Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A House of M / Infinite Crisis dissection.


Ryan says:

House of M is perhaps one of the biggest let downs I've ever read (but this is only 3 years of comic reading speaking here), this thing is so slow, Bendis could have easily fitted it in 6 or even 4 issues, but then I guess they wouldn't be able to sell as many tie ins would they. The whole mutant thing they've been moving to wasn't much of a surprise either; it's something that's been recognisably wrong for a while. The whole Hawkeye thing managed to get sand in my vagina too, so the guy dies and then comes back, but he dies again essentially because he isn't any good at Tetris.

Infinite Crisis is to me the better of the two, the whole things happening in the real universe so any changes are going to be around afterwards, you'd think by now Marvel would push the boat out and do a big crossover that isn't in a 'different universe'. I love what DC has been doing, luckily the whole thing built as I've been reading comics so I haven't missed out on much, might have to go back and read the original crisis though. I only followed OMAC and Villains United, out of the four, for the past 6 months and it still hasn't interfered with my enjoyment of the story. The small beef I've got with DC is why they haven't released a list of all the issues that were involved in the story, I mean come on marvel did it on a door hang for gods sake.

But my major beef with DC is what they're doing to my characters, I came into comics reading Hush and I fell for those characters. Yet now the I'm-an-asshole-Batman I love is going to go through the crisis and change. I know that loads of other fans want him to be a little lighter but this is the Batman I've been following and I want him to be just as cynical when the crisis is over, I just hope it's handled well. But I'm all for the fixing of Superman, that line from Batman in Infinite Crisis sure put a smile on my face. The X-Men change is deserved though, the mutant thing needs to be put back into its box, just hope my favourites make the cut.

So I guess I hate the way House of M has been told, but I love what they've done to the X-Men situation. Yet I love the way the new crisis has been handled, I'm just pensive about what the characters will be like when they come out on the other side, but I guess that's just how they want me.

…and there's my two cents.
So what are your feels about them?

Sid Says:
Couldn't have said it much better than that myself.
House of M is unfortunately what we have come to expect from Marvel recently, a fairly decent idea horrifically executed. Reading an issue of House of M is akin to drinking Pepsi Max - it goes down quick enough but you are left wanting more with a bad taste in your mouth, and you wish it had a little more sugar in it.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the "twist" that the villain of the piece wasn't Magneto for once, but trying to paint Wanda as the victim is pissing me off, kill her. I don't care.

As for the Hawkeye situation, I've always liked the character, especially in the original Thunderbolts, but I really don't care if he lives or dies anymore. I quite liked his death, it wasn't hyped, it wasn't cheesy, it was very much a case of "this is how it is", even Hawkeye had that grim moment of recognition. The Internet backlash and the Bendis letter page in powers was hilarious, all these people talking trash at Bendis for killing him off, but at the same time saying they didn't think he was really dead - Marvel couldn't have bought that much publicity. I don't care if he lives of dies, but Marvel should. Pick one. Stick with it.

On to Infinite Crisis.

I love this book, I have read it like 3 times in the last week. The more you have put into this book by reading all the back story, the more you get out of it. By contrast though, even a complete DC novice can enjoy it.
I have read most of it: Villains United, OMAC, Rann / Than, Day of Vengeance, ID Crisis, Outsiders, Teen Titans, Supes / Bats etc... But I have never read the original Crisis, so there are bit's of it I don't get. But I still love it.

I have a friend who has followed the lot, he is a real DC fanboy (he has the Flash and Supes logos as tattoos for Christ's sake), he swears by the original Crisis. You only have to mention Psycho Pirate and he pop's like a girl at a Boyzone concert (who is it the kids like these days?). He loved Infinite Crisis.

By sharp contrast, another friend of mine only reads Green Lantern, missed ID Crisis and the original Crisis. He sat down and read Infinite Crisis. Loved it.
In fact, even the Internet reaction has been remarkable healthy. Yeah, a few people griping here and there but that is always going to happen, you can't please everyone (and if you could people would rip your idea off until people hated it).

There are however a few complaints / questions about Infinite Crisis, here are my solutions:

"I don't get it?" - Then read it again, the first issue is the equivalent of the first 15 minutes of a movie. Its introduced the characters and started to set the scenes. You might not get every reference and understand what is going to happen, and isn't that the point? To keep you interested and turning the page / watching the movie, finding out more and more as the story progresses.

"I still don't get it?" - Go to Newsarama, they have an excellent breakdown of what is going on page by page, what you should have noticed, what's important etc...

"Two Supermen? That's gay!" - It's all going somewhere, keep reading.

"I haven't got a checklist" - That's because if DC did one, people would piss and moan at the sheer depth of the story. It's been building for over two years, there are far too many comics to mention. Be glad you have read what you have. Absolutely essential reads are: ID Crisis, OMAC, Superman: Sacrifice and DC Countdown. But there are loads more. A full checklist would turn more people away. DC has fairly healthy trade support and we have a good back issue section.

