Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Countdown #44-38: I meant to review them, but....

Let me start by clearing up something from my last review of the series.

It was pointed out that I may have forgotten that Jason Todd and Donna Troy were accompanying one of the Monitors because of their own personal connection to the problem. Both Jason & Donna come from different realities/universes than the one in which they currently reside. According to the majority of the Monitors their existence threatens the multiverse, so they should be eliminated by any means. Honestly, I did know this from reading earlier issues of the series, but that misses the point.

In my usual ham-fisted manner I was trying to show that there was no explanation for their being together or with the Good Monitor (GM) stated in the course of that particular issue. It shouldn’t be necessary, especially in a crossover event like this, for the reader to keep track of every plot device. A good writer (and I don’t hold Paul Dini, who is supervising this whole thing, solely responsible) would find some way to put this information somewhere. As The Tony Isabella often reminds us, every book should be accessible to a new reader. That is what turns the new reader into a returning reader, if done correctly. Back in the Silver Age this was done in most of the books and aided the casual readers in understanding the DC & Marvel universes a bit better.

While we are on the topic of not knowing what the heck is going on, it would be nice if the writer (or maybe an editor using a footnote) would identify by name some of the hundreds of characters in any issue. I know you can’t do this in a crowd scene, but for instance when Pied Piper & Trickster are being chased by the new SUICIDE SQUAD it would have been nice if the characters at least called each other by name so we would have a hint. Some of these folks even had dialogue, so it would not have been impossible to identify one or the other. I know that each page of ads if important and you simply must have the in-joke/name-dropping nonsense of DC Nation in each book, but still!!! How about a ‘what has gone before’ box or half a page to identify some of the characters? (i.e. That’s Bronze Tiger in panel 5, pg. 7)

Geez, I’m into the fourth paragraph and haven’t even started on a review of the books. Let’s hold off until next time, okay? Maybe I’ll be in a better mood.
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