Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Seven Soldiers Edit Shocker!!

So, my pal John Lombard shared this interesting piece of post comic production editing with me, and it really shocked me.

Check out the following preview scans of Mister Miracle #1 from before the book came out (hence the preview part, natch)...
Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by

As you can see, initially, in the first issue, when Mister Miracle breaks on through to the Fourth World, he ALSO breaks through the Fourth WALL!!!

How cool would this have been in the comic?

What reasons do you think DC had for pulling it?

WHY would they pull it?

Can anyone think of a good reason?

In the alternative, feel free to just marvel at what could have been...

Read More


Anonymous Dave (ED) said...

Those bastards!

That would've been so freaking cool!

10/26/2005 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Mr. Miracle Escapes Comic Book shocker!

10/26/2005 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

"Sorry Grant, this is just too cosmic."

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but these companies are in the creative business right? They are supposed to be telling interesting and exciting stories?

We're constantly told that comics are unique because you can do stuff in them that you can't do in film or prose, and yet when someone like Morrison does, they cut it out. Bleh.

10/26/2005 04:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

Gratuitous, ill-fitting metafiction - in a Morrison book? Whoa! Stop the presses!

Seriously, the spread looks very cool, but there could be any number of reasons for cutting it - including (I hope) a last-minute fit of sanity from the creative team. "Seven Soldiers" isn't "Animal Man" or even "The Filth"; the You Are Reading A Comic Book moment doesn't really belong in what's more or less a straight superhero story. At this point, leaving it in would make Morrison's metafiction stuff just seem like a nervous tic.

10/26/2005 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger John Lombard said...

I think it would have worked in this case because this incarnation of Mister Miracle is supposed to have special insight into the nature of reality: "He now believes he has evidence of an apocalyptic cosmic war being fought through human agents on Earth! Shiloh's seen the light. He knows the score —and he may have lost his mind!"

10/26/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Jog said...

I'd have enjoyed this... Morrison has been fooling around with metafiction in this project since Seven Soldiers #0 (the costume bits sitting around in the seven men's lair) and I think part of his theme of transformation works as a comment on 'revamping' old characters, so I think the scene would have fit nicely... especially with the cosmic-powered Mister Miracle...

10/26/2005 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Daniel Apodaca said...

Isn't it obvious? They had to pull it because the spread isn't an accurate representation of an actual comics reader. The fingernails are clean and trimmed, and there is not a taco/porno in one hand.

10/26/2005 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Fossen said...

That preview image really get me excited for the series, and I was disappointed not to see it in the book.

But, reading over again ... I don't understand how it would fit. It's not like you can just go to the issue and plug in that spread - there's no followup whatsoever.

10/26/2005 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger John Lombard said...

Well, perhaps there are other references to the 4th wall that were cut out?

10/26/2005 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Mr. Iron Lungfish,

I am in total agreement. The overt metafiction shtick is getting so tired. Hell, even the subtle metafiction shtick is tired.

Lots of cool updates by the way over on my blog:
I discuss the current metafiction obsession and the cult of the creator there too.

10/26/2005 09:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris F. said...

T., metafiction isn't a "shtick" for Morrison-- it's a device he uses that's very much tied in with the main themes of his work. I'm still in agreement with lungfish though. Dropping it in with no set-up or explanation like that would make sense only to people with experience reading Morrison's less mainstream work. As much as he seems to want demand his more mainstream readers to work harder at interpreting him lately, this is exactly the opposite of the right way to go about it-- similarly, his "hypercompression" shtick on Seven Soldiers (and make no mistake, it is a "shtick" in this case) is getting real old real fast.

10/26/2005 10:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris F. said...

Whoops, sorry about the lack of copyediting there-- that should be "seems to want to demand", obviously. Why isn't posting on this site compatible with Firefox, BTW?

10/26/2005 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it would have been cooler if the fourth wall were broken by a little paper Mr. Miracle being launched out of the book by a spring when the reader turns the page.

