Before I start, let me say "Cool!" for Douglas' Deconstruction of DC UNIVERSE ZERO (below), that was a rush I haven't felt since the good ol' days of 52 Pickup.
Here's hoping he does the same for FINAL CRISIS!
On the other hand, I'm not here to praise ZERO.
I think teasers and trailers are pretty cool. I especially liked the little "Glimpse" at the end of the "Sinestro War" storyline. That was awesome.
But it was awesome because it was a part of the package of entertainment that I had bought.
And that's my problem with ZERO -- I thought I was buying a package of entertainment, a story, an actual lead-in to FINAL CRISIS. And ZERO really isn't that.
Instead, it's basically that teaser at the end of GREEN LANTERN #25, times six.
Now, don't get me wrong, that's not a terrible thing in and of itself, I just don't think it is something that should be sold as an entertainment product.
What I think of most of all is Marvel's SECRET INVASION SAGA, the free giveaway that recapped a couple of decades of Skrull appearances before SI proper started. Retailers got x copies for free (a bundle of 25 for every 25 copies of WORLD WAR HULK you ordered), and you could also purchase more bundles if you liked. That's, in my mind, a better way to handle what's essentially a promotional tool.
Anyway, what did I get out of ZERO? Well, George Perez can sure draw those 80-jillion character pages; and I'm still not interested in "Batman: RIP" very much; and the Wonder Woman arc might be interesting, but not a great teaser; and yes, sure I'm still looking forward to "Blackest Night", but there's not much new there; and I haven't really got the slightest idea what the Rucka book is about from that preview; and FINAL CRISIS itself is sure to be gorgeous, but why are they charging 50 cents for this?
Apparently enough stores misordered ZERO, so that it is going to a second print (for a DOLLAR, sheesh!), which I can barely understand. But we've still got 3/4 of our order left and I'm sort of tempted to give it out on FCBD, actually, since we have so many copies left over, but I really really can't see anyone not already interested and buying DC comics decided they're going to buy anything coming out of this.
In an interview at Newsarama, Dan Didio said this:
"NRAMA: And as you’ve said before, this issue had to be a “primer” in a way for the DCU to readers who may be checking it out for the first time in a while?
DD: Right. When we did Countdown to Infinite Crisis, it really became a great jumping-on point just to get people in tune with the direction and tone of the DC Universe and familiarize or re-familiarize themselves with the characters of the DCU. This one again, has that same goal and agenda."
and I think that one those terms, this is a pretty miserable failure, because there weren't ANY introductions going on here, really, and there doesn't seem to be any discernible through-line going on.
I mean, I read each and every DC comic, and am a DC fanboy of the first water, but even I still don't really understand what FINAL CRISIS is "about", or, perhaps more importantly, where the hell the DC Universe is going AFTER it...
On the potential return of B*rry *ll*n, if that's meant to be a permanent change, and its not some sort of clever red herring, I do think its a bad idea. At the end of the day, he was really kind of a dull character himself, and there's only so far that "straight-edge" is going to take you (esp. when Superman fits that role in the DCU even better)
At my bottom line, I have a modicum of faith in Geoff and Grant to write exciting superhero comics, but I wonder if that's ALL that DC has going for them these days, and if there's any coherent plan that extends past those two writers.
For DC UNIVERSE ZERO, I'm going to go with either a high AWFUL or a low EH, depending on how cynical you actually are...