Sunday, November 25, 2012

Who Knew the Spectre Would Grieve So Much for the Flash?

"Who Knew the Spectre Would Grieve So Much for the Flash?" from Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 (DC, 1985) by Marv Wolfman, George Perez and Jerry Ordway
I'm sure there were those who felt your pain, Spectre! I personally wasn't terribly unhappy with the original Crisis doing away with 50 years of continuity (such as it was), probably because I didn't have that much invested into it. By then, I'd been reading a few DC books, occasionally, for what, three years? So I guess I was like one of DC's new New52 readers, coming to DC at a time of change to see what they'd do with it. Of course, I don't think the original Crisis was as subtractive as the Flushpoint. While a few properties were torn asunder and rebuilt over the next few years (Superman and Wonder Woman, most prominently), the loss of the multiverse meant tons of extra-dimensional characters moved to the mainstream DCU, so we gained far more than we lost. It creates a world that with heroic tradition going back decades, same as the publisher's comics themselves. I guess I'm trying to articulate why I don't have the same sense of excitement about the New52. Instead of expanding, the world and the timeline have collapsed. And this time, I DID lose a universe I felt I'd invested in for some 25 years. So I'm blaming in part on my mindset, but DC's strategy is still lacking. Crisis was a celebration of what went before; the New52 is a condemnation of it.


  1. Another point: Crisis was about the universes it was doing away with/changing (as was Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis). It was a story that let us say goodbye to the old universe while introducing us to the new.

    The nu52 did none of that. Flashpoint took place entirely in some other timeline, never seen before or to be seen again. Not a single moment took place in the universe that was to be done away with. The reboot was handed down arbitrarily in the last couple of pages. It was perhaps the biggest case of "tell, not show" ever, and it felt disrespectful to the old universe, as if they felt it didn't deserve a proper send-off.

  2. Exactly right, Snellster. Exactly right.

    Where was WALLY's big sacrifice?

  3. I agree so much, that I can hardly articulate it.

  4. Back to what you said about only reading DC comics for a few years, I had been reading DC books since the 60s--bought them from a vending machine and was surprised when the books went from twelve to fifteen cents--so COIE was a big thing to me. The other thing was that specialty stores here were fairly new, so we all had discussions of various panels, all the heroes together, the introduction of the Charlton characters on Earth-4, etc.

    That said, I never had much investment in Wally West as Flash. I agree that certain characters like Stephanie Brown and Donna Troy need to be seen again, as well as Wally. Anyhow, I loved the hell out of COIE. My Flashpoint issues have long been in a garbage dump west of Chicago.