Thursday, August 7, 2008

Final Crisis #3 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist: JG Jones
Colorist: Alex Sinclair

Issue Rating
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

Issue Developments
The Question (Renee Montoya) confronts and escapes from Frankenstein and his SHADE group while they locate some ancient prophecy. Outside The Question witnesses what looks like an alternate reality Supergirl falls from the sky. A SHADE agent recruits the Question to join their ranks.

We then see The Monitor turned human Nix Uotan being fired from his job and then walking home only to stop outside of a electronics store to see some news about some new discovery in a cave in New York. A mysterious woman is seen standing behind Nix.

Elsewhere Jay Garrick is explaining to all of The Flash family about Barry Allen returning, much to Iris shock, and all three Flash's, himself, Wally, and Barry, trying to stop the bullet that killed Orion. He then tells everyone that he could not keep up with Wally and Barry and that while he ended up with them the next day he does not now were in time Wally or Barry ended up in.

Over at the Hall of Doom Libra makes the Human Flame put on his new helmet that contains The Anti-Life equation and makes him his slave. Lex Luthor then tries to confront Libra but is stopped by Libra's men and Lex is given an ultimatum: become a slave like the Human Flame or pledge his alligance to Libra and Apokolips.

Shifting to Metropolis Memorial Hospital Clark and Jimmy are with an unconscious and severly injured Lois Lane. Jimmy decides to leave for a bit to look for Superman but Clark stays with his wife and whispers that his heat vision is all that is keeping her heart beating. As Clark says he would do anything so that Lois when the mysterious woman that appeared behind Nix appears infront of Clark. She tells Clark she can save Lois only if comes with her.

We then cut to Hal Jordan being taken into custody by the Alpha Lanterns to be prosecuted for his crimes at OA with Wonder Woman, Black Lightning, and Alan Scott can do nothing but watch. Alan then brings up Article X, a superhero draft, and Wonder Woman agrees that is what they have to do since Hal, Bruce, Clark, and Wally are no were to be found in one way or another. Alan then has Oracle gather all the superheroes from the new Aquaman to Captain Marvel to Supergirl and so for gather for the upcoming battle.

In Japan Mister Miracle and Super-Sumo are attacked by Libra's men as they are about to board a plane. They are saved from of the Jappannese superheroes from the superhero bar back in issue #1.

The scene shifts to Bluehaven were Wonder Woman is being escorted through the decimated city by The Atomic Knights when they are attacked by a pink haired leather clothes wearing Mary Marvel. Wonder Woman then have a fight were Wonder Woman dominates until Mary Marvel stabs Wonder Woman with an Anti-Life Equation drug. Mary then tells Wonder Woman that she will be Darkseid's disease carrier.

Over ar at Oracle's location Barbara is sent a computer virus from Darkseid's henchmen Mokkar. The virus than infects all computers around the world and everything goes black.

One month in the future Wally and Barry finally stop running and as Wally is about to question his uncle about what is happening they are confronted by a Darkseid controlled Wonder Woman, Mary Marvel, Giganta, and Catwomen. The controlled Wonder Woman then says "Superheroes. Kill." End of issue.

Highlight of the Issue

"Introducing Darkseid's Femme Fatales"

Final Crisis #3 live up to all the expectations I had for it (that is a good thing). The funny thing about Morrison's Final Crisis is that you'll either say "This was a fantastic issue!" or "What the hell just happened?" If you are someone that has been reading DC books for the past 3+ years and have some knowledge of the Golden and Silver Age of DC than you'll probably say the former. But if your just starting to read DC books and doesn't know what has been going on in the past few years than you'll probably say the latter.

Morrison does not sugar coat Final Crisis with its multiple plotlines developing all at once. He expects that anyone who picks up this series to know what has been going on in the DC Universe for the past few years as well as to know about some of Kirby's New Gods. Even for people like me who has been reading some DC books for about 5 years on a consistent bases still might have to take a visit to Wikipedia to figure out all the characters involved. So if your someone not willing to do some research on DC's past and is just looking for an enjoyable summer blockbuster than save your money and go watch The Dark Knight.

What is interesting about Final Crisis is that it shows both the strengths and weaknesses in Morrison's story telling abilities. The strength for Morrison has always been that it is obvious that he has some great ideas for a story and knows how to give each character in his stories there own external voice. But like over in Batman in the current RIP storyline it seems that at times Morrison gets lost in how to write his story down on paper when it is time to so he may overload an issue with awkward transitions between scences. But again this is something that just comes in when reading a Grant Morrison comic.

