NML Crossing

NML Crossing, Episode 013 – Batman #554 (1998)

NML Crossing, Episode Thirteen

Batman #554 (May, 1998)
“Cataclysm, Part Twelve: Master of Destruction”
Writer – Doug Moench
Pencils – Klaus Janson
Inks – Sal Buscema
Colors – Gregory Wright & Android Images
Letters – Todd Klein
Edits – Gorfinkel & O’Neil
Cover Price: $1.95

Aka. Remedial-Theoretical Geology!  Come for the Bat-Talk, stay for the (heavily abridged) tangent regarding Crustal Displacement and the belly-contents of the Woolly Mammoth!  We get a whole lot of information this time out suggesting that our Big Bad might not be able to put his quakiness where his mouth is!

Plus: A wonderfully fun stroll down pod-memory lane via the NMaiLbag!



3 thoughts on “NML Crossing, Episode 013 – Batman #554 (1998)

  • Thanks for the response to my previous missive! A few thoughts on your response:

    1) From Claremont to Claremont must’ve been a beast to prep and to organize with all those cohosts. I wonder how much of your decision to stop it was tied to the time needed to prep (and how long the project would go on for, making that prep even more of a burden) and how much was tied to the scheduling of working with many cohosts.

    I’m interested in general, but since that era of X-men marked my entrance into comic fandom, it holds a dear spot in my heart. I loved revisiting it in C to C and was disappointed when it ended and always wondered what the straw was that broke that camel’s back. Related to this, I always wondered (and hoped) that those reasons might be enough for you to stop the project at the time, but that they weren’t enough to prevent you from returning to it at some point in the future.

    Also, somewhat selfishly, I always was interested in joining the C to C team as a guest or a cohost but I discovered C to C right before it ended so that was never to be, even as a suggestion from me (maybe one single cohost for all the titles wouldv’e made the project easier, althought it would’ve curtailed some of the club atmosphere you described in this episode? Shameless selfish questions and hopes, I know).

    2) That written piece you and Reggie had planned on, turning the collectors series into a more formal and data-driven piece, sounds interesting! I understand the decision to not complete and publish it, given that it was a dual project of yours and Reggie, so I guess I’ll have to just hope for a Lucien’s library to read it in my dreams.

    Also on this collecting/addiction topic, I am reminded of a podcast I listened to about hoarders. I’m not saying you, me, or most comic collectors are hoarders, but something that podcast mentioned did connect to me as a comic collector and to some points you made here and have in the past.

    In that podcast, they mentioned some research about how hoarders have something slightly different or magnified going on in their brain when they are looking at their collection; if I remember correctly, it was something about how the memory processing areas and some other areas fired more, bringing hoarders back to the time of their life when they acquired whatever item they’re looking at and doing so more powerfully than the “average” person. By extension, getting rid of these items is more like getting rid of a memory and a piece of identity than it is for non-hoarders.

    Again, I’m not saying we’re hoarders, but I do think we have some of that element of our brain and memories firing more strongly when we look at and handle physical copies of our comics, which is one of the reasons digital will never replace physical in my mind (I’ll read digital in addition to physical, but never only digital and never more digital than physical). I do think this connection breaks down for this reason at least, and it’s why I think we comic collectors generally aren’t hoarders: hoarders hoard everything, even discarded food wrappers for instance, and most comics fans have only comics or a few things that they collect. I like to think of this as getting the best of both worlds!

    3) I also agree that the HoX/PoX era has been too bloated and that an anthology series might have been the way to prevent that problem from happening. I’m not as down on the era as you seemed to be or get to (I still largely enjoy it more than most X-Men from the last 15 years and maybe I enjoyed it more because I wasn’t covering every issue for a podcast), but I do agree with it being bloated and stretched too long for sales: it reminds me of the 90s Clone Saga debacle, which should’ve been shorter but was elongated because of sales figures. I know that financial considerations drive creative decisions, especially in risk averse corporations, but I wish there was a better balance between financial considerations and creative considerations (ironically, said the unapologetic 90s comic fan).

    As always, thanks for the good work, and I look forward to more!

    • MANY thanks for this message, CJ. I responded & spoke on it at length in today’s episode… had a real soul-bearing sorta chat with myself!

  • Chris U

    Knowing the identity of the Quakemaster, those clues to his identity are sopt on. They make it obvious who the Quakemaster is in hindsight.

    Touching on the discussion of anthologies. I’m in a Bronze Age rabbit hole and the stories from Batman Family and Superman Family are my favorites right now. Mr and Mrs Superman, Nightwing and Flamebird, and the Batgirl and Robin team ups would never have carried monthly titles. But as part of an anthology they thrived. When done right anthologies ARE worthwhile. Remember, Action Comics was an anthology when it began.


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