Hey now Riddler, Penguin, Joker, Better run and hide!

Okay, so the title has absolutely nothing to do with the content, but in these Final Crisis/Batman RIP posts I’ve been using consecutive lines from Batman by Jan & Dean as titles, and I refuse to let Grant Morrison not putting in a scene of Batvillains running away stop me.

Anyway, Final Crisis #6, publisher DC Comics, writer Grant Morrison, artists Hugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble & Grubb…

Firstly, it is, of course, great. I can understand why Jog doesn’t like it, but to me it’s just about as good as superhero comics get, and Kevin Church has accurately summed up most of the complaints people have had about it on message boards.

There are a couple of complaints that *do* have more substance, of course. First is the art – up to now the various people helping Jones with this have done what I consider a relatively good job of blending with his work. Not perfect, but good. But here, for the first time we have some outright sloppiness – which looks like the fault of the inker, but is really the fault of the unrealistic schedule that these comics were originally put on.

A potentially bigger problem is the colouring on Shilo Norman, which some people are seeing as him being coloured ‘white’ (actually his skin tone looks more like the Japanese heroes in the same panel than anything else). My friend Chris Hilker, in an email to which I’ve not got round to replying (so I hope he’s reading this) suggested that the ‘error’ was actually a sign of Shilo taking on a Godly aspect, being something like a halo or spotlight. I’m not 100% convinced that was the *intention*, but it fits with the story, and I like it, so I’m accepting that.

On the other hand, for every art problem, there’s a simply phenomenal page like Talky Tawny (am I the only one who wants a Morrison-written Talky Tawny series?) saying “Do your worst, gentlemen”. That page is just gorgeous, and makes me wish there’d been the opportunity to put this out on a realistic schedule. All the art teams on this, in fact, do great work when they can – just look at the scene with Batman and Darkseid, or the double-page spread just before Superman’s return.

Even at its worst, though, the art does a competent job of telling the story, which is what I’m buying this for, and which is just getting better. All those people who’ve criticised this for being ‘a bit like Rock Of Ages‘ are comprehensively missing the point. All Morrison’s DCU work in the last couple of years (since the end of Seven Soldiers) has been about making the ‘ultimate’ versions of characters and stories. Not in the Marvel sense, but… actually, in some ways it is like the Marvel sense of the word.

What Morrison did with All-Star Superman (and slightly less successfully with his Batman run, though that’s not completed yet thankfully – as he’s confirmed in recent interviews – and an incomplete Morrison work is never an easy thing to judge) is essentially to throw in every single thing anyone ever loved about the character and make the whole thing make sense. If you gave All-Star Superman to anyone who’d read a Superman comic, ever, they would recognise it. I bet you could convince a *lot* of non-fans that they’d read it when they were a kid. It is, in many ways, the quintessential Superman comic.

And in the same way, Final Crisis is the quintessential superhero crossover – even as, just like with All-Star Superman, Morrison uses it to do other things as well. So all the plot elements here – multiverses collapsing, a war between gods, red skies, heroes turned bad and villains saving the day, a hero who can never use their powers ever again, dramatic deaths and returns from the dead, races with death himself, Superman cradling a dead body in his arms (evoking both the cover of Crisis On Infinite Earths 7 and Batman Dies At Dawn, two stories which have hugely influenced the last few months’ worth of stories), all these are things we have seen time and again in superhero comics over the years.

Morrison is neither so stupid nor so modest as to not know that his own big superhero epics of the past need to be thrown into the mix too, and so they are, but the Rock Of Ages parallels are just another of the many, many echoes here.

But it’s the execution of the thing that’s so impressive. Darkseid (and I *can’t* be the only one who’s noticed how much this manifestation of the Dark God of Anti-Life looks like John McCain, can I?) fixing all the continuity fuckups caused by the execrable Countdown (and the Death Of The New Gods series) in one sentence, and doing it in a way that it feels like an organic part of the story and also thematically fits with Morrison’s other work (AND is maybe another shout-out to the Mindless Ones, and the ‘prismatic age’ theory). The way that the whole thing’s a love story, with almost every character in this issue having their own romantic subplot, from the mature married love of Hourman and Liberty Belle to the soap opera of the Super Young Team to the BDSM-tinged relationship of Black Canary and Green Arrow. Pretty much everyone in the story is motivated by getting back to someone they love, which makes sense if, as seems likely, the whole story is a cosmic ‘resonance’ from Nix Uotan being cast out of the world of the monitors.

