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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Totems [2000] (Random Comics Theatre)

Random Comics Theatre
Totems [2000]

Yeah, I pretty much agree with Swamp Thing's assessment there.

This is one of those "what were they thinking?" comics. It's a one-shot from Vertigo taking a lot of the characters that were around when the line launched (Swamp Thing, Shade, Black Orchid, Animal Man, John Constantine and Robotman from the Doom Patrol, most of them not being published at the time, plus a few cameos like Zatanna and the Phantom Stranger) and tossing them into a story about them facing the end of the world when the year 2000 begins.

Of course, the actual book takes about a third of its pages telling us the story of some unrelated and uninteresting character who crashes the rather unlikely party thrown by John Constantine which brings the characters together. I'd think if you had that many formerly headlining characters you'd want to have some fun with their interactions rather than devoting so much of the book to some new nobody. As it is the whole thing becomes a bit of "oh, look, it's that guy from that thing. And there's that other guy from the other thing. And look, they're talking to each other in this thing". It all just seems a lot less fun than you'd think having all these characters should be.

And while I stopped reading about most of those characters long before DC stopped publishing them, so I can't comment about how well they're handled or if anything plays cleverly off their stories or where they'd be several years after their cancellation, nothing struck me as too profound. Shade says strange things, Robotman is a smart alec. Eh, overall just a wasted potential idea. I'm just glad I paid a lot less than cover price for it.

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