Hello friends. It's a new day here with the Virgin Read. Why is that? Well, we've got something happening here for the first time that has never happened before--and it's not about Sadie Hawkins this time.
This week, I delved into Final Crisis. I figured--why not? I found the Black Panther/Secret Invasion crossover enjoyable last week, and I wondered if Final Crisis might just be the same sort of romp through the DC side of things. And, you know, Grant Morrison has his name on it. People love this Grant.
Here's the thing folks: I just got to page fifteen--that's fifteen out of thirty pages--and I've had to read seven storylines, and I was about to turn to page eight.
You know what?
I don't care to go on.
That's right, I'm not finishing this comic book. Halfway in, seven storylines already in motion from previous issues, more that I'm supposed to keep track on--there isn't even an attempt to speak to a new comic book reader. Oh no! This Final Crisis is elitist! And...I'm offended!
I realize that this sort of staging of large crisis thing gets the entire DC Universe involved, and it's designed to increase sales. It's supposed to have all sorts of spin-off stories and storylines. I "get" it. Hey, I hated Secret Invasion the first time I read it, but I gave it another chance with one of it's spin-off stories and totally enjoyed myself. I'd only read the first issue of Secret Invasion--so sure, that was a little weird for me. But this is well into Final Crisis now, isn't it? Why is it necessary to have so many storylines IN ONE BOOK? I thought the whole POINT was to have several other comic books for people to buy.
Oh, and if this is supposed to increase and widen their audience, then give us a chance for Pete's sake. Half dead German speaking superheroes? Three Shazams? (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know he's NOT Shazam. He's the Flash. But he looks just like Shazam (okay, whatever, "Captain Marvel) from the CBS Saturday morning show on back in the 70's:
Remember? "ShaZAM!!!" Oh, or "ooooh Mighty Isis-Isis-Isis-Isis-Isis..."
Loved that head piece. Still do. Can I sport it, ya think?
Seriously. THIS is who I am. This 1970's superhero television show is my frame of reference. You don't want to clue me onto your story any better? You don't even want to give me a recap at the beginning of your comic? Well, then I'm not going to hang on and finish reading your G.D. comic book, just to be fair. Because you not what? It's not fair.
With so much to try and keep up with and figure out (as cool as the art seemed on the first page, with panels that are making up one whole picture, I was still totally confused as to who was where and what was happening), when I storyline came along that I just might understand, that I maybe could get invested in--Clark Kent at Lois Lane's bedside, unable to leave and be Superman--I just didn't care anymore. Instead, I felt quite resentful. Maybe even angry. Here I am, trying to follow this, trying to get into your world, and you aren't even trying to come into mine--the world of the new comic book reader.
So, although I don't usually do this--in fact, I've never done this--I have an official ruling for this issue of Final Crisis--if not all of Final Crisis. And that ruling? It loses. It's "guilty." Guilty of being a book for a select group of people who know a lot about comic books and all their little devices (alternate universes, multiple versions of the same hero, so on, etc.) that a new reader doesn't know, or can't understand at first. It not only isn't appealing to a new reader, but even succeeded in repelling one.
-Nina Stone, 2008