I need to update my media firewalls

I was avoiding the latest Secret Wars, but upon learning that it was set up on an universe created by 616's Doom (somewhat more resiliently than the last time he did that), I picked it up.

Big mistake.

In this re-created universe, where Doom is god, etc, etc (although in a relatively, for Doom, relaxed way), you know who's Doom's queen? Susan. And you know how Val, the head of Doom's Foundation, calls him? Father.


Hickman's Doom is one of the smartest, most driven and interesting versions of the character, but his brand of psychological issues is very, very unnerving. He's not just, or mainly, trying to get revenge on Reed. He's so focused on unseating him it's positively juvenile. He admires Susan, but he doesn't love her (one of the things that, well, dooms Doom is that there's nobody in the world he loves or he's personally loved by, hence his cult of personality in Latveria, which would otherwise be beneath him: why would Doom care for the opinion of the lesser?), and even if he did love her he's no Namor. He just wants Susan because she is Reed's (not how either Reed or Susan would put it, of course, but that's a different and parallel crazy of Doom's).

Reminds me of Luthor on his worst days, so focused on proving he's better than Superman at Superman's thing that he becomes a lesser version of himself as Luthor.


Something I posted about four years ago

There have always been ill-considered reboots. There will always be. They are annoying.

But they are powerless. They are no longer their characters. They are nobody's, everybody's, ours. They are ideas, symbols, aspirations, and hopes --- they will outlast corporations, and are as liable to copyright as mathematics and love.

Stay calm. It's just a class-2 ontological emergency. The Justice League is on the job.

Something I needed to remember. (Not that the fact that this becomes relevant every year or so hasn't turned darkly hilarious.)


Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #41

I know I sound like a broken record, but dammit, it's good. It's good sci-fi, it's funny (I want Rodimus to lead the Justice League and the Avengers), and nothing and nobody is safe.

New life rule

If the issue zero of DC's latest attempt to concoct a flimsy excuse for random x vs y fights, this time an hyper-Brainiac who put stolen cities in domes somewhere outside to universe and will have heroes fight to the death for their survival, is titled Domesday, then you know the thing is hopeless, and you might as well wait until the fights are over and see what happens then.


On Daredevil's latest costume change

Never change, Matt, you beautiful insane person.

He has either the best or worst secret identity management skills in the business.This has lead to some of his friends suffering, but, to be fair, this also happens a lot to his more secretive colleagues. In a world full of cameras and databases, there's much to be said for the open, humorous approach.

I mean, can you imagine Clark Kent doing that? Granted, he has much more powerful enemies, and it wouldn't be compatible with either Superman or Clark's public images as they currently stand — you can't really be Superman (I thought about using words like "the world's most beloved superhero", "iconic", etc, but, no, the right phrase is "you can't be Superman", which is both all of this and more) if people know you have a day job and lived in Smallville, USA. Hell, the US would reinstate mandatory military service just to get to give him orders.

So, really, there are practical issues to this idea. Bruce could be an open Batman more easily. He breaks the law every night, but have you seen his lawyer pool? If Luthor gets away with trying to take over the world every other week, Wayne would definitely get away with saving people all the time. Plus, most of his big enemies already know who he is, so that cat (pun not intended) has left the bag.

But Bruce, professional trinity-level badass that he is, doesn't have the kind of godlike power Clark does. Nobody particularly wants to use him, either as weapon or for propaganda; if anything, they'd like him to go the hell away.

The Multiversity: Ultra Comics 001

You have to give Morrison his due: he has a vision and he's running with it with unshackeable consistency and attention to detail. Granted, this doesn't always lead to an enjoyable comic, but he seems absolutely willing to go to whatever depths of inanity his story might lead him, and us, to.

Morrison, Moore, even Miller (within very different intellectual traditions, of course) — there's something about being a really successful comic book writer that seems to lead to violent meta-narratives. It can be clever, and sometimes fascinating, but it also feels sterile. Quoth Tolkien, he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.


*laughs at himself*

Apologies for the minor obsession.

  1. Hickman showed us a Justice League analogue in the Marvel multiverse (and then Doctor Strange killed them).

  2. Given the nature of an infinite multiverse, if you have a Justice League analogue, you have all of them.

  3. So you have all possible variations of the Justice League... and all possible variations of the Crime Sindicate.

  4. Including ones in which Owlman succeeded.

Occam's Razor: Who killed the multiverse by destroying a single Earth? The guy who figured out how, said he would, and built the bomb to do it, that's who.



Going by the released images, post-Convergence Batman is going to wear a small-sized mecha suit (complete with shoulder-mounted missile openings) and, I swear I'm not making this up, a gun.

I can't bring myself to believe that even DC would rise to this level of insanity (it makes Az!Bat positively traditional), so this has to be somebody else than Bruce Wayne. Damian has powers, and League of Assassins training and preferences in any case, Dick's been using guns but he wouldn't be a guns-using Batman, ditto for Tim, Jason loves guns but he'd neither use a suit nor be Batman, not really, we know it's not Barbara from leaked covers of insane!"Batman" "targeting" her, Cass needs neither a suit nor guns. Maybe somebody out of left field like Jason Bard. Or maybe it's a robot instead of a suit; Hiro could easily build one, and in fact built a suit for Bruce in one of the recent futures/continuities/whatever (I think Earth 2 after the first invasion from Apokolips), but not with weapons.

I don't know. It's just too insane to get angry about, although, frankly, the last reboot is where DC lost me as somebody investing any canonicity in what they publish. Using Bloom's agonistic critical framework, it's too aesthetically weak (mostly from a character point of view) to win against what they have published previously — being published later doesn't make it more authoritatively, regardless of what DC might commercially need. (E.g., recent versions of Shiva are so generic and uninteresting that they don't even *begin* to compete with, say, the Shiva from The Question.)


Rereading East of West

I've mostly given up on liking Hickman's Everything Dies arc for the Avengers — the overall architecture and mythology has gotten too baroque, with comings and goings and Mapmakers and Builders and Alephs and oh my — but when he gets the chance to delineate an universe (partially in his S.H.I.E.L.D. covert takeover of MCU history, and more fully in his separate work, like Pax Romana, Secret, and East of West) he's probably my favorite (among the well-known) conceptual writer in comics these days. Warren Ellis is better, I think, at SF-ish aspects (e.g., weird-seeming but actually true details, together with self-consistent but tight extrapolations of the fantastic premises), but Hickman's flair for creating interesting universes, and the way he comes up with phrases that feel like blueprints for self-aware weapons (in the positive sense of the metaphor), is quite remarkable (when it doesn't get away from him and he ends up building a Rube Goldberg universe).

(Wow, am I parenthesis-happy tonight.)


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