§ May 5th, 2005 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

I’m about halfway through Marv Wolfman’s Crisis on Infinite Earths novelization (I would have normally plowed through it by now, but I just haven’t had much readin’ time lately)…and, well, if you haven’t read the original Crisis comic book series, I’m not sure I’d bother reading this book. It’s more supplementary than stand-alone. I have absolutely no idea how someone new to the material would be able to get through this, with all of its constant references to Earth 1 Lois Lane and Earth 2 Superman, and oh, here’s Uncle Sam from Earth X, and Batman and Robin are fighting the Turks, and here’s the Speed Force, and there’s Solovar from Gorilla City…it can be rough going even for the initiated. The fact that most chapters are incredibly short sort of adds to the disjointed feel of the story.

I do appreciate Wolfman’s revisiting of what may be his most successful comics venture, adding in more background details and whatnot to the original story. It’s just that so far, it’s not really adding up to a good novel.

This Legends of the DC Universe Crisis special works much better as a supplement to the original, I think.

And this next bit isn’t a criticism of the book…I just get thrown off a bit when I read references in the Crisis novel to “cell phones” and “The Simpsons,” since there’s a little voice in my head that says “hey, those things didn’t exist in the mid-1980s” — which is of course when the comic series was originally published.

And that reminded me (along with pal Dorian’s recent thoughts on the topic)…if we take the “20 year” modern hero timeline (as established in Identity Crisis) literally, and if the DC Universe comics being published today take place in 2005, that means the modern age of superheroes in the DCU started in the mid-80s. Weird, huh?

Speaking of revisiting, Batman: Dark Detective #1 (featuring the ’70s Batman team of Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin) came out this week. You know how nice it is to read just a plain ol’ Batman versus the Joker story? One that isn’t tied into some huge ongoing metaplot I don’t have any interest in? One that’s fun and brightly colored and doesn’t have Batman come across as a socially maladjusted nutcase? One I might even be able to (gasp) sell to kids?

It’s very nice, indeed.

Speaking of selling comics to kids, he said overusing that transitional device, yesterday pal Dorian and I had a nice contrast:

– A schoolteacher came in looking for graphic novels for her high-school age students…she ended up buying several Hellboy graphic novels. Yes, I explained the concept of the books to her, and she thought they sounded like a lot of fun.

– Dorian helped some parents try to find comics for their kids, and apparently they turned down the Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures digests (the ones based on the cartoons, mind you) because they were “too violent.”

It really makes me wonder, sometimes. (Though I do hope the teacher doesn’t get any grief for supposedly “promoting Satanism” or some nonsense like that. This is in an area where one of the local elementary schools has a dragon as their mascot, but has trouble using any image of a dragon on their materials without being accused of sacrificing babies to Beelzebub, or something equally stupid.)

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