Monday, November 28, 2005

Chris Talks About Philosophy, Sort Of

Warning: I'm in a wistful, talkative mood. I need to share something here. Plus, there aren't any graphics in this post. So there.

Apparently in the latest issue of Wizard, there's a multiple-choice teaser quiz about DC's Infinite Crisis and the whole One Year Later deal.

I have seen other message boards and bloggers speculating on the answers to this quiz.

I was asked by another blogger to comment on the quiz and share my thoughts in a post. I politely declined. I thought I should share my rationale for this decision. I'm like that.

I have seen precisely 2 questions on this quiz (courtesy of said message boards and blogs), and immediately forced myself to stop reading.

I do not read Wizard. It's not that I think they're the Devil's Periodical or something, I just would rather spend my money reading actual comics than reading about comics. I can read about comics for free on the internet (har!).

So I haven't seen the whole quiz. Nor will I discuss the quiz here at 2 Guys Buying Comics. Based solely on the 2 questions I saw, there were enough spoilers in the questions and possible answers themselves that I didn't want to read another word.

See, I'd like to think that comics can still surprise me, and that even though at this point I have innate distrust of anything that promises to "shake the foundations of the [Insert Comics Company Name Here] Universe", at the end of the day I'm still just a guy buying comics. And I don't want them spoiled. That's one reason I had to stop reading the damn Previews solicitations and look at them by title only. And yes, I realize that I spoil every damn comic I review. But I give fair warning, and I'm not the one trying to sell you the damn things.

Besides, the way I see it, there are two kinds of comics reviews: non-spoilery, which try to make you want to buy that issue, and spoilery, which should tell you whether a comic is good enough to warrant buying the next issue. But I digress. That whole topic is worthy of its own post this week.

I'm still naive enough, or idealistic enough, or childish enough --- call it what you will --- to want to be surprised, thrilled, and interested in comics. And even though I love a good "What If" debate about where a certain plot or character is going as much as the next person, I want to keep some of the mystery around as well. And I just can't do that if I read a paragraph that tells me that Character A will be around in 3 issues when the writer has clearly gone out of their way to make me think that Character A is in mortal danger. So maybe I'm old fashioned, but that's the way I see it. I'm not paying $3 an issue for a story that's already had its ending revealed.

(Except for Ronin. Who I learned today --- thanks to Rich Johnston --- is not Daredevil, so there, I was wrong, but the actual identity is...well...hrm. I won't tell you who it is, but if you're interested, go read the latest Lying in The Gutters . And no, Avenger fans won't like who it is. Oh, you can bet your Tales of Suspense #1 we'll be talking about this in a future post.)

And yeah, sometimes I can see where plots are going or eventual outcomes, but one of the great things about comics is that when a comic is good --- I mean, really good --- you just can't wait a month for the next issue. I felt that way about Identity Crisis, to be perfectly honest with you. (Whoa! 2 Guys Buying Comics just lost half their readership!) It was a "gotta have the next issue" feeling, and regardless of the overall opinion of the series, I hadn't felt that way about comics in a long time.

Anyway. So while I'd love to dissect the quiz, talk about the OYL possibilities and Infinite Crisis theories, 2 Guys Buying Comics is going to do it the old-fashioned way: on an issue by issue basis, with just enough asshattedness that has become our trademark mixed in and throwing out a prediction here or there. Just a heads up. That's how 2 Guys Buying Comics rolls.

Thanks for listening. Y'all are sweet!


Blogger Ragnell said...

Man, you have a stronger will than I do. I can't stop myself from thinking about what'll happen, so I figure I may as well talk freely about rumors.

I'll remember to keep putting up spoiler warnings for rumors for guys like you, though.

2:54 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Ragnell, I thought more about this after I posted. I guess my problem isn't with talking about and discussing rumors --- that's part of the comics blogosphere's raison d'etre. It's in the fact that DC (or Wizard) saw fit to pretty much reveal big (BIG) plot points and storylines in the guise of a "quiz" that even though it doesn't give us the answers provides enough clues to where we can figure things out.

For example, if one of the questions was "Which of these four characters will grow a tail?", that wouldn't be so bad --- it's a minor thing (easy for me to say) that probably doesn't have a big impact or reveal too much.

But if it's a question like, "Which of these four characters will become the head of the military industrial complex and declare war on Poland?", well that's huge. And right away I know that a war in Poland is coming and that one character is going to be involved in doing so.

I'm still not sure I'm making any sense, BTW. :)

8:02 AM  
Anonymous jake said...

I have no leg to stand on when complaining about spoilers. Every Thursday I check Television Without Pity at least twice to see who's supposedly going home on Survivor, then check back when the show starts because that's when it ends on the East Coast so people are posting results. I read spoilers for movies, especially ones that advertise having a huge plot twist but that I have no intention of seeing (e.g. The Skeleton Key, Saw II).

I see this Wizard thing as DC attempting to control the message. Instead of working to craft the next year or so of stories only to have some blogger with a friend of a friend in DC's mailroom reveal Superman is going to get pregnant because Kryptonian men have ovaries, they want to put stuff out there to prompt discussion and debate and possibly cloud the issue.

As for your spoilers, they only make sense. I brought this up when you weren't spoiler-ing anything and reviewed House of M #5 (#4? #6?). In it you said (I'm paraphrasing here), "This book really sucked except for a five page sequence with Peter Parker that was really, really good, but I don't want to reveal too much." Screw that! You've told me already that the book isn't worth my time nor money, so why just tell me what happened with Parker since you're obviously not endorsing my purchase of the product just for five pages.

Also, the people who read your reviews fall into two categories: people who are going to/already have read the book and those who won't. Generally, I fall into the latter group. You read a lot of stuff that I don't even register as being on the rack when I go to the store. Of all your reviews, I think I've read maybe two of the books in question. The point is, the spoilers don't spoil anything for me because I had no intention of reading Rann-Thanagar War #5. People who did probably already read it by the time your review comes out (no offense, but it's not like your reviews go up Wednesday afternoon) and if they haven't, it's very easy to skip down to the next review and save that one for later.

Finally (on the note of your spoilers), I see a fundamental difference between spoiling something that hasn't been released versus spoiling something that's already out for public consumption. So, revealing that in three months Hank Pym is going to kill Victor von Doom, take up the mantle of Dr. Doom, and join forces with Ultron to destroy the Fantastic Four, killing Torch and crippling Sue, is one thing, but saying, "Hey, in Presumed Innocent, his wife did it!" is something else. (Hmm, I think I might have just come up with the best Hank Pym story ever...)

11:46 AM  
Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

The whole Ronin thing? Dirty pool. That's all I'm saying.

5:30 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Yeah. Dirtypooltastic. Although I bet Bendis is giggling to himself like a little girl about how clever he's been with the "mystery" of Ronin. Tosser.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Ragnell said...

Chris -- Nah, you're making perfect sense.

I just take Wizard with a grain of salt. They are the ideal magazien in which to leak "calculated misinformation" such as Geoff Johns' insistance that "Sinestro will not be in Rebirth" and other such lies. Someone on some message board brought up a Zero Hour fiasco where they released a panel that showed Extant, but when the actual comic book came out Parallax was in Extant's place in the panel.

I figure them for harmless.

7:47 PM  
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