As If I Needed It, Another Reason to Hate Countdown

Recently I discovered an interview with Grant Morrison over at Newsarama. He discussed his plans for Final Crisis and the DCU and even addressed some of the complaints that have surfaced about Final Crisis #1 not jiving with Countdown or the Death of the New Gods mini series. You can read the whole thing for yourself but here are a few of the bits I found interesting…

GM: Well, the way it worked out was that I started writing Final Crisis #1 in early 2006, around the same time as the 52 series was starting to come out…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…so when Countdown was originally being discussed, it was just a case of me saying ‘Here’s issue 1 of Final Crisis and a rough breakdown of the following six issues. As long as you guys leave things off where Final Crisis begins, we‘ll be fine.’ 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...J.G. and I had no idea what was going to happen in Countdown or Death Of The New Gods because neither of those books existed at that point. The Countdown writers were later asked to ‘seed’ material from Final Crisis and in some cases, probably due to the pressure of filling the pages of a weekly book, that seeding amounted to entire plotlines veering off in directions I had never envisaged, anticipated or planned for in Final Crisis.


So Countdown and its ever abundant spin off mini-series and one shots were conceived and written after the die had already been cast for Final Crisis? Really? And still no one bothered to make sure everyone was on the same page? No one made sure Morrison knew about what was going on in the lead in to his series? No one made the other writers aware of what Morrison was doing? There were not just months, but years of lead in time to make sure everything went smoothly for what is unquestionably the most high profile book on DC’s schedule this year and still something slips by the editorial staff? Are you kidding me?

Isn’t Final Crisis supposed to be the series that solves DC’s continuity mess and creates a sense of order and cohesion for the universe? Actually, isn’t that what Infinite Crisis before it and Crisis on Infinite Earths before that were supposed to do? If you’re writers and editors aren’t on the ball to make sure everyone’s working toward the same end then any sense of order and cohesion goes right out the window.

And another thing about the disconnect between Final Crisis and Countdown

GM: 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.

Call me crazy, but I interpret a major part of this interview as Morrison washing his hands of Countdown, saying he doesn’t care what happened in it, and giving a big middle finger to all the fans who spent well over $150 to read Countdown as a lead in to his Final Crisis. So the responsibility falls on Morrison for only caring about what happened in his seven issues, and then on Dan DiDio and the editorial staff for giving Morrison free reign and not making sure Countdown and the rest of the DCU fell in line.

This is not the way to build an orderly, cohesive universe. This is the way to make the “C” in “DC” stand for clusterfuck.

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2 comments

  1. Yeah. Hopefully Trinity stays on target. Hopefully it’s not leading to anything. Hopefully it’s good. DC has been getting by because there haven’t been any major inconsistencies. Sure people have been complaining about Didio, but most of it always seemed fanboy-ish. But this problem of Countdown to Final Crisis not really leading into Final Crisis brings his inability to keep the DCU on course.

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