Two things I wanted to read but missed will be out in collections this week: Marvel Zombies and X-Statix: Dead Girl. If anyone has anything to add, comics-wise, this is the place to do it: review stuff, talk about comics news, tell me why I should be getting something. And if you don't want to know about 52 #13 -- the issue that came out August 2nd -- stop reading. I have a few things to add to last week's statement that I am not getting the book anymore.
When I decided not to get the book after issue 13, I had not yet read 13. In the issue Elongated Man (Ralph) attends a ceremony designed to resurrect his wife. He brings Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Metamorpho, and Zauriel, who are undercover as members. The imagery is cultish. The group's crimes are that they tagged a grave, and stole a ring and a dress. Ralph decides he doesn't buy into their story. They smash the fake kryponite, Green Arrow destroys the roof, Green Lantern starts blowing stuff up, Ralph assaults the leader, everyone fights, and the building catches fire.
In an interview on newsarama, the book's editor, Stephen Wacker defends what the "heroes" did: that's what heroes do. But to me -- and to the interviewer, who should be given a raise for confronting the subject head on and not backing off -- it seemed like the equivalent of finding kids playing with a Ouija Board, beating them up and burning their house to the ground. This is what I think happened: any good screenwriting guide will tell you to build your plot around "plot points," major turning points in the story. First you figure out what your plot point is -- say, the ceremony is aborted but what Ralph sees makes him a believer and he clutches his wife's avatar in rubble, nearly insane with regret. Then you then write to reach that point. The problem with this method, basically a good one, is that often times you see writers coming up with bad paths to their plot points, which they are in a hurry to reach. 52 is a great example of a badly told story, in this (and other) respects.
The best part of the interview is when Wacker gets asked if the heroes acting badly is part of a theme of the series -- in a world without Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman heroes lose their moral compass. This is a smart "out" -- they guy is really throwing him a bone here -- but Wacker denies it. No more 52 for me. (Thanks to the Futurist; this post came out of a phone conversation we had).