A confession: I'm vaguely more depressed about the impending deluge of Countdown to Infinite Crisis commentary than I am about the title itself. I mean, I know it's likely going to be a terrible, terrible comic. Then again, I'm not planning on reading it; no glutton for punishment me. But the commentary will be a pain to avoid. Lots of blogs over the next few months are going to be in this race to craft the most righteously indignant post about it; hey look, we're off to the races already!
And not that I think that the book deserves better, but still...I mean, everyone writing these posts and damn near everyone reading them knows the book will be lousy. I can't imagine anyone buying this book in this post Sue Dibny world is under any illusions as to what they're going to get. No one is performing a public service here. This is simply dogpiling on the weak, though admittedly a weak book that is really asking for it. After a point the critical spectacle gets somewhat depressing. It's the blogging equivalent of bear baiting.
By way of comparison, and this is really a terrible comparison, mind, but it fits to me. So bear with me. There was this Steven Segal movie from his early days--Out for Justice or Above the Law or Straight to Video or somesuch--that climaxed with Segal beating up a fat man. And yeah, the guy was a drug pusher or some other variey of scum/villainy, but at some point during this agonizingly long fight scene--maybe the fifth or sixth minute of this (so-called) Aikido master kicking around this helpless fat guy--I realized: watching Steven Segal beat up a fat guy isn't very entertaining. What's the fat guy going to do to Segal? Wheeze at him? It's not like he could defend himself. The only drama was seeing if coronary disease would kill him before Segal. There was such a mismatch between force and target the whole thing just felt sad. Sordid. Moreso, even, than your typical Segal flick. Which is saying a mouthful, trust me. If you're going to put the man down, just put him down already.
This whole Crisis business tends bring out the worst Segalian tendencies of the blogosphere. Which should, I think, give us pause. The mismatch between the book and the vitriol just seems so, so....I mean, look at this. And I know that ADD tends towards the excitable. But even so. You'd think the book was written on human flesh rather than merely being the millionth bad comic to be published during my lifetime. You'd think the book was in his house kicking his puppy. Guy, ease back already. It's just a bad comic. Stop killing it, it's already dead.
Which is not to say that I want some kind of moratorium on bagging on the book. I just want it done with some panache. I do like me some snark. When done well (which is why this is largely snark free; I know my limits). You want to use a bad comic for comedic fodder? Fine. Hey, I sat through a whole lot of Turkey Days; I'll go dumpster diving for laughs. But I just don't want to feel dirty when I come back up, you know? I want Tom Servo; I don't want Tom Servo screaming obscenities at me.
And in my defense, regarding my admitted Segal watching: I was young. And this was the Dark Age of the kung fu media scene, at least as such existed in central Wisconsin. After Sho Kusugi, before Rumble in the Bronx. My options were Segal, Van Damme, and, shudder, Jeff Speakman. Under the circumstances, I can only plead ignorance.