Cancelled Trade Cavalcade: The Question: Falling into Place

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Cancelled Trade Cavalcade -- where the Collected Editions blog looks at some trades that never quite made print. Today, we're looking at The Question: Falling into Place, which was announced as cancelled last week.

Guest blogger Brian Domingos will tell us more. Brian wrote for PopImage for nearly ten years. After a hiatus, he's back with a Tumblr, http://sustainedinterest.tumblr.com. He looks forward to getting back in the game. Take it away, Brian:

I got the notification from my retailer last week that June’s release of The Question: Falling into Place by Rick Veitch, Tommy Lee Edwards, and John Workman had been cancelled by DC Comics due to low preorder numbers. Dan DiDio confirmed as much on Twitter.

It’s a shame, because it’s a lost gem of the old DC Universe, showcasing a classic cult character updated for the new millennium. It was intended to be part of 2004/2005’s “Superstorm” era of the Superman titles. It started with Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee’s Superman but delays pushed the rest of the books back, including Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, Bruce Jones and Ben Oliver’s Vigilante, and Veitch and Edwards’s Question. Ultimately, only Question and Luthor had anything to do with each other, with the plot of Luthor -- Lex building a massive building, the Science Spire -- being the lynchpin of Veitch’s plot.

Vic Sage, the Question, is on the trail of some criminals called “the Subterraneans” and heads into Metropolis to investigate. He uses his civilian persona to work with Lois Lane to get some information and uses his masked persona to get his hands dirty. It’s a blast to see Sage in Metropolis mixing it up with the Daily Planet’s most famous reporters. The scenes with Superman and The Question, particularly the final encounter, are a ton of fun.

Veitch’s script is trippy, hinging on the idea that the gas Sage uses to bond the Pseudoderm mask to his face acts as a peyote-like hallucinogen. Sage activates the gas and he experiences vision quest-like trances, allowing him to “walk in two worlds.” Sage is the same inquisitive kung fu expert he’s always been, but he’s added “urban shaman” to his repertoire. It’s Denny O’Neill’s Question mixed with the Justice League Unlimited conspiracy freak and a little bit of The Doctor from The Authority.

Veitch packs the pages with vivid, descriptive narrations that illustrate the levels of Sage’s hallucinations. The fugue states allow Sage to experience the full psychokinetic forces being manipulated by the Science Spire. The story has a many complicated concepts but it handles it in an easy to swallow manor.

The full force of the delirium is brought to life by Tommy Lee Edwards’s lush and detailed artwork. His figure work is exceptional, giving the characters expressive faces and body language. The story is multileveled with so much of it being is subtext. Edwards gives these moments their own space. He uses tiered layouts with full color panels juxtaposed with tight panels of silhouettes with stark yellow backgrounds.

Edwards has so often partnered with John Workman that the letterer’s style is part of the artwork. The letters blend in with the artwork so organically I can’t imagine someone else doing as good of a job as Workman.

This is one of my favorite DC miniseries of the last 15 years (I talked briefly on PopImage in 2007 about how much I wanted to see this collected in some sort of format.). I understand that these kinds of cancellations happen all the time but the best way to avoid this situation is to Preorder. Your. Comics. In the meantime, interested readers can head over to Comixology and download the entire six issue miniseries today. The first issue is totally worth the $0.99.
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3 comments:

  1. I bought the issues when they first came out. Remember enjoying them quite a bit.

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  2. "the best way to avoid this situation is to Preorder. Your. Comics."

    You know that's good way to get burned, right?

    DC have ruined so much goodwill from their consumers with their constant string of terrible quality reprints that you'd have to be an idiot to pre-order from them.

    Now I personally pre-ordered a copy because I figured they couldn't possibly ruin a paperback of only six issues of a modern comic, but with DC you never know.

    Even after all the complaints about their Teen Titans omnibus editions, they still can't bind a hardcover. Their hardcover bindings are always too tight. Marvel never have this problem.

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    Replies
    1. I hear that. It's a fine line. Book like Question, probably your best bet is to pre-order because it's "binary"; it'll either come out or it won't. Backing something like the Green Arrow by Mike Grell or Spectre or Martian Manhunter by John Ostrander is tougher, though, because on one hand you want to support them so they come out, and on the other hand you don't want to be in a situation like Justice League International, Infinity Inc., Suicide Squad (at least for the time being), the Starman Omnibus paperbacks, etc., etc., where you invest in a trade series only to have it end on you partway through.

      I don't have a good answer. Basically you've got to take risks on the books you really care about and not on the ones you don't. With digital it makes it all a little easier because at least if you wait to see if all the Spectre books come out before you buy, they'll all be available digital the same as when they first came out (whereas if you were buying print only, the early books might be out of print by the end). But it's not easy, I grant, and especially for a print buyer.

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