For someone who’s regarded as a Big Idea man, and who’s pouring every Big Idea he’s ever had into this story – ideas about the superhero genre, the way you can tell stories in comics, the nature of reality, and more – what’s impressive is how well delineated every character is. No character gets more than a handful of panels and a couple of lines of dialogue, but you still get an understanding of who Black Canary, Talky Tawny, Batman, Lex Luthor, Supergirl and so on are – understandings that you often couldn’t get from their comics.

Final Crisis isn’t a perfect comic – far from it. It fails at quite a lot of what it’s trying to do, as at least half of Morrison’s work does. But it fails in interesting ways, and what it’s trying for is also interesting. Even at its worst, its faults are trying too hard, overestimating its audience, and having too much imagination, which are faults I can’t bring myself to judge too harshly. And at its best this is a comic that actually makes a big cosmic Everything Will Change Forever crossover something worth reading for the first time since… well, ever.

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70 Responses to Hey now Riddler, Penguin, Joker, Better run and hide!

  1. Daily P.O.P. says:

    Wow, Zom.

    That’s stubborn, man.

    And my saying you’re stubborn is coming from a guy who’s gone through the trouble to say the same thing several times in different ways. Taste is taste, I can totally dig that. But that kinda kills any talk of criticism, doesn’t it?

    I think I’m wasting my time saying anything more on this, so I’ll just drop it.

  2. dailypop says:

    I don’t mean that to sound dismissive or aggressive, by the way. I just really think that my writing anything more on the subject is a waste of my time at this point.

    Thanks for hearing me out and feel free to drop by my blog some time.

  3. Zom says:

    Yup to Pillock, that is.

    I do have the issue in front of me, the panels are on the page where Nix Aotan and Metron (spelling?) are scanning the DCU with Nix’s monitors – a double-page spread given over entirely to montaginess! This is in the context of a series that is almost given over to montages. Jog’s “panels of pure meaning”.

    I do understand the difficulty you’re having with that Batman business. I commented days ago in our FC post over on Mindless Ones as it’s probably the best example of the tensions I poin to in my comment above. As I’ve said, Morrison is clearly trying to ground the mythic component in some recognisable humanity, just like Moore did with Smax in Top Ten, and to a greater extent in Promethea – he’s attempting to create, possibly for the first time, a cosmic crisis that doesn’t feel stale and cold and completely lacking in resonance and poetry. One which gels around individuals because while anti-life is cosmic on scope its effects are best described through characters. But, as I have already recognised, this approach does lead to some tricky situations in that he risks undermining his efforts to hit that mythic pitch. The Batman scene works for me because while we’re not dealing with the a certain strain of iconic Batman, we are dealing with Morrison’s strain of iconic Batman, or JLbAts, as I like to call him – one that I can buy operating in a kind of superposition: both mythic and human. It’s a trick fans of Morrison’s JLbAts got comfortable with a long time ago.

    As for Morrison customising mythoses (is that even a word) to make them work his way, well, yeah, you kind of have to go with that, but I grant you that in some instances it won’t work for fans of specific characters*. The thing is, and I know this is taking liberties, most of us don’t know much about Hawkman – all we do know is that he reincarnates and has an ongoing love affair with Hawkwoman.

    *And in others it will, probably more often than not. Morrison has a powerful track record in this regard

  4. Zom says:

    No, that’s not stubborn, that’s just a statement about the kinds of things that I enjoy. It’s equivalent to saying I’d rather listen to 10 tracks by Phillip Glass than 1 by Wagner, because, you know, I would. It’s pretty hard for me to get my head around what’s stubborn about that. Note that I’m not saying I’m going to like all 10 failures, just that I’d rather have people out there attempting the kinds of things Morrison’s attempting with FC, than have people out there churning out what I consider to be comics with very little in the way of ambition outside of servicing the Marvel brand, and wanting to look like telly.

    It’s also worth pointing out that my reaction to FC is nuanced. I’m not simply saying it is good, you must like it or be doomed to an eternity in a hell of wrongness.

  5. I think the essential difference here is that pillock, Zom and I are looking at FC as the work of particular creators, and a work in itself, rather than as something that has to fit into a preconceived category of ‘event comic’. We’re talking about the actual story that Grant Morrison and his collaborators are telling, rather than about marketing decisions and branding, which have less than nothing to do with the aesthetic merits of the work itself.

    “Grant Morrison is using mythic versions of the characters… except for Batman.

    The Batman we see in Final Crisis is the version Grant Morrison created. Why is this the case? Why is there an exception to the rule?”

    He’s using the versions of the characters that best suit the story he wants to tell, as every comic creator working in shared-universe comics does.