"Mark Waid said Batman won't be a dick anymore" - That's bollocks. Mark Waid always makes Batman a dick. Check out Kingdom Come and JLA: Tower of Babel. Mark Waid is more guilty of dickifying Batman than anyone. He means, he won't be as much of a dick. Or its a cunning play on words, and Batman will be a Dick, Dick Grayson. Much rumour-mongering suggests the idea of Bruce becoming the new human host of Spectre. Which I hate the idea of and can't see them doing 7 months after Batman Begins comes out, because regardless of how good or bad it is, it won't be forever.

"Who the fuck is the Psycho Pirate?" - Dunno. I know he was in the original Crisis and remembered what happened, went a bit nuts and was in early Animal man by Grant Morrison. It seems he is in the same situation as Donna Troy - knowing all that came before, but as a villain.

"Superman hasn't really been much cop lately has he?" - No, and its awesome. The best thing to happen to his character was them giving him one. If Supes is too perfect, then he is damn difficult to write and even harder to read. His biggest flaw isn't magic or Kryptonite, its naïveté. A flaw which is all too...human (cue Star Trek end credits, fade).


In short, both house of M and Infinite Crisis seem to be a way of hitting reset buttons for the respective companies. Some characters need to be "reset" or "fixed", (most of the X line at Marvel for instance, and you can only have WW, Supes and Bats hating each other for so long before something gives. It's just DC's approach is interesting and they will do it with reverence to what has come before. Whereas Marvel will just write the line "No More Mutants" (you can't blame Bendis for everything, he has a boss you know) and let everyone deal with the fallout with no real direction for the next 5 years.

I have always been a Marvel fanboy, I have collected Spider-man for 10 years, 80% of my immense comic collection is Marvel. But right now...

Make Mine DC


Pete said...

"I have a friend who has followed the lot, he is a real DC fanboy (he has the Flash and Supes logos as tattoos for Christ's sake), he swears by the original Crisis. You only have to mention Psycho Pirate and he pop's like a girl at a Boyzone concert (who is it the kids like these days?). He loved Infinite Crisis."

Thats me, thats me!!

As stated above by my good friend Sid, I loved Infinite Crisis and have been getting a real kick out of every obscure character reference and appearance. DC has been on fire in the past few years and its great to see people not only buying their books but really enjoying them. I have always said that DC has a great pool of characters, all that they needed was the direction of a great writer. With the likes of Johns, Ruka and Morrison at the helm my point has been proven. The future seems just as bright for DC and I can't wait to read the rest of IC and see what new titles there are once we enter the one year jump. I can't think of a time that I have been so excited to read my comics on a Thursday.

House of M is a decent enough series, although it has seemed a little drawn out in places. There have been many occasions I want things to progress but not in a "I can't wait to see what happens next" kind of way, more of a "hurry up and get the point" way. I'm not really into the Marvel universe these days and I can't see that changing when the dust settles after HOM. I will keep getting New Avengers and Astonishing X-Men and that will do.

And on closing, anyone who hasn't read Crisis on Infinite Earths should. Its something I keep harping on about but its so important. If your enjoying the DC stuff your reading now then you will enjoy Crisis. Its out in trade so is easily available and if your feeling saucy the Absolute Edition is out soon. I would love someone I know to pick that up so I can look through the companion book, otherwise I can see myself picking it up and having a third version of the story.

Pete said...

One more thing, I thought I would give you the backstory on Psycho Pirate:

After being cell mate to the original Psycho Pirate, Roger Hayden received from him instructions to find and steal the Medusa Masks. Those masks gave him the power of manipulating human emotions at will. Hayden used those powers to become a supervillain, but he was often defeated by heroes like Dr. Fate, Hourman or the Spectre.

Little did he knew when he accepter Halstead's gift that he would become an emotion junkie. Even though it hurt him to manipulate people, he lusted for more. Eventually, he went mad and was locked into an assylum.

During the Crisis, Harbinger freed him to use his abilities in the Monitor's strikeforce. Unfortunately, he was corrupted by the Antimonitor, who used him to put Flash under his control. Hayden did not make it to the end of the Crisis, he went completely mad when Flash died and he was damned to be the only person on earth who remembered everything about the Crisis. He ended in an assylum.

Matt Boyce! said...

"By sharp contrast, another friend of mine only reads Green Lantern, missed ID Crisis and the original Crisis. He sat down and read Infinite Crisis. Loved it."

Im assuming ths is me, seeing as the only monthly superhero books i get are the GL ones

Infinite Crisis is good! charecter driven stuff.

Matt Boyce! said...

Also if you want a good supehero read
get Jack Staff: everything used to be black and white its only £12 for the first 12 issues thats a pound an issue!

and its bloody good!

much better than albion (which features the same line up of IPC/Fleetway super heroes)

Anonymous said...

Also visit my homepage cordyceps