As I mentioned the other day, I finished my re-read of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The Crisis was an epic undertaking, unprecedented in its scope in the world of comic books. Marvel had already done a big crossover in its X-Men books with Days of Future Present, but what DC was doing was across its entire line-up of comics; and the outcome was basically intended to wipe out everything that came before—ending many books and stories and characters—and reboot the entire Universe. I recently downloaded the anniversary edition for my iPad; I’d never read the entire thing—and while this mini-series was over 400 pages long, it still wasn’t the whole story; because parts of it appeared in the actual comic books themselves. The DC universe had become too unwieldy, finally; too many multi-verses, too many different versions of Earth, too many superheroes, too much to keep track of. The Crisis went back to the beginning of time, when the universe, intended to only be one, was originally fractured into its many different iterations, and now an anti-matter universe was determined to destroy all the others.
I won't even try to explain the plot other than to say it's incredibly complex--how could a multiversal story not be? Many heroes die, billions of people and worlds die, and in the end, the earths that remain are saved yet are all combined into one, and history has changed....and the only heroes who know the story were those who went back to the beginning of time to fight the evil, and save their worlds.
It was thoroughly ambitious, and was followed, years later, by other Crisis mini-series as well. DC rebooted again, with what they call the New 52, which didn't go over very well with their audience, so they rebooted yet again this year; and this latest DC Universe Rebirth, being tied into yet eradicating the New 52 reboot, is exceptionally clever.
When the Crisis on Infinite Earths started being published, I'd stopped reading comic books some seven or so years earlier; they'd gotten insanely expensive, for one thing, and of course, the DC Universe was so complicated and confusing it was hard to keep track of. The art had become more life-like and realistic and sexy; I've blogged before about how Green Arrow, for example, developed chest hair and got nipples. A fraternity brother of mine, one of the best artists I've ever had the good fortune to know, was very into comics, and while he was more of a Marvel guy--he also followed artists. John Byrne had been brought over from Marvel by DC to take charge of the new Superman, and so he was the one who got me interested again. This renewed interest again lasted about seven years, until the monthly expense--which was really insane--became too much for my budget and I abandoned comics again, until now. Digitization has made the cost about the same as it was when I was getting physical books; but at the same time being able to store them in the Cloud and download them to read on my iPad has made comics much easier for me to follow.
Plus, in the old days you had to buy them when they came out; it was difficult to go back and find back issues--and if you could find them, they were more expensive. But digitization solves that problem; plus the Comixology app won't allow you to repurchase something you've already paid for--it doesn't give you the buy option, instead giving you the 'read' option, which is kind of cool.
I've always thought it would be cool to write for comic books; I may add this back to my bucket list of writing things I want to do.
And now, back to the spice mines.