23.4.09

In Your Own Words

Okay, I'm curious. I'd love it if you all could take the time at some point before . . . let's say Tuesday, to do something for me.

In your own words, explain to me what happened in either Secret Invasion or Final Crisis (or both, if you're feeling especially motivated) and what the results have been. That simple. It can be as long or as short of an answer as you'd like, so long as it's serious. It can be as adoring or as hateful as you'd like. It can become your own blog post with pictures and graphs, for all I care. I'm trying to see what everyone got from these Big Great Events now that they're over. And over long enough to establish what the effects have been.

That's it! Thanks to all and I'll post the findings Wednesday.

8 comments:

Heather said...

I am hopelessly underqualified for this, but I'll say this much - it resulted in an awesome Toy Story or two from Elwood!

I sent a link to this post to a couple of friends who love nothing more than discussing these things.

Kristina said...

Okay, so here's my answer:

Final Crisis: There was a lot of build-up about it being the day that evil won, which got me pretty excited about the book. I love evil and I love evil winning. It makes me pretty happy. I felt like maybe there'd be something in this book to scare me. Because I've not been reading comic books for fifteen+ years/or am a sucker, I still have hope for this possibility.

Final Verdict:

Darkseid doesn't like to lose. There may be issues there.
Superman loves Lois more than anyone else. When he has rage issues and ends up having to cradle Batman's corpse in his arms, I love him the most.
Bludhaven is still the asshole of DC Universe.
Nix Uoton is an interesting character, and I like him immensely.
Wonder Woman makes a really fucking scary henchman.
Superman does the ultimate Care Bear Stare.
The Flashes still don't make a whole lot of sense.
Blackest Night is going to be awesome.
Batman dealing out the headshot: Listen, he is the goddamned Batman. Once the reader gets to the part where he acknowledges breaking the rule and lifts the gun, they ought to know that Batman knew Darkseid would be able to kill him before he died. He died on purpose. Once he pulled the trigger, he became the thing that he'd put in Arkham. So he killed himself. In one interview or another, Morrison said, 'the root of the Batman mythos is the gun and the bullet that created Batman'. So it only makes sense that this'd also end Batman. Will Bruce Wayne even want to be Batman when he comes back? He covered Anthro with the cape, we all know how symbolic Morrison is. But he was also drawing a bat on the wall, which may or may not be a purple-prosey farewell letter. Let's start with the Batman is the Ultimate Emo Kid jokes already, though. Srsly, dude's got issues.

So what I got from Final Crisis? I garnered even more interest for Morrison's Ultimate DC series. Which only exists in my imagination, but come on how awesome would that be???? DC, is anyone pitching this yet, 'cause hey, I completely just did. Fucking cool.

I'm more interested in Batman, if that was at all possible. I was more interested in what a Growing Up To The Next Generation DC would do, but then they just resurrected all the old guys. And . . . and honestly, that's it. I haven't been up-to-date on a lot of DC books, due to time and money and lastly, interest in catching up on other things first. Ergh, that sentence kind of hurt. The evil wasn't as evil or as long-lasting as I'd like to see. I would've liked an event that kept everyone hanging and seperated out into issues. Follow the characters you were interested most in. Keep the evil scary and intimidating. Don't end the series by letting us know Batman's okay. But culminate again in, oh, six to eight months in a three-issue event that would've tied it all together.

I guess what I'm basically saying is, 'Hey, remember that gap between Final Crisis issues? That should've been half a year and way more orchestrated.' Not necessarily special tie-in books, but the regular books. I dunno.

Anyway. While I'm not reading a lot that comes out right now, because I think my brain is just waiting for Blackest Night to hit and Morrison to come back, I'm not seeing a lot of resonating throughout the DC Universe. I hope I'm wrong, though, because this was too much a set-up to waste. One of the reasons I asked this question was to figure out how much I should invest into tracking things down to catch myself up properly.

I'll take recommendations, as well!

Kristina said...

More on Batman: I think the whole full cycle is really cool, and knowing Morrrison's history and from statements he's already made about where he's going, it'll be something I'll enjoy. And seriously, dude has issues. They're going to be so great.

This also made me want to dig more into the Flashes, who, despite my pseudo-bosses great big flaming love affair for them, I'm generally unfamiliar with. I'm most familiar with Bart (the shaaaame) and really like what I've read of Wally from the TT and his later stuff, but I want to dig in more now that Barry's back. Which was probably a partial aim in their part. I have noooo idea where to start, though. I've got a decent 'get me through a conversation' knowledge, but nothing committed-to-memory specific.

Kirk Warren said...