    “Wait a minute. So Grant gets to not only choose what versions of the DCU characters he wants to use, but also whether he wants to ignore continuity because it’s not important?”
    Yes. There’s no such thing as ‘continuity’ in superhero comics, and never really has been. Every comic creator picks and chooses those elements from previous stories they wish to keep…

    “saying that her dying would solve that problem and turn her into the woman he wants her to be is just selfish and (altogether) out of character.”
    It’s also not what he says. He says *he* would rather die, in the hope that in the next life they’ll be together…

    “If that odd moment were part of a montage of other characters, that might even work, but to my knowledge (I don’t have the issue in front of me), this was not the case.”

    It was. It was on a double-page spread with similar scenes involving Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, Metron, the Green Lanterns, Supergirl, the Marvel family and about a dozen other characters.

    As for your list of things that the reader ‘has’ to do to enjoy the series:

    “1) ignore that it has no impact on comics ”
    Why should what is or is not happening in a totally different comic affect one’s judgement of this one?

    “2) not look for characters that are actually in the comics but instead accept Morrison’s ‘mythic’ versions of them”
    Yep. Morrison’s version of Superman is different from Geoff Johns’ is different from Mark Waid’s is different from John Byrne’s is different from Jerry Siegel’s…

    “3) not read the other minis… except for Superman Beyond… but it’s late, ”
    Read them or don’t, as you will. I’ve read some of them, and not bothered with others. None of the ones I’ve read have actively contradicted anything in this story as far as I’ve noticed.

    “4) read Mister Miracle because it ties into this series but it’s the only comic that does”
    You don’t have to read Mister Miracle at all in order to understand Final Crisis. It obviously ties in with it, but you can read either without even knowing of the other’s existence and not miss out.

    “5) accept any inconsistencies (characters acting strange, plot threads ignored, coloring issues… etc) as intentional and operate in the form of metaphor rather than fact.”
    No-one’s suggested doing this. I’ve not seen any internal inconsistency in characterisation (if you’re talking about inconsistency with other comics then that’s the same point as point two). When you’re six issues into a seven-issue story, you should expect there to be unresolved plot threads. And the colouring problems have affected four pages out of 192 so far.

    The fact is, you’re not actually criticising the comic as a creative work in itself, on its own terms. You’re bringing a whole host of ideas about what an ‘event comic’ ‘should’ be to it, and then saying it’s no good because it doesn’t fit into that preconceived box. Zom and I are both looking at what the creators are attempting with the work, and whether that’s a worthwhile thing to attempt, and to what extent they’ve succeeded. “It doesn’t fit in with a different comic by different people doing something different” is not actually a criticism of the comic, and may well even be a point in its favour.

    There are many actual relevant criticisms that can be made of Final Crisis as a comic, none of which, in my view, make it a failure, but could reasonably do so in the eyes of others. But you’re not making those criticisms. To go back to what I was saying in my first comment on this thread, the questions that should be asked are “How far does the work succeed in realising the intent of the creators?” and “To what extent is what the creators intended worthwhile?”

    You’re asking, instead, “To what extent is this like Millennium or Bloodlines or Armageddon 2001?” and criticising the comic for not being like them. That’s just unreasonable. I went to see the musician Richard Thompson a few days ago, and do you know, there wasn’t a single laser battle on stage the entire time? Just a bloke singing and playing guitar… what a terrible show!

    Saying Final Crisis is “a terrible comic” based not on the actual contents of the comic but on the contents of some other, entirely different comics, and on its dissimilarity to those, is on that level of criticism…

  6. dailypop says:

    Andrew, I am not saying that at all.

    I have pointed out several failings in the book itself both on a creative level and on the level of actual craft without bringing in other comics at all. I have also (because I was asked) explained why the series fails as an event comic to which the reply now is ‘that’s okay, it doesn’t have to be’ which does not add up.

    What you are suggesting is to actually divorce Final Crisis from what it is and instead view it as an art comic of some sort, which does not fit at all. At its heart, this is a super hero comic book about guys in tights beating the hell out of each other.

    What has been established is that in order to accept this series as not being a failure, I’d have to extend several liberties to the work itself and accept that it’s operating on a metaphoric level. This is not something that Morrison states this in the work, it’s instead something that you are bringing to it as a reader. I understand that, but it has nothing to do with the book as being what it actually is, a major comic sold as an event book.

  7. dailypop says:

    In re-reading your blog post, aside from several plot points I can’t actually spot any statements on what Final Crisis is about other than a love story and it’s about the nature of reality.

    But I’m also more confused than ever as to why you said this in your blog entry: “And in the same way, Final Crisis is the quintessential superhero crossover” and “-at its best this is a comic that actually makes a big cosmic Everything Will Change Forever crossover something worth reading for the first time since… well, ever.”

