The Bricktosser

A place for me to rant, ramble and rave about all things comics related.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Friday, January 20, 2006

Infinite Crisis isn't that great!

Hold tight for a little criticism. Note that I am enjoying Infinite Crisis a lot!

I recently read the opinion that Infinite Crisis was one of the best comics written. I disagree. I don't even think it's one of the best mainstream super-hero books ever written... and there are better comics than that, once you broaden your horizons.

A quick list of things wrong with Infinite Crisis that I can think of without actually looking at an issue
  • The pseudoscience is bad by even comic book standards. It might as well be magic. Vibrational frequencies embedded in genetic codes? Wha?
  • Superman-2 (the original) is horribly out of character. There might be an explanation, but as written, it's a jarring discontinuity from the guy who appeared in 1938, or even the guy who appeared in All-Star Comics and guest appearances in the 70's and 80's.
  • Alex Luthor's motivation isn't clear. Not necessarily a problem, but it will be if it's never made out to be more than "I'm a Luthor, I'm bad." which IC4 hints at.
  • There are some big continuity glitches. The biggest one I've seen is Air Wave getting dispersed in IC and then being fine in over in Firestorm.
  • The dramatic structure is for crap. The fan-pleasing bits keep it going, but there's not much a of a story in IC itself so far.
  • Superboy-Prime's dialogue is painful.
  • The deaths seem extra-gratuitous, especially as they are, with few exceptions, total Z-lister characters.
  • The OMACs make no sense. How could Batman build a superhuman army, or even an intelligence that (even with Luthor's help) could? If anything remotely like that technology exists in the DCU, why don't we see it elsewhere?
  • Again, with the OMACs. If one OMAC can take on several mid-power-level heroes, how in the world can they stop thousands, if not hundreds of thousands or millions of them?
  • Why use the villains to do all the dirty work if the OMACs are so powerful?
  • Batman is whiny. That's annoying.

And that's just off the top of my head, without the comic in front of me.

I don't think IC is going to stand the test of time as anything but a cool event. I reread Crisis on Infinite Earths a few years ago, and it didn't stand up very well either-- and that had a lot of dramatic structure and was truer to the characters than this is.

Infintie Crisis is cool. It isn't one of the best written super-hero comics ever.* It is one of the best coordinated comics ever, with all the crossovers and stuff.

I don't think Geoff Johns is a great writer. I love his comics, but I think the appeal is that he knows exactly what fanboy buttons to press. Even JSA, which is his best stuff, doesn't stand up all that well to rereading a couple of years after release. It's too event-driven and its foundation is the surprise. There are some serious exceptions, like most of the stuff with Atom Smasher or the issue where Degaton haunts the team with hints at their future. That stuff really shines. But a lot of Johns' output is transient fun at best. Great fun, but transient, and not very solid writing.

* Discussion for another day. I don't know if I could decide, really.


Blogger jamawalk said...

OMAC's are now, were then and will always be stupid.


I like everyother issue of IC.

I just wish Johns could kill some of his own characters (I'm looking at you Stargirl) and leave the JLI alone. Seriously, they've all been changed, lost or killed. Its sad.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Striker said...

Okay, I'll give you one, two, and three. Fourth one...well, continuity almost always falls prey in massive crossovers.

Sixth one, Superboy Prime obviously has issues. It's not surprising his dialogue is demented, because HE is.

Seventh one, I'll grant you. They are kind of like "HEY WE NEED A "DEATH WHERE'S THAT THIRD-STRINGER HAT"

On the OMACs: Checkmate made those, not Batman. Specifically, Maxwell Lord. And it was secret knowledge up until now. I have a feeling somebody's eventually going to rip the tech eventually. Maybe the new Checkmate.

How do they take down huge quantities of OMACs? Through the power of deus-ex, of course. The "OMAC Project" story itself created a "mass EMP generator" that explained why Kord Omniversal's warehouse got broken into, though it wasn't there when they did.

Why use the villains? 'Cause until IC4, it wasn't to be revealed that Brother Eye was sentient because of Alex Luthor. Once he outed himself, he pulled all the OMACs to defend his position.

And hey, you'd be whiny too if 1. you found out your memory had been screwed with and 2. shit's going wrong, you normally know everything, and in this case you know nothing. I expect with the "S-P wrecked the tower" thing he'll stop whining so much, because he now knows what's going on and can be an asshole again.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Ken S. said...


I thinik that's a heavily-enough qualified response to feel completely justified in my original post!

I'm still eagerly awainting the next issue, however.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Striker said...

Ha. Fair enough, fair enough.

So am I.

10:50 AM  

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