Friday, April 20, 2007

Salt Lick

Comments like this make me angry:

I bought WWIII because I thought it would give me some answers on what happened in OYL.

I bought all of Infinite Crisis, Identity Crisis, all of 52 so far, and will probably buy all WWIII garbage too.

Then my collection of how DC went into the toilet will be complete.
So let me get this straight, he bought World War III because he wanted to get answers to continuity questions, then complains that it's nothing but answers to continuity questions? And somehow that's DC's fault? It makes my head hurt!

First off, it's hard to say DC is "going down the toilet" the same week they release The Spirit, Manhunter, and The Brave and Bold, and a week after they put out All-Star Superman. They clearly can and do produce quality books. And one can't fault a company for releasing books like this when "fans" buy them no matter what; fans more interested in accumulating facts about fictional people's lives than in reading, y'know, good stories about characters.

If this disgruntled fan truly didn't approve of this material, why did he buy it? It seemed clear that WWIII was always going to be what Jog calls Gonzo Continuity Porn, moments of explanation without context, subtext, or meaning of any kind. That's why I didn't buy it, (and from what I've read, I'm glad I didn't. Thanks, BB!)

Continuity, to me, is the by-product of having ongoing characters in a shared universe setting turned into its own form of communication. Sure, continuity's great, if it enhances a story, but it's not a story in and of itself. It's like salt, a flavoring, and WWIII is a salt lick.

Fans like this guy are addicted to salt, asking for more and more until the original flavor of the story is buried under the same seasoning. Then they complain that everything tastes like salt and their blood pressure is too high. Yes, DC's going to keep giving you salt as long as you keep buying it, but they offer healthy alternatives. In fact, they really, really want you to try their healthy alternatives. So it's just not DC's fault when you have your heart attack!


Anonymous said...

Sometimes, tho, it's not commenters like that making me angry as the realization that DC and Marvel's marketers seem to aim primarily at those readers. At the very least, I'd like to see them take advantage of that sort of readers into revenue-generators to pat for nurturing the next few Manhunters to success.

Unknown said...

I loved World War III! Maybe because I love Continuity Porn and I am not ashamed. But I am not like that guy, I love stuff like World War II and won't turn around and complain about DC giving me what I want.

SallyP said...

I...I liked WW III. It did what it was supposed to, answered some questions, gave me Martian Manhunter, whom I am quite fond of, and had lots and lots of violence.