plok Says:

    Oh, well, and here I am saying nasty things to other Mindless readers and calling them trolls…

    So, maybe going a bit far there, and all apologies for that. In truth, it really was the “um” and the “wow” that took me instantly to a state of pissery…I associate these words very strongly with drive-bys, not with meant responses. Comment intended as show of support against trolls, not as something to wound a person’s feelings who is not one. Gee, what a lovely mortifying outcome, excuse me I must now buy a horse and go up into the mountains somewhere far from other people…

  21. Andy G Says:

    Great artwork mind

  22. The Beast Must Die Says:

    My feeling about johns is that if you’re 12 or 13, the cod-depth, angst and inherent seriousness of it all, not to mention the generous amounts of sadism and bloodletting would make it all seem terribly exciting.
    Which is fine, because 12 or 13 yr olds are supposed to be reading comics too.

    It’s just not my cup of tea, however.

  23. Sean Witzke Says:

    Oh HELL YES, Poodle. This is the juice.

  24. Zom Says:

    TBMD, that’s a fine assessment of much of his work

    You vicious man, Sean! Can’t Geoff get any love?

  25. What’ve the Joe Casey Fanclub/ Comics Blog Death Squad/other people I know been up to? « supervillain Says:

    [...] Amy Poodle @ the Mindless Ones writes the blog post that takes Geoff Johns off at the knees. I was laughing so hard by the [...]

  26. Dylan Says:

    A couple things.

    1) Really don’t understand why you’re drawn to mainstream comic books if you hate interconnectivity and tangled character relationships. Maybe fiction in general isn’t the best use of your time, since those qualities are often hallmarks of the best. (For the record, I’m NOT saying the DCU is home to the best fiction, by any means. I’m saying it’s a pretty dumb thing to criticize.)

    2) There’s a difference between science in the real world and science in a world where heaven and magic are empirically verifiable. When scientists in a fictional universe, where there really is an emotional power spectrum, theorize about the possibility of an emotional spectrum, they’re uncovering the way their universe works, or in other words, performing science. If a scientist in the DC universe didn’t theorize about the existence of an emotional spectrum, he would be an awful scientist — because it’s something easily tested and verified in their fantastical fiction-world. Which isn’t our own. Did you know that our science reality doesn’t have to apply to their fictional science reality? As evidenced by MULTITUDES OF FLYING MEN AND WOMEN FROM DIFFERENT PLANETS.

    Now, I can take or leave Blackest Night. I think there have been some genuinely unnerving things (iconic good guys being murdered by zombified, evil iconic good guys; a swarm of black rings being fucked out of Batman’s skull by a guy whose costume is a used body bag), and I also think there’s been some tedious melodrama. But I suspect your dislike is more deep-seated than simple arguments like, “I hate tangled character relationships,” and “their magic world’s science doesn’t mesh with our own science!” At least, I hope it’s more deep seated than that…

  27. Botswana Beast Says:

    Well, ‘deepseated’ would seem to suggest some kind of psychological, ah, PROBLEMS, so I can’t speak for Ames on that, but it’s interesting that you managed to boil the review down to two pat statements. Very interesting.

  28. plok Says:

    MADNESS.

  29. Botswana Beast Says:

    I sort of like Blackest Night, btw, even though I couldn’t in terribly good faith attest that it is anything other than EXTREME RUBBISH.

  30. plok Says:

    I can’t imagine what would have to happen for me to find myself reading Blackest Night, honestly. There’s the Good Johns and the Bad Johns.

  31. plok Says:

    And I don’t exactly go out of my way even to read the Good Johns.

  32. plok Says:

    The implication that Amy’s a petulant, fictionophobic fanboy is kind of making me laugh my head off, though…so maybe even the Bad Johns can do some good in the world now and then.

