I'm writing this entry before reading this (3/15) week's comics. I have them; they are in my yellow Big Monkey bag just waiting to be delved into much to the annoyance of my fiancée, family, friends and anyone else who might want to hold a conversation with me this evening. Yet, I find myself a little reluctant to read my One Year Later titles. Have you ever sat down to your favorite meal, pizza, tamales, meatloaf, whatever and while your eating you notice that something isn't just right? Perhaps the crust is just this side of undercooked and doughy, the cornmeal could have used a little more water, or you cooked it long and the ground beef is a little dry. It isn't bad enough that your eating experience is ruined but it isn't the perfect experience that it could be. That is how I feel about One Year Later so far, an almost perfect comic experience.
Standing the storylines by themselves they are actually quite good and exciting. The Outsiders are on the active warpath, kicking some dictator ass. Jason, a little older and a little wiser, is on the search for Dr. Stein. A new Aquaman is on the block and ready to do something. All this stuff is shaping up for some exciting arcs that are going to keep me looking forward to Wednesdays and some much needed restructured continuity.
But here is the problem the issues themselves are being written in a way that you can almost feel the writers as they saying, "This is One Year Later". We get the reintroduction of characters like it's the number one issue; I felt this especially on Outsiders. Not only that there are some big changes in almost every comic and instead of taking the changes in stride, as we would if we took a natural one year later jump, it feels like the entire comic builds to that CHANGE. Again I turn to Outsiders. We have Nightwing, Grace, Thunder, Katana and then...Oh My God is that Captain Boomerang?! Wha? It detracts from the arc of fighting a totalitarian government because issue isn't about their mission it's about Captain making his Outsiders appearance and the conspicuous absence of Arsenal.
Or it can lead to some very unnatural dialogue or actions by a character. We turn to Firestorm, Dr. Stein is missing and he is upset. So he is talking to the new person he is merging with (I'll not give it away), whom we assume he has been merging with for a while and he says, "He helped me so much. When we got back from space...I was a mess." and so on. There is no way that two people who have been spending time together, especially as Jason and his mystery merge, would talk like this. Moore is telling rather than showing, forcing the conversation to get us to this year forward jump as opposed to just letting it happen naturally. Or check out Detective Comics #817
Again by pointing out what we have missed we are taken out of the "now" of the comic and it breaks the illusion of another world unfolding in front of us. I start to see the writer telling the story and the artist drawing the pictures and any storyteller worth his/her salt doesn't want that. They want you engrossed in the world and for the most part I am, every once in a while something happens in the comic that snaps me out of it. I think it is the people trying to deal with the One Year Later jump in a way that their primary concern isn't realism within the issue.
Please don't take this as me not loving this jump or the changes within the titles. I'm still backflipping (well figuratively) over Firestorm's new limitation or the new Outsiders line up. It might not sound like it but I am 110 percent for Captain Boomerang on the team. It's just how it's getting told that I have a slight issue with. I know that handling something like the One Year Later Jump is a tough thing for all involve all I'm saying that, for me, the jump is falling a hair short of truly wowing me like I was hoping for.