Someone needs to pull the brakes on widescale destruction. I’ll explain why (with spoilers, hence the “More” button) under the jump. This week alone, we have Invincible Iron Man pretty much decimating Paris by turning everyone to stone while the Justice League of America manage to split the moon in two. Admittedly, both are part of various stages of Big Event – Iron Man is part of Fear Itself, of course, and JLA is, I am now convinced, running the secret lead up to whatever that “The Dark” launch is going to be for DC – but still: Somewhere along the line, the stakes got raised so much that the moon can get split in two and it’s just the means to an end, the cliffhanger promising something even bigger later (In JLA‘s case, Eclipso wants to kill God. There’s actually some great theological backstory there that ties in, and offers a contradictory view to, Brightest Day and Blackest Night‘s view of why Earth is so important. Go and pick it up to see what I mean), and that strikes me as… I don’t know, both weirdly lazy – You can almost imagine the creators being all “How can we prove that our threat is really dangerous? I know!” – and troublingly ridiculous: There comes a point, surely, when things get so out of perspective that they lose meaning. Splitting the moon in half makes me think, as much as anything, of Todd Ingram punching a hole in the moon in Scott Pilgrim, and that was clearly played as comedy.
It feels wrong, I admit, to be asking for a reduction in scale of ambition in superhero comics – Isn’t that what they’re there for? – but I’d rather have these kinds of things happen as big events (Not in the “event comic” sense, but the sense that these things matter), and not just illustrations that the bad guy du jour is a bad ass and really means it, man. Let’s save turning everyone in Paris to stone until it can be dealt with as something other than the byproduct of a serpent god coming back to unseat Odin, y’know? I don’t know, am I jaded – or the opposite, too hypersensitized to this kind of thing? Have at it (and me) in the comments.