    OH AMY WHY WON’T YOU EMBRACE THE LYSERGIC MADNESS OF COMIC-BOOK SCIENCE

  33. Seabear Says:

    i liked this. i like BLACKEST ICE too. the 2 likes live in the same apt. building. this community of likes is called the Unholy Power of Awesome.

    the thing about G’eoff J’ohns Green lantern work is that it draws value from the periphery to the center–where his work presides. it occurred to me that once J’ohns leaves every bit of scrap will have been used and this sweater will be complete. not a stitch out of place. no, not a stitch.

    there are no more Alan Moore Green Lantern ideas left. what are G’eoff J’ohnstonmeyer’s hand-me downs like? wtf is the next writer to do?

    thanks for

  34. Zom Says:

    Dylan.

    By suggesting that Amy should perhaps fore-swear fiction you’re just making yourself look silly.

    It is not interconnectivity that is being objected to. Interconnectivity is not a monolith, there are different ways of approaching it, different ways of articulating it, different ways of valuing it. Amy is objecting to the ways in which Johns tackles it here.

    On the question of science, it’s completely reasonable to demand a degree of sense from fictional physics and metaphysics. That, of course, is simply not the same thing as demanding that said fictional science be plausible, just that it is consistently portrayed within the fictional world, and that it isn’t entirely ill conceived. I’d be very surprised indeed if Amy were to dismiss the idea of the rainbow corps out of hand – I imagine it appeals to him as much as it appeals to the next fanboy – what he’s objecting to is the rather awkward and forced choices Johns has made in his attempts to define it. Will is not an emotion, death is not an emotion, inspiring fear in others is not an emotion.

    Then there’s the fact that in wallowing in all this emotion Johns exposes one of the weakest elements of his writing, his handling of emotion and emotional dynamics. Amy doesn’t articulate this point very well, but I know from conversation that that’s exactly how he feels.

  35. Andrew Hickey Says:

    Dylan:
    1) Nowhere did Amypoodle say character relationships were a bad thing. Everyone being everyone else’s bestest friend and not knowing anyone who isn’t a protagonist in another comic *is* a bad thing, though. In a shared universe you should try to open up, rather than close off, possibilities.

    2) There’s only ‘an emotional spectrum’ because Geoff!Johns! made it up. Out of his brain. It’s not a real, objectively-existing thing ‘in another reality’, it’s an idea that a writer had, and a daft one.

  36. Zom Says:

    I find the whole idea of the Dibnys centrality rather bothersome. The way in which the rape and murder of a character, and the subsequent murder of her husband, has been willfully positioned by DC as a kind of line wide loss of innocence is not only morally questionable but also very awkward indeed. It just feels so contrived, artificial and forced, a bad idea from outside infecting the fiction in a bad way. Why does Ralph symbolize a more innocent age to the Flash? Is the man an imbecile, did he fail to notice all of those supervillainous plots back in the old days? This idea put forward by Identity Crisis that one day A LINE WAS CROSSED is just complete and utter excrement that makes no sense except in some very metafictional way, consequently this adulation of the Dibnys does nothing to reinforce my involvement in a given comic, instead it pulls me out of the entertainment.

  37. Andy G Says:

    Not least as this storyline shits all over the rehabilitation that 52′s “The Dibnys: Ghost Detectives” resolution attempted.

    This is definitely Johns at his most Johns, insanely respectful of continuity and mining its intricacies while at the same time satisfying a ridiculous blood lust.

    Compare Morrisons: wasn’t Crisis on Infinite Worlds fun? But here’s Animal Man, a playful argument against its whitewash approach to continuity.

    With Johns: wasn’t Crisis on Infinite Worlds great? I’m going to bring all the cast back, make them evil, kill them in brutal fashion and resurrect them as zombies! Hooray!

  38. Andrew Hickey Says:

    today’s Dinosaur comics seems to sum up the ‘interconnectivity’ bit pretty well…

  39. Zom Says:

    That it does

  40. Nathan Says:

    Meh, since I actually like BN and most of what Johns as done (except IC). Guess it goes to show autism is indeed contagious since I’ve found out my autistic brother has been using my toothbrush for months without telling me.

  41. Zom Says:

    You are allowed to like BN!