    I’m assuming that you changed your mind on the series given that you are now charging me as saying that Final Crisis should be some big explosive event comic and that I’m wrong for doing so.

    I’m curious to know what you actually think Final Crisis is really about, if you wouldn’t mind explaining.

  8. pillock says:

    I’ll be pleased to check out your blog, Dailypop…well, I popped in the other day, but it was just for a minute…will be checking it out in more detail soon!

    Now, as to all this…you know, I think I’d say what you’ve done is not simply point out failings: you’ve pointed out some failings, and then proposed some other thing as failings. Batman, for instance: you propose that Batman acts out of character. Zom and Andrew point out that Morrison’s been writing Batman for a while now, and his actions in FC are in character with that Batman.

    This should properly put you in the land of “well, Morrison’s Batman was also out of character”, correct? And then you guys just disagree about whether Batman ought to change or not. In that business I’m pretty neutral — I’ve had to sit still for loads of character changes I hated over the years — so it just seems to me like it’s a fine distinction that is all about what your ideal Batman is like. And my ideal Batman was pretty much drawn by Jim Aparo: he’s not even in this discussion.

    On crossovers: like I said, I hate crossovers. I’ve liked three: Crisis, Invasion, and Millennium. Everything else I hated, unless it was something like the Avengers/Defenders War, which doesn’t actually fit your definition of a big crossover at all. (Neither does Secret Wars, by the way…and possibly even Crisis doesn’t fit. Secret Wars II and Invasion both do, though.) So that’s where I’m coming from. But, have to dash at the moment — late for a coffee. Back in a bit.

  9. dailypop says:

    … you drink lots of coffee, dude.

  10. pillock says:

    Too much, I know. Still, anything to keep the heart beating.

    So…like I was saying, you’re basically saying “this is a flaw, this is a flaw, this is a flaw, and that’s why it sucks”, and Zom and Andrew are saying “well, that’s a flaw I’m prepared to overlook, this other thing I don’t actually think counts as a flaw because I think it was adequately explained, and the last one’s something I don’t care about at all because as far as I’m concerned the real flaw is doing that thing…and that’s why it doesn’t suck.” And then you’re saying “how can you say it doesn’t suck, seeing as how it’s got all these flaws?”

    The problem is, there’s incommensurability here: they don’t see any value in event comics being all “event-y”, and you do.

    But I don’t think that necessarily closes the door to a critical discussion. What’s Morrison trying to do, what’s he trying to say? I don’t know. But if FC flows out of Seven Soldiers, it’s probably about the same things as Seven Soldiers…which was, you know, very metaphorical, for all that it was about super-types punching each other! Much as I like action, I don’t think it’s at the heart of super-stories, at least not if it’s just by itself…action’s central, but only because it’s a way of gaudily expressing interior conflicts, externalizing them into Depression-Man’s battle with Stoical Boy, or whatever. It’s all Lord Of The Flies, really: only Morrison likes to fold in meta stuff about superhero comics themselves, too, where the villains represent the same thing as we do in the Coyote Gospel, the imprisoning of zippy symbolic freedoms inside this big edifice of drain-consume-recycle, and it’s all a polite fiction, Superman’s just a corporate logo, Batman’s just a costume…a book’s just a plot, an event’s just a way of shuttling money from a little bank account to a big bank account, and the things the superheroes are supposed to stand for, well, they’re just bullshit. But then the heroes swoop in and kick this interpretation in the ass, and set the reader free from all that crap, put him first again, him and the hero, and the purity of the representation/relationship that makes it worth participating in to start with.

    So…it could be about that?

    Think I better switch to beer, now…

  11. Holly says:

    At its heart, this is a super hero comic book about guys in tights beating the hell out of each other.

    So featuring anything other than this, Dailypop, makes it “some kind of art comic”? I must admit I’m astonished by this notion. There’s nothing intrinsic about comics as a medium or superheroism as a genre that means it has to be all tights-and-fights all the time. We’re used to that, but that doesn’t really mean anything; it’s like saying all silent films have to be funny because all the reels you have are Buster Keaton movies.

    You’re entitled to think that way of course, but it’s no reason to hate people who like Metropolis or Nosferatu even though those movies, admittedly, feature very few jokes or people falling down. And the people who like them might well be confused at your judgement of failure here, though I think you’re having a hard time seeing why they’re confused because they can see your perspective easier than you can see theirs… I get the impression that a lot of comics fans do say the things you’re saying here, so Andrew and Zom and Plok might well be used to that, but I don’t read many comics blogs because I don’t read many comics. And a big part of the reason I don’t read many comics is that in large part they are soap-operatic intertwined tedious storylines that depend on a long and obsessive reading history of that entire “universe” and a relatively hefty monthly budget for new comics. In large part you get what you want, it seems.