One of the great things that Morrison has been able to do in this issue and in the past two issues is how he has systamatically taken out all of DC's heavy hitters from play. The first issue we saw Martian Manhunter killed by Libra, even though Morrison made him go down like a punk Tomasi showed J'onn as the hero he truly as in Final Crisis: Requiem. In the second issue Green Lantern John Stewart was taken out by an unseen Green Lantern and Batman was taken out by Alpha Lantern Krakken and then imprissoned somewhere in Bluehaven. Then in this issue Superman was taken out because he would not leave Lois side and looks like he is going into the future setting up the Legion of Three Worlds mini. Also both Flash's Wally and Barry were travelling through time in the Speed Force ending up a month into the future. And finally Green Lantern is taken to OA to be impressioned and Wonder Woman was infected by the Anti-Life equation becoming Darkseid's slave.

These are probably the most powerful characters in the DC Universe and now the world is without them. Morrison has really stacked the deck against the heroes now that they face Darkseid and his inslaved heroes turned villains. It makes me wonder which superheroes are actually left in the world that are not inslaved by Darkseid in the one month future Wally and Barry are in.

The hardest thing to do in these big events is what to do with Superman because he is the most powerful hero in the universe and could stop these events from happening in a heartbeat. It was a great move by Morrison in how he took out Superman from the picture. Most writers usually try to take away some if not all of Superman's power with kryptonite or something else. But here Morrison weakens Superman emotionally and not physically by having him stay by Lois bedside or else she may die. And from the looks of it the woman that appeared to him to save Lois most likely has something to do with the Legion of Superheroes and Superman is probably still in the future when Darkseid took over the world.

Now while it was obvious that Libra was working for Darkseid but it is this issue were I felt Libra is a threat on his own. The ultimatum that he gave Lex Luthor was awsome because even though Lex was pissed off someone other than him took out Superman he almost seemed powerless to do anything. But I have to wonder since we still have not officially seen Darkseid yet in this series if Libra, if he isn't Darkseid himself, has other plans in mind for his own gain.

Now even though Article X seems to familiar to the concept of Civil War over at Marvel I still love the idea of a superhero draft in the DC Universe being inacted at the Earth's time of need. I actually thought it was interesting that Alan Scott became the leader of this superhero army since I always felt Alan Scott to be a grandfaher figure to many DC heores who the heroes will listen to.

But while I was excited to see this superhero draft being inacted it seemed Morrison just through the scene in and never followed up on it. In one scene we see all of the superheroes gather and then nothing. What we get is Wonder Woman on her own going to Bluehaven without some sort of backup. It made the scene feel like nothing but filler but hopefully Morrison will pick up on this thread in the next issue since we saw the Appocalyptic future. Morrison will probably have Wally and Barry be saved by the superheroes still not in Darkseid's control.

And speaking of the Flash's how awsome was it seen Barry back and next to Wally. Next to the Bat-family the only other real family in superheroes that do feel like a family is the Flash-family. Seeing Jay tell all his, Wally, and Barry's family about what happend shows how close the Flash's are. Seeing Iris break down and cry when finding out Barry was back was really an emotional moment for her and illustrated nicely by the art. And now with both Wally and Barry together in the future it will be interesting how much Morrison will flesh out their interactions.

One of the complaints I have about this issue is that I could care less about what happens with the Mister Miracle and his Japannese heroes. Right now I still don't see the point of them being in the story and how it will fit into the story especially with the one month time skip. Also am I the only one wondering why Mister Miracle is now black since from all I know the Mister Miracle I know was the only one of the New Gods yet to be dead.

The other problem I had with this issue is the massacar and rape to the Mary Marvel character that DC has done to Mary. I know that over in Countdown she turned evil because of she got Black Adams powers but Morrison has said he is avoiding Countdown altogether. The only reason to have Mary become evil is because she has basically become the Superboy-Prime of Final Crisis. And seeing Mary with pink hair and in a leather bondage costume is just unnatural and just seems to forced because Morrison needed someone to fill in for a Superboy-Prime type character. Hopefully the new Captain Marvel Freddy Freeman can bring back Mary Marvel to the right course again.

J.G. Jones art was as good as always. His art fits the story Morrison is telling while living up to the stadards for the art that comes with big events like Final Crisis. The evil Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Giganta, and Mary Marvel(from the last page) was just beautiful. It will be interesting to see how Jones art will be when Carlos Pacheco joins him to help out with the art chores.