The title of this post, please note is "The OMAC Project, summaries, and spoilers" not " The OMAC Project: summaries and spoilers." I will be talking about the concept of spoilers, not spoiling the story of the OMAC Project (which was surely spoiled by bad writing, bad art, and a horrifically mangled structure, which I will talk about).
I bought Identity Crisis because Joss Whedon wrote the intro -- I was right in the middle of watching the complete Buffy and Angel box sets and figured if it was good enough for Whedon it was good enough for me. It wasn't great, but as I have said before, Metzler has a unique dexterity for handling a large cast, which is why I am now getting his JLA run. I got Infinite Crisis a few weeks ago, out of guilt. It was a total mess, but I still kind of enjoyed it in a guilty pleasure kind of way; I wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a good book, but I have to admit I had fun reading it.
One of the things I liked about Infinite Crisis was the totally ridiculous structure that led into it. Identity Crisis was a murder mystery. In the course of that mystery a secret, unrelated to the murder, got revealed. That secret set into motion the OMAC Project, a five issue miniseries roughly centered on Batman and led into Infinite Crisis. Five other miniseries led into Infinite Crisis as well: Day of Vengeance (about magic), Rann-Thanagar War (about dudes in space), Villains United (about the bad guys), JLA: Crisis of Conscience, and Superman: Infinite Crisis. (Forgive me, those of you to whom this is old news). I just like how nuts that is, so I picked up the OMAC Project just to see what one of the lead-ins looked like.
Here's the thing: the five issue OMAC Project miniseries had to be interrupted, in the trade, by the fourth part of a four-part plot that ran through three Superman books and concluded in Wonder Woman, so you could follow the whole thing. Not good planning, obviously. Before the trade jumps into this Wonder Woman book it stops to summarize the first three parts, so you can follow the fourth, so you can understand the OMAC Project miniseries. This is what struck me: reading the summaries was exactly as interesting as reading the trade I was holding in my hands.
People have remarked, not necessarily kindly, that I am too dramatic in my reviews. But in my thinking, either a book has a unique quality and so it must be read (Steampunk), or it is so bad it has to be experienced to be believed (X3), or it is a book like this, which you can easily capture in a summary. And if you can summarize it and it is exactly as good as reading it, then it is crap, and should be cast aside. I think for a lot of folks books like the OMAC project are mediocre; for me it is horrible.
This is, by the way, why I am not that touchy about spoilers. While I understand wanting to be surprised by twists, and how that surprise is part of the experience which is lesser without it, I also know that if revealing the end spoils the story then it was not a good story to begin with. Most of us knew who killed Janet Leigh in the shower and why before we saw Psycho and we knew what "rosebud" meant before the end of Citizen Kane. And we watched and liked those movies anyway because they are good movies. When spoilers come up about contemporary stuff I just put myself in the position of someone from the next generation watching a classic for the first time, who is expected to know the end already because the thing is so famous and so good.
Except for LOST. Spoil LOST and I will hunt you down.