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Cronin Theory of Comics – Serialized Fiction Is Judged Individually

by  in Comic News Comment

I get it, Paul Dini, you think that, when Countdown is read as a whole, then the early lame issues will be transformed into a strong opening in the vast tapestry that is Countdown.

However, serialized fiction does not work that way (at least not according to the Cronin Theory of Comics, that is, natch). An individual comic, if it is bad, does not suddenly become good because it tied into a bigger story.

You can choose to tell a graphic novel, or you can tell a serialized story. If you tell a serialized story, you have to live and die with each serialized part of the story. If they are bad individually, then they are bad. The story as a whole might very well be good, but that doesn’t make Countdown #51 good because Countdown #25 might be.

A whole pile of exposition meant to pay off months from now just makes this a whole pile of exposition with zero pay-off.

That’s not a good comic book.

It might very well make a good comic book epic, but individually, they are not good comic books, and that is how serialized fiction is judged – as a whole, yes, but also as each part individually.

To suggest that the readers who disliked it are just being impatient is pretty close to being an insult to the folks who paid $3 a pop to read set-up for LATER issues (and heck, in one issue, they paid to get a scene that already appeared in an earlier comic – the Karate Kid/Batman fight).

That is, if anyone keeps reading past these first few dreadful issues.