    I don’t, but I did happen to read the first couple of issues of Final Crisis (I went to the comics shop — good wife that I am — those particular weeks, and needed something to read on the bus home) and I enjoyed them. I didn’t care about continuity or consistency in character portrayal, because I don’t know enough to have an opinion on those things. I was just hoping for something fun to read that would hold my attention on the bus. Final Crisis managed that. You’d be surprised how few comics do. Guys beating the hell out of each other, tights or no, doesn’t do that for me.

    Maybe you don’t care about the tastes of a sporadic comics reader who’s never going to appreciate the intricacies of your soap operas, but hopefully it at least serves as anecdotal evidence that there are other kinds of comics readers out there; there’s Zom and Andrew who, like Plok said, either don’t care about the flaws you see or don’t see them as flaws, and there are also people like me who don’t have anything to say about the supposed flaws one way or another and are just hoping that enough will be explained within the book they’re holding to get anything out of it at all.

    And both these kinds of people can think Final Crisis is a success. I don’t think anything said in these 60+ comments is going to change your mind about it being a failure, but I hope you at least see that it’s possible to think it’s perfectly fine, without having to take these liberties and make all these concessions that you claim you’d have to.

    Because it’s possible to let go of what you think “event comic” has to mean. It’s possible for Final Crisis to be “arty” (which I guess in this context means anything more intellectually demanding than fight scenes?) while still getting marketing hype as an event comic. If calling something an “event comic” will sell a few more issues — and I suppose it does — then anything big will get slapped with the title, surely? Even if you buy it (because it’s an event comic) and hate it (because you don’t think it’s worthy of the name), they still have your pennies in their pocket so who cares?

    Plus — and I say this as somebody who’s deeply resentful of most literary criticism, after dropping out of an English lit degree — guys in tights beating the hell out of each other?


    Don’t you think at some point, somebody’s going to get interested in unpacking that? Somebody’s not going to want to take a step back and think about what it means that this is normal and expected, especially when any deviation from tights-and-fights causes such consternation in the minds of fans such as yourself? I mean, anything people feel that strongly about is damn interesting to me. The hidden assumptions, the implications, the scores of questions it brings up… if I were a comic writer I’d be dying to convey some of this in my work. And my favorites, especially Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, are my favorites precisely because they can take a step back, play to the strengths of the comic medium (it’s really good for this complicated meta stuff) rather than writing, as Zom says, things that look good on telly, and still keep it interesting on the level of sheer story. It’s an admirable feat, and they make it look easy. I don’t see this as a bad thing, a thing worth derision and scorn just because it might be something other than guys in tights beating the hell out of each other.

    If that’s all you’re after, go watch pro wrestling. It’s nothing but tights and fights.

    I’d have to … accept that it’s operating on a metaphoric level. This is not something that Morrison states this in the work, it’s instead something that you are bringing to it as a reader. I understand that, but it has nothing to do with the book as being what it actually is, a comic sold as an event book.

    I’m sorry but you’ve tweaked all those dormant English-major parts of my brain here. Grant Morrison is not going to write you a letter on the first page of the comic telling you it contains metaphors. He might not even say it in interviews or whatever. That’s okay. in fact most of my professors would say that’s a good thing. I would too. The most demanding works, from the Dickens and Shakespeare (who also didn’t tell me they might use metaphors but left me to figure them out myself) I read in school to the lowbrow science fiction novels I read for fun, do not lay everything out in a childlike “this happened and then this and then this…” way but instead offer layers of meaning from the straightforward to the symbolic and abstract, because symbols, metaphors, matter a lot to our pattern-recognition brains. All good art is metaphorical, allusive. A piece of music or a painting can elicit emotions and ideas in this same way. They resonate with our particular memories and emotions and personality in a way that makes the reader (or viewer or listener), when calling these things to mind, an active participant rather than just a passive consumer.

    Those who’ve tried this participation via metaphor in the works that leave space for the audience to include itself agree that it is satisfying and rewarding in a way that brainless “…and then this happened and that’s all” art never manages. Yes it’s great to have fluffy undemanding books and movies sometimes, but it’s also great that not everything is just fluff, that we can demand more from our art as it demands more of us.

  12. dailypop says:

    Holly, you introduced the word ‘hate’ here, not me. I’d like to avoid that if possible. It kills any hope of open communication.

    Final Crisis is a not an art comic, which is my point. For any aspersions to greatness that it may have, it is about guys in tights beating the hell out of each other.

