Friday, August 29, 2008

Comics Out August 27, 2008

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond: 3D. Jog and Tim Callahan have already noted that this is not a great comic book, and I certainly concur. The 3D glasses are annoying, and the project seems to have at its basis ideas -- the Gnostic mythology of the Monitors and the creation of the Platonic form of superheroes -- rather than character or plot, always bad news. And the ideas here -- especially the limbo for out of continuity comic book characters -- are practically commonplace territory, not only for Morrison, but also for Alan Moore. And you can keep telling me about the scale of the Monitors but since you cannot show it it all rings hollow. This constant need for everything to be HUGE all the time is exhausting.

On some level I guess this is just what superhero comics are -- I mean characters save the world all the time in their own books, and then they get together and save the multi-verse in the crossovers. And I suppose Morrision knows this and it is part of why he is going to do smaller non-superhero projects after Final Crisis.


laseraw said...

that's too bad.
i could only see a 3 page preview on newsarama and it looked fantastic.

i was blown away by like the jg. jones cover and, i've followed doug mahnke since his jla run, althoug i'm not as thrilled since he's let go of dustin nguyen's inkwork, but it seems like morrison may have lost the handle of this big event ... i've liked 1 and 2, but i was only ok with 3...

however, i cant wait to read the 3d stuff ...

Timothy Callahan said...

Yeah, I think we're on the same wavelength. I liked this comic, but I don't think it's a very good comic.

In some weird way, it's kind of like what Dave Sim is doing with "Glamourpuss," minus the creepiness. Sim is just kind of exploring his own tangents and concepts and throwing out a pseudo-narrative at times, and it's kind of interesting to read, but it's not a comic I'd consider "good." Morrison has more of a plot than Sim, but it's the same kind of thing, conceptually. Although with vastly different subject matter. And it's completely different in every major way. But you know what I mean.

Unknown said...

That was actually J.H. Williams III on the cover.

speedreeder said...

Hi, I just want to chime in.
It's a so so comic, but it does have a few interesting things:
Doug Mahnke's artwork is pretty kick ass.
The Captain Adam character is kind of intriguing, he seems to be the Captain Atom/ Dr. Manhattan that would have appeared in Watchmen, had the Charlton characters been used.
MOST interesting of all this comic reads like a sequel to Animal Issues 23, 24, 25, Especially Issue 25. Except it's Superman in Limbo instead of Animal Man. Morrison's been hinting at a "Final Crisis" since Animal Man 18. (Remember that awesome drug trip issue!?!?)
I'm beginning to think we're seeing more of Morrison's breaking the 4th wall, except the monitors are writers/editors.
We'll just have to see where this story goes.

Patrick said...

I reviewed the issue on my blog, and had a similar, though slightly more positive response. I found the narrative itself rather perfunctory and sort of glossed over, in the way a lot of the weaker stuff in Final Crisis proper was. But, I really enjoyed the mindbending cosmology stuff in the latter part of the comic. It's almost a totally separate thing from the story, but was interesting enough on its own to merit a lot of thought.

What's missing from this issue, and most of Final Crisis so far, is the emotional component of GM's work. On Seven Soldiers, he had a similarly sophisticated exploration of the tropes of the superhero universe, and the evolution of the genre, but also mixed that with flat out great stories and characters. In Zatanna, the moment where she transcends the narrative universe and meets the time tailors is simultaneously mind blowing and emotionally overwhelming, the same goes for the frantic final issue which is a rush like nothing else I've read in comics.

I feel like he's going for the manic energy of that final issue in Final Crisis, but without the vast art talent of JH Williams, and the grounding of 29 previous issues, it doesn't work as well. I'm hoping it will all come together nicely in the end, but so far, I've got mixed feelings. I like it, and see what he's doing, but it's not hitting me emotionally.

Anonymous said...

New Morrison interview:

Worth a look.

Anonymous said...

Isn't much of Morrison's work more about ideas than character or plot?

Geoff Klock said...

Tim -- that is a really good analogy.

Speedreader -- yeah, I noticed the Dr Manhattan thing too. It was interesting.

Patrick -- good points, all.

Troy -- thanks.

Scott -- there is a difference between being more about ideas than character than plot, and being about ideas at the expense of character and plot.

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