Monday, June 09, 2008

Final Crisis: Grant Morrison's Interview At Newsarama

Over at Newsarama, Grant gives an interview about Final Crisis in general, but I want to pick apart where he talked about how Countdown and Death of the New Gods fail to mesh with Final Crisis.

Final Crisis was partly-written and broken down into rough issue-by-issue plots before Countdown was even conceived, let alone written. And J.G. was already working on designs and early layouts by the time Countdown started. There wasn’t really much opportunity, or desire, to modify our content at that stage.

OK, I'm just going to leave that there for now. Well, alright...I can't resist pointing out that layouts are nothing set in stone. It's really not a defense of why things couldn't match up so well (not that Grant needs a defense here).

Obviously, I would have preferred it if the New Gods hadn’t been spotlighted at all, let alone quite so intensively before I got a chance to bring them back but I don’t run DC and don’t make the decisions as to how and where the characters are deployed.

You know, when I first read this, it read more like, "I asked them to leave the New Gods alone until my Final Crisis work," but it now seems more like he just expected that DC would see the pieces he was using in Final Crisis and try to leave them exactly where they were rather than risk messing things up. I'd still put the onus on editorial to possibly double check that their work on the lead up to Final Crisis is actually leading up to it, rather than shooting it in the foot.

GM: Again, bear in mind that Countdown only finished last month so Final Crisis was already well underway long before Countdown and although I’ve tried to avoid contradicting much of the twists and turns of that book as I can with the current Final Crisis scripts, the truth is, we were too far down the road of our own book to reflect everything that went on in Countdown, hence the disconnects that online commentators, sadly, seem to find more fascinating than the stories themselves.

All well and good. One bit of advice to Grant Morrison regarding his last sentence: get over it. Look, you're a great writer and I'm sure you're about to tell a great story. But you're pretty damn well aware that the DC Universe line of books have quite a bit of continuity. I'm sure you're fairly aware that DC sold Countdown as setting the table for Final Crisis. If DC sold us a product at least partially by convincing us it tied into another, more attractive product, the we're going to be a bit distracted by that, regardless of how well you executed your ideas.

And here is where I call a bit of shenanigans:

GM: What mattered to me was what had already been written, drawn or plotted in Final Crisis. The Guardians didn’t call 1011 when Lightray and the other gods died in Countdown because, again, Final Crisis was already underway before Countdown came out.

C'mon now, Grant. You have a good enough case for all of this not being your fault without making shit up. Lightray died in Countdown #48. Are you telling me that you and JG Jones were in a "there's no going back now" position back then? Bullshit. Pure, unadulterated bullshit. It was approximately the same time that Barda and that other character got killed in Birds of Prey. You weren't put in a position where you couldn't do anything to reflect that.

There wasn’t really much opportunity, or desire, to modify our content at that stage.

You had PLENTY of opportunity here, just no desire. And that's fine. But don't plead that it was impossible when it was clearly just uncomfortable or unattractive. I'm pretty sure I'm going to enjoy this version of the mini more than I'd enjoy whatever you would have had to morph it into in order to accommodate all the stuff that Countdown and Death of the New Gods did.

I mean, doesn't the following settle the issue just fine without exaggerating the circumstances:

The way I see it readers can choose to spend the rest of the year fixating on the plot quirks of a series which has ended, or they can breathe a sight of relief, settle back and enjoy the shiny new DC universe status quo we’re setting up in the pages of Final Crisis and its satellite books. I’m sure both of these paths to enlightenment will find adherents of different temperaments.

Of course, there's a little exaggeration there, too. It's been a few weeks since the first issue came out. Is there really anything that ridiculous about initially venting some frustration over how this company that's been selling the idea that they've got such a cohesive universe with an amazing plan in place goes and violates all of that cohesion after sucking out 52 issues worth of their money for the DC Universe spine? It is a little early to suggest that a group of a size worth noting is going to still be bitching and moaning in a few months.

Quote of the interview, though:

Once you’ve had the image of Dr. Light hammering away at Sue Dibny’s ruptured rear end burned into your neurons, it’s hard to write him as one more cackling gimmick villain.

Alrighty, then. ;)


  1. It's understandable for Grant to ignore the events of Countdown. It just made an utter mockery of the characters he was planning to use. Still pretty fucking cheeky of DC to put out 51 isssues claiming it's relevant.

  2. You know, with Marvel and DC editorial being elitist pricks who just despise their consumer base if anyone challenges the logic and quality of their current work, and Newsarama turning to crap, I think I may be on the way out the door with comics again.

    Tomassi, Dixon, Busiek, Carey and Jeff Parker can only write so many books to keep me coming back to read more.

    It really didn't hit home for me about it until that Morrison interview; the dude's seriously channeling some Warren Ellis "I'm too cool to play in YOUR sandbox" shit.

  3. I read a lot of DC and am pretty good with its continuity, but I side with Grant. Just write a good story, it doesn't matter that much if there are a few mistakes here and there. Death of the New Gods was terrible, Countdown was weak, and Final Crisis is very promising. I'd go with the FC continuity since I'm pretty sure its going to be the best story.

    They're just stories, read thegood stuff and ignore the bad, no matter how much continuity you might miss.

  4. Eh, I still say the large majority of naysayers don't blame Grant for telling his story, but they blame DC for selling them a bill of goods and not delivering (re: Countdown's relation to the event it was counting down to).

    If Didio's baby (Countdown) disregarded the direction Grant was going in, I'd say the onus falls on Didio for disregarding and Berganza (editor on FC) for not defending his territory more fervently on behalf of his creators. If Countdown disregarded Morrison's direction because they weren't informed enough about it, that just comes back to Berganza, I'd say.


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