Final Crisis Paperback – 8 Jun 2010
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"An engrossing read and an absolutely stunning visual experience."
About the Author
Grant Morrison was born in Glasgow in 1960. As a comics writer, he is renowned for his bold reinventions of existing superheroes and his own authored titles. He has had successful runs on Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, The Invisibles, New X-Men, Fantastic Four and All Star Superman His Batman- Arkham Asylum is the best-selling original graphic novel ever published. A documentary on his life and work, Grant Morrison- Talking with Gods, will be released in November 2010.
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The comic, as the other reviews suggest is top class and is a must have for any comic fan.
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Sure, writer Grant Morrison includes plenty of the epic, property-destroying slugfests that are the hallmarks of events such as these. However, he's got much more on his mind than providing empty spectacle.
He's interested in answering the question "What makes a hero?" His answer: Being a hero doesn't require superpowers. It requires not only sacrificing for others, but also doing things that make you uncomfortable-qualities all of us can aspire to. Batman, of course, makes the ultimate sacrifice with his life-though, this being big-time comics, the Dark Knight's death wasn't permanent. (Morrison himself brought Batman back to the land of the living in a subsequent storyline, "The Return of Bruce Wayne.") Superman also risks his life for the DC Multiverse's sake.
Indeed, the DC heroes exhibit traits that the villains covet. Darkseid's minions want to steal Batman's "superior physical prowess, strategic acumen and courage"-because those are the qualities that make Batman what he is. (It's not gadgets like Batmobiles or Batarangs. Sorry, toy manufacturers.)
How Morrison tells his tale is just as interesting as the questions he addresses in it. All of the concepts in Darkseid's Anti-Life Equation-including loneliness, alienation, fear and despair-equal chaos. Morrison expresses that chaos in the way he tells his story. It's a method that demands much more of the reader's attention and thought than the typical superhero saga, but the payoff is well worth the effort. In Morrison's view, every element of the Anti-Life Equation represents the antithesis of what makes a hero, and the qualities that make heroes what they are-not just self-sacrifice, but also self-confidence and relatability-promote the power of hope in the face of dire circumstances. As Batman's trusty right hand Alfred puts it, "No matter how dark the night...there will be no hiding place for evil." Not even an evil as great as Darkseid, who personifies the hate and the chaos that drive this story.
Despite the presence of many different pencillers, the art holds together well throughout. J.G. Jones eventually needed help from Carlos Pacheco and Doug Mahnke to complete the series, and Lee Garbett pencilled two "Batman" issues pertinent to the story. All of the pencillers and inkers, as well as the letterers and colorists, maintain the story's epic scope from beginning to end, and keep everything uniform so the changes in artists aren't so jarring as to take the reader out of the story completely.
This capstone to the trilogy that began with "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and continued in "Infinite Crisis" demands careful reading, but both the themes and the storytelling method will reward readers so inclined. Because Morrison expresses the power of both superheroes and storytelling, "Final Crisis" is a work that deserves to be studied and revisited.
It's reasonably easy to pick up and read Crisis on Infinite Earths or Infinite Crisis without having a lot of backstory. "Lots of different universes and they're all collapsing into one due to some bad guy. Got it." "Okay, now some alternate reality relic is trying to bring back the multiple universes from one. Got it."
But this one? "Okay, so an evil god died previously and possesses a cop and somehow this creates a blackhole and all of reality is going to be destroyed and now Superman's a giant robot?" Good luck.
Not only is it a mess to follow the plot, even with lots of knowledge of DC continuity, but the book is all over the place. It starts off with a few chapters of fighting Darkseid as he starts to ruin the world, then does a left turn for two of 'em while Superman fights as a champion for the very concept of Narrative? Then we have Batman dreaming, waking up, shooting Darkseid, but then the Green Lanterns are here? And now they're in a blackhole so Superman builds the Miracle Machine to sing a song which fixes the universe, but destroys the other over-gods watching from afar?
It's extremely disjoint, and I didn't recognize a good chunk of the characters. And I really love my DC comics, but my knowledge wasn't great enough for this read. These big crossover events always include a lot of regular issues of various books, and I'm assuming a lot of these are missing - I think it was Seven Soldiers of Victory that dealt with the fall of the New Gods, for example, which is a critical piece of plot. I'd hope that having all of those other bits of text would make it easier to follow, but I'm not even convinced. Even with the stuff that's there, I frequently found myself feeling like a panel or two was missing, sometimes even entire pages. It jumped around a lot and felt sloppy.
Honestly? Save your money. Either of the Infinite Crises are much better. The Convergence big event was a lot more fun with the multiverse (though that was even hard to follow), and a lot of the recent Rebirth books have been excellent. Some of the smaller universe-wide events are better as well, like Panic in the Sky or Our Worlds at War.
This was just too much of a mess.