Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Crisis Counseling With Devon...2004 (Updated!)


Have you read Identity Crisis #1 yet? You should. I, like, wrote an review of it, like, a year ago.

Scip Garling of "The Absorbacon" fame says I predicted a "crisis" nearly a year ago. After reading this week's JLA #119, you tell me. The following is taken from an aticle I wrote for "Thor's Comic Column"...October 24, 2004!

[Lex] Luthor was right: a Crisis IS coming.

Let’s start with just the little things. Things that suggest that in 2005, the writers and editors are either taking characters into forbidden territory because
they know it will all soon be fixed or simply stalling, waiting for…something.

Batman’s “urban legend” exposed on TV and a total breakdown of relations between the Bat-Family and The GCPD.

Dick Grayson’s gradual mental unraveling across several titles.

The impending return of Hal Jordan.

The “Birthright” revision of Superman/Luthor’s origins, penned by Mark Waid, to be more in sync with television’s “Smallville”.

The new “any era goes” format of the Justice League book.


But those are just changes in atmosphere. For months now, there’ve been actual clues of MAJOR changes in regards to DC Comics’ superhero universe. Staring us in the face (slapping us, even!) are clues pointing toward a revamp that will allow:

Total redemption for mass murderer, Hal Jordan with an eventual return as Green Lantern.

A revivified Legion that is both more in tune with its origins and more new reader-friendly.


A DCU JLA more in tune with the animated Justice League Unlimited, with the icons at the center and every other character still “on the board”

Culminating in the perfect opportunity for an event of Crisis-like proportions, only this time keeping what works and fixing what doesn’t.

Mark my words…it’s all prefaced and foreshadowed in 1999’s Kingdom #2 and brought together by the events of by The Teen Titans/Legion Special. (Both written by one Mark Waid.)

The final page of The Kingdom #2 shows a pre-Crisis Golden Age Superman searching for a door between the universes. The Golden Age Superman wants his world back, be careful what he wishes for, he just may get it...someday.

“For all he’d done, he deserved Heaven...not prison. But now, at long last, he knows this isn’t the jail he once believed it to be. Now he knows that there’s a DOOR. There’s a door, even if he’s not going to use it. Not TODAY, anyway.”

Have you read JLA #119?

Meanwhile, 1000 years in the future (Teen Titans/Legion #1), the LSH are dislodged from reality when they confront “some other force out there... something that’s POUNDING against reality." When all’s said and done, the Teen Titans are returned a decade after they first left where we find the former Superboy is now Superman ten years on and wearing a very Kingdom Come Superman-ish costume. Could that “pounding against reality” be the Golden Age Superman wanting in to our reality? If that pounding has effected the 31st Century, could the editors have it headed for the 21st Century as well? (...we all know that as The Legion goes, so does The DC Universe i.e. Crisis or Zero Hour, anyone?)

Speaking of the “Kingdom Come Superman”, think about his ‘return’(Superman/Batman #2) with a warning for “our” Superman, “I’m you. Years from now. I’ve come to STOP you. I know you’ll THINK you’re doing the right thing --- but you’ll be WRONG. You’ll only wind up killing them all. And you’ll be all alone.” Throw-away comment by Loeb or something else?

Another “omen of the apocalypse”: the appearance of the Crime Syndicate (originally of Earth III), amongst the first victims of the Crisis. In JLA Secret Files 2004, the Crime Syndicate’s Johnny Quick is shunted a year or more into the future only to be jettisoned back, proclaiming, “It’s gone! All of it---IT”S ALL GONE! …there was NOTHING THERE! The WHOLE UNIVERSE---GONE, DESTROYED! There’s NO FUTURE---NO FUTURE AT ALL!

If you can’t believe a wild-eyed Luthor or juiced-up Johnny, how about Mr. Mxyzptlk’s visit to Superman in July’s Adventures of Superman #630 to warn him of the upcoming events of 2005? He’s stopped from telling Superman everything by “the rules”; what kind of rules could restrain Mxyzptlk from doing anything? Editorial ones, I’ll wager... In Mxyzptlk’s own words:

“HUSH! The ZERO HOUR approaches! There will be a CRISIS on Earth! Time will need Ritalin, it’s gonna be so HYPER! And a WAR, Ohhh, there will be a WAR, so SECRET that YEARS will pass before it CONCLUDES! A DARK age is coming, my friend, that shall CAST you into a NO MAN’S LAND of DESPAIR!”

Could this be the beginning of a new reality? An “entry-verse” similar to Marvel’s Ultimate Universe? One where classic characters and stories are re-imagined for new readers with little to no knowledge of DC’s vast continuity, more in the spirit of Cartoon Network’s Justice League Unlimited cartoon? One where The Legion Of Superheroes could actually make sense and be popular? Could the new Legion of Super-Heroes title be our first glimpse into this new continuity?