SI: Skrulls invade Marvel universe after years of supposed planning (all made up on the spot by Bendis) by becoming undetectable while shapeshifted (involves magic facecloths and clones of reed richards). They're masterplan is foiled when they decide it would be prudent to have a fist fight in central park where they just give up after their queen dies in battle.

long term effects - wasp is dead and hank pym is creepier than ever by dressing up like and naming himself after her. entire dark reign stuff has very little to actually do with skrulls and there's no mention or even a single care about skrulls anymore.


Final Crisis: Darkseid dies, falls backwards in time, takes over Earth, Batman dies, Superman has an acid trip, Morrison has an acid trip, readers required an acid trip and then some vampire showed up and everyone care bear stared him to death and some other drug induced illusions happened.

long term effects - batman might be dead, but isnt but maybe sort of is. but probably not. maybe. no one else reflects a single thing that happened in final crisis and there has not been a single bit of followup to it.

Kirk Warren said...

oh, and i know you said serious answers and i kinda was being serious about both.

SI was a Michael Bay popcorn movie. Skrulls came, people fought, stuff blew up, there was no plot and then it ended with a whimper.

FC was entertaining if you were willing to work for it / have a phd in DC lore (I did some annotations of the entire event if you havne't seen it. Was in my TMC magazine back in February).

It explores a lot of topics and is more Morrison meta commentary on the state of comics and his push for an end to grim and gritty stories, so many dislike the non-standard, possibly pretentious take on an event book where they didnt get exactly what they wanted or were promised.

However, there is absolutely no fallout of it other than batman maybe being dead. No books reflect it and theyve already retconned Hawkman and girl's deaths. We might get some aftermath books in another month or two, a good 6 months after the fact, but no ongoings changed and its like the entire thing never happened.

John said...

What Happened in Final Crisis: There was a lot of extremely dramatic running around which was not reflected in any outside comic, making it feel like an Elseworlds title. I am sure that the Seven Soldiers are now not a part of mainstream DC continuity.

Results: Possible reboot of the New Gods, Bruce may be dead, Monitors come off as being about Green Lantern-level in power.

What Happened in Secret Invasion: Skrulls become the focus of many Marvel books as a culture of paranoia sweeps through the Marvel Universe. A few Marvel Superheroes get a mental reboot as they were "captives" for a certain amount of time. This is the fist Epic Storyline told in mostly flashbacks about how everything was accomplished, rather than what's happening currently, allowing peripheral books like the Avenger books to take the brunt of that.

Results of SI: Wasp dead, Mockingbird returns, Tony Stark becomes the most hated man on earth, Norman Osbourne takes control of the government ala Lex Luthor, and, while we don't see a lot of effect of the series on many books, the Dark Reign stuff flowed really well from SI and is being reflected in many books. Dark Avengers is one of my top picks for Marvel, currently.

However, I would like to say that after SI and World War Hulk, Manhattan should be as flat as a pancake.

Mike Miller said...

Ok I enjoyed Final Crisis more, but Secret Invasion was the far better executed of the 2 big events.

I’ll talk about Final Crisis first. In it Grant Morrison hits on a number of topics, parallels life and society, builds on and incorporates all of his previous work in the DCU and still manages to tell a very enjoyable story. The biggest “things that happen” are Martian Manhunter dies, Orion dies, Batman fatally wounds Darkseid and Superman finishes him off with “The Life Equation” (the direct opposite of Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation which he used to enslave reality), Hawkman &Hawkgirl die, Earth-1 gets a new Aquaman (I think it’s the Earth-5 one), batman is killed by Darkseid’s Omega beams (which trap the victim in an endless cycle of tragic life & death), Barry Allen returns, Bart Allen returns (not certain how because it happens in the as of yet unfinished “Legion of 3 Worlds” tie in), the deaths of several of the evil New Gods (including Kalibak’s death at the hands of Tawny the Talking Tiger in what may well be the best fight ever… I’m just saying), and the Monitors cease to exist.

And now we get to exactly how the execution of Final Crisis was poor. Well, for an event that has been in planning for YEARS (in “Infinite Crisis” one of the Legionnaires refers to that as “the middle crisis” indicating there will be a “Final Crisis”, throughout “52” numerous references/hints are dropped, Morrison lays the groundwork for the machinations of the evil New Gods & the Anti-Life Equation in “Seven Soldiers of Victory”, they knew it was coming ok!) the preparation from an editorial standpoint for “Final Crisis” and its fallout seems practically nonexistent. There were delays for art (and while J.G. Jones really delivered on some important spreads, Batman’s death & Superman holding his body for example, I was woefully disappointed in his inability to deliver quality work for the whole series), virtually no effect in other titles at the time or following, minimal new titles spun from it, and an entire tie-in still unfinished. When “Final Crisis” ends almost every other major DC title is in the middle of a big story arc… and so the effects of FC are nowhere to be seen... as they’d what, mess things up? Um, major change is THE POINT of a big event. And so… Hawkman & Hawkgirl didn’t die & lord knows how many other changes will simply be ignored. The changes that will be felt are the death of Batman (at least for a short bit), the death of Martian Manhunter (again we’ll see how long it sticks…), and the return of Barry Allen.

