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October 22, 2006


Jones, one of the Jones boys

Thanks for the reminder of where we've seen the hammer before. I was scratching my head over that one. As I was also scratching it over that sword-breaking scene in "Shining Knight". Sure, supercompression and all that, but shouldn't the destruction of one of the *imperishable treasures* be, um, a bigger deal?

Care to make any foolish predictions, to be rendered moot in three days, about which soldier will die? My money's on one of the three who might survive it--Frankenstein, Zatanna or Miracle (although he's already had his resurrection, so probably not).


I really wonder if Bianchi drew something that wasn't in the script. That whole fight made no sense anyway.

No predictions on who'll die, but for purely selfish reasons I hope it's one of the two who seem like they'd have the least potential as ongoing characters. That'd be Shining Knight and Frankenstein, who had sound high-concept premises but never quite lived up to them. Actually, Frankenstein had a few great moments--charging across Mars, storming the ramparts of Castle Revolving, shooting Melmoth's head through a train engine--but the series was too busy to do most of them justice. So Ystin it is, or should be.

Jones, one of the Jones boys

Yeah, Bianchi's layouts just fell to pieces in those last two issues, didn't they?

I actually liked Frankenstein, mainly for the bombastic narrative captions ("Death comes to farmyard!" and all that). He seemed more interesting as a *character* than, say, the Guardian, who was straight out of the Stan Lee book of troubled everymen. But the Guardian--the newspaper--is definitely a better story engine than Frankenstein.

So I'll second you on the Shining Knight. Apart from the big reveal in #4, Ystin just wasn't that interesting. Medieval fish out of water? Ho-hum.

If only they had a Jason Todd-style hotline...


I thought Frankenstein had a lot of potential, and some great moments of narrative bombast, but they got nullified in the series' relentless ramble--when every scene is an explosive combat, none of them stand out. Frankenstein meandered from issue to issue with no dramatic tension or logic, stripping the significant plot developments of their significance--I'm not sure Melmoth should have been killed in issue 2 and Neh-buh-loh casually discarded in the first half of number 4.

And I kind of liked the moment in Shining Knight #2 where Ystin decides that justice and virtue have not abandoned the modern world so long as one knight of Camelot remains to defend them (even if, in hindsight, it foretells the series' surprising reactionary streak). That also got lost in the shuffle of Galahad and Gloria Friday and Don Vicenzo (who at least got a good death scene--the real climax of the miniseries).

A Jason Todd hotline for the Seven Soldiers would be hilarious, especially if Jim Aparo drew a page of Batman cradling the lifeless body of each hero.

Charles Hatfield

I've just read the final issue of 7S, and, having read only scraps of the preceding, what?, twenty-nine, I have to say I found it incomprehensible.

Really. I've read the KLARION mini, and an issue of MISTER MIRACLE, and an issue of GUARDIAN, and an issue of SHINING KNIGHT, and the Morrison/Williams one-shot that started it all. But damned if I can make anything out of the finale.

Obviously, a helluva lot happened in the twenty-one comics I didn't read. Either that, or the 7S finale is one of the most striking examples ever of graphic elegance coupled with narrative incoherence.

I couldn't even make sense of the respective fates of each "soldier," at tale's end.

Damn. So, how have these been repackaged at TPBs? And am I naive in hoping that reading all the "lost" stuff will somehow help me get my head around the finale?

Matt Rossi

A Jason Todd hotline for the Seven Soldiers would be hilarious, especially if Jim Aparo drew a page of Batman cradling the lifeless body of each hero.

I'll get the shovel and the James Whale lightning platform, you get the art supplies. Do you think the neck bolts will keep Jim from drawing?


Suddenly I have this image of the reanimated Jim Aparo receiving The Brave and the Bold script pages in the mail and screaming "HANEY!!! HANEY BAD!!!!"

Charles--apparently I live in that part of the country that didn't get any Seven Soldiers #1 this week. This series has been just about the only thing keeping me interested in monthly comics for the past year and a half, and this last delay is just about enough to put me off monthlies entirely (not to mention monopolies...). So no analysis here for another week. And yeah, you missed a lot--but really, how much would you expect to understand in a novel if you skipped three-quarters of the middle chapters?


And yeah, you missed a lot--but really, how much would you expect to understand in a novel if you skipped three-quarters of the middle chapters?

To be fair, Marc, wasn't it initially sold as seven free-standing, self-contained miniseries bookended by a pair of one-shots? You can't blame someone for getting the impression that they're supposed to be able to understand the ending, especially if they pick up, say, the first four issues of Klarion, and the blurb at the end tells them to read Seven Soldiers #1 for the exciting conclusion. It wasn't marketed as a novel, is my point.


We've known the marketing was wrong since the first issue of Shining Knight, when it became apparent that each single issue wasn't going to be a standalone story as Morrison had claimed in some interview. So I guess I can understand people being misled, but the final chapter of a story is the absolute last place I'd expect a convenient jumping-on point, no matter how it's marketed. And any more than that will have to wait until Diamond deigns to ship my copy.

And Charles, to answer your other question, the TPBs collect the issues in their original order of publication, the only way to make sense of the interlocking series. I'd imagine reading all the issues in order will help a lot.


The final issue does, in fact, make sense if you've read all the preceding issues, though it is extremely rushed and busy. You may need to read each page several times.

I'm waiting for someone to weigh in with the significace of the clues in the Guardian's Cryptic Crossword.

Charles Hatfield

One other comment: what I read in the final one-shot made me think that Morrison was splicing together NEW GODS and ETERNALS!


I thought the same thing as Charles re the splicing together of the New Gods and the Eternals in Seven Soldiers #1...and it struck me as a extremely radical and unfortunate change to the fundamental premise of Kirby's Fourth World. Not a minor retcon of some piddling continuity detail, but something that cuts to the very heart of what those characters represented. So I'm not too happy about that.

Prankster, one of those crossword answers made me realize that the entire story may have been about something completely different than we were all led to believe. In the Zatanna series, Zee and Misty discuss the importance of misdirection in magic...and wouldn't it be fascinating if Morrison has done that with the entire project, if the whole narrative about the Sheeda and the Harrowing and even the seven themselves was just window dressing and sleight-of-hand to conceal the other story he was actually telling?

I don't want to say more so long as a significant portion of the country hasn't seen the last issue...but one of those crossword answers reveals something that wasn't hinted at within the relevant comics, and it's got to be there for a reason.

alex orzeck-byrnes

brief comment re: fatherbox -

it's my understanding that walt simonson introduced the fatherbox in his "orion" series but remember it specifically going "ting" instead of the motherbox "ping"


This doesn't appear to be the same Fatherbox; Simonson's was just an Apokoliptian counterpart to the Mother Box of New Genesis.

I finally read Seven Soldiers #1, and HOLY CRAP--Charles, I don't begrudge you any of your confusion. You really do need to have read all of the miniseries to make any sense of it. Not that I think that's a bad thing.

More later. Where to begin...?

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