Am I on to something or… am I on something?

Read JLA #119.

28 comments:

Jeffrey said...

Wow, sounds good. But goddamnit, I won't be able to get any new comics till this Friday or Saturday here in Australia on account of some shipping screw-up. Bloody hell. I appreciate the lack of spoilers for JLA by the way.

Ariel said...

Devon, you are f'in brilliant. This is an amazing analysis...we are not worthy!

This has me chomping at the bit for Infinite Crisis...

Bart Croonenborghs said...

Not interested in normal DC continuity but the Golden Age Superman Invasion thingie sounds like a very solid and worthwhile premise to base Infinite Crisis on (and well timed with the release of their Showcase-phonebooks). If it sounds and smells like a good idea ... Well, let's hope it's execution is well handled and readable.

btw, nice blog, keep up the very entertaining work (black hand meets giant man thing *snicker*).

naladahc said...

I think this jives more or less with what Dan Didio, Geoff Johns, and others have said for about a year.

Your inclusion of the Kal-L is the first time I've seen that though. Then again, I tried to forget Kingdone Come.

Shane Bailey said...

I never thought of that. Nice work.

Brian said...

Wait a minute...

So we're talking Golden Age Superman, of the planet-pushing, sun-extinguishing, god-smiting variety?

Whoa.

Jeff R. said...

No, the Golden-Age Superman was of the building-leaping, locomotive-stopping, bullet-racing mold. Considerably less raw power than the Silver Age superman (and, as hard as god-smiting and sun-extinguishing are, have it's fairly easy to get kids hooked on planets...)

GA superman is, of course, character-wise even less the sort of person who sets genocidal space-wars into motion just to distract people than Hal Jordan. And besides, if he knows where the door is, why would he keep pounding on reality a few years (or a few centuries, depending on how you count) later? So if it's Kal-L's body we're talking about, it's probably the Ultra-Humanite's brain inside.

Devon said...

Jeffrey:

I try and live a "spoiler-free" lifestyle.

Thanks all.

Bambos said...

The pre-crisis Superman and The Kingdom stuff here is BRILLIANT. If it turns out to be true or almost true: cool.

If not, it's still really smart.

Iron Lungfish said...

An entry-verse like the Ultimates? If that's what DC's aiming for, then why set up the All-Star line? Why bring back multiple earths and multiple character versions at all, which would just confuse new readers? No, this is the preparation of the opposite of an entry-verse: a nostalgia-verse, designed to keep pre-existing readers buying in increased numbers while finally giving up on the possibility of promoting a new readership.

Look who's running the show: Johns, Morrison, and Waid, Silver Age fanboys who've spent a good chunk of their careers reviving discarded continuity and hauling out mothballed characters and concepts. Look at how it's being done: through a massive companywide crossover, an event that's extremely unfriendly to garnering new readers but very successful in getting current readers to buy more books. Look at how long the event is stretching on: first there was Identity Crisis, then Countdown, then the five minis and the dozens of tie-ins, then Infinite Crisis, then a "One Year Later" event promising massive character changes across the line, then a year-long 52-issue weekly flashback series explaining how those changes took place. Do you really think this is going to end there, that whoever ends up behind the various masks after Infinite Crisis is going to stay there forever? Of course not - fans are going to hang on to see how long it'll take to see things go back to normal. That's ultimately what they're waiting for, after all. And in the meantime each change and event has been for the benefit of long-time readers, not newbies who don't have a clue who Blue Beetle or Sue Dibny are, much less what Earth-2 or Hypertime ghosts are.

This is the age of the eternal crossover - the truly infinite crisis. Get used to it.

David Campbell said...

Devon wins.

Drew Bittner said...

I'm betting that Infinite Crisis will pull the ultimate reset on the DCU, reestablishing a lot of the pre-Crisis status quo.
- Lois and Clark, married? Gone. (And by extension, Lois knowing Clark's secret identity.)
- A GCPD-friendly Batman? Already gone.
- Grim and gritty as the overriding paradigm? Per Waid, going, going...
Yup, there will be changes. After the dust settles, I think the DCU will be a lot stronger for it.

Spencer Carnage said...

Its like I keeping telling everyone... they're bringing back the multiple earths so they can sell more toys. Because really, there are only so many Hush toys you can sell..

R Greene said...

C'mon... Hush plushies aren't even out yet!

Marionette said...

Are you on to something?

Maybe. But any time you rely on Jeph Loeb's work as a basis for continuity you're on shaky ground. I'm not going to believe he's being all clever and subtle until it turns out that moronic, battlesuited, drug-taking, Supergirl stalker Luthor is not the same person as the Luthor found anywhere else but Loeb's writing.

