Posted by: Brian Hibbs on March 11, 2007
I felt fine again on Friday morning, but by noon or so I wilted again. Spent a couple of frustrating-to-Jeff hours in the store trying to catch up on stupid-mundane tasks (like refilling quarter boxes and starter sets), but then went home and collapsed again for like another 16 hours.
So far today I’ve had a full day trying to just get caught up on losing 3 days of work (and, really, being a small business owner who is locked into a 7-day cycle because of product release, that’s a big big big loss of time), even at 80% capacity, so I hope you’ll forgive me for just talking about one funny book.
Which will be 52 week 44
It’s fairly rare these days, content-wise, but I agree with nearly every word Graeme wrote below about 52, and I’m sorta freaked out that there’s only 8 issues to go, and we can be pretty much guaranteed that at least 3 or them will focus nearly-exclusively on the Black Adam thread and “World War 3”. Wolk’s 100 item list not-withstanding (and seriously, proabably half of it falls into “ok, not really important” land), there’s a LOT of stuff that needs to come to a head/be resolved VERY VERY SOON, and I can’t possibly imagine that there’s room enough to do it in, given the WW3 thing.
At the very least, I absolutely INSIST on proper closure on anything that’s COVER-FEATURED (which would specifically include #5’s “how did all of the space-based people get better (eg Hawkgirl being a giant), and wtf happened to them in the first place, anyway?”) during the run.
I do not think this will happen.
I am especially mad at week 44 because it, as Graeme pointed out, resolutely tears down everything since week 12 or so we’ve been told about Isis. It’s not “wow, they killed a character I’ve grown to love (“against all odds”)”, it’s “wow, that’s a big plothammer, and doesn’t jibe at all with what we were told all the way through this”
You know what’s funny? 52 was largely posited on 4 discrete threads: Steel, Booster, Ralph, and Question/Montoya. Steel’s thread was 4 issues, max, and they probably gave us the equivilant of 8 issues worth. Ralph was handled “just about right”, though Wolk’s History of the Wishing Gun will always stay with me. The Question thread has gone on way too long “Who are you?” “Good Question.” isn’t a sustainable narrative (I think it’s fair to argue that Cowan and O’Neill could really only sustain it for 24 issues, really — the last 12 aren’t half as strong; and the less said about Quarterly, the better, really), which leaves Booster and the connection to time travel and maybe somehow that links up to Oolong island and Doc Magnus and all that too, which has (between both threads) the thing I think most people have been digging on the most… but we almost never see those threads.
COUNTDOWN is in a curious place. If they IMMEDIATELY learn from the mistesps that 52 has made — if it’s more HEROES than LOST, to mix media — then it could possibly fill all of the promise that 52 doesn’t look that it is going to. But I have my doubts. I read somewhere, I think, that COUNTDOWN has been planned for a while, but didn’t initiate as a year-long weekly. That it was the success of 52 that caused them to expland it. So I fear, that, just like 52, they’re going to take what’s maybe 20-30 issues worth of content, and vamp it out over a longer period.
The market REALLY REALLY wants a weekly comic, actually — it just wants one with WEEKLY beats and meaning.
I’m unconvinced that any individual, or group of indivudals, can hit 52 week-to-week beats. Not without being mental and/or stuffing a gun in their mouth when its over.
Parenthetically, our preorders to date for COUNTDOWN are slightly less than half of our preorders for 52. This can (AND DOES) change dramatically as we get closer to release date, but it is a worrying sign.