    I never stated that I demand all comics to be about guys tights beating the hell out of each other. In fact I pointed out that Civil War (a series accused as being both stupid and pointless) is actually about something. Super hero comics can have a deeper meaning. You’re inferring that I have this stance that comics can only be one thing for some reason, possibly the same reason you’re seeking to vilify me in some way and give a face to the anonymous mass called ‘fanboys.’

    I am merely trying to remind people that Final Crisis is at its heart nothing more than guys in tights (etc). How the series is stretching beyond that restriction has yet to be touched upon at all, just that for some reason Final Crisis special. I’m not saying that it cannot explore ideas beyond the accepted restrictions of a corporate super hero comic, merely that it’s not.

    Unless I’m not understanding their points, Andrew, Zom and Pillock have stated that they enjoy Final Crisis by both ignoring the flaws and the fact that Final Crisis does not succeed as either a marketing event or as a major event comic (despite the blog post by Andrew stating that FC is the quintessential event comic… both Zom and Pillock even accept that it may be a complete failure, in fact). That’s a major ask of the readers and not one of reading comprehension, as you are suggesting. Stating that dislike of something is a failure on the readers part on account of the reader’s ability to comprehend complex ideas is both insulting and does not serve the purpose of furthering conversation.

    I’m not sure what you thought to accomplish in implying that disliking a comic you enjoy is a failure in the reader aside from making those who like this comic book feel better. In any case, I don’t think it’s a good practice and again kills most chances of open communication. If I enjoy Peter Greenaway films, for instance, and you don’t I would not say ‘well you’re not seeing the deeper meaning in the film.’ You might just not like it. Or it might (shock) be a bad Peter Greenaway film.

    To expect your reader to look beyond the flaws and also accept that they are reading a comic book that makes up its own rules as it goes along is not a successful comic at all. If you enjoy it, I’m not going to step on your toes and say that you are wrong for liking it. Comic books are, after all, another form of escapism. Alluding to other works rather than explaining what the series is doing or even accomplishing does not support the statement at all, actually.

    Stating that a work does something ‘worth doing’ without defining what that is is not an explanation of worth but instead one of opinion. That’s fine, but this quality of ‘doing something worth doing’ has taken on the role of justification.

    Also, I stated that my annoyance is directed at the work and not the readers earlier, Holly, so I’m not sure why you seem to be feel the need to direct hostile statements at me.

  13. Holly says:

    For someone so seemingly distrusting of metaphor you seem keen to point out all kinds of things I implied or you inferred, a bewildering array which I hardly recognize as my own thoughts.

    I am not a reader of this work. I don’t really care if you are annoyed with them or not. I am not here to defend those who like it, because they seem perfectly content as they are, so I’m not putting down “readers who don’t get it” in order to boost their egos, much less mine, because i am not a reader of this work. Nor am I saying that people who don’t like it are just failing (there’s that word again! and not from me) somehow; some people just don’t like things. There are all kinds of worthy things in the world that I can’t stand; I don’t find that particularly interesting or significant to me or to the things.

    I don’t want to vilify you or anonymous masses of fanboys, I don’t know or care much about that stuff either. I used the word “hate” about imaginarily intolerant silent-film fans (and in the middle of the word “whatever,” my browser’s find function helpfully adds); I don’t think that kills communication. But I’m not really here to further conversation either. I don’t think there’s much to be had here, because like i said nothing here is going to change your mind or anyone else’s. I don’t think you’re wrong for not liking it, but I do think there’s enough of a disconnect between you and this other lot here that, well, I’m regretting sticking my oar in. (It was that line accusing Andrew, or someone, of bringing stuff to the book that got me, it just cracked me up.)

    You talk about success and failure by some metric I don’t really understand; not financial, not artistic exactly, but… democratic? It’s not up to some expectedly mutual expectation? You might think the terms of success or failure so obvious you don’t have to explain it, yet sadly this is not the case; maybe it’s because I’m not a comic person but I’m dense and I need things spelled out. But these guys talk about what they like and dislike, their actual tastes, rather than what anything “should” be. And…never the twain shall meet, I suppose.

    I wrote a lot more but, thankfully perhaps, lost it before posting. I’ll just leave it here, trying to correct some misapprehensions about what I said and reassure you that I’ve no desire to vilify anybody or be hostile.

  14. *Sigh*

    For a start, ‘dailypop’, you’re the *only* one in this thread who has used the term ‘fanboy’ or who has dismissed other people’s views. I also don’t see a single ‘hostile’ statement in Holly’s comments.

