A fair warning before you read. This post falls squarely and unashamedly into the category of Grumpy Old Man Pants. From here on, any grumpy posts I make will be preceded by the following image.
Remember back in 2007? Everybody was talking about Final Crisis. This was DC’s next event
The stakes are high here guys, and Evil wins.
There are going to be some big changes in the status quo of the DCU. We’ll be exploring the consequences of this one for the foreseeable future.
My personal favorite: Good will have to work harder to win because the bad guys will have an upper hand.
This was the hype we read on news sites and heard at convention panels. Three years later in the here and now? Not so much.
Sure Batman’s dead, but odds were pretty good that Bruce Wayne wasn’t going to be wearing the cowl when that Morrison arc ended. Martian Manhunter was murdered you say? Isn’t that hardcore? that was evil. Right. WAS evil. The aftermath has been lackluster (looking at you Run! and JL: Cry for Justice) Ah! Superman’s gone, yeah that’s a change…and? If you’re not reading it, that’s got nothing to do with FC. The aftermath of FC, the exploration of the consequences: Blackest Night, an unrelated event affecting only half of the DC titles.
In thinking about this lack of follow-up, this is the real problem in a mindset of constant Event writing. The companies have rightly pointed out that the argument of hitting the pocket book is faulty. Readers vote with their wallets is the common expression. Instead, we readers/ fans should be complaining that it is lazy story writing. As DC readers, in the last ten years, we’ve been mostly cheated out of the follow up/ aftermath. Evil gets the upper hand, heroes rally, good is victorious, everything is 90 – 100% back the way it was: this is the formula for Crises, Wars, Nights, and other events. The last time DC really got it right was the original Crisis. It was a full generation before we saw Barry Allen again. DC streamlined it’s continuity, and Superman and Wonder Woman were completely revamped.
I’ve been focusing on DC, but Marvel isn’t much better. Civil War should have been bigger and there should have been more serious lasting changes. Instead it’s right into the Skrull Invasion with the only big change being the 50 States Initiative covered only in Avengers: Initiative. To Marvel’s credit there is more of a common thread between the Event of Invasion and the semi-event/ tone change of Dark Reign.
Again, you can argue that readers will voice their displeasure with their wallets. This isn’t entirely fair or true. If you’re an X-men fan and you’re bombarded with events and crossovers ad nausea, it’s a long hard decision to drop the books and titles. A reader/ fan is invested in characters and the collection of the books. The big companies take advantage of this collection mentality when crossovers and events are the only game in town. Bad form gentlemen, bad form.
Weird where a thought can take you. The business about FC was originally intended to springboard into a discussion about evil winning and how no one’s ever done it well.
ADDENDUM: My statement about it being lazy writing is unfair to writers. There should also be a comment about lazy editors. Would you please reread that sentence and insert the phrase “and lazy, cowering editors?”