  42. Nathan Says:

    sure I am, sure…

  43. Bucky Sinister Says:

    Thanks for this, Amy. You’ve articulated my own exasperated, ought-not-to-care-but-can’t-seem-to-help-myself rage at the works of Geoff Johns quite well.

  44. Neon Snake Says:

    Brilliant piece.

    I mean, come on. Blackest Night was toss on toast, wasn’t it?

    And, no, Amy’s dissection of it may not have been rigorous, exacting, bulletpointed and exhaustively researched with citations, but fuck me, it was funny.

    Which is pretty much the whole point.

    And I love continuity, me. I really do. I think it’s brilliant that when I’m reading Batman & Robin, it’s got the whole weight of several shelves worth of books behind it, from Dick Grayson in Robin: Year One to Damian (kinda) in Son Of The Demon to the carnival in Killing Joke, and to all the other stories that inform how we feel about the characters and their environment.

    But just referencing continuity IS NOT ENOUGH – and essentially, that’s what Johns at his worst is doing. It’s pandering to the “ooh, I recognise that from that other comic I read” comic fans, but without putting in a decent plot of his own for the others.

    And the worst thing? Between Johns, Dini and probably others, this sort of shit is going to define the current era, because the majority lap it up.

  45. Duncan Says:

    Not sure it will, Neon, because for all their manifold faults mainstream comics – via bookstore reprints &c. – are, I think, not bad at letting the scum sink to the bottom; e.g. no-one really reads Roy Thomas – the bad dad of pop eating itself – comics these days.

    I certainly hope early C21 supes is legacied in the form of Morrison, Jason Aaron, Adam Warren, bits ‘n’ bobs of Ennis & Ellis, Brubaker… that said, I do see ‘Rage of the Red Lanterns’ is riding high at #6 in the NYT ‘Graphic Books’ list atm.

  46. Sean Witzke Says:

    Duncan I was telling someone about “asslickers gotta asslick” and they thought it was “ass lizards gotta ass lizard”. I am in your debt.

  47. Duncan Says:

    Both are equally true, Mr. W.

  48. Anonymous Says:

    you sire,need an enema

  49. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » A stray review on Thursday. Says:

    [...] Something happened the other week. No not that. If you want to talk about that go see our mate, Tucker. He’ll tell you all you need to know about that, or at least everything you didn’t learn here. [...]

  50. Jonathan Nolan Says:

    Blackest Night is epochal in one way only. Together with Civil War, it encapsulates and defines the exact moment in time when Marvel (Disney) and Warner Comics literally died on their feet. It’s over.

  51. Will Says:

    Ha, I took a couple of hours to scour the Internet to find out how DC Comics is doing. About me: at the halfway point of the ’52′ series, I realized DC Comics had no intentions on fixing their continuity. They just wanted to fix stories from their own childhoods. Wow.

    I saw DC as a bunch of fan boys uncontrolled (spearheaded by Didio and Johns) ruining comics as I knew it. At first, I was very interested in those same C and D characters they grew up loving but in the end I got tired of getting hit over the head with molesting continuity just to make those same useless characters prominent. The continuity “fixes” became a nightmare that myself (and I’m sure others who were new to DC) couldn’t keep up with or give a rats butt to keep up with. The sex, death, and the playing down to pubescent at time really started to grate my nerves. Great story tellers were pushed to the side (like Waid, Simonson) and we were left thinking Judd Winnick was the best thing to happen to comics ever. Rubbish.

    Identity Crisis made me a fan of DC, but wow….didn’t know it would also eventually make me hate it. Thanks, Didio, Johns, Winnick, and media (Newsrama, Captain Comics, etc.) who defended DC as they took something great and made it trash.

    I can’t wait for ‘Final Blackest Crisis of Too Many Earths with Serious Final Identity Crisis Nights’ #0.

  52. Will Says:

    I forgot to mention: I stopped by comics altogether with ’52′ #29. I have a few issues of a ton of comics I bought from that time I have not even bother to read and are still in boxes from the comic shop I ordered them from. DC Comics ruined comics for me that much, and looking at all the dumb stuff on the Internet today proves I did the right thing.