    “Unless I’m not understanding their points, Andrew, Zom and Pillock have stated that they enjoy Final Crisis by both ignoring the flaws”

    As everyone enjoys *every single piece of art created by any human being ever* while ignoring the flaws. No-one is there to hear Kane’s last words in Citizen Kane. John Lennon misses a note in Hey Jude and mutters ‘fucking hell’ into the microphone. The rat in Talons of Weng-Chiang looks rubbish. Robinson Crusoe strips naked, swims to a shipwreck and fills his pockets.

    The fact is that the only flaw in the comic *as a comic* (as opposed to ‘flaws’ that have to do with your own preconceptions about what it should do, or ‘flaws’ that are not flaws at all) that you have mentioned is a colouring mistake in a handful of panels. If that’s the kind of ‘flaw’ that stops you from being able to enjoy something, then I can’t imagine what art you *do* enjoy…

    “and the fact that Final Crisis does not succeed as either a marketing event”
    I, and I strongly suspect Holly, Zom and pillock, give about as much of a shit about ‘marketing events’ as I do about… no, in fact, I can’t think of a single thing in the entire universe that I am *less* interested in than corporate marketing strategies. I certainly don’t judge creative works by the extent to which they aid a multinational company’s marketing…

    “or as a major event comic (despite the blog post by Andrew stating that FC is the quintessential event comic…”
    *Sigh* Despite me explaining this over and over and over again you seem singulatly unable to grasp a remarkably simple point. I am judging this comic *as a comic in itself*. Not in terms of what ‘impact’ it has on other comics. You are the one who has failed to make a case for why said ‘impact’ should matter in the slightest.

    When I referred to it as ‘the quintessential superhero crossover’ (not ‘event comic’, a term which you brought to the discussion and then applied to me, in much the same way that you brought up ‘fanboys’ and then claimed Holly used it) I very specifically said it was in the same way in which All-Star Superman is the quintessential Superman story. *NOT* in that it is entirely typical of the genre – neither a typical Superman story nor a typical superhero crossover would be worth reading – but in that it takes a lot of the cliched, worn-out elements and reuses them in ways that restore the original power of the ideas. I stated this, very, *very* clearly.

    “I’m not sure what you thought to accomplish in implying that disliking a comic you enjoy is a failure ”
    Not one person here has said that. *YOU* are the only one who has *EVER* implied in this thread that those who don’t agree with your judgement are in some way deserving of contempt, and while you apologised for your wording, you don’t get to pretend that other people have done something wrong that only you have done…
    Plenty of people whose views I respect (Jog, Chris Bird, Dick Hyacinth, for example) have said they don’t think this series (or one or more issues of it) is very good, and I wouldn’t dream of saying they are ‘failing’ at anything. I disagree with them, but they’ve got valid points (well, Jog has. The other two haven’t stated their reasons, but nor have they acrively and vocally argued about it, and I know their writing well enough that if they *did* argue about it, I suspect they *would* have good points)

    “If I enjoy Peter Greenaway films, for instance, and you don’t I would not say ‘well you’re not seeing the deeper meaning in the film.'”
    On the other hand, you seem perfectly happy to dismiss the opinions of those who do see something that you don’t in a work by saying “Nah, it’s a terrible comic.”

    Let me explain some things to you very clearly and simply, for the very last time. It is *fine* that you do not like the comic. No-one here disputes your right to dislike Final Crisis. No-one here is trying to persuade you to start liking it. You’re the one who has turned up and started trying to persuade other people that something they like, that they think is very good (in the case of myself and Zom) or at least potentially interesting (in the case of pillock) or a pleasant way to pass the time on a dull bus journey (Holly) is ‘terrible’. If you want to persuade people of this, you need to have an argument.

    So far, the only argument that you have used – and it is literally the *only* argument you have used, over and over and over and over and over again – is that Final Crisis ‘fails as an event comic’ because of a lack of ‘impact’ on other comics. Not one person in this thread cares about that, or ever will. It has *no relevance whatsoever* to the qualities of the comic itself. The Falstaff in The Merry Wives Of Windsor seems very different from the Falstaff in Henry IV parts I and II, and Merry Wives doesn’t ‘impact’ on the historical plays. Guess what? Plenty of people still think Shakespeare was a quite good writer.

    If you want to argue that Final Crisis is a bad comic, feel free to do so *with reference to the comic itself, not to your preconceived ideas about it, and without imputing any bad motives to those who disagree with you*. Otherwise feel free to shut up.


    Got that?

    Good. As you were…

  15. dailypop says:

    Andrew, I pointed out several precise errors beyond the coloring problem. I have spelled out the exact problems in the actual comic from characterization to narrative to plot and even the art.

    I cannot understand how you are missing this, but I appear to have upset you again and for that I apologize.