Dave Lewis said...

Man, that red caped figured that faces J'onn at the end of [i]JLA[/i] has a lot more significance to me now, Devon. Right or wrong, it's a helluva theory and some great deductive reasoning on your part, sir!

Dave Lewis said...

You called it, man.

(Ok, so he's not the villain, per se, but...)

Mark said...

Devon, the one error you've made would seem to be the Johnny Quick statement; it is a reference to the events of JLA/Avengers where the Crime Syndicate's universe is destroyed. That's backed up in other statements in the JLA arc. Other than that... good stuff! And besides, JLA/Avengers consequences could very well be a part of the Infinite Crisis.

Joch said...

Man you called it mate!!! good job!

Jeff R. said...

Still more questions than answers. If Kal-L knew where the door was, why did he have to break through the barrier? And if he's been behind it up 'til the end of #1, then who was at the Watchtower? [Maybe it's the Earth-1 supes that's the villian? Or at least involved. My villian guess is the Earth-1 Luthor-Braniac team at this point.]

The Doc said...

I just read Infinite Crisis yesterday, and although you may not have been 100% correct in your predictions, I kept going, "Wow, Devon mentioned that a year ago!" You are an inspiration to me, sirrah.

Axel M. Gruner said...

Sounds creepy...

“HUSH! The ZERO HOUR approaches! There will be a CRISIS on Earth! Time will need Ritalin, it’s gonna be so HYPER! And a WAR, Ohhh, there will be a WAR, so SECRET that YEARS will pass before it CONCLUDES! A DARK age is coming, my friend, that shall CAST you into a NO MAN’S LAND of DESPAIR!”

turns into...

“HUSH! ... ZERO HOUR .... CRISIS .... HYPER! ... WAR, .... WAR, ... SECRET ... YEARS ... CONCLUDES! ... DARK ... CAST... NO MAN’S LAND ... DESPAIR!”

Hush?
Zero Hour?
Crisis?
Hyperwar?
Secret Years?
No Man's Land?

Scipio said...

"I'm not going to believe he's being all clever and subtle until it turns out that moronic, battlesuited, drug-taking, Supergirl stalker Luthor is not the same person as the Luthor found anywhere else but Loeb's writing."

Read Villians United yet, Marionette...?

Dave Lewis said...

Devon -- A thought:

The Kingdon ultimately proved to be rather significant in the long-run, even if Hypertime has essentially been discarded.

However, I dimly recall there being a baby or a Superchild who was given over to an older, Superman-like figure, perhaps Superman's actual heir, who was going to be something of Hypertime's guardian. (Is this sounding at all familair to anyone else?)

While the walls of CoiE crumble with the return of G.A. Superman and The Kingdom is made more significant, might we not have a new candidate for the red-caped Watchtower destructor using the Superman teleportation tube...?

Anonymous said...

Let's see.

Kryptonian, Powerful, Unknown in current continuity but looks familiar, From the Crisis.

Sound like anyone we know?

No, HE is on camera and we know where HE is. HE was in limbo for a long time and we saw exactly when HE broke out. But, still, a RED CAPE.

Supergirl of Earth-1, on the other hand, maybe not so dead after all. Maybe kinda annoyed no one knows who she is. Maybe enough to drive her crazy. Maybe the villian used Hypertime voodoo to resurrect her. Maybe gonna fight Power Girl.

Devon said...

Dave:

I totally forgot about that character. It very well could be but if it is, it'd be sort of a let down, IMO.

John said...

ok, IC#2 non-spoiler cover art shows Power Girl. Spoilerized version shows E2 Superman, E2Lois Lane, Alexander Luthor, and EPrime Superboy, with Power Girl up front and center (ahem)(does she have a super-backache at the end of the day?). Why her with those 4 ? See comment in IC#1 on next to last page, panel 4: "...we can even save her." Spoiler Guess follows:
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Power Girl is (in some convoluted way) E1Supergirl.

John said...

Oh yeah. And my guess is that the big death in IC is going to be Bruce Wayne, who then becomes the bestest ever psycho Spectre, Spirit of Vengeance, to darken the doorways of the DCU. Bruce is already pretty steamed at being mindwiped, he is responsible for the creation of the OMACs, which could serve as very handy agents of retribution, he was nearly killed by Superman ("what, me, a person of mass destruction?), he's become, as some comics writer put it, "pretty much of an a*****e", and Dick and/or Tim seek absolution for their recent screw-ups by taking the on the cowl, to be a better, more O'Neil/Englehardt, cool kind of master detective rather than the brutal Rorschach kind of obsessive he's become (he shows up at the JLA/JSA Thanksiving dinner unshaven, and likely quite aromatic) (gee, he's a get-a-life at heart!).