I wanted to not be pissed off in my 800th post (I've been going through my archives, I swear my blood pressure wasn't always in the stratosphere whenever I wrote), but Kalinara just can't keep her links to herself and just had to show me something that pissed me off. She showed me a post which had scanned pages from a book that came out today.
The events in the comic book did not piss me of.
The reaction of the fans did.
I know, I know, I've spent most of my time lately yelling at other fans for one reason or another but seriously, there's a lot of people out there who are annoying the shit out of me and some things need to be said about it. So I'm not going to link the post (so I won't be singling out just one idiot) or name the comic (because that will spoil it), but I am going to say some of the mean things that need to be said to keep my sanity.
I talk a lot about narrative clues and artistic clues, but there's another huge method by which writers communicate their intentions to readers, and that is by using tried and true narrative tropes that some people know as "genre rules."
Serialized superhero comic books are a genre, and most readers are intimately acquainted with the narrative clues, artistic clues, and genre rules for superhero comics and they know when a ending is actually the beginning of another huge storyline.
Despite the fact that it may appear that the character's setting is now in ruins from a "permanent" change, certain clues let you know that this is not the case. The situation is one that the writers realize is a state of ruin, the "permanent" change is anything but, and rebuilding the setting will be a future plotline.
One of those clues, ladies and gentlemen, is when in the last three pages of a storyline a major company-wide villain is revealed to have been disguised as the traditionally benevolent power behind the "permanent" change.
This usually means that the person who appeared to be the benevolent power is lying (lying is something supervillains sometimes do) and that the whole damned point really was to fuck up things for the hero but from and in-story standpoint and not from a meta-standpoint. Now the hero has to fix it.
And if I have to tell you this, you either need to read more serialized superhero comics or stop reading them altogether, because you are doing it wrong.
I didn't know there could be a wrong way to read something you enjoy, but if you are getting an impression that is so far from the traditional intent and the narrative mechanics of serialized superhero comics, something is going wrong between you and the page. As a result of this something wrong, you are going to be unable to enjoy these stories as intended because even when the writers blatantly violate these tropes they are still playing off of the expected result to get the effect they need from the reader for the story to work.
That's not to say that based on other factors that the whole thing was not just a crappy story. Its not to say the ending wasn't stupid. Its not to say the twist wasn't stupid. Its not to say its not annoying to read something and get a cliffhanger like that. Its not to say the entire thing wasn't poorly handled, poorly written, poorly drawn, or had some dreadful symbolism. Its not to say you didn't find it contrived or overly complicated. Its not to say that there's nothing to criticize or dislike or that all criticism/dislike of the story is stupid. No, no none of those. "You should be happy about what you just read" is not what I'm saying, that's not it at all.
However, this sort of thing is not called "ruining" or "trampling" a character or a franchise. This sort of thing (for good or bad) is called "Plot."
Next time, we'll discuss how when a hero is placed under mind-control and used as a villain in the kickoff issue of a large crossover it usually means he will be rescued and/or save himself from this state by the final issue, and how it is usually not the ruination of the hero unless the writer is playing on narrative tropes to surprise the audience.
Because that's another one a lot of people seem to be missing.