    The only reason I ever brought up the failing of Final Crisis as an event comic was on account of the direction of analyzing the comic’s purpose (something that I have not seen addressed other tan ‘it’s doing something worth doing’). How Final Crisis is both the quintessential superhero crossover while also being above the trappings of what that means makes no sense to me.

    Nearly all of the flaws that I see in the comic in the form of the creator’s craft were addressed as being unimportant. Zom, Pillock and yourself stated that you accepted some of them yet chose to look past them all. I don’t have any problem with this, but it effectively shuts down anything I can say because it will be met with statements that it doesn’t matter. Final Crisis is something more. How is this series so special?

    “On the other hand, you seem perfectly happy to dismiss the opinions of those who do see something that you don’t in a work by saying “Nah, it’s a terrible comic.””

    A statement I apologized for saying after you chided me. And you have yet to define what Final Crisis is doing that is so new.

    Holly, I’m completely confused as to what to say at this point as you’ve stated you don’t enjoy comics and also have no interest in criticism.

    And now I’m also unclear on what “You’re entitled to think that way of course, but it’s no reason to hate people who like Metropolis or Nosferatu even though those movies, admittedly, feature very few jokes or people falling down” meant. If it’s not a parallel to my hating people who like other things, what is it? This is where my perceived hostility came from and if I misunderstood that I apologize but if you could explain the point of the statement I’d appreciate it.

    “Even if you buy it (because it’s an event comic) and hate it (because you don’t think it’s worthy of the name), they still have your pennies in their pocket so who cares?”

    I do not dislike Final Crisis simply because it fails as what it was sold to be. That short-coming is simply the tip of the iceberg for me.

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  17. dailypop says:

    At this point I’m hating the ‘sound of my own voice’ on the subject and explaining my view over and over. I have made my argument (after you asked me to), pointed out my side of things and was met with ‘well, those things don’t matter actually.’

    You then ignored all of my criticisms and the fact that you even addressed each them in the same post by saying that I have not criticized the comic itself. It’s all right there! If there’s any frustration in my posts, I hope you can understand the reason for that now.

    I wish I had ignored your follow-up post after I had initially said I was done entirely.

    This is just going around in circles so I’m closing the book on it on my end.

    As you were…

  18. pillock says:

    Now I’m pissed. Dailypop just said

    “The only reason I ever brought up the failing of Final Crisis as an event comic was on account of the direction of analyzing the comic’s purpose (something that I have not seen addressed other than ‘it’s doing something worth doing’)”

    And that is SUCH BULLSHIT, because I JUST GODDAMN WELL FINISHED WRITING HIM A BIG LONG REPLY ABOUT THAT! Hell, it wasn’t even my first run at it.

    I’m not a towel for you to wipe your hands on, friend; and you do not get to call that a graceful exit. I find the summary “I have spoken clearly, only to have my words twisted, asked questions only to be greeted with silence” tactic very off-putting; actually, the words are all still up there on the screen, and I can read them for myself, thank you. Surprisingly, they do not show you being very clear and direct and plain while the rest of us shamble around not getting it, they show you stubbornly repeating that no one is listening to you EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE, nor addressing your points EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE. This is actually fairly insulting; why am I wasting my time composing all these replies if you’re just going to ignore them and then accuse me of not replying? It’s the sort of bad-faith argument you see on the message-boards. EXPLAINING your view over and over is something you have not done; you’ve only been INSISTING on it. Not fair play, to say now that it’s WE who’ve been guilty of that. Because we haven’t.

    The words are all up there for anyone to read.

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  20. ‘dailypop’ you have *not* ‘tried walking away’. Rather you have *said* you are ‘walking away’ and then immediately come back and said the exact same things you already said. You have insulted myself, my wife and my friends, you have tried my patience and you have continually failed to address any points that have actually been made to you. I gave you two options – “If you want to argue that Final Crisis is a bad comic, feel free to do so *with reference to the comic itself, not to your preconceived ideas about it, and without imputing any bad motives to those who disagree with you*. Otherwise feel free to shut up.” and you chose to do neither, but instead to claim to be hard done by because your utter failure to address anything anyone else had said had not miraculously changed everyone’s minds, and because some people had the temerity to actually disagree with you.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to let this drag on any longer. Your most recent comments have been marked as spam, and any further comments from you will be dealt with the same way, unread.

    You’re behaving like a drunk bore in a bar, who interrupts a group of people having a conversation and says “You’re talking shit, mate”, and even though we’ve been polite to you and actively encouraged you (up until relatively recently) to join in the discussion, your arguments have never gone beyond “No, but you’re talking shit”.

    You’re adding noise to the discussion, and nothing else. Please just go away and leave me alone.

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