The death of Batman, hinted at throughout Batman RIP by both Dr. Hurt & the mysterious black casebook, is being felt as several bat-books are cancelled and new ones will be emerging. In all likelihood Dick Grayson will take up the mantle of Batman in the tradition of the DC legacies. On a related note thank the deity of your choice Grant Morrison & Frank Quietly are on “Batman & Robin” this guarantees that at least this title will reflect FC’s effects.

Barry & to a lesser extent Bart Allen’s return is being addressed in “The Flash: Rebirth” miniseries. Hopefully Barry’s return doesn’t spell the end for Wally West as The Flash, because Wally really “grew up” in his absence and the fundamental differences between the 2 of them make for an interesting dynamic. The most obvious difference is their feelings on lethal force (Wally is firmly against it, Barry’s police background gives him a more “sometimes it’s the only option” attitude) as this actually led to some critical confrontation between the 2 of them prior to Barry’s death in “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.

Another big failing of FC was that a lot of tie-ins were pitched as not “crucial” to the story. In fact with the exception of “Rouges Revenge” (which was excellent anyway) all of the other tie-ins (including the one that isn’t done :/) had at least some information that was actually important to the overall story of Final Crisis (especially “Superman Beyond 3D” which revealed the other big villain of this piece, Mandrak, the Dark Monitor). Honestly the whole piece would have been better served as having the tie-ins been incorporated into a 12 – 18 issue Mega-Event… but again better execution.

I really feel like DC missed the boat with spinning off of this event as well. Not only did FC not seem to happen at all in other DC books, but apart from “Flash: Rebirth” no new ongoings or minis came out of this... Aquaman? (Grant Morrison said he WANTED to bring back the old school Aquaman) Captain Marvel? (Freddy freeman had some “coming into his own” moments in FC, convincing Black Adam to join the fight and depowering the possessed Mary Marvel) how about a follow up villain miniseries? So much potential to this event, most of it will be squandered by poor execution.

Before I stop ranting and move on to SI… The Grant Morrison Ultimate DCU isn’t in your head… it’s in all of his DC work, Animal Man through Final Crisis, it all connects in little bits here and there and builds on itself and it’s a blast. For those who don’t “get” Final Crisis, I say this: Go read “Crisis on Infinite Earths” or any of Jack Kirby’s DC stuff. The ideas are just as far out there and wild and FUN as “Final Crisis”.

Ok “Secret Invasion” time. Marvel was far better prepared to deliver on its promise of Big Event Change… and better prepared to reflect the big event throughout the Marvel U. And while it was a “Summer Popcorn Movie” it was much better in its execution.

Basically Skrull religious zealots have been secretly replacing heroes and villains throughout the Marvel U for years, and while Brian Michael Bendis’ plot and dialogue sometimes got a bit contrived, the basic premise was consistent. Another big boon for SI was that the art was consistently good and on time. (much props to Mr. Yu) The invasion culminates like the last 2 big Marvel events (WWHulk and Civil War) with a giant brawl in NYC… ok, so as a result Norman Osborn gets the killing blow on the Skrull queen, on national TV. Osborn is declared the hero of the day; Tony Stark is labeled the goat & promptly blamed for everything that’s ever gone wrong in the Marvel U. The Wasp is dead (2 of the “founding member” Avengers now gone). Mockingbird is alive again.

Almost every book in the Marvel U tied in with either SI story arcs or a mini-series and while many of these books were just the same story, some at least told it very well (Avengers: The Initiative, Black Panther, SI: Thor, SI: Runaways/Young Avengers) and one even was crucial to the overall story (Incredible Hercules, where in fact the entire battle is won). 2 of Marvel’s better super-hero books were driven to pointlessness by this event however. Mighty Avengers became a flashback nightmare of Skrull origin stories and New Avengers became a dumping ground for pointless info. (or in rare cases info that would have been better in the main book). However overall it was apparent that this event was happening EVERYWHERE in the Marvel U.

Afterwards Norman Osborn is given Stark’s old job. Which leads to a whole series of Dark book spin-offs and the Dark Rein stuff, which are the aftereffects of SI affecting the rest of the Marvel U.

So there’s my take on what happened… shit that’s like an essay… see what happens when you ask interesting questions and demand serious answers ;)

PalinDrome said...

Still in Canada and don't have time to pontificate long, but I heard a great take on Final Crisis. It is basically a retelling of the Ragnarok story with DC characters. Makes you think.