Crisis at Final Continuity Gaffe
This much quoted interview with Grant Morrison reveals that paying attention to too much DC continuity isn’t all that profitable. We’ve been out of town, but we understand the fan reaction to FINAL CRISIS #1 has been an outcry against continuity gaffes — not all of it Morrison’s fault:
NRAMA: Within a few pages of issue #1, you’ve shown us that you’re building upon the foundation that was laid by everything from Identity Crisis through Countdown. In regards to the more recent material, such as Countdown, did you have a hand in planning that out, did you tell editorial where you needed things to be for the start of your story, or did you modify Final Crisis to pick up from where things were?
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, so Final Crisis was more a continuation of plot threads from Seven Soldiers and 52 than anything else. 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.
Although the 52 writing team was asked to contribute to Countdown, we were all seriously burned-out by the demands of the weekly schedule and I think we all wanted to concentrate on our own monthly titles for a while, so whenCountdown 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.
Later on, Morrison makes the same case again, in a fine example of adhering to the continuity of earlier in the interview:
To reiterate, hopefully for the last time, when we started work on Final Crisis, 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.
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.
Now before you write in to tell us all about how horrible it is that Orion had died of a subdural haematoma to the left frontal orb on one page and the right orb on another, we agree with Tom where continuity is concerned: we’re just not that into it.