Archive for J-Pop

Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #1 (of 6)

Posted in Comics, DC, Final Crisis with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 29th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell
Snap, crackle, Pop!

Snap, crackle, Pop!

“This Is How We Do It”
Author: Joe Casey
Artist: ChrisCross
Inkers: Rob Stull, with Mick Gray, Wayne Faucher, & ChrisCross
Colorist: Snakebite
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Editors: Eddie Berganza, Rex Ogle & Ian Sattler
Cover Artist: Stanley “Art Germ” Lau

Finally! A new DC book I can get excited about!  Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance may as well be named Super Young Team because that’s what it is: a new comic mini-series starring those upstart Japanese superheroes we saw too little of (and loved) in Final Crisis.

For the record, I think it’s great that DC is experimenting with new books and ideas like these in a time of financial uncertainty.  The trade off, of course, is the title, but who cares when a book is as good as this?  The artist is called ChrisCross as well – what’s with that?  Again, it doesn’t matter, because his pencils are hot; they’re manic and clean; they crackle and fizz with sci-fi and J-Pop and…honour – all of those things that a Japanese super-team needs.

That’s kind of what this book is about.  The Super Young Team – Most Excellent Superbat, Big Atomic Lantern Boy, Shiny Happy Aquazon, Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, and Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash – post-Crisis find themselves on a satellite surrounded by hot-shots and PR people trying to groom them into the next sensation.  The satellite is to be their new headquarters, it seems.  They have ice sculptures and sushi platters in their meeting room, and a trophy room full of conquests they never made.  They have a rave party with the Paris Hiltons and various other good-fer-nothin’s to kick things off, all the while wondering aloud if this is really what this superhero biz-o is all about.  A personal highlight for me: the Most Excellent Superbat receives a visitation from the ghost of the late great Ultimon, who harshly admonishes him for dishonouring the proud traditions of superheroism.  By now the youngsters grow restless for action, and they want to see what’s happened to Japan behind the curtains and levers.

The beckoning of the Ancient amidst the noise of Pop so perfectly encapsulates Japanese culture and the Meiji Restoration conflict that it’s hard to imagine it was written by a non-Japanese.  Joe Casey has completely nailed the concepts, the focus, and the dialogue – all of it has an unmistakable Japanese-ness, and all of it is supremely entertaining.  The Most Excellent Superbat’s internal monologue appears in the form of ‘Twitterati’ posts (‘@MosExBat about 2 seconds ago’) – a great new spin on the caption box.

My God, did I mention that the colours are gorgeous?  Neon yellows, pinks, greens, and metallic blue.  This is the sexiest comic I’ve laid eyes on for a while.

The whole thing feels like a jaunt through the mind of Grant Morrison, which is great (and always a privelege), because he devised this team for Final Crisis, obviously with the intention of someone running with them later.  Thing is, Dance has all the verve and modernity of Morrison – the same energy that propelled Metal Men and Booster Gold – and yet, I can’t imagine this being any better had Morrison himself written it.  (Morrison this, Morrison that; Morrison, Morrison, Morrison – why don’t I just marry the guy already?) Joe Casey may not be Grant Morrison, but you know what they say: “a rose by any other name…”