Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Spotlight Review Final Crisis #7 of 7

Final Crisis #7 of 7
Publisher DC
Writer Grant Morrison
Pencils Doug Mahnke
Inks Alot of People
Colors Alex Sinclair & friends

Okay I’m not Stephen Hawking, but I’m also not Homer Simpson. I have read comics for over 45 years now and this was one confusing ending.

I get that Grant Morrison has always wanted the DCU to evolve into a sentient being and I get that this is all about the stories. I get that Superman wanted us to have a happy ending. I even understand that Bruce Wayne is alive and will work his way back into our world, but Final Crisis was confusing and the ending left me a little cold.

I can’t help but compare the two mega-events. Marvel had Secret Invasion and DC had Final Crisis.

Secret Invasion was one of the worse books I have read and in hindsight it looks even worse as the entire thing was a plot device to take us to Dark Reign. Plus we were sold a bill of goods that this was going to impact everything. We were told to embrace change and it was hinted the change would be the Skrulls becoming part of our world. The ending of that series was so stupid as to be meaningless, but it led to Dark Reign. Now while I have many questions about the premise and it has been “hit and miss” so far, the outcome of this latest event was proof that Marvel has a plan and they execute against that plan. Regardless of what misgivings I have they have created some excitement around Dark Avengers, reset Iron Man’s status quo, reset the Thunderbolts and more. There is a cohesive universe at play and they had books launching out of this mega-event.

The ending of Final Crisis was much better as a story, but again I only feel like I saw a highlight reel of a football game and missed some of the best plays and never actually found out what the final score was. At the end we see the world being rebuilt and all of our questions of how the Final Crisis fits in fall away, because it does not have to fit with most books. The Batman Universe is dealing with the “Death of Bruce Wayne”, the Superman Universe, Wonder Woman and every other title from DC can put it in their rear view mirror. We only have to understand that the Martian Manhunter died, Batman died and Barry Allen has returned. All big moments and all things that can play into series going forward, but the true status quo was not effected one iota.

I’m sure after I read more interviews with Grant and read the entire series in one sitting it may make a lot more sense and my opinion may change. Hopefully I will find out that I just didn’t get it while reading it in seven parts over the months. I think that is a problem though, as when I read comics for entertainment I should not have to remember every story I have read the past 45 years and I should not need annotations to understand everything that was going on.

At this point what I got out of Final Crisis was that Grant had a wide ranging enormous story to tell and he crammed it into about 10 books, when you count the two Superman specials and Final Crisis Submit. I will also admit that today has been a very long day as I got up a lot earlier then normal due to the local winter weather and was tired as I read this book and as I’m reacting to it now, but it left me wanting. I wanted to understand better what Grant was getting at; I wanted all the stories that were hinted at to be given more room and I wanted this to change the status quo in the DCU the way Marvel has been daring enough to change the status quo in their world.

One final grip is Superman is way too powerful, looking at someone and recognizing their DNA, seeing the miracle machine and remembering every nut and bolt in the damn thing, powerful to the point of being ridiculous. This is why in 1985 DC rebooted Superman and brought his power levels down again. Once his powers reach this level trying to tell stories or give him anything that could challenge him becomes almost impossible.

Now I will go and read other people’s views and read an interview with Grant so I can understand what I just read. Finally if DC puts together a nice oversized hardcover with a DVD style commentary by Grant and someone who can translate Grant into decipherable information I will buy it.

Final Grade for Final Crisis – C – Moments of sheer genius, some exceptional art but a confused morass.


  1. Does the series count as a failure if you have to go read creator interviews after the fact so you know what he/she is trying to tell?

    If you had read this 10 yrs ago when there wasn't a strong internet presence and interviews with creators on a daily basis would you still accept the ending?

    Sounds like more mess than success to me.

  2. Lee my last line was "but a confused morass."

  3. Jim said:
    Now I will go and read other people’s views and read an interview with Grant so I can understand what I just read. Finally if DC puts together a nice oversized hardcover with a DVD style commentary by Grant ... yadda yadda yadda... I will buy it.

    I'm just making the point that you can't think it's all that bad if you would buy an oversized hc of it.