Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Infinite Financial Crisis

Or: "Money Money Money, It's So Funny, In DiDio's World"

Okay, let me get this straight.

First there was Identity Crisis. Then Identity Crisis tie-ins - not a lot, but they were there.

Then the Johns/Rucka/Winick "Countdown" special. Which launched four "Countdown" minis - Rann/Thanagar War, OMAC Project, Day of Vengeance and Villains United. All of which would set the stage for the seven-issue "Infinite Crisis" mini.

Seems simple, doesn't it? You'd think they'd leave well enough alone.

Then they added a fifth miniseries, "The Return of Donna Troy".

Then the "Countdown" miniseries started tying into other series, some with rather significant results (ie: the Superman/Wonder Woman crossover "Sacrifice", which Rucka conveniently forgot all about until it hit the stands).

Then DC announced that, post-Crisis, all books would be leaping forward a year, and if you wanted to know what happened in the interrim you'd need to buy the weekly "52" miniseries. They also cheerfully added that Grant Morrison's "Seven Soldiers" - in itself a thirty-part miniseries - ALSO tied into "Infinite Crisis".

And now they tell us that, during the actual Crisis, specials based on the four "Countdown" miniseries will be released, concluding the various plotlines. So for those of you wondering why the minis themselves don't have very conclusive endings... well, there you go. This in spite of initial assurances that the "Countdown" minis would constitute complete, self-contained stories.

Well, they've lost the point just a bit, haven't they? I mean, as much as I despise Marvel's sleazy antics, it's times like this I'm glad I prefer them to DC. Because at least when Marvel broke down the "House of M" tie-ins, they stuck to that number. DC, by contrast, seems to take great pleasure in jerking its readers around, constantly adding more and more books to the tie-in list, while addendums and epilogues and interludes are tacked on ad nauseum. I'd be damned impressed with anyone who could keep up with it.

I wonder if at this stage DiDio has just lost control of his pet project. It's certainly looking like his much-vaunted "Two-Year Plan" was a lot more vague than he'd like us to believe; how else can we reconcile the fact that the crossover just keeps expanding, with no end in sight? Has "Infinite Crisis" become the heir apparent to those pointless, costly, sprawling and redundant crossovers of the '90s we all thought we'd left behind?

Whatever the actual merits of "Infinite Crisis", I don't think anything justifies this blatant manipulation. It's a shameless milking of the audience. Does DC seriously expect its readers to put second mortgages on their houses to follow this bloody thing (as opposed to dropping it completely and saving a bundle)?