Paper Cuts: 7/28/16

One of these things is not like the other; or, Two Endings and a Funeral?

Quick Ratings:

paper cuts - crossed badlands

Crossed: Badlands #100 (Avatar) Ratings: 0.5 out of 5 (the final pinup made me laugh.)

paper cuts - crossed 100

Crossed: + 100 #17 (Avatar) Ratings: 0 out 5

paper cuts - haunted mansion

Disney Kingdoms: The Haunted Mansion #5 (Marvel) Ratings: 3.5 out of 5

I do not have a productive critique for either of the Crossed series books I read this week. There are certainly talented writers on those books, but they have their audience and I am not it.

Instead of going on further about the particular books, we did see two comic endings this week.  In honor of that, I wanted to take a look at comic book endings.  When I talk about great comic endings, I think of Brian K. Vaughn’s end to Y: The Last Man, or even Brian Michael Bendis’ House of M.  Memorable endings are possible, although most the time we are left with endings that make us say, “It’s Fine.”

This week, both Crossed: Badlands and Haunted Mansion concluded.  While both endings were clichéd, one worked well and one did not.


Crossed: Badlands ends with the main character coming out of the grave and picking up his axe.  This ending is used in nearly every horror franchise, mainly in movies.  While this typically works in movies or even to end story arcs, it fell flat as the conclusion to the entire series.

Our main character is left for dead and returns to his axe and starts to walk without a word.  The fact that we often root for the slasher is a bit strange in the horror genre, but it ends up happening.  It is usually built up over a series of entertaining movies and happens as a result of the audience wanting more.  We root for them because, to use a wrestling term, they are “the face.”

With this series – and I admit to jumping into this issue – what was there to like about him?  Was it him sitting drunk and miserable on a porch?  Or the moment he decided to snap his friend’s neck?  Or perhaps finding out the name of his son?  There is nothing to root for.  And with nothing to root for, do you really want this character coming back?

On the other hand, Haunted Mansion gave us the ending one would expect from a Disney property.  It was with the good guys winning, a family reunion and all neatly wrapped up with a wink and a nod to its source material.

However, with this limited series, none of the readers would feel betrayed if the series returned with more issues.  It has beautiful art and colors and storybook writing.  Even if you’re jumping into the last issue, you may find it intriguing enough to seek out the collected edition, or save this issue for a younger reader.
This was a satisfying end to the entire arc, and even to the single issue.

What did you think about this week’s comics endings?  What do you think about comic ending in general?  If you are a fan of any of the Crossed series, I want to know why.  Make sure to comment on this post or let me know on Twitter and use #papercuts.