10/26/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

I believe those hands holding the comic were meant to be Shilo's, and the plot was gonna be different... but it changed. Why? I dunno.

As for Morrison's "shticks," well, I'm a whore for Grant, as we all know, but, hell, the guy writes smart good comics, dammit.

Complaining about hypercompression, now? There's no pleasing some people! Arghonauts.

10/26/2005 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

Re: Morrison's hobbyhorses: I'm sure I'm in the minority in thinking Morrison's been way too heavy-handed with his use of metafiction (I think he overdid it in Animal Man and got it about right in The Filth), but I can never get enough of the hypercompression. Part of the reason Morrison's style works so well is that he throws a dozen tantalizingly crazy ideas at you in any given book, each one of which might not hold up when examined at length, but leave the reader wanting more. I don't really want to see three issues going over the land of golden top hats; the mere fact of its existence tells me everything I need to know about it, while adding another detail to flesh out Morrison's story.

10/26/2005 11:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Nate A said...

The metafiction device in 7S started as far back as the last issue of JLA Classified in which our world and the JLA's world were contrasted on the last page. So the "out of nowhere" thing only applies insofar as each mini is supposed to be self contained, which seems valid enough.
That said, the 4th World occupies a wierd space in DC history... it is a product of a singular vision who to a degree brought the history of comics to the table when he created it. And while it is within the broader DC universe, it remains somehow apart from it. Marc Singer writes about G.M.'s fondness for literalizing metaphors. If we think of the fourrth world as a fourth wall, one through which Kirby peers back at us, then perhaps this is a wink from GM in this directtion.

10/27/2005 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

The metafiction device in 7S started as far back as the last issue of JLA Classified in which our world and the JLA's world were contrasted on the last page.

That strikes me as stretching quite a bit. That comic was, at most, commentary on the nature of superheroes and the superhero genre - it was not metafiction per se (fiction about fiction and the process of creating fiction).

And even so, that theme was done with some degree of subtlety. There's just no excuse for the sledgehammer approach of sticking a drawing of a drawn pair of hands holding a comic book in the opening pages of a straightforward superhero book. This spread would've fit in fine in Animal Man, which reached a point where every other page became an opportunity to do out-of-panel sight gags, jokes about continuity, and all manner of general fourth-wall-breaking. But I think you're grasping at straws a little here.

10/27/2005 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Chris F. said...

Bill, I'm not bitching about GM as a phenomenon as such-- when his Doom Patrol was first coming out it was so crucial to me as a young reader that I don't think I can even explain it. He's still probably my favorite comics writer.

Re: hypercompression and hobbyhorses: I'm not talking about Grant's usual manic infodump here (tho in the past that has caused his work pacing and "show not tell" issues), but the technique he was bragging about in his last interviews where he writes 50 pages of comics and then whittles them down to 22. Yeah, he's probably just being fashion-forward again, but it's causing me to have serious problems giving a damn and seeing why some of the basic plot points are relevant in series like Shining Knight. And I know that everything's symbolically interpretable if I work at it hard enough, but what about Joe Blow who just wants to read about the sexy girl wearing fishnets? Does Grant care, or is he so interested in hiding in plain sight/inculcating Joe Blow unawares with his value system to the point that it's self-defeating because Joe is so put off that he doesn't bother to get it?

Agreed about the metafiction in Animal Man, but that's a transitional work by GM's own admission-- check out the intro to the first collection where he talks about writing "The Coyote Gospel" with no idea whether anyone could or should care about the mad shit he'd just come up with. Everything hadn't jelled with his approach yet and it's a bit schizophrenic-- is the mainstream/avant release schedule he's since adopted is a reaction to that? Come to think of it, maybe The Filth is the first mature GM work-- Invisibles is pretty major, but its kinda lumpy since he was writing it so on-the-fly.

10/27/2005 10:55:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the communtary for 52 the writers stated that DC editoral dislike breaking Fourth Wall. Which is why they changed this page and one of Ambush Bug's lines in 52 that said(and I'm parapgrasing)"Sent up more script pages Morrison's getting bored."

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