Infinite Retcons (or, How I Spent My Last $25)

Good evening, ladies and worms, and welcome to Tact is for the Weak, the article that will soon be available in variant hardcover edition for a mere $55! Last week, DC Comics published its hardcover collection of the recent mega-event Infinite Crisis. Billed as the direct sequel to the smash 80′s series Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis aimed to reshape not only the status quo of the DC Universe, but to also pave the path towards the future. While the success of this series in that respect is up for debate, few will argue against the series’ earnings; nearly every month of its run, Infinite Crisis was consistently ranked #1 in the total number of issues sold across the industry. However, is there too much of a good thing? DC Comics certainly hopes not; with the recent publication of the hardcover collection, DC hopes to capitalize on the series’ immense popularity by throwing on a hefty $25 price tag.

“Wait a minute,” you may stammering, “isn’t that the normal price for a hardcover collection? How is this any different?” Well, my intrepid naysayers, let me explain: the value of hardcover collections to consumers has drastically dropped over the years. Whereas buying a hardcover collection was once considered a testament to true fandom (and a status symbol of the nerd world), purchasing one now is merely a show of impatience and wastefulness. History has shown that scant months after every contemporary hardcover collection is a published, a clean, cheaper trade paperback version is soon to follow. With the immense commercial success of Infinite Crisis, DC would be remiss not to offer a trade paperback version after milking the hardcover cash cow as dry as Barbara Bush’s hoo-hoo.

Of course, there are certain perks to this new edition that has already proven its ability to ensnare the more impatient fans. As DC ellaborates: “This exhaustive volume also contains every cover and variant produced for the project, annotations, character designs, excerpts from scripts, unused scenes, and much more.” Additionally, there is tons of new polish dripping off of this collection: many dialogue boxes were omitted, added, or rewritten to smooth over the story, and the artwork has been enhanced to appear more vivid. PLUS, there’s the inclusion of two major changes fans have been clamoring for: a re-design of issue #7′s 2-page “One Year Later” roll-call spread by the legendary George Perez (, and the completion of the 2-page “Heros vs. Villains” Meteropolis battle spread in the same issue (originally, the “OYL” spread was a hastily-drawn smorgasborg with no depth, and the battle scene was encompassed by a red haze, with only the foreground colored).

Even with these bonuses, though, the only people who should bother buying this hardcover edition are the impatient and the rich; most of us will stick with the cheaper, sure-to-come trade paperback version (or, if you’re like me, you’ll be staisfied with your collection of single issues and not bother spending an extra twenty bucks on a story you already own).

Well, it’s time to dive in to Tact is for the Weak’s burgeoning short features section! As promised last issue, each issue will see the elimination of one of the features (a la Reality TV) until a happy equilibrium is reached. Well, in the case of my decisions, no news is bad news. If a certain feature generates positive feedback, that’s great. And, if it generates hate mail, that’s also good; it shows a propensity for making waves. However, if a feature receives little or no reactions one way or another, then it’s time to give the dud the ol’ heave-ho. So, it is with a heavy heart that I announce the first feature to be eliminated is…”Moychendising.” In a world of cutthroat features and insightful editorializing, “Moychendising” simply was not generating enough reactions…one way or the other.

But enough about that dead weight! Let’s get on to the remaining features (which, mind you, are still on the chopping block, and only YOUR feedback will save them!):

The War Journal of Dagoth, the D&D Master

October the 11th, 6:05 in the morrow.

The two hundredth and forty-sixth day of the thirty-second year of my life. After partaking of my weekly shower, I packed my things and grabbed my coin purse before leaving my mother’s lair for the Comicks Shoppe. Unfortunately, my usually-trusty steed (a sturdy, light-chartreuse VW Rabbit) seems ill, and I have been forced to obtain passage by way of a public transportation vesibule. This “bus” is filled with strange and garish persons; never have I felt more out of place (well, except for that time my mother took me to see “Cats.” She KNOWS I wanted to see “Spamalot” instead! The spiteful harlot…). Hopefully, I will remain unaccosted aboard this vessel so as not to force my sorcerous hand.

October the 11th, 1:53 after the noon.

It appears that I have boarded the wrong vessel, and have since changed buses in order to get to my destination (an effort that was no small cost to me!). If the last bus was uncomfortable, THIS vessel is downright villainous; after sitting down, an evil old crow demanded that I vacate my hard-earned seat for her use, and when I refused, she cast such a spell upon the onlookers that nearly the entire crowd descended upon me and bertaed me until I was compelled to do the witch’s bidding. This morrow has not shaped up to be hospiable for Dagoth the Invincible, but worry not; I shall succeed in my quest, even in the face of such mythic adversity!

