Funnybook Babylon

June 11, 2008

Salvation Run and Gotham Underground: Letters from the Edge of Failure

Today saw the end of the DCU-villains-are-mysteriously missing plot line that has been running since around the quarter mark of Countdown. Both of these stories were promised as major status quo modifications for the cadre of villains that DC has, of late, become increasingly enamored with. Both of these stories were, supposedly, born out of the planning sessions that led to the lead-up that led to Final Crisis, and the creative process behind these books must have been as circuitous as this sentence.

Salvation Run is like some sort of paragon of editorial mandate, the sum total of all unnecessary top-down plotting that, invariably, falls flat on its ass in the end. This is the end, and damn, has it fallen flat. Looking at Salvation Run as a project on its own merits, it started out as a decade-old Elseworlds pitch proposed by fantasy writer and geek paragon George R.R. Martin. His original plan was a long-term look at a society founded by the DCU’s villains on a sort of cosmic Australia. This pitch sat in DC’s “maybe we’ll use this shit sometime” files until it was inexplicably dragged out as part of the lead-up to Final Crisis. Of course, there’s one major problem with adapting the premise for this purpose: If it takes place before Final, and it’s in continuity, the villains sort of have to get back at some point. And if the villains get back, then they can’t do any of the long-term sociological view. And if they can’t do that, then what the fuck is the point of the book?
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