  53. Will Says:

    “by” = “buying”

  54. RetroWarbird Says:

    Golden, just golden. It is, 100%, right on, “continuity-porn” as the kids call it. It’s ultra-rewarding the more titles you’ve read. If you’ve got the entire damn DCU covered? WOWIE, is that ever loaded with moments for you!

    I’m enjoying Blackest Night … insofar as twists, cliches and rainbows. Sometimes it’s just about a colorful guy beating the crap out of monsters. But it’s not exactly reinventing the wheel. It’s rather more like spinning the wheel as fast as it’ll go before it goes out of control and goes flying off into the ditch.

    (“Why not depression?” … I wrote an article once, for my one-time therapist in fact, arguing that depression is just “fear times ten”. It’s just fear multiplied by every factor the human imagination can come up with in an increasingly complex world (the future, the unknown, the known, the little things, the cosmic things … things animals have no concept of). It’s like Joker, with his damned “he’s super-sane” status because he perceives information as fast as it comes in an over-stimulating society. Depression is just “super-fear”.)

  55. Zom Says:

    Depression didn’t feel like super-fear to me – far too glamorous a description.

  56. Malaya Says:

    I miss the recent old days when the 2 big comic companies didn’t copy each others story ideas e.g. the living dead superheroes, especially when the concept sucked; and yeah Bruce Wayne was alive then too.

  57. amypoodle Says:

    i don’t mind them getting a few sales from these things – bruce dying, etc – so long as i’m entertained by the stories themselves. blackest night didn’t entertain, but everything about bruce’s ‘demise’ has been fuCAVEMANBATMANCAVEMANBATMANCAVEMANBATMANCAVEMANBATMANCAVEMANBATMAN!

    mmmmmm.

  58. RetroWarbird Says:

    “far too glamorous a description”

    Melancholy, I think, is worst and most particularly glamorous term for it. That you can be so sad or so mournful that you just … “die of a broken heart” or are lost in your existential angst like some artist. There is some of that, I’m sure, in a true-blue super-fear (or I guess, “Hyper-Fear”) state … at least in a thoughtful person.

    It is too glamorous a description for something that pretty boils down to an utter waste of human potential. Life without living. Husk status. Haunting your own house.

    (I just spent two years shut away in my room wondering why exactly I couldn’t bring myself to face existing day to day. Not exactly Thogul.)

    Anyway, the point being we can discuss the purpose for depression’s (The “Free Will Black Hole” – perhaps a great power for Green Lantern’s next enemy …) existence in modern human awareness elsewhere (It’s a topic I guess I have my own stake in and would be thrilled to put under a microscope, since that’s a partial remedy itself) … it’s at least rooted in instinctual “Fear” as surely as generosity is rooted in “Compassion” (Actually, I think Johns would’ve been smarter to just go with “Empathy” for his Deep Purple Lanterns) and so forth.

  59. Ringbearer Says:

    POODLE! You have great rage in your heart. Welcome to the Red Lantern Corps.

  60. Zom Says:

    Lulz

  61. It Burns Says:

    Amy,

    I’d like to credit you on this post in an essay I’m writing for TCJ. Would you like me to use your real name or would you prefer Amypoodle?

  62. Zom Says:

    I’ve emailed you, Burns

  63. amypoodle Says:

    poodle please, burns.

  64. It Burns Says:

    Sure thing. Thanks for getting back to me.

  65. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Tues Reviews, fuck the winter blues! (featuring Mister Attack) Says:

    [...] 2000AD strip Bad Company, and partly because of the Blood Ocean; worst because it reeks of Geoff Jeans and looks like a comic by Ed [...]

  66. amzn.to Says:

    Then you can compare image drawn by the first and last
    person the variation in the images is likely to be a source of great fun and laughter.
    Sure, it’s easy to buy pre-made party supplies, but it’s far more fun to create your own. So, starting at the beginning, you need
    to decide how many kids you want at the gathering.

Leave a Reply