Posted by: Brian Hibbs on November 1, 2007
This one goes out to Keith Giffen. You wanted snark; snark ye shall have!
MIDNIGHTER: ARMAGEDDON #1 is the latest attempt to revitalize Wildstorm, which – at this point – is soggier than a Jim Balent comic in the hands of a teenager. The imprint’s great thinkers, whose vast intellect has brought them to the state of near-collapse they’re currently enjoying, have decided that the response to widespread apathy is to tease the destruction of the universe. Don’t like Wildstorm? Good news! For fifty bucks, you can watch the whole thing get blown up (maybe)!
I guess my main problem with this issue, and with the underlying premise of this so-called event, is that I’ve already seen the blasted landscape/dead heroes/everything’s crap future. I’ve seen it in X-MEN, I’ve seen it in HULK, I’ve seen it a thousand times… and I’m tired of it. At some point, it’s become the default standard whenever anyone wants to depict a future dystopia. Oh, London got crushed by a giant spaceship! Millions of people are dead! A bunch of heroes went missing! Nobody knows what happened! Bleh. Show me a future where Doctor Phil is elected President, or where masses of defenseless humans are forced to watch hourly broadcasts of the Tila Tequila show. That’s scary.
What’s worse, there’s zero dramatic investment in this particular future. Aside from purely cosmetic changes, Midnighter’s crew remains more or less the same stereotypiriffic (take that, Mary Poppins!) cutouts they were before. It certainly doesn’t help that the characters themselves shrug off Midnighter’s apocalyptic vision with about the same lack of interest I feel when I get the latest Britney Spears update. “She got visitation rights? That’s nice. The world is doomed? Yes, dear.”
Ironically, this future-themed issue has no future to speak of: numbering aside, it’s a one-shot (there’s no MIDNIGHTER: ARMAGEDDON #2), and I doubt anyone who reads this actually believes Wildstorm is going to shake up its status quo so much. Come to think of it, didn’t we already do this Armageddon thing with Captain Atom a while back? The thing is, even if Wildstorm has the stones to actually do something drastic this time, that’s still an acknowledgement that the imprint has been so badly screwed up that only a cosmic Ctrl+Alt+Del can fix things. And, to be blunt, that’s not the sort of tactic one should rely on too often. It would be more creative and rewarding to work with what you’ve got rather than toss it all out and start from scratch… but then, creativity and reward rarely synch up at Wildstorm, if this whole Worldstorm abortion is any indication.
AWFUL. Go ahead, Jim Lee, nuke ’em all. See if I care. (Hint: Probably not.)