October 11th, 6:57 after the noon.

Alas, I finally arrived at the Comicks Shoppe, and Fairywhisp (a.k.a. “Lisa”) was nowhere to be found. I must simply steel my resolve and deal with the ill-tempered shopkeep, who is FAR less pleasing to the eye than his fair sister. Still, despite the unfortunate presence of the proprietor, I am still content in the day’s haul. It appears that I will be forced to spend the entire contents of my coin purse, but the goods to be gained certainly merit that sacrifice! It is almost closing time, and I must hurry to make my purchase!

October the 11th, 7:13 in the evening.

It appears that, in my haste, Dagoth has spent his last pence, and cannot purchase a transportation ticket to board the hideous public transportation vessel. If only I had taken the time in the morning to cast a “Sorcerous Haste” spell, I could simply walk home! Alas, I must remain here on the steps of the Shoppe in the hopes that my fair mother is clever enough to deduce my whereabouts, and comes to my aid.

October the 11th, 11:56 in the night.

No one has come for Dagoth.

Snapshot Reviews: all you need to know about this week’s comics in a nutshell!

52: Osiris enlists, Magnus joins the scientists, and Black Adam throws his fists. Relative newcomer Drew Johnson provides thankfully consistent art, a blessing in the rotating-artist nature of the book. And, as a bonus, a major plot point is revealed involving the wherabouts of all the missing scientists. Still, with only one other beat addressed (the Khandaq crew finds Isis’ missing brother, and in doing so, gain a new ally), this issue’s story is, on its own, insufficient in its quest to fully entertain. The art gets a solid B+, but the writing receives a subpar C.

Green Arrow #67: An assassin rends, Mia’s on the mend, and an army descends. In an unheralded, anti-climactic whimper, it is casually mentioned that Mia’s (a.k.a. “Speedy”) HIV is under control, leading readers to believe that the much-ballyhooed character development that caused such an uproar is now a non-issue. To add to this frustration, Scott McDaniel’s artwork is (as usual) less than consistent, although it’s certainly lightyears ahead of his earliest work on the title. Still, the overall plot of the issue is abnormally fast-paced, and surprisingly entertaining (“surprisingly, ” because it’s written by Judd Winick). The book gets an anemic C+ for artwork, but A- for writing (on the condition that Winick’s HIV fascination never surfaces again).

Where were they then: a brief look at the yesteryears of comics creators.

Alan Moore: Fifty years ago, Alan Moore was just another middle-aged Brit with a penchant for romanticized story-telling. One hundred years ago, this was still the case. In fact, dating as far back as the Roman Empire, Alan Moore has been an eery fixture across the pond in literature! Yes, dear readers: Alan Moore is an immortal wizard! Hide your charms and your daughters, for he is coming for thou (along with his thousand-year-old crabs, received courtesy of that whore Cleopatra).

Ten Years Later: the comics headlines of 2016…today!

This week, the Infinite Crisis 10-Year Anniversary Edition hardcover collection went on sale for a measly $75! Packed with precious gems like original dialogue and panels, this instant classic is destined for greatness! Plus, take a look at the rarely-seen original “One Year Later” 2-page spread!
Julian Darius, president of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) announced his resignation earlier this week, citing personal reasons for his departure. Many in the industry suspect that this is a direct result of his run-in with a drunk and beligerent Mike Phillips at a recent convention. Phillips, who was hired and then quickly fired from Marvel Comics in 2011 for spilling iced tea on the final cover draft of Civil Disobedience #5 (the Marvel mega-event that redefined the status quo of Marvel supporting characters). At the convention, Phillips allegedly assaulted Darius with a lightsaber replica, shouting phrases such as “Give me my money!”

Well, that wraps up this week’s features. Before we go, however, let’s honor those who are about to suck; this week’s Tactless Book of the Week Award goes to DC Comics’s Green Lantern Corps #5. The issue prominently features an irate Bolphunga against Guy Gardner, promising the climactic resolution of the conflict started last issue. However, before Gardner can even use his ring, fellow GL Salaak swoops in to deliver an underhwelming deus ex machina conclusion to a Gardner/Bolphunga match that had the promise of a classic slobberknocker and produced a wimpy dud. Maybe next time, Gibbons!

Okay, that’s all I got this week. Again, keep sending your comments, because at least one more feature must go, and only YOUR feedback will decide their fate (well, your feedback and my unfathomable logic). Ciao!

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